Bickle and IHOP have recently been praised by Francis Chan, serving as an introduction for them into mainstream evangelicalism. Apprising Ministries now brings you this well-researched expose by Bob DeWaay concerning the NAR false prophet-apostle and his IHOP “ministry.”
So often there are war or rumors of wars to report from the Middle East. But this week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fascinating speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was chock full of good news.
Several elements caught my attention.
- One: Netanyahu said “Israel is the epicenter of world innovation right now.”
- Two: The Prime Minister cited the Bible as one of the reason’s for the strength of the Jewish people and the Israeli economy.
- Three: He gave interesting examples of Israeli innovation — including how scarce water resources has inspired Israelis to develop the world’s most advance technologies for re-using water, and how scarce agricultural land has inspired Israelis to learn how to get more milk out of every cow (“Whose cows produce the most milk? Don’t guess: it’s Israel. It’s a computerized cow. Every ‘moo’ is…
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A good shepherd leads his sheep to pasture. He cares for their every need. He does not drive the sheep with the shepherds crook, but rather uses it to correct the wayward.
Leadership, at any level, should know and follow the example of the Good Shepherd. Failure to do so leaves the sheep without guidance and in danger. Whenever leaders lose their concern for the people they are supposed to lead and concern themselves with themselves, then the people are in trouble.
Ancient Israel provides our first example of this tragedy. Amos addressed the nation with the following words:
Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes! – Amos 6:1
The nation of Israel, during the time of Uzziah, knew a time…
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The Nestorians are followers of Nestorius (c. 386–451 AD), who was Archbishop of Constantinople. Nestorianism is based on the belief put forth by Nestorius that emphasized the disunity of the human and divine natures of Christ. According to the Nestorians, the nature of Christ is divided equally between His divine nature and His human nature, but the two are distinct and separate. This idea is not scriptural, however, and goes against orthodox Christian doctrine of the hypostatic union, which states that Christ’s one nature was fully God and fully man. God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. Jesus always had been God (John 8:58, 10:30), but at the incarnation Jesus became a human being (John 1:14).
In the first few centuries of the church, a great debate arose: what is the exact nature of Christ? How can a being be completely divine and completely human? In the West, the Roman Catholic Church decreed Jesus to be “two natures in one person,” and went on to other things. In the East, the definition of Christ’s nature was as much about politics as it was about religion, and the discussion went on far longer.
The Alexandrines, so named because the political loyalties of most who held the view were Alexandrian, were “monophysites.” They insisted that Jesus was, above all, divine. He was the teacher of divine truth and, in order to have had that truth, must have been primarily divine. To emphasize His humanity over His deity led to unthinkable assertions like “God got tired, injured, hungry, thirsty, and then died.” Apollinaris of Laodicea summarized the thought by saying the Word of God took the place of a rational soul so that a human body could preach the truth of God; the body was a mouthpiece.
The Antiochenes from Antioch thought this was ridiculous. A sacrifice that was not fully human could not redeem humans. Antiochenes were “dyophysites.” The Godhead dwelt in Jesus, no doubt, but not in any way that undermined His humanity. Jesus’ two natures were distinct from one another—although no one could precisely explain what that meant.
When Constantine had moved the political capital from Rome to Byzantium (later Constantinople), the church of the west centralized into the religious and political power of the Roman Catholic Church. The church of the east didn’t have that chance. They had several important churches spread throughout the region, each led by their own bishops. Alexandria and Antioch were two of the oldest and most important, but the church in Constantinople was considered as close to Rome as the East had. The clergy of Alexandria and Antioch constantly fought over the bishopric in Constantinople in hopes of uniting the scattered churches into a regional power house.
In 428 A.D., Nestorius became patriarch of Constantinople. He was from Antioch, and his theological (and political) leanings became clear when he declared Mary to be Christotokos, or “bearer of Christ,” not theotokos—“bearer of God.” In so doing, he said more about Jesus than Mary. He said that, above all else, the humanity of Jesus must be emphasized, His nature firmly divided, and that He was comprised of “two natures and two persons.” The human nature and person were born of Mary. The divine were of God.
The Bishop of Alexandria, among others, didn’t agree. He and his supporters marched into Constantinople and held a trial that relieved Nestorius of his position. Shortly after, Nestorius’s supporters finally arrived and held a smaller trial that convicted the Bishop of Alexandria. After much theological debate and political wrangling, Nestorius was exiled back to Antioch.
The Alexandrians exerted more pressure on the Antiochenes. The Antiochenes were forced to leave Antioch; Nestorius lived out his days in Egypt. But many of the Antiochenes fled east into Persia, where they were called “Nestorians” whether they had politically supported Nestorius or not.
The church already in Persia had its own problems. The rulers in Persia were quite religiously tolerant, but politically they hated Rome and anything that came out of Rome. The church in Persia carefully explained that they were not the same church as in Rome, and the Persians alternated between persecuting them and leaving them alone. Several Nestorian theologians settled in Persia, where the Persian church heard their thoughts on the two natures of Christ and told them, “Yes, of course, we’ve believed that all along.” So Nestorians were readily absorbed into the local church.
According to Jewish custom, the time when a child is weaned is cause for celebration. A weaned child has survived the fragile stage of infancy and can now eat solid food rather than breastfeed from his or her mother.
In Genesis 21:8, we read, “And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.” Though Hagar laughed at the celebration (Genesis 21:9), Isaac’s parents considered this event an important occasion. They had a son who had survived the most difficult stage of childhood and could now eat on his own.
According to Jewish rabbinical traditions, weaning could take place anywhere between 18 months and 5 years of age. In one important biblical parallel, Samuel was weaned prior to being taken to Eli the priest to serve the Lord. First Samuel 1:24 says, “And when she had weaned him … she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young.” No exact age is given, but the weaning is mentioned, and Samuel’s youth is emphasized, so he was likely between 2 and 4 years old.
High infant mortality rates existed in ancient cultures. One reason for large families was the fact that many young children did not live to adulthood. Because of the risks that infants faced, the celebration of a child’s weaning was a natural and important part of the culture. If a child had developed past the need for the physical support of a mother, then he or she had reached a new stage of life that greatly increased the likelihood of good health.
Today, Jewish tradition continues the practice of celebrating the weaning of a child. Psalm 104 is often read during this time; part of that psalm says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire” (Psalm 104:4).