A number of years ago I drove up to Minnesota to attend a conference with a professor of mine. When we decided to stop for lunch in the middle of Iowa, he insisted that we not stop at a chain fast food place that made every town look like every other town in America. Instead, we drove into the downtown and found a local diner. He said that it was important to take in the “proprium” (distinctiveness, uniqueness) of that place and culture lest we lose sight of the rich diversity of gifts that God has provided in his creation..
So I just ran across this from another blog : ChurchRater.com . Evidently, founder Jim Henderson decided to start the Web site to rate churches–in the same way that TripAdvisor rates hotels or Yelp rates everything else–to help people find local faith communities. And in case you were wondering, Jim owns a consulting business to help churches “see themselves through the eyes of Outsiders.” Yeah, I’m not surprised either. I’m curious to see how high this gets off the ground. I have found myself using Yelp or AroundMe on my iPhone to check out churches when I’m out of town. The pickings are slim. Perhaps this will fill a void. As to what it says about the commodification of American religion, there’s a long line in that check-out lane
A recent story in The Economist caught my eye, because it describes a very rare phenomenon: a church in Africa which openly welcomes homosexuals. “House of Rainbow” is an independent Nigerian church, founded in Lagos by Rowland Jide Macaulay in 2006. After violence against the tiny congregation and death threats against the pastor, Macaulay fled ..
During the past week, there have been hundreds of articles written about the tragic faculty shooting in Alabama. One of the themes that is beginning to emerge is the mental stability of higher education faculty. Thomas Bartlett and Robin Wilson in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education opened by stating that the ..
An Oregon case spotlights the legal conundrum of charting the legal limts of religious faith and practice in America. The facts are as follows:a jury has convicted an Oregon couple of criminally negligent homicide after the death of their 16-year old son. They are members of the Followers of Christ Church, and as such they ..
The last couple of months a number of news reports have raised concerns regarding the use of evidence in various scientific papers to support the idea of human induced climate change. Most recently, questions have been directed at studies cited by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
At what point has it gone too far? I have my macbook, iPhone, bluetooth mice and keyboards, Quad Core PC running Windows 7, a GPS for my bike that syncs wirelessly with a power meter (and another for my wife’s bike), with some friends I text more than I talk on the phone, and unlike ..
The other day I found myself wanting to agree with with Stanley Fish (an alarming thought!) when he wrote: “[T]he various projects we pursue and engage in may not all cohere in a single intelligible story. We may not be unified beings.” Well, I thought, that rings all too true. Last week Fish used his ..
This weekend, Benedict XVI, speaking to the priests and other consecrated servants of the Roman Catholic Church, commended blogging as a further means to proclaim the Word of God to the world. We couldn’t agree more. ConcordiaTheology.org is a case-in-point that the web-based resources of blogs, among other things, can and ought to be used ..
Whatever is Commendable – Think about (Doing Phil. 4:8) On Dec. 28, 2009 I cut out a comic and put it on our refrigerator. Lola (written by Todd Clark and run in the St. Louis Post Dispatch) is a somewhat crass, worldly grandma living with her son and his family. The first panel has her ..
Pat Robertson blamed the earthquake in Haiti on a pact Haitians made with the devil to win their freedom from the French. Vodou (or voudou or voodoo or vodun) practitioners have their own take on the catastrophe. Earl Josue, vodou priest and musician, said, “Mother nature showed us how powerful she is, how sad she ..
Image credit: Mark Peterson/Redux. From the Atlantic Monthly. I’ve been thinking about this question ever since I ran across Hanna Rosin’s article on the topic in The Atlantic
The headline from ABC News is certainly attention grabbing — “No More Jesus Rifles.” Weapons supplied to US forces in the Middle East with “Bible Codes,” which are used in combat against Muslims is being widely condemned, predictably, as evoking the Crusades, inflaming Islamic perceptions of Western religious imperialism, and ignoring the constitutional separation of ..
For all of us who struggle with living a life that is worthy of our calling, Luther succinctly summarizes the Christian Life in his 1520 work, “On Christian Freedom”. One could spend their whole life gleaning from this one sentence. “Here is the truly Christian life, here is faith really working by love, when a ..
Elvis Presley turns 75 today, which makes it a good day for local Elvis impersonators