Ryan Bell is a former Adventist pastor. He is completing “a year without God.” Except that at year’s end, he will not return to believing in God. He will continue living his life without God or without believing in the existence of God.
The wildly popular Bible app, YouVersion, has released data on what Bible verses have been the most popular in 2014. Popularity was determined by some algorithm factoring bookmarks, highlights and shares. Check the link for a few infographics of their results – Our Year With The Bible Infographic 2014 | YouVersion.
For after I had turned away, I relented,
and after I was instructed, I slapped my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
–Jeremiah 31:19 ESV
The Bible often employs picturesque language to communicate its message. Such is the case in this verse from Jeremiah. God’s people found themselves in exile after repeatedly offending God. Yet God would not forget his people. Hope in a future restoration was promised.
The exile was the chastening and disciplining from the Lord. Finding themselves in a strange land and subjected to a godless leader, the people would turn back to the Lord. As they realized how foolish they had behaved toward God, they responded with what the New Testament calls a godly sorrow.
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
On occasion I read, watch or listen to something that God uses to deeply move me. God’s Spirit gets a hold of me and simply won’t let go.
Such was the occasion as I listened to Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) preach this sermon, Diagnosing the Need based on Mark 9:28-29.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Because of their rebellion against the Lord, God’s people found themselves removed from their beloved city of Jerusalem. Babylon was now their home and would be for seventy years. Instead of a city with God’s temple at the center, they were among a people who did not know the Lord. Instead of a land of promise, they resided in a land of punishment. It would have been easy to despise their new city. Yet they were to seek the welfare of this city and pray for it.
A few blocks away from the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky sits the building which houses Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Prior to the seminary’s realignment with its heritage, this church and the seminary were closely linked in theology as well as geography. Today that theological link is a gulf.
The other day I saw the following quote as a meme on my Facebook timeline. The quote is from a popular Washington D.C. pastor. At last count this quote was liked by 732 people and shared by 213 people. It is a safe assumption that all of the likes and shares were from those who identify as Christians.
While the quote does contain some elements of truth, it leaves readers with having to choose one statement over another. We could call this a rather-than fallacy or a fallacy of comparison. Here is the quote,
I don’t want to push my children.
I want them to feel the pull of the Holy Spirit.
Quotes and memes. Nothing has done more to expose shallow thinking by Christians in the internet age. Those who supposedly bear the name of Christ think little or not at all when they post and share witticisms on their social media pages.
Those who follow the one who called himself The Truth, unwittingly commend quotes from atheists, pantheists and charlatans because they sound cute. It is time that we commit ourselves to thinking in a thoroughly Christian manner. Currently we are more often guilty of having our ears tickled as our minds become numb to error.
According to the new Dodge commercial, brothers John and Horace Dodge left Ford in 1914 because they believed in more than the assembly line. What more, you ask?
They believed driving was a holy endeavor.
It might be said that since we are to do all for the glory of God that driving would be included in that. I’m not sure that is what Dodge has intended to communicate. It seems clear that they are saying that driving belongs in a special category as opposed to the mundane.