Must Read Monday: Santa Claus is coming to townDecember 5, 2016
Tim Keller Wants You to Stop Underestimating Christmas– The Gospel Coalition
Keller writes Christmas is “the most unsentimental, realistic way of looking at life.” That statement is a long way from the usual Christmas movies we love watching this time of year. Christmas is about much more than magic. It is the incarnation of the God of the universe, condescending into our circumstances to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. This is a great equipping conversation to differentiate the beauty of Christmas with the lesser counterfeits put forward by human minds.
Is it okay to lie to our kids about Santa?– Joshua Straub
How should Christian parents talk with their kids about Santa? He is practically ubiquitous during the month of December, so we cannot just ignore it. Even a recent study by child psychologists found potential long-term lasting effects from a long-term lie about Santa could harm the parent-child relationship. Joshua Straub, our guest on The Reconnect today, writes of six considerations for parents when talking about Santa.
This extends to how we celebrate the season. How do we live in and interact in a culture that is filled with some many mythical characters, ideas and holiday stories? Christmas is the time of year when Christians have the home field advantage. Jesus may be sharing the stage with lots of characters but Jesus is the main attraction!
Christians, claim your home field advantage this Christmas – the lesser gods of culture may win a few squeals and take credit for presents under the tree, but only we can explain the presence of the living God wrapped in human flesh delivered as the One to deliver all of us. Do not rob people of their joy if they choose to celebrate with Santa – just make sure that they also know the truth that Jesus Christ is coming to town.
That last race for 2016 has finally been called! A month after election day, Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCroy conceded today to Democrat challenger Roy Cooper. Much of the campaign focused on the controversial HB2 “bathroom bill,” which passed earlier this year. McCroy campaigned on repealing the legislation.
The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act will move forward without language aimed at ensuring religious-affiliated nonprofits contracting with the federal government could include belief in hiring decisions. This article outlines what an amendment might have done, what is next, and what a Trump Administration might do to address these religious liberty concerns.
The Department of the Army announced it would not allow a pipeline to be built near a Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. For months, hundreds, even thousands, of protesters camped out in protest of the proposed pipeline. Hailed as a major victory for the Native American tribe, this battle was at the convergence of religious, environmental and indigenous activism. There are still unanswered questions about whether or not the Army decision will stand under the incoming Trump Administration, setting up another clash.
There are some questions related to Standing Rock. Is this is a religious liberty issue? Is this an assertion of rights from a people group that was kept distinct from the melting pot of Americana? In answering these questions, can we step back and remove our political perspective and understand this issue from a uniquely Christian worldview?
More information from the Religion News Service: The ‘Splainer: The ‘spiritual battle’ over the Dakota Access pipeline
BuzzFeed’s hit piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines is dangerous-Washington Post opinion
While I may disagree with the author of this piece on pretty much everything in the first two paragraphs, this piece is worth lifting up for his central point: the public shaming of the “elites” in media and entertainment of certain beliefs. He points out that the Buzzfeed hit piece on the Gaines— in effect— communicated that half the US population should be fired for believing marriage is defined by God as between one man and one woman. Thought bullying is dangerous and only serves to increase the chasm between the “red” and “blue” US. If we are going to be a United States of America, we are going to have to find a way to get along with people with whom we disagree.
On The Reconnect, we have been doing a series on how to be wise about fake news. Over the weekend, we witnessed this extreme case about what it looks like to base your opinions— and actions— on a fake news story, contrived to get clicks, make money and intentionally spread falsehoods. For more on why the Christian worldview requires we be wise about fake news, check out our series on the topic.