Friday, June 12, 2015

From Evangelical Left to Post Evangelical; NYT: The Child Preachers of Brazil...more

 Biologist in TEDx Talk: Life's "Complex Interacting Molecular Machines" Appear "Built by an Engineer"   (Good talk, Darwinians will not be happy, but no mention of a "Creator", only 'alien' technology...)

Even Materialists Crave Religion ...Transhumanist eschatology contains the Christian element of hope, but its believers expect that man—assisted by artificial intelligent machines, no God needed—will invent the means of attaining an immortal new age. In the transhuman New Jerusalem, we would live for thousands of years, perhaps by sharing uploaded consciousnesses in computer software programs or, if we remain physical, by self-designing our capabilities to resemble the characters in the X-Men comic books. Eventually, according to Princeton biologist Lee Silver in his transhumanist manifesto Remaking Eden (get the title?), humans will become immortal “mental beings”...

“They asked everyone who is Muslim or not”: ISIS kidnaps 86 Eritrean refugees in Libya  ...The refugees were reportedly seized as they were traveling by truck to Tripoli in their quest to reach Europe. At least 12 of those taken were women, and a number of children were also apprehended as well. Estefanos reports that ISIS began dividing those aboard the truck by religion, and some lied in order to save their lives...

Stand Firm: Tony Campolo and Unicorns Trotting Over Rainbows

Tony Campolo and David Neff: From Evangelical Left to Post Evangelical? Can Evangelicals who are liberal politically continue to affirm orthodox Christian teaching about marriage and sex?

Likely the tension will increase as two prominent voices, one a longtime social justice activist, the other a former Christianity Today editor, announced their affirmation of same sex couples.

“I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church,” declared a news release from 80 year old Tony Campolo, a longtime popular speaker, Democratic Party activist and sociology professor at Eastern University in Philadelphia.

Quickly responding to Campolo on Facebook was retired Christianity Today editor David Neff, who cheered: “God bless Tony Campolo. He is acting in good faith and is, I think, on the right track.”

Campolo’s stance was hardly surprising to anyone who’s followed his career, often aligned with Sojourners mobilizer Jim Wallis. Less predictable was the announcement from Neff, although he in recent years became more associated politically with the Evangelical Left...

A Day Late, A Dollar Short
Tony Campolo has become the latest evangelical leader to declare for gay marriage. It is perhaps not a surprise: Campolo has been a gadfly in the evangelical world throughout his career and his adoption of this cause is of a piece with many of his other pronouncements over the years. While his move is unlikely to have a great impact on evangelicalism—far more significant will be the coming shifts on the issue by megachurch pastors—his statement is emblematic of the way evangelical attitudes are likely to change.

What is surprising in the statement is the complete absence of any thoughtful argumentation in his articulation of his position. Though he professes to have heard every kind of biblical argument against same-sex marriage, he does not burden the reader with any of these, or why he has found them so lacking. Instead, he prefers to use straw men, false dichotomies, and the rhetoric of social science to present his case...

8 Keys to Personal Prayer
Prayer is first and foremost a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some people think of prayer as a business transaction or as something they have to do just like checking something off a to-do list. But that isn't really prayer at all. Think of prayer in intimate terms, like a conversation between close friends. What are some words you think of when you think of an intimate friendship? You probably think of words like loving, caring, warm, sincere, personal and intimate. These are words that should be used to describe our prayer time with the Lord. Prayer should not be dry or stuffy; it should be warm and intimate.

Every believer can have a dynamic personal prayer life. The Bible gives us the keys we need to develop a powerful prayer life. The Scriptures are full of examples of men and women who walked with God and used prayer to impact their world, and you can do the same thing through prayer...

NYT: The Child Preachers of Brazil The youngest evangelists in the country’s Pentecostal churches try to balance the demands of their youth with those of their faith...

Bugs swarm memorial service for 'Gosnell babies'
The babies killed by Kermit Gosnell died in an unimaginably evil way: Born live in botched, illegal, late-term abortions, they were murdered by a depraved doctor and his untrained staff who used scissors to snip their spinal cords even as they began to wriggle and cry.

So perhaps it's fitting that a memorial service Wednesday at Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls where the so-called Gosnell babies now are buried was accompanied by a plague of locusts. Or rather, a swarm of flying ants.

"It's almost demonic how they all showed up right now, isn't it?" whispered one mourner, pinching one flying ant between his fingers as another alighted on his neck...

When the Insane Are Normal, the Normal Are Insane    The wave of media cheerleading for Bruce Jenner’s splashy debut as Caitlyn Jenner, his new putatively female identity, is one of those moments that has a lot of us of looking around and wondering if the whole world has gone insane.

Obviously, Bruce Jenner is not a woman. But the fact that so many people want us to think this is true, and that they appear to want to believe it themselves, is ominous...


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