• Terror Terror’s Source: Higher Criticism has a review of the new book Terror’s Source, which argues that Islam is not violent, but that it’s current form, divorced from Islamic history, and spread by Saudi oil money, is – "For Salafism is a reduction of Islam, and one that refocuses the religion on politics and militancy rather than God."  I don’t buy it, but it is a different perspective.
  • Brave Muslim Speaks Out:   Sheikh Abd Al-Muhsin Al-‘Abikan, advisor to the Saudi Justice Ministry and member of the Saudi Shura Council, has made some audacious statements, taking extremism to task.  Bravo for his clarification and condemnation of Jihad in Iraq, his disagreement with the claims that Americans are slaughtering civilians in Iraq, and his condemnation of Arab behavior in the Palestinian conflict. 
  • Fat Baptists:  A new study reveals that among Christian denominations, Baptists are the most obese.  Yeah, no doubt.  Fried chicken and barbecue will do that.  The study says that Baptist prohibitions on alcohol and tobacco may play a part in their food addiction – I can say one thing, they don’t preach against gluttony much.  And unfortunately, I have an inner filter that says "never trust a fat preacher – how can he tell me how to live if he can’t control his own flesh – his own fork?"  One more interesting thing – going to church is less fattening than watching it on TV. 

  • Use Discernment of Follow Like Sheep?  Fundamentally Reformed has a nice post on how fundamentalism is popular because it encourages just taking the leader’s word for it, rather than thinking through issues on one’s own.  He says this is due to two things, primarily – (1) by nature, we humans are lazy, and (2) fundamentalists don’t teach people how to exercise discernment – they discourage dissent and thought by being threatening, black and white, and absolutist in matters that  are less than absolute.  Those of us outside of fundamentalism see this quite clearly, but do they?  I think they would be alarmed if they were truly seeking to make God’s people mature.