Reddit Questions #1 – Prayer, beginner Bible reading, and imaginary friends I have recently joined the throngs at Reddit (look for greggpj333), and one of the subreddits I am a member of is a place where non-believers can ask honest questions of believers. I have been active in this subreddit and wanted to publish some …
The devotional I gave at my mother's wedding.
The Kingdom of God has not come to its full reality. Revelation 20-21 describes the Kingdom of God in its fullness. Jesus returns and sets everything to rights. There is new Creation with a new Heaven (where God’s presence dwells eternally) and a new Earth (His very good creation). The sin of our first parents damaged the connection between God’s presence and His creation. In those two chapters, God finishes the reclamation project started in Genesis and reclaims His people as His own. His people are then put in charge of this New Creation to enjoy His works eternally and steward His New Creation. But that is the “not yet.”
The great British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said that "The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact." The human condition of war is evidence of that. War involves pain. War involves sacrifice. War involves death. While war is identifiable, the pain, sacrifice, and death are the results of the kingdom of the enemy. That is what is resisted.
Here is Part 1 of a four part series on how to study the Bible. This part looks into "What is this Book?" We look at how the Bible came together, the Septuagint, Old and New Testament.
As a way to share my love of reading and learning, I am going to start giving lists of my top 10 books in different categories. In this edition, I will cover books based on Bible study. It is heavy with New Testament resources because that is my area of expertise.
I have a presence on social media, but I am careful with what I consume in that arena. One of the elements of social media that annoy me in particular is MEMEs. If you don’t know, a MEME is a picture or a graphic that has a short saying to make a point. Sometimes they are funny, but most times, they are profoundly annoying and terribly incorrect. Fallacies abound, and false information is ubiquitous. Therefore, I thought I would start a series breaking down some MEMEs that especially irk me. With that, let’s get to this edition’s disaster.
So far, in this series, we have looked at the Kingdom of God from many different angles. In this edition, I want to take a look at a steam of Parables in Matthew 13 that speaks directly to the nature of the Kingdom of God
Here is part three of the program finishing Dick May's testimony. Charlie Hirt has an amazing testimony and I am sure you will be blessed with his words.
As I mentioned last week I am taking a bit of a writing break. Here is the second part of the interview continuing with Ron Malionek and the first part of Pastor Dick May. Dick was an amazing guy who shared Jesus with thousands of people. He had a special gift of evangelism and had no fear in sharing the Gospel. We graduated into eternity a few years ago and I miss him.
While I am on a writing break, I thought I would give some videos of some friends of mine who are members of CMA and appeared on a Local Access program in Gloucester, MA in 2009. Sherm Derring is first and he was our chapter's Road Captain at the time. He has an awesome testimony. Ron Malionek was President of our chapter at the time and is a very dear friend of mine. I had the honor of playing electric and acoustic guitar on his CD. These videos are dear to me.
My kids are grown now. Both have moved out of the house and are living lives that are independent of their parents. I am exceedingly proud of my kids and what they have accomplished in their lives. But in that pride is a bit of sorrow. I miss picking up my daughter and her beeping my nose, saying, with a laugh, “Boopies, I got you first!” I miss having deep conversations with my then four-year-old son. “Daddy, what ‘cuz the world to go in circles around the sun?” Yes, they had their times of disobedience, and they needed to be corrected from time to time. However, those memories have faded into the past. Mostly what remains are memories of happy, joyous times with my children.
The question remains, what is the role of the Torah given the resurrection and ascension?
Though the Old Testament, the Law, Torah enabled the people of Israel to have identification as a nation, know the character of YHWH, and have a moral/ceremonial/legal code of conduct, it could not offer complete salvation until the person and work of Jesus and the arrival of the new law, the Holy Spirit.
Until recently, I had never read any of Henri Nouwen’s work. I have a feeling that my choice of starting with The Return of the Prodigal Son was an excellent place to start. Nouwen’s reflections on not just the parable Jesus told in Luke 15, but also reflections on the famous painting by Rembrandt. Tying in these two elements, I was deeply challenged by Nouwen to reflect on the three main characters in the story: the younger son, the elder son, and the father.
For this series on the Kingdom of God, we have seen how the Kingdom of God is something that is both now and future, that we live in the Kingdom by following Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes, that the gospel is not just when we die we go to Heaven but is centered on the work of Jesus, and that we can approach the throne of the King in prayer. This installment, I want to focus on the fact that there is only one King
In John 20, Jesus does something entirely unexpected. The resurrection itself was quite surprising, but now, in the upper room, Jesus breaths on the disciples and states, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22 (CSB). This essay will review the background understanding of the Holy Spirit for the Jewish disciples, exegesis of John 20:21-23 with observations and interpretations, and conclude with an application.
If the Mormon claim is correct and the church was apostate after the death of the disciples, then there are many ramifications of that fact.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormon interchangeably) holds many doctrines and beliefs that are contrary to orthodox Christian faith. The nature of God, who Jesus was, and the authority of Scripture, are among a legion of theological positions that separate Mormons from traditional Christian thought. Among these many differences is the Mormon claim that the church ceased to exist as an orthodox body after the death of the apostles.
We are amid some extraordinary days. We rolled into 2020 with high hopes and dreams. For me, I was looking forward to Memorial Day Holiday and NASCAR in Charlotte. I was also looking forward to seeing one of my favorite bands, the Doobie Brothers, on their 50th-anniversary tour. I love gathering with my CMA chapter and with the bodies of two different churches. But now, many of those things are gone, and others have been drastically altered.
Francis Shaeffer was an apologist who blazed the trail for many modern apologists. While apologists of his time were mostly academics in their ministerial approach, Shaeffer took not only a theoretical approach but also a populist approach.
One of the main goals of any world view is addressing the question of suffering and evil. Alvin Plantinga takes an approach that stresses the free will of the individual as an explanation.
In my last blog post, I went through Ephesians 1:1-14 and the concept of freely choosing to join the predetermined group. In a discussion of free will, my Calvinist brothers and sisters may bring up this verse, also from Ephesians.
When the British, Canadian, and American soldiers invaded Normandy on D-day, they knew what army they belonged to. Although some, if not most, had been conscripted for duty, it is undeniable that most of the soldiers involved in that day were there of their own volition. They wanted to be there.
Whether the commands are good unto themselves or good because of theistic declaration seems to be a “chicken and egg” argument, but it is not. Copan addresses the question by first stating that “objective moral values are an inescapable, properly basic bedrock.”