Wednesday's News & Ideas - 5/30/2018

  • Western Europe not so secular
  • The Baptist apocalypse
  • Church fails in moral formation
  • 'First Reformed' one of year's best
  • Pastor resigns after Twitter rant
  • Was a childhood at the beach worth it?

10 key findings about religion in Western Europe
Fact Tank: Most Christians in Western Europe today are non-practicing, but Christian identity still remains a meaningful religious, social and cultural marker, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 15 countries in Western Europe.
Religion News Service: Europe: Not as secular as you think

The Baptist apocalypse
New York Times: The question posed by this age of revelation is simple, writes Ross Douthat: Now that you know something new and troubling and even terrible about your leaders or your institutions, what will you do with this knowledge?
RNS: Southern Baptists have more repenting to do

Trump exposes the hypocrisy of Christian Republicans
Washington Post: The dehumanization of migrants and refugees by the Trump administration -- and the willingness of Christian political leadership to go along with it -- indicates the failure of the Christian church in the moral formation of its members, writes former Bush chief speechwriter Michael Gerson.

First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke, is bruising, vital, and one of the year’s best films
Vox: Paul Schrader’s movie is an astounding, harrowing meditation on faith and doubt. It's about a minister in a small church, working in the shadow of a much larger megachurch, who plummets into a dark night of the soul brought on partly by a growing feeling that what he’s believed and taught all his life isn’t a sufficient answer for the struggles of the world in which he lives.

'Elitist den of hate:’ Pastor goes on angry Twitter tirade against wealthy Palo Alto liberals
NBC Bay Area: Gregory Stevens, a pastor in Palo Alto, California, has resigned after criticizing the city’s wealthy progressive residents on Twitter, but he isn’t apologizing. He describes the city as “a ghetto of wealth, power, and elitist liberalism by proxy, meaning that many community members claim to want to fight for social justice issues, but that desire doesn’t translate into action.”

The Spark

My childhood in the California sun gave me skin cancer...and it was worth it
When she looked at the skin cancer on her face, Gina Harlow writes, "What I saw there, what I remembered there, was a young girl, all rosy and golden from a day in the sun. And it wasn’t just the magical way my tawny skin made my hazel eyes pop, or how my otherwise un-notable hair took on a caramel sheen. It was the tender way those warm rays had penetrated all the way through me, to the parts that had needed them most. I wondered if I should be sorry for all of those days in the sun."

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