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|OT| Community Christianity [OT] The Word became flesh and dwelt among us

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Video: The Pain of Others, and Your Own: Facing Trauma in Ministry - Michael Longinow
Research in neuro-psychology and physical medicine tells us that traumatic events cause changes to our brain and to our body; they also affect our soul. Yet too many whose ministries deal with suffering, traumatic injury, or death neglect their own mental, physical, and spiritual health. They bear the burden of things that can wear them down. In this session we will explore some of the research on trauma, its effects on responders, and the scriptural approaches to helping ourselves as healers who seek to sustain their hands of help over the long term.

Video: Who Saw Risen Jesus? Dr. Andrew Loke Responds to @Paulogia
Atheist YouTube Paulogia recently attempted to refute Dr. Andrew Loke's arguments for the post-mortem appearances of Jesus by appealing to the work of other Christian scholars. In this video, Dr. Loke responds to Paulogia's claims.

Video: Making What Everybody Wants - Matthew 5:9; Genesis 32-33
One of the easiest things in the world is to march for peace; one of the hardest things in the world is to make peace. What does it mean to be a peacemaker and how can it best be done? Today we consider the great beatitude of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers” and the unique place of the child of God in this role. We also cover some practical steps to accomplishing it as shown in the life of Jacob and his estranged brother, Esau.

Video: What Sets Progressive Christianity Apart from Historic Christianity? With David Young
David Young, author of the book, "A Grand Illusion: How Progressive Christianity Undermines Biblical Faith," joins me to talk about the history of progressive Christianity, specifically traced through the Unitarian movement in New England in the 1700's. David shares his story of getting his Phd from Vanderbilt, a theologically liberal university, and how that helped him recognize progressive Christianity and its influence in the church.

Video: The Gospels: Based on Myths?
There's countless ancient myths about dying and rising gods; what's to say Christianity is any different? Could the Gospel accounts just be based on these old myths?

THE ELECT: THE THREAT TO A PROGRESSIVE AMERICA FROM ANTI-BLACK ANTIRACISTS
Serial excerpt No. 3: We can only move on in full awareness that this is a religion. Not "like" one -- but an actual one.

The Rusty Gap
Like most people, we probably found those initial attempts at sharing the gospel both intimidating and stretching, but the more we kept pushing ‘play’ on those witnessing opportunities, the more we saw the Lord gradually increase our evangelism strength and fitness; it became something we actually enjoyed, rather than simply endured. Yet somehow – often unintentionally – the demands of work, family, care-giving, romance, even church activities took over and evangelism became neglected, like an old pair or running shoes or dumbbells now collecting dust in the garage. Eventually, however, someone or something can come along that motivates us to get off the proverbial couch and back into intentionally shining the light of the glorious gospel into a dark and broken world. But, if we’re honest, committing to regularly share our faith again with others might feel like having to run the London marathon when the only thing you have run in the last fifteen years is a warm bath. Our evangelism is rusty; our proficiency at meaningfully sharing our faith is badly out of shape.

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Video: Imago Dei: The Image of God
All people are created in the Image of God and that changes everything. It changes how we view and interact with others, as well as the issues that we care about as believers. Every lives matters because every life is created in the image of God.

Audio: A Biblical Analysis of Critical Race Theory
"Critical Race Theory, or CRT for short, is, for many professing evangelicals today, a philosophy that is steeped in confusion and ambiguity. That is by design. In this expanded episode of the Just Thinking podcast, Darrell Harrison and Virgil “Omaha” Walker spend more than three hours unpacking the origins, tenets, and threats that Critical Race Theory poses not only to the evangelical church, but to society as a whole."

CRT is “a worldview based on vindictive and prejudiced principles that are subjective and changeable depending upon what direction the winds of white supremacy and black oppression happen to be blowing.”

Video: Gospel Glory in Pots of Clay

Video: The Ravi Scandal: Diane Langberg, Glen Scrivener & Steve Baughman on victims, accountability & power
Justin and Ruth host a show on the Ravi Zacharias abuse scandal. They are joined by trauma abuse psychologist Dr Diane Langberg and Rev Glen Scrivener, an evangelist with Speak Life. They discuss supporting victims, ensuring accountability and the problem with pedestals. They also hear from Ravi Watch founder Steve Baughman and RZIM speaker Sam Allberry.

Video: How to Make a World || Andrew Peterson || RESET
In this interview, Glen Scrivener talks to Andrew Peterson, the singer-songwriter, author and founder of The Rabbit Room. Here, Glen and Andrew discuss the creative process, and what the ancient text of Genesis has to say about creativity

Video: Over 100 Arguments for the Existence of God
In this video, Dr. Chad McIntosh presents over 100 arguments for the existence of God. Each argument is presented in visual form followed by recommended sources for further research. At the end, we discuss what a similar list of arguments for atheism would look like (and what it would imply for the theistic list of arguments).
 

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Video: Faith (Belief as a Virtue) by C.S. Lewis Doodle (BBC Talk 17, Mere Christianity, Bk 3, Chapter 11) (2/28/21)

C.S. Lewis as an atheist used to ask himself ‘How on earth can faith or belief be a virtue? What is there moral or immoral about believing or not believing a set of statements?’ Now as a Christian he explains what a good many people do not see about faith... During WWII C.S. Lewis broadcast two talks on Faith entitled ‘Faith as a Virtue’ and ‘The Problem of Faith and Works’. These were cut down from their original scripts for the radio broadcasts, but the original talks ended up being printed in full and expanded in the book version of the talks which later became the book ‘Mere Christianity’.

 

Cutty Flam

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Video: 90-Minute Q&A with an Experienced Exorcist (Fr. Vince Lampert)

This is a very powerful interview. There was a moment at which the man said, Jesus when tempted by the Devil in the desert defeated him by the Word of God

I thought it was interesting that he states demons will make use of a person's memory and their imagination to find a chink in their spiritual armor. This priest mentions this a couple times at least, maybe I heard it as many as three times during the interview? I'm just glad he said demons are nothing we should fear lol. I had a demonic (at least it seemed demonic, to me) sleep paralysis episode that believe was most likely demonic and it was very alarming. Shared my experience in detail a couple times here in a sleep paralysis thread or two. The priest says faith will take care of it and he seems all very calm and assured but what I experienced is that it very well could be possible to "lose your soul" to such entities. That is what I felt was at stake during that episode of "sleep paralysis" on that particular night, one in which I will never forget. But anyway, thanks for always sharing with us all the time. Game Analyst Game Analyst your posts bring to us a wealth of invaluable information and protection. Also, I hope you are feeling and doing much better after your vaccine injection as I saw you were dealing with the symptoms in the coronavirus thread
 

Game Analyst

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But anyway, thanks for always sharing with us all the time. Game Analyst Game Analyst your posts bring to us a wealth of invaluable information and protection. Also, I hope you are feeling and doing much better after your vaccine injection as I saw you were dealing with the symptoms in the coronavirus thread

Thank you for your kind words, brother. My hope is that the resources I share help each person grow in love with Christ more and equip each person in their vocations. Also, my vaccine symptoms (the second shot) went completely away on the 28th (got the shot on the 25th). ^_^

New Resources:

Video: Are Paulogia's Videos Deceptive? Cameron & Dr. Loke Respond
In this video, Cameron Bertuzzi and Dr. Andrew Loke respond to Paulogia's defense of the way that he edited various videos from Christian scholars. This video is the last in a long line of response videos. I've laid them all out in chronological order below.

Video: Ambassadors for Christ: Living and Speaking for Jesus in a Secular Work Environment - Phil Nussbaum
Phil Nussbaum is one of the founding members and partners of The Performance Trust Companies. Prior to joining Performance Trust in 1994, Phil was a VP at Clayton Brown Associates and prior to that worked in the Financial Markets Unit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. II Corinthians 5:20a says: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” This workshop examines how we can strive to live as ambassadors for Christ in a secular environment. Biblical instructions for living for Jesus as his ambassador in the workplace will be discussed. In addition, seven ideas on speaking for Jesus in a secular work setting will also be provided.

Video: God's Undertaker: Has Science and Philosophy Buried God | John Lennox

Video: When Peace Gets Personal - Isaiah 26:1-4
Though peace cannot be found nationally, internationally, politically, or societally, what about personally? Well, the Bible has a lot to say about personal peace, and Isaiah 26 hosts one of the great promises of it. Though the biblical context of this chapter has an eschatological setting, today we will explore five fundamentals about personal peace. It is my great hope that you will not only look forward to a future of peace, but that you will experience God’s personal peace in your life right now.

Video: "True Faith" (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The logical contours of these two verses fit the gospel like a custom-made glove. It's a great, concisely stated definition of what true saving faith looks like.

Video: Romans 6-7

Video: YouTube Christian Apologetics is GROWING! Meet Parker
Parker Settecase from "Parker's Pensees" is hands down my new favorite Christian YouTuber. In this video, I invite him on for a chat so you can meet him and discover the awesome work he's doing. Go subscribe to his channel immediately!

Video: Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
What inspired Andy Bannister to write his latest book? What can we learn about the uniqueness of Jesus when we compare the world's two largest religions? Gavin Matthews interviews the author to find out more.

Video: Why Did Jesus Have to Die? -- with Live Q&A | Coffeehouse Questions
Ryan Pauly interviews Dr. Craig on the atonement as the live virtual audience chimes in with questions.

Audio: Episode 2 - Church and State
In this second episode, Aaron, Andy, and Michael explore another massive question raised by the COVID lockdown — how do the Church and State relate? Can the State tell the Church what to do? Is Romans 13 the sum total of what the Bible has to say about how Christians should relate to their government? How do we know when the State has crossed a line and the Church should say "this far and no further?"
 
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Audio: The Way Home: Tom Schreiner on the Apostle Paul and the Resurrection
In this episode of the special edition of the Easter podcast in conjunction with my book “The Characters of Easter,” I am joined by Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dean of the School of Theology there. He talks about his conversion to Christianity, his calling to the life of scholarship and writing, and the resurrection and the apostle Paul.
Losing Well Together With the Gospel Coalition
Big Reforma is making its peace with secularism and neo-paganism, retreating to the four walls of the church and the quietist Christian family, hoping against hope that they'll be safe. They won't.
Video: Being the best bad guys you can be
Christians are often painted as the bad guys in Western society, while some are portrayed as that guy we avoid when they try to share the gospel with us. Glen talks to Steve McAlpine and Sam Chan, who have both written books that come from both these angles.

Video: Is Christianity a white man’s religion? Dr Vince Bantu and Dr AJ Varmah
  • Why do we often picture a Caucasian Jesus with blonde hair and blue eyes? Why are many of the early church fathers depicted as white when they weren’t? Has African Christianity been hijacked? Dr Vince Bantu of Fuller Theological Seminary and Dr AJ Varmah of the Holy Qubtic Church join Ruth Jackson to discuss these important questions and look at how we can correct the distorted image of Eurocentric Christianity.
    • Critical Race Theory is “a worldview based on vindictive and prejudiced principles that are subjective and changeable depending upon what direction the winds of white supremacy and black oppression happen to be blowing.”

Video: Q&A: The Bible and Archaeology (Conversation with Joel Kramer)
What are the toughest archaeological challenges for the Bible? How does the Biblical account fare? In this video, we take live questions from people about the Bible and archaeology.

Video: From What Has Been Made | Dr. Fazale 'Fuz' Rana
This is the recording of the talk delivered by Dr. Fazale 'Fuz' Rana at the inaugural conference of SAFT Apologetics - Areopagus 2021 which concluded on 18th February.

Video: Atheism Needs God | Dr. Frank Turek
This is the recording of the talk delivered by Dr. Frank Turek at the inaugural conference of SAFT Apologetics - Areopagus 2021 which concluded on 18th February.
 

Game Analyst

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Contemporary Challenges to Inerrancy
Virtually every Christian doctrine has had doubt cast upon it by some people, but nothing has been more repeatedly undermined than what God has said, beginning as early as Genesis 3:1. Historically, it has been common to relativize Scripture’s authority by adding other authoritative sources; in recent times, it has been more common to question the Bible’s truthfulness, historical reliability, moral probity, and interpretive coherence, by taking away from Scripture its transparent qualities. Responding to such challenges is not the picky pastime of defensive cranks but the inevitable result of holding the same view of Scripture reflected by Jesus himself.

Theistic Amorism
Theistic amorism falls short of how God’s people are truly called to love Him (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Mark 12:30). To biblically love God is to love Him for who He is—for all that He is—not simply for who we might imagine or desire Him to be. As the Puritan theologian Thomas Watson says in his classic work on the attributes of God, titled A Body of Divinity, “There is in God all that may draw forth both wonder and delight; there is a constellation of all beauties; he is prima causa, the original and springhead of being, who sheds a glory upon the creature.”

Audio: The Voice of the Martyrs - CUBA Pastor’s Wife: “God Removed My Fear”
As a teenager in Cuba, “Maria” encountered the book Tortured For Christ, written by VOM’s founder, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand—when she was told to burn the books before Cuban authorities could find them and arrest her father! Today, Maria and her husband, “Pedro,” help VOM serve persecuted Christians in Cuba and other Latin American nations. Listen as they share a recent experience when Cuban authorities issued an arrest warrant for Pedro, and how Pedro and Maria experienced the prayers of Christians around the world in that time of pressure and trial. Listen also to learn how Cuban pastors are pressured by communist authorities, and whether or not anything changed for Cuban Christians after the death of Fidel Castro.

Video: Confident Christianity Online - Morning Session 6 March
Morning Session for the Confident Christianity Online Conference on 6 March 2021 with Andy Bannister, Kristi Mair and Gareth Black. Hosted by Hereford Baptist Church, with Putson Baptist Church and Ross Baptist Church.

Video: Confident Christianity Online - Afternoon Session 6 March
Afternoon Session for the Confident Christianity Online Conference on Saturday 6 March 2021 with Andy Bannister, Kristi Mair and Gareth Black. Hosted by Hereford Baptist Church, with Putson Baptist Church and Ross Baptist Church.

Video: 20 Questions with Pastor Mike (Episode 25)
  1. 0:36 [Parable of the Dishonest Manager] What is the meaning of the Parable of the Dishonest Manager in Luke 16: 1-13? I was having a Bible study with a friend over Discord, and we're wondering about this.
  2. 10:01 [Anxiety about the Rapture] Is it bad to hope that Jesus doesn’t come back until after I have died? Not knowing when the rapture will come (pre or post-trib) causes me anxiety.
  3. 12:46 [Can Christians claim all biblical promises?] How do we respond to someone who says we can "claim" all the promises in the Bible for ourselves because we are "grafted into Israel" or because God is "no respecter of persons"?
  4. 16:35 [Resources to guard against confirmation bias] I am afraid that I am just partaking in confirmation bias for theism, but I find that most atheistic arguments are just strawmen and ad-hominem attacks. Are there any good, thoughtful resources?
  5. 23:42 [Premarital abstinence] I've been a follower of Christ for about 3 months now and my girlfriend of 2 years who I would say is "lukewarm" is hesitant to abstain. How should I handle this?
  6. 26:08 [Golden chain of redemption – Romans 8] Can you give your interpretation of the "golden chain of redemption" in Romans 8: 29-30?
  7. 29:53 [How is God glorified when a soul perishes?] Everything works together for God's glory, but I have a hard time reconciling that with the idea that God creates people that He knows are destined for Hell. Any thoughts?
  8. 836:17 [Do different biblical interpretations make Scripture contradictory?] Given the multiple schools of thought on concepts like eschatology and Calvinism, and each school has Scripture to back up their contradicting views, does that make Scripture contradictory?
  9. 41:28 [Advice for an atheist teen] Please give advice on what say to my 16 yr. old who has told me he is an atheist. He can barely defend his position. He has basically fallen victim to internet atheism, and he no longer wants to go to church.
  10. 43:50 [Have I truly forgiven if I don’t feel it?] How do you know when you truly have forgiven someone in your heart? I can say the words but I’m unsure if my heart has changed.
  11. 46:33 [Is Satan omniscient?] The Bible indicates that the mystery of God's plan for salvation was kept hidden for ages until after the resurrection. Could that mean Satan is omniscient, i.e. when Jesus had to rebuke Peter?
  12. 50:30 [Matt. 10 & Mark 13 written similarly] Why does Matthew 10: 16-24 have Olivet Discourse wording (same wording as Mark 13:9-13)? It does not seem to fit here/make sense & this is NOT found in the parallel verses (Luke 9:1-6, Mark 6:7-13).
  13. 52:56 [Is meditation style prayer o.k.?] I enjoy mindful meditation for mental health reasons and want to involve God in this, but I've heard this type of prayer is wrong. Why couldn’t I memorize a Psalm and repeat it in prayerful thought?
  14. 55:21 [Intro to apologetics resources] What are some good sources to look at to start studying apologetics?
  15. 57:50 [Can we allow extrabiblical sources to inspire us?] Is it sinful to be inspired by historical people in and outside of the Bible? Should I instead be exclusively inspired by the Holy Spirit who enabled believers or by the Father?
  16. 1:00:21 [Caring for a grieving loved one] A loved one of mine (a believer) is going through a season of mental anguish. What are some practical ways that I can help and encourage them?
  17. 1:02:37 [Disciples’ memory – Miracles in Mark 6 vs. Mark 8] How is it that when Jesus feeds the 4,000 in Mark 8, the disciples don’t seem to remember Him already doing the same thing in Mark 6 (the 5,000)?
  18. 1:04:03 [Jesus’ death, burial, & resurrection] If Jesus was beaten unrecognizably, how can we be sure they checked the right tomb?
  19. 1:08:41 [How could Adam & Eve know right from wrong?] If eating from the tree of knowledge is what gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of good vs. evil, how could they have been expected to know that disobeying God was evil before they ate the fruit?
  20. 1:10:21 [Can Christians listen to secular music?] I was wondering if you had anything to say about secular music? Is it ok to listen to? What draws the line of something a Christian shouldn't listen to/ watch



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Video: Faith (Belief as a Virtue) by C.S. Lewis Doodle (BBC Talk 17, Mere Christianity, Bk 3, Chapter 11) (2/28/21)



I picked up a copy of Mere Christianity recently, after hearing so many good things about it. It is great stuff. I love all the discussion of Christianity from the Lewis-Tolkein-Chesterton group.

Also I just picked this up from a recommendation by Doug TenNapel. Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents. Seems like very timely reading for these days:



Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn once noted that people often assume that their democratic government would never submit to totalitarianism---but Dreher says it's happening. Sounding the alarm about the insidious effects of identity politics, surveillance technology, psychological manipulation, and more, he equips contemporary Christian dissidents to see, judge, and act as they fight to resist the erosion of our freedoms. 304 pages, hardcover from Sentinel.

