American ISIS supporter tells of his plan to attack a church

A Muslim from Dearborn Heights, Michigan,was arrested for planning to attack a church in the Detroit area.  His remarks about his dreams and motivations are especially telling:

“If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”

“It is my dream to behead someone.”

Is it time for churches to implement security plans?  Or would that show a lack of faith that God would protect them, according to His will?

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Small Terror

In the course of a larger essay on the world’s political woes, David Brooks points out that all of the major acts of terrorism have had the effect of creating a cultural climate of anxiety, suspicion, and insecurity that he calls “small terror.” [Read more…]

The death of relativism?

Can the West keep up its postmodernist ideology of relativism–that there is no moral truth and that all cultures are equally valid–in the face of ISIS terrorism?  Andrew Klavan thinks not. [Read more…]

Russian Orthodox declare “holy war” against terrorism

The Orthodox church has once against assumed its traditional role in Russia, giving moral support to the reigning regime.  Now in support of the Russian military intervention in Syria, the church has declared a “holy war” against terrorism.

Could any of you Orthodox readers explain the relationship between the various branches of your church?  I know that there is supposed to be a doctrinal unity between them all, and they all uphold the authority of the bishops.  Do the actions of these Russian bishops carry weight with you?  (I know, for example, that the murdered Czar and his family members have been or are being canonized by the Russian church.  So, if you are Antiochan Orthodox, are you obliged also to recognize them as saints?)

But can there really be a Christian jihad?

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9/11

Today is September 11, aka 9/11, a date that still resonates in infamy.  Where are we as a nation 14 years after those terrorist attacks?  We have waged two wars, more or less inspired by our anger over 9/11.  We killed Osama bin Laden and struck a strong blow against Al Qaeda, but now we have an even more monstrous enemy in ISIS.  We were brought together as a nation 14 years ago, but now we are polarized again.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, artists announced that “irony is dead,” but now irony, compounded by cynicism and nihilism are ascendant again.  Postmodern relativism was also supposed to be dead in the period of moral clarity right after the attacks, but now relativism has resumed its works of demolition.

So did the terrorists win?  Or was it just our naivete that collapsed with those towers?  Or was it something more?  Or have we settled into a long war against terrorism that we realize now will not be easy and that will take a nation-wide patience?  Or what?

One of the heroes on that French train is a Lutheran

You know those three unarmed Americans who took out the armed-to-the-teeth terrorist on that French train?  One of them was a Missouri Synod Lutheran.  What difference does that make?  Not much on one level.

But surely when you heard about this, if you are from the USA, you felt a surge of connectedness that these guys were fellow Americans.  When a fellow Christian does something, the tie is even stronger, because of what the Apostle’s Creed calls “the Communion of the Saints.”  According to 1 Corinthians 12, we are all different organs of the same body, so that what happens to one member happens to all of us.  So, for me, a part of the body that writes and blogs in safety, I rejoiced at the part that had the courage to tackle a terrorist with an AK-47 who was shooting a pistol, saving who knows how many lives.  And that he shares my confession and that we commune with each other makes for a particularly close kind of unity.

So my fellow Lutherans who read this blog, as well as my fellow Christians and my fellow Americans, can all claim a connection to what happened on that train, though the heroism of those young men is all their own.

Details about Army National Guardsman Aleksander Skarlatos of St. Paul Lutheran, Roseburg, Oregon, after the jump. [Read more…]


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