Here are my book reviews for 2011.
Here are my book reviews for 2012.
Here are my book reviews for 2013.
Here are my book reviews for 2014.
Here are my book reviews for 2015.
Here are my book reviews for 2016.
There was a story circulating that a physicist once claimed that the bumblebee was defying the laws of physics and aerodynamics in its flight. Apparently, he calculated that the ratio of the bumblebee’s wing size in comparison to his body size just didn’t make the math work.
But entomologists and physicists quickly jumped in to say, “Hey, look, the bumblebee is flying, so clearly it works!” And then they went to work to try to explain it. They figured out that the bumblebee flaps its wings more back-and-forth than up-and-down, creating tiny hurricanes the propel them through the air. But then that created a whole new set of problems, like how does the bumblebee control a hurricane so precisely as it turns, stops, dives, and climbs. So then they had to create a new explanation, which they named dynamic stall.
All the while, the bumblebee is flapping its too-small wings 230 times per second(!), and going about its daily activities without being able to explain tiny hurricanes, the laws of physics or aerodynamics, or even knowing what dynamic stall is. It simply flies!
The ultimate argument for anything is doing something that critics say is impossible.
Peter tells Christians to be prepared to answer anyone for the reason for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15-16). The Greek word for “give an answer” is apologia, from which we get our word apologetic. Here are three apologetics for Christians to use for the hope that they have.
It really comes down to this: My hope is based on the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, which I believe because of the Bible AND because of the change in my life.
“No other work in all literature has been so carefully and accurately copied as the Old Testament. The particular discipline and art of the Jewish scribes came out of a class of Jewish scholars between the fifth and third centuries BC. They were called the Sopherim, from a Hebrew word meaning ‘scribes.’ The sopherim, who initiated a stringent standard of meticulous discipline, were subsequently eclipsed by the Talmudic scribes, who guarded, interpreted, and commented on the sacred texts from AD 100 to AD 500. In turn, the Talmudic scribes were followed by the better-known and even more meticulous Masoretic scribes (AD 500-900).” —Josh McDowell, God-Breathed
“No other ancient text is substantiated by such a wealth of ancient textual witnesses as is the New Testament. Roughly 5,500 separate manuscripts are available, variously containing anything from the entire New Testament corpus to a slight fragment of a single verse. … This textual support is far superior to that available for any other ancient documents, such as the classical texts from Greek and Roman writers (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero). Only partial manuscripts have survived for many works of antiquity, and it is not unusual to find that the only complete manuscript for some ancient writing is a copy dating from 1,000 years after its composition.” —Archaeological Study Bible, “The New Testaments Texts” (page 1859)
“The biblical Dead Sea Scrolls are up to 1,250 years older than the traditional Hebrew Bible, the Masoretic text. We have been using a one-thousand-year-old manuscript to make our Bibles. We’ve now got scrolls going back to 250 BC. … Our conclusion is simply this—the scrolls confirm the accuracy of the biblical text by 99 percent.” —Dr. Peter Flint
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Paul lists all of the eyewitnesses to Christ’s resurrection, giving critics ample opportunity to challenge these witnesses in person. If these witnesses would have been perpetrating a hoax, skeptics of their day would have been able to uncover the inconsistencies in their story. If the account of Christ’s resurrection was made-up, it’s doubtful the early Christian martyrs would have “stuck to their story” as they were being tortured, but none recanted.
Josh McDowell notes, “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!”
“I am a changed person. I am not who I was before I met Jesus” and “My life tends to go better when I live by biblical principles” are both excellent apologetics!
Let others argue that God doesn’t exist, or that you shouldn’t have hope, and then you—like the bumblebee—just keep flying with Jesus! (see 2 Timothy 3:14)
Our annual Q Series is where folks send their questions to me on a variety of subjects and we do our best to answer them. This week many of the questions were about the Bible. Questions like:
Here’s what we discussed, along with the time this discussion appears on the video:
We’ll be discussing more questions this upcoming Sunday, so be sure to send them my way. For all of the ways you can send questions, please click here.
All throughout the Old Testament we find hints about Jesus. Then as the New Testament dawns, the brilliant light of Jesus makes sense of all the hints we had previously seen.
One of the way God hints at the arrival of Jesus and what He would do for mankind is found in the names of people. Hebrew names are interesting things. Sometimes they are quite literal. For instance…
At other times God tells parents what to name their babies before they are born. These names tell a story in themselves of what is coming…
But what is most interesting to me is when God changes someone’s name to reflect the new nature in their life.
Abram’s name meant exalted father, but God changed his name to Abraham, which means father of a multitude. His wife’s birth name was Sarai (princess) and it was changed to Sarah (a noble woman).
In these name changes, two things happened (see Genesis 17:1-15):
As you follow Abraham and Sarah’s descendants, you will see time and time again God reminding people: You can’t do it on your own. You must have Me in you in order to live the life I have for you!
Hoshea was born as an Israelite slave in Egypt, yet his parents gave him this name that means deliverer. Before God could use Hoshea to bring the Israelites into the Promised Land, He first changed his name to Joshua, which means God is the ultimate deliverer.
Joshua in the BC Hebrew language is the same as Jesus in the AD Greek language.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of being able to fully deliver people not just from physical slavery, but from the eternal consequences of sin. Man cannot save himself, but Jesus Christ can.
That’s why when you surrender to Christ and allow Him to be your Lord and Master, He puts His name in you: CHRISTian! A new name, and a brand new nature because of what it means to have Christ in you.
Check out this video where I explain the cool story behind more name changes—
Today we live in 2017 AD. But 1800 years ago the A.D. stood for “Anno Diocletiani” which means “the year of Diocletian,” a ruthless, anti-Christian Roman emperor. In 525 AD, a monk named Dionysius proposed changing the A.D. to “Anno Domini” which means “the year of our Lord,” referring to the Advent of Jesus Christ. Then to mark the dates of the calendar before Christ’s birth properly, the “B.C.” (before Christ) period was introduced.
But BC/AD is just a dating system. There is no such thing as “BC”—there has never been a time before Christ! He has always been! Throughout what we now refer to as the Old Testament (or the BC period), Jesus is constantly revealing Himself through little hints here and there, but when He comes to earth as a Man, all the hints become a bright, blazing, unmistakable Truth!
Just like Dionysius came up with a new dating system based on the Advent of Jesus, the Israelites had a new starting point marked by the Passover (see Exodus 12:1-7). Everything from this point backward is reset and dates are now counted forward from this moment. Before this time they were slaves in Egypt; after this time they were free and called God’s special people.
The “BC” Passover had three important components:
When Jesus came to Earth, He showed how He was all three of those elements. In the “AD” Jesus is—
In both BC and AD God declares the same message: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The blood seals the deal and brings God’s forgiveness of sins, and His blessings on the life that is now completely His.
The word remember appears frequently in the BC, as in “remember what God did for you.” In the AD remember appears at a pivotal time—when Jesus shared His last supper with His followers, He told them that Communion would be a time for them to remember all that Jesus did for us as the Perfect Lamb, whose Blood is applied to the Door of our heart, so that God’s judgment could pass over us.
Do you have a Passover date? A time when the BC became AD in your life? If so, good! Keep remembering that, and don’t ever go back to being a citizen of anything but God’s Kingdom.
If not, today can be the first day of a new era for you. By faith you can apply the Blood of the Perfect Lamb to the Door of your heart, and you will no longer be a slave of “Egypt” (a picture of being utterly trapped and unable to help yourself), but a citizen of Heaven! All it takes is for you to believe that Christ’s blood purchased your freedom, so you can ask God the Father to forgive you of all your BC past, and then you can live forever in the AD with Jesus as your Savior and Master!
Check out this video where I explain this BC/AD system more, and join me next week as we learn more about how Jesus Christ bridges the BC/AD divide.
Last Sunday we began a new series called BC / AD, which is helping us discover how Jesus fulfills all of the “hints” we see of Him throughout what we now call the Old Testament. In truth, there is no such thing as “BC,” as there has never been a time before Christ. He always IS.
Yesterday, Jeff Hlavin shared with us a marvelous look at the foreshadowing of Christ’s work on Calvary in the institution of the Old Testament observance of Passover. In the “AD” period, Christians now remember what Jesus did through the observance of Communion.
Watch the video of Pastor Jeff’s message to learn more.
And if you would like to download the handout from his message, please click here → Passover and Communion
If you don’t have a home church in the Cedar Springs area, I invite you to join me on Easter Sunday as we continue to see how Jesus fulfilled in the “AD” all that was promised about Him in the “BC.” It’s going to be a fantastic morning!
This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
Our reason for giving is not to be because men deserve it, but because Christ tells us to give. All through the Old and New Testaments the counsel is on the line of hospitality. As long as we have something to give, we must give. … The true nature of devotion to Jesus Christ must be extravagance. …
We have deified economy, placed insurance and economy on the throne, consequently we will do nothing on the line of adventure or extravagance. To use the word “economy” in connection with God is to belittle and misunderstand Him. Where is the economy of God in His sunsets and sunrises, in the grass and flowers and trees? God has made a superabounding number of things that are of no use to anyone. …
When a man is rightly related to God he has to see that he enjoys his own life and that others do too.
From Shade Of His Hand
What controls your hospitality and generosity? Is it economy, or an extravagant overflow?
How much God has blessed us with that we should be lavishly giving to others! If we’re not, perhaps Common Sense is on the throne of our hearts instead of our All-Gracious God.
Just something to think about…