Recent Point Posts

I just attended the "It's a Wonderful Life" festival in Seneca Falls, New York, which locals believe is the town on which Frank Capra based his fictional Bedford Falls. Frank Capra is known to have visited the town shortly before beginning work on the film. The town's bridge (see picture 1 below) is identical to the one in the film. And the town--actually a village--bears a striking resemblance to Bedford Falls.
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In the debate about same-sex marriage, we must inevitably come to same-sex parenting. By now many of us are familiar with the research wars over whether children fare as well in same-sex homes as in opposite-sex families. While same-sex parenting proponents tend to focus their arguments on personal stories and claims of justice, proponents of maintaining the traditional family tend to rely on comprehensive research, human biology, and the simple question, “What is in the best interest of the child?”

The second video in the six-part Humanum series combines elements of both approaches, exploring what is best for children, not with scientific or statistical arguments, but through beautiful stories of people and their profound, poetic, and spiritual experiences of the necessity of mother and father.
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It would make me very, very happy if people all over social media could stop referring to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" as "the date rape song." If we can't have a little playful romantic banter in a song without detecting rape at the bottom of it, I think there's something wrong somewhere. Not only is it a sign of massive cultural hypersensitivity, but I'd argue it's disrespectful to actual date rape victims.
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When a Colorado cake baker declined, on religious grounds, to make a cake for a homosexual "marriage," a gay couple sued him and a judge ordered him to make cakes for same-sex "weddings." He was also viciously attacked in the press for being a homophobe.

But when THIS man called bakeries asking them to bake him a cake celebrating traditional marriage, THIRTEEN of them refused to do so. Waiting for the press, the courts, and all fair-minded people everywhere to go after them. . . .
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James Taranto borrows this very useful term from scholar Barbara Oakley to describe the aftermath of the terrorist killings in Sydney. We're being exhorted to remember that the killer "must have loved ones, too" -- despite his alleged murder of his ex-wife. Unfortunate choice of words.

On Facebook, E. Stephen Burnett points out that it's not just the secular world that has a dangerous tendency to exercise pathological altruism: "For the first time I think I recognized that this kind of enablement/pacifistic/false 'forgiveness' response to others' abuse of power is just an extreme version of many evangelicals' response to emotional, spiritual or even sexual abusers."

Food for thought.
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Did Pope Francis say that pets go to heaven? In a word, no. David Gibson at Religion News Service provides a comprehensive (and somewhat disturbing) analysis of how the New York Times and other outlets got the story so completely wrong.
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We'd like to congratulate BreakPoint feature writer Rachel McMillan, who just signed her first book contract with Harvest House Publishers! Look for "The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder" next winter!
Topics: Books
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In a December 1987 Christianity Today column, Chuck Colson described a well-publicized and staged event for Prison Fellowship supporters. Chuck himself had preached the crowd to tears. But in a follow-up session the next day, a prisoner said he’d been most touched not by the celebrities but by the more common volunteers who had subsequently eaten lunch with the inmates.

That was Chuck’s story. Here’s mine.
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Take a look at the trailer for Disney-Pixar’s next movie, "Inside Out," and tell me it doesn’t look like pure brilliance. The basic premise seems to be a two-level character cast: There are the people—in this case a family of three—whose everyday lives provide the comic fodder for the second tier of stars, who appear to be the personified emotions of those people. Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Love all appear as minion-like beasties who sit behind an instrument panel and control the first-tier characters' words and actions.
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I am reading Eric Metaxas’ latest book, “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life.” The last half of the book consists of real stories of miracles that happened to people Eric knows. As I was reading them, I was reminded that I have my own miracle story.

In the ’80s, my late wife, Judy, and I were not yet Christians, and actually made fun of her sisters who were born-again Christians. At that time, one of Judy’s boys was heavily into drugs. Not just marijuana, but heavy-duty drugs of all types. Not only that, but he was also dealing. No matter what we tried, we couldn’t get him to stop. We were at our wits’ end, and Judy lived each night in fear that she was going to receive a call telling her he was either in the morgue or jail. She had lost his twin brother from SIDS when he was three months old, and now if she lost him, it would be too much for her. She cried every day.
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I was thrilled to learn that the daughters of a Chinese dissident were granted asylum in the United States. They are now in the care of my friend Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, and her husband, in California.

It is tragic that even children are targeted by the Chinese government. As activist Hu Jia noted, "China isn't a country ruled by law; it is lawless and governed by political concerns. It's pretty much like a mafia society. If the state security police target someone, they will go after everything they care about as a means of controlling them." Read More >
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Well, this is interesting. I'd always assumed that the Finns were not particularly religious, and there may be more to this story than meets the eye, but I found it amazing that 12,000 Finns resigned their membership in the Finnish Lutheran Church in protest after the Lutheran Archbishop of Finland expressed support for same-sex “marriage.” Finland's parliament recently legalized same-sex “marriage,” delighting Archbishop Kari Makinen, who announced, “I know how much this day means for rainbow people. . . . I rejoice with my whole heart for them. . . . Our concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination. Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration.”

Or not, responded 12,000 fellow Finns. Comments on the website on which Finns resigned church membership “seem to suggest the majority of resignations are in response to Makinen's statements,” according to WORLD.
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This year, TIME honors the "ragged army of volunteers and near volunteers: doctors who wouldn’t quit even as their colleagues fell ill and died; nurses comforting patients while standing in slurries of mud, vomit and feces; ambulance drivers facing down hostile crowds to transport passengers teeming with the virus; investigators tracing chains of infection through slums hot with disease; workers stoically zipping contagious corpses into body bags in the sun; patients meeting death in lonely isolation to protect others from infection."

These people -- many of them Christian workers -- who acted courageously when various governments and official organizations remained paralyzed, are deservedly the Person(s) of the Year.
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I'll be honest with you: I often think the word "intentional" is overused these days. That said, though, Jennifer Fulwiler's post on having "an intentional Christmas" actually makes a lot of sense. Check it out!
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A few months ago I caught wind of Ravi Zacharias' endorsement for T. Martin Bennett's "Wounded Tiger." It's a meticulously researched historical novel based on the life of the Japanese captain who led the first wave of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 73 years ago yesterday.

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