The Gospel Coalition Claims that the Oscars Should Matter to Christians

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by John Ellis

Depending on when you read this, tomorrow night is Hollywood’s Prom Night. A-listers parade in front of the cameras wearing enough monies worth of clothes and jewels to feed an entire small country. They then take their seats inside the plush theatre, and settle in to be celebrated by none other than themselves. B-listers and the movie production crews sit in the back of the Dolby Theatre, hoping that cameras will deign to pan across their row; screen time at the Oscars is worth money, after all. Just because you’re invited to the prom doesn’t mean you get to dance.

Hollywood’s evening of self-congratulation is a reminder that their world is small, privileged, and requires an invitation to enter. As referenced above, not all those invited are allowed to fully participate, though. The Oscars also demonstrate that homogeneity exists in a sub-culture that is supposedly diverse (and I’m not talking about the lack of or manufactured frequency of non-white nominees and/or winners). Like a high school prom in an 80s movie, the Oscars allows the cool kids to flaunt their coolness in the face of the wallflowers, much less in the the faces of those glued to the TV screen.

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Weekend Reading: 2/25

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by John Ellis

I freely and happily admit that I have cribbed this idea from many other writers and bloggers. So be it. A good idea is a good idea, though, right? There is so much content vying for our attention on the internet, it’s often hard to find the diamond in the rough, so to speak. Although, there are plenty of diamonds hidden throughout the interwebs. That fact means that aggregate sites are useful, and websites and blogs that devote articles and posts to serving as an aggregate for interesting and/or useful content are likewise useful. While I have next to zero desire for this blog to become an aggregate site, or even provide daily posts that offer some help to my friends and readers uncovering some diamonds that they may have missed, a weekly post seems fun for me and possibly profitable for others.

Below, are several of the more interesting articles and blog posts that I read over the last week. Enjoy.

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5 Celebrities that Democrats Should Consider Running Against Donald Trump in 2020

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Trust me, you do NOT want the Dems to run this lady.

by John Ellis

2020 will be here before we know it. Upon its arrival, I predict that the 2020 Presidential Election will make the 2016 Presidential Election look staid and dignified. I’m assuming that celebrity after celebrity will throw their over-priced, haute couture hats into the center ring of the 2020 campaign circus. I also predict that there will be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth from the remaining adults in the country. To that end, and to help cut down on the weeping and gnashing of teeth, I don’t think that the Democrats can begin vetting celebrities from their camp too soon. If you’re a Republican, I promise you that you’ll prefer every celebrity on my list over, say, the plagiarizing and unfunny woman  Amy Schumer.

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Republican for a Year

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by John Ellis

This past Sunday evening, during a conversation about politics with some friends who are part of the GOP power structure, I confessed, “I was a Republican for a little over a year.”

They ruefully laughed, but shook their heads in understanding.

The current Milo Yiannopoulos and CPAC debacle combined with the lack of calls for accountability within the GOP (until after the fact, of course) have served to reinforce my slow shuffle away from my new political party. Without rehashing my many objections to our current President (my #NeverTrump position is well-documented and easily found), I now find myself back to where I was fifteen or so months ago. By God’s grace, my political digression has stopped there.

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Bible Classes in West Virginia Public Schools: A Bad Idea

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by John Ellis

My high school basketball coach was fond of saying, “Good idea, bad execution.” That’s a helpful saying that I’ve frequently used over the years, especially now that I have kids. Proposing a twist on the platitude, I suggest that, at times, an idea may be bad because there is very little chance that the execution could ever be good. The state of West Virginia is on the verge of implementing a bad idea because there is very little reason to believe that the state’s execution of the idea will be anything but atrocious.

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Why I Believe in Limited Atonement

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by John Ellis

If Christ has died for you, you can never be lost. God will not punish twice for one thing. If God punished Christ for your sins, He will not punish you. Payment God’s justice cannot twice demand; first at the bleeding Saviour’s hand, and the again at mine. How can God be just if He punished Christ, the substitute, and then man himself afterwards?Charles Spurgeon

After discovering that some of us were vegetarians, a young actress at the cast party excitedly announced, “I’m a vegetarian, too!”

We looked at each other, puzzled. The grilled chicken heading into her mouth seemed to directly contradict the words leaving her mouth. She didn’t see it that way, however.

“Oh, I’m a vegetarian that eats chicken,” she cheerily responded as others pushed back on her claim.

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Turn Off the TV and Read the Bible

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by John Ellis

From where I’m sitting, I count twelve Bibles in my living room. According to polls from 2012[1], 84% of Americans own more than one Bible. The poll respondents who claimed to regularly read the Bible own an average of 3.6 Bibles. That actually means that I’m not that far off from the average, assuming that 2017 numbers haven’t changed much from 2012 (I highly doubt that they have). Recognizing that twelve is quite a bit greater than 3.6 in this context, allow me to explain.

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