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Saturday Selections – April 16, 2022

Jamie Soles' new rendition of Psalm 94 (6 min) Jamies Soles might be best known for his children's albums, but his new rendition of Psalm 94 is for older voices. As he notes, "Psalm 94 is particularly suited for times when lands regard the murder of the unborn as a sacrament. Sing this, church." When your kids say sorry badly How many times has one of your kids said "Sorry" and totally not been sorry? And how many times have you done it? As this great article outlines, the reason it's not genuine is that repentance is a bit of a bigger thing than saying the right words. This will be a big help for parents who are trying to teach their children what it means to repent (and forgive). It's a two-part article, with the first available by clicking the title above, and the second available here. Why are Christian musicians "deconstructing" their faith? (10-min read) Recently, we've seen a number of Christian celebrity musicians "deconstructing" their former faith – why is it happening? Brett McCracken wonders if it might be the shaky foundation their faith was built on: "Is your Christianity contingent on anything other than Christ? Being liked? Being comfortable? Being in power? Being happy? Being right? If so, consider that all of those foundations are like shifting sand, and you are the foolish builder of Matthew 7:26–27." Bible supports abortion? (10-min read) A text in Exodus is used by abortion supporters to justify the killing of the unborn – they claim it is a modern mistranslation of this text by pro-lifers that obscures their argument. But as this article explains, digging deeper only undermines their case for abortion. Can you have human dignity without Christianity?  Short answer, no. This article offers a longer answer. The battle for 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming is lost... so what's next? Even if we presume that the 1.5-Celsius target was a good goal, the very people pushing it are providing the data that shows it to be impossible to achieve. So what next? Might a focus on adaptation be the wiser approach? "...human adaptation to the climate has been the norm over the past century, with climate-related deaths declining globally by more than 90 percent despite a quadrupling of the world’s population." What do CRT, Cultural Marxism, Marxism, and LGBTQIA2S+ have in common? (10 min) These four ideologies all operate on the notion that society is divided between oppressor and oppressed, and that oppressors are identified, not by their behavior – not by actual oppressing – but simply if they are part of a group deemed oppressor...like white "cisgender" Christians. With this new understanding of sin comes a new means of "salvation": oppressors can't repent profusely enough to ever be forgiven (you can't wash away your whiteness), but your guilt can be washed away if you become a part of the oppressed by "identifying" as something in the LGBTQIA2S+ grouping. ...

News

Saturday Selections – April 9, 2022

The grounds of our assurance (3 min) D.A. Carson on how it is not the intensity of our faith that assures our salvation, but the object of our faith, the sacrifice of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb! Prebiotic soup made life? But it can't even make muffins! Evolutionary creed says life started in some prebiotic soup somewhere. What ingredients made up this soup? They aren't so sure... just that the something included was all that was needed. How can we expose this for the nonsense it is? Paul Nelson proposes prebiotic soup as a solution for the origin of something much simpler than life: muffins. That muffins could come about on their own is, of course, ridiculous, and that's the point: "as has been shown time and time again, undirected chemistry is hostile to life." How to tell someone they're wrong There is a time and place when we will have to tell someone they are wrong, so how can we best do so? In defense of stigma The world says that critiquing other people's choices is unloving. But that pretends that there are no better or worse choices. Meanwhile Christian love, "rooted in God’s love for us, includes healthy stigma and never pretends there are no consequences for our choices." Problems with the NRSV translation While many may have fond memories of the RSV, here's a reason not to try out the NRSV. A hymn written in 5 minutes A beautiful rendition of this classic hymn – for the story behind the hymn, click the link above. ...

News

Saturday Selections – April 2, 2022

Is having kids socially irresponsible? The myth of overpopulation refuses to die...but this video can help drive the stake. This is a practical argument that doesn't get into the real reason children are valuable. Their value comes from being made in God's Image (Gen. 9:6). It's when we recognize everyone as valuable, that we'll also recognize that we are more than simply mouths to feed, but have also been given brains and hands to create with. White noise to soothe the crying baby For those blessed with a new arrival, this might be a help. If you're having trouble getting your baby to stop crying even though they are fed and dry, try this free white noise generator. Canadians aren't donating... ...and that presents an opportunity for God's people to stand out, to His glory, with our generosity. Old commentaries are better than the new A commentary on Timothy has Rev. Tim Bayly enthused... but he doesn't like many modern commentaries Prenatal tests, false positives, and abortion Prenatal testing on the unborn promises to "cure" genetic diseases, but does so via abortion – it does so by killing unborn carriers. That's horrific all on its own, but now it turns out certain prenatal tests, tests which lead to countless abortions, are “usually wrong.” Topics too hot for conservative pastors to handle Even in conservative evangelical circles, the importance of parents being married is being forgotten. Why? The article offers as explanation that pastors know many in the pews have had sin stain their relationships, and thus preaching forthrightly on the topic could cause division. That's not a problem in our Reformed churches, yet at least, but are there topics our pastors might find hard to preach on? Might the last two year's events make it hard to preach on the government's authority, or on its limits? Another: we don't share the world's hatred for male headship, but how often are we taught why we should love it? And what about the sixth commandment as it applies to contraceptives and IVF? The evangelical church has their "too hot to handle" topics that might not be so hot in our circles...... but we do have touchy topics too. May God help us seek out His truth with courage and grace. Answering Hitchens' "impossible question" When an atheist asks a question we can't answer, a quick thought to consider is, "So what?" That's the right response to the late Christopher Hitchens' question: what moral action can a believer do that an atheist can't do? Does anything leap to mind? Give to the poor? Atheists can do that. Visit the sick? Atheists can do that too. But...so what? What point does that prove? The more pertinent question would be: "What moral action should Christians do that atheists can do, but have no real reason to do?" Then we could come up with a list, starting with giving to the poor. Yes, an atheist can do that, but why should they? From their worldview, in which we are all just chemicals in motion, accidental creations of time and chance, with no future, and no purpose, why would an atheist give? Mike Winger gives his own, very good answer below. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 26, 2022

