Welcome to tomthinking.com Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 03:36 PM UTC

Reversing Decline Takes Three Things

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Western society is in decline, along with the church. But that decline is coupled with problems in two other areas of society. To see church decline reverse, we must revitalize two things: work and family. Allow me to explain why.

Most Bible teachers divide the Ten Commandments into two sections: our relationship with God (Exodus 20:1-11) and our relationship with others (Exodus 20:12-17).

I'd like to suggest that this division is not as natural to the text as we might think. Let me suggest a different division; one that follows a previous text.

The Ten Commandments should have a threefold division: our relationship with God (Exodus 20:1-11), our relationship with family (Exodus 20:12), and our relationship with with society (Exodus 20:13-17). In fact, I would add a bit of over overlap in categories saying that verses 13 and 14 also fall under the family category. Here's why.

Does It Help Fulfill The Great Commission?

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I sat before Dr. Bill Bright, founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ. I was presenting a project we wanted to do with his syndicated radio program that we felt would draw in some audience. It was my first time presenting to Dr. Bright. I stumbled a bit through the presentation, out of nervousness. He stopped me and said, "Tom, I only want to know one thing."

"Yes," I replied, ready to give an answer.

"Will this help us fulfill the Great Commission?"

I was stumped. I sat in silence. Being a radio guy I was only thinking in terms of drawing in more audience. I wasn't thinking about the Great Commission. I wasn't thinking about our calling from the Lord.

"If it doesn't help fulfill the Great Commission," he said, "then I'm not interested."

The Jedi Are Bad. Here's Why

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First, let me say that it's just a movie. We shouldn't take our entertainment too seriously. But entertainment does teach us things and it can reinforce our values or oppose our values. Who can deny that most of American entertainment opposes biblical values?

That being said, I enjoy the Star Wars movies. The Star Wars saga is epic in nature and presents a morality play that we can use if properly understood. But that doesn't mean we should just accept the quasi-good/evil scenario that is portrayed in Star Wars. In fact, if you examine the good/evil scenario drawn in the movies and compare it with a biblical view of morality, you can only come away with one conclusion.

The Jedi are bad.

The Jedi aren't as bad as the Sith. And the empire in Star Wars isn't good. But that doesn't mean that the Jedi are good either. They are simply a different form of evil than the Sith. It's like the war in Syria. ISIS is bad, really bad. But in terms of the whole conflict, with the exception of the victims, there are no good guys on any side. Thus it is with Star Wars. The Sith are bad. The empire is bad. But so are the Jedi. From a biblical perspective, they're just a different kind of bad.

Here are several reasons, from George Lucas' epic series and the scripture, why the Jedi, as heroes, are not all they're cracked up to be.

Yes, I'm Going To Push My Religion On You. Here's Why

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Are you one of those people who gets offended or stand-off-ish when a Christian wants to share his or her faith with you? Well, I'm one of those Christians. I want to share my faith with you. But you may think that I'm just pushing my religion or values on you. I have a message for you.

That's exactly what I'm doing. And I have good reason for it that I hope you will consider.

Christianity Is Rooted In Fear & Superstition

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Have I got your attention?

Recently I've been reading the book, How The West Really Lost God, by Mary Eberstadt. The book makes a strong case for the Western decline of Christianity being tightly related to the decline of the traditional family. However, one quote caught my attention. It is a summary statement of the position atheists have about Christianity. It is that, "Christianity is rooted in fear and superstition. Its purpose is to serve as a giant pacifier against the hunger pains of mortality."

I'd like to address this statement's four assumptions and show why from scripture and common sense that these are false assumptions. That they are assumptions is clear since none of them are predicated upon either doctrinal or historic facts about the faith.

Mongolia's New Media Oppression

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The journalist sat in my office at Eagle TV to tell me one thing, "I am afraid." I had just concluded a meeting with our news department. We were discussing our strategy for how we were going to cover the 2005 presidential election in Mongolia. I outlined a strategy and practical steps that would enable us to push the envelope of media freedom in Mongolian and allow our journalists to take risks in their coverage.

From the Laws of Physics to Jesus Christ

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The laws of physics are explanations of phenomenon related to the creation, substance, and maintaining of the material universe.

In order for the universe to be birthed and develop into the condition it is now, it had to be birthed according to a set of laws. Therefore, the laws of physics precede the creation of the material universe.

Since the laws of physics predate material existence, the laws of physics must be conceptual and not material.

After Christmas, The Way of the Cross

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In our modern antiseptic culture we have become numb to the true meaning and brutality of the cross of Christ. We read about the cross on the Bible's pages and pass by so quickly. We don't take stock of the offensiveness and seriousness of the cross.

"Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power" (I Corinthians 1:17).

The cross was not an ornament.
The cross was not a piece of flashy jewelry.
The cross was not a stained glass window, pulpit decor, or finely crafted piece of stained and polished wood.

The Passing Of Vonette Bright

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This afternoon at 1:45pm EST, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Vonette Bright, went to be with the Lord. She was 89.

Vonette joins Bill Bright, who went to Heaven in 2003. Her family, along with the staff and friends of Campus Crusade for Christ mourn her passing, but rejoice that she has entered her reward.

I wonder what she's doing right now.

Origins & Ethics

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What is the scientific basis for ethics? There is none. Neither is there a scientific basis for the origin of the material. The origin of the material and the origin of ethics are related.

Science is the process of observing, testing, and explaining material phenomenon. Science can explain the material but cannot explain anything prior to the material, such as the state of any existence prior to the origin of the material universe.

Attempts at such explanations are speculative and have no root in observation or experimentation and thus cannot be categorized as scientific. This is not a statement against science, rather it is recognition of the limits of useful material science.