Daily Archives: December 2, 2013

More Depraved Driscoll-ian Plagiarism

Zwinglius Redivivus

With more than plenty of evidence.

Another example of uncited material has been uncovered in a book written by Pastor Mark Driscoll. In this case, it occurred in the book he and his wife, Grace, wrote in 2012, called“Real Marriage” (Published by Thomas Nelson; 2012). This example first was noticed and cited by the blog Wenatchee the Hatchet on Sept. 30, 2013:

(H/Thttp://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/09/real-marriage-chapter-7-part-2.html)

And

The following is an excerpt from Mark Driscoll’s 2013 book, “Who Do You Think You Are?” (Published by Thomas Nelson; 2013)

In Chapter 12, entitled “I Am Forgiven,” on pages 163-166, Pastor Driscoll writes two sections on forgiveness, with the subheads: “Seven Things Forgiveness Is” and “Seven Things Forgiveness is Not.”

Roughly two years before, on May 20 and May 21, 2011, church planter and pastor Ron Edmondson wrote two blog articles, which he posted at www.RonEdmondson.com, with the exact same titles and remarkably similar content…

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What Divides Us?

… “The beginning of the end of violence comes when we see the humanity in the other. The beginning of violence comes when we forget the humanity in the other.”

Closeness goes with empathy, dignity, reconciliation, peace and, ultimately, love.

Distance goes with objectification, labels, animosity, hatred and, ultimately, violence and war.

In the most extreme of cases, the parents in this Israeli-Palestinian parent circle live out love. They don’t talk about peace, they make peace. They make peace with their choices. They make peace with their comfort and support of each other. They make peace every time they have to explain to family and community members why they are not seeking revenge. They make peace every time they choose to channel the hurt and pain not into destroying, but creating beauty.

As this father said in broken and heavily accented English, I don’t want to try revenge. Revenge doesn’t work.

After a while, I began to think of my life against the backdrop of their story. I began to think about my family, my friends and my community against this story of reconciliation and redemption.

What divides us?

What separates people who were once friends?

Is it simply distance? Have we generalized or assumed the other person’s story or motives? Have we stopped seeing their humanity—their hurt—and substituted only their guilt, their wrong and the justice we seek from them?

Have we let little things create so much space that our insecurities and imagination have created a monster that doesn’t exist?

Have we returned perceived slights with violence of our own? Have we traded slander received with gossip of our own?

Have we walked away from peace talks because we are right, we deserve justice, we are entitled to pity, being the victim, perpetuating hostility?

Read More Here: http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/171559-what-divides-us.html

Healing for the Holidays

Holidays… They’re supposed to make us think of words like “Thankful,” “Merry,” and “Happy.” We’re supposed to associate holidays with a phrase like “Home for the Holidays!” But… what if a loved one is not coming home this holiday season? What if death, divorce, distance, or family discord causes us to associate the holidays with words and feelings like “Loss,” “Depression,” “Loneliness,”  “Anxiety,” “Painful Memories,” and “Stress”?  Continue reading →

Seven Ways Pastoring Has Changed in Thirty Years

We are out of clichés about change or the pace of change. Sometimes we forget how much particular vocations have changed in a short time. In fact, in thirty years pastoring has changed in ways we likely would have never predicted or imagined.

In early 1984, I began serving as a pastor for the first time. I would ultimately serve four churches as a pastor and nine churches as an interim pastor. In 1984 I was a young 28-year-old pastor without a clue. Today I am 58-years-old, and I’m still not sure I have a clue. So much has changed. So much has changed in pastoring in just thirty years. Let’s look at major ways the pastorate has changed in that time.

Read More Here: http://thomrainer.com/2013/12/02/seven-ways-pastoring-has-changed-in-thirty-years/

Are You Trusting In Your Own Ability to Persevere?

Those who think they can lose their salvation are not trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation but partly trusting in their own righteousness. Such teaching would have you believe that the sacrifice of Jesus was insufficient to make his people perfect forever (Heb 10:14) or save them to the uttermost (Heb 7:25) [i.e. that Jesus is not enough]. … such that, in addition to what Christ did, they must join their own ability to persevere in order to maintain their own just standing before God. The book of Hebrews and Galatians severely warns against this and all teaching that rejects the sufficiency of Christ alone (Heb 6 & 10; Gal 3:3).

Source: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2013/12/are_you_trusting_in_your_own_a.php

The Moral and Immoral Both Alienated from God

Both moral and immoral people are alienated from God. God is offended by both. This may be counter-intuitive but moral people are lost because of their “goodness”. Why? It is often the case that goodness keeps people from God. In fact many people avoid Jesus by avoiding sin because they are trying to become their own saviors … attempting to justify themselves. But the gospel is neither moralism nor relativism so it is equally offensive to the moral and the irreligious. But Christ calls us to repent of both our good and bad works, for we have no righteousness of our own.

Read More Here: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2013/12/the_moral_and_immoral_both_ali.php

Shepherd/Guardian

Posted by EU Times on Dec 1st, 2013

http://www.eutimes.net/2013/12/americans-celebrate-last-year-as-free-people/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheEuropeanUnionTimes+%28The+European+Union+Times%29

The global intelligence company Stratfor (Get tomorrow’s intelligence, not yesterday’s news.) recently published a series of 2014 predictive articles for its most exclusive clients which, in essence, warned that the United Stateswould, by the end of next year, “cease to exist in all but name only” due to three looming threats: 1.) A potential false flag attack by America’s oligarchy (a government in which a small group exercises control, esp. for corrupt and selfish purposes) upon its citizens to solidify its rule; 2.) The signing of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that would replace American law with corporate rules thus destroying forever individual rights and privacy; and 3.) A US Supreme Court victory for the Obama administration in the Bond v. United States case that would forever allow international treaties to overrule American laws.

For those privileged few able to afford the nearly…

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Debatable: Is Christian Hip Hop Ungodly?

The Issue: In a discussion at a recent conference sponsored by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, a group of panelists laid out their arguments for why they believe Christian hip hop is detrimental to the kind of life God is pleased with. Numerous Christian pastors and thought leaders responded to the panel and defended the legitimacy of Reformed hip hop and the artists within the genre.

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/12/02/debatable-is-christian-hip-hop-ungodly/

Fire! Fire!

Truth in Grace

lakeoffire

There is such a place as hell. Let no one deceive you with vain words. What people do not like, they try hard not to believe. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge the world, He will punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment: all who are found unrepentant and unbelieving, all who have clung to sin, all who are stuck to the world, and all who have set their affections on things below. All who are without Christ shall come to an awful end. Whosoever is not written in the book of life shall be “cast into the lake of fire.” [Rev 20:15]

I call on all who profess to believe the Bible, to be on their guard.

1) Some do not believe there is any hell at all. They think it impossible there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with…

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Questions about Jesus Christ: What Is the Meaning and Significance of the Crown of Thorns?

After Jesus’ sham trials and subsequent flogging, and before He was crucified, the Roman soldiers “twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked Him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said” (Matthew 27:29; see also John 19:2–5). While a crown of thorns would be exceedingly painful, the crown of thorns was more about mockery than it was about pain. Here was the “King of the Jews” being beaten, spit upon, and insulted by presumably low-level Roman soldiers. The crown of thorns was the finalizing of their mockery, taking a symbol of royalty/majesty, a crown, and turning it into something painful and degrading.

For Christians, the crown of thorns is a reminder of two things: (1) Jesus was, and is, indeed a king. One day, the entire universe will bow to Jesus as the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). What the Roman soldiers meant as a mockery, was in fact a picture of Christ’s two roles, first of suffering servant (Isaiah 53), and second of conquering Messiah-King (Revelation 19). (2) Jesus was willing to endure the pain, the insults, and the shame, all on our account. The crown of thorns, and the suffering that went with it, are long gone, and Jesus has now received the crown of which He is worthy. “But we see Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9, emphasis added).

