“Why would a perfect God make a Hell in the first place? Why are His creations imperfect unless He deliberately made them so? Why make rules that are pretty much impossible to live up to then punish the creations for being simply the way they were ‘created’? If there is a God [He] is not the loving creator that most christians say they believe in, it is at best a tinkerer, a trickster and a child who breaks his toys when he does not get his own way.” Patricia Bentley-Ivens
If a dying patient turns off his own oxygen hose he shouldn’t complain that he can’t breathe. The Book of Genesis tells us that God made everything “very good” in the beginning, but sin brought about suffering, pain, disease and death in what is called a “fallen Creation.” But the dying atheist denies that Genesis chapter one is true (that we live in a “fallen creation” because of sin), and so he bitterly complains about God allowing suffering, pain, disease and death. Hell is God’s prison for guilty criminals. Calling Him childish names will not save you from His Justice, but repentance and faith in Jesus will. See http://www.needGod.com
From National Review.
A funny thing happened in the “war on women” — Mia Love and Joni Ernst won, Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke lost. The representative who will be the youngest woman ever to have served in Congress, Elise Stefanik, is a Republican who won a formerly Democratic seat — not in Oklahoma or Texas but in New York. Senator-elect Ernst is a 21-year veteran of the Army Reserve and National Guard who served overseas during the Iraq war; Representative-elect Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants who came to the United States fleeing the Tonton Macoutes, is a former city councilman and mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.
The difference could not be more dramatic: The Democrats’ vision of an American woman’s life was best expressed in the Obama campaign’s insipid “Julia” cartoons, in which a faceless, featureless woman at every crossroads…
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In a culture dominated by Christian programming seen as more embarrassing than praiseworthy and in a cultural environment where Christians are often portrayed as unintelligent and unthoughtful, the NRB Network provides examples of just the opposite. There are good reasons to celebrate our Christian worldview and to be “proud” (not of ourselves, but) of the God who created us:
The Christian Worldview Describes the World Accurately
We live in a universe that had a beginning and appears to be fine-tuned for life. In addition, living biological organisms emerged in this universe from non-living matter and these organisms also display the appearance of design. Our universe is home to conscious creatures who possess free agency, and we recognize the existence of transcendent, objective moral truths and an objective standard for righteousness which defines the nature of evil (by comparison). The Christian worldview accurately accounts for these features of the universe. Christians don’t need to be embarrassed of their worldview; Christianity, when properly articulated, describes our world accurately.
The Christian Worldview Holds Up to Scrutiny
Christianity is not simply a set of proverbial propositions; it is a claim about history. Because Christianity is rooted in an historical event (the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus), it can be verified or falsified. The evidence supporting Christianity is robust and significant. The gospels can be tested using the same template we use for eyewitness testimony in criminal trials (I demonstrated this in Cold-Case Christianity). The historical accounts in the New Testament are reliable. Christians don’t need to be embarrassed of their worldview; Christianity, when properly examined, holds up to critical scrutiny.
The Christian Worldview Provides a Solution
Every worldview offers a solution to a problem, but not every worldview accurately identifies the problem it is trying to solve. Christianity identifies the problem as our own persistent inclination toward bad behavior. We have a sin problem. But Christianity is more than a description of how to be good. Unlike other works-based theistic worldviews (i.e. Judaism, Mormonism or Islam), Christianity recognizes our inability to consistently “perform”. While other theistic worldviews encourage us to work hard and do our best to save ourselves, only Christianity acknowledges our inability to accomplish this task. Other religions offer a work regimen, Christianity offers hope. Only Christianity offers Jesus as the sacrifice for our sin. Christians don’t need to be embarrassed of their worldview; Christianity, when properly understood, offers hope and a solution to our dilemma.
Several years ago, when I was involved in active church consultations, I assembled data on what I called GFCs, genuinely friendly churches. I set certain parameters for GFCs; then I attempted to measure those churches guest return rates. A guest return rate is simply the percentage of guests who will return to the church for at least a second visit.
Here is the simple but profound difference I found in GFCs and all other churches: A genuinely friendly church has a guest return rate six times greater than other churches.
Did you get that? If a church meets the guidelines to be a GFC, the probability of a guest returning is six times higher than all other churches! Sadly, only about one of twenty churches meets the criteria necessary to be a GFC.
When I was an active consultant, I had 10 criteria, and the church had to meet at least eight of those criteria to be a GFC. I have since expanded the list to 14, and require churches to meet 11 of the 14 to be a GFC. Here are the 14 characteristics of genuinely friendly churches:
R.C. Sproul Jr:
There is one tell-tale fruit, but it may take a long time for it to happen. And even then you likely won’t see it. But here’s the fruit nonetheless—if the sinner ends up in heaven, you will know they had truly repented. If not, they likely had not. I understand the desire to know the sincerity of another’s repentance. I’ve been in countless pastoral situations wherein it seemed like the answer to that one question—is this person truly repentant—determined the answer to every other question about what should be done. Trouble is, God has not been pleased to give us the means to peer into the souls of others.
So what do we do?
by John MacArthur
The period of European history known as the Dark Ages were just that—dark. Mortality rates were exceptionally high. Medical advances could not keep up with the spread of disease. Poverty and illiteracy were pervasive. And on top of all that, the light of God’s Word was monopolized and distorted by the Roman Catholic Church. Only the religious elite had access to Scripture, and most of them manipulated and perverted its message beyond recognition.
That darkness gave way to the Reformation. The Protestant Reformers recovered the gospel and made Scripture accessible to the common man. They rejected the idea of a pope who presumed to speak for God on earth. God spoke through Scripture and the Reformers devoted themselves tirelessly to the labor of making it readily available in the language of the people.
Today, people all over the world can own and study the Bible in their own languages. That great blessing for Christians brings the responsibility to study God’s Word. And from that study, believers have the joy and duty of representing the Creator and proclaiming His message. Over the previous two weeks we’ve looked at several aspects of how to study the Bible, including:
- Placing the proper value on God’s Word.
- Reading both the Old and New Testaments.
- Interpreting a biblical text before it is applied.
- Avoiding common errors of interpretation.
- Bridging the gaps between the modern reader and the original author.
- Knowing the principles of Bible interpretation.
Those fundamentals, when incorporated into your study of Scripture, will progressively grow your knowledge of God and yourself, and cultivate a well-rounded biblical worldview. It is in His Word that God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in an intimate and saving way. He owns us, knows us, and holds us responsible to know, understand, and proclaim Him on His terms and not our own.
Scripture is sacred and we should treat it as such by carefully handling its truth. Paul exhorted Timothy to study Scripture as a workman “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The tradesmen of Paul’s time needed to carry out their work with precision and great care. Paul was saying that the same sort of approach is needed when studying Scripture.
God instructed Israel concerning that very issue:
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)
In other words, you ought to have God’s Word running around in your mind all the time. If you’re reading a portion of the New Testament thirty times in a row, as previously suggested, it will penetrate and shape your thinking. It should lead to meditation, which takes all the dimensions of study we’ve discussed and molds them into a unified understanding of biblical truth.
The word meditate can evoke thoughts of empty minds and eastern religions. But it is more likely that Hindus and Buddhists borrowed the term from the Bible and twisted its meaning to conform with their false religions. From the time of Joshua’s military conquest of Canaan, we hear the Lord instructing His people to meditate on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8). So what does meditate mean? Biblically, it means to focus your mind on one subject.
In Deuteronomy, God tells His people that they should bind His words, “as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals to your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:8–9). God says He wants His Word everywhere.
David highlighted the role meditation plays in our sanctification when he wrote the first Psalm. The blessed man is one who meditates both day and night on God’s law rather than seeking counsel in the fellowship of unbelievers (Psalm 1:1–3). It is the key to his perseverance and fruitfulness as a child of God.
Meditation is no less needed today. We live in a culture that continually assaults us with distractions through billboards, television, the Internet, and more. God says that we should keep His Word perpetually in front of our eyes, filling our minds and conversations wherever we go.
Paul clarified what our minds should feed on:
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Ultimately, our ongoing relationship with God hinges on sound biblical study. He places monumental importance on knowing, proclaiming, and worshipping Him rightly. And Scripture is the engine driving all of those things. The Dark Ages may have ended, but those who neglect to study and meditate on Scripture shun the light of God’s Word and continue to walk in willful darkness.
(Adapted from How to Study the Bible)
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WEAR YOUR STRIPES WITH PRIDE
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27
From the company: “At Kellogg, we’re an evolving culture that respects and accepts employees’ sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign website, maker of the beloved Frosted Flakes and corporate giant Kellogg’s scores a perfect 100% in the workplace when it comes to issues favored by the LGBT Movement. Last month, they were also a corporate sponsor of the Atlanta Gay Pride March and festival. The above ad was taken from the American Family Association’s Facebook page.
It won’t be long before LGBT-themed messages and promotions begin appearing on the back of your children’s cereal boxes. Since they cannot replicate, they must indoctrinate, and recruiting of children always seems to be about the best place to start.
The post Kellogg’s Tony The Tiger Now Pushing The LGBT Agenda appeared first on Now The End Begins.
This video has 3 parts, as well as questions and answers in individual clips.
For those who cannot watch the video, you can grab the MP3 file of the lecture, or read this essay by Dr. Craig which covers exactly the same ground as the video. The essay is for Christians already familiar with basic apologetics.
Part 1 of 3:
Part 2 of 3:
Part 2 of 3:
If you want to show this lecture and Q&A to your apologetics group, you can find the DVD here.
You can also read a debate transcript where Dr. Craig puts his ideas to the test, against Dr. Richard Taylor.