Friday, October 20, 2017

Orthodox Leaders Call for Boycott of Lidl, Nestle for Airbrushing Out Christian Symbols on Products

Orthodox Leaders Call for Boycott of Lidl, Nestle for Airbrushing Out Christian Symbols on Products:

Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church are asking worshipers to boycott Lidl and Nestlé, which removed Christian symbols from their food packaging in an attempt to be "religiously neutral."

Earlier this month, shoppers noticed that the German supermarket chain Lidl had used photo editing software to remove crosses on top of an iconic Greek church on its food packaging. Swiss food giant Nestlé and the local dairy producer Mevgal have also removed religious imagery from their Greek yogurts.

In response, the Orthodox Church in Athens is urging its members through sermons and on the internet to boycott Lidl, Nestlé and Mevgal, according to The Sunday Times, whom a spokesperson of the Church told the issue will be raised at a special synodical meeting next month.

Orthodox leaders call for boycott of Lidl and Nestl� | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

Orthodox leaders call for boycott of Lidl and Nestlé | The Times & The Sunday Times:

The Greek Orthodox Church has urged worshippers to boycott Lidl and Nestlé after they airbrushed out Christian symbols from food packaging.

The German discount supermarket removed crucifix imagery from the packaging of Greek products, arguing that it wanted to remain “religiously neutral”.

Friday, October 06, 2017

'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia | Technology | The Guardian

'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia | Technology | The Guardian:



But notification technology also enabled a hundred unsolicited interruptions into millions of lives, accelerating the arms race for people’s attention. Santamaria, now 36, who now runs a startup after a stint as the head of mobile at Airbnb, says the technology he developed at Apple was not “inherently good or bad”. “This is a larger discussion for society,” he says. “Is it OK to shut off my phone when I leave work? Is it OK if I don’t get right back to you? Is it OK that I’m not ‘liking’ everything that goes through my Instagram screen?”

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Six things to know about mass shootings in America | News | World | M&G

Six things to know about mass shootings in America | News | World | M&G:



Journalists sometimes describe mass shooting as a form of domestic terrorism. This connection may be misleading.

There is no doubt that mass shootings are “terrifying” and “terrorize” the community where they have happened. However, not all active shooters involved in mass shooting have a political message or cause.

Monday, August 28, 2017

ThrillWriting: Hug-a-Tree: Keeping Our Youngest Characters (and our real-life kiddos) Alive in the Woods with Jacquie Beveridge

ThrillWriting: Hug-a-Tree: Keeping Our Youngest Characters (and our real-life kiddos) Alive in the Woods with Jacquie Beveridge:

On Saturday, February 6, 1981, The Beveridge family was camping in San Diego County. The three Beveridge brothers set out on a foot race but only two arrived back at their camp. Nine-year-old Jimmy was missing. More than 600 people helped to search for Jimmy, including 200 marines.

Sadly, the weather was not with Jimmy, thick fog and torrential rains hampered the searchers efforts. On Thursday the 12th a man who knew the Beveridge family set out on his own to follow a hunch and found Jimmy's body.

Today on ThrillWriting, I have the great privilege of hosting Jimmy Beveridge's mother, Jacquie.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Response to Racist Violence in Charlottesville, VA | Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America

Response to Racist Violence in Charlottesville, VA | Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America:

The essence of the Christian Gospel and the spirit of the Orthodox Tradition are entirely and self-evidently incompatible with ideologies that declare the superiority of any race over another. Our God shows no partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17, Romans 2:11). Our Lord Jesus Christ broke down the dividing wall of hostility that had separated God from humans and humans from each other (Ephesians 2:14). In Christ Jesus, the Church proclaims, there can be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, but all are one (Galatians 3:28). Furthermore, we call on one another to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather to expose them (Ephesians 5:11). And what is darkness if not hatred? The one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness (1 John 2:11)!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world | News | The Guardian

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world | News | The Guardian:

