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Showing posts from September, 2006

confessions of a teenage mom (married mom)

interesting article about being married then pregnant before 20...

It was only recently that being a teenager became synonymous with being too young to make big decisions about marriage and children. Some of my favorite books are the Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery. In these beloved books, Anne attains what is the modern day equivalent of a college education, becomes a full-time schoolteacher, and starts to teach herself Latin and Greek — by age 16. Her friends, also teenagers, start marrying and having babies right out of school. Yet none of this is depicted as unusual — Anne is only a slightly-above-average teenage woman 100 years ago. Today, Anne would be hailed as a genius and her friends would be considered mature far beyond their years (or else stupid for "giving up their independence" so early).

But maybe young Christians wouldn’t be so starry-eyed about marriage if they were told that babies are a good and immediate part of the deal. That would sober th…

another blog of note: Boundless

Boundless is the internet presence of Campus Crusade. The "about us" statement follows...

The time between the home of your youth and the home you'll make for yourself someday is a time of adventure, discovery and excitement; but also loneliness, longing and uncertainty.From college to career to relationships, we at Boundless want to cast a vibrant vision for the single years, helping you navigate this season while preparing for the challenges and responsibilities of the one to come. That requires living intentionally with purpose by bringing your gifts, talents and Christian worldview to bear on your whole life.Our contributing authors are renowned journalists, scholars and thinkers from around the globe who are here to help you enjoy the journey.

case for abortion re-regulation

From Mirror of Justice, a blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory...
Now, Eduardo and I (and Murray and St. Thomas!) agree that not all immoral conduct need be, or should be, illegal. It is immoral, I assume, to relish in one's mind delicious revenge against one's enemies, but only a monstrous legal regime would make such relishing illegal. It is wrong to engage in cruel and hateful speech, but we do not -- and should not -- outlaw such speech. It is wrong to cheat on one's spouse, but no one should go to jail for it. And so on.Eduardo and I agree that abortion is immoral. So, should it be illegal? Or, to refine the question slightly, "how important is it that abortion be illegal, if its incidence can be reduced substantially by means other than regulation"?For starters, I have to say that Roe and Casey should be opposed, and overruled -- that is, it should be, again, permissible to regulate abortion -- for reasons independent of abortion&…

Pro-life Democrat can't vote for his party...

Robert P. George writes:
So, however much one might dislike Republican policies in other areas, it’s clear that the death toll under the Democrats would be so large as to make it unreasonable for Catholic citizens, or citizens of any faith who oppose the taking of innocent human life, to use their votes and influence to help bring the Democratic party into power. I find no cause for joy in this. I wish that it were possible for pro-life citizens legitimately to support Democratic candidates. I wish that the party of my parents and grandparents had not placed itself on the wrong side of the most profound human rights issue of our contemporary domestic politics. I wish that the killing of embryonic and fetal human beings by abortion and in biomedical research were resolutely opposed by both parties so that we could cast our votes based on our assessments of the candidates’ and parties’ competing positions on taxation, immigration, education, welfare, health-care reform, national securi…

more free theology courses - Gordon Conwell

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has developed the Dimensions of the Faith series for any Christian who desires foundational knowledge in the areas of Old and New Testament, Biblical Interpretation, Church History, Theology, and Missions and Evangelism. The goal of each course is to: Paint the big picture of what you are learningProvide you with basic contentIntroduce you to keywords that will enlarge your capacity for understandingGuide you to understanding how greater knowledge of God’s Word can be applied naturally to everyday life and serviceDirect you to valuable resources as God’s Word whets your appetite for further study

Chuck Colson's blog

I guess you need to read the point to get the point....

