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Articles Posted by Alex Murphy

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  • Life: Can we Catholics handle the truth?

    07/18/2015 4:45:11 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 53 replies
    Sioux City Journal ^ | July 12, 2015 | Rick Bertrand
    As a lifelong Catholic, I pray daily for the abolishment of abortion, and like many Catholics I have attended the rallies, marched in the rain, donated money, and from the sidewalks of Planned Parenthood worn the heckling as a badge of honor. In 2010 I was elected to the Iowa Senate as the first Republican to represent Sioux City in over 30 years, and I am proud to say that I am a Catholic, a husband, and a father who believes that abortion is murder, and that there is no such thing as an “exception” when it comes to the...
  • Zwingli will have his own movie

    07/06/2015 1:18:13 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 11 replies
    Evangelical Focus ^ | 06 JULY 2015
    The life of Ulrich Zwingli will be brought to the big screens, confirmed C-Films, a company which produced films like “Midnight train to Lisbon.” Many have discovered the Protestant Reformation through films about Martin Luther (especially “Luther”, lead by Joseph Fiennes), but not many other Christians leaders of his age have been portrayed in cinemas. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was the most well known Reformer of the Swiss city of Zürich, a focus of the Reformation in the country alongside Calvin’s Geneva. The script is being written by journalist Simone Schmid, who is working on historical material of the Reformed Church...
  • John Witherspoon’s Presbyterian Rebellion [Happy Presbyterian Rebellion Day, everyone!]

    07/04/2015 8:54:01 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 9 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 7/3//2014 | Joanne Butler
    Ben Franklin is the prototype for the celebrity-as-politician. His autobiography is still in print; if he were alive, he’d be on Drudge’s columnists’ list, and command speaking fees that would turn Hillary Clinton green with envy. A popular T-shirt has a quote erroneously attributed to Franklin: ‘Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.’ But John Witherspoon? He wasn’t a fan of self-promotion, which was no less prevalent then. Today, in D.C., his statue stands at a tiny triangle where Connecticut Avenue intersects with N Street and 18th Street N.W. It is routinely ignored. At...
  • Pope Joan: The Female Pope whose Real Gender was Revealed after she Gave Birth in a Procession

    05/28/2015 7:47:55 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 63 replies
    Ancient Origins ^ | 28 May, 2015 | Ḏḥwty
    The origins of the Papacy can be traced to St. Peter, one of the original disciples of Jesus. The current pope, Francis I, is the 265th successor of St. Peter. Needless to say, all 266 popes are male. Yet, during the middle ages, there existed a story about a pope who was actually a female in disguise. The name of this supposed female pope was Joan. Who was this mysterious Pope Joan, and did she really exist? The statue that still stands in Rome is Joanna with a papal crown.( first written account of Pope Joan can be traced to...
  • Arminian vs Reformed on Justification

    05/28/2015 11:44:08 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 3 replies
    Reformation21 ^ | May 26, 2015 | Mark Jones
    Introduction Recent scholarship on Arminius has pointed out that he was a theologian of grace. Of course, I am yet to read of a Christian theologian who would not wish to be described that way. Some scholars have also tried to narrow the gap between Arminius and the Reformed tradition, with some suggesting that Arminius was correct to view himself as Reformed.  Historically speaking, according to the judgment of many Reformed divines, Arminius, and his Remonstrant successors, deviated from the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone in a significant way. Arminius thought his difference was only minor. In fact,...
  • Catholicism’s Man-Sized Crisis

    05/11/2015 12:43:41 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 18 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | May 7, 2015 | Joseph M. Hanneman
    Matthew James Christoff is, in some ways, like a modern-day St. John the Baptist, an urgent voice crying out in the wilderness. Christoff wants the world to know the Catholic Church has a man problem. Actually, not just a problem, but a crisis. The Catholic convert from Minnesota’s Twin Cities founded an apostolate called the New Emangelization Project to help men learn and fully live their faith. Nothing less than the future of the Catholic Church is at stake, he says. The father of four’s journey into the Catholic men’s movement began with a cancer diagnosis and a “very long...
  • [Prot. Caucus] Pastor Resigns From Georgia Church After Congregation's Vote to Leave PCUSA Fails

