Daily Archives: July 21, 2019

July 21 The Struggle with Temptation

Scripture Reading: Luke 4:1–13

Key Verses: Luke 4:1–2

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

Everyone faces temptation. Even the Son of God was tempted by Satan to turn away from God. But Jesus saw through the enemy’s schemes and remained firm in His love and devotion to the Father (Luke 4:1–13).

One of the reasons Jesus came was to personally identify with our needs and struggles. He understands how you feel under the weight of temptation. He has faced the tempter and overcome the darkness and adversity associated with Satan’s fiery trials.

When you face temptation, know that you do not face it alone. Jesus is with you, and He provides the strength you need to say no to every dark thought or evil imagination. In times of temptation, when the enemy whispers lies to defeat and discourage, take your stand against him by clothing yourself in the mighty armor of God (Ephesians 6). Also know that you can never disappoint God. He knows exactly what you are doing even before you do it, and He loves you still.

Temptation is not a sin. Sin is the result of our acting on the temptation. God provides the strength we need to steer clear of temptation. You can say no to all evil because Jesus lives in you, and He has given you the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth and knowledge. Therefore, take your stand as a child of God and claim His strength and victory!

Father, I know temptation is common to all. Give me the strength to steer clear of temptation and reject evil.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 212). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 21 Greed

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 11:24–26

Key Verse: James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

What drove the two biggest business deals of the late eighties—the $25 billion takeover fight for RJR Nabisco and the $14 billion merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications? Was it the conviction that bigger is better? Was it the search for corporate “synergies”? On paper, maybe. But three telling new accounts make it clear that the real moving forces were raw ego, greed, and ambition.

Such is the way Time magazine described the driving force of greed in our culture.

From corporate takeovers to individual ambitions, greed is a prime motivation for millions. We want more than we have; we want it now.

Clearly the Christian must move countercurrent to the prevailing tide of greed when it comes to a generous spirit. Generosity does not flow from educational, governmental, or financial systems. The polluted power of sin within each of us prevents generosity from naturally coming forth from us.

Generosity is a godly quality because God is the Author of cheerful giving (2 Cor. 9:7). Do you feel stingy? Are you slow to help others? Only a deliberate step of submission to the Lord Jesus Christ with a humble request for a giving heart can begin the blessings of a generous spirit.

Dear heavenly Father, deliver me from greed. Make me a cheerful giver. Bless me with a generous spirit.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 212). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 21 Perfect Faith

Scripture reading: Matthew 14:22–27

Key verse: Matthew 14:27

Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Just as Peter did, we spend a good portion of our lives learning to live by faith. Peter was certain that he had unwavering faith in Christ. However, it was about to be tested. In the middle of a severe storm on the open Sea of Galilee, the disciples tried not to become overwhelmed with fear. They struggled furiously with the sails and longed for Jesus’ help. But He was not with them on the trip, or at least that was what they perceived.

Suddenly, something caught their attention. An image that appeared to be a ghost was walking toward them on the water’s raging surface. It was Jesus, but their frantic minds did not recognize Him.

They cried out in despair. Jesus, sensing their anguish called back, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Matt. 14:27). Peter exhibited real faith as he stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus.

It wasn’t until he was a distance away from the boat that his faith began to crumble. The stormy swells and the winds created a curtain of doubt in Peter’s mind. His attention shifted from the Lord to the storm, and he began to sink. Perfect faith is set on Christ. It does not waver. And the person who exhibits it will never sink, not because of his ability or strength, but because of God’s faithfulness.

Perfect my faith, Lord. Give me a faith that does not waver. Give me a faith that is securely grounded in Your faithfulness.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 212). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Sunday Talks: Dr. Ben Carson Discusses Ridiculous Racist Accusations and Media Complicity… — The Last Refuge

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson appears on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to discuss the ridiculous accusations of racism against President Trump.

In one of the reference points, Dr Carson reminds everyone about the February 2016 ABC debate when all the other candidates left him hanging, but not Donald Trump.  Funnily enough CTH wrote about that specific moment at the time; and it’s interesting how that moment stayed with Dr. Carson and he references it well over three years later.

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FLASHBACK February 6th, 2016 – Few people will talk about this, and fewer will even want to acknowledge it, but what Donald Trump did before the ABC debate began shows the measure of a real man’s worth.

Trump and Carson

At the beginning of the ABC debate, each of the candidates were being introduced in a specific order. The first name called to the stage was Chris Christie. The applause was loud and lingered through the time when Martha Raddatz called the second candidate Ben Carson.

Dr. Carson did not hear his name called (easy to understand why when you listen to the video) and stood in the entry-way. The moderators, with their backs to the candidates, didn’t notice his absence and called the third name on the list, Ted Cruz.

Ted walked past Dr. Carson and onto the stage. Carson remained in the awkward, and embarrassing position, ‘no-mans-land’, on-camera but out of sight of the live audience.

What happened next shows the remarkable character of Donald Trump.

The fourth name called was Donald Trump, but by then the back-stage crew and candidates were aware of Dr. Carsons’ position. Trump slowly approached, and then realized the embarrassing position of a fellow candidate hanging in the wind.

Trump showed his leadership by standing right next to his friend, and not walking onto the stage.

