Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I found today.

Temptation is not fatal! “[We ought] to point out of what service temptations are in the training of the faithful, and what relief there is in the example of the patience of God, who has resolved to permit them even to the end.” —Augustine

“Our extremity is God’s opportunity.” —George Whitefield

Apparently the definition of “tolerance” today just means telling everyone what they want to hear. If you speak a truth that someone doesn’t like, then you are intolerant, as in the case of this guy in the U.K.

David Wilkerson says: Do Not Give satan An Inch Of Ground.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned racist Donald Sterling for life. Check out A Statement Stronger Than Silver.

I love what Make-A-Wish does for kids! Here’s a great story from Detroit.

Google is on the wrong side of this one: they have decided that women searching for “abortion” shouldn’t see listings for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers!

7 Quotes From “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?”

Did Jesus Rise From The DeadDid Jesus Rise From The Dead? is an excellent apologetic for both the biblical skeptic and the biblical student. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are seven noteworthy quotes and one infographic from this fascinating book.

“One of the most noteworthy facts about the early Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection was that it flourished in the very city where Jesus had been publicly crucified. So long as the inhabitants of Jerusalem thought that Jesus’ corpse lay in the tomb, few would have been prepared to believe such silliness as the claim that God had raised Jesus from the dead.”

“We have the extraordinary number of at least five independent sources for Jesus’ burial, some of which are extremely early. The Gospels describe Joseph as a rich man, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. As a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention. The Sanhedrin was a sort of Jewish high court made up of seventy of the leading men of Judaism, which presided in Jerusalem. There was an understandable hostility among early Christians toward the Jewish Sanhe-drists, for Christians blamed the Sanhedrists for engineering a judicial murder of Jesus at the hands of the Romans. … Therefore, Jesus’ burial by Joseph is very probably historical, since it would be almost inexplicable why Christians would invent a story about a Jewish Sanhedrist who gives Jesus a proper burial.”

“Matthew is clearly working with an independent source, for he includes the story of the guard at the tomb, which is not derived from Mark and is unique to his Gospel; moreover, his comment that the rumor that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body, ‘And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day,’ (Matthew 28:15) shows that the guard is not Matthew’s own creation, but was part of prior tradition. Luke also has an independent source, for he tells the story, not found in Mark, of two disciples’ inspecting the tomb to verify the women’s report that the tomb was vacant. This story cannot be regarded as Luke’s own creation, since the incident is independently reported in John’s Gospel. And, again, given John’s independence of the other three Gospels, we have yet another independent report of the empty tomb.”

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead infographic

(click image for a larger view)

“To appreciate how restrained Mark’s narrative is, we need only read the account in the second-century apocryphal Gospel of Peter. It describes Jesus’ triumphant exit from the tomb as a gigantic figure whose head reaches above the clouds, supported by giant angels, followed by a talking cross, heralded by a voice from heaven, and all witnessed by a Roman guard, the Jewish leaders, and a multitude of spectators! This is how real legends look: They’re richly decorated with theological and apologetical motifs. By contrast, Mark’s account is stark in its simplicity.”

“Think about that: ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away’ [Matthew 28:13]. The Jewish authorities did not deny the fact that Jesus’ tomb was empty; instead they entangled themselves in a hopeless series of absurdities, trying to explain it away. In other words, the Jewish claim that the disciples stole the body presupposes that the body was, in fact, missing. Therefore, we have evidence from the very adversaries of the early Christian movement for the fact of the empty tomb.”

“All the followers of those first century messianic movements were fanatically committed to the cause…. But in no case right across the century before Jesus and the century after Him do we hear of any Jewish group saying that their executed leader had been raised from the dead, and he really was the Messiah after all.” —N.T. Wright

“A supernatural explanation of the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith is not contrived given the context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life, ministry, and personal claims.”

I Can’t Really Know

I Can't Really KnowSolomon wrote, “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it” (Proverbs 22:3).

Conventional wisdom teaches me to persevere no matter what—keep going! head down and power through! don’t quit! Yet Solomon’s counsel is unconventional—there is a time to stop and take refuge; there is a time that persevering leads to more pain and no gain.

Prior to Solomon’s writings, the other uses of the Hebrew word he uses for “prudent” (aruwm) are always in the negative sense: the serpent was more crafty (Genesis 3:1), God thwarts the shrewd (Job 5:12), to name just a couple. Solomon uses the same word, but in a positive sense.

It comes down to this: I can’t know whether I’m being shrewd or prudent. I can’t know whether I should stop or press on. Only God knows! 

Only the Alpha and Omega knows my end from my beginning. Only the One Who created me with a purpose knows my purpose and my path. Only my Shepherd can tell me when to go forward into green pastures, and when to take refuge beside quiet waters.

My takeaway: I must constantly be in God’s presence, listening for His Voice. I can’t really know when to stay or when to go, but He does know and He is delighted in telling me.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some great reading I found today.

“So, go ahead, hold your grudge. Keep your bitterness. Continue stirring up strife. If you do, you will be in total rebellion against God and His Word and you’ll open yourself up to satan. You will become spiritually blind and hardened in heart. On the other hand, if you are spiritual—willingly obedient to God’s Word—then no matter how injured you are, you’ll show the peaceable wisdom of gentleness by forgiving.” —David Wilkerson

“It is nobler to forgive and let the offense pass. To let an injury rankle in your bosom and to meditate revenge is to keep old wounds open and to make new ones. Better forget and forgive.” —Charles Spurgeon

[VIDEO] Sen. Ted Cruz is right: John Kerry should resign over his comments on Israel.

Another breakthrough study says embryonic stem cells can be created from adult cells; there is zero need to abort babies to harvest their stem cells.

Have you ever wondered why Planned Parenthood is so pro-death? Check out some of the hateful statements from their founder, Margaret Sanger, in this post.

Counter Culture

Counter Culture [web]counter culture [koun-ter kuhl-cher] noun the culture and lifestyle of those people, especially among the young, who reject or oppose the dominant values and behavior of society.

What are the “dominant values and behavior” of today? Many Christians would say that what is “dominant” today appears to be those values and behavior counter to the teaching of the Bible. Can that be true?

If that is true, then how are Christians supposed to live? Are Christians supposed to adapt or modify what we believe to match the “dominant” behavior of the day?

Actually, I believe Christians are to live out a biblical worldview, and that doing so actually makes those Christians the ones who are living true counter culture lifestyles. It is that counter culture lifestyle which pleases God and attracts others to Him.

Join me this Sunday as we explore what the Bible teaches about being counter culture.

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? (book review)

Did Jesus Rise From The DeadDr. William Lane Craig is a brilliant Christian apologist. Part of his brilliance is in the way he can make complex subject matters so accessible for everyone. This is fully on display in his book Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?

This book is a fairly quick read, but it is packed with powerful information. Point-by-point Dr. Craig leads us through the evidence for the empty tomb of Jesus, laying out all of the independently-corroborated evidence for Christ’s resurrection, and dismantling the arguments against His resurrection.

Next he lists several hypotheses—including the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the displaced body hypothesis and the hallucination hypothesis—and gives us the criteria to analyze each of these hypotheses on our own. These criteria include the explanatory scope, the explanatory power, plausibility, less contrived theories, and the disconfirmation factors. Quite fascinating!

The book is well footnoted to give the reader ample sources to dig deeper on any of the points Dr. Craig covers. I could see this being an ideal book for those skeptical of the biblical claims of Christ’s resurrection, as well as a good study tool for Christians to prepare themselves to answer the objections others may have about the good news of Jesus being raised from the dead.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some great reading I found today.

[AUDIO] This is a fascinating lecture from Dr. Glenn Sunshine on Christians in history who changed history.

“This day my God will perform all things for me; what can I do for Him? My thoughts ought to run to Him, for He thinketh upon me.” —Charles Spurgeon

This is appallingPro-abortion group declares bloody, mangled babies are “safe” for women.

“There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of Our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason. If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it. If the happiness of a creature lies in self-surrender, no one can make that surrender but himself (though many can help him to make it) and he may refuse. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully ‘All will be saved.’ But my reason retorts, ‘Without their will, or with it?’ If I say ‘Without their will’ I at once perceive a contradiction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say ‘With their will,’ my reason replies ‘How if they will not give in?’ … The doors of Hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of Hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man ‘wishes’ to be happy: but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stages of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free.” —C.S. Lewis

[VIDEO] A great way for Creationists to dialogue with evolutionists.

4 Quotes By And About Abraham Lincoln In “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. So Dr. Bobb uses several biographies of notable Americans to illustrate the power of humility. These are some quotes by and about Abraham Lincoln.

“Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.” —Abraham Lincoln

“Nowhere in the world is presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest amongst us are extended the highest privileges and positions. The present moment finds me at the White House, yet there is as good a chance for your children as there was for my father’s.” —Abraham Lincoln

“[Abraham] Lincoln’s navigation of these almost impossible waters was not without mistakes. What distinguished him from many others, however, were his ability to shift his course without ever losing sight of his destination and his willingness to admit when he steered awry.” —David Bobb

“With our limited understanding we may not be able to comprehend it, yet we cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.” —Abraham Lincoln

You Are God’s Favorite Place On Earth

Favorite placeUndoubtedly you have a favorite place. It might be a special friend’s house, or a summer cabin. Perhaps it’s your favorite wooded path around a lake, or even a comfy chair in your home where you find rest.

In our favorite places we might hear from God or reconnect with friends. Maybe in our favorite place we de-stress and get re-energized for life’s challenges. Wherever the place is, and whatever happens there, one thing is certain: We cannot stay there forever. At some point we’ll have to leave that favorite place.

But we can take that favorite place with us. That energizing, affirming, consoling, encouraging feeling we gained in our favorite place can go with us in our hearts and minds.

The people of Bethany and the disciples had a favorite Person in Jesus Himself. Jesus, too, had a favorite place—the village of Bethany—and favorite people—a special family in Bethany and His disciples—but He said, “It is for your good that I go away, so that I can send the promised Holy Spirit to you” (see John 16:7). Just before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus took His followers with Him to Bethany and instructed them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-8). This time of waiting was the only time that Jesus instructed His followers to wait, after this we were to GO!

Indeed, this empowerment of the Holy Spirit was for us to go into all the world with the message of Jesus; it was not for us to hunker down in our favorite place. So the empowerment of the Holy Spirit helps us take our favorite place and Person with us. When we GO, we GO with a message of hope for the world.

We become God’s favorite place on earth, as we GO with an invitation for others to know this favorite relationship as well!

Being baptized in the Holy Spirit means that you’ve given Him unlimited access to your thoughts, your talents, your personality, your opportunities—your all—so that He can show the love of Jesus to others through you.

If you haven’t experienced this empowerment of the Holy Spirit, remember that it is a promised gift God wants to pour out on you (see Luke 11:11-13; 24:49; and Acts 1:4). All that is needed is for your willing heart to wait on Him to pour out this gift on you. What are you waiting for?!

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some great reading I found this weekend.

“God’s work on this earth languishes when God’s people give up their ministries of prayer and supplication.” —A.W. Tozer

Very thoughtful: Why We Should Say “Yes” To A Culture Of Marriage.

Hmmm … Teen Pregnancy Rates Drop When Planned Parenthood Locations Close.

An informative article about the Holy Spirit: Jesus’ Closest Companion.

“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.” —Martin Luther

It becomes those to be generous who are the children of a gracious God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Debunking 7 Myths About Marijuana.

This is so cool! Laser surgery conducted on twins girls while they were still in the womb.

Where is the outrage in the mainstream media?! Pakistani married couple sentenced to death for their “anti-Islam” texts.

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