July 10, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection


American Anti-Intellectualism and the Theological Left

Too much of the theological left, full of certitude and moral superiority, has stopped defending their point of view using the tools of reason. America’s original sin was slavery, but her original error was emotionalism as a substitute for reason. Slavery still mars our politics and anti-intellectualism our discourse. Oddly, it is the theological left that, more and more, is in flight from reason.

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Gay Man Files $70M Suit Against Bible Publishers Over ‘Homosexual’ Verses

In a hand-written suit, Fowler lists all sorts of charges against Zondervan including malicious negligence, strict liability, malice, libel, and violating his civil rights. He filed a suit in June against Tennessee-based publisher Thomas Nelson on similar grounds. He’s seeking $60 million from Zondervan and $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

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Letter From A College President

The problem is compounded because so many college leaders can barely discern the symptoms of the malaise and are blind to their underlying, rampant and immutable causes. It is only natural that those who have trained to manage the status quo first and foremost long for its return. In no other industry — with the possible exception of organized religion — is so much wealth entrusted to people so unequipped to manage it.

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The ‘Elder Orphans’ of the Baby Boom Generation

There have been very few studies looking at why so many members of the so-called “Silver Tsunami” are at risk of becoming elder orphans, Carney said. The decision to remain childless is probably contributing. “My generation was one of the first that elected not to have children,” said Dr. Joyce Varner, professor and director of the Adult-Geron Primacy Care NP track program at the University of South Alabama, which teaches nurse practitioners how to provide primary care, especially for the elderly.

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Heidelberg 85: Church Discipline Is The Second Key Of The Kingdom

The goal of the process of discipline is repentance and restoration. When the impenitent person repents, we receive them with joy. It is an answer to much prayer. No one has “won” and no one has “lost” but grace has won and darkness has lost. This is why we leave the ninety-nine sheep (Matt 18:12) and go to great lengths to recover the one. We rejoice because heaven rejoices when they return.

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Six Warnings for Leaders of Growing Churches

Growth brings change that can engender fear and discomfort. A pastor was getting a lot of resistance from the former chairperson of the search committee that called him. The church was growing and change was inevitably taking place. When he kindly reminded the search committee chairperson that she said she wanted to see the church grow, she responded, “Well, I didn’t know these new people would cause so many problems.” The “problems” she noted were actually just simple changes.

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The Presbyterian Pastor Who Did Not Sign

He went first to South Carolina and then in 1760 moved to the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savanna, Georgia… Zubly was known as a man of “lively cheerfulness” whose sermons were described as being “full, clear, concise, searching, and comfortable,” lighting the hearers’ souls, warming their hearts, and raising their affections. Zubly was known to preach in the morning in English, in the afternoon in French, and in the evening in German. His strict Calvinist theology was very suitable to life in the multicultural environment of the American colonies in the eighteenth century.

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Welcome To Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach

Religious believers weighing the option of withdrawing from a culture increasingly hostile to their values should redouble their efforts to cultivate their ideas within active subcultures that influence the nation and the next generation of Americans. Those who share a commitment to the freedom to think, speak, associate, publish, and express their beliefs may not have the American Civil Liberties Union in our corner any more—but that just means that we get to take up the noble cause, and the moral authority, they have abandoned.

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North Dakota High Schoolers Win Bid to Start Pro-Life Clubs

The approval followed a demand letter sent by the Thomas Moore Society (TMS) on behalf of SFLA and high school students Katie McPherson and Brigid O’Keefe. TMS sent the letter to Superintendent Jeff Schatz, outlining how the denial violated the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment.

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The Greatness of John Calvin

Let us not be so easily satisfied with a simple insignia of a simplistic Calvinism; rather, let us drape ourselves with Calvin’s Calvinism, a Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, God-glorifying, gospel-driven Calvinism that shines so brilliantly that the deceitful darkness of sin would be conquered in our hearts so that, in turn, we might shine as the light of Jesus Christ to this dark world—for His kingdom and His glory.

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Baptism is a Covenant Sign, But it Doesn’t Regenerate

Kevin DeYoung: Remarkably, though, this deeply spiritual sign was given to Ishmael as well as Isaac, even though only Isaac was the continuation of the promised line… Circumcision … didn’t automatically mean the recipient of the sign was in possession of the thing signified. Circumcision, like baptism, also pointed to belonging, discipleship, covenant obligations, and […]

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Call To Unity–But Just Who is Calling?

