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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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Over the past several election cycles, abortion has generally lost its prominent place in the national conversation. A sluggish economy, two wars, and the libertarian Tea Party phenomenon have combined to keep pro-life and pro-choice arguments in the background. Within the past several weeks, however, two pro-abortion articles have appeared that demand the attention of pro-lifers. The arguments of the two pieces actually contradict each other, revealing the stark divide present even within the circles of abortion rights activists. Pro-life people might seize on the paucity of both arguments to make even more compelling cases for life in general and adoption in particular.

The first piece, the one getting the most attention, appeared in the online edition of Esquire on July 30. The article profiles the “abortion ministry” of Dr. Willie Parker of Mississippi, a state whose legislators have managed to shut down all but one of the state’s abortion clinics. There are many interesting aspects to this story, but the most relevant one occurs toward the end of the piece. Read More >
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If you're ever tempted to believe that humanity is basically good, just read about the prevalance of trolling, and it'll straighten out your theology right away.
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Matt Walsh wrote a piece about Robin Williams' suicide that angered a lot of people with its emphasis on suicide as a free choice. Theologist/philosopher Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig puts her finger on the reason for the outrage, and points us toward a reasonable middle ground, in a thoughtful article: Read More >
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[Editor’s note: This weekend sees the release of “The Giver,” the new film based on Lois Lowry’s award-winning children’s novel set in a utopian society that turns out to be not quite so utopian. Guest blogger Ashley Chandler interviewed Micheal Flaherty, president of Walden Media and producer of the film. Note: This interview contains some spoilers.]

Q. I read that “The Giver” was one of Walden’s first literary purchases. I’m curious to know the reasons why you made the purchase. Read More >
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