Daily Archives: January 8, 2020

January—8 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

A pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue, Bethesda.—John 5:2.

Go down, my soul, this evening to the pool and cloisters of Bethesda, as the Prophet was commanded to go down to the potter’s house. Peradventure thy Lord may do by thee as he graciously did by him; cause thee to hear his words. The pool of Bethesda was the place or house of mercy. It was so to the bodies of those whom the Lord healed there. It becomes so now to the souls of those who behold Jesus in the representation. In the cloisters around the pool, lay a great multitude of sick, waiting for a cure. Ponder over the miseries of our fallen nature. It is always profitable to note distinguishing blessings. Are hospitals numerous; frequently filled; numbers sick; numbers dying; numbers dead? Am I in health? And will not the voice of praise go forth to the bountiful Author in a consciousness of the distinguishing mercy? This pool was blessed with a miraculous quality. One poor creature, and but one, at that season when the waters were moved by the descent of an angel into the pool, (most probably discovered by the agitation of the pool,) was cured of whatsoever disease he had. Sweet testimony, before the coming of Christ, that the Lord had not left his people, although the Church was then in a very languishing state. But, my soul, attend to the spiritual beauty of this interesting record. The pool of Bethesda, no doubt, was intended as a typical representation of the fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. And the Son of God, by visiting the pool, and healing a poor paralytic by the sovereign word of his own power, without the means, seemed very plainly to intimate the inexpediency of the type, when the person signified was present. Behold in this pool, then, the house of mercy always open. In a world like the present, full of misery, because full of sin, multitudes of folk, impotent in soul, should be found in the cloisters of ordinances and under the means of grace. Jesus loves those places. These are his favourite haunts. Here he comes to heal, and to impart blessings. And that not to one only at a season. In his blood a sovereign efficacy is found for all who are washed in it. He cures the guilt of sin, the dominion of sin, the sting of sin. And he doth all in so gracious, so condescending, so sovereign a manner, as cannot but endear him to every heart. Blessed be the Lord that hath led me to his pool at Bethesda, and hath healed my soul in his blood. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he is become my salvation.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 9–10). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

January 8 Streams in the Desert

I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” (Ezek. 34:26.)

WHAT is thy season this morning? Is it a season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. “As thy day so shall thy strength be.” “I will give thee showers of blessing.” The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God’s blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace, He will also give comforting grace. He will send “showers of blessings.” Look up today, O parched plant, and open thy leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering.—Spurgeon.

“Let but thy heart become a valley low,

And God will rain on it till it will overflow”

Thou, O Lord, canst transform my thorn into a flower. And I want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job got the sunshine after the rain, but has the rain been all waste? Job wants to know, I want to know, if the shower had nothing to do with the shining. And Thou canst tell me—Thy Cross can tell me. Thou hast crowned Thy sorrow. Be this my crown, O Lord. I only triumph in Thee when I have learned the radiance of the rain.—George Matheson.

The fruitful life seeks showers as well as sunshine.

“The landscape, brown and sere beneath the sun,

Needs but the cloud to lift it into life;

The dews may damp the leaves of tree and flower,

But it requires the cloud-distilled shower

To bring rich verdure to the lifeless life.

“Ah, how like this, the landscape of a life:

Dews of trial fall like incense, rich and sweet;

But bearing little in the crystal tray—

Like nymphs of night, dews lift at break of day

And transient impress leave, like lips that meet.

“But clouds of trials, bearing burdens rare,

Leave in the soul, a moisture settled deep:

Life kindles by the magic law of God;

And where before the thirsty camel trod,

There richest beauties to life’s landscape leap.

“Then read thou in each cloud that comes to thee

The words of Paul, in letters large and clear:

So shall those clouds thy soul with blessing feed,

And with a constant trust as thou dost read,

All things together work for good. Fret not, nor fear!”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 8–9). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

“Evil Sunrise” – Creepy Red Devil Horns Rise Over Iran — The Gateway Pundit

Creepy red devil horns over the Persian Gulf were photographed during a solar eclipse.

Amateur photographer Elias Chasiotis captured the incredible photos of the giant red horns rising on December 26 whilst he was in Qatar.

Just days after this omen, the US killed top Iran commander and terrorist Qassam Soleimani.

Another photo shows the red crescent rising:

“Astronomy has attracted me since I was a kid,” Chasiotis told Bored Panda. “I’ve been an amateur astrophotographer for the last 15 years as well. I took these photos in the coastal city of Al Wakrah, Qatar, on the morning of December 26, 2019, when an annular eclipse was in progress.”

 “I hoped that optical effects like inferior mirage would be visible and I was lucky enough to capture them,” he said. “The weather conditions didn’t look good in the beginning as there was a lot of haze and low clouds in the southeast.”

“I was worried that nothing would come out of the eclipse. However, when the sun finally began to rise, it looked like two separate pieces, some sort of red horns piercing the sea. It soon took the form of a crescent, with the so-called ‘Etruscan vase’ inferior mirage effect visible. Due to its shape, the phenomenon was nicknamed the ‘evil sunrise.’”

via “Evil Sunrise” – Creepy Red Devil Horns Rise Over Iran — The Gateway Pundit

January 8th The D. L. Moody Year Book

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.—Luke 16:25.

I BELIEVE that when God touches the secret spring of memory, every one of our sins will come back, if they have not been blotted out by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they will haunt us as eternal ages roll on.

We talk about forgetting, but we cannot forget if God says “Remember!” We talk about the recording angel keeping the record of our life. I have an idea that when we get to heaven, or into eternity, we will find that the recording angel has been ourselves. God will make every one of us keep our own record; memory will keep the record; and when God shall say, “Son, remember,” it will all flash across our mind. It won’t be God who will condemn[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 11–12). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Luther’s Doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers: The Importance for Today — Credo Magazine

When the spark was lit for the reform of church doctrine and practice in 1517, not even Martin Luther himself could have perceived what was about to be unleashed. For Luther, his rediscovery in the Bible of the doctrine of justification by faith alone had immense implications for a whole array of doctrinal beliefs and church practices. One key implication was the equality that it created among those who trust Christ alone for their salvation. For Luther, the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers was an implication of the doctrine of justification by faith.

While Luther seems to have never actually used the term “priesthood of all believers” (the closest he comes is “general priesthood of all baptised Christians”),[1] he repeatedly referred to baptised believers as “priests.”[2] The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers meant that all who have faith in Christ and are baptised are designated priests and share in Christ’s royal priesthood. This meant that every believer has equal access to the Father through Jesus. The corollary is that every believer has the responsibility to act as a priest to other believers, to minister to them, particularly through proclaiming Scripture to them. 

One spiritual estate

Luther maintained that there is no spiritual divide between priests and laity; there is simply “one estate” to which all baptised believers belong.[3] Because justification by faith puts all baptised believers on equal footing, there are no tiers of spirituality or hierarchy in accessing God. Luther needed to retrieve the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers because, from the third century onwards, a gulf had opened between ordained and lay people, until it reached something of a chasm in the sixteenth century. This gap between the spiritual world and temporal world de-sanctified the earthly realm and created a chasm between the two, exalting the spiritual world over the temporal world.

It was this view of two worlds, two realms, two estates that Luther considered unscriptural. The priesthood of all believers meant that there could only be one world, one realm, one spiritual estate—all of which belonged to God. Luther maintained:

It is pure invention that pope, bishops, priests and monks are to be called the “spiritual estate;” princes, lords, artisans, and farmers the “temporal estate.” [On the contrary] . . . all Christians are truly of the “spiritual estate,” and there is among them no difference at all but that of office.[4]

How then, if all believers are of equal standing, is the church to carry out its ministry? How was Luther to have “priests” among the priesthood of all believers?

Luther’s implementation of a functional priesthood

For the sake of order in churches, Luther maintained a distinction in the role and office of different believers. This emphasis on order was particularly important for Luther, for some Reformation ideas had been turned into cause for disorder among the Anabaptists, and Luther would have none of that. This was not an ontological distinction but rather a functional distinction:

There is no true, basic difference between laymen and priests . . . between religious and secular, except for the sake of office and work, but not for the sake of status. They are all of the spiritual estate, all are truly priests, bishops, and popes. But they do not all have the same work to do.”[5]

Those who are to perform the office of a “priest” are to be chosen from among the priests in the congregation because “we are all priests, as many of us as are Christians. But the priests, as we call them, are ministers chosen from among us. All that they do is done in our name; the priesthood is nothing but a ministry.”[6] Thus, a “priest” is to be chosen by the consent of the priests of the congregation and apart from self-promotion: “Because we are all priests of equal standing, no one must push himself forward and take it upon himself, without our consent and election, to do that for which we all have equal authority. For no one dare take upon himself what is common to all without the authority and consent of the community.”[7]

If a priest is a priest by function, not essence, what is his function? For Luther, the primary responsibility of a priest is to speak God’s Word to the people of the congregation by faithfully carrying out the ministry of the Word and sacrament.[8] Luther guarded the ministry of the Word by guarding the ordained office of the priest; for him, ordination was about choosing preachers.[9] “The duty of a priest is to preach. . . . It is the ministry of the Word that makes the priest and the bishop.”[10]

When Luther set forth his first outline for a church service in An Order of Mass and Communion for the Church at Wittenberg (1523), he wanted to correct abuses that had arisen through neglect of God’s Word.[11] He emphasized: “And this is the sum of the matter: Let everything be done so that the Word may have free course instead of the prattling and rattling that has been the rule up to now. We can spare everything except the Word.”[12] The priesthood of all believers meant that there could only be one world, one realm, one spiritual estate—all of which belonged to God. Click To Tweet

Viewing the priesthood as a function and office rather than an ontological status also meant Luther believed that ordination is not a permanent state; the priesthood is not irrevocable as in the Roman Catholic tradition. The role of priest is simply a ministry that can be started and stopped as required, not part of the essence of the person. Indeed, someone who has served in the role of priest can again become a lay person, as Luther explained: “I cannot understand why one who has been made a priest cannot again become a layman; for the sole difference between him and a layman is his ministry.”[13]

Implications for today

What might Luther’s doctrine of the priesthood of all believers mean for us? Here are a few suggestions. First, we are to remember that leaders and laity are both justified by faith alone in Christ alone. We are to respect and give due honour to those who serve us in a leadership role in the church, however we are not to invest them with some special spiritual power. Likewise, those in a leadership role are not to lord it over those in their care but recognise their same standing before God.

However, we must be careful not to misapply Luther’s doctrine of the priesthood of all believers; he didn’t want to bring pastors down, but rather wanted to raise the bar for congregation members. All of us are priests, and so we must exercise that function, especially in ministering the Word of God to one another, but also in praying for one another, hearing each other’s confession and assuring one another of divine forgiveness, serving one another including physical provision (Phil 4:18; Heb 13:16), ultimately offering our whole being as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” (Rom 12:1; notice the priestly language). Luther particularly emphasised the priestly role in the household, which is why catechisms were so important to him – may we be encouraged in the God-given duty of instructing the children in our care in the ways of the Lord.

Second, by doing away with the demarcation between the spiritual and temporal realms, Luther invested a dignity in vocation whereby a Christian may live a whole life in worship of God (Rom 12:1). Each daily activity, from the mundane to the material, from the remunerated to the unpaid, is a realm in which to glorify God. Whereas the world tempts us to think that the value of a task is wrapped up in the amount paid to do it, we are offered a new way – all tasks are a way to glorify God as priests, which is the ultimate bottom line at the end of the day.

Third, Luther encourages us to remember that that the function of a priest (or pastor, elder, minster, bishop) is to correctly present the Word of God to people under their care, recognising that it is through the Spirit-inspired Word of God that the Spirit works in people’s lives.[14] According to Scripture, the key requirement that an elder/bishop should meet—a qualification that is distinguishable from every other Christian—is being “able to teach” (1 Tim 3:2); this competency entails that the elder/bishop must “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9). Amidst the many pulls on a pastor’s time, he cannot be allowed to neglect the Word and prayer, asking that God’s Word may do its work in people’s lives by God’s Spirit. May we do all we can to encourage and ensure that those in Christian leadership persevere in presenting the Word of God to us. In the words of Luther, “we can spare everything except the Word.”


Endnotes

[1] Martin Luther, Selected Psalms II, in Luther’s Works, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann, 55 vols. (St Louis: Concordia and Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1955-86), 13:332.

[2] Uche Anizor and Hank Voss, Representing Christ: A Vision for the Priesthood of All Believers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016), 18.

[3] Luther differentiated between two estates and one estate in “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation,” in Luther’s Works, 44:129. See later discussion.

[4] This is Luther’s gloss on Paul’s affirmation, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” Luther, “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation,” in Luther’s Works, 44:129.

[5] Luther, “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation,” in Luther’s Works, 44:129.

[6] Luther, “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” in Luther’s Works, 36:113.

[7] Luther, “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation,” in Luther’s Works, 44:129.

[8] For Luther, a very close connection exists between the Word of God—that which is preached and received by faith—and the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper—that which is enacted by means of the physical elements of water, bread, and wine and received by faith as the promise of the forgiveness of sins.

[9] Kuhn, Celebrating the Reformation, 251.

[10] Luther, “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” in Luther’s Works, 36:115. The ministry of the Word was the primary differentiating characteristic of Lutheran priests. See Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 24, in The Book of Concord: Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, ed. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000), 267.

[11] Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey, Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2018), 77.

[12] Martin Luther, “Concerning the Order for Public Worship,” in Liturgy and Hymns of Luther’s Works, ed. Ulrich S. Leupold, trans. Paul Zeller Strodach, 73 vols. (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1965), 53:9-14. See Gibson and Earngey, Reformation Worship, 77.

[13] Luther, “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” in Luther’s Works, 36:117.

[14] Luther in particular stressed the connection between the Word of God and the Spirit of God: “Because God has now permitted his holy gospel to go forth, he deals with us in two ways: First, outwardly, and second, inwardly. Outwardly he deals with us through the preached Word, or the gospel, and through the visible signs of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Inwardly he deals with us through the Holy Spirit and faith. But this is always in such a way and in this order that the outward means must precede the inward means, and the inward means comes after through the outward means. So, then, God has willed that he will not give up anyone the inward gifts [of the Spirit and faith] except through the outward means [of the Word and the sacraments].” Martin Luther, “Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments,” in Luther’s Works, 40:83.

via Luther’s Doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers: The Importance for Today — Credo Magazine

Foundations of Worship — Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family

“In the beginning, God.”

With those opening words of the book of Genesis, we find the very foundation for all biblical religion. God’s self-existence, creative power, and divine providence over all things provides the basis for a Christian worldview and theology, which should flow into how Christians worship (cultus) and, indeed, the entirety of how they live (culture).

As Christians, we might be tempted to bypass the Old Testament as we seek to understand the relationship between what we believe and how we worship, but that would be a grave mistake. The historical record, poetry, and prophecy contained in the OT were “written for our instruction,” Paul said (Rom 15:4, 1 Cor 10:11). Although, as we will see, the coming of Christ does fundamentally changed some aspects of how we relate to God as his people, the core and essence of biblical Christianity finds its center in the worldview and theology of the Old Testament. Therefore, careful study of worship in these ancient books will help us as Christians to properly shape our theology and practice of worship in a way that is founded upon transcendent principles.

