Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Are the Atheists Winning?

Dr. Mohler is apparently recovering well enough to comment on Richard Dawkins’ new book, The God Delusion. Examine yourself. Do you fit into the category of Christians discussed in these articles?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Al Mohler’s thoughts on Crisis and Grace

Many of you may remember the prayer request in Sunday school for Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Thankfully, Dr. Mohler is out of the hospital and recovering from his very intense medical ordeal. Take a look at the lessons he learned...I don’t know that I would have gained this much from that experience.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

40 Key Verses for Evangelism

One of the great things about Southern Seminary is the willingness of the professors to assist lay people. I recently heard a lecture by Dr. Timothy K. Beougher on evangelism in which he told of a study he developed for neighborhood outreach based on the idea that unchurched people would be more likely to attend a study about the Bible rather than a Bible study. In his experience, many of his neighbors were intimidated by a Bible study because they did not want to look ignorant in front of others when they knew so little about the Bible.

Dr. Beougher was kind enough to send me a rough outline of his 5-6 week study on an overview of the Bible, Old and New Testaments. One of the helps he sent me was a list of 40 key verses for evangelism to memorize. I post them here in the hope that you will study them and use them to prepare to share Christ when one of those “chance” conversations with unbelievers happens.

(you may memorize these verses in any translation,
but I have listed them in the ESV)

The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalms 19:1

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2
but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59:2

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
Hebrews 9:27

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 1 Peter 3:18

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, John 1:12

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3

let the wicked forsake his way,and the unrighteous man his thoughts;let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:12-13

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ten ways to raise a nonreader/reader

Tammy recently purchased a book entitled “Honey for a Child’s Heart” by Gladys Hunt. The focus of the book is to give parents guidance on selecting reading material for their children. Mrs. Hunt lists both classics and current literature for suggested reading. I don’t agree with every suggestion in the book, but do agree with quite a lot of it and am impressed by many of the ideas she suggests for developing young readers and lovers of God’s Word. Here are a couple of thought-provoking lists to ponder as a parent.

Ten Ways to Raise a Nonreader
  1. Have the television on at all times. Make sure you put a television set and a computer in every room. (Don’t forget the kitchen!)
  2. Keep the place neat - no books or literary magazines in sight.
  3. Never let your children see you read a book.
  4. Never take your kids to the library.
  5. Never read stories aloud past age two.
  6. Never talk about ideas while eating meals.
  7. Keep the lights down low. Buy only forty-watt lightbulbs.
  8. Schedule your children for every activity you can think of so they won't be bored.
  9. Never play any table games together.
  10. Absolutely no reading in bed or good lamps to make it easy to do so.

Ten Ways to Raise a Reader

  1. Restrict television watching drastically.
  2. Keep the computer under control and where it can be monitored. Don't allow too many hours on pointless computer games or in chat rooms.
  3. Have books and other good reading material within easy reach, an enticement to read.
  4. Let your children see you reading.
  5. Read books aloud together regardless of age.
  6. Talk about books together; play games together.
  7. Have well-lit rooms with comfortable chairs that invite reading.
  8. Balance activity schedules with reading time. Let your kids know the library is as important as the gymnasium.
  9. Encourage reading in bed with good lights to do so.
  10. Visit the library often, and listen to books-on-tape when traveling.

Now, why is this relevant for a Sunday school blog? God did not reveal Himself through video, pictures, or music. He revealed Himself through words in the Scripture. The ability to reason, follow a flow of argument, and take ownership of ideas from reading a text is uniquely human and part and parcel to the image of God in which we were first created. Reading good books forces the mind to engage in critical thinking - what is the author trying to say? - rather than the emotion-dominated - what does that mean to me? - thinking that permeates our video game, T.V. saturated culture. The Bible is literature. It has history, poetry, legal arguments, etc., each word divinely inspired. Yet, each type of literature has been written to be read “literally” in the sense that poetry should be read as poetry, history as history, etc.

By instilling in our children a love for reading all of these types of literature, we build within them a greater ability to read God’s Word with understanding of Its objective meaning, not their subjective preference.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Noel Piper on “Hunting” through God’s Word

I found this excerpt by Noel Piper interesting on how she finally read through the Bible in a year and what helped her do it...joyfully...