Breaking the Cross, Killing the Swine: Truly Thinking About ISIS and the Murder of 21 Copts - Alpha and Omega Ministries
“They supplicate what they worship and die upon their paganism.” These are the subtitled words shown in the 5 minute ISIS video right as they are showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians on the shore in Libya. At the most gruesome point of the explicit video, as men kneeling on the backs of their …
Do Unto Others' Children As You Would Have Them Do Unto Yours - Dad Matters
My wife and I did something daring recently. Not because we're "daredevils" or because we like to "live life on the edge," but because we knew—in spite of
Alliance Defending Freedom will defend Atlanta fire chief fired for his Christian faith
This report is from the Daily Signal. Excerpt: Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his emplo...
Science writer: Many Worlds (quantum multiverse) as a fantasy, verging on nihilism | Uncommon Descent
They repeatedly claim that their philosophy isn’t introducing or depending on any qualitative boundary between the “microscopic quantum phenomena” and “macroscopic classical phenomena” while proper quantum mechanics is postulating such a boundary. The truth is exactly the opposite. Their splitting of the film is only viable if it is only applied to processes that are compatible with the classical interpretation, while the splitting is prohibited for intrinsically quantum observables (like the “which slit” information in the double slit experiment) which means that they need to introduce a qualitatively different treatment for the “two domains”, otherwise they instantly get a wrong prediction for the double slit experiment and every other intrinsically quantum experiment. Proper quantum mechanics doesn’t introduce any qualitative difference between the “domains”. All phenomena are described by the same theory developed in Copenhagen etc. It’s only classical physics that is “only valid” (approximately) in a realm behind the boundary. It is valid along with quantum mechanics over there (QM holds everywhere, classical physics only holds approximately in the limit) and the validity of classical physics is also needed for observers to make classical-like statements about their observations but it’s just a limitation of classical-like statements about observations, not a limitation of the laws of quantum mechanics which always hold. An observer large enough to take decoherence in his brain for granted may choose the “Heisenberg cut” (the boundary, if interpreted using the words of the founders of quantum mechanics) anywhere in between his brain and the small objects whose interference may be measured, so the location of any would-be boundary is physically inconsequential. The theory really doesn’t depend on any features like that and the only “invariant enough” refinement of this boundary, the place where decoherence starts to legitimize the classical interpretation of the probabilities (by erasing the potential for re-interference), is again fully derivable from the same universal laws of quantum mechanics.
The Dangers of Making Jesus Look Like Us
It’s not easy to admit that we edit Jesus’ message to suit our own preferences. That requires that we be totally honest with ourselves, which takes a fair amount of maturity and self-control. But if you would like to honestly assess the degree to which you are airbrushing Jesus, try this simple exercise: Read one of the four Gospels and make a note of everything Jesus says that makes you a little uncomfortable—the statements you secretly wish He didn’t make. Be honest with yourself about it. Just write those things in a list with the Bible reference next to each one. Your list might have 3 things on it, or 30. It doesn’t matter, just write them out.
06. Is it arrogant to claim you have 'the truth'?
Dr. Andy Bannister ( http://bit.ly/andybannister ) of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries answers the question "Is it arrogant to claim you have 'the truth'?". Want to read more widely on this question? Check out "Time for Truth" by Os Guinness ( http://bit.ly/1sMCSqx ). This video is episode 6 of the "Short Answers to Big Questions" series, in which we take 50 of the most common questions and objections about Christianity and attempt to give short, succinct answers to each of them. In such short videos, we realise we can only often scratch the surface—nevertheless, we hope to give you lots of food for thought. Do feel free to download each video, circulate it to friends, or share it on social media. More about "Short Answers to Tough Questions": http://bit.ly/sabqvideo More about RZIM Canada: http://www.rzim.ca/
The Christian Story: Making Critics Wish It Were True
By thoughtfully engaging the Athenians and their culture, Paul discovered a spiritual thirst unquenched by their spiritual expressions. For example, the altar “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” represented an existential angst over trying to know everything the gods required to merit good favor. That information enabled Paul to present the Christian story in a way that was more compelling than the one the Greeks had known. As a result, after his telling some of his hearers became thirsty, with a few deciding to follow him to the wellspring.
