Thursday Roundup

Today’s video is a bit longer than usual because rescuing John 1:1 from mistranslation by the Watchtower Society requires some context and a dive into the original Greek, but I tried to keep it as interesting and useful as possible! The Answers for Ambassadors podcast talks about Richard Dawkins’ rebuttals to common arguments for God’s existence, while the links of the week look at ill-advised federal overtime rules, the effects of family instability on girls, how to teach your children to love church, and more.

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“Canonical books [of the Bible]… cannot be lost. If they are lost, then they were never canonical books to begin with. So, even if we were to discover Paul’s lost letter in the desert sands today, we would not place it into the canon as the twenty-eighth book. Instead, we would simply recognize that God had not preserved this book to be a permanent foundation for the church.”
~ Michael J. Kruger, Canon Revisited

Latest Video

John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It seems like a pretty straightforward refutation of the Watchtower Society teaching that Jesus was not God, but if you ask a Jehovah’s Witness about it, you will find that John 1:1 in their Bible ends with “…and the Word was a god.” Today’s video looks at the question of how John 1:1 should be translated and, along the way, offers some tips for speaking with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

What evidence is there that God is real? In Chapter 3 of The God Delusion, Dawkins briefly critiques common arguments for God’s existence. This episode responds to his rebuttals, but first we have to consider what place evidential arguments should have in Christian apologetics.

Answers for Ambassadors is available via SoundCloud, or by searching in iTunes and most other podcast players. You can also direct your podcast player to the podcast RSS feed.

Best Reads of the Week

Feel-good legislation doesn’t always do good. The Obama Administration’s new overtime rules which will go into effect on December 1 are already seeing workers laid off or forced to give up schedule flexibility and freedom. This article explains the all-too-foreseeable unintended consequences of the new rules. As economist Thomas Sowell says, effects matter more than intentions.

A few days ago, I noticed that Twitter was down. And so was PayPal. And so, a little googling revealed, were Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, The New York Times, and many more. This article describes how an “internet of things” botnet launched a DDoS attack to take down some of the biggest sites on the internet. As the article explains, poorly secured internet-connected devices like DVRs are just waiting to be hacked and used to carry out this sort of malicious attack.

I recently linked to an article exploring the huge negative effects that family instability has on boys. This follow-up article suggests that family instability harms girls just as much, but in different ways.

Some interesting findings from Pew Research on religious retention rates. Children of Protestant parents are more likely to share their parents’ faith than are children of Catholic or religiously unaffiliated parents. Families in which both parents share the same faith are (unsurprisingly) more likely to pass that faith on to their children, but when parents are split, the mother is particularly influential in shaping her children’s later religious convictions.

A challenging article on “How My Parents Taught Me to Love the Church.” Hint: By acting as if it was important.

Perhaps you heard about “the baby who was born twice.” Denny Burke asks a question which reveals the dishonesty at the heart of pro-choice arguments: After LynLee Boemer was born the first time, would it have been legal to abort her after she was returned to her mother’s womb?

Breathe a sigh of relief… The “Minecraft sex mod” panic which recently swept the parenting blogosphere was largely based on misinformation. (Not everything on the internet is true!) This article sets things straight and also gives some useful tips for keeping kids safe while playing Minecraft. The author somewhat overstates the difficulty of installing mods, but otherwise her information is good.

An interesting article on the decline of the NFL. The league is panicking as viewership collapses by double-digit margins, but in many ways they’ve done it to themselves.

Stuff I Like (Affiliate Link)

Another of my favorite books on the history of the Bible is Canon Revisited by Michael J. Kruger. It is a scholarly but readable explanation of the development of the New Testament canon, a topic many Christians have questions about. How did we end up with the 27 books that compose the New Testament? Can we be confident we have the “right” books, including all those which God intended to be part of his Word and excluding all pretenders? Kruger’s treatment of these important questions is thorough, thoughtful, and compelling.

And remember, anytime you start shopping on Amazon.com by clicking through this affiliate link, you’ll be helping to support my work at no extra cost to yourself. If you bookmark the page that opens after you click the affiliate link, you can use that bookmark each time you shop!

Photo of the Week

Red trumpet vine

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina has a lovely, shaded brick walkway which is overshadowed by trumpet vines growing up the classical columns which line the path.

(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)

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