RESURRECTION OF JESUS…THE ULTIMATE APOLOGETIC

A few years back I was pondering the practical implications of something in the gospels, so I wrote New Testament scholar, Scot McKnight.  Here’s my question to Scot:

Is there a possible clue from Matt 12:39ff that our “apologetic argument” ought to focus more on the history of Jesus resurrection rather than more speculative or philosophical lines of evidence?  Not exclusively for there are others passages which showcase other evidence but as an emphasis of sorts?

Scot’s answer was: 100%!!!!

ANGLICANISM

Many American Evangelicals mistake the American variety of Anglicanism for either the British variety, or worse still, the liberal Episcopalian church.  The Anglican Church North America (ACNA) is decidedly under the authority of Scripture and quite clear about the work of Christ on the cross. 

I now gladly attend an Anglican church, but I am not Anglican.  There are four major reasons I give to those wondering why we shifted from low church evangelicalism to the Anglican church: an intentional theology of the body (and the physical world), a conscious tie to the whole church throughout its history and in the world today, truly keeping primary doctrines primary which translates to giving much space to differ over a variety of non primary doctrines, and a protection against personality cults emerging with respect to the ministers.  Much could be said about those things and perhaps later I will offer more details…

PONDER THIS!

The eminent Catholic scholar, Michael Novak, has died.  His quiet genius influenced many of the more popular names you may know.  In any case, there is a nice tribute to him below.

One of the best quotes from him on the possibility of humans creating some utopia: “To know oneself is to disbelieve in utopia. To seek realism is to learn mercy.”

6 Quotes: Michael Novak on Freedom and Institutions

PROXIMITY MATTERS!

One’s proximity to someone who struggles with whatever (depression, gluttony, etc.) makes one interact in a very different way.
 
One may still not change their overall convictions about the problem, but the problem is no longer simply a problem.  It is a person who is struggling with a problem.
Perhaps our frustration with certain problems belies the fact that we are not close enough to those who struggle with such things!
 

Quotable and Wise

From Pastor Derwin Gray:

“The church should be a tutor to the world of what racial reconciliation looks like.”

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

“God loves big buts.”
“The scene of the crime is your mind.”

DESTROYER OF THE gods

Here’s a snippet from my interview with Larry Hurtado of the University of Edinburgh:

Moore: It’s become somewhat of a self-evident truth that early Christianity only appealed to the down and out. Is that accurate to the historical record?

Hurtado: For several decades now that old notion has been discredited among scholars of early Christianity. Studies of the people named and described in earliest Christian texts show that, right from the earliest years, they included craftsmen, merchants, and owners of businesses. Of course, there were also slaves and poor among believers. By at least the second century, there were also believers from upper levels of Roman society. That upward progress socially is likely part of what prompted pagan sophisticates such as Celsus to attack Christianity so vehemently.

The full interview is here:

Larry Hurtado: An Interview

OUR SON, COACH DAVID

Our oldest son, David, helps coach at risk boys in Dallas.  Yesterday, Doreen and I very spontaneously drove up to see the championship game.  We lost as you probably can guess by enlarging the photo.

It is wonderful to see David using his gifts for God’s glory and the good of others. 

THE PHARMACIST OF AUSCHWITZ

Image result for THE PHARMACIST OF AUSCHWITZ

https://www.amazon.com/Pharmacist-Auschwitz-Untold-Story-ebook/dp/B01M8KHLF0

I have developed a “Moore’s Law of Reading” that helps me see whether a book was worth my time or not. I first count my marginal notes. I then check out the total number of pages of the book. If my marginal notes add up to at least half the number of pages, the book is either important (say something by Nietzsche whom I mightily disagree with), or a book that I appreciated very much. With The Pharmacist of Auschwitz, both categories are true.

Reading about the concentration camps is tough. For me, I kept avoiding books like Night by Elie Wiesel and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I finally broke down and read both. I’m glad I did, but these kinds of books make me terribly sad and cry for justice. As a Christian, I find my sanity in the belief that God will one day make all things right. But I “live by faith and not sight” so the struggle for sanity in the interim is a daily battle.

I call Patricia (aka Trisha) Posner “Detective Posner” because she was relentless in accumulating the salient details in telling a little known story. The story revolves around a pharmacist named Victor Capesius. Capesius was involved in all kinds of heinous activities while working at the infamous Auschwitz camp.

Posner does a great job of teasing out the relevant details that make you see how such a “normal” person could be complicit in such barbarity. The ruthlessness of the Nazis is maddening to make sense of. Posner describes some of the ghoulish things the Nazis did, but does not overdo it. It’s not easy to tell a story full of dark realities and not get lost in all the depressing things that transpired. Posner does a good job of walking a tightrope between being true to the story, but not indulging the prurient interests of some.

There are many other things I appreciate about this book, but I will close with one more. Posner does a nice job of contextualizing the story of Capesius in the overall story of the Nazis. In telling the larger story of the Nazis you are reminded of how sinister their approach to life was. The insanity of the Nazis was demonstrated in many ways, like worshiping their dogs, but treating the Jews as less than animals. As a Christian, it reminded me of the perversity the apostle Paul speaks of in Romans 1.


I highly recommend this book, with the caveat lector that one be at least high school age.