June 19, 2019

The Barna Research Group, in conjunction with Abilene Christian University, has published a study entitled  Christians at Work.  It demonstrates that Christians’ awareness of the doctrine of vocation seems to have grown considerably over the past few years.  But I’m not sure the researchers or the subjects fully “get” the concept. According to a summary, 50% of Millennials, 39% of Generation X-ers, and 37% of Baby Boomers say that “I feel ‘made for’ or ‘called’ to the work I currently do.” … Read more

June 18, 2019

Chris Arnade studied the most destitute and seemingly hopeless Americans–street people, addicts, prostitutes, the wretchedly poor, the “underclass,” people often referred to as the “dregs of society”–searching for the shreds of human dignity that they still have by getting to know them.  And a funny thing happened:  He came to faith. From a review by Kathryn Jean Lopez of Arnade’s book Dignity: Seeing Respect in Back Row America: After attending “hundreds of different services [with his subjects in the course of… Read more

June 17, 2019

Catholic scholar Daniel J. Mahoney has written a book entitled The Idol of Our Age:  How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity.  It argues that the humanitarian notion of compassion has displaced the Christian understanding of compassion, grounded in Divine Mercy and Christian love. From Chandler Lasch’s review, “Why ‘The Idol of Our Age’ Resonates with Readers”: The humanitarian version of compassion is, Mahoney said, motivated by a desire to be nice to other people and understand their perspectives. While… Read more

June 14, 2019

The Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is charged with studying and coming to conclusions on theological issues.  Its latest report is a discussion of social media.  You might wonder, how is the topic of how we use social media technology theological?  But it is. The CTCR, which took on the assignment at the behest of the synodical convention, released the 30-page report entitled A Snapshot of Trending Tools: Christians and Social Media.  (You… Read more

June 13, 2019

A couple of years ago we blogged about how Pope Francis wanted to change the Lord’s Prayer.  Well, he has done it, at least for the Italian liturgy.  And here we see the problem with the papacy. The Pope objects to the Sixth Petition:  “And lead us not into temptation.”  God doesn’t tempt us, the Pope says, so he has had the wording changed to say, “do not let us fall into temptation.” This is being presented as just a… Read more

June 12, 2019

The Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, Thomas Paprocki, has issued a decree barring the leadership of the state legislator and Catholic lawmakers who voted for one of the most radically pro-abortion laws in the country from receiving Holy Communion. He did so with some excellent language describing just how great a sin that abortion is. From the Catholic News Agency (my bolds): “In accord with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law…Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Speaker of the House… Read more

June 11, 2019

Kevin D. Williamson points to two tactics that have become part of our political culture, introducing two words that Americans today need to know:  ochlocracy (mob rule, indirect as well as direct) and streitbare Demokratie (“militant democracy,” the notion that maintaining liberalism may require illiberal means). From Crowder Isn’t a Threat to Public Safety: Ochlocracy is an ancient concept that denotes, approximately, “mob rule.” But “mob rule” does not mean only riots and lynchings and other acts of extralegal violence. More commonly,… Read more

June 10, 2019

Christianity Today has published a remarkably insightful article by the junior senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley entitled The Age of Pelagius. An adaptation of a commencement address at King’s College, the piece argues that the ancient heresy of Pelagius–that we are saved by our will–is at the heart of many of our cultural and moral controversies today. That we are unused to hearing this level of analysis from an election official is itself telling, but Sen. Hawley, the youngest member of… Read more

June 6, 2019

Les Murray, one of Australia’s greatest writers, died a few weeks ago.  He described himself as “a subhuman redneck who writes poems.”  Others have called him “the patron saint of misfits” and “amongst the greatest English-language poets since Yeats.”  It is said that he “sang the nation’s landscape, culture and vernacular into being.”  (Quotations from the BBC obituary.)  He was also an outspoken but jovial conservative, a battler against postmodernism, and a devout Christian. To give you an idea about… Read more

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