Showing posts from 2015

A Summary of Show Them No Mercy in 4 Parts: View Number 4 (Spiritual Continuity) and My Conclusion

Spiritual Continuity

Tremper Longman III presents the Spiritiual Continuity view of the Canaanite annihilation. First, I would like to say that I love Longman’s analysis of chosen biblical background material. Whether one agrees with his view, there are rich insights to be gained here. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this section of the book.

What Longman means by spiritual continuity is rather well explained. He sees a transformation from the old era of physical battle versus God’s enemies (and therefore, Israel’s) to a new one of spiritual warfare. Jesus is seen as the Divine Warrior found in the Old Testament but He has “intensified and heightened the battle.” The enemy is cast no longer as a flesh and bone one but a spiritual one. Weapons of war are transformed from physical ones to spiritual ones.

While there are those who look to the Old Testament depiction of God vs. the New Testament Jesus and see incredible dissimilarity, Longman sees continuity. Violence from the hand of God…

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Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard Mar 13, 2015 | Kindle eBook
by Johnnie Moore$7.99
A Christian genocide at the hands of Islamic extremists is unfolding in the Middle East. Entire Christian populations have been eliminated, and the ultimate aim of ISIS and the Islamic State is to eradicate the world of Christianity.

They are well on their way. Thousands of Christians arrive in refugee camps daily as tents can be seen for miles across the countryside of Jordan, N. Iraq and Lebanon.

Churches have been demolished, crosses burned and replaced with ISIS flags, homes destroyed, entire communities displaced, religious conversions forced, human torture enacted, children slaughtered, and all in plain sight.

In many cities every single Christian has been “taken care of”…

Thanksgiving Service -- Feel Free to Use/File for Next Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Eve Service11/25/2015
Note: this is a sermon-free service. It is a simple outline service with reasons to be thankful and a passage and hymns to go with them. I had one member of the congregation give thanks for each section and ended with a group of thankfulness testimonies. 
It can be adapted for your purposes. We also had two special music numbers. Of course, it could be turned into a sermon-based or devotional emphasis simply by reducing the stanzas, not including a testimonial for each portion or reducing the portions or perhaps a combination of those while expounding on the Scripture. You may also decide to alter the order, add or subtract as this primes your pump, so to speak. 
Opening Hymn: We Gather Together

I am thankful for my salvation

1 Peter 1:3-10

Calvary Covers It All

I am thankful for God’s sovereignty

Daniel 4:3-5

Have Faith in God

I am thankful for God’s love
John 3:16-17
My Savior’s Love
I am thankful for God’s comfort and care

2 Cor. 1:3-4

Like A River Glorious


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A Summary of Show Them No Mercy in 4 Parts:View Number 3 (Eschatological Continuity)

View Number 3: Eschatological Continuity

Daniel L. Gard’s position is that of Eschatological Continuity. To summarize, this view sees ancient Israel as God’s theological, political and chosen people to punish the Canaanites via genocide and occupy a land that God had granted them. God acted through Israel to perform this function. Gard goes further into the Old Testament also to argue that sometimes God acted solely in the destruction of His enemies in a type of herem. He sees that as the only justifiable genocide of history and it will only be repeated by God in the last days when he commits a final herem upon the people of the Earth.

There is a lot to praise in this portion of the book though I don’t favor his view. On page 116, Gard gives a great summary of what herem (or the ban) means and how it was acted out in the biblical accounts versus the Canaanites. Rooted in what I see as his evident Reformed background, Gard is terrific on the attributes of God and thus His character and…

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A Summary of Show Them No Mercy in 4 Parts: View Number 2 (Moderate Discontinuity)

Eugene Merrill’s case for moderate discontinuity is my preferred interpretation. Without having read it, I came to the same conclusions as he had save the use of the term genocide. More on that in a few paragraphs.

I will label this the dispensational view. It is further evidence, I believe, of how faithful dispensationalism is to the biblical text. It alone accounts for the seeming incongruity of Jesus’ ministry of salvation, mercy and grace with the judgment of the Canaanites in their wholesale annihilation by God as represented in the Old Testament.

One of the things I appreciate is the depth of Merrill’s material that he explains from the Word of God. He believes, rightly I would say, that the wholesale killing of the Canaanites was the judgment of God on a specific people (the Canaanites), at a specific period (the claiming of the land of promise under Joshua), by means of a specific agent (the Israelites) for a specific purpose (to claim the land promised to them while remaining…

Missionary Shares the Story of a Syrian Refugee Who Came to Christ Partly as a Result of Christian Aid to All, Even Muslims

What a missionary in Europe shared with us regarding a Syrian refugee who claims to having been converted to Christ

First, a note (from me): this confirms from another angle the story that we have heard from Christian mission/relief agencies that Muslims are startled to receive aid from Christians since, as they related, they would not give such aid to Christians. This has led to Muslims seeking to know more about Jesus and Christianity.

As the missionary related the story:

G-- , the three-week refugee from Syria, came to the house for a longer get-acquainted session. S.B., a fluent Arabic-speaking colleague from southern France, gave us a lengthy Skype interview to collect G--'s story. I'll not tell it in detail, but suffice it to say that what impressed him the most was the marked contrast between the work of Saudi-financed humanitarian aid in Syrian refugee camps in Turkey (where he had served as a translator), and that of Christians. 
The Saudis would ask children's names …

A Summary of Show Them No Mercy in 4 Parts: View Number 1 (Radical Discontinuity)

On one of the google communities, I had a discussion with an atheist. One of the things that he brought up was the annihilation of the Canaanites by the Israelites. This cruel God of the Bible, as he described Him, was not one he could embrace. We had been talking about something else when he made this turn in the conversation. I remarked that I had not studied the issue much but that I was not afraid of the Bible's difficult to understand passages. As I said to him, I had a book called Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide and that I would make that the next book that I read. 

As I began to read the book, I decided to summarize the four viewpoints contained therein. I will do this as a four part series of blog posts. What is important for the reader to understand is that these are my summaries and certainly the authors of the sections and views could dispute my summation and/or interpretation as could those who hold those views. This post offers you a look at t…

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“You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matthew 10:18-20 NKJV

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Just Say, "I Will.” The Church, and You, Will Benefit

I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom Rainer is the latest in a series of books by the author to help the church by helping the average church member. An Autopsy of a Deceased Church sought to take a look at common traits that lead to the decline and death of churches and encouraged believers to avoid those pitfalls. I Am a Church Member was an effort by Rainer to address the attitudes of church membership and how to be a better church member. I Will takes that a step further by addressing church members' behaviors. 

I think I Will does for the average layperson what What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti M. Anyabwile may do for a more intellectual layperson. In fact, that is one of the things that I have loved about Thom Rainer. One doesn’t need an advanced degree to understand what in the world he is talking about. He speaks in a language people understand, giving important data in a relevant way that they can apply in very practical ways. 
The nine “…

Your Name, Your Reputation: Choose Wisely

In Numbers 13, we have recorded the names of 12 men. Their names are listed there for all to see. Tasked to spy out the land of Canaan ahead of the conquests, these 12 would report back on what they found. Forever, their names are linked with their reports. The majority shrunk back in fear while a vocally strong minority wanted to trust God no matter the obstacles, claiming God's promises that the land was theirs for the taking.

You have a name and you are developing a reputation. Is it that you have trusted God or that you shrunk back in fear? Choose wisely how you develop that name and reputation, for others are watching and will follow.

Numbers 13:27-33 (NKJV)

“We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and …

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What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homose…

Probably the Devil's greatest trick in payoffs and it's happening at your church

Something that has occurred to me is the number of people who attend church and inevitably someone says something insensitive, hurts them and then they leave, seemingly never to return.

Now, don't get me wrong, but to me this seems like one of the Devil's greatest tricks in payoffs. The sheer number of people who give in to this dirty trick is astounding. I've talked with other Christian leaders and they tell me the same thing.

So, if this describes you, please know that the church is full of redeemed sinners but they are still sinners. Inevitably, one of them will say something that will sting. In fact, sooner or later, you will say something to your pastor or a fellow believer that will hurt.

Stay long enough, and more than likely, I will also say something stupid that may hurt you. This is because I am a sinner as well. Now pick yourself up off the floor. It really isn't that shocking.

If I left because someone said something to me that hurt me, I probably wouldn't …

Eric Liddell Honored in China, Christian Shot Dead by Muslim in-laws, a Man with Hungry Children Because of ISIS Hears about the Bread of Life and an Animated Map of Christianity's Spread

China’s Hero Eric Liddell Is Honored with Statue

BBC's Eric Liddell's StoryChariots of Fire's Eric Liddell is Chinese 'hero'
Samir's StorySamir has no money, no job, and his kids are begging him for food because they haven’t eaten in days. He has nowhere to turn, and ISIS is on his doorstep.

The only glimmer of hope comes when local missionaries supported by Christian Aid Mission tell Samir about a God-man called Jesus.

Pakistan: Christian man shot dead by Muslim in-lawsThe family of a Christian man who was shot dead by his Muslim in-laws is now being threatened also. The couple's lawyer is also receiving threats.

Aleem Masih, 28, married Nadia, 23, last year and they moved nearly 40 miles away from Lahore to Narang Mandi to escape her family. Lawyer Aneeqa Maria of The Voice Society told Morning Star News that the couple had petitioned Lahore High Court for police protection due to threats they and Masih's family had received.

According to the lawyer, Nadi…

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