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Saturday Selections – September 3, 2022

Birds are crafted (2 min) In this clip from the documentary Flight: the Genius of Birds, we get to explore how the depth of design needed, even merely in a bird's muscles, shouts out that it has a brilliant Designer! Counseling our teens from Proverbs (30-min read) " said that the average father spends seven to eleven minutes a week in meaningful conversations with his children beyond short phrases like 'pass the butter,' 'pass the salt,' or 'thank you for the meal.' When I thought about that, it was tragic.." - Ron Allchin, author of Growing in Wisdom: A Bible Study in Proverbs for Fathers and Sons More on projectors in worship A pastor and a church organist share some thoughts... How the American recycling programs failed Much of the material being collected via separate garbage trucks, and sometimes brought to separate processing centers to be recycled is, after all this added expense, then dumped into a landfill. That's a problem, clearly. But is the problem to be found only at the end, when the recycling is dumped, or is the bigger problem right at the start, with the waste of resources spent in separating it in the first place? Two tales from the Euthanasia Dystopia Spain doesn't have the death penalty for criminals... but will euthanize them. And in Canada, a veteran suffering from PTSD couldn't get the care he needed but was offered euthanasia instead. And as Breakpoint Ministries notes, next year it looks like they'll be offering it to children, or as they put it, "mature minors." 5 tech questions to ask every school principal The folks at Covenant Eyes have created a short list of questions parents should ask their school’s administration to get a good idea of what sort of digital risks their kids will be exposed to at school. Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022) Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, died this week. He oversaw the dismantling of an empire that was, literally, set on world domination. Many today are too young to know just how bad the Soviet Union was, so to honor Gorbachev's passing, here's Ronald Reagan reminding us by telling jokes at the Soviet Union's expense. ...

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Saturday Selections – August 27, 2022

Joe Rogan vs. Babylon Bee on abortion! (10 min) Last week Seth Dillon of Babylon Bee made an appearance on the world's most popular podcast, where he did a solid job of defending the unborn. Calling it "convergence" doesn't explain away the evidence of a Designer  When two species exhibit similar traits or organs but are otherwise so different from one another that even evolutionists doubt they had a common ancestor then what they share – ie. both man and octopus have a "camera-type eye" – will be said to have happened via "convergent" evolution. This is just saying that the same feature must have evolved two entirely separate times... or maybe even thrice, or many more times than that. But if a scientist isn't already committed to evolution, these similar traits in divergent species would instead be understood as evidence of a common Designer. Don't miss the Abbot and Costello "Who's on First?" comic at the bottom of the linked article. Can we get kids to 15 without a phone glued to their palm? A group in Australia is making the case for parents to push off giving their kids a smartphone until at least 15. Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance? Evidence is lacking Evidence of experts' fallibility came out earlier this summer when an umbrella study found that the idea depression is caused by a chemical imbalance – a theory presumed true for decades now – lacks empirical evidence. This seems another instance of what the experts know, not necessarily being so. That people get things wrong shouldn't be shocking to Christians, but as some in the world urge us to let the so-called experts handle the running of larger and larger aspects of our lives, it's worth remembering that experts can get it really wrong. (One caution: the article author has a passing reference to David Murray that is a bit of a shot, and doesn't line up with my own recollection of Murray's position.) Girl identifies as cat, and school runs with it Who defines reality? That's what this comes down to, with the Bible offering one answer, and the world another. So each instance like this is an evangelistic opportunity to contrast God's Truth with the world's foolishness. The temptation that Christians often succumb to, is to simply point out the foolishness and leave God's Truth implicit. But we ain't doing anyone any good if we point out foolishness and then presume that a world so blinded as to fall for believing people can be cats is somehow smart enough to figure out for themselves a Truth we aren't brave enough to share. What's the deal with BeReal? Chris Martin gives parents a heads-up on the newest social media app, BeReal: "The app creates this more “authentic” (theoretically, anyway) environment by notifying users via a smartphone notification that it is “⚠️ Time to BeReal. ⚠️” at a random time each day—users in the same timezone will have the same posting time each day—during which the users have two minutes to post." Jordan Peterson's message to the Church Jordan Peterson gives here, what one pastor has called "straight talk from a crooked foundation" and another describes as "painfully... mostly spot on." This is an outsider's perspective – Peterson is not (yet) a Christian – which makes it all the more remarkable that he has here accurately diagnosed, and has the courage to share, one of the Devil's key strategic efforts in undermining the Church: Satan is going after young men. Where Peterson falls short is in his response to Satan's attack. Yes, the Church needs to go after young men, and needs to disciple them, but not to save our families and our culture. That is not the purpose young men (or young women, or any old or young) are being called to. That is, instead, the fruit that comes with returning to the purpose for which we have been created: the worship and glorification of God. One word of warning: in the concluding seconds Peterson interjects God's name in a manner that on the one hand is actually factually so – "You are churches for God's sake" – but which here is being misused by Peterson as an expletive for emphasis. ...

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Saturday Selections - August 20, 2022

Trick shots from level 1 to 1oo School has been out for a while now - are the kids getting antsy with nothing to do? Here's something that may inspire a bit of fun! Indoctrinated by the Matrix "In itself, indoctrination is good; children have to learn the rules and virtues, and be molded gradually into adults who will be capable of living wise and good lives. But how are they indoctrinated, and into what? We used to assume that each generation would be a lot like the one before it. No longer. But why not?" Scientists are undermining our trust in science "A just-published exposé in the journal Science claims that a seminal study on the causes of Alzheimer’s disease may contain falsified data...." 4 guidelines for dating without regret Stop acting like you're married when you're not Make intentions known when you're dating - ie "I would like to take you on a date this weekend” vs. “Let’s hang out some time” Foreplay is not play Realize that you are not already committed Monkeypox: we can stop it but health authorities aren't shouting out how Even as authorities said COVID-19 necessitated church closures, they let BLM protests proceed. We'd be mystified as to the contradiction if God hadn't told us there are spiritual forces seeking to oppose His Church and champion chaos. More recently the Devil's fingerprints are evident in how monkeypox has been declared a "global health emergency" even as the obvious cure isn't being shared. It is getting attention because of the group afflicted (homosexuals), however the prevention (stop messing around!) is only being obscured because it involves taking at least a step toward God's standards for sex. Privacy: who needs it? We're getting tracked by giant social media companies, but, more importantly, by our governments too. But if we're not doing anything wrong, why should we care if they know what we're up to? Well, in a world where the norms are constantly changing, your politics and especially your biblical stances on sexuality could be used against you at a later date. The video below is a libertarian perspective but it offers thoughts worth Christians' consideration too. ...

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Saturday Selections – August 13, 2022

Fantastic fireflies! (8 min) Most everyone would say fireflies are super cool, but we really have no idea. God has crafted a creature that has a near 100% efficiency in turning the energy they produce into light. Compare that to an incandescent bulb that might well be just 10% efficient. A A biblical case for limited government (15-min read) J.P. Moreland offers up his 7-point argument for why Christians should want, and so far as they are able should promote, limits on government. Pastor, what are your 30-year goals? This is directed at pastors, but relevant to us all. It's said "man makes plans, and God laughs" but that's not a discouragement to making plans, but to making arrogant plans – it's in line with what Jesus said about a fellow building his "farming empire" who gave no thought to how God could call him to account that very night (Luke 12:16-21). For God's people, prayerfully setting off in a deliberate direction is about trying to best use the talents God has given you (Matt. 25:14-30). On job satisfaction Some are blessed with many job opportunities, particularly early on in their lives, so if they don't like what they have, the possibility exists for seeking out something more enjoyable. But what if you're stuck in a job you don't like, and there aren't options for anything better? Tim Bayly offers some insights and encouragement... 5 guidelines for dating without regret Tim Challies weighs in with some helpful direction... China's social credit system (6 min) A refugee from China warns us of the oppressive government monitoring system he fled. What he describes happening there is not simply technologically possible here, but is becoming ideologically so, as more and more are demanding government manage ever-increasing portions of their lives. ...

News

Saturday Selections - August 6, 2022

The Great Escape? (8 min) Might God be using technological innovations to grant His people freedom from government tyranny? That's not quite how this fellow puts it, but that is the interesting possibility he's presenting. While this is a libertarian, rather than Christian perspective, we share in common with libertarians the understanding that Man is limited and fallible. That gives us both every reason to oppose centralized government proposals, predicated as they are on those at the top having near-omniscient powers to know what's best for everyone else. Christians know world leaders aren't God, and don't have His omniscience, and thus they shouldn't put themselves in a position that requires them to be god-like. To that insight, Christians can add our awareness of Man's sinful nature, and Lord Acton's adage that power corrupts. So, like this libertarian, we should want government powers to be limited. 5 things you might not know about Eve Did you know that Eve wasn't her real name? Only the rich can "afford" to be godless It's no secret that certain Christian values, like stable marriage, sex within marriage, and abstaining from drug abuse, "strongly correspond to long term success." So why do so many of the richest hold to more "progressive" views on marriage and sex? It might be, because they can afford to. They can use their money to pay the price for their unwise lifestyles. But for the millions of others who admire and imitate them, they are not able to afford these "luxury beliefs." When are you really dead? Though this seems a Roman Catholic writer, he brings insight to an issue that is of growing importance "as doctors’ ability to transplant organs grows." Do we die when our heart stops, or when our brain function seizes? This article doesn't raise the issue of euthanasia, but in the context of transplants, the importance of knowing when a person dies becomes all the more important in a society that has no ethical objection to killing patients. Deut 22:5 is a help to confused Christians  Genesis 1:27 should have been enough, with God declaring that He "assigns" our gender, and no one else. But to His Church, knowing how easily we are influenced by the world, He has also given us Deut 22:5. Everybody loves Jesus until they understand who He really is (1 minute) When the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking the way to get to the heart of it is to ask them what they think about Jesus. ...

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Saturday Selections - July 30, 2022

State or parents: whose child is it? (2 min) The case made for home school here is one Christians – even those of us with our own Christian schools – can and should get behind: God made parents responsible for our children's educational, social, and moral upbringing, not the government (Eph. 6:4, Prov. 1:8-9, Heb 12:7-11, Prov. 22:6, Deut. 6:6-9). The "Distant Starlight Problem": 3 answers If Creation is only thousands of years old, how come we can see light from stars millions of light-years away? This is one of the questions the creationists at Creation Ministries International get asked, and here's a three-pronged answer. National Review's publisher is "married" to his husband  One of the most influential conservative magazines in the US has thrown in the towel on same-sex "marriage" and no wonder, considering the publisher is, himself, in such an arrangement. But they're far from the only purportedly "conservative" media group to embrace the LGBT sexual agenda. The Daily Wire’s Spencer Klavan is "engaged" to a man. Glenn Beck's BlazeTV network features the Rubin Report, where host Dave Rubin announced that he and his "husband" were going to have two children via surrogates. In Canada, Rebel News is using the wrong pronouns for men in dresses. What we're seeing here is that if a media organization doesn't explicitly stand on God's Word, then they will stumble when the culture brings pressure to bear. Help when anxiety keeps you up at night When this pastor's daughter had unexplained seizures, he went to God in prayer and meditated on the truths about God's character and faithfulness described in Psalm 4. Kids, let's talk about sex A pep talk for parents, with tips on how not to make it awkward. For some book-length tips see here and here. Signs you might be a woman The differences can be subtle, but if you're paying attention to the signs, you might just be able to figure it out. And if you're having problems figuring out if you're a man, check out Signs You Might be a Man. ...

