Thursday's News & Ideas

  • In Britain, evangelical Christianity going strong
  • Spirituality as a tonic for postwar stress
  • A priest fights home foreclosures
  • A sign of the times: Coffee shops boot laptop users

Evangelical Christianity: It's Glastonbury for GodThe Independent: As the leaders of Britain's more mainstream denominations scratch their heads and debate how to revitalize their congregations, evangelical Christianity in Britain is going from strength to strength. Archdiocese's capital campaign reaches $77 millionPhiladelphia Inquirer: Despite some pastors' early apprehensions about the national economy -- or their parishioners' willingness to donate -- the Archdiocese of Philadelphia says its $200 million capital campaign appears on track to exceed its pledge goals. Fighting postwar stress with spiritualityUSA Today: Hopelessness haunted Tim Pollock for years after an Iraqi insurgent blew off half his skull during a reconnaissance operation in 2004. But today Pollock, 30, has a renewed sense of purpose -- he's studying for ministry. Saving flock from foreclosureMiami Herald (Associated Press): A priest's typical mission is saving souls, but the Rev. John Lasseigne has a more down-to-earth goal -- saving homes. A new therapy on faith and sexual identityWall Street Journal: The men who seek help from evangelical counselor Warren Throckmorton often are deeply distressed. They have prayed, read Scripture, even married, but they haven't been able to shake sexual attractions to other men -- impulses they believe to be immoral.

The Spark

No more perks: Coffee shops pull the plug on laptop usersWall Street Journal: Amid the economic downturn, there are fewer places in New York to plug in computers. As idle workers fill coffee-shop tables -- nursing a single cup, if that, and surfing the Web for hours -- and as shop owners struggle to stay in business, a decade-old love affair between coffee shops and laptop-wielding customers is fading. In some places, customers just get cold looks, but in a growing number of small coffee shops, firm restrictions on laptop use have been imposed and electric outlets have been locked. The laptop backlash may predate the recession, but the recession clearly has accelerated it.