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Saturday Selections - October 30, 2021

Do intersex people prove there are more than two genders? We live in a broken world, and that means that sometimes people are born with disabilities or disorders and that happens with our reproductive systems too. Without Luther, there would be no Bach (10 -minute read) Luther was born into a church culture that celebrated religious work above all else. But by time Bach was born, he was able to recognize that all of his music — whether sacred hymns or secular cantatas — should be and could be to the glory of God. We're all in a video game? Elon Musk seems determined to prove the adage that when you don't believe in God, you'll fall for anything. Tesla's founder isn't the only one proposing we might be "in the Matrix" so what's the attraction of supposing things to be so? As the article notes the appeal is that it, “gives atheists a way to talk about spirituality,” or something like it. It offers “a source of awe.” It even brings up similar questions for our simulators that one might ask of God: “Why did they create us? Why did they allow evil in their simulation?” “Why are we here?” And perhaps even, “Do they love us?” For a short read see the article above, but for an hour-long discussion on the same topic (between filmmaker Eric Hovind and astronomer Spike Psarris, creationists both) tune in here. Keeping our kids off porn (10-min read) "...delaying children’s private access to screens is the top piece of advice I heard from experts. " Did Calvin murder Michael Servetus? Jonathan Moorhead offers a short answer above, a medium answer in this interview, and a longer answer in his book The Trial of the 16th Century. Will Islam become the world's largest religion? That's what some are predicting will happen by 2050, but a closer look at the numbers gives us quite a different understanding. What's involved in throwing a strike? (2 min) There's a lot more going on than we might have realized. ...

News

Saturday Selections - October 23, 2021

"Who's on first?" gets a modern update At the risk of killing the joke, it's worth a moment's reflection on what makes this funny. In Abbott and Costello's original, the confusion was caused by the unlikely names of the players. This time the confusion is caused by people who want to unhinge pronoun usage from the biological reality of sex, and instead tie it to the social construct of gender. And because a social construct is, well, constructed that means it can be reconstructed, right? And not just once either. That's how we get to individualized pronouns, which can change on a whim. The benefit of this approach? What it lacks in clarity, it might make up for in hilarity. Except "they" don't really have a sense of humor. The other alternative? To ignore gender as the ill-defined, meaningless social construct that it is, and use pronouns to refer to an unchanging biological reality instead. As always, it is Christ or chaos. Atheists and agnostics who admire Christianity (10-minute read) Jonathon Van Maren on the notable unbelievers who've come to believe that much of the good in the world springs out of a Christian worldview. Gratitude is good for you But as John Stonestreet notes, secular folk don't know Who to be grateful to. Covid vaccines, fetal cells, and ethical concerns Pro-life advocate Randy Alcorn shares his careful research. On Christians celebrating Halloween "...This obviously can (and should) include kids dressing up and getting boatloads of candy, but I would strongly urge that no one have their kids dress up as members of the other team — witches, ghosts, devils, imps, or congressmen.... So if you take your kid around to grandma’s house dressed up like a red M&M, or like Theodore Beza, don’t have them say trick or treat the same way some ghost or witch would. Of course, repent or perish or sola fide probably wouldn’t work either. Let’s do this differently, and intelligently, and still have fun. So have them say trick or treat the way a cute M&M would." More ground-breaking research evolutionists won't do Were the layers in the Grand Canyon folded soon after they were laid down by the Flood, or did it happen later, as the evolutionary account presumes? This is testable... Should there be racial quotas at university? Ophelie Jacobson asked University of Florida students if they supported "diversity quotas" (a form of affirmative action) where students are identified by their race, and admitted in proportion to the local racial make-up. In other words, if the local population was 35% white, 30% black, 25% Hispanic, and 10% Asian, then that's the percentage of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians that should be let into university, irrespective of their grades. The students were generally in favor... until Ophelie asked if that would also be a good approach for their beloved football team (and she was asking this on Game Day!). Diversity quotas have meant Asians need to score higher than whites and blacks on admissions tests to get into some universities. Why? Because there are, by diversity quota standards, too many Asians on campus. So some colleges lower their numbers by specifically raising the requirements for Asians. Do two wrongs make a right? If it was wrong to discriminate against blacks in the past (and it was) then how can the fix be to discriminate against Asians now? The Bible condemns discrimination, whichever direction it goes (Ex. 23:2-3, Lev. 19:15). ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 16, 2021