Peer through the lens of neoliberalism and you see more clearly how the political thinkers most admired by Thatcher and Reagan helped shape the ideal of society as a kind of universal market (and not, for example, a polis, a civil sphere or a kind of family) and of human beings as profit-and-loss calculators (and not bearers of grace, or of inalienable rights and duties). Of course the goal was to weaken the welfare state and any commitment to full employment, and – always – to cut taxes and deregulate. But “neoliberalism” indicates something more than a standard rightwing wish list. It was a way of reordering social reality, and of rethinking our status as individuals.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Holy Synod of Bishops issues statement on recent tragic events in Charlottesville, VA - Orthodox Church in America

Holy Synod of Bishops issues statement on recent tragic events in Charlottesville, VA - Orthodox Church in America:



The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America joins people of faith and good will across the United States, Canada and Mexico in unequivocally, unreservedly and unambiguously rejecting words and actions which perpetrate, support or encourage hatred, violence, racism, white supremacy, white nationalism or neo-Nazism.

Who are the antifa?

Who are the antifa?: The vast majority of anti-fascist organizing is nonviolent. But their willingness to physically defend themselves and others from white supremacist violence and preemptively shut down fascist organizing efforts before they turn deadly distinguishes them from liberal anti-racists.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

5 Lean Mean Firefox Browser Alternatives…Plus A Real Stunner! [Daily Freeware] | The Red Ferret Journal

5 Lean Mean Firefox Browser Alternatives…Plus A Real Stunner! [Daily Freeware] | The Red Ferret Journal:

Fed up with bloated, slow, buggy web browsers like Firefox? Yeah, me too. Just about every week now, I find myself wrestling with Firefox, and although I could switch to Chrome, it’s one Google step too far (I already owe too much of my life to the massive Google machine to be healthy). So for those who are in a similar predicament, I’ve brought together a sample of some alternative web browsers, plus one standout winner which I’ve switched to completely and is now my default browser.

The Heavy Anglo Orthodox

The Heavy Anglo Orthodox:

The deep, fundamental flaw in what I’ll call, for the moment, ‘Warsaw-thinking’ about Christianity and civilisation, is precisely the problem Saint Ilya takes such pains to highlight, and precisely the problem that the inconvenient existence of Orthodoxy confronts the West with: that Christianity is not Western and never has been. (Of course, it isn’t anti-Western either, but given that we’re not dealing in false dichotomies here, that’s a separate question.)

Thursday, August 03, 2017

It turns out ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ wasn’t so far off about the Nazis

It turns out ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ wasn’t so far off about the Nazis - The Washington Post:



It turns out ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ wasn’t so far off about the Nazis
By Michael Dirda August 2 at 4:31 PM

Whether you learned about it from watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or, even earlier, from reading Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier’s European bestseller “The Morning of the Magicians,” who doesn’t now know that Hitler and Nazi Germany were obsessed with the occult?

In “Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich” Eric Kurlander, professor of history at Stetson University, carefully tracks the fringe movements and lunatic beliefs that swept through Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Writing a book from your PhD

Impact of Social Sciences – “A thesis is written for examiners, an academic book for scholars in general” – the basics of writing a book from your PhD:



Researchers who have recently completed a PhD will inevitably be considering what route to take to publication. Terry Clague outlines some of the various options, offering an insight into what questions a publisher might ask when assessing a proposal for a research book. Would-be book authors are encouraged to be mindful of the significant and ongoing changes to the academic books market, with online discoverability of paramount importance. And when it comes to preparing the manuscript itself, there are a number of simple pointers that can help authors to effectively structure, write, and edit their work.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah

Interview with Yuval Harari- Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah | The Book of Doctrines and Opinions::

The Talmud is chock-full of magic and ways to ward off demons. Rabbi Hai Gaon claimed that the belief in demons was widespread in the Babylonian academy of Sura as a continuity of the ancient magic of Babylonia court of Nebuchadnezzar, a world filled with spirits who inhabited the air, the trees, water, roofs of houses, and privies.

