Daily Archives: August 2, 2013

Question: “How should a Christian view logic?”

Answer: Logic is the science of deriving truth through the analysis of facts either  directly (deductively) or indirectly (inductively). Logic takes given  presuppositions, analyzes relationships, compares them with other known factors,  and arrives at a conclusion that identifies a previously unknown fact. Logic is  math with ideas instead of numbers. It is a way of identifying the relationships  between ideas.

Logic appears to be one of the natural laws God put into  place at the creation of the universe. Then, God created mankind with a mind and  the ability to reason. Being a creation of God, logic is a good thing which,  when used properly, can point us toward God. Unfortunately, it is easy to use  logic incorrectly.

The science of logic deals with the relational  formulae of ideas. Like numbers in math, ideas can be plugged into formulae that  show their relationships with other ideas. It is beneficial to understand the  basics of these formulae. Modern arguments are often saturated with emotion,  which can stymie conversation and preclude a useful resolution. Passion can  impede the path to truth. Often, truth is hidden by what is known as  fallacy—argumentation based on false logic and erroneous reasoning. Fallacy is a  bullying tactic, and it doesn’t lend itself to profitable discussion.

Logic in a practical sense includes both the formulae and the facts. The  formulae provide the relationships, but there must be basic ideas available for  the formulae to analyze. Although relativism chips away at even the most basic  assumptions, most people still rely on empirical evidence—data they accumulate  through their senses. Most people are confident making statements such as “I  exist” and “the table exists.” Logic takes such data and derives further truth.  “Anything that has a beginning must have been made by something else” is a  logically deduced statement. Further analysis leads to more complex truths, such  as “God exists.”

Unfortunately,  many debaters inadvertently fall into fallacy because they do not start at the  beginning. That is, they allow a pre-conceived, unproved notion to stand in for  a fact. Evolutionists start with naturalistic evolution as the basis for their  arguments because they do not accept the possibility of miracles. Many religions  reject that Jesus is the God-man because they start with Gnosticism (the  physical is evil; the spiritual is good). Secularists who insist that religion  is an instinctive response to the fear of death start with the assumption that  God does not exist.

The truth is, most people are not going to be  significantly influenced by logic to believe something contrary to their  convictions. Usually, sentiment trumps logic. And, although neither Jesus nor  the apostles were strangers to logic, it was not their primary tool. When Peter  says to be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account  for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter  3:15), he didn’t mean to start with the ontological argument for the existence of  God. He meant to be ready with the story of our own relationship with God and  the hope that has come from it. Someone who bases his beliefs on emotion will  not be able to track a logical conversation. Logic in the hands of a trained  apologist is a powerful tool. But equally convincing is the “empirical evidence”  of the Christian life. We are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14); the darkness  may not like the light, but it cannot deny its existence. “In your teaching show  integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that  those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about  us” (Titus  2:7-8).

Read more:  http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-logic.html

A likeable facade?

English: Evangelical Christians and Baptists c...

Today we are seeing a lot of church models that sadly are leading people away from the purpose of the Church that the Bible tells us to focus on: Equipping the saints (that’s you and me, churchgoers) to go and make disciples. To die to self daily, and pick up our crosses to follow Jesus.

Instead, we focus on making the visible church a likeable institution with sincere people who would never appear to be set apart from society. Unfortunately, society and culture continues to scoff at the church, at Christians and at the Bible. But understand that while we strive to be appealing, the Bible says those who are perishing hate God. What is the proper perspective we should have?

Read More Here: http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/08/a-likeable-facade/

Who Do You Think You Are? – Frank Viola

Earlier this year, I spoke at the 220 Conference in Texas. One of the brothers who was in the audience took an excerpt from one of the talks I delivered and created a video with background music.

If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, this is your heritage and your true identity. Each statement comes from the New Testament.

Read More Here: http://frankviola.org/2013/08/02/who-do-you-think-you-are/

What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ?

The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-abide-christ/

The Remedy to Religious Guilt

Conversion means change. But when we’re converted, we don’t immediately appreciate the thoroughgoing nature of divine grace—that God works in and through us despite our shortcomings. So change can be slow and arduous, especially if you were raised in a religious tradition that strongly emphasizes the role of human merit.

About this experience, I can speak most specifically from my own background, which happens to be Roman Catholic. Like many who convert to Christ and begin worshiping in an evangelical Protestant context, I quickly realized the profound influence that the Catholic vision of salvation exerted upon my religious mind. For instance, perhaps the most common and spiritually injurious issue is the problem of religious guilt. It’s a nagging fear that preoccupies the soul, a root of doubt that questions whether we are truly forgiven in Christ. In bed at night I would often wonder, Has my behavior been good enough to merit divine approval? Like Martin Luther who sought a gracious God, I never knew whether I had produced a sufficient amount of righteousness to be fully accepted.

