Archive for the ‘religions and beliefs’ Category

Mark Driscoll

Question
What makes the best ‘case for God’ to a skeptic or non-believer,
an open-minded seeker, and to a person of faith and Why?

Answer
Jesus.

Christianity is not first and foremost about a sacred place to pilgrimage to, a philosophical system to ponder, a moral code to live, a religious tradition to honor, or an impersonal god to experience. Rather, Christianity is about a person who claimed to be the only God and said he would prove his unprecedented claim by living without sin, dying for sinners, and conquering death through resurrection.

So, as Christians, our aim is not to convince people of some god in general, but to introduce them to Jesus in particular. And since he created us with the ability to communicate, think, love, and experience, Christians have always valued using every means by which the truth and love of Jesus can be revealed.

Helpful to this end is using the evidence for a personal Creator who handcrafted our world for human life by explaining the principles of intelligent design and such things as the fine-tuning argument and the argument for irreducible complexity. These show that our world is a gift to be enjoyed worshipfully and stewarded wisely.

It is also important that people learn to understand how God speaks uniquely and authoritatively through the Bible. Acts that can aid in this include giving away Bibles (along with helpful Christian books) as gifts for people to simply read, bringing people to church to listen to the Bible preached, inviting people to small groups and classes to ask their questions about the Bible, and recommending good podcasts that would bring the Bible into the daily rhythm of their commutes, exercise workouts, and the like.

On a more practical level, acts of truly selfless compassion–done not for fame, notoriety, or to merit God’s approval, but done out of love for someone–help to reveal a small measure of God’s loving, merciful, compassionate nature. In a world where people use one another far more frequently than they love one another, these kinds of acts can be signs pointing to the God who is altogether good. As one example, in our church filled mainly with young people, we have put much effort into weeping with and serving the hundreds and hundreds of victims of molestation and rape.

Thus, informing the mind about Scripture, explaining the world and our place in it under God, and extending a hand of loving compassion all help to give people a framework by which to interpret their life experiences. They can begin to see that God has made them, wants to speak with them, and desires restored relationship with them, relationship that otherwise remains broken through sin.

While each of these ways of informing someone’s understanding is important, none is alone sufficient. That is because what they leave us with is knowledge about God by revealing what he has done (creation), how he communicates (the Bible), and what he seeks (relationship). But we still do not enjoy that relationship.

This leads us to Jesus.

Christianity has always held, based upon the teachings of Jesus and the prophets of the Old Testament and apostles of the New Testament, that in Jesus, the Creator has entered into creation on a rescue mission for the restoring of relationship, in fulfillment of Scripture. For making the three most unprecedented claims in the history of the world–that he was without sin as the only God and the only path to salvation–Jesus was treated without compassion. He was lied about, arrested, falsely tried, beaten, whipped beyond recognition, nailed to a cross, and lifted up for a crowd to mock, jeer, and spit upon. Jesus our Creator then, with bloodied lips, spoke the word “forgive” for his murderers. Jesus died to pay the penalty for sin as the greatest act of compassion the world has or will ever witness; the Creator died for his creation, to make enemies friends.

Three days later, Jesus rose, conquering sin and death and vindicating his claims. Subsequently, if Jesus is dead, so is Christianity. If Jesus is alive, so is Christianity. And so while there is no “best case” for presenting God, there are false ways of presenting God: as anyone in addition to or other than Jesus Christ. As Christians, our goal is never to lie to people by only telling them what they want to hear, or manipulating them to feel what they want to feel. Instead, we want to respect them enough to tell them the truth, and love them enough to do so in a way that is compassionate. We care more about the truth and the love than having the “best case.” We believe that there is power in the truth about Jesus that can unleash new life in people as they agree with the truth about him.

BY MARK DRISCOLL  |  OCTOBER 14, 2009

Mark Driscoll
FOUNDING PASTOR, MARS HILL CHURCH

Among America’s most prominent young Christian voices, Driscoll describes himself as “a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody.”

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Josh, Angela, Georgie and myself have all been greatly encouraged by a visit from a great group of guys from South Australia, the Timothy Fellowship. Thanks Daniel, Nathaniel, Nathin and Chris for your encouragement and passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You have refreshed us in every way, welcome any time!

If you want to catch up with the guys from Timothy, check out their blog.

Oops, would have been great to have gotten a photo to share in this post, but we were too busy talking about the things of God, our concern for His Church and the proclamation of the gospel. I personally feel reignited to engage in street evangelism and blogging, but to always keep my steady preoccupation upon Jesus Christ.

Evolution and Playschool

Posted: April 17, 2008 by Daniel in religions and beliefs
Tags:

I am starting a campaign here in Australia to get the ABC (our public broadcaster) to stop playing their week of Playschool episodes themed around dinsoaurs. It presents evolution as fact to preschool children, when they are at their must vulnerable and will believe ANYTHING that a Playschool presenter tells them is true, particularly when it is presented in an easy-to-remember song form.

These episodes seem to be broadcast far more frequently than other episodes. I believe that this should stop. They are not presenting any other religious material, and if they think that evolution is not a religious view they are mistaken. It takes a great deal of faith to believe in the dodgy pseudo-science of evolution.

If you agree with me, please email a complaint to the ABC at www.abc.net.au/contact

The specific episodes in question are the dinosaur episodes. Have at them people! This should not be allowed to go on unchallenged, it is teaching misinformation to tiny tots ARG!!!!!!

Read on for a copy of the text I emailed to the complaints department…

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Now isn’t that a very common topic now days!
Lets open it up and see how that type of argument stands after some scrutiny.

  • Hasn’t science debunked the bible?
  • Isn’t it flawed?
  • Written my man?
  • Contradictory?

It may surprise you but YES. Science has debunked the bible many times over the years!
Only to have their “findings” changed by other people who have either more or better information or maybe less bias. Just as today we have an evolutionary world view that clashes with almost all the bible, from its account of creation to the point of existence itself.

People keep bringing up the points that always get brought up, eg: “The water turning to blood in Exodus was just an algae!
Earth being made in 6 days. You shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. Yet they did not die that same day! How can Jesus walk on the water?” On and on it can go.
So instead of getting bogged down in 10000 points of the Bible that non-believing people don’t want to understand. I would rather be offensive as opposed to defensive by letting what the Bible says very clearly speak for itself! The lovely gems as I call them, that the attackers have to explain away! So lets look at some bible Gems and let them shine this Christmas.
Ask yourself “If the bible is man made, how can the writers know something that no man could know by normal physical non-modern scientific means?”

Lets go to the oldest book in the bible Job. With a little Proverbs. Floating and rotating spherical earth… Job 26:7 He… hangs the earth upon nothing. Job 38:14 It [earth] is turned like clay under a seal… Pro 8:27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a circle upon the face of the deep; How can a man, regardless how smart Job could have been, 3500+ years ago, know that the earth was a sphere and spin while hanging in nothing? We only worked that out 200 years ago, but even then, we only REALLY knew it once we went up in to space and looked back at the earth. Only two words are needed: divine revelation

Eve. Gen 3:20 The man Adam named his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all who live. The bible is very clear about all humans having 1 original birth mother: Eve. Today science has clearly discovered that there is mitochondrial DNA that only comes from the mother, passed on to the next generation, you me and the woman next door all have the same mitochondrial DNA that could only come from the previous woman, going all the way back to the First woman. EVE…
Pleiades and Orion.

Job 38:31 Can you bind the bands of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion? Can a man 3500+ years ago be expected just by looking up at the stars to know that Pleiades and Orion are constellations of stars that are different from all other stars around them, but also have intricate knowledge about them without even a telescope? We have only just discovered via our high technology that in ever so minuscule amounts all stars in the constellations that we see in the sky are spreading apart bit by bit. Yet out of all known constellations Pleiades is not moving apart at all [bound] and Orion is moving apart very fast [loosed], so much more than all other constellations that it will soon fall apart and no longer be a constellation in the future. Yet it cannot be detected by the human eye or normal observations. I have two words once again “divine revelation”! Anyway, why would 40+ men over a period of 1500 years on three different continents, in three different languages often never knowing each other, “make up” something that is so out of this world, over and over and end up getting it right every time?

There is not single fact in the bible that is incorrect, not one part can be proved to be wrong. Yes people have thought that parts were wrong, yet once “real” science caught up and used unbiased observations and thinking, the bible stands strong time and again. Think about it, if there were any “real” discrepancies in the bible, we would never hear the end of the detractors. The only reason why people today do not want to except the bible as TRUTH is because they don’t want it to be TRUTH. They are willingly blind to it. I think that there is a good verse covering that! If they can just push the bible to a small corner and reduce it to a “fable” then they can continue to justify their sinful lifestyles and will never bend the knee to God. So blessings this Christmas and all the best with reaching your family’s over this festive season!
From Scott.

And remember ”Human knowledge is ultimately man boasting about himself.” That is a hollow boast isn’t it!

 

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Is entertainment, fun and play hurting your walk???

Like every other Christian who is reading this, once becoming born again I was put on a path of cleaning up my life, “the sanctification wagon” could be a good term.

It is called the process of sanctification, getting all the sharp edges knocked off, all the pot holes filled in, get all my selfishness, addictions, time wasting , evil desires, lusts, greed, anger, vengeance, lying, etc… all turned down, filled in, rubbed off and replaced with love, peace, joy, hope, faithfulness, obedience, patience and love.

In other words becoming more and more conformed into the image of Christ every day.

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Angela and I are both very excited and chuffed about Reformation Day coming up this Wednesday. We never though such a thing would be celebrated till we saw a special notice in our Church bulletin informing us of a Reformation Day service this Wednesday night. It has really hit our funny bones – in a good way. If you have never heard of the reformation or reformation day, here is an extract from wikipedia that might help:

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 Theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg’s main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular. Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. When Luther and his supporters were excommunicated in 1520, the Lutheran tradition was born.

I’m using the term ‘bashing’ in an Australian colloquial way: “to relentlessly criticise or pursue, eg; bible bashing means to forcefully evangelise.” So please don’t be offended by my controversial title – I hope Joel is doing well.

 

I don’t really have a lot to say about Joel. I’ve never met the guy, but thanks to 10 years experience in ‘Word Faith’ I do understand where he is coming from and why he says what he says. I now know that this ministry is something worthy of being concerned about. I want to share an article that could be most helpful if you’ve managed to see the 60 Minutes story on JO. Please focus on the practical implications of his popularity and poor gospel message.

 

The full article is available at the Westminster Seminary:

 

“Law-Lite”: Salvation From Unhappiness By Doing Your Best

There is no condemnation in Osteen’s message for failing to fulfill God’s righteous law. On the other hand, there is no justification. Instead of either message, there is an upbeat moralism that is somewhere in the middle: Do your best, follow the instructions I give you, and God will make your life successful. (more…)