Cruising through some news stories that I've heard about today -- and commenting on them, of course!
- 2 stories about the "James Ossuary." I tend to agree with the Observer article -- whether the ossuary is authentic or not is NOT going to change anyone's mind about the truth of Christ, or the truth claims of Christianity. Plenty of people believe that Jesus existed, and that He taught and was killed by the authorities, but they don't believe that He was the Messiah. It is reassuring to some Christians that they can point to the existence of something like this to support their faith, and we like to be able to show archaeological evidences for things that the Bible records. But we cannot rely on history or archaeology to win people to Christ -- only the faithful preaching of the Gospel and the working of the Holy Spirit can do that. Note to the Observer, though -- the jury is still out on whether the findings of the IAA were accurate. There are some indications that their findings were biased from the beginning.
- The New York Times is reporting that religion is on the rise, but not the "fundamentalist" kind. Not surprising. I THINK they are including evangelical Christianity in their definition of "fundamentalist," and I think that the reasons people don't like evangelical Christianity are obvious. They want spirituality without responsibility. They don't want any obligation to any type of holy living. They don't want to think that God has any claim on their behavior at all. They also don't want to think about having to share their faith. They've found a type of "this works for me, go see what works for you" spirituality, and that contradicts the claims of the Bible that Christ is THE way, not A way. Biblical Christianity is an exclusivist faith, and people don't want to think that way.
- The Dallas News (which is a great source for good religious news reporting) has an editorial that should make us thing about what we are doing when we say something like "God says" or "Jesus says." I love this statement:
If Jesus is just a metaphor, or one of many paths to God, then speaking for him is treacherous enough. But those Christians who flatly reject that notion ought to set for themselves an even higher standard of caution.
We all need to think seriously about that.
Because if Jesus really is the one and only true Son of God, then who would dare presume to speak for him?
- National Review Online has a great interview with Naomi Schaefer Riley about the potential influence of "Generation M" -- the students who are currently enrolled in religious schools. Not much comment on this one -- except to say that there is a LOT of potential out there to make a tremendous difference in our society.
- Crosses have been banned along the parade route for the innauguration this year, and some Christians aren't happy about it. Personally, I really don't care if they are there or not, though I think there's a problem because no other religious symbols were mentioned in the memo.