One of the most controversial issues brought up today in discussions about Islam is the topic of Jihad. Non-Muslims often associate the word with “holy war,” conjuring up images of turbaned warriors with curved scimitars and black flags. It may come as a surprise to these westerners, then, that the concept of jihad is a complex one, with the word itself having several possible interpretations. Even all Muslims do not agree on jihad’s true meaning or its role in the practice of Islam. Some Muslims today claim that jihad defines a personal struggle each believer has within themselves in order to fully submit to Allah. These Muslims vehemently oppose the other interpretation, which is that jihad provides the rationale for their political and military conquests in order to advance the cause of Islam and bring the world under the domain of Allah. In this muddle, many political leaders and Western scholars emphasize the peaceful, internal struggle interpretation of jihad. Others, however, point out that Islamic history itself undermines this view, as it has been a history of conflict and conquest from its inception, and directed primarily against Christian territories, as Bernard Lewis points out:
For almost a thousand years … Europe was under constant threat. In the early centuries, it was a double threat—not only of invasion and conquest but also of conversion and assimilation. All but the easternmost provinces of the Islamic realm had been taken from Christian rulers, and the vast majority of the first Muslims west of Iran and Arabia were converts from Christianity. North Africa, Egypt, Syria, even Persian-ruled Iraq, had been Christian countries, in which Christianity was older and more deeply rooted than in most of Europe. Their loss was sorely felt and heightened the fear that a similar fate was in store for Europe.
Naturally, such clashing views lead to some important questions. If Islam is a religion of peace, why are there so many Muslims who claim they are true followers of Muhammad and the Qur’an constantly at war with each other and all other nations and people? Can “jihad” lead to both peace and war? A survey of the various views of jihad throughout the history of Islam will help resolve these questions. This chapter will also explore the concept of jihad politically, theologically, and culturally in order to determine how it is used in different contexts and what it means for Christians in the West today.
The Traditional Muslim View
Examining the traditional Muslim view of Jihad is a somewhat complex task, as it involves two conflicting viewpoints today and various interpretations over the past centuries. The Moderate View, which is often emphasized by Muslims and non-Muslim leaders alike in the West, is the most complex. It also is argued by various sources to be a far more recent interpretation than the Fundamentalist View. Before discussing these two views, a general definition of the word “jihad” should be noted. Its basic sense is to “struggle” or “persevere” toward some goal. The word is derived from the Arabic root, “jahada,” and for Muslims this struggle is often understood in the context of religious duty. It is therefore often linked with the phrase al-jihad fi sabil Allah, meaning “struggle, or striving, in the path of God.” This term occurs often in the Qur’an and Hadith, commanding faithful Muslims to carry out jihad for Allah. How and where exactly this struggle is carried out, however, is the true center of controversy.
Moderate Muslim View
The Moderate View of jihad hinges around the concept of “greater and lesser jihad.” Moderate Muslim scholars explain that the struggle of jihad is best understood not as a holy war but as having two meanings: an inner spiritual struggle, called the “greater jihad,” and an outer physical struggle against the enemies of Islam, called the “lesser jihad.” This dual understanding is said to have come from Muhammad who once told his followers returning from a military campaign, “this day we have returned from the minor jihad to the major jihad.” Thus, this view holds that the most important struggle humans can have is the struggle to gain mastery over personal desires in order to submit fully to the will of Allah. If military action is taken, it must be only when necessary to protect the faith, and therefore only carried out defensively and along carefully defined terms of engagement, such as not harming women and children or those who are disabled. Significantly, this “lesser” or defensive jihad must be previously authorized by proper authorities, such as key religious scholars or prominent governing officials, to ensure that the threat is imminent, and the cause is truly one of defense.
In order to support this view of jihad as a defensive mechanism, moderate Muslim scholars interpret the history of Islam as being primarily one of co-existence, where military action as a means of Jihad is used only rarely. One example of this need for military jihad, according to Muslim scholars, was during the defensive battles against the Christian Crusaders when they invaded Palestine. Another time was during the early period of Islamic conquests when the Muslims were being attacked by Byzantine and Persian forces. Instances where unprovoked and violent warfare was undertaken in the name of Islam are categorized as instances of misuse of the concept of jihad, where political or religious groups hijacked the idea of jihad to gain power and control over infidels, or even when splinter groups attacked orthodox Muslims with the claim that they, the splinter group, represented Muhammad’s true followers. Thus, the Moderate view maintains that true military jihad is rare and carefully controlled. Therefore, if there were incidents that misused extreme violence, the Moderates would not tend to interpret these travesties as legitimate instances of jihad. Instead, these unauthorized acts of violence would be deemed unIslamic and the perpetrators would be treated as infidels of the faith. Most importantly, they argue, jihad should not be viewed as a declaration of war against other religious groups, especially Jews and Christians, who should be protected and respected because they worship the same God that Muslims do.
Indeed, moderate Muslims point to Qur’anic verses which emphasize the co-existence of religions and the doctrine of “just wars.” Sura 2:256, for example, is one of the most significant verses as it states that “there can be no compulsion in religion.” Thus, as medieval scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328 AD) theorized, Muhammad himself would have never sanctioned the killing of non-believers who refused to convert, as this would contradict the non-compulsion principle. Without a justification for offensive action, defensive or “just” war is the only acceptable type of violence; Sura 22:39-40 and Sura 2:190 state that any attacks against non-believers must be a defensive response to oppression and injustice. This is why moderate Muslim scholars would argue that Islamic terrorist groups are not following true Muslim guidelines and therefore are distorting the true meaning of jihad.
Beyond these basic tenets of Greater and Lesser Jihad, moderate Muslims in the West generally also believe that non-Muslims do not understand the true meaning of jihad. Reza Aslan expresses these views well, arguing that there are a number of misunderstandings that have promoted various false stereotypes of jihad. For one thing, Aslan claims that Islam has often been portrayed as a “warrior religion” that inspired the Muslim horde to charge across the Middle East with a holy passion. However, he believes this “deep-rooted stereotype of Islam as a warrior religion has its origins in the papal propaganda of the Crusades when Muslims were depicted as the soldiers of the Antichrist in blasphemous occupation of the Holy Lands.” In addition, Aslan says that during the Middle Ages the Holy Roman Empire was trying to distinguish itself as important in the face of all the Islamic advances in philosophy and science by labeling Islam as the “religion of the sword,” thus projecting a Western superiority over Muslim actions.
Furthermore, Aslan advances the Moderate perspective by arguing that non-Muslims were not forced to convert to Islam by military force. He maintains that neither Muhammad nor the Qur’an sanctions this behavior, and that early Muslims did not encourage it. Instead, he reasons that “the financial and social advantages of being an Arab Muslim in the eighth and ninth centuries were such that Islam quickly became an elite clique,” and therefore the benefits of joining the new religion attracted nonbelievers to embrace Islam for themselves.
However, the main area of confusion, moderate Muslims argue, is the true meaning of the word “jihad.” They refute the popular view that the concept of jihad means “holy war” and seek to reclaim its true meaning, which they argue is that of an inner struggle for purity before Allah. This argument has been voiced in Western academic circles as well, as was expressed in the Spring 2002 Harvard graduation speech by a senior named Zayed Yasin who stressed that jihad in its truest and purest form, the form to which all Muslims aspire, is the determination to do right to do justice even against your own interests. It is an individual struggle for personal moral behavior. Especially today, it is a struggle that exists on many levels: self-purification and awareness, public service and social justice.
Several professors at Harvard University spoke in support of this non-violent interpretation. Among them, David Mitten, a convert to Islam, stated that true jihad is “the constant struggle of Muslims to conquer their inner base instincts, to follow the path to God, and to do good in society.” Roy Mottahedeh, the chairman of the committee on Islamic studies at Harvard, added that a majority of learned Muslim thinkers “insist that jihad must be understood as a struggle without arms” in all cases except defense and justice. John Esposito, a professor at Georgetown University, explained these views further by concluding that “in the struggle to be a good Muslim, there may be times where one will be called on to defend one’s faith and community. Then [jihad] can take on the meaning of an armed struggle.”
Thus, the Moderate View is generally supported by western academics (and political leaders) in their views that jihad is first an inner struggle (Greater Jihad) and only second a defensive military option (Lesser Jihad). The legitimacy of this interpretation is supported from the Qur’an and various sayings of Muhammad, and therefore the Moderates believe Muslims who view jihad as a mandate for aggressive violence have tragically ceased to follow true Islam.
The Fundamentalist Muslim View
Leading Muslims who support the Fundamentalist View of jihad insist that only Muslims should speak for Islam, claiming that Islam is not a religion of peace. For example, Al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State Caliphate, has said, “Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State.” It is important to note that fundamentalists trace this understanding of jihad all the way back to the first days of Islam. Some of the hadiths relate what Muhammad himself had to say about jihad:
I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god, but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah.
Even the popular 14th-century compilation of Islamic law called The Reliance of the Traveler says that “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.” In addition, one of Islam’s most prominent scholars, Ibn Khaldun, compared the mission of Islam with the mission of other religious groups. His understanding was that in regard to the other major religions in the world, “the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense.” However, the mission given to Islam was different. He relates, “In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote about the centrality of jihad as well. He said that “Jihad is an obligation from Allah on every Muslim and cannot be ignored nor evaded… The verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Muhammad (PBUH) are overflowing with all these noble ideals and they summon people in general to jihad, to warfare, to the armed forces, and all means of land and sea fighting.” In contrast to the many leaders who try to reduce jihad to a struggle that individual Muslims have with themselves in order to become better Muslims, there are many voices throughout the history of Islam who have boldly defined jihad as active warfare against the infidel until all people submit to Islam. These fundamentalist Muslim protest the interpretation of Islamic doctrine by non-Muslims, use the Qur’an and Hadith to support their views and emphasize that history supports their interpretation of a militaristic struggle in jihad.
