Daily Archives: August 29, 2018

August 29: Becoming a Saved People

Isaiah 60:1–62:12; Luke 22:63–23:25; Job 13:13–28

For Luke, Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s message. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, according to Luke, Jesus opened the Isaiah scroll in a synagogue and proclaimed that the words in Isa 61 are about Him (Luke 4:17–19): “The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me, he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives and liberation to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor, and our God’s day of vengeance, to comfort all those in mourning” (Isa 61:1–2). This moment defines what Jesus’ life would mean—and He was immediately persecuted for claiming the authority rightfully given to Him by God (Luke 4:20–30).

Luke’s message—an extension of Isaiah’s—is played out further near the end of Jesus’ life. Jesus’ claim to authority resulted in His being sentenced to death (Luke 23). It is easy to view the events of Jesus’ life as proof that He was the figure that Isaiah prophesied—that He was exactly who He said He was. But if we stop there, we miss the larger picture. Luke has an agenda: He draws on Isaiah and uses the story of Jesus reading in the synagogue because he intends for our lives to be changed by Jesus. We are the oppressed receiving the good news. We are the captives being liberated. We are meant to be a people called out to follow Him (Isa 40:1–2; 53:10–12).

When we look upon Jesus—the Suffering Servant, Messiah, prophet, and savior—we should be confronted with the reality that we’re still so far from what He has called us to be. We should be prompted to put Him at the center of our lives. We should be prompted to change. We must realize our place as the people He has saved and respond with gratitude.

How is Jesus’ sacrifice changing your life?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

August 29 Seven Things God Hates

“There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Prov. 6:16–19).

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God is clear about the things that displease Him.

God hates sin in any form, but Proverbs 6:17–19 lists seven that are especially loathsome to Him. First is “haughty eyes” (v. 17), which pictures a proud and arrogant person with his nose in the air and his eyes uplifted. The pride in his heart is reflected in his mannerisms.

Pride is perhaps listed first because it is at the heart of all rebellion against God—beginning with Lucifer himself, who cried out against God, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:13–14).

God also hates “a lying tongue” (v. 17). Men often toy with truth, denying or distorting it to gain some supposed advantage. But God can’t tolerate deception of any kind. He expects us to live according to His truth.

Third, He hates murderous hands (v. 17). That speaks of people whose hatred and greed are so strong that they will kill rather than be denied what they want. God created life and established its sanctity. That’s why He ordained that murderers be put to death (Gen. 9:6).

God also hates a wicked heart and malevolent feet (v. 18). Sometimes people fall into sin inadvertently. But these people carefully plot their sinful activities and then hurry to execute their plans.

Finally, God hates “a false witness” and a divisive spirit (v. 19). Bearing “false witness” means telling lies about an innocent party. That can obstruct justice, destroy a reputation, and even destroy a life. A divisive spirit is one who creates divisions where there should be unity.

Those sins characterize unbelievers, but Christians aren’t immune from them. So be on guard not to stray into attitudes and actions that God hates.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  If you are practicing any of those things, confess them and repent.

For Further Study: According to Philippians 2:1–5, how should Christians treat one another?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 254). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

08/29/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0829

• Witness Wednesday at the University
• What does a Korean Buddhist believe?
• Todd talks to a libertarian librarian.
• When you ask “why,” you will hear some interesting answers.
• What is the answer to Sex Trafficking?

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via 08/29/2018 — Wretched

Rape-Grooming Gangs in the UK: Support Victims, Get Threats | Boddington at The Daily Caller

by Paula Boddington
The Daily Caller
August 21, 2018

https://www.meforum.org/articles/2018/rape-grooming-gangs-in-the-uk-support-victims,-ge

“Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls,” said U.K. Labour MP Sarah Champion (Rotherham). “There. I have said it. Does it make me racist?”

In the eyes of many, the answer seemed to be “yes.”

As a result of these words in an article in The Sun last year, she was forced to resign her post as Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities and has been recently given extra police protection in response to threats.

Her comments refer to the so-called “grooming gangs,” (or more accurately, child-rape gangs), which have been responsible for what’s been described as the ‘industrial scale’ abuse of children up and down the U.K., and for which the SouthYorkshire town of Rotherham, in particular, has sadly become infamous.

For years, Sarah Champion has addressed sexual offending — particularly, offenses against children — with admirable success.

