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Offline francis drake

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Re: [Cfamily]The Secrets to Graham’s Success
« Reply #824 on: March 06, 2018, 01:55:40 PM »

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The Secrets to Graham’s SuccessThen Billy Graham was born in Charlotte in 1918. Graham carried Moody?s ?passion for souls? to the ends of the earth. He became, along with Pope John Paul II, one of the great shapers of the world Christian movement.

Pope John Paul II's message was a false pagan gospel drawing people away from Christ and towards his beloved Virgin Mary.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)

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[Cfamily]Why Christian Theology Needs (Former) Atheists
« Reply #825 on: March 08, 2018, 12:00:31 AM »
Why Christian Theology Needs (Former) Atheists

A lot of prominent 20th century Christian thinkers used to be skeptics.

Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis’s personal secretary, once commented to the great Christian writer about a clever inscription engraved on an atheist’s tombstone: “Here lies an atheist. All dressed up with no place to go.” Not bemused, Lewis quipped: “That atheist probably wishes now that were true.”

Impertinent as Lewis’s one-liner might first appear, it was not a malicious verbal barb. Lewis was deadly serious. After all, he viewed atheism as having deadly serious consequences. Rather he sought to woo and warn atheists they faced a desperate future apart from Christ.

Lewis’s specific apologetic endeavor to thwart atheism possesses an intriguing backstory: Lewis had been a convinced atheist himself. He knew very well of what he spoke. He had “been there, done that” credibility. In Surprised by Joy, Lewis recounts his conversion to theism, a sinuous path from childhood belief to atheism to theism and finally to Christian faith.

My personal “surprise” in reading the book was caused by the discovery that Lewis’s account contained experiences with which I could loosely identify. The simple reason—one for which I am not proud—is that as a young person I, too, had rejected the Christian faith. It was reassuring to learn that Lewis had experienced an unconventional journey of faith similar to the one I had experienced. Not everyone becomes a Christian by going forward at an evangelistic altar call in a church or camp. God sometimes chases people down in very surprising ways.

Countering an Assumption

Retelling the conversion stories of former atheists who became Christians, like Lewis and myself, is especially needed today. These stories decisively countermand ...

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[Cfamily]The ‘Bad Girls’ of the Bible Deserve a Fresh Look
« Reply #826 on: March 09, 2018, 12:00:29 AM »
The ‘Bad Girls’ of the Bible Deserve a Fresh Look

Women dismissed as “prostitutes” and “adulteresses” were often models of righteousness and faith.

Women fill the pages of the Bible. Some of them enter the narrative as mothers and wives, others as refugees, judges, and queens. Yet one burden many of them share is our interpretive tendency to blame them for sexual offense no matter how honorable their example. No doubt, some of the women in Scripture have rightfully earned such a legacy, but others bear it without warrant. Vindicating the Vixens reexamines the stories of 14 biblical women who are often misinterpreted through a sexualized or marginalized lens.

As stories from the #MeToo and #ChurchToo campaigns have rippled into the church, they have kindled needed conversation not only about the proper methods for handling cases of sexual assault but also about how we discuss sexual assault itself. This collection of essays is an instructive addition to the dialogue. It demonstrates how our mishandling of the stories of biblical women, especially those involving sexual abuse, adversely affects our handling of similar circumstances today.

Edited by Sandra Glahn, associate professor of media arts and worship at Dallas Theological Seminary, the essays focus on revisiting the “sexualized, vilified, and marginalized women of the Bible.” Some may be tempted to read this as a politically motivated subtitle, but Glahn contests this conclusion in her preface, stating, “Our motivation is to handle faithfully the biblical text, which involves bringing to light a number of women labeled as ‘bad girls’ who deserve a fresh look.”

Sensitive Study

Divided into three sections, Vindicating the Vixens explores the subjects of women, victimhood, and abuse through careful exegesis and contemporary contextual evidence. Section one includes the five women listed ...

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[Cfamily]C. J. Mahaney Withdraws from T4G
« Reply #827 on: March 10, 2018, 12:00:14 AM »
C. J. Mahaney Withdraws from T4G

Following Rachael Denhollander’s Sovereign Grace claims, the former SGM president once again says he wants to avoid distracting from the biennial conference.

C. J. Mahaney announced today that he will back out of next month’s Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference to keep the controversy over Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC) away from the event.

“Given the recent, renewed controversy surrounding Sovereign Grace Churches and me individually, I have decided to withdraw from the 2018 T4G conference,” Mahaney wrote.

Over the past several weeks, Rachael Denhollander, the former gymnast whose Larry Nassar testimony went viral, has used her platform to address abuse in the church, particularly years-old allegations of abuse at Covenant Life Church, where Mahaney—the former president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM)—had served as senior pastor.

Though the 2012 case against SGM was dismissed in court, Denhollander has repeatedly challenged the church network’s claims, most recently in a 7,800-word statement posted on Facebook last Thursday.

Currently the pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Mahaney has continued to state that he is innocent of the claims made against him and that the ongoing characterizations of Sovereign Grace are untrue.

“I categorically reject the suggestion that I have ever conspired to cover up sexual abuse or other wrong-doing,” he wrote on Wednesday.

Mahaney did not participate in the 2014 T4G conference due to the lawsuits against the ministry at that time, and he opted to once again step away from the event he has put on for over a decade with fellow Reformed leaders Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler.

“This conference exists to serve pastors with the gospel and exalt the Lord Jesus. I want to do all I can to promote that purpose,” his statement said. “Mark, Lig, Al and the other ...

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[Cfamily]All We Need Is the Rhythm Divine
« Reply #828 on: March 11, 2018, 12:00:11 AM »
All We Need Is the Rhythm Divine

Patterns in the Bible and life keep us in sync with God.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am rhythmically challenged. Whenever I lead a song on the guitar, people don’t know when to come in or when I will come in, and when there is a new stanza, anticipation brews— will he get it right? Nah, probably not. Every so often, I surprise others and myself. I’ve always been this way, and nothing earthly can change it. I don’t even try anymore. Perhaps my being rhythmically challenged explains why I’ve been thinking about rhythms for a few years.

Rhythms are everywhere. Today I got out of Grand Central Station at 6:03 a.m. to head to morning prayer. On my two-block walk, I saw the same man unhitching his food stand from his SUV for a new day of work, greeted the same cashier at Starbucks who knew exactly what I wanted, and heard the same kind of blaring music in the background; today it was Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”—a catchy song, I have to admit.

As a minister, I see rhythms all over the place, such as in marriages. I see the initial joys of preparing for marriage, bliss on the wedding day, the inevitable first major conflict that may linger, reconciliation, and the cycle repeats. If the couple stays the course, they will realize that there are hidden rhythms in marriage as well. Love deepens, even after decades. Loving a person for 40 years might not sound exciting, but it is, and there is only one way to find out. These rhythms are reserved for and awarded to only those who walk down that path.

There are also rhythms in worship services and communities of faith; the best ones liturgically lead people through the story of redemption repeatedly – invitation and celebration, confession, forgiveness of sins, listening, ...

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[Cfamily]Doors and Broken Handles: Discerning Where God Wants Us to Go
« Reply #829 on: March 12, 2018, 12:00:12 AM »
Doors and Broken Handles: Discerning Where God Wants Us to Go

How do we know when a door is really shut? How hard should we pull?

I drive a minivan during the winter in Chicagoland. Last week, on a sleet-filled day in the grocery parking lot, I pulled the sliding door handle. In dismay, I found that the door was frozen shut. This was the third time this month this had happened. So I tried harder. And harder. Finally, I gave it one last yank. Next thing I knew I was flat on my back with a broken door handle in my hand.

