Don’t Be Indifferent to Religious Persecution. Make a Multi-Faith Difference at Lent.

By Paul Louis Metzger and John W. MoreheadScores of people “celebrated” the beginning of Lent yesterday with an observance of Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time when many Christians give up consumer comforts like chocolate or coffee. Pope Francis encouraged Christians to go beyond renouncing such comforts to fast from indifference toward others. The Pope spoke of indifference as a global problem: “As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, t … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day and Fifty Shades of Love

Author's note: The movie "Fifty Shades of Grey" has been strongly critiqued for its portrayal of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. This should be duly noted. See for example the review in Relevant Magazine. In no way do I wish to endorse such abuse, but am referencing the movie as an illustration of our culture's obsession with various novel notions of love and romance.Movie theaters and retailers of various kinds are cashing in on people’s fascination with the film Fifty Sh … [Read more...]

Lincoln’s Birthday, Black History and Church Growth

Today is President Lincoln’s 206th birthday. One of Lincoln’s greatest achievements was the Emancipation Proclamation. Although Lincoln is hailed as one of the United States’ greatest Presidents, there were (are) many who viewed Lincoln as an enemy of state rights, especially in the South. The debate continues in certain circles on the real reason for the Civil War: slavery, state rights…? The purpose of this post is not to engage this debate, but to extend the discussion analogically to church g … [Read more...]

Interstellar, Space-Time and Jesus

Beware of spoilers and black holes!Space and time are not absolute, as Galileo and Newton claimed. They are “personal” and intimately connected, as Einstein argued, according to Kip Thorne, the astrophysicist behind the movie Interstellar. Our time flows at different rates, according to Thorne (See his interview titled “What Is Space-Time?”).The movie Interstellar draws on Einstein’s insight that time passes more slowly when the gravitational pull is stronger. See the following article: “ … [Read more...]

“Blessed are the merciful”—not those who look out for number 1

The Beatitudes are filled with paradoxes. For example, the kingdom belongs to the poor in spirit, not those with spiritual bravado. The meek will inherit the earth, not those who are easily provoked. Following these and other beatitudes, Jesus goes on to say, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7; ESV). John Calvin writes of this beatitude: Happy are the merciful[:] This paradox, too, contradicts the judgment of men. [367] The world reckons those men to be happy, … [Read more...]

Sea Otters, Trophic Cascades, and Gentrification

John Muir claimed, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”[1] I find evidence for Muir’s statement in what is called a “trophic cascade.” What is a trophic cascade? Encyclopædia Britannica defines a “trophic cascade” as follows: a “trophic cascade” is “an ecological phenomenon triggered by the addition or removal of top predators and” involves “reciprocal changes in the relative populations of predator and prey through a food chain, whi … [Read more...]

Sitting Bull and Food Inequity in America Today

Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Chief Tatanka-Iyotanka—“Sitting Bull” (1831-1890)— was reported as saying, “The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.” Toward the end of his life, the great chief joined the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show. During his brief tenure with the show, he often commented on the state of poor white children. It is said of Sitting Bull that while poor, “he saves nothing of what he earns. He is continually pressing coins into the hands of … [Read more...]