Saturday Special


So someone on Twitter suggested doing this and I think it would be a good idea. It was pointed out that there are 24 chapters in the gospel of Luke. And if you read a chapter a day by Christmas you would have read the entire gospel. So as an Advent devotional, even though Advent starts tomorrow I invite you to join me in read the gospel of Luke.

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Movie Review Mondays


So being the observent group of individuals that you are you’ve probably notice that it has been awhile since I have posted a movie review.

Well there is a simple reason for this, most of the current crop of movies don’t interest me or are crap. Or skubulon if you prefer a biblical term.

However, that doesn’t preclude me from reviewing older movies something that I have done from time to time. Especially movies from the “golden age” of Hollywood. Which is a completely subjective since my “golden age” probably doesn’t correspond to a professional movie reviewer.

Also I have decided to do a few single sentence reviews every now and then such as:

Of the second season runs of the Netflix/Marvel franchise Daredevil has consistently been the best of all of them and has continued that into the third season.

Now this saves space, lets me be pithy something desired in a blog author or so I have been told.

And with that in mind another bit of pithiness. I noticed that Netflix has the four gospel accounts ( Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John for those of you who go to Joel Osteen’s church) each being a word for word telling from the accounts with a video more or less acting out the words. These are rated TV-14 which I find odd. What is in them that suggests anyone under fourteen needs parental guidance, it could be the brutality of the crucifixion, and the whipping. But judging from what I saw in John I find that hard to believe. Perhaps, it is the words themselves that prompt the rating? Have to think about that.

Lastly I, and most of the internet no doubt, learned that Stan Lee died today. I can’t comment on the status of this man’s soul as he stands now before the righteous Judge. No one can. However, it is worth saying that many a lonely day in my youth was brightened by reading the adventures of Captain America, Hulk, and others. And it was Stan Lee and artists such as Jack “The King” Kirby, Steve Ditko, and John Romita that brought a little joy into my life. Excelsior!

Frenetic Friday


Well, well, well its Friday once again and I do believe we have a really big show for you tonight. So away we go!


Our first item of the night is this new study that has found that women are hard wired to find well meaning SEXIST men more attractive. (emphasis mine)  And why is this so?  Well according to the scientists who did the study women think that such men are more likely protect them, provide for them and commit to a relationship.  So what is considered sexist according to the study?  if they are chivalrous or think women need a man to protect them.  So think about this.  If you’ve been taught to say open the door for a lady, stand when a woman enters a room, remove your hat when speaking to a lady., in times of danger protect the women before yourself.    All this is a form of benevolent sexism.  Or manners as taught by your grandfather and grandmother, or in my case father and mother if you were fortunate to have this happen to you.  (if you were raised in the south  manners are part of the culture and this is the norm.)  But wait there is more it seems that even women who consider themselves strong feminists showed the same preferences in the study by British and US researchers.   That must really grind their gears. <source>

 

 

 

 

So have you ever seen this skit:

If you have you’ll recognize it as one of the classic Monty Python sketches.  Many is the time that I laughed myself silly over such skits.  Well according the head of comedy at the BBC, Shane Allen, Monty Python  wouldn’t get on the BBC because:

If you’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes,” Allen said in June. “It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.”

Terry Gilliam a member of the troupe and an American said in response to the claim that Monty Python was too white said:

I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian. … My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”
“[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry,” he said. “Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.”<source>

Now let’s go to the Pacific Northwest


Ah Seattle really you can’t find a more liberal city unless you’re on the east coast or in California.  Well seems that Seattle to protect the environment has placed a ban on plastic straws.  That means all the fast food restaurants and other restaurants have to go to either a paper of a paper/plastic composite straw.  Or you have a note from a doctor that  states you must use a plastic drinking straw.  And if you don’t have that note, well that is a $250 fine.  <source>

And last but not least this:

The blurb below says this:

No one is born white. But while there is no biological basis for a white race, whiteness is real. What’s more, whiteness as a way of being in the world has been parasitically joined to Christianity, and this is the ground of many of our problems today. It is time to redouble the efforts of the church and its institutions to muster well-informed, gospel-based initiatives to fight racialized injustice and overcome the heresy of whiteness.

Written by a world-class roster of scholars, Can “White” People Be Saved? develops language to describe the current realities of race and racism. It challenges evangelical Christianity in particular to think more critically and constructively about race, ethnicity, migration, and mission in relation to white supremacy.

Historical and contemporary perspectives from Africa and the African diaspora prompt fresh theological and missiological questions about place and identity. Native American and Latinx experiences of colonialism, migration, and hybridity inspire theologies and practices of shalom. And Asian and Asian American experiences of ethnicity and class generate transnational resources for responding to the challenge of systemic injustice. With their call for practical resistance to the Western whiteness project, the perspectives in this volume can revitalize a vision of racial justice and peace in the body of Christ.<source>

And let me remind you of this:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  Romans 1:16 (emphasis mine)

 

Theology Thursday: What is the Gospel?


So there was some MTV award that Chris Pratt received and gave an acceptance speech.

Now let me state something right now this isn’t about Chris Pratt. It’s not even about what he said or didn’t say rather it is what some people have said that Chris Pratt said.

In an article on the Federalist Rachel Stooltzfoos wrote:

Actor Chris Pratt shared a gospel message in an acceptance speech at the MTV awards Monday, interspersing a serious message about God’s love in a list of “9 Rules for Life” for the younger generation. (source)

Unfortunately, while Chris Pratt spoke about God, having a soul, praying, and grace being paid for by “somebody’s blood”, it wasn’t the Gospel.

So the question is what is the Gospel? R.C.Sproul writes regarding this question:

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel. (source)

So then what is the core essentials of the Gospel? Well I would say that the bible tells us what the core essentials of the Gospel is.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.~1Corinthians 15:1-4

The Gospel must contain these elements: We are sinners, rebels against a holy and just God, deserving only his wrath and justice. (Rom. 3:23, Ephesians 2:3, 2 Thess. 1:9)

Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God. (1 Peter 2:24)

God raised Jesus to life for our justification. That we are declared righteous before God based upon what Christ did for His people. (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:16, 18)

Our salvation then comes from placing our trust in what Christ has done, not we have done. This is the Gospel that we have received, which we stand on, and are being saved by holding on to the word of God.

Six Part Harmony Christmas


Frank Turk originally did this and it has been my go to for the Christmas story since.  
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”

But of the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to her. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But Mary was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. … For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” 
And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.
A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. (this fulfilled what the prophet Micah had said, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 
And at the end of eight days, when [the child] was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 
(they said this because the prophet Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, and he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said,

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;”)

After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Theology Thursday: Dr. James White’s Four Keys to effective debating.


Today’s Theology Thursday comes from The Cripplegate’s Clint Archer.  He had the chance to interview Dr. James White and ask him how to effectively debate an opponent.

1Seek to be consistent. (Use equal scales)

This is mandatory in a serious debate: you can’t use unequal scales. You need to apply the same level of respect and understanding of how they employ their source material as you would want them to apply to how you employ yours.

Rookie debaters attack aspects of their opponent’s system that they would dismiss with an exasperated eye roll if the favor were returned. He offered a smattering of examples. Here’s some of his riff on this point, transcribed from a recording and cleaned up a bit…

A lot of arguments used against Islam or Mormonism will involve picking on their writings…..eg the Book of Mormon says Jesus was born in Jerusalem and apologists will say “see, Joseph Smith did not know what he was talking about.” But when we defend the Old Testament we often point out that that there are places where the author has used a very specific geographic term referring to a wider region. We defend against these alleged errors using that methodology—so we must be consistent and allow the Mormon the same methodology; i.e. they would say that Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem, in the same general area.
There are a lot of arguments that I would not use when attacking the Qur’an because I realize that when defending the Old Testament I am going to have to utilize very similar responses from what I would expect from a Muslim. So we need to be very careful.
A lot of people attack Joseph Smith’s false prophesies – and there are false prophecies – but Mormons allege that there are false prophecies in the Old Testament too. So your argument saying that Joseph Smith was giving a false prophecy might boomerang and they will say that Jonah was giving a false prophecy, or Ezekiel when prophesying against Tyre (referring to Ezekiel 26:1-14).
Most Christian apologists are better at attacking the other side rather than defending the best arguments made against Christianity.

2.   Strive for accuracy in representation of the other side (use original source material)



How much attention would you pay to a debater who learned what they know about your faith from watching a YouTube video posted by an “ex-Christian” who “suddenly realized” the Bible was full of contradictions and that his church leaders didn’t have answers? Probably zero.

You need to examine and familiarize yourself with your opponent’s original source material. When you explain their view on an issue, they should nod in agreement with everything you are saying before you explain why you disagree. If they don’t believe you understand their position or if they think you have misrepresented their beliefs, they will dismiss any argument you proffer against the faulty position you have presented.
So, when you engage a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness or a Muslim, make sure you have read Joseph Smith, C. T. Russel, or the Qur’an.

It is “Absolutely vitally important to use original sources, to know their version.”

Some people disagree with this point because they say you are exposing yourself to false teaching. But you know what: Paul quoted from Aratus the Greek philosopher and when he wrote Colossians he uses the very language of the proto-gnostics and the Docetists. The writers knew that those people believed and actively refuted them. We have nothing to fear, true Christianity has nothing spiritually to fear from Islam.

Jot down chapter and verse to show your counterpart that you have taken the time to actually read and understand what they actually believe. Interact with that. Do not erect straw men and throw fallacious darts at them. You will only make yourself feel superior while getting no closer to winning the argument or the soul for Christ.

3.  Show love for your opponent. (Win souls not just arguments)

Speaking of winning, you need to decide if your goal is merely to win an argument or to win a soul.
Sometimes those two go together. By convincing them of what the Scriptures actually say, you win the person over to the truth by winning the argument. But sometimes your words might be true, while your attitude belies your lack of concern for the person you are debating and the people who hold their view.

Apologetics – especially electronic apologetics – is a very dangerous skill because it allows you to say things to other people you would never say to their face. It allows you to sit there and think that you are glorifying God when the reality is that you are just trying to get your sword bloody – you don’t care what damage you do in the process.  If you don’t love the people you are dealing with, if you don’t really believe that you are going to be praying for them, if you wouldn’t reach out to them in a meaningful fashion, then don’t even do it. You’ll end up doing more damage than anything else.

The easiest way to show love to a person is to actually love them. Jesus said to do this, so if you don’t you are being a poor debater and a bad Christian at the same time.

4.  Stay in the context of a local church.

Apologetics is not a balanced field. You spend your time immersed in error. If you are doing that divorced from a ministry in the local church you are missing the point of your gifts, you are stunting your own spiritual growth, and you are neglecting your responsibility to the local church in favor of the Universal Church.

I found this to be the most surprising and encouraging of Dr. White’s insights. He is an elder at his church, teaches a Bible study (from the Bible, not the Book of Mormon), and ministers alongside Christians. His apologetics and debating is his career, not his only ministry.

Apologetics must be done within the context of the church. The vast majority of apologists I know are not churchmen. They go from church to church each weekend and give their presentations but they themselves are not churchmen.
Apologetics is not a balanced Christian ministry, you’re always in defense mode. I jokingly tell my audience – I listen to the heretics so you don’t have to – and there is an element of truth in that. And that is not good in the long run if that is all you do. So if you are a churchman you will be forced to have balance.

This is just the main points of the article to read the entire article go here: The Cripplegate

Frenetic Friday


So let’s talk about hairstyle:
HT: Billy Leonhart

Now just because this is the haircut my father and uncles wore when they enlisted and fought against the Nazis in World War II doesn’t mean anything.  Because history who needs it! However let me suggest some alternatives.

The Staliny yes comrades there is nothing that say antifa like the haircut of a man who slaughtered between 20 to 40 million people. (Accounts vary)

Ah the Che Che for the rough urban social justice warrior.  The head of Castro’s La Cabaña prison and responsible for over 1000 firing squad executions and the forced labor camps which imprisoned Jehovah witnesses, homosexuals, Afro-Cuban priests, and anyone else who opposed the revolution. And of course the Mao, the Pol Pot, and the Kim Jong Il.  You might want to select by the number of people they had executed.

Switching to the Evangelical world have you heard about the Nashville Statement?  Click on the link if you want to read it.  Needless to say this has caused the liberals/progressive “Christians” an apoplectic fit. You can read some of the responses:


We go to Iceland for some breaking news from the Culture of Death!

Down Syndrome disappearing in Iceland because of Abortion

Speaking of Science this is a few weeks old but worth noting:

Man plays God

In a news report from the MIT Technology Review scientists have reported that they have successfully modified human DNA and created a genetically modified human embryo.   Soon despite what scientist say won’t happen will.  Designer babies have entered the first stage soon the dreams of eugenics will take on reality.  And just so you know the method they are using known as CRISPR doesn’t create “mules” no these children will pass on their changes to future generations. Last year this technology was call a weapon of mass destruction by top US Intelligence services.

Finally I am taking a brief hiatus from the blog.  A minimum of a month a maximum of two months.  The catechism posts will continue to occur on Sunday.  Look for changes coming to the blog.

 

Catechism


Q. 135 Why do Christians need to pray?
A. Because prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness God requires of us. And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly, asking God for these gifts and thanking him for them.

Ps. 50:14-15; 116:12-19; 1 Thess. 5:16-18
Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-13

Q. 136 How does God want us to pray so that he will listen to us?
A. First, we must pray from the heart to no other than the one true God, who has revealed himself in his Word, asking for everything he has commanded us to ask for. Second, we must acknowledge our need and misery, hiding nothing, and humble ourselves in his majestic presence. Third, we must rest on this unshakable foundation: even though we do not deserve it, God will surely listen to our prayer because of Christ our Lord. That is what he promised us in his Word.

Ps. 145:18-20; John 4:22-24; Rom. 8:26-27; James 1:5; 1 John 5:14-15
2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 2:11; 34:18; 62:8; Isa. 66:2; Rev. 4
Dan. 9:17-19; Matt. 7:8; John 14:13-14; 16:23; Rom. 10:13; James 1:6

Catechism


Q. 126 What is the eighth Commandment?

A. Thou shalt not steal.

Q. 127  What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?

A.  He forbids not only outright theft and robbery, punishable by law.  But in God’s sight theft also includes cheating and swindling our neighbor by schemes made to appear legitimate,  such as: inaccurate measurements of weight, size, or volume; fraudulent merchandising; counterfeit money; excessive interest; or any other means forbidden by God.  In addition he forbids all greed and pointless squandering of his gifts.

Ex. 22:1; 1 Cor. 5:9-10; 6:9-10

Mic. 6:9-11; Luke 3:14; James 5:1-6

Deut. 25:13-16; Ps. 15:5; Prov. 11:1; 12:22; Ezek. 45:9-12; Luke 6:35

Luke 12:15; Eph. 5:5

Prov. 21:20; 23:20-21; Luke 16:10-13

Q. 128  What does God require of you in this commandment?

A.   That I do whatever I can for my neighbor’s good, that I treat others as I  would like them to treat me, and that I work faithfully so that I may share with those in need.

Isa. 58:5-10; Matt. 7:12; Gal. 6:9-10; Eph. 4:28