Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Myth of Apollonius and the Reality of Jesus


Attempts are occasionally made to link Jesus to other Ancient Near Eastern itinerant teachers. An example of such a supposedly comparable figure is Apollonius of Tyana. Sometimes the goal is to show that another teacher is superior to Jesus, but usually, the aim is more skeptical. The comparison is made in order to show that Jesus is just a myth borrowed from other myths. Christians need to know the history of the early church and of the composition of the Bible. The truth is the best response to claims of fabrication.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Is a Christian Card Game a Good Idea?


Someone out there has an idea for a Christian card game, but he is worried. Many games in this style have occult influences. Will people who find his game eventually be drawn to those? If so, should he give up on the project? I would say no. There is a risk that people will pervert the truth, but even so, we have a responsibility to share it. A new way to do so for an underserved community is a valuable thing. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Christian Chameleons


Chameleons have an amazing ability to change the color of their skin in order to better fit their circumstances. Christians also have the potential to change the way we look to the people around us. Sometimes it is a bad thing, and we must learn to avoid hypocrisy. But sometimes it is a necessity. We must be able to alter the ways we present the truth in order to be able to reach people with it. So the chameleon is a cautionary tale or a role model, depending on which aspect you have in view.

Friday, January 18, 2019

What Goes Up, Must Come Down


The description of Jesus' ascension in Acts 1:9–11 is packed with comfort and challenge. Because we know that Jesus is alive, we know that we have life in Him and that He is coming back for us. Since He is, we have to complete our mission of telling the world about Him. Christians should keep one eye above to seek His return and another below to stay focused on the work He calls us to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

What Tier is Jesus On?


A recent game depicts the deities of a number of religions literally fistfighting for supremacy, and Jesus is included in it. The idea is absurd on its face, but the absurdity is an attempt to make the point that all religion is equally silly. That argument would need to show that Jesus is equal to all other gods, though. Since He surpasses them, it is merely insulting rather than being challenging. The game, and the philosophy it is based on, are worthless as a result. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Reclaiming the Lord's Prayer


Maybe I am alone in this, but I sometimes get the feeling the Lord's Prayer is practically forgotten in evangelical churches. Maybe we are so concerned about using it in ways Jesus did not intend that we forget to use it at all. That should change. Our Savior gave us an outline for prayer, and we should use it. Understanding the concepts in it and applying them to our devotions are invaluable to deepening our relationships with God.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Ongoing Ministry of Jesus


The phrase “All that Jesus began to do and teach” from Acts 1:1 is a valuable reminder for us that Jesus did not stop working when He ascended to heaven. He continues to act through His body, the church. When things seem too big for us to take on, we should feel encouraged and empowered by the fact that our Savior is still changing the world.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Infinite Forgiveness Requires an Infinite Savior


Following up on a concept mentioned last week, it is important to realize that the infinite forgiveness offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is only possible because He is Himself infinite. It is not enough for Him to have been sinless, though that was also necessary. But His existence and power must also be without beginning or end in order for God to keep His promises of unlimited love.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hope for the New Year


New Year's Day is a chance for us to look back and to dream forward. That is well worth doing, but we must remember not to allow our sense of joy to be tied to the wishes we make now. It is far more important to fix our minds on the new world God has promised to share with us, and on the new life He shares with us now. That hope does not change regardless of our circumstances. Whether this year is good or bad, nothing in it can defeat the Lord's plan to eliminate death and suffering for those who come to Him through Jesus Christ.