663. Is God A Harsh God?
Referencing a passage in Psalms, Bobby examines whether or not God is overly harsh in his judgment of sin.
The Briefing 02-19-15
1) Trials for aged former Nazi guards reveal innate human hunger for justice
Ingredients Of A Happy Home (4): Habitual Gratitude | HeadHeartHand Blog
The world’s most prominent researcher and writer about gratitude, Robert Emmons, defines gratitude as “a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.” Emmons’ research found that people who are thankful in this way tend to be happier, more energetic, more optimistic, and more helpful, more sympathetic, and more forgiving. They are also less materialistic, less depressed, less anxious, and less jealous.
Grace to You Radio
In God’s Own Defense of Scripture , John MacArthur shows how the Bible itself gives the best testimony to its veracity. You can be confident that the Bible you own is indeed God’s Word—this study helps you see why.
The World Was Not Worthy of Them
The purpose of the video was to foment sectarian strife in Egypt between Christians and Muslims. Those Islamic extremists clearly intended to provoke the 10 million Christians in Egypt to rise up violently against their Muslim neighbors. But the loving and caring response of Muslims all over the nation softened the blow that many Christians felt. Until now the Christians of Egypt have responded with restraint, sorrowfully calling out to God.
Ash Wednesday: Picking and Choosing our Piety
I can understand Anglicans observing Lent. Hey, I can even approve of them doing so when I am in an exceptionally good mood or have just awoken from a deep sleep and am still a little disoriented. It is part of their history. It connects to their formal liturgical history. All denominations and Christian traditions involve elements that are strictly speaking unbiblical but which shape their historic identity. For Anglicans, the liturgical calendar is just such a thing. These reasons are not compelling in a way that would make the calendar normative for all Christians, yet I can still see how they make sense to an Anglican. But just as celebrating July the Fourth makes sense for Americans but not for the English, the Chinese or the Lapps, so Ash Wednesday and Lent really make no sense to those who are Presbyterians, Baptists, or free church evangelicals.
Where a Desperate Small-Town Pastor Found Hope
One thing is certain: I am hopeful for the future of our church. This is how the people felt before the Exodus. This is how the disciples felt before Pentecost. This is how Hezekiah felt before God defeated 185,000 Assyrians. This is how Elijah felt before God swooped him up in a chariot of fire. There is no better place for a church to be than completely, helplessly, desperately, and hungrily dependent on God to act, because that is the place where God is guaranteed to get all of the glory.
Obama: 'Islam Has Been Woven Into the Fabric of Our Country Since Its Founding'
(CNSNews.com) - We hear a lot about the United States' Judeo-Christian heritage, but according to President Obama, "Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding."
Romance With Jesus
We know that sin ruined the original design, but we're still meant to be madly in love with Christ today. He is meant to be the One that occupies our minds and fills our hearts. He is meant to be what excites us and brings us joy. Just like we aim to do with our significant other on Valentine's Day, Jesus is the One whom we are living to please.
Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue
In reality, because people have had a strange tendency to open up to me or let me see things they wouldn’t for most other folk, over the last ten years I have been able to know a lot of people who cheat (men and women) and how and why and with whom. So my views of cheating were (and are) based on a broad exposure to the unexpected diversity of reasons and complexity of circumstances people actually find themselves in, none of which tracked the cultural narrative we are all told. That experience in fact was part of what led me to cheat myself. I became the same statistic. And even in hindsight I’m not entirely sure what the option is. What people say the options are, won’t play out in practice like they think they will–whatever you do, it presents nearly the same dilemmas, and the consequences end up being substantially identical, which poses a conundrum for anyone who is a consequentialist in ethics. I’m still working this out. And I hope to blog about it in future. It’s far more complicated than I ever imagined.
Why are jihadis so obsessed with porn?
Recently, London Mayor Boris Johnson described Jihadists as “porn driven losers” who have “low self-esteem and are unsuccessful with women.” He’s on to something important and profound.
Josh McDowell on Twitter
Bain was among the first students to receive our books. Now he’s a pastor and a professor! http://ow.ly/JcvXC pic.twitter.com/ceor8j1iSt
Colson Center on Twitter
Is it all about us, or about Jesus and Him crucified? http://bit.ly/1A5ICgg @JBStonestreet #lent #ashwednesday pic.twitter.com/d3lDx5Tgpb
How to Hold On When Everything Is Coming Apart
Over the last 17 years of walking with Jesus, I have learned that God hasn’t wasted a single hurt, disappointment, or tragedy. With his nail-pierced hands, Jesus the potter reaches into the messy clay of our lives and sculpts each of us into a masterpiece. What looks impossible to human eyes looks like an opportunity for Jesus to do the him -possible and reveal his greatness to us. I know this to be true. I just need to be held together while the potter is lovingly, sovereignly, and meticulously working to transform me into something beautiful. Nothing is more beautiful than God transforming me into the image of Jesus: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:28–29, ESV).
My Job Exists Solely Because of the Fall
The brokenness of the world is the reason my job exists. If we did not live in a broken world, there would be no need for national defense or a strong military. Mankind's wickedness—greed, pride, and depravity—creates the market for my company's business. We must build radar to watch our borders, since some seek to take innocent lives. We build sensors to detect bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in order to safeguard lives that others wish to take. We maintain the most advanced electronic systems in the world, to ensure our capability to protect ourselves and others from those who have no respect for human life. These systems on which I work daily remind me that the world is broken by sin.
3 Reasons Why I Hate Diversity
For this reason, as a person who identifies with some privileged groups (e.g. the upwardly-mobile, the educated, the mentally able, etc.) I sure as heck don’t want more diversity in my church. More diversity would expose my privileged life by bringing the inequality “out there” into the very sanctuary pews where I sit. True diversity would require me to stay alert to the reality of inequality. It would demand that I confront my privilege, recognize the ways that I benefit from a society that oppresses my brothers and sisters, repent, and join the fight for justice.
Answering Muslims: "Jobs for Jihadists" Applications Flooding State Department!
After U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf announced that the long-term strategy in the fight against ISIS was to create jobs for potential jihadists, countless terrorists began filling out applications. Here are a few examples (along with a blank application for potential jihadists on the job hunt).
“While reading I was convicted of my tendency to crave glory and applause. Every chapter is laced with JR’s vulnerability and honesty, while the hero of the book remains God, his glory, and his kingdom. This is a book I’ll insist every member of my team reads to help us reject personal glory, embrace the discipline of obscurity, and spotlight Jesus alone.”
—Aaron Ivey , Worship Pastor, The Austin Stone, Austin, Texas
Pagan Trash Or Provocative Treasure?
We know the early Vikings of Scandinavia converted from their violent ways, dropped their Nordic myths, and eventually turned toward Christ roughly a millennium ago. And this TV series wades into the pre-Christian era of the Vikings, igniting debate among both religious and medieval scholars. While Hirst’s depictions do not match up perfectly with written history, many viewers still appreciate the territory he navigates in the series.
A Lent That's Not For Your Spiritual Improvement
The Israelites in the wilderness complained time and again about food, saying that they didn’t have enough to eat and that the cuisine back in Egypt was preferable (Exod. 16). Jesus, however, resisted the temptation to turn stones into bread when he was hungry, saying, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matt. 4:4). Second, whereas the Israelites constantly put God to the test, doubting his love and provision (Exod. 17:2–7), Jesus refused to test God by jumping off the temple. Finally, Jesus was tempted to bend his knee to the Devil. In the wilderness—and throughout the whole Old Testament, for that matter—Israel betrayed her covenant God by worshiping an object of creation (Exod. 32). But Jesus resisted, saying, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matt. 4:10).
So You Want to Change the World?
Years ago, Jennie Allen felt God calling her to reach her generation of women. She wasn't sure exactly how. She didn't feel properly equipped for the job, but the call was clear, so she took the first steps. She formed partnerships with others, and years later, IF: Gathering was formed. IF is a nonprofit organization that that gathers, equips and unleashes women around the world. Its reach is growing—last year, tens of thousands of women around the world were using some of the tools and training programs provided by IF: Gathering.
A Simple Guide to Reading the Bible with Jesus as the Hero
In most biblical texts we can identify a heroic person or a heroic action that points to Jesus, but we must also notice that none are just like Christ, the ultimate hero. Just as we personally identify with the bad guys in the text, we should identify the heroic action in the text with Jesus. Who in the text is walking in line with the purposes of God and brings him glory? It is important to remember though, as we seek to understand Scripture, the person or people displaying the heroic actions are also sinners who also need the ultimate hero and savior Jesus. As Paul urges, we want our conduct to be in step with the truth of the gospel (Gal 2:14), but we must never think our conduct can take the place of the gospel. One of the glorious things about Scripture is the way it reveals the flaws of key figures in redemptive history. The temporal saviors and heroes in the biblical narrative all need the ultimate Savior and Hero in order to be adopted into God’s family, forgiven, and saved from the penalty of their sins.
Danielle Strickland | Catalyst Dallas 2015
Subscribe NOW to Catalyst: http://bit.ly/CatalystSubscribe http://www.catalystconference.com Keep up with Catalyst! Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/CatalystLeader Twitter | https://twitter.com/catalystleader Instagram | http://instagram.com/catalyst_leader Podcast | https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/c ... Catalyst App | http://catalystconference.com/catalys ... Catalyst unifies change makers — equipping you with impactful content and experiences that transform thinking, provoke action and cultivate community. We’re challenging leaders who love the Church to break the bounds of an ordinary existence and find the courage to embrace and radiate bold change.
Prof John Lennox on Twitter
Westminster Conference: Last chance to register at early-bird rates (20-21 Mar, Philadelphia): http://tinyurl.com/oba5n49 pic.twitter.com/d64MbppPau
Colson Task Force offers chance for Restorative Justice
Why should justice be restorative? At its heart, crime isn’t about law-breaking; it’s about violating the peace and wholeness of the entire community. Public safety may require that we lock someone up, but that alone will not heal victims or the community or change the conditions that help breed crime. When the responsible party has the opportunity for redemption and restoration — by making amends to his victims, changing his thinking, and earning back the public’s trust by living a law-abiding, constructive life upon release—the community can find healing and move beyond the vicious cycle of crime and incarceration.
The Netherlander Euthanasia Contagion
Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.
Alan Turing and the New Emergentists
No computer has passed the Turing Test today. Not even close; not even using the "bag of tricks" that Levesque felt should be eliminated, making the test fairer (but harder even so). It's a cautionary tale and a lesson that seems somehow hopelessly lost today in all the hype. Reading his original paper, and reflecting on who he was as a scientist and a philosopher, it's hard to believe that Turing, were he alive today, would endorse the New Emergentists and their Grand Vision of our future, without some good-old fashioned evidence: passing, first, his test.
Renown Youth Conference
To be a Christian is to be a disciple. Jesus said that anyone who would be a disciple of Christ must “deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Nobody, however, does this perfectly. All Christians face struggles and obstacles in their walk with Christ. And yet, the New Testament calls disciples of Jesus to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
The TC Apologetics Daily
The TC Apologetics Daily, by TC Apologetics: The latest news and thoughts for the apologetic-minded Christian.
Does Islam Inevitably Lead to Violence?
A better question to ask is whether or not there is a legitimate place for violence within Islamic tradition. The answer is yes. The primary means of determining this right in Islam is power. According to Islamic thinking, if you are in power and succeeding, then God is clearly blessing and supporting you. If you are not, then God has chosen not to bless you. Of the first four caliphs after Mohammed, three of them were violently murdered, either by assassination, mob, or in battle, all by “fellow” Muslims who supported other leaders. The first two Islamic dynasties came into power by slaughtering those who held power before them. Islam’s history only gets bloodier from there, since might makes right in a way that is foreign to the Judeo-Christian world. Despite the shocking number of Christians or secular Westerners being killed by Muslims, Muslims are killing even greater numbers of other Muslims.
A Time for Anger?: How to Temper Your Temper
If Jesus could be angry, then we know there really is such a thing as righteous anger. How do we know if our anger is righteous? That’s a tough one, and I’m not sure I can answer it, but I believe there’s at least one way we can tell when it isn’t righteous. I’m not talking about the obvious cases where it’s based on selfish desires or leads to destructive behaviors; I’m talking strictly about what we might be feeling inside. I’m pretty sure that if anger forces genuine joy and godly grief out of my experience, in that case it’s based on false beliefs, and it probably can’t qualify as righteous anger.
Here’s another goodie: It starts with you, Mr. Preacher. You—humanly speaking—must be moved by the passage if you will move others. “The chief reason why sermons fail to connect with hearers’ affections is because the preacher himself has not first had his affections stirred in his preparations,” they write (52). This challenge was timely for me. As I was reviewing the book I was working through a passage that just wasn’t exciting me. I’d studied diligently, and thought I knew it well enough, but the delight, passion, and force of the text weren’t affecting my own heart. And Sunday kept getting closer. So I prayed, skipped two meals, and prayed and worked some more. Then I went home. Early the next morning, while tinkering with the manuscript, it happened—affections that accorded with the passage arrived.
Southern Seminary 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.
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BreakPoint 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.
Things Every REAL Christian Should Give Up for Lent
Y es, Lent still matters . But when Lent season actually rolls around, many people remain unsure of what exactly they should give up. Never fear. We at RELEVANT have put together the definitive list of how to handle this season. Feel free to add your recommendations in the comments.
Our 2015 Oscar Predictions
Boyhood , on the other hand, is about much more than even its broad title suggests. Yes, it charts the 12-year-long coming of age of a Texas boy, but it's also about motherhood and fatherhood, it's about powerlessness and understanding. It's about the wisdom and lack thereof of both children and their parents, and how we're all growing up together. When the movie's over, you realize you never really saw any of the significant events we often mark as defining moments in childhood. We didn't see Mason get his first job, kiss his first girl, throw his graduation cap in the air or learn how to drive. Instead, we saw tiny moments—him stumbling across a dead bird, going on a camping trip with his father and getting an unwanted haircut. In watching him, we realize how insignificant our perceived milestones are, and see the true value in the small moments that flit by everyday. Those moments make up our boyhoods and girlhoods, and the rest of our lives. It's an extraordinary feat for a movie, and it took a movie like this to accomplish it. It deserves the win.
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org. www.eauk.org
Get fired in the interview
Sometimes surprising things happen when candidates exhibit this kind of openness. I have a close friend who once candidated for a pastorate in a Baptist church in another state. During one interview, the committee asked him what his beliefs were about the perennial hot topic of Calvinism. They didn’t know what Calvinism was, but they nevertheless wanted to know what my friend felt about it. His answer to their question was open and honest. And it led to his being able to open the Bible with the committee and lead them through his own beliefs directly from the scripture. After hours of teaching from my friend, the committee finally asked him, “Can you please come to our church and teach us more about this?” His willingness to open the Bible and make plain what he believed turned out to be just what these thirsty saints needed. Thus his teaching ministry at that church began before they ever officially called him as pastor. It began while he was candidating, and they wanted more. He is now their pastor.
Dr. Fuz Rana and Dr. PZ Myers Debate
Dr. Fuz Rana and Dr. PZ Myers Debate
The Hard Truths Prepare Kids for Suffering
My theoretical rumination about preparing kids to suffer became far more personal near the end of 2013. I often worried about whether I was prepared to suffer. As a white American male from an upper class family, my life had been relatively easy, and I feared that one day something awful would happen that would shatter my faith. What would happen, if I, a person who had led hundreds of students during a 10-year youth ministry, walked away from Christ? What was bad enough to demolish my faith?
WORLD | Pastor: Kayla Mueller reflected God’s love | Maria Baer | Feb. 19, 2015
PRESCOTT, Ariz.—Thousands of friends, family, neighbors, and strangers gathered last night in Prescott, Ariz., to remember Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old American aid worker killed in Syria by the Islamic State. Mueller was working with Syrian refugees at the Turkish border in August 2013 when extremists kidnapped and imprisoned her. The U.S. government confirmed her death in early February.
“I found my heart and will deeply moved by the key premise of this book: that we learn about prayer by learning about God. He speaks—are we listening to him? He sends his Son—are we responding to him? He is sovereign—do we trust him and think his thoughts after him? He sends his Spirit—do we realize we’re empowered to pray? Internalize these great Bible truths, and your prayer life will come alive.”
—Rico Tice , Evangelist; author, Christianity Explored