Catholic family synod & liberal Protestantism?

The first document from the Catholic synod on the family–which is considering divorce, cohabitation, homosexuality, etc.–says that the church should tone down its application of doctrine, advocates “gradualism” in salvation, affirms that sanctification can take place apart from the church and its sacraments, says that the church should tailor its teachings to “people’s real problems,” and calls for “courageous pastoral choices.”  (What do you think that means?  Aren’t these formulations based on existentialism rather than Thomistic natural law?)

Without simply proclaiming Christ’s forgiveness–apparently, those outside the church’s blessing are not even allowed to confess their sins and receive absolution!–the document tries to establish a new “tone.”  My question:  How is this any different from liberal Protestantism? [Read more...]

Nurse in haz-mat gear catches Ebola

A Dallas nurse who cared for Ebola victim Thomas Duncan, who died of the affliction, has been diagnosed as having the disease.  And yet she was wearing full protective gear.  Doctors are insisting that she must have violated the protocols somehow, though they can’t say how.  But could it be that Ebola is easier to catch than we are being told?  And if caregivers are at the greatest risk of catching this plague, won’t that make them hesitant to offer treatment?

This is a true test of vocation.  We should pray for and honor the medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line in what the World Health Organization is calling “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.” [Read more...]

Psychology experiments often can’t be replicated

There is currently what is being described as a “crisis” in the field of social/personality psychology.  It turns out, many psychological experiments, however heralded in the media and whose findings are made a big deal of, cannot be replicated by other researchers.  Is that due to fraud?  Statistical quirks? Or does it mean that psychology is not a science after all? [Read more...]

1,000 Bible translations on your phone

In church, when you seem people staring at their smart phones, they aren’t necessarily texting, surfing, or playing games.  They may well be using their Bible apps, allowing them to read the Scriptures and follow along with the text of a sermon on their mobile devices.  They can also switch translations so that they can use the one the pastor is using.  The one I use, YouVersion, gives me access to 41 Bible translations in English.  But YouVersion also allows you and people around the world to access the Bible in other languages–over a thousand of them.  The app, which is free, now offers the Bible in (at last count, a few minutes ago when I checked) 1,030 languages.

You can download the app here or at your phone’s app store.  See details about YouVersion’s achievement after the jump, including which languages are most popular and what percentage of the world’s languages this covers. Do any of you have other Bible or devotional apps that you would recommend? [Read more...]

American airstrikes aren’t stopping ISIL

A British newspaper reports that American efforts to stop ISIL are failing, as ISIL continues to win victory after victory against the Iraqi army and Kurdish rivals in Syria.  The airstrikes are just not working.  Even with American air support, the Iraqi army keeps running away.  Meanwhile, ISIL is gaining more and more territory and is getting stronger and stronger. [Read more...]

The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan won the Nobel Peace Prize.  When she was 15, she was shot in the head by the Taliban for saying that girls should be allowed to go to school.   She recovered and responded by launching a world-wide movement to promote educational rights for girls in Islamic countries.  She shares the price with Kailash Satyarthi, an activist from India, who also battles for the rights of children, particularly victims of sex trafficking. [Read more...]


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