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Links To Important Stories

07 Jan

As food for thought, here are some links that will take you to articles I feel are important to read and think about.  We need to apply biblical teaching to these situations and see how God wants us to act in response to them.

#1. Eric Metaxas-– Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God– http://www.wsj.com/articles/eric-metaxas-science-increasingly-makes-the-case-for-god-1419544568

The link may or may not get you to the article. I had to copy and paste the title into yahoo’s search box, then click on google’s link to get access to the whole story. The Wall Street Journal requires membership or subscription if you use their link directly.

Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator . . . gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”

If secular scientists and even believing ones were honest and trusted God more for their employment then maybe we would see more opposition to the Big Bang theory and biological evolution. But since unbelievers hate God they will attack, threaten and abuse those who want to oppose their pet ideas. Science only provides evidence for a supernatural creation but that evidence is distorted by secularists who do not want to accept God’s presence, existence and involvement in origins or life.

Remember, believers are not anti-science, they are anti- the lies secular scientists produce and proclaim.

#2, Candida Moss— Oops! Jesus’ Last Steps Are in the Wrong Place– http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/06/painful-discovery-pilgrims-are-following-the-wrong-via-dolorosa.html

According to scholars, this is most likely the place that Jesus was sentenced to die. In the Gospels, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate in a “praetorium,” a Latin term for the general’s tent in a military encampment. Modern historians locate this praetorium in Herod’s Palace and now, for the first time, the palace is accessible to public view…The only problem is that for hundreds of years tourists have already been visiting the site of the trial of Jesus, in a completely different part of Jerusalem. The Via Dolorosa or “Way of Sorrows,” the road that Jesus is believed to have travelled as he carried his cross from his trial to his crucifixion, is currently at the top of must-see lists of religious attractions for visitors to the city.

Miss Moss should know that archaeologists and scholars rarely agree with each other on these matters and she should know that they can never be sure where some event took place because of the lack of clues and information left for us to follow to the correct spots.

Indeed, the remains of Herod’s Palace beside the Tower of David were first discovered in 2001. So why is this find making news now? The answer seems to be that this is the first time that tourists will have access to the site and archeologists will be able to profit from Christian interest. The archeological find, some fifteen years in the making, has made headlines only now that the museum has started to offer public tours. The director of the Tower of David Museum, Eliat Lieber, expressed the hope that the prison would eventually become a standard attraction for Christian tourists. History has become news, and now it’s open for business.

She should also know that archaeology needs funding and will raise money however archaeologists can. That is why so many remains of buildings are labeled as temples, and so many artifacts are labeled as religious icons or figurines. Archaeologists know that religion sells. This fact explains why Discovery channel and other networks, movie studios produce so many shows about biblical events and people.

As Mark Goodacre, Professor of New Testament at Duke University, told the Daily Beast, “The Gospel writers have little interest in the precise location of Jesus’ trials. Writing a generation or more after the events they are describing, and at some geographical distance, it is unlikely that they provide us with the kinds of clues that we would like to see. So while this discovery is exciting, we should be cautious about over-stating its importance for studying the historical Jesus.

Goodacre is wrong of course. The biblical writers were either eyewitnesses to all events or were associated with disciples who were eyewitnesses to al events. They are not guessing or removed from the events they record.There is little information about where Jesus was tried because that is not the main point of the gospels. The main point is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we know we serve a living savior not a dead human leader.

#3. Russell Fuller–Is Capital Punishment for Today?– https://answersingenesis.org/sanctity-of-life/capital-punishment-today/?utm_source=articlesmedia&utm_medium=email&utm_content=featurebutton&utm_campaign=20150103&mc_cid=773f8e4899&mc_eid=1f354f76fc

The context of Genesis 9:6 reveals its abiding authority. As God gave to Adam the creation ordinance of marriage that still has abiding authority, so God gave to Noah post-Flood ordinances, including capital punishment, that are still authoritative. God did not restrict these ordinances to Israel or to other nations. They are universal, intended for all the descendants of Adam and Noah.

