Make or Break Issues for the Church

I like “make or break” discussions because they reveal what is considered to be deep and enduring. So I liked to see that C. Michael Patton set out eight issues that are not make or break issues. I have clipped the discussion so you can go to the site to read the whole discussion. Here is a list of what I believe to be eight issues that do not make or break our faith: 1. Young Earth Creationism … The problem… Read more

Weekly Meanderings, March 23, 2013

Vote for me at The American Jesus. Carl Ruby: “G.K. Chesterton, a gifted English writer who died in 1936 observed, “We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.” Chesterton’s statement is at least partially true of today’s debate over immigration reform. While I would contend that laws to protect us from criminals and felons are necessary, I think it is also true that this… Read more

The FastDiet

From USAToday: A new diet book — one that promotes fasting two days a week by drastically cutting calories and then eating normally the other five days — is catching on with dieters, but it already has its British author unexpectedly on the defensive. The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy and Live Longer With the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting (Atria Books, $24), by British physician Michael Mosley and writer Mimi Spencer, is No. 46 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list…. Read more

Is it a sin?

Ronald Sider had lunch with Robert Putnam, American sociologist, and Putnam asked him an important question: Is our economic inequality a sin? What do you think and why? Putnam is appalled at the radical lack of equality of opportunity in the U.S. today, and he wanted to know if evangelical preachers would dare to say what his pastor said when he was a teenager. Putnam told me that back then, in the midst of Martin Luther King’s great campaign against… Read more

From the Shepherd’s Nook: Guardian Explorers

Explorers and Guardians, by John Frye. With about 300 others, I attended the “Creation in Scripture” seminar hosted by Cornerstone University: Talking Points featuring Dr. John Walton, Dr. David Turner, Dr. Michael Wittmer, and Dr. John Hilber. I applaud Dr. Joseph Stowell, Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary for bringing this relevant and controversial topic out into open discussion in this area of the woods (West Michigan). The high caliber of presentations were matched by the irenic and respectful… Read more

A Wake-Up in Prayer

A short story about prayer by none other than the cynical Mark Twain reminds us that prayer has consequences or implications, and those consequences or implications perhaps need to be kept in mind when we ponder our petitions. You may know Mark Twain’s mono-eyed “The War Prayer,” but if you don’t here’s a full version online. The short story is simple: folks have gathered to church to pray for their sons who have been called into war, they pray for… Read more

Amazon Prime

From Time: Even more interesting than the growing Prime ranks is what Prime seems to do to subscribers. A 2010 Businessweek story stated that Amazon Prime broke even within three months of launching, not the two years predicted by its creators. That’s because customers spent as much as 150% more at Amazon after they became Prime members. Subscribers not only ordered more often, but after paying the $79 fee, they started buying things at Amazon that they probably wouldn’t have in the past. Since… Read more

Today’s the Day

From Justin Welby, new Archbishop of the Church of England: Justin Welby will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury today, marking the official start of his public ministry. He will be enthroned in two special seats in Canterbury Cathedral in a ceremony due to be attended by 2,000 guests including the Prince of Wales, David Cameron, and archbishops and bishops from around the world. Representatives of other faiths will also be in attendance. The ceremony gets underway at 3pm when… Read more

Christian Mingle: Rethinking

Jon Merritt, at RNS: Perhaps we can excuse ChristianMingle for a bit of shallowness. After all, they are operated by marketers, not theologians. The site is owned by Beverly Hills-based Spark Networks. The company also owns Adventist Singles Connection, BlackSingles, DeafSingles Connection,CatholicMingle, as well as sites for Mormons, Jews, military members, and plus-size women(and the men who want to date them). But what about a site that purports to be more theologically rooted like The verse at the top right of their home screen is Jeremiah 29:11, which says,… Read more

Keller and THE PROBLEM (RJS)

We do not live in the Garden of Eden (Utopia, Shangri La, Paradise — you name it). Most of us would agree that it is self evident that something is fundamentally wrong with the world we currently occupy. The 20th century, with genocide, war, greed, injustice, and selfishness, has disabused the optimistic view of the inherent goodness of humanity and the evolution of human society. So then, what is the problem — and — what is the solution? In Chapter… Read more

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