Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Saturday, April 30, 2011

“We see something that I call “discoverability.” By that I mean that the laws of nature have been carefully arranged so that they can be discovered by beings with our level of intelligence. That not only hits the idea of design, but it also suggests a providential purpose for human kind - that is, to learn about our habitat and to develop science and technology.”
Robin Collins
Micah 6:8 - He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God

Friday, April 29, 2011

To Thank God Is The Height Of Arrogance

One of the things that drives atheists to distraction is to hear someone thanking God for their survival after some type of disaster. This is especially true if someone else has died in the disaster. Here’s an example of how atheists think.

My plane is arriving home - finally. I’m tired. I’m hungry. It’s the dead of night and the rain is coming down in sheets. That would make me nervous enough but the bigger problem is this. The plane’s landing gear is only partially down. All the fuel that can be burned off is gone and we’re 1km back on final approach. I think I can see the flashing lights of some of the emergency vehicles that are waiting for us. We’ve assumed the crash position.

It’s the hardest, bone crunching landing that I’ve ever experienced. Blood is pouring from my mouth. I find out later that my left leg is broken just above the ankle. We skid for what seems like forever. The last thing I remember is seeing the wing, right where my window and protective fuselage used to be, tear away. I’m soaked in fuel and exposed to the elements as we careen off the end of the runway and into, what I later learn to be, bush and wasteland. The next thing I know, a rescue crewman is lifting me out of my seat. There are screams and smoke and shouts of “Hurry - Hurry!” I’m lying in the rain beside a fire truck, about two hundred meters from the plane when it explodes. The screams of those still inside will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Four days later, two of us are being released from the hospital. There’s a small crowd outside and they’re clapping for us. News Reporters ask if they can interview us. All I have to say is, “I am so very thankful to the rescue crew for saving my life. I can’t say enough about how absolutely grateful I am to all those who risked their lives in order to save mine.”

I’m taken aback when someone from the crowd yells, “I’m an atheist and that gives me the right to say to your face, ‘How dare you say that you’re thankful to be alive when 57 other people died? How arrogant can you be? You think you’re somebody special? You think you’re better than those other people? Well I’m here to tell you that you’re not!’”

Never one to back down from perceived injustice, I reply, “I may not be special, but the people who risked their lives in order to save mine certainly are.”

“Then why didn’t they save everyone’s life? My daughter died on that plane and I say the rescuers are nothing but cowardly scum.”

“Just because you’re angry at them doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be grateful.”

“Yes it does. Yes it does you arrogant . . .!”

I interrupt. “Why?” I ask, genuinely interested. “Why shouldn’t I thank someone who saved my life, even if he didn’t save someone else’s?”

Breaking into tears of rage, the man ends with, “Because he should have saved everybody or nobody that’s why.”

While the analogy is admittedly imperfect, the point is clear. For thousands of years, atheists have used “this one saved / that one dead” as “proof” that God doesn’t exist. I know. It’s a stupid argument, but so are all their denials of God. One thing that atheists cannot tolerate is a God who is Sovereign; a God who will choose one and not another. They would rather pretend that God doesn’t exist than bow down to such a God. God however replies back to such atheist accusations with, “You can worship Me as Sovereign Lord and be saved, or you can reject My Lordship and die in your sins. Because you have rejected Me and want nothing to do with Me, I say to you, “Thy will be done.””

Unless God is "good" to everyone, then in the atheist mind, God isn’t good to anyone. As the saying goes, “Unbelief always comes from seeing oneself as good and God as evil.”

In the atheist mind it’s black or white, right or wrong, totally acceptable or totally unacceptable. It’s this rigid and repetitive, persistent and pervasive, black and white thinking that is the cause of atheist rants toward survivors who are thankful to God. It’s the survivor who bears the brunt of the atheist’s misdirected anger. The survivor is accused of being arrogant for being grateful. Sometimes it’s hard to see why atheists deem logic and reason to be exclusively within their domain.

The Atheist’s Hero

Now may I define what my morality is? Since man's mind is his basic means of survival he has to hold reason as an absolute, by which I mean that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action, and that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind; that his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness, that each man must live as an end in himself, and follow his own rational self-interest.
Ayn Rand

I guess atheists really do have meaning in their lives!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Atheists Invent Logic

Isn’t that how it seems, sometimes? Atheists talk of logic just like they are the ones who invented it, or at least discovered it. Sadly, they aren’t as taken with the One who actually did bring the laws of logic into being just as He set into place the laws of how matter / energy behave and interact.

“The great design of this noble science [logic] is to rescue our reasoning powers from their unhappy slavery and darkness; and thus, with all due submission and deference, it offers a humble assistance to divine revelation. Its chief business is to relieve the natural weakness of the mind by some better efforts of nature; it is to diffuse a light over the understanding in our inquiries after truth. And it renders its daily service to wisdom and virtue.”
Isaac Watts
Did you know that a man whose name was Lou Gehrig actually GOT Lou Gehrig’s disease?

I mean, what are the odds of THAT happening?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Give Up

Much of what passes for News is just so very stupid. Here’s an example. I saw on CNN that “For emotional health we need to be touched twelve times a day.”

Think about that!

What kind of study could possibly definitively conclude that we need to be touched twelve times a day?

Here’s what probably happened.

Some CNN reporter was at a party and he met a person who worked in the Behavioural Psychology Department at a local university. You know, the place where they pull habits out of rats.

It came up that this person had been observing how important it is to our emotional health that we receive regular physical contact. Always on the lookout for a career defining story, the reporter asked, “How many times a day do we need to be touched?”

Sensing that he was in he was in the presence of the village idiot, the Psychologist looked the reporter squarely in the eye and said, “Twelve.”

Off scooted the little man, and in the middle of the night he banged out his Pulitzer Prize Winning story. An editor at CNN looked at the story and thought, “This doesn’t stink too badly,” passed it on to who ever gets this kind of crap printed and there it is - a story that turns me off news for ever.

I can’t take it any more.
I’m done.
I give up on reading the news.
Zephaniah 2:3 - Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's An Atheist To Do?

A while back I posted a comment by quantum physicist Paul Davies. The thesis statement was, “The seemingly miraculous concurrence of these numerical values (Fine Tuning of the universe) must remain the most compelling evidence for cosmic design.”

In rebuttal, Hugo the atheist posted another comment by the same man. The main point of that comment said, “I am uncomfortable even being linked with "a god" because of the vast baggage that this term implies (a being with a mind, able to act on matter within time, making decisions, etc).”

You can find both comments in their whole at:
Hugo’s comment / quotation is comment #19.

Anyhow, I asked Hugo what the combination of these two comments meant to him. To date I’ve received no reply so I’ll post what the two comments together mean to me.

Mr. Davies is saying, “We have compelling evidence for cosmic design. However, as an atheist I must remain committed to materialism / naturalism. Even though I call myself a scientist who prefers to not deal in belief, my a priori belief that there is no god forces me to ignore compelling evidence for design and remain closed minded. Like Francis Crick and other experts in DNA / RNA research, we in quantum physics must “continually tell ourselves that what we are seeing was not designed.” Because the consequences of following the evidence would be devastating for my relationship with my peers, i.e. I’d be mocked and ridiculed, I must cling firmly to my faith system in spite of the evidence. I must do this because the metaphysical implications of a universe with a Designer would destroy what I desperately want to believe. This whole god business makes me very uncomfortable.”

Call Me Names

Hugo the atheist says I’m a bigot.

Hmm. What should I do?

What should I do if Hugo calls me a hypocrite?

What should I do if Hugo says that I’m:
A Liar
and any other character defect he can think of?

Should I say he’s wrong?

How can I, for he’s not wrong?

I’m all those things and more. In fact, to varying degrees, every human on the planet is a hypocrite, a bigot, a liar, selfish, self-obsessed and so on.

This of course poses a problem for those atheists who, on the one hand claim to be good and therefore not in need of any Saviour God. On the other hand, recognising that being “good” implies honesty, they’re forced to admit that they do wrong things. Therefore they must admit that they are only “good” in comparison to those who are far worse, and they are in fact not at all good in comparison to those who are much better. Lying to oneself to avoid recognising these inner contradictions makes being an atheist very difficult indeed.

While I’m only a tiny fraction of those negative characteristics compared to before Jesus came into my life, I’ll be those things to some degree until the day I die. And then, unlike Hugo who will stay the same on into eternity, I’ll be transformed completely.

I have no reason to deny my earthly reality.

Let satan and all his friends criticise and even defame me for the rest of their lives.

Messiah Jesus came to die for sinners such as me (Romans 5:8).

I’m a sinner.
He’s my Saviour.
Since I’m not an atheist I have no need to deny who I really am.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jesus my King

My King is the King of the Jews
He is the King of Israel
He’s the King of Righteousness
He’s the King of the Ages
He’s the King of Heaven
He’s the King of Kings
He’s the King of Glory
He’s the Lord of lords

That’s My King - Do you know Him?

My King is a Sovereign King
No means of measure can define His limitless love
He’s enduringly strong
He’s entirely sincere
He’s eternally steadfast
He’s immortally graceful
He’s imperially powerful
He’s impartially merciful

Do You Know Him?

He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world
He’s God’s Son
He’s a sinner’s Saviour
He’s the centre piece of civilization
He’s unparalleled
He’s unprecedented
He’s the loftiest idea in literature
He’s the highest personality in philosophy
He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology
He’s the only One qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour

I Wonder If You Know Him Today!

