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History

The long road to Christian broadcasting in Canada

How Christian activism successfully changes governmental policy

*****

The presence of Christian radio and television stations in Canada is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first Christian radio station went on the air in 1993 and the first Christian TV station began broadcasting in 1996.

Radio and television had been around for decades, so why were the Christian stations so late in coming? The short answer is government policy. The federal government regulatory body with jurisdiction in this area would not allow specifically Christian radio and TV stations in Canada until the mid-1990s. Importantly, the change in policy that did occur at that time was the result of Christian activism.

1920s – Anti-JW feelings used to ban religious stations in general

Religious organizations in Canada began using radio by the late 1920s. In 1928 the federal government started receiving complaints about broadcasts on stations owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The broadcasts were said to be unpatriotic and abusive of various churches. A Royal Commission on Broadcasting was then appointed, in part due to the controversy over JW broadcasts.

In 1929 the Royal Commission recommended that broadcasting in Canada should serve the national interest by fostering a sense of national unity and Canadian identity. Religious broadcasts should not be used to foment religious controversy or attack the leaders and doctrines of particular religions.

A policy then evolved whereby religious organizations were no longer granted licenses for radio stations since it was believed they would serve only sectarian interests rather than the community as a whole. Religious organizations could purchase time on secular stations, but could not have stations of their own.

1950s & 60s – Birth of the CRTC

However, there were some restrictions even on the organizations that purchased airtime on other stations. Ernest Manning, for example, experienced problems with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which was not only the national broadcaster, but also the federal regulatory body over broadcasting throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s. Manning was the Premier of Alberta, but he was also a radio evangelist. By the 1950s he had extended his radio program, Back to the Bible Hour, out of Alberta and right across the country. The CBC did not like Manning appealing for funds on his radio program, and it pressured certain radio stations to delete Manning’s financial appeals.

In 1968 a new regulatory body for broadcasting was created, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). As a result, the CBC was removed from a regulatory role.

Despite this change, the situation did not improve for potential Christian broadcasters. In some cases, the hostility to religious broadcasting was so intense that even proposed stations that weren’t explicitly religious were denied licenses out of fear that they could evolve into primarily religious stations.

1970s – Canadian Family Radio kiboshed

It should be noted that by the late 1970s opposition to “religious” radio or TV stations, in effect, meant opposition to evangelical radio and TV stations since it was only evangelical organizations that seriously attempted to establish their own radio and TV stations at the time.

In 1978 Ralph Jacobson, a former missionary with the Sudan Interior Mission, applied to establish Canadian Family Radio in Vancouver. He did not present it as a religious station but one with general programming of interest to families. He and his supporters were concerned about increasing social problems and wanted positive, uplifting radio content that didn’t contribute to the problems.

In February 1979 the CRTC granted approval in principle to Jacobson’s application provided he could find a different radio frequency (a technical detail) and that he reduce the proportion of religious content, especially non-Canadian programs. He was assured that he could proceed to acquire facilities and equipment, which he did.

Unbeknownst to Jacobson, the “mainline” (i.e. liberal) churches (United Church, Anglican Church, etc.) got wind of his achievement and went to work to thwart his plans. They had formed a group called Interchurch Communications which contacted the CRTC in May 1979 requesting that the Commission pull the plug on Jacobson’s station. In August 1979 the CRTC complained to Jacobson that he was still proposing too much religious content, and in July 1980 the CRTC withdrew its approval of his station. Alberta Report attributed the CRTC’s change of heart to the intervention of the mainline churches. Mainline churches like to trumpet their “tolerance” when it comes to sinful practices like abortion and homosexuality, but they give no quarter for evangelical Christianity.

1980s – CRTC says yes to Playboy, no to Christian TV

In April 1981, Crossroads Communications applied for a license for a satellite television station. This, too, was strongly opposed by Interchurch Communications which feared the proliferation of religious (read: evangelical) stations. The Crossroad’s application was turned down, but as a result of the application, the CRTC held public hearings in January 1982 on whether it should license pay TV channels for religious broadcasting.

The result of those hearings was that in the spring of 1983 the CRTC adopted a policy of allowing one religious pay channel, as long as it carried material from a wide spectrum of religious groups across Canada, not just Christian groups. This suited the mainline churches since it would marginalize evangelical programming to a certain degree. The result of this decision would ultimately be the creation of Vision TV, which was licensed in 1987 and formally launched in 1988. Although evangelical organizations would purchase time on Vision TV, its controlling board has had a decidedly leftist slant for many years.

While the CRTC maintained its stance against exclusively Christian radio and television stations, it had no such reluctance about pornography, and it allowed the Playboy pay TV channel to broadcast in Canada.

In August 1983 the CRTC rejected the application for an AM gospel radio station in Edmonton. The spokesman for the group behind the application was a local news anchorman, Doug Main. The application was also supported by local Tory MP David Kilgour. The CRTC agreed that the proposal for a gospel music station was not the same as an explicitly religious station, but feared that it could get a Christian image “and result in the development of a ‘religious’ programming service.”

The CRTC was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough “balance” in the content, that is, not enough non-Christian content. Even today, the CRTC makes a big deal that religious stations (and only religious stations) must incorporate “balance” into their programming. But as Doug Main put it, “Really, is a Christian going to put up all sorts of dough so a Buddhist or a Moslem can get on the air?”

And David Kilgour also had pertinent criticisms of the CRTC’s rejection of the application. “Our youth must run less risk of being corrupted by pornography, in the minds of the CRTC, than by the dangers of gospel music.” And furthermore, “The CRTC speaks in fine, high-sounding terms about the public interest, and maintains a myth of neutrality, but they’ve already shown an antipathy for people who want to listen to something as innocent as gospel music.”

