Worth Reading - 12/16

1. From the Economist, there is a new trend of smaller scale terrorist attacks by radical muslims in places that were formerly considered relatively safe: 

For the most part, it is still the people of the region who suffer most. Jihadist violence has been predominantly directed at non-Muslim minorities, Shias, Sunni tribes that dare resist IS’s rule, as well as fighters from rival armies and militias. Hundreds have been executed by IS as it has extended its caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Beyond, eight Shias were killed in Saudi Arabia last month by suspected IS sympathisers. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has killed scores of Egyptian soldiers in bombings this year.

2. From First Things, an article on the invention of the so-called wall of separation between religion and public schools:

The famous phrase “wall of separation of church and state” today enjoys the status of legal precedent, but here’s a curious fact. The phrase comes from the letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Connecticut Baptists who feared that state politicians would suppress them. When the Baptists received the letter, however, they didn’t celebrate and publicize the statement. They didn’t even record it in the minutes of their proceedings. “They pretend it never existed.”

3. William Ross picks up a difficult topic of the nature of the Law and its significance in both the New and Old Testament:

Someone else knew that man does not live by bread alone, even in his worst suffering and weakest physical moments (Mt. 4:4; Lk. 4:4). Indeed, he himself is the true Word of God (John 1:1). Jesus Christ does not abolish the law, but he fulfills it (Mt. 5:17). In doing so he is the perfect law of God incarnate. And he is the one whose perfect sacrifice and obedience has given spiritual life to God’s people in every age.
Environmental ethics is a hot topic in the world, since concerns over climate change have led to arguments, protests and physical violence. The issue is as much economic as it is ecological, and there is an element of political power-seeking from both sides of the debate. As is typical, a Christian environmental ethics does not line up with many voices in the contemporary debate.

This is not a discussion of climate change, capitalism, the Keystone pipeline, fracking, coal-ash spills, or any particular issue. First, these are all extremely divisive and tend to distract from meaningful argument about the principals of environmental ethics. Second, I am more concerned to present a biblical approach to the environment, which will shape the beliefs behind particular decision.

5. From the creator of the Baptist History rap, we have been given the seminary graduation rap to celebrate her husband's graduation from Southeastern: