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News

Saturday Selections – Sept 25, 2021

Man has no idea how life could come from non-life (4 min)

This is Dr. James Tour pitching his course on how abiogenesis – life coming from non-life by natural (evolutionary) means – is clearly, obviously, and completely impossible. This is only a "trailer" of sorts, and Tours says of the longer video:

"Look, some people are going to love this video. Other people are going to say this is the perfect cure for insomnia. I understand that. I just want you to feel my pain when people suggest we understand how to do this."

10 reasons not to give your kids a smartphone

This from 2018, but every bit as relevant today. It's important parents not be naieve: even in Christians schools girls are sending "adult" selfies to male classmates asking for them.

Should creationists "brook" a loss of a trout?

Biblical stewards will look at this differently than survival-of-the-fittest evolutionists.

How Big Data's covid-monitoring could be used to control people post-pandemic

Monitoring tools governments are putting in place to control Covid can be put to other purposes.

Every moment is a gift: the radical hope of rejecting assisted suicide

After this father and husband was told he had just 4 months to live, he spent the next 3 years telling people that "every moment is a gift."

What's said here is true and beautiful but what missing is the answer to the question: gift from Who? Our lives are precious, not simply because ending them might rob us of potential joys that could still be coming. They are precious not simply because our suicide might lead others to do the same. The foremost reason our lives are precious is because every moment is indeed a gift from our gracious God and we need to recognize the Author, and still Owner, of our lives, is the one to decide just how much life He will gift to us.

Fewer rules in parenting? (7 min)

Douglas Wilson with a helpful approach to parenting: have fewer rules.

News

Saturday Selections – August 28, 2021

God won't give you more than you can handle? (6 min) Tim Barnett explains why the assertion that "God won't give you more than you can handle" isn't biblical, and so, instead of being a comfort, it's a cruel catchphrase. Adult siblings – another reason big families are a blessing "In our recent national conversation about falling fertility rates and who will care for our aging population, the loss of adult siblings is rarely mentioned. But the idea of being with someone as an adult who has known you for your entire existence is both daunting and comforting. " What's wrong with our Church praise music?  "It might be shocking to the reader to hear that much of what is so called praise today in worship is not received by the Lord. God certainly turns his ear away from not just vain repetitions, but also empty hearts due to empty theology. It should be self-evident that our feelings have to arise to something higher than animal instincts to truly praise the Lord." Ten things I learned from the pandemic Here's #4: "Governments that claim their rule is based on pronouncements will always prefer the quantitative to the qualitative. Bureaucrats and politicians find it easier to aim for goals like 'reduce the number of cases/hospitalizations/deaths (to zero!)' rather than qualitative goals such as 'educate our children in humane ways' or 'allow dying parents to see their children in person' or 'prevent the atrophy of human relationships' or 'promote freedom of religion.'" Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Big Woke Woods Jonathon Van Maren shares the highs and lows of a recent documentary about the Little House on the Prairie author. You were once this tiny (3 min) This is an astonishing glimpse into the unseen happenings in the womb, following God's creative work from the moment of conception to the full-term wriggling baby ready to be introduced to the world. Be sure to share this one widely (you can also find it on Facebook here). ...

Media bias, News

"Conservative" media fails the test

In the lead-up to the Olympics, one New Zealand athlete got more attention than his athletic ability warranted. What drew the media spotlight to him was that he was participating in a woman's event. Gavin Hubbard had changed his name to Laurel, and the International Olympic Committee was willing to buy into his delusion and pretend he had become a woman. Hubbard had reportedly gotten into the sport as a young man in the hopes it would masculinize him, and something could be said about whether weightlifting is an inherently masculine sport. The world would now laugh at the notion, but for 100 years at the Olympic level, it was exclusively male, only changing at the 2000 Syndey Olympics. Should Christians laugh at the idea of a sport being for one gender and not the other? While there is a fuzzy line between what exactly is masculine and what is feminine, God has assigned men and women different roles, made us differently, and wants women to be women and men to be men (Deut. 22:5). That Hubbard could look quite like the female competitors was not because he looked feminine at all, but rather that their bulked-up bodies looked quite masculine. But the real story here was the media coverage of Hubbard. Predictably, mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and ESPN referred to him as her. This was a shibboleth of sorts – a one-word test to uncover whether the media source you were reading had bowed down to the woke mob in defiance of science, common sense, and most importantly what the Bible has revealed, that God decides gender and no one else (Gen. 1:27). If an outlet called Hubbard her, then they'd outed themselves as being part of the problem. While the mainstream press all bowed, how did "conservative" media outlets fare? Fox News carried stories about how unfair it was for Hubbard to compete in the women's division, and yet still used female pronouns for Hubbard. It might have been too much to hope that the National Post would stand strong, and, in fact, they did not. But it will surprise some to learn that Canada's "renegade" news outlet, Rebel News, followed the same pattern, making the case against Hubbard's participation, and yet still referring to him as her. At least some of National Review's coverage passed the test. WORLD magazine's few articles on him seemed to studiously avoid any use of pronouns for Hubbard, using his name instead. One of the only news outlets to actually use male pronouns for Hubbard was LifeSiteNews.com. While these outlets passed the test, that's not an endorsement of all they write – this is just one mark in their favor. What's more definitive is what it reveals about the outlets that failed the test. If they can't even be relied upon to state a simple biological fact everyone knows to be true, they've shown themselves incapable of standing up to the mob and not worthy of our trust. Cartoon used with permission (PatCrosscartoons.com). ...

History, News

Residential schools: what worldview is to blame?

We’ve seen at least ten Canadian churches burnt down and others damaged by fire since unmarked graves at two former residential schools became front page news in June. Many children who attended these schools did not live to return to their families, and it’s not a leap to think the arsonists are blaming the churches for their deaths. That’s the direction Prime Minister Trudeau took too, when he called on the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for their involvement. There is blame to be directed at individuals and organizations. However, to learn the right lesson here we need to look beyond just the people, and find out what worldview was the root cause. We can point to people who professed to be Christian as perpetrators, and the State was overseeing it all. So was the problem that people were acting like Christians, or that they were acting like agents of a secular State? Was this tragedy caused by too much Christianity or too little? To answer, let’s compare and contrast the worldviews that were involved: Christianity, and the secular worldview that has long been prevalent in government. Secularism is godless and consequently holds that the State is the highest authority, since it is the mightiest (if there is no God, then why wouldn’t might makes right?). The only limits on its power are self-imposed. The State gives rights and therefore can also take them away. Thus parents have only as much authority as the State grants them, and the State can take away that authority whenever it wishes. Under this worldview education is a State responsibility, if it so decides. Christianity acknowledges that God is the highest authority, and that He’s allotted limited authority to not only the State, but also to parents. God is the source of our rights via His commandments so, for example, his prohibitions against stealing and murder give us rights to property and life. While the State does often violate those rights, it can never take them away. God has given parents the primary role in the education of their children (Deut. 4:9, 6:7, 11: 19, Josh. 24:15, Prov. 1:8, 3:1, 15:5, Eph. 6:6, Heb. 12:7-8, etc.). When the Canadian government took these children away from their parents, it was acting as godless governments have always done, and in a manner consistent with secular conviction: without restraint, and as if might makes right. However, when professed Christian individuals and groups aided in these abductions they were acting in opposition to the Truth they professed, against principles God spells out in His Word. We need to understand then that the horrors perpetuated at these residential schools were not caused by Christianity, but by its lack. Today our government continues using schooling to indoctrinate children against the values of their parents. In the State's public system the abduction is no longer physical, but still mental and spiritual, with children taught the government’s secular perspective on God, the unborn, sexuality, rights, gender, and more. As our country continues to look at what happened in these residential schools, God’s people need to help their friends and neighbors unpack why it went so horribly wrong. It was wrong, but not according to the secular worldview – that the State disregarded parents is completely in keeping with our current Prime Minister's secular worldview. The only reason these abductions were wrong is because God is in fact King. They were wrong because He has granted parents the responsibility to care for and educate their children, and the State had no authority to take our children away. The lesson Canada needs to learn is to reject godless governance, and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Photo by Blake Elliot/Shutterstock.com....

