Sunday, June 02, 2019

Meekness Is Not Weakness

Of all the Beatitudes, I'd guess that "blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth" is the most misunderstood, mistrusted, and neglected. I think the reason why is because we don't understand the virtue of meekness and tend to think it indicates weakness.

Certainly, meekness didn't fit in with the values of the Greco-Roman world of the first century, where humility wasn't generally lauded as a virtue. Nietzsche, a great admirer of the Greeks, thought meekness was exactly the sort of false virtue that the weak would applaud because, well, it's about the only virtue they could actually pull off. Since the weak can't win by the standard rules, they change the rules.

I think most of us are far more Nietzschean than we'd like to admit. At least I am. When I hear the word meek, it seems too insipid, too accommodating, too spineless to be a virtue.

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

If You Want to Evangelize, Try Talking About the Weather

When I was at seminary two decades ago, "spiritual direction" was a new trend. Many of us thought that it was the greatest idea we'd ever hit upon, particularly for those who had grown up around very

Spiritual direction, we learned, was like midwifery: A midwife cannot create life or control it. She can only encourage it to fruition and be present to the miracle that is already happening in someone else. In the same way, spiritual directors facilitate growth but aren't responsible for it. Both the director and director are in a listening posture, waiting on the Spirit for discernment and attending to the life that God is growing within.

This midwife-to-mother relationship was located, we thought, in the upper atmosphere of spiritual maturity and sought after by believers who were really striving to attain deep faith. We were all talking about it, reading books about it, and wondering where on earth to find a highly trained spiritual director.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?


A very interesting analysis critically examining preterist interpretations by Thomas D. Ice of Liberty University
FUTURISM IMPLICATIONS
If we could take the time to study the rest of the Old Testament we would find that it is an expansion, consistent with the early prophetic roadmap, of God's prophetic plan.
Dozens of passages predict a glorious future for Israel. If these texts are taken literally and historically then they have to have a future fulfillment. Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse and in the Revelation, in concert with the Old Testament, also expands upon, but is consistent with, that prophetic roadmap begun in Deuteronomy. Our Lord predicts a literal and thus future time of glory and blessing for Israel. Unless one just arbitrarily imports the theology of the church replacing Israel into many key texts, it is clear that hundreds of prophecies still speak of a literal and thus future fulfillment. 
think it becomes clear that futurism is the only approach that makes sense of the Bible and its prophecies. While the Bible speaks of a wonderful past, we cannot hide the fact that the best is yet to come!
CONCLUSION
Like many of the arguments presented by preterists, they appear to have some initial merit when looked at by the biblically uneducated, but upon closer examination prove to be without merit. Preterists falsely built upon the misguided assumption, that they attempt to "prove" from various prooftexts, that Bible prophecy had to have its fulfillment within about 40 years of Christ's first advent.
There are many implications, both theological and practical, that would require a major adjustment to the Christian faith if they are right. Since their arguments are incorrect, so are the implications that flow from such thought. Because of the recent spread of Preterism, pastors and teachers need to be prepared to defend orthodox eschatology from this attack. Those who believe that Christ came in A.D. 70 will certainly not be found looking for our Lord's any moment  return when He does rapture the church without any signs or warning before this blessed event.
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Jesus, Take the Control Wheel: Southwest Pilot Saw Flying as Ministry

When members of First Baptist Church in Boerne, Texas, heard recordings of radio transmissions from a Southwest Airlines pilot who made a harrowing emergency landing this week in Philadelphia, they recognized the voice as one of their own.

Tammie Jo Shults—the pilot who guided Flight 1380 to the ground April 17 after a midflight engine failure shot debris through a window, killing one passenger—is a recognizable figure at the Texas Hill Country church, which averages 900 in worship. She has led the children's worship program at First Baptist and taught Sunday School for children, middle schoolers, high schoolers and adults, said Staci Thompson, a longtime friend and administrative assistant in the church office.

"When we heard the voice" in media replays of cockpit recordings, "it was just like talking on the phone. That's what she sounds like," Thompson told Baptist Press.


Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Life in light of the resurrection


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both one of the best-attested and most contested events of ancient history. But for those of us who place our faith in Jesus for salvation, the resurrection is far more than a historical event—it is a crucial basis for our future hope which should affect how we live our lives.

Our hope is not in this life

One encouraging lesson from the resurrection is that we do not have to look for perfect happiness, justice, or love in this life. In fact, those who do are inevitably disappointed. Rather, we can look forward to the New Heavens and Earth where all those longings will be perfectly fulfilled.

This is a crucial part of the answer to one of the most-asked questions—why does a good God allow bad things? God did not create the world to be full of suffering and death—that came about through Adam's sin (Romans 5:12). Christ died so that sinners can be saved when they believe. If we did not believe that one day He will put all things right, an important part of the message of redemption would be missing.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

4 Things You Can’t Do without Systematic Theology



Before we can understand why systematic theology is essential, we must first understand what it is. There's no single definition of systematic theology, but at its heart it's the discipline captured by the phrase "faith seeking understanding."

Systematic theology builds on the results of biblical theology. Biblical theology is the exegetical discipline that seeks to grasp the entirety of Scripture as the unfolding of God's plan from Genesis to Revelation. Starting with Scripture as God's Word written through human authors—our final authority (sola scriptura) for what we think about God, ourselves, and the world—biblical theology seeks to "put together" the entire canon in a way that's true to God's intent.

Systematic theology then applies the truths gained in biblical theology to every aspect of our lives. It leads to doctrinal formulation—what we ought to believe and how we ought to live—warranted by the canon and done in light of historical theology. 

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What the Creation Museum is Really About



Answers in Genesis opened its much-anticipated, 27-million dollar Creation Museum in rural Northern Kentucky at the end of May 2007, drawing more than half a million people in the first sixteen months and more than three million in the first ten years. Those are impressive numbers. By comparison, the nearby Cincinnati Museum Center, located in the heart of a major Midwestern city, covering a much larger range of subjects in three separate museums, boasting an OMNIMAX theater, and targeting a much broader demographic than just conservative Protestants, had about 1.45 million visitors in 2015. With 20% as much traffic as its much larger secular neighbor, AiG's museum has proved to be a commercial success. Like the YEC ideas that it embodies, the Creation Museum shows no signs of going away anytime soon.

One reason for this is the high production values evident throughout. I saw this for myself, when I visited the Museum scarcely more than three months after it opened. Terry Mortenson of AiG kindly gave me a tour of the operation behind the scenes afterwards, but mostly I walked through the exhibits unaccompanied, attended a well-organized presentation by astronomer Jason Lisle in the technically impressive planetarium, and formed my own conclusions about the methods and the message of the Creation Museum. A few months ago, I commented on the one thing that struck me most, namely, the way in which visitors are shown the YEC view and evolution as separate but equal sets of assumptions, with the scientific evidence impotent to determine which approach actually provides a better explanation. That is best seen in the Dinosaur Dig Site (above), a huge sand box in which two paleontologists, one secular and one a creationist, uncover the same bones with the same techniques but draw very different conclusions about their implications.


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