Daily Archives: November 1, 2013

“Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #5)”

Settled In Heaven Blog

SIH STSTA ICON

That they may know[there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else

 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].(Isaiah 45:7)

 [Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…”(Habakkuk 1:13) 

 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures.  On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”.  Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says

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New Article: Why Shouldn’t We Trust the Non-Canonical Gospels Attributed to Peter?

When I first started investigating the reliability of the New Testament Gospels, I was fascinated by the ancient non-Canonical stories and legends related to Jesus. While they were written too late to be legitimate eyewitness accounts, they were built on the core truths of Gospels (albeit altered and embellished by authors with specific motivations). There are good reasons to reject these texts, but there is much we can learn about Jesus as well. I’ll be examining a number of non-canonical documents over the next several weeks in an effort to discover how they differ from the reliable accounts, why they were rejected by the Church, and what we can learn about Jesus, in spite of their unreliability. We’ll begin with the work of ancient authors who attempted to legitimize their stories by attributing them to Apostle Peter: – See more at: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/why-shouldnt-we-trust-the-non-canonical-gospels-attributed-to-peter/

New Article: 5 Questions to Ask to See If Your Church Is Dying

Please forgive me for the morbid and depressing title and content. I don’t think posts such as these encourage many of you.

I guess the impetus for writing such an article is the work I am doing to finish my next book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church. I have dealt a lot with the death of churches in my research and writing for that book.

The Research

Before I go further, let me define a dying church. A dying church is a congregation that will close its doors within 20 years if it continues its current trajectory. “Trajectory” includes many variables such as attendance, financial giving, demographic trends, and age of members.

Why would I include such a long period of 20 years in the definition? Simply put, churches hang on to life tenaciously. The members, despite how few remain, are highly reticent to close the doors of the church.

According to my estimates, about one in four American churches, or around 100,000 churches, fit the definition of a dying church. My estimates seem to have been confirmed with a recent study by LifeWay Research. The research team conducted telephone interviews with 1,007 Protestant pastors.* One of the response statements the team asked the pastors was: “I am concerned that the church where I am serving is dying.” Here are the responses:

Read More Here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/5-questions-to-ask-to-see-if-your-church-is-dying-107889/

New Article: Editorial: Remember persecuted Christian children as part of action week

By Dr  Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid

Persecutors of Christians show no mercy towards children. In  fact Christian youngsters are often the most vulnerable when their communities  come under attack or suffer discrimination.

Barnabas Aid is this week holding our Suffering Church  Action Week, with the theme “Children of Courage”, to highlight how Christian  children are affected by persecution and urge our supporters to take action on  their behalf.

Read More Here: http://www.barnabasfund.org/US/News/News-analysis/Editorial-Remember-persecuted-Christian-children-as-part-of-action-week.html

New Post: Persecuted Christian children need sponsors; will you support one?

 

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, South and East Asia, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh

Robbed of their childhood by the terrors of war, the  hardship of poverty and the cruelty of discrimination. Could you be a lifeline for  a suffering Christian child in Syria, Pakistan or Bethlehem?

Christian girls in Syria are particularly vulnerable to kidnap and sexual abuse
Christian girls in Syria are particularly vulnerable to kidnap and sexual abuse

As part of “Children of Courage”, Suffering Church Action  Week (27 October- 3 November), Barnabas Aid is seeking sponsors for thousands  of stricken Christian children.

Read More Here: http://www.barnabasfund.org/US/Free-magazine/Facebook-Latest-need/Persecuted-Christian-children-need-sponsors-will-you-support-one.html

Muslim Dreams and Visions of Jesus

hipandthigh

During the Strange Fire conference, folks were asked to fill out some note cards with questions they wanted us to answer concerning spiritual gifts, charismatics, and other Strange Fiery stuff. We received a ton of questions; I think something like 150 cards with good, thoughtful questions inquiring into various subjects regarding charismatics.

Todd Friel committed us publicly to answering every one, and I am a part of the team slowly responding to them. An official place on the GTY website should pop up soon.

Anyhow, with the group of questions I received, at least 10 or so were asking about the phenomena of Muslims allegedly seeing visions of Jesus, or perhaps having a dream about Him that ultimately brings that Muslim to faith in Christ and the Christian faith.

There is a book about it, there’s a website dedicated to the subject, and Joel Rosenberg is one of…

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New Post: The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon—Free eBook

During the month of November, Reformation Trust is giving away the eBook edition of Steven Lawson’s The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon.

Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher of nineteenth-century London, is remembered today as “the prince of preachers.” However, the strength of Spurgeon’s ministry went far beyond simple rhetorical skill.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/gospel-focus-charles-spurgeon-free-ebook/

New Post: Charles Spurgeon: The Heart of a Soul-Winner

Hailed as the greatest preacher of nineteenth-century England, Charles Haddon Spurgeon is arguably the preeminent preacher of any century. Regarded as the most widely successful expositor of modern times, Spurgeon heads virtually every list of renowned preachers. If John Calvin was the greatest theologian of the church, Jonathan Edwards the greatest philosopher, and George Whitefield the greatest evangelist, Spurgeon surely ranks as its greatest preacher. Never has one man stood in one pulpit, week after week, year after year, for almost four decades, and preached the gospel with greater worldwide success and lasting impact than Spurgeon. To this day, he remains “the Prince of Preachers.”

Through the centuries, expositors such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Calvin, and countless others have committed themselves to preaching in a verse-by-verse style through entire books of the Bible. But this was not Spurgeon’s approach. Though he was “an expository preacher par excellence,” Spurgeon drew his message each week from a different book in the Bible. This free style distinguished Spurgeon from these other great preachers, positioning him, first and foremost, as an evangelistic expositor.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/charles-spurgeon-heart-soul-winner/