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Life after New York and Virginia
Jan31

Life after New York and Virginia

On January 22, the New York legislature passed the Reproductive Health Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. To a casual observer that might not seem like earth-shattering news, yet a closer look reveals that this is one of the most outrageous and devastating developments in decades. On “the 46th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, the New York legislature passed… (the) law that significantly expands abortion...

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Sword & trowel: Champions for life
Jan24

Sword & trowel: Champions for life

We live in a time that is hungry for heroes. Look no further than the popularity of comic book action heroes or to idolized professional sports stars to see that there is an impulse in people to have heroes. While the world often looks to the strongest, richest or most beautiful as exemplary heroes, the Christian faith honors the humble, the unheralded and those who stand up for the weak. Let me share about two heroes I admire....

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‘Sword & trowel’: New beginnings
Jan11

‘Sword & trowel’: New beginnings

Since 2011, I have had the privilege of writing editorials for the Baptist Messenger, which I have done under the headline “Conventional Thinking.” For 2019, in this era of new beginnings and a New Year, I am reintroducing my column as “Sword & trowel.” The phrase, which is a reference to the Book of Nehemiah, was used by the late, great preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, whose publication that was founded in the 1860s still bears...

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Conventional Thinking: Baby steps
Dec21

Conventional Thinking: Baby steps

Some time back, I saw one of those social media posts that make you smile or cringe, depending on who you are. Called “The top 10 reasons liberal atheists don’t like the holidays,” the list included things like “Christmas lights waste electricity” and “The pilgrims and Indians gave thanks to Whom?” The list, which I did not know if it were serious or silly, did end on a very somber note. It said they don’t like the holidays because...

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Conventional Thinking: Home alone at Christmas
Dec14

Conventional Thinking: Home alone at Christmas

“Home Alone” continues to be one of the most popular Christmas movies. To recall the plot, an eight-year-old boy’s family accidently leaves him at home for the holidays, while they jet off to Europe for vacation. Realizing his family is gone, the boy (Kevin) thinks he has permanently wished his family away, when he is confronted with two bungling burglars trying to raid his home, all while his mother tries to get back home to her...

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Conventional Thinking: Christmas wars & peace
Dec07

Conventional Thinking: Christmas wars & peace

I recently saw a Facebook contest that encouraged people to pick their favorite Christmas song. In an NCAA Tournament-style bracket, the contest pitted 64 songs against one another in a round-by-round process, with one song to win out in the end. While I’m not sure if “O Holy Night” or “Jingle Bells” or “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (or another) will ultimately prevail, this was a reminder that Christmas songs continue to hold a...

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