Links & Quotes

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“When we go through the trial of faith we gain so much wealth in our heavenly banking account, and the more we go through the trial of faith the wealthier we become in the heavenly regions.” —Oswald Chambers

“The promise that frees us from an unforgiving, bitter, vengeful spirit is the promise that God will settle our accounts. He will do it more justly and more thoroughly than we ever could. Therefore we can back off and leave room for God to work.” —John Piper, commenting on Romans 12:19

“‘Revenge is sweet;’ but not to the man who has tasted Christ, for he says, ‘How can I have vengeance upon my fellow, when Christ has put away my sin?’ Now, forgiveness is sweet, and he loathes malice, and turns aside from it as from venom itself.” —Charles Spurgeon

The Isaiah 53:5 Project reblogged one of my all-time favorite blog posts: The Parable Of The Lifeguard. Thanks, James!

Melinda Penner reminds us of the dangers of abusing our freedom. “If there is nothing objective to constrain our freedom, then there’s nothing objective to constrain the government. Our rights become whatever we declare them to be and whatever the government at any time and place declares them to be, changing with the fashions of the day.”

I Missed It

Greg Koukl does a good job explaining how the books of the Bible were compiled in this video.

Links & Quotes

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Now that the Spring weather is here, get outside for some fresh air … listen to the birds, smell the flowers, look at the beauty around you! “A study of rodents, published in Science in 2013, indicated that the brain’s place cells are much less active when animals make their way through computer-generated landscapes than when they navigate the real world.” —Nicholas Carr

“We have men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” —Omar Bradley

“No man who enters upon the office to which I have succeeded can fail to recognize how every president of the United States has placed special reliance upon his faith in God. Every president has taken comfort and courage when told…that the Lord ‘will be with thee. He will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Fear not—neither be thou dismayed.’ … Each of our presidents in his own way has placed a special trust in God. Those who were strongest intellectually were also strongest spiritually.” —John F. Kennedy

Frank Turek has a fascinating post on why the Supreme Court of the United States shouldn’t allow homosexual “marriages” because of our 14th Amendment.

Innovation Adoption Lifecycle“If you want a population to adopt your innovation, you have to create a problem that is solved by adoption. And that problem is almost always related to, ’what about the others?’” Check out this insight from Seth Godin on product adoption.

 

[VIDEO] Greg Koukl addresses on Christians can demonstrate Christ-like tolerance and Christ-like tolerance—

[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway and Nel Brace discuss a great tool for helping Christians defend their faith—

Book Reviews From 2014

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Some interesting reading and watching from today…

“I call love to God the motion of the soul toward the enjoyment of God for His own sake, and the enjoyment of one’s self and of one’s neighbor for the sake of God.” —Augustine

Thom Rainer shares 6 symptoms of a dysfunctional church.

This research says that married people are healthier people.

[VIDEO] Greg Koukl addresses the “God of the Gaps” argument.

12 Quotes From “Tactics

TacticsIn Tactics Greg Koukl gives Christians more how than what/why in defending the Biblical faith. It is an outstanding read that I recommend to all Christians (young or old). You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I highlighted in this empowering book.

“First, Christ’s ambassadors need the basic knowledge necessary for the task. They must know the central message of God’s kingdom and something about how to respond to the obstacles they’ll encounter on their diplomatic mission. … However, it is not enough for followers of Jesus to have an accurately informed mind. Our knowledge must be tempered with the kind of wisdom that makes our message clear and persuasive. This requires the tools of a diplomat, not the weapons of a warrior, tactical skill rather than brute force. Finally, our character can make or break our mission. Knowledge and wisdom are packaged in a person, so to speak. If that person does not embody the virtues of the kingdom he serves, he will undermine his message and handicap his efforts.” 

“The tactical approach requires as much careful listening as thoughtful response.”

“It is not the Christian life to wound, embarrass, or play one-upmanship with colleagues, friends, or even opponents, but it’s a common vice that anyone can easily fall into.” — Hugh Hewitt 

“Always make it a goal to keep your conversations cordial. Sometimes that will not be possible. If a principled, charitable expression of your ideas makes someone mad, there’s little you can do about it. Jesus’ teaching made some people furious. Just make sure it’s your ideas that offend and not you, that your beliefs cause the dispute and not your behavior.”

“The ability to argue well is vital for clear thinking. That’s why arguments are good things. Arguing is a virtue because it helps us determine what is true and discard what is false. … Paul warns against wrangling about words and quarreling about foolish speculations (2 Timothy 2:14, 23). But he also commands us to be diligent workmen, handling the word of truth accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). And, because some disputes are vitally important, Paul solemnly charges us to reprove, rebuke, and exhort when necessary (2 Timothy 4:112). This cannot be done without some confrontation, but disagreement need not threaten genuine unity.”

“If you want skeptics to believe in the Bible, don’t get into a tug-of-war with them about inspiration. Instead, invite them to listen—to engage Jesus’ words firsthand—then let the Spirit do the heavy lifting for you.”

“You have to know why Jesus is the only way before it is helpful to tell people that He is the only way.” 

“There are three specific things you can do to ‘ready’ yourself to respond. You can anticipate beforehand what might come up. You can reflect afterward on what took place. And in both cases you can practice the responses you think of during these reflective moments so you will be prepared for the next opportunity.”

“Knowing when to step back requires the ability to separate the hogs and the dogs from the lost sheep looking for a shepherd. But how do you know when someone has crossed the line? When do we have an obligation to speak, and when should we save our pearls for another time? Part of the answer can be found in Jesus’ next words in Matthew 7:6: ‘…lest they trample [the pearls] under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.’ Be generous with the truth except with someone who shows utter contempt for the precious gift being offered him. He will simply trample it in the mud and then viciously turn on you. … There is an exception to this principle, however. I have learned from my radio show that sometimes my real audience is not the person I’m talking to, but the people who are listening in, eavesdropping on the conversation. … Lee Strobel calls this ‘ricochet evangelism.’” 

“When I face an aggressive challenger, I often give him the last word. Not only is this gracious, it’s also powerful, conveying a deep sense of confidence in one’s own view. Instead of fighting for the final say-so, give it away. Make your concluding point clearly and succinctly, and then say, “I’ll let you have the last word.” But don’t break this promise. Grant him his parting shot, and then let it rest.”

“Know the truth. Know your Bible well enough to give an accurate answer. Tactics are not a substitute for knowledge. Cleverness without truth is manipulation.”

“Culture is most profoundly changed not by the efforts of huge institutions, but by individual people.” —Chuck Colson

 

Tactics (book review)

TacticsI am a big fan of Christian apologetics: defending what I believe as a Christian. But until reading Tactics by Greg Koukl, I have found very few books which discuss how to present what I believe.

Tactics isn’t about parlor tricks, or playing games with words. It is truly a mindset to keep a conversation going with someone who wants to know (or challenge) what you believe. When we make a statement, the conversation comes to a screeching halt or explodes into an intense argument. But if we continue to ask questions, a dialogue can continue.

Greg Koukl uses some insights from TV detective Columbo to give Christians some strategies for productive conversations. Peter Falk’s character was an intuitive detective who got his information by asking people to clarify what they were saying, and getting them to open up and talk more. In similar fashion, Greg gives us some ideas of how to find out not only what the other person believes, but why they believe it, by asking some strategic questions.

From the moment I began reading this book, I have been able to immediately use the tactics Greg outlines. I have recommended this book to a couple of other people, and they are also reporting back to me that they are experiencing similar results. So I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any Christian who wants to have more meaningful conversations with others about their faith.

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Some good reading (and watching) I found today.

“Humility is strong—not bold; quiet—not speechless; sure—not arrogant.” —Estelle Smith

[VIDEO] Ken Davis always cracks me up! When the doctor says, “Don’t drive” … don’t drive!

Feeling beat-up? Max Lucado reminds us to rest in Christ’s finished work.

[VIDEO] Greg Koukl answers the question: What Is Marriage Anyway?

Tim Elmore discusses communicating with youth using pictures, stories and steps.

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