Everyone from the Pope, to the President of the United States, to the United Nations, to many Evangelical Christian leaders, have been calling for world unity and peace.  And while the words “unity” and “peace” are appealing, one must look behind the scenes and ask just what would that “unity and peace” look like?  And […]

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The Protection of Church Discipline

On this latest Dividing Line broadcast, I brought a third teaching in a series on the Church, dealing with the often neglected subject of Discipline. A Church failing to exercise discipline among its members is an unloving Church, walking in disobedience to Christ. – JS

20 of my favorite quotes from The Prodigal Church

Recently I’ve shared a couple reflections on, as well as a review of, Jared Wilson’s new book, The Prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto against the Status Quo. This was a book that I underlined quite heavily—probably more than I’ve done on any since Keller’s book on prayer. There’s a ton of wisdom found within its pages. So today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites (some of which have been made into nifty shareable graphics):

“‘Healthy things grow’ sounds right. But cancer grows too.” (40)

“I want to suggest that it’s possible to get big, exciting, and successful while actually failing substantially at what God would have us do with his church. It’s possible to mistake the appearance of success for faithfulness and fruitfulness.” (46)

“Pragmatism is anti-gospel because it treats evangelism as a kind of pyramid scheme aimed at people who have it all together, not discerning that, in the Gospels, those most ripe for the gospel were those at the bottom of the social caste system, the undesirable, the non-influential.” (53)

“Pragmatism is legalistic, because it supposes that evangelism can be turned into a formula for ready results.… The pragmatist has forgotten that Christianity is supernatural, that it is capital-S Spiritual.” (53)

“When you try to help the Holy Spirit, you quench him.” (54)

“It is not in the best interest of the very unbelievers we’re trying to reach to appeal to consumerist tastes in the interest of offering them the living water of Christ.” (67-68)

“When we stage a worship experience that hypes up experience, feelings, or achieving certain states of success or victory, we miss the very point of worship itself: God.” (68)


“Neither the Spirit nor the gospel needs help from our production values.” (70)

“We have not prospered theologically or spiritually when we emphasize the professionalization of the pastorate.” (75)

“Fortune-cookie preaching will make brittle, hollow, syrupy Christians.” (77)

“We must have a stronger faith to trust that a sermon mainly about Jesus will ‘help people grow’ more than our set of tips will.” (80)


“I will go so far as to suggest to you, actually, that not to preach Christ is not to preach a Christian sermon. If you preach from the Bible, but do not proclaim the finished work of Christ, you may as well be preaching in a Jewish synagogue or a Mormon temple.” (80)

“The self-professed ‘culturally relevant’ churches are the chief proponents of legalism in Christianity today.” (84)

“The ‘dos’ can never be detached from the ‘done’ of the finished work of Christ in the gospel, or else we run the risk of preaching the law.” (85)

“When we preach ‘how to’ law sermons instead of the gospel, we may end up with a bunch of well-behaved spiritual corpses.” (89)

“The reality is, worship does not begin with the worshipper. It begins with God. It is a response to God’s calling upon us.” (97)

“We do not worship the Father, the Son, and The Holy Ingenuity.” (167)

“If you worship God in a less-than-clear or in a doctrine-less sense, you end up worshiping another god. You worship the god made in your image. When we divorce theology from worship, when we fail to cultivate a theology of worship, we compromise our worship. It may look great, but it is hollow and shallow.” (99)

“Part of moving forward and away from the functional ideologies of the attractional church is also abandoning ourselves to the sovereign mercy of the Spirit, who cannot be measured or leveraged or synergized or whatever.” (162)

“The Spirit doesn’t wear the church’s wristwatch. You cannot control him.” (166)


When A False Teacher Calls America “Israel”

Many people believe that Jonathan Cahn is a modern day prophet and that his books contain “special revelation.” For this reason his books have become best sellers, especially in Christian circles.  His first book, The Harbinger, sold like hotcakes and as a result he became a sought after speaker and frequent guest on the radio talk show circuit. His most recent book, […]

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Do We Have God’s Heart On This?

One good test to decide if we really are sons and daughters of the Living God is if we share his heart on important issues. The true child of God will of course think as God thinks and even feel as he feels. He will reflect his view and his stance on things.

That which breaks the heart of God should also break our heart. That which grieves the heart of God should also grieve our heart. That which disturbs the heart of God should also disturb our heart. If however what he takes delight in we abhor, or if what he abhors we delight in, then we know we are really none of his.

As good a test as any on this one is the issue of homosexuality. Everywhere in Scripture this is presented as a grievous sin which always earns divine disapproval. Yet how many clueless Christians are running around with rainbows in solidary with the homosexual agenda?

How many fake Christians are even claiming God makes people homosexual and he is just fine with it all? These people are deceived and have nothing of God’s heart on this. God hates sin, and so should we. God wants sinners to turn from their sins and repent, and so should we.

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Not over? Alabama Supreme Court should reject marriage decision, legal group says

According to ChristianExaminer:

A prominent legal organization has filed a 36-page brief urging the Alabama Supreme Court to reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, saying the ruling was an “assault” on the rule of law and natural law and that it defied the very words in the Declaration of Independence.

Further, the new brief says, there is major precedent in the nation’s history for a state court to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision when it is “unlawful.”

The brief was filed by Liberty Counsel, which is headed by an attorney – Mat Staver – who has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“There is existing precedent for a state’s highest court to reject an unlawful mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“The hope of our Constitutional Republic rests upon state officials and American citizens who will refuse to allow five, black-robed judges to rob us of our free, representative form of government. A judicial opinion without constitutional basis is not law and should not be followed by any state or citizen.”

