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  • 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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  • Recommended Reading

Enlightened Self Interest Vs. Big Government

John Stossel

From the desk of columnist John Stossel:

“I reread [‘Atlas Shrugged’] recently and was stunned. It was as if [Ayn] Rand had seen the future. Writing half a century ago, she predicted today’s explosion of big government in shockingly accurate detail. The ‘Preservation of Livelihood Law.’ The ‘Equalization of Opportunity Law.’ The ‘Steel Unification Plan.’ Don’t these sound like laws passed by the current Congress? All were creations of Rand’s villain, Wesley Mouch, the evil bureaucrat who regulates business and eventually drives the productive people out of business. Who is today’s Wesley Mouch? Barney Frank? Chris Dodd. Tim Geithner? … ‘Atlas’ is still a big bestseller today. This year, it reached as high as NO. 15 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Pretty amazing. Clearly there’s some magic in ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ The Library of Congress once asked readers which books made the biggest difference in their lives. ‘Atlas’ came in second, after the Bible. … The embrace of freer markets has lifted more people out of the misery of poverty than any other system — ever. The World Bank says that in just the last 30 years, half a billion people who once lived on less than $1.25 a day have moved out of poverty. But now, Wesley Mouch — I mean, Congress and the bureaucrats — tell us they are going to ‘fix’ capitalism, as if their previous ‘fixes’ didn’t hamstring the free market and create the problems they propose to solve. Who are they kidding? Rand had it right. She learned it the hard way in Soviet Russia. What makes a country work is leaving people free — free to take risks, to invent things — and to keep the rewards of their work. Critics say Ayn Rand promotes selfishness. I call it ‘enlightened self interest.’ When free people act in their own self-interest, society prospers.”

Read more here. . . .

Martin Luther On Christ

Quoting Martin Luther:

“Christ took our sins and the sins of the whole world as well as the Father’s wrath on his shoulders, and he has drowned them both in himself so that we are thereby reconciled to God and become completely righteous.”

Benjamin Franklin On Providence

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin:

“All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. … Have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?”

Another False Prophet Announces When Jesus Will Return

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24)

Gary DeMar writes this interesting article on the continuing end-times prediction game:

Harold Camping is at it again. He is predicting that an eschatological “end” will take place in 2011. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.”

Camping sounds a lot like Edgar Whisenant who predicted that the rapture would take place in September 1988, a certainty that he backed up with his booklet 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988 and the claim “Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong; and I say that to every preacher in town.” When the certainty of his prediction failed with the passing of September 1988, Whisenant, who worked as an engineer with NASA, claimed he had “made a slight miscalculation of one year because of a fluke in the Gregorian calendar. Jesus was actually going to return during Rosh Hashanah of 1989! Whisenant published his discovery in The Final Shout—Rapture Report 1989. ‘The time is short,’ he said. ‘Everything points to it.’ This publication was subsequently retitled The Final Shout—Rapture Report 1990 and has since been re-titled yearly as The Final Shout—Rapture Report 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and so on.” In case you don’t know, it’s now 2010.

The failure of Whisenant did not stop Camping from plunging into the prediction game, and it didn’t stop people from following his nonsense. Camping sold tens of thousands of copies of 1994? He followed this book with Are You Ready?: Much More Evidence that 1994 Could be the End of the World. The media give Camping’s view front-page coverage every time he opens his mouth because of his calculated prediction that Jesus will return on a specific date. They know he’ll be wrong. Their goal is to discredit the Bible. That’s why the San Francisco Chronicle describes Camping as a “Biblical scholar.” If a “scholar,” even a self-proclaimed one, makes a prediction about the Bible and is wrong, then the Bible must be wrong.

Continue reading. . . .

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