Why should we buy out the time from our busy, hectic Christian lives to have a basic understanding of Islam? Our world, whether we like it or not, has become a melting pot of people from different cultures and backgrounds, including their religions, be it Taoism and Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, or Islamism. We need to know something about the history of the world’s religions, especially Islam, since it is the world’s second-largest religion and the fastest-growing, with its 1.8 billion followers.
There are four main reasons to know more about Islam. (1) We need to know what normal Islamic behavior is so that we can know when any Muslim has escalated beyond the moderate into the radical. (2) Islam has dominated the news and minds of the world for the past 30+ years because of radical Islamic terrorism, and the news media are distorting the truth. Many times, we see Muslims on the news quoting the Quran when, in fact, they are not quoting the Quran. (3) As was mentioned in the first paragraph, the world is a melting pot of other religious groups. This means that in your child’s grade school, junior high, and high school, there are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim children, and many other children of different religions, as well as atheists. (4) It is the job of every Christian to evangelize and make disciples. It is crucial to our obedience to the Great Commission. – Matthew. 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:8.
Christianity is only the largest religion because it had a 600-year head start on Islam. Moreover, the Spirit-driven first-century Christians evangelized as a whole like no other generation since. There were but 120 Christians in 33 C.E., which became over one million disciples of Jesus Christ by 125 C.E., less than one hundred years later. The only two things that have kept Christianity at number one is the head start that they received and childbirth. Yes, for many decades, 80 percent of all new Christians have not come by evangelism but instead being born into Christianity. The objective of this book, IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD, is to offer its readers an introduction into what Muslims believe, as well as a foundational knowledge of the Quran itself.
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the more profound message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who do not know the Gospel, giving them background information so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics.
Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. It can also be earnestly contending for the faith and saving one from losing their faith, as they have begun to doubt. Moreover, it can involve rebuking those who contradict the truth. It is being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks the Christian evangelist for a reason for the hope that is in him or her. – Jude 1.3, 21-23; 1 Pet 3.15; Acts 17:2-3; Titus 1:9.
An evangelist is a proclaimer of the gospel or good news, as well as all biblical truths. There are levels of evangelism, which is pictured in first-century Christianity. All Christians evangelized in the first century, but a select few fit the role of a full-time evangelist (Ephesians 4:8, 11-12), as was true of Philip and Timothy. Both Philip and Timothy are specifically mentioned as evangelizers. (Ac 21:8; 2 Tim. 4:5) Philip was a full-time evangelist after Pentecost, who was sent to the city of Samaria, having great success. An angel even directed Philip to an Ethiopian Eunuch, to share the good news of Christ with him. Because of the Eunuch’s already having knowledge of God by way of the Old Testament, Philip was able to help him understand that the Hebrew Scriptures pointed to Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. In the end, Philip baptized the Eunuch. After that, the Spirit again sent Philip on a mission, this time to Azotus and all the cities on the way to Caesarea. (Ac 8:5, 12, 14, 26-40) Paul evangelized in many lands, setting up one congregation after another. (2 Cor. 10:13-16) Timothy was an evangelizer or missionary, and Paul placed distinct importance on evangelizing when he gave his parting encouragement to Timothy. (2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Tim. 1:3) In the broadest sense of the term for evangelizer, all Christians are obligated to play some role as an evangelist, and this does not require going overseas as a missionary.
Different Levels of Evangelism
Basic Evangelism is planting seeds of truth and watering any seeds that have been planted. [In the basic sense of this word (euaggelistes), this would involve all Christians.] In some cases, it may be that one Christian planted the seed, which was initially rejected, so he was left in a good way because the planter did not try to force the truth down his throat. However, later he faces something in life that moves him to reconsider those seeds and another Christian waters what had already been planted by the first Christian. This evangelism can be carried out in all of the methods that are available: informal, house-to-house, street, phone, the internet, and the like. What amount of time that is invested in the evangelism work is up to each Christian to decide for themselves.
- Making Disciples is having any role in the process of getting an unbeliever from his unbelief state to the point of accepting Christ as his Savior and being baptized. Once the unbeliever has become a believer, he is still developed until he has become strong. Any Christian could potentially carry this one person through all of the developmental stages.
On the other hand, it may be that several have some part. It is like a person that specializes in a specific aspect of a job, but all are aware of the other elements, in case they are called on to carry out that phase. Again, each Christian must decide for themselves what role they are to have, and how much of a part, but should be prepared to fill any part if needed.
- Part-Time or Full-Time Evangelist is one who sees this as their calling and chooses to be very involved as an evangelist in their local church and community. They may work part-time to supplement their work as an evangelist. They may be married with children, but they realize their gift is in the field of evangelism. If it were the wife, the husband would work toward supporting her work as an evangelist and vice-versa. If it were a single person, he or she would supplement their work by being employed part-time, but also the church would help as well. This person is well trained in every aspect of bringing one to Christ.
- Congregation Evangelists should be very involved in evangelizing their communities and helping the church members play their role at the basic levels of evangelism. There is no reason why a church could not have many within, who take on part-time or full-time evangelism within the congregation, which would and should be cultivated.
