Five Ways to Strengthen Your Christian Worldview

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Every day we are faced with information that will either affirm, assault, or sharpen our worldview. Worldview is the lens through which we view life, make decisions, and interact with our fellow-man. The greatest way for Christ-followers to strengthen our Biblical worldview is by actually reading and memorizing God’s Word. If we are to live as Jesus lived then we should study that which He studied as a boy (the Old Testament), that which He lived (the Gospels), and that also which came after Him as inspired by the Holy Spirit (the remainder of the New Testament).

Every song we listen to, every book we read, and every media we watch, is derived from a worldview held by the person who wrote the lyrics or the script. We as Christians need to arm ourselves to recognize the worldview messages behind the media we ingest. In this way, we can sort through the surface message to get to the truth claims, or marketing, that media holds out to us.

Here are five ways to strengthen your Christian Worldview:

1. Albert Mohler’s The Briefing daily podcast. In each day’s twenty-minute podcast, Dr. Mohler summarizes and interprets via a Biblical woral score, the   daily news events
2. Russell Moore’s Signposts weekly podcast. Covering a wide range of topics, Dr. Moore tackles a cultural topic be it movies, practices within the church, or politics and puts it in perspective of the cross and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
3. Read any of Nancy Pearcey’s books. Nancy Pearcey is a worldview expert and will help you summarize and inspect the truth claims of science, art, and religion.
4. Subscribe to Breakpoint.org daily radio one and three minute broadcasts.Anoyhr great resource started by the late Chuck Colson, which covers the topics of our day.
5. Read  God’s Word daily. The Bible has the greatest ability to change our lives and solidify our Christian worldview.

These exercises take only minutes a day, but the dividends have the potential to be eternally impactful.

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Creation, Dinosaurs, and the Flood

To those of you new here to This Temporary Home from this morning’s apologetics class, welcome! I have compiled a brief list of resources that I would recommend you utilize to aid in your search for the truth of man’s origins, dinosaurs, creation, and the flood. I look forward to sharing more posts with you in the future.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7, ESV)

If you are seeking in depth teaching and scientific data this is a textbook by Dr. Walt Brown which can also be accessed free on his website at www.creationscience.com (here).

The New Answers Book series is reader friendly and packed full of answers to today’s questions in the field of creation science. Highly recommended for its ease of reading and information-packed content.

If you are curious about the implications of dismissing the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis, Six Days, by Ken Ham is a wonderful resource for consideration. Ken Ham presents a comprehensive look at the church’s departure from reading Genesis 1-3 as a historical record and hammers home the mission and message behind the ministry of Answers in Genesis (here). Additionally, I highly recommend subscribing to the Answers Magazine.

For a comprehensive look at the different worldviews prevalent today, as well as a defense for creation, and an overview of the shift from loving God with our heart, soul, strength, and minds to the heart only in church history, you will be hard pressed to find a better resource than Nancy Pearcey’s book, Total Truth.

This is a wonderful picture book packed with quick facts on creation topics for the whole family to enjoy from Institute for Creation Research (ICR) (here). ICR also produces a magazine that you can receive via e-mail or automatically after purchasing one of their products from the website. iPhone apps are available from ICR as well that have a daily devotional.

Here are links to the news articles that I referenced during class this morning. Please consider the worldview that these articles are written from and try to discern the facts from the desired truths. Remember having the childlike faith doesn’t mean we don’t ask questions; but that we have faith there are answers to our questions. 

  • China’s Dinosaur Hunter: The Ground Breaker  (here)
  • Warm or Cold? Dinosaurs Had In Between Blood (here)
  • Tannin article from Answers in Genesis (here)
  • Birds Did Not Evolve from Dinosaurs, Say Evolutionists (here)
  • No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Fossil (here)

Thanks again for stopping by!

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*The links are Amazon Affiliate links meaning that I can receive a portion of the proceeds from any purchases you make. However, this service primarily provides me an easy and aesthetically pleasing way to provide you with a list of resources. I encourage you to check Amazon in addition to your local library or favorite used book store to obtain these resources. Thrifted books are my favorite. Happy studying!

