Links to Help Your Grip (3.16.2013)

“Habemus papam!” (“We have a pope!”) (NY Times):

Take time to get to know Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church–to be known as Francis I. I’d also encourage you to read Albert Mohler’s article and listen to John Piper’s two-

minute talk with the Pope (if he had that opportunity).

The Blogs, the Battle, and the Gospel (Challies):

“The blogosphere in general and the Christian blogosphere in particular has had its share of successes, but also its share of failures. Many of its most egregious and public failures have been in the realm of polemics—discussing or debating controversial topics. Many bloggers have mastered all the practical rules of blogging, the short paragraphs, the use of subheadings, the best times and dates to post their articles. But these same bloggers, myself included, would do well to work toward mastering the spiritual rules of blogging.”

Is Civil Marriage for Gay Couples Good for Society?:

A debate held at the University of Idaho between Douglas Wilson and Andrew Sullivan. One of the best debates I’ve seen in keeping the conversation civil and on point. The entire debate lasts over two hours, but it is worth the time to understand both sides of the issue.

I’m Gay, and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage (Doug Mainwaring):

“I wholeheartedly support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but I am opposed to same-sex marriage. Because activists have made marriage, rather than civil unions, their goal, I am viewed by many as a self-loathing, traitorous gay. So be it. I prefer to think of myself as a reasoning, intellectually honest human being.”

Is the ‘New Atheism’ Dead? (Catholic Herald):

As atheist writer Douglas Murray recently noted, after sitting alongside (Richard) Dawkins in a debate: “The more I listened to Dawkins and his colleagues, the more the nature of what has gone wrong with their argument seemed clear. Religion was portrayed as a force of unremitting awfulness, a poisoned root from which no good fruit could grow. It seems to me the work not of a thinker but of any balanced observer to notice that this is not the case. A new … dogma has emerged. And the argument has stalled.” (HT: Stetzer)

America’s New ‘Religion’ (Thomas Doran, Washington Post):

With a subtitle such as: “The culture is ugly, but it’s all relative,” you know the direction of this article. It ends rather provocatively: “Despite what is peddled in our universities, by Hollywood and on Madison Avenue, we are not equipped to decide what is right and wrong solely by ourselves. Attempting to do so makes us less human, not more human. Relativism produces self-absorbed men and women who can’t think, but who believe themselves to be knowledgeable, sophisticated and liberated. It is a dead-end existence masquerading as freedom.”

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