In February 1986 a Christian group in Lethbridge, Alberta began rebroadcasting the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) from the USA, and also applied to the CRTC for permission to do so. In August of that year, the CRTC rejected the application. Rebroadcasters of TBN would subsequently emerge in Edmonton, Lloydminster, and Grand Prairie, Alberta. This rebroadcasting was technically illegal.

1990s – Christian civil disobedience works...in part

Late in 1991, the CRTC summoned the four rebroadcasters for a hearing in Edmonton for the following January. The CRTC was in for a bit of a surprise because not only did the rebroadcasters show up, but also about 600 of their supporters. When a CRTC official stated that all broadcasters must have a license, the crowd chanted, “Then give them a license, give them a license.”

One of the rebroadcasters, Russell Pearson, saw his activity as a form of civil disobedience to force the issue of religious broadcasting. “Technically we are breaking the CRTC’s laws right now,” he admitted. “But we hope that the end result will be freedom of religion in Canada.” Henry Morgentaler had flouted Canadian law for many years, and by 1992 he was receiving government funding for the abortions he performed. Sometimes civil disobedience works (for good or evil – evil in Morgentaler’s case).

At least in part due to the strong showing of support for Christian broadcasters, in June 1993 the CRTC lifted its ban on the licensing of religious broadcasters in Canada in a new Religious Broadcasting Policy. The Lethbridge group that had been rebroadcasting TBN prepared an application, and on April 4, 1995, it received the first CRTC license for a Christian television station in Canadian history. It would subsequently go on the air as the Miracle Channel in January 1996.

Other applicants, however, were not so lucky. In November 1995 seven applications for Christian TV stations across Canada were rejected by the CRTC for lacking “balance” in their content.

The Broadcasting Act does require “balance,” but many people believe what it means is balance (diversity) among the many stations in an area, not specifically just for programming on Christian stations. Christian lawyer Gerard Guay came to the aid of the failed applicants arguing that the CRTC erred in its application of the balance requirement and the Broadcast Act’s freedom of expression requirement. He wrote that the:

“CRTC improperly determined that the Broadcasting Act requires each over-the-air undertaking devoted to religious programming to be 'balanced,' whereas the Act requires balance of the whole broadcasting system. In other words, you get 'balance' by viewing many channels. This CRTC requirement is especially unfair, since only religious broadcast undertakings have to provide balance.

“The other major error in the CRTC's decision is that the CRTC failed to comply with the Broadcasting Act's imperative requirements on freedom of expression. This is another example of how disturbing the CRTC's policies on religious broadcasting are, since there is a specific section in the Broadcasting Act that requires that the Act be applied in a manner that is consistent with freedom of expression.”

On October 29, 1996, the CRTC gave Pastor Allan Hunsperger a license for a gospel music station in Calgary. Previously he had received a license for a station in Edmonton. He had been working towards the establishment of a Christian radio station in Alberta since 1978, and his persistence had finally paid off. There were also two other Christian radio stations in Canada by this time, one in Vancouver and one in Ottawa.

However, Christian television proposals continued to be rejected. In July 1997 the CRTC rejected a number of Christian applicants including the Roman Catholic EWTN station, which had the support of 10 Canadian bishops. At the same time, the CRTC accepted cable distribution of the Playboy Network. The Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC) then produced a pamphlet exposing the hypocrisy of the CRTC’s decision (rejecting religion but accepting pornography) and distributed 200,000 copies of it across Canada.

On April 9, 1998, the CRTC licensed Canada’s second Christian television station, Crossroads Television System. And a Christian TV station was approved for Vancouver in 2000. So things have been moving in a positive direction as Christian radio and television stations spread across the country.

Conclusion

Over the course of the last few decades, it appears that the CRTC has been responsive (to a certain degree) to public pressure. It was pressure from the mainline churches that apparently helped squelch Ralph Jacobson’s radio station in 1980. But since then continual applications and pressure from conservative Christians pushed the CRTC to accept a religious television station (although Vision TV is a tremendous disappointment), and finally to reluctantly accept Christian radio and television stations in the 1990s.

Part of this Christian success is apparently the result of the civil disobedience of the Alberta TBN rebroadcasters. Lawyer Gerard Guay put it this way:

Had it not been for individuals who decided to fight the historic ban on Christian broad­casting and had it not been for those who joined that fight and insisted in a change of policy, (even if they had to accept prison terms), the prohibition against religious broadcasters in Canada would never have been lifted and we would not even have the opportunity of submitting applications.

So it would seem that Christian activism against the anti-Christian policies of the CRTC had a decided effect. It took many years and was undoubtedly very discouraging for those involved, but the persistent ones, like Allan Hunsperger who soldiered on in the face of obstacle after obstacle, ultimately triumphed and paved the way for Christian broadcasting in Canada.

This first appeared in the May 2008 issue.

REFERENCES

Alberta Report. "The CRTC tangles with religion." September 26, 1980, p. 36.
Holly Bannerman. "A battle for the airwaves." Alberta Report, September 25, 1981, pp. 49-50.
Mike Byfield. "A million-dollar miracle." The Report, July 22, 2002, pp. 44-45.
Gerard Guay. "CCLJ Appeals CRTC Decision." Law & Justice, January 1996, pp. 1-2.
Bill Johnson. "A warm welcome for the CRTC." Alberta Report, January 27, 1992, pp. 38-39.
Robert Lee and Stephen Weatherbe. "The CRTC and the needle's eye." Alberta Report, September 12, 1983, pp. 40-41.
David Marshall. "Premier E.C. Manning, Back to the Bible Hour, and Fundamentalism in Canada." In Religion and Public Life in Canada: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Ed. Marguerite Van Die. University of Toronto Press, 2001.
John Simpson. "Federal Regulation and Religious Broadcasting in Canada and the United States: A Comparative Sociological Analysis." In Canadian Issues Volume 7, 1985, Association for Canadian Studies.
Stephen Weatherbe & Marilyn McKinley. "Christ and the CRTC." Alberta Report. June 20, 1983, pp. 42-43.
Joe Woodard. "A state blessing, after 18 years." Alberta Report, December 16, 1996, p. 36.
Joe Woodard. "Porn over prophecy." Alberta Report, September 15, 1997, pp. 34-35.
Joe Woodard. "Christian TV breakthrough." Alberta Report, May 18, 1998, p. 34.

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.  ...

Theology

The problem with "pan-millennialism"

“I’m not amillennial, postmillennial, or premillennial. I’m pan-millennial.” “Huh?” “Yep, I’m pan-millennial—I believe it will all pan out in the end!” I’ve occasionally heard this humorous remark made when the end times are discussed. Technically, if we believe in the biblical gospel, we should all be panmillennialists. The risen and ascended Christ will return and everything will “pan out” for believers who will ultimately enjoy “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). But the person who tells the “panmillennial” joke, and really means it, isn’t interested in details about the end times. He realizes that eschatology (the study of last things) is loaded with difficulties, and says, “I’m not going to think much about end times doctrine anymore. Jesus is going to make everything right when He comes again, and that’s good enough for me.” This man hasn’t just given up on figuring out what “a thousand years” means in Revelation 20, but has decided that thinking about the end times beyond generalities is just too hard and ultimately fruitless. There’s a major problem with the panmillennial mindset. The Bible does speak about the particulars of the end times, so to ignore those verses is to disregard what the Holy Spirit made sure was included. Furthermore, when we skip over those passages, we lose more than just knowledge. God has spoken in understandable ways about the end times to give us hope and joy Transforming grief The Thessalonian believers enthusiastically awaited the return of Christ (1 Thess 1:9-10). But after Paul was forced out of town by persecution, some believers died, sending the remaining Christians into a state of hopeless grief (4:13). They didn’t just miss the deceased believers, but apparently thought the dead believers would miss out on some blessing at Christ’s return. Paul addressed the Thessalonians’ ignorance by speaking of some of the details about the day of Christ’s return. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, he gave an order of some of the events of that day: “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.” In the first frame of a Peanuts comic strip, Lucy is looking out the window and says, “Boy, look at it rain… What if it floods the whole world?” Linus responds, “It will never do that…In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that it would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” Lucy replies, “You’ve taken a great load off my mind…” So Linus concludes, “Sound theology has a way of doing that!” Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead in order to give them sound theology so they could take a great load off of their minds. They needed to know that their beloved sleeping believers (4:13) wouldn’t miss anything when Jesus came back. Instead, they would have front-row seats! With that kind of information, their grief would undergo a dramatic transformation. Paul refused to ignore the details about the return of Christ in addressing the Thessalonians, because he understood how relevant and encouraging that information really was. He even charged them to “encourage one another with these words” (4:18). What words? The specific words about the believers who had died and their participation in the events surrounding Christ’s return. Blessed is the one… Revelation is full of end times information, yet it is one of the most neglected books of the Bible due to interpretive difficulties. However, in his opening comments John promises, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (1:3). We should humbly admit when we are confused about certain aspects of Christ’s return. Yet, not everything that God has said about the end times is puzzling. Read those verses carefully and thoughtfully, and blessing is sure to follow. Copyright © 2013 Steve Burchett (www.BulletinInserts.org). Permission granted for reproduction in exact form....

In a Nutshell

Tidbits - March 2023

Why is so much Christian fiction bad? Back in the June 30, 2007 issue of WORLD magazine, Marvin Olasky “interviewed” the long-departed novelist Flannery O’Connor by asking her questions he then answered with excerpts from O’Connor’s book Mystery and Manners. Most interesting was O’Connor’s thoughts on Christian fiction: OLASKY: Why do you call lots of religious novels “sorry”? O’CONNOR: The sorry religious novel comes about when the writer supposes that because of his belief, he is somehow dispensed from the obligation to penetrate concrete reality. He will think that the eyes of the Church or of the Bible or of his particular theology have already done the seeing for him, and that his business is to rearrange this essential vision into satisfying patterns… by beginning with Christian principles and finding the life that will illustrate them…. The result is another addition to that large body of pious trash for which we have so long been famous. The 3 ways Hollywood gets truth wrong While reviewing 2011's Water for Elephants, WorldNetDaily.com’s Drew Zahn exposed the flaw underlying most Hollywood fare. Zahn noted that for “more than a century now four very distinct worldviews have been competing to answer one critical question: ‘What is truth, and how can you know it?’” The four worldviews include the one right one, and three that deny God is the source of all truth. From first to worst they are: Truth is from God: “Reality is revealed by Divine Truth (John 14:6)” so it is through God’s Word that we may know Truth Truth is defined by our reason: “The idea that God would define truth was eventually challenged by another notion, that man – in all his scientific, progressive wisdom – could determine truth on his own. This gave rise to the second competitor, rationalism, which argues that what we reason to be true must be true.” Truth is what you feel: “Yet a third worldview agreed that man defines truth, but insists it is a matter of the heart, not the mind. Sometimes called romanticism, this worldview argues what we feel to be true is true.” There is no truth: Finally, we have the notion of Relativism – that there is no truth at all Zahn notes that while the various worldviews have been debated among philosophers and theologians, “average Joes” all subscribe to the same one: “When push comes to shove, most folks eventually do what… feels right (romanticism). What we really, really want to be true, we usually insist is true, then stretch all bounds of reason and theology to prove it is true. In the end, romanticism usually wins.” In Water for Elephants this romanticism is evident in the central plot, when a young man connects with an older married woman, and the audience is expected to cheer this illicit affair because, well, the two of them just seem so right for each other! But if Water isn’t any better than typical Hollywood fare, one good thing can still be said about this film: it spawned Zahn’s insightful review! In need of laughing gas I haven't been to a dentist in a couple of decades. This joke had me rethinking that decision. Dentist: It’s a very good thing you came to see me. You’ve got the biggest cavity I’ve ever seen – the biggest cavity I’ve ever seen! Patient: I can hear you Doc, no need to repeat it! Dentist: I didn’t – that was an echo! SOURCE: A joke a day keeps the doctor away by Bob Phillips A musical Matthew 7:2 moment... As much as she tries not to, my daughter can't help but smile every time I hit a false note. So this one spoke to me. On our way home from church my young son asked me about Mr. Smith, a man sitting behind us during the service: “He can’t sing very well, can he?” It was true, but I didn’t want my son critiquing everyone’s singing so I explained to him: “Son, Mr. Smith sings from his heart, and that’s what makes it good.” Several days later my son and I were singing along to the car radio, when he stopped, turned to me, and said: “Daddy, you sing from your heart, don't you?" SOURCE: Adapted from a joke making its way around the Internet Can’t do better than the Bible… In the last couple of decades atheists like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have hit the top of the bestsellers list with their attacks on the existence of God. These prominent atheists were hoping to make doubters of us all. But Philip Yancey has a ready answer. Yancey may be staunchly Arminian, but he’s struggled with doubt for years and has a couple of insights worth sharing. He offers doubting Christians this bit of advice: “Learn to question your doubts just as much as you question your faith.” After all, atheists and the doubts they raise and the arguments they make are nothing new. Yancey sees their disciples on every campus he visits, but they don’t bother him. “When I speak on college campuses I like to choose the most skeptical, the most rebellious people - the kids who are reading newspapers instead of listening – and speak to them. And I tell them this, ‘I challenge you to find a single argument against God from the great atheists – David Hume, Bertrand Russell, Voltaire, people like that – that is not already included in the Bible!… I can find every argument – in the book of Job for example – that these great philosophers have used against God.” SOURCE: When God is hiding: A candid conversation with best-selling author Philip Yancey Red and yellow, black and white… Creationist Ken Ham has a solution to the problem of racism. All we have to do is make people understand their true origins: “ says all people are descendants of one man and one woman, Adam and Eve. That means there’s only one race of people… I remember after talking on this once a man told me, ‘When I filled out my census form and it said, “What race are you?” I wrote down “Adam’s.”’” SOURCE: DVD entitled Genesis: The Key to Reclaiming the Culture Curing the postmodern disease During the two years that RC Sproul's son taught university freshman English it became clear that many of his students had succumbed to the sickness of postmodernism. But Sproul Jr. was ready with a cure for their disease. In a 2006 speech he recounted how he administered the cure to one student: “ student in the back blurted out, ‘There’s no such thing as objective truth.’ Just like that. “And I said to him ‘you get an F in this class for this semester’ and then I went back to the conversation we were having. And, of course, in the corner of my eye, I could see his blood pressure rising, and his face getting redder and redder. And he’s holding his hand up. “‘Yes what is it?’ “What do you think he said? ‘That’s not fair!’ “I strung him along a little longer. I said, ‘I’m sorry. You must have misunderstood me. I’m not giving you the F because anybody stupid enough to say there’s no such thing as objective truth obviously deserves an F. That’s not my thinking at all! You misunderstood. No, I’m just giving you the F because I want to.’ And then I went back to the rest of the class. “He got madder. By now some of the students had figured it out. Some of them hadn’t, including that one. And he said, ‘I’ll tell the administration!’ “Finally I had pity on him and I said, ‘What are you going to tell them? Are you going to tell them I have failed to measure up to some external, objective, transcendent standard of what’s right and wrong? Because you told me there is no such thing!’ “‘Oh… okay. Well… I guess there is.’ “‘Welcome back to the human race,’ and then we went on with our business.” Quote of the month For your next road trip If you’ve gotten tired of the old favorite “99 bottles,” or thought it weird to hear your kids singing endlessly about consuming vast sums of a beverage they aren't even allowed to drink yet (some parents make it "99 bottles of pop" but that has its own problems), there is another song to drive you mad on your family expeditions. It's also an oldie, first being sung way back in the ’60s on The Shari Lewis Show. This is the song that never ends Oh it goes on and on my friends Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was And they’ll continue singing it forever just because This is the song that never ends…...

