Bittergate
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Well, here we are in mid-April, and the Democratic presidential contenders are going at it like two tired heavyweights in the later rounds. By now nobody is hearing any new ideas. The game now is to try not to wound yourself with a fatal gaffe, while of course scrutinizing your opponent’s speeches and hoping he/she will utter something really stupid. This past week it has been Barack’s turn to sweat. Last weekend in San Francisco he observed that he thought... Read More
Is It Really Greener?
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Last week I read a thoughtful and poignant article by a 32-year-old New York woman whose parents had immigrated from India. She is a Harvard-educated journalist, smart and savvy, but she often feels cultural dislocation by living halfway between two very different worlds of dating and mating. Neither the New York social scene nor her father’s matchmaking had produced a guy she wanted to commit her life to. Like many singles, she still longed for marriage, but not at any... Read More
Three Cheers for Westminster
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April 1 brought good news from Philadelphia, and ‘tis no joke. The board of directors of Westminster Theological Seminary voted to suspend a professor for teaching in a 2005 book that the Bible’s content was partly of human origin and partly divine. This is a big deal. When you read the Bible, it makes a huge difference if you think you are hearing God’s infallible Word or St. Paul’s fallible opinions. When you hear it read in church, it makes... Read More
Rhetoric
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By now most of the chattering class has weighed in on the subject of Mr. Obama’s level of disavowal of the fiery pulpit comments of his Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ, the denomination’s flagship congregation. I suppose another few observations from this corner wouldn’t hurt much. It really shouldn’t surprise anybody that harsh and extreme comments would be spoken in a monocultural group. When we feel safe, when we’re surrounded by people just... Read More
Global Cooling
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Up here in the tundra it’s been hard for the global warming crowd to get any traction for quite a while. This winter, which unfortunately shows no signs of being over, inconveniently has been one of the coldest ever in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Milwaukee we had our second snowiest winter since records have been kept after the Civil War. My muscles and back ache from shoveling. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that polar ice levels have... Read More
STD
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The news was doubly bad last week. First we hear from the Center for Disease Control that 26% of all teenage girls in America have a sexually transmitted disease (48% if you’re a minority teen). The four top diseases: HPV (human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer), chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes. 44% of all high school students admit to having had sexual intercourse at least once. The second piece of bad news came to me while I was listening... Read More
Feedback
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Over the years I’ve done my share of public music performances, and one of the things all musicians and singers dread is feedback. If you get a live mike too close to a monitor speaker, you get that sudden shriek that makes your fillings hurt. But there’s a good kind of feedback, and that’s the kind you recently gave me. This little blog is a thank-you to the thousands of you who responded to a survey sent out by one... Read More
The Only Way?
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Is Jesus Christ the only way for people to find a happy relationship with God? Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt. Rev. Rowan Williams, recently provoked a furor when he said on the BBC that it seemed unavoidable that Islamic shari’a would become part of British law. This willing spirit of capitulation seems in marked contrast to the teachings of Argentinian Christian evangelist Luis Palau. Christianity Today just reprinted a stirring 1996 interview with Palau, whose crusades have touched millions of... Read More
Adopted
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What do Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Gerald Ford, and (Apple Computer co-founder) Steve Jobs have in common? You guessed it—they were all adopted by one or both parents. What do John McCain, Walt Disney, and Stephen Spielberg have in common? They all were adoptive parents. My wife and I got a little taste of the process when we were certified as foster parents about ten years ago and had a foster child for several years. The foster system... Read More
NIU
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Shock and awe in De Kalb, Ill. The staffs of Time of Grace and St. Marcus Church join with grieving people in Illinois and all of America, stunned at another senseless string of shootings. Our hearts go out to the families of the slain and wounded students. It might seem to some as though the Apocalypse is upon us, that the Day of Judgment must be at hand. That may be. We should be ready for Christ’s return at any... Read More