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Feature | Salvo 37

You Gotta Believe

Atheist or Not, You Already Have More Faith Than You Realize by James S. Spiegel

. . . You might say that your belief in the reliability of your senses is an article of faith. After all, it is something that you hold to be true without conclusive proof. Moreover, it is a conviction that has practical consequences for every moment of your waking life. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you conduct yourself according to this conviction that your senses are reliable. In short, you devoutly trust your senses. This is just one of the ways that all of us live by faith, regardless of what our particular worldviews happen to be. There are many other unprovable beliefs that we all share. Faith, it seems, is not really an option but is fundamental to the human condition. . . . ►►►

Feature: Headquarters | Salvo 44

Grounded Faith

Sinking Roots for Youth Ministry in an Age of Advanced Skepticism by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Millennials are the first generation of Americans to grow up in a culture where skepticism is the default setting. Their parents may have accepted "because my church says so," but they're not buying that. And really, why should they? Instead of aiming for "sticky faith" then, what parents and leaders need to work toward is a grounded faith. And in an environment of default skepticism, this will require beginning at the beginning: Does God exist? . . . ►►►

Department: Parting Shot | Salvo 44

Deadly Harvest

Patriarchy & the Violence of Fatherless Men by James M. Kushiner

. . . Patriarchy is about fatherhood. It is about fathers raising boys and young men to become fathers themselves. A whole generation, or neighborhood, of boys without fathers will succumb to the chaos and violence of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. Wherever you find many fatherless young men not being trained for fatherhood, you will find most of today's violent crime. Family in Greek, patria, based on pater, is often translated as nation and is thus the root of patriotism. But where there are fewer and fewer fathers, there can be no enduring patria, no homeland, no security. . . . ►►►

Column: Person of Interest | Salvo 33

Unesteemed Colleague

An interview with Mark Regnerus by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Despite the fact that Regnerus's paper was peer-reviewed, the backlash was swift and harsh. A month after its publication, some of his UT colleagues wrote a scathing op-ed accusing him of an "irresponsible and reckless misrepresentation of social science research." According to The Weekly Standard, two hundred "researchers and scholars" wrote a letter to the editor of Social Science Research insisting that he "hire scholars more sensitive to 'LGBT parenting issues' to write a critique for the journal's next edition." A formal complaint of "scientific misconduct" was lodged against Regnerus, though the University of Texas later determined that no formal investigation was warranted. Dr. Regnerus spoke with us about the fallout from the publication of that research paper, why he thinks American life is becoming sexually bipolar, and what current sociological trends he sees as significant. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 41

It's Beyond Us

Extraordinary Claims Need an Extraordinary Cosmos by Regis Nicoll

. . . Panspermiais a fringe scientific theory, but the multiverse theory has gone mainstream over the last couple of decades. Its proponents, like Neil deGrasse Tyson, assert that our cosmos is part of a "multiverse" that contains an infinite number of universes, ensuring that the intricate network of coincidences necessary for our existence will have been actualized. Accounts of how these universes came about rival anything imagined by H. G. Wells or Gene Roddenberry. Here are a few: . . . ►►►

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 33

No Progress Report

How Deafness to Wise Old Voices Distorts the Past, Present & Future by Jason Morgan

. . . In other words, Butterfield was right—but in more ways than he knew. It is not only history, but, indeed, nearly every discipline that now suffers from the pathology of pride. Most of today's intellectuals are still lost in this present progressive tense, deaf to the subtle tones that ought to modulate their voices from behind. They dismiss all who came before them, rejecting whatever wisdom our ancestors might have won through hard trial and costly error. They want the future now, and will not let any notes of caution dissuade them from their project. They have become, in short, very busy little Whigs. . . . ►►►

Department: Archives | Salvo 32

Capital Losses

Nietzsche on Losing English Morality by Cameron Wybrow

. . . Nietzsche perceives that such a situation cannot last. He says "morality is not yet a problem," implying that when the English finally reach the level of self-consciousness that the Germans have achieved (or at least that Nietzsche has achieved), morality will be a problem; they will realize the groundlessness of their habits. Nietzsche was prophetic here; for eventually, certainly after 1945, the English-speaking world did begin to abandon, bit by bit, its secularized Christian morality. It had been living on old moral capital, but now that capital was spent and the religious tradition was no longer there to replenish it. Thus, the secular humanism of today, compared with earlier secular humanism, is virtually rudderless, because most people not only no longer think like Christians, but also no longer feel like Christians. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 41

Eye Openers

Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson

. . . The factors that lead to faith are diverse, and every former atheist has walked a unique path to God. When Cardinal Ratzinger was once asked how many ways there are to God, he replied, "As many ways as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one." Of course, the future pope was not endorsing the view that "all religions are equal" but rather that there seems to be a unique combination of factors, or steps, that moves each convert towards belief in God. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

Department: Logistics | Salvo 42

God & the Gaps

A Response to Data-Free Models for Origins by Hugh Ross

. . . By resting their case for nonbelief on Christians' inability to refute every imaginable non-empirical (non-evidence-based) hypothesis for our universe and life, some nontheists present us with an impossible challenge. What they demand would require complete knowledge not only of the physical universe but also of everything that could conceivably exist beyond the universe. The problem here is obvious. Given that our powers of investigation are constrained by the space-time dimensions of the cosmos, no human mind nor any device created by human minds can ever assemble a complete database cataloging all the properties of the universe, let alone what lies beyond. Our inability to ever gain absolute proof, however, does not mean that we cannot access adequate practical validation of the need for a Creator. . . . ►►►


Salvo 44

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