A SONG OF JOY: ‘Who You Say I Am’ By Hillsong Worship

It’s Sunday morning, June 16, 2019. No matter what you did last night or where you were, the problems, hopes, doubts, suspicions, dreams, fears, ambitions and worries you faced yesterday are likely all still here today.

No, that’s not a negative, that’s a statement of reality. I know how it feels to wake up and either know too well what I did the night before or wish that I didn’t know. That’s how a lot of us live for many years.

And then Jesus Christ on the morning of March 1, 1991, opened my eyes to myself, to Him, to the reality of my need for His saving grace. That was the moment my life changed forever.

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APOLOGETICS: No, Hindu Avatars Aren’t ‘Just Like’ The Incarnation Of Jesus; It’s Not Even Close

Bhakti Hinduism’s Krishna devotees believe Vishnu is an avatar for Krishna, a god who as an avatar lived among human beings and who declared that “Although I am unborn, everlasting, and I am the Lord of all, I come to my realm of nature and through my wondrous power I am born” (Bhagavad Gita 4:6).

Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash

Hey, that sounds like Jesus, doesn’t it?  For New Agers and others who seek to render Jesus anything but what He claimed to be, the Avatar comparison is probably too good to resist.

Well, actually no, there is an apparent surface similarity but the reality is that there are multiple profound differences that make the comparison useless, according to philosopher and theologian Kenneth Samples of Reasons To Believe, writing on his Reflections blog.

The Gospel of John opens with the classic statement of Jesus’ incarnation, saying:

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RELATIONSHIPS: New Survey Finds Married Couples, Parents Have Fewer Barriers To Forgiveness

All of us have done things to others for which we want forgiveness, but finding it can be difficult for those working in a hyper-competitive environment like Capitol Hill where “what have you done for me today” is heard far more often than “I forgive you.”

HillFaith editor Mark Tapscott

This will likely come as a shock to those steeped in the stereotype of Christians as judgmental, overbearing and narrow-minded, but guess who finds it easier to forgive? Married Christian couples, at least according to the results of a recent survey by the Barna Group, one of the nation’s pre-eminent social science research groups.

“For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. Whatever the wording of a couple’s wedding vows, there’s generally an acknowledgment that tough times will come.

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JOBS: Here’s Nine Valuable Tips For Interviewing Well On Capitol Hill

You’ve  followed up on that job lead from your college friend who now works on the Hill, you’ve prepared a relevant resume, found a good recommender, and you just got invited to meet with the hiring manager.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now, how do you make the best of that interview? Here are nine tips:

First, there are a few important things you’ll need to do leading up to the interview, but on the day of the meeting, it’s most important that you have the right frame of mind. If you are a Christian believer, you should exercise “confident humility,” as we discussed in my previous post (“Getting In The Door On Capitol Hill”).

This means having confidence in knowing you are loved and accepted by God, while asking the Lord to search your heart for anything that impairs your relationship with Him. Reading and meditating on Psalm 139, or other go-to verses, is an excellent way to accomplish this.

This will give you a measure of peace and tranquility, which prepares you to be relaxed and free from anxiety when you interview.

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APOLOGETICS: Why Christianity Is A ‘Forensic Faith’

There are folks who think that having both Christian faith and a logical mind capable of critically evaluating competing truth claims is impossible, but not so, contends NBC “Dateline” Cold-Case Detective  J. Warner Wallace.

After all, Jesus said “you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind(Matthew 22:37), so those who say becoming a Christian requires leaving your brain at the door aren’t considering all of the evidence.

Wallace, author of “Cold-Case Christianity: A homicide detect investigates the claims of the Gospel,” points to three kinds of faith, including blind faith, faith held despite the evidence, and faith based on evidence, aka “forensic faith.”

Check out the three-minute video in which Wallace explains why “the Christian tradition calls us not to hold to its truth claims blindly …”

 

APOLOGETICS: A Simple Detective Skill For The God Search

It’s almost certainly not something you would think of as a helpful tool in determining where you stand on the “Does God Exist?” issue, but the “Inside-Or-Outside-The-Room” technique might still be just the thing.

Is the explanation inside or outside the room?

The Inside/Outside technique, according to former Los Angeles homicide detective J. Warner Wallace — you may know him as the “Cold-Case Detective” on NBC Dateline —is this: Is it possible to know if a dead person was murdered, committed suicide or died from natural causes or in an accident by the information contained within the scene (the “Inside”) or is it necessary to go “Outside” to find the answer?

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OFFICE HOURS: Got Questions About Jesus? Or Life? Or Careers On The Hill? Let’s Talk

Check out my Office Hours schedule for this week in the sidebar to the right. If you have questions about Jesus, who described Himself as “the Way, the Truth and Life,”  or how things are going in your life or anything else that puzzles you, then come on by.

No appointments necessary and the coffee is on me! Stay as long or as little as you wish. I’ve been in this town since 1976 and have learned some lessons — spiritually, politically and lots of other ways, trust me!— and just might have something of value in the way of insights to help in your search for answers to your questions.

And don’t worry, I’m not a preacher, I understand what Jesus was talking about when he discussed the plank in my own eye, and nothing surprises me. I’m interested in conversation, not confrontation.

Just look for the guy with a Mac Air displaying this cobbled-together logo (And yes, that’s Scotch tape. Hey, this is a low-budget operation!):

New Study Debunks Conventional Wisdom That Millennials Don’t Care About Spiritual Issues

It’s become something of a truism that the Millennials are far less interested in spiritual matters and thus much harder to talk to about things like what it means to be a “Born-Again” follower of Jesus Christ.

