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Showing posts from October, 2016

Words Matter

Tonight I saw a political commercial that disturbed me in a way that I seldom have been disturbed. It was an ad in Indiana against someone who is running for United States Representative. The ad consisted of blurry images of Daesh terrorists across the screen (also referred to as ISIL. I have been told by some of my Muslim friends that the word "Daesh" is preferred by many when referring to this group.). These horrible images were accompanied by a photo of the candidate and claims that she would somehow singlehandedly make the United States more vulnerable to, and I quote, "Islamic terrorists." When the barbarism and destruction of Daesh is equated in any way with Islam the entire religion is discredited, and the Muslims who are devoted to their faith are personally defamed. Let this be as clear as it can be. Islam is not a religion of hatred and war. Islam is a religion of love and peace.

And as bad as this ad and its corresponding rhetoric are, here is the real p…

More Than Veggie Tales - The Importance of Critical Thinking in YouthMinistry

Remember Veggie Tales, the popular Christian videos produced by Big Idea featuring the likes of Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, Junior the Asparagus, Silly Songs, and Bible stories acted out by anthropomorphic vegetables? These characters and their antics were everywhere for well over a decade. For a while they were even featured during the Saturday morning cartoon slot on NBC. Phil Vischer, the co-creator of Veggie Tales and former "top tomato" at Big Idea Productions, has his own podcast. A couple of years ago he discussed the book A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian. During the episode the following exchange took place between Vischer and his co-host, Skye Jethani.
Vischer: Here’s what I want to do. I want to encourage parents and Christian educators to teach critical thinking skills… do you know why we don’t do that?
Jethani: ‘Cause it’s hard.
Vischer: ‘Cause we’re afraid our kids will actually use them.
Jethani: And they might come to a different con…