The World Wide (Religious) Web for Friday, September 2, 2011


HEH. “I’m a Dominionist? I had no idea.”

After reading Bill Keller and Ryan Lizza, I was determined to investigate the looming threat of “Dominionism.” Who are these nefarious people? How great a threat are they? They must be powerful, because they apparently influence two of the three leading Republican candidates for president. They had to be quite secretive because I’d never heard of them. And that puzzled me, honestly. After all, I’m a card-carrying member of the Religious Right, with a history stretching way back to the era of leg warmers and real Christian rock. I’ve been to all the meetings (including Values Voter and CNP), I’ve read all the books, and even though I’m not a member of the Arlington Group, some of my homies are. I can flash about nine Christian gang signs on command, know all the three-step handshake/chest-bump/hug combinations, and have even seen scratchy videotapes of Francis Schaeffer promoting his nefarious effort to peacefully overturn laws that permit doctors to kill children in the womb.

I began combing the Internet. Really, my pride was at stake. There are Christians that powerful, and I don’t even know who they are? I’ve never even heard of them?

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WHAT KIND OF PERVS MAKE LINGERIE FOR KIDS? “The Good News about Bodies and the Sexualization of Children.”

Much has been made within the evangelical subculture about the death of manhood and the rise of the perpetual adolescence.  And with good reason.

But evangelicals ought to be speaking at least as loudly, if not moreso [sic], about the way our totalizing sexualization has brought on the demise of childhood.  On one level, regardless of their motivations (profits, in both cases) or of their intentions, both stories make the unthinkable a little more plausible.

Yet more importantly, in corrupting the integrity of childhood by sexualizing their models, they inevitably undermine the female’s distinct humanity by treating her as a sexual object.  The good news for bodies is that our identity lies not in our sexuality, but in our Savior (“for you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”).

While that does not leave our sexuality alone, it does make sense of why we should want to preserve a non-sexualized childhood.  Such a state reminds us that our humanity goes deeper than our sexual expression, and points to the fact that our self-conscious sexuality requires a corresponding awareness of that deeper humanity if we are to live out the sexual dimension of our lives well.

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I DOUBT IT(?).“Why Doubters and Non-Doubters Share a Common Faith.”

In the end, there is only one thing that justifies our lives, whether those lives are characterized by a doubting faith or a doubtless faith. And that is the Cross. As Paul says, God justifies the ungodly—which includes Jews and Gentiles, religious and secular, sinners and Pharisees, and both the doubters and the doubtless.

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 (NOT) PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN: “Cutler’s Experimental Ethics.”

You can still find stories that make your blood run cold. Like Panel Hears Grim Details of Venereal Disease Tests from Tuesday’s New York Times, which reported that in the late 1940s American scientists conducted Nazi-style experiments, with a Nazi-style coldness, on poor Guatemalans.

Cutler also directed “the notorious Tuskegee experiments.”

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IDIOTIC AP STORY: “Killing Girls in China is Good for the Girls Who Survive.”

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HOW TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY THE BIBLE: “The Biggest Theology Debate of the Next Twenty Years.”

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DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE: “Remembering Eugene Nida.”

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LIBERTARIAN OR AND CHRISTIAN: “Ron Paul Preaches a Different Kind of Conservative Gospel.”

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WATCH AND LEARN! “The Truth about Scientology, from Janet Reitman.”

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GOOD FOR THEM! “Muslim Lawmakers Appeal For Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit’s Release.”

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FROM MY MAGAZINE: “Holiness: Living Like Christ.” I conducted this interview with Byron Klaus, president of Assemblies of Theological Seminary; Don Meyer, president of Valley Forge Christian College; and Carol Taylor, president of Vanguard University.

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