Running For God

runningfgIf you ask Reverend Donald Wright what you need to do to live a long, healthy, happy life, he’ll give you this advice:

* Take care of your body by running and eating a healthy diet.

* Nourish your mind by staying positive, joyful and relaxed.

* Care for your soul by praying, attending spiritual services, reading religious writings and appreciating the world’s natural beauty.

That’s the formula that has worked for him for 35 years. Wright, chaplain of the police department in La Grange, Ky., knows it works, because whenever he slacks off in one of those areas, his energy wanes, his mood blackens, and his running suffers.

In fact, while many runners might benefit from soul-searching, Wright says many religious leaders could benefit just as much from more exercise. Burnout is high among pastors. And Wright is convinced that his running and healthy eating have helped him stay energetic.

“Running replenishes me,” he says. “When I run, I rarely think about problems. I think, ‘Wow, this is a beautiful day, and I feel good. It’s a respite. Running cleanses my mind and provides me with a fresher, more spiritual outlook.”–A.B.

Is Running a Religion?

Some people say running …

Inner Strength Is Key For Success

innerstrengthWhile it’s no surprise to the devout that prayer can be a lifesaver, researchers are concluding that spirituality does indeed play a role in recovering from adversity.

People who pray are healthier, calmer, and, yes, more resilient than people who don’t, says Peterson. A study he conducted of 150 coronary-bypass patients found that those who prayed were less depressed after surgery than those who did not. “Figuring out the `why’ is the next step,” he says.

Irene Hale Brodie doesn’t need any professors to tell her about the power of faith. It has been an unwavering presence in her life ever since her childhood on an Arkansas farm, where she picked cotton and listened to stories about slavery told by her grandfather.

“I had a brother who died at the age of three,” Brodie says. “That’s when I learned that we had to be accepting of God’s will. It was my first traumatic experience.”

Sadly, it wasn’t her last. Brodie was happily married and living in Robbins, IL, a suburb of Chicago, when tragedy struck. In 1966, her husband died from the complications of a heart attack. Several years later, lupus was diagnosed in her 13-year-old daughter, who, at …

The Fossil Fake

mediasloveTo the evolutionists and their faithful in the media and the education system, fossils have always presented a problem they don’t like to discuss publicly. Their central claim, of course, is that all the species of nature came about by accident. By freak occurrence some idiosyncrasy in the body of one individual conferred upon it a biological advantage, transmitted to all its descendants. So they survived and those without it became extinct. Thus over millions of generations such freak occurrences produced the different species.

Now for this to be confirmed, there would have to be countless fossil remains. of what are called transitional species things that were; for example, part bird and part dinosaur, representing the in-between specimen as the one turned into the other. The awkward problem has been that nobody could find any, though they’ve been looking f6r about 150 years.

Then in China several years ago came this astounding discovery : a fossil that had the body of a bird and the tail and feet of a dinosaur. National Geographic called in three top paleontologists to vouch for it at a press conference, one of them Philip Currie, director of Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum. A big splash …

Faith In Interest: Media’s Love Of Spirituality

mediasloveThe print news media seem to be ushering in 2015 with the discovery of religion. The National Post before New Year’s carried a two-page spread on the turn of professional athletes to God. The Edmonton Journal reports “New thirst for spirituality.”

“Quest for spirituality world wide,” reports a Calgary Herald headline. “Counsellors noticing increased interest in life’s meaning as the world spins toward the millennium,” a subheading adds.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail tells us that “increasing numbers of people are looking for their spiritual roots.” But “they don’t want the kind of church they left years ago,” adds a subheadline, and another declares: “Jesus Christ makes a comeback in a new-time religion.”

As such articles frequently point out, this interest in religion (usually called “spirituality” to distinguish it from what goes on in churches) is quite a recent phenomenon. Four decades ago, American theologian Paul Tillich wrote that the words “spiritual” and “spirituality” had vanished from western culture and would never return.

“God is dead” theology, rooted in Nietzscheism, enjoyed a great vogue, especially in seminaries. Even within this decade pseudo-scientist broadcaster Carl Sagan routinely assured his television audience of the irreversible triumph of science and technology.

We are …

Believing In Religion

beinreligionDespite the bad reputation Christianity, Islam and Judaism are getting these days through things like the shooting of abortionists, suppression of women and assassination of politicians, he writes, “sensible people in all religions” are turning back to their sacred texts like the Bible.

He quotes a Roman Catholic theologian who has taught at Rutgers and Princeton as reporting “a tremendous interest in liturgy and ritual among students. Students are also fascinated by moral orthodoxy in matters of sex and sexuality — tremendously hungry for things that give more shape to life.”

This is all very well, Mr. John Bentley Mays comments, but “the danger is the temptation to shift too far the other way, to go for what promises to be unchanging, rock solid. That can go to fundamentalism which risks perversion into violence.”

Which of course raises a crucial question. What exactly does he mean by “fundamentalism,” and how does it differ from the religion of “sensible people?” Belief in the “rock solid” is undesirable, but how exactly does one believe in the non-rock-solid? The only admissible beliefs in the Mays canon, it seems, are such as make no presumptuous claims that there really is anything to believe in. …

The Manger, The Day, The Love

christianIt was 46 years ago this month that we celebrated our first “Christian” Christmas. We had had prior Christmases: raucous, boozey, sometimes lachrymose events complete with singing, laughter, tears–and worry. We could never afford what we spent. But those were pagan Christmases; this was different. My wife and I had concluded that the event Christmas is supposed to commemorate had in fact occurred. It was not merely a charming story; it had actually and literally happened.

What brings back memories of that Christmas of 1952 is all the publicity surrounding the 100th anniversary of another birth, that of Clive Staples Lewis. Full-page newspaper articles, magazine spreads, a television documentary, Anthony Hopkins’s highly-rated movie, all have celebrated an unpretentious Oxford professor of literature, dead for 35 years. It was this same C.S. Lewis who, aided by some of our friends, caused our Christmases to change.

We did not first meet him through his “Chronicles of Narnia,” the books whereby our children and their children would encounter him in later years. In 1952 he had barely begun writing these. Our initial introduction to him was a little red booklet disarmingly entitled “Broadcast Talks,” the text of a wartime series on …