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Cultural Commentary

Tasing a pastor and arguing about Adam and Eve

A Stun Gun making an electrical arc between its two electrodes (Credit: Jason E S Bain via Flickr)Did you hear about the man who tased his pastor? Simone Moore, the Minister of Music at New Welcome Baptist Church in St. Elmo, Alabama, was told last Sunday that his services would no longer be needed. Investigators say that he then tased the pastor. According to authorities, a deacon then stabbed Moore's mother in the arm. Warrants have been issued for both the music minister and the deacon.

The church has never been immune from controversy. For instance, NPR carried a story two days ago about the argument within evangelical Christianity over a literal Adam and Eve. Some say that the Genesis story cannot be reconciled with genomic science. Others say that a figurative Adam and Eve cannot be reconciled with the rest of Scripture. Let's consider both sides for a moment.

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Fallen soldiers and the cost of freedom

President Barack Obama salutes as he arrives at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware aboard Marine One, August 9, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing)The remains of 30 U.S. troops came home from Afghanistan yesterday. As you know, they were killed last Saturday morning when their helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. It was the single deadliest loss of life for U.S. forces in the longest war our nation has ever fought.

Their remains landed at Dover Air Force Base, where they were honored by President Obama and their families. Eight of the American troops were members of the Army and the Air Force; the other 22 were Navy SEALs. Most of these were part of SEAL Team 6, the counterterrorism unit that carried out the mission to find Osama bin Laden. (None of the commandoes, however, were involved in the operation which killed the al-Qaeda leader.) They were on a nighttime mission to kill or capture two high-level insurgents when their Chinook helicopter was attacked by Taliban forces. Now they have joined 1,678 other American service members who have died as part of the Afghan war and related operations.

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The stock market and a Roman sword

A broker reacts at BGC Partners at Canary Wharf financial district in London, August 5, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor)With the markets in turmoil, as we grieve the loss of 38 U.S. troops shot down in Afghanistan on Saturday, I found solace this morning in a drainage ditch. But not just any ditch—the 2,000-year-old drainage system in the Holy City which ran between the City of David and the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden.

Yesterday, the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced that a Roman sword in its scabbard had been discovered there, as well as an engraving of a Menorah on a piece of stone. Both date from A.D. 66, the year of the Jewish Revolt which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

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A letter of thanks

Thank you in different languages on different color sticky notes on a corkboard (Credit: Marek via Fotolia) Rudyard Kipling was once so popular that he was paid ten shillings per word. Some college students sent him ten shillings with the request, "Please send us your best word." They received this reply from Kipling: "Thanks."

This morning I agree completely with the great author. It's been 12 days since we announced our ministry's new website, logo, and name. Your response has been so gracious and supportive that I wanted to use today's essay to express my thanks. I am personally grateful to each of you for reading the "cultural commentary" each morning, for your comments and suggestions, and for your support of this work.

I consider it a great honor and calling to discuss the day's news in spiritual perspective with you. Before I begin the essay, I first ask the Father to show me what he wants us to consider from his word and will. I pray that his Spirit would graciously use these words to help you in some way during that day. And I thank him for the privilege of sharing this conversation with you.

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Rick Perry and prayer for America

The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisisTomorrow, Christians from across Texas will gather in Houston's Reliant Stadium for a day of prayer and fasting. Titled "The Response," the event is hosted by Governor Rick Perry. The gathering has drawn both support and criticism.

Many of us are convinced that spiritual renewal is the greatest need of our day. As our nation wages war with radical Islam, we face growing economic challenges, historic drought, and other grave issues. More than ever we need to turn to the only true King of the Kingdom. His wisdom and power alone are sufficient for our problems.

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