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Living by Faith in Future Grace

Though our faith is founded on past acts of redeeming grace, the way faith works now is by looking to the boundless fountain of future grace.

The Greatest Gift God Can Give

If you make much of yourself, you distract others from what matters most. But when God makes much of himself, he gives us what we need most.

Someone Made a Trailer for a ‘Wolverine vs. Black Panther’ Movie, and It’s Awesome

A YouTube genius who goes by “stryder HD” used footage from the recent teasers for Marvel’s Black Panther and various X-Men movies to create a trailer for a fictional film called Wolverine vs. Black Panther.It. Is. Awesome.This movie needs to happen. (Just a heads up, it contains some somewhat strong language.)

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1 .@Ichthus77 #Apologetics Daily

2
7 Reasons I Believe Jesus Rose From The Dead

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

3 A STATEMENT ON THE DENOUNCEMENT OF SEXUAL ABUSE, ASSAULT, HARASSMENT, AND EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN

Prompted by the amount of victims of sexual abuse, assault, harassment and exploitation within the past several weeks coming forward with their accusations against persons (predominantly men) in positions of power and authority, we first, as followers of Jesus Christ, and second, as Alabama Baptist pastors, find it incumbent upon us to make the following statement:

4
Three Bad Arguments against Life Beginning at Conception

A recent article on Romper argues “3 Ways Science Proves Life Doesn’t Begin at Conception,” and the arguments are not good ones. To begin with, the author is not actually arguing that embryonic humans are not alive (this is clear, since she also argues we should be allowed to kill them). Rather, she’s arguing that these reasons prove embryonic human beings are not valuable human life.

5
It's Easy to Believe in God: Atheism is Impossible

6
The TC Apologetics Daily

7
Every Day Might Be His Last: Drinking from God in the Drought of Suffering

Whether it comes as chronic illness, disability, death, or any of a million other forms, suffering is like scorching heat to the soul. It threatens to turn once-fruitful faith into a wilted husk. But in my own suffering, God’s word has taught me that the heat of hardship can also drive me deeper into the all-sufficient, refreshing grace of God.

8
When sceptics convert: 3 former atheists walking the path of CS Lewis

When Oxford academic CS Lewis wrote about his adult conversion from atheism to Christianity in Surprised by Joy (HarperCollins) in 1955 it became an apologetics classic, one still read by Christians and seekers to this day.

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Unhinging the Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence Mantra

As it is Easter season, skeptic Michael Shermer has an article in appearing in Scientific American entitled, "What Would It Take to Prove the Resurrection?" Shermer writes that as a skeptic, there are propositions he can accept as true, such as the number of pages in a magazine, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the origin of the universe by a big bang. Unsurprisingly however, Shermer can think of nothing that would count as enough evidence for the resurrection for that particular proposition to be considered true. He claims this is due to the "principle of proportionality," something that "demands extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims. Of the approximately 100 billion people who have lived before us, all have died and none have returned, so the claim that one (or more) of them rose from the dead is about as extraordinary as one will ever find." 1

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In the Age of Sexual Misconduct, How Is Mike Pence a Problem?

Second, variations of the Pence rule protect both sides from reputational harm. It’s a simple fact that observing a married man alone at dinner with a woman other than his wife can start tongues wagging, and it’s also a fact that leaders of Christian ministries have often had to take extreme measures to protect against intentional sabotage of their reputations. I know leaders who never travel alone in part because of actual past hostile attempts to place them in compromising positions (with photographic evidence). If we should understand anything in 2017 it’s that our politics is vicious and poisonous. The more high-profile you become, the more careful you should be.

11
When Moses Preached the Gospel

The Old Testament purposefully has an unresolved narrative tension in it, and this very tension is the whole basis of the gospel. Narrative tension means you don’t know what’s going to happen and there are opposing forces at work. In other words, “Little Red Riding Hood took her grandmother some goodies” is not narrative. It’s just a report. “Little Red Riding Hood took her grandmother some goodies, but the Big Bad Wolf was waiting to eat her up” is a narrative, because we’ve got tension. We’re led to ask, “What’s going to happen?”

12
Finding Courage in the Shadow of Cancer

Facing cancer felt a lot like being on that tightrope. I knew God was behind me (and before me), but the intensity of the fear made it difficult to trust him. However, the joy that trumped that fear and pervaded my soul came with meditating on God’s assurance that his grace is truly sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9). If I died, if I lived, if I suffered, if my quality of life declined, I still had him (Hebrews 13:5). The emotion of fear finally bowed down to the God-given action of courage. A deep and satisfying peace mingled with and muted the intense feeling of fear, and I was able to walk safely to the other side.

13
Historical References to Christ From Non-Biblical Authors

One of the first Gentile writers who mention Christ is Thallus, who wrote in A.D. 52. He wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean from the time of the Trojan War to his own time. However, his writings have disappeared, and we only know of them from fragments cited by other writers. One such writer is Julius Africanus, a Christian writer about A.D. 221 One very interesting passage relates to a comment from Thallus about the darkness during the last 3 hours Jesus was on the cross. Julius Africanus writes:

14
The Cause of the Universe Must Be Intentional

We know the universe began to exist. That fact is agreed upon by the majority of theists and atheists alike. But what else can we know from that fact? By conceding that the universe has a beginning, does that give us proof of the Christian God? Not really, but it gets us closer than you may initially realize.

15
Finding Purpose in Faith

Many skeptics maintain unquestioned faith that science will solve the world’s problems. Seeing the evidence of chaos throughout the world, often the product of religiously-inspired violence, they conclude that religion is somehow the problem. Authors like Christopher Hitchens capitalize on such assumptions, writing best-selling books that explain how “God is not great” or how religion has “poisoned” everything. By contrast, science has provided “progress,” the sense that things are definitely getting better from a technological sense, as we continue to harness more and more power to make our lives increasingly prosperous and comfortable.

16
The Blessing of a Bad Reputation

Jesus knows we face this temptation regularly. Our sinful pride is “greedy for dishonest gain” of all kinds (1 Timothy 3:8), and fearful to lose what gain we have. That’s why he warns us that if everyone speaks well of us, something is very likely wrong. We may not be following Jesus faithfully. We may be valuing the benefits we gain by pleasing people more than the benefits Jesus promises us.

17
8 False Assumptions about Christianity

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

18
Mike Licona on Twitter

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19 Vilenkin on the Universe’s Coming into Being without a Cause

Vilenkin, however, infers that “no cause is needed” for the universe’s coming into being because the conservation laws would not prevent it and “according to quantum mechanics, any process which is not strictly forbidden by the conservation laws will happen.” (Vilenkin assumes that if there were nothing, then both the conservation laws and quantum physical laws would still hold. This is far from obvious, however, since in the absence of anything at all, it is not clear that the laws governing our universe would hold.) But even granted that the laws would still hold, why think that, given the laws of quantum mechanics, anything not strictly forbidden by the conservation laws will happen? The conservation laws do not strictly forbid God’s sending everyone to heaven, but that hardly gives grounds for optimism. Neither do they strictly forbid His sending everyone to hell, in which case both outcomes will occur, which is logically impossible, as they are logically contrary universal generalizations. The point can be made non-theologically as well: the conservation laws do not strictly forbid something’s coming into existence, but neither do they forbid nothing’s coming into existence, but both cannot happen.

20
A Children’s Edition Greek New Testament? A Review of the Tyndale House Greek New Testament (THGNT)

The editors note that at present they are aware of a few errors in the apparatus of the THGNT, and I predict that further evaluation will lead to the production of what might be called the THGNT2 within the next five to ten years. I further predict that the forthcoming commentary on textual decisions will be a landmark event, providing new windows for evaluating especially the paragraph marking features of the ancient witnesses and the scribal habits therein. Because the THGNT does not take into account the use of the scriptures by the Church Fathers or the versions—and limits its textual base to pre-sixth century texts—it will not soon replace the Nestle-Aland tradition as the standard critical edition. But at the moment that is not the intent of the editors. Over time, however, with the forthcoming commentary and revisions, I predict it will doubtless provide scholars a base for pursuing the original wordings of the New Testament and become a necessary tool for both beginning and advanced students of the Greek text. The THGNT will quickly move from the children’s section and begin to traverse the entire bookstore.

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Tabletalk Magazine on Twitter

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might" (Duet. 6:4–5). http://bit.ly/2zLN378 

22
China Tells Christians to Replace Images of Jesus with Communist President

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that Communist Party of China (CPC) officials visited believers’ homes in Yugan county of Jiangxi province—where about 10 percent of the population is Christian. They urged residents to replace personal religious displays with posters of President Xi Jinping; more than 600 removed Christian symbols from their living rooms, and 453 hung portraits of the Communist leader, according to SCMP.

23
$500m Museum of the Bible opens in Washington DC - Premier

24
EPSOCIETY.ORG on Twitter

Sunday, 7 pm at #AARSBL17 : Dru Johnson, Oliver Crisp, Joshua Blander and Kevin Vanhoozer discuss how philosophers & theologians can & should engage with scripture in their philosophical thinking: http://bit.ly/2mD0IrB  #analytictheology #ETS2017 #AARSBL2017 #SBLAAR17 #SBLAAR2017

25
Cheryl Baranski's review of God's Crime Scene for Kids

God’s Crime Scene for Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace. This book is such a wonderful way for kids to explore and learn about God and he really does exist. If you have a child that is at that age where they want to know more then this is a great book for them. I as a homeschool mom love it. It is a wonderful learning tool. It can be added into your homeschool work. I highly recommend this book for that young child in your life. I received a complementary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4.5 stars!

26
EPSOCIETY.ORG on Twitter

TODAY, 7 pm at #AARSBL17 : William Lane Craig, Douglas Moo, Robert Stewart, Mark Seifrid, and Steven Porter assess "penal substitutionary atonement theories": http://bit.ly/2mC0f9d  #ETS2017 @RFupdates @biolau @talbotnews #ETS2017

27
How to Be Busy but in Balance

Not surprisingly, too many of us cannot say this little two-letter word. Everything seems worthy of our attention. But for me—as a husband, father, and disciple of Christ—the reality is I just don’t have time to say “yes” to everything that others might ask of me. While saying no might be particularly challenging given the pressure we feel to please and accommodate, we simply cannot allow others to dictate and decide how we manage our time.

28
Eric Metaxas to speak

In this year when we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we are excited to welcome acclaimed author and speaker, Eric Metaxas, to speak about his new biography on Martin Luther.  The event will begin at 7 pm in the Sanctuary.  Following the event, books will be available to be purchased and signed by Mr. Metaxas.

29
Perspective | The absurd arguments we make to defend Roy Moore and Al Franken are getting dangerous

When this is true, it becomes easy enough to deify those on “our side,” because we never even seriously consider whether charges against them might be true. It’s all just incoming pseudo-warfare from the “other side.” That’s why, regardless of whether on the left or the right, many are willing to believe elaborate conspiracies are behind any suggestion of impropriety by someone on their “team.” The character issue doesn’t need to be worked through at all, if one already knows that those who are part of my tribe are saints and those who are part of the other are demons. That’s settled. The issues then are just used insofar as they are useful as footnotes to those already existing pledges of allegiance.

30
Jesus, the Shema, and the Glorious Trinity

But oneness can have another meaning. Oneness can refer to the unified character of a thing or person. This seems to be the meaning that is used in the second part of the Shema to describe the unified wholeness of the people of God: their hearts, souls, and strength are unified by the love of the Lord. Bauckham rightly points out that the Old Testament includes multiple instances of this sort of unified oneness of the people (Isa. 45:20; Ezek. 34:23; 37:15–24; Mic. 2:12; Hos. 1:11). Such a notion of oneness was present in the sectarian communities of the Judean desert in and around Qumran who referred to their group as the yehad , a term closely connected to the idea of oneness found in the Old Testament (Mic. 2:12). Yehad is often translated as “community,” an English word whose etymology also reflects this notion of oneness or unity.

31
Man Accidentally Shoots 81-Y-O Wife in Church While Discussing Gun Safety

As he was about to show the gun to the member, however, the 81-year-old church member accidentally pulled the trigger of the still loaded gun hitting his 80-year-old wife who was sitting next to him in a wheelchair.

32
http://pastorrick.com/devotional/english/have-you-met-this-basic-condition-for-answered-prayer

Then, you can pray: “God, I have not been meeting one or more of these conditions, and now I understand why I see so few results in my prayer life. Today I want to recommit my life to forgiveness and generosity, to a willingness to share and give back to you what you’ve given to me. I want to believe in faith. Lord, thank you for the Bible — how it helps me and is so practical and relevant to my life. When I meet the conditions that you’ve laid out for me, I can see tremendous results in my life. Thank you that prayer is no big mystery but simply a conversation with you. Thank you for the privilege of prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

33
Spurgeon’s advice for suffering Christians — Southern Equip

“I commenced these daily portions when I was wading in the surf of controversy. Since then I have been cast into ‘waters to swim in,’ which, but for God’s upholding hand, would have proved waters to drown in. I have endured tribulation from many flails. Sharp bodily pain succeeded mental depression, and this was accompanied both by bereavement, and affliction in the person of one dear as life [Susannah]. The waters rolled in continually, wave upon wave. I do not mention this to exact sympathy, but simply to let the reader see that I am no dry-land sailor. I have traversed those oceans which are not Pacific full many a time: I know the roll of the billows, and the rush of the winds. Never were the promises of Jehovah so precious to me as at this hour. Some of them I never understood till now; I had not reached the date at which they matured, for I was not myself mature enough to perceive their meaning.”

34
God Never Requires Us to Believe without Evidence

I’ve often asked my students whether they can come up with even one example in Scripture of someone who is asked to believe blindly—that is, to believe without evidence. It’s harder than you might think…okay, I think it’s impossible, since it is not there. But feel free to try. Every time God requires belief, there are experiences that accompany the request. Take, for example, Moses being asked to confront Pharaoh. There’s of course the burning bush as well as other confirming miracles. Or take Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus. He’s literally blinded by an unexplainable light and talked to by Jesus himself. It’s not that these couldn’t have questioned these experiences and disbelieved. In fact, disbelief is always possible with experience (more on this below). The point, however, is it was very rational for them to believe. That is, these extraordinary experiences provided good evidence that rationally supported their beliefs…

35
Christianity Today on Twitter

Christianity Today is the source for those eager to engage the world for Christ and curious about the people, events, and trends shaping the church and culture.

36
The Power of Words and the Wonder of God

Words are powerful. As the Scriptures indicate, they can create and destroy, build and burn down, save and condemn. The triune God created and upholds us by his Word, redeems us by re-narrating our lives by his gospel, and directs us by his commands so that our words become more conformed to his Word. These many facets of verbal communication-both divine and human-are displayed in one rich and enriching jewel. Faith and practice are wonderfully integrated in this collection of godly wisdom. Michael Horton, Professor, Westminster Seminary California

37
How Southern Baptists Trained More Disaster Relief Volunteers than the Red Cross

The Southern Baptist North American Mission Board (NAMB) almost missed them. And it would’ve been a big miss. Mike McDaniel is an electrician and handyman who specializes in restoring power after natural disasters. He’s seen the wreckage of nine hurricanes, including Hurricanes Andrew (“the worst”) and Katrina. His wife, Linda, occasionally visits him on the job. Her father was a construction contractor; she’s helped to flip many a house. And for years, the two of them have wanted to volunteer to help after disasters. The McDaniels attend a Baptist church, and Linda would go online to look up the North American Mission Board’s disaster relief efforts. “They said you had to be trained,” she said. But training was offered only a few times a year, and not always locally. So the couple always passed. But this summer, NAMB waived the training requirement, experimenting to see if it would lift the falling Southern Baptist volunteer base. “It seemed to be a big success,” Mike said. “There were twice as many blue shirts (worn by untrained volunteers) as yellow shirts (worn by trained volunteers).

38
Ligonier Ministries on Twitter

Holy—one word that points to both God's greatness and His goodness. Listen as @RCSproul considers the holiness of God. http://renewingyourmind.org/2017/11/17/asleep-in-the-light …

39
How Do I Glorify God in My Job?

Well, a lot of listeners listen to this podcast on their drive to work in the morning, so this seems especially relevant. We don’t want to waste our jobs. None of us does. We spend so much time at work, and it’s a place to pursue excellence. But why? Why should we pursue excellence at work, when we often don’t see any eternal value in our weekly duties and routines? It’s a question today from a listener named Dylan. “Hello, Pastor John. In Colossians 3:22–24, Paul exhorts his readers to ‘work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.’ Does this mean that any work not done in excellence is sinful? And how do we apply God’s view of work to cleaning our house, writing a paper for school, or working a 9-to-5 job? I have been feeling guilty about the way I handle these things for months now, and I’m not sure if I’m just being lazy, self-righteous, or am I disobeying the Lord?”

40
Why Shouldn't We Trust the Non-Canonical "History of Joseph the Carpenter"? | Cold Case Christianity

How Does It Corroborate the Life of Jesus? The document acknowledges much of the factual information from the canonical Gospels and assumes the validity of these Gospels from the outset. Jesus is described as “Jesus of Nazareth” the “Lord Jesus Christ”, “Saviour”, “Master”, “God”, “Christ” and “Son of God”. He is depicted as teaching on the Mount of Olives prior to His crucifixion and He mentions the crucifixion and resurrection specifically. He is described as having to “die for the Salvation of Adam and his posterity” and He commissions the apostles to declare the Gospel to the world. In turn, these apostles are said to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish the task. The narrative of Jesus’ nativity is then repeated in a manner befitting to the canonical Gospels. Mary is described as a young virgin at the time of the conception of Jesus and this conception is described as a “a mystery which transcends the grasp of created reason… which no creature can penetrate or understand, except myself, and my Father and the Holy Spirit, constituting one essence with myself.” The canonical claims are repeated here related to the visitation of the angel to Joseph, proclaiming the conception of Jesus and the need to flee to Egypt.

41
EPSOCIETY.ORG on Twitter

Starting at 3pm @ #AARSBL17 : Evangelical Philosophical Society sessions on "Human Flourishing" "Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theories Today," "Engagement with Scripture in Philosophy and Analytic Theology," "Erik Wielenberg's Robust Ethics" #ETS2017 http://bit.ly/2zNkC65 

42
Dr Rowan Williams: politicians have botched Zaghari-Radcliffe talks - Premier

Political point scoring has "bogged down" efforts to free a British mother being held in an Iranian prison and it is time for Christian leaders to intervene, a former Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

43
Bhat (Hindu traditions) in India

The Bhat are known for 'phakra' (speaking poetically in praise of others). The Bhats are an offshoot of Brahmins, as their name is merely a corruption of the term Brahman. They are mainly a landowning community. They work in temples as priests who sometimes read the Bhagat and Puranas. They worship Tusu and Bhadu and local deities such as Kudra. The Bhat shun manual work. Literacy is very low among the Bhat, particularly among women.

44
Bishop: internet not for kids - Premier

Inventors of the internet never intended that their creation would be one-day be easily accessible for many millions of children around the world, an English bishop has said.

45
Challenge to a Critic of the Design Intuition: How Do You Explain Your Own Use of It? | Evolution News

In the previous part of my conversation with my friend Hans Vodder, a theistic evolutionist, I questioned his claim that we can’t rule out chance as an explanation for something unless the probability of chance working can be calculated accurately. “If your reasoning is correct,” I said, “then we have no basis for thinking the Mars rover won’t stumble upon what appears to be a working communications device on Mars — one that isn’t of human origin. And if it did, we would have no basis for thinking the device isn’t a natural product of Martian geological processes.”

46
BreakPoint on Twitter

One #Fresno #State prof learned the hard way that trying to deny someone else's #free #speech can cost you. http://bit.ly/2hEwClT  pic.twitter.com/gx15XpY4yT

47
Stand to Reason on Twitter

Want to be a fearless influencer of society but have no courage? Greg's bimonthly letter, Solid Ground, will help you get deeper into the content and gain more confidence to share. Sign-up at: https://www.str.org/subscriptions  pic.twitter.com/uzQEe3JyQ3

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About the Sermon on the Mount

It has been a great joy for me to devote a lot of mental energy to studying, teaching, and writing about the Sermon on the Mount. Even though I’m done writing my new book on the sermon , this famous biblical text continues to teach me new things every day. Here are three things I’ve learned about the sermon that most people probably don’t know. 1. Jesus’s Sermon Is Radical but Not Entirely New Out of respect for Jesus, we often assume his message was a lightning bolt of novel and wonderful things never heard by humanity before. The Sermon on the Mount  is a lightning bolt. It’s direct revelation from God, coming from the mouth of the incarnate Word himself. But this doesn’t mean Jesus’s teachings were entirely new. When we understand the sermon in the cultural context of the first-century Mediterranean world, we can discern as much continuity as there is difference. This is a good thing. Jesus wasn’t speaking Mars-based gibberish, but revealing God’s kingdom to real people in real cultures. There are two slices of Jesus’s cultural context that both illuminate what Jesus is saying and also show that the sermon isn’t entirely new.

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Friday, November 17, 2017 — The Briefing

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Friday, November 17, 2017 — The Briefing

51 Friday, November 17, 2017 — The Briefing
52 Southern Seminary on Twitter
53 BreakPoint on Twitter
54 Hope Anchored in Heaven
55 Seven Science Questions for Skeptics
56 Where Is God When Times Are Tough?
57 Hungry and Hungover: How Our Emptiness Tells the Truth
58 Report: Volunteering and Giving Back Helps Your Physical Health
59 Can Science Detect the Creator's Fingerprints in Nature?
60 Atheist Daniel Dennett Tries to Explain the Mind Away: He Fails
61 Passion Isn't the Same As Calling
62 The Greatest Thing You Could Do Today
63 Chuck Colson: Everybody else jumped ship in order to save themselves
64 Here's Why You Should Take a Break from Social Media This Weekend
65 He’s memorized 42 books of the Bible and you can, too — Southern Equip
66 James White on Twitter
67 How (Not) to Stay Lukewarm
68 When Two Aren’t Better Than One: Right-Sizing Religion at the State Department
69 Focus on the Family on Twitter
70 Scott Watson on Twitter
71 WORLD on Twitter
72 W Bradford Wilcox on Twitter
73 The Best Quotes from Our Secular Age
74 Dr. James White on Thanksgiving
75 Opinion | What if Ken Starr Was Right?
76 ESPN on Twitter
77 Denny Burk on Twitter
78 6 Ways to Fight for Purity in a Hyper-Sexualized World
79 Brit Hume on Twitter
80 Be a Boaz in Your Business
81 Erick Erickson on Twitter
82 Contradictions: Hanging on Pillars of Nothing?
83 Evolutionists' Certainty Comes from Metaphysics, Not Science | Evolution News
84 Tabletalk Magazine on Twitter
85 The Christian Post
86 The Early Christians Were Odd, Too
87 Westminster Seminary on Twitter
88 Joseph (J.W.)Wartick on Twitter
89 What’s a Christian to Do with Statements and Confessions?
90 Did God Commit Atrocities by Ordering the Killing of Entire Cities of People?
91 James R. White
92 Stand to Reason on Twitter
93 Why People Matter: A Christian Engagement with Rival Views of Human Significance
94 5 terrible reasons to become a pastor
95 Instagram post by MaryJo Sharp • Nov 19, 2017 at 1:33am UTC
96 Dr. Michael L. Brown on Twitter