Friday's News & Ideas - 06/30/2017

  • American faith
  • Peter Berger RIP
  • Car-care ministries
  • Good riddance to centrism
  • Trump tweets & human depravity
  • Letting children go

How Benjamin Franklin, a deist, became the founding father of a unique kind of American faith
The Washington Post: Franklin was the pioneer of a uniquely American kind of faith, one which touted the benevolent effects of faith even as it jettisoned virtually all theological beliefs.
NPR: To understand how religion shapes America, look to its early days

Peter Berger, theologian who fought 'God is dead' movement, dies at 88
The New York Times: Peter L. Berger, an influential theologian and sociologist who argued that faith can indeed flourish in modern society if people learn to recognize the transcendent and supernatural in ordinary experiences, died on Tuesday.

Car-care ministries a growing niche in midsize cities
Religion News Service: Car-care ministries, where church members repair cars for those in need, transcend state borders and religious groups.

Rejoice! Centrism in British politics is dead and big ideas are back
The (London) Guardian: Centrists claim that the middle ground is where grown-ups do politics. It isn't. It's where the elite try to manage things into staying the same, Giles Fraser says.

Trump's twitter rant helpfully models universal human depravity, spokesperson suggests
Religion Dispatches: Spokesperson's defense of Trump tweets is old-school Protestant theology laid bare. Interestingly, 16th century Catholics worried that this might happen.

The Spark

Life is about loss and letting go -- especially with our children
The most resonant truth about children is that they disappear, Tim Lott writes at The (London) Guardian. As our children grow, we are also mourning the passing of a role -- of ourselves as protectors, indispensable and loved passionately.

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