Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Prayer for a Friend

I received this message from a friend in the U.K. :

        " Hi my friend
This morning at 957 my wife gave birth to our daughter, Jessica. Sadly Jessica was less than 24 weeks. that's some 12+ weeks premature, January was her due date and this has come right out of the blue! we have hope and I can see the Lord's hand in this but there is a long way to go She has made it through the Day and her chances are 4 to 1. I hope and trust God so much for her. Please pray for Jessica and my with Lyudmyla at this time. I believe a miracle has happened so far and I am trusting In God for some more."

Please pray for Phillip and his family.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ancient coins bearing Joseph’s image found in Egyptian museum

There's  an old saying that says:  "Every time a shovel goes into the ground another critic of the bible get's buried."    

Cairo, Sep. 25 (ANI): Ancient coins bearing the name and image of biblical Joseph have been found from the Museum of Egypt, contradicting claims made by some historians that coins were not used for trade in olden Egypt.
Archaeologists provided by MEMRI show that the coins were discovered among a multitude of unsorted artifacts stored at the Museum of Egypt, The Jerusalem Post reports.  
The period in which Joseph was believed to have lived in Egypt matches the minting of the coins in the cache.
“A thorough examination revealed that the coins bore the year in which they were minted and their value, or effigies of the pharaohs [who ruled] at the time of their minting,” the paper quoted experts, as saying.
The most significant thing about the discovery is the find of scientific evidence proving that coins were used for trade in ancient Egypt, and not barters as claimed by various historians.
Some of the coins are from the time when Joseph lived in Egypt, and bear his name and portrait, the report says.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to talk to a Heretic

Just started listening to John MacArthur's new series "How to talk to a heretic" available here.

MacArthur says of the series:

"When Jesus encountered religious leaders teaching dangerous error, He didn’t seek common ground. He confronted, exposing the lies and shunning any sense of unity with false teachers. The need today is desperate for a fresh understanding of Jesus’ model. Step inside one of His poignant confrontations with pious enemies of truth and learn How to Talk to a Heretic."

I must say that I totally agree with what MacArthur says.  Turning a blind eye to heresy,  coddling false teachers and avoiding confrontation at all cost are not Christian virtues as some so desperately want us to believe.  There is nothing unkind or unloving about warning others that they are following a false Jesus or that they have embraced a false gospel that has no power to save.  In fact quite the opposite is true if one is to truly love as Jesus did.    

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jehovah's Witness Children

This Video asks very simple question:

Is it wise to constantly expose young children to graphic images and endless discussions about impending destruction as the Jehovah's Witnesses so often do? 

The answer is clearly NO,   as the results can be tragic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Watchtower Greek

Over the years, the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witness apologists have made a number of attempts to use the Greek language to “prove” that Jesus is not God. In doing so, they have resorted to making up Greek tenses, fabricating grammatical rules, distorting the actual rules of Greek grammar, and at times, they have outright lied about what the Greek actually says. knowing that the vast majority of those told will blindly believe what they are saying is true without any further research.

I don’t really like discussing Greek grammar with Jehovah’s Witnesses because it has been my experience that most don’t know the first thing about the language and will simply parrot what they have been told by the Watchtower or an apologist and then make up the rest as they go along. They will reject outright what I say no matter how much evidence I provide and will rarely honestly engage the evidence provided them. But a new argument has been concocted and brought to me, so I will address it quickly here, and I will also provide some of the responses I received to the counter-argument I made. They are quite revealing.

“Brian, when Thomas says Lord and God he is not addressing Jesus, he is addressing it to Jehovah. This is proven by the fact that the two nouns (theos and kurios) are in the nominative case and not the vocative case. This proves that Jesus was addressing Jehovah his Father and not Jesus. So much for Jesus being God, the Greek has proved you wrong again“

My response:

While it is true a vocative noun is used when one is being addressed, a nominative noun is employed when the speaker is expressing a quality or an attribute. Let me give you an example:

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Mathew 7:21)

In this case the two occurrences of the noun “Lord “are used as a formal address, and the nouns are both vocative as they should be. Another example would be “Mr. President, it is time to go.” “President” is vocative because it is used as an identifying address.

However, the nouns in the verse in question express qualities of the one spoken to, and the statement itself is a declaration, not a formal address. In other words, Thomas is exclaiming “what” and “who” Jesus is to him, ie “my Lord and my God.” Notice the possessive pronouns as they are significant. If I said, “Mr. President, you are doing a good job,” the noun “president” is vocative. However, if I say, “You are my (possessive pronoun) president,” the noun “president” is now nominative because it is expressing a quality about the one being spoken to.

As an example, in Mathew Chapter 16 Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus here is asking for a quality, as in “what” am I to you? ( Peter knew this or he would have answered “Jesus.“) Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God,” expressing two main attributes of Jesus. Just as in John 20:28 the statement functions as a declaration, confession of faith, and the nouns are not functioning in the role of formal address. (However, please avoid the category error; this does not mean that he was not talking to Jesus.) Therefore, both nouns “Christ” and “Son” in Matthew 16 and “Lord” and “God” in John 20 are in the nominative case, as they should be.

The fact that the nominative case is used in this verse has the exact opposite effect you are desiring as it proves conclusively that Thomas was not applying an empty title to Jesus or using the nouns as a formal address. Instead, the nominative proves that they were used to express exact qualities or attributes of Jesus, who was clearly the one that Thomas was conversing with.. Just as in Mathew 16, this is a confession of faith. What was Jesus to Thomas? Jesus was his “Lord” and his “God.”

As I said in the beginning, I don’t really like to discuss Greek grammar with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and this partial response I received is an excellent example of why:

“You are wrong, it was not an address. and as I proved to you and you just won’t let go of what your church has taught you.”

(notice he ignored that I clearly stated it was not an address, and that his first point was that it was an address, just not an address to Jesus but it was an address to Jehovah. The next comment makes clear he caught his error)

He later wrote to try to convince me the nouns "WERE vocative and that scholars are divided on the issue." (new light I suppose) When I asked for some evidence of this supposed scholarly division, he replied, “Do your own research.”

None are as blind as those who refuse to see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Katie Hates Calvinism

Kellie (aka Katie) writes:

"Brian,why would an impartial loving awesome God restrain grace from someone who had no choice but to NOT be saved because that's the only choice He's given him/her even though God sets OUR moral compass and even we would find such a notion appalling given NO ONE even asked to be born?!"

Before I actually answer the question let me make two points.

1: It is a very dangerous thing to stand in judgment of God as Katie does in this question. God is not in need of our counsel and He does not conform His actions to our wills. Standing in judgment of God is strictly forbidden as the verses to come will demonstrate.

2: Our first calling as Christians is not to understand why God does everything that He does. It is instead to submit our will to what He says whether we understand it or not, never doubting that whatever God chooses to do is always the right thing.

With that said the answer to the actual question is found in Romans Chapter 9 and requires no commentary if one is to accept what God says in these passages at face value:

"10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, [2] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—"