How non-Muslims and Westerners understand and respond to the concept of jihad is, as has been indicted, a complex subject. The current trend among influential Muslims is to adopt the position of reformers, seeking to define jihad as a personal struggle or, at most, self-defense against a specified enemy. For example, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) insists that Christians exaggerate the role of jihad and make it out to be “holy war” when it is simply a “broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.” On the other hand, revisionist scholars argue that jihad, both in Qur’anic teaching and in Islamic history, has always included the concept of a “holy war” with offensive tactics against non-believers. For example, in his book, The History of Jihad, Robert Spencer “shows that jihad warfare has been a constant of Islam from its very beginnings, and present-day jihad terrorism proceeds along exactly the same ideological and theological foundations as did the great Islamic warrior states and jihad commanders of the past.”
Being thus in a kind of agreement with the Fundamentalist View, such scholars warn of the deadly peril faced by Western societies whose leaders generally dismiss violent jihad as the product of a few unbalanced terrorists, and who give little credence to the argument that aggressive jihad is supported in any way by the Qur’an or orthodox Muslim teachings. If violent jihad is in fact supported or even mandated by Islamic doctrine, revisionists point out, there is no reason to expect violence and terrorism to diminish or die a natural death.
Revisionist scholars bring up historical and textual evidence to argue that, as Paul Fregosi puts it, “the purpose of jihad became, and basically still is, to expand and extend Islam until the whole world is under Islamic rule.” Another author, Jacques Ellul, emphasizes jihad’s essentially religious nature and pointed out jihad’s inescapable connection to every Muslim: “Jihad… forms part of the duties a believer must fulfill; it is Islam’s normal path to expansion.” This section examines these and other claims by revisionist authors, focusing on the historical evidence, texts from the Qur’an and Hadith, and critiques of the Moderate View which form the core of these counterview arguments.
In terms of historical evidence, the past 1300 years offer a wealth of information about Islam’s growth and expansion. As has been noted in a previous chapter, the 700’s – 1500’s AD saw a concerted and persistent effort to spread Islamic control over large swathes of land in the Middle East, North Africa, and even parts of Europe. Bernard Lewis writes of this period, “For more than a thousand years, Europe, that is to say Christendom, was under constant threat of Islamic attack and conquest. If the Muslims were repelled in one region, they appeared in greater strength in another.”
Logically, these constant battles cannot be attributed to a strategy of defensive jihad, as no historical accounts record instances of Islamic terrorists or believers being brought under attack when the land was initially acquired by Muslims. (The Crusades could well be argued to be an instance of defense, but it should be recalled that the land was initially acquired by Muslims from non-Muslims years before.) Thus, if the conventional definition of ‘defense,’ which is seeking to retain land that one already possesses or owns, then aggressively assuming control of lands already occupied by others cannot be termed a defense. One other possible scenario of ‘defense’ might be a situation where the peoples of other lands were persecuting Muslims, and defeating the persecutors brought about the secondary consequence of Muslim forces acquiring new lands after the battles were over. Historical records can answer whether the latter situation actually occurred; and from earlier chapters tracing the expansion of Islam, the evidence is very clear that Islam was the aggressor most of time. Thus, the conquest of these lands is much more readily explained by the conclusion that early Muslims viewed their work as an offensive jihad, with the goal of conquering land in the name of Allah (Q. 8:39), or simply conquering out of non-religious motivations.
Going back even further in history, revisionist scholars argue that Muhammad himself waged mostly offensive battles against Mecca. This pattern of warfare seems to have been established soon after Muhammad and his followers arrived at Medina, where the earliest biographies record that they engaged in over seventy battles. Only one, the Battle of the Trench (627 AD), was defensive in terms of protecting the Muslims’ lives and property. However, it can be argued that Muhammad’s early life and sayings in Mecca, recorded in the Qur’an and Hadith, do indicate an emphasis on peace. One revisionist scholar, David Wood, has argued in response to this point that there were actually different “stages” of how the concept of jihad was viewed, corresponding to the status of Muslims in society at the time. These three stages can be titled ‘respect,’ ‘defense,’ and ‘offense.’
Wood found, first, that the first stage of respect applied during the time that Muhammad and the Muslims were in the minority in Mecca and needed to maintain peaceful relationships with the non-believers and patiently bear with those who denied the truth of Islam. Thus, the revelations Muhammad received during this stage called for religious tolerance, such as is recorded in Sura 109:6, which supposedly was revealed in the earliest Meccan period, and maintains that each person is free to choose their own religion (“You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion”). Wood calls this first stage “Stealth Jihad” because while Muhammad and his followers were being persecuted by the non-believers, there may have been a call for tolerance in public, but, as later verses indicate, Muhammad may have actually been preaching a subversive messages against the Meccans in private.
However, after the move to Medina when there were enough Muslims to fight defensively against the Meccan opponents, then permission was given to fight against others in order to defend themselves. This brought in the second stage, called “Defensive Jihad.” It was during this time that Sura 22:39-40 was revealed and gave permission to fight against those who sought harm to the community.
Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them; Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: our Lord is Allah…
The third stage, called “Offensive Jihad,” began when Muslims established a majority in the area. During this stage, aggressive jihad against all unbelievers is commanded, including Jews and Christians, until they are subdued. Sura 9:29 represents this stage when it says,
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.
It is important to note that in this passage, the Muslims were commanded to fight anyone who did not accept the religion of Islam and believe in Allah or follow the laws found in the Qur’an. Over the years, then, David Wood argues that the Muslims began with tolerance toward all those around them when they were in the minority, but once they had achieved the majority status and had power and authority due to their military strength, a call was sent down through revelations from Allah so that fighting unbelievers was a continual command until all non-believers were converted or became subdued under the rule of Islam. Revisionist scholars point to this pattern of jihad development being demonstrated during not only during the early years of Islam but extending through history wherever Islamic forces captured and conquered non-Muslim lands, throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and even along the borders of Europe.
Literary evidence is also offered by revisionist scholars to support these historical arguments and to counter the claims of the Moderate View of jihad. Using verses from the Qur’an and Hadith in this way naturally is very closely tied to the early history of Muhammad and the birth of Islam. Do these sources support a ‘greater and lesser Jihad’ concept, or do they command offensive jihads of conquest, as the fundamentalist Muslims claim? The difficulty in answering or even discussing this question is that the Qur’an actually contains passages that support both interpretations. For example, Sura 109:6 says, “You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion,” and Sura 2:256 clearly states “There is no compulsion in religion.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sura 9:5 says to “slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” and Sura 9:29 encourages Muslims to “fight those who believe not in Allah.” Some moderate Muslims explain these contradictory instructions by saying that the more violent verses were only for the time when Muhammad was leading the early Muslims, and once Islam was established, the peaceful verses took precedence over the outdated ones. However, this explanation actually goes against the Qur’an’s own instruction on its interpretation: “We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?” This method of interpretation is called the Doctrine of Abrogation, and it essentially calls for this practice of substituting verses that were revealed to Muhammad later in his ministry for earlier verses on the same subject, letting the later verses supersede the earlier.
For example, a verse such as Sura 9:5, known as one of the “sword verses,” is considered according to the Doctrine of Abrogation to supersede as many as 114 other verses calling for tolerance and peace. This is because it is said to be part of the last series of revelations given to Muhammad before his death in Medina. David Wood uses the Doctrine of Abrogation to support his argument of the three stages of Muslims’ view of jihad, and writes that “when Muslims rose to power, peaceful verses of the Qur’an were abrogated by verses commanding Muslims to fight people based on their beliefs.”
These teachings were also carried on through various Hadith narratives, and there are many examples of Hadiths promoting a violent form of jihad (struggle against non-Muslims through force). For example, in Al-Bukhari (8: 387) Muhammad is recorded as saying, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah.” In Sahih Muslim (1:33), the Messenger of Allah is recorded as saying, “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer and pay zakat.” It is noteworthy that in both of these hadiths violence is sanctioned until the person says the Shahada, prays and pays the zakat, which means that conversion to Islam has taken place. Daniel Pipes also points out that in the Hadith collection of al-Bukhari he finds that “there are 199 references to jihad, and every one of them refers to it in the sense of armed warfare against non-Muslims.”
Most Muslims accept the Doctrine of Abrogation today and have done so historically. One of the great commentators of the Qur’an, Ibn Kathir (1300-1373), concluded in his writings that the verse that advocates “there is no compulsion in religion” (Q. 2:256) has been abrogated. He concluded, “Therefore all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizyah, they should be fought till they are killed.” Thus, the historical and literary elements come together with the Doctrine of Abrogation to create what revisionist scholars claim is a clear picture of Islamic doctrine gradually promoting a version of jihad that is based on physical violence and has decreasing tolerance towards unbelievers throughout the chronologically-placed Suras and Hadiths.
The final noteworthy argument that revisionist scholars make is that the Moderate View of jihad as a whole cannot be sustained in the light of the evidence detailed above. As additional support for this claim, scholars point out a flaw in one of the key arguments made by Muslims advocating the Moderate View: the famous Hadith that explains the concept of Greater and Lesser Jihad is actually only found in a 12th century book written by Yahya ibn al ‘Ala, called The History of Baghdad. In this book, In this book the author relates, “The prophet returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, “you have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad – the striving of a servant against his desires.” However, this story is totally absent from the traditional hadith collections. It also directly contradicts the Qur’an (4:95-96), which states, “Allah prefers the mujahidin over those who remain [behind] with a great reward.” This passage and its late creation would seem to indicate that some Muslims want to promote the idea of the “greater” jihad so that they can get away from the violence of the “lesser” jihad. Peter Townsend concludes, “It should be clear from the above that the idea that ‘jihad against the self’ is the most important form of jihad has no basis whatsoever in orthodox Islamic teaching.”
