What’s Happening in Marriage and Divorce?

Mark Regenerus looks at the number:

First, the sheer number of new marriages (i.e., weddings) has generally been decreasing, even while the population of the US continues to increase. For example, in the year 2000 there were 2.32 million new marriages in a population of 281 million persons. In 2010, however, there were 2.1 million new marriages, despite a growing population of 309 million persons.

Ergo, marriage is in retreat (and more so among the poor and working class, as data noted below will suggest), a slight uptick in 2010 notwithstanding.

read the rest: Good News and Bad News in Marriage and Divorce Statistics.

Free Money for Evolutionists

If you’re a scholarly type, and you’d like to get a project funded that will help Christians understand evolution, check this out:

A new funding opportunity for scholars and church/parachurch leaders. The BioLogos Foundation was recently awarded a large grant from The John Templeton Foundation to launch a subgrants program, Evolution and Christian Faith (ECF).  This $3.5 millionprogram will fund research and projects that address theological and philosophical concerns many Christians have about evolutionary creation.  We also invite proposals which explore how evolution as God’s tool enriches Christian faith and worship.

Grant amounts vary from $30,000 to $300,000 over 34 months. Young scholars are especially encouraged to apply. Proposals from teams—especially those which are inter-disciplinary in nature or focused on translation from the academy to the church and parachurch—are enthusiastically welcomed. We also invite proposals from well-established scholars who wish to explore a particular topic in depth (see example topics here).

We anticipate funding projects that explore consonance between evolution and Christian faith. Proposals will not be considered if they reject (or at least do not helpfully inform) historic, creedal Christianity (e.g. historical Resurrection, high view of Scripture, etc.) or if they reject the conclusions of mainstream science (e.g. old earth, common descent, etc.). Please note that this does not mean all grantees must be ardent supporters of evolutionary creation. Church leaders, for example, may be interested in exploring the ramifications for their tradition if evolution were true, even though they personally remain unsure. Also, teams may represent a variety of viewpoints.

One of the best things about the program is that ECF grantees won’t be working in separate little ivory towers.  It is important to build a collaborative network of scholars and church leaders who are interested in helping the church think about evolution in constructive ways.  To that end BioLogos will host three summer workshops for grantees to gather, share ideas, and learn together.

Time is short!  Pre-proposals are due June 15, 2012. Luckily, the application process is not too arduous: it consists mostly of a short (1,500 word) letter of intent describing the project along with a rough budget.  Successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposals at a later date.  Please direct folks to EvolutionChristianFaith.orgfor details about the program and how to apply.

Richard Beck Gets His Ass Kicked

Theoblogger Richard Beck has a beautiful post about his worship home, a small service called Freedom:

Another thing I like about Freedom: One of the church leaders and I have a running conversation (and he might have this conversation with more than just me). A few months ago he came up to me and asked, “Richard, do you know why we come to church?” “Why?” “So God can kick us in the ass.” Every week it’s a variation on that theme. “Richard, did God kick you in the ass today?”

I smile and say yes.

Read the rest: Experimental Theology: Freedom.

And if you haven’t yet read Richard’s book, Unclean, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Update: Minnesota Governor Sides with the Lawyers (and Against Dads)

Minnesota Governor did the WRONG thing when he vetoed the Shared Custody Bill.

A while ago, I wrote about a bill making its way through the Minnesota legislature. At first, the bill was going to take the presumption of parenting in cases of divorce from 75%-25% to 45%-45%, with the remaining 10% to be worked out by the divorcing parties. Effectively, that means that dads would go from 25% to 45%.

In committee, the bill was gutted, merely raising the 25% that goes to dads to 35%, but it finally got out of committee, to the floors of the House and Senate, and passed both houses.

Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton — a divorced father himself — sided with the divorce industry and vetoed the bill, defying the will of the people of the state and of our representatives. Yet he thought it wise to spend a bunch of his political capital embarrassingly cheerleading for public funds to build a billion-dollar Taj Mahal for the NFL.

In his explanation letter, he even admits to being swayed by lobbyists, rather than listening to the citizens of the state:

[Read more…]