PUEBLA 2020: A Well-Spent Week Comes To A Close With A Blessing

This year marked the fifth in the past six that I have joined a devoted and talented team of nearly two dozen men and women who are present and former members of Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) in Sykesville, Md., on a week-long mission to Puebla, Mexico.

Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

At the outset, let me be clear that my saying this is not “virtue signaling” on my part. That God led me for the first time to go on this mission trip in 2015 was in itself a miracle and concrete evidence of how radically He has transformed a previously selfish, booze-addicted and politics-obsessed egotist with a new heart and desire to love and serve Him, my family, fellow believers, and my neighbors. I get zero credit here, it’s all to His credit and glory.

Led by Senior Pastor Mark Massey beginning in 2001, the FBC mission team has worked with the extraordinary pastors, members and friends of Hananeel Baptist Church in Puebla in building a facility that began as a small garage and is now a beautiful sanctuary, classroom building and courtyard. Continue reading “PUEBLA 2020: A Well-Spent Week Comes To A Close With A Blessing”

MYTH-BUSTERS: No, The God Of The Old Testament Is Not A Moral Monster

A common objection heard from atheists, agnostics and other skeptics these days is that the God of the Old Testament was immoral because He allegedly endorsed such horrors as forced servitude, genocide and rape.

As RZIM’s Brandon Cleaver explained recently in a lengthy analysis of the issue, “slavery in the Bible was vastly different. First, according to many scholars, the Hebrew word (ebed or eved) that is often translated as slave in the Old Testament is more reasonably rendered as servant.

“Furthermore, slavery among the Hebrews in the Old Testament often occurred when individuals sold themselves into servanthood to pay off debt. Therefore, it was voluntary.”

In the following video, crossexamined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek makes that point and more in responding to a series of questions that taken together frame the argument that the God of the Bible is a moral monster:


 

To See Tomorrow’s Digital System For National Oppression, Just Take A Look At China Today

China is not ranked on top of the 50 worst nations for persecuting Christians compiled by Open Doors USA, as that dubious distinction belongs to North Korea, followed close behind by Afghanistan.

Great Wall of China. Photo by Bruce Röttgers on Unsplash.

But China is building a pervasive system of digital surveillance-based oppression that is presently aimed at the estimated 125 million Christians there, but which could easily be duplicated in other nations and used to silence anybody who disagrees with the regime in power.

That’s according to Open Doors CEO David Curry, who told a recent news conference unveiling the 2020 list of top 50 anti-Christian nations that China is constructing a “blue print” for a “system of persecution for the future” to be sold on the world market. Continue reading “To See Tomorrow’s Digital System For National Oppression, Just Take A Look At China Today”

SCIENCE AND FAITH: Free Will Is An Illusion If Choices Are Simply Determined By The Chemistry Of Our Brains

If thinking is merely a product of chemical reactions within the brain, what does that make of ideas like “individual liberty” and “social justice?”

It is not uncommon to hear the claim that human thoughts and choices are actually nothing more than the product of material processes of neurons acting and reacting within our physical brains.

Put another way, our minds are illusions. We only think we think of our own free will. As Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist and atheist advocate, put it in a 2011 interview with Britain’s The Guardian:

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking said. It’s striking that such a smart man apparently missed the irony of his own analogy contradicting his assertion. Continue reading “SCIENCE AND FAITH: Free Will Is An Illusion If Choices Are Simply Determined By The Chemistry Of Our Brains”

THINK ABOUT THIS: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? Here Are The Facts, Part 2

Critics and skeptics over the centuries have come up with a multitude of theories attempting to discount the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after His death on the cross.

These theories fall into four primary categories:

  • Some sort of conspiracy.
  • He only appeared to have died.
  • Somebody moved His body without telling the disciples.
  • There were hallucinations.

In Part 2 of the Reasonable Faith video looking at the facts about the claim Jesus rose from the dead, each of these theories is addressed head-on and shown to be a less satisfactory explanation for the undisputed truth about the death of Jesus:

If you missed it, Part 1 was posted yesterday here on HillFaith. If you have questions about anything you heard in either video, please tell us about it in the comments.

Christians Are Just A Bunch Of Gullible Bible Thumpers, Right?

Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallaces Responds to a great question during a recent conversation on the campus of Ohio State University

That question posed in the headline above is a commonplace criticism one often hears in the media, on campus, and in a wide range of public forums in America.

You saw a typical example of this sort of ad hominem on Sunday if you happen to have watched “Meet The Press” when NBC’s Chuck Todd read a letter-to-the-editor of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald claiming people who believe Noah’s Ark actually existed are typically Trump supporters.

But this isn’t a new argument, as J. Warner Wallace explains during a recent presentation at Ohio State University. In the process, he addresses these key questions: “Why do Christian believe in – and expect – an afterlife? Is our belief in Heaven and Hell based purely on the teaching of the Bible? Is there any other good reason to expect a life beyond the grave?”


Here’s What To Expect On HillFaith In 2020!

MYTH-BUSTERS: No, Christians And Muslims Do Not Worship The Same God

Philosophy Professor William Lane Craig

It’s a truism in much of today’s ecumenical efforts that Christians worship the same deity that Muslims do because both are monotheistic, that is, they each contend there is one god, not many.

The reality is that there are profound differences between the essential concepts of God held by orthodox Christians and the two major branches of Muslim belief.

Philosopher William Lane Craig contends the Muslim concept of god is “morally defective” and explains why in this video by first describing the Christian concept:

“As the greatest conceivable being, a morally perfect being, God must be all-loving. And this is exactly what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that God loves sinners, His love is impartial, it is universal, it is unconditional,” Craig says.