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Oregon allowing 15-year-olds to get state-subsidized sex-change operations

Liberals who control the state of Oregon have gone completely mad.  The tax-payers will now have to foot the bill for sex-change operations for 15-year olds!  According to Dan Springer of Fox News, there was no public debate on this decision.  He says the policy was changed “to include cross-sex hormone therapy, puberty-suppressing drugs and gender-reassignment […]

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Cold Case Christianity: Why We Know Our Universe, And Everything In It, Had A Beginning (Free Bible Insert)

My career as a Cold Case Detective was built on being evidentially certain about the suspects I brought to trial. There are times when my certainty was established and confirmed by the cumulative and diverse nature of the evidence. Let me give you an example. It’s great when a witness sees the crime and identifies the suspect, but it’s even better if we have DNA evidence placing the suspect at the scene. If the behavior of the suspect (before and after the time of the crime) also betrays his involvement, and if his statements when interviewed are equally incriminating, the case is even better. Cases such as these become more and more reasonable as they grow both in depth and diversity. It’s not just that we now have four different evidences pointing to the same conclusion, it’s that these evidences are from four different categories. Eyewitness testimony, forensic DNA, behaviors and admissions all point to the same reasonable inference. When we have a cumulative, diverse case such as this, our inferences become more reasonable and harder to deny. Why did I take the time to describe this evidential approach to reasonable conclusions? Because a similar methodology can be used to determine whether everything in the universe (all space, time and matter) came from nothing. We have good reason to believe our universe had a beginning, and this inference is established by a cumulative, diverse evidential case:

Philosophical Evidence (from the Impossibility of Infinite Regress)
Imagine a linear race track with a start and finish line. Now imagine you’re a new police recruit and I’ve asked you to put on your track shoes and step into the starting blocks for a physical training (PT) test. The finish line is one hundred yards away. As you place your feet in the blocks and prepare to run, I raise the starting pistol. Just before I fire it, however, I stop and tell you to move the start line and blocks back six inches. You reluctantly do that. Again I raise the pistol to the sky—only to command you, once again, to move the line back six inches. You grudgingly comply. Imagine this continues. Question: Will you ever reach the finish line? No. Unless there is a beginning, you’ll never get to the finish. In a similar way, time also requires a beginning in order for any of us to reach a finish; unless time has a beginning, we cannot arrive at the finish line we call “today.”

Theoretical Evidence (from Mathematics and Physics)
Albert Einstein’s calculations related to the general theory of relativity 1916 indicated the universe was dynamic (either expanding or contracting). The notion of a static universe was so common at the time, however, that Einstein applied a mathematical “constant” to his calculations to maintain the unchanging, uniform nature of the universe he hoped for (he later referred to this effort as “the biggest blunder he ever made in his life” ). Einstein’s calculations suggested the universe was not eternally old and unchanging. Alexander Friedmann, a Russian mathematician working with Einstein’s theories in the 1920’s, developed a mathematical model predicting an expanding universe. This conclusion inferred the universe must have had a beginning from which it was expanding.

Observational Evidence (from Astronomical Data)
Vesto Slipher, an American astronomer working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, spent nearly ten years perfecting his understanding of spectrograph readings. His observations revealed something remarkable. If a distant object was moving toward Earth, its observable spectrograph colors shifted toward the blue end of the spectrum. If a distant object was moving away from Earth, its colors shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. Slipher identified several “nebulae” and observed a “redshift” in their spectrographic colors. If these “nebulae” were moving away from our galaxy (and one another) as Slipher observed, they must have once been tightly clustered together. By 1929, Astronomer Edwin Hubble published findings of his own, verifying Slipher’s observations and demonstrating the speed at which a star or galaxy moves away from us increases with its distance from the earth. This once again confirmed the expansion of the universe.

Thermal Evidence (from the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
Imagine walking into a room and observing a wind-up toy police car. The longer you watch it roll, the slower it moves. You realize the car is winding down—that is, the amount of usable energy is decreasing. It’s reasonable to infer the car was recently wound up prior to your entry into the room. The fact the toy car is not yet completely unwound indicates it was wound up recently. If the car had been wound much earlier, we would expect it to be motionless by the time we entered the room. In a similar way, the fact our universe still exhibits useful energy—even though the Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates we are on our way to a cosmic “heat death”—indicates a beginning. Otherwise, and if the universe were infinitely old, our cosmos should have run out of usable energy by now. We can reasonably infer it was once tightly wound and full of energy.

Quantitative Evidence (from the Abundance of Helium)
As Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle studied the way elements are created within stars, he was able to calculate the amount of helium created if the universe came into being from nothing. Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe (Hydrogen is the first), but in order to form helium by nuclear fusion, temperatures must be incredibly high and conditions must be exceedingly dense. These would have been the conditions if the universe came into being from nothing. Hoyle’s calculations related to the formation of helium happen to coincide with our measurements of helium in the universe today. This, of course, is consistent with the universe having a moment of beginning.

Residual Evidence (from the Cosmic Background Radiation)
In 1964, two American physicists and radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson detected what is now referred to as “echo radiation”, winning a Nobel Prize for their discovery in 1978. Numerous additional experiments and observations have since established the existence of cosmic background radiation, including data from the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite launched in 1989, and the Planck space observatory launched in 2009. For many scientists, this discovery alone solidified their belief the universe had a beginning. If the universe leapt into existence, expanding from a state of tremendous heat, density and expansion, we should expect find this kind of cosmic background radiation.

