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Saturday Selections – June 10, 2023

The astonishing giraffe neck

Did you know a giraffe doesn’t need its neck muscles to hold its neck up, but rather to bend it down? As a ruminant (an animal that chews its cud) the giraffe has to be able to bring food back up its neck to chew again. It also has to have an enormous heart to create enough pressure to get the blood up to its head. And then it has to have shut-off valves of a sort, to relieve the pressure when it bends its head down to drink, otherwise the blood pressure would cause it to blow out its own brain.

The article linked above has more on giraffes’ amazing design, as does the video below, though since it is a giraffe dissection (albeit a bloodless one), it might be a bit much for some kids.

Population is collapsing and the world has no answers

In the not too distant future there will be more grandparents than grandkids, and that’s a problem. This downward population trend is happening in Western atheistic countries and Middle Eastern Muslim ones too. How can it be reversed? Different countries have tried child-care subsidies, education, and immigration, all to no avail.

What they haven’t tried is repentance. Only a nation that turns to God will treasure children as the blessing that God says they are (Ps. 127:3-5, Gen. 1:28, Ps. 128:3) and want more of them. But, of course, how can they know they should repent unless we tell them (Rom. 10:14)?

While we can’t tell anyone else how many kids they should have, the Church is, collectively, following the world’s downward population trend, with smaller families each generation. So we seem to have some repenting to do too.

The cult of the presidency (and prime ministership) must end

This American article’s point applies to Canada too (where the Prime Minister arguably has even more power than the US President): a change of government shouldn’t have such a huge impact on our lives, and the only way the impact can be lessened is to have less government.

What makes for a good law? Thoughts on Uganda’s homosexuality bill

Our society has been celebrating homosexuality for so long that even Christians may find the idea of legislating against it shocking. Samuel Sey has some thoughts above about Uganda’s controversial law, as does Albert Mohler.

Big Tech won’t protect our kids: parents must

10 years ago if a depressed teen quit social media that’d quite likely help. But as John Stonestreet notes, that’s in part because 10 years ago there were still a lot of teens who weren’t on social media. In other words, if the teen left the pressures of the digital world, there was a real world of teens they could meet and interact with.

But today parents are leery of taking away their teen’s phone because it’s the contact point between them and all their friends. At the same time, we can see these phones are a problem. So what’s a parent to do?

A question will  quiet them… or move the discussion forward

In the New Testament Jesus asked more questions than He gave answers. Was it because He didn’t have answers? Nope. So, perhaps it was because a good question can bring us right to the heart of an issue. Some of His clarifying questions include:

  1. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? (Matt 6:27)
  2. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life and what can one give in exchange for his life? (Matt 16:26)

Today, a simple question is still effective. We’ve seen how just asking “What is a woman?” can cause conniptions. In the clip below we have someone complaining about privilege. If she has some examples, great, because specific complaints can then be addressed and hopefully fixed. But if they are simply assertions without justifications, then asking her for more information is a great way of exposing her empty rhetoric. Either way, a question gets us moving forward. Other great clarifying questions Christians should ask include: When does life begin? Where does our worth come from? In what sense would you say men and women are equal? (See Genesis 1:27. Gen 9:6).

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Saturday Selections – June 3, 2023

The UK, Canada, and the US meet in a grocery store One for all the social studies teachers out there. Your final exam can simply be whether your students laugh in all the right places. Is social media out-discipling the Church? Is social media the biggest challenge the Church faces when it comes to the next generation? Loving our neighbors means telling the truth about gender and identity The number of Americans who know someone struggling with gender dysphoria is now approaching 50%. And as John Stonestreet writes, Christians need to be prepared to speak to this confusion. "Rather than truly loving our neighbors, something admittedly difficult, we instead choose the easier path of not offending and only affirming. We then name that path 'love,' but it’s neither loving nor true." When self-care becomes self-absorption This is intended specifically for pastors, but the point is applicable to all: when one generation neglects caring for the body God has given them, that can lead to the next generation overreacting the other way, getting so concerned with self-care that they don't push themselves like they really could. The tragic real-life story behind "Jesus Revolution" The latest big Christian film is a well-produced true story that focuses on a tumultuous period of recent Church history. But as reviewer Mark Powell notes, it shows the triumphs while mostly sidestepping the failings of its main character. Dr. Bredenhof also had some thoughts. India has passed China This year India passed China as the world's most populous country, and now the two are heading on opposite trajectories. This 5-minute read hits some of the highlights about what that might mean going forward. 7 theses on the age of the earth (9 min) A great explanation of why this debate matters and a powerful defense of a young Earth. ...