But a new study jointly conducted by the Barna Group and Alpha USA finds that while there is truth to Millennial resistance to some forms of Christian evangelism, there is much more to the issue.

Compared to older generations, Millennials, according to the Barna/Alpha study, “report many more faith conversations or even evangelistic encounters than older non-Christians. Though this could be partly due to the greater diversity that exists for young people among their family and friends, this isn’t the whole story. For at least some young adults, there appears to be deeper interest in spirituality in general, and in Christianity specifically.”

More on this to come here on HillFaith, but for now, check out the study and this accompanying graphic for a host of data-driven insights that ought to be a source of tremendous encouragement.

HARD FACTS: 10 Reasons Jesus Is The Most Influential Person In All Of Human History

Whatever your view of Jesus of Nazareth, there is little room to question the claim that He is the most influential individual in history, even though he lived a mere 33 years two millennia ago in a backwater region of the Roman Empire.

Australian blogger and pastor Kurt Mahlburg

Australian blogger and pastor Kurt Mahlburg says that is why Jesus is so often co-opted for causes other than His gospel, noting on his blog:

“Let’s be honest: It’s all too easy to highjack Jesus and make Him the pin-up boy for our cause. Depending on your flavor, He’s the middle-class moralist, the enlightened guru, the hellfire preacher, the social justice warrior—and the list grows every year.

“The reason Jesus keeps getting a rebrand—the reason He simply refuses to go away—is that He is without question the most influential person in history.”

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JOBS: Getting In The Door On Capitol Hill

By Bret Bernhardt

Securing a meeting with your prospective employer is an important step in the process of landing a job on Capitol Hill.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Before we get into the mechanics, it’s important to recognize that looking for a job is one of the most stressful things you will do in your professional life. After all, you are trying to “sell” yourself. And what if they don’t like what you are selling?

You are confronted with the prospect of rejection, as well as acceptance, every time you are considered for a position. Dealing with this will be the topic for deeper discussion later but it’s important to keep this in mind now: Embrace the value God has given you while practicing confident humility.

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THINK ABOUT THIS: Ever Wonder ‘Who Created God?’

The answer begins with understanding what it means to live outside of time

Astronomer Hugh Ross says the question of “who created God” is the query he is most often asked on social media. That’s understandable as every human being at one time or another likely has wondered the same thing.

Astronomer Hugh Ross. Screen shot from Reasons to Believe video.

“Every atheist scientist I’ve ever debated publicly has raised that issue,” Ross explains in a recent interview on Reasons to Believe. “There is a fallacy there. They are assuming that God is constrained in time like the universe is and all life in the universe.”

Ross notes that “any entity that is constrained to a single dimension of time, where time can’t be stopped or reversed, at some point must have a beginning or a creation event.”

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How A Young British Astronomer Proved Albert Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity

Yes, today is Memorial Day, but it’s also just two days short of the 100th anniversary of the proving of what has been termed the greatest scientific achievement by a single individual in the history of mankind.

Most famous equation in human history? Photo courtesy of Freerange.

That was when British Astronomer Arthur Eddington and two teams dispatched by the “Joint Permanent Eclipse Committee of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society of Britain to observe and record photographically the full solar eclipse scheduled to take place on May 29, 1919,” according to Professor of Political Science Emeritus Salim Mansur, writing today on American Thinker.

“At the time under Portuguese rule, Principe was selected as one of the two sites – the other was Sobral in the Brazilian Nordeste – from where the total solar eclipse and its full effect could be best observed. The expedition was proposed by Eddington, a rising star among British astronomers, to test Einstein’s general theory of relativity published in the middle of the Great War.”

All sorts of things happened — not the least of which was inclement weather — that could have left the mission a failure. But Eddington was able to overcome the obstacles and completed the photographic work required to test Einstein’s theory.

It’s a fascinating and significant story and one I suspect you will thoroughly enjoy reading on this holiday Monday.

Happy Memorial Day!

If you work on Capitol Hill, you know that Memorial Day originated from the American Civil War, which cost more lives than any other conflict in the nation’s history.

Did you also know that at 3:00 PM on Memorial Day (May 27, the last Monday in May 2019), the nation officially pauses for a moment of remembrance for all those who have given their lives to protect freedom and the Constitution?

So whether you have travelled home to be with your family somewhere in Flyover Country or you and your loved ones gathered at the beach or in the mountains, or maybe your celebration happens at a place like Dewey Beach’s Bottle and Cork, remember, 3:00 PM on Memorial Day.

And take a few minutes to read this excellent piece in Roll Call about Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and the U.S. Army’s Old Guard, the unit that protects Arlington National Cemetery.

JOBS: Where Your Best Job Lead Is On Capitol Hill May Surprise You

By Bret Bernhardt

Conventional wisdom may say the best path to a good job on the Hill is through the hiring manager. That may be a chief of staff, legislative director, or state/district director.

However, there’s a surprise twist. More often than not, I have seen the best job leads for young and junior staff come not through senior staff,  but rather their own peers.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

As believers, we should know that community is very important. How often in the Scriptures is the fellowship of believers emphasized? This is no less true for you as you navigate, work, and live on and around Capitol Hill.

To this end, you will probably find the job you are seeking through a contact or connection with someone in your own age range or peer group. Take a look around and find out how your peers actually ended up in their first job on the Hill.

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