When your children don't respect you Here's some advice you might not expect: if your 7-year-old doesn't respect you, you need to repent. Euthanasia fallout in Canada When you no longer recognize God as the giver and owner of our lives, then all other limits will soon fall by the way. Euthanasia, supposedly done to offer compassion to the terminally ill in untreatable pain, was instead done to: 4,120, killed because they had cancer, but didn't talk with an oncologist (cancer specialist) 1,373, killed because they were lonely 1,253, with no terminal condition 322, who needed disability support services, but did not receive them, and were killed instead 126, who couldn't get palliative care, but were provided euthanasia 59, who were not consulted about being killed God's pronouns matter There's a movement in Christian circles to start using "they" to address God. But as John Stonestreet writes, calling God by the pronouns He has chosen to use is important. "Call your spouse by the wrong name, and see if it matters. Describe your wife as you want her to be, not the way she is… what will she say?" Jordan Peterson on what's wrong with a "universal basic income" (10-minute read) An idea is being proposed on both the political right and left, is for a minimum income for everyone, even including those who decide not to work. Jordan Peterson objects, and his objection has a solid footing because he starts here on a biblical basis: that Man does not live on bread alone. Christian and Darwinist?  Francis Collins’s The Language of God convinced many that a consistent Christian could also be a committed Darwinist. 15 years later, one of the book's central arguments has fallen to pieces. “Unvaccinated kid is much safer than a vaccinated grandma” As the push is on to vaccinate children, this New York Times article has some interesting numbers. Along the same vein, this Project Veritas piece (the folks who used their undercover research to expose Planned Parenthood) could have been titled "The Covid-recovered are likely safer than the vaccinated." If there was a TV sitcom for dogs... (3 min) It's funny because it's true. ...

News

Saturday Selections – October 9, 2021

Who cares about the national debt? This is an American presentation, but the point syncs up with the Canadian situation too. Secular prof discovers that God knows best (15-min read) God's restrictions regarding premarital and extramarital sex are sometimes presented as being restrictions on pleasure. God is seen as a killjoy. But what one secular professor discovered is that sexual restraint benefits a society. In other words, God's rules should be understood as guides for our good – they show His love for us. The C-vid survey that should have rocked the world As headlines tend to be these days, this one is a bit over the top. But it is important to understand the political group in charge of the US right now is the side that overestimates the dangers. The dangerous science behind "gender transitioning" Christians reading their Bibles already know that "gender transitioning" isn't going to have a good end. While some studies argue it does help these folk psychologically, it is not surprising to us that as John Stonestreet notes, the best studies say something else entirely. 12 tips for parenting the smartphone generation Tony Reinke, author of 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, has 12 tips for parents, including: Delay social media as long as possible Delay smartphones as long as possible Ben Shapiro on climate change (3 min) The commentator explains that climate change "fixes" intended to avert potential harm in the future would do real harm to the poor today. ...

News

Saturday Selections - October 2, 2021

Going after Facebook (7 min) The way Facebook uses "fact-checkers" makes them bad arbitrators of the truth. (You can find RP on MeWe here and Twitter here, while the editor is on Gab here.) When a lesbian at Yale came to Christ While the Devil uses his resources to confuse, God can use even a stolen book to bring clarity, as He did with this young woman. Translation manipulation Some history worth remembering: 20 years ago plans were in place to make the world's most popular English Bible translation more gender-neutral. Even after being shamed into reversing course, the publisher tried again just two years later. Prediction: Scientists won't be able to improve on our design (15-min read) William A. Dembski's certainty that we have been designed, and not evolved, led him to predict 20 years ago that so-called "Junk DNA" would turn out to be functional. His position opposed that of evolutionists who assumed these sections were the useless leftover remnants of our species' previous evolutionary incarnations. Over the next ten years, Dembski's design inference was proven to be the right one, as these sections did prove to have functions. Now Dembski has a new prediction, also based on us being designed rather than evolved. A new discovery – CRISPR gene editing – allows us to edit mankind's genes. This raises the possibility of correcting some people's defective genes – errors that are obviously errors and lead to certain genetic diseases. But evolutionists see this as an opportunity to improve on where, in their minds, chance and time have brought us. Could gene-editing be used to make the human species smarter, faster, stronger, etc.? Dembski predicts, no, because no matter how smart scientists might be, they aren't anywhere near as smart as our Designer. And while this CRISPR process might have some use in addressing the breakage in that design, as caused by the Fall, Man is not going to be able to improve on God's design. Help in the midst of the pornography plague “The question is not if my kids will see pornography, but what will I do when it happens.” How Covid taught the public to distrust authorities Rex Murphy lays it out. Are you after easy A's? (2 min) Our young people can't all go to this college, but we can encourage all those that do head off to university to approach their education with this sort of rigor. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept 25, 2021

