As I grow in my walk with the Lord, I learn to thank Him for things that I used to complain about, also for things I used to fear from. He is the Creator and Savior; therefore, He knows everything and everyone. Surely His wisdom greatly exceeds my understanding, and His love would overcome my fears.
Before we move on, I must confess that even thought I have been thinking about these truths for decades, I still find myself in awe. I’m a philosopher trained at a high level of analytic philosophy. I have read many of the greatest minds who have ever lived, and in my opinion , there ‘s nothing quite like the Gospel. I still find my self hearing this afresh and am forced to pause in wonder at the beauty and brilliance of the Gospel. I find it simply the most amazing and breathtaking series of thoughts, ever offered.
Travis Dickinson, Everyday Apologetics
There is an undeniable connection between the dwelling place of the LORD and the presence of holiness, between God’s reign and submission to His commandments. God forgives sin when its proper price is paid, by the shed of innocent blood as a sacrifice; by the death of Christ the Savior. Nonetheless, sin is never tolerated by our Holy LORD, regardless of what the world thinks. The reign of the LORD is a rule of holiness.
John Bunyan is a major figure in the seventeenth century’s English Puritan movement. Many factors have contributed to make Bunyan as famous as he is today, factors such as his unique conversion experience, his devoted ministry, which led to his persecution, and some of the sixty books he authored during his life. Nonetheless his unique book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 1, is the main cause of his prominent fame. This specific work is regarded as one of the most important contributions to Christian thinking.
Bunyan was born in November, 1628, to a father who worked as a tinker. While John was still a young man he joined the parliamentarian army and participated in the English Civil War. During the war years he married. After the war, he went through a long process of Christian conversion (1650-1655). Soon after his conversion, he became an active preacher, and because of his faith and ministry, Bunyan was detained and put into jail for twelve years (1660-1672) for preaching without a license from the Church of England. In the course of his long imprisonment he was able to write many books including his masterpiece, The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Catholic University of America., New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. II (New York,: McGraw-Hill, 1967), 886.
Vera Brittain, Valiant Pilgrim : The Story of John Bunyan and Puritan England (New York: Macmillan, 1950), 41.
Surely there are many good and non violent people among all races and religious groups.Yet one cannot predict who out of the followers of Islam would be born from below. By the “born from below,” I simply mean the exact opposite of the biblical term “born from above,” or in other translations “born again” (John 3).
While this term might sound weird for most of non Christians, Christians shouldn’t be surprised. Because we Christians believe that God through His Spirit transforms their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for us to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite transforming experience from our own.
To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but to clarify the wickedness of serious and true Muslims, who are certainly transformed by an evil belief system of hate and deception. This system of faith is simply evil since it comprises clear elements of hate, and violence. A belief system that justifies bloodshed of infidels, Jews, and Christians. All this, can be found , not only in the Quran, but also in the Hadith, in the history of interpretation, and is practically manifested by their long history of intolerance toward different non Muslim faiths for more than fourteen centuries.
By personal observation, this transformation can span from few days to years, also it can never be completed to a full transforming experience in the life time of a Muslim (which is in fact more common). Yet when this “born from below” experience occurs, and his/her mind is activated and indoctrinated with a seriously strong jihadic belief system.
The consequences conform to Hell, and people are astonished or rather stunned by this acts of Jihad. Nonetheless, Christians shouldn’t be appalled by these acts of evil, because we also have a belief system that is good, and we not only believe that our good God exists, but also we belief that Satan exists, and that he is active in this fallen world (Eph 2:2). We can understand that there can be an evil transforming religious experience, when people truly believe in bad and evil doctrines.
Moreover, we also know that our ultimate hope is not in the wisdom of this age, nor in an earthly savior who is a smart politician or a good statesman (although these are needed to restrict evil in the world), but our real hope is in Christ and God’s Kingdom.To him be Glory and the final victory over all these evils, and over Satan himself (Rev 20:10).
“Torah is not merely a collection of prohibitions, rigid strictures and boring observances. Rather, it is a narrative of the blessings and promises of God initially offered to one person and family, but through which the whole world will ultimately be blessed.” Walter C. Kaiser JR.