Links & Quotes

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“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” —Seth Godin

Check this out: just 2 verses of Scripture, but 22 verified historical confirmations!

J. Warner Wallace explains why we should trust a courtroom over a laboratory when evaluating the truthfulness of historical events.

Seth Godin tells us how to win an argument with a scientist.

I know you read this from me (a lot!), but I love what the folks at The Overview Bible Project do. Check out this overview of the Gospel of John.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the power of implementation—

[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway answers a tough question: what is habitual sin?

12 Quotes From “God-Breathed”

God-BreathedJosh McDowell has given us another outstanding Christian apologetic. In God-Breathed, Josh shares with us some astounding facts that show the amazing reliability of the Bible. You can read my book review of God-Breathed by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I especially appreciated.

“The doctrines and commands of Scripture act as two guardrails to guide us down the right path of life. The teachings of Scripture (doctrine) keep us thinking and believing rightly. The instructions of Scripture (commands) keep us acting and living rightly. But without the proper context, we can miss the true purpose of Scripture, which is to guide us into keeping right thinking and right living in balance. … Scripture was given to lead us into a deeper love relationship with the One Who wrote the Book, and then also with everyone around us.” 

“The infinite God is personal. And because He is personal, we can love Him, worship Him, and please Him with our trust and obedience. Because He is personal, He can love us, rejoice with us, comfort us, and reveal Himself and His ways to us.”

“What is it that really parents our children? Is it the directives, instructions, and commands we give them? Those are behavioral guidelines, but they are not what raises our kids. It is not ‘parenting,’ as a concept, that brings up children; it is the parents themselves—relational human beings—who do the work and perform that role. That is the way God designed it. He wants kids to be brought up in loving relationships. Without relationship with another person, all attempts to instill right beliefs and right behavior will be ineffective, because they are detached from the necessary elements of personal love and care. … The Holy Spirit administers Scripture to us like a loving parent, in order to provide us with wisdom through its lessons (Proverbs 3:5), security through its boundaries (Exodus 20), caution through its warnings (Ephesians 4:17-22), and reproof through its discipline (Philippians 2:3-4).” 

“By AD 100, the apostles had died, but the Christian Church was still in its infancy, with fewer than twenty-five thousand proclaimed followers of Christ. But within the next two hundred years, the fledgling church experienced explosive multiplication of growth, to include as many as twenty million people. This means the church of Jesus Christ quadrupled every generation for five consecutive generations!”

“In AD 367, Athanasius of Alexandria compiled the first official list of books that we know today as the New Testament. There were twenty-seven books listed in all. These books were then canonized officially by the church at the councils of Hippo (AD 393) and Carthage (AD 397). Again, these councils didn’t authorize which writings were God-breathed works; rather, they recognized that these writings were authorized by God Himself.” 

“The Old Testament, comprised of thirty-nine books, was officially recognized as God-breathed Scripture as early as the fourth century BC and certainly no later than 150 BC.”

“The Bible is now the most translated book of all-time. The United Bible Society reports that, as of 2014, the Bible or portions of the Bible has been translated into 2,650 languages. Their Digital Bible Library now hosts more than 800 translations in 636 languages spoken by 4.3 billion people.” 

“Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support it then the top ten pieces of classical literature combined.”

“No other work in all literature has been so carefully and accurately copied as the Old Testament.”

“Once archaeologists completed their search of the Qumran caves—eleven caves in all—almost 1,050 scrolls have been found in about 25,000 to 50,000 pieces (a number that varies depending on how the fragments are counted). Of these manuscripts, about 300 were texts from the Bible, and many of the rest had ‘direct relevance to early Judaism and emerging Christianity.’ Every book of the Old Testament was represented, except for the book of Esther, and the earliest copies dated from about 250 BC. … Once the Dead Sea Scrolls were translated and compared with modern versions of the Hebrew Bible, the text proved to be identical, word for word, in more than 95% of the cases. (The 5 percent deviation consists mainly of spelling variations. For example, of the 166 words and Isaiah 53, only seventeen letters are in question. Of those, ten are a matter of spelling, and four are stylistic differences; the remaining three letters comprise the word light, which was added to Isaiah 53:11.)”

