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April 3, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

What is the cultural impact of Christianity?

Despite  its humble origins, the Church has made more changes on earth for the  good than any other movement or force in history. To get an overview of  some of the positive contributions Christianity has made through the  centuries, here are a few highlights:

  • Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.
  • Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition,
  • most of the world’s greatest universities were started by Christians for Christian purposes.
  • Literacy and education for the masses.
  • Capitalism and free-enterprise.
  • Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the
  • American experiment.
  • The separation of political powers.
  • Civil liberties.
  • The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times.
  • Modern science.
  • The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
  • The elevation of women.
  • Benevolence and charity; the ‘Good Samaritan’ ethic.
  • Higher standards of justice.
  • The elevation of the common man.
  • High regard for human life.
  • The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.
  • Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.


Source: D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? pp. 3, 4

You can purchase or read reviews on Amazon here and/or read more about the cultural impact of Christianity here.

April 2, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

What are the best quotes on virtue ethics in the New Testament

Here are some of the better verses on virtue from the New Testament:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Colossians 1:11-12  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Colossians 3:12-13 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

March 31, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Various Approaches to the Issues Raised by Atheists

Worldview

Definition/Assumption & Argument Structure

Logical Fallacies

Questions/Weakness

Naturalism/Materialism

Jesus

March 31, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The radical cognitive dissonance in our nation’s policy on abortion on demand

As a moderate five issues concern me with the Lefts approach to the issue–which seems to have a tremendous level of cognitive dissonance and paradox embedded within it:
1) Democrats are the first to defend the idea that rights and responsibilities go together……but on this issue that dialog is notable Missing in Action. What happened to “we’re all a family” and “we’re in this together?” What happened to “radical individualism” isn’t what America is all about? Our failure to see the decision to have unprotected sex as an incredibly serious one–one with huge ramifications–one you can’t magically take back. Those who have unprotected sex x100 are probably going to pay the consequences for those actions. Consequences with a potential third party (that being a fetus)
2) Those who favor abortion be freely available as Democrats don’t seem to take seriously the part about keeping it “infrequent”–at least not recently and at least not since Clinton (this line is barely mentioned–and effort to explain a vision forward on this issue is likewise missing). They may actually do so–but it only seems to be a line thrown in to garner votes since then.
3) Animal rights seem to trump concern with fetuses. Making a philosophical argument for why this would be justified seems beyond me.
4) Aborted babies or fetuses are the one agent or living being who literally can’t speak for themselves and who don’t have a voice at the table. Democracy and America really does and should mean that the least vulnerable–the crippled, the elderly, the poor, have a voice at the table in our discussions when it concerns their well-being and lives. On any other issue this would be an outrage for Democrats and those on the left. And the risk that they are living beings–is pretty profound. For people on all sides–I’m sure we can agree to disagree–but at least we can agree that there is some grain of truth in the need to as a community confront these issues and perhaps work through them. I’m not a woman & I haven’t been in any situation that required me to make that tough, tough decision. It does seem to be a rather profound disconnect when everyone…..everyone…..who has a kid and intends to keep it calls it a baby when its in the womb….and refers to it lovingly as a being…..but when it comes to the political debate…..we can abstract them as a group as a form of living cells. Say what you will about the policy either way…..that perspective is certainly divided in a peculiar and dubious fashion.
5) And it sounds a bit dubious to hide behind love if you aren’t going to defend love for the new living cells….new life…..in the mother’s womb. They look at the ultrasound with glee and treat it as a genuine person or potential person–they rub the mom’s belly with love, affection, and joy. Clearly that being is something more than just a ball of cells….every cell in our being knows it and acts on the fetus/baby in this regard. Thought experiment: If I was a mother….and someone I was close to called my baby a “just a bundle of cells”……I would be highly, highly offended (I would probably laugh it off somehow–but still I would probably be upset) In fact….in terms of our legal code…..if someone kills the mother…..and the baby dies….its double-murder. A third level of cognitive dissonance on this issue. And i’m not advocating an overturn….just a consideration of current policy in light of whatever grain of truth I’ve pointed to. To be fair, both sides probably have culpability in terms of the polarized approach on this issue. I think the way forward is probably something akin to what Clinton’s motto was–but re-doubling our collective efforts in that direction.

—————–
As a moderate four issues concern me with the Lefts approach to the issue–which seems to have a tremendous level of cognitive dissonance and paradox embedded within it: 1) Those who favor abortion be freely available as Democrats don’t seem to take seriously the part about keeping it “infrequent”–at least not since Clinton. They may actually do so–but it only seems to be a line thrown in to garner votes since then. 2) Animal rights seem to trump concern with fetuses. Making a philosophical argument for why this would be justified seems beyond me. 3) Aborted babies or fetuses are the one agent or living being who literally can’t speak for themselves and who don’t have a voice at the table. On any other issue this would be an outrage for Democrats and those on the left. And the risk that they are living beings–is pretty profound. For people on all sides–I’m sure we can agree to disagree–but at least we can agree that there is some grain of truth in the need to as a community confront these issues and perhaps work through them. I’m not a woman & I haven’t been in any situation that required me to make that tough, tough decision. It does seem to be a rather profound disconnect when everyone…..everyone…..who has a kid and intends to keep it calls it a baby when its in the womb….and refers to it lovingly as a being…..but when it comes to the political debate…..we can abstract them as a group as a form of living cells. Say what you will about the policy either way…..that perspective is certainly divided in a peculiar and dubious fashion. 4) And it sounds a bit dubious to hide behind love if you aren’t going to defend love for the new living cells….new life…..in the mother’s womb. They look at the ultrasound with glee and treat it as a genuine person or potential person–they rub the mom’s belly with love, affection, and joy. Clearly that being is something more than just a ball of cells….every cell in our being knows it and acts on the fetus/baby in this regard. Right….in terms of our legal code…..if someone kills the mother…..and the baby dies….its double-murder. A third level of cognitive dissonance on this issue. And i’m not advocating an overturn….just a consideration of current policy in light of whatever grain of truth I’ve pointed to.

March 31, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Best Christian Videos Available Online

First, Andy Stanley’s Series are available at their Your Move Is Website (aka Your Move dot Is) or you can view them on YouTube on Northpoint’s Community Church’s YouTube Channel (you can also record them via DVR on your local NBC affiliate.  Andy Stanley’s message comes on after Saturday Night Live)

Series include: Guardrails, Growing Your Faith, Marriage Expectations, The Message of Jesus, What Can You Expect from God?, Prayer, Your Move, Managing Personal Finances, Balanced, and other relevant messages.

Second, I Am Second Short personal videos which tell stories which have relevance to the key struggles in life.  Well produced, personal, and sooooo honest. (there is also a section on Christian Life Questions)

Third, The One Minute Apologist may be helpful for those who need answers to the questions of skeptics.

Fourth, the Christian music station K-Love has a YouTube channel that includes live music performances in studio as well as Christian music artists telling their story.

Fifth, God Tube is a YouTube like site thats focused on Christian and faith videos.  Its much more faith based on YouTube will ever be or can hope to be.  The music performances and artists themselves are quite entertaining.

Sixth, God Vine I believe is a much, much smaller website that Godtube–I’m not sure if it has any additional content.  I imagine most videos in this category are available and posted to GodTube.

Seventh, Gibbs Game Plan for Life includes videos from a number of former athletes.  I would say that the I Am Second Videos have more variety and are probably more dramatic, but these videos may also carry credibility with teens and young adults, especially those who like football.

Eighth, you might also seek out individual Christian artists on Youtube.  They are also available here on Todays Christian Music under the Videos tab.

March 30, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Top Ten Best Christian Teen Books for Boys

These are for males and females–but the focus of my list is on Christian teen books for teenage boys:

1) Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex Harris and Brett Harris  (also their book Start Here).  You can visit their website here at Rebulition.com or their books on Amazon here.

2)You Were Made to Make A Difference, Max Lucado

3) Heart of an Athlete,  Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Fellowship of Christian Athletes has a number of books available, including an athlete Bible).  You can view their book on Amazon here.

4) Gifted Hands, Teen Edition (about Ben Carson) (link) *

5) Make Everyday Count, Max Lucado (link)

6) You Have a Brain, Teens Guide to THINK BIG, by Ben Carson (link)

7) Its Not About Me, Teen Edition by Max Lucado (link)

8) Just Like Jesus, (for teens) by Max Lucado (link)

9 and 10) A Teen Daily Devotional and a Teen Bible (well chosen) can also be helpful

Here is a longer list on Amazon of great books for Christian teens (link).  I’ve tried to filter that list to the best 7 on the list in the interest of focus and saving time.

* Not sure about the target audience for this particular Ben Carson book.

March 28, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The best of Cold Case Christianity by J Warner Wallace

Cold Case Christianity is one of the best blogs for Christian apologetics research, especially for younger apologists who are looking for straightforward answers to their questions about the Historical Jesus, the Christianity worldview, and critiques of the new Atheism (Hitchens, Dawkins, et. al).  And J Warner Wallace is uniquely qualified to provide those answers, as a former detective and someone who was an agnostic himself and found the case for Christianity and the Historical Jesus to be compelling after seeking out the real answers for himself:

1) Jesus is evidence that God Exists, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity

2) The Dangers of Scientism and Overreliance on Science, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity

3) 3Ms that Naturalism Can’t Provide, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity

4) The Case for the Reliability of the New Testament, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity (Bible Insert)

5) The Case for the Reliability of the Old Testament, J Warner Wallace from Cold Case Christianity (Bible Insert)

6) How to Evaluate Supposed Contradictions in New Testament Accounts, (Bible Insert)

Finally, here is J Warner Wallaces list of compiled answers to the Objections from Atheism.  You can purchase J Warner Wallace’s books on Amazon here (I think he’s most noted for Cold Case Christianity).  To learn more, you can view presentations by J Warner Wallace on Christian apologetics on Vimeo like this one on the Reliability of the Gospels in New Testament.  Finally, you can read more at Cold Case Christianity and Please Convince Me.

If I’ve left a particular article or blog post from J Warner Wallace from my list, I would be glad for you to email me or leave a comment.  As always, thanks for reading!

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