Today, the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that use of the "morning-after pill" (Plan B) to counteract pregnancy has increased rapidly among teens since being sold in stores over the counter like candy. The warning label on this drug indicates that pregnancy may be precluded by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg, thus causing an abortion that is typically invisible to the mother.
None of us knows the specifics of the future. There are a few things that every Christian knows from Scripture about the future. We know that Christ shall return (Acts 1:11), that there shall be a bodily resurrection (1 Thess 4:16), and after that the judgment (Rom 14:10). The future, of course, is in the good, sovereign and merciful hands of our triune God (Heidelberg Catechism 27). Believers know that whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Rom 14:8; Heidelberg Catechism 1). There are other things about which believers have certainty, but much of the future, from a human perspective, is a matter of probabilities. These we can determine from history.
Gnostics Never Die
Perhaps the greatest threat to the early post-apostolic church was that of Gnosticism, a second-century (100s AD) movement that drew on threads in pre-Christian pagan philosophy to create a heresy of the Christian faith. The Gnostics denied the goodness of creation per se, the validi…
Thanksgiving is an American holiday that stretches all the way back to a time long before America became a nation. The Pilgrims landed in 1620. They faced brutal conditions and were woefully unprepared. Roughly half of them died in that first year. Then they had a successful harvest of corn. In November of 1621 they decided to celebrate a feast of thanksgiving.
Edward Winslow was among those who ate that first thanksgiving meal in 1621. He noted:
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we gathered the fruit of our labors. …And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want.”
In addition to the fowl eaten that first Thanksgiving, the Indians also brought along five deer as their contribution to the feast. Presumably they also ate corn.
One of the most meaningful elements of the Thanksgiving saga centers on God's providential hand concerning an Indian known as Squanto. He was born and raised amongst an Indian tribe known as the Patuxets. They were one of the fiercest tribes located in New England. This particular tribe was especially brutal towards any visitors they might encounter.
As a young man, Squanto was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He was taken to a notorious slave-trading port known as Malaga, which is located off the coast of Spain. Fortunately for Squanto, instead of being sold and shipped off to North Africa, he was rescued by some local friars. It was here that Squanto became familiar with certain aspects of the Christian faith. Little did Squanto know at this stage of his life that God was preparing him for a significant role that he would later play at Plymouth.
Eventually Squanto attached himself to an Englishman bound for London. While in London,…
Most adults probably know by now that the story of the first Colonial Thanksgiving was a little more complex than that learned as a child. To catch up see Robert Tracy McKenzie, The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning From History (2013). There are young people, however, who have learned an equally simplistic (and even malevolent) story in which the colonists and pilgrims were genocidal maniacs. Check your child’s history books. If one of them is Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States your child is being taught one of those discredited narratives.
Apart from cultural and political arguments over American colonial history, however, Christians do well to appreciate the necessity and power of being thankful. Even among Reformed people gratitude as a motive for the Christian life seems to have fallen on hard times. One need not look far to see various alternatives being suggested. …
Yesterday I saw this tweet repeating a comment reported by the LA Times that Roy Moore made at a campaign rally last September when one of his supporters asked him when he thought the last time America was "great:"
"I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another…Our families were strong, our country had a direction." (Taken from Roy Moore: Last Time America was 'Great" was During 'Slavery'; Newsweek, 12.7.2017)
I realize this is being presented out of context and sensationalized, but really, folks, what on earth was Roy Moore thinking when he said it? Regardless of how foolish making such a comment is during a public campaign event for a national office, it's just plain wrong.
My father's family is from the south - we can trace our ancestry back to the War for Independence with our family patriarch Capt. John Somers possibly serving under Geor…