as i travel thru ThisPilgrimLand

Christian Man, Husband, and Father

BOOK REVIEW: “Heresy” by Michael Coren

Ever hear from a non-Christian believer something about your religion that was just so shocking you felt guilty and had to research if it was true?  It seems that in today’s world, any non-believer has been armed to the hilt with damning accusations that make a Christian’s beliefs and world-view seem brutish.  More often than not though, these accusations about the Christian faith are based in something other than fact.  Michael Coren attempts to expose these false accusations in his book Heresy: The Lies They Spread Against Christianity.  

With an ordered and detailed purpose, Coren deflects the arrows that are hurled at believers in Christ by using historical fact and Core_9780771023156_jkt_all_r1.inddevidence to show error.  From Christians being supportive fans of slavery, to the error of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, to Christians being anti-science, Coren arms the reader of this book with a gigantic amount of evidence to defend against these and similar heresies.

Coren’s book is well written and has a good flow to it with each chapter moving into the next easily.  There is never a moment where the reader will have to check back to remember the topic they are reading about.  When discussing historical evidence, Coren does well to move in a chronological manner, making Coren’s thought easy to follow.  At just over 250 pages though, Coren’s Heresy is packed full of information.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to study the historical inaccuracies of heretical claims thrown against the Christian faith.  While Coren does at time blur the lines and differences between Catholic and Protestant beliefs, there is little pushing of papal authority to be found.  Coren’s Heresy could be a useful tool to any Christian looking for evidence based defenses against Atheistic attacks.

A Refreshing “Wait & See”

It was in last night’s Wednesday night Bible study at Kingsville Church of Christ that I once again realized how fortunate I was to attend and serve in the kingdom of God.  This realization was not sparked by some grand sermon, some moment of worship that broke my emotions down, or by some unheard revelation by a powerful speaker.  No, my realization came as I heard the leader of the study say, “I don’t know, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”

In a discussion of Christ’s discussion with the Sadducees of Mark chapter 12, the class was easily and predictably led to begin questioning just what Christ is suggesting when he tells the Sadducees that there will be no husband and wife system in Heaven.  “What will we look like then?”  “Will we recognize one another?”  “Will my spiritual body be restored to its best state while here on Earth and if so, exactly what does God consider to be that best state?”  These were just a few of the questions that dominated the brief but thoughtful conversation.

The leader of the class, who also happens to be an elder of the church, soon began directing the class move on.  But how can he move forward and leave these great questions behind?  This would be a wonderful opportunity for him to tout his knowledge, study, and grasp on the Bible and confine the brains of his students to his understanding of the scripture.  Instead of taking this road though, the teacher reminded the class that these are all questions that

http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/

http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/

are not clear in scripture and that we will have to wait and get the answer when we get to Heaven.

Yes, the teacher could have allowed his opinion to dominate the class.  The teacher could have allowed any of the opinions or thoughts to become considered more worthy than the others.  With each, “I think….” the teacher could have singled someone out as being wrong.  However, he allowed the scripture to be silent where the scripture is silent.  How refreshing!

I commented to the teacher what a wonderful gift he had just given the class and pointed out that there are instances of congregations splintering over less mysterious matters of opinion.  I thanked the teacher and the congregation for allowing me to be part of a congregation where matters of opinion are not regarded as doctrine.  I thank the Lord for allowing me to attend and serve in such a congregation.

Romans 14:1 ~ As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

BOOK REVIEW: “The Principles & Objects of the Religious Reformation, Urged by A. Campbell & Others” by Robert Richardson

It is refreshing at times to visit an old read once again.  I recently did just that.  In an effort to remind myself of who I am and from where I came I read The Principles & Objects of the Religious Reformation, Urged by ARobertRichardsonlexander Campbell & Others.  Written by Robert Richardson around the middle of the 19th century this book is a wonderful reminder of what the Christian faith as found in the New Testament is meant to be. Richardson presents his understanding of faithful Christianity in a concise and principled manner.  Laying out for the reader his understanding of why there are so many sects or denominations in the Western understanding of Christianity, Richardson strives to help send the rally cry for not reformation but restoration of New Testament Christianity. This book is worth your read if for nothing other than Richardson’s discourse on the confusion between matters of opinion and matters of fact.  Richardson presents to the reader the fact that Christian liberty is central to the healthy Church of Christ and that the imposition of opinion by individuals has led to the sectarianism that even today plagues Western Christianity 150 years after Richardson’s writing. From baptism to weekly communion, Richardson covers every topic that someone studying the Restoration Movement would expect to find. Hidden toward the end of the writing, is a wonderful discussion of the flaws of basing one’s faith off of anything other than a personal love and understanding of Christ and his love shown for you by dying on the cross for your sins.  Richardson discusses at length the desire of the New Testament church to welcome a believer based upon nothing more than their personal confession of Christ as Lord and Son of God.  No memorization of a list of creeds necessary according to Richardson. Take time to read this book.  The book is short and can be read in two or three devoted sessions of reading. This book is available for purchase at the Amazon link below, or can be read online for free at http://bit.ly/1ftE6Ae

Child on the Altar

 

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath,

but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”

(Eph. 6:4)

I live in a place that contains a prominent church that is closely affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Over the last years, this house of under scrutinized false teaching has grown in popularity and reach. The city government flocks to it but a majority of the citizens do not. Indeed, most of the flocking to this place seems to come from those who live outside of the city, and people, mostly misguided youth, come from far and wide to attend this house of fleshly indulgences.

Over the past two years, something extraordinary has happened.  Families, many with multiple young children, have been moving from great distances to become a part of this unholy movement.  In my own neighborhood alone, I have seen more than one family alone move in and begin following the false teaching of the these NAR disciples.  My children play with their children and I would be remiss if I failed to mention that these new neighbors are wonderfully kind and loving people.  It is painful to see their souls jeopardized by ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Sadder still is the sacrifice that these families are having to make.  The town in which I live has a failing economy.  Jobs are scarce but gas and grocery prices are high.  In order to make ends meet, the fathers of these families are having to travel great distances in order to have gainful employment.  One father in particular travels at least 80 miles one way to go to and from work each day.  To make matters worse, many of these fathers are forced to work second and third shifts after making the one to two-hour trek to work each day.  As a cost of this, once home, the father must sleep during the day.  All of this adds up to a missing father.  Sure, he is there, but he is not really there.

The family and the role of father is sacrificed.  For what?  For a worthless piece of paper that says you completed a school that teaches you the philosophies and doctrines of men?  So that you can direct traffic and help park cars that you cannot afford at the “church” you moved to be a part of?  So that you can be constantly berated into believing that you are not giving enough of your income to the leaders of the movement you have devoted and sacrificed so much for already?  So that you can be taught and led my teachers who have young children who do not even reside in their own homes?  Of course people who have already made the sacrifice of their fatherly role would have no problem asking another to do the same.  You are sacrificing your family, your wife, your children for that?

This is sad to me.  So often the conversation among evangelicals is one that revolves around the subversion of the role of the father by the world.  This is a new phenomenon though.  This is the role of the father being subverted by those living under the guise of Biblical Christianity.  Oh how discernment is needed.  The youth that was once targeted by the NAR 10 years ago are now young fathers and mothers.  They have given their lives and energies to false prophecy and teaching.  Now they sacrifice their children, their God-given roles of father and mother.  Baal himself could not have planned things better.