The World Wide (Religious) Web for Thursday, December 22, 2011

DECEMBER 22: Happy Winter Solstice Day!

POT, MEET KETTLE: “The Accidental Universe: Science’s crisis of faith.”

That same uncertainty disturbs many physicists who are adjusting to the idea of the multiverse. Not only must we accept that basic properties of our universe are accidental and uncalculable. In addition, we must believe in the existence of many other universes. But we have no conceivable way of observing these other universes and cannot prove their existence. Thus, to explain what we see in the world and in our mental deductions, we must believe in what we cannot prove.

Sound familiar? Theologians are accustomed to taking some beliefs on faith. Scientists are not. All we can do is hope that the same theories that predict the multiverse also produce many other predictions that we can test here in our own universe. But the other universes themselves will almost certainly remain a conjecture.

“We had a lot more confidence in our intuition before the discovery of dark energy and the multiverse idea,” says Guth. “There will still be a lot for us to understand, but we will miss out on the fun of figuring everything out from first principles.”

YEP: “Call It Christ’s Mass and Let Best Buy Keep the Holiday.”

AZUSA STREET, 100 YEARS LATER: “More Than 1 in 4 Christians Are Pentecostal, Charismatic.”

COME ON IN, THE WATER’S FINE! “Baptists, Pentecostals Seek Common Ground.”

OR PERHAPS EUROPE HAS MOVED AWAY FROM FOLLOWING? “Christianity is still the largest religion in the world but followers have moved away from Europe.”

BECAUSE VIRTUE ISN’T GOING AWAY: “Why We Need a ‘Stuck with Virtue’ Science.”

BECAUSE SOCIOLOGISTS HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO: “Sociological rules of Christmas gift giving.”

QUESTIONABLE RELIGIOUS STATISTIC: “Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists.”

GOOD FOR THEM! BUT DIDN’T SCROOGE CONVERT? “Atheists aim to change image of penny-pinching Scrooges.”

CRAP OR CONSCIENCE? “Manure Makers, Yes; Catholics, No.”


IVY LEAGUE PERVS: “The Postmodern Pedophile: Meet the academics who try to redefine pedophilia as ‘intergenerational intimacy.’”

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Monday, June 6, 2011

The June 2011 issue of Christianity Today includes an interesting article, “The Search for the Historical Adam,” that examines contemporary evangelical views on the historicity of Adam and Eve from scientific and theological perspectives. Here’s a link to the American Scientific Affiliation articles mentioned in CT.My own fellowship, the Assemblies of God, is wrestling with these kinds of issues, which is why I found the article so interesting. The national office is hosting a Faith & Science Conference, June 27–28, 2011, in Springfield, Missouri.


Assemblies of God / Convoy of Hope relief efforts continue in Joplin, Missouri.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Relief Efforts Continue in Joplin, posted with vodpod


“Republican Candidates Seek Values Vote at Faith and Freedom Conference.” I don’t like the term values voters. Everyone has values, after all. The important question is, from a political point of view, whether they have the right ones.


Newsweek ponders the secret to Mormonism’s success.


“Would Captain Kirk Race for the Cure?” Obviously not! That would be Dr. McCoy’s job.


“Actually, that’s not in the Bible.” A nice examination of “phantom scriptures,” that is, a “scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.”


“Jim Tressel should make us rethink sports evangelism.” As a Christian, I’m disheartened from this fall from grace. As a USC Trojan fan, I think, “It’s about time.”


“‘Christian’ Colleges, the Gospel, and Identity,” Gene Fant writes:

If the word “Christ” doesn’t appear in the hiring principles, the curricula, the governance policies, or student outcomes, when how exactly is an education “Christian”?  If the words “Scripture” or “Church” likewise are absent, then I have a hard time seeing exactly what is “Christian” about the identity.  If the historical creeds are absent from any sort of voice in defining the identity, then what is “Christian” about it?

Makes sense to me.


Jack “Dr. Death” Kervorkian died over the weekend. Wesley J. Smith, one of Kervorkian’s leading critics, reflects on his death here and here. He then reviews various media obituaries for Dr. Death, mostly negatively: Bloomberg, New York Times, Washington Post, and Barbara Walters on ABC News.


Margaret Feinberg asks “A Question of Civility: Why We Can’t Resist the Urge to Compare someone to Adolf Hitler?” What do you mean “we,” Margaret?

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