Who is Jesus? John MacArthur

John MacArthur on CNN’s Larry King, about 4 years ago, with John Meacham, Managing Editor of Newsweek Magazine, Father Michael Manning, Dennis Prager, Radio Host, Deepak Chopra.

The Meaning and Message of the Life and Death of Jesus

The full program (45 min)

Mark Driscoll debating Deepak Chopra

from ABC News ‘Faceoff Debate’ in 2009 „Does Satan exist?”

Ravi Zacharias and Friends

Apologetics Beyond the Pew: A Conversation with Ravi Zacharias and Friends
Source http://tiu.edu/ Carl F.H.Henry’s Center for Theological Understanding on April 12, 2010. This lecture was given before Ravi Zacharias’s trip to  Romania and Armenia (2010).

  • When you look back upon the landscape of  the last 25 years, or 30 years, there were voices, sounding forth at that time,  of the changes that were coming. I remember listening to Everett Coop and Francis Schaeffer in the 1980’s sounding the alarm of what were then being seen as the moral underpinnings from which extensions would be made and decisions would be made. Who would have ever thought that you would hear ethical theories that we now listen to from the voice of Peter Singer and others. Not just liberal in their thinking, but radically so. At the end of a spectrum of thought, where we not only do not know how to define human life, but, we define it in ways that could actually be stunning and shocking. And, once the shock value is gone they become common ideas and carried into ramifications.
  • We no longer can define what life is. We cannot define what sexuality is. We do not know how to define what marriage means. I remember when Chuck Colson had invited me and a few others to New York some months ago, from which emerged the signing of the Manhattan Declaration, I remember phoning my wife from New York and saying, „I never dreamed of the day when you would have a room full of men and women trying to define a thing like life, marriage, sexuality. Things that you thought would be self evident or that would have some input of the sacred…now totally desacrilized and almost defying any kind of definition or any kind of parameter. But people like Schaeffer warned us of this.
  • Zacharias lists 4 changes he believes have come about in the last 25-30 years:
  1. The popularization of the death of God of the atheistic mindset and the willingness (popularizations) to live with its ramifications a la Hitchens and Dawkins and Dennett and Harris who say what Huxley said, „I want this world not to have meaning because a meaningless world frees me to my own exploits of sexual and political freedom. (Hypocrisy is the charge that vice brings to virtue …deep in their own thinking they know some things are wrong)
  2. It is the third world’s attack upon Western ideas with the pantheistic and postmodern underpinnings to it that has actually made the ideas that shaped the West look juvenile and everything else that comes from abroad look very sophisticated. I have a question for people like that. „Why did you come to the West?” Because there were some moral assumptions that were a quest of the Judeo-Christian framework; even if you didn’t want to give credit to the world view  that framed them, you liked what you saw in the outworking. Do you know that the Chinese government has just commissioned writers to rewrite the history of missions in China because the leadership in China recognized that Missions has not been given a good and fair name? They want to acknowledge the benefit that Missions has done in the last century, principally in two arenas: in education and health and well being for the Chinese people. Think of this statement, „We take these truths to be self evident that we are all created equal…with inalienable rights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Let me ask you this question, „Do you know of any other world view that would have framed that statement, other than the Judeo-Christian faith?” There are ideas in the Gospels that are not presented anywhere else. Take for example that no where else is there an offer of sacrifice, or of forgiveness,  such as the cross of Christ.
  3. The power to inform through the visual. We now take truth through the eye gate not through reason and so it comes through the back door of the imagination. We’re intended to see through the eye with the conscience. Most people see today with the eye, devoid of a conscience. We’ve got a visually conditioned culture. On the movie Avatar- brilliant in cinematography and now English movies are just beginning to resemble Hindi movies. That’s all it is. Bollywood was 30 yrs ahead on this kind of stuff and 30 yrs ago we would have sat and laughed at this kind of stuff and now it is so engaging. Isn’t it interesting? A Hollywood technocrat, who sees the military as the culprit for destroying lives has never bothered to ask how many souls and consciences Hollywood has destroyed.  We’ve got a generation raised with the visual that has never cerebrally addressed these issues of systemic contradiction.
  4. A youth oriented world as a culture molding point, which means the young ought to really be an audience to whom we speak and how we speak to them. The question is how we reach a generation that thinks with its eyes or listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings? That’s the challenge.
  • I’ll give you 3 simple responses
  1. We are going to need an apologetic that is not merely heard, but is also seen. If the Christian life is not seen, it will become nothing more than theoretical.
  2. An apologetic that is not merely argued but that is also felt. You cannot have a persuasive preacher if the preacher is not coming through as being persuaded. woe be to me if I preach not the Gospel. Passions are very real, therefore the passion for the Gospel will also have to be real, if it is to appeal to a generation that lives so much with the pathos and the reality of the felt word.
  3. It is an approach that rescues not only the ends of bringing them into the knowledge of Christ, but the means where we do not compromise the Word in process. The Word has a lasting, abiding value as a carrier of truth.

