1. Meaning and Usage of the Word
By Rationalism is meant the system or theory which assigns undue authority to reason in matters of religion. By reason is not to be understood the Logos as revealed in man, as held by some of the Fathers, and by Cousin and other modern philosophers, nor the intuitional faculty as distinguished from the understanding or the discursive faculty. The word is taken in its ordinary sense for the cognitive faculty, that which perceives, compares, judges, and infers.
Rationalism has appeared under different forms. (1.) The Deistical, which denies either the possibility or the fact of any supernatural revelation, and maintains that reason is both the source and ground of all religious knowledge and conviction. (2.) That which while it admits the possibility and the fact of a supernatural revelation, and that such a revelation is contained in the Christian Scriptures, nevertheless maintains that the truths revealed are the truths of reason; that is, truths which reason can comprehend and demonstrate. (3.) The third form of Rationalism has received the name of Dogmatism, which admits that many of the truths of revelation are undiscoverable by human reason, and that they are to be received upon authority. Nevertheless, it maintains that those truths when revealed admit of being philosophically explained and established, and raised from the sphere of faith into that of knowledge.
Rationalism in all its forms proceeds on the ground of Theism, that is, the belief of an extramundane personal God. When, therefore, Monism, which denies all dualism and affirms the identity of God and the world, took possession of the German mind, Rationalism, in its old form, disappeared. There was no longer any room for the distinction between reason and God, between the natural and the supernatural. No class of men, therefore, are more contemptuous in their opposition to the Rationalists, than the advocates of the modern, or, as it perhaps may be more properly designated, the modern pantheistic philosophy of Germany.
Although in a measure banished from its recent home, it continues to prevail in all its forms, variously modified, both in Europe and America. Mansel, in his “Limits of Religious Thought,” includes under the head of Rationalism every system which makes the final test of truth to be “the direct assent of the human consciousness, whether in the form of logical deduction, or moral judgment, or religious intuition, by whatever previous process these faculties may have been raised to their assumed dignity as arbitrators.” This, however, would include systems radically different in their nature.
2. Deistical Rationalism
- Possibility of a Supernatural Revelation
The first point to be determined in the controversy with the Deistical Rationalists, concerns the possibility of a supernatural revelation. This they commonly deny, either on philosophical or moral grounds. It is said to be inconsistent with the nature of God, and with his relation to the world, to suppose that He interferes by his direct agency in the course of events. The true theory of the universe, according to their doctrine, is that God having created the world and endowed his creatures with their attributes and properties, He has done all that is consistent with his nature. He does not interfere by his immediate agency in the production of effects. These belong to the efficiency of second causes. Or if the metaphysical possibility of such intervention be admitted, it is nevertheless morally impossible, because it would imply imperfection in God. If his work needs his constant interference it must be imperfect, and if imperfect, it must be that God is deficient either in wisdom or power.
That this is a wrong theory of God’s relation to the world is manifest. (1.) Because it contradicts the testimony of our moral nature. The relation in which we stand to God, as that relation reveals itself in our consciousness, implies that we are constantly in the presence of a God who takes cognizance of our acts, orders our circumstances, and interferes constantly for our correction or protection. He is not to us a God afar off, with whom we have no immediate concern; but a God who is not far from any one of us, in whom we live, move and have our being, who numbers the hairs of our head, and without whose notice a sparrow does not fall to the ground. (2.) Reason itself teaches that the conception of God as a ruler of the world, having his creatures in his hands, able to control them at pleasure and to hold communion with them, is a far higher conception and more consistent with the idea of infinite perfection, than that on which this system of Rationalism is founded. (3.) The common consciousness of men is opposed to this doctrine, as is plain from the fact that all nations, the most cultivated and the most barbarous, have been forced to conceive of God as a Being able to take cognizance of human affairs and to reveal himself to his creatures. (4.) The argument from Scripture, although not admitted by Rationalists, is for Christians conclusive. The Bible reveals a God who is constantly and everywhere present with his works, and who acts upon them, not only mediately, but immediately, when, where, and how He sees fit.
- Necessity of a Supernatural Revelation
Admitting, however, the metaphysical possibility of a supernatural revelation, the next question is whether such a revelation is necessary. This question must be answered in the affirmative. (1.) Because every man feels that he needs it. He knows that there are questions concerning the origin, nature, and destiny of man; concerning sin, and the method in which it can be pardoned and conquered, which he cannot answer. They are questions, however, which must be answered. So long as these problems are unsolved, no man can be either good or happy. (2.) He is equally certain that no man answers these questions for his fellow-men. Every one sees intuitively that they relate to matters beyond the reach of human reason. What can reason decide as to the fate of the soul after death? Can he who has been unable to make himself holy or happy here, secure his own well-being in the eternal future? Every man, without a supernatural revelation, no matter how much of a philosopher, knows that death is the entrance on the unknown. It is the gate into darkness. Men must enter that gate conscious that they have within them an imperishable life combined with all the elements of perdition. Is it not self-evident then that immortal sinners need some one to answer with authority the question, What must I do to be saved? To convince a man that there is no sin, and that sin does not involve misery, is as impossible as to convince a wretch that he is not unhappy. The necessity of a divine revelation, therefore, is a simple matter of fact, of which every man is in his heart convinced. (3.) Admitting that philosophers could solve these great problems to their own satisfaction, What is to become of the mass of mankind? Are they to be left in darkness and despair? (4.) The experience of ages proves that the world by wisdom knows not God. The heathen nations, ancient and modern, civilized and savage, have without exception, failed by the light of nature to solve any of the great problems of humanity. This is the testimony of history as well as of Scripture. (5.) Even where the light of revelation is enjoyed, it is found that those who reject its guidance, are led not only to the most contradictory conclusions, but to the adoption of principles, in most cases, destructive of domestic virtue, social order, and individual worth and happiness. The reason of man has led the great body of those who know no other guide, into what has been well called, “The Hell of Pantheism.”
- The Scriptures contain such a Revelation
Admitting the possibility and even the necessity of a supernatural revelation, Has such a revelation been actually made? This the Deistical Rationalist denies, and the Christian affirms. He confidently refers to the Bible as containing such a revelation, and maintains that its claims are authenticated by an amount of evidence which renders unbelief unreasonable and criminal.
- In the first place, its authors claim to be the messengers of God, to speak by his authority and in his name, so that what they teach is to be received not on the authority of the writers themselves, nor on the ground of the inherent evidence in the nature of the truths communicated, but upon the authority of God. It is He who affirms what the sacred writers teach. This claim must be admitted, or the sacred writers must be regarded as fanatics or impostors. It is absolutely certain that they were neither. It would be no more irrational to pronounce Homer and Newton idiots, than to set down Isaiah and Paul as either impostors or fanatics. It is as certain as any self-evident truth, that they were wise, good, sober-minded men. That such men should falsely assume to be the authoritative messengers of God, and to be endowed with supernatural powers in confirmation of their mission, is a contradiction. It is to affirm that wise and good men are foolish and wicked.
- The Bible contains nothing inconsistent with the claim of its authors to divine authority as teachers. It contains nothing impossible, nothing absurd, nothing immoral, nothing inconsistent with any well-authenticated truth. This itself is well-nigh miraculous, considering the circumstances under which the different portions of the Scriptures were written.
- More than this, the Bible reveals truths of the highest order, not elsewhere made known. Truths which meet the most urgent necessities of our nature; which solve the problems which reason has never been able to solve. It recognizes and authenticates all the facts of consciousness, all the truths which our moral and religious nature involve, and which we recognize as true as soon as they are presented. It has the same adaptation to the soul that the atmosphere has to the lungs, or the solar influences to the earth on which we live. And what the earth would be without those influences, is, in point of fact, what the soul is without knowledge of the truths which we derive solely from the Bible.
- The several books of which the Scriptures are composed were written by some fifty different authors living in the course of fifteen hundred years; and yet they are found to be an organic whole, the product of one mind. They are as clearly a development as the oak from the acorn. The gospels and epistles are but the expansion, fulfillment, the culmination of the protevangelium, “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head,” as uttered to our first parents (Gen. 3:15). All that intervenes is to the New Testament what the roots, stem, branches, and foliage of the tree are to the fruit. No one book of Scripture can be understood by itself, any more than any one part of a tree or member of the body can be understood without reference to the whole of which it is a part. Those who from want of attention do not perceive this organic relation of the different parts of the Bible, cannot appreciate the argument thence derived in favor of its divine origin. They who do perceive it, cannot resist it.
Argument from Prophecy
- God bears witness to the divine authority of the Scriptures by signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. The leading events recorded in the New Testament were predicted in the Old. Of this any man may satisfy himself by a comparison of the two. The coincidence between the prophecies and the fulfillment admits of no rational solution, except that the Bible is the work of God; or, that holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The miracles recorded in the Scriptures are historical events, which are not only entitled to be received on the same testimony which authenticates other facts of history, but they are so implicated with the whole structure of the New Testament, that they cannot be denied without rejecting the whole gospel, which rejection involves the denial of the best authenticated facts in the history of the world.
Argument from the Effects of the Gospel
Besides this external supernatural testimony, the Bible is everywhere attended by “the demonstration of the Spirit,” which gives to its doctrines the clearness of self-evident truths, and the authority of the voice of God; analogous to the authority of the moral law for the natural conscience.
- The Bible ever has been and still is, a power in the world. It has determined the course of history. It has overthrown false religion wherever it is known. It is the parent of modern civilization. It is the only guarantee of social order, of virtue, and of human rights and liberty. Its effects cannot be rationally accounted for upon any other hypothesis than that it is what it claims to be, “The Word of God.”
- It makes known the person, work, the acts, and words of Christ, who is the clearest revelation of God ever made to man. He is the manifested God. His words were the words of God. His acts were the acts of God. His voice is the voice of God, and He said, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). If any man refuse to recognize him as the Son of God, as the infallible teacher, and only Saviour of men, nothing can be said save what the Apostle says, “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:3, 4, 6.)
Deistical Rationalism is in Germany sometimes called Naturalism, as distinguished from Supernaturalism; as the former denies, and the latter affirms, an agency or operation above nature in the conduct of events in this world. More commonly, however, by Naturalism is meant the theory which denies the existence of any higher power than nature, and therefore is only another name for atheism. It is, consequently, not a proper designation of a system that assumes the existence of a personal God.
3. The Second Form of Rationalism
- Its Nature
The more common form of Rationalism admits that the Scriptures contain a supernatural revelation. It teaches, however, that the object of that revelation is to make more generally known, and to authenticate for the masses, the truths of reason, or doctrines of natural religion. These doctrines are received by cultivated minds not on the ground of authority, but of rational evidence. The fundamental principle of this class of Rationalists is, that nothing can be rationally believed which is not understood. “Nil credi posse, quod a ratione capi et intelligi nequeat.” If asked, Why he believes in the immortality of the soul? the Rationalist answers, Because the doctrine is reasonable. To his mind, the arguments in its favor outweigh those against it. If asked, Why he does not believe the doctrine of the Trinity? he answers, Because it is unreasonable. The philosophical arguments against it outweigh the arguments from reason, in its favor. That the sacred writers teach the doctrine is not decisive. The Rationalist does not feel bound to believe all that the sacred writers teach. The Bible, he admits, contains a Divine revelation. But this revelation was made to fallible men, men under no supernatural guidance in communicating the truths revealed. They were men whose mode of thinking, and manner of arguing, and of presenting truth, were modified by their culture, and by the modes of thought prevailing during the age in which they lived. The Scriptures, therefore, abound with misapprehensions, with inconclusive arguments, and accommodations to Jewish errors, superstitions, and popular beliefs. It is the office of reason to sift these incongruous materials, and separate the wheat from the chaff. That is wheat which reason apprehends in its own light to be true; that is to be rejected as chaff which reason cannot understand, and cannot prove to be true. That is, nothing is true to us which we do not see for ourselves to be true.
It is sufficient to remark on this form of Rationalism,—
- That it is founded upon a false principle. It is not necessary to the rational exercise of faith that we should understand the truth believed. The unknown and the impossible cannot be believed; but every man does, and must believe the incomprehensible. Assent to truth is founded on evidence. That evidence may be external or intrinsic. Some things we believe on the testimony of our senses; other things we believe on the testimony of men. Why, then, may we not believe on the testimony of God? A man may believe that paper thrown upon fire will burn, although he does not understand the process of combustion. All men believe that plants grow, and that like begets like; but no man understands the mystery of reproduction. Even the Positivist who would reduce all belief to zero, is obliged to admit the incomprehensible to be true. And those who will believe neither in God nor spirit because they are invisible and intangible, say that all we know is the unknowable,—we know only force,—but of force we know nothing but that it is, and that it persists. If, therefore, the incomprehensible must be believed in every other department of knowledge, no rational ground can be given why it should be banished from religion.
- Rationalism assumes that the human intelligence is the measure of all truth. This is an insane presumption on the part of such a creature as man. If a child believes with implicit confidence what it cannot understand, on the testimony of a parent, surely man may believe what he cannot understand, on the testimony of God.
- Rationalism destroys the distinction between faith and knowledge, which all men and all ages admit. Faith is assent to truth founded on testimony, “credo quod non video.” Knowledge is assent founded on the direct or indirect, the intuitive or discursive, apprehension of its object. If there can be no rational faith, if we are to receive as true only what we know and understand, the whole world is beggared. It loses all that sustains, beautifies, and ennobles life.
- The poor cannot be Rationalists. If we must understand what we believe, even on the principles of the Rationalists, only philosophers can be religious. They alone can comprehend the rational grounds on which the great truths of even natural religion are to be received. Widespread, therefore, as has been the influence of a Rationalistic spirit, it has never taken hold of the people; it has never controlled the creed of any church; because all religion is founded on the incomprehensible and the infinite.
- The protest, therefore, which our religious nature makes against the narrow, cold, and barren system of Rationalism, is a sufficient proof that it cannot be true, because it cannot meet our most urgent necessities. The object of worship must be infinite, and of necessity incomprehensible.
- Faith implies knowledge. And if we must understand in order to know, faith and knowledge become alike impossible. The principle, therefore, on which Rationalism is founded, leads to Nihilism, or universal negation. Even the latest form of philosophy, taking the lowest possible ground as to religious faith, admits that we are surrounded on every side by the incomprehensible. Herbert Spencer, in his “First Principles of a New Philosophy,” asserts, p. 45, “the omnipresence of something which passes comprehension.” He declares that the ultimate truth in which all forms of religion agree, and in which religion and science are in harmony, is, “That the Power which the universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable.” The inscrutable, the incomprehensible, what we cannot understand, must therefore of necessity be rationally the object of faith. And consequently reason, rational demonstration, or philosophical proof is not the ground of faith. We may rationally believe what we cannot understand. We may be assured of truths which are encompassed with objections that we cannot satisfactorily answer.
The modern form of Deistic Rationalism had its rise in England during the latter part of the seventeenth, and the first half of the eighteenth centuries. Lord Herbert, who died as early as 1648, in his work, “De Veritate, prout distinguitur a Revelatione,” etc., taught that all religion consists in the acknowledgment of the following truths: 1. The existence of God. 2. The dependence of man on God, and his obligation to reverence him. 3. Piety consists in the harmony of the human faculties. 4. The essential difference between good and evil. 5. A future state of rewards and punishment. These he held to be intuitive truths, needing no proof, and virtually believed by all men. This may be considered as the confession of Faith of all Deists, and even of those Rationalists who admit a supernatural revelation; for such revelation, they maintain, can only authenticate what reason itself teaches. Other writers quickly followed in the course opened by Lord Herbert; as, Toland in his “Christianity without Mystery,” 1696, a work which excited great attention, and drew out numerous refutations. Toland ended by avowing himself a Pantheist. Hobbes was a Materialist. Lord Shaftesbury, who died 1773, in his “Characteristics,” “Miscellaneous Treatises,” and “Moralist,” made ridicule the test of truth. He declared revelation and inspiration to be fanaticism. Collins (died 1729) was a more serious writer. His principal works were, “An Essay on Free-thinking,” and “The Grounds and Reasons of Christianity.” Lord Bolingbroke, Secretary of State under Queen Anne, “Letters on the Study and Utility of History.” Matthew Tindal, “Christianity as Old as the Creation.” Tindal, instead of attacking Christianity in detail, attempted to construct a regular system of Deism. He maintained that God could not intend that men should ever be without a religion adequate to all their necessities, and therefore that a revelation can only make known what every man has in his own reason. This internal and universal revelation contains the two truths: 1. The existence of God. 2. That God created man not for his own sake, but for man’s. By far the most able and influential of the writers of this class was David Hume. His “Essays” in four volumes contain his theological views. The most important of these are those on the Natural History of Religion, and on Miracles. His “Dialogues on Natural Religion” is regarded as the ablest work ever written in support of the Deistical, or rather, Atheistical system.
From England the spirit of infidelity extended into France. Voltaire, Rousseau, La Mettrie, Holbach, D’Alembert, Diderot, and others, succeeded for a time in overthrowing all religious faith in the governing classes of society.
Rationalism in Germany
In Germany, the Rationalistic defection began with such men as Baumgarten, Ernesti, and John David Michaelis, who did not deny the divine authority of the Scriptures but explained away their doctrines. These were followed by such men as Semler, Morus, and Eichhorn, who were thoroughly neological. During the latter part of the last, and first part of the present century, most of the leading church historians, exegetes, and theologians of Germany were Rationalists. The first serious blow given to their system was by Kant. The Rationalists assumed that they were able to demonstrate the truths of natural religion on the principles of reason. Kant, in his “Critic of Pure Reason,” undertook to show that reason is incompetent to prove any religious truth. The only foundation for religion he maintained was our moral consciousness. That consciousness involved or implied the three great doctrines of God, liberty, and immortality. His successors, Fichte and Schelling, carried out the principles which Kant adopted to prove that the outward world is an unknown something, to show that there was no such world; that there was no real distinction between the ego and non-ego, the subjective and objective; that both are modes of the manifestation of the absolute. Thus all things were merged into one. This idealistic Pantheism having displaced Rationalism, has already yielded the philosophic throne to a subtle form of Materialism.
Bretschneider’s “Entwickelung aller in der Dogmatik vorkommenden Begriffe,” gives a list of fifty-two works on the rationalistic controversy in Germany. The English books written against the Rationalists or Deists of Great Britain, and on the proper office of reason in matters of religion, are scarcely less numerous. Some of the more important of these works are the following: “Boyle on Things above Reason,” Butler’s “Analogy of Religion and Nature,” Conybeare’s “Defence of Religion,” “Hulsean Lectures,” Jackson’s “Examination,” “Jew’s Letters to Voltaire,” Lardner’s “Credibility of the Gospel History,” Leland’s “Advantage and Necessity of Revelation,” Leslie’s “Short and Easy Method with Deists.” Warburton’s “View of Bolingbroke’s Philosophy,” and his “Divine Legation of Moses,” John Wilson’s “Dissertation on Christianity,” etc., etc. See Stäudlin’s “Geschichte des Rationalismus,” and a concise and instructive history of theology during the eighteenth century, by Dr. Tholuck in “Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review” for 1828. Leibnitz’s “Discours de la Conformité de la Foi avec la Raison,” in the Preface to his “Théodicée,” and Mansel’s “Limits of Religious Thought,” deserve the careful perusal of the theological student. The most recent works on this general subject are Lecky’s “History of Rationalism in Europe,” and “History of Rationalism, embracing a survey of the present state of Protestant Theology,” by Rev. John F. Hurst, A.M. The latter is the most instructive publication in the English language on modern skepticism.
4. Dogmatism, or the Third Form of Rationalism
- Meaning of the Term
It was a common objection made in the early age of the Church against Christianity, by the philosophical Greeks, that its doctrines were received upon authority, and not upon rational evidence. Many of the Fathers, specially those of the Alexandrian school, answered that this was true only of the common people. They could not be expected to understand philosophy. They could receive the high spiritual truths of religion only on the ground of authority. But the educated classes were able and were bound to search after the philosophical or rational evidence of the doctrines taught in the Bible, and to receive those doctrines on the ground of that evidence. They made a distinction, therefore, between πίστις and γνῶσις, faith and knowledge. The former was for the common people, the latter for the cultivated. The objects of faith were the doctrinal statements of the Bible in the form in which they are there presented. The ground of faith is simply the testimony of the Scriptures as the Word of God. The objects of knowledge were the speculative or philosophical ideas which underlie the doctrines of the Bible, and the ground on which those ideas or truths are received and incorporated in our system of knowledge, is their own inherent evidence. They are seen to be true by the light of reason. Faith is thus elevated into knowledge, and Christianity exalted into a philosophy. This method was carried out by the Platonizing fathers, and continued to prevail to a great extent among the schoolmen. During the Middle Ages the authority of the Church was paramount, and the freest thinkers did not venture openly to impugn the doctrines which the Church had sanctioned. For the most part they contented themselves with philosophizing about those doctrines, and endeavoring to show that they admitted of a philosophical explanation and proof.
As remarked in the preceding chapter, this method was revived and extensively propagated by Wolf (1679–1754, Professor at Halle and Marburg). His principal works were “Theologia Naturalis,” 1736, “Philos. Practicalis Universalis,” 1738, “Philos. Moralis s. Ethica,” 1750, “Vernünftige Gedanken von Gott, der Welt und der Seele des Menschen, auch allen Dingen überhaupt,” 1720. Wolf unduly exalted the importance of natural religion. Although he admitted that the Scriptures revealed doctrines undiscoverable by the unassisted reason of man, he yet insisted that all doctrines, in order to be rationally received as true, should be capable of demonstration on the principles of reason. “He maintained,” says Mr. Rose (in his “State of Protestantism in Germany,” p. 39), “that philosophy was indispensable to religion, and that, together with Biblical proofs, a mathematical or strictly demonstrative dogmatical system, according to the principles of reason, was absolutely necessary. His own works carried this theory into practice, and after the first clamors had subsided, his opinions gained more attention, and it was not long before he had a school of vehement admirers, who far outstripped him in the use of his own principles. We find some of them not content with applying demonstration to the truth of the system, but endeavoring to establish each separate dogma, the Trinity, the nature of the Redeemer, the Incarnation, the eternity of punishment, on philosophical, and strange as it may appear, some of these truths on mathematical grounds.” The language of Wolf himself on this subject has already been quoted on page 5. He expressly states that the office of revelation is to supplement natural religion, and to present propositions which the philosopher is bound to demonstrate. By demonstration is not meant the adduction of proof that the proposition is sustained by the Scriptures, but that the doctrine must be admitted as true on the principles of reason. It is philosophical demonstration that is intended. “Theological Dogmatism,” says Mansel, “is an application of reason to the support and defense of preëxisting statements of Scripture.… Its end is to produce a coincidence between what we believe and what we think; to remove the boundary which separates the comprehensible from the incomprehensible.”2 It attempts, for example, to demonstrate the doctrine of the Trinity from the nature of an infinite being; the doctrine of the Incarnation from the nature of man and his relation to God, etc. Its grand design is to transmute faith into knowledge, to elevate Christianity as a system of revealed truth into a system of Philosophy.
The objections to Dogmatism, as thus understood, are,—1. That it is essentially Rationalistic. The Rationalist demands philosophical proof of the doctrines which he receives. He is not willing to believe on the simple authority of Scripture. He requires his reason to be satisfied by a demonstration of the truth independent of the Bible. This demand the Dogmatist admits to be reasonable, and he undertakes to furnish the required proof. In this essential point, therefore, in making the reception of Christian doctrine to rest on reason and not on authority, the Dogmatist and the Rationalist are on common ground. For although the former admits a supernatural revelation, and acknowledges that for the common people faith must rest on authority, yet he maintains that the mysteries of religion admit of rational or philosophical demonstration, and that such demonstration cultivated minds have a right to demand.
- In thus shifting faith from the foundation of divine testimony, and making it rest on rational demonstration, it is removed from the Rock of Ages to a quicksand. There is all the difference between a conviction founded on the well-authenticated testimony of God, and that founded on so-called philosophical demonstration, that there is between God and man, the divine and human. Let any man read the pretended philosophical demonstrations of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the resurrection of the body, or any other of the great truths of the Bible, and he will feel at liberty to receive or to reject it at pleasure. It has no authority or certainty. It is the product of a mind like his own, and therefore can have no more power than belongs to the fallible human intellect.
- Dogmatism is, therefore, in its practical effect, destructive of faith. In transmuting Christianity into a philosophy, its whole nature is changed and its power is lost. It takes its place as one of the numberless phases of human speculation, which in the history of human thought succeed each other as the waves of the sea,—no one ever abides.
- It proceeds on an essentially false principle. It assumes the competency of reason to judge of things entirely beyond its sphere. God has so constituted our nature, that we are authorized and necessitated to confide in the well-authenticated testimony of our senses, within their appropriate sphere. And in like manner, we are constrained to confide in the operation of our minds and in the conclusions to which they lead, within the sphere which God has assigned to human reason. But the senses cannot sit in judgment on rational truths. We cannot study logic with the microscope or scalpel. It is no less irrational to depend upon reason, or demand rational or philosophical demonstration for truths which become the objects of knowledge only as they are revealed. From the nature of the case the truths concerning the creation, the probation, and apostasy of man, the purpose and plan of redemption, the person of Christ, the state of the soul in the future world, the relation of God to his creatures, etc., not depending on general principles of reason, but in great measure on the purposes of an intelligent, personal Being, can be known only so far as He chooses to reveal them, and must be received simply on his authority.
The Testimony of the Scriptures against Dogmatism
- The testimony of the Scriptures is decisive on this subject. From the beginning to the end of the Bible the sacred writers present themselves in the character of witnesses. They demand faith in their teachings and obedience to their commands not on the ground of their own superiority in wisdom or excellence; not on the ground of rational demonstration of the truth of what they taught, but simply as the organs of God, as men appointed by Him to reveal his will. Their first and last, and sufficient reason for faith is, “Thus saith the Lord.” The New Testament writers, especially, repudiate all claim to the character of philosophers. They taught that the Gospel was not a system of truth derived from reason or sustained by its authority, but by the testimony of God. They expressly assert that its doctrines were matters of revelation, to be received on divine testimony. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?” (1 Cor. 2:9–11.) Such being the nature of the Gospel, if received at all it must be received on authority. It was to be believed or taken on trust, not demonstrated as a philosophical system. Nay, the Bible goes still further. It teaches that a man must become a fool in order to be wise; he must renounce dependence upon his own reason or wisdom, in order to receive the wisdom of God. Our Lord told his disciples that unless they were converted and became as little children, they could not enter into the kingdom of God. And the Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, and in those addressed to the Ephesians and Colossians, that is, when writing to those imbued with the Greek and with the oriental philosophy, made it the indispensable condition of their becoming Christians, that they should renounce philosophy as a guide in matters of religion, and receive the Gospel on the testimony of God. Nothing, therefore, can be more opposed to the whole teaching and spirit of the Bible, than this disposition to insist on philosophical proof of the articles of our faith. Our duty, privilege, and security are in believing, not in knowing; in trusting God, and not our own understanding. They are to be pitied who have no more trustworthy teacher than themselves.
- The instructions of the Bible on this subject are abundantly confirmed by the lessons of experience. From the time of the Gnostics, and of the Platonizing fathers, the attempt has been made in every age to exalt faith into knowledge, to transmute Christianity into philosophy, by demonstrating its doctrines on the principles of reason. These attempts have always failed. They have all proved ephemeral and worthless,—each successive theorizer viewing with more or less contempt the speculations of his predecessors, yet each imagining that he has the gifts for comprehending the Almighty.
These attempts are not only abortive, they are always evil in their effects upon their authors and upon all who are influenced by them. So far as they succeed to the satisfaction of those who make them, they change the relation of the soul to the truth, and, of course, to God. The reception of the truth is not an act of faith, or of trust in God; but of confidence in our own speculations. Self is substituted for God as the ground of confidence. The man’s whole inward state is thereby changed. History, moreover, proves that Dogmatism is the predecessor of Rationalism. The natural tendency and the actual consequences of the indulgence of a disposition to demand philosophical demonstration for articles of faith, is a state of mind which revolts at authority, and refuses to admit as true what it cannot comprehend and prove. And this state of mind, as it is incompatible with faith, is the parent of unbelief and of all its consequences. There is no safety for us, therefore, but to remain within the limits which God has assigned us. Let us rely on our senses, within the sphere of our sense perceptions; on our reason within the sphere of rational truths; and on God, and God alone, in all that relates to the things of God. He only truly knows, who consents with the docility of a child to be taught of God.
5. Proper Office of Reason in Matters of Religion
- Reason Necessary for the Reception of a Revelation
Christians, in repudiating Rationalism in all its forms, do not reject the service of reason in matters of religion. They acknowledge its high prerogatives, and the responsibility involved in their exercise.
In the first place, reason is necessarily presupposed in every revelation. Revelation is the communication of truth to the mind. But the communication of truth supposes the capacity to receive it. Revelations cannot be made to brutes or to idiots. Truths, to be received as objects of faith, must be intellectually apprehended. A proposition, to which we attach no meaning, however important the truth it may contain, cannot be an object of faith. If it be affirmed that the soul is immortal, or God is a spirit, unless we know the meaning of the words nothing is communicated to the mind, and the mind can affirm or deny nothing on the subject. In other words, knowledge is essential to faith. In believing we affirm the truth of the proposition believed. But we can affirm nothing of that of which we know nothing. The first and indispensable office of reason, therefore, in matters of faith, is the cognition, or intelligent apprehension of the truths proposed for our reception. This is what theologians are accustomed to call the usus organicus, seu, instrumentalis, rationis. About this there can be no dispute.
Difference between Knowing and Understanding
It is important, however, to bear in mind the difference between knowing and understanding, or comprehending. A child knows what the words “God is a spirit” mean. No created being can comprehend the Almighty unto perfection. We must know the plan of salvation; but no one can comprehend its mysteries. This distinction is recognized in every department. Men know unspeakably more than they understand. We know that plants grow; that the will controls our voluntary muscles; that Jesus Christ is God and man in two distinct natures, and one person forever; but here as everywhere we are surrounded by the incomprehensible. We can rationally believe that a thing is, without knowing how or why it is. It is enough for the true dignity of man as a rational creature, that he is not called upon by his Creator to believe without knowledge, to receive as true propositions which convey no meaning to the mind. This would be not only irrational, but impossible.
- Reason must judge of the Credibility of a Revelation
In the second place, it is the prerogative of reason to judge of the credibility of a revelation. The word “credible” is sometimes popularly used to mean, easy of belief, i.e., probable. In its proper sense, it is antithetical to incredible. The incredible is that which cannot be believed. The credible is that which can be believed. Nothing is incredible but the impossible. What may be, may be rationally (i.e., on adequate grounds) believed.
A thing may be strange, unaccountable, unintelligible, and yet perfectly credible. What is strange or unaccountable to one mind, may be perfectly familiar and plain to another. For the most limited intellect or experience to make itself the standard of the possible and true, would be as absurd as a man’s making his visible horizon the limit of space. Unless a man is willing to believe the incomprehensible, he can believe nothing, and must dwell forever in outer darkness. The most skeptical form of modern philosophy, which reduces faith and knowledge to a minimum, teaches that the incomprehensible is all we know, namely, that force is, and that it is persistent. It is most unreasonable, therefore, to urge as an objection to Christianity that it demands faith in the incomprehensible.
The Impossible cannot be believed
While this is true and plain, it is no less true that the impossible is incredible, and therefore cannot be an object of faith. Christians concede to reason the judicium contradictionis, that is, the prerogative of deciding whether a thing is possible or impossible. If it is seen to be impossible, no authority, and no amount or kind of evidence can impose the obligation to receive it as true. Whether, however, a thing be possible or not, is not to be arbitrarily determined. Men are prone to pronounce everything impossible which contradicts their settled convictions, their preconceptions or prejudices, or which is repugnant to their feelings. Men in former times did not hesitate to say that it is impossible that the earth should turn round on its axis and move through space with incredible rapidity, and yet we not perceive it. It was pronounced absolutely impossible that information should be transmitted thousands of miles in the fraction of a second. Of course it would be folly to reject all evidence of such facts as these on the ground of their being impossible. It is no less unreasonable for men to reject the truths of revelation on the assumption that they involve the impossible, when they contradict our previous convictions, or when we cannot see how they can be. Men say that it is impossible that the same person can be both God and man; and yet they admit that man is at once material and immaterial, mortal and immortal, angel and animal. The impossible cannot be true; but reason in pronouncing a thing impossible must act rationally and not capriciously. Its judgments must be guided by principles which commend themselves to the common consciousness of men. Such principles are the following:—
What is Impossible
(1.) That is impossible which involves a contradiction; as, that a thing is and is not; that right is wrong, and wrong right. (2.) It is impossible that God should do, approve, or command what is morally wrong. (3.) It is impossible that He should require us to believe what contradicts any of the laws of belief which He has impressed upon our nature. (4.) It is impossible that one truth should contradict another. It is impossible, therefore, that God should reveal anything as true which contradicts any well authenticated truth, whether of intuition, experience, or previous revelation.
Men may abuse this prerogative of reason, as they abuse their free agency. But the prerogative itself is not to be denied. We have a right to reject as untrue whatever it is impossible that God should require us to believe. He can no more require us to believe what is absurd than to do what is wrong.
Proof of this Prerogative of Reason
- That reason has the prerogative of the judicium contradictionis, is plain, in the first place, from the very nature of the case. Faith includes an affirmation of the mind that a thing is true. But it is a contradiction to say that the mind can affirm that to be true which it sees cannot by possibility be true. This would be to affirm and deny, to believe and disbelieve, at the same time. From the very constitution of our nature, therefore, we are forbidden to believe the impossible. We are, consequently, not only authorized, but required to pronounce anathema an apostle or angel from heaven, who should call upon us to receive as a revelation from God anything absurd, or wicked, or inconsistent with the intellectual or moral nature with which He has endowed us. The subjection of the human intelligence to God is indeed absolute; but it is a subjection to infinite wisdom and goodness. As it is impossible that God should contradict himself, so it is impossible that He should, by an external revelation, declare that to be true which by the laws of our nature He has rendered it impossible we should believe.
- This prerogative of reason is constantly recognized in Scripture. The prophets called upon the people to reject the doctrines of the heathen, because they could not be true. They could not be true because they involved contradictions and absurdities; because they were in contradiction to our moral nature, and inconsistent with known truths. Moses taught that nothing was to be believed, no matter what amount of external evidence should be adduced in its support, which contradicted a previous, duly authenticated revelation from God. Paul does the same thing when he calls upon us to pronounce even an angel accursed, who should teach another gospel. He recognized the paramount authority of the intuitive judgments of the mind. He says that the damnation of any man is just who calls upon us to believe that right is wrong, or that men should do evil that good may come.
- The ultimate ground of faith and knowledge is confidence in God. We can neither believe nor know anything unless we confide in those laws of belief which God has implanted in our nature. If we can be required to believe what contradicts those laws, then the foundations are broken up. All distinction between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong, would disappear. All our ideas of God and virtue would be confounded, and we should become the victims of every adroit deceiver, or minister of Satan, who, by lying wonders, should call upon us to believe a lie. We are to try the spirits. But how can we try them without a standard? and what other standard can there be, except the laws of our nature and the authenticated revelations of God.
- Reason must judge of the Evidences of a Revelation
In the third place, reason must judge of the evidence by which a revelation is supported.
On this point it may be remarked,—
- That as faith involves assent, and assent is conviction produced by evidence, it follows that faith without evidence is either irrational or impossible.
- This evidence must be appropriate to the nature of the truth believed. Historical truth requires historical evidence; empirical truths the testimony of experience; mathematical truth, mathematical evidence; moral truth, moral evidence; and “the things of the Spirit,” the demonstration of the Spirit. In many cases different kinds of evidence concur in the support of the same truth. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, for example, is sustained by evidence, historical, moral, and spiritual, so abundant that our Lord says of those who reject it, that the wrath of God abideth on them.
- Evidence must be not only appropriate, but adequate. That is, such as to command assent in every well-constituted mind to which it is presented.
As we cannot believe without evidence, and as that evidence must be appropriate and adequate, it is clearly a prerogative of reason to judge of these several points. This is plain.
- From the nature of faith, which is not a blind, irrational assent, but an intelligent reception of the truth on adequate grounds.
- The Scriptures never demand faith except on the ground of adequate evidence. “If I had not done among them,” says our Lord, “the works which none other man did, they had not had sin” (John 15:24); clearly recognizing the principle that faith cannot be required without evidence. The Apostle Paul proves that the heathen are justly liable to condemnation for their idolatry and immorality, because such a revelation of the true God and of the moral law had been made to them, as to leave them without excuse.
- The Bible regards unbelief as a sin, and the great sin for which men will be condemned at the bar of God. This presumes that unbelief cannot arise from the want of appropriate and adequate evidence, but is to be referred to the wicked rejection of the truth notwithstanding the proof by which it is attended. The popular misconception that men are not responsible for their faith, arises from a confusion of ideas. It is true that men are not blameworthy for not believing in speculative truths, when the cause of their unbelief is ignorance of the fact or of its evidence. It is no sin not to believe that the earth moves round the sun, if one be ignorant of the fact or of the evidence of its truth. But wherever unbelief arises from an evil heart, then it involves all the guilt which belongs to the cause whence it springs. If the wicked hate the good and believe them to be as wicked as themselves, this is only a proof of their wickedness. If a man does not believe in the moral law; if he holds that might is right, that the strong may rob, murder, or oppress the weak, as some philosophers teach, or if he disbelieve in the existence of God, then it is evident to men and angels that he has been given up to a reprobate mind. There is an evidence of beauty to which nothing but want of taste can render one insensible; there is evidence of moral excellence to which nothing but an evil heart can render us blind. Why did the Jews reject Christ, notwithstanding all the evidence presented in his character, in his words, and in his works, that he was the Son of God? “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18.) The fact, however, that unbelief is a great sin, and the special ground of the condemnation of men, of necessity supposes that it is inexcusable, that it does not arise from ignorance or want of evidence. “How shall they believe,” asks the Apostle, “in him of whom they have not heard.” (Rom. 10:14.) And our Lord says, “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19.)
- Another evidence that the Scriptures recognize the necessity of evidence in order to faith, and the right of those to whom a revelation is addressed to judge of that evidence, is found in the frequent command to consider, to examine, to try the spirits, i.e., those who claim to be the organs of the Spirit of God. The duty of judging is enjoined, and the standard of judgment is given. And then men are held responsible for their decision.
Christians, therefore, concede to reason all the prerogatives it can rightfully claim. God requires nothing irrational of his rational creatures. He does not require faith without knowledge, nor faith in the impossible, nor faith without evidence. Christianity is equally opposed to superstition and Rationalism. The one is faith without appropriate evidence, the other refuses to believe what it does not understand, in despite of evidence which should command belief. The Christian, conscious of his imbecility as a creature, and his ignorance and blindness as a sinner, places himself before God, in the posture of a child, and receives as true everything which a God of infinite intelligence and goodness declares to be worthy of confidence. And in thus submitting to be taught, he acts on the highest principles of reason.
6. Relation of Philosophy and Revelation
Cicero defines philosophy as “Rerum divinarum et humanarum, causarumque quibus hæ res continentur, scientia.” Peemans1 says, “Philosophia est scientia rerum per causas primas, recto rationis usu comparata.” Or, as Ferrier more concisely expresses it, “Philosophy is the attainment of truth by the way of reason.” These and other definitions are to be found in Fleming’s “Vocabulary of Philosophy.”
There is, however, a philosophia prima, or first philosophy, which is concerned not so much with what is to be known, as with the faculty of knowledge, which examines the cognitive faculty, determines its laws and its limits. It is the philosophy of philosophy.
Whether we take the word to mean the knowledge of God and nature attained by reason, or the principles which should guide all efforts for the attainment of knowledge, the word is intended to cover the whole domain of human intelligence. Popularly, we distinguish between philosophy and science; the former having for its sphere the spiritual, the latter, the material. Commonly, philosophy is understood as comprising both departments. Hence we speak of natural philosophy as well as of the philosophy of mind. Such being the compass of the domain which philosophers claim as their own, the proper relation between philosophy and theology becomes a question of vital importance. This is, indeed, the great question at issue in the Rationalistic controversy; and therefore, at the conclusion of this chapter, all that remains to be done is to give a concise statement of familiar principles.
Philosophy and Theology occupy Common Ground
- Philosophy and Theology occupy common ground. Both assume to teach what is true concerning God, man, the world, and the relation in which God stands to his creatures.
- While their objects are so far identical, both striving to attain a knowledge of the same truths, their methods are essentially different. Philosophy seeks to attain knowledge by speculation and induction, or by the exercise of our own intellectual faculties. Theology relies upon authority, receiving as truth whatever God in his Word has revealed.
- Both these methods are legitimate. Christians do not deny that our senses and reason are reliable informants; that they enable us to arrive at certainty as to what lies within their sphere.
- God is the author of our nature and the maker of heaven and earth, therefore nothing which the laws of our nature or the facts of the external world prove to be true, can contradict the teaching of God’s Word. Neither can the Scriptures contradict the truths of philosophy or science.
Philosophers and Theologians should Strive after Unity
- As these two great sources of knowledge must be consistent in their valid teachings, it is the duty of all parties to endeavor to exhibit that consistency. Philosophers should not ignore the teachings of the Bible, and theologians should not ignore the teachings of science. Much less should either class needlessly come into collision with the other. It is unreasonable and irreligious for philosophers to adopt and promulgate theories inconsistent with the facts of the Bible, when those theories are sustained by only plausible evidence, which does not command the assent even of the body of scientific men themselves. On the other hand, it is unwise for theologians to insist on an interpretation of Scripture which brings it into collision with the facts of science. Both of these mistakes are often made. The Bible, for example, clearly teaches the unity of the existing races of men, both as to origin and species. Many Naturalists, however, insist that they are diverse, some say, both in origin and kind, and others, in origin if not in species. This is done not only on merely plausible evidence, being one of several possible ways of accounting for acknowledged diversities, but in opposition to the most decisive proof to the contrary. This proof, so far as it is historical and philological, does not fall within the sphere of natural science, and therefore the mere Naturalist disregards it. Comparative philologists hold up their hands at the obtuseness of men of science, who maintain that races have had different origins, whose languages render it clear to demonstration that they have been derived from a common stock. Considering the overwhelming weight of evidence of the divine authority of the Scriptures, and the unspeakable importance of that authority being maintained over the minds and hearts of men, it evinces fearful recklessness on the part of those who wantonly impugn its teachings. On the other hand, it is unwise in theologians to array themselves needlessly against the teachings of science. Romanists and Protestants vainly resisted the adoption of the Copernican theory of our solar system. They interpreted the Bible in a sense contradictory to that theory. So far as in them lay, they staked the authority of the Bible on the correctness of their interpretation. The theory proved to be true, and the received interpretation had to be given up. The Bible, however, has received no injury, although theologians have been taught an important lesson; that is, to let science take its course, assured that the Scriptures will accommodate themselves to all well-authenticated scientific facts in time to come, as they have in time past.
The Authority of Facts
- The relation between Revelation and Philosophy (taking the word in its restricted sense) is different from that between Revelation and Science. Or, to express the same idea in different words, the relation between revelation and facts is one thing; and the relation between revelation and theories another thing. Facts do not admit of denial. They are determined by the wisdom and will of God. To deny facts, is to deny what God affirms to be true. This the Bible cannot do. It cannot contradict God. The theologian, therefore, acknowledges that the Scriptures must be interpreted in accordance with established facts. He has a right, however, to demand that those facts should be verified beyond the possibility of doubt. Scientific men in one age or country affirm the truth of facts, which others deny or disprove. It would be a lamentable spectacle to see the Church changing its doctrines, or its interpretation of Scripture, to suit the constantly changing representations of scientific men as to matters of fact.
While acknowledging their obligation to admit undeniable facts, theologians are at liberty to receive or reject the theories deduced from those facts. Such theories are human speculations and can have no higher authority than their own inherent probability. The facts of light, electricity, magnetism, are permanent. The theories concerning them are constantly changing. The facts of geology are to be admitted; the theories of geologists have no coercive authority. The facts of physiology and comparative anatomy may be received, but no man is bound to receive any of the various conflicting theories of development. Obvious as this distinction between facts and theories is, it is nevertheless often disregarded. Scientific men are disposed to demand for their theories, the authority due only to established facts. And theologians, because at liberty to reject theories, are sometimes led to assert their independence of facts.
The Authority of the Bible higher than that of Philosophy
- Philosophy, in its widest sense, being the conclusions of the human intelligence as to what is true, and the Bible being the declaration of God, as to what is true, it is plain that where the two contradict each other, philosophy must yield to revelation; man must yield to God. It has been admitted that revelation cannot contradict facts; that the Bible must be interpreted in accordance with what God has clearly made known in the constitution of our nature and in the outward world. But the great body of what passes for philosophy or science, is merely human speculation. What is the philosophy of the Orientals, of Brahmins and Buddhists, of the early Gnostics, of the Platonists, of the Scotists in the Middle Ages; of Leibnitz with his monads and preëstablished harmony; of Des Cartes and his vortices; of Kant and his categories; of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, with their different theories of idealistic pantheism? The answer to that question is, that these systems of philosophy are so many forms of human speculation; and consequently that so far as these speculations agree with the Bible they are true; and so far as they differ from it, they are false and worthless. This is the ground which every believer, learned or unlearned, is authorized and bound to take. If the Bible teaches that God is a person, the philosophy that teaches that an infinite being cannot be a person is false. If the Bible teaches that God creates, controls regenerates, the philosophy that forbids the assumption that He acts in time is to be rejected. If the Bible teaches that the soul exists after the dissolution of the body, the philosophy which teaches that man is only the ephemeral manifestation of a generic life in connection with a given corporeal organization, is to be dismissed without further examination. In short, the Bible teaches certain doctrines concerning the nature of God and his relation to the world; concerning the origin, nature, and destiny of man; concerning the nature of virtue, the ground of moral obligation, human liberty, and responsibility; what is the rule of duty, what is right and what is wrong in all our relations to God and to our fellow creatures. These are subjects on which philosophy undertakes to speculate and dogmatize; if in any case, these speculations come into conflict with what is taught or necessarily implied in the Bible, they are thereby refuted, as by a reductio ad absurdum. And the disposition which refuses to give up these speculations in obedience to the teaching of the Bible, is inconsistent with Christianity. It is the indispensable condition of salvation through the gospel, that we receive as true whatever God has revealed in his Word. We must make our choice between the wisdom of men and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God; and the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise of this world. The relation, therefore, between philosophy and revelation, as determined by the Scriptures themselves, is what every right-minded man must approve. Everything is conceded to philosophy and science, which they can rightfully demand. It is admitted that they have a large and important sphere of investigation. It is admitted that within that sphere they are entitled to the greatest deference. It is cheerfully conceded that they have accomplished much, not only as a means of mental discipline, but in the enlargement of the sphere of human knowledge, and in promoting the refinement and well-being of men. It is admitted that theologians are not infallible, in the interpretation of Scripture. It may, therefore, happen in the future, as it has in the past, that interpretations of the Bible, long confidently received, must be modified or abandoned, to bring revelation into harmony with what God teaches in his works. This change of view as to the true meaning of the Bible may be a painful trial to the Church, but it does not in the least impair the authority of the Scriptures. They remain infallible; we are merely convicted of having mistaken their meaning.
7. Office of the Senses in Matters of Faith
The question, What authority is due to the senses in matters of faith, arose out of the controversy between Romanists and Protestants? The doctrine of transubstantiation, as taught by the Romish Church, contradicts the testimony of our senses of sight, taste, and touch. It was natural for Protestants to appeal to this contradiction as decisive evidence against the doctrine. Romanists reply by denying the competency of the senses to bear testimony in such cases.
Protestants maintain the validity of that testimony on the following grounds: (1.) Confidence in the well-authenticated testimony of our senses is one of those laws of belief which God has impressed upon our nature; from the authority of those laws it is impossible that we should emancipate ourselves. (2.) Confidence in our senses is, therefore, one form of confidence in God. It supposes him to have placed us under the necessity of error, to assume that we cannot safely trust the guides in which, by a law of our nature, he constrains us to confide. (3.) All ground of certainty in matters either of faith or knowledge is destroyed if confidence in the laws of our nature be abandoned. Nothing is then possible but absolute skepticism. We, in that case, cannot know that we ourselves exist, or that the world exists, or that there is a God, or a moral law, or any responsibility for character or conduct. (4.) All external supernatural revelation is addressed to the senses. Those who heard Christ had to trust to their sense of hearing; those who read the Bible have to trust to their sense of sight; those who receive the testimony of the Church, receive it through their senses. It is suicidal, therefore, in the Romanists to say that the senses are not to be trusted in matters of faith.
All the arguments derived from the false judgments of men when misled by the senses, are answered by the simple statement of the proposition, that the senses are to be trusted only within their legitimate sphere. The eye may indeed deceive us when the conditions of correct vision are not present; but this does not prove that it is not to be trusted within its appropriate limits.
by Charles Hodge
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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.
Many have asked Edward D. Andrews as a Chief Translator, “In studying the modern Bible translations, I have come across some verses that are left out but that are in my King James Version or even my New King James Version, such as Matthew 18:11; 23:14; Luke 17:36. I have gotten conflicting opinions on social media. Can you please clear this up for me?”
Have you experienced this? The book of Revelation warns: “if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” Yes, removing a true part of the Bible would be a serious matter. (Rev. 22:19) But had this happened? Do you know why these verses are omitted from modern translations? You might wonder, ‘Is my modern Bible translation lacking something that the King James Version has?’ The reader of the King James Version may feel that they have something that the modern Bibles do not. Andrews will help the reader find the answers to whether verses are being omitted and far more when it comes to the differences between the King James Bible and the Modern Bible translations.
The fascinating story of how we got the English Bible in its present form starts 1,120 years ago. HISTORY OF ENGLISH VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE covers the fascinating journey of the Bible from the 9th century AD to the beginning of the 20th-century. The chief translator of the Updated American Standard Version Edward D. Andrews invites readers to explore the process of from the early manuscripts to contemporary translations today.
And so, it was that translators like William Tyndale were martyred for the honor of giving the people a Bible that could easily be understood. What a price they had paid, however; it was a priceless gift! Tyndale and others before and after him had worked with the shadow of death towering over their heads. However, by delivering the Bible to many people in their native tongue, they opened up before them the possibility, not of death, but life eternal. As Jesus Christ said in the Tyndale Bible, “This is lyfe eternall that they myght knowe the that only very God and whom thou hast sent Iesus Christ.” (John 17:3) May we, therefore, know the value of what we can now hold in our hands, and may we diligently study God’s Word.
JOHN 8:58 has been one of the most hotly debated verses in the Bible for centuries. For the first time, an impartial, unbiased, objective investigation begins and ends here. BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM is for all individuals interested in how John 8:58 should be translated, as well as how it should be interpreted. The book impartially (objectively) offers the two different translation views on this verse, as well as two different interpretational views. The reader is given the opportunity to see both perspectives, and then, he or she can decide for themselves. The reader does not have to know Biblical Greek, as we have taken every measure to make this small book easy to understand. We have used the Greek interlinear with the English above the Greek. We have translated all the Greek herein. We have tried to define and explain every uncommon term. Views on translating John 8:58 include NT commentator with the historical setting Kenneth O Gangel, Bible background Clinton E. Arnold and Craig S. Keener, Exegetical commentator D. A. Carson, NT Greek scholar Daniel B. Wallace, Textual scholar B. F. Westcott, Senior Bible Translator of the NASB Don Wilkins, and Chief Translator of the UASV and textual scholar Edward D. Andrews.
FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS is an introduction-intermediate level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews begins by introducing the reader to New Testament textual studies by presenting all the essential, foundational details necessary to understand New Testament textual criticism. With Andrews’ clear and comprehensive approach to New Testament textual studies, FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS, will remain popular for beginning and intermediate students for decades to come. This source on how the New Testament came down us will become the standard book for courses in biblical studies, as well as the history of Christianity. FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS is assured of becoming a reliable, clear-cut resource for generations of Bible students to come.
The Greek 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? FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS introduces its readers to New Testament textual studies of the Greek New Testament. Herein the reader will find plain language as Edward D. Andrews gives the reader an in-depth view of the history of the New Testament. We will discover how the New Testament books were transmitted. The intentional and unintentional scribal errors that crept into the text for some 1,500 years of corruption by copyists, followed by over 400 years of restoration work by textual scholars who gave their entire lives to give us today a restored New Testament text. In this book, the reader will gain an appreciation for the vast work that has been carried out in preserving the text of the New Testament and finding renewed confidence in its reliability. Andrews’ work on FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS was carried out with an apologetical mindset to assist Christians in their defense of God’s Word.
INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.
The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.
THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
The Bible has been under attack since Moses penned the first five books. However, the New Testament has faced criticism like no other time over the 50-70-years. Both friend and foe have challenged the reliability of our New Testament. Self-proclaimed Agnostic textual scholar Dr. Bart D. Ehrman has claimed that there are 400,000+ scribal errors in our Greek New Testament manuscripts. A leading textual scholar, Greek grammarian, and Christian apologist Dr. Daniel B. Wallace has stipulated that this is true. This is of particular interest among all Christians, who have been charged with defending the Word of God. – 1 Peter 3:15.
In this volume, textual scholar Edward D. Andrews offers the churchgoer and textual student a defense against this specific attack on the New Testament. Andrews offers the reader a careful analysis of the relevant evidence, giving his readers logical, reasonable, rational assurances that the New Testament can be trusted more than ever before. He will explain the differences between the older Bible translations and the newer ones. Andrews will explain why we do not need the original manuscripts to have the original Word of God. He will reveal how reliable our manuscripts are, how they survived the elements and the persecution of early Christianity, as well as withstanding careless and even deceitful scribes. Finally, Andrews will deal with the 400,000+ scribal errors in the Greek New Testament manuscripts extensively. The author takes a complicated subject and offers his readers an easy to understand argument for why they can have confidence in the Bible despite various challenges to the trustworthiness of Scripture, offering an insightful, informed, defense of God’s Word.
This fourth edition will be dealing with the Greek text of our New Testament, through the Eyes of Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, in his New York Times bestseller: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (2005). First, in the introduction, we will look into Bart D. Ehrman’s early life and spiritual decline as he moved from being an evangelical conservative Christian to becoming an agnostic skeptic. Second, we will open with chapter one covering the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early Christian scribes. Then, we will spend three lengthy chapters covering the reading culture of early Christianity because of Ehrman’s claim of just how low the literacy rates were in early Christianity. After that, we will take one chapter to investigate the early Christian copyists because of Ehrman’s claim that most of the scribal errors come from the first three centuries. Following this will be one of the most critical chapters examining Ehrman’s claim of 400,000 textual variants [errors] and what impact they have on the integrity of the Greek New Testament. We will then investigate Bible Difficulties and what they mean for the trustworthiness of God’s Word. After that, we will give the reader the fundamentals of some of Ehrman’s complaints, debunking them as we investigate each one throughout seven chapters.
