Ravi Zacharias succinctly contrasts Christianity and Islam

I’m thoroughly enjoying Ravi’s 2000 book, Jesus Among Other Gods. The man has a way with words without being verbose and thus inhibiting the presentation of the Gospel.

While a post a day quoting a great insight from this book is doable, I’ll try to contain myself.

Before I cite the words relevant to the title of this post, I sense the urgency to quote Ravi’s words from a few pages earlier,

Jesus’ kingdom was of such nature that it was not procured by military might or power. Its rule is neither territorial nor political. If history has proven anything, it is that the spread of the gospel by the sword or by coercion has done nothing but misrepresent the message and bring disrepute to the gospel.

Now to the main quotation,

The teaching of Jesus is clear. No one ought to be compelled to become a Christian. This sets the Christian faith drastically apart from Islam. In no country where the Christian faith is the faith of the majority is it illegal to propagate another faith. There is no country in the world that I know of where the renunciation of one’s Christian faith puts one in danger of being hunted down by the powers of the state.

Yet, there are numerous Islamic countries where it is against the law to publicly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and where a Muslim who renounces his or her belief in Islam to believe in anything else risks death. Freedom to critique the text of the Koran and the person of Mohammed are prohibited by the laws of blasphemy, and the result is torturous punishment.

One must respect the concern of a culture to protect what it deems sacred, but to compel a belief in Jesus Christ is foreign to the gospel, and that is a vital difference. The contrast is all too clear.

Zacharias, Mohler, and Sproul on the Emergent Church

Interesting video…

I thought Ravi’s comments are “worth the millenium.” The following starts at around 4:55,

Sproul:When Christians make confessions of faith propositionally and say “here we stand this is what we believe”, the emergent church was a built-in allergy to that don’t you think Al [Mohler]?

Zacharias: Vance Havner who had a very sharp wit with his one liners…

Mohler: He wasn’t emerging from anything?

Zacharias: Nope. He made the comment years and years ago when he was around. He said “when the tide is low every shrimp has his own puddle.” This [Emergent Church?] is another one of these puddles.

And it makes me wonder. There is seriously… with these men and women who are the progenitors of it, were they bored with God? What brought this about? You know, what brought this methodology into a theology? When you write a book like “The Secret Message of Jesus”? [by Brian McLaren] What?!?! 2,000 years have gone by now suddenly he’s found the secret to it, we didn’t know it?

This is so bizarre, but you know the problem is that we got non-critical people listening to this stuff and they absorb it.

When you read Brian McLaren every chapter dies the death of a 1,000 qualifications… At the end of it you wonder what he really believes and maybe something on Monday something else on Tuesday. He’s an anti-doctrinaire doctrinaire doctrinizing individual always postulating doctrine while he’s anti-doctrine.

These are hard words but it is pitiful to watch something like this actually gain currency

(H/t: Reclaiming the Mind)

Moses was High on Mount Sinai?

According to this story,
“‘Moses was high on hallucinogenic drug when he received Ten Commandments,’ claims top academic”

Moses was high when he saw the burning bush as well as when he received the Ten Commandments.

Check out the story to read the details according to Dr. Benny Shannon, a psychology professor, who came up with this theory.

I wonder if the good doctor will reach (has reached?) the same conclusion in regards to Muhammad claiming to have been visited by Jibril at Hira? And if he does (did), will he make his “studies” public?

If the Muhammad cartoon and teddy bear debacles are any indication, I wouldn’t count on it…

Lifestyle Evangelism at the Workplace?

Pastor John Piper addresses this brand of evangelism as it pertains to the Christian’s workplace,

Thinking that our work will glorify God when people do not even know we are Christians is like admiring and effective ad on TV that never mentions the product. People may be impressed but won’t know what to buy.

This quotation came from his his excellent book “Don’t Waste Your Life”.

I’m not sure that I’ve seen such an apt analogy as it pertains to this popular form of evangelism.

John Calvin on Injustices committed against the Christian

This is from Calvin’s masterpiece, Institutes of Christian Religion (1:17:8),

When unjustly assailed by men, overlooking their malice (which could only aggravate our grief, and whet our minds for vengeance), let us remember to ascend to God, and learn to hold it for certain, that whatever an enemy wickedly committed against us was permitted, and sent by His righteous dispensation.

I gather that this might not be well received in some circles…

CS Lewis and the Social Gospel?

From Mere Christianity,

‘Niceness’–wholesome, integrated personality–is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up ‘nice’; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat.

But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world–and might even be more difficult to save.

It is a good thing that truly nothing is impossible with God or else none of us would escape His wrath…

Ravi Zacharias on Postmodernism

This is taken from Ravi’s book, “Jesus Among Other Gods”,

Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true.

Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do no claim that it is a “better” way.

Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it.

If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from the eastern fold. Such is the mood at the end of the twentieth century.

A mood can be a dangerous state of mind, because it can crush reason under the weight of feeling. But that is precisely what I believe postmodernism best represents–a mood.

Thoughts?

Does the Bible disprove Theism and Christianity?

Oftentimes, people hostile to the things of God will clumsily cite certain Biblical texts to justify their “inability” to believe in either God or His Word.

Ironically enough, sometimes folks who are the most antagonistic towards the Bible often end up being the worst of legalists, requiring certain things from people who have been saved by grace.

The Bible doesn’t set out to prove God’s existence, the text assumes His Existence (What do you expect? It is His Word). Yet, with the contextually-challenged citations listed below, one can see how the gentle reader might be a little confused,

“There is no God.” – Psalm 14:1

“there is no savior…” – Isaiah 43:11

Click here and here to read these texts respectively in their proper context.

Soccer is what Religion should be…

At least according to Sean Wilsey, a writer who contributed to a National Geographic (June 2006) story on “The Beautiful Game” in anticipation of the 2006 World Cup.

Here is what Wilsey wrote,

What is soccer if not everything that religion should be? Universal yet particular, the source of an infinitely renewable supply of hope, occasionally miraculous, and governed by simple uncontradictory rules that everyone can follow.

I wonder if Wilsey realized that he described Christianity, which JI Packer correctly describes as the “true worship and service of the True God”?

Shall we run down the list? Notice that each of these qualifications has been raised (sometimes vehemently) as objections to Christianity.

Read more of this post

Mohler on Jesusanity

Often the call is heard within Christian circles that we need to be “red-letter Christians”. What is probably meant by this is we need to primarily focus on Jesus’ actual words in the Gospels. That is, the things He taught during his 3-year ministry in Palestine.

Focus on these words more than the words in the rest of the New Testament. Words written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (who by the way Jesus sent). What is conveniently forgotten is that the “red-letters” were also written under the inspiration of the same Spirit.

What this call translates to in our modern world after it gets sifted through a couple of political filters is that we need to focus on issues such as helping the poor (with nary a regard for prudence) and/or rescuing the environment from our predations (regardless of other considerations).

Other topics which are deemed more personal like abortion and homosexuality are left by the wayside since allegedly Jesus didn’t address them in those infamous red-letters. Again what is forgotten is that the Spirit whom Jesus sent inspired Paul to reiterate the fact that homosexuality is abomination in God’s sight, so in effect Jesus did address this “issue”.

As for abortion (the murder of one’s own child), it doesn’t take a seminary degree to realize where Jesus stands on murder, much less infanticide.

Dr. Mohler posted on the conflict between this brand of spirituality as it stands in contrast with biblical Christianity.

“Christianity vs. Jesusanity — The Postmodern Temptation”