Archive for September 2016

Islam, Christianity and Jerusalem

Sep 24th, 2016 | By

Without question, Jerusalem remains the most controversial city in the world. It has played a decisive role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . . Jerusalem was the center of Jesus’ final days for it was there He was crucified, buried and resurrected in AD 33. But it was not until Caesar Constantine in AD 313 and the subsequent developments under him and his mother, Helena, that the sites associated with Jesus’ life became major points of Christian pilgrimage. The Church of the Holy Sepulchere and other churches were built over key places associated with Jesus; thus Jerusalem became a critical center of organized Christianity until Islam conquered it. It is to that block of history we now turn.



The Ethics of Human-Animal Stem Cell Research

Sep 17th, 2016 | By

In early August 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it was planning to lift its ban on funding some research that injects human stem cells into animal embryos. This rather remarkable decision involves growing human tissues or organs in animals to better understand human diseases and develop therapies to treat them. That scientists are placing human cells into animals is not new; this has been a common practice for years. What is new here is that such implantations involve human stem cells being placed in animals. Human stem cells are placed into developing animal embryos where they can become any type of cell—for organs, blood or bones. The larger goal of such a practice could be, for example, growing a human kidney in a pig for a transplant back into a human.



Genesis 27:4-28:22

Sep 16th, 2016 | By

Isaac blesses Jacob & sends him to Padan-Aram, Esau marries the daughter of Ishmael, Jacob’s vision, & the stone of Beth-el.



Human Depravity and 21st Century Horrors

Sep 10th, 2016 | By

Genuine biblical Christianity rejects the proposition that humans are basically good. The Bible affirms that every human being is born with the guilt and sin of Adam (see Romans 5). The Bible also affirms that humans are capable of the most egregious evil and despicable violence. Theologian Wayne Grudem writes: “. . . every part of our being is affected by sin—our intellects, our emotions and desires, our hearts (the center of our desires and decision-making processes), our goals and motives, and even our physical bodies” (see Romans 7:18, Titus 1:15, Jeremiah 17:9). Ephesians 4:19 declares that humans “are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in [us], due to the hardness of [our] hearts.” Apart from the work of Jesus Christ in our lives, there is no hope and no purpose, and can do no spiritual good.



Genesis 27:1-45

Sep 9th, 2016 | By

Not trusting completely in God and relying instead on his own resources & methods, Jacob steals the blessing of his father.



Russia and Iran: Remaking the Middle East

Sep 3rd, 2016 | By

The civil war in Syria has been raging for over four years and, until Russia intervened last year, it looked as if the Assad regime would fall. Russia under Vladimir Putin has intentionally linked itself with Iran to preserve the Assad regime. The costs of this civil war are absolutely horrific: Nearly 500,000 have been killed in Syria and somewhere close to 2.5 million+ refugees have fled the slaughter. The nation state of Syria really no longer exists. The nation of Syria is now a devastated landmass of competing militias and terrorist groups that are bent on destroying the nation for their own ideological ends.



Genesis 25:26-26:35

Sep 2nd, 2016 | By

Esau gives up his birthright to Jacob; and discussion of Isaac’s falsehood: a nearly identical experience with Abimelech as his Father.