• Right thinking when facing evil by Melanie Newton

    Right Thinking When Facing Evil

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: “Why, God?” The question that always comes up when something evil happens. Yes, something evil is happening in many places around the world, including right here in the United States. God does not do the evil. Evil humans do it. The next question is usually, “Why didn’t God stop it?” Now you are at the bigger questions, which are “Why does God let any of us do evil? Why doesn’t He stop it if He is capable of doing so?”

  • Engage

    The Devil Made Me Do It

    In 1985, Richard Ramirez, a Satanist, killed fourteen Californians. Ramirez claimed evil spirits made him mutilate the elderly, women, and children. His savagery even terrified his trial judge. What do we make of this monstrosity? Or of racially motivated violence, where even Christians misappropriate Scripture to deny the basic human dignity of those they deem inferior to them? The testimonies of Christ and the apostles give evidence that demons work by seducing us with pride, greed, and lust. But can we hold demonized humans responsible for the sins committed under demonic influence? Who bears ultimate responsibility for 9/11 or the Nazi genocide of Jews? Satan, or those who commited the…

  • Engage

    What’s Love Got to Do with It?

    Some would argue that a loving personal God could not allow the existence of evil and social injustice. Others blame an omnipotent God for malignancies like terrorism and the trafficking of young girls for sexual slavery. God foreknew evil. By the act of creation, God instilled evil's feasibility. But does that make Him responsible for it? Not according to 1 John 2:16. Enter: Free Will. Some may scoff at the notion, as if by supplying it God has given us license to misbehave. But free will does not hinder God’s ability to encroach upon choice. He can stop the madness anytime he chooses. And let’s not forget Jesus Christ—the one…

  • Engage

    The Origin of Evil

    When did evil and sin enter the world? In the Garden of Eden? And who created evil? Some blame God for temptation and evil by default since he created everything. But let’s rewind. In a galaxy far far away, God created all the angels all at once. And they lived in the stellar places amongst the stars. (Since this is just a blog post and not a seminary paper, I’ll let you verify those gems on your own. A good Systematic Theology text should suffice.)   Now because God only creates “good” and “very good,” he made each angel good, or what some would call “holy.” But Jude 1:6 says,…

  • Image result for don't celebrate halloween

    Enjoying Halloween??? – Culturally Acceptable and Spiritually Divisive

      I did a definition search on the word “hallow.” The basic definition is, holy. I searched for the meaning of the suffix “een.” IIt is considered to be a contraction of the word “evening.” It seems to have in its definition the meaning of “not something” Evening is the time between day and night. It is neither. So what do Christians do with a holiday that is not holy but is between? October 31st has been dubbed Halloween. The name fits well. It is not truly holy, but it is not completely evil either, and considered by some even neutral. Some use this holiday to decorate in a fall theme,…

  • Heartprints

    Taking Thoughts Captive and How to Teach it

    Thoughts are a part of life. They happen. We can’t control when or what thought might pop into our minds. There seem to be as many thoughts that come from outside us as those that begin within. It is no different for our children. From the earliest age of forming thoughts, outside forces impose images in our minds that provoke an emotional response. Imagination is a wonderful gift for without it we could not begin to relate to the God we cannot see or touch.  Sadly, in a fallen broken world our imagination can be an instrument used to overwhelm us. I compare my thoughts to a massive school of…

  • Skull Carving

    Rebellion and Exponential Evil

    “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world, and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly, and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, (for while…

  • Philosopher II

    What Did the Philosophers Know and When Did They Know it? Part 2

    Jesus told Pilate, “For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). “Therefore see to it that the light in you is not darkness” – Jesus (Luke 11:35). While skimming a book I’d previously read entitled “The Great Philosophers: From Socrates to Foucault”, a quick summary of influential philosophers, I was sometimes struck by the darkness and futility of their ideas. Yet I was open to seeing truths that might be found within the shadows so to speak. I gleaned what truthful ideas I could from…

  • Engage

    The Parable of Weeds & Wheat as a Response to Prevailing Evil

    Barcelona. Charlottesville. Chapel Hill. Boston. Jack the Ripper. Jesse James. Judas. Kim Jong-un. Genghis Khan. September 11, 2001. Evil proliferates. A savvy journalist says, "How can I spin this?" An atheist says, “It’s religious faith that motivates people to do such terrible things.”[i] A secular humanist says, “If there is to be justice, then it must be had here in this world and human beings must administer it.”[ii] A narcissist says, “Wait, retake! I look fat in that.” #selfie-centered A universalist says, “Who am I to judge? Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Judge not and ye shall not be judged’? Besides, everything works out in the end; everyone will be saved.” A…

  • Impact

    23 Books Reviewed in 23 Minutes

    “The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition” – Henry Miller. Here is my exhaustive review of all but one of the books I read in 2014. Skim the list to see if something piques your interest. Peruse as you please. Skip what does not interest you. For my reading list reviews for the past few years click on any of the following: 2011, 2012, or 2013. Now here we go, set your timer to 23 minutes. Go!   1. “Save Me From Myself” subtitled “How I found God, quit…