 
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Video: Was There a Bishop of Rome in the First Century? Protestant Critique
Was there a single bishop over the church in Rome in the first century, or does the emergence of a monarchical episcopate in the Roman church date into the second century? I offer some reflections on this topic here, following up on my dialogue with Joe Heschmeyer about the papacy and other Protestant and Roman Catholic differences.

Video: Inside Amish Vacationland 🇺🇸
Everyone likes a good vacation and this includes the Amish. Join me in Pinecraft, Florida to meet the very friendly Amish and Mennonite people on vacation and learn about this fascinating culture.

Video: World News (3/5/21)

Video: Tom Wright - session 3: Preaching on the Cross
A short series of talks to help inform our theology of the cross and how we might preach on it over Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Tom Wright is one of this country’s leading New Testament scholars, who has published over seventy books, including God and the Pandemic.

Video: Jordan Peterson and Jesus Christ - the Ongoing Discovery. Dr Gavin Ashenden
 
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Please pray for me. I am having a cancerous thyroid nodule and the remaining half of my thyroid removed tomorrow at 12 PM (PST). Please pray for peace and non-anxious thoughts for myself and all involved in my medical care. Pray for my family as well that God would use these times to draw them closer to Him and believe the gospel.

New Resources:

Audio: Episode 03 - Church and Culture
In this third episode we discuss the relationship between church and culture. How can we avoid the two opposite pitfalls of simply being shaped by the culture around us or, on the other hand, ignoring it all together? How can the Church be truth and light in our culture and offer a unique and distinct voice into some of today’s culture wars?

The Fear Gap (1)
As human beings we have deep needs to be liked and appreciated. Most of us fear being rejected or judged by others in life. That’s also true in evangelism. Just as old theologian Augustine in his pre-conversion hedonistic days prayed “Lord make me continent [chaste/pure], but not yet” –sometimes (perhaps before the visit to the hairdresser or jumping in the taxi or going out for the night with your friends) our secret prayer might be: “Lord, open doors for the gospel, but not tonight”. That evangelistic reluctance very often stems from fear.
Video: Why Did He Predict the Rapture?: The Mark Series pt 55 (13:28-30)
I've had a number of people asking me about when pastor Chuck Smith predicted the rapture. It's an uncomfortable topic for a Calvary Chapel pastor, which I am, and for someone who looks up to and deeply appreciates pastor Chuck, as I do. This is because Chuck Smith is the founder of Calvary Chapel and I can say that his ministry has had a big, positive impact in my own life. But I think we should talk about it for a few specific reasons.

The Historicity of the Feeding of the Five Thousand: An Appraisal of the Evidence.
I attempt to show this by virtue of appeal to undesigned coincidences, reconcilable variations, and other telltale markers of independence and verisimilitude. What I hope to demonstrate is that the feeding of the five thousand is the second best attested New Testament miracle, after the resurrection of Jesus. For many of the insights that follow, I am indebted to my friend and colleague Dr. Lydia McGrew, both through her writing, and through her direction towards Christian authors from times past (such as Paley, Blunt and Birks) who identified many of these hallmarks of verisimilitude in the gospel accounts.
 

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Jesus in the OT Part 6:

Next up we're now in the book of Judges. Time has passed since the Israelites entered into Canaan and began to establish their kingdom, as told in the book of Joshua. However, Israel didn't follow God's commands to completely drive out the Canaanites. The Angel of YHVH comes to Israel:
Judges 2
1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
First I'd like to point out the Angel "came up from Gilgal." If you remember, Joshua encountered the captain of the host of the LORD just outside of Gilgal, where Israel was encamped.
Joshua 5: 10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho
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13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
This is an excellent example of the internal integrity of the Bible. Each book written by different authors over a thousand years maintains a cohesive narrative (thanks to the real author, the Holy Spirit!).

Back to Judges 2. Again we see the Angel speak as He Himself is God. Reminding the Israelites of His promise, and that He brought them out of Egypt.

Further, in the New Testament book of Jude (written by the half-brother of Jesus), we're told explicitly it was Jesus who delivered Israel from Egypt.
Jude 1:
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

The Greek in verse 4 specifies "Lord God" as "despotēs theos" and "Lord Jesus" as "kyrios Iesous"
In verse 5, the Lord that saved the people is specifically "kyrios."
 
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Video: The Case For The Resurrection Of Jesus | Authors Q&A with Girl Talk Apologetics
Girl Talk Apologetics hosted a Q&A with authors Mike Licona and Gary Habermas on their book, "The Case For The Resurrection Of Jesus.

Video: Similarities Between Coneism and the KKK | Virgil Walker
Virgil Walker, Executive Director of Operations for G3 Ministries, examines the close ideological similarities between the white supremacy of the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Liberation Theology of James Cone. Walker analyzes how discrimination, dehumanization and “otherness” that accompanied many of the racist particulars of the KKK are present in the teachings of those that are sharing many aspects of James Cone in today’s conservative theological circles.

Video: Do Trans Athletes Have an Unfair Advantage? New Research and Worldview Issues
Why is sports trans policy such a hot issue today? What effects will new rulings have on girl's sports? What are the core worldview issues at stake? In this video, I talk with Dr. Gabriel Higerd about his recent research on trans sports policies.

Video: Gary Habermas Responds to Jordan Peterson's View on the Resurrection | The Carpenter's Desk
Dr. Jordan Peterson was asked about his views on the Resurrection of Jesus by Dr. Gary Habermas, when the former was at Liberty University campus on March 29, 2019. Peterson's response was reflective of his agnosticism on the Resurrection as a literal event, but went on to expound upon what it could mean symbolically. Habermas recounts his conversation with Peterson on The Carpenter's Desk, and weighs in on the mere symbolic interpretation of Christianity's central event. He sums it up, saying: "If a symbol is good, then a symbol that's grounded is better."

Video: If God is Good, Why is There Natural Evil? | Andy Bannister
If God is all powerful and all good, why do we live in a world where we see 'natural evil'—everything from earthquakes, to floods, to pandemics? Andy Bannister tackles this common question — and shows how (unlike atheism) the Christian worldview offers powerful resources both for naming and identifying evil, as well as giving us a concrete hope that evil is not a broken world's last laugh.
 
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Video: Dr. Joe Rigney: Prince Caspian


Video: Dr. Joe Rigney: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe


Video: Dr. Jerry Root: A Preface to Paradise Lost


Video: Dr. Jerry Root: Miracles


Video: Dr. Jerry Root: The Problem of Pain


Video: Dr. Jerry Root: Surprised by Joy


Video: Dr. Jerry Root: The Abolition of Man


Video: Dr. Jerry Root: The Great Divorce

 

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New Resources:

Video: Are pro-lifers on campus being cancelled? Julia Rynkiewicz, Ryan Christopher & Alison Scott-Baumann
Julia Rynkiewicz was suspended from her midwifery course at Nottingham University because of her support for the pro-life organisation Students for Life. Justin is joined by Julia along with Ryan Christoper of ADF UK who fought and won Julia’s case for unfair dismissal. They debate whether there is a problem of free speech on campus with Prof Alison Scott-Baumann of SOAS University of London.

Video: Online Conversation | Faith, Fear, and Conspiracy, with David French
On March 12th we were delighted to welcome Senior Editor of The Dispatch and American political commentator, David French. French has written numerous articles discussing how and why our unsettling times have proven fertile ground for the growth of conspiracy thinking, especially within the Christian community. His new book, Divided We Fall, explores not only the rise of conspiracy thinking, but also the tribalism and alienation that has divided the country.

Video: Black Atheism: What it is and Why it Matters
In this interview, I'm joined by a very good friend of mine, Adam Coleman, to discuss some of the things that are unique about black atheism and why Christians today should be aware of the movement.

Video: Similarities Between Coneism and the KKK | Virgil Walker
"Virgil Walker, Executive Director of Operations for G3 Ministries, examines the close ideological similarities between the white supremacy of the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Liberation Theology of James Cone. Walker analyzes how discrimination, dehumanization and “otherness” that accompanied many of the racist particulars of the KKK are present in the teachings of those that are sharing many aspects of James Cone in today’s conservative theological circles." ()

Video: #27 Craig Northwood - Apologetics, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christianity - Critical Witness
We're talking with Craig Northwood from @136Apologetics, a ministry with a focus on interacting with Jehovah's Witnesses and the various ways they differ from historic Christianity. Due to the topics that often come up with JWs we will most likely discuss who Jesus is, the Trinity and bible translations as well as what apologetics is.

Video: Peter: A Study in Failure and Restoration

Video: Loving Your Enemies as God Does

Video: Personal Evangelism || With Glen Scrivener, Dan Strange, Jeremy Marshall and Darren Moore
 
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SebastianShaw

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I have a question.

I am part Christian part Jewish by heritage. I don’t believe in God but I wish I did. I want religion in my life, I want the homely structure, the feeling that everything will turn out well and the belief in God. I believe life with God is better without
can’t force my self to believe and cease being an atheist. What do I do?
 
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showernota

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I have a question.

I am part Christian part Jewish by heritage. I don’t believe in God but I wish I did. I want religion in my life, I want the homely structure, the feeling that everything will turn out well and the belief in God. I believe life with God is better without
can’t force my self to believe and cease being an atheist. What do I do?
It's great that you have the beginnings of belief and you're seeking out more.

I'd suggest you check out this brief video first. I grew up in a Christian household, but didn't believe until last year. I never really understood what following and believing in Yeshua actually meant.


