The Brilliance of the Gospel: an excerpt from Everyday Apologetics, by Travis Dickinson


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

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Christian Love


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.

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Devotion Psalm 93


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.

Kreeft on Resurrection


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!

Peter Kreeft

Not to Be Surprised


 

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).

Psalm 31 (NASB)


In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
 Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.
 For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth.

 I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the Lord.
 I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,
 And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
 For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.
 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
 For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.

 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
 Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
 Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.

 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!
 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.
 As for me, I said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.

O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
 Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Timothy


IMG_20150305_151934467      I love Timothy so much, he may look like me, and he reminds me of his grandfather. He is smart and kind, yet strong willing (which is not an easy thing to deal with while raising your kid). I hope the Lord grants him a better life than I live, and I pray that he never go back through the way I came from. More importantly, I pray that one day the Holy Spirit will touch his heart, and change him for the Lord’s glory.

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