Adult biographies, Articles, Book Reviews, Church history

10 great Christian biographies

A reason to read Christian biographies is to see and be encouraged by what God has done in other people’s lives. They're a way to learn about how God acts in the world around us. There's also a challenge that comes with true stories of Christians who have gone before us – when you see how God used them, you have to ask yourself, "What could He do with me, if only I trusted Him to keep hold of me?" The reviews are divided into 2 sets of 5. In every case, you can find a longer review of the book by clicking on its title. 5 to get you (or your kids) started This first set is for everyone who hasn't gotten into biographies yet. These are especially accessible, sometimes because they are shorter reads, and others because they are fictionalized biographies that read like novels because, well, they are novels... but grounded firmly in reality. 1. Luther: Echoes of the Hammer by Susan K. Leigh Graphic novel, yes; superficial? No! 2. When Faith Is Forbidden by Todd Nettleton 40 true stories from the front lines about God using miracles and persecution to gather His people. 3. The Vow by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter After a car accident leaves a wife with no memory of even meeting, let alone marrying, her husband she remains committed to the marriage vow she made before God. 4. A Promise Kept by Robertson McQuilkin Short account of a Christian college president who leaves his influential position when his wife is struck by Alzheimer’s because that's what love is. 5. Steal Away Home by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey A fictionalized biography of Charles Spurgeon and his friend, a former slave, Thomas Johnson – a pain-free way to learn about the “Prince of Preachers.” Bonus: Douglas Bond’s The Thunder – A fictionalized biography of John Knox, the man and the legend, a bodyguard, galley slave, and a pastor to queens, including one who really didn't like him. 5 for those who already love biographies This second set is for those who already appreciate biographies. And while I'll readily concede that tastes differ, the top three titles here should be included in anyone and everyone's Top 10 biographies list – these are fantastic books! 1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand  WWII veteran Louis Zamperini survived enemy fire, being alone on a raft for weeks, and a Japanese POW camp, all the while being “unbroken.” But Who was keeping him so? 2. God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew Dutchman dares to smuggle Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, counting on God to make seeing eyes blind. 3. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom Dutch woman and her family hide Jews during WWII, get caught and are sent to concentration camps, and Corrie shares us how God was with her in it all. 4. The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts A pastor’s wife starts a mommy blog, then uses it to share her journey when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. She shows us how to die in the security, and to the glory, of God. Amazingly beautiful! 5. Man of the First Hour by George van Popta For anyone with Canadian Reformed denominational connections, this is a must-read. The story of the first pastor of the Canadian Reformed churches, and is as much a history of him and his family as of the founding of the denomination. Bonus: Rosario Champagne Butterfield’s The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Lesbian university professor meets a pastor who asks her, have you considered you might be wrong? You can find even more great biography recommendations by clicking here....

Pro-life - Abortion

A day in the life of a pro-life intern

A summer internship gives young people an opportunity to build friendships and grow in courage while speaking up for the unborn **** It’s 5:30 AM. My alarm clock goes off. Groggily, I turn it off and roll out of bed. It’s time to get up, go out, and start working to save babies. An hour later finds me driving to today’s postcarding location. I chat with Kim – one of our summer interns – about each other’s weekends. It crosses my mind how if it wasn’t for this awful issue of abortion, I probably never would have met Kim. I hate abortion – but I’m glad I know Kim. Getting the truth out We get out of the car, grab stacks of postcards, and set out. I walk up to the mailbox of the first house and put the postcard in. Back to the street and then up a second driveway. Up and down, back and forth, spreading the truth. It’s a bloody, gory, awful truth, but it’s truth nonetheless, and that’s why we spread it. People need to know. Babies’ lives depend on it. As we enter one neighborhood, children start coming out of their homes. Boys and girls, sleepy-eyed and yawning, lugging backpacks that seem almost as big as they are. I watch them trudge to the bus stop, the number of them growing. We’re here because there should be more of them, I think to myself. For every three children walking to the bus stop, there should be one more. I imagine a fourth child for every three and am struck by how those children did exist – they were just killed before they had a chance to wait for the bus on a sleepy weekday morning. Several hundred houses later and we meet up with the rest of our team. Next on the schedule is a “Choice” Chain; here, we hold signs showing abortion and engage pedestrians in conversation. Afterward, we debrief as a team, sharing conversations that culminated in changed hearts and minds. It’s always encouraging getting to talk to a culture and to watch people shift their views on abortion. It’s encouraging to be with so many young people who are a part of making that change. At the end of the day, we unpack our supplies and everyone heads off to their own homes. I’m about to go home myself when I hear something. Back in the room where we keep our supplies, on the floor amidst scattered postcards, I see Kim, crying. I sit down, put my arm around her, and stay. She keeps crying. “Whose idea was this?” she sobs. Now I’m crying too. “Whose idea was it to kill babies?” We sit. We cry. We look at the postcards around us and think of all the babies who died today. Just two girls, surrounded by so much evil, so much death. Afterward, I can’t remember exactly what else we said to each other, just that there was brokenness, and grief, and longing for a better day. Anger and courage Later, I reflect on the supply room, the postcards on the floor, and crying with Kim. I think of a quote by Augustine: “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” As I pack lunch and pick out clothes for the following morning, I pray and I plan for courage. Courage to face another day filled with the tragedy of abortion; courage fuelled by the hope we have as we see the results of our efforts in our country day after day; courage as we lean on each other, cry together, and work together.  I hate abortion. I’m glad I know Kim. The Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform is a dynamic pro-life group working to end the ongoing slaughter of 300 unborn Canadian children that happens every day in our country. They are offering a unique summer job opportunity to come help them in this fight. You can learn more about this paid position at EndTheKilling.ca/internships. Deadline to apply is March 18th. Devorah Gilman worked for the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform from 2013-2019 (Picture courtesy of CCBR). ...

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." ...

Economics - Home Finances

Simple steps for living generously

Jesus says: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). It should go without saying that our giving is a reflection of our devotion to Him. God calls on us to share His wealth, for all you have is in fact His. And if you don’t, might that mean that you don’t belong to Him in the first place? In today’s climate of “earn more to buy more,” it can be hard for Christians to focus on any other uses for their time, talent (skills) and treasure (material resources). Regardless of this challenge, Scripture clearly calls believers to a life of giving and living generously. “Do we have to?” misses the point In the Old Testament, the tithe was introduced as a 10% minimum for Israelites to give back to God to show their thankfulness and dependence on Him. This practice is shown in both Abraham and Jacob’s life (Gen. 14:19-20 and 28:20-22), and then introduced into Israelite law in Leviticus (27:30). Additional giving – the freewill offering – was also encouraged (Lev 22:18 and Num 15:3). Giving at this level would have been very difficult at times; the Israelites frequently went through seasons of war and poverty. The word tithe literally means “a tenth” and denotes the minimum amount that Israelites were required to give to God. The nature of the type of gift God desired is described as the first fruits (Prov. 3:9, Lev. 19:23-25). Giving of the first fruits was meant to be a gift of the first and best that God provided. It is important to understand that giving of the first fruits is an exceptionally sacrificial act. It is the small harvest at the beginning of the season that follows a long winter and spring filled with the sweat and labor that goes into the growing season. There was often hunger and self-denial involved in this sacrifice. The Israelites would have had a strong recognition that the rest of the harvest, the part that would provide for their family’s daily food and provisions for months or maybe even the remaining year, was still pending and not at all guaranteed. This required much trusting in God for His provision. Whether tithing is mandated today is a hotly debated topic in Christian circles. But what should not be in question is the discipline and sacrificial nature of giving that the tithe and first fruits promoted, and the generosity Christ put on display by giving up His life for us. Making regular giving a natural and normal part of your financial routine is critical to promoting a life of generosity. Also, the recognition that God has blessed you with what you have, and you are entirely dependent on His provision, is a difficult but necessary reality for Christians to live within. Getting giving going    Many have good intentions to give regularly and generously, but often those intentions are not fully acted upon. Sometimes all that is required is the creation and implementation of a good financial plan. Practically speaking, this includes the application of sound financial principles, such as: Spend less than you earn and do it for a long time. This requires you to know where your money is going, to communicate effectively with family members, and to be a disciplined spender. Live in a home you can afford. Do not presume upon the future. God provides for your needs, but He does not guarantee you a smooth journey. Be very careful with your use of debt and avoid it if possible as a form of slavery (Prov. 22:7). Strive purposefully to provide for your family’s needs (1 Tim. 5:8). Build into your life financial accountability, especially in areas where you may struggle. To give deliberately and sacrificially, some practical steps to implement might include: As soon as income is received, remove a portion to give. This could mean transferring it to another bank account, immediately writing the check for Sunday’s service, or even e-transferring to your church if that is an option. Take regular (quarterly or annual) inventory of your personal and business net worth and give on the growth. This includes a portion of the return on your investment portfolio, inheritances received, and dispositions in property and business. Devise and implement a plan to give of your time and skills as well as your material wealth. If you have a spouse and children, get them involved and make it a family plan. Teach your children to give with paper money and not with coins since God is not a God of leftovers (Mal. 1:8; Luke 6:38). Consider the challenge contained in the concept of the first fruits. What will you give to feel the sacrifice of the gift? Would you still give at the same financial level if a tax incentive was not offered? Is your lack of intentionality and organization preventing you from giving at a level that is truly worshipful? Consider including your time and your talents as part of your giving plan. Do not offer God worthless gifts. Give deliberately, sacrificially and excellently. This has been a father-daughter collaboration: Rev. Hank Van der Woerd (MDiv) is an emeritus minister (URCNA) and past president of the Mortgage Brokers Association of BC; Maria Dawes CIM CFP is a Portfolio Manager for Capstone Asset Management (www.capstoneassets.ca)....

