Free e-books on Kindle Friday & Saturday

For those of you who have a Kindle and are interested…two of my books are free Kindle e-books through Amazon on Friday 5/26 and Saturday 5/27:

The Christian Life in the Danger Zone

God Didn’t Create Robots: Commonsense Christian Apologetics

Hope you enjoy them.

Barton

The Last Dance

Excellent post, Collin. I like your analogy to chess…that God has made the first move. One tip a Christian writer told me was to break up my long paragraphs into smaller pieces…much easier to read…and with your writing…practice, practice, practice…very similar to practicing on a musical instrument.
I see all of you are between ages 15 to 19…this is great…you have a great idea and a nice looking blog. I became a Christian at age 18 in 1970…you can do the math. Jesus has been my faithful guide and loving Savior all of these years. We are about to enter interesting and challenging times…never lose your faith…this is one of the lessons that will sustain us throughout eternity…that God is faithful and true. Barton Jahn

Found Who I Am

Pandemonium. Horror. Fear. Those are words not normally associated with a dance, but when Jesus comes back, those nouns take on a whole new meaning.

The Lamb has finally returned, but now as a lion. The despised and rejected Lord has come back as a righteous and judgmental King. He came and went in a blink of an eye, and in that brief moment, hundreds of millions of people went with Him. The disappearances will never be forgotten. The chaos that followed will never be equaled. Most will be searching for answers, but some already know what happened. The hearers of the “Good News” have the explanation: the Saints are “caught up in the clouds.” The Christians are finally with their Savior for eternity. The hearers, but not the believers, know that their Christian friends have gone home. This is the last dance.

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Both Unbelief and Atheism are Simplistic

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  (1 Cor. 1:25)

The religious leaders in Jerusalem in the first century were partly right in their expectation for the coming messiah.  The messiah would be all that Isaiah 9:6 prophesied…”For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Jesus Christ of Nazareth was and is all of those things, but not in the way these religious leaders expected.  Their limited worldview was narrowly focused upon a coming messiah who would be similar to how they viewed themselves in their passionate desire to be free from the current Roman political and military occupation of Israel.

Unbelief, like its sister atheism, is narrowly simplistic.  We have to dig deeper to discover real truth, and not just settle for worldly conventional thinking.  If we are worldly-minded like the religious leaders in Jerusalem in the first century, then our vision cannot expand into the realm where the truth will set us free (Jn. 8:32).

The maliciously intentioned temptation of Lucifer in Genesis 3:5…“your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” is purposely simplistic.  Simply eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is not enough.  It takes a full-blown, mature, God-composed journey of faith containing well-orchestrated challenge, struggle, and yes…suffering…to unearth and expose the real issues underlying good and evil.

In their journey with Jesus towards Jerusalem on one occasion, the disciples argued amongst themselves who should be the greatest in the expected upcoming new kingdom of Jesus in the capital city.  They were each in their own minds measuring window curtains for their large corner offices in the temple.  Jesus, knowing their thoughts, places a small child in their midst and says: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Yes, faith is childlike.  But what the disciples would face in the coming days ahead…leading to Calvary and beyond… was not simplistic.

Atheists come across something in the Bible they don’t like, and they stop there.  They do not bother to dig any deeper.  This approach is simplistically shallow.  Unbelief is similarly simplistic.

A biblical-quality walk of faith is at the pinnacle of character challenging lessons.  A God-composed journey of faith life-script is at the apex of the highest of human experience, because real truth about good and evil is not simplistic.

God’s Unexpected Answer, Part 1

The divinely patient and love-filled answer of God to my prayer about guidance in the selection of a career went not at all according to what I naively thought I wanted, but what God knew I actually needed if I was to be able to grow in my knowledge of Christ and to understand some of the deep issues within the cross and the resurrection.  God’s answer to my prayer asking for worldly conventional normalcy in the career portion of my life, so that I could pursue Him undistracted by the cares of this world according to the shallow thinking of a beginning novice, turned out to be the direct opposite of what I expected.  Without divinely created and guided experiences, having some measure of adversity and challenge, I cannot grow into the fullness of the better person God had in mind when He created me.

If we truly seek God with all of our hearts and minds we will find Him, but not according to our initial, horizontally conventional thinking.  The God of the Bible that we find through life experience is not a shallow projection of our own imagination (1 Pet. 1:3). God is expertly and amazingly way ahead of us in laying out the precise routes to discovering truth in every aspect of reality and existence.  This is one of the truly fascinating features of picking up our cross and following Jesus Christ into our unique and individualized callings.

Herein is one argument against the timing of a pretribulation rapture of the Christian church, found within the modern field of information theory.  If the pretribulation scenario as proposed today is correctly described in exhaustive detail upfront…like in the exciting and captivating Left Behind book series…then unpredictability, improbability, and information content potential are all reduced.  The opportunity for God to creatively compose, using an information-rich end-times script, is reduced.

A God-composed journey of faith life-script is information-rich.  It is not repetitive, redundant, or deterministic.  The highest amount of information is conveyed within the biblical narrative stories of faith because the plotlines are novel and unique with uncertain outcomes.  Even though there is the common pattern of the cross of Christ in every journey of faith life-script, there is what is called indeterminacy.  Every narrative story of faith is different.  There is no repetitive redundancy.  If the biblical narrative stories of faith and their resolutions were all closely similar…all narrowly predetermined…then less information would be conveyed as a whole.  For example, a romance novel that only has the word “love” repeated over and over for 100 pages provides very little information content.

God’s novel strategy for Gideon to repulse the invading Midianites, the unique approach for Joshua to bring down the walls of Jericho, Joshua’s request of God to halt the skyward progress of the sun in the middle of a decisive military battle, and Jesus walking on water, are examples where we can read the outcomes in hindsight but which were all in doubt and at risk in the moment they occurred.  Because the challenges in each situation differed, the solutions are unique and unpredictable.  And because there are multiple possible alternative outcomes, the narrative stories of faith in the Bible provide maximum information.