The Apostolic Fathers were core Christian theologians among the Church Fathers who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles or to have been significantly influenced by them. Their writings, though widely circulated in Early Christianity, were not included in the canon of the New Testament. Many of the writings derive from the same time period and geographical location as other works of early Christian literature, which came to be part of the New Testament. Some of the writings found among the Apostolic Fathers appear to have been as highly regarded as some of the writings which became the New Testament.
These writers include Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, Barnabas, Papias, and the anonymous authors of the Didachē (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), Letter to Diognetus, Letter of Barnabas, and the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Not everything written by the Apostolic Fathers is considered to be equally valuable theologically, but taken as a whole, their writings are more valuable historically than any other Christian literature outside the New Testament. They provide a bridge between it and the more fully developed Christianity of the late 2nd century.
The Apostolic Fathers are a small number of Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the 1st century and the first half of the 2nd century. They are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, although their writings were not included in the New Testament. They include Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, the author of the Didache, and the author of the Shepherd of Hermas. The Apostolic Fathers, the earliest extant Christian writings outside the New Testament, are a primary resource for the study of early Christianity. These works are important because their authors were contemporaries of the biblical writers. J. B. Lightfoot is known as the greatest British New Testament scholar of the nineteenth century.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
The only way in which anyone can become a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ is to exercise a divinely-given faith in the once crucified but now glorified Son of God, a faith that quickens the soul, fills it with the mind of Christ, and so unites them to Jesus forever. Murray & Andrews well know that the means for arriving at faith is the Word of God. It is the question often asked by the Master, Jesus Christ, which brings us to the title of the book, “If I speak the truth, why do you not believe ?” (John 8:46). Assured like the apostle Paul, as taught by the Lord, that the only mode for receiving forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them that are sanctified, is “faith” in Christ (Acts 26:18). Therefore, Murray & Andrews concentrate their writings on the anxious soul onto the Savior, on the one hand, and the necessity and power of faith in his own heart, on the other. By this means, they expect that under the working of the Spirit through the Word of God, the reader will be led to more fully live their life in faith, ‘the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself up for you.” (Gal. 2:20) This little book will play a valuable part in our modern Christian faith, no doubt, with its lessons helping Christians to grow spiritually. This book will awaken the need for a vital bond between Christ and the readers, leading them to a stronger faith, which is so richly needed today.
Who wrote this important and enlightening book of Hebrews? Why does it really matter if the book is canonical, authoritative, and inspired? The book was not signed, and so there have been many suggestions over the centuries. Honestly, there is no absolute determinative evidence for any suggested author, even Paul. However, we do not live in an absolute world. God is absolute, and the Word of God in the original is absolute. It seems that most researchers that address this appear to offer just a few suggestions to live with the belief that it is best to say that we do not know. There have been many suggested authors since the first century: Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, James, Philip, Jude, Clement of Rome have all been offered as suggested authors of the book of Hebrews. So, who really wrote the book of Hebrews? Indeed, the book of Hebrews is packed with the most relevant and beneficial information as well as with serious and weighty exhortation, excellent encouragement, and severe warnings lest we fall away from the faith. The better we become informed with this Bible book, the more we profit from what it has to say. Having some certainty as to who the author is will also give us a deeper appreciation of its authentic and authoritative state.
The book PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL deals with their reputations, the authenticity, and the trustworthiness of their New Testament books (Acts and Galatians), which Bible critics have sought to undermine for centuries. Sadly, this attack also comes from “the new generation of evangelical scholars [who are] far more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty than previous generations.” (Wallace forward, Page xii) Herein the Bible critics and modern evangelical scholars are the prosecutors in this trial, and Andrews is serving as the Christian apologist in defense of the Apostle Paul and the disciple Luke. Andrews in PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL will briefly talk about Higher critics who have dissected the Word of God until it has become the word of man and a very jumbled word at that. Chapter one will look at how we can use legal terms to view Bible evidence objectively. Chapters 2 and 3 will lay more groundwork defining and dealing with Bible difficulties as it relates to the trial of Paul and Luke. A Brief historical overview of 36-49 C.E. in Chapter 4 apply all that we will have learned up unto this point in our defense of Paul and Luke. As a bonus, APPENDIX I is a chapter explaining Bible Difficulties, and APPENDIX II is a defense of the prophet Daniel and the book that bears his name.
THE BIBLE: ERRORS! MISTAKES! INCONSISTENCIES! CONTRADICTIONS! Critics claim that the Bible is filled with so-called errors, mistakes, inconsistencies, and contradictions. Some even speak of thousands of errors. The truth is there is not even one demonstrated error in the original text of the Bible. Of course, we would never say that there are no difficulties in our Bibles. The Bible is loaded with thousands of difficult, challenging passages, many of which become obstacles in the development of our faith. These difficulties arise out of differences in culture, language, religious and political organizations, not to mention between 2,000 to 3,500 years of separation between the Bible author and the modern-day reader. Calling attention to these difficulties and sifting out the misconceptions, Andrews defends the full inerrancy of the Bible, clarifies the so-called errors or mistakes and what might seem like apparent contradictions. He arms the Christian with what he or she needs to defend their faith in the Bible. Honestly, whenever Christians find a difficulty in the Bible, frankly, acknowledge it. Do not try to obscure it. Do not try to dodge it. Herein is the defense of God’s Word that Christians have been waiting for.
The role of women within the church has been a heated, ongoing debate. There are two views. We have the equal ministry opportunity for both men and women (egalitarian view) and the ministry roles distinguished by gender (complementarian view). This biblically grounded introduction will acquaint the reader with the biblical view: what does the Bible say about the woman’s role in the church? Both views mention the teachings of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12 in order to support their viewpoint. Andrews will furnish the reader with a clear and thorough presentation of the biblical evidence for the woman’s role in the church so we can better understand the biblical viewpoint.
Some of the questions asked and answered in THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN’S SURVIVAL GUIDE are “You claim the Bible is inspired because it says it is, right (2 Tim. 3:16)? Isn’t that circular reasoning?” “You claim the Bible was inspired, but there was no inspired list of which books that is true of. So how can we know which ones to trust?” “With so many different copies of manuscripts that have 400,000+ variants (errors), how can we even know what the Bible says?” “Why can’t the people who wrote the four Gospels get their story straight?” These questions and many more will be asked and answered with reasonable, rational, Scriptural answers.
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?
Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.
What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
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 …
FEMINIST CRITICISM will offer the reader explicitly what the Bible says. Feminist criticism is a form of literary criticism that is based on feminist theories. The worldview of feminism uses feminist principles to interpret the word of God. Biblical feminists argue that they are merely focused on creating equal opportunities to serve. They say that they want the freedom to follow Jesus Christ as he has called them. They assert that they merely want to use the gifts that he has given them in God’s service. Biblical feminists maintain that Scripture clearly states the worth and value of men and women equally when it comes to serving God. Biblical feminists also say that they want to partner with the men when it comes to taking the lead in the church and parenting in the home. They seek mutual submission and subjection in the church leadership and the home headship, not what they perceive to be a male hierarchy. FEMINIST CRITICISM will gently and respectfully address these issues with Scripture.
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.
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.
New Left Tyranny shows how the neo-Marxist New Left turned their back on historical Western principles and became a destructive authoritarian force. It abandoned the working class. By systematically attacking traditional values and inciting hateful Identity Politics, they created a dysfunctional society characterized by social anarchy, selfishness and a lack of personal responsibility.
“This is a remarkable book by a remarkable person. Excellent work.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, leading American political economist
Hanne Nabintu Herland is a Scandinavian bestselling author, historian of comparative religions and founder of The Herland Report
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.
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 …
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.
HUMILITY: The Beauty of Holiness contains 12 studies on humility, a quality that Andrew Murray rightly believes should be one of the distinguishing characteristics of the discipleship of Christ. Jesus not only strongly impressed His disciples with the need for humility but was in Himself its supreme example. He described Himself as “meek and lowly (tapeinos) in heart.” (Matt. 11:29) The first of the Beatitudes was to “the poor in spirit” (humbly aware of spiritual needs Matt. 5:3), and it was “the meek” who should “inherit the earth.” Humility is the way to true greatness: he who should “humble himself as this little child” should be “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” “Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matt. 18:4; 23:12; Lu 14:11; 18:14). To the humble mind, truth is revealed. (Matt. 11:25; Lu 10:21) Jesus set a touching example of humility in His washing His disciples’ feet. (Joh 13:1-17) The apostle Paul makes an earnest appeal to Christians (Php 2:1-11) that they should cherish and manifest the Spirit of their Lord’s humility, “in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself,” and mentions the supreme example of the self-emptying (kenosis) of Christ: “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 2:7.
Waiting on God appropriately (Ps 42:5, 11; 43:5) is encouraged for one to gain divine approval. Waiting on God, what does it involve? As Christians, we are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” We look forward to relief when the time arrives for “the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 3:7, 12) Thus, waiting on God involves waiting for His time to act. As we await the Lord’s day, we may, at times, be very deeply concerned to see the moral standards of the world around us sink ever lower. At such moments, it is good to consider the words of God’s prophet Micah, who wrote, “The godly person has perished from the land, and there is no upright person among humankind.” Then he added: “But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation.” (Micah 7:2, 7) What is the waiting attitude that we should develop? Since having to wait is often tiring and trying, how can we find joy while waiting on God? Murray and Andrews address these questions and so much more.