After that, do what the Bible says

Romans 10: 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Start by reading the book of John. Try to go in without preconceptions and see what the word of God really says. I hope you give it a try, and let me know what you think.
 

joe_zazen

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There is this retired compsci guy who has taken the musical notations in 10th century manuscripts and used an algorithm to produce what I think is an amazing translation of the Hebrew scriptures, and musical performances of select pieces.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZS3DX8S/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i10

genesis samples:

1:1In the beginning of God’s creating,
the heavens and the earth,

2:7And Yahweh God fashioned the earthling, dust from the ground, and exhaled into its nose the breath of life,
and the earthling became alive to self.

4:11 So now cursed are you,
from the ground that parted open her mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand.

11:1 And all the earth was one language,
and of words a unity.
2 And it happened in their migration from confrontation,
they found a crevasse in the land of Shinar, and they settled there.
3 And they said each to his associate,
Take care. Let us brick bricks and let us incinerate in an incinerator.

Bob MacDonald (the programmer/translator):

" He (speaking about another translator) is more likely to represent his own ideas in his translation unless he has algorithms reminding him of his arbitrary decisions.

To be fair, he is a member of the guild and can arbitrate with far more depth in Hebrew and religion than I can – In experience, he is more like a lake and I a puddle. But I like my puddle. The lake is muddy and a lot of people have drowned in it. My puddle is very clear. I have puddling experience with Hebrew, but a lake of experience with pattern recognition. And I hate the vagueness of subjective judgment, even if it is well-meaning"

 
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Cutty Flam

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I was thinking about that video you posted a while back earlier today; the vid with the priest who performs exorcisms. Jesus called Satan a stumbling block. That was Jesus, the Son of Man. But what about us? Do we possess enough power in accordance with God’s will, to be able to consider the devil a mere stumbling block on our very best days? The priest himself said demons are very intelligent, and have vast knowledge of the natural world is how I think he said it. They prey on a human’s memory and their imagination is what he claimed. So I wonder if demons have any power at all against those who have faith and will not allow them to have control in any way...

That video makes me wonder if demons mostly only have the power to influence man’s decisions. To change the outcome that comes from love, into something complete opposite perhaps, something more akin to their nature as demons or fallen angels?

These are just questions running through my mind, I don’t expect anyone to have an answer, but did feel like maybe there is something I am completely unaware of or misunderstanding maybe that could lead to coming closer to the truth

I have been thinking, and this theory comes up every now and again over the years. Sometimes there are criminals who have murdered that seem to be sincere in saying they don’t know what has come over them. I think demons may be in their possession and take grip over their actions. Just a few weeks ago, I randomly walked into a room, and someone was playing a murder case review of Ted Bundy. He claimed that it felt like a ‘beast’ was inside of him, and it is an option worth considering that it might be possible that some of the murderers could be either highly influenced or maybe in some cases, even possessed by demons that want such abominable events to occur. I’m not saying that is likely, but I am suggesting it is a possibility. All this would sound absurd to someone who doesn’t believe in God, because they would also then deny the existence of the fallen angels. But for people who do have faith in God and can see that there are entities that oppose God and his teachings, it is not farfetched to think that the theory is at least possible. Maybe it is just that I have not studied enough, but there doesn’t seem to be much information about the enemies of this world. We know so much about God and Jesus, but the demons we must watch out for - there is little said of in comparison I think. Are they really that much of a joke? So much so, that the priest in the video says we need not fear them? It sounds like the right attitude, but these demons can possess our very being, to where we are not fully in control, and not even fully ourselves; which is horrible. I am still trying to figure out if that priest was mistaken about those with faith not needing to “fear” demons. To God, Satan is a but a stumbling block. But a single human being is vulnerable, as much as I would like to also believe in how immensely powerful we can be. Is it not foolishness to write off a true enemy? That is my thinking of these matters
 
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joe_zazen

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I was thinking about that video you posted a while back earlier today; the vid with the priest who performs exorcisms. Jesus called Satan a stumbling block. That was Jesus, the Son of Man. But what about us? Do we possess enough power in accordance with God’s will, to be able to consider the devil a mere stumbling block on our very best days? The priest himself said demons are very intelligent, and have vast knowledge of the natural world is how I think he said it. They prey on a human’s memory and their imagination is what he claimed. So I wonder if demons have any power at all against those who have faith and will not allow them to have control in any way...

That video makes me wonder if demons mostly only have the power to influence man’s decisions. To change the outcome that comes from love, into something complete opposite perhaps, something more akin to their nature as demons or fallen angels?

These are just questions running through my mind, I don’t expect anyone to have an answer, but did feel like maybe there is something I am completely unaware of or misunderstanding maybe that could lead to coming closer to the truth

I have been thinking, and this theory comes up every now and again over the years. Sometimes there are criminals who have murdered that seem to be sincere in saying they don’t know what has come over them. I think demons may be in their possession and take grip over their actions. Just a few weeks ago, I randomly walked into a room, and someone was playing a murder case review of Ted Bundy. He claimed that it felt like a ‘beast’ was inside of him, and it is an option worth considering that it might be possible that some of the murderers could be either highly influenced or maybe in some cases, even possessed by demons that want such abominable events to occur. I’m not saying that is likely, but I am suggesting it is a possibility. All this would sound absurd to someone who doesn’t believe in God, because they would also then deny the existence of the fallen angels. But for people who do have faith in God and can see that there are entities that oppose God and his teachings, it is not farfetched to think that the theory is at least possible. Maybe it is just that I have not studied enough, but there doesn’t seem to be much information about the enemies of this world. We know so much about God and Jesus, but the demons we must watch out for - there is little said of in comparison I think. Are they really that much of a joke? So much so, that the priest in the video says we need not fear them? It sounds like the right attitude, but these demons can possess our very being, to where we are not fully in control, and not even fully ourselves; which is horrible. I am still trying to figure out if that priest was mistaken about those with faith not needing to “fear” demons. To God, Satan is a but a stumbling block. But a single human being is vulnerable, as much as I would like to also believe in how immensely powerful we can be. Is it not foolishness to write off a true enemy? That is my thinking of these matters
Dr. Heiser has a book that might provide some answers.

I have not read it yet, but I respect Heiser as a scholar and for saying exactly what he believes to be true. He is a believer, btw.

Demons: What the Bible Really Says About the Powers of Darkness

Let us know if you read it.
 
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Maybe it is just that I have not studied enough, but there doesn’t seem to be much information about the enemies of this world. We know so much about God and Jesus, but the demons we must watch out for - there is little said of in comparison I think. Are they really that much of a joke?

A free book to read online by Moody Press entitled "Demon Experiences in Many Lands" should provide you with much more information.
“A compilation of the witness of missionaries from different parts of the world and experiences that they have had with these evil spirit entities…It has been many years since any serious study of demon experiences has been published, and possibly never before a compilation from competent observers in many parts of the world. The reason for this omission is not clear, but the result has been a feeling on the part of many Christians that these strange (to us moderns) phenomena were only valid in Bible times. But if these things are in fact still going on today, the church should be aware of them; and if true in other lands, as indicated in this book, then a further study needs to be made of demonology here in the United States. Item: Could certain types of cases in mental hospitals be better relieved by prayer than by modern medical treatments? This subject needs study, research and experiment by Christian ministers, as well as secular medical experts. As to the truthfulness of the stories in this book, we believe that all are valid. Most of the missionaries and others reporting are known to us either personally, or by reputation, as being honest and not subject to hallucinations. That the incidents occurred seems indisputable. As to why they occurred, and what caused them— that is another question. On the surface there seems every evidence that strange spirits have seized and often spoken through their victims. Many of these incidents parallel those in the New Testament, where the cause is clearly stated as demon possession. Some who read these pages may wish to put forward other explanations than ones presented in this book, and discussion of these viewpoints should prove valuable. This book is not seeking to prove modern-day demonology. It is attempting to open the subject to those who are interested."

Just be warned, it is quite shocking reading what these missionaries pinned down for the book.
 

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New Resources from the past week:

Sermon: “The Peace-Stealers” (James 4:1-7)

Video: Questions & Answers with Godfrey, Lawson, Nichols, Parsons, and Thomas
A questions and answers session with Drs. W. Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Stephen Nichols, Burk Parsons, and Derek Thomas.

Video: Steven Lawson: The Word of the Lord Stands Forever
Through the folly of what we preach—Christ and Him crucified—God saves those who believe. Preaching is the primary means by which the Lord calls people to faith in Christ and changes their hearts by the power of His Spirit. How and what we preach will open the kingdom to people or create a stumbling block for those who do not know the truth. In this session, Dr. Steven Lawson considers the importance of preaching, stressing that it is God’s means for bringing people to Himself and edifying the saints while calling us to trust in God’s Word, not in our techniques or programs.

Video: John MacArthur: The Holiness of God and His People
Isaiah 6 gives us a grand vision of the holiness of God and reminds us that He is “holy, holy, holy.” When the prophet Isaiah saw this grand vision, he cried out because he was a man of “unclean lips.” Because of Isaiah’s sinfulness, a seraphim promptly flew to him, touched his lips with a coal, and pronounced him clean. Like Isaiah, we need cleansing to dwell with God in His supreme holiness. In this session, Dr. John MacArthur considers God’s holiness and why it matters both now and forever, explaining that God is holy and that He has made us His holy people.

Video: Steven Lawson: Working as for the Lord
God redeems us from our fallen world and its desires, but then He sends us back into the world, giving each of us a vocation wherein we serve Him by serving our neighbors, bearing witness to the goodness of our Creator (1 Thess. 4:1–12; 2 Thess. 3:6–12). No matter our vocation, we are to work diligently to serve our neighbors, thereby testifying to the transformative power of the gospel. In this session, Dr. Steven Lawson explores how our present vocations matter for eternity, explaining that we bear witness to the truth of the Lord by working hard and putting others before ourselves in our daily labors.

Video: Responding with Wisdom to the Equality Act (A Conversation with Caleb Kaltenbach)
What is the Equality Act and why is it considered such a threat to religious liberty? How should Christians respond? This video is a discussion with author Caleb Kaltenbach, who has the unique experience of becoming a Christian in high school while growing up in an LGBTQ home. We discuss the nature of the Equality Act and some positive steps Christians can take.

Video: The world is more temple than machine || Interview with Andrew Wilson, God Of All Things
Glen speaks to Andrew Wilson, Teaching Pastor at King’s Church, London. He is an award-winning columnist for Christianity Today, and has written ten books, including Incomparable, Spirit and Sacrament and Sophie and the Heidelberg Cat. He speaks about his new book, God of All Things, which is about how we can discover God through ordinary, physical things we see in the world around us.

Video: What is the BEST Moral Argument for God?
In this joint interview, I'm joined by Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. David Baggett to discuss the merits of different versions of the moral argument for God's existence.

Video: Logic, Therefore God?
In 2011, Dr. James N. Anderson co-authored a peer-reviewed paper arguing that God's existence can be inferred from logic. In this interview, we chat about his argument and take questions from the audience.

Video: Online Conversation | Invitation to Solitude and Silence, with Ruth Haley Barton
We hope you enjoy this conversation around her book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence. Our attention, Barton believes, has become a commodity that we must protect if we are to avoid being swept away by our distracted age. She invites listeners to engage in these ancient biblical practices to find the rest for our souls that Jesus promises. In this Lenten season, we hope this will inspire you to pursue God's transforming presence in new ways and contemplatively sit in solitude and silence with the Author and Perfecter of faith.

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showernota

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I was thinking about that video you posted a while back earlier today; the vid with the priest who performs exorcisms. Jesus called Satan a stumbling block. That was Jesus, the Son of Man. But what about us? Do we possess enough power in accordance with God’s will, to be able to consider the devil a mere stumbling block on our very best days? The priest himself said demons are very intelligent, and have vast knowledge of the natural world is how I think he said it. They prey on a human’s memory and their imagination is what he claimed. So I wonder if demons have any power at all against those who have faith and will not allow them to have control in any way...
I haven't seen that video, but I'm going to throw in some Bible verses here and a couple of thoughts.

There's no mention or evidence that a born again Christian can be possessed by a demon. It's solely non-believers in the Bible who are controlled by evil spirits. There are a lot of accounts, so I won't link quote any, but this passage Jesus spoke is relevant.
Matthew 12: 43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus is making it clear that without filling the empty house (the man) the demon will return, and it will be worse than before. Fortunately, believers are not empty, we are already filled and indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8: 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Logically, there is no possible way the Holy Spirit would share a space with a demon, y'know?


That video makes me wonder if demons mostly only have the power to influence man’s decisions. To change the outcome that comes from love, into something complete opposite perhaps, something more akin to their nature as demons or fallen angels?
Though believing Christians can't be possessed, they can still be tempted by the devil and evil spirits, just as non-believers can be tempted. We're told to resist and maintain our guard against temptation, and it's only by the power of the Holy Spirit that this is possible.
1 Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
James 4:
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Contrast this passage, where we're told to help the helpless
2 Timothy 2: 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Does the Holy Spirit give us the power to resist the temptations of the devil? Yes. Does it seem like his power is something to be taken lightly or a joke? Personally I don't think so, but we also shouldn't have fear.

These are just questions running through my mind, I don’t expect anyone to have an answer, but did feel like maybe there is something I am completely unaware of or misunderstanding maybe that could lead to coming closer to the truth

I have been thinking, and this theory comes up every now and again over the years. Sometimes there are criminals who have murdered that seem to be sincere in saying they don’t know what has come over them. I think demons may be in their possession and take grip over their actions. Just a few weeks ago, I randomly walked into a room, and someone was playing a murder case review of Ted Bundy. He claimed that it felt like a ‘beast’ was inside of him, and it is an option worth considering that it might be possible that some of the murderers could be either highly influenced or maybe in some cases, even possessed by demons that want such abominable events to occur. I’m not saying that is likely, but I am suggesting it is a possibility. All this would sound absurd to someone who doesn’t believe in God, because they would also then deny the existence of the fallen angels. But for people who do have faith in God and can see that there are entities that oppose God and his teachings, it is not farfetched to think that the theory is at least possible.
I think there is truth in this. Especially when it seems like bad things happen at the opportune time, like it was planned. There's obviously no way it could be coordinated by physical means, but I believe many of these cases are tied with spiritual warfare. I do think mental illness is real, but I also believe there is often more to it.

Maybe it is just that I have not studied enough, but there doesn’t seem to be much information about the enemies of this world. We know so much about God and Jesus, but the demons we must watch out for - there is little said of in comparison I think. Are they really that much of a joke? So much so, that the priest in the video says we need not fear them?
There's not much reason to know the ins and outs of these spiritual matters. God has told us in His word what to expect, and how to be victorious by our faith in Him. The Bible is the story of mankind's separation from God by sin, and our reconciliation and salvation through the grace of Jesus Christ.

There are some hints about the enemy in Scripture, though. I lean toward the Genesis 6 account. Angels came down and copulated with human women, their offspring the Nephilim were naturally evil beings. When they die their spirit (if they have one) does not go to Sheol, but is trapped on Earth and are what we know as demons. Chuck Missler explains it very well.


I don't believe demons are fallen angels themselves. Let's look at this passage from Daniel. He is fasting, and an angel of the Lord comes to him. He gives some insight into the spiritual warfare going on.
Daniel 10: 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!
6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength.
9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.
11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.
15 When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless.
16 And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.
17 For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.”
18 Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me.
19 And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come.
21 But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.
The prince of the kingdom of Persia and the prince of Greece must be fallen angels, since Michael is also referred to as a prince. We know angels can destroy entire armies single-handedly. Yet, we also read that a legion of demons inhabited one man in the Gospels.
Mark 5: 6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.
7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”
10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains.
12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.”
13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
A legion is = 6000, so we can assume between 2000 and 6000 spirits were in this man. Not to get into power level silliness, but I don't think 2-6k equivalents to the angel in Daniel 10 could fit in this guy lol. I could be wrong, but it makes sense to me that demons can't be fallen angels.

It sounds like the right attitude, but these demons can possess our very being, to where we are not fully in control, and not even fully ourselves; which is horrible. I am still trying to figure out if that priest was mistaken about those with faith not needing to “fear” demons. To God, Satan is a but a stumbling block. But a single human being is vulnerable, as much as I would like to also believe in how immensely powerful we can be. Is it not foolishness to write off a true enemy? That is my thinking of these matters
We shouldn't fear evil, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." But we should always draw near to, and submit ourselves before God, as He promises to protect us. Cast fears and worries on God, only through Him do we have power to resist sin.

One last passage from one of my favorite books
Jude
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
 

Cutty Flam

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showernota showernota that is an amazing response, thanks for sharing all of that information

I have read the time of when Jesus helped that man many of times. I have never considered Legion being anywhere near 2k-6k demons, but if several demons can enter a man and possess his being, why cannot thousands?

It always troubled me that Jesus allowed those swine to become possessed. The only way I can reason to myself why he allowed them to become infested with the demons that make up Legion, is because he didn’t want that man to suffer another moment being controlled by such entities. But then why did he allow so many pigs to fall victim to the enemy? What about them? I don’t believe that Jesus thinks less of animals, so why did allow so many to die for what seems like nothing? The demons would just possess, kill if possible, and then move on to the next host they can reside in immediately after is how it probably goes, right? So I am wondering why Jesus wouldn’t have just forbid them from doing that? He essentially allowed those pigs to be killed for no good reason at all that we can see or think of. This is one thing that has always striked me as odd. It seems like something Jesus would never allow or do
 
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showernota

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If it hadn’t happened that way we wouldn’t be talking about it. There are many examples of demon possession in the NT, but this is a special encounter. We see the fear the demons had of Jesus, and His power over a multitude.

We also see interesting implications;
1. The demons drove the pigs into the sea because all they want to do is destroy.
1a. If that’s true, it means demons have less control over mankind, because we are created in the image of God. They tormented and hurt the man, but could not kill him.
Mark 5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

2. The instincts of the pigs led them to prefer death to living in a possessed state.

I think this whole event was necessary to show the divinity of Jesus, His complete power over evil that no other man had, and also the seriousness of the power of the enemy over those who do not believe.
 
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New Resources:

Video: Three Truths That Empower Change Agents - Jim Golden
Replacing the foundational lies that shape our perceptions and actions is key to becoming a transformational leader. Transformational truths unlocked secrets to becoming an effective change agent. In this session, we discuss the impact of these secrets as we draw lessons from the Golden Rule Case Study about how God and objective truth have an indispensable role in business, law, universities and the personal lives and families of leaders who shape the world and unpack how to develop trust in personal and professional relationships, identify hidden interests and asymmetric exchanges, ask the right questions, and facilitate win-win outcomes.

Video: Norm Geisler: If God Why Evil
Here's an understatement: #2020 has been a struggle. As we talk with friends and family, certain questions may tend to come up: Why? Who's to blame? How can we recover? It may help us to remember the reason for pain and suffering in our world, and to put it into the perspective of the God of all.

