Is Earth Just A Pale Blue Dot In A Hostile Universe?

Look back at Earth from the furthest distance you can imagine in our solar system and it does indeed look like a pale blue dot in the vast blackness of the universe.

So why on this one pale blue dot among the billions and billions of galaxies and stars and planets is there human life? Former Los Angeles Police cold-case expert J. Warner Wallace explains:

 

The Nature Of The Battle: Knowing The Enemy

By Bret Bernhardt

As followers of Jesus working on Capitol Hill, how are we to view the tumultuous events that have unfolded before us across the country?

This is an important question because we are seeking to integrate our faith into our daily practice. It helps shape our views about public policy but also our personal conduct. Now is the time for us to engage in the hard conversations because we are called to influence and usher in God’s Kingdom here on earth.

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

With this in mind we need to understand the nature of the battle. By the battle I mean the way in which we perceive and respond to the world around us. The recent events we have been witnessing — the virus, racial unrest, and threats of anarchy — are part of this battle.

These events are not a one-off phenomenon but have at their core the fallen nature of mankind. For example, the virus and the steps to mitigate it have precipitated actions and reactions that have been at work within our minds and spirit for quite some time. Continue reading “The Nature Of The Battle: Knowing The Enemy”

THINK ABOUT THIS: Do You Think ‘Nothing’ Caused Our Universe To Exist?

It’s among the most basic questions of all and how we each answer it shapes our thinking on everything else, often in ways we don’t realize. And it involves the most basic law of logic, non-contradiction, as well as the law of cause and effect.

In the following video, Kyle Butt of the Apologetics Press analyzes the claim of materialists that the universe (the effect) had no non-material cause. Pay close attention to the explanation offered by Stephen Hawking, who surely was one of the smartest men who ever lived:


 

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

Making the big jump from the Illinois House Republican Caucus to Capitol Hill is Aaron DeGroot, who is the new Communications Director for Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill). Aaron is a cum laude graduate in economics from George Mason University in 2015.

Maura Weaver is the new Scheduler for Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), following a three-month stint with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential effort. Maura is a Hill veteran, having previously worked for Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Maura earned an MPP from Temple University in 2019 and a BA in international and global studies from Arcadia University in 2017. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ This Week”

HILLFAITH SURVEY: Do You Think Congress Needs To Increase Each Member’s Staff?

With congressional staff beginning to return to Hill offices in some numbers and many more still working from home, the question of whether senators and representatives need larger personal staffs is likely to get more attention in coming months.

Thanks to COVID-19, many staffers accustomed to doing jobs on the legislative or media side have had to learn more about the difficulties and challenges of effective constituent case work. And having most staff working from home has created a host of new challenges, as well as new ways of getting important things done.

Would hiring larger personal staffs well-serve the public? Would your boss be able to serve his or her constituents more effectively if more staff members were available?

Cast your vote below. Leave a comment. And don’t worry, it’s all anonymous, so share your thoughts and don’t be bashful!

 

 

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

Courtesy of Legistorm:

A sharp crop of rookies comes to Capitol Hill this week, starting with Lucy

Lucy Gardner (Screenshot from Facebook).

Gardner who is taking on her first challenge in a congressional job, as a Staff Assistant on the Senate Appropriations Committee for the Chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Lucy’s BA is in communicative disorders from the University of Alabama in 2019. She also studied at Reformed Theological Seminary.

Joe Vaughan has signed on as Director, Diversity and Inclusion for the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee for Diversity and Inclusion. Joe’s BS degree in global business and public policy was awarded by the University of Maryland.

Katie Nichols makes the big jump from Capitol Hill intern to Staff Assistant

Katie Nichols (Screenshot from Facebook).

for Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.). George Washington University awarded Katie a Masters in Professional Studies in 2019 and she earned a BA in political science from Loyola Marymount University in 2017. She served Hill internships for Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.).

There is a new Executive Assistant/Scheduler working in the Hill office for Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) and his name Micaiah Thomas. Micaiah’s BS in political science and government was awarded in 2020. Micaiah is also taking on his job on Capitol Hill.

Another Hillsdale College grad joins a congressional staff as William Turton becomes Legislative Assistant to Rep. Mark Green (R-TN). William received an MA in politics last year from the illustrious Michigan school that accepts no government funding. His bachelor in political science and government came in 2017 from Clemson University.


LOOKING FOR A HILL JOB?

Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)


 

Here’s The Dilemma Humanism Can’t Solve But Christianity Can

Had a birthday a few days ago. How old am I now? Let’s just say, as President Reagan often did, that it was the 41st anniversary of my … okay, moving right along. It doesn’t really matter how old I became, what is really important here is that the occasion means I completed another of my allotted years, however many that may ultimately be.

But we all know what happens when we reach that final day and breath our last. We die. What then? Is that all there is to it? What happens after we die? If you are a secularist/humanist, there are, in the final analysis, what appear to be two possible answers but which are actually variations on a *theme:

Here’s one of them, according to author David Levithan: “Ultimately, the universe doesn’t care about us. Time doesn’t care about us. That’s why we have to care about each other.”  Continue reading “Here’s The Dilemma Humanism Can’t Solve But Christianity Can”

Why The Truth Matters Even More Today Than Ever Before

There is no such thing as absolute truth. What’s true for you may not be true for me. It’s all relative. It’s impossible to know what is truth because there are so many different opinions, so why bother?

Professor Sean McDowell.

You’ve heard all of those claims, or variations thereof, especially if you pay attention to the news, politics, cultural trends, advances in science and/or debates among philosophers about weighty questions such as “what is truth and how do we know it?”

