20 Convictions Concerning Prayer

I’m struggling with my prayer life.

Of course, I’m convinced that anyone who cares about prayer struggles; I don’t believe anyone ever reaches a point where they are completely satisfied with how much, or when, or how they pray.

As I sense the Lord leading me into a more significant investment of myself in prayer, I’m also realizing more and more what a mystery it is.

Still, for what it’s worth, below are 20 convictions I’ve come to concerning prayer.

(By the way, although I’ve been praying since I was a small child, I still feel like a “prayer newbie”. So if you have any additional thoughts or observations, please share them.)

1. Praying is the most important, powerful, productive and beneficial thing you can ever do for someone.

2. Of all the ministries one might have, prayer is the one that is available to everyone despite any physical, emotional or intellectual disadvantages. I have had individuals with Downs’ Syndrome pray for me and have been as blessed by them as by anyone.

3. Prayer is not limited by geography. I can make a significant difference in Somalia, though I’ve never been there.

4. Prayer is not limited by time. I’m convinced that prayers I prayed years ago for my family are still as intact and as influential as they were the moment I prayed them.

5. Jesus prayed. It must matter.

“…the Son of God, who had spoken worlds into being and sustains all that exists, felt a compelling need to pray. He prayed as if it made a difference, as if the time he devoted to prayer mattered every bit as much as the time he devoted to caring for people.” – Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?  p 79

“Although Jesus offered no metaphysical proofs of the effectiveness of prayer, the very fact that he did it establishes its worth.” Ibid. p 81

6. Jesus continues to pray. It must matter. The only description of Jesus’ current activity given to us in the Bible is his praying on behalf of his followers: Hebrews 7:25.

7. The Bible definitely, repeatedly calls us to prayer. It must matter.

“Turn to the Bible’s view of history… and you see a picture of God as a personal Being who alertly listens to prayers and then responds. Jesus filled in that portrait, and the disciples took up praying right where Jesus left off, making specific and personal requests for God to act.” – Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?  p 132

8. Three reassurances things I’m looking for when I pray: that God loves me, that he understands me and that he allows my prayers to make a difference.

9. Prayer is a declaration of dependence upon God.

10. Prayer is our strongest weapon against invisible forces.

“To clasp our hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” – Karl Barth, cited in Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, by Philip Yancey, p 118

11. In the midst of struggles, prayer is not preparation for some future battle. Prayer is the battle.

12. Prayer perhaps requires the greatest amount of faith. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:7 that “We walk by faith, not by sight.” There is no greater arena than prayer in which that is true.

“For most of us, much of the time, prayer brings no certain confirmation we have been heard. We pray in faith that our words somehow cross a bridge between visible and invisible worlds, penetrating a reality of which we have no proof. We enter God’s milieu, the realm of spirit…” – Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?  p 22, 23

13. It does not matter how long my prayer is. Just as extended time in prayer is important, prayer “snatches” or “arrows” (as I’ve heard them called) are every bit as powerful.

14. One of Jesus’ last prayer requests has yet to be granted. In the Garden of Gethsemane, recorded in John 17, Jesus prayed that his followers would be unified.

15. Soberingly, one of Jesus’ final prayer requests was denied. Also in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed that he would not have to go through the ordeal he was facing.

16.  Prayer does not require fancy language.

17. The intensity of my prayer doesn’t matter.

18. When I can’t find the strength or the words to pray, the Holy Spirit also (see #6) prays on my behalf.  Read Romans 8:26, 27

19.  Prayer is not an effort on our part to pry open the fingers of a God reluctant to bless us.

20. The purpose of prayer is not for us to change God’s mind, but to put ourselves in the position for him to change ours.

Given my conviction that praying is the best thing we can ever do for someone, and given the fact that I want to be involved in the best, I’ve established a second phone line in my home, strictly for people to use to request prayers. If you call and I’m home – and can answer – I’ll be happy to pray with you if you’d like. Otherwise, you’ll be able to leave a message. All calls will be held in strictest confidence. Every prayer request will be honored. The number is 864-400-9431. Please feel free to share it with your friends.

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(podcast, with notes) Apologetics, Part 5: Homosexuality as an Ethical Test Case

Audio (click here)

Thanks one final time to Rev. Chris Daniels of the Richmond Center for Christian Study for allowing me to offer to you this five-part series on Christian apologetics: “Exploring the Nature of Reality: Seeing How a Biblical View of the World is Reasonable, Reliable and Fits Reality as Nothing Else Does”

This fifth and final session, Homosexuality as an Ethical Test Case, is presented by Rev. Daniel, who serves as the Executive Director of the Richmond Center for Christian Study.

This apologetics course is designed to give roots to the faith of Christians, assist seekers in their quest for truth, and gently and respectfully challenge those who hold to competing worldviews.

The lecture runs 1:11:00, with Q&A.

For more information on the Richmond Center for Christian Study, go to http://richmondstudycenter.org

***You can now access, download and/or subscribe to all of our podcasts through itunes. Just go to the itunes store. In the horizontal menu toward the top, click podcasts. Then type into the search box johnnypricemindfield. Click and there you are. Thanks, again, for checking it out.

AND TO HELP YOU EVEN FURTHER, HERE IS AN OUTLINE:

How do we determine what is ethical?
The approaches we too often adopt:
1) Succumb to the cultural pressure that promotes an ever-increasing growth in “rights” and “freedom”.
2) React against any effort to bring about social change that may threaten what we’re used to or comfortable with.

The only right approach: Ask, “What has God said about this?”

Given that it is God who made us, and given that He has spoken to us, this is the only way we could ever determine what is truly ethical.
How has God spoken to us?
NATURE (general revelation)
SCRIPTURE (special revelation)

General Revelation: What has God said through Nature?
Complementary Design – two systems or objects that show by their design that they are intended for each other.

Example: Nut & Bolt
We recognize that each was designed with the other in mind, not merely because one happens to fit in the other, but because the grooves of the one receive the threads of the other for the purpose of securing a tight fit.

The penis and vagina, and the male and female reproductive systems as a whole, show clear signs of complementary design.

Not only do the penis and anus fail to show signs of complementary design, but such sexual activity (much more common in homosexual encounters) actually does violence to the clear design and intention of the anus.

“[The anus was not] designed for the purpose of intercourse, which is readily evident from the physical injuries that often arise from such practices.”
~ Stanley Grenz, Sexual Ethics: An Evangelical Perspective, 237

 

“The rectum is lined with a single layer of columnar epithelial cells designed to absorb liquids. The vagina, by contrast, is lined with tough cells called stratified squamous epithelium. These cells have a layer of mucus that, along with other secretions and the thicker, more flexible vaginal wall, protects against abrasion and infection. The rectal wall has no surrounding muscular support, and it secretes a small amount of mucus that does not protect well against abrasion. But the key differences between the vagina and the rectum are the cell types and the thickness of the cell layers. The two orifices may feel very much alike to the intruding finger or penis. But one orifice is prone to repel, the other to admit, whatever microorganisms come along for the ride.”
~ Thomas Schmidt, Straight & Narrow?, 117
“It is important to understand that physical trauma, or harm to bodily structures, is a common problem among homosexuals. Quite simply … the rectum is not made for the industrial use of insertive homosexual activity.  Anal intercourse stretches the opening to the size required for a large bowel movement. The problem, however, is not the size of the opening but  the direction and repetition of the movement. The anus is a one-way valve, stimulated to open only by pressure from inside, and stimulated to contract by pressure from outside. Sudden or inadequately lubricated penetration can tear the anus itself. But more commonly the cumulative effect of anal intercourse is to cause dysfunction of the anal sphincter muscle, and the result is chronic incontinence or urgency of defecation for about one in three men who regularly engage in the practice.”
~ Thomas Schmidt, Straight & Narrow?, 117-8
“Nor is that all. Once past the anus, the danger of physical trauma worsens. Irritation of the sensitive rectal mucus layer causes a host of reactions, including diarrhea, cramps, hemorrhoids, prostate damage, and ulcers or fissures which in turn invite infection. The thin cell layer of the rectum is easily perforated, and its insensitivity to pain can lead to serious complications before a person is aware of any harm. Extensive surgical procedures are often required to repair damage caused by the insertion of the penis, the finger or other objects into the rectum.”
~ Thomas Schmidt, Straight & Narrow?, 118

 

Special Revelation: What has God said through Scripture?
Primary passages dealing with the question of homosexuality:

“Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’ Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.’”
~ Genesis 19:4-8

“Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”
~ Jude 7

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
~Leviticus 18:22 (also, Lev 20:13)

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
~ Romans 1:26-27

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

[Though these passages are sufficient to demonstrate that homosexual activity is unethical, some will attempt to explain how these passages fall short of condemning homosexual activity as we know it today. But Jesus’ approach (below) cuts through all this…]

Jesus’ approach to dealing with ethical issues of marriage and sexuality: Jesus reasons, “As it was at the Creation, so it ought to be now.”

“Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’ ‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’” ~ Matthew 19:3-6

Jesus uses the Genesis language of “being united to your wife” and “becoming one flesh” to draw out the ethical implication that “man should not separate what God has joined together.”

Using Jesus’ own method of Biblical interpretation, we should observe that at the Creation God “made them male and female” (i.e., opposite genders) and that “a man will … be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” We should then conclude, using Jesus’ reasoning that “as it was at Creation, so it ought to be now,” that marriage / sexual union is designed and intended to be enjoyed between a man and a woman.

[Note: Even if it were true that the passages previously mentioned all fall short of condemning homosexual activity as we know it today, following Jesus’ own method of Biblical interpretation would lead to this ethical conclusion anyway.]

Aren’t some people “born gay”?
Two reasons not to accept the notion that some people are “born gay”:
1) It is not true
2) It is dangerous

The notion that some people are “born gay” is simply not true.

This notion implies that, if you have homosexual feelings, you should embrace those feelings since that’s how God made you. While it is true that we should embrace how God has made us, this notion assumes that homosexual feelings must be a result of how God made us and doesn’t even consider that they might be a result of how the fall has corrupted us.

The biblical view is that, due to the fall, we are all born sinful, and as a result have all sorts of corrupt inclinations to one degree or another.

The notion that some people are “born gay” is dangerous.

This notion suggests that, if you have homosexual inclinations, you should be honest with who you are and embrace your inclinations. While we should certainly be honest with who we are, we should also be discerning, embracing those things about us that are a result of how God made us, and rejecting those things about us that are a result of how the fall has corrupted us.

Embracing our fallen tendencies reveals us as those who do not know God and bars us from inheriting the kingdom of God:

“No one who lives in him [God] keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin [i.e., embraces sin as a friend/way of life] has either seen him or known him.”
~ 1 John 3:6 (also 3:9, 5:18)

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this [i.e., embrace such things as a way of life] will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
~ Galatians 5:19-21

The biblical approach to dealing with our fallen tendencies is not to embrace them, but to put them to death.

“If you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
~ Romans 8:13-14

Total Depravity: We are all guilty of every type of sin 

Myth – Only some people are tempted by this type of sin (i.e., not me).

Fact – We are all tempted by every type of sin to one degree or another.

“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one [Jesus] who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
~ Hebrews 4:15

Implications:
1) Jesus understands every type of temptation.
2) We are all in the same boat (i.e., there is no type of sin where we can say “The fall has not hit me here”).

“What shall we do?!”
Repent from your sins:

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.”
~ Acts 3:19

Believe in Jesus:

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
~ John 3:16

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
~ Acts 16:31

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
~ Romans 10:9

Resource Recommendations
John Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life
David Jones, Biblical Christian Ethics
Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics
Robert Gagnon & Dan Via, Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views
Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and
Homosexuality
Thomas Schmidt, Straight & Narrow?: Compassion & Clarity in the
Homosexuality Debate

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Needs vs. Desires

There are needs and then there are desires.  We do well if we keep the two separate and distinct in our minds.

Needs are essentials. Desires are extras that we long for.

Needs are universal. Desires vary from person to person; some legitimate, some not.

When we take a desire for a need we’re likely to begin to think we deserve what we desire; that it’s not fair that we should do without.

We begin to focus more and more on what we want, losing sight and appreciation for what we have.

For example, you may look at your floor and say, “I need a new carpet.” Well, no, you don’t. You may want one. You may desire one. But nobody needs a new carpet. Nobody needs a carpet, period.

I would suggest that there are only six things a person actually needs:

  • God
  • Loving relationships
  • Meaningful work
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter

Beyond these, everything else is “gravy”.  Extra blessings.

To the extent we are willing to embrace this, we’ll begin to relax about what we lack, appreciate more the abundance of blessings we have – and be better equipped to survive this season that does more than any other to confuse our desires with our needs.

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Talking Head Film Analysis: FLIGHT

If you’d like to see a trailer for FLIGHT, here’s one:

And here are some of my thoughts about the film:

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(podcast, with notes) Apologetics, Part 4: The Bible as the Reliable Word of God

Audio (click here)

Thanks again to Rev. Chris Daniels of the Richmond Center for Christian Study

for allowing me to offer to you this five-part series on Christian apologetics: “Exploring the Nature of Reality: Seeing How a Biblical View of the World is Reasonable, Reliable and Fits Reality as Nothing Else Does”

This fourth session, The Bible As the Reliable Word of God, is presented by Rev. Daniel, who serves as the Executive Director of the Richmond Center for Christian Study.

This apologetics course is designed to give roots to the faith of Christians, assist seekers in their quest for truth, and gently and respectfully challenge those who hold to competing worldviews.

The lecture runs 1:15:00.

For more information on the Richmond Center for Christian Study, go to http://richmondstudycenter.org

***You can now access, download and/or subscribe to all of our podcasts through itunes. Just go to the itunes store. In the horizontal menu toward the top, click podcasts. Then type into the search box johnnypricemindfield. Click and there you are. Thanks, again, for checking it out.

AND TO HELP YOU EVEN FURTHER, HERE IS AN OUTLINE:

How Has God Spoken to Us?

God’s communication to us has come through a “chain” made of four links:

1) Inspiration – “Has God really spoken in the first place?” 2) Canonization – “In what books has God spoken?” 3) Transmission – “Have those books been faithfully preserved?” 4) Translation – “Have they been accurately translated?”

First Link: Inspiration

“Has God really spoken in the Old Testament?”

1) Jesus himself believed and taught that the Old Testament was the very Word of God.

How do we know this to be so?

  • Jesus was a Jewish rabbi.
  • Jewish rabbis in that day believed and taught that the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) was the very Word of God.

2) Inescapable implication of the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead: God approved of Jesus’ mission and message, including his assessment that the Old Testament was the Word of God.

“Has God really spoken in the New Testament?”

1) We should expect New Testament revelation. Divine pattern → Follow up major acts of salvation history with revelation… a) When God delivered his people out of Egypt, he followed up by revealing the Pentateuch b) When God brought his people back from the Exile, he followed up by revealing Ezra and Nehemiah So certainly revelation should have been expected after such a major salvific event as the arrival of the Messiah himself!

2) The first disciples believed that this pattern had indeed continued.

“Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”~ 2 Peter 3:15-16

[When Peter says “as they do the other Scriptures,” he is implying that Paul’s writings themselves are Scripture.]

“For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The worker deserves his wages.’” ~ 1 Timothy 5:18

[Paul is taking a quote from the OT (“Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain”) and a quote from  Luke’s Gospel (“The worker deserves his wages”), and in one breath is referring to both of them as Scripture.]   3) According to John, Jesus taught that he would equip the apostles for this task.

“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you [referring to the apostles] all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” ~ John 14:26

4) The fact that the apostles were so equipped was confirmed by signs.

“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those [i.e., the apostles] who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” ~ Hebrews 2:3-4 “The things that mark an apostle – signs, wonders and miracles – were done among you with great perseverance.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:12

[Historically speaking, it’s a real stretch to suggest that Paul would have told the Corinthian church that he had performed these signs “among them” if indeed he had not. If he had lied in this way, the Corinthians of course would have known that he was lying and Paul would  have lost all credibility.] The key is Point #1… If Jesus really did rise from the dead, then you should expect New Testament revelation to follow, and it seems from what we can tell (points 2-4) that it did.

Second Link: Canonization

“How do we know we have the right books in the Old Testament?”

The Jews in Jesus’ day, and Jesus himself, saw the inspired books as consisting of what now makes up our Old Testament.

Inescapable implication of the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead: God approved of Jesus’ mission and message, including his assessment that the Old Testament was the Word of God.

“How do we know we have the right books in the New Testament?”

Three tests: 1) Apostolicity – Was it written by an apostle or close associate? (which would have had apostolic approval) 2) Orthodoxy – Is the content of the writing consistent with the teaching of the apostles? 3) Early Usage – Was it used in worship by the early church? (a sign that it was recognized as Scripture by those who would have known best)

This led to the acceptance of the 27 New Testament books pretty much from the beginning.

Homologoumena – the 20 New Testament books that were universally accepted right away

Antilegomena – the books that took a little longer to become universally accepted (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation)

Two observations regarding the Antilegomena: 1) The books of the Antilegomena contain in themselves all the essentials of a Biblical worldview, so even if it were true that the books of the Antilegomena are not inspired, a Biblical worldview remains. 2) There is more than sufficient reason for thinking that the books of the Antilegomena are inspired because once the whole church had sufficient time to compare notes and consider these books more carefully in light of the tests mentioned above, they were then recognized by the whole church. (Remember, communication at that time simply took longer than it does today.)

Third Link: Transmission

“Have the Old Testament books been faithfully preserved?”

Jewish scribes (like the Masoretes) were known to be incredibly meticulous in their copying and preserving of the Old Testament throughout the centuries.

Confirmed by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (found in 1947). Dead Sea Scrolls date from the 3rd cent. B.C. to 1st cent. A.D. Include all of Isaiah and portions of every other Old Testament book except for Esther.

“For example, even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling. They do not affect the message of revelation in the slightest.” ~ Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 25

“Of the 166 words in Isaiah 53, there are only seventeen letters in question. Ten of these letters are simply a matter of spelling, which does not affect the sense. Four more letters are minor stylistic changes, such as conjunctions. The remaining three letters comprise the word ‘light,’ which is added in verse 11, and does not affect the meaning greatly…. Thus, in one chapter of 166 words, there is only one word (three letters) in question after a thousand years of transmission – and this word does not significantly change the meaning of the passage.” ~Millar Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 304

“Have the New Testament books been faithfully preserved?”

How to determine reliability in the transmission of a text: 1) look at the number of manuscript copies (the more the better) 2) look at the elapsed time between when the original was written and when the earliest remaining copies were written (the less time the better)

The reliability of the New Testament is known to be unparalleled by any other ancient text.

Homer’s Iliad (2nd most reliable ancient text): 1) Almost 650 Greek manuscripts in existence 2) Written around 800 B.C., earliest copies around 400 B.C. (400 year gap)

New Testament (most reliable ancient text by far): 1) More than 5,500 Greek manuscripts in existence (25,000 including other languages) 2) Written in 1st century A.D., earliest copies in 2nd cent. A.D. (100 year gap, fragments as early as 25 years after original writing)

Scholars simply don’t question the reliability of the New Testament.

Nonetheless, the New Testament has not been preserved perfectly. The authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 are questioned even by conservative scholars because of manuscript variation. There are also other minor variations every once in a while, but they don’t tend to amount to anything (e.g., one manuscript says “Christ Jesus” while another might say “Jesus Christ”).

Three things to note: 1) These variations are rare (only about 2% of the text). 2) They do not call into question any of the teachings of Christianity. 3) They are noted in most of today’s Bibles (so you know right where they are).

So, the New Testament and the Bible as a whole have been faithfully preserved over the centuries in a way that no other work of ancient literature has been, so that what we have today is (amazingly) virtually identical to what was originally written.

Fourth Link: Translation

Myth – “The original Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible were translated into another language, and then into another, and then another, and then another, until finally it was translated into English. Thus, after so many generations of translations, you can’t be sure that we still have the original message intact.”

Reality – Our English Bibles today are direct translations from the original Greek and Hebrew. How the translation of languages works: Though every once in a while you might find an example of something that doesn’t perfectly translate from one language to another, generally speaking, messages translate quite well from one language to another without notable loss of information.   So, how does God speak to us?

Through four links in a chain… 1) Inspiration – God has spoken in Scripture. 2) Canonization – We have correctly recognized the books in which God has spoken. 3) Transmission – These books have been faithfully preserved. 4) Translation – They have been accurately translated.

As a result, God’s Word has come to us today in our English Bibles.

Resource Recommendations

Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels

F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?

F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture

Bruce Metzger & Bart Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration

R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture

Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

Is the Bible Reliable?: Building the Historical Case (DVD, TrueU)

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Sloppy Thinking: Exhibit #4

From time to time, I’m responding to various ideas that I think are prime examples of sloppy thinking. Such as:

Of course as soon as you begin to practice something, it’s no longer random.

Dallas Willard offers a better suggestion and a  keen observation:

“Practice routinely purposeful  kindnesses and intelligent acts of beauty….

“And no act of beauty is senseless, for the beautiful is never absurd. Nothing is more meaningful than beauty.”

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Talking Head Film Analysis: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

If you’d like to watch a trailer for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, check this one out:

And here are some thoughts I had about the film:

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