Mark Driscoll on Fox News – What the Bible Really Says About Sex

Pastor Mark Driscoll preaches at Qwest Stadium, Seattle on Easter 2011

First, Mark Driscoll debated Deepak Chopra on Nightline News and did a fantastic job explaining the Gospel. Today I came across this article while visiting an Assemblies of God Youth Page on Facebook. Apparently, while Pastor Mark Driscoll has been criticized in the past for having used coarse language, and more recently for talking about sex in a non conventional way from his pulpit, yet he has struck a very needed chord with the christian youth of this nation, who are not timid in discussing what used to be considered taboo and asking questions and asking for direction. Here, now, at Fox News he is being given a national platform to give an (theologically orthodox) christian perspective to more than just Christians. And this is a very good thing. Mark Driscoll pastors a church in downtown Seattle, Washington called -Mars Hill and is also the founder of ACTS29 network, a world wide church planting ministry that has planted 400 US churches and additional ones in 13 other countries. He also has a (much read) website at theresurgence.com/. His website receives 6 million hits a year and his preaching sermons are consistently #1 on iTunes . That is an impressive number when you consider that it consists mainly of sermons and theological pieces vs. opinion pieces that populate the blogs. Read his bio here.

Here is the article. Read more at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/01/03/what-bible-really-says-about-sex/#ixzz1iYyscHtD

Pastor Mark Driscoll:

Sex is a selfish act, a conquest of personal fulfillment.

That’s the mindset of most people in our culture regarding sex—even if it’s only subconscious. For the most part, our society celebrates the process of hook up, shack up, and break up.

All you have to do is take a moment to observe the way sex is communicated in our culture.

Thousands of articles are churned out on how to cope with a past of multiple partners and how to find the next one.

Porn is a massive industry, generating $10 to $14 billion annually in revenues.

Nearly every sitcom on the air seems to make light of sleeping around, and films like „No Strings Attached” and „Friends with Benefits” lure young eyes to the theater, while a sex-crazed Tucker Max boasts about his conquests and skyrockets to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, becoming a cult hero for young slackers everywhere.It also explains why sex trafficking is a $32 billion global industry, 45,000 to 50,000 young girls are trafficked in the United States every year, and why one in 12 youths experience sexual victimization, including sexual assault and attempted or completed rape.

The problem, however, is not sex.

It’s us.

In order to understand this, we must first understand the underlying cause of all the problems in this world: sin.

In the Bible, Paul says of the human condition:

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

„Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!” Amen (Romans 1:21-25).

And in case you think Paul is on some self-righteous kick to condemn sinners, he makes clear in the same letter that all of humanity is in the same boat, writing, „Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things” (Romans 2:1).

And to drive the point home, he writes, „For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Thankfully, he also adds, „and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:23-25).

