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What the Manger Says to the Suffering

From the beginning of his life, Jesus became the living evidence that the hope of God is for the suffering.

The Video for ‘Andy Mineo’s 12 Days of Christmas’ Is an Ode to Bad Christmas Presents

Hip-hop star Andy Mineo has released a video that’s a tribute to bad Christmas presents. The song, ‘Andy Mineo’s 12 Days of Christmas’, is a remix of !llmind’s “Trap Carol”, is even accompanied by its own 8-bit animation. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Michael Zimmerman of Clergy Letter Project Joins Atheists in Making Hay from Dubious

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution.

Liam Neeson’s Audition for a Mall Santa Job Gets Really, Really Intense

Liam Neeson stopped by Colbert this week, and showed what it’d be like if he auditioned to be a mall Santa. Needless to say, the man behind the Taken franchise may need to tone it down a notch if he wants this gig.

Here’s Mutemath’s Crazy Live Collaboration with 21 Pilots

Tonight, Mutemath released a video of their live, in-studio collaboration with the band 21 Pilots. The video—which ends with one of the coolest two-man drum parts you’ll hear—is available below, and all five "reimagined" songs can be downloaded over at twentyonepilots.com.

Chance the Rapper's Prayerful ‘SNL’ Performance: I Like When We Use Jesus’ Name on Network TV

This weekend, Chance the Rapper performed on Saturday Night Live, and during “Finish Line / Drown,” the hip-hop artist took the opportunity to wish Jesus a happy birthday. Rapper Noname joined him onstage for the prayerful performance. During a breakdown, when the choir sang “Jesus rescue me,” Chance even followed up with, “I like when you say His name on network TV like that.” You can see that song below (just a heads up, there is some somewhat strong language toward the beginning of the song).

To Rule Out False Positives in the Search for ET, Astrophysicist Advocates a Design Filter

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution.

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Top News
1
WORLD on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

2
5 Reasons You Should Get Apologetics Training

1. Apologetics Will Help You Serve the Church. As my friend Tom Gilson wrote in his article for A New Kind of Apologist, one key feature of apologetics is to be a servant for the church. There is a huge need for some Christians in the church to have formal training on how to best answer some of the toughest questions about God, the Bible, evil and more. I often encourage my Biola M.A. students to offer to serve their pastor by doing research for sermons, being available to counsel young people with difficult questions, and being willing to offer apologetics classes for people in the church. The first reason to get formal apologetics training is to better serve the local church. Just as every church needs a teaching pastor, worship leader, and children’s director, every church needs a trained apologist .

3 The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily

The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network is a website founded and edited by Greg West, a passionate defender of Christianity committed to ... by Greg West

4
Help Syria's Children

5
'Car bomb' driven into Christian lobby group HQ in Australia - premier

A van, thought to be packed with gas canisters, has crashed into the headquarters of a Christian lobby group in Australia.

6
FREE Social Media Management Dashboard | Twitter/Facebook Marketing Tool | Commun.it

I started using Commun.it to be more efficient on the way I manage out Twitter communities. My favorite features? The prioritized feed to focus on the relevant members of the community - Orange

7
Atheist wins bid to put up anti-Christmas banner by Nativity set - premier

An atheist has succeeded in his campaign to have a secular poster which states there is no God or angels, a few hundred metres away from a park Nativity set.

8
Mikel Del Rosario on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

9
Churches need to be better equipped to prevent suicide, says Christian charity - premier

A Christian counselling service has called on churches to make themselves better equipped at dealing with people at risk of committing suicide.

10
Is It Too Late for Russell Moore to Say Sorry?

“How condescending can you be and not expect some kickback from the people who provide the monies for you to occupy the office you are misusing?” asked William F. Harrell in an op-ed for SBC Today, a blog which frequently carries critiques of the denomination. The post by the Georgia pastor, who served 16 years on the SBC’s Executive Committee and chaired it from 2006 to 2008, was one of the first published criticisms from a notable SBC name arguing that Moore’s stance during the election should have consequences.

11
Fullness of God in Helpless Babe

One of the great wonders of Christmas is that Christ, the Son of God, did not just become human, but become a baby — as physically small, helpless, and needy as my own infant son. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). “Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7) — Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), all in such a small, seven-or-eight-pound package.

