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Blog Archive/November 2007

November 24, 2007

Randy Bonifield's "Left Behind (The Rapture Song)"

Were you traumatized at age eight by visions of the rapture? Then you'll get a kick out of this clip I found over at Pastor Bob's site:

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

November 16, 2007

God's Sophomore Year at Harvard

It might strike anyone as odd that someone who gets his paycheck from a secular humanist think tank would defend Harvard's controversial general education requirement, passed last year, making religion a core subject for undergrads at America's premier university. But...

Read R. Joseph Hoffmann's God and Man at Harvard.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

November 16, 2007

Peter Bebergal and Scott Korb's "Faith Between Us"

Most women suffer from an abiding curiosity about just what guys talk about in private. According to "The Faith Between Us," a dual memoir by Peter Bebergal and Scott Korb, it's definitely not what we assume. Peter and Scott's friendship developed around their shared belief in God, and the 10 essays in this book, which explore how they live that faith out in the world, touch on topics ranging from monogamy, marriage, prayer, food, children, playing musical instruments, and bird watching.

Read Astrid Storm's review, The Faith Between Them.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

November 15, 2007

You're a Loving, Christian Family That Wants to Adopt a Child? Hold on. Don't Believe in Evolution, Do Ya?

...The orphanage, which is run by Southern Baptist missionaries from a church in El Paso, Texas, wanted to know more about our spiritual beliefs, and sent us a list of questions. Could it be we were just not quite Christian enough? It's not too much to ask, they said, to wonder about our position on homosexuality; after all, the American Episcopal Church has elected "homosexuals" to leadership positions. Do either of us condone homosexuality? And are we biblical Christians? Do we believe in evolution? And why is it, they wondered, that our surnames are different? Finally, an aside to the Philippine Adoption Board: Is this the only family open to Matthew Luke?

Read Pam DiBona's Not Christian Enough.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email
Tags:    adoption Christian faith

November 11, 2007

A.J. Jacobs Interview

Countless believers pride themselves on leading Bible-based lives, but let's face it: there's a big difference between donating to the Christian Children's Fund and downloading Jars of Clay onto your iPod, and diving headlong into the ancient world of Moses and King David--swearing off clothing made of mixed fibers, stoning adulterers, and growing a beard that makes you resemble the Unabomber.

In his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically, Esquire editor A.J. Jacobs sought the "ultimate ancient-Israelite experience," devoting 365 days of his life to following the Good Word--as literally as possible.

Continue reading my interview with Jacobs, A Doubter on a Mission From God.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

November 10, 2007

Religion Joke of the Week

Did you hear about the Zen master who ordered a hot dog?

He asked for one with everything.

--From the recent film "Next," starring Nicolas Cage. It's a fun flick SoMA recommends, despite all the absurdities, plot holes, and unanswered questions, like: Why are the bad guys trying to blow up Los Angeles? And why is Cage's character, who can see two minutes into the future, so uninterested in helping the FBI save Southern California, even if he is obsessed with Jessica Biel?

Heard a joke you'd like to share? Does it have to do with religion? Send it to editor(at)

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

November 9, 2007

Richard Russo Interview

"There's a strange pact parents have with their kids. Though they want their kids to become educated and more affluent than they were, they also want them to stay the same and remain true to the values they were raised by. And they often don't understand that those things are, if not impossible to reconcile, not entirely compatible.

"I gave an address to the Colby graduates some years ago, and I told the parents that sending your kids to college is like putting them in the witness protection program. If they come out looking identifiably the same as they did when they entered, then something went terribly wrong."

Continue reading Bill McGarvey's interview with The Bard of Main Street.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

November 5, 2007

Should Abortion Even Be a Religious Issue?

What makes opposition to abortion the issue it is for each of the GOP presidential candidates is the fact that it is the ultimate "wedge issue" -- it is nonnegotiable. The right-to-life people hold that it is as strong a point of religion as any can be. It is religious because the Sixth Commandment (or the Fifth by Catholic count) says, "Thou shalt not kill." For evangelical Christians, in general, abortion is murder. That is why what others think, what polls say, what looks practical does not matter for them. One must oppose murder, however much rancor or controversy may ensue.

But is abortion murder? Most people think not. Evangelicals may argue that most people in Germany thought it was all right to kill Jews. But the parallel is not valid. Killing Jews was killing persons. It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons. Not even evangelicals act as if it were. If so, a woman seeking an abortion would be the most culpable person. She is killing her own child. But the evangelical community does not call for her execution.

Continue reading Garry Wills' "Abortion Isn't a Religious Issue," at the Los Angeles Times.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

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