Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

A Directory of Authors (Three NOT Recommended Lists)

Written and Compiled by Chris Lawson

It is no secret these days that Christian bookstore and ministry resource databases are often jam-packed with so-called Christian resources that are actually promoting anything but biblical Christianity. Special care may be taken by bookstore owners and ministry leaders alike to ensure that ministry and business are “in order,” but, when a close look is taken, the sale of spiritually unsafe material abounds. This is the primary reason for these three lists—to help warn and protect you, the reader, and to provide a quick reference guide.

You should know that many of the authors listed here profess to follow or glean from “Jesus,” yet at the same time they assiduously reject the biblical Jesus Christ of Nazareth Who is Savior, Lord, and God. In fact, many of these authors teach the absolute antithesis (opposite) of the historic Christian faith. Books rife with New Age occult teachings and practices abound in many Christian bookstores, and many owners and managers are going to sell them, regardless.

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That ‘Admission’ Just Doesn’t Cut the Mustard, Or Pass the Smell Test, Mars Hill: Mark Driscoll as the New Anthony Wiener

Zwinglius Redivivus

Jonathan Merritt is on top of the Mark Driscoll plagiarism story with something further today-

Mars Hill Church has released a statement regarding plagiarism allegations against pastor Mark Driscoll. “Religion News Service” reported on the initial charges of plagiarism brought to light by syndicated radio host Janet Mefferd. We also reported on additional allegationsMefferd’s apology, and the resignation of Mefferd’s assistant producer. The Driscoll PR team, led by Communications Manager Justin Dean, has stayed mum throughout the ordeal, failing to return emails, phone calls, and text messages from RNS.

The Mars Hill statement was first discovered by Warren Throckmorton at ”Patheos.” It is difficult to find, buried in the “Downloads” section of the “Trial” sermon series page. The statement only address charges that plagiarized material appeared in a booklet on I&II Peter published by Mars Hill Church. It admits “citation errors” but blames a research team for the errors…

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Mandela in Heaven or Hell?

Truth in Grace

nelson-mandela
This last week beginning on December 5, Thursday, the world began to mourn a man who has been considered as one of the greatest men of the 20th and 21st centuries. Sadly, even Christians have lauded this man without bothering to see the truth of what he believed.

The reality is that Nelson Mandela was a Marxist, a Communist, a terrorist, a leader of an organization that used such bizarre and horrific practices known as necklacing in order to achieve his own ends. Necklacing was the use of rubber tires hung around the necks of a victim and set on fire. He was not a man of peace, but a promoter of war and hatred. Further, he hated God and loved the abominations that God hates.

This post in no way can be assumed as a promotion of apartheid because we believe that it was wrong. However, we must remember…

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An Open Letter to @TyndaleHouse Regarding known liar and plagiarist @PastorMark

Mark Driscoll 2Mark Driscoll 2 (Photo credit: jrgordon13)

Updated at the Bottom

As most of you know, Mark Driscoll was caught in the middle of a plagiarism scandal that began with one book and went to other books. Now, he and his publisher (Tyndale House) are in the middle of the scandal of the Christian machine. This post pretty much sums up everything at this point:

Read More Here: http://unsettledchristianity.com/2013/12/an-open-letter-to-tyndalehouse-regarding-known-liar-and-plagiarist-pastormark/

Free ebook-Justification and Regeneration

Reformedontheweb's Blog

jrbook-220x300Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter

Here is some of what you will find in the book:

 

What does the Bible mean when it says that Christians have died to sin? How is it possible for a just God to justify the ungodly without becoming unjust Himself? What is regeneration? What is justification? Why do all men desperately need to be justified? If I have died to sin, why am I still affected by it? As a Christian, am I the new man or he old man or both? What does the Bible mean when it says that Christians have died to the Law? Are Christians still slaves to sin?

 

To download the book click here.

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Dealing with Holiday Loneliness

The holidays are special times of the year set aside for human connectedness with family and friends. When there is relational disconnection, however, holiday loneliness emerges. This overwhelming feeling of loneliness can produce self-pity, bitterness, and depression. God has a remedy for the sorrow of loneliness that is found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue reading →

Marks of a True Apostle: Witness of the Risen Christ – John MacArthur

Titles have meaning. They communicate authority and position, and they depend on the proper credentials. A person can’t simply call himself an army sergeant, a ship’s captain, or a medical doctor just because he likes the sound of the title. And he certainly can’t assume any legitimate authority by self-applying those titles. That is a sure path to confusion, chaos, and disaster.

That’s true in every setting—and particularly the church, where many men and women today have illegitimately laid claim to the title and authority of apostle. To put their claims to the test, we’ve been examining the biblical credentials of apostles.

We’ve already seen in previous posts that the New Testament apostles were chosen by God and appointed by Jesus. Today we’ll look at another of their key credentials—that they were all witnesses of the risen Christ.

The first chapter of Acts gives a fascinating, intimate glimpse of the Body of Christ in its infancy, including a detailed account of how the apostles identified the man who would replace Judas as the twelfth apostle. In verses 21-22, Peter declares that

it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us—beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

According to Peter, the new apostle needed to be someone who was associated with Christ, who had consistently sat under His teaching, and who had witnessed firsthand His ministry and life. It wasn’t enough to know about Christ—the replacement apostle needed to know Him personally. In particular, he needed to have known Christ after His resurrection.

There were two candidates who fit that description, “so they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias” (Acts 1:23). The rest of the apostles prayed for the Lord to reveal His will and then drew lots—a common Old Testament method of determining God’s will (cf. Leviticus 16:8-10; Joshua 7:14; Proverbs 18:18)—which revealed Matthias as the Lord’s choice for the task.

Later in Acts 10:38-41, Peter reasserts the importance of the apostles’ firsthand knowledge of the risen Christ. In his sermon in Cornelius’s household, Peter says:

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

The resurrection was particularly important because it gave credibility to Jesus’ life—it verified that He was who He said He was. So, for the apostles, being eyewitness verifiers of Christ’s resurrection gave heft to their ministry. In fact, the resurrection was the primary theme of apostolic preaching (cf. Acts 2:24; Acts 3:15; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:40; Acts 13:30-37).

And although the apostle Paul did not bear witness to Christ’s full life and ministry—which is likely why he referred to himself as “one untimely born”—he was no less a witness of the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:8). In fact, Paul was made an apostle by virtue of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-8). He didn’t witness Christ’s baptism, His miracles, His teaching, or His crucifixion. But he had met the risen Christ in a powerful and dramatic way that transformed his life and made him fit for apostolic ministry.

The primary duty of the apostles was to bear witness to Christ’s work and claims. In order to do that effectively, they had to be witnesses of His resurrection.

On that simple point of qualification, all modern apostles fall short.

 


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B131209     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Hollow Beauty vs. Heavenly Beauty

Our world bombards us with an image of feminine beauty that’s not even based upon reality. Yet we as women are constantly pressured to pursue that unachievable standard of worldly allure. But when we yield our entire heart, mind, soul, and body to Jesus Christ, we are set free from the need to gain approval from this world. Rather, our value comes from knowing we have been loved and redeemed by the King of all kings.

Read More Here: http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=2146

Questions about Theology: What Is Contextual Theology?

Also known as “enculturation,” contextual theology refers to the manner in which the church in every age tends to adapt its teachings to the culture in which it finds itself. There are many examples of this but perhaps the best is the example found in 1 Corinthians 11:4–7. Paul’s teaching here had to do with head coverings used by men and women. Jewish and Roman men covered their heads, but for a woman not to cover her head was quite unthinkable. The reason for this was mainly “cultural” or in the context of the culture in which they found themselves the time. In the Corinthian temples of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, shrine prostitutes would give themselves “sacrificially” by shaving their heads. As a result, a woman entering a church for worship with a shaven head would cause offense in that culture. Admittedly, if such occurred now, one would assume the baldness was the result of alopecia or other medical condition, not because she was a “shrine” prostitute!

Clearly, Christian teachings from the Bible have to sometimes be interpreted in the context of the culture. Nevertheless, the underlying principles of God’s Word are still the same today as they were when they were written. The principle in the 1 Corinthians passage is the headship of Christ over the body and likewise the headship of the husband over the wife, who should be in submission to him.

In general, the principle of contextual theology has to be applied carefully if the teachings of Christ are to be accepted by any culture. There is a danger that the truth can be accommodated to the culture to the extent that it becomes compromised instead. For example, those cultures that are predisposed to idolatry, such as in Asia and the Far East, can accept Christian teachings to the extent that it becomes acculturated and never truly effectual in turning people back to the one true God, which is commanded by the gospel of Christ Jesus. Thankfully, there is a work of revival ongoing in these lands where many are turning from idolatry, but often this is so ingrained that the effect is that the God of Christianity becomes just another addition to the plethora of deities that is worshipped, and this is sadly wrong.[1]

 


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

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: What Is the Day of Pentecost?

“Pentecost” is significant in both the Old and the New Testaments. Pentecost is actually the Greek name for a festival known in the Old Testament as the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:9). The Greek word means “fifty” and refers to the fifty days that have elapsed since the wave offering of Passover. The Feast of Weeks celebrated the end of the grain harvest. Most interesting, however, is its use in Joel and Acts. Looking back to Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:8–32) and forward to the promise of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s last words on earth before His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:8), Pentecost signals the beginning of the church age.

The only reference to the actual events of Pentecost is Acts 2:1–3. Pentecost is reminiscent of the Last Supper; in both instances the disciples are together in a house for what proves to be an important event. At the Last Supper the disciples witness the end of the Messiah’s earthly ministry as He asks them to remember Him after His death until He returns. At Pentecost, the disciples witness the birth of the New Testament church in the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. Thus the scene of the disciples in a room at Pentecost commences with the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church with the conclusion of Christ’s earthly ministry in the upper room before the crucifixion.

The description of fire and wind mentioned in the Pentecost account resounds throughout the Old and the New Testament. The wind at Pentecost was “rushing” and “mighty,” a powerful wind that nevertheless did not extinguish the tongues of fire. Scriptural references to the power of wind (always understood to be under God’s control) abound. Exodus 10:13; Psalm 18:42 and Isaiah 11:15 in the Old Testament and Matthew 14:23–32 in the New Testament are only a few examples. More significant than wind as power is wind as life in the Old Testament (Job 12:10) and as spirit in the New (John 3:8). Just as the first Adam received the breath of physical life (Genesis 2:7), so the second Adam, Jesus, brings the breath of spiritual life. The idea of spiritual life as generated by the Holy Spirit is certainly implicit in the wind at Pentecost.

Fire is often associated in the Old Testament with the presence of God (Exodus 3:2; 13:21–22; 24:17; Isaiah 10:17) and with His holiness (Psalm 97:3; Malachi 3:2). Likewise in the New Testament, fire is associated with the presence of God (Hebrews 12:29) and the purification He can bring about in human life (Revelation 3:18). God’s presence and holiness are implied in the Pentecostal tongues of fire. Indeed, fire is identified with Christ Himself (Revelation 1:14; 19:12); this association naturally underlies the Pentecost gift of the Holy Spirit, who would teach the disciples the things of Christ (John 16:14).

Another aspect of the Day of Pentecost is the miraculous speaking in foreign tongues which enabled people from various language groups to understand the message of the apostles. In addition is the bold and incisive preaching of Peter to a Jewish audience. The effect of the sermon was powerful, as listeners were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37) and instructed by Peter to “repent, and be baptized” (Acts 2:38). The narrative concludes with three thousand souls being added to the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers, apostolic signs and wonders, and a utopian community formed in which everyone’s needs were met.[1]

 


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

Questions about Creation: What Similarities Are There between the Gilgamesh Flood Account and Biblical Flood Account?

There are many similarities between the Gilgamesh flood account and biblical flood account (Genesis 6–8), beginning most importantly with God choosing a righteous man to build an ark because of an impending great flood. In both accounts, samples from all species of animals were to be on the ark, and birds were used after the rains to determine if flood waters had subsided anywhere to reveal dry land. There are other similarities are there between the Gilgamesh flood account and biblical flood account.

One major point of clear agreement is that a global flooding disaster occurred in ancient times. Portions of the Gilgamesh account (Chaldean Flood Tablets) have been found dating back to 2000 B.C. or earlier. Tablets containing the full story, however, date to approximately 650 B.C., or well after the Genesis account (c. 1450–1410 B.C.) These Chaldean tablets, from the city of Ur (modern day Southern Iraq), describe how the Babylonian God Ea decided to end all life except for the ark dwellers with a great flood. Ea, believed by the Babylonians to be the god who created the earth, selected Ut-Napishtim (or Utnapishtim) to construct a six-story square ark.

During the mid-nineteenth century, this complete “Epic of Gilgamesh” (from 650 B.C.) was unearthed in some ruins at Nineveh’s great library, and the depth and breadth of similarities and differences became evident. Here is a more extensive listing of the similarities and differences:

•     God (or several gods in the Gilgamesh account) decided to destroy humankind because of its wickedness and sinfulness (Genesis 6:5–7).

•     A righteous man (Genesis 6:9) was directed to build an ark to save a limited and selected group of people and all species of animals (Noah received his orders directly from Jehovah God, Utnapishtim from a dream).

