May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Fenworth owned a world-famous library. More rooms held books than beds. Pillows stuffed in niches and comfortable chairs scattered throughout each room offered abundant paces to curl up and read.
Failure to put the relationship on a slower timetable may result in an act that was never intended in the first place. Another important principle is to avoid the circumstances where compromise is likely. A girl who wants to preserve her virginity should not find herself in a house or dorm room alone with someone to whom she is attracted. Nor should she single-date with someone she has reason not to trust. A guy who wants to be moral should stay away from the girl he knows would go to bed with him. Remember the words of Solomon to his son, “Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house” (Proverbs 5:8). I know this advice sounds very narrow in a day when virginity is mocked and chastity is considered old-fashioned. But I don’t apologize for it. The Scriptures are eternal, and God’s standards of right and wrong do not change with the whims of culture. He will honor and help those who are trying to follow His commandments. In fact, the apostle Paul said, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” (1Corinthians 10:13). Hold that promise and continue to use your head. You’ll be glad you did.
Caesar's messengers didn't go round the world saying, 'Caesar is lord, so if you feel you need to have a Roman-empire kind of experience, you might want to submit to him'.
We fight monsters and unholy creatures for a living here. Grotesque, evil, violent, dangerous; they’re certainly all these things. And yet, we somehow manage to go to sleep each night and wake up each morning. The terror wears off. What was horrific becomes mundane. We lose ourselves to a numbed normalcy after a while, a self-inflicted detachment. You forget how you got here, what it was like before. And then someone comes along, someone new, someone who sees it all with fresh eyes, and it snaps you out of your daily coma, reminding you of what you’ve forgotten. Of what you’ve become.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. —GALATIANS 6: 7
I have a message for your daughter,” said Cale. “I am bound to her with cables that not even God can break. One day, if there is a soft breeze on her cheek, it may be my breath; one night, if the cool wind plays with her hair, it may be my shadow passing by.” And with this terrible threat he faced forward and the procession started once more. In less than a minute they were gone. In her shady room Arbell Swan-Neck stood white and cold as alabaster.
t was once famously said that it is as well that wars are so ruinously expensive, else we would never stop fighting them. However well said, it seems also to be endlessly forgotten that, while there may be just wars and unjust wars, there are never any cheap wars.
It is not against reason, said the Englishman, to prefer the destruction of the world to a scratch on your finger – how much easier to understand the same price for the gash in your soul.
Moreover, it is not just that the early documents are silent about so much of Jesus that came to be recorded in the gospels, but that they view him in a substantially different way -- as a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past, 'emptied' then of all his supernatural attributes (Phil.2:7), and certainly not a worker of prodigious miracles which made him famous throughout 'all Syria' (Mt.4:24). I have argued that there is good reason to believe that the Jesus of Paul was constructed largely from musing and reflecting on a supernatural 'Wisdom' figure, amply documented in the earlier Jewish literature, who sought an abode on Earth, but was there rejected, rather than from information concerning a recently deceased historical individual. The influence of the Wisdom literature is undeniable; only assessment of what it amounted to still divides opinion.
I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who empowers, enriches, equips, enlightens, energizes, recreates, revives, promotes, strengthens, purifies, sponsors, and prepares me! Yes, I can... ALL THINGS, I can!
When I was young, I thought it was thunder that kills people. But when I learnt physics in St. Paul's High School, I discovered that it is rather the lightning that does the killing. The voice of the thunder itself is just a noise. The lightning is the poise. I learnt to take the course of my life, not by violence but rather with intelligence.
...the older I get, the more I believe that if love is to be judged by most of its visible effects, it looks more like hatred than friendship.
