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The apostle James wrote that the essence of Christianity—that which epitomizes “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father”—is to care for “orphans and widows in their distress.” (James 1:27, NASB)

Babies aborted are “orphans” in the truest sense of the word, for they have been abandoned, by those entrusted to care for them, to the uttermost, even to death. The sheer number who have been led to slaughter with virtually no opposition even by churches who call themselves pro-life ought to give us pause before we conclude what we have been practicing is, in the sight of God, “pure and undefiled religion.”

As to where James came up with his definition of Christianity—divine inspiration, to be sure. But it also appears he knew his Bible:
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Currently circulating on Facebook is this helpful summary of everything that's wrong with the Osteens' view of life and faith. . . . Read More >
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Christians love everyone, right?

Our entire faith is built on the principle that God loves mankind for no other reason than because of who He is. It has nothing to do with us or anything we could ever accomplish. We love because He first loved us. That’s the kind of love we are called to have for one another.

However, what I see in many Christians, and the way they interact with non-believers . . . well, frankly, it scares me. There is an attitude that exists that is not biblically supported, and frankly is damaging to those who may be seeking (or not yet seeking) Christ in their own lives.
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Ed Stetzer has a new interview with them in Christianity Today about their new book, "Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage." Here's a sample:
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This is one of those articles that make your heart sink into your stomach out of sheer despair for the human race (especially if you go on to read the comment section, which, these days, is almost never a good idea).
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It's easy to make the mistake of assuming holiness comes by making holiness our highest aspiration, by seeking it above all else. After all, the Bible does say that he who seeks finds. But there is a right and a wrong way to go about practically anything, even holiness. Israel, for example, did not attain righteousness by seeking righteousness (Rom 9:31). In like manner, we do not attain holiness by seeking holiness in and of itself. We attain holiness by seeking Christ.

Lest that become one more clever-sounding, but empty, platitude, let me briefly explain how it works. Then I'll point you to an excellent essay describing several ways it does NOT work.
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Ed Stetzer at Christianity Today has an interesting new interview with Barnabas Piper, son of John Piper and author of the new book "The Pastor's Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity." Barnabas offers a well-balanced perspective on the challenges of being a PK: "I am 31 years old with a family of my own, and I still get held to a standard when people meet me and expect me to be something reflective of my dad. I still get responses to my writing wondering what my daddy would say if he read it. I can’t really escape it, so I just have to come to terms with and not resent my dad because of it."

I've recently finished reading his book myself, in fact, and I found this quote from the interview representative of the wisdom, honesty, and grace he displays there. The tone of the book can be a little edgy at times, but as the subtitle suggests, the overarching purpose is redemptive: to help his fellow PKs reach a place where their faith is genuinely their own and they're at peace with God, themselves, their families, and their churches. Highly recommended.
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I was on yesterday's John & Kathy Show on Word FM, talking about my article "Home Sweet Home, Again." If you want to hear the interview, go here and click on Thursday, August 21. It starts at about the 12:30 mark.
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According to Khalid Mahmood, an MP from Birmingham, there are more than twice as many British Muslims fighting for ISIS than are serving in the UK’s armed forces: 1500 versus 600.

He told Newsweek, “If you look across the whole of the country, and the various communities involved, 500 going over each year would be a conservative estimate.” Read More >
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Unlike my friend Eric Metaxas, I do not (I think) struggle with depression. But I am in a funk. I’m down.

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Over at the American Conservative, Rod Dreher speculates that we may have just hit “Peak Trans.” Read More >
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That's Richard Dawkins' advice to any woman carrying a child with Down syndrome.
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I was all set to celebrate Nicholas Kristof's column "Don't Dismiss the Humanities" ("the world would be poorer — figuratively, anyway — if we were all coding software or running companies") . . . until he went and cited Peter Singer as a great philosopher. Yes, that Peter Singer

Personally, if I seriously thought that Singer was representative of the best and brightest that the humanities have to offer, I'd have majored in math.
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"It is quite hard to do a degree in English literature and believe, or try to believe, that the Bible is God’s literal word of truth," writes columnist Christina Patterson in the Guardian.

I confess this took me aback. I always thought it would be the other way around -- that it would be hard without that belief. Obviously people do it all the time, but there are so many things in literature that I think I would have trouble grasping without that insider's perspective.
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Recent rulings in Mississippi, Alabama, and Ohio make it hard to defend the idea that women's health is a top concern for the courts. It is easy, however, to argue that protecting the abortion industry is. Consider:

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