Seems as though an African pastor decided to reenact the miracles of Jesus by walking on water. You already know how this ends--badly. He drowned. Another pastor, who calls himself "the Prophet," dared to be a Daniel and entered the lion cage at the Ibadon zoo in south-west Nigeria. This didn't end well either. The lions ate the "Prophet" for lunch. Daring to Be a Daniel. I think I'll stick with the ordinary means of grace. (H.T. Shane Rosenthal)
Readers of this blog might find stimulating this provocative essay on de Tocqueville by Daniel Schwind (H. T. Gene Veith). The author discusses Tocqueville's observations about how American individualism and rationalism causes common folk to view religion and morality in pragmatic terms, what is useful, not necessarily what is true.
Elsewhere Tocqueville daringly elaborates that religious notions, under this sort of regime, come sooner or later to be reduced to only those which are most obvious and undeniable; and even then, spiritual doctrines are only embraced insofar as they are practical—never as a matter of doctrinal or traditional truth. Then, having taken to judging the true by the standard of utility, religion undergoes a transformation.
To read the essay, click here: Refuting Tocqueville.
Michael Robbin's review in Slate of Molly Worthen's Apostles of Reason is also well worth reading. Evangelicalism is losing the war against the forces of secularism (decisively), an important topic for those of us raised in the movement. (Review of Apostles of Reason).
Also well worth the time is Ross Douthat's spot-on reply to Atheist Jerry Coyne (Mr. "neutron illusion"--you'll have to read Douthat's essay to understand the pun), who did not like Douthat's Christmas column in the NY Times. The Confidence of Jerry Coyne. Douthat is proving himself to be a capable defender of "mere Christianity."