Introduction to Islam
Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with over 1.8 billion followers, which comes out to about 24.1% of the global population. The followers of Islam are known as Muslims, which in Arabic means “one who surrenders to God.” In the Arabic language, the word Islam means “surrender” or “submission,” or “commitment” to Allah. Islam is the religion of the Quran or as any Muslim might say quite often, “the people of the book.” Islam is based on the teachings of the Quran. The Arabic name for God, Allah, does not refer to the God worshiped by Jews and Christians, even though they believe this to be the case. The Quran is smaller than the New Testament. It is set up similar to the chapter and verse but not really. What Christians would call a chapter Muslims would call a Surah (meaning, “step” or “gradation”), of which there are 114 in the Quran; each divided into what Christians would call verses but Muslims would call ayahs (meaning, “evidence,” “a sign” or “a pointer”). Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Some Muslims read Quranic ayah (verse) with elocution, which is often called tajwid, rules governing how the words of the Quran should be pronounced during its recitation. As we move through this publication, we will quote the Quran quite often because we want to have the reader familiar with it. This way, when a Muslim or some newscaster on television recites the Quran, you will be able to recognize whether that is the case. Allah is the grand theme of the Quran.
Surah 59:23-24 The Holy Quran
23 Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah. (High is He) above the partners, they attribute to Him. 24 He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
We can see from ayah 23-24 of Surah 59 that there were many names or descriptions of Allah. Generally, most Muslims will tell you that Allah is given ninety-nine Beautiful Names. We see right here in ayah 24, “To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.” On the cover of our book, you will see the Quran with a string lying on top of it, which contains thirty-three beads. Prayer beads are referred to as Misbaha (Arabic masbaha), Tasbih or Subha and usually contain ninety-nine beads, corresponding to the Names of God in Islam. Sometimes only thirty-three beads are used, in which case one would cycle through them three times. Each of the beads represents one of the Names of Allah, which means that if you complete the circuit of ninety-nine beads, you will have recited all of the Names of Allah. Some of these ninety-nine names are, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Holy One, the King, the Peace, the Protector, the Mighty One, the Fashioner, the Forgiver, Dominate One, the Provider. These are very similar to what we might find in the Bible. There are names in the Bible that are very integrated to our relationship with God that is not found in the Quran, like the Father, as the God of the Quran, Allah does not have that kind of relationship with his people. Moreover, Islam does not recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of the Father.
Surah 57:1-4 The Holy Quran
1 Whatever is in the heavens and on earth,- let it declare the Praises and Glory of Allah. for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. 2 To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He Who gives Life and Death, and He has Power over all things. 3 He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things. 4 He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and is moreover firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do.
It should be noted that every surah (chapter) of the Quran, except Surah 9 begins with, “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi). In this surah, we find more title for Allah (Exalted, Mighty, Wise, the First, the Last, Knower of all things, and the like). In ayah (verse) 4, we find Allah as Creator, “He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days.” Muslims believe like many Christians that God created the earth in a literal six, twenty-four hour days. Muslims accept the creation of Adam. However, note that the Quran goes on to say, “and is moreover firmly established on the Throne (of Authority).” This latter thought has become a doctrine within Islam, known as the enthronement doctrine, which teaches that Allah after creating the world mounted the throne and now will never come down from his throne.
Remember, in the above Surah 59, ayah 23 it says, “(High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.” The partner here is referring to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, suggesting that the divine cannot come down to the earth, which is why they only see Jesus as a prophet like Moses, only human. Therefore, the whole idea of Jesus Christ coming down from the spirit realm to the earth is heretical to Islam. For Muslims, it is an unforgivable sin for a Muslim to suggest that God has a “partner,” or a Son. The idea of humans needing a redeemer found in Scripture is not within the Quran.
Arabia in the Sixth Century
In the sixth century C.E., the land of Arabia was filled with traders and raiders. The area was filled with Bedouin people (a nomadic Arab of the desert regions of Arabia and North Africa), who were exchanging goods with caravan traders. To the north of Arabia was Asia Minor; to the south was the Indian Ocean, to the east were the Mountains of Persia; and to the west, there was the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In many ways, Arabia was isolated geographically. Having an understanding of geography helps us to know better, how Islam rose against Christianity at this time in the world. “Many places named in the Bible as being in Arabia are more specifically in Arabia Petraea. Such sites include Buz, Dedan, Dumah, Ephah, and the Hazor of Jeremiah 49:28–33, Massa, Mesha, and Midian. Hazarmaveth, Ophir, Sabtah, Sephar, Sheba, and Uzal are in the south. Havilah and Parvaim are perhaps in the northeast, and authorities debate the location of Seba. The land of Uz, mentioned in the Book of Job, is considered by many scholars to be located in the area between Edom and northern Arabia.”
In discussing the climate of Arabia, the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible writes, “In al-Hijaz, the birthplace of Islam, seasons of drought sometimes extend over three years or more. In Yemen and Asir, there are sufficient periodic rains to make systematic cultivation possible. There is no significant river in Arabia. Instead of a system of rivers, a network of wadis (dried stream beds) determines the routes of caravans and pilgrimages.”
The inhabitants of Arabia before Muhammad and up unto today are known as Arabs. The Arabian Peninsula was bound together by a very loose tribal structure. The Arabian Peninsula had little or no rain; too dry or barren to support vegetation. Living in a somewhat isolated area, they only had contact with the outside world using the caravan routes, which connected them to Syria, Egypt, and Persia. We may recall that even clear back in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob there is the account the brothers hating Joseph to the point that they were about to kill him when a traveling caravan came by and the brothers sold him into slavery. Joseph was eventually sold as a slave in Egypt.
The severe lack of rain to this region was one of the motivating factors for the raiding of these caravans by the Arabs, which was a means of their surviving (of course, this is no justification). The tribes would lay in wait as a caravan passed in the valley, and then they would attack it and carry off their goods. Therefore, the caravan route provided the Arabian Peninsula with the critical trade for their survival of the tribes that did not raid and pillage. The tribes that benefited from these caravans were dependent on the nomadic Arabs for their protecting the caravans throughout their routes, providing them safe transport through their territories. As a result, the different Arab tribes developed an extensive set of treatise to get through their lives together.
Arabia and the Early Life of Muhammad
Muhammad (c. 570 CE – 632 C.E.) is the prophet of Islam and widely identified as its founder, who was born in Mecca (Arabic, Makkah) a city in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, where there was a vast oasis. He belonged to the Banu Hashim clan, which was part of the Quraysh tribe, and was one of Mecca’s prominent families. However, it looks as if he was less prosperous during his early life. Muhammad’s father (Abd Allah) had died almost six months before he was born. When he was about six years old, he lost his biological mother (Aminah) to an illness, and he was left as an orphan. Over the next two years, Muhammad was under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather (Abd al-Muttalib), belonging to the Banu Hashim clan until his death. After that, his uncle (Abu Talib), who was the new leader of the Banu Hashim clan, took him in, yet not financially well off enough to do more than simply feed Muhammad.
In Muhammad’s ordinary childhood (he was not exceptional as to wealth or his background), the Arabs practiced a form of worship of Allah that was concentrated in the Mecca valley, at the sacred site of the Kaaba (Arabic, al-Kabah, “The Cube”), which was a simple cube-like building where a black meteorite was revered. It is viewed as the “House of Allah” and has a similar role to the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies in Judaism.
According to Islamic tradition, the Kaaba was a place of worship for the Angels before the creation of Adam. After that, Adam and Eve built a temple on the location, which was destroyed during the flood of Noah’s day and was finally rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael as described later in the Quran. (Hitti 2002, p. 100) The Kaaba became a sanctuary for 360 idols, one for each day of the lunar year.
When Muhammad reached his teens, he began to accompany his uncle on Syrian trading journeys, which gave him his experience in the commercial trade. In the study of Islam, tradition plays a significant role. Islamic tradition says that when Muhammad was accompanying the Meccans’ caravan to Syria (some say he was nine others say twelve), he came across a Christian monk named Bahira, who then prophesied that Muhammad would become a prophet of God. Most of Muhammad’s later youth are steeped in mystery and legend.
It should be noted that Muhammad was very disappointed with the religious practices of his day. In Mecca, there was a kind of cosmopolitan area, containing people from different parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore, there were many different temples and tribes there with many gods, especially nature gods. The nonstop bickering over religious differences troubled Muhammad. The Kaaba became a sanctuary for 360 images or idols, one for each day of the lunar year. A pagan priest, who received fees from various worshipers, represented each idol. It was similar to Athens or Mars Hill. Today, the Muslims refer to this as the time of ignorance. The irony is that Muhammad’s family had the job of guarding these idols. Moreover, in his childhood, Muhammad himself sacrificed to these deities and participated in the pagan worship of his day. He had a son whom he named after one of the Meccan deities.
Muhammad was disgusted by the idolatrous polytheism and animism, the immorality of his religion. He did not like drinking, gambling, and dancing that were part of his day. He especially detested the burial alive of unwanted infant daughters, which was practiced in Mecca and throughout the rest of Arabia. Surah 6:137 says, “And so to many of the Mushrikun (polytheists – see V.2:105) their (Allah’s so-called) ‘partners’ have made fair-seeming the killing of their children, in order to lead them to their own destruction and cause confusion in their religion. And if Allah had willed they would not have done so. So leave them alone with their fabrications.”
At the age of twenty-five, Muhammad married a wealthy forty-year-old woman named Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, who owned several essential caravans. Now, Muhammad was in charge of her caravans. This is the stage in his life where he gets access to wealth. These caravan businesses also made it so Muhammad could travel extensively and meet a wide range of people. He met Zoroastrians, Christians with a wide-ranging theological background, and Jews.
When Muhammad was about forty years of age, in the year 610 C.E., he had the custom of going to some caves around Mecca to meditate. It was in the ninth month of the year, the month of Ramadan (month-long fast for Muslims between dawn and dusk). Even those tribes that raided the caravans agreed to a treaty not to carry out any of their brutal and ruthless raids during the month of Ramadan. It was during this time that Muhammad was meditating and reflecting in the caves around Mecca, when he allegedly hears a voice say, “Arise and warn!” This is his supposed call to be a prophet. According to the Quran, an angel, later identified as Gabriel, appeared to him in the cave and called on him to rise up and warn the people of Arabia that they are facing eternal damnation unless they refrain from their idolatrous worship and worship the one true God, Allah.
From this experience, Muhammad was now convinced that he needed to go back and destroy the idols of his father, as well preach about what he now believed to be the one true God, namely, Allah. As he is going about this campaign, he arouses strong feelings among his people. His first convert was his wife, Khadijah. It was not long before others in his family began following him. Nevertheless, there was tremendous opposition to him in the beginning. This opposition stemmed from his promotion of one true God and the destruction of these idols, especially the Banu Hashim clan or tribe, which was part of the Quraysh tribe, as they were the ones who were the guardians of these idols in the Kaaba. In reality, all of it was more about the financial loss of money, as you recall the pagan priests, received fees from various worshipers, as they were representatives for each idol.
The first so-called revelation that Muhammad supposedly received in 610 C.E. continued until 632 C.E. Thus; we have a twenty-two-year period where Muhammad is allegedly receiving regular revelations from the angel Gabriel, which when later compiled, would become what is now known as the Quran. As was already stated above, the Quran is made of 114 chapters that the Muslims call Surahs. Almost all Muslims believe that the Arabic Quran that they carry today is an exact duplication of the heavenly transcript that Muhammad received by dictation from Allah by way of the angelic messenger Gabriel.
EXCURSION: Textual Variants in the Quran
‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (644-656): He is the person responsible for standardizing the Quran in its present form. Many Muslims believe Muhammad gave the Quran, and there have been absolutely no changes, and this is not true. By the time of Uthman, there were MANY variants in the Quran because of interpretation and theology. In most cases, like with the Greek New Testament, if you have textual variants, textual scholars have rules and principles that will allow one to use the evidence to get back to what the original reading was, but that is not the way Uthman went. He burned all of the variants. Thus, all of the variants were destroyed. However, the Germans would later uncover some of these manuscripts in pits where they had tossed these Qurans. We now have some insights into how much variations were there.
On this Dr. Daniel Janosik Director of Islamic Studies, Adjunct Professor of Apologetics, Historical Theology, and Islamic Studies at Southern Evangelical Seminary writes,
“The writing process itself of the Qur’an is believed to further ensure its authenticity. Although the finalization of the Qur’an did not occur until several decades after Muhammad’s death, Muslims still consider Uthman’s collection to be a faithful rendition of the eternal revelation. Muslims believe that some verses were written down during Muhammad’s lifetime but that the majority of them were never recorded until after his death. However, as mentioned earlier, the traditional account holds that the full version of the Qur’an was carefully written down about 20 years after Muhammad’s death under the guidance of Uthman (by 650 AD). During his reign, many of the warriors who had memorized the Qur’an were killed in battle, and Uthman realized that preserving the Qur’an in an oral form alone was a dangerous prospect. He took it upon himself to order all the portions and testimonies of all who memorized the words of Muhammad to be sent to him so that he could collect and preserve the perfect and original words of Allah’s revelation. Afterward, Uthman is said to have destroyed all other manuscripts, as he considered them to be defective. Thus, his work and the resulting version of the Qur’an are considered to be a perfect recollection of the words of Muhammad, exactly as the prophet first uttered them to his followers during his lifetime.” (Janosik 2019, 42-43)
Muhammad made an effort to form alliances with various groups for the purpose of protection. He even had to flee across the Red Sea to Abyssinia around 615 C.E., from the persecution of the ruling Quraysh tribe of Mecca, Abyssinia being the Ethiopian Empire, a kingdom that spanned a geographical area covered by the northern half of the current state of Ethiopia. The Christians offered Muhammad and seventy-five Muslims refuge. The Aksumite king who received them is known in Islamic sources as the Negus. Muhammad shared the Islamic message with King Negus, who felt that it was not that different from the Christian message. It is likely the Christian King, Negus, possibly felt that he could convert the Muslims to Christianity because of the common ground they shared.
The problem they faced here early in the seventh century was the earliest record of translations of parts of the Bible into Arabic is that of a version made in Spain in 724 C.E., some one hundred years later. This means that they could not share Christian documents in Arabic with the Muslims. By this time, there were many heretical views of Christianity by many different varieties of Christian faith, and this is what the Muslims were actually exposed to in that early period. As we know from the New Testament authors, a great apostasy was to enter the church, and by this date, it was full-blown. In the first-century, there was just one true Christianity. About 200 C.E. there were twenty varieties of Christianity, with their being about eighty varieties by 384 C.E. as counted by Epiphanius. Several heretics were expelled from the Roman Empire and had fled down to Arabia for safety. This made it difficult for Muhammad and the Muslims to get a clear biblically sound picture of true Christianity.
Therefore, not only was Muhammad not exposed to the pure form of Christianity and its message, but he also had a fascinating relationship with the Jews. The Jews were scattered throughout the major cities of the Arabian Peninsula but especially in a town named Yathrib (today it is known as Medina), which was located 210 miles (340 km) north of Mecca. At this time, it had a large number of Jewish inhabitants. Medina (Yathrib) ranks as the second holiest city of Islam, after Mecca. The Jews in Yathrib were very upset at the idolatry going on in Arabia. However, they were happy when word came to them that Muhammad was preaching that there was but one true God. Muhammad’s message emphasized Abraham, the oneness of God; he preached against the corruption of idols, and he accepted the Ten Commandments as the Word of God. He refers to the Jews as the Ahl al-Kitab, that is, the “People of the Book.” Therefore, this appeared to be great news for the Jews, as they had been suffering spiritually while living under idolatrous Arabia. Muhammad had promised the Jews not only to end this idolatry but also to stop the inner tribal feuds. Therefore, the Jews and Muslims of Yathrib agreed to give Muhammad safe refuge. He had many troubles early in Mecca because of the families that were in charge of the idols and then after fleeing to Abyssinia, he had initial success, but problems caused him to have to flee yet again; therefore Yathrib (Medina) became an opportunity for refuge once more for him and his followers, as well as take root and prosper.
