Thursday Roundup (1/26/17)

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!

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“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

Latest Video

Jesus was God’s good news to mankind, so why did he often warn his followers during his earthly ministry not to go and tell everyone that he was the Messiah? This video explains one reason why he restrained his followers’ testimony… for a season!

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

Having argued that the Bible is not an adequate foundation for morality, Dawkins finishes Chapter 7 of The God Delusion by suggesting instead that our morality is based upon “the moral Zeitgeist,” inevitable moral progress which is the result of growing understanding and education. But is moral progress even a coherent idea in an atheistic world?

Answers for Ambassadors is available via SoundCloud or by searching in iTunes and most other podcast players. You can also direct your podcast player to the podcast RSS feed.

Best Reads of the Week

I love how Nicholas Batzig picks up on a seemingly trivial detail in a dramatic story in Acts to draw out a lesson for us today. “Are we willing to pick up sticks to the benefit of others (even our enemies) in the service of Jesus?” Batzig had another good piece this week too, looking at what to do when someone we have been witnessing to walks away.

“Words Matter”: A helpful article on profanity, and how we should be using our mouths instead.

One common argument against defunding Planned Parenthood is the other health services they supposedly provide for women, such as prenatal care. So investigators with Live Action called 97 Planned Parenthood locations around the country asking for prenatal services. This devastating video is the result.

The fact that abortion is evil doesn’t mean that every argument against it is good. This article does a great job explaining the serious flaws with one popular argument: “What if You Aborted a Future Janitor?”

Trevin Wax worries that we are allowing our agendas, rather than a commitment to the truth, to guide us through the blizzard of claims and counterclaims we encounter each day. “Too many Christians these days are ‘gullible skeptics.’ Skeptics toward establishment type media outlets, and gullible toward other websites or toward political spinmeisters who already line up with their preexisting beliefs or worldview.” (Not to say that this is only a problem for Christians, but first the log in our own eye, right?)

This article rambles a bit, but I was intrigued by the idea that Donald Trump is the personification of a postmodern antihero.

Some thought-provoking points from Rod Dreher. I think he is correct that the political left responds with greater vehemence to setbacks because their hopes and expectations for the political sphere are higher. But his point about the dangers of partisanship for Christian testimony is spot-on as well. Let us pray for wisdom and self-restraint for ourselves and the American church!

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Photo of the Week

Half Moon Bay tree

This lonely tree clings to a rocky outcropping that juts into Half Moon Bay in California.

(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)

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