At precisely 10:16 am this morning, James Hurley emailed that this photo is of the New York City skyline in 1956 at Christmas Eve. Literally only seconds later, Pastor Kelham’s email with the same correct info appeared in the HillFaith inbox.
So, given the impossibility of determining which of these fine gentlemen actually clicked their send button first, I hereby declare them co-winners of lunch on HillFaith. Way to go, guys.
Honorable Mention: Robert Arvantis got the city right but was slightly off on the year. Sorry about that, Robert. How about a cup of coffee on HillFaith?
You may have heard “Truth Be Told,” a revealing, deeply personal song from the Christian recording artist Matthew West. It’s about being authentic, something that is far too rare in politics. Ironic, isn’t it, since nothing in Congress, especially among staffers involved in negotiations, is more important than the trust that comes from being genuine.
In this video, West explains why he wrote and recorded this piece of musical confession and social criticism. If you’ve read how HillFaith came about, it perhaps won’t surprise you that I so highly recommend this song. Been there. Done that.
And if you’ve ever told somebody you were doing “great” the day after losing out on a promotion you thought you had, or suddenly realized somebody you thought was a friend wasn’t, or discovered that something you thought was long past wasn’t, then Matthew West has something to say for you:
Even if you’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ who has attended church regularly since childhood, the odds are very good you have little or no idea of just how massive the evidence from multiple fields is for Christianity. There has been a veritable explosion in Christian apologetics research in recent decades.
Same applies if you are an agnostic or an atheist because you almost certainly approach whatever arguments you’ve ever encountered on behalf of, for example, the Resurrection or the reliability of the Bible, with certain presuppositions that makes it all but impossible for you to see the whole picture.
Now along comes Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, a man who for much of his adult life was an atheist, to demonstrate just how complex and detailed is the case for the most influential faith in all human history. Pay especially close attention when the chalkboard comes on the screen:
Cross-examined.org’s Frank Turek speaks on college campuses around the country every year, so he is regularly exposed to the latest arguments from critics of Christianity, as reflected in students who ask questions during his appearances.
In the following video from a recent Turek appearance, a very sharp and inquisitive student seeks to refute the Moral Argument for the existence of God. In the process, Turek demonstrates to his questioner that unconscious presuppositions can be logical landmines:
Yes, at Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, but that’s only the beginning of His Earthly existence. He’s alive because of the Resurrection, and someday He’s returning to Earth to judge each and every human being He ever created for eternity.
Here, from Victor’s Corner from the other side of the world in Nigeria, is Victor Uyannawanne – follower of His Lord Jesus Christ, husband, father, family man, and superb writer – explaining the ultimate role of Jesus on Earth:
What an amazing fact is the incarnation. So amazing that it’s impossible for our finite minds and hearts to comprehend it completely. But Elizabeth Prata does a wonderful job trying:
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7).
Think of Jesus, divesting Himself of His majesty agreeing to become flesh. To incarnate. He lowered himself from His throne as King of all the universe, to be born as helpless babe, in poverty, in obscurity. He didn’t come as a boy, able to run away from danger or to feed and manage for himself. He didn’t come as a man, able to protect himself from dangers all around. He came as a newborn baby. Totally helpless. Total reliance on others.
His willingness to be a babe and completely depend on his earthly parents for sustenance, protection, and life itself, and to rely on His heavenly Father’s plan for Him to be born, live, teach, and die, is amazing.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14)
On the scale of crazy, this claim is tops. There’s no doubt that the Gospels trade in the extraordinary throughout Jesus’s earthly ministry. Walking on water, multiplying fishes and loaves, and even raising folks from the dead are all incredible, amazing and miraculous.
We’d all be mystified and compelled to worship if we witnessed any of these events. However, the original Christmas events, when we stop to reflect on them, are on a whole different level.
Consider this: the transcendent, all-powerful and self-existent one, the creator of all reality, the one who literally holds all things into being was born human in a common manger!!
The idea of the incarnation is so big and seems almost paradoxical that it makes us pause and consider whether or not it is even a coherent thought. Is it even logically possible that God becomes man? Though the notion is difficult and merits some serious reflection, the short answer is yes, or so it seems to me…
Go here for the rest of Philosophy Professor Travis Dickinson’s thought-provoking analysis of the incredible claim underlying the birth of a baby boy to a peasant girl in a backwater of the Roman Empire two millennia ago.
You’ve no doubt heard it before — critics claiming Christmas is just a warmed-over pagan holiday that Christian church leaders stole in order to create a commemoration of the birth of Jesus.
Variations of this theme have been peddled for decades on college campuses by professors with classrooms full of students who grew up in churches that didn’t prepare them with historical facts, or to think logically, critically assess evidence and understand critics’ arguments.
In the following video from the “The Incarnate Investigation” series, Cold-Case Christianity’s Jimmy Wallace (who, as a Los Angeles Police Investigator, is following in his famous father’s footsteps) turns on the camera in his car and makes clear how the critics only told part of the story, while ignoring the most VIP. Oh, and Merry Christmas to all!
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” — John 15:16-17 (ESV)
And C.S. Lewis said:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Nate Zimphermakes the move up from Senior Legislative Assistant to Legislative Director for Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio). Nate began his congressional staff career in 2010 as a House Page. He earned his BA in Political Science and Government from American University in 2015.
Annie Goyzueta takes over as Operations Director for Rep. Johanna Hayes (D-CT), after serving a stint as Keeper of the Hayes Schedule. Annie earned her MA in Communications and her BA in Marketing from the University of Hartford in, respectively, 2017 and 2014.
Hillary Beard started out as an Intern working for Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL). From there, she moved steadily up as a Press Assistant, Legislative Assistant, Senior Policy Adviser, Legislative Director and now Chief of Staff. How about that for a story of steady application, productivity and dedication! Hillary graduated in 2012 from Birmingham-Southern College with a BA in Political Science.Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Moving Up On The Hill This Week”
Everybody has heard the Christmas classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” but do you know why the theology professor wrote it, to whom it was addressed and when it became known throughout the world?
Today is Christmas Eve and, despite the strangeness that 2020 has brought to virtually every aspect of our daily lives, thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic, hundreds of millions of people around the Earth will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ tonight.
In the following video from Prager U, William Federer explores the roots of the major features of the world’s most widely celebrated holiday. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas to you and yours!
It may be the most common criticism of free enterprise, the economic system that has produced more wealth spread across by far the widest portion of people in all of human history: It’s all based on selfishness and greed.
Is that true? Do you respond on those many occasions on Capitol Hill when that criticism is registered? In the following video from the Colson Center, Brooke McIntire puts forth three fact-based responses.
Is becoming a follower of Jesus Christ a blind step of faith or can it be an entirely reasonable decision that follows directly from logic and evidence? The answer depends mainly on whether He was literally resurrected from the dead.
As Paul the Apostle said in the New Testament at I Corinthians 15:19-20: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, the retired Los Angeles Police Detective who became world-famous for solving unsolvable murder cases from years ago, addresses “evidential Christianity” and the Resurrection in this excerpt from a recent interview on “100 Huntley Street:”