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Showing posts with the label Christian Hope

Two new 9/11 victims identified: Reflections on divine empathy, reason, and hope

Tribute in Light, two vertical columns of light representing the fallen towers of the World Trade Center shine against the lower Manhattan skyline on the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, seen from Jersey City, N.J., Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.  (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)  By Dr. Jim Denison - Posted at the Denison Forum: On most days, the earthquake that killed more than 2,100 in Morocco—the number is expected to rise—would be the subject of today’s Daily Article . Conversely, given my perennial hope that this will finally be the year for the Dallas Cowboys, I might reflect on their decisive season-opening victory last night in New York. Or I might discuss the faith of Coco Gauff, who won the US Open at the age of nineteen and is a very public Christian. But on 9/11, it feels wrong to focus on anything but 9/11. Today is the only anniversary in American history known simply by a number. We don’t refer to Independence Day as “7/4,” to Pearl Harbor as “12/7,” or t

Post Christian Literary Great

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits : “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” -Mark 8:36 Ernest Hemingway, the great American novelist, who wrote notable works like A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls , and the Old Man and the Sea was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was reared in the evangelical Christian faith. He was baptized as an infant in an evangelical Congregational church and gladly professed faith in Christ as a child and early teen. His grandparents were missionaries and his father was a committed churchman and friend of the evangelist D.L. Moody.   Hemingway left home at age eighteen and joined the Red Cross and was an ambulance driver in World War I and was severely wounded in battle by shrapnel from an Austrian mortar attack. It was around this time that Hemingway walked away from the faith of his parents and childhood. Hemingway’s mother was very concerned for her son’s

Duggar Doc “Shiny Happy People” Should Be Warning To Church

 By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at Ministry Watch: Published June 9, 2023 I found myself both frustrated and mesmerized by the new Amazon Prime documentary “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets.” As the title suggests, it purports to be the behind-the-scenes story of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their children, the stars of the TLC hit television series “19 and Counting” and a number of spin-offs. The original show ran for 229 episodes over seven years, and was a ratings juggernaut for TLC, elevating it from a fringe cable television network into the mainstream. The show was TLC’s most popular, averaging 2.3 million viewers per new episode in Season 10 and scoring in the “Cable Top 25,” according to Nielsen. But all was not well in DuggarWorld. In 2015, Josh Duggar publicly apologized for having “acted inexcusably” following reports he molested five girls, including some of his sisters, by fondling them. TLC announced that the show was officially canceled and would not resume p

Dear False Teacher: The Puritan Thomas Brooks Would Like a Word with You

 By Rosaria Butterfield - Posted at reformation21: Dear Mr. False Teacher, Permit me to write boldly to you. You have repeated your shallow shibboleths in sermons, blogs, and conferences, and you have tried very hard to pretend that secular society is a neutral playground, a marketplace of ideas where Christianity is welcome to flourish. You punt for nuance every time and have made every clear teaching of the law and gospel a grey area of ambiguity. You have sought the middle road on every issue: gay marriage, transgender normalization, Black Lives Matter, and abortion. You always seek the third way. But it’s getting harder for you to persuade your flock because some of them see that a raging spiritual war has washed out the middle road and the third way. I believe that you are at a crossroads. So let me put it straight: if you are a true Christian who has fallen into some bad theology, I’m throwing you a rope. Why not grab it? Your rhetorical strategy was to yield the moral language

Gordon Keddie (December 29, 1944 - May 19, 2023)

