Recent Point Posts

Russell Moore has a new article over at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission that raises some important questions about why and how we advocate for religious liberty. Here's a sample:

"If we miss why religious liberty matters, we will fundamentally misunderstand how to advocate for it. For a long time, many evangelical Christians have had a narrow vision of religious liberty, due largely to the fact that we have faced so few real challenges to it. This has often caused Christians to see religious liberty as a who-has-the-most-votes issue rather than what it really is: an image-of-God issue. Thus, many critics of Christianity have alleged, not without reason, that 'religious liberty' for evangelicals is simply code for Christian privilege. Combine this with the sad spectacle of some evangelicals perpetually claiming to be 'persecuted' because the signs at the department store say, 'Happy Holidays,' instead of, 'Merry Christmas.' The result is an evangelical advocacy of religious liberty that isn’t taken seriously by the broader culture."
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In North Carolina, the state legislature enacted sensible legislation to protect women and children from sexual predators. The law, called HB2, would prevent men from using women’s bathrooms and locker room facilities.

The law seems reasonable enough to most people: Twenty-nine states and more than 10,000 municipalities have some version of it.

But the National Basketball Association (NBA) is trying to make a political point, so it announced on Thursday that it was moving its All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.
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Earlier this week on BreakPoint, I tackled the topic of Pokémon Go. I was pleasantly surprised that my take on the game was similar to that of Karen Swallow Prior, who wrote about it in Christianity Today. In fact, we had a nice little Twitter exchange about great minds thinking alike, etc.

Today, among the articles about Donald Trump and the Ark Encounter, this podcast on CT’s website caught my eye. In it, one of the hosts actually says that she thinks God gave us Pokémon Go as a distraction from all the bad stuff that’s been happening lately. I guess we see this one quite differently. I’ve never even considered that distraction is a virtue.
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Religious liberty is in serious jeopardy. There is a recent bill in California, Senate Bill 1146, which jeopardizes the future of faith-based institutions. In the words of Biola president Barry Corey, “Never has there been proposed law in the history of our nation that would be as restrictive on the religious rights of faith-based colleges and universities. We believe this is just the beginning of an erosion of religious freedom which is not only a constitutional right but also necessary for the flourishing of our democracy.”

This bill should come as no surprise. In their opinion for the 2015 SCOTUS ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage, the majority judges claimed that expanding marriage to include same-sex couples would “pose no risk of harm to themselves or third parties.” However, the minority judges noted that the new ruling would help portray dissenters as “bigots” and also raise serious concerns for religious liberty.

[For more, go to Sean's blog!]
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[Note: Several of the links in this piece contain bad language.]

Let me begin this post by saying that I don't care about "Ghostbusters." At all. I didn't see the old one and I don't plan to see the new one. But even for someone who doesn't care about "Ghostbusters," it was hard to miss the social media insanity that surrounded the new film's release. It peaked yesterday when professional provocateur Milo Yiannopolous got banned from Twitter (not for the first time) for being the ringleader of a group of trolls who went after actress Leslie Jones.

The Spectator (H/T Reason) has a summary of what happened: Read More >
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I have an article up at Christ & Pop Culture about how the new novel "Eligible," an update of "Pride and Prejudice," takes Jane Austen's belief system and flips it on its head.
Topics: Books, Worldview
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I had the privilege of contributing to Her.meneutics' list of "10 Books Worth Reading This Summer" and Christ and Pop Culture's list of "What's Getting Us through This Summer." Enjoy, and feel free to add ideas of your own in the comments sectino below!
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Four days after the shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, Baton Rogue police officer Montrell Jackson -- an African-American who recounted experiencing prejudice both in and out of uniform -- wrote on Facebook: "I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. . . . These are trying times. Please don't let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better. I'm working in these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer, I got you."

Yesterday Jackson and two of his fellow officers were gunned down by a shooter enraged over the Sterling killing. Shortly afterwards, Jackson's plea for peace and respect went viral. May his words comfort and guide a confused and grieving nation.
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I wrote an article for the July/August issue of Decision, the magazine of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in which I answer the question above with an emphatic “yes.”

Here’s an excerpt, in which I highlight the various ways in which media bias shows up:
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One year after the Center for Medical Progress released its first undercover video of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby parts, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released an interim report today that accuses abortion clinics of trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies.
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A number of years ago I was speaking on sexual purity at a good-sized church in the Midwest. When my talk was over, a young man approached me and asked what advice I had for singles. To be honest, I was somewhat dumbfounded. I remember thinking: Why would anyone want to be single? Why wouldn’t he just get married? What’s wrong with him?

Looking back, I can see how naïve and misguided my thinking was about marriage. I had bought the idea that marriage is the highest human calling and, without realizing it, was failing to affirm the dignity and honor of singles. It simply didn’t occur to me that my narrow-minded focus on marriage might bring unintended harm to single Christians who are bringing equal honor to God through their lives.

[For more, go to Sean's blog!]
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Since the Iowa Civil Rights Commission "has published a brochure that says the state [bathroom] law sometimes applies to churches when they operate a child care facility or when church services are open to the public," the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ is suing for the right to maintain separate bathrooms. The brochure can be read here.
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Hoyle's series The Gateway Chronicles has won a 2016 Gold Award for Best YA Series from Literary Classics. To read our Youth Reads review of Hoyle's series, go here!
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On Sunday morning, July 3, I delivered a speech to the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado, called “The Political Illusion: Choosing Christianity Over Ideology.”

If you’ve never heard that expression, it’s one I borrowed from our namesake, Chuck Colson. Chuck was also fond of saying that “Salvation will not come on Air Force One," and “Politics is downstream from culture.”
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A few years ago Dr. Mark Strauss was kind enough to allow me to interview him for my GodQuest apologetics curriculum. I first heard of Mark through an interview on the historical with Lee Strobel. After seeing the interview, I instantly knew that Mark was both a first-rate scholar and had a deep concern for the next generation. And so I have been following his work ever since!

Mark recently wrote an interesting and provocative book called "Jesus Behaving Badly." He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Enjoy the interview, and then think about getting his excellent book. . . .

[For more, go to Sean's blog.]
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