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Salt and Light in 19th Century England

Titus Salt was a contemporary of of John Cadbury, whom I wrote about last Thursday, and there are similarities in their stories. Salt expanded his father's wool manufacturing business and became quite successful. He innovated a method of manufacturing alpaca wool, which Charles Dickens even mentioned in one of his books.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | July 17, 2014

Sin and Sinners

I had a frustrating experience the other day you've probably had. A family member thanked me for being nice to her lesbian friend. My relative said she appreciated that since she knows how I feel about her lifestyle. I said, "You're welcome" and mentioned that I can be nice to people even if I think they're sinning. In fact, we're all sinners. If I was going to be rude to sinners, I'd be rude all the time – including to myself.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | July 11, 2014

Cadbury Chocolate and Christianity

Cadbury Chocolate was founded by a Quaker, John Cadbury, who has a strong sense of social responsibility motivated by his Christian convictions. His family were anti-slavery and campaigned for abolition. John opened a grocery store in 1824 and hoped that selling drinking chocolate would be an alternative beverage to alcohol. He was concerned that alcoholism led to poverty when people couldn't work. He devoted himself to social causes after handing over the business to his sons 35 years later.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | July 10, 2014

John Witherspoon – Pastor, Professor, and Patriot

John Witherspoon was born in Scotland in 1723 and emigrated to the colony of New Jersey when he was called as president of Princeton University in 1768. Those who heard his sermons said he was a gifted, though not flowery, speaker. He strengthened the curriculum taught at Princeton and emphasized the importance of a well-educated clergy, which was one of the primary purposes of the university at that time.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | July 3, 2014

A Shift in Rights

The Supreme Court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case upholding the First Amendment protection of religious expression (and conscience) is eliciting some odd complaints from those who are unhappy with the decision. The reason is that there has been a significant shift in how people think about the rights we have and the government's role to protect them.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | July 2, 2014

Men Have Forgotten God

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn played a major role in the collapse of the Soviet Union more than two decades ago. He exposed the reality of Soviet prison camps and was also a critic of the West. The basis for his observations was his Christianity.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | June 26, 2014

Just As I Am

I heard a news story on the radio Sunday that the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., had a transgender clergy officiate at their Sunday service for the first time. Someone (the newstory didn't identify him) said that this showed that God loves LGBT people just the way they are. There's an element of truth to this, but it actually distorts the Gospel.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | June 23, 2014

Religious Toleration

Thomas Helwys was one of the early Puritans in 17th century England. He and his fellow Protestant believers met in secret to avoid punishment for dissenting with the state religion. Helwys' wife was imprisoned and banished after her sentence. Helwys wrote the first defense of religious liberty in English, challenging the religious authority of King James I.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | June 19, 2014

End of Life Care Includes Euthanasia in Quebec

Wesley J. Smith reports that Quebec has created a new right – the right to be euthanized with the help of a medical professional. Positive rights such as this law create obligations on others. In this case, every institution that provides medical and nursing care in the province is required to find a medical person to administer aid in dying.

Blog Post | Bio-Ethics | Melinda Penner | June 13, 2014

Generations of Medical Missionaries

Rev. Dr. John Scudder, Sr., founded the first Western Medical Mission in Asia in Ceylon in 1819. He also founded a family of medical missionaries whose combined service covers four generations, 42 members, and 1100 yeas of service, mostly in India.

Blog Post | Christianity & Culture | Melinda Penner | June 12, 2014