The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, August 31, 2011


FIRST AMENDMENT ETIQUETTE? “Thou Shalt Not Say ‘Jesus.’”

Americans have the right to use Jesus’s name (or the name of other religious figures, for that matter) in public spaces. But having a right to do something does not make it prudent or winsome. On this point I would agree with the ACLU and other secularists: public meetings like those of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors are not appropriate places for sectarian fulminations. But there’s a difference between speech that is inappropriate, and speech that should be constitutionally banned.

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POT, KETTLE: In his review of Christian Smith’s controversial new book, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture, Robert H. Gundry concludes:

Though Smith has justifiably brought to the fore a problem in pervasive interpretive pluralism, then, this problem plagues all literature, not just the Bible as perceived by biblicists. In regard to the latter, I find his arguments incoherent and his solutions inadequate. He cites Don Carson to the effect that solving the problem requires “better scriptural exegesis.” Indeed. So maybe someone should write a book arguing that pervasive pluralism in biblical interpretation is due to the lingering deleterious effects, even on biblicists, of nonbiblicism in the past. But what do I know? I’m neither a sociologist nor a theologian. Just a biblicist.

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WORSHIP WARS: “Steak on a Paper Plate: Serious Worship in a Casual World.”

Can a contemporary, casual service bring worshippers face to face with the glory of God in a way that buttresses and upholds the magnificent truths being expounded from the Word? I think the answer is yes, but not always.

It’s like eating steak on a paper plate.

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HAVE WOMEN STOPPED GOING TO CHURCH? “Religion and the Bad News Bearers.”

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NATIONAL RELIGIOUS CAMPAIGN AGAINST TORTURE: “Shame on You, Dick Cheney.”

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TREES DIED FOR THIS? “God and the Detectives: Religious mysteries, a perplexing case.”

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GOOD NEWS FROM PEW RESEARCH CENTER: “Muslim Americans: No Sign of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism.”

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I BLAME GEORGE SOROS: “Court Rejects Prostitution Restrictions on AIDS Funding.”

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OVER HILL, OVER DALE: “Preparing clergy for war: army chaplains train by the hundreds for the combat zone.”

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FROM MY MAGAZINE: “The Fulfilled Life: Rediscovering the Transforming Power of Sanctification.”

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