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Saturday Selections – Mar. 30, 2024

Rich Mullins: Creed (4 min)

Rich Mullins riffing off of the Apostles’ Creed.

How C.S. Lewis predicted the pronoun push…

…and in a passage in The Horse and His Boy, he taught us how to respond.

Bug zappers might do more harm than good

Sick of mosquitos? Your bug zapper might be the problem. A couple decades back two universities tested how many mosquitos actually get zapped and found that of the approximately 24,000 bugs their zappers killed, just 39 were mosquitos. Less than o.2 percent! The rest included bugs that actually eat mosquitoes, which means the bug zappers might actually be making your mosquito problems worse.

The Road to Socialism and Back Again – a free e-book

This free e-book charts the fall and rise of Poland’s economy, stagnating for decades under centralized communist management, then quadrupling once some freedoms were returned. It’s history we need to share.

However, while this notes that socialism doesn’t work, it doesn’t dig into what God says about the why: that a centralized economy doesn’t work because it lacks humility (a distant leader knows how to run all our lives better than us?), it fosters envy over what the rich have (breaking the 10th Commandment), it requires men to be angels (working hard with no thought of gain for themselves), and in eliminating private property, it violates the 8th Commandment. No wonder then that it doesn’t work.

Christians aren’t ready to argue against AI-generated porn

When it comes to pornography, Christians will point out the harm it does to “performers,” highlighting the dark, dark side of porn production. It is dark, so that argument is certainly valid. But that the performers are harmed isn’t the foundational reason pornography is wicked – the underlying problem is that porn conflicts with God’s plan for sexuality. And now, with the advent of AI-generated, actorless films, talking about the harm done to the actors, rather than mentioning anything about God, won’t work as an objection anymore.

The conclusion to the linked article is both spot on, and really, really sad, because it makes it seem as if talking about God is the very last thing any Christian would want to do in the culture wars. But is that true?

“This will be uncomfortable, because it will force Christians to make moral arguments that appear irredeemably at odds with the secular society. The benefits of emphasizing things like exploitation is that such concepts resonate with non-Christian audiences. There’s nothing wrong with seeking this common ground, but the reality is that we’re not going to have that ground at all very soon. The arguments against consuming or licensing pornography that will matter in the age of AI will be moralistic arguments: arguments rooted in the goodness of embodied sexuality in the context of marriage, and the destruction that occurs to hearts and emotions by feasting on a fake version of sex that collapses us inward. ‘This is somebody’s child’ will have to become, ‘You are somebody’s child.’

“Here will be a good stress test for Christian moral theology. Western Christians can articulate a vision of life that makes sense in a radically fractured, technologically isolated context. But that vision requires helping people get beyond the ‘Does it harm anyone’ framework, not simply appropriating the question. So it seems very likely that Christians will have to bring God into the discussion. When there’s no one to exploit, there is still God to offend. When there is no one to be trafficked, there is still God who sees. And when there is no one to stand over your shoulder to intervene or care, there is still God who saves.”

Pre-natal screening: should we do it?

Some prenatal testing – specifically the sort that is called “invasive” – comes with a risk for the unborn, and so Christians should question why we’d want to get such a test at such a cost. As the article above and video below explain, “non-invasive” tests come with a different sort of “risk” for the unborn… though not when conducted by pro-life Christians.

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Saturday Selections – Mar. 23, 2024

How to undermine election trust The title of this video – "how to steal an election" – isn't as much the issue here as the fact that results become more disputable, and more controversial, when in-person voting is replaced with mail-in balloting. This is an American case, but applicable to Canada and elsewhere. Why chromosomal differences do not create additional sexes The Christian apologetic group Stand to Reason has made this short and to the point, but with plenty of links to go explore deeper. Sadly, Jordan Peterson still isn't Christian Aaron Renn argues that Peterson is basically New Age. Only God as Trinity can offer Atonement Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and other prominent atheists have equated Good Friday as nothing more than a case of "cosmic child abuse" – a vengeful Father venting His wrath on His innocent Child. That's a charge shared by Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons (so lock this in for the next time you hear a knock at your door) and others who deny that God is indeed Three in One, because then the Cross is indeed a god punishing some "entirely other" being. But, as we know, at the Cross it is a just God also showing mercy by voluntarily taking on our punishment. In the linked article, Jeremy Treat explores this truth from two other analogous angles. Yes, teens, virginity is good for you Virginity doesn't just provide freedom from sexually transmitted diseases, but it also lowers incidences of all sorts of other risky behaviors, such as smoking and drug use. Are biblical counselors unbiblical? (20 minute read) Secular psychologists who ignore the spiritual world can, at best, treat only half the person: their material body. Biblical counselors can turn to the wisdom God has written in His Word to treat the soul too. But how much should biblical counselors rely on, and turn to, what God has also revealed in His Second Book, the "book" of Creation? That's where an important debate is being had. Astonishing fly can breathe underwater even after losing its underwater lungs (6 min) This fly as a larvae has organs that allow it to breathe underwater, but it loses those in its adult stage. But it still lives underwater using a completely different system to get its needed oxygen. That all happened by chance? You have to be willfully blind to miss God's creative genius here. ...