Posts

Showing posts from 2011

FamilyLife Today — (Forgetting What Lies Behind . . . - John & Donna Bishop)

Imagine your spouse developing septic meningitis, his or her mind being wiped clean and having to teach him or her everything. How about being that spouse, not remembering your childhood, your children's childhood,your spouse or even how to do the most basic of tasks? That is the journey of the guests of Family Life. What a fantastic story well worth your time and attention.

FamilyLife Today — (Forgetting What Lies Behind . . . - John & Donna Bishop)

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Image
Recently, I bought a '99 Mercury Marquis. It was a model that I have admired for a long time. The purpose of the vehicle purchase, a second car for us, was to reduce the logistical nightmare of balancing ministry, home chores, music lesson runs, daily commutes for our college student daughter, etc., all on one vehicle.
I had been looking at cars ever since we bought our Toyota Sienna van. However, the right opportunity had not come and we were looking at being as wise with money as possible. Increasingly, the balancing act became maddening. Times I could have done one aspect of a ministry or another went undone or delayed.

The time seemed right when I looked in a car lot and saw a light green Mercury Marquis. It had just under 72,000 miles and was evidently garage kept by one owner, as far as I remember. I number crunched and I talked with my spouse. I asked for advice and for prayers. To many, the time seemed right.

I had certain expectations before buying the second v…

Cain's Troubles Give Warning to the Rest of Us

On this blog, I have chosen to stay away from politics. If you know me personally, you realize how difficult that is for me. Yet I have been successful up until now. I post a political story because this one goes to the heart of something about which I care deeply: marriage and family.

According to this latest twist of an ongoing story, Mr. Cain has admitted to having a friendship with a woman that his wife knew nothing about until she publicly revealed what she said was a thirteen year affair with Cain. Incidentally, the Bible uses the more stark term "adultery." Whether he committed adultery with her, one thing is clear; having a secret relationship with someone of the opposite sex will only lead to trouble. Trust is violated and temptation is a real threat.

However, the story gets more problematic for Cain and probably explains the reassessment of his campaign. He revealed in the interview to the New Hampshire Union leader that he has repeatedly given this woman…

Think No Evil: A Book Review on the Subject of Forgiveness

Image
Have you ever read a book in which you thought, “That was a good book!” and yet the subject matter was so sobering
that you felt funny thinking that? That is my reaction to Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler and Shawn Smucker. This book is well worth reading, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

October 2, 2006 is a date that will be etched into the minds of the Amish living in Nickel Mines and the larger community of “English” that surrounds it. For it was on that day that a lone gunman, someone that a good number of them knew, sent five girls into eternity, five others into life-threatening injuries and then shot himself at an Amish schoolhouse. Blasting away at ten young to little girls and then turning the weapon on himself, Charles Roberts victimized those girls, their families, his own family, the Amish as a whole community, emergency responders and so many more.

The tragedy got our attention but what happened next gripped the nation. The Amish immediately began the process of f…

The Three Year Itch (Judges 9)

I am sure that nearly everyone has heard the story of Gideon, the reluctant judge in Israel who led his nation to victory against the Midianites. What may be less familiar to you is the rest of the story. Gideon had seventy sons by various wives and another son named Abimelech by a concubine.

Abimelech approached the people of Shechem with a proposition. Why should they have seventy sons of Gideon rule over them when they could have one of their own? The Shechemites agreed and Abimelech slaughtered sixty-nine of his seventy half-brothers. Jotham, the only remaining brother, got away.

From Mt. Gerizim, Jotham put a curse, so to speak, on Abimelech and the people of Shechem. He stated that if they did well with his father and his house, especially considering all that he had done for them in rescuing them from the Midianites, then may it go well with them. Yet if it weren’t deserved, may Abimelech and Shechem turn on each other.

What struck me about this passage was the vers…

For Men Only: A Book Review (and yes, you ladies can read it)

For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn is not just another book on the male-female relationship, guys. It is a humorous, thoroughly researched book on understanding women, specifically the woman in your life. Many times along the way, I found myself breaking out into laughter.

Using a scientific survey method and hundreds of interviews, the Feldhahns seek to inform men as to how to improve their relationship. As an added plus, men, the book is a compact size and easy to read. Inside, you will find some things you knew but lots of other things that may be eye-opening. The key to understanding your mate is as elementary as can be: men and women are different so stop projecting your likes and dislikes onto her guys!

Did you ever wonder . . .
1) Why she is so insecure and what you can do about it?
2) How you can help her clear those distractions from her mind so that she can relax with you?
3) What security means to her and how to help her feel it?
4) Why your trying to fix…

"A Promise Kept" by Robertson McQuilkin

I just now finished this book by Robertson McQuilkin. Last month the evangelical world was abuzz about Pat Robertson’s comments regarding Alzheimer’s Disease in a spouse.

See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/pat-robertson-infuriates-faithful-with-alzheimers-comments.html for one example.

My response was to condemn Rev. Robertson’s comments but then to go to www.amazon.com and purchase a copy of A Promise Kept. A number of years ago, I heard McQuilkin's story and was so inspired that I call him one of my modern heroes. Thanks to Pat Robertson’s foolishness, I was motivated to look up and purchase the book.

A small yet delightful book is how I would describe it. The cover has a picture of his dear wife Muriel who developed Alzheimer’s at the tender age of 55. When the reader opens it, he discovers that the chapters are cleverly and lovingly entitled by traditional marital vows. “In Sickness and in Health,” “To Love and to Cherish,” “For Better, for Wors…

John Wesley’s Church Planting Movement:

This article is incredibly informative. What a great read and an inspiration.


John Wesley’s Church Planting Movement:: When John Wesley was born in 1703, four million out of Britain’s five million people lived in absolute poverty—unless they found enough food for that day, they would begin to starve to death.
When John Wesley launched a Church Planting Movement in this context, he not only changed the eternal destinies of an estimated one million people who came to Christ through his ministry, he changed their economic status as well. Not only did the Methodists he led get saved, they got out of poverty and became a powerful influence in discipling their nation. Wilberforce and other “spiritual sons” of Wesley honored him as the “greatest man of his time.”

Reproducible Pastoral Training - A Book Review

Image
Reproducible Pastoral Training: Church Planting Guidelines from the Teachings of George Patterson by Patrick O’Connor is a book about missions. However, its insights are also helpful to anyone who is either starting a church or seeking to see it grow. Patrick O’Connor dives into the wisdom of George Patterson and presents it in an intelligent way.

Various topics are explained in the text. How does one reach a culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What is better, door-to-door evangelism or another technique? Is it best to begin with a multi-cultural church or to start with one culture? How does one utilize contacts for the sake of the Gospel? Also, how does one prevent establishing a foreign church rather than a native one? Furthermore, the author goes into issues like how leaders are trained and when they should begin serving.

I found myself revisiting preconceived notions of what is done in Western churches and thus is considered to be biblical. For instance, the dis…

Fort Worth School Punishes Honor Student for Saying Being Gay is Wrong

Pat Robertson Says Divorce Okay if Spouse has Alzheimer's | Liveblog | Christianity Today

Pat Robertson Says Divorce Okay if Spouse has Alzheimer's | Liveblog | Christianity Today

Who would you want for your spouse? A Pat Robertson type or a Robertson McQuilkin type? Read the story for yourself and I would love to know what you think.

David Bloom, A Favorite Correspondent of Mine, Was a Christian!

Image
Update on David Bloom's family and a continuing tribute, 10 years after his death - he died in Iraq on April 6, 2003

Arguably one of my favorite news personalities was David Bloom. He joined NBC in 1993 and became White House Correspondent in 1997. In 2003, he became one of 153 journalists who died in the Iraq war. Bloom was embedded with the Third Infantry Division. Tragically, he passed away when a blood clot traveled up from his leg to his lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism. He died at the age of 39. Bloom left behind his wife, Melanie, and three daughters: Nicole, Christine, and Ava.

What I did not know until I read of Chuck Colson’s account of David Bloom’s life and death in Anne Graham Lotz’ book, Why? Trusting God When You Don’t Understand, was that Bloom had become a Christian. After reading Chuck Colson’s book, Born Again, Bloom committed his life to Jesus Christ. Subsequently, he attended a weekly Bible study and, according to Colson, he was growing. W…

Turkey's Relationship with Israel and Ezekiel 38 and 39

Image
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/medsea.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/medsea.htm&h=367&w=629&sz=42&tbnid=Z56J6POU-ovmaM:&tbnh=74&tbnw=127&prev=/search%3Fq%3DMediterranean%2BSea%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=Mediterranean+Sea&docid=s-lBpEbeS97-TM&sa=X&ei=E21rTuSiM8rl0QHc0J2IBQ&ved=0CDYQ9QEwAg&dur=257

A recent report from the Associated Press indicates that Turkey plans on a military escort of Turkish ships intent on breaching the Israeli blockade of Gaza. In an alarming development, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has threatened to send warships to "protect" humanitarian shipments to Gaza. This rhetoric and the mainstream media ignore the fact that enormous amounts of aid are sent to Gaza through and from Israel. It also ignores the fact that the incident in which Israeli commandos boarded Gaza-bound ships and resulted in the lo…

Kamikaze: F-16 pilots planned to ram Flight 93

Wow, this story is something else! Two fighter pilots were willing to give their lives to protect innocents on the ground from the doomed Flight 93.

Kamikaze: F-16 pilots planned to ram Flight 93

More on Flight 93:





A Couple of My Quotes on Christianity

Try Christianity and I will tell you now that it will not work. However, live out radically authentic, Christ-centered Christianity and it will work wonders


Following Christ on my terms is not following Him at all.


Disclaimer: I believe these are original to me but knowing the human mind as I do, it is possible that they are variations of what is already out there. Ultimately, only one person is original and that is God.

Courageous - Coming to Theaters Sept. 30

Image
Looks like a good film. Anybody planning on seeing it?

Overwhelming Generosity in an Age of Greed

Image
His name is Larry Powell. Most likely, you don't know him. That's because, unless you are in California, specifically Fresno County, you have no idea or interest in him, that is until now.

Mr. Powell is Fresno County School Superintendent. Per year, taxpayers shell out $288,241 in salary and benefits for Mr. Powell. I know, now he is the enemy, but wait, there's more.

This superintendent that oversees 195,000 students in 325 schools and 35 school districts just demoted himself, as far as pay is concerned, to the level of a first year teacher. What he did was to retire and then asked to be hired back in the position for $31,000 per year. That amount is $10,000 less than a first-year teacher but without the first year teacher's benefits. Do I have your attention now?

Why did he do this? In his own words, Larry Powell stated, "How much do we need to keep accumulating? There's no reason for me to keep stockpiling money." Mr. Powell is 63 years of…

What if His People Prayed Instead of Feared Hurricane Irene?

We are not commanded to watch and fear but to watch and pray lest we enter temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak. See Matthew 26:41

Pray for this mountain of a storm to be swept out to sea:

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. -- Matthew 21:21 NASB

"Yet not My will, but Yours be done." -- Jesus in Luke 22:42 NASB

Some might say, "Bill, isn't it dangerous to pray for such a storm to collapse or go out to sea? Nobody is predicting that. What if our unbelieving friends see this and say, 'See there's no God' or 'What kind of God do you serve who would allow such destruction?'"

I say that God is the one who can move mountains and it is the time, when no one thinks such could happen, that God is most glorified. As for the sk…

Who is going to church? Not who you think, study finds

What do you think of this survey? Its findings, if properly interpreted from the data, is striking and sobering.

Someone Felt the Call to Pray and May Have Saved Band from Death or Serious Injury

Doubtless you have heard of the collapse of the stage at the state fair in Indiana. What you may have not heard is that a prayer may have saved the band Sugarland from death or serious injury. Here is the rest of the story, if I may borrow that famous line:

Stage manager Hellen Rollens decided to have a last-minute prayer circle with the band. Others felt Sugarland could go out as scheduled but Rollens wasn't so sure. As they gathered together in prayer, a 70 mile gust of wind sent the stage hurtling down onto those gathered below. Five people were killed and dozens of others were injured.

For the band's reaction: http://www.sugarlandmusic.com/news/43432

The original story can be found at: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44163198/ns/today-entertainment/
and http://www.theboot.com/2011/08/16/sugarland-tour-manager-hellen-rollens-indiana-state-fair/



Minimum Wage Versus Maximum Influence

I read a fabulous story about Booker T. Washington Sunday. For those who don’t know, Booker T. Washington was a well-respected and well known black educator. He worked to strengthen the relationships among blacks and whites in the post-Civil War era. As a result of his labors over 5,000 schools were established in the South. “Up From Slavery,” his autobiography, is considered one of the most influential books of all time. His influence extended to politicians and wealthy people of his time.

After he became president of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Professor Washington was walking down a wealthy part of town when he was stopped by a well-to-do white woman. Obviously not recognizing the black man in front of her, she asked him if he would like to earn a few dollars chopping some wood for her.

Guess what Mr. Washington did? One could presume what Rev. Al Sharpton would do. It wouldn’t take much imagination to ponder the reaction of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Any member o…

Steven Curtis Chapman - Behind "Beauty Will Rise"

Image
How often in Christian Contemporary Music, even music in general, do you get the chance to hear the laments of a person who has gone through a terrible, shocking loss? This is especially important for the Christian. Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman's loss of five year old Maria tore at all of us and we witnessed their faith under severe trial. It is interesting that he referred to these at one point in this video as laments since I thought the album could've been entitled "Lamentations" or "Modern Laments." The songs are mournful yet hopeful. Steven's vulnerability has enriched us all. I would like to publicly thank you Steven Curtis Chapman.


Bullies and A Way to Overcome Them in the End

Image
Many of us have had to deal with bullies in our lives, especially during our junior high and high school years. A song like this has such appeal to us as a result. However, a part of us perhaps thinks, I really shouldn't like it since it is a type of revenge ballad. So, why do I like it?

Naturally, I can only speak for myself. What I like about this song is the triumph over bullying. It began with a determination not to let the aggressor conquer one's spirit. Each character in the story persevered by looking to the future and seeing success ahead while the bully, who probably was or is bullied himself/herself, would just continue to be mean and that is all he or she would have. The justice of it and the inner strength toward one's life goals would help each character portrayed overcome in the end. There also was the warning to self that if one isn't careful, the bullied would become a bully.

Mission Frontiers Offers Free Books for a Review

To qualify you must:

Select one of the books below

Correctly identify either 1) an article where that book is mentioned in this issue of MF, or 2) that the book is “Not mentioned in this issue.” [to do this, click on "current issue" on mission frontiers page accessed by clicking on the blog title of this article)

1) Supply a link to a book review you have already published on-line, and/or 2) Describe your sphere of influence.

Provide a U.S. shipping address.

Commit to post an on-line book review (Amazon or elsewhere) within two months of receiving the requested book.

Reply to the confirmation email you will receive after submitting the form below (generally within 2 working days).

Available Titles:
(all to be shipped the first week of November 2011)

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett (Moody, 2009) (50 copies)

God Is at Work: Transforming People and Nations Through Business by Ken Eldred
(Manna Ve…

The Genius of Wrong by David Platt

I was moved by this eloquent yet simply stated article from David Platt's "Radical Together." Check it out and see if it has the same impact on you. Should we go with a more biblical model of "doing" church or should we embrace modern models as effective and therefore acceptable?

A Depressed Teenager Seeks to Take Her Life Only to Have it Given Back to Her

(video link removed due to it playing automatically - see Focus on the Family for the story)

The Most Risky Profession | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

The Most Risky Profession | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Click on the title and read the four page article. Come back and share what you think. Is the author on to something? Has he correctly identified too many ministries? What about the ministry you are under or you are leading? Do you disagree? If so, why?

