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News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 30, 2023

The Babylon Bee's Spelling Bee "Can you give me the definition?" Play vs. screens "Screen time is stolen time," said one expert. What did he mean? That the 20%-45% of the day that kids spend on screens is stealing away kids' opportunities for free unstructured play and for creating, rather than just consuming. Richer than you knew When budgeting gets tough, it's worth considering our blessings. One nugget: if you've ever had pineapple on your pizza you've enjoyed a luxury the likes of which the very richest couldn't have imagined a couple hundred years ago. Back then a pineapple cost $8,000! Frozen embryos are the new orphan crisis (15 min read) This story doesn't really get into the overall harm the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) industry has caused in treating children as a good – to be sorted, implanted, frozen, or disposed of, however their parents might wish. Two thirds don't reach the blastocyst stage, and of those that do, millions have been thrown away. What this story is about is the more than a million others that have been frozen, where they remain in a state of limbo, left orphaned by parents who no longer have a use for them. But over the last couple of decades couples have been adopting these children and carrying them to term. Many Christians are conflicted about the morality of such a "snowflake adoption" because it necessarily involves working with the same IVF industry that's been killing millions of unborn babies in the first place, and it uses a process that depersonalizes the unborn into a product. So, can snowflake adoption really be good? Adoptions always involve tragedy – a set of parents has either died, or in some cases is unable or unfit to raise their own children. That children were ever put in a position from which they needed rescuing is sad... but to do the rescuing is wonderful. Christians understand adoption as God's own rescue plan (Eph. 1:5). So to go and do likewise is simply to imitate our great God. A response to an employer’s request for pronouns "I recently spoke to a Stand to Reason supporter who received a company-wide email saying leaders were expected to display their pronouns. After considering the cost and thinking carefully through his response, this is what he told his employers..." How to get your kids excited about reading the Bible Pastor and professor David Murray has some helpful suggestions, and they start with modeling. More help can be had with his 6 tips for reading the Bible with your kids. Pacific Golden Plover defies evolution This little bird makes an 80-hour migratory flight from Alaska to Hawaii. But it only has the fat reserves to fly 70 hours. And it can't swim. So how does it make it? ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 23, 2023

How could reproduction evolve? (3 min) That reproduction happens all the time has people thinking that it's no big thing. But it needs all our body's systems to be working to pull it off, all working at the same time, and in perfect sync, interacting in just the right order at just the right time, with one another. Should we leave our children with a monetary inheritance? Proverbs 13:22 says: "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous." Randy Alcorn looks at this verse and offers some pointed thoughts for our consideration. Stubborn facts about saving sex for marriage Multiple studies confirm that the world's “try before you buy” plan for marriage doesn't work like God's "save it" command. The world's not going to hear that if Christians aren't confident themselves that God's ways are best, so let's say it one more time: God's ways work! 11 practical ways to reduce digital consumption  If you or your kids are anxious or depressed, your devices could be one reason. 8 habits that could add 24 years to your life These tips aren't anything you haven't heard before, but maybe you underestimated their importance – this is about being good stewards of the bodies God has given us. I love my transgender son. I love Jesus more. The author doesn't understand why this is happening to his son. But he trusts that what God says is right and best and good. Another pro-life prophet Nathan moment In  2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan gets King David to render judgement on one situation, and then demands David apply that same principle to his own situation. In this clip, Freedom Toon's Seamus Coughlin is questioning why a baby's location would deprive it of all rights. It's a good point, but a third party to the conversation comes in with an even better one – if a baby's location deprives it of all rights, then why shouldn't we let a pregnant mom do meth? ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 9, 2023

If you can choose your gender, can you choose your race? In this secular video, the presenter compares blackface – whites using black make-up to caricature blacks – with "womanface," where guys say they identify as women. The argument: it would be hypocritical to object to someone identifying as another race if you think it's okay for men to identify as women. A good point, and a fantastic video. But it has the same fundamental problem that all secular "apologetics" have – he's attacking a lie without presenting the Truth, which in this case is that God made us male and female (Gen. 1:27).  So when he confronts students with their hypocrisy, they are left knowing they have to make a choice, but not knowing which way to head. It's like the old joke about a man who insisted he was dead. His doctor asked him, "Do dead men bleed?" to which the man replied, "No, dead men don't bleed." The doctor then pricked the man's finger and, after the man saw the drop of blood forming, the patient shook his head, amazed: "I'm sorry doctor, I was totally wrong. It turns out...dead men do bleed." Similarly, these students might resolve their hypocrisy the wrong way and decide, "I guess blackface is okay." We don't want hypocrites to resolve their hypocrisy by being more consistently wrong – we don't want them to flip from one lie to another. If we're going to help them, Christians have to take this discussion one step further. Like this video, we can creatively highlight the world's silliness and tear down its lies, but we need to do so while standing unashamedly on God's Truth. Left using math to preach their worldview (10-min read) Even Christians will buy into the notion that some areas of life are basically neutral, and the subject of mathematics might well head that list. After all, it doesn't really matter whether you are Christian or non-Christian, 2+2 is still going to equal 4... right? True, sort of. As Christians, we know our Father is a God of order, and so because 2+2 equaled 4 yesterday, we have reason to trust that it will again tomorrow. But why would someone who thinks this is all random, pointless, and without design presume that order from one day should exist in the next? That they do just shows they aren't really living out their own worldview, but rather borrowing from the Christian worldview. Now, as this article details, we're seeing the world act more consistently with their own worldview, using even math to push their own agenda. "In 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned 54 out of 132 school maths textbooks submitted for use in the State’s schools either because they did not meet various required standards or because, in his officials’ opinion, they were simply being used as vehicles for leftist propaganda – if you wish to transform this into a politicised maths problem of your own, that’s 41%." Free 24-page creationist activity booklet for kids Are your kids into word searches, spot-the-differences, coloring pages, code-breaking puzzles, and learning about all sorts of different animals? Then be sure to download and print off the latest Acts and Facts Kids edition! Not the way to help depressed teens Programs that schools are using to help kids with anxiety and depression may be making things worse instead. The fact that the State has co-opted the educational role God gave parents (Deut. 6:6-7, Prov. 22:6) means they are doing something God never intended for them, and we shouldn't be surprised if they do it badly. And we shouldn't grant them any grace, no matter how good their intentions might have been, when they hurt children doing a job that wasn't theirs in the first place. The State needs to learn humility, and step away from education altogether. (Not the Bee headline today: Teenagers more likely to be mentally healthy if their parents are conservative). A climate demonstration we'd like to see "To all the people gathering at COP28 wanting to get the public onside we have a piece of advice: plan a big demonstration. No, not of the Extinction Rebellion/Just Stop Oil kind. Rather....if you’re so sure this energy transition can work, and be fun exciting cheap easy and great, stop with the grand pontificating and finger-pointing, and show us a demonstration project. Show us just one large or even medium-sized jurisdiction that can run its economy on ‘green’ energy." Can Geert Wilders be an ally for Dutch Christians?  The November 22 Dutch elections resulted in Geert Wilders's "Party for Freedom" (PPV) gaining more seats than any other. Their Parliament seats 150, and the PPV's 37 seats leaves them with 12 more than the next nearest party, putting them in a position to form a coalition government. The media has labelled Wilders as far right for his stance against Islam, but as Jonathon Van Maren explains, it'd be more accurate to call him a liberal, for his stances on abortion and homosexuality. So how might Wilders' win impact the country's Christians? Red Green: Automated Fence Painter Red Green, with his own brand of dating advice: if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Dec. 2, 2023

