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Hari Kumar and Kai Schultz, “‘The Dump Killed My Son’: Mountains of Garbage Engulf India’s Capital,” The New York Times (Jun 10, 2018)

March 21 is a UN-recognized special day, World Down Syndrome Day.

This date provides a natural opportunity for Christians to advocate for their neighbors. We should help our communities see that individuals with Down syndrome offer meaningful contributions to our society, are inherently valuable, and deserve to be protected.

Brent Leatherwood, “Why you should care about World Down Syndrome Day,” ERLC (Mar 21, 2018)

I advocate for my brother. —C.M.H.

This news would be funny if ethics and human biology wasn’t so serious:

Doctors put a transgender woman on a regimen of drugs (that included a banned one) to induce lactation because she wanted to breast-feed her partner’s baby. The journalist then bothered to call something “the biological norm.”

“Transgender Woman Breast-Feeds Baby After Hospital Induces Lactation,” The New York Times (Feb 15, 2018)

“Siliguri Man Dies On Wedding Day, Bride Gets New Groom,” Siliguri Times (Feb 1, 2018)

A witness said a well spoken and calm man recited Bible verses about sin and repentance on a packed passenger train. Some people panicked, prised open the doors and went on to the tracks.

The train’s guard, “came over the public address system asking people what they were doing on the tracks and warning them that they could die if they touched a rail.”

“‘Doomsday preacher’ on Wimbledon train causes passengers to flee,” The Guardian (Oct 2, 2017)

“International Refugee Crisis Hits All Time High,” Radical Blog (Aug 3, 2015)

Christian Movements in China: Growth and Pain /

Two posts on the growth of Christianity in China arrived at the same time. One recommended a new book that documents the meteoric rise of the number of Chinese Christians. The second tempers the reports of growth in China with stories that showed a lack of gospel impact among Christians. Both were hopeful, thank God. The two angles reflect the different ways people measure God’s work.

Friends who have worked in China have echoed these kinds of reports. Some hold up the work in China as a model for movements and excuse the mess. Others raise doubts about the health of the movements and point to the theological and leadership vacuum.

From the description of A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China by Rodney Stark and Xiuhua Wang, recommended by Steve Addison:

Christianity is alive, well, and even on the rise… A Star in the East draws on two major national surveys to sketch a close-up of religion in China. A reliable estimate is that by 2007 there were approximately 60 million Christians in China. If the current rate of growth were to hold until 2030, there would be more Christians in China — about 295 million — than in any other nation on earth. This has significant implications, not just for China but for the greater world order.

And from June Cheng, “Growing pains, great gains,” World, May 30, 2015:

“You will see spiritually hungry people in China, but you always have to ask the question: Do you see really rooted Christians?” Su asked. “The gospel doesn’t just come as an impact … but it must transform your mind, it must change your thinking, change your perspective. … And you realize that it is very weak over here.”

God continues to bring explosive growth to Chinese churches, but He doesn’t wave a magic wand so that growth is without problems.

Continuing Earthquakes Are Unleashing a Mental Health Disaster in Nepal /

[Over the last 30 days in Nepal, 75 4.5M+ and 150 2.5M+ earthquakes have occurred. See the current status at earthquake.usgs.gov. —C.M.H.]

The effects of the continuing instability in Nepal are perhaps more tragic and deeply-scarring than the physical devastation that blights the landscape. “There is already evidence that the quakes are impacting on mental health,” says Dr Sonya Martin, psychiatrist for the Ciwec hospital and travel medicine centre in Kathmandu. “The quakes have incited widespread fear and uncertainty about what the future will bring.”

Research suggests that the long-term emotional consequences of a disaster are related to feelings of powerlessness and lack of control over forces bigger than oneself. The fragile veneer of forced normalcy that had settled on the strange new “post-disaster” Nepal, the world of tents and meal hand-outs, was cracked open after an aftershock as big as the one on Tuesday, and the continuing tremors mean that victims are constantly revisited by their indiscriminate attacker. Rather than subsiding with time, the extreme stress response is being prolonged over days and weeks.

Science also unfortunately holds little comfort for those looking for certainty and rationality…

Claire Bennett, “The Nepal earthquakes have unleashed a mental health disaster,” The Guardian.

“Is Christianity Dying?”: Bad news for America, but good news for the church /

Highlights of Russell D. Moore, “Is Christianity Dying?” on May 12, 2015 at Moore to the Point.

Christianity is dying. At least, that’s what major newspapers are telling us today. I think this is perhaps bad news for America, but it is good news for the church.

This is good news because the kind of “Christianity” that is a means to an end — even if that end is “traditional family values” — is what J. Gresham Machen rightly called “liberalism,” and it is an entirely different religion from the apostolic faith handed down by Jesus Christ.

The Pew report holds that mainline denominations — those who have made their peace with the Sexual Revolution — continue to report heavy losses, while evangelical churches remain remarkably steady — even against some heavy headwinds coming from the other direction.

Christianity isn’t normal anymore, and that’s good news. The Book of Acts, like the Gospels before it, shows us that Christianity thrives when it is, as Kierkegaard put it, a sign of contradiction. Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the worlds we construct. But the strange, freakish, foolish old gospel is what God uses to save people and to resurrect churches (1 Cor. 1:20–22).

Rare Uncontacted Tribe Photographed in Amazon /

One hundred unreached tribes in need of the gospel…

Read the article: “Rare uncontacted tribe photographed in Amazon.”