 From Winchester RPCNA : Gordon Keddie went to be with the Lord on Friday, May 19th, at the age of 78 after a long struggle with prostate cancer. He was surrounded by his loving wife, Jane, sons and daughters-in-law Donald, Iain (Erin), David (Christina), and grandchildren Joshua, Sophia, Alexa, and one yet unborn.   Gordon was born on December 29th, 1944 in Edinburgh, Scotland and was baptized behind blackout curtains as the Second World War entered its final months. His father had been blessed with a brief leave in the spring to visit his wife between fighting in North Africa and invading Europe but wouldn’t see his son until the war was finished. Gordon spent his childhood sharing a three room apartment with his parents and brother John. Early jobs included delivering milk and groceries. Following his fifth year of primary school, after a bout where his hair fell out due to frustration from the rote education, he was taken on scholarship by George Heriot’s School.   From an early ag

Shooting personal for at least three Kentucky Baptist churches

Westport Road Baptist Church Mural  (Baptist Press) By Chip Hutcheson/ Kentucky Today , Mark Maynard/ Kentucky Today   Posted April 11, 2023 in National News , SBC News : “We remind ourselves of the Gospel hope. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed.” LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) – Monday morning’s bank shooting became personal for Andy Mikel, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Danville, Ky., in a short time. One of the nine wounded in the shooting was Deana Eckert, the 57-year-old sister of Immanuel worship pastor Scott Hurst. Brother and sister grew up in Harrodsburg. Mikel said he only communicated via text with Hurst, who went to be with his grieving family. Deana was taken to the hospital with severe injuries from the shooting at the Old National Bank in downtown Louisville. She became the fifth victim to die early Monday night after several surgeries. “Our church family is grieving with them and sharing one another’s sorrows,” he said. Steven Dressens, the associational mission str

Killed by what they thought would save them

 By Stephen Steele - Posted at Gentle Reformation: Seventy years ago, on the last Saturday morning in January, the MV Princess Victoria left the port of Stranraer in South-West Scotland. She was heading for Ireland with 179 people on board – but never arrived. The flawed design of the ship meant that the car deck was flooded as ferocious waves pounded against her, in the worst storm anyone could remember . Distress messages were sent out, but the confusion of the storm meant that for most of the time, the wrong location was broadcast. Finally able to get their bearings, the radio operator stayed at his post, allowing others to escape. He broadcast SOS messages until the very end and was posthumously awarded the George Cross . The captain and ship’s officers all went down with the ship. 135 perished and only 44 survived. The sinking ship is vividly portrayed in the above painting by Norman Whitla (late father of RPTS Professor David). The painting shows lifeboat number four, containing

David Dickson: 'Four Comforts as Time Passes'

 Posted at Reformation Scotland: David Dickson (c.1583–1662) was a Professor of Theology at the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh who wrote commentaries on many different books of Scripture. He opposed the unbiblical worship and church government foisted on the Church in Scotland by Charles II and this cost him his position. As humans we are constrained by time. The passing of one year to the next is something entirely out of our control – all we can do is mark dates and recognise milestones. The only constant from one generation to the next is God. He is outside of time, because time is something that He created. The amazing thing is that as He stands outside of time and remains entirely unaffected by the passing of moments and millennia, He has chosen to make Himself a safe haven for sinful creatures vulnerable to change and decay. This thought was a tremendous comfort to Moses, the man of God, in his prayer to God in Psalm 90. David Dickson in this updated extract identifies the

Always Be Ready to Die

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits:   “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” -Amos 4:12 I wonder what the folks in Johnstown, Pennsylvania were thinking about when they woke up on the morning of Memorial Day, May 30, 1889. Did any of them think, “This will be my last day on earth because I am going to die today.” We can be almost certain that no one was thinking that way. John Parke, the resident civil engineer at the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, a summer resort destination for rich Pittsburgh industrialists like Andrew Carnegie, Philander Knox, and Robert Pitcairn, was deeply concerned on that day. Rain had been falling for several days and the lake on which the resort was situated was dangerously close to flowing over the top of the thirty foot earthen dam. The dam had been compromised for years. John Morrell, the owner of the Cambria Iron Works in Johnstown, PA, actually approached Carnegie, et al several years before about refurbishing the dam, even offeri

Iran’s Crisis and the Iranian Church

 By Hamid Hatami - Posted at TableTalk Magazine: Since September, the nation of Iran has been in a state of turmoil and pain. Iranian men and women, young and old, are in the streets crying for justice, freedom, and liberty from the dictatorship of the Islamic regime with one resounding slogan: “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi,” which means “Woman, Life, Freedom.” They have been motivated by sadness, anger, and grief. It is not the first time that Iranians have taken to the streets since revolution began in 1979. The current protests, however, are unlike any previous because they are not limited to a specific group or social class. Anti-regime protests have erupted in more than one hundred cities of all thirty-one provinces of Iran. These protests began in response to the death of twenty-two-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish girl who died in the custody of morality police after being detained for an alleged violation of improperly covering her hair. Over the course of the protests, revolutionary guard

The Prospect of Losing Everything You Have

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits : “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” -Habakkuk 3:17-19. I often wonder how he withstood the hardship. Cotton Mather (1663-1728) entered Harvard at the age of twelve. He married Abigail Phillips in 1686 and they had nine children, six of whom died in infancy. Abigail died in 1702 and Cotton married a widow named Elizabeth Hubbard in 1703 who gave him six more children. A measles epidemic struck Boston in 1713 killing his second wife and three of their children. He married his last wife, Mrs. Lydia George, in 1715 who also was a widow. Lydia went insane an


 By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch : These two are hugely influential – but only one leaves an everlasting legacy: If you asked 1000 people in Melbourne or Chicago or London who Anne Van der Bijl is, probably at least 99 per cent would not have a clue. If you asked the same 1000 people who Mick Jagger or Keith Richards is, probably at least 99 per cent would have a very good idea. While the former is largely unknown, and the latter are world famous and easily recognisable, just one has left a lasting legacy. While we all know about the Rolling Stones, Anne (or as he is more well-known: “Brother Andrew”) is in the eyes of the world a mere nobody. But older Christians at least would know all about him. Here I want to compare the pair, or rather, contrast the pair. And I do this for two reasons. A new three-part documentary on the Rolling Stones is airing now on television, while Brother Andrew has just passed away – on September 27, at age 94. Let me speak to each. Continue h

What Every City Must Have

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits : “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” -Titus 3:4,5 I recently watched a twenty minute documentary called “Streets of Philadelphia, Kensington Avenue, What Happened Today, August, 2021?” There is no commentary, only film footage by someone driving along the street. Trash is everywhere and hundreds of people are sitting or lying down on the sidewalks. There are also many people bending over at the waist for long periods of time. I found out later that the cause is a new street drug called Xylazine which is to be used for sedation, anesthesia and muscle relaxation in horses and cattle. It is not meant for human consumption yet it is the new drug of choice on the streets. The people meander about in a stupor. In watching this docume


 By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch: The Puritans have much to teach us about suffering and affliction: As is known, suffering will make us better or bitter. How we respond to hardships, trials and afflictions makes all the difference in the world. And the Christian has a way of looking at these things that differs from others. And as I have written before, some of the best writings on sufferings and how to deal with them are by the Puritans. See here for example: They wrote often about afflictions and trials, and their biblical, theological and devotional writings on the subject are a deep fountain and a terrific treasure trove. We have much to learn from the Puritans, and their ability to trust and worship God in the midst of great sufferings can teach and encourage us all. Several major emphases of the Puritans can be mentioned here when it comes to suffering and affliction. One of course is their belief

Hope and Comfort for Uvalde, Texas

By Angela Wittman, editor "Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.  ~Psalm 30, Verse 5 (NKJV) "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. ~Romans 12, Verse 15 (NKJV) As Christians, we are called to offer hope to a dying world and that hope is Jesus Christ. We are to pray, show compassion and to weep with the brokenhearted. But as followers of Christ, we also know with certainty that we have a Christian hope to be reunited with our loved ones who have died in the Lord, and that hope is to be shared with those grieving.  I sincerely pray that we will be lights shining in this dark world and that we will rise to the occasion by offering comfort and the blessed hope only found in Christ Jesus. News Links:  Outrage at Shooting Uvalde, Texas  (Veritas Domain - The Domain for Truth) SBTC dispatches ministers in wake of Uvalde elementary school  shooting ( Baptist Press) Gunman Kills 19 Children in Texas School Rampage  (AP - CBN) 19 Students

