Tag: Christianity

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Save the Jews, the Christians – Civilization?

 

I caught the tail end of two Wall Street Journal journalists talking about the recent attacks on Jews in New York, and since WSJ is behind a paywall, I cannot find the segment. But what I heard burned into my memory. One said that this is a “mirror of what is going on in European cities, and has been for some time.” They stated the Jews are the canary in the coal mine, a cliche that has been echoed over and over to deaf ears. This has religious implications, but they said the “resurgence of antisemitism is a symptom that society as a whole is breaking down,” and concluded with “when that happens on a large scale, people choose camps, and a peaceful, cohesive society erodes and falls apart and all you are left with are warring camps.”

Is that what we are witnessing, in New York and elsewhere, when moral boundaries are removed? I’m not just speaking of the decline in church attendance, in Jews becoming more secular, but in the overall protections and safety nets that we once relied on. When we had boundaries, we relied on law enforcement, respect for property, differences of opinion, lifestyles, and it went both ways, instead of hurling hate speech and condemning one idea over another. We respected boundaries, which also included protecting children from overly sexual content. Law enforcement is now spat upon, doused with water, and shouted at with vulgarity. Wearing a MAGA hat in public can get you tossed out of a restaurant or pummeled, because of political differences. We now have something called gender fluidity.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Unforgivable Sin

 

I got into one of those Facebook arguments over the weekend. You know, the kind with relative strangers you wish you’d walked away from three comments ago. I don’t usually argue with people over Facebook, but when I do it almost always involves football, probably because, unlike politics or religion, football tends to be a safe topic where people don’t take things too seriously. But when a football player commits an unpardonable sin, lookout.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Is Judaism?

 

Dennis Prager has a really interesting article out, called “What Is Judaism?” Mr. Prager has written and taught on the subject (including two years as a member of the Brooklyn College Department of Judaic Studies). This is how he leads:

If you’ve ever wondered what Judaism is, here is a list of its principal beliefs. This is not an official list, but these beliefs have been widely held by religious Jews for thousands of years.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Recs for a Recent Catholic

 

I have recently decided I want to be Catholic after a lifetime of protesting (being Protestant, not being an anti-theist) and am looking for some great books on the history of the Catholic church, Catholic philosophy, Catholic apologia, etc. I figured Ricochet would be a good place to ask, given the founder and community here. S o what would you guys recommend?

For anyone wondering what prompted the change, Cupid’s arrow found its mark and I’m engaged to a wonderful Catholic girl and I want to raise our future children in the faith.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Christian Tolkien Conference

 

Ricochet has many Tolkien fans and many Christians, so I thought you might want to pencil in a new conference. Aptly titled Christ and Tolkien, it will be held Oct. 1-3, 2020, in Deerfield, IL, just north of Chicago.

Tolkien’s works present many Christian themes, though not quite as obvious as those of his dear friend C.S. Lewis. JRR’s defense of the faith helped CS abandon atheism and embrace Christianity. The two went on to found the Inklings, a famous literary discussion group held at the Eagle and Child pub near the University of Oxford. (Full disclosure: I stole the name “Inkling” for my college graphic design business.)

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I’m not sure what the inspiration is for the latest student publication of Harvard Divinity Bulletin. The lead story is called “Spiritual, Sexual and Religious”, by Professor Mark D. Jordan. He has a distinctive and impressive bio: https://hds.harvard.edu/people/mark-d-jordan He gives “quite a detailed”…. history of the gay movement, and his dismay that now it’s all […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Gratefulness and Common Grace

 

“[F]or he makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” — Matthew 5:45b

Somehow we survive on this small blue planet, we fragile bipeds vulnerable to the elements, to disease, to time, and to each other. Logically, our lot is sustained misery, ended only by a merciful death. Yet mankind has done far more than survive. Our life experiences are a rich intermingling of joy and angst, satisfaction and boredom, love and suffering. We look back on our early years and we remember carefree, secure innocence. Centuries’ worth accumulated knowledge was ours to study. Next we loved, and married, and cherished children. We are paid well for skills that we are pleased to perform. And all this while we are nourished with good food, warmed with comfortable clothing, and aided when we are ill.