Minimum wage laws increase homelessness, new study finds Despite the best of intentions, minimum wage laws don't create wealth because they don't create jobs - they only outlaw low-paying ones. As economist Thomas Sowell noted, “Among the effects of a minimum wage law, when it is effective, is that many unskilled and inexperienced workers are priced out of a job, when employers do not find them worth what the law specifies.” The government's best of intentions pushes people into homelessness. The moral of the story? The need for humility. It is an arrogant government that thinks it knows best what everyone's labor is worth. This isn't a minor mistake either – when the government so mangles things that they hurt the people they are trying to help, that's not an "oopsy" but a travesty. They took on the role of omniscient hero, and because they couldn't possibly measure up, they've instead become the bumbling bully. The energy transition that isn't From 2004 to 2022, the world has spent $4.1 trillion on solar and wind energy efforts. But in that same time period, while wind and solar energy output grew by 32 exajoules (EJ), hydrocarbon (oil, gas, coal, etc.) consumption grew by 110 EJ – we're relying on hydrocarbons for energy even more than we used to. Climate conference hypocrisy is instructive The latest climate conference started this week, and it may set a new record for participation: tens of thousands will be jetting in and spewing CO2 on their way to and fro. Regardless of whether it is 70,000 or only the same 35,000 as last time, the hypocrisy is still enormous... and revealing. These are the same folks who make big of fossil fuels when it comes to your and my usage. Then they talk of climate change as an "existential crisis." And if it were a threat to our very existence, then we might all agree that governments would be justified in implementing painful, costly, and even draconian measures to counter it. Whatever it takes, because there is no Planet B! But 70,000 plane tickets? What's the CO2 count for that? Why doesn't that matter? If we're really at a crisis point, then wouldn't drastic measures be warranted at the highest levels too? Our leaders could show the way by implementing their own painful measures, holding their conference via teleconference. But no, we're not at that level of crisis yet. We're only at the level where ordinary citizens should tighten their belts to pay more for food and heating. But we're nowhere near where our elected leaders should have to sacrifice face time. Hypocrisy is aggravating, but more importantly it is instructive. Our leaders say there is a crisis, but their actions tell1 us otherwise, and actions do indeed speak louder than words (1 John 3:18, James 1:22, Titus 1:16, Luke 6:46). That's an important point to share, as Cardus notes, climate worry is one reason why women are having less children. Instagram addicted your teen because she's worth $270 to them "Meta designed its Facebook and Instagram products to keep young users on them for longer and repeatedly coming back, the attorneys general allege." So reports CNBC's Laura Feiner. It's worth noting, that the same could be said of any website, included ReformedPerspective.ca. Meta is, of course, way better at it, but that still wouldn't be a problem except that the content that Meta steers people to can exacerbate their problems. If, for example, you are spending too much time looking at the "beautiful people" – folks who have whole teams involved in their make-up and photography – then Meta will feed you more of it. And that can't help but shape self-perceptions, because we do become what we eat (John 6:51). So, this is another warning to parents to be actively involved in your children's smartphone and social media usage... and that might start with reassessing our own usage. We will be blamed for transgender crimes As more and more gender-confused youth start regretting the genital mutilation and chemical castration they have done to their bodies, the pro-mutilation side is going to have to find a way to dismiss and undermine their regrets – the transmutilation lobby will figure out how to gaslight the people they've damaged. And in this column, Jonathon Van Maren highlights the lie that is coming: that folks who regret the removal of their healthy body parts don't actually regret it; they just regret living in a trans-hating society that won't celebrate their new self. In other words, people, Christians among them, who won't pretend that you can transition, are to blame. Skaters glide across rate Alaska "ice window" This is just glorious - rare conditions up in Alaska set the scene for this unique opportunity to skate across a crystal clear lake. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Nov. 25, 2023

Refuting Mormonism – is there only one God? (9 min) It can be a bit confusing to nail down whether Mormons teach that we can become gods, and whether, consequently, there were gods before God. Official materials will seemingly deny it on the one hand, and on the other share how founder Joseph Smith taught his followers that God "was once as one of us," and how the fifth LDS President Lorenzo Snow crafted this couplet: "As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be." But as Jeff Durbin shows in this clip, that is not what the Bible teaches in Is. 43:10-11 and elsewhere. Turning cow poop into gas to run the tractors Some environmental sorts still see overpopulation as a threat to the planet. But God's people know He gave us a brain to problem-solve with, and two hands to put to work. So we can be creative like our Maker, and come up with intriguing energy-producing, pollution-reducing ideas like turning poop into fuel. Daddy has to work now... If your kids think work is the place that takes daddy from them, then they'll view it quite negatively. So how can we instill a biblical view of work in our kids? The insanity of denying free will To justify their rebellion against God, smart people can believe the craziest things... Potty humor from Old Testament times In 2 Kings 10:27 we read of Israel's King Jehu cleaning house by killing Baal's priests and tearing down his temple. But we get one more detail thrown in - the temple wasn't just destroyed, it was desecrated: "...people have used it for a latrine to this day." An archeological find shows that Judah's King Hezekiah may have done something similar, though more symbolically, one hundred years later. A "symbolic toilet" was found in a dig at Tel Lachish in what some archeologists believed to be a small shrine. They think the purpose was simply to desecrate the unknown false god's place of worship. Or as Newsweek's Kastalia Medrano put it: "Hezekiah's behavior basically stemmed from his belief that his ancestors hadn't worshipped piously enough by turning to other gods, a lapse he apparently intended to remedy by both literally and figuratively defecating on holy places set up to worship those gods." Does earth have methods to regulate climate? Here's an account of climate regulators that the climate models either haven't taken into account at all, or to the right extent. Billions of ways to die (2 min) The authors of Your Designed Body want us to understand while there are billions of ways to die, everything has to go just right for us to be alive. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Nov. 18, 2023

Why Jeff Bezos isn't as wealthy as you think This is not a Christian video, but in explaining why covetous plans for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' wealth might well cause more harm than good, we see here another illustration of how God's 10th Commandment is an example of not simply His righteousness, but also His love - obeying His Law is better for us. Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why I am now a Christian Hirsi, a former Muslim who bravely spoke out about Islam, is now calling herself a Christian. However, if the reasons she gives in this essay are the total of her profession of faith (Christ warrants one mention, and repentance none) then she may not yet be, though we can hope and pray God will continue to move her. Her profession does make a compelling practical case for Christianity. She is sharing that the world needs Christianity to be free. Problems with preferred pronouns "All we’re being asked to do is change one word. It’s a simple request. Just use a different pronoun. It might seem like a no-brainer for a believer to comply. Why cause unnecessary tension by refusing a request to be courteous?" Alan Shlemon explains why it really matters. Creationists are exploring new territory. When a fish gets trapped in a lightless cave, and its future progeny lose their eyes, creationists have noted that this was a loss of, and not a gain of, function. Or, in other words, this sort of "evolutionary evidence" didn't prove evolution at all, since, at best, it might have indicated that a man could eventually devolve into a molecule but it gave no insight into how a molecule could ever evolve into a man. Creationists are now testing whether even such a devolution might be the result of brilliant design. Could it be the result of a built-in ability to adapt to changed environmental circumstances? Creationists are setting out to answer that question... and the preliminary results are in. James Tour calls evolutionists' bluff YouTube "experts" often tout supposed advances in origin-of-life theory. But Intelligent Design proponent Dr. James Tour exposed that for the lie it is, challenging leading experts to show that they've solved any of five fundamental problems origin-of-life theory faces. And no one could. Lots of technical language in this one, but to explain by way of analogy, if scientists claimed that evolution could build a rocket to the moon, Tour is willing to pretend that evolution has indeed built the rocket and then is asking evolutionists to explain only how their theory accounts for the refined rocket fuel. And the fact they can't explain the origin of the smaller thing highlights how they certainly haven't made any progress on the more fundamental issues. Even with living things all around to offer examples and blueprints, and even with supercomputers to aid their theorizing, scientists still can't offer even the basics of how life could have come about by unguided evolution. And let's not forget that these same scientists still can't create life on purpose, even with intelligence, blueprints, supercomputers, and refined chemicals. Wind power on the grand scale envisioned is still an unproven technology Germany is one of the world's leading wind power producers, and they are having troubles. The iron law of woke projection At the risk of belaboring the joke below, I'm going to harp on how it is funny because it is true. Christians are often attacked for the very things our attackers are doing to us. "You're just trying to force your morals on everyone," says the atheist trying to force his morals on us. So, when you are attacked, don't get defensive. Recognize their attack for what it really is: an attempt to deflect from their own behavior. Point them back to God. Let them know that even if their accusations were true  – even if we're horrible hypocrites – our wickedness isn't going to be any sort of defense for them before their Maker. The only "excuse" available to them is through turning to Jesus, and begging Him to cover their sins with His blood. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Nov. 11, 2023

How to help your kids establish Bible reading habits Dr. David Murray with help for parents in setting their family priorities... Your job is not your family "Calling a business, civic organization, or even school a 'family' may be well-intended but comes with unintended consequences that do an injustice to the necessary commitments that should be made to our actual families." Angels from on high – a Remembrance Day story In this WWII true story, the late W.H. Bredenhof recounts how God used some unusual angels to save him and his companion. Thinking smartly about global warming (15-min read) Bjorn Lomborg is willing "to concede that global warming is real, to some large extent manmade, and a serious problem" (a point I would not so readily concede) but still thinks our current attempts at climate management are more hysteria than help. Lomborg is not Christian, but where his worldview aligns with God's is in how he views human worth: if a proposal might supposedly help the planet in the future, but hurts people now, then he knows better than to tread on the poor. On John McCrae, the author of "In Flanders Fields" A look at the man behind the most famous Remembrance Day poem. The case against micromanagement God gave us government because people aren't saints. But governments are made up of people, so we shouldn't expect them to be saints either. And as this video shows, even when the folks in charge do act with the "best of intentions," that still doesn't guarantee the results. ...