Besides abrogation and this unsupported hadith, revisionist scholars also argue that some of the more popular Qur’anic verses quoted to support the Moderate View are taken out of context. These verses would be used to argue a general theological point, such as regarding internal jihad, but actually, they cannot be supported from the full text they are drawn from. A significant example of this is Sura 5:32, which says that “if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” Muslims often quote this verse to give the idea that Islam holds all life to be valuable and killing anyone, except those committing murder or mischief, is strongly opposed to Islamic justice. However, the verse is actually addressed specifically to the “Children of Israel” and does not refer to all people. In addition, other verses state that Jews and Christians “spread mischief in the land,” where “mischief” is equated with unbelief, which is a great sin and worthy of death. Therefore, the Jews (and Christians) would not be innocent, but instead would merit the punishment mentioned in the very next verse:
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.” (Q. 5:33)
Thus, a verse that is supposed to demonstrate the peacefulness of Islam actually condemns unbelievers to the most horrific punishment.
Understanding the context of verses as well as their chronological order is thus the final argument which revisionist scholars make to demonstrate that the original and accurate interpretation of jihad is one of violent conquest for Allah. While peaceful verses, like “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Q. 2:256) may have been abrogated by later jihad verses, the violent jihad verses have not been abrogated. They are still in effect, according to the Doctrine of Abrogation, and revisionist scholars thus conclude that Muslims are encouraged to “fight until all religion is for Allah” (Q. 8:39).
It is clear, then, that these two views of jihad, along with their interpretation of history and the Qur’an, also have very different views on religious violence as it exists today. If the Moderate View is correct, and violence is not a true part of Islam, then terrorists and extremists who insist that it is are really motivated for other reasons – either their own desire for power, or a false understanding of Islam, or both. At any rate, according to the Moderates, it can never become a dominant view because there are no grounds for such beliefs in the Qur’an, nor any good precedent in history. Troublemakers and isolated splinter groups may pop up over the years, but the majority of Muslims will always adhere to the true interpretation and seek jihad only in their hearts as a means of submitting their personal lives to Allah.
But if revisionist scholars are correct, then several very different implications must be noted. First, their argument that violence is integral to Islamic faith necessarily means that violence and oppressive measures will always be encouraged by a careful study of Islam, not suppressed. Second, if their points are valid, then Westerners are being currently deceived by what is effectively Muslim propaganda – a situation which is as dangerous on an individual level as it is on a national and global level. It is also a falsification of history, as the Moderate View seeks to explain or dismiss the large numbers of offensive battles, campaigns, conquests, and raids, some of which have threated the heart of Europe’s territory, as in 732 (Battle of Tours) and in 1683 (Battle of Vienna). Such a misrepresentation means that Westerners do not accurately understand the way that Islamic cultures and Christian nations have interacted in the past, which makes it far more difficult to interact wisely in the present. Finally, if the Moderate view is not supported by the Qur’an or by history, then this bears important implications theologically. As William Kilpatrick puts it, “Jihad for the sake of Allah is not some unfortunate deviation from the true faith, it’s an integral part of that faith.” Christians must especially be aware of this controversy regarding jihad as they seek to engage Muslim friends. Otherwise, they will most likely assume that peace has the same definition and connotations in Islam as in Christianity, when in fact not all Muslims believe that – and when, if revisionist scholars are correct, no Muslim should believe it if they study the Qur’an carefully.
These implications are especially significant if one considers Islam by global numbers. After all, if a bare handful of Muslims oppose the Moderate View and support warfare and terrorism in the name of Allah instead, what does it really matter? Every religion has its extremists, as is often argued by prominent leaders. However, when one actually considers in terms of statistics who support radical Islam, it has been demonstrated by several groups and polls that the “99.9% of Muslims are completely against radical Islam” is not grounded in substantial fact. In December 2015, the Clarion Project released a video called “By the Numbers – The Untold Story of Muslim Opinions and Demographics.” A Muslim woman, Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, narrated the film which demonstrated that radical Islam is a bigger problem than most Western governments want to admit. If we divide up the 1.6 billion Muslims into five categories – Jihadists (radicals), Islamists, Fundamentalists, Moderates, and Liberals – the Jihadists would only number around 250,000 to 500,000 people, or less than .03% of all Muslims (ISIS: 40,000 to 200,000; Hamas: 30,000; Hezbollah: 15,000; al Qaeda and affiliates: 100,000; Iranian Revolutionary Guard: 15,000 to 100,000). However, the next two groups contain much larger spheres that support the radical ideology of the Jihadists, especially their beliefs on jihad and sharia, but use different tactics and often work within the cultural and political systems. The first of these two groups are the Islamists, represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas supporters, and CAIR. The third sphere, the Fundamentalists, make up the greater proportion of Muslims who favor radical views.
