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.