Recent Point Posts

The Christian who feels compelled to assure everybody that he or she is TOTALLY FINE with same-sex marriage, and on board with LGBT issues in general, is becoming a more and more common trope. In the past few weeks alone, I've run across it in two different books by Christians: "My Bright Abyss," a book by poet Christian Wiman about dealing with terminal illness, and "A Pelican of the Wilderness," by UCC pastor Robert W. Griggs, a book about dealing with depression. Most recently, I saw it in an interview with actor and church worship leader Charlie Pollock. Read More >
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In certain conservative circles, I've noticed, anti-college sentiment has been steadily growing. Matt Walsh encapsulates much of that sentiment here (H/T Alan Noble).

The biggest problem with this sentiment is its all-or-nothing nature. One can acknowledge the flaws in modern higher education and the troubling trend of crippling student loan debt without calling on everyone to "boycott college." Not everyone should go, certainly, but many students benefit in countless ways from the college experience. And they benefit others too, just by being there. After all, we know how bad things can get when a significant number of Christians withdraws altogether from a particular area. (Look what it did to the entertainment industry!)
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After the uproar over Houston pastors being required to turn over all sermons dealing with any aspect of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (which Eric Metaxas will be talking about tomorrow on BreakPoint Radio), the city is rethinking things. Mayor Annise Parker has admitted that the subpoenas were too broad and promises that they "will be clarified."

Or as Alan Eason put it on Facebook: "If you like your sermons, you can keep your sermons."

(Note: An earlier version of this post said that the city had "backed down," but the Alliance Defending Freedom states that the city has not yet taken "concrete action.")
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It's not easy having a young, intelligent, and spirited assistant editor. G. Shane Morris, who goes by his middle name, is never afraid to "call 'em as he sees 'em." So I try to monitor his, shall we say, Web footprint.

You may have heard that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called out Republicans on the issue of gay marriage, saying that they need to "grow a spine." Well, Rand Paul's folks went to Facebook to say that Republicans should agree to disagree on the issue. That's when Shane weighed in with a comment . . . which as of now has more than 1,400 likes.

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That would be declaring oneself "a first-rate intellect" for believing that it's acceptable to destroy what one admits is an unborn human life.
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On the new Christ & Pop Culture podcast, we discuss (among other things) the lawsuit against the sperm bank that John Stonestreet talked about yesterday.
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I beg your indulgence. This blog is more personal testimony than social commentary.

About two and a half years ago, a young filmmaker and I began to talk about the challenges keeping pornography users from getting the help they need. One of the biggest obstacles, we agreed, was shame. Shame is the lock on the door of an already self-closed life. For an addict, acting out with pornography perpetuates a cycle of shame that leads to isolation and an ever-diminishing sense of self. It takes courage to ask for help, and sometimes courage must come from others. Read More >
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Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy gives a textbook example, right here. In the middle of a story about a Maryland church helping black gay teens leave gang life behind, he has to make it all about support for same-sex marriage -- as if church members who don't support one specific item that the LGBT community is pushing for couldn't possibly help these kids.

Unfortunately, that kind of writing will continue, because most readers don't see the problem with it. In fact, that's the kind of writing that tends to get applauded and rewarded.
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My heart went out to blogger Linda Robertson when I read her recent post about the death of her son Ryan. Struggling to reconcile his faith with his same-sex attraction, Ryan eventually rejected that faith, got into drugs, and, after an attempt at recovery, relapsed and passed away at the age of 20.

I was particularly struck by this passage, but maybe not for the reasons I was supposed to be struck: "Basically, we told our son that he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality. We forced him to make a choice between God and being a sexual person. Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone."
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“Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the Land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:1-2).

Difficulty: Does God condone human sacrifices?

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I recently got to have dinner with the wonderful Jennifer Fulwiler, blogger at Conversion Diary and author of "Something Other than God," when she was in the D.C. area for her book tour. (Photo below.) Among the things we talked about was her new radio show. If you have Sirius Radio, check it outRead More >
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Yesterday, on the RE:news page, I posted a link to an article about 29-year-old cancer patient Brittany Maynard, who has scheduled her own death. Since then, several people have alerted me to this open letter to Brittany, written by Kara Tippetts, another dying woman.

Because she understands exactly what Brittany is going through, Kara is the perfect person to lovingly address Brittany's fears and concerns, and to tell her that knowing Jesus makes all the difference to someone in their shared situation. I pray that Brittany Maynard will read her moving and inspiring letter.

Below is an excerpt from that letter:
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I suspect Chicken Little would feel right at home in America in 2014. We're obsessed with the end of the world, at least as far as entertainment is concerned. Whether it's movies, books, or television shows predicting an apocalypse, set during an apocalypse, or following an apocalypse, the end of the world seems to have become the standard backdrop for nearly every story we tell ourselves these days.

The theme is so pervasive that we don't even need specific details anymore. In many cases, whatever caused the end of the world is simply referred to as "the event," or something like that. We don't even care how our world became the world of the characters. It's just a set piece -- a prop in the background, much like fake plants in the living rooms of soap opera characters.
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National Review Online reports on the efforts of the newly enlightened Lincoln Public School District in Nebraska to train teachers to avoid gender-specific pronouns with students. Rather than using discriminatory terms like “boy” or “girl,” teachers are instructed to call them “purple penguins.”

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Yesterday the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Holt v. Hobbs. Gregory Holt, a Muslim prisoner in Arkansas, sued the state’s Department of Correction over its policy prohibiting prisoners from growing beards. The policy is in place to prevent prisoners from hiding razor blades in their beards and to make it impossible for prisoners to alter their appearance (by shaving) should they escape.

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