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Archive for September, 2006

The price for this ESV Outreach New Testament is only $0.50.

This full-size New Testament includes features to help newcomers read and understand it better:

  • “What the New Testament Is All About.”
  • Introductions to each New Testament book.
  • “How to Read the New Testament.” A basic guide for getting started.
  • “Where to Find Help When You Are…” Leads you to the Bible’s answers to your needs.
  • “What the New Testament Says About…” A guide to key Bible verses and words.
  • “Getting Started: A Thirty-Day Reading Plan.” A perfect way for newcomers to dig in.
  • “Six-Month New Testament Reading Plan.” Ideal for readers who want to get serious.
  • “God’s Plan to Save You.” The plan of salvation, clearly outlined from New Testament verses.
  • The ESV’s accurate, readable, and beautiful text is ideal for all readers who receive it.

Imagine the people you can reach with this beautiful and meaningful gift. For the cost of a cup of gourmet coffee, you can give copies to six or eight people who need God’s Word. The impact in their lives will be eternal. Think creatively about how you might be able to distribute dozens or even hundreds of copies of the ESV Outreach New Testament:

Neighbors ∙ Friends ∙ Family members ∙ Church Outreach Programs ∙ Church Visitors ∙ Trick-or-Treaters ∙ Military Families ∙ Door-to-Door Visits ∙ People in Hospitals ∙ Nursing Home Residents ∙ Youth Groups ∙ Mission Trips ∙ Counseling Centers ∙ Community Events ∙ Christmas Parties ∙ Christmas Programs ∙ Send with Christmas Cards ∙ Camps and Retreats ∙ Co-workers ∙ Bible Study Groups ∙ Clubs ∙ Sports Teams ∙ Evangelistic Events ∙ Classmates ∙ Thank You Gifts ∙ Waiters/Waitresses ∙ Mail Carriers.

 

Important Note: I would prefer if Crossway would also include the Old Testament and not just an exclusive NT, even if it would probably double the price. Jesus Christ quoted the OT often in the Gospels. I do know of the people who try to discourage non-Chrstians from reading the OT because they are afraid of what they might discover. Actually it only showed their lack of Biblical understanding of the Word of GOd both the Old and the New.

BUT, is it not better to give the Word even if it is the NT only than giving my own written tracts? I am not oppose to writing tracts and handling them out. I would say give your non-Christian friend a good biblical tract and the ESV NT! And when they have finished reading them both, get them a nice leather bounded Bible!

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Here on Veritas Domain, we desire to continually critique or popular culture from a Christian perspective, in the midst of everything else we do. When we look at most movies in Hollywood, we see so many of them being very sinful.

Yet,

Surprise! Moral movies draw 7 times the fans

If the movie industry is only out for profit, why don’t they pursue more of “what works” for profit? Why are profane movies still being made at a faster rate than ‘clean films’? Is there an agenda with the film industry beyond just profit? Something to think about

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Challies.com discusses his interest in video games, most of them I enjoyed also (X-Com: UFO Defense, and Civilization), and summarizes Richard Abanes’ new book What Every Parent Needs to Know About Video Games.

I would be very interested to read about video games from a presuppositional perspective. In his post, he boils the book down to two major points.

What I probably would disagree with, based upon my understanding of neutrality, is the first point:

“First, computer games are neither intrinsically good or evil. Like television or theatre, video games are amoral. They can be made good or bad by those who design them, but have no intrinsic morality.”

But further thought about this will have to wait until another day.

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A girl asked the question, “If God is love why is there hell?”

The question argues against God’s existence, love’s existence, or both. Dealing with the argument against God’s existence, this question’s logic will always be foolish because the assumptions are foolish. Therefore the examples, will be foolish to imagine because they’re foolish to begin with- just like the girl’s question.

Here are the following problems with the question I will address below: The question both assumes God exists, but assumes God doesn’t exist. It assumes the law of non-contradiction but breaks it at the same time. It assumes logic must make sense but doesn’t make sense itself. And lastly it assumes that an objective morality exists while ignoring its divine origin.

First off, the question assumes God’s existence to deny it. How?

