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Headlines (December 11)

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The Beginning of the End – With the emergence of Personal Video Recorders and other similar devices, we may be at the beginning of the end of the commercials we see on television. So many people simply skip over commercials now that many companies are beginning to re-evaluate how they advertise on television. Product placements are becoming a standard part of almost every show these days, especially on “reality” shows. The latest idea is to make instantly available to online shoppers whatever they see on television. If you like the sweater someone is wearing on your favorite show, you can go to a web site, select that show and browse through the various products you saw on the screen just moments earlier. It is quite an interesting idea, actually. You can read more about it here.

Prosperity Gospel – Here are some quotes courtesy of the Calvary Contender. “In a 1997 TBN telecast, Paul Crouch said: “If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed…you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven.” John Hagee says: “When you give, it qualifies you to receive of God’s abundance,” and, Hagee adds, “If God gives to you before you give to Him, God Himself will become a liar. If you are not prospering, it’s because you are not giving.” Another popular charismatic, Benny Hinn, is quoted in the December 14 Alabama Baptist as saying salvation and healing should never be separate.”

Decline in Teen Sex – I never would have guessed, but according to a study by the The National Center for Health Statistics, fewer teens are engaging in sexual activity than even a few years ago. “girls aged 15 to 17 the percentage who had ever had intercourse declined from 38 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2002” while for boys the decline was 43 percent to 31 percent. Those teens that do have sexual intercourse are more likely to use contraceptives than they were even ten years ago. One has to wonder if they are looking only for teens who have actually engaged in intercourse and if they are discounting other sexual activity. I woudl be shocked to learn that both have decreased in recent years. Read more here.

Festive Bush – We are off to select and chop down our festive bush this morning. That way we can participate in our non-offensive, non-religious, don’t-you-dare-say-Christ holiday celebration. When we take Jesus out of the season we are left with honoring greed and consumerism, aren’t we?

  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.

  • A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    Every month I put together a roundup of new and notable books for grownup readers. But I also receive a lot of books for kids and like to put together the occasional roundup of these books as well. So today I bring you a whole big batch of new books for kids

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (June 13)

    A La Carte: Were the earliest Christians illiterate? / Our new religion isn’t enough / Why do evil and suffering exist? / The missing ingredient in too many marriages / Is Genesis literal or allegorical? / The death of fear / and more.