Your analysis of essay in NY Times Magazine ('This Is a Religious War') hits the mark. This essay and your critique speak volumes. We must understand the times. Thank you for illuminating this deadly serious matter. -- T.O., NY
Intellectual arguments cannot by themselves lead to a saving faith. That is the gift of the Holy Spirit alone. Intellectual arguments can, however, move an atheist to reconsider his beliefs and conclude that he may have been wrong. This happened to the English philosopher Antony Flew (1923), who for more than 50 years had been among the most influential twentieth-century atheistic philosophers. In 2004, however, at a conference in New York , he announced, to the horror of militant atheists worldwide, that he “now accepted the existence of a God.”
Picture this: A GreatRiver with roaring current, white caps foaming intersecting with a much smaller, placid Lesser Stream. Imagine that this Great River represents all-that-is-true and on the other hand that the Lesser Stream is one’s beliefs. Imagine also how overwhelmed the stream’s mouth might be by the powerful course of the GreatRiver: Even to the point of eroding the intersection into a body of water; a basin or perhaps what would even have the appearance of a lake or pond. This basin is comparable to knowledge.
Brian Godawa is a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the award-winning feature film, To End All Wars (www.toendallwarsmovie.com), starring Kiefer Sutherland and Robert Carlyle. He is currently adapting two novels to film by best-selling author Frank Peretti. He has traveled around the United States teaching on movies and culture to colleges, churches and community groups. His book, Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment (InterVarsity Press) is in its fifth printing. His website, www.godawa.com, contains more of his cinematic, theological and philosophical musings.
You know that this book, Lamentations, is written by Jeremiah the prophet who had warned Israel concerning the judgment to come. And was a sensitive soul. And had the unfortunate pain of having to watch the destruction of his people through their stubbornness. The loss of the city of Zion, Jerusalem. And the destruction of the temple. And in this book which is an artistic jewel, he speaks of his experience at watching and knowing of the destruction, the judgment that came upon the people of God. And in verse 19 he says, “I remember my affliction and my wanderings. The bitterness and the gaul. I well remember them. And my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind. And therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed. For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”
La palabra “sagrado” es etimológicamente rica y reveladora. Está asociada con el término consagrar del Inglés Medio1, el Francés Antiguo para santo, el Indo-Europeo para establecer un pacto, el Noruego Antiguo para reconciliado, y con ley del Hitita. La idea de lo sagrado nos lleva al mismo centro alrededor del cual se organiza una sociedad. Se halla en el fundamento de las premisas que gobiernan no solamente el ritual religioso, sino también la organización cultural. No podemos esperar tener un entendimiento apropiado de nuestra propia crisis cultural aparte de un entendimiento de la idea y función de lo sagrado. Pues aquello que es considerado como constitucionalmente sagrado determina: 1) qué más puede ser considerado como constitucionalmente sagrado; 2) quién y qué será considerado como funcionalmente santo o impío; 3) sobre qué estarán fundamentados todos los pactos y por quienes serán presenciados en calidad de testigos; 4) el sendero y los medios para la reconciliación; y 5) lo que es legítimo e ilegítimo (en pensamiento, palabra y acción), desde arriba hacia abajo, en una cultura.
Covenant is the key to life and Scripture, but some seem to have misplaced it. It is our hope to make a modest contribution toward covenant recovery in this article and that requires that we keep it simple.
Greetings in our Messiah. We are trusting in your love and patience as we stumble along in this series, trying to explain our concerns. Some may be wondering, “Why are you so concerned about the Reformed?” Well, we are concerned about the whole Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we Reformed have been providentially entrusted with unique responsibilities.
Surely such an advance is needed. We stand at the threshold of the Third Christian Millennium having lost our grip on an entire civilization. Humanism owns the Public Square, and Islam is poised to make its greatest westward strides—by hook, crook and book—ever. American Christians are, in thought, word and deed, indistinguishable from non-Christians. They cannot tell you their history, they do not know their Bibles, they cannot even identify themselves. Covenant consciousness is not understood as a concept, let alone experienced as a reality. And this paragraph does not fairly begin as an introduction to the summaries of our crises. We are in bad shape! It is hardly the time for us to employ our remaining energies in a cannibalistic consumption of what’s left of ourselves.
Greetings in our Messiah. We had been saying that now is the time for Christians to be more Jewish: not in our festal celebrations but in our orientation, our thinking, our tilt, our way of seeing. The work of the Reformation has been stymied by our stubborn retention of Greek categories.
I admit it: I'm envious. Perhaps I should say jealous. For someone has noted that envy is a desire for what is rightfully others' while jealousy is a desire for what is properly yours. Any way you slice it, I'm green when I look at observant (orthodox) Jews.
Last week we spoke about Christmas in our worship service and applied it to the conflict with humanism. We talked about the difference between the real, true mystery of our faith on the one hand — that God became man (the mystery of godliness, 1 Timothy 3:16), versus the mythology of Joseph Campbell and our culture, which would have us think that the myth, or the meta-story, looks to give meaning to life. The culture would have us think that there is really no revelation of God in history, but that men imagine it all.
