I got into the Christmas spirit with today’s video looking at the deeper significance of the magi’s gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Answers for Ambassadors podcast considers Dawkins’ response to the argument for God’s existence based on the design of the universe, and the links of the week have a bit of a family theme, looking at parenting, monogamy, Jesus’ marital status, and abortion, along with a few other odds and ends.
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“We can stand affliction better than we can stand prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God.”
~ D.L. Moody
The magi who came to worship the baby Jesus in Bethlehem brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were rich gifts, fit for the newborn King of the Jews, but they were something else as well—a beautiful image, orchestrated by God, representing who the baby they had come to worship was and what his work would be.
Answers for Ambassadors Podcast
Does the appearance of design mean there must be a universal Designer? In Chapter 4 of The God Delusion, Dawkins argues that not only is design explicable without a God, but complexity and design actually demonstrate that there almost certainly is no God. This episode considers Dawkins’ “Ultimate 747 Argument” against God’s existence, as well as his attempts to explain biological and cosmological complexity through natural processes alone.
Best Reads of the Week
Two good articles on parenting this week, both arguing that more tolerant, permissive parenting is not actually in the best interests of children: John Piper pleads, “Parents, require obedience of your children” and offers nine observations intended to “rescue parents from the folly of laissez-faire parenting.” On a related note, this occupational therapist argues that today’s children are less prepared than ever for school and life and offers a few suggestions as to why, and what to do about it.
David French’s headline says it all: “There’s a Monogamy ‘Spectrum’ Now?” Good observations in response to an article by a confused young man. “The fundamental lie of the sexual revolution is that you are your sexual desires, and that asking you to deny yourself is the same thing as asking a person to forsake their core identity. Thus the incredulity if a Christian speaks of abstinence outside of a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman. No sex? Next you’ll be telling me, ‘no air!’ Deny self? But there is nothing but the self!”
The excellent Michael J. Kruger revisits and re-refutes a stubborn conspiracy theory: “Was Jesus Married to Mary Magdalene?”
A French court recently banned an ad which dared to portray people with Down syndrome living happy lives because it might make mothers who killed their Down children in utero feel uncomfortable. George Will observes that “inappropriate” has become “an all-purpose device of intellectual evasion and moral cowardice.” On the topic of abortion, a New Mexico woman has sued her abortion provider over lack of informed consent because they did not disclose their affiliation with the university research lab to which her child’s remains were sent without her knowledge. Meanwhile, pro-abortion forces are up in arms over a Texas law which would require the bodies of aborted children to be buried or cremated rather than treated as medical waste.
Donald Trump’s political victory last week, “saving” about 1,000 jobs at Carrier in Indian, will come with considerable unintended consequences. Keith Hennessey elaborates on the costs of saving those jobs. Government intervention to pick economic winners almost always hurts more than it helps, no matter how well-intentioned it may be.
Photo of the Week
I took this photo while visiting family in California with Leah. Point Reyes National Seashore has working cattle ranches dating back to the mid-1800s, and the herds of cattle against the wind-whipped Pacific Ocean created striking images.
(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)