    05/11/2015 6:14:26 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 21 replies
    Christian Post ^ | May 7, 2015 | Michael Gryboski
    The Rev. Charles Hasty, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Georgia, has announced his resignation from the congregation he's served for 13 years after members narrowly defeated a motion to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA). Hasty announced his resignation Monday evening after congregants voted 266-146 last month to leave PCUSA over theological differences; the total was just eight votes shy of the necessary two-thirds majority needed to pass. JoAnna Williams, administrative assistant for Hasty, directed The Christian Post to a local news article wherein quotes from a letter Hasty wrote explaining his reasoning was published. "Undoubtedly, there is...
  • Turkey: Investigation over 'ruined' Roman mosaics

    05/05/2015 1:12:24 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 7 replies
    BBC ^ | 05/05/2015
    Authorities are looking into the claims of a local craftsman who raised concerns over the condition of at least 10 mosaics at the Hatay Archaeology Museum, the Hurriyet Daily News website reports. Mehmet Daskapan first spoke out in an interview with a local paper in February, but the news was only picked up by mainstream Turkish media on Monday. "Valuable pieces from the Roman period have been ruined," Mr Daskapan told the Antakya Gazetesi website at the time. "They have become caricatures of their former selves. Some are in an especially poor condition and have lost their originality and value."...
  • How To Stop Whiners

    04/26/2015 3:41:13 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 14 replies ^ | Kevin Fitzmaurice
    Do you hate it when they whine? Do you hate it when they whine and say, "Don't you agree," "Do you see my point," "Ain't it awful," "Aren't they just terrible for doing that," etc.? Do you want to graciously stop them from wasting your time and using you to confirm their distorted views? Then memorize the following line: "Thanks for the honor of being a judge. But, to be a fair judge-- I will first have to hear the other side." If you stick to this line each time they whine--they will soon stop bothering you and move on...
  • ‘Grace Notes': The quiet unshakable faith of Hillary Clinton [prepare to facepalm]

    04/16/2015 5:38:51 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 23 replies
    US Catholic ^ | April 9, 2015 | Burns Strider
    WASHINGTON (RNS) Late on a Saturday night in 2012, I received word from my sister in Mississippi that my mamma had passed away. My home was silent as my wife and two boys slept upstairs. I was reading when the sad call came. I woke my wife to tell her; we sat on the edge of the bed and hugged. In my sadness, around midnight, I started cleaning the kitchen, likely because my mamma was always cleaning something. I also reached out to two friends. It was within minutes that I heard back from Hillary. Secretary Clinton joined me in...
  • The dilemma of Celiac Catholics

    04/09/2015 6:23:58 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 53 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 04/09/2015 | Richard Sikorski
    [SNIP] Severely gluten intolerant, Celiac Catholics like myself can’t take the whole wheat hosts that are so prevalent in today’s Catholic churches, so we’re forced to receive our Lord in the form of wine. Problem is, with so many faithful receiving Holy Communion during Holy Week services, the consecrated wine runs out before Communicants do. During packed Holy Thursday and Easter Masses, as many as a third of the congregation may miss out on lifting the chalice. You can bet most of these are Celiac victims. That happened to me this past Thursday. I’ve received Holy Communion at over 57...
  • Jesus sticks in the mud: apparition of Christ appears following Colombian landslide

    04/02/2015 7:14:29 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 28 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | March 24, 2015 | Hannah Parry
    Hundreds of believers have flocked to a hillside in Colombia after a landslide revealed the face of Jesus. The 'miraculous' discovery was made in the San Francisco area of Putumayo, Colombia, on Saturday. Since then police have had to be called in to control the crowds as believers from across the country have descended on the hill to witness the 'miracle.' Now some local landowners are cashing in by charging visitors to view the holy image, according to a local newspaper. 'If you believe in Jesus, you will see your image,' Ximena Rosero Arango told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo after...
  • O'Reilly: My 'Jesus' Movie Gets Bad Reviews Because Of War On Christians