News

Saturday Selections - Nov. 4, 2023

Click on the titles below for the linked articles... One reason rent is high Rent control involves the government deciding for apartment building owners the maximum they are allowed to charge. While God does call on us to have compassion for the poor (Prov. 19:17), it'd be to miss the point if we were to understand this as a basis for government rather than individual action. An appeal could be made to the 8th Commandment to argue against rent control, as the more the government decides for you what you can and can't do with your property, the more there is a real sense in which they are taking over ownership from you. The 10th Commandment is also relevant here – such laws wouldn't be passed if we hadn't previously been looking over our back fence at how much our neighbor had. Another reason to believe such programs aren't biblical? No matter how well-intentioned, they don't achieve those intentions. We were designed for music Human beings are able to appreciate music, compose it, and perform it with instruments we've designed or with our own onboard equipment (our vocal cords). But evolution can't really account for these abilities, as they aren't necessary for our survival. Music, then, is one more way in which God is making Himself evident, this time by equipping us to be worshippers. The Christian poetry of John McRae As Remembrance Day approaches, Jonathon Van Maren shares how the author of In Flander's Fields wrote more memorable lines. Hamas attacks deliver clarity on Darwin, atheism, and determinism Michael Egnor notes that Hamas' attacks expose the insufficiency of the scientific dogmas of the 21st century: Darwinism, atheism, and determinism. If atheism is true, there is no Moral Lawgiver, and thus, no good or evil with which we can condemn the killing of innocents. If determinism is true, then we have no free will, and, likewise, can't condemn others' moral choices because they weren't choices. And if Darwinism is true, then the strong killing the weak is simply the natural state of things, and railing against it is as silly as complaining about gravity or the speed of light. But we all know that it was evil, and the terrorists made wicked choices, and that while evil is all too common, it isn't how it should be. So in condemning the Hamas attacks, the world has exposed the insufficiency of its worldviews. 8 steps along the path to wisdom "Really wise people have put a lifetime of effort into gaining wisdom. How do they do it? Here are eight steps." Famous climate predictions that never happened For the last 50 years and more, we've been told that a coming climatic cataclysm is nigh. And if not just around the next corner, then the very next one. Okay, maybe not that one either. This video is from three years back, but just as illuminating today. And as Dr. John Robson says, these false climate predictions would be amusing if it weren't for the poor millions who have to pay more for housing, food, and medicine because of the war on cheap fossil fuel energy. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Oct. 28, 2023

Should Christian participate in Halloween? (2 min) A very short take, offered for your consideration... Economics for beginners: 5 articles to get you started Economics is the science of human action, and if you want to get a good introduction to it, the Institute for Faith, Works & Economics has 5 articles to suggest. Why I no longer use Transgender pronouns... and why you shouldn't either Former lesbian (and English professor) Rosaria Butterfield weighs in... More studies show the harm of recreational marijuana use Marijuana use comes with high costs, whether it's emergency room visits for pregnant mothers, children born prematurely, or mental health issues among young men. Comets show how secular science is assumptions built on assumptions Comets melt each time they pass by our Sun. So if they were to do so for millions of years, then they'd all be gone by now, right? And yet Halley's Comet is still scheduled for a 2061 return, and others keep flying by as well. So what's up? Might comets still being around be evidence of a universe that is very young rather than millions of years old? No, say secular scientists, certainly not! They instead see comets as evidence of a cloud of icy objects – the Oort Cloud – far beyond the outskirts of the solar system that hasn't actually been observed, but must be there, because, well, we need something to explain why we still get comets. The idea is that every now and again the icy chunks way out there bump into each other and send a new comet flying inward toward the sun. But not only is the Oort Cloud theoretical, so too is the way the ice chunks form. Two snowballs thrown at each other don't generally cohere into one – as this article explores, what we see is disintegration, not formation. Which leaves us wondering once again, how do we still have comets? Building an alternative economy Don't share your pronouns? Won't apologize for your privilege? Aren't putting a pride flag on your desk for the month of June? Can't work on Sunday? Then maybe you aren't welcome at this company anymore! As mainstream businesses bow to the idol of wokeness, some Christians are trying to create an alternative economy where Christians can buy from, or work at, companies that aren't spending their Monday morning team meetings trying to figure out how best to shake their fist at God throughout the upcoming week. The commercial below is brilliant and funny and tears down the idols of woke culture, but it's worth asking, what do we replace it all with? At just a minute long, it doesn't have time for anything more than idol toppling, so we can be thankful for what the folks at Red Balloon accomplish here, even as we recognize the need to pick up the baton and carry it forward. More does need to be done – the Church needs to present the alternative to the false gods: our Lord, and His Truth, proudly proclaimed as such. Christians have gotten really good at blowing up the other side's hypocrisy, and we've gotten a lot of help even from non-Christians like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson, and sometimes from the most unlikely of allies like J.K. Rowling and atheist Richard Dawkins, who've both taken on transgenderism. However, there is a problem with just dismantling the other side's arguments and leaving it at that. If we're not proposing Christianity as the solution, we are acting – whether we mean to or not – as if there is some other choice that could be made. We've become very good at exposing the idiot ideas of the Left for the unworkable nonsense that they are. But by not proudly and loudly sharing God's better way, we are actually acting as if it must be unworkable too... or why else wouldn't we share it? In our reluctance, in our silence, in our embarrassment, we are implicitly arguing for some middle ground, some neutral place, that is neither crazy nor Christian. But the choice has always been between Christ and chaos (Matt. 12:30, James 4:4). Isn't that plain enough to us by now? As the great Will Rogers once said, "You can't beat something with nothing." Yet God's people seem to keep trying. It's time we shared the good news with the world that there really is an alternative to the craziness. They need Jesus. And they need to hear about Him from us (Romans 10:14-15). ...

