Too often, we claim titles that don't belong to us. Whether it be "Christian," "Lutheran," "liberal," or "atheist," people often accept names for themselves and their beliefs without actually knowing all the things that the names entail.
Same with "progressives" and "conservatives." At least in my own case, I went for years calling myself a conservative without actually understanding what the word really meant. I generally put people of the conservative ideology in the same category in my brain as conservative clothing or conservative portions of food. To me, "conservative" meant something like "careful," "limited," or "modest." Sure, these are all synonyms of the word, but there's a lot more to conservatism than any of those things. READ FULL ARTICLE »
I truly don't know what to make of this trending story about schoolchildren playing a pencil game that's supposed to summon a spirit. On a surface level it sounds ridiculous, and there may very well be an explanation that doesn't involve demons. But on the other hand, how different is it from, say, the Ouija board or the "up table" game? My mother's account of some spooky experiences with the latter in her childhood was enough to make me extremely leery of all such things, so I don't intend to try the "Charlie" game to see if it's for real!
I was struck, however, by something Simcha Fisher wrote about this game: "I was chatting with my husband about how these things are forbidden even if we don't really believe they will work, and he pointed out that the devil may actually prefer it when people sell their souls lightly." READ FULL ARTICLE »
Relativism not only damages our perception of truth and goodness but of beauty as well.
On May 13, the Daily Mail reported that a Mark Rothko piece called “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)” sold at a New York auction. About eight by six feet in size, the painting consists of a solid yellow background half covered by blue. Basically, a four year old could have produced this painting using a bed sheet and a few bottles of Crayola paint. Unimpressive as the painting appears, however, it sold for $46.5 million dollars.
Now, hold on a second. How could anyone value this uncreative work of art so much? READ FULL ARTICLE »
As reported in a New York Times article from May 20, President Obama used his commencement address to the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy to emphasize the importance of combating climate change. During the address, Obama asserted that "climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country." As a result, he argued, "We need to act, and we need to act now." READ FULL ARTICLE »
For some reason, the news from Ireland this weekend hit me hard. Maybe it was just the cognitive dissonance of a nation voting to approve same-sex marriage when it still retains enough of its Christian heritage to outlaw abortion (for the moment, at least). Or maybe it was the people I saw celebrating all over social media -- quite a few of them Christians. Come to think of it, those two are pretty closely related.
There's definitely something jarring going on within the church; there has been for a while now. Most of us here have probably felt that mental sucker punch, and the feelings of loneliness and isolation that sometimes accompany it, when a favorite Christian writer or blogger or friend or relative suddenly makes it clear that not only does he or she support SSM, but is shocked and appalled that other Christians don't. This has become a more and more frequent experience in recent days. In season and out of season, it goes on. (Of course, it happens with non-Christians we like and admire as well, but it's especially jarring when it happens with Christians.)
READ FULL ARTICLE »
As we all celebrate our Memorial Day holiday sweating over a grill or playing pickup football with our families, let's take a minute to think about the thing we're celebrating on this fine May day. Why do we take the day off from work and school? What sets this day apart from any other day? READ FULL ARTICLE »