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19 April 2018

The Incredibly Stupid "Professor"

Fresno State professor under fire for celebrating death of Barbara Bush
https://www.yahoo.com/newsroom/vibes/entertainment/v-7563eca7-14c1-3a20-ab16-782788cde33a_c-6256a8bb-6fde-3750-a3d5-c1a33346b2b9_a-6256a8bb-6fde-3750-a3d5-c1a33346b2b9

18 April 2018

The Epitome of Narcissism --even unto death

Recently a Southwest flight made an emergency landing after one of its engines partially exploded. One woman, according to news reports, was killed and several others were injured. 

What is almost equally tragic is when a certain man on the Southwest flight live streamed the unfolding terror to his Facebook account. In the photo below you can see the man at the front of the picture shooting the video. If you look to the upper right you will notice someone else doing the same thing, or maybe he or she is taking a selfie. I wonder how many other passengers were posting to their twitter or FB accounts?


This is, to me, is the apotheosis of narcissism. No one on that flight knew if they were going to survive and yet some people had to make a production out of it. And for what? More "likes", more attention? It is more than shameful self-promotion. This is symptomatic of a mentally deranged people. 











14 April 2018

How to Use an Interlinear Bible

Latest post from Mathaytes: Using Interlinear Bibles 

Have you ever wondered what those little numbers are next to the words in an interlinear Bible?  Click on the link above to find out. Another informative post by Pastor K.G. And while you're there, check out some of his posts on apologetics and Bible study...


09 April 2018

04 March 2018

Thoughts

The Fool

The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the LORD.
(Proverbs 19:3 (NASB95)

This is the way of it, isn’t it? A man ruins his life by his words and deeds and blames everyone else apart from himself. If he’s not so completely foolish (Psa 14:1) and happens to believe in a “higher power”, he would dare look upwards and blame God as well. I hate to break the news, but mankind is not evolving. His condition isn’t improving with time despite advances in technology and medicine. His fundamental nature has remained the same from the beginning. Man will always miss the mark, every time. He can’t even live up to his own moral standards let alone the Divine Imperatives.

Tech and Safety

As a truck driver, I must stay constantly on alert. For 12 to 14 hours a day, every day, I have to be aware of what’s going on around me, in and out of the truck, for the safety of others and myself. I have a better view than most. I sit either parallel or just above the top of most vehicles. I can see directly into your car without even paying attention. Just a quick glance and I know what you're doing. This may sound kind creepy to some but it’s really an advantage in terms of safety. I know whether a driver is distracted, what his possible intentions are, and just what kind of driver he is. And the kind of driver I see is disturbing. Most people have their phones in hand or resting on their knee. What’s most alarming is many are texting and driving while traveling up to or exceeding speeds of 70 mph on the interstate! Offhand, I don’t know the statistics, but this seems to be a greater problem than driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I don’t care what your business is, or what's going on in your life, there is nothing more important than paying attention to what you’re doing behind the wheel.

“Abject Culture” and the Dehumanization of Man

A certain friend, in one of his more contemplative moods, seriously considered how tech and social media is affecting our culture. He even bought a domain and toyed with the idea of creating a website addressing these issues. It was a good plan and I hope he does something with it. When he approached me as a possible contributor I had already been collecting articles on the negative effects of social media, and at last count, I have acquired some 40 essays or so over the last 5 years. One of the first articles I bookmarked concluded that the jury was still out. Though in most cases the jury must reach a unanimous decision to convict, not all cases do. So far, the consensus is social media and tech is harmful to individuals and dehumanizing society as a whole. The list of negative effects is too long for this thought. So to give you an idea of the problem I’ll leave you with this quote:

“Tech companies are conducting a massive, real-time experiment on our kids, and, at present, no one is really holding them accountable,” said Common Sense’s CEO, James Steyer, warning that tech companies’ attention-grabbing business models may hurt “the social, emotional and cognitive development of kids”.

“When parents learn how these companies can take advantage of our kids, they will join us in demanding the industry change its ways and improve certain practices.” --

(Center for Humane Technology, led by former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris and former Facebook investor and adviser Roger McNamee.) --The quote is taken from the article, “Former Facebook and Google workers launch campaign to fight tech addiction”. The Guardian.

03 July 2017

Revelation: They Were Blessed

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18-19)

The Bible is history. It is the written revelation of God’s historical, redemptive act of salvation through Jesus Christ from beginning to end. It is the story of grace, hope, and redemption for both Jews and gentiles, for those “…who are near and those who are far off.” Although the story is simple enough, anyone who has seriously studied Scripture know some passages and words are not easily understood.

One mysterious book has confused and divided some of the brightest students and scholars for nearly 2 millennia. According to R.C Sproul, “Whole systems of eschatological thought have been labeled and identified in accordance with the place the millennium holds within each system.” (The Last Days According to Jesus Christ, R.C Sproul. Pg. 193.)

These include: historic premillennialism, dispensational premillennialism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, partial preterism, and full preterism. Some of these views spring from Revelation ch. 20 alone excluding subsystems of thought or divided opinion within each group. One could spend a life time navigating endless articles and commentaries on each position.

