7 things @ 9 o’clock (10.23)

1. Big Think addresses the dilemma we discussed here yesterday — “This book is both the ultimate source of authority and completely indecisive.”

A nitpick: That piece links to Stephen Prothero’s “Religious Literacy Quiz,” which includes this question:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” Does this appear in the Bible? If so, where?

The correct answer should be no. Those familiar with the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, and with the distinctive differences between them, won’t get full credit on Prothero’s quiz.

First poster: All the misfits and the losers … lift up your hands.

2. Richard Beck shares another example of holy envy (and an expression of holy hospitality by a local Orthodox priest). William Lindsey also looks at New Jersey rabbis’ response to marriage equality with a touch of holy envy.

3. Earlier this month, Stephanie Drury wrote: “Resigning suddenly under nebulous circumstances from a Christian organization with copious ‘We are definitely, definitely on good terms and the Lord is leading us in different directions’ missives are yet another thing that Christian culture likes.” True. Here’s the latest example: “Christian college umbrella group CCCU ousts president Edward Blews.”

4. This sleazy rent-seeking by pharmaceutical companies would be costing my family a lot of money (half of us rely on albuterol inhalers), except that my wife’s company offers good health insurance — so the unnecessary higher cost of this price-gouging gets shared by everyone.

5. “Landlords” sounds like feudalism because it is. When you don’t own the land under your home, you and your house can be evicted.

6. Brie Loskota: “Churches Don’t Feed People, People Feed People

Before we buy into the false gospel of congregations as the singular salvific actors that are standing at the ready poised to rescue our collective needs in this economic disaster, we need to accurately assess their capacity to stretch beyond their current efforts, especially in the absence of government programs.

When we do, we may find that the burdens we expect them to shoulder will cause their collapse.

7. The crew of the Bourbon Peridot, an oil rig off the coast of Africa, perform a golden oldie from Toto (via). Well done, gentlemen:

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