THINK ABOUT THIS: Friday’s Poached Egg

Then Jesus said:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” — John 15:16-17 (ESV)

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.

Netflix Drops Trailer For ‘A Week Away’ Musical

It’s a faith-based musical called “A Week Away” and it’s about a bad boy who mistakenly (he thinks) ends up at a church camp where he happens to meet a sheltered, smart, vivacious girl, they quickly start making eyes at each other, but then he panics and flees, yet somehow they …. no, wait, don’t want to give it away entirely, though you can guess what comes next if you’ve ever watched five minutes on the Hallmark Channel.

Only this one is on Netflix, not Hallmark, and the title is taken from the name of the fictional camp — “Aweegaway” —  where lots of singing, dancing, romancing, teenage angsting, goofing around, joking, laughing, competing and all the other stuff high schoolers do at church camp. A week away can sometimes change a person’s life entirely.

Netflix dropped the official trailer, which you can watch below, about a week away from the musical’s debut. I’m not a fan of musicals, but for those who are, this one looks to have all the essential elements, plus music from For King and Country, Amy Grant, Steven Curtiss Chapman and Michael W. Smith. And when was the last time you saw a faith-based musical?

Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s Faith & Law Forum: Christianity And Environmental Stewardship

Odds are Friday is a travel day for your boss, so why not take your lunch hour and login for 60 minutes of challenging and thought-provoking discussion hosted by Faith & Law with a bunch of other Hill folks to learn about what God says of environmental stewardship?

Jessica Moerman, left, John Hart, top right, Drew Bond, bottom right. (Photo courtesy Faith & Law).

What God says about environmental stewardship? Yes, God is the ultimate author of environmental stewardship, as He makes clear in Genesis 1, the first chapter of the first book of the Old Testament. That position suggests God considers it a top priority.

The F&L Friday Forum starts promptly at noon tomorrow, February 26, and registration is required to join the Zoom meeting. You can register for the forum here: Registration is required

Three speakers are scheduled to present, including Dr. Jessica Moerman, Senior Director for Science and Policy at the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN),  who will discuss the science of climate change, the role of human activity on today’s global warming, and how environmental stewardship plays a part in Christian witness.

Following Moerman will be two guys I know and respect immensely, John Hart and Drew Bond, founders of Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions (C3 Solutions).

I was an un-indicted co-conspirator with Hart in the campaign to gain passage of the landmark legislation co-sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Barack Obama of Illinois, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.

Bond and I were colleagues in the same era at the Heritage Foundation where he was in senior management and I was teaching journalists how to do data analysis in their reporting. He also worked for Sen. Don Nickles of Oklahoma. Drew is an OU graduate, but, as an OSU alum, I don’t hold that against him (Bedlam Week excepted!).

More recently, Hart and Bond joined forces to start C3 Solutions as a way to find global solutions that will make the world a healthier and more prosperous place.

In other words, I can guarantee you will enjoy this hour and come away from it with some insights and understanding that will make it time quite well spent.


 

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Jenna Massoud (Screenshot from Facebook).

Jenna Massoud is the new District Representative in the office of Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA). Working for the Massachusetts Democrat is Jenna’s first position on the Hill after graduating in 2020 from Boston College with a BA in Political Science and English, Magna Cum Laude.

Matt Schlosser assumes duties as Constituent Services Liaison for Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), after a stint as a Field Organizer for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Matt’s BA in Politics and International Affairs, plus English, was awarded in 2019 by Wake Forest University.

Francis Brennan heads over to the office of Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) as Communications Director. Previously, Francis was Director of Strategic Response for the Trump re-election campaign. Also among Francis’ previous work experiences was a year as Deputy War Room Director for the Washington Free Beacon. Francis received his BA in Political Science and Government from the Catholic University of America in 2011.
Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

No, Christian Apologists Do Not Commit The ‘Spider-Man Fallacy’

When Christian apologists observe that the New Testament is chock full of historical and archeological evidence that point to the reliability and accuracy of the Gospels, critics often accuse them of committing the “SpiderMan Fallacy.”

The SpiderMan Fallacy, according to such critics, is claiming that A is proven true by historical or archeological fact B. Example: Claiming that the fact the Gospel of Matthew mentions Jerusalem multiple times “proves” that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected from the dead.

Erik Manning, the guy behind the Is Jesus Alive web site, takes up this claim by critics and demonstrates that the real fallacy involved here is the one in which said critics set up a straw man argument. Listen. Think. Enjoy. And learn.


 

No, The Universe Could Not Cause Itself And Here’s Why

Why is there something — let us stipulate that it is the universe in which we exist — rather than nothing? That’s the most basic question of all, and there are only two possible answers: Either the universe had a beginning or it is eternal.

But did the universe begin itself or was it created by something outside of itself? That gets us to the question of does God exist. How you answer that question shapes how you answer most of life’s significant questions.

Cross-examined.org’s Frank Turek, co-author of “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist,” explains in the following short animated video why the universe could not have created itself, and why God must exist, or, to put it in Aristotelian terms, the uncaused First Cause:


 

Want To Live Longer, Be Happier, Stay Healthier? Studies Say Go To Church Regularly!

Who doesn’t want to live longer, be happier and enjoy better health? New peer-reviewed studies highlighted by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) suggest going to church regularly has a lot to do with it.

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Founder and President, Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI).

The first of the studies was published by the International Journal of Epidemiology found that “participants who attended religious services once a week or more had lower mortality rates and slightly fewer physical health problems,” according to MARRI, a Washington, D.C.-based research foundation headed by Dr. Patrick Fagan at the Catholic University of America.

Fagan is the former deputy assistant secretary for family and social policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the first Bush administration. He’s also been with the Heritage Foundation, the Free Congress Foundation and the Family Research Council (FRC). He is the publisher and editor of marripedia.org.

“Furthermore, those who attended religious services at least once a week were less likely to drink heavily and smoke. They were also less likely to be depressed, anxious, hopeless, and lonely. Finally, they were more likely to feel greater life satisfaction, social integration, and purpose in life,” the MARRI summary continued. The study was published in the December 2020 issue of the journal. Continue reading “Want To Live Longer, Be Happier, Stay Healthier? Studies Say Go To Church Regularly!”

SUNDAY SONGS: ‘Is He Worthy?’ Sung By Andrew Peterson

Do you feel the world is broken?

(We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen?
(We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t
Stop the light from getting through?
(We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new?
We do)
Is all creation groaning?
(It is)
Is a new creation coming?
(It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst?
(It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?
(It is)
Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He was David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy of this?
He is
Does the Father truly love us?
(He does)
Does the Spirit move among us?
(He does)
And does Jesus, our Messiah hold forever those He loves?
(He does)
Does our God intend to dwell again with us?
(He does)
Is anyone worthy?
Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
From every people and tribe
Every nation and tongue
He has made us a kingdom and priests to God
To reign with the Son
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?
He is!
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
He is!
He is!
Source: Musixmatch

SATURDAY SPECIAL: How Does God View It When We Falsely Slander Someone?

By Bruce Cooper

Slander is when someone makes a false verbal statement that damages someone’s reputation. It’s generally an attempt to put someone in, what is perceived as, a negative or a less than generally accepted group or position.

In short, it’s a defamation of what is generally accepted as good character. If you verbally make a false accusation about someone it is called slander.

If you make a written false statement about someone it is called libel. Libel is written, slander is verbal or spoken. As an example, if someone wrote an article about Bruce Cooper (that would be me) and they said that I wasn’t a bad guy but that I did have a tendency to steal, and it was not true about me having a tendency to steal (which, I should note, it is not true), that would be an example of libel. If they just spoke that untruth to someone else, that would be slander.

If you are wondering why I am stating what most of us already know, I will tell you. There is an awful lot of slandering going on right now, by many people who have no religious affiliation and also by many people who do have a religious affiliation, and yes, that would include those of us who call ourselves Christian.

You may think that slander or libel is not a serious offense in the eyes of God but you would be wrong. Actually God’s Word has a lot to say about slander in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and we will take a look at a select few of those Scriptures shortly.

Another term that you will find in the Bible that includes slander or libel is “bearing false witness” and God actually includes this particular offense in the Ten Commandments.  That would be Exodus 20:16 (NASB) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Not strong enough, how about one of the seven abominations that God hates? That would be Proverbs 6:19 (NASB) “A false witness who declares lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”

Slander or libel can be malicious lying, and God hates lying (Proverbs 6:17 NASB). God’s Word says that slander and gossip are wrong, and Scripture sometimes condemns them together. That would be II Corinthians 12:20 (NASB):

“For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish, and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, selfishness, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;”

I could easily go on but I am pretty sure you are getting the picture. God does not lie, He does not bear false witness, ever. Do the words “you shall be Holy for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16) ring a bell?

Yet there are many Christians, some of whom run Christian blogs, that frequently slander or libel those with whom they interact. I’ve been slandered or libeled many times, by other Christians and I am not alone.

In fact, I can confidently state, that most Christians who blog have been slandered or libeled at one time or another. The short story is when we slander or libel someone, we sin against that person and most importantly, we sin against God.

So what does a Christian who is trying to earnestly walk with the Lord do? Here’s a few common sense pointers that might help us not sin against another Christian or God:

  1. Don’t make accusations against others that you have not actually taken the time to determine is true. That means not to accept as truth, accusations from questionable or unreliable sources. Verify from multiple reliable sources. And just so you know, no, Alex Jones would not be considered a reliable source. And if you cannot verify it with a quoted statement from one of their books or previous written statement or exchanges, don’t assume.
  2. If you have not taken the time to validate whether an accusation or inferred assumption is factually true, do not repost it or repeat it. We are accountable for the words we speak and the words we publish to the public and one another (Matthew 12:36-37 NASB).
  3. There is a distinct difference between making a case for a particular subject or topic and stating derogatory comments about the individual to whom we are communicating with or about. If the other person goes low, we do not need to follow. We are called to a higher standard and as ambassadors for Christ, all that we say or write should reflect positively on Jesus.
  4. And if you are not making a case for a particular subject or topic, and you are merely casting derogatory personal accusations at another individual, you might want to question precisely what your objective is and how these derogatory accusations foster the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn to recognize an off ramp from that straight and narrow path in yourself, when it surfaces.
  5. If you have difficulty maintaining civil emotions or verbal/written decorum, when interacting with others who express opposing perspectives, while on the Internet, seriously consider avoiding those confrontations until you have learned how to maintain a civil discussion. And when and if it does start to get personal, learn how to exit gracefully.
  6. Learn to do your homework on a particular subject or topic that you wish to enter into, with someone else who may have a different perspective. Seek common ground agreements and learn how to state your case without insulting the intelligence of the other individual. And no, it is not necessary for you to articulate your opinion on every topic that comes before you.
  7. Learn to acknowledge when you do not know enough about a particular subject to render an informed opinion. And no, just because you watched one video on YouTube about a given subject does not make you an authority on that subject.
  8. Learn to seek and understand the common consensus on a given topic and why it is the common consensus. If your perspective is from within the “fringe” area of the perspectives on the topic, take the time to understand why it is a fringe perspective. Anyone can say what they believe, darn fewer can defend why.

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

Canadian Bruce Cooper is proprietor of Reasoned Cases for Christ.


 

Reasoned Cases for Christ

Slander is when someone makes a false verbal statement that damages someone’s reputation. It’s generally an attempt to put someone in, what is perceived as, a negative or a less than generally accepted group or position. In short, it’s a defamation of what is generally accepted as good character. If you verbally make a false accusation about someone it is called slander. If you make a written false statement about someone it is called libel. Libel is written, slander is verbal or spoken. As an example, if someone wrote an article about Bruce Cooper (that would be me) and they said that I wasn’t a bad guy but that I did have a tendency to steal, and it was not true about me having a tendency to steal (which, I should note, it is not true), that would be an example of libel. If they just spoke that untruth to…

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HillFaith Webinar Is Back!