It is difficult to arrive at a specific number of Muslims that are represented by these three groups, but a recent Pew Report indicates that these “spheres of radicalization” demonstrate that consistently over 20-25% of all Muslims, especially those in Muslim majority countries, accept and support active jihad and strict sharia law in order to fulfill their obligations to Allah. For example, the Pew Report found that of the 39 Muslim countries polled, 27% of all Muslims believe apostates from Islam should be killed. This represents 237 million people. In addition, 53% of Muslims, or 469 million, support sharia as the law of the land, and over 50% of these are in favor of whippings and amputations, as well as stoning for adulterers. Altogether, then, these three spheres represent 20-25% of all Muslims or roughly 320-400 million people. Most of these Muslims are not involved in the terrorism directly, but they are certainly part of the community that supports and encourages the views and actions of the jihadists and Islamists involved in carrying out the atrocities, all in the name of the religion of Islam.
The impact of these numbers should not be overlooked when considering the implications of Moderate vs. Fundamentalist views of Islam. If 20% of Muslims around the world encourage fundamentalist views and 53% support the implementation of Sharia law, then this paints a very different picture of global Muslim views on jihad than Moderate View proponents have popularly suggested. Westerners should be aware of how peace and violence have historically been defined in Islamic cultures, and they should also be wary of assurances of ‘mainstream’ Islam’s peace when such claims are not supported by specific facts.
The theological foundations of jihad are ultimately found in understanding the nature of Allah, as well as clearly distinguishing the difference between peace in Islam – which is literally ‘submission’ in the text – and Western or Christian definitions of peace. Jihad is integral to Islam because jihad flows from the nature of Allah and his relationship with Muslims and with non-Muslims. First, the prime expression of Allah is his will. This is part of the fundamental belief in Islam that “there is only one God” who is absolute over all things, as well as absolutely other in nature (Q. 112:1-4). Allah is affirmed as being able to do anything, including making what is right, wrong, and making that which is wrong, right. Thus, his righteousness is subordinate to his power, and his power is rooted in his absolute will.
Sura 9:51 explains the logical result of this divine nature, which is the acceptance of Allah’s pre-determined plan. After all, nothing can possibly happen to a person without it being the specific will of Allah. The verse declares, “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Mawla (protector). And in Allah let the believers put their trust.” The prime expression from Allah, then, is his will, and pure will demands submission rather than love. Thus, the relationship between Allah and man is based on man submitting to Allah. It is for this reason that Islam means “submission,” and a Muslim is “one who submits.” Allah will then give power to his followers as they submit themselves to his will.
This is the point at which “submission” is usually supposed to equal “peace” (which is usually defined as the absence of hostilities and thus harmony and serenity between people). However, this is not logically an exact equivalence, since submission to one person does not necessarily entail submission to others. If Allah’s expressed will is to conduct violence against others, such as non-Muslims or those who have broken his law, then following that will is still ‘submission’ even as the follower commits blood-shed to achieve it. In such cases, submission and peace – obeying Allah and living in harmony with others – could not co-exist. It is along this line of reason that Anjem Choudary, an Islamic spiritual leader in the UK, has stated, “You can’t say that Islam is a religion of peace, because Islam does not mean peace. Islam means ‘submission.’ So a Muslim is one who submits. There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for Jihad in Islam.”
In addition to understanding the theological implications of jihad, it is important apologetically to see that jihad as a holy war actually carries out a return to the roots of Islam. What is the relationship between peace and power? Some moderate Muslims seek to focus on power as the means to peace. For instance, Muslim author Imran Hostein states that there are five functions of power in Islam: as a deterrent for attack, for responding to aggression, to fight for the oppressed and weak, to persuade others of the truth, and finally to establish justice and societal order.  In this way, a good use of power brings peace. The problem with this argument is that the idea of using power for a primary goal of peace, rather than a primary goal of submission to Allah’s will, actually contradicts not only the theological implications of Allah’s nature but also the example of Muhammad and his instructions in the Qur’an. The conflict of physical jihad toward non-Muslims began with Muhammad and his followers, and it is only reasonable to expect that it will continue. As Bernard Lewis explains, “The presumption is that the duty of jihad will continue, interrupted only by truces, until all the world either adopts the Muslim faith or submits to Muslim rule.” Thus, it is only when all are under Muslim rule that there can finally be peace in the sense of an absence of hostilities. While SaLaaM (peace) may be the ultimate goal, iSLaM (submission) is the current goal of every faithful Muslim. Though the two words, peace, or SaLaaM, and submission, iSLaM, share the same consonantal root, S-L-M, they have very different meanings. Otherwise the word MuSLiM, or “one who submits” would also have to mean “one who brings peace.” However, no one makes this suggestion. In fact, if the nature of Allah is power through his absolute will, submission brings division rather than peace. In Muslim tradition, the world is divided between those who submit to Allah (the House of Islam, known as “Dar al-Islam,”), and those who do not submit (the House of War, known as “Dar al-Harb”). Christians who engage their Muslim friends in apologetic discussions about jihad must remember these semantic differences as well as learn to view them from the theological perspective of Allah’s ultimate will and its demand for submission.
