Some friends of mine recently completed work on their first professionally produced music CD! The Hymn Remix project "was born of a desire to teach and inspire passion toward the deeper Christian life: we seek to revive, refresh and remix the timeless tunes and diction of traditional hymns with the musical styles of the present generation."

Here's the first single (?), listen to it! Check out the rest of the songs online at iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon MP3 (USA only), and Rdio. You can also buy the CD at the website.

dunceI cringe whenever I see Christians do dumb things (like claiming Jesus and/or Mary appeared on their morning toast and apparently pay for totally misguided billboards). And I can barely stand to see Fred Phelps' name or the name of his "church" mentioned on the news. (If you don't know who that is, you don't wanna know.)

So why does it seem like Christians so often do dumb things?

One reason is that when a Christian does something dumb, they're often identified (in the media or colloquially) as being a Christian, but when an atheist does something dumb, they're usually not identified as an atheist. Now certainly some Christians do dumb things in an attempt to follow their faith, but whether what the person has done is consistent with the Christian faith is often ignored.

A second reason is the fact that there's a lot of Christians around. Millions in Canada alone, plus many millions more in the USA, and approximately 2.1billion in total according to So you'd figure, out of all those people, if even 1% do dumb things, that it will seem like quite a lot of people. Of course, the actions of a few don't necessarily reflect those of the whole. (See: Fallacy of composition.)

A final reason, extrapolated from the previous one, is that some Christians are dumb. (You're free to make your own evaluation of me if you'd like.) In fact before I was a Christian I thought all Christians were dumb, or ugly, or both. (I thank Greg Koukl for putting into words so eloquently how I felt at the time.) Dumb because they were roped into a false waste of time, and/or ugly because they had to go to church to be accepted, since it's the only place that people have to accept them.

And yes, many Christians are dumb (and/or ugly). But so what? So are many atheists, agnostics, and adherents of other faiths.

There are also many smart Christians … not myself, necessarily, but guys like William Lane Craig, Alvin PlantingaAlister McGrath, John Warwick Montgomery, Timothy Keller, John Lennox, and Dallas Willard to name a few. So whether any one of them is smart or dumb proves nothing about the truth or falsity of the faith.

If you currently have the opinion that Christians are dumb, or ugly, or both, like I used to, I invite you to investigate some of the sites linked above or in the sidebar to the right. I think Christianity is worth thinking about, even if its adherents sometimes do and exceedingly poor job of reflecting it.

And if you are a Christian, let's try to reflect our Lord, Jesus, who as Dallas Willard describes, was and is the smartest man who ever lived (and lives).

Sorry for so many posts about this lately, but the Dr. Henry Morgentaler controversy has stirred up the abortion issue again. The great and awful thing about the Internet is that any idiot can post their opinions online; unfortunately, many do. You may consider me as just such an idiot, but please at least listen to my reasons for what I think first, because, unlike most of the pro-Morgentaler writing I've read, I actually give reasons and don't just make blind assertions.

Today's article is "Courageous Morgentaler is worthy" by Jennifer Charles which apparently appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, or at least it's currently on their website.

Awarding the Order of Canada to Dr. Henry Morgentaler has re-ignited the flames of the national abortion debate. The issue is whether a woman should have the right to a safe abortion. I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to deny a woman that choice.

This is not the issue. The issue is whether or not it is moral to have elective abortions. If it is moral, then we could ask the question "should a woman have the right to a safe abortion," for which the answer is clearly yes. But this author assumes the answer to the first question and asks an obvious and frivolous question in an attempt to poison the well.

What gives anyone the right to force a woman to bear a child? Whether she has the baby or not is a traumatic and life-altering decision that only she can make.

Like the previous article the idea of "forc[ing] a woman to bear a child" comes into play. This again clouds the issue. No one is forcing a woman to get pregnant (as previously noted even if we exclude rape and incest from this discussion that is less than 1.5% of all cases).

The concern here is for the rights of the child (as the article author calls it) which do not supersede the rights of the mother, but neither should the rights of the mother supersede those of the child. Why should the rights of the mother come first? Is it because the child is not as in a late stage of development as the mother? Well, a toddler is in an earlier stage of development than a teenager … is it okay then to kill a toddler?

To me, it is far more responsible to decide not to bring another human being into the world …

I totally agree! Not getting pregnant in the first place is the best way …

… than to do so when the pregnancy is not planned and the circumstances are wrong. If a person feels that abortion is morally wrong, that does not give him or her the right to impose that opinion on women who are the ones affected.

Here's the problem: There is no neutral position with regards to abortion. A pro-choice position is a pro-abortion position. Take a look at any other moral issue. Take slavery for example. Could we say "Slavery is a matter that should be left up to each individual; who are you to impose your views about slavery on others?" No, we wouldn't accept that. Why would abortion be any different?

All laws are based on moral principles. We are right to impose our "opinions" on others if they are committing immoral acts. (And if a person takes a moral relativist view, which I certainly do not, then we shouldn't have any laws at all.)

And that brings us back to the central question: Is abortion immoral or not? And when answering that, we need to keep in mind a simple dichotomy:
– If the unborn is not a human person, then no justification of abortion is necessary.
– But if the unborn is a human person, no justification is sufficient.

It's not enough to state whether the unborn is or isn't; you have to give reasons why. And it's no good to say "We don't know when life begins" because if we're not sure if an unborn child (embyro, whatever) is a human person or not, shouldn't we err on the side of caution and not kill it?

I would ask these people to empathize with any woman who finds herself in this position.

I do emphasize with a women who finds themselves in this position. At least, I try to. I can't say that I could ever fully understand the emotional anguish a woman might feel in such a situation. That's why we need to have more support services for pregnant women, especially given the medical risks and emotional risks involved with abortions. Of course, it's also important to emphasize with the unborn child (again, the article author's term) as well.


Recently the Christian worship song "Shout to the Lord" was performed twice on the popular TV show American Idol. The first time the lyrics were changed to remove Jesus' name for the song, while the second time the song was performed as it was originally written. See the performance below:

I do not usually watch the show, but other blogs suggest that the majority of the eight finalists are not Christians, although there have been many overtly Christian participants in the past (including winners Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, and Jordin Sparks).

What do you think about performing Christian songs on a secular TV show? Was the move to perform the song (censored and/or uncensored) by the show's producers appropriate? There seems to be something at least a little ironic about performing a worship song on a show dedicated to making an "idol" out of someone …

(Thanks to Think Christian for their original posts on this topic here and here.)

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