Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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Good Blogroll (from Pyromaniacs)

  • Colin Adams
  • Charlie Albright
  • Aletheuo
  • Scott Aniol
  • Tom Ascol
  • Derek Ashton (TheoParadox)
  • Zachary Bartels
  • Tim and David Bayly
  • Rick Beckman
  • Tyler Bennicke
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  • Big Orange Truck
  • Andy Bird
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  • Bob Bixby
  • Timmy Brister
  • Fred Butler
  • Calvin and Calvinism (Classic and moderate Calvinism)
  • Cal.vini.st
  • Bret Capranica
  • Nathan Casebolt
  • Lane Chaplin
  • Tim ("The World's Most Famous Christian Blogger"®) Challies
  • The Conservative Intelligencer
  • The Contemporary Calvinist
  • The Conventicle
  • Craig's Blog
  • Deliver Detroit
  • Daniel (Doulogos)
  • William Dicks
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  • Steve Hays and the amazing "Triablogue" team
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  • The incomparable Al Mohler
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  • Stephen Newell
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  • Paleoevangelical
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  • Said at Southern Seminary
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  • Kim Shay
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  • Brian Shealy
  • Ken Silva
  • Tom Slawson's "Tom in the Box"
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  • Doug Smith
  • Richard Snoddy
  • Social Hazard
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  • Rebecca Stark
  • Kevin Stilley
  • Cindy Swanson
  • Talking Out Of Turn
  • Justin Taylor's "Between Two Worlds"
  • Robert Tewart (StreetFishing)
  • TheoJunkie's Thoughts on Theology
  • Theology Bites
  • Through the Veil
  • Three Times a Mom
  • Voice of the Shepherd
  • Jared Wall
  • Adrian Warnock
  • David Wayne
  • Jeremy Weaver
  • Steve Weaver
  • Über-apologist James White's legendary "Pros Apologian" blog
  • Brad Williams
  • Doug Wilson
  • Writing and Living
  • Ryan Wood
  • Todd Young
  • Saturday, October 31, 2009

    CBN Video Warning Anti-Christian Attitude & Practices Coming to America

    http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=9425

    Video warns of anti-Christian attitudes & practices coming to America.
    Note the inclusion of a reference to the passing of the "hate crimes" legislation.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    CS Response to Austin Dacey post (The secularist case against '"Atheism 3.0")

    Read the article here.
    Let me begin by saying I'm not surprised to see an article come out on this subject and to come out so soon, for people realize that when there's a fire in one's own kitchen, you better try to put it out quick. Atheism 3.0 is a division within the atheist camp (over whether religion is the enemy New Atheism touts it be, or not) and the last thing atheists want to division within their ranks, the need to have to defend their positions even against their own, and for the platform where they have kept their high horse to be taken from them and controlled by others.

    This being said, let me simply address the issue Dacy raises in his post under the header "A secular conversation-starter". He states "I don't go after God. Why go after God when you can come before him? I argue that the free individual conscience comes first, before God, before society. Conscience cannot be found in duty to God, for it is conscience that must judge where one's duty lies. The commitment to the free conscience, and to the open society that makes space for it--this is secularism." In response, I point out that by asserting that conscience comes before God, Dacey falsely presumes that man is not subject to God to begin with. While one might argue either way, let examine Dacey's claim. If man's conscience is "free" as Dacey puts it, then 1) Man could be free to "do anything", 2) Society would be wrong to condemn man if indeed his conscience comes "before society", 3) Man should not be subject to consequences (though he is), 4) There's no need for secularism to be committed to standing for the "free conscience" if indeed the conscience is free. Besides this, is the conscience equipped with it's own irrefutable and unquestionable foundation and basis for morality and ethics? If not, then one must follow the line of questioning of where such a standard comes from, and where that comes from, etc. It seems, Dacey makes the same mistake of others in the past who falsely suggest that man is in a position to be the ultimate arbiter of truth and morality and who want men to live and do as he sees fit in his own eyes.

    It's a good thing secularists are not the ones running the bookstore, or you might find the philosophy and science sections trying to be their own bookstore(s)which stand on their own, but soon being found to be bankrupt!

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    First U.S. Army Buddhist Chaplain's Foundational Beliefs Shown to Be Impractical

    Although his faith is grounded in pacifism, the 43-year-old Dyer says war has become a necessary part of peace. "My teacher has concluded that without the military, without civil protection, the world would enter into a very dark place very quickly,"


    The above quote from U.S. Army Sending First Buddhist Chaplain to Iraq reveals the impractical nature of foundational beliefs associated with pascivism in a world full of sin and depravity.

