Saturday, May 5, 2012

All Around the Web: Links For Your Weekend - May 5, 2012

HT: First Things

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - Billy Graham Weighs in on North Carolina Marriage Amendment | I am a little surprised by this statement not because I thought Graham wouldn't support it, but for the most part he has avoided public issues.

May 2, 2012 - Urging voters in his home state of North Carolina to take a stand on a proposed constitutional amendment, Billy Graham points to Scripture for God's definition of marriage.

Billy Graham commented today on the proposed North Carolina marriage amendment from his home in Montreat.

Mr. Graham said, “Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern. I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.”

"At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” says Mr. Graham in a full-page ad scheduled to run in 14 North Carolina newspapers. “The Bible is clear—God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote

Credo the Magazine - Were the Church Fathers Universalists? | A good question worth exploring.

I’ve read more than once the claim that most early Christians were universalists. And this is occasionally supported by the further opinion that several early (first six centuries) theological schools were universalist in their teaching. This seems implausible to me. However, I’m certainly not someone who is a student of the history of the early church. So what am I to do? I’m to look for evidence.

What is clear is that there is a steep, sharp decline from the theological writing of the New Testament and what one finds among early Christian writings. ‘Rabbi’ Duncan once amusingly said ‘It is a mistake to look to the Fathers as our seniors. They were our juniors. The Church has advanced wonderfully since its foundation was laid. Polycarp would have stood a bad chance in an examination by John Owen. I think I could have posed him myself.’

Still, this belief in a decline in theological quality in the immediate post-Apostolic church is rather different from the claim about universalism, which seems much more dubious.

To start with, it would seem that the opinion that most early Christians were universalists is impossible to test. Who are these Christians? Where have most of them left any traces of holding such beliefs? Is this evidence written? Do these Christians themselves make the claim? In making the claim, do they explicitly controvert the non-universalist sentiments of the NT? Is there evidence in the liturgies of the early church that they embodied or gave expression or tacit assent to universalism

WORLD Magazine - Heroic Struggles | Here is WORLD's review of the Avengers movie. I really want to see it.

Freedom is a precarious thing, especially if it depends on a "handful of freaks" with serious ego problems. When villainous god, Loki, arrives through a mysterious power source known as the Tesseract, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calls on a team of superhero misfits known as The Avengers to defend the earth from his nefarious plans. (Insert comic bubble: "Avengers Assemble!")

Back in the real world, that means director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cabin in the Woods) had to juggle seven main characters without giving any of them short shrift. After all, many of these characters recently starred in their own prequels to The Avengers—i.e. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). And in perhaps the greatest superhuman feat of the film, Whedon actually pulls it off. (Shazam!) He has crafted a compelling storyline, characters with depth, and a PG-13 action thrill-ride that will satisfy fanboys and general audiences alike. (Beyond violence, one drug reference and mild cursing contribute to the rating.)

 Mars Hill - You Might Be a Fundamentalist If... |
  • Do you live for the approval of others in the church?
  • Do you stew over your spiritual performance and personal holiness more than you steep in what God has already accomplished for you in Jesus?
  • Are you prideful about your biblical knowledge?
  • Do you love to debate finer points of theology with others and get angry when you’re challenged about your views?
  • Are you feeling burnt out and joyless in your service to those in the church?
  • Are you uncomfortable with suffering people and find you’re quick to recite Bible verses as a way to avoid awkward, personal engagement?

Charles Krauthammer - Divider in Chief |A hard-hitting column by Dr. Krauthammer.

Hispanics, however, are just the beginning. The entire Obama campaign is a slice-and-dice operation, pandering to one group after another, particularly those that elected Obama in 2008 — blacks, Hispanics, women, young people — and for whom the thrill is now gone.

What to do? Try fear. Create division, stir resentment, by whatever means necessary — bogus court challenges, dead-end Senate bills and a forest of straw men.

Why else would the Justice Department challenge the photo ID law in Texas? To charge Republicans with seeking to disenfranchise Hispanics and blacks, of course. But in 2008 the Supreme Court upheld a similar law from Indiana. And it wasn’t close: 6 to 3, the majority including the venerated liberal John Paul Stevens.

Moreover, photo IDs were recommended by the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter. And you surely can’t get into the attorney general’s building without one. Are Stevens, Carter and Eric Holder anti-Hispanic and anti-black? 

The ethnic bases covered, we proceed to the “war on women.” It sprang to public notice when a 30-year-old student at an elite law school (starting private-sector salary upon graduation: $160,000) was denied the inalienable right to have the rest of the citizenry (as co-insured and/or taxpayers — median household income: $52,000) pay for her contraception.

The Blaze - What Does Science Say About the Three Second Rule? | There. Problem solved.

You really were looking forward to taking a bite of that hamburger, carrot, Popsicle, gummy bear, you name it, but one second ago it landed on the floor. Within another second, you’ve swooped it up and are now considering the three second rule. Should this age old meme justify your blowing it off and sticking it your mouth acting like nothing happened?

Given that the three second rule is so well known, health experts weighing in on it is nothing new, but for those of you who may not have thought twice about eating morsels that have hit the floor, here’s a little bit of scientific food for thought. The Daily Mail reports that researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University tested different foods — bread with jam, cooked pasta, ham, a plain biscuit and dried fruit — for different lengths of time on the floor. After three, five and 10 seconds on the floor, the researchers studied the food for any potentially harmful bacteria it may have picked up.

Can't wait to see this:

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