"Thou aret He, thou alone, Jehovah, who hast made the heaven of heavens, and all their host, the earth and all that is therein, the seas and all that is therein.  And thou quickenest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee" (Nehemiah 9:6)

 

 

Articles for Christians
 

     Note:  We present the following articles because they have been helpful to others.  The articles come from various external sources and a few statements might not pass the "Berean" test.  You must, like the "more noble" Bereans, search the Scriptures to see whether these things are so.

Christian fiction:

Basileia, The Isle of Androck, a 175 page story of a lush tropical island gripped in the clutches of crime lords.  Read how God uses a young Christian bookstore owner to change this situation.  And follow this youth's quest to find the perfect Christian mate. [pdf file] - R.L.B.

 

 

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Helpful Articles:

The Book of Acts, Considered Dispensationally - R.L.B.

Tips For Public Gospel Speakers  - R.L.B.

Names and Order of the Books of the Bible - R.L.B.

What Does God Look Like? - R.L.B.

False Religion Knocks at my Front Door - R.L.B.

Kingdom, Repentance and other terms - R.L.B.

Articles by Guest Contributors:

Two Themes from an Evangelical Stance: A Professor in Dialogue with his Faith - Gary D. Patterson, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213  Two important topics are covered in this in-depth article, "An Evangelical Natural Philosophy" and "An Evangelical Anthropology."

In a desire to defend the faith, well-meaning Christians have sometimes taken positions that attack well established scientific principles.  By doing this it is possible that Biblical Christianity could be discredited by the very people who are trying to support it.  Because God is the Author and Creator of both science and theology, theology and science must necessarily be in agreement with each other.  This article is a talk previewing a forthcoming book by Dr. Patterson, a Professor of Chemical Physics and Polymer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and former Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories.  Gary is an active Bible teacher and fellowships with a group of Christians in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.  He is a major contributor to the recent in-depth book Science & Christianity: Four Views, (InterVarsity Press).

In Praise of Entropy - Gary D. Patterson, PhD  [pdf file].   Here Dr. Patterson responds to a Christian magazine article that had wrongly vilified a fundamental chemical principle.

Theology and Physical Science - Gary D. Patterson, PhD  [pdf file]

The Bible and Science:  How they Go Together - George S. Christian [pdf file]

What Jesus Christ Has To Do With 2 x 2 = 4 - George S. Christian [pdf file]

Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment - George Cutting [pdf file]

Future articles are planned on a number of topics, in the will of the Lord.  In the meantime, give some prayerful thought to the following "thought questions."   As you contemplate these "thought questions," rather than blindly follow the 'party line' of a particular religious group or denomination, be a "more noble" Berean and let God speak to you from His word.  You will find this to be most refreshing!

Thought questions (You supply the answers):

     Which "Church" should I join, (if any)?

     Does the Bible tell us we should have our names placed on the membership roll of some local church organization?

     Free will and Divine sovereignty.  Are these Biblical concepts compatible with one another?  [see Questions and Answers]

     Is Israel still "first"?  (See Acts 3:26; 13:46; Rom. 1:16; 2:9-10).  If not why not?  If they are not "first" today, why were they "first" throughout the book of Acts?

     When Paul, on his missionary journeys, stopped at a new city, why was it "necessary" for Him to preach the gospel first to the Jew, even though he was specifically the apostle to the Gentiles? (see Acts 13:46).  In our Christian outreach must we still preach "to the Jew first?"

     The Lord Jesus told His disciples to "shake off the dust of your feet" against any city that rejected them (Mat. 10:14).  Paul & Barnabas also did this (Acts 13:51), but is this a practice we should be following today?

     What is the "Mystery?"  Is it in the Old Testament?  Is there a "church" (gathering) mentioned in the Old Testament?  When was this "Mystery" revealed?  What is the nature of the "church" in Acts chapters 2 - 9?

     What is a Pastor?  A Bishop?  An Elder?  A Deacon?  An Apostle?  An
Evangelist?  A Prophet?  Which of these does the Bible say are "Offices" appointed by apostles or by local churches and which are "Gifts" given by Divine Persons to the whole Christian community on earth?  What is the Biblical process of becoming a Pastor, a Bishop, etc.?

