Daily Archives: January 1, 2014

How Did Jefferson Know?

5 Pt. Salt

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale 1800

[More on Government and Politics ]

John F. Kennedy once held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement:

This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to
gather at one time in the White House with the exception of
when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

Especially read the last quote from 1802….

“When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.”

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world. ”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they…

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Top 50 Biblioblogs – December 2013 quarter

The 100 Top Christian Blogs

About this list of the 100 Top Christian Blogs:

To make this list of top Christian blogs, I gathered and inspected about 500 Christian blogs and ranked them using a variety of factors. Some of the blogs I inspected are listed below the list of the 100 Top Christians blogs.

I will update this list occasionally, so if you want your blog to be considered for future ranking, and your blog is not listed below the list of 100 Top Christian blogs, please include a link to your blog in the comment section. Thanks!

Below is an explanation of how I went about ranking these 100 Top Christian Blogs.

Read More: http://www.tillhecomes.org/100-top-christian-blogs/

Essential Apologetics PowerPoint Series Free

In partnership with The PowerPoint Apologist, Apologetics 315 presents a series of 12 Free PowerPoint presentations, covering 12 essential topics in apologetics.
These are free to download, modify, and use for your own apologetics presentations. (However, please retain the final two slides featuring the PowerPoint Apologist and Apologetics 315 resources.)

Here are all of the PowerPoint files in one place:
  1. “Why Apologetics?” – PPT | Slideshare
  2. “Why Believe Anything?” – PPT | Slideshare
  3. “Why God?—part 1: A First Cause” – PPT | Slideshare
  4. “Why God?—part 2: An Intelligent Cause” – PPT | Slideshare
  5. “Why God?—part 3: A Moral Cause” – PPT | Slideshare
  6. “Why Scripture?—A Defense of the New Testament” – PPT | Slideshare
  7. “Why Jesus?—The Historical Jesus” – PPT | Slideshare
  8. “Why Jesus?—The Resurrection of Jesus” – PPT | Slideshare
  9. “Why Jesus?—The God-Man Jesus” – PPT | Slideshare
  10. “Why Christianity?—In An Evil World” – PPT | Slideshare
  11. “Why Christianity?—In A Pluralistic World” – PPT | Slideshare
  12. “Why Christianity?—In My World” – PPT | Slideshare
PPT = PowerPoint File
Slideshare = Online Slideshare Presentation

R.C. Sproul’s Commentary on John—Free eBook

During the month of January, Reformation Trust is giving away the eBook edition of R.C. Sproul’s commentary on the Gospel of John.

In John, the second volume in the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series, Dr. Sproul deals with major themes in his easily understandable style. This introduction to the Gospel of John is packed with insights and exhortations that will draw the reader closer to the Savior and encourage him or her to a greater depth of love and devotion to Him.

 

Obama Christmas, minus church, deemed ‘unusual’

Noticeably absent from the first family’s Christmas season celebrations, say White House watchers: A trip to church.

The  New York Times reported that President Obama and his family celebrated a  “low-key Christmas” on vacation in Hawaii, minus the church service.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/30/obama-christmas-minus-church-deemed-unusual/

The Present of “His Presence” – “Emmanuel” — God is with us!

 
By Pastor Larry DeBruyn
The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations… has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.(Colossians 1:26-27, NASB)

Among evangelicals there’s a lot of chatter and publicity about seeking “the manifest presence of God.” For example, some musicians, singers and worship leaders boldly claim that their music can escort listeners “through the door of worship, right into the heart and presence of God.”[1]  Christian worshippers are classified as “inner court, outer court, or holy of holies Christians, each one needing a certain period of time to come into the manifest presence of God.”[2]  So it becomes incumbent upon the worship team to lead congregants into the divine dimension.

Other evangelicals talk about “practicing the presence,” perhaps by employing mood music, cultivating solitude and silence, or practicing other spiritual disciplines to experience it. Often spelled with an upper case “P,” masses of evangelical Christians are desiring to experience a divine presence in which Jesus might speak to them in an exciting new way. In his newly published book, “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs Are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer,[3]  Warren Smith points out that, in her best-selling evangelical book Jesus Calling (Thomas Nelson, 2004 ),[4]  Sarah Young uses “The word ‘Presence’… more that 365 times….” He notes further that, “the term [Presence] is also commonly used in New Age/New Spirituality.”[5]  In light of all the talk going on about contemplating or experiencing God’s presence, biblical Christians ought to know something of what Scripture teaches about God’s presence so that His Word can inform us regarding seeking after God’s presence, whether the experience(s) of it ought to be embraced or shunned, whether they are authentic or synthetic, or worse, demonic.

BP’s most-read stories of 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — In a year filled with headlines about healthcare, national debt, same-sex marriage and a slew of international challenges, a story about a hip-hop artist was the most-read article of 2013 on Baptist Press’ website.

Google Analytics, which tracks web traffic, also showed a story posted in March about Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and his Christian faith, and another article on the controversy that followed Exodus International’s decision to close its doors after decades of helping people overcome homosexual behavior, made the Top 10.

The following Top 10 list for 2013 includes a brief description with each headline.

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: What Is the Golden Rule?

 

The “Golden Rule” is the name given by Bible translators to a principle Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount. That is to say, the actual words “golden rule” are not found in Scripture, just as the words “sermon on the mount” are also not found. These titles were later added by Bible translation teams when describing different passages of Scripture in order to make Bible study a little easier. The phrase “Golden Rule” began to be ascribed to this passage of Scripture during the 16–17th centuries, as it was already a popular saying at that time. This is important to note because when talking about the Golden Rule, Christians sometimes unknowingly and incorrectly ascribe it to Jesus’ actual words.

What we call the Golden Rule refers to Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus knew the human heart and its selfishness. In fact, in the preceding verse, He describes human beings as “you who are evil.” This is important to grasp because, as He continues to say in v. 16, human beings still know how to give good gifts to their children even though they are evil and selfish by nature. This verse leads into the Golden Rule which says to actively pursue and treat others as we would like to be treated in all things.

The English Standard Version translates it well: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” By ending the “rule” with the “Law and the Prophets,” Jesus has condensed the entire Old Testament into this principle. This was something the Jews of Jesus’ day would have known by their knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, as Moses wrote: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18). Again, we see even here the implication that people are naturally self-lovers due to sin (Jeremiah 17:19), so it gave the audience a place to start in how they should treat others: how they want to be treated.

As good as the Golden Rule is in its command to treat others, it also reminds us how selfish we really are! Jesus’ audience could relate to this command (as the Jews of Moses’ day could) because people universally demand respect, love, and appreciation whether they deserve it or not. Jesus knew this and used it to show how His people should treat others: how they themselves wanted to be loved, respected, and appreciated. This rule to treat others with such high regard is also the second in the greatest of commandments, followed only by the command to love God Himself (Matthew 22:39).

What is interesting to note about this tenet of the Christian Scriptures is that no other mainline religious or philosophical system is its equal. The biblical Golden Rule is not the “ethic of reciprocity” that is so commonly espoused by non-Christian moralists. Frequently, liberal critics, and/or secular humanists attempt to explain the golden rule as a common ethic shared by all religions. This is not the case. When Jesus gave this command in Matthew 7:12, it was radically different from all other forms of it—except for the Jewish Torah—used up to that time or since. The difference is subtle, but very important. The biblical Golden Rule is a positive command to show active love, as opposed its negative, passive counterparts. A quick survey of Eastern religions and philosophies will expose this common inversion, some of which have been described as the “silver rule” due to its inverted command:

•     Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you” Analects 15:23.

•     Hindusim: “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you” Mahabharata 5:1517.

•     Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana-Varga 5:18

The Golden Rule as stated by Jesus is radically different in that it is an active, positive command to do good to others, as opposed to the negative, restraining commands to not hurt others. The command to love is what separates the Christian ethic from every other system’s ethic. In fact, the Bible is so radical in its command to actively love that Christians are told to love even their enemies, something unheard of in other religions (Matthew 5:43–44; cf. Exodus 23:4–5).

Obeying the Christian ethic and imperative to love others is a mark of a true Christian (John 13:35). In fact, Christians cannot even claim to love God if they don’t actively love other people as well because, “If someone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). The Golden Rule encapsulates this idea and is unique to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.[1]

 


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

Questions about Creation: What Is the Day-Age Theory?

 

Although Moses wrote the book of Genesis approximately thirty-four hundred years ago, it has been in just the last couple of centuries that serious debate over the nature and date of creation has developed. Consequently, there are now a number of theories relative to the creation account and one of them is called the Day-Age theory. Basically, this is a belief that the “days” spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis are sequential periods and not literal 24-hour days. Each day, therefore is thought to represent a much longer, albeit undefined, period of time, such as a million or more years. Essentially, it is an attempt to harmonize Scripture with theistic evolution.

Science has never disproved one word of the Bible. Nevertheless, in the last century and a half the scientific community has done a remarkable job of indoctrinating us with their worldview, one that is very much opposed to the truth of Scripture. However, the truth is that the Bible is the supreme truth and it should be the standard by which scientific theory should be evaluated, not vice-versa. At the very core of most of these contrived theories is an attempt to remove God from the equation. And one of the unfortunate consequences of questioning the historicity of Genesis is that the floodgates burst open for man to question every part of God’s Word that does not agree with our limited intellectual abilities. However, everything Scripture teaches about sin and death requires a literal interpretation of the first three chapters of Genesis. That being said, let’s review some of the arguments made by the proponents of the Day-Age theory.

Adherents of this theory often point out that the word used for “day” in Hebrew, yom, sometimes refers to a period of time that is more than a literal twenty-four hour day. One scriptural passage in particular often looked upon in support of this theory is 2 Peter 3:8 where it says “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” However, as with all biblical interpretation, one must look at the context of the entire passage. In 2 Peter 3:3–10 we see that Peter is talking about scoffers in the last days as they question the second coming of Christ. This passage simply reminds us that God stands outside of time and we should not doubt the occurrence of a future biblical event simply because it seems to be taking a long time from our limited human perspective. Accordingly, 2 Peter 3:8 has nothing to do with the length of the creation week, nor was it meant to turn “day” into a mathematical formula.

Each day in the first chapter of Genesis is described as having an evening and a morning. Indeed, these two words—evening and morning—are used extensively in the Old Testament and each time they refer to normal days. Moreover, outside Genesis yom is used with a number hundreds of times—i.e., “one day” and each time it means an ordinary day. If Moses wanted to convey a longer period of time he could have used either olam or qedem, in place of yom.

Another reason given for a metaphorical “day” as postulated by this theory is that with the sun not being made until day four, how could there have been ordinary days (i.e. day and night) before this? However, the sun is not needed for a day and night. What is needed is light and a rotating Earth. The “evening and morning” indicates a rotating Earth, and as far as light is concerned, recall that God’s very first command was “Let there be light” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Separating the light from the darkness was the very first thing our Creator did. Also, remember that in Revelation 21:23 we see that the New Jerusalem “does not need the sun or moon to shine on it” as the “glory of God” will provide the “light.” At the beginning of creation, God’s radiant light would have certainly been sufficient until the luminaries were created three days later.

Additionally, if the “days” of Genesis are really long periods of time such as millions or billions of years, then God’s Word is completely undermined at its very foundation as we would then have disease, suffering and death before the fall of man, even though Scripture clearly indicates that “sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). Thus, it is clear that there was no death prior to Adam’s act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. If this theory were true, it would nullify the doctrine of the fall of mankind into sin. Furthermore, it would also render void the doctrine of the Atonement, for if there was no “fall” why would we need a Redeemer?

Martin Luther once said: “But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are … since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish it to go.” Instead of looking to science to tell us what God really meant, all we really need to do is study Scripture, daily and eagerly, just like the Bereans (Acts 17:11), as all of it was inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), and all of it is true (Psalm 119:160).

Christ Himself spoke of the importance of believing in Moses’ writings (John 5:45–47). And in Exodus 20:11, this is what Moses had to say: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.”[1]


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