Saturday Selections - November 20, 2021
As has been said, our culture wars are really battles over the dictionary. Whether it's the euphemisms offered in place of the "A-word," or the "redefinition" of terms like marriage, gender and even love, the devil's strategy is to confuse people.
Our role? To share God's definitions, revealing the world as God has actually made it.
Rod Dreher talks with two Christians on the pressures that exist in big companies for Christians to stay quiet and promote the company's latest woke (and maybe LGBT) initiative. Decades ago, pressures to join God-opposing unions prompted many Reformed folk to start their own businesses. We need that entrepreneurial spirit again.
Some will credit anything – chance, multiverses, or now, super-intelligent aliens – except God for the fine-tuning of the universe.
Jonathon Van Maren examines the authors' worldviews from a "50 greatest books" list and finds a whole lot of nihilism. For a better top 50 list, see one on our website here.
What's might be most interesting here is that the warning being issued here is being given by perhaps the most influential of all leftwing publications, the New York Times.
We regularly hear that this or that could be evidence of life on Mars, or on a meteorite, or, as happened late last year, on Venus. And when clarifying information comes in months later disproving the notion, there aren't the same-sized headlines offering up the correction. So, as Spike Psarris explains, looking back at the Venus hype one year later, we can see how the same old mistakes were made again.
Whether this was an intentional bit or not, it's a hilarious homage to Abbot and Costello's classic (and Babylon Bee has recently also paid tribute).
— ken olin (@kenolin1) November 16, 2021
Saturday Selections - November 13, 2021
Though you slay me (6 min) John Piper teams up with Shane & Shane in this must-listen. On Christian conscience and vaccination (5 min read) ...
Saturday Selections - November 6, 2021
Safe spaces should be about being safe to share ideas, not being safe from ideas (5 min) CNN host Van Jones wouldn't be called a conservative by any...
Saturday Selections - October 30, 2021
Do intersex people prove there are more than two genders? We live in a broken world, and that means that sometimes people are born with disabilities ...
4 times as many Canadians died from abortion as Covid
Official estimates are that approximately 30,000 Canadians died from Covid over the last 18 months. To combat the illness, provincial governments locked down businesses for weeks going on months, and also kept people from church, from funerals, from seeing their aged relatives, and from seeing much of anyone else. Masks were mandated in most public settings, and vaccines went from being offered to being required to travel on trains or planes. And at the federal level, the government was spending almost $1 billion a day on Covid. The point here isn’t to question these impositions and costs, but to contrast them with what’s being done for the unborn. We don’t even know how many unborn babies were murdered over the same 18-month period because that toll isn’t being printed in our daily newspaper. Their deaths aren’t thought important enough for figures to be kept current, so we have to go back to 2019 to get any statistics. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada reports 83,576 unborn children were killed that year though this number only includes hospital and clinic abortions, which means the overall toll could be much higher. So, over the same time period that we’ve been dealing with Covid, a conservative estimate would put the abortion death toll at well over 120,000 Canadians. We can be grateful that there are signs Covid may be abating, but the same isn't true of abortion: long before Covid hit our shores, abortion was already ending the lives of one in five Canadian babies and it continues to do so. Christians should pray for our governments to take action to protect the unborn, but the contrast presented here is one for God’s people to consider too. If the deaths of 30,000 concerned us enough to shut down the country, and got even our Liberal Prime Minister arguing that when there are other lives at risk then "My body, my choice" shouldn't apply, how should we respond when we learn that another plague is killing four times that number? What sort of attention should we give, and what sort of time, energy, and money should we devote, to fighting abortion?...
Saturday Selections – October 16, 2021
When your children don't respect you Here's some advice you might not expect: if your 7-year-old doesn't respect you, you need to repent. Euthanasia fallout in Canada When you no longer recognize God as the giver and owner of our lives, then all other limits will soon fall by the way. Euthanasia, supposedly done to offer compassion to the terminally ill in untreatable pain, was instead done to: 4,120, killed because they had cancer, but didn't talk with an oncologist (cancer specialist) 1,373, killed because they were lonely 1,253, with no terminal condition 322, who needed disability support services, but did not receive them, and were killed instead 126, who couldn't get palliative care, but were provided euthanasia 59, who were not consulted about being killed God's pronouns matter There's a movement in Christian circles to start using "they" to address God. But as John Stonestreet writes, calling God by the pronouns He has chosen to use is important. "Call your spouse by the wrong name, and see if it matters. Describe your wife as you want her to be, not the way she is… what will she say?" Jordan Peterson on what's wrong with a "universal basic income" (10-minute read) An idea is being proposed on both the political right and left, is for a minimum income for everyone, even including those who decide not to work. Jordan Peterson objects, and his objection has a solid footing because he starts here on a biblical basis: that Man does not live on bread alone. Christian and Darwinist? Francis Collins’s The Language of God convinced many that a consistent Christian could also be a committed Darwinist. 15 years later, one of the book's central arguments has fallen to pieces. “Unvaccinated kid is much safer than a vaccinated grandma” As the push is on to vaccinate children, this New York Times article has some interesting numbers. Along the same vein, this Project Veritas piece (the folks who used their undercover research to expose Planned Parenthood) could have been titled "The Covid-recovered are likely safer than the vaccinated." If there was a TV sitcom for dogs... (3 min) It's funny because it's true. ...
Saturday Selections – October 9, 2021
Who cares about the national debt? This is an American presentation, but the point syncs up with the Canadian situation too. Secular prof discovers that God knows best (15-min read) God's restrictions regarding premarital and extramarital sex are sometimes presented as being restrictions on pleasure. God is seen as a killjoy. But what one secular professor discovered is that sexual restraint benefits a society. In other words, God's rules should be understood as guides for our good – they show His love for us. The C-vid survey that should have rocked the world As headlines tend to be these days, this one is a bit over the top. But it is important to understand the political group in charge of the US right now is the side that overestimates the dangers. The dangerous science behind "gender transitioning" Christians reading their Bibles already know that "gender transitioning" isn't going to have a good end. While some studies argue it does help these folk psychologically, it is not surprising to us that as John Stonestreet notes, the best studies say something else entirely. 12 tips for parenting the smartphone generation Tony Reinke, author of 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, has 12 tips for parents, including: Delay social media as long as possible Delay smartphones as long as possible Ben Shapiro on climate change (3 min) The commentator explains that climate change "fixes" intended to avert potential harm in the future would do real harm to the poor today. ...
Saturday Selections - October 2, 2021
Going after Facebook (7 min) The way Facebook uses "fact-checkers" makes them bad arbitrators of the truth. (You can find RP on MeWe here and Twitter here, while the editor is on Gab here.) When a lesbian at Yale came to Christ While the Devil uses his resources to confuse, God can use even a stolen book to bring clarity, as He did with this young woman. Translation manipulation Some history worth remembering: 20 years ago plans were in place to make the world's most popular English Bible translation more gender-neutral. Even after being shamed into reversing course, the publisher tried again just two years later. Prediction: Scientists won't be able to improve on our design (15-min read) William A. Dembski's certainty that we have been designed, and not evolved, led him to predict 20 years ago that so-called "Junk DNA" would turn out to be functional. His position opposed that of evolutionists who assumed these sections were the useless leftover remnants of our species' previous evolutionary incarnations. Over the next ten years, Dembski's design inference was proven to be the right one, as these sections did prove to have functions. Now Dembski has a new prediction, also based on us being designed rather than evolved. A new discovery – CRISPR gene editing – allows us to edit mankind's genes. This raises the possibility of correcting some people's defective genes – errors that are obviously errors and lead to certain genetic diseases. But evolutionists see this as an opportunity to improve on where, in their minds, chance and time have brought us. Could gene-editing be used to make the human species smarter, faster, stronger, etc.? Dembski predicts, no, because no matter how smart scientists might be, they aren't anywhere near as smart as our Designer. And while this CRISPR process might have some use in addressing the breakage in that design, as caused by the Fall, Man is not going to be able to improve on God's design. Help in the midst of the pornography plague “The question is not if my kids will see pornography, but what will I do when it happens.” How Covid taught the public to distrust authorities Rex Murphy lays it out. Are you after easy A's? (2 min) Our young people can't all go to this college, but we can encourage all those that do head off to university to approach their education with this sort of rigor. ...
