Showing posts with label Called to Communion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Called to Communion. Show all posts

Monday, January 14, 2013

Who could have imagined that messing with human nature and natural law by testing out an inhuman scenario straight out of science fiction...

...could ever turn out badly  bad?

China's "One Child Policy" has turned out a generation of spoiled brats.

China’s One-Child Policy, now in its fourth decade, has achieved its goal of controlling population growth in the world’s most populous country, but it has also created major age and gender imbalances in the process.
 In addition to sweeping social and economic instability, the policy has proven problematic on an individual level. An entire generation of Chinese has essentially grown up spoiled and without siblings. The resulting shift in social behavior is often referred to as the “little emperor effect,” and researchers have now quantified its impact in a study published this week in Science.
 Researchers gathered 421 participants from urban Beijing, where the One-Child Policy has been strictly enforced since 1979. Participants were split into two groups, the first comprising people born in the few years leading up to the introduction of the policy, and the second comprising people born in the few years after. Thus the participants were all approximately the same age, but had grown up in very different social contexts.
 Participants played four different cooperative games, which allowed researchers to isolate and measure particular behaviors such as altruism. The results indicate a stark contrast between the behaviors of pre- and post-policy participants.
 One particular game focused on trust. The first player was given a sum of money, and had the option to either keep it or give a portion to a second player. Whatever sum the player chose to give away would be doubled, and the second player would then have the opportunity to give some back to the first player. In both player positions, the post-policy group chose to give away less money, demonstrating that they were generally less trusting of other players and likewise less trustworthy. In other games they shied away from risk and competition, tending instead toward pessimism and in some cases even neuroticism.
 The researchers say parenting plays a major role in establishing these social behaviors, but without siblings in the picture, parents had fewer opportunities to teach social skills such as sharing. The researchers warn that if the personalities of an entire generation tend toward being self-centered and uncooperative, it could have major ramifications on Chinese society as a whole.
 The effects of China’s One-Child Policy, then, are as much about the quality of its children as the quantity.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

PCA Pastor Jason Stellman...

...announces his decision to convert to Catholicism.

Stellman resigned his Presbyterian pastorship earlier this year.

He had blogged at De Regnis Duobus.

Stellman offers his thoughts at Called to Communion, beginning with this confession:

Catholicism never held any allure for me, nor do I find it particularly alluring now.

Now to be honest there has always been an attraction of a “Wouldn’t-it-be-nice” or “stained-glass-windows-are-rad” variety, but when it came to an actual positive drawing to Rome or a negative driving away from Geneva, there has never been any such thing. In fact, since much of my theological output has been part of the public domain for so long (especially in the form of my preaching, teaching, and writing), this claim of mine can actually be proven. If anyone cares to go back and listen to or read what I was talking about right up until the day I was confronted with the claims of the Catholic Church as they relate to those of Protestantism, the inquirer will easily discover that I was about as staunchly confessional an Old School Presbyterian as anyone would want to meet. There was not even the slightest hint of discontent with my ecclesiastical identity, not a trace of longing for greater certitude, nor a smidgen of regret that my soteriology didn’t have enough works in it.

I will raise the pot even more: I wrote a book whose entire purpose was to demonstrate, in the highest and most attractive terms possible, how ironically boastworthy all the supposed disadvantages of amillennial Protestantism are. Messiness? Lack of infallible certitude? The need for faith over sight? Check, check, and check.

Further still, so far from longing for a type of kinder, gentler Catholicism that I could disguise in Reformed garb, I was the prosecutor in a doctrinal trial against a fellow minister in my presbytery for espousing views that I, and many others, considered dangerously close to being Catholic. No, there was never any desire to place human works anywhere but where the Reformed confessions say they belong: in the category of sanctification and never justification.

In a word, I was as happy and comfortable in my confessional Presbyterian skin as anyone, and the trust I had earned from many well-known and respected Reformed theologians, as well as having graduated with honors from one of the most confessionally staunch and academically rigorous Reformed seminaries in the nation, should be sufficient to dispel any notions that I never really understood Reformed theology in the first place or that I was always a Catholic in Protestant clothing.
Who links to me?