Wednesday, December 18, 2013

War on Christmas




I just finished a new book that comes at the perfect time for preparing my heart for the true meaning of Christmas.  There is so much craziness in our lives year-round that when the Christmas season rolls around, it seems here and gone before I ever even know what hit us.  But the perfect example for us is Mary, who took what the angel said and "pondered these things in her heart."  What steps are you taking to ponder the greatest gift ever given this season?
So this book is a beautifully illustrated guide to all things Christmas...discussing questions such as Why December? Why a Christmas tree? Should we call it Xmas?  Where was Jesus really born?  When did the wise men really come?  It thoroughly examines what evidence exists to answer these questions and many more.  I appreciate that it is exhaustive in the search for answers, but also leaves some room for more questions.
The book is put out by Answers in Genesis, a Christian apologetics organization which defends the truth of the Bible.  They are best known for there defense of the Biblical account of creation and the Creation Museum.  I am a big fan of theirs, and frequently use their website and published materials as we wade through the secularization of public education with our children.  That being said, my main criticism of the book is that it comes across as a defensive point of view, and that is something that makes me uneasy.  It is so difficult for Christians to find that balance of "speaking the truth in love", that we often err on one side or the other, but we must not neglect one or the other.  When it comes to seeking His righteousness, I think we sometimes lose our way and become more concerned with seeking "right-ness", which is a very different thing.  There is no mistaking that the book does what it sets out to do: it defends the truths of Christmas; after all, the subtitle is "Battles in Faith, Tradition, and Religious Expression".  And I would recommend it to anyone curious about the details of the Christmas narrative, but because of the tone, it might not be the first book I would recommend to someone who does not already believe in the authority of the Bible.

1 comment:

  1. CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD?

    On the Day of Pentecost Peter quoted the prophet Joel (Acts 2:21'And it shall be that everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.')

    To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge the authority and power of the Lord, and follow in obedience by meeting the terms of pardon.

    The apostle Peter did not tell those on the Day of Pentecost to say the "sinner's prayer." Saying the "sinner's prayer" is not calling on the name of the Lord.

    Peter preached the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Peter declared the Jesus was Lord and Christ. (Acts 2: 22-26) They obviously believed Peter's preaching because they asked the question(Acts 2:37 ....."Brethren what shall we do?")
    Peter did not tell them to say the "sinner's prayer." What was Peter's response to their question? (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)


    THE NARRATIVE OF CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.
    1. FAITH: Believe in the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    2. CONFESSION: Acknowledge Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God.
    3. REPENTANCE: Make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God.
    4. WATER BAPTISM: Be immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.


    HOW DID THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD? (Acts 8:25-40


    1. Philip preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35)
    2. He confessed Jesus as The Christ the Son of God. (Acts 8:37)
    3. He was baptized in water. Immersed by Philip. (Acts 8:38-39)
    The Ethiopian eunuch did not say the sinner's pray nor was he asked to do so by Philip.


    Romans 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."


    Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.


    To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge His power and authority and confess Him as Lord and Christ . (Acts 2:26,Acts 8:37, Romans 10:9-10) To call on the Name of the Lord is to repent and be baptized. (Acts 2:38)


    WE ARE TOLD TO CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD TO BE SAVED.


    We are never told we are saved by "faith only." We are never told that saying the "sinner's prayer" is calling on the name of the Lord.


    IF SAYING THE "SINNER'S PRAYER" IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION? THEN WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SALVATION.


    THE REQUIREMENTS!
    1. Faith: John 3:16
    2. Belief and baptism: Mark 16:16
    3. Confession and belief: Romans 10:9-10
    4. Born of water and Spirit: John 3:5
    5. Grace and faith: Ephesians 2:8
    6. Buried through baptism: Roman 6:4-5
    7. Water baptism: 1 Peter 3:20-21
    8. Baptism: Acts 22:16
    9. Baptized into Christ: Galatians 3:27
    10. Believe: Acts 16:30-31
    11. Repentance and baptism: Acts 2:38
    12. God's mercy, water baptism, and the Holy Spirit: Titus 3:5
    13. Water baptism: Colossians 2:12-13
    14. Repentance: Acts 3:19


    IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED THESE REQUIREMENTS---THEN YOU HAVE CALLED ON THE NAME OF THE LORD!

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