By Melissa Wuske
Christians Believe Competing Worldviews
Many Christians agree with ideas that are linked to competing worldviews, according to a recent Barna research study. More than half of practicing Christians resonated with ideas rooted in New Spirituality (61 percent) and postmodernism (54 percent), and about a third agree with ideas from Marxism (36 percent) and secularism (29 percent). On many issues, men were more likely—sometimes twice as likely—to agree with competing worldviews than women were.
“The challenge with competing worldviews,” the study notes, “is that there are fragments of similarities to some Christian teachings, and some may recognize and latch on to these ideas, not realizing they are distortions of biblical truths. The call for the Church, and its teachers and thinkers, is to help Christians dissect popular beliefs before allowing them to settle in their own ideology. Informed thinking is essential to developing and maintaining a healthy biblical worldview and faith as well as being able to have productive dialogue with those who espouse other beliefs.”
Men Are More Lonely than Women
Men are 7 percent more likely than women to say they’re lonely, according to Barna. The study found that most people find their close friends through in-person encounters like work, school, or their neighborhood.
Further emphasizing the importance of face-to-face encounters, a study in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that social media use can lead to feelings of isolation. “You might watch all these interactions where it seems like everyone else is connecting” and end up feeling lonely, said Brian Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
These findings impact more than social and emotional health. A study in Health Psychology found that lonely people reported more severe cold symptoms than those who weren’t lonely. “Even something as simple as the common cold can be affected by how you’re feeling beforehand,” said Angie LeRoy, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Houston.
How the Dutch Manage Water Levels
The Netherlands, where a quarter of the nation’s land is below sea level, has long been known for its dikes and windmills that keep water out, but it’s latest strategies actually bring water in as a way of preventing deadly floods. “For the Dutch, this is a revolution—the idea that you’re safer by lowering the dikes? This is extraordinary,” said journalist Tracy Metz.
For example, farmers in Overdiepse Polder gave up their farmland, relocating above the floodplain, so that the land could become a spillway that kept the cities and towns downstream from flooding. Rotterdam and Amsterdam have floating buildings, even neighborhoods, moored securely to the land but able to adapt to the rise and fall of water levels.
Jim Murley, who heads Miami-Dade County’s long-term water management, said, “We’re starting to think about how we might develop in the future, if we were having to live with water like the Dutch are.”
An Answer to Airline Cargo
A team of students from the University of Hong Kong won Airbus’s Fly Your Ideas competition. The students proposed a hinged bin in the floor below each airplane seat to maximize passengers’ cargo space, free up overhead compartments, and minimize the amount of belongings cluttering the floor. “The judges were impressed by the vision and skill . . . in seeing such a simple but effective solution for improved passenger experience,” said competition officials. “The new aircraft cabin design fully utilizes the space between the cabin floor and the cargo ceiling to give the passengers their own personal luggage space.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).