Virtual evil in video games

“How Evil Should a Video Game Allow You to Be?”  That’s the title of a provocative essay for the New Yorker by Simon Parkin.  When you read a work of literature featuring an evil person, you are in the mode of an observer.  But when you  play certain popular video games, you enter into the point of view of the evil person and are implicated in what he does (since, after all, you cause them).  The article isn’t against video games as such–indeed, it shows how this ability to put the player into a particular point of view has great artistic possibilities.  But still, as the article recounts some of the depravity that video games cause us to act out, it raises important questions, especially for Christians for whom sin “in the heart” can be as soul-destroying as sin acted out. [Read more…]

Perfect-looking produce vs. blemished produce

A major reason we waste 40% of our food supply:  We insist on visually perfect fruits and vegetables, even though they often don’t have as much flavor or nutritional value as blemished produce.  “Once one realizes that root vegetables and most other plants synthesize more antioxidants and more flavorful sugars and tannins in response to stress,” writes physician Daphne Miller, “even the insect nibbles and sun spots have an appeal.” [Read more…]

Mount up with wings like eagles

After the jump, a video from a camera mounted on the back of an eagle, showing what it is like to soar from an eagle’s point of view. [Read more…]

Supreme Court to consider Morning After pill mandate

The Supreme Court is considering whether or not to hear a case involving a Christian business owner who objects to the Obamacare mandate that he must offer his employees free contraceptives and morning after pills.  Most observers think the court will hear the case.  If it does not, the requirement will stand.  At issue is whether religious liberty extends to how believers live out their faith in their businesses. [Read more…]

Baptists embracing the liturgy

A growing number of Baptists are turning to liturgical worship.  So says the Associated Baptist Press and a new book on the subject.  Why?  Because liturgy is inherently “missional.”  And because it attracts young people.

Now that the church growth movement has come completely full circle, could we Lutherans take up a collection to send a copy of this book, entitled Gathering Together:  Baptists at Work in Worship, to every pastor and district executive involved with throwing out the liturgy in the name of being “missional” and attracting young people?  Maybe they will appreciate liturgical worship now that Baptists are doing it. [Read more…]

Food expiration dates

Do you or does someone in your household periodically purge your refrigerator and cupboards of food that is past its expiration date?  It turns out, those dates on food have nothing to do with whether or not it’s still safe to eat.  Confusion over “sell-by,” “use-by,” and “best if used by” dates–and the complete absence of a “safe-if-used-by” date–contributes to our wasting 40% of American food production. [Read more…]