Do You Know What The Gospel Means?

If you think you know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ requires you to do to earn salvation, then you don’t know the Gospel. It’s not what you do that matters, it’s what God has already done for you and whether you believe Him when He says it in His Word, the Bible.

If that prompts any questions in your mind (and it should!), take the time to watch this video and you will see that the basic problem you face is much bigger and more complex than you know, but the Good News — the Gospel — is that He has already taken care of it for you:


 

Massive Ground-Breaking Data Analysis Identifies Relationship Satisfaction Predictors

How important would it be to you to know that your spouse was as committed to your marriage as you are? A huge new analysis of 43 discrete datasets says that factor may well be the most important predictor of whether the two of you will be happy together.

Screenshot from Institute for Family Studies.

Writing for the Institute for Family Studies, Scott Stanley reports on how scholars Samantha Joel and Paul Eastwick used the datasets and “a procedure called Random Forests that relies on machine learning and massive amounts of computing time to test the strength of each predictor and then build thousands of decision trees (a forest), which reveal how much each of the predictors could explain in relationship satisfaction.”

Without giving away the whole store, I will simply say that your perception of your partner’s commitment is absolutely vital to the future success of your relationship. Go here for Stanley’s superb description of this ground-breaking data analysis.


 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? Porn Improves Relationships

Odds are good that at some point in the recent past you have heard somebody on a talk show, during a cable tv discussion, or maybe during lunch conversation claim that pornography can improve a relationship.

The latest in the Colson Center’s excellent new video series, “What Would You Say?,” addresses this issue and offers three solid reasons why pornography is anything but a positive thing for relationships.


For Further Reading:

Personal pornography viewing and sexual satisfaction: A quadratic Analysis, Wright, Bridges, Sun, Ezzell, and Johnson (2018)  

A Love That Doesn’t Last: Pornography Consumption and a Weakened Commitment to a Romantic Partner. 

Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence from Longitudinal Data.

 

THINK ABOUT THIS: Friday’s Poached Egg

Then Jesus said (to the believing thief on the Cross):

“I assure you: Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” — Luke 23:43

Photo by Melanie Sosa on Unsplash.

 

And C.S. Lewis said:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

WORKING ON THE HILL: Hearing Of The Select Committee On The Modernization Of Congress On Staffing Issues

Earlier this summer, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress convened a hearing on staff compensation and benefits. The basic issue — what to do about low pay and high turnover rates — was the central question of the day.

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) is chairman of the panel, while Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) is vice-chairman. In his opening remarks, Kilmer offered this analysis of the problem:

“Staff are the backbone of this institution. They are dedicated public servants who are here because they want to do meaningful work. They choose careers on the Hill despite the long hours, the lack of job security, and lower pay compared to what they could make in the executive branch and private sector.

“Congress is fortunate to attract such talented and hard-working staff. The challenge is keeping them here. We know that turnover rates for House staff are really high and while there’s churn between Hill offices, the typical staffer leaves the Hill after 4 or 5 years.

“That’s right about the time they’ve picked up a lot of institutional knowledge and policy expertise. As unfortunate as this pattern is, it makes sense. For a lot of staffers, the desire to serve the public is eventually outweighed by the need for a better work/life balance, and the need to make more money to afford housing, support families, and put kids through college.

“This reality puts Congress at a disadvantage compared to the executive branch and the private sector. The bottom line is this: until Congress can offer competitive pay and benefits, Congress will continue to lose talented and smart staff. And rather than view them as replaceable, we should create an environment that encourages the best staffers to stay.” (Emphasis added)

The following video of the hearing is long at more than 90 minutes, but the two featured witnesses — Casey Burgat, Director of the Legislative Affairs at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, and Kathryn Pearson, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota — provide an intelligent, detailed and compelling analysis of what must be done for Congress to address these problems:


HT: Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute for pointing this video out to yours truly via email.

This Is The Real Game-Changer In The ‘Is Jesus God?’ Debate

Put aside everything else you’ve ever heard or thought about Jesus Christ, then ask yourself what is one fact that, no matter what it is, would absolutely decide the question of whether or not He is God?

J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene.

But remember this: For your thinking to be as clear and logical as possible, don’t allow yourself to start with an assumption about what cannot be true or false. You must have an open mind to all possibilities.

Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace — you may recall him as NBC Dateline’s “evidence whisperer” — deals with these two questions in the following video. He’s specifically addressing the issue of the divinity of Jesus, but his advice about how to think through things accurately and logically is applicable in all kinds of life situations:


 

WORKING ON THE HILL: There’s Good News And, Mostly, Bad News About Staff Salaries

If you worked for a couple of years on the Hill beginning in 2000 at the end of the Clinton presidency and the dawn of the second Bush White House, then came back this year in the same position, you would probably see a 35 percent pay hike.

That conclusion is based on Legistorm’s calculation of annual increases in the median staff salary for members of the office staff of a senator or representative. It was $39,673 in 2000 and is presently $53,660, a 35 percent increase.

That’s the good news. Pay for congressional staff has risen steadily during the previous two decades. Unfortunately, it’s still common for lower level staffers to be paid salaries that require having roommates to share housing costs, or other income sources (which should be disclosed). Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: There’s Good News And, Mostly, Bad News About Staff Salaries”

Harvard Scholars Say Faith And Marriage Are Two Pillars For An Enduring Economic Prosperity

Dr. Patrick Fagan of Marripedia offers concise summaries of two important recent works — one from two scholars at Harvard and one from Cal State Long Beach — who marshal mountains of data that demonstrate the solid connection between strong religious faith, strong marriages, and strong economic prosperty.

I had the privilege of working with Pat for six years at the Heritage Foundation when I was teaching journalists how to do computer-assisted reporting. I know him to be a scholar of the first rank and a man unalterably committed to the truth

These are important works for Hill staffers involved in shaping government policies toward families, economics and societal expectations:

Faith, Families and Prosperity Are Inter-related

A 2019 book entitled “The Wealth of Religions: The Political Economy of Believing and Belonging” by Harvard’s Rachel M. McCleary and Robert J. Barro asserts the economic value of religion by exploring the extent to which religious beliefs motivate people to be economically productive. Continue reading “Harvard Scholars Say Faith And Marriage Are Two Pillars For An Enduring Economic Prosperity”

WORKING ON THE HILL: God’s Purpose For You Is Now

By Bret Bernhardt

It’s easy to feel as if you are standing still or even stuck in your present circumstances. This applies to your life, both on the job and off.  Everyone who has worked on the Hill has had these feelings from time to time.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Oswald Chambers, in his daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” hits the nail on the head on this subject with his July 28 reading.

Titled “God’s Purpose or Mine,” Chambers aptly describes how the Lord views progress and success in our lives. In short, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: God’s Purpose For You Is Now”

Five Reasons Christianity And Racism Are Absolute Opposites

If it were possible to have a society based entirely and solely on Christianity side-by-side with a society based entirely on racism, would they have anything, anything at all, in common?

Eric Lyons of Apologetics Press (Screenshot from YouTube).

The answer is no. Christianity’s understanding of why we are here is so profoundly unlike the understanding of the many racist ideologies that have blighted the Earth throughout history as to be two entirely separate universes.

Eric Lyons of the Apologetics Press explains why this is so and in the process demonstrates the simple, undeniable fact that racism is totally and completely ridiculous and a sin against God:


 

DID YOU KNOW? Here’s Why Jesus Is Nothing Like The Pagan Deities

Oxford Professor Emeritus John Lennox addresses a fascinating question: How are the countless pagan gods of the ancient world different from the God of the Bible who came among us as Jesus Christ?

For one thing, Lennox points out, all of the pagan gods came from creation in some manner, out of the primordial soup or thrown down from Mt. Olympus, and so forth. Jesus, the Bible tells us, didn’t come from creation, He created it! See Colossians 1:16.

That’s pretty profound when you think about it, but it’s just one of many ways in which Jesus is absolutely and unqualifiedly unique. And Lennox, mathematician and philosopher that he is, has much more to share with us in this delightful video: