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1
A New Year with New Hope | RZIM

So I ask, how does a thoughtful person describe the present as bereft of hope? There are two possible answers: the first is what I call the reverse of a feared crossing of purposes. The secular critic despairs at the possibility of the politicization of religion. Rightly so. But what has replaced that fear is equally dreaded, if not worse: making a religion out of politics. Yes indeed, politics is the new creed of the faithless, replacing spiritual truths with the hollow hope of political dominance. Power does corrupt when one loses sight of the vertical dimension of life. We endured a blood-letting slugfest of words on the road to the election. Once the electorate spoke, the losers have tried every conceivable trick in the book to malign the victors. Who would have ever thought that the feuding would continue so long after the voting was done? Why is there such bitterness in the loss? I can only conclude that the deepest convictions of the average person are born from their political theory and that this gives them their creed on all choices and values. David Gelernter, Professor of Computer Science at Yale, wrote a powerful article earlier this year with the provocative title “Why the Left Is So Vicious .

2
God Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far

New Years finds me employed. I compare it to a hill on the road, from the top of which I endeavor to look back on the way that the Lord has led me thus far through the wilderness (past). I look around to contemplate the difference his goodness has made between my situation, and that of thousands of my fellow creatures (present). I then look forward, and perceive that I am drawing apace to my journey’s end. I shall soon be at home (future).

3 The TC Apologetics Daily

The latest news and thoughts for the apologetic-minded Christian. by TC Apologetics

4 BreakPoint This Week: 2016 Year in Review

In the wake of a historic election, it's easy to forget that some of the biggest stories of 2016 came from overseas. WORLD magazine's Mindy Belz joins us to review this whirlwind of a year.

5
Three Ways Not to Approach Spiritual Disciplines

Although Christians should always practice the spiritual disciplines, many choose to jumpstart their efforts at the beginning of a new year. A Bible reading plan, a prayer guide, a strategy for limiting social media, or an intentional effort to share the gospel more—all these are good things. Even if you don't like making New Year’s resolutions, hopefully you’re planning to continue practicing the spiritual disciplines in the coming year. Whatever the case, it helps to pursue them in the right way.

6
ZachariasTrust on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

7
What Really Matters in 2017

Study first to be whatever (judiciously) you desire to seem. Desire a thousand times more to be godly, than to seem so; and to be liberal, than to be thought so; and to be blameless from every secret or presumptuous sin, than to be esteemed such. And when you feel a desire to be accounted good, let it make you think how much more necessary and desirable it is to be good indeed. To be godly, is to be an heir of heaven: your salvation followeth it. But to be esteemed godly is of little profit to you. ( Christian Directory , Part 1, Chapter 4, part 3)

8 .@Ichthus77 #Apologetics Daily

Daily Christian apologetics and news fresh to your desktop, courtesy Ichthus77.com. by Maryann Spikes

9
I’ve Already Wasted My Life — Now What?

A listener named Bruce writes in: “Dear Pastor John, I haven’t read your book, Don’t Waste Your Life. The title is convicting enough. The fact is that I have already wasted it; or at least it feels that way. For decades I tried a variety of different ‘careers.’ None of them worked. I tried starting my own business for over 20 years while my wife worked. I earned a PhD, moved to a country where I didn’t speak the language (for my wife’s job) and had a breakdown. Several years later, my wife and I separated. I’m now 64, I live in a small mobile home, and I do work that any 18-year-old could do (those are my boss’s words). The company is good to me, my boss is a Christian, and I can earn a living; but each day feels like nothing more than an exercise in waking up in the morning, getting through the day, and going to bed at night. What advice can you give to someone who has already wasted his life?”

10
Josh McDowell on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

11
Jordan Raanan on Twitter

Little Ben McAdoo. Tremendous. Actually that is Peter Costigan, from Wayne, Pa. Complete w/diner menu and Post-it pic.twitter.com/tASrgyOMyM

12
3 Simple Ways to Debunk Relativism, Skepticism, and Materialism

Of course, if you can understand his argument, he’s wrong. So too, many modern thinkers hold to positions that, fall apart into self-refutation when critically examined.

13
I was an Atheist Until I Read 'The Lord of the Rings'

I grew up in a loving, comfortable atheist household of professional scientists. My dad was a lapsed Catholic, and my mom was a lapsed Lutheran. From the time that I could think rationally on the subject, I did not believe in God. God was an imaginary being for which there was no proof. At best, God was a fantasy for half-witted people to compensate their ignorance and make themselves feel better about their own mortality. At worst, God was a perverse delusion responsible for most of the atrocities committed by the human race.

