Friday, March 24, 2017

The Doctrine of Justification and Social Justice

Below is a very good article written by Charles Holmes Jr. on the connection between the doctrine of justification and social justice.  It was published via the Jude 3 Project:

The Justice of God

The doctrine of justification is a doctrine about our glorious salvation. It is an essential part of the message of the Bible. This doctrine, although is directly about Christ atoning for our sins, is foundationally built on the justice of God. God is an infinitely holy God, and there is nothing and no one on earth or in Heaven like Him (1 Samuel 2:2). God is a completely righteous God and can’t even look upon sin or have sin in His presence. When sin entered the world, we offended the rule and reign of God, and we followed our own way and trusted in our own ability for life and happiness. (Romans 1:22-23). For this reason, our disobedience to God must be punished eternally because our sin was against an infinite and holy God. God is a God of justice, so justice must be sought out by God for His glory (Psalm 89:14) in order for sin not to go without punishment. By the grace of God, God is not only a just God, but simultaneously a merciful and gracious God. All throughout the Bible God displays His mercy and justice as He intervenes in the world. The best display of this was on the cross where Jesus, the Son of God, went to bear the sin of world bringing justice to God, but also bringing mercy to a wicked people (1 Peter 2:24). As believers, because we have received the mercy of God and have seen the justice of God poured out on the person of Jesus, our understanding of justice should be shaped by this beautiful Gospel message.

Injustice and Humanity

As we see, justice is part of the very nature of our God. When the topic of social justice comes up, believers should be leading the way because of what we have experienced in the Gospel. Social justice, however, can be misinterpreted by the church due to a lack of compassion and knowledge on the subject. In the realm of social justice many times the church looks on with hesitance to be bold for the voiceless, neglected, and broken.
Over the past few years we have seen the awareness of social injustices in our world heighten. As witnesses of these injustices the church cannot afford to become timid in our response to these wicked atrocities. Our response will have an effect on how people view the message of the Gospel and how people view Jesus. No matter the injustice, whether it is poverty, abortion, or racism, the church must be the voice of God for the victims since we have experienced the justification of God through the person and work of Jesus. Because God does care so deeply about establishing justice, Jesus goes as far to identify Himself with the least these in society who have been victims of injustice (Matthew 25:35-40). James in his letter writes that true Christianity is a Christianity that serves and takes care of the oppressed (James 1:26-27). In the Old Testament God condemns congregational worship that offers sacrifices on behalf religion and yet doesn’t pursue justice on behalf of the hurting and broken image bearers (Amos 5:21-24). The church should be aware of the injustices that occur in our world, because injustice distorts the image we were created in. If we are called to be imitators of God, we called to be a people and a church that preaches the justice of God in the cross and lives out the justice of God in practice through love.

The Christian Approach to Social Justice

Social injustices aren't just problems with systems and structures, but are theological issues as well. The mistreatment of human beings made in the image of God is an issue of human value and worth. In Genesis 9, God shows us that because we are created in the image of God, both humans and animals are held accountable for the killing of other humans. The extent of our value stems from the very nature of God. When injustice happens, the biblical truth that all of mankind are image bearers of God is attacked. As believers in Christ, we hold to the fact that we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This Gospel truth, coupled with the reality that we have been justified and declared righteous because of Jesus should compel our hearts to seek to bring forth justice on the earth. Through social justice, we point to the coming perfect judge who died and rose from the grave to redeem and reconcile sinners to God, all while standing up for the oppressed.
Faith in Jesus is a faith that empowers action for the glory of God and good of humanity. Sadly, we are sometimes seen more so as moral police than caretakers of the sick and hurting. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus rebukes this kind of attitude, “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law -justice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others." We see that the heart of God is that our Gospel commissions’ and ordains good works, that people may see and glorify God. (Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:10). If we are involved in religious activity, but lack compassion and mercy towards people in need, then our religious activity is a waste and a mockery of the very religion we claim to believe and practice. True Gospel belief should produce compassion and love in us for those oppressed by injustice.
We once were alienated from God, but God had compassion on us. As we seek to be conformed to the image of God lets seek justice by doing good deeds, declaring justification through faith, and hoping and proclaiming in the coming perfect Judge Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Classic Lecture: Blind Watchmaker? A Skeptical Look at Darwinism by Phillip Johnson


Here is a lecture by Phillip Johnson, one of the founders of the intelligent design movement.  In this talk, Johnson explains how he became a skeptic of Darwinism after reading Richard Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker.  He also summarizes the major conflicts between neo-Darwinian theory and natural science including the Cambrian explosion and the existence of bio-molecular systems of irreducible complexity.

This talk was filmed before a live audience at the University of Wales in 1997.

