Law, Gospel, and American Civil Religion

Social Sciences

Civil Righteousness, and the Gospel in the American Church:  This brief essay can assist students with distinguishing moralism from the Gospel.  The writer notes the tendency of American culture to assimilate Christianity into its civil religion: “It’s one thing for the American political regime to value Christian churches because they help supply the moral requisites […]

Luther’s Legacy in Three Exhibitions

Martin Luther as history’s first tweeter? An ongoing legacy, 500 years later: Three artifact shows demonstrate how Luther’s legacy is also as relevant and immediate as a Facebook feed. The Morgan Library exhibition in New York, “Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation,” includes an extensive display of Luther-related materials. An exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art focuses on the cultural and […]

The Secular Jesus (again)


Jesus for Atheists (and Agnostics and Nones and Everyone Else): Students can read this interview as an intro to the history of non-Christians stumbling across Jesus and their efforts to interpret and reinterpret his words and works. Such a study might begin with Marcion or perhaps Simon Magus in Acts 8.

Court Protects Pregnancy Center Free Speech

All New Briefs

Disclaimer Requirement Violates Pregnancy Center’s Free Speech Rights: In Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, (D MD, Oct. 4, 2016), a Maryland federal district court held that a Baltimore ordinance requiring limited purpose pregnancy centers to post specified disclaimers is unconstitutional as applied to the pregnancy center.

Amended Calif SB 1146 Signed into Law

All New Briefs

New California Law Requires Disclosure of Title IX Exemptions: As reported by The Advocate, last Friday California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed S.B. 1146 (full text) into law.  The new law requires religiously affiliated schools in California that have obtained an exemption from any of the anti-discrimination provisions of Title IX or California’s Equity in Higher Education […]

Cal State Settles Religious Discrimination Suit

All New Briefs

Creationist receives six-figure legal settlement from public university: A creationist scholar recently received a six-figure settlement from California State University Northridge, a payout that resolved a 2-year-old lawsuit that alleged the scholar had been fired after discovering soft tissue on a triceratops horn and publishing his findings.

Mormons and American Theocracy

Opening up some legends: Mormons reveal founder Joseph Smith’s ‘theocracy’ plans — Church Historian’s Press has issued an annotated volume in its ongoing Joseph Smith Papers series: “Administrative Records: Council of Fifty Minutes, March 1844–1846,” ($59.95).  These legendary texts have been kept ultra-secret the past 170 years. And for good reason, writes Richard Ostling.

Bring Your Bible to School Day

All New Briefs

Focus on the Family has sponsored a third annul Bring Your Bible to School Day for Christians attending public schools.  “This year’s Bring Your Bible to School Day comes as confusion continues over students’ religious freedoms.” Various sources estimate participation at 300,000, up from 8000 on the first such day in 2014.

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