Ground Zero Mosque Foes Seek Landmark Status -- Everyday Christian News | Everyday Christian

Ground Zero Mosque Foes Seek Landmark Status -- Everyday Christian News | Everyday Christian

A Christian legal group representing thousands of Americans opposed to the building of an Islamic mosque near Ground Zero has urged New York City officials to grant landmark status to the current building on the site. The American Center for Law and Justice contends in a written testimony to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission that the building at 45-47 Park Place should be considered a landmark because the landing gear of one of the hijacked planes on 9/11 fell through its roof. The site of 45-47 Park Place is where The Cordoba Initiative wants to build a 13-story, $100 million Muslim community center.

Georgia Grad Student Sues University, Saying She Was Told to Change Christian Beliefs -- Everyday Christian News | Everyday Christian

Georgia Grad Student Sues University, Saying She Was Told to Change Christian Beliefs -- Everyday Christian News | Everyday Christian

An Augusta State University graduate student filed a lawsuit against the university Wednesday, because she says professors told her to change her religious beliefs to remain in her counseling program. According to the lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, Jennifer Keeton, 24, has voiced her Christian beliefs inside and outside the classroom on homosexuality and other biblical teachings. ASU faculty has ordered her to undergo a remediation plan, which would include diversity sensitivity workshops, or she will be expelled from the counseling program, she says. Keeton plans to become a school counselor, and says she refuses to change her religious beliefs.


The high price of being a Christian in Pakistan | Christian News on Christian Today

The high price of being a Christian in Pakistan
Nasir Saeed
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The last two months have seen an intensification of the level of discrimination and persecution against Christians, particularly women and young girls. Kidnap, rape, forced marriage and forced conversion to Islam have sadly become everyday occurrences.

No one wants to hear about the degradation of innocent Christian girls, but to remain silent about it would be a greater crime. My hope is that, in sharing news of these crimes, you will not only be better informed of the harsh reality facing so many Christians in Pakistan every day, but also in a better position to help them win justice.

The high price of being a Christian in Pakistan | Christian News on Christian Today

Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Deity of Christ

1. The early creedal formula "Jesus is Lord [kyrios]": 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11.
2. The title "Son of God" ("Son of" implies "of the same nature as."): Matt 11:27; Mark 12:6; 13:32; 14:61-62; Luke 10:22; 22:70; John 10:30; 14:9.
3. The New Testament calls him "God": Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Rom 9:5; John 1:1.
4. Absolutely, universally supreme: Col 1:15-20.
5. Eternally preexistent: John 1:1; Phil 2:6; Heb 13:8; Rev 22:13.
6. Omnipresent: Matt 18:20; 28:20.
7. Omnipotent: Matt 28:18; Heb 1:3; Rev 1:8.
8. Immutable: Heb 1:11-12; 13:8.
9. Creates (only God can create): Col 1:16-17; John 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1:10.
10. Sinless, perfect: Heb 7:26; John 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21.
11. Has authority to forgive sins: Mark 2:5-12; Luke 24:45-47; Acts 10:43; 1 John 1:5-9.
12. Rightly worshiped: Matt 2:11; 14:33; 28:9; John 20:28; Heb 1:5-9.
13. Speaks the unique, forbidden divine name: John 8:58.
14. Called "King of kings and Lord of lords": 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14.
15. One with the Father: John 10:30; 12:45; 14:8-10.
16. Performs miracles: John 10:37-38; and throughout all four Gospels.
17. Sends the Holy Spirit: John 14:25-26; 16:7-15.
18. The Father testifies to him: Matt 3:17; 17:5; John 8:18; 1 John 5:9.
19. Gives eternal life: John 3:16; 5:39-47; 20:30-31.
20. Foreknows the future: Mark 8:31; Luke 9:21-22; 12:49-53; 22:35-37; 24:1-7; John 3:11-14; 6:63-64; 13:1-11; 14:27-29; 18:1-4; 19:26-30.
21. Is Lord over the Law: Luke 6:1-5.*

You Might Also Enjoy:

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Stepping Stones by Nevin Bass

Author Nevin Bass, from Truth Streams, is a pastor, teacher, writer and an avid fly fisherman. In this work he offers a great resource for every pastor or minister—Stepping Stones. The book also comes with PowerPoint files for use in teaching each chapter as a lesson or a series of lessons. Bass uses the journey of the Hebrew people through the wilderness to reveal how God helps us to grow and develop into a true man or woman of God. The journey through the wilderness is how God “teaches life’s lessons through trials.”