The Talmud taught that are invisible. “If the eye could see them no one could endure them. They surround one on all sides. They are more numerous than humans, each person has a thousand on his left and ten thousand on his right”. Yet, if you want to see them, “bring the tail of a first born black cat, that is the daughter of a first born black cat. Burn it in fire, grind it up, fill your eyes with the ashes and then you will see them.” (Ber. 6a). This topic has not been given the attention it deserves.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pussy Riot Founder Says American Liberals Scapegoat Putin To Distract From Democrats' Problems

Pussy Riot Founder Says American Liberals Scapegoat Putin To Distract From Democrats' Problems:



Vladimir Putin has become a fixture in the U.S. political conversation, as a majority of Americans have come to believe he helped rig the 2016 election for Donald Trump. Yet one prominent anti-Putin activist who was jailed by the Russian government says, in a new podcast interview, that America's political class is deliberately promoting an inaccurate picture of Putin to distract from the United States' own domestic problems.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Heavy Anglo Orthodox: They’ve always been with us

The Heavy Anglo Orthodox: They’ve always been with us:



I find it highly interesting that a sainted hierarch, an accomplished ascetic cœnobite of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra with a firm doctrinal formation and a careful cultivation of personal holiness and virtue, had to rein in the legalistic tendencies of his spiritual sons, particularly the presumably-married Father Kirik (whose razor-keen mathematical mind, sketched here so diligently by Fedotov, was clearly drawn toward the harsher, more maximalist view of canonical rigourism). I also find it remarkable that the Russian Church, which had no interest in Hellenistic speculative theology but was instead more drawn toward the rabbinical ‘Juda�sing’ pole and toward theologies of history, swung so heavily at the grassroots to the guidance of the ‘Hellenists’ on matters of practical lay ethics. I’m sure there’s a reason for this, and I’m much mistaken if Fedotov will not see fit to mention it later in the book. Still, such a passage shows that convertitis and Hyperdox Hermans have always been with us; and have a history of trying the patience even of saints!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Commission calls for religious leader regulation

Commission calls for religious leader regulation:

The CRL Rights Commission has recommended that all religious practitioners operating in South Africa either be registered or face prosecution.

The commission has released its report into the commercialisation of religion and abuse of belief systems.

Several pastors have made headlines in recent months for using dangerous methods, such as spraying doom on congregants.

The CRL Rights Commission says the religious sector must be regulated and operate within the law.

Chairwoman Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said, “You will not be allowed to operate in this country unless we know where you are, what you are doing and who you are.”

She says umbrella organisations must also be established in order to monitor the conduct of religious leaders and institutions.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Onesimus: Contextualization Weirdness: Some Thoughts on Orthodox Missions and Evangelism in Kenya

Onesimus: Contextualization Weirdness: Some Thoughts on Orthodox Missions and Evangelism in Kenya:

when Orthodox Christians choose to do evangelism here in Kenya, how should we go about doing it? Should we organise pilgrimages and processions and carry icons around the community whilst chanting? Should we run seminars to better acquaint our neighbours with who we are and where we come from? It has been said that funerals are actually a significant (and for many the only) point of contact with Orthodox priests and services. To our credit (in my opinion) the simplicity and beauty of our funeral liturgy compares favourably with the way funerals are done in other denominations. But this is more on the lines of exposure as opposed to evangelism.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Truth is the first casualty in PR offensive | The Independent

Truth is the first casualty in PR offensive | The Independent:
The Ruder Finn strategy has been to build a congressional and Senate coalition in the US in support of Croatia. The strategy has included mobilising the 2.5 million Croats in the US to lobby their own representatives in Congress.

Central to all this activity was equating the Serbian forces with Communism and the Croats with Western freedom and democracy.

