Execution of Iranian pastor on hold, for now

Iranian officials say that the execution of the Iranian pastor who has refused to recant his faith in Christ is not imminent.  But now that they are accusing him of other heinous crimes–ones never mentioned in his actual trial and that are not even consistent from spokesman to spokesman–makes me think that his life is still in serious jeopardy: It appears that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will avoid the hangman in Iran for the time being. Nadarkhani, once the leader… Read more

Mariology

The recent post on “The Pope on Luther” led to a discussion of Luther’s views of Mary, in which noted Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong weighed in.  (I am continually amazed at who all reads this blog.)  He cited evidence that Luther had a relatively “Catholic” view of Mary  early in his career, though after the Diet of Worms, in 1521.  (The source of that evidence was somewhat confused, though, which the discussion helped to sort out.) One of the issues was… Read more

Christie won’t run as lead reshuffles

Chris Christie announced that he will not run for president.  Meanwhile, Rick Perry is fading fast, and Herman Cain has caught up with him, moving into a tie for second place.  In first place by a lot:  Mitt Romney. Here are  details from the latest polls: Among announced candidates — without Christie or Palin in the race — Romney leads with 25 percent, which is identical to his support from a month ago. Perry and Cain are tied for second… Read more

Marriage that expires

Now that we can remake humanity’s most basic institution at will, or so we think, we can come up with all kinds of improvements.  Mexico City is considering marriage licenses that have an expiration date. Leftists in the city’s assembly – who have already riled conservatives by legalising gay marriage – proposed a reform to the civil code this week that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime. The minimum marriage… Read more

Radical thinker praises Christianity

Jurgen Habermas is a prominent European intellectual–an influential neo-Marxist, a postmodernist critic, and more recently a neo-Enlightenment philosopher.  But now, surprisingly, he is singing the praises of Christianity.  Lutheran sociologist Peter Berger tells the tale, drawing on some recent scholarship about Habermas: [Philipe] Portier distinguishes three phases in Habermas’ treatment of religion. In phase one, lasting up to the early 1980s, he still viewed religion as an “alienating reality”, a tool of domination for the powerful. In good Marxist tradition,… Read more

You’ve been saved. Now what?

Michael Baruzzini at First Things has a thoughtful discussion of novelist Walker Percy, bourbon, and existentialism.  But it all comes down to vocation: Will Barrett, the protagonist of Walker Percy’s novel The Last Gentleman, complains that he cannot figure out “how to live from one minute to the next on a Wednesday afternoon.” Even Christians, with a solid theological and philosophical grounding, can find the question troubling. So you believe in God, and you believe the Second Person of the… Read more

Vladimir the Great

Ralph Peters writes that the world has only one towering figure in the halls of power, one ruler of genius:  Vladimir Putin. There is one incontestably great actor on the world stage today, and he has no interest in following our script. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — soon to be Russia’s president again — has proven remarkably effective at playing the weak strategic hand he inherited, chalking up triumph after triumph while confirming himself as the strong leader Russians… Read more

Religious groups may hire on basis of religion

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from former employees of the Christian relief organization World Vision who lost their jobs because they no longer believed in the organization’s statement of faith.  This means that Christian organizations are not violating discrimination laws when they hire only Christians. The U.S. Supreme Court let a lower court decision stand Monday that Federal Way-based nonprofit World Vision can hire only Christians to work in its U.S. operations. The largest nonprofit in the… Read more

A tea party of the left

Since the middle of September, some 1000 protesters have been demonstrating on Wall Street, denouncing big business and high finance, calling for more regulations on banks and corporations, an end to housing foreclosures, and more taxes on the rich. The protest movement is called Occupy Wall Street. The protests have been growing.  This weekend 700 demonstrators were arrested on Brooklyn Bridge.  The movement has spread to Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and other cities.  Celebrities from Roseanne Barr to Michael Moore… Read more

Predator drones for bad guys

A predator drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader, propagandist, and recruiter.  Complicating the matter is that he and one of his minions also killed in the Yemen attack were  American citizens.   Some are concerned that executing an American like this is a violation of our constitutional rights for due process and a fair trial.  Others say that al-Awlaki is a textbook example of a traitor who is fighting on the side of his country’s enemies and that being killed… Read more

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