In a Nutshell

Tidbits – February 2023

What Darwin didn’t know Darwin, ignorant of the inner workings of the cell, could imagine them to be simple. But the more we learn of the cell today, the more we discover there is to learn, and thus explain. And that’s a growing problem for evolution. It isn’t as if the more we learn, the more we begin to understand how life could have evolved – it’s the very opposite! As David Berlinski put it: “The cell is an unbelievably complex bit of machinery, unfathomably complex. And we haven't understood its complexity at all. Every time we look there seems to be an additional layer of evocative complexity that needs to be factored into our theories. Don't forget the eternal goal is to explain the emergence of this complexity, and if we're continually behind the curve because the complexity is increasing every time we look that eternal goal is also receding from view, not approaching. It's receding; it's becoming more and more difficult to construct a theory for that.” A granddad joke Grandpa always said “when one door closes, another one opens.” He was a great man, my grandpa, but a horrible cabinet maker. Wit and wisdom of Thomas Sowell While it’s not clear whether American economist Thomas Sowell is Christian – he almost never talks about God – his understanding of human nature certainly lines up with what the Bible says about our fallen state. Here are a few of his pithier quotes, along with a comment or two, “Fair” is one of the most dangerous concepts in politics. Since no two people are likely to agree on what is “fair,” this means that there must be some third party with power – the government – to impose its will. The road to despotism is paved with “fairness.”When there is no submission to God, His standards, and His definitions – whether of fairness, life, marriage, gender, and more – then there is no justice exercised, only power. There are three questions that would destroy most arguments of the Left. The first is – compared to what? The second is – at what cost? And the third is – what hard evidence do you have?Continuing from the point above, we can add one more – by what standard? When you want to help people you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” – Prov. 27:6 One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous, time and again.“…there is nothing new under the sun.” Eccl. 1:9b The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.“…with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” – 2 Tim. 4:3b-4 Fixing democracy in 1 step Every ballot needs a "none of the above" option. Then, if the “nones” won, the election would be run again with an entirely new slate of candidates – all of the original candidates would be disqualified. Questions for you and your kids I ran across a book by Les Christie, What if….?, which offered up 450 discussion starters for parents to tackle with their teens. The idea is great, the book only okay, because of the inclusion of some troubling questions. But what follows are some of the best. You and your teen can both try to answer them, either working through all the possible answers (including what the Bible might have to say) or just running through them quickly and then making up some questions of your own. So, what if: you could speak to the prime minister for 1 minute? you inherited a million dollars? the Internet went down? you could be your parent for a day? you could only read 10 books from now on? a store clerk accidentally gave you back $10 extra in change? a flood meant you could only save 3 things from your room? you could begin one new tradition in your family? you had to name three of your heroes? you had to pick a slogan to describe your life? Identifying as right In the recent online abortion debate between conservative commentator Michael Knowles and online “influencer” Brontë Remsik, a clever defense of the unborn also ended up highlighting why Christians can’t adopt “inclusive” language. Just short of the half-hour mark, the third-year medical student Remsik took Knowles to task for refusing to use terms like “pregnant people” rather than “pregnant women.” Brontë Remsik: It's interesting, you come into this conversation trying to hold this moral superiority, but when I use inclusive language – which it only takes a couple extra syllables to use inclusive language… Michael Knowles: To include who? BR: To include people who don’t identify as women but can become pregnant. MK: So, like a person who is born a woman and then identifies as a man and is pregnant. So, you’re telling me that to be a moral person I need to accept the idea that someone who is born a man can really become a woman. That’s a prerequisite of my being a moral person. BR: Yes, to me it is. Because if you are trying to deny someone of their identity and deny what their life experience is then that doesn’t seem like a moral stance to me. I want to be accepting and I want to respect people's life experiences. And I want to respect how they identify, and respect how they want to present themselves to the world. MK: I would like to identify, I do identify actually, as the correct person on this issue of abortion. I identify as being correct, and more correct than you on this issue. And I would just ask that you accept and affirm my identity. Do you? BR: You are not a medical professional, and abortion and pregnancy is a medical concern. MK: I’m just sharing my identity. BR: That’s not your identity. MK: That is my identity. I promise you that is my identity. Remsik understood that if she had accepted Knowles’ identity, she would have conceded the debate. The same is every bit as true in the gender debate where one side recognizes that God determines our gender, and the other insists that we do. Requests to address a man with female pronouns might be positioned as a matter of politeness, but such an act would, in fact, concede the argument. It would be to identify him as correct about being a her. Electric cars aren’t green “Let’s clear something up… Electricity is not a power source, it is a delivery mechanism. Electricity will never be a power source. So it is inappropriate and inaccurate to say ‘electric cars are green.’ The cars themselves are not green, they are the color of the fuel used to create electricity. Electric cars are only as green as the electricity they consume. And infrastructure they require, and storage they rely on.” – David Salch C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and a whole bunch of t-shirts take down socialism My wife gave me a t-shirt screen printer for Christmas and since then I’ve been looking for some quotes worthy of being emblazoned across my chest. I’ve also been on an economics fix for the last year, so in keeping an eye out, I’ve seen a lot of t-shirts with pretty good socialism take downs. I also added a couple of longer quotes – from Chesterton and Lewis – that are either simply too long, or would necessitate me doing a few thousand push-ups or so, before my chest would be a wide enough canvas. But hey, maybe that’s just the motivation I need. “…those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology Don’t ask the government to fix problems they caused Nothing the government gives you is “free” Capitalism makes. Socialism takes. The F in Communism stands for Food Trust God. Not government. The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money Conservatives are such elitists: they think they can run their lives better than the government “Individual ambition serves the common good.” – Adam Smith Socialism: the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, the gospel of envy Child of God. Not of the State. “It may be said of Socialism, therefore, that its friends recommended it as increasing equality, while its foes resisted it as decreasing liberty…. The compromise eventually made was one of the most interesting and even curious cases in history. It was decided to do everything that had ever been denounced in Socialism, and nothing that had ever been desired in it…we proceeded to prove that it was possible to sacrifice liberty without gaining equality…. In short, people decided that it was impossible to achieve any of the good of Socialism, but they comforted themselves by achieving all the bad.” – G.K. Chesterton in Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State Ideas to improve sports: basketball Basketball needs to eliminate free throws. When a defender fouls, the offense should get a point and keep the ball. Fouls on a shot would have the basket count if it goes in, and the offense would still keep the ball. There’d no longer be any “strategic” reason to foul, even late in a game. Bye-bye boring free throws! Two bodies involved Jeff Durbin is a Reformed Baptist pastor who, along with his church members, regularly witnesses in front of their local abortion clinic. In an exchange captured on their Apologia Studios YouTube channel, he had an opportunity to drive home the point that there are two bodies involved in any pregnancy. Man: What’s wrong with them being able to choose? Durbin: Who being able to choose? Man: Whoever. People should be able to do what they want with their bodies. Durbin: So, can I rape a woman? Man: No, you shouldn’t do that. Durbin: So I can’t do what I want with my own body, can I? Man: You can do what you want with your body. You just can’t do anything with anyone else’s body. Durbin: So, let me try this. A person should be able to do what they want with their own bodies. We shouldn’t be allowed to just abuse other people’s bodies. Man: Absolutely. Durbin: So, in the case of what’s happening inside there right now, the woman’s body is not dying. It’s another body, biologically distinct inside of her, that is being killed. I’m all for women doing what they want with their bodies. I’m in agreement with you actually, fundamentally, that we shouldn’t be able to harm other people’s bodies, which is precisely what’s happening in there. I’m glad you joined us. ...

