Must Read Monday: Facebook, Sing 2018, Evidence-based Scientific Truth and Suicide PreventionSeptember 10, 2018
Want to change the culture? Redefine the meaning of common words
Men and women, boys and girls. These terms have fixed biological meaning across all cultures and times. Unless, as many do today, you imagine otherwise. No longer bound by the biology of XX and XY, those who think otherwise about sex and gender are utilizing non-elected state level commissions to functionally redefine the terms male and female. They are then using the force of government (fines, business licences, etc) to compel their definition on everyone else. Here’s a recent example from Pennsylvania. If you’ve got an example from your state, email me a link.
Evidence-based scientific truth is no longer good enough in postmodern higher ed
Why would a former dean of Harvard medical school question Brown University’s decision to question peer-reviewed research published by one of its own faculty members? Because the Harvard Medical School dean is a scientist who believes empirical evidence should remain the standard of academic inquiry – in an era when postmodern personal truth has clearly taken over American higher ed. This is a story with many layers: the empirical evidence of social contagion as a factor in rapid onset gender dysphoria among American young women, the disdain for that evidence-based research by those with a vested interest in something else being true, the power of social pressure applied to an elite research university resulting in Brown’s abandoning of its professor and her research, and the very real women who are mutilating their flesh as part of a transgender trend in a particular social cohort. If you want to understand the full extent of postmoderism’s power, this article and the underlying story reveals it all.
To this conversation we bring the reality of God and by God’s design and intent, human beings, made as male and female. We bring Genesis 1 and Romans 1 and identity defining texts like I Peter 2. We speak truth – as in evidence by science, but more importantly, as revealed by God.
Today is World Suicide Prevention day – and my guest on Connecting Faith is June Hunt.
Suicide is now the leading cause of death in America for people 10-24 years old. It is on the rise here and around the world. Every one of us needs to be equipped to give hope to those who are suffering and to help, we’ve aggregated resources here. But if you, or someone you know, is actively ideating about suicide, please don’t do the one thing that cannot be undone. There is hope, there is redemption, the sun rises, the dark night of the soul can dawn with the power of Christ’s resurrection. And that hope is available right now! Jesus is not just the after-death ticket to Heaven – He’s the Lord of all creation, the giver of life and the one whose Kingdom comes right here and right now, on earth as it is in heaven.
Science proves what believers have long known: with God, you’re never without a friend.
For those who sing the faith, the power of “What a friend we have in Jesus” stands the test of time. We know from God’s revelation in the Bible that God created human beings for one primary relationship: with God Himself. Only secondarily are we also in relationship with one another. So, what this scientific research gets right is that human beings who are in a relationship with God are not lonely even when they are alone in terms of human relationships. What the research gets backwards is the order of those relationships. A relationship with God is not a way of compensating for the lack of human relationships. The relationship with God is actually the primary relationship. Not that we loved God, but that He loves us – not that we call Jesus a friend, but that Jesus calls us friends. Apart from Him, nothing. With Him, everything. That’s a faith which sings with joy, even if as a lone voice crying out in a wilderness full of other people.
One more thing…Facebook, arbiter of truth and decency for 2 billion people?
Mark Zuckerburg is not yet 35 but having created Facebook, he is now faced with primary questions that cannot be solved by appeals to technology alone. Christians are desperately needed in this particular conversation. Look at these three sentences from the piece in The New Yorker:
- “I found Zuckerberg straining, not always coherently, to grasp problems for which he was plainly unprepared.”
- “These are not technical puzzles to be cracked in the middle of the night but some of the subtlest aspects of human affairs, including the meaning of truth, the limits of free speech, and the origins of violence.” And
- “Zuckerberg is now at the center of a full-fledged debate about the moral character of Silicon Valley and the conscience of its leaders.”
Those are moral questions, moral categories, moral words. Christians know the answers for which Silicon valley now seeks. Are we in the conversation? Leslie Berlin, a historian of technology at Stanford gets it right: “[T]he question Mark Zuckerberg is dealing with is: Should my company be the arbiter of truth and decency for two billion people?” She then rightly observes that “nobody in the history of technology has dealt with that.” But we have! God reveals the truth and is the arbiter of it! Our role is to get that information into the conversations of our day.
Want to join a genuinely uplifting FREE livestream this week?
Over 7500 pastors, musicians, and church leaders will gather in Nashville on Sept. 10 – 12 for three days of teaching, artistry and vibrant singing as Getty Music looks at how the Psalms transform families, individuals and churches. Now you can also join them from the comfort of your own computer or smartphone by registering for the FREE livestream. Plus, everyone who registers will receive a free songbook download with 25 free songs from Getty Music!