14
Crossway on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

15
Historical evidence for the death of Jesus' disciples and very early Christians

Now, 2 Timothy is not held by scholars to be a genuine Pauline epistle, but rather a letter written by someone else other than Paul. In the above verse we see that whoever authored it had knowledge of Paul’s death. If one holds that someone other than Paul wrote this after the fact, I then think that makes it more reliable as a reference to his martyrdom. By the time a pseudo-Pauline author would have written that, they would open themselves up to being discovered if what they wrote didn’t fit with the facts of Paul’s demise. On that end we can be sure that Paul died for his belief in a flesh and blood Jesus. A common reply here would be that Paul doesn’t count because he never met Jesus in person. Again, Paul knew of the historical Jesus by referencing events of his life on several occasions, and even met his brother James and closest disciple Peter. Paul clearly knew what he was willing to suffer and eventually die for.

16
Science in the Balance

So now apply this as we endeavor to understand the workings of God. Many times we might speculate, “How did God do it?” But to assume that God always works through natural laws just because He usually does would be a leap in logic. In always looking for some natural, scientific understanding to explain what the Bible says God did, we void the possibility of supernatural activity. God is the God of both the natural and the supernatural.

17
4 Key Points Christian Kids Need to Understand About Evolution

The other day, I saw a post on Facebook from a mom who was concerned because her teenage daughter was turning away from God after learning about evolution. The mom was considering pulling her out of public school because she wasn’t sure what to do about it.

18
Lauren Delpesce on Twitter

Hey @passion268 @BethMooreLPM @louiegiglio there are7 buses headed to ATL from Iowa! Driving all night. Ready to get their worship on!!

19
Secularism isn't a Neutral Position

Should Christianity have a voice in politics, education, and the public square? Many people think so. They tend to believe that you can hold whatever belief you wish, as long as you don't "force your faith into a secular government."1 Organizations like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have been trying to systematically remove all crosses or any type of religious displays set up on city or county properties. The thought is that in public areas such as schools and government a secular viewpoint is neutral while a religious viewpoint is biased.

20
Are Biblical Creationists Divisive?

Biblical creationists 1 are often accused of causing division in the Church. It is claimed that their insistence on accepting Genesis as narrative history introduces dissension by majoring on a “minor” doctrine. However, as will be shown, quite the opposite it true.

21
Investments for the Kingdom

Today the murmurs seem to have faded, and for good reason. Since its launch in 2008, Eventide’s flagship mutual fund (a pool of money professionally invested in stocks, bonds, and other securities), the Gilead Fund, has given shareholders a 13.70 percent annualized return as of September 30, 2016, compared to 9.03 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500. To put that into perspective, an investor who put $10,000 into the fund at its launch would be worth $26,050 today. The Gilead Fund has been covered as a top performer by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg, among other publications. Over the past three years, media attention has helped Eventide explode from $50 million in assets under management to nearly $2 billion.

22
CT's 2016 Cover Stories, Ranked

Here are CT’s 2016 print features, ranked in order of which ones our online readers read most.

23
James White on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

24
Advice for Another Year of Bible Reading

It’s a dangerous pattern for Christians to read God’s word consistently without having their hearts stirred by what they have read. As much as it is in your power, strive not to walk away from God’s word without having at least one truth move your affections. If you finish your reading for the day, and nothing has moved you, pray and ask God to show you one little thing from what you’ve read that might have an impact on your affections. Stop and pray over that truth or reality. Slow down enough for it to convict, or encourage, or correct, or strengthen hope, or embolden action. Seek, with the Lord’s help, at least one truth that will engage your affections. Since changed hearts are the key to changed lives, may we prayerfully seek not only knowledge of God’s word, but also love for the beauty, wonder, and glory of that word.

25
Love is all you need?

It’s fanatical to me when someone who was raised in a heterosexual, or single parent household wants to belittle and berate me for my experience and try to tell me how I should have perceived my life. I should just be happy that I had two people that loved me. Love from two women did not teach me how to have a relationship with a man. Love from two women did not teach me how to be a wife. If anything, love from two women taught me all the wrong things and made my relationships with the opposite sex harder and more complicated.

26
How Geographic Separation Affirms the Reliability of the New Testament

In the movie, God’s Not Dead 2 , I was asked to defend the historicity of Jesus and the eyewitness reliability of the Gospels. Skeptics sometimes claim the New Testament Canon was the creation of 4 th Century Catholic Church councils, rather than the reliable preservation of 1 st Century disciples of the eyewitnesses . While it’s true the Council of Laodicea (363-364AD) endorsed the New Testament Canon we know today, these Church leaders simply affirmed the Scriptures followers of Jesus had been using for several generations. The earliest believers, hundreds of years before the Councils, preserved the precious eyewitness testimony related to Jesus , continually examining the competing accounts to make sure their collection was authentic and accurate. By the time of the Councils, a universal standard was accepted by orthodox Christians who wanted to determine which writings were the Word of God ( and which were not ). There were two important attributes considered by these believers:

27
Did Moses copy the Law from the Code of Hammurabi?

Answer: Hammurabi was a Babylonian king who reigned from 1795 to 1750 B.C. He is remembered today for promoting and enforcing an organized code of laws. The Code of Hammurabi, discovered on a stele in 1901, is one of the best preserved and comprehensive of ancient writings of significant length ever found. The Hammurabian Code is divided into 12 sections and consists of 282 laws, 34 of which are unreadable. The Code is primarily a case-by-case formula of customary law covering administrative, civil, and criminal issues. The complexity of the laws and their subject matter reveal much about ancient Babylonian culture.

28
Why the Gospel Is Good News for Believers . . . Now

Let me end by passing along a bit of advice for gospel-centered living. It’s not original to me. And it’s pretty simple, even if it’s not followed often enough. If the engine of the Christian experience is the good news that God has given you new life in Christ, then you need to preach this good news to yourself every day. Remind yourself about what God has done for you in Christ as often as you can. So, for example, when Satan tempts you to despair and preaches condemnation to your heart, remember that Jesus took your death sentence away; he made an end to all your sin. Besides preaching the gospel to yourself, fuel this practice with all the means of grace at your disposal: Bible reading, prayer, corporate worship, gospel-centered (and celebratory) music, and especially fellowship. I want to end with a specific word about fellowship. If new life has been given to us, to Christians, we should expect to see evidence of this new life every day. Instead of this fact turning us inward in introspection (there is, of course, a place for this), let it also make us expect to see evidences of new life, evidences of grace, in others' lives every day.

29
Alister McGrath: Tips for Maximal Productivity

Alister McGrath: Tips for Maximal Productivity

30
The Parent Trap | Netflix

Double trouble follows when a chance meeting reveals to two unsuspecting girls that they are twins who were separated when their parents divorced.

31
My Prayer for Next Year

Every new day, and every new year, begins with the same prayer, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). With the Spirit in us, and the infinite wonders of the very words of God himself before us, we never have any reason to be content with what we already know. Without a doubt, we should expect to see and understand things about God this year that we’ve never seen before.

32
The greatest sin…

Since the greatest Commandment is to love God with all of our heart (see Matt. 22:36,37), it is reasonable to say that the greatest sin is a failure to do so. The Bible tells us that no one seeks after God (see Rom. 3:11), so all of humanity is guilty of this sin of omission. Occasionally individuals will deliberately lie as you take them through the Ten Commandments, by claiming that they have never lied, stolen, blasphemed, or looked with lust. When that happens, ask if they have kept the first of the Ten Commandments. They will almost certainly say that they have.

33
LSU Football on Twitter

Happy New Year's!! Hope you ended 2016 with a bang. [We did !] #LSU pic.twitter.com/6UXXzUIM51

34
Is the Original Text of the New Testament Lost? Rethinking Our Access to the Autographs

One of the standard challenges for New Testament textual criticism is whether we can work our way back to the original text.  Some scholars are notoriously skeptical in this regard.  Since we only have later copies, it is argued, we cannot be sure that the text was not substantially changed in the time period that pre-dates those copies.

35
The Place Between Sundays

Maybe you see the problem already. Or maybe you’re chasing the same illusion. The Christian life is not a list of boxes to check to accomplish before moving on to the next sin or the next fruit of the Spirit, achieving perfection in weekly segments. Each Sunday’s challenge or promise or encouragement or command should point us—no, should cast us—to the foot of the cross. The goal is not joy or peace or holding one’s tongue. Paul would say the goal this way: “For me, to live is Christ.”

36
Will I Be Single for the Rest of My Life?

Based on the inbox, Pastor John, there are a lot of Christians listening to the podcast who did not expect to be single entering 2017. Ashley, one of our listeners, is among them. She writes in to ask this: “Pastor John, my struggle is singleness. I’m 28, an elementary teacher, and that’s not really a profession to meet single men. I know that with the age of Tinder and hookups, casual sex will leave me empty inside, and it’s not a lifestyle that I’m seeking. At the same time I feel alone as a Christian single. I feel the church only sees me as ‘serving’ material because I have ‘time to serve.’ In addition to the lack of men at church, I am an extrovert. I do have a life outside of my singleness and try to live as if my singleness doesn’t define me. Everyone tells me I’m attractive, outgoing, and have a lot going for me. Well, everyone but a Christian male. Which is hard not to take personally. How do I have hope in something uncertain? I’m not promised a life of marriage. How do I cling to the truth in a world lying to me about the satisfaction of ‘hooking up’? How do I not turn to

37
Atheist gets her PhD in astronomy and astrophysics and finds evidence for God

I was born in the U.S., but grew up in Canada. My parents were socialists and political activists who thought British Columbia would be a better place for us to live, since it had the only socialist government in North America at the time. My parents were also atheists, though they eschewed that label in favor of “agnostic.” They were kind, loving, and moral, but religion played no part in my life. Instead, my childhood revolved around education, particularly science. I remember how important it was to my parents that my brother and I did well in school.

38
Passion Conferences on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

39
Dane Ortlund’s hard-hitting review of N. T. Wright’s new book on the cross.

At the end of the day here’s the question to ask of a book that claims to be a popular level book on Christ’s crucifixion. A street-level test for someone trying to track with Wright in this book would be: If your college-aged son or daughter came to you in abject distress at their idolatry or sinfulness or addictive behavior or enslavement to the world’s priorities, and sought your counsel, what comfort would you have for them according to this book? Beneath all the clever cuteness about how all reformed evangelicals have been asking the wrong questions, after all the ornate assembling of the Bible’s storyline, what is the actual comfort of Christianity for your beloved child? What can you give them? What can you say? This book does not give you much to latch onto. And that is a problem, a problem of a fundamental and not peripheral nature, especially for a book pitched at a general Christian population.

40
Crossway on Twitter

On a day of new beginnings, consider Adrian Warnock's 10 things you should know about the resurrection: http://cway.to/1SIYfVY  pic.twitter.com/mEJ46LVOMy

41
Why Doesn't Mark Say Anything About Jesus' Birth?

I’ve been examining the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ birth and responding to a number of skeptical objections related to the virgin conception. If the virgin conception was an historical event that was well known to the earliest Christians, why wasn’t it mentioned by Mark? Mark’s gospel is widely accepted as the first account of the life and ministry of Jesus. Why doesn’t it contain anything about the virgin conception? Does the absence of a birth narrative in Mark demonstrate that the entire story is a late fictional creation?

42
The Top 10 Testimonies of 2016

In case you missed any, here are CT’s 2016 testimonies, ranked in order of which ones online readers read most.

43
Albert Mohler on Twitter

May 2017 be a year of great blessings for you, your family, and your church. pic.twitter.com/Ydv2ZCXTuW

44
4 Christian Principles For Making New Year's Resolutions

These are the sorts of questions I have always considered when it comes to this whole business of making resolutions, and I have a hunch that many of my fellow biblically-informed skeptics also ponder such questions. Nevertheless, the Word of God gives us not only permission to make resolutions, it gives us good reasons for doing so. Various biblical passages seem to provide us with reasons for resolutions and examples of men of God who resolved to live for Him in a particular manner for a particular reason (Dan. 1:8; Matt. 1:19; Acts 19:21; 1 Cor. 10:14–32; Col. 3:12–17; 2 Thess. 1:11). As such, in considering how to glorify God in all that we do in our particular circumstances and callings, we would be wise to resolve to make particular resolutions to assist us in our sanctification. This we do by the power of the Holy Spirit, resting assured that we have been declared righteous by the Father because of the completed righteousness of the Son.

45
Jesus’ Family Tree Shows Us He Is Worth the Wait

From time to time, Christians take to the airwaves and bulletin boards to tell us that Jesus’s return is right around the corner. Churches or movements find themselves captivated by a vision of some grand new season or some fresh work that the Holy Spirit is about to produce. There’s a tendency to flock to ministries that seem to have it made. We dream about what God might do for us or through us if we could only touch the hem of a ministry’s robe. But these seasons seem to pass without a sense of arrival. It can make the rest of us feel like we haven’t quite made it yet, like we’re not really firing on all cylinders or ticking all the boxes.

46
How Salvation Brings Freedom

Now that the grace of God has been set upon us as a permanent seal (2 Cor. 1:20–22), we are being made new. We are being set free from the power of sin by the power of the Spirit. God’s grace is restoring to us a will that wants what he wants. Before we were justified, our broken wills were utterly subject to the power of sin. We chose sin at every turn. Even when we made choices that appeared good from an external standpoint, because we had no higher internal purpose than to glorify self these choices were ultimately sinful as well. Now, the power of sin is broken. We have been given the deposit of the Holy Spirit. Though we once chose only to sin, now we have the power (and the growing desire) to choose righteousness. We who were once slaves to sin’s power are now free to serve God. We don’t always use our freedom. We still sin, but over time we learn increasingly to choose holiness. Our entire lives from that handwritten date in our Bibles onward are devoted to “working out our salvation” (Phil. 2:12–13) as we learn to choose righteousness instead of sin, to walk in obedience to God’s commands.

47
The Gospel Coalition National Conference (Indianapolis, IN) - Conference Classes

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary  partnership will allow conference attendees to earn up to 3 hours of academic course credit at the 2017 gathering in Indianapolis, IN. Students are required to attend the entirety of the TGC National Conference from Monday, April 3, 2017, through Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Additionally, students will attend pre-conference lectures with the professor on April 2 and 3 ( See the course syllabus here ).

48
Book of the Month/January 2017 | Blog & Mablog

Testimonies are powerful. The apostle Paul gives his testimony in the book of Acts more than once, and he did so to great effect. The center of New Testament-style evangelism is found in the two-fold ministry of preaching and testimony. How will they hear without a preacher (Rom. 10:14)? And the one who believes has the witness ( marturia ) in himself (1 John 5:10).

49
Starting God Conversations: State it Back to Them

Certainly we've all heard the bromide that one should never discuss politics or religion in polite conversation. It's been around for quite some time. In Thomas E. Hill's 1884 book on how to communicate properly in social and business settings, under the section entitled "Etiquette of Conversation" he warns his readers against such exchanges because "to discuss those topics is to arouse feeling without any good result."1

50
Crossway on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

51 Q & A with Dr. Craig: Was Jesus Wrong?
52 RELEVANT on Twitter
53 Social Media Highlights (1/1/17)
54 "SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back
55 Towards Missional Effectiveness: The Movements of God’s Mission (Part 3)
56 It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And We Feel Fine)
57 Thomas Sowell, America’s most influential public intellectual, announces retirement
58 Instagram photo by @louiegiglio • Jan 1, 2017 at 10:01pm UTC
59 Albert Mohler on Twitter
60 2017: time for a “post-truth” reality check? - The Veritas Forum
61 Brad Mitchell on Twitter
62 "Built-In" Causality Allows Universe's Habitability
63 Syrian Refugees Kick Baby in Face, Attack Paramedics Trying to Treat Infant
64 Crossway on Twitter
65 Arches of Utah
66 Justin Brierley on Twitter
67 Evangelical History
68 Kindle 4 Christ on Twitter
69 Did everything come from nothing?: Cosmology, Creation and a little Logic
70 Be careful of missionary patriotism - Southern Blog
71 Contradictions: Root of All Evil?
72 Church Should Feel Uncomfortable
73 Surviving the Wasteland of Faith
74 The Case for Miracles
75 We live in a time in which you can't avoid the 'why' question
76 RELEVANT on Twitter
77 LSU Football on Twitter
78 I Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
79 Why the Gospel Is Good News for Believers . . . Now
80 mac brunson on Twitter
81 Cosmology's Serious Embarrassment: The Need for God
82 Crossway on Twitter
83 Jonah and the Great Fish
84 Book Review: Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible's Authority
85 Can We Evangelize Late Modern Culture?
86 Professor of New Testament, Craig Keener, explains his journey from atheism to Christianity
87 The Place Between Sundays
88 FREE Social Media Management Dashboard | Twitter/Facebook Marketing Tool | Commun.it
89 Archbishop of Canterbury urges Britons to embrace 'our new future' after Brexit - premier
90 FREE Social Media Management Dashboard | Twitter/Facebook Marketing Tool | Commun.it
91 How Salvation Brings Freedom
92 Why Princess Leia Is The Archetypal Woman Actresses Can’t Replicate
93 The Year of Living Hopelessly
94 A New Year Flips Over
95 Biola University on Twitter
96 God Is Always Doing 10,000 Things in Your Life
97 Crossway on Twitter