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631. Are Gender Differences Significant?

Nora Hale discusses how significant the differences are between males and females from a biological standpoint.

Glory & Tragedy - Paul Tripp

The worst thing that ever happened was the best thing that could ever happen. In this video, Pastor and author Paul Tripp explains how Christmas is all about...

The Astounding (Undesigned!) Inner World of the Living Cell

Here's a little treat for you today--computer animations of the intricate processes going on in living cells--a symphony so finely orchestrated it's difficult to even wrap your mind around. No huma...

The Incarnation: What We Celebrate at Christmas

In this excerpt from "What Did Jesus Do?," R.C. Sproul reminds us what we really celebrate at Christmas—the incarnation of God Himself. Full Message: http://...

Muhammad Explains Human Reproduction (Islam and Science, Part Two)

http://www.answeringmuslims.com Many Muslim speakers and apologists assert that the Qur'an contains scientific miracles, and that Muhammad made claims about ...

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Top News
1
Isis 'executes scores of women for refusing to marry militants', Iraq ministry claims

Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights has claimed that Isis militants have executed at least 150 women in the Western province of Al-Anbar, Turkish media has reported.

2
St. Nick, Patron of Pawn Shops

According to folklore , St. Nicholas generously provided a man in need dowries for his three daughters, gold coins in three purses. The symbol of gold coins in three purses became the symbol of pawn shops and fit with his title of patron saint. We celebrate St. Nick because he is a generous giver, and now, it seems incongruous the very symbol of his generosity remains the icon of modern-day pawn shops.

3
The Briefing 12-18-14

1) President Obama announces historic reversal of status quo with Cuba

4 Saint Nicholas- A Christian life lived, a story told

That is, the story of St. Nicholas, and the legends that surround him, turn him into a type of Christ–one who is deeply concerned for humanity and showing Christian love for God and neighbor. Yet this is not all there is to the life of the Saint. Although difficult to sift from the legends, there is a historical core to the life of St. Nicholas which is just as profoundly Christian as the legends which have grown up around him. With that said, we turn to the story of St. Nicholas, with an eye toward how his life is one of a Christian lived as well as a story told. Nicholas is well-attested to have attended the council of Nicaea. There is a possibly apocryphal story about his attendance there wherein he confronted the heretic Arias himself and slapped him in the face. The story continues, telling of how Nicholas was initially exiled for his act but later allowed to return after Arianism had been thoroughly acknowledged as heresy. Although it is nearly impossible to know whether this story is historically accurate, there is at least some truth behind the story in that Nicholas was known to vehemently defend the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

5
Russell Moore on Racism and Southern Baptists: God Is Giving Us a Second Chance

"My Southern Baptist ancestors," he said, "were on the wrong side of that issue. Which was not just on the wrong side of a social and political issue, it was on the wrong side of Jesus Christ himself. So God graciously has given the Southern Baptist Convention a second chance to model what the gospel is and what the mission of Christ is."

6
A Muslim Considers Christianity | Reasonable Faith

3. If I became a Christian and asked God sincerely to reveal Jesus to me in a supernatural form, will it happen? One hears remarkable stories these days of Muslims who have seen visions or had dreams in which Jesus reveals himself to them. But it would be presumptuous to promise anyone such an experience. That is God’s gift, to give to whom He chooses. It is at His initiative and discretion. We have no claim on such experiences. While such an experience would doubtless be thrilling, I would caution you not to allow a religious experience to become, in effect, an idol which supplants God Himself. We are to love and desire God, not some experience of God. The person who wants an experience of God more than he wants God Himself is guilty of misplaced priorities. You should place your faith in Christ because Christianity is the truth, and if God chooses to reveal Jesus to you in a supernatural form, so much the better!

7
The Briefing 12-18-14

1) President Obama announces historic reversal of status quo with Cuba

8
Judge: Boy, 14, Shouldn't Have Been Executed

More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice.

9
Atheists Couldn't Stop This Flash Mob of Amazing Grace

"I believe that the average American loves the original message of Christmas, and they're tired of whining atheists threatening to sue those who display nativity scenes, etc., in public places. So here is one way they can proclaim their faith and no one can stop them. These song bursts are taking place throughout the nation. May someone do this on Capitol Hill and state properties all over the country and bring a bit of joy to the nation."

10 The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily

The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily, by Greg West: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.

11 Grace to You Radio

Below is a listing of the resources we've offered free of charge on our radio broadcast recently. For more information and to request your free item, click the button below.

12
3 Christmas Pitfalls for Parents

If you are tempted to make wild changes to your Christmas giving (scrapping all presents), pause. Realize you can’t shock children into godliness. If you’re looking to make a change in your children’s hearts this year, start by examining and humbling your own. Though they learn by watching us, they may not begin to long for holiness and Christ-centered celebration for years. Don’t give up on demonstrating and calling them to worship.

13
How to Use the Back of a Napkin to Prove to a Jehovah’s Witness That Jesus Is God

This is theologically sound, and quite logical, but I would be very surprised if it ever bore fruit with a JW. They don’t come into the cult because they’re interested in sound theology, or for logical reasons. They’re either brought up as a JW or enter because they have a great need to belong and to feel “safe” with an authority that will tell them exactly what to do. I have spent hours and hours talking with JWs in my living room, meeting with them week after week, and I can tell you that the minute you try to challenge one of their beliefs head-on, they get their dukes up. Their minds shut down, and I honestly don’t think they hear your well-reasoned Scriptural arguments. They just wait for you to stop talking so they can give the canned answer they’ve been taught at their Wednesday night training sessions. They actually train through mock arguments, and they LOVE them. I don’t think they’re unreachable, though. Their Kingdom Hall meetings actively discourage them from thinking, and they’re taught to regurgitate prepared answers and arguments.

14
Pastors.com

Like the content you see at pastors.com? Why not receive it weekly in your inbox, plus bonus material too. It's free!

15
The Christian Writers Daily

The Christian Writers Daily, by T.E. Avery: Daily Articles By Christian Writers.

16
Rob Bell's Tip for Keeping Your Sanity at Your Next Family Gathering

Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues!

17
Obama gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout

The administration says its move will transform relations with Latin America, but that is naive. Countries that previously demanded an end to U.S. sanctions on Cuba will not now look to Havana for reforms; instead, they will press the Obama administration not to sanction Venezuela. Mr. Obama says normalizing relations will allow the United States to be more effective in promoting political change in Cuba. That is contrary to U.S. experience with Communist regimes such as Vietnam, where normalization has led to no improvements on human rights in two decades. Moreover, nothing in Mr. Obama’s record of lukewarm and inconstant support for democratic change across the globe can give Ms. Sánchez and her fellow freedom fighters confidence in this promise.

18
Marquette suspends prof’s teaching, orders him off campus

I’m skeptical about the argument that McAdams could be disciplined for criticizing a graduate student, especially since he wasn’t actually a supervisor of hers (she’s in a different department), and the student’s complaints about the student — which did go through the normal chain of command — apparently yielded no result. A faculty member’s right to publicly comment on important issues, including arguing about whether student discussion of certain subjects is being improperly suppressed, doesn’t exclude the right to criticize incidents at one’s own university, even when the incidents involve instructors who are graduate students. And certainly it’s hard for me to see how such public criticism of a graduate student in another department should lead to a cancellation of the professor’s teaching and an order that the professor not even come to campus.

19
http://www.worldmag.com/editorialcartoons/

SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty president talks about equipping the church to share the gospel…

20
The Reward of God’s Rebuke

“Yes. The Prophet Malachi. Liz, those were the last words that the Lord spoke to our people through a prophet. It’s been 400 years of silence. But now the Lord is loosing the prophetic tongue of Israel, beginning with this little boy. God is visiting us again, this time with the Messiah! And our John will be his forerunner. Who are we that God would allow us to be a part of this marvel?”

21
Watch How ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Willie Robertson Responded When Larry King Asked ‘Do You Think People Choose to Be Gay?’

When “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson recently sat down for an interview with Larry King, the veteran talk show host dove into contentious territory, asking, “Do you think people choose to be gay?”

22
The Worst Christmas Song Ever

At this point in the holiday season, whether we like it or not, we’ve all got Christmas melodies echoing through our heads. Everyone has a favorite or two; I particularly enjoy the smooth sounds of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. But there are plenty of annoying Christmas tunes as well. One song stands out for Christmas crapulence, however, and it has little to do with the catchiness of the song.

23
God’s Plan to Bring Justice to the World

We focus on serving non-profit organizations that have some of the most amazing and courageous people I’ve ever met. We also serve those currently being held in bondage all over the world through our daily efforts to raise money for this cause. The coolest part about our work, however, is that we get to serve others by activating them in the fight with us. It’s pretty amazing when you see someone’s eyes opened for the first time on an atrocity that breaks the heart of God—and their response is, “I’m in!”