The Pilgrim’s Progress is a religious allegory by the English writer John Bunyan, published in two parts. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious, theological fiction in English literature. It has been translated into more than 200 languages and has never been out of print. The work is a symbolic vision of the good man’s pilgrimage through life. At one time second only to the Bible in popularity, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the most famous Christian allegory still in print. The entire book is presented as a dream sequence narrated by an omniscient narrator. The allegory’s protagonist, Christian, is an everyman character, and the plot centers on his journey from his hometown, the “City of Destruction” (“this world”), to the “Celestial City” (“that which is to come”: Heaven) atop Mount Zion. Christian is weighed down by a great burden—the knowledge of his sin—which he believed came from his reading “the book in his hand” (the Bible).
Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.
How could Satan, Adam, and Eve have sinned if they were perfect? How much influence does Satan have? How does Satan try to influence you? What do you need to learn about your enemy? How can you overcome Satanic influences? Can Satan know your thoughts? Can Satan control you? How can you overcome Satanic Influences? How does Satan blind the minds of the unbelievers? How you can understand Satan’s battle for the Christian mind. How you can win the battle for the Christian mind. How you can put on the full armor of God? All of these questions and far more are dealt with herein by Andrews.
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?
Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?
Andrews, an author of over 100 books, has chosen the 40 most beneficial Proverbs, to give the readers an abundance of wise, inspired counsel to help them acquire understanding and safeguard their heart, “for out of it are the sources of life.” (4:23) GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS sets things straight by turning the readers to Almighty God. Each Proverb is dealt with individually, giving the readers easy to understand access to what the original language really means. This gives the readers what the inspired author meant by the words that he used. After this, the reader is given practical guidance on how those words can be applied for maneuvering through life today. GODLY WISDOM with its instruction and counsel never go out of date.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …
THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
God is the originator of marriage. The Bible’s advice has helped many couples overcome problems and have a long, happy marriage. The Bible is a book for all people that provides practical advice that can improve our marriage. Husbands and wives can include God in their marriage by following his loving guidance. If we want a healthy, joyful, Christ-centered marriage, then we must embrace the principles in the Bible. Marriage is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. Counsel from the Word of God will enrich, reinforce, and strengthen a marriage that is already strong and save a marriage that is failing.
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 the 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.
Bible Doctrines – Theology
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about God has twelve chapters. Chapter 1 begins with God as Spirit, followed by the Unity of God, the Eternity of God, the Omnipresence of God, the Personality of God, the Omnipotence of God, the Omniscience of God, the Holiness of God, the Love of God, The Righteous (or Justice) of God, the Mercy (or Living-Kindness of God), and finally the Faithfulness of God. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about God.
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Jesus Christ has twelve chapters. Chapter 1 begins with God as Spirit, followed by the Unity of God, the Eternity of God, the Omnipresence of God, the Personality of God, the Omnipotence of God, the Omniscience of God, the Holiness of God, the Love of God, The Righteous (or Justice) of God, the Mercy (or Living-Kindness of God), and finally the Faithfulness of God. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about Jesus Christ.
Torrey, Andrews, and Sweeney have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about the Holy Spirit has eighteen chapters. Chapter 1 begins with the Personality of the Holy Spirit, followed by the Deity of the Holy Spirit, the Distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, the Subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son, the names of the Holy Spirit, the Work of the Holy Spirit, the Baptism and Filling with the Holy Spirit, the Work of the Holy Spirit in the Prophets and the Apostles, the Work of the Holy Spirit In Jesus Christ, the Spirit and Christians, How are Christians to Understand the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today and finally some Parting Words about the Holy Spirit. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about the Holy Spirit. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about the Holy Spirit is the third of five volumes.
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Man has eighteen chapters. Chapter 1 begins with Man’s Original Condition, the Present Standing Before God and Condition of Men Outside of the Redemption, the Future Destiny of Those Who Reject the Redemption, Justification, the New Birth, Adoption, Sanctification, Repentance, Faith, Love to God, Love to Christ, Love to Man, Prayer, Thanksgiving, Worship, the Believer’s Assurance, and finally the Future Destiny of Believers. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about Man. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Man is the fourth of five volumes.
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Angels & Satan the Devil has twenty-one chapters. Torrey in Chapter 1 begins with the Angel’s nature, position, number, and abode, the Work of Angels, the Devil’s Existence, Nature, Position and Character, Ezekiel 28 Explained, the Abod of Satan, Our Duty Toward Satan and His Destiny, Andrews Explaining Angels, Explaining Satan the Devil, Explaining the Demons, Who Were the “Sons of God” In Genesis 6:2, Who Were the Nephilim In Genesis 6:2, Answering No One Has Seen God, Who Is Michael the Archangel, Angelic Rebellion in the Spirit Realm, Can Satan Control Humans, Can Satan Know the Thoughts of the Human Mind, Struggle Against Dark Spiritual Forces, Why Has God Permitted Evil, Do Christians Have Guardian Angels, How Much Is God Involved In Humanity, and Why Is Life So Unfair. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about Angels & Satan the Devil. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Angels & Satan the Devil is the fifth of five volumes.
The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
Theology & Technology
A lot of confusion exists over the right ethical approach to new technologies. Do we embrace it all as an unmitigated good? Or should we take a more cautionary route that seeks to evaluate our own technology use and its impact on society from a critical perspective? A new awareness of both the dangers and potential benefits new technologies offer will guide us through a morass of ethical questions. We stress limits because it is here that the traditional dialectic of question and answer has broken down; even talking about technological restraint is met with near-universal scorn. Nevertheless, it is through the negative side of this debate that the antithesis will transition into a resolve for the technological problem raised in this Manifesto.
Technology is everywhere, we live, and breath and move in it, but what is our technology worship doing to our souls? How does it impact our relationships with each other? Can we remain human in a technological environment? Terlizzese addresses these questions and more in my latest book Machinehead: Rise of the Technology God. This book on social criticism speaks to the history and sources of computer worship and digital adoration and its consequences for the future of our century. The technological problem stated simply is that technology as a force for good and human amelioration has reversed its direction by means of unlimited acceleration and unfettered use, which threatens us with the opposite of progress in manifest regression, and burgeoning extinction. I resolve these problems by focusing on individual responsibility in the face of an apparent irresistible force moving history toward annihilation. Only as we curb technology use through exercising self-control can we liberate ourselves from Machinehead the technology God.
KILLER COMPUTERS is meant to stimulate thinking on the most critical issue of our times, technology, and in particular Artificial Intelligence, which occupies the foremost of our attention. It does this through a common reference: science fiction film. Science fiction does not predict the future, but it does, for better or worse, anticipate it. Killer Computers are a metaphor for when machines, in the not too distant future, are given the power by their creators, to make life and death decisions, especially in a military or Civil Defense context, which will inevitably spill over into medical and judicial realms. The solitary cause for this potential future is the collective resignation to think for ourselves in all things. The Enlightenment principle of Sapere Aude (dare to think for yourself) is being forgotten in favor an Artificial Intelligence that does all our thinking for us. The hope is that through awareness, we will be smart enough not to let that happen, while still enjoying the benefits this technology offers. These essays include a discussion on a theology of culture, On Black Holes and Arch Angels, as well as Grace and Law and case studies on important thinkers that address technological and political worlds, such as Gabriel Marcel and Reinhold Niebuhr. Hope is a predominate theme which is capped by a chapter on New Creation. Wisdom counsels a path through critical participation in the technological system. We must see ourselves as part of the problem and therefore, part of the solution.
Today’s Technological progress is mankind’s greatest achievement but may lead to total destruction. Technological progress consumes more than it produces, it pursues its own ends not that of humanity’s and cannot accelerate indefinitely on a planet with finite resources. Jacques Ellul noted “[t]echnique (technology) has its limits. But when it has reached those limits, will anything exist outside them . . . is it (technological acceleration) not succeeding in undermining everything which is outside it?” (Ellul 1964, 85) Once technological limits are reached will anything be left? Transhumanists expect that technological acceleration will culminate by mid-century in an event they call the “Singularity” a technological Omega Point or convergence of human and artificial intelligence that will give rise to a god-like supercomputer (Artilect) which promises a century of progress in one hour. Despite apparent immediate gains, technology makes the human plight worse through exhaustion of resources and spiritual slavery. The Singularity will mark the end of technological progress as it reaches completion without redressing the spiritual problem inherent to the human condition. This means that all who step into the Singularity will enter a void, a digital black hole. The solution is as simple as the problem is sublime, step away from the edge of the abyss slowly.
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.
Christian Fiction & Historical Fiction
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
HEROES OF FAITH is historical fiction of the life of the first imperfect human after the fall, Abel, based on the Word of God. After reading the account, it will be as if Abel were an old friend. This brief powerful story will move and motivate the faith of all readers. HEROES OF FAITH has been created to not only entertain but also help the reader strengthen his or her faith. We will begin with an easy to understand introductory chapter on the question, What Is Faith? After that, is the historical story of the life of Abel. This is followed by the Bible difficulties of all the persons in the life of Abel: his father Adam, his mother Eve, and his brother Cain. Finally, we close this crucial book that can strengthen us in these last days with four chapters on Bible Difficulties, which will also help the reader grow in faith.
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. …