Here’s an absolute gem on the subject of prayer, from Andy Stanley.
I had two shots (spiritually speaking) to the solar plexus this week. First, Clarke Morledge posted a comment about listening to podcasts from a British apologetics website, and secondly I came across the above podcast by Andy Stanley.
“Stag at Sharkey’s” by George Bellows, 1909
Prior to Clarke’s comment, I knew very little about podcasts. I must confess to being a little jaded about every new technology—who has the time? These days nearly every website has RSS and/or podcast feeds. So what? But I figured if Clarke finds it useful I may as well figure out what all the hoopla is about.
After many, many hours (thanks Clarke!) of researching and resourcing I was able to boil down how podcasts and feeds work, how to get them on my iPad, and how to play podcasts in my car. (For those who spend hours in traffic good audio material is a welcome relief.) Again…so what? This is cool stuff, but I then found myself listening to hours of slow, please-get-to-the-point, mostly boring material. Until I hit upon Andy Stanley’s podcast.
Part of what we’re trying to do with this blog is encourage you to become an autodidactic disciple of Jesus Christ. Some of that involves sharing resources, and some of that involves tools. Look for a forthcoming video that can save you hours of stumbling and fumbling around, and get you painlessly into podcasts and RSS feeds.
In the meantime, meditate on the above message—it packs quite a punch. Enjoy!
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.“
Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17 (NIV)
It seems everyone has a top 10 list: the FBI, the NCAA, Mr. Blackwell, Time Magazine, David Letterman, even God. So why not Veracity?
We spend so much time on the web fishing for resources, we just can’t help but want to share the good stuff. So here you go—our very first top 10 list of online apologetics resources.
These are sites you can use for personal devotional Bible study that will take you well beyond the sacred page. They spur our imagination and challenge us to think. They are also rich with content that keeps us coming back for more. The list includes a devotional catalog, an indispensable reference, lessons from a historian, topical blogs, and a video outlet. And several are straight-ahead apologetics. Put them in your tackle box and enjoy them on your next fishing trip.
So with great appreciation we extend a Chi Rho hat tip to the following sites (all of which tied for first place). Continue reading
Do you ever think about why God works by processes? After all, why doesn’t God just ‘poof’ everything to be the way he wants it to be? Why take 13.7 billion years to get to today? Why take 4.6 billion years to build the earth and shape its climate? Why did Jesus have to suffer?
Why do people have to suffer?
Countless theologians have taken aim at that question. Most dissect it from the standpoint of purpose—as in “What is the purpose of suffering?” The realities of suffering remain among the biggest stumbling blocks for atheists and believers alike.
When it comes to suffering, I have no credentials. But I do know an expert. Here are two messages Dick Woodward preached on the topic (from among many cataloged here) that get to the heart of suffering.
Some questions we just can’t answer. Other questions we should never even try to answer. Just like the difference between knowledge (knowing the answers to questions) and wisdom (knowing which questions count), it’s really important to know when to keep our mouth shut.
Here’s a short video that illustrates the value of “showing up and shutting up.”
It also highlights the processes by which God redeems us from suffering—not just for the care receiver, but the caregiver, the pastor, and everyone else. Redemption is a process. For whatever reasons, God followed his own rules, and suffered ultimately for our redemption. There was no way to ‘poof’ the redemption of mankind—God had to prove it.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8,9 (NIV)
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
Apostle Paul, Galatians 5:6b (NIV)
The above story has a happy ending. All three men interviewed in that video are ministers—and very good ones at that. All three will tell you when people are suffering the most important thing you can do is show up. And don’t pretend to know the reason for their suffering.
Sometimes we see the happy ending. Sometimes the ending is just too hard to bear. It’s hard sometimes to understand that God makes the rules, knows what he is doing, has a plan for each of us, values sincerity, doesn’t need us to attempt to explain anything for him, and intends ultimately for us not to have an ending. But let’s keep our mouths shut and just use our feet and ears and arms when people are suffering. The process is important.
HT: Steve Flanary, John Green, Bill Warrick, Steve Hooge, Dick Woodward
An impact wrench is a fine tool for changing brake pads or tires. But it’s completely useless when searching for scientific evidence of God. For that job you need a Large Hadron Collider. Right? (The right tool for the job and all that.)
The recent experimental confirmation of the existence of the Higgs Boson and Higgs Field comprises a major milestone in mankind’s understanding of the universe. After 50 years of mind-numbing, abstract theoretical research, theologians and scientists are lining up to interpret the data. But not everyone is coming to the same conclusion.
Finding the Higgs Boson doesn’t prove the existence of God. On that theologians and scientists are in complete agreement. But some of them are as far apart on their interpretations as the tools they use. Continue reading