Ruder Finn's work for Croatia - SourceWatch

Ruder Finn's work for Croatia - SourceWatch:

On 12 August 1991, the Croatian government hired the American public relations firm Ruder Finn Global Public Affairs to "develop and carry out strategies and tactics for communication with members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate as well as with officials of the U.S. government including the State Department, the National Security Council and other relevant agencies and departments of the U.S. government as well as with American and international news media". On 12 November 1991, Ruder Finn's contract was renewed to include lobbying in relation to diplomatic recognition, sanctions, and embargoes, as well as briefings for officials of the first Bush administration and preparation of special background material, press releases, both reactive and proactive articles and letters to the editors to appear in major newspapers, briefings for journalists, columnists, and commentators. In January and February 1992, Ruder Finn organized trips to Croatia for U.S. Congressmen. The United States recognized Croatia as an independent state on 7 April 1992.

Bell Pottinger’s full, unequivocal, absolute apology for selling Gupta lies - BizNews.com

Bell Pottinger’s full, unequivocal, absolute apology for selling Gupta lies - BizNews.com:

LONDON — Here’s a very big win for the good guys. The �100 000 a month London agency which promoted the Gupta agenda in South Africa – including instigating a threat to use the UK courts to close down Biznews – has suddenly seen the error of its ways. After steadfastly denying any wrongdoing by his company and claiming its clients were innocent victims, Bell Pottinger’s owner and CEO James Henderson today issued a grovelling apology: “full, unequivocal and absolute” to quote from the statement. News like this takes time to digest. Nice. But given the damage this firm’s dark media arts has created in South Africa, and the personal attacks and despicable social media deeds conducted under its instruction, I’m pretty sure this doesn’t close matter. But perhaps, to paraphrase Churchill, it is the end of the beginning. – Alec Hogg

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Summer 2017 Edition)

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Summer 2017 Edition):



Thus, my list of writing contests below once again includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send that exciting draft.
If you only submit to one…

If you only have time to submit to one contest this season, my recommendation is PEN Center USA – Emerging Voices

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ramaphosa moves to reclaim ‘radical economic transformation’ from those 'misusing' term

Ramaphosa moves to reclaim ‘radical economic transformation’ from those 'misusing' term:

“We now know that some highly-paid PR specialists contrived a plan to use terms like ‘radical economic transformation’ and ‘white monopoly capital’ to launch a publicity offensive in defence of their clients. It was part of defining a new narrative where those who stood in the way of their clients’ interests were presented as being opposed to ‘radical economic transformation’ and representing the interests of ‘white monopoly capital’.”

Invasion of the troll armies: ‘Social media where the war goes on’ | Media | The Guardian

Invasion of the troll armies: ‘Social media where the war goes on’ | Media | The Guardian:

You can hire your own troll army if you have the cash. In 2011 the PR firm Bell Pottinger told undercover journalists that they could “create and maintain third-party blogs”, and spruce up Wikipedia profiles and Google search rankings. Indeed marketing has a rich history of so-called “astroturfing”, which is laying down fake grassroots. Take Forest, “the voice and friend of the smoker”, which at least admits in nearly invisible small print that it is paid for by the tobacco industry.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Harry Potter and the millennial mind | The Spectator

Harry Potter and the millennial mind | The Spectator:

Almost every young person who can read has read Harry Potter — 450 million copies have been sold worldwide. Not to do so was an act of rebellion. On Monday, fans will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first book’s publication — two decades on and J.K. Rowling’s tales of wizardry and witchcraft continue to bewitch us, even though we are meant to have grown up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

One in six young people are Christian as visits to church buildings inspire them to convert

One in six young people are Christian as visits to church buildings inspire them to convert:

Around 13 per cent of teenagers said that they decided to become a Christian after a visit to a church or cathedral, according to the figures.

The influence of a church building was more significant than attending a youth group, going to a wedding, or speaking to other Christians about their faith.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Is It Hateful To Believe In Hell? Bernie Sanders' Questions Prompt Backlash : The Two-Way : NPR

Is It Hateful To Believe In Hell? Bernie Sanders' Questions Prompt Backlash : The Two-Way : NPR:

A low-profile confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill this week raised eyebrows when the questioning turned to theology — specifically, damnation.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont pressed Russell Vought, nominated by President Trump to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, about his beliefs.