There are numerous, diverse lines of evidence pointing to the same reasonable inference. As we assemble the philosophical evidence from the impossibility of infinite regress, the theoretical evidence from mathematics and physics, the observational evidence from astronomical data, the thermal evidence from the second law of thermodynamics, the quantitative evidence from the abundance of helium, and the residual evidence from the cosmic background radiation, we quickly recognize the different nature of these varied forms of evidence. That’s what makes the case so powerful. Just like my criminal cases, when multiple divergent lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion, you can trust you’re making a proper inference. The evidence for the beginning of the universe is decidedly diverse:

GCS Chapter 01 Illustration 06 (Large)

I’ve briefly excerpted this case from one chapter in my new book, but if you’re interested in the detailed summary of the evidence (and the reason why this evidence points to an eternal first cause “outside the room” of the natural universe), please read God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for A Divinely Created Universe. In addition, if you would like a printable FREE Bible Insert of this simple cumulative case diagram, I’m offering it as this month’s FREE Bible Insert. Just visit the home page at ColdCaseChristianity.com and click the Bible Insert link in the right tool bar.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene

Words of God: To the ends of the earth!

As sons of God, we are commanded to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (see Acts 1:8).

“Ultimately, evangelistic apathy is not a methodological failure; it is spiritual disobedience. The Bible is replete with commands and admonitions to communicate passionately the Gospel with others. Our failure to do so is nothing less than sinful disobedience to the God who gave us unmerited favor through His Son, Jesus Christ.” Thom Rainer

Harry Potter and the Christian concern: seven things we no longer seem worried about

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Christian Today

Christians often panic about cultural phenomena, but the ‘concern’ seems to burn itself out, writes Martin Saunders

10 Bible verses for when you feel afraid

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Christian Today

We all go through times when we feel afraid; whether it’s anxiety about the future, or real fear about a certain situation. Here are ten Bible verses to remind you that God is faithful, whatever our circumstances.

Luis Palau Festival Draws 60,000 to Central Park

Posted on July 10, 2015 by CBN

Evangelist Luis Palau is covering America’s largest city with the gospel. This weekend, his ministry is taking over New York’s Central Park with a festival that’s taken three years to plan.

When You Feel Like Job

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Crosswalk

Have you ever felt like Job? Felt like the world was crashing down around you? Felt as if you had lost everything of importance? If so, you might be wondering if there is hope, if there is anything good in your future. Rest assured that there is!

One God, one vote

Posted on July 10, 2015 by World Magazine

It’s two weeks since the Supreme Court rocked American evangelicals by nationalizing same-sex marriage. It’s also 150 years since the greatest inaugural

8 Signs You Might be a ‘Discipleship Bully’

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Crosswalk

Discipleship relationships can sometimes go sour, particularly if the person in charge of discipleship becomes a bully.

Orthodox… evangelical… liberal?

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Ministry Matters

David Brooks has been sounding like a revival preacher lately. The New York Times columnist said he wrote “The Road to Character” out of a need “to save my own…

Christian Colleges and Businesses Wonder How Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Will Affect Policies

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Many Christian colleges and businesses across the United States adhere to the Bible-based belief that traditional marriage is between one man and one woman. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage could impact such policies based on those beliefs.

Rev. Franklin Graham ‘Outraged’ by New Policy Allowing Teens in Oregon to Undergo Government-Subsidized Sex Change Operation Without Parental Consent

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Rev. Franklin Graham has condemned what he calls an “ludicrous” new policy put into effect in Oregon which permits teenagers to get a sex change without their parents knowledge or permission.

Are You Terrified of Losing Control of Your Life?

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Crosswalk

I’ve ramped up my list making. As a single mom, my life has never felt more out of my control. Everything I have built toward has changed.

3 Lessons Natural Disasters Teach Us

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Coalition

Natural disasters are inevitable in a fallen world, yet they often serve as signposts that point us to eternal realities.

Talking with Catholics about the Gospel

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Coalition

Many books will help you develop a theological grid for understanding Catholicism. Not many will help you to grow in love. This will help you do both.

5 Reasons to Take Strong Courage Today

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Church Leaders

&At one time or another we all need to hear God say, ‘Take courage.’&

The Main Reason People Don’t Become Church Members

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Church Leaders

&A membership class is a great opportunity to inspire, encourage and breathe life into people who have already indicated a high level of interest in your church.&

9 Things You Should Know About the Confederate Flag Controversy

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Coalition

Here are nine things you should know about the flag, its history, and the controversy.

Do Not Underestimate A Defeated Devil

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Desiring God

We think we know what’s going on. But often we barely have a clue. Scripture teaches us that what we see happening in the world is only part of the story. There’s a whole dimension to reality that wields a…

‘God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive’ to Release Easter 2016, Will Feature ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Sadie Robertson

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Herald

God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive, the sequel to the popular 2014 film, is slated for Easter 2016 release and will feature a variety of well-known celebrities, including Duck Dynasty darling Sadie Robertson.

