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From Reformedish

"Now, I’ve known for a while that reading literature is more than simple entertainment. Reading thick literature is a soul-expanding experience, especially with novelists possessing as keen an eye for the richly textured diversity of human experience and character as Austen. Indeed, it’s not simply that Austen was a keen observer, but was a moralist in the best sense of the word, whose portraits of virtue and vice not only amuse, but enlighten, shape, and form us."

Read more: Derek Rishmawy, Reformedish
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From The Rogue

"With acts of violence like 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing and the tragedy surrounding the midnight showing of Batman, it’s understandable people would be nervous. However, there is a problem here. We are letting ourselves be bullied. This is a horrible precedent. Do we now let extremist groups or other countries tell us what movies to watch? Do we now let fear override our rights? If so—do we honestly believe it will stop with stupid movies nobody really cares about?"

Read more: Jo Schaffer, The Rogue, Patheos
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From The Volokh Conspiracy

"If you knew that criticizing a teacher this way could lead even a senior tenured faculty member to be suspended from teaching and ordered off campus, would you as a junior faculty member feel comfortable criticizing homosexuality or gay rights? Would you as a student feel comfortable criticizing homosexuality or gay rights, or criticizing instructors who you think are intolerant of certain student views on ethics and politics?"

Read more: Eugene Volokh, The Volokh Conspiracy, The Washington Post
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From Townhall

"The film version of UNBROKEN does not spend a lot of screen time on his Christian conversion--detailing it in a series of text cards before the closing credits. And that is exactly the way my Dad and our entire family wanted it. As he said in his autobiography, DEVIL AT MY HEELS, 'The great commandment is that we preach the gospel to every creature, but neither God nor the Bible says anything about forcing it down people’s throats.'"

Read more: Luke Zamperini, Townhall
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From Novel Thoughts

"It’s often hard for those who love and receive boundless cheer from the Christmas season to remember that sorrow might be rearing its head for others. There are many for whom the Christmas season is a time of anxiety, of grief, and of sorrow. Those evocative scents and sounds and images can dredge up pain just as easily as they bring forth cheer."

Read more: John Herreid, Novel Thoughts, Ignatius Press Novels
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From Gospel-Centered Discipleship

"Now, at the time, I didn’t have conversational space, or wherewithal to respond adequately, but if I had, I would have said, 'Oh, but Professor Jones, you already walk around struggling with guilt over failing your god.'"

Read more: Derek Rishmawy, Gospel-Centered Discipleship
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From The Hollywood Reporter

"On Dec. 16, hackers raised the threat level with an emailed message to reporters invoking the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. But Sony refused to back down from its plans to release the film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, on Dec. 25. Instead, in discussions with exhibitors, it told the exhibitors it was up to them whether or not they played the movie and that Sony would support whatever decision they made."

Read more: Gregg Kilday, The Hollywood Reporter
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From Mere Orthodoxy

"Some conservative evangelicals have been revisiting whether it’s permissible to be gay and a Christian recently. I generally try to steer clear of that discussion, as I find it often reinforces notions of ‘identity’ that are too underdeveloped to be helpful. 'Identity' language is a virus in the church that addles the brains of otherwise very intelligent people. The old forgotten terminology of virtues, character, acts, and so on was much clearer and did not have the incantatory effect ‘identity’ clearly does within the evangelical world, and if I had my way we’d all return to it."

Read more: Matthew Lee Anderson, Mere Orthodoxy

(H/T John Stonestreet)
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From AFP/The Express Tribune

"Militants rampaged through the army-run school in Peshawar and killed at least 130 people, most of them children, in one of the bloodiest ever attacks in Pakistan."

Read more: AFP/The Express Tribune
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From Faithit

"If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize."

Read more: Faithit
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From Public Discourse

"May I make two requests? Continue to love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Practice compassion according to the root meaning of 'compassion': Suffer with me. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it."

Read more: Jean Lloyd, Public Discourse, The Witherspoon Institute
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From The New York Times

"The sinners of the banking industry seem so uncowed by regulators and prosecutors that one country is trying a higher deterrent: the fear of God. In the financial industry equivalent of the Ice Bucket Challenge, executives in the Netherlands have been taking the bankers’ oath. 'I swear that I will endeavor to maintain and promote confidence in the financial sector,' the oath reads in part. 'So help me God.'"

Read more: Liz Alderman, The New York Times (subscription required)
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