- - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

1| Muslims turning to Christ - a global phenomenon

2| Os Guinness: Hostility on the College Campus |BGEA

Western societies, both in Europe and the U.S., are in an “ABC moment” (Anything but Christianity). They are turning against the Jewish and Christian faiths that have made them what they are, and attempting to replace them with varieties of post-Christian secularism and other philosophies. Needless to say, the universities, which are some of the most powerful institutions in the modern world, grew out of directly Christian origins, so this is a fateful problem both for Christians and for the West at large. At best, the Christian faith is now regarded as purely private and irrelevant to academic thought. At worst, Christians are dismissed as “faith-heads,” with beliefs that are untrue, irrational, reactionary, bigoted and on the wrong side of history.

…To be frank, American Evangelicalism has lost its way. Much of the Evangelical movement is in the process of melting down and following the disastrous trajectory of mainline Protestant liberalism, which has betrayed the Gospel ignominiously over the last 200 years. We stand on the verge of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October 2017, and it is time to see that we need reformation and revival all over again. Our brothers and sisters in Africa, Latin America and Asia put us to shame with the boldness, the courage and the supernatural power of their faith. Let us seek to be worthy of them, and “let God be God” once again—and the universities are a great place to start.

3| Target Execs. Deny Drop in Sales Result of Giving Men Access to Women’s Bathrooms

Retail giant Target continues to deny suggestions that there is a direct link between its stock market troubles and the ongoing conservative boycott against its transgender bathroom policies, and said that consumer interest had been declining even before the boycott began.

Market Watch reported on Thursday that Target’s Chief Financial Officer, Cathy Smith, denied that the controversial bathroom policy is having an impact, and published a note in Cowen & Co.

“Target noted that traffic softness occurred before the bathroom petition issues,” Cowen wrote. 

4| Can Social Conservatism Survive Trump? |The Weekly Standard

Since Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee on May 3, Princeton professor Robert George, a leading social conservative intellectual, has been thinking about that question. He hasn’t been able to reach a conclusion yet.

“The best argument for holding our noses and voting for Donald Trump can be summed up in two words: Supreme Court,” says George. There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton would shift the balance of the Court to the left, and there would be disastrous consequences for conservatives who care about issues like religious liberty and the right to life. Trump released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees, but did not promise he’d pick one of them as president but would nominate a person like them. Given Trump’s record of dishonesty and infidelity, George says Trump’s pledge to appoint constitutionalists is “essentially meaningless,” but “with Trump, you’ve at least got a shot.”

5| Cruz vows to fight Trump on abortion plank in RNC platform |POLITICO

When asked “if he could promise to listeners to ensure Republicans in Cleveland do not ‘screw around with the party platform and remove the abortion plank, or alter it,’” Cruz said:

“You have my word. One of the reasons that we are continuing to work to elect conservatives to be delegates, even though Donald has the delegates to get the nomination, we intend to do everything we can to fight for conservative principles to prevent Washington forces from watering down the platform,” Cruz said. “The platform is a manifestation of what we believe as a party, and I think it is important that it continue to reflect conservative values, free-market values, constitutional liberties, Judeo-Christian principles, the values that built this country, and that is exactly what I intend to fight for.” 

6| Churches Must Oppose Female Conscription |Crisis Magazine

It may be unfashionable today to extoll the unique, complementary characteristics and duties of men and women as created by God the Holy Trinity, but we ignore, much less defy, them at our peril before the God, in whom we ostensibly trust, as a people. There is no manly virtue in causing or intentionally allowing the inherent beauty and charm of young womanhood to be grievously disfigured by the physical and psychic wounds of war. Nor is there any moral imperative that obliges an infant daughter to surrender her mother for long deployments, or forever as a casualty of war. Perhaps the Christian sage and veteran soldier, C.S. Lewis, had that in mind when, in The Chronicles of Narnia, “Father Christmas” instructs Lucy not to fight in the battle, because “battles are ugly when women fight.” By what high principle might honorable, kind, and loving men enroll women in the armed forces, especially against their own will via conscription, to kill and be killed on their behalf? Boys and girls, juveniles, depend on women, their mothers, to guard and protect them. It inverts the natural and divine order when grown men do so.

If the U.S. Congress and President Obama collude this year to require all young women in America to register with Selective Service, there will be no need to wait for an exigency that might compel the federal government to reinstate the military draft. The moral abasement of the U.S. armed forces would, in principle, already be complete. With that scenario in view, we propose that traditional Christians consider an uncharacteristically radical, proactive course of action.

7| Even in Francis era, it’s okay to have doubts on immigration |CRUX

In his interview with La Croix, the Pope said that “coexistence among Christians and Muslims is possible. I come from a country where they live together in good familiarity,” adding examples from the Central African Republic and Lebanon.

In this belief, Pope Francis seems to diverge from the opinion of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, who once declared that Islam “is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society” because of its “total organization of life that is completely different from ours.”

All of this should provide some balm to practicing Catholics who have reservations about open borders and wonder whether they are in some way outside the fold.

In the case of immigration, as in so many when moral absolutes are not in play, there is plenty of room for Catholics to exercise their best prudential judgment while adhering to fundamental principles.

8| Marvin Olasky writes about baseball and “Minor regrets“:

In the slightly nutty but evocative baseball movie Field of Dreams, protagonist Ray Kinsella tells an old doctor—when young, he was a good ballplayer who made it to the majors once, at the end of a season, but never got to bat—“Fifty years ago, for five minutes you came within … you came this close. It would KILL some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it. They’d consider it a tragedy.” Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham replies, “Son, if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes … now that would have been a tragedy.”

Had I missed, or later messed up, my marriage, that would have been a tragedy. Had Joel Belz not asked me 24 years ago to become involved in editing WORLD, that would have been a tragedy. I have minor regrets about things missed and opportunities passed up. You probably do too, but the most important keys to happiness are a good marriage and a good calling, both gifts from God.

My favorite Psalm these days is 73, the perfect poem for a Christian journalist because it concludes, “I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” It describes our covetous tendencies: “I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” It describes God’s kindness in giving us a present and a future: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” And it gives us no other reasonable option: “Whom have I in heaven but you?”

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