There is further symbolism embodied in the crown of thorns. When Adam and Eve sinned, bringing evil and a curse upon the world, part of the curse upon humanity was “… cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you …” (Genesis 3:17–18, emphasis added). The Roman soldiers unknowingly took an object of the curse, and fashioned it into a crown for the one who would deliver us from that curse. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’ ” (Galatians 3:13). Christ, in His perfect atoning sacrifice, has delivered us from the curse of sin, of which a thorn is a symbol. While intended to be a mockery, the crown of thorns was, in fact, an excellent symbol of who Jesus is and what He came to accomplish.[1]

 


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

Muslim Questions: Should Muslims Read the Gospel of Barnabas as the True Story of Isa?

Evidence reveals that the Gospel of Barnabas was most likely written by a fifteenth-century European who wrote inaccurately about the life of Jesus.

Beliefs about Jesus vary widely between Christians and Muslims because their sources differ. While Muslims often get their impression of Jesus from the Gospel of Barnabas, Christians trust the Gospels found in the Bible. Since the Gospel of Barnabas differs significantly from the Gospels of the Bible, one side must be false. Let’s first examine whether the Gospel of Barnabas is an accurate biography of Jesus.

The author: not Barnabas
The author of the Gospel of Barnabas could not have been the biblical Barnabas. The real Barnabas was a generous encourager of the early church (Acts 4:36–37). He was not one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus as the Gospel of Barnabas mistakenly claims. Barnabas was the one who persuaded the apostles that Paul had changed from a persecutor of the church to a follower of Jesus (Acts 9:27). The true Barnabas was a missionary, telling the good news of Jesus (Acts 13:2).

Date of authorship: the Middle Ages
If the Gospel of Barnabas were written in the first century, it would have been quoted in other documents of the same time period. It is not cited, however, a single time in works of either the church fathers or Muslim clerics until the fifteenth century. Those who claim the early authorship of the Gospel of Barnabas may be referring to the Epistle of Barnabas—a first-century book, though not divinely inspired.

A reading of the Gospel of Barnabas clearly shows that it was written neither in Jesus’ time nor shortly thereafter, as alleged. It contains far too many historical errors. The Gospel of Barnabas contains quotations from Dante Alighieri, references to an edict from Pope Boniface, and descriptions of feudalism. Therefore, scholars place the date of authorship around the fifteenth century.

Legitimacy: full of errors
The descriptions of Palestine show that the author of the Gospel of Barnabas was not familiar with its geography. He alleged that Jesus sailed to Nazareth—an inland city.

The Gospel of Barnabas says that Jesus was born when Pilate was governor, but history records Pilate becoming governor in A.D. 26 or 27—long after Jesus’ birth.

Trustworthy scholars have exposed the Gospel of Barnabas as a counterfeit. Therefore, it cannot be trusted as the biography of Jesus’ life.

What is the true story of Jesus?
If not the Gospel of Barnabas, where can you find the truth about Jesus? The Bible contains four Gospels that illustrate Christ from four divinely inspired perspectives. Evidence has consistently affirmed the Gospels as authentic and accurate.

Don’t be ashamed to read about the Lord Jesus. The Bible says, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8–10; see also Romans 1:16–17).

For more information about the gospel of Barnabas, read this external link: http://answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/barnabas.html[1]

 


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

Questions about Humanity: What Is the Heart?

First, we’ll state the obvious: this article is not about the heart as a vital organ, a muscle that pumps blood throughout the body. Neither is this article concerned with romantic, philosophical, or literary definitions.

Instead, we’ll focus on what the Bible has to say about the heart. The Bible mentions the human heart almost 300 times. In essence, this is what it says: the heart is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell.

Before we look at the human heart, we’ll mention that, since God has emotions and desires, He, too, can be said to have a “heart.” We have a heart because God does. David was a man “after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). And God blesses His people with leaders who know and follow His heart (1 Samuel 2:35; Jeremiah 3:15).