Why then should countless interpretations on the Parousia be any different than views on other major doctrines? We can all agree Jesus is Lord and savior so why should it matter? Love God with all your heart and understanding, trust in Jesus, and love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and prophets are summed up in these. Is it really a big deal we should have different ideas about “…when these things shall be, and the end of the age?”

Like anything else, it matters because how we understand the second advent may influence our thinking when interpreting certain passages. If we understand New Testament prophecy as a past or fulfilled event, verses like Ro. 13:11 change our concept of time. Paul’s warning to the church at Rome becomes something about to occur within their generation. “The things which must soon take place…” in Rev. 1:1 is near – even at the doors of the 7 churches in Asia. Likewise, Mat 24 is one continuous discourse apart from any discontinuity or break in the text. All prophecy is fulfilled. Jesus Christ came and went in a "twinkling of an eye" at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70. 

On the opposite side, time is elastic. In this sense Paul’s exhortation in 2 Tim 3:1 is not only a real-time warning for him, but for all elders in subsequent generations to the present. The “last days” can mean from the inception of the church to the present. In this scheme, the plain understanding of at least some words is not so plain anymore. The Olivet Discourse is picked apart. “You” becomes “all” and “age” means the physical destruction of the world and the of end time as we know it. The student and scholar must determine which phrases and words mean now at the time the letter was written and those that mean imminent for the last 2000 years.  

The list of difficulties goes on. It would seem there is no end to it. As a result, some would argue though we have different opinions on eschatology we must look at the over all teaching of the New Testament. We should not be overly concerned about end times as opposed to salvation and individual sanctification. What matters is faith in Jesus Christ and obedience. This, despite over 66 verses with context (excluding Old Testament passages) and one entire book in the New Testament devoted to the Parousia.

The first sermon this writer heard over 20 years ago was on End Times. The minister gave a brief explanation on 4 major positions and then went on to explain which he believed was the correct one. Before the alter call he said, whatever choice you make among these different views you can be sure Jesus Christ is coming back one day, and you must ask yourself – are you ready?

I would echo the good minister’s call with an exception. Jesus said in Jn 7:1-8, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.” Jesus Christ was to die on the cross for all who believe in Him, not 1 minute before, or 1 minute after. It was God’s timing. Our time is now. I do not mean 1000 years from now but from the instant you hear the Gospel call.
   
The exception is this, the basics of proper Bible study say there can be only one intended meaning. The Bible was written from the context of the author to the context of the recipients. It had a specific audience and addressed real time problems. The word of God is not a smorgasbord of ideas to pick and choose whatever fancies our taste.

The Bible is truth. Truth does not contradict or give contrary statements. It is yes or no, not yes and no. We are not allowed historic premillennialism and amillennialism. Otherwise, the warning at the beginning of this article means nothing or anything you want it to mean.

But surely God is merciful is He not? Maybe it was just His way of saying He really, really wants us to pay attention and get it right. 

If you have come this far you may have thought the obvious. There is nothing new here. In part 2, I intend to prove someone indeed got it right. They did not simply agree to disagree while singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. They understood the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. 

They understood, and they were blessed.





10 May 2017

Mark Levin -- The Political Bully

I’ve had it with Mark Levin.  He’s a mean-spirited jerk.  “That’s right. I said it!” 

Years ago, when I was driving over the road I was flipping through the radio one night and I found the Mark Levin Show. At first I thought the guy was a nut job. Then I gave him a chance and ended up listening to Mark for years. What I like about him is he’s not a party line cheerleader for the Republicans. If someone isn’t towing the line he says so. He doesn’t cut any slack no matter who they are or what political party they belong. 

Another thing I like about Mark is you won’t find him giving parroted arguments or talking points you would expect from other radio hosts. Depending on the complexity of the argument he might use political philosophy and history to back up his point. Sometimes he would read long quotes from our founding fathers and writers of the Constitution. I especially love it when he talks about history. Make no mistake -- Mark Levin is the real deal, a true blue Constitutional Conservative. 

What put me over the edge was a show I was listening to on Podcast the other day. A guy calls in and says, “Thank you for taking my call. It’s an honor to speak to you.” The topic was the health care bill recently passed by the House. The caller said he liked the bill because it kept the precondition rule.

He didn’t have insurance and said, “…it’s cheaper to pay when I need to go to the doctor.”

Then Mark said, “Let’s say you have catastrophe, am I supposed to pay for that?”

The caller, “No sir.”

Mark, “Oh yes, but I have to because then you have a preexisting condition.”

The caller, “This is true.”

Mark, “Yeah, so you know what you are?”

The caller doesn’t answer.

Mark repeats the question, “So do you know what you are?”

There’s a pause. 

Mark, “You’re a parasite.”

The caller may have a been a liberal operative, who knows. Occasionally a few slip by “Mr. Call Screener” and try to entangle Mark on questions and so on. The caller, however, seemed to be a genuine Mark Levin fan.

It’s one thing to bad mouth politicians in Washington. I’ve done my share. If Mark continues to attack his fans he’ll find himself without an audience and maybe even lose a few advertisers. It was Mark’s passion that first got my attention, but he should use a little discretion on who should be on the receiving end of it.