24
Please Stop Asking 'But What About...?'

You see, followers of Christ are not supposed to be “But what about...?” kind of people. We don’t look to make excuses in order to hold the suffering of others at arm’s length. And we don’t compare one person’s plight to those of others, as if sympathy towards one group is mutually exclusive with sympathy towards others, as if a person could not possibly care about the welfare of African Americans, store owners, and police officers, all at the same time. We are commanded by Christ to do as the Samaritan: to be moved by compassion, stop, and do our best to bind up the wounds of the wounded.

25
Biologist reveals how whales may 'sing' for their supper

Humpback whales have a trick or two, when it comes to finding a quick snack at the bottom of the ocean. Even in the dark. Biologists have been studying these unique feeding behaviors. Her research emphasizes the importance of specific auditory cues that these mammoth creatures emit, as they search the deep ocean for their prey.

26
The American Jeremiad: Perspective on the Rhetoric of Decline

But there is a way of responding to declension—real or imagined—that only compounds the problem. We must guard against any response to decline that appeals to a past that never existed or to a future that God hasn’t promised us. In this article, I merely wish to sketch a cautionary tale. Narratives of decline, especially in our American context, build on an approach to history with a long history of its own.

27
George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, You, and Me

George Clooney loses sleep over bad reviews of his movies. Angelina Jolie is a “minimally talented spoiled brat.” Tom Hanks checks into hotels as Johnny Madrid. You know by now, I’m sure, that a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace hacked Sony’s computers, obtained a massive amount of private and internal data, and released it to the public. The media has had a field day sorting through it, digging up the dirt, and sending it out to an eager public.

28
http://www.crossway.org/group/give-the-bible

Crossway is an international not-for-profit Christian ministry publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered Christian books, the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible, and other gospel literature. Since 1938 Crossway has published and distributed more than 2 billion books, Bibles, and gospel tracts in over 50 languages.

29
Best Books of the Year From The Leadership of Servants of Grace for 2014 |

Another year has come and gone, and with it, another round of book of the year lists have slowly but surely made their rounds around the blogosphere. Here at Servants of Grace, we review a lot of books. We review books Monday through Friday and sometimes on Saturdays. That means we reviewed over two hundred books this year on Servants of Grace. That’s a lot of books! We trust that you, our readers have found those book reviews not only helpful but thought provoking. In addition to this we offered quite a few author interviews, including some from our own contributors. Next year you can expect the same from us—great reviews on great books that people are talking about. Our goal as it pertains to book reviews is to keep you, our readers up to date on the latest and greatest in Christian books.

30
My Top Five Science and Faith Christmas Gifts for 2015

1. Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Stephen Meyer (expanded paperback edition). Meyer's book focuses on science, not faith. But because belief in unguided Darwinian evolution remains a linchpin for much of modern atheism, Meyer's cutting-edge critique of Darwinian theory has robust implications for the debate between science and faith. If you have friends or family members who have been convinced that faith in God is irrational due to Darwinian theory, you need to get them this book (preferably the new paperback edition in which Meyer persuasively responds to critics of his book).

31
Love Came Down at Christmas

To help you and your family draw closer into the mystery of the incarnation and Christmas, come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary. We’ll link you to the lyrics and to various recordings of “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Love Came Down at Christmas.”

32
5 Lessons I Learned in Youth Group That Turned Out to be True

Youth group was different for each of us, but there a few sermons we probably all heard growing up. At the time, they sounded monotonous or irrelevant to our lives. Today, however, years and years after high school has ended, I catch myself returning to some of these lessons all the time. Maybe their meaning and application has changed, but their foundational truths remain the same. Here are five lessons I learned in youth group that turned out to be true:

33
God Does Exist: Applied Apologetics: New Book Provides Evidence: "Exodus God And The King of Kings: The Case For God, Moses, And The Exodus"

34
The Resurgence Store | Books & Resources for Leaders

Pastor Dave Bruskas is an Executive Elder at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. Prior to joining Mars Hill, he founded City On A Hill in Albuquerque, NM, which became the first out-of-state Mars Hill Church in 2009. His first book, Dear Son, has a father's insight for men on life's significant milestones, and is a touching story written by a sonless father for fatherless sons. Check it out on his author's page.

35
A First-Year Parent’s Survival Guide

Kanae’s maternal instincts and her bond with our son are very strong. I’m grateful for that and I want to honor it. Instead of being impatient and thinking she was moving too slowly, I should have reframed this situation. Reframing really just involves a shift in perspective. Instead of looking at my wife as someone who wasn’t moving quickly enough, I should have looked at her as a loving mother who was reluctant to leave her son with the nursery worker because Kanae cares about him so much. I needed to keep that perspective in mind.

