Section : Columns

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    Faith and Medicine

    Francis Galton, the father of eugenics and, perhaps not-so-coincidentally, Charles Darwin’s cousin, hypothesized that monarchs should live longer than other people. Not because they were somehow superior to their subjects, but because millions of their subjects prayed for their health.
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    Sex, Science, and Spirituality

    Advocates of so-called “comprehensive sex education” have tried to convince us that kids should be taught in the classroom simply the basic scientific facts about sex, with no values getting in the way. But a new book tells us that science actually demonstrates just how much we need values in the sexual realm.
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    Disciplining the Church

    What should the church do when a member turns to strong drink to avoid a personal problem—turn the other way and hope nobody smells his breath?
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    As We Forgive

    “Can a country known for radical brutality become a country known for an even more radical forgiveness?” That’s the question Catherine Claire Larson asks in her new book, As We Forgive.
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    Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

    If you’ve read the groundbreaking book The Naked Public Square, or ever plumbed the depths of the fine journal First Things, then you know what a powerful intellect and defender of the faith Fr. Richard John Neuhaus was.
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    TV and Teenage Sex

    Approximately $60 billion is spent every year on television advertising. That’s $200 for every man, woman, and child. It is spent in the hopes that by seeing something on television, people will think or act in some desired fashion.
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    Where Government Doesn't Belong

    The withdrawal of Tom Daschle from consideration as health and human services secretary has been deemed a blow to the new Obama administration—both to its stated goals to enact health-care reform and to its claim that it will put an end to “business as usual” in the nation’s capital.
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    The Slaughter of the Innocents

    Last month, Christians around the world celebrated Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the Magi. Epiphany reminds us that God’s salvation reached beyond the Jews. Christ would be, as Isaiah foretold, “a light for the Gentiles.” He would bring “salvation to the ends of the earth,” (49:6) as far as those very kings had traveled.
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    Obama’s First 72 Hours

    No matter who we voted for in the presidential election, many of us — perhaps most of us — felt a patriotic pride in seeing America’s first African American president take the oath of office. As Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “There was a low-key patriotic fervor” on Inauguration Day, and as Obama was sworn in, children who were watching “must have picked up this: Anything is possible in America.”
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    Dr. King and Christian Activism

    As Americans observe Martin Luther King Day today, I am reminded of the rich Christian tradition of activism in this country. For millions of Christians who have gone before us, activism was considered fruit of the faith. Not only was the civil-rights movement led by evangelical Christians like Dr. King, so too were campaigns for abolition and women’s suffrage heavily influenced by Christians expressing their faith.
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    Jolting Your Faith Awake

    The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things.” I trust that many of us are committing to make the spiritual disciplines of prayer and time in the Word a priority for 2009.
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    What It Means to Be Human

    The fact that the hit movie WALL-E has a plot that even a child can follow doesn’t mean it’s juvenile. Released earlier this year, the Pixar film follows the story of a little robot named WALL-E. While the rest of Earth’s inhabitants have embarked on a 700-year cruise-like vacation aboard a space station, this little robot is left behind to clean up the planet.
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    Live to Serve

    Ever since I was a boy, I was driven to serve my country. As a 10-year-old at the outbreak of World War II, I could only dream that one day I could put on a uniform and fight the enemy. But I did what I could. I organized a neighborhood drive to collect scrap metal for the war effort. Before I had reached 40 years of age, I had served as a captain in the Marines and as special counsel to President Nixon.
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    The Kids Are Alright

    The Josephson Institute of Los Angeles, which studies contemporary ethics and morals, recently released its “2008 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth.” According to the Institute, the “results paint a troubling picture of our future politicians and parents, cops and corporate executives, and journalists and generals.”
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    The Dalai Lama, Christianity, and Sex

    A prominent religious leader recently said that sex, however pleasurable it might be in the short run, leads to long-term trouble. He argued that celibacy is the way that leads to “more freedom.”
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    The High Cost of Being (and Staying) Cool - Rick Warren in a Whirlwind

    Pastor Rick Warren now stands at ground zero of a whirlwind, and he is likely to be there for some time. The announcement that President-elect Obama had chosen him to deliver the invocation at the inaugural ceremonies on January 20 came with formality but no fanfare. The first headlines speculated that Warren had become "the next Billy Graham" - for Billy Graham has missed praying at few inaugurations in recent decades.
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    The Bible and Proposition 8

    The passage of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that banned same-sex “marriage” in California, has stirred the ire of gay activists like little else. Besides thuggish vandalism of church property, that anger is being translated into mockery of the faith community.
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    Facts about Numbers of Christians in China

    One of the most frequent questions asked about China is: “How many Christians live in China?” Until recently this question had to be left unanswered because no one has ever tried to count them. The problem, of course, is how to count them? There is no way you can, because no appropriate statistics are known nor are they being kept by secular or religious organizations.
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    Humor in Times of Crisis

    As anyone who knows me knows, I love a good laugh. I’ve even been known to pull a practical joke or two, like the time years ago my assistant and I hauled a real stuffed bear into the hunting cabin of a friend late one night. Let’s just say he was surprised when he went back to the cabin and turned on the lights!
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    We Could All Use a Good Laugh

    As anyone who knows me knows, I love a good laugh. I’ve even been known to pull a practical joke or two, like the time years ago my assistant and I hauled a real stuffed bear into the hunting cabin of a friend late one night. Let’s just say he was surprised when he went back to the cabin and turned on the lights!
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    A Cancer on the Financial System

    For those of you who remember Watergate, John Dean, the President’s counsel, famously warned President Nixon about Watergate, describing it as, quote, “a cancer on the Presidency.” That is a pretty good phrase to describe our economic mess.
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    Thanksgiving 2008

    As every school child knows, the Pilgrims arrived in the New World in the winter of 1620. After a difficult struggle for survival, by October 1621 the Pilgrims could celebrate a successful harvest large enough to sustain the colony in the coming winter. The grateful Pilgrims invited their Indian friends to a three-day feast of thanksgiving to God.
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    Giving Thanks

    As we once again approach this national day of thanksgiving, I thought it necessary to reflect upon our nation’s long history of acknowledging and giving thanks to Almighty God.
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