In the foreword, author and Bible teacher--Kelsey Griffin--notes that the work of God “is not a sudden transformation but a slow, steady, and continual process of adjustments through situations…” (pg. xi).  In this work Bass demonstrates this through the life of Israel. Chapter one, helps to prepare us for the journey. Bass notes that “greatness will always elude us until we are able to transform our thinking and thus reform our living.” (pg. 12). Each chapter concludes with a summary to draw together the strings of each thought.

Chapter two is about “Conquering Fear” and the author rightly points out that “the first trial Israel encountered in the wilderness was the fight against fear.” (pg. 31). This chapter encourages us to control our fear by taking our fears to God in prayer.

Chapter three masterfully deals with the topic of bitterness. Bass says, “Bitterness is the result of an inflated sense of self-merit as well as false expectations” and goes on to say “no hardship can ever come into your life that did not travel the road of his sovereignty.” (pg. 46, 47).

Chapter four helps us to develop a thankful heart. Thankfulness is something missing in our culture that feels everything is “owed” them. Bass covers the contagious nature of complainers, traits of an unthankful heart, breaking the cycle of ingratitude, and God attacks ingratitude through daily dependence.

Chapter five is about “Trust and Obey” that is fully relying upon God. Bass notes that “trusting God today and surrendering the unknowns of tomorrow is what conveys us along the path to greater revelation.” (pg. 77) This is a lesson derived from the daily manna given to the Hebrew people by God. It helped to create a daily trust and dependence upon God.

Bass begins chapter six with “depth of character is gained in times of dryness.” (pg. 83) No matter how short or how long we have been on our journey with God we will experience times of dryness. Here the author explores how God uses dryness “combat carnality.” (pg. 86)

The next six chapters cover: Dealing with Delays, The Crisis of Unsettling Change, Burying Lust, Believing the Word, Obeying the Word, and Altering God’s Purpose. This book is a gold mine for every minister who is looking for good seed material for sermons and lessons.

In Stepping Stones, Nevin Bass takes the lessons of the Hebrew people and seeks to apply them to today. There is bibliography, index and Scripture index. In a little over 200 pages you are invited on a journey of stepping stones to glory!                                                                                              

You may also enjoy Building God's Wall: Reclaiming Your Spiritual High Ground by Nevin Bass as well!

Building God's Wall: Reclaiming Your Spiritual HIgh Ground

Explicit Reference to The Trinity?

Bavarian State Library

If you are KJV Only you don't want to read any further. Text critic, Daniel Wallace finds the Comma Johanneum in the margins of an eleventh century parchment manuscript at the BSB. The margin notes, containing the reference, are very similar to what may have been "made to order" for Erasmus in 1520.

Wallace says, "The original wording of 1 John 5.7–8 in the manuscript at th
e BSB reads, For there are three that testify, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreement. This is unremarkable as it is, since this is the wording of the original text of this passage. But there is a note written above the text in the upper margin which reads, There are three who testify in heaven: The Father, Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. The note is written in a much later hand—at the earliest during the second half of the sixteenth century."

Wallace wisely does not feel the Trinity rises or falls on the Comma; however, is this not an obvious Trinitarian bias emerging in the translation process? 

I for one am glad this discovery was found and pray that translators strive for excellence in translation, careful not to impose Trinitarian notions where they are not "explicitly" referenced, in the Text itself. I believe the references of distinction must center upon the Incarnation as we protect the divinely revealed first principle of absolute monotheism as well as His eternal essence. 