We have all experienced open and closed doors in our Christian life. But how do we know when a door is really shut? How hard should we pull?

Certainly, sometimes in my life I have wanted to give up on a closed door. I recall the difficulty at finding the first church after seminary at which I could serve. Months passed and I began to doubt my call to ministry because all the doors seemed shut. As I was passing for one of the last times besides the “opportunity board” at the seminary, I saw an advertisement from a church in Greece.

After all the closed doors, this one felt wide open. Once there, we felt God’s hand on the ministry as we served that church in Athens.

What do you look for in closed and open doors so that you don’t end up flat on your back with the handle in your hand? I think there are ways we can be sure that a door is shut or open.

First, remember that the call God has given us will likely require intensive perseverance.

Consider that everybody around William Carey questioned his desire to go to India as a pioneer missionary. In one ministry meeting those around him actually said, "Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine." The minds of the resistant need to be carefully challenged, so Carey persevered by writing a book about the need ...

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Are You Willing to Go if God Calls You? Thoughts on Our Mission as We Follow Jesus

Mission, ultimately, is at the heart of the gospel.

I’m always fascinated to hear unbelievers today arguing that while they do not believe Jesus to be God, he nevertheless seemed to be a pretty nice guy—and a great moral teacher at that.

But interestingly enough, those who did not follow Christ as Lord during his earthly ministry would have vehemently disagreed. The Roman and Jewish leaders didn’t see Jesus as some warm and fuzzy thought-leader; they saw him as a radical whose teaching stood in opposition to everything they supposed religion ought to be.

In Matthew 22, having just silenced the Sadducees, Jesus later found himself being confronted by the Pharisees who asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Hoping to catch him in a silent stupor, these religious leaders likely had some smug looks painted across their faces.

Try as they might, the Pharisees simply couldn’t stump the God of the universe. Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” the second greatest commandment, he added, was to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Calling

As followers of Jesus, our mission here on earth is wrapped up in one power-filled four-letter word: love. Because we love God with everything we are— heart, soul, and mind— we are driven to love our neighbors—fellow bearers of the imago Dei.

Our neighbors, Jesus later teaches, aren’t just the people who we look like, talk like, or live near us. Instead, they’re from communities, cultures, and religious groups all over the globe. Chances are, we’ve little in common with them in terms of custom or tradition, but none of this matters in light of Christ’s last ...

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Christian Foster Parents Lose Kids over Easter Bunny. Court Disagrees.

Canadian couple celebrate religious freedom victory: “We knew … God would take care of us.”

An Ontario judge ruled this week that a foster agency violated a Protestant couple’s religious freedom rights when it opted to remove two children from their home and ban them from fostering over their refusal to teach about the Easter Bunny.

Frances and Derek Baars didn’t grow up learning about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, and didn’t want to lie about the fictional figures to the 3- and 4-year-old sisters in their care. Their convictions, based on Christian beliefs, raised concerns among the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Hamilton—which took the children away from the Baars with just a day’s notice, citing the couple’s refusal to respect the girls’ cultural traditions.

As committed members of a small Presbyterian denomination, the Baars assumed there would be instances where their values wouldn’t line up with CAS, a government-approved, secular organization that they knew placed kids with same-sex parents and supported gender transition for youth. But they never anticipated what happened back in 2016.

“If someone had told us then that the Easter Bunny and Santa would team up against us, we would have asked what they were smoking,” Derek Baars said this week in an interview with CT.

Like some in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, the Baars do not observe Easter and Christmas, keeping only the Sabbath as a holy day. When they became foster parents in December 2015, they altered their celebrations to purchase Christmas gifts for the girls and take them to a family gathering as well as a Sunday school program at another church.

Beyond their own theological views of Christian holidays, “We have a strict ‘no lying’ policy, because ...

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Source: Christian Foster Parents Lose Kids over Easter Bunny. Court Disagrees.

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