Monday, February 07, 2005

Church Life

  • More news from the National Association of Evangelicals: apparently they, among other prominent evangelical groups, have come out in favor of good environmental stewardship.  Not to be outdone, the Church of England has also announced a green initiative.  

    The WaPo article linked above has gotten a fair amount of play among bloggers over the weekend, but for our money, the Baltimore Sun's article on Saturday about Intelligent Design was far better, if for no other reason than that it stepped out of the "he said, she said" mode to evaluate some claims:

    Larson's argument reflects common misunderstandings of evolutionary theory and scientific language. A "fact" in science is considered less significant than a "theory," and when scientists say "theory," they don't mean an untested hunch. They mean an encompassing explanation of a pattern of facts that has been amply supported by evidence.

    Johnson's argument reflects a "balance" and "fairness" principle that was once set in Arkansas law, requiring public schools to give equal treatment to evolutionary theory and "creation-science."

    In 1982, a federal court struck down the law, ruling that "creation-science" was not science and that the state law served religious ends. Five years later, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Louisiana that allowed evolution to be taught in public schools only if accompanied by instruction in "creation-science."

  • A Philadelphia-area paper hits on a national trend: Catholic schools are increasingly run by laity, not nuns or priests.

  • Two innovations we're not necessarily in favor of: church franchises in Illinois, Bible Boot-Camp in California (thanks to Body & Soul for the link).  To be fair, church "franchises" are not new, though the terminology is:  in medieval times, a town might have one large "cathedral" church and several smaller "chapels"--i.e., branches of the main church.

    But giving 16-year-olds imitation M-16s in their church youth group?  That's just whack.


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