In order for Islam to actually be a religion of peace rather than of submission, therefore, the very essence of the faith would have to change. As Nabeel Qureshi argues, a “return to roots” reformation that focuses on Muhammad’s life and the 7th-century society would ultimately create a more radical form of Islam, not a more peaceful or “progressive” one:
The notion that reformation should lead to peaceful expressions of a religion is predicated on the assumption that the origins of that religion are peaceful… Since violence is built into the very origins of Islam, the religion would need to be re-envisioned in order to produce a peaceful religion that is internally consistent. Emphasis would have to be drawn away from the Qur’an and Muhammad’s life, or the records of their contexts would need to be disavowed. This would not be a reformation but a progression of Islam.
Understanding jihad in an apologetic context thus requires a basic understanding of the theological relationship between divine will and human submission, the difference between submission to Allah and peace towards mankind, and the historical and literary difficulties in re-defining Islam as a religion that advocates the use of power to create ‘peace’ in a non-violent sense of the word.
Building Bridges to Understand
Christians discussing jihad with their Muslim friends will almost inevitably stumble upon the issue of peace and what its true definition is, as well as what it should look like in everyday life. Some key contrasts between Muhammad and Jesus’ descriptions of peace may be helpful in discussion, with the goal of clearly illustrating what kind of spiritual peace Jesus offers those who follow him.
First, the contrast between depictions of violence and peace in the Qur’an and in the Bible (particularly the New Testament) can be explored. The verses from the Qur’an and Hadiths that have been discussed in this chapter demonstrate that taking the Doctrine of Abrogation into account, the core of Islam is built upon a foundation of violent jihad that must be waged until Judgement Day. As one writer puts it, “Islam allows no permanent peaceful coexistence and co-equality with infidels. Superiority is such a central aspect of Islamic thought that domination is the only worthy expression of Islam’s greatness.” In stark contrast to this destructive and ultimately very earthly viewpoint, the New Testament shows that Jesus’ explanation of his ministry was to bring peace by restoring a spiritual relationship between God and his people. Physical violence and earthly conflicts are continually de-emphasized in comparison. For example, John 14:27 records Christ as saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid.” Even the famous ‘sword passage’ – often quoted to link Jesus’s teaching with militaristic views – is best understood as a metaphorical sword. Matthew 10:34 records the words, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” However, the sword refers to the relational separation that occurs between those who believe in Christ and those who do not, even within a family. Jesus was asking for unqualified allegiance and explaining that any relationship that hindered a Christian from being willing to forsake worldly goals and commitments for the sake of Christ must be severed. This call, then, is again a spiritual one rather than a physical call for worldly power or conquest.
Other New Testament verses further illustrate this contrast between the Qur’an and the Bible’s teaching on warfare. In Hebrews 4:12, the biblical author uses a sword as a metaphor for the word of God, which spreads the gospel to the whole world. The apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6:12, further emphasizes the spiritual nature of a Christian believer’s struggle: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Christians can point out that this emphasis on spiritual struggle is perhaps most powerfully exemplified in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ response in the Garden of Gethsemane to his disciple Peter’s cutting off the ear of one of the arresting men in the crowd. Christ rebuked Peter and healed the man, thus ending the only time in the gospels that a sword actually comes into play.
The conclusion that Christians can point out from such a discussion is, ultimately, the difference between the “kingdoms” which Jesus and Muhammad sought to build. Muhammad called not only for spiritual submission to Allah and his will but also physical submission of those around him. Jesus, on the other hand, called for disciples whose hearts would be radically changed, promising them that they would suffer in the world for their faith, not prosper, and urging them to store up spiritual treasure in heaven. Thus, Jesus’ peace is given immediately to his followers and is not dependent on their circumstances, while Muhammad’s promise of peace can only be fulfilled when the world submits (which the Qur’an says will be Judgement Day). Because of this difference, Christians can offer their Muslim friends an immediate peace through Christ that will change their lives, giving them a right relationship with God which will then flow into a right relationship with others. This is the way that Christ called for his kingdom to be spread on earth – through suffering and love reaching out to every person, no matter how violent or unlovely that person might be. When seen in this light, the “kingdoms” of Islam and of Christianity cannot have a greater contrast.
- What is meant by the “greater jihad,” and what are the main arguments for this view?
- How would a radical Muslim defend political or violent jihad? What Qur’anic verses would they use?
- What are some indications that Muhammad was involved in radical jihad? What are some verses in the Qur’an, Hadith or biographies that would support your argument?
- What are the three stages of Jihad according to David Wood? What are the characteristics of these stages today and how are they influenced by the increase in the number of Muslims in the population of a non-Muslim country?
- What would be the most effective way to counter the view of jihad and help Muslims realize that true peace can only come through Jesus Christ?
