Saturday Selections – April 24, 2021
"In this first episode of Better Cops, a man who has just been robbed tries to describe his assailant to a police sketch artist. But these cops are better than normal cops - they require no exclusionary language of any kind be used."
A new website has all sorts of great, short, very clever videos touting the brilliant design evident throughout creation. And it has other materials grouped into Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced categories. This is the place to go to get introduced to the idea that evidence of an intelligently designed world is all around us.
But there is a problem with the Intelligent Design movement: it never names who that Designer is; they never give God His due. Imagine a woman who praised "Man" but never had a thing to say about her husband – ID is weird like that. And because they aren't loyal to the God of the Bible, it leaves them vulnerable to some aspects of evolution, including an openness to long ages. So, it is a fascinating site, but discernment is a must.
We have good reason to think so.
Earlier this year a Holocaust survivor left millions to the French town that hid him. But what was behind this town's World War II “conspiracy of goodness”?
In his review, Dr. Wes Bredenhof has some kudos and and also cautions to share about Rod' Dreher's latest book.
While the tune is catchy, and the bit is humourous, the topic is an important one. When tariffs are imposed to protect markets for homegrown producers they do so at the expense of homegrown consumers who will have to pay more. Because some of those consumers are also producers, tariffs make their input costs higher, which forces them to raise prices, and that, in turn, makes them less competitive. So tariffs protect some producers at a cost to other producers. Finally, some tariffs are imposed on the exports of poorer countries, protecting first-world industries at a cost to third-world industries.
This video only offers the brief, practical case against tariffs, but additional points for Christians to consider would include:
- The proper role for government – Should they be actively picking one side over another, producers against consumers (Lev. 19:15, Prov. 28:21)?
- Implications here of the command to "do unto others" (Matt. 7:12) – Would you want the government to enact a tariff that would increase your business's costs? If not, should you push for a tariff that will protect your business by increasing others' costs?
- Our attitude towards the poor – Should we protect our industries at the expense of the third-world (Deut 24:17)?
Saturday Selections – April 17, 2021
In Canada, abortion is legal for all 9 months (1 min) This is a fantastic one to copy and paste to your own social media page... Pasteur was rig...
Saturday Selections - April 10, 2021
Education as Warfare (1 min) While this is from a Reformed homeschooling curriculum company, the overall message applies to Christian schools of an...
Saturday Selections - April 3, 2021
Bach, in the forest, on a really, really long xylophone (3 min) The phone this advertizes is long gone, but its commercial is standing the test of ti...
Saturday Selections - March 27, 2021
Greg Bahnsen on presuppositional apologetics and circular reasoning (4 minutes) Lots to chew on in this short 4-minute video. While it isn't for everyone, if you've heard the accusation that presuppositional apologetics is "begging the question" or circular reasoning, then you need to give this a listen. Why does it take so long to explain infant baptism? R. Scott Clark has a 15-episode series explaining infant baptism. But "why does it take so long to explain and defend infant baptism? If it is true, should we not be able to explain and defend it more briefly?" Well, if short is what you are after, Clark also has a 52-word explanation. But, what he explains/argues here is that our understanding of baptism is based on the way we understand the Bible in general... which is why it can be a big topic! What is Critical Race Theory? The folks at Breakpoint Ministries give their best go at a short answer in the linked article above, while James Lindsay digs deeper in a 1-hour presentation here. Why do algae "know" how to deal with rough seas? Single-cell algae have a plan for how to deal with rough seas that might otherwise destroy them. How does this plan get triggered...and where did this plan come from? This is a bit of a technical read, but it is very short, and well worth the effort. Americans wildly misinformed about Covid dangers A majority of Americans surveyed overestimated the chances of Covid landing the average person in hospital by anywhere from 4 to 10 times the true danger. The study's authors concluded: "The U.S. public is also deeply misinformed about the severity of the virus for the average infected person.” Is it okay to do "x" on Sunday? A great succinct answer, from Sinclair Ferguson... What is your only comfort in life and death? (3 min) The Heidelberg Catechism's first question remains a thought-provoking (and an evangelism-helping?) one even today. ...
War on gender leaves BC father in jail
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She had a mommy and a daddy who unfortunately divorced. She lived with her mom, but her dad had contact with her and still loved her. In high school, the girl had emotional difficulties, as many teens do. She was taught BC’s radical sex education, SOGI 123. She was not happy with her life; she wanted change. At age 14, she decided that she wanted to change her gender. People at her school tried to help her, but not by counseling her to be at peace with her existence and gender. Instead, they “helped” her to begin the process of change, including puberty-blockers. When her dad found out, he was alarmed. He wanted the process to be stopped, believing that his daughter was not old enough to make such a life-altering decision. He tried his best and did everything he legally could to truly help his daughter, whom he loved dearly. Unfortunately, this is a true story and it does not have a “happily ever after” ending. Neither is it over. But the father, when he ran out of legal options, decided that he would have to break court orders and speak out about this situation to raise public awareness. Now, he has gone to jail. Normally, an account like this would give more exact details, background, and links to articles and other sources for the points we are trying to make. For the details around this case, we have to be very careful because both Reformed Perspective and my organization, the Christian Heritage Party, being Canadian, are not allowed to publish the father’s name or the name of the doctor who is doing the body-altering surgery on the daughter. The daughter, who now considers herself male, is a minor, so we would not want to publish her name, even if we knew it, but the publication ban on the father’s name is more questionable. You can easily find articles about this (including the father’s and doctor’s names) online using your favorite search engine by entering search terms such as “dad of trans teen breaks court order.” (The publications that use the actual names of the father and doctor are not Canadian-based, and thus not constrained by the court order.) This is an extremely sad account of where our society is at, both morally and legally. On the moral side, our culture has accepted the lie that advising someone not to attempt to change their gender is immoral and unloving; this could be codified in law if Bill C-6 passes. On the legal side, we now have judges and laws that don’t allow a father to truly help his teen in her emotionally difficult teen years. Instead, the easily-influenced and changeable wishes of an immature and inexperienced teen are taken to be better than the wisdom of his/her parent(s). The father, who has gone to jail in BC for his actions, is mourning – less for his own fate than for that of his daughter. She might (and probably will, as others have) come to regret her decision and find out far too late what damage she, with the “help” of “doctors,” has done to her body and future. Many, possibly most, Canadians would be horrified by the depths to which our courts and medical profession have fallen. Due to the publication ban, most Canadians will never know the details of this case. Even without any publication bans, it’s likely Canada’s mainstream news outlets would probably have just buried this story. They are, for the most part, friendly towards the anti-morality of those who are waging a war on gender and trying to “normalize” transgenderism. Time Magazine recently featured a celebrity actress on their cover who had herself surgically altered so as to present and think of herself as male. Earlier, Bruce Jenner had himself altered to appear to be female. These people are given several moments of glowing fame. But afterward, they are left with their decision. Their war on their gender is a war on themselves, and they – and many impressionable youths – are damaged and hurt by this battle against reality. Reality is not always easy. It is not always fair. The burdens that many have to bear are unspeakably difficult. We cannot deny that the struggles young people are facing today – especially in this age of sexual perversion – are more complex and insidious than many previous generations have faced. But that reality should drive us to care for and support them in the difficulties. Children and teens are not helped when their delusions are accepted as reality and acted upon. Believing that you can fly by flapping your arms does not make it possible, no matter what height you jump from. “Helping” someone who thinks he/she can fly to jump from a higher height is not truly helping him/her at all. “Helping” people who think they would be happier as the opposite gender to try to change their gender is not really helping them at all. All the hormones a person may take do not change his/her DNA, and more importantly, they cannot give true satisfaction or meaning to life. A father in BC has gone to jail because he really wants to help his daughter. The war against gender is getting more real. When will it end, and how many lives will it ruin? Even one is a tragedy. Far more will follow if people of goodwill and common-sense don’t speak up and stand for truth. So please take a stand for God-given truth and against the war on gender by speaking up and getting involved. Peter Vogel is the Deputy Leader of the Christian Heritage Party. A version of this article first appeared as a “CHP Communique” on March 23rd which you can find at CHP.ca....
Does Canada’s Bill C-7 ignore a dark lesson from history?
Lebensunwertes leben is German for “life unworthy of life.” As a justification for killing, this idea led to the Holocaust. Alarmingly, there is growing acceptance in Canada of lebensunwertes leben. Think of Canada’s Bill C-7 and its expansion of “medical assistance in dying” (a euphemism for physician-assisted suicide, i.e. killing done by doctors). Instead of first helping vulnerable people by providing much-needed medical and social supports – such as top-notch palliative and hospice care for all – the Canadian federal government is pushing Bill C-7, which promotes death. Of course, medical assistance in dying is advertised as a “choice.” But a choice isn’t much of a choice if there are few or no good alternatives. In fact, top-notch palliative and hospice care is not available for most Canadians. Moreover, via this “choice,” C-7 promotes ableism. Ableism is the view that able-bodied people are superior – more worthy of life. C-7 presumes that living with a disability or with a chronic or terminal illness amounts to a life that is less worthy, so assistance in death should be available. And, if Canada’s government has its way, C-7 will offer death to persons suffering solely from mental illnesses. In other words, Bill C-7 encourages death – a “final solution” – for people who are … inferior. Have Canadians become dullards? Have Canadians not learned a dark lesson from 20th-century history? Consider the following observations from Dr. Leo Alexander, a medical advisor at the Nuremberg Trials, trials in which representative Nazis were convicted of crimes against humanity (this passage is from New England Journal of Medicine, July 4, 1949): “Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived.” (Yes, pause and notice that phrase: “life not worthy to be lived.” Reminder: In German, it’s lebensunwertes leben – and it led to the Holocaust.) Alexander continues: “This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in the category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans.” Dr. Alexander adds: “But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude toward the nonrehabilitatable sick.” Let. That. Sink. In. I don't believe that there is a Nazi Party on Canada's horizon. But there might be something as dark, or darker. What former Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) called the “culture of death” is becoming normal in Canada. Indeed, Bill C-7 “solves” medical and psychological problems by doling out death—and a majority of Canada’s Members of Parliament (mostly Liberal and Bloc Quebecois) approve. Canadians should resist. How? An important first step would be to remind politicians that medical and psychological problems require medical and psychological solutions, not killing. Hendrik van der Breggen, PhD, is a retired philosophy professor who lives in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. Hendrik’s parents survived the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. He is the author of “Untangling Popular Pro-Choice Arguments: Critical Thinking about Abortion” which is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca....
Saturday Selections - March 20, 2021
Gospel patrons: equipping others to spread God's name (7 minutes) Is being a minister or missionary the only way to do God's work? We know it's not, and what this short film shows is the vital role God calls businessmen to. Businessmen provide for their own families and also create jobs for others. It is also through their efforts as "gospel patrons" that the other "missions" type work can even be done. Businessman Peter Thomas notes, "If you have a business that makes a profit, that's a special thing. That's very useful in God's kingdom." If evolution is true, how can Pepé Le Pew be bad? The Loony Tunes skunk Pepé Le Pew is getting criticized for perpetuating "rape culture" and the general conservative response has been to see this as one more example of "cancel culture." But Gary DeMar gets to the heart of it, asking how can a culture that says we're all animals - all just products of evolution - even object to rape? Ain't that what animals do? Pointing out the world's contradictory thinking is a helpful activity - it is tearing down idols and false arguments (2 Cor. 10:5) - but in our age of tweets and other brief social media posts, there can be a tendency to leave things only half said. So tear down lies, point out hypocrisy and contradiction, but then follow through and point your listeners – your social media followers – to God and the Truth He has to say. Evangelism starts with being able to really talk with people Some folks are natural conversationalists, always knowing just the right questions to ask. The rest of us can use some help, and this article has just what we're looking for! Pornography: you don't beat something with nothing "Naked flesh can’t hold a candle to beauty and curiosity and good music and danger and games and reading and fruitful work you get to sit back and gaze on with pride when you worked hard, you did it well, and you’re finished. The point is, saying 'no' to your children’s sin is necessary, but sort of pathetic. Why not enlist them in the joys and beauties and comedies of life, pushing it all on them so hard that they can’t help themselves as they laugh and sing and wonder at it all? Which gets back to the same thing we quoted from God’s Word yesterday: 'Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good' (Rom. 12:21). Yes, it takes a lot of energy to stop being a lazy dog; and even more energy not to raise a son to be as much of a lazy dog as you are. But souls are at stake." Why sperm donations should be banned It's recently come out that an infertility doctor used his own sperm to father hundreds of children. His patients are outraged. But as John Stonestreet notes, the outrage should actually be that "Sperm donation intentionally creates fatherless children, treating both men and children as products to serve adult happiness." This isn't how God intended, and the harm that comes is predictable and inevitable, which is why sperm donations should be banned. Are bigger people worth more? (1 minute) Our worth comes, not from what we can do, where we are, or how big we are, but from being made in the very Image of God (Gen. 9:6). ...
Saturday Selections - March 13, 2021
Our weird and wonderful brain (4 min) This is what Paul means when he says in Romans 1:20, that God's power and divinity are clearly perceivable in t...
Saturday Selections - March 6, 2021
Tim Challies on 10 books every Christian should read Challies is a Reformed baptist so it isn't surprising that Reformed baptists Charles Spurgeon, J...
Saturday Selections - February 27, 2021
Actors react to facts about the "wage gap" (3 min) These actors were asked to give a "cold read" – they hadn't previously had a chance to see their...
When Big Tech comes after anyone
In early January, when Facebook and Twitter suspended Donald Trump’s accounts it might not have worried most Christians. Yes, these “Big Tech” companies has just cut off a sitting president’s access to the more than 120 million followers who had sought him out on these social media sites. French and German leaders were concerned, with Steffen Seibert, chief spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, arguing that while the right to free speech is not unlimited, those limits should be imposed “by law and within the framework defined by the legislature – not according to a corporate decision.” Still, Big Tech was doing this to a man who’d often been rude and rash on his social media missives, so his suspensions didn’t have implications for the reasonable, responsible rest of us…did it? It turned out Trump’s deletion was the start of something. Over the course of the next weeks: YouTube shut down a pro-life news channel with its 300,000 followers. LifeSiteNews.com had built up its audience slowly over the last 10 years. They have now transitioned to Rumble where they have 22,000 followers. Amazon Web Services announced it would no longer host the social media site Parler, effectively booting it off the Internet for a month until Parler could find someone else to host them. This came after Google and Apple had already banned Parler from their app stores, making it much more difficult for people to sign up to this social media competitor. When Parler went offline, the Christian satire site Babylon Bee lost access to their 1.2 million Parler followers, and Prager U lost access to its more than 2 million Parler followers. Twitter suspended one of Focus on the Family’s accounts after they tweeted that the new Assistant Education Secretary, “Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman." Actor and professing Christian Kevin Sorbo reported that Facebook had deleted his account without explanation. He had over 500,000 followers. The conservative news outlet Epoch Times was demonetized by YouTube, probably for running stories that disputed the results of the US election. Prager U has also had YouTube videos demonetized. Facebook shut down links to Australian news providers after the Australian government considered a (highly problematic) law that would charge social media sites for carrying such links. Amazon blocked sales, on its site, of Ryan Anderson's When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement. YouTube removed a doctor's testimony about Ivermectin as a Covid treatment, deciding it was misinformation. So what can we do to counter Big Tech’s influence and power? By no longer relying on them as we do! This can even involve old school tactics – in mid-January this headline popped up on a popular Christian satire site: "To Avoid Tech censorship The Babylon Bee Announces Innovative New Print Edition." What Babylon Bee proposed in jest is what Reformed Perspective is doing in earnest. We’ve started delivering our print magazine in bulk subscriptions to churches, tripling our print numbers in the last year. And as the Bee noted in their article, it is “a technology and distribution method that Big Tech can't touch." We’re also migrating to other social media sites like MeWe, where there seems to be an already growing conservative Reformed presence. We might try Gab, Rumble, and perhaps Parler too. It seems it’s not a matter of if but only when we get kicked off Facebook and today’s other social media favorites. To be prepared we need to build up our own alternatives....
Saturday Selections - February 20, 2021
Organ harvesting and more in China (7 min) What China is doing in its various prisons and "re-education" camps is slowly coming out. But why so slowly? Might it be that the evil done is so outrageous as to be almost unbelievable? If so, this video from David Kilgour might be of help – a few years back already, one of Canada's most respected politicians brought his credibility to the charges against China regarding Falun Gong And in the linked article above, the BBC reports on the credible charge of genocide that China is perpetrating on its Muslim Uighurs population. Australian church set to defy gay conversion ban bill "A law before the Victorian parliament seeking to outlaw parental, therapeutic or religious discussions on issues of sexuality and gender is the biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history." In response, the Presbyterian Church of Australia is going to "preach the whole counsel of God." Why not cut off more? What's coming after the transgender revolution... Wesley Smith explains that since transgender breast and genital amputations are now being celebrated, the next inevitable step is for delusional people to start lobbying for a right to cut off their limbs. This lobbying is already happening, and after conceding on transgenderism, the world won't be able to marshal a logical argument against this "transablism." But we can. So it is up to us. This is why Christians can't speak someone's "chosen" pronouns, because we can't hurt them by going along with this destructive lie. God made us male and female, and if our minds think we should start cutting off healthy body parts, then it is our mind (and spirit) that needs help, not our body. The Aetherlight: a Christian online video game Our household isn't much for videogames but one game we've been playing – maybe once a month, a few hours at a go, with dad and the kids together – is The Aetherlight. The linked article above shares a lot of helpful specifics, but gives an overall middling grade to the game. I will note, however, that their grade is based on how an experienced gamer would view Aetherlight, and yes, for them it would be quite tame. But for us, with kids 5-9 when we first started playing, that "tameness" is a feature, not a fault. The story is also a Christian allegory though not all that overtly, which might also be a feature. I liked that the bad guys are robots, so there's no ethical problems in beating them up. For my girls, their favorite feature might be the different wardrobe options (all of them modest) that our character can change into. While you can start playing for free, we ended up putting some money down to continue the adventure - I think maybe $15 so far. Not bad for a couple of years' worth of play so far. Christian mom, others, gave up their liberty to protect her daughter A now Christian mom, originally in a lesbian relationship, had to flee the US to keep her child away from the LGBT lifestyle that her former lesbian lover wanted to expose the girl to. More than ten years later, now that her little girl is an adult and free from the threat of court-ordered visitations, her mom has turned herself in to the authorities. Some podcasts be like... (1 minute) https://twitter.com/jogdenUK/status/1346442437376552962?s=20 ...
Culture Clashes, News
The Great Reset: don't let a crisis go to waste
Over the past several months, the phrase The Great Reset has swirled around media headlines and social media. Many Christians are asking, should we support The Great Reset? But a better question would be which Great Reset should we support? We should also consider why any great reset is needed in the first place, and why now might be the time for it. So, why now? So why is there a push for big changes right now? To answer that we can turn to a quote, often attributed to Winston Churchill, which argues we should: “Never waste a good crisis.” Democratic governments normally change course gradually. Since humans are slow to change their minds and admit that they'd been wrong, the political views of an entire population of a country tend to change slowly rather than very quickly. Thus governments’ policies will also tend towards incremental rather than revolutionary change. Thus, during regular times, the window of opportunity for policy change is open only a crack. But a crisis swings this window wide open. When the perspectives of an entire citizenry change rapidly, the revolutionary becomes ordinary. We see this in our country’s response to COVID-10. In the eyes of most Canadian citizens, journalists, and politicians, COVID-19 has triggered a crisis. This social, economic, and health crisis – and the fear that it provoked – have enabled the federal and provincial governments to do the previously unthinkable in an incredibly short time: prohibit international travel restrict religious worship services shutter businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars And this isn’t just the preferred response of politicians and scientific experts foisted on an unwilling public. Public opinion polling throughout the pandemic consistently reports that a significant majority of Canadians support these measures. COVID-19 has thrown the policy window wide open for change. The question is, what sort of change, what sort of great reset, will take advantage of this opportunity before it closes? The Great Liberal Reset The World Economic Forum (WEF) has one proposal to seize this opportunity. The WEF is an international organization aimed at improving partnerships between governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations. With governments unshackled from normal budgetary and policy constraints, the WEF proposed that government use this opportunity to tackle current public policy issues in new ways. The World Economic Forum calls this general plan The Great Reset. The Great Reset was the theme of the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which took place in the last week of January. On their website, the World Economic Forum describes The Great Reset: “The Covid-19 crisis, and the political, economic and social disruptions it has caused, is fundamentally changing the traditional context for decision-making. The inconsistencies, inadequacies, and contradictions of multiple systems – from health and financial to energy and education – are more exposed than ever amidst a global context of concern for lives, livelihoods and the planet. Leaders find themselves at a historic crossroads, managing short-term pressures against medium- and long-term uncertainties. As we enter a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery, this initiative will offer insights to help inform all those determining the future state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of a global commons. Drawing from the vision and vast expertise of the leaders engaged across the Forum’s communities, the Great Reset initiative has a set of dimensions to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being.” More concretely, The Great Reset focuses on strengthening environmental protection against pollution and climate change; encouraging private companies to do more to care for their workers, their communities, and the environment; fostering multilateral cooperation; and promoting a rather left-leaning interpretation of inclusion, justice, and equality. So, let’s call this The Great Liberal Reset. To be clear, this is not a conspiracy by a secret elite. No, this is all out in the open. This is about world leaders (politicians, businessmen, activists, the wealthy) who share a common idea of how the world could be a better place trying to implement their vision through conventional channels – government policy, business decisions, grassroots advocacy, and targeted private investments. They are using the policy window opened by COVID-19 to advance their vision. While there are aspects of this vision we might be able to support, Christians should be cautious about supporting this Great Liberal Reset, as it also includes policies that Christians should oppose. More fundamentally, The Great Reset misdiagnoses what ails the world. That ailment is not COVID-19. The Great Moral Reset? Christians know that sin, not COVID-19, ails the world. Rather than reshaping the world according to a liberal vision (or conservative, or socialist, or libertarian agenda for that matter), we should seek to shape the world according to God’s Word. Christians should support a "Great Moral Reset" of sorts, one in which our government’s policies would be aligned with the morality of God’s Word. COVID-19 has opened the possibility for this sort of change. Our society has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the lives of those vulnerable to COVID-19. Now we should go to even greater lengths to protect lives vulnerable to abortion and euthanasia, and provide better care for our elders. Many provinces have closed schools or moved classes online in their monolithic education system in their response to COVID-19. Promoting educational diversity, including supporting independent schools, homeschooling, and distributed learning in a decentralized education system where parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children, should be the new priority of provincial governments. The federal government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into supporting families and businesses through the pandemic. It should continue to defend the vitality of families by upholding a biblical understanding of marriage, gender, and sexuality and uphold the dignity of work. But a Great Moral Reset isn’t enough. The Great Spiritual Reset Ultimately, Canada and the world do not need a Great Liberal Reset or even a Great Moral Reset. It is useless for our country to be a whitewashed tomb on the outside but full of dead bones on the inside. Our society needs a Great Spiritual Reset like the Great Awakenings spurred by George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, and Dwight L. Moody. This spiritual reset isn’t the task of governments, businesses, or general non-profit organizations. This spiritual reset is the responsibility of the Church. COVID-19 has opened the window wide open for evangelism. With millions of fellow Canadians searching for hope, worrying about their employment stability, struggling with their mental and physical health, and mourning the passing of loved ones, many more people may be receptive to the Good News right now. As Jesus testifies, the gospel isn’t for those who are healthy and those who think that they have life figured out. The gospel is for those who have realized their brokenness and their need for a Physician. Are all our efforts directed to defending our personal freedoms (even if they are unjustly infringed upon)? Or are we bringing the gospel to our neighbors who need it now more than ever, using both our words and our deeds? Jesus calls us to be the salt and the light of the world, two metaphors that ARPA often draws upon. Christians have taken more seriously their calling to be a salt and a light in the realm of politics and public policy through the COVID-19 pandemic and the infringements on our freedom to worship. Let’s not miss the opportunity to also speak the gospel of life to a suffering world. Let’s not waste this crisis. Levi Minderhoud is the BC Manager for ARPA Canada. For more on the Great Reset, be sure to check out Chris deBoer's Focal Point podcast episode on the same topic which you can download here, or watch below. ...
