The Personhood Argument for Abortion


abortion sign

by John Ellis

With the advances in ultrasound technology, especially the development of 3D ultrasound, pro-abortion advocates have changed tactics. It’s become next to impossible to convince people that a fetus isn’t a human life. For many who are pro-abortion, the argument now centers on personhood. Building on Judith Jarvis Thomson’s landmark paper “A Defense of Abortion,” the argument states that a fetus’ right to life is subservient to a woman’s right to choose.

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We Are All Atheists

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by John Ellis

“Even the Bible says that there isn’t a God,” my roommate smugly blustered.

The girl he was arguing with was incredulous, but as she pushed back it became obvious that a lack of confidence in her own position was growing. My roommate picked up on that, and went in for the dialectical kill, proud that he was about to convert another soul to atheism.

“It’s in one of the Psalms,” he shrugged. “I’m not making it up. The Bible says that there is no God.”

Gesturing towards me, he added, “Ask him.”

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Weekend Reading: 10/6

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by John Ellis

This past week has been dominated by news and stories about Brett Kavanaugh. If you’re like me, you’re tired of reading about it. In fact, I strongly considered muting on Twitter any words associated with the Kavanaugh hearings, allegations, and investigations. I didn’t, of course; as a writer, I kind of can’t. Thankfully, there were interesting articles published this week that had little to nothing to do with Kavanaugh. Below are some of the articles I found the most interesting and/or edifying from this past week.

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#BelieveWomen Versus the Presumption of Innocence


shame

by John Ellis

You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord you God is giving you. Deuteronomy 16:19-20

During a test over the state capitals, my fourth-grade teacher accused me of cheating. Walking around the classroom, she noticed a piece of paper sticking out of my crowded, disorganized desk. That paper happened to be a previously taken quiz over the state capitals. While my classmates left for music class, the teacher held me behind.

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Christian Liberty: Christians and the Use of Recreational Marijuana


marijuana

by John Ellis

Does the recreational use of marijuana fall under Christian liberty?

That’s a question that’s being asked with increased frequency, and a question that will most likely cease to be abstract for churches in the near future. Jeff Sessions isn’t going to be Attorney General forever. Once he’s gone, the winds appear to be blowin’ strongly in the direction of the federal government’s legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. At that point, the above question will no longer be able to be placed under the interpretive authority of Romans 13:1.

So, what is the answer to the above question if and when the government’s prohibition of the recreational use of marijuana is lifted?

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Holiness Should Not be Self-Serving: The Purity Culture’s Sins


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The Purity Culture is not monolithic. There were/are faithful Christians within the purity movement/culture that genuinely want(ed) to help train youth to pursue godliness. However, good intentions do not excuse poor teaching, much less excuse outright sinful teaching. On the flip-side, whatever missteps or even sins that were committed within the movement does not excuse any person’s rebellion against God. One day, upon the return of King Jesus, no one will be able to say, “It’s not my fault that I didn’t repent of my sins and place my faith in Jesus. It’s the purity culture’s fault.” 

by John Ellis

Without any trace of shame, my friend turned on his barstool, looked me in the eyes and said, “I regret not having had sex before I got married. I only know what it’s like to have sex with one woman and feel like I’m missing out.”

In the aftermath of his confession, as I attempted to explain what was wrong with his thought process, I could tell he wasn’t listening. Not that it would’ve made a difference if he had heard me. His almost total worship of the god of Sex had consumed him, and his liturgy of lust was unassailable.

A couple of years later, an affair brought his marriage to an end.

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Christian Apologetics as Interactive Theatre


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by John Ellis

The brilliant director, acting teacher, and theatre theorist Peter Brook opened his seminal book The Empty Space with these well-known sentences:

I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.[1]

To be fair, those sentences are probably not well-known to most people. But most people aren’t theatre artists. And in the world of theatre, those sentences hold a place of prominence and respect bordering on sacrosanct. Sadly, in my experience, while many of my theatre colleagues expressed love and admiration for Brook’s opening sentences, few took his teachings in The Empty Space with them as they entered in to the making of theatre.

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