    04/01/2015 7:08:57 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 65 replies
    TPM ^ | March 31, 2015 | Brendan James
    Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Monday dismissed all criticism of his new film "Killing Jesus," saying that the "secular-progressive left" was giving the film bad reviews because it challenged their anti-religious agenda. "Any embrace of Christian tradition is a danger to the agenda of the left. It was easy to see that in the articles about 'Killing Jesus,'" he said. O'Reilly went on to call a review in the "far-left" Guardian newspaper the most "idiotic thing I have ever read in my life." He also admonished the New York Times for directing readers to a critic who described the...
  • April Fool's Day is a Catholic Thing

    04/01/2015 5:16:02 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 19 replies
    Okay, so it isn't really Catholic thing per se, but the origin of April Fool's Day is actually found in the Church. A lot of people don't know this, so here's how the story goes. On February 24, 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the papal bull Inter Gravissimas which established the Gregorian calendar (which gets it's name from this pope) as the official calendar for the Christian world. With this pronouncement, the Julian calendar was replaced and the first day of the new year was moved to January 1. Those who continued to observe it on April 1, whether out...
  • Feast of the Enunciation? [Christian Churches Celebrate 'Feast of The Enunciation' on March 25th]

    03/25/2015 7:26:59 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 5 replies
    WWN, by way of The Waffling Anglican ^ | November 28, 2006 | Mike The Greek
    I miss the Weekly World News! It stands head–and-shoulders above the rest of the tabloids for sheer exuberance and hilarity. Other tabloids waste their time and efforts on Brangelina and Brittany Spears stories, while WWW sticks with the straight "news" of alien cab drivers and three-headed chihuahuas. At various times, I have purchased subscriptions to WWW for my old lab boss, so it would come proudly addressed to his faculty mail box, and for one of the Major Consulting Firm partners so it would be delivered in his name to the front desk at the office. Rediscovered last spring on...
  • Reformation Museum in Geneva Blends Humor and Wonder

    03/19/2015 6:20:07 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 2 replies
    New York Times ^ | March 16, 2015 | John Hanc
    Finding the International Museum of the Reformation is almost as complicated as explaining the historical movement it chronicles. You must first navigate the labyrinth of Geneva’s Old Town, down narrow, cobblestone streets and then up a long flight of stone stairs, skirting the shadows cast by a towering 13th-century cathedral. Finally you arrive at the tranquil courtyard of the Maison Mallet, the 14-room 18th-century mansion housing the museum, which opened in 2005. [SNIP] Given how practices have changed, museum officials set out to create a space that contemporary visitors, Protestant or not, would find appealing and meaningful, with creative high-...
  • Eve and the Garden of Eden! Strange Bible Stories and Rob Liefeld

    03/16/2015 10:20:17 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 10 replies
    Liefeld Creations ^ | March 16, 2015 | Rob Liefeld
    I have several Bible themed projects coming out in 2015. Eve and The Garden of Eden chronicles the time and adventures that Eve experienced with Adam in their time in Paradise. Even the most conservative estimates put Adam and Eve in the Garden at least 100 years, we don’t really believe they were laying around staring longingly at each other the entire time right? The Accuser had fallen from the Heavens and was plotting his destruction and poisoning of Paradise from the beginning. The art will be provided by a variety of illustrators working over my pencils, layouts and storytelling....
  • Springfield, IL., Just Gave The Key To The City To Cobra Commander

    03/12/2015 2:50:45 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 18 replies
    io9 ^ | 03/12/2015 | Rob Bricken
    No. Really. In a decision that can't possibly have any negative repercussions for the city's helpless residents, Springfield, Illinois mayor J. Michael Houston has given the key to the city to noted terrorist leader and snake enthusiast Cobra Commander. Ostensibly this was done as a promotion for the upcoming JoeCon, the G.I. Joe collector's convention which will be held in Springfield April 9th through 12th, but I think we all know Cobra Commander is plotting something. Joe fans likely remember that Springfield housed a secret Cobra base in the original cartoon, seen in the memorable and quite scarring two-part first...
  • Chart: The United States of Catholics and Protestants