Christian persecution in India

September 26 (Compass Direct News) – Hindu extremists severely beat two pastors on September 24 in Madhya Pradesh, India, before dragging them to a police station and accusing them of “forcing” conversions. Two days earlier, extremists had attacked and injured two evangelists in the same state, later accusing them of “hurting Hindu sentiments.” More than 20 members of two extremist groups, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bajrang Dal (the youth wing of the World Hindu Council) barged into a church in Nana Badvani area in Badvani district last Sunday and attacked two pastors, identified only as Sukhlal and Jorsingh. The mob spit on a Bible and then tore it up, according to a local Christian who witnessed the attack. They also told Sukhlal and Jorsingh to abandon Christianity or they would forfeit their lives. The extremists forcibly took the two pastors to the Nana Badvani sub-police station, accusing them of eating beef – an offense to Hindus – and carrying out forced conversio…

WWJD vs. CTR (Mormons)

the last time the elderly boys in ties on bikes came to visit me, i noticed one wearing a rubber bracelet with the letters CTR on them. it's a Mormon thing, choose the right. it's not a bad thing, but as Roger at the A-Team points out, it keeps the focus on the worker in contrast to WWJD which keeps the focus on JC...

Because "WWJD” is better than “CTR.” What’s the focus of “WWJD”? Jesus. What’s the focus of “CTR”? Whatever I can do. These popular little acronyms symbolize a deeper issue that divides Christians from Mormons. The Christian is drawn back to our great Lord and Savior so that we can model ourselves after Him. The Mormon is drawn to look at his or her good works. On its own, “CTR” is innocent enough. But within the Mormon worldview, it is the summation of salvation by our their works. If they do enough of them, then they pass God’s test for this life and go on to the highest of Mormon glories.

Ephesians 4 and spiritual gifts

1- live up to your calling
2- LOVE (1 Cor 13)
3- Unite (1 Cor 12)
4- One Spirit
5- One Lord
6- One God and Father
same Trinity formula as in 1 Cor 12:4-6
7- Different portions of grace (Romans 12:6)
8- Gifts were prophecied
9- Proof that the prophecy refers to Jesus
10- “ “ “ “
11- apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers
12- to build up in preparation for service
13- until perfection ( 1 Cor 13) when we are fully united in faith and knowledge of Jesus and we mature and become completely filled with Jesus
14- no longer be like children (1 Cor 13)
15- mature into Jesus
16- each part of the body of Christ has a job to do (1 Cor 12)

Wired: Cell Phones? Hell Phones

i am not a cell phone keeper, so i am sympathetic to this rant against hell phones at wired...

Open Letter to the Religious Right

Snippets to chew on from Joe at the Evangelical Outpost.

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was purportedly asked if God was on his side.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side,” said the President, “my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”...
°°°°°° We have ideological enemies (e.g., Islamo-fascists) and ideological opponents (e.g., secular liberals). Our ideological opponents want us to lose elections; our ideological enemies want us to lose our lives. While we have to love them all, we shouldn’t lump them all together.
°°°°°°I can’t make excuses for us on this one anymore: We have to take a firm stand against torture. Yes, there is a debate about what exactly is meant by that term. So let’s define it in a way that consistent with our belief in human dignity. And then let’s hold every politician in the country to that standard. Our silence is embarrassing. [AMEN-jpu]°°°°°°We must keep in mind that term “religious right” encompasses two sp…

WWJD: got 50 cents for my crack habit?

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells this story,
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (NIV)

For me, this is one of the biggies as far as Jesus' ethical teachings…

Romans 12 and spiritual gifts

notes from my class last week. i actually forgot them, so i didn't actually teach this stuff, but i muddled through the chapter.

1-“therefore” – since God has chosen to save us despite our unworthiness, worship bodily, in deed, not just in music or prayer, but in action, by doing the “one another” stuff

2-“don’t conform, be transformed, be renewed” which results in the ability to “test and approve God’s will.”

3- be humble

4-5- we form Christ’s body (is there some play on offering our bodies and being described as members of His body?)

