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Part 1

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

We’re continuing with our series on a Biblical Theology of Hands.  We’ve seen earlier that Scripture often shows the hands of men shows our sins.  But what does the Hands of the Lord show?

Our first point concerning the Hands of the Lord is that it shows He is powerful.

  1. The hand of the Lord is Powerful
    1. Point: When we look at what the Bible has to say about the Hand of God, we see His Divine Power.
    2. Proof
      1. First reference to the Hand of God appear in a Prophecy concerning Joseph’s descendants (Genesis 49:22-26)
        1. Future prediction that his descendants will be harassed militarily (23)
        2. But a prophecy of hope: “But his bow remained firm, And his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),” (24)
          1. Divine titles of the Messiah here:
            1. the Mighty One of Jacob
            2. the Shepherd
            3. the Stone of Israel
          2. Note the reason that Joseph’s line can remain strong is “From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
      2. Exodus fromEgypt
        1. God told Moses before it happened: “So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:20)
        2. Exodus 7:16-18: “ You shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.” 17 Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, I will strike [a]the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood. 18 The fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will [b]become foul, and the Egyptians will [c]find difficulty in drinking water from the Nile.”’
          1. Note how in verse 17 makes it clear Moses’ hand of judgment was God’s Hand of Judgment.
          2. What the hands of the Lord is able to do is frightening as indicated in verse 18.
          3. This is another indication of the power of the Lord.
        3. See also Exodus 9:3, and the Song of Moses that sings praise of God’s Deliverance and protection (Exodus 15:6,12).
  1. Practice
    1. Do you trust in God’s Sovereign power?
    2. Be comforted the same Hand of God that was with Moses is with us today.
    3. Have you sang to the Lord in awe and praise of his Power?

Sav I dont think you know what it means

We’re still getting Tweets against us for praying for Nepal and also discussion of Christian evangelistic relief workers.  Over the last few days one of the better Hindu that we’re able to have more meaningful dialogue with tweeted this to us:

and if hearing Gospel saves life. Are you sure none of 9/11 or Katrina victims had heard the Gospel?

And this:

and if hearing the gospel saves lives?? Close down hospitals across Europe n Americas..#Sicko

There’s been so many others like him who tweet out using the hashtag “#Soulvultures” against praying Christians on Twitter saying similar things.

At the heart of the Hindu’s argument is this:  If the Gospel save lives then people would not physically die.  People do physically die including those who believe in the Gospel.  Example given include those in 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and those in American and European Hospitals.  Very likely among those who died in the tragedies listed include individuals who believed in the Gospel.  Therefore, according to our Hindu friend the Gospel does not save lives, when the Gospel is suppose to save lives.

The problem of course is with the Hindu’s misunderstanding of what Christ’s saving works means.  In other words, there is a fallacy of equivocation being committed here concerning the term “saved.”

To illustrate, let the definition of saved, in terms of being rescued from eternal punishments, be labeled as saved1A. The other definition of saved, in which we define as rescue from physical life-threatening situations, such as being rescued from the tragedies mentioned above, will be labeled as saved2B.  To be saved1A requires belief or believing in His Son as Savior, as John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  However, Biblically speaking being Saved1A, or being saved from God’s wrath over our sins, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be saved in the sense of saved2B from a particular event that can take one’s life.   We think of Steven the first Martyr in the Church in Acts 7 who was a Christian (saved1A) yet was murdered for his faith.  His physical life was taken from him.  We think of the Apostle Peter who knew Jesus as His Savior and had eternal life (saved1A) and yet Jesus prophecied in the Gospel of John that he will die for his faith.  We could multiply examples upon examples.  Being a Christian is not a promise of having one’s present life a bed of rose garden.  That’s another Gospel, and not the Christian Gospel.

The tragic thing about this particular Hindu was that he first tweeted us in response to our tweet linking my piece “Twitter attack on #SoulVultures and the Nepalese Earthquake” and he claimed to have read half that article.  The first half of the article did explain the Christian Gospel and nowhere was the Gospel presented as being saved in the sense of Saved2B mentioned above.  So I don’t know where he gets the sense that we believe in a Gospel that gives promises of being saved from natural disasters, etc.  I submit a strawman fallacy is being committed here.

Readers might also check out my fellow blogger EvangelZ’s post on what is the Gospel: Gospel is Desperately Needed for the Lost in Nepal.

Presuppositional apologetics Round Up

Here are links gathered from April 22nd-30th, 2015.

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [15]

2.) Twitter attack on #SoulVultures and the Nepalese Earthquake: Can a Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist and Pragmatic Humanitarians object to Christian evangelistic prayer and relief effort in Nepal in light of their own worldview?

3.) Refuting 4 Irrational Assertions Made by Atheists

4.) Why These 66 Books?

5.) Is Apologetics a form of atheism?

6.) Theology and Philosophy

7.) What is Metaphysical Grounding?

8.) A FRANK ADMISSION OF GUILT

 

Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend

do-not-judge.001

It seems to be the most quoted Bible verse: Do Not Judge.

Yet it is probably one of most misinterpreted verse in our life and time.

Here’s a good short video:

a-man-praying

 

Note: This is part 1 of 2 posts that will address the issue of Hindus that have been on Twitter attacking evangelistic minded Christian as being self-centered.

Christians who are praying and helping with evangelistic Relief effort with the Earthquake in Nepal have been accused of being arrogant for wanting to share the Gospel.  For example one of the Hindus who have been constantly harassing us and many prayerful Christians just tweeted this an hour or so ago against the Bible League in Australia:

#SoulVultures should shed their ego that their self certified poisonous&venomous abhrahamik religions are the best ones

On our blog an interlocutor has also charged that we

have arrogance to think that “pagans” are backward and need redeeming.”

What do we say to that charge?

First off, followers of Christ can be arrogant. That’s because Christians still have a sinful nature.  Just like everybody else.  This confirms the Bible in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  To deny that Christians cannot possibly be arrogant at all is arrogance–better to acknowledge it.  This observation however does not excuse the sin.  Instead a Christian who is arrogant needs to repent from their sins.  Lower yourself and be humbled before God.

Secondly, the need for redemption isn’t only for what our interlocutor called “pagans” (using his own words).  Non-“pagans” need redemption too.

Thirdly, I myself a sinner am also in need of God’s saving grace because of my sins.   I hope that every Hindu who have been harassing Christians would know that I don’t think of myself as any better in my own merit than what someone (in this case the interlocutor) might call “backwards.”

Fourthly, I don’t think believing people need to be redeemed by Christ on the cross is arrogant.  Instead the message of the Cross kills arrogance and instead makes us foster humility.  The Gospel says that we ALL are sinners (Romans 3:10, 3:23) who are ALL spiritually dead if it’s up to ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-3). “For ALL of us have become like one who is unclean, And ALL our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6a).  Even when we do outwardly what others might identify as our good deeds, still we can do it with ulterior motive, or it is fueled or done to promote our self-righteousness.  “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).  The believer of the Gospel knows he’s a begger in need of grace.  He knows that because of his lack of righteousness, God has to provide His Son to die on the Cross for his legal righteousness before God.  And any practical righteousness afterwards in a Christian life, if it is true righteousness is the work of God in his life and an outworking of the truth of God’s saving love is the motivation for his obedience.

Fifthly, a Christian that truly understands the Gospel will share this to others as another dying sinner to another dying sinner.  Ironically, if a Christian who understands and believes in the Gospel will not share this to others, he would be committing a high-handed sin of selfishness to genuinely believe the truth that there is a way of salvation and yet not share that to others.  Such a fool is arrogant, only caring for his own life and not think of others but only himself.  #HindusandcitizensofNepalslivesmatter.

Sixtly, if you have been misrepresenting praying Christians and Christian missionaries and relief workers as being arrogant and have read this explanation and still want to accuse Christians of being arrogant in their internal motivation even though you now know better, then God help you.  Continual misrepresentation even when one knows better is arrogance: You want to still keep on saying this, and you have made your desire to slander Christians as being more important than the truth.  Whenever an agenda is advanced with half-truths and lying sound bites, it is wickedness.  Repent to God for mercy for your sins.

Lastly, from some of our interaction this past week some of you have said you are without sin.  That’s ironic that you can still keep a straight face and charge Christians for arrogance don’t you think?  The most arrogant thing you can ever say or think is to think you are without sin.  It means you are perfect.  It means you can do no wrong; it means you have become a functional god.  Oh the arrogance of presuming you are a perfect god!  But your deeds reveal otherwise.  Now if you confess your sins to God, repent of it and turn to the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, He is faithful to forgive you, to change you, to cleanse you.

Boxer down

Background: In my post on Sunday “Twitter attack on #SoulVultures and the Nepalese Earthquake,” I noted that there are Hindus and others on Twitter harassing those Christians who expressed evangelistic prayers for Nepal in light of the recent earthquake and Christian evangelistic relief efforts.  In Sunday’s post I gave a compact summary of the Gospel since people kept on misrepresenting it and I also dealt with the objection to Christian evangelistic relief effort and evangelistic prayers.  Specifically I dealt with the objection by noting how the objection faces a self-defeater that is provided from within these guys’ own respective worldview.  As of this moment that I am writing this, those who have commented on the post against us have yet to interact with the arguments that was presented.  But overall at least the comments were civil.  But this is not true on Twitter.  We’ve been called many things and have many nasty things said about Christianity the last 48 hours.  I want to share one of the better exchange that was not filled with profanity.  I want to share this dialogue as a window for others to see the folly of opposing Christians sharing the Gospel when one’s own faulty worldview and religious outlook undermine the rational basis for making that objection.  I want to note that since EvangelZ and I (SlimJim) both used the blog’s Twitter account, it is hard to distinguished my tweet and those by EvangelZ.  Here I limiting the record of this dialogue to the tweets that were my own words.  I also left out other Hindus ganging up against us during the dialogue as these tweets were largely distracting, harassing and not fruitful.  I also focused only on the tweets of our dialogue partner directed towards my own words; and the tweets from our Hindu friend that I am responding to.

Apologetics Illustration:

I want to explain what I see the direction of the dialgue with the following illustration.  Wouldn’t it be strange if a boxer ended up knocking himself out?  Kind of like this guy did to himself:

I think this describes what our Hindu friend did to himself here.  I think it was not so much I was “beating down” on him as it was more that his own beliefs were delivering his own knockout punches.  The point of my dialogue was merely to point out that his own beliefs were refuting his objection against Christians engaging in evangelism to Hindus.

The Dialogue:

Our Hindu friend’s main thesis was, to put it in his words, “The ppl u seek to cnvrt have their own religion,y not accept that his religion is as precious/true for him as urs for u.”

We pick up where he started to describe his beliefs that religious claims are no more than mere preferences:

Hindu: u have the right to say my dad is the best dad in the world,as long as u add two words; “for me”.Sadly ppl dont realize this

The Domain for Truth: so religious claims are just subjective?

Hindu: certainly.  Not all people think alike,hence there are different ways to approach the divine.Depending on ur culture/country.

The Domain for Truth: Ok so if you believe this why are you railing against another cultural way of giving aid? #contradiction

Hindu: u may like baked potatoes,i may like french fries.The potate does not change,how we consume it does.

The Domain for Truth: You say we should not condemn as wrong yet you do so? #Contradiction

The Domain for Truth: If you believe everything is mere preference; then you can’t condemn someone else’s preference including those of Christians

Hindu: because u are demeaning someone else’s religion/faith in the process.Also the whole idea that my god is superior to ur god.

The Domain for Truth: But your belief in religious relativism is an undercutting defeater to your complaint of Christianity; you can’t say its wrong

Hindu: Think of god as an all loving parent.IsHe GoingToSend 1 to hell and another toHeaven JustCos 1 called him DadAndAnother pop?

The Domain for Truth: But that’s just your relative view remember? You assert all religious propositions are mere preferences; r u evangelizing?

Hindu: i am just saying u dont have the right to say that baked potatoes are the only way,other ways of consuming it is wrong.

The Domain for Truth: Who made you one who gives right when its all up to individual preference? Do you see the irony?

Hindu: We dont because we respect all faiths.We accept that any effort made to reach god in any form is acceptable to god.

The Domain for Truth: Will you accept the Christian faith? Hm…

Hindu: How is it evangelizing,didnt ask anyone to leave their faith.

The Domain for Truth: Evangelism is sharing one’s faith

Hindu: no.

The Domain for Truth: Let me explain: If you say religious claims are preferences its just their choice. But then you say “u dont have the right”

Hindu: nope.Accept that the religion in which u are born is the best for u.Its called swadharma(ones own dharma) in hinduism.

Hindu: ur mom might be best for u,not for me.for me my mother is the best.Always remember that and there will be no quarrels.

The Domain for Truth: Thank you for that term Swadharma

The Domain for Truth: But then you quarrel with someone’s else view? Do you see the irony of your claims and what you are doing?

Hindu: did not ask u to leave ur faith.U asked me a question and I responded.

The Domain for Truth: But you attacked our faith and our God

Hindu: Saying Whites are better than blacks is blatant racism.Same holds true for religions,shoudlnt it.religious racism.

The Domain for Truth: But is this objectively true? Remember you assert claims that are religious in nature is just subjective preferences

Hindu: nope.Discussing is different from abusing/calling names.didnt ask u the convert or speak ill abt Christianity,now did I??

The Domain for Truth: You didn’t ask us to convert; true; but you did argue against it how is that accepting?

Hindu: haha when did i attack,using the victim card now are we??

The Domain for Truth: Look at the thread and see what you have to say about Christianity

Hindu: Saying my version is the only version certainly is silly.

The Domain for Truth: No it’s a logical observation that two contarry claims can’t be right

The Domain for Truth: But is the Christian version silly in light of your mockery against it in this thread? #Contradiction

Hindu: my atman was already created divine.Only I have not realized it yet.no concept of sin with atman.

The Domain for Truth: “my atman was already created divine.Only I have not realized it”<–You know this but you didn’t realize it? #Contradiction

Hindu: no saying my way/religion is the “only” religion certainly is.

The Domain for Truth: If you really are tolerant can you tolerate a religion that says it’s the only way?

 

Be sure to check out .

mom-beats-rioting-son-baltimore-riots

My prayers tonight is with the people in Baltimore with the riots going on.

I saw a clip of a mom trying to stop her son from participating in the protest/riot.  Have you seen it?

This display of tough love moved me.  This verse came to mind:

Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed. (Proverbs 27:5)

I’m just thinking out loud right now: What if every mom and dad, guardian, grandpa and grand ma, brothers and sisters, mentors, local pastors, and community leaders in these kids lives went all out to the streets tonight and lovingly and passionately appealed to these kids to stop will it make any effect?  I’m not taking away personal responsibility nor am I naive to deny that in some instance there will still be the need for law enforcement to step in.  But what if love–not just cheesy cardboard one dimensional vanilla feelings we often call love–what if genuine, raw and uncut tough love were to be applied at a macroscale by nonstate actors–would it make a difference?  A dangerous question to ask because all kinds of questions follow about families, the church and the community’s role and their faithfulness to each of the sphere’s respective role.

The Church must live out its role of making disciples.  The consequences of that impact is huge.

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