Has The Megachurch Lost Its Luster?
“Yes,” answers Barton Gingerich, but goes on to say, “In the larger scheme of things, some of these [megachurches] will act as “feeders” to other Christian congregations in the area, thus furthering Christ’s kingdom in a more roundabout way. I saw this firsthand in the DC area. Seekers, the curious, and nominal believers can come to enjoy a show, hear a sermon, remain unperturbed in the enormous crowds, and enjoy the energy and facilities of a megachurch. However, if these same people want depth, they will be referred to small groups. But, more often than not, hungry Christians will begin to attend smaller congregations with more robust, less open theologies and more engaged membership care.

That’s a positive way of looking at it!

The Bible as a Bludgeon
Frank Bruni explores the use of the Bible as the ultimate political weapon in some closely-fought senate races and concludes: ”The centrality of religion in this country’s birth and story can’t be denied. And shouldn’t be. And having the Bible at inaugurations honors tradition more than it offends pluralism. But using the Bible as a litmus test for character betrays the principles of religious liberty and personal freedom, along with the embrace of diversity, that are equally crucial to America’s identity and strength. It also defies the wisdom of experience. How many self-anointed saints have been shown not to practice what they preach?”

For Christians, the candidate’s character is probably the number one issue when it comes to voting. However, Bruni does raise the valid question of whether character should trump competence, and whether a profession of Christian faith should be the only factor in selecting a candidate.

After Setbacks, Online Courses are ReThought
MOOCs aren’t educational nirvana after all. Despite numerous tweaks and re-launches, it increasingly looks like online education is only ever going to form a supportive and supplementary role to classroom time and teacher-student interaction.

Judges Deny Chimpanzees Personhood
“Three lawsuits filed last week that attempted to achieve “legal personhood” for four chimpanzees living in New York have been struck down. They were the first step in a nationwide campaign to grant legal rights to a variety of animals.”

Looks like another front has been opened up in the culture wars. And, like the gay marriage lobby, this ones seems equally zealous, organized, well-funded, and strategically savvy.

Happiness is Resisting Answering Your Mobile
In a bit of a “Duh!” report, Kent State University researchers found that “high frequency cell phone users tended to have lower GPA, higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with life (happiness) relative to their peers who used the cell phone less often.”

Researcher Andrew Lepp said: “There is no me time or solitude left in some of these students’ lives and I think mental health requires a bit of personal alone time to reflect, look inward, process life’s events, and just recover from daily stressors.”

5 Weird Signs You’re Divorce Proof
Two qualifications. First, don’t get over-confident. There’s no such thing as “divorce proof.” Some of the best people in the world, who tick all the boxes, end up divorced.

Second, don’t give up in despair if you don’t tick all the boxes. Some of these research findings indicate only marginal differences.

  • You smiled a lot as a kid: those who grinned in photographs as youngsters tend to have more stable natures and are usually more emotionally upbeat.
  • Neither you nor your wife used to live with another partner: If one of you did, your chances of divorce skyrocket 209%. A history of cohabitation hints at a lack of commitment, an ability to end a serious relationship, and knowledge that there are other options out there besides this marriage.
  • You have sons: Guys are more involved with—and attached to—their marriages if they have sons.
  • You share many of the same Facebook buddies
  • You both restrict yourselves to just one or two social media networks: The more social media sites you both use to communicate, the less satisfied you’ll feel about your relationship.
  • http://www.leomcneil.net Steven Birn

    Frank Bruni’s claim to fame was serving as food editor of the NY Times, in particular he was their restaurant reviewer. He can tell you where to get a good meal in New York however his sole qualification for writing NY Times op/ed’s is that he’s a homosexual.

    For the Christian, competence is important but faith has to trump competence in terms of importance. How can we justify voting for competent government bureaucrats at the expense of voting for someone who shares our Christian faith. When push comes to shove, the atheist but competent bureaucrat isn’t going to make the right decision that a less competent Christian is going to make. Perhaps within the church we should focus a bit more on producing competent candidates but until then it seems to me faith needs to be first.