How the AP Botched a Story on a Study of Marriage in America

In a recent Associated Press story, David Crary wrote: The percentage of Americans who consider children "very important" to a successful marriage has dropped sharply since 1990, and more now cite the sharing of household chores as pivotal, according to a sweeping new survey. The reader would undoubtedly think that the report was about what makes for a successful marriage. Unfortunately, as Wilfred McClay notes over at First Things, that’s not really what the report is about. Skeptical as I am of all polling data, I found it hard to believe that Pew would have constructed a survey designed to … Continue reading How the AP Botched a Story on a Study of Marriage in America

Justice at Last (Revelation 19:1-5)

In Titus 2.11–14, the Apostle Paul summarized the Christian faith in this way: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”   Christianity, you see, is about what Jesus Christ … Continue reading Justice at Last (Revelation 19:1-5)

“Comeback Churches” by Stetzer and Dodson

According to Leadership journal, “85 percent of churches in the United States have plateaued or declining attendance.” That’s approximately 340,000 churches. Mine is one of them.   During our heyday in the 1980s, we had two services in an auditorium that seats 760 people. Today, we have one service and an average of 100 people in attendance. We’re almost 87-percent empty.   But I’m not worried for two reasons. First, I know that God wants us grow. Second, God has provided plenty of tools to help us grow.   One of those tools is Comeback Churches by Ed Stetzer and … Continue reading “Comeback Churches” by Stetzer and Dodson

Saul Friedlander, the Nazis, the Jews, and Pope Pius XII

Over at First Things, William Doino reviews Saul Friedlander’s recently completed two-volume history, Nazi Germany and the Jews. While appreciating and commending Friedlander’s scholarship at a general level, Doino takes sharp exception to Friedlander’s portrait of Pope Pius XII. Against the critical portrait of Pius XII created by Friedlander in his early work, not to mention that of John Cornwell and Daniel Goldhagen, Doino paints a picture of a man who condemned Nazis for their race hatred and who helped Jews escape their clutches. In a day and age in which atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens blast … Continue reading Saul Friedlander, the Nazis, the Jews, and Pope Pius XII

The Noise of Heaven, the Silence of Hell (Revelation 18.20–24)

  Revelation 18.20–24 sharply contrasts the noise of heaven with the silence of hell.   “Rejoice over her, O heaven,” a voice cries out, referring to the destruction of Babylon. And not only heaven, but also “you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!” As I explained earlier, Christian joy at the demise of Babylon is not a grotesque example of Schadenfreude, but rather of simple pleasure at a world turned right side up. Gone are Babylon’s seductive religion, oppressive politics, and unjustly gained wealth, never to haunt the earth again.   Have … Continue reading The Noise of Heaven, the Silence of Hell (Revelation 18.20–24)

Thomas Hibbs on “The Deathly Hallows”

Like all true Harry Potter fans, I purchased Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this Saturday morning and read it straight through. It was a fantastic book, and I was going to write a review of it, until I read Thomas Hibbs review, which says what I wanted to say, only far better than I could. Here’s the opening paragraph: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” This passage, without a reference to its scriptural source (I Corinthians 15:26), appears nearly half way through J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, the final book in her … Continue reading Thomas Hibbs on “The Deathly Hallows”

The Sins of Babylon (18.9–19)

  Revelation 18.9–19 contains the laments of three distinct groups of people who interacted with Babylon: “the kings of the earth,” “the merchants of the earth,” and “all shipmasters and seafaring men.” At first reading, this might seem like a strange combination of people groups to mourn Babylon’s downfall, but if we remember that Babylon is simply a codeword for Rome, then the combination begins to make sense.   The Romans, you see, were a very practical people. As they extended their empire throughout the then-known world, they imposed order on the nations they conquered. Rather than oppressing the conquered … Continue reading The Sins of Babylon (18.9–19)