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
The Christian love is shaped by the biblical principle of sacrifice. God the Father showed us His love in the incarnational and sacrificial work of His Son (Jn 3:16). Moreover, love is given to Christians by the dwelling of His Spirit in them when they believed (Rom 5:5). Therefore, true Christian love is not about satisfying the self, nor it is like the hypocritical political correctness of the world. In short, biblical Christians should not conform to the world’s perception of love, because they disagree with the world on the meaning, source, and end of love.
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.
Because of resurrection, when all our tears are over, we will, incredibly, look back at them and laugh, not in derision but in joy. We do a little of that even now, you know. After a great worry is lifted, a great problem solved, a great sickness healed, a great pain relieved, it all looks very different as past, to the eyes of retrospection, than it looked as future, as prospect, or as present, as experience. Remember St. Teresa’s bold saying that from heaven the most miserable earthly life will look like one bad night in an inconvenient hotel!
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 this specific religion would be born from below. By”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 if Christians believe that God through His Spirit can transform their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for them to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite transforming experience from their own.
To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but more specifically sincere and serious 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 Koran, but also in the Hadith, in the history of interpretation, and in their practices of faith along more than fourteen centuries.
By experience, 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 saturated/ 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 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. In fact without faith in God, His Word, and His Christ, there is no real ground for logical goodness.To him be Glory and the final victory over all these evils, and over Satan himself (Rev 20:10).
Surely there are many good and non violent people among all races and religions.Yet one cannot predict when or who out of the followers of this specific religion would be born from below. By”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 to non Christians, Christians shouldn’t be surprised. Because if Christians believe that God through His Spirit can transform their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for them to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite experience from their own.
To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but more specifically sincere and serious Muslims, who are certainly transformed by an evil belief system of hate…
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