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November 29, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Reflections on the Problem of Suffering from CS Lewis, the New Testament, and Christian Radio

One of the most memorable passages from Lewis is the following thought experiment:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Which echoes this:

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which comes upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy.”  (I Peter 4:12-13).

Which echoes this–highlighting God’s ultimate purposes for our lives:

And this is echoed in these 36 verses on the purposes of suffering from the Bible referenced here.

You can read the original essay on this CS Lewis passage here.

November 29, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

What are the most important Christian values in business?

The question of business values and the issue of culture is a perennial one and one which we need to return to on a regular basis.  Its critical both to our Christian walk and to the overall ethical grounding of our businesses.

One short term way to think about this is living like Christ lived.  Christ lived a life of love, kindness, compassion, honesty, service, sacrifice, and forgiveness.  Those 7 values form the basis of what a Christian leadership ethic strives for in terms of in terms of its passion, heart, and core values.

Another way to think about this would be to live out the principles of the Fruits of the Spirit.  We find the Fruits of the Sprit in Galatians:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

So Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

If you want to narrow this a bit for reasons of focus those values are: Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

The important thing is that you grow over time.  That you live those values out, but seek to live them out more and more as you grow in Christ and grow in the Spirit of Christ.

Another way to think about it is the Golden Rule.  I think the Golden rule is incredibly helpful when thinking about the relationships you have with those key people in your life:

  1. Employees
  2. Customers
  3. Stakeholders
  4. Family members (particularly in terms of being present and work-life balance)

How does that impact your day to day practices?  How does that impact your daily habits?  How does that impact your relationships?  How does that impact your interactions with all of the above?

This article may also help, its 10 principles for running a Business As Missions business.

I previously wrote about the topic of Christian business principles here.

Thank you for reading!!  And have a blessed day!!

November 29, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Did Jesus Claim to Be God?

Here are three different answers to this key question:

Did Jesus really claim to be God?  by Ravi Zacharias:

Did Jesus Claim to be God?  Lee Strobel:

Did Jesus claim to be God?  by William Lane Craig:

Did Jesus claim to be God?  by John MacArthur:

Thanks for Reading (and listening)!!

Feel free to include Bible stories, events, or Bible verses where Jesus claims to be God in the comment section.

I also recommend checking out this helpful list of seven ways in which Jesus Christ claimed to be God.

November 28, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Seven Ways Jesus Christ Claimed to be God in the New Testament

Jesus Claimed to be the following:

To be the great “I Am” (John 8:58)

  • 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

To share God’s glory (John 17:5)

  • And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

To be equal with God (John 10:30)

  • 30 I and the Father are one.”

To be the Messiah-God (John 4:25, Mark 14:61-62)

  • 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
  • 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.  Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”  62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

To be worthy of worship (John 5:22)

  • 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,

To be equal in authority with God (Matthew 28:18)

  • 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

To be able to answer prayer in His name (John 14:13)

  • 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Here are seven ways in which Jesus claimed divinity or demonstrated His divinity:

  1. Jesus’ actions symbolically communicated this via demonstration.  For instance, His miracles.
  2. The overarching narrative of the Gospels points to this.
  3. The divinity of the prophecy about Him coming true. (ie the Old Testament/New Testament connection implies divinity for all the prophecy to come true in His personage)
  4. Passages that talk about his relationship with Father God.
  5. Passages that talk about Jesus’ role (particularly with relationship to the future)
  6. He was put to death on the cross for being “The King of the Jews” (this means that at some point He made those types of claims).  As Daniel points out if he wasn’t divine there would be “no reason to kill Him.”
  7. The Resurrection (see also miracles)

I also recommend, four videos on did Jesus claim to be God.

Even better are quotes from Michael Birds book on the subject of Jesus’ divinity.

November 28, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Can a lawyer prove the Historical Jesus is credible and true?

Well Simon Greenleaf who was an atheist professor at Harvard Law school researched the historicity of Jesus Christ.

I would also look to the work of J Warner Wallace, who is a world famous cold case detective (You’ve probably seen him or his cases on Dateline) was an atheist and investigated the facts using his detective skills.

Here is an interesting quote by Doctor James Kennedy which sheds direct light on this question:

“The evidence is all on Christianity’s side. Let’s take a tally: twenty seven books of the New Testament, nineteen pagan writers, and three Jewish writers testify to Jesus Christ’s historical reality. Christians, indeed, did not follow a cunningly devised fable, but a real person. There were, as the Bible proclaims, eyewitnesses to His majesty. That historical fact is at the very foundation of the faith we hold.” (77)

Given the above, the evidence points heavily in the direction of the Bible being the word of God.

–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

Thats essentially what Dr. Gary Habermas did to his secular dissertation committee on the resurrection using the Minimalist Facts Case for the Resurrection of Jesus.

Dr. Habermas primarily relied on sources credible with secular scholars to prove the Resurrection did in fact happen: Dr. Gary R. Habermas

Its also worth noting that Simon Greenleaf at Harvard Law School, who was formerly an atheist, proved the Historicity of Jesus in this way by just looking at the evidence. The evidence he complied is a published book thats available on Amazon.

J Warner Wallace, who is a world famous cold case detective whose cases have been on NBC’s Dateline was an atheist and converted based on using his cold case methods to investigate the historicity of Jesus and the events of the crucifixtion and resurrection. Here are a number of his posts on his blog on this question: Evidence For The Resurrection

Actually all three of these individuals have books available on Amazon. In fact, the Simon Greenleaf one I believe is available for free on the internet in various places.

To me, the Old Testament prophecy that comes true in the New Testament is also incredibly telling evidence of Jesus’ divinity. For instance here: Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible

Certainly if a judge excludes naturalistic or materialist assumptions, the case for the divinity or resurrection becomes much, much more viable and credible.

November 21, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Critique of scientism

Dr. Jon Rittenhouse

Part I: Evidence for the Resurrection + Critique of Scientism

[rather late in this lecture around 1:40 or so I think]

Part II: Critique of Scientism

Here is a list of Dr. Ritternburg’s videos on Christian philosophy and philosophy videos on the Open Biola website.

November 18, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

On Quantum Gravity, Quantum Mechanics, and Christianity: Science and Religion in Context

I would suggest the following five questions:

  • How will Quantum gravity explain fine-tuning?
  • How will Quantum gravity explain the appearance of Design even in areas totally unrelated to evolution (e.g. inorganic patterns)?
  • How will Quantum gravity explain the Historical Jesus?
  • How will Quantum gravity explain the richness and complexity of human emotion?
  • How will Quantum gravity explain the mind and consciousness?

Here is a basic misunderstanding: explanations of mechanism do not explain away explanations of agency. The science of the combustion engine doesn’t disprove the existence of Henry Ford. In fact, the existence of the combustion engine calls for the need to understand who Henry Ford was and his impact on culture, history, and society.

Not to mention, materialist accounts of the universe don’t exclude non-materialist accounts, especially in relation to Christianity.

We experience spiritual reality every day. Our choice between Good and Evil is a daily experience of spiritual reality. Our daily emotional tug between Good and Evil is a regular and ongoing experience of spiritual reality, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Its also worth noting that Max Plank, whose institute is doing much of this research and who is one of the foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the first place was a believer in God, albeit a more deist one, along with many other founders of Quantum Mechanics:

All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.

In his major book Where Is Science Going? (1932) Planck pointed out:

“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. Every serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious element in his nature must be recognized and cultivated if all the powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and harmony. And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.” (Planck 1977, 168).