Man has no idea how life could come from non-life (4 min) This is Dr. James Tour pitching his course on how abiogenesis – life coming from non-life by natural (evolutionary) means – is clearly, obviously, and completely impossible. This is only a "trailer" of sorts, and Tours says of the longer video: "Look, some people are going to love this video. Other people are going to say this is the perfect cure for insomnia. I understand that. I just want you to feel my pain when people suggest we understand how to do this." 10 reasons not to give your kids a smartphone This from 2018, but every bit as relevant today. It's important parents not be naieve: even in Christians schools girls are sending "adult" selfies to male classmates asking for them. Should creationists "brook" a loss of a trout? Biblical stewards will look at this differently than survival-of-the-fittest evolutionists. How Big Data's covid-monitoring could be used to control people post-pandemic Monitoring tools governments are putting in place to control Covid can be put to other purposes. Every moment is a gift: the radical hope of rejecting assisted suicide After this father and husband was told he had just 4 months to live, he spent the next 3 years telling people that "every moment is a gift." What's said here is true and beautiful but what missing is the answer to the question: gift from Who? Our lives are precious, not simply because ending them might rob us of potential joys that could still be coming. They are precious not simply because our suicide might lead others to do the same. The foremost reason our lives are precious is because every moment is indeed a gift from our gracious God and we need to recognize the Author, and still Owner, of our lives, is the one to decide just how much life He will gift to us. Fewer rules in parenting? (7 min) Douglas Wilson with a helpful approach to parenting: have fewer rules. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept 18, 2021

Worst pro-choice argument he's ever seen Tim Barnett takes on a popular but bizarre pro-abortion argument involving tapeworms. Evolutionists show, once again, how imaginative they are  Latest evolutionary find is a fossil from Egypt of a “four-legged whale.” The only problem? They don't have any fossil remains of its legs....or pelvis. Culture War 101 in just 10 minutes "...human lives will be ruled by one of two fundamental forces: either truth or power. ...our first parents exchanged the external rule of God and the objective truth of his world 'out there' for the internal rule of their own desires 'in here'” Getting good habits started – the two-minute rule "The idea here is to make habits as easy as possible to start, with the hope that once we’ve started doing the right thing, it will be easier to continue doing it. Examples of creating a two-minute rule are: “Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.” “Write a book” becomes “Write one paragraph.” Secular appreciation for the sabbath A home decorating magazine "probably isn’t the first place you look to find insight into God’s design and His intent for Creation." But here it is, a secular appreciation of the Third Commandment... Citizens & Saints' Made Alive (4 min) An oldie and a goodie. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept 11, 2021

Focusing on income equality is envious and unjust God wants us to help the poor (Deut 15:7-11), but He also told us not to covet what the rich have (Ex. 20:17). That, then, is the problem with those that focus on income inequality: they may want to help the poor, but theirs is an envious approach. And it shouldn't surprise us that it doesn't work, as the video below shows. What does the Bible say about mandatory vaccines? (10-min read) P. Andrew Sandlin argues that while the Bible doesn't speak directly to mandatory vaccines, it does offer principles which apply. Incrementalism and the Texas abortion law There are some spats going on between the two pro-life camps – incrementalists and abolitionists – over Texas's new pro-life law. Douglas Wilson highlights the strengths and shortcomings of both groups with this must-read for all pro-lifers! Late economist warns about being overly confident in "Science" We've heard a lot about "believing the Science" and "following the Science." But to act as if there is only the Science, and no alternate expert opposing opinions is to treat some scientists (and not others) as having God-like expertise, beyond mistakes and above questioning. Then there is the problem that Science, even were it to be definitive, only gives us insights into what is, and not what ought to be done. The cost of lockdowns may exceed the benefit... It's all arguable, but that those costs land largely on the poor is more clear. How one mother saved her child from going transgender It was about controlling the child's education and who got to be her teachers. Jumping bugs....in slow motion (7 min) Anything that can fly is amazing, and that so many different-looking bugs can fly is even more amazing. Some bugs even have gears – God is an artist and an engineer! ...