News

Saturday Selections – Oct. 21, 2023

Click on the titles below to go to the linked articles... On the Irreducible Complexity of sperm cells This video is not a Christian presentation, but the many precise and intricate steps it shows – one after another after another – that are all involved in the creation of a new human being can't help but have you praising our Maker. The link above is to an Intelligent Design article on just some of the amazing aspects of sperm cells. Pill may double a woman's risk of depression Christians have another reason not to take it: the pill acts not only to prevent conception but also "thins the uterine lining to hinder the implantation of a fertilized egg." A fertilized egg is, of course, an unborn baby, so one of the actions of the pill is to prevent any conceived child from implanting in its mother's womb. Why a No to trans, but still a Yes to gay "marriage"? (10-min read) The world is beginning to tread the line of rejecting transsexuality, even as it continues to embrace gay marriage. Christians can ask "If people aren’t gender-neutral, might marriage not be either?” Christian Nationalism and blasphemy laws Every nation has blasphemy laws. What they are just depends on what a nation considers sacred and profane. Why some in the Left embraced Hamas "One of the more ridiculous images to make its way around social media sites in the wake of the horrific attack in Israel was a photo of four Westerners with a sign, 'Queers for Palestine.'" John Stonestreet talks about this unity as being based on a mutual hatred of Western traditions. To put it more pointedly, what unites them is Who they hate. Taking a lesson from Pierre Poilievre In a recent exchange, Canadian Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre gave a Masterclass in dealing with hostile questioners – he managed to put an opponent in his place, all while really enjoying an apple. So how'd he do it? Click on the title above to get a fuller explanation, but the short of it is, as Tim Barnett explains below, Poilievre questioned the accusations. The attack was baseless so, in simply asking the accuser to explain himself more fully, Poilievre disarmed him. The takeaway for Christians is to do the same when we are attacked for our beliefs, whether about the unborn, creation, sexuality, or God Himself. The accusations will also be baseless, so our best response will often be to get our accuser to expose the emptiness of his attack by getting him to more fully explain himself. We, too, should question the accusation. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Oct. 14, 2023

Click on the article titles below to go to the linked articles... Evidence for design: the push-pull principle Evolution is supposed to happen in small, random steps. What it can't account for is the push-pull principle, when two independent systems are needed to start and stop a body function. This would require that these two systems evolved not in small random steps but in a tight simultaneous choreography. On Hamas: so this is what they mean by decolonization RP contributor Jonathon Van Maren encourages us to listen to what they are telling us. John Stonestreet and Timothy Padgett also weigh in, on the reality of evil: "Hamas didn’t simply attack Israeli military units or take out strategic targets. They mutilated the bodies of Jewish soldiers, killed entire families, kidnapped children and the elderly, and sexually assaulted women and girls before either killing them or carting them back to Gaza as trophies. One of the kidnapped is a survivor of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews." The crisis of trust in science In recent years "Science" has been celebrated as our only reliable guide, and not really to be questioned. But how is this God-substitute doing? Well, in 2016, Nature reported that more than 70% of researchers had "tried but failed to reproduce another scientist's experiment, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments." Homosexuality is getting pushed in evangelical churches under the guise of neutrality We've seen it happening in the CRC, and now mega-church pastor Andy Stanley is leading the way for sexual compromise in his influential mega-church. As Stand to Reason's Alan Shlemon notes: "Andy Stanley is either naïve or crafty. Either way, he’s dangerous. He’s naïve if he thinks he can host the Unconditional Conference and it will not corrupt the church’s teaching on sexual ethics. Or he’s crafty and is using this conference to change the theology of his church and possibly other churches. Either way, he’s dangerous." Why Johnny can't read.... but can spell G-A-Y God gave us His Word, and thus, Christians love and promote literacy. While the Enemy can misdirect literacy, he can also use ignorance, which might be the best explanation for why many of his schools aren't that interested in the ABCs. This article is a shocker. "With large majorities of their students incompetent in English and math, Los Angeles schools are ramping up efforts—for more gay pride and gender indoctrination." When artificial intelligence makes art, what becomes of the artist? A machine can make a picture, but can it discover meaning? Stop the slinging in politics (2 min) Potty humor aside, this makes an important point – insults don't advance an argument and don't win hearts or minds.  ...

News

Saturday Selections – Oct. 7, 2023

The challenges and reality of climate modeling (5 min) Steven Koonin is a scientist whose experiences include time as undersecretary of science at the Department of Energy in the Obama administration. He's also written Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters and the point he's arguing here is that scientists need to speak with a lot more humility in acknowledging the uncertainty about the conclusions their climate models come to, since they are built on assumptions upon assumptions. For his 1-hour-long interview on the same topic, click here. What makes a man manly? (10-min read) Evolution and God have two very different answers to that question, as Nancy Pearcey explains. Evolution leads to bad science example #6819: human tails Once every few hundred million times or so, a child will be born with what looks somewhat like a tail. Charles Darwin pointed to these instances as examples of our evolutionary origins - throwbacks to tailed ancestors we once had. Then: "In the 1980s, scientists took this theory and ran with it. They argued that a genetic mutation, evolved by humans to erase our tails, could sometimes revert back to its ancestral state." It took a long time, but the facts finally overwhelmed the evolutionary assumptions - these are not evidence of our origins, and not tails at all, but major mishaps, typically associated with an improper fusing of the spinal column. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) Though I myself am a fan of Ranked Choice Voting – where you rank all the candidates from your first preference down to your last – it does have its downsides, which are explored in the article above. While there is no perfect electoral system, some are better and others worse. For example, electronic voting machines are touted for their convenience, but their coding is most often a proprietary secret, which is just one reason they don't allow for the accountability and transparency that pen on paper ballots can offer. And of course, the problem with all democratic systems is that voters can be very wicked and they may just get what they voted for. COVID-19, hygiene theatre, masks, and lockdowns: “solid science” or science veneer? (15 min read) "In an ideal world, there would be some process by which our public health agencies, at least, could come to recognize and admit how badly they managed to 'follow the science' on COVID-19, and how vast was the gulf between their expressions of absolute certainty and what the scientific literature showed at the time was, in fact, a sea of uncertainty. Until such a 'truth and reconciliation' process takes place, it is hard to see how public trust in public health institutions might be restored." Unintended consequences: a reason for restrained government Chesterton is said to have quipped "If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments," his point being that if men won't be restrained by God, then the government will have to step in, and they'll do a hodge podge of it. As opposed to God's divine law, governmental rules and regulations are a clumsy tool, devised as they are by fallible men and often at a great distance from the problems they are trying to address. So it is then, that governmental "solutions" often cause bigger problems – unintended consequences. Understanding this reality, lawmakers should, in humility, use the tool of lawmaking only when they absolutely must. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 30, 2023