Tim Farron quits as Lib Dem leader | Politics | The Guardian

Tim Farron quits as Lib Dem leader | Politics | The Guardian: Farron says ‘remaining faithful to Christ’ was incompatible with being party leader after repeated questions over his faith

Farron resigns as Lib Dem leader

Farron resigns as Lib Dem leader:

From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I've tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser.

At the start of this election, I found myself under scrutiny again - asked about matters to do with my faith. I felt guilty that this focus was distracting attention from our campaign, obscuring our message.

Journalists have every right to ask what they see fit. The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Drone War: Understanding Who Must Die From Above

The Drone War: Understanding Who Must Die From Above:

Unmanned aerial vehicles are piloted remotely from thousands of miles away providing both surveillance in near-constant streams, and the ability to drop bombs. Through this new means of violence, Americans are not vulnerable, and are instead separated physically from the violence and death. The U.S. drone campaign is waged almost entirely in secret and without the hindrance of laws, international or domestic.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

IX. Crime, punishment, reformation | The Russian Orthodox Church

IX. Crime, punishment, reformation | The Russian Orthodox Church:



The abolition of death penalty would give more opportunities for pastoral work with those who have stumbled and for the latter to repent. It is also evident that punishment by death cannot be reformatory; it also makes misjudgement irreparable and provokes ambiguous feelings among people. Today many states have either abolished the death penalty by law or stopped practicing it. Keeping in mind that mercy toward a fallen man is always more preferable than revenge, the Church welcomes these steps by state authorities. At the same time, she believes that the decision to abolish or not to apply death penalty should be made by society freely, considering the rate of crime and the state of law-enforcement and judiciary, and even more so, the need to protect the life of its well-intentioned members.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship | KnoxPriest

Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship | KnoxPriest:

So it’s Thursday when I published this post. Go ahead and invite someone for tomorrow night. Keep your to-do list short. Take ten minutes to pick up the house and throw something together for dinner, even if it’s from Trader Joe’s. You’re more ready than you think. And we’re all hungry for genuine conversation more than we realize.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Human Beings or Human Persons? | Public Orthodoxy

Human Beings or Human Persons? | Public Orthodoxy:



One of the liveliest exchanges at the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in June 2016 concerned which Greek words should be used in Council documents to refer to humans: anthrōpos (“human being”); or anthrōpino prosōpo (or simply prosōpon) (“human person”). The main protagonists in this debate were, in the anthrōpos corner, Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos), and in the prosōpon corner, Metropolitan John (Zizioulas), supported by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware). While this episode may seem to be an intra-Greek linguistic spat, the theological stakes are very high.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

100 Must-Read Books About Christianity

100 Must-Read Books About Christianity:

According to Pew Research, Christianity is the world’s largest religious group, so it’s worth knowing something about it, whether you’re a Christian or not. And if you’re interested in learning more about the Christian faith, there’s no lack of books out there. It’s hard to know where to start! I’m here to help with enough recommendations to keep you reading for a long time.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Can you be pro-life and anti-war? In Pittsburgh, apparently not.

Can you be pro-life and anti-war? In Pittsburgh, apparently not.:

On Tuesday, a “Consistent Life Ethic” group was booted from sponsorship of the Pittsburgh March Against War after Facebook complaints against their pro-life stance.

Rehumanize International, previously Life Matters Journal, is a group that opposes all violence against human beings, including abortion, war, euthanasia, torture, capital punishment and human sex trafficking.

They were invited to co-sponsor the Pittsburgh March Against War, set to take place this summer, and were then removed from sponsorship after a vote of the other co-sponsors, following several complaints on the event’s Facebook page.

