- Compassion for Refugees, Immigrants and Foreigners. Scotty Smith prays “We, who are Americans, pray for our government officials who have to make difficult decisions in the middle of a fresh and growing refugee crisis. May wisdom trump fear, generous welcome be more obvious than self-protection, and good policies prevail over partisan politics.”
- The FAQ’s President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigrants and Refugees. Joe Carter provides this helpful overview of President Trump’s controversial and misunderstood executive order.
- Finding Donald Trump in the Story of Jesus. Scott Sauls writes “Whatever hope some might be placing in Mr. Trump to be the answer to the world’s problems, such hope is misdirected, as only Jesus has the power to change the world with all of its complexities and social problems and thorns and thistles. Conversely, whatever crippling despair others might be feeling over Mr. Trump fails to account for the fact that Jesus is still firmly seated on his throne, holding the hearts of all kings in his hands, including this one.”
- Wise Women Build: The March to Real Dignity. Rebekah Merkle Rebekah Merkle Rebekah Merkle Rebekah Merkle Rebekah Merkle writes “Our nation is in a giant mess right now, ladies, and we need to roll up our sleeves and build this house.”
- On Board with Waterboarding? Richard Phillips writes “Most alarming to me has been the support of waterboarding and other forms of torture among evangelical Christians. To my surprise and indignation, instead of applying the obvious implications of the Sixth Commandment, Christian leaders have lined up in support of waterboarding.
- Abortion Over the Atlantic. Samuel James writes about concerns with Moira Weigel’s article in the Atlantic “How Ultrasound Became Political”.
- Planned Parenthood’s Most Misleading Statistic. Joe Carter writes “Even if their claim was true and destroying human life in the womb only accounted for three percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities, it would still make them one of the greatest purveyors of injustice and evil in America. We shouldn’t quietly tolerate the abortion giant duping the public by using misleading statistics. But even more importantly, we must never remain silent about the moral horror Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics commit by killing our nation’s children.”
MOVIES AND TELEVISION:
- The Quiet Message of Silence. Jared C. Wilson writes “Evangelicals like the idea that they can be Christians without the world knowing it. They tend to believe they can pray a prayer or walk an aisle or sign a card and have that equal assurance. Once “saved,” always “saved.” The idea that you can inwardly be a believer while outwardly living however you want, is very much in keeping with the theological spirit of American evangelicalism. In that regard, Scorsese made a great choice. And a terrible one.”
- Oscar Nominations. The 2017 Oscar nominations were released on January 24. Christians will be interested in Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield receiving nominations for Hacksaw Ridge, my #2 movie of 2016. In addition, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis received a nominations for Fences, my top movie of 2016. Screen Actor Guild (SAG) Winners. I was pleased to see Denzel Washington and Viola Davis win for Fences, my top movie of 2016, and John Lithgow for his outstanding portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Crown.
- This is Us Honors Marriage and Respects Fatherhood. Alysse Elhage writes “I agree that plot twists, uplifting messages, and strong family connections are part of what make This is Us so popular. But I think there’s another reason it’s one of the best shows on television today: it honors marriage and respects fathers in a culture that often fails to do so.”
NOW THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION!
- Can Loved Ones in Heaven Look Down on Me? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses the question “Can people who are in heaven look down and see us (their loved ones) on earth?” He states “So, the bottom line is that we should focus on the great, central realities of the New Testament, which are rock solid, absolutely certain, and full of hope for all who trust in Christ. And if you think about the great saints in heaven, take heart. If they see you at all, they are cheering you on to endure every hardship by encouraging you to focus on Christ.” Listen to or read his full response.
- What Do We Mean When We Speak of the “Sanctity of Human Life”?C. Sproul writes “The Bible is consistently strong in its support for the exceedingly great value of all human life. The poor, the oppressed, the widowed, the orphaned, and the handicapped—all are highly valued in the Bible. Thus, any discussion of the abortion issue ultimately must wrestle with this key theme of Scripture. When the destruction or the disposal of even potential human life is done cheaply and easily, a shadow darkens the whole landscape of the sanctity of life and human dignity.”
- Is Your Conscience Captive to God?C. Sproul writes “Today, we rarely hear any reference to the conscience. Yet throughout church history, the best Christian thinkers spoke about the conscience regularly.”
- Do You Exercise for the Wrong Reasons? David Mathis writes “Have you seriously considered how physical exertion can be a means, among others, of your spiritual health and joy?”