China takes a pro-life turn
This comes under the category of: “Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds...” (Ps. 66:5). A country notorious for forced ste...
Christian education, News
US homeschooling grows by a million
In 1973, there were as few as 13,000 children being homeschooled across the United States. From those small beginnings, the movement has grown over th...
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...
Saturday Selections – Sept 11, 2021
Focusing on income equality is envious and unjust God wants us to help the poor (Deut 15:7-11), but He also told us not to covet what the rich have (Ex. 20:17). That, then, is the problem with those that focus on income inequality: they may want to help the poor, but theirs is an envious approach. And it shouldn't surprise us that it doesn't work, as the video below shows. What does the Bible say about mandatory vaccines? (10-min read) P. Andrew Sandlin argues that while the Bible doesn't speak directly to mandatory vaccines, it does offer principles which apply. Incrementalism and the Texas abortion law There are some spats going on between the two pro-life camps – incrementalists and abolitionists – over Texas's new pro-life law. Douglas Wilson highlights the strengths and shortcomings of both groups with this must-read for all pro-lifers! Late economist warns about being overly confident in "Science" We've heard a lot about "believing the Science" and "following the Science." But to act as if there is only the Science, and no alternate expert opposing opinions is to treat some scientists (and not others) as having God-like expertise, beyond mistakes and above questioning. Then there is the problem that Science, even were it to be definitive, only gives us insights into what is, and not what ought to be done. The cost of lockdowns may exceed the benefit... It's all arguable, but that those costs land largely on the poor is more clear. How one mother saved her child from going transgender It was about controlling the child's education and who got to be her teachers. Jumping bugs....in slow motion (7 min) Anything that can fly is amazing, and that so many different-looking bugs can fly is even more amazing. Some bugs even have gears – God is an artist and an engineer! ...
Saturday Selections – September 4, 2021
Why does it seem like the smartest people in the room aren't Christian? (5 min) Michael Krugor, author of Surviving Religion 101, with some encouragement for Christian college students who discover their unbelieving professors are actually very smart. So why don't they believe in God? Click on the link above to read our review of Krugor's book. Refuting the flat earth It surprises some creationists to discover that many flat-earth folk also believe in a 6-day creation. The reason they do is because of the one insight both groups hold in common: that the wrong worldview can blind mainstream science. Where they differ is in how to understand the Bible: Christian flat-earthers base their belief on misunderstandings of what certain passages say. This article, from creation scientists Dr. Robert Carter and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, shows how they get their scriptural exegesis (and their science) wrong. The article that Forbes pulled about school masking After initially publishing this teacher's article about the stress of wearing masks in school, Forbes pulled it. But on the Internet pulled doesn't mean gone. That it was pulled is symptomatic of the one-sided presentation on many issues we're getting from mainstream media (have you seen their coverage of the Texas heartbeat bill?) and it is shared here in the spirit of Prov. 18:17. The World is catechizing us whether we know it or not "...worldliness is whatever makes righteousness look strange and sin look normal. Here’s the reality facing every Christian in the West: the money, power, and prestige of the mainstream media, big time sports, big business, big tech, and almost all the institutions of education and entertainment are invested in making sin look normal." Imposing vaccine mandates on churches is wrong ARPA Canada on why... Learning from the life of Dr. Klaas Schilder (45-minute read) A Reformed Baptist from Wales offers an outsider's perspective on Klaas Schilder, his life, and how God used him to impact many in the Netherlands and beyond. This is a long read (in 4 parts) which requires some passing familiarity with Dutch Church history. One interesting bit to whet the appetite: when Schilder was arrested by the Nazis: There were Dutch Christian papers that said that Schilder deserved this for going too far in his opposition to the Nazis and “desire for a British victory.” One professor at the Free University said, “Schilder could have avoided it. Daniel didn’t pull the tails of the lions when he sat in their den.” "Personally pro-life" means nothing This one comes with a PG warning: the cartoon violence here is bloodless, but of the sort that would disturb children (and some adults). Why share it? It makes an important point that the way many talk about the unborn, we treat their murders as very different than the killing of other human beings. No one would, for example, say they are "personally" against killing grandmothers. ...
