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                 Putting that Literary Touch on Your Writing Writing can be enhanced by a turn of phrase—a sentence or expression that is artful. Here are three basic ways you can put a literary touch in your writing. PERSONIFICATION Personification is a form of figurative language. It gives an inanimate object a human trait. Here are a few examples. "Then the wind increased, joined by large pelts of rain, the mid-morning having made up its mind to be rainy." "I sometimes think my car hates me." "I’m convinced the eyes in the painting were following me." Obviously, wind cannot make up its mind, a car cannot hate you, and the eyes in a painting, though it might seem like they are following you, are not. We are simply ascribing human attributes to inanimate objects. OBJECTIFICATION This is the reverse of personification. You objectify when you give a human the characteristics of an inanimate object. Here are some possible ways to do it: "A pair of tiny
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Pat Robertson is Warned!

Pat Robertson is taking it on the chin again. Seems each time he opines on why bad things happen to us, there is someone to call him on it. Most recently, Dr. Richard Mouw has taken up the challenge in response to Robertson's recent statement on the Las Vegas shooting, in which at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In a piece, titled, " You've Been Warned, PatRobertson! " Mouw, for whom I have deep respect, pens, "It didn’t take long for some preachers to start telling us why God caused the horrible mass murder in Las Vegas to happen. Pat Robertson led the way, declaring that it was divine retribution for the widespread 'disrespect' for Donald Trump in America." If Robertson had limited his rationale for the Vegas shooting to God punishing us for people dissing the President, I'd be smacking him on the chin myself. But he didn't. Robertson'

7 Reasons Secular Values Fail to Address Racism

It was an evening of open discussions on Facebook like any other. But something unfortunate happened that night. A former student of mine, a young black woman, unfriended me. Why? I wrote to her that, as a Christian, her value and identity were found in Christ, not in her racial identity, and that that same truth applied to me as a white male. She wrote back that my words “hurt.” She went on to say that my brand of hate would not be tolerated on her timeline and that she would pray for my “ignorance.” Where racial discrimination exists, it is wrong. Its existence is one reason I have labored to plant two colleges, one in Kenya, the other in Congo (DRC). I love my African brothers and sisters, as well as my students of color in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Given the sadness I felt over the Facebook incident, I’m concerned that cultural norms are a bad remedy for healing wounds caused by racism. So, I feel compelled to ask a question. Are secular values the real answ

Why the Nashville Statement Preamble on Gender is Correct

In its opening Preamble, the Nashville Statement : a Coalition on Human Sexuality, makes an important point on human gender. It reads Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God The Statement remarks on “male and female” largely due to the assault on what is called Cisgender (Cis), a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. According to advocates for the transgender lifestyle, sex and gender have nothing to do with one another. But is that true? The answer is no. H

What's Wrong With America

In 1961, the Supreme Court ruled in Torcaso v. Watkins that Roy Torcaso need not undergo a religious test for a position as a notary public. The effect was to eliminate all religious tests for public office within the United States. Even mere profession of belief in God was struck down as a prerequisite for state employment. Torcaso  eclipsed the Religious Test Clause of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which states that no one shall be required to adhere to any religion or religious doctrine to hold office at the federal level. While both religious and non-religious peoples might agree that the decision in Torcaso was a correct one, now the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme, whereby America is faced with a new and pernicious problem. The principle problem with America is that we no longer know what we believe as a people . Because most Americans now reject any absolute standard of truth, our nation is unable to discern right from wrong in the face of critic

Fighting Abortion is Not the Fourth Sign of the Church

Some Christians are what I call, “single-issue.” I recall one family that left a church because everything did not revolve around Evangelism Explosion. But that's just one issue. The issue I'm thinking about is abortion on demand. Some concerned Christians expect their pastor to thunder away almost each week on this topic, or at least mention it. He must make it is his central motif. He must protest outside the abortion clinic. If he doesn’t, he can say he’s against abortion all he likes, but it’s not enough. Motivating the single-issue congregant is a deeper judgment. He thinks that the ultimate reason abortion on demand still happens is because pastors let it. Churches let it. As one who has taken a virulent stand against abortion, both in the pulpit and with pen, I can say without qualification, “I hate it.”  Period. I pray the day that Roe is overturned. Nonetheless, as a former pastor, an as one who may return to the pulpit someday, here’s the bottom line.

Andy Stanley and the “NEW Hermeneutic”

The problem of faith and reason is longstanding in the history of theology. Augustine held that faith aids reason ( credo ut intelligam ) and that reason aids faith ( intelligo un creadam ). The church father is, however, inclined to stress the later over the former. It was with Thomas Aquinas, and his Summa Theologica , that the effort to reconcile faith and reason reached its apex. Rejecting the medieval doctrine of double truth, he placed natural reason prior to faith in effectively every area of the Christian life. The restrictions are the mysteries of the faith that reason cannot penetrate. Thomas’ affirmation of the high role of native reason in Christian belief is linked to his stress on dialectical method in study, seminally set forth by Peter Abelard. The form of study is dependent largely on logic to argue both sides of a theological question. Christian belief is thus the proper result of process or synthesis. Faith then assents to the final proposition arrived at by