Throughout his writings, Luther describes his struggle to please God with the German word Anfechtungen. The English language lacks an adequate translation. Sometimes it is rendered “temptation” or “challenge,” but in Luther’s experience Anfechtung included the existential torment of his soul and conscience. Perhaps it is best to let Luther describe it. About his days in the Catholic monastery, he writes:

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/08/02/the-remedy-to-religious-guilt/

When You’re Rick Warren, Christ is the Last Thing on Your Mind

Zwinglius Redivivus

Warren tweets

@RickWarren: 22 Jewish leaders and 16 Muslim leaders of SoCal honored ouy family and church by attending Saddleback last wkend #friendship

What an ego. Even more interesting, the total absence of any mention of God. But why would there be when for Rick it’s all about Rick.

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Question: How do we confront sin in skeptics and not come off as self-righteous?

Response: Important question. Jesus said, “…first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” So how do we take the plank out of our own eye?  Well, the first and most important step someone must take if someone is to even  be considered a Christian at all is to cast away all self-righteousness, pride, and conceit of their own goodness. In light of God’s holiness, they know with certainty that their ONLY hope to be reconciled with God is to recognize themselves as a poor sinner, saved only by the mercy of Christ alone, and not because they have merited God’s favor. Therefore, Christians who persistently act or think as if they were superior to others are living and thinking directly contrary to the most crucial concept involved in becoming a Christian, and as such they may not even be Christians at all. The Bible teaches that all people are sinners, and none can even approach the righteous of God on the basis of their own behavior. So when true Christians who have been humbled by God, tell others that their behavior does not meet God’s holy standards, it is not an attempt show superiority, since we obviously are not superior… but rather to warn them in love of the danger they are bringing to their soul in light of their actions before God. So we come to others both as an equal and as a friend.

Read More Here: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2013/08/question_how_do_we_confront_si.php

Do Not Worry

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

22 Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς [αὐτοῦ]· διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν· μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ τί φάγητε, μηδὲ τῷ σώματι τί ἐνδύσησθε. 23 ἡ γὰρ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος. 24 κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν οὐδὲ θερίζουσιν, οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη, καὶ ὁ θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς· πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν. 25 τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν μεριμνῶν δύναται ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ προσθεῖναι πῆχυν; 26 εἰ οὖν οὐδὲ ἐλάχιστον δύνασθε, τί περὶ τῶν λοιπῶν μεριμνᾶτε; 27 κατανοήσατε τὰ κρίνα πῶς αὐξάνει· οὐ κοπιᾷ οὐδὲ νήθει· λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐδὲ Σολομὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων. 28 εἰ δὲ ἐν ἀγρῷ τὸν χόρτον ὄντα σήμερον καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον ὁ θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέζει, πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς, ὀλιγόπιστοι. 29 καὶ ὑμεῖς μὴ ζητεῖτε τί φάγητε καὶ τί πίητε καὶ μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε· 30 ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου ἐπιζητοῦσιν, ὑμῶν δὲ…

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Gay couple to sue Church for not peforming same sex marriage.

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

The Christian Institute reports

Wealthy gay dad, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, says he and his civil partner Tony will go to court to force churches to host gay weddings.

He told the Essex Chronicle that he will take legal action because “I am still not getting what I want”.

A Government Bill legalising gay marriage passed Parliament recently but it included measures to protect churches from being forced to perform same-sex weddings.

Challenge

Mr Drewitt-Barlow said: “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church.

“It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognise us.”

He added: “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.

“As much as people are saying this…

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Pride; The Sin Behind Many Headlines

In scanning the headlines today, I noticed how there’s an untold story that lay  at the root of so many of the developments in the news—human pride. I’m not  talking about pride in the sense of self-dignity or self-respect, but in the  sense of arrogance, hubris, and haughtiness.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/pride-the-sin-behind-many-headlines-101363/

Why Another Great Real Estate Crash Is Coming

There are very few segments of the U.S. economy that are more heavily affected by interest rates than the real estate market is. When mortgage rates reached all-time low levels late last year, it fueled a little “mini-bubble” in housing which was greatly celebrated by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the tide is now turning. Interest rates are starting to move up steadily, even though the Federal Reserve has been trying very hard to keep that from happening. A few weeks ago, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed may start to “taper” the rate of quantitative easing eventually, the bond market had a conniption and the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries shot up dramatically. In an attempt to calm the market, the Fed stopped all talk of a “taper” and that helped settle things down for a brief period of time. But now the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is starting to rise aggressively again. Today it closed at 2.71 percent, and many analysts believe that it will go much higher. This is important for the housing market, because mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries. And if mortgage rates keep rising like this, another great real estate crash is inevitable. (Read More….)

