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Showing posts from November, 2011

Persuasively redefining Christianity has been a pastime through the ages

Professor Harold Bloom’s article in the New York Times challenges not only many popular political stances, it also questions American religion.
“Mr. Romney, earnest and staid, who is deep within the labyrinthine Mormon hierarchy, is directly descended from an early follower of the founding prophet Joseph Smith, whose highly original revelation was as much a departure from historical Christianity as Islam was and is. But then, so in fact are most manifestations of what is now called religion in the United States, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God Pentecostalists and even our mainline Protestant denominations. . .
Persuasively redefining Christianity has been a pastime through the ages, yet the American difference is brazen. What I call the American Religion, and by that I mean nearly all religions in this country, socially manifests itself as the Emancipation of Selfishness. Our Great Emancipator of Selfishness, President Ronald Reagan, refreshingly evaded…

How Moses Created Thanksgiving: The Biblical Roots of America's Holiday

Bruce Feiler’s article “How Moses Created Thanksgiving: The Biblical Roots of America's Holiday” provides some very interesting insights.
“I hadn't ever associated the biblical prophet with this most American holidays, but his fingerprints are all over our turkeys. How did this happen? How did a 3,000-year-old story become the inspiration for a contemporary American national holiday?”
Read the complete article at -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-feiler/how-moses-created-thanksg_b_787077.html

Can Mediums Really Talk to the Dead?

Dean Radin of the Institute of Noetic Science interviews Dr. Julie Beischel, one of the world’s foremost researchers into the phenomenon of mediumship. Dr. Beischel is researching the continuation of consciousness after death.
Dean Radin: I want to ask you a question that you likely get a lot. How did a nice young lady with a doctorate in toxicology and pharmacology end up doing mediumship research?
Beischel: I do get asked that a lot. It’s a long story, but the short version is that when I was in graduate school, my mom committed suicide. I was twenty-four at the time. Science is my religion, and I turned to science to see what it had to say about the afterlife. Although there were some things being done, I found science did not have very many answers.
Read the complete interview at -- http://noetic.org/noetic/issue-sixteen-november/can-mediums-really-talk-to-the-dead/

Belief in American Exceptionalism Waning

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Belief in American Exceptionalism Waning.” Below are some interesting stats from the article:
Americans also are less likely than Europeans to say that success in life is determined by forces beyond our control as most agree that they have control over their own fate. There’s also a religious divide across the Atlantic. Half of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives compared to 22% in Spain, 21% in Germany, 17% in Britain and 13% in France. Meanwhile, 53% in the U.S. say it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values, compared to 33% in Germany, 20% in Britain, 19% in Spain and 15% in France.
Read complete article at -- http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/11/18/poll-finds-waning-belief-in-american-exceptionalism/?mod=wsj_share_twitter

7 Questions Every Christian Should Consider

Below are seven questions that every Christian should consider.
(1) Shouldn’t the beliefs and teachings of every Christian church reflect Jesus’ beliefs and teachings?
(2) Shouldn’t Jesus’ words be the foundation of any religion that promises eternal life to anyone who believes on him?
(3) Do you think someone else’s beliefs and teachings should hold a higher place in Christianity than Jesus’?
(4) What would Christianity be without Jesus?
(5) Does anyone really think that the Jesus that lived and taught in Judea in the first century CE created a religion with 40,000 denominations?
(6) If you are a Christian, do you think Jesus created your belief system?
(7) What is the highest priority of God?
Post your comments and answers on this blog or email them to me. I am very interested in hearing from you.

Justice and Human Rights

Rabbi Jill Jacobs has written a very interesting and informative article.

"At first glance, the language of rights and the language of obligations seem to be at odds with one another. One asks, “What does each person deserve?” and the other asks, “What must each person give?” I choose instead to see rights and obligations as necessary complements to one another. Having a right does us little good if no individual, community, or government bears responsibility for ensuring our access to that right. On the flip side, there would be little incentive to take on obligations toward another person if we did not fundamentally believe in that person’s right to a certain standard of living."

Read complete article at -- http://www.shma.com/2011/11/justice-and-human-rights/

Foreigners, Eunuchs and Early Christians

Sometimes biblical research is like archaeology -- you have to dig and dig to fine a clue. But sometimes, they are so big they are like giant billboards, as in this case. The clues are linked to the words “foreigner” and “eunuch.”

People today are told they must say a prayer, have a personal emotional experience with Jesus, believe the right things, or join the right church – or some combination thereof, in order to go to heaven instead of hell. But as you will read – Jesus didn’t teach that message of salvation.

Read the complete article at –
http://www.biblicalheritage.org/DTB/Foreigners_Eunuchs_and_Christians.pdf

Supreme Court Asked “What is a Minister?”

When is a minister really a minister? That’s the question the Supreme Court will grapple with in the coming months. A conflict between a commissioned minister and Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church has made it all the way to the supreme judicial body of the land. There are several issues at stake:

(1) whether a church body has the right to handle disputes according to its own tenets of faith,
(2) when is someone not a “minister” but simply an employee, and
(3) how to apply the 1st amendment in the case of Christian schools.

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, of which Hosanna-Tabor is a part, has struggled greatly over the years with the question of when her ministers and members may appeal to “secular authority” to resolve disputes.

Read complete article at - http://blog.chron.com/lutherant/2011/11/supreme-court-asked-what-is-a-minister/

UK Chief Rabbi delivers Invocation prayer at US Senate

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks delivered the Invocation prayer in the US Senate on Wednesday, becoming the first Jewish community leader from the UK to fulfill the honor.

“Sovereign of the universe, who created all in love, teach us to love all that is good and beautiful in this world. Teach us to honor the dignity of difference, recognizing that one who is not in ourimage is none the less in your image; never forgetting that the people not like us, are still people – like us.

“At this fateful moment in the human story, bless us that we may be a blessing to others.

Guide the nations of the world to honor you by honoring one another. So that by reaching out in love, we may turn enemies into friends, and become your family on earth as you are our parent in heaven.

“Beloved God, bless the members of this United States Congress and guide their deliberations, that they may govern this great nation with wisdom and justice, grace and compassion, bringing honor to your name, and your b…