“The writings of the most authoritative writers of the early church—the leaders scholars referred to collectively as the Apostolic Fathers—give overwhelming support to the existence of the twenty-seven authoritative books of the New Testament. Some Apostolic Fathers produced extensive, highly accurate quotes from the text of the New Testament. … Early church writers provide quotations so numerous and widespread that if no manuscripts of the New Testament were extant, ‘the New Testament could be reproduced from the writings of the early Fathers alone.’” —Norman Geisler and William Nix 

“The earliest preachers of the gospel knew the value of…first-hand testimony, and appealed to it time and again. ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ was there constant and confident assertion. And it can have been by no means so easy as some writers seem to think to invent words and deeds of Jesus in those early years, when so many of His disciples were about, who could remember what had and had not happened. … One of the strong points in the original apostolic preaching is the confident appeal to the knowledge of the hearers; they not only said, ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ but also, ‘As you yourselves also know’ (Acts 2:22). Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.” —F.F. Bruce

God-Breathed (book review)

God-BreathedI have always been a fan of Josh McDowell’s work as a premiere Christian apologist. Christians hold closely to the Bible, so if that work can be proven to be faulty, all of the Christian’s arguments will fall flat. Josh McDowell, in his newest book God-Breathed, presents all of the evidence to show the undeniable reliability of the Bible.

Josh writes, “If used properly, words can effectively connect us relationally. Words are important, and the God-breathed words of Scripture are the most important of all. But we must listen to how words are being used in order to understand their true meaning. … How can we be sure that we have a Bible that accurately represents what God inspired people to write on His behalf? Since we have none of the original manuscripts, how can we know that the copies in our possession are reliable and accurate? … That is what this book is about: knowing with certainty that we can experience the power of God’s Word as revealed in the Bible, because it’s reliable.”

Josh systematically shares the evidence that leads to the conclusion that the Bible is indeed God’s inspired Word. You will learn about the care scribes took in copying the Scripture through generations; the literary evidences that can be used to verify the biblical message; the historical and archeological findings that corroborate the messages in Scripture; and so much more.

This is a fascinating book to study!

Put this on your bookshelf, and refer back to it often, and you will gain a greater appreciation for the amazing collection of books that we refer to as the Holy Bible.

I am a Shiloh Run Press book reviewer.

No, Virginia, Pentecostals Do Not Swing From Chandeliers

Pastor Bill LeachWow! We had an absolutely amazing service yesterday morning at Calvary Assembly of God! All throughout the service we could feel that the Holy Spirit was moving, and we were all blessed by His presence.

Pastor Bill Leach was our guest speaker, and he used Acts 2 as his text to talk about some of the misconceptions people have about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the correct biblical perspective of this empowerment for a Christian’s life. I tried to take notes as fast as I could, so below are the thoughts which especially caught my attention. Pastor Leach’s message was entitled “No, Virginia, Pentecostals Do Not Swing From Chandeliers.”

Our Pentecostal experience must be firmly established in the Word of God. Peter made this clear in his Day of Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:16, 25, 30, 34). This experience is not a fad, but we are involved in the eternal plan of God. So it is an important movement for us to be a part of (Acts 2:39).

When Jesus said “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4), He said it in the form of a command. Our Savior commands us to receive this Holy Spirit empowerment.

Luke describes the followers of Jesus as being “all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). In other words they were together together. This is a characteristic of followers of Jesus.

God’s temple is not a house, but people. Just as the fire was to be kept burning in King Solomon’s temple, God’s eternal fire fell on His followers on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:3), symbolizing His abiding presence in Christians.

The whole Godhead continually points to and glorifies the other aspects of the Godhead—“This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased”; “The Holy Spirit will testify about Me; and “I have come to glorify the Father.” When man was created God said, “Let Us make man in Our image—worshiping along side Us and enjoying Us!” The baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers us to do this!

Impossible obstacles must give way to the Spirit-anointed trod of the Spirit-baptized Church.

Pentecostals do not swing from chandeliers, but they have yielded their lives to the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, to be Christ’s witnesses and to display God’s glory throughout His creation.

This coming Sunday (May 24) is Pentecost Sunday, and I will be launching a new series about the Holy Spirit called simply The Counselor. Check back on my blog later this week for more details.

Links & Quotes

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“Most Christians never associate joy with repentance. But repentance is actually the mother of all joy in Jesus. Without it, there can be no joy. Yet, any believer who walks in repentance will be flooded with the joy of the Lord.” —David Wilkerson

“Another way the Scriptures show us that ideas have consequences is by using the word ‘therefore’ (1,039 times in the NASB).” —John Piper

“I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.” —Victor Frankl

“Every sinner must be quickened by the same life, made obedient to the same gospel, washed in the same blood, clothed in the same righteousness, filled with the same divine energy, and eventually taken up to the same heaven, and yet in the conversion of no two sinners will you find matters precisely the same.” —Charles Spurgeon

“While there may not be spiritual oppression involved in your battle [against lust], there’ll always be opposition. The enemy is constantly near your ear. He doesn’t want you to win this fight, and he knows the lies that so often break a man’s confidence and his will to win. Expect to hear lies and plenty of them. satan’s lie: ‘You’re the only one dealing with this problem. If anyone ever finds out, you’ll be the laughingstock of the church!’ The truth: Most men deal with this problem, so no one will laugh.” —Steve Arterburn

The dangers and chaos that comes from boys being raised without a Dad.

Great article: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Give Up On Church.

[VIDEO] Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy does a masterful job in appealing to the House of Representatives to pass the bill which would outlaw abortions after the date that the pre-born baby can feel pain. The House did pass this bill! Sadly, President Obama has stated that he will veto this bill, if it ends up passing the Senate as well. Check this out…

Links & Quotes

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“True revival can never take place without this kind of all-consuming hunger for God’s Word. Indeed, when God’s people grow weary of hearing His Word preached, a spiritual death begins—and the joy of the Lord departs.” —David Wilkerson

“The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth.” —John Calvin

“Let men see that the world has changed, not you—that man’s opinions and man’s maxims have veered round to another quarter, but that you are still invincibly strong in the strength which trusting in God alone can confer.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The Missionary Spirit of God is ever restless. Where is it dark? Where is it hopeless?  Where is there no church? Where are there no Christians? Where is the Father’s glory not known? Where are their tongues that blaspheme and knees refusing to bow to King Jesus? It is there that we must go, must stay, must live, and must die.” —Dick Brogden

“Have you ever looked up? Have you ever been hugged? Have you ever sat in front of a warm fire? Have you ever walked in the woods, sat by a lake, lain in a summer hammock? Have you ever drunk your favorite drink on a hot day or eaten anything good? Every desire is either a devout or a distorted enticement to the glory of heaven. You say you haven’t tasted God’s glory. I say, you have tasted the appetizers. Go on to the meal.” [Psalm 34:8] —John Piper

“Our Heavenly Father also exhorts us to be men. He wants you to be like Him. When He calls you to ‘be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect,’ He’s asking you to rise above your sinful tendencies to impure eyes, fanciful minds, and wandering hearts. His standard of purity doesn’t come naturally to you. He calls you to rise up, by the power of His indwelling presence, and be the man He created you to be.” —Steve Arterburn

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has great insight into what gives Americans their freedom. Check out this post on the United States Constitution.

[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway answers a good question: Do Christians sin?

Links & Quotes

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“The world has put a little letter before the word ‘musing,’ and these are the days, not for musing, but for a-musing. People will go anywhere for amusement; but to muse is a strange thing to them, and they think it dull and wearisome. … Now there is much virtue in musing, especially if we muse upon the best, the highest, and the noblest of subjects. If we muse upon the things of which we hear and read in sacred Scripture, we shall do wisely. It is well to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. A man who hears many sermons, is not necessarily well-instructed in the faith. We may read so many religious books, that we overload our brains, and they may be unable to work under the weight of the great mass of paper and printer’s ink. The man who reads but one book, and that book his Bible, and then muses much upon it, will be a better scholar in Christ’s school than he who merely reads hundreds of books, and muses not at all.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Patients do not serve their physicians. They trust them for good prescriptions. The Sermon on the Mount is our Doctor’s medical advice, not our Employer’s job description.” —John Piper

“Every time I open my Bible I will read it as the Word of ‘God, that cannot lie;’ and when I get a promise or a threatening, I will either rejoice or tremble because I know that these stand fast.” —Charles Spurgeon

I can use this: 25 habits to get a better night’s sleep.

Rev. Tim Dilena has an amazing reminder of God’s perfect timing in sending Jesus to earth—He Couldn’t Have Timed It Any Better.

“Given the Greek and Roman acceptance of homosexuality, it is difficult to overstate the courage and conviction required by the early Church to write and speak out on behalf of a biblical, sexual ethic.” Read more in the article When Christians Rejected Homosexuality.

Eric Metaxas shares some good news from Baltimore.

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