    Another example of where the Bible speaks truth (and is proven over time) where others have been given to false beliefs and practices which do not mesh with the real world.

    While his Christian colleagues may respect his freedom to serve, that does not mean respect is in order for all the beliefs he brings. Military personnel should not confuse issues of freedoms and professionalism with issues of truth and falsehood.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Calvin on Requests for Rational Arguments for the Credibility of Scripture

    ...Profane men think that religion rests only on opinion, and, therefore, that they may not believe foolishly, or on slight grounds, desire and insist to have it proved by reason that Moses and the prophets were divinely inspired. But I answer,that the testimony of the Spirit is superior to reason. For as God alone can properly bear witness to his own words, so these words will not obtain full credit in the hearts of men, until they are sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who spoke by the mouth of the prophets, must penetrate our hearts, in order to convince us that they faithfully delivered the message with which they were divinely entrusted. (Calvins Institutes, Chapter 7, Section 4)


    It's a fallacy to believe that the authority of God's Word rests upon the opinion of man. Readers should note however, Calvin goes on in chapter 8 to provide rational proofs (for the credibility of Scripture) for use when they may be beneficial.


    (Thanks to the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics for the reference to the Institutes)

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Samuel - a Noble Example of Dealing with Changing Generations

    At times, when faced with change, some people take the attitude "if you can't beat them join them", so they get on whatever bus comes along. Others are tempted to throw their hands up and quit. Then there are those who suggest they have done their duty, and therefore it's time for the younger ones to take the helm.

    Samuel set a noble example in choosing none of the above options. Samuel when dealing with a generation who was rejecting God as their king set the matters before the Lord. He warned the people and when they would not listen he continued to set the matters before the Lord. Even when it became clear to him that God was going to give the people over to their desires and when it became clear that he himself would be cast into obscurity and become of no reputation, he did not compromise; he did not hide what he believed to be truth, he continued to be a man of influence, he continued to pray & represent the people before God, and he established a school of prophets to ensure the truth would be preserved so that future leadership would have wise and mature counselors. Alexander Whyte puts it well when he says Samuel's experience and wisdom were needed in Saul's day an Samuel (as Saul's counselor) was full of new and still more fruitful ideas and intentions for Israel.

    I believe this speaks volumes about how Christians today should look upon our service and our relationship with changing generations. Who knows what God has in store for the future? We do know that God takes seasons to train up and ripen his servants for the times of service (for Samuel, it was over twenty years). At the same time, we know God calls his people to speak truth and call men to repentance and to the worship of God only whenever hearts are found to have gone astray. Let us, like Samuel, not let God's Word drop to the ground, be active in keeping the temple clean, willing to endure arduous service, faithul in prayer, active in service, and always using our influence for good.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Vote for Christian Skepticsim

    If you would like to see Christian Skepticism added to the Reclaiming the Mind Toolbar, go here and suggest it or count your vote.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    CS Response to Hitchen's "Faith No More"

    Here's a quick follow-up to Christopher Hitchen's Faith No More article in Slate Magazine

    Hitchens: "Usually, when I ask some Calvinist whether he is really a Calvinist (in the sense, say, of believing that I will end up in hell), there is a slight reluctance to say yes, and a slight wince from his congregation. I have come to the conclusion that this has something to do with the justly famed tradition of Southern hospitality: You can't very easily invite somebody to your church and then to supper and inform him that he's marked for perdition."


    Response: The truth is that unless Christopher Hitchens repents and beleives the good news that comes through the gospel of Christ (...that the kingdom of God is real and near... and that God offers the gift of righteousness and reconciliation through the union with his Son which comes by faith) then Christopher Hitchens like all others who fall short of the glory and righteousness required by God will receive the deserts of his guilt and sin in receiving and experiencing hell forever.

    Several issues are noteworthy:
    1. While Hitchens may be right on one level about "southern" influences affecting the responses he's been getting, on another level, no one is quick to want to give anyone bad news to their face. This too, is a factor that must be taken into account.

    2. Another reason Calvinists may have been slow to answer his question directly is that Calvinists recognize that while Hitchens has rejected the gospel to this point, the Spirit may work in the future to open his eyes and lead him to faith (upon which occurence any present declaration of his eternal destiny would be proven false given the rescue and change associated with such an act of the Spirit and change in Hitchen's position). As Calvinists, we hold out hope for our unbelieving friends and contacts and therefore are careful to refrain from making declarations which with speak with certainly regarding matters which could change in the future.

    3. On another level, Hitchen's statements ought to cause us to think whether our witness and declarations are as direct and forceful as they should be ... especially when dealing with individuals who are as outspoken and ask for forthright perspectives such as Hitchens. Christian should consider this matter and not only ask whether perhaps we've tended (for whatever reasons) to shy away from publicly communicating this truth with the directness and forcefulness we should... and whether or not wisdom would have us do so moreso in future encounters. While the circumstances (i.e., situations and individuals we talk with) will affect such determination and decisions, the issue is raised whether greater boldness in this area might at times be more productive. On some levels, I believe this is the case.

    4. At the same time, Hitchens must understand that reluctance on the part of some to speak the truth forcefully does not deny the truth and will not serve as an excuse come the day of judgment when God holds each one to account.


    Hitchens: "Thanks to the foolishness of the "intelligent design" faction, which has tried with ignominious un-success to smuggle the teaching of creationism into our schools under a name that is plainly stupid rather than intelligent, ..."


    Hitchens is either ignorant or confused when it comes to differences between intelligent design and creationism.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Paul Copan: Inferring Design from Anti-Design

    John Barrow calculated that the chances of moving from a bacterium to homo sapiens in 10 billion years or less is 10-24,000,000... [1] We’re not even addressing the origin of the universe ...whose chances of happening are exactly zero. Nor are we speaking of the fine-tuning of the universe (non-theist Roger Penrose calculates this as being one chance in 1010(123)).[2] Nor ...of getting the precise DNA sequence of the necessary 250 proteins to sustain life (whose chances have been calculated as 1 in 1041,000).[3] We are stacking such outrageously remote possibilities on top of more outrageously remote possibilities on top of still more.



    So, if we’re surrounded by appearance of design (as atheists like Crick and Dawkins acknowledge), must we insist that it is only apparent design rather than genuine design?


    ... It seems to be pure philosophical prejudice—not scientific observation—that disqualifies design


    Paul Cohen at Parchment and Pen has an insightful article useful to Christian apologists on the subject of design. See Inferring Design from Anti-Design Scientists

    ... and what does the denial of "apparent" design given the "appearance" of design say about all those who claim science is based simply on the evidence?

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Dr Dvir Abramovich's Article on Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.

    The point is that fanatics can be found in both religion and atheism.


    Anyone wishing to discredit theology should at least know some.


    Good article by Dr Dvir Abramovich exposing the weaknesses & fallacies of leading atheist's arguments and methods: Celebrity atheists expose their hypocrisy

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Chuck Colson on When Atheists Believe

    In recent years Great Britain's chief export to the U.S. has been a payload of books by atheist authors ... They contend that faith is irrational in the face of modern science. Other prominent British atheists seem to be having second thoughts. Is there some revival sweeping England? No; they are examining the rationality of Christianity, ...but are coming to opposite conclusions.


    Good article by Chuck Colson. While atheists make much over recent increase in sales of their books, that doesn't mean all who buy them will buy into their claims. Once again, God in his soveriegn mercy can and does use even these things to lead people to the truth found in his gospel.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Sad State of Abortion Shown By Statistics

    Abortion Kills More Black Americans Than the Seven Leading Causes of Death Combined, Says CDC Data


    Abortion killed at least 203,991 blacks in the 36 states and two cities ...that reported abortions by race in 2005, according to the CDC. During that same year, ...a total of 198,385 blacks nationwide died from heart disease, cancer, strokes, accidents, diabetes, homicide, and chronic lower respiratory diseases combined.


    Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Jr., founder of BlackGenocide.org, told CNSNews.com that ... 1,784 blacks are aborted each day.


    Statistics like these should open people's eyes to the extent of the problem of abortion.

    For full article, see here.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Global Blasphemy Laws

    One of the interesting things about discussions surrounding blasphemy laws (whether by the UN or others)is they cannot be conducted without coming back to the central question: What is Truth?

    Seems this was the question in Jesus' day, it's the question which comes us today, and it's a question which cannot be avoided.

    ... suppose God intended it to be this way?

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Internet Apologetics & Evangelism: A Call to Christians

    One of the factors leading to my devoting the time I do on the internet was Panta making the statement one day that the Internet today is the Mars Hill of Paul's day.

    Consider the following quotes from an article published today by The Christian Post

    Non-seekers are often not interested in visiting Christian Web sites, but churches can still meet them by going to their Web turf.

    “[T]he church must not isolate itself on its own Web sites; instead, it must take part in the fluent online traffic and develop initiatives on various platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Wikipedia,” says Fischer-Nielsen...


