Thursday's News & Ideas

  • The Francis effect
  • Selfies & hot ashes
  • #9-largest bails PCUSA
  • Singapore megachurches
  • Hippy Jesus
  • Jewish case against unplugging

Pope Francis is making more Catholics excited about faith, but actions slow to followWashington Post: It's not clear that Pope Francis has prompted a discernible change in the way American Catholics approach their faith, and yet, his effect is undeniably everywhere.

Selfies bring ashtags to LentWall Street Journal: Christians embrace, and debate, a modern show of faith's place on Ash Wednesday.BBC: Ash Wednesday forehead burns force priest to halt Mass

John Ortberg's Menlo Park Presbyterian votes to leave PCUSA despite $8 million feeReligion News Service: Members of one of the largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have voted to leave the denomination, despite facing an $8.89 million cost for leaving.

Singapore's megachurches move to export lucrative religionReuters: Pentecostal megachurches in Singapore have perfected a popular and lucrative model that they are working to export to the world and turn Singapore into a hub for evangelical Christianity.

Whatever happened to hippy Jesus?The Atlantic: Serious, Biblically correct films like Son of God make it easy to forget the Jesus Christ Superstar-style whimsical messiah who once reigned at box offices.

The Spark

The Jewish case against unpluggingThe rapid ascent of smartphones, tablets, apps and social networking has incited a chorus of fearmongers and naysayers telling us to unplug, or go on digital detox, or recharge by uncharging, Elissa Strauss notes in the Jewish Daily Forward. But, she argues, technology and faith can go hand in hand.

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