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February 2011

January 2011

Religion à la Carte

"Thus just as chocolate or bottled water is easily and unconsciously viewed as detached and even different from its origin and context, parts and pieces of religious traditions are increasingly being seen as goods from which we can pick and choose, commodities disassociated from the historical realities and contexts from which they arise.  Such habits of interpretation might explain the current fascination with diverse and isolated spiritual practices; it could also explain the man on television who recently expressed his desire to design a tattoo portraying his version of the Crucifixion.  Jesus, the Cross, and the resurrection become commodities isolatable from first century Palestine, detachable from the context of the Old Testament, or optionally a part of the Christian story at all.  When consuming religion, we prefer à la carte."

Read the entire Slice article...

The Laodiceans Had Material Wealth Only

"They were urged to buy not ordinary gold, but refined gold, referring to that which would glorify God and make them truly rich. Through its banking industry the city had material wealth. But the church lacked spiritual richness. Though they had beautiful clothes, they were urged to wear white clothes (cf. v. 4), symbolic of righteousness which would cover their spiritual nakedness. As wool was a major product of the area, Laodicea was especially famous for a black garment made out of black wool. What they needed instead was pure white clothing.

Then Christ exhorted them to put salve … on their eyes. A medical school was located in Laodicea at the temple of Asclepius, which offered a special salve to heal common eye troubles of the Middle East. What they needed was not this medicine but spiritual sight. The church at Laodicea is typical of a modern church quite unconscious of its spiritual needs and content with beautiful buildings and all the material things money can buy. This is a searching and penetrating message. To all such the exhortation is be earnest, and repent. Christ rebuked them because He loved them, which love would also bring chastisement on this church."

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Re 3:18–19). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age

"The task of witnessing to the Gospel in the digital era calls for everyone to be particularly attentive to the aspects of that message which can challenge some of the ways of thinking typical of the web. First of all, we must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its “popularity” or from the amount of attention it receives. We must make it known in its integrity, instead of seeking to make it acceptable or diluting it. It must become daily nourishment and not a fleeting attraction. The truth of the Gospel is not something to be consumed or used superficially; rather it is a gift that calls for a free response. Even when it is proclaimed in the virtual space of the web, the Gospel demands to be incarnated in the real world and linked to the real faces of our brothers and sisters, those with whom we share our daily lives. Direct human relations always remain fundamental for the transmission of the faith!"

Read the entire message...

Reckoning with Roe v. Wade

"While of course no serious or compassionate person today would advocate making abortion a capital offense, as Farr did, every embryology textbook would confirm what doctors like Samuel Farr knew in the eighteenth-century—that abortion kills an actual human being. On some level we can’t help but know this. That is why we continually dehumanize the unborn with euphemisms and circumlocutions. But in the twenty-first century—an age of 4-D sonograms and prenatal surgery—any honest conversation about abortion must start with the humanity of the unborn. Prior to ethics, law, theology, and whatever else, we need to at least have a clear view of what it is we’re talking about. And what we’re talking about is more than potential life."

Read the entire article...

Jim Tour Interview

"Are science and faith really incompatible as some in the scientific community claim? And why do so many well-known scientists want to force us to choose between God and science? Joining us for this program is Dr. James Tour, who is ranked as one of the Top 10 chemists in the world over the past decade."

Interview link