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God-talk Miscellany IX

Here are some more God-talk tidbits out there:

1. Rick Warren announces that he’s been invited—and has accepted that invitation—to preach in North Korea. Is he concerned the invitation is laced with ulterior motives? "I know they're going to use me," Warren said . . . . "So I'm going to use them."

2. Baptist Standard reports on a presentation by Atlanta church planter Jake Myers on how the emerging movement might be a fit with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

3. Terry Mattingly of GetReligion reports on the Money of the past vs. Money of the future (updated), which focuses on the current situation/crisis within the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches.

4. When you’re done with that one, Mattingly has an op-ed up at USA Today: The media, God and gaffes. The bottom line? “Bias is a problem. But, in my experience, apathy and ignorance cause most of these laugh-to-keep-from-crying gaffes. It would help if newsroom executives spent more time thinking about intellectual, cultural and even spiritual diversity, in addition to focusing on gender, race and class. And it would help if more evangelical Protestant and traditional Catholic colleges took journalism seriously, too. This blind spot has two sides.” (When you’re done with that, skip over to a related post at GetReligion for a kind of behind-the-scenes look at that op-ed.)

5. Also at GetReligion is Mollie’s piece about Major League Baseball’s contract with a company to use team logos on urns and caskets (yep, you read that one right). A highlight: “The fact is that sports have superseded religion in most areas as the dominant means for communal interaction. Athletes are much more popular than saints or religious figures. Team colors are donned much more fervently than liturgical colors. Sports arenas are viewed by many as places for worship and devotion — and, sometimes, as sanctuaries — more than cathedrals are. Fans may spend more time tracking their fantasy stats than they do studying religious texts. And there’s little question that religious feast days are being displaced by more important days (Superbowl Sunday comes to mind).” Heh, that certainly plays out in the South.

6. NY Times’ As Barrier Comes Down, a Muslim Split Remains is an interesting article about the taking down of a physical barrier between the men and women at the mosque, but it also gives a good look into the diversity and discussion taking place between Muslims. Good article.

7. Stick around the Times and read An Anti-Addiction Pill? which looks at the brain chemistry behind addiction and treatments that can and have been developed from that line of research. At the end of the article, there’s an interesting quote from William C. Moyers, a recovery advocate (and son of the journalist Bill Moyers) who addressed a gathering of such scientists: "'I have an illness with origins in the brain. . .but I also suffered with the other component of this illness,' he told the gathered researchers and scientists, some of whom dutifully took notes. 'I was born with what I like to call a hole in my soul.. . .A pain that came from the reality that I just wasn't good enough. That I wasn't deserving enough. That you weren't paying attention to me all the time. That maybe you didn't like me enough.' The conference room was as quiet as it had been all day. 'For us addicts,' he continued, 'recovery is more than just taking a pill or maybe getting a shot.. . .Recovery is also about the spirit, about dealing with that hole in the soul.'"

8. And if you’re looking for a way to help support relief efforts in Sudan, head over to World Vision. They’ve recently announced that if you donate $20 to World Vision, you will receive the Passion Worship Band's “Hymns Ancient and Modern” and “Everything Glorious”, featuring Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Matt Redman. If you’d like to learn more and find out what you can do to help end this crisis, visit World Vision, Coalition for Darfur, SaveDarfur, Wikipedia, or see this Chuck Colson column.

(Image: by Mike D on