Tags

, , , , , ,

Victorian virtues in a value-neutral world

The societies and institutions were privately organized and funded, focused on specific causes, and supervised to make sure that the efforts produced the desired results. They all relied, for their moral as well as financial support, upon the other resources of civil society​—​individuals, families, friends, and religious missions of all denominations. And they all shared a common ethos. As help was given voluntarily, as a charity, not a tax, so it was received voluntarily, as a gift, not an entitlement.

Ayn Rand hated C.S. Lewis

Ayn Rand was no fan of C.S. Lewis. She called the famous apologist an “abysmal bastard,” a “monstrosity,” a “cheap, awful, miserable, touchy, social-meta­physical mediocrity,” a “pickpocket of concepts,” and a “God-damn, beaten mystic.” (I suspect Lewis would have particularly relished the last of these.)

Women on the pill prefer pansies

Next, the researchers looked at whether taking the pill influenced women’s choices of partners. The scientists compared 85 couples who reported using the pill when they met to 85 couples who reported not using it. Researchers took photos of the faces of the men in each couple and had volunteers judge the manliness of each. The volunteers also rated computer-tweaked versions of the images that accentuated differences in masculinity, for instance making a wide lower jawline (a manly trait) even wider. Researchers found that the volunteers rated the partners of women who weren’t on the pill at the start of their relationships as more masculine than those of women who were on the pill. They rated the computer-manipulated images along the same lines. The link between the pill and facial traits was also confirmed with a mathematical formula.

How common were the fake gospels?

Additionally, a number of these apocryphal writings were expressly condemned by the earliest Christians. Take, for example, the oft-discussed Gospel of Thomas. This book is never mentioned in any early canonical list, not found in any of our New Testament manuscript collections, never figured prominently in canonical discussions, and often was condemned outright by a variety of church fathers. [10] Thus, if Thomas was a widely read and widely received account, then it has left little historical evidence of that fact.

Sweden sends Christians back to Iran

Yet Charisma News reports that Sweden is denying religious refugee status to Iranian Christians, threatening to extradite them. Applicants complain that secular immigration judges don’t understand the risks they face back home in Iran as converts.

A leftist, lesbian professor’s conversion to Christ

While on the lookout for some Bible scholar to aid me in my research, I launched my first attack on the unholy trinity of Jesus, Republican politics, and patriarchy, in the form of an article in the local newspaper about Promise Keepers. It was 1997. The article generated many rejoinders, so many that I kept a Xerox box on each side of my desk: one for hate mail, one for fan mail. But one letter I received defied my filing system. It was from the pastor of the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. It was a kind and inquiring letter. Ken Smith encouraged me to explore the kind of questions I admire: How did you arrive at your interpretations? How do you know you are right? Do you believe in God? Ken didn’t argue with my article; rather, he asked me to defend the presuppositions that undergirded it. I didn’t know how to respond to it, so I threw it away. Later that night, I fished it out of the recycling bin and put it back on my desk, where it stared at me for a week, confronting me with the worldview divide that demanded a response.