Personally, I find that there is evident bias by the Trinitarian translators (c.f. Rev 5:6). I am no expert in the field of textural criticism nor the original languages but it is fairly easy to deduce certain conclusions on the evolution and development of the Trinitarian doctrine.

In addition, 
and to some "more importantly", this margin note on the Comma (1 John 5:8) is often used to support KJV Onlyism since they are committed, whether they realize it or not, to the Textus Receptus. Many feel that the Comma was an interpolation, something added to the copy or manuscript by a "later hand". It eventually made its way into common translation, see KJV 1611/Erasmus/Froy, etc.

Although some have retained it many modern translations omit the Comma and place it into the margin or footnotes. Personally, I do not feel the Comma Johanneum is a part of the originally inspired writings of Scripture. This should not cause us to fear or abandon but to draw us closer to God's Word and create an hunger to KNOW more about what He has said.

The problem is that we are English speaking folk attempting to read a document dually authored by God and written by about 40 Jewish men and probably one Gentile (Luke). It is inspired or "theopnuestos" - breathed out by God but in the process of moving the letters of those documents to another language it makes bias possible. Interpretation is inherently present. I think the bias is actual in reference to the Comma.

Click Here To Read Entire Article from CSNTM.


Ancient Christian Commentary: The Gospel of Mark

Mark (The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture)

The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a unique commentary series. Scholars and computer technology comb the writings of ancient Christian writers on particular books of the Bible. It is considered to be an ecumenical project with general editor Thomas C. Oden. This series, which receives high praise from J.I. Packer, Richard J. Neuhaus and Bruce M. Metzger, is an attempt to bring awareness and understanding to Christians concerning ancient beliefs.

Scholars familiar with ancient Christian writings offer hand-selected portions of these texts. I recently received my review copy on The Gospel of Mark, free of charge, from InterVarsity Press. There are 284 pages. Besides the commentary there is an introduction to Mark, biographical sketches, timeline on the writers of the patristic period, an index of contributing ancient authors as well as an appendix: Method of Investigation into the Early Exegesis of Mark.

Oden and company suggest that “the early church widely regarded the author of Mark’s Gospel as the authentic voice and interpreter of Peter.” (pg. xxi) The earliest ancient writing confirming Markan authorship is Papias (AD 60-130). Eusebius and Jerome would both agree to Markan Authorship.

Eusebius records this account and says “But now we must add to the words of [Papias] which we have already quoted the tradition which he gives in regard to Mark.” (pg. xxi). Africa, Asia and throughout the northern Mediterranean have several Christian texts quoting the Gospel of Mark from early times. The view that Matthew and Luke share literary dependency on the writings of Mark is an idea that did not develop in full form until around the nineteenth century. Oden and Co. also suggest that Markan priority is debatable since “there are notable proponents of the dependence of Mark on Matthew.” (pg. xxix)

This commentary purposely omits addressing the textual issues surround the long or shorter ending of Mark. Instead, it simply gives the citations of ancient writers in order to determine how they interpreted this text. Scholars such as Maurice Robinson argue for the longer ending while Daniel Wallace argues against.

The Apostolic Constitutions, a fourth century writing, quotes vss. 17-18 in their entirety. They suggest, “these gifts were first bestowed on us the Apostles when we were about to preach the gospel to every creature. Later they of necessity were afforded to others who had by the apostles come to believe. It is clear that these gifts were not given for the advantage of those who perform them, but for the conviction of unbelievers, that those whom the word did not persuade, the power of signs might put to shame.” (pg. 239)

This commentary set can be appreciated by the layperson and the careful academic alike.

Mark (The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture)


Ancient Christian Commentary: Genesis I-II

Genesis 1-11 (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament, Volume I)

The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a unique commentary series. Scholars and computer technology comb the writings of ancient Christian writers on particular books of the Bible. It is considered to be an ecumenical project with general editor Thomas C. Oden. It is an attempt to bring awareness and understanding to Christians concerning ancient beliefs.