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Saturday Selections - July 23, 2022

Wikipedia's bias (8 min) One of Wikipedia's founders now describes it as propaganda for the leftwing. The passive husband A passive husband can come off as likable enough, because he isn't actively working at anything bad. He may even be quite the hard worker outside the home. He's just checking out when he gets home A sentence to bring down abortion (10-min read) We are amazed by stories of individuals who risked their lives to do what is right. But more remarkable still is that a whole village made the same decision to, en masse, to save Jews? What motivated them? How can they inspire us? Free markets bring shalom The least economically free countries have an infant mortality rates almost seven times that of the most free. While Christians know that material prosperity isn't an end in itself, we also know longer life, and happy babies are blessings worth sharing, and we can do so by encouraging economic freedom. New York Times proposing better rules for sex? As a recent NYT article highlighted, some in the world "are realizing how sex without restrictions leads to personal and social chaos. ....Our job is to take it one step deeper, and to point with our words and our lives to a better way." The amazing flying frog...and its evolutionary critics (2 min) In the video clip below, a BBC naturalist highlights just how amazing the Wallace Flying Frog is... but then he criticizes it as badly designed for only being able to glide, and not fly. This type of fault-finding is common among evolutionists, and it blinds them to the amazing reality right in front of them. As the linked creationist article above highlights – and this evolutionist also concedes – this little frog is brilliantly equipped for the treetop environment it inhabits. The criticism that it can't fly is petty, akin to faulting the Mona Lisa for not showing us some teeth. ...

News

Saturday Selections - July 16, 2022

Dude Perfect Jr.? These kids are likely to inspire your own with all their ballon-popping trick shots. The myth that sports stadiums create new jobs and tax revenue The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly been thinking of moving. But why? Because another city is willing to give them more, under the presumption that having the Chiefs will help their city. But is that really so? There's lots of reasons to think it isn't. "...people who go to home games are mostly people from in-town. Those people don’t spend additional money in town when they go to a sporting event. They spend money that they would have spent elsewhere in town. Instead of a nice lunch, people go to a ballgame and get a hotdog. In other words, this is substitutionary spending—not new spending. And what about out-of-town visitors? Well, given the data shows no impact, it must be the case that this spending just isn’t very significant. Perhaps it’s outweighed by die-hard Chiefs fans spending their money in other cities during away games." What lowering the voting age would do There's a push on in some countries to lower the voting age to 16, or even younger. That's only natural in a culture that worships youth. But would a younger voting age actually help those it's supposed to? No, as J. Budziszewski writes: "It would only mean increasing the political clout of those who have influence through the young. Pop stars. Sports coaches. Schoolteachers. Writers and editors of media aimed at teens. Especially people in such groups who have no children of their own to take up their time and attention." Is the human shoulder badly designed? Some folks will look at a brilliant diamond and search it out for a fault, no matter how imperceptible. So it is with our amazing design, and the way evolutionists assess it - they want to find fault, even if they have to get inventive to do it Preach Christianity's weird stuff "...reimagining Jesus and Christianity to appeal to skeptics and unbelievers is nothing new. The result is always the same: We end up with a Jesus who looks nothing like the Jesus of history but looks an awful lot like the person doing the reinventing." Is secular education safe for Christian? Is there anything "neutral" about public schools? Were a teacher to say anything about God, or about how God meant marriage for one man and one woman, we know that teacher would be fired in an instant. Yet the opposite view can be presented and promoted. As Shafer Parker explains, secular education has always been anti-Christian. ...

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Saturday Selections – July 9, 2022

Great moments in unintended consequences (4 min) When governments don't have even a basic understanding of economics, many unintended consequences can result. What I learned about my writing by seeing only the punctuation This is about an intriguing analytical tool for writers or aspiring writers - copy and paste in a piece of your writing and it strips out all the words leaving behind only the punctuation. So what sort of punctuation patterns will emerge for you? Do you overuse question marks? A lot? Or maybe you like to really emphasize your points!!! Fighting addiction with brain surgery? An experimental surgical intervention may help combat addiction, but, as John Stonestreet warns, "any theory of treatment that treats the physical and medical side of a person, at the expense of the moral, interpersonal, or spiritual side misunderstands the human person." Six things I hate about small churches This title is misleading, but the points are good: 6 features of small churches are presented, like: "You will not be able to hide." Why pro-aborts are so committed "To abortion supporters, the prerogative of women to violently hinder the gender-specific ability of their bodies to bear children is central to their humanity. If we believe the biological realities of our bodies oppress or even limit our feelings and desires, we must force our bodies to comply in order to be fully human. Anyone who wants to stop us may as well be killing us." Dr. Jordan Peterson promotes homosexual "marriage" and parenting This is an important and curious article. It highlights how the conservative movement is making a fatal compromise with homosexuals, using as a specific example Jordan Peterson's endorsement of homosexual podcaster Dave Rubin's lifestyle. "'...our culture appears to have decided that gay marriage has become part of the structure of marriage itself,' Peterson stated at the outset of the hour and a half discussion, waving an enormous white flag of surrender." But in appealing for the rejection of this takeover, the article appeals to timeless principles, an immutable definition, a biological truth, eternal principles, ideas tethered to the permanent things, and an enduring moral order. But whose timeless principle are they? Whose enduring moral order is it? Who created this biological truth? We are never told. There is a surrender here too, in defending God's principles, but conceding to the other side their position that God Himself isn't relevant to these debates. Arguments that creationists should not use Do men have one less rib than women, going back to Adam giving up his rib for Eve? Did Darwin recant on his deathbed? No, and no. While biblical creation is true, not all the arguments used to support it are good. The folks at Creation Ministries International have created a list of 40-some arguments Christians sometimes use, but really shouldn't. For an 18-minute podcast on this same topic, click here. Is transgenderism logical? (5 min) God made us male and female, but the world denies there is any difference between the two. But if male and female can't be objectively distinguished, then it is impossible to be born into the wrong body. ...