Click on the titles below to go to the linked articles. Everything has to be working just right, right from the start (2 min) For a baby to grow, all sorts of systems have to be working just right, and have to have been developed all at the same time. So how could evolution ever get over such a "hurdle"? Overcome your enemies by dying Peter Krol has a rather unexpected strategy for effective Christian engagement – he wants us to "overcome enemies by dying." "God does not ask his people to live as idiotic simpletons or punching bags. God wants his people to overcome strife and evil (Rom. 12:21). But the way you overcome it matters. To win the fight in the wrong way is to lose." Just as you can win badly, there is also a way to lose gloriously. Krol's point is that the outcomes are up to God, and the methods are up to us, so, win or lose, do so with His glory in mind. Krol also lays out five strategies on how best to do so. How to lose your pastor in 365 days There always seems to be a pastor shortage. Might it be worth asking ourselves, how do we in the pews make their job attractive or unattractive? Here are 11 ways to show some appreciation. Why we can't trust the science journals - a climate scientist explains "...a climate scientist has written that he pulled his punches in a climate-change article in order to be published by the prestigious journal Nature." Samuel Sey: Why I am not a "Christian Nationalist" If you support a Christian think tank or lobby like ARPA Canada or the Colson Center that advocates for laws that abide with God's commandments, then by the way some define the term, you are a "Christian Nationalist." But as Samuel Sey notes here, there are a lot of folks fighting for this term, bringing different definitions to it, and the way some others define it, you most certainly aren't a "Christian Nationalist." Unmasking "Christian nationalism" (90 minutes) John Stonestreet, Rusty Reno, and Hunter Baker debate the usefulness of the term "Christian nationalism" and debate also whether Christians should even be trying to bring in Christian laws. Isn't that top-down "Christianization"? That's a good point, and a reason why, in our efforts to bring in laws that align with God's commandments, we should do so as Christians, seeing the public square as just one more opportunity to glorify God. Then, when a Christian law is adopted, it won't be forced from the top down but will have been adopted because we've convinced the country that God's ways are best. This is a long listen – an hour and a half – but worth the time for the sort of discourse happening here: some disagreement but done in the spirit of digging down to the truth together. More on Christian nationalism: legislating morality (2 min) While there's reason to question the usefulness of the term "Christian nationalism," all Christians should want and pray for their nations to be governed by God's Word. While apologist Frank Turek is Arminian, in the video above he makes a good, concise point that all legislation is moral in nature. If it isn't justified as being about right and wrong, then it is simply capricious, based on the whims of whoever happens to be in charge. Is that what anyone is after? No, we want our laws based on the only real standard: God's. Where Turek gets it wrong is that he thinks this law is self-evident. There is a sense in which that is true: God tells us His law is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). But we also know that with work and effort, we are quite capable of blinding ourselves to what is true. Shucks, we have people who believe it is all right to murder a baby so long as one foot is still inside its mother's body, or that the government should fund the mutilation of children who are confused about their gender. So, the law isn't always self-evident; it is often very much in need of proclamation. Thankfully, God has given the world His Church to do that!...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 23, 2023

This is why you don't ask children to "choose" their gender Back in 2007, Barbara Walters interviewed a family and their 7-year-old boy about his supposed journey to "becoming" a girl. Walters was uncritical, accepting that a child could change genders, and accepting that a child could understand the implications of all the surgeries, the chemicals, and the sterility, that were going to be inflicted on him. Click on the link above to learn about the tragic journey of "Jazz Jennings" and where he is now. Click on the video below to see a 30-second explanation of how insane Jazz's parents and Barbara Walters were. This is why you don't let children choose their gender pic.twitter.com/wBTlE7hkWq — Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) September 15, 2023 Quick tips on how to read better and faster.... but not necessarily more "I would like to show you how you can read less, more — and twice as fast. It’s based on one simple idea: It’s better to thoroughly read and absorb one or two good books than 'finish' five or ten by reading them cover to cover and then moving on." Long-term thinking: 5 lessons for Christians from the life of Elon Musk "I believe the great weakness of our generation of Christians is our lack of a long-term outlook... "When I look at the inspiring, yet ultimately misguided, aspirations of people like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos I can’t help but wonder at the impact believers might have if we rediscovered the long-term mindset that God intended for us." Does "Net Zero" make sense?  "American taxpayers will spend $50 trillion (about $150,000 per person) to avoid 0.009 ℃ of warming. A high school student could tell you that this makes no sense...." In Luke 16:26-33, Jesus talks about the cost that comes with following Him. That's the point of the passage, but He mentions in passing something applicable to climate change too, that counting the cost before you set out on an expensive project is just common sense. Combatting climate change comes with an enormous cost and seemingly insignificant benefits. Consider what other benefits $50 trillion could buy, if it were spent elsewhere. Clean drinking water for millions, just to mention one possibility. Gen Z isn't okay (10-minute read) Dr. Jean Twenge is a psychologist whose 16-year-old daughter does not have social media. Why? Because girls today with social media are lonelier and more depressed than ever. 5 reasons not to follow your heart How's "just follow your heart" working out for us? Maybe we need to start looking for a more awesome, more knowledgeable, more loving guide... ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 16, 2023

