What cities have the best quality of life? 

The UK Economist has released its annual  “Global Livability Ranking” assessing the “quality of life” of the world’s major cities.  Terrorist attacks and civil unrest–including violent demonstrations in the U.S.–have brought down the rankings of many cities.  Overall, the world’s quality of life has declined from a score of 76.1% to 74.8% this year.  But there is a big reason to question this particular study, as well as other research just like it. Here are the top ten cities with the world’s… Read more

A modernist, a postmodernist, and a Lutheran walk into a bar. . .

We’re in Australia, where I’ve been doing quite a bit of speaking.  I just gave a public lecture at the Lutheran seminary in Adelaide entitled “The Modern, the Postmodern, and the Lutheran:  How Lutheran Christianity Can Address the 21st Century.”  (It draws on a book I’ve written with Trevor Sutton.  Much more on that when CPH releases it on October 31.)  Anyway, my wife said, “Your title sounds like a joke!  The Modern, the Postmodern, and the Lutheran went into… Read more

Steve Bannon’s hara-kiri by phone call?

  UPDATE:  Steve Bannon has been fired. President Trump’s controversial advisor, Steve Bannon, emulated his departed enemy Anthony Scaramucci, for some inexplicable reason, by calling up a journalist to vent about his co-workers! But Bannon’s behavior is even more inexplicable than what Scaramucci did.  He called up the arch-liberal journalist Robert Kuttner, editor of the “progressive” magazine the American Prospect, who has written up the interview in his article Steve Bannon, Unrepentant. In his conversation, Bannon bragged about how he was going to get… Read more

Virtue Signaling as Self-justification

We have a need to “justify” ourselves, to show that we are right, that we are good. Read more

Abandoning Trump

President Trump is becoming increasingly isolated.  His own party is abandoning him.  Fox News said that they could not find a single Republican (presumably a Republican office-holder or party leader) to defend him for his Charlottesville statements.  Business leaders who comprised his various economic councils have been resigning, to the point that now President Trump has shut them down.  But no one has resigned from his council of evangelical advisors! Here is Shepard Smith on the difficulty of Fox News (!) of finding… Read more

Most Americans Admit They Are Sinners

Only one in ten Americans (10%) believe that sin doesn’t exist. That is slightly more than the percentage who deny that they are sinners (8%). Read more

Trump blames both alt-left and alt-right

Having issued a tepid blame-both-sides statement about the Charlottesville killing, President Trump on the next day issued another statement squarely blaming white nationalist racists.  But then he undid that damage control in a press conference once again blaming both sides: “You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. “What about the alt-left… Read more

The zeal of converts

Many of the critics of Pope Francis in his more liberal positions are converts to Catholicism, a fact that liberal Catholics are throwing in their face. The gist goes something like this:  You converted to Catholicism so now you think you’re more Catholic than the pope.  You still think like a Protestant.  Or like a Fundamentalist.   Because you are a convert, you don’t really understand Catholicism, which is organic, fluid, ever-developing, etc. Now those who convert to a particular… Read more

National legalization of marijuana as the next big political issue

Shaping up to be the next big political issue:  legalizing marijuana nationally. Currently, eight states have legalized the recreational use of the drug (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Alaska, Maine, and Massachusetts, plus the District of Columbia).  Twenty-nine states have legalized marijuana for medical uses.  But the federal laws against it stand in the way of marijuana becoming a full-fledged industry in those states, even though the federal laws are not being enforced there. But the push for legalization on the national… Read more

Why Lutheranism appeals to Russians

Vladimir Putin continues to crackdown on religions that are “non-traditional” to Russia, persecuting people because of their religious beliefs on a scale unknown since Soviet days.  Interestingly, Lutheranism is considered one of the “traditional” religions (as are Baptists), so that some Protestant church work is still legal.  In fact, Lutheran Christianity, as an alternative to both Orthodoxy and other kinds of Protestantism, is reportedly showing special appeal to Russians, particularly to intellectuals and scientists. I stumbled upon an article entitled Russian Lutheranism:  Between Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and… Read more

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