Abortion: the Most Important Moral Issue Ever....Except for When it's Not

Abortion: the Most Important Moral Issue Ever....Except for When it's Not:

New Pro Life activists and writers have received accusatory messages demanding to know whether we are a “Podesta plant” or perhaps receiving Soros money to infiltrate the pro-life movement with insidious messages of social justice.

The message is clear: abortion is the worst evil. Stopping it is the top priority. The absolute necessity that we choose life for the unborn renders all other issues null and void, for now.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Terror Attacks Spark Cowardly Debate - ABC News

Terror Attacks Spark Cowardly Debate - ABC News:

Within hours of the attacks, President Bush twice used the c-word to describe the terrorists' plot. In a statement at an Air Force base in Louisiana, he declared, "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward … . Make no mistake: the U.S. will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

The House and Senate soon followed suit. A joint resolution passed the next night labeled the suicide hijackings as "heinous and cowardly attacks."

An alternative view came from Bill Maher, host of the ABC late-night talk show Politically Incorrect. "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly," Maher said on the show last week. "Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Analavos of the Great Schema Explained | MYSTAGOGY RESOURCE CENTER

The Analavos of the Great Schema Explained | MYSTAGOGY RESOURCE CENTER:

The Great Schema in the Orthodox Church requires the traditional monastic vows, plus special spiritual feats. According to Archpriest G. S. Debolsky: "In the understanding of the Church, the Great Schema is nothing less than the supreme vow of the Cross and death; it is the image of complete isolation from the earth, the image of transformation and transfiguration of life, the image of death and the beginning of another, higher, existence."

Friday, May 12, 2017

Good Christians Disagree, But Right Christians Do Not | Circe Institute

Good Christians Disagree, But Right Christians Do Not | Circe Institute:



Christianity is not a religion which is aimed at making men moral. Rather, Christianity is a religion which makes men divine. Morality is indispensable, but morality will be swallowed up in the apotheosis of a man. Classical education does not work against such intentions, which means that a classical education is unconcerned with whether “Good Christians disagree…” on an issue.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts

10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts:

Realizing that millions more people are scratching their heads, wondering what to read and where to spend their subscription dollars, here are my top 10 large journalistic brands where I believe you can most often find real, reported facts:

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Health benefits of coffee-Aleteia

Health benefits of coffee-Aleteia:



Research the world over is confirming that drinking coffee keeps you alive … but it doesn’t work if you drink it in moderation. In fact, Harvard researchers found that low consumption of coffee is linked to deaths from heart-related illnesses. To get the health benefits of coffee, you have to drink it like you mean it.

Drinking three to five cups of coffee per day gives you a longer life, making you 15 percent less likely to die early, lowering your risk of dying from a heart attack or a stroke by 21 percent and slashing your risk for type 2 diabetes by 12 percent.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Evangelical Roots of Our Post-Truth Society - The New York Times

The Evangelical Roots of Our Post-Truth Society - The New York Times:

Conservative evangelicals are not the only ones who think that an authority trusted by the other side is probably lying. But they believe that their own authority — the inerrant Bible — is both supernatural and scientifically sound, and this conviction gives that natural human aversion to unwelcome facts a special power on the right. This religious tradition of fact denial long predates the rise of the culture wars, social media or President Trump, but it has provoked deep conflict among evangelicals themselves.

That innocuous phrase — “biblical worldview” or “Christian worldview” — is everywhere in the evangelical world.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Experimental Theology: The Paradox of Progressive Political Theology

Experimental Theology: The Paradox of Progressive Political Theology:



Progressive Christians resonate with Anabaptist, anti-empire political theology as it aligns well with the language of the prophets--indictment of oppression and injustice--which connects with the social justice impulses of progressive Christians. But lacking a robust ecclesiology, church as counter-cultural polis, progressive Christians are forced to turn to the state as the only player able to address the oppression and injustices they are calling out. Without a church, democratic engagement--guided by Niebuhrian political theology--is the only tool available to make the kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Crisis of Western Civ - The New York Times

