Who's the fastest selling Playmobil figure of all time? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a dinosaur? [more inside]
A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
Easter is the most famous movable feast in our calendar. Its date appears to change unpredictably from year to year, and different branches of Christianity disagree on when exactly it should be marked. In some years, like 2014, western Christians and the Eastern churches (such as the Greek and Russian communities) celebrate Easter on the same Sunday – but that is not always the case. [via BBC]
Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as The 95 Theses by Dr. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. or 496 years ago today. [Original Latin][more inside]
Besides Halloween, today also marks another holiday: Reformation Day. On October 31st, 1517 (warning: auto-playing video) Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, Germany essentially starting the Protestant Reformation. [more inside]
Dr. E.L. Skip Knox teaches history at Boise State University. His online courses have dedicated websites with his lectures and plenty of supporting material. There are five, History of Western Civilization, covering the wide sweep of European history from ancient Athens to Copernicus, The Crusades, Europe in the Late Middle Ages, focusing on the the Renaissance, and Europe in the Age of Reformation. You can also go on a Virtual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in medieval times. Dr. Knox has written extensively about online teaching including a lecture called The Rewards of Teaching On-Line where he explains his methods and shares his experiences.
The man who really started the marriage trend: Henry VIII, how he dealt with the wives and what he had to do to get the woman he wanted (at the time he wanted her): Reformation.
The Interpretative Dance Theocrats. Inspired by Salon's excerpt from Michelle Goldberg's new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, this handy guide will resolve your confusion over Christian theological jargon. [via]
Salman Rushdie weighs in. (NYT) An Iraqi writer quotes an earlier Iraqi satirist: "The disease that is in us, is from us." A British Muslim writes, "Islam has become its own enemy." A Lebanese friend, returning from Beirut, tells me that in the aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, public criticism of Islamism has become much more outspoken. Many commentators have spoken of the need for a Reformation in the Muslim world.