Pastors, Don't Micromanage Your Church

Pastors, Don't Micromanage Your Church (Click on the heading here and listen or read the thoughts of Dr. John Piper on this subject)

This is a nice reminder to pastors. I have been thinking about this subject for a while. It is tempting to want to cast my church in my image. At times I think, "I wish that the VBS director would go to evenings so we could hope to attract more kids." Or, I would think, "I wish the music were a little less traditional and more balanced with the contemporary." However, in the case of the VBS, God has wisely chosen who is to lead it and that's not me. The music ministry would be in a shambles if I, musically tone deaf, were to lead it.

So, even though our VBS program is small, in some ways it is mighty. What other VBS do you know of where teens as young as 13 can be encouraged and trained to teach the lessons? The size also helps those who do come to have individualized attention. Plenty of research has been done on …

Living Purely in Our Sex-Crazed Culture

What is the cost of porn and not only porn but our sex-saturated culture on America? It used to be that in order to access porn, one had to ask for it over the counter, walk into a windowless adult bookstore or peer at it over the shoulder of a friend who had it. Today, one can find it everywhere. It can come in discreet packaging to your door, in pay per view or content on one’s cable subscription, not to mention all over the internet. Added to that is the increased sexualization of music and advertising being marketed even to our children.

Mike Stock, part of an 80’s songwriting trio, had written an opinion piece in the British Daily Mail. It is entitled, “Why This Pop-porn Will Damage a Generation of Children.” In it he laments that a Britain’s Got Talent program had two finalists who were 11 and 12. They weren’t the problem, a former Pussycat Doll was. As the invited special guest, she chose to perform a song with the lyrics, ‘Come on baby, put your hands on my body . …

U.S. churches in danger (OneNewsNow.com)

U.S. churches in danger (OneNewsNow.com)

What do you think? When it really costs to be identified with Christ, how many will? How many attacks on churches would need to happen to empty our churches? What should church leadership and the average person, married couple and family do in response to the threat? Is there a biblical response to an actual attack/s on some church/es somewhere in the USA? Do we continue to worship in our churches to make a statement or do we allow al-Qaeda to dictate where and when we worship? If attacks began, would you feel it appropriate to either bring a gun to church or have members or security armed?

A Shotgun Surgery

Okay, go ahead and say it. What a doofus! Whatever possessed him to try to shoot his wart off with a Beretta?

It is easy for us to look at other’s folly and render a quick and decisive judgment but what about my foolishness or yours? How long would it take to dredge up that idiotic thing you or I did five years ago, five months ago or even five minutes ago (God forbid!)?

I digress; let’s get back to the story. A British security guard named Sean Murphy, 38 yrs. old, states that he tried everything to get rid of a bothersome wart. He tried ointments and creams. He visited his physician. Nothing, it seemed, would work.

You ever feel like that? No matter what you did, that malady, that irritation, that bothersome entity just wouldn’t go away. One can certainly understand the man’s frustration.

Sean found a shotgun under a hedge, he claimed. A 12-guage Beretta shotgun seemed to be the magic cure. Just aim, fire and boom! Wart be gone! Unfortunately, for Sean, he was unaw…

Harold Camping Suffers a Stroke

Image
About a month after a false prediction of the coming of Jesus and judgment to come, Mr. Camping has suffered a stroke. Being a man of 89 years of age, his condition should surprise no one. However, some are theorizing that the two events are linked esp. since he is now slurring his words. Has God silenced a false prophet and forced him to live without the ability to speak for a time or for the rest of his life? We may never know. Whatever the case, what do you think and how should Bible-believing Christians react?

Link to the story: http://www.christianpost.com/news/harold-camping-doing-very-well-after-being-hospitalized-for-stroke-reports-wife-51108/

Here is a book about setting dates by the late Dr. William Alnor

Soothsayers of the Second Advent

My Email to Rep. Weiner

Image
Dear Congressman,

I do wish to let you know that I am praying for you and for your dear wife. May God give you both wisdom as you seek to navigate these difficult days. There is always hope for the one who humbles himself, seeks God's face and makes a turn in direction.

In Christ,

Rev. William R. Smith

What do you think?
Will you join me?
If so, here is the link: http://www.weiner.house.gov/email_anthony.aspx

James Montgomery Boice on Jonah

Jonah was a preacher whom God told to go to Nineveh, but he would not do it. He ran away. Indeed, he was going to Tarshish until God intercepted him and brought him back. God took His election of Jonah to that particular ministry so seriously that in God's sight Jonah was absolutely indispensable. So He brought him back and used him to effect one of the greatest revivals the world has ever seen. However, at the end of the story Jonah was unhappy, and he explained why he did not obey when God sent him to Nineveh.

Why was it? Was it the danger? Well, Nineveh was a dangerous place. The Ninevites were not nice people. When they did not like somebody, they cut off his head. If there were a lot of people they did not like, they cut off all their heads and piled them up in a great pyramid in the city square. It was their idea of a visual aid to learning. Jonah might have said: "I don't want my head on that pile. It's too dangerous. I won't go." Yet there is not a w…

Four Countercultural Tips on Dating - FamilyLife.com

"In this day and age, it takes no particular skill to sleep around. What does take particular skill is to be men of honor and integrity, who treat women honorably." -- Lane Cohee

Click on the title to go to the full article.

Four Countercultural Tips on Dating - FamilyLife.com

No good humor in frosty Pa. frozen treat feud - phillyBurbs.com : Weird News:

No good humor in frosty Pa. frozen treat feud - phillyBurbs.com : Weird News:: "Police are hoping the threat of losing their permits will be
enough to thaw the frosty relationship of two Pennsylvania ice cream truck drivers"

These bad boys accuse each other of trying to run the other off of the road. The police told them to chill out or get frozen out of the lucrative ice cream biz.

Chow Down Challenge

Image
Gluttony is getting celebrated again. Isn't it amazing how companies are still doing this today? Do you have any memories of restaurants, etc., having such contests? What do you remember? Did you participate? What are your feelings about it?

To Save a Life -- A Film Worth Seeing

To Save a Life is a great film for teens and young adults. It goes to the heart of issues that impact them like temptation and consequences, peer pressure, and fitting in with the cool crowd. Even those of us who are older grapple with many of the same things.

The story is about a high-school basketball star whose new-found fame puts him at a crossroads. Will he continue to befriend his companion from his childhood or will he take the bait to be the biggest guy on campus? Jake Taylor makes his decision and his choice has ramifications for nearly everyone in his life but most especially for him.

Though drug and alcohol abuse and mild profanity are present in the film, it is a great movie to get people thinking about such questions as the following:

"Is my life one that adds to others in a meaningful way or am I out just for myself?"

"Does it really matter which road I choose?"

Watch the film and you decide.

God Uses Styrofoam Cups

Image
Some people may be a little shocked at the title. What is he talking about? Is he implying that the Lord doesn’t care about the environment? God wants to fill the planet up with trash that doesn’t ever go away? The simple answer is no, that’s not at all what I am saying.

This past Sunday, we had a drama group and my wife sent me out with a supply list and a target store to get said items (no reference here to the store by that name). While her mission was to make a lunch for the crew, mine was to get what she needed. On the way, perhaps it was God impressing His will upon me or His work in my heart over time, I prayed, “Lord, I am pastor of my church but help me to be a pastor, a shepherd, to the people of this community.”

After nearly completing the list at the store, I had only one missing item, styrofoam cups. “What do I do?” I wondered. “Time is of the essence and price is always a good thing to think about. Where do I go?” I dismissed a local supermarket chain becaus…

Wil Varner's Response to the Death of Bin Laden

Chapter 7 and 8: My Response to “The Good News is Better Than That” and “The End Is Here”

With this blog post, I come to the end of my chapter-by-chapter reactions to Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins.” Mr. Bell had complained that people prejudged his book after watching his video introduction prior to the book’s release. However, I find, not to my surprise, that people like me have nothing for which to apologize regarding our supposed “pre-judging.” We were right. The video, again to no one’s surprise, was an accurate depiction of the book.