     Is it possible for 'Elders' to misuse their position by essentially becoming 'Clergy?'  Would this distort God's original purpose for 'Elders?'

     Why does Paul's list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 radically differ from his parallel list in Ephesians 4?

     What is the "sin against the Holy Spirit?"  Who committed it, and does this affect God's program for us today?

     What are "The Miracles, Signs and Wonders of the Great Commission?"  Are they for today?  If not, when and why did they cease? [see our article on the subject]

     Can missionaries literally follow the "Great Commission" today?

     Are we under the New Covenant today?  What similarities and differences exist between blessings promised under the New Covenant, and blessings dispensed to believers today?

     Did Peter and John misinterpret God's message when they called upon Israel to repent so that the Messiah would return to set up an earthly millennial kingdom? (see Acts 3:19-21)  Why did these apostles not promise the Jews spiritual blessings in the heavenly places? (see Eph. 1:3)

     What expectation did the "church" (ekklesia) hold throughout the Acts?  Did they expect to "go to heaven" or did they expect to participate in a physical kingdom on the earth?  If the sermons of Acts 2 and 3 offer only a physical blessing on earth, when (and why) was this earthly expectation replaced by "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ?"

     Is a future blessing in the "New Jerusalem" the same as being blessed with "all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ"?

     Since the Lord Jesus commanded the disciples to go into "all the world and preach the glad tidings to every creature," why did they for several years preach the word "to none but the Jews only" (Acts 11:19)?

     How do we determine which early church practices to follow today?  And which not to follow?

     Is the Sunday School song "Every promise in the book is mine" scriptural?  Or are there Biblical "promises" that are not ours today?

     The apostle Paul stated that in Christ there is "neither male nor female" (Gal. 3:28).  But he also stated "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak" (1 Cor. 14:34).  How should we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory statements?

     Does water baptism give you eternal life?  If not, in what sense did water baptism "save" and "wash away" sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21)?

     Was water baptism meant to be a symbol of life, of death, or of a separation and cleansing from an unclean religious system?  Was it to be a "testimony" of a believer's faith or a ceremonial cleansing from an 'uncleanness' they had been part of?  Were "witnesses" required for baptism?  Was a time of instruction required before baptism?  (What saith the Scriptures?)

     Was the mode of water baptism practiced in the Acts sprinkling, pouring, or immersion?  Check out the relationship between John's baptism with water and Christ's baptism with Holy Spirit (Mat. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:26, 33; Acts 1:5; 11:16.  Note the word "pour" (Acts 2:17-18; 10:45) and "fell on" (Acts 11:15).

     What was the connection between water baptism and the "purification of the Jews," [a Jewish ceremony known today as the Mikveh]?  See John 3:25.

     Did Peter and Paul proclaim different plans of salvation?

     Did Paul "change churches" after he arrived at Rome?

     How old is the universe? (6,000 years, 10,000 years, 13.7 billion years)?  See the above article by Gary Patterson on this subject.

     Christ is both Divine and human.  Why is this not a contradiction?  And why is this fact absolutely necessary for the doctrine of the atonement?

     Why are Christianity and the eastern (pagan) philosophy of reincarnation incompatible?

     Many think of themselves as [name of a particular religious denomination].  Is that denominational name found in Scripture?  If not, are those who refer to themselves by such non-Biblical names honoring the Savior?  Or are they creating unscriptural divisions (sects) amongst believers who have a vital link with Christ?  [Note: in raising this question we are not suggesting that all religious denominations and sects should get together].

     Is sectarianism permitted or condemned by the Scriptures?  What about denominationalism?  What about sectarian terminology?  Think about whether you or your local church use sectarian ideas and terminology.

     When the Bible uses the word "all," does it always mean "all" without exception?  Or does Biblical context sometimes define "all" as meaning "all of a particular thing or people," or "all of a particular class of people," or "all kinds of things or people?"  Why is this concept important for students of Scripture to grasp?

     Did the Lord Jesus bear the sins "of many", or did He bear the sins of every man, woman, and child who has ever been born into the world?  If the latter, does this not lead to the unscriptural doctrine of universal reconciliation?

     Some theologians teach that our Lord directly substituted vicariously for the sins of every person who ever lived.  If that teaching is correct does it not imply that mass murderers such as Adolf Hitler must be saved along with every other person who has ever lived?

