Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Prefer Who is Jesus?

The question presented is "What is Jesus?"  My friend, Ely asks that question on his blog and seeks answers from readers.  The comments are interesting and worth reading.  He also presents an answer, via video from a Catholic priest.

Although he asks "What is Jesus," I prefer the question "Who is Jesus" because he is a person.  Indeed, Jesus asked his follower's who do you say that I am.  Peter answered "you are the Christ, the son of the living God."  These are very powerful words in such a short sentence.

In person, Jesus had to be fully man.  This added meaning to his suffering.  If he was not fully man, the suffering would not have had an affect on him. He also had to be fully God.  This was necessary to allow his sacrifice to cover all sins, past, present and future.

Before concluding, I cannot ignore one of the comments that I saw on Ely's page. It reads as follows

It's an interesting way of editing Jesus into something that fits with what Christianity requires. As you say, assuming of course he existed at all..

Alrighty then.  Of course he existed.  Even those who rejected him 2000 years ago acknowledged his existence.  Most atheists today, including the Dawkins himself, acknowledges his existence. Doubting his existence is something new in the atheistic community. What makes this funny is not even the most serious atheists doubt that he existed.

The real question is what will you do with Jesus considering all he did for you.

Go here "What is Jesus" to see Ely's article.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast - May 15

Wally Armstrong is the Guest Speaker for the 2012 Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast
at the Tampa Convention Center
May 15, 2012
7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
(Breakfast at 6:30 a.m.)


Individual tickets are $32.66 purchased on line through Eventbrite.  After purchasing, print out your online ticket and bring with you to the Breakfast.

Tickets are available at the door for $35.00 and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

To order online go here: Tickets

or send a check to:

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C/O Ferlita, Walsh, Gonzalez CPAs
3302 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33609-4926

Wally Armstrong, President of Gator Golf Enterprises, Inc., has played professionally and taught golf since 1968, and has conducted clinics and teaching seminars throughout the world.  A graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in Education, Armstrong was a member of the college golf team and earned All-American recognition in 1966.

A PGA member since 1974, he has competed in more than 300 PGA Tour events. In his first Masters he finished fifth setting a rookie record score of 8 under par. He competed in numerous majors including the British Open, MastersU.S. Open, PGA Championship and the Tournament Players Championship . During his career Armstrong was a solid frontrunner on the PGA Tour and led in over 30 tournaments, finishing second 4 times and one year finishing 7 times in the top ten. Because of his exceptionally consistent record, he was awarded a lifetime membership to the PGA Tour. In recent years he has played in some US and European Senior Tour Events.

More information on Wally here: Wally Bio.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ross Douthat Discusses Christian Heresies

Listening to Wretched Radio, I heard Todd Friel highlight an interview on NPR of Ross Douthat.  The title of the article is “’Heretics:’ The Crisis of American Christianity.” Heresies can be defined as making Jesus fit the modern world or man's agenda, rather than Jesus as revealed in the Bible. During the interview Douthat addressed problems that are having a negative effect on today’s Christianity.  The thing that is remarkable is NPR through this interview is addressing issues that one would find in a magazine for evangelicals or hear at a conference for ministers.  The problems/heresies highlighted in the NPR interview include the following:

            1. The Heresy of the Da Vinci Code

            2. The Heresy of the Prosperity Gospel

            3. The Heresy of Eat Pray Love (which touches on Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle etc. et al)

            4. Heresy of Politics – investing religious energy into political figures and political narratives; putting chips into some great Christian leader who will usher in the kingdom of God on earth.

He also noted the problem of Christians being known for their political views and following the likes of Glenn Beck, rather than sharing their faith with others.

Apparently, Douthat stepped on a few toes because the interview generated over 150 comments on the NPR page and I had a hard time finding anything positive.  Douthat should know better than to attack America’s sacred cows.

The audio and summary of Douthat’t interview can be found here:  "'Heretics:’ The Crisis of AmericanChristianity.

Douthat also has book entitled “Bad Religion How We Became a Nation of Heretics


Sunday, April 8, 2012

He Is Risen

            Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

            On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?

            Suddenly there was a great earthquake!! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was white as snow.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

            [A]s they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

            When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side.  The women were shocked.

            Then the angel spoke to the women, “Don’t be afraid!” he said.  “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come, see where his body was lying.  And now go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee.  You will see him there.  Remember what I have told you.””

            The women ran quickly from the tomb.  They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.

            - Matthew 28:1-9; Mark 16:3,5

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Falling in Love with HIStory: How to Study the Bible

From Pastor Chuck Ammons

After looking at how to make the Bible come alive, we new need a method to study the Bible.

Most Americans are Biblically illiterate.  This was revealed in a recent episode where contestants could not answer questions from Deuteronomy, Jonah, and Revelation.  A major reason for this biblical illiteracy is because we have become an instant society.  We lost the discipline of study.  The scripture contains a treasure and a great treasure will be revealed when you dig.

1.  Remember the Big Picture!

The Bible consists of 66 books, one story.
We have to be careful not to take scenes out of the big picture.  Not considering the proper context will lead to bad results.  A few examples of this include the Westboro Baptists, “Christian” groups bombing abortion clinics, the pastor who wants to burn the Koran, and the prosperity “gospel.”

In the big picture, God is the hero.

The entire book points to Jesus.  The Bible provides us with the restoration offered by God. It offers the restoration that we need.

Hosea.  This book is hard to understand without knowing the big picture.  Hosea is told to marry a prostitute.  Sometimes God used prophets to provide a living illustration to make a point.  The story of Hosea is about God’s unconditional love for his people.  Jesus Christ is at the center of Hosea.

At the center of every story is the cross.  Almost every scene looks forward to the cross or reflects back to the cross.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Falling in Love with HIStory: How to Make the Bible Come Alive (Part III)

3.         Study the Bible to Change Your Life!!
            The Bible was not written to entertain, it was written to change your life.
            It is hard because it does take work; it does take effort.

            2 Timothy were Paul’s last words to Timothy.  He suspected these would be his last words. Thus, they were pretty important.
2 Tim. 3:15-17, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul emphasizes that wisdom can be gained from scripture.  Again, Paul writes “All Scripture.
God uses the scripture to prepare and equip.

The Word of God is not only to be read, but to be studied.

A technique for studying the Bible involves, observe, interpret, and apply,

Observe: Ask what the Bible is saying.  What are the facts?

Interpretation: Ask what does the Bible mean?  Who wrote the book? To whom is he speaking?  What is the purpose of his writing?  Who was/were the recipient(s) of the message?  What was the context?

2 Tim. 2:15 =>Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

The verse notes that one must correctly handle the word of truth.  This is important.  Correctly handling the word of truth takes work.  It takes research.

Misinterpreting=> You can get the Bible to say whatever you want it to say.  When this happens it does not say what it means.

            For example, the verse, get drunk, be merry for tomorrow we die, can be taken the wrong way.

You have to know the Bible to know how to properly apply it.

Application: What is the Bible saying to me?

Is there a sin to confess? Is there a need to change?  Is there someone whom I must minister to?

James 1:22=> Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
This simply tells us to be doers of the word.  When we read the Bible we can ask, God what do you want from me?  What are you saying to me that I need to follow?