Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Justice Game

Another fiction book, Randy Singer's, The Justice Game, has one section I need to quote. If you enjoy Christian fiction then this would be an excellent read for you. Randy Singer is the lawyer that was involved in the lawsuit involving the shooting at Atlantic Shores Christian School. Not only was he the lawyer, but his wife taught at the school and his children attended. The incident happened on December 16, 1988. Although this book is not about that particular incident, it was the basis for this book. Below is a quote that touched by heart:

She walked toward the beach and collapsed on her knees in the ankle-deep water. She stayed there for a minute, trying to catch her breath. How close had she been to dying? How many more minutes could she have fought the tide?

She knew God had snatched her out of danger. In a private moment that no one else would share or comprehend, He had rescued her. But only after she had quit fighting against the riptide. Only when she had been ready to give up and let the powerful ocean claim its victim. That's when she had felt Him move.

Kneeling in the sand, she thought about some verses her dad had often quoted. The words of Jesus, though Kelly couldn't remember when or where. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

The whole world-a law career, a reputation, national fame.

What do you benefit if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?

To her horror, Kelly realized how much she had been toying with that bargain. Her pride and her shame had driven her away from God. She had been swimming against the need for repentance and reconciliation, trying to curry His favor with her crusades when what she really needed was mercy and acceptance.

Kneeling there in the sand, she asked God to forgive her. p. 325

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The Case for Christ

I finally read Lee Strobel's book, The Case for Christ. All I can say is wow! It is a well written book for both believers and non-believers. He ask the hard questions and makes the case for a true living, dying, and resurrected Christ. He shows historically through eyewitnesses, documentary, corroborating evidence, scientific evidence, rebuttal evidence, identity evidence, psychological evidence, etc. He interviewed experts in each field to get this information, using his journalism degree. If this sounds like a lawyer it may be because Lee has a law degree. I trust you will enjoy the quotes and will purchase the book.

What criteria did they use in determining which documents would be included in the New Testament?

Basically, the early church had three criteria. First, the books must have apostolic authority-that is, they must have been written either by apostles themselves, who were eyewitnesses to what they wrote about, or by followers of apostles. So in the case of Mark and Luke, while they weren't among the twelve disciples, early tradition has it that Mark was a helper of Peter, and Luke was an associate of Paul

Second, there was the criterion of conformity to what was called the rule of faith. That is, was the document congruent with the basic Christian tradition that the church recognized as normative? And third, there was the criterion of whether a document had had continuous acceptance and usage by the church at large. p. 66

Let's pretend we didn't have any of the New Testament or other Christian writings. Even without them, what would we be able to conclude about Jesus from ancient non-Christian sources, such as Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and others?

We would still have a considerable amount of important historical evidence; in fact, it would provide a kind of outline for the life of Jesus.

We would know that first, Jesus was a Jewish teacher; second, many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms; third, some people believed he was the Messiah; fourth, he was rejected by the Jewish leaders; fifth, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius; sixth, despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by A.D. 64; and seventh, all kinds of people from the cities and countryside-men and women, slave and free-worshiped him as God. p. 87

Dr. James Strange of the University of South Florida is an expert on this area, and he describes Nazareth as being a very small place, about sixty acres, with a maximum population of about four hundred eighty at the beginning of the first century. p. 103

I wanted to ask about one other commonly cited discrepancy. "Jesus said in Matthew 12:40. 'For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' However, the gospels report that Jesus was really in the tomb one full day, two full nights, and part of two days. Isn't this an example of Jesus being wrong in not fulfilling his own prophecy?"

"Some well-meaning Christians have used this verse to suggest Jesus was crucified on Wednesday rather than on Friday, in order to get the full time in there!" Craig said. "But most scholars recognize that according to early Jewish time-reckoning, any part of a day counted as a full day. Jesus was in the tomb Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and on Sunday morning-under the way the Jews conceptualized time back then, this would have counted as three days. p. 217

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012