On Sunday, Pastor Douthwaite at our church gave one of the best comments on the Harold Camping fiasco.  From his sermon on John 14: Thomas and Philip didn’t quite understand all that Jesus was saying. They ask questions. Their knowledge isn’t quite right or complete. But don’t mock them or think less of them for this – for who among us understands all this? Especially the mystery of the Trinity which Jesus here is teaching. But give Thomas and Philip… Read more

Anthony Sacramone reflects on the Harold Camping non-rapture phenomenon, including some warnings about how Christians often get caught up in a cult of personality: You might be saying to yourself, “Sure, a buncha fundy, dispensationalist cranks with clever marketing skills. Tough luck on their ignorant, desperate disciples.” But ask yourself something: If your pastor, preacher, teacher, elder, priest were to walk into an open manhole tomorrow, only to be replaced by some less-winsome personality, would you leave your church? If… Read more

Thanks to Joe Carter for posting this commencement address (which he never gave) by the late media scholar Neil Postman. Read the whole thing, but here are some excerpts that set forth the basic paradigm: I want to tell you about two groups of people who lived many years ago but whose influence is still with us. They were very different from each other, representing opposite values and traditions. I think it is appropriate for you to be reminded of… Read more

Harold Camping is taking nothing back, even though his prediction of the Rapture happening on May 21 fell flat.  Rather, as some of you commenters predicted, he is simply reinterpreting his prediction and holding strong to his other one, that the world will come to an end on October 21. Radio evangelist Harold Camping said in a special broadcast Monday night on his radio program Open Forum that his predicted May 21, 2011 Rapture was “an invisible judgment day“ that… Read more

Not to be outdone by Harold Camping, some Muslims are predicting the onset of the End Times  to occur on June 5.   Iran’s political establishment is being torn by a controversy over the return of the messiah-like Mahdi.   Some Shi’ites have set a date, so we will be able to see if they are right.  From Reza Kahlili: Increasing tensions between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intensified when hardline clerics exerted pressure on… Read more

We’ve talked about different kinds of conservatives.  Let’s talk about different kinds of Democrats.   Michael Gerson says the current gridlock in Congress–especially when it comes to budgets and fiscal policy–is due not to Republicans (who are remarkably unified, he notes, despite fears about the Tea Party).  Rather, it is due to a split among Democrats: On fiscal issues, the Democratic Party is really two parties. One consists of European-style social democrats, represented by leaders such as Nancy Pelosi. They have… Read more

The Washington Examiner has a series in which they interview people about their faith.  (They did that to me once, which I blogged about.)  Journalist Mollie Hemingway didn’t mince any words.  Read the whole interview.  Here is an excerpt in which Mollie explains vocation: It seems in some ways that reporting on religion could lead to doubts about one’s own faith, or at least to confusion or pluralism. How has your journalism shaped or affected your own faith? Has it… Read more

Bob Dylan turns 70 today.   I’ve been listening to his tunes lately, and they are as good as ever, if not better.  So, my fellow Baby Boomers, now that Dylan is 70, will you now admit that you aren’t young any more? Notice I am not using a headline that alludes to “Forever Young.”  That’s about the only Dylan song that I find annoying, since it assumes that being young is better than being old, a notion I dispute…. Read more

Ruth Marcus has a column on entitlement behavior: By entitlement behavior, I mean the apparent belief of too many political figures — make that too many male political figures — that the ordinary rules of acceptable conduct do not apply to them. Exhibits A, B and C are former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Nevada Sen. John Ensign. Their alleged or admitted actions differ, but these episodes are linked by more than… Read more

I have been sparing you this year my interest in American Idol, the popular talent show that causes the American public to exercise aesthetic judgments.  But now we are at the finale.  The last two standing are Scotty McCreary and Laure Alaina, 17 and 16 years old respectively.  They are both country singers, interestingly enough, and refreshingly free of attitude and vulgarity.   This season is being hailed as one of the best ever in terms of talent.  Simon Cowell… Read more

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