“You are looking at the most dangerous animal in the world. It alone of all the animals that ever lived can exterminate (and has) entire species of animals. Now it has the power to wipe out all life on earth.”
As the visitors peered into the cage they realised that they were, in fact, looking into a mirror.…
A summary of chapter 41 of The Fountain of Life, by John Flavel.
“When he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3
Christ is described
- By his essential and primeval glory and dignity, he is ‘the brightness at his Father’s glory’, the very splendor of glory, the very refulgency of that son of glory.
- By the work he wrought here on earth, in his humbled state, ‘When he had by himself purged our sins.’
Some excerpts from this book of the same name, by Roger Carswell (2nd edition, 2020)
How can God be all-loving and all-powerful?
The Greek philosopher, Epicurus, outlined the dilemma facing the thinking mind: God either wishes to take away evils and is unable; or He is able and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able; or He is both willing and able. If He is willing but unable, He is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God.…
The ascension of Christ is the ‘transference of the resurrected body of Jesus from this world to heaven.’
It is described in Acts 1:9–11 (but see also Lk 24:50f), where Jesus is described as being “taken up” and disappearing into a cloud. This event took place near Bethany, on the Mt of Olives.
John’s Gospel records Jesus’ own comments regarding his ascension:
- he has departed, but he will return (21:22);
- he cannot be touched, for he must ascend (20:17);
- many will believe without having seen him (20:29).
A summary of chapter 40 of The Fountain of Life, by John Flavel.
John 20:17 – ‘Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’
The persons to whom this message was sent: ‘My brethren’; a sweet term, and full of love.
The message itself: ‘Tell my brethren, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; to my God, and your God.’…
In Jesus, Interrupted (HarperCollins), Bart Ehrman has this to say about the length of Jesus’ public ministry, as indicated in the canonical Gospels:
Our earliest Gospel, Mark, does not give an explicit indication of the length of Jesus’ public ministry, but does give some suggestive comments. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, in chapter 2, his disciples are going through the wheat fields and eating the grain, to the consternation of the Pharisees, who believe they are violating the Sabbath.…
In 1 Kings 18:17 King Ahab says to Elijah, “Is that you, troubler of Israel?”
- In what ways was Elijah a ‘troublemaker’?
- In what ways were Jesus and his early followers ‘troublemakers’? (Note, for example, Acts 17:6).
- In what ways are Christians today called to be ‘troublemakers’?
This entry is part 9 of 43 in the series: Discussion Starters
- Discussion Starters, Gen 3
- Discussion starters – Exodus 3 & 4
- Discussion starters – Exodus 11 & 12
- Discussion starters – the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-21
- Discussion starters, Joshua 1-6
- Discussion starters – Judges 6-8
- Discussion starters, 1 Samuel 1-15
- Discussion Starters, 1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 24
- Discussion starters – 1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2
- Discussion starters, Ruth
- Discussion starters, Daniel 1-6
- Discussion Starters, Mt 1:1-17
- Discussion Starters, Mt 5:1-12, Lk 6:20-26
- Discussion Starters, Matt 5:13-16, 21-26 & 38-48
- Discussion starters, Mt 6:9-13, Lk 11:1-13
- Discussion starters, Matt 8:23-27, Luke 8:22-25
- Discussion Starters, Matt 12:1-21, Mk 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11
- Discussion Starters, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26
- Discussion Starters, Mt 6:9-13, Lk 11:1-13
- Discussion Starters, Mk 11:1-11; Mt 21:1-11
- Discussion Starters, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26
- Discussion Starters, Lk 2:1-21
- Discussion starters, Lk 2:41-52
- Discussion starters, Lk 7:18-35
- Discussion Starters, Lk 10:25-37
- Discussion Starters, Lk 22:39-23:55
- Discussion Starters, Luke 24:36-49
- Discussion Starters, Lk 24:50-52; Acts 1:6-11
- Discussion Starters, John 2:1-11
- Discussion starters, Jn 6:28-58; 8:12-20
- Discussion Starters, Jn 13:1-17; Lk 22:7-23
- Discussion starters, Jn 20:1-18
- Discussion starters, Jn 20:19-31
- Discussion starters, Acts 3:1-10
- Discussion starters, Acts 3 – 4:31
- Discussion starters, Acts 8:26-40
- Discussion Starters, Acts 9:1-19a
- Discussion starters, Acts 18:1-28
- Discussion starters, Paul’s epistles
- Discussion Starters, Gal 1:13-22
- Discussion starters, Ephesians 3:1-13
- Discussion starters, Phil 2:19-30
- Discussion starters, Revelation 2-3
What are some of the different ways in which we imagine that we can commend ourselves to God and merit our salvation?
1. The Work of Philanthropy
“I’m going to give money. I’m going to help the needy.”
2. The Work of Service
“I’m going to volunteer. I’m going to give my time, my skill, my expertise. I’m going to get my hands dirty.”
3. The Work of Ritual
“I’m going to be committed to confession, communion, prayers, church attendance.”…
It is often said that God always answers prayer, and when he does so it will be with one of three answers: ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘Wait’.
That’s too simplistic. In particular, it leaves out the possibility that God may not answer prayer.
Psalm 66 teaches us to take a more realistic approach:
66:18 If I had harbored sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
66:19 However, God heard;
he listened to my prayer.…
Aside from textual difficulties (there are many differences between the most ancient texts on this matter) we are faced with the question of how to explain these exceptionally long life spans (all these individuals were at least 65 when their first child was born, and most lived for up to 1,000 years!). The problem is compounded by the fact that if we put the various data together, we come up with a date for the creation of Adam (about 4004 BC) which would be even more recent if we assumed normal life spans for his descendants!…