Thus, Muhammad and his followers left Mecca and traveled north to Medina in 622 C.E. Yathrib became known as al-Madīnah (Medina), the city of the prophet. This move is known as the Hegira or spelled Hijrah (i.e., “the exodus,” “flight,” or “emigration”) and was the beginning of the Islamic or Muslim era. From here, Islam dating begins. Modern Muslims base their entire calendar on the exodus from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E., just as Christians date everything based on A.D. However, you will not hear a Muslim say a date followed by A.D. or C.E. The Muslim year is given as A.H. (Latin, Anno Hegirae, year of the flight) as opposed to A.D. (Anno Domini, year of the Lord) or C.E. (Common Era). The current Islamic year is 1438 A.H. In the Gregorian calendar, 1438 A.H. runs from approximately 3 October 2016 to 21 September 2017.
There are three reasons that this 622 move from Mecca to Medina becomes highly crucial to the Islamic identity. This is the point where all of the supposed visions that Muhammad saw in Mecca, are now able to grow into this powerful movement. It is no longer one individual person, who has had these supposed visions of the one true God, now there are large numbers of Arabs uniting with Muhammad to say that there is but one true God. This move is important to Islam in that this is the birth of their new religion. Prior to Muhammad, it was the Christians and the Jews alone who proclaimed that there was only one true God, which had created great animosity among the paganistic Muslims. For example, in the twelfth chapter of the Quran, Muhammad changes the Joseph story, so that the wife of Potiphar does not seduce Joseph. In the ninth chapter of the Quran, Muhammad makes the claim that the Jews believed Ezra was the son of God (Allah) in the same way that Christians saw Jesus as the Son of God. It should be noted that there is no evidence that any Jews believed that Ezra was “the son of God.” This making the Quran historically wrong, which is why many translators attempt to soften or to hide the issue.
The third reason that 622 C.E. is important to Islam, with the exodus from Mecca and flight to Medina is that it created this rise of a new political authority, making way for the Arabian Empire to emerge. The constant fighting among the tribes, the division, the raiders, brought about great fragmentation. The entire Arabian Peninsula was held together by this loose tribal structure. The emergence of Islam and this new political authority ends all of this. The Arabs now have an opportunity to be united as one nation. This, of course, had a great impact on the dark ages of the Western culture.
There were many early battles where Mecca tried to come north to try to tamp out this initial movement. Sadly, many Jews lost their lives during this time.
The Battle of Badr (624 C.E.): This battle was fought on Tuesday, March 13, 624 C.E. (17 Ramadan, 2 A.H.) in the Hejaz region of western Arabia (present-day Saudi Arabia), which was a turning point in Muhammad’s struggle with his opponents. There were other small skirmishes, but this was the first full-scale battle between Muhammad and Mecca. Muhammad’s forces of 319, facing unbelievable odds, broke the Meccan lines of over 1,000 soldiers, killing several prominent Quraishi leaders, which included the Muslims’ chief antagonist Abu Jahl. This victory sent three signals. First, Muhammad and his forces now felt that they had a chance. Second, this also sent a message to the other tribes that there was a new power in the region. Third, it gave the impression that Allah was fighting on behalf of Muhammad and his followers. This was referred to then as the mother of all battles, which is why you hear Muslim terrorist nations refer to the mother of all battles against the Western nations. For example, Saddam Hussein used this term in referring to Iraq and the United States at the start of the Gulf War. The Battle of Badr is one of the few battles, which is explicitly mentioned in the Quran.
Surah 3:123-125 The Holy Quran
123 And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. So fear Allah much [abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden and love Allah much, perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained] that you may be grateful. 124 (Remember) when you (Muhammad) said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allah) should help you with three thousand angels; sent down?” 125 “Yes, if you hold on to patience and piety, and the enemy comes rushing at you; your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks (of distinction).”
The Battle of Uhud (625 C.E.): This battle was fought on Saturday, March 23, 625 C.E. (7 Shawwal 3 A.H.) at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in what is now northwestern Arabia. One year later, there is yet another massive battle between Muhammad and his forces go against an army led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca. However, this time, many Muslims forces were killed and even Muhammad himself was severely injured. Nevertheless, Muhammad found his excuse for the loss, not in Allah’s power to lead them to victory, but in the lack of faith on the part of the Muslim forces. Muhammad also said that the Muslims needed to ‘learn the value of martyrdom.’ Therefore, this battle was the beginning of highlighting the importance of Martyrdom in the Islamic community. This battle is significant because of its connection to September 11, 2001, where Muslims gave their lives in Martyrdom for Islam. This has been the case thousands of times over since 2001. The Western mind cannot fathom why Muslims in Palestine would send out a young boy to martyrdom himself to kill a few Jewish people. This martyrdom mindset goes back to this battle 3 A.H. (625 C.E.), and a very ancient conception promoted by Muhammad himself, wherein he placed a very high value on the Muslim life that would make such a sacrifice for Allah.
Return to Mecca (630 C.E.): Eventually, Muhammad feels that it is time to take Mecca back and claim it for Allah. Therefore, Muhamad geared up all of his forces and marched down to Mecca, where all were in completely surprised by all of the Meccans laying down their swords, with no one being killed in the battle that never was. Muhamad took this to be a great sign from Allah, so he granted immunity to all of his former enemies. He did not destroy the Kaaba but instead encircled it seven times and paid homage to the black stone because he believed that the black stone was a symbol of monotheism.
The Expansion of Islam
After Mecca had surrendered to Muhammad in January of 630 C.E. (8 A.H.) and he became its ruler. Now that he had the political capital and religious authority, he was now able finally to clean out the religious image in the Kaaba. After that, it was established as the central point for pilgrimages to Mecca, which continue down to this day.