12
Blog Series: Christian Thinkers 101 by Kenneth Samples

It is vital that Christians understand their history, but unfortunately many do not study it.  The task can be daunting.  Where does one start? Philosopher Kenneth Samples has made getting started simple.  He has been offering a series on his blog titled "Christian Thinkers 101." He explains: "This series, 'Christian Thinkers 101,' provides a snapshot of some of the faith’s key theologians and apologists and their important books and ideas." 1 These posts are a great way for believers to get acquainted with the faith's deep intellectual heritage and the thinkers who have framed some of our key arguments. The posts in this series thus far are as follows: Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Augustine Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on C. S. Lewis Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Blaise Pascal Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Anselm Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Athanasius Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Thomas Aquinas Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Jonathan Edwards Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Søren Kierkegaard Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St.

13
BIAS ALERT: Slate switches from defense of Electoral College to calling it a tool of white supremacy

BIAS ALERT: Slate switches from defense of Electoral College to calling it a tool of white supremacy

14
The RELEVANT Top 50

This year we launched a new podcast exploring the best pop culture releases of 2016 and—doing what we at RELEVANT do best—ranking our favorite 50.

15
Lord, Deliver Me from Indifference

To us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6–7)

16 The Church Effect

This adds to a robust body of research correlating church attendance with better long-term outcomes. We can’t yet say that church keeps people alive and married, but we can put to rest the persistent myth—often spoken from pulpits—that Christians and non-Christians get divorced at the same rate. It’s not true if you consider those who actually attend services, instead of merely identifying as Christians.

17
Do you have a reason for reason?

Unfortunately Christians sometimes distance themselves from reason. At the same time, it is very common for atheists to consider reason to be the exclusive domain of atheism. This is especially true in a somewhat recent phenomenon known as the New Atheist movement, led by the likes of Richard Dawkins, (the late) Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. There is literally nothing that is actually “new” about their atheistic beliefs. The only thing that is somewhat novel is their tone and activism.[1] To the New Atheist, faith is, by definition, a suspension of critical thinking and that’s what religious folk trade in—the atheist, however, has no place for faith. They only rely upon reason, or so they allege.

18
Zach Braff Wants a Netflix Reboot of ‘Scrubs’ to Happen

You never know about making more "Scrubs" episodes, it’s something we all talk about, especially now that all these people are going back and doing Netflix versions of their shows. I am very jealous of all this "Gilmore Girls" attention and "Full House." We talk about it every now and then. So you never know, it could happen. I’d do it.

19
Happily Ever After

Marriage between sinners has its inevitable messes. If you’ve been married longer than a week or two, you know how the hard realities of life in a fallen age can come crashing in. Perhaps you had a season of “once upon a time,” but soon enough you realized that this marriage, in this world, is not yet your “happily ever after.”

20
Seven Basic Elements of the Christian Worldview

The first element of the Christian worldview is that the prime reality in Christian theism is God. God is the eternal creator of the universe. He is perfect in his being and in his character. This God is holy, righteous, eternal, unchangeable, wise, powerful, and incomparably glorious. God is triune. There is no one like him. He is incredibly complex. God is also infinite being beyond measure. He is personal. This means he wants to be known and makes himself known. This may be the most crucial aspect of the Christian worldview. Not only do we assert that there is an all-powerful creator who is sovereign over his creation, but the Christian worldview asserts that this all-powerful creator is not some distant deity—he wants to be known and he is a God of relationship. The complexity of this triune God is seen in the fact that this personal God is also transcendent. God is utterly beyond us and beyond the world that he created. In the words of Christian philosopher James Sire, “He is otherly” (29). God is also immanent. So, God is not a stone, but beyond it (transcendence) and God is present with a stone (immanence).

21
Marriage Isn't the End Goal, Why Do We Treat It Like One?

In the end, marriage is a picture of how love changes people. Marriage is a front row seat to see the redemptive work God is doing in your partner. We don’t just marry our spouses as they are, but who they’re becoming and who they will be. The purpose of marriage isn’t found in what two people can do for each other; it’s in who they’re becoming together.

22
Catalyst on Twitter

Hey Tulsa! Get the lowest rates for Catalyst One Day and register today! http://www.catalystleader.com/tulsa  pic.twitter.com/Qm9Jmcgn4S

23
The Hardest Spiritual Discipline Is the Most Important One

Memorizing a large section of Scripture can be incredibly meaningful. I have found it a comfort and delight to have Philippians “on call” at any moment. When someone asked, “What is that verse about Jesus emptying himself in service for others?” I knew the location and was able to provide the verse.

24
What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas

But for those who’ve recently lost someone they love, the holidays can seem more like something to survive than to enjoy. The traditions and events that can add so much joy and meaning to the season are punctuated with painful reminders of the person we love who is not here to share in it. Many have wished they could find a quiet place to hide until January 2.

25
You Can Trust the Gospel Accounts, Even If They Don’t Agree | Cold Case Christianity

In the movie, God’s Not Dead 2 , I was asked to defend the historicity of Jesus and the eyewitness reliability of the Gospels. Skeptics sometimes challenge the gospels because there appear to be differences between the accounts. As a skeptic myself, investigating the gospels for the first time at the age of thirty-five, I also observed the discrepancies between the gospels. These differences didn’t, however, automatically disqualify them for me. If there’s one thing my experience as a detective has revealed, it’s that witnesses often make conflicting and inconsistent statements when describing what they saw at a crime scene. They frequently disagree with one another and either fail to see something obvious or describe the same event in a number of conflicting ways. The more witnesses involved in a case, the more likely there will be points of disagreement. When I encounter apparent discrepancies between eyewitness accounts, I don’t automatically assume someone is lying or that the witnesses aren’t reliable. Instead, I accept my investigative responsibility and do my best to understand why the witnesses appear to disagree.

26
#2: 3 Things Every Christian Needs to Know About General Revelation [Podcast] - Jonathan Morrow

Has God spoken? Why does God need to speak? What are the ways in which God speaks? Is general revelation enough? If Christianity is true then why are there so many religions? These are just few of the questions I talk about in this episode of Your Worldview Podcast.

27
Help Syria's Children

28
The Real Meaning of Christmas

One of the most remarkable stories of Christmas comes from one of the darkest moments of modern history. World War I ravaged a continent, leaving destruction and debris in its wake. The human cost, well in the millions, staggers us. But from the midst of this dark conflict comes the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. The Western Front, only a few months into the war, was a deplorable scene of devastation. Perhaps as if to give the combatants one day to breathe again, a truce was called from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.

29
Christmas is Christmas Because Jesus is God | Cold Case Christianity

There are many important religious dates that commemorate the significant role that historic religious leaders have played (did you know, for example, that December 23 rd  is the birthday of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism?) But Jesus was more than an important leader and founder. He was more than a great thinker and teacher. Jesus taught His followers that He was God. That’s why Christmas is a celebration above and beyond other holy days celebrated by religious believers around the world.

30
'Gaystapo' accused of tarnishing Lord Carey - premier

A group of students who campaigned for the removal of a portrait of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has been accused of being a "gaystapo" out to tarnish his name.

31
Do Stricter Laws Prevent Abortions?

Do we promote the use of shame or intimidation to prevent abortion? Have we considered trying the methods Jesus Himself employed when faced with women in the midst of tough circumstances, even of their own doing? In John 8, we learn the account of Jesus telling an adulterous woman who legally should have been stoned “[I] do not condemn you; go and sin no more.” In 2016, as we consider the woman with the unplanned pregnancy, the single mother or the woman who is at risk for having an unplanned pregnancy, we know from Jesus’ example that condemnation and shame is not the answer.

32
Why Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year Matters

In the 1960s a leading magazine cover proclaimed “God Is Dead.” In the 1970s the same magazine said, “Marx is dead.” Now we have another fatality, and we are burying ourselves. Truth is dead. We have killed it. Nietzsche thought God was dead and went with a lantern looking for him. But God is not dead; truth is dead. And we have so extinguished the light of truth in our halls of learning that it is possible for a Harvard student to say, “I can believe anything I want, so long as I don’t claim it to be true.” With the death of truth, the unique capability of Homo sapiens for abstract reasoning and language is now taken to the morgue, and all language is meaningless. 

33 Renewing Your Mind | Mary's Magnificent Savior | Dec 21, 2016

How do we know that Mary was a sinner? The answer is quite simple. She says so and Scripture records it. However, before you relegate Mary to a category of ordinary women, be sure to consider all the facts. In this message, Dr. Sproul revisits Mary's own words recorded in the Magnificat that we may also rejoice in "Mary's Magnificent Savior."

34
For Christians like me who have depression, Christmas can be so hard - Premier Christianity

Christmas is a particular challenge for sufferers of depression, not because we fear mince pies and baubles, but because it is a time of compulsory happiness, and that is nigh impossible for people like me. The more pressure there is to be happy, the darker my world gets - like when the dementors enter in Harry Potter, or when the White Witch unleashes her wrath on Narnia.

35
John Piper’s Favorite Hymn

But the one that I want to mention is “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee,” which you probably never heard of. And here is the catch: This is a translation of the German hymn by Georg Neumark in 1641. It has seven verses in the original, and no modern English hymnal that I am aware of has all seven verses. Some have tried to modernize the song and give it — oh, it is awful! It is awful what they do to Catherine Winkworth’s translation and yet they think they can do better with the German than she did, whether they even know German.

36
Can The Existence and Nature of Hell Be Defended? (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity

Duration of the Punishment is Not Based on Duration of the Crime The torment experienced in Hell is eternal, and for some, this still seems inequitable compared to the finite and limited sins that we might commit here on earth. So let’s address the issue of the duration of the punishment. First, it’s important for us to remember the severity of a crime does not always have anything to do with the amount of time it takes to commit it. If I embezzle five dollars a day from my boss over the course of five years, I might eventually get caught and pay the penalty for embezzling $32,500.00. In the State of California, this violates California Penal Code 503PC and the punishment might be anything from probation to a 5 year state prison sentence. But if I become enraged at a coworker and in the blink of an eye I lose my temper and kill him, the crime is now murder (187PC). This crime took much less than five years to commit. It only took five seconds. Yet the penalty for this crime is far greater. I will be serving at least 25 years to life, and I may even be put to death. The penalties for these two crimes are very different, and they have nothing to do with the duration of the actual criminal act.

37
The Persistence of Christmas: A Conversation with Historian Gerry Bowler - AlbertMohler.com

The Christmas season comes each year with the expected flurry of media attention to the biblical accounts of Christ’s conception and birth. The general thrust…

38
Priest robbed at gunpoint on Merseyside - premier

Premier consists of Premier Christian Media Trust registered as a charity (no. 287610) and as a company limited by guarantee (no. 01743091) with two fully-owned trading subsidiaries: Premier Christian Communications Ltd (no. 02816074) and Christian Communication Partnership Ltd (no. 03422292). All three companies are registered in England & Wales with a registered office address of 22 Chapter Street, London, SW1P 4NP.

39
Palestinian craftsmen take on Chinese in battle for Christmas - premier

Craftsmen in the birth place of Jesus Christ are struggling to survive amid increasing imports from China but now many are preparing to fight back.

40
The Ligonier Statement on Christology

He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.

41
Premier Christian on Twitter

Premier Christian Radio, where faith comes to life! | On AM/MW, DAB, Freeview 725, Online, & on mobile http://www.premierchristianradio.com 

42
Christmas is Christmas Because Jesus is God

So, on one hand, the Bible is seen as being the work of God ( that which becomes the text of which mankind reads), but on the other hand, it is seen as NOT being the work of God at all, all because it is often said that the Bible clearly does NOT directly show any true measure of it being the work of a higher power. In other words, the bible is being seen as something from the past, and in turn, people do not even have the slightest notion of how it is also actually connected to the present. The very idea is beyond them.

43 Evangelicals and Assisted Suicide

I believe one of the major sources of confusion over "right to die" issues is that many people, including evangelicals, have trouble distinguishing between DNR options and right to die issues. The media is largely responsible for sustaining this confusion and ambiguity with films such as "Million Dollar Baby," which falsely portrayed the protagonist as being legally helpless to choose to have her own life support discontinued. This is never an issue when the patient is conscious and lucid; one can always legally determine to end heroic measures and treatments which artificially sustain a patient's life. The progressive media also loves to keep the viewing public confused on these issues. Since many people confuse RTD with DNS, they are easily duped into voting for laws whose details they would not actually ascribe to or agree with if they were clearly revealed. The other major source of confusion is that the inevitable "duty to die" abuses of these laws are always kept hidden from voters by the media, such as the mandatory falsification of COD by attending physicians that such laws require.

44
Tabletalk Magazine on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

45
Nigerian Muslim woman provides 50 Christian widows with food for Christmas - premier

Premier consists of Premier Christian Media Trust registered as a charity (no. 287610) and as a company limited by guarantee (no. 01743091) with two fully-owned trading subsidiaries: Premier Christian Communications Ltd (no. 02816074) and Christian Communication Partnership Ltd (no. 03422292). All three companies are registered in England & Wales with a registered office address of 22 Chapter Street, London, SW1P 4NP.

46
Premier Christian on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

47
Instagram photo by J Warner Wallace • Dec 19, 2016 at 5:19pm UTC

48
3 Times 'This Is Us' Was Basically Preaching The Bible

The first scene that captured my attention as a serious God-moment was during the very first episode. Mandy Moore plays Rebecca, the mom of the triplets the family drama is based around, and Milo Ventimiglia plays Jack, her husband. They are in the hospital and Rebecca is experiencing complications with the delivery of her triplets. She's naturally freaking out and her doctor looks at her straight in the eye insisting that she trust him. In a series of words, the doctor assures Rebecca, “I will not fail you.” He does know what he’s doing after all. The scene is incredibly heightened with emotion as Rebecca is screaming through the pain of childbirth and the doctor’s ability to get her through it is the only security she has to fall back on.

49
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Season 1 “Past Prologue” and “A Man Alone”

I’ve completed my re-watch of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Now it’s time to start Deep Space Nine! I am much less familiar with this show, though I’m pretty sure I’ve seen about 80-90% of the episodes. It’s been so long that I’m sure it will all feel brand new. My wife has never seen the show. She and I will go through, review every episode, and give commentary and a grade from A-F. There are  SPOILERS  for each episode below. Without further adieu, here’s:

50 The Beatitudes by Sinclair Ferguson | December 20, 2016

Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount by defining the transformed life. In this lesson, Dr. Ferguson describes the personal characteristics of the Christian and how others will be able to recognize Jesus Christ through them.

51 What Happens when Churches Read Together
52 No, Atheists and Skeptics: Christian Faith Is Not a Failed Epistemology - Thinking Christian
53 Christians Need to End the Stigma Around Mental Illness and Seasonal Depression
54 What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson
55 This Is What the 'Christmas' Display at a Florida Park Looks Like
56 RELEVANT on Twitter
57 How to Make Sure You're Not Duped by What You Read
58 Christian MLA bemoans public anger amid Foster scandal - premier
59 Sometimes Your Questions Don't Need Answers to Change You
60 Harvard Law Professor Examines the Evidence of Jesus' Resurrection
61 Who's Ministering in Mosul? Persecuted Christians from Burma
62 Jediism is ruled not to be a religion - premier
63 #NeverTrumpers in the Age of Trump
64 WORLD on Twitter
65 The TC Apologetics Daily
66 Reasons to Believe on Twitter
67 Reaching the Next Generation
68 God Came Down
69 RTB_Official - "Kathy and I wanted to visit each of our... | Facebook
70 The Church Is Not a Single-Parent Family
71 German Police Searching for Tunisian Man in Hunt for Christmas Market Terror Attacker
72 Why Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year Matters
73 How Geographic Separation Affirms the Reliability of the New Testament | Cold Case Christianity
74 ‘Islamist Terrorists Continually Slaughter Christians’: Trump Says What Obama Refused to Say | The Stream
75 What Do We Mean When We Use the Term, "Virgin Conception"?
76 How C.S. Lewis Wrecked My American Christmas
77 Christmas for the Chief of Sinners
78 Christianity Today on Twitter
79 Catalyst on Twitter
80 Syria's Christians Back Assad
81 Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview and Where to Start - Jonathan Morrow
82 The Senate Report on Planned Parenthood No One Is Talking About
83 MCC’s Syrian partners deliver assistance despite intense fighting
84 Adult Coloring Books, Marriage and the Vote, Syria’s Heartbreak, and Top Religion Stories
85 Gordon on Twitter
86 Lord, Deliver Me from Indifference
87 A Note to an Unbeliever, On Going to Church This Christmas - Russell Moore
88 Live Mercy
89 Track: Stop Thieves from Stealing Your Dream - Day One
90 ‘My Fellow Liberals, I’m Tired Of You’
91 Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards
92 Dads, Write in Your Bible
93 BreakPoint on Twitter