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Saturday Selections – July 2, 2022

A fish that shoots its prey (2 min) God's craftsmanship is on display in the Archer Fish and Velvet Worm (and it might get you curious about how such effective predators designs came about). How thick is your Bible? How do we tell the right from the almost right? The world speaks of justice, love, tolerance, and equality, and it all sounds so good. But to know if it is actually good, we need to be able to test their definitions against God's. And to do that, we'll need to have "thick Bibles" - we'll need to know, not just a verse or two, but really understand what He has said through and through. This article is intended for Christian counselors but is highly relevant for us all. Will we work on the New Earth? Christians sometimes think work is the result of the Fall and the curse that followed. But God had work for Adam to do right from the start... Christian school caught teaching biblical truth This reads like satire - a parent surprised that the Christian school assigned their child the task of writing a loving and compassionate explanation of the Christian truth about homosexuality to an imagined friend struggling with same-sex feelings. But it's real, and as Albert Mohler notes: "That moment of truth is coming for every school, and every Christian institution had better be ready for it. But I just can’t stop thinking about the parents who are upset because they are getting what they paid for: a Christian education for their children. It appears the greatest enemies of Christian education are not the secular powers outside the schools but the spineless agents of surrender within. "The fact that all this started with a parent upset about an assignment upholding Biblical truth leads me to offer this word of advice to the teacher: Evidently, some of your students need to write that letter to their parents." Sidenote: do many Christian schools assign this kind of task to middle school students? Impressive! An FAQ on the overturn of Roe vs. Wade The US Supreme Court has overruled Roe vs. Wade, but why, and how exactly did it happen? If you've got questions, this FAQ article has the answers. Another weak link in evolutionary theory This is a short read that'll reward the close attention it requires – this is an important one! The gist? One of the arguments for evolution has been common features in different species: both human hands and bat wings have five "fingers" and, so the argument goes, that might indicate a shared five-fingered ancestor deep in the two species' past. But imagine now, if similar traits were discovered to be programmed for in very different parts of the genome. That's what has been recently discovered: "...the functions necessary to sustain life are carried out by different molecules coded by different genes in different species." What is the basis for equal rights? (4 min) Even atheists have acknowledged that the only basis for equal human rights is found in Christianity. After all, in what sense are any of us equal, from a secular perspective? I might be bigger than you, you may be faster than me, and that person over there might be smarter than us both. So in what sense are we equal? As Nancey Pearcey and Greg Koukl explain, the only sense in which we are equal is that we are all made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). And when secular folk talk of equal rights they are "freeloading" from the Christian worldview. ...

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Saturday Selections – June 25, 2022

Economics 101 in 7 great quotes (6 min) David Bahnsen's company manages more than $3.5 billion in client assets but, in Reformed circles, he might be best known as the son of presuppositional apologist Greg Bahnsen. Here he gives a fantastic primer on economics using seven key quotes. (For more check out his book There's No Free Lunch: 250 Economic Truths.) Why a seven-day week? Years come from the rotation of the Earth around the Sun, and months come from the lunar cycle, so where does the week come from? Christians know it springs from the Creation Week, of course. The world has tried to tinker with seven days, trying from 5 to 10 day "weeks" but 7 keeps winning. How well are we fulfilling God's original command? ARPA Canada asks, how well are Canadians doing with God's "be fruitful and multiply" command (Gen. 1:28)? Their answer? Not so good – were it not for immigration, our population might be shrinking! Their solution? We need to better foster an appreciation for children, which includes not aborting 75,000+ of them each year. That's a very good suggestion But another is less clearly so. While acknowledging "changing the cultural conversation about children isn’t primarily the task of the government" they do suggest government child benefit cash transfers and more generous parental leaves. But were parental leaves first put in place to enable families to prosper, or to encourage women to get out of the home? These leaves increases the tax burden, making them one more reason it's difficult for families to get by on a single income. The secular world demands cradle-to-grave care from their government, turning to it as a stand-in for the God they deny, but Christians who know the government to be limited, fallible, and flawed, should ask for much less. So yes, to pressing for protection of the unborn, but let's say no to more government programs aimed at "supporting" the family. This Texas teen wanted an abortion. She now has twins. (10-min read) Something to celebrate: Texas has passed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country and the Washington Post just shared the story of a teen couple the law prevented from aborting their twins. They didn't mean to share a pro-life story. However, when they contrast what these two gave up, with the two living babies and a pro-choice mom who is grateful for them and wondering what would have happened to them but for this new law, it is pro-life indeed. The CRC takes a stand on sexuality More to celebrate: "Last week, the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s 2022 Synod overwhelmingly voted to uphold its historic confessional position that the Bible permits sexual activity only within a marriage between one man and one woman. ....This move came as a surprise to many outside the denomination, though a very welcome one.... p to a third of the professors at Calvin University opposed the decision. By contrast, the vote at Synod was not close. The motion carried 123 to 53." How to greet the end of Roe vs. Wade 49 years after the Roe vs. Wade US Supreme court decision made abortion legal in the US, it has been overturned. It's a moment to thank God... and get to work. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade doesn't make abortion illegal but simply makes it possible to do so. New restrictions will mean more living babies and a need for more adoptions and more crisis intervention to enable these children to stay with the mothers who do want them. So there will be a need for more generosity from God's people. Click on the link above for what the Church can do. Watch the video below to see just how demonic the opposition is outing itself to be. If they can't murder babies, they're going to turn to violence and vasectomies! A word of warning about language - specifically f-bombs - that are mostly but not entirely bleeped. ...

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Saturday Selections – June 18, 2022

Can our kids be salt and light in government schools? (2 min) Maybe... if they were trained. But in a government school who is training whom? A 4-year-old can run an errand This NPR article has a good dose of common sense but mixes it with evolutionary psychology so it isn't something to swallow whole. Its value lies in its counter-cultural pitch: giving our children more responsibility at younger ages. The world wants to selectively give children more responsibility but in reckless ways, leaving them unguided and unprotected when it comes to sexual activity, or whether they actually are the gender God made them. We aren't to abandon our children that way... but we also aren't to coddle them. This is an eye-opener on how our children may be able to embrace responsibility at younger ages than we might have considered. It can start small, like getting a small one to go track down the milk by themselves the next time you're in the grocery store. Most men don't have real friends (but need them) "One hundred years ago, men were far more comfortable showing each other everyday physical affection: draping arms over shoulders, sitting close to each other, even holding hands.... The typical ways men have shown each other affection for all of human history are so foreign to us that, when we see them, we don’t recognize them. That’s the exact phenomenon C.S. Lewis wrote about in The Four Loves, when he said that “those who cannot conceive friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a friend.” The continuing importance of Thomas Sowell (10-min read) Never heard of Thomas Sowell? This 91-year-old economist has continually made the case against public schools and does so again in his latest book Charter Schools and their enemies. "Schools exist for the education of children. Schools do not exist to provide iron-clad jobs for teachers, billions of dollars in union dues for teachers unions, monopolies for educational bureaucracies, a guaranteed market for teachers colleges, or a captive audience for indoctrinators." God has the Left fighting itself (30-min read) One of the ways God protects His Church is by having His enemies reap what they sow (Gal. 6:7, Prov. 22:8, Luke 6:38). This lengthy article provides example after example of the groups pushing the cancel agenda being sent into turmoil when their employees apply that same standard internally. The Saviour-less Left still believes in sin, but not forgiveness, leading to a constant state of dissatisfaction at what's being done. And that leads to ironies like the abortion-pushing Guttmacher Institute being criticized internally by its staff for being too abortion-focussed, and not caring enough about reproductive justice. We can only pray that they'll continue to distract themselves so. This is a long read, but for the many who are distraught at what seems to be an endless flow of bad news what an encouragement it will be to see how God is fighting for us. That said, this reporter isn't offering a Christian perspective – he's reporting here as a friend of the Left. But those with eyes to see will have something to celebrate. We aren't in these groups, so we can't take credit for any of their implosions – this is the Lord fighting for us; we need only be still. 5 cool things about fish Did you know some fish can: 1) regrow their teeth, 2) "see" with their skin, 3) out"run" Usain Bolt, "4) and incapacitate a horse? Paul Tripp with 5 questions parents should ask their kids (12 min) To discipline their children parents will often turn to fear, bribery, and shame. But these generally only work short-term. If we're going to be on "Team Little Johnny" to help him become a more godly man, we need to help him see what he's doing rightly. And we can help him do so, not so much by lecturing as by asking good questions. ...

News

Saturday Selections – June 11, 2022

Discovered: new mode of flight! Have you heard of a beetle with feathers? It wasn't so long ago that scientists thought that the beetle in this article didn't fly at all, but just got carried along by the wind. But it turns out this little guy uses feathered wings to fly. To read about this, and two other remarkable beetles, click on the link above. Or check out the 4-minute video below. Kevin DeYoung on the pretense of Pride month DeYoung makes two key points: 1) that by marketing their movement on "pride" – on feelings of self-worth – the homosexual movement evaded a rational evaluation of their agenda, and 2) Pride month might be an indication that they dost protest too much. "If you need the worlds of sports, entertainment, education, media, and government to celebrate your sexuality in order to feel proud, maybe your conscience is trying to tell you something." Pro-life MP kept out of Parliament for not disclosing her vaccination status On April 25, 2020, the The Globe and Mail ran a column headlined "We are giving up our freedoms in the fight against COVID-19. The question is will we get them back?" Over two years later, Cathay Wagantall's exclusion from Parliament shows that's still the question. Jesus' response to massacres - why? " answer today would seem rather abrupt and terse. He made sure first that they understood that such human disasters are not always correlated with some particular sin on the part of the victims.... But, what does he say? I tell you 'unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.'...” Don't say "they": Why pronouns matter Pronouns may not seem like a fight worth having, but as Chesterton said, “The Church and the heresies always used to fight about words, because they are the only thing worth fighting about.” Man kills 6; Supreme Court rules 150 years is "cruel and unusual" (1o-min read) ARPA Canada weighs in on a recent Canadian Supreme Court decision that says "rehabilitation is the basis upon which all criminal law is based." Really? How does that compare to biblical justice? Homeschooling movie in US theaters June 13 and 14 The Left is getting increasingly brazen about declaring our children as being the State's. Christians need to stand together and make clear that God has given us parents the responsibility and privilege to be our children's primary educators (whether that is with some help from a private school or not). This new film from Kirk Cameron looks like it could be a great encouragement. It's playing only in American theaters this next week but is sure to be released soon for online streaming, so be sure to check out the trailer below. ...

