Listen to a conversation on the Hill among congressional staffers about the Crusades and it’s a near certainty that somebody will claim these Middle Ages wars between Christians and Muslims prove Christianity is just as violent as Islam.
There is some truth behind that statement, but it’s not what you might be expecting. What it shows is that Original Sin is a problem every human being who has ever lived (except one, Jesus Christ!) must come to grips with one way or the other.
The Colson Center’s Brook McIntyre lays out the historical facts on three points that make clear the inaccuracy of the argument about what the Crusades “prove” about Christianity:
Jon Harris is the author/thinker/critic behind “Conversations That Matter” on Patreon and elsewhere on the Internet. He is a born-again Christian of the Reformed persuasion and a traditional American conservative.
But don’t let that description put you off because Harris is also a very perceptive, observant and articulate critic of all sides of contemporary culture and politics in America. His discussion of the origins and significance of Critical (especially Race) Theory and Intersectionality is trenchant and thought-provoking.
The Bible at Galatians 3:28 declares that, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
There is no more clear a statement of the fundamental equality of all men and women in all of human literature, whether ancient or modern. As a follower of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I affirm Galatians 3:28 with all of my heart and seek to live that reality every day.
No serious historian doubts that Tiberius Caesar was the second emperor of the Roman Empire, ruling for 23 years, spanning the period of 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., after succeeding his stepfather, Caesar Augustus.
But how much historical evidence is there for the life of Tiberius, compared to that of his ultimately most famous and influential contemporary, Jesus of Nazareth?
It may surprise you but there are profound differences. And the emperor comes out on the short end of the comparison.
Utopian thinking has been around since the dawn of time, but the socialist version of that outlook is a relatively recent invention. Government ownership of the means of production and abolishing private property is the socialism of the modern era, thanks mainly to Karl Marx and the British Fabians.
Here in America, this socialism has developed an inordinately large following among Millennials and Gen Xers because America’s public schools for decades have refused to allow students to learn the advantages, flaws and historical performance records of both free enterprise and socialism. Nobody should be surprised then that so many think socialism is the answer to all of America’s problems.
But the facts, according to Brook McIntyre on the latest Colson Center “What Would You Say” video, make it abundantly clear that there really is no comparison between the two systems:
DON’T MISS THESE OTHER GREAT POSTS WHILE YOU’RE HERE!
“Take, for example, the emperor Commodus (AD 161-192). For a gladiatorial contest, Commodus once had all those with disabilities rounded up from the streets of Rome and tied together in the shape of a human. Entering the Colosseum, Commodus clubbed them to death before cheering crowds, proudly announcing that he had ‘slain a giant.'”
Mahlburg draws that example from Tom Holland, author of “Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind.” As it happens, Holland is an authority on ancient history and is an atheist.
But Holland is an atheist who understands that “in my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.”
Mahlburg smartly introduces readers to other atheists who, like Holland, acknowledge that Western civilization is at its healthiest roots, thoroughly Christian.
Go here for the full tour, especially if you are an atheist or agnostic, or are one of the many in this country who was taught on campus that Western civilization is oppressive, racist, evil, etc. etc.
There are those who insist Jesus didn’t really die on the cross. If that’s true, then everything else claimed about the life and significance of His life is cast into doubt.
But is it the most reasonable conclusion that Jesus was not dead when His body was taken down from the cross, based upon the available evidence? Former NBC “Dateline” cold-case expert J. Warner Wallace doesn’t think so and he makes a compelling case in the following video.
Before you click on the video, though, ask yourself if you have ever touched a dead body. Odds are most of you reading this will say no. It’s not the common experience for regular folks. But it’s a VIP question, as Wallace explains:
Did you know Buddha didn’t believe in God? Or that Hinduism’s chief character likely never existed? How about that a leading Islam apologist agreed Muhammed was 600 years too late to be credible on Jesus’ death? And what do we make of the 1,000 year range in which Zoroaster may have been born?
All good questions, especially when compared with the historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, according to scholars Gary Habermas and Benjamin C.F. Shaw, writing in the latest edition of Southern Equip:
“It is far from surprising that world religious adherents typically claim that their faith is unique in several regards. Christians are no different here. These are quite natural assertions, as everyone wants to believe that something so crucial to them is both different and well as exceptional.
Bob Perry is a commercial airline pilot who has seen the coronavirus pandemic up close and personal in recent days. He’s also talented, thoughtful observer from a Christian perspective, writing at True Horizon. Here’s a sample:
“Christianity exploded during the plagues and persecutions in the ancient world. And it did so precisely because Christians served those who most needed it. They comforted and cared for the sick and dying. This isn’t just a job for healthcare professionals. It’s a duty for us all …
If you’ve seen the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy or the “Indiana Jones” series, you saw Hollywood actor John Rhys-Davies. He’s also starring in the forthcoming “I Am Patrick” about the Irish saint.
Rhys-Davies is not a Christian, but he is not bashful about expressing his admiration of and appreciation for the role of Christianity in the development of individual civil liberties we take for granted:
“Everything that we value — everything that I valued when I was a student 50, 60 years ago, which I cannot any longer count on an audience accepting — really comes from Christianity,” Rhys-Davies recently told podcaster Lucas Miles.
It’s a stirring moment that invariably brings a smile and a tingle whenever we see the replay of those epic last 10 seconds of the USA Olympic Hockey Team’s victory over the Soviet Union, punctuated so perfectly by Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles?”
Even for those who aren’t particularly enamored of Canada’s national sport, ice hockey can be a fascinating game to watch. My son has played hockey since high school and to this day he plays in a men’s league in Richmond as a 40-year-old who can still skate circles around younger guys.
Mark Johnson was one of the stars of that 1980 USA Olympic Gold Medal hockey team, going on to an 11-year career in the NHL that included being named to the all-star lineup at one point.
Johnson loves to talk about the miracle of 1980, but he delights even more so to talk about the other miracle that followed. I guarantee you this video will thrill you and maybe even change the course of your life:
By the way, the victory over the Soviets, who had won the Olympic gold medal four consecutive times, was not the medal winner for Mark Johnson and his teammates. They had to then play Finland, which was no slouch of a team, either, for the gold medal and won it, 4-2.
Scotland’s Eric Liddell is best-known these days, where he is known at all, as one of the heroes of the 1981 classic movie, “Chariots of Fire,” thanks to his winning gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics.
What is less well-known is that Liddell was a deeply committed, born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. He came from a missionary family and died of a brain tumor while in Japanese internment in China a few months before the end of World War II.
“Chariots” remains to this day my favorite movie of all time for one scene in particular in which Liddell explains to his critical sister that he will return to the mission work in China, but first he must honor God by competing in the Olympics. Thus his wonderful declaration that “God made me for a purpose. God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Continue reading “‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?”
Tradition has it that all of the original surviving 11 disciples of Jesus died as martyrs while defending their claims that Christ had been resurrected on the third day after being crucified.
Thomas, the skeptical disciple (i.e. the “Doubting Thomas”) who refused to believe the resurrection until Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch his crucifixion wounds, is believed to have taken the Gospel to India where he died as a martyr.
As Biola University Professor Sean McDowell explains in the following video, there is no independent corroboration for this tradition, but there is good historical evidence to support the conclusion that there is truth in the account:
Critics typically dismiss the Bible as a credible source of history, but the more one knows about textual analysis, philology and archeology, the more the accuracy of Scripture is demonstrated and reinforced.
Dr. Sean McDowell of Summit Ministries and Biola University professor of apologetics looks at four major modern archeological discoveries that confirm key illustrations of the credibility and accuracy.
Why is McDowell’s presentation worth a few minutes of your time? Because, if the New Testament is an accurate account, then all of us should consider closely the claims of Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, the “Way and the Truth and the Light,” and thus the only way to Heaven: