Thursday, July 31, 2014

Defending Faith in Academia

Earlier, I posted about my alma mater having its accreditation (along with other Christian schools) doubted and ridiculed by an Ivy League literature professor. Another voice joined the defense of Christian colleges' accreditation (and my school in particular), and that voice is David Coleman, the President and CEO of the College Board.

Coleman, as he notes himself in his defense, does not agree with Wheaton's faith and lifestyle policies, but very much agrees with their academic mission. Thus, we can be thankful that there are voices that see the merit of religious diversity in the common pursuit of knowledge.

You can read the article here

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Healing from Hateful Theology

Mark Phelps, one of the oldest (and departed) children of Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous Kansas congregation known for its hateful and emotionally-distressing pickets of military funerals, political events and popular concerts, has just recently started a blog on his journey of healing. It can be found here.

Reading the blog can both disturb you and give you hope. Praise be to God for His recent healing work in Mark Phelps's life. But you also learn some of the scary details of Westboro's beginnings and life in the Phelps's abusive and prison-like household, submitting in fear to the anger of Fred Phelps and the application of hateful theology of what Mark Phelps only refers to as "his [Fred Phelps's] god." 

Monday, July 28, 2014

What's Happening in Iraq?

Here's an FAQ on what's happening to Christians in Iraq.

Let's pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

HT: Joe Carter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Things About Economic Inequality

An interesting article from the New York Times:

Unfortunately, equal opportunity is now a mirage. Indeed, researchers find that there is less economic mobility in America than in class-conscious Europe.

We know some of the tools, including job incentives and better schools, that can reduce this opportunity gap. But the United States is one of the few advanced countries that spends less educating the average poor child than the average rich one. As an escalator of mobility, the American education system is broken.

HT: Nicholas Kristof

Monday, July 21, 2014

Update: Christian College Will Keep Accreditation

Earlier, I posted an article that talked about how Gordon College, a Christian college in suburban Boston, was facing accreditation scrutiny due to its president's signing of this letter.

I was quickly informed by some colleagues who are studied from and employed by Gordon College that Gordon College is not, in fact, in danger of losing its accreditation.

It looks like President Obama is not going to acquiesce to the aforementioned letter's request, and there may be some negative circumstances stemming from that. However, contrary to earlier news reports, Gordon College's accreditation is not in any danger.

News reports will not likely make strong efforts to announce this update (since it's not as grabby), so I thought you should know.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Fun: Badly Arranged Church Sign

You might want to find a way to separate the pastor's name from this particular sermon title. Or put the words "This week's sermon" before the title in quotes. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learning from TV Presidents

I haven't watched Scandal or House of Cards, but my wife and I did jump on the West Wing bandwagon . . . in 2013 (yeah, we were a bit late). In any case, there are some interesting points about how Presidents and politics have changed in their portrayals on television, and what that says about us.

For the record, I thought this article's author paints West Wing's President Bartlet as a bit too flawless, but the rest of the comparisons between the shows are insightful and fair. You can read the article here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Another Christian College's Accreditation Questioned

Last week, I posted about how a UPenn literature prof questioned the accreditation of general religious schools, using my alma mater as the prime example, citing religion's anti-intellectualism that he assumes is inherent.

Now, another longstanding and locally reputable Christian school is going to have its accreditation investigated, but for another reason.

Here's the basic news, and here's a law prof's take.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Grace of LeBron James

Tullian Tchividjian, a Miami Heat fan, makes some creative connections between Scripture and LeBron's recently-announced return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In 2010, Cleveland had disowned and betrayed LeBron – from his once-beloved fans to his former teammates to the owner to the city itself – and he lived with this in his heart for four years. But, despite the fact that he wasn’t welcome there (he was, in fact, booed every time he went back there to play with the Heat) nor had he ever achieved championship status there, LeBron forgave them all before they had even asked. LeBron’s love for “his people” compelled him to leave a city that loved him (Miami) for a city that disowned him (Cleveland).

You can read the rest here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Nation's Tamest Party Schools

eCollegeFinder, a website that helps high school students find their perfect match, released this map of the nation's tamest party schools in each state. At the very least, I don't think this should be a strong determining factor in selecting what's likely to be your defining education. Somewhat predictably, the list has a heavy portion of religious schools (including BYU) that likely have codes of conduct against alcohol use and other party antics. A few commuter schools are on the list, too.

This list shouldn't deter anyone from attending these schools, as I know some of them have some great programs. My alma mater's on the list, and I'm actually quite proud.

You can see the full map and list here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rich Mullins Movie

I wish I could have gotten to know the music and ministry of Rich Mullins on a deeper level. He died when I was in junior high. I bought his tribute album CD (I had saved up money from my job at the grocery store), and noticed that Michael W. Smith and dc Talk had done a few covers of his work. "Calling Out Your Name," "If I Stand," "My Deliverer," "Save Me," "I See You" and "Step By Step" became favorites that I still have mostly memorized.  

There's a biopic on Rich Mullins, that seems to tell his story in true ragamuffin style.

If you are looking for an idealized or sanitized portrait of Rich Mullins, don’t watch this movie. Here’s a chain-smoking man with salty language and a propensity toward alcohol abuse who sees himself and everyone else in desperate need of God’s mercy and grace. At the same time, here’s a man who gave away almost all of the money he earned, spent time ministering to the broken who lived on a Native American reservation, and pointed people away from himself and toward the church for spiritual nourishment.

There's more info here. HT: Trevin Wax 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Christian Colleges' Accreditation Questioned?

Peter Conn, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has asserted that religious colleges (namely using my alma mater as an example) should no longer be accredited.

Alan Jacobs, professor at Baylor, responds.

The discussion (a generous term, in many cases) about the triangular relationship between religion, government and culture continues.

HT: Thomas Kidd

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nine Things to Know About Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence

July 4, 2014 will be America's 238th Independence Day, the day Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Here are nine things you should know about America's founding document and the day set aside for its commemoration.

Happy Independence Day!

HT: Joe Carter

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Redefining Hate

The wordsmithing Brits behind the Oxford Dictionary define “hate” as “hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice.” But words take on new meanings as people speak them, often deriving more from the context of their usage than from their actual definitions.

Read the rest here.

HT: Jonathan Merritt and Timothy Willard

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tim Howard's Testimony

The U.S. was eliminated from World Cup contention yesterday, but I'm still finding Tim Howard's testimony inspiring.

You can read it here.

(Photo by Guy Garrard).