•     Both arks were huge, although their shapes differed. Noah’s was rectangular; Utnapishtim’s was square.

•     Both arks had a single door and at least one window.

•     A great rain covered the land and mountains with water, although some water emerged from beneath the earth in the biblical account (Genesis 7:11).

•     Biblical flooding was 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:12) while the Gilgamesh flood was much shorter (six days and nights).

•     Birds were released to find land (a raven and three doves in the biblical account (Genesis 8:6–12); a dove, swallow, and raven in the other).

•     After the rains ceased, both arks came to rest on a mountain, Noah’s on Ararat (Genesis 8:4); Utnapishtim’s on Nisir. These mountains are about 300 miles apart.

•     Sacrifices were offered after the flood (Genesis 8:20).

•     God was (or gods were) pleased by this (Genesis 8:21), and Noah and Utnapishtim received blessings. Noah’s was to populate the earth and have dominion over all animals (Genesis 9:1–3); Utnapishtim’s was eternal life.

•     God (or the many gods) promised not to destroy humankind again (Genesis 8:21–22).

Perhaps most interesting is how the stories remain consistent over time. Although the complete Epic was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century, much earlier segments (before the writing of Genesis) have been discovered and dated. Yet most significant is the greater fidelity of the Hebrew account. This is attributed to the importance of Jewish oral tradition and the possibility that some of the story was recorded by Noah or from his time, which would make the Hebrew account precede the Babylonian version.

Some scholars hypothesize the Hebrews borrowed the Babylonian account, but no conclusive proof has been offered to support this. Based on the many and varied differences and details within these stories, it seems unlikely that the biblical version depended upon an existing Sumerian source. Further, given the Jews’ reputation for passing down information scrupulously from one generation to another and maintaining a consistent reporting of events, Genesis is viewed by many as far more historical than the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is regarded as mythological because of its numerous gods and their interrelationships and intrigues in deciding the fate of humankind.

Certainly, for those who believe the Bible is God’s Word, it is sensible to conclude He chose to preserve the true account in the Bible through the oral traditions of His chosen people. By God’s providence, Jews kept this account pure and consistent over the centuries until Moses ultimately recorded it in the Book of Genesis. The Epic of Gilgamesh is believed to contain accounts which have been altered and embellished over the years by people not following the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.[1]

 


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

If Someone Wanted To Destroy America On Purpose…

“Let’s say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy this nation. I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now.”

-Dr. Ben Carson on March 16th, 2013

That quote by Dr. Ben Carson does a great job of capturing what is taking place in the United States right now. If you wanted to destroy the most powerful nation on the planet, the best way to do so would be to destroy it from the inside out. Right now, America is more divided than it has been at any point in any of our lifetimes. Anger and frustration are growing to unprecedented levels, and one recent survey discovered that the level of trust that Americans have in one another (Read More…)

37 Reasons Why “The Economic Recovery Of 2013″ Is A Giant Lie

“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.” Sadly, that appears to be the approach that the Obama administration and the mainstream media are taking with the U.S. economy. They seem to believe that if they just keep telling the American people over and over that things are getting better, eventually the American people will believe that it is actually true. On Friday, it was announced that the unemployment rate had fallen to “7 percent”, and the mainstream media responded with a mix of euphoria and jubilation. For example, one USA Today article declared that “with today’s jobs report, one really can say that our long national post-financial crisis nightmare is over.” But is that actually the truth? As you will see below, if you assume that the labor force participation rate in the U.S. is at the long-term average, the unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.5 percent instead of 7 percent. There has been absolutely no employment recovery. The percentage of Americans that are actually working has stayed between 58 and 59 percent for 51 months in a row. But most Americans don’t understand these things and they just take whatever the mainstream media tells them as the truth. (Read More. . . .)

One of the Biggest Mistakes Pastors Make

“Pastors, I want to talk frankly and, hopefully, with a spirit of love, about one of the biggest mistakes I see many of you make. Most pastors have little emphasis, or sometimes, even knowledge about the content that is taught in groups in their churches.”

Read More Here

Colorado Judge Orders Christian Baker to Make Cakes for Same-Sex Ceremonies or Face Fines

(CN) — An administrative law judge with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has ordered a baker to make cakes for clients who request service for same-sex ceremonies, despite his Christian beliefs not to partake in another man’s sins.

“Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech. … It is not the same as forcing a person to pledge allegiance to the government or to display a motto with which they disagree,” wrote Judge Robert N. Spencer in his ruling on Friday, ordering the baker to “cease and desist” under the threat of fines.

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