A watershed in American evangelicalism?

The New Life Church in Colorado Springs was one of the nation’s leading megachurches.  But then its pastor, Ted Haggard, was brought down in a sex and drug scandal.  Now the congregation is changing the way it is doing things.  Instead of trying to be new, it is trying to find its place in historic Christianity.  This means bringing in liturgy, every-Sunday communion, the church year, and pastoral care.  Its new statement of faith is the Nicene Creed.

Christianity Today published a sympathetic in-depth article about the changes last month.  Lutheran scholar Martin Noland sees these developments as possibly “a watershed in American evangelicalism.” [Read more…]

At his post 29 years after the war

The Japanese soldier who held out in a Philippine jungle for 29 years after the end of World War II died.  Hiroo Onoda was 91.  Read his story–including why he finally turned himself in– after the jump.

Would you say Lt. Onoda was an example of outrageous stubborness (a vice) or inspirational integrity (a virtue)?  How does this relate to vocation? [Read more…]

President modifies NSA surveillance program

President Obama has given a speech in which he announced changes in the National Security Administration’s program of collecting and data-mining  phone and internet records.  Here are the changes, which seem pretty minor.  After the jump, an analysis of where things stand. [Read more…]

“Alone yet Not Alone” gets Oscar nomination

Alone yet not Alone is one of those small but ambitious “faith-based-films” that usually get little traction in the Hollywood world.  Some of my students and people I know here at Patrick Henry College worked on it.  But I don’t think anybody expected it to win an Oscar nomination, which it did for “best original song.”  Listen to All 5 Tunes Nominated for the ‘Best Original Song’ Oscar.

The music is by Bruce Broughton, the lyrics are by Dennis Spiegel, and the performance is by the remarkable Joni Eareckson Tada.  After the jump, you can hear the song. [Read more…]

Are Americans becoming more liberal?

Democratic operative Steve Rosenthal argues that America is becoming more liberal.   Do you think he is right? [Read more…]

Slandering a Christian teacher

You may have heard about the little boy who wanted to distribute to his class candy canes with messages about they symbolize Jesus and the Gospel.  His teacher wouldn’t let him.  So Glenn Beck, Fox News, and many Christian activists have been excoriating that teacher.

But Hillsdale professor Korey Maas says that the teacher first consulted her principal, who told her that the school did not allow that kind of “witnessing” in class.  And she is far from being a militant secularist or the worse things she is being called.

In fact, she is herself a pious and confessional Christian, though it would be impossible to discern as much from the coverage of much Christian media.

I know this because I was present at her baptism; I participated in the catechesis leading to her reception into the theologically (and, overwhelmingly, politically) conservative Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; I preached at her wedding; my wife and I are godparents to her children, as she and her husband (who is himself on the faculty of a Christian university) are to our youngest. Needless to say, I have complete confidence that her far less dramatic version of events is much the more accurate account. [Read more…]