Monday's News & Ideas

  • Looking for a theological alternative to left and right
  • More people claim speaking in tongues as spiritual gift than claim leadership
  • Can full disclosure of scandal in the media harm our souls?

Meet me in the middleAlban Institute: Many Christians feel theologically and spiritually displaced, lost in the middle between the extremes of religion and politics. If they could understand their situation clearly, maybe they could plot the path ahead.

Survey describes spiritual gifts Christians say they haveThe Barna Group: Survey sees small decline in Christians who have heard of “spiritual gifts” -- 2 percent claim gift of leadership; 3 percent, “tongues.”

Divine refuge in the stormNewsweek: After two years of declining enrollment, applications to seminary and divinity school rising in tough times.

How much ‘truth’ is too much?USA Today: After clergy sex scandals nearly destroyed his faith, religion reporter Rod Dreher says full transparency can harm society – and perhaps even our souls. But do we always have an alternative?

The Spark

Recasting bioethics debate as U.S. population ages

Doctors, who traditionally have been hesitant to perform major surgery on patients aged 80 or older, are beginning to revise the standard of care. Thanks to a host of medical advances, more older patients are undergoing cancer operations, open-heart surgery and joint replacements at an age when previously they might have been told to take it easy and let nature take its course. But, as the Miami Herald reports, such advances have raised bioethics issues such as quality-vs.-quantity of life and the growing monetary burden on Medicare. There also is the specter of ageism: Is it appropriate to limit procedures based on a patient's chronological age?