Government

Owl Post 10-5-12

Romney Soars, Obama Fumbles:

DENVER — The Romney camp began flooding into the post-debate spin room before the candidates had given their closing arguments. They couldn’t wait to start the gloating. “Governor Romney was the clear winner,” crowed his strategist Eric Fehrnstrom. “If this were a boxing match, it would have been called by the referee.” And: “Someone should check the heels on President Obama’s shoes. They’re probably pretty worn down, because he just spent 90 minutes back on them.”

At Least 5 Things Scripture Teaches Us About Governments:

Government is one of the facts of life in this world. All of human history has shown that we need to be governed. Not surprisingly, the Bible speaks to government. Here are five things the Bible teaches us.

Everything Is Not OK (on Parenthood)… the Bad Thing Is Already Happening:

Have you been watching the new season of Parenthood? This show continues to deliver the goods, which mostly come in the form of true-to-life suffering, chaos, loss, and grace, love, and peace amidst it all—very much in line with the Mockingbird conference last week in Charlottesville.

The most recent episode’s title says so much: “Everything Is Not OK.” It refers to the startling news that Kristina Braverman has received (I used to find Kristina’s character fairly annoying, but she has been endearing herself to me lately, mostly due to her present suffering), namely, that she has breast cancer. In this episode, her husband Adam Braverman’s relentless positivity is met with the reality of Kristina’s situation. The irony is his positivity only serves to make her feel worse, and thus she no longer wants to talk to him.

HOW TO CULTIVATE FRESH FAITH IN THE GOSPEL:

There are times old, memorized Bible promises just don’t help me trust Jesus. I recite them in the face of temptation, but nothing. No power, no belief, no victory. Is this because Jesus isn’t trustworthy? After all, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor. 1:20). Why aren’t they “amen-ed” in my heart in the face of temptation of despair? Is there something wrong with my Bible? Or maybe Jesus only occasionally makes good on his promises? That, of course, contradicts God’s Word, and we must always interpret the Bible in light of the rest of the Bible.

Defending the Free Market – Book Review:

Robert Sirico, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy. Washington, DC: Regnery, 2012. 256 pp. $17.33.

Already this presidential race has provoked countless controversies. The party conventions exposed a diverse range of value systems, worldviews, and religious convictions regarding marriage, sexuality, sanctity of human life, and human dignity. Various factions clamor to define the future of our nation. And the ongoing jobs crisis perhaps makes economic debates more germane and inescapable than ever.

Owl Post 4-12-2012

Democrat Hilary Rosen Sparks Twitter Uproar With Ann Romney Comments:

The strategist sparks an uproar — and has Dems on the defensive — after suggesting Romney, a mother of five, never worked. Link

Survey finds e-readers are spurring consumers of books in all formats:

It is good to see technology helping ignite a love of reading.”A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey.” Link

Two different links on Titanic’s impact 100 years later:

100 years after the Titanic, we’re still not unsinkable:

A couple of weeks ago, two other engineers and I were given a tour of a late-1920s mansion outside Detroit. To reach the second floor, we decided to take the vintage elevator. As it descended toward us, it sounded like a cage being rattled by a large animal. Our guide cheerfully told us not to worry; the suspect elevator had been well-maintained and was “absolutely safe.”

Titanic: The reality:

BELFAST, Northern Ireland—Here, where Titanic, the massive White Star Line luxury liner, was built—the joke for years has been, “It was fine when it left here.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship “Not even God himself could sink. …” And the centenary is being observed in diverse ways.

Should God be obeyed? Should the government?

This post is not something I completely agree with, but it was though-provoking. “Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly doubts humanity’s worth. We see these misgivings in the book of Genesis, when God decides to kill nearly all of humanity in a great flood because of our evil proclivities. Or when He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because of their residents’ sinfulness. Or in Exodus, when God resolves to kill the Israelites, whom He has rescued from slavery in Egypt because of their idolatry of a golden calf, until Moses persuades Him otherwise.” Link

The Staggering Demand for Pornography:

Though many people want to argue that technology is neutral and what matters is how people choose to use it, I have always thought this viewpoint naive. A simple overview of the history of pornography in my lifetime shows that the development of new technologies which enable people to access sexually explicit material has completely overwhelmed our human ability to say “no” to such temptations. Link

The Monarch, the Mirror: Why Root for the Evil Queen?

Say what you will about Mirror, Mirror, the newest rendition of the Brothers Grimm’s 1812 tale of Little Snow White, the first of two Snow White films to come to theaters this season (the other is the Charlize-crowned Snow White and the Huntsman). There’s plenty of bad writing in the trailer, as well as an odd tonal choice,  and yet there’s also some of the most beautiful designwork imaginable. Take all that with a grain of salt, The Atlantic’s Snow White piece by Elizabeth Greenwood is an exceptional write-up, less about the movie and more about the psychological lore, and this treatment’s success at bringing to the fore the audience’s exceptional relatability of the Evil Queen rather than to the heroine Snow. Greenwood’s review isn’t necessarily shining, but more so an honest take on what elements of the Grimm tale we’re able to swallow today, and what we’re not, particularly our passivity before the force of death and aging. We quickly settle for the story we spin for ourselves–the glory of “You go girl!” and not the fleshy depravity “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…” Link

Mission From God: The Upstart Christian Sect Driving Invisible Children and Changing Africa:

For Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, stumbling into Uganda’s one-time civil war wasn’t an accident; it was a divine calling.

