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News

Saturday Selections – Jan. 29, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Jan. 22, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Jan. 15, 2022

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

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 25, 2021

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

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 18, 2021

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

News

Saturday Selection - Dec. 11, 2021

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

News

Saturday Selections - December 4, 2021

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

News

Saturday Selections – November 27, 2021

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

News

Saturday Selections - November 20, 2021

The "A word" (1 min) As has been said, our culture wars are really battles over the dictionary. Whether it's the euphemisms offered in place of the "A-word," or the "redefinition" of terms like marriage, gender and even love, the devil's strategy is to confuse people. Our role? To share God's definitions, revealing the world as God has actually made it. Life inside a woke company (10-min read) Rod Dreher talks with two Christians on the pressures that exist in big companies for Christians to stay quiet and promote the company's latest woke (and maybe LGBT) initiative. Decades ago, pressures to join God-opposing unions prompted many Reformed folk to start their own businesses. We need that entrepreneurial spirit again. Intelligent Design without God Some will credit anything – chance, multiverses, or now, super-intelligent aliens – except God for the fine-tuning of the universe. Why many "Great Books" of the 20th century were by suicidal authors Jonathon Van Maren examines the authors' worldviews from a "50 greatest books" list and finds a whole lot of nihilism. For a better top 50 list, see one on our website here. What happens when Democrats have all the power? What's might be most interesting here is that the warning being issued here is being given by perhaps the most influential of all leftwing publications, the New York Times. Was life discovered on Venus?!? We regularly hear that this or that could be evidence of life on Mars, or on a meteorite, or, as happened late last year, on Venus. And when clarifying information comes in months later disproving the notion, there aren't the same-sized headlines offering up the correction. So, as Spike Psarris explains, looking back at the Venus hype one year later, we can see how the same old mistakes were made again. Commentators do their best "Who's on first?" Whether this was an intentional bit or not, it's a hilarious homage to Abbot and Costello's classic (and Babylon Bee has recently also paid tribute). wow. Abbot and Costello got nothing on @IngrahamAngle.pic.twitter.com/kuqxaFSyuD — ken olin (@kenolin1) November 16, 2021 ...

News

Saturday Selections - November 13, 2021

Though you slay me (6 min) John Piper teams up with Shane & Shane in this must-listen. On Christian conscience and vaccination (5 min read) Larry Taunton has a bone to pick with John Piper about vaccines. Soft flexible nerves found in Triceratops "If these fossils were millions of years old, we would not expect to find any actual soft tissue or biomolecules." Fewer children because of climate anxiety? Some people are having no or fewer children to save the planet. They've got it dead wrong, John Stonestreet explains. How to prepare for the Metaverse (10-minute read) Facebook recently announced plans to rebrand themselves as "Meta" but they aren't the first to speak of a coming "metaverse." It's not just an online world, but online worlds, all of them linked and providing users the opportunity to represent themselves digitally however they want to be seen. Ian Harbor outlines the challenges the Church may face, but also presents the opportunities, and how this may sharpen the antithesis between God's people and the world. Great article! Teens are lonelier than ever: what do smartphones have to do with it? "In theory, this connection should bode well for teens’ well-being — in particular, they should feel less loneliness, an emotion that occurs when we feel alone and disconnected from others. But has it boosted teen well-being? Do teens feel less lonely?" Happily divorced vs. unhappily married? (6 min) The video below and article above present a practical case against divorce and offers it up to a world that too often looks too quickly at divorce as a solution for marriage problems. So, this is a corrective to myths the world pitches that a happily divorced is clearly better than unhappily married. But it is important to put such a practical case in a biblical context where we see that God says that He hates divorce (Mal. 2:16, Matt. 19:6) but does also allow for it (Matt. 19:8). ...

News

Saturday Selections - November 6, 2021

Safe spaces should be about being safe to share ideas, not being safe from ideas (5 min) CNN host Van Jones wouldn't be called a conservative by anyone so it was interesting to hear him take on the idea of "safe spaces" on university campuses  7 marks of a good apology, 8 marks of a bad one This would be a good review for all of us! One lesson of the pandemic? Humility We have limitations in knowledge, time, and ability... but is that how we act? RP contributor Hendrik van der Breggen advocates for humility too in his article "We need some healthy skepticism about science and medicine." The great chromosome fiasco "Follow the science" is a phrase often heard, but seldom considered. Who decides what the "science" says? Is it science when some say men can become women? Or when some say that the unborn are not alive? When it comes to evolution, no one can show how life could come from non-life on purpose, and yet science supposedly says it happened. So nonsense can get passed along in the name of "following the science" and this short article shows how it sometimes happens. What Jordan Peterson taught us about the Holocaust "Dr. Jordan Peterson is frequently moved to tears as he begs his listeners to realize that it was so-called 'good' people and 'normal' people and 'nice' people that allowed the Holocaust to happen—and in many cases, even facilitated it. We must all realize, Peterson says with a passion that demands attention, that it was people like us who murdered the Jews, and it is essential that we understand why that happened, and how that happened." Serious or satire? The Babylon Bee, a Christian satire site, and its sister site Not the Bee, which reports the news of the day, have crafted a 10-question quiz where you get to guess what's fact and what's farce. It says something about our culture's crafters when the real and the ridiculous are so hard to tell apart. Taste and see (5 min) Shane and Shane with an amazing song based on Psalm 34. ...

News

Saturday Selections - October 30, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections - October 23, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections – October 16, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections – October 9, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections - October 2, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections – Sept 25, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections – Sept 11, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections – September 4, 2021

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

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Saturday Selections – August 28, 2021

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

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