Daily Archives: August 30, 2013

Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That (30 August 2013)

 

  • Because it’s always funny to watch someone being chased by a dinosaur.
  • Here’s some interesting stats on homeschoolers.
  • This military chaplain is offended by prayers to Jesus because God should be generic, you know. Right. . .
  • Free ESV Audio Bible!
  • Fred Butler has compiled some resources on cessationism.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Normally I’d try to conjure up a witty, semi-snarky remark to something like this, but let’s face it, this is just plain sad.
  • Maybe this is why I crave watermelon after a workout.
  • Pyromaniacs and the gift of Parbar.
  • What the Hijabi did and didn’t witness.
  • “Trinity Community Church in Minneapolis made history on Sunday by ordaining the first-ever openly gay minister at a Presbyterian church in Minnesota.”
  • Everything I ever needed to know about life I learned from television. Okay, not really. Not at all, actually. But let’s face it, shows like The Brady Bunch really did help us through our childhood. Where else would we have learned not to play ball in the house?
  • If you don’t follow me on Twitter, first of all, what’s wrong with you? Secondly, this is what I’m asking for today, so feel free to chime in using the comment section below.
  • Feminism and exegetical mayhem.
  • Um, ew. There’s really no other, more eloquent way to say it.
  • Here’s a little LOL to offset that last link.
  • Be prepared to answer skeptics.
  • This is an important article by Pastor Dennis McBride addressing all of the alleged Muslim dreams and visions of “Jesus.”
  • Pastor Steve Lawson on Luke 16:19–24 and preaching in light of eternity:

 

Source: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/08/this-n-that_30.html

Music Video: Follow You – Leeland & Brandon Heath

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I’ll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
To the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
‘Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was she’d
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I’ll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.
(X2)

I give all myself.
I give all myself
I give all myself… to you.

And I give all myself.
Yes, I give all myself.
And I give all myself… to you.

And I’ll follow you into the homes that are broken
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.
(X2)

The Sheer Weightlessness of So Many Sermons—Why Expository Preaching Matters

If preaching is central to Christian worship, what kind of preaching are we talking about? The sheer weightlessness of much contemporary preaching is a severe indictment of our superficial Christianity. When the pulpit ministry lacks substance, the church is severed from the word of God, and its health and faithfulness are immediately diminished.

Many evangelicals are seduced by the proponents of topical and narrative preaching. The declarative force of Scripture is blunted by a demand for story, and the textual shape of the Bible is supplanted by topical considerations. In many pulpits, the Bible, if referenced at all, becomes merely a source for pithy aphorisms or convenient narratives.

Read More Here: http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/08/21/the-sheer-weightlessness-of-so-many-sermons-why-expository-preaching-matters/

The “Messy Middle”: Many Evangelicals Are Ambivalent about Homosexuality and Civil Unions for Gays, Baylor Study Shows

WACO, Texas (Aug. 12, 2013) — Tolerance toward gays and lesbians is growing within the evangelical community — long a stronghold against homosexuality —  with many expressing ambivalence, according to a Baylor University study.

The emerging voice of the so-called “Messy Middle” — evangelicals who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds but support equal rights such as civil unions for gays — has strong implications for the gay marriage debate, say Baylor researchers, who presented their paper Monday at the American Sociological Association’s 108th annual meeting in New York City.

“As a moral issue, we predict that the opposition to gay civil rights will not have the same staying power as the abortion debate,” said study co-author Brandon Martinez, a sociology researcher in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Read More Here: http://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=131931

Questions about Family / Parenting: What Does the Bible Say about Family?

The concept of family is extremely important in the Bible, both in a physical sense and in a theological sense. The concept of family was introduced in the very beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ ” God’s plan for creation was for men and women to marry and have children. A man and a woman would form a “one-flesh” union through marriage (Genesis 2:24), and they with their children become a family, the essential building block of human society.

We also see early on that family members were to look after and care for one another. When God asks Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain’s response is the flippant “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The implication is that, yes, Cain was expected to be Abel’s keeper and vice versa. Not only was Cain’s murder of his brother an offense against humanity in general, but it was especially egregious because it was the first recorded case of fratricide (murder of one’s sibling).

The Bible has a more communal sense of people and family than is generally held in Western cultures today, where citizens are more individualized than people in the Middle East and definitely more so than the people of the ancient near East. When God saved Noah from the flood, it wasn’t an individual case salvation, but a salvation for him, his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives. In other words, his family was saved (Genesis 6:18). When God called Abraham out of Haran, He called him and his family (Genesis 12:4–5). The sign of the Abrahamic covenant (circumcision) was to be applied to all males within one’s household, whether they were born into the family or are part of the household servant staff (Genesis 17:12–13). In other words, God’s covenant with Abraham was familial, not individual.

