Weekly roundup

Christianity taught by an atheist – interesting and challenging video.

Don’t pay Apple $59 plus S&H to replace your iPod battery.  Try a place like this.  It seems to have worked well for my daughter’s Mini.  More tips at CNET.

Important scriptural principles about government – Hat tip: RedBlueChristian

More from the Religion of Peace: They won’t rest until they reach Jerusalem and destroy the White House.  I think they mean it. 

Are conservatives more generous?  One researcher think so.  I’m sure those that read this blog are.  The article didn’t give many statistics, so hopefully more factoids will come out when the book is published.  I recall a Barna study that showed the only statistically significant difference among givers were those who classified themselves as having a “Biblical worldview.”

I like Internet Explorer 7 overall.  Having tabs for all my open Internet Explorer windows is a big help, and opening a group of favorites all at once is handy. 

Animals in the womb – very cool photos!  Might even make the PETA crowd pro-life. 

Leviticus 13-15

Greetings!  This reading is Leviticus 13-15.

Today’s reading covers some topics you might not expect to find in the Bible: Infectious skin diseases, discharges and mildew.  These were real problems the Israelites faced and they were also excellent metaphors for sin (i.e., they can spread and do great damage). 

Interestingly, these chapters have the fewest study notes per page in my Bible (sometimes zero), so I may not elaborate much myself.

The infectious skin disease was what we refer to as leprosy, a contagious disease greatly feared in Bible times.  when Jesus healed lepers that was a huge deal for them, because it meant they could be a part of the community again.     

This section helps put the story of the woman with the bleeding problem in Luke 8 into context.  Because she had been bleeding for 12 years she couldn’t fully participate in worship services.

Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.

The Duck and the Devil

Got this from someone at CareNet.  It is a great illustration of how Satan works to accuse us.   

There was a little  boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.  He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.  He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit  the target.  Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.  As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet  duck.

Just out of impulse, he let the  slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it.  He was  shocked and grieved.

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching!  Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day  Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”  But Sally said, “Grandma,  Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.” Then she whispered to him, “Remember the  duck?”  So Johnny did the dishes. Later that  day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, “I’m  sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally  just smiled and said,” Well that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”  She whispered again, “Remember the duck?”  So Sally went fishing and Johnny  stayed to help.

After several days of  Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s … he finally couldn’t stand it any  longer. He came to Grandma and confessed  that he had killed the duck.  Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I  was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

Thought for the  day and every day thereafter?

Whatever  is in your past, whatever you have done… and the devil keeps throwing it up  in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger,  bitterness, etc.)  … whatever it is … You need to know that God was standing at  the window and He saw the whole thing …  He has seen your whole life.  He wants you to  know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.

He’s just  wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is  that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He  forgets …  It is by God’s grace and mercy that we are saved.

Go ahead and make the difference  in someone’s life today.  Share this with a friend and always  remember:

GOD IS AT THE WINDOW!

The good news:

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Now that is something else to be thankful for!

Leviticus 10-12

Greetings!  This reading is Leviticus 10-12.

This section gets off to a sobering beginning:

Leviticus 10:1-3 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said: “‘Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.’” Aaron remained silent.

It is not specified exactly what made the fire unauthorized, but it was obviously something serious.  

Trivia fact: The only recorded instance of God speaking directly to Aaron is in verses 8-11.  The priests were not to drink any alcohol.  This appears to be able to help them distinguish between what is and isn’t holy.

Leviticus 10:8-11 Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”

Chapter 11 covers clean and unclean foods.  This is a good example of how God made ceremonial laws just for the Israelites to set them apart from other nations.  God communicates that these laws have been fulfilled through Christ in Acts 10.

Chapter 12 is a short section on purification after childbirth.  I am not sure (and neither were two study Bibles I consulted) why the the woman had to wait longer after having a female than with a male.  One did point out that while God is obviously pro-children, the rules for worship kept sex out of it (unlike many fertility cults and other false religions). 

Note that in Luke 2:22-24 Mary and Joseph couldn’t afford a lamb, so they offered a pair of birds.

Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.

Gender selection abortions

RedBlueChristian had a good article called THE TYRANNY OF CHOICE about  gender selection abortions, or more specifically, abortions of unwanted unborn females.

Pro-choice feminists get tied up in knots over this topic.  They obviously want to condemn the practice, but how can they and remain true to their worldview? 

Consider their logic: It is ok to kill the unborn because it is a boy, but not a girl.  Or you can kill the girl as long as you aren’t just killing her because she is a girl.  And, of course, if there is a hint of a disability it is ok to kill either unborn boys or girls. 

How morbidly ironic that over 90% of gender-selection abortions kill females, yet pro-choicers think they are helping the cause of women.

There are many horrific consequences of gender selection abortions besides the abortions themselves, because  it creates a huge imbalance of men and women in society. 

Men wrote the Bible, so it must have mistakes?

A common objection to the assertion that God inspired the writings of the Bible is that men wrote it, so it must have mistakes.  Sadly, I have often heard this from committed Christians.

The argument usually goes like this:

Premise 1: Men wrote the Bible.

Premise 2: Men make mistakes.

Conclusion: God didn’t write the Bible.

But note that premise 1 is just another way of stating the conclusion.  If you are trying to determine who wrote the Bible, your first premise can’t be that men were the sole authors.  So this “argument” doesn’t prove that God didn’t write the Bible, it assumes it. 

Here is another syllogism you may have heard:

Premise 1: Men wrote the Bible.

Premise 2: Men make mistakes.

Conclusion: The Bible has mistakes.

This one has a major problem as well.  It assumes that just because people sometimes make mistakes that they will always make mistakes.  But lots of things get done without mistakes – perfect scores on tests, 300 games in bowling, diseases cured, etc.  If God was the author then an error-free Bible would be expected. 

Of course, this doesn’t prove that God did inspire the Biblical writings, just that these are bad arguments to use against the inspiration of the Bible.  We have separate, robust reasoning for why we can trust that it is God’s Word.  More on that another day.

P.S. Keep in mind that claims of inerrancy relate to the original writings, not to copies or translations.  If making a copy error invalidated the inerrancy claim, then any atheist could make a deliberate “mistake” and claim that it disproved the Bible. 

Hat tip: Stand to Reason