When I was in sixth grade, I participated in a debate in which I attempted to convince my fellow classmates that we never landed on the moon.

It was the first time I used the Internet to research, and my partner and I found a treasure trove of information. We couldn’t believe it. It was so obvious. The U.S. clearly faked the moon landing in 1969 to trick the Soviet Union that we had superior rocket technology.

On the day of the debate, we exceeded our allotted 30-minute timeslot by more than an hour. After the debate, we held a…

Here it goes again.

You’re at home, or work, or out with friends.

And then someone,
a family member,
an acquaintance,
makes a comment about a current event or a particular social issue.

Maybe it’s intolerant, ill-informed, hopelessly biased, or downright degrading,
but nonetheless, you can’t let it go. So, you open your mouth and fire back.

Before you know it, you’re engaged in a frustrating battle of wills.
The conversation ends with both of you flustered, angry, and nowhere near close to reconciling the matter at hand.

This has happened to me too many times for me to…

The story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood has long cast a spell on the public imagination.

The Biblical account of Noah’s Ark has inspired multiple archeological attempts to “recover” the wreckage of the ark across various mountaintops in the Middle East and a $100 million “biblically-accurate replica” that serves as a tourist attraction in Williamstown, Kentucky.

And in 2014, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream fame) drew the Evangelical community’s ire with his bombastic and Jewish mythology-heavy take on the Noah story starring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson.

The guest speaker stands behind the podium.
A clear pitcher of water sits on a stool at his side.

Our youth group listens with rapt attention.
The guest speaker is talking about sex.

He invites three boys to the front and tells them to spit into the water pitcher.
Like, really spit. To make it gross.
The three adolescent boys line up and enthusiastically comply.

Then he invites a fourth boy up to the podium
and tells him to drink the entire pitcher of water.

Cue laughter and groans of disgust from the audience. …

In an instant, millions of people around the world vanish into thin air.

Planes plummet out of the sky. Vehicles, suddenly unmanned, careen out of control. The catastrophic event hurls the world into a state of chaos, anarchy, and panic.

Is this the opening salvo of an alien invasion? A secret military experiment gone awry? An act of terrorism unlike anything seen before?

No. This is the Rapture, the moment when God “rescues” all the faithful Christians from the planet before all literal Hell breaks loose on Earth.

In 1995, Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins released the first installment…

A long time ago, I used to believe that most of the world’s problems could be solved if more people became Christians.

A long time ago, I used to believe that most of the world’s problems could be solved if more people became Christians.

If only more people prayed, read their Bibles, sang worship songs, and accepted Jesus into their hearts, then all our nation’s anger, strife, immorality, violence, and racial division would subside or (at the very least) become more manageable.

More Christians, fewer problems. The world was clearly sick, and we alone held the antidote. Lost in the darkness, only we could illuminate the way for the lost and wayward. Our faith gave us answers, purpose, and community.

But it also gave us something else. Something a little more problematic and insidious.

In Seculosity, David Zahl writes,

“So fundamental is our need…

In a year full of half-truths, misinformation campaigns, conspiracy theories, and bizarre press conferences, we needed the academic rigor and sourced narrative of nonfiction books more than ever.

While the fiction books I read in 2020 allowed me to escape reality, the nonfiction books I read in 2020 deconstructed and added context to the reality that so often appears to skew closer to fiction. These ten nonfiction books gave me hope, helped me understand, and shifted my perspective on a number of topics and issues during this crazy year.


Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic — David Quammen

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to announce the War on Christmas is over.
And it’s been over for about one hundred and fifty years.

The Puritans waged the original War on Christmas in 17th century England and, later, the American colonies. A bunch of killjoys, the Puritans were a super-conservative branch of Protestantism that believed most forms of worldly pleasure were detestable to God.

With its rampant caroling, merriment, feasting, and drinking, the Puritans viewed Christmas as an affront to God himself. Following the English Revolution in 1647, the new Puritan government canceled Christmas in England for thirteen years.


Thank God for fiction in 2020.

With many of us spending more time indoors this year than normal, books offered a welcome escape from both the walls of homes and the nightmarish news cycle. I was no exception, and I got a lot of reading accomplished by year’s end.

At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to read more fiction by women and minority voices. Looking back at my previous end-of-year lists, I found them to be primarily written by white and male authors. If you’re looking to expand your worldview and empathy, I strongly recommend placing a…

Getty Images

During a White House Christmas party, lame-duck President Trump teased a 2024 Presidential run to those in attendance. Though he has yet to concede the 2020 Presidential election to President-elect Joseph Biden (and probably never will), it’s been our first hint at what a post-presidency Trump will look and feel like.

And the glimpse it offers isn’t very encouraging.

Though we may temporarily bask in the President’s defeat at the polls, the prospect of a second Trump term in office (and a direct repeat of the 2020 Presidential election) raises some very interesting questions about how we — the American…

Joe Forrest

Joe Forrest writes on the intersection of faith, culture, secularism, and politics.

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