Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All Around the Web - December 18, 2013

HT: Christians in Context

Albert Mohler - A Moral Revolution at Warp Speed—Now, It’s Wedding Cakes
Six months. That’s how long it took to get from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act to the decision of a Colorado judge ordering a Christian baker to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony. Just six months.

Back in June, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Windsor case, ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act, passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, was unconstitutional. Six months later, judge Robert N. Spence, an administrative law judge in Colorado, ruled that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver must serve same-sex couples by making wedding cakes, or face fines.

Last Friday, Judge Spence ruled that Phillips must “cease and desist from discriminating” against same-sex couples in his cake business. The case emerged after Phillips refused to make a cake to celebrate the civil union of David Mullins and Charlie Craig. Colorado has a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages, but it recognizes legal civil unions for same-sex couples. The two men had married in Massachusetts, but planned a reception in Colorado.

Thom Rainer - Six Ways Millennials Are Shaping the Church
  1. There are fewer of them in church than previous generations. By our estimates, only 15 percent of the Millennials are Christians. No more than 20 percent of them are attending church once a month or more. While there are many Millennials in total, only one of five is in church today.
  2. The Millennials’ desires for relationships are affecting the churches they choose to attend. They will only go to churches where they can easily connect with others. Unlike the Boomers, they refuse to be worship-only attendees. They desire to be in more relational settings. Churches with healthy groups will be very attractive to Millennials.
  3. This generation is doctrinally serious. At least the Christians among the Millennials care deeply about doctrine. More and more Millennial Christians will be in churches that are deeper in doctrine both from the preaching and within the groups of the church.
  4. The Millennials are intensely community focused. They are more likely to be in a church where the leadership and the congregation care about and are involved in the community they serve. They are refusing to be a part of a church that acts largely in isolation.
  5. This generation is already affecting the size of the worship gathering. As I noted in my earlier post, worship centers will be smaller. The Millennials are at the forefront of this facility revolution. They will eschew large worship services for more informal and smaller gatherings.
  6. The Millennials will check the facts of church life. When the preacher states a historical fact, many Millennials will check its historical accuracy on their smartphone within seconds. They will look at church budgets with an eye for missional impact. This generation is somewhat of a doubting generation, and they have the resources to check anything said or offered by churches.

Fox News - How Can I Be Sure God Exists? | An interview with William Lane Craig

Mark Driscoll - Paycheck mommy, the gayby boom, and other trends changing the American family
Here are some quick highlights, quoted from Angier’s article:
  • “The rise of the cohabiting couples is another striking feature of the evolving American family: From 1996 to 2012, the number jumped almost 170 percent, to 7.8 million from 2.9 million.”
  • “We lavish $70 billion a year on weddings, more than we spend on pets, coffee, toothpaste and toilet paper combined.”
  • “The facts have voted, the issue is settled, and Paycheck Mommy is now a central organizing principle of the modern American family.”
  • “Sixty-two percent of the public, and 72 percent of adults under 30, view the ideal marriage as one in which husband and wife both work and share child care and household duties; back when Jimmy Carter was president, less than half of the population approved of the dual-income family, and less than half of 1 percent of husbands knew how to operate a sponge mop.”
  • “Gay parents are four times as likely as straight ones to be raising adoptees, and six times as likely to be caring for foster children, whom they often end up adopting.”
  • “American families are outliers in their fixation on children’s needs and children’s success.”
  • “In a telling sign, ‘Sesame Street’ recently introduced a Muppet named Alex, who looks as glum as Eeyore and is ashamed to admit why only his mother shows up at school events: Dad is in prison.”

WORLD Magazine - How dads affect kids’ brain function
The absence of a father during childhood development may cause defects in a child’s brain structure that can lead to social and behavioral impairments, according to a new study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Quebec.

The current research supports more traditional family values, or at least the necessity of a father, reported ScienceDaily. This news is important for a culture in which nearly 22 million children are being raised by single mothers. The new and astonishing finding in this study is that the absence of a father not only negatively affected behavior, but the brain actually showed physical evidence of impairment in an area that helps control social and cognitive activity.

Although mice were used in the study, senior research author and psychiatrist, Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, told Science Daily the findings are “extremely relevant” to humans. The mice used are monogamous and raise their offspring together.

Studies using mice are easier to interpret than research using humans because in a lab setting it is easier to control all the variables that may influence development.

The researchers discovered mice raised without the father not only had impaired social interactions and increased aggressiveness, but also showed changes in brain anatomy compared to mice raised by both parents. In addition, female mice were more sensitive to the stimulant drug amphetamine and showed greater disturbances in social behavior.

Koinonia - My Advice to Students — Daniel Block Says "When You Wrestle with the Text, Wrestle with the Text."

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