The importance of family can be seen in the provisions of the Mosaic covenant. For example, two of the Ten Commandments deal with maintaining the cohesiveness of the family. The fifth commandment regarding honoring parents is meant to preserve the authority of parents in family matters, and the seventh commandment prohibiting adultery protects the sanctity of marriage. From these two commandments flow all of the various other stipulations in the Mosaic Law which seek to protect marriage and the family. The health of the family was so important to God that it was codified in the national covenant of Israel.

This is not solely an Old Testament phenomenon. The New Testament makes many of the same commands and prohibitions. Jesus speaks on the sanctity of marriage and against frivolous divorce in Matthew 19. The Apostle Paul talks about what Christian homes should look like when he gives the twin commands of “children, obey your parents” and “parents, don’t provoke your children” in Ephesians 6:1–4 and Colossians 3:20–21. Furthermore, we see similar New Testament concepts regarding the importance of family in the process of salvation in the book of Acts when on two separate occasions during Paul’s second missionary journey, entire households were baptized at the conversion of one individual (Acts 16:11–15, 16:31–33). This is not to condone infant baptism or baptismal regeneration (i.e., that baptism confers salvation), but it is interesting to note that just as the Old Testament sign of the covenant (circumcision) was applied to whole families, so also the New Testament sign of the covenant (baptism) was applied to entire households. We can make an argument that when God saves an individual, His desire (from a moral/revealed-will perspective) is for the family to be saved. Clearly, God’s desire isn’t just to save isolated individuals, but entire households. In 1 Corinthians 7, the unbelieving spouse is sanctified through the believing spouse, meaning, among other things, that the unbelieving spouse is in a position to be saved through the witness of the believing spouse.

From a covenant perspective, membership in the covenant community is more communal than individualistic. In the case of Lydia and the Philippian jailer, their families/households were baptized and made part of the church community. Since we know that baptism doesn’t confer salvation, which is only by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), we can assume that not all were saved, but all were included into the community of believers. Lydia’s and the jailer’s salvation didn’t break up their families. We know that salvation can be a strain on a family, but God’s intent isn’t to break up families over the issue of salvation. Lydia and the jailer weren’t commanded to come out and be separate from their unbelieving families; rather, the sign of the covenant (baptism) was applied to all members in the household. The families were sanctified (set apart) and called into the community of believers.

Let’s now turn our attention to the theological concept of family. During His three-year ministry, Jesus shattered some prevailing notions of what it meant to be part of a family: “While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ He replied to him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’ ” (Matthew 12:46–50). Now we must clear up some misconceptions with this passage. Jesus is not saying that biological family isn’t important; He is not dismissing His mother and brothers. What He is doing is making the clear theological point that in the Kingdom of Heaven, the most important family connection is spiritual, not physical. This is a truth made explicitly clear in John’s Gospel, when the evangelist says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12–13).

The parallels are quite clear. When we are born physically, we’re born into a physical family, but when we are “born again,” we are born into a spiritual family. To use Pauline language, we are adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15). When we are adopted into God’s spiritual family, the Church, God becomes our Father and Jesus our Brother. This spiritual family is not bound by ethnicity, gender or social standing. As Paul says, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26–29).

So what does the Bible say about family? The physical family is the most important building block to human society, and as such, it should be nurtured and protected. But more important than that is the new creation that God is making in Christ, which is comprised of a spiritual family, the Church, made up of all people who call upon the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. This is a family drawn “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9), and the defining characteristic of this spiritual family is love for one another: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Theology: What Is Perichoresis?

The word “perichoresis” comes from two Greek words, peri, which means “around” and chorea, which means “dance.” Perichoresis is a theological term referring to the mutual indwelling and intersecting of the three persons of the Godhead and, if anything, helps in some ways to better clarify the concept of the Trinity. It is a term that expresses intimacy between the persons of the Godhead.

Perichoresis has been called the “divine dance,” that profound union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit that has gone on since eternity past, goes on now, and will go on forever, except that the dance of eternity will have a select audience—those whom the Father has foreknown, the Son has redeemed, and the Spirit has enlivened and sanctified. Perichoresis is a fellowship of three co-equal beings perfectly embraced in love and harmony and expressing an intimacy that no one can humanly comprehend. The Father loves the Son by means of the Spirit’s procession and the Son loves the Father by the same means. The Spirit loves both the Father and the Son and eternally proceeds from the Father and Son.

John 16:13–15 best expresses perichoresis in terms of God’s glory. Jesus promises His disciples that the Spirit, when He comes, would reveal the truth of the Son to His followers, and this truth is from the Father. Through this process, all three will be glorified. There is nothing that separates the mystical dance of perichoresis, but it can be imagined as a Venn diagram showing three groups or circles intersecting in the center with each circle intersecting the others perfectly and multidimensionally, as they rotate or “dance” about a common center of divine love.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: What Is the Significance of Unleavened Bread?

The Bible tells us that the Israelites were to eat only unleavened bread every year during Passover as a commemoration of the Exodus from Egyptian bondage. Since the children of Israel left Egypt hastily, they did not have time for the bread to rise, so it was made on that very first Passover without leaven, also known as yeast. In describing this bread and why it was eaten, the Bible informs us of the following: “Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt” (Deuteronomy 16:3). Further commands regarding the eating of unleavened bread are found in Exodus 12:8; 29:2; and Numbers 9:11. To this day, in Jewish homes, the Passover celebration includes unleavened bread.

According to the Hebrew lexicon, the term “unleavened bread” is derived from the word matzoh, which means “bread or cake without leaven.” The lexicon also states that matzoh is in turn derived from a word which means “to drain out or suck.” In referring to this second Hebrew word, the lexicon states, “In the sense of greedily devouring for sweetness.” So it is quite possible that unleavened bread, while it may have been heavy and flat, may also have been sweet to the taste.

In the Bible, leaven is almost always symbolic of sin. Like leaven which permeates the whole lump of dough, sin will spread in a person, a church or a nation, eventually overwhelming and bringing its participants into its bondage and eventually to death. Romans 6:23 tell us that “the wages of sin is death,” which is God’s judgment for sin, and this is the reason that Christ died—to provide a way out of this judgment for sin if man will repent of his sins, accept Christ as his Passover sacrifice, and have his heart changed so that he can conform his life to what God commands.

Whenever a little bit of sin in a person or a church is permitted, overlooked, and compromised, it works much like leaven in bread. It will eventually leaven the whole lump, affecting the whole church or the whole world (Galatians 5:9). This permitted sin will lead to other sins and will eventually draw a person or church completely outside of the will and favor of our Father, and our Savior, Jesus Christ.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Children of Homeschooling Family Seized in Shocking Raid

The Home School Legal Defense Association has released this appalling news:

At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were taken to unknown locations. Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children “anytime soon.”

http://hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/201308300.asp

25 Quotes About The Coming War With Syria That Every American Should See

If Barack Obama is going to attack Syria, he is going to do it without the support of the American people, without the approval of Congress, without the approval of the United Nations, and without the help of the British. Now that the British Parliament has voted against a military strike, the Obama administration is saying that it may take “unilateral action” against Syria. But what good would “a shot across Syria’s bow” actually do? A “limited strike” is not going to bring down the Assad regime and it is certainly not going to end the bloody civil war that has been raging inside Syria. Even if the U.S. eventually removed Assad, the al-Qaeda affiliated rebels that would take power would almost certainly be even worse than Assad. Even in the midst of this bloody civil war, the rebels have taken the time and the effort to massacre entire Christian villages. Why is Barack Obama so obsessed with helping such monsters? There is no good outcome in Syria. The Assad regime is absolutely horrible and the rebels are even worse. Why would we want the U.S. military to get involved in such a mess? (Read More….)

Slogging and Blogging

For some time, prominent Christian bloggers and speakers have been pushing the so-called Palestinian narrative, which says in essence that ”Israel’s occupation” of ”Palestine” is the root cause of the Middle East conflict.

Such bloggers fail to cite the decade-long Iran-Iraq War; Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait; King Hussein’s brutal put-down of the attempted PLO coup, et cetera.

With a new generation arising in evangelical leadership in the U.S., it is imperative that an answer be given to the charges put forth by the “Christian Palestinianists” like Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz author), who allege all sorts of war crimes against Israel…sans the documentation. Recognizing and reacting to such is a hard slog for pro-Israel supporters.

View Article

Chuck Missler and Nephilim Subhumans

Courtesy of Herescope’s well-researched article Apprising Ministries shows you we have real reason for concern about what’s coming out of the camp of the prophecy movement.

CHUCK MISSLER AND NEPHILIM SUBHUMANS