Prof. Benedict addresses Catholic academia

In his latest address to American bishops visiting Rome, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that Catholic educators should remain true to the faith -- a reminder issued just in time for another tense season of commencement addresses.No, the pope did not mention Georgetown University by name, when discussing the Catholic campus culture wars.Yes, he did mention the law requiring professors who teach Catholic theology to obtain a Canon 812 "mandatum (mandate)" document from their bishops to certify … [Read more...]

Education wars among Georgia Baptists

When it comes to higher education, Georgia Baptists are of two minds these days.On Oct. 21, the trustees of Shorter University in Rome, Ga., approved a covenant requiring faculty and staff to support the "mission of Shorter University as a Christ-centered institution affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention." Then they asked employees to "reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs, saint of the ’60s

It was in 1994 that author Umberto Eco, drawing on his studies in symbols and philosophy, looked at the evolution of personal computers and saw theology, doctrine, spirituality and, yes, icons.The modern world, he argued in the Italian magazine Espresso, was divided between Macintosh believers and those using the Microsoft disk operating system. The DOS world was "Protestant, or even Calvinistic" since it demanded "difficult personal decisions" and forced users to master complicated codes and … [Read more...]

Goodbye to old-time mountain faith

Travelers who frequent the winding mountain roads of Southern Appalachia know that, every few miles, they're going to pass yet another small Baptist church sitting close to some rushing water.It's all about location, location, location.Why would a preacher want to baptize a new believer in a heated, indoor tank when he can dunk them in the powerful, living, frigid waters of the river that created the valley in which his flock has lived for generations? There's no question which option the … [Read more...]

NYC’s dangerous churches (in schools)

Once a month, Village Church volunteers offer their neighborhood a gift -- free babysitting.This Friday "Parents Night Out" program uses non-religious crafts and games, which is important because the Presbyterian flock's leaders insist that it's open to parents of any "creed, color, party or orientation." It helps to know that this evangelical church is located in New York City's Greenwich Village and meets in rented space in Public School 3."We're New Yorkers and we know all about the … [Read more...]

Define fundamentalist, please

Few hot-button, "fighting words" are tossed around with wilder abandon in journalism today than the historical term "fundamentalist."The powers that be at the Associated Press know this label is loaded and, thus, for several decades the wire service's style manual has offered this guidance for reporters, editors and broadcast producers around the world."fundamentalist: The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernist controversy within Protestantism. ... However, … [Read more...]

That other Notre Dame speech

It was hard to ignore the papal bull condemning the slave trade, which was read to American Catholic leaders gathered in Baltimore in 1839.Pope Gregory XVI proclaimed that "no one in the future dare to vex anyone, despoil him of his possessions, reduce to servitude, or lend aid and favor to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not men but rather animals, having been brought into servitude, in no matter what way, … [Read more...]

Baptist take on spirituality

Don Whitney knows what happens when people hear that a Southern Baptist seminary is offering a doctor of philosophy degree in spirituality."For many people, connecting 'Baptist' and 'spirituality' is like 'military' and 'intelligence.' They just can't picture those two words together," said Whitney, director of the new Center for Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.But for Baptists, he stressed, it's crucial to underline the word "biblical" in … [Read more...]


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