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Saturday Selections – June 4, 2022

The Left rediscovers biology (3 min) At the risk of ruining the joke, this video is deeper than its creator knows. When we reject God's standard - not only for gender but anything else – we're left not simply with another standard, but ultimately with no standard at all. That's because whatever else is proposed won't have a foundation, and pushed to its logical end, it will topple. And, as in this video, when a real reliable standard is sought, the seekers will then find themselves nearing the standard God has put in place all along. A peculiar disapproval of gay pride (10-minute read) There is a specific way that Christians are called to disapprove of homosexuality, based not simply on distaste, but on the truth of God's Word. As John Piper writes: "Christians do not base what we ought to do on what we feel like doing — or not doing. Desires can be deceitful. Rather, we are to “understand what the will of the Lord is.” God’s truth, not our desire, points the way to freedom: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Some non-Christians may argue that the desire for sodomy is enough to make it good. But by that same principle, the feeling of revulsion toward sodomy is also good. If it feels good, it’s okay. Therefore, sodomy is okay, and revulsion at sodomy is okay. A Christian does not think this way." So many beetles, so little time? How do we account for 350,000 species of beetles if Noah's flood was only 4,500 years ago? 44 ways to keep your kids off of screens Some of these are fantastic. Others...less so. In our house, we play "hallway hockey" with a lightweight ball. Absentee fathers, not guns, are the problem  "School shootings in America have dramatically increased over the last few decades. Gun ownership, however, hasn’t." The Church's role in "fixing" Capitalism The economic system most compatible with Christianity is easily corrupted without Christianity. 50 ways to score a half-court shot Some inspiration for your kids, for working on their shot! ...

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Saturday Selections – May 28, 2022

Great moments in unintended consequences "But I didn't mean to!" is a child's frequently invoked defense become parents will generally buy it, at least so long as it is true. It doesn't work if that errant elbow or accidental eye poke was delivered while a kid was busy doing something he totally shouldn't have been doing. Then dad won't much care whether it was intentional. or not. So what about when the government throws an accidental haymaker? Sure, some government programs go horribly wrong, but most are started with the best of intentions, right? So don't we just have to take the bad with the good, and hope they'll do better next time? Well, the problem is not simply that some programs go wrong – we know perfection is unattainable – but that the government gets some things wrong that they should never have been doing in the first place. Then claiming "good intentions" is no excuse at all. What lowering the voting age would do There's a push on in some countries to lower the voting age to 16, or even younger, and that only natural in a culture that worships youth. But would a younger voting age actually help those it's supposed to? No, as J. Budziszewski writes: "It would only mean increasing the political clout of those who have influence through the young. Pop stars. Sports coaches. Schoolteachers. Writers and editors of media aimed at teens. Especially people in such groups who have no children of their own to take up their time and attention." Science writers: journalists, or just PR agents? A former science editor for the New York Times, writing about science writers asked, “Journalists, or PR Agents?” He asked this in the context of reporting on the origins of COVID-19 virus "but what he says applies even more so to reporting on evolution." The year of the graves: how the world’s media got it wrong on residential school graves (10-min read) "One particularly unhelpful feature of the residential schools coverage involves the careless conflation of horrific, verifiable crimes with second- and third-hand accounts of childhood horror stories. Reconciliation is not what you get when you render Canadians incapable of believing what they’ve been told about the schools." Gratitude rewires your brain "...gratitude is not a magic cure for all that ails us. It is, however, for mental health what vegetables are for physical health: vital, underrated, and sometimes difficult to swallow. " Teachable moments from your epic parenting fails (10 min read) "...after raging at my son that morning, I didn’t offer a heart-level apology.... Hence, I picked up my cell to call him at my mom’s and attempt something more Christlike. What I’ll always remember? His response. 'Mommy, I forgive you. And I want to let you know that even when you do bad things, I still love you. And even when you do bad things, God still loves you.' Now I felt really bad for yelling. The power of this teachable moment lay in my 4-year-old repeating the encapsulated gospel back to me. He not only got it; he applied it. (Granted, that night after he spit on the bathroom mirror, his response felt less glorious: 'I want to let you know that even when I do bad things, I still love you.')" The bombardier beetle doesn't blow up God's genius is evident in the stunning craftsmanship of these bombmaking beetles... ...

