Welcome to tomthinking.com Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 05:45 AM UTC

The Theology of Time Travel

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Don't you hate it when people bring up objections to the Gospel that seem high and intelligent just to catch you off-guard in your witness about Jesus? For instance, have you heard that silly challenge that asks, "Can God create something so heavy that even he cannot lift it?" Those types of questions are designed to stump the Christian and even make you and I look silly. (By the way, the answer is yes he can. Jesus collapsed under the weight of his own cross).

Recently the movie, "Looper" and popular science fiction shows have brought up another protest to the Gospel that seems just as silly. "If time travel is possible, doesn't that mean that God is not in control of the world, or history?"

I confess that I enjoy thinking through issues like these. These issues stretch the imagination and can force us to go back to the scripture for answers to even the silliest or the hardest of issues. And yes, there is also an answer to this question in the scripture.

Is Time Travel Possible?

If It Can't Be Measured It Doesn't Exist

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Recently I posted the following on my Facebook page: “If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.” It wasn’t long before someone asked, “How do you measure God?”
Thanks for asking!
Some people look at faith in God as something that is regulated to “personal belief.” In other words, you can believe something if you want, but it’s not really real. The Bible’s view of faith is quite different. Faith is not something you believe without evidence for the object of its existence. Rather, biblical faith is based squarely and solidly on evidences. Biblical faith is not nebulous. Nor do we measure God by a ruler. Rather, we measure God by the impact he has on his creation. In fact, measuring God is not all that dissimilar to measuring black holes. Yes. You read that right.

Man Is Made In God's Image. But The Angels Are Not. Here's Why

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Have you ever read Genesis 1:26 and wondered what in the world God was talking about when he decided to make man in God’s image? The passage reads, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Many people have speculated about the image of God, thinking that it refers to man’s intellectual capacity, or his ability to make moral judgments. Many have wondered if angels are made in God’s image since they would seem to be above us in the current created order (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7). Angels seem to be able to have intellectual capacity and make more judgments. So how can man, being lower than the angels be created in God’s image and the angels being higher than man not be in God’s image? These are interesting speculations. However, the scripture does not seem to refer to such characteristics as being the reason why man is categorized as being in God’s image.

Joyce Briscoe

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During a recent talk with one of my daughters this testimony came up. I thought I’d share it again.

She stood before an adoring crowd on national television to tell her story. She was the recipient of a Disney award for outstanding teachers. Comedian Robin Williams introduced her to the audience. She had come fresh from a controversy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She had shown the movie, Last Temptation of Christ to her gifted history students. When word leaked out that she used the movie for a history class, Albuquerque's Christian community spoke up in protest. During the award ceremony Mrs. Briscoe noted how some Christian leaders had risen up against what she had done.

She was talking about me.

Looking For Your Bible in a Toilet

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Here's an oldie from 2008, ten years ago, but still relevant today. Where did you get your Bible?
I’m sitting in my home office, my desk covered with four different Bibles used during my weekly work-at-home day of Bible study development. One of these Bible’s is my wife’s old hardback NIV that the publisher released with the cover mistakenly printed upside down. Gosh, how goofy I would feel using a Bible in church with the cover upside down. People would think I was just playing church if they looked at me. We bought a Bible cover for it to cover its deficiency, otherwise it’s just unusable, isn’t it?
That Bible got soaked in a rainstorm many years ago. Many of its pages are wrinkled and crinkled. I think someone spilled tea on it. There are big brown blotches on a lot of the pages. I use it for reference once in a while, but heavens no; I would never use it in public; it’s a mess.
Then there’s my ESV. I like that translation though I confess I still prefer the NASB. I bought my ESV last year on a trip in the States. It’s got a sleek super-soft cover and feels cool. It’s almost frictionless! Yes, isn’t that what a Bible is all about? Of course the corners are now turned up a bit. Darn it. I like my books in good condition. Don’t you know it’s a sin to open a book more than 90 degrees? What? You fold over your cover ALL THE WAY! You could go to hell for that! What is wrong with you?
That ESV is okay, but the upturned corners really bug me. I’m not anal. No I’m not. I’m not.

