Obama dissed by Snowden’s escape

China and Russia both gave NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden safe passage on his way to asylum in Ecuador.  This, despite direct American pleas to stop him and turn him over.   Russia and China, usually on the receiving end of America’s criticisms for their violations of human rights, can now accuse the U.S. of violating the civil rights of its own citizens by eavesdropping on them.  There is also the resentment internationally that foreigners were particularly targeted.  At any rate, this whole fiasco of Snowden’s escape amounts to  a major diplomatic show of disrespect for the Obama administration. [Read more…]

Liturgical Baptists

A principle of the evangelical church growth movement is that worship should change to reflect the culture–right?  So some Baptists in Russia have adopted Eastern-Orthodox style liturgy, complete with incense and icons.  Also a church government with bishops and archbishops.  (So if the culture likes to worship that way, would church growth advocates adopt it over the contemporary styles they favor, but are perhaps growing stale?  You Baptists, is there any theological reason why you could not worship like this?  Calvinist Baptists couldn’t, of course, given the Calvinist theology of worship, but how about the rest of you?) [Read more…]

Celibacy & friendship

Wesley Hill is a gay Christian who agrees with the Biblical teachings on homosexuality and is celibate.  He writes for First Things, among other places, and provides a useful perspective on the current controversies about gays and the church.  In a response to the shutting down of Exodus International, he makes the point that the Christian tradition has some rich, practical teaching  about two disciplines that can be of enormous help to gays (as well as non-gays):  celibacy and spiritual friendship (in which same-sex relationships can be fulfilling without being sexual). [Read more…]

Meeting online yields happier marriages

Who says the new information technology is messing up human life?  A new study has found that couples who first met online have happier marriages and fewer divorces than those who first met in the real world. [Read more…]

Non-biological bodies & digital immortality

The director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil–who has written a couple of books on these subjects– told a conference that in about 30 years, we will be able to download our minds into the internet to achieve “digital immortality.”  We will also be able to dispense with our physical bodies in favor of “non-biological bodies.”

Think of these goals as the promises of a new religion for our day.  Note the gnosticism, that ancient but always recurring heresy that denigrates the body and the material creation.  No families would be needed, since there would be no need for reproduction.  This would seem to herald the end of sex, though perhaps it would simply be the next step in internet pornography replacing sex.  (Though what would be the locus of desire without bodies?)  Getting rid of biological bodies, of course, would mean killing them, so this opens the door to mass murders, but that would be all right since people’s “minds”–which is the only part that counts–would be downloaded into Google’s servers.  Not much privacy there, but we could access everyone else’s minds, which would be the new version of human relationships, replacing such retro concepts as love and community.

What else?  (After the jump, details from Kurzweil’s sermon to the futurist conference.) [Read more…]

More from Gospel Coalition’s “Fact Checker”

We posted about Glenn Stanton’s “Fact Checker” post at Gospel Coalition challenging the notion that college tends to undermine the faith of its students.  Here are some other topics he takes up:

Does ‘Abba’ Mean ‘Daddy’?

C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton Quotes

Burning Your Ships for Jesus

Misquoting Francis of Assisi

The Cross an Electric Chair?

Divorce Rate Among Christians

Do Faithful Christians Take the Bible Literally?

Is the ‘I Only Need Jesus!’ Declaration Christian?

Who Really Started the Family ‘Culture War’?

Are Your Kids Likely to Lose Their Faith?

Are Millennials More Self-Sacrificing and Community-Minded Than Previous Generations?