More and more can't answer: "What is a woman?" March 8 is International Women's Day, and March is celebrated by many as "Woman's History Month." But it was this same month that US Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson explained she couldn't define what a woman was because "I'm not a biologist." She's not the only confused soul. This is a trailer for an upcoming Matt Walsh documentary where he travels the world asking one simple question: "What is a woman?" Tune in to WhatIsAWoman.com May 2022 for the answers...and non-answers. Praying all the psalms over Russia "At times when world events, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, shake us out of moral lethargy, these cries for justice and wrath make more sense. We, too, become enraged..." The high cost of free money A Canadian senator and MP are pushing for all Canadians to be guaranteed a basic income, to be provided for by the government, and without requirements for someone to work or seek work. Christian Heritage Party leader Rod Taylor explains some of the problems with that idea. headSTART: science jargon made simple for high school students A high school science student is going to get hit with a lot of scientific jargon, and sometimes the definitions they're given in their textbooks are loaded with evolutionary assumptions. So where can a Christian creationist student turn for an alternative? HeadSTART.create.ab.ca is a great place to go. This online tool is designed for high school students but useful for their parents too. It defines scientific terms from a creationist perspective, highlighting the 100+ most important terms including: convergence, Junk DNA, Horizontal Gene Transfer, and the Framework Hypothesis. Pronoun landmine An unusual American job site has created this game where you get ahead by jumping over pronoun hurdles. But mess up once, and "You're Fired!" Why did so many Christians support the Freedom Convoy? "For three chaotic weeks, the world watched..." Jonathon Van Maren offers his post mortem on the many reasons many Christians supported the Freedom Convoy. Lifting mask mandates: good or bad? Do we dare have an unpopular opinion? Christians have both a reason to risk ridicule (Ps. 27:1, Rom. 10:14) and a reason to be kind to those that think differently (Matt. 7:12). Our godless culture is increasingly showing they have no such reasons. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 19 , 2022

When they stop even pretending (3 min) This clip, from Dec 2021, has been circulating social media ever since. What's made it so popular? Perhaps the unvarnished nature of it: opposition MP Pierre Poilievre is trying to get just one question answered and, in a jaw-dropping display, the government's minister gives up even the pretense of trying to answer him. Atheists against atheism "None of the three men believe in Jesus Christ in the traditional religious sense, but they all believe in belief in Jesus Christ..." 50 years of failed climate crisis predictions It's been three years now since prominent American congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the world might end in 12 years: “Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us, are looking up, and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?” While later backtracking, claiming her statement was "dry humor," two-thirds of her fellow Democrats believed her. But for those above a certain age, they should have known better: her doomsday prediction was only the latest in a long line of them. Racial quotas argue that two wrongs make a right This is a satiric piece from 2011 that turned out to be downright prophetic – it's about a university's advanced math class that was 45% Jewish, which is about 20 times the Jewish percentage in the US population. So, racial quotas would say, we need to kick the vast majority of Jews out to allow more of the underrepresented in. It is an attempt to combat racism, not by ending the discrimination on the basis of skin color or ethnicity, but by redirecting it – it's one wrong being piled atop another in an attempt to make a right. But that can never be (1 Thessalonians 5:15). You are what you binge A recent trend of facial and vocal tics among teens has shown once again that we really are influenced by what we watch. Using questions to point out weak arguments (4 min) In an argument, are you trying to win the point, or the person? That's something to consider if a friend makes a weak argument you know you can crush. In this video Greg Koukl shows how you can use questions to more gently have your friend lead himself to the right conclusion. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 12, 2022

Even on the smallest scale, you are amazingly complex (6 min) You don't have to understand all of this to be in awe of what God has wrought in our teeny tiny cells. It's an irony that this secular presentation's conclusion doesn't fully appreciate the very complexity the rest of the video illustrates. What is our goal in helping the poor? This article gets a lot right: we want to, whenever we can, help people in such a way as to equip and encourage them to be responsible for their own lives... because they are. Each one of us stands before God, and whether our talents and gifts are many or few, we are called to do with them what we can. That's why we don't want to encourage any sort of abdication of personal responsibility: because then we would be tempting people to shirk the work God has set before them. We can consider, too, how we face this abdication of responsibility temptation too, in an age when the government offers to do so much for us. Whether it's educating our children, or even providing our healthcare, we have to resist the siren call to just "let the government do it." Why not women preachers? A prominent female former OPC member took to the pulpit on a recent Sunday, prompting URC Pastor Chris Gordon to offer a refresher on "the basic, biblical and confessional truth of the matter." How a lowly monk stopped Rome's bloody gladiatorial duels God used a man who dared much, to accomplish more than the man could ever have dreamed. The real Lord of the Flies (15-minute read) For English teachers out there, here's a real-life Lord of the Flies account, but when these 6 boys were stranded on an island for more than a year, they didn't descend into the savagery described in William Golding's classic. Was Golding simply wrong about human nature? That might be the impression the article leaves. But as John Stonestreet notes, it downplays the religious convictions of the boys. Their Judeo-Christian (in this case Catholic) upbringing gave them insights into our fallen nature, and the need to turn to God. Biblically-based help for eating disorders (20-min read) Kimberly Clark is delivering this address to fellow biblical counselors, but there's something here for all of us to benefit from. This is an article, but you can also listen to it as a 1-hour talk at the link. The Log Driver's Waltz (3 min) Remember this Canadian classic? ...

