How to Respond to Middle East Tensions? (by Michelle Van Loon)

Source: Perhaps because warfare by definition is all about one side versus another, polarized talk in our culture has left me feeling as though I need to duck in order to avoid the next verbal punch. “The nation of Israel has engaged in an overkill response in Gaza.” “The people of Gaza are being oppressed [Read More...]

S.J. Creek, RNS and Ferguson’s Churches

From S.J. Creek at Religious News Services (see the full story at the site): Media coverage of Ferguson paints a picture of spontaneous, emotionally charged crowds. But my observations on the ground suggest a different story. Since day one, local churches have been key players in what’s happening on the ground in Ferguson. I recently [Read More...]

Antibiotics, Allergies, and Children

Source: (HT: RJS) A class of bacteria commonly found in the guts of people—and rodents—appears to keep mice safe from food allergies, a study suggests. The same bacteria are among those reduced by antibiotic use in early childhood. The research fits neatly into an emerging paradigm that helps explain a recent alarming increase in food [Read More...]

Beloit College’s Annual Mindset List (2018 Class)

Time for Beloit’s annual mindset list. Students heading into their first year of college this year were generally born in 1996. Among those who have never been alive in their lifetime are Tupac Shakur, JonBenet Ramsey, Carl Sagan, and Tiny Tim. On Parents’ Weekend, they may want to watch out in case Madonna shows up [Read More...]

Holy Plans, Holy Bubbles (by Michelle Van Loon)

Source: I’ve known a small handful of people who’ve had lives remarkably free from trial, reversal or loss. One woman I used to know had her entire life mapped out using the blueprint of the American Dream, Conservative Christian Version, from a very young age. Her life has gone pretty much the way she’d planned [Read More...]

I Love the Bible: Kaf

It might not be our image today, but it was the psalmist’s image: “I am like a wineskin in the smoke” (119:83). Or as the JPS translator has it: “Though I have become like a water-skin dried in smoke.” What does this image evoke, for it is from this point that this section (kaf, or K) [Read More...]

Teenagers and Risk-Taking

From Michelle Icard: Understanding why middle-schoolers are driven toward risk-taking is helpful, but knowing how to keep them safe is even better. While a middle-schooler’s brain can’t tell the difference between a good risk and a bad risk, the good news is that it’s equally satisfied by both. You’ve probably heard that kids who play [Read More...]

Questions for the Latest Solution to the Christian Life

David Moore, a friend down in the great State of Texas, after the trendy rocket-like success Prayer of Jabez, wrote out this series of questions to any book having the claim to be the latest solution to how to live the Christian life. What would you add? subtract? modify? Does the book convey (explicitly or implicitly) [Read More...]

Through the Eye of a Needle (Lynn Cohick)

Through the Eye of a Needle Lynn H. Cohick, Wheaton College, IL, author of Women in the World of the First Christians and Philippians (Story of God Bible Commentary), and with G. Burge and G. Green, The New Testament in Antiquity. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich [Read More...]

Diversity is not Enough

Source: Rev. Fred D. Robinson critiques the appeal to diverse churches and pleads for a deeper repentance. I would respond by saying churches can be the place where that deeper diversity can occur first as a witness to the gospel. (CNN) – On day five after the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown at [Read More...]