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July  2009

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2D Love and Lars and the Real Girl

Jul 30 2009
The Japanese phenomenon reveals a right human desire gone askew.

Falling in love with caricatures of girls and women, such as blow-up dolls or pillows imprinted with female characters, is still on the margins of Western culture, but it's getting noted enough to merit a recent New York Times Magazine story about the phenomenon ...

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China Eases One-Child Policy in Shanghai

Jul 29 2009
Seeking to offset Shanghai's aging population, officials are encouraging couples to have two children.


Shanghai's Population and Family Planning Commission has begun sending out officials and volunteers to pass out leaflets and offer emotional and financial counseling to families who might be willing to have a second child. More births would help even out the ...

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Corrupt Clergy and Forgiveness

Jul 28 2009
Cases like last week's organ-brokering scandal in New Jersey leave no room for cheap grace.

In New Jersey this week, thenewsiscorruption. Forty-four people, including three mayors, a state assemblyman, and five rabbis, have been arrested on various charges, including bribery and organ brokering. Shocking, even for New Jersey, many say. Ho hum, others ...

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Dancing Down the Aisle

Jul 28 2009
What a viral wedding-dance video can teach about the meaning of marriage.

If you haven't seen "Jill and Kevin's Wedding Entrance," the video that's shown up all over the Internet since late last week, I recommend you watch it now. It's five minutes of pure joy as the St. Paul, Minnesota, couple and their wedding party break into a choreographed ...

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The Urban Chicks Movement

Jul 24 2009
Living out faith can include 'just food.'

"What are you building?" the cashier asked as we paid for several sheets of plywood and some 2×4s. When we told her she said, "a lot of people are building chicken coops this summer."

City ordinances are changing to allow for backyard chicken keeping. From ...

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Journalists Link Rising Teen Pregnancy Rates to Bush Administration

Jul 23 2009
Rates of teen pregnancy, STDs rose during 2006-2007. Does this mean abstinence education isn't working?

The rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. rose steadily during the Bush administration, U.K. newspaper The Guardianreported earlier this week.

The Centers for Disease Control press release mentions three statistics as "signs ...

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Of God and Galaxies

Jul 21 2009
Now that the Cold War is over and we have an economic crisis on our hands, is space exploration still justified?

Forty years ago Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon, with an estimated 500 million people watching them via live broadcast below on planet Earth. I was not among those watching - I hadn't been born yet - and there hasn't ...

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Jimmy Carter Speaks Up on Women

Jul 21 2009
The born-again President recently penned an op-ed condemning gender inequality in the name of religion.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently penned dramatic columns for The Guardian and The Age, leading some people to believe that he's leaving the Southern Baptist Convention for the first time.

So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, ...
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Building Up Without Walls

Jul 20 2009
Paula White steps up as senior pastor of the troubled Pentecostal megachurch.

Popular Pentecostal teacher Paula White announced two weeks ago that she is taking the helm of the megachurch that she and ex-husband Randy White founded 18 years ago.

Paula's willingness to become senior pastor of Without Walls International Church - a Tampa, ...

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Julia Duin: The Anna Syndrome

Jul 17 2009
When hanging out at church only hinders single women.

Summertime is when weddings abound. No one longs for them more than the abundance of single women in our nation's churches. The dearth of marriage opportunities for most of these women calls forth certain coping strategies, one of which I'll call the "Anna syndrome" ...

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Cohabiting Couples on the Rise

Jul 16 2009
The cultural trend isn't going away anytime soon. How should the church respond?

A new national study suggests that the trend toward cohabiting continues its forward march for young adults, many of whom still expect to marry someday.

More than three-quarters of 20- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. said they believe that "love, fidelity, and making ...

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Breast Cancer and the Bible

Jul 15 2009
Does HarperOne's forthcoming 'Pink Ribbon Bible' push the boundaries of niche-marketing?

Gone are the days when personalizing your Bible meant choosing between a leather or patterned Bible cover.

The wide variety of Bibles currently on the market allows for customization based on age, sex, and interest. There are Bibles for teenage girls (with "a unique ...

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Harry Potter and the Vampire Battle

Jul 15 2009
Yet another reason for evangelicals to embrace the boy wizard.

No, I'm not talking about Severus Snape and his vampiric qualities. Last night's midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the latest installment in the blockbuster book-movie franchise, brought with it comparisons to another teen fantasy phenomenon, ...

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Nancy Guthrie: Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow

Jul 14 2009
Well acquainted with suffering, Guthrie offers Jesus' words of comfort in her most recent work.

Nancy Guthrie is no stranger to suffering. After her second child, Hope, died within a year of birth from Zellweger syndrome, a rare, fatal genetic abnormality, Guthrie began writing Holding On to Hope, a book about coping with loss and grief. She was in the final ...

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Where Does Francis Collins Stand on Stem-Cell Research?

Jul 13 2009
The question is more pressing now that he is heading the National Institutes of Health.

President Obama announced last Wednesday his pick of Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project and an evangelical Christian, to lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the government's biomedical research wing. While a couple news reports ...

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