News

Saturday Selections - March 5, 2022

Bach on a flaming organ (2 min) If you're wondering why someone would make an organ that shoots fire, then this isn't for you. For the rest of us, enjoy the awesomeness! You are a marvel! Do you know just how amazing it is that you can walk and carry a cup of coffee at the same time...and without even thinking about it? A magic fix for family life: dinner together A secular take, that Christians can appreciate: "It's more than just a nice idea. University research shows that the family that eats together stays together." Ukraine, Surrogacy, Environmentalism, and being made in the Image of God A pair of articles on Ukraine, the first about a problem that may have exacerbated the invasion – an environmental anti-nuclear push that has left European countries dependent on natural gas from, and consequently reluctant to act against, Russia. And the second highlights the horrors of Ukraine's surrogacy marketplace, worsened yet by this war. The common thread? Both are about what happens when we don't value people as Image-bearers of God. How Canada's mainstream media is beholden to the government As Christian Heritage Party leader Rod Taylor recently noted, if we want to know what's going on in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we're not going to turn to the Russian media. So why would we rely on the mainstream Canadian media – beholden to the federal government by the millions – to objectively report on happenings like the Trucker's Convey, or the government's Covid response? Subsidizing industries is not an unusual act in Canada, but subsidizing our media is to put a leash on what is supposed to be the citizenry's watchdog. Russian pastors asked to protest (10 min read) In Russia, to protest the war – to even call it a war – is to risk imprisonment for years. But that's what Christians in Ukraine are asking Russian Christians to do. Should we panic about overpopulation? (6 min) The facts have always been against this overpopulation panics, but only Christians were equipped to see through this from the start. How so? We knew that children were a blessing (Prov. 17:6, Ps. 127:3-5, etc) and shouldn't be viewed as a curse – they come with not just mouths to feed, but hands to work, and brains to create. So, studying God's Word, we could know that overpopulation was a panic that, no matter what the news was saying then or now, would eventually be shown to be nothing by hype and hysteria. ...

News

Saturday Selections - February 26, 2022

When the Premier of Alberta was also a radio evangelist (2 min) Today, Christians seem to have agreed with the world that God has no place in politics. We treat Him like the villain of the Harry Potter books – His is the name that shall not be named. But as Dr. Michael Wagner shares here, there was a time when everyone thought very differently, such that Alberta's premier would spend his weekends proclaiming God's gospel on the radio, doing so for more than 30 years. Richer than the richest person of 100 years ago Every billionaire of 100 years ago would be jealous to have things we take for granted. This is a secular article, so it doesn't really have a moral to its story, so let's add one: why then do people covet just as much as ever? Because covetousness isn't motivated by need, but by ingratitude for what we have already been given. Renewal movement in the CRC stands against LGBT theology This ten-minute read gives a history of the Christian Reformed Churches' witness when it comes to sexuality. The one side, pushing for change (under the premise that God's Word is unclear here, and the current practices unloving), is being met by a revival movement that recognizes the Church can't help homosexuals and others by encouraging them to continue in their sin. This is an encouraging read! The failure of Canada's Parliament "The basic issue here is not political; it is theological.... Our governing elites no longer believe in God. They recognize no limits to their power because they believe they are the source of political authority. They are unfit to govern. A society that no longer believes in God cannot remain a liberal democracy for long." The mass grave that may or may not be? This is shared in the spirit of Prov. 18:17, highlighting that the mass grave of residential school Native students found last summer in Kamloops may or may not be a mass grave after all. The emphasis here should be on might - it is uncertain either way – and should it not be, that doesn't clear residential schools of wrong. But it does serve as a caution, once again, that media reports presenting the "facts" are very often too certain by half. News worth celebrating While recent headlines might have all of us concerned, Jonathon Van Maren is sharing news worth celebrating: abortions are down by 60% in Texas, and Malta is resisting efforts to make it legalize abortion. Pandemic silver lining - less kids in gov't schools (3 min) Homeschooling in the US may have increased 4-fold since the beginning of the pandemic. While that's a number to take with a grain of salt (other attempts at measuring the homeschooling increase have given other numbers), with government schools focusing ever more on opposing God's truth on equality, sex, gender, and just generally God's sovereignty over every square inch of creation, that's a welcome trend.  ...

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 19, 2022

Kinsey - the man behind perverted sex-ed The biggest bit of propaganda Kinsey passed along? That chastity was basically impossible. Thus sex-ed programs teach "safer sex" rather than actual safe sex – ie. sex only between a committed husband and wife – presuming that kids are akin to beasts in heat who couldn't possibly control their urges. God, in forbidding adultery (Ex. 20:14), presumes something very different. A case for shorter hymnals John Ahern argues for limited hymns. His main point? We can only sing songs well if we actually know them. Why Postmodernism promotes Big Government In this short yet provocative piece, J.P. Moreland offers an explanation for why the godless want government to get bigger and bigger. A how-to for combatting the lie of "deep time" Dinosaur soft tissue used to be inconceivable. Now it is incontrovertible. Our polygamous past This is quite a good practical case against polygamy: men with many wives leave other men without the ties that bind. Then, without families to concern them, these men often cause trouble. It's such a good argument that Christians might be tempted to base their arguments against polygamy on this line of reasoning. But a practical case against can be answered with practical solutions. For example: mayhaps we need to encourage women to take more than one husband so as to even things out. Now our "too many unconnected men" problem is solved...but not in any sort of fashion we were intending. Thus, when we defend God's truth – that "a man should leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" (Eph. 5:31) – we need to defend it as God's truth. It's only once we have established that as our foundation, that we can then stack arguments like this "practical case" against polygamy on top. While practical objections can't stand on their own, they can stand when supported. Practical problems do come with disobeying God. But will the world listen to us if we talk to them about God? It doesn't seem likely. But is our goal to get pagans to act like Christians? Or do we want them to be Christians? One thing we can be quite certain of: if we are too ashamed to talk about God, we won't be used by God to bring people to Him. Do we want the Bible back in public schools? Gary DeMar explains the problem with that sort of partial victory... ...