36 Christmas Special

His was the most significant, most important, and only perfect life ever.  And it all began in a humble stable, in a small village called Bethlehem.  Of course, the Christmas season honors the incarnation of the Son of God.  And for this Christmas, John MacArthur has narrated a two-part audio special that blends what the four gospels say about the birth of Jesus—the beginning of that one perfect life.

37
The Christmas Massacre of the Innocents — History or Myth?

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh — three expensive gifts from wise men laid at the feet of baby Jesus seem to mark a warm and fitting closing scene to the first Christmas story. But of course the biblical telling of the Christmas story doesn’t end here.

38
Reasons for God

Lunch is NOT included. You are welcome to bring a packed lunch and eat this in the church during the lunch break, or alternatively there are plenty of cafes and sandwich shops within a 5-10 minute walk of St Mary’s if you would prefer to go out and buy something. Tea, coffee and other refreshments will be provided throughout the day and are included in the cost of your ticket.

39
Imagination Redeemed

But  Imagination Redeemed transforms our perspective by showing that every page of Scripture prompts us to use our imaginations, and this is one essential way the Spirit uses Scripture to form us as Christ followers. We don’t passively sit under Scripture. We are being trained to use our imaginations actively in right ways. Veith and Ristuccia contrast the reading or hearing of Scripture with the viewing of images on a screen; when the images are supplied to us, rather than constructed in our minds responsively, we are passive and don’t learn to use our imaginations actively.

40
A place to go on Christmas Day – Premier Radio

If you know of any activities happening on Christmas Day at your church or in your community, let us know and we will publicise them on our Premier Christian Radio afternoon show, Premier Drive.

41 The TC Apologetics Daily

The TC Apologetics Daily, by TC Apologetics: The latest news and thoughts for the apologetic-minded Christian.

42
Marriage in Light of Forever

Our biggest piece of advice would be to view your kids as assets rather than burdens. It used to be that people envied couples with many kids. It meant they had more help on the farm, with the business, around the home, and so on. When people hear we have seven kids now, though, they feel sorry for us! Why is it that for thousands of years children were a blessing, yet in the past few decades we’ve come to view them as burdens? Poor parenting. We raise them to either be burdens or assets. Good parenting involves teaching them to love and serve others rather than expecting to be constantly served. While we will always serve our kids to some degree, we also expect them to serve each other and those around us. Our children have been our biggest assets in ministry. Rather than distracting from kingdom work, they multiply it. Nine servants are better than two.

43
Lecrae's Brand New Music Video 'Say I Won't' Promotes Diversity

Lecrae's video for "Say I Won't" premiered at halftime during the Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat game on Tuesday, Dec. 16. It was directed by Nathan Corrona for Dustbrand Films. The track is off of the Christian rapper's seventh studio album "Anomaly" which hit shelves in September and soared atop music charts including iTunes and Billboard.

44
Billy Graham's Focus on the Gospel Remains Strong at 96, Says Daughter

Billy Graham is still focused on spreading the good news found in the Bible, says his daughter Anne Graham Lotz. "He is 96, he has not yet lost his focus on the gospel, reaching people for Christ," she described in a recent interview.

45
The Death Penalty Is in Dramatic Decline in the U.S.

T he Death Penalty Information Center has released new findings that show capital punishment in America is on the decline. In 2014, 35 inmates were executed—that’s the lowest number in more than 20 years. Just for some context, in 1999, when executions were at their peak, 98 death-row inmates were executed. Courts also issued the fewest number of death sentences in nearly 40 years. Even though a majority of Americans still favor the death penalty, its approval rating is down to 59 percent from 70 percent in the '90s. Along with controversies surrounding the drugs used in the lethal injections, the center’s executive director told NBC that part of the decline is because so many death row inmates were later been found innocent: “The realization that mistakes have been made, that innocent people are still being freed, has made juries hesitant” ...

46
US Yazidi Returning to Iraq Amid ISIS Persecution Calls for People of All Faiths to Act, Shares Heartbreaking Stories of Atrocities Back Home

NEW YORK — Murad Ismael's words came in a constant stream, with only the occasional stammer as he grasped for the right English words slowing them down. When he did pause, his absence of words were replaced by a sigh. He sounded weary. Thousands of Yazidis, his Yazidis — those related to him by blood and those who are not — have been killed, tens of thousands of them displaced, and more women and young girls than he would care to count abducted and sold, and being used as sex slaves by the Islamic State.

