Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thus & Such, Vol. 8

1."...evagnelicals' influence is waning.  Conservative Christian ideas are failing to shape the broader culture.  More than 3,500 churches close their doors every year, and while Americans are still overwhelmingly spiritual, the institutional church no longer holds the sway over their lives it once did.  The sweeping impact of globalization and the digital age has marginalized the church and its leaders."  Is America becoming an "evangelical disaster?"  This article analyzes some data and makes some interesting points about the last election.  

2. What should Christian worship be like?  Here's a list, although it's certainly not exhaustive or comprehensive.

3. "There's a memory seared into my mind from when I was twelve years old.  I was watching from the backdoor of our home as my father brought out an axe.  Laying prostrate on the ground was a three foot tall intricately designed statue of Buddha carved from wood.  The axe went flying through the air over my father's shoulder landing with a loud thwack!  The first stroke severed the statue's head.  Another thwack!  Then another.  Pieces of red wood went flying all over the yard.  Finally, all that was left were indiscernible remnants of what was once our family idol.  This scene also gave me a lasting impression that life for my dad and our family would never be the same.  Here's an interesting reflection on what it is like to be raised in a family that worshiped literal idols, and then what it was like to leave that practice.

4. "I want to discuss one passage of scripture that vexes the problem of alcohol with great passion.  It is the subject of Christ and his relation to alcohol while here on the earth.  Most specifically, I want to ask the question of whether Christ, during the miracle at the wedding of Cana in John 2, turned teh water into wine, unfermented grape juice, or something else.  Did Jesus really turn water into wine?  Does it matter?  What does it say about the Christian's attitude toward alcohol?  This is a very good treatment of this miracle.  

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