Daily Trinity: Scottish Pipes, Jobs Down, Atlanta Cheating Up, Robert Schuller, and C. J. Mahaney

Daily Trinity: Scottish Pipes, Jobs Down, Atlanta Cheating Up, Robert Schuller, and C. J. Mahaney July 8, 2011
Morning Palate Cleanser: 14-year-old Brendan MacFarlane, Scottish boy with pipes, sings Gospel and Country.  Here he is wowing a guitar shop owner:

In the News:
  1. In June, non-farm payrolls added a measly 18,000 jobs, far below what is needed (due to the number who enter into the workforce on any given month) even to maintain the present level of employment.  So the unemployment figure ticked up to 9.2%.  Worse, the report reveals that 44,000 fewer jobs were created in previous months than they had estimated.  Obama’s senior political advisor, David Plouffe, predicts that jobs won’t be a big issue in the 2012 election.  He’s wrong.
  2. If you haven’t been following the story of the Atlanta Public Schools’ cheating scandal, you’re missing out on an amazing tale of corruption, deception and greed.  I’m sure the guilty parties are angling right now: How can we blame the No Child Left Behind Act?  Here’s hoping the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which has done Pulitzer-worthy work on this story, doesn’t let them get away with it.
  3. A forthcoming book, Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion, sounds like fascinating reading.  Time interviewed the author.  Relatedly, although this is a year-old piece, I came across this article that gives insight into the Sea Org and how it pressured women in the order to have abortions in order to continue their work on behalf of the ‘Church’.
In the Pews:
  1. Do yourself a favor and read this great piece at GetReligion about Robert Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral.  While you’re there, read Mollie Hemingway’s piece on Dan Savage, who is arguing that the ideal of marital monogamy should be abandoned.
  2. The Gospel Coalition is staging a worthwhile conversation on “Should Churches Spend Money on Nice Buildings?”
  3. I don’t know the backstory here, so I cannot judge the merits of the response more generally, but this is how to write a confession letter.  C. J. Mahaney is a popular pastor and speaker in Reformed circles.  In this letter, he makes no attempt to justify, no attempt to minimize the offense, no attempt to clear his name even while ostensibly confessing, and yet neither does he congratulate himself for his confession.

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