- - Tuesday, November 24, 2015
(1) How Former Churches Find New Life (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
 
***Another story about church buildings being re-purposed=another reminder that the church never was, you know, a building.
 

(2) Amish.biz: The Amish are online, onscreen, and multiplying fast. In their battle with modernity, it’s tough to say who’s winning, by Kevin Williams (Aeon)
***This is fascinating!
“In my 25 years exploring Amish communities, I’ve witnessed changes that would be unnoticeable to the average outsider. I’ve seen the legendarily technology-avoidant Amish texting (and texted with a few), ordering books from Amazon, having their own Facebook accounts (horses seem to be a popular avatar), sending emails, even lecturing in universities - which is ironic as the Amish eschew formal education beyond eighth grade. There was something subversively delicious about a man without even a high-school diploma holding court for doctoral students.”

(3) The Ferocious Faith of the Social-Justice Warriors, by David French (National Review)
“The campus culture war is a religious war, a so-far largely peaceful counterpart to the violent purges and revolutions of jihad. One faith has been expunged, relegated to the margins of the academy, and now another fills the vacuum. Out with the Christianity that spawned American higher education, in with a ferocious new faith — a social-justice progressivism unrestrained by humility and consumed with righteous zeal.”
 
…”If there is any silver lining in this dark cloud, it’s that the social-justice faith is so grim, so angry, and so arrogant that it can prosper only through intimidation and coercion. Yet we are still a free people — or at least enough of us are still free — that intimidation and coercion have their limits, especially when exercised against those people who possess real courage, whose eyes are set on a different God, a true God who has protected his church from foes far more formidable than gangs of Millennials and their middle-aged enablers.”

 (4) 7 Reasons to Ban the Lord’s Prayer, by Bishop Croft, Diocese of Sheffield
“There are only 63 words in the Lord’s Prayer. It takes less than a minute to say them. Yet these words shape our identity, give purpose to our lives, check our greed, remind us of our imperfections, offer a way of reconciliation, build resilience in our spirits and call us to live to the glory of our creator. No wonder they have been banned in the boardrooms of consumer culture.”

(5) Rick Warren: We’re at War With God, by Derek Beres (Big Think)
 
***This author can’t figure out if he thinks Warren is cotton candy fluff or crazed fundamentalist. Even as Mr. Beres characterizes Warren as a theological minimalist, he still can’t stomach the smallest hint of doctrinal absolutism from a Christian preacher.
“The evening was more “self-help seminar meets bible camp” than normal church service. Fire walk ritual aside, it would be hard to find much of a difference between Tony Robbins and Warren. And like Robbins, Warren kept to one point of focus: God shaped you. It is your duty to faithfully fill that shape.”
 
…”Come to Jesus” mentality aside, it was probably one of the most enjoyable church experiences I’ve had. Megachurches might be criticized for being light on the Bible, but they provide a sense of community smaller congregations could never offer: child services, golf outings, meals, peace missions, acres upon acres to get to know others. Even a skeptic like myself can appreciate anything that creates community.”
 
…”It’s just a shame that someone with Warren’s reach remains so shortsighted as to suggest that only his way will do. It’s the very reason so many are angered by religious intolerance and write off the positive benefits. People are suffering around the world at the hands of terrorists. Thinking that the cause is that people aren’t listening to your agenda is selfish and self-defeating. Whether or not religion fails or succeeds in the future depends on inclusiveness. The idea that my religion is the only way was heard a day before Warren’s sermon on Paris streets, and we all know how that ended.”

***Just a reminder to everyone in the pro-life community. The other side has not gone away.
“Because the truth is that you cannot be pro-family without being pro-choice. The right to have an abortion is about bodily integrity, equality and, yes, family. There is nothing pro-family about forcing women to give birth; respecting families means respecting women’s life choices and ability to have a child if and when she wants to.”

 


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