Hunger and Peace

From an ad in my towns newspaper.

Any teen interested in exploring issues of hunger and peace is invited to join a youth group forming…

A youth group centered around hunger and peace (yeah, they were in bold in the ad), that sounds nice. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee that the youth group will be exploring ways to relieve temporal hunger and promote temporal peace. That is not a bad thing, but, relieving temporal hunger and promoting temporal peace should not take precedence over satisfying eternal hunger and proclaiming eternal peace…

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger,” – John 6:35

“For in him [Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” – Colossians 1:19, 20

Anthony Flew Reviews: The God Delusion

I found this pretty interesting. A prominent former atheist reviewing Dawkins book “The God Delusion”…

Anthony Flew:

The God Delusion by the atheist writer Richard Dawkins, is remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies. But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents – or rather lack of contents – of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot. (Helpfully, my copy of The Oxford Dictionary defines a bigot as ‘an obstinate or intolerant adherent of a point of view’).

Click here to read the whole review.

(HT: Challies)

Sex and God

This question was provided by an ad for Rob Bell’s book, “Sex God.”

Sex and God are intimately connected. But how?” Uhh… well, God gets glory from biblical sex; but, aside from that, nothing else comes to mind.

Christians Brutally Murdered in India

Mission Network News:

“It’s been one of the most difficult painful times in the history of our work.” That’s founder and president of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan talking about brutal persecution taking place in Orissa State, India. Communists killed a Hindu radical leader, and World Hindu Council leaders are blaming Christians. Now, Yohannan says they’re on a rampage. “So far, more than 130 homes of our believers have been complete destroyed — burned down. 15 churches were destroyed. One of our churches — they bombed it. Six of our workers and believers were brutally murdered.” Yohannan calls it ‘ethnic cleansing.’ He says prayer and funding are needed to help Christians who have fled into the woods for safety. “Literally thousands of Christians are hiding and running for their lives. And, our own Bridge of Hope Centers — caring for thousands of children — are shut down in many places because of opposition.”

Click here to read more about the situation in India.

Click here to donate to the Persecution Relief Fund.

A Journey of Self-discovery

This statement came from an ad for Joel Osteen’s book, “Become a Better You.”

Weaving biblical lessons and personal stories, Osteen guides readers on a groundbreaking journey of self-discovery.” I’m guessing his biblical journey does not include verses like, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), and “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Romans 7:18).

The Gods Aren't Angry?

This question was graciously supplied by an ad for Rob Bell’s “The Gods Aren’t Angry – DVD”.

Where did early humans get the idea that a divine being existed and needed to be appeased?” Hmm.. let me think here… the Bible: “God is angry with the wicked every day.” – Psalm 7:11

I Am Going to Try To Do Somewhat of a Series

Earlier, I was looking through a book catalog, reading the product descriptions for different books. I found it interesting that many of the descriptions started out with questions… “Have you ever done this,” or “Why do you think that happens.” As I was reading these questions I decided I would try to answer some of them. I started to really get into answering the questions posed by the ads, trying to come up with clever responses.

So, beginning tomorrow, I am going to post a series of the questions posed by the ads, along with my answers. I have the answers to three questions so far, so this little experiment will last at least three days. Hopefully I’ll run across more good questions and come up with more answers.

That is what you (my dear reader), have to look forward to in the future… now I just need to come up with a clever name for this series of posts… oh, and feel free to add your own answers to the questions in the comments part of the posts.

Consistency is Key

Here is some advice about personal Bible reading from an interview with Mark Denver, I found this excerpt particularly encouraging.

A lot of young Christians will have an exciting quiet time on Monday and a really exciting one on Tuesday and an awesome one on Wednesday but then something happens on Thursday and they actually don’t even do it and Friday they do it and they feel guilty and it isn’t that good and Saturday they do it but it’s late and they were discouraged…and then they just get discouraged because they’re not always having a super experience. That’s where I would look at them and say, “Just keep going. Aim at obedience in a long direction set in a pattern for decades. If you just keep going you’ll gain so much by consistency and and faithfulness that there’s no way you can gain just by sudden experience.”

Read the whole interview – Mark Denver on Personal Bible Reading.

Indeed, Spurgeon is the Man

This afternoon I have probably typed about 7-10 e-mails to different people (which is more than I would on a usual day), and I am pretty tired from all the writing and responding (not that I don’t enjoy corresponding with family, friends et cetera).