 

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Reliability of the Scriptures Part III

 Archaeological

What have archaeologists discovered that would lead us to believe in the historical claims of the New Testament? Thankfully, the answer to this question is, archaeology has unearthed a great deal of support for the historical accounts of the Bible. Today I will provide a springboard for further studies of the wealth of archaeological support.

  • “There are at least thirty characters in the NT who have been confirmed as historical by archaeology or non-Christian sources.” (Geisler, Norman L. and Turek, Frank, 2004)
  • The John Rylands Papyrus, discovered by Grenfeld in Egypt in 1920, provides the oldest known fragment of a New Testament Manuscript. The small scrap from John’s Gospel chapter nineteen verses thirty-one to thirty-three, and thirty-seven to thirty-eight, was one specific finding that helped to fix a date to the gospel of John. Papyrologists dated the scrap to 125 A.D., “but since it was so far south into Egypt, it successfully put an end to the then-popular attempt to late-date John’s Gospel to the second century rather than to the traditional first century date of A.D. 85–90.” (Walter C. Kaiser, 2007; Walter C. Kaiser, 2007)
  • The well-known, well-referenced Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1948 in caves at Qumran in the Judean Desert, near the northwest end of the Dead Sea. This archaeological find provided around eight-hundred manuscripts of every book (in part or the whole) of the OT except for Esther. “Prior to that, the earliest Hebrew texts dated to around A.D. 1000, but the scrolls at Qumran are generally more than one thousand years older! These Hebrew texts illustrate that a thousand years of copying had provided us with an amazingly pure text, with one of the best examples being the book of Isaiah where only three words had slight modifications. (Walter C. Kaiser, 2007)

Given the number of manuscript copies (here), the agreement between manuscripts (here), and the archaeological support of Biblical, historical characters and events, we can say with confidence that the Bible is a historically reliable text. Further, that it is the most historically reliable text of all of ancient documents.

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Proving the Resurrection of Christ

 Ready to Defend

During a time of year when bunnies, flowers and chocolates abound, Christians are tempted to believe that everyone will accept on faith what we preach as fact. What skeptics scoff at as a fictional fairy tale for the weak of intellect, the resurrection of Jesus Christ can be proven historically and logically concluded.

All salvation commences on an confession of faith in the final act of redemption that Jesus fulfilled on the cross. However, some converts will take more than merely the Bible’s word or that of a concerned friend or loved one to convince them of the truth of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What about you? Was your conversion experience one of a skeptic convinced? Was it more with child-like faith? Was yours a conversion of the mind and emotions?

I came to know and accept Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life at eight years of age. I was one with a child-like faith that instantly responded to the pressing of the Holy Spirit on my heart to confess my sins and walk the isle of my baptist church to make my faith commitment to Jesus. I didn’t even consult with my parents before making the decision. One minute my family was standing in our pew singing Just as I  Am and the next minute my parents reacted by following me as I started crying and walking down the isle to meet the pastor waiting at the end.

Mine was not a conversion of a doubters mind. However, it is my job as a disciple maker to equip myself and the others who read my writing or listen to me teach with the ability to defend the faith. Further, to have ready answers for honest questions of seekers of the truth. Moreover, to equip the minds of children, teens, and adults God has blessed our paths with.

In the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, we will address a few questions concerning the reliability of the scriptures and the proof of the resurrection. Today I want to highlight a few resources that have guided me in my studies and which will answer the questions that you or someone you know may face surrounding Easter and all that is celebrated within it.

Here are some questions you can look forward to answering with these resources:

    • Did the resurrection really happen?
    • How can we know that God’s Word, the Bible is accurate?
    • How did we get the Bible that we hold in our hand today?

 

Time to buckle the belt of truth and put on the helmet of salvation as we take up our shield of faith and carry the Sword of the Spirit walking in our feet ready with gospel shoes. (Ephesians 6)

Be ready,

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Why Question Evolution?

