Ambrose was one of the earliest of the church fathers. He became Bishop of Milan by popular acclaim. He was a great expository preacher and was known to oppose the emperor if asked to do something he thought was wrong. He was the first to put doctrine to music, providing a basis for Christian hymns. He also wrote a great deal of liturgy for the church. Continue reading
The City of God was written to refute the charge that Christians were to blame for the sack of Rome. In books one through five, Augustine tells the history of Rome from its founding to AD 408 and refutes pagan arguments such as the assumption that Rome had thrived when the Roman gods were still worshipped. He shows that Christians are faithful taxpayers, take care of their families, and are peaceable. In the next five books Augustine points out the inconsistencies in pagan beliefs while demonstrating the truth of Christianity. In the latter twelve books Augustine broadens his argument to a general discussion of good and evil represented by earthly and heavenly cities.
Cultural relativism is viewing a culture by its own norms without any ethnocentrism coming into play. Researchers have a difficult time divorcing their own cultural beliefs from the one they are studying. Once this hurdle is overcome, several other factors must be evaluated, one of which is human rights. Are human rights universal or do they fluctuate from society to society? Continue reading
Allah claims to enter into a personal relationship with his followers. Christians also claim a personal relationship with god. Yet these two ideas are completely different. Continue reading
In his poem, “Tintern Abbey,” William Wordsworth makes a god out of nature and declares “nature then… / [to] me was all in all.” Wordsworth praises nature for possessing attributes which previously were reserved for God alone. In “Tintern Abbey,” nature exemplifies God’s attributes of omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. Continue reading
Question: Which pharaoh ruled Egypt during the Exodus, Thutmose III or Amenhotep II?
Taking the 1446 B.C. date as the time for the Exodus, Thutmose III has been a popular historical choice as the pharaoh of the Exodus. This belief has been widely accepted for years. The issue of the Exodus pharaoh does not arise from biblical records but rather from Egyptian ones, since the ancient Egyptians would often erase the names and dates of their predecessors. Recently, some of the Egyptian records have been re-examined and new evidence supports the belief that Amenhotep II (1450-1425 B.C.) was the real pharaoh of the Exodus. His timeline answers the questions previously posed by historians who were not satisfied with the Thutmose III choice. Continue reading
Biblical counseling is glorifying God by assisting believers in their progressive sanctification through the ministry of God’s sufficient Word by the Holy Spirit. Counselors themselves should be prepared to counsel by having a ready heart, a pure life, and right relationships with others. Although formal counseling training is not required, every Christian must be ready to give an answer for the hope that is found only in Christ.
The ultimate purpose of biblical counseling is to glorify God by being conformed to Christ in order to bring exaltation to Him. Counselors should help believers glorify God—the very reason that God created them, saved them, and is sanctifying them. Colossians 1:16-17 states that people were created to glorify God – “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (NKJV). All things were created by Him and for Him. Romans 8:28-29 further explains that people are being sanctified to glorify God – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (NKJV). All things work together for a Christian’s good, and this good is conformity to Christ. Christians conform to Christ in order to exalt His holy name because their changed lives bring Him glory. Continue reading
The words of William Tyndale rang out in London in May, when Islamic extremists tried to behead a soldier on the streets of Woolwich. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” shouted one of the attackers, unheedingly quoting from Tyndale’s 1526 translation of the New Testament (Matthew 5:38).
Tyndale’s verses were not intended to justify barbaric acts. They read: “Ye have heard how it is said, an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Conservatives opposed film-making in the early 20th century for several reasons. First of all, film held incredible power during this era because Hollywood had its “golden age” from the 1930s to the 1950s. Film is powerful because people respond emotionally to it and everything in the film is more intimate than watching a play or a stage performance. Film also helps with the historical imagination; viewers can put themselves in the shoes of those in the film setting.
The power of film can best be seen in the two historical events that film helped: the civil rights movement and the Cold War. Hollywood helped Americans change their views on civil rights and race because film helped stop racial fears. Hollywood also helped America in the Cold War because film showed Soviet countries the affluence and freedom of the average American. Stalin tried to censure all American movies but censorship was too hard because VHSs could be shared by friends and neighbors. Continue reading
Philosophy is derived from the mind of man while Christianity comes from the mind of God. Although faith is different than reason, Christians have the most rightly guided reason because of faith. History is the entirety of written events that have occurred in connection with the life of mankind on earth as overseen by God. I believe that history is linear with repeating patterns, but every Christian must develop a philosophy of history regarding the impact of time, social studies, and man’s actions.
Historians have debated the philosophy of time for centuries, including the classical cyclical, medieval linear, and combination views. Ancient Greek historians and philosophers held to a cyclical view of time which logically denied that history had purpose or importance, and they did not believe that events in the past affected the present. The Greeks contributed significantly to historical thinking because their cyclical view sorted truth from falsehood. The accomplishments of the Greek historians provided a model for all future written histories. Continue reading