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News

Saturday Selections – Apr 22, 2023

Identifying misinformation

Three great tips on offer here to decipher all the inputs we receive via social and mainstream media...

The false promise of electric cars (15-minute read)

"The reckless pace at which vehicle electrification is being pushed through — a hallmark of central planning — will add to the pressure on electricity grids on both sides of the Atlantic, at a time when the grids are sinking deeper into the disorder brought on by their decarbonization. Europe’s energy miseries are no secret, but there have been signs of trouble here too, including grimly amusing requests to EV owners not to charge their cars during a couple of extremely hot days in Texas and California."

What is the Christian perspective here? Well, one biblical principle that applies is humility. Our leaders don't know enough to make choices for all of us, whether that's what foods farmers should plant, what clothes factories should produce, or what car manufacturers should make. In humility, politicians need to quit taking on problems that are beyond them and start addressing the issues God has charged them with, like stopping the slaughter of the unborn (Ps. 82:3).

The gospel of self-forgiveness?

What if you've done something so bad you just can't forgive yourself? The good news is, you don't have to.

Is raising the minimum wage a Christian thing to do?

Raising the minimum wage would help some people and hurt others so does that just make it unclear what we should do? This article offers 3 biblical principles to clarify the case against the minimum wage.

Contention in the creationist camp... and that's a good thing! (10-minute read)

Dr. Randy Guliuzza is the president of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR.org), so his creationist roots run deep, and any critique he's offering of creationist conclusions is going to be worth considering. So what new point is he making?

Guliuzza thinks creationists have conceded too much when we say that random mutation and selection can have beneficial results.

One example creationists will share of a beneficial result is the loss of eyes in fish trapped in a dark cave. Their eyes aren't needed in the lightless conditions, and perhaps could be harmful as they are vulnerable spots on their bodies. Another often-cited cited example is the loss of wings on a beetle that lives on a windy island where flight might result in getting swept out to sea. Creationists (myself included) have acknowledged these as examples of where mutation might lead to a creature becoming better suited (fitter) for its environment. But we were quick to add, such a benefit is coming through a loss of information which is very different from the gain of information and increase in complexity – taking us from molecules to Man – that's needed for evolution to be true.

Now Guliuzza is saying that even this concession to the power of random mutation and natural selection is too much. Why? He says we are attributing to chance what should be credited to brilliant design. How is it that so many creatures are so adaptable? Is it just happening, or did God build in that adaptability?  Do, for example, blind cavefish go blind because that's a built-in adaptation they've got hidden somewhere in them? Good question (Prov. 27:17). And I suspect that Guiliuzza is taking us in a very good new direction. This might well turn out to be a pivotal essay for the creationist movement.

Top 10 problems that government spending has solved

Waaaaaaaait for it....

News

Saturday Selections – Apr 15, 2023

10 guys on a scooter (4 min) Eco-friendly? Or simply friendly? Dude Perfect star Tyler Toney says God redeemed his marriage He might be your kids' favorite Christian YouTube star because of his team's trick shots and good-natured pranking. But like many before him, Tyler found out that fame and faithfulness often don't mix – offscreen Tyler wasn't playing the leading man in his own family. I didn't marry the woman of my dreams Samuel Sey dreamed of the woman he would marry, and it was a woman he knew. His friend had the same dream that he'd marry that woman. But what he thought might be a prophetic dream turned out to be what drove him out of his Pentecostal church. "My dream isn’t inerrant, inspired, infallible, and authoritative – the Bible is." What's wrong with Digital ID? "...are you starting to feel the depth of the problem? Do you feel the government’s eyes boring into your life? Can you feel the presence of the corporations who are storing your personal information and sifting through your private affairs?" Climate change: an excuse for socialists to push socialism Dr. Rainer Zitelmann notes that when socialists propose solutions that require socialist governments, then that's a reason to question their motivation. Intrusive government isn't portrayed positively in the Bible (1 Sam. 8:10-18), so if a crisis can only be solved by doing what the Bible warns against, that either means the crisis isn't nearly so critical, or that it doesn't actually require a massive expansion of government. Things you couldn't say (6 min) "Gaslighting"  is a type of psychological manipulation where a husband or boyfriend plays on the trust of his partner, but so systematically lies to her that she'll start to doubt her own memory, and senses, and even sanity. That strikes me as an apt metaphor for what the media, government leaders, and social media platforms have done to us over the last few years... ...

News

Upcoming documentary asks, how can we end abortion in Canada?

Two Canadian filmmakers want to know: how can Canada get a win for the unborn like the US experienced in 2022? And Josie Luetke and Ruth Robert are making a documentary to figure it out. They've titled it Roe Canada: The True North in a Post-Roe World, a reference to the US Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country 50 years ago. The reason we are now in a "Post-Roe" era is because of the stunning Dobbs decision last year, in which the Supreme Court overthrew Roe and declared that the US Constitution does not protect a right to abortion. When their ruling was issued, pro-lifers on both sides of the border could hardly believe it was real. We'd almost forgotten that with God nothing is impossible. Then, in the immediate aftermath of Dobbs, individual states like Idaho, Texas, and South Dakota started offering protections for the unborn right from conception. Now these two filmmakers want to know, how can it happen here? The documentary will feature the Babylon Bee's Seth Dillon, former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, Reformed Perspective contributor Jonathon Van Maren, activist Stephanie Gray Connors, and many others. Together they are trying to craft a roadmap for the end of abortion in Canada. Luetke and Robert plan to finish Roe Canada by the fall but already have a trailer available, which you can check out below. And if you want to help fund the film, visit RoeCanadafilm.com to find out how. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Apr 8, 2023

Christ is risen (2 min) The resurgence of sea shanties might be a bit of a lockdown silver lining – a musical form that lent itself to collaboration at a distance. Needed: teen fashion rebels A Canadian mom offers some advice for "explaining modesty to teenage daughters." I found some of this helpful, and other bits less so, but appreciated the general goal of encouraging our children to be contra mundum. How to know you are marrying the right person (30-minute read) The author of Marry Wisely, Marry Well points us to Proverbs for answers to one of the most important questions you can ask. This is a longer read but rewards the effort. It is also available at the link as a 50-minute listen. Best critique of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is Chrystia Freeland  Though Rupa Subramanya doesn't cite Matthew 7:1-2,  Christians can see the connection when the National Post writer evaluates Deputy Prime Minister Freeland on the basis of what an earlier, crusading journalist Freeland, thought about groups like the WEF. Alternatives to YouTube, Facebook, and more In keeping with the notion that "it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness" someone has created a website that lists all sorts of alternatives to online social media platforms, word processors, crowdfunding, and much more. The site seems to come from a bit of a libertarian bent (which isn't a surprise for an anti-Big Tech site) so discretion is advised. What we can learn from the history of lobotomies The "inventor" of the lobotomy, Dr. Egas Moniz, won a Nobel Prize for it, though the main impact was "the dismantling of patient's personality." The American psychiatrist Walter Freeman lobotomized 4,000 people and the lesson we can learn from him is applicable to transgender surgeries today. A Washington Post columnist put it this way: "Freeman and his partner lobotomized 20 people in their first four months, and with every operation, I suspect it became more necessary to believe in the good of them, rather than admit you had killed one person and irreparably scarred the brains of 19 more to no good effect. Vanilla is designed (3 min) Why did they get vanilla in Mexico and nowhere else? ...

News

Harry Whittington (1927-2023): a Republican who convinced Democrats that if you're confused, you shouldn't kill