 Why Question Evolution

On Monday, I outlined a set of questions to critically consider the naturalistic worldview. Today, we will consider the importance of highlighting worldviews for ourselves and our spheres of influence, in addition to the implications if we neglect to do so.

My mom was my first grade public school teacher. Interestingly, only my closest friends in her classroom knew that she was my mom until after Christmas break when I said, “Mom, please come here.” My classmates looked at me and said, “You called her mom!” Laughably, my mom didn’t ask me to keep our relationship a secret, it was simply the practice that I utilized myself.

In my mom’s first grade classroom, we had themed bins of items to play with. One such bin was a large Tupperware container of rice. Mixed inside the rice were plastic toys, some of which were dinosaurs when we were studying about prehistoric life. 

I was raised in a southern baptist church where creation was taught but dinosaurs hardly, if ever,  mentioned in conjunction with creation. As a first grader I played with plastic dinosaurs taught to have lived millions of years before man in every textbook and science-based factual account yet simultaneously I learned in Sunday School that God created the heavens, earth, animals, and man, in six days and rested on the seventh.

There was a divide between the rice bin filled with dinosaurs in my elementary classrooms and the pictured creation accounts of Sunday School. I recognized the conflicting information provided in the two settings. One explanation provided to me was that a day was like a thousand days to God and vice versa. I didn’t question further. I simply accepted what I was being taught as facts.  I trusted my teachers, my parents, and God’s Word. Further, I trusted that the information aligned in some manner unbeknownst to me. I didn’t question the divide between Genesis and Science as taught by secular society to a great extent. I am in the minority for my generation and those after mine because my questions (or lack thereof) didn’t drive me away from my faith.

It doesn’t take much more than a quick Google search, a walk down the isle at a Christian book store, or simply a look at church demographics to know that young people are leaving the church in droves. Simple explanations or expectations for “faith” to sustain their questions will not suffice. 

What are a few reasons for the exodus of teens and young adults from the church? One of them is the faith/ intellect split which a secular-based culture has created. Faith and reason parted ways in the public arena around the 16th and 17th centuries with the  scientific revolution followed by the Enlightenment. Man declared himself as the ultimate intellectual authority that can determine, by reason and intellect, what to believe and how to act. It was a giant shift away from a biblical worldview and the recognized authority of God.

The faith/intellect split will go unquestioned, unnoticed perhaps, apart from intentional teachings against it. We must recognize the worldview behind the music we listen to, the shows and movies we watch, and the literature we read in order to determine truth from lies. We must enable children and students to  recognize and question the thought processes behind the information they are obtaining in order for them to wrestle with the teachings of the world, the truth of the Bible, and the doubts that internally arise while in middle and high school and prior to entering the college classroom. We must reclaim and pass on the biblical truths and scientific discoveries which make the connection between loving God with all of our mind not simply our souls, strength, and hearts. The consequences of neglecting this call to action are everlasting.

…one of the most important steps in recovering a Christian worldview is simply to recognize it, reclaim it, and reconnect it to its biblical roots. (Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leaonardo)

You may be asking, “So where do I begin?” Listed on my library page (click here) are a few apologetic resources which I have found helpful. A call to live cognizant of  worldviews is important to grasp for our faith and for the people God has placed within our spheres of influence. We are to pass on the knowledge of God to those who believe and to witness to those who have yet to believe. (2 Corinthians 2:14) God and science are not at odds; worldviews and interpretations of scientific data are.

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Wooing Our Minds To His Majesty

What woman doesn’t love flowers? I myself am enamored with them.

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On our honeymoon in North Carolina, Ron and I visited the Biltmore Estate. There are countless pictures of me with my nose in every rosebush and flowering shrub. Ron would laugh and tell me that I had pollen on my nose because I refused to enjoy the totality of the flowers’ aromas from afar. I literally insisted on putting my nose into the flowers and breathing them deeply.

In flowers we glimpse the intricacies of the handiwork of God.

Consider the variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees. God was not beholden to man that He should satisfy our desire for sight novelty and beauty. That man would desire a visual marking of the seasons was already known to God before we had yet experienced the cool refreshing autumn wind, replete with blazing leaves,  or savored the warming sun of spring birthing rainbow gardens.

Plants are good for food, medicinal purposes, and capturing the artist’s scope throughout the ages.

God gave plants both form and function for the enjoyment of mankind and as a tool to tell of His glory.

Our friends were over last night and gave an impromptu apologetic for creation based on plant species alone. In the course of our conversation Dr. Walp pointed out that the fully formed, fully functional plants, observed throughout all time, cannot be explained in any way by evolution. Nothing ties plants together in such a way that we would consider them to have evolved from each other. There are no fossil records to support such a claim (neither are there to support the evolution of man for that matter). Further, plants, animals, and humans enjoy symbiotic relationships. Symbiotic relationships are ones in which both parties need the other to survive (i.e. the bee to flowers and the upside down jelly fish to algae, or sea oats to sand).

In truth, there never have been millions of years of gradual, chance mutations and natural selections that produced the “intelligent” flowering plants that we see today. The intricate design of plants, as manifested by tiny proteins like AP1, testifies to the fact that an intelligent Designer created flowering plants. Plants “know” exactly when to bloom simply because, when God created them, He endowed them with the ability to perpetuate their kind. As Genesis 1:11 states: “Then God said, ‘Let all the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so”. (Evolution Can’t Explain “Smart” Plants, Kyle Butt, M.A., via Apologetics Press)

Read the full article here. Also another article on this topic here.

Today as you are walking, driving, or working in your yard, consider the flowers and the glory of God. His creation was formed in such a way as to point us to Him and provide us with a plethora of avenues to woo our minds to His majesty.

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Making Memories Set Apart

Please welcome our friend and Pastor of Family Ministries, Dr. Aaron Walp, today at This Temporary Home.  I know his teaching will encourage you to love God with all your mind. Thank you Dr. Walp for being our guest.

 

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us. ~Oscar Wilde

I have heard it said that you are a compilation of your collective memories. That is, due to your unique life experience you are who you are. For me, I never enter an ocean, lake, or bathtub without considering the remote possibility that Jaws may be in there waiting on me. The smell of hay triggers thoughts of hard work and great friends, as we spent weeks filling two barns with hay for the oncoming winter. The colors of fall propel my mind to moments of anticipation for the upcoming hunting season. And several large novels could not contain the memories of my life.

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It is said, that no culture is more consumed with memories than the Jewish people. For example, they have a tradition of reciting specific scripture verses called the Shema. It is three texts from two books of the Torah. The first section is from the book of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and is a command to love God and teach this love to one’s children. The other passages, Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41 address the need to obey God’s commands and remember them daily. The faithful recite these passages once in the morning and once at night, and if they have children, they will involve them in the prayer.

In essence, the chosen nation is both remembering as well as making memories for themselves and their children. The idea is that while experiencing times of need, abundance (yes, especially in good times), anger, and temptation, the child’s memories of what God has said will be what they use to make their decision on how to respond. If all one has to recall is humanistic answers, they will likely fail the test set before them, the daily test of life.

God desires His creation to love Him in return for the love He has shown and shows us. He has created a world with such precision that modern science cannot even begin to grasp its complexity. He has built in incomprehensible beauty, intellectual depth, and inconceivable astrological features that boggle and confound the greatest of minds. He is aware of life’s difficulties, unfathomable heartache, miserable moments, and the decisive pull of our sinful heart to run from Him. And it is because of this that He lovingly asks us to make memories that are set apart from this dead world filled with difficult days. He wants His children to be able to focus on things which only exist in the Savior, Jesus Christ. That is, things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Nothing in this world can fulfill this incessant desire for completeness but the word of God. And it is one’s memory of His word through reading, studying, and memorizing it daily that one reaches this pinnacle.

For more information about Aaron Walp, D. Min., please check out his blog at http://walpapologeticrants.blogspot.com/ or find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/

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