The heart of a man is a small thing but it desires great matters. It is not big enough for a dog’s dinner but the whole world is not big enough for it. Man spares nothing that lives; he kills to feed himself, he kills to clothe himself, he kills to adorn himself, he kills to attack, he kills to defend himself, he kills to instruct himself, he kills to amuse himself, he kills for the sake of killing. From the lamb he tears its guts and makes his harp resound; from the wolf his most deadly tooth to polish his pretty works of art; from the elephant his tusks to make a toy for his child.(...)And who will exterminate him who exterminates all others?
They may call you Stupid because of what you've done in the past. Hey, you are going to be Prominent because of what the Lord has done. The stupid S in Saul was exchange to become the Prominent P in Paul... and you ask why? It's because of what the Lord has done, Give thanks!
This is God's beauty!The Elegant nature of Esther,The Meek nature of Moses,The Pius nature of Paul,The Passionate nature of Peter,The Just nature of Jesus and thenThe wise nature of you!
Paul may be an excellent source for those interested in the early formation of Christianity, but he is a poor guide for uncovering the historical Jesus.
Paul's portrayal of Jesus as Christ may sound familiar to contemporary Christians—it has since become the standard doctrine of the church—but it would have been downright bizarre to Jesus's Jewish followers. The transformation of the Nazarean into a divine, preexistent, literal son of God whose death and resurrection launch a new genus of eternal beings responsible for judging the world has no basis in any writings about Jesus that are even remotely contemporary with Paul's (a firm indication that Paul's Christ was likely his own creation).
True freedom is the gift of the Spirit, the result of grace: but, precisely because it is freedom FOR as well as freedom FROM, it isn't simply a matter of being forced now to be good, against our wills and without our cooperation, but a matter of being released from slavery precisely into responsibility, into being able at last to choose, to exercise moral muscle, knowing both that one is doing it oneself and that the Spirit is at work within, that God himself is doing that which I too am doing.
... If the dead can come back to this earth and move unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night—amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours—always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or if the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
And if he was kind and friendly and funny, and if he told you about places so beautiful that you wanted to go with him to see them, and if he listened to you talk like he actually cared about what you were saying? And if he tried to protect you when other people tried to tell you what to do, as if they owned you? And if he has the handsomest face you've ever seen, no matter if the skin has been damaged, because he's just lovely even so?
Richard Dawkins regards faith as an evil to be eliminated; he takes all religious faith to be blind faith. (Dawkins says) ‘Scientific belief is based on publicly checkable evidence, religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its joy, shouted from the rooftops.’ However, taking Dawkins own advice we ask: where is the evidence that religious faith is not based on evidence? Mainstream Christianity will insist that faith and evidence are inseparable. Indeed, faith is a response to evidence, not a rejoicing in the absence of evidence. The apostle Paul says what many pioneers of modern science believed, that nature itself is part of the evidence for the existence of God ,‘ Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. So that men are without an excuse.’ Dawkins’ definition of faith turns out to be the direct opposite of the biblical one. Curious that he does not seem to be aware of the discrepancy.
...this refinement and delicacy were what Cale adored; but Cale had been beaten into shape, hammered in dreadful fires of fear and pain. How could she be with him for long? A secret part of Arbell had been searching for some time for a way to leave her lover—although she was unaware of this, it is only fair to record. And so as Cale waited for her to save him while he worked out a way of saving her, she had already chosen the bitter but reasonable path of the good, of the many over the one...
...his soul (was) ringing like a well-struck bell. But it was a bell that rang with more than joy and adoration — there was the sound there too of anger and resentment. She would not look at him because she did not want to be in his presence. She hated him and he (how could he not?) hated her in return.
Hypocrites,’ replied Cale, ‘I’ve come across a lot of them recently. I mean by that I understand now how many of them there are.
In the search for an author [of Hebrews] we are virtually stumbling over Priscilla. No longer is it feasible to pretend she isn't there.
Do you ever want to go home?' I asked Paul.He brushed an ash from my face. 'It's the century of the displaced person,' he said. 'You can never go home.
