Yoga – Should Christians Practice It? (Part 2)

It is a privilege to cross paths with friends who share Prepared to Answer’s goals of helping Christians think biblically about life and critically about culture.  I am pleased to welcome Karen Bird as a guest contributor of this article.  Karen is a wife and mother of three.  She holds a BA in kinesiology from Western University and a Masters of Theological Studies from Tyndale Seminary.  In addition to working in business alongside her husband, Karen sits on the board of Hope Story (formerly Kids Alive) and serves in various capacities at her church, North Park Community, in London, Ontario.

Part 2:

Christians, those who live by faith and not by sight, should know better than anyone that there is, without a doubt, a spiritual aspect of life that cannot be seen but can certainly be experienced.  We practice many things that appear simply physical but which we know have much more than a physical affect:  praying, meeting together with other believers, reading scripture, partaking in communion, singing and raising our hands – all physical actions which we trust to affect both our spirit and God’s.  Ouija boards, tarot cards, astrology signs and symbols are also simply physical realities, but we know that they have significant spiritual implications connected to them – dangerous ones that ensnare and trip up rather than give life.  Eve in the garden of Eden participated in a seemingly purely physical act – reaching for and consuming a piece of fruit, but there was a deeply spiritual implication associated with it that had lasting consequences for all of mankind.28  We could go on to make the case with other things.  For example, why is adultery wrong?  It could be argued that it’s just a physical activity, with some definite pleasurable benefits.  But we all know that there’s more to it than that.  The bottom line is that our physical actions are linked with our minds, our emotions, our will, and with the spiritual realm around us. Continue reading

Yoga – Should Christians Practice It? (Part 1)

It is a privilege to cross paths with friends who share Prepared to Answer’s goals of helping Christians think biblically about life and critically about culture.  I am pleased to welcome Karen Bird as a guest contributor of this article.  Karen is a wife and mother of three.  She holds a BA in kinesiology from Western University and a Masters of Theological Studies from Tyndale Seminary.  In addition to working in business alongside her husband, Karen sits on the board of Hope Story (formerly Kids Alive) and serves in various capacities at her church, North Park Community, in London, Ontario.

Part 1:

Yoga – should Christians practice it? Is yoga simply another exercise like aerobics or running, or could it possibly be a discipline linked with evil spiritual forces? Emotional reactions aside, in this two part article we will examine the truth about yoga in order to help us determine what our posture as Christians should be in response to this rapidly growing trend. Continue reading

Is The Trinity Practical? – Part 4

TRINITARIAN  LIVING – EVEN  FOR  KIDS

Thus, keeping the Trinity as core to faith and worship,  how can we in turn lead our own children into ‘Trinitarian living’?  That might sound foreign to our ears, but remember that God is the Trinity.  What we simply mean is ‘living with God’, but with the recognition of who God is and what he is like.  Remember that the ‘eternal life’ that Jesus gives us is not about life in heaven (although it includes that), but about knowing God.  As Jesus said:

“Now this is eternal life, that they know you the one true God, and Christ Jesus whom you sent” (Jn. 17:3)

That said, we really can lead our children into a more full and satisfying relationship with God by helping them consciously relate to God according to who he really is: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  And I believe we can do this within the simple framework of gospel living that we are hopefully striving to teach them already. Continue reading

Is The Trinity Practical? – Part 3

TRINITARIAN WORSHIP

“Keep it practical!” Restoring the Trinity to the core of our faith and worship then is intensely practical because, to quote Packer again, “it requires us to pay equal attention, and give equal honor, to all three persons in the unity of their gracious ministry to us.”4 This isn’t just theory that remains in the abstract, but reality that forms and shapes all true worship. For starters consider this: Continue reading

Is The Trinity Practical? – Part 2

BEHOLD  YOUR  GOD!

You’ve probably heard many attempts to explain the ‘oneness’ and ‘three-ness’ of God by analogy.  Water is one substance that can exist in three forms; gas, liquid and solid.  An egg is one thing made up of three parts: yolk, white and shell.  However, all such analogies break down at some point. Continue reading

Is The Trinity Practical? – Part 1

When I mentioned to my wife the idea of writing an article on the Trinity her response said it all: “Keep it practical!”  But can the doctrine of the Trinity really be practical?  In this four part post I would like to help you grow in your understanding and appreciation for what most consider to be either a riddle or a blatant contradiction that Christians believe about God.  The first three parts are meant to help you grasp more fully this awesome truth about God’s nature and identity, and see how it will deepen and enrich your faith walk with God.  The fourth part is for those of you who are raising children, and is meant to give you some practical tools to make a trinitarian view of God foundational to their faith. Continue reading

The Trinity for Kids – Part 2

The Doctrine of the Trinity is such an important thing for kids (and grown ups) to learn about God.  It is no exaggeration to say that our understanding of God as Trinity supplies the bedrock for Christian faith and the gospel.  J. I. Packer pulled no punches in stressing its importance:

“All non-Trinitarian formulations of the Christian message are by biblical standards inadequate and fundamentally false, and will naturally tend to pull Christian lives out of shape.”

Teaching your children about God as Trinity therefore should begin at the earliest age possible.  In my first The Trinity for Kids post I discussed how to begin teaching the Trinity to young children, emphasizing our need to simply “stick to the facts”, and not giving them more than they can handle.  When my kids were very young I just wanted to affirm the truth about God as the Bible presents it.  The core affirmations of a biblical view of the Trinity can be summarized as:

1. God is three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
2. Each person is fully God.
3. There is one God.

As they grow and begin developing higher critical thinking skills however, I want to help them grapple with the great truth of God’s triune nature, encouraging them to reflect and dwell upon this great mystery that God has revealed to us about himself.  At the same time however, I want to help them avoid falling into error and any pitfalls that may distort their view of God. Continue reading

Gender Struggling Children and Parent Fears of Suicide

Parents of children who struggle with gender identity face enormous pressure from our culture to affirm their children’s feelings that they are really the opposite gender. Fear is often used as a weapon to discourage any other response, the message being that failure to affirm and assist in gender transition will result in suicide. Continue reading

Protecting Your Kids’ Minds From Internet Porn

I recently received an email from a mom looking for an internet filter for the home computer or some mechanism to block inappropriate content. Unfortunately even the best internet filters are only so good, and their benefits are limited to the computers they are loaded onto which is a problem when the majority of kids access the internet through their own personal devices. (iPods, phones, etc.)  OpenDNS is a web-based tool that filters your internet signal at your router, effectively covering any device using your wi-fi, but this too is only so good. Continue reading

Where Do Parents With Gender Struggling Children Turn?

The BBC has released a new documentary that has raised the ire of transgender activists because it is entertaining the evidential claims of Dr. Kenneth Zucker, former director of the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at Toronto’s CAMH (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health). Zucker was dismissed from his 30 year post at the GIC due to increasing pressure from transgender activists who were labeling the GIC a “conversion therapy” clinic. Continue reading

Don’t Focus On The Manger

I’m glad to still see public displays of the Nativity here and there, even if mostly on church properties. Sometimes however the manger scene itself can become a distraction where it merely turns our attention to some serene ideal of personal peace or feelings of ‘goodwill toward men’. The manger after all only receives a passing mention in Luke’s gospel. Let’s face it, the picture that inhabits our carols and adorns our Christmas cards is pure conjecture. Really it is an ideal scene that we have made up, and that fact should give us pause given our propensity toward idolatry. Continue reading

Calling All High School Students!

Email Blast

Prepared to Answer is holding a quality day long event for high school students on November 19th at Stoney Creek Baptist Church in London.  The How Can You Know? conference is designed to give students a safe place to ask those hard questions about the Christian faith.

Tim Barnett with Stand to Reason is our keynote speaker and is giving two talks entitled: “Does God Exist?” and “Are Science and Faith Compatible?”  In the afternoon students can choose from four different break out sessions offered by some dynamic speakers and teachers.  We’ll cap off the day with a Panel Q & A where students can ask or text our speakers with any other big questions that might have gotten missed.

The cost is $20.00 per student which includes registration for the day, lunch, refreshment breaks and a Free Book to help them start their own library of resources for defending faith in Jesus.

Students, invite your friends.  Parents, send your teens.  Pastors, bring your youth to a day designed just for them!

Safeguarding Your Kids Against Porn

baby-84626_1920According to the Kaiser Foundation, a 2010 study showed that 69% of 11-14 year olds and 31% of 8-10 year olds had their own cell phones, while a study by Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org) determined that 52% of all children under 8 had access at home to smartphones, iPods, iPads, or other internet ready devices.  It is no wonder that studies show that the average age for children to begin looking at internet pornography is between 7 and 12. Continue reading

Wynne’s Sex-Ed Curriculum Wrapped in a Worldview: People Are Starting To Recognize This.

It’s rare to find articles in the media that I agree with on the subject of Ontario’s soon to be released sex-ed curriculum, but I found this one by Dr. Nadine Nyhus in July 8ths Kitchener Record helpful and worthy reading for parents.Kitchener Record Sex-Ed Article Continue reading

“Love” May Have “No Labels”, But It Does Have Meaning.

The following video went viral just after Valentines day this year. It is undeniably well made, visually effective, and emotionally compelling, but utterly deceptive?

It’s hard to argue with a message that promotes love for all people; one that the Christian certainly affirms. Jesus priority command for us after all was to “love your neighbour as yourself”. (Matt. 22:39) But even in saying this the critical thinker should raise the question: “what kind of love was Jesus talking about?” Continue reading

Porn Kills – Get Informed!

St. Augustine said that Christians should realize that “wherever we may find truth, it is the Lord’s.” (On Christian Doctrine, II. 40)  We know from the Bible that God’s design for sex is finding its expression within the safety and commitment of the marriage covenant.  In a culture that has seen at least two full generations turn sex into a commodity for mere consumption, it is heartening to see a new generation waking up to the absolute destructive power of porn.

God’s Word warns us, and now even more science is showing us that porn is far from harmless, and even though in Christ we can always find forgiveness, the real life consequences are not easily dispensed with.  Porn physically alters the brain, destroys capacity for genuine relational intimacy, and empties the soul.  Christians addicted to porn need to find a safe place to confess and break free, and parents need to take vigilant steps to educate and safeguard their families.

I recently came across this movement to end porn called Fight The New Drug (www.fightthenewdrug.org).  It isn’t Christian in its orientation, but there is good information related to the insidious nature of porn.

Let’s Make Sure We’re Criticized for the Right Reason

Constructive-Criticism

One of my wife’s colleagues put me on to this editorial from Phil Zuckerman in the LA Time yesterday entitled: “How Secular Family Values Stack Up“.  It opens by highlighting some of the statistical trends in the growing demographic that self-identifies as “non-religious”.  This is a statistic mirrored in Canada.  As always, the statistics certainly warrant a closer look, Continue reading

Christmas – A Time For…Teaching?

Christmas - Time for Teaching

As I tucked my son in last night his parting words were an utterance of understandable childhood excitement: “Three more days till Christmas dad!”. My response was shamefully pragmatic: “Well, the faster you get to sleep the quicker it will get here!” Admittedly, in my haste to finish bedtime and put my feet up, I realize that once again I missed a teachable moment. (Not the first time and probably not the last). Continue reading