Saturday Selections - February 13, 2021
Who was Saint Valentine? The ads might make this day seem to be mostly about earthly love, but the fellow it is named after gained his fame for his love of the Lord. Soft tissue in 180 million-year-old ichthyosaur There is a joke told about a man who was convinced he was dead. No one could convince him otherwise, and so, in desperation, his wife took him to the doctor. The doctor grabbed a small pin and asked the man, "Do dead men bleed?" The man thought about it for a moment before answering, "No, dead men certainly don't bleed." The doctor then pricked his finger with the pin, and when a big red drop formed the man looked down and replied: "Oh doctor, I was entirely wrong - it turns out dead men do bleed!" When soft tissue was first found in dinosaur bones, mainstream scientists ridiculed the find since millions-of-years-old dinosaurs couldn't possibly still have soft tissues. Strangely enough, on that point, both evolutionists and creationists were in agreement. But as more of these soft-tissue finds were unearthed, evolutionists were faced with the choice of either backing down on the fossils actually being millions of years old, or backing down on soft tissues not being able to survive millions of years. They picked the latter. They concluded, in effect, that like dead men, long dead dinosaurs might well bleed. Ravi Zacharias seems guilty as charged An investigation conducted at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries' (RZIM) request has found lots of evidence that their late founder was guilty of sexual misconduct. Ray Comfort weighs in here, and, for those with Facebook, James White has some helpful thoughts here. How to show hospitality I loved the opening experiment, picking which of a dozen faces was a "neutral" expression. The one almost everyone picks is neither mad nor happy, but, as author Nick McDonald notes, how would we feel if someone greeted us with just such a face? Would we feel they were being neutral...or cold? BC gov't requests authority to detain folks who might be planning to go to church "Many politicians have gotten far too comfortable with far-reaching powers over the last year, and this is an extremely unsettling example." A return to multi-generational households This isn't a specifically Christian movement, but it's something Christians can get excited about...particularly as a means of living out the Fifth Commandment. About to start caring again (2 min) With a Democrat president now in office, a Republican congressman finds he's back to caring about the budget deficit once again... ...
Saturday Selections - February 6, 2021
The jewels of winter (6 minutes) You might sort-of know how snowflakes are made, but how they are actually made is more amazing than you knew! ...
Saturday Selections - January 30, 2021
Should we erase income inequality? (5 minutes) Abraham was rich and Solomon too. So how should we respond when we're "in a conversation and someone s...
Saturday Selections - January 23, 2021
The magical birth canal The state of things under Canadian law... How to enjoy wealth to the glory of God In 1 Tim 6:17-19, the Apostle Paul gi...
Saturday Selections - January 9, 2021
It ain't not possible to be more wronger For the English teachers out there... Snowflake adoption is wonderful, but it is not the solution "For the most part, we have accepted the destruction of countless lives so that some infertile couples can have a child of their own genetic making. For the most part, many Christians have also accepted this." BC closing churches without clear explanation of why them specifically A secular take for why the government should be offering a better, clearer explanation for why churches are closed and Costco, AA meetings, and more, aren't. Dutch bike culture An intriguing look at a Dutch difference. Mosquito rights right now! There are crazy people everywhere, so does it matter that a few academics are pushing for bee rights? Only in that their argument is consistent with an ethic many more in the world claim to share: that animals are people too. Does the Bible say life begins at first breath? (6 min) Tim Barnett takes on this curious pro-abortion claim. ...