Some of Johnson's well known books that you may want to check out include Darwin on Trail, The Wedge of Truth and Defeating Darwinism.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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7 Things Worth Knowing about Intelligent Design

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Are the Terms "Micro-Evolution" and "Macro-Evolution" a Creationist Fabrication?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Preview: Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

About the Author

J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. J. Warner was a conscientious and vocal atheist until the age of thirty-five, when he took a serious and expansive look at the evidence for the Christian Worldview and determined that Christianity was demonstrably true. After becoming a Christ follower in 1996, Jim continued to take an evidential approach to truth as he examined the Christian worldview. He eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

J. Warner served as a Youth Pastor for several years, then planted a church in 2006. Along the way, he created and built the Cold-Case Christianity website, blog and podcast as a place to post and talk about what he discovered related to the evidence supporting Christianity. Jim has appeared on television and radio, explaining the role that evidence plays in the Christian definition of “faith” and defending the historicity of Jesus, the reliability of the Bible and the truth of the Christian worldview. Jim also speaks at churches, retreats and camps as he seeks to help people become confident Christian case makers. J. Warner’s book, Cold-Case Christianity, provides readers with ten principles of cold case investigations and utilizes these principles to examine the reliability of the gospel eyewitness accounts. In God’s Crime Scene, he investigates eight pieces of evidence in the universe to make the case for God’s existence.

J. Warner’s professional investigative work has received national recognition; his cases have been featured more than any other detective on NBC’s Dateline, and his work has also appeared on CourtTV and Fox News. He also appears on television as an investigative consultant (most recently on truTV) and had a role in God’s Not Dead 2, making the case for the historicity of Jesus. J. Warner was awarded the Police and Fire Medal of Valor “Sustained Superiority” Award for his continuing work on cold-case homicides, and the CopsWest Award after solving a 1979 murder. Relying on over two decades of investigative experience, J. Warner provides his readers and audiences with the tools they will need to investigate the claims of Christianity and make a convincing case for the truth of the Christian worldview.

About the Book


J. Warner Wallace has asked this question in churches across America over the past several years, and the answer he gets is often disappointing; it’s almost always rooted in some sort of personal, subjective experience. As a community, we Christians aren’t typically prepared to make the case for why we believe Christianity is true from the objective evidence of history, philosophy or science. Worse yet, many of us don’t think we have any obligation to do so.

In J. Warner’s first two books, he made the case for God’s existence (God’s Crime Scene) and the case for Christianity (Cold-Case Christianity). In Forensic Faith, J. Warner completes the trilogy by making the case for… making the case! In Forensic Faith, J. Warner helps readers understandwhy it’s important to defend what they believe, and provides them with a unique template to help them become effective “Christian Case Makers”. Forensic Faith will help readers:
understand why they, as Christians, have a duty to defend the truth
develop a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity
learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God’s Word
become a better communicators by learning the skills of professional case makers
With real-life detective stories, fascinating strategies, and biblical insights, J. Warner hopes to teach readers the daily cold-case investigative disciplines they can apply in their lives as believers. Forensic Faith is an engaging, fresh look at what it means to be a Christian...

Forensic Faith is an accessible and exciting call to action. It will help you understand why it’s important to develop an evidential faith as it gives you the tools to accomplish the mission. It will also help you explain the need for apologetics to those who don’t yet understand their duty as Christian Case Makers. 


Forensic Faith is not only a book, it’s also a video curriculum!

This eight-week Forensic Faith Curriculum Kit is a companion to the Forensic Faith book. It takes participants through the investigative techniques that J. Warner Wallace learned from his decades as a homicide detective. Designed to be used in small groups in a variety of settings, the Forensic Faith interactive Participant’s Guide, Leader’s Guide and DVD will help participants in all seasons of faith become better “Christian Case Makers.” 


To pre-order your copy of the book, go here.

To learn more about J. Warner Wallace and his work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity for Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace

Book Review- God's Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe by J. Warner Wallace

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jesus: The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived

It was the late Dallas Willard who was fond of saying, "Jesus Christ is the smartest man who ever lived."  Have you ever thought of Jesus in this way?  If you are a Christian, it is important that you realize that seeing Jesus as intelligent and smart is critical to your discipleship.  Why? Simply put, if you don't think your teacher is very bright, you aren't going to learn much from Him.  Further, if Jesus is thought of as irrelevant to your intellect, you will not go to Him to learn how to live. And if you don't go to Him to learn how to live, then you are not His disciple.

The following are resources that will aid you in viewing Jesus perhaps in a way you have not considered before.


Articles


How Did Jesus Argue?  Jesus and Logic by J.P. Moreland

Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist by Doug Groothuis

Jesus the Logician by Dallas Willard

Who Is Your Teacher? by Dallas Willard

Jesus Used Logic by Dave Miller

The Apologetics of Jesus by Patrick Zukeran

Jesus: The Master of Critical Thinking by Juan Valdes

Audio

Jesus as a Logician and Apologist by Dallas Willard

Loving God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland

Books

Loving God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland

On Jesus by Doug Groothuis

The Apologetics of Jesus by Norm Geisler and Patrick Zukeran

The Great Omission by Dallas Willard

The Philosophy of Jesus by Peter Kreeft

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Jesus Argued Reductio Ad Absurdum

Jesus as God in His Parables

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Source of Our Fear When It Comes to Evangelism


In the subject post, J. Warner Wallace discusses how fear of evangelizing is mostly centered on a desire to be comfortable. He provides his thoughts and insight from Scripture to help the follower of Christ overcome this fear.

You can read the post here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

2,000-Year-Old Road Unearthed in Bet Shemesh

Student Satanists Announce Lamb Sacrifice and Bible Burning at Clemson U

AI’s PR Problem

Democrats Kill Bill to Protect Babies Born Alive After Botched Abortions

Portuguese Feminists Abort Jesus in Front of Catholic Church

Evangelicals Need to Stop being Wimps

McCain Calls On Trump To Put Up Or Shut Up On Wiretapping

Southern Baptists Consider Dumping Moore For Opposing Trump. That's A Bad Move

Conservatives Should Follow Cruz on Republican Health Plan

Want to Adopt? 5 Kansas Children in Need of a Loving Home Are Looking to Be Adopted Together

Ex-Luciferian Satanist Jacob McKelvy Saved by God

Scott Hamilton Reveals His Third Brain Tumor Has Shrunk Without Treatment: I Was the Recipient of a Spectacular Miracle

Christian mom cancels $6,000 Disneyland trip over 'Beauty and the Beast' gay character

Atheists at risk of dying out due to belief in contraception, study claims

Why the Muratorian Fragment is a Big Deal and What You Need to Know About It

Russell Moore survives attempted coup over his criticism of Donald Trump

Update: Continue to Pray for Pastor Raymond Koh, Abducted in Malaysia

Author N.T. Wright visits Houston Baptist University

Research on Ancient DNA Could Test Predictions of Non-Darwinian Speciation Models

Protein-Binding Sites ENCODEd into the Design of the Human Genome

Egypt extracts torso of 'Pharaoh Ramses II' statue from mud  Update

White House apologizes to British government over spying claims

‘After School Satan Club’ Received Fast-Tracked Tax-Exempt Status from IRS

This is the ‘Single Greatest Contributor’ to Millennials Abandoning Faith According to New Book

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

You can checkout last week's edition here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Eric Metaxas on the Living the Christian Life

"We need to seek the mind of Christ, to think and to act as Christians, to know our Bible and to live by it in the power of the Spirit, 'making the most of your time, for the days are evil.'  We must commit anew to forming a biblical worldview and evaluating everything in our lives in light of it. We must recommit our time and our treasure to evangelism, missions, and Christ’s command in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and visit the prisoner. Christian faith is not a nice add-on to our agendas, it’s the very marrow of our lives."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad



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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Notable Christian Apologist: Anselm by Ted Cabal

Taken from The Apologetics Study Bible, p. 801:

Born in what would be modern-day Italy, Anselm (A.D. 1033-1109) was raised by a father who resisted his son's desire for a life of scholarly devotion.  His mother, however, instilled in him a vision and love of God.  Through his unwavering commitment Anselm became not only a Christian scholar but eventually also a celebrated teacher and the archbishop of Canterbury.  Like the earlier scholar and churchman Augustine, Anselm sought to better understand the faith he already believed.  In the classic Why God Became Man, Anselm produced what has become the standard view of the atonement: God alone can satisfy the infinite demands of His righteous wrath-and He graciously does so through the saving work of the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Written in a spirit of prayer, Anselm's Proslogian presents one of the most controversial and fascinating arguments for God's existence- the so-called ontological argument (argument from being).  When a fool says in his heart that there is no God (Ps 14:1), he demonstrates that he understands what is meant by the term God, namely "that than which nothing greater can be conceived."  And anything that can be conceived not to exist is not God.  Thus God cannot be conceived not to exist.  Or in other terms, God would not be that than which nothing greater can be conceived if He existed only in one's mind, for it is greater to exist in reality than in thought alone.  Hence God must exist.  In response to charges that the argument is unsound, Anselm expounded the argument further by nothing that God is a necessary being, that is, a being whose uncaused self-existence accounts for the existence of all other contingent things.

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For a great introduction to the ontological argument, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Video: Near Death Experiences by Dr. Gary Habermas


In this talk, Dr. Gary Habermas talks about some of the evidence for near-death experiences and their possible implications.  

For those interested in learning more about near-death experiences, we highly recommend J. Steven Miller's Near Death Experiences.

Our review is here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

The Argument from Sehnsucht (Longing)

The Argument from Desire

Article: Are There Any Good Reasons to Believe in Heaven (Even without the Evidence from Scripture)? by J. Warner Wallace