News

Saturday Selections – September 4, 2021

Why does it seem like the smartest people in the room aren't Christian? (5 min) Michael Krugor, author of Surviving Religion 101, with some encouragement for Christian college students who discover their unbelieving professors are actually very smart. So why don't they believe in God? Click on the link above to read our review of Krugor's book. Refuting the flat earth It surprises some creationists to discover that many flat-earth folk also believe in a 6-day creation. The reason they do is because of the one insight both groups hold in common: that the wrong worldview can blind mainstream science. Where they differ is in how to understand the Bible: Christian flat-earthers base their belief on misunderstandings of what certain passages say. This article, from creation scientists Dr. Robert Carter and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, shows how they get their scriptural exegesis (and their science) wrong. The article that Forbes pulled about school masking After initially publishing this teacher's article about the stress of wearing masks in school, Forbes pulled it. But on the Internet pulled doesn't mean gone. That it was pulled is symptomatic of the one-sided presentation on many issues we're getting from mainstream media (have you seen their coverage of the Texas heartbeat bill?) and it is shared here in the spirit of Prov. 18:17. The World is catechizing us whether we know it or not "...worldliness is whatever makes righteousness look strange and sin look normal. Here’s the reality facing every Christian in the West: the money, power, and prestige of the mainstream media, big time sports, big business, big tech, and almost all the institutions of education and entertainment are invested in making sin look normal." Imposing vaccine mandates on churches is wrong ARPA Canada on why... Learning from the life of Dr. Klaas Schilder (45-minute read) A Reformed Baptist from Wales offers an outsider's perspective on Klaas Schilder, his life, and how God used him to impact many in the Netherlands and beyond. This is a long read (in 4 parts) which requires some passing familiarity with Dutch Church history. One interesting bit to whet the appetite: when Schilder was arrested by the Nazis: There were Dutch Christian papers that said that Schilder deserved this for going too far in his opposition to the Nazis and “desire for a British victory.” One professor at the Free University said, “Schilder could have avoided it. Daniel didn’t pull the tails of the lions when he sat in their den.” "Personally pro-life" means nothing This one comes with a PG warning: the cartoon violence here is bloodless, but of the sort that would disturb children (and some adults). Why share it? It makes an important point that the way many talk about the unborn, we treat their murders as very different than the killing of other human beings. No one would, for example, say they are "personally" against killing grandmothers. ...

News

Saturday Selections – August 28, 2021

God won't give you more than you can handle? (6 min) Tim Barnett explains why the assertion that "God won't give you more than you can handle" isn't biblical, and so, instead of being a comfort, it's a cruel catchphrase. Adult siblings – another reason big families are a blessing "In our recent national conversation about falling fertility rates and who will care for our aging population, the loss of adult siblings is rarely mentioned. But the idea of being with someone as an adult who has known you for your entire existence is both daunting and comforting. " What's wrong with our Church praise music?  "It might be shocking to the reader to hear that much of what is so called praise today in worship is not received by the Lord. God certainly turns his ear away from not just vain repetitions, but also empty hearts due to empty theology. It should be self-evident that our feelings have to arise to something higher than animal instincts to truly praise the Lord." Ten things I learned from the pandemic Here's #4: "Governments that claim their rule is based on pronouncements will always prefer the quantitative to the qualitative. Bureaucrats and politicians find it easier to aim for goals like 'reduce the number of cases/hospitalizations/deaths (to zero!)' rather than qualitative goals such as 'educate our children in humane ways' or 'allow dying parents to see their children in person' or 'prevent the atrophy of human relationships' or 'promote freedom of religion.'" Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Big Woke Woods Jonathon Van Maren shares the highs and lows of a recent documentary about the Little House on the Prairie author. You were once this tiny (3 min) This is an astonishing glimpse into the unseen happenings in the womb, following God's creative work from the moment of conception to the full-term wriggling baby ready to be introduced to the world. Be sure to share this one widely (you can also find it on Facebook here). ...

