1. Last week over 1,000 Anglican leaders met in Jerusalem to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion. They specifically addressed decisions made (in particular) by the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.) and the Anglican Church of Canada that have abandoned scripture. Their response can be read in this document.
HT: Matt Proctor
2. Is this an example of the “unbiased” M.S.M.? It actually sounds like this ABC reporter is trying to pressure a Hillary supporter to back Obama. What do you think?
HT: Ft. Hard Knox
3. Shawn over at Lofi Tribe is opting out of voting altogether. What do you think about Christians involved in the political process? I see it as an expression of being the Salt of the Earth, (Matthew 5:13). However our faith should never be placed in government.
4. Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez points out the hypocrisy of PETA who will denounce the killing of cows, but not even bat an eye at the mutilation that occurs during abortions (Warning: Disturbing Images). By the way, if you are in favor of abortion, in particular late-term or partial-birth abortion you really need to go to this post to see what you are in favor of.
5. Nicholas Carr asks, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” This explores what the internet is doing to our brains.
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
HT: Justin Taylor
6. Barack Obama promises to continue Bush’s Faith-based initiative, and even called for an expansion. This drew sharp criticism from someone who is normally an ally of the Democratic Party.
“I am disappointed,” said Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, “that any presidential candidate would want to continue a failed policy of the Bush administration. The president’s faith-based initiative has undermined civil rights and civil liberties and become deeply mired in partisan politics. It ought to be shut down, not continued.”
Exactly how is this program a failure?
7. A British man is arrested for laughing too loud, but before he is arrested they pepper spray him. Wow.
8. What the heck? I think this is found in the Book of 1 Hesitations.
Source: Crummy Church Signs
9. Newt Gingrich discusses three ways to lower gas prices.
HT: Ft. Hard Knox
10. A groundbreaking event! My denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America, hosts a youth conference every other year called Challenge. This year, they set a new Guiness World Record – Largest Kazoo Choir.
HT: Brandon Barker – he was the Rally Coordinator for this year’s challenge, and this was his brainchild. I’m just curious how much it cost to pull this off?
11. Andrew Jackson’s reflections on 2 Corinthians & Biblical leadership over at SmartChristian.com.
12. So you can enjoy the upcoming presidential election more, here is the BBC Flip Flop guide so you can track all of the twists, turns and u-turns made by Barack Obama and John McCain. (HT: Rick Moore)
13. David Nilsen with a great reminder for Calvinists yes, Arminians are people too. They are wrong, but they need to be treated with respect. Seriously, if you are into theology, and this debate in particular. He addresses the tendency among some Calvinists to treat Arminians as full Pelagians (after Pelagius, whom Augustine debated and branded a heretic), instead of semi-Pelagians (a label given by Calvinists). If you are scratching your head over this one, just skip over, it’s ok.
14. Some sweet pictures of the current California Wildfires and the firefighters who are battling them. These guys have my utmost respect. We need to be in prayer for their safety as they run to what most of us would run away from.
HT: Tim Holm
15. From the N.Y. Times – Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection. This tablet may be the earliest Jewish evidence regarding the idea of a dying and rising messiah figure.
Tim Effington sums up the debate going on about this tablet:
If the idea that the Messiah would die and rise wasn’t part of Jewish tradition at the time of Jesus, that proves it must have been invented years later. And if the idea that the Messiah would die and rise was part of Jewish tradition at the time of Jesus that proves that it wasn’t unique and was adopted by Jesus and the gospel writers. Either way, whether there was or wasn’t an expectation that the Messiah would die and rise, Christianity is supposed to be false based on that. How you read the evidence is based on what you presuppose the truth to already be.
Ben Witherington says in response, “let’s suppose that it is genuine… let’s ask the question, so what?” Prior to this those who opposed the resurrection would say that it was invented by the apostles. Now they are jumping all over this. Basically I agree with Bill Kinnon (who gets a HT for this) who believes that nothing will convince them of the resurrection, and they need to be honest about it. But instead they will reach at any “evidence” they feel makes their case.
16. Elizabeth Rios says, we need a different kind of thinking. She writes:
I am kind of tired of all the success stories. Maybe because I haven’t been much of a success. No I am not a hater. Woohoo for all the people in the Kingdom who have had great impact on souls, on society, on culture. Awesome. But I’m tired of people, institutions, system thinkers thinking that they have arrived, that they have found “the” answer, the eureka moment that grants them superstar status and follow me attitudes. I thought I understood the Word to have told me in a not-so-round-about way that on this side of heaven there will never be perfection and alas I must say a perfect Christian or church.
Do you agree or disagree?
17. The Pew Forum Religion Survey may be skewed, especially that asks if the survey participant believes their religion is the only way to heaven. The survey reported that a majority of evangelicals answered, “no.” There is new information that shows that the question that was posed may have been interpreted in different ways. A big question that looms is how does one interpret religion? I’ve had a number of people (even evangelicals) talk to be about “different religions” and it is clear they mean different denominations.
HT: Ray Fowler
18. Church Discipline, rarely practiced, but very much needed in the American Church. Don Whitney, a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary, says it is an act of love. What do you think, and is it practiced in your church?
HT: Micah Fries
19. Have you ever had to sit under a “mean” pastor in your church-going history? I have in my history (none have been recent history). Kent Shaffer, over at ChurchRelevance.com shares some wisdom on how to respond to a mean pastor.