Halley’s Admonition to Have the Congregation Read and the Pastor Preach from the Bible

Halley’s Bible Handbook is a long-standing reference work.  The current Amazon listing for this book says, “Halley’s Bible Handbook was born out of the conviction of Henry H. Halley that everyone ought to read the Bible daily.”

I no longer have a copy, but I recall from the one I had in the early ’80’s that it contained  a page with these words:

This Simple Suggestion:




Thus connecting
The Pastor’s Preaching with the People’s Bible Reading.

Each line was centered on the page just as you see above.  (I don’t know whether today’s editions of the book have retained this page, but you can see confirmations of its being in the older versions here.  [Editorial note, January 27, 2017: Sorry, but the page I was linking to is no longer there.])

I adopted this plan for the church I was pastoring at the time.  Each Sunday the church bulletin had the Bible Reading Plan for the week, with spaces for people to make notes on what they read during the week.  We started with Genesis 1 and read a chapter a day.  My sermon on Sunday would be based on the seven chapters read that week.

If more pastors did this, perhaps more of them would end up forsaking the organized church to pursue God’s church.


65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer

Beneath her name in the heading of her blog, Natasha Crain has put the words “Inspiration for Intentional Christian Parenting.”  Farther down, she says beneath her picture:

I blog to help Christian parents raise kids with the deeper roots of faith needed in today’s secular world.

In this post, she lists 65 questions that every Christian parent needs to be able to answer in order to keep faith strong in the hearts of their children.

via 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer.

Parents’ Resources

I’m adding a category (see list in the right-hand column of all the categories into which the posts on this blog are filed) called “Parents’ Resources.”  The idea is to put into one place the various resources I run across on the web that can help parents pass on their faith in Christ to their children.

The world in which we live is often hostile to faith in Christ.  These resources should help you parents fortify your children.

Note that I said above “pass on their faith.”  A parent should not expect to put more faith into a child than is already resident in the parent.  That is, never try to put into your child a faith that you yourself don’t practice.

The faith which you have is transferable.  These resources will help both you and your children fortify your faith for the trials it will face.

In the Bible, “world” often means “fallen human culture”

Especially in the writings of the apostle John, the term “world” tends to refer not to geography but rather to “the system of fallen human nature.”  These are the words of Karen Jobes, as in:

But “world” in John’s writings is often used to refer not to the planet or all its inhabitants, but to the system of fallen human culture, with its values, morals, and ethics as a whole.  [emphasis added]

via Triablogue: The savior of the world.

Charles Krauthammer points out how religious some “science”has become

In this column (3 min read; 858 words), Charles Krauthammer exposes political religion being put forth as science.  Along the way, he says:

There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge.

The issue of global warming is thus another example of scientism versus science.

via Charles Krauthammer: The myth of ‘settled science’ – The Washington Post.

HT Twitter: @Between2Worlds (Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition)

It’s a Myth That Faith in the Bible Caused People to Oppose Galileo

Here are three resources that discredit today’s widely-accepted myth that Bible-based resistance to evolution is analogous to the church’s initial resistance to Galileo.  The truth is that evolutionary theory today is more analogous to the geocentrism that prevailed in the time of Galileo.

How Critics of Christianity Often Distort the Story of Galileo – a blog post by Charlie Campbell, Director of the Always Be Ready Apologetics Ministry.  HT: The Poached Egg (Ratio Christi)

Tim O’Neill, who is an atheist and a prolific writer on Quora has written “The Galileo Affair” (10 min read; 2,427 words,  plus bibliography) as his answer to the history question “What is the most misunderstood historical event?”  Tim says:

In fact, many of Galileo’s staunchest champions and defenders were churchmen and many of his attackers were fellow scientists.

In a related article, Catholicism: Why was the Catholic Church so opposed to heliocentrism (for example, in the Renaissance)? (20 min read; 2,544 words, plus bibliography), Tim writes in his opening sentence:

The main reason the Catholic Church opposed the teaching of heliocentrism as a fact was that it was contrary to the science of the time.

The Difference Between Science and Scientism

Tom Gilson rightly points out how scientists sometimes go too far in their pronouncements.  And this is true not just of scientists, but perhaps even more often by people speaking on behalf of science.

Because science cannot observe or measure the unseen dimension (that is, the spiritual dimension) of creation, it will always be of limited use to human beings.  The knowledge of God, by contrast, is always useful.

via “Science and Its Limits” — BreakPoint Column – Thinking Christian.

What Did the Church of the First Five Centuries Believe about the Bible?

This short book blurb is helpful because it includes the following list of some of the beliefs that church leaders of the first five centuries after Christ held regarding the Scriptures:

  • Every detail of Scripture is meaningful
  • Scripture is the supreme authority in Christian belief and practice
  • Scripture has multiple senses
  • Scripture accurately predicted the future, especially about Jesus
  • The etymologies of words in Scripture convey meaning
  • Events narrated in the Bible actually happened
  • Scripture does not have any errors in its facts
  • The original text of Scripture is authoritative
  • Scripture’s teaching is internally consistent
  • Scripture does not deceive

The is actually a list of book sections the author has written.

(A 2 min read; 354 words)

To read this list in context, see the blurb at The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture – Michael Graves : Eerdmans.

Did You Fall Off the Bible-in-a-Year Wagon?

It’s not news that many more people start Bible reading plans than finish them.  The article at the link, however, describes a constructive way to deal with the difficulties involved.

(A 2 min read; 529 words)

via Fall Off the Bible-in-a-Year Wagon? (Christianity Today)

Ravi Zacharias tells us what’s bad about subjective moral reasoning

Here’s a link to a 5 min video showing Ravi Zacharias as he answers a question from the audience in what appears to be a post-debate setting about subjective morality.  The questioner asserts that subjective morality is not a problem; he sees no need for the sort of objective morality that Ravi thinks is critical.  Ravi makes clear that objective morality is the only true morality.

Only in Christ do we find an objective standard for moral decisions.  (Of course, I could have written “God” in place of “Christ” in that sentence, but, since God is Christ, they are one and the same.)

via Bob Perry at True Horizon Blog: The Reality of Subjective Morality.