Atheist Hitchens Praises King James Bible

Not that the King James Bible needs extra praise, I just thought this was interesting and kind of nice…
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Atheist Christopher Hitchens paid tribute to the King James Bible, offering rare praises to a book containing the Word of God.

Hitchens is the second atheist, after Richard Dawkins, to laud the KJB in honor of the 400th anniversary of the translation.

The prominent atheists recognized and expressed appreciation for its contribution to English literature.

“Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something ‘timeless’ in the Tyndale/King James synthesis,” said Hitchens in his commentary featured in Vanity Fair. “For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivaled only by Shakespeare in this respect.

“It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening.”

The 61-year-old English-American author is a staunch atheist who often debates Christians on the existence of God. He made the argument that “religion poisons everything” in his book God Is Not Great and has repeatedly stated that he would not convert, even on his deathbed. Hitchens is currently battling stage 4 esophageal cancer.

Read the rest of the article here:

Atheist Hitchens Praises King James Bible

Homosexuality is Not a Civil Right by Peter Sprigg

Early in 2004, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom began giving out marriage licenses—illegally—to same-sex couples. One of the homosexuals who traveled to San Francisco in search of a marriage license explained his rationale succinctly: “I am tired of sitting at the back of the bus.”1

The allusion, of course, was to the famous story of Rosa Parks. Parks is the African-American woman who, one day in 1955, boarded a racially segregated city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sat down near the front, and refused the driver’s order to “move to the back of the bus.” Parks’ act of civil disobedience violated one of the “Jim Crow” laws that enforced racial segregation in various public services and accommodations in some states.

Parks’ arrest for her courageous defiance sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, led by a young minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., which is generally viewed as the beginning of the great civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It culminated legislatively in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning racial discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

The stories of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. have become an inspiring part of American history. It’s not surprising that homosexual activists have tried to hitch their caboose to the “civil rights” train. They do this in the context of efforts to change the definition of marriage in order to allow same sex “marriages” (by comparing same-sex “marriage” to interracial marriage) and efforts to pass “hate crime” laws (which stigmatize opposition to homosexual behavior as a form of “hate” comparable to racism). The arguments in this essay are relevant to those debates, but focus particularly on laws that would ban employment “discrimination” on the basis of “sexual orientation” (such as the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which is regularly introduced each Congress).

This essay is not a legal treatise, but an exploration of the philosophical justification for including various characteristics as categories of protection under historic civil rights laws—and why “sexual orientation” simply does not compare with them.

Defining Terms: What Are “Civil Rights,” Anyway? …

Read the rest of the article here:
“Homosexuality is Not a Civil Right” by Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council

Scandal and the New Media – How Should Christians Respond?

By Jay Rogers

(Originally posted on http://www.forrunner.com on November 11, 2010. Note: This article is not copyrighted and may be reproduced in any form without permission.)

I got an email recently notifying me of an advertisement that U.S. Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) is appearing as a speaker on the Cruise for Liberty in January along with a couple of Christian authors whose work has greatly influenced me. The problem is that Barr, a former Libertarian candidate for president, brings a new meaning to the slogan, “Cruise for Liberty.”

Controversies over Bob Barr’s personal conduct

In 1999, during Clinton’s impeachment trial, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt offered money to anyone who could provide evidence that a prominent Republican had engaged in an extramarital affair. According to the American Journalism Review investigators for Flynt said that Barr was “guilty of king-size hypocrisy.” According to a sworn affidavit by Barr’s ex-wife Gail: Barr (a longtime outspoken opponent of abortion) had acquiesced to and paid for the termination of his then-wife’s pregnancy in 1983. In accordance with his public offer: Flynt subsequently paid a sum of money to Gail Barr after she had made her sworn affidavit. Barr never publicly disputed the contents of his ex-wife’s affidavit. Investigators also reported that Barr invoked a legal privilege during his 1985 divorce proceeding, so he could refuse to answer questions on whether he’d cheated on his second wife with the woman who is now his third.

In the early 1990s, Barr was photographed at a fundraising event licking whipped cream off of a woman. According to the Washington Post, “Two people who observed the act say it wasn’t exactly a bosom lick but more like a neckline lick, at the sort of event where business and civic leaders perform dares to raise money. ‘Not exactly Mr. Effusive’, says Matt Towery, the former chairman of Newt Gingrich’s political organization, who observed the brief and awkward licking. ‘You can hardly get the guy to smile.’”

I realize that conference speakers sometimes have to appear on a platform with people who they don’t agree with. However, this is billed as a Christian event with speakers who supposedly uphold God’s Word as a blueprint for liberty. It’s ironic that they feature Bob Barr, a man who is on his third wife and was accused by his second wife of having committed adultery and having paid for an abortion.

Or am I just being a busybody? Am I participating in scandal-mongering by posting this? Even if I knew nothing about the abortion and adultery allegations, it would still irk me that a man on his third wife is lecturing Christians about liberty.

The epistemologist (one who studies belief systems) should understand how compromise works to hijack our worldview. We end up allowing the worst demons of our own depravity to share a platform with the angels of our better nature. We wink at a little indiscretion from time to time due the excuse that we are “all sinners saved by grace.” We slowly allow this to turn slowly into an egregious violation of God’s moral law. In this case, the other conference speakers are winking at an allegation of adultery and murder through abortion. I don’t know if the allegations are true, but I also don’t see where other Christian speakers have addressed the propriety of appearing alongside this man.

To be completely fair, I should address that fact that the “dirt” on Barr was uncovered by Larry Flynt, a pornographer with an open political agenda, during the Bill Clinton impeachment hearings. However, it appears that the allegations were substantial and had enough traction to make it into the mainstream press. Here is an interesting article from the American Journalism Review that discusses the propriety of the “main stream media” exposing the Bob Barr scandal. It also discusses the role of the Internet as the driving force behind the “new media.”

The conclusion I have drawn after 15 years of administrating Forerunner.com is that the Internet is no different than a newspaper press except that it requires no money or training to publish. Therefore, scandal in the new media is so common that most take it with a grain of salt. The downside of this is that nothing is shocking anymore. If scandalous behavior becomes Internet “news” or is already part of public record for those who will connect the dots, then we are repeating what may already be found elsewhere. We should realize that allowing others to read public record and draw their own conclusions cannot be avoided. Most of the time people are commenting on what has already been commented on a thousand times before – Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Bob Barr, and so on – even before a civil suit can be written or jury can render a verdict. For better or for worse, the new media is the police, judge, jury and executioner of human character.

For many years, people found it acceptable for journalists to blow the lid off political and private life scandals if the story made it through the rigorous grid of ethical procedural journalism. This was their job. They knew best. Or did they? Now with the Internet, anyone may by pass through this ethical grid with no rigor. As Christians, we are dealing with a new species of animal with the ability to reach thousands at our fingertips in a few microseconds.

The ethics of doing so needs to be examined, but we’ve passed into a time when the genie is out of the bottle. By the time of the Cruise for Liberty in January, many of the attendees will know all about Bob Barr due to the Internet and they will have drawn their own conclusions.

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Jay Rogers is the Founder of The Forerunner International (a/k/a Media House International) and has been writing since the 1980’s. Jay has also acted as script writer and associate producer for several Christian videos, including The Real Jesus and God’s Law and Society. He has a heart for Missions, is a fierce pro-life advocate and activist, and is currently the Director of The Forerunner – http://www.forerunner.com . He and his lovely wife Kalia now live in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Ministry of Prayer and the Reformed Church

So many conferences, so little time. Conferences for pastors and leaders in the church abound every year, and it seems as if the Reformed camp is the most enthusiastic about gathering in large groups to discuss theology, history, and any number of church practices. Not to mention the great times fellowshipping with like-minded people, catching up on each other’s families, showing off baby pictures, graduation pictures and the like..

But this article by Tim Challies really caught my attention, and I knew I needed to repost it.

Challies calls attention to something I think may be overlooked a lot simply BECAUSE the Reformed camp is so male centered – Prayer. (Ouch!) So, you male leaders of the Church, suck in your breath and start reading… and start praying (if you haven’t already been doing it).

“This isn’t an easy ministry. Nor is it a visible one; nor is it one whose results are easily seen. And yet they are committed to it. It’s all kinds of awesome.” ~~ Tim Challies on the ministry of Prayer

LINK: Notes from True Woman – Prayer Warriors

Singleness, Courtship and Marriage Through a Biblical Lens: Guard Your Heart by Nancy Wilson

Guard Your Heart (Nancy Wilson)

“Marriage is not an end in itself; it is a means of glorifying God.” ~ Nancy WIlson

This article is directed to unmarried women, whether young and in their fathers’ households, older and on their own, or widows who would like to remarry. The principle is that you must guard your heart so that it does not become entangled emotionally without the protection of a covenant. Many of these exhortations that follow may seem a trifle negative, but believe me, the results will be positive.

When a woman leaves her heart unguarded and becomes attached to the wrong man, she exposes herself to great hurt or harm. Many women, anxious to be married, respond to the first man who comes along and even allow themselves to become physically involved when they “know better.” It is easy to have convictions as long as you are not called upon to stand up for them, especially if you must stand up to a man you have allowed yourself to fall in love with. Never assume you are “strong” and can “handle” being alone with a man that you are attracted to. Remember, whoever he is, if he is not your husband, you have no business submitting to him in any area, especially if he wants you to engage in a little physical affection when there is no fence of covenantal protection around the relationship. Virginity is a priceless inheritance you bring into marriage.

You must guard your imagination if you want to guard your heart. Don’t feed a lonely heart with cheesy romance novels or chick flicks and fantasize about the men or the relationships described. This can quickly become lust—lusting to be lusted after. Don’t allow yourself to imagine someone is interested in you when he is just being friendly. Don’t imagine that he had a tender look when he said hello to you, when he was really just giving you a polite greeting. In other words, do not develop wild crushes. If the man in question shows an interest elsewhere, you will be hurt, and depending on how much you indulged your imagination, you may be devastated. Be realistic about the men who show you attention. If you are too eager for a relationship, you can imagine he is godlier, funnier, sweeter, smarter, older, or taller than he really is. If you have to talk yourself into someone, you are not being realistic about this man. Don’t get desperate! Don’t allow yourself to get involved in an inappropriate relationship because you are lonely. Don’t look for a man as a ticket out. You may want to move out or move on, but that is not a good reason to get married.

Just because a man shows an interest is no good reason to assume he is the one for you. There is no fire. Think about it. Get input from someone who knows you. Take your time. Don’t fling yourself in his arms as soon as he shows his hand. Women are sometimes in love with being in love, longing for a relationship more than they long to please God. Marriage is not an end in itself; it is a means of glorifying God. There is one thing worse than being single: being married to the wrong man.

Cultivating male group friendships is a healthy alternative to the world’s dating system, but we must not use these friendships to fill a void. Friendships can be sexually charged, and women are usually very ignorant about this. Friendships should not be intimate, but good-naturedly distant. Would you be able to maintain the friendship on an equal footing if you were married? If not, it is probably an inappropriate friendship. Women should have the kind of friendships with the brothers that are characterized by purity and propriety. If you have to alter your behavior after you are married, you have probably been behaving in an unwise or ungodly manner. This means you should not be spending one-on-one time with men (unless it is in the context of courtship), whether you are married or single. If you are going out for coffee and allowing men to pour out their troubles to you, this behavior will have to stop if you marry someone else. That tells me you should stop now.

Beware well-meaning friends. “He’s so good looking,” they say, but you know he is also so ungodly. Don’t encourage them by talking too much about your interests. Things have a funny way of getting back to the person. And if he isn’t interested, you will just feel foolish, and you may get hurt.

Finally, when in doubt, throw it out. Do not stay in a relationship that you have doubts about. It is very unwise to marry someone hoping for changes in him. If you have concerns about his godliness, his character, his theology, his relationship to his parents, his lifestyle, or anything else, back off, and maybe you should back out. Of course you have protection in the counsel and advice of your parents, but be careful not to marry someone simply to please your parents. Surely your parents have good intentions, but you must be honest with them about your hesitations. I cannot imagine parents (if they are loving and godly) pressuring a daughter to marry someone she did not want to marry!

Do cultivate a biblical view of marriage. Do cultivate godly group friendships. Women can learn a lot about how men think from being friends with men in groups. Do cultivate a godly character in yourself because marriage amplifies all you are. Look for likemindedness in a man: do you agree doctrinally? Are you similar culturally? Is he attractive to you? Be realistic, trust God, and be content.

(Italics mine. Original post http://www.credenda.org/old/issues/Vol11/Femina%2011-5.html)

What Forgiveness is Not – Mark Driscoll

To truly understand the principle of forgiveness, you must also have an understanding of what forgiveness is NOT. Pastor Mark Driscoll explains this better than any other I’ve heard.

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Former Atheist: Christianity Really Does Make Sense

by Lillian Kwon (The Christian Post)

Holly Ordway was a highly educated atheist who thought Christianity was “a historical curiosity” or “a blemish on modern civilization,” or both.

“Smart people don’t become Christians,” she thought, according to Biola University.

Her worldview, however, began to change at age 31. She recounts her journey from atheism to Christianity in the recently released Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith.

“It is no light matter to meet God after having denied Him all one’s life,” she writes in the book. “Coming to Him was only the beginning. I can point to a day and time and place of my conversion, and yet since then I have come to understand that He calls me to a fresh conversion every day.”

Ordway, a professor of English and literature at a San Diego-area community college, wasn’t raised in any religious faith. She never said a prayer in her life and she never went to a church service. Her exposure to Christianity while growing up was minimal and her few encounters with Christians involved televangelists or hellfire and damnation preachers.

“Religion seemed like a story that people told themselves, and I had no evidence to the contrary,” she said in an interview with Biola University, where she is currently studying for her second MA, in Christian Apologetics.

To her, the Bible was a collection of folktales and myths – no different than the stories of Zeus or Cinderella.

“I was a college professor – logical, intellectual, rational – and an atheist,” she writes…

To read the rest of the article, Go here: Former Atheist: Christianity Really Does Make Sense

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