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The real message of Genesis …

September 1, 2014

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My suspicions have always nagged: Does the creationism-evolutionism debate totally miss the point? Let’s chill. Let’s listen to the message of Genesis 1-3,

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How Democrats Snatch Defeat From The Jaws of Victory

July 14, 2014

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Let’s ask the real election-year question: Why isn’t the Democratic Party poised with forks and knives, ready for November’s sizzling elephant steak? Republican popularity spirals amid denials of verified science, yet there’s genuine fear of a GOP Senate takeover. We should be dreaming of 1964, when Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses after routing Goldwater.

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Finding true mentors: They’re next door and down the street

October 27, 2013

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… they’re given a volatility license because their ministries are bloated and loaded. Hats off to them for drawing those crowds and their indisputable communication and organizational skills, but there’s more to Christian success than fund-raising and reaching a target audience. Otherwise, we’d be scolding Jesus for losing his following as he hung on the cross. Christian success would at least embrace Proverbs 14:17: “A quick-tempered man does foolish things” as well as James 1:19-20: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

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Can the past point us to the future?

October 24, 2012

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Swartz guides us down the baby boomer’s memory lane, evoking images of flames in Watts, Newark, and Detroit – and black arm bands and student marches and tear gas and police riots and F-4’s and B-52’s and U.S. marines dodging Hue’s snipers in the Tet Offensive. Through it all, I couldn’t help but mourn over the what-if’s: What if the Evangelical Left saw nuances and shades? What if some of its youthful, bulldog leaders possessed the politician’s wisdom and forged alliances with enlightened conservatives? What if the American Old Left, grounded in pro-religious New Deal liberalism and often embraced by evangelicals, had survived the assault of the fervently secular New Left, which scared off many Americans and tainted the “liberal” label?

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“Almost Amish”: Cultural and spiritual wisdom in a horse-drawn buggy

June 13, 2012

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Nancy Sleeth has eaten the fish and spat out the bones. She looks beyond the group’s obvious flaws, learns from their attributes and applies their lessons in “Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest For a Slower, Simpler, and More Sustainable Life.” The result: An entertaining, thought-provoking, refreshing, nuts-and-bolts manual for those of us who feel enslaved to the grid and our gas guzzlers.

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New Evangelicals free a hijacked movement

February 19, 2012

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A telling statistic: In 2009, 35 percent of evangelicals identified themselves as Democrats and 34 percent as Republicans. The rest were independents. In other words, most evangelicals aren’t even voting in this year’s GOP primaries. Another: 64 percent of all white evangelicals don’t believe church officials should endorse political candidates.

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The price of savoring delusion

November 4, 2011

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Legends, fables, and myths crumpled beneath a freak October snow storm in Connecticut this past week. Leaf-laden trees fell and yanked wires and plunged vast numbers into a power outage. Tales are told of families braving cold in dark living rooms; of bundled children beneath mounds of quilts; of schools doubling as shelters; of eight carbon monoxide deaths – all in upscale Connecticut, the home of well-heeled actuaries and drab insurance executives.

Look closely. You’ll see the carcasses of those fables pinned under the dead oaks and maples.

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What is an evangelical?

October 22, 2011

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Lisa Sharon Harper discusses the historic meaning of “evangelical.” Some of this will sound familiar — conversion to Christ within the context of a Bible-centered faith — but some will not. Social action was key to such teachers as Charles Finney. Given her description, one must ask: Are some so-called “evangelical leaders” truly evangelical?

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Spirituality & Occupy Wall Street: Leaders at the scene

October 15, 2011

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Faith leaders have joined the “Occupy Wall Street” throngs and and have given us their thoughts. Some samples …

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Are Christian Zionists Doing Israel any favors?

September 23, 2011

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A question: Does “pro-Israel” equal “anti-Palestinian”? Must we always bow before the blustering Benjamin Netanyahu, bent as he is on “creating facts” by building more Israeli settlements? It seems the answer for one presidential candidate, Rick Perry, is an unequivocal yes: “As a Christian, I have a clear directive to support Israel. So from my perspective, it’s pretty easy. Both as an American, and as a Christian, I am going to stand with Israel.” Israel is always right; the Palestinians are always wrong. It goes without saying that the United States should veto any Palestinian application for statehood in the UN. Perry is echoing the theology of Christian Zionist John Hagee, the head of Christians United for Israel.

How intriguing. One survey suggests that Perry is more “Zionist” than most Israeli’s, 70 percent of whom believe their nation should accept the decision if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state. Perhaps they remember that modern Zionism began as a secular movement and that the United Nations foresaw both Palestinian and Jewish nations in the 1940’s. Perhaps they see the impracticality and immorality of oppressing legitimate Palestinian rights. Perhaps they remember that their own forefather, Abraham, was once a “stranger” in the Promised Land.

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