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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Labor to Keep the Work of God upon your Souls

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

Now we should labor to keep the work of God upon our souls, which was present at our conversion; for conversion must not be only at one instant at first. Men are deceived in this, if they think their conversion is finished merely at first; you must be in a way of conversion to God all the days of your life, and therefore Christ said to his disciples, ‘Except ye be converted and become as little children?’ Ye be converted. Why? Were they not converted before? Yes, they were converted, but they were to continue the work of conversion all the days of their lives. (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

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Wanted: Woman willing to give Birth to a Neanderthal Baby

NeanderthalDoes this sound ridiculous or what? Even if we have the technology to create Neanderthal babies, should we? Jennifer Lahl writes:

No, this is not a tabloid headline you read while waiting to checkout at the grocery store or something you might read on Craigslist in their Help Wanted ads. This was a casual comment by Harvard University’s prestigious geneticist, George Church, made in a recent interview for Germany’s Der Speigel magazine. . . .

But just how far-fetched is this idea? In 2009, scientists in Germany reconstructed the Neanderthal genome and boldly proclaimed that with these new technologies (and $30 million) they could produce a living Neanderthal. . . .

As scientists pursue this technology in hopes of resurrecting an extinct species or of dealing with endangered species, one has to wonder what limits should be placed on this new science? What are the moral criteria that will be used in making these decisions? And who gets to decide? …

Again, what are the ultimate goals, the ends and purposes of this biotechnology and medical progress? Cloning a Neanderthal and impregnating a woman with such a clone is not progress. We must advocate for and demand progress based on rigorous and fact-based biotechnologies and medical therapies that honor and secure human dignity rather than undermine it. We must insist upon virtuous character in both the scientist and physician, and recognize the limits of the natural moral order, which promises us a truly human future, deeply situated in the dignity of the human person.

Read this entire article at tothesource. . .

Counting All Lost for the Sake of Christ

Bishop J. C. RyleThe early Christians often lost everything in the world for Christ’s sake. They generally gained nothing but the cross and persecution. If they did not convince their adversaries by argument, they could die, and prove that they were earnest. According to J. C. Ryle:

“It is always good to be zealous in a good cause.” (Galatians 4:18)

You know the habit of mind that makes men great in the sciences of this world—that makes such men as Archimedes, or Sir Isaac Newton, or Galileo, or Ferguson the astronomer, or James Watt. All these were men of one thing. They brought the powers of their minds into one single focus. They cared for nothing else beside. And this was the secret of their success. I say that this same habit consecrated to the service of God, becomes religious zeal.

You know the habit of mind that makes men rich—that makes men amass mighty fortunes, and leave millions behind them. What kind of people were many of the bankers, and merchants, and tradesmen, who have left a name behind them, as men who acquired immense wealth, and out of poverty, became rich? They were all men that threw themselves entirely into their business, and neglected everything else for the sake of that business. They gave their first attention, their first thoughts, the best of their time, and the best part of their mind, to pushing forward the transactions in which they were engaged. They were men of one thing. Their hearts were not divided. They devoted themselves, body, soul, and mind, to their business. They seemed to live for nothing else. I say that, if you turn that habit of mind to the service of God and His Christ, it makes religious zeal.

Now, reader, this habit of mind—this zeal was the characteristic of all the Apostles. See for example the Apostle Paul. Hear him when he speaks to the Ephesian elders for the last time, “In town after town the Holy Spirit assures me that imprisonment and suffering are waiting for me. But I don’t place any value on my life, if only I can finish my race and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:23-24)

Hear him again, when he writes to the Philippians, “Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14). See him from the day of his conversion, giving up his brilliant prospects—forsaking all for Christ’s sake—and going forth to preach that very Jesus whom he had once despised. See him going to and fro throughout the world from that time—through persecution—through oppression—through opposition—through prisons—through bonds—through afflictions—through things next to death itself, up to the very day when he sealed his faith with his blood, and died at Rome, a martyr for that Gospel which he had so long proclaimed. This was true religious zeal. (Be Zealous)

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