Reading the Times (April 30, 2011)

Ah, Hell!

Columnist Ross Douthat offers a defense of the Christian notion of Hell. According to Douthat:

Doing away with hell, then, is a natural way for pastors and theologians to make their God seem more humane. The problem is that this move also threatens to make human life less fully human.

Persecution of Christians in China

Andrew Jacobs reports in “China Detains Church Members at Easter Services”:

The authorities stepped up a three-week campaign against an underground Christian church on Sunday, detaining hundreds of congregants in their homes and taking at least 36 others into custody after they tried to hold Easter services in a public square, church members and officials said.

Loyalty in the Workplace: Is It Dead?

Phyllis Korkki asks the question: Is loyalty in the workplace dead? Her answer is: Yes and NO.  She writes: “Depending on how you define it, loyalty may not be dead, but is just playing out differently in the workplace.” But, clearly, the notion of loyalty at work is changing.

Will Lady Gaga Bring Christianity and Mainstream Pop Music Back Together?

David W. Stowe says “maybe” in “Jesus Christ Rock Star.” Stowe observes that, with the advent of contemporary Christian music, there are fewer Christian themes in the mainstream pop market. He makes a good point, but, inexplicably, fails to mention U2, one of the world’s most popular mainstream rock bands that often includes Christian themes in its music. I’d vote for Bono to do what Stowe thinks Lady Gaga might do.

Did You Know There is a Version of Coca Cola that is Kosher for Passover?

That’s right. No joke here. Samuel Freedman tells the fascinating story of Rabbi Tuvia Geffen, who worked with Coca-Cola to produce a special variety of Coke that is kosher for passover. A delightful bit of American religious and business history!

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  • Tim

    Amen regarding your comments on Bono and U2. While many of their songs have Biblical overtones, some of them are explicitly Christian including “40”, “Yahweh”, “Majestic”, and “Jesus Help Me”. I am not sure about the band members’ theology, but I know they also have done much to combat AIDS in Africa. Bono often talks about the need to help the poor and disenfranchised.