    03/09/2015 12:25:02 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 36 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 4 | Ana Swanson
    As the chart ... shows, Catholicism is the most common religious tradition in 17 states, while white evangelical Protestants are first in 15 states, mostly in the South. The religiously unaffiliated are the most common religious group in 13 states, mostly in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. Three states are outliers: Utah, which is 56 percent Mormon, the largest percentage of one single religious tradition, and Iowa and North Dakota, where white mainline Protestants are the dominant religious tradition.
  • The Legacy of John Knox [Calvinist Caucus]

    03/09/2015 6:43:14 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 12 replies
    Parking Space 23 ^ | October 28, 2013 | Daniel MtPleasant
    Why is this blog titled “ParkingSpace23”? Because in the burial plot of the great Reformer, John Knox, now lies under a parking space numbered 23 behind St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Knox’s grave is marked by a small, oil-stained plaque in the pavement. Nevertheless, although his burial place is less than honorable, his faithfulness to the Word of God has not been forgotten. We wish to continue his legacy of the bold proclamation of the Truth. In this blog, I want to highlight 7 marks of John Knox’s life which we ought to imitate as we seek to honor Christ....
  • John Calvin: OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY Of offense given and received [Devotional Thread]

    I will here make some observations on offenses, what distinctions are to be made between them, what kind are to be avoided and what disregarded. This will afterwards enable us to determine what scope there is for our liberty among men. We are pleased with the common division into offense given and offense taken, since it has the plain sanction of Scripture, and not improperly expresses what is meant. If from unseasonable levity or wantonness, or rashness, you do any thing out of order or not in its own place, by which the weak or unskillful are offended, it may...
  • Luther's Comments About the Jews vs. The Papal Bull "Decet Romanum"

    03/06/2015 7:32:41 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 22 replies
    Beggars All: Reformation Apologetics ^ | March 4, 2015 | James Swan
    I don't have anything to gain by an exoneration of Luther's obvious societal stereotype against the Jews. Luther was not infallible. He said a number of things ranging on the scale of brilliant to typical to ridiculous to offensive. From my perspective, Luther's theology neither stands or falls because of statements on the negative side of the scale. It's my opinion that Luther's attitude toward the Jews is part of Church history, and, that really, to point a finger at Luther one needs to consistently point the fingers beyond Luther as well. This would be the consistent thing to do. There...
  • FYI, Yes, I am a "valuable friend of Catholic Answers"

    03/06/2015 5:16:43 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 10 replies
    Beggars All: Reformation ^ | March 2, 2015 | James Swan
    Dear James , Because you are a valuable friend of Catholic Answers, you have been selected to participate in a survey to help us improve our apostolate. As a thank-you, we will be giving away 25 signed copies of Tim Staples’s newest book, Behold Your Mother. Combining the best recent scholarship with in-depth knowledge of Scripture, this book offers the most thorough Marian apologetics you’ll find anywhere. Give us your feedback by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, 2015 and you will be entered to win one of 25 signed copies of Behold Your Mother! Click here to start the...
  • God With Us [Devotional Thread]

    03/05/2015 5:59:35 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 2 replies
    Day By Day with John Calvin | John Calvin
    Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin. -- Hebrews 4:14-15, NIV It deeply concerned us, that he who was to be our Mediator should be very God and very man. Our iniquities, like a cloud intervening between Him and us, having utterly alienated...
  • Promises Fulfilled [Devotional Thread]

    03/04/2015 1:38:59 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 1 replies
    Day By Day with John Calvin | John Calvin
    Let us learn that the holy fathers under the Old Testament were not ignorant that in this world God seldom or never gives his servants the fulfilment of what is promised them, and therefore has directed their minds to his sanctuary, where the blessings not exhibited in the present shadowy life are treasured up for them. This sanctuary was the final judgment of God, which (as they could not at all discern it by the eye) they were contented to apprehend by faith. Inspired with this confidence, they doubted not that whatever might happen in the world, a time would...
  • The Best Model of Believing [Devotional Thread]

