Quotes and Illustrations ABC

 

Abortion

A growing body of evidence suggests that a high percentage, as high as 90 percent, of women who have an abortion suffer emotional and psychiatric stress, including as many as 10 percent requiring psychiatric hospitalization or other professional treatment.  As many as 30,000 women each year suffer emotional trauma severe enough to render them unable to work.  And women who have had abortions are nine times more likely to commit suicide than those who haven’t.  Over 200,000 women who have had abortions in America have joined post-abortion support groups such as Women Exploited by Abortion,… Star Parker, Uncle Sam’s Plantation (Nashville: WND Books, 2003), p. 108.

Many Americans are unaware that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger aligned herself with eugenicists.  The eugenicist movement in the early twentieth century strongly espoused racial supremacy and purity of the white race.  Wanting to purify bloodlines, eugenicists encouraged the fit to reproduce and the unfit to restrict their reproduction. Star Parker, Uncle Sam’s Plantation, p. 109.

Since 1973 there have been thirteen million blacks killed by abortion. Star Parker, Uncle Sam’s Plantation, p. 113.

Indeed, all pro-abortionists would become pro-life immediately if they found themselves back in the womb. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p.186.

 As compiled by the Guttmacher Institute (using 2005 statistics, the most recent available), the abortion rate is 6 percent in Mississippi and Utah and 9 percent in Arkansas.  But it’s 24 percent in Connecticut, 30 percent in New Jersey, and 33 percent in New York.  Shockingly, the nation as a whole aborts about 1.2 million babies each year. Mike Huckaby, A Simple Government (NY: Penguin Group, 2011), p. 17.

 Ancient Assyria encouraged a high birth rate by its moral code and laws.  Abortion was a capital crime; a woman who secured miscarriage, even a woman who died of attempting it, was to be impaled on a stake. Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1935), p. 275.

[In ancient Babylon] Fornication, even adultery, might be forgiven if there was no abortion; abortion was a worse crime than the others, and was to be punished with death. Will Durant ,Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1935), p. 376.

In the pagan Roman Empire, abortion was freely practiced, but Christians took a stand against it.  In 314 the Council of Ancyra barred from the taking of the Lord’s Supper for ten years all who procured abortions or made drugs to further abortions.  Previously the Synod of Elvira (305-306) had specified excommunication till the deathbed for these offenses. Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?  The Rise and decline of Western Thought and Culture (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 1976),  p. 222.

[Nita Whitten was chief secretary at a Dallas abortion clinic] “Every single transaction that we did,” adds Whitten, “was cash money.  We wouldn’t take a check, or even a credit card.  If you didn’t have the money, forget it.  It wasn’t unusual at all for me to take $10,000 to $15,000 a day to the bank – in cash.”    David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil (Nashville: WND Books, 2005), p. 198.

[Ernst Rudin] “There’s not enough room to go into the utter fraud of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider, founded by the racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who preached the inferiority of nonwhite races and had close ties to Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization.”  David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil (Nashville: WND Books, 2005), p. 210.

Ever since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973, almost 50 million unborn babies have been killed in the US – some by having their brains sucked out in partial-birth abortions.  This American holocaust is eight times larger than the loss of Jewish lives in Nazi Germany. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003), p. 101.

Neither Jane Roe nor Mary Doe ever had abortions; they are now pro-life. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again? p. 105.

[Number killed in back-alley abortions] Dr. Bernard Nathanson, cofounder of the national Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), who is today pro-life, admits that they just fabricated the number. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again? p. 105.

Abortion is the only surgical procedure for which a physician is not required to tell his patients of the dangerous complications involved in the surgery, or even the truth about what it is he is doing – removing a baby, not a lump of tissues. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again?, p. 107.

All three of these situations –rape, incest, and the life of the mother – together make up less than 2 percent of all abortions.  Yet they give rise to 98 percent of the rhetoric about abortion.  D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again?, p. 110.

For decades we aborted on average about 1.5 million babies a year in this country.  At the same time, two million couples were looking for babies to adopt. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again?, p. 111.

Still another clue: hundreds of millions of babies aborted worldwide- over a million per year just in America…News reports document that in Zimbabwe, newborn babies clog up the sewers in the capital of Harare, because so many are flushed down toilets and dumped in drains- about twenty per week.  Very simply, millions of us are killing our offspring. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 44.

Focus’s [Focus on the Family] research has shown that up to 87 percent of abortion-minded women who receive crisis pregnancy center services including ultrasound decide against having the abortion. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America, p. 245.

 Psalm 139:15-16, “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

 Life begins with conception, for we contend that the soul also begins from conception
[Tertullian]. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 3 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.,1988), p. 207.

If we become injured in the womb, this is a loss suffered by what is already a human being [Tertullian]. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 3., p. 589.

The soul is not introduced into the body after birth, as some philosophers think.  Rather, it is introduced immediately after conception, when the divine necessity has formed the offspring in the womb [Lactantius]. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7., p. 297.

 Absolutes

There must be an absolute if there are to be morals, and there must be an absolute if there are to be real values….But it is not only that we need absolutes in morals and values; we need absolutes if our existence is to have meaning…we must have absolutes if we are to have a solid epistemology. Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?  The Rise and decline of Western Thought and Culture (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 1976),  p. 145.

Here is a simple but profound rule: If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute. Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?  The Rise and decline of Western Thought and Culture, p. 224.

If we begin with the impersonal, then how do any of the particulars that now exist – including man – have any meaning, any significance? Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent (Wheaton IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1972), p. 8.

Beginning with the impersonal, everything, including man, must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus chance….No one has ever demonstrated how time plus chance, beginning with an impersonal, can produce the needed complexity of the universe, let alone the personality of man. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent, p.9.

Man’s damnation today is that he can find no meaning for man. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent, p.11.

If God does not exist, there are no absolutes, and without absolutes, as Plato stressed, morals do not exist. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p.89.

Absurdity

It is a part of the warp and woof of the thinking of our day, that there are no answers, that everything is irrational and absurd…It can be held theoretically, but it cannot be held in practice that everything is absolute chaos…If it were true that all is chaotic, unrelated, and absurd, science as well as general life would come to an end. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent (Wheaton IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1972), p. 5.

Adversity

You can’t control the winds, but you can adjust the sails.

Norma Levy, Hope Will Find You, (Harmony Books, 2010 ), p. 81.

Afflictions

God would prefer we have an occasional limp than a perpetual strut.  And if it takes a thorn for him to make his point, he loves us enough not to pluck it out. –  Max Lucado

Afterlife

 As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev’s wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.   Gary Thomas, in Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26.

Age, This present Evil

“Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next”

[William R. Inge].  Dick Staub, The Culturally Savvy Christian, (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2007),  p..3.

Bible scholar Trench defines “World” or “age” (aion) as, “All hopes impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral, atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.” …The Germans have a word for it – zeit geist, “the spirit of the age.”  Kenneth Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies, The Pastoral Epistles In The Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1952), p. 102.

Age, End Of

[John Piper] “What Peter may well mean is that at the end of this age there will be cataclysmic events that bring this world to and end as we know it – not putting it out of existence, but wiping out all that is evil and cleansing it by fire and fitting it for an age of glory and righteousness and peace that will never end.”  Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Tyndale House Publishers, 2004), p. 154,

Jerome often said that Heaven and Earth would not be annihilated but would be transformed into something better. Augustine wrote similarly, as did Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and many medieval theologians. Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 155,

AIDS

Today the rotten reality is that every six seconds of every single day a child dies because they don’t have enough to eat.  Every fourteen seconds another child loses a parent to AIDS, and every thirty seconds another child dies from malaria.  This is the world you and I inhabit together.  These are facts that break the heart of God.  Princess Kasune Zulu, Warrior Princess (Downer’s Grove IL: IVP Books, 2009), p. 222.

It is estimated that the first 10,000 cases of AIDS in the United States cost $1.6 million hospital days, $1.4 million in expenditures, 8,387 years of work lost, and $4.8 million because of premature death…New York City alone picks up $45 million a year in unpaid hospital bills of AIDS patients… The cost of treating the average AIDS victim during the two years it generally takes for the disease to run its fatal course currently averages about $147,000.  For many businesses, one or two AIDS cases could trigger a ruinous hike in health insurance premiums.  By 1991 it will cost us an estimated $19 billion a year, just for AIDS.  If we combine that with the cost of other STDs we can expect soon to be paying at least $3- billion a year for ‘free’ sex.”  Josh McDowell and Dick Day,Thomas ,Why Wait, What you Need to Know About the Teen Sexuality Crisis (Nashville: Nelson Publishers, 1987), pp. 48, 49.

It was Kansensero and then in neighboring villages of the Rakai District of Uganda that the modern global AIDS pandemic took off, sometime around 1973.  (Kansensero) experts estimate 80 percent of the town’s 12,000 remaining residents are HIV-positive…Statistics paint a mind-numbing picture of what AIDS has done worldwide.  It has already killed 18.8 million people and infected another 34.5 million – some 85 percent of them Africans, according to the UN AIDS program.  All sub-Saharan countries have some degree of infection, but in 16 the rates exceed 10 percent.  The World Health Organization last month announced that average life expectancies fell six years for sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s, because of AIDS.  A baby born today in Malawi can, on average, be expected to die just shy of his 30th birthday, a Zambian at age 30, Ugandan and Zimbabwean at age 32….Their entire parental generation of 25-40 year-olds was wiped out by AIDS…Namuli is adamant about whom to blame for spreading HIV to her village in 1975 and throughout the Rakai District: former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Aids update: Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2000.

According to UNAIDS 2003 statistical estimates, the reported increase of HIV infections from 1999 to 2002 was:

North America 16%

Caribbean 53%

Latin America 35%

Western Europe 15%

Eastern Europe and Central Asia 196%

East Asia & Pacific 75.5%

North Africa & Middle East 74.4%

Sub-Sahara Africa 52%

Australia & New Zealand 7%

The region most impacted by HIV/AIDS to date is Sub-Sahara Africa. UNAIDS statistics show:

People with HIV: 25 million

Percentage of world’s HIV cases: 66.1%

New Cases in 2003: 3million

AIDS deaths in 2003:2.2 million

Recent reports from the United Nations estimate that the global HIV/AIDS epidemic killed more than 3 million people in 2004

AIDS kills some 6,000 people each day in Africa – more than wars, famines and floods.

Christian Examiner, (Colorado, US), Mar. 2005.

Some studies of the AIDS crisis in the United States identify French Canadian flight steward Gaetan Dugas as Patient Zero- the initial carrier of the virus.  Before his death in 1984, Dugas estimated that he had had sexual liaisons with 2,500 partners in New York and California bathhouses, rest rooms, bars, hotels, and motels.  Charles Colson with Ellen Santilli Vaughn, Against The Night, Living in the New Dark Ages (Ann Arbor: Servant Publications, 1989), p. 67.

AIDS – originally named GRID (gay-related immunodeficiency disease) until activist homosexuals pressured the medical establishment to switch to the generic acronym AIDS.  David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (Nashville: WND Books, 2005), p. 20.

Alcohol

In a 2008 study published in the journal Adolescence, approximately 25 percent of college students reported that they had recently engaged in binge drinking. Donna Freitas, The End of Sex: How hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy (New York: Basic Books, 2013), p. 40.

America

 [World War II] “As 1944 began, 70 percent of America’s manufacturing was focused on wartime production…American factories were building a plane every five minutes, and producing 150 tons of steel every minute.  Shipyards were launching eight aircraft carriers a month…and fifty merchant ships a day.” Arthur Herman, Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II (New York: Random House, 2012), p.283.

[Roads and infrastructure] The problem is so severe that some in the Chinese government are now publicly proposing to invest in constructing and repairing American roads and subway systems…Could anything be more humiliating? Even China, which only a few decades ago was populated by people on bicycles, is now feeling sorry for the pathetic state of our infrastructure. Lou Dobbs, Upheaval (New York: Threshold Editions, 2014), p. 136.

Frances Slanger was a Jewish immigrant who came with her mother and sister to America in 1920.  She desired to be a nurse, so she finally graduated from Boston City Hospital School of Nursing.  Frances then served as an Army nurse and was involved in the invasion on D-Day.  In the next five weeks she and her three other nurse friends cared for more than three thousand wounded soldiers.  After a few weeks, Frances was killed as a German shell ripped through her tent.  This entry was later found in her scrapbook: “There was a dream that men could one day speak their thoughts.  There was a hope that men could stroll through the streets unafraid.  There was a prayer that each could speak to his own God.  That dream, that hope, that prayer became America. Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, Exceptrional: Why the World Needs America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2015), p. 31.

 Angels

[In I Enoch]

The angels are given personal names: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Uriel.

Also Phanuel, Raguel, Saraqael, Remiel D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (London: SCM Press Ltd., 1964), p. 243.

Anthropic Principle

Leading scientists have acknowledged the far-reaching implications of the anthropic principle.  “A commonsense interpretation of the facts,” writes astronomer Fred Hoyle, “suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the laws of physics.” Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007), p.131.

Astronomer Robert Jastrow observes that the anthropic principle “is the most theistic result ever to come out of science.” Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, p.131.

The Anthropic Principle is just a fancy title for the mounting evidence that has many scientists believing that the universe is extremely fine-tuned (designed) to support human life here on earth. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 96.

Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level – On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere.  That precise figure is an anthropic constant that makes life on earth possible.  If oxygen were 25 percent, fires would erupt spontaneously; if it were 15 percent, human beings would suffocate.  Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 98.

Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency- If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface.  If it were more transparent, we would be bombarded with far too much solar radiation. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek,  I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 100.

Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction. If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe.  If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist,  p. 100.

Anthropic Constant 4: Carbon Dioxide Level. If the CO2 level were higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop (we’d all burn up).  If the level were lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist,  p. 101.

Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity.  Its strength is terrifying, but it couldn’t be any different for life to exist here on earth.  If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and, therefore, neither would we. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist,  p, 102.

There are more than 100 very narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligent Designer. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 105

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that these and other constants – 122 in all- would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance…his answer is shocking: one chance in 10138 – that is one chance in one with 138 zeroes after it! Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p.106.

The edges of most galaxies are metal-poor; our positioning within the galaxy places us in a metal-rich area.  These heavier elements are needed not only for the molecular structures of life.  They also are essential for the formation of rocky planets such as our earth….More than 90 percent of all stars are smaller than the sun. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, (NY: Harper Collins, 2009), p. 65.

Our nearly circular orbit keeps that solar input nearly constant year-round. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 66.

The rule here is that we reside on a very special planet at a very special location within a very special stellar system, formed at just the right position within the right kind of galaxy. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p.67.

Anti-Semitism

On January 20, 1943, Heinrich Himmler, concerned because the battle at Stalingrad had diverted much of the available rail transport from the Final Solution, wrote to the State Secretary for Transportation that “I must have more trains for transports.  I know very well how taxing the situation is for the railroads…I must make this request of you: Help me get more trains.”  Even as Germany’s defeat seemed imminent, the use of trains to transport Jews to their death was considered as important as their use to transport military personnel and supplies.  The irony, of course lies in the Jewish Connection: much of Europe’s railroad system was originally developed by Jews. Hirsh Goldberg, The Jewish Connection (NY: Bantam Books, Inc., 1976), p.50.

Most translations incorrectly substitute “James” for “Jacob” in referring to the brother of John and to the brother of Jesus.  The Greek…clearly indicates that he was named “Jacob.”  Likewise, the translations have incorrectly substituted Jude for Judah…In the same way, “Mary” will be correctly referred to as “Miriam”… Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship (Springfield, MO: General Council of the Assemblies of God, Intercultural Ministries, 1991), p. 5.

Anti-Semitism, Islamic

Muslims in the Arab world have a saying: “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday.”  Every Muslim in the Middle East knows exactly what this means.  This is their way of saying that first they’ll get the Jews (who observe Sabbath on Saturday, and then they’ll get the Christians (whose Sabbath is Sunday.). Brigitte Gabriel, Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006), p. 124.

If Israel did not exist, the Arabs would have to invent something like it to blame their failures on.  It is their fundamental ways of thinking and own culture that hold them back, not the Jews. Brigitte Gabriel, Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America, p. 174.

Nasrallah [Moslem leader in Lebanon] declared in 2002 that if all the Jews gather in Israel, “they’ll make our job easier, and will keep us from having to go hunt them down all over the world.” George Gilder, The Israel Test (US: Richard Vigilante Books, 2009), p. 25.

Anti-Semitism, Christian

From 1967 on, many Christian groups became among the most vociferous members of the Arab lobby as they focused on what they perceived as human rights abuses regarding the Palestinians while typically ignoring Israel’s security dilemma. Mitchell Bard, The Arab Lobby, The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests In The Middle East (NY: Harper Collins, 2010), p. 252.

The Bible used by Palestinian Christians has been mutilated.  All the passages considered unacceptable to Muslims have been eliminated from the Arab version. Mitchell Bard, The Arab Lobby, The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests In The Middle East, p. 254.

“The Jew carries the burden of God in history [and] for this has never been forgiven.” [Quoted from Prager & Telushkin] George Gilder, The Israel Test (US: Richard Vigilante Books, 2009), p. 31.

Anti-Semitism, US

After Congress voted to relocate the U.S. embassy in 1980 [to Jerusalem]; each president since then has used a national security waiver in the legislation to avoid the move. Mitchell Bard, The Arab Lobby, The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests In The Middle East (NY: Harper Collins, 2010), p. 101.

George H.W. Bush had been considered the most pro-Arab and anti-Israel president in history… Mitchell Bard, The Arab Lobby, The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests In The Middle East, p. 177.

At the time of the partition debate…other prominent Protestants, such as Dorothy Thompson, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and Henry Sloane Coffin, were lobbying the Truman administration to prevent Jewish statehood. Mitchell Bard, The Arab Lobby, The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests In The Middle East, p. 245.

Anxiety

Children today have the anxiety level of the psychiatric patients of the 1950s.

Max Lucado on the 700 Club, Nov. 24, 2009.

Appeasement

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. – Winston Churchill

Apocalyptic Writings

The first, and greatest, of all the Jewish apocalyptic writings, the book of Daniel… D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (London: SCM Press Ltd., 1964), p. 16

Apocalyptic was a fairly strong current in the mainstream of Judaism in the years immediately before and after the beginning of the Christian era.  D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, P. 28.

Despite this continued interest on the part of certain rabbis, however, it is clear that after AD 70 apocalyptic began to lose its place in the mainstream of Judaism. D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, p. 31.

By far the most significant of all the Christian apocalypses is the canonical Book of Revelation D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, p. 35.

Listing of Jewish apocalyptic works:

The Book of Daniel 165 BC

I Enoch 164 BC

The Book of Jubilees 150 BC

The Sibylline Oracles, Book III from 150 BC

The Testaments of the XII Patriarchs (latter part second century)

The Psalms of Solomon 48 BC

The Assumption of Moses AD 6-30

The Martyrdom of Isaiah

The Life of Adam and Eve or the Apocalypse of Moses (shortly before AD 70)

The Apocalypse of Abraham (AD 70-100)

The Testament of Abraham (first century AD)

II Enoch or The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (first century AD)

The Sibylline Oracles, Book IV (c. AD 80)

II Esdras or IV Esra  AD 90

II Baruch or the Apocalypse of Baruch (after AD 90)

III Baruch (second century AD)

The Sibylline Oracles, Book V (second century AD)   D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, pp. 37-38.

The following is a list of Qumran works whose outlook, in greater or less degree, has a close association with the apocalyptic books listed above, even though they may not share all their characteristic marks.

Commentaries on Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Psalm 37

The Zadokite Document (or Damascus Document)

The Manual of Discipline

The Rule of the Congregation

A Scroll of Benedictions

The Testimonies Scroll (or Messianic Anthology)

Hymns of Thanksgiving

The War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness (Rule of the final war)

The Book of Mysteries

A Midrash on the Last Days

An Angelic Liturgy

The Prayer of Nabonidus and a Pseudo-Daniel Apocalypse

The Genesis Apocryphon

D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, p. 39.

Origen also mentions a book called the Penitence of Jannes and Jambres (or Mambres) which is probably of Jewish origin.  These are the names given in Jewish legend and also in II Tim. 3:8 to the two Egyptian magicians who tried to match the miracles performed by Moses. D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, p. 67.

Decline of Hebrew prophecy: from the time of Ezra onwards the Law Book began to exercise an ever-increasing influence on the life of the people, and ‘prophetic inspiration’ correspondingly began to be replaced by ‘scribal inspiration.’ (see Ps. 74:9) D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, p. 74.

The traditional date for the cessation of prophecy is associated with two developments, rabbinism and apocalyptic…in the early Christian centuries, there came to be a parting of the ways when apocalyptic was abandoned by normative Judaism and became the property of the Christian Church. D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, pp. 84-85.

Apologetics

As one reads the Acts of the Apostles, it’s evident that it was the apostles’ standard procedure to argue for the truth of the Christian worldview, both with Jews and pagans (e.g., Acts 17:2-3, 17; 19:8; 28:23-24). William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008), p. 21.

Apostles

Vinson Synan, professor and dean emeritus at Regent University grew up in the Pentecostal and Charismatic worlds.  He tells us that there is a movement today called the “New Apostolic Reformation.”  This movement was originated by a very popular Christian leader of our times.  Synan seemed rather amused when this popular leader invited him to be one of the new apostles.  The honor would have cost him a mere $69 per month.  After some consideration and prayer Synan wrote back that he could not afford to be an apostle. Vinson Synan, An Eyewitness Remembers the Century of the Holy Spirit, (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2010), p.184.

Arab Nations

The non-oil GDP exported by the entire Arab world- with a population of approximately 250 million people- is less than that of Finland, with a population of 5 million. Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation:The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle (NY: Twelve Hachette Book Group, 2009), p. 207.

The Arab world has the highest illiteracy rates globally and one of the lowest numbers of active research scientists with frequently cited articles.  In 2003 China published a list of the five hundred best universities in the world; it did not include a single mention of the more than two hundred universities in the Arab world. Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, p. 210.

The results of the recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study ranked Saudi students forty-third out of forty-five (Saudi Arabia was even behind Botswana, which was forty-second.) Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, p. 213.

Harvard University’s David Landes, author of the seminal book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, argues that the best barometer of an economy’s growth potential lies in the legal rights and status of its women. Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle,  p. 214.

 The industrial production of the entire Arab world is less than that of Finland. David Archibald, Twilight of Abundance, Why Life In the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2014), p. 44.

Their fate is certain because of the interaction of two things: the region’s high population growth rate and rising grain prices.  Each year’s population growth bring the MENA region closer to that mass starvation event. David Archibald, Twilight of Abundance, Why Life In the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short ,  p. 44.

Archaeology

The archaeology section of the Israel Museum houses examples of early brass tools. Their first appearance is dated at approximately 2400 B.C.E. or approximately 4400 years ago. It is of great interest for our discussions that during the last 100 years archaeologists have discovered that the early Bronze Age coincided with Tubal-Cain’s lifetime, the biblical inventor of bronze tools. Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., Genesis and the Big Bang, The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), p. 32.

We find that the dating of the Bible during the post-Adam, pre-Flood period matches the dating as found by archaeologists. Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., Genesis and the Big Bang, The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible, p. 32.

[Hazor] In the small hill formed by the gradual accumulation of soil and debris over an archaeological ruin, known as a tell (tel, in Hebrew), were found the charred ruins of the city that Joshua burned. Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., Genesis and the Big Bang, The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible, p. 32.

 Arguments

Baptist revival preacher Vance Havner – “Sometimes I have thought I’d like to go back again to the old days at Corinth Baptist Church where I grew up, where we used to enjoy the spiritual food without arguing too much about the recipe…Though I didn’t have much theology in my head I had a lot of doxology in my heart.” Dick Eastman, The Purple Pig and Other Miracles (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2010), p. 123

Ascension

Ascension Day by Asher Intrater: There are amazing parallels between gospel events and Jewish history. Yeshua [Jesus] was crucified on Passover, and raised on the same morning that the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea (John 20:1; Exodus 14:27). The Holy Spirit was poured out on the feast of Shavuot. The gift-language of tongues was lost to the church for many centuries, during the same time that Hebrew was lost as a spoken tongue to the Jewish people; then, starting about 120 years ago, they were both restored.

Another significant parallel is that the ascension of Yeshua to heavenly Jerusalem and the Israeli recapture of Jerusalem in 1967 happened on the same day.  Yeshua taught His disciples about the kingdom of God for approximately 40 days after being resurrected on the third day after Passover (Acts 1:3). The recapture of Jerusalem also occurred on day 43 of the counting of the Omer. This year that date falls on May 8.

The word for ascension in Hebrew is “aliyah,” which is the same as the songs of ascent (Psalms 120-134), the ascension of Yeshua, immigration to Israel, and going up to Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). Yeshua rose into heavenly Jerusalem to acquire spiritual authority for the Church (Ephesians 1:19-23; 2:6; 4:10).  He will return to earthly Jerusalem to restore governmental authority for Israel (II Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 2:6; Acts 1:11; Isaiah 2).

In the end, heavenly and earthly Jerusalem will be united, the Church with Israel, and God’s name and authority will be one (Zechariah 14:9). That’s why Yeshua’s ascent to heaven and the recapture of Jerusalem are united on the same day. Asher Intrater, Revive Israel Ministries ,5/3/2013.

Astrology

An enormous majority of the population of the Roman Empire, including very many of the most highly educated, believed in the stars- and their acceptance of Fate and Fortune received a great impetus from this belief.  Michael Grant, The World of Rome (New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1960), p. 135.

Few men, for example, were more highly educated or more intelligent than some of the early Roman emperors.  And yet every single one of them during the first century AD (with the partial exception of Vespasian) was a profound believer in astrology.  Michael Grant, The World of Rome, p. 145.

Atheism

Penn Jillett American comedian, writer and magician said: “There is no god and the government is falling apart…You are in charge…Take care of yourself and friends…you don’t need an afterlife…you’ve got responsibility for yourself.” AOL News Aug 27, 2011.

Czech president Vaclav Havel has rightly described Europe as “the first atheistic civilization in the history of mankind.” Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007), p.5.

The American Religious Identification Survey, released in early 2009, shows that atheists are increasing in number, with those claiming “no religion” being the only demographic group to expand in all fifty states over the last two decades. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 140.

Atheism is so big in the United Kingdom that more than one hundred thousand Britons downloaded “certificates of de-baptism” off the Internet to make official the renunciation of their Christian faith. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America, p.140.

[Professor Roger Finke writes in the Association of Religion Data Archives] “The share of Americans who report no religious preference hovered around the 5 to 6 percent level from the early 1970s through the 1980s, jumped to 9 percent in 1993, rose to 14 percent in 1998, and is now about 16 percent…By that count, the no-preference bloc is nearly equal to the share of mainline Protestant churches, from which it is probably poaching members.” David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America, p. 141.

[Atheistic books] God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens; The End of Faith, Sam Harris; Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris; God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exists, Victor Stenger; Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Daniel Dennett; Atheist Universe: The thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism, David Mills; and The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America, pp. 145-146.

Of course the world’s religions do indeed have much to repent; still (as has often been pointed out) the suffering, death, and havoc attributable to religious belief and practice pales into utter insignificance beside that due to the atheistic and secular ideologies of the twentieth century alone. Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. x.

Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.  These are the Four Horsemen – not of the Apocalypse, nor of Notre Dame, but of atheism, and their aim is to run roughshod over religion. Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism,  p.x.

Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker (1986), River Out of Eden (1996), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998), and A Devil’s Chaplain (2003), and Daniel Dennett in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995). Both Dawkins and Dennett assert, loudly and slowly, as it were, that evolution and Christian belief are incompatible. Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism, p. 13.

If there is no heaven, then there is no reward for any good deed done.  Why sacrifice your life for your country or any other good cause?…The experiment to build a society without God has been tried.  It has failed. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2013), p. 12.

If nothing else, the writings of the new atheists have succeeded in awakening millions of Christians from their dogmatic slumbers. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty p.18.

Atheists believe a fantastic story that the universe just happened, by chance, and that all of this life and complexity came from nothing. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty p. 22.

In a review of Daniel Dennett’s book Breaking the Spell in the New York Times, literary critic Leon Wieseltier wrote, “Scientism, the view that science can explain all human conditions and expressions, mental as well as physical, is a superstition, one of the dominant superstitions of our day; and it is not an insult to science to say so.”  Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty p. 33.

God must necessarily exist in order for atheists not to believe in Him.  There is no other explanation for the capacity to reason (even poorly).  Atheism and naturalism can’t account for reason. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty p. 36.

 Of all possible worldviews, atheism is the least rational. Francis S. Collins, The Language of God, A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (NY: Free Press, 2006), p. 231..

 Finally, let’s look at the problem of purpose in life.  Unable to live in an impersonal universe in which everything is the product of blind chance, atheists sometimes begin to ascribe personality and motives to the physical processes themselves.  It is a bizarre way of speaking and represents a leap form the lower to the upper story. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008), p. 82

The atheistic worldview is insufficient to maintain a happy and consistent life.  Man cannot live consistently and happily as though life were ultimately without meaning, value, or purpose.  If we try to live consistently within the framework of the atheistic worldview, we shall find ourselves profoundly unhappy. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition, p. 84.

In a remarkable address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 1991, Dr. L.E. Rue, confronted with the predicament of modern man, boldly advocated that we deceive ourselves by means of some “Noble Lie: into thinking that we and the universe still have value. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition, pp. 84-85.

It is a lie, because it tells us that the universe is infused with value (which is a great fiction), because it makes a claim to universal truth (when there is none), and because it tells me not to live for self-interest (which is evidently false). “But without such lies, we cannot live.” William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition, p. 85.

This is the dreadful verdict pronounced over modern man.  In order to survive, he must live in self-deception.  But even the Noble Lie option is in the end unworkable…In order to be happy, one must believe in objective meaning, value and purpose. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition, p. 85.

…The late Roderick Chisholm believer that the reason that atheism was so influential a generation ago is that the brightest philosophers were atheists; but today, he says, many of the brightest philosophers are theists and are using a tough-minded intellectualism in defense of that belief that was formerly lacking on their side of the debate. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition, p. 94.

Atoms

Since the Greek for “uncuttable” was “a-tomos,” Democritus called the hypothetical building blocks of all mater “atoms.” Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2006), p. 4.

[French Physicist Jean Baptiste Perrin]  He concluded that atoms were only about one 10-billionth of a meter across- so small that it would take 10 million, laid end to end, to span the width of a period. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 6.

What was striking was Rutherford’s vision of an atom was, therefore, its appalling emptiness…Despite its appearance of solidity, the familiar world was actually no more substantial than a ghost. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 12.

What substance an atom possessed resided in its impossibly small nucleus- 100,000 times smaller than a complete atom. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 13.

Atoms and their like can not only be in many places at once, they can do many things at once…this is the secret behind the prodigious power of a quantum computer…To distinguish them from normal bits, physicists call such schizophrenic entities quantum bits, or qubits. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 28.

The experiments have successfully demonstrated that atoms and their kin can indeed communicate instantaneously, in total violation of the speed-of-light barrier… Physicists have christened this weird kind of quantum telepathy nonlocality… The quantum theory permits objects to influence each other instantaneously, even when on opposite sides of the Universe.   Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 53.

An atom can be in many places at once or do many things at once…But why is it that when large numbers of atoms club together to form everyday objects, those objects never display quantum behavior? Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 59.

Atoms and their kin can do many impossible things before breakfast.  For instance, they can be in two or more places at once, penetrate impenetrable barriers, and know about each other instantly even when on different sides of the Universe. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p.  64.

Ernest Rutherford’s experiments showed that the atom is more like a miniature solar system with electrons orbiting around a central “sun” or nucleus.. F. David Peat, From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twentieth Century (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2002), p. 57.

Freeman Dyson.  It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, (NY: Harper Collins, 2009), p. 95.

Human mass corresponds to the energy released by a 1,000-megaton nuclear bomb.  This is about 100,000 times the energy released by the atomic bomb that annihilated the city of Hiroshima. Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Christianity (NY: Doubleday, 2007), p. 38.

…The size of the atom was known.  It was less than two billionths of an inch in diameter. Fred Alan Wolf, Taking The Quantum Leap (Grand Rapids: Harper & Row, 1989), p.73.

Atonement

(Comment on Romans 3:25).  Paul’s text thus converges with the Talmudic evidence.  Yeshua’s crucifixion “publicly displays” God’s forgiveness and occurred at the same time when, according to rabbinic sources, the efficacy of the traditional symbol of God’s forgiveness, the scarlet thread, ceased to function.  Thus the baraitha (Mishnaic or early Tannaitic source) quoted here witnesses to the fact that the year in which Yeshua was crucified the thread remained red for the first time, indicating that God no longer accepted the sacrifice of the scapegoat to atone for Israel’s sin. Joseph Shulam, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans (Baltimore, MD: Messianic Jewish Publishers, 1997), p.143.

R Ishmael says: “Had they not another sign also? – a thread of crimson wool was tied to the door of the Sanctuary (Temple) and when the he goat reached the wilderness the thread turned white; for it is written, Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow (Isa. 1:18)” Talmud, tractate Yoma 6:8.

For forty years before the destruction of the Temple the thread of scarlet never turned white but it remained red. Talmud tractate Rosh HaShana 31b.

Autonomy

The vital principle to notice is that, as nature was made autonomous, nature began to ‘eat up’ grace. Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason, A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968), p. 13.

As soon as one allows an autonomous realm one finds that the lower element begins to eat up the higher.  In what follows I shall be speaking of these two elements as the ‘lower storey’ and the ‘upper storey’. Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason, A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought ,p. 16.

As soon as anything is made autonomous from God, then nature eats up grace. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent (Wheaton IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1972), p. 82.

Awe

Awe is an intuition for the creaturely dignity of all things and their preciousness to God; a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something absolute. Fritz A. Rothschild, ed., Between God and Man, An Interpretation of Judaism, from the writings of Abraham J. Heschel, (NY: The Free Press, 1959), pp. 52-53.

Awe precedes faith; it is at the root of faith.  We must grow in awe in order to reach faith.  Fritz A. Rothschild, ed., Between God and Man, An Interpretation of Judaism, from the writings of Abraham J. Heschel,  p. 53.

Babies

[Newborn babes appreciate beauty when presented with beautiful and ugly faces] On the average, they spend a remarkable 80 percent of their time staring at the attractive faces…It is in the brain of the newborn infant right from the moment of birth. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p.58.

Babylon

Already in his time [Plato] the Greeks and other peoples of the Mediterranean were learning with keen interest about the ancient Babylonian worship of the stars; and soon after Alexander the Great, who left the Mediterranean world adrift from the little city-state loyalties which had absorbed so many of its earlier hankerings, professional astrologers made it their business to transmit this Babylonian lore to Greece.  The first of these was said to be Berossus, translator of the Eye of Bel and director of an astrological school as Cos.  Then, in the third or second century BC, Bolus of Mendes in Egypt wrote a treatise explaining and justifying the correspondence between stars and human beings.  This book, On Sypathies and Antipathies, was a best-seller almost unequalled in its influence on the peoples of the Mediterranean world.  Michael Grant, The World of Rome (New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1960), p. 136.

Backsliding

I am chastised when I read the results of a recent Roper Poll, indicating that most born-again believers have fallen into more sin after their conversion than before their conversion. Michael L. Brown, Whatever Happened to the Power of God, (Destiny Image Publishers, PO Box 310, Shippenburg, PA 17257, 1991), p. x.

Balance

There is a perfect balance in the teaching of Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. The Word of God is a “two-edged sword” – Hebrews 4:12. It cuts in two directions. If we teach on the love and mercy of God, we should also teach on the fear of God and holiness. If we rebuke others of sin, we must also repent of our own sins. As God promises to provide all our needs, He also warns against greed…In Hebraic thought, there is the concept of “measure against measure.” Yeshua [Jesus] spoke of this: “By the measure in which you measure, it will be measured unto you” – Matthew 7:2, Mark 4:24.  So is it found in biblical justice: “Soul for soul, eye for eye, tooth for tooth” – Exodus 21:23-24…The Church tends to see the heavenly aspect of the kingdom of God, while Israel sees the earthly side. Both are true. Through Yeshua, all things will be brought into one, both in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 1:10).Asher Intrater, Revive Israel Update, July 26, 2013.

Baptism

In the Jewish teachings of the Mishnah, living water – defined as rivers or seas – was the highest grade of cleansing for ritual immersion (m. Mikvaot 1:6)…In a similar way, John the Baptist baptized in the river, which is considered living water.  It is, however, also significant that the Dead Sea sect required religious purity before baptism…Repentance preceded baptism in the Dead Sea community.  Brad Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995), p. 15.

[‘Heartbreaking’ Slide in Baptisms]  Southern Baptists…America’s largest Protestant denomination released its annual self-assessment today, and most of its metrics went in one direction: down.  In short, the nearly 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) gained 270 churches over the past year, but lost more than 105,000 members and 188,000 Sunday worshipers…Arguably the most important metric to Southern Baptists is baptisms. Last year saw the second worst total in 60 years… …Reported baptisms have declined six of the last eight years with 2012 the lowest since 1948. Jeremy Weber  “Gleanings:” http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/june/report-finds-heartbreaking-slide-in-baptisms.html [ Posted 6/5/2013].

The commentator Peter Pett points out that baptism never signifies cleansing, but that cleansing in the Bible always comes with the blood of sacrifice (cf. Exo. 29:36; 30:10; Neh.12:45; Job1:5).  Pett, Peter. Commentary on 2 Peter, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible. 2013, verse 1:9.  http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/view.cgi?bk=60&ch=1.

Being

The real question is why is there “being”? The existence of existence is amazing, awesome. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 18.

Belief

[Only half of protestant pastors hold biblical worldview].  A recent study by the Barna Research Group revealed that only 51 percent of ministers, representing a random cross section of Protestant churches, have a biblical view on six core beliefs: the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone and the personal responsibility to evangelize.  Released in January, the survey of 601 senior pastors in seven denominational segments discovered that Southern Baptists had the highest percentage of pastors with a biblical worldview (71 percent), while Methodists were the lowest (27 percent).  Among the other segments examined, 57 percent of the pastors of Baptist churches (other than Southern Baptists) had a biblical worldview, as did 51 percent of nondenominational Protestant pastors, 44 percent of pastors of charismatic or Pentecostal churches, 35 percent of pastors of black churches, and 28 percent of those leading mainline congregations.  Charisma, March 2004, p. 32.

[Unbelief in Europe] Only 60 percent of pastors accept the virgin birth in the UK.  In France only 5 percent go to church and only 10 percent think religion is important.  One third of the Dutch didn’t know why we celebrate Christmas. People scoff at church attendance.  Christian Broadcasting Network, Feb. 6, 2006.

Anselm of Cantebury (1033-1109) based his work upon the Augustinian premise of faith seeking understanding.  He precedes his ontological argument with the statement Credo ut intelligam: ‘I believe in order that I may understand.’ Larry D. Hart, Truth Aflame, A Balanced Theology for Evangelicals and Charismatics, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), p. 112

God has provided enough evidence in this life to convince anyone willing to believe, yet he has also left some ambiguity so as not to compel the unwilling. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 31.

The current trajectory of the country [US] and its culture is so bad, the conditions of modern life so awful, that belief is breaking out again. Hugh Hewitt, The Embarrassed Believer (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998), p.11.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2007, 83 percent of millennials said they never doubted God’s existence.  In 2012 the number dropped to 68 percent.  That is a fifteen-point drop in five years.  Other studies have shown that more than half of the young people in America who attended church will drop out after they leave high school for college. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2013),  p.  xiii.

Those early believers grasped something we need to understand.  Every worldview is in essence a story, a metanarrative that attempts to answer the real questions of our existence.  As it has often been said by a wide range of authors, whoever tells the most believable story wins the age. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. xiv

When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, be believes anything.  Attributed to G.K. Chesterton. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 1.

Think about it: more than 90 percent of the planet believes that God exists. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 8.

To say that nothing exists outside the physical world is a statement of faith. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 11.

One poll in 2006- fifteen years after the fall of the Soviet regime- discovered that 84 percent of the Russian population believed in God while only 16 percent considered themselves atheists. – John Micklethwait and Addrian Wooldridge, God Is Back. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 209.

There is enough light for those who desire only to see and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition – Blaise Pascal.

Benevolence

[Words of St. Basil the Great in the fourth century AD] “The bread that you possess belongs to the hungry.  The clothes that you store in boxes, belong to the naked.  The shoes rotting by you, belong to the bare-foot.  The money that you hide belongs to anyone in need.  You wrong as many people as you could help.” Ross Douthat, Bad Religion, How We Became A Nation of Heretics (New York: Free Press, 2012), p. 289.

Bible

As Paul Johnson articulated so incisively, the Bible is the earliest identifiable source of the great conceptual discoveries essential for civilization: equality before the law, sanctity of life, dignity of the individual, individual and communal responsibility, peace as an ideal, love as the foundation of justice.  Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, (NY: The Free Press, 1997),  p. 18..

From the time of Aristotle, 2,300 years ago, scientific theory held the universe to be eternal…Through the early 1960s in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, two thirds of leading U.S. scientists surveyed believed it.  For 3,300 years, since the revelation on Sinai, the Bible denied it, steadfastly claiming there was a beginning to our universe. Only in the past thirty years has science resolved the question. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, p. 22.

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like our cell phone? We would carry it everywhere we go, flip through it throughout the day. We would go home to get it if we forgot it. We would receive messages from the text. We couldn’t live without it. Parents would give it to their kids as gifts. It would be available for all emergencies and any all conversations. One more thing, it would never be disconnected as Jesus has already paid the bill in full.  (unknown)

The modern disciple, Smith Wigglesworth, is reported never to have gone more than fifteen minutes without reading the Word of God, regardless of where he was or in whose company he found himself.  He read the word during meals, usually after each course.  The author tells of one of his brothers who was driving Wigglesworth one day.  After they had been on the journey about 10 minutes, Wigglesworth shouted “Stop!”  The brother stopped the vehicle thinking that something was wrong.  Wigglesworth instead bowed his head and prayed, “Lord, I am sorry.  We have talked about everything but Thee and Thy Word, and the souls of men.  Please forgive us.” Albert Hilbert, Smith Wigglesworth, The Secret of His Power (Tulsa OK: Harrison House, 1982), pp. 30-31.

Builders (born 1927-1945) 65 percent Bible-based believers

Boomers (born 1946-1964) 35 percent Bible-based believers

Busters (born 1965-1983) 16 percent Bible-based believers

Bridgers (born 1984 or later) 4 percent Bible-based believers

Thom S.Rainier, The Bridger Generaton (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1997).

The Bible is still the most popular book.  It has been translated into  2000 languages.  80 percent of the people on earth have at least a portion of it.  Kol Israel Radio 1994.

[The Word is like a seed] A 2,000-year-old date seed planted last Tu B’Shvat has sprouted and is over a foot tall. Being grown at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava, it is the oldest seed to ever produce a viable young sapling. The Judean date seed was found, together with a large number of other seeds, during archaeological excavations carried out close to Massada near the southern end of the Dead Sea. Massada was the last Jewish stronghold following the Roman destruction of the Holy Temple over 1,930 years ago. The age of the seeds was determined using carbon dating, but has a margin of error of 50 years – placing them either right before or right after the Massada revolt.  “2,000-Year-Old Judean Date Seed Growing Successfully”, Ezra HaLevi  Arutz 7, Jan. 31 2006.
When Robert Thomas the Welsh missionary went to Korea, his meager possessions occupied only a small corner of his travel chest.  The rest was filled with five hundred Chinese Bibles.  In 1866 the missionary earned his passage by becoming a translator for the ship’s captain.  The trip was a dangerous one because some eight thousand Catholics in the land had been rounded up by the government and slain just a few years earlier.

Thomas and his mission was not to fare any better.  His ship entered the Dae-dong River into Pyongyang but was not welcomed by the Koreans.  Thomas tried to be calm and negotiate with his wary hosts but to no avail.  He also tried to pass out his Bibles. Soon the ship became grounded in the harbor and was eventually set on fire by the angry mob.  As the crew escaped to the land they were all slaughtered.

Thomas, now the first Protestant missionary to Korea, came to shore shouting the name of Jesus, speaking words of peace and offering a Bible to the one who meet him.  He then knelt to pray but his prayer was not finished as he was cruelly murdered.

Some may say “what a waste,” but nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God and as Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”  The man who killed Thomas soon became convicted.  He picked up the Bible that was offered him and took it home.  Eventually he used the pages of the book to wallpaper his guesthouse.  As he later read the words he became a follower of Christ.

When other missionaries arrived in Korea they spoke with this man and learned that people had come from all over Korea to read the walls of his house.  The man who had taken the life of Thomas ended up sharing the truth of Jesus with many others. The work was continued by his family and a nephew went on to Bible College in Pyongyang.  Later this nephew served as part of the team that updated the Korean Bible translation, modernizing the words he first read on his uncle’s walls. Lynn Copeland, ed., North Korea: Good News Reaches the Hermit Kingdom, (Bartlesville, OK: Living Sacrifice Book Company, 2008).

The great technological advances of the Western world would not have been possible without thinking based on a biblical principle of absolute truth.  Loren Cunningham, The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power of the Bible To Change Any Country (Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 2007), p. 135.

Despite what you often hear, Scripture and faith deeply influenced the vast majority of the Founding Fathers.  In one review of fifteen thousand writings of the Founding Fathers of America, 94 percent of their quotes were based directly or indirectly on the Bible. Loren Cunningham, The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power of the Bible To Change Any Country, p. 140.

The Bible also explicitly states that the bodies of animals were formed from the same material as Adam, the ground. Gen. 2:7).  The Hebrew word for man, adam, derives directly from the Hebrew word adamah, meaning ground or soil…(Gen. 2:19).  There is however a crucial difference in the original Hebrew between these two verses.  The Hebrew word for formed, ya-tsar, when used for the forming of mankind, is spelled with two Hebrew letters yud.  Although the structure and grammar are the same in verses 7 and 19, when used for the formation of the animals, ya-tsar is spelled with one yud.  Every Torah scroll, whether from Yemen, Jerusalem, or Venice, California, is written this way.  Yud is the abbreviation of God’s explicit name, best translated as the Eternal.  As ancient commentators, Rashi, Maimonides, and Nahmanides explain this verse, by doubling the yud for mankind, the Bible is telling us that although mankind and animals may share common physical origin, there is an extra spiritual input in humanity.  The neshama, the spiritual soul of humankind, is the factor distinguishing man from beast. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, (NY: The Free Press, 1997), p. 139

The biblical text has told us that before the neshama there was something like a man that was not quite a human. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom,  p. 140.

The Bible describes a qualitative leap, a creation, at Adam that occurred almost six thousand years ago,  Archaeology has provided us with an impressive record of that change.  Though the soul leaves no material remains, the effects of the spirituality brought by the neshama are written loud and clear in the remnants of ancient Mesopotamia….Archaeologists date the first writing at five to six thousand years ago, the exact period that the Bible tells us the soul of Adam, the neshama, was created. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, p. 143.

Our generation is largely made up of men without the Bible. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1969), p. 91.

In the year 1227, a professor at the University of Paris named Stephen Langton added chapters to all the books of the Bible.. …Verses were born in the pages of holy writ in the year 1551. Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), pp. 228-229.

Certainly if those persons involved in the search for extraterrestrial life received a message from outer space, that message would be studied and analyzed for every nuance.  The Bible, if Divine in origin, is a message from totally “outer space.” Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, (NY: Harper Collins, 2009), p.11.

When you buy a new car you get a book with it that tells you how it operates and what to do if it does not. Ray Stedman Commentary on  2 Timothy 1:14. http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/timothy

Lists of scriptural books began to be compiled in the second and third centuries. By AD 130, thirteen letters of Paul and the four Gospels had already been received as divinely authoritative by many churches in the East and West. Paul Copan, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong? (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2005), p. 223.

The books of the New Testament- like those of the Old Testament- had an authority that was recognized rather than bestowed. Paul Copan, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?, p. 223

Ben Witherington remarks: “It is noteworthy that not a single document written after about 120 was ever considered for inclusion in the canon…” Paul Copan, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?, p. 229.

The body of our Old Testament Scriptures was fairly well established before Christ’s time and was confirmed by Christ. Paul Copan, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?, p. 230.

The basic characteristics for discerning divine authority and canonicity of New Testament books are (a) apostolicity, (b) orthodoxy, (c) antiquity, and (d) universality. Paul Copan, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?, p. 230.

In 1778 the famous French author Voltaire said that in one hundred years from his time, Christianity would no longer exist.  He felt that the intellectual revolution that was taking place at his time would throw Christianity and the Bible into the dustbin of history.  That never happened.  Instead, Christianity flourished and Voltaire died, with his works never reaching anything close to the popularity of the Bible.  As a matter of fact, only fifty years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used his printing press in his house to produce thousands of Bibles! Jay L. Wile, Reasonable Faith, The Scientific Case for Christianity (Stoughton, MA: Courier, Inc., 2001), p. 49.

Pravda, the publisher which produced the Soviet Union’s official newspaper, is now printing Bibles!  Yes, the same publishing company which regularly printed venomous attacks on the Bible is now printing up to 10 million copies of it for Alexdis III, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church! Jay L. Wile, Reasonable Faith, The Scientific Case for Christianity, p. 49.

Today only 30 percent of Christians read the Bible and less than 10 percent have read it from cover-to-cover. And it shows. CBN 700 Club, July 7, 2015, Paul Strand interview with George Barna and historian David Barton in their book U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of Its Roots.

In 1800 portions of the Bible were available in only 71 languages. By 1930 the count had risen dramatically to 900.  Today, there are over 2,500 languages in which at least one book of the Bible has been published. David Reagan, God’s Plan ForThe Ages (McKinney, TX: Lamb & Lion Ministries, 2005), p. 268.

Bible Accuracy

Scribes in Ancient Israel, as in most of the ancient world, were distinguished professionals who could exercise functions we would associate with lawyers, government ministers, judges, or even financiers, as early as the 11th century BCE…. The Jewish scribes used the following process for creating copies of the Torah and eventually other books in the Tanakh.

  1. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
  2. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
  3. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.
  4. They must say each word aloud while they were writing.
  5. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the most Holy Name of God, YHVH every time they wrote it.
  6. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
  7. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.
  8. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.).
  9. As no document containing God’s Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried, in a genizah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribe

[Bible accuracy reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls]  …the texts on the whole testify to the accuracy of the scribes copying down through the ages, though many variations and errors occurred. The Dead Sea Scrolls are currently the best route of comparison to the accuracy and consistency of translation for the Hebrew Bible, due to their date of origin being the oldest out of any currently known.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribe

At last count there are nearly 5,700 handwritten Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.  In addition, there are more than 9,000 manuscripts in other languages. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 225.

The early church fathers – men of the second and third centuries such as Justin Martyr, Iranaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, and others- quoted the New Testament so much (36,289 times, to be exact that all but eleven verses of the New Testament can be reconstructed just from their quotations). Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 228.

The great New Testament scholar and Princeton professor Bruce Metzger estimated that the Mahabharata of Hinduism is copied with only about 90 percent accuracy and Homer’s Iliad with about 95 percent.  By comparison, he estimated the New Testament is about 99.5 percent accurate.  Again, the 0.5 percent in question does not affect a single doctrine of the Christian faith. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 229.

“That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels.” – Josh McDowell, More Than A Carpenter.  Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2013).p. 139.

[Julius Africanus citing first-century historian Thallus concerning the darkness at Jesus’ crucifixion]  “An eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun.  And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun?” Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 146.

[Immanuel Kant] “The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced.  Every attempt to belittle it…is a crime against humanity.” Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty , p.163.

[Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls] Amazingly, the text was 95 percent identical to that in Bibles today, and most of the differences were simple spelling errors or easily identifiable slips of the pen.” Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 169.

[William Lane Craig] “Of the approximately 138,000 words in the NT only about 1,400 remain in doubt.  The text of the NT is thus about 99 percent established.  That means that when you pick up a (Greek) NT today, you can be confident that you are reading the text as it was originally written.” Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 175.

The number of early manuscripts of the NT far exceeds any other ancient documents.  For instance, manuscripts of the early Greek writer Homer’s Iliad are more than a half millennium later, with less than two thousand discovered.  But there are more than five thousand copies of the NT, and more than one hundred were written within the first four centuries. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 179.

Biblical Literacy

The pastor and evangelist Ray Stedman says: “Everywhere I go, I am saddened and depressed by the biblical ignorance of church members. There is a terrible biblical illiteracy across the face of this apparently Christianized nation. People have only the most superficial knowledge of the Scriptures… One man said, “I thought Dan and Beersheba were husband and wife, like Sodom and Gomorrah.”  Ray Stedman, Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:1-9. http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/timothy

A significant weakness of contemporary Christianity; its lack of knowledge of the Bible…Gallup and Barna have revealed, the level of Bible literacy in America is abysmal.  Details of the polls’ findings have been widely reported: Only half of the Christians polled identified correctly Jesus as the person who delivered the Sermon on the Mount; barely three of five could recall the names of the first four books of the New Testament.  When asked to quote a Bible verse, the most frequent response was “God helps those who help themselves” – a line written by Benjamin Franklin.  Michael W. Holmes, The NIV Application Commentary 1 And 2 Thessalonians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), p. 207.

Big Bang Theory

Just as no man can be his own father, no effect can be its own cause. David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion (New York: Crown Forum, 2008), p. 67.

The Big Bang expresses a new idea in physics, it suggests an old idea in thought: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  This unwelcome juxtaposition of physical and biblical ideas persuaded the astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, an ardent atheist, to dismiss the big bang after he had named it. David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion, p. 70.

“The best data we have concerning the big bang,” the Nobel laureate Arno Penzias remarked, “are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.” David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion, p. 71.

It cannot be doubted that, psychologically speaking, the Big Bang theory lends some support to the theistic doctrine of the creation by divine fiat. Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), p. 256.

Fr. Georges Lamaitre, the Belgian physicist (and priest) who proposed the big bang theory, called this dense hot mass the “primeval atom.”  We now call it, and the explosion which emanated from it, the big bang.  Lemaitre was one of the first people to realize that Einstein’s theory of gravity implied an expansion of space, and he combined this idea with the fact that galaxies were observed to be receding from each other to come up with the Big Bang theory. Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), p.16.

[William Lane Craig, PhD, Th,D]  “The Big Bang was not a chaotic, disorderly event.  Instead, it appears to have been fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life with a complexity and precision that literally defies human comprehension.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p. 106.

In the last few decades, as the Big Bang has become widely accepted in the scientific community, eternity has become a coherent concept…Atheists find the Big bang troubling for a reason given by physicist Steven Weinberg: “The weight of scientific evidence has been in favor of an origin, giving some comfort to those who believe in supernatural creation.” Dinesh D’Souza, Life After Death, The Evidence, (Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2009), p.82.

If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100 thousand million, million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.” (Quoting physicist Hawking). Francis S. Collins, The Language of God, A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ( NY: Free Press, 2006), p. 73.

Birthrates

In America…birth rates among religious people are almost twice as high as those among secular people. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007), p. 17.

The industrial world’s lowest fertility rates are encountered among the nations of Eastern Europe where atheism was the official ideology for generations.  The highest fertility rates in the developed world are found in countries with a high degree of religious faith, namely the United States and Israel.  And demographers have identified religion as a crucial factor in the differences among populations within countries.  When faith goes, fertility vanishes, too….The fastest demographic decline ever registered in recorded history is taking place today in Muslim countries; demographic winter is descending fastest in the fifth of the world where religion most appears to dominate…Why does one religion (Christianity) seem to inoculate a people against demographic decline in one place (America) but not in another (Europe). …Apparently some kinds of faith will survive in the modern world, and others will fail.. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too), (Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2011), p. xv.

[Aristotle on Sparta]  Aristotle’s observation is doubly remarkable.  It is the first report in history of depopulation due to a reluctance to raise children. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too), p.120.

Sparta had another distinction; it was (after the island of Crete) the first Greek polis to formalize the practice of pederasty. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too), p. 121.

The separation of sexuality from procreation in Greek culture helps explain the terrible demographic decay that Greece would suffer during the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too), p. 123.

The seemingly inexhaustible manpower of the Roman Republic prevailed over the depopulated Greek city-states. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too), p. 130.

How did Christianity ultimately fail in Europe?  The short answer is that the neo-paganism of national idolatry hatched like a cuckoo’s egg in the nest of Christendom. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too),  p. 161.

The typical Iranian woman had nearly 7 children as recently as the late 1970s; now she has 1:9.  Halfway around the world, Mexico has seen its fertility rates plunge by a similar order of magnitude over roughly the same time period. Paul Taylor, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (NY: Public Affairs Books, 2014), p. 171.

In Brazil, where television began being introduced sequentially into the provinces a few generations ago, researchers found a correlation between the arrival of television and the decline of birthrates…” Paul Taylor, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (NY: Public Affairs Books, 2014), p. 172.

Blacks

More than 70 percent of black women give birth out of wedlock…as Bell stated, “King had a dream, but blacks now face a nightmare.” [Quoting Chris W. Bell a black man who wrote for the American Thinker]. Larry Bates and Chuck Bates, A Nation in Crisis: The Meltdown of Money, Government, and Religion (Lake Mary FL: Front Line, 2010),  pp.6-7.

Blasphemy

Dawkins says in The God Delusion, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomanical, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 146.

Blood

“So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.” Numbers 35:33

Body, Human

All these experiences and a myriad of other that constitute our mental and physical lives rely on the near lightning-fast transmissions of impulses within and among the labyrinth of nerves that lace our body- a million miles of bio-electric cables. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 89.

Bohemian life-style

Rousseau’s concept of autonomous freedom led to the Bohemian ideal, in which the hero is the man who fights all of society’s standards, values, and restraints.  Giacomo Puccini…gave this operatic expression in his most popular opera, La Boheme (1896).  And in our own recent past this Bohemian ideal was a factor leading expressly to the genuine part of the hippie world of the 1960s. Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?  The Rise and decline of Western Thought and Culture (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 1976), p. 156

The hippie movement cried for absolute, autonomous freedom.  They stood, whether consciously or not, in the stream of Rousseau, Thoreau, the Bohemian life and hedonism.  Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church At The End Of The 20th Century (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1970), p. 29.

The real drop out is a parasite as far as society is concerned, and after a while society cannot carry the load. Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church At The End Of The 20th Century, p. 31.

Herbert Marcuse has pointed the way.  Marcuse is the philosopher of the New Left, the one who binds the student movement together over almost the whole world.  Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church At The End Of The 20th Century, p. 32.

Hedonism – namely, that every individual does exactly what he wants to do.  Hedonism can function as long as you have one man.  But as soon as you have more than one person in society, chaos immediately follows. Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church At The End Of The 20th Century, p. 33.

Boldness (Holy Boldness)

Peter Cartwright, a Methodist frontier preacher was once returning from a meeting and was overtaken by nightfall in the Cumberland Mountains.  He arrived at an inn only to discover that a dance was being held that night. After receiving assurances of civil treatment he decided to remain.  That evening as the dance went on and the condition of the revelers deteriorated he felt a powerful urge to preach.

At that moment a striking beauty came and asked Cartwright to dance.  To everyone’s astonishment and delight he accepted her offer.  But as they arrived at the center of the dance floor and as the fiddler raised his bow, Cartwright raised his hand.  He explained how he had never taken an important step without first asking the Lord’s blessing, and grasping the woman’s hand he dropped to his knees and began praying vehemently for everyone’s conversion.

There was stunned silence and then pandemonium.  Some fled, others wept and still others fell to their knees.  The young woman tried to pull away but could not break Cartwright’s grip.  Finally she joined him on her knees.  Cartwright then exhorted the people to turn from their wicked ways.  At last the woman, who was now lying prostrate on the floor began to cry out for God’s mercy.  This so encouraged Cartwright that he redoubled his efforts, praying, singing and exhorting all night long.

That night many were converted and revival broke out.  From that meeting he organized a society, received thirty-two into membership and appointed the innkeeper class leader.  The revival then spread to other areas.  Cartwright later mused about this meeting, “Several of the young men converted at this Methodist preacher dance became useful ministers of Jesus Christ.”   Peter Marshal & David Manuel, From Sea To Shining Sea. (Grand Rapids: Fleming Revel, 1986). pp. 88-89.

Books

Over 4,000 books are published every day.

Boundaries

[Roger Shattuck] What has happened to the venerable notion of forbidden knowledge?  In the practicalities of daily living, we accept constraints ranging from environmental regulations to traffic lights.  In matters of the mind and its representations, Western thinkers and institutions increasingly reject limits of any kind as unfounded and stultifying. Gregory Spencer, Awakening The Quieter Virtues (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2010), p.49.

Brain

Mental processes appear to transcend the purely physical, even though our thoughts are clearly influenced by the physical brain….Henry Stapp and psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz have demonstrated that consciousness, free will, and nonmaterial information-based mental processes have the ability to change the physical structure of a person’s brain…Their perspective has practical effects for moral philosophy and for our judicial system. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p. 157.

When people (and this includes our children) keep their brains busy with digital input, they forfeit downtime.  Downtime is what the brain needs between learning tasks so that it can process and consolidate the information it is learning.  This is not a fatigue problem but a lack-of-time-to-process problem…Digital engagement can interfere with downtime, so clearly, the more downtime we can give the brain between learning tasks, the better. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 67.

Sleep deprivation is a major learning killer.  Why?  Certain stages of sleep are essential to “cementing” in the brain what was learned the previous day….Sleep itself plays a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 67.

In fact, our brain needs more downtime than the rest of our body. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, pp. 71-72.

[Newsweek July 2012”iCrazy: Panic. Depression. Psychosis. How Connection Addiction Is Rewiring Our Brains.”] The article goes on to say that the brains of Internet addicts scan a lot like the brains of drug and alcohol addicts.  Our digital gadgets acts like electronic cocaine to the brain. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 124.

Bureaucracy

So extensive is the federal government’s purview over food that the total federal budget for regulating nearly all aspects of food, from production to consumption, exceeds the entire country’s net farm income.  Mark Levin, Ameritopia, The Unmaking of America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2012), p. 222

Business

Earning a living requires making money, not taking money…Profit comes from connecting with God’s other children and serving them.  We were in fact, created for this very purpose – to connect with one another. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Business Secrets From The Bible, (Hoboken: Wiley, 2014), p. 45.

Money is what comes to us when we focus on serving all God’s other children. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Business Secrets From The Bible, p. 46.

Calling

The doctrine of calling has fallen on hard times in the postmodern world.  People speak of their “religious preferences” and “spiritual life-styles” instead of their God-ordained duties, responsibilities and privileges. Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), p. 277.

Canon

The final form of the canon was achieved only after a long period of evolution, but by 170, when Melito of Sardis wrote of the ‘old’ Testament, thereby implying the existence of a new one, clearly the idea of a Christian set of Scriptures to set against the Jewish one had been reached. Micahel Walsh,  Roots of Christianity, (London: Grafton Books, London, 1986), p. 130.

Capernaum

The strong insolation (namely: the amount of solar light and warmth absorbed by the soil surface and everything near it)- plays an outstanding role in the bio-chemical cycle of plants, by speeding up the ripening of fruit; and grain in the sun-kissed valley of Ginnesar and especially on the basaltic slopes descending toward Kfar-Nachum…enabling Ginnesar farmers to be always among the first on the market – sometimes weeks ahead of others…The Talmud praises both Kfar-Nachum and Korazim as “their fields were famous for the quality of their wheat”(Toseftha Menachoth, IX, 85)  Baruch Sapir/Dov Neeman,  Capernaum (Kfar-Nachum), History and Legacy, Art and Arachitecture (Haarlem, Holland: Joh. Enschede en Zonen 1967), p. 8.

Cell, Human

The cell is simply jam-packed, a beehive of activity.  Components are stuffed tighter than the circuits of a computer board, and everything is in motion.  To get a scale for the rate of activity, consider: on average, each cell in your body, at this second and every second, is forming two thousand proteins. Every second!  In every cell.  Continuously…Your body and mine too, is a living wonder.  Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 62.

Proteins have never been observed to occur naturally, even in a laboratory test tube…There’s a chicken-and-egg paradox here.  Proteins make cells function, but cells are needed to make proteins. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p.63.

A single cell at fertilization contained within it all the potential that you were ever physically to become.  And every cell within your body retains that wisdom. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 87.

The hidden potential within the single fertilized cell from which the entire structure of a human arises is a mirror in miniature of the creation. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 88.

Some cells, such as nerves and skeletal muscle, in theory can survive for the entire life of the individual if not damaged. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p.203.

Change

Moore’s Law. In 1965 Gordon Moore, an Intel cofounder, made his observation that the number of transistors that can be placed on a computer chip doubles roughly every two years. David H. Davidow, Overconnected, The Promise and Threat of the Internet (Harrison, NY: Delphinium Books, 2011), p. 108.

[an unknown monk, AD 1100] When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.  I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.  When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.  I couldn’t change the town, and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly Irealize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation, and I could indeed have changed the world. Dr. Gary Smalley, Change Your Heart Change Your Life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), p. 33.

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. – Steve Jobs

Character

Character is what you are in the dark. – Oswald Chambers

Charismatic Movement

[Post-Charismatic] I believe John Wimber was the first to use this term. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma Magazine, estimated that in 1990 there were as many as ninety-two million people who described themselves as post-Charismatic.  In more recent times, author Rob McAlpine has written thoughtfully on this subject. Thus, I owe parts of my definition of “post-Charismatic: to Wimber and McAlpine. Frank Viola, Revise Us Again (Colorado Springs: David Cook, 210), p. 118.

Cheating

A series of studies by Rutgers Univ. professor Donald McCabe found that on most campuses, more than 75 percent of students cheat…According to McCabe, a 1999 survey of 1000 faculty members at 21 colleges found that ‘one third of those who were aware of student cheating in their course in the last two years did nothing to address it.’ “That’s Outrageous!” by Tucker Carlson, July 2002 Readers Digest. (Surveys included high schools and universities.)

Cherubs

Among the most famous ornaments of the Sanctuary were the two cherubs, golden figures with the face of a baby and wings extended heavenwards, which adorned the Ark Cover and protected the Holy Tablets of Testimony. There were cherubs in the desert sanctuary built by Moses, and there were cherubs in the Holy Temple built by King Solomon one thousand years later.  However, in the Sanctuary the cherubs are described as facing each other, while in the Holy Temple they are described as facing the wall of the Temple, inward, away from each other. [2 Chronicles 13:3]

Rabbi Yohanan, a Talmudic sage, explains: “In one case (our portion of T’ruma with the cherubs facing each other) Israel is doing the will of G-d, and in the other case (facing the wall of the Temple) Israel is not doing the will of G-d.” [Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 99a]…Unfortunately it was during the reign of King Solomon that the Israelites began to backslide…The cherubs have been interpreted in various ways, but one thing is clear:

when two people face each other, when we love each other in a way that reflects the love of the Divine Presence for the nation of Israel, only then are we truly fulfilling the ‘will of G-d’. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, “Shabbat Shalom Parashat Terumah – Commentary on the Weekly Torah Portion” (Exodus 25-27:19, I Kings 5:26-6:13), Jerusalem Post, 2/8/03.

Child prostitution

Number of child prostitutes in various countries.  India 400,000-500,000 United States 300,000.  Prophecy Today, Nov/Dec 1997 p. 6.

And as talk-show host Bob Just puts it so aptly, “Today’s culture is a child molester.”  David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (Nashville: WND Books, 2005), p. 78.

Children

The cost of child care has increased twice as fast as median family income and now averages about $1,000 per child per month.  Health care costs have risen at a similarly rapid rate, taking up nearly one-fifth of the cost of raising a child. Ralph Reed, Awakening, How America Can Turn From Economic and Moral Destructon Back to Greatness (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing, 2014), p. 188.

People know how to bring them in, but they don’t know how to bring them up.- Jim Gerrish

In discussing the importance of teaching Torah to children and grandchildren, our Sages insist that teaching your own child Torah is equivalent to teaching all your child’s unborn children as well. (B.T. Kidushin 30a). R. Yehosua b. Levi adds that teaching one’s grandchild Torah is equivalent to having received it at Sinai…The idea is magnificently clear: Our parents are our link to Sinai.  When the younger generation learns Torah from the previous one, it is as though they were receiving the words from Sinai.

In that same passage, however, R. Hiya bar Abba makes a critical word change in R. Yehudah’s interpretation.  R. Hiya states: “Whoever hears Torah from his grandchild [not whoever teaches his grandchild] is like one who has received it from Sinai!”  Youth, age and eternity, by Shlomo Riskin, p.31, The Jerusalem Post International Edition, week ending Nov. 9, 1996.

After all, the Hebrew word for son is “ben;” for daughter – “ba(n)t,” from the same root as the word “banyan” – building.  Each generation is another floor, another story, in the building of Jewish history, another link in the golden chain of Jewish being.  The foundation is dependent upon the higher stories for its continued existence, and the higher stories could not maintain themselves were it not for the foundation. Areya Gallin quoting Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Jerusalem Post, 1/10/97.

There are more households across America with dogs than with children.  Pets outnumber children across America by four to one. Lou Dobbs, Upheaval (New York: Threshold Editions, 2014), p. 162.

85% of people give their lives to Christ while still children…ministry to Children is the Great Omission. Wess Stafford, CEO Compassion International.

After age 20 there is only a 6% probability of one accepting Christ…Instead of the 10/40 Window we have the 4/14 Window. Wess Stafford, CEO Compassion International.

Christianity

There is more than a grain of truth in G.K. Chesterton’s observation that Christianity has not been “tried and found wanting” but “found difficult and never tried.”

Soren Kierkegaard: “Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it.” Jonathan Merritt, A Faith of our Own, Following Jesus beyond the Culture Wars (NY – Nashville: Faith Words, 2012), p. 66.

The chief danger of the twentieth century will be:

Religion without the Holy Ghost,

Christianity without Christ,

Forgiveness without repentance,

Salvation without regeneration,

Heaven without hell. – William Booth

The Christian consensus that once governed the public and private life of the United States and other Western nations has crumbled to the point that we no longer live in a post-Christian society; we live in an anti-Christian society, one in which the Christian faith is dismissed or ridiculed and Christians are considered suspect and their motives and behavior berated. Josh McDowell, The New Tolerance, How a cultural movement threatens to destroy you, your faith, and your children (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1998), p. 135.

Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, man has now lost the whole Christian culture.  In Europe, including England, it took many years, in the United States only a few decades.  In the United States in the short span from the Twenties to the Sixties, we have seen a complete shift…there was a Christian consensus.  Now that consensus is completely gone. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1969), p. 14.

Today we are left not only with a religion and a church without meaning, but we are left with a culture without meaning.  Man himself is dead. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City, p. 18.

It is only our foolish generation (and I am using “foolish” in the terms of Romans 1) that lives in a universe which is purely material, everything being reduced to mass, energy, and motion…only a personal comforter can comfort man who is personal. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City, p. 27.

According to Barna researchers, as recently as 1996, 85 percent of “outsiders” – individuals who had no strong religious convictions themselves – still felt favorably toward Christianity’s role in society.  But just about ten years later, only 16 percent of them had a good impression of Christianity.  Worse, only 3 percent have a favorable impression of “evangelicals,” with 49 percent saying they had a bad impression! Richard Stearns, The Hole In Our Gospel (Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2009, 2010), p. 227.

The Pew Center’s “US Religious Knowledge Survey,” released in the fall 2010, was a perfect example of how little Christians know about their own religion.  On this survey, atheists, Mormons, and Jews – not Christians- scored highest on this quiz, which included questions concerning the core teaching, history, and leading figures of major world religions. Teresa Tomeo, God’s Bucket List, Heaven’s Surefire Way to Happiness in This Life and Beyond (NY: Image, Random House, 2013), pp. 56-57.

As Lewis beautifully put it: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”  Paul Copan “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong? (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2005), p. 11.

Christianity, Blessings Of

In a Christianity Today article, As Christians Rise or Fall, So Do 100 Country Credit Ratings, …Kate Tracy…mentions some surprising information from  Dutch researcher Dick Slikker.  He notes that there is a correlation between sovereign ratings and the changes in Christian populations in various nations.  These figures are particular surprising in relation to evangelicals.  In a study of more than 100 nations, the changes in the percentage of evangelical Christians had a direct correlation on the economic well-being of the nations, particularly in the nation’s sovereign credit ratings.  Slikker concluded that “Changes in the percentage of Christians within a society exert a measurable correlated influence of the economic well-being of that society.”  He noted also that “within the three subsets of Christianity studied—Protestants, Catholics, and evangelicals—it was evangelicals that proved to have the highest rate of correlation with economic wellbeing.”  He further noted that Muslim populations apparently have no effect upon the economy of the various nations. Christianity Today, As Christians Rise or Fall, So Do 100 Country Credit Ratings, 9/25/2013, by Kate Tracy.

Christianity, in Early America

There was a paid chaplain in Congress even before the Revolutionary War ended….all the early provincial congresses in all thirteen colonies always opened with prayer. Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto (Wheaton: Crossway, 1981), p. 33.

[Foundation of the Supreme Being] And they knew that without that foundation everything in the Declaration of Independence and all that followed would be sheer unadulterated nonsense. Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, p. 33.

This concept was the same as William Penn (1644-1718) had expressed earlier: “If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.” Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, p. 34.

To William Blackstone there were only two foundations of law, nature and revelation, and he stated clearly that he was speaking of the “holy Scripture.”…and up to the recent past not to have been a master of William Blackstone’s Commentaries would have meant that you would not have graduated from law school. Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, p. 38.

Joseph Story in his 1829 inaugural address as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University said, “There never has been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.” Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, p. 38.

Christianity Worldwide

In 1900, more than 80 percent of Christians lived in Europe and America.  Today 60 percent live in the developing world.  More than two out of three evangelical Christians now live in Asia, Africa and South America. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007),  p. 7.

A century ago, less than 10 percent of Africa was Christian.  Today it’s nearly 50 percent. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, p. 8.

Already today, the largest Christian communities on the planet are to be found in Africa and Latin America. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002), p. 2.

Many of the fastest growing countries in the world are either predominately Christian or else have very sizeable Christian minorities. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 2.

Africa has 360 million, and 313 million Asians profess Christianity. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p.  3.

Western Christianity has passed within our lifetimes and the day of Southern Christianity is dawning. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 3.

Africa where the number of Christians increased, staggeringly, from 10 million in 1900 to 360 million by 2000. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 4.

At present, the most immediately apparent difference between the older and newer churches is that southern Christians are far more conservative in terms of both beliefs and moral teaching. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 7.

Southern Christians retain a very strong supernatural orientation, and are by and large far more interested in personal salvation than in radical politics. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 7.

Just since 1965, the Christian population of Africa has risen from around a quarter of the continental total to about 46 percent. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 56.

To quote the World Christian Encyclopedia, “The present net increase on that continent [Africa] is 8.4 million new Christians a year (23,000 a day) of which 1.5 million are net new converts (converts minus defections or apostasies).” Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 56.

Sometime in the 1960s another historic landmark occurred, when Christians first outnumbered Muslims in Africa. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 56.

Just as Europe’s northern tribes turned to the church after the decay of the Roman Empire, so Africans are embracing Christianity in face of the massive political, social and economic chaos.  Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 59.

In 1940, barely a million Protestants were recorded in the whole of Latin America. Since 1960, though, Protestant numbers in the region have been growing at an average annual rate of 6 percent, so that today Protestants make up around one-tenth of the whole population, some 50 million people. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 61.

The number of Christians in the whole of Korea was only 300,000 or so in 1920, but this has now risen to 10 million or 12 million, about a quarter of the national population.  Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 71.

The Full Gospel Central Church in Seoul now has over half a million members, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest single congregation. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 71.

There are almost twice as many Presbyterians in South Korea as in the United States. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 71.

(Communist Vietnam) Officially, 9 percent of the country’s 80 million people are Christian, but as in China, this figure does not include Protestant churches that refuse to register with the government. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 71.

At least 40 percent of Nigerians are currently Christian, some 50 million people. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 89.

Currently about half of all churchgoers in London are Black. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 98.

Christianity is flourishing wonderfully among the poor and persecuted, while it atrophies among the rich and secure. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p. 220.

There are more churchgoing Presbyterians in Ghana than in Scotland. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007), p. 8.

Despite the limitations imposed by the Chinese government, it is estimated that there are now 100 million Christians in China who worship in underground evangelical and Catholic churches…David Aikman observes…China will in a few decades become the largest Christian country in the world. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, p. 9.

There are now more Pentecostals in Asia, according to scholar Paul Freston, than in North America and Europe. John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians (New York: Image, 2013), p. 68.

Christian life

Jim Beall pointed out: “We read for profit, we party for contacts, we lunch for contracts, we bowl for unity, we drive for mileage, we gamble for charity, we go out in the evening for the greater joys of the municipality, we stay at home on the weekend to rebuild our home- always looking for some other reason for doing things. What a rat race we have gotten ourselves into.”  Jamie Buckingham, Risky Living, Keys to Inner Healing (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1976), p.178.

I knew that if what I had was all the Christianity there was, the thing was a fraud. – Oswald Chambers.

Once Dr. John Mackie [president of the Church of Scotland] and two other clergyman were dispatched to call on an Orthodox priest in a small Greek village.  The priest was overjoyed and offered them some special Havana cigars.  The other two priests declined but Dr. Mackie took one, puffed it a few times and commented on how good it was.  The priest then offered the group some of his choicest wine.  The two other priests declined but Dr. Mackie took a glass, sniffed it, took a drink and praised its quality.  Later in their jeep the two pious clergymen turned on Dr. Mackie asking him if he really smoked and drank although he was the President of the Church of Scotland and officer of the World Council of Churches.  Dr. Mackie’s Scottish temper got the better of him and he replied: “No, dammit, I don’t, but somebody had to be a Christian.” Donald W. McCullough, The Trivilization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a manageable Deity (Colo. Springs, Nav Press, 1995), pp. 36-37.

I remember being moved when I read the last will and testament of the late J.P. Morgan.  He is noted as perhaps the most influential banker in history.  I have often wondered about the reaction of his children when they read their father’s will after his death in 1913.  I hope they sensed the power of his words and gained strength form them: “I commit my soul into the hands of my Saviour, in full confidence that having redeemed it and washed it in His most precious blood He will present it faultless before the throne of my Heavenly father; and I entreat my children to maintain and defend, at all hazard, and at any cost of personal sacrifice, the blessed doctrine of the complete atonement for sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, once offered, and through that alone.”  Billy Graham, Nearing Home, Life, Faith, and Finishing Well (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011), pp. 68-69.

Christian Zionists

[In Israel] Unofficial figures indicated that Christian Zionists made up 42% of the total tourist arrivals-an increase from 33 percent in 2004.  The Jerusalem Post Christian Edition, 2005 first edition.

Christ’s Birth

In humility: Philip Yancey tells of the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the US and how reporters delighted in spelling out the logistics of the trip.  She carried four thousand pounds of luggage, which included two outfits for every occasion.  She even had a mourning outfit in case someone died.  With her were her own hairdresser, two valets and a host of other attendants.  Yancey remarked that even a brief visit of royalty to a foreign country can easily cost twenty million dollars.  Yet, Jesus, the King of the Universe, came to be born in a lowly stable. Alice Gray, ed. Christmas Stories For the Heart, (Sisters Oregon,:Multnomah Publishers 1997), p. 131.

Christmas

A little boy and girl were singing their favorite Christmas carol in church the Sunday before Christmas. The boy concluded “Silent Night” with the words, “Sleep in heavenly beans.” “No,” his sister corrected, “not beans, peas.”  Michael P. Green, Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), p. 57.

Church

Charles Colson refers to the “McChurch” mentality.  He says, “the church becomes just another retail outlet, faith just another commodity.”   Charles Colson with Ellen Santilli Vaughn, The Body: being a light in the darkness (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1992), p. 41.

“How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!” (Augustine, Homilies on John, 45, 12).

59 percent of young people will leave the church.  How can we reverse this trend?  Barna Group, Nov 2013.

Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God.  For if the prayer of one or two possesses such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole church!  Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Edinburgh: T&T Clark; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1988), V. 1, p. .51.

Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth his praise.  For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, V. 2, p. 55.

I have coined a couple of phrases to describe the sad state of affairs in many churches: “religious event manufacturing corporations” and practicing “competitive free enterprise ecclesiology.” There had to be a better way – Daniel Juster.

If you count all the churches mentioned in the New Testament, you’ll find about thirty-five.  Every one of them was either planted or aided by a traveling church planter who preached only Christ. …The principle of the extra-local church planter dominates the New Testament. Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), pp. 238-239.

China has probably close to one hundred million Christians.  More Chinese attend church each Sunday than are members of the Communist Party.  In Africa at the start of the twentieth century, Christians were only 9 percent of the population; today they are 44 percent. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 18.

There is no biblical norm as to where and where not the church should meet.  The central fact is that the early concept of the church had no connection with a church building. Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church At The End Of The 20th Century (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1970), p. 62.

Church Attendance

While western preachers routinely implore people to come every Sunday to fill the pews, some African preachers ask their members to limit their attendance to every second or third Sunday to give others a chance to hear the message. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007), p. 8.

[Mid 90s sociologist Wade Clark Roof] found that 54 percent of evangelical Christians said “to be alone and meditate” was more important that “to worship with others.”…Roof concluded that “the real story of American religious life in this half-century is the rise of a new sovereign self that defines and sets limits on the very meaning of the divine.” Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 293.

Members of the Lord’s church are very much like glowing coals in a hot fire.  When they are together they bring forth much light and heat.  Such a blazing fire is useful for many purposes.  However, if a glowing coal is removed, it begins to cool down immediately and it soon loses its glow.  After some time, that piece of charcoal becomes completely cold.  No longer does it give heat and light but it has become a dirty thing that causes all who touch it to be defiled.  So it is when a church member withdraws from the fellowship of God’s people. – Jim Gerrish

Every year, one million adults leave the institutional church in the United States. According to missional church expert Redgie McNeal, “A growing number of people are leaving the institutional church for a new reason.  They are not leaving because they have lost their faith.  They are leaving the church to preserve their faith.” Frank Viola, Finding Organic Church (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009), p. 125.

Church Buildings

It can be said that Christianity was the first non-temple-based religion ever to emerge.  In the minds of the early Christians, the people- not the architecture- constituted a sacred space. Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), p. 11.

The first recorded use of the word ekklesia to refer to a Christian meeting place was penned around AD 190 by Clement of Alexandria (150-215). Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), pp. 11-12.

[NT scholar, Graydon Snyder] “The first churches consistently met in homes.  Until the year 300 we know of no buildings first built as churches.” George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), p. 12.

After all, every institution, once it can afford the marble stairs and the golden candlestick recalls with pleasure the log cabin in the past.  Fred B. Craddock, First and Second Peter and Jude (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), p. 152.

Church, House

George Barna’s research organization found that one in five adult Americans (or, about 70 million) attended a house church at least once a month, and on a given weekend, roughly 20 million met in a house church.  This contention remains controversial, but certainly small, informal churches are making a comeback!  Larry Schweikart and Dave Dougherty, A Patriot’s History of the Modern World, Vo. 2 (NY: The Penguin Group, 2013), p. 543.

Clergy

[The Greek word kleros]  It means something that is “allotted” to a person.  In Deuteronomy 9:29 (LXX) we see that Israel is the kleros of God.  Israel is assigned to him and has become his heritage by his own choice.  In like manner the congregation is the assignment of the elder.  It is also interesting that this Greek word is the basis for our modern words “clergy,” “cleric,” and “clerk.” William Barclay, Commentary on 1 Peter, William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, 1956-1959, comment on 1 Peter 5:1-4. 1:1-2. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/view.cgi?bk=59&ch=2.

“The divorce rate among clergy is increasing faster than in any other profession.  Statistics show that one in ten have had an affair with a member of their congregation, and 25 percent have had some illicit sexual contact.”  Charles Colson with Ellen Santilli Vaughn, The Body: being a light in the darkness, by (Dallas:, Word Publishing, 1992), p. 304.

Clothes

Over a century ago, Henry Ward Beecher got it right: “Clothes do not make the man, but once he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” Gregory Spencer, Awakening The Quieter Virtues (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2010), p. 78.

Comfort

We are like the little girl who kept calling for someone to sit with her in her bedroom at night. Her mother told here, “Now you will be all right. Don’t worry. The angels will be with you.” “But I don’t want angels,” the child replied, “I want people with skin on their faces.”  Ray Stedman, Colossians: Power to Endure with Joy, Comment on 1:1-8, http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/colossians/the-great-mystery.

 Communion

Around the time of Tertullian, the bread and the cup began to be separated from the meal.  By the late second century, this separation was complete…by the fourth century the love feast was prohibited among Christians. Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), p. 193.

Communism & Socialism

To solve all the “shortcomings” of capitalism, professors advocate a new definition of property.  Property rights must be abolished, they say, to make the system more equitable for everyone.  This is communism. Ben Shapiro, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (Nashville: WND Books, 2004), p. 34.

There is a concerted movement within universities to revive the “glory” that was once socialism. Ben Shapiro, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, p. 35.

They do it by glorifying communist dictatorships like China and Cuba…Marxism is dying globally.  But it’s alive and kicking in America’s universities. Ben Shapiro, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, p 35.

The Kremlin set the poverty line at 78 rubles a month, a level equivalent to what Americans spend on their pets.  Even at that, scholars in Moscow at the time knew the real number of people living in poverty was easily double official estimates, or just under half of the entire Soviet population!   Economist Anatoly Deryabin argued that “only 2:3 percent of all Soviet families can be called wealthy…About 11.2 percent can be called middle class or well-to-do.  The rest 86.5 percent, are simply poor.”  Russia under Czar Nicholas II had done better.  A more stunning comparison was this: the American colonies, on the eve of the revolution in 1770, had a higher per-capita real income than did Gorbachev’s Soviet Union 220 years later!  Larry Schweikart and Dave Dougherty, A Patriot’s History of the Modern World, Vo. 2 (NY: The Penguin Group, 2013), p. 361.

Community

Most humans, when given the chance, have discovered that life is easier and more pleasant when we abandon complete independence for specialization and exchange.  Homesteading is terribly inefficient when compared to a system of specialization and exchange. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Business Secrets From The Bible, (Hoboken: Wiley, 2014), p. xvi.

God is giving us a message here.  He is telling us to combine things in order to produce utility and value.  This is the basis of manufacturing and invention. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Business Secrets From The Bible, p. 23.

Comparative Religion

[Ronald Knox] The study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious. Dinesh D’Souza, Life After Death, The Evidence (Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2009), p. 39.

Compromise

In the months before his execution by the Nazis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “I fear that Christians who stand with only one leg upon earth, also stand with only one leg in heaven.” His concern was for Christians who had disengaged themselves from the world, who could stand by and watch atrocities committed as if the Christian message or individual Christian responsibility had no bearing whatsoever upon earthly affairs. The fact of the matter is that the Christian faith intends full engagement in the world.  Philip H. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, IVP New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Comment on Titus 2:1-10. http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/ivp-nt/Titus.

Computers

Moore’s law governs the advance of computer hardware: computer speed doubles every eighteen months…supercomputers now have a speed several times the processing power of the human brain, and we can expect desktop and laptop computers to equal today’s supercomputer speeds within a decade or two. Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Christianity (NY: Doubleday, 2007), p. 71.

Since physical movement stimulates the brain by increasing blood circulation and stimulating our energy hormones, don’t let your children spend long periods of time just sitting, even if it is reading a book. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 87.

The New York Times reported that the chief technology officer of eBay now sends his children to a nine-classroom school where technology is totally omitted….There is now a growing awareness on the part of educators and parents, especially those who are close to technology companies such as in Silicon Valley, that computers and schools don’t mix. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 51.

The new brand of schools that offers “non-computer-based education” is called “Waldorf Schools.”  No doubt there will be many others who will follow.  There are already about 160 Waldorf schools nationwide.  Their main educational philosophy focuses on physical hands-on tasks.  Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction, and attention spans. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 52.

Conscience

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.” Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 192.

A very perceptive woman…summarized her experience this way: “Did you know what the Valium did for me.?”  It deactivated my conscience.” David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 107.

Confusion

            “The Centipede’s Dilemma.”

A centipede was happy – quite!

Until a toad in fun

Said, “Pray, which leg moves after which?”

This raised her doubts to such a pitch,

She fell exhausted in the ditch

Not knowing how to run. (author unknown)

Conversion

According to the Barna Research Group, only about 6 percent of people who are not Christians by the age of eighteen will become Christians later in life. Richard Stearns, The Hole In Our Gospel (Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2009, 2010), p. 19.

Cosmic Design

[Physicists Paul Davies]  “It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in numbers, has been rather carefully thought out….The seemingly miraculous concurrence of these numerical values must remain the most compelling evidence for cosmic design.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p. 125.

Cosmological Argument

Many generations of philosophers have proceeded under the false conception that Hume and Kant closed the door on the cosmological argument for a necessary being.  Not only has new evidence from contemporary science strengthened the argument but also new insights in philosophical thought have discovered flaws in Hume and Kant’s reasoning, so that one finds the cosmological argument not only alive and well but also increasingly invigorated. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p. 33.

Council of Nicea and Constantine

The Council of Nicea, in 325 A.D., was a distinct turning point in the history of the church.  Since that time, all accepted church theology has been built upon an anti-Judaic foundation. Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship (Springfield, MO: General Council of the Assemblies of God, Intercultural Ministries, 1991), p. 1.

[Constantine to the churches:] “…And truly, in the first place, it seemed to every one a most unworthy thing that we should follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this most holy solemnity, who, polluted wretches! having stained their hands with a nefarious crime, are justly blinded in their minds.” Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship, p. 28.

 “…Let us withdraw ourselves, my much honored brethren, from that most odious fellowship…As it is necessary that this fault should be so amended that we may have nothing in common with the usage of these parricides and murderers of our Lord…” Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship, p. 29.

[Nicea] These institutional changes were fundamental and monumental.  They were sevenfold:

  1. The rejection of the literal meaning of scripture in its context.
  2. The subjugation of Scripture to the authority of a church hierarchy.
  3. The determination that church doctrine and practice would be in opposition to the Jews.
  4. The establishment of compulsory conformity in practice.
  5. The acceptance of the State and the sword as the means of maintaining purity in the church. etc.

6.The acceptance of the sword of the State – instead of the Sword of the Spirit, the blood of the Lamb and the blood of believers – as the means of triumph in the world.

  1. The acceptance of State support of the church in exchange for church support of the State. etc. The theological shift that took place was basically this: The church became identified as the “new Israel,” replacing the Jews. Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship, p 1.

Council of Nicea and Eusebius

The Millenial restoration of Israel began to be considered a carnal, Jewish doctrine which no orthodox Christian could believe.  Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship (Springfield, MO: General Council of the Assemblies of God, Intercultural Ministries, 1991), p. 18.

“Eusebius’ outlook was conditioned by the new political settlement between the Empire and the church as well as by his theological upbringing and allegiance to certain views which he inherited from Origen…the Emperor was the image of God and the representative of the Almighty.  The Emperor acted as the interpreter of the Logos…  For Eusebius, there was no longer a precise and definite distinction between the church and the Empire.” Isaac Boyle, quoted in Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship, p. 8.

On the other hand, if Constantine, the emerging Holy Roman Empire, and the State-exalted church were the kingdom, then there was no need for the Jews.  The fullness of the kingdom was in the present.  Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship,  p. 8.

Eusebius firmly believed, in the fourth century, that the church was the “new Israel,” replacing the Jews.  He firmly believed that there was no distinct future for the Jews in the plan of God…Following Origen, Eusebius rejected the normal meaning of the scriptures that promise restoration to the Jewish people. Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship, p. 9.

Council of Nicea and Origen

Origen is credited with being the father of the allegorical method of interpretation…made allegory the only way to truly understand the scriptures.  Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship (Springfield, MO: General Council of the Assemblies of God, Intercultural Ministries, 1991), p. 11.

It is Origen’s system of interpretation that produces the anti-Judaic “New Israel” theology where the church replaces the Jews in the plan and purpose of God.  Daniel Gruber, The Church and the Jews, The Biblical Relationship, p. 12.

Courage

As I watched a nature film-strip of Africa there were several lions that succeeded in bringing down a large wild oxen.  Just as the oxen went down, it bellowed in great distress one last time and then the lions took their places all around the animal and began their feast.  It looked like all was lost but suddenly the whole herd of oxen, hearing the cry, began to advance upon the lions with very threatening postures.  Amazingly the lions chose to retreat, still remaining close to their planned meal.  The oxen then gathered around the seemingly dead animal and began to lick the wounds and nudge it.  It looked sad and hopeless.  They had surely gotten there too late.  But surprisingly the wounded animal raised its head, then it laboriously raised its whole body, finally standing to its feet.  To the amazement of the filming crew and experts who were present, the animal walked away with the herd.  It must have been to the amazement of the hungry lions as well.  They meekly came back to the place of the “kill” only to sniff the grass at the spot where they might have enjoyed their great banquet.  – Jim Gerrish

One man with courage makes a majority – Andrew Jackson

Creation

Thus in Satan’s hand, the first creation has become the old creation, and God’s primary concern is now no longer with that but with a second and new creation.  Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (Fort Washington, PA: CLC, 1963), p. 58.

“My daughter was in her high chair. I was watching her eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life. I liked to watch her even when she smeared porridge on her face or dropped it meditatively on the floor. My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear – those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: ‘No, these ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design.’ The thought was involuntary and unwanted, I crowded it out of my mind. But I never wholly forgot it or the occasion. I had to crowd it out of my mind. If I had completed it I should have had to say: Design presupposes God. I did not then know that, at that moment, the finger of God was laid upon my forehead.”  (Whittaker Chambers, former Soviet spy turned informer and Christian).  James Burton Coffman Commentaries by Abilene Christian University, comment on Hebrews 3:4. http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/bcc/

It is indeed a unique occasion at which the distinguished word kadosh [holy] is used for the first time: in the Book of Genesis at the end of the story of creation.  How extremely significant is the fact that it is applied to time: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” Fritz A. Rothschild, Between God and Man, An Interpretation of Judaism, from the writings of Abraham J. Heschel (NY: The Free Press, NY, 1959), p. 217.

Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the radiation afterglow, put it this way: “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life.” Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 106.

If intelligent human beings can’t create anything close to the human brain, why should we expect non-intelligent natural laws to do so? Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 139.

Henri De Lubac concluded, “It is not true, as it is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God.  What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man.” Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (New York: Encounter Books, 2010), p. 327.

[Interview with William Lane Craig]  “The assumption ever since the ancient Greeks has been that the material world is eternal…secular science always assumed the universe’s eternality.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p. 102.

When Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915 and started applying it to the universe as a whole, he was shocked to discover it didn’t allow for a static universe…he had to fudge his equations by putting in a factor that would hold the universe steady. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p.  105.

In 1929 the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light coming to us from distant galaxies appears to be redder than it should be, and that this is a universal feature of galaxies in all parts of the sky.  Hubble explained this red shift as being due to the fact that the galaxies are moving away from us.  He concluded that the universe is literally flying apart at enormous velocities. Hubble’s astronomical observations were the first empirical confirmation of the predictions by Friedman and Lemaitre. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 105.

[William Lane Craig] “But now, modern astrophysics and astronomy have dropped into the lap of Christians precisely the premise that, according to Aquinas, makes God’s existence virtually undeniable.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 108.

Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?  [Sir John Templeton]  Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p.  125.

Without the moon…the Earth’s tilt could vary chaotically from zero to eighty-five degrees on a time scale of tens of millions of years, with devastating results… The moon just happens to be the right size and in the right place to help create a habitable environment for Earth.  Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 180.

The extraordinary conditions that create a hospitable environment on Earth also happen to make our planet strangely well-suited for viewing, analyzing, and understanding the universe.  Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 188.

We must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical systems, only a variety of wistful speculations. [Biochemist Franklin M. Harold].
Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 193.

[Interview with Guillermo Gonzalez, PHD and Jay Wesley Richards, PHD, astronomers]  “Also we are very far from the nucleus of the galaxy, which is also a dangerous place…Most black holes, at any given time are inactive.  But whenever anything gets near of falls into one, it gets torn up by the strong tidal forces…anything in the inner region of the galaxy would be subjected to high radiation levels.  That’s very dangerous to life forms.  The center of the galaxy is also dangerous because there are more supernovae exploding in that region.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 169.

What really matters is being in the place that’s most conducive to life.  And that’s exactly where Earth finds itself. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 172.

Even once-agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow conceded the essential elements of Christianity and modern cosmology are the same: “The chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 280.

“For instance,” said physicist-philosopher Robin Collins, “gravity is fine tuned to one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 280.

“If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence,” said Harvard-educated astrophysicist John A. O’Keefe of NASA.  “It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 281.

This afterglow of creation was powerful evidence that our Universe had indeed begun in a hot, dense state…The cosmic background radiation is the oldest “fossil” in creation. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2006), p. 147.

[Doppler Shift] Light emitted from an object moving away from us shifts toward the red, that is, toward lower frequencies and longer wave lengths. Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., Genesis and the Big Bang, The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), p. 72.

[A radiation background constant in all directions] This was discovered in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson at the Bell Telephone Laboratory located at Crawford Hill, New Jersey. In a sense astrophysics is part of the supersearch for a Creator. Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., Genesis and the Big Bang, The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible,  p. 74,  81.

Ever since the dawn of human history, the fact that the Universe had a beginning has been staring us in the face in the darkness of the night sky.  We have simply been too stupid to realize it. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Never ending Universe, (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2006), p. 149.

At MIT’s Hayden library, we probably have twenty thousand books on the events covered in those six days- not from a theological perspective…At Harvard’s Weidner library there are probably fifty thousand books on these topics.  [all this covers the 31 verses in Genesis] Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, (NY: Harper Collins, 2009), p. 87.

Both positions, wisdom forming energy and energy materializing as life, appear to be true, once we realize that the wisdom in creation, as revealed by the meaning of the opening word of the Bible, B’raisheet, has been confirmed as the information (Wheeler), the thought (Jeans), the idea (Heisenberg), and the mind (Wald) discovered at the quantum level of every item and atom.  We are truly the idea of the creation and, biblically speaking, the wisdom of the Creator. [J.A. Wheeler; James Jeans; Werner Heisenberg & George Wald- Nobel Laurate] Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 202.

The universe was first created (Gen. 1:1) and then made (Ex. 31:17).  That order was essential.  Before the creation there was nothing with which to make.  For Adam, the order was reversed.  The fact that Adam was first “made” (Gen. 1:26) and only later “created: (Gen. 1:27) informs us unequivocally that some amount of time passed during which Adam was fashioned.  The neshama was implanted only after that vessel was complete.  Whether that time was measured in microseconds or millions of earth years is not certain from the text. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, (NY: The Free Press, 1997), p. 139.

A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics.  –Fred Hoyle, “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections” Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2013), p. 66.

The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole. – Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 66.

The German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz posed a question in the seventeenth century, “Why is there something rather than nothing:” This question seems to capture the essence of the quandary the skeptical position is in.  Why are we here:  Why is anything here? Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty), p. 72.

Paul Davies, a physicist as well as an agnostic, echoed the sentiments of Hoyle:  “Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth-  the universe looks suspiciously like a fix.  The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves.  For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient “coincidences” and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist.  Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal.  Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologis, once said it was as if ‘a super-intellect had monkeyed with physics.’”  Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty, p. 82.

Creation, Humanity

[Interview with Michael Behe] And the cell is Behe’s world-an incredible, intricate, Lilliputian world where a typical cell takes ten million million atoms to build. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p. 194.

[Michael Behe] “Darwin said in his Origin of Species, ‘If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down…’And that was the basis for my concept of irreducible complexity” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 197.

Cilia have another function: if the cell is mobile, the cilia can row it through a fluid.  Sperm cells would be an example; they’re propelled forward by the rowing action of cilia. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 202.

The flagellum’s propeller can spin at ten thousand revolutions per minute Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 205.

Counting everything there are more than twenty different sections in each cell.  Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 208.

Denton described the ribosome, a collection of some fifty large molecules containing more than one million atoms, as an automated factory that can synthesize any protein that it is instructed to make by DNA…is of the order of several thousand million million times smaller than the smallest piece of functional machinery ever constructed by man. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 208.

Blood clotting: the system of blood clotting involves a highly choreographed cascade of ten steps that use about twenty different molecular components.  Without the whole system in place, it doesn’t work.         Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 209.

The information needed to build the proteins for all the species of organisms that have ever lived-a number estimated to be approximately one thousand million- could be held in a teaspoon and there would still be room left for all the information in every book ever written. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 220.

When scientists announced that they had finally mapped the three billion codes of the human genome-a project that filled the equivalent of 75,490 pages of the New York Times- divine references abounded.   Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 221.

Michael Denton observed, the idea that undirected processes could somehow turn dead chemicals into all the extraordinary complexity of living things is surely “no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth” of our times.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 278.

One expert said there are more than thirty physical or cosmological parameters that require precise calibration in order to produce a universe that can sustain life. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 280.

Creationism

If indeed there is a universal consciousness, this could explain the interrelatedness of particles even when separated by large distances. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 8.

We will discover that the essence of life, of all life, is the storage, organization, and processing of information. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 48.

To the amazement of the scientific community, fossils of fully developed bacteria were found in rocks 3.6 billion years old. Overnight, the fantasy of billions of years of random reactions in warm little ponds brimming with fecund chemicals leading to life, evaporated.  Elso Barghoorn had discovered a most perplexing fact: life, the most complexly organized system of atoms known in the universe, popped into being in the blink of a geological eye. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 51.

It remains deeply mysterious how things can do anything whatsoever, let alone abide by mathematical rules. Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington: Regenery Publishing Inc., 2007), p. 137.

Douglas Erwin, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Institution gives part of the answer. “One of the rules of science is, no miracles allowed,” he told the New York Times.  “That’s a fundamental presumption of what we do.”  Biologist Barry Palevitz makes the same point.  “The supernatural,” he writes, “ is automatically off-limits as an explanation of the natural world.” Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, p. 157.

[Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin] “We have a prior commitment- a commitment to materialism…Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, p. 161.

Since a cause cannot come after its effect, natural forces cannot account for the Big Bang.  Therefore, there must be something outside of nature to do the job.  That’s exactly what the word supernatural means. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 85.

Staunch Darwinist Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University, admits that the message found in just the cell nucleus of a tiny amoeba is more than all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica combined, and the entire amoeba has as much information as its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica! Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 116.

Microbiologist Michael Denton, though himself an atheist, adds, “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbably event.  Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.” Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, p. 121.

The scientific discoveries of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have gone a step farther in closing ranks with the creation, finding that matter and the energy from which matter formed are made of something totally ethereal.  In physics we call it information or, more extreme, mind.  In the words of the knighted mathematician James Jeans, the world looks more like a great thought than a great machine. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, (NY: Harper Collins, 2009), p. 3-4.

The majestic subtlety by which the laws of physics gracefully guide the workings of nature to meet the demands of life moves beyond the logical. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 26.

[Sir Fred Hoyle] “A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology…” Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 62.

At the subatomic level something can come from nothing.  And our universe may be that something. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 28.

It is time to lay to rest the misguided but popularly believed untruth that in our world, gradual, step-by-step random mutations could have climbed the mountain of improbability and produced the magnificent abundance of the earth’s biosphere. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 34.

Nobel Prize Winning physicist Arno Penzias:  “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life.  In the absence of an absurdly improbably accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), p. 13.

The Second Law [thermodynamics] is also known as the Law of Entropy, which is a fancy way of saying that nature tends to bring things to disorder. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 77.

Harold Morowitz, while professor of molecular biophysics at Yale, computed that to create a bacterium would require more time than the universe has existed, if random combinations of molecules were the only driving force…Simon Conway Morris, professor of evolutionary paleobiology at the University of Cambridge, finds that “the existence of life on earth appears to be surrounded with improbabilities.” Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, (NY: Harper Collins, 2009), p. 20.

At the subatomic level something can come from nothing.  And our universe may be that something. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 28.

It is time to lay to rest the misguided but popularly believed untruth that in our world, gradual, step-by-step random mutations could have climbed the mountain of improbability and produced the magnificent abundance of the earth’s biosphere. Gerald L. Schroeder, God According to God, A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along, p. 34.

Nobel Prize Winning physicist Arno Penzias:  Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life.  In the absence of an absurdly improbably accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan. Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), p. 13.

Creation, Out Of Nothing

This second metaphysical premise dates back to the time of Parmenides.  It may be summed up as follows: “From nothing, only nothing comes.” Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), p. 45.

[Something from nothing] You see, the idea that things can come into being uncaused out of nothing is worse than magic.  At least when a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, there’s the magician and the hat! William Lane Craig, PhD, Th,D. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p. 99.

Creator

This leads us to Fred Hoyle’s observation (which moved him out of atheism): “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.  The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”  Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), p. 73.

This stronger proof, put forward in 2003 by Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin (BGV)…“everything that begins to exist requires a cause.” Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy, p. 76.

The scientific evidence points inexorably toward transcendent intelligent agency as the most plausible, if not the only reasonable explanation. Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs For The Existence Of God, Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy, p. 103.

[Paul Davies, former professor of theoretical physics at the University of Adelaide].  “Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact…I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, and incidental blip in the great cosmic drama.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), p. 127.

[Owen Gingrich, Harvard Astronomy professor & senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory].”A common sense and satisfying interpretation of our world suggests the designing hand of a superintelligence.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 128.

In their book The New Story of Science, Robert Augros and George Stanciu sum up the inferences of the amazing confluence of “coincidences” that make life possible in the cosmos. “A universe aiming at the production of man implies a mind directing it…Though man is not at the physical center of the universe, he appears to be at the center of its purpose.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 128.

Davies in his book Superforce: “If the world’s finest minds can unravel only with difficulty the deeper workings of nature, how could it be supposed that those workings are merely a mindless accident, a product of blind chance?” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 148.

Vera Kistiakowski, professor of physics emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former president of the Association of Women in Science, summarized the implications of the evidence: “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, p. 150.

Patric Glynn former atheist– “Ironically, the picture of the universe bequeathed to us by the most advanced twentieth-century science is closer in spirit to the vision presented in the Book of Genesis than anything offered by science since Copernicus.” Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator.

Crime

If the connection between sloth and cultural deterioration seems vague or unlikely to you, consider the following stories: police in Newport News, Virginia, were weary of answering calls about burglars and drug dealers in a rundown housing project.  Finally, the project was scheduled for demolition, and in preparation for the new construction, police decided to clear up the area: they carted away trash, removed abandoned cars, filled in potholes.

To everyone’s surprise, as soon as the housecleaning began, burglary rates dropped 35 percent.  The police department had inadvertently stumbled on a fresh approach to crime- a formula that is being adopted around the country under the rubric of community policing.  Instead of waiting for crimes to occur, police are addressing problems that often attract crime: general disorder and decay.

Supporters of this new philosophy may not know it, but they are reviving a classic Christian understanding that crime is not only an individual act but also a violation of the social order.  Hence, one of the best ways to fight crime is to restore order.

For example, not long ago, New York City’s Precinct 75 was one of the most dangerous places in America. Then the NYPD decided to show zero tolerance for any violation of public order.  Officers stopped all traffic violators (which often led to finding drugs and guns).  They chased away loiterers (who often turned out to be drug dealers looking for a sale).  In three years, homicides dropped from 126 to 47. Charles Colson, The Sky Is Not Falling, Living Fearlessly In These Turbulent Times (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing, 2011) pp. 75-76.

Criticism

“You can’s hoot with owls and soar with the eagles.” Sybil Haydel Morial, Witness To Change (Winston Salem: John. F. Blair, Publisher, 2015), p. 165.

Cross

Feminist theologian Delores Williams: “I don’t think we need folks hanging on crosses and blood dripping and weird stuff.” Carl Olson & Sandra Miesel, The Da Vinci Hoax (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), p. 92.

Never were those arms opened so wide as they were on the Roman cross.  One arm extending back into history and the other reaching into the future.  Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him The Savior (Multnomah Press, 1986), p. 120.

John Newton, who wrote so many of our hymns, was, for many years of his life a reckless, dissolute reprobate, living the wildest sort of life, until he became, at last, a slave even to slaves. With his health ruined, he was on a voyage back to England from Africa when, in the midst of a storm, God spoke to his heart and he found the Christ he had long rejected. He became one of the outstanding spokesmen of the gospel of his day, and he put his own testimony in these simple words.

In evil long I took delight

Unawed by shame or fear

Until a new object met my sight

And stopped my wild career.

 

I saw One hanging on a tree

In agony and blood

Who fixed his languid eyes on me

As near His cross I stood.

 

Sure, never till my latest breath

Will I forget that look

It seemed to charge me with His death

Though not a word He spoke.

 

My conscience owned and felt my guilt

And plunged me in despair

I saw my sins His blood had spilt

And served to nail Him there.

 

A second look He gave

Which said, “I freely all forgive.

My blood was for thy ransom paid

I died that thou may’st live.”  Ray C. Stedman, Ray Stedman Expository Studies, Commentary on 1 John, 2010, Comment on 4:6-13, “http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rsc/view.cgi?bk=61&ch=1”.

Cruelty

The visible and practical sign of the Roman will to power was Roman cruelty.  This found expression in savage, primitive floggings often resulting in death; crucifixions, tortures, burnings and buryings alive, hurlings from the Tarpeian rock, revengeful massacres of prisoners, drownings in sacks, brutal punishments by heads of families and school-masters.  It was not for nothing that the axe and rods (fasces) were the emblems of Roman authority.  Michael Grant, The World of Rome (New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1960), p. 119.

Contests between gladiators formed an integral part of the program of food and amusements which emperors felt obliged to offer the people of Rome.  Augustus’s own enumeration of his efforts in this direction quotes a total of 10,000 combatants…  Michael Grant, The World of Rome (New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1960), p. 120.

Contests between wild animals were also very popular: in a single day of Titus’s reign 5,000 were massacred.  Michael Grant, The World of Rome, p. 123.

Culture

[Alan Wolfe] “In every aspect of the religious life, American faith has met American culture – and American culture has triumphed.” Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 293.

 

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