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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 THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. 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. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul. 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 TEACHER the Apostle Paul will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
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?
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? …
THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT intends to examine and evaluate the making of New Testament books, the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early Christian Scribes, the original or earliest text of the New Testament, and the secretaries in antiquity and their materials. We will also assess the early Christian copyists, the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament, scribal tendencies or habits, as well as the sources of New Testament textual criticism, which would include a lengthy chapter on ancient versions of the New Testament. We will also look into how paleographers date the ancient manuscripts and how did textual variations and manuscript families arise? Just how many textual variants are there and how are they to be counted? All of this to determine what guarantee do we have as to the reliability of the Greek text. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text and can we restore the Greek New Testament to its original state. NOTE: If you have read THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by Andrews and Wilkins, you need not read this publication, as it is select chapters from TTNT.
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.
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.
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. …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe out humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreack havoc in their hometown, they must journey into the treacherous wild lands of the outback to extinguish the black flames that loom on the horizon. First, Amber must seek the counsel of a mysterious being, who calls himself the light spirit. …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 See Mark Hartwig, “Spread by the Sword?” http://www.answering-islam.org/Terrorism/by_the_sword.html
 Bernard Lewis, Islam and the West (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 13.
 Ahmed Al-Dawoody, The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations, (Palgrave: Macmillan, 2011), 56. “Seventeen derivatives of jihād occur altogether forty-one times in eleven Meccan texts and thirty Medinan ones, with the following five meanings: striving because of religious belief (21), war (12), non-Muslim parents exerting pressure, that is, jihād, to make their children abandon Islam (2), solemn oaths (5), and physical strength (1).” There are many references in the Hadith to Jihad, and there is also a chapter in the Hadith collection of Al-Bukhari that focuses entirely on Jihad.
 Hadith (Fayd al-Qadir) vol. 4, p. 511.
 Sardar, Introducing Islam, 60-61.
 Reza Aslan, No god but God, 85.
 Ibid., 87.
 Ibid., 79.
 Ibid., 80.
 Daniel Pipes, “Jihad and the Professors,” Commentary, November 2002: http://www.danielpipes.org/498/jihad-and-the-professors (accessed 7/26/2018).
 David Mitten, Harvard Islamic Society: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=7406 (accessed 7/26/2018).
 Roy Mottahedeh, “Islam and the Opposition to Terrorism”: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/30/opinion/islam-and-the-opposition-to-terrorism.html (accessed 7/26/2018).
 Daniel Pipes, “Jihad and the Professors,” Commentary, November 2002: http://www.danielpipes.org/498/jihad-and-the-professors (accessed 7/26/2018).
 Bukhari, Book 1:Volume 8: Hadith 387; Sahih Muslim 1:31-34
 Reliance of the Traveller, Revised Edition (Beltsville: Amana, 1988), 599.
 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, 183.
 Hasan al-Banna, Kitabul Jihad, in Milestones, ed. A.B. al-Mehri (Birmingham, England: Maktabah, 2006), 220.
 Robert Spencer, The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS (Bombardier, 2018). Book promotion, Amazon.com.
 Paul Fregosi, Jihad: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries (New York: Prometheus, 1998), 20.
 Ibid., 20. Quoted in the foreword to Bat Yeor’s The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude: Seventh-Twentieth Century (Farleigh Dickinson, 1996), 19.
 Bernard Lewis, From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 126.
 Ibn Ishaq/Ibn Hisham, The Life of the Prophet
 See also Q. 73:10-11.
 See also Q. 16:101.
 Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Al-Firdous, Ltd., 1st edition, Part 3, 37-38.
 Peter Townsend, Questioning Islam: Tough Questions & Honest Answers About the Muslim Religion (Peter Townsend, 2014), 231.
 William Kilpatrick, “Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam,” Crisis Magazine, Feb. 4, 2015.
 For instance, Pope Francis has said that “it is not right to identify Islam with violence,” since all religions have “fundamentalist” groups that do not represent the true goals of the religion. See http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.734559; https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/07/hugh-fitzgerald-pope-francis-and-jihad-credo-quia-absurdum-and-how
 https://winteryknight.com/2015/02/03/obama-says-that-99-9-of-muslims-worldwide-reject-radical-islam-is-he-right/ and http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2015/02/01/pres-obama-on-fareed-zakaria-gps-cnn-exclusive/ (accessed 9/29/2016).
 Source Clarion Project data: CIA, Amnesty International, CNN, BBC, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Bipartisan Policy Center’s Homeland Security Project, Guardian.
 “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society”, Pew Research Center, April 2013 pp. 16-20
 CNN news, April 5, 2010
 Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (New York: Random House, 2004), 31-2.
 Nabeel Qureshi, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016), 77.
 Youssef, Blindsided, 92.
 The words of Christ in Matthew 26:52 are ironic in regard to this discussion, for Jesus said, “all who take up the sword will perish by the sword.”