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In the New York Times, Isabel V. Sawhill argues that, even though family breakdown and increasing out-of-wedlock pregnancy rates are hurting children, there's nothing we can do to restore marriage. Instead, she says, we need better contraception and more government aid: "As much as we might welcome a revival, I doubt that it will happen. The genie is out of the bottle. What we need instead is a new ethic of responsible parenthood."

I'll agree that the problem is serious, but to try to fix it like this sounds like putting a band-aid on a malignant tumor.
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If crowdfunding abortion isn't at the very top of the list, it's got to at least be pretty high up there.

(H/T Martha Anderson)
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(Part 1 of this blog series is available here. Part 2 is available here.)

Focusing on God Himself

It seems that God gave Habakkuk understanding of how he wanted him—and all of us—to respond. Rather than trying to figure out the details of his plan, God wants us to focus on him as a person. He told Habakkuk that
these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by their faith (Habakkuk 2:3-4 NLT).
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Kevin Belmonte, BreakPoint columnist and author of "D. L. Moody: A Life," was interviewed by Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition. The interview is here and here.
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(Part 1 of this blog series is available here.)

Even Jesus Asked Why

One final question before we offer an answer. Jesus, who was very God and very man, also had a question. He knew he was to suffer and die a cruel death for the sins of the world. Yet just before his crucifixion he prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39). It is not strange that on a human level Jesus didn’t want to suffer. It is clear that he was struggling with the knowledge that he would experience great pain and suffering. Humanly he didn’t want to endure the torturous death of the cross—yet he would do it for his Father.
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Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, Ky.), shares his thoughts on spiritual transformation as seen in the Parable of the Prodigal Son in his upcoming books, “AHA: The God Moment that Changes Everything” and the devotional “Praying for Your Prodigal.” I had a chance to speak with him about these two books.

AC: Are you an elder brother or younger brother?

KI: Both. Honestly, the more I examine my heart, the more of a younger brother I realize I am. In a sense, the older brother stops being a younger brother when he realizes he is the older brother. The younger brother came to a realization sooner. I hope to be like the younger brother, who comes to a point of realization.
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It’s that time of year. College applications.

Our fourth of four sons is a high school senior. For the past year, he has been bombarded with literature from universities around the country. But my all-time favorite (and that includes the endless mailings that our other boys received over the years) arrived yesterday. A Big State University—I’ll just say it was west of the Mississippi—sent a slick, colorful, 10-panel brochure proclaiming all the advantages of attending this particular institution of higher learning.

Ski resorts. National parks nearby. A nearby airport with stunning architecture. Sweet.

And all it would cost my out-of-state son (read: me) to attend would be about $48,000 a year.
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This world is full of suffering and pain, and God does allow it. And while we may understand to a point why God had to allow suffering, why doesn’t he end it now? Why has he allowed it to continue so long? That is a troubling question.

A perfect and holy God created a perfect world. He “looked over all he made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way” (Genesis 1:31 NLT). Yet not for long. Because of free will, humans had a choice of God’s way or their way. They chose their way, and sin and evil entered the world. The perfect paradise God had created was destroyed. And from that moment forward—multiplied thousands of years—hunger, disease, hatred, wars, and untold heartache have plagued the human race. It is true God has promised to redeem those who trust in his Son for salvation and to restore creation back to his original design. But why is God taking so long to correct the tragic mess humans have made of this world?
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What's the key to the type of talent Paul Smith had? This former resident of an Oregon nursing home became an internet phenomenon when John Stofflet of NBC posted his classic segment from Wisconsin's WMTV on YouTube. In its odd way, the Internet's viral content mill often gives old stories a new lease on life. That's what happened with this five-minute video on Smith's life, and it certainly deserved to be retold. Read More >
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Point of editorial privilege. This post has nothing to do with a Christian worldview on anything (unless someone wants to make a theological point about the importance of the spoken word). It’s about grammar. And subject-verb agreement.
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If you followed the work of Chuck Colson for any length of time, you've probably heard of Warden Burl Cain of Angola Prison in Louisiana. Chuck spent more than one Easter preaching at Angola, and he frequently spoke and wrote about the ways that the warden's faith had helped change the prison. Today in First Things, Peter J. Leithart has a short but fascinating profile of Warden Cain and his groundbreaking work making a maximum-security prison "the safest place in the country."

(H/T David Carlson)
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I’ve worked at Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for 26 years, but by far my most memorable day at work was September 11, 2001.

A young writer popped into my office that morning and said, “Hey, a small plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.”

Okay. That’s weird.

And then, of course, it got weirder. Read More >
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I love the way Wendy Shalit, author of "A Return to Modesty," handled the topic of the Hollywood selfie scandal. The problem, she explains, is not just that young girls are pressured to take nude pictures of themselves (though obviously, that's a BIG part of the problem). The real problem is that we've failed to teach young people how to value and cherish their privacy, instead encouraging them to constantly strive for attention by putting everything out there. If they're routinely supposed to bare their souls for public consumption, Shalit argues, it's only a short step from there to baring their bodies.
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Former BreakPoint social media intern Robert Tucker has written his testimony on his new blog. It's good and valuable reading for anyone who's ever felt like a freak, and needs to be reminded of how God sees him or her.
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About a dozen times a day, I see ads and headlines and e-mails promising, "This will surprise you!" It rarely turns out to be true. But this really did surprise me: Read More >
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