Thursday Roundup (2/23/17)

Thursday Roundup

There’s no Answers for Ambassadors podcast this week (but check out the new book I’ll be talking about next week!), but I hope I made up for that with a long and interesting video discussion about slavery in the Bible with an atheist writer. The links of the week range across singleness, same-sex attraction, Milo and CPAC, liberal education, when silence is the best response to outrage, and more!

Also, don’t miss my new live, online Christian apologetics classes. I’m very excited to be offering these new trainings, intended for ages high school through adult and designed to be convenient and affordable. Each class will address some particular apologetic topic over the course of a few evenings. The first five classes are covering theistic arguments, Islam, Mormonism, homosexuality, and the Old Testament. Click the link above to learn more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

The early Christians did not say “look what the world is coming to!” but “look what has come into the world!”
~ Carl F.H. Henry

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What Should Observing the Sabbath Look Like? (Part 5)

Church

In the past few weeks, as we have studied what the Bible says about the Sabbath, we have seen the importance of the Sabbath in the Old Testament, and that it was more than a ceremonial “shadow” which would pass away with the advent of Christ; that it was a moral law with lasting significance, deeply rooted in God’s heavenly rest and redemptive work. Therefore, it was no surprise that the Sabbath continued for the first-century church in the form of the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, Sunday.

Finally, last week’s article considered some obvious objections to the idea that the Fourth Commandment still applies to New Testament Christians. We finished up that examination with Paul’s exhortation in Romans 14, “The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord,” a declaration which raises the obvious question: How should we “observe the day” in 21st-century America?

To answer that question, we must take one last survey of what the Bible has to say about the Sabbath…

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Thursday Roundup (2/16/17)

Thursday Roundup

This week’s video addresses the Jehovah’s Witness argument that most Christian Bibles suppress the Old Testament name of God. The podcast wraps up our consideration of The God Delusion by taking up Dawkins’ categories of “explanation, exhortation, consolation, and inspiration” to compare the Christian and atheistic worldviews. And the links of the week cover the Holy Spirit and The Shack, marriage and parenting, the danger of allowing politics to kill our witness, and more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation: loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.”
~ Francis Schaeffer

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A New Testament Sabbath? But What About…? (Part 4)

Church

My last article on the Sabbath laid out the reasons for believing that the Old Testament Sabbath was transformed by Christ into the Lord’s Day of the New Testament—still a day for worship and rest, filled with the content of the Sabbath but now occupying the first day of the week. In this penultimate article in my series on the Sabbath, I will consider a few verses which might seem to disagree with that conclusion.

Colossians 2:16-17: A Passing Shadow?

Perhaps the most obvious passage which seems to teach that Old Testament Sabbath commands have no relevance for the Christian is Colossians 2:16-17, which says, “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” It certainly sounds like Paul is declaring that the Sabbath is entirely an Old Testament thing, a shadow which has passed away in the light of Christ. But first glances may be deceiving.

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Thursday Roundup (2/9/17)

Thursday Roundup

Today’s video asks how God can command us to believe in him. What if you just don’t believe the claims of the Bible? The Answers for Ambassadors episode discusses The God Delusion‘s argument that religious faith is inherently harmful. And the links of the week consider preaching and community in the church, women in the Old Testament, what religion has to do with Tanzanian electricity shortages, and more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“Grace is indeed required to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts this does not know what either a man or a saint is.”
~ Blaise Pascal

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Power, Privilege, and the Christian Perspective

Tiananmen Square Tanks

As I’ve watched the news and read social media over the last few weeks, I couldn’t help thinking about an article I wrote a couple years ago. I decided to put my series about the Sabbath on hold this week and repost this instead. –DV

Who has real power over you?

Our culture is increasingly obsessed with questions of power, privilege, and oppression. It is a focus which originates in leftist academia and is rooted in Marxist social and political theory, but the language and ideas have flowed into how we talk and think about just about any social conflict. For many thinkers today, our world is primarily interpreted in terms of who has power and privilege and who doesn’t, and that distinction has grown into an individual’s single most important and defining feature.

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Thursday Roundup (2/2/17)

Thursday Roundup

This week’s video is a discussion with atheist writer Jim Wall about the Bible as a moral guide. The Answers for Ambassadors podcast considers how Dawkins’ theory of “the Moral Zeitgeist” helps explain political progressivism, and the links of the week range over smartphones, pastoral prayer, immigration, abortion, and more.

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“The Christian faith is not true because it works; it works because it is true.”
~ Os Guinness

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The Sabbath in the New Testament (Part 3)

Church

Last week’s article on the Sabbath examined how other parts of the Old Testament law were maintained, discarded, or modified in the New Testament. We saw that the Sabbath’s unique combination of moral and ceremonial elements gives us reason to expect it to remain relevant for New Testament Christians, though with changes that reflect Christ’s atoning work. But what does the New Testament actually say about the Sabbath?

The Sabbath in Jesus’ Life and Teaching

In keeping with the Old Testament’s intense interest in the Sabbath, Jesus devoted more time to teaching about the Fourth Commandment, through both word and example, than to any other commandment. In general, when the Gospels record Jesus speaking about Old Testament law he is clearing away misunderstandings of it, and the Sabbath is no different.

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Thursday Roundup (1/26/17)

Thursday Roundup

Today’s video asks why Jesus held his followers back from proclaiming that he was the Messiah, while the Answers for Ambassadors podcast considers Richard Dawkins’ claim that our morality is shaped by “the moral Zeitgeist” rather than divine revelation. The links of the week cover profanity and abortion, service and evangelism, Christians as “gullible skeptics,” Donald Trump as a postmodern antihero, and more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“The problem is that many people cling to the symbol but never understand the reality it is intended to represent. Most likely, tens of thousands of people have ‘invited Christ into [their] hearts,’ thinking that a mystical experience is what saves them. Then, they go on their merry way, living their lives as they did before. If you were to ask them, ‘How do you know that you are going to heaven?’ they would respond, ‘Because I invited Christ into my heart.’ But if you probe, there is nothing beneath the shallowness of that reply. They did what someone told them to do, but never really embraced the Savior.”
~ Daniel Wallace

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What Sort of Law Is the Sabbath? (Part 2)

Church

What, if anything, does the Old Testament Sabbath hold for New Testament Christians? Last week, I started a short series looking at what the Bible teaches about the Sabbath and its place in our lives today. That first article laid the groundwork for our study by examining the Sabbath in the Old Testament. We saw that the first recorded Sabbath was inaugurated by God as soon as the Israelites left Egypt. Soon after, Sabbath observance was the fourth commandment given by God at Mount Sinai and became an important marker of his people. In later generations, the prophets would urgently call Israel to faithfully observe the Lord’s day of rest and worship.

The Ten Commandments are repeated twice in the Pentateuch. In Exodus, God links the Sabbath with his rest after the six days of creation, which was itself a representation of the perfect and joyful rest which he enjoys in Heaven and into which he invites us. In Deuteronomy, the Sabbath is associated with God’s redemptive work, bringing his people out of slavery in Egypt. The Israelites were to enter into the Sabbath with the joy of freed slaves savoring a hint of Heaven.

Having surveyed the Sabbath in the Old Testament, the obvious next step is to examine what the New Testament has to say about the Sabbath’s place under the new covenant which Jesus inaugurated. But first, I want to pause to consider what we might expect the New Testament to say.

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