Rob Bell is a type of universalist. He tries to deny it, in the book and in interviews, by redefining universalism and then saying, “No, I’m not that.” See www.christianpost.com/news/rob-bell-denies-being-a-universalist-49417/ However, he undoubtedly believes that everyone will be saved eventually. To me, and many like me, that is universalism. What makes a person a universalist is universal salvation. The only way Mr. Bell differs with some other universalists is with the timing of everyone’s salvation. Other than that, he fit…

Bible edits: Mary a 'virgin' or a 'young woman'? - US news - Life - Faith - msnbc.com

Image
Bible edits: Mary a 'virgin' or a 'young woman'? - US news - Life - Faith - msnbc.com

What is your opinion of the new NIV? What translation do you use and why?

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's reaction: http://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/CBMW-Responds-to-New-NIV2011

Involuntary, unwanted, inescapable

Involuntary, unwanted, inescapable

“I date my break [from atheism] from a very casual happening . . . "

Note: back to Rob Bell's last two chapters after Easter. Happy Resurrection Celebration everyone!

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God | Matthew Parris - Times Online

Rob Bell’s Love Wins: My Reaction to Chapter 6: “There Are Rocks Everywhere”

Citing the outer rim of the bull’s eye, Ephesians 1, God’s purpose, states Bell, is to “bring unity to all things in heaven and earth under Christ.” The specific verses, that he seems so hesitant to tell the reader over and over again, in this instance are Ephesians 1:9-10. To Bell, this means that “God is putting the world back together and God is doing this through Jesus (p. 148, kindle version).” What is curious is the context that he again ignores. Take the time to read Ephesians 1:3-14. I don’t think I need to tell my readers this but just in case, notice verses 12-13. “In order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:12-13 NIV).” So, the Apostles, including Paul, put their hope in Christ and the Ephesian believers heard the Gospel…

Rob Bell and the Controversy over Hell - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Rob Bell and the Controversy over Hell - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Those who have read from my blog for a while know that I absolutely love Randy Alcorn's book, If God is Good. On his blog, Randy Alcorn links to some of the best reactions on Bell that I have read up to this point. I love that it is all conveniently in one place while I have chased them around a bit before this. Enjoy.

Waterbrook Multnomah posted this quote and the link above on Facebook: ‎"We may pride ourselves in thinking we are too loving to believe in Hell. But in saying this, we blaspheme, for we claim to be more loving than Jesus—more loving than the One who with outrageous love took upon himself the full penalty for our sin." - Randy Alcorn, "If God Is Good"

When God ran-Benny Hester

Image
One of my all-time favorite songs sung by the original artist.

"In 1985 Benny Hester recorded Benny From Here. It was this album that produced one of the top ten singles in the history of Christian music, “When God Ran”. This song made an immediate impact on radio and quickly became a number one hit. “When God Ran” went on to become the longest running number one song of all time."

http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/Artists/Hester_Benny.aspx

My Thoughts on Rob Bell’s Love Wins, Chapter 5: Dying to Live

Chapter five begins very oddly . . . with Eminem. I guess when an author plays fast and loose with Scripture, references to pop culture to prove one’s point shouldn’t be all that surprising. Bell recalls that around 2005, Eminem disappeared off of the public radar. His comeback tour began in 2010 in his native Detroit and Rob Bell was there (I will resist the urge to comment on the incongruity of a minister at an Eminem concert). Perhaps it was the intoxication of being in a place packed with 40,000 fans but Bell was taken in by the image on the big screen of Eminem wearing . . . wait for it . . . a cross! I guess you know where this is going.

He then writes at some length on the ubiquitous nature of the cross in modern culture. It is everywhere. Then reminiscent of his Gandhi in hell comments earlier, Bell theorizes that perhaps Eminem found out something (p. 136). I guess this something is the Bell version of an epiphany or a salvation experience.

“Did Eminem stumble …