A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Facts and Myths About Sharia Law

Unlike many people on Facebook, I am not an expert on sharia law. In fact, I know very little about it; and one thing is for certain-- you won't learn much about it that's accurate from watching and listening to journalists and political pundits. So, perhaps we can learn something from someone who truly knows what is true and what is not about sharia. Asifa Quraishi-Landes is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law. She highlights five popular myths about sharia. I only list them below, but her commentary on each is worth a read.

Tone Down the Rhetoric on Rhetoric

I confess it is a pet peeve of mine, but I strongly dislike the negative connotations now associated with the word "rhetoric," particularly as it is currently used in the realm of politics. It is often employed whenever any political debate gets loud and personal. One side tells the other to tone down the rhetoric. Of course, both sides of the political aisle regularly engage in such negative "rhetoric," but I wish the term wasn't used by anyone as a synonym to refer to incendiary verbiage.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

On Questioning the Questions, On Debating the Debate

One of the things I have learned as a student of Stanley Hauerwas is to continually question the questions being posed for debate on any issue and not to simply accept the terminology and definitions that frame so much modern theological and ethical discussion. Taken too far, of course, it can be forgotten that there are theological and moral issues that are currently framed quite well.

Monday, June 27, 2016

On Not Taking Religion Too Seriously

I was teaching in a seminary (Duke) created by and dedicated to the continuation of mainstream Protestantism. I saw no reason to bite the hand that was feeding me, but neither did I want to lick it. I was not trying to tear down the liberal Protestant establishment, an unnecessary task in any case. It was doing such a good job of self-destructing. Rather, I was trying to help Christians begin to develop the habits necessary to sustain the church when most people assumed that "being religious" was a good thing only if you did not take it too seriously.
--Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah's Child

'Tis a Puzzlement: Why the Universe Shouldn't Exist

from Bernie Hobbs at ABC Science:
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Antimatter isn't just a great plot device for sci-fi stories. It's at the heart of one of the great mysteries in modern physics-- why our universe has stuff in it.

Every particle that makes up matter-- the electron, proton, neutron and their more-obscure cousins-- has an almost-identical twin: its antiparticle.

They were both made together from cooling energy in really high-energy environments like the big bang.

Seeing What Others Longed to See: A Lectionary Reflection on Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

"I wish I could live long enough to see him grow up," he said to me as he held his newborn grandson in his lap, sitting in the chair of his own hospital room. He sat there staring at the baby in his arms, his progeny, who would only know him, his grandfather, from photos and family stories, though they would tell him that his "Pap" did indeed hold his tiny hand and speak to him softly. He sat there in his hospital room, holding his grandson while dying from brain cancer.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scriptures and Prayer for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: 2 Kings 5:1-14 or Isaiah 66:10-14

Psalter: Psalm 30 or Psalm 66:1-9

Epistle: Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16

Gospel: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
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God of all nations and peoples, your Son commanded his disciples to preach and heal throughout the world. Grant us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the zeal to proclaim the good news of peace and justice, and gather all humanity into life with you. Amen.