• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Random House Accused Of Censoring Book About Mohammed’s Wife

Random House has halted plans to publish a novel about one of Mohammed’s wives.  The Jewel Of Medina, by US journalist Sherry Jones, is a story of Aisha, Mohammed’s favorite wife.  They married when she was nine and he was 52.

Random House pulled the book after advice that it “might be offensive” to some Muslims, and “could incite acts of violence by a small radical segment”.  Representatives of Random House said they decided to stop publication for the safety of the author, their employees, and booksellers.

Author Salman Rushdie has accused the publisher of censorship.  An advanced edition of the novel was sent to a professor of Islam, Denise Spellberg (not a Muslim).  She reportedly described the book as incredibly offensive.

According to the author, Sherry Jones, she was aware from the start that her book might offend some people.  She said she expected controversy, but not terrorism.  Jones describes the novel as “serious historic fiction” giving an account of early Islam through the eyes of Aisha.  Jones says the book has no sex scenes.

Do you think such an issue would have been raised if the book was a fictionalized account of the life of Jesus?  Would publishers send out such books ahead of time to be reviewed in order to determine if Christians would be offended?  Did Dan Brown’s publisher send an advanced copy of The Da Vinci Code to the Vatican to get feedback on whether it was offensive or not?  If Christians complained, Random House would cry censorship.  The same rules obviously do not apply to even the possibility of complaints from Muslims.  In this case, even the threat of the sword is mightier than the pen.

Read more at abc.net.au. . . .

What Is Faith? By George Mueller

George Müller (1805 – 1898) was a Christian evangelist and coordinator of orphanages in Bristol, England.

George Muller

George Muller

He cared for 10,024 orphans in his life.  He was well-known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life.  Mueller was a man who truly lived by faith and the excerpts below are some of his thoughts on this subject:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:1).

What is faith? In the simplest manner in which I am able to express it, I answer: Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His Word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God’s Word, this confidence is faith.

Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make any difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.

Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. A great many of God’s children are cast down and lament their want of faith. They write to me and say that they have no impressions, no feeling, they see no probability that the thing they wish will come to pass. APPEARANCES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. The question is – whether God has spoken it in His Word.

And now, beloved Christian friends, you are in great need to ask yourselves whether you are in the habit of thus confiding, in your inmost soul, in what God has said, and whether you are in earnest in seeking to find whether the thing you want is in accordance with what He has said in His Word.

God delights to increase the faith of His children. Our faith which is feeble at first, is developed and strengthened more and more by us. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. I say – and say it deliberately – trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith. I get letters from so many of God’s dear children who say: “Dear Brother Mueller, I’m writing this because I am so weak in faith.” Just so surely as we ask to have our faith strengthened, we must feel a willingness to take from God’s hand the means for strengthening it. We must allow Him to educate us through trials and bereavements and troubles. It is through trials that Faith is exercised and developed more and more. God affectionately permits difficulties, that He may develop unceasingly that which He is willing to do for us, and to this end we should not shrink, but if He gives us sorrow and hindrances and losses and afflictions, we should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.

The Church of God is not aroused to see God as the beautiful and lovable One He is, and hence the littleness of blessedness. Oh, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, seek to learn for yourselves, for I cannot tell you the blessedness! In the darkest moments I am able to confide in Him, for I know what a beautiful and kind and lovable Being He is, and, if it be the will of God to put us in the furnace, let Him do it, that so we may acquaint ourselves with Him as He will reveal Himself, and that we may know Him better. We come then to the conclusion that God is a lovable Being, and we are satisfied with Him, and say: “It is my Father, let Him do as He pleases.”

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