Scholars familiar with ancient Christian writings offer hand-selected portions of these texts. I recently received my review copy on Genesis I-II, free of charge, from InterVarsity Press. There are 204 pages as it covers Genesis 1-11:32. Besides the commentary there is an introduction to Genesis I-II, chronology, biographical sketches, and an appendix of all the Early Christian writings cited.

Basil the Great, commenting on 1:5b, and the days of Creation suggests that “after the creation of the sun, it is day when the air is illuminated by the sun shining on the hemisphere above the earth when the sun is hidden.” Basil goes on to say, “Yet it was not at that time according to our solar motion.”

Oden, et al suggests that Genesis 1:26-27 are the “most commented on by the Fathers.” (pg. 27) Gregory of Nyssa, concerning “let us make man” says that “God deliberated about the best way to bring to life a creation worthy of honor.” Chrysostom likewise says, “’let us make man’ suggests deliberation, collaboration and conference…” (pg. 28) Clement of Alexandria, on “the image of God” says this “is his Word and an image of the Word is the true man, that is, the mind of man, who on this account is said to have been created “in the image” of God and “in his likeness,” because through his understanding heart he is made like the divine Word or Reason (logos), and so rational (logikos).

This commentary set can be appreciated by the layperson and the careful academic alike. This volume states, “The early chapters of Genesis had arguable the greater influence of the development of Christian theology than did any other part of the Old Testament.” (pg. xxxix) The first few chapters of Genesis cover such theological issues as Adam and Christ; Typology; Creation; Humanity in the Image of God and The Fall and Original Sin. Many problems and arguments today have been considered in the past. There is truly nothing new under the sun.

Genesis 1-11 (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament, Volume I)


God is Great, God is Good

God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable & Responsible

God does not exist. God doesn’t make sense, and what about evolution? Evil disproves the existence of God, or religion is just too evil. Christianity is just a myth. How does my faith in Jesus Christ affect my life? If you are a pastor or keep up with current debates in religion today you may have heard one or more of these statements. God is Great, God is Good is a great resource for understanding current naturalistic and skeptical arguments.

The book is organized in four parts. The contributors are a collage of Christian thinkers in the leading edge of their fields. The book is only 265 pages in length but is full of great evidence for a Good, Great, and yet personal God. Most of the authors do, however, affirm some form of theistic evolution. I have chosen to only draw out some highlights in this review and encourage you to read “the rest of the story.”

God Is: William L. Craig, J.P. Moreland and Paul Moser.
God Is Great: John Polkinghorne, Michael Behe, and Micahel J. Murray.
God Is Good: Chad Meister, Alister McGrath, Paul Copan, and Jerry Walls.
Why It Matters: Charles Taliaferro, Scot McKnight, Gary Habermas, and Mark Mittleberg.

Part One discusses God’s existence. Here strong arguments positing the existing of God are selected. Part Two addresses the arguments against God’s “creative design” in the world. It is a rejoinder to naturalistic, Darwinian speculations. Part Three tackles questions the goodness of God and how a perfectly loving God can coexist with heaven or hell. Part Four leaves theistic arguments and attempts to discuss Christian thought, e.g. divine revelation, Jesus Christ, Resurrection.

In the first chapter, William L. Craig dismantles the arguments of atheist Richard Dawkins (author, God Delusion) within just ten pages. Craig concisely covers the Cosmological, Moral, Teleological, and Ontological arguments all the while clearly pointing to the short-comings of Dawkins. J.P. Moreland takes up the second chapter with great arguments for man being made in the image of God (See Gen. 1:27). Moreland begins with the premise that “there are things about our makeup that are like how God is.” (pg.33) He lays out five evidences for this argument: Consciousness, Free Will, Rationality, United Selves, and Intrinsic, Equal Value and Rights.