Because the question already answers itself, by asking if God could exist, the question suggests God does not exist. This makes several contradictions depending on what assumptions it takes: The question may assume God’s existence and hell’s existence, God’s existence only, hell’s existence only, or God nor hell’s existence.

If assuming God and hell exist, the question seeks to illustrate that they contradict, and reason that God and hell can not mutually exist. But if neither can exist together, then why ask a question that assumes they both exist? A similar question might attempt to prove oranges and apples cannot sit on a table together, when they’re sitting right in front of you. Or explained another way, the question attempts to prove circles and rectangles don’t exist by reasoning that if circles and rectangles did exist, they would contradict even when they do exist. Unless of course the questioner believes that reality contradicts.

If assuming God exists but hell doesn’t or vice versa, then the question still attempts to show a contradiction that makes no sense. It would be like assuming oranges don’t exist, then proving that apples cannot exist because oranges. In other words, starting with the premise that oranges don’t exist, and another premise that apples do exist, and then concluding that orange can’t exist because apples exist.

If the question assumes that that neither God nor hell exists, then the question becomes even more nonsensical or absurd. The question attempts to prove that God doesn’t exist because a non-existent God and non-existent hell cannot exist together. That’s like saying square circles and round rectangles don’t exist because square circles and round rectangles cannot exist at the same time.

The assumptions also lead to the second problem: The question appeals to the law of non-contradiction while breaking it. The question argues implicity that God and hell cannot exist at the same time and same sense and contradict. But the question cannot both assume God doesn’t exist and prove so by assuming God exists. That’s like showing square circles don’t exist by imagining a square circle- it contradicts.

The third problem is the question assumes logic should make sense. By this I mean that the question assumes that statements, like the one made above shouldn’t be contradictory. That’s why the question assumes that the question makes sense and God doesn’t.

The fourth and last problem is the question assumes morality. If I’m not logical do you need to listen to me? If I am logical what if you don’t listen? Does listening to logic make a difference? It should. It’s the difference between wisdom and foolishness.

If logic did not make a difference then why ask the question in the first place? Who cares if God is unloving! To imply that hell is unloving, you first have to know what is loving. If the girl asking doesn’t believe God exists, then why does her non-existing God have to be loving? Christians believe God is love and God exists, but in this case, an athiest is arguing that God should be loving to prove God doesn’t exist. If her argument doesn’t make sense, it shouldn’t because the argument is foolish.

Let’s think of this scenario: A God that loves you, decides to force you to be in his presence forever. Even if you hate him. Even if you deny his existence. Even if you break his laws. Even if you curse him. This scenario makes God’s heaven seem like hell, and hell (eternal seperation from a God they hate) like heaven. I can list a few people who’d rather go to hell then be forced to be in God’s presence. Thus, this question does not make sense in an atheist worldview, much less a Christian one. It’s a nonsense question, borrowing the idea of love, the idea of God, the idea of Hell, and combining them while appealing to a subjective sense of morality and attempting to be objective.

I would answer the question “How can God be love if He sends people to Hell?” with another question, “What’s wrong with that?” Even asking the question assumes there is a morality that applies to everyone. So go ahead. Ask. And borrow from the Christian worldview, taking Christian sense and making atheist nonsense.

An atheist stirring love, logic, morality, God, and hell all together gets instant nonsense.

instannoodles.jpg

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I was inspired after reading a post about NBC’s decision to censor parts of the video series, Veggie Tales. The post suspected that Phil probably did it for the money.

Upon further searching I found an article by Christianity Today, revealing that Big Idea Productions, the original animation studio, was sued for breach of contract by Lyrick Studios leading to an award of 11 million in damages.

This lawsuit was due to the Big Idea Productions decision to change distribution from Lyrick Studios to Warner Brothers after the original owner Dick Leah sold his company to HIT Entertainment, Dich Leah dying from a tragic fall shortly thereafter.

Thus, Veggie Tales is not owned by Phil, but Classic Media, whom won it after an auction that liquidated Big Idea Productions. Although another article by Free Republic, does reveal that Phil Vischer did have some input in the changes and the network agreement. I am skeptical after after reading his personal account at philvischer.com, as well as the article in Christianity Today that Phil was motivated by money.

For a related article on NBC’s censorship see Al Mohler’s article on Veggie Tales.

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Stuart Delony writes about the Fox’s creation of a new division: FoxFaith.

I was surprised upon visiting their website that they were selling the DVD End of the Spear, produced by Bearing Fruit Communications. Perhaps they bought the rights to the DVD?

Upon further exploration I found “Hollywood turns to divine inspiration” from USAToday.com.

Follow the money!

One excerpt from the article quotes Steve Feldstein of 20th Century Fox’s new division, Fox Faith,”Executives discovered that a thumbs-up from a pastor could go further than from a film critic and that word of mouth spreads pretty quickly in a church, he says.”

The article goes on to elaborate it’s case on the benefits of marketing to the Christian market saying, “Indeed, studios are finding that ministers who preach to flocks of 5,000 or more a week can be as powerful a marketing tool as a slick advertising campaign.”

The ramifications of this? I think Christians will have to equip themselves with doctrine so that they can be discerning about the incoming tides of Christian-themed movies. I don’t look forward to untying the knots of confusion caused by Da Vinci Code-copies.

On a lighter note, maybe we can develop a new niche rating Christian movies. Popcorn anyone?

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BBC News (my favorite source of news), has an article basically saying Portugal asked Hugo Chavez to take down campaign posters with Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates.
What I thought was hilarious was the end of the article:

Other campaign posters include Mr Chavez with Cuban President Fidel Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Some pictures for the visual:

Isn’t that so cute? Best buddies!

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Ann wrote an article commenting about misrepresentation of evangelicals in Jesus Camp, the movie released September 15th, 2006.

Here’s the synopsis:
A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America that requires Christian youth to assume leadership roles in advocating the causes of their religious movement.

The only thing that raised my eyebrow was the young boy convulsing on the floor. Didn’t see any snakes in the trailer though.

Watch the trailer and decide for yourself.

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Concerning my entry on High Schooler’s and Rigorous Bible Studies, I recieved a feedback response that I thought was worth sharing:

Parents should be asking their children what they learned in Children’s church. Both mother and father should be signing up at least once a month to help out with chilren’s activities… Now having a child in my life I appreciate children’s church a lot.. so I can be fed the word, but the most important thing that my husband and I need to teach our son is how to walk with Christ. He can be a bagger at the commissary for the rest of his life, but if he has Jesus, that is all he will ever need, because G-d will provide him with the tools he needs to walk the path that G-d wishes. My husband and I have our faith and relationship with G-d, it is our jobs as his parents to share that wonderful relationship with him. It is our job more than it is any youth leader or pastor. What do you think?

So I ask any of you out there on WordPress, what do you think?

I thought it was interesting how someone who’s a bagger of groceries can still be faithful in teaching effectively and sufficiently his child…

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raincoaster has a post that linked to a flash animation of middle east history.

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As I was testing out bloglines, I came across a post by Between Two Worlds, showcasing the new book:

Check out the free books at Desiring God’s website.

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Whether the investor investing in stocks, or Christian investing in the kingdom, don’t get caught up on numbers alone.

In an article by Robert Kiyosaki about investing in silver, Robert characterizes people that look only at the prices. Though Robert attempted to explain why the prices would go up, it was only after the prices went up they realized the value.

Likewise, whether leading morning prayer, bible study, or church service let’s not look at only the number of attendees, the number of baptisms, or the number of prayer requests. Like the roller coaster of the stock market, Christians may find themselves on an emotional roller coaster: overjoyed at the number of altar calls, discouraged at the number that fell; gleeful when new people show up, downcast when no one shows up.

Rather than worrying about ministering to those not there, minster to those that are. Rather than worrying about ministering when no one is there, minister to yourself! Don’t look at the numbers and miss the value like the investors above. Find out what God is doing to you, for you and not just through you.

God is sovereign and everything has a purpose. If you are the only person at prayer- God may want you to pray alone. If you minister to a hardened heart- God is also ministering to you.

Just as Robert quotes Warren Buffet as calling people engrossed in the price foolish, let us Christians not be foolish and understand the will of God.

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Why blog?

The Sept-Oct 2006 editon of Preaching, Mark Batterson gives 10 reasons for blogging.

 

#1 Blogging is a stewardship issue. It’s one way I share what God is teaching me.
#2 Blogging helps me remember what God doesn’t want me to forget.
#3 Blogging is one way of capturing the things God is revealing to me.
#4 Blogging is a form of autobiography.
#5 Blogging is a way to carry on a conversation with lots of people at the same time.
#6 Blogging is a sermon supplement. Actually, sermons might be a blogging supplment.
#7 Blogging is the way I leave a trail. My kids and grandkids can read it someday.
#8 Blogging is cathartic. It helps me process what I’m thinking and feeling.
#9 Blogging is the way I share what is happening in my head and my heart.
#10 Blogging is a form of digital discipleship. Neo-scrolls.

 


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I Hate Icebreakers

A recruiter in the Marines once placed a bunch of placards in front of me and asked me, “If you could only choose 3 reasons why you wanted to join the Marines, what would they be?” One of the items I choose was brotherhood.

I once made the observation that whenever I’m back with the Marines, it really felt like a reunion. Especially after returning from Iraq, it always felt like a blessing meeting them. “We made it back home alive.” We entrusted each other with our lives whether we liked each or not. It always brought a smile to my face to see on my buddies from Iraq. We grew close.

 This closeness is the type we should have in the Church. And what bothers me so much, is that for the last 2000 years, the brothers and sisters of Christ have loved each other, were glad to see each other, and would lay down their life for each other in a way different from today. Today we have a new invention: Icebreakers.

I hate icebreakers. I detest them with a passion. After having gone through retreats, high school and college group with ice breakers as a non-Christian and Christian I find them utterly pointless. If you really want to have a connection. If you really desire to rejoice upon seeing your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. To cry when they cry, and be burdened with their burdens- then take a lesson from the Marines and from the early church:

Serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. You will grow to love the brothers and sisters that you serve with and suffer with, deeply connecting with them. Then and only then, will every chance you see them be like a reunion.

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You might go, huh?

I read this from American Vision’s website, an article by Gary DeMar that I thought was indicative of our churches at large:

Studies have shown that most of Christianity’s converts are teenagers.6 They also show that a high percentage of these same teenagers walk away from their childhood faith as they approach adulthood. They are hit with arguments against Christianity that they never had to consider as teenagers since few churches actually teach on worldview issues and apologetic methodology. Christianity is perceived to be a religion for children. High school youth groups are run more like secular encounter groups rather than a place where the rigorous study of God’s Word takes place with its real-world application.7


(SOURCE: http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive/09-26-06.asp)

The last sentence especially stood out to me.
I have often been amazed at talking to high schoolers, and when I ask them about the type of classes they have the list sounds like this: Calculus BC, English Honors, Physics, American Government AP…it impresses me how much work load some of them have and how deep they can understand things! Where I live, there are middle school kids taking SAT Preparation Classes already!
Yet, you go to churches today, and sometimes the Friday Night Youth Group seems to assume that kids, well, won’t understand or can comprehend a deep and rigorous study of Scripture…
And I know of a Church who’s Youth Pastor didn’t even prepare messages, and another youth pastor who’s most rigorous stuff for his kids is his X-Box Games he bought in for a Saturday night! IN both instances, it was the kids in their churches that informed me about this!
Can it be that its our tendency to give puzzles as games when there are REAL MINDS with puzzles about life?

While I don’t want to use big words and sound Ivory tower that can take away the Clarity of the GOspel itself,
I’ve always enjoyed facilitating Questions and ANswers session to High Schoolers (or younger!) at Christian clubs and Churches Youth Group…
I’m not against good old fashion fun and laughter (everything has its time and place), but I think we can all ask those who teach to the youths and high schoolers what is the spiritual state of those in their charge, are the kids learning and KNOWING the WORD Of GOD and how we can pray for the kids and these dear Servants God has given to the Church

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