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Archive for the ‘God, Existence of’ Category

Darwinism and Morality

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Until about fifty years ago in America, lasciviousness, adultery, and fornication were almost universally deemed reprehensible. Divorce was shameful, pornography was underground, and homosexuality was illegal. These elements are now on open display and enjoy wide approval—and participation.

Is our nation stronger or weaker because of these changes? Are families/homes more or less secure? Is the “misery index” for individuals greater or less? Do more or fewer people turn to chemical “solutions” for failure to find “purpose” in life? Are we experiencing more or fewer individual murders by abortion and mass murders? To ask is to answer.

Many “whys” might be suggested to explain the unarguable decline in national morals and ethics. Arguably, they all go back to a single taproot: Charles Darwin and his evolutionary hoax. Before his theories caught on in the 1870s, Western nations, though divided between Protestant and Catholic, were united in accepting the Biblical view of man as the apex of the creation of the Almighty, Self-existent God. Man had a purpose—to glorify God—and the Bible set forth man’s behavior that would do so.

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God’s Providence as Seen in the Lives of Elijah and Ahab

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Introduction

Our English word, providence, comes from the Latin word, providentia, meaning foresight or to foresee. The equivalent Greek word is pronoia, but, ironically, it is not used in reference to God in the Scriptures. Divine Providence refers to the foresight of God by which He determines the needs of men and supplies the same for the accomplishment of His Divine Will. God's Providence benefits all men generally (Mat. 5:45). However, He exercises a more specific Providence toward His own faithful people (Deu. 4:40; 5:33; Mat. 6:33; 28:20). Just as we are commanded to "…do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10), so does God behave in seeing the needs of men and working to accomplish His will and our ultimate good.

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Attributes of God in the Book of Proverbs

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Introduction

To speak of the attributes of God is to speak of His characteristics, His traits, His abilities, and, to a certain extent, His nature. Unworthy and finite human beings must ever approach such a study with unalloyed reverence. The attitudes of humility and meekness should characterize who would attempt to understand Him Who alone is infinite. He not only possesses certain traits, but He is flawlessly perfect in each one of them. 

That having been said, it is necessary to investigate and understand the characteristics of Deity insofar as He has revealed Himself to men. One grand aim of all of God’s revelation to us is to draw us to the likeness of his moral traits. Jesus thus urges us, “be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mat. 5:48).1 Likewise, Peter exhorted that, as He Who called us is holy, we are also to be holy (1 Pet. 1:15). To become Godlike we must understand everything we can about the attributes of God.

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Conversion Confusion

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            Conversion is the theme of the New Testament. It embraces redemption, forgiveness, and salvation—the purpose of Jesus’ coming. To “convert” means to change/turn from one’s present course. One’s salvation depends upon his conversion (Mat. 18:3; Acts 3:19), so we must understand the New Testament’s teaching concerning it. Few subjects, however, involve more confusion than this one does.

           Conversion brings one from sinner to saint, from lost to saved, from non-Christian to Christian, and it involves three distinct and necessary changes.

  • Conviction change: Picture a “casual” unbeliever in God and Jesus—one who has just not thought seriously about the subject. He drives a car, consults a GPS unit, depends on a smart phone, and operates a computer. He knows such articles required intelligence, design, and manufacturing. He applies this reasoning to the universe and to his own body; he cannot attribute them to blind accident. He reads the Bible’s statement that an omniscient, omnipotent, eternal God created all things (Gen. 1:1)—the rational explanation of origins. He reads of Jesus in the Gospel, and moved by His miracles and His love for mankind, he believes in Him as God’s Son. His convictions have changed; the unbeliever now believes. Jesus said, “Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). To millions, belief alone equals conversion. What does the Bible teach?
  • Mind-life change: The Bible word for this change is repentance. The basic meaning of this word is a change of mind—the decision to turn from a life of sin and self to one that follows wherever Jesus leads through His New Testament. One may believe that Jesus is the Christ without deciding to abandon sin and serve Him. Repentance is the point at which he “makes up his mind” to do so, and then he does so (Mat. 3:8). Jesus said that one will perish if he does not repent (Luke 13:3). Does repentance complete conversion? The Bible answers, “No.”
  • Relationship-to-God change: While faith and repentance move one toward God and His Son, these do not bring one into fellowship with Them. This relationship change is accomplished in baptism, wherein one’s sins are forgiven, “washed away” in the blood of Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rev. 1:5). At this point—and not before—one is added to the church of Christ because he is saved (Acts 2:47). In baptism (i.e., immersion in water)—and not before—one enters “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3–4; Gal. 3:27). Thus believers on Pentecost were commanded to “repent and be baptized” to receive forgiveness of sins/salvation (Acts 2:38).

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Intellectual Snobbery

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Introduction

All of humanity profits from the accomplishments of those who have achieved advanced educations. Most of the advancements in technology and medicine and the modern “marvels” we enjoy every day have come from such folk. No thoughtful person will despise those who possess exceptional academic credentials merely because they have achieved them. However, neither will a thoughtful person despise those who have not had the same educational opportunities. Yet, so often those who have obtained advanced degrees fall prey to such pomposity (although even the illiterate are not immune to such). While allowing for exceptions, generally there is a well-attested haughty and superior attitude in “ivory tower” academe.

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