For Reasons Unknown, 20 Iraqi Christians Detained in Southern California: ‘Almost Free, but not Quite Free’

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Herald

A group of 20 Iraqi Christians have been held in a southern California detention facility run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, for over four months. They are part of the Chaldean Christian community and want to claim asylum from the terror group known as ISIS.

Jeremy Lin Signs Deal with Charlotte Hornets: ‘God Has Always Worked Things Out for My Good’

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Herald

NBA All-Star Jeremy Lin has decided to sign with the Charlotte Hornets in a two-year deal, ending his free agency run. He made the bombshell announcement on social media Wednesday.

Candace Cameron Bure Defends Oregon Bakery Forced to Pay $135,000 to Lesbian Couple Over Discrimination Charges

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Gospel Herald

American actress Candace Cameron Bure has come out in defense of an Oregon bakery that has been ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake for a lesbian couple. She made her views known on ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” on Wednesday.

Cowboy church ropes hearts with rodeo, worship

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Baptist Press

A cowboy church’s annual rodeo is ‘a good, clean, multi-hour event that a family can go to,’ pastor Doug Davis says. This year’s rodeo – with its first-ever altar call and baptism — yielded 121 professions of faith and 249 rededications.

Christian Bakers Who Declined to Make Cake for ‘Gay Wedding’ to Seek Stay of $135,000 Order

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Christian News

GRESHAM, Ore. — The owners of a Christian bakery in Oregon who were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to two lesbians who claimed that they suffered emotionally after they were told that the bakery could not make a cake for their ceremony will be seeking a stay of the order as they seek to appeal the…

When she converted from Islam to Christianity, did woman risk her life?

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Religion News

Rifqa Bary made headlines when she claimed her Muslim parents threatened to kill her. But a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) found discrepancies in Bary’s story. Here she shares her story.

Ohio Judge Who Serves as Church Elder Refuses to ‘Marry’ Lesbians in Courthouse

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Christian News

TOLEDO, Ohio — An Ohio judge who also serves as an elder at his local church has refused to marry two lesbians this week based on his &personal and Christian beliefs& about marriage. Toledo Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell, an elder at First Church of God in Columbus, declined to officiate for Carolyn Wilson and her…

Christians in Pakistan Stand to Defend Churches

Posted on July 9, 2015 by CBN

Terrorist attacks against Pakistan’s Christians, such as the assaults on two congregations in Lahore in March and the September 2013 bombing outside a Peshawar church, have put the community on edge.

Five pastoral errors that can kill a ministry

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Christian Today

Ministers are called, trained and equipped for ministry, but the training and equipping sometimes fall short.

Blessed Without Assurance

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Desiring God

“Blessed Assurance” is a favorite hymn of mine — though there have been times I’ve had to fight to sing the words. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine Oh what a foretaste, of glory divine. There is a sublime sense of…

why every woman should know her prompt

Posted on July 9, 2015 by A Holy Experience

And even before He had made me, He called me to Himself.

Behind the Scenes with Dwight Eisenhower, Billy Graham, and the Makers of American Civil Religion

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Christianity Today

Kevin Kruse shows the surprising origins of “In God We Trust” and other mainstays of public piety.

Does God Want Good Things FROM Me, or FOR Me?

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Crosswalk

God imagined us for love and for beauty, for life and for wholeness, for goodness and for mercy. You were made in the image of God.

5 Truths to Remember When Evil Seems to Be Winning

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Crosswalk

What do you do when life doesn’t make sense? Keep in mind these five things when evil seem to be winning.

The Incredible Future of the Medium-to-Small-Sized Church

Bob Roberts:

The reality that we have over 400,000 churches in the U.S. and just over 1,600 megachurches (churches of 2,000 or more) means that 398,400 of us are never going to be that! But don’t be discouraged. You can still change your city and the world (and you may actually be better at changing it than a huge church).

8 Signs You Are a Discipleship Bully

Derek Brown:

This kind of bullying, however, does not need to express itself in verbal or physical abuse. It can manifest itself in a subtle form of spiritual tyranny where the teacher, by virtue of his position and self-perceived knowledge, tends to overwhelm and micro-manage his disciple. Sadly, when these kinds of discipleship scenarios progress unchecked, both parties—the discipler and the one being discipled—will find their spiritual life stunted and their relationship with one another in serious jeopardy.

When to Cover, When to Confront

Ray Ortlund:

When should we cover another Christian, and when should we confront another Christian?  The categories that guide me are 1 Peter 4:8 and Titus 1:9.

What Happened to the Emerging Church?

C. Michael Patton offers an answer. A shorter one suggested by my fellow Canadian Joe Boot at TruthXchange in Feburary: It didn’t die, it went mainstream.

Don’t Put God in a Box

Erik Raymond:

As a pastor I have been asked this question more times than I can count, particularly by people who are visiting and considering joining the church. My answer in short is “no”. I do not believe that the gifts of tongues and healing are present today as we saw in the early church. Much of what today gets passed off as tongues and healing are not what the Bible shows, namely known languages spoken and understood; and people being instantaneously (and fully) healed with a word or a touch. I tell them that my position (cessationist) is based upon observation: I see a tapering off of the miraculous gifts (tongues and healing) in the NT with the close of the Apostolic era and I do not see them consistently displayed in church history. Therefore, I don’t believe they are normative in the life of the church today. (note: prophecy is defined in different ways, but I would say that God is not giving new revelation today either. If you want to take prophecy as preaching, admonishing or exhorting-that’s fine.)

What is the response to this? “Don’t put God in a box.”


Calvinism and the Christian Life: A New Teaching Series from Ian Hamilton

It is impossible to encounter God’s saving grace and not be powerfully and permanently changed. John Calvin knew this. In this new 6-part teaching series, Calvinism and the Christian Life, Pastor Ian Hamilton demonstrates that Calvinism is biblical, God-centered Christianity with important implications for our daily lives. This theology is not simply academic. It is a theology for all of life—a theology in which the grace of Jesus Christ shapes everything.This series is now available for purchase as a DVD, CD, download, or Ligonier Connect course.


Six, 23-Minute Messages:

  1. What Is Calvinism?
  2. Calvinism’s Foundational Experience
  3. God’s Sovereignty
  4. A Life of Holiness
  5. Godly Catholicity
  6. Communion with God

Watch the First Message Free


Purchase Options

Rev. Ian Hamilton is pastor of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, U.K., and a graduate of Edinburgh University. He is author of The Letters of John and The Faith-Shaped Life.

3 Signs You’re Clinging to a Romance Too Tightly

by Leslie Ludy | 7/09/15

It was a warm September evening, twenty-three years ago. I sat quietly on my bed, gazing through my open window at a beautiful sunset. But I couldn’t enjoy it. My heart was heavy and my mind distracted.

Friday night had come and gone, and he still hadn’t called. An entire week had passed and I’d heard nothing from him. “Maybe he’s lost interest in me,” I told myself gloomily. “With all of the beautiful, godly girls he’s been meeting, he’s probably found someone else.”

It had been two months since my friendship with Eric had shifted into a romantic relationship. Only a few days after Eric first shared with me that he felt God was directing our lives together, he had left on a previously scheduled trip to spend a year at a missionary training school on the other side of the country.

It was difficult to be apart. Just as our relationship was beginning to grow, we suddenly found ourselves miles away from each other with no easy way to communicate. Usually he called at least once a week. Hearing his voice always gave me an emotional boost. It helped me feel connected to him and reminded me that he still cared about me even though we were miles apart.

But that week, I’d heard nothing from him. Anxiety began to plague me. I felt restless and depressed. I stared at the silent phone sitting on my desk. What had been so important to keep him from our weekly time of talking and encouraging each other? I was agitated and confused. Out of desperation, I began to pray.

Raising A Knife to What You Most Love

“God, why am I feeling this way?” I asked in frustration. “Why can’t You just prompt Eric to call me and put me out of this misery?”

Even the good and perfect gifts that God had given me needed to be continually surrendered back to Him.

As I buried my head in my arms, I began to sense a quiet voice speaking to my heart. “The reason you are so concerned about losing Eric is because you are clinging to him far too tightly. You have begun to build your hopes and dreams around this relationship, instead of around Me.”

Immediately I remembered the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. Abraham dearly loved and treasured Isaac as a miraculous blessing from God. But after God had given Abraham this good and perfect gift, He asked Abraham to surrender his son back to Him:

“Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen 22:2).

Abraham’s mind must have reeled in confusion. Why would God give him a miraculous son in his old age only to ask for him back again? Yet Abraham obeyed. He raised the knife over Isaac to sacrifice what was most precious to him as an act of surrender and obedience to God.

What prompted such unfathomable obedience? Quite simply, Abraham had his priorities straight. Isaac was important to him, but God was more important. Abraham demonstrated his complete dedication to the Father by his willingness to give up everything that was precious to him in order to put God first.

Treasuring the Gift More Than the Giver

As I thought about this story, I began to understand. Even the good and perfect gifts that God had given me—like my love story with Eric—needed to be continually surrendered back to Him. Otherwise, the blessings I received in life would become more important to me than the One who had given them to me in the first place.

“God forgive me,” I prayed. “I surrender my relationship with Eric back to You. I let go of all my hopes and expectations. Do with this love story as You will.” I rose from my knees with a newfound joy and freedom in my heart.

Yes, I still deeply cared about my relationship with Eric. But I didn’t become anxious and depressed when things didn’t flow exactly as I wanted them to anymore. My romantic future was laid at the feet of Jesus. “Lord, have Your way in this love story; I surrender it back to You.” This became my heart’s declaration each time the phone failed to ring or the mailbox was empty.

I began to realize that there was no safer place for my cherished hopes and dreams that at the feet of Jesus.

Releasing our Grasp

During our single years, it’s tempting to both idolize and idealize our marriage hopes and dreams thinking that we’ll finally be happy once we meet Prince Charming and settle down. But this is a dangerous mindset because it keeps us from finding the perfect satisfaction in Jesus Christ that He intends for us to have. And if we expect marriage to solve the deepest needs within our soul, we’ll only be placing unhealthy, unrealistic expectations upon our future husband and harming our marriage in the process.

Corrie ten Boom wrote, “Marriage is not the answer to unhappiness. Happiness can only be found in a balanced relationship with Jesus Christ. When you belong to Christ, you can be happy with or without a husband, secure in Christ alone.”