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 12, 2022

Politically correct police When this first came out 7 years ago, it didn't have quite the political edge that it has today. But that only makes it all the more brilliant! Karl Marx's favorite quote A recent poll has more Americans favoring socialism than capitalism, perhaps because they believe the former is about sharing, the latter about greed. But as Jerry Newcombe notes, the truth is something else entirely: "Most Cubans live on $44 (U.S.) per month. In contrast, when Fidel Castro died in 2016, his net worth was estimated at $900 million. In America, wealth is created by providing value in voluntary exchanges, and there is no inherent limit on it. But in a Marxist setting like Castro’s Cuba, the government controls the economy, and it’s a zero-sum game. Castro’s wealth was at the expense of the Cuban people." Where's the evidence that conversion therapy is harmful? An American sociologist came up with a surprising conclusion: such therapy helps, even by secular measures. Join the Anti-Revolutionary Party! "Throw the bums out" is a popular sentiment, but not a solution of any sort. Why? Well, consider the recent exit of the conversion therapy ban-supporting, baby-murder defending Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole. He's out due to his incompetent leadership more than his policy positions. And who is likely to replace him? We might well get a more competent, but also conversion therapy ban-supporting, baby-murder defending Pierre Poilievre. That's what a revolution can net you: one evil replaced with another. That's why Christians need to always be reformational rather than revolutionary. And it's not about word choice, but the spirit behind it. We don't want to burn it all down; we want to reform and repair. We aren't simply against the pro-choice, pro-LGBT Erin O'Toole – we are for protecting from conception to natural death all those made in the very Image of God, and we are for the freedom of Christians to speak God's truth about sexuality. We aren't simply against the devil and his minions. We are for our great and glorious God! How the Babylon Bee failed Elon Musk A couple of months ago the Christian satire site Babylon Bee landed their biggest podcast guest yet, the world's richest man, Elon Musk. While this might be the best interview he's done, it didn't end well when the Bee's staff jokingly pressured him to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. As Ester O'Reilly writes, "Not everything has to be turned into a joke. Indeed, some things positively shouldn’t be. Some things should stay sacred. It’s okay—more than okay, necessary—to keep them that way." Erin O'Toole is out: it's time for Leslyn Lewis, not Pierre Poilievre Jonathon Van Maren lays out the case. What if I can't answer every question about God? (5 min) Michael Krugor, author of Surviving Religion 101, with some encouragement for college students, or just any Christian being challenged to explain why they believe what they believe about God. Click on the link above to read our review of his book. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 5, 2022

Is there a reality outside people's feeling? In this episode of the Woke Zone, we watch as a trans activist "lovingly forces everyone to agree." Old Testament case for small government J.P. Moreland gives us something to chew by looking at the first chapters of Amos. John Hopkins University meta-analysis says lockdowns had minimal impact on mortality A National Post article on a new John Hopkins study that calls into question the effectiveness of the lockdowns can be found at the link above while the study itself can be found here. A key quote from the study: "...lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. More specifically...lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average....While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument." A few cautions considering this study: While it is from John Hopkins University, this is their economics, rather than medical department. And while it covers 24 studies, it is just one analysis. Also, as it notes, others have differed (though the authors offer some explanation as to why they think their conclusions are the better ones) It argues for the ineffectiveness of government "non-pharmaceutical interventions" – government-imposed lockdowns, mask mandates, stay-at-home orders – and not, for example, the ineffectiveness of voluntary mask usage or social distancing. Reading through this meta-analysis, it becomes apparent that it is far more imprecise than numbers like 0.2% and 2.9% would first make you think – there are lots of educated guesses being made, and conclusions drawn based on minimal data. Of course, that's true not only of this, but studies in general, based as they are not simply on the facts, but on greatly varying ways of interpreting and understanding the facts. As creationists understand, science regularly speaks with a certainty that isn't warranted. Is there an authoritative source we can turn to, to find greater clarity on this issue? Well, there is a Christian consideration for why we might take this study as more credible than some others: the conclusion is in keeping with a vision of less encompassing government. That might seem like supporting a study simply because it says what we want it to say – that big government actions taking away our freedoms haven't been effective. It is like that but with one big difference: it isn't simply that we like the conclusion, but that it seems in keeping with God's Word. How so? The Bible steers us away from big government (see J.P. Moreland's article "Old Testament case for small government" just above, and 1 Sam 8:10-22) and consequently that gives us reason to be skeptical of big government actions. What we see in tyrannies of the past (USSR, Cuba, China, etc.) is that limited Man, no matter his leadership skills, doesn't have the omniscience needed to make the right decisions for everyone. These governments denied God, but when they tried to replace Him, they could never manage it. Unfortunately, this too is not a conclusive argument. There have been times (think World War II, or maybe Israel's conquering of Canaan) where most would agree "big government" actions were needed. But general principles remain principles still even when there are exceptions. It is when exceptions become the rule – when people start speaking of this as  "the new normal" – that we then have increasing reason to doubt whether the intrusions were truly warranted in the first place. How do Mormons view their complex history of polygamy? Mormons used to practice polygamy and now don't - this is a short secular take on how it happened Government spent a quarter million for each job saved To counter the lockdowns the US government imposed, they spent $42,000 per federal taxpayer to stimulate the economy and help preserve jobs. However, it cost "$170,000-$257,000 for each job it helped preserve a lot more than most of those jobs even pay." This is an American example of governmental incompetence, but the warning against big government spending programs is applicable everywhere. On the new Christian film Redeeming Love "Redeeming Love may be the first prominent faith-based film whose two main characters have on-screen sex" and Cap Stewart asks us to "consider the actors." US Report on UFOs (30 min) Last year the American government released a report on documented encounters with unexplained aerial phenomena. In this half-hour podcast, two creationists dig into the report, explaining that they likely are true – "the allegations are serious and the witnesses are credible" – and offering a biblical explanation. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Jan. 29, 2022

