#4 The Arrival of Jesus

Ancient history is a funny thing. We depend on the information, but no one was there to see it. Historians meet this challenge with the standard method of historiography.

Historiography is scientific in a sense, albeit different than the hard sciences like physics and chemistry. In both cases, absolute certainty still evades us. Historians seek only to identify what events are more likely than not to have happened. Famous religion skeptic Bart Ehrman says human events t..

Sound doctrine originates with God, is recorded in the Word of God, is consistent with the whole revelation of God, and leads to both spiritual health and godly living. False doctrine originates with men or demons, is foreign to the Word of God, is inconsistent with the whole revelation of God, and leads to spiritual weakness and ungodly living. It must pass all of the tests in order to be sound. If it fails one, it fails all of them.

T.D. Jakes says that God eternally exists in three manifesta..

Widows have a special place in the heart of God. To remind us of who he is, God often identifies himself with certain people. He calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to remind his people of his covenant promises (Ex. 3:15-16). He is known as the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ so we know that he is Triune (Rom 15:6). Similarly, God identifies himself with widows. He executes justice for them (Deut. 10:18) and spreads his wings over them to protect them (Ruth 2:12). The psal..

But, this argument simply doesn’t hold. First, it is by no means evident that early Christians believed Jesus would necessarily return in their own lifetime. Schweitzer’s views have been largely rejected–and rightly so. But, let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that Christians did have this apocalyptic mentality. Does that mean they would have resisted the composition of new books, focusing instead on only oral methods of delivery?

One of the most-oft repeated ideas about the earliest Chris..

In her own words, Ohden brings a formidable testimony against abortion as she outlines the hurt and inner pain she dealt with as a teenager trying to cope with the knowledge she was so unwanted by her biological family, they attempted to end her life. She believes now that she developed post-traumatic stress reaction to the revelation of her beginnings as well as survivor’s guilt that she lived and so many others were destroyed by abortion. Her depression developed into anorexia, bulimia, alcoho..

Sure, we usually do this selectively. Liberals and progressives, conservatives and traditionalists each have their own favorite sins that they like to denounce, while ignoring those that seem to painful to confront. In the meantime, adultery and complicity in oppression are far too prevalent among us, as we live our comfortable, non-confrontational lives. We are so used to slander and deceit – or even practicing it ourselves – that we stand by as it crashes like a wave through the highest places..

The critical lesson is that if we crucify the desire, God will almost always shield us from the opportunity. And even if God may permit the devil to throw a spark of opportunity our way, there’s nothing in the heart that will easily catch fire. However, if we entertain and enjoy the desire to sin, God may permit the opportunity to sin to coincide.

When a Christian falls into gross immorality, the question arises: What came first: the desire to sin or the opportunity?

From what I’ve seen and he..

When God created Adam, he made an interesting observation: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable* for him.” (Genesis 2:18.) Bringing Eve into the picture, then, was a response to the solitude of Adam, not his unholiness. Again, how could it be about making Adam holy before sin had entered the world (see Genesis 3). The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. It was designed for companionship.

Marriage Isn’t for ..

Be forthright with the congregation. The rumors are often worse than reality. You don’t have to give the sordid details. But the church needs to know the pastor was terminated because of moral failure. Speak to the congregation succinctly, honestly, and compassionately.

It happens too frequently.

It can be the lead pastor or any church staff member.

And too many churches do not handle such tragedy well.

But many churches do. Allow me to share some of the best responses I have heard from chur..

“I appreciate Maran’s candor in this article. I do think it is revealing. I suspect that many of those who marched for legal gay marriage in our country weren’t really that concerned about adding traditional marriage norms to gay relationships—norms of permanence, covenant, fidelity, etc.”

Meredith Maran had an interesting essay in The New York Times over the weekend: “I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.” In it, she describes her “marriage” to her lesbian partner in 2008 and t..