The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, June 14, 2011


“The Politics of Being a Good Christian.”

New research suggests there are actually two God Gaps. For some Christians, being more religious makes them more conservative on social issues. For others, going to church, praying, and doing other religious activities actually makes them more liberal on social justice issues.

Interesting.

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“At debate, Republican candidates spar over Islam.” Personally, I’m with Abe Greenwald:

Bad showing all around on the Muslim question. There’s one right answer: I would hire any American I believed could do the best for my administration and my country–any race, religion, or creed. The meandering into crazy Sharialand and different types of Muslims will cost the GOP.

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“[Gov. Rick] Perry has not overburdened the collection plate.” I’ll say. In 2007, for example, Perry reported $1 million in income and gave a whopping $90 to his church. $90. I’m a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is kind of Christian, and this report is going to make me discount a lot of Perry’s religious talk. Perhaps there’s more to the story. Maybe Perry gave gobs of cash to charities. If so, I’ll revise my opinion. But if not…

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Tom Gilson has a three-part series on the morality of Christian exclusivism: here and here. Christian exclusivism is the belief that “there is one God uniquely revealed in Jesus Christ, who is the one way, truth, and life for all people everywhere in all times. This means that other paths to God are excluded.” I’ll post Part 3 when it goes online.

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“A Mormon President: Are Souls at Stake?” David French says, “Those who believe that presidents impact our immortal souls have too great a view of politics and too small a view of God.

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“Targeting the World’s Worst Religious Persecutors.” Hard to argue with Doug Bandow’s take:

The freedom to believe, or not believe, in God and respond accordingly—as individuals, families, and communities—is precious.  Sadly, much of humankind is denied this most fundamental right.

While Washington cannot make the world free, Americans can reach out and help their oppressed brothers and sisters around the globe.  Persecution should be highlighted and denounced; victims of intolerance, hate, and violence should be comforted and supported.  Finally, if America is to remain free, Americans must tenaciously defend religious liberty at home.

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“El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron.” An online role-playing game of some sort. Based on…the Bible?

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“Call an Exorcist for Anthony Weiner?” In which Mark Judge somehow manages to bring together Ann Coulter, Anthony Weiner, and William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist.

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“From decline to decision”: In which Ed Stetzer ruminates on the declining membership of the Southern Baptist Convention. Money quote: “We don’t change until the pain of staying the same grows greater than the pain of change. May the truth break our hearts, drive us to our knees and compel us into the mission.”

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“Boards of Springfield schools vote for consolidation.” That would be Assemblies of God schools in Springfield, Missouri. It may not be big news in your neck of the ’hood, but it’s big news around here.

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, June 8, 2011


 

“Are You Smarter Than Anthony Weiner?” I certainly hope so. But Russell D. Moore provides a timely reminder about temptation and self-deception:

Almost every adultery situation I’ve ever seen includes a cheating spouse who honestly believes that he or she is not going to get caught. The cheater often doesn’t want the marriage to end in divorce. Instead, like the characters in today’s headlines, he or she instead wants to keep everything the same: spouse, kids, and lover too. That’s irrational and completely contrary to the way the world works. Anyone can see that.

But you can convince yourself…or be convinced…that it will work for you. You’re special, after all. That’s the way temptation functions. We put consequences out of our minds, both temporal and eternal consequences. We start to believe that we are gods, with power over good and evil and life and death. And then we do crazy things.

This doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence. Satan is hyper-intelligent. And yet, even knowing that he will ultimately have his skull crushed, he rages all the more against Christ and his people, “because he knows his time is short” (Rev. 12:12). In terms of the most basic principles of military strategy, that’s crazy. What we need is not intelligence, but wisdom. Wisdom includes seeing where the way I want to go will lead (Prov. 14:12).

I don’t know who you are, reader, but I know you are probably not smarter than Anthony Weiner or Arnold Schwarzenegger or John Edwards. And neither am I. Both of us, you and I, are on the verge of wrecking our lives. We’re probably not on the verge of a situation quite like any of those men, but the gospel tells us we have vulnerabilities just the same, and they all can lead to destruction.

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“What Sarah Palin Got Wrong—And We Did, Too.” If we’re going to criticize politicians, might as well be bipartisan about it.

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“Christian Conservatives flock to Michelle Bachmann.” You have to love this line from Haley Barbour: ““There’s only been one perfect person that ever walked on this earth. And there ain’t gonna be another one in this election.”

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“Perry’s Planned Prayer Event Riles Critics.” Though, truth be told, it doesn’t take much to rile them.

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Is a vote for Romney a vote for “a false and dangerous religion”? Hard to argue with the “false” part, though dangerous seems a bit of a stretch.

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“Must Christian Voters Choose Between Ayn Rand and Jesus?” Let’s see: an avowed egotist who created a cult of personality around herself or the Savior of the world… So (a) yes and (b) the choice is obvious.

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“1919 signed letter contains Hitler’s first known stance on Jewish ‘removal.’”

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“Religious art: fig leaf or full frontal?” How about a suit and a tie?

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“Americans Still Believe in God.” In other news, the pope is still Catholic.

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 “World soccer officials defend hijab ban after Iranian team forfeits match.” My guess is that most of the women don’t want to wear hijabs either, but they have to in order to play for the national team. Solution: Let them play!

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