M&Ms introduce first Trans character who identifies as a Skittle The folks at Babylon Bee with satire to share. The only thing missing from this massive takedown of the transgender lie, is an explanation of the truth, that God made us male and female (Gen. 1:27) which is easy enough for us to add when we share this. What makes a company Christian? "Rather than asking 'Should my company be Christian?' it is more helpful to first ask, 'How can I run my business in the most biblical manner? How can I make others ask, What’s different about this business?’” The high cost of disparaging natural immunity to Covid "Vaccines were wasted on those who didn’t need them, and people who posed no risk lost jobs.... It got so bad that hospital summoned staff who were Covid-positive to return to work even if they were sick..." Why do scientists brag about things they can't know? Do aliens exist? How did our solar system's planets form? Why are there so many kinds of snakes? Scientists have scant evidence to address those questions, but that doesn't stop them from answering. Bill C-4 specifically targeted Christians There really is someone out to get us, and that's no conspiracy theory – as the apostle Peter writes, the "devil is as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). So it shouldn't surprise us that the new Canadian law against conversion therapy doesn't ban all conversions – heterosexuals can be counseled to be homosexuals – and as this article explains, doesn't even ban all attempts to turn homosexuals to heterosexual. It specifically seeks to block God's truth on sexuality. Christians must understand what sort of battle raging – a spiritual one! – so that we understand the counter to the enemy's position isn't simply to fix the definition of conversion therapy in this law but to address this as the attempt to obscure God's truth that it is. The counter then is to speak that truth as loudly and lovingly as possible. Douglas Wilson on Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan on the Bible (8 min) Jordan Peterson's recent comments about the Bible are strangely insightful. He doesn't comment as a Christian, and yet still calls the Bible "truer than true." ...

News

Saturday Selections – Jan. 22, 2022

On being a Christian introvert (6 min) Tim Challies, a self-professed introvert, tackles this topic. You can also check out Sharon Bratcher's "Should an introvert be expected to act like an extrovert?" How public education poisons children This article needs to be passed along. Jonathon Van Maren writes: "Know what your children are viewing on the Internet. Do not give them smartphones. Be aware of what they are being taught and what curriculum they are being exposed to. And if at all possible, do not put them in the public education system. The consequences, for many families, have been tragic." More evidence for a young earth "The earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that protects living things from solar radiation. Without it, life could not exist. That’s why scientists were surprised to discover that the field is quickly wearing down. At the current rate, the field and thus the earth could be no older than 20,000 years old." The Sabbath shows that work isn't the point of life "Today we are taught by a culture that views work as an end in itself. It is what supplies our identity and gives meaning to our lives by maximizing success and money through our labor. Our work is never done, and the constant drive to prove ourselves destroys our ability to find rest." What is the Great Reset? (15-minute read) Michael Rectenwald writes on how Covid was used by some as an opportunity to implement changes – it was a crisis that they didn't let go to waste. A longer read, but it gives a background worth knowing. Alarming decrease in male fertility The birthrate has dropped because our culture has prioritized career over family, but part of the decline isn't voluntary – male fertility rates are dropping. Matt Walsh breaks down his Dr. Phil debate This past week Matt Walsh had a debate of sorts with two transgender activists about pronouns. Lots to love here in how Walsh argues. He shows how to expose the lie, by asking the liars to explain themselves. It came down to a simple question: "Can tell me what a woman is?" What Walsh doesn't do but should have, is point them to the truth: that God made us male and female (Genesis 1:27).  ...

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Saturday Selections – Jan. 15, 2022

Who is the minimum wage really protecting? (3 min) Governments will tax some products to deliberately increase their cost to then discourage consumption of those products (i.e. cigarettes, soda pop, gasoline). So what is the government doing when it increases the cost of labor via a minimum wage? Find meaning and beauty as a fast-food worker "God uses the work of our hands, no matter how simple, no matter how mundane, to connect with hearts and minds." Erasing women John Stonestreet notes that in rejecting the reality of sex – in rejecting that God made us male and female – the trans movement can only stereotype men and women. A creationist confession? Dr. Wes Bredenhof reports on efforts nearly three decades ago to write a common confession among Presbyterian and Reformed churches around the issue of creation. Some familiar names were in the mix including RP contributors Dr. Margaret Helder and Dr. John Byl. Dr. Greg Bahnsen wrote the creation confession, and another on hermeneutics. Secular film shows the emptiness of secularism Unbelievers rarely dare ask themselves deep questions. It's curious then that a new film, Don't Look Up, asks what the purpose of our lives would be if we all knew the world was going to be destroyed in two weeks. It's no surprise, however, that the secular film can't answer the issue it raises. Spider-Man's multiverse The concept of a "multiverse" – that there are more universes than just this one – figures prominently in the latest Spider-Man movie, and viewers might conclude there must be some sort of scientific basis for believing in the multiverse's existence. But did you know the only "evidence" for other universes is that this one is too finely-tuned to foster the existence of life for scientists to be able to explain it as just a chance happening. It's just too unlikely... unless they presuppose that there might be millions (or an infinity!) of other universes. If that were so, then it would, they argue, be less remarkable that in one of those universes – our own – all the dice rolled just right for things to line up so perfectly. The only evidence for a multiverse is that godless science needs it to exist. Everyone's a criminal? (6 min) This is an American presentation, but a much more widespread problem – countries have so many laws that everyone could be found guilty of something. This excess of laws gives the State the ability to punish whomever they don't like, and sometimes they do. Too many laws actually take us from the Rule of Law to the Rule of Men – instead of all being equal before the law, it's about who you know or which party is in power. ...

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Saturday Selections – Dec. 25, 2021

Is Christmas a pagan holiday? (14 min) In this podcast from the folks at Creation Ministries International, the answer given is no, and it wouldn't even matter if it started that way. People we should know better: Dr. John Sanford This is a great profile of an atheist-turned-Christian and geneticist of renown, who is now using his expertise to highlight how the evidence points to a recent creation. Win-win denial: the false justification for economic envy Is the only way to get ahead by pushing others back? Do society's winners win only by making others lose? To illustrate by way of analogy, if Sally buys a shirt from Tony's store, is only one of them better off? Is one of them worse off? Or did both of them "win"? Potential solutions to the plastics problem? Our oceans are full of plastics, but Justin Trudeau's single-use plastics ban won't help since it won't stop the flow of trash entering the oceans over in Asia and other developing countries. His approach comes with a cost and creates its own plastics problems. But if doing nothing would be an improvement over Trudeau's approach, applying our God-given brains to bring some creativity to the issue is an even better idea. And that's what some folk are doing right now. A creationist take adds further context. Canada's conversion therapy law commits six secular sins The first and foremost problem with a law banning conversion therapy is that it runs right up against God's Law – it bans what God commands, that we tell and help sinners to repent and believe. Another problem with this ban is that it doesn't even live up to secular standards, which is the focus of Dr. Hendrik van der Breggen's article here. Teach us to number our days Why do we waste so much of our time? One reason might be that we always overestimate how much we have. "Our mind tells us to estimate a full eighty years or so; our heart tells us 900, give or take." As Greg Morse writes in this article: Some have fifteen years left; others more; others less. Will you live them? Will you receive normal days as spectacular gifts from a good God and spend them in his service? Stop subsidizing sports (5 min) In Samuel's warning about kings (1 Samuel 8:10-22), God teaches us that those in charge tend to be overbearing, as we can see with our own governments taking over entire sectors like healthcare, insurance, and education. So should we be asking it to get into the entertainment industry too, using its taxing power to take from Paul so that Peter can be amused? A government that is involved in everything is also a government that can use that reach and influence for its godless agenda. Yes, even when it comes to sports stadiums. The Western Australian gov't has since backed down, but they were going to use their investment in sports facilities to discriminate against Christians. One reason Christians should want smaller government is to diminish the power it can then use against us. ...

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Saturday Selections – Dec. 18, 2021

The #Psalm124Project The #Psalm124Project is all sorts of churches and groups singing this same Psalm, separated by time and space, but united in praise for God. You can find their other videos at the link above. When crickets stop singing, that isn't evolution Hawaiian crickets have gone silent to avoid the notice of a parasitic fly. It’s been hailed as evolution. But losing an ability isn't an example of evolution, but devolution. The pro-choice case against IVF This pro-choice author calls out pro-lifers for not demonstrating outside IVF clinics, where many more children are killed, their bodies donated to medical science. While there is a way to use IVF that doesn't produce "excess embryos," or which even saves some of these frozen children ("snowflake adoption"), the way it is commonly done is monstrously evil.... and many Christians are unaware. The importance of the family dinner table This is a secular defense of the necessity of families to set aside time in their day to just be together, and the best time might be around the dinner table. Brave New World or 1984? Two books written within a couple decades of each other proposed two very different ways we could become enslaved. The one approach was likened by George Orwell to "a boot stomping on a human face – forever" and the other more akin to Netflix binging. It's slavery forcibly imposed, or slavery by default, accepted without resistance by those too apathetic to care. Which way are we heading? Might it be both directions at once? Is Capitalism only about greed? In the video below, Milton Friedman gets it wrong: "greed is not a good idea to run with." But he's right that all economic systems involve greed. The contrast is that in State-run economies like China and the former USSR, that greed involves those in power taking what they would by force. Meanwhile, under free markets, people can only get what they want by offering something of value in exchange – something the other person values more. What makes the free market remarkable is that it allows us to provide for our family while doing good for our neighbors. Joseph Sunde has more in the linked article above. ...

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Saturday Selection - Dec. 11, 2021

Conservatives allow Canada’s conversion therapy ban to pass with zero opposition On November 29 the Liberals introduced a bill to ban conversion therapy. Under the pretense of protecting homosexuals from getting forcibly "converted" from their same-sex attraction, what the bill actually targeted was Christian pastors and counselors and others who are willing to help those who want out of the homosexual lifestyle. As Jonathon Van Maren writes in the article linked above: "there were concerns that the deliberately broad definition proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would ban pastoral conversations between clergy and their parishioners and leave adults with unwanted same-sex attraction unable to receive the counseling they desired. In fact, in some instances parents could be prevented from opposing sex changes for their own children." This was actually the third time the Liberals had introduced such a bill, but the previous two had been derailed by the months-long process that it takes to get a bill approved. The previous attempt, then labeled Bill C-6, was introduced on September 23, 2020, and took nine months, until June 22, 2021, to pass through the committee hearings and the three readings required in the House of Commons. It was then given to the Senate for their own three-stage assessment process, but they didn't have a chance to pass it before the Prime Minister called an election on August 15. His election call meant that Bill C-6 (along with all the other bills not yet passed) "died on the order paper." Bill C-4 might have had to go through this same process, and in the months and even years that it could have taken, who knows but that it could have been derailed yet once more. But on Dec. 1 Conservative Leader Erin O-Toole told the media that his party was going to accelerate the passage of the government's bill. Later that same day Conservative MP Rob Moore put forward a motion to skip all the House committees and readings, and send the bill directly and immediately to the Senate. His motion required unanimous approval to pass – if a single MP had voiced a nay, the motion wouldn't have passed. How could the Conservatives have expected to get that unanimity when there had been 63 MPs willing to vote against Bill C-6 earlier this year? Of that number 62 were Conservative MPs and the other was former Conservative Derek Sloan. So why would they expect to have no opposition this time around? Their confidence might have been, in part, due to the timing of their motion. Conservative MP Garnett Genius was the most vocal opponent of the previous Bill C-6, launching the website "Fix the Definition" to put a face to the people this bill would harm. But on December 1, Genuis was out of the country, attending a NATO conference in Latvia. The Conservative strategy also involved pulling a fast one on their other MPs. As the video below shows, the motion was made and passed in approximately one minute. They were able to do it so quickly because no one actually had to vote for the motion: the Speaker of the House only asked to hear from those opposed to it. When no one spoke up, it was passed. While many of the Conservatives were clearly in on this maneuver – those clapping wildly afterward clearly knew what was going on – any of the MPs unaware of what Rob Moore was about to do could have blinked and they would have missed it, it was over that fast. The same video shows that some of the Conservatives were not clapping, and remained sitting – the most downcast of them might have been Arnold Viersen (blue jacket, red tie, three rows from the back on the right side). In a statement he posted to Facebook ten days later, he explained that: "...it was a surprise that caught me and some of my colleagues off guard. I am opposed to C-4 as written and should have said no, but I did not react fast enough. I'm sorry." His post's comments were filled with thanks for his apology. It had been a mystery as to why a bill that criminalized the presentation of the Gospel would pass without any Christian MPs objecting. Now we had a partial explanation for the MPs' silence: this had been sprung on them. Curiously, in the same post, Viersen suggested that: "Had we won the election we would not be in this situation." Let's consider that for a moment. Wasn't it the Conservatives that just pulled this on us? We can be relieved that Garnett Genuis and Arnold Viersen have some sort of explanation or apology for why they didn't stand up against this bill, but the Conservative Party overall has no such excuse. Trudeau's Liberals introduced this bill, but it was O'Toole's Conservatives who accomplished what the Liberals never did: the Conservatives got it across the finish line. It bears repeating just how wicked this bill is. As Jojo Ruba noted, while an earlier version of the bill at least "could not prevent consenting adults from having conversations about sexuality with their clergy or their counselor, as long as the counseling was free" this latest version removed even that protection. That's what the Conservative Party has accomplished under O'Toole: they've made the compelling case that they are not the lesser of two evils. So where are politically-minded Christians to turn? Aren't the Conservatives still our only option? They are, after all, the only major party to tolerate pro-life Christians. That's true enough, but as the passage of this law highlights, tolerating pro-life Christians is very different from siding with them. If Christians are to be involved in the Conservative Party, it cannot be to further the party's agenda. We cannot let them use us for their ends. If Christians are to continue in the Conservative Party then they have to do so with their eyes wide open, involving themselves in the party only to use it for our own, godly ends. If it becomes impossible to do that, then that should be the end of our involvement. Christians should have no loyalty to a party that has no loyalty to God, and, indeed, in this latest act, stands directly in opposition. Is A Christmas Carol a capitalist story? Karl Marx was a self-professed fan of Charles Dickens, so many have labeled Dickens a socialist and have used his ever-popular seasonal classic A Christmas Carol as a condemnation of capitalism and consumerism. But Jacqueline Isaacs says it just isn't so. "Science says" can be more about ideology than facts The police, businessmen, and politicians aren't trusted like they once were, but we're still told to "just follow the Science." However, as John Stonestreet highlights in this article, Science can be driven more by ideology than the facts. For proof, we need to look no further than the gender debate. Here we have a self-evident truth – that we are created male and female – that "Science" denies and the Bible affirms (Gen. 1:27). The proper use of biblical theology in preaching "...sermons should not always (and probably should only rarely) recount the history of redemption. Rather they ought to be moments in which a preacher presents to a congregation some particular from that history in a focused and concentrated way in order to enable them by God’s grace to love God and their neighbor better." – Jay Adams How I want to die Gary North suggests looking forward to what sort of life lessons we'd want to share on our 70th birthday. Johnny the walrus (4 min) Matt Walsh is reading his new book about a boy who identified as a walrus and the mother who took him way too seriously. If you don't believe that God has a sense of humor, consider what He arranged. On Amazon, it was slotted in the LGBTQ+ category where it then topped the best-selling list. That allowed Walsh to then tweet: "I now have the number one LGBT book in the country. Any further criticism of me or my book is now homophobic. Checkmate." ...

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Saturday Selections - December 4, 2021

Diving deep into a leaf This is worth watching twice, once with the closed captions on (hit the "CC" button" and the bottom right of the screen) which will explain what we're seeing. But then, because the captions do obscure the visuals at times, it's worth watching again without the captions to get a glimpse of God's amazing design on the smallest scales. While the non-scientists of us won't understand all that's going on, just the gist of it is fun enough, especially when we keep in mind that this is a greatly simplified overview. Does "X-mas" take Christ out of Christmas? No, it really isn't so. In fact, it's just the opposite by creating an opportunity to talk about who that "X" represents. Conservative intellectuals silent on the scourge of homosexuality Fascinating article about a panel discussion at an American "National Conservatism Conference" earlier this month. Though the issue of same-sex "marriage was raised, the panelists – or at least the straight ones – refused to talk about it. What was showcased here was how if "conservatism" is founded on anything other than God's Truth, it soon enough will endorse the lie... even if only by silence. The "blurred lines" of the sexual revolution Instead of sex within the bounds of marriage, our culture insisted the only limits on sex should be consent. But how well does that standard work? As John Stonestreet highlights the #MeToo movement is highlighting that the world's only safeguard for sex is no safeguard at all. How obsession with "carbon" left us woefully unprepared for the Fraser Valley Flood of 2021 Former CHP leader Ron Gray has had a front row seat for the flooding in BC, and has some thoughts on the root cause. It's worth noting that the experts he cites have an evolutionary timescale of hundreds of thousands or millions of years built into their assumptions, though that's true of most secular experts. What separates these experts from the other secular sorts is that these follow at least one biblical principle, placing man as the pinnacle of creation (Gen. 1:26-28, Ps. 8:3-9). Thus they measure environmental efforts not by their supposed benefit to the planet in the future, but by how they impact people living on that planet right now. That makes these experts more insightful than all who want to save the planet with policies that make energy more expensive, which has the effect of hurting the poorest. How to get everything from nothing (10-minute read) "The only...evidence that the universe came from nothing is the well-documented finding that the universe is expanding. If the expansion event is reversed, it brings us back to the primordial egg that started it all. The conundrum then is, where did the primordial egg come from? The solution accepted by many leading cosmologists is, it came from nothing. Thus the reasoning is that nothing ultimately created everything." How much is Facebook censoring? (7 min) Most are aware that Facebook acts as a censor but do you know the extent of it? During the recent US trial of a Kyle Rittenhouse – a man accused of murder but who the court found was acting in self-defense – Facebook took down pro-Rittenhouse posts and programmed their search engine so that it would return no results on searches for his name (though one clever friend got around that by searching for a misspelled version of his name Rittenhose which Facebook then auto-corrected and returned results). While we appreciate that Facebook filters some (though certainly not all) of the filth on the Internet, it's one thing to shut down pornography, and another to limit debate on the big issues of the day. In the video below, John Stossel digs into it. (While Facebook is still one of the more effective promotional tools for Reformed Perspective, we know it's a matter of when, and not if, we're eventually censored too. That's why we've started up a MeWe page and continued a presence on Twitter, and it's why RP's editor is also experimenting with Gab.) ...

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Saturday Selections – November 27, 2021

Education without Jesus? "You would never go to a Vacation Bible School run by Mormons or spend your Sundays in a Muslim Temple. Still, many Christian high school students decide to spend their formative college years attending godless, public universities and colleges." Birth control documentary shares the Pill’s dirty little secret This review of The Business of Birth Control is itself very informative about the risks of the birth control pill to the women who use it. And it doesn't even get into the risks the pill presents to the unborn. Why Jack Phillips wouldn't bake the cake A Christian who has had to deal with a firestorm of controversy explains why he had to refuse to bake a wedding cake for two men who made the request. The short answer? As a Christian, he didn't want to help celebrate (and therefore be a part of encouraging)  two men pledging themselves to a lifelong rebellion against God. Our infant mortality rate is worse than in 1900 In the USA in the year 1900, one out of every ten babies died. In the year 2018, it is two out of ten babies. And the situation is similar in Canada and most Western nations. If that's a shock to you, it's because you've forgotten the reason why things are so much worse today. The unintended consequence of Universal Childcare A Swedish mother reports on her experience that when the government takes on more responsibility for childcare, parents have less options and less control. 39% of young Americans identify as  LGBT, rebutting "born this way" "...today, most Americans either believe that sexual orientation is something not chosen or that it is something that should never be questioned. However, polls like this one should make us question what many in our culture now take for granted about sexual orientation. Otherwise, how can the explosion in self-identified LGBTQ youth be explained?" Smeagol resets his personal pronouns Some ideas should be debated. This idea should be mocked. (For guidance on why, see Prov. 26:4-5 and also "The don't and do's of answering fools"). ...

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Saturday Selections - November 20, 2021

The "A word" (1 min) 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. Life inside a woke company (10-min read) 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. Intelligent Design without God Some will credit anything – chance, multiverses, or now, super-intelligent aliens – except God for the fine-tuning of the universe. Why many "Great Books" of the 20th century were by suicidal authors 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 happens when Democrats have all the power? 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. Was life discovered on Venus?!? 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. Commentators do their best "Who's on first?" 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). wow. Abbot and Costello got nothing on @IngrahamAngle.pic.twitter.com/kuqxaFSyuD — ken olin (@kenolin1) November 16, 2021 ...

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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) Larry Taunton has a bone to pick with John Piper about vaccines. Soft flexible nerves found in Triceratops "If these fossils were millions of years old, we would not expect to find any actual soft tissue or biomolecules." Fewer children because of climate anxiety? Some people are having no or fewer children to save the planet. They've got it dead wrong, John Stonestreet explains. How to prepare for the Metaverse (10-minute read) Facebook recently announced plans to rebrand themselves as "Meta" but they aren't the first to speak of a coming "metaverse." It's not just an online world, but online worlds, all of them linked and providing users the opportunity to represent themselves digitally however they want to be seen. Ian Harbor outlines the challenges the Church may face, but also presents the opportunities, and how this may sharpen the antithesis between God's people and the world. Great article! Teens are lonelier than ever: what do smartphones have to do with it? "In theory, this connection should bode well for teens’ well-being — in particular, they should feel less loneliness, an emotion that occurs when we feel alone and disconnected from others. But has it boosted teen well-being? Do teens feel less lonely?" Happily divorced vs. unhappily married? (6 min) The video below and article above present a practical case against divorce and offers it up to a world that too often looks too quickly at divorce as a solution for marriage problems. So, this is a corrective to myths the world pitches that a happily divorced is clearly better than unhappily married. But it is important to put such a practical case in a biblical context where we see that God says that He hates divorce (Mal. 2:16, Matt. 19:6) but does also allow for it (Matt. 19:8). ...

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