Click on the titles below to go to the linked articles... The terrific trunk! (8 min) "The elephant's truck is the Swiss Army Knife of the animal kingdom..." Chinese economy won't surpass US? Experts have long been predicting that China's economy would pass (or had already passed) the United States' economy very soon. But now Bloomberg has published a forecast that says if China surpasses the US it will only be briefly before sinking below soon after. But why would a nation 3 to 4 times the US in population not grow past them economically? This article only gives the barest explanation, but God's Word tells us more. China's economy is more centrally planned than the US, and such top-down planning presumes leaders have an omniscience that only God actually possesses. Communism (and socialism too) is also predicated on villainizing the rich and while China's economy isn't as strictly communist as it was, the government still has little respect for private property. So, we see here the sins of arrogance, envy, and theft. Add to that China's decades-long and only just ended One-Child Policy, which treated children as a curse and not as the blessing they are, and you have the explanation for their coming demographic crisis: a married couple will have two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents, but no aunts or uncles, cousins or siblings, to help them with their care. In the workforce there are also fewer and fewer young people to support the aging population. While the US has its own sins plaguing it in these same areas, China is going to do worse because they are embracing their sins even more fervently. Imagine then, what blessings a country might experience if they turned back to God? We didn't force anyone to be vaccinated - Justin Trudeau Maybe it's not surprising that the pro-choice Trudeau can't admit that he forced others to do with their bodies as he demanded. And he's not the only world leader to resort to doublespeak. Language learning app Duolingo normalizing LGBT As Jonathon Van Maren reports, the popular app that helps kids learn any language they want is deliberately inserting LGBT characters into their stories and sentences. Is Christian nationalism Christian? Do we want our nation to be un-Christian? Was our nation better when it was more Christian? Does "Christian nationalism" mean using the government to impose Christianity on an unwilling populace? How is this term "Christian nationalism" being used by different groups? John Stonestreet has some questions, provides a few answers, and has an upcoming online presentation this Sept. 26th where he hopes to get help providing more. Philadelphia's soda tax 5 years later Should North Americans drink less soda? Quite likely. More to the point, should the government make it so? And does God's Word have anything to say about it? The video below is by a libertarian, not a Christian, so it only presents some of the problems. The Bible's teaching on favoritism (Lev. 19:15) would bar us from penalizing one producer over another. It would also dissuade us from issuing taxes that target the poor (Is. 10:1-2, Prov. 28:3). And Samuel's warning against kings (1 Samuel 8:10-18) would have us leery of a government that thinks there are no limits to what it can involve itself in, even to what choice of beverage we make. A biblical understanding of Man's fallen nature, and his fallibility, also point us in the direction of much smaller, more limited government, recognizing that no one can competently micromanage thousands or millions of other people's lives. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 9, 2023

Click on the titles below for the linked articles... Can AI ever become conscious? (10 min) As computers become more powerful, will they ever become thinking machines? Folks who say yes only say so because they believe we're nothing more than computing machines ourselves, and merely the sum of our material parts. But Christians know that we are more than our matter. If we were to lose an arm, there would then be less of our body, but there wouldn't be less of us, because we are more than our body. What is that something else? Our spirit. We were made in the very Image of our Maker (Gen. 1:27), and that's not ever going to be true of machines. Ottawa's anti-plastic ban moving into dangerous territory "...while the previous stages in the war on plastics might have inconvenienced people or wasted their money, this new phase may sicken and kill them." Canadian male teacher who wore fake z-cup breasts to school is back The Toronto shop teacher who made international news last year for wearing enormous fake breasts to class will be back in the classroom this year, though seemingly without the beach-ball-sized prosthetics. When he first showed up at his school in this ridiculous attire, the administration wouldn't discipline him for the spectacle. This was a man clearly having mental issues, but his public school's secular worldview wouldn't allow them to acknowledge the elephants in the room, even when he claimed that his breasts were real. This year, however, he seems to be dressing like the man that he is. Worthy of note is the manner in which "conservative" media outlets have covered this story. The New York Post and Daily Mail have both been critical of his antics, but have called him a "her" in their articles. Meanwhile, both Fox News and Rebel News have used male pronouns for him (at least in recent articles), even as they have used female pronouns for American Olympian Bruce, now Caitlyn, Jenner. The problem with these organizations is that though they are sometimes conservative, they are not Christian, and so they aren't grounded on an unshakeable foundation, and thus waver back and forth. We could ask of them, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him..." (1 Kings 18:21). Does the FBI already have a file on Oliver Anthony? Probably. This is about an American agency, but more so, simply about a big government that has no boundaries... which we're familiar with in Canada too. Parents in Irish town band together to ban their kids from phones until at least 12 This voluntary ban applies not simply to school, but home too... Empty Canadian graves A Christian perspective from south of the border... Jordan Peterson will try to film his "re-education" The College of Psychologists of Ontario wants Jordan Peterson to undergo "re-education" for statements and tweets he's made critical of the Canadian PM, as well as of the doctor who cut off actress Ellen Page's healthy breasts in her futile attempt to become a man. The College said they were ordering the re-education because Peterson's comments ran the risk of: "undermining public trust in the profession of psychology, and trust in the College's ability to regulate the profession in the public interest." They are, of course, right that trust in the College is being undermined. Who'd trust a psychological body that insists that when men and women cut off healthy body parts in an attempt to become what they can never be that's a good mental health practice? We're going to trust these guys with our difficulties? We read throughout Proverbs, that the fool likes to air out their own opinions (Prov. 18:2) and blurt out their folly (Prov. 12:23). We can be thankful here for how the College has exposed themselves, for if they'd kept silent, we might have still supposed them wise (Prov. 17:28). But in coming after Peterson for positions that aren't even controversial to most of the Canadian public, the College has discredited themselves. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Sept. 2, 2023

Cessationist trailer Click below for the trailer of a great new documentary that takes on "cessationism," the belief that the miraculous gifts of the New Testament have ceased happening. But have they? Pentecostals say no; most Reformed denominations says yes.... though we also acknowledge that God still performs miracles today (and, in fact, we regularly ask Him to miraculously intercede). This will be available for streaming on Sept 22. Does therapy even work? Talking to someone else about our problems is powerful. But secular psychology can only aim to answer, "What's going on inside of me?" and can't point us outward, to the God who made us. Free parents' guide to TikTok Axis is a Christian organization that specializes in resources meant to take a parent from knowing nothing about a new technology, app, or cultural trend to knowing enough that they can talk knowledgeably about it with their teenagers. And they manage this in a guide that takes just 10 to 15 minutes to read. Check out their TikTok guide in article form by clicking above or read it as a pdf booklet here. 1,600+ scientists, plus a couple Nobel laureates say climate "emergency" is a myth This says less than it might first seem to: 1,600 is a large number, but not compared with all the scientists who haven't backed this petition (or, at least, not backed it yet). Also, how many of them even have expertise in this field? But what the 1,600+ do offer, and the two Nobel Laureates as well, is a good counter to the notion that the "debate is over" and that only the uneducated could think different. John Piper: "life-changing moments come in sentences and paragraphs" (10-min read) "What I have learned from about twenty years of serious reading is this: sentences change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99 percent of what I read, but if the 1 percent of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99 percent." Yo-Yo magic This is the winning performance from last month's yo-yo world championships. This below is Division 1A where they use a long string. For 4 more division champions – including one where the yo-yo isn't even attached to the string! – check out the article linked in the title above. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 26, 2023