Creation is the very basis of and foundation for worship. The central principle of biblical worship is the fact that it is God-initiated and based upon his self-revelation. God’s speaking the world into existence was in its very essence an act to create worship. God created the universe ex nihilo through his spoken word for the express purpose of displaying his own glory (Psalm 19:1), and he created Adam in his image in order that Adam might witness that glory and respond in worship. God’s chief end is to glorify himself, and he calls all people everywhere to fulfill their purpose in life of doing the same (Isaiah 43:6-7).

Yet this desire to be worshiped did not stop with speaking the world into existence; creation certainly displays the glory of God, but creation alone is not enough to reveal the God to be worshiped. Adam would not have known whom he was to worship except that God said something to him. God revealed himself to Adam and told him of his purpose in Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” The phrase “work it and keep it” seems to imply that man’s purpose was to garden, yet the work of gardening would not have been necessary prior to the Fall. Rather, the two verbs in this phrase have a deeper significance. The first verb is avid, which, according to Allen Ross, is “used frequently for spiritual service, specifically serving the LORD (Deut. 4:19) and for the duties of the Levites (see Num. 3:7-8; 4:23-24, 26).”1 The second verb is shamar; and Ross notes that “its religious use is that of observing spiritual duties or keeping the commands (Lev. 18:5).”2 He explains,

In places where these two verbs are found together, they often refer to the duties of the Levites (cf. Num. 3:7-8; 8:26; 18;5-6), keeping the laws of God (especially in the sanctuary service) and offering spiritual service in the form of the sacrifices and all the related duties—serving the LORD, safeguarding his commands, and guarding the sanctuary from the intrusion of anything profane or evil.3

God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden—the perfect sanctuary of God—to literally “worship and obey.” This purpose for humankind is expressed elsewhere in Scripture (e.g., Isaiah 43:7). God created Adam and Even in order that they might serve as priests in his holy sanctuary.

What did this worship entail? Several clues give us early indication of what worship is all about. The early chapters of Genesis demonstrate the nature of the relationship between God and his image-bearers in the Garden. Each day God “walked” with them in the cool of the garden (Gen 3:8). The garden God had made for Adam and Eve served as a sanctuary where God was present with his people. His desire was to fellowship with them, to commune with them, not as equals, but as the Creator with his creation. Notably, the verb for “walked” in Genesis 3:8 is used later to describe God’s presence in the sanctuary (Lev 26:12, 2 Sam 7:6–7). This idea of communion with God in his sanctuary as revealed by him distills the essence of worship as it is developed through the entirety of Scripture.

But this notion of communion with God was not of the casual nature of two equal friends. Father, this communion with God was on his terms. He set specific boundaries and limits to what that communion would entail, and disobedience of his instructions would result in death—separation from this communion in his very presence. In other words, this communion was covenantal in nature; it was a formal relationship between God and his people in which both parties had a part to play, God as creator and provider, and humankind as servant with particular commands to obey. This formal relationship does not diminish the personal essence of communion with God, any more than a formal wedding covenant prevents intimacy between husband and wife. Nevertheless, communion with God was instituted by and regulated by God such that he received ultimate glory and his people would receive the greatest good.

But, of course, Adam and Eve disobeyed. Their sin broke the perfect communion they had enjoyed with him in his holy sanctuary, and thus God expelled them from his presence, placing cherubim with a flaming sword to guard entrance into God’s presence (Gen 3:24). Before he did, however, God himself provided the solution to that broken communion. By slaying an innocent animal and covering Adam and Eve’s nakedness with the animal’s skin, God was already picturing the means by which he would restore the broken communion. He made a promise to Adam and Eve in the form of a protoevangelium—a “pre-gospel” in Genesis 3:15 when he promised the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heal.” In this way, two key elements of worship that would be developed later appear in the creation/fall narrative, namely, atonement and covenant.

Thus all the elements that later describe biblical worship are already available to us in these early pages of Scripture: worship entails drawing near to communion with God himself in his holy sanctuary. This communion is on his terms and it is initiated by his revelation to his people. Sin breaks this communion, however, and erects barriers that prevent people from drawing near to God’s presence. God responds to this terrible situation by establishing a unilateral covenant with his people and providing atonement by which they can draw near to (for now) imperfect fellowship with him.

via Foundations of Worship — Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family

Crude Oil About To Decline 50% Again? Will It Take Stocks With It Again? — Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil double topped in late 2018, then it fell nearly 50% in 90-days, taking stocks along with it. Could Crude be “Double Topping” again? Let’s investigate what the chart is showing us.

Crude oil created a weekly Doji Star topping pattern at (1) in the summer of 2018. A few months later it then created a bearish reversal pattern at the same level as the Doji Star pattern, forming a double top.

Right after the double top, Crude experienced massive selling pressure driving the price down nearly 50% in 90-days. What did stocks do during this large Crude decline? The S&P fell nearly 20% in 90-days.

Crude looks to have created another Doji star topping pattern at (2) this past April. The rally over the past few months has Crude testing the “Doji Star” level, as well as, it’s 61% Fibonacci retracement level at (3).

Could it be creating a bearish reversal pattern?

If Crude is double topping, will it experience another 50% decline similar to 2018? If there is another large price drop, will it impact stocks again?

via Crude Oil About To Decline 50% Again? Will It Take Stocks With It Again? — Kimble Charting Solutions

Living In A Post-Truth Culture — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

By Bob Perry

I’ve made the case that truthgoodness, and beauty are objective features of the world we live in. Hopefully, you’ve found that to be interesting. But please don’t think this is just an esoteric triviality. It’s not. We are living in a post-truth culture. But it’s a place where the objective nature of truth, goodness, and beauty are deeply relevant. Our view of objective truth affects everything about how we live our lives. It’s the antidote to moral relativism. Truth matters. And understanding the profundity of that simple fact will revolutionize the way you interact with our world.

Living In A Post-Truth Culture

Here’s why.

The Assumptions of the Culture

Consider the three topics I’ve been talking about. And think about how you’re used to hearing about them:

Truth — “That may be true for you, but it’s not for me.”

Goodness — “Don’t impose your morality on me!”

Beauty — “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Despite thousands of years of human knowledge and experience, our contemporary culture has made every one of these subjective. Suddenly, they’ve each become things we decide for ourselves.

In fact, if you were to express the notion that anyone of these is not subjective, you would be considered arrogant. Oppressive. A Neanderthal who wants to impose your personal values on the rest of the world.

Who are you to do that?!

The World Turned Upside Down

This is cultural relativism. A place where we are supposed to accept the idea that everyone’s opinion about every topic is equally valid.

And remember that pesky definition of truth as: “correspondence to reality”? That’s out the window. The new normal tells us that our highest calling is to “be true to ourselves.”

But what does that mean, exactly?

Follow Your Heart

When your standard for truth and virtue is the person you see in the bathroom mirror, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see what’s coming. Feelings rule. You are encouraged to “follow your heart.” And following your heart means you evaluate reality based on emotion instead of reason and logic.

If it feels good, you do it.

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad …”

Sheryl Crow

Conforming to reality becomes passé. An archaic inconvenience.

But there is a problem with that. And the problem is that the “persistent belief in something that does not conform to reality” is called a delusion.

Our culture has elevated delusion to an art form.

Philosophy Is About The Real World

It turns out that the whole discussion of truth, goodness, and beauty is more than the hobby of navel-gazing philosophers. These things have real-world consequences. Ideas always do. Good or bad, we live in a world where those ideas will play themselves out.

And so, we see the consequences of bad thinking in our politics and in the family and community relationships on which our politics depend. We read about them in the news — and in the “fake news” generated at both ends of the political spectrum. We suffer the repercussions of denying reality in our economics. And our children and grandchildren will — quite literally — pay the price for those willful delusions.

Most of all, we see it in the glorification of sexual autonomy that has infiltrated every corner of our culture. Denying reality is at the core of issues like abortion, sexual libertinism, transgenderism, and same-sex behavior. Defending each of them is nothing but a persistent delusion.

Faith Communities Are Not Immune

The Church is most certainly not immune to the corrosive acid of bad thinking. The vacuous nonsense you can find in the Word-Faith Movement, Universalism, and so-called “Progressive” Christianity is proof enough of that. And every societal ill listed above has also found its way into the church.

But when you boil it all down, the problems we see in our culture are nothing new. In fact, they’re as old as mankind. The denial of truth, goodness, and beauty started soon after we came on the scene. The Fall of Man was simply the first instance where human beings made the free-will decision to exchange the truth of God for a lie. Since then, we’ve only pushed the limits of that futile exercise even further.

The good news is that the antidote to bad thinking has always been the same. Seek truth in all its forms. Then align your life with it.

The Church should never be a safe space for bad ideas. It must be a place where people are treated with gentleness and respect, but also a place where corrupted thinking goes to die.

Recommended resources related to the topic:

Digging for the Truth: Archaeology, Apologetics & the Bible by Ted Wright DVD and Mp4

Is Morality Absolute or Relative? by Dr. Frank Turek DVD, Mp3 and Mp4

When Reason Isn’t the Reason for Unbelief by Dr. Frank Turek DVD and Mp4

Right From Wrong by Josh McDowell Mp3

Can All Religions Be True? mp3 by Frank Turek

Counter Culture Christian: Is There Truth in Religion? (DVD) by Frank Turek

How Can Jesus be the Only Way? (mp4 Download) by Frank Turek


Bob Perry is a Christian apologetics writer, teacher, and speaker who blogs about Christianity and the culture at truehorizon.org. He is a Contributing Writer for the Christian Research Journal and has also been published in Touchstone, and Salvo. Bob is a professional aviator with 37 years of military and commercial flying experience. He has a B.S., Aerospace Engineering from the U. S. Naval Academy, and a M.A., Christian Apologetics from Biola University. He has been married to his high school sweetheart since 1985. They have five grown sons.

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/39xoLwt

via Living In A Post-Truth Culture — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

Are atheists unbiased about the question of God’s existence?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Brian Auten has a book review posted up at Apologetics 315.

The book is “If There’s A God, Why Are There Atheists?”, by theologian R.C. Sproul. R.C. Sproul is one of my favorite theologians. The book in question has a very, very special place in my heart, because I think that it is one of the major reasons why I was able to resist pernicious ideas like religious pluralism and postmodernism for so long. Once you put on the glasses of Romans 1 and see for the first time what man is really doing with respect to God, you can never see things the same again. I’ll say more about this at the end, but let’s see what Brian wrote first.

The review

So often, you hear atheists complaining about religion is nothing but wish-fulfillment or some sort of crutch for people who are frightened by a variety of things…

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As Part Of Settlement With Nick Sandmann, CNN Hosts Must Wear MAGA Hats During All Broadcasts — The Babylon Bee

ATLANTA, GA—According to a report, as part of the settlement with Nick Sandmann, CNN hosts will be required to wear MAGA hats throughout every broadcast.

“Let the punishment fit the crime,” counsel for Sandmann said as Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, and Wolf Blitzer all solemnly donned Make America Great Again caps.

Hosts were seen with downcast expressions as they commented on the day’s events, MAGA hats in place.

Sandmann says the hosts will be forced to wear the hats until they’ve learned their lesson, which could take a while. “Just be careful you don’t make an expression some could construe as ‘smug.’ Wouldn’t want you to get punched or your lives to get ruined, or anything like that.”

CNN hosts must also finish every broadcast by saying, “Good night, and I am a big, fat dummy, while Trump is the best president we’ve ever had.”

Brian Stelter requested an exemption and was allowed to wear a clown nose instead, as usual.

via As Part Of Settlement With Nick Sandmann, CNN Hosts Must Wear MAGA Hats During All Broadcasts — The Babylon Bee