Recent Point Posts

Let's just consider the title of this article for a moment: "Judge Ponders Whether Chimps Should Get Same Right as Humans." What’s going on here?
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Today, the movie "San Andreas" hits theaters nationwide. A film that IMDb classifies as "action/drama/thriller," this latest Dwayne Johnson flick looks like it will deliver its fair share of collapsing buildings, flooded cities, and other life-threatening situations. Just by watching the trailers, and looking at the PG-13 rating for "intense disaster action and mayhem throughout." I can tell that it's going to be another intense ride for moviegoers. No sex scenes. Just pure action. This is definitely a movie that my family and I will enjoy.

Hold on a moment. I just said "enjoy." Should I be disturbed by the idea of "enjoying" this? Isn't there something kind of strange about this generation's obsession with with "disaster action and mayhem"?
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As I hinted in a previous post, conservatism and Christianity are fundamentally united in the biblical worldview. This unity stems from Genesis 1.

When God created the world, He created it with order and with purpose. Genesis 1 is chock-full of examples of God's meticulous design of the universe and of His care to bring organization to His works. He created things in categories (light, darkness, sky, land, sea), and He created the creatures and plants according to various, distinct kinds (livestock, crawling things, birds, creatures of the sea). He created male and female.
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There is some sickening, yet unsurprising, news out of Ireland. Children at Risk in Ireland (CARI) reports that calls to its national helpline in relation to rape and sexual assault “show an overall 43% increase over the [past] three years.” Many of these involve children and teens perpetrating sexual assault on their peers.

CARI CEO Mary Flaherty said: “The increase is very significant and is a marked shift and we believe that access to pornography and the unrealistic expectations involved with that are contributing, along with general hyper-sexualisation in the media and video games.”
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Have you thought much about heaven recently? If you're like me, the topic comes to mind every once and a while, but thoughts of heaven usually fall into the category of thoughts about the distant future. Heaven is a reality to you, but it's something far away from where you are now. It's a beautiful thought, but it's something that brilliant wordsmiths like Dante fantasize about in their poetry. It doesn't have much to do with where you are right here and right now. You're just glad that you're going there and not to--the other place.

Reading Josh Ross and Jonathan Storment's May 20 article at FaithStreet, however, reminded me to double check my perspective of heaven.
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Adam Ford's cartoon "The 'death of Christianity' in America" sums up today's BreakPoint commentary very nicely!

(H/T Ellen Mandeville)
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Too often, we claim titles that don't belong to us. Whether it be "Christian," "Lutheran," "liberal," or "atheist," people often accept names for themselves and their beliefs without actually knowing all the things that the names entail.

Same with "progressives" and "conservatives." At least in my own case, I went for years calling myself a conservative without actually understanding what the word really meant. I generally put people of the conservative ideology in the same category in my brain as conservative clothing or conservative portions of food. To me, "conservative" meant something like "careful," "limited," or "modest." Sure, these are all synonyms of the word, but there's a lot more to conservatism than any of those things.
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I truly don't know what to make of this trending story about schoolchildren playing a pencil game that's supposed to summon a spirit. On a surface level it sounds ridiculous, and there may very well be an explanation that doesn't involve demons. But on the other hand, how different is it from, say, the Ouija board or the "up table" game? My mother's account of some spooky experiences with the latter in her childhood was enough to make me extremely leery of all such things, so I don't intend to try the "Charlie" game to see if it's for real!

I was struck, however, by something Simcha Fisher wrote about this game: "I was chatting with my husband about how these things are forbidden even if we don't really believe they will work, and he pointed out that the devil may actually prefer it when people sell their souls lightly."
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Relativism not only damages our perception of truth and goodness but of beauty as well.

On May 13, the Daily Mail reported that a Mark Rothko piece called “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)” sold at a New York auction. About eight by six feet in size, the painting consists of a solid yellow background half covered by blue. Basically, a four year old could have produced this painting using a bed sheet and a few bottles of Crayola paint. Unimpressive as the painting appears, however, it sold for $46.5 million dollars.

Now, hold on a second. How could anyone value this uncreative work of art so much?
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As reported in a New York Times article from May 20, President Obama used his commencement address to the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy to emphasize the importance of combating climate change. During the address, Obama asserted that "climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country." As a result, he argued, "We need to act, and we need to act now."
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For some reason, the news from Ireland this weekend hit me hard. Maybe it was just the cognitive dissonance of a nation voting to approve same-sex marriage when it still retains enough of its Christian heritage to outlaw abortion (for the moment, at least). Or maybe it was the people I saw celebrating all over social media -- quite a few of them Christians. Come to think of it, those two are pretty closely related.

There's definitely something jarring going on within the church; there has been for a while now. Most of us here have probably felt that mental sucker punch, and the feelings of loneliness and isolation that sometimes accompany it, when a favorite Christian writer or blogger or friend or relative suddenly makes it clear that not only does he or she support SSM, but is shocked and appalled that other Christians don't. This has become a more and more frequent experience in recent days. In season and out of season, it goes on. (Of course, it happens with non-Christians we like and admire as well, but it's especially jarring when it happens with Christians.) Read More >
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In this weekend's New York Times Magazine, bestselling Young Adult author Judy Blume made a point that may sound pretentious but is actually profoundly true. Interviewer Susan Dominus sets up the quote: Read More >
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As we all celebrate our Memorial Day holiday sweating over a grill or playing pickup football with our families, let's take a minute to think about the thing we're celebrating on this fine May day. Why do we take the day off from work and school? What sets this day apart from any other day?
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It sometimes worries me to see just how lightly and unthinkingly we Christians tend to engage with the culture. Let a big Christian family (thoroughly versed in Gothardism) get their own TV show, and many of us quickly adopt them as our mascots and standardbearers without really knowing all that much about them. Let the news come out that horrific acts took place within that family, and Twitter and Facebook overflow with the cry, "It's okay, the one who made mistakes has repented, so let's just forgive and move on!"

No. It's not okay. It's not okay that a teenage Josh Duggar molested little girls, including some of his own sisters. It's not okay that he committed crimes -- not mistakes, crimes -- and was never seriously held accountable. It's not okay that he went on to hold himself up as an example of sexual purity for others to follow. And it's not okay that some Christians are more eager to laud his public apology than to spare a thought for his innocent victims. Read More >
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Many people have suggested that even if Christians are opposed to same-sex marriage, they still ought to go ahead and bake the wedding cake -- or do the flowers, or take the pictures, or make the rings, or whatever else is required of them.

But as Rod Dreher observes in a new blog post, what these commentators don't realize is that, for some in the LGBT movement, that still wouldn't be enough. Read More >
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