Category Archives: Apologetics

I’m Shocked at the Relevance of this Interview with Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

One of my heroes is the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981).* In the interview from 1970 (the year in which I was born) he boldly presents the truth of Christianity, according to the Bible. What shocked me was how relevant his words are for today. Please note that his definition of “tolerance” is probably slightly different from yours and mine, but I hope that doesn’t cause you to miss what he is saying on the subject. The demeanor in which he communicates the message reveals the right way to go about declaring the exclusivity of the Christian message. He is not arrogant, he is not angry, and he is not condescending. He is stating the facts of what the Bible teaches and the necessary implications for Christians. My how we need men of God to stand up for the truth like this!

 

*Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was on the fast track to become one of the leading physicians in the U.K. when he was called of God to leave medicine and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Initially a pastor in his native Wales, he eventually fulfilled the role of pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, where he became known worldwide for his engaging biblical expositions.

 

Advertisements

Resources for Responding to the Tragedy in Newtown, CT

It’s hard to come up with words to describe the pain and sorrow and confusion surrounding an event like yesterday. I’m posting some recommended resources to help those who want answers for how to cope in the aftermath of such a tragedy.

ARTICLES

Russell Moore > “School Shootings and Spiritual Warfare”

Excerpt… “Throughout the history of the universe, evil has manifested a dark form of violence specifically toward children. Not only did the Canaanite nations demand the blood of babies, but the Bible shows where at points of redemptive crisis, the powers of evil have lashed out at children. Pharaoh saw God’s blessing of Israelite children as a curse and demanded they be snuffed out by the power of his armed thugs. And, of course, the Christmas narrative we read together this time of year is overshadowed by an act of horrific mass murder of children. King Herod, seeing his throne threatened, demands the slaughter of innocent children.”

John Piper> “How Does Jesus Come to Newtown?”

Excerpt… “The God who draws near to Newtown is the suffering, sympathetic God-man, Jesus Christ. No one else can feel what he has felt. No one else can love like he can love. No one else can heal like he can heal. No one else can save like he can save.”

John Piper > “A Lesson for All from Newtown”

Excerpt… “Murdering a human being is an assault on God. He made us in his own image. Destroying an image usually means you hate the imaged. Murdering God’s human image-bearer is not just murder. It’s treason — treason against the creator of the world. It is a capital crime — and more. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6).”

Ed Stetzer > “Three Ways Christians Should Respond to the Horror of a Broken World”

Excerpt… “Pray for hurting families and broken communities that have had their children ripped from them. Pray for churches to minister to the hurting. Pray for people not to lose heart. And, yes, pray for Jesus to come back and set this broken world right.”

Jen Wilkin > “A Day for Hatred”

Excerpt

“There is no spin to put on a story like this. Yes, we will hear stories of heroism begin to emerge over the next hours, and they are stories we will need to hear. But there is no way to soften the blow.

Nor should we want to.

As a mother watching someone else’s horror play out on a screen, I want to feel this to the core of my being. I want it to inform my thoughts and actions in a way that leaves me changed. Because on days like today we learn just how broken sin has left us, just how bleak is our landscape without a Savior.”

BOOKS

A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada

From Grief to Glory: A Book of Comfort for Grieving Parents by James W. Bruce

When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes

PRAYERS

Lord, we tremble, for we know
How the fierce malicious foe,
Wheeling round his watchful flight,
Keeps them ever in his sight:

Spread Thy pinions, King of kings!
Hide them safe beneath Thy wings;
Lest the ravenous bird of prey
Stoop and bear the brood away.

– William Cowper (1731-1800)

A prayer from Scott Smith, pastor of Christ Community Church of Franklin, TN (written the night of the tragedy)…

“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35

Dear Lord Jesus, we abandon ourselves to you tonight —we come running with our tears and our fears, our anger and our anguish, our lament and our longings. We collapse in your presence, with the assurance of your welcome, needing the mercies of your heart.

Some stories are just too much for us to absorb; some evil just too great to conceive; some losses beyond all measurability. We need your tears and your strength tonight. That you wept outside the tomb of a beloved friend frees us to groan and mourn; that you conquered his death with yours, frees us to hope and wait.

But we turn our thoughts from ourselves to the families who have suffered an unconscionable violation of heart and all sensibilities. Bring your presence to bear, Lord Jesus, by your Spirit and through your people. May your servants weep with those who weep and wail with those who wail. Extend your tear wiping hand—reach into this great tragedy with an even greater grace.

We cry out on behalf of the children of Newtown, those most directly affected by this evil, and for children throughout our country and the world, whose little hearts are reeling with fear and terror. Give parents wisdom and kindness, as they seek to love their children well, this night and in the coming days. Raise up gifted counselors and care givers to serve those most traumatized.

Lastly, Lord Jesus, we cry out with a loud voice, How long, O, Lord? How long before you return to eradicate all evil, redeem all tragedies, and make all things new? How long, O, Lord, how long? Your Bride weeps and waits for you. In your merciful and mighty name we pray.

LINKS

Chris Brauns has a very helpful list of links regarding the role of forgiveness in human caused tragedies like the Newtown massacre.

Great Counsel for College Students

When I was in junior college, my faith was attacked vehemently by a science professor. But ironically it is oftentimes the religion professors or Bible professors who attack the Christian faith most intensely. Bob Thune explains why Christians need not be intimidated:

The basic storyline goes like this: good Bible-believing Christian student goes to college. College Religion department employs professor who takes arrogant pleasure in deconstructing the Christian faith. Professor appeals to “higher criticism” while stroking beard convincingly in order to discount, discredit, and discourage Christian theism. Student feels stupid in front of classmates, has crisis of faith, and begins to doubt prior convictions.

I resolved this crisis for myself by…”

Read the rest HERE.

John Piper on Earthquakes

Pastor/Theologian John Piper penned a column for World Magazine following the devastating earthquake of 1999 in Turkey. In light of the tragedy in Haiti this week, I thought it would be good to go back and read his biblically-based, Christ-centered perspective.  Here is a sample:

When love has wept and worked, it must have some answers. Not all the answers, but some. So we turn to the Word of God for help.”

Read the whole column HERE.

Don’t Be Intimidated by the Intellectual Atheists

Sometimes Christians can be intimidated by intellectuals who don’t believe in God, especially when they have “impressive” academic credentials. But we have some pretty impressive minds on our team as well. Alvin Plantiga is one such mind. Justin Taylor posts an interview of Plantinga by Simon Smart (told you we had some impressive minds, “Smart”!). Of course, I don’t endorse his beliefs on every subject, but hopefully I can post interviews without implying full-scale endorsement of all a person’s beliefs. Anyway, it’s worth your time.