eclectica 2018.1.26

Today I’d like to share a few links that might be of interest to you. Some are from current news, others are more eclectic.

Religious Activists in HHS • Christian Courage Nelson Trial

Worldwide Persecution • Archaeology • On Virtue (secular)

Interesting developments in the Trump administration – though no administration is perfect, Christians are having some influence, especially working to protect religious liberty.

The Larry Nassar abuse trial ended with a very stiff sentence. One accuser, Rachael Denhollander, gives a gracious Christian testimony on the stand. Surely the trial was an ordeal for her, and others, but praise the Lord for the willingness to speak up and demand justice. In this case, Rachael also speaks up and proclaims God’s grace. The Washington Post (among others) took notice.

We are concerned about religious liberty in our nation, and rightly so. We should also be concerned about worldwide religious persecution. Our missionaries as well as our brethren around the world endure many trials. CT noted the most dangerous places for Christians in 2017.

For the “Bible nerd” a blog I recently run across suggests hours of distraction… uh… I mean “study” as one can read on all kinds of archaeological findings. This post gives us a list of the best discoveries of the previous year.

And last, from a secular worldview, something on “virtue” as our culture sees it. Virtue is a high ethical value when based on an objective standard like the Scriptures, and it is especially a spiritual value that Christians strive to attain according to Bible guidelines. Our culture means quite a different thing by virtue, and it means to shut you up and shout you down by it.

  • Phony Virtue is Ruining Western Society

An opening quote from this last one:

What counts as virtue among Western elites? As Aristotle teaches, if you can identify what a society considers to be virtuous or good, you can understand the moral outlook of that society’s institutions, from its schools to its foreign policy. One needs only to study any gathering of American elite culture to see that virtue, traditionally centered in personal character, has become redefined as public sympathy for humanitarian causes. When watching any cultural awards program, for example, one is treated to a parade of “beautiful” souls voicing support for myriad progressive causes. This moral preening has become so commonplace that a term has developed to characterize it: “virtue signaling.”

I hope these stimulate some interest and reflection among our readers. We plan to provide more links on a regular basis in days to come – a site re-design is in the works. If you have links you would like to suggest, please send them along to us.

Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

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