Combing the Net – 7/14/2012

Unpublished Photos of Billy Graham — LIFE magazine has published several previously unseen pictures of the evangelist from early in his career. A short biographical sketch is also included.

Hotel Pornography and the Market of Morality — Can the market direct morality, or does it work the other way around? Here’s an exchange between law professors on the ethics involved with selling pornography in hotels. Two of them — a Christian and a Muslim — asked hotel executives to stop offering pornographic videos in their hotel rooms on the grounds that it tempts travelers to sin, while another lawyer responds that the market (like the law) is incapable of imposing moral norms on the people.

It is true that, in such a system, it may be harder to be moral when your understanding of morality is different from the majority view, but at least you will not often be forced into doing what you think is wrong. You may be seduced, but you will not be coerced. Democratic capitalism is a moral system, but in this system the guardians of morality are not institutions but the people themselves. . .

The “Regulated Free Market” Approach to Mercy Ministry — On a related note, I enjoyed this article on an approach for churches to meet the needs of hurting people in their community based on a “regulated free market”. (You can read many more articles on mercy ministry in the rest of the latest 9Marks eJournal.)

Think of this as a regulated free market approach to supporting mercy ministry. On the one hand, it is a free market. Rather than telling people how they ought to love their neighbor (as the programmed approach effectively does), we’re watching to see what naturally takes shape as the Holy Spirit convicts through his Word. And then, reactively, we get behind that activity.

Yet on the other hand, this is not laissez faire capitalism in the church either. We are deliberately helping the best ideas to prosper, and unapologetically using the resources of the local church to do so.

Jesus and Conservatism — Douglas Wilson with a typically provocative essay in which he states on the authority of Scripture that Jesus wants you to be a political conservative (though of course there’s a lot more nuance involved than simply “vote Republican”).

Family Leaves a $500 Tip to Honor Late Brother’s Wish — The backstory behind this video:

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