There is no moral equivalence between the Islamic State and Putin’s Russia—the first is a genocidal totalitarianism while the second is brutally authoritarian, but not genocidal. But both want to carve out new or enlarged states across internationally recognized borders, both threaten international stability, and both ultimately legitimate themselves in religious terms.
It appears to be. And its hostility is only likely to increase as the regime turns to forces such as nationalism to legitimate itself in the face of an inevitable slowdown in China’s rate of growth.
The film Heaven Is For Real has done very well at the box office, in part by tapping into lax modern attitudes about salvation. Some critics are troubled by its message.
Is charismatic Christianity coming to Europe? Up until now, it didn’t seem likely. But events in the UK perhaps suggest otherwise.
Most human beings are not logicians. They muddle through life with beliefs and values that often do not hang together logically. I think that, basically, this is good news. Rigorously consistent doctrines, in politics as in religion, have a tendency to become murderous. The Mexican writer Octavio Paz (in his wonderful book The Labyrinth of […]
Not long ago I had a conversation with the dean of a mainline Protestant divinity school. I asked him what his students are like these days. He said that there are three main groups: white women—most of them feminists and/or GLBT activists—African-Americans and Koreans, most in both groups being fundamentalists. He laughed and said that […]
Readers of this blog will by now have become familiar with my cognitive preference for free association. I read something about Brazil, which reminds me about something in China, the two items together have an implication for a theory of mine. If the currently fashionable brain science is right, this predilection of mine may be […]
The British Catholic journal The Tablet carried a story on August 3, 2013 that I found suggestive (although its topic is not terribly interesting in itself). The story reports on the surprising growth in England of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Oratory. This is not a monastic order but a community of secular priests, […]
I have not previously dragged out an issue from one post to the next, but I will this time. I just came across two news items that further illustrate a point I made in my most recent post. Most of that post dealt with the persecution of Christians in many countries, compared with which some […]
Both Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestant media have for years been drawing public attention to the persecution of Christians in many countries. Secular media have been less attentive; some have ascribed this to an anti-Christian bias; I rather doubt this—more likely it comes from the fact that many otherwise well-informed journalists are less informed on […]