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The Matrix of Sin

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 in Culture, Film | 0 comments

by Joe Parle – One of my favorite movies is the Matrix. It shows a world has been greatly deceived by an evil force that has bound them in a dream world. A key statement is when Morpheus says, “I know exactly what you mean. You look like a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that is not far from the truth. The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth that you are a slave Neo. Like everyone else you were born into a prison that you cannot smell or taster or touch…A prison for your mind.” Sin enslaves us and is a continuous addiction. It has damaged the way life is supposed to be....

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A Proposal to Reform the Wedding Service in Bible-Believing Churches

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 in Culture, Marriage | 0 comments

by Charlie Clough – Originally published as “RESPONDING TO GOVERNMENT’S DECLARATION THAT “MARRIAGE” IS MERELY A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT: A Proposal to Reform the Wedding Service in Bible-Believing Churches” in Journal of Dispensational Theology, Spring. 2014. Due to a very successful crusade waged by certain activists, the traditional Judeo-Christian concept of marriage as a divinely designed relationship exclusively between one man and one woman has been virtually criminalized. Expression of that concept in the public square — whether in school, in government agencies (including the military), and in business — now meets with overwhelming disdain and even judicial punishment. Underlying this action by civil authorities is the assumption that marriage is merely a social construct that can and ought to be changed in response to public opinion. Therefore, two mutually contradictory notions of marriage — a mutable social construct and an immutable divine...

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What Is Wrong With Man?

Posted on Jun 1, 2014 in Anthropology, Culture, Theology, Worldview | 0 comments

by Andy Woods – The Real Reason for Violence Because of the recent shooting and stabbing spree by Elliot Rodger near Santa Barbara University last Friday, we are once again engulfed in a national conversation concerning what caused the killer to do what he did. When these types of tragic incidents occur, the killer’s destructive behavior is typically blamed on everything from a lack of access to affordable health care, to listening to too much political commentary, to the easy accessibility to firearms. In this particular case, Ann Hornaday, in a column published last Sunday in the Washington Post, opines: Rodger’s rampage may be a function of his own profound distress, but it also shows how a sexist movie monoculture can be toxic for women and men alike. How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like “Neighbors” and feel,...

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Is It Ever Okay to Disobey?

Posted on May 11, 2014 in Culture, Politics | 0 comments

by Ron J. Bigalke – Participation of Christians in civil disobedience will customarily involve unlawful activity. Therefore, it will involve disobedience to civil law or a recognized authority. Response to this issue is important since the growth of government should be a concern to all Christians. For example, the past century alone provides astonishing evidence of democide. Rudolph J. Rummel (1932-2014) was professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii; he documented such facts in his book Death by Government (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1994). Death by government was a great wickedness of the twentieth century, but history demonstrates it cannot be regarded as new phenomenon. For example, 1 Samuel 8 records republican Israel’s growth of government and accurately describes the relationship that would develop between the people and governmental bureaucracy.   First Samuel 8 is...

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The Word, Missions, and Ethnomusicology: The Thai Psalms Project

Posted on May 2, 2014 in Church and Ministry, Communication, Culture, Evangelism, Missions, Music | 1 comment

by Arnfield Cudal – I write this letter on the day after Easter Sunday, sitting on row 57 of the seemingly endless flight to Bangkok, Thailand. The cumulative 40-hour flight time indicates to me that from Palm Beach, Florida, we are on opposites sides of the globe. The purpose of my travel is to conduct the musical presentation at the 50th Anniversary of PABWE’s (Philippine Association of Baptists for World Evangelism) missionary work in Thailand, and in addition, to debut another album: Psalms and Hymns of the Bible in Thai which have been set to Thai folk and classical music. To commemorate a fiftieth year celebration with music is indeed momentous. But this isn’t a normal Sunday morning musical event.  As I face the daunting task of coordinating members of the Bangkok Philharmonic orchestra, a Thai classical orchestra, an intra-regional...

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Telling Our Kids About Santa Claus? (Spoiler Alert)

Posted on Dec 24, 2013 in Culture, Holiday | 2 comments

by Joe Parle – I’d like to take some time to give my take on the issue of Santa Claus. Keep in mind that I am doing this as a concerned theologian and not as a judgmental finger pointing legalist who just seeks to ruin everyone’s fun. Godly people disagree on this matter and I recognize that my convictions may not be shared by all God fearing Christians. Regarding Santa Claus, my personal view is that a Christian parent can and should teach their child about the historical Nicholas. However, they should not encourage their children to believe in a present day Santa Claus who delivers presents. My reason for this is both Scriptural and ethical. From a Scriptural point of view, the Bible consistently forbids lying (cf. Exodus 20:16, Proverbs 19:22, Ephesians 4:25, 1 Timothy 1:10). Note especially...

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