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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Wednesday
Sep122007

The Islamic Joel Osteen?

Amr%20Khalad.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Have you seen this guy before?  His name is Amr Khaled and apparently he's quite the rage (I use that term a bit guardedly in this context!) throughout the Middle East.  He's very, very popular on YouTube and he made Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world (62nd).

Called the Islamic Joel Osteen or the Islamic Dr. Phil, Gene Veith made reference to him (Click here: Cranach -- The blog of Gene Edward Veith), and to an article about him in the Washington Post (Click here: Islam's Up-to-Date Televangelist - washingtonpost.com).

In a recent interview for the Egyptian Al Ahram (Click here: Al-Ahram Weekly | Profile | Amr Khaled: A preacher's puzzle) are the following comments about his growing influence throughout the Middle East.  Khaled is also seeking to convert Christians and is, apparently, quite successful at it.  Why?  Because he self-consciously imitates American Televangelists.

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"He believes he was put on earth for a purpose: to lead young people -- Muslims and Christians -- to this noble goal. Trained as an accountant, and from an upper middle class background, Khaled has emerged as a major 21st-century global phenomenon. He seems to be speaking of himself when he says, "I believe that every 100 years the world's thoughts change. And extraordinary people appear who carry new ideas to humanity."

There is no doubt about his power to influence, especially the young. Thousands, maybe millions of young girls donned the veil after hearing his lectures. Young men rapidly dropped their partying, drug-taking lifestyles, grew beards and became active at their local mosques . . .

It's clear that Khaled's mission is just beginning. His web site -- amrkhaled.net -- is among the most popular 1,000 in the world, ranking among global heavyweight media influences like The Washington Post, Al-Jazeera and the Drudge Report. But for all his talk of mass constituencies and millions of followers, Khaled still balks at being explicitly referred to as a political activist. "Participating in the political process is not shameful, forbidden, or something to shy away from," he says. "But when you have a goal you want to achieve, or a message you are trying to deliver, it's not about political participation for the sake of it... It's more about political participation as a tool" to achieve what you need.

That pragmatism may have been in play when Khaled and his TV producer friend first came up with the idea of consciously imitating the style of US Christian televangelism. The successful formula was like nothing the Arab world had ever seen, and it caught on like wildfire. Young people, especially impressed by the slick sets, soft lighting and friendly tone, said Khaled was the first to inspire them into understanding Islam's gentler side.

His sermons, however, with their clear and vivid warnings of the hell-fire that awaits unbelievers, appear to be just another form of fear mongering -- even though he is critical of what he calls "a religious discourse that merely says everything is haram and wrong". While constantly using scare tactics, the difference is in the seemingly friendly way he does so: by smiling, for instance, as he asks, "When you meet God on Judgment Day, will you be ready?"

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This raises several questions in my mind.  "How long will this Islamic Joel Osteen continue to be such a phenom?"  "Is this a passing fad, a new trend, or something which Al-Qaeda types will seek to quash?" 

How long will the "Allah loves you and has a wonderful plan for your afterlife which you cannot know until you die" bit continue to play throughout the Middle East?

Lets hope that Khaled actually manages to do to Islam what Joel Osteen has attempted to do to the gospel--neuter it.  That would be quite an achievement!

Sunday
Sep092007

Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho said that?

"When you realize that you are made in the image of God and step out in your righteousness, you will see the miraculous take place. Because you are a son of God, the same anointing that rests on Jesus abides in you. If Jesus raised the dead, so can you. It's time to become skillful in the proper use of the Father's power and do the works that Jesus did!"

You know the drill.  Leave your guesses in the comments section.  Please, no cheating (i.e. google searches)!  Then after you've made your guess, go raise someone from the dead! 

 

Saturday
Sep082007

New Academy Schedule -- Fall/Winter 2007

KR%20lecturing.JPGChrist Reformed Church's Academy schedule for Fall/Winter 2007 has been posted. 

I am first up and will be teaching a course entitled "Eschatology and the Antichrist," based upon some of the themes in my spiritual autobiography The Man of Sin.
 

kenneth_samples.jpgIn November, Ken Samples will be teaching a course entitled "Testing the Christian Theistic Worldview," based on his new book A World of Difference (Click here: Riddleblog - The Latest Post - A New Book from Ken Samples -- You Need to Buy This One Too!).

For more information, Click here: Christ Reformed Info - Schedule of Academy Classes and Author's Forums.

As always our Academy Classes are free of charge.  They are held 7:30 p.m. Friday evenings @ Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim.  There will be time for Q and A.  Refreshments are served. 

If you live in Southern California, come and out and join us!  We'd love to meet you.  For those of you who can't make it, MP3's of the courses will be posted as in the past.

