Showing posts with label Resurrection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resurrection. Show all posts

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Celebrating the Resurrection in 2021

This Easter has a deeper meaning for me. Thinking about the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, but it is also the anniversary of the birth of my late father. He, too, had that blessed hope. I will meet him, my mother, my oldest brother, and others in Heaven who have gone before.

While celebrating the bodily Resurrection of Jesus is important to me, this particular observance has an extra element to bring it home for me.
Credit: Flickr / Kristin Klein (CC BY 2.0)
If anyone was looking for a longer post, yes, I've been busy:

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Coronavirus and the Resurrection

There have been disasters, wars, famines, diseases, and all sorts of disasters that can be traced back to the first sin in Eden. This is not to downplay the suffering and death associated with COVID-19. Why is this Coronavirus such an important matter, and what does Easter have to do with it? 

The COVID-19 Coronavirus as well as other issues related to suffering and death will ultimately be removed. Death was defeated at the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.
Christ Appearing to His Disciples After the Resurrection by William Blake
Some events were sudden and then over, such as tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. Others, such as the Black Death of the 1340s, lingered on and killed millions. It is natural for people to wonder how their lives will change if they live through the circumstance. COVID-19 is something new in some ways (but the people during the Black Death probably thought the same thing), and we have had to alter our lifestyles. We do not know how long we will deal with the changes, and if there will ever be a semblance of normalcy again.

It may be hard to believe at first glance, but this is not something that God cannot handle. (It is interesting to me that people use bad things in the world as an excuse to reject God, but they never use these as evidence for the existence of Satan. Just a thought.) Actually, this virus has already been defeated. Jesus died for our sins and those who repent can have eternal life. He also defeated death at the Resurrection. If you skip ahead to the end of the Book, there were be no more pain, sickness, and death.
Sickness, death, natural disasters, and human tragedy—everywhere we look, we see death and suffering. It is part of the human condition. There is no escaping it. And during this current COVID-19 pandemic, we are hearing about it every day. As we watch the news or read online updates about coronavirus/COVID-19, we see that the infection numbers and the death counts are rising daily. Current numbers show almost 1.5 million reported cases and over 80,000 deaths. This situation is a tragedy.

The question often asked is obvious: If God is truly all-powerful and loving, why doesn’t he put an end to death and suffering? Some even ask if he is incapable, questioning his power. Others ask if he is unwilling, questioning his goodness. But both of these questions are based on a false dichotomy: goodness cannot exist apart from justice. Would we call a judge “good” if he let violent criminals go free, with no consequences? Of course not!
To read the entire article, click on "Death, Suffering, and Coronavirus".

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Clothing, Modesty, and the Resurrection

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Until the last few years, people knew that men and women are different. Not only do we have distinct biological differences that are important medically and in other ways, but it is the way God designed life. We are also psychologically different. It is indeed unfortunate that I have to state what was formerly obvious.

Modesty is not the usual subject for Easter, but it traces back to Genesis and into the gospel message.
Credit: Flickr / Mike Baird (CC by 2.0)
The University of Notre Dame was a religious school last I knew, and as such, claimed to uphold certain standards. Apparently modesty is not so important. One of the differences between men and women is that us menfolk are visually stimulated. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discussed a problem at the university where a mother wrote a column in the student newspaper about leggings. I highly recommend his March 29, 2018 The Briefing podcast that can be heard online, downloaded, or you can read the transcript.

One of the various names for this piece of hosiery for women is yoga pants, which shows that they are intended for athletic purposes. It has become fashionable to wear them in the workplace, for casual activities — and apparently even to religious services. People have described leggings as looking like they were "painted on". I've seen them and agree with that description. They are not mentioned in the company dress code where I work, but other items of modesty are addressed such as strapless tops. Ironic, I think.

Christianity and other religious emphasize modesty among both men and women, but especially for women because of the aforementioned visual stimulation of men. I have seen atheopaths (who compulsively oppose almost anything that the Bible upholds) say that immature men are the problem, so the "freedom" of women should not be at issue. Such an argument is both ignorant and risible.

Years ago, there was a controversy about thongs on beaches. I was puzzled. As a child, I used to wear what we called thongs (sometimes called sandals), but I grew to dislike them. Today, that unpleasant bit of footwear are known as flip-flops.

Nowadays, a thong is a skimpy bit of apparel that is like fabric spaghetti splitting the buttocks, then brought up between the thighs and attached to a waistband. (Many jurisdictions consider them to be indecent and they are outlawed.) I remember a television show, perhaps it was Phil Donahue, where a woman with a snide attitude was given the microphone and said, "What's the big deal? Everybody's got a butt!" Sure, princess, but everybody doesn't necessarily want to look at yours in a public place — or see those other parts that are normally kept private.

It seems that some people are too selfish to be considerate of others, even at the point of being visually provocative. This strikes me as narcissistic as well as selfish.

As Dr. Mohler points out in his analysis, the Bible tells us that we keep private parts private. Certain areas of the body are to be presented between a husband and wife, not paraded for the prurient desires of strangers.

In a silly 1958 short story called "Do Unto Others" by Mark Clifton, some prissy Earth women took a notion that the buck naked octopus-like inhabitants of Capella IV needed to be clothed. Let's assume for a moment that such critters exist. While forcing modesty on space aliens may seem well-intentioned, it is also pointless because they are not children of Adam and Eve. You'll see what I mean in a moment.

People may ask why we wear clothes in the first place. I mean, aside from cold weather and such. Clothing goes back to Genesis. After Adam and sinned, they felt the need to cover themselves (Gen. 3:7). God said, "Ain't no way", and covered them with the skins of animals (Gen. 3:21). This was the first covering for sin, and blood was shed.

You'll have to do some research on the theology involved, but animal sacrifices in the Old Testament were a temporary covering for sin and foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ. Bloodshed is necessary to cover sin. God the Son, our Creator, took on human form, died on a cross for the remission of our sins. He bodily arose on the third day, defeating death and doing away with the animal sacrifices.

Our clothing and modesty are reminders of not only respect for each other, but of sin covering. Jesus Christ attained the victory over sin and death. Most professing Christians celebrate Easter, and we have a great reason to do so. Sins are no longer covered. Instead, Christians are forgiven and we are children of the living God.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Examining the Witnesses of the Resurrection

Using science, psychology, and years of refinement, investigators have developed some rather impressive systems at determining the truth of "Who did it" and "How it happened". This can apply to horrendous criminal cases, reasoning to a conclusion, and other applications.

From a legal perspective, the witnesses of the Resurrection are entirely reliable.
Credit: RGBStock / Robert Linder
Circumstantial evidence can only get you so far. Forensic (historical) science involves determining past events with evidence that exists in the present, so it gets mighty difficult when a significant amount of time passes. Eyewitness accounts are extremely important, and when hitched to a team with circumstantial and forensic materials, you are likely to reach a logical conclusion.

People who have watched courtroom dramas (on the screen or in person) may have encountered attorneys putting some hard questions to witnesses. This is to establish credibility or discredit the witnesses. In police matters, never let witnesses sit together. Separate them. Why? So there's less chance of them "getting their story straight", because it will take longer for legal folks to get to the truth. They can tell this when there are too many details that match exactly. Small discrepancies or disagreements actually help validate the truthfulness of the witnesses.

I have had furious atheists that have lied, misrepresented biblical creation science and people, tried to defame us with other Christians, had their logic refuted, pretended to be experts in theology, and more. They have no credibility, and thinking people do not take them (or their claims) seriously.

We have the ultimate eyewitness, because God is the guiding hand behind the men who penned Scripture (1 Peter 1:19-21, 2 Timothy 3:16). Although Adam was not there for the first days of creation, he probably wrote a manuscript that Moses used later. God directed men to write the rest of Scripture as well — including those eyewitnesses who wrote the four Gospels.

Are there discrepancies in the Gospels? Yes. People have their own minds and perceptions, and they were not always standing at the same corral gate, so to speak. This, too, lends to their credibility, and the main points that they discuss are still supported.

Let's take a look at a discussion of the Gospel witnesses from a legal perspective in more detail.
The truth of the Resurrection stands or falls on the truth of the witnesses. Are they reliable? Of the New Testament writers, there are six witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, if we include the apostles Peter and Paul. These people have left us writings in the form of historical documents which give us their testimony concerning the resurrection.

The question is—are these historical documents reliable? Can we trust them? One way of determining whether the documents are reliable is to put the people who wrote them through the test a good magistrate or judge would put them through. The accuracy of these witnesses depends on five things: their honesty, ability, their number and consistency of their evidence, the conformity of their testimony with our own personal experience, and lastly, the coincidence of their testimony with other circumstances and facts.
To read the rest of this very interesting article, click on " Can we believe the Gospels? — A former chief magistrate examines the witnesses to the resurrection".

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Of Primary Importance

There are many denominations, doctrines, dogmas, opinions, notions, and more under the broad heading of Christianity. Some believe that baptism by sprinkling is okay, others insist on full immersion (and a few hold to the false doctrine of baptismal regeneration). Do we baptise infants or only adults? There are some heterodox beliefs that are mixed in as well.

The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus heart of gospel
Credit: Cadetgray / Wikimedia Commons
(CC BY-SA 3.0)
There are people who claim that creation is an unimportant side issue, but that is not the case. While belief in biblical creation is not a requirement for salvation, it is important because all major Christian doctrines have their foundations in Genesis.

The apostle Paul referred to creation and Genesis many times. Of interest here is when he referred to Adam and to Jesus as "the last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:22, 45). Nevertheless, Paul went to the most important point of all: the Crucifixion and bodily Resurrection of Jesus. They are of first importance, the heart of the gospel, and should be the unifying factor above all other beliefs, interpretations, and opinions.
The Christian faith is not a mere collection of doctrines — a bag of truths. Christianity is a comprehensive truth claim that encompasses every aspect of revealed doctrine, but is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as the apostolic preaching makes clear, the gospel is the priority.

The Apostle Paul affirms this priority when he writes to the Christians in Corinth. In the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul sets out his case:
To finish reading (it's not very long), click on "Of First Importance: The Priority of the Cross and the Empty Tomb".