Open Book
Light Bulb

treating fentanyl addiction

On a visit to California, Marvin Olasky—author of The Tragedy of American Compassion—spent four days and nights at the Orange County Rescue Mission, a Christian outfit serving the local homeless. He left with stories from 40 men and women about years of cycling through drug deals, arrests, jail, probation, parole violations, homelessness and prison.

Andrew, 36, dropped out of high school and once had a job, but studying and working shifts at Jiffy Lube was boring. Meth was exciting. He enjoyed planning robberies and didn’t mind a few months every couple of years in jail: “Better drugs there than on the street.”

First time he came to the Mission he left after three days. …
Read More…

what it looks like to rule and reign with Christ

I went to an all girls Catholic high school. As part of our graduation requirements, we had to participate in a service project from a list of places in our city. Dozens of girls selected the animal shelter and daycares. My eyes fell to the bottom of the list, with zero volunteers—our local Hospice.

Even at 17, I wasn’t deterred by death. I’d already lost my youngest brother. If anyone in my class had some skills to serve the dying, it was probably me. To my surprise, one other classmate signed up. Her name was Katy; we became known at school as “The Katies of Death.”

Condensed from “Life Lessons from the Death Bed” by Katie Zakrzewski, Insomnia Quarterly Read More…

influencers from the bible

The magazine rack at Sprouts Grocery store displayed National Geographic’s “50 Most Influential Figures of the Bible.” As Hope Community’s summer’s focus is Influencers from the Bible, I bought a copy—fantasizing National Geographic might be listening to my podcasts.

No, probably not. That issue, authored by Jean-Pierre Isbouts, was originally published 2020. Read More…

good news out of iran

Year after year, Iran is listed as one of the 10 worst persecutors of Christians in the world. Counterintuitively, Iran may be the nation with the fastest growing church.

Daniel Pipes, a Jewish researcher and author
wrote in Newsweek: "Something religiously astonishing is taking place in Iran, where an Islamist government has ruled since 1979: Christianity is flourishing. Iranians have become the most open people to the gospel." Read More…

don't give up on America

American Christians sometimes do unusual things in pursuit of patriotism.

During WW1, many Lutheran congregations raised American flags in their sanctuaries and hung patriotic bunting. It was a sensible display since many Lutherans still worshiped in their religion’s native language at a time when the USA was at war with Germany. Brandishing patriotic symbols was a plausible way to deflect charges of disloyalty.
Read More…

christianty's branding problem

According to Jessica Grose, NY Times opinion writer, Christianity’s got a branding problem. Christianity is seen as the religion of conservative Republican politics. She claims people are out there, even in New York City, who are open to Christianity. But they don’t want to be associated with that.

There’s a body of research indicating that the right-wing politics that attracted many Christians during the 1980s—90s simultaneously pushed other people away from Christianity. Read More…

in defense of merit in science

In the 1930s the USSR enforced the untenable theories of Trofim Lysenko, a charlatan Russian agronomist who rejected the existence of genetic inheritance. Scientists who disagreed with Lysenko’s claims were fired, some sent to the gulag.

Implementation of Lysenko’s theories in Soviet and Chinese agriculture led to famines and the starvation
of millions. Russian biology still hasn’t recovered.

~~ Adapted from an article by Jerry Coyne and Anna Krylov ~~

A wholesale and unhealthy incursion of ideology into science is occurring today in the West. We see it in progressives’ claim that scientific truths are malleable and subjective, similar to Lysenko’s insistence that genetics had no place in progressive Soviet agriculture. Read More…

we work in our graves

Lucien—tall and lean with piercing eyes and shattered legs—was in a constant state of agitation while Siddrarth Kara interviewed him.

At age 15 Lucien began work as an
artisanal miner in an cobalt mine near Kasulo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Fifty men and teenage boys worked the site. 200 feet beneath the surface, the steep mine shaft opened into a large chamber from which three tunnels branched off, each following veins of cobalt rich heterogenite. Read More…

very early sunday morning

Critics of Christianity focus on the conflicting reports in the New Testament about early Sunday, making much of the inconsistent reports from Jesus’ tomb. Did one woman go to the tomb or several? Did they see angels, Jesus or just an empty tomb? Did they report to the apostles or tell no one?

Christianity focuses upon the striking similarities of the four New Testament accounts: the open and empty tomb, women witnesses, the presence and message of angels, disbelieving male disciples, and most importantly the unexpected and sporadic appearances of Jesus.
Read More…

he gets us

It’s increasingly rare to see a positive portrayal of Christianity in popular culture. “He Gets Us” is trying to do just that. The brand gained tremendous popularity following a $100 million ad buy in the 2023 Super Bowl. “He Gets Us” has been appearing on billboards and social media since late last year.

For an inside look, journalist
Isaac Willour talked to two people in the campaign: “He Gets Us” spokesperson Jason Vanderground and Bill McKendry, a creative director. Read More…

is america christian?

In 2009 then President Obama—in his painfully precise way—said, “One of the great strengths of the United States, is we have a very large Christian population. We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation … .” Unlike Saudi Arabia or the United Kingdom, the US Constitution gives authority to no religion.

Obama accurately stated America is not a Christian state. The Constitution prohibits the government—federal, state, local—from establishing religion, any religion. He just as accurately identified one of America’s great strengths: a large Christian population.
Read More…

pray for buffalo #3

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruffled feathers when it ruled that a high-school football coach was improperly fired for praying at mid-field with his players.

The idea that prayer is improper at sporting events was suddenly discarded last Monday night. Nine minutes into an NFL game, Damar Hamlin collapsed. Emergency medical staff resorted to cardiopulmonary resuscitation to stave off death.

Suddenly prayer was back on the list of things anybody could do anywhere—even on camera.
Read More…