O’Toole: doctors shouldn’t be forced to murder aging adults themselves, but need to make sure the murders get done
On Aug 6, the leader of Canada's Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole, unveiled an election platform that promised conscience protection for medical professionals. The relevant section read: “We will protect the conscience rights of healthcare professionals. The challenges of dealing with COVID-19 have reminded us of the vital importance of health care professionals - the last thing Canada can afford to do is drive any of these professionals out of their profession….” The same day he doubled down on conscience protection by coming out against mandatory vaccinations for federal employees. If you're unfamiliar with the term, "conscience protection" or guaranteeing people "freedom of conscience," this is allowing those who think differently than we do, to act in a way consistent with their own beliefs. So, for examples, we allow pacifists to be exempt from fighting in the army (though they may be required to serve in the mess hall). In Alberta, Hutterites are allowed to have driver’s licenses without pictures, because they object to being photographed. We don’t share these beliefs, but we still make room for them because we're treating them as we would like to be treated (Matt. 7:12) were the positions reversed and it was our own convictions that didn't match with what the majority believed. Just four days after taking a stand for conscience protection, O’Toole backed down. He now insisted that if doctors didn’t provide euthanasia they should be required to refer for it, directing the “patient” to another doctor who is willing. His new position makes no sense when we consider what those who oppose euthanasia know it to be. We don't just find it distasteful. This is the willful killing of another human being, which God forbids in the Sixth Commandment. This is murder. And for Christians who recognize just how wicked euthanasia and abortion are, O'Toole isn't doing us any favors. Under Canada’s criminal code, arranging for someone to be murdered is an indictable offense, punishable by as much as a life sentence. That's as it should be – arranging a murder is a monstrous evil. Yet this is the bone O’Toole is throwing to his social conservative backers: we don’t need to do the killing ourselves; but he will do what he can to force us to be accessories before the fact....
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 w...
History, Indigenous peoples, 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...
Saturday Selections – Aug 14, 2021
Save the planet by not having kids. What would you say? God says that children are a blessing and when we start with that premise, then we'll stop looking at more children as simply more mouths to feed. Then we'll recognize that we come with hands that can produce, and brains that can solve problems. We reflect our Maker's creativity in that we can even create resources out of refuse. Are people really like crumpled paper? We should teach our kids not to insult others, but we shouldn't teach them that words will scar them for life. There is such a thing as apologizing, and being forgiven...and, as this article relates, that can even lead to stronger relationships than before. The "noble lies" of COVID-19 In James 5:12. God tells us that we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. What happens when we won't do so can be seen in Americans' response to their country's top health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has owned up to telling "noble lies." The problem with lies, no matter how well-meaning, is that if you are willing to tell them, people don't have a reason to trust you when it matters. Where did this limit of 1.5°C of warming come from? (5 min/1 hr read) The UNs’ IPCC 2018 Special Report on 1.5°C Warming "expressly stated that it did not complete a cost-benefit analysis of limiting warming to 1.5°C” and only "argued that 2°C warming would have bigger impacts than 1.5°C, but it did not say that the policies to hit the lower target would be worth the cost.” The biblical take: sensible people count the cost (Luke 14:28-32). The link leads to a short 5-minute article, and also a longer 1-hour report. 100 years ago Hitler became leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party The Nazis are sometimes portrayed as having been Christian and capitalist, but they were not nearly. Jordan Peterson with a problem for atheism (6 min) Peterson points out – with the help of Fyodor Dostoevsky – that without God, it isn't reasonable to be moral. Peterson isn't speaking as a Christian here, but even as a quasi agnostic/theist he recognizes you can't have good without God. ...
