In this post from Wintery Knight, cold-case homicide detective and Christian apologist Jim Wallace distinguishes training (as boxers do) from teaching (as in a classroom setting, but where no tests will ever be given). He’s saying that the reason so many young people leave the faith when they go away to college is that the church merely taught them instead of training them for the battles they would face on campus.
(3 min read; 774 words)
J. Warner Wallace’s surprising advice to stop apostasy among young Christians | Wintery Knight.
This series of 12 videos recounts the 16th-century Protestant Reformation from the 21st Century Reformed Presbyterian point of view. Each episode lasts about 20 minutes. It was produced by Westminster Theological Seminary of Philadelphia (in conjunction with a group called “Upholding the Truth”) and therefore reflects that perspective throughout, including an emphasis on the connection between the Reformation and the principles of those who founded the American nation. The primary on-camera presence is Peter Lillback, president of the seminary.
I cannot recommend the series enthusiastically because it seems weak in several ways. However, for those who possess little knowledge of the Reformation, it could be a helpful introduction. I also enjoyed as a review of important figures and ideas from the period.
I consider Chapter 10 about the martyrs the most important segment of the series. In 21st-century America we have so little conception of the persecution that has afflicted believers through the ages. We need to appreciate the martyrs more. They paid a precious price that we might know the truth.
- Overview – 10:16
- Chapter 1: The Vicar of Christ – 23:55
- Chapter 2: The Priesthood of the Believer – 22:58
- Chapter 3: Calvin’s Curse – 22:51
- Chapter 4: The Cross and the Crown – 21:27
- Chapter 5: City on a Hill – 20:19
- Chapter 6: Upon this Rock – 20:00
- Chapter 7: Magnum Opus – 19:44
- Chapter 8: Set in Stone – 24:52
- Chapter 9: The Enlightened Ones – 24:11
- Chapter 10: The Martyrs – 19:56
- Chapter 11: Liberty and Justice For All – 19:54
- Total Time: 3 hours, 48 minutes (12 Sessions)*
The Protestant Revolt – The Protestant Revolt – SERIES OVERVIEW (on Vimeo).
* from the Westminster Bookstore Protestant Revolt: A Study of the Protestant Reformation (DVD) available-for-purchase page.
Psalm 119: 105 marks the starting point of meditation for this 1980’s song, revisted more recently by one of its composers, Amy Grant. (Here are the lyrics.)
The original version was edifying, but this slower and more contemplative version may be even more so.
Psalm 48:1 is the thought upon which Michael W. Smith expands in this song.
It is a fine thought indeed that the greatness of our praise should be commensurate with His greatness. That is, since God is great, our praise of Him should not be tepid.
Michael Patton of Parchment and Pen (a blog) wrote “Christianity, the World’s Most Falsifiable Religion.” (He means this description, by the way, as a compliment.) Here’s how he begins the post:
…[T]he more I research, the more I find it to be the case that Christianity is the only viable worldview that is historically defensible. The central claims of the Bible demand historic inquiry, as they are based on public events that can be historically verified. In contrast, the central claims of all other religions cannot be historically tested and, therefore, are beyond falsifiability or inquiry. They just have to be believed with blind faith.
(4 minute read; 853 words)
Christianity, the World’s Most Falsifiable Religion | Parchment and Pen
HT: Justin Taylor: Between Two Worlds: The Gospel Coalition
Eric Chabot demolishes the theory that earliest Christianity was spawned by cognitive dissonance in the disciples of Jesus.
In the process, Eric quotes N. T. Wright who refutes the claim that Christianity arose in context of cultures filled with stories of dying and rising gods (also refuted by William Lane Craig in this 2 min video clip).
(6 min read; 1,492 words)
The Resurrection of Jesus and the Cognitive Dissonance Hypothesis | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM.
Aaron Armstrong (in a 2 min; 472 word post) and Mark Driscoll (in a 4:47 video clip) calll attention to the fact that the Old Testament is about Jesus.
Where Is Jesus In The Old Testament?
One of today’s urban myths is that antiquity is filled with myths of dying and rising gods of which Christianity was just a copy-cat formulation. In less than two minutes, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig sets the record straight.
Are There Other Resurrection Myths? – YouTube.
(ht: Stephen J. Bedard at Hope’s Reason)
Justin Taylor reports:
Robert Louis Wilken, emeritus professor of history at the University of Virginia:
At the end of the first century there were fewer than ten thousand Christians in the Roman Empire. The population at the time numbered some sixty million, which meant that Christians made up one hundredth of one percent or 0.0017 percent according to the figures of a contemporary sociologist.
Of course, such numbers are estimates and must be taken with a grain of salt. That said, they do bring Jesus’ words from Luke 12:32 to mind and remind us as well of the time of Gideon when God said to decrease – rather than increase – the number of warriors to be deployed for battle (see Judges 7, where God reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300). As God said through Jonathan, “The Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6).
For the rest of this post from Justin Taylor, see Early Church Growth – Justin Taylor.