Stories I’ve Found, 3/14/2014

Interesting stories I’ve found:

John Allen chronicles stories from a new perspective, particularly one about Catholicism growing in the heart of the Muslim world.

“Values are values. . .” Robert Christian relates Pope Francis’ problem with non-negotiable values: the implication that there are negotiable values.

Here’s the introduction to Jim Martin, SJ’s new book: Jesus: A Pilgrimage.  Another one for the reading list, which is already too long, but I’ll make time for this one.

How Pope Francis’ gestures have affected his papacy.  For those of us who remember John Paul II in his early days, Papal example makes a huge difference in the reality of the Church. David Gibson shares his analysis of Pope Francis’ Jesuit background and how it’s affected his papacy.  On the lighter side, here’s 10 things you may not have known about Pope Francis.

If you want a collection of evaluations of Pope Francis one year in, Millennial Journal has a great one.

The hope of survivors.  This new ministry in Iowa to help victims of clergy abuse sounds like the kind of ministry that should be encouraged and promoted.

Kathryn Jane Lopez  explores Cardinal Dolan’s reaction to college football player Michael Sam’s coming out. It’s an illuminating and thought provoking piece.

Methodist pastor Laurie Haller of Birmingham MI writes an open letter to Sports Illustrated in protest of their swimsuit issue and offers them a challenge.  Take a look and see how you feel about the issues she raises: I agree with her on her essential points.

Another “see what you think about this” essay on sexual ethics: J.R.R. Tolkein writes his sons about love and marriage, among other things.  Tolkein was proud of being an anachronism, even in 1941, however his view of sex is needlessly dark for me, even though I like his attitude toward disciplining desires. His views expressed here runs fairly counter to remarks he made about Elvish sexuality in an Appendix to The Lord of the Rings.

It must be nice to have an international dialogue and not leave your religious house.  Jeremy Zipple, SJ gives us his gleanings of his multi-national confreres after a debate on the merits of the health mandate. Very eye opening, and a must read.

Jonathan Merritt gives us 5 C. S. Lewis Quotes That May Shock You.  I wasn’t shocked by mildly surprised by a couple.

Billy Kangas reminds us that Lent is Not a Self-Help Program.  I’m not going to dial up “I Need Thee Ever Hour”, but his point that Lent is a time of God helping us is on target.

Some interesting accounts of Lent: Protestant style. I’ll be happy to hear any stories from my Protestant friends about their observances (and I know many of them do observe it!)

New data on Religious Nones that puncture some misconceptions about them. Important details for those of us in ministry.

I love ethical explorations of developing science. Adam Lee writes On the Morality of: De-Extinction.  Some day we may have the technology to bring extinct species back to life, and his probe of its morality is interesting. Jurassic Park anyone?

Lynn Stuart Parramore discovers some facts about market manipulation that debunk some commonly held ideas about the free market today.  Most of this is on target.

The director of the new film, Noah, says his movie is the ‘Least Biblical Film Ever Made’  If that’s true, why make it in the first place? I’m not running to see this one.

Happy Π day, everyone!

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