Saturday Selections - January 2, 2021
Faster, faster! (5 min) Two friends race down a marble maze - it's some innocent fun for the kids. These buddies also appear in "Don't smash." Top 10 biblical archeological finds of 2020 Even as many and maybe most of the people doing the digging don't believe the Bible is the Word of God, the places, names, and details they uncover often show the Bible to be accurate history. 10 ways to foster gratitude in our kids' hearts Some great tips here for all parents...and to apply to ourselves as well. Seattle considers making it permissible to steal...if you really need to The intent behind the law is to help the desperate. but this should bring to mind the proverb that "the compassion of the wicked is cruel" (Prov. 12:10b). This will drive businesses out of the poorest districts if they can't afford the extra losses, or the cost of extra security, that would come with such a law. Their exist would means a loss of employment, and higher security would mean higher costs for goods for those who can least afford it. Good intentions, without good sense (Prov. 27:14), are not good. Rearrange, Remove, and Ruin – Evolution that isn't evolution at all This is a fun one, something that mom or dad can read, and then use the illustrations to give their kids an easy-to-understand explanation of evolution's shortcomings. The 7 habits in 7 minutes (some discernment required) Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a very popular self-help book, and like many books of this type, there's a lot of common sense to it. And, as you might expect from a Mormon author who operates from a largely Judeo-Christian worldview, much of what he write lines up with Scripture, particularly what's captured in this 7-minute summary. This summary is actually better than the book, because in the book there's more of a specifically Mormon theology discernible. That's a long way of saying, there's common sense captured in this video that is well worth pondering...but it is valuable only in as far as it does line up with Scripture. ...
5 most overlooked article of 2020
Last week we shared our 10 most popular posts of 2020, all of which got thousands of reads. In contrast, the readership for each of our Top-5 "most overlooked" articles numbered only in the hundreds. Sometimes the reason an article is overlooked is obvious – they got stuck with a lousy picture, or the powers-that-be at Facebook wouldn't let us promote it to our audience. Other times, it's more of a mystery: a great article just fails to launch. On this list, we're giving the best of this bunch one last boost. Here, now, are the 5 most overlooked articles of 2020. #5 - The triangle curvature inclusion bill If we've let "compassion" redefine this, that, and the other thing too, why shouldn't the definition of "triangle" be changed too, in favor of something more inclusive? #4 - A conversation on authority Zach and Owen don't agree about what the Church should do in response to government lockdown orders. But they do agree that iron sharpens iron, so they want to talk it out. #3 - Five things Christians should know about Income Inequality Fighting income inequality is not the same thing as fighting poverty. If you liked this, you might also appreciate another overlooked economics article: How free trade helps even poor countries. #2 - The cost of an old earth: Is it worth it? Short and succinct, Dr. John Byl explains why a belief in a millions-of-years-old earth can't be reconciled with the Bible. #1 - Our kids online...how to keep them safe This was more than just a review of an important documentary that every parent needs to see; it also includes tips and links to other very helpful resources....
Saturday Selections – December 26, 2020
Do college kids know the difference between men and women? (4 min) It takes a lot of education to get things this wrong (and this is even from 4 years ago!). Physics and free will "Materialists have long insisted, because they kind of have to, that human actions and decisions are determined, not free." It's another example of how the real world doesn't fit with the atheists' theories. Co-parenting by contract and design? "Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. Disconnecting sex from childbearing gave us abortion and abandonment. Disconnecting childbearing from marriage gave us a generation of fatherless children. The idea that we can have children without sex gave us rented wombs and robbing them of either a mom or a dad. That children should be created out of contractual arrangements without the burden of mutual love is also a bad idea. Once again, the victims are children." A tribute to economist Walter Williams (1936-2020) In this tribute, Bill Muehlenberg compiles a number of "best of" quotes from the economist, including: "...for those of us who are Christians, I’m very sure that when God gave Moses the commandment Thou Shalt Not Steal, he did not mean …unless you get a majority vote in Congress.” Speak the truth in love Sometimes we need to be encouraged to speak truth in love rather than in exasperation. Other times, as in this article, the encouragement is to speak truth in love – if we love our neighbor, child, friend, we will actually speak the truth to them rather than leave them in their destructive sin. The great chicken war...or how tariffs hurt innocent consumers To protest the way that European countries' tariffs were hurting US chicken farmers, the US decided to hurt European truck manufacturers and hurt US truck buyers. Tariffs shelter a country's producers by making goods more expensive for that country's consumers. That's the logic of tariffs: favoring one group at the expense of another. If we don't think the government should make it their business to make our favorite goods and services more expensive, then we shouldn't ask them to do so even when it might be to our company's benefit (Matt. 7:12). ...