Must Read Monday: Truth, Bioethics, and the Power of PlayAugust 20, 2018
What is the Truth?
Yesterday on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, the President’s attorney, Rudy Guiliani, said “truth isn’t truth” and asked the host “what is the truth” when there are two different versions being presented. Napp Nazworth writes about it today in The Christian Post (and quotes my op-ed from a week ago).
Christians in the Public Square
As debates and political ads heat up the airwaves, Christians must necessarily consider what to believe, how to engage in the political conversations of the day and for whom to cast a vote. The rhetoric and tactics are nastier than ever and the temptation exists to do as others do. But Christians must resist those temptations. Even as debates become more confrontational, Christians must not only accurately represent the message of the Gospel but in a way consistent with the Gospel. Ron Klain is a Democratic debate prep specialist and he says “the emphasis has shifted from persuading undecided voters to motivating your own supporters, and showing your supporters you’ll fight for what you believe in.” How might the shift in political debate be affecting and influencing Christians in the public square and in the mission field of culture cultivation?
CRISPR Technology and Bioethics
What is life? When does it begin? Who creates it? How much manipulation of human genetic material is right and just and when do we cross the line into playing God? If you’re not read up on CRISPR technology, the time has come because scientists in China have used next-generation gene-editing to repair a disease-causing mutation in human embryos created using standard fertility clinic practices. Re-read that last sentence. Have Christians done the hard ethical work on the question of IVF, let alone editing the genes of early-stage IVF embryos in ways that change generationally inherited traits? The study is at the “proof of concept” stage, which means the embryos were not transferred into wombs. That also means they were destroyed. Human embryos. If you’re not thinking about the leading edge of bioethics and medical technology at the ends of life, it’s time to engage.
The Power of Play
“Go outside and play!” I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again. Even on a 50 acre farm with endless options, the sucking draw of electronics presents a constant battle. But thanks to a new report out today by the American Academy of Pediatrics I have a new weapon in my arsenal! The Power of Play is wonky but here’s the gist: Play is crucial for learning, brain development, skill acquisition and development, and stress relief. The report advocates doctors discuss the power and importance of play with parents of infants (think peek-a-boo), the preschoolers have unstructured (nonelectronic) playtime, and daily recess for school age kids throughout the day. The report reveals that almost ⅓ of kindergarteners don’t have recess and only ½ play outside with their parents. No matter how old we are, we are children of God and our development, creativity, health and JOY depend on outside play or R&R. So, put down your phone or other connected device NOW and get outside – and play!
(While you’re out there, take a moment to contemplate the cosmos – and the climate. Think about why you think the way you do about the weather. Pew Research has a new report revealing that the climate is actually the most divisive issue in our culture today. That’s worth considering and preparing to talk about!)
More News you can Use as you engage today as a Christian conversational apologist:
- Sororities are quite literally not just for women anymore. The pressure to conform to the LGBTQ+ revolutionaries is robbing women of the joy of competitive sports, privacy in public restrooms and gym locker rooms, and the fellowship of other women in college sororities. At some point I expect a feminist backlash, but not quite yet.
- California Senate passes law making efforts (speech, books, ministries, counseling) to help people change their sexual orientation or gender identity fraudulent business practices, criminalizing such practices. Tyler O’Neil of PJMedia and author of this piece will join me to discuss on Connecting Faith. Subscribe to the podcast, download the Faith Radio app, or listen live each day at noon central: MyFaithRadio.com
- Two million Muslims are making pilgrimage to Mecca in Hajj 2018. What are your spiritual practices and what sacrifices do you make to follow in the way of Jesus? What does the Lord require of you? (Hint: See Micah 6:8). God certainly calls us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, but everything necessary for salvation has been accomplished by Christ. There is literally nothing you can do to be saved. God’s grace is both all sufficient and freely offered.
- Mormons demand to be called by their preferred name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One definite article, eight words, 11 syllables, one hyphen. Nothing less and nothing else. No abbreviations and no substitutions. I’m blogging about this tomorrow but suffice it to say I find this to be a fascinating move in the current cultural environment of self-identification. If we are all required to call LGBTQ+ people by their preferred pronouns and forbidden to use deadnames, can others – let’s say Mormons – require others to do likewise for them?
- Family reunions in Korea. How long has it been since you’ve seen your people? Reunification of the Korean peninsula begins with the reunification of families divided by the Korean civil war. Many will tell you that the Korean people are one people. Today, families long divided are coming together. Mark this day for I believe it portends things to come.