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December 15, 2014

The Vicar of Baghdad

By:Richard Handler

Iraq was once home to 1.5 million Christians. Most have fled; some have been killed. There are now an estimated 250,000 Christians left -- many of them displaced in their own country. Of those who left, White assured us, almost all don’t want to return. The Christian community is heading for extinction. Read More
December 9, 2014

The Final Cry

By:Richard Handler

Who knows what goes on in the mind of another, the quiet grievances, the despairing thoughts, the harsh bargain with a universe that has become a source of pain and suffering?
When a Marilyn Monroe or Robin Williams, idols of a celebrity culture, commits suicide, it confounds our very hopes and strivings. Read More
December 3, 2014

God's PR Problem

By:Richard Handler

Context doesn’t ask a question: it states a problem. God does have a PR problem because church attendance is falling. Sheldon Neil reports that the number of Canadians who say they have no religion have risen from 4% to 24% since 1970 -- a six fold increase. 70% of Canadians still identify with a religion, even if they don’t attend services. Plus, urban churches that cater to new immigrants are on an upsurge. So God may not have a PR problem. Individual, especially old churches, might. Read More
November 24, 2014

Driving SMART Philanthropy

By:Gena Rotstein

As we enter into the holiday season, as is typical, we will all be approached to donate. Some of us will look at this as opportunity to give as part of our tax planning process, others will be looking at the holiday giving season with more of a philanthropic approach. Either way, giving should be done with mindfulness. Read More
November 24, 2014

A World of Possibilities

By:Richard Handler

Context’s latest episode on Giving Tuesday rightly extols the merits of giving. After all, we’re entering the Christmas season with it’s endless appeals for donations at the door, mall, office, and online. So Lorna keeps asking a simple but important question: Why is it so hard for people to give? Read More
November 18, 2014

Interpretation and the Islamic State

By:Richard Handler

ISIS claims lives in the name of Islam, while several outspoken Muslims decry their actions. Do we have a problem of interpretation when it comes to the religion of Islam? Read More
November 17, 2014

When the Foundations Shake

By:Mel Finlay

Faith in man-made security is misplaced, as MPs and those working on Parliament Hill have discovered. Determined individuals intent on causing harm can find a way, particularly if they are willing to trade their life for that of their victims. Increased vigilance by all of us, and increased security by our security forces, can reduce the probability of harm; it can never eliminate it. When the foundations are shaking, fear is a natural and often essential immediate reaction, even for Christians. But for people of faith, fear is not the last word. Read More
November 11, 2014

What Is The Value of a Life Misspent?

By:Richard Handler

What’s the value of a misspent life? Christians believe all life is sacred. Western secularists, at their best, believe all lives have value, are guaranteed rights and can live lives of meaning and purpose.
But there are lives that have caused so much chaos, caused so much pain and suffering that to imagine these lives are sacred or valuable, well, I guess you have to be a very charitable Christian. Read More
November 6, 2014

The Greatest Story Ever Told

By:Jacob Sahms

Why does 'story' matter? Why does it matter what we watch on television, take in from movies, or absorb from books? What difference can a story make to our lives in the here and now, and for all eternity?
Story is our lifeblood, whether it is lived out or observed, told over a cup of coffee, or read about on Facebook. Communicating stories connects us to each other, across space and time, in ways we may never fully grasp because they move something in us internally, spiritually. Read More
November 5, 2014

Love and Storytelling

By:Richard Handler

Story has always been a beguiling and plastic term -- a word or a concept that is sufficiently elastic to meet a variety of needs. For a novelist, a story is a journey, a what-if tale with many adventures. Let me tell you a story gives you sequence, surprise, and thrills while it places you in the mind and the experience of another. Read More