Early last month Harry Whittington died at the age of 95. While the attorney, World War II veteran, and Republican Party supporter led a busy life, the media coverage of his passing all focused on just one event: the day that the Vice President of the United States shot him. It happened in 2006, 17 years ago, when Whittington was a spry 78. He was out on a hunting trip with the VP, Dick Cheney, and Whittington was trailing behind, searching for a bird he'd previously downed. Then a quail popped out of the bushes behind Cheney, the Vice President turned, fired off a shot, and hit Whittington instead, spraying his chest and face with more than 100 pellets of birdshot. Some of the pellets remained in Whittington to the day he died and one lodged in or near his heart, causing him a heart attack. Fortunately, Whittington recovered quickly, even appearing at a press conference only days later. But in the meantime, the shooting became fodder for leftwing media and especially the late-night talk shows. It was referenced in David Letterman's Top 10 List, and the focus of a skit on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Saturday Night Live all piled on. Some years later, the then President Obama got in on it too, suggesting that Cheney’s memoirs were going to be titled How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People. These Democrats all understood that what Cheney had done was incredibly foolish. A cardinal rule in hunting is that you can’t fire your gun unless you’re sure people aren’t in your line of fire. Pleading ignorance is no excuse – you have to know no human life is being endangered or you can’t fire. Obama rightly mocked Cheney for proceeding with deadly intent, without being sure whether he was going to kill bird or man. In the abortion debate, a popular argument in favor of the "right to choose" is that "no one really knows when life begins." Candidate Obama himself seemed to take this position when prominent pastor Rick Warren asked him "At what point does a baby get human rights?" Obama replied, "...answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade." He didn't know. But if Obama doesn't know, and if no one knows whether or not what's being killed is human, that ignorance is just one more reason to ban abortion. The Democrats all mocked Dick Cheney for firing in ignorance. As Harry Whittington's injuries remind us still today, if we’re unsure whether or not human life lies within, then we can’t try to kill it. It's that simple. Below is a comic inspired by Harry Whittington's unfortunate experience. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar 18, 2023

St. Patrick's bad analogies In honor of St. Patrick's Day just past, and our God who has made Himself known, and yet remains incomprehensible. Case studies – 2 Canadian, 1 Australian – show how ideology is preventing inquiry When it comes to the free exchange of ideas, Christians are often portrayed as suppressors because we have a problem with pornography and blasphemy - we do want to put some restrictions on "speech." But God has told us that iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17) , and that one person questioning another can help us find the truth (Prov. 18:17). Thus there is a biblical basis for allowing speech we disagree with: to help us better seek the truth. But what basis outside of Christianity is there for freedom of speech? Whatever reasons are offered will either be founded on a Christian foundation (if only you dig deep enough) or aren't strong enough to stand up to groupthink, as is evidenced by the reaction to the three follks here, who are guilty of wrongthink. Britain's 1984 moment The "conservative" government across the ocean has just voted for criminalizing the thoughtcrime of silent prayer outside abortion clinics. The silver lining here is that when the Devil overreaches – when he uses the iron fist, rather than the siren song – his lack of subtlety makes it possible for even the most tongue-tied among us to clearly present the antithesis: that the world must choose between bowing the knee to God, or standing with the baby-killers and the thought-police. That's clarity we can be grateful for. Fight for your pastor Shepherds not only have to contend with wolves but they are called to tend sometimes contentious sheep. So what are we doing to sustain them in their role? Are you fighting for your pastor? 3 rules of rational parenting derived from... economics? A Christian professor taps into economics to explain why you should never give in to your child's tantrums – this is a parenting lesson unlike any other :) This is a coat! (4 min) For parents everywhere.... (h/t Anita) ...