She’s helped bring about changes in the legal definition of child grooming, which made it easier to prosecute offenders. She recently convened a cross-party group on child sexual exploitation; the group’s inquiries led to a letter from Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, which revealed that officials were conducting research into the “characteristics of offenders, victims and the wider context of abuse; all of which have critical bearing on the effective targeting of prevention activity.”

Given that this specific type of gang-based sexual offending occurs within groups frequently involved in other criminal activity, operating in linked networks with members often already known to each other (some, indeed, are relatives), it seems particularly relevant to investigate offenders’ backgrounds.

As soon as the existence of this type of crime became widely known in 2011, the question of the background of the perpetrators was a central but highly contentious issue. Some claimed that the perpetrators’ ethnic identity inhibited many from speaking up for fear of accusations of “racism.”

The media began a long dalliance with generalizations and euphemisms, with gangs often described as “Asian.” Unseemly rows appeared in the media and online about which ethnic group abused children the most.

Yet the evidence mounted. And in December 2017, the anti-extremist Muslim think tank Quilliam published a report, which concluded that about 84 percent of those convicted of this particular type of child sex offense were of “South Asian” background (although a mix of other ethnicities is also involved). In particular, most were of Muslim Pakistani background; Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam has emphasized this in a defense of Champion.

Nazir Afzal, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North of England who pushed for the prosecution of some of the offenders, has likewise noted the disproportionate involvement of ‘Asian and Pakistani men’ and called on communities to do more.

So, what happened when Sarah Champion mentioned ethnic background? She has a long-standing record of working to combat a wide variety of sexual offending, against children, against adults, in the home, and with trafficking victims. Yet a local charity, Just Yorkshire, (which aims to promote “racial justice, civil liberties and human rights,” and which receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation), declared her guilty of “industrial scale racism.”

It is reported that threats to her came from far-left and “community” groups, with an implied link to Just Yorkshire, although such links are always hard to prove. In March, the charity issued their own research, arguing that it showed British Pakistanis felt “scapegoated, dehumanized and potentially criminalized“ by Champion, who acted “like a neo-fascist murderer,” Yet, Champion herself now needs protection.

Not all British Pakistanis, however, feel threatened by Champion. Maajid Nawaz doesn’t seem to be. Nor does Sajid Javid. Nor does the self-described “part-Pakistani” Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who defended Champion against charges of racism; although stating that Champion ‘should, in [her] view, have expressed herself more moderately’.

The county of Yorkshire has a reputation for straight-talking. But when it comes to organized, criminal-networked gangs of men viciously raping thousands of British girls, it seems it’s necessary to whisper discreetly.

There is a bleak irony in how easily the charge of ‘racism’ mars reputations. For Sarah Champion has recognized that how victims are viewed greatly affects the pursuit of justice.

Sixteen pieces of U.K. legislation referred to “child prostitutes”; Champion successfully campaigned to get this wording removed. Regarding girls as “child prostitutes” inclined some professionals to consider that girls were making a “lifestyle choice“.

Some girls were told that they were the ones making trouble; some girls have been arrested and charged for offenses, while their rapists were ignored. Victims were regarded with “contempt.” Meanwhile, abusers issued threats to girls to keep quiet.

And now one of the victims’ champions, Sarah, is herself being regarded by some with contempt, issued with threats, told to “stop causing trouble.” At least, unlike most of the thousands of victims, she is now getting police protection.

Paula Boddington is a Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University and a contributor to the Legal Project, a division of the Middle East Forum.

Alexander: So 36% of Black Americans Support Whom?

Democrats and their Leftmedia talkingheads don’t think black lives matter — beyond the voting booth.

When the great Stanford economist Thomas Sowell was still writing his syndicated column, he would occasionally submit “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene.” In one such offering on the prevalence of racism, as a black American he observed, “Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as ‘racist.'”

That quote came to mind this week as I was surveying the passing scene and realized that this week marks the 55th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s remarkable “I Have a Dream” speech on the Washington Mall.

King declared: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ … I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. … And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.”

Surveying the rest of the passing scene, I came across a stunning presidential approval report: While an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found that Donald Trump’s approval numbers are holding steady after last week’s pile on, what really caught my attention was one standout in Rasmussen’s highly regarded Presidential Approval Tracking Poll. Trump’s approval rating among black Americans is now 36%, almost twice what it was a year ago. Now, I don’t expect this trend will show up as dramatically in the midterm elections, but it is clear that more black voters are recognizing that Democrats turned King’s dream into a nightmare.

Trump’s standing is, in large measure, because of the impact of his administration’s economic policies, which have had a major impact on minority job and income growth. For generations, the Democrat Party has successfully subordinated its black American constituencies to its political will by convincing them they are victims and dependents, and thus, has kept them enslaved on government welfare plantations that have proven to be a miserable failure.

But that’s changing, much to the consternation of the Democratic National Committee, which must constantly juggle its support for an ever-growing list of “political identity groups.” Having shifted its focus toward a “new breed of Democrats,” those promoting “Democratic socialism,” the DNC announced this week that it would also be more visibly pandering to its gender dysphoric constituents, modifying its charter to account for “all genders.” Of course, everywhere but in the DNC’s altered reality, there are only two genders.

This is just the latest revision of the Democrats’ systematic “divide and conquer” playbook, as they foment “Trump Derangement Syndrome” among their increasingly unhinged adherents with an ever-increasing tenor of hate-filled rhetoric. They do so, however, at peril of moving the nation from uncivil discourse to civil war.

Recall that the Democrat race hustlers were greatly empowered under Barack Obama, who was a disciple of hate mentored by his Afro-centric black nationalist “pastor,” Jeremiah “G– d— America” Wright.

In stark contrast to Obama’s focus on race, Martin Luther King dreamed that his children would “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” More than a half-century later, long after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the enactment of Lyndon Johnson’s so-called “Great Society” programs, Democrats are still focusing on “color” rather than “character.”

Obama was elected both because of his unspoken promise to assuage liberal “white guilt” and because of his “color” rhetoric: “A deep distrust exists in communities of color. … There are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. … Frustrations have deep roots in many communities of color. Too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.”

The propagation of this insidious race-bait charade was apparent long before MLK’s generation.

In 1901, Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, wrote the following in Up From Slavery:

[I] resolved that I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. … I pity from the bottom of my heart any individual who is so unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice. … In the sight of God there is no color line, and we want to cultivate a spirit that will make us forget that there is such a line anyway.

As for those who maintain that line, Washington wrote in My Larger Education:

There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. … Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out, they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.

A few months before the Civil Rights march in Washington, Dr. King wrote of those who foment hatred:

I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency … The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best-known being Elijah Muhammad’s Muslim movement. This movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible ‘devil.’ … I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the ‘do-nothingism’ of the complacent nor the hatred of the black nationalist. … For there is the more excellent way of love and non-violent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle…

King concluded his “Dream” speech as follows:

I have a dream that one day … the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, “My country ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, Land of the Pilgrims’ pride, From every mountainside, Let freedom ring.” When we let freedom ring … we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics — will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, We are free at last!”

Fortunately, there is increasing evidence that black Americans are awakening to the Democrats’ generational charade — that Demos have betrayed MLK’s grand vision. That shift is due to the ever-more apparent fact that Democrats and their Leftmedia talkingheads don’t think black lives matter beyond the voting booth.

I share King’s dream.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

“The Patriot Post ( https://patriotpost.us/subscribe )”

The Sum and Substance of the Gospel (Bavinck)

The Reformed Reader

 One reason I always enjoy reading Herman Bavinck is because his discussions are so clearly based on Scripture.  I especially like those parts where he explains a doctrine by using his own sort of paraphrase of verses along with the Scripture references.  For example, this week I’m studying Christ’s ascension in sermon preparation.  So I turned to volume 3 of Bavinck’s Dogmatics where there is a good section summarizing the biblical and theological aspects of Christ’s resurrection and ascension; I’ve put it below.  I like it for further study but also because it’s quite devotional and edifying to read!

Bavinck wrote that the sum and substance of the Gospel isall about the Messiah, the Christ…

…who died and rose again. The cross was an immense offense—also for the disciples (Matt. 26:31). But for them that offense was removed by the resurrection. Then they perceived that Jesus had to die…

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AUGUST 29 MORE THAN CONSOLATION

Blessed is the man…his delight is in the law of the Lord.

Psalm 1:1–2

It is my judgment that too many of us go to church on Sunday for the same reason that a child climbs into its mother’s arms after a fall or a bump or a fright—the child wants consolation!

We have fallen upon times when religion is mostly for consolation—for we are in the grip of the cult of peace. We want to relax and have the great God Almighty pat our heads and comfort us with peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of soul. This has become religion!

According to my Bible, there should be a people of God, a people called of God and subjected to a spiritual experience by God. Then they are to learn to walk in the way of Truth and the way of the Scripture, producing the righteous fruit of the child of God no matter what world conditions may be.

But there is a great misunderstanding among us. Too many tend to think that we get the flower and the fragrance and the fruit of the Spirit by some kind of magical shortcut, instead of by cultivation. Meanwhile, our neighbors are waiting to see the likeness of Christ in our daily lives!

Lord, I don’t want to be known as a Sunday-only Christian. I want my faith in You to be obvious to my family, coworkers, and neighbors. I pray that others will see the fruit of Your presence in my life today.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Midweek Apologetics Hit & Misc: Defending The Faith Like The Early Church

Jesus in the Old Testament

Defending The Faith Like The Early Church

DNA Points to Design

Biology’s Big Bangs

Critical Theory & Christianity

Was there Death Before the Fall? Interview with Krista Bontrager

The Problem of Evil: Presupposing Good?

Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds

False Ideas Start in the Mind before They Get Expressed as Actions

Why Young People in Church First Need Worldview Training

How Do We Respect Others While Rejecting Their False Beliefs?

Apologetics and the Christian Imagination
— Read on www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2018/08/midweek-apologetics-hit-misc-defending-the-faith-like-the-early-church.html

Pope Francis endorses conference featuring dissident, pro-LGBT speakers | Blogs | LifeSite

The event was organized by a pro-homosexual priest.

SARAJEVO, August 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In July, Pope Francis sent a three-page letter “blessing” and endorsing a Catholic ethics conference co-organized by Jesuit Father James Keenan, a public promoter of same-sex “marriage.” The conference featured many feminist and pro-LGBT speakers.
— Read on www.lifesitenews.com/mobile/blogs/pope-francis-endorses-conference-featuring-dissident-pro-lgbt-speakers

‘Jesus Was A Socialist,’ Says Man Who’s Obviously Never Been Within 10 Feet Of A Bible — The Babylon Bee

BROOKLYN, NY—On Monday, New York University acting student Liam Roberts became engaged in a political argument with his conservative Christian roommate, Jake Martinez. During the heated exchange, which was reportedly about Medicare, Roberts claimed that Jesus Christ was a socialist.

When Martinez asked him to back up his claim, Roberts cited “the Bible” and “the stuff Jesus said about the poor.” Martinez pressed further, demanding Roberts show him the chapter and verse in which Jesus advocated for a socialist political system on earth, or suggested that the way to help the poor is to forcibly take money from some in order to inefficiently redistribute it to others as the government sees fit.

Further investigation has revealed that Roberts hasn’t ever been within ten feet of a copy of the Bible.

“Do I look like a biblical scholar?” Roberts said before leaving the dorm to go to rehearsal. “It’s pretty obvious that Jesus was a socialist from the memes and stuff I’ve seen on the topic.”

At publishing time, reporters had been unable to reach Roberts for comment, but a vague post regarding “hypocrisy in politics” was seen on his Facebook wall several hours after his argument with Martinez.

via ‘Jesus Was A Socialist,’ Says Man Who’s Obviously Never Been Within 10 Feet Of A Bible — The Babylon Bee

Facebook Unveils New Pre-Crime Division

MENLO PARK, CA—In an effort to combat hate on its platform, Facebook has unveiled its new Pre-Crime Division, a department of the social media company that will identify and neutralize people likely to commit hate crimes, violate the company’s terms of service, or engage in any other activity the company disapproves of.

Using advanced algorithms in conjunction with several psychics known as “Precogs,” Facebook will now be able to identify who will commit a terms of service violation before it happens and send them to Facebook’s state-of-the-art detention facility.

“You’ve already been giving us tons of data on yourselves, completely voluntarily,” Zuckerberg said at Pre-Crime’s unveiling. “I’m not sure why you dumb fools do that, but hey. Anyway, we’re using that data to figure out who the most dangerous threats are, and then we’re sending Facebook Enforcement Officers to their houses and taking them out before they can post that unapproved meme or status update.”

