Q+A: Why Rowan Williams Loves C.S. Lewis

To many American readers, it probably doesn't seem strange that a British Christian leader would write a book about C.S. Lewis's Narnia. But as former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams himself notes, Lewis's children's stories have always been more popular in America than in Britain, especially among intellectual elites. Williams has published several significant volumes of theology and poetry, but earlier this year he released a relatively slim volume on how the Narnia books can reinvigorate readers' understanding of the Christian message. While working as CT's editorial resident, Melissa Steffan interviewed Williams as she reported a separate story on new interest in Lewis in the UK. (Meanwhile, the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College is today hosting a conference on why Lewis has had more influence in the U.S. than in his own country

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Religion & Philosophy

Fire Together, Wire Together: How Prayer Strengthens the Brain

One of the things that we find to be such an important element of many of the rituals and practices that people do as part of their religious traditions is the repetition of it. The more that you come back to a particular idea, the more you focus on it, the more you say a phrase or a prayer, those are the ideas and beliefs that become written into the neural connections of the brain.

There is a cute saying the neurons that fire together wire together. The idea is that when you are doing a particular practice, whatever it is religious or otherwise, the more you do it the more you are writing that information into the neural connections of the brain. The neurons that support that idea or support that practice fire together. They strengthen their connections and it makes it easier for you to come back to that particular practice and it also strengthens the beliefs that are around that particular practice.

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Religion & Philosophy

Is Family Decline Behind Religious Decline?

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very pastor knows that having kids has a way of bringing young parents inside the church doors. Or, at least, every pastor used to think so. Today, it's less clear. There was a time when you could almost count on young people whose attendance had dropped off after they left Mom and Dad's watchful eyes to return when they became parents themselves. But increasingly, young people who leave aren't coming back. What's going on? According to Mary Eberstadt, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, it has a lot to do with the fact that fewer young people are getting married and having kids.

And if they do finally settle down to start a family, it's much later than it used to be. For Eberstadt, there's an intrinsic link between faith and family, and the decline of the family in Western society has a lot to do with the shrinking size of our churches. In fact, that's How the West Really Lost God, as the title of her new book puts it. “As the family goes,” Eberstadt argues, “so go the churches.” In North Atlantic societies, the family has not done well in recent years, and to her mind that's been the single most important factor driving secularizing trends in the Western world

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Religion & Philosophy

Uploading our entire MINDS to computers by 2045

In just over 30 years, humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal – an event called singularity – according to a futurist from Google.

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, also claims that the biological parts of our body will be replaced with mechanical parts and this could happen as early as 2100.

Kurweil made the claims during his conference speech at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York at the weekend.

The conference was created by Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov and featured visonary talks about how the world will look by 2045.

Kurzweil said: ‘Based on conservative estimates of the amount of computation you need to functionally simulate a human brain, we’ll be able to expand the scope of our intelligence a billion-fold.’

He referred to Moore’s Law that states the power of computing doubles, on average, every two years quoting the developments from genetic sequencing and 3D printing.

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Religion & Philosophy

The Mystery of Original Sin

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egend has it that G. K. Chesterton, asked by a newspaper reporter what was wrong with the world, skipped over all the expected answers. He said nothing about corrupt politicians or ancient rivalries between warring nations, or the greed of the rich and the covetousness of the poor. He left aside street crime and unjust laws and inadequate education. Environmental degradation and population growth overwhelming the earth's carrying capacity were not on his radar. Neither were the structural evils that burgeoned as wickedness became engrained in society and its institutions in ever more complex ways.

What's wrong with the world? As the story goes, Chesterton responded with just two words: “I am.”

His answer is unlikely to be popular with a generation schooled to cultivate self-esteem, to pursue its passions and chase self-fulfillment first and foremost. After all, we say, there are reasons for our failures and foibles. It's not our fault that we didn't win the genetic lottery, or that our parents fell short in their parenting, or that our third-grade teacher made us so ashamed of our arithmetic errors that we gave up pursuing a career in science. Besides, we weren't any worse than our friends, and going along with the gang made life a lot more comfortable. We have lots of excuses for why things go wrong, and—as with any lie worth its salt—most of them contain some truth.

Religion & Philosophy

IITS Affiliated to MESA-GST

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International Institute of Theological Studies- IITS  was founded in 1990 as an Institute for teaching basic Theology, practical Christianity and Counselling principles is now affiliated to the Middle East South Asia Graduate School of Theology:MESA-GST. This is accredited to IAO, IATA and member of All India Association for Christian Higher Education (AIACHE) in collaboration with Yeshcol Bible College and St.Andrew’s Seminary.

Its Gulf branch was formed to educate ,train and equip Christian leaders employed in the Gulf . Initially it trained around 200 committed persons in UAE , Bahrain and Qatar and thereafter its pioneering work continued under its affiliated School, The School of Ministry operating under Dubai City Church which imparted various programmes of study to an average of 200 persons per year.

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Religion & Philosophy