[by Earl Blacklock] In two earlier articles, I discussed how the “science only” crowd was forced into irrational assumptions by their conviction that there is no God, no Creator. I equated their irrationality to the mental patient who believed the world rested on the back of a giant turtle, with that turtle resting on a large turtle, and so on, the result being “turtles all the way down”. I was, of course, referring to the assumption from those who would say that science can be pursued to the exclusion of faith – that all of life, all of the universe, came out of nothing without any involvement from an omnipotent God. I’m sure the vast majority of scientists would smile, bemused, at the comparison. It is, after all, only Christians whose faith causes them to be irrational – isn’t it? Surely science is based, as Dragnet of old, on “just the facts”? Well, there’s a new theory on the nature of the universe, and it’s one that is so ludicrous that other scientists are having …
After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit drove Him into the wilderness for what became a defining moment in His ministry. It involved a direct confrontation with satan. From this strategic battle recorded in Mathew chapter 4, we gain key insights into spiritual warfare and what defines a Christian. Both are intricately woven together.
So what are you working on in this new year; a church, a family, a career, a business? Success is simple, we are building a brick house and we only want good bricks. In the last few decades, developers have learned new ways to start new projects. One of the most successful project models is “Extreme Programming” that emphasises simplicity. Developers noticed that large super projects failed too often; years of hard work by large teams of experts could end in spectacular and expensive failure.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Mathew 6:12 NASV) Forgiving was a key tenet of Jesus’ teaching. For years, people treated it as purely a religious exercise, but now therapists and psychologists are understanding its importance and have embraced forgiveness as a vital counseling tool. This led researchers in England to take a closer look at forgiveness from a scientific perspective. They found evidence forgiving others may be a key to restoring good mental health.
In an account reminiscent of the Apostle Paul’s Damascus road experience, Foxnews Democrat commentator Kirsten Powers tells of her life-changing encounter with Jesus in an interview with Christianity Today. Powers, who worked for the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998, said her religious views “wavered between atheism and agnosticism.” Politics was her religion and liberalism her theology. But that all changed in 2006 on a trip to Taiwan. Kirsten said, “I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, ‘Here I am.’”
Marriage is under attack around the world. Here are a few facts reflecting marriage and divorce trends in England. These stats are probably similar to those found in many developed nations. Did you know more people were married in the UK in 1862 than were married in 2011. 1862 was the first year records were kept of England’s marriage rates. in 1996, there were 1.6 million people between the ages of 45-62 living alone. By 2012, that number had increased to 2.4 million — an 800,000 increase.
Believe it or not, the discovery of a bath tub in an ancient building in Jerusalem has archaeologists wondering if they stumbled upon the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Caiaphas and his home played a major role in Jesus’ crucifixion. The find occurred during a dig on Mount Zion by a team of archaeologists from the University of North Carolina. During the excavation, the group came upon a large palace-type home. Its size plus other features suggest it housed a significant player in Jerusalem’s ruling class in Jesus’ day. They estimate the mansion had upwards of 20 rooms over several floors. Oddly, one of the clues that sparked this conclusion was the discovery of an indoor bathroom complete with a bathtub — a rarity for this time.
In Mathew 14, we read the account of the Apostle Peter’s failed attempt to walk on water. After Jesus pulled Peter out of the water, the Lord said “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” Many believe Peter failed simply because he needed “more” faith. But was this actually the case? Did Peter need more faith or was their something else more sinister at work here? What does oligopistos mean? Faith was one of the important teachings of Christ. It was so important, that Jesus used an unusual word — oligopistos, commonly translated ‘little faith’ — to describe the disciples’ faith (Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8 and Luke 12:28). It’s unusual because of its rarity.
In an ironic play on words, an obscure Biblical figure — Zechariah the son of Benaiah — finds himself in the limelight, again. The name Zechariah means “God remembers,” and because of a recent archaeological discovery we are all remembering this little known man from the annals of Bible history, mentioned once in 2 Chronicles 20:14-15. Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. (NASV) From the text, we know he was a levite — of the priestly tribe. His claim to fame: He was father of the prophet Jahaziel who gave a prophetic word of victory to King Jehoshaphat on a looming battle with an invading Moabite army. Now 2,700 years later,
Charles Darwin would be turning over in his grave. (If that is where he still is.) The National Catholic Register reports Laura Keynes — great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin — is now attending the Catholic church. She has even gone a step further and joined Catholic Voices which defends the Catholic church in the media. Laura is not only a direct descendant of Darwin, but also has John Maynard Keynes (a famous economist) as a great-great uncle. Keeping with the family education tradition, Laura has a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford. However, Laura’s return to church clearly breaks with another long-established family tradition rooted