The other names continued to be called, and proceeded as mentioned. But not Donald Trump, he remained with his colleague thereby reducing the internal anxiety felt by Carson.

It would have been very easy for Trump to walk by Ben, just like all the other candidates did. But instead he chose to wait, and remove the embarrassment factor by infinite magnitudes.

Then, like a boss, when Dr. Carson was called to the stage, Donald Trump waited and allowed Dr. Carson to get the audience response and appreciation.

It takes a lot of courage to make split second decisions like that, and it shows a remarkable insight into the man’s character.

Watch.

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People often mistake Donald Trump’s self-confidence for arrogance or even narcissism. But there is not a narcissist on the planet who would have put themselves into a position like that to assist a competing colleague.

Here’s Mr. Trump talking to an audience member several years ago, and reminding them that no-one is “less than”.

via Sunday Talks: Dr. Ben Carson Discusses Ridiculous Racist Accusations and Media Complicity… — The Last Refuge

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Compatible with Biblical Christianity? — Pulpit & Pen

In addressing a church in compromise, the apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to “Learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another” (1 Cor 4:6). For Paul, utilizing the text of Scripture as the norm of Christian Faith and practice was critical to church unity. Paul taught that Scripture is theopneustos (i.e., God-breathed), and that it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). Paul counted the Berean Jews as “more noble” than those in Thessalonica, because they did not unquestionably receive Paul’s teaching, but instead compared it to “the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). Indeed, Scripture serves as the sufficient and authoritative means by which Christians may discern whether a movement or practice is appropriate.
In light of the above, is the movement known as Alcoholics Anonymous (here forth A.A.) consistent with what the Scriptures teach? Below I have cited four reasons why A.A. is not only incompatible with biblical teaching, but it is actually a competing religion.
A.A. Espouses a Relativistic Notion of GodAccording to Alcoholics Anonymous (i.e., the “Big Book”), “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express himself in our group conscience.”1 The pamphlet, Members of the Clergy ask about Alcoholics Anonymous, states,
Most members, before turning to A.A., had already admitted that they could not handle their drinking—alcohol had taken control of their lives. A.A. experience suggests that to get sober and stay sober, alcoholics need to accept and depend upon a spiritual entity, or force, that they perceive as greater than themselves. Some choose the A.A. group as their “Higher Power”; some look to God—as they understand Him; and others rely upon entirely different concepts.2
From the biblical perspective, there is only one God (Is 43:10), and any conception of God that is contrary to the God revealed in Scripture is an idol (Ps 96:5; cf. 1 Cor 10:14). Neither the nebulous notion of a “Higher Power,” the collective consciousness of an A.A. fellowship, a “force,” or a subjective conception of God will suffice. While the reasoning behind A.A.’s “ultimate authority” may be altruistic, it is nothing more than idolatry. Moreover, encouraging someone to “accept and depend upon a spiritual entity” that is not the Christian God is both sinful and dangerous.
A.A. Rejects the Authority of Scripture 
The tenth of A. A.’s “Twelve Traditions” states,

No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues—particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups opposes no one.3

A.A.intends to portray an innocuous image while remaining neutral on controversial issues. However, such an attempt at neutrality is itself non-neutral. One cannot be lukewarm on an issue such as the Lordship of Christ. Jesus said to his disciples “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matt 12:30). Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “You are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:15-16). An attempt at neutrality, or even silence, is itself an opinion on “controversial issues.” Therefore, because A.A.intentionally rejects the exclusivistic nature of the Bible’s truth claims (e.g., Acts 4:121 Tim 2:5), it rejects Christianity by implication.
A.A. Calls a Disease What the Bible Calls Sin 
The Bible identifies drunkenness as sin. Paul wrote,

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. (Gal 5:19-21a)4

For A.A., alcoholism is a disease, and alcoholics are sick.5 However, biblically speaking, devoting oneself to an addiction to alcohol (or anything else) isn’t merely a disease, it is sin. More precisely, it is the sin of idolatry. Because A.A. does not accurately identify the problem, it is unable to provide a sufficient solution. Hence, A.A. members introduce themselves as alcoholics into perpetuity. By distinction, the Christian gospel makes sinners free from bondage to sin6 and the Holy Spirit sanctifies his people. While Christians may still struggle with sin,7 they are no a slave to sin and are a new creation in Jesus Christ.8Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

A.A. advocates a distinctly non-Christian spirituality 
A.A. calls its groups “fellowships,” and throughout A.A. literature, discussions regarding a spiritual awakening or experience(s) occur.9 The twelfth of the “Twelve Steps” states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”10 A.A. requests that clergy “Recognize the spiritual (though nondenominational) aspects of the A.A. program.”11What is the “spiritual remedy”12 offered by A.A.? It is participating in the meetings which includes confession and reciting the Twelve Step creed, praying and relying upon a subjective conception of God or not, abiding by the instructions in the “Big Book,” and even evangelizing “prospects” (i.e., people who struggle with alcoholism but want to stop drinking).13Indeed, A.A. is a religion in itself and is therefore completely contrary to biblical Christianity.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Michael R. Burgos Jr. It originally appeared at the Biblical Trinitarian blog.

_____________________

1Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism, New and Rev. Ed., (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc., 1955), 565.

2Members of the Clergy ask about Alcoholics Anonymous, Rev. Ed., (New York: The A.A. Grapevine Inc., 1992), 13.

3Alcoholics Anonymous, 567.

4 Cf. Luke 21:34Rom 13:13Eph 5:181 Pet 4:3.

5Alcoholics Anonymous, xi, 64, 115.

6Rom 6:76:18-228:2.

7 See Rom 7:7-251 John 2:1.

82 Cor 5:17.

9Alcoholics Anonymous, 49, 114, 569.

10 Ibid., 60.

11Members of the Clergy, 17.

12Alcoholics Anonymous, xvi, 60, 133.

13 Ibid., 90.Biblical Trinitarian Share

via Is Alcoholics Anonymous Compatible with Biblical Christianity? — Pulpit & Pen

After Calling the Border Crisis a “Distraction and “Manufactured” — Chuck Schumer Now Blames Trump for the ‘Inhumane’ Conditions — The Gateway Pundit

It seems like it was just yesterday that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi ridiculed President Trump calling the border crisis a “distraction” and a “manufactured crisis.”

But Chuck Schumer the politician has now changed his tune.
On Saturday Chuck went to the border and then blamed President Trump for the crisis.

Schumer told reporters the conditions at the holding centers are “inhumane”.

Democrats are putting illegal aliens first — in front of Americans.

via After Calling the Border Crisis a “Distraction and “Manufactured” — Chuck Schumer Now Blames Trump for the ‘Inhumane’ Conditions — The Gateway Pundit

David Jeremiah Says Modern Church is an Entertainment-Driven Social Organization Eager to Blend in With Secular Society — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Pastor David Jeremiah speaks at a special session celebrating the 70th anniversary of the modern state of Israel at Proclaim 18, the National Religious Broadcasters International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 1, 2018. | (Photo: National Religious Broadcasters)

Many U.S. churches today have “forgotten” their purpose, becoming entertainment-driven social organizations eager to blend in with secular culture instead of focusing on biblical discipleship, Pastor David Jeremiah warned.

“The Church is coming under attack; it’s forgotten what the Church is supposed to be,” Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries, told The Christian Post. “We’re not an entertainment service; we’re not here to see how close we can get to what the world does. But there’s so much of the world in the Church and vice versa that we can’t tell a difference. We have to hold to the truth. We have to get nourished. If it’s not happening, you’re a social organization and not a church.”

Jeremiah, who also serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, explained that amid a nationwide decline in church attendance, far too many churches have become “obsessed” with remaining relevant.

“There’s an incredible motivation on the part of everyone to be successful, and a lot of times people program their churches to see how many people will sit in the pews on Sunday,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with getting people there, as long as you share the Gospel. But there’s no glory in just a number.”

“Don’t worship at the attendance altar,” Jeremiah advised. “A lot of good things happen in churches when there aren’t huge numbers but the pastor has prepared a good message and there’s worship. We get off on this thing that we have to be bigger than the guy down the street and how to get more people in the building. When you’re focused on that, you’ll never preach anything that’s controversial and you’ll always be trying to figure out how to get more people to come.”

The New York Times best-selling author pointed out that ironically, churches that focus on entertainment and fail to present the whole Gospel are actually driving millennials and Generation Z away. He cited research from Barna Group and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network which found that 67 percent of millennials prefer a “classic” church over a “trendy” one.

“Here in California, we see interest on the part of millennials and younger for the Bible and for truth,” the pastor said. “Most of the time, we see statistics about how people are leaving the Church, but in many respects, young people are demanding more truth, more teaching, and less entertainment. They’re not interested in shallow expressions of religion.”

He told CP that many Christians feel uncertain when it comes to living each day as followers of Christ — even though God equips all believers with everything they need to walk confidently as members of His kingdom. This, he said, is often a failure on the part of church leadership.

“Christians have two major markers in their lives: When they become Christians, and when they go to Heaven. But most Christians don’t know what to do in between those two markers, and that’s because churches don’t teach them,” Jeremiah said. “The whole idea that God expects us to build character in our lives is a foreign thing to so many people because it hasn’t been taught and explained from our pulpits.”

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post

via David Jeremiah Says Modern Church is an Entertainment-Driven Social Organization Eager to Blend in With Secular Society — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

No Wonder Google Execs Cried When Hillary Lost – They Funded Crowdstrike – The ‘Experts’ Behind the Russian Hackers Story — The Gateway Pundit

The day after the 2016 Presidential election the leadership team at Google was caught crying at a company-wide meeting with one exec saying “We lost.”

Now we know that they were behind the firm that claimed Russia hacked the DNC – Crowdstrike!

The Gateway Pundit previously reported after the 2016 election on Breitbart.com’s video showing Google execs crying like children after Hillary Clinton’s loss.

A video recorded by Google shortly after the 2016 presidential election reveals an atmosphere of panic and dismay amongst the tech giant’s leadership, coupled with a determination to thwart both the Trump agenda and the broader populist movement emerging around the globe.

We now know more about why these execs may have been crying after the election – Google is funded Crowdstrike!

In July 2015 Google invested $100 million into Crowdstrike

Google Capital, the two-year-old growth equity arm of search giant Google (GOOG), announced its first security investment on Monday morning.