6-7- we have different gifts
if…
prophecy-use it
service-serve
teaching-teach
encouragement-encourage
contributing-give generously
leading-govern diligently
mercying-mercy with a smile

9-21 – LOVE

just like the letter to the Corinthians, the gifts are placed in the context of love and worship. We have a vertical relationship with God, and using our gifts for each other’s benefit is an act of adoration of Him and his body. We have many horizontal relationships that…

Rich Mullins: Barefoot in a teepee

my kind of guy...

Rich and the Ragamuffins seemed tired and road weary during the concert that night. I have performed enough to know that after a couple of weeks of back to back shows, you aren’t sure if you’ve said this or sung that to this group of people or not. Regardless, I was warmed by the experience and felt God touch my heart during Rich’s show. But, to my surprise, it was not his lyrics, his instrumental expertise or personal stories that touched me; in fact, I don’t think he said much at all between songs that night. Rather, I was stricken by an awareness of Rich’s frailty, his honesty and humility. Before us stood a guy with no pretences and no agenda. He did not try to sell us the gospel, his latest cd or convince us of anything that he believed, he only sang of how he had experienced the person and path of Christ in the midst of his struggle to find a place for his humanity. As was usual, Rich was not concerned about his appearances, for his hair was still wet from a pr…

understanding Islam

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CPM-church planting movements

Guy Muse writes, after a logn quote, "In the above I was struck by the repetition of key phrases, "give away...lose control...losing...letting go...give up...care for the kingdom more than your tribe..." Is it any wonder we do not see more CPMs in our midst? We want control, we try to control, we are control-type people. But CPM is about surrendering over to the Lord these aspects of who gets the credit, who is in control. It is an understanding that it is about HIS kingdom, not our kingdoms."

a commenter points to this article at the Glocal Trekker Blog
Often when I speak at conferences or at gatherings of church planters, I’ll hear someone say they wanted to start a church because they wanted to reach seekers--that’s good. I’ll hear them say they wanted to be a part of something fresh and new and more culturally relevant--that’s good. Those that are theologically adept (like me!) will say they want to start churches to glorify God. The big thing now is we wanted t…

being real: even if you are a homeschooling parent

"Wilson’s advice applies not just to homeschoolers but to everyone, Christians especially. What place is there for deceit and prideful posturing, regardless of how subtle, in the life of the person whose sole vindication is Jesus Christ? We must be honest with God, ourselves, and others, in wisdom and discernment, in order to receive help for our very real problems."

Keller on Being the Church in Our Culture

"We need more Christians (1) living long-term in the cities, (2) with a deeper grasp of the gospel, (3) who are creating dynamic counter-cultures inside the city, (4) integrating faith with work, (5) pouring themselves out sacrificially for the common good of the whole city, and (6) contextualizing."

For the details, you can listen to his lecture from the Resurgence Conference on Being the Church in Our Culture.
if only it was so simple...i was motivated to live in the city by John Perkins, from Mississippi as part of his plan for racial reconciliation. i've lived in the inner city for 10 years. most neighbors that i'm friendly with are home owners and not transient, poor renters. and most home owners are white and speak english. so i haven't been able to build relationships with minorities or influence them for the kingdom much, unless calling the cops alot counts. had to do so last night because a large crowd of spanish women were screaming at each other and figh…

Muslim tantrums

JAMES LILEKS writes.......

If you mock Islam with a drawing or a novel, you get riots and dead people. News of mishandled holy books yields riots and dead people. Insufficiently reverent short films by a Dutchman yields a dead person, specifically the Dutchman.

Now we add this detail: Quoting medieval religious colloquies is a reasonable justification for burning churches, shooting a nun and holding up signs demanding that the pope convert to Islam or saw off his own head. (There have been reports of carpal tunnel syndrome among radical Islam's enforcers, and they have requested we all help out.)

This is a new twist: Now history itself cannot be discussed. Since it's difficult to predict what else will enflame the devout, Islam has to be treated with unusual deference, like a 3-year-old child with anger management problems.....

Spiritual Gifts at Jesus Creed

Scot McKnight has started a series on spiritual gifts at Jesus Creed. He starts with Romans 12, what i taught from last night.

sermon plagiarism

first, read this article advocating it, then read this response to it.

i guess its the low-tech version of one church many campuses. if you don't have the video link tech or money, just have someone read the sermon you are cribbing.

i've talked about this before, why not just read Chrysostom's sermons today. I've reviewed elsewhere another's view that there is nothing new to say, so stop saying...

is this the slacker generation of preachers coming home to roost?

Controlling Personalities in the Church series

if you haven't experienced cultic religious groups, God is good to you, so be prepared and read. if you have, read and be vindicated in your escape at the Wittenberg Gate.

the next level of multi-site churching-Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile writes,
The writer, picking up on the typical multi-site church slogan, "One church, multiple locations," asks a critical question: "But what does it mean to be "one church," spread across hundreds or thousands of miles?" Good question.

This model of doing church calls into question all of our assumptions about pastoral ministry. It calls into question whether the relationship between pastor and congregation is at all essential. It begs the question of whether preaching really is central to our gatherings (at least live preaching from a flesh-and-blood preacher). And I'm curious about the approach to governance or polity used by such churches. How is a group in Bangkod involved in the decisions of groups in Southern California?

Rev. Geoff Surratt, co-author of The Multi-Site Church Revolution and a pastor at Seacoast Church, a church with six sites in Georgia and one in South Carolina, makes this case for multi-sites over and against tr…

Thabiti Anyabwile on racism

if race can explain everything, does it explain anything?

Though it poses as an efficient explanatory variable in the popular and scientific mind, "race" as a construct does not in fact deliver on its promises to explain very much. So, here's a short list of things that are not explained (or perhaps a better word is "caused") by race, in no particular order, with brief suggestions as to why the construct fails. It's a partial list, perhaps a debatable list, but one that I hope triggers us to be less anchored in a way of viewing people that falls short of how God views people.
Individual educational achievement. You're proficient at what you practice.Prevalence of certain diseases. Usually has more to do with an individual's or family's diet and lifestyle.Election of God. Obviously.... Eph. 1.Crime rates. Perhaps James 4 is a better explanation.Musical preferences. Cases in point: the success of Hip Hop in Japan... and Mark Dever bobbing his head t…

John Piper on Benedict and irate Muslims

nice analysis, including tidbits such as,

5. Point out that, in response to this constant defamation of Jesus Christ, there are no public threats or demands for apologies. This is not because we do not love Jesus above all things, or because we have no zeal for the glory of his name. It is because he told us to expect this (Matthew 10:25; John 15:20) and then modeled for us how to react: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

Spiritual Gifts list 1 Corinthians 12-14

notes for my spiritual gifts class...[updated and color-coded]
stuff from 12
from 13
from 14

Message of wisdom
Message of knowledge
Faith
Move mountains
Gifts of healing
Possessors of gifts of healing
Miraculous powers
Miracle workers
Prophecy
Prophets
Fathom mysteries and knowledge
Speaks strength, encouragement, and comfort
Builds the church
For believers
Can be controlled
Be eager for
Expose secrets of the heart
Prophecies need to be weighed
Instructs and encourages
Distinguish between spirits
Speak in different tongues
Speakers in tongues
Tongues of men and angels
Speaks to God not men
Utters mysteries
Builds himself
Needs to ask for interpretation
Prays in spirit but not in mind
May be giving thanks
A sign for unbelievers
Should be kept private if no interpretation available
Don’t forbid it
Interpretation of tongues

Apostles
Can bring revelation, knowledge, prophecy, word of instruction
Teachers
Able to help
Gifts of administration
Give all to poor
Ma…

CT: Embrace you inner Pentecostal

awesome article by Chris Armstrong in CT. here are some choice excerpts:

A typical Pentecostal service follows no printed order; bulletins, if present, contain only announcements. After all, why should an order be needed? "All the members expect anyone of the local assembly to follow the Spirit's leading," Pentecostal scholar Russell Spittler has written, "and to do so at once."This sort of congregational freedom has marked Pentecostalism from its beginning, along with a unique emphasis on the "priesthood of all believers." Azusa Street pastor William J. Seymour, the driving force behind the earliest Pentecostal revival, typified a new breed of church leader. He allowed and encouraged worshipers to exercise their gifts during services, providing what Fuller professor Cecil M. Robeck has called "a forum for various members of his congregation to make their case or to demonstrate their charism in the context of the worshiping community, without fea…

Couple kidnaps adult daughter to force her to abort

from the WorldMag Blog.
"Her parents chased her out into the yard, grabbed and tied her hands and feet together," Salem Police Officer Sean Marino wrote in a court affidavit. "Katelyn states that her father then carried her to their car and they headed toward New Hampshire." Why the grab-and-go? Katelyn's parents were upset that she was pregnant by a man who had been jailed; they planned to force her to abort the baby. Katelyn, 19, escaped Friday at a shopping center and called police, who arrested her parents, Nicholas Kampf, 54, and Lola, 53, of North Yarmouth, Maine. Investigators said rope, duct tape, scissors and a .22-caliber rifle were found in the Kampfs' Lexus and Nicholas Kampf had a loaded .22- caliber magazine clip in his pants pocket. The elder Kampfs were jailed on a kidnapping charge and were being held on $100,000 bail each. In light of today's abortion laws, it is ironic that if the Kampfs had successfully forced Katelyn, an adult who ap…

Challie's reviews Yancey's book on prayer

I saw this book in a catalog and was interested, but after reading Challie's review, i've lost interest...consider this from the review,
Yancey has, in the past, hinted that he adheres to the doctrine of Open Theism and believes in a somewhat less than omnipotent or omniscient God. His clearest affirmations of this were in his book Disappointment with God, a title that is often referred to and quoted in Prayer. While this new book does not contain an explicit affirmation of that doctrine, Yancey again drops hints that he does believe it. Only a few pages into the book he says, "A hundred times a second lightning strikes somewhere on earth, and I for one do not believe that God personally programs each course." Much later, in the closing chapters, he writes, "I know a missionary whose wife and seven-month-old daughter were killed by a single bullet when the air force in a South American country mistook their plane for that of a drug runner and opened fire. 'Go…

Benedict and rioutous Muslims round up

a few posts that caught my attention
WorldMag blog asks, in regard to Benedict's apology, "But what if that quotation did express his own thoughts? Would there be anything wrong with that? Muslim leaders regularly criticize Christianity; should criticism go only one way?"

Kester finds a moderate English Muslim voice,
The response to this apparent contradiction was tackled by a representative from the Muslim Council of Britain who called on us to once and for all 'separate the idea of Islam from being Muslim.' I fear this is an impossible task. He - quite rightly, and eloquently - denounced the violence done in Islam's name, and expounded a view of it as a religion of peace. But he seems to be a minority voice; his call to effectively deny Islamic status to those who promote violence would mean huge numbers of Islamists in the East and West being told they are not following Islam properly, something I think they would ferociously resist.

This confusion between th…

how to close abortion cliniics-buy them

from Fox newsThey've discovered that one of the best ways to shut down an abortion clinic is to buy the building in which it's located."With civil disobedience we might be successful at closing an abortion clinic for of couple hours a day, but the tactics we're using now permanently close the abortion clinics," said Cheryl Sullenger, spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. "It's much more effective, and we don't have to go to jail and wear handcuffs, so we're liking this much better." .............
Even other anti-abortion groups expressed skepticism about how practical Operation Rescue's move could be on a larger scale."It's a great strategy if you can come up with the money to do it, but that would probably be a great stumbling block, because most pro-life groups are pretty close to the line and don't have much money left over, and property's expensive," Scheidler said. "I don't think you…

Postmodern negro on cynicism and Luke 4:18-21

"In reflecting on this passage I realized where my postmodern sensibilities stop. I believe one of the most dangerous temptations of living in a postmodern age, believe it or not, is not moral relativism (a danger to be sure…but one that needs qualification…the relativist still believes in something!). It is cynicism. A quote from African-American poet Maya Angelou is apropos:“There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.” There is a fine line between being prophetic and being a cynic....

