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Showing posts from September, 2010

The Founding of Israel and Bible Prophecy

Do you think the formation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of prophecy?

Yes and no.

I really don’t mean to be evasive or waffling; it’s just that I’m not sure the question is capable of being answered without a number of important qualifications.

Let me explain.

On the one hand, I don’t believe the formation of the modern state of Israel was a fulfillment of prophecy in the sense that there is a particular passage or group of passages that specifically point to the events of 1948.

Some prophecy teachers point to Jeremiah 16:14-15 as a passage that prophesies the formation of the state of Israel.
The days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers (…

About as simple as it gets

Liberals like to talk about how complicated our economic woes are and often charge conservatives with offering simplistic solutions that are just unworkable. The fact of the matter is that most of economics has to do with understanding human nature and the motives for behavior. John Stossel makes it about as simple as it gets when it comes to taxes.

The Anguish of the Jews

I have just finished reading a book that was very painful to read, The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism, by Edward H. Flannery.

The book was painful to read, not only because it is a tale of terrible suffering endured on an unprecedented scale for so long a time, but also (and especially) because so much of that suffering was inflicted by the hands of Christians. Flannery, although a Roman Catholic priest whose own church figures prominently in the story, doesn’t shy away from exposing the instances in which the church was either complicit in the persecution of the Jews or the actual perpetrators of said persecution.

While Flannery cites many examples of Christian leaders’ affection for, and defense of, the Jews, the sad fact of the matter is that the church as a whole has a terrible track record. And this in spite of what Paul says so clearly in his letter to the Romans. We are not to be arrogant toward the Jews, much less persecute them. Instead, we are …

End of life issues

What things should we consider when making decisions about end of life issues for ourselves and for our loved ones?

This is an important question, and one that affects us all very deeply, seeing as how we are all going to die. More than this, we are all likely going to be called upon at some point in our lives to help make such decisions for others whom we love, whether an aging parent or a terminally ill spouse.

It’s an issue which is greatly complicated by the advance of medical science. A hundred years ago the question was much simpler because there were not the artificial means that are available today to keep people alive. Now we have respirators and IV’s and feeding tubes and pacemakers and a plethora of other mechanisms that can cause organs to continue to function when in previous generations they would have ceased to do so on their own. This has had the effect of blurring the line between life and death, so that there is some question among medical and ethical experts as to h…

Go figure

"Two Polish neo-Nazis who were childhood sweethearts and later became skinheads have discovered what for them is a shocking family secret: They're actually Jewish..." (more)

Wouldn't it be funny if a member of the KKK found out he was black!

Pastor Steve at work on the streets of NYC

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It was a real blessing this past summer to worship with the saints at Messiah's Covenant Community Church pastored by Rev. Steve Schlissel, who faithfully ministers in the pulpit and on the street.

The view from above

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A while back I posted a few pictures from our trip to New York. A couple of shots were from the ground up. Here's one from the top down (from the observation deck of the Empire State Building). Click to enlarge.


It was a pretty amazing view. Nothing like this in Kansas! Nothing but city as far as the eye could see. If I remember correctly, this is looking SE.

How do they do that?

Here are some pretty amazing feats by some guys who have far more strength, agility, and courage than I do. Enjoy!

The Price of Gold

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The price of gold is related to the strength of the dollar. When the government inflates the money supply, the value of every dollar decreases compared to the relatively stable supply of gold. The decreasing value of the dollar means less purchasing power. In other words, it takes more money to buy things than it used to (i.e., prices rise).

With this in mind, did you hear that the price of gold hit record highs this week? Take a look at the price of gold over the last 20 years.


The money supply began to rise as a result of increased government spending (i.e., increased debt) in the wake of 9/11, as we began to fight two wars simultaneously (Afghanistan, Fall 2001; Iraq, Spring 2003). We spent money we didn't have.
The wars, of course, were not wholly responsible for our increasing debt. We have been spending money hand over fist on a vast array of other things as well, such as TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program, Oct. 2008:  $700 billion), ARRA (American Recovery and Relief Act, …

On Paul and James

How do we reconcile Paul and James? In Romans 3:28 Paul says, “We hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law,” and James says in James 1:24, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

No reconciliation between Paul and James is necessary. They are good friends and they preach the same gospel.

It is not the case—as some people have supposed—that Paul teaches a doctrine of justification by faith and James teaches a doctrine of justification by works. In these two passages they were addressing two very different concerns.

Paul was making the case in Romans that Gentiles don’t have to become Jews in order to be justified. When he says, “one is justified by faith apart from works of the law,” he means, apart from circumcision, apart from the kosher laws, apart the ritual cleansing laws, apart from keeping the Jewish holy days, and so on.

In other words, a Gentile may come into a right standing with God through Jesus Christ by faith, without…

Of Mosques and Men

Here's another good video about Islam by by Acts 17 Apologetics.

A better way to protest the Quran

Here's a more effective way to deal with the Quran and its teachings...and to have a little fun while doing it!

On burning Bibles

Apparently burning the Quran (gasp!) by an American pastor is insenstive to those who hold it to be the word of God, but burning Bibles by the American military is OK.

Government red tape and health care

Sonja Schmidt over at PJTV gives us a scary glimpse of the bureaucratic nightmare that will be government-run health care.

On Burning the Quran

What do you think about the pastor in Florida who plans to burn copies of the Quran on 9/11?

What do I think about him? I think he’s a dead man. They’re going to come after him and their going to kill him. This, however, in itself is no reason for the pastor not to do it.

There is nothing inherently wrong in burning a book, even a religious one. While the apostle Paul was in Ephesus, many pagans were converted to the truth and as a demonstration of their conversion, they burned their pagan books.
Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver (Acts 19:18-19).
There is no evidence that they were required by Paul to do this; it seems rather that they did it of their own accord in order to demonstrate the firmness with which they rejected their …

When your brother has something against you

What does Jesus mean when he says in Matthew 5:23-24, “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”?

He’s referring to bringing a sacrifice or an offering to the temple to present as a gift to God as an act of worship.

And he says that if while you are doing this you remember that someone has something against you, you must first go and make it right, or God will not find the act of worship acceptable.

Now, I suppose the question largely has to do with what Jesus means when he speaks of someone “having something against you”.

We should be very clear about this. He doesn’t mean that your worship is unacceptable to God just because your neighbor is upset with you, regardless of why he is upset. He means that your neighbor has a legitimate grievance against you because you have sinned against him. You have br…