Biola University Professor Sean McDowell takes up that question in the following video and in the course of analyzing it explains why truth exists and it’s never been more important:

Some Critical Thinking On Critical Theory And How Some Christians Are Responding To It

Natasha Crain earned her MBA in statistics from UCLA, so she knows how to read the numbers. But she is also pretty good at sorting out the meanings behind and beyond words and phrases, too.

Author Natasha Crain.

“Critical Theory” is being heard regularly these days. It’s been a commonplace on American campuses for several decades, but it has exploded into the public consciousness in recent weeks as more than a few voices among and defending rioters have cited arguments derived from the phrase.

Crain fears that many evangelical leaders are being taken in by claims and analyses based on Critical Theory, and in the process they are unwarily buying into concepts and actions that have no place in Christianity. Here is part of her thinking on Critical Theory: Continue reading “Some Critical Thinking On Critical Theory And How Some Christians Are Responding To It”

DID YOU KNOW? If You Accept The Big Bang, Then Logically, You Also Must Accept Miracles

It all started with the Big Bang, right? Billions of years ago, there was nothing of the universe but empty space. No Earth. No stars or moons. Nobody anywhere. Nothing but … lots and lots of nothing.

J. Warner Wallace.

Then the Big Bang happened and, well, the rest is literally history, right up to this moment as you read these words. You aren’t certain why it happened but you are convinced it did.

But hang on a second, there’s an aspect of the Big Bang that you probably haven’t thought about. It makes all the difference, however, because it’s a miracle, something super-natural, beyond what we understand to be normal. Cold Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, author of “God’s Crime Scene,” explains why:


THINK ABOUT THIS: Has Atheism Or Religion Killed More People?

There is a common assertion among atheists that religion is the cause of millions of deaths that would otherwise not have happened. The implication is that a world without religion would be peaceful whereas religion always and everywhere causes wars.

The implication is further that Christianity is somehow particularly prone to inciting armies to march and clash. Considering the Middle Ages and Reformation eras, there’s certainly an abundance of examples that seem to support the assertion, but, as is well-illustrated by, for example, Thucydides’ “The Peloponnesian War” and Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars,” the ancient pagan world was equally familiar with wars having little or nothing to do with religion.

So the facts of history, especially in the modern era, simply do not support that atheist/agnostic contention about religion and war. As Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org points out in the following video, the worst killers have been followers of officially atheistic Communism, genocidal murderers like Stalin and Mao.

And just for the record, the common element in all wars, be they religiously inspired or prompted by non-religious factors, is human nature and man’s ready resort to killing to settle things, otherwise known as Original Sin.


And Since We’re Talking About War, Don’t Miss This!

Three Keys to Conspiracy Theories: Sex, Money and The Pursuit of Power


ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, among much else, “you are saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.” That makes Christianity a relationship with the Savior, not a religion of dos and don’ts by which one earns salvation.


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

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Rob Burgess moves over from Red Rock Strategies to Communications Director for Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.). Rob is a 2008 Ball State University graduate in political science and campaign communications.

Amy Travieso Loveng (Screenshot from Linkedin.)

Amy Travieso Loveng is the new Chief of Staff for Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). This is a return engagement for Amy as she served as the veteran Texan’s Deputy Chief of Staff from 2011 to 2017. Amy is a Texas Aggie, graduating from Texas A&M in 2008 with a BA.

Gregory Angelo (Screenshot from Facebook).

Heading to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue is Gregory Angelo to take over as Press Secretary for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Gregory was previously Communications Director for Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas). He is a 2000 cum laude graduate of Boston College.

Arthur Sidney has left the staff of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) to become vice president for public policy at the Computer & Communications Industry Association. Sidney served as Chief of Staff/Chief Counsel for Johnson, as well as before that for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). Arthur’s LLM degree was awarded in 1999 by American University’s Washington College of Law.  His law degree came in 1998 from Howard University Law School. He is a 1995 cum laude graduate of Vassar University with a BA in international and African Studies. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Moving Up On The Hill This Week”

Thoughts on Stephen, Saul and Paul

Kurt Brouwer was a successful financial counselor before retiring to Hawaii some years ago. He now spends a lot of time boating, beaching and bumming around as he pleases. Some guys, right? 🙂

Kurt Brouwer (Screenshot from his blog).

But he’s also a Christian and quite a thoughtful one at that. As he explains, “Don’t get me wrong, I still spend time outdoors in this amazing place, but ideas and thoughts about God keep popping up in my head. So, I write them down and then publish them” on kurtbrouwer.com.

His recent thoughts about three guys you may recognize from the New Testament caught my eye, and I encourage you to follow the link and read his post.

And yes, I know Stephen, Saul and Paul are actually two guys. But Saul and Paul are so radically different that in a sense they are actually two people. But Kurt will explain it.

Three Keys To Conspiracy Theories: Sex, Money, The Pursuit Of Power

Doesn’t matter what event or issue is involved, there are likely conspiracy theories galore about how those on top got there, why former leaders no longer are and a whole host of other things, including just about everything from who really shot JFK to COVID-19’s spread from Wuhan, China.

But how seriously should conspiracy theories be taken? People on the far Right believe Communists secretly took over the U.S. government and are controlling it today. People on the far Left contend a few rich capitalists control the levers of power.

Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org asks in this interview of cold-case christianity’s  J. Warner Wallace about conspiracy theories and Wallace explains that there are three motives invariably found behind crimes and conspiracies, sexual lust, greediness for money and the desire for power. And that’s just for starters!