News

Texas declares that cutting off children’s body parts is child abuse

In August, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked his Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to review whether transgender surgeries on children could be classified as abuse. In arguing that they should be, Governor Abbott wrote, “Subjecting a child to genital mutilation through reassignment surgery creates a ‘genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child.’” It took some courage for him to ask for the review. But it might have ended there if DFPS commissioner Jaime Masters hadn’t run with it and agreed that yes, it was abuse. Both men were pursuing an opportunity to defend these children, and by backing each other up, by adding courage to courage, the two men made common sense common again. And we can all make it the more so by spreading news of their sensible stand. But even as we can celebrate their stand against the emasculation of boys, we can still ask when the self-emasculation of Christian politicians will end. Even these two, among our bravest political leaders, were unwilling to defend God’s truth here as God’s truth, that transgender surgeries are abuse because gender is determined by God and no other (Gen. 1:27)....

News

Saturday Selections – July 31, 2021

Unequal results aren't proof of injustice The impartiality that God calls us to is that of equal treatment (Lev. 19:15, Deut 1:16-17, James 2:1-7) not equal outcomes. Parenting should humble you The opening lines of this article are a real kick in the pants: “Mom’s the worst sinner in the family,” my 4-year-old repeated to house guests after our previous gospel conversations about repenting of sin. Apparently. And you know what? There was a time in my life that would have been mortifying. Now, I hear it and think, Yup. Sounds about right. Transgeneria: identifying as a tree The woman said she identified as a tree, and, unbelievably, her doctors thought it was a delusion – they didn't take her claims seriously! Why is it always someone else's fault? The blame game - we all play it. Responding in love (not anger) when your child confesses their porn use "...chances are that your child was already nervous about telling you, and when we react in anger, the usual result is they stop being honest with us when they mess up in the future. It’s important that your reaction be void of anger and full of grace." Why wokeness is a Christian heresy This isn't long, but it's worth reading slowly. Doesn't adaptation prove evolution? (1 min) Does the ability of an animal to adapt to new circumstances disprove that it was designed? Or does it actually show how well it has been crafted? ...

News

Saturday Selections – July 24, 2021

Was Jesus copied from an Egyptian deity? (4 min) Christians are sometimes scared to investigate the outrageous claims against the Bible that are so prevalent on the Internet. We seem to think that the professional way they're being presented (maybe in a full-length documentary) means there must be something to do them. But don't be afraid, and don't be surprised to discover how little substance such claims have. Banning hate speech against animals – the next stupid thing? PETA wants us to stop using "anti-animal language" and they have some alternatives to propose. Instead of "bringing home the bacon" they want us to say "bringing home the bagels." And instead of "take the bull by the horns" they offer "take the flower by the thorns." What's funny about this – besides everything – is how easy it is to imagine this actually being taken seriously. Of course, such a change would be followed by – in ten, or maybe just five years' time – another group complaining about how PETA's substitutions are insensitive to the gluten-intolerant, and, even worse, to flowers. The loss of flight doesn't explain evolution (10-min read) Creationists know this world is broken, groaning and wearing out (Is. 51:6, Rom. 8:20-22). So we aren't surprised when species lose abilities such as the ability to fly – that's not evolution; that's devolution. School shutdowns highlighted that parents are the educators "Over the last decades, our societies haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting on the primacy of parents in their kids’ lives. Instead, the state has increasingly displaced many familial roles and acquired a taste for routinely leaving parents on the sidelines, particularly with respect to education. "Yet when government backed away and could no longer offer schooling, it sent kids home.... This isn’t shocking. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. None of us would have preferred instead to institutionalize our kids for a year or two in some alternative residential location to keep them 'safe' and ensure they continued their government-offered education." Why heaven on earth doesn't work (10-min read) In the US there have been at least 119 attempts to create utopian communities. Though this is a secular article, it shows that the reason these communes always fail is because they don't have a proper understanding of Man's fallen nature: "What utopian (and especially socialist) communities seek is essentially unachievable in light of human nature: They want a triumph of exhortation over incentive, of intentions over results, of wishful thinking over actual performance." The woke guide to gender (3 min) A satiric take with a serious point: the logic that claims there isn't a line dividing the sexes is the same logic that would say there isn't a line dividing people from dogs. ...

News

Saturday Selections – July 17, 2021

A monarch's journey (3 min) This butterfly accomplishes its fantastic journey in not simply a matter of months, but a matter of generations – they fly to a refuge that only their great-great-grandparents have seen. When Martyn Lloyd-Jones confronted a pastor who loved controversy and denunciation Sometimes bluntness and harsh words are needed – sometimes the sheep have to be warned in no uncertain terms about a dangerous idea, and the person pushing it (Ez. 33:6). But in this age of "hot takes" and online bashing, Lloyd-Jones demonstrates what God is teaching in Proverbs 15:1. Alcohol use and the Christian Chris Gordon makes the biblical case. Difference between conservative and liberal Christians "The root of our disagreement is this: sees the Bible as quite clear on the second greatest commandment but open to interpretation about the first." How God grabbed hold of this liberal lesbian professor (15-min read) Pride month is done, but in Canada, Pride Season persists. So how can we help Christians and others who are struggling with same-sex temptations? One way is to point them to testimonies like Rosaria Butterfield's here (the author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert) which show "that the solution to all sin is Christ's atoning blood." What is a woman? (5 min) When Will Witt asks university students to define "What is a woman?" they can't do it. Why not? We know. In divorcing the word "woman" from its biological underpinnings, the world has had to tie it to personal feelings instead. But that doesn't make any sense: what does it mean to feel like a woman, if no one can even define what a woman is? Witt is wonderful here, but Christians need to go further still. It can be fun to beat up on the world's nonsense, but exposing lies isn't enough. We need to share God's Truth, that He has made us male and female (Gen. 1:27). ...

News

Saturday Selections - July 10, 2021

Is Joe Biden Catholic? Joe Biden thinks he can be for the murder of 800,000 unborn children a year and still be a good Roman Catholic. While we'd love him to turn to Christ and away from Rome, we can thank God for how He is using the Roman Catholic Church's pro-life position to highlight how monstrous Biden's abortion stance is. Reclaiming the peppered moth from evolution (10-minute read) This icon of evolution isn't an example of evolution at all. Should Christians identify with their homosexual or alcoholic temptations? The Presbyterian Church of America is debating to what extent Christians should identify with their same-sex attraction. While the act is recognizes as sinful, some are touting the inclination as being defining. The space between courting and hooking up Tim Challies explains how both hooking up and courting can put a lot of weight on a first date. The real Lord of the Flies (15-minute read) For English teachers out there, here's a real-life Lord of the Flies account, but when these 6 boys were stranded on an island for more than a year, they didn't descend into the savagery described in William Golding's classic. Was Golding simply wrong about human nature? That might be the impression the article leaves. But as John Stonestreet notes, it downplays the religious convictions of the boys. Their Judeo-Christian (in this case Catholic) upbringing gave them insights into our fallen nature, and the need to turn to God. What about medical marijuana? (3 min) Douglas Wilson, author of Devoured by Cannabis, addressing medical marijuana usage. Lest there be any confusion, he is not talking about using CBD oil, as his case against marijuana usage (made in his book, and other videos) is that it is an intoxicant, which CBD oil is not. ...

