Archive - Dec 2006
As we left Lewisville to head back to Michigan on the morning of the 27th, we met our college buddy Jayson Rawley for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We hadn't seen him in five years (except briefly at his wedding in June 2004)...since Peyton, Amy, and he came to visit us when we were vacationing on Emerald Isle.
Here are a couple photos from 2006:
Here are some photos from the Emerald Isle visit (2001):
Here is a photo from Thanksgiving 1992:
Q: Some people might say the reason there's such enthusiasm around social issues like gay marriage and abortion and pornography is that people in the evangelical church are primarily called on to condemn other people. Once you bring in issues like poverty and global warming -- and more broadly, compassion for the least among you -- obligations turn on them. There's a little guilt. Is that too cynical?
A: Not at all. Let's develop this conversation at a little deeper level. In Foreign Affairs, Walter Mead talked about the difference between fundamentalists and evangelicals. We make these differentiations in our own family of believers.
Fundamentalists are always mad. They don't play well with others, and they feel tainted by any view other than the one they have. That is a pretty narrow segment, but a pretty attention-getting segment of Christianity. In terms of stereotype, that's what most people focus on when they see conservative Christianity.
By the way, I don't say fundamentalists in the pejorative sense. I believe there is a legitimate reaction to what we would see as declining moral integrity in culture.
But another reason it has been so popular is that anger is the greatest and most immediate way, not only to invoke a response and build an audience, but to raise money. We'll both be cynical here for a minute: One of the things fundamentalist churches have learned, have practiced, and continue to practice, is the best way to grow in influence and fundraising is to make people mad. And the best way to do that is to create an enemy. So from that standpoint you're right.
But from another standpoint, a much larger portion of the church really does want to be more like Jesus. And that wasn't Jesus. Jesus didn't spend his time walking around yelling at people. His concern was for the vulnerable. As I often say, unless we start to care as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as we care for the vulnerable inside the womb, we won't have a picture of who Jesus was. There's a growing number of people who want to emphasize this. They're just not the people with a lot of money, or time to be self-righteous -- there are millions of us.
On Sunday the 24th we left Tybee Island to drive to Lewisville, NC. Finn had been developing a nasty cough for several days, and it really started getting worse...coughing uncontrollably for long periods of time. We ended up stopping in Mocksville to go to the emergency room on the 24th, and then going again in Winston-Salem the night of the 25th. All of this stress helped make it one of our worst Christmases ever (surpassing the year Lisa got chicken pox). By the time we headed back to Michigan on the 27th, Finn was doing much better. Despite his illness, we still had a great time seeing our friends and family. Here are some photos:
Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.
Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.
There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims they can help fight many diseases.
But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.