Web Exclusive | Salvo 44

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. . . . ►►►

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: 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: Home Front | Salvo 34

Girl Watching

Raising Daughters in Troubled Times by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Another phenomenon of living in a cyber world is what columnist Clive Thompson calls "microcelebrity." Teenage girls getting ready for a party "make sure they're dressed for their close-up," he wrote in Wired magazine. They know there will be photos and that those photos will be posted online. The danger, says Sax, is that girls who get caught up in what he calls the "cyberbubble" will find it hard "to know where they came from, where they are, and where they want to go." Overly concerned about the image they present to the world, they won't feel at home with who they are. In fact, Sax worries that the result of early sexualization and excessive use of social media is that girls may not know who they really are. . . . ►►►

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 24

Just Brilliant!

Three Things Only a PhD Can Believe by Louis Markos

. . . At times, this academic groupthink leads PhDs to defend issues that are indefensible and to give their allegiance to causes that are immoral or unethical. At other times, it leads them to believe things that are simply and demonstrably false—things that violate objective observation, common sense, and the collective experience of mankind. Indeed, colleges and universities across Europe and America brazenly teach their students three things that are so patently absurd that only a PhD could believe them. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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: Headquarters | Salvo 38

Doctors Delusional

Transgender Disorder & Really Bad Psychiatry by Boris Vatel

. . . Lacking diagnostic means that produce quantitative evidence of a person's condition, such as blood tests, or unambiguous visual data, such as what one sees on a microscope slide or an MRI image, the field of psychiatry relies on a complex set of mental constructs for its notions of normality and pathology. However, inherent to that set of mental constructs is the notion that there is such a thing as verifiable, objective reality. To suggest that there is no such thing as objective reality, or that reality is less important than what one wishes it were, renders the entire concept of psychiatric disorder invalid. In fact, the only way to accept the transgender phenomenon as psychiatrically normal is to say that, as a measure of reality, physical evidence is subordinate to what a person believes about or wishes for himself. And on that logic, we have no basis for calling anyone delusional. . . . ►►►

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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