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The Hermitary

» A Little Weekend Reading: The Hermitary: Resources and reflections on hermits and silence.  [ 06/22/07 ]

Convents for tourists

» One day I would like to travel to Italy. And when I do, I would absolutely love to stay in a convent(1) Comments  / [ 04/10/07 ]

Young people are giving up social networking sites for Lent

» Gimme that old-time religion: Students give up social networks for Lent. Why not? I do think it's a cheat, though, to substitute one site for another. "Some of my friends think it's silly, since people usually give up food. I wanted to give up something that's really hard for me." Emily Montgomery, 16, who has given up logging onto MySpace for Lent.  (6) Comments  / [ 03/29/07 ]

The New Nuns

» Time has an interesting article about the young (and older) women who are entering convents today: Today's Nun Has A Veil—And A Blog. "Religious life itself is a radical choice. In an age where our primary secular values are sex, power and money, for someone to choose chastity, obedience and poverty is a radical statement." Brother Paul Vednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago. (1) Comments  / [ 11/17/06 ]

The neuroscience of speaking in tongues

» Neuroscientists say that brain scans show that when people are speaking in tongues, language centers and the part of the brain through which people control what they do are relatively quiet—supporting the description of the experience evangelicals say they are having. (4) Comments  / [ 11/09/06 ]

A Feast Day Cookbook

» Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton & Helmut Ripperger. (via ml [ 10/20/06 ]

The Stained Glass Ceiling

» The Stained Glass Ceiling. "People have written me in almost every church I have been in except the current one, and said, 'Timothy says women can’t preach, so how can you?'" The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, pastor of Crossroads United Methodist Church in Phoenix.  [ 09/04/06 ]

Trek Jews: Rabbi Gershom's Jewish-themed Trekker Page

» Rabbi Yonassan Gershom is a a Hassidic homesteader, an expert on Jewish reincarnation, and author of the yet-to-be-published book "Jewish Themes in Star Trek (Where No Rabbi Has Gone Before!) " You'll want to explore his page, TrekJews, and its companion page of material from around the Web on the same theme. The Rabbi has also compiled a list of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy. (thanks, Kane!)  [ 08/09/06 ]

The only 4 Shakers left in the world live in Maine

» The Last Ones Standing. There are only four Shakers left. (via dm [ 07/31/06 ]

Amish farmer fights for the right to sell raw milk

» Amish farmer caught in milk sting fights dairy law. I just like saying that. (1) Comments  / [ 07/07/06 ]

ESV's use of Mechanical Turk to provide Bible metadata

» Producers of the English Standard Version Bible wanted an electronic database that would identify all 5,500 direct quotes in the Bible by speaker. So they uploaded all of the quotes to Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a service that pays volunteers a small amount to perform tasks computers have trouble with—in this case, two cents a quote. The result? A Bible database that is unique in the world, for a cost of about $75. (via rw [ 06/27/06 ]

Believers of all religions work to hasten the return of the Messiah

» Around the world, devout Muslims, Jews, and Christians—especially Christians—are taking steps to fulfill the prophecies of their own religion in order to hasten the coming of the Messiah. It's fascinating to compare both the messianic prophecies and the individual attitudes towards other religions. (2) Comments  / [ 06/26/06 ]

The Caliphate would unite world Muslims

» The Caliphate: One nation, under Allah, with 1.5 billion Muslims [ 05/23/06 ]

Moroccon female preachers designed to stem extremism

» Morocco has just graduated its first team of women preachers to be deployed as a vanguard in its fight against any slide towards Islamic extremism. [ 05/23/06 ]

Religious affiliations of the world's 100 most influential people

» Religious Affiliations of History's 100 Most Influential People, as ranked by Michael H. Hart in The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. Catholics dominate. The highest ranking atheist: Karl Marx, at #27. I wonder if they counted Jesus (#3) as a pre-Nicene Christian, or (my choice) as a Jew? (via cn(1) Comments  / [ 05/12/06 ]

DaVinci Code 'historical background' is wrong

» Part of the appeal of the DaVinci Code is that it purports to offer a glimpse into secret societies and hidden history. Instead, a group of Christian scholars say that author Dan Brown got key historical background events wrong(2) Comments  / [ 05/03/06 ]

Conservative Judaism and Gay Rabbis

» A Conservative Rabbi considers a Biblical injunction and ponders whether the ban on gay rabbis might not be subject to Conservative Judaism's tradition of "upgrad[ing] our biblical understanding with new scientific knowledge."  [ 05/02/06 ]

Reflections on the revival of 'wet shaving'

» A Little Weekend Reading: The Best a Man Can Get, a reflection on the revival of Wet Shaving.

"After the age of forty, every man is responsible for his own face." This aphorism, most commonly attributed to Albert Camus, was comforting when I heard it in my twenties.... Now I am 38, two years away from Camus's benchmark.... Alas, unless the next two years bring a sudden Botox-like transformation, the face I will be responsible for in my forties and beyond has quite as many faults as the one I was not responsible for in my twenties. And without a doubt, wet shaving has only made me more conscious of the face I am about to be responsible for. [...]
But if Camus's slogan is no longer comforting, it has become bracing. Just in time, at the age of 38, I have learned how to shave. I have become responsible for my own face.

  [ 04/28/06 ]

Christian Sex Toys

» A new website called Wholly Love [ed. note: top page fine, inside pages tasteful, but possibly not quite safe for work] sells sex toys to help couples celebrate "God's fantastic gift of sex within Christian marriage". And why not? The site offers sex toys, "Dickie warmers", fishnet gloves, and a nurse's outfit. "We are constantly told as Christians what we can’t do, but there is little promotion of what we can." Stella Hagarty, co-founder of Wholly Love. (1) Comments  / [ 04/24/06 ]

The Magdalene program

» The Reverend Becca Stevens has created an amazingly successful program to change the lives of women with a criminal history of prostitution and drug abuse by treating them like precious objects. "I wanted to treat people with dignity and respect, to have a lovely place where women could feel the extravagance of being loved, and that they are worth something." The Reverend Becca Stevens, founder of the Magdalene community.  [ 04/20/06 ]

Sellling God to a captive audience

» A captive audience for salvation The largest private company running prisons and jails in the United States has formed partnerships with eight national Evangelical Christian ministries, but observers are raising questions about its constitutionality — and effectiveness. "Once you get into the program it will grab you. Doing time is hard.... This is the best place to be in the facility because there's more peace." Harold Harris, repeat offender and member of one of his prison's "God Pods".  [ 04/19/06 ]

Cross Walk America to reclaim Christianity

» Concerned that radical fundamentalism has hijacked Christianity in the public sphere, a group of moderate and progressive Christians have formed a group called Crosswalk, and started a cross-country hike from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington, DC to bring attention to more mainstream Christian values. The Phoenix Affirmations summarize their core beliefs. And of course they have a blog. "We are going on this journey because the Christian values of compassion, a welcoming spirit, acceptance and tolerance are being drowned out in large part by a small but vocal and well-funded minority that are using faith in America to create a divisive and polarizing atmosphere of exclusion." The Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., co-president of CrossWalk America, and senior pastor of Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ.  (1) Comments  / [ 04/18/06 ]

Pantomime Ministries

» Awesome: Pantomime Ministries. It's real, it's largely a phenomenon of the African American church, and it's spreading. Here's one group: The Lights of Zion. Their tagline? "We mime our own business".  [ 04/18/06 ]

Afghanistan Apostasy

» Why Afghanistan should not have dismissed the apostasy case. (via dm [ 04/03/06 ]

Amish rebuild neighbor's home

» Amish neighbors take just one day to rebuild home destroyed by twister. (thanks, mab!)  [ 03/16/06 ]

Pray as you go Podcasts

» Fabulous. A group of British Jesuits is offering a popular new service: free, 12-minute worship sessions in MP3 format, with an automated "Pray as you Go" process to automate downloading to the user's iPod. (via trevor cook [ 03/15/06 ]

Bringing Human RIghts to Foreign Policy

» After Christian groups noticed the success of the Jewish community in helping Soviet Jews, they turned their attention to an effort that is now bearing fruit: the evangelization of US foreign policy. "A 20-year civil war [in Sudan] actually ended in large part due to the activism of evangelicals and their alliance with others, including Jewish groups. It's an unheralded story, but it's also a historical fact." Allen Hertzke, author of Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights [ 03/06/06 ]

Christian First Person Shooter

» Christians are about to get their own video game, based on the popular Left Behind book series and which — according to this writeup — features a level of violence reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto. "We've thought through how the Christian right and the liberal left will slam us. But megachurches are very likely to embrace this game." Troy Lyndon, CEO, Left Behind Games.  [ 03/02/06 ]

SCOTUS unanimously approves religious hallucinogenics

» In his second opinion on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts affirmed that a small congregation in New Mexico may use hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual intended to connect with God. Tell me: what does this portend for the Roberts court?  [ 02/22/06 ]

Religious leaders reject Intelligent Design

» Protestant and Catholic leaders are speaking out against the Intelligent Design movement, joining scientists who have been battling to remove the ideology from science classes across the United States.  [ 02/22/06 ]

Evangelical Greens

» Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative. "As Christians, our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to love our neighbors and to be stewards of God's creation. The good news is that with God's help, we can stop global warming, for our kids, our world and for the Lord." The Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of a megachurch in Longwood, Fla., in a television spot that links images of drought, starvation and Hurricane Katrina to global warming. (via jc [ 02/13/06 ]

We will never take it back

» The quote at the top of the page is funny [context] but I'm very impressed with the message contained in St. James UCC's Top 10 Reasons to check out the United Church of Christ. If more churches were preaching this message, I have to think Christianity would have a better name among non-believers.

5. One God, One Faith, One Baptism for All
When we baptize you into our community, we promise that we will never take it back — no matter what you discover about yourself or what others discover about you along life's journey. We believe that big enough, strong enough and cleansing enough to last forever. We believe that everyone — old, young, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, physically or emotionally challenged, rich or poor, sure or unsure, lost or found, Democrat or Republican has a place in the body of Christ. Baptism is like a badge that says, "you’re a full member of the church and no one can take that away from you."

Bonus: "Party Church". (via jc [ 02/13/06 ]

The Rise of Chrislam

» CSM: "Chrislam" combines Christianity, Islam, and sometimes traditional African religious practice to create a hybrid religious practice that is growing in popularity in Africa. "You in the West are satisfied with one hour of church on Sunday. This is about a practical way of life." Kamaldeen Balogun, an Islamic studies professor at Olabisi Onabanjo University in southeastern Nigeria.  [ 01/26/06 ]

Free to be, You and Me

» CSM: US celebrates its most misread freedom. "American Muslims often tell me how much they appreciate the freedom to practice Islam the way they want to, which they couldn't do in their native country even though it was a Muslim nation. But then they say, 'What is this nonsense about the separation of church and state — why do we need that?' They don't understand that's why they have their freedom." Charles Haynes, of the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Va.  [ 01/20/06 ]

Evangelical Warmongering

» NYT: Wayward Christian Soldiers is a remarkable piece by an American evangelical who is troubled by the role his movement played in selling the invasion of Iraq to the American people. "Recently, I took a few days to reread the war sermons delivered by influential evangelical ministers during the lead up to the Iraq war. [...] Many of the most respected voices in American evangelical circles blessed the president's war plans, even when doing so required them to recast Christian doctrine." (via dm)   [ 01/20/06 ]

Amish on cell phones

» A Little Weekend Reading: In a 1999 Wired article, Look Who's Talking, Howard Rheingold examines the Amish relationship with technology and the modern world. "The price of good farmland and the number of Amish families are both increasing so rapidly that in recent decades they have adopted nonagricultural enterprises for livelihood — woodworking, construction, light factory work. This, in turn, has forced the Amish to adopt technologies that can enhance their productivity. [...] Far from knee-jerk technophobes, these are very adaptive techno-selectives who devise remarkable technologies that fit within their self-imposed limits."  [ 01/20/06 ]

Shearing God's Sheep - or Saving Them?

» A revitalized Prosperity Theology is taking New York City — and much of the country — by storm. "There's no question that almost every Christian leader — reformed, Pentecostal, however you want to call it — sees it as a blight on the face of Christianity. Yet it's so seductive." Timothy C. Morgan, deputy managing editor at Christianity Today.  [ 01/16/06 ]



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