The Crisis of Western Civ - The New York Times: The faith in the West collapsed from within. It’s amazing how slow people have been to rise to defend it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is Male Headship a Lost Cause? | Desiring God

Is Male Headship a Lost Cause? | Desiring God:



Complementarianism will endure. It is not a lost cause. The reason I think it will endure and is not a lost cause may not be exactly what you think. Let me give you three reasons it will endure that are not the reason I’m going to give. I think there are a lot of reasons why it will, but these three are the ones you probably thought I would give, so I’m going to give them and then give the one I really want to give.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Media should show skepticism over Syrian chemical weapons attack claims

Media should show skepticism over Syrian chemical weapons attack claims:



If you watch and read the Australian media, whether it be the television news or discussion programs like Insiders and even Mediawatch, it's taken as read that chemical weapons were dropped by Bashar al Assad's Syrian government warplanes.

It's as if there's no memory of the weapons of mass destruction lies the American, British and Australian governments told us before the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The modern myth of the Easter bunny | Adrian Bott | Opinion | The Guardian

The modern myth of the Easter bunny | Adrian Bott | Opinion | The Guardian:



Did you know that Easter was originally a pagan festival dedicated to Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, whose consort was a hare, the forerunner of our Easter bunny? Of course you did. Every year the fecund muck of the internet bursts forth afresh with cheery did-you-know explanations like this, setting modern practices in a context of ancient and tragically interrupted pagan belief.

The trouble is that they are wrong. The colourful myths of Eostre and her hare companion, who in some versions is a bird transformed into an egg-laying rabbit, aren't historically pagan. They are modern fabrications, cludged together in an unresearched assumption of pagan precedence.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Approaching “The Silmarillion” for the First Time | A Pilgrim in Narnia

Approaching “The Silmarillion” for the First Time | A Pilgrim in Narnia: This is what a friend of mine called The Silmarillion: the Bible for Tolkien geeks. It is an astute observation, I think. Like the Bible, The Silmarillion includes genres like myth, legend, history, genealogy, prophecy, and poetry. It is a text of texts from another culture based in other languages, but a text that is meant to inform not just the past but the present. Like the Bible, it better reread than read.

How fights over Trump have led evangelicals to leave their churches - The Washington Post

How fights over Trump have led evangelicals to leave their churches - The Washington Post:



for 20 years, liberal to moderate evangelicals have been leaving their churches because they disagree with the Christian right. This is important because it allows us to recognize that this sorting process is plural, local, and continual. It is not something owned by the left or right, but a regular and expected part of life in all religious organizations.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment – Consortiumnews

Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment – Consortiumnews:



Today, because Trump and his administration are now committed to convincing Americans that Assad really was responsible for Tuesday’s poison-gas tragedy, the prospects for a full and open investigation are effectively ended. We may never know if there is truth to those allegations or whether we are being manipulated by another “wag the dog” psyop.

Disharmony: The religious response to Syria’s travails is prolix and confused | The Economist

Disharmony: The religious response to Syria’s travails is prolix and confused | The Economist:



Generally, the local Catholic and Orthodox churches remain reluctant to condemn Bashar al-Assad, whom they regard as their protector against the furies of Islamism. That in turn influences the hierarchs and adherents of those churches in other places. Meanwhile, some luminaries of America’s religious right (though not of the isolationist far-right) saw their country’s missile attack as a noble act by Donald Trump: a sign of his virtuousness compared with the wicked sloppiness of his predecessor.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

How French “Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact, Explained – Areo Magazine

How French “Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact, Explained – Areo Magazine:



Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity itself. That may sound like a bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of academia and gained great cultural power in western society. The irrational and identitarian “symptoms” of postmodernism are easily recognizable and much criticized, but the ethos underlying them is not well understood. This is partly because postmodernists rarely explain themselves clearly and partly because of the inherent contradictions and inconsistencies of a way of thought which denies a stable reality or reliable knowledge to exist.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

The Russian Church: Profiting by Silence | Public Orthodoxy

The Russian Church: Profiting by Silence | Public Orthodoxy:

