Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Understanding the Plight of the Poor: Why Strong Families are Essential to Liberty
Joy Pullmann, Values & Capitalism

“How well do you think Americans in the main understand and empathize with low-income Americans?”

Fighting Poverty With Actual Evidence
Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics

What are the best evidence-based ways to alleviate poverty?

Rights are Obligations, and That’s the Problem
Art Carden, EconLog

The problem with rights is that one person’s right is another person’s obligation.

Can Farmers be Capitalists?
Kristie Eshelman, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Is economic freedom consistent with environmental stewardship?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 2, 2013
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What’s Behind the Stunning Decrease in Global Poverty?
James R. Rogers, First Things

Most observers would likely concede that the decline in extreme poverty results from a combination of factors. But there remains disagreement over what is the main cause, or set of causes, of the decline.

Handsome Is as Handsome Gives
Arthur C. Brooks , Wall Street Journal

Donors to charity aren’t merely generous souls. They’re happier, healthier and better looking too.

What Does the Image of God Have to Do With Economics?
Shawn Ritenour, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

One of the chief ways God communicates his glory to us is through his works. Theologians call this general revelation.

American Jurisprudence Has Made A Mess Of Religious Freedom
Eric Teetsel and Andrew Walker, The Federalist

Religious freedom as nothing more than exemption is concession; little more than the slow and incremental surrender of a basic human right.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
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Thanksgiving and the Constitution
Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

Strict separation of church and state would require us to throw out Thanksgiving as a religious holiday proclaimed by the president. Instead, we should embrace Thanksgiving and throw out strict separationism as a misguided interpretation of the Constitution.

Reducing Poverty and Raising Prosperity
Tom Donohue, Free Enterprise

Though tremendous strides have been made in reducing global poverty, the World Bank estimates that 1 billion people will be living in extreme deprivation by 2015.

Sam Rocha’s Strange and Startling Philosophy of Education
Stephen H. Webb, First Things

Samuel D. Rocha does not just think outside the box. When it comes to education, his thought is downright otherworldly.

This Thanksgiving, Stop Idolizing the Pilgrims
Review by Thomas S. Kidd, Christianity Today

An evangelical historian teaches us how to think critically about the heroes of our past.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
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Court Confronts Religious Rights of Corporations
Adam Liptak, New York Times

Legal experts say the court is all but certain to step in, setting the stage for another major decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

How Obamacare Discourages Work and Marriage
Chris Jacobs, The Foundry

We were told that Obamacare was supposed to be compassionate toward the needy in America.

Common Core: The Biggest Election Issue Washington Prefers to Ignore

Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Basically, Common Core touches everything in U.S. education except bus routes.

Time to pay the piper
The Economist

America’s economic difficulties are mostly political.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 25, 2013
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Judge Strikes Down Housing Tax Break for Pastors
Katelyn Beaty, Christianity Today

One of the most important tax breaks available to American pastors is unconstitutional.

C.S. Lewis: Scholar to the Common Man
Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

Some people have said C.S. Lewis sounds as if he’s talking “down” to his readers. But his style is only childish in the sense that it is grammatically simple.

Should High Schools Offer More Job Training?
Sophie Quinton, The Atlantic

Some states are rolling back high school graduation requirements to help prepare students who will enter the workforce after graduation.

That Hideous State
Joe Rigney, National Review

C. S. Lewis’s social critiques are more relevant than ever in the Age of Obama.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 22, 2013
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Pope Francis calls for full religious freedom in the Middle East
Cindy Wooden, Catholic Herald

After a two-hour private meeting today with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches, Pope Francis prayed for peace and full religious freedom throughout the Middle East.

Making Modernity Human: Can Christian humanism redeem an age of ideology?
Bradley J. Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

“Humanism is a tradition of culture and ethics,” proclaimed the English historian Christopher Dawson, “founded on the study of humane letters.” The moment St. Paul quoted the Stoics in his mission to Athens—“In Him we move and live and have our being”— he bridged the humanist and Christian worlds.

We’re Losing The Two Things Tocqueville Said Mattered Most About American Democracy
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Federalist

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville doesn’t waste any time letting you know what impresses him most about America. To Tocqueville, equality and, to a slightly lesser — but very important — extent, religiosity, are the two foundations of the American experiment.