The point is this: as humans, we’re all sinners and all in need of God’s grace, given freely through Jesus. And apart from Jesus, we all pervert God’s good gifts, such as sex.

Thankfully, God is also merciful and loving. This is why he sent us Jesus to save us from our sin, and it is also why he gave us the Bible to help us understand his plan for a life that honors him and as a result leads to true fulfillment.

The Bible has a lot to say about sex—including that it’s good and that it glorifies God when we enjoy sex in the context for which He created it.

...hitting issues other Christian books won’t

So, I thought I’d share seven sex essentials from the Bible that my wife Grace and I included in our new book, „Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together”:

1. God created us male and female in His image and likeness with dignity, equality, value, and worth. Men and women are different and complement one another (Genesis 1:27-28).

2. Love is more like a song than a math equation. It requires a sense of poetry and passion to be any good at it, which is why people who are stuck in their heads struggle and are frustrated by it, and lovers prefer songs to syllogisms (Song of Solomon, all of it).

3. Marriage is for one man and one woman by God’s design. This is the consistent teaching of the Bible from the table of contents to the appendix and the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself (Genesis 2:24-25, Matthew 19:4).

4. God created sex. God made our bodies “very good” with “male and female” parts and pleasures. When our first parents consummated their covenant, God was not shocked or horrified, because He created our bodies for sex. The reason that sex is fun, pleasurable, and wonderful is because it is a reflection of the loving goodness of God who created it as a gift for us to steward and enjoy (Genesis 2:24-25).

5. Sex outside of marriage is a sin.
Sinful sex includes homosexuality, erotica, bestiality, bisexuality, fornication, friends with benefits, adultery, swinging, prostitution, incest, rape, polygamy, polyandry, sinful lust, pornography, and pedophilia (I Corinthians 6:9-11,18-20, Hebrews 13:4).

6. Sex is to be done in such a way that there is no shame
(Genesis 2:25; Proverbs 5:18-23). Many people experience shame in regard to sex. Sometimes shame is a gift from God in response to our sexual sin, sometimes it is the devastating feeling we bear because we have been sexually sinned against, and other times we have not sinned or been sinned against sexually but feel shame because we have wrong thinking and feelings about sex in general, or a sex act in particular.

7. Your standard of beauty is your spouse. God made one man and one woman. He did not ask them if they wanted someone tall or short, light or heavy, pale or dark skinned, with long or short hair. In short, He did not permit them to develop a standard of beauty. Instead, He gave them each a spouse as a standard of beauty (Genesis 2:23, Proverbs 6:20-35).

I understand that I’m writing to an audience that may not consist entirely of  Christian believers, including some who may even be hostile to Christianity. I also understand that many of these points will either rub some of you the wrong way or even enrage you. But, I make no apologies for the Bible and what it says.

I will say this, however… I don’t write them to condemn you, nor does the Bible. Rather, I ask you to consider your motivations for sex.

Have you ever truly given yourself to someone selflessly to love them, explore them, and cherish them until death do you part? Have you spent your life pursuing pleasure instead of seeking to give pleasure to a lifelong spouse? And, are you truly happy and fulfilled with your sex life?

The problem isn’t our partners. It’s us. We’ve perverted sex and misused it. God’s way is the best way, and I encourage you to humbly pray and think about what he has to say about us and sex in his word, the Bible.

As someone who was sexually active before becoming a Christian, I don’t consider myself more holy than anyone else. But, after experiencing Jesus’ forgiveness, becoming a Christian, understanding what the Bible teaches about sex, having massive change in my thoughts and actions about sex, marrying, and today, happily and faithfully married to the same woman for what is approaching 20 years, I sincerely want you to experience the fullness of what God has for you in Jesus Christ.

