South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Friday, May 24, 2019

Southern Baptists Down to Lowest in 30 Years

While giving is up, membership, baptism, and church numbers continued to drop in 2018.
Kate Shellnutt
A boost in giving—up to $11.8 billion total—and major church growth in Texas was not enough to fend off more than a decade of declines among the Southern Baptist Convention last year.
The nation’s biggest Protestant denomination isn’t as big as it used to be, according to its ...
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the story of Tamar and Amnon in 2 Samuel 13

Telling the uncomfortable story of “desolate” Tamar positions us to show a kind of compassion King David didn’t.
Jen Wilkin
For the past year, I’ve been teaching the Book of Samuel to a group of women at my church. We go through it chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and I challenge them to think critically about what they are reading. The Book of Samuel is filled with stories that ask us to grapple with the sovereignty of God and the severity of sin. But perhaps none is so jarring as the story of Tamar and Amnon in 2 Samuel 13.
I’m sure you know it. Amnon, one of David’s sons, violates his own sister ...
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How a gay atheist teenager discovered Jesus and stopped living undercover.

I Used to Hide My Shame. Now I Take Shelter Under the Gospel.
How a gay atheist teenager discovered Jesus and stopped living undercover.
Greg Johnson
Bill, I’m gay.”
The word vomited out of my mouth. I had never actually said it before. Not out loud, at least. We were in a mostly empty chapel on the grounds of the University of Virginia, and a dozen or more Campus Crusaders were gathering up on the stage to pray. Bill looked up at the stage, then back down at me.
He nodded toward the door. His tone was hushed. “How about we step outside and talk,” he said. “Someplace more private.”
I imagined that everyone had ...
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Coming Out of the Closet

Coming Out of the Closet

Austin Ruse

It was the late 1990s, and I went up to Rolling Stone on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan to say hello to my old friend Bobby Love who was the longtime managing editor. I had worked at Rolling Stone for a short while many years before and made many friends and drinking buddies including Bobby and […]

Notre Dame’s 2020 Commencement Speaker: Donald J. Trump

Paul Kengor

No, this is not a press release. I’ll leave that to Notre Dame’s communications office. Rather, it’s a simple statement and assumption of the obvious. I wanted to be the first to hog the honor of announcing it. President Donald Trump will be Notre Dame’s commencement speaker next year, a presidential campaign year no less. […]

Trump's emerging Catholic problem

Can the religious right and left be more than a rubber stamp for their parties' policies?
Religion News Service: The truth is that both religious camps are more likely to follow than lead when it comes to who determines the two parties' policies.

The impossible future of Christians in the Middle East
The Atlantic: An ancient faith is disappearing from the lands in which it first took root. At stake is not just a religious community, but the fate of pluralism in the region.

The U.S. is less religious now. Are we richer for it?
Fast Company: In many parts of the world, the rise in secularism often coincides with an increase in economic growth.

Yes, abortion activists use religious language. But it's still about politics
CNN: Alabama provides a case study in how difficult it can be to dissect religion's complicated role in the nation's fraught abortion debate.

Trump's emerging Catholic problem
Religion News Service: A crucial bloc to his 2016 election, Catholics are moving away from President Trump.

“This should not have happened”

“This should not have happened”: Sacramento diocese seeks to prevent repeat of blunder that led Catholic school to include contact information for Planned Parenthood in a list of community resources for youth
Bill gives tax credits to film companies that relocate from anti-abortion states: AB 1442, introduced by Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, D-Arleta, would provide tax incentives to encourage production companies to relocate to California from states with strict abortion laws
Students at Catholic high school in San Diego protest change in dress code: Administrators at Cathedral Catholic High School ban skirts as uniform option over difficulties in enforcing rules on length; protesting students label decision sexist and patriarchal

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Court Rules Against Gang Members-Turned-Evangelists

Ex-members say they’re uniquely equipped to reach gangs. Former Latin Kings continue to fight Illinois restrictions they believe hamper their right to share the gospel.
Morgan Lee
Two sets of brothers—Elias and Saul Juarez and Ruben and Oscar Sanchez—said they just wanted to minister to gang members and help the men they worked with leave this lifestyle behind. But they blame an anti-gang lawsuit in their home in Elgin, Illinois, for holding up their work for nearly ...
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Why Jesus Couldn’t Do Miracles in His Hometown

The lack of signs and wonders in Nazareth says more about Jesus than about people’s lack of faith.
Jeff Peabody
Off the shores of the Philippines, a fisherman discovered a very large, misshapen pearl. It was not pretty. It looked more like an amoeba, with blobs and folds everywhere. He took the unusual find home and stowed it under his bed.
When he moved ten years later, he had no use for it, so he gave it to ...
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Why you're wrong about religion and abortion

Why you're wrong about religion and abortion
Deseret News: Religion is not the only factor that drives Americans' views on abortion. Religion's role in the contemporary abortion debate is more complicated than it may, at first, appear.

'Everybody wants a revolution, but nobody wants to do the dishes'
The Atlantic: Susan Bigelow Reynolds responds to James Carroll's fiery piece from earlier this week, "Critics of the 2,000-year-old Catholic Church should understand how institutional change actually takes place."

Poll: American Jews feel threatened, blame Trump
Religion News Service: A survey of 1,000 Jewish voters released Wednesday shows 73% of registered Jewish voters believe Jewish Americans are less secure than they were two years ago.

China's Orwellian war on religion
The New York Times: "Concentration camps," electronic surveillance and persecution are used to repress millions of people of faith.

What happened when I met my Islamophobic troll
The (London) Guardian: In 2017, Hussein Kesvani started getting regular messages from an anonymous Twitter user telling him that his religion was 'evil.' Eventually he responded -- and they agreed to meet face to face.

The Devilish Divinization of Science

The Devilish Divinization of Science

Regis Nicoll

Dear Swillpit, Never forget that soul-snatching is a matter of one, and only one, thing: seducing the creatures into rejecting their creatureliness. It starts with an itch they have to scratch. Maybe it’s a sexual dalliance they must experience, a commodity they can’t afford, a habit they can’t (and don’t what to) shake. It matters […]

Time for All to Leave the EU?

Antonio Carlos Pereira-Menaut

The European Union elections are today. The complaint often heard about the gulf between the people and the ruling elite is not new and is not the central problem with the European Union. The British and European “remainers,” on the other hand, are making a fuss in favor of the status quo at a time […]