Thursday
Sep062007

Tony Snow on the "Blessings" of Cancer

Tony%20Snow%202.jpgAs you no doubt know, recently retired White House press secretary Tony Snow is fighting cancer.  Christianity Today approached Snow and asked him about his thoughts on being stricken with a potentially fatal disease.

Snow's response is wonderful.  I heartily recommend it to you.  Click here: Cancer's Unexpected Blessings | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Thursday
Sep062007

A New Book from Ken Samples -- You Need to Buy This One Too!

A%20World%20of%20Difference%20--%20Samples.jpgOK, there are two books you need to buy--this one and Horton's new book (see below)!

Ken teaches our Sunday morning Bible class at Christ Reformed Church, as well as in our Academy.   He's taught much of this material in both places.  This is good stuff!

Here's the publisher's catalogue blurb (from Baker Books):

 

Description: At a time when Christian belief is constantly challenged, understanding different worldviews can help Christians think and live faithfully. Kenneth Samples's own life-and-death crisis encourages believers to develop a worldview perspective based on truth, critical thinking, and logic. In A World of Difference, he addresses the historic Christian worldview and evaluates four modern-day competitors--Islam, naturalism, postmodernism, and pantheistic monism. The use of nine distinct and challenging tests shows how all worldviews should be assessed.

With compelling insight into Scripture, history, science, and theology, A World of Difference will challenge and strengthen your beliefs.

Author Information:

Kenneth Richard Samples is senior research scholar with a focus on theological and philosophical apologetics at Reasons To Believe, which provides research and teaching on the harmony of God's revelation in the words of the Bible and the facts of nature. An adjunct instructor of apologetics at Biola University, Samples also tackles tough faith questions in his book Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions.

Endorsements: "Christians can no longer afford to be ignorant of how to think and see the world in light of their worldview and alternative worldviews. A World of Difference is the right book at the right time."--J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy, Biola University; author, Kingdom Triangle

"One of my biggest concerns for Christians struggling to make their way through the intellectual challenges of our age is that they often don't have the basic categories to think biblically about their own faith. Ken Samples's A World of Difference will give them those categories."--Kim Riddlebarger, co-host, The White Horse Inn;A Case for Amillennialism author, and The Man of Sin

Buy this book from Amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.
Wednesday
Sep052007

Keeping Up With the Latest Christian Goodies . . .

tiregauge.jpgFor those of you who miss Marc Heinrich's hilarious blog Purgatorio (remember the tipping cow?--Click here: purgatorio - a panoply of evangelical eccentricities, un-orthodox oddities & christian cultural curiosities), there's a similar blog up and running (h.t. Shane Rosenthal).

You can find it here. Click here: A Little Leaven.

I like to keep up with the latest in Christian gadgets (like the Christian tire gauge, pictured above).  That's probably because my family owned a Christian Bookstore and I grew up with this kind of stuff.

Yes, I have repented . . . countless times . . . Anyway, there is some very funny stuff posted there.

Wednesday
Sep052007

Buy This Book -- New from Michael Horton

covenantsalvation.jpgIf you are at all interested in Reformed theology, the debate over the New Perspectives on Paul and related issues, then you must buy this book!  It is that simple!

I had a chance to read a couple of the chapters a while back before Michael sent them off to the publisher.  Michael's interaction with and evaluation of Drs. Wright, Dunn and Sanders is positively brilliant.

This is part three of Michael's projected four volume prolegomena.  While everything Michael writes is important to the Reformed churches, this one is especially timely.  It is must reading.

Click here: Amazon.com: Covenant and Salvation: Union With Christ: Books: Michael Scott Horton

Friday
Aug312007

A Friday Edition of "Who Said That?"

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

"The God of Calvinism scares me; I'm not sure how to distinguish him from the devil. If you've come under the influence of Calvinism, think about its ramifications for the character of God. God is great but also good. In light of all the evil and innocent suffering in the world, he must have limited himself."

Since this was just posted elsewhere, you'll probably figure it out.  But it is worth considering anyway.   Please leave your guesses in the comments section below.  No cheating or google searches (but this exhortation never seems to work for some of you!) 

Thursday
Aug302007

If My Covenant Responsibilities Include . . .

Spider%20Web.jpg

 

Most Christian husbands know that their covenantal responsibilities to their wives include providing and protecting.  Protection often includes killing spiders and other pests that invade the household.  I've killed black widows, caught crickets, and sprayed for ants countless times.  This is part of my duty in protecting and providing for my wife.  I'm sure she appreciates it.

But if I ever run into a spider's web like this anywhere near my home, my wife's on her own.  And we're moving . . . 

Here is the original story (Click here: Star-Telegram.com | 08/29/2007 | Giant web creates bug buzz)

Sunday
Aug262007

Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

"We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls. . . . We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity . . .in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people."

Leave your guess in the comments section below.  Please no google searches . . .  This one may surprise you!