Some people regard this as a controversial message. A few have even had harsh words for the ideas expressed herein. We, however, think it's a simple, straightforward, and manifestly Biblical challenge to continue the work of the Reformation. What do you think? Let us know.
Religious persecution must be distinguished from moral prosecution. It is important to make this distinction in an age like ours which greases squeaky wheels by conferring on them the coveted status of victim. Deviants today routinely bypass the question of the lawfulness of their perversions, and put the godly on the defensive, by claiming that they are being improperly persecuted when they are actually being properly prosecuted. Moral prosecution seeks to hold people accountable in the civil realm for certain behaviors; religious persecution seeks to punish people in the civil realm for certain beliefs.
Now the immediate reference to this saying, What God has joined together let man not separate is obviously the marriage union but I am going to make applications of this truth today that go beyond that specific reference to the marriage union.
It’s a type of sentence Rushdoony has become famous for among those who read him carefully: a nearly nonchalant assertion in the middle of a paragraph, offhand but on target, huge in its implications. “The stronger man makes the state, the weaker he makes himself.” 
According to Leo Rosten, In Eastern Europe, the shadchan [matchmaker] performed a very important social function. Not only did he scour communities for eligible boys and nubile girls; he was the prime source of news/gossip as well to shtetlach [villages] bereft of newspapers, radios, travelers. Thus the famous matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof was given the name Yenta, a Yiddish noun denoting a gossipy woman.
Is there anyone who has not been accosted by a multi-level marketeer? Perhaps in Bora Bora, but in North America we almost have to fend them off. As if Amway devotees were not enough, we now have to face multi-level cosmetics puffers, multi-level vitamin poppers, even multi-level water-purifiers. Multi-level marketing's end is not in sight. Years ago, my personal ministry's was.
Each year, as I watch my unbelieving Jewish family celebrate the Passover on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month of Nisan, my Christian heart cries out, They know not what they do! As a Jew, I sometimes watch my Christian brethren celebrate the Lord's Supper and wonder if the same sentiment may not be expressed for them. For while the Jews leave the Seder table without apprehending the spiritual reality of the meal, too many Christians, for lack of understanding its various contexts, leave the Supper without grasping the realities it was meant to convey. Not a few sense that they are missing something. Perhaps they are right. As one woman remarked, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel- somehow we are not given the proper clues. Seeing the Supper as the fulfillment of the Passover may provide us with some clues.
Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad.
The event which occasioned this letter was my discovery that many members of my congregation had received tracts (of the Are You Truly Born Again? variety) from a former member who, though truly a lover of the Lord, was deeply affected by that pietistic current in Christian thought which I will call Morbid Introspectionism. The people who received these tracts are outstanding Christians who devote their lives daily to the service of the King. Apparently, their zeal and righteous walk were not enough to convince our friend that he should regard them as co-laborers on par with himself. This open letter is an appeal to have us return to the objective standards of Scripture, rather than shifting human sentiment, when we seek to understand the nature of truly Biblical piety in contrast to pietism.
After thousands of years of promise, and after four hundred years of silence, the angel Gabriel shatters that silence with a revelation to a shuddering, old priest. Do not be afraid, Zachariah, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son. Give him the name John. He will be the forerunner of the Messiah promised in Scripture. Zechariah would learn that God's message, howsoever it might appear to contravene reason or experience, is certain of fulfillment in God's time. And that time had now come.
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before Him, and around Him a tempest rages.
1 Therefore, a promise being left to enter into His rest, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For also the gospel was preached (to us), as well as to them. But the word (preached) did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard (it).
Text: Luke 23:1-25 Supporting Scripture: John 18:28-40
Something that we need to bear in mind as we read the accounts about the sufferings of Jesus is this: It was the world that was on trial here, not Jesus. This is the way we must view these accounts. The world is being summoned before Christ, not the other way around. That may be the way that it is seen by the eye of flesh, but actually God is conducting the court, and the world is being judged as Christ is brought before each party. When we read of Christ being brought before them, uppermost in our minds must be that they are actually being brought before Him, to be tried, and to be exposed, and today we're going to discuss the exposure that we can glean in the cases of several of these.
This is a marvelous passage of Scripture. In modern speech, it might not be understood by New Zealanders in quite the same way as it was by Habakkuk. But the message is the same, and it would be something like this: If the aisles at Pack n' Save were depleted, if there was no food in the vegetable department and all the shelves were stripped of bread and juice. If I lost my job, and my unemployment insurance ran out, and I had no money in the bank, and all my relatives were in the same circumstances, yet I would rejoice in the Lord. Habakkuk is saying that there would be complete ruin of the land, and nothing that he put his hand to would bear fruit. Yet he would rejoice in God. What I am going to suggest to you today is that this is Calvinism, or that system called Calvinism, and that this is the only doctrine that can provide comfort and that it is what I call a rockin' doctrine.
Now you see the birth of Jesus foretold. “In the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The virgin’s name was Miriam.” It says here Mary. “The angel went to her and said, Greetings to you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid Mary for you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus,” Yeshua, salvation. Jehovah is our salvation.
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Eph. 4:17-25)