Reason to Believe
Because Eternity is a Long Time to be Wrong.
Monday, March 02, 2015
Two Rows by the Sea
While the world reacted in horror, Egyptian Christians saw an opportunity – An opportunity to share Jesus. Within days they put together this simple, but powerful brochure (this is the English version).
It was a basic pamphlet. Four questions, five Bible passages, and this simple text:
"Two rows of men walked the shore
of the sea,
On a day when the world’s tears
would run free,
One a row of assassins, who
thought they did right,
The other of innocents, true sons
of the light,
One holding knives in hands held
The other with hands empty,
defenseless and tied,
One row of slits to conceal glaring
The other with living eyes raised
to the skies,
One row stood steady, pall-bearers
The other knelt ready, welcoming
One row spewed wretched,
The other spread God-given peace
Who fears the other?
The row in orange, watching
Or the row in black, with minds
evil and broken?"
So I ask “Who are the true victims?”
Friday, December 27, 2013
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Tough Questions about Faith and Darwinian Evolution
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Long Time No See
Monday, September 26, 2011
Just One Question....
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Oprah Winfrey and the One World Church
Considering how many millions of followers she has, it is worth taking five minutes to develop a good understanding of her spiritual beliefs so you will know the truth next time her name comes up at the water cooler.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Men Who've Had Abortions
The following was written by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It appeared on his blog on January 8, 2008.
A new voice is emerging in the abortion debate, and this voice is a powerful witness to the tragedy of killing the unborn. This voice is the voice of the fathers of abortion.
"We had abortions. . . . I've had abortions," says Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor and participant in arranging four abortions. Morrow was speaking to a gathering of men who have become antiabortion activists through reflection on their own experiences and their own lost children.
Stephanie Simon of The Los Angeles Times provides a report on this new movement in "Changing Abortion's Pronoun," published in the January 7, 2008 edition of the paper. Here is her introduction to the story:
Jason Baier talks often to the little boy he calls Jamie. He imagines this boy -- his son -- with blond hair and green eyes, chubby cheeks, a sweet smile. But he'll never know for sure. His fiancee's sister told him about the abortion after it was over. Baier remembers that he cried. The next weeks and months go black. He knows he drank far too much. He and his fiancee fought until they broke up. "I hated the world," he said. Baier, 36, still longs for the child who might have been, with an intensity that bewilders him: "How can I miss something I never even held?"
That question haunts many men, as Simon's report makes clear. These men are raising their voices against abortion and the Culture of Death, and they call themselves "post-abortive men." As Simon explains, "Abortion is usually portrayed as a woman's issue: her body, her choice, her relief or her regret. This new movement -- both political and deeply personal in nature -- contends that the pronoun is all wrong."
The concept of "post-abortion syndrome" has gained currency in recent years as women who have experienced abortions speak of their trauma and pain. As the paper's report acknowledges, these reports of post-abortion pain and deep distress were cited in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision allowing the government to ban partial-birth abortions.
The focus on the voices of men is new, but it reveals again that abortion takes a toll on all concerned, including those who are the fathers of aborted babies. The stories vary with the individuals involved. Some of these "post-abortive men" demanded and facilitated the abortion, others never knew of the pregnancy until it was too late.
More from Mark Morrow:
Morrow, the counselor, described his regret as sneaking up on him in midlife -- more than a decade after he impregnated three girlfriends (one of them twice) in quick succession in the late 1980s. All four pregnancies ended in abortion. Years later, when his wife told him she was pregnant, "I suddenly realized that I had four dead children," said Morrow, 47, who lives near Erie, Pa. "I hadn't given it a thought. Now it all came crashing down on me -- look what you've done." A few months ago, Morrow reached out to the ex-girlfriend who aborted twice. They met and prayed together, seeking peace. After they parted, she spilled her anger in a letter: "That long day we sat in that God-forsaken clinic, I hoped every moment that you would stand up and say, 'We can't do this'. . . but you didn't."
"Look what you've done." Those words come with a haunting sense of reality, guilt, and grief. These voices are also causing concern among abortion rights advocates. As Simon reports:
Abortion rights supporters watch this latest mobilization warily: If anecdotes from grieving women can move the Supreme Court, what will testimony about men's pain accomplish? "They can potentially shift the entire debate," said Marjorie Signer of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an interfaith group that supports abortion rights.
We can only respond with the hope that she is right. While the primary focus of the pro-life movement should be on the unborn baby who deserves to be born, a focus on the effects of abortion on both the women and the men involved holds the potential of reaching more minds and hearts.
A new voice is being heard in the abortion debate -- and it's about time.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel
This book follows the same format as the other books in the series in that Strobel begins each chapter with a story from his life as an investigative reporter, poses his question, and then interviews an expert in order to seek out an answer.
From the recent production of The Da Vinci Code to Islam’s denial of Jesus’ resurrection, the constant bombardment of attacks on the historical Jesus is a reality in American culture today.
In The Case for the Real Jesus, Strobel addresses six of the most common assertions against Jesus. Those questions are:
1. Scholars Are Uncovering a Radically Different Jesus in Ancient Documents Just as credible as the Four Gospels.
• This chapter deals with issues such as the Gnostic gospels, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, The Gospel of Mary, and many others.
2. The Bible’s Portrait of Jesus Can’t Be Trusted Because the Church Tampered with the Text.
• This chapter deals with areas of textual criticism, has the Bible been changed, alleged contradictions and errors.
3. New Explanations Have Refuted Jesus’ Resurrection.
• In this chapter, Michael Licona presents a 5 point argument defending the resurrection.
4. The Cross-Examination.
• Lee attempts to counter Licona’s arguments defending the resurrection, and presents alternative theories including the Islamic view of the resurrection.
5. Christianity’s Beliefs about Jesus Were Copied from Pagan Religions.
• This chapter of the book examines the story of Jesus compared to other pagan gods such as Mithras, Dionysius and others.
6. Jesus Was an Imposter Who Failed to Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies.
• A close look at who the Messiah was to be, the system of sacrifice used in Ancient Israel, and what requirements the Messiah was to fulfill are all addressed in this chapter.
7. People Should Be Free to Pick and Choose What to Believe about Jesus.
• Questions such as “what is truth?”, statements such as “All religions are equal” and a close look at postmodern thought are all examined here.
All things considered I really enjoyed this book (especially the Islamic Catch-22 explain on page 132). I really appreciate how Strobel is able to take complicated concepts, such as postmodern thought, and present them in a way for all to understand. This book is timely and relevant to today’s world. Some parts of the book seemed like they were written quickly to meet a publisher’s deadline but the chapter on the resurrection of Jesus alone, was worth the price of the book.
If you enjoy contemporary apologetics or are seeking answers to discover who Jesus really is in light of “new discoveries”, I’d recommend this book.
Timely and Relevant Questions
Clearly written and easily able to be understood by all
This book didn’t have discussion questions at the end of the chapters the way his previous ones did.
Zondervan went a little heavy on the promotion for Strobel’s other books.
You can purchase this book from Amazon.com by Clicking Here.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Just Stop and Think
I'd highly encourage you to check it out. It's about 15 minutes long and could change your life forever.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."
I thought about it again this morning. I was doing some research and thumbing through Josh McDowell's classic apologetic Evidence that Demands a Verdict. In reference to the late D. James Kennedy and Jerry Necombe's book What if Jesus had never been born?, McDowell pens the following:
They [Kennedy and Necombe] begin with the assumption that the church, the body of Christ, is Jesus’ primary legacy to the world. Then they examine what has happened in history that displays the influence of the church. Here are a few highlights they site:
- Hospitals, which essentially began during the middle ages
- Universities, which also began during the middle ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started by Christians for Christian purposes
- Literacy and education of the masses
- Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment
- The separation of political powers
- Civil liberties
- The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in modern times
- Modern science
- The discovery of the new world by
- Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic
- Higher standards of justice
- The elevation of the common man
- The high regard for human life
- The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures
- The codifying and setting to writing of many of the worlds languages
- The greater development of art an music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
- The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel
- The eternal salvation of countless souls
Have there been abuses by the church? Unfortunately yes, no one is denying that. But to say radical Christianity is as dangerous as radical Islam, well, I'll let you be the judge of that.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Did They Really Say That? # 3
The consequences of our worldviews are very real.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Small Change to the Site
1. Click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of the page to see the next 25 posts
2. Use the Table of Contents on the middle of the right side of the page
3. Use the search bar at the top right side of the page
This should make the load times much, much quicker.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Beqaa Valley and the Cedars of Lebanon
Now these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the sons of Israel defeated beyond the Jordan toward the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even as far as Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir; and Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, - Joshua 12:7
During our travel into the Beqaa Valley we went up into the mountains and saw the cedars of Lebanon. These trees are phenomenally beautiful and smell fantastic (see Hosea 14:6). I think each of us were a little bit surprised at how majestic these trees are. Truly fitting to be used to craft the Lord’s temple in
Through your servants you have reproached the Lord, And you have said, 'With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, To the remotest parts of
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. - Psalm 29:5
This statue was located in the center of town during the years of the Lebanese Civil War. Looking closely you can see that it is completely covered with bullet holes from the war.
After the civil war the government spent 31 billion dollars to rebuild downtown Beirut. However, fear of car bombs grips the hearts of many in Beirut and the downtown area, including the Parliament building (shown above) remains a ghost town except for the soldiers who are stationed every hundred yards [soldiers not photographed].
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Moses, Baby Jesus and the Pyramids
Beating the heat turned out to be harder than I anticipated. Even early in the morning it is already roasting. In the past I had often wondered "What are the Israelites problem? God rescued them from Egypt and all they do is complain and turn to idols. What is the deal?
After having now been to Egypt
We first went to the alleged location that baby Moses was found hiding amongst the reeds of the Nile:
Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the
Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nileto bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" "Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."
- Exodus 2:1-10
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to
. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt , where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." - Matthew 2:13-15 Egypt
The exact location where Jesus and his family hid. There is now a church over the location so the marble floors were added after Jesus was gone. I am also skeptical about this site but the Egyptian Antiquities Department has certified it as legitimate.
Garbage City and the Cave Church
In Cairo, for one reason or another, the Muslims will not work as trash collectors. Perhaps it has to do with their religious beliefs or maybe because as the majority population, they just refuse to do such a disgusting job. Whatever the reason, the job falls to the Christians.
Driving through the dump I discovered that this wasn't just a place to work, it was where they lived. You can imagine the incredible stench produced when garbage from a city of 16 million is piled together and bakes in the sun in temperatures above 115 degrees. Yet the Christians complete their work, many with smiles on their face.
I ponder the reason for these smiles. Surely it isn't that they enjoy their circumstances. Perhaps it is because they have discovered the difference between happiness (which is a temporary emotion) and joy (which is the assurance of their salvation and anticipation of being with Jesus).
But, as he always is, God is at work. One must drive through Garbage City to come to the cave church. A massive church cut deep into a rock of sheer limestone. You can tell from the photos how big the place is. What you can't see is that the church conducts services every day of the week, filled to capacity.
I just returned from a trip to the Middle East that was absolutely incredible. Most of the Christians I worked with, are very active in the underground church all over the Middle East so as I hope you understand, for their safety, I cannot show any pictures of them, their ministry, or anything that could potentially put them at risk.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Most likely it's all of the above.
That needs to change.
It's reality check time: Take a moment to watch this video. Don't just watch it for entertainment's sake, but listen to the words and really understand what's going on. For millions of people, your neighbors, acquaintances, and co-workers, this is real life.
Watch this video and than take a moment to absorb it. Then ask yourself "Who am I most like?" The question is NOT "Who do I wish I was?" or "Who am I supposed to be?" but "Who are you really like?"
I sadly suspect that you are just like me.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Photos from the Holy Lands
Todd Bolen is a Professor of Biblical Studies in Israel. Over the past 10 years, Todd has traveled to virtually every place mentioned in the Bible numerous times. (Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration but it sure seems like it). Each time he goes he takes new photographs so that he always has the best possible photographs (since conditions change) of a biblical site.
Todd has compiled thousands of these photographs into digital format and many can be viewed for free by visiting Bibleplaces.com and then clicking on "The Sites." Here you can peruse many of the photographs. But if you're like me, you want more.
When I returned from my trip I discovered that several of my photos didn't turn out the way I wanted. The lighting was bad or I was at the wrong angle. After speaking with my professor, I discovered that from Bibleplaces.com you can purchase the complete collection of photographs from the Holy Lands for a very reasonable price ($189.00 USD I believe - CLICKING HERE will take you to the ordering page).
I chose the 2 DVDs instead of the 10 CDs and when they arrived in the mail I was blown away. Not only were all the photos there, neatly organized by location for easy reference, but there was so much more. Perhaps the best "bonus" feature was that every location had a fully prepared Powerpoint presentation already made. The slides of the Powerpoint already contained the photos and their locations (so you know what you're looking at) and many of them had tons of information written in the notes section. Theoretically you could insert the disk, open up Powerpoint and begin teaching.
I've never met Todd personally and I have nothing to personally gain by endorsing these products, but I cannot articulate how highly I recommend these discs. Reading about a place in my Bible and then being able to visually see that exact location has really taken my study to the next level.
If you are in a teaching position or are a visual learner, like myself, these discs should be a mandatory part of your reference library, but you don't have to take just my word for it.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Free E-Newsletters from Christianity Today
You'll probably find one you like. You can check them out here:
Monday, April 02, 2007
Why I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus
This presentation was much more in depth and therefore a bit more heavy and intellectual than my series on the resurrection, so some readers may prefer just to read the series.
You can find a copy of my outline from last night's presentation HERE or click on the link under the "Topical papers" section.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Paradigms in Conflict: 10 Key Questions in Christian Missions Today by David Hesselgrave
Sovereignty and Free Will
Are there Other Ways to Heaven?
Who is our Missionary Model: Jesus or Paul?
Do Missionaries get Called Individually or is there a Universal Divine Calling?
Due to my work with a mission’s organization, I am privy to see many of the issues addressed by Hesselgrave worked out on a daily basis so I can attest to the legitimacy of these issues.
What I really like about Hesselgrave’s approach is that he clearly and accurately (albeit briefly in some cases) presents both points of view and then runs them through a biblical analysis.
While many of these issues are very complex and one chapter from this book simply just cannot present every single detail, it does do a great job of giving an overview to some of the very real struggles facing missions today.
This book is very easy to read and Hesslegrave does a great job explaining what the issues are as well as the history that led up to their controversies.
If you are interested in, or find yourself wrestling with difficult contemporary issues in missions today, you will enjoy this book.
Hesselgrave more often than not takes a more conservative view as his conclusion so if you find yourself at odds with his view, you may find yourself squirming in your seat as you read.
You can buy the book by CLICKING HERE
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Generation Ex: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of Our Pain by Jen Abbas
Another way to look at it is like this; as summer rolls around and the wedding season gears up, you may be invited to several weddings. At each and every wedding you attend, as the couple begins to recite their vows of love and commitment for each other, pull out a small coin from your pocket and flip it into the air. Heads the couple will stay together and tails they won’t.
I'm not trying to be cynical, rather that is the sad reality of our culture. But what is even more devastating is the impact that divorce will have on their children. As we move from a generation where a divorce was a cause for public shame, to a generation where divorce is accepted and oftentimes encouraged, we are just now beginning to see some of the consequences the decision to divorce has.
“Adult children of divorce” (ACOD) is the term given to those whose parents have divorced (when they were children or adults) and are now adults preparing for, or are already in a committed marriage. Many of these ACODs are just now beginning to see the traumatic effects their parents divorce have had on them.From the back cover:
Finally, a book for adult children of divorce, written by an adult child of divorce.
One of the hardest truths about divorce is that every split – no matter when it occurs – will have lifelong effects on the children caught in the crossfire. While most people acknowledge our pain during our parents’ parting, few of us realize that our most significant insecurities, questions, and doubts may not show up until years later, when we seek our own intimate relationships as adults.
In fact, millions of adult children of divorce feel lost, displaced, or unwanted years after the ink has dried on their parents’ divorce decree. Like them, you may fear abandonment, betrayal, or failure in your own marriage. Despite outward successes, you may doubt your emotional abilities. You may notice that your parents’ divorce affects you more each year, not less.
You are not alone!
Through research, interviews, and personal stories, Generation Ex will help you understand the effect of your parents’ divorce on your identity, faith, and relationships and will give you the tools you need to create a dramatically different legacy.
Includes: questions for reflections.
This book is not a “quick fix” or a “self-help” rather it is designed to help you unlock the doors of your painful past, with the help of someone who knows how you are feeling, and allows you to begin the healing process.
If you are an Adult Child of Divorce, are married to an ADOC, are contemplating a divorce, or have already divorced, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I’d also recommend this book as an addition to pre-marital counseling curriculum when either person is from a divorced home.
You can purchase the book through Family Life by CLICKING HERE.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Tomb of Jesus?
I came across a poll that said 97% of all people think that James Cameron's documentary is a fraud so I didn't think it was worth addressing. But after more thought I realized not everyone may see it the same way as I do and someone may come across a person from that remaining 3%.
Several well respected scholars and websites have already covered this topic extensively so I'm not going to reinvent what's been done. The following are the places I think do an excellent job while maintaining readability:
Associates for Biblical Research (By far the most thorough analysis, written by a friend of mine)
CARM (Always one of my favorite sites)
Stand To Reason (A review of the documentary from STR)
Bible Places Blog (This site has lots of links but you may need to do a little digging)
I also address the issue of the tomb of Jesus HERE, HERE, and HERE