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The History of Christianity #32
Our Scripture verse today is 1 Peter 3:15 which reads: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
Our quote today is from Tertullian. He said: "Truth persuades by teaching, but does not teach by persuading."
Today, we are examining "The Defense of the Faith" (Part 3) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Today's subject is The Main Apologists
The task of responding to such criticism resulted in some of the most remarkable theological works of the second century, a tradition that continued for many years thereafter. At this point, however, it will suffice to deal with the apologists of the second century and the beginning of the third.
Probably the earliest surviving apology is the Letter to Diognetus, whose unknown author - perhaps a certain Quadratus mentioned by ancient historians - seems to have lived early in the second century. Shortly thereafter, before 138, Aristides wrote an apology that has been rediscovered in modern times. But the most famous of the early apologists was Justin, who is also one of our earliest sources describing Christian worship. Justin had lived through a long spiritual pilgrimage, from school to school, until he found in Christianity what he called "the true philosophy." Three of his works are extant: two apologies - which are really two parts of a single work - and a Dialogue with Trypho, a Jewish rabbi...
Next time, we will examine Christian Faith and Pagan Culture in The Defense of the Faith.
The History of Christianity #30
Our Scripture verse today is John 1:14 which reads: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
Our quote today is from John of the Cross. He said: "Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you remember Christ crucified and be silent."
Today, we are examining "The Defense of the Faith" (Part 1) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Today's subject is Base Rumors and Lofty Criticism
Throughout the second century, and well into the third, there was no systematic persecution of Christians. It was illegal to be a Christian; but those who followed the new faith were not sought out by authorities. Persecution and martyrdom depended on local circumstances, and particularly on the good will of neighbors. If for any reason someone wished to harm a Christian, all that had to be done was to present an accusation. Such may well have been the case with Justin, who seems to have been accused by his rival, Crescentius. At other times, as in Lyons and Vienne, it was a mob, fired by all sorts of rumors about Christians, that demanded that they be arrested and punished.
Given such circumstances, Christians felt the need to refute rumors and misconceptions regarding their beliefs and practices. Even if their arguments did not convince others of the truth of Christianity, it was believed that something very tangible would be gained if false reports were dispelled. Such was the task of some of the ablest Christian thinkers and writers, known as the "apologists" --- that is, defenders. Some of their arguments have been in continuous usage through the centuries.
The History of Christianity #31
Our Scripture verse today is Hebrews 11:1 which reads: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Our quote today is from Justin Martyr. He said: "We do not seek to flatter you...but request that you judge on the basis of a proper and thorough investigation."
Today, we are examining "The Defense of the Faith" (Part 2) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Today's subject is Base Rumors and Lofty Criticism
During the reign of Marcus Aurelius, one such intellectual, Celsus, wrote a refutation of Christianity called The True Word. There he expressed the feelings of those who, like him, were wise and sophisticated. He wrote:
In some private homes we find people who work with wool and rags, and cobblers, that is, the least cultured and most ignorant kind. Before the head of the household, they dare not utter a word. But as soon as they can take the children aside or some women who are as ignorant as they are, they speak wonders...If you really wish to know the truth, leave your teachers and your father, and go with the women and the children to the women's quarters, or to the cobbler's shop, or to the tannery, and there you will learn the perfect life. It is thus that these Christians find those who will believe them.
At about the same time, the pagan Cornelius Fronto (frun-to) wrote a treatise against Christians that unfortunately has been lost. But the Christian writer Minucius (mi-noo-shee-uhs) Felix may be quoting him when he puts the following words in the mouth of a pagan:
Our Scripture verse today is Hebrews 11:16 which reads: "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Our quote today is from John Calvin. He said: "A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent."
Today, we are looking at "The Defense of the Faith" (Part 5) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Today's subject is The Arguments of the Apologists
Justin's use of the doctrine of the Logos provided a basic framework within which Christians could claim whatever they wished from the rich lode of classical culture. But there still remained the need to refute the various objections raised against Christianity. Although it is impossible to list here all such refutations, some examples will give a general idea of the nature of the arguments of the apologists.
When accused of being atheists because they had no visible gods, Christians responded that in that case many of the greatest philosophers and poets were also atheists. To support that statement it sufficed to quote the ancient writers who had affirmed that the gods were human inventions, and that their vices were worse than those of their worshipers. Aristides suggested that such gods had been invented precisely in order to give full rein to human vice. Also, a common argument was that the idols, often made of gold and precious stones, had to be guarded against thieves. How can a god that must be protected provide any protection? How can a god made by human hands be above humans? On these points orthodox Christianity held to the doctrine of monotheism and divine creation that it had learned from its Jewish background...
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There are people who are struggling trying to understand why they are not loved. Some turn to substances and others take more drastic measures. However, God loves us all, and He loves you.
Tune in to Refreshing Moments on Blogtalk Radio Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 am with Dr. Barbara of Faith Restoration Ministries Int'l. This is a short inspiring program to help you face the day ahead. No one knows what each day will bring, and sometimes - an inspiring word, a thought, a new concept is all we need to face the trials and tests of life.
Refreshing Moments reminds us that no matter what our circumstances might be, God is still our refuge and strength and present help in the time of trouble. Whatever your problems might be, you can trust God to help you and He will make a way where there is no way. God knows everything and despite what might seem tardy with His way, yet He is always right on time.
This is a short 15 minute program to help you refresh your mind concerning God's goodness and His promises.
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Are you on a path that you truly feel God may have forgotten about you and there just is no real reason for each day? What can you do to find a reason to live with purpose? Is it up to you to struggle, rise and fall to never get any place else? What are you running from? Where are you going? What will you do when you are there and then what?
Niki Norlock, author of Truth: My Synchromystic Journey shares her life story. If you have any sense of challenges in life, perhaps had occurances which caused you to stop in your tracks and found yourself on your knees praying to God for help, this book is for you. Niki details her path with all the ups and downs of living a full engaged life.
For more information visit: www.NikiNorlock.com
Restoring Life Ministries would like to share what the Bible teaches us about having faith, especially in this time and era. Having faith is so important to a child of God and learning how that seperates us from non-believers. Than learning how to have a proper prayer life a.k.a communion and conversation with God our father.Join us in this very needed discussion and lets grow in God together.
SAY...WHAT IS IT THAT YOUR BELIEVE??
Faith is formed by words. Words produce actions that walk by faith. We walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), proclaiming as if it were and not by sight, seeing it as it is. Faith says it is much more that what we see. Faith allows us to see like our Father sees it.....already done (Job 22:28)! When you speak decreeing, God said it shall be. Once you have spoken that word through faith it is activated. It is like turning on the engine of your car. Turning the key activates the car so you have access to were you want to go. Turn on you faith. Energize it! This is how you produce what you believe. Jesus said if you ask any thing my name, I will do it (John 14:14). So, how do we grow this kind of faith? The verse following says if you love me, keep my commandments! God wants His word to be glorified in us. Everything we do must point to glorifying God. Our request in prayer must line up with God’s perfect plans for our lives. God has the perfect plan (Jeremiah 29:11) for us and we must love Him enough to trust Him with our lives. God always wants to grow us. Have faith in God (Mark 11:22)! Faith comes by hearing the spoken word. When you read the word of God, read it out loud. Degree it over yourself. It only takes a little faith to remove a mountain. So, it is not the size of you faith that is measurable, but, the quality of your faith, without doubt and without ought. These two elements taint your grow in faith. You must believe to receive and you must forgive to receive!
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in The Bible
What the mystery is according to The Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Ephesians 3:9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Romans 16:25-26 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
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