Monday, April 28, 2014

All Around the Web - April 28, 2014

Trevin Wax - News Release: John the Baptist’s Beheading | Love this from Wax.
In other news today, a popular prophet who had a longstanding ministry by the Jordan River where he baptized the repentant was executed by beheading, under the orders of King Herod.

John, whose nickname was “the Baptizer,” was known for his unusual clothing and eating habits, along with a fiery style of preaching reminiscent of Israel’s prophetic tradition.

In recent months, John’s ministry had taken an unusual turn. His message focused more and more upon the arrival of a Messiah-King who he believed would usher in the kingdom of God. He spent the last months of his life in prison due to his vocal criticism of King Herod’s marriage arrangements.
Here is how people in Galilee and Jerusalem responded to the death of this controversial prophet.

Koinonia - What's the Difference Between Creeds, Confessions, Catechisms, and Councils?
1) Creeds: Basic Beliefs
2) Confessions: Denominational Distinctives
3) Catechisms: Practical and Understandable
4) Councils: Diverse Preservers 

John Stonestreet - Nothing-Buttery is Toast
It’s one of the dominant myths of our time. But scientism, as frequent BreakPoint listeners will know, isn’t science. Instead, it’s the ideology that science offers answers not just about the physical world, but about ultimate meaning, morality, or even the lack thereof. George Gilder at The Intercollegiate Review, calls this “the materialist superstition,” and BreakPoint online columnist Tom Gilson dubs it “science gone imperialist.”

C. S. Lewis inspired an even better name for it: “Nothing-buttery.” Christians, he said, are frequently confronted by the claim that experiences like love and joy are “nothing but” illusions created by evolution or chemical reactions in our grey matter. Advocates of scientism dismiss consciousness, mind and soul as “nothing but” the working of our material brains just as they dismiss life itself as “nothing but” accidental collisions and mutations in an only material universe.

The problem is that neither mind nor matter wants to be explained away. These things keep insistently drawing us into what NASA physicist Robert Jastrow once called “the supernatural.” But that doesn’t stop proponents of scientism from trying anyway.

With advances in brain scanning technology emerging almost daily, scientists and journalists are asking with ever greater urgency: where, inside our heads, do we live? What part of the brain is essentially “us”?

Tim Challies - Four Blood Moons
Four Blood Moons is a disappointment. Books like this will always prove a disappointment. At the end of it all Hagee won’t say what we should expect or exactly when we should expect it. He merely says that something big is going to happen in the near future. Vague predictions based on misused Scripture have a way of coming about.
I suppose we have already read this book, or others like it, a thousand times. It is, of course, based on endless speculation (and, as many have pointed out, another person’s research). What do we do with a book like Four Blood Moons? I say we ignore it. Let me give four reasons.

Hagee misuses Scripture. Hagee routinely misuses Scripture as he draws out his prophecies. He appears to read the Bible literally or metaphorically entirely on the basis of whether doing so suits his purposes. He approaches the Bible with his mind made up and then goes looking for proof of his assertion. Not surprisingly, he finds it wherever he needs to find it.

Hagee reads history conveniently. Four Blood Moons reminds me of the infamous book The Bible Code in its ability to predict the past and complete inability to say anything meaningful about the future. Hagee picks and chooses the historical events he will pronounce as significant while simply ignoring the ones that do not fit his point. He does not say, for example, that three of the four eclipses in this tetrad will not even be visible from Jerusalem, rather an odd fact if they are meant as a sign to and about Jerusalem. (An excellent article at AiG explains more about the lunar calendar and the occurrence of eclipses.)

BibleMesh - So England Is Populated by the Lost Tribe of Ephraim?
One afternoon in a Chicago used bookstore, I ran across a booklet with the intriguing title, Britain in Prophecy.1 I’d heard about something called “British Israelism” and of some connections with Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God. I was curious, so I plunked down my $6.00.

The author, Brian Williams, told this story: The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were allowed to return to the Promised Land from their captivity in Babylon. The 10 northern tribes—“Israel”—failed to make it home from Assyria and were dispersed among the nations. But prophecy demands that, in the end, they will be part of the Kingdom, so they must still exist. In this connection, Ephraim and Manasseh made their way to England and America, where they have been a blessing. (The general notion has appealed to some pretty famous people, including Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, New Zealand Prime Minister William Massey, and Yale professor C. A. L. Totten.) As for Williams’s rationale, here are some items of his so-called “proof”:

Radical - Book Recommendations from Secret Church 14
Here’s Pastor David’s list of recommended resources  from Secret Church 14. These books can be a great way to dig deeper into some of the topics discussed during our recent simulcast. Since this year’s topic, “The Cross and Everyday Life,” covers a whole host of issues, we’ve listed these resources by category.

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