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.” - H L Mencken"

Challies gives advice to Muslims upset over stereotyping

"The point is, if you want to undo stereotypes the best way of doing so is not to blame a person who supposedly reinforces a negative stereotype, but in reacting in a way that different than the stereotype. The stereotype of Muslims tells us that they would react to the pope's words with anger, violence and calls for blood. Sure enough, many Muslims reacted with anger, violence and calls for blood. So who is reinforcing the negative stereotype?"

pictures of islamic protesters in London

all the pictures are worth looking at, especially the ones from Westminster Tower showing the lack of attention the Islamic protesters are getting despite their inflammatory anti-Christian signs.

Guy Muse: you know you are a missionary if

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since the originator is anonymous, i feel no guilt in reposting the list Guy. thanks. some funnier ones can be found in the comments though.

You may be a missionary if ...
1. You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?"

2. You read National Geographic and recognize someone.

3. You have a time zone map next to your telephone.

4. You consider a city 500 km away to be "very close".

5. You watch nature documentaries, and think about how good that animal would taste if it were fried.

6. You can cut grass with a machete, but can't start a lawnmower.

7. You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.

8. You read the international section before the comics.

9. You have friends from or in 29 different countries.

10. You sort your friends by continent.

11. Fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal to you.

12. You refer to gravel roads as highways.

13. You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.

14. You don't think that two hours is a long s…

my space for sermons?

"Sermon Cloud is a website for a community to interact with sermons. What are the powerful sermons people are listening to? Who are the up-and-coming preachers of the day? Where are the messages about themes that you need to hear? How can you find a great preacher in your home town? Sermon Cloud was designed to help you with all of these questions. Sermon Cloud users help let each other know which sermons they amen. An 'amen' is a recommendation of the sermon."

i appreciate the effort

Flashpoint

smart apologist blog

since you called us violent, we'll burn your churches down

The Christian-Cadre gives a short synopsis in the current Islamic hypocrisy in response to Benedict's comments.
Get Religion, however, focuses on liberal editorial hypocrisy regarding this issue.

1 Corinthians 13 -my sermon on the love chapter

i had the privilege of teaching today at the Springfield Calvary, Mass. Here is what i taught.

1 Corinthians sermon Sept 17, 2006

NIV
12:31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
13:5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
13:6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
13:7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
13:8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, th…

Challies thoughts on another's counseling thoughts

Like Challies, i found this perspective on counseling helpful. If your history can explain anything then it explains nothing. Our history can provide context for our sin but not excuses...

One aspect of David Powlison's ministry that has often challenged me is that he gives no quarter to sin. He never allows sin to be shown to be anything other than what it is: an offense to God that arises from a person's sinful nature. For instance, when speaking of the counselor's method of helping Amelia understand the source of her sin, he writes, "Knowledge of a person's history may be important for many reasons: compassion on sufferers, sympathetic understanding, locating the present within an unfolding story, knowledge of characteristic temptations, and so forth. But it never determines the heart's proclivities and inclinations." We know this because many people experience similar events in their histories and react differently. One woman may indulge in lesbian fan…

Emergent Buddhism USA

long article with a few paragraphs that stand out to me....

Though the religion born in India has been in the US since the 19th century, the number of adherents rose by 170 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to the American Religious Identity Survey. An ARIS estimate puts the total in 2004 at 1.5 million, while others have estimated twice that. "The 1.5 million is a low reasonable number," says Richard Seager, author of "Buddhism in America."

That makes Buddhism the country's fourth-largest religion, after Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Immigrants from Asia probably account for two-thirds of the total, and converts about one-third, says Dr. Seager, a professor of religious studies at Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y.

What is drawing people (after that fascination with Zen Buddhism in the '50s and '60s)? The Dalai Lama himself has played a role, some say, and Buddhism's nonmissionizing approach fits well with Americans' search for meaningf…

the mission field called Connecticut

i live in Connecticut...Bill LaMorey moved here to start a church...is he crazy?
"Why is it that there is a lack of pastors? (in the Northeast)"Here was my reply:"I am actually going to post on this soon. An obvious answer could be if you aren’t going to have a lot of support, why go to a foreign land without a lot of help? It’s easier to stay in your general area, and maintain local support networks. It’s of course, more than that. The baptist pastor (I mentioned in my last post) told me he stood up and begged seminary graduates of his denomination to come, even with the sweet package they were offering, they all wanted to wait for spots to open in CA, FL or AZ. Nobody wanted to come -it’s cold here and us New Englanders are odd birds; a little too much spirit maybe…
But check out this stat for my state from Barna:“Taking into account each state’s aggregate adult population, the area with the greatest number of evangelicals is California, which is home to nearly two mil…

My kids think about death

We had an interesting discussion around the dinner table last night. We were talking about the kids' futures. We talk about cars and motorcycles and children... you can't put a babyseat on a motorcycle... and then one of them said, they would prefer to not grow up and just go to heaven so they wouldn't sin against Jesus and do things like smoke cigarettes, drink too much alcohol, deny Christ!!!! Woooo... While my wife and I internally panic over their longing for death, we calmly exhort them that life is good. We acknowledge that sin is bad and takes away from life as God made it, but God made so many good things like families and nature and other cultures and the clincher, more books to read.

Such serious reflection from a child always catches me off guard. Only, half an hour ago they were fighting over blocks. I think i need to encourage the kids in the Kingdom Now part of the gospel. It may not help that we've been reading the historical books of the Old Testament …

CT-Theology for an Age of Terror - Rome 410 AD

Timothy George writes at Christianity Today,

That is our calling, too, amidst the brokenness—including the threat of terrorism—all around us. We are to be faithful to God's calling, to bear witness to the beauty, the light, and the divine reality that we shall forever enjoy in heaven. We are to do this in a culture that seems, at times, like Augustine's, a crumbling world beset by dangers we cannot predict.As Augustine aged, he increasingly thought of the world, its politics, culture, and institutions, as a tottering old man whose days were numbered: "You are surprised that the world is losing its grip? That the world is grown old? Don't hold onto the old man, the world; don't refuse to regain your youth in Christ, who says to you: 'The world is passing away; the world is losing its grip; the world is short of breath. Don't fear, your youth shall be renewed as an eagle.'"As Augustine lay dying in 430, a new wave of terror swept across the Mediterra…

WorldMagBlog: Does new brain study shed light on Schiavo case?

of course it does...."Still, a videotape showed Terri laughing and trying to speak, while the woman in the Science study reportedly cannot respond to her environment at all. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that Terri was at least as aware a human being as the young woman making news today all over the world."

EO: 6 thoughts about Jesus

Joe at the Evangelical Outpost writes: "Over the years people have asked me why, since this is an evangelical blog, I don’t mention Jesus more often. My usual glib answer is that I prefer not to name drop just because I'm on a first name basis with the Creator of the Universe. I also take offense at the implication my sole mission as an evangelical blogger is to end every post with an altar call..."

India: more beatings by Hindus on Christians

Compass Direct reports....