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Saturday Selections – May 21, 2022

Why free trade is win-win So long as two people make an exchange voluntarily, it's going to be win-win. If I trade $10,000 for your used Volkswagon Beetle, it's only because I must think the car is worth more than the money, and you'll only sell it to me if you think the money is worth more to you than the car. Otherwise, neither of us would make the trade. That means, in making this voluntary exchange, we're both better off than when we started – we both believe we've gotten more than we had before. That means business, as it is normally done, makes both parties wealthier. Jesus on the age of the Earth It's so clear that Jesus believed in a young world, that the only way leading theistic evolutionists can reconcile His statements with their old Earth views is to say... He got it wrong. How the US government exasperated the baby formula shortage Tariffs and restrictions on European brands have limited American alternative supplies. "Bureaucrats in DC no doubt will tell you their formula is the correct and healthy one, while bureaucrats in the EU almost certainly would contend they have the right mixture of ingredients. This invites an important question: who actually has the best baby formula for infants, the EU or the US? Many may think they know, but the economist Thomas Sowell reminds us this is the wrong question. 'The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best,' Sowell says." The war in Ukraine and the myth of overpopulation Russia has lost thousands of soldiers in their invasion, and "the majority of those poor young men killed for Russians honor will be their mother's only son, in many cases their only child..." Why? While we still hear fearful mention made of the danger of overpopulation such fearmongering has Russia shrinking by more than 100,000 a year, and every continent but Africa is facing birth rates at near or below replacement rate. Why then does the fearmongering persist? Because this anti-natal ideology is in rebellion against not simply the facts, but God. Because He says children are a blessing, our culture persists in treating them as a curse. What else fueled the Buffalo shooter? The man who targeted blacks and killed 10 people this last weekend was a racist, but what wasn't shared is that his purported manifesto appealed to evolution as the basis for his racism. Is college worth it? If you're going to college and university to get a good job, then it's worth considering what sort of return you'll get on your investment of 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars (not just in tuition, books, and rent, but in deferred income you would otherwise have earned if you were out in the workforce). "If you get a degree in something like Art, Music, Philosophy, or Psychology, there's a pretty good chance you're going to be worse off financially than if you'd never gone to college at all." The article linked to above and the video below use American numbers, but offer something for Canadians to consider too. ...

News

Saturday Selections – May 14, 2022

US creates 1984-ish Disinformation Governance Board Meanwhile, in Canada, the government's Bill C-11 would give the government enormous power over the Internet. So, like our American counterparts express below, we need to call on our government to "shut this down." Social media: designed to addict Jonathon Van Maren reviews RP contributor Chris Martin's new book, and shares how: "In order for people to use social media responsibly—i.e., not get addicted—we essentially have to use these platforms in ways that they were not designed to be used." Canadians love government spending...but not paying for it The Fraser Institute has found support drops off dramatically for three new government spending programs when a cost is mentioned. It seems much of the initial support was based on an assumption that the programs would cost nothing. But isn't this like going out for a meal and then being all surprised when the bill comes? Don't we all know, there is no free lunch? No. As Henry Hazlitt noted, "The world is full of so-called economists who in turn are full of schemes for getting something for nothing." Governments tout the benefits of their program but seldom spell out all the costs, so it may well be that taxpayers have been tricked into thinking that lunch will be free. Or the answer might be found on a different front: some support might have come from people who thought they would get the benefit, and someone else the cost. Here's the real reason young people can't afford a house It comes down to trade-offs... that politicians aren't even willing to acknowledge. LA woman discovers 100+ mail-in ballots Canada's federal, in-person voting on Election Day has each vote counted by a poll clerk, as well as representatives from all the major parties. That means there isn't just one count, but at least four (Election Canada's, plus counts from the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP). This process precludes not only the possibility of fraud but even the appearance of it. Our in-person voting procedure is secure and it is spectacular. In contrast, mail-in ballots leave possibilities like this... We need to talk about Assisted Reproduction "The pain of infertility is real and deep, and the desire for children is natural, inherent, and good. It’s a tragedy whenever someone who embraces this desire is unable to experience it. At the same time, we question the use of certain artificial reproductive technologies. Ours is a culture in which adult happiness is prioritized over the rights of children, both in the taking and the making of preborn life..." "It's not a boat!" (52 min) If you've thought about visiting the life-size model of the ark they've built down in Kentucky, you won't find a better preview than this 1-hour tour with Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham and Babylon Bee's editor-in-chief Kyle Mann. Mann brings some of the funny, but in a surprising twist, Ham proves to be quite the sardonic wit! ...

