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Unlike Pope John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, or Pope Francis, I've not read any of Pope John XIII's writings. However, I just ran across something written by William Van Ornnum in Aletia.com that has me intrigued -- a piece in which he quotes eight life-changing words by John XIII. Read More >
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Supporting the arts is vital, but I'm flummoxed by the idea that someone, with deep pockets, bought a blue-painted canvas with a white stripe running down the middle. At a Sotheby's auction, a buyer paid a whopping 43.8 million dollars for this painting. I guess I don't understand abstract art.

It's true that I've seen abstracts that have discernible images, some quite beautiful. However, I'm guessing that some abstracts, like the one above, are more about the artist than the art. Read More >
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On his 450th birthday, Karen Swallow Prior demonstrates this by writing in The Atlantic about how the Bard appeals to and inspires an unexpected audience: prisoners. She quotes her Liberty University colleague Scott Hayes as follows: "The consequences of choices made by Shakespeare’s characters are tremendous, and the prisoners truly understand and connect to the power our choices have to reap tragic consequences."
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Alan Jacobs recently squared off with Tim Challies over when it's acceptable for a Christian to call someone a "false teacher." According to Jacobs, "It’s a sound general principle, I think, that the stronger the charge you bring against a person, the stronger should be the evidence that you have against him." Go here and here to read the entire debate.
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Despite intense suffering for Christ, Pastor Saeed Abedini is still a faithful witness to Him. In an Easter letter written from a hospital in Iran, Saeed writes, "Some times [sic] we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with Him."

If you were in Pastor Saeed's place, would you be able to write a letter encouraging Christians to a stronger faith in Christ by dying to oneself?
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PFM President and CEO Jim Liske has an op-ed at The Huffington Post about why we need to "increase our use of cost-effective, restorative approaches to justice," and how we can do it.
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It appears now that the flyer telling Jews to register, in the story we linked to last week, was not legitimate. It's still being determined who was behind it.
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My dear friend Evelyn Bence has written a moving remembrance at Christianity Today of her visits to a dying friend.

I wanted to share it just as much for the poetry of her prose as for her thoughtful reflections. It's entitled "Watch and Wait: Tarrying with Christ and the fearful dying."

I do hope you read it, and that you have a holy, blessed Easter.
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On the way home last night, I saw a highway sign that stated that it was illegal to text and drive. Google might have circumnavigated that problem with its new wearable computer. The miniaturized screen, in case you're not already familiar with it, is set into the frame of eyeglasses and provides users with access to e-mail, navigation, social networks, and more.

While he's on the snarky side, Tim Teeman in The Daily Beast sums up the problem of Google Glass being increasingly invasive.
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The movie "Heaven Is for Real" opens today, and Anne Morse got to interview Todd Burpo, author of the bestselling book on which it's based. Go here to read the interview, and check our features page next week for our review of the movie!
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. . . I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.
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In this article that's making the rounds online, a Christian man with same-sex attraction explains why he chooses to be married to a woman. Part 2 of his article is scheduled to go up Thursday.

(H/T Shane Morris)
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While 2 billion Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Easter, millions of public school children in America won’t be learning about the religious aspects of this holiday.

However, contrary to what many educators think, a new report released this week documents that state academic standards not only allow, but in some cases, expect public schools to teach about Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity. Gateways to Better Education has published this online report, titled “The Bible in State Academic Standards.” The 230-page report highlights state-by-state academic standards indicating ample opportunity for educators to teach about the Bible, Christian beliefs, and Christians who were influential in history.
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A Dutch teenager was arrested Monday for tweeting a bomb threat at American Airlines. For some reason, this caused many others to think that tweeting bomb threats at American Airlines was a really great idea. 

Apparently, bored and spoiled young people plus social media plus the copycat mentality equals a perfect storm of asininity.
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All four parts of the podcast I did with William O'Flaherty and Dr. Crystal Hurd are now available for $3.
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