The fund has pumped $100 million into cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. It was joined by cloud computing company Rackspace (RAX), which is a customer, and the firm’s existing investors Accel and Warburg Pincus. The new infusion represents a Series C round for the Irvine, Calif.-based company, bringing its total funding raised to date to $156 million.

Crowdstrike admitted this on their website.

At about this same time, the media reported in February of 2015 (four months before Trump even announced running for POTUS) the Intel community was advising Congress and the White House on the issue and extent of Russian hacking and blaming Russian hacking (going as far back as 2012) on Ukraine aggression.

This information was no doubt based on claims made by Crowdstrike.  A year later, the only firm that investigated the DNC  emails that were released by WikiLeaks was Crowdstrike.

How was Crowdstrike able to determine that in 2015 the Russians hacked Congress because they were upset about Ukraine and then a year later claim Russians hacked the DNC because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton?

We reported on May 11, 2019, that Roger Stone and his legal team are requesting the report from Crowdstrike, the firm connected with the Deep State and tied to Google.

Their position is that if the Mueller team and the FBI did not inspect the DNC server, then how can they know that the server was hacked. This logical argument makes sense.

The Mueller team is fighting back against the Stone team and arguing that it is not necessary to see the documents that support that Russia hacked the DNC.

This is preposterous!

We’ve been reporting for months that the entire Russia collusion delusion is a sham.

To date there has been no evidence reported that proves the DNC was hacked by the Russians.

No reports to date show that the DNC server was inspected by the Mueller team and the FBI. Since this is the case, there is no way the Mueller team can claim the server was hacked.

More people believe that the DNC had emails stolen by an insider and this is how the DNC emails reached WikiLeaks. The WikiLeaks team has stated numerous times that Russians did not provide them with the DNC emails.

Since there is no proof for the emails being hacked, the reports that Russians were involved in the collusion delusion evaporate.

This would and should destroy the entire Russian sham make-believe case. Our reporting has been confirmed by others in the Intelligence community.

We reported that former NSA employee and whistle blower, Bill Binney, has reviewed the information provided online by WikiLeaks and it shows that the data coming from the DNC was not hacked but rather copied to a disk or flash drive!

Binney says:

The problem with the Mueller report and the Rosenstein indictment is it’s all based on lies. I mean the fact they’re still lying about the, saying the DNC was hacked by the Russians and the Russians gave it to WikiLeaks.

Well, we had some of our people and our group, the VIPS, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals, look at the data that WikiLeaks posted on the DNC data. They actually posted the DNC data…

…that entire set of data was read to a thumb drive or a CD Rom then physically transported. Now this is what Kim Dotcom is saying. This is what Julian Assange basically was inferring. Others have been saying the same things.”

It’s clear the DNC was not hacked and it’s more likely an insider like a Seth Rich copied the files to a disk drive and turned them over to Wikileaks.  This is more likely than reports that the Russians hacked the DNC.

Now we know why Google executives were crying when Donald Trump won the Presidency.

They were tied to the purveyors of Russian Collusion – Crowdstrike!

Hat tips D. Manny and Yaacov Apelbaum

via No Wonder Google Execs Cried When Hillary Lost – They Funded Crowdstrike – The ‘Experts’ Behind the Russian Hackers Story — The Gateway Pundit

July 21, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Ver. 9.—That ye may prosper in all that ye do. The verb here used (הִשְׂכִּיל) means primarily to look at, to consider or attend to, hence to become intelligent, to be prudent, to act wisely, and so to have success, to prosper. It is the prosperity which comes from wise and prudent action that God commends to his people (cf Josh. 1:7, 8).[1]


29:9 keep the words of this covenant. The spiritual experience of God’s faithfulness to Israel should have led to obedience to the stipulations of the Sinaitic Covenant in the future, but could not without a transformed heart (vv. 4, 18) and the true knowledge of God (v. 6).[2]


29:9 In light of all of God’s mighty acts on Israel’s behalf (vv. 5–8), he had every right to expect them to observe the Deuteronomic covenant and thus ensure their success; but human nature being what it is, even miraculous displays of power did not always lead to faith and repentance (Jn 12:37).[3]


[1] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Deuteronomy (p. 447). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Dt 29:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Merrill, E. H. (2017). Deuteronomy. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 305–306). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

William Lane Craig debates Austin Dacey: Does God Exist? — WINTERY KNIGHT

Here is the video and summary of a debate between Christian theist William Lane Craig and Austin Dacey at Purdue University in 2004 about the existence of God.

The debaters:

The video: (2 hours)

The video shows the speakers and powerpoint slides of their arguments. Austin Dacey is one of the top atheist debaters, and I would put him second to Peter Millican alone, with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong in third place. This is the debate to show people who are new to apologetics. The debate with Peter Millican is better for advanced students, and that’s no surprise since he teaches at Oxford University and is familiar with all of Dr. Craig’s work. The Craig-Dacey debate is the one that I give to my co-workers.

By the way, you can get the DVDs and CDs for the first Craig-Dacey debate and the second Craig-Dacey debate and the second Craig-Sinnott-Armstrong debate. The Peter Millican debate is not available on DVD, but the link above (Peter Millican) has the video and my summary.

Dr. Dacey’s 5 arguments below are all good arguments that you find in the academic literature. He is also an effective and engaging speaker, This is a great debate to watch!

SUMMARY of the opening speeches:

Dr. Craig’s opening statement:

Dr. Craig will present six reasons why God exists:

  1. (Contingency argument) God is the best explanation of why something exists rather than nothing
  2. (Cosmological argument)  God’s existence is implied by the origin of the universe
  3. (Fine-tuning argument) The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life points to a designer of the cosmos
  4. (Moral argument) God is the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values and objective moral duties
  5. (Miracles argument) The historical facts surrounding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus
  6. (Religious experience) God’s existence is directly knowable even apart from arguments

Dr. Dacey’s opening argument:

There are two ways to disprove God’s existence, by showing that the concept of God is self-contradictory, or by showing that certain facts about ourselves and the world are incompatible with what we would expect to be true if God did exist. Dr. Dacey will focus on the second kind of argument.

  1. The hiddenness of God
  2. The success of science in explaining nature without needing a supernatural agency
  3. The dependence of mind on physical processes in the brain
  4. Naturalistic evolution
  5. The existence of gratuitous / pointless evil and suffering

One final point:

One thing that I have to point out is that Dr. Dacey quotes Brian Greene during the debate to counter Dr. Craig’s cosmological argument. Dr. Craig could not respond because he can’t see the context of the quote. However, Dr. Craig had a rematch with Dr. Dacey where was able to read the context of the quote and defuse Dr. Dacey’s objection. This is what he wrote in his August 2005 newsletter after the re-match:

The following week, I was off an another three-day trip, this time to California State University at Fresno. As part of a week of campus outreach the Veritas Forum scheduled a debate on the existence of God between me and Austin Dacey, whom I had debated last spring at Purdue University. In preparation for the rematch I adopted two strategies: (1) Since Dacey had come to the Purdue debate with prepared speeches, I decided to throw him for a loop by offering a different set of arguments for God, so that his canned objections wouldn’t apply. I chose to focus on the cosmological argument, giving four separate arguments for the beginning of the universe, and on the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. (2) I reviewed our previous debate carefully, preparing critiques of his five atheistic arguments. In the process I found that he had seriously misunderstood or misrepresented a statement by a scientist on the Big Bang; so I brought along the book itself in case Dacey quoted this source again. I figured he might change his arguments just as I was doing; but I wanted to be ready in case he used his old arguments again.

[…]The auditorium was packed that night for the debate, and I later learned that there were overflow rooms, too. To my surprise Dr. Dacey gave the very same case he had presented at Purdue; so he really got clobbered on those arguments. Because he wasn’t prepared for my new arguments, he didn’t even respond to two of my arguments for the beginning of the universe, though he did a credible job responding to the others. I was pleased when he attacked the Big Bang by quoting the same scientist as before, because I then held up the book, specified the page number, and proceeded to quote the context to show what the scientist really meant.

Dr. Craig is always prepared!

via William Lane Craig debates Austin Dacey: Does God Exist? — WINTERY KNIGHT

Sunday’s Hymn: How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds — Rebecca Writes

 

 

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
‘Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary rest.

Dear Name! the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and hiding place,
My never-failing Treasury filled
With boundless stores of grace;

Jesus, my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King,
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.

Till then I would thy love proclaim
With ev’ry fleeting breath;
And may the music of thy Name
Refresh my soul in death.

 

Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds — Rebecca Writes

July 21 So Send I You

scripture reading: John 20:19–23
key verse: John 20:21

Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

God gave Jesus a very clear mission—to seek and to save those separated from Him by sin. It was the same mission Christ gave His disciples, and it is the one He gives us today.

Many people spend a lifetime trying to understand their calling, but God’s call is clear. We are to be missionaries of His love and grace to a world bound by sin and shame.

When you accepted Christ’s death as payment for your sins, you also accepted the Father’s call—to tell others of His forgiveness. It may take you across the country, around the world, or across the office or neighborhood.

The mission and its message are clear—freedom from the penalty, power, and presence of sin for all who place their trust in Jesus Christ. Christ never calls you to fulfill His mission in your own strength. As the Father sent Jesus with a clear understanding of His purpose and power, He sends you with the same understanding.

Lack of knowledge of the gospel is the greatest hindrance to God’s mission. Ask Christ to give you a love for His Word that comes from the Holy Spirit. The insight you gain will serve as a beacon of hope not only to you but also to those the Father brings your way. May you know the wonder of His call today.

Heavenly Father, give me a clear understanding of Your purpose and power. Whether it is around the world or across the street, I want to fulfill Your mission.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

21 july 365 Days with Spurgeon

Continental tour «2

suggested reading: Philippians 2:12–16

At Zurich I saw in the great fair what I also saw at Baden-Baden, a sight which gave me pleasure, namely, the little star of truth shining amid the darkness. Opposite the house at Baden, where Satan was winning souls at the gaming table, there was a little stall at which an agent of the Bible Society was selling Bibles and Testaments. I went up and bought a Testament from him, and felt quite cheered to see the little battery erected right before the fortifications of Satan, for I felt in my soul it was mighty through God to the pulling down of the stronghold. There in the midst of the fair at Zurich where they were selling all manner of things, like John Bunyan’s Vanity Fair, there stood a humble looking man with his stall, upon which there were Bibles, Testaments, and Mr Ryle’s Tracts. It is always a great comfort to me to see my sermons in French and other languages sold at the same shops as those of that excellent man of God. There is the simple gospel in his tracts, and they are to my knowledge singularly owned of God. How sweet it is to see these dear brethren in other churches, loving our Lord, and honoured by him. At Lucerne we stopped and spent our third Sabbath day and of all days in the year, Sabbath days on the Continent are most wretched, so far as the means of grace are concerned. This, however, was spent in quiet worship in our own chamber. Our first Sabbath was a dead waste, for the service at church was lifeless, spiritless, graceless, powerless. Even the grand old prayers were so badly read, that it was impossible to be devout while hearing them, and the sermon upon “The justice of God in destroying the Canaanites,” was as much adapted to convert a sinner, or to edify a saint, as Burke’s Peerage, or Walker’s dictionary.

for meditation: In what ways do you think Spurgeon would have applied the title of the sermon which so disappointed him, so that it could be beneficial to saint and sinner alike?

part of nos. 331–332[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 209). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

SSB Sunday Gathering – July 21, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

 

This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

-by Kathi

Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Ordinary Time, Year 1 and may be found here.

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation know and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn — shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Romans 11: 22 – 12: 2

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Matthew 24: 14 – 30

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again.

“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the distress of those day ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”

***

I stopped recognizing songs after 2004.

***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***

Feel free to join the discussion.

You can share your church struggles and concerns.

Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.

What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?

Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

via SSB Sunday Gathering – July 21, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

21 JULY 365 Days with Calvin

Provoking Judgment

And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Acts 5:8

suggested further reading: Luke 13:1–9

We see that God does not immediately punish Sapphira. He first thoroughly tries the matter of her deception, lest he should send vengeance upon anyone except the obstinate and those who will not be pardoned. For though Sapphira knew that she was withholding the truth, she ought to have been as stricken with this question of Peter as if she had been cited to appear before the judgment seat of God.

She is granted time to repent; indeed, given a pleasant invitation to repent. But in holding on so carelessly to her lie, Sapphira declares that she is incurable because she is untouched by fearing God.

Here we are taught to diligently labor to bring sinners to the way of truth. For the Spirit of God patiently works with sinners, but when stubbornness and the stubborn contempt of God are added to the offense, it is high time for punishment. People are too arrogant when they are displeased with the severity of God. It is rather our duty to consider how we shall in time come to stand before the judgment seat of God. We will despise his holy power and majesty too much if we freely mock him without any punishment.

Moreover, many circumstances sufficiently prove that Ananias and Sapphira were not worthy of only one death. For, first, hypocrisy is of itself very abominable to God. Second, this couple was determined to lie to God, and this arose from great contempt, for they did not reverence and fear Christ, who was the chief governor of the people before whom Ananias and Sapphira came.

The greatness of the spiritual judgment on this couple (which is as yet hid) is set before us in the bodily punishment of two, as in a mirror. For if we consider what it means to be cast into eternal fire, we shall not judge that falling down dead before others is the greatest evil and punishment of all.

for meditation: The Lord’s striking punishment on Ananias and Sapphira should be very sobering—so many of us are guilty of the same sin. In God’s mercy, we have not been struck dead for failing to tell the truth. How can this story serve to remind us of the greater punishment to come?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 221). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

EChurch@Wartburg – 7.20.2019: Wade Burleson: Ruth: The Love of a Kinsman — The Wartburg Watch

link

A prayer “For Light to Follow You:

O Lord,
direct our steps this day
into the way of peace,
and strengthen our hearts
to obey your commandments.
May the Dayspring visit us from on high,
and give light
to those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death,
that they may adore you for your mercy,
follow you for your truth,
desire you for your sweetness,
for you are the blessed Lord God of Israel,
now and forever. Amen.

https://acollectionofprayers.com/tag/morning-prayers/

Source: An ancient Collect, A. D. 440
Source of this version: Freely modified from Service and Prayers for Church and Home, Ed.
Wilbur Patterson Thirkield, Methodist Book Concern, 1918

Lutheran confession

Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean.
We have sinned against You in thought, word and deed,
by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved You with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment.
For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
Forgive us, renew us,
and lead us so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways
to the glory of Your holy name.
Amen.

For the Holy Spirit: Mozarabic Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Comforter,
with the Father and the Son
you live as one God.
Descend to our hearts this day,
that while you make intercession for us,
we may call on our Father with full confidence;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Liturgy
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages,
edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954

Scripture Reading Ruth 2: 8-23  NIV

8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me.9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord,the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her.16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a] 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”

Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.

20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.[b]”

21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”

23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth: The Love of a Kinsman from Emmanuel Enid on Vimeo.

The July 14, 2019 message from Wade Burleson given during the third of three Sunday morning worship services at Emmanuel Enid. If you have questions or need more information, please email us at contactus@emmanuelenid.org.

Benediction: Based on 10th century blessing

As you go on your way, may the Lord Jesus Christ go with you.
May he be near you to defend you; may he go before you to show you the way;
behind you to encourage you; beside you to befriend you;
above you to watch over you; and within you to give you peace.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, God forevermore.
Amen.

via EChurch@Wartburg – 7.20.2019: Wade Burleson: Ruth: The Love of a Kinsman —

Immorality Embraced by So-Called Christian Love — American Thinker

In the contemporary church world, tolerance of sin is no longer considered kind enough or loving enough.

Immorality is being embraced by so-called Christian love.  Bible-based Judeo-Christian morality is increasingly considered a non-starter.  Traditional Christian doctrine is increasingly looked upon as inconsistent with nature and “human need.”   Sin is being sanctioned and celebrated — homosexuality, non-marital sex, aborting babies (now part of “health”), and even pedophilia — by people who should know better.   One man said to this writer that I was mischaracterizing him.  He said, he was not pro-abortion, but was pro-choice.  My question to him was this: how can you opt out of the moral position and claim that you are not supporting immorality?   Would one say, “I think a person should have a choice about whether or not to rob a liquor store, and that does not mean I am in favor of robbing liquor stores”?

These distortions and immoral positions are rooted in a heresy in Christian theology known as antinomianism.  Anne Hutchinson was expelled by the Puritan leaders of Massachusetts in the 17th century for teaching this heresy.  She relocated in Long Island,where she and her children were eventually massacred by Indians.  This heresy teaches that since salvation is by grace, and since Christians are no longer under the Law (of Moses), God’s grace and mercy extends to all in a way that sinful behavior is forgiven by God in Christ.  Holy living, required by the Puritans, was no longer essential in Christ.

For her there was no difference between the justification (ultimate, once-forever forgiveness) of salvation provided by Christ, and the demands of daily life of the Christian.  The Puritans premised their theology on the thought that holy living according to the moral law found in the Old Testament is still needed after we are saved, whereby we are sanctified to even greater purity and holiness by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Alternately, for Anne, love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pe 4:8) was taken to mean that for all practical purposes when we receive Christ as Lord and Savior there is no more sin in our daily lives.  Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross covers that sin.  Hopefully, we won’t repeat the sin, but if we do, Almighty God forgives us seventy times seven times.  (Matthew 18:21-22) The sin of the believer is not counted as sin by Almighty God.

A logical consequence of Anne’s view — today held by many church leaders who are enjoying collecting salaries and living in well-appointed parsonages — is the apostasy that truly saved Christians have the luxury of being “above the law” (of Moses) and are able to engage in rational post-Christian secular humanism while at the same time going to church, claiming to follow Jesus Christ, and nodding sanctimoniously to each other, to their neighbors, and to their co-workers.  A New Testament passage such as Colossians 3: 5-6 is ignored even though it summarizes sexual virtues insisted upon in the Old Testament.  These verses read:  “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.”

God, they believe, has certified and allowed the liberal/leftist agenda including abortion, the sexual revolution (still one must be prudent and circumspect say the careful liberal ministers), and the homosexual agenda which is seen as a defense of “love” and “equality.”  When this writer was briefly enrolled at Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1970, at least two of the ministerial candidates were shacking up frequently with their girlfriends in the seminary dormitory.

What is the greatest offense or “sin” in today’s liberal churches? To this writer, it seems their answer would be failure to speak in a kind way to hurting people or not giving money to help the poor. Although these points have some merit, do they address the essential demands of a Holy God as expressed by the Old and New Testament?

However, in our era, the antinomian heresy whereby grace is extended without repentance is now extended even further.  Christ’s death on the Cross is not vicarious atonement as traditional Christianity has claimed for more than 2000 years, but is merely an example or proof of God’s love. Self-sacrifice in demonstration of one’s love — not Christ’s divinity, not His vicarious atonement, not His miracles — is the key to understanding true Christian religion.  Christ came only to love humanity as it is — not to save humanity from its sinful nature, not to point to more holy lifestyles, not to promise access to a heavenly eternity based on repentance.  To the modern mind, these “promises of God” are superficial overlays of the essential Christ message — love, love, and more love.

The present view is an outgrowth of the social gospel proclaimed in the late 19th century by Walter Rauschenbusch.  However, during the first fifty years of the 20th century, because of the dominant influence of classical Christianity, sexual immorality was still frowned on by Christians, homosexuality as an acceptable practice or lifestyle was a non-starter, and abortion as a woman’s right to choose was also rejected out of hand. In fact, abortion and homosexuality were illegal throughout the land as well as being non-starters in churches.  Now they are the law of the land.  Thus the law of the land of the U.S.A. is now totally at odds with the law of creation enacted by Almighty God.

So, antinomianism as a challenge to Biblical values by Anne Hutchinson in the modern era has morphed into a new type of “toleration” of sin.  Situation ethics — introduced in 1966 by Joseph F. Fletcher — came into vogue as a way to excuse pre-marital fornication by Christians, and anything that could be considered Christian judgmentalism was muted by the liberal churches.  In the name of love, increasing numbers of churches became tolerant of sin.

In the contemporary church world, tolerance of sin is no longer considered kind enough or loving enough.  Now, as seen by Joel Osteen’s recent appearance at an LGBTQ event, celebration of sin is the step beyond tolerance.  A “woman’s right to choose” is openly embraced by many members of the National Council of Churches.  Likewise, homosexuality among the clergy is acceptable.  When I began Harvard graduate school in the 1960s, one of my roommates related that during his entire life growing up, he wanted to be an Episcopal priest.  When he entered seminary, homosexuality was rife. Guys were regularly goosing each other as they went down the stairs to the dining area.  Seeing all this burst his life’s dream, and he left the seminary.

Anne Hutchinson was ejected from Massachusetts Bay Colony because of the heresy she taught (not because she was an uppity woman fighting against male hegemony as some have suggested).  That heresy over time became the basis for increasing toleration of sin. Toleration morphed into celebration.  Today, the transvaluation of values predicted by the German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, whereby good becomes bad and bad becomes good, is a social reality. Under his moral/philosophical scenario, Zarathustra, the main figure in one of his books, announces, “God is dead.”  This atheistic transvaluation bodes ill for the survival of America and the planet.

via Immorality Embraced by So-Called Christian Love — American Thinker

July 21, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

While Ezekiel is contemplating the sight of the dry bones, he is addressed directly by Yahweh, ben-ʾādām, (lit. “son of man”), and asked a curious question, Can these bones live again? The question is ridiculous. Ezekiel’s own tradition knows of people coming back to life, but only in cases of recent death. these bones (hāʿăṣāmôt hāʾēlleh, which occurs 3 times in vv. 3–5) represent the deceased of long ago. Any hope for them would need to be tied to belief in a general eschatological resurrection (cf. Dan. 12:1–2). The prophet’s response suggests that such notions had not yet matured in Israel. People had begun to grasp for the idea, as Job 14:14 seems to imply (though in the end Job’s hope aborts). Ezekiel’s answer to Yahweh’s question is cautious. With “O Lord Yahweh, that only you know,” he tosses the ball back into Yahweh’s court. He neither rules out the possibility—after all, with God all things are possible (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17), and Yahweh exercises control over life and death (Job 34:14–15; Ps. 104:29–30)—nor betrays the hopelessness of his contemporaries (v. 11). Instead he casts himself entirely upon the will and the power of God. Yahweh responds by returning the ball, demanding that the prophet be personally involved in providing the answer.[1]


3. can these bones live?… thou knowest—implying that, humanly speaking, they could not; but faith leaves the question of possibility to rest with God, with whom nothing is impossible (De 32:39). An image of Christian faith which believes in the coming general resurrection of the dead, in spite of all appearances against it, because God has said it (Jn 5:21; Ro 4:17; 2 Co 1:9).[2]


Ver. 3.—Son of man, can these bones live? Whether or not this question was directed, as Plumptre surmises, to meet despairing thoughts which had arisen in the prophet’s own mind, it seems reasonable to hold, with Hävernick, that the question was addressed to him as representing “over against God the people, and certainly as to this point the natural and purely human consciousness of the same,” to which Israel’s restoration appeared as unlikely an occurrence as the reanimation of the withered bones that lay around. The extreme improbability, if not absolute impossibility, of the occurrence, at least to human reason and power, is perhaps pointed at in the designation “Son of man” here given to the prophet. The prophet’s answer, O Lord God, thou knowest, is not to be interpreted as proving that to the prophet hitherto the thought of a resurrection had been unfamiliar, if not completely absent, or as giving a direct reply either affirmative or negative to the question proposed to him, but merely as expressing the prophet’s sense of the greatness of the wonder suggested to his mind, with perhaps a latent acknowledgment that God alone had the power by which such a wonder could, and therefore alone also the knowledge whether it would, be accomplished (comp. Rev. 7:14).[3]


37:3 You know: The prophet placed his faith completely in the living God. Ordinarily, one would say “no” to the question God posed. But Ezekiel did not limit God; he knew the Almighty could make bones live.[4]


37:3 can these bones live? The many dry bones (v. 2) picture the nation Israel (v. 11) as apparently dead in their dispersion, and waiting for national resurrection. The people knew about the doctrine of individual resurrection, otherwise this prophecy would have had no meaning (cf. 1Ki 17; 2Ki 4; 13:21; Is 25:8; 26:19; Da 12:2; Hos 13:14).[5]


37:3 The question can these bones live? anticipates the exiles’ own self-perception (v. 11): total hopelessness. It also introduces one of the key words in the passage: the verb “to live” appears in vv. 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 14. Ezekiel’s response leaves the outcome to God’s sovereignty.[6]


37:3 these bones live Yahweh is not asking Ezekiel for his opinion on whether people can be brought back to life. The prophet would have been familiar with that possibility based on the experiences of the prophets Elijah (1 Kgs 17:17–24) and Elisha (2 Kgs 4:32–37), and perhaps Isa 53:10–11. Ezekiel’s response indicates his understanding that the possibility depended entirely on Yahweh’s actions.

The prophetic stories of resurrection focus on the recently dead, not those long dead. Ezekiel may have had no expectation of any resurrection for those whose corpses had decayed to such a state. Ezekiel’s response reflects his faith in Yahweh’s power, but he likely did not have a well-developed sense of physical resurrection at the end of days such as that seen in Dan 12:1–2. Several ot passages hint at physical resurrection, including Isa 26:19 and Hos 6:2. The concept also exists in ancient Zoroastrian beliefs about a physical resurrection.[7]


[1] Block, D. I. (1997–). The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 25–48 (pp. 374–375). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 610). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Ezekiel (Vol. 2, p. 264). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 995). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Eze 37:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1559). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Eze 37:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.