News

Saturday Selections – August 21, 2021

A pro-life opportunity (2 min) The folks who brought us The Magical Birth Canal, No Uterus, No Say, and Modern Child Sacrifice is looking for funds to create a 6-part pro-life series. If you want to know more, or help fund the effort, click on the link above. 8 things more dangerous for our kids than COVID We teach our children not to treat small things as big. Covid is a thing. But for children it is a much smaller thing than it is for adults. Plastics help green the planet Governments that have designated marriage as being between whom or even what ever, gender as being malleable, population as a problem, abortion as a right, and euthanasia as healthcare, may soon be designating plastic as a toxin. Might their designation be wrong once again? After all, plastics have their benefits... "...refined petroleum products... have gradually reduced the demand for wild fauna such as whales (whale oil, baleen, perfume base), birds (feathers), elephants, polar bears, alligators and other wild animals (ivory, fur, skin), trees and other plants (lumber, firewood, charcoal, rubber, pulp, dyes, green manure), agricultural products (fats and fibres from livestock and crops, leather, dyes and pesticides from plants), work animals and the large quantities of food they consume (horses, mules, oxen) and human labour in various forms (lumbering, agricultural work)." British celebrity comes out as non-binary and... Korean The world has no words. In the video at the bottom of this article, the talk show host buys into this fellow – Oli London – as having transitioned into non-binary, repeatedly calling him "them." But then the panel of guests tries to explain why transgender is fine, but transracial is not. And they can't do it – or rather, what they say, that this fellow can't really know what it is like to be Korean, applies all the more so for men not ever being able to know what it is like to be women (and vice versa). But while the world has no words, we do: God made us male and female (Gen. 5:2). And to pretend that anyone other than God defines reality, is to descend into this sort of nonsense. What happens when doctors can't tell the truth? (15-minute read) As the subtitle reads: "Whole areas of research are off-limits. Top physicians treat patients based on their race. An ideological 'purge' is underway in American medicine." Is the answer to past discrimination to be "race-conscious" the other way, discriminating now in favor of blacks and other minority groups? God condemns partiality (Lev. 19:15, Acts 10:24), and calls on us to treat others, not as they've treated us in the past – it isn't "do unto others as they've done unto you" – but as we ourselves would like to be treated (Matt. 7:12). So adding discrimination on top of discrimination is just adding one wrong to another. And it is not simplistic to say two wrongs don't make a right. If killing is understood as a "cure" If when you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail, what happens when you decide killing people is medicine? It's inevitable that you'll apply this "treatment" to more and more illnesses: euthanasia will be seen as the solution to everything from old age, to pain, to mental illnesses, teen anxiety, and loneliness. However, when you view life as a gift from God, then healthcare will be understood as a means of preserving and protecting that gift, and then doctors and nurses will be challenged to apply their creativity and care to easing pain, and enhancing living. When Jordan Peterson broke down talking about Jesus (8 min) John McCray, from the Whaddo You Meme?? podcast, reflects on Jordan Peterson's passionate (and yet, as of now, still unrepentant) response to Jesus Christ. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 14, 2021

Save the planet by not having kids. What would you say? God says that children are a blessing and when we start with that premise, then we'll stop looking at more children as simply more mouths to feed. Then we'll recognize that we come with hands that can produce, and brains that can solve problems. We reflect our Maker's creativity in that we can even create resources out of refuse. Are people really like crumpled paper?  We should teach our kids not to insult others, but we shouldn't teach them that words will scar them for life. There is such a thing as apologizing, and being forgiven...and, as this article relates, that can even lead to stronger relationships than before. The "noble lies" of COVID-19 In James 5:12. God tells us that we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. What happens when we won't do so can be seen in Americans' response to their country's top health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has owned up to telling "noble lies." The problem with lies, no matter how well-meaning, is that if you are willing to tell them, people don't have a reason to trust you when it matters. Where did this limit of 1.5°C of warming come from? (5 min/1 hr read) The UNs’ IPCC 2018 Special Report on 1.5°C Warming "expressly stated that it did not complete a cost-benefit analysis of limiting warming to 1.5°C” and only "argued that 2°C warming would have bigger impacts than 1.5°C, but it did not say that the policies to hit the lower target would be worth the cost.” The biblical take: sensible people count the cost (Luke 14:28-32). The link leads to a short 5-minute article, and also a longer 1-hour report. 100 years ago Hitler became leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party The Nazis are sometimes portrayed as having been Christian and capitalist, but they were not nearly. Jordan Peterson with a problem for atheism (6 min) Peterson points out – with the help of Fyodor Dostoevsky – that without God, it isn't reasonable to be moral. Peterson isn't speaking as a Christian here, but even as a quasi agnostic/theist he recognizes you can't have good without God. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 7, 2021

The Genius of Flight (11 min) A close look at birds reveals the Genius behind the design of their feathers, heart, muscles, navigation system, and more. Why so many are so skeptical now This isn't an anti-vaccine post and I note that because some might otherwise conclude it is. It is being shared to help those who are frustrated or in any other way exasperated at fellow pew-sitters who are "vaccine hesitant." If you don't understand why anyone could possibly be so, this will help, and not because it offers any medical insights into the vaccines. This is, instead, about how media and governmental leaders have undermined their own credibility. Draw your own conclusions about the vaccine but patience please with those who differ: their skepticism is not unreasonable. Should the Church "stay in its lane" and stay out of politics? "...every law... based on consequential assumptions about human value, the nature and purpose of sex, what and how children should be raised, the scope of the state, and a million other things. The question is never whether politics will operate from worldview assumptions, but which worldview it will operate from." White House working directly with Facebook to limit the spread of "misinformation" Social media companies are taking it "upon themselves to be the arbitrators of truth" and the problem isn't just that they get it wrong and that they are working with the government to restrict speech, which has been caught lying repeatedly. The real problem is that we the consumers aren't outraged – we still continue to turn to these companies as our main sources for news and information. One alternative? You can find Reformed Perspective on MeWe here. Want to fund a Christian nature series? The folks behind the two Riot and Dance nature documentaries are looking to make a nature TV series now. Find out more – and watch the first half-hour episode about swimming with sharks, for free – at the link above. How can we see distant starlight? (15-min read) If the universe is only roughly 6,000 years young, and it takes millions of years for light to get to us from many stars, then how can we see them? You can read an explanation at the link above (a free chapter from The Creation Answers Book) or if you'd rather watch Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and Dr. Robert Carter discuss it, then check out this 25-minute video. Does the Bible "whisper" about sexual sin? (5 min) What better way to minimize the sinfulness of a sin than to say the Church should remain quiet – or only whisper – about it. This is worth listening to because this tactic is confusing even conservative Christians. ...