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It was one of those unbelievable news days. It started around 4 am while I was trying to rock the baby back to sleep. I learned that TobyMac’s oldest son had died tragically at his home. Before the sun was up in Alaska the news blanketed the internet, and grief for the family soured the […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Kanye and Dylan

 

Kanye and DylanBut I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

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Imtiaz Shams is British ex-Muslim. Genetically Modified Sceptic is an American ex-Christian. Veedu Vidz is a British ex-Muslim comedian. Together they host a forum on what it is like to walk away from the religious faith that one grew up with, one that was taught by ones parents and believed by ones friends and extended […]

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Richard Dawkins has a new book out, guaranteed to continue the debate going on in the western world, and even the entire world, over the value of religious belief. Some think that religious belief is essential to healthy societies and happy lives. There is also the debate over whether a particular religious claim is, in […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Kanye the Christian?

 

Does Kanye West’s latest album Jesus Is King mean he is a Christian now? If so, should Christians embrace him? Jack invites Free Beacon media analyst and freelance Kanye West expert Nic Rowan back onto the show to answer these and other questions.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trick or Treat: A Conversation with a Young Man

 

I happened to fall into conversation with a young veterans’ organization member, who turned out to also be eligible for the veteran’s organization to which I belong, due to service in Korea. My outfit needs more fresh blood, so I had an ulterior motive to sit and listen, just prompting him for more of his thoughts. It was a treat to hear a well-spoken young man’s perspective on his own life, work, and service. The trick, really the pleasant surprise, was to then find an amazing breadth and depth to this fellow veteran, who I took from the conversation to be in his mid-20s.

That places him on the cusp between Millennials and Gen-Z. Folks, he was none of the negative stereotypes routinely riffed about his age cohort. He started on active duty, then (fairly recently) transitioned to a reserve component. He was highly focused on leveraging the mutually reinforcing training, certifications, and experience of his civilian and military careers. He had mapped out paths of advancement in both, taking advantage of the commonality in the two technical occupations. Oh, and he had not even needed college to get on this path, but already had thought through the evening/weekend/online schooling that would punch his ticket to the top of his chosen field in both the military and civilian life.

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Did you know you can buy a demon on Etsy? I wasn’t aware there was much of a market for that kind of thing, but I learned that for less than a hundred bucks you can invite the devil to come and play in your house. There are plenty available on eBay as well. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Lights on Hilltops: Grace in Dallas

 

Lights on HilltopsThe remarkable courtroom events, following the sentencing of Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Shem Jean, called to mind the similarly remarkable courtroom events in 2015 in South Carolina. These, together, called to mind the famous passage in the Gospels about lighted lamps. Politically aware readers will at least recall President Reagan talking about America as “a shining city on a hill.” In an era of oppressively negative news, we were reminded at the beginning of October 2019 that an individual can make a significant positive difference.

Christians were challenged by the faithful witness of a young man this past week. Brandt Jean is the brother of the man murdered in Dallas. Botham Jean had graduated with an accounting degree from Harding, a private Christian college, and was working for the accounting firm PwC.* He was the first to speak in the victim impact statement phase, which comes immediately after the sentence (the time to be served) is pronounced. The sentencing phase follows the jury’s finding of guilt for one or more specified crimes.

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Dostoevsky paid attention to the dramatic conventions of hagiography: A biblical parable would teach people more than any Cartesian meditation. The sayings of the Desert Fathers are part and parcel of Dostoevsky’s literary device. This is how Father Zosima is introduced in the book: as an elder surrounded by disciples, weak and strong, who are […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Dark Echo of Christian Martrydom

 

Throughout millennia, suffering and sacrifice have always been respected. For example, Simeon the Stylite lived on ever increasingly high pillars alone in the desert to devote himself to G-d. Hindus have a long tradition of torturing their body to advance the strength of their soul. Buddhists have similar traditions of starving themselves to death. (though that’s controversial in Buddhism.)* Shia Islam seems to focus on flagellation and hitting yourself on the head with a sword (Grisly imagery contained in this link.

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“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.” – Jean Vanier More

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As a disclaimer, I would like to say that this post is targeted at Christians, but I hope that anyone who reads it will get something encouraging from it. :)   More

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the devastating fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and how the event struck a deep chord with many people around the world. They also are encouraged by how much of the 800-year-old cathedral was saved and discuss what […]

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