There is a passage in the New Testament that is among my favorite in the entire Bible and that’s saying something, considering that the most widely read literature in all history is more than 1,000 pages in length and includes 66 discrete books written by about 40 people over a period of thousands of years.
The passage is Ephesians 2:8-10. Ephesians was written by Paul to a church in Ephesus, in present-day Turkey, where he had invested three years of his life leading and teaching the church he planted there:
Christian apologists like J. Warner Wallace, the famous NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective, speak to lots of college and high school groups and they often get the most penetrating questions from the students.
Such was the case at the recent Grounded Youth Apologetics Conference hosted by the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville. A student noted that Wallace had spoken of how he believes Christianity “fits” science better than religions like Islam and Hindu and asked him why the others don’t.
If the question posed in the headline above strikes you as curious or confusing, you aren’t alone. I was initially puzzled by the headline on the essay that prompted this post, too.
Fr. Dwight Longnecker was in Italy recently where he paused to look around at the throng of people and noticed how “the universal ubiquity of the smart phone hit home. Everybody has one. Chinese tourists, American sightseers, Muslim women in burkhas, children and old women, beautiful Italian teens, thugs with tattoos, and charming African nuns.
“Everybody has an iPhone and everybody has their nose stuck to the screen. Not only are their noses stuck to the screen, but there seems to be an odd obsession with taking photographs of everything all the time. (Remember when you only had 24 or 36 shots in a roll of film?)” Continue reading “Have You Bowed Down To Your Smartphone Yet Today?”
It is a commonplace in many of the most influential public policy precincts in the nation’s capitol these days — including among congressional aides working for senators, representatives and committees — that Christianity is in steep decline in America, that the country is fast becoming more secularized with every passing day.
That certainly appears to be the case, judging by many aspects of the elite culture and the intellectual, social media and political rhetoric it sanctions, but a totally opposite picture is easily seen once you get outside of Amtrak’s Acela Corridor and the LA-San Francisco-Seattle axis to examine the data that reveals the real America.
There we find a nation whose people are becoming more, not less, involved in their churches, small groups, Bible studies and caring ministries reaching out in their communities. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that the same thing is true in their own ways of most of the rest of the people with whom we share this Earth.
Imagine what we might be told if the most famous among the ancients like Socrates, King David of Israel or Alexander the Great had been able to sit down and write us letters of advice, based on their experiences.
Louis Markos, Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, has an idea of what David would tell us and The Imaginative Conservative has published what makes for a fascinating read.
Here’s a sample:
“Earlier, much earlier, the Lord took me from the sheepfold and brought me to the court of King Saul. He even helped me to slay the dread Goliath with my slingshot.
“Well, immediately, I started spinning glorious scenarios of what the next few years would bring. I saw just how the story would unfold, with Saul giving me his daughter, making me his son and heir, and praising my name before all the people.
“It didn’t quite go the way I had mapped it out in my head. I confused the Lord’s plans with my own. I would do that quite a bit in my life.”
Go here for the balance of David’s “letter” to us from 3,000 years ago. And here’s to hoping the good professor will apply his impressive skills to others among the ancients.
Slowly but surely — very slowly, most of the time — the evidence for the reasonableness of Intelligent Design (ID) and illustrating major flaws in the case for evolution is beginning to get something approaching a serious look by serious people.
Even if you aren’t of the Boomer generation as I am, you may have heard of Red Skelton, a remarkably skilled mime/pantomime of the 1950s and 1960s, and a man who had the unique ability to make adults and kids alike laugh their heads off.
Skelton was also an humble man, despite the abundant skills, great popularity and exceptional riches with which he was blessed. He was a deeply patriotic American and it showed especially vividly in this video of him telling of an elementary school teacher in Indiana who taught him and his classmates the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance.
We should all be so blessed with such a teacher, as we are with this nation, despite its flaws and its immense blessings. Sometimes it breaks my heart but I make no apology for loving America. Let us all pray daily for its future: