4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
I recently noticed again a little booklet on my shelf that was an in-house publication of The Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives for the state of Georgia. In January of 2009 I delivered the devotional before that body. I do not remember much about it other than that I was nervous giving it and that I wanted above all else to present the gospel in doing so. Re-reading it brought back good memories of an interesting experience. I actually delivered the devotional on two occasions, though I don’t have the booklet for the first occasion. Anyway, I thought I would provide it here for any who might be bored enough to read it. Click here to read it.
J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective and apologetics professor who applies the method of abductive reasoning that he uses as a detective to the resurrection in his booklet Alive. The result is an engaging if (too) brief work of apologetics that would be ideal to give someone who is a spiritual seeker or who is just beginning to explore Christianity or who is a new Christian. Wallace evaluates the common arguments against the resurrection of Jesus and concludes that the best evidence would suggest that Jesus really did rise from the dead. He does assert that the supernatural must be accepted to embrace this, but that there are good reasons for believing the early church’s report that Jesus, who died on the cross, rose again. The book is too general and brief to be considered a valuable contribution to the kind of high-level contribution to resurrection apologetics that we find in, say, N.T. Wright or William Lane Craig, but as an introduction and a primer and summary presented in a creative way from somebody who brings a unique life-experience angle to the topic it has value.
It is a question that has often been asked by believers and nonbelievers alike. Actually, that question is not really even asked that often. More than likely the person who would ask it has already determined that if hell is real God truly is not just.
For instance, David Jenkins, the former Anglican Bishop of Durham, said that he considered the idea of eternal torment “pretty pathological” and said that “if there is such a god, he is a small, cultic deity who is so bad tempered that the sooner we forget him the better.” Indeed, says Jenkins, “there can be no hell for eternity – our God could not be so cruel.”
In Erasing Hell, Chan and Sprinkle have written an engaging primer on the doctrine of hell. The book first appeared in 2011 as an evangelical response to Rob Bell’s controversial Love Wins, the conclusions of which Chan and Sprinkle ultimately reject. Even so, it is respectful in tone and measured in its criticisms of Bell’s arguments.
In Erasing Hell, the authors consider the various biblical teachings on the subject from both the Old and New Testaments, as well the theological implications of this doctrine and the emotional and psychological difficulties that it presents. Certain key historical figures, like Origen, are considered as well.
1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
In November of 2014, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website ran an article entitled, “$10,000 ReThink Prize Announced to Crowdsource Secular Alternatives to the Ten Commandments.”
Dr. W. Stephen Gunter, Associate Dean for Methodist Studies and Research Professor of Evangelism and Wesleyan Studies at Duke Divinity School, has made a significant contribution to the study of historical theology and the study of theology itself with his Arminius and His Declaration of Sentiments: An Annotated Translation with Introduction and Theological Commentary. In 1608, Arminius delivered his Sentiments before the States of Holland in response to a growing controversy surrounding the theology professor and his soteriological views.
C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) was forty years old when G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was born. Chesterton was eighteen was Spurgeon died. That means that Chesterton was certainly aware of Spurgeon, though, again, in his voluminous writings, he apparently only mentions Spurgeon twice.
Here’s our latest newsletter: “Challenger” (July-September 2015) [pdf]