Muhammad died in 632 C.E., because of being poisoned following his attack upon and conquest of the Jewish settlement of Khaibar. A few decades later, Islam had spread as far as Afghanistan and even to Tunisia in North Africa. Islam’s reach had spread into Spain and as far the French border as we enter the early eighth century C.E. The outgrowth of Muhammad, from being in charge of three caravans as a young man to the prophet and religious founder of what was becoming a worldwide religion, a whole other facet of human society, the second-largest today; it is a staggering feat for a human. From Muhammad, an entire other civilization grew, which of course the Muslims explain as a divine intervention into humanity by Allah.
The Death of Muhammad Leads to Divisive Strife
With Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., a division broke out, bringing with it a crisis as to who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Muhammad had no male offspring; therefore, he had no clear successor. The caliph refers to the successor of Muhammad, the ruler of an Islamic theocracy. The caliphate is the territory over which a caliph’s rule extends or the time for which it lasts. The caliphate history is the era of Islam’s ascendancy from the death of Mohammad until the thirteenth century C.E.; some Muslims still maintain that the Muslim world must always have a calif as head of the community, still seeking to reestablish the Caliphate. The issue of radical Islam today if their desire for a worldwide caliphate, where the caliph is ruling the world under Sharia Law. For Islam, there is no more significant issue than the caliphate (imamah), the successorship of Muhammad and the rulership of mankind, which has shed more blood.
Shiite is a follower of the Shia branch of Islam, which considers Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and his descendants as Muhammad’s true successors, the first imam. Ali married Muhammad’s favorite daughter, Fatimah. Their marriage produced Muhammad’s grandsons Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn. The Shiites claim that Allah and Muhammad had designated Ali as the one true legitimate successor and that the first three caliphs had robbed him of the caliphate.
Sunni is the largest branch of Islam, which believes in the traditions of the Sunna and accepts the first four caliphs as rightful successors to Muhammad. Ali was the first Imam of Shia Islam. He did rule as the fourth caliph (656-661 C.E.), where a struggle over leadership arose between him and the governor of Syria, Muawiyah. He refused to submit to Ali’s orders; he was the only governor to do so. A battle ensued but to spare further Muslim bloodshed; they decided to end the dispute in arbitration, which weaken Ali because his followers were very disappointed, some who would become his deadly enemies. In 661 C.E., Ali was attacked with a poisoned saber and assassinated by a Kharijite zealot while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa. The Sunni and the Shi) were on a quarrel or feud. The Sunni then went outside of the prophet’s family, choosing their leader from the Umayyads, wealthy Meccan chiefs.
The Shia chose Ali’s firstborn Hasan, who would have been Muhammad’s grandson. However, Hasan resigned and then was murdered. After that, his brother Husayn became the next imam to be then murdered as well in 680 C.E. His death was viewed a martyrdom by the Shia, which has been a black eye for the Shia down to this day. The Shia believes that Ali was the true successor to Muhammad and divinely protected by Allah, who ended up being assassinated, as was true of his two sons as well. The Shia also believes that Ali was infallible because of having the divine guidance of Allah, and yet he made many missteps leading up to his assassination. The Shia believe that there have only been twelve genuine imams, the last of these being Muhammad al-Muntazar, who disappeared 878 C.E., who will return to bring justice to mankind. This is a doctrine known as the Occultation, which we will talk more about in a later chapter.
Each year the Shia memorializes and honors the martyrdom of Imam Husayn. They have a procession where Shia Muslims will cut themselves with knives and swords, to inflict suffering on themselves. The last few decades have seen the Shia Muslims in the news as zealots for their Islamic cause of seeking to rule the world with a caliph, as they await the return of the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam. The Mahdi is to rule, some say, five, seven, nine, or nineteen years before the Day of Judgement, that is, the Day of Resurrection, where evil will finally be removed from the world.
A Day in the Life of a Muslim
The Muslim life involves five pillars, or principal obligations, as well as six fundamental beliefs. Salat is any one of the daily five obligatory prayers where a devout Muslim turns toward Mecca to pray, which Sunnis regard as the second Pillar of Islam. Friday is the Muslim Sabbath; the men go to the mosque (a place of worship for followers of Islam) for prayer when they hear the haunting call of the muezzin from the minaret (a tower) of the mosque. “The muezzin is the servant of the mosque and is chosen for his good character. He stands either at the door or side of a small mosque or on the minaret (manara) of a large one.” The minaret is a tower built onto a mosque from the top of which the call to prayer is made. With modern-day technology, many mosques simply play a recording of give the call.
Mosque, Arabic masjid or jamiʿ, any house or open area of prayer in Islam. The Arabic word masjid means “a place of prostration” to God, and the same word is used in Persian, Urdu, and Turkish. Two main types of mosques can be distinguished: the masjid jamiʿ, or “collective mosque,” a large state-controlled mosque that is the centre of community worship and the site of Friday prayer services; and smaller mosques operated privately by various groups within society.
Outside the mosque stands the minaret (maʾdhanah), which was originally any elevated place but now usually a tower. It is used by the muezzin (“crier”) to proclaim the call to worship (adhan) five times each day. A place for ablution, containing running water, is usually attached to the mosque but may be separated from it.
