What are we to make of the senseless and tragic shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood that left three people dead -- including a pro-life police officer -- and nine wounded? How do we reconcile accounts of a drifter whose neighbors "never heard him speak about politics or abortion rights," with accounts of his saying "No more baby parts" after his arrest?
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"And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge."
I love "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens because it is a story of an individual's redemption, told in a way sufficiently powerful to move people to ponder their own eternal destiny. Also because I know referring to it in a blog post will ingratiate me with a certain editor, which never hurts. However, the main reason that I love the story of Scrooge, his ghostly visitors, and his transformation is that it so starkly contrasts a society where Christian values are not just believed but lived out, against a society where they are absent. As Trevin Wax writes, rebutting a recent anti-“Christmas Carol” article by Scot McKnight, “The Dickens vision of Christmas would be impossible apart from a society in which the values of Christianity had taken root.”
Marley and Scrooge are greedy, cruel, and above all, joyless. The other characters in the story are overflowing with joy. Even the Cratchits, struggling with life, exhibit a peace that passes all understanding. Productions of the story often show Scrooge's existence as drab and monochromatic, while other lives burst with color—even down to the rosy cheeks of those walking the cold London streets, versus Scrooge's sallow complexion. Overall, it is a tale of how a Christ-centered holiday is wonderful not only for a solitary person hurt by his or her experiences, but even more wonderful for all of us together.
Which brings me to the recent "tempest in a coffee cup" over the spare red design revealed by Starbucks. READ FULL ARTICLE »
I went to the post office to pick up some Christmas stamps this year, only to be told there were no new religiously themed stamps--only secular ones. I was ready to blow a gasket--what new attack on religion was THIS? But in reading this article online, I discovered that we Christians are simply not buying enough religiously themed stamps to justify the cost of creating a new one each year. There's a huge backlog of old ones, which is why you'll be able to buy religious stamps from Christmases past. When they finally run out of those, they'll give us a new one.
I love the religious stamps, and I'm disappointed I'll not have one from 2015 to add to my collection. So please, dear readers--buy as many of the old religious stamps as you can, so we can have a new one for Christmas 2016.READ FULL ARTICLE »
In the Wall Street Journal, Eric Metaxas tells his favorite Thanksgiving story -- the story of Squanto and how he was able to help the Pilgrims. If you have a subscription to the Journal, you can read the story here; if not, Google "The Miracle of Squanto's Path to Plymouth" and you should be able to read it. And if you have kids, check out Eric's book for children about Squanto!READ FULL ARTICLE »
A friend of mine has sex with a lot of women. He has completely bought the idea of the hookup culture, which says you can simply have sex with someone, and then move on with your life as if nothing significant happened. Last time we talked, he bragged about the number of women he’s pursuing. I asked him if the act of sex means anything to him or the girls he’s sleeping with. He nonchalantly said, “No, it’s just for fun. The act itself doesn’t really mean anything.” No matter what I said, he refused to concede that sex had any meaning beyond the physical act itself. READ FULL ARTICLE »
Last Sunday, my family visited a different church to participate in a little celebration in honor of my parents. This Thanksgiving Day marks their 50th or "golden" wedding anniversary. On a cold and rainy late November day in 1965, my parents said “I do.” Little did they know at the time how much their vows would be tested through hard times, poverty, and despair.
Standing up before their little country church, my mom and dad cried as they shared how God was faithful to them even when they weren’t faithful to Him or each other. READ FULL ARTICLE »