47
Little Boy is Adorably Bewildered by Twin Babies – His Reaction Will Light Your Face Up!

These twins know just what to do to confuse 1-year-old Landon. He has an unexpected run-in with two new members of his family. His first time meeting them and he is sandwiched between the two infants.

48
Richard Dawkins Says Faith in God Makes People Capable of Evil Like Pakistan School Massacre

Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins has said that it's faith in God that makes organized groups capable of great acts of evil, such as the Pakistan school massacre  earlier this week where the Taliban killed 132 children and nine staff members.

49
Jonathan Gruber, Amy Pascal and the Lurking Nihilist

If we learn anything from the current debacles over Jonathan Gruber's unfortunate comments regarding the importance of not being transparent to the "stupid" electorate regarding some facets of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the repugnant values expressed in hacked emails of Sony executive Amy Pascal it is this: There is a nihilist lurking in most — if not all — of us.

50
Speaking truth ‘at a cost’: Southern Seminary Ph.D. graduate writes on same-sex marriage

A way people are trained to minister well to those inside and outside the church walls, McDowell told Southern Seminary news, is through institutions like the seminary and Biola University. He said there are three important things these schools and even churches can do to equip the next generation to love people well and live courageously in a secular culture: teach what the Bible truly says about homosexuality, “stop any demeaning jokes or comments against gays,” and “foster repentance of our own sexual sins as well as unbiblical ways of treating people with same-sex attraction.”

51 Always Advent and Never Christmas?
52 https://ligonier.brushfireapp.com/institute/427841
53 Advent: The Announcement (2014)
54 God’s Defense Attorney
55 US Official Says North Korea Behind Sony Attack; Mitt Romney Tells Company 'Don't Cave' to Hackers, Release 'The Interview'
56 'Heaven Is for Real' Has Opened Doors for Other Uplifting Content in Hollywood, Says DeVon Franklin
57 8 Reasons Why It Is Less Stressful to Be Single During the Holidays – Very Funny!
58 Saudi Arabia's New Law Imposes Death Sentence for Bible Smugglers?
59 US-Cuba Reconciliation Elicits Mixed Reactions From Hispanic American Christian Leaders; Cuba's Human Rights Problem Point of Contention
60 Logic On Fire: the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
61 54 Nigerian Soldiers Have Been Sentenced to Death for Not Fighting Boko Haram
62 Overcoming Cynicism, Even After You’ve Seen How the Sausage Is Made
63 Hundreds Gather in Washington to Honor Victims Killed in Taliban Terrorist Attack at Pakistan School
64 2014 Groundbreakers | Tyler Reagin, Catalyst - Rejuvenate Meetings
65 The Miracle of Angel Tree
66 Star Trek: TNG Season 4 "Remember Me" and "Suddenly Human"
67 "Five ways you are destroying your husband and killing your marriage" goes viral
68 Don’t Settle for Anything Less
69 Microview: "Understanding Spiritual Warfare: Four Views" edited by James Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy
70 Faithful Thinkers: Book Review: Navigating Genesis
71 Ligonier.org
72 A Christmas Message from RZIM Canada
73 Renewing Your Mind | I AM: The Aseity of God | December 17, 2014
74 Marcel the Shell's 'Landslide' Cover Will Calm Your Fears
75 WORLD | Cuba: Real normalization, or no deal | Marvin Olasky | Dec. 18, 2014
76 Ligonier.org
77 The Sacred-Secular Divide Is Pure Fiction
78 Jackie Evancho and Peter Hollens Sing a Breathtaking A Cappella Duet of 'Hallelujah' – MUST-SEE!
79 Transcript: The Briefing 12-18-14
80 WORLD | Open borders, closed church? | J.C. Derrick | Dec. 18, 2014
81 Mosquito-Virus Chikungunya Has Infected 1 Million People Across Americas, Found in Florida and Texas; No Treatment or Vaccine Yet Discovered
82 There Are No Words to Describe This ‘Star Wars’ LED Christmas Light Display
83 Mid-December 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics' Links
84 A Loving Mother Does Something Hilarious on Live TV to Stop Her Boys From Fighting
85 Ligonier Ministries on Twitter
86 WORLD | Web reads: What should you tell your kids about Santa Claus? | Susan Olasky | Dec. 18, 2014
87 Jonathan Morrows Questioning the Bible Series 99 cents each!
88 Tim Tebow Announces Opening of His New Children's Hospital in the Philippines; Will Provide Service to Poor Children
89 4 Reasons People Are Reluctant to Visit Your Church and What to Do About It
90 7 Bible Verses to Help Ease Our Minds