W ell I've made some more progress in the Carson book, he displays some significantly worthwhile insights into the outlook of leading writer Brian McLaren especially. One of Carson's points, without giving too much away, is that the emergent church employs a 'flat' critique of modernism. But it does so without normally acknowledging the benefits of modernism. While Carson doesn't go quite this far, what I liked too coming off of that and the Carson long quotes of others is the realization that no culture is itself holy. Pre -modernism, modernism, postmodernism; all have/will be full of good aspects and not so good aspects. This balance is worth taking into account no matter where one comes down on it. At times Carson seems a bit modern, I'll admit, but at other times he seems somewhat postmodern. Especially when he recoils to the useful (although typical) missions influence on us and our healthy self-critique idea. He mentions that one a couple of times as a po
I t turns out that S&P decided to lower our credit rating as a nation to AA+ from AAA. The article link shows that S&P made a mistake on the exact amount of debt, however, even so the burden of the debt in the long-term seems significant. Moody's and Fitch did not give the same low rating, yet that could change. It is reported that if those agencies agree with the S&P downgrade, then the cost of borrowing for the country and for mortgages and individuals (incl. corporations) would rise. This would slow business apart from other major factors. Interestingly, the weakness of the Eurozone created a situation where US debt was still in demand, as a safe haven asset. For the time being there appears to be a situation where we have a reputation of being better than the rest of the options for safe haven. Still, it cannot be passed by that if S&P is correct that debt would consume 88% equivalent of GDP by 2021, that we have major systemic problems ahead.
A recent set of polling data of the United States found that church membership (and other religious groups) is at the lowest it has been in decades. A significant drop in membership occurred from the 1998-2000 range to today. Over two decades a supermajority (around 70-73%) claiming membership in a church, synagogue, etc., went to less than half the article reports (47%). Now the research is more broad than say a George Barna poll that is more focused on evangelical churches. However, the hard work of the people at Gallup is still useful to gauge what is happening in our culture and our time. Most of us in sharing the Gospel individually and in church life, are not completely surprised by the following poll data: The article may be found at: https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx This speaks to several factors as Gallup also reports. They mention the rise of the "Nones," persons who claim no religious membership or prefer