He supplies strength for the weak
He’s available for the tempted and tried
He sympathises and He saves
He strengthens and sustains
He guards and guides
He heals the sick
He cleansed the lepers
He forgives sinners
He discharges debtors
He delivers the captive
He defends the feeble
He blesses the young
He serves the unfortunate
He regards the aged
He rewards the diligent
He beautifies the meagre

I Wonder, Do You Know My King?

He’s the key to knowledge
He’s the wellspring of Wisdom
He’s the doorway of deliverance
He’s the pathway of piece
He’s the roadway of righteousness
He’s the highway of Holiness
He’s the gateway of glory

Do You Know Him?

His life is matchless
His goodness is limitless
His mercy is everlasting
His love never changes
His Word is enough
His Grace is Sufficient
His Reign is Righteous
His Yoke is easy
His burden is light

I wish I could describe Him to you :-)

He’s incomprehensible
He’s invincible
He’s irresistible
You can’t get Him out of your mind
You can’t get Him off of your hand
You can’t outlive Him


You can’t live without Him

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him
They found out they couldn’t stop HimPilate couldn’t find any fault in Him
Herod couldn’t kill Him
Death couldn’t handle Him
The grave couldn’t hold Him

Ya! That’s My King!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Father’s Love

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That His Son should die for me
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sins that held Him there,
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunday is Coming!

It’s Friday and Jesus is praying
Peter is asleep
Judas is betraying
But Sunday is coming

It’s Friday
and Pilate is struggling
The Council is conspiring
The crowd is vilifying
They don’t even know that Sunday’s coming

It’s Friday
The disciples are running like sheep without a Shepherd
Mary is crying
Peter is denying
But they don’t know that Sunday is coming

It’s Friday.
The Romans beat my Jesus
They cris cross Him with scars
They crown Him with thorns
They don’t know that Sunday is coming

It’s Friday.
See Jesus walking to Calvary
His blood is dripping
His body is stumbling
And His Spirit is burdened.
But you see it’s only Friday.
Sunday is coming

It’s Friday.
The world is winning.
People are sinning.
And evil is grinning.

It’s Friday.
The soldiers nailed my Saviour’s hands to the cross.
They nailed my Saviour’s feet to the cross.
And then they raised Him up next to criminals.

It’s Friday.
But let me tell you something.
Sunday is coming

It’s Friday.
The disciples are questioning.
What has happened to their King?
And the Pharisees are celebrating,
what their scheming has achieved.
But they don’t know that it’s only Friday.
Sunday is coming

It’s Friday.
He’s hanging on the cross.
Feeling forsaken by His Father.
Left alone and dying.
Can nobody save Him?
O it’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.

It’s Friday.
The earth trembles.
The sky grows dark.
My king yields His Spirit

It’s Friday.
Hope is lost.
Death has won.
Sin has conquered.
And satan is laughing.

It’s Friday.
Jesus is buried.
Soldiers stand guard.
And a rock is rolled into place.
But it’s Friday.
It is only Friday.
But Sunday is coming.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who Can Understand It?

The salvation of God is for those who do not deserve it. In fact, the salvation of God is for those who have done nothing to earn eternity heaven.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace.” Romans 3:23

And why is such good news put into the Bible? Because the Bible is all about God’s willingness to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Before the universe was even brought into existence, our Creator had made preparation for resolving our inevitable fall. Our perfectly Holy and Just Creator came to earth to seek and save those who recognise their unrighteousness. Those, like atheists, who are self-righteous, see no need for a Saviour. They’re insulted by the very notion that they require forgiveness.

What need does a “good” person have for mercy?
Why would such a person even try to find out what justification means?

Hell is going to be filled to the brim with self-righteous people. The self-made women and men who sing, “I Did It My Way,” have no need for Jesus’ Gospel and Jesus has no intention of preaching it to them. For the same Jesus who said, “There is no one who is righteous, not even one,” also said, “I have come not for the self-righteous but for those who know they are sinners.”
Daniel 9:4 - O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"The Greatest of Sinners"

That is a term that the apostle Paul used of himself. I dare say that the majority of those who have genuinely experienced God’s salvation would be willing to argue with Paul on that count. I know I would.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That my perfectly Holy King would die for me is something that amazes me almost every day. A lying, corrupt, self-centred, hypocrite. A man who has hurt uncounted people. A man who is dishonest to the core. Mean, unloving, perhaps unable to love. While unlike Paul I have not literally killed anyone, it is only by accident.

And yet here I am. I'm loved by the greatest Love in the universe.
Altogether undeserving, Jesus treats me as though I deserve His love.
Altogether unworthy, Jesus loves me as though I was the most godly man on the planet.

How can a person not be blown away by Grace and Mercy and Love shown to such a sinner as me?

If you allow Him, Jesus will do the same for you.

“Amazing love, how can it be?
That you my King would die for me.”

If You Want To Grow, Then Buckle Up

That’s because growth in character NEVER happens in the absence of pain.