News

MP Ed Fast wants to halt Canada’s runaway euthanasia train

In a courageous move, Conservative Member of Parliament Ed Fast has introduced a private member’s bill to permanently halt the federal government’s effort to expand euthanasia to the mentally ill. “It is deeply concerning that this government appears to be moving from a culture of life to a culture of death," he said to reporters on Parliament Hill. When euthanasia and assisted suicide were legalized by Parliament in 2016, they were limited to those whose suffering was intolerable, with an incurable illness, and where natural death was foreseeable. It didn’t take long and the safeguards were broadened or ignored. Most recently, that included government legislation that would allow euthanasia for those whose sole reason was mental illness. As Reformed Perspective reported in our last issue, in response to strong concerns, the federal government paused this plan for one year, but only to give time for medical professionals to get ready. Canada keeps sliding down that slope Fast introduced Bill C-314, the Mental Health Protection Act, to put the brakes on the expansion of euthanasia. “As many of us had predicted when assisted death was legalized in 2016, we now find ourselves on a steep slippery slope that jeopardizes the lives of society’s most vulnerable” Fast shared in an article that was published by the National Post. “As citizens who believe the government is there to protect and nurture life, we must ask: Who’s next? The poor and homeless who are already approaching our food banks to ask for MAID?” The MP is concerned that Parliament has not properly studied what could result from its reckless course. “The expert panel struck by the government to review expansion of MAID was not permitted to study the underlying merits of extending assisted death to the mentally ill. The panel even failed to deliver on its mandate to propose additional MAID safeguards. In fact, two of the panel members quit, noting that the outcome of the deliberations appeared to have been pre-determined.” Although opposition MPs often have to stand alone when introducing private member’s legislation, especially on contentious social issues, this time was different. The Conservative Party of Canada’s leader Pierre Poilievre stood next to Fast for his announcement and spoke up in his support. "Our job is to turn their hurt back into hope. To treat mental illness problems rather than ending people's lives" the CBC reported. He also committed that a government led by him would repeal euthanasia and assisted suicide for the mentally ill. Important, whether or not it passes A private member’s bill rarely becomes law, and it is highly unlikely that the Liberal government would about-face and support Fast’s bill. Yet, as we have seen from those who overturned Canada’s laws on life, family, and marriage in recent decades, efforts like this are critical for changing a trajectory long term. It shifts the Overton Window, moving an idea along a spectrum of acceptability from radical to sensible and then to policy. In the case of Bill C-314, Ed Fast’s bill gave an opportunity for his leader and his party to put a stake in the ground, promising to take action if they are given the opportunity to govern. When an MP chooses to introduce a bill on a contentious social issue, they are also setting themselves up for a backlash of opposition, both from activists on the other side of the issue as well as from their own colleagues and supporters. Many within the Conservative Party balk when MPs provide any leadership on social issues, as they see this as something that will only take away their support and make it even more difficult to ever form government. Those who courageously speak up are often marginalized and rarely promoted to take on bigger roles in the party or in Parliament. ARPA Canada, which has been meeting with government officials about this issue for years, and helping the Christian community speak up for life, rejoiced when C-314 was introduced. “For many years it has felt like we’ve been on a runaway train when it comes to legalized euthanasia. This bill signals that there is a willingness to stop this runaway train in its tracks!” Mike Schouten, ARPA’s interim Executive Director, shared in a note to supporters. “ARPA Canada praises God for this development. We serve a sovereign God with whom nothing happens by chance (Prov. 19:21) and who directs the hearts of our leaders like streams of water (Prov. 21:1). We truly believe God is hearing and positively answering the prayers of His people on behalf of the country in which we live.”...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar 11, 2023

"Cascading problems" showcase your body's design (2 min) Your cells need oxygen, and that creates a problem because, how are they going to get it? You need a respiratory system to distribute that O2. But oxygen doesn't dissolve all that well in the bloodstream – to carry it you need hemoglobin. To get the right amount of hemoglobin you need your kidney cells to regulate their production. And hemoglobin needs iron, but too much iron is toxic to you, so you'll need a mechanism to regulate the amount of iron your intestines absorb. And you'll need some means of transporting that iron to where it needs to go. And on and on it goes. One problem requires you to solve another and another... and all at the same time. Should we treat Big Tech like Big Tobacco? "A mounting body of evidence suggests that social media contributes to the skyrocketing rates of anxiety and depression among teens." This article suggests the government as the solution, but if parents understand the need, they are already in a position to act. Marie Kondo has kind of given up on cleaning after her third child Did you know that the queen of tidying up wrote her bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as a single woman of 27? Now, as a mom of three at 38, she has discovered that if the choice is between a perfectly tidy house or feeding the kids, the kids win every time. Tim Challies on Asbury: a cold take The Asbury Revival is over, but for two weeks in February, something was happening on the campus of Asbury University – students and a growing crowd of thousands of others prayed and worshipped non-stop. For those of us at a distance, there was no pressing need to evaluate what was happening, and as Tim Challies suggests here, we could simply offer guarded optimism. Woke ideology now dominates Ontario public schools This is a secular account, but even the irreligious are saying enough is enough. How the Canadian government funds the Left Here's a practical argument for small government: for decades now Canada's federal government has been using taxpayer dollars to fund a leftwing agenda via the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The Amish go green (4 min) When this video came out 10 years ago, it was meant to be humorous, more than satiric. It could only be more on the nose now if the speaker had flown in on a private jet to impress on the Amish how they must do their part. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar 4, 2023

Trick shot basketball (5 min) Everyone talks basketball in March, so here are some highlights from the "That's Amazing" crew and the Harlem Globetrotters. 60 questions for pro-choice Christians For anyone you know who professes to be both Christian and pro-choice, here are questions to clarify a different sort of "choice" they need to make: between supporting abortion or following Christ. Our badly designed pharynx?  Christians will sometimes wonder if they should give evolution a hearing since there's supposed to be so much evidence for it. But how much of that evidence is simply ideology? Here's one example: some evolutionists will point to humans' pharynx  – the shared opening we have in our throat for both food and air – as an example of the bad design you'd expect chance and time to produce. They point to it as evidence of evolution's trial and error. But if we don't presume that our pharynx was Designer-free, then you'd see it for that example it is of stupendous design – it took genius to make this work just so. COVID might have been created in a lab... and now you're allowed to say it The findings are still not definitive. What is definitive is that the social media censorship and mainstream media dismissal of this possibility two years ago tells us a lot about how little we should trust these information gatekeepers. Girls are getting sick from Tik Tok "One of the strangest stories of the last couple of years is how teenage girls have been stricken with facial tics after browsing the video-sharing app TikTok." But is it only facial tics that are contagious over social media? Or is social media also responsible for “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” and the increase in teens identifying as LGBT? "Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues, in a sweeping new analysis, that this catastrophic rise in teen mental illness is largely caused by social media use." What's the greatest of all Protestant "heresies"? Roman Catholic Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) thought assurance was the worst of all Protestant doctrines...which is high praise indeed. A dueling banjo To set the scene: in this clip from The Song, Rose has just met Jed King, the singing act for her vineyard's annual wine-tasting festival. When Jed asked her why she seems distracted, Rose finds herself oversharing – to a complete stranger! – that she'd just bumped into her ex-boyfriend Eddie who'd dumped her for... well, for being a good Christian lass. And to top it off, the jerk brought his new girlfriend along. So... Jed decides to sing Rose a song.  ...

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 11, 2023

Overpopulation isn't a problem (4 min) Two secular economists differed in how they saw people, the first seeing people as a burden on the planet, the other seeing them as a benefit (or as we might put it, a blessing). So whose worldview better aligns with what God has told us? The second, right? And which of these two economists warned of a coming collapse of civilization? Hint: it wasn't the second. Triggering the tingles What if you could get a feeling of love and companionship at the press of a button? As John Stonestreet explains, that's a temptation that's going to become more potent as technological advances show artificial ways of inducing pleasant feelings. But as tempting as these technologies will be, they will fail to deliver what they promise because we were not created to simply feel as if we were in relationship, but to actually know God. Top 10 evilest people of all time Whether most evil, or simply most destructive, these are 10 you should know. Canadians owe $1,300 a year to pay for gov't interest payments On average every Canadian owed $1,300 this year just to pay interest on provincial and federal debt. Check out an infographic here for how much you owe depending on your province. Click the link above for the longer report. 7 financial tips from Proverbs This article is remarkable for the helpful collection of financial wisdom it shares from the book of Proverbs and for how studiously it avoids any mention of who the Author of that wisdom is. Budgeting advice from Saturday Night Live (2 min) As one commenter put it, "This is Dave Ramsey's favorite sketch." ...

