The electronic version of The Case for Christ is on sale. Only $2.99 for this foundational apologetics book. Lee Strobel interviews fourteen experts to answer questions in three sections:
1. Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?
2. Who was Jesus?
3. Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
If you have not read this book, it needs to be in your hands and the hands of anyone with questions. At over 280 pages, that’s a penny a page!
I have observed a funny paradox – many sinners don’t actually sin.
What I mean is that on Sunday in church they have no problem admitting that they are a sinner that needs a Savior.
But during the week if someone brings up a short-coming and suggests that they: were angry, mishandled a situation, were unwilling to listen, were sarcastic, were thoughtless — then they are immediately defensive.
In others words, theoretically I am a sinner but functionally I don’t actually really sin.
Strange, isn’t it?
If we don’t want that deception in our lives, this article and this summary of it are foundational on giving and receiving criticism.
Questions for reflection include:
How do I typically react to correction?
What is my first response when someone says I’m wrong?
Do I tend to attack the person? To reject the content of criticism? To react to the manner?
How well do I take advice? How well do I seek it?
Are people able to approach me to correct me?
Am I teachable?
Do I immediately seek to defend myself, hauling out my righteous acts and personal opinions in order to defend myself and display my rightness?
Can my spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, or friends correct me?
The summary is here.
The full article is here.
Consider printing down and reading the whole article. It was a life-changing article for me years ago when I read it. It can be for you also!
Last summer our men’s group studied different men of the Bible. It varied the Bible study and kept the men in the Word.
After they picked a man to study: Caleb, Noah, Samson, Lot, Philemon, Barnabas, etc. here is what I gave them to study:
Goal: To so study this man so that you would recognize him if he walked into a room.
- Find references to this person in the Bible.
- Read Scripture to get some insights into this person’s life.
- Make a Chronological outline for his life.
- Identify some character qualities of this person – good or bad.
- How is this person a picture of Christ? Or how do flaws point to need for the perfect man Jesus? How does this man demonstrate the need of the gospel?
- What crisis point did they face in their life and what did they do?
- What are some life lessons we can lean from him? If he were to address our men’s group and share his life lessons, what would he say?
- What are some applications to your life.
I plan to ramp up this type of study again for myself personally. What about you?
Our teenagers go into the world every single day to find things to marvel at. They are on the lookout to be impressed by something. They love to be dazzled by things in their surroundings.
But not only our teens, we were all made to be dazzled. We’re made to stand back and gape, to wonder and be overwhelmed by the glory and goodness and greatness of God. We’re uniquely designed to respond to this awesome glory with worship, adoration, reverence, and being awestruck with God’s glory.
We’re made for worship.
What happens when people who are instinctively and compulsively worshipers fail to worship God? We simply worship something else in His place. We get impressed by things, people, and experiences in creation. We get dazzled by idols. But the glory of God is displayed through the things God has made. People–teens included–are without excuse when they exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:19-21). They honor, praise, and marvel at created things rather than the Creator.
They (and we) worship idols instead of the one true God.”
Tedd Tripp, “Dazzle Your Teen”, The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Summer 2007, p.7.
Imagine a historical novel in which the Germans won World War II. We would know it was wrong immediately. The Da Vinci Code is historical fiction where the history is bad.Unfortunately, this bad history has been propagated in the over 80 million copies sold.
But since we don’t know our church history, we don’t recognize bad church history. One of those assertion from The Da Vinci Code is that the Bible was assembled in 325. Here is a quote from a fictional character.
Sir Leigh Teabing, former British Royal Historian -
“The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven…The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. It has evolved through countless translations, additions and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book….There were over 80 gospels and in 325 A.D, Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike.”
But this is just bad history. There are multiple historical problems with this paragraph. For just one refutation, read this article about The Muratorian Fragment. The author shows we have documentation that 22 of 27 NT books were agreed upon by 180 A.D. In other words, the core of the NT was decided by consensus not a political council quite early in the history of the church!
Because of The DaVinci Code, the culture “knows” the NT was manipulated. Unfortunately they are wrong. Let’s make sure our older children know the truth.
Is this a goal of ours? For our children? Paul says to Timothy, “Train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).
I came across this little article by John MacArthur that I thought was filled with practical helps. MacArthur recommends:
1. Start small.
2. Get yourself organized (yikes!).
3. Don’t constantly seek to be entertained.
4. Be on time.
5. Keep your word.
6. Do the most difficult task first.
7. Finish what you start.
8. Accept correction.
9. Practice self-denial.
10. Welcome responsibility.
The article finishes with this line. “The discipline cultivated in the mundane things will spill over to your spiritual life.”
Read the whole thing. It is a quick read.