News

Saturday Selections – May 7, 2022

The relationship between Mohammed and Satan (7 min) When someone claims to have a revelation from God there are three possibilities for us to consider: It is a product of only their own mind: they are making it up or are crazy. They are getting revelation, but it isn't from God. It's from the devil. They are getting revelation from God. David Wood examines these possibilities when it comes to Mohammed... Gen Z enters the ministry: 3 big challenges As Gen Z hits 25, the culture they've grown up with presents them with 3 challenges their parents might not have had to face, or not to the same extent: growing up with porn at the ready on their phone Gender confusion - even in the Church we're getting confused about what makes males and females different Opinions trumping facts - it'd more and more about "lived experiences" A chance to speak up for the unborn This week it was reported that the US Supreme Court may overturn Roe vs. Wade – this is the 1972 court case that legalized abortion in the United States. The reports are based on a leaked early draft of an upcoming Supreme Court decision, and this news has pro-abortion protesters camping out on the Supreme Court steps shouting "My body, my choice." Of course, this same chant was recently used by some who didn’t want the COVID vaccines. But their appeal to bodily autonomy was labeled “selfish.” It was deemed good and right to pressure the unwilling to get jabbed because it was being done for the sake of others. Whatever we might think of that argument, what we have here is a God-given opportunity to make a point. And what a swing and a miss it would be if we made that point about vaccines rather than the unborn! “My body, my choice” doesn’t apply when lives are at stake? Well, let's take that to its logical end: banning abortion would save almost one million American lives every year! So let's ask the Left, "If you think ‘my body, my choice’ is a selfish reason to refuse the vaccine, why would it be any sort of justification for killing a baby?" https://www.instagram.com/p/CdHHJ7HuJsV/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link Great pro-life shirts for sale To help you speak up for the unborn, Canadians and Americans can order some great pro-life shirts from Choice42 (the same group that brought us the wacky and wonderful "Magic Birth Canal" video). You can see pictures of the three shirts on offer at the top of this page, and order them by clicking here on the title above. Is brainwashing going to make a dishonorable comeback? "Compulsory moral bioenhancement" is quite the mouthful, but it's just a modern update for what, in the Cold War era, we called "brainwashing." Now some bioethicists are proposing it as a supposedly legitimate alternative to execution or imprisonment for prisoners of war fighting "unjustly." But who defines what's just and unjust when the world has rejected the only fixed standard of God's law? What ethics are these bioethicists standing on? A case against the minimum wage Some who support a mandatory minimum wage do so out of a sense of compassion for the poor. But does such legislation help the poor, or limit their options? In the clip below (from some years back) US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi makes a case that some of the people working in her office don't need to make any wage at all because the experience of working for a United States congresswoman is so educational. That's a good point. Trade school and university are expensive ways to learn new skills, so how much better off young people would be if they could learn what they needed via low-paying or unpaid internships instead. However, in this same clip, Speaker Pelosi also argues for a mandatory minimum wage. She hasn't applied such a rule to her own office, and yet she's sure that it is the right thing for everyone else's workplace. That's hypocritical, to be sure (Matthew 7:2), but more importantly, it is arrogant. She has compelling reasons to carve out an exemption to the mandatory minimum wage for her own situation but is certain that in businesses across the country none of the millions of employees and employers could have different, but equally compelling, reasons to work for free or for some other sum that's below the minimum wage. ...

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Saturday Selections – April 30, 2022

Meet one of Canada's anti-abortion influencers (6 min) Though this profile is by a decidedly left-wing outlet, it still can't help highlight how impactful pro-life warrior Laura Klassen, and her friends, have been on behalf of the unborn. Klassen's own videos, with her satiric takes on pro-choice "logic," can be seen here, here, here, here, and here, and you can also check out her BC-based pro-life group Choice42. It's wrong to play the pronoun game It's not harmless to offer up your "preferred pronouns" and Christians mustn't have any part of it. Why Disney has gone woke (10-min read) Why would a company that's built around family viewing decide to double down on an LGBT agenda so many families oppose? It's because Disney's new "customer base isn't kids. It's messed up adults." Walt's original "business model depended on a healthy national family" but today's "shareholders are not going to bet on a growth segment in the American nuclear family that doesn’t exist. Betting on dysfunctional adults with sizable disposable incomes makes a whole lot more sense." That's why "60% of Disneyland visitors were adults with no children." No-fault divorce ignores data... and children The UK is bringing in no-fault divorce with the argument that it will "remove unnecessary conflict from the process by ending the blame game — helping spare children from the harmful effects this can have.” But, as John Stonestreet explains: "This, 'the kids will be fine' line, is not just nonsense: it’s dangerous nonsense. It flies in the face of everything we know about the impact of divorce on the most vulnerable among us." The unlikely rise of Vladimir Putin (10-minute read) How did Putin rise to power? Thinkr offers book summaries – 10-minute reads with key insights from various bestsellers – and this time they've summed up Masha Gessen's The Man Without A Face, her biography about this infamous world leader. Does the free market help the poor than any other economic system? "As Christians understand, material wealth is not the be-all and end-all of human existence, however: Only market societies have generated wealth sufficient to meet the basic human needs of entire populations. Only market societies have generated sufficient wealth to generate widespread and organized assistance for those unable to care for themselves. Only market societies have generated sufficient wealth to promote other important human objectives, including nutrition and health, environmental protection, and even human happiness." Your cell has a DNA detangler! (5 min) Ever tried to detangle your daughter's hair? God has packed a tiny machine in each of your cells that does the same job for your DNA. This is so unbelievably cool! ...

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Saturday Selections – April 23, 2022

22 minutes on the 2022 budget CBC comedians offer the humorous take, but for a more substantive look at the problem with debt see: Psalm 37:21, Prov. 22:7, and Prov. 13:22. It'll take Christians to argue against pedophilia If sexual orientation is untreatable (and thus conversion therapy is something to be banned)  then what argument does the world have to marshal against pedophilia? A Christian perspective on the ethical treatment of animals Biblical principles give us clear guidance here. "Can I marry my Mormon girlfriend?" If you're asked a question that can only be answered with painful honesty, what sort of answer should you give? A painful one. Unbeliever tries to find comfort in the Psalms Michael Ignatieff attended an event in which all 150 Psalms were sung and was greatly impacted... but couldn't figure out why. Woman in carpool lane claims personal pronouns are "they/them" (3 min) Reality: God defined it; the world denies it. So how can we expose their foolishness? Good questions that push them to define their imitation. Can feelings dictate reality? If two people are offended, which one is right? If feelings make a man a woman, what other realities can feelings determine? How about our race? Or gravity, can I identify as weightless? ...

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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. ...

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