Moreover, the reason given for capital punishment in Genesis 9:6 is permanent: because man is made in God’s image. As long as man is made in the image of God, this commandment is binding.

Some of the laws of the Old Testament, particularly in the Mosaic covenant, were temporary, meant for Israel and its particular circumstances. These laws include the dietary laws and worship laws. But Mosaic laws based on the character of God, such as laws against murder or adultery, or Mosaic laws based on the permanent relationships of people, such as children honoring their parents, are permanent. Such commandments, therefore, transcend the Mosaic covenant, as the Ten Commandments transcend the Mosaic Covenant. The commandments given to Adam and Noah preceded the Mosaic Covenant, continued during the Mosaic Covenant, and abide after the Mosaic Covenant into the New Covenant until the end of time.

Capital punishment is a controversial issue today, just like corporal punishment is and I do not have a problem with either forms of discipline as long as they are applied fairly, justly and without ignoring an opportunity for mercy.  We do not execute for the sake of executing or because we can do it. We apply capital punishment because the crime committed falls under its jurisdiction and no other punishment will bring justice to the victims or their family.

We believers seek real justice not appeasement or political capital. We have to treat all offenders the same and adjudicate their crimes with honesty, truth and without bias.

#4. Zero Tolerance–Zero Tolerance and Alternative Strategies: A Fact Sheet for Educators and Policymakers– http://www.nasponline.org/resources/factsheets/zt_fs.aspx

“Zero Tolerance” initially was defined as consistently enforced suspension and expulsion policies in response to weapons, drugs and violent acts in the school setting. Over time, however, zero tolerance has come to refer to school or district-wide policies that mandate predetermined, typically harsh consequences or punishments (such as suspension and expulsion) for a wide degree of rule violation. Most frequently, zero tolerance policies address drug, weapons, violence, smoking and school disruption in efforts to protect all students’ safety and maintain a school environment that is conducive to learning. Some teachers and administrators favor zero tolerance policies because they remove difficult students from school; administrators perceive zero tolerance policies as fast-acting interventions that send a clear, consistent message that certain behaviors are not acceptable in the school.

I am not a fan of zero tolerance and I am thankful that in this country it was never implemented in the educational system. Koreans still discipline their students the old-fashioned way, honestly investigating the offense and applying the right punishment (for the most part). Zero tolerance teaches our students that their side of the story doesn’t matter, that innocence does not matter, that justice and mercy do not matter.

It tells the students that they should not care because they will not be given a fair shake. It also tells them that they should not try because whatever they do, it will not matter. It also tells the student that the teachers or administrators will use any excuse to curtail certain behavior whether the excuse is true, justified or not. It isn’t about the safety of the students at all but what is the easiest course of action teachers and administrators can take to avoid dealing with difficult situations and problems.

#5. — Pastor led Son’s Gay Wedding–http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/us/a-pastor-his-son-and-the-test-of-gay-marriage.html?_r=2

His own church was saying to him that, as a homosexual, you can’t go to heaven,” Frank Schaefer said. “That’s not necessarily what the church would officially say, but that’s what he heard, and it devastated him because faith had always been very important to him. I remember how I said to him: ‘It’s so obvious you did not choose this for yourself. This is who you are, and this is who God created you to be. You are created in the image of God, just like everybody else.’ ”

if you are a minister, pastor or some other synonym to those roles, then you are a steward of God’s kingdom with no authority to change what God has said about sin or who enters his realm. You carry out his duties faithfully and remain in line with God’s will or leave the position of being God’s steward. Leading others to sin or accept sin is not part of being a good steward and allowing people to continue in sin without repenting of it is also not part of God’s will.

“I would pray at night, ‘God, get me through this phase, make me normal,’ but as time went on, it was not changing,” the younger Schaefer said. “I didn’t want to be gay, and I didn’t want to go to hell.”

When this happens we need to ask why it is not changing before leaping to any conclusions. But to continue in the practice of homosexuality and embrace it is not the right thing to do.

Also, more than 600 congregations have declared that they welcome people of every sexual orientation, and several bishops have challenged the church’s teaching, including one in California who offered Frank Schaefer a job the day after he was defrocked.

This is a sad result of his actions and tells us that too many people who are called Christian do not follow God or his ways but think they have a greater moral standard than God. Being a good steward means we find God’s way to handle these difficult times and follow the HS to the truth so that we can reach the right solution for everyone involved. God’s stewards do not lead God’s people to sin or have them call it good. That is being a steward for evil.

#6. -God is on the ropes: The brilliant new science that has creationists and the Christian right terrified– http://www.salon.com/2015/01/03/god_is_on_the_ropes_the_brilliant_new_science_that_has_creationists_and_the_christian_right_terrified/

A young MIT professor is finishing Darwin’s task — and threatening to undo everything the wacky right holds dear…The Christian right’s obsessive hatred of Darwin is a wonder to behold, but it could someday be rivaled by the hatred of someone you’ve probably never even heard of. Darwin earned their hatred because he explained the evolution of life in a way that doesn’t require the hand of God. Darwin didn’t exclude God, of course, though many creationists seem incapable of grasping this point. But he didn’t require God, either, and that was enough to drive some people mad.

As you can tell, it is a very one-sided and biased article that has no basis in fact. There is no new science that overturns the Bible or has Christians terrified. it is the same old science that has been refuted for decades, filled with innuendo, assumption, leaps to conclusions and not one shred of fact or real evidence to support it. Evolutionists can’t produce real evidence because origins did not take place as Darwin claimed.

Darwin may not have excluded God but he did not believe him either. In fact, he is quoted as saying his conversion experience ‘did not take’ and he was a rejecter of God ever since his daughter died. Darwin constructed his theory based upon faulty and incomplete evidence, making outlandish leaps to conclusions based upon observation only and not real fact or scientific evidence.

Remember Darwin was not a scientist nor had a science degree nor were the majority of his original group of people who helped push his theory into the limelight thus his conclusions cannot even be considered credible let alone scientific.  In that article, there are no real scientific discoveries being made and there can’t be any because life did not originate outside of the way described in Genesis 1.

Until evolutionists produce something more than assumption they have no leg to stand on, no evidence and no alternative to God and his revelation

#7. James McGrath–The Bible’s Teaching on Being Willing to Set Aside the Bible’s Teaching http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2011/05/the-bibles-teaching-on-being-willing-to-set-aside-the-bibles-teaching-from-the-archives.html#ixzz3O74jQsdm

Previously I posted about Scripture’s testimony regarding its own insufficiency. In Acts 10 we seem to have the Bible telling its readers to be prepared to set the Scripture’s own teachings aside in response to new revelation.

This is far from the truth and is being used as an excuse to reject vital biblical passages in favor of sinful alternatives. The vision of Peter does not even come close to attempting to set aside any other scripture. There is no biblical passage saying that the gospel was for Jewish people only in fact John 3:16-17 makes that very clear that all people are welcome in God’s kingdom. McGrath is trying to seize upon a lesson from God and extrapolate it to his own faulty and deceived ideas.
This aspect of the New Testament and early Christianity simply cannot be fit within the framework of a supposedly inerrant Bible with an allegedly uniform, monolithic teaching. It can fit within a view of Scripture as witness to God’s progressive revelation.
There is NO progressive revelation from God. if there was then God would be a hypocrite and a liar as he says one thing to one group of people in one era of history and another to a different group in another era of history. What undermines McGrath’s point is that there is no supposed change in God’s word until the modern era when he and his deceived buddies decided they didn’t like what God said and have sought to alter it and lead others astray.
There is also NO biblical teaching or verse telling us that God’s revelation and instructions to us are progressive and subject to change. Such an idea is read into scriptures by people who refuse to obey God, as you can see by that article. They are making these progressive claims not be permission or authority from God but from their own sinful and selfish desires.
Alternative believers need an errant scriptures in order to import their deceptions into the church and allow them to practice their sin. They are not good stewards of God.
#8. Daniel Wallace–Predictable Christmas fare: Newsweek’s Tirade against the Bible– http://danielbwallace.com/2014/12/28/predictable-christmas-fare-newsweeks-tirade-against-the-bible/
Every year, at Christmas and Easter, several major magazines, television programs, news agencies, and publishing houses love to rattle the faith of Christians by proclaiming loudly and obnoxiously that there are contradictions in the Bible, that Jesus was not conceived by a virgin, that he did not rise from the dead, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. The day before Christmas eve (23 December 2014), Newsweek published a lengthy article by Kurt Eichenwald entitled, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” Although the author claims that he is not promoting any particular theology, this wears thin. Eichenwald makes so many outrageous claims, based on a rather slender list of named scholars (three, to be exact), that one has to wonder how this ever passed any editorial review.
It is a good article to read and I won’t step on Dr. Wallace’s toes with saying too much BUT we believers just need to be prepared to respond with the truth with love. We should expect such articles all the time as people hate Jesus and his truth.
Enjoy his rebuttal to Newsweek.
Welcome to the annual “Blogs you should be reading” blog!  If your New Year’s resolution is to search out relevant, interesting, and challenging blogs, you are in the right place!
There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing sometimes.  And though there are so many more bloggers worth following who aren’t on this list, we can get overwhelmed when we go on a search for something new. Since previous lists of Christian bloggers I’ve compiled have proven very popular, I’m continuing what is becoming an annual tradition.
Bear in mind that this particular list is based on votes from others, and may not necessarily reflect my own personal recommendations (also why my own blog appears, which I debated about removing). If there’s interest, I can compile another “editor’s picks” list as well. But for now, happy searching!
First, those blogs and writings are NOT Christian nor should they be labeled as such. They are the work of those who have decided to claim that God is wrong and that they know better than the Most Holy and infallible God. It is arrogance at its best.
Second, They are not even good blogs and I have read quite a few of them and have commented on their websites. They have nothing of God in and supporting them and seek to put human source material ahead of divine inspiration. In other words, they are doing exactly what they accuse the biblical authors of being guilty of–making the Bible a human written book.
They do not want God or his ways but want to design and create Christianity after their own image not God’s desires. Find solid and true Christian blogs to read and learn from or find a good church that is truly Christian and is led by Pastors and elders who are true and good stewards of God and learn from their teaching. You will be better for doing so. These people do not care about you or your faith, they just want to see their sin enter the church and feel good about their rejection of God’s truth.
#10. Dr. William Shea— Searching for the tombs of Noah’s family — http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/17_3_shea_e.htm

In the summer of 2003 I participated in a series of Bible conferences for Adventist ministers in Armenia, Georgia, and Southern Russia. While driving north from Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, to Tiblisi, the capital of Georgia, we stopped along the highway to take photographs of Mount Aragatz, the highest mountain in Armenia at 13,419 feet (4.400 meters). This mountain rises about 30 miles (48 km.) north of the traditional location of Mount Ararat, located on the other side of the border with Turkey (see Figure 1, with map of the region).

Bible readers, of course, are acquainted with Mount Ararat in connection with Noah and the Flood, for it was “on the mountains of Ararat” that the ark came to rest as the waters receded (Genesis 8:4, NIV). A few days after the ark rested, “Noah came out [of the ark], together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives,” offered a sacrifice of gratitude to God, and settled in the region (vs.18 and ff.). “The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth; and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth” (Genesis 9:18, 19).

I put this article here as I have talked to Dr. Shea and years ago he sent me this article and far more information on this area concerning Noah and rock carvings relating to Noah etc. This article can be found at http://www.dakotascba.com under the guest author section as well.

It is interesting food for thought and maybe someday I will get to travel to see this area he wrote about. It would be nice if we could verify if these tombs were those containing the real Noah and his family but until then the tombs are good food for thought and discussion. Gordon Franz told me once that Dr. Shea sees things that are not really there but I saw the pictures myself and there is more to it than someone’s wishful thinking.

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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in academics, archaeology, Bible, controversial issues, creation, education, faith, history, homosexuality, Justice, leadership, theology

 

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