Paul Moser begins chapter three with suggesting that “a morally robust version of theism is cognitively more resilient than contemporary critics have supposed.” (pg. 49) Here Moser seeks to reorient some presuppositions usually packed into inquiry or arguments about the existence of God. In chapter four, John Polkinghorne suggests that “the Universe points beyond itself” and that we have “a finely tuned Universe”. He also addresses atheistic scientific explanations for a Multiverse which he rightly calls a “grossly extended form of naturalism”. (pg. 71). Polkinghorne also writes about the “significant change” that has taken place in physics and our explanation of the Universe. He also states, “the theist cannot be forbidden to believe that God has chosen to interact providentially with unfolding history, with the open grain of cosmic process that modern science has discerned.” (pg. 75)

In chapters five and six Michael Behe and Michael Murray discuss evolution but from two different angles. Behe speaks of God and Evolution. Specifically about Darwinism and how it has changed, random mutation, and malaria. One of his final remarks is, “for most of history humanity could see only the beauty and elegance of the external features of life…we now see that the hidden foundation of life is even more ingenious than its visible features.” (pg. 89) Murray, on the other hand, talks about the “powerful evidence that human minds are in fact, if not exactly hard wired, at least strongly predisposed to religious beliefs and behavior.” (p.g 91) Michael Persinger conversely says that “God is an artifact of the brain.” Dawkins would say, “the irrationality of religion is a by-product of the built in irrationally mechanism in the brain.” Murray goes on to conclude that it is “acceptable for the Christian to hold that God created the world, human beings and human minds in such a way that when they are functioning properly, they form beliefs in the existence of rocks, rainbows, human minds and…God.” (g. 104)

Chapter seven, by Chad Meister, explores God, Evil and Morality. Meister begins with the problem of evil and then moves to remarks about the foundation of morality and morality as illusion. In chapter eight, Alister McGrath does an excellent job of answering the problem of religious evil. Discussing the New Atheism, clearing up the term “religion”, “God” and looks at the atheistic violence against religion as well. Mc Grath also writes of binary oppositions and the inevitability that divisions amongst groups are social constructs. In conclusion Mc Grath quotes Michael Shermer to explain the positive side of religion: “for every one of these grand tragedies there are then thousand acts of personal kindness and social good that go unreported…religion…cannot be reduced to an unambiguous good or evil.” (pg. 131)

Paul Copan takes on “Are Old Testament Laws Evil?” in the ninth chapter. Copan also takes Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris (popular atheists) to task. Dawkins thinks that Yahweh is a moral monster forced upon culture and religion then is evil. Copan exposes the faux pas of the New Atheists which “resist the notion of Yahweh’s rightful prerogatives over humans” assume a “sexual jealousy of God” by diminishing the sacred “meaning of the marriage covenant” and says that “naturalism doesn’t have the metaphysical resources to move from valueless matter to value.” (pg. 153)

Chapter ten seems to be unique in apologetics as Jerry Walls discusses “How God Could Create Hell?” Walls suggests that “hell is created when free beings use (more accurately, abuse) the freedom God has given them not to embrace him but to reject him.” (pg. 162) Walls quotes C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain when he says, “the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside.” (pg. 163)

Part four, and Chapter eleven starts with “Recognizing Divine Revelation” by Charles Taliaferro; Chapter twelve—“The Messiah You Never Expected” by Scot McKnight; Chapter 13—“Tracing Jesus’ Resurrection to its Earliest Eyewitness Accounts” by Gary R. Habermas and the final chapter “Why Faith In Jesus Matters” by Mark Mittleberg.

The copy I received was provided to me at no charge, by InterVarsity Press. I received a paperback edition with an introduction which distills each part of the book. There is also a postscript with Antony Flew and Gary Habermas and an Appendix consisting of “The Dawkings Confusion: Naturalism “Ad Absurdum”: A Review of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion.

God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable & Responsible

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)