The fact that the parents in this ad (it is telling that the abortion lobby’s Twitter feed referred to them as a “Mom” and a “Dad”) could recognize the “product of conception” on a sonogram as their child was problematic for NARAL. The abortion lobby didn’t want viewers to see on television what every expectant mother can see in a sonogram—that the child within her is a growing human being, not just a blob of dark matter. The ad didn’t “humanize” the “fetus,” God did.
While our social media feeds and news programs may be obsessed with the political now, our focus should remain on the more extensive cultural future and the more important Kingdom future.
This one vote will not save (or doom) our nation or our society. Believers must have a better understanding of politics’ scope and effectiveness.
This is where we discover the holy mystery that all labor necessary for human flourishing is sacred. A farmer plowing his field, a worker in a bakery, a trucker hauling goods, a grocer selling wares, all are engaged in work that is just as sacred as the priest or pastor serving Communion on Sunday. The Eucharist pulls back the curtain to reveal a sacramental world.
And L. called me when he returned from Turkey to invite my wife and I to a feast to celebrate the life of his grandfather. We were honored, and of course agreed, and so it was that we found ourselves in a fancy Turkish kitchen out in Brooklyn, at the mercy of a menu we could not read, surrounded by servers we could not communicate with, to honor the life of a man we did not know. This is not an unfamiliar situation in the life of a missionary in a global city. And I was struck, in this moment, by the power of table fellowship. It is no wonder that table is at the center of the gospel.
In this week’s “On Religion” column, I focused quite a bit of attention on one particular question. So, how would active members of conservative Protestant churches respond if asked to react to this statement: “As long as it’s between consenting adults, any kind of sex is fine.”
If this were a conservative or nondenominational Protestant church, the active, “practicing” members would be sharply divided, according to a new Barna Group survey. Nearly half – 46 percent – would affirm this live-and-let-live approach to sex outside of marriage, while 40 percent would disagree “strongly” and 12 percent “somewhat.”
These are the active members, not the people who occasionally visit the pews.
Yes, we are talking about conservative churches. I asked, specifically, if this was the data niche that included Southern Baptist churches, nondenominational Protestant megachurches, the Assemblies of God, etc. Yes, it’s that crowd and it’s split pretty much 50-50 on that “anything goes” question.
We believe and because of that, we will see our babies, our sons and daughters, our children, again.
Until then, we cry, praise, and hang on to God and each other.
And wait for the Lord to take us home so we can all be together again.
Jesus shows the way: anger, agitation, and sadness.
- We might express a holy anger against humanity’s great enemy, death. Sometimes we are angry with ourselves, sometimes with the one who died, and sometimes with God. We lament and ask, “Why?” Anger is good.
- We face the reality of death with a determination to live in its shadow. Lean into grief, walk through it, and head towards the light. It is good to “stir ourselves” to action.
- We weep, grieved by the reality of death and how it affects humanity. Tears are good; they are cleansing. Let’em flow.
And….we believe: Jesus is the resurrection and the life!
Spend some time pondering each one of these. And notice how far removed Gorman’s thought is from the typical commentary or Bible class on the Apocalypse. I mean, in many churches, you’d get in trouble for just pointing these out as possibilities. (I speak from experience.)
Then again, I once taught a class pointing out the dangers of blind obedience to any civil authority — and noted that not all wars are just wars merely because the US decides to declare war. I’m no pacifist, but neither do I believe that the US is incapable of error. After the class, I was told that a visitor had just returned from fighting in Iraq — and I figured I’d really put my foot in my mouth (a very familiar flavor). But the soldier came up to me and thanked me for having the courage to speak the truth.
The expected form of the Bible almost across the board for the last 200 years or so has not been conducive to appreciating biblical literature as literature. Rather, the Bible is designed to be an easily-navigated theological encyclopedia. There are all of these longstanding design traditions in type-setting, page layouts, and binding that the Bible seemed to somehow be exempt from. It’s not that a two-column Bible with chapter numbers, verse numbers, and cross references is a bad thing. It is certainly a useful thing. But it shouldn’t be the only way arguably the greatest book of literature in the western world is presented to its readers.
The main takeaway is an obvious one: The more people involved in a plot, the quicker it’ll get out. According to The Telegraph, “For a plot to last five years, the maximum number of plotters turned out to be 2521. To keep a scheme operating undetected for more than a decade, fewer than 1000 people could be involved, while a century-long deception had to include fewer than 125 collaborators.”
If NASA had indeed faked the moon landing, around 411,000 people would have had to keep tight-lipped about it, and as such, the secret would have gotten out in under four years, according to Grimes’s formula. A climate change conspiracy would require about 405,000 individuals plotting together and similarly would have been exposed long ago.
Finally, she spotted the man she’d been waiting for. She stepped out of her car, and her husband put his hands on his head in horror.
“Is it my eyes?” she recalled him saying. “Is it a ghost?”
“Surprise! I’m still alive!” she replied.
Far from being elated, the man looked terrified. Five days earlier, he had ordered a team of hit men to kill Rukundo, his partner of 10 years. And they did — well, they told him they did. They even got him to pay an extra few thousand dollars for carrying out the crime.
Instead of just hanging up every time “Sharon, your local Google specialist” calls, one person decided to create an artificial intelligence that is as effective at wasting telemarketers’ time as telemarketers are at annoying you.
The Jolly Roger Telephone Co. was created by Roger Anderson, and it’s a robot that talks to telemarketers (or anyone you want) by starting with “hello?” and keeps the conversation going by responding during silent moments with affirmatives like “yeah,” “uh-huh,” and “right.”
The fun part is when the telemarketer starts to get suspicious or says something confusing to the robot and it responds with a few different things, like telling “honey” it’s on the phone right now and asking the telemarketer to repeat, or going into a short story about how it just woke up and needs some coffee. Anderson records these calls and puts them on his blog for your enjoyment.