The Vatican on aliens, why we love true crime, miscarriages and babies + more

Saturday 8 August 2015

What Eternity staffers have been reading this week.

Let’s talk about miscarriage: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that he and his wife are expecting a baby girl, along with the sad fact that they have experienced three miscarriages saying, “You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone.” The unborn life has featured heavily in the news of late with the Planned Parenthood saga. Christian blogger and author Karen Swallow Prior says, “I can’t help but think that the contradictory ideas society holds about unborn children (who are considered babies when wanted and something else when not) owes in part to our tendency to conceive of child bearing as product- rather than process-oriented.” Read the whole article.

Awe-inspiring: Experiencing awe makes you a nicer person. At least that’s what some psychologists at the University of California are saying. “Experiences of awe,” says Assistant Professor of Psychology Paul Piff, “connect people to things larger than themselves. In so doing it motivates people to do things bigger than themselves.” So go stare at a tree for half an hour. It’s scientific.

Criminal minds: We are obsessed with true crime. Recent podcast Serial and documentary The Jinx captured the attention of millions of people all around the world. Wade Bearden, writer for Christianity Today says, “If true crime can teach us anything, it’s that stories of real-life murder and mystery strike a deep, enigmatic chord in audiences. We can’t look away, and if we do, it’s because we’re busy researching the backstory on Wikipedia. Why are we so fascinated?” His answer: “True crime invites artists and audiences to become activists, and it often provides a microphone to those who have been silenced and marginalized.” Do you agree?

Catholics in the stars: Did you know the Vatican has a robust astronomy program? Father José Gabriel Funes heads up the program, and he is not afraid of finding aliens out there somewhere. “The discovery of intelligent life does not mean there’s another Jesus,” he said. “The incarnation of the son of God is a unique event in the history of humanity, of the universe.” Well said, Father Funes.

Media storm: There’s been a mini media storm about Hillsong New York City and the choir. Here, Pastor Brian Houston responds to allegations that there is an openly gay couple directing the choir in NYC. “Hillsong’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture. That said, we still love them and acknowledge that they – like all of us – are on a journey, and our role as a church is to assist them on this journey with grace and compassion.”

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