Among those detained and beaten by police forces was Gregory Hill, the underage son of an Orthodox priest and a British subject who was not part of the protesting crowd and whose only fault was failing to produce his papers immediately upon request. In the words of his mother, “Grisha [Gregory] is bruised because one policeman was holding his head to the ground, while the other kicked him in the groin and ribs. We are shocked by the comments from the city government that police reacted in a competent way and ensured security in heavily crowded areas. I very well see that ‘competence’ on Grisha’s face.” (Sergei Chapnin)

Eastern Christian Books: Reading Dreher with Schmemann and MacIntyre (and thus Marx)

Eastern Christian Books: Reading Dreher with Schmemann and MacIntyre (and thus Marx):



In fact, several passages from Schmemann came back to mind in reading Dreher, whose book fixates on same-sex marriage and gender issues to an unhealthy and unhelpful degree. None seems more acute or appropriate than this one: In March 1976 during Lent, Schmemann wrote: "Students' confessions. Always sex. I am beginning to think that this sin is useful; otherwise they would consider themselves saintly and plunge into guruism." Dreher's entire project reeks of guruism.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lance's Religion Blog: Health Care Reform in Light of Orthodox Theology and the Sanctity of the Human Body

Lance's Religion Blog: Health Care Reform in Light of Orthodox Theology and the Sanctity of the Human Body:

As this country debates health care reform, I cannot help but turn to Orthodox theology for some answers. Orthodox theology is pretty much synonymous with Patristic theology. For an Orthodox Christian, salvation is holistic, involving Body and Soul. It is organic. God does not save the soul only, but the Body as well, and all Creation. To separate the soul from body is to hold to a decidedly non-Christian form of dualism. In the Eucharistic prayers of the Byzantine Liturgy, it is affirmed that the Holy Eucharist is for “the healing of both soul and body.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From the Inside: Lessons from Singapore | Daily Maverick

From the Inside: Lessons from Singapore | Daily Maverick: I was blown away by the boldness of its vision, but most of all by the fact that a small country with no natural resources had in a single generation moved from extreme poverty to the cutting edge of modernity, and is determined to remain there, constantly re-inventing itself in a changing global economy.

When the young presenter (who looked in her 30s) asked if we had any questions, I asked hesitantly: “Will this plan actually get implemented?” Behind her immaculate poise I could see she thought it was the dumbest she had ever been asked.

“Of course”, she answered, before explaining how the country implemented a new plan every five years. This is how Singapore became one of the world’s leading ports, developed a powerful manufacturing sector, attracted investment across the globe, and became the springboard for exports across Asia. Good planning and implementation was how Singapore moved from mass unemployment to a labour-intensive manufacturing export economy, then to a high-skills, capital-intensive economy, and then a digital economy. And now they are positioning themselves at the cutting edge of the future super-smart economy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History? - The New Yorker

Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History? - The New Yorker: Of all the prejudices of pundits, presentism is the strongest. It is the assumption that what is happening now is going to keep on happening, without anything happening to stop it. If the West has broken down the Berlin Wall and McDonald’s opens in St. Petersburg, then history is over and Thomas Friedman is content. If, by a margin so small that in a voice vote you would have no idea who won, Brexit happens; or if, by a trick of an antique electoral system designed to give country people more power than city people, a Donald Trump is elected, then pluralist constitutional democracy is finished. The liberal millennium was upon us as the year 2000 dawned; fifteen years later, the autocratic apocalypse is at hand. Thomas Friedman is concerned.

What is the Labour Party for? On the mystery of Jeremy Corbyn

What is the Labour Party for? On the mystery of Jeremy Corbyn:



There is a preference in the media’s political coverage – and in political campaigning altogether – for symbol and personality over policy and fact. The media coverage of Corbyn, who despite being an MP and unusually active campaigner for over thirty years had not much figured in the press until the leadership contest, has been by any measure persistently negative.