Friday, April 18, 2014

All Around the Web - April 18, 2014

Ross Douthat - Diversity and Dishonesty
EARLIER this year, a column by a Harvard undergraduate named Sandra Y. L. Korn briefly achieved escape velocity from the Ivy League bubble, thanks to its daring view of how universities should approach academic freedom.

Korn proposed that such freedom was dated and destructive, and that a doctrine of “academic justice” should prevail instead. No more, she wrote, should Harvard permit its faculty to engage in “research promoting or justifying oppression” or produce work tainted by “racism, sexism, and heterosexism.” Instead, academic culture should conform to left-wing ideas of the good, beautiful and true, and decline as a matter of principle “to put up with research that counters our goals.”

No higher-up at Harvard endorsed her argument, of course. But its honesty of purpose made an instructive contrast to the institutional statements put out in the immediate aftermath of two recent controversies — the resignation of the Mozilla Foundation’s C.E.O., Brendan Eich, and the withdrawal, by Brandeis University, of the honorary degree it had promised to the human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

David PlattHeaven is For Real




Erik Raymond - I Can’t Imagine Being a Liberal Preacher on Good Friday
It is the Thursday before Good Friday. I can’t wait to preach tomorrow night and then Sunday morning. I love preaching Christ every week, but there is something about the Resurrection weekend that is particularly special.

However, when I woke up this morning I was drawn to think about someone I don’t often think about: the liberal pastor. By liberal I am not referring to political affiliation but theological conviction. In particular, I am talking about those who either deny the reality of or diminish the priority of the cross of Christ and his resurrection.

How would you like to be a liberal “preacher” tomorrow? Some of these guys will moralize, emotionalize, sensationalize, or trivialize the work of Christ. They gloss over the wrath, sacrifice, blood, sin and guilt. Instead the focus is on us and the hopefulness of humanity.

I remember growing up attending the Roman Catholic Church. They would actually read a lengthy portion of the gospel narrative. I listened to the priest read the Scripture and many times I was glued to it. I could picture in my mind the scene described and the horrible events that ensued. I was always moved by it. I remember thinking about how awful this was and I never knew why. Sure I was told it was because Jesus is so good and loves us so much, but the whole thing seemed like a nice gesture that went horribly bad. It was a humanitarian mission that kind of went out of control. This was reinforced by the priest’s pathetic homily. He would get up and start talking about anything from the environment to Mary to reasons why we needed to love people. I would check back out.It is the Thursday before Good Friday. I can’t wait to preach tomorrow night and then Sunday morning. I love preaching Christ every week, but there is something about the Resurrection weekend that is particularly special.

However, when I woke up this morning I was drawn to think about someone I don’t often think about: the liberal pastor. By liberal I am not referring to political affiliation but theological conviction. In particular, I am talking about those who either deny the reality of or diminish the priority of the cross of Christ and his resurrection.

How would you like to be a liberal “preacher” tomorrow? Some of these guys will moralize, emotionalize, sensationalize, or trivialize the work of Christ. They gloss over the wrath, sacrifice, blood, sin and guilt. Instead the focus is on us and the hopefulness of humanity.

I remember growing up attending the Roman Catholic Church. They would actually read a lengthy portion of the gospel narrative. I listened to the priest read the Scripture and many times I was glued to it. I could picture in my mind the scene described and the horrible events that ensued. I was always moved by it. I remember thinking about how awful this was and I never knew why. Sure I was told it was because Jesus is so good and loves us so much, but the whole thing seemed like a nice gesture that went horribly bad. It was a humanitarian mission that kind of went out of control. This was reinforced by the priest’s pathetic homily. He would get up and start talking about anything from the environment to Mary to reasons why we needed to love people. I would check back out.

Trevin Wax - The Hollowing Effect of Sin
Tim Keller on the banality of evil:
Evil does not usually make people incredibly wicked and violent – that would be interesting, and tends to wake people up. Rather, sin tends to make us hollow – externally proper and even nice, but underneath everyone is scraping and clutching for power, in order to get ahead. We continually just step on each other…
C. S. Lewis called these folk “men without chests” in The Abolition of Man. They may have reason (represented by the head) or visceral feelings and drives (represented by the gut), but they don’t have hearts. They are not really choosing, but rather are being driven by their desires for power and gain, by their fears and anger. We are all in danger of being just as banal and hollow and uninteresting, if we insist on making God “tame” and banal! Only by worshiping the real God can we escape this boring fate and know the blessing of coming to the house of God, the Lord Jesus, the One who has the words of eternal life.

Tim Challies - The Best Sellers - Your Best Life Now
Joel Osteen was born on March 5, 1963, the son of John and Dolores (known as “Dodie”) Osteen. John founded Lakewood Church in Houston Texas on May 10, 1959, and pastored the church until his death in 1999. While he began his career in ministry as a Baptist, he later experienced something he believed was the baptism of the Holy Spirit and founded Lakewood as a haven for charismatic Baptists. By the 1980s John and Dodie had become well-known among their fellow charismatics. The church had over 5,000 in attendance and their services were broadcast across the world. From a young age Joel was involved in this work, laboring behind the scenes in support of the family ministry.

When John Osteen died suddenly of a heart attack on January 23, 1999, Joel, who had preached his first sermon the week before, succeeded him as pastor with his wife, Victoria, serving as co-pastor. Very quickly, the church exploded in growth and Joel’s broadcasts become more popular than his father’s had ever been; his sermons, full of homespun wisdom and messages of self-empowerment, were heard all over the world and it was only a matter of time before he penned his first book.

In October 2004 FaithWords released Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential. The book is framed around seven steps meant to instruct the reader in living out God’s big dream for his life.

CNS News - Death Discriminates: 81% of Americans 100 or Older Are Women
There is a vast inequality among people who live past their hundredth birthday, according to newly published data from the Census Bureau.

Eighty-one percent of the Americans 100 years old and older during the five-year period covered in the Census Bureau’s report (2007-2011) were women, while only 19 percent were men.

The total number of centenarians, the Census Bureau reports, was 54,956, including 44,644 women and 10,312 men.

The centenarians tended to share another characteristic besides their age and sex: Very few were divorced.


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