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Showing posts from 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review of Just One Scene

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In case you've been living under a rock, and under that rock you dug a deep cave, and at the end of that cave you fashioned a bunker with thick, steel-reinforced concrete walls, cutting off the outside world, and making yourself impervious to any kind of radio, television, or internet frequency -- the latest Star Wars movie is out, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I've seen it, and it's a Star Wars movie. Don't worry, I'm not about to spoil it. Well, much of it anyway. There's just one tiny little scene I wanted to bring up, and then I'm going to spoil the outcome of that scene at the end of the blog. I'll put up a spoiler alert when I get there. If I remember.

If you saw the The Force Awakens (everyone dogged on that title, but I thought it was fine), then you might remember the rather disappointing conclusion when Rey found Luke Skywalker, handed him his lightsaber, then cut to John Williams music and blue credits. Luke had more dialogue in the previews lea…

Rooftopping Daredevil Falls to His Death

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Wu Yongning, a 26-year-old Chinese rooftopping daredevil, fell to his death while performing a stunt from atop a the 62-story building. The Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported on Saturday that Wu was taking part in a rooftopping challenge that promised 100,000 yuan ($20,400) in prize money.

The former movie extra had been attempting to climb the Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha, capital of China's Hunan province. On social media Wu was referred to as "Chinese Superman" since he scaled such tall buildings without protective gear or safety harnesses, relying upon martial arts training and careful timing to perform these risky feats.

He'd post his videos on Weibo, a Chinese social media site similar to Twitter. Millions of followers watched as he would tiptoe along a skyscraper, stand atop a high tower, or hang by his fingertips over a ledge. His fans noticed that he'd stopped sharing videos online, and that's when his family broke the news.

His st…

Would Jesus Bake a Gay Wedding Cake?

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The Supreme Court of the United States listened to arguments today from a case formally known as Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was approached by two gay men, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, and asked if he would make them a wedding cake. When Mr. Phillips declined, he was sued.

Phillips said that he was glad to sell them any other product from his shop regardless of their sexual orientation. But he would not make them a wedding cake since it would be a romantic endorsement of something that as a Christian he did not believe was morally right. Marriage was created by God to be a life-long covenant between a man and a woman. Phillips is an artist, and he did not want to use his artistic expression to present a message he didn't believe.

When the two men took legal action against Phillips, the state of Colorado agreed that he had violated the state's anti-discrimination ordinance -- this was in 2012, befo…

Bethel Church Believes a Different Gospel

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Last week, a reporter at BuzzFeed posted an in-depth article after going undercover during prophecy week at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. The school is one of the darling ministries of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, which also includes the music of Jesus Culture and their healing ministry Bethel Sozo. Any look into Bethel is bound to uncover some strange things, and the author certainly did. But despite an excellent exposé, she overlooked something crucial.

Molly Hensley-Clancy's revelation of the charismatic school -- nicknamed Christian Hogwarts by its own students -- presented more than the usual anecdotes of the weird. She also brought to light what Bethel is doing in their own city. They've given money to civic government, invested in the town's infrastructure, and even paid handsomely to save the jobs of four police officers. Bethel Church members have run for public office and started a secular public school (they get by with this saying the message of…

The Death of Hugh Hefner

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Hugh Hefner died yesterday at the age of 91. He was a pornographer, most famous of course for the publication of Playboy magazine. His Wikipedia profile, and probably any other biography you'll read of Hefner's, describes him as a political activist and a philanthropist.

His "charity" contributions included giving to free-speech causes that kept porn easily accessible, supporting an anti-vaccination campaign, and saving the Hollywood sign. I guess that qualifies as philanthropy. It is said Hefner also fought for civil, gay, and women's rights. But the reality is that Hefner did not free, liberate, or defend anyone. He enslaved them. Millions and millions of them. And made millions and millions of dollars in the process.

The Bible says that everyone is enslaved to various passions and pleasures (Titus 3:3), most especially sexual perversion. Jesus said if a person lusts after another, they have committed adultery in their heart (Matthew 5:28). Whatever overcomes …

Why Wasn't Nabeel Qureshi Healed? (In Response to Dr. Michael Brown's Article)

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Nabeel Qureshi, best-selling author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, died of stomach cancer this past Saturday at the age of 34. I never met Nabeel, but I followed his ministry and believed him to be a dear brother in the Lord. Nabeel grew up a devout Ahmadi Muslim. His college roommate, David Wood, challenged his beliefs in the Quran, Muhammad, and Allah, and helped lead him to saving faith in the one true God, Jesus Christ (1 John 5:20).

Nabeel spent the last several years as a Christian apologist, and I've enjoyed listening to him and Wood. I find their testimonies astonishing, full of the grace of God. Both Wood's and Nabeel's stories are amazing in their own right, setting aside the fact that these two men were good friends. Not only college roommates, Wood baptised Nabeel upon his confession of faith.


In August a year ago, Nabeel informed viewers and readers that he had stomach cancer and needed to step away from pursuing his doctorate and the work he was doing with…

A Review of Single, Gay, Christian by Gregory Coles

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"Let's make a deal, you and me," writes Gregory Coles, author of the book Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity. "Let's make promises to each other. I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I'll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I'll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I've whispered a thousand times since: 'I'm gay.'"

As a pastor, this is not the first time I've listened to that confession. The first person I ever baptized used to call herself a lesbian. She sat across from my wife and me on our couch and wanted to know how she could still be a lesbian and be sure she would go to heaven when she died. I read to her 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, which says:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the…