Beginning with Muhammad’s own house, mosques came to be used for many public functions—military, political, social, and educational. Schools and libraries were often attached to medieval mosques (e.g., al-Azhar mosque in Cairo). The mosque also functioned as a court of justice until the introduction of secular law into many Islamic countries in modern times. Whereas many of the social, educational, and political functions of the mosque have been taken over by other institutions in modern times, it remains a centre of considerable influence. In some cases a maktab (elementary school) is attached to a mosque, mainly for the teaching of the Qurʾān, and informal classes in law and doctrine are given for people of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The mosque differs from a church in many respects. Ceremonies and services connected with marriages and births are not usually performed in mosques, and the rites that are an important and integral function of many churches, such as confession, penitence, and confirmation, do not exist there. Prayer is performed by bows and prostrations, with no chairs or seats of any kind. Men stand in rows, barefooted, behind the imam and follow his movements. Rich and poor, prominent and ordinary people, all stand and bow together in the same rows. Women may participate in the prayers, but they must occupy a separate space or chamber in the mosque. No statues, ritual objects, or pictures are used in the mosque; the only decorations permitted are inscriptions of Quranic verses and the names of Muhammad and his Companions. Professional chanters (qurraʾ) may chant the Quran according to rigidly prescribed systems taught in special schools, but no music or singing is allowed.
Conflict with Christianity
The spread of Islam in the seventh century went west into North Africa, east into Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and South to Indonesia. The Catholic Church was very militant at this time, so Islam entered conflict with the Catholics. Eventually, the Catholic Church was forced to organize Crusades, to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. On January 02, 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain entered Granada, where they received the keys to the city and the principal mosque, which was reconsecrated as a church. This completed the Catholic reconquest of Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella gave their word to allow the Muslims and Jews of Granada to live in peace but only if they converted, or else they were expelled from Spain. Under the Muslim rule of Spain, a mutual tolerance had existed. However, it later vanished under the influence of the Catholic Inquisition. Still, Islam not only survived but in the 20th and now 21st century has grown to the second-largest religion in the world and is the fastest-growing religion in the world.
As Islam expanded around the world, the Catholic Church was experiencing its own turmoil, trying to keep unity among its flock. However, the two influences that would shake and fracture the Catholic Church most were the printing press of 1455 and the Bible being translated into the common language of the people. God’s Word had purposely been locked away in the Latin language for centuries.
I WOULD have these words translated into all languages, so that not only Scots and Irish, but Turks and Saracens too might read them . . . I long for the ploughboy to sing them to himself as he follows his plough, the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle, the traveler to beguile with them the dullness of his journey. – Desiderius Erasmus
Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus penned those words in the early part of the 16th century. Like his English counterpart, William Tyndale, it was his greatest desire that God’s Word is widely translated and that even the plowboy would have access to it.
Much time has passed since the Reformation, and 98 percent of the world we live in today has access to the Bible. There is little wonder that the Bible has become the bestseller of all time. It has influenced men from all walks of life to fight for freedom and truth. This is especially true during the Reformation of Europe throughout the 16th century. These leading men were of great faith, courage, and strength, such as Martin Luther, William Tyndale, while others, like Erasmus, was more subtle in the change that he produced. Thus, it has been said of the Reformation that Martin Luther only opened the door to it after Erasmus picked the lock.
The Quran and the Bible
Surah 3:3 The Holy Quran
3 It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad ) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).
We will talk much about the Quran and the Bible in later chapters. For now, it should be noted that the Quran mention both the Old and the New Testament. Adam, Noah, Abraham are mentioned some seventy times in twenty-five different surahs. Ishmael, Lot, Joseph are mentioned in Surah 12. Moses is mentioned in thirty-four different surahs. Saul, David, Solomon, Elijah, Job, and Jonah are mentioned in Surah 10. The account of Adam’s fall is mentioned five times in the Quran, with the flood and Sodom being mentioned eight times. In fact, the Pentateuch is mentioned in the Quran more than any other part of the Bible. As far as the New Testament goes, Zachariah, John the Baptist, Jesus (‛Isa) and Mary are the only ones to be mentioned.
The Three Sources of Teaching and Guidance for Muslims
The Holy Quran is the Islamic holy book: the sacred text of Islam, believed by Muslims to record the revelations of God to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel from 610-632 C.E.
The Hadith or Sunnah is a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad that, with accounts of his daily practice (the Sunna), constitute the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Quran.
The Sharia or Sharia Law is the religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. Much will be said on this later. For now, know that Sharia Law regulates a Muslim’s entire life in religiously, politically, and socially. There are five categories:
- (Fard) a religious duty or an obligatory action: praying five times a day is fard and neglecting a fard will result in a punishment in the hereafter.
- (Mustahabb) is commendable or recommended. One definition is “duties recommended, but not essential; fulfillment of which is rewarded, though they may be neglected without punishment.” There are thousands of mustahabb acts, which include a traditional Islamic greeting, “peace be upon you.”
- (Jaiz) is that which is allowed or permissible. As a rule, everything that is not prohibited is allowed. (Mubah) is literally permissible; neither forbidden nor commended. Neutral.
- (Makruh) means, “detested,” though not haraam (forbidden); something that is disliked or offensive. If a person commits the Makruh, he does not accumulate ithim (negative reward for bad deeds that is tallied on judgment day) but avoiding the Makhruh is rewarded with thawab (reward for good deeds that is tallied on (judgment day).
- (Haram) is that which is sinful, which calls for punishment.
The Six Pillars of Belief
- Belief in one God: Allah (Surah 23:116, 117)
- Belief in Angels (Surah 2:177)
- Belief in His Books: Torah, Gospel, Psalms, Scrolls of Abraham, Quran
- Belief in the Prophets and Messengers: Adam was the first prophet. Others have included Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus, with the last prophet sent by God being Muhammad (Surah 4:136; 33:40)
- Belief in the Day of Judgment: when all the dead will be raised from their graves
- Belief in Divine Predestination: Nothing happens with the permission of Allah
The Five Pillars of Islam
- (The Profession of Faith) The testimony of faith (shahadah): La ilaha illa Allah. Muhammadun Rasulullah. (“There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”). Sunnis regard this as the first Pillar of Islam. Also may be used as a synonym for the term Istish’had meaning martyrdom. (Surah 33:40)
- (The Five Daily Prayers) This is any one of the daily five obligatory prayers (Salat) where a devout Muslim turns toward Mecca to pray, which Sunnis regard as the second Pillar of Islam. (Surah 2:144)
- (Almsgiving) This is a tax, alms, tithe (zakah) as a Muslim duty; Sunnis regard this as the fourth Pillar of Islam. Neither charity nor derived from Islamic economics, but a religious duty and social obligation. (Surah 24:56)
- (Fasting) This is fasting (sawm) during the month of Ramadhan. The word sawm is derived from Syriac sawmo. (Surah 2:183-185)
- (Pilgrimage to Mecca) Pilgrimage (ḥajj). one who has made the Hajj. Once in a lifetime, every Muslim is obligated to make the journey to Mecca. Only illness and poverty are legitimate excuses. (Surah 3:97)
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Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?
Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?
Andrews, an author of over 100 books, has chosen the 40 most beneficial Proverbs, to give the readers an abundance of wise, inspired counsel to help them acquire understanding and safeguard their heart, “for out of it are the sources of life.” (4:23) GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS sets things straight by turning the readers to Almighty God. Each Proverb is dealt with individually, giving the readers easy to understand access to what the original language really means. This gives the readers what the inspired author meant by the words that he used. After this, the reader is given practical guidance on how those words can be applied for maneuvering through life today. GODLY WISDOM with its instruction and counsel never go out of date.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …
THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. …
This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer. So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.
DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.
What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?
Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.
What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?
A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.
Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”
THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.
The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …
Translation and Textual Criticism
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …
We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …
INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.
The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.
THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …
CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …
Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …
In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …
This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …
Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application. …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …
Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it! These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.
The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.
Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”
In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …
 Throughout the book we will quote the Quran quite often so that by the end of the book, the reader should have a good idea whether the Quran is really being quoted.
 B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”
 We would be remiss if we did not mention that Islam has largely grown by conquering neighbors and forcing its people into conversion by the sword. It is considered apostasy to abandon Christianity and Islam but it is only Islam that claims that apostasy or the abandonment of Islam is to result in the death penalty. In some Islamic countries, a Muslim will be executed if he leaves Islam: (Iraq, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, to mention just a few). Blasphemy is defined as speech or actions considered to be contemptuous of God or the divine and is a capital crime in Pakistan.
 In order to evaluate accurately which religion is growing fastest, one must consider the growth alongside the growth of the world population as well. The world grew numerically from 1.6 billion to 6 billion in the 20th century. During the same period, Christianity went from 558 million in 1900 to 2 billion in the year 2000 (and 2.2 billion by mid-2017). As we can see, the percentage of Christians in 1900 was about 34.4 percent and in the year 2000, the percentage of Christians was just below that at 33.2 percent. Therefore, while it could be argued that Christianity had grown by 400 percent; they did not overtake the percentage of the population, and even lost some of the percentages that they had. Islam started 1900 12.35 percent of the population. By the year 2000, Islam had grown to 20 percent of the world population, which at the time of this book in 2017; Islam is actually at 24.1 percent. Islam has grown at 08 percent over the world population growth.
 According to Oxford Dictionaries, “Muslim is the preferred term for ‘follower of Islam,’ although Moslem is also widely used.”
 In other words, every time a Muslim recites one chapter of the Quran, he is moving one step closer to Allah. While it is true that the Bible has many verses that suggest the more Bible knowledge that a disciple takes in, the closer he draws to God. However, Muslims feel that the meaning of the Surah (one step closer to Allah) and ayah (pointing to Allah) is more dynamic in that the reader of the Quran is moving closer to Allah as they read the Quran.
 Therefore, every ayah points to Allah.
 Most will recognize that Catholics also have prayers beads. In fact, it is thought that the Catholics adopted this practice from the Muslims.
 It should be noted here that this author believes that these six creation days are six creation periods.
 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Arabia, Arabs,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 145.
 IBID, 145.
 Muhammad’s opponents: Surah 43:31. Also, they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some leading man in either of the two (chief) cities [i.e., Mecca and Medina]?”
 Some Muslims believe instead that 40 scribes followed Muhammad during his life and recorded all of his words from Allah, but this is not generally accepted.
 Muslims also claim that an earlier copy of the Qur’an was written out by Muhammad’s secretary, Zayd ibn Thabit, who collated the Qur’an from various written and oral sources during the time of Abu Bakr, the first Caliph who served from 632-634. After this volume was completed Umar, the second caliph, left the book with his daughter Hafsah, who stored the Qur’an under her bed.
 Peter Riddell and Peter Cotterell, Islam in Context: Past, Present, and Future (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003), 58-9.
 muezzin | Islamic religious official | Britannica.com
 Granada is the city and capital of Granada Province in the autonomous region of Andalusia, southern Spain
 John Edwards. The Spain of the Catholic Monarchs 1474–1520. Blackwell Publishers Inc, 2000, p. 112–130
 (Clayton 2006, 230)
 Reuben Levy, The Social Structure of Islam, p. 202