Your Child’s Going to Hear About Hell Anyway, So Should You Be the First to Bring It Up?

Wendy Thomas Russell, who joined us on the podcast recently, is the author of a new book called Relax, It’s Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You’re Not Religious (Brown Paper Press, 2015):

In the excerpt below, Russell discusses whether you should discuss Hell with your child:

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Author of The Brick Bible Series Comes Out as Transgender

I’ve posted many times about The Brick Bible, which portrays biblical scenes using LEGOs:

Today, on Facebook, the author of that series came out as transgender:

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The Deleted Blog Posts of Raif Badawi, Who Faces Death for “Insulting Islam,” Will Be Published in a New Book

We still don’t know the fate of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. He received 50 lashes of a 1,000-lashes punishment for “insulting Islam,” though the flogging has been indefinitely delayed. He currently faces a re-trial that could result in a death sentence if Badawi is found guilty.

Now, a collection of the blog posts that got Badawi in trouble is set to hit German bookstores.



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LifeWay Christian Resources Says They’ll Stop Selling Books About People Claiming to Visit Heaven

Earlier this year, Alex Malarkey, the subject of the 2010 book The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, announced that his “true story” was completely exaggerated.

This wasn’t a surprise to most of us who see no evidence of an afterlife, but it sent some shockwaves through the Christian publishing world because they had made a ton of money peddling books by people offering a glimpse of Heaven.

(Colton Burpo, the subject of Heaven is For Real, soon issued a statement defending his visions.)

To their credit, Tyndale House, the publishers of Malarkey’s book, said they would stop selling it.

And now, LifeWay Christian Resources — arguably the largest outlet for Christian books — says they, too, will stop selling all “experiential testimonies about heaven” indefinitely:

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A Free Glass of Water at Chick-fil-A Cost Him a Million Dollars… and You Probably Think He Deserved It

Remember the Chick-fil-A controversy of 2012? COO Dan Cathy had made disparaging comments about same-sex marriages, and it became widely known that the company’s owners, through a trust, donated money to anti-gay organizations.

In response, YouTuber Jackson Pearce suggested one way to fight back: Go to Chick-fil-A and ask for a glass of water, which they would give you for free. In essence, you’d be taking money away from the company.

Arizona native Adam M. Smith decided to do just that. But he took it much further. He lashed out at the employee (who had nothing to do with the politics of the company’s executives)… and recorded the exchange:

*sigh*

Could that be any more cringe-worthy?

As I wrote then, I just felt bad for the employee. She handled the situation perfectly — she did her job, remained as neutral as possible, and tried to explain how the company didn’t discriminate against gay customers (which is true)… and Smith came off as a heartless bully. Even if Chick-fil-A had a problem, this employee had nothing to do with it and Smith was wrongly taking his anger out on her. She showed far more class than he did.

Even Jon Stewart called Smith a dick for his actions:

That was only the beginning of an awful period in Smith’s life. His well-intentioned protest had completely backfired and he had only himself to blame.

Smith has now written about that whole experience — what led up to it, what happened afterwards, and (more importantly) what he has learned since then — in a new book called Million Dollar Cup of Water: Discovering the Wealth in Authenticity.

In the excerpt below, Smith writes about the immediate aftermath of his Chick-fil-A exchange:

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