Church Attendance Numbers

From Michael Kruse: [Read more...]

And America is not more just

… because Teresa Lewis was executed. It does not appear to anyone that she was falsely accused of plotting murder; it does not appear to anyone that her crimes were not abhorrent and heinous. But the death penalty does not bring justice; it exacts revenge. Jesus taught us to go beyond the lex talionis; we [Read More...]

News of Sad News

What are we doing about this in local communities? From the NYTimes: At a time of growing tensions involving Muslims in the United States, a record number of Muslim workers are complaining of employment discrimination, from co-workers calling them “terrorist” or “Osama” to employers barring them from wearing head scarves or taking prayer breaks. Such [Read More...]

Somewhere Today … (by David Opderbeck)

The Girl in the Cage, the Lion, and the Lamb

Somewhere in America right now, there is a little girl locked in a dog cage. A man will bind her with duct tape. The man will sexually abuse her while another takes pictures and videos. The men will distribute these materials over a vast network of child pornography file sharing servers. Tens of thousands of other men will look at the pictures and videos, discuss them in chat rooms, use them as masturbatory tools, and demand more. And they will get more, much more.

I know this is true because I’m teaching a course this semester on “Cybersecurity Law.” Most of the course focuses on commercial and public espionage – hacking, data theft, and so on. This week, however, the topic has been online safety – cyberstalking, harassment, obscenity and child pornography. Our guest speaker yesterday was the Brian Sinclair, Chief of the Computer Crime Prosecution Unit in Bergen County, New Jersey. While he mercifully didn’t show us any of the volumes of child porn his unit has seized over the years (it is technically a felony to display such materials even in an educational setting), he described in general terms the sorts of things that commonly appear, including what he noted as “disturbing recent trend” towards the literal caging of victims. [Read more...]

Spiritual Disciplines … for a Church 4

Quite the story in this chp: James Smith was invited to speak to a group of denominational leaders; they wanted him to speak about spiritual formation; he began with a funny story and then by listing the various “means of grace” that were part of the spiritual formation movement.

It all went downhill from there, including a leader standing up and turning his chair around to turn his back to Smith; a few left; 55 minutes into his four-hour session he took a break; he was told it was not going well; he asked to leave; they took him to the airport.

What to learn from this one? (Beside the obvious: learn the theology of the group you are addressing.) [Read more...]


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