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of one of America’s largest, fastest-growing and most innovative churches (Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington). He was recently named one of the “25 Most Influential Pastors of the Past 25 Years” by Preaching magazine. Driscoll is also co-founder of the Acts 29 Network (which has planted over 500 churches in the U.S. and 13 other nations around the world). He is the author of 15 books, including the newly-released „Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship and Life Together” (Thomas Nelson 2012).

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/01/03/what-bible-really-says-about-sex/#ixzz1iYyscHtD
Here is a short video clip of Pastor Mark Driscoll preaching at Qwest Stadium in Seattle, WA where he not only held the Easter service last year (2011) but he also held water baptisms, baptizing approx. 600 people. To view entire service please click here
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Do you believe in the existence of a literal hell? (I believe what’s in this video)

Justin Taylor was the first to sound the alarm. I have been following his blog and reading his commentary daily for years. His posts are uplifting and Scriptural, sometimes he quotes and writes about the saints that have gone before us, sometimes he reviews books and contemporary issues (as he is editorial director and associate publisher at Crossway Books, most recently served as managing editor for the ESV Study Bible. some awesome accomplishments for his age), but  always through a Biblical lens. Last week he correctly pointed out something about Mega Church Pastor Rob Bell that echoed through the Christian community, publishing houses and hallways of major newspapers, including the New York Times. Considering the subject – Hell (or the non existence of it) it is not that surprising. If there is no hell, maybe I don’t have to try and be so good and keep myself from all those sinful pleasures everyone else around me is enjoying?–There are deceived Christians who actually think that way and are always looking for the way out, not realizing they are already on the outside of Christ’s presence and in danger of falling away. Kevin DeYoung also wrote a piece agreeing with Justin Taylor :

Rob Bell is right about one thing: what you believe about heaven and hell says a lot about what you believe about God. That’s why theological error of this magnitude cannot go unchecked. The God of the Vimeo clip (promoting the new book)is not a God of wrath, not a God of eternal recompense, not a God who showed us love in sending his Son to be a propitiation for our wretched sins, not a God whose will it was to crush the Suffering Servant in an exercise of divine justice and free grace. Indeed, says Bell—even if he says it with a question—such a God could not be good.

Here is a short piece from Ann Arbor.com

Rob Bell, pastor of Grand Rapids’ 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church and author of the popular Nooma video series, has sparked a frenzy among evangelical leaders over his yet-to-be-released book, „Love Wins,” according to the New York Times.

Bell describes the dogma that “a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell,” as „misguided and toxic,” the article said.

Based on book summaries and a promotional video, Christian blogger Justin Taylor wrote that Bell “is moving farther and farther away from anything resembling biblical Christianity.” Dozens of other theologians chimed in, and the name Rob Bell quickly became of the top ten trending topics on Twitter.

The heresy of Universalism strikes again. I was shocked when watching an ABC News Nightline debate ‘Does Satan exist?‘ with Mark Driscoll, Deepak Chopra  (who does not believe in Satan or sin, and who says people should have no guilt or shame, but who also wrote a book about Jesus that bookstores promoted heavily) and Carlton Pearson , a Pentecostal who attended Oral Roberts University and Due to his stated belief in universal reconciliation, Pearson was declared a heretic by his peers in 2004 and rapidly began to lose his influence in ministry. He then switched denomination and became a Universalist.

This 6 minute Paul Washer video seems to be a very appropriate response for me. As with all Paul Washer sermons, the word of God preached by him is piercing and convicting. And I thank the Lord for young godly men such as Justin Taylor and Kevin DeYoung who in the tradition of Paul ‘are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ’ and can call out (someone who was one of their own) blatant heresy when they see it and point people to the real Christ (through his teachings) of the Bible.

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

Listen to an audio panel discussion

Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment,

featuring John Piper, Sinclair Ferguson,Greg Livingstone, and others.

Some more articles on the subject (of hell):

Two good books on the subject: Faith comes by hearing, by Christopher Morgan and Jesus; The only way to God: Must you hear the gospel to be saved? by John Piper.

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