    Can any one possibly be lost if the Lord Jesus paid the penalty for their sins?  If Christ paid for a particular person's sins, would God then cause that person to pay for his own sins, thus exacting the Divine penalty for sins twice, and implying that our Lord's precious sacrifice on the cross was of only partial value?

     What truth is hidden by some Bible translations that say "faith in Christ" when a more literal rendering is "faith of Christ?"  By doing this some modern versions are merely "easy-to-read" children's translations that hide the true meaning of many Scriptures. God intends for us to meditate upon the actual words He has written.  Let's get serious about the Word of God.

     Some Bible translations use an initial capital letter on certain pronouns to indicate that the word refers to God, or to Christ, or to the Holy Spirit.   Why is this practice an 'interpretation' of the passage by a translator, rather than an accurate 'translation'? 

     Why are the Greek words baptizo, baptisma, baptismos and baptistees properly translated using the word "wash" 5 times, (Mk. 7:4 [twice]; 7:8; Luke 11:38; and Heb 9:10), but left untranslated (i.e., transliterated using the anglicized form "baptize") approximately 115 times?  When the word refers to the purification of the Jews it is properly translated "wash."  However, when it refers to the "baptisms" of John, or to so-called 'Christian baptism' most translators have chosen not to translate it.  How does this common [mal]-practice put a false "spin" on this doctrine and cause us to miss out on a very important Biblical concept?

     Is it more reverent to pray in 'old English,' using the expressions 'Thee' and 'Thou' instead of using the modern English term 'You?'

     What is the significance of the differing expressions "before the foundation of the world," and "from (or since) the foundation of the world?"

Quotes:

   "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (Philosopher George Santayana)

   "Would you know for certain whether you have justifying faith?  Here is the way to find the answer: are you looking in any sense to yourself?  Are you in any sense relying even to the slightest extent upon any good you have ever done, or anything you have ever been?  Are you even relying upon your own faith?  Do you think that it is your belief that saves you?  Is it that?  Is that your righteousness?  If it is, you are not saved, you are not a Christian, because the Christian is a man who looks only and entirely to the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  His entire righteousness is in Christ.  Christian faith is a faith that looks only to the Lord Jesus Christ and to nothing and to nobody else."  (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

     "No good sermon is too long and no bad sermon is short enough"

"Tis not that I did choose Thee,
    For Lord, that could not be;
  This heart would still refuse Thee,
    But Thou hast chosen me;
  Thou from the sins that stained me
    Hast washed and set me free,
  And to this end ordained me
    That I should live to Thee."     (Josiah Conder, 1789-1855)

     "As to the past of this universe, we know that it was created by the Lord our God.  That it was done several thousand million years ago does not change this fact in the slightest, nor does it contradict anything that is taught in the Bible." (Donald Grey Barnhouse, Eternity, June 1959)

     "Our spiritual parents were not savages.  In particular, they were not pagans; they worshiped God.  The Bible is basically silent regarding the extent and nature of other beings with similarities to humans.  The focus is on the race of creatures that were chosen by God to communicate with him and to worship him." (Wayne Frair & Gary Patterson, Science & Christianity, Four Views, p. 44)

     "God did not demand that we first demonstrate our allegiance to Him before Christ would agree to die in our place.  To demand that we somehow show ourselves deserving of forgiveness in order to regain our status as His children would have been futile.  What can ungodly, rebellious sinners offer God that would move the holy Creator of the universe to sacrifice His only Son on their behalf?  So God acted first, motivated solely by his own sovereign love, to grant mercy to His people as the ultimate expression of His grace (Ex. 33:19; Isa. 63:7; Rom. 9:15-18; Eph. 2:4; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 1:3).  Christ died for us because the Father and the Son loved the unlovable" (Scott Hafemann)

      "Not to care about truth is not to care about God.  To love God passionately is to love truth passionately.  Being God-centered in life means being truth-driven in ministry.  What is not true is not of God.  What is false is anti-God.  Indifference to the truth is indifference to the mind of God.  Pretense is rebellion against reality and what makes reality is God.  Our concern with truth is simply an echo of our concern with God." (John Piper)

       "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.  There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers.  That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark" (Stephen Hawking)  [ A really sad bone-headed remark by an otherwise brilliant scientist ]

 

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