F.E.A.R

PreachingI read something really cool in my personal devotional time this morning, and I took to Periscope to share it live. (Are you on Periscope yet? Check it out, and please consider following me at @craigtowens.)

Please take a look at the well-known stories in Luke 8, and then listen to what the Holy Spirit was showing me this morning about F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real. The verse I really focus on is Luke 8:37.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“The Apostle Paul tells us that a temple of God, properly adorned and maintained, grows in unity and maturity in the Lord Jesus, as pastors and teachers equip church members to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). A building and other facilities can aid in this process, but they are not essential. Indeed, in many ways they can actually distract us from our task by so defining and confining what we do in the name of ministry that our endeavors consistently look more like the ways of the world than the work of the Lord, more like maintaining and maximizing an institution than seeking and advancing a Kingdom not of this world. … As we build our churches let us not lose sight of the fact that what matters most to the Lord is not the number, shape, and usability of the buildings we erect, but the health, growth, and ministries of the people in whom He has come to dwell.” —T.M. Moore

“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.” —Anais Nin

“The Lord’s Prayer contains 56 words; the Gettysburg Address, 266; the Ten Commandments, 297; the Declaration of Independence, 300; and a recent U.S. government order setting the price of cabbage, 26,911. At the state level, over 250,000 bills are introduced each year. And 25,000 pass the legislatures to disappear into the labyrinths of the law.” —Al Ries and Jack Trout

“For some (even for some Christians), faith is best defined as ‘believing in something that lacks supporting evidence.’ But this is not the definition of faith that is presented on the pages of Christian Scripture.” Read more from J. Warner Wallace on how Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration.

Frank Turek points out, “Remember, Moses was on the wrong side of the golden calf. And [Abraham] Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was on the wrong side of Dred Scott.…” In this post he shares why same-sex “marriage” proponents are on the wrong side of God, evolution and humanity.

[VIDEO] This 5-minute clip of noted New Testament scholar N.T. Wright on homosexuality is well worth your time—

My son tipped me off to a thought-provoking post on dating relationships: How Our Dating Culture As Already Broken Your Future Wife’s Heart.

C.S. Lewis On Marriage

C.S. Lewis at his deskTwo powerful passages on marriage from C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity—

“The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism—for that is what the words ‘one flesh’ would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact—just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.”

“My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British [or American] people are not Christian and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.”

The Printer And The Preacher (book review)

The Printer And The PreacherRandy Peterson has written an amazing story of the unlikely friendship between two men who loom large in history: Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. The book is called The Printer And The Preacher: The Surprising Friendship That Invented America.

These men were arguably the first celebrities in the American colonies. They each achieved their level of fame in totally different professions, and yet their paths continue to cross time and time again, until a 30-year-long friendship ensued. Each of them was instrumental in sharpening the other in their craft, promoting their pursuits, and defending each other’s reputations. And perhaps most notably, together they became pivotal in the build-up to America’s independence both politically and religiously.

In concluding this very enjoyable book, Peterson writes—

“Like George [Whitefield], we are, as a nation, very religious. Like Ben [Franklin], we like to make up our own beliefs. About half of Americans call themselves evangelical, children of the Great Awakening. Many even use George’s favorite term: born again. But others do not share this faith. Many, like Ben, are scientific in their outlook. They take an ‘enlightened’ approach to life, focusing on the natural world, not the supernatural.

“We are George and Ben.

“Thanks to Ben and others, we have religious liberty carved into our Constitution. We have freedom to be religious or not to be. We can be Methodists, Calvinist, Catholic, deist, Pietist, or all of the above. No authority can coerce us to believe anything or force us to say we do. Spiritual life is a personal matter, a transaction between us and God. George and Ben both taught us this.

“We are still figuring out how religious freedom works. As a nation, we seem to vacillate between Ben and George, skeptic and zealot, the right to doubt and the right to believe. The question in our deeply divided country is how to preserve the freedom to live without a vibrant Christian faith as well as the freedom to choose something else. The relationship between these two forefathers points to an answer.”

This book will appeal to so many people: history buffs, pastors, scientists, leaders, politicos, and biography readers. I highly recommend it!

I am a Thomas Nelson reviewer.

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