faith

Thumbnail image for A Facebook Comment Could Render Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith Meaningless

A Facebook Comment Could Render Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith Meaningless

A Facebook comment could render Wheaton College’s statement of faith meaningless if the member faculty council gets its way and the administration withdraws its efforts to fire Dr. Larycia Hawkins. I previously explained that Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins was not suspended for wearing a hijab. Rather, she was suspended over the theological implications of stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. While Wheaton’s administration began the process of firing Hawkins, the faculty council disagrees potentially bringing more controversy on the school. In fact, Wheaton’s faculty council recommends the move to fire Hawkins be withdrawn. Now, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writing for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Black Baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene

Ethics: Black Baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas is here and it is time to check out all the Christmas lights and decorations. You decide to head over to your local city park. The park has a huge Christmas tree and several decorations including a nativity scene. As you are walking around checking out the park’s decorations, you hear some unusual commotion by the nativity scene. Curious, you walk over to what sounds like complaining – about the nativity scene. You figure someone is upset that the city actually put up Christmas decorations. You hear a white guy shout, “But Jesus wasn’t …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Wheaton College Professor Suspension Is Not About the Hijab but the Nature of God

The Wheaton College Professor Suspension Is Not About the Hijab but the Nature of God

Wheaton College, an Evangelical school, recently suspended Dr. Larycia Hawkins, Associate Professor of Political Science. Two issues are in view in this suspension: 1) she wore a hijab standing in religious solidarity with Muslims and 2) she claimed Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The Chicago Tribune gets it wrong by seeming to focus on Hawkins wearing a hijab. USA Today gets it right by focusing on Hawkins’ same God comment. Wheaton College did not suspend Dr. Hawkins because she wore a hijab, but over the nature of God. Her claims that Christians and Muslims worship the same God do not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: School Announces Students Will Engage in Religious Activity

Ethics: School Announces Students Will Engage in Religious Activity

What would you do Wednesday! Religious disagreements in public schools is a hot topic today. People get upset over various issues from a school is forcing non-Muslims girls to wear a hijab, allowing a “Walk a Mile in Her Hijab” campaign, or banning prayer. What if your child came home with a notice that, in the name of religious tolerance and understanding, all students will participate in the “John 3:16 Challenge” which has the following theme. 16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Muslim Friend Attacked While Having Lunch!

Ethics: Muslim Friend Attacked While Having Lunch!

What would you do Wednesday! OK here is the scenario. In an effort to reach out to a Muslim friend in light of all the anti-Muslim sentiment, I took a Muslim friend to lunch. I hoped to get his perspective on the anti-Muslim attitudes, see if he has experienced any hate, and, most importantly, share the gospel with him. While I have only known him for five months, he has been in the U.S. for about five years. He assumes most Americans identify as Christians or have some connection to a church. We decided to meet at 11:30 to beat …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Thanksgiving Dinner is Terrible!

Ethics: Thanksgiving Dinner is Terrible!

What would you do Wednesday! Thanksgiving Day is upon us once again. This is a time of year most people will share a meal with family and friends. Thanksgiving dinner is normally a great time of food and fellowship. But what if the food at your Thanksgiving dinner was terrible? Imagine this… You are at your first Thanksgiving dinner with your new spouse and both of your families. Your spouse’s mother is hosting and has done most of the cooking at her insistence. Your spouse has bragged about their mother’s delicious cooking! So you can’t wait to dig in. The …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Syrian Refugee Family Moves Into Your Neighborhood

Ethics: Syrian Refugee Family Moves Into Your Neighborhood

What would you do Wednesday! There is a lot of division over whether or not the United States should receive Syrian refugees who have been driven from their homes by ISIS – radical Islam. While there is some balance in the discussion, much of debate seems a black and white, yes or no response. Like it or not, some of the refugees are being settled here in America. What if a refugee family moved into your neighborhood? You have just finished reading news reports that there is a vetting process in place that attempts to ensure the refugees are not radicals …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Dr. Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Dallas, shares his view of how Christians should respond to the Paris terrorist attacks. He addresses the government’s role in protecting its citizens and how radical Islam (ISIS) should be bombed. In this short clip, it is not clear that Jeffress shares his thoughts on every aspect of the Paris attacks including its effect on the refugee crisis. Christians, per Romans 13, expect the government to seek justice on radicals like ISIS et al. Yet, caught in the middle are thousands of Syrian refugees who have been driven from their homes. These refugees …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Friend Lashes Out at Starbucks’ Barista for Not Saying ‘Merry Christmas’

Ethics: Friend Lashes Out at Starbucks’ Barista for Not Saying ‘Merry Christmas’

What would you do Wednesday! Recently, responses to a fake war on Christmas by Starbucks spread across social media. While a majority of Christians careless what kind of cup Starbucks uses during the Christmas season, there are some who get offended. What if one of those offended happened to be one of your friends? Imagine finding yourself in the following scenario. It is the middle of December. The Christmas season is here. You met a friend and fellow Christian at Starbucks. Upon connecting in the parking lot, you both talk about some of the current, exciting ministry opportunities. Just as you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Jay Z: The Bible and Qu’ran Speak of the Same God

Jay Z: The Bible and Qu’ran Speak of the Same God

    The above clip is from an episode of Oprah’s Master Class which features “stories you’ve never heard from the people you thought you knew best.” Basically, the show is famous people sharing personal stories. And Jay Z shares an interesting belief about who God is. He thinks that “however you find God, that’s a fantastic thing” and “people that are reading the Qu’ran and people that are reading the Bible are really reading about the same person.” Sadly, Jay Z is wrong about God and he is influencing many. And even more with Oprah’s reach. If people simply …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Beware: John Boehner Quotes the Bible

Beware: John Boehner Quotes the Bible

Many who are first to cry separation of church and state recently celebrated a visit by Pope Francis to speak at the White House. While cheers for the Pope still echoed in the air, Speaker of the House, John Boehner, announced his coming resignation. Many of Boehner’s fellow Republicans have been critical of his leadership or lack thereof. He has been equally critical of his critics even calling Presidential candidate Ted Cruz a jackass. But beware, as Boehner begins walking toward retirement, he rips conservatives in his own party again, this time by quoting the Bible. “The Bible says beware of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Kim Davis is Not the Problem with Evangelical Christianity

Kim Davis is Not the Problem with Evangelical Christianity

Fellow Southern Baptist, Pastor Russell Williams, gave three reasons related to Kim Davis’ case for why Evangelical Christians are losing. He begins: Since I am a pastor of a southern Baptist church please allow me to weigh in on the case of Kim Davis, the lady in Kentucky who refuses to issue a marriage licenses to a same sex couple. I am a licensed Southern Baptist Minister which means I can legally marry people (not that this makes my position more authoritative). I simply disagree with brother Williams and do not believe Kim Davis is the problem with Evangelical Christianity.  Below …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for If Chick-fil-A is Denied a Lease, Will Christians Have to Stop Sharing Their Views Publicly?

If Chick-fil-A is Denied a Lease, Will Christians Have to Stop Sharing Their Views Publicly?

Denver City Council members have placed a Chick-fil-A lease at the Denver International Airport on hold over its LGBT positions. Apparently, some council members do not like the Christian positions CFA president, Dan Cathy, shared three years ago. The backlash from Cathy’s comments energized supporters to hold a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day giving the company huge revenues. But the Denver council members believe a moral issue is in play if they allow CFA a place in the Denver International Airport. One of the members is concerned CFA profits would be used to promote discrimination. (Despite the fact that CFA allowed itself to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for National Protest Planned Parenthood Day Marietta, GA with Dr. Alveda King

National Protest Planned Parenthood Day Marietta, GA with Dr. Alveda King

On the morning of August 22, 2015, my wife and I attended the National Protest Planned Parenthood Day in Marietta, GA. We had a mixture of around 600-700 people. I jumped on Periscope and recorded live video on the scene and captured Dr. Alveda King  speaking. Dr. King spoke against abortion and in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. A couple of pro-Planned Parenthood folks slipped in with their signs behind King while she was speaking. This gave King a chance to address those folks, share her story about her two abortions, and set the record straight about her uncle, Martin …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar has been caught in yet another sexual sin once the hacked Ashley Madison database was leaked. (His responses noted below.) On one hand, I am surprised at this revelation. On the other hand, I am not surprised because, sadly, any of us men are only a few clicks away from being Josh Duggar. It Could Have Been You Do you think you are better than Josh Duggar? Do you think nothing like that could happen to you? Think again. We live in a culture that is saturated in sexuality. Sex appeal was discovered long ago to be a key ingredient …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Customer Requests White Delivery Driver

Ethics: Customer Requests White Delivery Driver

What would you do Wednesday! For today’s scenario, you are middle management at a home improvement store. In your position, you are responsible for several stores in the district. The store managers in that district answer to you. A customer calls and places an order for $1,000 worth of flooring. The store manager gets called to the flooring department by the employee taking the order because the customer has an unusual request. The customer demands that a white driver deliver her order to her home. He explains to the customer that her request is discriminatory and he very uncomfortable with …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Another Planned Parenthood Undercover Video

Another Planned Parenthood Undercover Video

Planned Parenthood has been caught on video in another undercover sting. If you thought past undercover videos were bad, this time the Senior Director of Medical Services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been caught selling body parts of aborted babies. Dr. Russell Moore, president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, weighed in on the video. Sadly, some have reported his article “Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling” to Facebook as abusive thereby blocking the link. Dr. Moore writes: I must admit I was speechless for close to an hour. I saw a video …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Same-Sex Married Couple Come to Faith and Repent

Ethics: Same-Sex Married Couple Come to Faith and Repent

What would you do? The recent SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage will bring new challenges to local churches. One of the challenges may involve a same-sex married couple who comes to faith in Jesus as in the scenario below. Similar questions have been raised about advising an unbelieving transgendered person who comes to faith. Let’s think about it! A same-sex couple made up of two men begin attending your church. You get to know them after the first two months. You have shared the gospel with them, explained Christianity, and invited them to your small group. Six months pass. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently ruled that gay marriage is a right legalizing such marriages. thereby redefining marriage. The support for this decision among professing Christians has been striking but so has the backlash. The reaction to the SCOTUS ruling from some Christian circles has revealed a kind of hatred for the homosexual community. Let me explain. Jesus commanded Christians to love others. In fact, he taught that one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. But that was the second greatest commandment. The first is to love God with all our …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Flies Confederate Flag on Church Grounds

Ethics: Pastor Flies Confederate Flag on Church Grounds

What would you do Wednesday! The recent racist and tragic killing of 9 African Americans by a white man at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston has brought up a national debate over states flying a Confederate flag. Emotions run high on all sides of the Confederate flag debate. What would you do if, upon arriving at church Sunday morning, you noticed a Confederate flag hanging from a wall-mount at the corner of the front of the church? Then, you notice your pastor standing at the front doors so you ask him about the flag. He asks that you wait for him …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Parents Disagree on Attending Son’s Same-Sex Wedding

Ethics: Parents Disagree on Attending Son’s Same-Sex Wedding

What would you do Wednesday! As the same-sex marriage debate continues among some Evangelicals, tough decisions among families are bound to arise. How about when those tough questions come between husband, wife, and child? Consider the following scenario. Five years ago, the son of Evangelical Christians finally told his parents he is gay. Today, that son is planning a same-sex wedding with his partner. His parents have strongly disagreed with his lifestyle though have always welcomed him and loved him. The son has invited the parents to his same-sex wedding. The parents are admired and known in their community for being leaders …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Loving Bruce Jenner

Loving Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Summer Olympics men’s decathlon gold medal winner, recently declared himself a woman and changed his name to Caitlyn. As you might imagine, reactions from those supporting Jenner, as well as those disapproving, has been intense. I am one who disapproves. Yet, I have been praying for him. At the same time, I wonder how an Evangelical Christian, like myself, might love Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner? There are at least three reasons: 1) he is made in God’s image, 2) he is a sinner, too, and 3) he needs the Savior, too. Jenner is made in God’s image …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Should Wife Tell Her Husband About 8 Year Old Affair?

Ethics: Should Wife Tell Her Husband About 8 Year Old Affair?

What would you do Wednesday? The issue of whether or not to tell one’s spouse about an affair, past or present, is a question some in the church may eventually face. There are many facets to consider in such a situation. You might be the one hiding the affair or the one it is being hidden from. Let’s think about the following scenario which is loosely based on a real situation. It is Tuesday night and your couples discipleship group has just begun. The topic being discussed is the confession of past and present sins to one’s spouse. Also being …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Can Christians Be Happy?

Can Christians Be Happy?

Are Christians allowed to be happy in this life? I mean – is God okay with Christians being happy? There is a lot of doom and gloom in the world. There is a lot of negativity towards Christians and the Christian worldview today (and throughout history). Maybe a better question is: how can Christians be happy on this side of eternity? Dr. David Murray answers some of those questions in his new book The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World. If you would like to get a taste of The Happy Christian, consider the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Wheaton Drinks the Kool-Aid by Larry Farlow

Wheaton Drinks the Kool-Aid by Larry Farlow

Wheaton College, a leading evangelical university, now sponsors a student group for homosexuals. This group, called “Refuge,” is designed to provide a “biblically faithful community” for homosexual students. According to an article on the Christian News Network: …the Wheaton Chaplain’s Office hired Julie Rodgers, a “celibate gay Christian,” to lead the group as student counselor. Rodgers believes God uses her homosexuality to glorify Him. “As God has redeemed and transformed me, he’s tapped into those gay parts of me that now overflow into compassion for marginalized people and empathy for social outcasts—he’s used my gay way of being for His glory …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Would You Rent from a Racist Landlord?

Ethics: Would You Rent from a Racist Landlord?

What would you do Wednesday! NYMag.com recently ran an article titled “‘I Put in White Tenants’: The Grim, Racist (and Likely Illegal) Methods of One Brooklyn Landlord.” Consider what you would do if you discovered your landlord was racist like the one in the article in the following scenario. You recently moved your family into a newly updated neighborhood. A new job brought you to the area along with a good school system for your kids. Plus, the house you decided to rent seemed to be in the safest neighborhood around and there was not much to choose from. One …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

I am currently teaching through a series on the Book of James at church. We are only into the second chapter but one thing is certain, James is not bashful, he is not afraid of speaking the truth. James is the brother of Jesus and he did not believe his older half brother was his Savior until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Reviewing James’ letter shows us that his faith was strong and he was determined that people would hear the rightful message AND how it should impact their lives. James’ faithfulness in speaking the Word of God eventually led to …keep reading »

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When Don Lemon Does Not Understand Ryan Anderson’s Arguments for Marriage

In the above clip, CNN Anchor, Don Lemon, debates Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author of What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense, over same-sex marriage. However, Lemon does not seem to understand Anderson’s points. Specifically, Lemon does not grasp that 1) same-sex marriage is not illegal, 2) SCOTUS is deciding on redefining marriage, and 3) children do best when with their married parents. Same-sex marriage is not illegal Anderson’s point is that two people of the same sex will not be arrested for marrying each other. The “marriage” may not be recognized, but the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Refusing Service to a Same-sex Wedding is About Marriage Not Homosexuality

Refusing Service to a Same-sex Wedding is About Marriage Not Homosexuality

When a Christian baker or florist refuses service for a gay same-sex marriage, the issue is marriage not homosexuality. Apologist Greg Koukl has made this point several times and I agree. But is the claim true? Yes! Barronelle Stutzman, for example, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, refused to provide flower for the same-sex wedding of her gay friend, Rob Ingersoll. Stutzman provided flowers for Ingersoll for years despite him being gay. The issue clearly was not simply about his homosexuality, but her Christian convictions about marriage. I would further assume that Stutzman (and other Christians of the same convictions) would have …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Should a Christian Blogger Give Away an “American Sniper” DVD?

Ethics: Should a Christian Blogger Give Away an “American Sniper” DVD?

What would you do Wednesday! I got some push back for doing an “American Sniper” giveaway on this Christian blog. I thought it might be interesting to see what others thought by doing a Wednesday ethics post on the topic. In today’s scenario, you are a Christian blogger who has not read American Sniper nor seen the movie based on the book. You get approached to offer a blu-ray/DVD pack giveaway of American Sniper. Part of the promotion is to let people know that Warner Bros. will donate up to $1,000,000 to Wounded Warrior Project®. The movie is not in anyway Christian-based, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Would You Tell Muslims They Are Passing Out Anti-Islamic Books?

Ethics: Would You Tell Muslims They Are Passing Out Anti-Islamic Books?

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is based on a recent true story of a Mosque giving away anti-Islamic books. Actually, they were giving away a Christian book meant to help evangelize Muslims. Let’s see what you would do. You are with a group from your church at the yearly local festival. The festival provides a place each year where local businesses, groups, religious organizations, etc. set-up booths to meet the community. The festival also has live music, food, arts and crafts for sale. There are also many giveaways. Your church has a booth with the intent of sharing the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Participate in Gay Pride Parade or Be Fired

Ethics: Participate in Gay Pride Parade or Be Fired

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario is based on a true story. So far, I have only heard one such story. There may be more, or similar, situations out there. And there may be more to come. How would you handle the situation? A company email arrives in your inbox about an upcoming local event. The event is a local gay pride parade which your company sees as a way to embrace diversity and gain some politically correct good will.  The email states that attendance is mandatory. You speak with your manager about getting excused from attending. You …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Unmarried Couple Requests Room from Christian-Owned Hotel

Ethics: Unmarried Couple Requests Room from Christian-Owned Hotel

What would you do Wednesday! In light of the nationwide disagreements over Indiana’s (and other state’s) Religious Freedom Restoration Act, let’s play the role of a Christian hotel owner. Consider what you would do in the following scenario. You are in your office at the hotel discussing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act with a friend. You both agree that private business owners should have the right to refuse service to anyone whose requests would go against your Christian moral positions. In fact, since you have a Christian-owned hotel, you believe you should be able to deny a room to a same-sex “married” …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Friend Called to Online Discernment Ministry

Ethics: Friend Called to Online Discernment Ministry

What would you do Wednesday! A friend and fellow church member comes to you with a ministry idea. He recently spent quite a bit of time studying church history and apologetics. Believing God gifted him with discernment, he decides to start an online discernment ministry so he can use this gift. He wants to be known for standing up for and promoting truth! However, you have concerns from knowing him for several years and observing his Facebook interactions. You ask if he is the humility, temperament, and biblical grounds to start such a ministry. You also ask what he will …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: 50 Shades of Grey at a Sunday School Outing

Ethics: 50 Shades of Grey at a Sunday School Outing

What would you do Wednesday! Most Christians I know – every one actually – has no plans to watch 50 Shades of Grey. In fact, they do not think Christians should watch the 50 Shades of Grey movie. However, how would they, and should they, respond if they were caught in the following situation? Friday night is here and your Sunday School class is having an outing. The plan was to catch movie around 5 o’clock. The movie was to be picked out together at the theater. Then, you all would have a fellowship dinner to discuss the movie, life, your walk …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Alabama Probate Judge Receives Same-Sex Marriage Application

Ethics: Christian Alabama Probate Judge Receives Same-Sex Marriage Application

What would you do Wednesday! Judge Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, recently defied orders from a federal judge telling Alabama probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore took his stance arguing that the decision to issue Alabama marriage licenses falls under his authority. For today’s ethical situation, you, dear reader, play the role of an Alabama probate judge. You are a judge who is also a Christian with convictions that homosexuality activity and same-sex marriage are sins. You just received Judge Moore’s orders the previous day not to issue marriage licenses for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Seminarian Knows a Church Would Not Hire Him

Ethics: Seminarian Knows a Church Would Not Hire Him

What would you do Wednesday! A friend of yours is in seminary. In fact, he is in the senior class working towards a Master of Divinity (M.Div.). One Sunday afternoon you catch up with him over lunch. The conversation turns toward ministry, seminary, etc. You ask him how long he has before finishing his M.Div. He explains it will probably take him about 1.5 years to finish given he works full-time and has a family. Then, you ask about his future plans, “What are you going to do vocation-wise once you have your M.Div.?” He answers explaining that he probably will not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Bible College Student Can’t Get Over Fiance’s Promiscuous Past

Ethics: Bible College Student Can’t Get Over Fiance’s Promiscuous Past

What would you do Wednesday! A friend of yours is in Bible college. He is 23 years old and became a Christian when he was 20. He met a great Christian lady who is also in Bible college. They recently became engage, but he has a dilemma. His fiancée is also 23 and saved at 20. Before becoming a Christian she was a bit promiscuous. In fact, your friend was also promiscuous before coming to the Lord – maybe more so than his fiancée. The fiancée understands their promiscuous past has been forgiven and is behind them in their old life. However, …keep reading »

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Video: Muslim Challenge on Deity of Jesus Christ Answered by Christian (Former Muslim)

In the video below, a Muslim respectfully challenges Christian Apologist, and former Muslim, Nabeel Qureshi on the deity of Jesus Christ. The Muslim asks a few important questions that address his main problems with Christianity. Qureshi answers provides biblical answers. Ironically, he even shows how Muslims use similar reasoning for their own doctrines pointing to Tawhid as one example.

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Friends Disrespect the President on Social Media

Ethics: Christian Friends Disrespect the President on Social Media

What would you do Wednesday! During the latest State of the Union speech, several of your fellow Christian friends showed a lot of disrespect toward President Obama. They took to social media sharing many sarcastic and bitter comments toward the President. You think Scripture demands is a better way to think about the President even though you do not agree with his politics. For your own thought life, you look up a few Bible verses to consider how you will think about the President. 1 Tim. 2:1-3 says that it pleases God to make “prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Asks Congregation to Donate for Best-seller List

Ethics: Pastor Asks Congregation to Donate for Best-seller List

What would you do Wednesday! Almost a year has passed since it was revealed that Mars Hill Church spent over $200,000 to put Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller list. In the following scenario, I would like to explore your reactions to your pastor directly asking for money to get his book on a best-seller list. Let’s think about it. Sunday morning announcements are about to start as you make your way to the pew. You greet some friends around you as your family settles in. Your pastor steps up to the podium. He has a special request …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Transgender Teen Refuses Christian Counseling

Ethics: Transgender Teen Refuses Christian Counseling

What would you do Wednesday! In the follow scenario, you, the reader, face questions from the parents of a transgender teen. The parents are part of your Bible study group. The teen is a boy who believes his true gender is female and wants to live as a girl. The parents have recently shared with the group their son’s growing resistance against meeting with a Christian counselor. After meeting with a counselor for a month, their son now says he will not meet with him anymore. He claims the Christian counselor is trying to change him – to keep him …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Sacred Cows in Preaching that Need to Be Tipped by Jared Moore

3 Sacred Cows in Preaching that Need to Be Tipped by Jared Moore

Guest blogger Jared Moore is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Below is an excerpt from his book 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to be Tipped which is currently free on Amazon Kindle – get it while it’s free! A ‘sacred cow’ in the church is a tradition that has been exalted to a position of normalcy without Biblical warrant. It’s time for some cow tipping in the local church. Here are three sacred cows in preaching that need to be tipped. . . Sacred Cow #1 Entertaining Sermons There is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Unbelieving Children Practice Communion in Sunday School

Ethics: Unbelieving Children Practice Communion in Sunday School

What would you do Wednesday! It is the Sunday School hour at church on Sunday morning. There is a special class for unbelieving children this morning. You take your 9-year-old son to the class deciding to stick around to see how the gospel is presented, etc. Since none of the children present professed faith in Christ, the teachers explain that Jesus is God the Son who died on the cross to save sinners. They explained sin and putting faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sin and salvation. Then, the teachers taught on the Lord’s Supper – by practicing taking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Transgender Student Elected to Homecoming Court

Ethics: Transgender Student Elected to Homecoming Court

What would you do Wednesday! Recently, here in Metro-Atlanta, a local CBS news headline tells a story that will most likely become more common in the days ahead. The headline reads: Transgender student at Metro Atlanta school elected to homecoming court. Some may be surprised to find out that the high school in question is in a very conservative area. In this post, I would like Christian parents to consider what they would do if they found their kids in the scenario in the above story. Your son comes home from school excited. You ask him, “What’s up?” He tells you that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

Below is a follow-up article by Tom Buck, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Lindale, explaining the results of the submission of his SBC resolution on Christians suing fellow Christians.  Last month I submitted a resolution to be considered at the SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore concerning Christians suing fellow Christians. My motivation for addressing this issue was directly related to multiple lawsuits occurring between members of the SBC. I believed the infighting that was overflowing into the public court system was bringing shame upon the church and was a direct violation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. This precipitated a considerable …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians

SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians

My fellow Christians, have you ever been sued? Have you ever sued anyone? A “yes” to either of those questions would not be surprising since there are millions of lawsuits filed every year in the United States. But there is a more important question. Have you ever sued a fellow Christian? Despite the fact that 1 Corinthians 6 has strong language against Christians taking other Christians to court, many do so anyway. Unfortunately, we Southern Baptists are not strangers to lawsuits. For example, in recent years a seminary professor sued the Baptist seminary where she once worked.1 More recently, a former Baptist college VP …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Working for Wind

Working for Wind

I’ve been busy lately reading and writing closing out the seminary semester. Throw in the fact that I’ve not been sleeping much and I’ve got a battle between sleep and school. Juggling seminary, work, and home life can be exhausting at times and even frustrating. Sometimes I wonder – why all this studying? What’s the motivation? As with anything we Christians do in life, our motivation should be to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31). Our reason should be kingdom motivated. That is, God’s kingdom, not our own. One of the temptations in America, in ministry or otherwise, is the temptation to seek our …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Congregationalism

Congregationalism

Congregationalism is one of the areas of church government Southern Baptists have debated in recent years. Many arguments over congregationalism tend to reduce to disagreements over being led by a single vs. that of a plurality of pastors. The debate further reduces to pastor/elder-led vs. pastor/elder-ruled. As you might imagine, there is much disagreement in this areas. In my estimation, the arguments are framed in light of the roles of church offices while ignoring the actual functions those offices carry out. For example, some argue for single, pastor-led congregationalism against a congregation led by a plurality of pastors/elders claiming such a church …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Son’s Scoutmaster Comes Out as Gay

Ethics: Son’s Scoutmaster Comes Out as Gay

What would you do Wednesday! Last year, the Boy Scouts lifted a ban on openly gay youth allowing them to participate in their organization. However, there is still a ban on openly gay scoutmasters. At least one scoutmaster has recently come out revealing his homosexuality. The sponsoring church were this scoutmaster serves is standing by him causing the Boy Scouts to revoked their charter. Today’s scenario deals with the situation where your son’s scoutmaster reveals he is a homosexual. A little over a year ago, your son got a new scoutmaster. He’s been a great scoutmaster for the troop. The kids love …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for My Good Friday: When I was God

My Good Friday: When I was God

Every day was my Good Friday. Every day I was my own god. I loved my sin. Not a day went by that I was not planning another moment celebrating sin. What sins can I do tomorrow because today they were so satisfying? Which ones will fill my soul next? During the week I was a pretty good guy. I lived to make the most of myself for myself. I strived to be better both personally and in business dealings. I wanted more out of life to make the most of myself. A slight exaggeration here or there didn’t really …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Rejects Pastor Over His Race

Ethics: Church Rejects Pastor Over His Race

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario will be considered from the perspective of a deacon (though church member would work too). In case anyone is wondering, yes, the following scenario, or similar, has happened – sadly. The senior pastor has been serving in your church for 20 years. The time has come for him to retire. As a deacon, you helped put together a pastoral search committee. However, two weeks ago, before the committee could be formed, the executive pastor of the last seven years asked to be considered for senior pastor role. The executive pastor’s desire was discussed …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Millionaire Gay Couple Sues to Make Your Church Hold Their Wedding

Ethics: Millionaire Gay Couple Sues to Make Your Church Hold Their Wedding

What would you do Wednesday! In the United Kingdom a Millionaire gay couple is suing to force a church to hold their wedding. If the couple were to win lawsuit it would not directly affect the United States, but it could motivate some Americans to pursue similar lawsuits. This post offers a similar scenario American churches could face someday. What if a similar lawsuit were happening here in the U.S. and it was against your local church? What if a millionaire gay couple were suing to force your church to hold their wedding? The congregation eagerly sits in the pews waiting. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Changes Views on Homosexuality Over Son’s Sexuality

Ethics: Pastor Changes Views on Homosexuality Over Son’s Sexuality

What would you do Wednesday! It is Sunday morning. You are at the regular worship gathering with your local church. Your pastor is preaching on the topic of grace – that we are all sinners in need of God’s grace. You sit listening. As you listening, you think about how big God’s grace is that He received and redeemed a sinner like yourself. Your mind runs through all your horrendous past sins, current sins, and recent temptations. Your lips muster a silent, “Amen!” as you humbly listen. The sermon turns to a personal of grace in the pastor’s life. He …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Tests for Assurance of Salvation

3 Tests for Assurance of Salvation

Are you sure of your salvation or could you be deceived? I’m sure this is a question with which many Christians have or do struggle. Many wonder if we can really be sure. In his book Blessed Assurance: How to Know That You Are Saved, Eric Douglas looks to God’s word in the writings of the Apostle John for the answer. He provides three biblical tests in which you can discern your salvation. First, there is the upward test of faith. This test will help us determine whether or not we have biblical faith. Everyone has faith in something; we just need …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Stop Sponsoring World Vision Children?

Ethics: Stop Sponsoring World Vision Children?

What would you do Wednesday! Consider the recent World Vision fiasco in light of a fellow Christian friend who wants to cut-off support to the three children he sponsors. When the news of World Vision’s policy change hit social media you reached out to a friend you highly respect. Since he is not big on social media so he does not often get breaking news within Christendom right away. The two main reasons you asked for your friend’s opinion is: 1) he is one of the most faithful Christians you know who is always present on Sundays, actively shares the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Does World Vision Hate Homosexuals?

Does World Vision Hate Homosexuals?

Update: World Vision reversed its decision discussed below. I think they have answered my question that they do not hate homosexuals, but love them enough to not affirm same-sex marriage. They love God enough to have their mistake corrected by the authority of Scripture and to stand on the biblical view of marriage.  World Vision president, Richard Stearns, recently announced a policy change to accept gay same-sex married couples. Given that World Vision identifies itself as a Christian humanitarian organization, this move causes me to ask: Does World Vision hate homosexuals? Stearns would not probably not answer affirmatively calling the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for John MacArthur on Duck Dynasty and Theology

John MacArthur on Duck Dynasty and Theology

I have written on Duck Dynasty and baptism a few times on this blog (see below). I have even stood with Phil Robertson when he made his remarks about Christianity and homosexuality. In one sense, I am glad the Robertson’s are open about their faith, mention Jesus, etc. On the other hand, I am skeptical about their views on the necessity of baptism for salvation. In the video below, Todd Friel asks John MacArthur his thoughts on Duck Dynasty and their (church’s) view on baptism and salvation. Todd and I shared concerns about this topic a few months ago when …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Members Do Not Feel Connected

Ethics: Church Members Do Not Feel Connected

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s issue is relatively common in the church as far as I can tell. So I’d like to  offer a scenario and ask the Christian blog readers what they would do. I am also curious how common the following issue actually is. Maybe (hopefully) I am wrong about its frequency. Fellow church members, a married couple, have been sporadic in attendance over the last three months. You noticed the lack of attendance and involvement when it started, but wanted to make sure it was a pattern that might continue before saying anything. You run into …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Reasons Why I Am Encouraged By Mark Driscoll’s Open Letter Apology

3 Reasons Why I Am Encouraged By Mark Driscoll’s Open Letter Apology

I am going to share a couple of reasons why I am encouraged by Mark Driscoll’s leaked open letter apology (copied below). And it is not because he and I share the same first and middle names, spelling and all. Seriously though, I was just about to close twitter when I saw a link to the letter in my twitter feed. I was going to come back to it later, but decided to click the link instead of clicking close. Not sure what to expect, I was encouraged by Driscoll’s letter. So, instead of second guessing Driscoll’s motives and picking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Over at the Gospel Coalition, Alex Medina asks in the title of his post Must Art Be Evangelistic to Be Christian? Since the question is really about art made by Christians, let me re-phrase the question. Must Christian art be evangelistic? Or, a fuller version of the question from a Facebook friend, “Does a Christian who does music have to talk about Christianity or anything about the gospel in their music?” I emphasized the words “must” and “have to” above to set-up my brief answer. No, a Christian artist does not “have to” only produce evangelistic art. Evangelistic art is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Missing Cross of the Christian Right?

The Missing Cross of the Christian Right?

It is no secret that Conservative Christians sometimes blur the line between their faith and politics. At times you might think Jesus had changed the good news from believing in him to voting Republican. David Rogers recently shared some good thoughts about this topic in his post The Worst of “the Christian Right”. Rogers basically points out the wrong-headed call for Christians to put political strategies over biblical mandates. He also asks the essential question, “Where is the cross of Jesus here?” Is the cross of Christ often missing in the politics of the Christian right? Consider the quote below …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Warning for Lent from Charles Spurgeon

A Warning for Lent from Charles Spurgeon

Lent is here and more Protestants are participating. I am not a fan nor partaker Lenten activities. Fasting and other forms of self-denial for this season remind me too much of Roman Catholic piety. As a Protestant, I feel as though I am pointing fellow Evangelicals to Rome if I suggest some sort of Lenten practice. Though I am always curious what fellow Baptist Charles Spurgeon said about Lent. While Spurgeon was no fan or Roman Catholicism, he curiously did not say much (that I have found) explicitly about Lent. He did not call Lent a superstitious observance as did …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Calls Married Couples to Abstain from Sex for Lent

Ethics: Pastor Calls Married Couples to Abstain from Sex for Lent

What would you do Wednesday! The Lenten season is here for the Christians. While Lent has mostly been a tradition observed by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, more Protestants are participating. This year is no different except your Protestant pastor actually made some appeals from the pulpit. While not attempting to make any spiritual requirements beyond Scripture, your pastor thought a challenge or two for Lent may be good for the congregation. He thought practicing some spiritual discipline during this time may be healthy for everyone. Among the Lenten exhortations of sacrificing and self-denial, he had a very interesting suggestion for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Debate: Christian Vs. Black Hebrew Israelite

Debate: Christian Vs. Black Hebrew Israelite

Brother Saiko Woods recently debated a Black Hebrew Israelite (whose name I did not catch). The debate topic was Black Hebrew Israelites & The Authority of Scripture. I’m not sure how influential the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) are, but there are several YouTube videos showing them in public in a few big cities. The only person I know who has had any face-to-face with BHI’s is a Facebook friend who used to be one. Check out the debate below!

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Member Requests Church Building for Gay Marriage

Ethics: Church Member Requests Church Building for Gay Marriage

What would you do Wednesday! You are on the Building and Grounds Committee for your church. This committee handles all requests to rent the church building for various events. In recent months, the committee has come together to revise the stipulations for who can rent the facilities. Now only church members may request to use the facilities. The main concern is possibly being forced to allow usage of the facilities for a same-sex marriage given the recent legal troubles of a Christian t-shirt printer, bakery, photographer, and florist. Ironically, the first request ever to use the church building for a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for This Adorable Little Girl Will Challenge You To Memorize Scripture!

This Adorable Little Girl Will Challenge You To Memorize Scripture!

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” ~Matthew 21:15-16 (ESV) Memorizing Scripture can be difficult. It takes time and effort.But so does anything that’s worthwhile. Does this adorable girl’s Scripture memorization challenge you to memorize Scripture? Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Asked to Start a ‘Celebration Creation Ministry’

Ethics: Asked to Start a ‘Celebration Creation Ministry’

What would you do Wednesday! You desire to get more involved in the ministries of our church. You want to help – to serve more. In your desire as a faithful member, you set a meeting with one of your pastors. At the meeting, you ask where the church can most use your service. You tell him you’re ready to help in any place, but especially those areas where the need is high. Your pastor says he has just the place for you. You would be a perfect fit. You pastor explains that leadership has been putting together a new …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Using Movies in Evangelism

Using Movies in Evangelism

The Son of God movie will be in theaters soon. So far, this movie has not been near the spectacle Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ had been. In fact, it may be said that the lack of success of using The Passion in evangelism may be the reason Son of God is not getting much press. Maybe this lack of success means Christians should not use movies as part of their evangelistic outreach. Tim Challies wrote about this issue in his post Writing Checks to Mel Gibson. Tim was thoughtful without condemning. However, Tim quotes a follow-up Barna …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Atlanta Storms: A Reflection on Life

Atlanta Storms: A Reflection on Life

The South is getting hit with unusual weather lately. In fact, a couple weeks ago I wrote about, and shared pictures of, the ice and snow storm that hit Metro-Atlanta. Now, as I write this, the ice is melting from another storm. The storm lasted two days and is hopefully over though its effects will last a bit longer. Thankfully, people, especially buses full of children, were not stranded on the roads this time. Unfortunately, people did lose power and there were some emergencies. Sadly, there have been about a dozen or so deaths in the South due to the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: School Serves Watermelon for Black History Month

Ethics: School Serves Watermelon for Black History Month

What would you do Wednesday! In the United States, Black History Month is observed in February – this month. The month is observed in various ways. Sometimes the so-called observance is offensive, even racist. The offence is even carried out in public schools. For example, School sorry for Black History lunch menu of watermelon, fried chicken. Today, I’d like to ask what you would do if your child’s school planned to “observed” Black History Month by putting watermelon on the lunch menu. Your child comes home with a flyer about Black History Month (BHM). The flyer was given out last week, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for How I Pray Scripture

How I Pray Scripture

I will briefly share in this post how I pray through Scripture. While this action seems easy to do, questions arise at times about how to pray Scripture. People have been very thankful when I have shared this simple approach in person. So, maybe some readers will also appreciate the following perspective. First, of course, you will have to choose a Scripture to pray through. You might chose a Scripture that is a favorite, one you’ve memorized, or one that speaks to a certain issue you are currently dealing with. For my example, I will use Romans 5:1-5 which was …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

I get what Platt is saying. I wish we (yes, me) would be more excited about our Sunday times of worship and fellowship. I wish we Christians would learn how to relay the excitement about our weekend fellowship just as we would after seeing the latest box office hit. Anyway… Your thoughts? Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Why Donald Miller Should Worship God by Singing

Why Donald Miller Should Worship God by Singing

Donald Miller caused a ripple in the Christian blogosphere with his post I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere. He claims the reason he does not often attend Sunday worship is because he is a kinesthetic learner – he learns by doing. Contrary to Miller’s claims, he should attend Sunday worship because he is a kinesthetic learner and in spite of this excuse. Let’s explore why. Kinesthetic Learning Kinesthetic learners are people who learn best by, as Wikipedia states, “carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or watching a demonstration.” Among the studies …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Architect Asked to Build Mosque

Ethics: Christian Architect Asked to Build Mosque

What would you do Wednesday! A fellow church member comes to you for advice. He is faced with a work place dilemma. In fact, he may be faced with a career impacting decision. He is an architect and his company recently assigned him as the lead architect on a large project. It is a $10 million project. He has been assigned as the lead architect to build a Mosque! The area has a growing Muslim population so they need a larger Mosque to accommodate their growth. So your friend’s firm was hired and he does not feel right building a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Free Live Debate: Bill Nye Vs. Ken Ham

Free Live Debate: Bill Nye Vs. Ken Ham

Update: The debate is over, but you can watch the recording below. The comments are disabled on YouTube, but not here if you have anything to share about the debate. Also, you can order the debate: Uncensored Science: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham Order your DVD copy today! On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, Bill Nye debates Ken Ham on evolution vs. creation. The debate is free and will be live streamed online at 7 PM ET. Sign-up here -> Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham Live Streaming FREE*! While there may be churches in your area streaming the debate, my Sunday School class and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Christians Should Study Philosophy

Why Christians Should Study Philosophy

Some Christians are opposed to studying philosophy thinking it is opposed to biblical thinking. I am not sure they grasp what they think they are against when they oppose philosophy. Therefore, I would like to share some brief thoughts on the benefits for Christians to study philosophy. First, what is philosophy? Oxford Dictionaries defined philosophy as “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” In Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview, J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig offer a definition that philosophy is “the attempt to think rationally and critically about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Mormon Myths by Glenn Beck

Mormon Myths by Glenn Beck

As much as I appreciate Glenn Beck at times for some of his advancement of conservative issues, we still have a huge, eternal disconnect. The disconnect? Beck is a Mormon and I (though once RLDS) am a Christian. Yet, given the political landscape in the U.S., Mormons and Christians often stand side-by-side supporting a conservative worldview. There is also concern at times when religion and politics mix to a point that political positions become the deciding factor for fellowship. Political partnering and agreeable morality over shadow the Christian gospel. Christians who hold politics and morality as near and dear may …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Illegal Alien Considers having a Baby to Stay in the U.S.

Ethics: Illegal Alien Considers having a Baby to Stay in the U.S.

What would you do Wednesday! You begin a conversation with an acquaintance of yours after worship service one Sunday morning. The lady has only been attending for a couple of months so you don’t really know her very well though you have talked to her on occasion. Even though you know you don’t know each other well there’s a certain level of trust that she has for you. She tells you that she enjoys coming to this church because the people have always been friendly and come across as non-judgmental. But she doesn’t really know anyone. Noticing she is upset, you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Considering La Shawn Barber on the Theological Beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Considering La Shawn Barber on the Theological Beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an American icon who is rightly remembered for giving his life working to advance Civil Rights. He was also a Baptist pastor though it seems not much is known or said about his theological beliefs. Below, King’s beliefs will be noted as La Shawn Barber laid them out in her article Assessing the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her piece will help answer the question – what where Martin Luther King, Jr.’s theological beliefs? First, Barber’s whole article is worth reading to get a good sketch of King’s life under the following subtopics: “Kings Life …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Catch 22 of Keeping Your Christian Faith Private

The Catch 22 of Keeping Your Christian Faith Private

In various debates on social and political issues, Christians are often told to keep their faith out of the public forum. And that faith has no place in the public decision making process. Not only is it impossible for Christians to put away their faith as if it is something carried around in a portable first-aide kit, but it puts them in a catch 22 if they ignore their faith. One one hand, when Christians are public about their faith by expressing that the foundation of their decisions are faith-based, they may be scoffed at. They are told by opponents …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Free Sanctity of Human Life Bible Studies

Free Sanctity of Human Life Bible Studies

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in January as the National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This designation continued with the presidents who followed Reagan. The third Sunday of January is upon us and LifeWay Christian Resources would like to help us think biblically about the sanctity of human life. The sanctity of life is something we should think about everyday. In fact, everyone thinks about the sanctity of their own lives everyday without realizing it. Each of us subconsciously act in ways of self-preservation because our lives are important to us. Self-preservation actions include visiting the doctor …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Graduating Seminary Student Admits Breaking Covenant 4 Years Ago

Ethics: Graduating Seminary Student Admits Breaking Covenant 4 Years Ago

What would you do Wednesday! For the following scenario, you will be part of a seminary’s leadership. You are part of those who decide how to punitively apply the seminary’s code of conduct to students who break the rules. In this post, you think about what to do with a student who broke the moral covenant they signed when entering seminary. A particular seminary student is set to graduate in a month with his Master of Divinity (M.Div.). He visits you in your office to talk about graduation preparation. He also wants to talk a bit about his future. You …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Seminary Student Chews Tobacco in Dorm

Ethics: Seminary Student Chews Tobacco in Dorm

What would you do Wednesday! This scenario involves a fellow seminarian as you play the role of a seminary student. You are on campus for the week for accelerated classes. The classes involve plenary sessions that include Q&A at the end as well as break-out sessions held in individual classrooms. You check in and are given a dorm room with three to a room. The three of you are distance students from surrounding states. You do not know each other prior to this week. The first night, you all have some great theological conversations as you get to know each …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty Rebrief: Phil Robertson Is Not My Spokesman

Duck Dynasty Rebrief: Phil Robertson Is Not My Spokesman

Below is a brief response to Trevin Wax’s article at the Gospel Coalition site titled Duck Dynasty Debrief. I am in basic agreement with most of Trevin’s piece. However, I am going to respond to a few items under the subtitle “Phil Robertson Is Not Our Spokesman.” If you have not heard of Duck Dynasty you probably have not been to Kroger, Walmart, social media, or almost anywhere on the internet in the last month or so. The Duck Dynasty brand is showing up on various products including candy, motor oil, bedding, jewelry, t-shirts, etc. Seeing the brand everywhere is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Regift from Grandma on Christmas

Ethics: Regift from Grandma on Christmas

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas is here which means Grandma is too. Every year Grandma comes to stay with the family a few days before Christmas. She normally stays a few days into the new year. The kids are always excited to see Grandma as she comes bearing gifts! This year something different happened. While opening gifts Christmas morning, your 12 year old opens their gift from Grandma. It is a pretty, silver cross necklace. It is the same necklace the family got Grandmas for Christmas two years ago. Before your child can say anything, Grandma interjects, “I picked …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Santa Claus was Never a Savior

Santa Claus was Never a Savior

Some Christians refuse to lie to their kids by telling them about Santa Claus. Other Christians do not see harm in teaching young children about Santa to put some fun into Christmas knowing they will some day reveal the jolly truth. Yet, there is a way to tell your kids about Santa Claus with all the fiction and fun without lying to them. There are Christian parents that will not teach their kids about Santa Claus and all that comes with him. These parents worry that teaching their kids about Santa is actually lying to them in violation of Scripture. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

One United Methodist Youth Pastor, Tyler Smither, stated his position that What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter. He wrote the article in light of the recent Phil Robertson GQ interview and  Frank Schaefer’s defrocking over performing his son’s same-sex marriage. Smither is wrong that it does not matter what someone believes about homosexuality. The importance of what is believed on the subject is easily seen, for example, by how it divides each side, both for and against. The big issue Smither raises is the one he uses  as the reason why one’s position on homosexuality does not matter. He asserts that calling homosexuality …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for AETV not Happy, Happy, Happy with Phil Robertson

AETV not Happy, Happy, Happy with Phil Robertson

Christian free speech is under attack again – this time from the A&E television network. A&E has suspended Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for comments he made on homosexuality in the GQ interview “What the Duck?” Ironically, A&E’s current theme is “Be Original,” yet they shut down Robertson for not conforming. Granted, Robertson’s ideas, in a sense, are not exactly original since the started with God. While I do not fully agree with Duck Dynasty theology, we certainly agree that God created Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, as the proper order of marital and sexual relations – in that order. Of course, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christmas Gift for Wife or Give to Family in Need?

Ethics: Christmas Gift for Wife or Give to Family in Need?

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas is here once again. It is a great time to receive and, especially, give gifts. As much as you would like to get all of your loved ones everything they ask for, there is never enough money for everything. (And everyone probably does not need everything they ask for!) As a husband who cares for and loves his wife very much, you really wanted to give her something special this year. It has been a trying year for her, especially, with the miscarriage back in May. In fact, May is when you started slowly …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Man Leaves Church, Invites Former Church Members to Bible Study

Ethics: Man Leaves Church, Invites Former Church Members to Bible Study

What would you do Wednesday! A man has been at your church and in your Sunday school class for several years. He is known and liked among the people in Sunday school. Then, over a series of two months he begins having some differences with the church leadership and direction. You are one of the few people in class he confides in. You try to encourage him, but he is not as excited as he once was. He as come to a point where he is ready to move his membership to another church several miles away. Even though you tried …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Do You Keep the Unclaimed Lost Money?

Ethics: Do You Keep the Unclaimed Lost Money?

What would you do Wednesday! One busy day while picking something up at a shopping mall, you find a green envelope full of $20 bills. The parking lot was full, but no one was around at the moment. You count the money and find that there is $1,500 total. Instead of keeping it, you do the right thing and turn it in to the police department. The police give you a receipt. They then explain that if you no one claims the money after 30 days you can bring the receipt in and claim it yourself. You wonder if this …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: They Brought Tofu Turkey for Thanksgiving!

Ethics: They Brought Tofu Turkey for Thanksgiving!

What would you do Wednesday! In light of Thanksgiving being here, I thought I would have a little fun with today’s ethics post. You are having Thanksgiving dinner for the first time with a couple from church who you are trying to get to know better. You are responsible for side dishes while they are bringing the turkey and ham. Another couple, who are long-time church friends are bringing the desserts. Thanksgiving day has arrived! You are looking forward to the wonderful sides and, especially, some good, fresh-baked turkey. You begin setting up the table as the afternoon dinner guests …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Assigned to Sell Pro-Gay Marriage Apparel

Ethics: Christian Assigned to Sell Pro-Gay Marriage Apparel

What would you do Wednesday! Today, I want to think about Christians who are in compromising situations in their employment. The scenario is that you, a Christian, are working full-time at a local department store. The store is a large, national chain. You have been working there for six months enjoying the job so far. The job has benefits and flexibility. In fact, the manager knows you are a Christian who attends church on Sundays. When you were hired the manager agreed to give you Sundays off so you could worship and be with your family. Recent news named your …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Russell Crowe: Surprised by Noah?

Russell Crowe: Surprised by Noah?

Yesterday, I posted the official movie trailer of Noah which stars stars Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. I even posted brief insights about the stars’ religious views. I wondered about the biblical accuracy of the movie. I think Russell Crowe in the interview blurb below partially answers my inquiry. Crowe believes the audience is going to be surprised to find out what kind of person Noah is…. Ironically, Crowe implies that the movie is what teaches us the truth about Noah. He says: At one point in the story the son says, “I thought you were chosen …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Blogger Writes Ethics Posts Based on True Stories

Ethics: Blogger Writes Ethics Posts Based on True Stories

What would you do Wednesday! A blogger writes a weekly ethics post from a Christian perspective. The ethical and moral issues covered concern the Christian life and range from individuals to family and from church in general to church leadership, etc. One day while reading the weekly ethics post you stumble upon a situation that sounds familiar. As you read, you realize it sounds familiar because the details are somewhat similar to something that happened in your own church that involved you. However, the details are vague, some changed, and nothing close to a real name of either persons involved …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Imitating Church: Atheists Engage in the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Imitating Church: Atheists Engage in the Sincerest Form of Flattery

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” wrote Charles Colton in 1824. Today, Colton’s words are possibly being lived out in the most ironic fashion – Atheist ‘mega-churches’ take root across US, world reports Gillian Flaccus in the AP. The AP reports that “several hundred people” attended or, more specifically, USA Today‘s version of the story states “more than 400 attendees.” The problem is that 400 people does is not enough to meet the definition of a megachurch. The numbers to qualify as a megachurch is attendance between 1,600 to 2,000 plus. But it is a catchy headline. Not A Church Next, the biblical definition …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Great Charismatic Gifts Debate!

The Great Charismatic Gifts Debate!

The debate is now over, but you can watch the recording below as Dr. James White moderates Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron debate the following topic: Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Friend to Start Missionary Dating

Ethics: Friend to Start Missionary Dating

What would you do Wednesday! A single friend from church has some exciting news to tell you about his dating life. He wants to tell you over lunch after the Sunday morning worship time. You are excited to hear the news since you have been praying that he find a godly, Proverbs 31 woman. While at lunch he starts to tell you the news – his new revelation on dating. There is a woman who wants him to ask her on a date. And the attraction is mutual. However, he has been hesitant because she is not a Christian. But …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preach Off: Making a Mockery of the Church

Preach Off: Making a Mockery of the Church

Apparently, the guys from the Preachers of L.A. TV show had a “preach off.” A preach off is like a bad version of a rap battle for preachers. It has all the workings of stand-up comedy improv without the humor. I have no idea what someone is supposed to win in a preach off. Preachers preach the gospel to feed the sheep and win souls to Jesus Christ. Scripture also warns about the content of preaching. For example: For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Happy Reformation Day: 95 Thesis Rap Video

Happy Reformation Day: 95 Thesis Rap Video

“The Word did it all. Had I wished I might have started a conflagration at Worms. But while I sat still and drank beer with Philip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.” ~Martin Luther~

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Thumbnail image for The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

As soon as candy in the trick-or-treat bag rings, a smile on a child’s face sings. It is Halloween again in America. Christians will discuss and debate whether or not they can or should participate in Halloween. In this post, I will offer some brief thoughts on Christians and Halloween. One thought that crosses my mind is: if Paul could eat meat sacrificed idols with a clear conscience Christians can take their kids trick-or-treating to get candy for fun. Some Christians object to Halloween regardless of whether or not some form of satanic promotion is involved. The claim sometimes made is that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Divorcing Pastor Preaches on Marriage

Ethics: Divorcing Pastor Preaches on Marriage

What would you do Wednesday! It is Sunday morning and you have just found your spot in a pew. You have brought two friends with you – a couple – who is struggling with their marriage. This morning’s message is supposed to be on marriage. You thought your friends would benefit by hearing a sermon on marriage – they agreed as they work through their marital issues. The worship service progresses. It is now time for the sermon. The pastor stands behind the pulpit and makes an announcement before he begins the sermon. As has been announced over the last …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith was on the Pete Kaliner Show discussing the recent controversy over N.C. Pastor Steven Furtick, of Elevation Church, spending $1.7 million to build his new 16,000 square-foot mansion. Smith and Kaliner begin the show talking about pastors’ salaries in light of accountability, transparency, and living sacrificially. Kaliner brings up Furtick’s answer to critics that he makes his money from book sales and conferences. And that Furtick and his board of advisers speak at each other’s conferences and events promoting each other.Smith argues that the church is what gave pastors like Furtick their platform for success. He then points to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Strange Fire: ‘And I See God the Father’?

Strange Fire: ‘And I See God the Father’?

Motivated by the recent disagreements over the Strange Fire Conference, Dan McGhee shared the following video on Facebook. The video is Kim Walker of Jesus Culture Music sharing a testimony of an alleged supernatural vision with Jesus Christ and God the Father. I’m sharing the video here not to promote it, but to ask – how does a Christian discern whether or not what Walker describes really happened and is of God? For example, Walker claims the following in the video. And I was in Heaven with Jesus, and I was standing there. And Jesus standing next to me. And I see God …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastors Refuses Baby Dedication

Ethics: Pastors Refuses Baby Dedication

What would you do Wednesday! It is Sunday morning just after announcements during worship service. The pastor stands at the pulpit and calls some families up for baby dedication as is done in some Baptist churches. Eight families go forward and are standing side-by-side facing the congregation. A young lady in her 20’s, sitting right in front of you, stands up and takes her 1-year-old baby forward. You know the lady’s first name, but don’t really know her otherwise outside of chatting on Sunday mornings. The lady stands with her baby whispering back and forth with the pastor for a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Charles Spurgeon: Private Prophecies and New Revelation

Charles Spurgeon: Private Prophecies and New Revelation

Charles Spurgeon has been mentioned a few times by both Christian cessationists and continuationists since Pastor John MacArthur’s recent Strange Fire Conference. Spurgeon is appealed to as a well-known and respected historic authority in this tense theological debate over spiritual gifts. Phil Johnson who has worked with MacArthur since 1981 and owns The Spurgeon Archive, addresses the question of Spurgeon and cessationism.1 Pastor Johnson’s article begins. Charles Spurgeon was a cessationist. He regarded the charismata as apostolic signs—unique gifts for a unique era. He taught (as did virtually every evangelical preacher of his era) that the miraculous gifts described in Acts and 1 Corinthians …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Can Cuss Words be Used to Share the Gospel?

Can Cuss Words be Used to Share the Gospel?

I recently challenged Christians to boldness by not shying away from biblical language when talking publicly. I made the challenge using worldliness as an example explaining What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World.  Jake Swink asked an interesting question in the comments on that post. The question also took into account cuss words, but from a different angle. Given the current societal moral decline in this ever-changing landscape of evangelistic opportunities, I thought the inquiry was worth a look. Jake commented and asked: What do you think overall if using cuss words can be used for sharing the gospel?? …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What does Duck Dynasty Really Believe About Baptism?

What does Duck Dynasty Really Believe About Baptism?

In the video below, Todd Friel on the Wretched show addresses the topic, “Duck Dynasty: What EXACTLY do they believe?” I was recently in the Wretched studio and spoke with Todd about Duck Dynasty and baptismal regeneration. He told me he was going to cover the topic. I gave Todd the name of a mutual friend who has actually spoken to the main preaching elder at White’s Ferry Church of Christ, the church were the Robertson’s are members. The We Care Ministries Todd mentions in the video is headed by Larry West who he also mentions. Just so there is no …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World

What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World

A few years ago at a football game at my daughter’s high school I was blessed with some free profanity. While walking to the car, five teenage boys were walking together close by cussing generously and loudly. Also walking close by was a family with two little kids. After about the third blessing from the teens, I spoke up telling them to watch their language. Thankfully, they stopped. When I was a teenager I rarely cussed, but when I did, I certainly did not do it in public or around adults. I had too much respect for people to freely …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

Friend and fellow Christian blogger Joshua Breland has started a podcast called Faith, Etc. For some reason he asked me to be his first guest. Then, for some reason – I said yes. Actually, I was honored to say yes. Joshua asked me some questions about my RLDS background and life leading up to becoming a Christian. Much more could have been said, but I tried to touch on the heart of the issues in the time available. I pray the podcast edifies some in the body of Christ. If you care – or dare – to listen click the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 6 Questions for Atheists, Unbelievers, and the Unchurched

6 Questions for Atheists, Unbelievers, and the Unchurched

Below are questions that were part of one of my assignments. I thought the questions very interesting as were the answers I got in reply. The answers I got were from a face-to-face meeting, but I thought it interesting to get some online answers. The exercise involves simply getting answers and not arguing or debating the answers. I hope to get some online feedback on these questions. One atheist answered me and his answers are below the following questions. 6 Questions 1.a. If you believe in God, what is God like?  Describe God. 1.b. If you don’t believe in God, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Would Jesus be a Democrat?

Would Jesus be a Democrat?

In his own entertaining style, Alfonzo Rachel answers the question – would Jesus be a Democrat? He makes some interesting points. What do you think?  

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Thumbnail image for Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson Debate Homosexuality

Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson Debate Homosexuality

Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson debate the acceptability of homosexuality within Christianity on the Unbelievable Radio Program. The Bell – Wilson exchange below is fascinating – fascinating because Bell never directly answers Wilson’s question about the biblical foundation for accepting homosexuality in the church. Bell makes general statements about Scriptural interpretation without naming general Scripture. Toward the end of the video, Bell makes emotional appeals about Christian fellowship around the disagreements over homosexuality. Bell says he and Wilson are brothers and would take the Lord’s Supper together. Wilson doesn’t say whether or not he would break bread with Bell. Check …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Receiving the Anointing of Dead People?

Receiving the Anointing of Dead People?

On the one hand, I hope the video below of Christians praying to receive the anointing of dead people is a joke. On the other hand, if it is a joke then people are mocking Christianity.

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Thumbnail image for What a Great Christian Testimony?

What a Great Christian Testimony?

Christian testimonies can be powerful. They are often used in powerful ways to share the gospel. Imagine someone gave you the following testimony about the gospel of Jesus Christ. “You may be someone searching for truth and answers. The gospel of Jesus Christ has them. Regardless of your background, your lifestyle, or your current belief system, the gospel of Christ is for you, and you can accept it wherever you are. The truths found in the gospel of Jesus Christ will change your heart and give you the courage and strength to make good and needed changes in your lifestyle …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching: Emotional Manipulation

Preaching: Emotional Manipulation

Of course an eager evangelist might argue that getting a person down the aisle to make a public profession is always in the “best interest” of the professing person, but the millions of inactive religious converts suggest that some of those lured down the aisle hated themselves and the evangelists the next morning. Seduction was the way of the serpent, not the way of Christ. The use of conversion statistics for personal promotion implies a scalp-gathering mentality that is for the advantage of the persuader. In a sermon contrasting the orthodox and liberals, the preacher climaxed his harangue with the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Conclusion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Conclusion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. We have finally reached the end of the read along. However, I still encourage you to grab a copy of the book and study it. Below are links to all the chapters. Today’s final post touches on White’s brief concluding chapter that is only six pages. Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Always Remember

Always Remember

I will always remember the September 11, 2001 attacks (9/11) that took place 12 years ago today. I will always remember the big screen TV I was watching in my office as the attacks were happening. I shared this information in 2011 in Never Forget. A lot has happened in the United States in the past 12 years since 9/11. That attack united Americans – for a short time anyway. No doubt we will express feelings that we are again united on this anniversary of the attacks. During our time of mourning and recovery, religions that do not go together …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 11: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an

Chapter 11: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for But Jesus Hung Out with Sinners!

But Jesus Hung Out with Sinners!

Sometimes Christians disagree over participating in certain activities. One Christian may be convicted that a certain activity is sin or at the very least the appearance of evil so they avoid it. Another Christian may come to a different conviction about the same activity and feel free to participate. For example, the recent news out of Oregon where Christian bakery owners felt they would not be honoring the Lord by providing food for a same-sex wedding. (An event that inspired a recent post.) Since the owners refused service to the gay couple’s wedding, some in the LGBT did all they …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Some Southern Baptists have been disagreeing (imagine that!) over what the Bible teaches about infant salvation. Actually, some Southern Baptists don’t like what other Southern Baptists believe or might believe (imagine that!) about infant salvation. My point is not to take sides or even express a position, but to quote below exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – the Southern Baptist confession of faith – states about infant salvation. –         – Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Why is Rehabilitating Christians OK?

Why is Rehabilitating Christians OK?

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) complained last year about a psychiatrist in Oregon who used reparative therapy. The SPCL complained that this type of conversion therapy – “literally converting from gay to straight” – is unethical and dangerous. But this year it is okay for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to seek a sort of conversion therapy if you are Christian business owners who seek to life and work by your Christian convictions. You must need help if you are Christians who run a bakery that refuses to promote a same-sex wedding with your product, right? Even if …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Praying to the Abortion God

Praying to the Abortion God

When the battle over the separation of church and state rears its ugly head, it is normally Democrats who are attempting to keep the church  from participating in state issues. At times, the fight is to remove prayer from political gatherings. Given the types of prayers recently promoted by some Democrats in Iowa, it is easy to understand why some want the church separated from the state. Why? Seems some Democrats and pro-abortion activists have their own god to pray to! The prayers in the video may not be clear enough to understand. Let me help. (HT: Robert Laurie) “We …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 9: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 9: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Now Free: Once Persecuted Christians in the Muslim World

Now Free: Once Persecuted Christians in the Muslim World

Mike Huckabee briefly shares the story of the persecution of Marzieh Amirizadeh and Maryam Rostampour. Both women are former Muslims who converted to Christianity. In 2009, they were jailed and sentenced to death for their faith – locked up in the notorious Tehran prison, Evin. They were eventually given asylum in the United States upon their release due to international pressure. Read their remarkable story in Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison. Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Extra: Martin Luther King Uninvited from Own Event!

Extra: Martin Luther King Uninvited from Own Event!

The above headline is not beyond imagination were Martin Luther King, Jr. alive and scheduled to appear at a recent event from which gospel singer Donnie McClurkin was uninvited. McClurkin was set to appear at a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial concert, but was uninvited over his views on homosexuality. What I will show below is that McClurkin and King have similar views on homosexuality. And if McClurkin was uninvited there is good reason to believe that King would also have been uninvited. Ironically, McClurkin is a former homosexual who was delivered from the curse of homosexuality. I understand that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 8: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 8: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should pastors try to be cool? was published on the 9Marks ministry website. In response, I will provide a different perspective by asking the question – Should pastors try to be uncool? 1. Being an uncool pastor is not the power of God unto salvation—the gospel is. If your evangelistic success is thought to depend on a cultivated uncool image, your trust may not ultimately be in the Holy Spirit working through God’s word; but in the ability to attract people to said image because it is outwardly different from everyone else. 2. Being disconnected to the culture is a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Christian Lawsuits?

Why Christian Lawsuits?

So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! (1 Corinthians 6:4-8, ESV) Why are Christians suing, or threatening so …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 7: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 7: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: The Qur’an …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Alabama Baptist and the Wrath of God

The Alabama Baptist and the Wrath of God

Bob Terry, president and editor of The Alabama Baptist, has responded to the PCUSA’s rejection of the hymn In Christ Alone, over a lyric that sung of God’s wrath. I am going to briefly address a few items in Terry’s article Why Disagree About the Words of a Hymn? as they relate to the Holman Bible Dictionary (HBD). Note that the HBD, published in 1991, was replaced in 2003 by the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (HIBD). Both books have the section “Expiation, Propitiation” from which Terry quotes. The HIBD more clearly explains the relationship between God’s anger and wrath, propitiation, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Reeder on Christians Skipping Church for Ball Practice

Reeder on Christians Skipping Church for Ball Practice

“Pastor Reeder,” they explained, “we want to honor the Lord’s Day, but our children’s sports programs are on Sunday.” We sat down and I listened to their story. Their local recreation league scheduled ball practice on Sundays. Should their families skip worship for ball practice? Should they pull their kids off the teams? Eventually they decided, appropriately, that obedience to Scripture and family worship on the Lord’s Day was far more important than team sports. That may seem like an obvious choice to some readers, but it is not the norm. In the child-driven families of today’s culture, it took …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Of Genealogies and Charter Church Members

Of Genealogies and Charter Church Members

While definitions may vary slightly, a charter church member is basically someone who was an original or founding member of the congregation. In some churches, charter members are celebrated, looked up to, or held in special esteem. Often, their family members share some of this esteem. There is no such celebration of charter church members in Scripture. However, Scripture does not precisely lay out every atom of church practice. However, there are thinks Scripture prohibits and charter church membership just may fall into one of those categories. In Sunday school this past weekend we studied Titus 3. After class, a …keep reading »

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How Should Muslims Beat Their Wives?

Watch below as Islamic cleric, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Denawy, answers the question, “What’s the Islamic view on the beating of wives?”

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 6: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 6: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Did Reza Aslan Write ‘Zealot’ – A Book About Jesus?

Why Did Reza Aslan Write ‘Zealot’ – A Book About Jesus?

The interview below from the FoxNews show Spirited Debate between host Lauren Green and author Dr. Reza Aslan has lit an internet fuse. Green, a Christian, interviewed Aslan, a Muslim, about his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The question has been asked if this is the worst interview Fox has ever done. Some charge Green with holding double-standards when comparing this interview to another she did with a Baptist who wrote on Islam. One of the reasons for Green’s questions was to allow Aslan to address criticisms from Christians. The bigger picture is that Dr. Aslan …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 5: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 5: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 4: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 4: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 3: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 3: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, the following has been covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Loving Matthew Vines

Loving Matthew Vines

Matthew Vines promotes the acceptance of “gay Christianity.” His approach includes changing Christian teaching on homosexuality by offering re-interpretations of long-standing biblical views on the subject. So how might Christians respond to Matthew Vines? How might the church love him? First, I am aware of two thorough responses to Vines’ interpretations promoting gay Christianity. The responses are listed below and they provide great apologetic responses worthy of study to correct Vines’ agenda and interpretations. Matt Slick at CARM offers a written response – Matthew Vines. James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries offers an audio response – Gay Christianity Refuted. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, the following has been covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Today’s post covers chapter 2 “The Qur’an: A Brief …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered the following: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Today, guest blogger Ken Temple leads the discussion through chapter 1b covering pages 36-49. Ken is very knowledgeable about Islam – much more than …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! The first post covering the introduction is here – First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an.This is the second installment covering chapter one, “The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca.” Due to length, I’ve broken chapter one into two parts – a and b. This post covers part a …keep reading »

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Christian Kindle eBooks: Free and Under $5

Currently On Sale 99¢ Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever Manhood Restored by Eric Mason Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller $1.99 The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler Rooted & Grounded by Abraham Kuyper Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur The Three Wise Women by Christin Ditchfield The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode $2.99 Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ by Thomas Fleming Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason The People of God by Trevor Joy Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie The Dating Manifesto by Lisa …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. This post is the first installment covering the “Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an?” Under the subtitle of the chapter White quotes Imam Malik stating that whoever does believes the Qur’an is created and not from Allah and refuses to repent should have his head cut off. Quite a quote to begin with, but it does illustrate the high standing of the Qur’an within certain areas of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Man of Steel: 20 Reasons Superman is Not Jesus

Man of Steel: 20 Reasons Superman is Not Jesus

Ross McD over at Metro blogged Man of Steel: The top 20 reasons why Superman is Jesus. Some of the comparisons are silly and some are loose parallels. I get the comparison to Jesus which could be made in some sense anytime a singular hero saves the world. Life is filled with the creation, fall, redemption theme starting in the book of Genesis. Man’s sinful passion is to be God. Or more so – to be better than God. Superman is not Jesus though he may be a super man; he is not the God-Man. Jesus did not need a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together!

Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together!

I’m stealing Tim Challies’ Reading Classics Together idea. However, we won’t be reading a classic Christian book. We will be reading What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. As Islam grows in the United States and worldwide, it is important for Christians to have an understanding of what the Qur’an teaches in order to engage our Muslim neighbors. White’s book will help Christians better understand Islam including what Muslims believe about Christian doctrines. Here’s the plan: Get a copy of the book. Read the introduction for next week. Discuss the introduction here on Friday, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Tolerance: Person Vs. Idea

Tolerance: Person Vs. Idea

The world is full of ideas because the world is full of people. Many of us are professing Christians whose ideas differ from that of other professing Christians. We don’t always tolerate non-Christian worldviews very well. But many non-Christians are quick to return the favor – and then some – as they don’t always tolerate us. Getting along in certain circles can be difficult because tolerance become intolerance object of this intolerance moves from the idea to the person. My observation is people today don’t seem to do well tolerating others when they can’t tolerate others’ ideas. In fact, it …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for North Point Responds Concerning Andy Stanley’s Comments on Scripture

North Point Responds Concerning Andy Stanley’s Comments on Scripture

I recently posted a video of Andy Stanley providing an apologetic on addressing the objection that Adam and Eve were not historical figures. My concern is set as a question in the title of my post – Andy Stanley Separates the Gospels from the Bible? I thought the answers Stanley gave brought more confusion than clarity. Plus, the answer given to the thinking skeptic would most likely not be satisfied by Stanley’s answer. Since my post, reader Tom Garito reached out to North Point Ministries which Stanley founded in 1995. Tom received a kind reply from Stanley’s assistant. (Apparently, Stanley …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Andy Stanley Separates the Gospels from the Bible?

Andy Stanley Separates the Gospels from the Bible?

In the video below, Andy Stanley explains his apologetic approach to objections to the historical Adam and Eve. He beliefs Christians have done a disservice to previous generations of children the way they are taught Scripture all hangs together or crumbles. He begins with a personal story from his freshman English class in college. The professor potentially dismantled the faith of the Christians present after teaching on various creation myths – the story of Adam and Eve being one of those myths. Since Adam and Eve was just another creation myth the question arises of what else in the Bible …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for How to Make a Lot of Money Preaching

How to Make a Lot of Money Preaching

Below is a clip from the 1972 documentary Marjoe. Marjoe was a fake evangelist which he admitted in the documentary explaining that he would manipulate people. His real name is Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner who may be recognized from past movie roles or from the 80’s TV series Falcon Crest. The Internet Movie Database provides the follow quote from Marjoe. It is not clear from where and when Marjoe was quoted. I emphasized in bold what seems a key part of his approach. Apparently, he knew the kind of experience people wanted and could draw them and control them by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Composition Fallacy: Theological Debate and Christian Blogging

Composition Fallacy: Theological Debate and Christian Blogging

Lots of theological debate and assertion takes place in the Christian blogosphere. Lots! In fact, I wonder if 80% of Christian blogs would exist if the debating stopped. I can see an end to Christian blogging debates – that day the sun stops rising. So we’ll be here a while. Christian debating is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be. We just have to get better at it. By better, I mean more Christ-like. Part of being more Christ-like is found in how we accuse one another which Scripture speaks to in more than one place, in more …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Free Live Stream Debate Tonight: Evolution Vs. Design

Free Live Stream Debate Tonight: Evolution Vs. Design

Tonight, May 16, 2013, Bioloa University will host The Origin of Life: The Great God Debate II Evolution Vs. Design between Michael Ruse vs. Fuz Rana moderated by Craig Hazen. The debate starts at 7 PM PDT/10 PM EDT. Click-> To watch live! Follow on twitter with the hashtag #GODdebate. The format which includes questions from the audience, twitter and text is as follows. Opening Arguments: 20 minutes each 1st Cross-Examination: 6 minutes each side Rebuttals: 10 minutes each 2nd Cross-Examination: 6 minutes each side Concluding Arguments: 5 minutes each Q &A: 40 minutes The topic: “Are natural processes sufficient …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty when I found out these fellows belonged to a Church of Christ – White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ. That post documents a ministry from White’s Ferry, that trains people in evangelism, explaining that people should be re-baptized for salvation who claim, “I am already saved; I was saved when I believed in Jesus” or “Were baptized to show [they] had already been saved.” I have had several conversations – online and off – on this topic. Several of my fellow Southern Baptists have concerns since the Duck …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Fallacy Journal II: Piers Morgan Edition

Fallacy Journal II: Piers Morgan Edition

I’ve got to do a fallacy journal (for a class) based on 15 informal logical fallacies.1 The fallacies are to be pulled from every day mediums such as reading, TV, social media, etc. I first shared some fallacy findings in Fallacy Journal I. I will share a few more findings in the same-sex marriage debate below featuring Ryan Anderson versus Piers Morgan and Suze Orman. And if anyone cares to explore these fallacies further here is an online fallacy list. Division – argues without warrant what is true the group must be true of its parts. Morgan uses this approach …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Problem is Repentaphobia Not Homophobia

The Problem is Repentaphobia Not Homophobia

Much debate as ensued in the current push to redefine marriage as accepting same-sex couples. This redefinition of marriage is touted as a “homosexual rights” issue. Within this current climate of said debate a new mile stone for homosexual rights activists has come to pass – the first active male professional athlete has come out admitting he is gay. That athlete would be, of course, NBA player Jason Collins. OK, great! Now let’s play ball, right? Not so fast because – for some reason – the conversation quickly turned to religion. It appears that Collins claims to be a homosexual …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chris Broussard Answers Questions on Homosexuality and Christianity

Chris Broussard Answers Questions on Homosexuality and Christianity

Today, on Power 105.1 FM, Chris Broussard, Christian and sports analyst for ESPN, called into the Breakfast Club radio show. He began explaining that he is not perfect, but strives to be Christlike. He then explains the mark of a Christian in light of falling into sin, willful sinning, the repentant, and the unrepentant. When challenged about the Bible condemning homosexuality, Broussard briefly explains where Christians stand in Christ today under the New Covenant vs. adhering to particular laws under the Old Covenant. Broussard handled himself well and was a great witness for the Kingdom despite some of the crass comments …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ravi Zacharias on the Acceptance of Homosexuality in Christianity

Ravi Zacharias on the Acceptance of Homosexuality in Christianity

Ravi Zacharias is asked, “Is it possible for a man or a woman to live a sincere Christian life as a homosexual?” Zacharias was very interesting because frames the answer by placing sexuality in the sacred category. He does this by sharing a story of someone asking him why Christians treat racism differently than homosexuals.  

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Thumbnail image for Shai Linne Responds to Paula White Ministries

Shai Linne Responds to Paula White Ministries

I recently wrote about Christian rapper, Shai Linne’s song in which he names false teachers in New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. Some people asked Linne to explain why he considered those he named to be false teachers. I followed up with some examples of false teaches for each person Linne rapped about in Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers? Then, something you don’t see everyday happened, Paula White Ministries responded to Linne’s accusations with an Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries. The challenge to Linne, brought by White’s son, Brad Knight, was a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries

Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries

Well-known ministries that are criticized for their teaching do not often respond, especially, directly and publicly. This occasion is different since Paula White Ministries has responded to the charge by Christian rapper, Shai Linne, that Paula White is a false teacher. I first wrote about and provided the audio of Shai Linne’s song on false teachers here: New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. I followed up with Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers? providing examples of false teachings from each person Linne called out in his song. Then, DJ Wade-O dropped by to share that Paula …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Fallacy Journal I

Fallacy Journal I

I’ve got to do a fallacy journal (for a class) based on 15 informal logical fallacies.1 The fallacies are to be pulled from every day mediums such as reading, TV, social media, etc. I thought I would share some of my findings. Below are a few recent fallacy finds in no particular order. In case you want to explore these fallacies further – an online fallacy list! Appeal to Pity ( or Ad Misericordiam) – tries to persuade due to a sense of pity rather than an actual argument. I posted a link on Facebook the allegations that Auburn University …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers?

Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers?

I recently posted about a new Christian hip-hop song: New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. This song is off Shai Linne’s new album Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology which releases April 9, 2013. In the song Linne names 12 false Bible teachers which I listed in the above post. A commenter in that post suggested some evidence needs to be shown why Linne and others call these 12 false teachers. Hence, my question of whether the teachers Shai Linne named are really “false” teachers. Below I’ve provided a examples of false teachings from each of the teachers …keep reading »

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New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne

Check out Shai Linne’s new rap song Fal$e Teacher$. The beat is good, but the message is better! Shai even drops the following names as false teachers. (Be sure to check out my follow-up post where I provide examples of false teachings from these teachers: Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers?) Joel Osteen Creflo Dollar Benny Hinn TD Jakes Joyce Meyer Paula White Fred Price Kenneth Copland Robert Tilton Eddie Long Juanita Bynum Paul Crouch This song is off his new album Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology which releases April 9, 2013. Get it! Below Shai Linne talks about …keep reading »

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Good Friday: What Evil Has Jesus Done?

Herod had just sent Jesus back to Pilate. As Jesus stood before Pilate for a second time, Pilate addressed the chief priests, the rulers and the people. He explains to them that upon examination neither he nor Herod found Jesus guilty of the charges against him. Therefore, Pilate was only going to beat Jesus and release him, but that was not good enough. But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”—a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)1 Much like today, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty Inspired Question on Baptism and Salvation

Duck Dynasty Inspired Question on Baptism and Salvation

Last week I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty. As a result of that post, a question about baptism and salvation came up on my Facebook page. I would love to hear some thoughts on my answer, but first, a few observations. I did not realize the huge amount of interest the Duck Dynasty post would generate. Nor did I realize there would be such silence from the more influential Evangelical wing of blogdom. Please, don’t misunderstand, I’m not demanding anyone must Say Something Right Now, or Else! as Kevin DeYoung wrote. However, it is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why “Preachers’ Daughters”?

Why “Preachers’ Daughters”?

A&E has a new reality TV show named “Preachers’ Daughters”. The hashtag for the show was trending on twitter. While I was reading what people were saying about the show on twitter to my wife I went to the Facebook page that was linked on twitter. The Facebook page describes the show as, “Lifetime’s provocative new reality show, “Preachers’ Daughters,” follows the lives of three families for a behind-the-altar look at what happens at home after the sermon concludes.” The show got even worse and we had not even watched it. Out of curiosity, I pulled up episode 1 on …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty

A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty

Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition Voices blog gave us “9 Things You Should Know about Duck Dynasty.” Those nine things are pretty interesting and are far from the norm for a reality TV show. What other show has men with three foot beards wearing bandanas? Admittedly, I have never seen the show since I don’t have cable. I have seen clips and plenty of praise for the show on Facebook and twitter. The stars of the show seem pretty cool in a redneck sorta way. As best I can tell they are more down to earth than their appearance …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Chuck Swindoll and Stonebriar Church on Phillips, Craig & Dean

Open Letter to Chuck Swindoll and Stonebriar Church on Phillips, Craig & Dean

Update: Praise God! Phillips, Craig, and Dean have affirmed the Trinity. Click and read their signed statement – PC&D affirm the Trinity. Dear Elders of Stonebriar Community Church, Grace to you and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray all is well with you. In October 2009, Pastor Swindoll wrote, “We never seek a fight, but we dare not remain silent when the claims of Christ come under assault.”[1] This line is from the article No Time to Remain Silent – an appropriate title since that time is now upon us. Pastor Swindoll writes …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is Facebook Becoming the Mormon Police?

Is Facebook Becoming the Mormon Police?

Facebook friend Aaron Shafovaloff, who writes at the excellent Mormon Coffee blog, recently had his Mormon Research Ministries Facebook account blocked for 30 days. The images above are screenshots of the warnings he received. Note, he was replying to a Mormon explaining a Christian perspective on an aspect of salvation. As you can see, all he wrote was: “God, I promise you nothing. Help me.” Jesus prefers that over temple vows. That’s all it took to get him banned. There are many more offensive items on Facebook than Aaron’s statement. I’m not even sure how that is offensive and violates …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for No Pope for All Christians

No Pope for All Christians

“Why believers of all stripes should care about the new head of the Catholic Church,” begins Timothy C. Morgan in his Christianity Today article A Pope for All Christians. Historically there has never been a pope for all Christians and there is not today. Rome begs to differ, of course, claiming themselves the one true church that holds the keys to the Kingdom making the pope head of all Christendom. According to Rome, all other churches are not even true churches. Morgan claims the health of Roman Catholicism affects all Christians because of globalization. Globalization is knocking down walls that …keep reading »

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Blog Brief: The Golden Rule and Same-Sex Marriage

According to President Obama the Golden Rule was his reason supporting same-sex marriage. Is this a justified position from a Christian perspective as Obama posits? I don’t think so. Ed Stetzer wrote a piece on the latest research that, sadly, 64% of Americans believe legalization of same-sex marriage is inevitable. Stetzer reminded us of Obama’s Golden Rule comment. What Obama actually said was quoted in a 2010 USA Today article. The President stated that he and Mrs. Obama are: both practicing Christians and obviously [same-sex marriage] may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Pontius Pilate’s Inscription

Pontius Pilate’s Inscription

This inscription—found in Caesarea—confirms Pontius Pilate’s historical existence. It describes him as “Prefect of Judaea.”1 I found this image in Logos Bible Software when I logged in tonight. I thought I’d share!

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Video: Pastor Jeffress Speaks on Tim Tebow Controversy

Toward the end of the video Pastor Jeffress names several Evangelicals who have supported him during the controversy of Tim Tebow’s scheduled speaking appearance and abrupt cancellation. He then comments about those men who stood with him. “I am grateful for men of God like these who are willing to stand up and act like men rather than wimping out when it gets a little controversial and an inconvenient thing to stand for the truth. God bless men like that.” Now, there are some people who would say, “Well, God’s given me a different ministry. God has calle me to …keep reading »

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Church? No Thanks, Hypocrite!

People often dismiss the church because they claim Christians are hypocrites. And all non-Christians have a perfect symbiotic relationship between belief and practice, right? Wrong, but Christians need a better answer than, “You do it too!” A comment about Christians being hypocrites came up yesterday while teaching Sunday School. I was teaching from James 3 on taming the tongue. The gist of the comment was that if Christians would tame their tongue (through the power of the Holy Spirit) and stop gossiping, etc. unbelievers would not call us hypocrites. Generally speaking, are Christians really hypocrites? I don’t think so. First, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Thoughts on FBC Dallas and Welcome Back Tim Tebow

Thoughts on FBC Dallas and Welcome Back Tim Tebow

Yesterday, I wrote Farewell Tim Tebow? in response to Tebow canceling his appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas. Today I want to say welcome back – I think. I also want to briefly address some of the charges leveled against the theology of FBC Dallas showing that the church fits into generally held Southern Baptist positions. FBC Dallas released a statement in response to Tebow’s cancellation. In part, the church wrote: Mr. Tebow called Dr. Jeffress Wednesday evening saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time but would like to come to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Farewell Tim Tebow?

Farewell Tim Tebow?

A few days ago I wrote about some who called on Tim Tebow to cancel his upcoming appearance at First Baptist Dallas. The post was – In Light of Tim Tebow Invitation Baptist Church Answers Anti-Gay, Anti-Semitic Charges. Not once did I think Tebow would give in to the critics. Apparently, I was wrong. Tebow shared his reasons for canceling in four tweets. Hat tip to Denny Burk for putting those tweets together. While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas …keep reading »

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Westboro’s Phelps Family: America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis

Louis Theroux of the BBC does a video expose of Westboro Baptist’s Phelps family. I hate calling them a church and hate calling them Baptists though I know those are empty labels. Also, see the previous article about Westboro on this site: Westboro Baptist Revealed: Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed. – Remember as you watch – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Should Males Make Decisions on Abortion?

Should Males Make Decisions on Abortion?

There is a pro-choice abortion argument that states men should not make decisions or laws on abortion since they are male. Since only females are anatomically designed to carry and give birth to a child they are the only ones who may have a valid say on abortion. Pregnancy and abortion will never physically affect a man the way it they do a woman so men should be silent. There are several angles in which to frame this argument. Some, like recently retired libertarian radio talk show host Neal Boortz, even blamed President Obama’s recent victory on the position taken …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is Abortion the Answer for Unwanted Children?

Is Abortion the Answer for Unwanted Children?

Sometimes a pro-abortion argument is made that it is best not to bring unwanted children into the world. That argument is actually a case for contraception not abortion. First, abortion is not contraception. Contraception is something done to prevent conception or pregnancy. By the time a woman is pregnant it is too late to use contraception because a baby has all ready been conceived. So contraception is one way, as long as it does not fail, to prevent bringing an unwanted child into the world. The best prevention is abstinence. Now, to the question at hand. Is abortion the answer …keep reading »

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Is Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) Right on President Obama?

On the day of President Obama’s inauguration, Mark Driscoll sent out the tweet below. There was mixed reaction to the tweet. A lot of people agree with Driscoll and a lot disagree – probably, much like the divide in the country. Regardless of personal feelings, is Driscoll right biblically in his comments on Obama? Why or why not? Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know. — Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) January 21, 2013

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Warning: Mormon Acceptance Propaganda

On January 8, 2013, I was contacted through my blog by Eric Shuster. He is releasing a new book soon so he asked if I would like to help promote it via a blog tour. The book’s title alone – Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion – grabbed my interest. But this inquiring mind wanted to know more about it since I had never heard of the author nor the upcoming book. A quick check on Amazon and Shuster’s website answered the blog tour question for me – no! The author is a former Roman …keep reading »

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Does Sho Baraka’s Song “Jim Crow” (aka Nigga Island) Harm the Gospel?

Chrisitan hip-hop artist, Sho Baraka just release his latest album Talented 10th. Prior to the album release the single “Jim Crow” was released at Hip Hop DX. The official name of the song seems to be “Jim Crow,” but many also refer to it as “Ni**ga Island.” The title of the song alone is bound bring disagreements, especially, from a Christian artist. You can read the lyrics and listen below, but here is the hook: I feel I’m trapped in a crazy place. Asking the Lord for amazing grace. I see the masses wanna change me. I’m waiting for someone …keep reading »

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Intolerant Liberal Targets Louie Giglio

The liberal attacks against Louie Giglio are already starting.  Paul Brandeis Raushenbush at the Huffington Post goes after Giglio in his article “Obama, Inaugural Prayers and the Evangelicals Who Don’t Like Him.”1 As I’ve previously noted, Giglio has accepted President Obama’s invitation to give the benediction at his inauguration. Giglio is a Conservative, Evangelical Christian and some liberals like Raushenbush are not happy with the President’s choice of Giglio. Below I will quote and comment on the pertinent part of Raushenbush’s article showing his misrepresentation, inconsistency and political broad brushing. Rev. Louie Giglio, the conservative evangelical pastor of Passion City Church …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for If Government Mandates Prayer in Public Schools

If Government Mandates Prayer in Public Schools

In light of the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, one of the reasons given for such incidents is that God has been kicked out of public schools. One argument for inviting God back into public schools is to reinstate prayer. I am not arguing whether reinstating government mandated prayer is right or wrong. But I am wondering something…. If government mandates prayer in public schools who faith will lead the prayers – a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist , a Sikh, a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon or a Christian? Which prayer would please God and actually invite Him into …keep reading »

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One Question for Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)

In the above video, Piers Morgan says to Rick Warren, “The Bible and the Constitution were well-intentioned, but they are basically, inherently flawed. Hence, the need to amend them. My point to you about gay rights, for example, it’s time for an amendment to the Bible. You should compile a new Bible.” Since Morgan is all about equal rights and fairness, as he defines them, I thought it only proper to include our Muslim friends in on the conversation. Let’s be fair to Islam in this discussion and give Muslims equal time and consider the state of the Qur’an alongside …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Coexist: Truth or Fairytale?

Coexist: Truth or Fairytale?

 

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Genius the Movie Featuring John Lennon

Living Waters ministry has put a new video called Genius. Check it out below!

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Chemist James Tour: Nanotech and Jesus Christ

Dr. James Tour recently spoke at The Veritas Forum at GA Tech, a ministry in which a friend is involved. James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Syracuse University, his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University.1 I’ve had two years of Spanish, one year of Japanese and two semesters of biblical Greek, but I can’t understand the scientific language brother Tour speaks. Dr. Tour is a smart man. An intellect. But you don’t …keep reading »

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Todd Friel Graciously Answers Critic During Open-Air Preaching Event

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A Reply to the Danger of Calling Behavior ‘Biblical’

Recently, Rachel Held Evans’ article “My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’” was published on the CNN Belief blog.1 I’m going to reply. My goal is not to take hammer to fingers, but to point out inconsistencies in her positions. My assumption is that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 ESV). Therefore, the Bible does have something to say, directly or indirectly, on most life issues. There should be no …keep reading »

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On How Christians Engage Each Other Online

If you have spent any amount of time engaging Christians on any type of social media it is not hard to conclude that some Christians have the gift of the cyber-hammer. Feeling the smashing blows of the cyber-hammer are unmistakable no matter how many internet connections away you may be. My fellow Christians, this ought not be since we are to live at peace with all while praying for our enemies (Rom. 12:14-21) and do good to all, especially, our fellow Christians (Gal. 6:10). I admit, I am guilty! I am also repentant. I am hoping the way I respond …keep reading »

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When a Roman Catholic Comes to Your Door

Dr. R. Scott Clark, a professor at  Westminster Seminary California, recently had a home visit from two Roman Catholics. Saturday morning a Roman Catholic laywoman and a male companion (who stood behind her with his rosary saying prayers) came to my door on behalf of St Mary Church in Escondido. She asked if there were any Catholics in the house. I said, yes and no. Yes, we confess the holy catholic faith of the Nicene Creed, the Definition of Chalcedon, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Athanasian Creed but no, we are not Roman Catholics, we reject the papacy. I told …keep reading »

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Are All Black People Going to Hell?

Imagine if I or any white Christian stood up in front of a group of people in a church building and said, “All black people are going to hell!” Can you imagine the standing ovation with thundering applause that would follow? Yeah, me neither. In fact, if any Christian said such a thing I would expect lots of deserved public and private rebuke. So, when 91 year old, Civil Rights icon, Joseph Lowery recently said that all white people are going to hell1 – I would hope for the same type of rebuke. Lowery is a professing Christian, a United …keep reading »

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Free Reformation Day Resources

First, my favorite Reformation Day tweet was by SooperMexican: “I got 95 theses but a Pope ain’t one.” Reformation Day Free Download: R.C. Sproul’s Luther and the Reformation R.C. Sproul’s recently released ten-part series, Luther and the Reformation in both audio and video formats with study guide. Free Calvin eBooks  by John Piper from Desiring God With Calvin in the Theater of God John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God Portrait of Calvin by T. H. L. Parker (foreword by John Piper) Martin Luther Biography  Chris Rosebrough is offering FREE Reformation Day Books and Resources Here I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for I was Almost Born this Way

I was Almost Born this Way

It was a nice warm day like most days. I’m not sure if the sun was out or not. I have not actually experienced the warm glow of the sun – yet. I looked forward to it though. I heard so many things from the outside. I could only guess what they were. I looked forward to them all. Oh, I yearned to experience a life filled with love. I just knew that life was coming soon with the way you cared for me and fed me. I was so warm and comfortable all the time on the inside. I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Illustrated: 5 Reasons a Baby is Not Part of a Woman’s Body

Illustrated: 5 Reasons a Baby is Not Part of a Woman’s Body

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Muslims Protest at Google Offices Over Anti-Islam Video

The Telegraph reports that “Muslims protest ‘age of mockery’ as thousands descend on Google HQ.” Many Muslims are understandably offended by the anti-Islam video ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ published on YouTube. They do not care about free speech and plan to protest until the video is banned. At least one of these Muslim leaders wants to shut down free speech and the spread of ideas contrary to Islam. He even redefined terrorism to include hurt feelings and calls Google’s right to free speech anarchy. One of the speakers, Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, told The Daily Telegraph: “Terrorism is not just …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Demon Test Only $9.95 – A Helluva Deal!

Demon Test Only $9.95 – A Helluva Deal!

Bob Larson is offering a 21 question Demon Test® for only $9.95. On his personal website the headline reads “Spiritual Freedom Church” with a registered acronym “DWJD®.” If the Demon Test® were not bad enough Larson’s daughter and friends have the site ‘Teenage Exorcists’. Why is this test a helluva deal? Satan will take your soul for free, but to pay $9.95 for a “Demon Test®” to dabble where Jesus has not called Christians to dabble is a deal from hell. Larson may laugh all the way to the bank while Satan laughs at the opportunity to play on peoples’ …keep reading »

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Introduction Video: The Gospel According to Barack

Check out the video below and my interview with Dr. Breshears: Five Questions with Dr. Breshears on His Book: The Gospel According to Barack. Author Jefrey D. Breshears gives a brief introduction and excerpt from his new book, “The Gospel According to Barack,” which sets out to answer the question – where did Barack Obama get his ideas about Christianity?

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Why Do People Go To Hell?

One answer given on twitter (HT: Ben Simpson): People go to hell not because God predestined them to go there, but because we as Christians don’t share the Gospel with them. — Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor) October 8, 2012 While it is essential that Christians share the gospel; a few Scriptural proof-texts give another answer to the question of why people go to hell. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV) Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born …keep reading »

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A Christian Presuppositionalist Explains ‘Why I Believe’

My friend Brian Knapp who writes at Choosing Hats takes the presuppositionalist approach to defending the Christian faith.  (Actually, Choosing Hats is dedicated to presuppositional apologetics.) Brian recently engaged an unbeliever online and was encouraged to write a brief about the engagement. Brian then wrote an article titled, “Why I Believe” explaining why he is a Christian from a presuppositional perspective. So tell me about yourself. You aren’t a Christian, correct? Do you believe any sort of god exists? It seems like you are saying it is at least possible that the Christian God exists, the one described in the Bible. …keep reading »

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John Newton: Christians, True Patriotism and Government Involvement

John Newton (1725 – 1807), well-known for penning the hymn “Amazing Grace,” wrote a letter to a friend giving his views on Christian involvement in government affairs. Newton briefly defines true patriotism from a Christian perspective. Would Newton title his position today as – Gospel-Centered Patriotism? Dear friend, Allow me to say, that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms. When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Help The Harry Potter Bible Study Be a #1 Free Kindle Book!

Help The Harry Potter Bible Study Be a #1 Free Kindle Book!

Help my friend Jared Moore move his book, The Harry Potter Bible Study: Enjoying God Through the Final Four Harry Potter Movies, to the #1 spot on Amazon as in the Kindle Non-fiction, religious book category. I know – a Harry Potter Bible Study book sounds crazy, right? It’s actually gotten some pretty good reviews. Right now, Jared’s book is currently free on Kindle. (Download it here!) In the U.S. it is the 12th most popular free Non-Fiction religious book on Kindle today, and the 6th most popular free Non-Fiction Christian book on Kindle in the U.K. market. What does that …keep reading »

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The Gospel Coalition, Carl Trueman and Complementarianism

Lydia McGrew makes some observations on Carl Trueman’s response to The Gospel Coalition leaders’ recent discussion on how complementarianism relates to the gospel. …Carl Trueman, who teaches Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, put up on his blog a series of posts in which he argues that, though he himself is a complementarian, a parachurch organization like TGC should not make complementarianism a foundational part of its identity by putting that position into its confessional statement. His posts can be found here and here. At first when I read Trueman’s posts and saw the video, I hadn’t noted the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Five Questions with Dr. Breshears on His Book: The Gospel According to Barack

Five Questions with Dr. Breshears on His Book: The Gospel According to Barack

Dr. Jefrey D. Breshears was gracious enough to answer five questions about his timely book, The Gospel According to Barack: Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity? (available on Amazon). He also generously provided a copy of his book to giveaway – so check back tomorrow for a chance to win a free copy. (Click here to enter the giveaway.) Dr. Breshears is a Christian historian, apologist, and the founder and president of The Areopagus, a Christian education ministry and study center in the Atlanta area that offers seminars and forums in Christian history, apologetics, Christian spirituality, and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Fire Church Too Nice – LGBT Group Cancels Protest

Fire Church Too Nice – LGBT Group Cancels Protest

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, a LGBT group cancels protesting Fire Church in Concord, NC. A local NC LGBT group set out to protest at Fire Church in Concord, NC. Fire Church is pastored by Scott Volk and is home of Dr. Michael Brown. Brown is a Christian apologist who is no stranger to LGBT issues. Many in the gay community are probably aware that Brown wrote A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been and has addressed the pro-homosexual lifestyle numerous times on his radio show, The Line of Fire. The LGBT group …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Some Southern Baptists are heavy weight champs at theological infighting. Maybe it’s time for Baptists to step outside the ring and consider another way to disagree. A quote from Francis Schaeffer below offers wisdom on how Baptists might better engage each other. In 1845, at the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention, most leaders were Calvinistic while the laity were less so.1 Today, most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists though there is a rise in Calvinistic theology in leadership and laity. Southern Baptists have worked together with Calvinist leaders and with non-Calvinist leaders. If Calvinistic Baptists were instrumental in forming …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for If Pat Robertson Were Jesus

If Pat Robertson Were Jesus

Be glad that Pat Robertson is not the Savior Jesus Christ, but imagine if he were. A female viewer wrote into The 700 Club with a question. This lady is a mother to three adopted children from foreign countries. She wanted to know why the men she dates always leave once they find out she has three adopted children from three different countries. Host Pat Robertson provided…an answer. “you just never know what’s been done to a child before you get that child; what kind of sexual abuse there has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation” …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Do Christians Pray for Barack Obama’s Death and Spiritual Disembowelment?

Do Christians Pray for Barack Obama’s Death and Spiritual Disembowelment?

Walter Rhett at the Democrats for Progress website claims that some Christians are wrongly using Psalm 109:8 to pray against President Obama.1 Is there something unbiblical about praying Psalm 109:8 for Obama which states (ESV), “May his days be few; may another take his office!”? That verse alone does not seem problematic to pray for someone whom a Christian deems as a poor leader for the country. However, Rhett paints a wider picture in his criticism by noting the context of verse 8 as if one must pray verses 7 – 15 also. When he is tried, let him come …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for An Observation: If Gay is the New Black

An Observation: If Gay is the New Black

Some who fight for the acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriage not only attempt to redefine marriage, but frame the topic as a civil rights issue. One of the more persuasive arguments for same-sex marriage is to contend that the issue is conceptually/ideologically the same as black Americans’ fight for civil rights. In other words – gay is the new black. Brother Voddie Baucham recently penned the article – Gay is Not the New Black.1 Bauchman begins with the following statements concerning same-sex marriage and civil rights. The idea that same-sex “marriage” is the next leg in the civil rights …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Three Times in Modern History the Word “Person” Has Been Redefined

Three Times in Modern History the Word “Person” Has Been Redefined

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Thumbnail image for Subjectivity in Modern Preaching

Subjectivity in Modern Preaching

I was recently listening to a pastor preach on the importance of prayer in pastoral ministry. Prayer is certainly important in the life of a pastor (or any Christian). The context was that this pastor was teaching future pastors. Giving his time to such teaching is a great service. However, the text he used to make his point was Acts 1:13-14 and a few things just did not sit right with me. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Brief thoughts: Abortion and Reproductive Rights

Brief thoughts: Abortion and Reproductive Rights

The pro-abortion, pro-choice crowd argues that abortion is a reproductive right. However, there is a problem with this line of reasoning. In order to have an abortion, reproduction must have already taken place i.e. a human life must exist in order to abort it. A right to reproduce, or have offspring, is not the same as a right to abort, or terminate the life of said offspring. In actuality, abortion is a counter-reproductive action since it kills a human being that is already living. It is possible that babies in the womb would like the same reproductive rights that others …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for TD Jakes Reviews: Elephant Room and 11 Various Books

TD Jakes Reviews: Elephant Room and 11 Various Books

First, James White weighs in on his Dividing Line radio show for two hours. There were so many listeners that the servers crashed.  Find the link and a description below. A Mega-Friday DL on TD Jakes and Elephants in the Room In any case, I addressed the TD Jakes: is he a Trinitarian? issue head on during the first hour, and then took calls on the topic for a full hour after that. The callers were wide ranging, and while none defended the ER or Jakes, they did provide some good insights. Lots of positive feedback on Twitter and FaceBook. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Angry Apostles and the Trinity

Angry Apostles and the Trinity

On the Trinity First, Pastor Tom Chantry has provided a actual transcript of T.D. Jakes words on the Trinity from The Elephant Room 2, session 4.1 Chantry then made a follow-up post in which he shares his thoughts in the following five points.2 1. Jakes masterfully deconstructs the entire practice of theology. 2. Driscoll and MacDonald are too much in awe of Jakes’ massive numeric success to call him on this. 3. James MacDonald is angry. 4. The mega-pastors are one big lovin’ family! 5. If you aren’t defined at least somewhat by what you are against, you aren’t really …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for God is Doing Amazing Things!

God is Doing Amazing Things!

God is going to do something awesome. God is going to do something amazing. God is doing something incredible. God is doing something awesome. God is doing something amazing. God is doing amazing things. It’s going to be awesome. Let’s change the world. God will prosper you. Fly with the eagles. Listen to the Spirit. It’s all about love. Lives will change. God is working. Look to Jesus. Praise God. Amen. Such sensational words are sometimes used in preaching for dramatic emotional effect. Yet, the words themselves must be attached to something or they stir empty praise and emotion. What …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for On Public Rebuke

On Public Rebuke

As far as I know, being rebuked is not something to which most Christians look forward, especially, being publicly rebuked. However, Scripture says it is good for rebuke (2 Tim. 3:16). Scripture even includes the well-known example of one Apostle publicly rebuking another Apostle (Gal. 2:11, 14). Today, there is no shortage of Christians rebuking one another online. Though direct, public rebukes in person is not often carried out. Occasionally, one might hear a public rebuke about  a particular person, but the more popular route is to address poor teaching in general leaving the teacher unnamed. In the past, I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Jimmy Fallon on Tim Tebow: Comedy or Blasphemy?

Jimmy Fallon on Tim Tebow: Comedy or Blasphemy?

Last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Fallon did a parody song by combining Tim Tebow to David Bowie and producing the singer Tebowie (Tim Tebow + David Bowie = Tebowie). Fallon sung as if a dialogue were taking place between Tim Tebow and Jesus Christ to the tune of Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” (lyrics below). Did Jimmy Fallon go too far? If you think he went too far: Tweet him that he should apologize. If you think it was just right: Tweet him that he was funny. The Lyrics Tim Tebow to Jesus Christ. (x2) Commencing fourth down, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What God is This? Osteen on Oprah

What God is This? Osteen on Oprah

This clip is riddled with unbiblical conclusions. Toward the beginning, in reference to Osteen’s prosperity preaching, Oprah asks, “What god would want you to be poor and miserable?” Osteen does say that prosperity includes peace of mind and a healthy body rather than just material wealth. Osteen also says that there is a belief that says, “You’re supposed to suffer more and be poor and to show your humility.” He then mentions that Jesus died to give us an abundant life in order to be a blessing to others. Further, he claims that he cannot be a blessing to others …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Elephant Room II and TD Jakes’ Oneness Association

Elephant Room II and TD Jakes’ Oneness Association

Elephant Room II is only 20 days away. T.D. Jakes is still on the schedule.1 Several of us disagreed with Jakes being a participant2, including Mark Dever who withdrew3, but I did suggest some questions for Jakes.4 Although I am still not very excited about Jakes participation, I am interested in what he will have to say, especially, in his session with Mark Driscoll where the following issues are supposed to be addressed. What are the ‘majors’ of Christian doctrine that cannot be diluted or denied for a person to be a Christian? How can we help one another move …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Happy Holidays?

Happy Holidays?

During Christmas time it is not uncommon to hear phrase Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Of course, many people still say Merry Christmas. I prefer Merry Christmas and will even reply as such when people say Happy Holidays to me. Depending on the worldview there are people who not only prefer one phrase to the other, but are offended when his or her particular holiday greeting is not used. In recent years, some large department stores moved away from using the term Christmas to using Holiday instead. This move upset many Christians who complained to those stores. Many of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

In his article, “Tim Tebow Trivializes Religion” Bill Press uses Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:5 to call Tim Tebow a hypocrite. 1 In light of Press labeling Tebow a hypocrite he also wishes that Tebow would “STFU”.2 Press, a Roman Catholic, attended a Catholic university and earned a degree in theology.3 The 71 year old Press, then, would be considered an older more learned man than Tebow who, it seems, should have some wisdom to share. Did someone say hypocrisy? In Matthew 5, Jesus did say: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Kicking Off the Atheist

Kicking Off the Atheist

The clip below shows atheist Dan Barker of the “Freedom from Religion Foundation” appearing on Fox Business Network’s “Follow the Money” with host Eric Bolling. First, Barker made some unfavorable comments about Christianity. Then, Bolling stopped the conversation and kicked Barker off the show for “denigrating the name of Jesus Christ.” Would you have kicked Barker off the show? Why or why not?

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Thumbnail image for So You Want My Daughter?

So You Want My Daughter?

I’ve always been intrigued about why a Christian would want to date or marry a non-Christian. A solid biblical case can be made that a Christian should only date or marry another Christian.1 In a mixed dating situation the Christian is not trusting Christ nor finding Him sufficient, but is looking elsewhere to satisfy certain needs. Of course, as with many areas in life Christians fall short and there is always places in their lives where Christ is not primary. This is an admission rather than an excuse for Christians to date non-Christians. As one friend of mine said about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Are Christians to Blame for Gay Teen Suicides?

Are Christians to Blame for Gay Teen Suicides?

John Shore created the video below and used it to ask if Christians have some culpability in gay teen suicides in an article at the Huffington Post. 1 The question of whether or not there is a gay teen suicide epidemic has also been raised.2 The video did not make me mad, but it did annoy me. The caricature of Christians portrayed in this video annoyed me more than anything. I can say that I don’t recall ever having a conversation with anyone like the one portrayed above. But then I thought of a few other things. Is this really …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Reformation Day 2011: Luther on the Power of God’s Word

Reformation Day 2011: Luther on the Power of God’s Word

Love, therefore, demands that you have compassion on the weak, as all the apostles had. Once, when Paul came to Athens, a mighty city, he found in the temple many altars, Acts and he went from one to the other and looked at them all, but did not touch any one of them even with his foot. But he stood in the midst of the market-place and said they were all idolatrous works, and begged the people to forsake them; yet he did not destroy one of them by force. When the word took hold of their hearts, they forsook …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Exterminating the Canaanites

Exterminating the Canaanites

Richard Dawkins recently explained why he would not debate William Lane Craig.1 Dawkins does not like that Craig defends God’s commands to the Israelites in the Old Testament to destroy certain people groups that were inhabiting the Promised Land. He claims that Craig has a “dark side” and that “Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament.” Dawkins quotes Craig on the extermination of the Canaanites and takes issue with Craig defending God’s commands for such actions. In one of my Old Testament text books I came across a perspective (shared …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What I Wish TV Hosts Would Ask Christians

What I Wish TV Hosts Would Ask Christians

Trevin Wax has an excellent post on how he wishes the homosexuality debate would go between TV hosts and pastors.1 Trevin offers an example of good dialogue with the Christian re-directing the conversation so it is not concentrating on homosexuality. The dialogue could actually work with a dose of patience, focus and enough time. I wish the homosexuality debate would be as Trevin described too, but I also wish something else. TV show hosts like to press on hot button. Some of the on going hot button issues are just about anything on homosexuality, on whether Mormonism is Christian, or …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for iHeaven: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

iHeaven: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

The creative genius of Steve Jobs has left its mark on the world. Jobs’ ideas and implementation of those ideas raised the bar significantly in technological advancement. He left us with Apple products that have changed the ways information is used, accessed and shared. His ideas will live on and most likely continue to spur competition providing continued advances in technology. These advances will continue to change the way many work and live. It might be said that Steve Jobs left us with an iHeaven. The idea of iHeaven is one of here and now because it will not be …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did Mark Dever Withdraw from Elephant Room 2?

Did Mark Dever Withdraw from Elephant Room 2?

I my previous post I shared that I leaned toward Mark Dever withdrawing from participating in Elephant Room 2(ER2) due to T.D. Jakes scheduled participation.1 A commenter on that post informed me that Dever’s bio, pictured above, is missing from the ER2 website. If Dever does or did withdraw from the event it should not come a surprise. In 2008 he was challenged on the issue of biblical separation. Dever answered the challenge explaining that he does practice separation. Others may be able to learn from his practice. The following quote is part of Dever’s article on separation which applies …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What Would You Ask TD Jakes at Elephant Room 2?

What Would You Ask TD Jakes at Elephant Room 2?

The announcement T.D. Jakes participation at Elephant Room 2 (ER2) has generated much digital ink in the last week. I’ve shared some of the trouble I have with Jakes participation.1 Other Christians have provided more thorough responses than I explaining their concern over James MacDonald inviting T.D. Jakes.2 Note that no one is disputing that MacDonald can host whoever he wants at ER2 even while disagreeing with him. It is, however, too soon to know for sure whether or not ER2 will take place as scheduled. Anything can happen, right? Outside of Jakes withdrawing or having his invitation withdrawn the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment?

TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment?

It has been recently revealed that T.D. Jakes will be a participant in Elephant Room round 2.1 Elephant Room is hosted by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. Its format is for influential pastors to have “blunt conversations” around “differing approaches to ministry” with the purpose of modeling “loving confrontation and gracious disagreement that honors relationship and allows diversity of opinion but stands without compromise on the revealed word of God.”2 Many of us hold that there is a biblical compromise with Jakes given his fellowship with Oneness Pentacostalism and his position on the Trinity as documented in the past by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Alcohol: Of Greeks and Barbarians

Alcohol: Of Greeks and Barbarians

There has been enough talk about alcohol on Christians blogs lately to make readers drunk with words. While alcohol is always a favorite topic on Southern Baptist blogs1 one of the well-esteemed pastors of our day, John MacArthur, also felt the need to address the topic2. MacArthur was answered by the accused, Erik Raymond3 and Spencer Nix4 (who happens to be a friend) which resulted in another reply from MacArthur’s ministry5. In discussions like these two items always seem to come up. Item one, a point which MacArthur makes, is that the wine in biblical times was not like that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Mark Driscoll On Prophetic Dreams and Seeing the Future

Mark Driscoll On Prophetic Dreams and Seeing the Future

Fellow blogger (of ill-repute) and friend, Frank Turk recently wrote an Open Letter to Mark Driscoll. In the letter Turk took Driscoll to task over some of the things he said about cessationism. The summary of Driscoll’s view may be most clearly seen when he said that “cessationism is worldliness” and then sealed the deal stating, “So it goes to Atheism, Deism and this will be controversial, cessationism.” Side note: Before getting to the main issue I want to address something Driscoll said just after the worldliness comment. As part of making his assertion case for cessationism being worldliness Driscoll …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is God the Author of Evil?

Is God the Author of Evil?

Is there any sense in which God can be said to be the author of evil? In the quote below one author answers yes. See if you agree. God is the author (is in sovereign control) of everything that happens. Evil is something that happens. So God is the author of evil. If this is correct, then even if God is not the author of any evil “thing,” would He not still be the author of evil events? In which case, God would still be the author of evil.1 The author then quotes several Scripture passages involving God’s sovereignty. He …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Dear Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Same-sex marriage, May I call you SSM? Thanks! So, what are you? And what have you done with marriage? Actually, you haven’t done anything with marriage. I’m here writing you. Yes, this is Marriage sending you a note. I’m a little upset that you’re trying to do away with me by re-defining me. However, I am not some novelty act, but a staple of society. Men and women use me to build families by bringing children into the world who then repeat the cycle. I am still here today, but not if it were up to you, SSM. For …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Presuppositional Apologetics Month at Monergism

Presuppositional Apologetics Month at Monergism

The monthly focus at Monergism.com is Presuppositional Apologetics. Some resources are given on the introductory page. The resources include articles apologetic articles by: Cornelius Van Til Greg Bahnsen Doug Wilson John Frame Tim Keller They offer more on Presuppositional Apologetics at the bottom of the page. You may also want to check out a blog run by some friends of mine that focuses on Presuppositional Apologetics called Choosing Hats.

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Thumbnail image for Atheist Hopes for Brokeback Mountain Moment

Atheist Hopes for Brokeback Mountain Moment

Steve Walsh on the CNN religion blogs reports that New atheist movie ‘The Ledge’ evangelizes godlessness. The film is written and directed by outspoken atheist Matthew Chapman. Apparently, Chapman wants to make an an atheist character into a Hollywood hero with a Christian being the bad guy. Chapman is pushing for a form of atheist evangelism or at the very least a wider acceptance of atheism. “My hope was to make an emotional appeal,” says. He hopes it’s a “Brokeback Mountain” moment for nonbelievers. Chapman believes that a successful film with an atheist hero will influence people to more readily accept …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Mini-Movie: Bahnsen vs. Stein on the Laws of Logic

Mini-Movie: Bahnsen vs. Stein on the Laws of Logic

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Thumbnail image for NFL Star David Tyree On Gay Marriage

NFL Star David Tyree On Gay Marriage

A few highlights and comments. At the beginning of the video Tyree offers a question which all Christians can apply to their lives regardless of profession. He asks, “Do our fans mean more than our position in eternity?” He then explains that marriage is the “only relationship that actually mirrors a relationship with God. It’s very unique in that way.” He also states that society permeates three things on males 1) sexual conquest, 2) economic prowess and 3) athletic prowess. Further, he explains that those three things aren’t intrinsically bad, but they can become that way if they are the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Universalism: Rob Bell and Paul Dean

Universalism: Rob Bell and Paul Dean

Even before the release of his latest book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Rob Bell set the blogosphere ablaze. The biggest charge against Bell is that of him being a universalist. In a recent interview with Newsweek’s Lisa Miller, Bell first states, with qualifications, that he is not a universalist. Then, moments later denies the charge again. (Thanks to Denny Burk’s partial transcript.) Miller: So this sort of universalism that you are preaching that’s exclusive and inclusive… Bell: That I just denied? Yeah, that one. Okay. Kevin DeYoung does …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian?

Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian?

In light of the recent concerns over Modalism and the SBC Pastors’ Conference, it has been said that T.D. Jakes no longer holds to a form of Modalism or to a Onesness Pentecostal view of God. There are plenty of resources (I don’t have time to note them here) online and in books that document and examine the evidence for the claim that T.D. Jakes holds to a modalistic view of God rather than the Christian view of God as Trinity. But has Jakes changed his position on his doctrine of God? A quick, curious search for T.D. Jakes on …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Church Sign: Gospel or Moralism?

Church Sign: Gospel or Moralism?

In a message this morning about post-modernism the church sign pictured above was put up as an example of what post-modernists are rebelling against in the modernist Christian culture. The question that crossed my mind is whether this picture is an example of reaching out with the gospel or with moralism?

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Thumbnail image for Religious Freedom: Jesus vs Islam

Religious Freedom: Jesus vs Islam

Religious freedom in this country seems to have taken a turn. Maybe a new definition is in order. Religious freedom: mention religion and you’re free to find a new job. Examples of this can be found in situations where Jesus or Islam have been mentioned. The mention of both have resulted in some form of job loss. As far as mentioning Jesus, several years ago I pointed out that a Chaplain suspended for sharing the Gospel. And this year a Chaplain in the N.C. House of Representatives was fired for praying in Jesus name. What about Islam?

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Thumbnail image for Scientific Deconstruction of Science

Scientific Deconstruction of Science

All of us tempted to swallow this popular pill, cunningly served up with our secular education, should appreciate that the empiricists have not shown that the Creator has not spoken in his creation or in the Christ of Scripture. In the process of their argument they annihilate empirical science itself, the very thing that they have put their faith in. Science depends upon the nonempirical ideas of uniformity in nature and the predictability of future events in order to function or teach us anything. But empirical verification must apply only to a particular time, place, and entity to be examined. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Positive Thinking With Apostle Paul

Positive Thinking With Apostle Paul

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Atheist Christopher Hitchens Debates Christian Brother

Atheist Christopher Hitchens Debates Christian Brother

Hitchens brothers debate if civilization can survive without God Editor’s Note: CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi files this report from Washington, DC. Brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens squared off Tuesday in a debate over whether civilization can survive without God. Christopher, the older of the two, is a renowned atheist thinker and author. Peter, the lesser known of the two, is a practicing Christian and also a well-regarded author. Christopher Hitchens is going through a very public battle with cancer, a subject that came up often during the debate. Michael Cromartie from the Ethics and Public Policy Center, moderated …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Driscoll: Discerning the Current Vampire-esque Teen Books

Driscoll: Discerning the Current Vampire-esque Teen Books

What books are being promoted for teens and pre-teens to read these days? Better yet, what books are they actually reading? Are there underlying spiritual issues involved? How do parents handle it? Are parents discerning enough? As a parent, I am concerned. This brings me to Mark Driscoll’s video below. I appreciate what he has to say. It’s a short clip from a recent sermon. Some have called it a rant. Love him or hate him, here he is. Do you agree?

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Thumbnail image for Mack Stiles: Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

Mack Stiles: Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

In the Atlanta area this weekend! Is Jesus The Only Way to Heaven? with Mack Stiles Mack Stiles, the CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions in the United Arab Emirates, will be speaking at Mount Vernon Dialogues this weekend. He is the author of

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Thumbnail image for Christianity Gives Atheism Life

Christianity Gives Atheism Life

hristianity sure gives many atheists something to live for. This can be seen by the way many atheists argue, debate, write, sue, form societies and organizations, etc. all to fight against God. But it is God that drives these actions! Some atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have become famous for their beliefs. Yet they continue to rail against Christianity. It is ironic that they continue to gain meaning and motivation in life both from and for the very Being they deny exists. In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Fired In Jesus Name?

Fired In Jesus Name?

On May 31, Pastor Ron Baity was relieved of his Chaplaincy prayer duties before the N.C. House of Representatives after he prayed in Jesus name. Baity is the pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and was filling in as a guest Chaplain. I first read this story from FOXNews’ article Pastor Yanked From Capitol Over ‘Jesus’ Prayer. Kudos to Pastor Baity for his prayer and protest over being fired. It’s understandable that people are offended by Jesus’ name. Jesus said such things would happen. Continuing with the story the Winston-Salem Journal reported

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Thumbnail image for Note on T4G 2010

Note on T4G 2010

Together for the Gospel 2010 is over. It was fun while it lasted. Seriously, it was a great time. I was thankful to even be able to attend. Even more, I was thankful I was able to attend with my church’s staff and a couple other church members. This was my first time attending. I would do it again if the Lord provides away. The speakers were great. The free books I brought home pictured above were great. (See larger picture here.) I know my wife will really appreciate me bringing home more books! (Note: T4G may actually weaken your …keep reading »

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Seeker-centered Buddhism

Buddhism’s numbers are apparently shrinking. They aren’t growing. They’re answer? Hip-hop and alcohol? “This is an old, old story, a fantasy and longing cosmology. Hey, hey, what’s the story about? It’s about the Buddha, yo. Hey brother, listen carefully! You got it? No? You don’t? Okay, baby, no problem.” That is one hip-hop (can we call it that?) verse as reported by CNN – Buddhist monks use hip hop, alcohol to attract followers. Isn’t that funny to think about and watch? I wonder where they got the idea? Think about this… Christians, is this video, and the approach itself, make …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for True aim of Roman Catholic ecumenism

True aim of Roman Catholic ecumenism

Ecumenism today can be seen in social/political change in the name of the ‘greater good’. Or in doctrinal statements drafted and signed by different “Christian” sects. When dealing with such issues many Protestants speak up when it seems the Gospel is at stake. Other Protestants don’t always take to kindly to this. It seems no big deal to them to partner with others such as Roman Catholics. Some Protestants have even endorsed books by

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Thumbnail image for Metro Atlanta Apologetics conference with James White

Metro Atlanta Apologetics conference with James White

Christianity – A Faith Worth Defending Dr. James White James White will be giving a FREE Christian apologetics conference in the Metro Atlanta area. The details are below. I plan

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Thumbnail image for Do Scott Hahn’s Book Endorsements Offer Protestants Validity?

Do Scott Hahn’s Book Endorsements Offer Protestants Validity?

Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI by Scott Hahn has a few Protestant endorsements. The biggest stir was caused by Michael Horton’s endorsement. People are asking – Why endorse such a book? Would the Apostle Paul have endorsed a book on metaphysics by Aristotle? Dr. Horton has responded in his post Horton on Hahn. He explained that

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Thumbnail image for Trent: Let Me Be Anathema

Trent: Let Me Be Anathema

The sixth session of the Council of Trent,the Canons Concerning Justification, anathematizes me how many times? Else where in the meta Dan Phillips mentioned to me that we should have a contest. “How many Romish anathemas can you rack up?” I decided to count the number of anathemas that I am under from the 33 canons on justification. My count is

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Thumbnail image for One Nation Under A Mormon God?

One Nation Under A Mormon God?

The painting One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton promotes a Mormon author. My initial reaction to the painting was that another Christian is using Jesus and the Bible for political propaganda. It seems I was wrong. The evidence points to the artist, Jon McNaughton, as being a Mormon. The name Jon McNaughton can also be found as a speaker at several Book of Mormon Prophecies Conferences. The photo on the left is taken from McNaughton’s online image of the painting using the zoom feature. As the caption indicates the book on display is The 5000 Year Leap by Mormon …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Q&A with Atlanta Church Planter Leonce Crump, Jr.

Q&A with Atlanta Church Planter Leonce Crump, Jr.

The name Leonce Crump, Jr. may be familiar to some as All-American Oklahoma Sooner wrestler, Sooner defensive tackle or professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. Today, Crump can be found in Atlanta, GA not as a sportsman, but as a churchman. This godly man has a heart for Jesus to match his 6’ 4” former heavyweight wrestling frame. Crump is in the process of planting Renovation Church in downtown Atlanta. He was gracious enough to make some time for lunch and to answer some questions for me. Mark Lamprecht: Describe how you came to vocational ministry. Leonce Crump, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Book Review: Christianity in Crisis The 21st Century

Book Review: Christianity in Crisis The 21st Century

Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century By Hank Hanegraaff.  Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009. 432 pages. Hank Hanegraaff has updated the 1993 edition of Christianity in Crisis to keep up with the “Word of Faith” movement and its teachers. The author exposes the continued growth and danger of these teachings. The book is divided into seven parts and three appendices. It is well documented with 54 pages of footnotes and 17 pages of bibliography. In his usual style, the author provides several acronyms to help the reader remember key themes. In this edition, Hanegraaff leaves

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Thumbnail image for Westboro Baptist Revealed:  Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed

Westboro Baptist Revealed: Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed

If the messages on the signs are not disturbing enough, how about the people holding them? They are children! My heart breaks to see a picture like this just hoping it is a photo-shopped picture. Unfortunately, it is not. Last week I wrote Westboro Baptist To Share Hate In Atlanta to give folks a heads up. There are several recent church plants in Atlanta that are trying to save the city, so to speak, that it is sad that the Westboro folks come here allegedly in the name of Christ. It just ruins the witness of what Christians are seeking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

A Conversation with Dr. Robert Schuller* The following are highlights from a two hour discussion between Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Michael Horton on the White Horse Inn radio broadcast, Nov. 1992. Michael Horton: Would you be willing to address your congregation as a group as sinners? Robert Schuller: No I don’t think I need to do that. First of all, my congregation is a very mixed audience. MH: But our Lord’s audiences were mixed with disciples and unbelievers both. RS: Oh yes, but I’ll tell you, the audience is quite different that I talk to than what the Lord …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for De-baptism Thoughts

De-baptism Thoughts

The title of a recent USA Today article says it all Atheists choose ‘de-baptism’ to renounce childhood faith. I’m not sure that Hemingway could have said it better. When a person becomes a Christian they repent and believe the Gospel. There is a renunciation of the previous life and a proclamation that we belong to Jesus. I imagine this is why we see this reverse of events as far as these de-baptisms go. This is actually another borrowing of the Christian worldview by atheists. Of course, they had another religious element, a de-sacrament.

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Thumbnail image for Gospel Coalition or Assertions?

Gospel Coalition or Assertions?

David Fitch has asked if we agree or disagree with his views on the work of The Gospel Coalition (TGC).  His views are expressed at Christianity Today’s Out of Ur blog post: Gospel Coalition or Expedition? How effective will The Gospel Coalition be in post-Christendom? One of the problems with Fitch’s approach can be seen in his introduction. 

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Thumbnail image for Dear President Obama – No!

Dear President Obama – No!

Amen! Spread the word. The world needs to watch.

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Thumbnail image for Angels and Demons A Novel Idea

Angels and Demons A Novel Idea

The folks at Westminster Seminary have shined some light for truth.  They’ve put together a great new site responding to the movie “Angels and Demons” based on Dan Brown’s novel.  The site is The Truth About Angels & Demons.

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How James White Made Me Roman Catholic

This will come as a shock to many of you who know the work of James White and team concerning Roman Catholicism as well as those who know me.  I’ve been acquainted with Dr. White since 2001 and he did something very special for my family in the years following. He’s helped me a lot in my faith, but through all of his apologetics I fear he’s driven me to become Roman Catholic.  I know he’s received emails and such telling him that the Protestant doctrine of Scripture Alone drove them to Rome.  However, that didn’t drive me.  That would …keep reading »

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Talking Theology with Non-Christians: Contextualization

Mention the word contextualization today and that spark ignites a fire among the evangelical crowd.  Christians do need to be able to communicate with non-Christians.  There may be some forms of what people call contextualization that go too far though.  Whatever you call it I believe Van Til expresses well our need to bridge the communication gap.  While Van Til is speaking within the realm of apologetics proper the quote below is applicable for all Christians when engaging non-Christians. Men in general do not use or even know our theological terms.  But, to the extent that they are educated, they …keep reading »

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LifeWay Reads With Discernment

Update: The Baptist Standard reported that LifeWay backs off ‘read with discernment’ label for books. Apparently the label was irrelevant to their customers. So all of the links below have been removed since they were dead. LifeWay, the Christian bookstore of the Southern Baptist Convention, has a new warning label out. It’s called Read With Discernment.  You can read more about it at their Read With Discernment page where they explain what they’re doing. Our Challenge to be Discerning We want you to know that the authors of books marked Read with Discernment may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts …keep reading »

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The Shack On Issues Etc

This week Pastor Todd Wilken took some time to review much discussed book The Shack. He plays the sounds clips from the audio version of the book and comments.  I’ve provided the audio below.  It’s definitely worth listening to Pastor Wilken’s excellent comments. While Pastor Wilken mentions a few good aspects of the book he finds a four fold problem with The Shack. 1. A distorted view of the Trinity along the lines of patripassianism. 2. Problem of authority and revelation of the Bible.  The Bible is essentially put on par with natural revelation. 3. An author trick.  The main …keep reading »

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Christless Christianity Q and A With Michael Horton

On October 31 Michael Horton appeared live on washingtonpost.com’s Viewpoint.  Horton was answering questions about his new book Christless Christianity that was released on November 1.  The book has been doing well selling over 7,000 copies and the live chat at Viewpoint was the best so far.  This is great news!  It would be nice if a book like this would have some impact in the same way Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.  For some reason though, I just don’t think I will be driving by various churches with Christless Christianty Study displayed on their signs. If you’re unsure about getting …keep reading »

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Roman Catholic Evangelism

My last post was to make folks aware of Michael Horton’s forthcoming book Christless Christianity.  I believe this will be an important book for evangelical churches.  This post is about another forthcoming book that I am not excited about.  One that Horton’s book should be in opposition to.  Frank Beckwith’s Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic (RtR) which is set to be published in November 2008. The publisher of RtR, BrazosPress, has released some endorsements for the book.  To my surprise there are some protestants endorsing the book. Should I be surprised? Protestants are endorsing a book about …keep reading »

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Christianity Without Christ?

What happens when we take Christ out of Christianity?  That’s the question Michael Horton asks in his new book Christless Christianity.  This book follows this year’s theme of “Christless Christianity” on the White Horse Inn radio show.  I was excited when I first got the email about the book.  Then I read that this discounted offering includes a two DVD set as well which has four sessions.  I imagine that this package could be an excellent small-group (or large) resource.  For more information including audio and sample video go to the Christless Christianity website. Is it possible that we have …keep reading »

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Dissent from Darwinism

What do 700+ scienctists have in common?  They’ve all signed the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list. Who gets to sign the list? Signers of the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism must either hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the other natural sciences; or they must hold an M.D. and serve as a professor of medicine. Signers must also agree with the following statement: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence …keep reading »

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The Shack Is Only Fiction?

I wanted to take a few moments to respond to some of the comments from one of my posts The Shack Review. Interesting review. Unfortunately, I think it not only misses the point of the book but seems to find criticism for the sake of criticism. Advice to Christians to be discerning is excellent. However, understanding must accompany discernment. The review seems short on understanding. Criticism is found for the sake of being accurate as to how God has revealed Himself through Scripture.  It seems that those promoting and praising The Shack seem to be short on understanding discernment.  Even …keep reading »

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Big Bang Recreated!

Look at the screen at the bottom left.  See the small white spot in the center?  That’s the Big Bang in action!  You can read the whole story and watch the short video by going directly to the article: Scientists cheer as protons complete first circuit of Big Bang machine This has got to be a very exciting experiment for many, especially, for those involved.  At a cost of £3.6 billion I certainly hope so.  For those of us in the U.S. that’s about $6.36 billion.  As the article states this is the “biggest and most expensive civilian experiment in …keep reading »

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The Metaphorical Safety of The Shack

So far I have two reviews of The Shack posted.  One, The Shack Review, by a dear brother and fellow church member Wayne Elliott.  The other, Uncovering The Shack, by local yet widely known Pastor Michael Youseff. Now, I have another dear brother who I recently had a good Southern Baptist dinner with.  For folks not in the know, that’s Wednesday night dinner in the fellowship hall.  This brother understood the nuances and concerns of The Shack.  He kept this in mind while reading The Shack and, therefore, enjoyed the book without worrying about heretical persuasions.  I certainly appreciate this …keep reading »

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Flew Names Dawkins A Secularist Bigot

The God Delusion by the atheist writer Richard Dawkins, is remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies. But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents – or rather lack of contents – of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot. (Helpfully, my copy of The Oxford Dictionary defines a bigot as ‘an obstinate or intolerant adherent of a point of view’). Read the whole article. Flew …keep reading »

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Uncovering The Shack

My fellow church member bro. Wayne whose review of The Shack I recently posted informed me of another review of The Shack.  Michael Youssef, pastor of Church of the Apostles, one of our neighboring churches, has reviewed The Shack in a recent sermon. Dr. Youseff’s review, Uncovering The Shack, can be downloaded directly on mp3 here.  There is also an iTunes feed if you’re interested.  He actually stopped in the middle of a sermon series to review this book because he thought it was that important. Dr. Youseff begins, “In the 33 years since I’ve was ordained to the ministry, …keep reading »

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Faith and Reason

Without faith reasoning becomes impossible.  So do I believe this on the basis of reason or faith?  Well, it all depends on how you want to state it.  I believe it on the basis of faith, but faith which saves reasoning and, therefore, it’s the most reasonable thing to do.  So that’s my reason for having faith.  Is my intellect my ultimate authority then?  No, faith and the word of the Lord is.  And my reason for holding to that is, reason itself is destroyed if you don’t. Do you have faith or do you have reason, Dr. Bahnsen, for …keep reading »

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Modalism Revisted: Phillips, Craig & Dean

Modalism probably hasn’t been a hot topic lately, but there is some new (to me at least) and concrete information on Phillips, Craig and Dean’s position on their position on the Trinity. If you search and read the various apologetic websites you’ll find how tough it was for many to get straight answers on their position on the doctrine of the Trinity. The PC&D website, for example, doesn’t have a statement of faith. Taking a look at their church websites doesn’t make finding their beliefs too much easier. On Dan Dean’s The Heartland Church I can find no statement of …keep reading »

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Catholic Priest Speaks of Justification by Faith

Hat tip to Dr. White for his link to the article. First read the article. It’s very interesting. Then, visit Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa’s sermon in question which you can find from his homepage. This sermon is actually part 3 of 3 meditations. I don’t have much time so I am going to pick out a few quotes. Nevertheless, from this moment in which the Protestants insisted unilaterally on faith, Catholic preaching and spirituality ended up accepting the nearly exclusive and thankless work of calling to mind the need for good works and of one’s personal contribution to salvation. The …keep reading »

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End of the Spear preliminary thoughts

There has been talk about the blog-o-sphere concerning the lead character in the new movie End of the Spear. In “real life” the actor who plays this character is a homosexual. I should say their are disagreements over whether or not a homosexual should have played this part. I just want to ask one question for those supporting a homosexual in this role. How would you feel if your favorite theologian/evangelist (i.e. Luther, Calvin, CH Spurgeon, Edwards, Knox, Wesley, Augustine, etc.) were potrayed in a biographical movie by Hugh Hefner?

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Dr. James White vs. John Shelby Spong on homosexuality

The 2006 AOMin Cruise’s theme is Pulpit Crimes: The Criminal Mishandling of God’s Word. As usual, a day or so prior to the cruise a formal debate takes place. This year it will be Dr. White debating Bishop Spong. The debate: IS HOMOSEXUALITY COMPATIBLE WITH AUTHENTIC, BIBLICAL, ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY? will take place on November 3, 2006 at 7pm. Should be a great one!

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Grace No More

In a recent Barna Group article the title One-Quarter of Self-Described Born Again Adults Rely On Means Other Than Grace to Get to Heaven says it all. It’s an interesting read. The article states Overall, 80% of adults in the U.S. call themselves “Christian.” In comparison, the phrase “a committed Christian” is embraced by two out of every three adults (68%). The words “born again Christian” are adopted by just less than half of the population (45%). Why should these three descriptions have different connotations? I do understand to a point since we do use qualifiers in language. But c’mon! …keep reading »

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Please welcome James Swan to the blogging world!

I have known/interacted with James Swan on the net for probably around four years. Well, now our friend has decided to join the blogging world with his new blog Beggars All: Reformation and Apologetics. Glad to see he’s making time to join the bloggers. I believe he can contribute much to the blogging world. He’s written some good papers on Luther that I linked too recently and is usually a good read. Just read this blog first and his posts will always be a good read. So…the original “TertiumQuid”…asked if I would promote his blog. Of course I will! Although, …keep reading »

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Moore, Pearce, Camp and a Lecture

I read through Steve Camp’s The Top Ten Turkey Awards of 2005 and his post Double standards. Number eight on the list is Russell Moore (the Henry Institute and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) for having Roman Catholic Joseph Pearce speak at the Gheens Lectures. Dr. Moore is, however, a very solid theologian. These lectures are not tough to track down so you can listen to them. Russell Moore actually posted about the whole event here. Dr. Moore makes no bones about Joseph Pearce being a professor at Ave Maria University is in the blog post. So he isn’t trying to …keep reading »

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Islamic Calvinists: Flattery through imitation?

First, I want to say that this is truly not flattery as they are not imitating Calvinism merely stealing the name. Second, I am glad, but surprised that the anti-Calvinists out there haven’t used this information to try and discredit Calvinism. Give them time though. III. ISLAMIC CALVINISTS A. Max Weber in Kayseri No visitor to Kayseri could fail to notice that this is both a deeply religious society, and one where change and modernisation are eagerly embraced. There is a large new mosque in the centre of the university, and an even larger one in the industrial zone, where …keep reading »

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The Albert Mohler Program

I listened to The Albert Mohler Program episode entitled The Pope: Taking the Measure of the Man. This is just a part of the program where he answers a caller’s question about the Pope’s salvation. Mohler said some interesting things and did not sacrifice the truth in order to be politically correct. Dr. Mohler said that we are justified by faith alone and not faith plus works or anything else. And that the only righteousness that will save you is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. While defending sola fide he also said that we don’t believe we are saved …keep reading »

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Interesting statements by Marvin Wilson

In light of recent interest and discussions of Marvin Wilson and “block logic” I have been looking around for some info on Dr. Wilson. I have his book Our Father Abraham. Before getting to the interesting statements I found here are a couple examples of block logic that Wilson gives in this book. The prophets teach that God is both wrathful and merciful (Isa. 45:7; Hab. 3:2). The New Testament refers to Jesus as the “Lamb of God” and the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (John 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:5). Then he goes on to state: Consideration of certain …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Just got back from visiting with Dr. James White

Just got back from visiting with Dr. James White

What a wonderful weekend with great fellowship and bright sweaters. Saturday we received apologetic teaching against the Da Vinci Code and post modernism. Then, we had a some great fellowship over dinner at Pastor Randy’s house. Sunday morning arrived and Dr. White taught Sunday School as well as preached the sermon while our friend Colin(cds) played wonderfully on the piano. In Sunday School we learned ways to defend the Deity of Christ against Jehovah’s Witness’ using their own NWT. Then Dr. White gave a great sermon on John 6. We finished the day off with a luncheon at the church. …keep reading »

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Responding to unbelievers and taking communion

My words will be in regular text formating while the words from the article will be in blockquote and intalicized. Dear J. R., Thank you for your letter and insightful questions. I will attempt to answer your first question in this weeks ATP, and the other two over the next week (or two). The first question from the link is: Pastor Sofia, I have been attending GCCC for 8 months now. I have a few questions that I would like you to clarify for me. 1) I have noticed that before communion is distributed, it is not stipulated that this …keep reading »

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