News

The problematic push for electric vehicles (EVs)

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the way of the future. Maybe you aren’t convinced, but our “higher-ups” are – political leaders in Canada, and in US states like California and Washington, are so confident about EVs that they have announced plans to cut out the internal combustion engine in a matter of years. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom wants all new cars to be electric by 2035, just a dozen years from now. LifeSiteNews.com contributor Jeremy Williamson, in his article “Trudeau wants 60% of new cars to be electric by 2030. That’s both stupid and dangerous” spends some time pointing out some small details that may throw a wrench in Trudeau’s plans. EV sales are way down in Canada, making increased EV production risky for any manufacturer who wants to make money. EVs are expensive and are outside of the average family’s budget. With the recent surge of inflation, they are not getting cheaper any time soon. There is little infrastructure for charging EVs. The Canadian government plans on installing 85,000 charging stations across the country within four years. For reference, there are currently 12,000 gas stations across the country. Researchers have shown that lithium-ion batteries, stored in below-freezing temperatures, can damage their housing and reduce their storage capacity. If this damage allows the chemicals to mix, fires may occur. That’s quite a problem for a cold country like Canada. Then there is the ethical dimension: there are reports of thousands of children being “employed” in cobalt and lithium mines, with human rights abuses widespread. Although promising, EV technology has a long way to go before it can be considered a viable alternative to the internal combustion engine. Any sort of hardline date, therefore, is more about pandering to the green energy crowd, than a realistic goal. Picture credit: Marc Bruxelle (iStockPhoto.com)....

News

Saturday Selections - Feb. 4, 2023

How different athletes act at home (4 min) Some fun goofiness to share with the kids... though only if you don't mind some imitation. Jack Phillips battles on,... and his reward will be great! Jack Phillips is rather ordinary-looking for a hero. He isn't muscle-bound, doesn't have martial art moves, and he isn't braving bullets to save a damsel in distress. What he has been risking is his business, and for more than a decade now. Amazingly, among the people he is risking his business for are the very people trying to shut him down. A decade back this baker was taken to court for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual "marriage." All the world was eager to celebrate this coupling, but Jack was not, because he knew such a marriage was a lie, and harmful to the people involved because they were committing themselves to a lifelong rebellion against their Maker. The good news is he won a Supreme Court decision back in 2021. The bad news is he was targeted again, but this time by a trans activist who wanted a cake to celebrate "transitioning." And once again, Jack wouldn't participate in a harmful lie. Most of us understandably wouldn't want to be in Jack's shoes. But is that because we've gotten things backwards? We were created to glorify God, and just consider the opportunity Jack has been given because of this to glorify God in a louder way than he otherwise ever could. We also shouldn't doubt what Jesus promised in his Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matt. 5:10-12). Start with one We're called to make disciples. Yet so many of us don't. So, the author advises, start with one, just one. 6 ways socialism isn't social If it's voluntary, it isn't socialism. It's that simple: socialism is compulsion. Abortion arguments are failing badly One of my university profs tried to justify abortion through all nine months by arguing that there was no point in the pregnancy where a child was all that different from the moment before. He reasoned that if it was okay at one month after conception to abort (which he thought was a given) then it must be okay at one month plus one day. And if it is okay at one month and a day, how is the child all that different at one month and two days? And so on. But his argument proved too much, as it would also justify "aborting" the already born, even adults, as there is no point in which we are all that different from the moment before. In the article above, Gary DeMar turns that logic on its head: if it is a given the born are valuable, then why not the born, minus a day? And so on. DeMar's flipped argument aligns with Scripture, where we find our value isn't found in how different we are from one stage to the next, nor in what we can do, but in Whose Image we are made (Gen. 1:27, Gen. 9:6). This is not a banana This is not an ad about how boys can never be girls even when some people might say otherwise. This is not about how boys remain boys, even if someone screams "girl, girl, girl" over and over again. And even if you start to believe that boy is a girl, he's not; he's a boy... and this ad is still not about that. This is a CNN ad. From 5 years ago. It was directed against President Donald Trump's accusations that CNN peddled "fake news." It argues that there are no alternative facts. There is only one truth. Bravo. Do you think they'd still make this ad today? ...

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