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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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A Nation of Heretics

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat writes that American Christians have fallen from faithfulness into heresy in his new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.

According to Douthat, Americans create and experiment with a variety of offshoot religions. We are no longer orthodox. We are influenced by Christianity, but we are not traditionally Christian. We are heretics.

Ross Douthat

For instance; believers often commit to political causes at the expense of their faith convictions. Americans have also bought into the self-help journey and finding the god within. Many believers now blush at the exclusive claim that “I am the way and the truth and the life.” They are more interested in the “pray and grow rich” gospel than the journey from spiritual impoverishment.

Julia Thompson writes a most interesting review of Douthat’s book titled, “Have we Become Heretics?” You will find it here at tothesource. . .

Mercy and Justice

In the words of John Calvin:

“God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.”

What Have You Done With Your Soul?

Every one of us will stand before God and give an account of our lives. Think of it! God holds us responsible and accountable. We will stand before God and He will ask us, “What have you done with your soul?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes on this subject:

This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:27-29 ESV)

Well, this Book [the Bible] tells you, this is the word of God. It tells us about God, Himself. As I told you He is the creator, He is the sustainer of everything. Yes, and He made man. Man is not an accident, you know, it is an insult to say that man is a creature that has evolved from the animal. It is not true. The Bible tells me that man has a dignity that makes him the lord of creation. Why? He has been created in the image and the likeness of God. We have an animal part but God has put something of Himself into us. When He came to make man He said, ‘Let us make man in our own image and likeness.’ He gave us reason, understanding, certain faculties and propensities that none of the animals have. And man is able to look on at himself and evaluate himself. Man! Yes and he is a responsible being to God. The popular theory is, as I say, that when a man dies that is the end. He is finished with. No! No! Says the Bible. Man is bigger than the universe; he has these qualities and potentialities in him. God has put them there and God holds man responsible and He is going to ask man at the end, ‘What have you done with the soul that I gave you? You may have made a lot of money; you may have garnered a lot of knowledge – what have you done with the soul – that part of you that was meant to commune with Me and to be my companion? What have you done with it?’ God is going to ask us – that is the judgment. (“A Kingdom Which Cannot Be Shaken”)

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