Tuesday, February 17, 2004

February 17, 2004

9:30 AM Craig Hammond shares lots of good news from the Allied Force High School Winter Retreat last weekend. 7:46 AM I just discovered that the Biblical Studies Foundation has put together a page of Bible study resources related to “The Passion of the Christ.” Note the review by Reg Grant of Dallas Seminary. The site contains a long list of free, downloadable Bible studies on the death of Christ. 7:27 AM Answering my e-mail: 1) I’m studying the Psalms. What books would you recommend? Answer: Psalms by Derek Kidner (InterVarsity Press), Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon (several publishers), Psalms, 3 volumes, by James Montgomery Boice (Baker Book House). Check out the Biblical Studies Foundation, the single best online site for free Bible study material. Go to the Contents section, then the Old Testament, then to Psalms. 2) Someone asked about dinosaurs and the Bible. Did the dinosaurs appear on earth before Adam and Eve? Answer: The dinosaurs came after Adam and Eve and before the great flood of Noah’s day. Evidently many of the dinosaurs either perished in the great flood or in the ice age that followed after the flood. Check out this website for more information. 3) A friend writes with great concern about the “gay marriages” in San Francisco. How should the church respond? Answer: “The best thing I can say is that I agree and I share your shock and your deep concern about this. It seems likely to me that some form of “Gay Marriage” is likely to come to our nation. This will weaken traditional marriage and will force each person to decide where he or she stands on this moral issue. And every church must take a stand as well. It invites the wrath of God on our society. I pray that this scourge will not come to us—but I fear that it will. My greater prayer is for Christians to be strong and to stand for the truth no matter what happens around the country. These are perilous times—but in 2 Timothy 3 Paul warned us that these days were coming. So chin up and knees down. We will not despair, we will pray and trust the Lord, and leave the future in his hands.” P.S. Donald Sensing offers a provocative suggestion: Get the church out of the marriage business altogether. I don’t necessarily agree with what he says, but I can foresee a day when conservative churches will refuse to sign marriage licenses on the grounds that the state has utterly corrupted the institution. In that case, the church would perform weddings for those individuals who meet the church’s doctrinal and moral standards—but would leave the “marriage” part to the state. I realize this is a radical reorientation of our traditional view, but something like this is likely once “gay marriage” becomes widely accepted. 7:23 AM Mel Gibson did a fine job in his interview with Diane Sawyer last night. He faced all the criticism and nit-picking, didn’t back down, affirmed his belief in every word of the Bible, refused to publicly criticize his own father, disavowed any connection with anti-Semitism, eloquently explained why he invested $30 million of his own dollars to make the movie, and explained the heart of the gospel over and over again—that Jesus died for the sins of the world. My favorite moment: When asked about his critics, he replied, “That don’t have a problem with me. They have a problem with the gospels.” Exactly right. The people who don’t like the film actually don’t like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John either. Mel Gibson is hardly perfect—but last night he was on the side of the angels. It’s wonderful to see a major Hollywood star unashamedly doing the Lord’s work. Makes me believe God has something special in mind when the movie premieres in 8 days.

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