While the rest of the world laughs at or ponders the psych ward-ridden creator of Kony 2012, the unlikely Internet video sensation that brought both himself and a vicious Ugandan rebel instant and overwhelming fame, the mystery of his inspiration and success only grows more curious. Link

Owl Post 3-1-2012

I know there are a lot of links here; I have not had the time to share them recently, but they are all worth the read.

60 Second Summary: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

The Gist: Since it is currently permissible to kill prenatal children because they are only potential persons and do not have full moral status, then we should be able to kill postnatal children for the same reason. Link

Atheist Alain de Botton Insists Society Needs Guidance From Religion:

Famed atheist Alain de Botton, also a best-selling Swiss author and philosopher known for challenging Richard Dawkins and what he calls his “destructive” atheistic theology, has in a recent interview highlighted many ways in which religion is useful even for secularists. Link

The Hope Amidst Porn In A Marriage:

The sin of pornography is not just a male issue. In fact, recent studies show that one third of people who are looking at porn are women. But, men are still the ones who primarily struggle with this sin—and implicate their wives in doing so. Link

The myth of the eight-hour sleep:

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. Link

Contemporary Tolerance Is Intrinsically Intolerant:

The notion of tolerance is changing, and with the new definitions the shape of tolerance itself has changed. Although a few things can be said in favor of the newer definition, the sad reality is that this new, contemporary tolerance is intrinsically intolerant. It is blind to its own shortcomings because it erroneously thinks it holds the moral high ground; it cannot be questioned because it has become part of the West’s plausibility structure. Worse, this new tolerance is socially dangerous and is certainly intellectually debilitating. Even the good that it wishes to achieve is better accomplished in other ways. Link

If Only:

Feeling inadequate and out of control of any number of life stresses, I feel small and weak. Instead of being humbled, I tend to reject the discomfort of my need, and become prideful. I demand control, believing that if I regain control, I will be restored. My wandering, grumbling heart searches for some end to my familiar fatigue. Link

There’s Lots of Yelling in Campaign to Break This Glass Ceiling:

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—This week, a student-body vote at Texas A&M University could make Samantha Ketcham the first female cheerleader—make that yell leader—in school history. Link

Don’t Assume: 

As one of our society’s most popular verses, it is also one of the most misunderstood. Too many people, non-Christian and Christian, take Jesus’ words to be a blanket rejection of all moral evaluation. But given that Jesus alludes to his opponents as dogs and pigs five verses later, it’s safe to think Jesus wasn’t condemning every kind of judgment. We see from the rest of the Gospel that Matthew 7:1 is not inconsistent with strong criticisms, negative statements, church discipline, and warnings about hell. Judgmentalism is not the same as making ethical and doctrinal demands or believing others to be wrong. Link

The Reasons Google+ Is Still a Ghost Town:

The Wall Street Journal has boiled down the failure of Google+ to make a dent in the social network dominance of Facebook, which we have noted for months to two simple stats: users spend about three minutes per month on Google+ compared to six to seven hours a month on Facebook. After all the hype and hope of being the next “It” social network, what happened? Link

Five lessons learned from the Republican presidential race:

Eleven states have cast their votes in the Republican presidential nominating contest. Ten more will do so in six days time, the biggest single day of voting in the GOP race. Now then seems like as good a time as any to take three big steps back and look at what lessons the first two months of votes have taught us about the Republican race. Link

Owl Post

Owl Post is something new. I come across a lot of things that I think are worth sharing from the web and so each week I will link them here. Hope you enjoy it!
Picture Prefect Marriage : 

“This morning I am going to begin just a short series of articles on marriage. Having read several books on marriage in the past few months, I found myself really intrigued by what Paul says about the topic in his letter to the Ephesians. I’ve since had the opportunity to study it and wanted to share what I’ve learned along the way.” Part one, Part two, Part three

Government and Its Rivals: 

“WHEN liberals are in a philosophical mood, they like to cast debates over the role of government not as a clash between the individual and the state, but as a conflict between the individual and the community. Liberals are for cooperation and joint effort; conservatives are for self-interest and selfishness. Liberals build the Hoover Dam and the interstate highways; conservatives sit home and dog-ear copies of “The Fountainhead.” Liberals know that it takes a village; conservatives pretend that all it takes is John Wayne.” Link.

The End Has Come For Chuck: 

Chuck‘s five-year plan has reached its end.
On Friday, series creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak saw the end of their beloved spy comedy that inspired nerd culture and Subway sandwich diets. True to form, they still kept up with the fans who made the continuation of the series possible.”

What We do in the Face of Suffering:

“For many people living in the West where the cultural bias is towards an expectation of everybody being healthy and living longer, sickness readily becomes seen as the main focus of one’s “suffering”. But, suffering is a far broader concept than struggling with physical, emotional or mental illness.” Link This is an amazing paper on the subject of suffering; it is long, but it is well worth the time.

 5 Things We Do Today Instead of Preaching the Word:

“I wish I could tell you that most pastors are preaching the Word. I can’t—some are not. Here are five things we may choose to do instead of preaching the Word.” Link 

Well that should do it for now. Look for more every week.