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The Will to Disbelieve - Feuerbach, Freud, and Friends - Atheism as Wish Fulfillment

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Few things are as important to understand about man as the two foundational truths that he is 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 that 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. The conviction…that there is some God, is naturally i

Encourage One Another

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Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 I have long had a great appreciation for a relatively obscure New Testament figure named Barnabas. His original name was Joseph, but when he came to believe in Jesus, the apostles called him Barnabas, meaning “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Later passages suggest why. After Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee and notorious persecutor, was confronted by the Lord on the road to Damascus, he attempted to join the disciples in Jerusalem, but they were afraid of him. They didn’t believe he had become a disciple of Jesus. They thought he was perpetrating a ruse intended to trap them. “ But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27). Barnabas had either been approached by Saul or had been told that Saul was trying to make contact with t

On Being a Slave of Christ

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We often overlook important truths when reading the opening and closing statements of Paul’s letters thinking, perhaps, they contain only customary formalities without much in the way of edifying content. But we would be mistaken to think this. The opening line of his letter to the Romans is a case in point. “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God...” Romans 1:1 Here Paul asserts three things about himself: (1) that he is a servant of Christ Jesus, (2) that he is called to be an apostle, and (3) that he had been set apart for the gospel of God. Each of these tells us a great deal about him that is vital for us to know. First, he was “a servant of Christ Jesus.” The Greek word ( doulos ) is variously translated in the ESV as “servant” (most often), “bondservant,” or “slave.” It refers to someone who is under another person’s authority. It is used both literally and figuratively in Scripture, of both voluntary and involuntary service.

Issues in Bible Prophecy (3): The Abomination of Desolation and the Great Tribulation

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Introduction This is the third in a series of posts dealing with Bible prophecy from a preterist perspective. This perspective understands most of Bible prophecy—including the two major prophecies of the New Testament: the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation—as already fulfilled. Most prophecy teachers regard these passages as relating to events that lie in our future rather than to events in our past. But there are many good reasons to regard these prophecies as foretelling certain events that occurred in the first century, namely the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans and the persecution of the church under Nero.   The most convincing reason for taking a preterist view of these prophecies is the fact that they indicate that they would be fulfilled soon after they were given. Jesus said, for instance, in the Olivet Discourse, “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). In Revelation, we read of “things that must soon take place” (1:1)