All that is necessary for evil to triumph

American Minute with Bill Federer

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” –Edmund Burke, on the French Revolution

 Edmund Burke is considered the most influential orator in the British House of Commons in the 18th century.

Born January 12, 1729, one of his first notable writings was an anonymous publication A Vindication of Natural Society, 1756, which was a satirical criticism of the deism promoted by Lord Bolingbroke:

“Seeing every mode of religion attacked in a lively manner, and the foundation of every virtue, and of all government, sapped with great art and much ingenuity …  the same engines which were employed for the destruction of religion, might be employed with equal success for the subversion of government.”

Burke criticized how a deist “every day invents some new artificial rule.” 

He described the “unalterable relations which Providence has ordained that everything should bear to every other. These relations, which are truth itself, the foundation of virtue, and consequently, the only measures of happiness.”

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C. S. Lewis and the Coronavirus

BreakPoint Daily

A LOOK BACK AT A COUPLE TOP STORIES FROM 2020

C. S. Lewis and the Coronavirus

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What Do We Do with Critical Theory?

BP-6-17-2020

 

A Baby vs. the World

BreakPoint Daily

A Baby vs. the World

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A Christmas message came to my mind a few years ago as I stood shivering in the autumn chill at the grave side of Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Jerzy was a young pastor who once delivered the dynamic messages that stirred the Polish people to overthrow their Communist oppressors.

His theme was always the same: The Christian is called to defend the truth and overcome evil with good.

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Devotional Thought for Today – 12/11-2020

Psalm 78 - Springer Road Church of Christ

ESV and RVR 1960

INFORMING THE NEXT GENERATION


CONTEXT (v. 1-31) :  v. 1–8 The introduction to Ps. 78 explains that it is a “parable” (v. 2) intended to exhort the Israelites to not be like their forefathers (v. 8).  In v.5–8 The psalmist describes how God (Ps 78:5) demanded that Israel not only recount His laws and instructions, but also remember the good and bad parts of their history. The Israelites should teach God’s laws and Israel’s history so that each new generation would know not to go astray (v. 8).  Verses 9–16 This section is the first of two thematic overviews in Psa 78 (see vv. 32–41). This section summarizes Israel’s interaction with God during the exodus (Exod 6–12) and then in the wilderness (Exod 14–40Num 11–25).  Here in v.17–20 Israel’s main fault in the episode recalled here was their demand for meat (see Num 11:4–6); however, the psalmist implies that Israel complained against God on a regular basis (compare Exod 16–17Num 11Psa 78:19–20).  In v.21–25 In this section, the psalmist focuses on God’s anger and His provision of manna to Israel. He implies that, although God was furious with Israel, He did not stop providing food for them. This section may be a stylized review of the wilderness journey of Israel, contrasting the reality of God’s continual provision of manna (Exod 16:35) with Israel’s general disloyalty to God.  Finally in v.26–31 The psalmist now switches from focusing on the manna to the quail (see Num 11:31–34). He recounts the incident in which God gave Israel meat to eat but also struck them with a plague. – Faithlife Study Bible


When I was a kid growing up WWII and the Korean War’s were still fresh on the minds on most Americans. Viet Nam was just not really underway in strength and patriotism was abundant. 

I remember sitting for hours listening to some of my neighbors describing both the horrors (concentration camps, artillery bombardments, etc.) and glory (comradery, victory over evil, etc.) that they experienced.  I know in some cases, Mrs. S who was in a concentration camp, Mr. T who was with Patton and liberated said camp(s) talking about the war was quite difficult but they did so so my generation would never repeat the lessons of the past. 

This Plasm, sets out to do the same thing. V.4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. 

We all know Israel’s history with God. It is a history wrought with FAILURE. Failure to obey the one true God of Heaven and Earth,  the great I AM.  The Psalmist is making it clear I/we will not hide those past failure from the next generation otherwise we condemn them to the same mistakes we and our forefathers have made. He implores them to remember the Highs and Lows of their past, leaving nothing out. 

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines History as: An account of facts, particularly of facts respecting nations or states; a narration of events in the social justice

order in which they happened, with their causes and effects.

Yet there are many today in America (and other countries) that wish to rewrite history, ( Change the facts) using  names like social justice as a smoke screen for historical revisionism which is a fancy way of saying I/we see history as this so it must be a fact. The would have us believe the Pilgrims came only for profit, that all who fought for the South in the War Between the States were Slave owning racist and so many more lies.  I hope you can see the danger in that, I encourage you to:

    1. Pray for those who would re-write history
    2. Parents, Monitor you children’s school assignments for misinformation  
    3. Encourage Everyone you know to, Inform the Next Generation of our Nations’ True History. n If we love to tell the story of our redeemer we should love to tell the story of the nation he has Graced us with. 

Verse 4. Commentary –  We will not hide from their children, etc. Thou must not only praise God thyself, but endeavour to transmit the memorial of his goodness to posterity. Children are their parent’s heirs; it were unnatural for a father, before he dies, to bury up his treasure in the earth where his children should not find or enjoy it; now the mercies of God are not the least part of a good man’s treasure, nor the least of his children’s inheritance, being both helps to their faith, matter for their praise, and spurs to their obedience. “Our fathers have told us what works thou didst in their days, how thou didst drive out the heathen” etc., Ps 44:1-2; from this they ground their confidence, Ps 44:4, “Thou art my King, O God; command deliverances for Jacob, ” and excite their thankfulness, Ps 44:8, “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.” Indeed, as children are their parents heirs, so they become in justice liable to pay their parents’ debts: now the great debt which the saint at death stands charged with, is that which he owes to God for his mercies, and, therefore, it is but reason he should tie his posterity to the payment thereof. Thus mayest thou be praising God in heaven and earth at the same time. – William Gurnall.

 

Thanksgiving Proclamations

American Minute with Bill Federer

Thanksgiving Proclamations: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Roosevelt, & more –

During the days of America’s founding, colonies would declare:
  • days of prayer when times were bad;
  • days of fasting when times were real bad; and
  • days of thanksgiving when things turned around.

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Germany to Honor Sophie Scholl

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: Germany to Honor Sophie Scholl

JOHN STONESTREET

In February of 1943, German university student Sophie Scholl was convicted of high reason against the Nazi regime and executed by guillotine. Last week, Germany announced it will honor this Christian martyr with a €20.00 sterling silver commemorative coin. Scheduled for circulation in time for her 100th birthday, which is in 2021, the coin will bear Sophie’s likeness with her words, “A feeling for what is just and unjust” along the edge.       

Sophie Scholl was raised, along with her older brother Hans, in a nominal Lutheran household. Like most German children at the time, she was a member of the League of German Girls and her brother a member of the Hitler Youth. However, as they grew up, they became more and more disillusioned by the Nazification of virtually every area of German life and Hitler’s tyrannical opposition to much they believed to be good, such as works of art and music considered to be non-Aryan…

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Having a Christian Understanding of History

The Sword & The Trowel Podcast

Today on The Sword and The Trowel, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore welcome Dr. Tom Nettles on the show to discuss what it means to have a theology and philosophy of History as a Christian. Dr. Nettles shares wisdom on how 21st century evangelical Christians should navigate life in the West, in light of what we know from Scripture and also from History. How should God’s greatest historical work, Jesus’ death on the cross, shape the way we live day to day?
TS&TT: Tom Nettles | Having a Christian Understanding of History

Why the Bible is Not a Prop

“In this moment of national crisis, rather than fighting over the optics around the Bible, we’d be far better off reading, hearing, and applying what it has to say.”

BreakPoint Daily

Why the Bible is Not a Prop

bible

JOHN STONESTREET

Presidents and politicians using the Bible or Christian symbolism for political ends is nothing new. Some, as President Trump did Monday afternoon, pose with Bible in hand. Far more common is the selective quoting, misquoting, or downright twisting of Bible verses to advance political talking points.

After nights of rioting and violence across America and even right outside the White House, the President punctuated his speech by walking from the Rose Garden to an historically important church that was nearly burned down the night before. He then posed with a Bible in hand beside the church sign.

The Bible should never be used as a prop…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

 

Question: “Does God exist?”

Question: “Does God exist?”

Answer: 

Whether God exists is the most important question any person can consider. Opinions on God are everywhere, but answering the question does God exist? demands more than a few seconds of attention and involves a wide range of ideas and evidence. Ultimately, what we see in human experience, science, logic, and history leads to a confident answer: yes, God exists.

** Added John Gill’s Commentary on Hebrews 11:6 **

Often, this question is posed as “Can you prove God exists?” The problem is that, while truth itself is absolute, there are virtually zero instances of absolute proof outside of pure logic and mathematics. Courtrooms don’t require absolute proof, for that reason; rather, they seek to dispel “reasonable doubt” and consider what’s “most probable.”

It’s equally flawed to demand “proof of God” that no person could ever reject. Neither evidence nor people function that way in the real world. “Encountering” facts and “accepting” them are profoundly different. Airtight, sound arguments are still “unconvincing” to those determined to disbelieve. For that person, it’s not “proof,” even if it would convince almost anyone else. A person’s intent is more influential than any evidence encountered.

That means “faith” is necessary—and not just regarding God’s existence. Perfect knowledge is beyond our ability. Bias and prejudice cloud our views. There will always be a gap between what we can “know” and what we “believe.” This applies equally across the spectrum from skeptics to believers. We cannot possibly know every detail involved every time we sit in a chair, eat food, or climb stairs. Such actions all express a measure of faith. We act, despite what we don’t know, because of what we do know. That’s the essence of biblical faith, including faith in the existence of God. We trust in what is known, leading us to action, despite a less-than-absolute understanding (Hebrews 11:6).

Whether or not one acknowledges God, the decision involves faith. Belief in God does not require blind faith (John 20:29), but neither can it overcome malicious resistance (John 5:39–40). What is fair is to point to human experience, logic, and empirical evidence to inform the answer.

Does God exist? – Human Experience

Discussing the existence of God usually starts with logical arguments. That makes sense, but it’s not how human beings normally operate. No one starts devoid of all perspective, waiting to follow a robotically rational path before forming an opinion. People interpret life based on the world around them. So looking at the existence of God ought to start with experiences. Afterwards, we can use logic to assess those views.

Evidence of God exists in daily human experiences (Romans 1:19–20; Psalm 19:1; Ecclesiastes 3:11). This includes our innate sense of morality. It applies to the apparent design of the universe around us. Human life compels belief that truth, deception, love, hate, goodness, evil, etc., are real and meaningful. The overwhelming majority of people throughout history were inclined to believe in a reality greater than the physical.

Those experiences are not conclusive, of course. Instead, God uses general revelation as an invitation (Revelation 3:20). Common experiences are meant to emphasize that we ought to seek further answers (Matthew 7:7–8). Those who ignore or disdain that invitation don’t have the excuse of being ignorant (Romans 1:18; Psalm 14:1).

Does God exist? – Human Logic

Three of the more powerful logical suggestions of God’s existence are the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments.

The cosmological argument considers the principle of cause and effect. Each effect is the result of some cause, and each cause is the effect of a prior cause. However, that chain of causes cannot go on infinitely into the past, or else the chain would never actually start. Logic demands something eternally existent and not itself the effect of anything else. Our universe, clearly, is not eternal or uncaused. Logic points to God: the uncreated, eternal measure of all other things, the First Cause of our reality.

The teleological argument examines the structure of the universe. The largest galactic scales, our solar system, our DNA, subatomic particles—everything gives the appearance of having been purposefully arranged. This trait is so strong that even hardened atheists are constantly fumbling to explain away the appearance of design.

Nothing about subatomic particles or forces indicates they must be arranged the way they are. Yet, if they were not exactly as they are, complex matter—and life—would be impossible. Dozens of universal constants coordinate with mind-boggling precision just to make life possible, let alone actual. Science has never observed or explained life arising from non-life, yet it also shows a sudden onset of complex organisms. Archaeologists who see the words I am here on a cave wall would universally assume intelligent action. Meanwhile, human DNA represents a coding structure beyond the ability of the best human engineers. The weight of this evidence, logically, favors the idea of an Intelligent Designer—God—as an explanation.

The moral argument takes note of concepts like good and evil, ethics, and so forth. It’s notable that these are discussions of “what should be,” not merely “what is.” Moral principles are drastically disconnected from the ruthless, selfish reasoning that one would expect of a creature randomly evolved to survive at any cost. The very idea that human beings think in non-physical, moral terms is striking. Beyond that, the fundamental content of human morals across cultures and history is identical.

Further, discussion of moral ideas leads inevitably to a crossroads. Either moral ideas are completely subjective, and therefore meaningless, or they must be grounded in some unchanging standard. Human experience doesn’t support the conclusion that morals mean nothing. The most reasonable explanation for why people think in moral terms and share moral ideals is a real moral law provided by a Moral Lawgiver, i.e., God.

Does God exist? – Human Science

The logical arguments above are inspired by observations. Concepts such as the Big Bang Theory demonstrate, at the very least, the scientific validity of a created, non-eternal universe. Likewise for the structure of DNA. Empirical data lends credibility to the idea of a biblical Creator and contradicts alternative explanations, such as an eternal universe or abiogenesis.

Archaeology also lends support to the Bible. People, events, and places depicted in Scripture have repeatedly been confirmed by secular discoveries. Many of these came after skeptics implied the Bible’s accounts were fictional.

History and literature, for their part, also support the existence of God. The preservation of the Bible is one example. Tracing the existing text so closely to the original events makes it more reliable. Judeo-Christian influence on culture, morality, human rights, and the birth of modern science also strongly indicates an approach aligned with truth.

Does God exist? – God in Us

Each of the prior categories is an entire field of study and the subject of thousands of books. Yet the existence of God is demonstrated most profoundly, for most people, in personal experience. It may be impossible to “prove” to others that you’re happy, for instance, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are. That’s not to say internal perspective outweighs objective truth, but complex truths are often powerfully supported by individual experiences. Changed lives, reformed attitudes, and answers to prayer are all part of our personal perception that God exists.

A personal sense of truth is the most compelling way we know God exists, and it’s God’s intent for all people to experience that sense. God came to earth personally, as a human being (2 Corinthians 4:6), so we could have a personal relationship with Him (John 14:6). Those who sincerely seek God will find Him (Matthew 7:7–8), resulting in the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26–27).

The question does God exist?, therefore, cannot demand an answer using absolute proof, but we can point people to where the weight of evidence leads. Accepting the existence of God is not a blind-faith leap into the dark. It’s a trusting step out of the dark into a well-lit room where many things are made clear.


Recommended Resource: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek

**Added**

The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, By Lee Strobel 

Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World By: Josh McDowellSean McDowell

Historians Doomed to Repeat Themselves

Historians Doomed to Repeat Themselves

April 28, 2020 By Tony Perkins

The public schools might be closed, but based on the country’s latest history marks, some kids aren’t missing much! In the “Nation’s Report Card” from the Department of Education, U.S. scores took another big dive in subjects like history, part of an alarming trend that’s prompted the Trump administration to call for “fundamentally rethink[ing] education in America.” And the sooner the better, most people say. At the rate things are going, the only civics our kids will know are the Hondas parked out back.

Calling it “disturbing” and “pervasive,” federal officials tried to come up with some explanation for the across-the-board failure in most eighth-grade classrooms. Except for the “top performing students,” scores in U.S. history were down four points from an already embarrassing mark in 2014. Now, less than a quarter of our country’s eighth graders are considered “proficient” in any social science discipline — and only 15 percent of those can make the grade in U.S. history. We’re talking about students who don’t know about the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Bill of Rights, or basic global geography, the Washington Examiner laments.

But could these results be coming at the perfect time? Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher believes so. On “Washington Watch” with Sarah Perry, he pointed out that as discouraging as these numbers are, the coronavirus has actually given parents an opportunity to do something about them. For one, he explains, with more students at home, distance-learning, parents are catching on to what their kids are — and in many cases, aren’t — being taught. By the time children do go back to school in the fall, moms and dads will be a lot more knowledgeable about the gaps in textbooks and classroom lessons. And they’ll be able to bring up those issues and concerns with school administrators. “It’s one thing to be upset about what you read in the news when you hear about what’s being taught in schools. It’s another thing to sit at home with your child [and see it for yourself].”

This pandemic has opened the eyes of a lot of parents, especially when it comes to the impact of Common Core and the rampant “teaching-to-the-test” that’s overtaken education. And unfortunately, the cycle of underperformance and failure has gone on for so long that we’ve raised generations of Americans who lack basic knowledge about the country they’re living in. Is it any wonder that they don’t understand the dangers of socialism or the importance of a constitutional republic? How can they appreciate American exceptionalism if they don’t understand where it came from?

And the surveys of current adults, Jonathan says, only shows where these shortcomings lead. The University of Pennsylvania does one, and in it, they ask people what they know about U.S. government. “It turns out that just under half of respondents… cannot name any branch of government… So that’s troubling. And it certainly puts in perspective these eighth-grade results, which certainly we would hope would be improved through high school.”

Hopefully, as Sarah pointed out, this convergence of at-home learning and these pitiful test scores will force a major change in the public-school landscape. Because, as they both agreed, we need to be able to reach all kids, not just the ones who can afford to find a better option. “There are a lot of kids in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, D.C… [whose] neighborhoods may not be safe. They may be coming from single parent homes. They may not have access to computers.” For their sake, Jonathan insists, “we, as thought leaders and advocates [for education], and believers in the ability of every child to have [the same opportunity], need to be talking — come summer, come fall — about how we make the experience for those kids just as good as the ones who are attending private schools and charter schools and using K-12 scholarship.” At the very least, they deserve a choice — and a chance.