Getting a Job at Walmart Is Harder than Getting into Harvard
Daniel Gross, The Daily Beast

Despite pushback from the city council, Walmart will open its first two stores in D.C. next month. But getting a job there will prove difficult since the chain received 38 applications for each job opening.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 21, 2013
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Church and State (Dept.): John Kerry Gets Religion
Melissa Steffan, Christianity Today

New adviser will (hopefully) make faith less foreign in foreign affairs.

Not a “Prosperity Gospel”
Greg Forster, Kern Pastors Network

Churches should not only empower people to do their work well, but should help them to have a broader vision of economic flourishing and how communities can achieve it.

Greece: Taxpayer-Funded Mosque Planned in Athens
Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute

… plans for building a large state-sponsored mosque remained stalled until the Muslim Association of Greece—a group that claims to represent all Muslims in Greece, and is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood—staged a series of highly provocative mass public prayer sessions across Athens aimed at pressuring the government into building an official mosque.

What Can the New Testament Teach Us About Fighting Poverty?
David Kotter, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The New Testament says a lot about the underlying causes of poverty. Does it also have anything to say about poverty’s possible solutions?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Expert: Evangelical Leaders Have Been Misquoting Bible to Push for Amnesty
Matthew Boyle, Breitbart

“The fact that the Bible has been used in the present immigration debate has both interested me and fascinated me because of how it’s been used and by whom it’s been used,” Hoffmeier, an expert in Hebrew and Biblical “exegesis”—what he describes as the study of how “to interpret Scripture in its ancient near-Eastern context”—said at the event.

What Is Just Prerogative?
Greg Forster, Hang Together

Lots of digital ink being spilled over Obama once again “fixing” (i.e. altering) the law simply by decreeing that it shall be so. He does this a lot, and his critics are right that this is an essentially monarchical exercise of power.

Five Facts About the US You Should Know — And One You Can’t Ignore
Heather Singmaster, Education Week

Ben Franklin famously said, “No country was ever ruined by trade.” America’s founding fathers, most of them bilingual, understood the nation’s connection with the greater world. “E Pluribus Unum” (“from many, one”), acknowledges that diversity is America’s strength.

Help the Poor: End Agricultural Protectionism
Joy Pullmann, Values & Capitalism

Between 2006 and 2012, the average family paid an extra $2,055 for food because of steadily rising prices.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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Why Coolidge Is Cool Again
David Pietrusza, The Federalist

The 30th president not only offers us a lesson on what was done, but what will have to be done again.

Hurdles Seen for Change to China’s One-Child Rule
Chris Buckley, New York Times

The Chinese government’s decision to relax a decades-old one-child limit on couples has already encountered two problems likely to test dozens of social and economic changes promised by President Xi Jinping — vagaries about implementation and magnified public expectations of even bigger changes ahead.

The Christian Intellectual
R.R. Reno, First Things

How should the Christian intellectual proceed? What should be our approach to higher education and academic work?

What is R2K Theology?
R.C. Sproul Jr., Ligonier Ministries

The church, according to this view, is neither called, equipped, nor permitted to prophecy against the sins of those outside the kingdom.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 18, 2013
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China to Ease 1-Child Policy, Abolish Labor Camps
Gillian Wong, Associated Press

China will loosen family planning rules that limit many couples to a single child in the first substantial change to the unpopular policy in nearly three decades, as leaders seek to address a rapidly aging population.

The Evolution of Conscience in the Western World
Howard P. Kainz, First Things

People don’t always act according to their conscience, but ameliorations in conscience are a sine qua non for moral betterment—necessary, although not sufficient.

Obama Administration Puts a Price Tag on Your Religious Freedom
Matthew Clark, Charisma News

Can you put a price on religious liberty? Apparently the Obama administration has.

Kentucky Baptist children’s agency faces ‘ethical dilemma’
Paul Chitwood, ERLC

Growing hostility toward biblical Christianity in America could cause us to question how long tolerance will be extended to the religion that once dominated our land; but for now, we are blessed with freedom.