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News

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. ...

News

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. ...

News

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! ...

News

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... ...

News

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. ...

News

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! ...

News

Saturday Selections – April 16, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – April 9, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – April 2, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 26, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 19 , 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Mar. 12, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections - March 5, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections - February 26, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 19, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 12, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Feb. 5, 2022

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

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