A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD

THE TWENTIETH DAY OF FEBRUARY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Last Sunday, the jihadist group calling itself ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) martyred 21 young Egyptian Christians working in Libya, one of Egypt's four next-door neighbor states. Ramez Atallah, a leader in gospel outreach worldwide, is general director of the Bible Society of Egypt. Within days of … [Read more...]

afterlife discussion has nine lives

A recent gracEmail titled "Boy Who Told Fibs About Heaven" told of 16-year-old Alex Malarkey's announcement that his book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven (co-written with dad, Kevin), was untrue. Alex never went to heaven, he now says, but rather as a six-year-old made up the whole story to get attention. The gracEmail noted three major elements in Alex's story that contradict biblical … [Read more...]

God, the gospel, and the nations’ obedience

When God chose Israel as his special people and covenant partner, it was his intention through them ultimately to bless the world. "By your descendants," God promised Abraham, "shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). God blessed Israel so that, through Israel, all nations would be blessed. The chosen people prayed: "May God . . . bless us, that thy . . . [saving power] may be … [Read more...]

APOCALYPTIC LOCUSTS FROM THE PIT

This is Iraq, a country with borders drawn in 1920 by the League of Nations following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. More to our interest, this is a country situated on the same God-created real estate where the Jewish and Christian stories began. In this ancient land Abraham once lived and went about his business as usual. Until that day he heard the voice that said it was God, the voice … [Read more...]

SCRIPTURE AT ITS BEST: SATURATION

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "I want to grow in my relationship with God, but I'm now struggling with where the Bible fits into the equation. How do I approach scripture to apply it to my faith journey?" * * * The best place for learning how to approach scripture is Scripture itself. The 39 books that we call the "Old Testament" were regarded as sacred writings by the Jews before there … [Read more...]

WHY MUSLIMS HATE THE WEST (2)

"So what if Muslims hate my country?" I ask myself. Should we do anything differently for that reason? As one Christian citizen of the U.S., desiring to think with "the mind of Christ" but not presumptuous enough to suppose that I always do, I raise some questions for further thought. For example, do we too easily go along with the immorality that characterizes contemporary American culture? Must … [Read more...]

JEWS & SALVATION

"Judaism has lost favor with God," someone writes. "To say that it is still a path to God makes a liar of Jesus and therefore of God." * * * While it is certainly true that no one will be saved except through the atonement Jesus has accomplished, that does not prevent God from saving many people by Jesus' atonement who lacked personal conscious awareness of that atonement in this life. Most … [Read more...]

BUDDHISTS AND COMMON GRACE

A gracEmail subscriber asks, "I have a Buddhist friend who does not believe in God as I do, or in the necessity of Jesus for salvation. I see what look like fruit of the Spirit in her life which makes me want to find some kind of reconciliation between my beliefs and hers. Any thoughts?" * * * Every good thing comes from God (James 1:17), and God has not left any people-group totally without … [Read more...]

BUDDHA NOT SO OLD

A gracEmail subscriber writes, "My husband was witnessing to a co-worker today who said that the Buddhist Bible was written before any other Bible. He asked how anyone can convince a Buddhist to believe in anything else but their own Bible since it precedes all others. Can you offer any suggestion on how we can deal with this when trying to share Christ?" * * * Your husband's co-worker is a tad … [Read more...]

CHOPRA, ARISTOTLE OR JESUS?

A midsouthern Bible professor summarizes author-guru Deepak Chopra's message as "Don't trust the intellect; go to the heart," then asks whether the same mindset infects much contemporary Christian thinking. * * * Chopra is indeed one of today's most prominent purveyors and popularizers of New Age, Hindu-oriented, "Eastern" mysticism. As such, he preaches distrust of the intellect, so that the … [Read more...]