Of course, God puts a high value on marriage. It was, after all, His idea in the first place. There is certainly nothing wrong with desiring to be married, preparing for marriage, or taking steps toward a romantic relationship with someone as God leads. The problem comes when we place our marriage dreams on a pedestal, putting contentment on hold until that season of life finally comes.

When the gaze of our soul does not remain fixed upon Jesus Christ, our God-given longing for marriage can become an obsessive need to find a guy, and a healthy love story can quickly become an idol in our heart.

How can you tell whether you are clinging to tightly to an earthly relationship or romantic dream? Here are three warning signs:

  1. You can’t imagine giving it up. You have thoughts such as, If I lost this relationship, I’d be miserable and depressed, or If I don’t get married, life won’t be worth living.
  2. You spend more time and energy on that area than you do on your relationship with Christ. For instance, maybe you spend hours each week trying to find the right guy, but only ten minutes in prayer or in studying God’s Word. Or maybe you invest the majority of your time and energy into a relationship (or the pursuit of one) and have little time left over to seek Christ or share Him with others. As much as we don’t like to admit it, the areas that claim the majority of our spare time are those that have the biggest hold upon our hearts.
  3. You find more delight and happiness in that area of your life than you do in your relationship with Christ. It’s not wrong if a human love story brings us a certain level of comfort or happiness. But Jesus must always remain our source of deepest satisfaction. A great way to determine whether you are finding your fulfillment in Christ is to ask yourself the question, “If this relationship or romantic dream were suddenly stripped away from me, would Jesus be enough?”

If marriage (or the hope of marriage) has claimed more of your affection and focus than Jesus Christ, ask God to change your heart. Freshly surrender this area of your life to Him, and remember where the deepest source of fulfillment is truly found—in Him! Remember, there is no better place for your most precious dreams than at the nail-scarred feet that were pierced for you.

New Free eBook Download: Daniel’s Story

We’ve just published a new ebook, Daniel’s Story: The Life and Times of Daniel the Prophet. You can download it for free! Go to Daniel’s Story

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ebook: Daniel’s Story

ebook - Daniel's StoryDaniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding… for you are highly esteemed.- Daniel 9:23

What follows is the story of Daniel’s adventures with God as recorded in the Bible. It is being presented as if Daniel himself is telling the story in his own words…




*You can download our ebooks and mp3 studies for free.

This ebook is available in the following formats:
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Is this worse than queer marriage?

According to Arminian theologian Randal Rauser:

Over the last couple days evangelical Christians (at least the ones I’ve been hearing) have expressed a lot of outrage over the US Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage. With that in mind, I thought I’d offer a short list of ten things that seem to me to be more disturbing than gay marriage. Here they are in no particular order:


Let’s run through the list:

1. Presently there are between 21-36 million people enslaved around the world. 22% are sex slaves. (Source)

i) He doesn’t bother to explain why that’s more disturbing than homosexual marriage. He doesn’t explain what his moral metric is for rating some things worse than homosexual marriage.
Why couldn’t that be just as bad? Why must it be worse?
ii) The comparison is misleading. More disturbing in reference to what? Even if we think that’s intrinsically worse, that doesn’t make it more disturbing in terms of policy.
American Christians have more influence over domestic events than foreign events. One reason to make domestic policy a priority is that there’s more we can do about it. And we’re more responsible for our own dependents. So what impacts our dependents take precedence.
What does Rauser think American Christians should do about human trafficking around the world? Should the US invade those countries? Impose martial law?

2. We are currently in the six mass extinction of earth history, the greatest loss of biodiversity in tens of millions of years. And it’s human caused. (Source)

i) To begin with, that contention is hotly contested. Read some articles at Uncommon Descent.
ii) And even if that was a factual claim, what makes that more disturbing than homosexual marriage? What is Rauser’s standard of comparison? Clearly not Biblical ethics.

3. Over the next several decades, human-induced climate change will produce hundreds of millions of climate refugees. (Source)

i) His source is an economist, not a climatologist.
ii)The evidence for global warming is disputed. Climatolgists cooked the books.
What’s even worse, they “lost” the original records. That means we can’t go back and check their extrapolations against the records.
In addition, they’ve “adjusted” past records to insert a warning trend.
ii) Even if we assume global warming is a real trend, climate change is a natural cyclical process. Consider the ice ages.
iii) Although global warming might be bad for some people in some parts of the world, it might be beneficial for others. Some farmers might welcome longer agricultural seasons.

4. The total value of global military arms trading in 2011 was in excess of $43 billion. (Source)

Even if we think that’s worse (based on what?), what can be done about it? Pass unenforcible international laws?

5. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean (consisting of human debris like plastics, chemicals, and other garbage) could be twice as large as the continental United States. (Source)

This says a lot about Rauser’s moral priorities, which bear no relationship to Christian ethics.

6. North Korea is presently facing a famine that could kill tens of thousands. (Source)

Even if that’s worse (based on what?), how does that indict the priorities of American evangelicals? We have more influence on national policy than international events. Does he think the CIA should topple the N. Korean regime, like we used to do during the Cold War? Should we then install a puppet regime?

