Pete Holmes is a famed podcaster and host of the very funny Pete Holmes Show. Rob Bell is a pastor and author. Neither of them are surfers but, well, you figure that out. Holmes tosses out some interesting factoids about his spiritual life, and Bell gets surprisingly vulnerable about his own journey and it all caps off with a terrific re-creation of a timeless Christian fable. In short, it's a must-watch ... Discuss
If you've been following the saga of a bevy of plagiarism accusations leveled at Pastor Mark Driscoll, good luck, because there's not much to follow. Following a heated exchange in which syndicated radio host Janet Mefferd brought Driscoll on her show and said he'd copied words and ideas without citation, and followed that up with a number of photographed copies of his work alongside some suspiciously similar writings of D.A. Carson and Dr. Peter Jones. However, despite several reporters going to these authors and Tyndale House, nobody appears to be saying much. Tyndale said they'd given a "thorough in-house review" and felt everything was properly cited. Dr. Jones said he wasn't making any statements. D.A. Carson said the same. Driscoll has kept quiet on it as well. So, all's quiet for now, though as Mefferd told Religion News Services, “I think it is entirely likely that more will come to light" ...
Update: One more person who's suddenly and surprisingly not talking about this: Janet Mefferd. She's removed all references to the broadcast and her photographic documentation of the plagiarism from her site, and issued an apology for not taking things up with Tyndale first. Discuss
Just Detention International is an excellent organization that advocates for those who are sexually abused while in prison, and they've set up a way for you to send an encouraging message to survivors of prison abuse. It's free, it only takes a couple minutes and it's a tangible way for you to encourage someone in dire need of it. Check out the video below and/or, click here to go create your own message ... Discuss
Pope Francis may be one of the most well-known people in the world, but that hasn’t prevented him from taking time to minister to those living on the streets. In an interview, a top Vatican archbishop dodged the question as to whether the pope would disguise himself and join in giving alms to the poor in the evenings, saying, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me.” The Vatican’s Swiss Guards later confirmed to The Huffington Post that “the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women." It wouldn’t be the first time he’s temporarily left his post to minister to the poor. When he was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he was known to leave during the evenings to bring meals to the homeless. Don’t worry. The pope is safe on the streets at night. He is, after all, a former bouncer ... Discuss
GiveWell is what's called a "charity analysis group" that looks at the hard math behind hundreds of charities to determine how effective they are at turning donations into actual action. They endorse charities that are best and fastest at helping the greatest number of the neediest people with the money they get. Every year, they release a new report on their findings—the idea being that, if you're going to give money, you should be giving it to the places that will do the most with it. In no particular order, GiveWell says the world's most effective charities are ...
Give Directly: an organization dedicated to helping the poor in Kenya.
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative: an organization in Africa running deworming programs.
Deworm the World: another deworming organization, more involved at a government and systemic level than SCI is.
Of course, there are scores of great charities in the world, many doing the best they can with what they have and many worth your time and donations. But it pays to be responsible with your money and know that your money's going to good use. Head over to GiveWell's site to take a look at all the organizations they evaluated, and see how some of the ones who might give to stacked up ... Discuss
According to a new study from German researchers at Saarland University and the University of Mannheim, praying actually does help people control their emotions and can give them an “increased strength and ability to resist temptation.” For the study, the researchers gathered volunteers from varying faiths, as well as, agnostics and atheists, who were asked to either pray or think intensely for a period of five minutes. Next, the volunteers were asked to watch movie clips that were meant to illicit an emotional response—and were told to either act normally or try to repress their emotions as researchers observed their reactions. The volunteers then took a Stroops test, which is used by psychologists to measure mental self-control. Those who prayed had an easier time with the tasks than those who didn’t. A researcher told The Daily Mail, 'These results are consistent with and contribute to a growing body of work attesting to the beneficial effects of praying on self-control.” Had they just listened to Hammer in the first place, the researchers could have saved themselves a lot of work ... Discuss