Hindu extremists investigating the activities of Varghese Thomas, an evangelist in Karnakata state, laid a trap for him on Sunday (September 3), before beating him and his wife. Thomas is 60 and his wife, Leelama, is 57...
A few days earlier, on September 1, a group of around 25 extremists attacked Pastor John Prabhu of the Assembly of God church at Belthur, in Bangalore, dragging him out of a prayer service in a private home. They beat Prabhu and then took him to a nearby Hindu temple, where they forced him to bow before statues of Hindu deities – spitting on his face when he initially refused to get down on his knees...
Pastor Shanti Lal was arrested in his home for conducting prayer services and detained at the Gogawan police station in Khargon district. Following pressure from the GCIC, the charge of attempted forced conversion was finally dropped, but other charges under the Indian Penal Code were retained...comments are open.

9/11 anecdotes

a new series has started at Paskewich.com
"There is no denying there is a power in the symbol of a cross and there is definitely something about that cross. As bewildering as it was to be inside of Ground Zero trying to sort the whole situation out, the cross somehow brought a peace to all who saw it standing there. God has not left us alone or without hope. And sometimes he grants us visible reminders. In a world that sometimes seems to make no sense, God continues to show He is there and that He cares. The cross continues to be a symbol of hope. Come back each day this week for another story of faith, hope and love coming out of the rubble of Ground Zero. The devil never wins. God still rules."

Ultrasounds saving babies from abortion

Great news analysis here and at World mag blog.

bock doing emergent

Darell Bock is another smart guy who is tackling the emerging church. He writes, "Just an updated note on my use of terminology. I am not working in a way that distinguishes the terms emergent and emerging as some wish to do. I am interested in wrestling with how the church addresses a post-modern culture and the various proposals tied to that goal and associated with the terms that focus on such efforts."

NY Times: Vegetative Patient Shows Signs of Awareness, Study Says

By BENEDICT CAREY Published: September 7, 2006
A severely brain-damaged woman in an unresponsive, vegetative state showed clear signs of conscious awareness on brain imaging tests, researchers are reporting today, in a finding that could have far-reaching consequences for how unconscious patients are cared for and diagnosed...

Car Washes for Crisis Pregnancy Centers

"Youth groups often hold car washes to support a cause. It is a way for them to raise money and to make a public statement about what is important to them.We are organizing thousands of groups across the nation to hold car washes to benefit their local pregnancy care centers - all on the same day!By participating in the Wash for Life, youth will help women and children in their own community, while at the same time being united in an event that sends a message to the whole nation, that this generation is pro-life. Our goal is to raise a collective total of $1,000,000. Our goal over the next couple years is for the Wash for Life to grow to over 2000 groups. We are here to help you get connected, hold your car wash, and change the culture."

Chuck Jr. responds to the LA Times article

someone from Chuck Jr.'s reads a letter from him... lays a smackdown on his gadflies, the Alnors, and clarifies his graceful position on homosexuals... confirms his belief in hell...

commenter etiquette

commenter etiquette on this blog includes restraint on language you wouldn't use in kindergarten. so, some angry comments from an angry and anonymous Indian Hindu have been deleted. they might have stayed if his/her language wasn't so course.

for those Christians who read this, please pray for this angry person who so desperately needs to know the love of Jesus Christ.

frozen humans with potential

Stephen J. Grabill writes in an Acton commentary:Currently, in the United States alone, nearly 500,000 human embryos are being cryopreserved at some 430 fertility clinics. A staggering 88 percent of these embryos, which are only a few days old and much smaller than the dot on this i, were created by doctors for use in some form of assisted reproduction.The most common ART technique is in vitro fertilization with embryo transfer (IVF-ET), in which a woman is induced to produce multiple eggs where four to six of the most viable are retrieved and then fertilized in the laboratory, with the resulting embryos transferred to the woman’s uterus. At the best clinics, the success rate for each in vitro attempt is between 25 and 50 percent.... Christians and defenders of human dignity who acknowledge embryos to be preborn persons have a dual responsibility to protect the innocent and also to do no harm. The stakes are high because, as Ron Stoddart founder of Nightlight …