Winesk.in

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Photo by Jennifer Burk

And Other Hilarious Measurements

I once asked a friend how his brother was doing. He told me, “Well, he’s attempting to get nearer to Christ. But, you know, like me, he’s not quite there yet.”

At the time I didn’t know quite what to say, but, in the madness of hindsight it struck me — how does one measure nearness to Jesus? Is it in feet? Kilometers? Is it like a radio dial, where one needs to tune in to the correct Hertz? Perhaps amps of intensity? Degrees on a protractor?

I decided to compose a letter.

Some of us have tried the intensity path, going to worship concerts or hopping from church to church or conference to conference. Others have tried the knowledge trail—signing up for courses, studying or diligently memorizing the Bible. But although these can be very good for us, they don’t always give us quite the sort of answers we need. I mean, the unspoken questions at the core of our being seem somehow immune to motivational rhetoric and keyboard choral pizazz (even Christian pizazz). …


Hands clasped together.
Hands clasped together.
Photo by ian dooley

What I am about to tell is a true story, something that happened to me. Then I will talk about how it got to that point, including the methods my abuser used to groom and silence his victims.

This is one of several similar encounters I had with a man named Jonathan Welton, who at the time had a relatively large ministry, the primary component of which was a school called Welton Academy. …


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What should we do with the world’s most enigmatic book?

As a teacher or translator, to place oneself in the position of a biblical author is one of the most difficult tasks there is. At the same time, is it not one of the most ennobling and exhilarating? For the interpreter’s goal, in advance of considerations of life application, is to take the viewpoint of the ancient, to seek to enter into his very soul, until he, as it were, lives his life and thinks his thoughts.

In this way, one avoids the common mistake of shanghaiing the text to the present day, and making it speak the language of the 21st century. If not, one risks the voice one hears being, however melodious, merely the echo of one’s own ideas. No wonder James, in his letter, warns, “Not many of you should become teachers, brothers, as you know that we shall receive a greater judgment.” …


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Getting used to the world’s most enigmatic book.

In spite of many attempts down through history to predict its obsolescence, the Bible remains the best (and bestselling) literary reflection of humankind the world has ever known. Chaturvedi Badrinath, Hindu scholar and author of The Mahabharata: An Inquiry in the Human Condition agrees:

I can’t understand why you missionaries present the Bible to us in India as a book of religion. It is not a book of religion — and anyway we have plenty of books of religion in India. We don’t need any more! I find in your Bible a unique interpretation of universal history, the history of the whole creation and the history of the human race. …


Critics of my two recent blogs have raised the objection that Christianity is not unique, but that other ancient philosophies possessed similar or identical values that the earliest Christian thinkers could simply have absorbed by the 1st century. Interestingly, they also claim that future philosophies could one day appropriate Christianity’s advantages, and then supplant it in the same way Christianity supplanted those that came before it.

Gladly do I grant that Christ, being the Word, had qualities which were appropriated into several ancient cultures before His incarnation in Bethlehem. …


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How Jesus Invented the Modern World (an online chat imagined)

In Part 1, we saw how the arrival of Jesus Christ tolled both a funerary doom for antiquity and wedding bells for a new age for mankind. But, how exactly did the message of the cross lead to the modern world we have today?

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Tom Holland, atheist, author of Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind has joined the conversation.

HOLLAND: Whether in Korea or in Tierra del Fuego, in Alaska or in New Zealand, the cross on which Jesus had been tortured to death has come to serve as the most globally recognised symbol of a god there has ever been. The psalmist told the truth.

DAVID: You rebuked the nations, destroyed the wicked, their name You wiped out forever. The enemy’s ruins are gone… their name is lost. …


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How Jesus Overthrew the Ancient World (an online chat imagined)

Late 1st Century Greece. Plutarch, a prominent philosopher, and his fellows are discussing a troubling phenomenon.

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Plutarch and friends have started a conversation.

PLUTARCH: Brother, tell us something about the oracle. It’s religion was famous since ancient times— yet now it seems to have withered away.

CLEOMBROTUS, eyes downcast, gives no reply.

DEMETRIUS: Ah, no need to ask him, or to talk about the oracle’s decay. It’s happening, all the oracles are going extinct, except one or two. Rather, let’s consider why, what is the reason for their decay?

ALL nod in agreement.

DEMETRIUS: And what need is there to talk about others, when even the celebrated Bœotia has now failed as utterly as a water-spring, and a great drought of prophecy has overspread the land? Only in Lebadeia is there anything for those who wish to draw from the oracular fount. As for the rest, well, they seem possessed by nothing but silence or desolation. …


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Photo by JC Falcon

by Colin MacIntyre

For we must all of us appear before the judgment seat of the Anointed, so that each may be requited for the things he did, whether good or deplorable. (2Co 5:10)

I don’t know about you, but before tackling judgment, I feel it is better, in a foundational sense, to set the tone for the judgment seat. It’s tempting to read ideas into Scripture based on a lens of expectation that is coloured by our past experience with the word judgment. …


A Different Perspective on Spiritual Warfare

by DORLE FITSCH

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Spiritual warfare — for some a phrase that elicits excitement, for others a reason to sneak out of the room. For those who cringe at the thought, hold on — I will try to offer a new perspective. For those who love the topic, this will be a little bit different.

The setting

To have a need for spiritual warfare, one needs to believe that we do not just live in a physical world, but a spiritual one as well. …


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What is real? What is imagination? Can imagination be real?

by DORLE FITSCH

In the Western world we are trained to ignore the supernatural. The Enlightenment produced the dominant rational view that only what is experienced with our bodily senses is “real.” Sometimes this is reduced even further to a few senses (the others being easy to trick) — we mainly believe what we see with our eyes and feel with our hands. Regarding how things work on this earth, a “sense” for the spiritual world is not readily apparent in Western thinking. The supernatural is relegated to fiction in film, literature and games.

Children are not aware of this rational worldview when they are small and that is why they act outside of it. I didn’t know it as a child. I saw things that should not be “real.” Let me share a few experiences. …

About

Winesk.in

Cheers. To Jesus and that 100 Proof New and Better Covenant.

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