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Old 05-22-2016, 11:57 AM   #1
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Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.766

And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine

~ Bob Dylan

I would not want all my bad dreams and thoughts revealed to others, would you? We all have bad thoughts. We all make wrong choices. We all say and do stupid things. We are a flawed people. We are nowhere near perfect.

Not to say we do not try to do the right thing or try to control our thoughts, we do try but the truth is we still miss the mark of perfection. Even a young child will lie to parents. We do not have to be taught to lie or be selfish, it is the result of our flawed condition.

We were made in the image of God but our image has been broken by sin. Sin is missing the target of perfection.
Sin is a problem in our lives. It is also a problem for God. Why? Because God is perfect. God is holy.

God’s response to sin is not emotional, it is conditional. It is in his nature. Consider our response to fire. When our hand touches a hot iron, it is in our condition (our makeup) to instantly repeal from the heat.

This is why sin must be judged and removed from God’s presence for us to be reconciled to God.
We are indeed in a mess with ourselves and with God but there is good news.

This good news is the central message in the scriptures reveals to us the beautiful plan of God to forever fix this problem. Because God’s condition requires judgement a sacrifice had to be done. All through the scriptures God reveals that a sacrifice must be without flaws. It must be perfect. Since we are not perfect, God set his plan in motion.

The fix was God coming to earth as a human being. He lived a perfect life. He never sinned and because he was sinless he could take the judgement for us. He took our punishment. I don’t think we can even imagine what he experience in those few hours on the cross. I read one person describe it as three hours of eternity. God’s laying down his life for his friends.

After his death on the cross, he came back alive for eternity. By being human he is forever linked to us. He knows who we are as humans.

If we accept this plan, we appear in God’s presence as perfect. We are made sinless in his eyes. This does not mean that we no longer sin. The scriptures say we are a fool if we claim to be without sin but we are to confess our sins (acknowledge them) and repent.

Don’t get tripped up by the word repent. Repentance simply means to turn, it is the activity of reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. It is an action of our hearts.

And then we move onward towards God. We will continue to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to miss the mark but we are no longer haunted by our imperfects, we know that God has and will take care of us and our future is settled. The Kingdom of God is a Party and we will be there. This is the good news.

We can be at peace because we know God has set things right. We are in a relationship not a religion or system that enslaves us.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

~ Matthew 11:30 (The Message )


Paul expresses this well in Romans 3.


Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:23-24 (The Message)
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:29 PM   #2
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.767


And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free!

~ John 8:32
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.768

We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.

~ Madeleine L'Engle
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #4
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.769


Has the biblical text been corrupted over the centuries?

Jonathan Morrow: One of the most common objections today is that the Bible has been changed and corrupted over the centuries. Often the “Telephone game” played in elementary schools is used as an illustration of how the copies of copies of copies of copies (you get the idea) have been changed and the message garbled over the years. This is not a good illustration because that is not how the biblical text has come down to us.
To see why, let’s briefly look at the New Testament.

There was an intentional process of transmission in place and people cared about getting these texts right because eternal matters were literally at stake. When it comes to recovering the text of the New Testament, we need to ask the right questions:

- How many manuscripts do we have to work with?
- How early are the manuscripts we have to work with?
- How important are the textual variants between these manuscripts?

When we examine these questions, the New Testament is by far the best-attested work of Greek or Latin literature in the ancient world—it’s not even close! I go into much more detail in my chapter in Questioning the Bible, but the bottom line is that we have a lot of manuscripts to work with; we have early manuscripts to work with, and none of the differences between the existing manuscripts affect any central teaching or practice in the Christian faith. You can trust that what was written in the first century is essentially what we have today.

~ Selected from Bible Gateway interview of Jonathan Morrow about his book, Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:13 AM   #5
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.770


Father! — to God himself we cannot give a holier name.

~William Wordsworth
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.771


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

~ Dorothy Parker
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.772

“Initially, the God of the Old Testament might seem overwhelming and domineering to you, or tyrannical, or perhaps even evil, which is good. It is the first telling that God is indeed God, by sheer definition, and not some ear-tickling fairy by which one in his depravity is guaranteed to find another form of stale romanticism or love at first sight. For such a first impression as the latter would be problematic to the essence of Christianity. Therefore the Christians are right in saying that the nature of imperfect men cannot ultimately co-exist with the nature of a perfect God; and that the hope of each man is now desperately found in God's sending of Christ.”

~ Criss Jami
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:07 AM   #8
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.773

Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you—take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.”

He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”

~ Mark 7: 14, 16, 20-23 (The Message)
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:04 PM   #9
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.774


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

~Aesop
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:34 AM   #10
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.775


“Society tells me to follow my own truth, but I don't let society tell me what to do.”

~ Criss Jami
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:10 PM   #11
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.776

Answers to Common Objections

Christian theologians have differed wildly over every doctrine of Christianity. If Christianity were true, this would not be the case.

There are two huge problems with this argument. First, it is primarily a theological argument. How do we know that God, if he exists, would not allow error of any kind into the church? In fact, if the letters of Paul and the other apostles are any indication, there were people in the early Christian churches who held all kinds of wrong ideas and yet were considered -by Paul and the other apostles- to be real Christians.

Second, although I would not minimize the theological differences between major theologians of history, I think it a gross exaggeration to claim that there is no core doctrinal agreement amongst them. In fact, the situation seems to be quite the opposite. Every major Christian theologian (especially those quoted most frequently by the Neoatheists) would affirm the major historic creeds of the Christian church, the deity of Christ, the doctrine of sin, the doctrine of atonement, the historicity of the Resurrection, and the authority of the Bible. In fact, if I look at my own personal spiritual influences as a Christian, I find that they include men from all kinds of denominations, including Charles Spurgeon (Baptist) Tim Keller (Presbyterian), Martin Luther (Lutheran), John Calvin (Presbyterian), C.S. Lewis (Anglican), and David Martin-Lloyd Jones (Methodist). Again, I am not denying that there are areas in which these men disagree seriously.

However, it seems to me quite disingenuous for a skeptic to throw up his hands and claim that there is such disagreement that the Christian message is utterly obscure. If I could presume to speak for these men, I think they would unanimously affirm (with the apostle Paul) that the core of Christianity is and has always been "Jesus Christ and him crucified". Matters of other doctrine are important but ultimately secondary and should be faced only after we have answered the question: who is Jesus?

Short answer: although Christians certainly disagree in many areas of theology, the central message of Christianity ("Jesus died for our sins and was raised to life for our justification") has been affirmed by every Christian theologian throughout history, including those cited repeatedly by the Neoatheists.

~ Neil Shenvi
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #12
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.777

“It is no more narrow to claim that one religion is right than to claim that one way to think about all religions (namely that all are equal) is right. We are all exclusive in our beliefs about religion, but in different ways.”

~Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:02 AM   #13
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.778

“Jesus, unlike the founder of any other major faith, holds out hope for ordinary human life. Our future is not an ethereal, impersonal form of consciousness. We will not float through the air, but rather will eat, embrace, sing, laugh, and dance in the kingdom of God, in degrees of power, glory, and joy that we can't at the present imagine.”

~ Timothy Keller



Sunday Dispatch.779

“Read and listen to one thinker and you become a clone; Read two and you become confused; Read ten and you get your own voice; Read a hundred and you start to become wise.”

~ Timothy Keller
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:23 PM   #14
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.780

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

~ John 6:28-52 (NIV)
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: Sunday Dispatch

Sunday Dispatch.781


A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

~ Dave Barry
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