Friday, July 12, 2013

All Around the Web - July 12, 2013



If the Avengers were real.


HT: 22 Words


CNN - Face it: Monogamy is unnatural | Slippery slope. As I have said before, morality is not defined by doing what is "natural."

Kristen Stewart, Ryan Phillippe, LeAnn Rimes, Jude Law, Mark Sanford and Bill Clinton. What do they have in common?

Many are quick to label a person who strays from his or her marriage or relationship as a "cheater," but it's really not that simple. It's time for our culture to wake up and smell the sex pheromones: monogamy is not natural for many, or probably even most, humans.


With people living longer than ever before, a greater tolerance toward the human impulse to experience sexual variety is needed. Whether a person succeeds at being sexually monogamous depends as much on biology as environment.

History and biology suggest that strict monogamy, which has social advantages, is not a "one size" fits all proposition.


Thom Rainer - The Twelve Biggest Challenges Pastors and Church Staff Face |
  1. Apathy and internal focus.  “I have been in ministry for over twenty years, and I’ve never seen church members more apathetic and internally focused.”
  2. Staff issues. “I inherited staff from the previous pastor. It’s not a good match, but I don’t have the credibility to do anything about it.”
  3. Leading and keeping volunteers. “It’s a fulltime job itself.”
  4. General time constraints. “I end every week wondering why I got so little done.”
  5. Getting buy-in from members. “I spend half my time developing a consensus from members about decisions from the mundane to the critical.”
  6. Generational challenges. “It seems like the older generation is determined to nix any new ideas or excitement from the younger generation.”
  7. Finances. “You can sum up our challenge in four simple words: We need more money.”
  8. Holding on to traditions. “I wish our members would put as much effort into reaching people for Christ as they do holding on to their traditions.”
  9. Criticism. “Some leaders in the church have appointed themselves to be my weekly critics.”
  10. Leadership development. “We miss too many opportunities in ministry because we don’t have enough leaders ready.”
  11. Majoring on minors. “We spent an hour in our last business conference discussing the fonts in our bulletins.”
  12. Lack of true friends. “One of the toughest realities for me as pastor was the awareness that I have no true friends in the church.”

New York Times - C. S. Lewis, Evangelical Rock Star |

In 2005, Time magazine called C. S. Lewis the “hottest theologian” of the year — 42 years after his death. That same year, a cover story in Christianity Today hailed him as a “superstar.” To this day Lewis, who published the first of his children’s books about “Narnia” in 1950, remains deeply compelling for many evangelicals, more so than for Catholics and mainline Protestants. Why? 

Lewis’s remarkable combination of theological simplicity and tweedy British scholarship is no doubt one reason for his appeal. In his famous book “Mere Christianity,” adapted from a series of BBC radio talks during World War II, Lewis laid out a clear assertion of what it meant to be Christian. Molly Worthen, a historian of religion, points out that nearly a century after the Scopes trial, many evangelicals still worry that secular intellectuals regard them as country bumpkins. Christians like Lewis have helped to keep that sense of cultural inferiority at bay. 

But the text for which Lewis is best known is his “Chronicles of Narnia.” And what “Narnia” offers is not theological simplicity, but complexity. The God represented in these books is not quite real (it’s fiction) and yet more real than the books pretend (that’s not a lion, it’s God). That complexity may help people to hang on to faith in a secular society, when they need a God who is in some ways insulated from human doubt about religion.


Tim Challies - The Joy of Not Sinning |

I think it is a question every Christian would all like to ask God, given the opportunity. It is an honest question. A humble one, I hope. If you have the ability to immediately destroy and remove all of a Christian’s sin the very moment he puts his faith in Jesus Christ, why don’t you? Why didn’t you?

There is always a good bit of debate in the Christian world about exactly how God sanctifies us and how human effort relates to divine work. Whatever we believe about sanctification, we know it is a lifelong battle and we know it is a difficult one. The difficulty is related to the extent of our depravity, the fact that the effects of sin extend to our every part, to our minds, our hearts, our wills, even our bodies. We could give every moment of every day to the battle against sin and still die as deeply sinful people. Every Christian will die much more holy than he was when he first put his faith in Jesus Christ, but a lot less holy than he would like and probably a lot less holy than he would have imagined.


Mental Floss - 10 Questions Still Baffling Scientists |

1. Why Do We Yawn?
2. Why Do People Spontaneously Combust?
3. Why Do Placebos Work?
4. What Was Life’s Last Universal Common Ancestor?
6. Can Animals Really Predict Earthquakes?
7. How Do Organs Know When to Stop Growing?
8. Are There Human Pheromones?
9. What’s the Deal With Gravity?
10. How Many Species Are There
?


David Berlinski on the problems of evolution.

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