Articles, Book Reviews, Interview with an artist

Stephanie Vanderpol has a zoologist in the house

Interview with an artist Stephanie Vanderpol is the author and artist behind RP’s “Come and Explore” children’s pages, and she’s also the author of a new picture book, "Cheetahs Eat Cantaloupe." If this title sounds a bit odd to you, that’s because it’s an example of the various other animal “facts” that you’ll find inside. I had a chance, recently, to ask the author how her book came about. – JD ***** Jon Dykstra: In the opening of “Cheetahs Eat Cantaloupe” you explain that it was “inspired by the comical ‘animal facts’ as stated by my daughter Scarlett.” It sounds like you had a zoological expert in the house. What sorts of animal facts was she sharing? The author and her inspiration Stephanie Vanderpol: Scarlett has always been interested in animals. When she was two, she had a pet spider, a bucket of worms, and a collection of snails that she would play with on the regular. Outside, of course! Between the ages of six and seven she started sharing animal “facts” like in the book, things like “chipmunks stuff their cheeks because they cannot climb when their hands are full.”  The facts were mainly born out of curiosity, sort of her way of answering her own questions of “why does that animal do that?” Sometimes she would write them down and I would find them, or I would overhear her teaching her brother the ways of these animals, or, sometimes, she would outright just tell me. JD: What prompted you to turn it into a book? SV: I had been illustrating my daughter's animal facts and posting them to Instagram at the beginning of COVID thinking that people could use a little bit of joy in their day. A few months in, the winter was looming over me and I knew I needed some sort of project to keep me sane through the winter. I actually got on my knees and asked God to direct my ways, to give me a project that would give Him glory and keep my head above water. He led my heart to the book project. It was initially just for my daughter Scarlett's 8th birthday, one copy, just for her. But as I posted about it, people got excited and by printing date I had a fair amount of pre-orders. I never would have thought! JD: What did Scarlett think of how you illustrated each of her “facts”? SV: Either she would giggle, at which point I knew she liked it, or she'd critique it and tell me what to change. She was very involved in the sketching stage, so it was a cool bonding moment. Maybe I hit the "cool mom" stage with her…though, of course, she never said that out loud. JD: What was involved to turn this from idea to finished book? SV: It took over a year to go from the first sketch until I held the final copy in my hands. During the day I would be doing my regular mom job, folding laundry, making meals, keeping the house clean, and then once my kids were tucked into bed at night, I’d whip out all my art supplies, sit on the couch, open up my folding table and get to work. My husband is a school teacher so it worked out well. He’d be sitting with me, marking tests and prepping for the next day, and I’d be playing with my pencils and watercolors, with baby no. 4 kicking away in my belly. JD: What was the process for a single two-page spread?  SV: Each page had a similar process: Take one of Scarlett’s animal facts and imagine what it could look like. Sketch the image onto paper until it came out right (sometimes this took up to 15 different tries). Run the sketch for approval under the careful eye of Scarlett for laughability, my husband, for common sense and continuity, and my best friend Breanna for accuracy in facial expressions and other artistic critiques. Trace the sketch onto watercolor paper using a lightpad and a waterproof pen. Using my watercolors, paint the image. This was my favorite part! Scan the images into the computer and arrange them and the text in Photoshop, creating the pages as they are in the book. Once all the pages were done, I ordered a proof copy of the book to go through final edits, including text, done by my editor, Julia. After many edits and proof copies, I ended up with the final copy! Snuggle up on the couch and read the final book to my kids! JD: We’ve got your book in the school library down here in Lynden, WA. Where else has it reached? And how can people get a copy? SV: Cheetahs Eat Cantaloupe has made it all across Canada and into the United States, and there’s even a copy in Scotland, too, which is pretty cool. I have a few copies left of the first print run that can be purchased through my website, www.stephanielorinda.com, or on Instagram @stephanielorinda. And if I run out, I’m happy to take pre-orders for the second edition....

News

Saturday Selections – Jan 28, 2023

British comic on climate change (7 min) Comedian Konstantin Kisin went viral in mid-January for his common sense counter to climate change hysteria. What we can learn about sacrifice from John Calvin’s "School of Death" "If any of our seminaries today were nicknamed 'The School of Death,' they would be empty!" Denmark secretly inserted IUDs in Greenland's women for decades In a 15-year span, from 1963 to 1978, Greenland's fertility rate dropped from 6.74 births per woman to just 2.21, and it was due in part to Danish doctors secretly and systematically chemically sterilizing Greenland women. While the world doesn't know how such a widespread evil like this is even possible, John Stonestreet offers an explanation above. Lord Acton offers another: "all power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." A Christian response to an arrogant government's abuse is to urge citizens to minimize its powers. Instead of expecting our governments to run not only justice and defense, but healthcare, education, the overall economy, and even whether we should have children, we should demand our elected leaders control much less. When a government is forced to acknowledge it doesn't know better than its own citizens how best to run their lives, that humility can counter the temptation to abuse its powers. And should it still succumb, a smaller government won't have the power to do harm on this scale. 8 ways we normalize the abnormal The world is normalizing certain sins, but as Paul Tripp notes even Christians – orthodox Bible-believing Christians – are busy normalizing our own sins. 8 times C.S. Lewis displayed brilliant political commentary in the Chronicles of Narnia Peter Jacobsen shares "what Narnia can teach us about politics in our own world." A key difference between social justice and biblical justice (4 min) Voddie Baucham says that one big difference between the two is how they each define "injustice." ...

News

Population of the world’s largest country begins to decline

For the first time since the early 1960s, deaths have outnumbered births in the world’s largest country – over the course of 2022 China’s population shrunk by 850,000. This development was a long time coming, as the country has seen a steady decrease in births since the 1970’s. That is thanks in part to China’s One-Child Policy, which stayed in force till 2015, and which penalized parents for having more than one child. The Communist government has been trying to reverse the downward trend since then, but with no success. China’s fertility rate is a dismal 1.28 children per woman, and still decreasing each year. To simply stay stable, a country’s fertility rate needs to average out to 2.1 children per woman, the two children to take the place of their two parents in the next generation, and the .1 to account for the fact that not all children reach adulthood. According to the Globe & Mail’s coverage: “no country has successfully reversed birth-rate decline, which tends to track with development, as wealthier, urbanized populations choose to have less children.” “China’s demographic and economic outlook is much bleaker than expected,” demographer Yi Fuxian commented in response to these findings. China is realizing quickly what Psalm 127:3 proclaims: “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him.” However, even as China is being confronted by this truth, Canada and much of the Western world continues to discourage children and is relying on immigration to keep the population and economy stable or growing. But where are these immigrants coming from, and what happens when these countries too need people? And if no country has been successful with reversing a decline, what happens when the world’s population begins to decline, as is expected later this century? Through birth, fostering, and adoption, Christian families have an opportunity to show to the world the gift that life is....

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