In a live demonstration, video feed showed a conservative Facebook user thinking about posting a meme featuring Donald Trump as Warhammer 40K’s Emperor of Mankind. Several futuristic helicopters bearing the Facebook logo hovered above his house as he uploaded the image, with assault troopers busting through his roof and neutralizing him just as he was about to hit the “Share” button.

“This is the future!” Zuckerberg added ominously as the man was dragged to a Facebook correction center.

Several of those identified as pre-criminals in the first wave of attempted arrests went on the run, going so far as to replace their eyeballs with new implants to get away from Facebook’s omnipresent facial recognition technology, but all of them were caught within a few hours.

“Welcome to a world with no more crime,” Zuckerberg said, smiling.

— Read on babylonbee.com/news/facebook-unveils-new-pre-crime-division/

No political bias at Facebook? Employee claims company suffers from liberal mob-rule — RT US News

A Facebook employee has warned that the company’s liberal culture is becoming increasingly intolerant, going so far as to say that Donald Trump and other critics are right to accuse the social media giant of political bias.
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/437167-facebook-intolerant-liberal-bias/

August 29, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

loving money ignores the true gain

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. (6:6)

This verse is closely connected with verse 5. De (but) could also be translated “indeed.” In that case, Paul would be saying in response to the false teachers who saw their religious activity as a way to get rich, “Indeed, godliness does provide great gain.” The NASB translation reflects an adversative sense of the word. Paul’s meaning then is “But as over against the false understanding of godliness displayed by the false teachers, true godliness does result in great gain.” The apostle’s point is that true godliness is profitable, but not as some think.

Godliness translates eusebeia, a familiar term in the Pastoral Epistles. It means “piety,” “reverence,” or “likeness to God,” and here even “religion,” in the true sense. As such, it describes true holiness, spirituality, and virtue. When accompanied by contentment, such religion or godliness is a means of great gain. Autarkēia (contentment) means “self-sufficiency,” and was used by the Cynic and Stoic philosophers to describe the person who was unflappable, unmoved by outside circumstances, and who properly reacted to his environment (cf. Geoffrey B. Wilson, The Pastoral Epistles [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1982], 85). To be content means to be satisfied and sufficient, and to seek nothing more than what one has.

For the Christian, unlike the Greek philosophers, contentment derives from God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” In 2 Corinthians 9:8 he adds, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” The apostle gave testimony to his own contentment in Philippians 4:11–13:

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

In verse 19 of the same chapter he adds, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” For the believer, then, contentment is more than a mere noble human virtue. It is based on the sufficiency provided by God the Father and Jesus Christ. Loving money deprives one of that contentment, thus ignoring the true gain provided by true godliness.

True godliness produces contentment and spiritual riches. People are truly rich when they are content with what they have. The richest person is the one who doesn’t need anything else. When asked the secret of contentment, the Greek philosopher Epicurus replied, “Add not to a man’s possessions but take away from his desires” (cited in William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], 129). He is richest who desires the least. Proverbs 30:8–9 puts it this way: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

A godly person is motivated not by the love of money but by the love of God. He seeks the true riches of spiritual contentment that come from complete trust in an all-sufficient God. David said in Psalm 63:1–5,

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory. Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. So I will bless Thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips (cf. Ps. 107:9; Isa. 55:2; 58:11).

No amount of money will make up for a lack of contentment. John D. Rockefeller once said, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” Cornelius Vanderbilt added, “The care of millions is too great a load … there is no pleasure in it.” Millionaire John Jacob Astor described himself as “the most miserable man on earth.” Despite his wealth, Henry Ford once remarked, “I was happier doing mechanic’s work.” And John D. Rockefeller commented, “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money.”

Love of money and contentment are mutually exclusive. As a Roman proverb put it, money is like sea water, the more you drink the thirstier you get (Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, 132). Ecclesiastes 5:10 sums it up, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.”[1]


6 In the first saying, Paul asserts that the true sign of “godliness” (eusebeia, GK 2354; see comments at 2:2) is “contentment” (autarkeia, GK 894; see 2 Co 9:8; Php 4:11; cf. Ps 34:10); such contented godliness is truly profitable (NIV, “gain,” porismos). Contentment, defined as “self-sufficiency,” was considered a virtue in Greek (Cynic-Stoic) philosophy. Paul, however, did not advocate that version of contentment. Rather, “putting new wine in old wineskins” (cf. Frederick E. Brenk, “Old Wineskins Recycled: Autarkeia in 1 Timothy 6.5–10,” Filologia neotestamentaria 3 [May 1990]:39–52), he “ ‘turned the tables’on the Stoics by declaring that genuine autarkeia is not self-sufficiency but Christ-sufficiency” (Fee, 143). Such true contentment is set in contrast to the greed of always wanting more,which leads to the exploitation of others.

In essence, “godliness” is not an avenue for material gain; as a spiritual virtue, it is “gain” in and of itself. This message has strong countercultural implications in the increasingly materialistic cultures of Western society. Even Christians are frequently drawn into a pattern of excessive debt, consumer spending, and status-consciousness based on material possessions (see “Consumerism,” “Debt,” and “Economics,” in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, ed. A. S. Moreau [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000], 224–25, 262–63, 297–99).[2]


6:6 / This verse stands in immediate contrast to the last words in verse 5, with a striking play on terms. They think godliness “is a way to become rich.” They are partly right. There is great gain (or profit, now used metaphorically) in eusebeia, provided it is accompanied by contentment, that is, if one is satisfied with what one has and does not seek material gain.

The word autarkeia (contentment) expresses the favorite virtue of Stoic and Cynic philosophers, for whom it meant “self-sufficiency,” or the ability to rely on one’s own inner resources. There are some (D-C, Hanson, Brox, et al.) who see that philosophical tradition as lying behind all of verses 6–8, and they translate “if it is coupled with self-sufficiency” (D-C; cf. neb, “whose resources are within him”). But Paul has already used this word in an analogous context in Philippians 4:11; there he “turned the tables” on the Stoics by declaring that genuine autarkeia is not self-sufficiency but Christ-sufficiency. For Paul, therefore, the word means contentment, the empowering Christ gives to live above both want and plenty (Phil. 4:13). Moreover, there is no hint in 1 Timothy that its author considered anything like self-sufficiency to be a virtue. Life for him is all of grace and dependent on God’s mercies (1:12–17), and his ministry comes from Christ who appointed and empowered him for it (1:12).

Paul’s point, of course, is to combat the greed of the false teachers and, incidentally, of any others who might be tempted to lean in that direction.[3]


6:6. Paul had just shown how the false teachers equated gain, success, and personal well-being with money. They promoted a form of outer godliness and intricate academic systems in order to draw people into their influence and so secure their financial support. Religion brought them prestige and profits.

But … This little qualifier is an important word. Paul negated the premise and goal of the false teachers. Success and personal well-being have nothing to do with rules, crowd adoration, or material prosperity: it is godliness with contentment [that] is great gain.

For Paul, godliness was the entire scope of the faith—correct doctrine combined with new life, truth measured by right living. The spiritual goals and disciplines necessary to progress in Christlikeness are to be the consuming passion of all his followers. This has nothing to do with material wealth or poverty. Material possessions are irrelevant. The human soul was not created to find contentment in the accumulation of stuff. This is a phantom that too many people chase. Personal peace is found in intimate relationship with God—this is great gain.[4]


6:6 Just as the previous verse gave a false definition of gain, so this verse gives the true meaning of the word. The combination of godliness with contentment is great gain. Godliness without contentment would give a one-sided testimony. Contentment without godliness would not be distinctively Christian at all. But to have real godliness and at the same time to be satisfied with one’s personal circumstances is more than money can buy.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 250–252). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 553–554). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (p. 143). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 243). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2100). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Quick Google Search Confirms Google Not Rigged — The Babylon Bee

RICHMOND, VA—When Lucas Wilson, 38, heard President Trump’s recent assertion that Google searches are rigged, he was understandably concerned, as the man uses Google for dozens of queries each and every day.

So Wilson did the only reasonable thing: he searched Google to see whether or not Google is rigged, biased, or otherwise compromised.

Thankfully, his search “Is Google rigged?” returned a handy answer straight from Google: “Definitely not rigged.” He then tried a few other searches such as “Is Google evil?”, “Is Google biased?”, and “Is Google trying to take over the world?”, to all of which Google’s search engine returned a negative response.

Satisfied with Google’s comprehensive slate of answers, Wilson went back to his life, secure in the knowledge that the giant tech company would never skew its search results, either in its own favor or against its ideological foes.

via Quick Google Search Confirms Google Not Rigged — The Babylon Bee

August 29 The Blind Men Reach Out

Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about this!” But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land.—Matt. 9:30b–31

Usually believers need to say more, not less, about the gospel of Jesus Christ. But here our Lord had definite reasons for commanding the people to whom He had ministered most directly not to publicize what had occurred.

He did not forbid them from speaking simply because He did not want their specific healing made known or because He did not want His miracles in general to be proclaimed. The miracles were evidence of His deity and legitimate mission. Christ commanded silence because it was not time to widely publicize His messiahship, lest the news stir up premature opposition to Him or encourage revolutionary Jews to rally around Him as a political deliverer.

Jesus also did not want to overemphasize His miracles. While they were a key element of His ministry, they were not the primary reason for His incarnation. Many already were not understanding the miracles rightly: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26).

Another reason why the Lord may not have wanted the men heralding His messiahship was because He wanted others, especially the Jews, to look to Scripture for the fulfillment of prophecy about the Messiah.

But in spite of Jesus’ command, the blind men still “went out and spread the news about Him.” This was disobedient of them and was the wrong response. However, it was the sort of sin that only grateful, eager new converts would commit. The men could not resist telling everyone of their miraculous deliverance.

ASK YOURSELF

How much of your everyday conversation is taken up with what the Lord has done for you? Is it because you’re trying to be sensitive to the unsaved around you? Or is it more because you just haven’t thought about it that much?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 250). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

STDs Hit Record High — Again! But are More Condoms the Answer?: An Interview with Abstinence Educator Scott Phelps — Julie Roys

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have hit an all-time high for a fourth year in a row. And the The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is sounding a familiar refrain. More condoms! More sex ed! More funding! There’s no doubt, the statistics are alarming. Syphilis increased 76-percent between 2013-2017. Gonorrhea increased 67-percent, and is becoming…

via STDs Hit Record High — Again! But are More Condoms the Answer?: An Interview with Abstinence Educator Scott Phelps — Julie Roys

What got me started on apologetics? William Lane Craig debate transcripts

WINTERY KNIGHT

William Lane Craig lecturing to university students William Lane Craig lecturing to university students

Yes, William Lane Craig debate transcripts. In fact, I still read them from time to time to keep up my skills.

Here’s one of my favorites, the Craig-Nielsen debate on grounding morality without God

Summary:

THE CRAIG-NIELSEN DEBATE: GOD, MORALITY, AND EVIL
William Lane Craig and Kai Nielsen
with annotations by William Lane Craig
February 1991, University of Western Ontario

Best part:

Finally, he raises the issue of immortality and says, “Death doesn’t undermine moral values. In fact, things that we value become all the more precious.” Well, in one sense he’s right. It’s the absenceofGod that undermines the objectivity of moral values, not death. But let’s suppose that there are objective moral values. What would be undermined by the lack of immortality? I think two things.

First, I think there would be no reason to adopt the moral point…

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Why Christian faith simply can’t be about a relationship with Jesus!

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Over the years, I have attempted to educate youth, college students, and adults about the need to move from a privatized faith to a public faith. In other words, when we present the Gospel, almost all of us talk about how people can have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus the Messiah. While our faith is certainly about our relationship with Jesus, unfortunately, many Christians stop there. Thus, they don’t see their faith as a worldview. Therefore, they aren’t taught that their faith should be able to answer the big questions of reality.

The term worldview was used in the sense described by prominent German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911). Dilthey affirmed that philosophy must be defined as a comprehensiveness vision of reality that involves the social and historical reality of humankind, including religion. A worldview is thus the nature and structure of the body of convictions of…

View original post 1,427 more words

Reports: FBI Admits it Leaks to Media, Then Uses Stories to Get Warrants | Breitbart

Jonathon Moffa, an FBI agent, admitted to Congress his agency leaks stories to the news media, then uses the resulting stories to back up assertions in warrant applications, according to a series of reports Tuesday.
— Read on www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/08/28/reports-fbi-admits-it-leaks-to-media-then-uses-stories-to-get-warrants/