- - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

(1) GOP Turns to New Hampshire’s Churches in Search of Votes: Republicans are making a push to mobilize the churchgoing in one of the least religious states (Wall Street Journal)

Republicans are trying to inject religion into New Hampshire, making a new push to mobilize churchgoing voters in one of the least religious states in the country. If it works, the move could provide a boost in the state’s Feb. 9 GOP primary to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been courting pastors and evangelical Christians in Iowa and Southern states, while creating a disadvantage for front-runner Donald Trump, who doesn’t do as well among these groups.

(2) Americans more likely to trust people who say they believe in God, new study says (Washington Times)

(3) The banality of abortion, by Mike Cosper

The burden for our culture starts on this ground: Are we willing (to borrow another phrase from Arendt) to “think what we are doing?” Are we willing to cut through the cloud of jargon and re-examine something most of us have become comfortable living with? Are we willing to judge? Because maybe, if those of us who are pro-life are right, our culture has committed a colossal moral outrage, and the bloodshed needs to stop.

(4) Even after joining Rubio’s advisory group, Rick Warren won’t endorse a candidate, by Tobin Grant

Despite the recent announcement that Rick Warren has joined an advisory board for Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, the Southern California megachurch pastor and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life says he’ll never endorse a political candidate—and he’s not endorsing Rubio.

(5) Politics & Worship: Should a political message ever displace Gospel proclamation during worship?, by Mark Tooley (IRD)

Setting aside the details and merits of climate activism, does any political message ever merit becoming the focus of worship?  I left the service spiritually deflated and, although the climate conversation received applause, the two worshippers with whom I spoke afterwards were similarly put off.  Had the worship presented a political cause that I support (more bike trails!), or offered a lecture about a fascinating topic not related directly to the Gospel (WWII history!) I expect I still would have been spiritually unquenched.

(bonus) How we write when we write about religion, by Joel Miller

That’s not to say someone does not occasionally deserve both barrels and well rolled hand grenade. From time to time people will say things so ludicrous, absurd, and terrible the only response is satire, mockery, and exasperation. Fire away, and confess if your conscience bugs you.

But we must also be mindful of the tradeoffs. Sometimes there are costs to being that clear. And it’s usually hard to count them when we’re busy firing off a post with an inordinate amount of glee. Don’t forget the Apologetics of Reverence. Jesus could smack ’em down. But he also spoke with measure.

How we write when we write about religion says a lot about our religion. When people read our words, what do they think about our faith?


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