For those who promote legalized gambling as a means of economic development or revitalization, or as a painless way to pay for public schools, the recent news from Atlantic City, New Jersey, is sobering.
Dominated by its famous boardwalk, the beach resort is familiar to Americans from the popular game of Monopoly, the Miss America pageant and the Democratic Convention that nominated Lyndon B. Johnson for president. Almost 40 years ago, when casino gambling was prohibited by every state except Nevada, New Jersey voters succumbed to a slick campaign that promised to remake the fading resort into Las Vegas East.
For awhile it seemed to work, as people from all over the Northeast rode buses to Atlantic City to sit for hours in front of mesmerizing slot machines. But casino revenues have fallen steadily to where they were 25 years ago, and this year four of Atlantic City's 11 casinos closed their doors, with a fifth expected to follow soon. more >>
Justice is in vogue.
Few virtues have obtained the cultural cache than justice now possesses (just ask anyone in the pro-chastity movement). Compelling books, valuable Christian ministries, and innumerable blogs proliferate in its name.
Yet the term seems overused, popping up whenever an advocate wants an ally. The indignation of standing for a cause that is substantively or reputedly just fills one with a gratifying sense of rectitude. That's why justice is used as a trump card to validate everything from rescuing children from human trafficking to supporting same-sex "marriage." more >>
People have long believed in the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible, and the Book itself offers abundant evidence for it. For example, the Bible maintains a unified, continuous message across its sixty-six books, which were written over some 1,500 years by about forty authors. If you read it enough you can't help but notice it has the same voice of authority throughout. I'm not saying each book has a similar style or that the authorial "voice" of each biblical writer is identical, as if they were scriveners merely transcribing dictation by the Holy Spirit. I'm saying that even through the medium of these unique, individual human beings writing in different historical time periods, in different geographical settings, and sometimes in different languages, there is a distinct voice behind the voice.
In my own reading of the Bible, just as I get the innate sense that there is divine authority behind Jesus' teachings, I can't help but feel the authority of the one God of the universe behind the entirety of Scripture. This is all the more impressive when you consider that other sacred books are the product of one man, and therefore present no problem of continuity that one would expect from a book written by such diverse and remote authors. As Daniel Fuller observes, "In no other literature besides the Bible do some forty authors or editors, writing in a period of over a thousand years, in places and cultures as widely separated as Rome and Babylon, succeed in developing a body of literature that even at first inspection gives an indication of being a unity."
The first inkling I had of this, as I reported in the first chapter, was when my friend introduced me to a reference Bible. But once you begin reading the Bible in earnest you hardly need a reference Bible to notice that major and minor themes, pronouncements, and teachings are sprinkled seamlessly throughout the Testaments to create an amazing, unified whole. I'm telling you that the Bible's interconnectedness is so striking to me that on that basis alone I would be a believer. It's hard enough for one person writing quickly to remain consistent. But to present such a consistency of message themes with this diverse authorship over such a long time period would be unimaginable without a sophisticated conspiracy, and even then, it would be nearly impossible to pull off. more >>
International Christian Concern has warned that Sangh Parivar, an umbrella Hindu nationalist group, is inflicting suffering and looking to cleanse the minority Christian population in India, much like terror group ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria.
The watchdog group said in a press release that the nationalist group and its associate organizations have been directing hate speech toward Christians and leading attacks on pastors and churches in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Believers are reportedly worried that radical Hindu nationalism and persecution of minorities will escalate.
John Dayal, a member of the Indian government's National Integration Council, said: "There has been a sharp rise in hate campaigns against Christians by political organizations. This threat of purging Christians from villages extends from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to now Uttar Pradesh, and to the borders of the national capital of New Delhi." more >>
If there were reputable scientific evidence that some people were born homosexual, I would have no problem accepting this. After all, my theology tells me that as human beings, we are all created in God's image and yet we are a fallen race, and so all of us carry aspects of that fallen nature to the core of our being, and that could theoretically include homosexuality.
But the fact is that there is simply no reputable scientific evidence that anyone is born gay.
As stated by gay activist and history professor John D'Emilio, "'Born gay' is an idea with a large constituency, LGBT and otherwise. It's an idea designed to allay the ingrained fears of a homophobic society and the internalized fears of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. What's most amazing to me about the 'born gay' phenomenon is that the scientific evidence for it is thin as a reed, yet it doesn't matter. It's an idea with such social utility that one doesn't need much evidence in order to make it attractive and credible." more >>
S. Truett Cathy, the 93-year-old billionaire and founder of Chick-fil-A, died early Monday morning surrounded by family, according to a spokesman for his company.
In a statement released soon after Cathy's death, the company announced that a public funeral will be held for the Chick-fil-A founder on Wednesday at First Baptist Jonesboro in Jonesboro, Georgia.