Rabbit Trails (7/27/13)

This week’s WWRT comes to you from the sunny state of Florida. By the time you read this, I hope to be about 25 miles out to sea catching some fish. Of course, I’m a lousy fisherman.

President George H. W. Bush shaved his head in support of the child of one of his Secret Service guards who is undergoing leukemia treatments. I’ve always thought Bush 41 was a genuine and kind man.

Turns out that of the ten cities where people are most likely to have a heart attack, two are in my home state of West Virginia. One is my home town. I guess there’s an upside to moving away almost 20 years ago. I’m less likely to have a heart attack. Continue reading

Rabbit Trails (7/20/13)

All sorts of goodies going on this week on the old WWRT…

Here’s a take on the media reporting on the phenomenon of the Christian hipster pastor. If you know me in the flesh and blood world, you know that I am not a hipster. It’s hard to be cool if you look like some combination of an oversized Hobbit and Charles Ingles. Continue reading

Rabbit Trails (7/13/13)

Rabbit Trails is my chance, once a week, to highlight the stuff on the World Wide Rabbit Trail that I find interesting. It’s totally self-indulgent. This is the stuff that interests me. Hope you find it interesting too.

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

From last week, I found this article from Christianity Today discussing the morality and biblical justifications for the American Revolution very interesting. His remarks at the end of the article are something I’ve found to be true in my own reading: American Christians have always had a tendency to allow their political ideology to shape their theology instead of the other way around.

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Rabbit Trails (7/6/13)

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

I’ve lived in several states in my life, and I can say that all of them have unique things about them that make them special, but the current region we call home has one of the most unique traditions. I admit to loving it. What am I talking about? The wedding cookie table. I’ve been to wedding receptions in grange halls and VFW halls, cathedrals and repurposed monasteries, hotels and bed and breakfasts, and there is always – always – a cookie table. I’ve never seen it anywhere else in the country. It’s a Pittsburgh thing.

While I’m on the topic of Pittsburgh, I read somewhere once that there are 32 distinct ethnic neighborhoods in the ‘Burgh. Here’s an old archived article from 2003 talking about the old immigrant, blue-collar neighborhoods, and how they are changing.

Given the SCOTUS rulings last week, I spent a little time listening to a really solid podcast from Dallas Theological Seminary called The Table. The discussion revolves around what the rulings in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases do and not do, and how we can respond. About an hour long, and very good.

Back in June, Christianity Today published a fascinating article about the Baptist Church of Georgia (the country, not the state) describing how they are a baptist church that worships in the historical and liturgical Orthodox tradition.

In the spirit of country and paddling, Canoe and Kayak magazine posted it’s top five fireworks floats. Pittsburgh made the list. I knew it would.

Did you see this? An Alaskan fisherman caught a 200 year old, 40 pound fish!

I’ve been a fan of William Lane Craig for a few years now. I’ve listened to many of his debates. He basically crushes his opponents, and some of the most prominent atheists won’t debate him. This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education explains why.

Rabbit Trails (6/29/13)

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

Of course, the big news this week is the Supreme Courts ruling in the DOMA case. Here’s a thoughtful and calm response from Ed Stetzer. What should churches do now? The same thing we last week: preach the gospel, care for the suffering, love our neighbor. The Church has been here before. Don’t panic.

According to various reports, about 100,000 Christians were martyred in 2011. I had seen these numbers before, but couldn’t verify the information. It appears that a Vatican study and one done by Gordon Conwell Seminary are saying essentially the same thing.

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Rabbit Trails (6/08/13)

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

Turns out that the French treat ADHD in children differently that we do with different results. Interesting.

I found this little info-graph showing some hypothetical numbers related gun ownership and suicide. The kicker: hypothetically, based on the stats we have, a very religious society with limited access to guns would see a dramatic drop in suicide but being religious alone would not produce the same results. Go figure.

In news of the weird, you paddlers look out for beavers if you’re in Belarus. They grow ’em mean over there. A fisherman was killed by one.

The Southern Baptist Convention is trying to calm the tense theological disagreement over soteriology among their churches. The Calvinism Advisory Committee issued a report this week. If you’re wondering why this matters, the SBC is the largest Christian denomination in the United States. For Evangelicals of all stripes, SBC influence gets around.

Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez was raised by two lesbians. He spoke out this week, stating that he was against the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples. He is certain that this is not good for children. Some French homosexuals said the same thing a few months ago.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America elected its first gay bishop this week. They are the second denomination to do so. If it goes for them like it’s going for the Episcopal Church, the future does not look bright.

Rabbit Trails (5/25/13)

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

Top urbanists agree that casinos are bad for cities.

This is a really moving piece from a man who group up in the always tumultuous Iran.

I wish I could write the way this guy does! My hand is just not this steady.

This young man, Zach Sobiech, died this week. His story was an inspiration to may. Take a listen.

Can 3D printers really help relieve world hunger? Seems like a page out of Star Trek.

In honor of crazy Christians everywhere, I give you Pope Michael. I’m glad my brand of Christianity is not the only one with a crazy uncle or two. I admit to not being able to look away from this video.


Rabbit Trails (5/18/13)

After a long absence, my schedule has relaxed a little, and I thought we should bring back the Rabbit Trails.

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

The radio ministry of Harold Camping – the guy who has failed to predict the Apocalypse not once, but three times – appears to be in financial trouble. Religion News Service article.

If you’ve never read the “Get Religion” blog, you need to. The purpose of this blog is for Christians in the news media to critique the media’s coverage of news stories that have religious angles. I really enjoy reading their work. Just this week, this story about interviewing pro-choice activists about the Gosnell trial was really interesting.

For you paddlers out there, here’s some cool places to paddle in the north country. I’d love to do some of these sometime.

From CT, should pastors know what people give? This is interesting, and there are pros and cons to each position. I don’t know what anyone in my church gives. I would rather not. What do you think as a person in the pews?

All of the talk about being missional and radical has some asking if this is a new kind of legalism. I have the same question. I might post on it sometime.

I’ve had this link saved for a while, and it’s worth another look. Ten reasons our kids are leaving church.

Rabbit Trails (12/22/12)

Jackalope RidingBack by (sorta) popular demand…Rabbit Trails! I took a couple of months off, but we’re back with more randomness from the World Wide Rabbit Trail.

Hopping down the WWRT on this Saturday in late December…


Dogs feel no shame, which is exactly why shaming them is so funny. There’s a lesson in this somewhere about how shaming and the law are ineffective in creating real righteousness. From dogshaming.com. Continue reading

Rabbit Trails (9/22/12)

Tracking down the goofiness of the World Wide Rabbit Trail since April.

Hopping down the WWRT this week…

An Iranian cleric got beat up by a woman he was confronting about her dress. Yeah, I’m laughing. That head scarf isn’t such a bad thing to have on if you’re planning on beating up a cleric.

Walmart got some bad press this week for allegedly ripping up a customer’s $100 bill thinking it was a fake. Continue reading