Screaming in the Face of Death

By Zachary Groff - Posted at Reformation21: "The forces of this world, expressed through much of our current discourse surrounding medicine, education, celebrity culture, law, and politics deny the reality and inevitability of aging, dying, and death... It is difficult to tell if the countenance is grinning, scowling, or yawning open with insatiable hunger, but it seems that Death’s face is closer than usual as it stares out from the inky shadows at the edges of life. Death feels more present than usual right now. International headlines continue to report on disease-related and suicide death rates around the world as Russian bombs pound Ukraine. An unprecedented leak from the Supreme Court has foregrounded death in American political discourse in what is fast-becoming a new chapter of our commonwealth’s spotty history of securing the rights and privileges of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to ourselves and our posterity. On the personal front, two individuals of grea

Words of Hope for 2022

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits: “O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years.” -Habakkuk 3:2 The apostle Paul referred to the time in which he lived as a crooked and perverse generation (Phil.2:15). Certainly we can say the same about our generation. We tend to reminisce about the “good ole days”, believing that the wickedness, debauchery, crime, and atheism we see today is worse than at any time in our history. This is untrue.There has always been great evil and wickedness, but the hope for the future, as it has been in the past, is always the same. Take encouragement from this little snippet of our history. By the time of George Washington’s first inauguration in 1789 the glorious benefits of the first Great Awakening of 1735 to 1745 were a distant memory. America was imbibing deeply of the Jacobin, Enlightenment philosophy of the Marquis de Sade, Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau. The new nation, founded on the Puritan vision of “A City on a Hill”, was

Cry, the Beloved Country: Understanding this Week’s Anarchy in South Africa

 By Clint Archer - Posted at The Cripplegate: “We are under siege.” This was the text I received yesterday from a friend in Hillcrest, KZN, South Africa. He was not exaggerating. Hillcrest is a beautiful residential suburb about 25 minutes inland from the coastal city, Durban. It is where I served for fourteen years as the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, until 2019 when I immigrated to the US. We could never have anticipated that our small, peaceful community would be an epicenter of anarchy and violent chaos, as it became yesterday. The video footage and eyewitness accounts we received from dear friends were simply heartbreaking and disturbing on many levels. Our local mall was looted and stripped bare, stores and restaurants have been vandalized, nearby shopping centers were razed to the ground. Freeways all over KZN province have been blockaded by the rioters’ piles of burning tires. No one can access hospitals, nor can they escape the approaching threat, or make it to the airpo

A Fool for Christ

 By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Caffeinated Thoughts: April 1, 1992, on the floor of my dorm room in the middle of the night at Drake University, I cried out to God in response to God’s goodness and grace. He opened my eyes to the truth that Jesus died for my sin, paying the penalty that I deserved, and rose again, conquering sin and death once for all. I repented and believed. Jesus is my Savior and King, and He is my only hope for heaven. I like to say on April Fools Day, I became a fool for Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, a worldly church that thought it had it all together but was rotten. Read more here.

Peace for a Broken World

Posted at Food for the Soul: PEACE FOR A BROKEN AND DIVIDED WORLD Black lives certainly matter, the innocent victims of terrorism must matter and the future of babies yet unborn definitely matter. There is a common thread which runs through all of these situations that are unfolding in the world and in our society today – the desire of the human heart to know and experience justice. But yet we are also reminded that there is a sense of injustice in the world. There is deep division in the world, and this division is reflected in societies and cultures right across this globe. Continue reading...