STARTS MARCH 30!
“God’s Crime Scene: Examining The Evidence
He Made The Universe”

WHO: NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace
(Click Here For Video Message From Wallace)

WHAT: Eight 1-hour weekly Zoom video sessions, led by HillFaith’s Mark Tapscott
WHY: The proof of God’s existence isn’t “out there,” it’s right here in “God’s Crime Scene”

Tuesday nights at 7 pm est
eight fascinating sessions, ends may 4

Enrollment Limited to 12 Individuals. Send your name and snail mail address to: mt.hillfaith.gmail.com


UPDATE:  As of 5:15 pm EST, all 12 slots are now taken, but the course will be repeated, most likely beginning in late May, so if you are interested, send in your info and you will be added to the waiting list.

FULL-TIME AIDES ONLY: Cultivate A Family-Centered Culture For The Post-Covid Days Ahead

Faith & Law (F&L) is a great group of present and former Hill staffers who, as believing and practicing Christians, seek to understand how best to relate their faith into their professional life, to the benefit of both.

One key part of the F&L program is a series of seminars, webinars and group discussions focusing on various aspects of the faith/profession inter-play. Balancing work and family for married congressional aides, especially those with children, can be tremendously challenging.

Today at 10 am, F&L hosts a video conference featuring Rachel Anderson, Resident Fellow at the Center for Public Justice described as “an interactive session focused on the issue of paid family leave. We encourage you to read these articles articles in preparation, but if you do not have time to read, please come anyway.

“When Amy Coney Barrett, a mother of 8, was appointed to the nation’s highest court she inspired the public with a new model of faith, family life, and professional excellence.

“Chances are, many households would love to integrate their family life and public vocations in such a way. How might we build a family-centered culture in which more families could achieve this aspiration? We’ll consider the prospects for cultivating a family-centered culture and grapple with some of the truths about family that might inform family-centered culture and policy.”

Be sure and click to RSVP.


 

THINK ABOUT THIS: Friday’s Poached Egg

Then Jesus said:

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” — John 6:35

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.


Want to know more, or just have some questions about how this verse and this Jesus relates to you? Let’s talk. See the “Office Hours” space in the right sidebar.


 

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? Is Today’s America A Racist Country?

It’s the issue at the center of so much controversy and division in America’s public square, largely, but not entirely, due to the growth of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Ryan Bomberger of the Colson Center (Screenshot from the video).

With CRT being the dominant framework for discussion of so many political issues in the media, in Congress and on the campaign trail, it is impossible to avoid dealing with the question raised in the headline above.

Ryan Bomberger of the Colson Center offers four strong reasons why the answer to the headline question is a definitive “No!” That doesn’t mean America has no problems properly understood as products of racism. But it does provide a reasonable context for further discussion with the benefit of historical perspective:


STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

A proud papa. Alejandro Rodriquez (Screenshot from Facebook).

Former Obama administration political appointee Alejandro Rodriquez moves into the District Director slot for Rep. Susan Lee (D-NV). From 2014 to 2017, Alejandro was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Alejandro is a 2003 Harvard University graduate with a BA in Government.

Pennsylvania State Sen. John Blake (Screenshot from his official web site)

Pennsylvania State Sen. John Blake is headed to Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) to work as Economic Development Regional Director. John is a 2001 graduate of the University of Scranton with an MBA in Finance. He also received an MSW degree in 1987 from Marywood College and a BA in Sociology in 1982 from Villanova.
Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

Meditation On Song, Mind And God

Last night was one of those rare evenings in which I was blessed with a few hours to do something I rarely am able to do — listen without interruption to the beautiful music that moves my soul.

Whenever you find yourself in a time of high stress, anxiety or worry — and, if you work on Capitol Hill, trust me, you will have such times — I recommend getting away to a quiet place where you will be alone and able to listen without distraction to three compositions, plus one:

  • Wild Theme” by Mark Knopfler (from the soundtrack for the movie “Local Hero.”
  • “Sally Gardens” by Phil Coulter.
  • “End Credits” by the London Symphony Orchestra, James Horner and the Choristers of Westminster (from the soundtrack of the movie, “Braveheart.”)
  • And just for good measure, “The Long Road,” another one from Knopfler (the world’s finest guitarist).

Continue reading “Meditation On Song, Mind And God”