March Archive

March 1, 2009

Church and Worship

An Atheist, But A Lutheran In His Soul

by Clay Staggs

There’s an interesting article on the NYT website about the morality and religion of the Danes and Swedes. The article reports on the findings of Phil Zuckerman, who teaches sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. Mr. Zuckerman spent over a year in Denmark and Sweden studying how their …

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Posted by Clay Staggs at 7:30 a.m.
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March 2, 2009

Christian Chaff

God Goes Cellular: In A Blitz

by Tim Lien

Holy Spirit Breakout: Day Nine.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control just won’t make a YouTube video like this.

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Posted by Tim Lien at 3:13 p.m.
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March 3, 2009

Politics

Who Are We and Why Are We Here?

by Clay Staggs

Paraphrasing Admiral Stockdale, this seems to be the question that the Republican party, and conservatives in general, are asking themselves. And boy is ink (and pixels) being spilled debating this question. So I’ll add mine to it.

As a Republican and a conservative, I find the whole debate somewhat …

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Posted by Clay Staggs at 8:50 a.m.
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March 4, 2009

Miscellaneous

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Ban ‘Em

by Clay Staggs

Bill Gates bans his children from having an iPod or iPhone.

Heh.

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Posted by Clay Staggs at 7:30 a.m.
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March 5, 2009

Christian Chaff

Literal Salt, Not Much Light

by Tim Lien

Unsatisfied with no viable â??Christianâ? alternative to kosher salt, retired plumber Joe Godlewski is the brain trust behind Blessed Christians Salt â?¢. An Episcopalian priest will bless all salt.

After watching television chefs extol the benefits of kosher salt, Mr. Godlewski thought to himself:

Actual quote from the article …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 7:59 a.m.
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March 6, 2009

General Theology

The Spark That Lit Reform

by Tim Lien

Martin Luther was apalled.

But little has changed: TIME magazine covers the noveau hotness of indulgences in the year of St. Paul. “Now, for a limited time only….”

Tim Lien is aghast.

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Posted by Tim Lien at 8:40 a.m.
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March 9, 2009

General Theology

A Nation of Freelancers

by Tim Lien

Since the Census Bureau does not cover religious affiliation questions, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) has attempted to identify the various religious rumblings of America. They release its newest findings today. It’s still a survey, but some of the general trends are a fascinating look at American faith …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 1:03 p.m.
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March 9, 2009

Books

Outside My Genre

by Tim Lien

A couple years ago I read TIME magazine’s compilation of the best 100 English novels from 1923 to present. I remember seeing The Watchmen on the list, since it was the only graphic novel that made the list. A little surprising, since I normally associate graphic novels with Dick …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 2:55 p.m.
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March 9, 2009

Culture Wars

Not Where You’re Buried, But Where You Rise

by Tim Lien

So there’s this prostitue and John Calvin….”

Sounds like the beginning of a locker-room joke. 500 years after he dies and John Calvin is literally lying in the middle of another controversy. There seems to be some commotion over in Geneva about an ex-prostitute (who sought better rights for …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 4:48 p.m.
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March 11, 2009

Church and Worship

Talking about sex ain’t gonna get nobody to heaven.”

by Clay Staggs

Thus sayeth Evangelist Roland Belew, commenting on a series of sermons being preached at the Daystar Church in Good Hope, Alabama (in Cullman County). The series is entitled “Great Sex God’s Way,” and the church has taken out billboard with the sermon title on it throughout the town. You …

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Posted by Clay Staggs at 4:47 p.m.
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March 12, 2009

Pastoral Musings

No Needy Among Us

by Tim Lien

If a month happens to have five Sundays, Riverwood has traditionally used that 5th Sunday to collect an offering we have dubbed “The Deacon’s Fund.” These monies are used outside of our general budget to address the needs of those within our church family, and specific acts of mercy …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 12:28 p.m.
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March 14, 2009

Culture Wars

New Calvinism: Like the Old Kind, But Like, Now

by Tim Lien

Hey, Calvinism is trending. In fact it just made TIME magazine’s top-ten list of ideas that are changing the world right now in ‘09. It even made the top three.

TIME explains New Calvinism to the masses.

Thanks to Seth McBee at Contend Earnestly.

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Posted by Tim Lien at 6:42 p.m.
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March 18, 2009

Culture Wars

The Limits of Christian Charity

by Tim Lien

When the public doesn’t like something, does that make it right? There is a pastor who is housing a convicted child-killer for two months. The community hates that idea. Story, here.

Parallel issue: If the public is infuriated by the AIG bonuses, should they renege on a contractual obligation …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 2:15 p.m.
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March 18, 2009

Books

Jesus” On Spring Break

by Tim Lien

Book: The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University

Kevin Roose went undercover at Liberty University for a semester. He even went on the university’s spring break mission trip— an attempt to convert spring-breakers for Jesus.

There is a great excerpt at Salon.com. It …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 2:30 p.m.
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March 19, 2009

Politics

Politico-Econcomic Potpourri

by Clay Staggs

Just a few short comments on some things I’ve been seeing and reading this week on the subjects of politics and economics and their inextricable intertwining of late.

  1. Fed Printing Over a Trillion Dollars out of Thin Air. This is the most recent installment in the continuing and …
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Posted by Clay Staggs at 8:41 a.m.
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March 24, 2009

Politics

Buyer’s Remorse Sets In

by Clay Staggs

At least with George Will anyway. You might recall that, prior to the election last fall, George Will was one of several (supposed) conservatives to trash the McCain/Palin ticket and praise the cool, smart post-partisanship of Obama.

Well, so much for that. Today Will rips into Congress (calling them …

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Posted by Clay Staggs at 8:54 a.m.
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March 26, 2009

Global Christianity

The womb is such a powerful weapon; it’s a weapon against the enemy,”

by Clay Staggs

I must confess that I’ve never heard of the Quiverfull movement. That is, until I read a story from NPR on this faction of modern-day evangelicalism. As indicated by the quotation above, from Nancy Campbell, one of the founders of this movement, the idea is that Christians should reproduce …

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Posted by Clay Staggs at 8:46 a.m.
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March 28, 2009

General Theology

The Dogma Is the Drama

by Tim Lien

In Dorothy Sayer’s essay, “The Dogma is the Drama,” she writes up a theological exam and answers them in perfect parody of a truly ignorant Christian:

Q.: What does the Church think of God the Father?

A.: He is omnipotent and holy. He created the world and imposed on …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 12:02 p.m.
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March 29, 2009

Culture Wars

Echoes from 1940

by Tim Lien

Against the wishes of my wife (she wanted me to relax), I cuddled up with Saul Friedlander’s The Extermination Years: 1939-1945 over Christmas. It’s a detailed chronology of the persistent, organized, and relentless Nazi machine— depicted through thousands of original journal entries. Yes, a holly jolly Christmas. I …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 7:05 p.m.
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March 29, 2009

Culture Wars

I Didn’t See That One Coming

by Tim Lien

I had heard that Catcher in the Rye was banned at one time. Same goes for some Intelligent Design references in textbooks. And you probably read about the parents all aflutter in Salt Lake about a Twilight book that inferred possibly sexual activity on a honeymoon. Imagine insinuating that married …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 7:40 p.m.
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March 29, 2009

General Theology

Mormonism 101: You Know, for Kids

by Tim Lien

I ran across this video recently. It was made by a Christian group in the 1970’s. Informative, educational, yet, a little weird.

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Posted by Tim Lien at 8:46 p.m.
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