“And this is a world of difference from the god of the Quaran. According to the Quaran, god does not love sinners. God in the Quaran only loves those who first love him,” Craig continues.

“So that his love rises no higher than the sort of love that Jesus said tax collectors and sinners exhibit. They love those that love them,” he said. “The Quaran says god does not love the very people that John 3:16 says that God love so much that He sent His only son to die for them.”


 

THINK ABOUT THIS: Is God Really Dead? A Conversation Well Worth An Hour Of Your Saturday

John Lennox is the famous and brilliant Oxford mathematician and Christian apologist. David Rubin is the famous and brilliant web radio host and child of a conservative Jewish home.

What on earth might two guys of such different backgrounds have to talk about for an hour? Well, what could be more important than the question that has been center stage in Western culture ever since Nietzsche declared that “God is dead.”

This is an hour-long conversation, but I hope you will get yourself a cup of java, sit down somewhere quiet and give this delightful, stimulating and instructive conversation between two really smart, funny and honest guys your attention on this first Saturday of December 2019.

Continue reading “THINK ABOUT THIS: Is God Really Dead? A Conversation Well Worth An Hour Of Your Saturday”

Meet The Christian Philosopher Who Created The First Syringe, The First Hydraulic Press And The First Digital Calculator

If you work on Capitol Hill, you likely heard of Blaise Pascal somewhere along the way, most likely in a college course where he was dismissed as one of those “old white guys” who created the oppressive monster better known as “Western Civilization.”

But, as philosopher Kenneth Samples explains on Reflections, Pascal was not only a philosopher and a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, he was also a technological genius and a “Renaissance Man” of the first order.

“His creative technological experimentation resulted in the invention of the syringe and the hydraulic press, and in the development of the first public transportation system in Europe,” Samples writes. Continue reading “Meet The Christian Philosopher Who Created The First Syringe, The First Hydraulic Press And The First Digital Calculator”

Is This How You Would React To A Big Setback At Work?

Quarterback Nick Foles went from being Super Bowl MVP with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 to breaking his clavicle in his first game with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this year.

To put Foles’ situation in a congressional staff context, imagine getting a big promotion from a good job on an important House staff to a bigger Senate slot that pays more and demands everything you’ve got.

Then a couple of weeks after starting, the chief of staff who hired you leaves and the new guy has his own favorite for the position you just took over. You can see where it’s going and it ain’t looking good.

So how do you react? Check out this video of Foles laying out his reactions for reporters to an injury that sidelined him at just about the worst possible time:

Christian Comedian John Crist Admits His ‘Destructive And Sinful’ Behavior, Cancels Tour

Christian comedian John Crist has admitted to “destructive and sinful” inappropriate sexual relationships, excessive drinking, and sex addiction, according to Charisma News.

John Crist (Screen shot from youtube.com).

This is the statement Crist provided the publication when its editors contacted him for comment on the extensive evidence they accumulated for their story (emphasis added in fourth graph):

“Over the past number of years, various women have accused me of behavior that has been hurtful to them. While I am not guilty of everything I’ve been accused of, I confess to being guilty of this—I have treated relationships with women far too casually, in some cases even recklessly. Continue reading “Christian Comedian John Crist Admits His ‘Destructive And Sinful’ Behavior, Cancels Tour”

Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ Album Debuts At No. 1

HITS Daily reports that West’s new album not only debuted in the top spot on the Top 50 Hits sales chart, it did so with more total sales than the all the other top five entries combined.

“Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me,” West said during a recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Low.

“I’ve spread a lot of things. There was a time I was letting you know what high fashion had done for me. I was letting you know what the Hennessy had done for me. I was letting you know all these things but now I’m letting you know what Jesus has done for me,” he said.

 

Huge Spike In Google Searches On ‘Jesus,’ ‘Christian Beliefs’ Due To Kanye West’s Conversion

This post is all Kanye, all the time

Kanye West’s latest album — “Jesus Is King” — appears to be generating big cultural waves being felt on the Internet, according to reporting by Faithwire Editor Tre Goins-Phillips.

Kanye West speaks during Sunday Service at Howard University (Screen shot from YouTube).

“The 11-track album is chockfull of Bible references, and according to Bible Gateway, online searches for Scripture passages and faith-based phrases in the songs have spiked since the record was released in late October,” Goins-Phillips said.

There was also a leap in searches for “What do Christians believe?” and “Jesus,” he said.

There was so much Internet activity that the American Bible Society decided to offer a free copy of the most-read book in history to anybody asking here. But wait, there is more on the jump! Continue reading “Huge Spike In Google Searches On ‘Jesus,’ ‘Christian Beliefs’ Due To Kanye West’s Conversion”

Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine

Something is happening with the guy and it’s much bigger than Donald Trump

Kanye West is one of those famous people who got that way by being unusually talented at something – in his case, music and entrepreneurship – and being unlike pretty much anybody else in American public life.

Kanye West during his Chicago Sunday Service (Screen shot )

That makes him, depending upon your perspective, either unique and fascinating, or weird and puzzling. Either way, he’s not a take-him-or-leave-him kind of guy.

Love or despise him, though, West is a major influence on contemporary American culture and that makes him relevant in multiple ways for folks working on Capitol Hill.

(For one thing, he may be a canary in the coal mine of American politics, telling us in advance of a coming seismic shift in the way Black Americans see things in Washington, D.C. That, as Sen. Bernie Sanders might say,  would be huuuuge on Capitol Hill.) Continue reading “Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine”