A set of links on Christian and secular news and commentary:
1. GOVERNMENT SERVICE. World Magazine reports on Christian workers being expelled from Morocco due to accusations that they use their good deeds as a pretext for evangelism. The consequences for the people these charities serve are extreme.
2. OLASKY V. WALLIS. Marvin Olasky and Jim Wallis debated the responsibilities of Christians and the roles of government for Cedarville University’s Critical Concern series. Listen to it here.
3. PERSONAL PRAYER. Eugene Peterson writes in Practice Resurrection: “But here’s the thing: prayer is personal language or it is nothing. God is personal, emphatically personal: three-personed personal. When we use impersonal language in this most personal of all relations, the language doesn’t work” (156). More at the Jesus Creed.
4. MAKING WAVES. Our Cross Investigations entry on the need for theological renewal in evangelical churches is stirring up some conversation at Parchment and Pen.
5. A MILLION POUNDS OF FLESH. Neal McDonough is the actor who played Nicolette Sheridan’s unhinged husband on Desperate Housewives, and he also starred in Band of Brothers. An excellent actor, he is also a Catholic, and refuses to film steamy love scenes. It just lost him a million-dollar job. Christians who call for less profanity and nudity coming out of Hollywood should show their support for McDonough and his refusal to roll around in bed with a woman other than his wife.
6. DEVIL MADE ME DO IT. A not-helpful response to the clergy child abuse scandals rocking the Catholic church.
7. EVANGELICALS AND IMMIGRATION. The issue of immigration reform presents the danger of a split between Hispanic evangelicals and conservative white evangelicals. Read about Hispanic evangelicals and their call for reform here. How should evangelicals think of comprehensive immigration reform? I’d like to hold a Consultation on this soon.
8. JOB LOSSES. Mixed signals on the job market. The “underemployment” rate ticked up slightly, and job growth was less than expected. Still, there was job growth — some aided by the hiring of temporary workers for the census — and that growth included the manufacturing and construction industries. At the same time, the electorate continues to lose confidence in President Obama. Obama can expect a significant boost in personal popularity — and the Democrats can expect a better November midterm — if the job market makes a strong recovery over the summer and early autumn.
9. ON THE LIMITATIONS OF DREAMS. This article in The Washington Post on Michelle Obama’s low profile is not especially important, but I enjoyed these lines line: “By comparison, Obama has been almost demure in her pronouncements. She recently voiced, for example, her considered opinion that young girls should “have no limits on their dreams and no obstacles to their achievements” — thus defying all those who favor strict limits on dreams and more obstacles for young girls.”
10. THE FACE OF EVIL. The woman who bombed the underground in Moscow was a baby-faced 17-year-old. Sick.
11. MEDICAL MADNESS. Amazing how a tiny tumor on the ovary can cause psychotic hallucinations. As one doctor wonders in the article, how many people were placed indefinitely in psychiatric wards due to their immune responses (which attack certain neurochemicals) to tumors? I’ve also long wondered whether “possession” (at one point the woman screamed for an exorcist) was not, at least sometimes, a different language for problems like these.
12. NILAP ENTERPRISES. Is Sarah Palin the next Oprah? Hmm.