These are links gathered between November 1st-7th, 2014:
3.) Obviously: A witty comeback to Stephen King thumping on organized religion.
The South Bay Christian Alliance Church has a monthly series on Christian Ethics. For November they focus on the controversial topic of what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.
Here is the video:
Christian Ethics: Homosexuality in the eyes of God
Speaker: Jason Wong
About ten minutes into the video the speaker Jason Wong shared something that made the rest of the message very powerful. It moved me to tears knowing it.
Don’t underestimate the power of the Gospel.
There was some discussion on a friend’s blog responding to a nonbeliever’s assertion that Acts 5 demonstrate that the early Christians were Communists. Acts 5:1-16 is the passage concerning Ananias and Sapphira.
I’ve reproduced my comment here with slight editorial change:
I think the fact that Acts 5 still acknowledged private property does not sit well with a Marxist reading of Acts 5. Specifically, the Apostle Peter in verse four affirmed the right of private property when he asked Ananias: “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not [b]under your control?”
I would also add that the communal passages such as the one you mentioned here in Acts 5 and also Acts 2:44-45 must also be interpreted in the light of the larger flow of the book of Acts.
We must remember that Acts 1:8 is the “controlling” verse for the direction of the book of Acts. Acts 1:8 is the command Jesus gave the disciples: “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Note there is an emphasis by Jesus that the Gospel is to go outward that comport with Matthew 28:19-20 (what is commonly called the Great Commission).
It seems in light of Acts 1:8 that this gathering of an internal community sharing things in common is not the thing that Jesus or Acts want to stress as normative for the Christian, but it ought to be one of reaching out. In fact it took God bringing a persecution in Acts 8:1-5 that the Acts 1:8 plan gets unfolded (I think my interpretation is justified, note the echoes of Acts 1:8 in Acts 8:1-5 with the term “Jerusalem,” “Judea” and especially the multiple reference to “Samaria.” This point must not be missed).
Acts 8 onwards is more closer to us in terms of the Christian church era and I think Acts 2-7 with the believers gathering together fits in a specific context of Redemptive History in that it was the early Post-Pentecost age when believers from around the world was still getting to know the Gospel more deeply before eventually going back “home” to all the different parts of the Roman empire (see Acts 2 again) and beyond.
I think to pull these passages as supporting Communism does not take into account the immediate context within Acts 5 nor does it take into account the context of the uniqueness of the event in Redemptive History. In other words, the case for communism from Acts 2 and 5 fail.
In my next post on Wednesday I will address the issue of the term communism, Marxism and the Soviet State.
With all that is going on in the news with the direction of our society, this debate between Christian apologist James White and liberal Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong would be important. Both men debated on the topic “Is Homosexuality Compatible with Christianity?” in Orlando, FL back in November 2006. The video of this debate has been made available online for free in its entirety less than a week ago.
Here’s the video:
Posted in ambulance, Apologetics, apologetics illustrations, christian apologetics, Christianity, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Theology on October 21, 2014 | 9 Comments »
Point: When we evangelize it is important to make the point that the listener have sinned against a Holy God. Even during an apologetic dialogue, a Christian apologist must not forget this; instead he or she must press the point that one who goes against God is rebelling against Him and is trying to run away from God with the very resources that God has given to help man; this sin is even more grievous in light of God’s goodness, help and mercy towards unbelievers (what in theology we call God’s common grace). How can we further drive this point home?
Picture: On the news a few days ago there was this headline: “Man steals L.A. Fire Department ambulance sent to help him” with this story:
A man being treated by paramedics stole a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance and led police on a chase that ended in a traffic collision, sending two women to the hospital Sunday night.
Paramedics responded to a medical call in the 200 block of North San Pedro street in downtown L.A. about 6:30 p.m., and then the man drove off in the ambulance, according to the LAFD’s Katherine Main.
The paramedics were not in the ambulance at the time, Main said.
A fire engine also responding to the original call reported the stolen ambulance, Los Angeles police said.
Officers then began a pursuit that ended when the ambulance crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Union Avenue about 7:15, according to Sgt. Gia Rueda of the LAPD.
Two women in the car were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, Rueda said.
The suspect, whose name was not released, was taken into custody at the Rampart Station.
Here is a story of the suspecttaking advantage of what was meant to be help for the suspect. Then there is the added irony of the man getting an accident after the chase–only to have the paramedics again help him and put him in another ambulence. That’s like man’s sinful attempt to run away from Him by hijacking God’s resources as a means of running away from Him–but we inevitably crash and even then with our self-destructiveness we can’t fully avoid God.
POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
<Much apologetic dialogue takes place; now discussion is winding down>
CHRISTIAN: We have touched on a lot of philosophy and worldview issues. I don’t want you to miss my thesis that you are in sin and that your sin is even evident in our intellectual discussion because you are trying to use intellectual resources that God has provided to help us as His creatures to be resources for you to try to escape God.
OPPONENT: What do you mean? You are putting moralistic tones to this intellectually stimulating discussion.
CHRISTIAN: Let me explain perhaps by ways of a story of how I see it within my worldview. Have you heard of this story: <Insert New story>.
CHRISTIAN: Here’s the image of the actual guy after the accident. Do you see any irony in the picture?
OPPONENT: Yes! The paramedics that he wronged are now the ones he have to rely on to help him after the attempted getaway.
CHRISTIAN: Exactly! I love this picture because despite his attempt to get away from the paramedics, he ends up facing the paramedics anyways–and still needed their help and he’s back to square one. In the same way, when someone tries to use God’s resources that was meant to help us such as the laws of logic, morality, etc., as a means of trying to run away from God, we end up colliding with God’s reality and yet we still rely on Him afterwards despite our rebellion. This man is more like us than we realize!