News

Erin O'Toole votes against the unborn at his first opportunity

On June 2, Canada’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to reject restrictions on the murder of unborn baby girls. More specifically, they voted, 248 to 82 against backbench MP Cathay Wagantall’s Private Member’s Bill C-233, which would have made it illegal to abort a baby simply because she is female. The good news? For the first time in more than a decade, Parliament had to debate a bill that would restrict abortion. That got people talking about the unborn, and got their plight some needed public attention. The bill also gave us a public accounting of just how wicked some of our politicians are. This was about as minimally pro-life – as small a step forward – as any pro-life bill could be in that it didn’t necessarily prevent any abortions, but simply ruled out one justification for them: sex-selection. And by protecting unborn girls it also offered as much political cover as any pro-life bill ever could – this was a feminist pro-life bill. Yet 248 still voted against it. These MPs have shown that there is a real depth and commitment to their wickedness. Among those with babies’ blood on their hands are the leaders of the three major parties, including Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole. That he voted against the bill should come as no surprise to anyone since he’s always pledged to support the murder of the unborn as a right. But Christian Heritage Party leader Rod Taylor noted something that was curious: “31 of the 81 Conservatives who supported C-233 also supported the nomination of either Erin O’Toole in 2020, when he ran as a pro-choice (pro-abortion) leadership contestant or Peter Mackay, who was even farther left. When I look at the list of MPs who endorsed O’Toole or Mackay over pro-life MP Derek Sloan, it makes me wonder how they expected that the election of a leader who was actively promoting an anti-life position could ever lead to a good result in the House of Commons. As it is, any likelihood of the weakened and conflicted Conservative Party achieving victory in the next election has vanished. Compromise in the leadership contest in 2020 has guaranteed compromise on moral issues in 2021.”...

News

Saturday Selections – June 12, 2021

Ben Shapiro on Genesis 1 (6 minutes) The conservative pundit knows Hebrew but, as Todd Friel notes, he doesn't know how to understand the creation account. Remembering the worst mass murder in history It wasn't Hitler, and it wasn't Stalin – it was even worse than what they did. But like Stalin, it was a government, in the name of equality and advancement, and to pursue socialistic ends, killing its own citizens. Is the Bible color-blind? "Suppose you did not know humans came in different skin colors. Could you figure out that fact just from reading your Bible?" Tim Challies wants to know, are you all in? "If the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong about today’s most pressing cultural issues: homosexuality, gay marriage, transgenderism, abortion, climate change. If the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong about today’s most pressing theological issues: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the nature of same-sex attraction, the authority and sufficiency of scripture. If the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong in how I relate to money, how I honor my body, how I use my time. I’m wrong over and over, again and again, through and through. I’m poor, pathetic, pitiable, and blind." Before you answer, consider the opposite possibility... This is a secular take on the benefit that comes with having multiple counselors (Prov. 11:14, 15:22, 24:6). Of course, multiple counselors can only take you so far – we don't want to simply take an average of culture's many opinions when it comes to whether the unborn are valuable. To get to the truth there you need to begin with the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7). Another politician acting on principle... When a bill to decriminalize abortion was introduced in Malta, the country's president declared he would "never sign a bill that involves the authorization of murder,” and would have “no problem” resigning instead. Aren't Alcohol and Tobacco deadlier than Weed? (2 min) The author of Devoured by Cannabis: Weed, Liberty, and Legalization weighs in on how this question misses the point. ...

News

Saturday Selections – June 5, 2021

When parenting gets overwhelming (3 min) In this episode of her "Pep Talks for Moms" series, author Rachel Jankovic shares what she calls "The 20-Minute Rule" for those times when nothing is going right, and it's just all too much. 4 ways the oceans show us a young earth There's too little salt, and too little nickel in our oceans for them to be millions of years old. Helping homosexuals in "Pride Month" The San Francisco Giants will be wearing rainbow-accented uniforms this month because they are "proud to stand with the LGBTQ+ community." The children's show Blue's Clues is also joining in "Pride Month" – they recruited a drag queen to teach preschool children about pride parades, and the "a's, bi's, and pans...nonbinary...trans..." and "kings and queens" who march in them. When everyone is affirming, "standing with," and celebrating homosexuals and transexuals, God's people can seem like bigots when we speak about God's standards. So how, in this prideful month, can we best offer some clarity and show God's love to any sexually rebellious friends and family? Alan Shlemon has some tips on how not to do it here. while in the title link, Amy K. Hall shares a message she wrote to someone trying to figure out if a "Christ-centered, monogamous homosexual relationship is just as godly as a heterosexual one." China's One-Child policy is now allowing up to three The Family Research Council, a Christian think tank, hopes that: "Both the American government and Chinese government should learn this lesson and implement policies that truly support, rather than undermine, families." But is that so? Do we want the government that so overreached its role it was dictating family size,  to now take on the role of supporting the family? The opposite of over-intrusive isn't to intrude in a different direction; it's to stop minding other's business. It isn't governmental support that families need, but rather an end to governmental tampering. The correct order to read the Chronicles of Narnia! Cap Stewart on why it matters... Not ashamed – a politician who openly professes the Lord "...few politicians say much today that is courageous, or even all that original. When every dissenting view, colourful remark, or provocative thought brings with it the threat of cancellation, you have to console yourself with the fiction that saying the same thing as everyone around you is a courageous feat. So when I say that Kate Forbes has done something courageous, I say it because she has done something no one around her is doing.... To pledge yourself so openly to Christ makes you sound like a bit of a freak..." Killing comedy (5 min) Seth Dillon, CEO of The Babylon Bee, explains how their critic's attempts to treat their satire as "fake news" have threatened their social media platform. ...

News

Government is spending over half of what Canadian families earn

Each year the Fraser Institute, an economic think tank, calculates Canada’s “Tax Freedom Day.” If the average Canadian family’s earnings were to go just towards paying the taxes they owe to all three levels of government, this is the day they’d have paid it all off. In 2021, that was May 24. This is accounting for not just your income taxes but all the taxes levied. So, also included are payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, profit taxes, “sin” taxes, fuel taxes, and the many other fees and levies the government collects. Of course, not all government revenues come from taxes – we’re also running a sizeable deficit, funded by borrowing.  That’s why the Fraser Institute has also calculated a “Balanced Budget Tax Freedom Day.” This date is calculated by considering how much we’d each have to pay if the government funded all their current expenses without borrowing. Then we’d have to work all way to July 7 to pay off government expenses, and only then would we start earning for our own family. What that means is that the government is spending just over half of what Canadian families earn but they are lowering what we have to pay now by running up a debt that someone will have to pay off later. This isn’t just saddling our children with our expenses: our growing debt is already impacting us now. The Fraser Institute estimates that the interest payments we have to make, when we combine the debt from every level of government, amounted to approximately $67 billion this last year. That’s somewhere in the range of what Canada’s K-12 schooling costs. Because provincial debts vary greatly, the average “combined interest cost per person” varied greatly by province, with the low end being $1,059/person in BC, and the high being $2,604/person in Newfoundland. That’s a cost that comes each year again. This is why God talks about debt being like slavery (Prov. 22:7). The money we owe limits what we can do going forward. We could view this past year’s deficit spending as, perhaps, understandable because of the unprecedented year it was. In our own households, if we were faced with a big enough emergency, we might raid our kid’s piggy banks and borrow from them. But before we excuse the federal government for overspending in 2020, consider how much they plan to continue overspending. Our pre-pandemic federal debt was $721 billion, and the government’s own expectations have that doubling by 2026. The problem here is not a revenue shortfall, but the sheer size of our government. In 1 Samuel 8:10-22 the prophet Samuel warns of the danger of a king because he might demand ten percent – he might in arrogance demand as much as God was! Well, this past year the average Canadian family had to pay a combined, all levels of government, tax bill of 39% of their earnings. And if we eliminated government borrowing and had to pay as we go, that same average family would have to contribute 51% of their income! We should take warning from Lord Acton here, not simply that “power tends to corrupt” but, with government grown to such enormous size, that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” ...

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