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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Christian Boom

Which of the world's largest faiths, Christianity or Islam, is experiencing the greater ideological reassertion and demographic surge?

"Islam" is surely nearly everyone's answer. As American Christians experiment with ever-milder versions of their faith, Muslims display a fervor for extreme interpretations of Islam. As Europe suffers the lowest population growth rates ever recorded, Muslim countries have some of the highest.

But, argues Philip Jenkins recently in the Atlantic Monthly, Islam is the wrong answer. He shows how Christianity is the religion currently undergoing the most basic rethinking and the largest increase in adherents. He makes a good case for its militancy most affecting the next century.

"For obvious reasons," notes this professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, "news reports today are filled with material about the influence of a resurgent and sometimes angry Islam. But in its variety and vitality, in its global reach, in its association with the world's fastest-growing societies, in its shifting centers of gravity, in the way its values and practices vary from place to place . . . it is Christianity that will leave the deepest mark on the 21st century."

What Jenkins dubs the "Christian revolution" is so little noted because Christians divide into two very different regions North (Europe, North America, Australia) and South (South America, Africa, Asia) and we who live in the North only dimly perceive the momentous developments under way in the South. Fortunately, Jenkins is there to guide us.

Daniel Pipes


Blogger RT Miller said...

-Christianity and Islam are on a collision course, competing for converts and influence. Some countries "might be brought to ruin by the clash of jihad and crusade."

The above line sums up my biggest fears about the current state of religion in the world. Fundamentalist movements in both Islam and Christianity are gaining strength and the hordes of new converts often take (and are taught) far too narrow views of their respective religions. Too many are using literal translations of ancient texts. Forces on either side seem to want to bring on the "end of days", and these hard-line fundamental interprtations are on the brink of spawning a very bloody self-fulfilling prophecy.

Monday, June 26, 2006 1:37:00 PM  
Blogger RT Miller said...

- "An enormous rift seems inevitable" between North and South, possibly leading to a split in the Christian church, similar to what happened centuries ago between the Catholic Church and the Protestant movements.

The fault line runs directly under our feet here in NC.

It is no surprise that the growing riff is inevitable because one side is searching for spiritual uplifiting & a community to provide charity to those in need. The other side is based around rigid faith: completey unwilling to listen to reason or to take a look at the foundations of their own belief systems. On side promotes the teaching of hope, love, & understanding of one's faith while the other side seemingly values close-mindedness and ignorance.

Both sides have been bent until the point of breaking and many parishoners, due to the incessant political infighting, have been driven from the church entirely.

Monday, June 26, 2006 2:36:00 PM  

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