You Can Never Lose Your Integrity

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My former pastor in Florida, Esmond Hilton, had a saying that he used with his kids all of the time. And from time to time he mentioned it in the pulpit. “You can never lose your integrity, you can only give it away.” From the first moment I heard it I thought it was profound because it was so simple, yet so real. You can never lose your integrity, you can only give it away.
In the Bible, the very first thing that was mentioned about Job was that he was a man of integrity. Look at how it describes him: “That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). If a book of the Bible were to be written about you, what would be the first thing God would say about you?
Job was a man of integrity. By describing Job in this fashion, and the practices of his life, the Bible is telling us that Job’s relationship with his Creator was not only his first priority, it was the center of all of his other experiences. For Job, God was the center of his life and that relationship influenced and informed every other part of his life.
As it goes on, the Bible tells us that Job had four things in his life that defined him. Job had:
 

Should You Own One Of These? A Biblical Case for Private Weapon Ownership

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I'm going to attempt to present a biblical defense for weapon ownership. This article will not be an exhaustive look at the Bible and weapons. There are too many passages to address here. I would like to present a 30,000 foot view of the issue and try to draw a few conclusions.

This article does not present a legal or constitutional view on the right to gun ownership. If you want to pursue the historical or legal issues there are other outlets to do that. My concern is solely with what scripture seems to say or imply about weapons ownership, use, purpose, and consequences. And it is only from the scripture that I wish to make my arguments.

My approach is to ask the scripture what principles it provides about weapons. In any controversial topic there is always the temptation to search out scripture for support of your argument, rather than seeking what the text says and changing our views accordingly. As an example, when I first researched this subject in 1993 I was of the opinion that the scripture licensed killing an attacker who invades your home. But then, I discovered Mosaic Law that would seem to deny that idea. As I studied the passage I had to change my opinion to bring it in line with scripture. I’ll deal with this specific issue later. The purpose here is to note that though the scripture is ancient, it still contains relevant truth for modern issues—including the political right of bearing arms.

I’ll address the subject of weapons ownership in five areas:

Living Like Animals

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I recently read an article on LiveScience.com which purports evidence that homosexuality is a normal practice in the animal kingdom. Whenever such research is released it is invariably used to make the connection that since homosexuality occurs in the animal kingdom, therefore it should be considered equally normal in the kingdom of men. The Live Science article notes: “Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1,500 species.” It continues, “The argument that a homosexual way of living cannot be accepted because it’s against the ‘laws of nature’ can now be rejected scientifically.”
Is that really the case? It may be “natural” in the animal kingdom, but is it supposed to be “natural” for man? From what are we supposed to define what is natural and unnatural for human kind?
Researchers in the article imply that homosexuality is moral, or at least amoral. Taking their cues from the animal kingdom, these researchers have essentially said that since the animal kingdom behaves this way, therefore, it’s okay for man to behave that way as well.
That many in the animal kingdom engage in same-sex relations is not in dispute. However, to equate homosexuality as a moral, or natural behavior for people is another thing entirely. The researchers are essentially taking their behavioral clues from the animal kingdom, i.e., looking at models of behavior in lower life forms and extrapolating those behaviors upwards to man—and that is a problem.

The Limits of Love

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Love is one of the concepts often misunderstood where the Bible and the Christian life are concerned. Expressing love, it is thought, cannot include anger, invoke bad feelings, or result in emotional pain. Love, in the modern or perhaps postmodern sense must include all feelings of wellness, goodness, and general pleasantness. Even the Bible, it is pointed out, describes love in terms of positive emotional states that bring out positive feelings in others. Certainly love can be and do all of these things, but love is also much more—and much less.
The Bible’s most well-known passage on love is I Corinthians 13:1-3. Both scholar and student have remarked that there is not a single more eloquent written passage in religious literature about love than the Apostle Paul’s homily in I Corinthians 13. That may well be true, but there are many more things the Bible has to say about love. Let’s take a look at Paul’s description of love from I Corinthians 13, and what other Biblical writers had to say about this single most important characteristic of the Christian life.

What Drips From Your Lips?

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We all know them, those people whose speech is often laced with sarcasm. In many situations we find sarcasm humorous. Who hasn’t laughed at the comedian who effectively uses sarcasm to point out the absurd? Sarcasm is even found in the Bible as a tool used by biblical prophets to point out the absurdity of idol worship (II Kings 18:27; II Chronicles 18:12-15). But most of the time sarcasm used in daily speech is the sign of something lurking underneath, deep inside the person who uses it: bitterness.
Here are six truths about sarcasm that can help us know what lies deep within our own hearts.