    So churches need to be technologically savvy and create Web sites that can be found through popular search engines such as Google, as well as create an online presence on growingly popular social networking sites.


    For more on the entire article, see Scholar: Churches Can Use Internet to Reach Non-Seekers.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Ida - Reported Not a Missing Link

    The research is the first independent assessment of the claims made in a scientific paper and a television documentary earlier this year.

    Dr Erik Seiffert says that Ida belonged to a group more closely linked to lemurs than to monkeys, apes or us.


    ''The suggestion that Ida [was]... specifically related to the higher primates, namely monkeys apes and humans, was actually a minority view from the start.


    Not surprising...

    (Perhaps the hairy sketches were closer to reality than we thought!!!) LOL

    Full article here.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Rewriting Scripture

    I provided an earlier post on the Conservatives' efforts to produce a "conservantive Bible" so I won't repeat it here, but the following statements from Joseph Farah in a new article on the subject bear repeating:

    I'm almost too embarrassed to write about this kind of trivialization and politicization of the Scriptures, but something needs to be said.

    Either the Bible is the Word of God, or it's not.

    If it is, how dare anyone rewrite it?

    If it's not, why bother?

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Atheism and Communism - a post by Shawn Mathis

    And when in secure power, the socialistic overlords magnanimously allowed "freedom of religion" all the while covertly intent on undermining Christianity.


    The plan was to lure inquisitive religious people into the thinking of the communists. Of course, that was easy since the entire social milieu was essentially owned and operated by the State. Repress freedom of the press, spy on worship services, control the major means of production and promote State-loyal workers and the pressure on Christianity multiplies one hundred fold beyond what atheists even feel today in America.

    Over the decades in the USSR there was a general attempt to stamp out religion by withholding educational and job positions, control or closing of religious locales, imprisoning dissenting clergy, and atheistic requirements for Party membership


    Shawn Mathis (the Denver Christian Apologetics Examiner) provides an insightful article on the relationship between atheism and communism here. I encourage you not only to read this article but his other posts as well... they are very good! While as Mathis points out at the end of this article atheists today are not guilty by association and that atheists today use a more democratic approach, at the same time the items mentioned are noteworthy - for similarities exist on some levels today and we do not want to repeat history in the areas mentioned. The way to avoid this is for Christians to be informed of the past.

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Douglas Wilson on Atheism

    So if the universe is what the atheist maintains it is, then this determines what sort of account we must give for the nature of everything -- and this includes the atheist's thought processes, ethical convictions, and aesthetic appreciations. If you were to shake up two bottles of pop and place them on a table to fizz over, you could not fill up an auditorium with people who came to watch them debate. This is because they are not debating; they are just fizzing. If you were to shake up one bottle of pop, and show it film footage of some genocidal atrocity, the reaction you would get is not moral outrage, but rather more fizzing. And if you were to shake it really hard by means of art school, and place it in front of Michelangelo's David, or the Rose Window of Chartres Cathedral, the results would not really be aesthetic appreciation, but more fizzing still.


    Douglas Wilson on atheism and the results which flow from its preconditions. For more, read Collision: Is Religion Absurd or Good for the World?

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Good Without God??? (Christian Response to New York City Atheist Advertising Campaign)

    Most have heard of the advertising campaign "Good Without God" associated with the Coalition of Reason and the new book by William Morrow to be released on Oct. 27 by William Morrow; but let's consider the Question: "Are a Million New Yorkers Good Without God" and "Are You?"

    1. Claims of "Goodness Without God" must depend on some definition and standard of goodness. The question is: What is that definition and upon what standard is it based?

    If goodness is defined and the standard is dependent simply upon social norms and expectations, then perhaps some people can be "Good Without God". Several factors could contribute to this goodness including (a) the fact that if man determines the standard, then man can simply lower the requirements and marginalize goodness(b) goodness could be achieved through relative comparison, (c) or goodness could be attained based on subjective evaluation or limited scope of evaluation.

    However, if goodness is not relative or subjective but in keeping with moral absolutes which transcend individuals, societies and generations, and involve scrutiny which extends beyond the surface and superficial and includes distinctions in regard to such things as motive, objective evaluation, and moral uprightness and consistency in all things and at all times in all circumstances, etc., then I suppose the assertion that "one Million New Yorkers are good without God" might be more of a stretch if not delusion.

    For more reading and evaluation, read the requirements of the Second Table of the Ten Commandments in the Westminster Larger Catechism (Q's 122-149) and then ask yourself again whether one million New Yorkers - or whether you yourself - are good without God.