Click on the titles below for the linked articles and videos. Canadians pay more to government than for housing, food, and clothing combined Over the last 60 years the cost of clothing is 7 times higher, food 9 times, and housing is 19 times higher.  But the biggest increase of all has been taxes, 28 times higher than they were in 1961. Samuel warned the Israelites that a king would demand 10% of their goods – what the Lord Himself required! Canadians are paying more than 4 times that to their government. PM's cross-country vacation is hypocritical... but, more importantly, instructive News media will often hype political hypocrisy to get outraged readers to click thru. But instead of blowing a gasket, Christians should recognize hypocrisy for the insight it offers. God tells us that our actions can give lie to our words - someone might "profess to know God, but they deny him by their works" (Titus 1:16a). Our actions speak louder than our words. So when someone is hypocritical, it's actually instructive, with their actions telling us what they really believe. Canada's prime minister has called climate change an "existential threat" – a threat to our very existence. Yet this past month Justin Trudeau flew his family across the country for a vacation in BC. All that carbon... simply for pleasure. Then he'll head 5,500 kilometers the other way for a 3-day retreat with all of his cabinet in Prince Edward Island where they will discuss, among other things, climate change. That's a lot more carbon for meetings that could have been held right there in Ottawa... if carbon emissions needed to be a consideration. The PM is big on climate politics, and it certainly plays well at the polls, but his actions tell us that he really doesn't think climate change is that big of a deal. It certainly isn't important enough to get him to change his lifestyle. The tawdry and creepy origins of Barbie Barbie was modeled after a German doll known for her double entendres. But this article's most significant paragraph highlights a different sort of influence Barbie may have had: "Where young girls used to care for baby dolls, presumably projecting themselves as a wife and mother, far more girls today envision themselves one day being fiercely independent, fashionable, and seemingly successful like Barbie..." Manitoba residential school excavation turns up no bodies Claims two years ago of a mass grave at a residential school in Kamloops started a period of national mourning. No digging has been done there, but in a Manitoba residential school where digging just finished, no bodies were found. Does that mean nothing happened at these schools? No. But claims do need to be substantiated - as Mark Penninga wrote, the truth matters. As a Christian I went down the AI rabbit hole... ...and here are 12 things he discovered. Story of a deaf tennis championship comeback Haven't seen this yet, but the trailer caught my kid's attention. Subpar production values, but the educational aspect – getting some understanding of what it is like to be deaf – might still make this a good one for the family. It comes to theaters in September. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 19, 2023

Click on the titles below to head to the linked articles. What grandma's chili recipe tells us about the trustworthiness of the Bible We don't have the original manuscripts of the Bible, so how do we know that what we have is accurate? Todd Friel explains by way of this really helpful analogy. Using the climate change scare to promote abortion As author Tom Harris shows here, climate catastrophists have long been telling us that children are a curse on the planet, and not the blessing that God declares them to be (Ps. 127:3). That their solution is clearly wrong also gives us reason to suspect their diagnostic abilities. Canadian offered death as a "treatment option" for her mental health crisis  She came looking for help, was told none was to be had, and was offered "medical assistance in dying" instead. Evolution is "settled science"? Really? Which theory of evolution? "Darwinian evolution assumes much of what it needs to be explained. For instance, consider the origin of light-sensitive cells that rearranged to become the first eye, or the blood vessels that became the first placenta. How did these things originate? According to one University of Indiana biologist, 'we still do not have a good answer. The classic idea of gradual change, one happy accident at a time,' he says, 'has so far fallen flat.'"  Pastoring in a pandemic: of grey hair and glory "I am not against those who decided to defy the government. They were, I believe, seeking to honor God. Many times I wanted to just say enough is enough. But I hope those (in America) who promoted their faithfulness can also appreciate that there was another type of faithfulness happening that was perhaps even more challenging in certain respects..." How has John Calvin influenced WORLD magazine? In this 2009 clip, former WORLD editor Marvin Olasky explains how John Calvin influenced his Christian news magazine. What he says about WORLD is, in large part, what we aspire to here at RP too. ...

News

Saturday Selections – Aug 12, 2023

Vehicular instinct (2 min) SplendourBog was a Christian folk group back in the late 90s. This thank-you to Dad for his automotive advice, along with their tribute to the Coquihalla, were big fan favorites. Is Creation a secondary issue? The opening chapters of Genesis explain why we die, why there is brokenesss in the world, why we have a sin nature, and why Jesus had to come and die for us. So Creation is, in fact, a primary issue! CRC Synod 2023: disguised gains The CRC Synod is done for the year, and this quick overview hits both the high and low lights. The government can't be your friend The UK government appointed a "Minster for Loneliness" back in 2017, and now a US senator is proposing they do something similar. But as John Stonestreet writes: "It is a very modern belief...that all problems can be solved through the proper application of technique and the effective use of technology. This illusion only contributes to the expansion of state power. After all, who else can be trusted to properly apply the technologies that promise to solve our problems? Under this illusion, there is less and less room to look to God for help. Consequently, there is less and less concern for how He created the universe, including human beings, to function in the first place. If there’s no real motivation to seek out our intended design, there’s even less reason to seek out the Designer, and on and on it goes." Hottest day in 125,000 years? Reports that this past July 4 was the hottest day ever for the last 125,000 years presume an evolutionary time scale. But evolution also presumes that in the more distant past the world was much hotter still. So why do they care? And, as this secular take asks, how really do they know? "The idea that we know the global temperature today is absurd in itself. But the idea that we actually know what it was on a given day 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago, never mind thousands of years ago is sheer fraud." The easiest trick shots ever Are your kids looking for a challenge? These "easy" trick shots might serve as inspiration for some pretty cool contests inside and outside. ...

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