Strange Cricket Pairings and Invisible Classes

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--- 1 --- I can't believe I have two entertaining cricket links to share this week.  (Is this World Cup hipster counterprogramming?).  First up. our boys in white and gold are taking on their Anglican counterparts in an ecumenical cricket match: On 12 September a party of Vatican priests, deacons and seminarians will leave Rome for what is arguably the papacy's most daring incursion on English soil since St Augustine arrived in AD597 – a four-match tour of the country that gave the … [Read more...]

Universal Salvation without Undue Coercion

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Richard Beck has a great post up today explaining how we can believe that, ultimately, everyone will be reconciled to God and join him in Heaven without casting God as the Great Brainwasher in the Sky, merrily crushing our ability to resist.  I'm excerpting the post below, but I recommend reading the whole thing. For a lot of Christians salvation is basically the process of posing an ultimatum to the human will: Choose Christ and live or deny Christ and go to hell. Basically, evangelism is a … [Read more...]

Anti-Homeless Laws with Teeth

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China has added a new, less subtle trick to the annals of anti-homeless architecture.  Park benches in Yantai Park in Shangdong province now work according to coin operated timers.  Stop feeding the meter, and little iron spikes pop out to prick the unwary sitter.  According to the article: Park bosses got the idea from an art installation in Germany where sculptor Fabian Brunsing created a similar bench as a protest against the commercialisation of modern life. "He thought he was … [Read more...]

Selling Beauty Short

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Nathan Biberdorf would like us all to stop affirming each other by asserting that everyone is beautiful.  It's doing more harm than good. There are plenty of people that are not physically appealing to look at, the primary and most widely used meaning of the word “beautiful”. So why do we use the word as a catch-all for any sort of positive attribute? Nobody says, “Everybody is a good listener.” Nobody says, “Everyone is athletic to somebody.” Nobody says, “You are an … [Read more...]

Discern the Right Thing [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. In this week's chapter, Pope Francis uses the falling away of the church at Ephesus as an admonitory example for our own, personal attempts to follow Christ.  The Ephesian church didn't fall into heresy or disappear … [Read more...]

Call for Guest Posts Next Week!

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I'm soon to be Ireland bound, and I can't guarantee I'll be posting from vacation.  Perhaps I could post a picture of some kind of beautiful vista (we're visiting the Cliffs of Moher -- the stand-ins for both Voldemort's Horcrux caves and, more importantly, The Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride) along with a good quote from whatever Irish writers I'm reading, but I'd enjoy the chance to turn over the blog to some of my frequent commenters. Please pitch guest posts you'd be … [Read more...]

Suspicious Hermits, Gruesome Creativity, and Just Enough E Coli

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--- 1 --- There's a bit of luck in my starting this week's quick takes late, because it meant I had time to spot this article from Marginal Revolution about a Swiss town trying to hire a hermit.  Naturally, I was reminded of this exchange from Tom Stoppard's Arcadia: LADY CROOM: You surely do not supply an hermitage without a hermit? NOAKES: Indeed, madam -- LADY CROOM: Come, come, Mr Noakes. If I am promised a fountain I expect it to come with water. What hermits do you … [Read more...]


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