Sky Links, 1-18-20

How The Media Lies To You
-Chris Kohls (Mr Reagan)

The Truth About the Australian Bushfires
-Paul Joseph Watson

-It has nothing to do with climate change. (Language advisory)

The Ukraine Phone Call Reenactment
-Brandon Straka and Mikey Harlow

A Quick Tour Through Ephesians
-NT Wright

Speaking at a Wheaton College Chapel in April of 2010, the brilliant theologian, N. T. Wright, finds a way to be simple enough for young college students as he presents a brief tour through Paul's magisterial Ephesian letter.

(h/t Glenn Packiam)

Will Supporting Trump Ruin My Witness?
-Mario Murillo

One of the arguments made by the editor of Christianity Today Magazine was that supporting Trump ruined our witness to America. No one yearns to win souls more than I do, therefore, I will tackle this argument, beginning with a story that seems to be analogous.

After the United States Army liberated the German concentration camps, General Eisenhower viewed the incomprehensible horror. His reaction was to make every soldier in the area come and see it for themselves.

When he was asked why he had subjected these men to such savagery and why he forced them to view images which they could never wash from their minds, he said this, “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he was fighting for. Now, at least he will know what he is fighting against.”

Millions of Christians look at Trump and see a man who is not perfect. He is not their model of a true believer. They reject him because they know what they are striving for: gentleness, civility and increased church attendance. What they do not know is what they are fighting against.

I know this, because whenever they attack Trump they offer no alternative for the office of President. They can’t tell you who else they would rather vote for. Or they assume it doesn’t matter if Democrats win. They only know they are offended by Trump’s behavior. But how does his behavior appear when compared to the horror of what the Left will do to this nation?

Loving To Know-N.T. Wright

We have worshipped Mars, who leads us to address all problems with tanks and bombs. We have worshipped Mammon, so that turning a profit trumps all else. We have worshipped ­Aphrodite, and any suggestion that we should resist her infringes on our human rights. And so on. The false gods obtain their power and apparent authority from the fact that they really are aspects of the ­created world that, for a Jew or a Christian, is itself the loving gift of the wise creator. But when we respond to the idols, rather than to the creator, we are driven not by love but by greed and lust. That’s what idols do: They lure you into the Faustian trap.

The way out is an understanding of ­creation as the gift of love, to which love is the appropriate response. But we cannot reach that true understanding of ­creation by a direct approach, for it quickly leads us back to idols. We must start with the center of creation: Jesus himself.

Two key Pauline passages sum this up. In Galatians, after speaking of God’s sending the Son and then sending the Spirit of the Son, Paul says, “Now that you’ve come to know God—or better, to be known by God—how can you turn back again” to the “elements of the world?” (Gal. 4:9). In other words, the gospel events have unveiled the true God in all his glory: the God who sent the Son and the Spirit of the Son. Since these actions are always God’s initiative, our knowledge of this God must always be seen as the reflex of God’s knowledge of us. This idea is amplified in 1 Corinthians 8, which deals with the problem of idolatry. Paul mocks the Corinthians’ pretensions to any kind of special knowledge, gnĊsis. “If anybody thinks they ‘know’ something, they don’t yet ‘know’ in the way they ought to know. But if anybody loves God, they are ‘known’—by him” (1 Cor. 8:2). And what does it mean to love this God? Paul quotes—and adapts!—the central Jewish prayer, the Shema. Instead of “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one . . . and you shall love the Lord your God . . .” Paul incorporates Jesus within the prayer: There is one God (the Father) and one Lord (Jesus the Messiah). Paul’s whole letter is, then, an exposition of what it means to love this God—to love, not by taking the initiative, but by responding to the love revealed in the gospel; and to allow that love to be the mode of all other knowledge.

Paul’s exposition of love receives its classic expression in the great poem we know as 1 Corinthians 13. Paul here places love at the center of his eschatological epistemology:

We know, you see, in part;

We prophesy in part; but, with perfection,

The partial is abolished. As a child

I spoke, and thought, and reasoned like a child;

When I grew up, I threw off childish ways.

Why, in a poem about love, does he take this time to contrast an earlier phase of life with the later maturity? Because love is the mode of knowing that ­provides continuity between the present age and the age to come. Love is the constant between our present incomplete knowledge and the full knowledge yet to come:

For at the moment all that we can see

Are puzzling reflections in a mirror;

Then, face to face. I know in part, for now;

But then I’ll know completely, through and


Even as I’m completely known. So, now,

Faith, hope, and love remain, these three; and, of


Love is the greatest.

(1 Cor. 13:9–13)

Paul’s Christian virtue is always responding, always discovering, the love that is the heart of true knowledge, the love inspired in him by the love revealed in, and flowing from, the gospel. Galatians again: “The life I do still live in the flesh, I live within the faithfulness of the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (2:20).

Paul focuses here on the love within Christian communities—the love that holds together the varied ministries of 1 Corinthians 12, the love that prevents disorderly chaos in worship in chapter 14. But this poem in chapter 13 indicates what it means to know God’s world, to know one another within God’s world, and to know God himself, with a love that, though awaiting fulfillment in the age to come, has already broken into the present world and time. And when we see how this love works, we recognize that it transcends the antitheses of modern thought.

The Enlightenment has often tried to propose its own replacement for love, in the form of tolerance. But tolerance is a hands-off, arm’s-length kind of relationship. We can understand its appeal in the eighteenth-­century world, weary of revolution and wars of religion—though about to collapse into internecine murder in the French Terror and the American Civil War, to look no further. But as we all know, tolerance is not enough. Invoking it produces a downward spiral of ineffective semi-moralism. We urgently need to explore the possibilities of a genuine epistemology and hermeneutic of love.

Trump announces school prayer guidance; 9 agencies draft religious freedom rules
-Samuel Smith

On National Religious Freedom Day Thursday, the White House announced several new rules and memos designed to roll back "discriminatory" federal regulations as well as promote teachers' and students' right to pray in public schools.

President Donald Trump was joined in the Oval Office by Christian, Jewish and Muslim students who have suffered some form of discrimination as he introduced new regulations and guidance promoting religious freedom.

Among them is the announcement that the U.S. Education Department will send out memos to secretaries and administrators in all 50 states stressing that they can’t prevent teachers or students from praying in public schools.

The goal is to "further safeguard students’ constitutionally protected right to pray in school" and to let public school administrators know that they can lose federal funding if they violate students’ religious freedom.

Babylon Bee CEO: "How funny is it that CNN is coming after us for spreading disinformation?"