    2. Claims of "Goodness without God" deny the inherent nature. Are we to suppose that man has more than one nature or that man (through evolution, mind control, etc.) can overcome his nature himself? If man is found to do things such as lie, cheat, steal, etc., then where does such things originate from if not a sinful nature? If man possessess a sinful nature, then isn't it a little overinflated or misguided to believe that man can be good without God?

    3. Claims of "Goodness without God" also deny man's ability. Proof is found in the multitude of testimonies of those who attempt to perfectly keep the law of God and yet admit they cannot do so (even the requirements found in the second table of the law which the majority of unbelievers would agree upon). I find that claims of "Goodness without God" often would include giving people a "pass" on many things under the rubric that "we are not perfect and everyone makes mistakes" (something which in itself refutes the premise) and yet the ones who make such claims may not be as lenient if and when they find themselves to be the objects of not just the lack of goodness but intended and outright lawlessness and evil perpetrated by others.

    4. Finally, claims of "Goodness without God" deny the very foundations and obligations that result in the meaning and requirement of goodness. For example, if man is the determiner of goodness, then cannot man violate the principle set forth by humanity? Even if one claims the majority determines morality, who is to say the majority is right or that the majority's authority is right? What happens when the majority flipflops on what it deems right? What then? And if one argues that morality is innate within human beings, then where did that morality come from? Are we to believe that morality originated by chance, or by matter, etc.?

    I thank the New York Atheists for raising this issue, for their doing so not only shows their lack of thought into such things and lack of foundations in such matters, but provides a great opportunity for communicating the truth of the gospel, that even the testimony of all men (including atheists) points to the fact that goodness and righteousness is a legitimate requirement upon our lives that we all acknowledge. The ultimate question though is how does man attain it? Is it by lowering the standard, making it relative, denying the absolute nature of the law, covering up our failures, limiting evaluation to just surface issues, etc., or do we look outside of ourselves to God's offer of both pardon and provision which comes through Christ's atoning sacrifice and the renewal and empowerment that comes through the Holy Spirit? Experience shows that those who look to their own goodness and righteousness will never be satisfied (especially under the light, for the closer one gets to the light, the greater the dirtiness is discovered to be); however, those who rest in the Lord's goodness and gift and are filled with the living waters of his Spirit which both fill and overflow are raised to both newness of life and not only live according to the truth but participate in the graces and goodness of God himself.

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    Egypt and Muslim Tyranny

    My heart and prayers go out to Egyptian Christians who continue to suffer persecution and pain at the hands of Muslim tyranny in Egypt.

    See: Christian Father Arrested for Rescuing Daughter from Muslim Husband

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Hope in Religious Icons (patron saint of Honduras, Our Lady of Suyapa)

    In a little chapel in the back of La Terraza, newspaper clippings plastering the wood-paneled walls describe how luck, and most likely remorse, rescued her.


    The above quote is taken from Amid a Crisis, Hondurans Heap Large Hopes on a Tiny Religious Icon

    This article shows the foolishness and inconsistencies of putting one's hope in a religious icon. For example:

    1. If the icon could not keep itself from being stolen and had to be "rescued" herself, why should one put their hope in the icon?
    2. Note the inconsistencies between bel“We know that only God can solve the crisis we have” and putting one's hope in an icon. While one might argue God could save them through the icon, is this the modus operandi of God, whose Word contains the following:

    Isaiah 40:18-22 To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? 19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. 20 A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.


    Hosea 4:12 They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God.


    Habakkuk 2:18-20 18 "Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. 19 Woe to him who says to wood, 'Come to life!' Or to lifeless stone, 'Wake up!' Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it. 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him."

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    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Evangelism among "Christians"

    On a flight out of Charlotte yesterday, I was seated beside a young lady in the military who told me she as a Christian, went to church and sang in a gospel choir. When asked if she were to die in combat and God were to say "Why should I let you into heaven?", she took a deep breath as if to think and say something important and then responded "I would say because I've tried hard to do all I can to work hard and do what I think I'm supposed to do while I'm here on earth."

    It's obvious there are many who call themselves Christians or associate with the Christian church who need to be evangelized!

    If you're wondering what she said wrong, answer these questions:
    1. In John 3:16, is man saved through the instrument of his own works or through faith in Christ?
    2. In Ephesians 2:8-9, is man saved by his own works or by God's grace?
    3. In Romans 6:23, is eternal life something we merit by our own works or does it come as a "gift" from God?
    4. In Romans 3:21ff, does the righteousness God refers to come from our works or from from above?

    click here to see full post and any posted comments...

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Theistic Arguments and Regeneration

    While theistic arguments have their valid purpose and place,
    one should not confuse the difference between the belief that comes as a result of regeneration and the persuasion which may come from theistic arguments, though the latter at times may serve a role in the former.

    Regeneration is followed by faith whereas persuasions (even of God's existence) may still lack saving faith. Regeneration is accomplished by power and results in new being and life whereas persuasions from argument can still leave one spiritually impotent and dead.

    Hence, while the goal of an apologist may at times be to persuade using theistic arguments, the goal of an evangelist is never satisfied simply by theistic arguments. It's important that believers understand the difference so as not to be deceived into thinking that once theistic arguments have accomplished their purpose that the work of reconciliation (and redemption) is done.

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    Friday, October 09, 2009

    Islam and Christianity Comparison

    Quick Comparison between Christianity and Islam

    Revelation
    Islam –Qur’an is the inspired word of God and supercedes all previous revelations. The Bible has been corrupted along with Christian doctrines.

    Christianity – The Bible is inspired by God and has been preserved and propagated by him. Scripture is able to make man wise unto salvation. The Quran is not of divine origin and is not only filled with contradictions and inconsistencies but leads man astray from God and the gift of his righteousness.

    Nature of God
    Islam – God is absolutely and indivisibly one, beyond being, extremely transcendent, absolute divine will without essence or nature, sovereign, capricious, impersonal (basically unknowable), deterministic and divorced from His creation.

    ......
    Christianity - God is Triune (one God in three persons, not three gods); with divine being, essence and will, which consists of all holiness (goodness, righteousness, truth); transcendent but knowable, exercises ultimate authority provides for and recognizes human agency and responsibility, and involved with His creation.

    Nature of Creation and Humanity:
    Islam – Both are created by God, but discrepancy exists regarding the length of creation and contradiction exists as to whether angels can sin and whether or not man is superior to angels. Humans are not sinful and have no fallen nature, nor are they born with a sinful nature, but are fallible, weak imperfect and forgetful and in basic need of guidance. Man’s fall was not so much the result from a sinful act but a result from being imperfect and needy (as well as God’s vice-regent on earth.) Humans are born innocent and remain so until they incur guilt by their deeds. Most Muslim scholars reject the belief that sin is inherited.

    Christianity – Both are created by God. Humans were made in the image of God, but have fallen into a state of sin through disobedience. Sin is both passed down and personally committed. Because of man’s sin and sinfulness, he cannot please God apart from a mediator and redeemer.

    Purpose of Man
    Islam – Man is God’s representative and servant on earth. The purpose of man is not to know God or be conformed to his character, but to understand his will and become more obedient to his commands. (Taken from Answering Islam by Geisler & Saleeb)
    Christianity – Man’s purpose is to glorify and enjoy God forever. This involves knowing God, repenting of sin, and serving him as a son rather than simply like a servant.

    Nature of Sin
    Islam – Sin is lack of obedience to Allah. Man is sinful by act only, not by nature.

    Christianity – Sin is any want of or transgression of the law of God. Sin corrupts and affects man’s nature and standing before God.

    Salvation
    Islam – Salvation on one level is not needed since man is not in a predicament where he himself cannot achieve the favor and blessings of God. On another level, the Muslim must earn his salvation. sure and favor of God for himself.

    Christianity – Salvation cannot be earned or merited but comes as a gift from God who Himself (in the person of Jesus Christ) atoned for man’s sin and provides for his redemption.

    Person and Work of Jesus
    Islam – Jesus, a human being was a great and sinless prophet but was not the Son of God. Jesus was superseded by Muhammad who was the last and greatest of the prophets. Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross (some believe Judas was crucified in his place, others believe he was on the cross but did not die).

    Christianity – Jesus is the incarnate Son of God and Savior of sinners. Jesus provides salvation through his substitutionary righteousness and atonement through the cross of Calvary. Jesus was vindicated as God’s Son and the promised Messiah through his resurrection from the death. Jesus’ accomplishment was sufficient for man’s salvation and accepted by God.

    After Death
    Islam – There is an eternal paradise for those who believe in Islam. Infidels, those who reject Islam, will experience eternal hell.
    Christianity – There will be a judgment of all. Those who have received redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ will go to heaven (with God as their great reward along with the pleasures of the new heavens and earth). Those who are guilty of sin which has not be atoned for by Christ will experience hell forever.
    Assurance of Salvation
    Islam – Short of becoming a martyr in jihad, salvation is never certain since it is based on a works system and ultimately the will of Allah.

    Christianity – Since salvation has been accomplished and is secured by God, the believer may know through faith that he has eternal life.

    Conclusion: Best summarized by Josh McDowell and John Stewart (Handbook of Today’s Religions) who write “Islam rejects the key doctrines of the Christian faith – the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, and the sin of man and his salvation by grace alone through faith in Christ.”
    Steven Neill (Christian Faith and Other Faiths) also speaks to the issue well stating “It is perfectly true that the central concern of Jesus was with the kingdom of God. But everything depends on the meaning that is put into the word ‘God.” Here is perhaps the very heart of our differences. Islam conceives the possible relationship of man to God in one way, and the Gospel in another.

    While God was the exclusive source of the revelation to Muhammad, God himself is not the content of the revelation. Revelation in Islamic theology does not mean God disclosing himself. It is revelation from God, not revelation of God. God is remote. He is inscrutable and utterly inaccessible to human knowledge… Even though we are his creatures whose every breath is dependent upon him, it is not in inter-personal relationship with him that we receive guidance from him.
    At this central point the teaching of Jesus diverges from what the Muslim believes to be the essential prophetic witness. His God [the Christian] is a God who cares for his creatures, who is prepared to enter into fellowship with them, and is concerned that they should love him in response to his love. Under the law, man was in the position of a slave; now under the Gospel he is called to freedom, to the freedom of grown-up sons in their Father’s house. The Qur’an never uses the word ‘Father’ of God. Jesus taught his disciples to address him as ‘Our Father.’ The whole of the Gospel is summed up in these two words.”

    ......

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    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Climbing Mt. Improbable

    Discovery Institute's Climbing Mt. Improbable - a clip from the Darwin's Dilemma video
    video

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    Defendable as The Greatest Show on Earth?

    Leading Darwinist Richard Dawkins Dodges Debates, Refuses to Defend Evolution as The Greatest Show On Earth


    Is it defendable as The Greatest Show on Earth? If so, then why is Dawkins ducking out and refusing to debate Dr. Stephen Meyer?

    I for one would like to see such a debate. Seems Dr. Meyer is not afraid of a debate.

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    Christianity vs. Islam

    In view of the recent news of 1 out of every 4 people worldwide being Muslim, let me give some thoughts to consider (both for Muslims and for those considering the differences between Christianity and Islam):

    1. One of the central issues centers on the authority and trustworthiness of the Scripture and the Koran.

    When a person examines such things as the methods of receiving, preverving and propagating the truth ,along with the measure of internal consistencies vs. contraditions, the Bible proves worthy of acceptance and belief whereas the Koran and Hadith do not.

    2. Another issue of consideration is the difference between the God of Christianity and the God of Islam.

    The God of Christianity is one who atones and is a redeemer whereas Allah is a determinst and hater.

    3. A third issue regards differences in the person of Jesus Christ. In Christianity, Jesus is the only begotten Son (Son of God) and came to reconcile man to God through the cross whereas Islam recognizes Jesus only as a man and a prophet (even one whose words cannot be trusted because the record of them is corrupt).

    4. A fourth issue involves the crucifixion. In Christianity, God himself secures man's redemption by paying the cost himself through his Son and vindicated him by raising him from the death whereas in Islam man is left to secure his own salvation either by jihad or by good works (though good works may still not be sufficient and hence assurance of salvation cannot be attained or possessed).

    5. A fifth issue involves the difference in the witness in that Jesus fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament whereas Mohammed does not. In fact, Muslims claim that Jesus Christ stated Mohammed was coming, but this is not found in Scripture. The fulfillment of Christ's words are found in the Holy Spirit not in Mohammed.

    6. A six issue involves differences in views of human relations. Christianity recognizes both the equality and differences in men and women (and their respective roles) while Islam does not and even fails to respect women. Additional differences are seen in marriage including the rights and consequences of it's participants.

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    Sexual Liberation and Practical Consequences

    Sexual liberation seeks to strip sex of this weighty dignity so that adults can enjoy it without any serious moral commitment, yet at the same time insists that such enjoyment may not be pursued in violation of the consent of one's partner. It is, however, almost impossible to maintain such earnestness about the importance of consent once sex has been stripped of its intrinsic moral content.


    Carson Holloway provides an insightful article about the practical dilemma brought upon and faced by sexual liberation in Roman Polanski, Hollywood, and the Mystery of the Missing Outrage

    It goes to show again that you cannot violate God's laws without consequence. Let this be a reminder to us all regardless of the moral law (/commandment) which seeks to be changed or set aside.

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    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    Conservative Translation of the Bible

    The challenge of Christian believers is to adhere to the Word of God, not to bend the Word of God to our preferred ideology. Doing the former requires discipline and a clear understanding of the the Bible. Doing the latter makes God subservient to an ideology, rather than the other way around.


    Good quote taken from Ed Morrissee at Hot Air from a post entitled: Do conservatives need their own Bible translation?

    Seems the 642.65 translations of the Bible already in existence are not enough (I'm being facetious in coming up with that number), now it seems political parties are entering the fray and trying to invent their own translation.

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    Questions to Ask Darwinists

    But once science comes to be taken as the only universally valid form of knowledge within a culture, it follows at once that methodological and metaphysical naturalism become for all intents and purposes indistinguishable. They are functionally equivalent. What needs to be done, therefore, is to break the grip of naturalism in both guises, methodological and metaphysical. And this happens once we realize that it was not empirical evidence, but the power of a metaphysical world view that was all along urging us to adopt methodological naturalism in the first place. Yes, the heavens still declare the glory of God, and yes, God's invisible attributes are clearly seen from God's creation. But to hear what the heavens declare and to see what the creation makes manifest, we need to get rid of our metaphysical blinders.


    The statements above are drawn from an article entitled What every theologian should know about creation, evolution and design written by William A.Dembski, Ph.D..


    This is an insightful article that will prove very helpful for Christian apologists in the coming days given the distribution of Dawkin's latest book on evolution.

    Of particular note in the article are the questions Dembski provides which should be asked of Darwinists:

    Why does Darwinism, despite being so inadequately supported as a scientific theory, continue to garner the full support of the academic establishment?

    What is it that continues to keep Darwinism afloat despite its many glaring faults?

    Why are alternative paradigms that introduce design or teleology ruled out of court by fiat?

    Why must science explain solely by recourse to naturalistic, materialistic, purposeless processes?

    Who determines the rules of science?

    Is there a code of scientific correctness which instead of helping to lead us into truth actively prevents us from asking certain questions and thereby coming to the truth?

    What keeps Darwinism alive? Why is it so difficult to debate its merits fairly? In so pluralistic a society as ours, why don't alternative views about life's origin and development have a legitimate place in academic discourse?

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    Thursday, October 01, 2009

    The Invention of Lying

    In the movie, lying leads to, among other things, the invention of religion.


    “I don’t see why we would ever get hate mail,” [Gervais] said at the movie’s press conference. “We decided that in this world, that’s how religion started. It’s an alternative world. It’s in no way atheist propaganda.


    It's reported that "Ricky Gervais has been making the media rounds the past few weeks to talk about his new movie The Invention of Lying. In the movie, lying leads to, among other things, the invention of religion..."

    While lying may lead to (some) religion, it doesn't lead to truth!

    However, there is truth in Gervais' words (in reference to where the basis/authority of the premise for his movie was founded) when he says "WE decided that in this world, that's how religion started." (CAPS, my emphasis).

    Gervais states:
    If you’re not an atheist you can watch this film without getting angry... I don’t think you have to treat something that comes down on one side as propaganda.”

    I would prefer atheists to just come out and tell the truth...but then again I wish they would embrace the truth to begin with.

    I guess my real concern here is that potential viewers not be naive and buy into the lies used to entice them for their money (and potentially their minds).

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    Pro-Life Movie starring Rebecca Saint James

    “If it is legally true that a woman can make her own private decision regarding her reproductive health, Sarah’s Choice is a film that offers compelling moral reasons to choose life,” the film’s promoters state.


    For more, see Pro-Life Movie Starring Rebecca St. James Makes World Premiere

    Yes, God can use the arts as a means of persuasion for good, too.

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    Spiritual Hardening & Evangelizing Youth

    ...A person's spiritual condition, it seems, is much like the condition of a patient with systemic sclerosis. While all humans are born sinful, children have less of the pollution and less of the hardening of adults. While the extent of our depravity cannot change, for from the moment of conception it encompasses all that we are, the degree will and must change. Life without God progresses much like the disease. It causes increased hardening. What was once soft becomes hard; what was once supple becomes stiff and stretched. The longer a person denies God and the more his internal pollution increases, the more hardened he becomes against God and against His gracious offer of salvation. No wonder the Bible is filled with commands and exhortations that as parents we dedicate ourselves to teaching our children what God requires of them. And what impetus this should give us to obey Him! ...


    Quote taken from Two Great Barriers to Faith.
    A reasonable response to those who suggest coversion the number of children/youth conversions is simply the result of brain-washing.

    (Note: Several other factors come into play, such as the fact that some may proclaim faith when they are not actually saved; there is an blessing associated with growing up under believing parents, etc.)

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