News

Saturday Selections – July 31, 2021

Unequal results aren't proof of injustice The impartiality that God calls us to is that of equal treatment (Lev. 19:15, Deut 1:16-17, James 2:1-7) not equal outcomes. Parenting should humble you The opening lines of this article are a real kick in the pants: “Mom’s the worst sinner in the family,” my 4-year-old repeated to house guests after our previous gospel conversations about repenting of sin. Apparently. And you know what? There was a time in my life that would have been mortifying. Now, I hear it and think, Yup. Sounds about right. Transgeneria: identifying as a tree The woman said she identified as a tree, and, unbelievably, her doctors thought it was a delusion – they didn't take her claims seriously! Why is it always someone else's fault? The blame game - we all play it. Responding in love (not anger) when your child confesses their porn use "...chances are that your child was already nervous about telling you, and when we react in anger, the usual result is they stop being honest with us when they mess up in the future. It’s important that your reaction be void of anger and full of grace." Why wokeness is a Christian heresy This isn't long, but it's worth reading slowly. Doesn't adaptation prove evolution? (1 min) Does the ability of an animal to adapt to new circumstances disprove that it was designed? Or does it actually show how well it has been crafted? ...

News

Saturday Selections – July 24, 2021

Was Jesus copied from an Egyptian deity? (4 min) Christians are sometimes scared to investigate the outrageous claims against the Bible that are so prevalent on the Internet. We seem to think that the professional way they're being presented (maybe in a full-length documentary) means there must be something to do them. But don't be afraid, and don't be surprised to discover how little substance such claims have. Banning hate speech against animals – the next stupid thing? PETA wants us to stop using "anti-animal language" and they have some alternatives to propose. Instead of "bringing home the bacon" they want us to say "bringing home the bagels." And instead of "take the bull by the horns" they offer "take the flower by the thorns." What's funny about this – besides everything – is how easy it is to imagine this actually being taken seriously. Of course, such a change would be followed by – in ten, or maybe just five years' time – another group complaining about how PETA's substitutions are insensitive to the gluten-intolerant, and, even worse, to flowers. The loss of flight doesn't explain evolution (10-min read) Creationists know this world is broken, groaning and wearing out (Is. 51:6, Rom. 8:20-22). So we aren't surprised when species lose abilities such as the ability to fly – that's not evolution; that's devolution. School shutdowns highlighted that parents are the educators "Over the last decades, our societies haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting on the primacy of parents in their kids’ lives. Instead, the state has increasingly displaced many familial roles and acquired a taste for routinely leaving parents on the sidelines, particularly with respect to education. "Yet when government backed away and could no longer offer schooling, it sent kids home.... This isn’t shocking. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. None of us would have preferred instead to institutionalize our kids for a year or two in some alternative residential location to keep them 'safe' and ensure they continued their government-offered education." Why heaven on earth doesn't work (10-min read) In the US there have been at least 119 attempts to create utopian communities. Though this is a secular article, it shows that the reason these communes always fail is because they don't have a proper understanding of Man's fallen nature: "What utopian (and especially socialist) communities seek is essentially unachievable in light of human nature: They want a triumph of exhortation over incentive, of intentions over results, of wishful thinking over actual performance." The woke guide to gender (3 min) A satiric take with a serious point: the logic that claims there isn't a line dividing the sexes is the same logic that would say there isn't a line dividing people from dogs. ...