The human heart, in its natural condition, is evil, treacherous and deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” In other words, the Fall has affected us at the deepest level; our mind, emotions and desires have been tainted by sin—and we are blind to just how pervasive the problem is.

We may not understand our own hearts, but God does. He “knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21; see also 1 Corinthians 14:25). Jesus “knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man” (John 2:24–25). Based on His knowledge of the heart, God can judge righteously: “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).

Jesus pointed out the fallen condition of our hearts in Mark 7:21–23: “From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.” Our biggest problem is not external but internal; all of us have a heart problem.

In order for a person to be saved, then, the heart must be changed. This only happens by the power of God in response to faith. “With the heart one believes unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10). In His grace, God can create a new heart within us (Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26). He promises to “revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).

God’s work of creating a new heart within us involves testing our hearts (Psalm 17:3; Deuteronomy 8:2) and filling our hearts with new ideas, new wisdom, and new desires (Nehemiah 7:5; 1 Kings 10:24; 2 Corinthians 8:16).

The heart is the core of our being, and the Bible sets high importance on keeping our hearts pure: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).[1]

 


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

15 Signs That We Are Near The Peak Of An Absolutely Massive Stock Market Bubble

One of the men that won the Nobel Prize for economics this year says that “bubbles look like this” and that he is “most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market.” But you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner to see what is happening. It should be glaringly apparent to anyone with half a brain. The financial markets have been soaring while the overall economy has been stagnating. Reckless injections of liquidity into the financial system by the Federal Reserve have pumped up stock prices to ridiculous extremes, and people are becoming concerned. In fact, Google searches for the term “stock bubble” are now at the highest level that we have seen since November 2007. Despite assurances from the mainstream media and the Federal Reserve that everything is just fine, many Americans are beginning to realize that we have seen this movie before. We saw it during the dotcom bubble, and we saw it during the lead up to the horrible financial crisis of 2008. So precisely when will the bubble burst this time? Nobody knows for sure, but without a doubt this irrational financial bubble will burst at some point. Remember, a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts, and the following are 15 signs that we are near the peak of an absolutely massive stock market bubble… (Read More….)

Iran is happy. Next up: The Palestinians

In the inverted worldview of President Barack Obama, the problem with Iran’s nuclear program was most of all that Israel threatened to attack it. Such an event would have been a catastrophe for Obama, who has been “outreaching” to Iran for the entirety of his term, and negotiating with the Iranian regime behind the backs of all of America’s presumed allies for more than a year. With a complete drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq accomplished, and one in Afghanistan near complete, a new broader conflict in the region that an Israeli attack might precipitate, drawing Americans back into the fighting, had to be prevented.

Read More Here

The Vatican’s Journey From Anti-Communism to Anti-Capitalism

Pope Francis is once again shaking things up in the Catholic Church. On Tuesday, he issued his first “apostolic exhortation,” declaring a new enemy for the Catholic Church: modern capitalism. “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” he wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

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A Message from the Ghost of Neville Chamberlain

America must encourage the entire world to continue to give in to anyone who threatens force, and it should consider rescinding foreign aid as punishment for any country that challenges Iran. This will begin to restore Iranian honor, which is so important in that part of the world. America and the world must meet all the demands of the Iranian people in full. In addition, Iran must be offered many billions of dollars for even discussing its nuclear program. Today, consumer interests dominate the world, and the Islamist activists of the earth will surely make peace in exchange for profits from participating in global trade.

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Apathy Like I’ve Never Seen It Before

Most people who consider themselves to be students of Bible prophecy are familiar with the signs of the times. Some of the most common signs are warfare, earthquakes, floods, immorality or any political activity related to Israel. Of course the Bible warns us that these precursors to the Tribulation hour will increase—as we get closer to the end.

Most people don’t realize that apathy is the greatest indication of the last days. You could almost call it the anti-sign.

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