Until two days ago what had driven him was the will to survive: deep, animal, full of rage—but always part of him had not cared at all whether he lived or died. Now he did care, and very deeply, and so for the first time in a long time he was afraid. To love life is, of course, a wonderful thing, but not on this day of all days.
However it—or the kind of extreme individualistic epistemology it embraces—can lead historians to an overly skeptical approach particularly to those sources that were intended to recount and inform events of the past, that is, testimony in this restricted sense. Particularly in Gospels scholarship there is an attitude abroad that approaches the sources with fundamental skepticism, rather than trust, and therefore requires that anything the sources claim be accepted only if historians can independently verify it…..
Equally, it does not mean that Christian beliefs cause more distortion than other ideological beliefs. This emerged with particular clarity in engaging with the opinion that Jesus did not exist. This view is demonstrably false. It is fuelled by a regrettable form of atheist prejudice, which holds all the main primary sources, and Christian people, in contempt. This is not merely worse than the American Jesus Seminar, it is no better than Christian fundamentalism. It simply has different prejudices.
Gnosticism is undeniably pre-Christian, with both Jewish and gentile roots. The wisdom of Solomon already contained Gnostic elements and prototypes for the Jesus of the Gospels...God stops being the Lord of righteous deed and becomes the Good One...A clear pre-Christian Gnosticism can be distilled from the epistles of Paul. Paul is recklessly misunderstood by those who try to read anything Historical Jesus-ish into it. The conversion of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles is a mere forgery from various Tanakh passages... [The epistles] are from Christian mystics of the middle of the second century. Paul is thus the strongest witness against the Historical Jesus hypothesis...John's Gnostic origin is more evident than that of the synoptics. Its acceptance proves that even the Church wasn't concerned with historical facts at all.
The apostle Paul often appears in Christian thought as the one chiefly responsible for the de-Judaization of the gospel and even for the transmutation of the person of Jesus from a rabbi in the Jewish sense to a divine being in the Greek sense. Such an interpretation of Paul became almost canonical in certain schools of biblical criticism during the nineteenth century, especially that of Ferdinand Christian Baur, who saw the controversy between Paul and Peter as a conflict between the party of Peter, with its 'Judaizing' distortion of the gospel into a new law, and the party of Paul, with its universal vision of the gospel as a message about Jesus for all humanity. Very often, of course, this description of the opposition between Peter and Paul and between law and gospel was cast in the language of the opposition between Roman Catholicism (which traced its succession to Peter as the first pope) and Protestantism (which arose from Luther's interpretation of the epistles of Paul). Luther's favorite among those epistles, the letter to the Romans, became the charter for this supposed declaration of independence from Judaism.
Theologically, the demand for “circumcision” can take many forms, even today. It appears whenever one thinks along these lines: “Faith in Christ is fine as far as it goes, but your relation to God is not really right and your salvation not adequate unless…” It does not matter how the sentence is completed. Whenever such fine print is introduced to qualify trust/faith, there is “circumcision,” and Paul’s defense of the adequacy of trust/faith can come into its own again. The Galatian situation is never far; in fact, it is all too familiar.
Paul himself spent years of his life on the road, carrying (presumably on pack animals) his tent, clothing and tools - not many scrolls, if any. He carried the Bible safely tucked away in his head, where it belongs. As an apostle, he often supported himself by plying his trade. He was busy, traveling, working with his hands, winning people for Christ, shepherding or coping with his converts, responding to questions and problems. And he was very human; he knew not only fighting without but also fears within (2 Cor 7:5). Paul the completely confident academic and systematic theologian - sitting at his desk, studying the Bible, working out a system, perfect and consistent in all its parts, unchanging over a period of thirty years, no matter how many new experiences he and his churches had - is an almost inhuman character, either a thinking machine or a fourth person of the Trinity. The real Paul knew anger, joy, depression, triumph, and anguish; he reacted, overreacted, he repented, he apologized, he flattered and cajoled, he rebuked and threatened, he argued this way and that way: he did everything he could think of in order to win some.