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Saturday Selections – July 17, 2021

A monarch's journey (3 min) This butterfly accomplishes its fantastic journey in not simply a matter of months, but a matter of generations – they fly to a refuge that only their great-great-grandparents have seen. When Martyn Lloyd-Jones confronted a pastor who loved controversy and denunciation Sometimes bluntness and harsh words are needed – sometimes the sheep have to be warned in no uncertain terms about a dangerous idea, and the person pushing it (Ez. 33:6). But in this age of "hot takes" and online bashing, Lloyd-Jones demonstrates what God is teaching in Proverbs 15:1. Alcohol use and the Christian Chris Gordon makes the biblical case. Difference between conservative and liberal Christians "The root of our disagreement is this: sees the Bible as quite clear on the second greatest commandment but open to interpretation about the first." How God grabbed hold of this liberal lesbian professor (15-min read) Pride month is done, but in Canada, Pride Season persists. So how can we help Christians and others who are struggling with same-sex temptations? One way is to point them to testimonies like Rosaria Butterfield's here (the author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert) which show "that the solution to all sin is Christ's atoning blood." What is a woman? (5 min) When Will Witt asks university students to define "What is a woman?" they can't do it. Why not? We know. In divorcing the word "woman" from its biological underpinnings, the world has had to tie it to personal feelings instead. But that doesn't make any sense: what does it mean to feel like a woman, if no one can even define what a woman is? Witt is wonderful here, but Christians need to go further still. It can be fun to beat up on the world's nonsense, but exposing lies isn't enough. We need to share God's Truth, that He has made us male and female (Gen. 1:27). ...

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Saturday Selections - July 10, 2021

Is Joe Biden Catholic? Joe Biden thinks he can be for the murder of 800,000 unborn children a year and still be a good Roman Catholic. While we'd love him to turn to Christ and away from Rome, we can thank God for how He is using the Roman Catholic Church's pro-life position to highlight how monstrous Biden's abortion stance is. Reclaiming the peppered moth from evolution (10-minute read) This icon of evolution isn't an example of evolution at all. Should Christians identify with their homosexual or alcoholic temptations? The Presbyterian Church of America is debating to what extent Christians should identify with their same-sex attraction. While the act is recognizes as sinful, some are touting the inclination as being defining. The space between courting and hooking up Tim Challies explains how both hooking up and courting can put a lot of weight on a first date. 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. What about medical marijuana? (3 min) Douglas Wilson, author of Devoured by Cannabis, addressing medical marijuana usage. Lest there be any confusion, he is not talking about using CBD oil, as his case against marijuana usage (made in his book, and other videos) is that it is an intoxicant, which CBD oil is not. ...

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Saturday Selections – July 3, 2021

Insects flying in slow motion (6 min) Kids will enjoy this cool video of 11 different bugs taking off, some elegantly, others not so much: it's great fun to see God's creativity on display! A small caution: elsewhere on his YouTube channel the videographer credits this astonishing creativity to evolution rather than God. How to preach against Critical Race Theory (10-minute read) "In this essay, I’d like to encourage pastors to oppose the errors of CRT, but I’ll suggest what might seem like an unusual approach: pastors should consider preaching against CRT without mentioning CRT at all..." How do you move a whole denomination to reaffirm biblical creation? Be inspired by how God used a grandmother to bring her denomination back to a 6-day understanding of creation. God loves LGBT people more than we do "...many professing Christians are tempted to disagree with what the Bible says about homosexuality and LGBTQ issues.....This is because many professing Christians believe they love LGBTQ people more than God does." "You still have to bake the cake, bigot!" Jack Phillips first got in trouble for not baking a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The day he won a Supreme Court decision on that fight, a transgender guy (male, pretending to be female) called him requesting a cake to celebrate his "sex-change." As before, Phillips didn't want to help someone celebrate their own destruction (in this case, the amputation of their genitals) and so he declined. And back to the courts Phillips was forced to go. Now he's written a book, which Jonathon Van Maren reviews here. When inclusivity becomes incoherence The LGBT movement is making "an ever-growing jumble of contradictory claims about sex, gender, and psychology, all of which lacks any uniting principle other than an opposition to what came before." Conservatives in 5 years... "O’Sullivan’s First Law" states: "All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” Coined by journalist John O'Sullivan in 1989, it described the leftward tilt that we see happen among politicians, parties, and organizations of all sorts whenever they refuse to loudly and clearly establish their conservative bonafides. That same thought is captured in the video below – directed at US Republicans, it is far more broadly applicable. However, while the video is spot on, and O'Sullivan's First Law has proven itself time and again, neither goes deep enough. It is not simply a matter of being right-wing that stops liberal drift – to be rooted a group or an individual needs a firmer foundation than "conservatism." So, let me add an expansion to O'Sullivan, riffing off of Matt. 12:30. Perhaps we can call it O'Dykstra's First Law: "Those who are not unabashedly Christian, will over time – along with the organizations they make up – become unabashedly anti-Christian." God is our only firm foundation, but when we are ashamed in the public square to acknowledge Him as such, then whatever we stand on instead – whether that’s common sense, traditional values, natural law, capitalism, or conservatism – will offer only a sandy footing. It will hold only for a time, before we, unmoored, slide down the slippery slope. Let's remember it doesn't have to be that way. We serve a great God, who is sovereign and mighty and has already won. So why then would we ever be ashamed or afraid to profess His Name? ...

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Saturday Selections – June 26, 2021

Motorcyclist who identified as a bicyclist sets cycling record (5 min) If the world insists feelings – and not the Father – defines reality, then insanity, and even hilarity, ensues. The burning of the wooden shoes Looking back at how the Christian Reformed Church slid down the slippery slope to liberalism, Chris Gordon issues a warning to other Reformed churches who are focusing on being more culturally relevant. Pro-gay theology invents a new sin This is a short but insightful analysis of textbook Scripture twisting – how clear teaching is muddied and then turned completely around. Confronting misunderstandings about money Jim Newheiser tackles a few common questions including: Is money the root of all evil? Is ministry good and making money bad? Were the early Christians communists or socialists? Is it doubting God to plan for our financial future? How not to debate ideas in the public square Kevin DeYoung offers up 8 ways to discuss things online in the worst way possible. 10 ideas to give your marriage a fresh start There are some good ideas here for couples, whether things are going well right now, or not so. The most effective technology on the planet to block pornography (5 min) That's quite the claim, and Justin Taylor shares the details in that article at the link above, while "Matt" explains it in the video below. ...

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Saturday Selections - June 19, 2021

Happy Father's Day Rapper Shai Linne pointing his father to our Father. Yes, you can prove God's existence... ....but proof doesn't always persuade. Fatherhood as a vocation in Richard Scarry's The Bunny Book "'What do you want to be when you grow up?' It’s a question we are routinely asked as youngsters, with the more cliché responses ranging from 'fireman' to 'astronaut' to 'explorer.' Yet, as I’ve argued previously, we needn’t limit such contemplations to work outside of the home.... family needn’t be viewed as a 'capstone' to personal achievement, but should instead be seen as a 'cornerstone'" Kids' shows are pushing Pride Month Jonathon Van Maren wants Christians to opt out of a mainstream culture that is explicitly anti-God. But it's harder to opt out when you don't know what to opt into instead. So to help, we've got 243 viewing suggestions here. Canadian gov't to regulate (indirectly) what citizens post online "In its original form, Bill C-10 would not have regulated the speech of ordinary Canadians at all. The bill excluded “programs that are uploaded to… a social media service by a user of the service,” meaning that the CRTC would not have had the power to supervise the content of individual users. However, in April, the heritage committee removed this exception from the bill...." Should singles adopt? Children need a mother and a father, which is why it is selfish for single men and women to, via surrogates or IVF, create a child who will have just one parent. But one parent is infinitely better than none, so for singles considering adoption, rescuing a child is an entirely different thing. A miracle on the frontlines (5 min) While miracles aren't the norm, God will do what God will do. And in frontline ministries, where maybe the need is the greatest, God sometimes makes Himself very evident. ...

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Saturday Selections – June 12, 2021

Ben Shapiro on Genesis 1 (6 minutes) The conservative pundit knows Hebrew but, as Todd Friel notes, he doesn't know how to understand the creation account. Remembering the worst mass murder in history It wasn't Hitler, and it wasn't Stalin – it was even worse than what they did. But like Stalin, it was a government, in the name of equality and advancement, and to pursue socialistic ends, killing its own citizens. Is the Bible color-blind? "Suppose you did not know humans came in different skin colors. Could you figure out that fact just from reading your Bible?" Tim Challies wants to know, are you all in? "If the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong about today’s most pressing cultural issues: homosexuality, gay marriage, transgenderism, abortion, climate change. If the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong about today’s most pressing theological issues: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the nature of same-sex attraction, the authority and sufficiency of scripture. If the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong in how I relate to money, how I honor my body, how I use my time. I’m wrong over and over, again and again, through and through. I’m poor, pathetic, pitiable, and blind." Before you answer, consider the opposite possibility... This is a secular take on the benefit that comes with having multiple counselors (Prov. 11:14, 15:22, 24:6). Of course, multiple counselors can only take you so far – we don't want to simply take an average of culture's many opinions when it comes to whether the unborn are valuable. To get to the truth there you need to begin with the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7). Another politician acting on principle... When a bill to decriminalize abortion was introduced in Malta, the country's president declared he would "never sign a bill that involves the authorization of murder,” and would have “no problem” resigning instead. Aren't Alcohol and Tobacco deadlier than Weed? (2 min) The author of Devoured by Cannabis: Weed, Liberty, and Legalization weighs in on how this question misses the point. ...

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