That all being said, I now have a new appreciation for Charles Spurgeon’s writing habits/super-human capabilities. While I am tired out with sending 10 e-mails in one day (if I kept up that pace, 70 in a week), Spurgeon would sometimes write up to 500 personal letters by hand… per week. That, on top of the 1) monthly magazine he published, 2) the 140 books he wrote, and 3) the 1,437 book reviews he wrote. Wow!

This now leads me to my conclusion (or, for those of you in school, my thesis statement). I whole heartedly agree with Mark Driscoll: Spurgeon is the Man.

Joe Biden? "LOL!"

John Mark Reynolds:

As the nominee of your party you (Senator Obama) have the power to put a man or woman a heartbeat from the presidency. You look all over America able to choose the person (other than yourself) most fit to be President of the United States. It is a primary with one voter and you can choose your own Socrates, since he need not win over the masses.

You can choose anyone. You defeated the first serious female candidate for President of the United States and so many think you might balance your ticket with a qualified woman.

You do not. You have every choice in America, but with all those choices:

You choose a man who had to drop out of the 1988 campaign for a pattern of plagiarism.

You choose a man who bragged about his grades (!) which managed to be both weird in a grownup and unfortunate . . . since his grades were abysmal.

Read the whole thing.

HT: Alex Chediak

Gay Rights Trump Religious Freedom

American Family Association:

The California Supreme Court, which recently legalized same-sex marriage, has ruled by a 7-0 vote that homosexual rights trump religious freedom. The ruling barred doctors, because of their Christian beliefs, from withholding unnecessary medical care to gays and lesbians. The ruling says that under state law sexual orientation rights trump religious freedom.

Justice Joyce Kennard wrote in the ruling that two Christian fertility doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian have neither a free speech right nor a religious exemption from the state’s law, which “imposes on business establishments certain antidiscrimination obligations.”

Doctors at the Christian clinic referred the lesbian to another clinic, but the lesbian refused their referral – demanding that the Christian clinic perform the procedure. When the Christian doctors refused to violate their religious convictions, the lesbian sued and the Supreme Court gave her the victory.

This ruling will affect every business in California. If a similar victory in a federal court is won, every business in America will be affected.

For example: Alabama Fertility Specialists (AFS) has begun a campaign to bring Honda of Alabama to its knees because Honda will not cover artificial insemination for a lesbian in it’s insurance.

Honda advised their insurance carrier to “exclude domestic partners (same-sex partners) from ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) benefits including diagnostic services related to fertility/infertility…” If this doesn’t work, then count on AFS to sue.

Alabama Fertility Specialists alerted the media, their supporters and gay groups about Honda’s actions and called on supporters and gays to bombard Honda with phone calls and letters.

Obama-Bayh for '08?

Alex Chediak:

This leak looks highly credible. I’m not a prophet, but I believe that Senator Evan Bayh has been selected as Barack Obama’s running mate. KMBC out of Kansas City has announced:

KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney reported that the company, which specializes in political literature, has been printing Obama-Bayh material. That’s Bayh as in U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana. Word leaked out about the material as it was being printed up by Gill Studios of Lenexa. The Obama campaign had said it would make the announcement by text message on Friday.

Gill Studios, would not confirm information about the material. They would not deny it either. The company president would not comment when asked by Mahoney about the reports. But at least three sources close to the plant’s operations reported the Obama-Bayh material was being produced.

It makes sense. Obama said he didn’t want a “media hog”; Bayh is widely considered ‘”vanilla” or “boring” by Beltway insiders, according to Andrew Romano of Newsweek. Obama wanted someone who “complemented” him (as opposed to augmenting his strengths) and who was “independent” (with whom he could have vigorous, productive debate in the White House). Well, Bayh was a supporter of Senator Clinton (perhaps he could reach out to disaffected Clinton supporters, some 30% of which have pledged support for McCain) and an early supporter of the War in Iraq. So there you have it.

The ESV Cult

I am all about using the ESV Bible, it is my favorite translation to read and study from. But, in light of a recent post (from the ESV Bible Blog) about 5 unofficial facebook groups with a combined total of over 900 members, I am wondering if using the ESV as ones main Bible translation has become a way of entrance into what is becoming a growing cult of ESV Bible users… (a cult that I am also included in :)

Update: I should point out that this post is not meant to be mean spirited, instead, it was meant to be more of a playful jest, my goal was to use hyperbole to comment on the large amount of people who truly have been blessed through the ESV (and soon will also be blessed through the ESV Study Bible!).