7. Approximately 15,000 child slaves work in the Ivory Coast. (Source)

i) Even assuming that’s worse, how is that relevant to the policy priorities of American evangelicals? Is Randal proposing neocolonialism? Should we annex the Irony Coast to crack down on human trafficking?
Much of African is dysfunctional. Should we make Africa an American protectorate?
ii) Consider the track-record of American national-building endeavors in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

8. Saudi Arabia has publicly beheaded 84 people so far in 2015. (Source)

Besides wringing his hands, what is Rauser’s solution, if any?

9. In their quest to privatize water supplies, corporate giant Nestlé argues that water is not a fundamental human right (Source)

Assuming that’s accurate, how is that more disturbing that homosexual marriage? Rauser acts as if homosexual marriage is simply a private arrangement between two consenting adults.
But the bigger problem is how the state enforces that alleged right. It quashes freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of expression, parental rights, the consent of the governed, &c. It turns teachers into thugs who bully normal students. It becomes a pretext for creating a police state.

10. While pigs are among the most intelligent non-human creatures on earth, millions of breeding pigs spend almost their entire lives in gestation crates which render them virtually immobilized. (Source)

i) What’s his evidence that pigs are among the most intelligent animals?
ii) What makes that more disturbing than how God views homosexuality?

Richard Baxter on Pastoral Love and Confronting Sin

In re-reading The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter recently, I was again encouraged to pray for and love those I help shepherd. It is far too easy to have the ministry become more professional than personal.

Why an Eternal Perspective Changes Everything

Having an eternal perspective is in many ways the key to living a true Christ-following life. Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).

Three Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Next Small Group Bible Study

Years ago, to choose a Bible study for a Sunday school class or small group, we simply walked into a local Christian bookstore and thumbed through the workbooks available on the shelf.

The Rising of the Beast in America?


The Daily Discovery (July 10, 2015)

Calvinism and the Christian Life – “It is impossible to encounter God’s saving grace and not be powerfully and permanently changed. John Calvin knew this. In this new 6-part teaching series, Pastor Ian Hamilton demonstrates that Calvinism is biblical, God-centered Christianity with important implications for our daily lives. This theology is not simply academic. It is a theology for all of life—a theology in which the grace of Jesus Christ shapes everything.”

Hillsong Protest Planned Over Mark Driscoll’s Conference Interview – “Even the last protest was small, it garnered wide coverage in Australia. Given the fact that most Australian reporters seemed to think Brian Houston had agreed not to feature Mark Driscoll during the recent conference in Sydney, the media may turn out for this event in a similar manner. Here is the event description…”

The Bible Doesn’t Promise That – “Aside from the excellent new movie, AUDACITY, from Living Waters, there are several pastors speaking the truth in love, as well as reminding Christians to put everything in perspective regarding the homosexuality topic.  So far, given the way we have seem some professing Christians react to the new ‘law of the land’, this reminder is something every Christians needs to watch.”

When A False Teacher Calls America “Israel” – “Many people believe that Jonathan Cahn is a modern day prophet and that his books contain ‘special revelation.’ For this reason his books have become best sellers, especially in Christian circles. His first book, The Harbinger, sold like hotcakes and as a result he became a sought after speaker and frequent guest on the radio talk show circuit. His most recent book, The Mystery of Shemitah, is also a best seller.”

Our Mighty Fortress – “We shouldn’t be surprised when a government full of unrepentant sinners institutes sinful laws and policies. We shouldn’t be shocked when immorality is celebrated and purity is ridiculed. And we shouldn’t be scared when the church is vilified as the enemy of progress, science, or society at large.”


Paul Washer – Final Judgment (Part 1)


It Will Cost You Everything

The Mystery of Election

“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper


Featured Blogs

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The Rising Of The Beast In America | Rick Phillips

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From Lost Boy To Education Minister in Sudan | BBC

Can We Really Forget?

Our Father forgives and forgets! Is it possible for us to forget ? While working for the Lord I didn’t realize attacks were tests or oppression. I was naive and submitted all the time. I have been told over and over that it’s my fault.  All this and a marriage of 33 years lies behind. To forget these things that stopped my ministry and marriage is not easy to do.  I don’t  want to take your time with a long letter and at the same time remind myself of all the details. I just want to know if it’s possible to forget them.

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Pre-9/11/01 Shark Behavior Similar To Now?

Jack, I distinctly remember watching the evening news on Sept 10, 2001 and the top story was about all the shark attacks happening on the east coast. We all know what happened the next day. What has been a consistent story in the news here recently – – shark attacks happening on the east coast. Makes you wonder.

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Lake Of Fire Forever?

Satan, his minions and followers will all end up in the lake of fire forever and ever. Assuming that spiritual beings will not burn up as flesh and bone bodies would this sounds absolutely terrible. A thought came to me when I came to Rev. 21:5.  “See I make all things new.” There will be a new heaven and a new earth, the old will disappear in fire. As hell and Satan were part of the current creation which will be destroyed and the new creation will be perfect I assume that there cannot be a hell or anything evil in it. So my question is – will hell and its contents end at the end of the 1000 years as that creation will then end?

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more

What is The Gospel?

“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)

Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed

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