The Resurrection and the Ending of Mark’s Gospel – Mark Heath
And one point that is often made by the skeptics is usually presented along the following lines: “Mark’s gospel, which is the earliest, doesn’t actually report the resurrection. The church added that bit on much later.” The implication is that honest Mark tells it like it is – Jesus died and that was that, but Luke and Matthew wanted a happy ending for their story, so they fabricated the story of the resurrection, and someone much later “fixed” Mark by adding a resurrection to that too. To someone not familiar with the gospels this sounds like a major embarrassment for Christians – a coverup of epic proportions. But in fact, this accusation is at best a half-truth.
Why Was Jesus Crucified? – Larry Hurtado
So, however attractive to our own gentle instincts may be the sort of Jesus touted often, a guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly and just wanted everyone to be friends, we have to posit a Jesus who could get himself crucified. And we should do so without caricatured Jewish leaders and Roman governor, and without invoking some legal goof-up. Instead, probably everyone involved knew what they were doing.
The Christian Divorce Rate Myth – Glenn T. Stanton
“Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!” It’s one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it’s perhaps one of the most inaccurate. Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population.
The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage – Meg Jay
Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect. Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.
Modern-Day Marcionism – William J. Tighe
It is not clear from the report whether Ms. Hughes was speaking as a Christian or as an expert in ancient history, but it doesn’t really matter, for she is wrong on both counts. In fact, though, her remarks can be connected loosely with two very old Christian heresies, Marcionism and Montanism, which seem to have undergone something of a revival among trendy religion pundits.
‘Service Religion’ and the Crisis of Cultural Confidence – David French
Yes, people need mosquito nets, but a lack of netting generations after we figured out how malaria is transmitted (or a lack of clean water, or virtually any other aspect of public health we take for granted) is a symptom, not the cause of multi-generational poverty and suffering in the Third World. To be clear, it’s vitally important that we alleviate these symptoms — and those who labor to alleviate those symptoms are doing heroic work for the “least of these” — but that can only be part of the story.
Praeparatio Evangelica – Matthew Anger
Feser offers the paradox that the old pagan is closer to the faith than the modern agnostic. He refers to the “idea of what Aquinas called the praeambula fidei – the preambles of faith, by which philosophy opens the door for revelation.” But for a few Christians this creates a problem. “Like the Pharisee who scorns the sincere piety and virtue of the Samaritan, some Christians scorn natural theology and natural law as impious or at least questionable. They… despise human nature, and with it any non-Christian understanding of God and morality, as altogether corrupt and without value….”
"Test everything. Hold on to the good." -I Thessalonians 5:21