Daily Archives: September 23, 2013

Music Video: City on our Knees – TobyMac

If you gotta start somewhere why not here
If you gotta start sometime why not now
If we gotta start somewhere I say here
If we gotta start sometime I say now
Through the fog there is hope in the distance
From cathedrals to third world missions
Love will fall to the earth like a crashing wave

Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide in a beautiful display
It’s all up tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

If you gotta start somewhere why not here
If you gotta start sometime why not now
If we gotta start somewhere I say here
If we gotta start sometime I say now
Through the fog there is hope in the distance
From cathedrals to third world missions
Love will fall to the earth like a crashing wave

Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide in a beautiful display
It’s all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
Oh-oh-oh

Tonight could last forever
We are one choice from together
Tonight could last forever
Ooh
Tonight could last forever
We are one choice from together
As family
We’re family
Oh Tonight could last forever
We are one choice from together
You and me
Ya, you and me
Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide
In a glorious display
Cuz its all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
Oh oh oh
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
Oh oh oh
If we gotta start somewhere why not here
If we gotta start sometime why not now

“Writing Under the Influence”

Steak and a Bible

My concerns over the book, Jesus Calling, as well as Sarah Young’s many other books have been well established here at Steak and a Bible. But its influence continues to grow and so I’m glad to see that Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers for the New Age has weighed in about the book.

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Re-Defining the Emergent Movement

Emergent MovementToday we are taking a big-picture look at the Emergent Movement. Some people believe that this movement died out a few years ago, but that assumption could not be further from the truth. In fact, we’re seeing it re-emerge into something even more dangerous, and more palatable for mainline churches to accept.

We’re going to share some resources for you to understand where this movement has been, and where it is now going.

Read More Here: http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/09/re-defining-the-emergent-movement/

Questions about Parables: What Is the Meaning of the Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26–29)?

The first thing we notice about this parable is its similarity to the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:2–9. In some ways, this parable expands on Jesus’ teaching of how the “good soil” (a receptive heart) receives the “seed” (the Word of God).

In the Parable of the Growing Seed, Jesus tells of a man who scatters seed on the ground and then allows nature to take its course. As the man who sowed the seed goes about his business day by day, the seed begins to have an effect. First, the seed sprouts; then it produces a stalk and leaves, then a head of grain, and, finally, fully developed kernels in the head. Jesus emphasizes that all of this happens without the man’s help. The man who scattered the seed cannot even fully understand how it happens—it is simply the work of nature. “All by itself the soil produces” (verse 28).

The parable ends with a harvest. As soon as the grain is ripe, the sickle is employed, and the seed is harvested. This happens at just the right time.

Jesus did not explain this parable, as He did some others. Instead, He left it to us to understand its meaning. Taking the seed to be the Word of God, as in Mark 4:14, we can interpret the growth of the plants as the working of God’s Word in individual hearts. The fact that the crop grows without the farmer’s intervention means that can God accomplish His purposes even when we are absent or unaware of what He’s doing. The goal is the ripened grain. At the proper time, the Word will bring forth its fruit, and the Lord of the harvest (Luke 10:2) will be glorified.

The truth of this parable is well illustrated in the growth of the early church: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Just like a farmer cannot force a crop to grow, an evangelist cannot force spiritual life or growth on others.

To summarize the point of the Parable of the Growing Seed: “The way God uses His Word in the heart of an individual is mysterious and completely independent of human effort.” May we be faithful in “sowing the seed,” praying for a harvest, and leaving the results to the Lord![1]

 


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

Questions about the Bible: What Is the Shepherd of Hermas and Should It Be in the Bible?

“The Shepherd of Hermas” was a religious literary work of the second and third centuries and was considered a valuable book by many early Christians. “The Shepherd of Hermas” was even considered canonical Scripture by some of the early church fathers such as Irenaeus during the period in which the New Testament was being canonized. Basically, it was written as a call to repentance and adherence to a strict moralistic life.

The author of “The Shepherd of Hermas” is not known. However, a number of ancient sources attribute the work to a Hermas who was a brother of Pius I, the Bishop of Rome from 140 to 155. In the story, Hermas speaks of his life and the development of Christian virtues as he tells of his story as a freed Christian slave. Throughout the book Hermas purports to be just a simple man whose desire is to be devout and diligent in all that he does. The teaching point of the book is mostly ethical, not theological. The work is divided into three main sections with the first section describing five visions, the second section presenting 12 mandates, and the last section composed of ten parables, sometimes referred to as similitudes.

The story involves Hermas, who becomes a slave to a woman named Rhoda. Later, after she had given Hermas his freedom, their paths cross again. Hermas has a vision in which Rhoda appears asking for his forgiveness regarding her, believing he had certain impure thoughts. It is in this vision that an old woman helps him by telling him to do penance as well as make right the sins of his people. In another vision Hermas is visited by an angel of repentance who emerges as a shepherd and delivers certain laws and mandates that become instrumental in the establishments of early Christian ethics. These mandates also appeared in visions as the angel-like shepherd gives his instructions.

“The Shepherd of Hermas” is also significant in that some of its visions definitely seem to subscribe to a premillennial understanding of the end times. Some scholars even see hints of pretribulationism in the “Shepherd of Hermas.” The existence of premillennial thinking in a Christian work from the second or third century gives credence to premillennial theologians’ arguments against the idea that amillennialism was the universally held belief in the early church.

But why isn’t “The Shepherd of Hermas” in the Bible? Was it not considered an “inspired book”? Is it considered a “lost book” of the Bible? We must first realize that many biblical scholars acknowledge the existence of false writings that have never been seriously considered for inclusion in the Bible. Examples are “The Assumption of Moses” and”The Book of Enoch.” However, Bible scholars concur that they are not inspired writings. The “Shepherd of Hermas” was thought by some to be authoritative, so it hovered around the canon for some time before it was, at the leading of the Holy Spirit, dismissed.[1]

 


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

Questions about Angels and Demons: How Can Demonic Strongholds Be Overcome?

Before demonic strongholds can be overcome, it must be understood exactly what demonic strongholds are. The word “stronghold” appears only once in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 10:4) and the Greek word translated “stronghold” means a fortification such as a castle. In this passage, the Apostle Paul is instructing the church at Corinth on how to fight against and “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (v. 5). They do this, not by using the weapons of the world, but by “divine power.” Lofty arguments and opinions are the result of pride and evil and vain imaginations, the very strongholds in which demons reside. This, then, is the essence of demonic warfare—the power of God to overcome the strongholds of demons.

In Ephesians 6:10–18, Paul describes the resources that God makes available to His followers—the armor of God. Here we are told how, in an attitude of humility and dependence, we are to avail ourselves of God’s resources. Note that we are to be strong “in the Lord” and “in the power of His might.” We do not take on demonic strongholds in our own strength. We protect ourselves with the first five pieces of defensive armor and wield the one offensive weapon—the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. In verses 12 and 13 of Ephesians 6, Paul continues, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

One of the habits that every believer needs to develop is to focus on Ephesians 6:10–18 and commit themselves to “get dressed” spiritually every day. It would go a long way to giving victory over the devil and his schemes. Here he states that while we walk in the flesh (we are living and breathing in this human body), we do not war according to the flesh (we can’t fight spiritual battles with fleshly weapons). Instead, as we focus on the resources and weapons of spiritual strength, we can see God give us specific and real victory. No demonic stronghold can withstand Christians wearing the full armor of God, battling with the Word of God, and empowered by His Spirit.[1]

 


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

Obama’s Perfect Storm

Jan’s guest for the entire hour is White House correspondent Bill Koenig. He talks about the “perfect storm” Obama is stirring up and the great consequences to it. Whether it is the debacle in the Middle East or his enthusiastic promotion of the LGBT agenda, there are consequences to recklessness. On inauguration day, 2009, the homosexual agenda was posted to the White House Web site and now all levels of his administration are being led by homosexuals who celebrate the deviant lifestyle. What are the potential consequences to America and what can righteous believers do to counter this?

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Sold out! Christian film rocks nation

Kirk Cameron makes box office waves with ‘Unstoppable’

When actor and evangelist Kirk Cameron proposed to ask, “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?” through his new movie called “Unstoppable,” the hungry response sold out theaters across the country.

Now Cameron is announcing “Unstoppable,” based on the heart cry of one of humanity’s most painful questions, is scheduling a debut performance to try to keep up with demand.

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The Rise of the Paranormal – Church & Culture Blog

A new study has been released in the U.K. on the growing belief in ghosts. More than half of those taking part (52%) said they believed in the supernatural, up markedly from similar studies in 2005 and 2009 (both hovered around 40%).

Even more revealing? One in five claimed to have had some kind of paranormal experience.

The supernatural has become big business in the U.K. in recent years, with the popularity of television shows like Most Haunted, and the spread of so-called “ghost walks” around supposedly haunted parts of city centers. English Heritage and the National Trust have both started to identify which of their properties are said to be occupied by ghosts in order to attract more visitors.

It’s a similar story in the United States.

Beyond the rage of the Twilight series of books and movies, NBC is getting ready to unveil a $2 million per episode Downtown Abbey-ish series on Dracula. Fox’s main show for the fall is an updated take on Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horsemen. And in case you weren’t paying attention, the second installment of the Insidious series claimed the top spot last weekend at the box office.

It seems our interest in the paranormal knows few bounds.

Read More Here