Liberty’s backlash — why we should be grateful to Edward Snowden – Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Last week, Justin Amash, the two-term libertarian Republican congressman from Michigan, joined with John Conyers, the 25-term liberal Democratic congressman from the same state, to offer an amendment to legislation funding the National Security Agency (NSA). If enacted, the Amash-Conyers amendment would have forced the government’s domestic spies when seeking search warrants to capture Americans’ phone calls, texts and emails first to identify their targets and produce evidence of their terror-related activities before a judge may issue a warrant. The support they garnered had a surprising result that stunned the Washington establishment.
It almost passed.
The final vote, in which the Amash-Conyers amendment was defeated by 205 to 217, was delayed for a few hours by the House Republican leadership, which opposed the measure. The Republican leadership team, in conjunction with President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, needed more time for arm-twisting so as to avoid a humiliating loss.
But the House rank-and-file did succeed in sending a message to the big-government types in both parties: Nearly half of the House of Representatives has had enough of government spying and then lying about it, and understands that spying on every American simply cannot withstand minimal legal scrutiny or basic constitutional analysis.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/08/01/libertys-backlash-why-should-be-grateful-to-edward-snowden/

Who is killing America?

Joseph Farah explains impact of ‘the government-progressive complex’

Let’s think about the social and political and moral changes that have shaken America and ask ourselves: Who did this? Who is killing America?

It’s a good topic for a book. But I’ll try to keep it lean and mean in this short commentary.

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CIA Whistleblowers Warned, “You Don’t Jeopardize Yourself, You Jeopardize Your Family as Well”

Can someone remind me again what the difference between Barack Obama and Whitey Bulger is? This is the Chicago Way and the Chicago Way blends politics and organized crime into one souffle of corruption, fanatical left-wing politics and cheap thuggery.

CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

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How to keep Millennials in the church? Let’s keep church un-cool.

Last week a column on CNN’s Belief Blog titled “Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church” went viral, partially because any time the words “Millennials,” “leaving,” and “church” are combined in a headline, people pay attention.

But why? Why do we care so much about the reasons Millennials are reportedly leaving churches?

I’m a Millennial, but I am weary of everyone caring so much about why Millennials do this or don’t do that. I’m sorry Millennials, but I’m going to have to throw us under the bus here: we do not have everything figured out. And if we expect older generations and well-established institutions to morph to fit our every fickle desire, we do so at our peril.

Read More Here

Is the New Evangelical Liturgy Really an Improvement?

Every church has a liturgy. Traditional congregations have a general order to worship. So do contemporary congregations. So do funky, artistic ones. Church leaders do not have time to reinvent their services every week. Congregations are not capable of learning new forms, new songs, and following a new order every week. Even the most spontaneous and creative church will flounder without some predictability and commonality from week to week. Even the most conscientious pastor or worship leader will eventually settle into a basic template for worship. Every church has a liturgy.

But not every liturgy is as good, or strong, or deep, or biblical, or gospel-centered as every other.

Read More Here

Be Famous For Not Trying to Be Famous

Here is a paradox worth considering: be famous for not trying to be famous. “The grosser manifestation of these sins, egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion, are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy … Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.”

Read More Here

“I Am Not a Monster”—Ariel Castro as Sinner and Sociopath – Albert Mohler, Jr.

In his latest Blog Essay, “‘I Am Not a Monster’—Ariel Castro as Sinner and Sociopath,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses the recent conviction of and testimony by Ariel Castro, who pleaded guilty to 900 criminal counts, including aggravated murder, rape, and kidnapping, and then claimed “I am not a monster. I am a normal person. I am just sick.” So, what is he? How should Christians think of Ariel Castro? Is he just sick? Is he a monster? Could he really be “a normal person”? Dr. Mohler helps Christians think through the categories of sinner, sociopath, and salvation. You can read Dr. Mohler’s full essay here.

Do you really know Jesus? Let’s see about that…

1 John 2:3-6 NIV

“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
This “knowing” Jesus concept also reminds me of the following verse from Matthew:

Matthew 7:21-27 NIV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

And it continues…

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Knowing Jesus means putting his teachings into practice. My prayer is that everyone would truly know and follow Jesus.

So, how well do you know Jesus?

Source: http://www.changingthefaceofchristianity.com/being-like-jesus-christ/do-you-know-jesus/

Pat Robertson on Sex Change Operations: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Any Sin Associated With That’

Christian News Network informs us that:

On his Sunday broadcast of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson shocked a number of viewers in responding to a question about those who decide to have sex change operations.

Robertson’s comments made were during the Q&A segment of the broadcast, as he was fielded the question by co-host Terry Meeuwsen.

“I work with two people who have decided that they are females,” wrote a viewer named David. “I know what the Bible says about homosexuality, but is it wrong to refer to them as females since they have had their gender status changed in the eyes of the law?”

Pat Robertson on Sex Change Operations: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Any Sin Associated With That’