Recent Point Posts

At The Stream, Deacon Keith Fournier has an interesting take on Christian interaction in relation to this year's presidential campaign:

"Everyone is analyzing what the Iowa caucuses mean for the GOP race. The evangelical turnout was huge, and many of the candidates -- some Protestant, some Catholic -- have reached out to Christian voters, and some of them have even spoken persuasively about their Christian faith and how it informs their political views. These are positive signs, to be sure. At the same time, I am struck by how there still seems to be no consensus on Protestants and Catholics working together." Read More >
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Many have talked for years about the rapidly disappearing men in our culture. I’m not talking about guys. We’re flush with them. I mean real, grownup, well-adjusted males. Where are they?

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is asking the same question. Last month it released a 12-minute film, “Society’s Crisis in Masculinity,” which “seeks to create awareness of a crisis in masculinity found in today’s society.” Now, the film is heavily geared toward Catholic men and I dearly wish it wouldn’t have narrowed its audience to this one demographic. This crisis impacts all of us. Even so, there are some powerful takeaways for all men.
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Raise your hand if you have ever heard of Eritrea. Raise both of them if you can find Eritrea on a map.

Thought so.
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The indictment in Harris County, Texas, has not stopped David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress from doing their valuable work. The Stream has CMP's new video revealing Planned Parenthood's shady accounting practices for dealing with fetal body tissue.
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It may seem like an overreaction, but now and then a cultural commentator runs across a story that simply breaks his or her heart. Here's one such story that breaks mine:

"Politicizing an Icon: Anne of Pro-Choice Activism"

Because Prince Edward Island doesn't have any abortion providers, writes Brenna Clarke Gray at Book Riot, pro-choicers have started an "awareness campaign" using PEI's most famous icon: Anne of Green Gables. One of my own favorite heroines. Read More >
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The documentary "No Más Bebés," about the government-supported forced sterilization of Latina women in Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s, premiered last night on PBS. You can now watch it at PBS's website.

Here's part of a review by Sister Rose Pacatte, who blogs at Patheos:
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Two interesting stories that came out out today and yesterday:

(1) "Prominent gay rights activist backs Christian bakers in cake row" (from The Catholic Herald)

(2) "Why prosecuting the Center for Medical Progress leaves even pro-abortion activists worried" (from Live Action News, based on a story from CNN)

Regardless of what side of the fence you're on or what your personal preferences and policies are, it seems, some things just make sense.
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Is it possible for pro-lifers to rethink our paradigm and our strategy? Could it even be possible to approach the problem of abortion with joy? Kristen Walker Hatten of New Wave Feminists thinks we can do it -- and we should. Sharing her experiences at this year's March for Life, she writes: Read More >
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Leah Hickman, who was our editorial intern this summer, is doing a wonderful series called "Beautiful Stories" on her own blog, Grass People. Leah is writing about stories from books, plays, and movies that "show truth, goodness, and beauty to a world that has forgotten what those things look like." So far she's covered "The Secret Garden," "Les Misérables," "The Princess and the Goblin," and "Cinderella." Go here to start reading!
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One of my favorite presentations to do at universities, schools, conferences, and churches is my Atheist Encounter, in which I interact with the audience while role-playing an atheist. After briefly setting up my character (which involves putting on my “atheist glasses”), I then take live questions from the audience and do my best to defend atheism so Christians can see how well—or how poorly—they defend their faith.

The topic of evolution inevitably comes up. And more often than not, some well-meaning Christian will say something like: “How can you say evolution is a fact, when it’s called a theory?”

[For more, go to Sean's blog.]
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The amount of circumlocution necessary for those on the left to arrive at some of their favorite slogans is mind-boggling. Consider the talking point, repeated ad nauseaum, that religious freedom acts are "anti-gay laws." In a straightforward sense, these laws protect business-owners from being sued if a customer asks them to engage in an activity they find objectionable. They do not allow businesses to discriminate against people, but activities, messages, and events.

So how do sexual liberals arrive at the "anti-gay" slogan? Here is how it works, by way of analogy: Read More >
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As you know, Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at evangelical Wheaton College, set off a theological firestorm when she donned a hijab during Advent to express solidarity with Muslims. She wore the traditional Muslim head covering in part because of her belief that “Muslims & Christians worship the same God.”

While I strongly disagree with Hawkins on that point, I fear that the uproar over her statements is obscuring her larger point. Hawkins wore a hijab, because, as she explained, “I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity.”

That statement is thoroughly biblical. Jesus taught in the great Commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and the Gospels are full of stories in which Jesus intentionally went to the outcasts of society—including sworn enemies of the Jews—to preach the Good News of Salvation. Indeed, one of Christ’s most powerful parables involves a Samaritan man sacrificing much to rescue a beaten and abandoned Jew who was unlikely to do the same for him.
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The Harris County, Texas, grand jury, has declined to indict Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast for criminal conduct in the matter of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos.

Instead, it has indicted CMP's David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

Lord, have mercy.

(H/T Shannon Bream)
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I recently received a copy of an intriguing book in the mail called "Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity." One of the authors, Dr. Clinton Arnold, is a friend and colleague of mine at Biola University. This father-son pair tackle some of the biggest theological questions raised about Christianity today, such as, “Is Hell a real place?” “Do angels and demons really exist?” and “Does God hate sex?” If you’re looking for an easy-to-read, insightful, and timely book that tackles these types of questions, then I highly recommend this book. To give you a sense of the content and approach of this book, the Arnolds answered a few of my questions:
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God bless the marchers who are braving the snow and cold to stand for life in D.C. today! You can watch them here.
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