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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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Christianity is a System of Truth

TruthBrian Hear:

Ultimately, Christianity is a system of truth, not a set of practices where we go through the motion every Sunday. Christianity is not the sum of behavior and actions of its adherents – especially those who are not acting according to its truth claims. Christianity, as a religion, does make certain claims about the cause, nature and purpose of the universe including: God physically raised Jesus from the dead, putting a divine [imprint] on his proclamations about the way things are.

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Napoleon Bonaparte: The Gospel is not a Book

Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon Bonaparte:

The gospel is not a book; it is a living being, with an action, a power, which invades every thing that opposes its extension, behold! It is upon this table: This book, surpassing all others. I never omit to read it, and every day with some pleasure.

The Brain and the Bible

BrainMany people today seem to expect God to flash the answers to their problems before their eyes without having to engage the brain. What is wrong with this expectation? What role does the Bible play in this?

The Zealous Christian

J. C. RyleZeal may be defined as “being ardent, fervent; or exhibiting enthusiasm or strong passion.” However, modern men have attached a negative connotation to it that implies that to be zealous is to be a lunatic. According to J. C. Ryle:

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

There is a subject before your eyes of vast importance. I mean the subject of religious zeal.

It is a subject, like many others in religion, most sadly misunderstood. Many would be ashamed to be thought “zealous.” Many are ready to say of zealous people what Festus said of Paul, “Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane!” (Acts 26:24)

But it is a subject which no reader of the Bible has any right to pass over. If we make the Bible our rule of faith and practice, we cannot turn away from it. We must look it in the face. What does the Apostle Paul say to Titus? “Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14.) What does the Lord Jesus say to the Laodicean Church? “Be zealous and repent.” (Rev.3:19)

Reader, I say plainly, I want to plead the cause of zeal in religion. I am not afraid of it. I love it. I admire it. I believe it to be a mighty blessing. I want to strike a blow at the lazy, easy, sleepy Christianity of these latter days, which can see no beauty in zeal, and only uses the word “zealot” as a word of reproach. (“Be Zealous”)

Religious Liberty

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson:

I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in any religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the States. (Letter to Samuel Miller — 1808)

 

The Most Influential Life

Kenneth Scott LatouretteKenneth Scott Latourette:

As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.

The Very Center of History

H.G. WellsH.G. Wells once said:

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.

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