    03/04/2015 4:45:12 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 2 replies
    Day By Day with John Calvin | John Calvin
    The LORD had said to Abrahm, "Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." -- Genesis 12:1, NIV Abraham alone ought to be to us equal to tens of thousands if we consider his faith, which is set before us as the best model of believing, to whose race also we must be held to belong in order that we may be the children of God. What could be more absurd than that Abraham should be the father of all the faithful, and not even occupy the meanest corner among...
  • Catholics and Jews pan film defending wartime Pope Pius XII

    03/03/2015 8:41:16 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 21 replies
    Daily Mail / Reuters ^ | March 3, 2015 | Philip Pullella
    VATICAN CITY, March 3 (Reuters) - A new Italian film that attempts to defend wartime Pope Pius XII against accusations he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust has been panned by the Vatican as well as Catholic and Jewish media. "Shades of Truth" is the account of a fictional present-day American journalist who starts off as a critic of Pius and changes his mind after research in Israel, Rome and elsewhere in Europe. [SNIP] After a screening on Monday near the Vatican, the film, which calls Pius "the most misunderstood person of the 20th century", was universally panned. The...
  • Pat Boone to represent evangelicals at Bibi speech

    03/03/2015 6:51:41 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 34 replies
    WND ^ | 03/02/2015 | Drew Zahn
    When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress Tuesday, seated in the gallery will be a man designated to represent the evangelical Christian community’s support for Israel: recording legend Pat Boone. [SNIP] “I expect to be sitting in a gallery position, where if my friend Bibi Netanyahu wants to … mention that evangelical Christians are among, as he knows, Israel’s most staunch supporters that number in the tens of millions in the United States, he can point to me as a representative of evangelical Christians,” Boone explained. “He is aware of it; it will...
  • Jonathan Edwards’ works made available for free as interest in Puritanism surges

    03/02/2015 12:49:38 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 14 replies
    Religion News Service ^ | Feb 3, 2015 | Jonathan Merritt
    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (RNS) The collected works of Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century preacher and one of America’s most famous theologians, are now available for download thanks to Logos Bible Software. But for those who don’t want to cough up $1,289.95 to purchase them, there’s good news: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale Divinity School lets you view them online for free. The colonial preacher was instrumental in America’s Great Awakening and is known for fiery sermons such as “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The 26-volume collection, “The Works of Jonathan Edwards,” comprises more than 10,000 sermons, articles...
  • First Presbyterian Church of Boulder may realign; same-sex marriage a factor

    03/02/2015 11:28:44 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 15 replies
    Boulder Daily Camera ^ | 02/28/2015 | Charlie Brennan
    The First Presbyterian Church of Boulder is asking its congregation to vote on whether to end affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA), in favor of a California-based evangelical Presbyterian association that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, 1820 15th St., well known for a large-scale feed of Boulder's homeless population every Thanksgiving, had originally been scheduled to take a vote of its congregation Feb. 22, but that was postponed due to weather. And although absentee voting has been ongoing, the bulk of the balloting is now scheduled for its...
  • Walker Percy Weekend 2015 Is Coming

    03/02/2015 10:24:20 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 2 replies
    The American Conservative ^ | March 2, 2015 | Rod Dreher
    Tickets are now on sale at Please keep in mind that tickets are limited. Many festivalgoers last year said that they loved how small the event was, because they felt like they got to talk to folks, and to get to know them. We agree. We want to keep this thing neighborly, and to recreate the vibe that Peter Augustine Lawler described in his review of the 2014 festival. By the way, Peter will also be anchoring the New South/Old South panel this year. Baylor’s great Ralph Wood will be the man lecturing on Flannery, Walker, Catholicism and the...
  • Why Catholics Can’t Sing And The Crisis Of Catholic Education

    03/02/2015 8:03:50 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 30 replies
    Patheos ^ | March 2, 2015 | Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
    First Things has a great little post by a dejected Lutheran convert about how Catholic liturgical singing is like “plaintive squeaks from depressed marmosets.” This is a permanent pet peeve of mine. And yes, this is something parish priests should do more about. You know the phenomenon of how a church will be crowded–except the two front pews. I knew a priest who often wouldn’t start Mass until those pews were filled. He would go out in front before Mass and ask people to move to the first pews. One of the few 70s-style liturgical tics I wouldn’t mind at...
  • Sectarian Rome

    02/26/2015 1:08:37 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 18 replies
    First Things ^ | 2/26/2015 | Peter J. Leithart
    It was a well-nigh universal trope of Reformation rhetoric that the Reformers were the catholics who had to defend orthodoxy and catholicity against the sectarianism of the Roman church. Luther disputed the Catholic claim that obedience to Rome was the definition of catholicity, and disputed it on the basis of the universal testimony of the church (Unitive Protestantism, 65). Calvin defended the Reformers against the charge that they were schismatics: “Verily the wolves complain against the lambs” (quoted, 73). The 1559 French Confession distinguished the true church from “all other sects who call themselves the church” (quoted, 80), a thinly...
  • Kootenai GOP rejects resolution declaring Idaho a 'Christian state'

    02/25/2015 7:24:45 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 12 replies
    The Spokesman-Review ^ | FEB. 25, 2015
    The Kootenai County Republican County Republican Central Committee last night rejected a resolution to declare Idaho a "Christian state" – a proposed resolution that had drawn national ridicule, including comparisons to ISIS. The S-R’s D.F. Oliveria reports in his “Huckleberries Online” blog that the resolution offered by Precinct Committeeman Hans Neumann was opposed by more than two-thirds of the Central Committee. Precinct Committeeman Bjorn Handeen offered a motion not to consider the resolution at all, and it carried overwhelmingly. The meeting attracted a standing-room-only crowd.
  • Baptist college reinstates fired VP [the Ergun Caner saga isn't over yet]

    02/20/2015 8:09:31 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 1 replies
    A Brewton-Parker College vice president fired Feb. 2 after refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement about Ergun Caner’s Jan. 20 resignation has been reinstated. Iowa pastor Dave Miller, editor of SBC Voices, a group blog devoted to news and commentary about the Southern Baptist Convention, reported Feb. 18 that he had confirmed rumors circulating the day before that C.B. Scott was reinstated as vice president of alumni, advancement and church relations at the Baptist-affiliated school in Mount Vernon, Ga., by interim president Charlie Bass.Peter Lumpkins, vice president for communications, confirmed the information to Baptist News Global Feb. 19. Scott, a...
  • Who is a Christian?

    02/19/2015 9:39:57 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 64 replies
    The American Conservative ^ | February 18, 2015 | Rod Dreher
    Here is how Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist pastor who heads the church’s Washington office, responded to the murder of the 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS: These are my brothers, faithful to Christ even unto death. King Jesus puts heads back on, and puts…— Russell Moore (@drmoore) February 15, 2015 A number of Southern Baptists had similar responses. The Southern Baptist bloggers at Pulpit & Pen will have you know that this is a betrayal: Do Southern Baptist leaders and other evangelicals really not know what a Christian is or how you become one? Is it being born into an ethnic group...
  • Pope Francis: Pop! Vinyls, Bobblehead & Collectibles by Funko

    02/14/2015 9:39:36 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 8 replies
    ToysREvil ^ | 02/14/2015
    And while we've featured some reveals at the Funko booth for New York Toy Fair 2015 (Feb 14-17) including their new Vinyl Sugar-line, this particular slice of toy-news requires a post all on it's own. Pope Francis as vinyl collectibles! "This is where we get insane! Insanely holy! The People's Pope, Pope Francis is now a Pop! Asia vinyl figure, as well as the Holy-Shaker Bobble-Head, and finally a Collectormates Premium Figure...all from our friends at MINDstyle. This is official merchandise of Pope Francis's historic visit to the Philippines. A donation will be made for the universal charity work...
  • Samsung's warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter

    02/09/2015 5:47:28 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 34 replies
    C/Net ^ | February 9, 2015 | Chris Matyszczyk
    Why worry about Big Brother? It's your big Samsung TV that's watching you. Oh, and listening to you. That seems to be the conclusion from reading the privacy small print offered by the company. (Samsung's motto: TV has never been this smart.) It concerns the voice-recognition feature, vital for everyone who finds pressing a few buttons on their remote far too tiresome. The wording, first spotted by the Daily Beast, first informs you that the company may "capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features." This...
  • How To Offend a Room Full of Calvinists [Calvinist Caucus]

    01/28/2015 8:24:41 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 110 replies ^ | January 28, 2015 | Tim Challies
    Do you want to know how to make a Calvinist angry? Do you want to know how to offend a whole room full of them? Just bring up the old line about Reformed theology being incompatible with evangelism. We have all heard it, we have all read it, we have all rejected it. It’s the word on the street, though, that Calvinists make poor evangelists. Many people are firmly convinced that there is a deep-rooted flaw embedded within Reformed theology that undermines evangelistic fervor. Most blame it on predestination. After all, if God has already chosen who will be saved,...
  • The Cult of guinefort: An Unusual saint

    01/21/2015 7:42:06 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 9 replies
    Ultimate History Project ^ | Michael R. Lynn
    The recent and simultaneous canonization of not one, but two former popes brings to mind the rich and varied traditions surrounding the history of different Christian saints. Today, the process to create a saint is complicated with various stages, each requiring a certain amount of time, along with the need for particular forms of evidence which provide proof of miracles. The Pope can amend the process, if he so chooses, but the general pattern remains the same. In some cases the gap between the life of the individual and his or her canonization could be quite lengthy. Saint Joan of...
  • Catholics in Congress: What makes them tick?

    01/21/2015 6:30:47 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 45 replies
    Catholic Philly ^ | January 9th, 2015 | Mark Pattison
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — The numbers don’t lie. Once again, there are more Catholics in Congress than members of any other religious denomination. And the numbers stay strong term after term. Even though Catholics account for only about 22 percent of the U.S. population — admittedly the largest body of religious belief in the country — they make up 31 percent of the House and the Senate. If you’re looking for differences between the two major parties, there’s indeed some — but Catholics are still overrepresented in both the Democratic and Republican parties. There are 83 Catholics among the 234 Democrats...
  • A woman as pope and Jesuit

    01/20/2015 8:27:25 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 23 replies
    Philippine Daily Inquirer ^ | January 21, 2015 | Ambeth R. Ocampo
    When, during his encounter with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas, Pope Francis advised the organizers to include more women next time, to offset the program dominated by men, I remembered John Paul II at Mass in Luneta who brought cheer to women when he changed the standard invitation to prayer or exhortation, “Brothers and sisters in Christ,” to “Sisters and brothers…” While we know that the ordination of women in the Catholic Church are light years away, comment on this issue during the papal coverage should have been made over the cold malunggay soup served the Pope...
  • John Knox: The Trumpet Blast of Scotland [Part Two: The Emerging Force (1547–1554)]

    01/15/2015 11:22:08 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 8 replies
    Knox 500 ^ | February 2014 | Dr. Steven J. Lawson
    Like a gathering storm off the shores of Scotland, the spiritual intensity within John Knox was building in strength during the initial years of his ministry. From the moment of his call to preach, the fiery convictions of this bold Scot were surging ahead with great force. In an hour when Rome was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against all who tried to break them,” Knox was fearlessly preaching the Word of God with the undaunted boldness of the martyrs who preceded him. Nothing could prevent the inevitable Reformation from crashing upon Scotland’s coastline, led by this one who would...
  • The Birth of Modern Revival – Puritan Preaching in Scotland

    01/13/2015 1:29:47 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 5 replies
    Church History Blog ^ | March 4, 2009 | Lex Loizides
    Iain Murray, in his classic, ‘The Puritan Hope’, points out that the Puritan era was a period of many local revivals. He writes, ‘Following as it did so closely upon the Reformation it is not surprising that the Puritan movement in England believed so firmly in revivals of religion as the great means by which the Church advances in the world.’ (The Puritan Hope, Iain Murray, Banner of Truth, p.3) 16th Century Breakthrough In 1559 a general revival broke out in Scotland. The conversions were so rapid that John Knox wrote, ‘God did so multiply our number that it appeared...
  • John Knox: The Trumpet Blast of Scotland [Part One: Young Preacher (c.1514–1547)]

    01/12/2015 6:53:16 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 7 replies
    Knox 500 ^ | February 2014 | Dr. Steven J. Lawson
    Wielding astonishing influence over Scotland in the sixteenth century, John Knox (c.1514–72) was one of the most heroic leaders and towering figures in the annals of church history. Regarded as ‘the Father of the Scottish Reformation’ and ‘the Founder of the Scottish Protestant Church,’ Knox was a spiritual tour de force of unmatched vigor in spreading the kingdom of God. With resolute convictions, this fiery Reformer established his native land as an impenetrable fortress of biblical truth, one that would reverberate throughout the known world. If Martin Luther was the hammer of the Reformation and John Calvin the pen, John...
  • Changes in Catholic Attitudes Toward Bible Readings

    12/19/2014 6:27:23 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 125 replies
    Average Catholics asked today how often they read the Bible likely would say that they do not read the Bible regularly. However, if asked how often they read Scripture, the answer would be different. Practicing Catholics know they read and hear Scripture at every Mass. Many also recognize that basic prayers Catholics say, such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary, are scriptural. But for most Catholics, the Scripture they hear and read is not from the Bible. It is from a worship aid in the pew. Scripture always has played an important role in the prayer life of...
  • Righteous Mockery: A Biblical Case for Sarcasm

    12/17/2014 5:38:36 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 13 replies
    WV4G ^ | July 3rd, 2014 | Jaycen Saab
    “And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself” – the prophet Elijah to the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18:27 How boring would life be if we only spoke to one another with necessities? How mundane would play-by-play sports be if sports announcers were replaced with the equivalent of the Emergency Response System robot voice? That is exactly what we would have in our daily conversations without the crayon of the English language known as “sarcasm”. I will be the first to admit that I...
  • Mexican Catholics Lose Religion in the USA

    12/15/2014 8:08:30 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 73 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 10 Dec 2014 | Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.
    New evidence from the Pew Research Center reveals that Mexican Catholics who emigrate to the United States are considerably less religious than their counterparts who remain in Mexico. A hefty majority of US Hispanics are of Mexican descent (64%), according to US Census Bureau statistics, and about a third of Mexican Americans were born in Mexico and immigrated into the US. Mexican Americans, however, exhibit differences both in religious affiliation and in doctrinal belief as compared with Catholics living in Mexico. Though the Pew study does not explore the reasons Mexican Catholics leave the Church when emigrating to the US,...
  • Pope says Salvationists and Catholics meet at peripheries of society

    12/15/2014 7:36:03 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 5 replies
    Vatican Radio ^ | 12/14/2014
    Greeting warmly a delegation led by General André Cox, the Pope said Catholics and Salvationists, together with other Christians, recognise that those in need have a special place in God’s heart – so much so, that the Lord himself became poor for our sake. As a result, the Pope said, Catholics and Salvationists often meet at the same peripheries of society. I pray, he concluded, that all of Christ’s disciples can contribute with the same conviction and dynamism that the Salvation Army demonstrates in its devoted and highly appreciated service. Founded by former Methodist minister William Booth in 1865 as...
  • Defending the Faith: The story behind James Strang and his sect [and the "Voree" and "Laban" Plates]

    11/14/2014 8:11:23 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 4 replies
    The Deseret News ^ | June 9 2011 | Daniel Peterson
    The two sets of inscribed plates that Strang claimed to have found in Wisconsin and Michigan beginning in 1845 almost certainly existed. Milo Quaife's early, standard biography of Strang reflects that, while Strang's angelic visitations "may have had only a subjective existence in the brain of the man who reported them, the metallic plates possessed a very material objective reality." And they were almost certainly forgeries. The first set, the three "Voree" or "Rajah Manchou" plates, were dug up by four "witnesses" whom Strang had taken to the plates' burial place. Illustrated and inscribed on both sides, the Rajah Manchou...