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Web Exclusive | Salvo 45

Saving Truth on Human Sexuality

How Does Christianity Differ from Other Religions On Homosexuality? It's Probably Not How You Think by Terrell Clemmons

. . . "Sorry if this is off topic," the young woman stammered into the microphone, "but, um, I've searched for answers and I can't seem to find any, so I thought I'd come tonight and ask you guys. Where does Christianity, if it does at all, differ on homosexuality as opposed to other religions, and if so, how?" Her quivering lips and trembling hands revealed the magnitude of struggle it had taken just to voice the question. The auditorium fell silent as all eyes turned to Abdu Murray, who had just taken part in a university open forum on major world religions. . . . "There are only so many worldviews to choose from," he began. And none of them would provide an answer that unconditionally validates her humanity. None, that is, except for one. But before getting to that one, he surveyed the others. . . . ►►►

Department: Collateral Damage | Salvo 44

Silicon Debauchery

More Evidence the Hookup Culture Is Human Malware by Nancy R. Pearcey

. . . A society's view of sex reflects its deeper commitments—its prevailing ethos or worldview. The sexual liberation ethic stems from an underlying idea that the world is a product of blind, material forces. As a recent New Yorker article put it, "the loyalty oath of modernity" is that "nature is without conscious design . . . the emergence of Homo sapiens was without meaning or telos" (purpose). And if the human body is said to have no meaning or purpose, neither does sex. On one hand, that means we are free to make up our own rules. On the other hand, it means that under all the hype about being bold and experimental is a fundamental despair—the belief that sex is insignificant in a literal sense: signifying nothing. . . . ►►►

Department: Parting Shot | Salvo 45

Mommy Nearest

The Priority of Motherhood by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Our culture needs to encourage and support women who put their children's needs ahead of their own, at least for a time. "The truth is," Komisar writes, "we can do everything in life, but not at the same time. We cannot raise healthy children if we are not there for them emotionally and physically." Society used to value motherhood instinctively. How could motherhood not be important? As C. S. Lewis said, "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 42

The Darwin Tales

It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons

. . . . . . For if there truly is no way of determining what is "fit" other than by seeing what survives, then Darwin was arguing in a self-confirming circle: the survival of the survivors. In rhetorical terms, this is what's called a tautology—a statement that is true by definition, due to the construction of the language by which it is expressed. In effect, Darwin's proposed mechanism—natural selection—rested on the observation that "Survivors survive." To which any clear-thinking middle-school student might say, "Well, duh." . . . . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 42

Bot Behavior

Whether Humans or Robots, We Need Moral Programming by Richard W. Stevens

. . . for the human mind to possess knowledge and moral reasoning powers, there must be an outside source of that knowledge and power. The source would have to be intelligent enough to understand morality and skilled enough to instill the morality data and software into human minds. Dr. Zacharias is correct: morality, the software of good and evil, must come from a higher source than undirected physics, chemistry, or biological hardware. . . . ►►►

Department: Basic Training | Salvo 40

The Good Life

It's to Know, Serve & Love the Truth by James Altena

. . . What is a life well lived? What is an exemplary life—a life that I would wish to strive for, to emulate, to have others remember as worthy of admiration? What principles ought to guide me in living such a life? At the Christian university where I teach, every freshman must take an introductory liberal arts course that reflects upon this question. Typically, the initial essays I get in response are self-centered: life is all about "finding happiness," "living your dreams," "pursuing your passions." Why does no one ever mention being virtuous, or faithful, or living to serve others? Since I ask all my students to answer this question, I thought it right that I, too, should answer it. I hope my response will give my readers occasion to pause, to pose this question to themselves, and to answer it worthily. . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 31

School Deform

How Common Core Promotes Cultural Engineering by Killing the Imagination by Robin Phillips

. . . America's founders understood that a healthy democracy requires that citizens learn to think critically, to ask questions, and to develop well-ordered faculties of reason and imagination. Citizens who were inculcated in the ways of sound thinking would be able to preserve the riches of our cultural heritage. This was the same vision articulated by Plato, who argued in The Republic that the highest goal of all education is knowledge of the Good. By contrast, when the architects of Common Core tried to describe the goal of education, they were unable to articulate anything higher than "college and career readiness" and "21st century literacy" for a "global economy." . . . ►►►

Department: Basic Training | Salvo 41

Improbably So

Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

. . . This response may have some rhetorical force, but it makes a fundamental mistake. To expose the error, let me give you another illustration. Imagine your best friend has been murdered and the lead suspect is on trial. In fact, DNA evidence puts the suspect at the scene with the murder weapon in hand. As a result, the defense attorney turns to the jury and says, "The DNA evidence makes it highly unlikely that my client is innocent. But unlikely things happen all the time. For example, for you to exist, your mom and dad had to meet, fall in love, and have sex at just the right time. . . . Would any jury accept this response? I think we would have to say no. But why wouldn't they accept it? It is because there is a better explanation; namely, that the suspect really is the killer. . . . ►►►

Column: Deprogram | Salvo 43

Up for Grabs

In Science, When 'Anything Goes,' Everything Goes by Denyse O'Leary

. . . Ruse reflects on the role played by popular science celebrities in spreading the postmodern approach: "Science is an inflated medium of exchange these days . . . but its value has been eroded by the charlatans making obviously partisan and sometimes wild and contradictory 'scientific' claims." Pop science celebrities have been around for as long as any of us can remember. But Ruse chronicles a subtle shift. Both Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson have made clear that philosophy is either "dead" or "a useless enterprise," something one certainly did not hear from past icons like Albert Einstein. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 36

ETI In the Sky

What the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Means for Us by Hugh Ross

. . . Whereas previous generations of astronomers lacked the telescope power needed to detect operating Dyson spheres, today's astronomers possess that capability. Four Swedish astronomers noticed that if Dyson spheres surrounded a large number of stars in a galaxy, both the apparent luminosity and the color of those stars, as seen from Earth, would change, while the galaxy's gravitational potential would remain unchanged.3 The team proceeded to search for records of such changes in the latest galaxy survey databases. But out of a sample of 1,359 spiral galaxies searched (only spiral galaxies are candidates for hosting advanced life4), the team failed to detect the existence of a single Kardashev III-level civilization. I am sorry to disappoint Stars Wars fans (or Star Trek fans), but apparently there is no faraway galaxy hosting a confederation of intelligent civilizations on thousands of planets. . . . ►►►

Feature: Headquarters | Salvo 43

Quo Vadis, U?

When Christian Universities Lose Faith by Daniel Adler

. . . Just what is a Christian university? The question is as complex as it is pressing, in no small part because of the increased sec-ularization of higher education. As historians James Turner and Jon Roberts argue in The Sacred and the Secular University (Princeton University Press, 2000), Protestant universities founded on religious principles in the early days of America had, by the late twentieth century, largely abandoned these convictions. This change occurred in the span of about 200 years, a relatively short window of time. Institutions once dedicated to the faith now serve as contemporary temples of secularism. . . . ►►►

Column: Person of Interest | Salvo 36

Marriage Matters

An Interview with Patrick Fagan by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Patrick Fagan is the founder and director of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (see Allied Front). MARRI studies the impact of marriage, family, and religion on society. Once a practicing psychologist, Dr. Fagan moved into the field of public policy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush. He recently announced the launch of Marripedia, an online social-science encyclopedia that makes research related to family, marriage, sexuality, and religion accessible to the public. Dr. Fagan spoke with us about what makes for a healthy society, the importance of what he calls "the two great loves," and what he sees as a growing crisis for men. . . . ►►►



Salvo 45

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