Christian maturity is not something that just happens. Yes, it is God Whose power works in us to enable us to be transformed and conformed into the likeness of Jesus. However, we must put effort and desire into developing knowledge, and self-control, and patience and joy, peace, kindness, gentleness etc.

“Suffering produces endurance or patience, endurance produces the kind of character that has been through the fire and proven it’s value, and character brings about hope which does not disappoint.”

James 1:2-4 / 2nd Peter 1:5-8

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Innocent for the Guilty

That’s what your Creator, Jesus, has done for you. The One who is perfectly Just sacrificed Himself for us, the perfectly unjust.

Jesus has made provision to forgive us, the ones who deserve to be punished.

You see, salvation is not for the good.
God’s grace is not for those who believe they lead upstanding lives.

There are those who actually believe that if they are good enough, then God will be somehow obligated to reward them with eternity in heaven.

The fact is, Creator God justifies the unjust. He offers at His own expense to save the guilty from eternal torment. All that’s needed for this to happen is to accept His offer of love and forgiveness. For He freely gives His grace and mercy to the guilty.

You can measure your degree of pride based upon your willingness to accept or reject this offer.
Israel is, for us, a normal and a special country. A normal country, because it is just like any other democracy. A special country, because the Jewish culture, which eventually became the Judeo-Christian culture of the dignity of man, is the conceptual foundation of democracy. This is why attacking Israel is tantamount to attacking Europe and the West. This is also why disputing Israel's legitimacy and its right to existence means questioning democracy.
Marcello Pera

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Once Was Blind

I am lost in blindness
And I refuse to believe that
I can see
One has to accept a life of darkness
Years from now I can only tell my children not to believe that
Simple grace triumphs over utter darkness
I was born in sin and I was conceived in sin
It doesn’t matter to God that
I live every day of my life in hopelessness
No longer can it be said that
There is a God who hears the cry of His people
My whole life testifies to one truth:
Blindness has robbed me of every good thing
And it is no longer true that
God saves those who are crushed in spirit
Now I don’t know much but I know one thing for sure
I was born blind with no hope and no future

But then I met Jesus and He turned my life upside down

I was born blind with no hope and no future
Now I don’t know much but I know one thing for sure
God saves those who are crushed in spirit
And it is no longer true that
Blindness has robbed me of every good thing
My whole life testifies to one truth:
There is a God who hears the cry of His people
No longer can it be said that
I live every day of my life in hopelessness
It doesn’t matter to God that
I was born in sin and I was conceived in sin
Simple grace triumphs over utter darkness
Years from now I can only tell my children not to believe that
One has to accept a life of darkness
I can see
And I refuse to believe that
I am lost in blindness

from Ephesians - Kristi Stephens

Not For The Faint of Heart

I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed me, I was there to help.

Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don't put it off; don't frustrate God's work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we're doing. Our work as God's servants gets validated — or not — in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power; when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honoured; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumoured to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Saturday, April 16, 2011

“We see something that I call “discoverability.” By that I mean that the laws of nature have been carefully arranged so that they can be discovered by beings with our level of intelligence. That not only hits the idea of design, but it also suggests a providential purpose for human kind - that is, to learn about our habitat and to develop science and technology.”
Robin Collins

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dear Dad,

I just want to say how privileged I feel to have been raised by you. You are someone about whom I can say with pride, “that’s my dad.” I can’t describe all of the ways in which your life, and your example and your teaching have helped me develop and mature, but I’d like to try.

The example that you set while I was growing up has allowed me to make decisions that have done nothing but improve my life. I think especially of your honesty, and integrity, your humility and kindness and patience. You respected yourself, and you showed respect to others. I think of your generosity toward your children both in time and money. Your wisdom, particularly in your spiritual life has been a life-saver for me. I am so fortunate to have a dad who isn’t afraid to stand alone for what he believes. I really admire that in you. I think also of the wisdom that you’ve shown in managing your money which has allowed me to avoid foolish choices and helped me to stay away from debt. You’ve taught me how incredibly important it is to have a good name in the community, a name by which one is known as someone that can be trusted. The love and respect and kindness that you showed for mom has been worth more than words can say.

The most important thing to me, and what I love most about you, is your faith in Jesus. What a wonderful heritage it is to have a dad that prays, a dad that trusts God enough to obey Him, and to have a dad who is man enough to submit to God’s will. I can’t thank you enough for that.

All in all, what I’m trying to say, is that in my mind, you have been a terrific example of what it should mean to be a man, to be a husband and to be a dad.

Thank you for all that you’ve done for me over the years. I’m grateful to be your son. Just thinking of you my friend - I miss you.

Clarence Holmgren 1913 - 2003
Habakkuk 3:17-18 - Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Complexity of Grace

A short time ago an atheist, typical of all atheists tried his hand at understanding grace. Hopelessly and pitifully inadequate, he bungled it badly. How could it be otherwise? For Grace is a concept totally and completely foreign to the human mind. In fact, the closer an atheist comes to understanding Grace, the angrier s/he becomes. God’s grace is the antithesis of what humans consider “common sense.”

One of the bizillion reasons for trusting the inspiration of the Bible is the fact that Grace is a concept that no human could or would invent. No one but our Creator would ever freely justify someone who is guilty of torturing to death a perfectly innocent man; a truly good man; the only truly good man who has ever lived. No one but our Creator would freely forgive, at His own expense and suffering those who have lived in open rebellion; those who have sinned fast and furious and taught as many as possible that their Creator does not even exist. No one but our Creator would endure the wrath of God for those who having once tasted the goodness of God, and have then turned their backs on Him; who have mocked the Gospel and crucified their Lord again and again. No one but our Creator would sacrifice Himself on the cross and endure the punishment that we deserve, and do this for people who repeatedly refuse his offer of mercy and persist in living in opposition to His decrees.

"I'd rather stand in hell than kneel in heaven."

There is only one way for such individuals to be forgiven, to be shown mercy, to find grace in their time of need. And that is to come humbly to their Creator, Lord and Saviour where if they confess their sins He will faithfully keep His promise to forgive their sins and wash them clean from all unrighteousness. This is not true for just those who are pretty good people. This is true for the most hopeless cases on the face of planet earth. This is true for those who even the worst humans look down upon with distaste, distain and disgust.

The Grace of God, unmerited favour, unearned forgiveness, the Just dying for the unjust, willingly, lovingly, passionately given. His life for yours. Set apart before the founding of the universe, before you were able to do anything to merit salvation; in fact while you were still His enemy, your Creator made provision for your salvation.

What fool would ignore this Grace?

Not one human on this planet exists who would invent the idea of an innocent and perfectly just King willingly and purposely pardoning and then declaring not guilty a guilty enemy, an enemy who is out to kill the King. No human would invent in mythology or otherwise the Just dying for the unjust, the righteous for the unrighteous. As the saying goes,

“It would take more than a Jesus to invent a Jesus.”

The only reason that we know of Grace today is because it has taken place in fact, not in fiction.

What fool would reject this Grace?
Deuteronomy 24:17 - Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Turn

So I got sucked in and went out a bought Rob Bell’s book. And I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed.

Not a good buy.

Luckily on Kindle it's only nine bucks so . . .
I suppose if I agreed with him I might feel differently - maybe, but in all honesty? It was pretty poorly written.

From a theological perspective is was down right pathetic.

I mean - come on! The guy is a Pastor. He should and could know better. Here’s what I’m talking about:

“If your God will punish people for all of eternity for sins committed in a few short years . . .”

That is NOT why people are spending eternity in hell. If you go to hell, it’s because you have rejected the only means of avoiding hell. If you go to hell, it is because you have not turned from your rebellion against your Creator. Rob Bell knows what the Bible teaches on the subject but chooses to ignore Its words. In my way of thinking, that is an egregious way for a christian Pastor to act.

“If there was an actual human dad who was that volatile, we would contract child protection services immediately. If God can switch gears like that, switch entire modes of being that quickly, that raises a thousand questions about whether a being like this could ever be trusted, let alone be good. Loving one moment, vicious the next. Kind and compassionate, only to become cruel and relentless in the blink of an eye.”

Again, Rob Bell knows that heaven, hell, justification, condemnation - all these things were put in place before the universe was ever brought into existence. While we humans do not comprehend “eternity” or “outside of time, even 14.5 billion years is hardly “switching gears.” No one reading Rob Bell’s book or even the Bible can hardly claim to be taken by surprise by God’s plan for redemption. It’s atheists who accuse God of acting in a capricious and arbitrary manner, not those who actually know Creator God.

For what it's worth, I don't think Rob Bell even touches the issue of justice in this book.

“What [Jesus] doesn’t say is how, or when, or in what manner the mechanism functions that gets people to God through him. He doesn’t even state that those coming to the Father through Him will even know that they are coming exclusively through Him.

Are you freakin kidding me?

Mark 16:16 - Jesus said, “Those who believe and are baptized will be saved but those who refuse to believe will be condemned.”

John 1:12,13 Jesus said, “Unless you are born again, you can never get into the kingdom of heaven.” There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust Him to save them. But those who don’t trust Him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God.

John 5:24 - Jesus said, “I say emphatically that anyone who listens to My message and believes in God who sent me has eternal life and will NEVER be damned for his sins. He has crossed from death into life.”

John 8:24 - Jesus said, “For unless you believe that I am the Son of God, the Messiah, you will die in your sins.”

Romans 3:27,28 - Our acquittal is not based on our good deeds, it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in Him. So it is we are saved, by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.

Romans 9:32 - Because they were trying to be saved by keeping the law and being good instead of by depending on faith, they have stumbled over that great stumbling stone, Jesus.

Galatians 2:19 - It was through reading the Scriptures that I came to realize that I could never find God’s favour by trying and failing to obey the law. I came to realize that acceptance with God comes by believing in Christ.

1st Thessalonians 1:8,9 - The Lord Jesus will bring judgement on those who do not wish to know God and those who reject His plan to save them through our Lord Jesus Christ. They will be punished in everlasting hell, forever separated from the Lord, never to see the glory of His power.

These verses literally scream for our attention. The basis for what they say is this. God is completely Holy. Nothing less than complete Holiness can come into His presence. Jesus taught that we are separated from His Holiness by our sinful nature, and neither religion, nor a moral life, nor some man-made concept of spirituality can fix that. In other words, we can never be ‘good enough’ to be good enough for heaven (Romans 3:22,23).

What kind of a Pastor would tell millions of people that we can’t know how to be saved, when the Bible so clearly says that we can know?

“Jesus responds to almost every question he’s asked with . . . a question. “What do you think? How do you read it?” He asks again and again and again.

Yes, Rob, just like you, Jesus asked questions. The big difference between Jesus and you is that Jesus left no room for ambiguity. Jesus did not come to create confusion. Jesus did nothing to cloud the issue or leave it to chance that those who were supposed to “get it” couldn’t or wouldn’t get it. Jesus, unlike Mr. Bell, did not try to sound clever by asking obscure questions.

When people answered His questions correctly, Jesus told them so.
When they answered wrong, He told them so.

“I have not lost any that You have given Me.”

“Many people find Jesus compelling, but don’t follow him, because of the parts about “hell and torment and all that.”

This I think is what I found so profoundly sad about this book. It's written by a man who so desperately wants people to like Jesus that he’ll even lie about Jesus to win people over. He’ll tell them anything, even something that isn’t true if only he can get them to want to be Jesus' friend.

Jesus didn’t care about people liking Him. He cared that they spent eternity in heaven. Jesus wasn’t trying to win Israeli Idol. He came here on a rescue mission.

So desperately does Mr. Bell want people to like Jesus, and like coming to his church to hear about his version of Jesus that Rob mocks the idea that “only a few get in.” In order to get people to like Jesus, Rob Bell ignores the very words of Jesus, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:12-14.

Rob Bell wants people to accept Jesus, but if Jesus teaches that only a few will find the Way, and Rob Bell teaches people to just ignore Jesus' teaching if they don’t find it palatable, is he really helping people to follow Jesus? Is he really helping people to find salvation according to what Jesus taught?

In exactly the same fashion as thousands of enemies of the cross before him, Rob Bell asks the question, “Could God say to someone truly humbled, broken, and desperate for reconciliation, “Sorry, too late”? Many have refused to accept the scenario in which somebody is pounding on the door, apologizing, repenting, and asking God to be let in, only to hear God say through the keyhole: “Door’s locked. Sorry. If you had been here earlier, I could have done something. But now, it’s too late.”

Oh, so now salvation is a popularity contest. Many don’t like this scenario - I see. Well, to make sure that we clearly understand what it’s going to be like, Jesus told this parable. Again, a parable that Bell ignores.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Matthew 25: 1-13

Now I ask, who is more foolish?
. The people in the parable who didn’t plan for the end?
. Mr. Bell for telling people to behave like the fools in the Jesus’ account?
. Or those who do what Mr. Bell says to do, and ignore Jesus’ warning?

“And then there are others who insist that there must be some kind of “second chance” for those who don’t believe in Jesus in this lifetime.”

Yes, there are some. Like Rob Bell. These are the same people who ignore the pointed statement,
“People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

Don’t get me wrong. The book does contain a few good points. Unfortunately none of those good points have anything to do with heaven, hell and the fate of every person who ever lived.

So What Does Infallible Mean?

Atheists, those bastions of rationality and logic will tell you that we can’t believe what the Bible says because those who wrote the Bible believed what they were writing. Pftt!

As applied to the Bible, infallible means that the Bible is not misleading. It is true in what it teaches and is worthy of our trust. To say that the Bible is infallible means that its message, as a whole, is trustworthy and true. It means that verses must not be taken out of context. It means that Scripture itself must be used to interpret Scripture. It means that any given verse can mean “this” only if the rest of Scripture concurs.

Intent, or the mind of the author is important in understanding infallibility. For example, Genesis chapter one, in describing what appears to be six twenty-four hour days for the creation of the world is true, IF that is what the author was intending to mean. If that was not his intention, if his intention remains a mystery, then we cannot and must not press the fallibility presumption. This can also be said of Jesus’ parables. From our vantage point, a knowledge of literary form and genre is absolutely essential.

In other words, Scripture is infallible only as correctly interpreted.

This type of qualification has led fools to assert that the Scripture cannot be known; that in fact it is clearly man-made and unreliable. This is patently false. The Bible is in fact inerrant or free from error, as it was originally given. We can confidently base our lives, thoughts and behaviours upon what it says. This applies only to those who possess the Holy Spirit of the living God. As the saying goes, “Reading the Bible without the Holy Spirit is like reading a Sun Dial by the light of a quarter moon.”

Again, we must remember that any particular text is inerrant to the degree that we know what the author intended to say or teach, and the kind of literature in which the text was written. When Jesus said that He is the “door,” that does not mean that on His back or side we’ll find a latch of some type.

If a passage of Scripture is interpreted correctly, in harmony with the intention of the writer and in agreement with the rest of Biblical passages the truth of its inerrancy will be clearly seen.

The Only Solution

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when he sent His own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, He personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focussing on the self is the opposite of focussing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He'll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!

So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!
Romans 8:1-17

Monday, April 11, 2011

Examples of Inspiration

Jeremiah 1:5-9 - I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. I have put My words in your mouth.

“Thus says the Lord” and “the word of the Lord came to . . .” is the result of exactly this process.

So inspired were the prophets that their words were identified as the very words of God. God uses our language and our means of communicating to reveal to us, His character. Be it lineage, poetry, prophecy, parable, God has communicated to us as He desired.

The Bible says that we are to submit to it as to the very words of God. We come to the Bible with reverence and submission. Claiming that the Bible is not the inspired Word of God is to stand in opposition to God Himself. The mystery of inspiration is just one of the mysteries surrounding a Supreme Being and His dealings with us. Not understanding inspiration, however, should not keep us from adhering to it. Ephesians 1:11 tells us, that “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will . . .” If we simply live out our lives in conformity to that fact, we encounter surprisingly few problems regarding the authority of God’s Word.
“Never be afraid to trust the unknown future to a known and knowable God.”
Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Evolution of Darwin

“Scientists who utterly reject evolution may be one of our fastest growing minorities.
Larry Hatfield in Science Digest

To what was Mr. Hatfield referring?

A two page ad with the banner, “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” The ad included the statement, “We are sceptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The seven hundred scientists and professors from Cambridge, Standford, Cornell, Yale, Rutgers, Princeton, Purdue, Berkeley and others, biologists, chemists, zoologists, physicists, anthropologists, molecular and cell biologists, bio engineers, organic chemists, including the director of the Centre for Computational Quantum Chemistry and scientists from the Plasma Physics Lab at Princeton, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory - all these and more brought forth the courage to state categorically that the philosophy of materialism lacks credibility.

As more and more problems with Darwin's theory have arisen, atheists are trending toward cutting him loose. "We don't need Darwin anymore," is the new refrain. This in the same manner as, "We don't need a cause for the beginning of the universe."

“Science has become identified with a PHILOSOPHY known as materialism or scientific naturalism. This philosophy insists that nature is all there is, or at least the only thing about which we can have any knowledge. It follows that nature had to do its own creating, and that the means of creation must not have included any role for God.”
Phillip E. Johnson

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Loophole For Our Time

Have you noticed how hard it is to forgive? Have you noticed how hard it is to love your enemy, or even to love the person you're married to? Not to worry. There a way around it. There’s a loophole created just for you.

It’s called tolerance.

Tolerance isn’t love.

And it certainly isn’t forgiveness.

Tolerance is better than both love and forgiveness because unlike either of these, tolerance doesn’t cost you anything. At least not very much.

Tolerance says, “Go ahead. Do your own thing and I’ll just look the other way.”

Of course tolerance is better than harming you or discriminating against you in some way, but it’s most definitely not love.

Love takes the time and effort to get to know you, even as I disagree with what you’re doing.
Love causes me to seek what’s best for you even while I disagree with your lifestyle or belief system.

It was love that caused your Creator and mine to come to earth and live in the very filth and sin for which His own wrath would cause Him to pay His own penalty.

As Rob Bell has so famously said, “Love Wins!”

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inclusive Christianity

The teachings of Jesus are geared to produce despair, because if Jesus means what He says about our spiritual state, we’re in a hopeless situation - unable to save ourselves. John 3:16,18, 36

Blessed is the person who has nothing in h/him for God to correct.

Are you there yet?

Me neither.

Yet Jesus says only the pure in heart can stand before God.

The New Testament says that Jesus came to reveal that He has made it possible for any and every person to be reborn into God’s kingdom (John 3:3).

Then when we are born again His teaching becomes a description of the changes that God will bring about in us if we will let His power work through us. So long as a person has his morality well within h/his own grasp s/he does not need Jesus:

“For I came not to call those who think they are righteous but those who know they are not righteous.”

When we have been hard hit by reality and realise our own helplessness we find that it is not a cowardly thing to turn to Jesus. In fact, it is the only way out of our mess.

This way out is exclusively through Jesus.

And while not everyone will accept this rescue, it has been inclusively put in place for everyone.

“Anyone who calls on the Name of Jesus will be saved.”

Share What You Have

At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Deuteronomy 14:28,29 -

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What Does Inspiration Mean?

Some doofus atheist asked, "Why can't a Creator God write a book?" or something like that. Well, atheists can't help their ignorance, but it did get me to thinking. What exactly does inspiration mean?

Inspiration in this instance refers to the means of God revealing Himself to us through the Bible. It is an activity of the Holy Spirit. This simply means that the Bible is God’s authoritative word to human beings. There are three New Testament passages which help to explain inspiration.

2nd Timothy 3:16 - “All Scripture is God-breathed.”

God’s breath is a term from the OT and is a metaphor for God bringing abou,t or creating, particularly through His Spirit. In this case, the Scriptures are created or breathed out by God Himself. In Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4 and Psalm 33:6, humans are of course involved but not even mentioned. “All” of Scripture is said to be God breathed or inspired by God’s Spirit.

2nd Peter 1:19-21 - “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For the prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

“Carried along” is the same term as is used in Acts 27:15 meaning a ship being driven along by the wind or a storm. This suggests a strong compelling to write what one is being inspired to write. All of Scripture is said to be God breathed or inspired by God’s Spirit.

John 10:34-36 - Jesus said, “You know that the Scriptures cannot be broken. Why do you call it blasphemy when I say, “I am the Son of God”? After all, the Father set Me apart and sent Me into the world.”

Jesus’ claim to speak God’s very words and His claim to divine authority point to the inspiring activity of God. The whole Bible comes to us with a claim of divine inspiration, i.e., being breathed out by God.
With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Atheists and Cherry Picking

Atheists like to mock Christians by accusing them of not obeying God’s law regarding stoning a child who back-talks to h/her parents. Or they like to say that we should be killing all the people in the next town over because that’s what the Bible tells us to do. It’s scary to know they actually believe what they’re saying. No one reads the Bible more literally and more carelessly than atheists and because of this, they actually think that the Old Testament Law is still in effect. That leads to more than a few questions.

If the Law was still in effect, why did Jesus touch dead bodies
If the Law was still in effect, why didn’t Jesus wash before eating
If the Law was still in effect, why did Jesus harvest on the Sabbath
If the Law was still in effect, why did Jesus touch people with leprosy
If the Law was still in effect, why did Jesus turn ceremonial water it into wine
If the Law was still in effect, why did Jesus touch an unclean (bleeding) woman.

All these laws Jesus ignored but held in high esteem the law that marriage was between a man and a woman and that marriage should not be broken apart.

All these laws Jesus ignored but also said that He came to fulfill the law which could be narrowed to two points:

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and
Love your neighbour as yourself.

Why do atheists advocate keeping the dietary, cleanliness and holy day laws (which Jesus ignored) while advocating breaking God’s law regarding marriage and love (which Jesus upheld)?

Atheism, confusing to the core.

Paul vs. Jesus

Not just a few sceptics try to make a case that Paul preached a message that was different than that of Jesus the Christ. Let’s let Paul speak to the issue.

I ask you, "Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul's name?" I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I'm sure glad I wasn't. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas's family, but as far as I can recall, that's it.)

God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn't send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the centre - Christ on the Cross - be trivialized into mere words.

I assume I'm addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren't we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn't it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness - Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That's basically what happened even in old Israel - those who ate the sacrifices offered on God's altar entered into God's action at the altar.

I received my instruction from the Master Himself and passed them on to you.

1 Corinthians 1:13-17, 10:16-18, 11:24

Saturday, April 2, 2011

“Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact. I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic dreams.”
Alister McGrath.

Friday, April 1, 2011

That’s a Bad Story!

It’s funny when listening to atheists as they point out story after story in the Bible and say, “That’s wrong! What Noah did was wrong. What Moses did was wrong. Did you see how Abraham lied about his wife? That’s wrong. Oh gross. How could Lot even think of doing such a thing?”


It’s just as though atheists think that we should be able to comb through the Bible for saintly and virtuous lives to pattern our own lives after. Good luck with that. The accounts in the Bible are much like listening to the News. It’s about what humans do naturally.

The Bible is a Book about human failure and God’s redemptive plan.

In fact, if you start with Adam and Eve, Cain and Able and work your way through the account of Biblical “heroes” you’d have a pretty average Christian congregation. Liars and cheats, murderers and adulterers - lots of adulterers, a sprinkling of drunks and prostitutes, con men, cowards and traitors, rich and poor, brilliant and intellectually vacant. Now it’s true that most of these people are sincerely trying to get their spiritual lives on track. And it’s true, there are some righteous people in every congregation, righteous both from a worldly and a heavenly perspective. Churches though, are generally filled to the rafters with those who desperately need a spiritual doctor and for atheists to expect otherwise is foolhardy.

If you’re looking for an example to follow in the Bible, or in the Church, there is only One character that you could trust your life with and that is Jesus.

Jesus is the only One who you can live by His words, “Follow Me,” and come out on the other side with your life the better for having done so.
These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD.
Zechariah 8:16-17 -