A Short Review of Stevenson’s Just Mercy
Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy is a powerful exploration of injustice within our legal system. A mixture of memoir and case history, the book’s main plot follows Stevenson, a public interest lawyer, as he seeks to exonerate Walter McMillan, a black man falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Walter’s story is interwoven with Stevenson’s founding of the Equal Justice Initiative and the narratives of countless others who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. Everyone concerned about our criminal justice system, everyone trying to understand the intersections of race, gender, and poverty, and everyone with a pulse should read this book.
Why do some people come to faith and others do not?
There are several different dimensions to this question. The theological: is it reasonable that some find faith easy, whilst others struggle? Philosophical: is it the case that we actually have free will when factors of situation and personality appear to be so significant? Apologetic: can we believe in a God of justice when contingent decisions might have eternal consequences? Ecclesial: are Christians distinct from others in terms of personality? Missional: what factors actually bring people to faith? But of course the one at the forefront of most people’s minds is the pastoral: why does my spouse/friend/family members find the idea of faith so difficult or unappealing? And is there anything I can do about it?



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New Resources:

Video: Failing, but not Flailing: A Discussion on the Necessity of Failure
A moderated discussion between Arthur Brooks (a Harvard professor, best-selling author, and Atlantic columnist) and Xiaodong Lin (a professor at Columbia’s Teachers College and the Founding Director of the Education for Persistence and Innovation Center), as well as a Q&A with questions from the viewers. From the Veritas Forum at Columbia University.

Video: Church Abuse: Protecting Ministries, Destroying Souls || Dr Diane Langberg, Author (Redeeming Power)
In this interview, Glen Scrivener talks to Dr Diane Langberg, psychologist and author of 'Redeeming Power' who has worked for the past 45 years with people suffering from trauma. They discuss the trauma associated with sexual and spiritual abuse within Christian ministry, especially the Ravi Zacharias and Jonathan Fletcher scandals.

Embattled on All Sides, Does Religious Liberty Have a Future?
As American culture secularizes at breakneck pace, it’s common to see figures on the right side of the spectrum question whether a laissez-faire approach to religion isn’t partly responsible for the fragmenting of American culture. This argument says America is defined by its founding era’s association with the Christian worldview. The country didn’t arise out of a vacuum, and its unique governing vision is a result of its Christian influence. If America ceases to be Christian, it ceases to be America. What are Christians to make of this argument?

Video: Is Taking the Vaccine Complicit with Evil? Discussion with Scott Rae
"Is it moral to take a vaccine developed from aborted babies? Is taking the vaccine right or wrong? Sean interviews Scott Rae, one of the leading Christian ethicists in the world, and the author of multiple books." (3/24/21)

Video: What is the Fate of the Lost in Hell? Chris Date vs. Clinton Wilcox
In this informal debate, Chris Date and Clinton Wilcox discuss their opposing views on the fate of the unsaved. Chris believes in Conditional Immortality, the view that the unsaved will not live forever. Clinton believes in the Traditional view, that the unsaved will live forever in a state of conscious torment.


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New Resources:

Video: Debating a youthworker's deconstruction • Logan Walker & Ben Jack
Former Christian youth worker, Logan Walker, shares some of the reasons for losing his faith. Evangelist Ben Jack from the Message Trust responds to some of Logan's doubts and provides some of his own thoughts on these difficult topics.

Video: Behind the Scenes with Nancy Pearcey: People, Books, and Life Experiences
Who are the key people, books, and experiences that have shaped Nancy Pearcey? She is the best-selling author of multiple books, including Love Thy Body. In this video, I interview her about her story to faith and ask her to share some personal insights and experiences from her life.

Video: Dr. Andy Bannister - Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? - Critical Witness
We have Dr Andy Bannister back with us to talk about his now published book 'Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?'. We will be discussing Islam and apologetics with Andy and a few of the many questions Christians face when discussing faith with Muslims.

Video: Why I Am / Am Not a Christian: Dr. Jonathan McLatchie & Steve McRae in Dialogue
 

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Happy Palm Sunday!


New Resources:

A Tale of Two Cities: What the Cross of Christ Did (And Didn’t Do)
The incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ had particular concerns: the immortality of the soul, divine judgement, salvation and damnation, moral formation and sanctification, and so forth. This week we confess that one of Christ’s purposes was to reconcile humanity with God. From the stealing of the fruit forward, humanity has displaced God with idol after idol. We grasp at that which is not ours—or not yet ours. The crisis for those yearning for the heavenly kingdom was how to bridge the chasm we have dug between ourselves and the Divine. Christ bridged that gap. He satisfied the Divine Character when we could not. If the cross was not substitutionary, it was nothing.

How Jesus Fulfilled the Passover
If you wonder how an animal could substitute for a human, the answer is that ultimately it couldn’t (Heb. 10:4). How God could pass over human sin because an animal died was a problem still demanding resolution (Rom. 3:25). Good Friday is when God finally resolved it. Just as even Israel stood exposed to God’s wrath in that 10th plague for their idolatry, so we all stand exposed to God’s righteous wrath for our idolatry. All of us have sinned and fallen short of his glory. And apart from some provision, every last one of us was going to perish eternally under God’s wrath in the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. Because God is holy and just.

Have you Heard of Amyraldianism?
Amyraldianism is so named after the French Protestant theologian Moyses Amyraut (1596-1664) who proposed a specific view of election, covenants, and atonement that married a view of individual predestination with universal atonement.

Audio: Richard Wurmbrand’s Editor: He Focused on Jesus
Through books and other writing, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand became a voice for persecuted Christians all over the world. This week we’ll meet the woman who shaped and polished so many of Richard’s printed words. Ellen Oblander served many years as the editor for Richard Wurmbrand, co-founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. She worked on many of his books, as well as on . Over the years Ellen became much more than an editor; she grew into being almost a member of the family. Listen as she shares the story of being given a copy of Tortured For Christ, then soon afterwards hearing Richard Wurmbrand speak for the first time and meeting his wife, Sabina.

Audio: Episode 06 - Should Christians Delete Their Social Media Accounts
In this episode Aaron, Andy and Michael discuss the challenges of using social media. Over the last decade a growing number of people have started to raise awareness of the dangers of social media usage, including some who were the pioneers of these platforms. These concerns have been given more prominence through the recent Netflix documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’. As well as discussing these concerns, we think about how we can respond to them. Should we simply delete our accounts? Or is there another way to engage constructively and positively so that we can stay ‘users’ without being ‘used’? And how does the Christian faith equip us to engage differently in this world?

Audio: Neil DeGraide - Can Artists Predict the Future?
Neil De Graide is a musician, composer and singer for Dirt Poor Robins. We discuss how artists can sometimes intuit what will happen and manifest that in their work.

Video: Passover with Dennis Prager
Watch and learn as Dennis explains the meaning of the rituals, but if you want to participate along with Dennis, you’ll need the standard Passover accoutrements (one per person in your household): 1) Matzo 2) Salt water 3) Parsley 4) A hard-boiled egg 5) Horseradish 6) Charoset — a mix of nuts, raisins, and honey 7) Haggadah.

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VN1X

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Hey it's me, the lost sheep, again.

I honestly feel like I'm getting pushed more and more towards the light (for lack of a better word) but I'm still a bit apprehensive of going full on full out if that makes sense? Like I've looked up some info on how my own church is doing (I was 'raised' Catholic but not been to church in decades) to see if I can participate again. However I feel like... I dunno, because I've been so disconnected for so long I need a primer again haha. Are there any podcasts or books you guys and gals recommend? I want to read the Bible again as well but am also currently going through a bunch of other heavy books as well so I'm looking for something that can help me put my mind in the right mindset again.

Does anyone understand what I'm getting at or? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents​

Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn once noted that people often assume that their democratic government would never submit to totalitarianism---but Dreher says it's happening. Sounding the alarm about the insidious effects of identity politics, surveillance technology, psychological manipulation, and more, he equips contemporary Christian dissidents to see, judge, and act as they fight to resist the erosion of our freedoms. 304 pages, hardcover from Sentinel.

This book arrived in the mail last week and I was able to finish it today. It was very good. The timing on this book is odd, because it was completed pretty much just as COVID was springing. It does not mention the riots or the lockdowns or any of that, because it had not happened yet. Which only makes it even scarier when he does mention riots in relation to the previous events covered. Basically it talks to survivors of Totalitarianism. A dictatorship is one-party rule but there is freedom within that domination. Totalitarianism is when a state tries to fundamentally rebuild people, systemically stomping out traditions and "disinformation and superstition" and reprogramming people to be "better citizens". The promise of the Myth of Progress is a big part of this. Communist societies promise everything they do is the for benefit of mankind. This is how they justify many of the most horrific abuses in human history.

What most of the book is is him interviewing survivors of communism, which was hunting down Christians systemically throughout the 20th century. The book talks about their faith and how it helped them through the toughest of times. It talks about the Church providing a rock of Truth for people who live surrounded by lies. Not the official Church but the transcendent one. They interview a lot of Eastern European Christians, who saw their parents kills, families split up, neighbors and friends taken away. One survivor recalled being a young child and being kidnapped with her brother in the middle of the night, taken onto a truck with their aunt, surrounded by soldiers with guns. She recalled feeling glad as she realized that there were other trucks, with other people, and this meant they were not alone. Recalling this much later in her life, she felt immense guilt for that moment of relief.

This was an era when the mainstream church had been taken over, when everyone was informing on one another, and they had to operate underground cells. Christians from the Netherlands smuggled in a printing press in pieces, and stored it in a basement. The printer used it to print banned books like Bibles and his job as an elevator operator meant that his ink-stained hands had a perfect cover. Non-approved literature such as Bibles or History books was forbidden and thus very rare, so secret gatherings had to be conducted, where people read the Bibles and talked and gave comfort. For many who were imprisoned, they were able to memorize passages of scripture, to in essence act as living books, keeping this culture alive in a time of extermination. They did not survive by fighting in the streets or engaging in terrorism, they merely focused on preserving their culture. Houses that the Party was unaware of were able to maintain some kind of underground resistance network. These houses became places of refuge, people would stop by for comfort, for advice, and for a human face on the way to and from interrogations. They might have books you could read, or tea for the cold. These are people living under the harshest of conditions, and the warmness of fellowship itself was worth the trip.

There are many, many harrowing stories told here. Plenty of heroes to behold, and miracles as well. Plenty of villains and degradations of the human body and soul. Many could withstand torture, many could not. Some broke and turned in their neighbors, even members of these Christian groups, but you could not hold it against them, the brotherhood of Christ was stronger than the communist power struggle, which wanted to turn people against one another. You could not let it, and this was difficult, because Totalitarianism is a state-run project to program people to behave a certain way. Atomization and dehumanization are what paved the way. Neighbors turning in neighbors. Children turning in parents. Parents turning in children and the children growing up to not forgive them. Communism tore at the family itself, it wanted to break society down into atomized pieces that could be re-programmed with approved virtue. This is in direct conflict with the Christian idea of choice. Like Satan, it offers the promise of a false paradise beyond suffering, while leading you into suffering.

This book talks a lot about 1984 and especially Brave New World. He thinks the current Soft Totalitarianism is more like the latter. Orwell was afraid of a future where people were forbidden from reading. Huxley's dystopia is one where they do not want to.

In many passages, the unique hatred communists have for Christians is fully revealed. For instance, one prisoner is hung on a cross, then a hundred prisoners are ordered to shit and piss on him, then perform a mockery of the mass with plates of shit. Much of the torture is in the vein of what Pol Pot and the East Asian communists were doing to religious minorities in the 1970s. It is sick, disturbing, but it is real, it is history. This is stuff you should be aware of. History is one of the things communism tried to stamp out, by controlling literature, by gating access to information. Christianity provides a sharp rebuke to that anti-human system. It promotes tradition, it promotes family, it promotes the dignity of the individual human life. It is everything communism stands against.

Also, all throughout, there are many survivors who he interviews in America. Often they would be exiled to America after their stay in prison. For many of the survivors who came here from places like Czechoslovakia, they started getting worried and seeing the signs that the same Totalitarianism is bubbling up here. He takes pains to point out it is far from that bad, but nonetheless, it is important to listen to survivors and make sure that we learn from the past.
 
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showernota

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Hey it's me, the lost sheep, again.

I honestly feel like I'm getting pushed more and more towards the light (for lack of a better word) but I'm still a bit apprehensive of going full on full out if that makes sense? Like I've looked up some info on how my own church is doing (I was 'raised' Catholic but not been to church in decades) to see if I can participate again. However I feel like... I dunno, because I've been so disconnected for so long I need a primer again haha. Are there any podcasts or books you guys and gals recommend? I want to read the Bible again as well but am also currently going through a bunch of other heavy books as well so I'm looking for something that can help me put my mind in the right mindset again.

Does anyone understand what I'm getting at or? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'd recommend the same thing as to the other poster in a similar situation.


It's great that you have the beginnings of belief and you're seeking out more.

I'd suggest you check out this brief video first. I grew up in a Christian household, but didn't believe until last year. I never really understood what following and believing in Yeshua actually meant.


After that, do what the Bible says



Start by reading the book of John. Try to go in without preconceptions and see what the word of God really says. I hope you give it a try, and let me know what you think.
 
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New Resources:

Video: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
Dr. Jonathan McLatchie talks with Adam Tucker of Southern Evangelical Seminary about the case for the resurrection of Jesus.

Video: J.John on Sundays // Facing the Canon with Dr Amy Orr-Ewing
"Our outrage in reaction to suffering – including the suffering of people we don’t know – and our human experience of pain itself all confirm the common human intuition that there is more to life than some might say… Perhaps it is worth exploring the possibility that our human outrage at suffering points us beyond ourselves and prompts us to seek meaning and transcendence."

How do faithless people like me make sense of this past year of Covid?
Across 95 countries, Googling the word “prayer” increased by 50%, surpassing the level associated with Christmas and Ramadan. In April 2020, a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury from his kitchen table drew 5 million viewers, described by the Church of England as the largest congregation in its history. And since then, as churches, mosques, synagogues and temples have been at the heart of some communities’ Covid experiences, the symbols and rituals of religion have made very visible comebacks. They were seen again in last week’s doorstep vigil, complete with candles and massed silence, for the people lost to Covid.

What's Wrong With Calvinism
The deepest issue that divides Arminians and Calvinists is not the sovereignty of God, predestination, or the authority of the Bible. The deepest difference pertains to how we understand the character of God. Is God good in the sense that he deeply and sincerely loves all people?

She needs help failing in order to serve in your church
God has gifted men and women to serve their church. And yet in many churches women are struggling to use gifts given by the Spirit. One area we seem to be weak on is mentoring. There is often a lack of encouragement, feedback and support. You may think that we’re weak on mentoring for everyone, but from what I can see its far worse for women.

From the Empty Tomb to Today’s Abuse: Believe Women
As a follower of Jesus, it saddens me that the church seems no better than the world in this regard. Far too often, women are not believed. Renowned psychologist and abuse expert Diane Langberg points out that “across studies the rates of false accusations run between 3 and 9 percent.” Yet time and again, women who come forward with testimony are not believed.

Video: C. S. Lewis - What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?

Video: The State of the Church: An Interview with John MacArthur

Video: Our Worst Fears Have Been Confirmed
In this interview, Glen Scrivener talks to Lee Furney, one of 27 victims who spoke to the independent review into the behaviour of Jonathan Fletcher.

Video: Faith After Deconstruction: Audio Adrenaline’s Dave Stovall Shares What Brought Him Back
In an online environment where deconstruction stories from contemporary Christian music artists seem to be the norm, Dave Stovall, of the Christian rock band Audio Adrenaline, shares his story of deconstruction into progressive Christianity and back to a historic faith. Dave's unusual story of meeting a local pastor who discipled him out of deconstruction will encourage you in your faith!

Video: Exodus Rediscovered: Documentary
There is a ton of evidence for Israel's exodus from Egypt, but it is sadly missed by many scholars because most are convinced the Exodus must have taken place in another time period. In this documentary, we explore the mountain of evidence for the Exodus and argue the Bible is recording a historical event.

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showernota

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I've heard the hell fire is supposed to be a thing that destroys and brings to an end, not a place of eternal torment.
Conditional immortality is an idea, but I've never seen compelling scriptural evidence for it. Either way it's a bad outcome.
Others have said it is the agony of refusing to be with God and the turmoil from being away from him.
So then Jesus preached a literal hell. Burning in actual fire might be preferable.
 

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Dave Rubin just finished hosting a fascinating Easter roundtable with a bishop and a rabbi.

What Religion Teaches Us About Freedom: Bishop Barron & Rabbi Wolpe | ROUNDTABLE | Rubin Report​

 
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New Resources:

The Kalam + Easter = Mere Christianity
“The main objection to the resurrection, is not a lack of historical evidence (we have that); rather, it’s a matter of worldview, because the resurrection of Jesus requires a supernatural being to exist.” (Scholar Mike Licona)

Why Did Jesus Have To Die For Me?
On the Cross we see God doing visibly and cosmically what every human being must do to forgive someone, although on an infinitely greater scale. I would argue, of course, that human forgiveness works this way because we unavoidably reflect the image of our Creator. That is why we should not be surprised if we sense that the only way to triumph over evil is to go through the suffering of forgiveness, that this would be far more true of God, whose just passion to defeat evil and loving desire to forgive others are both infinitely greater than ours.

Jesus Changed Everything for Women
That every human being possessed an equal dignity was not remotely a self-evident truth. A Roman would have laughed at it. To campaign against discrimination on the grounds of gender or sexuality, however, was to depend on large numbers of people sharing in a common assumption: that everyone possessed an inherent worth. The origins of this principle . . . lay not in the French Revolution, nor in the Declaration of Independence, nor in the Enlightenment, but in the Bible.

What is the Point of Celebrating Easter During a Pandemic?
"Secular modernism has tried to get the fruits of the Jesus-message without the roots. It can’t be done. Christianity was the original multicultural society, committed to caring for the poor and to sharing a common life across racial boundaries. Trying to recreate a society like that without Jesus leading the way is like trying to type with your fingers tied together." (New Testament scholar N.T. Wright)

What Do Americans Actually Believe About the Resurrection?
"If we’re not living as if Jesus is truly Lord, our unbelieving friends won’t have any motivation to wish the resurrection was true—which is often the first step to believe that it is."

Video: Bishop Robert Barron & Alex O'Connor (Cosmic Skeptic): Christianity or Atheism?
Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire and Alex O'Connor of the Cosmic Skeptic channel discuss the evidence for God, the nature of faith and the problem of suffering.

Video: The Facts Behind the New Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery
Is the latest discovery of new Dead Sea Scrolls reliable? How were they found? What do they reveal? In this interview, I talk with Craig Evans, one of the leading biblical scholars today, about this fascinating new discovery.

Video: Being, Living, and Dying Well, with Lydia Dugdale
On April 2nd we were delighted to welcome professor and physician Lydia Dugdale. Dugdale is a New York City internal medicine primary care doctor and medical ethicist. She is author of The Lost Art of Dying: Reviving Forgotten Wisdom, a book about a mostly forgotten ethical tradition and text that emerged in response to the Black Plague in the late middle ages: Ars Moriendi, “the art of dying.”
 

Kazza

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Did anyone else observe lent this year? Is it just a Catholic thing? I'm not really religious, but have become more open minded towards Christianity recently, and decided to observe Lent for the first time ever. I went the full 6 or so weeks without eating any animal products (so vegan, basically), sugary/sweet foods, and spent less time online (didn't log on to GAF, for example). It's been a positive experience. I feel I have broken some addictions (the sugar was the hardest!), and feel stronger than before. The modern world is often about getting what you want in the shortest time possible, but a little self-denial can be beneficial. I feel mentally stronger than before. I'll definitely do it next year too, only I may try to go offline entirely (work permitting).

For now though, I have just ordered a couple of large meat feast pizzas for todays dinner and tomorrow's breakfast :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

Cutty Flam

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Hey it's me, the lost sheep, again.

I honestly feel like I'm getting pushed more and more towards the light (for lack of a better word) but I'm still a bit apprehensive of going full on full out if that makes sense? Like I've looked up some info on how my own church is doing (I was 'raised' Catholic but not been to church in decades) to see if I can participate again. However I feel like... I dunno, because I've been so disconnected for so long I need a primer again haha. Are there any podcasts or books you guys and gals recommend? I want to read the Bible again as well but am also currently going through a bunch of other heavy books as well so I'm looking for something that can help me put my mind in the right mindset again.

Does anyone understand what I'm getting at or? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I think it’s as simple as reading the bible. Reading, studying, and understanding the bible so that you can live according to how Jesus intended for us to live, that is the correct way to me

You can listen to videos, read books, podcasts, and other sources but I think the key to improving ones life is establishing a relationship with God. To read the bible and to listen to its teachings. Trying your best to adhere to what is right or the truth and living according to how God and Jesus intend for us to live. There are so many pitfalls in this life, but when it is just the book in front of me, that is the best source. Everything else is supplemental imo, the bible should take priority, and is almost (probably is) sufficient alone

Most profound book I’ve ever read and ever will read in my life
 

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Happy Resurrection day!

Easter Hope for a Post-Pandemic World

Easter is about something that happened, launching a new world, prior to any transforming effects on believers. You can’t explain the rise of Christianity historically unless you say that Jesus’ tomb really was empty and that his followers really did meet him alive again. The stories are strange; they are not what people might have made up from what they believed ahead of time. Thus, for instance, the risen Jesus, though identified by the mark of the nails and the spear, seemed somehow different. He was not instantly recognized. Paul grasps the point: what has happened at Easter is the launch of new creation. Jesus’ resurrection body was the first example of a new order of being: a heaven-and-earth reality. That’s what the old prophets had promised; that’s what the New Testament reaffirms.

Tim Keller: Hope for a Better World Starts with the Resurrection
"Various kinds of Western progressivism believe history is moving toward more individual freedom or class equality or economic prosperity or technologically acquired peace and justice. But these views are not hypotheses that anyone can test. They are “hope so” hopes—beliefs that are not rooted in the empirical realm. The resurrection of Christ, however, includes powerful evidence from the empirical realm and, while still requiring faith, provides a highly reasonable, rational hope that there is a God who is going to renew the world."

Can a scientist believe in the resurrection? Three hypotheses
I’m a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, and I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. So do dozens of my colleagues. How can this be?

The paradox of August Caesar and the paradox of Jesus Christ
Many rejected him, but many accepted him as their Lord. In the end, not even death could hold him in its chains. Cheating the tomb, he rose and ascended into heaven. There, seated at the right hand of his father, he reigned in divine majesty. Meanwhile, on earth, his disciples did not forget their risen Saviour. Across the known world, the memory of him was cherished in people's hearts. This, so it was proclaimed in Galatia and in Thessalonia, in Corinth and in Rome, was 'euangelion': 'good news'.
 

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New Resources:

Video: Cam & Matt DEBATE Praying to Saints (Catholic vs. Protestant)

Video: Understanding and Avoiding Apostasy - John Stevens
Tragically several high-profile Christian leaders have fallen from the faith in the last year. This workshop will consider three crucial theological and pastoral questions about apostasy: (1) Why do leaders fall away? (2) How can we guard against falling away? (3) How should we treat those who fall away?

Video: The Resurrection of the Son of God

Video: The Gospel according to St John, read by Sir David Suchet

What’s the truth about John’s Gospel?
Veteran actor David Suchet is no stranger to Biblical readings, but his new Westminster Abbey performance of John’s gospel carries a special poignancy. The combined power of his voice, the abbey’s acoustics, and the breathtaking interior, apt portions of which the camera captured in beautiful synchronicity with the reading, made for a richly resonant experience. And for Christians who are even now being harassed as they seek incarnated fellowship, the reminder that 'the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us' is more timely than ever.
 
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SebastianShaw

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I decided. I was born to part Jewish heritage and part Orthodox Christian heritage. My family line is traced to priests ages back. I never felt any connection to Judaism. Since my mother isn’t Jewish, I’m not even Jewish. I want to try and embrace Christianity. What’s the first step? I don’t want to get baptized but rather start by learning
 
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joe_zazen

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I decided. I was born to part Jewish heritage and part Orthodox Christian heritage. My family line is traced to priests ages back. I never felt any connection to Judaism. Since my mother isn’t Jewish, I’m not even Jewish. I want to try and embrace Christianity. What’s the first step? I don’t want to get baptized but rather start by learning

I never had that conversion moment that people talk about where everything changed. It was more just a feeling that there is something in Christianity, so I made it a work project.

I started with the bible of course and I wanted to know what the 'true' church was since Catholicism is a giant mess.

I began with Matthew and some commentaries and it changed my whole view of the faith, so I'll walk through a bit of it. The individual points aren't that important, rather it is process of discovery and the feeling getting to know Christ through text that was important for me. Others have different ways to faith, probably better ways.

First, the book title wasn't Matthew, it translates something like "The book of the Genesis (Biblos geneseōs) of Jesus Messiah, Son of David, Son of Abraham." This title is FULL of meaning. I want to know why none of my English translations have that as the title.

I buy Truth in Translation by agnostic scholar D.Bedhun (I can link a free copy if anyone wants). Turns out bible translation is a business and they must serve their customers. A more accurate translation would not sell and would cause scandal. btw, of the bibles he evaluated, it was the Jehovah's Witnesses of all people who scored the best in (1)linguistic content, (2) literary context, and (3) historical and cultural environment.

Anyway, simply discovering that the actual title of matthew was not matthew gave me a mini religious high. I spent the next several hours finding out Matthew included 4 women of ill repute (very weird) in the first fourteen of his genealogy, four deliberate alterations of names in the second fourteen with theological ramifications, and a fifth woman and a missing name in the final 14.

Matthew included 4 women with less than spotless backgrounds and mary. Why? Well, this led to researching how virgin got into the text and how the old testement ancients viewed virginity. Weirdly enough, the ancient near east cultures didn't have a word for virginity, so not a big deal to them. pregnancy pre-marriage, very big deal. I won't go into the virginity thing unless someone wants. Too often text analysis is used to delegitimize scripture, and that is not my intent at all.

Why no 14th begat?. There are lots of theories, my preferred one is that the book was written in Aramaic, and that the word should be guardian or father, not husband, so two Josephs. The syriac texts provide reason enough. This harmonizes the list and removes the issue with Luke's being contradictory.

Anyway, that was entry point into actually feeling the presence and having a faith that I could rely on. There is something real in the bible.

I am still looking for a church to call home and I have given up on finding the 'true' church. Fellowship in a bible based millieu that allows growth and inquiry/ Some people have what is called home churches without any hierarchy of clergy. I'd like to have a guy like Sean Finnegan or Mike Winger as my priest/pastor. They both have podcasts which I enjoy as they both have humbleness of spirit and admit they do not know everything and enjoy the process of discovery, sean a bit more than mike.

https://restitutio.org/
https://www.biblethinker.org/index.php/about-mike

I also like Mike Heiser, but he is anything but humble in spirit, lol.
https://drmsh.com/

hope it helps in some small way. God Bless.
 
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Cutty Flam

Member
Dec 3, 2019
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What’s the first step?
For me, it is the reading of the bible and contemplating what was written

I’ve always read very little most days but I was very interested in what Jesus was teaching whenever I would read, and I am still that way. Nobody is perfect, but as long as you are reading and learning, that is a positive thing, and you put things together as you go

The sole act of reading the bible is powerful enough on its own. The word of God is for everyone and I personally believe it will benefit anyone who takes the time to read

John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

Matthew 12:50 “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 12:30-31 “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
 

SebastianShaw

Member
Feb 18, 2021
299
412
265
For me, it is the reading of the bible and contemplating what was written

I’ve always read very little most days but I was very interested in what Jesus was teaching whenever I would read, and I am still that way. Nobody is perfect, but as long as you are reading and learning, that is a positive thing, and you put things together as you go

The sole act of reading the bible is powerful enough on its own. The word of God is for everyone and I personally believe it will benefit anyone who takes the time to read

John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

Matthew 12:50 “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 12:30-31 “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Thank you. How do i know which "sect" to choose? Orthodox or Protestant?

Also, do you recommend reading the Hebrew Bible first?
 
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