Saturday Selections – Aug 7, 2021
The Genius of Flight (11 min) A close look at birds reveals the Genius behind the design of their feathers, heart, muscles, navigation system, and more. Why so many are so skeptical now This isn't an anti-vaccine post and I note that because some might otherwise conclude it is. It is being shared to help those who are frustrated or in any other way exasperated at fellow pew-sitters who are "vaccine hesitant." If you don't understand why anyone could possibly be so, this will help, and not because it offers any medical insights into the vaccines. This is, instead, about how media and governmental leaders have undermined their own credibility. Draw your own conclusions about the vaccine but patience please with those who differ: their skepticism is not unreasonable. Should the Church "stay in its lane" and stay out of politics? "...every law... based on consequential assumptions about human value, the nature and purpose of sex, what and how children should be raised, the scope of the state, and a million other things. The question is never whether politics will operate from worldview assumptions, but which worldview it will operate from." White House working directly with Facebook to limit the spread of "misinformation" Social media companies are taking it "upon themselves to be the arbitrators of truth" and the problem isn't just that they get it wrong and that they are working with the government to restrict speech, which has been caught lying repeatedly. The real problem is that we the consumers aren't outraged – we still continue to turn to these companies as our main sources for news and information. One alternative? You can find Reformed Perspective on MeWe here. Want to fund a Christian nature series? The folks behind the two Riot and Dance nature documentaries are looking to make a nature TV series now. Find out more – and watch the first half-hour episode about swimming with sharks, for free – at the link above. How can we see distant starlight? (15-min read) If the universe is only roughly 6,000 years young, and it takes millions of years for light to get to us from many stars, then how can we see them? You can read an explanation at the link above (a free chapter from The Creation Answers Book) or if you'd rather watch Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and Dr. Robert Carter discuss it, then check out this 25-minute video. Does the Bible "whisper" about sexual sin? (5 min) What better way to minimize the sinfulness of a sin than to say the Church should remain quiet – or only whisper – about it. This is worth listening to because this tactic is confusing even conservative Christians. ...
News, Pro-life - Abortion
On mandatory vaccines and “My body, my choice”
Don’t we live in strange times? Thousands of people are calling on governments all over the world to mandate vaccines for everyone twelve years old and older. These same people are often the loudest proponents of the principle: "My body, my choice!" How does that make sense? If the argument for allowing women to end the life of their unborn child is based on the false principle that their bodily autonomy trumps all, how can they also argue for the government to mandate the insertion of all kinds of chemicals into one’s body? Shouldn’t it be: my body, my choice? Absolute autonomy – the rule of one’s self – is also the rationale against conversion therapy, and it is the rationale for stripping parental rights in all kinds of areas, but this is probably most damaging when parents want to resist their child’s wishes for sex alignment therapies and surgeries. Because we must let everyone do with their bodies as they wish, without limit, and without any opposing opinions offered. Does it not strike you as extremely ironic, and terribly inconsistent, that the warriors for abortion, conversion therapy bans, and for stripping parental rights – all in the name of autonomy – are the same warriors arguing for mandatory vaccination? (Might this be an irony we can point out, to the benefit of the unborn?) Of course, Christians do not claim, “My body, my choice”, nor do we claim that we are autonomous selves. Rather, we understand that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit; that we belong body and soul to our faithful Saviour. We also know that we have been given stewardship of those bodies, to care for them as best as we know how. That means that while some of us may get vaccinated to God’s glory, others will refuse to do so to God’s glory. Some will argue: "Because my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, I will not get vaccinated" while others: "Because my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, I will get vaccinated." That’s okay. We do not all have to agree. But Christians should be agreed, it seems to me, to be against mandatory vaccinations. We need to have the freedom to act according to our own conscience when it comes to weighing the consequences of receiving, or not receiving, the vaccination; we need freedom to make the best decision in how we serve the Lord with our body. Chris deBoer is the Executive Director of Reformed Perspective Foundation. ...
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? ...