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Do not despise the day of small things

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When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, he raised up the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the people to rebuild the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel (the governor) and Joshua (the high priest). It was a long, arduous task that began with fits and starts, and many wondered if it could ever be completed, and if so, whether it could match the glory of Solomon’s temple that had been destroyed two generations earlier. The meager beginning was none too promising and many disdained it.
Enter the prophet Zechariah:
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.” (Zech. 4:8-10)
We are tempted to “despise the day of small things.” But it’s often the small things that prepare us for the great things.…

Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition

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An oxymoron is a contradiction of terms. Examples include: thunderous silence, cruel kindness, and make haste slowly. Some oxymorons originate accidentally; others intentionally, to produce a startling rhetorical effect. Many are humorous. Some are deceiving (genuine imitation). Most only seem contradictory, but further reflection reveals a deeper truth. Others are real contradictions. To this latter category belongs the label “gay Christian,” which is not only deceiving, but dangerous.
Gay activists have been rather successful in their effort to normalize homosexuality in the wider culture, winning their most significant battle to date in the landmark Obergefell decision.[1] They have also had a surprising degree of success in convincing Christians that same-sex sexual relationships meet with the same divine approval as those between a husband and wife.
S. Donald Fortson III and Rolling G. Grams have convincingly rebutted these activists in their recent book, Unchanging Witness: The C…

The Will to Disbelieve - Atheism as Wish Fulfillment

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Few things are as vital to understand about man as the two complementary truths that he is both created in the image of God and he is fallen.[1] The first ensures that the existence of God is something man cannot not know; the second that some men will nevertheless deny they know it.
The image of God in man is the basis for what Calvin refers to as a sensus divinitatis. “There is,” he says, “within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity.”[2]
He observes further,
To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty… Since, therefore, men one and all perceive that there is a God and that he is their Maker, they are condemned by their own testimony because they have failed to honor him and to consecrate their lives to his will.[3]
Furthermore, this “awareness of divinity” is inescapable.
That there is some God, is naturally inborn in all, and is fixed deep withi…

The New Testament's most prolific authors

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Have you ever wondered who the most prolific authors of the New Testament are? Well, wonder no more because here's the skinny: the top three by far are Luke, Paul, and John. Some people will perhaps be surprised to learn that Paul doesn’t stand at the head of the list. The claim is often made that he wrote most of the New Testament. No so. To be sure, he wrote the most books, but Luke wrote the most words, although their totals are very close to each other. Together, the two men wrote just over half of the New Testament. Of the 138,020 Greek words in the New Testament, Luke wrote 27.5 percent (37,932). Paul wrote 23.5 percent (32,408). If we take Hebrews to have been written by Paul—the traditional view, though opposed by the consensus of modern biblical scholarship—then the numbers are almost identical. The total number of words written by Paul rises to 37,361 (or 27.1 percent of the total).For a break down of the numbers, see the two charts below.
And here's the breakdown if …

The Progress of the Gospel in the Book of Acts

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The book of Acts follows the progress of the gospel from the time of our Lord’s resurrection and ascension, which occurred in a.d. 30, to the time that Paul reached Rome as a prisoner in about a.d. 60. The first twelve chapters follow the ministry of Peter; the remaining chapters follow the ministry of Paul.
Jesus himself provides us with an overview of the progress of the gospel in geographical terms in 1:8 when he says to the twelve: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This is how the book unfolds, by recounting the witness of the apostles:
In Jerusalem: chaps. 1-7
In Judea and Samaria: chaps. 8-9
To the ends of the earth: chaps. 10-28

This geographical progression roughly corresponds to an ethnic progression of the gospel.
In Jerusalem: chaps. 1-7 Jews In Judea and Samaria: chaps. 8-9 Half-Jews To the ends of the earth: chaps. 10-28 Non-Jews
We unders…