Pope Francis as evangelical?

In our continuing effort to try to figure out the new Pope of Rome–is he a liberal? a traditionalist?  a traditionalist acting liberal?–another possibility has presented itself:  Is he evangelical?  (Not “an evangelical,” but evangelical in the sense of stressing the Gospel–grace, Christ, the Word of God–more than the typical Roman Catholic pontiff?) [Read more…]

ObamaCare and the end of nonprofit hospitals?

Nonprofit hospitals are defined as those that devote at least 3% (or in some states 4%) of their revenue to treat patients who cannot pay for treatment.  Well, if Obamacare works to insure everybody, those requirements might be hard to meet, forcing the 60% of the nation’s hospitals that are non-profit to lose that status and the tax advantages that go with it.

Notice that patients without insurance WERE getting treated, and that hospitals had a strong financial incentive to treat them.  (Did you know about that?  Why hasn’t the charitable dimension of the old system been discussed?  Might that have been improved as an alternative to changing our whole health care system for everyone?)  This is another unintentional revolutionary consequence of Obamacare.  After the jump, read the story from Forbes. [Read more…]

C. S. Lewis calendar

My friend and former colleague Joel Heck has been doing some exhaustive research on the life of C. S. Lewis.  He has put together a detailed chronology that you can see on his website.  On the basis of that work, Joel has prepared a C. S. Lewis calendar.  It isn’t tied to a particular year, so it can be used year after year, showing what the great Christian apologist, literary scholar, and fantasy writer was doing on any particular day.  After the jump, details about how to get one of these calendars. [Read more…]

What Legalism & Licentiousness have in common

An objection being made to Tullian Tchividjian’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post that we blogged about yesterday (and that came up in our discussion too) is that legalism just isn’t the problem in the church today.  Rather, churches are rife with licentiousness.   Too much preaching of grace and forgiveness can encourage people to keep sinning.  We need more preaching of the Law to encourage people to act morally.

Actually, though, both legalism and licentiousness are different forms of self-righteousness.  The legalist thinks to earn God’s favor by his rectitude.  The libertine does whatever he wants with no guilt to hold him back.  Both are antinomian, denying their condemnation under the Law.  Both reject the Gospel because they think they don’t need it.  Neither has faith.  (Since good works are the fruits of faith, if you don’t have good works, you need more faith, which means you need more Gospel.)

That’s the way I see it.  After the jump, read Rev. Tchividjian’s response. [Read more…]

A society that is losing interest in sex

Young people in Japan are not only losing interest in marriage.  They are losing interest in relationships altogether.  And they are reportedly taking the next step:  Losing interest in sex. [Read more…]

Wasting our stuff in Afghanistan

A military contact told me this was happening, but now it’s made the papers:  As our troops leave Afghanistan, they are leaving behind some $7 billion worth of equipment.  It’s reportedly cheaper to just leave it than to haul it back to the states.  But to keep the Taliban and other terrorists from getting all that equipment, we are first destroying it, leaving behind towering mountains of scrap metal where our military bases used to be. [Read more…]