Combing the Net – 12/20/2010

Why Do We Have Christmas Trees? — The interesting history of several holiday traditions. This article happens to have been written by one of the professors from Huntington University, where my dad teaches. (HT: TW)

A Day for Easing Old Hurts — The parents of the only NHL fan ever to be killed by being hit with a puck during a game recently met up with the player who fired the shot. A great story of forgiveness here. (HT: OTF)

A Tough Season for Believers Ross Douthat’s Op-Ed from yesterday’s NY Times talks about how hard it can be to be a Christian at Christmas… though we bring some of this hardship upon ourselves.

Believing Christians are no longer what they once were — an overwhelming majority in a self-consciously Christian nation. The question is whether they can become a creative and attractive minority in a different sort of culture, where they’re competing not only with rival faiths but with a host of pseudo-Christian spiritualities, and where the idea of a single religious truth seems increasingly passé.

Or to put it another way, Christians need to find a way to thrive in a society that looks less and less like any sort of Christendom — and more and more like the diverse and complicated Roman Empire where their religion had its beginning, 2,000 years ago this week.

I Looked for Love in Your Eyes — A heartbreaking poem written by the wife of a man addicted to pornography.

The History of Redemption — Those who, like me, were moved by the telling of the gospel story by one of our church’s college students last night, will really enjoy this video of a Texas church’s telling of the story of redemption using only God’s own Word and the artwork it inspired.

I built a PVC instrument a couple years ago, but it’s nowhere near as cool as this one! (HT: Stephen Altrogge)

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