Happy weekend, and happy (belated) Reformation Day to you! A few hundred years ago an augustinian monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed a piece of parchment to the door of a church in Wittenberg Germany. That piece of paper contained 95 “theses” having to do with with abuses of church (Catholic Church) leaders had made in order to raise money for the church by selling indulgences. The church had gotten away from the Gospel, which says plainly that men are saved by grace through faith and through no work of their own, but by God’s power alone (Eph. 2:8-10 – as opposed to a coin in the coffer). Luther’s stand was meant to start an academic discussion, instead it sparked a reformation. Enjoy your weekend, and the many great story and links!
Let’s begin with Reformation Day because it seems like everything else is a tad depressing in the news world…The history channel did a little video on Luther. The Kuyperian blog has an 8 minute long ballad that gives the history of Luther. All week long the Ligonier folks were posting short biographies of leading reformers. This week they had Calvin, Luther, and an overall piece on Reformation Day which was really nice. Finally, check the bottom of this email for Erik Eriksen’s great Martin Meme…
Next up (ironically) the Pope this weekend reminded Protestants why they left the church. I was thinking of calling it “another gaffe” but it seems he actually means what he’s saying – normally a good thing. But in all the outcry about the Pope’s comments on evolution (which were nothing earth shattering), what stood out to me was how he degraded the ability and power of God. This coming from the man charged with being the most important pro-God cheerleader on earth.
Meanwhile, the gay rights movement scored a pop-culture victory. Front and center this week was Apple CEO Tim Cook’s declaration that not only is he a homosexual, but he’s proud to be, and says, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” For men like Cook, theology does not extend past what suits them – it is simply a waxed nose which can be shaped to fit their desires.
Besides all of this, there are elections coming up on Tuesday (the reason my email is late). New reports say that North Carolina and Iowa have Senate races that are “too close to call.” But Kentucky seems to be leaning toward Republicans, and South Dakota (once a Dem dream, now a pipe dream) is fading from competitiveness, as is New Hampshire as Scott Brown’s chances at getting back to the Senate seem dim. Kansas seems still very up in the air, however, and Louisiana and Georgia will likely both go to runoffs. On the lighter side, the RNC released a funny commercial this week.
What’s at stake in this election? Apparently its condoms.
A bit of a set back for those hoping to hop a jet for an intergalactic vacation in the near future. A crash in the Mojave desert of a test flight from Virgin Galactic (seriously, that’s the name) has left one dead and one injured. A very sad story. Horribly, this occurred not long after NASA’s first commercial space jet exploded after just leaving the platform. Thankfully it was an unmanned craft.
In the spirit of controversy, you’ve maybe heard about the New York woman who recorded herself walking through NYC for 10 hours and receiving all manner of comments – cat calls and compliments among a host of other odd occurrences. Now this lady is receiving “rape threats.” It’s hard to know what the make of this. Many of the comments seem overblown as you watch the video – we can’t completely close down society here or no man would ever approach a woman for fear of getting sued. That being said, that this lady is receiving such hostile responses indicates the depth of depravity our society has fallen into. Ironically, the same people who are pumping sex and smut into our culture are the ones complaining about its affects…what did they think would happen?
On the lighter side – at least mankind is working on the critical steps forward in term from a mechanical/scientific standpoint. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like we’re investing enough money in Ebola yet…But we have figured out how to make the world a better place through bird poop.
Speaking of popular science, researchers are finding out what happens to a body when it does to “sleep with the fishes.”
And in case you missed it, the big to-do this week internationally was the increased tension in the already rocky relationship between the US and Israel. Hard to work together when you’re getting anonymously trash talked by your friends.
Staying on the international theme, FP.com did a write up on the influence of ISIS on children and how youngsters are being used in the terror war.
Meanwhile, our military is getting smarter and using some really cool new technology for mapping purposes.
Everyone seems to have a different take on Halloween. Personally I think its a rather creepy holiday. I mean, what are we celebrating here? But one pastor is more pragmatic about the day and has some good thoughts.
Ligonier Ministries released a ginormous study this week having to do with the state of American theology. About 3000 people were polled. R.C. Sproul discusses it here. Info breakdown here, along with a cool (and depressing) info-graphic.
American’s are not only getting dumber theologically, the New York variety would like to stop learning history as well.
Here’s a great success story involving receiving blankets that you might enjoy as you sip coffee this morning.
Back to politics…if you haven’t seen this little blooper, it won’t be the last time you hear about it. If Hillary Clinton runs for President, she’ll have to explain why businesses and corporations “aren’t the ones creating jobs.” Seriously. That’s like saying soldiers don’t kill people, birds don’t fly, and Clinton’s don’t lie.