Web Notables (Feb. 9, 2015)

Assisted suicide, kind employees, evangelicals and Jim Crow, Oscar Romero, etc.

By The Editors Published on February 9, 2015

“Web Notables” is a daily feature that highlights articles readers may want to see but might have missed. It is compiled by senior editor David Mills.

Combating a Culture of Death, from the Billy Graham Crusade’s magazine Decision. “We’re going to see more states adopt pro-assisted suicide legislation until the church wakes up on this issue as it’s been awakened on the abortion issue,” explained C. Ben Mitchell, who teaches bioethics at Union University. Christians must “see our belief in the sanctity of human life covering both edges of life — the beginning and the end.” The story included insights on the issue and on the Christian understanding of suffering from Russell Moore, Joni Eareckson Tada and others.

My doubts about Oscar Romero, from the website Crux. “My first impression was that Romero was, indeed, part of the Marxist band of Catholics,” writes Dwight Longenecker, a Catholic priest. The archbishop of San Salvador was assassinated in 1980 while saying Mass. Rome recently proclaimed him a martyr.

After his martyrdom, Archbishop Romero was hijacked for the leftist cause. Their championing him may have caused the process of his canonization to move slowly, but anyone who looked into his life soon realized he was simply a faithful pastor who stood up for the poor and the persecuted. In this, he was standing with the whole Church, which has always had a preferential option for the poor.

An Open Letter to the Target Employee We Met Today . . ., from the blog Our Epic Story. “He proceeded to have an epic meltdown. In the middle of your store. With everyone watching, staring, judging.” Karyn Slater writes of her 3-year-old son Jake, who has Down Syndrome, and the employee who came to help — and knew just the right thing to do.

Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and Southern White Evangelicals, from The Gospel Coalition‘s website. Asking why southern evangelicals defended Jim Crow laws, historian Matthew J. Hall offers four reasons, beginning with their “deficient doctrine of sin.” Hall, a vice president at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains:

The classic Protestant understanding of sin might have helped them recognize the ways in which sin infects not only personal individual choices, but also social structures, economic systems, legal codes, etc. But by relegating sin only to the realm of individual choice, it allowed white evangelicals to denounce anything broader as political entanglement that had no connection to Christian ethics or witness.

Know Thyself, from NRO. National Review editor Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews the Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft about his book Practical Theology. “When it comes to God we’re all beginners, especially the ones who think they are experts. Only fools think they’re sages; sages know they’re fools,” Kreeft says. He adds that Thomas Aquinas wrote his 4,000-page Summa “for beginners” and Thomas was not joking. The book is subtitled “350+ Ways Your Mind Can Help Make You a Saint.”

And also:

Timothy Weir, a college student, explains what the classics teach about how to love what you do, even when you don’t.

Historian Christine Jones describes the introduction of chocolate to Europe, when it was treated as a medicine (“What do we make of chocolate? Are you not afraid that it will burn your blood?” wrote a French noblewoman in 1671).

Journalist Soeren Kern reports that the Austrian government is threatening to close the Saudi-sponsored King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue because it failed to condemn the Saudi government’s repeated flogging of a human rights activist.

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