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Evangelical is the New Rome

I had an eureka moment one morning as I was thinking with some frustration about the reality of “church”:  go to a place to sit with other people for an hour as some fellow tells you what to think about God, the Bible, and your faith, with no opportunity permitted to question, challenge, correct, or rebuke. Sit down – stand up – sing this – pray that – hear what I’m telling you, that God told me to say and don’t question it, even when you know I’m lying.

And I realized more consciously that we suffer from Rome...

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Are Babies Born Totally Depraved?

Jesus told the Pharisees that, “If you were blind, you would not ever have sin. But now you say, ‘We see’, then your sin remains.” John 9:41

In other words, if any of His hearers had been incapable of seeing, they would not have been guilty of sin. Jesus is not referring to physical eyesight, but the ability to perceive and comprehend what sin is. Without that ability, a person does not have sin.

An infant is born completely incapable of such perception and comprehension, and lives a significant time before possessing those abilities. Consequently, an infant does NOT have sin at birth, nor does a child, until that time when they are capable of seeing, and comprehending what they see...

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Matthew 5:3 – 12; Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” – The “Beatitudes”

Why do so many preachers make Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” so difficult when it is so basic and simple. There are no hidden meanings among Christ’s statements of contrast between two aspects of things which characterised the culture and generation in which He spoke, and which continue to characterise our own, if we choose to pay attention.

The very first statement tends to elicit a lengthy, counter-textual explanation of what has no bearing on what Christ said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

All manner of linguistic contortions are used to explain what it means to be “poor in spirit”; in fact, some modern Bible renditions, and many modern teachers, rephrase this to read “happy are those who are spiritually poor …” Some take further licens...

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The Christmas Controversy – Is the Celebration of Christmas and Its Traditions Rooted in Paganism?

Christmas time is here, and as with many of the past Christmases, some well-meaning, and other self-righteous, professors of Christian faith begin to slander and condemn the saints of Christ who chose to celebrate the birth of the Saviour on and around December 25. They regularly repeat the false accusation that Christmas (and Easter in its turn) are pagan festivals reappropriated by Christians to somehow clean up the paganism and give Christians something better to do at that feast time.

The second accusation is that all of the symbols of Christmas are pagan...

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Whose Ears and Eyes Does Jesus Say are Closed in Matthew 13:10-16

Matthew 13:10-16

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, ‘Why speakest thou unto them in parables?’

11 He answered and said unto them, ‘Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which says, “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they...

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When Was Jesus Crucified?

When Was Jesus Crucified?

First we examine the verses that speak of His death:

RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY

Mt 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Mt 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Mt 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Mt 27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first...

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The Importance of Christ’s Death and Resurrection

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single-most important event in world history. Single, because His resurrection is completely dependant upon His crucifixion, yet without His resurrection, His death would have been futile.

Paul wrote that, “if we are planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be of His resurrection.” Romans 6:5 Yet he also wrote: “… if Christ is not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17

Through the death of Christ, forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God[1] is made available to men, and through His resurrection we receive eternal life. Without Christ’s death, there is no forgiveness; without His resurrection, we have no hope beyond this world...

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Isaiah 8 – The Stone of Stumbling and Rock of Offense

ISAIAH 8:11-15

11     For YHWH spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

12     ‘Say ye not, “A confederacy,” to all them to whom this people shall say, “A confederacy”; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

13     Sanctify YHWH of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.

14     And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

15     And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

For the YHWH spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me from going in the way of this people, to say: ‘...

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Book Review – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

At 317 pages, the third book in the Potter series is twice the length of the first two. While the first book started very slowly, and was a rather tedious read, this book has a very well-developed plot. There are the usual inclusions of charms, magic words, etc., but to a much lesser degree, numerically and proportionally, than either of the first two books.

I find it curious, but the body of the story notably lacks much reference to the basic witchy stuff found copiously in the first books. Moreover, after early introduction of nasty concepts, there is very little of this beyond sightings of the Dementors and events with the Divination teacher, until the last 1/5 of the book...

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How Many Witnesses? or Is Supporting the Bible From the Bible Circular Reasoning?

How many eye-witnesses are enough to establish a fact? Is it circular reasoning to use the Bible to support facts in the Bible? According to Old Testament Law for the Jews, any testimony was to be received only on the word of two or three witnesses. Within the pages of Scripture, we find many, many witnesses, across hundreds of years, hundreds of miles, and diverse backgrounds and situations, giving first-hand accounts of the most important events in world history.

Nothing is more critical to human reality than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ did not rise from the dead, men have no recourse for sin other than judgment. But if Jesus Christ rose from the dead as the Bible proclaims, then every person who ever lives must consider and engage this important fact, for if Christ rose ...

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