Christopher Hitchens, a man revered as a prophet by folks who reject the very idea of prophets…

I just finished re-reading “god Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” I am firmly of the opinion that had he written on just about any other subject no one would care too much. He presents just enough fact to sound authoritative, but skews more than enough to bolster his flawed preconception.

I invite you to take a long read of

“Christopher Hitchens: My Response to god is not Great” by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts Copyright © 2007, 2011 by Mark D. Roberts and

Mr. Roberts does a fine job of detailing just a small portion of the erroneous material in Hithchens’ book and will be well worth your time.

Horatio G. Spafford: “It Is Well With My Soul”

One of my all time favorite hymns. With the backstory of the author it really drives home the message of the the prose that is so wonderfully linked to to its melody…

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Last September I called attention here to the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion, Jerusalem. Several rather famous persons associated with archaeology and others who took up residence in Jerusalem have been buried there.

There seems to be a great amount of interest in the grave of Horatio Gates Spafford, the author of the well-known hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Mr. Spafford was a well-known attorney in Chicago, but decided to give up his law practice and become involved in land sales. The great Chicago fire of October, 1871, brought many losses to Spafford.

At the advice of a physician, Spafford decided to take his wife, Anna, and their four little daughters to Europe. Reservations were made on the French ship S. S. Ville du Havre. While awaiting departure, Mr. Spafford received word that the man who was planning to buy a large parcel of land…

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Make the most of your time, for the days are evil…

“For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.” ~ Bonnie Ware
Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

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Our Need to Be Distinctive – by: Randy Blackaby

In every generation, Christians undergo pressure to appear less out of the mainstream, less odd, and less peculiar. Often, the thing that makes us feel compelled to change is our perception that we won’t grow if we don’t become more like other groups that are growing in number.
But God’s people are supposed to be unique, that is, distinguishable from the world. We are not to be conformed to this world; rather, we should be transformed (Romans 12:2). Jesus said we should be as salt and light for the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Salt has a distinct taste; and light influences that which it contacts. They are distinctly and noticeably different from sugar and darkness. Sugar has a different taste, and darkness influences in a completely different way.
It is not, however, a matter of being different for the sake of being different. The Lord’s church is one of a kind. It is separate from the denominational churches. This latter conglomeration of churches is identified by the fact that it teaches human traditions in place of God’s commandments. Jesus condemned such traditions and said that the associated worship is vain, or useless (Mark 7:7-9).
Members of denominational churches cannot be saved from their sins. Denominations don’t even teach people what the Bible says they must do to have their sins forgiven. Why would we want to be like such groups? God’s people have the duty and mission and purpose of teaching the lost and bringing them to salvation through Christ Jesus. To accomplish these, we need pulpits that resonate with the distinctive message of Christ, the apostles, and the New Testament. If we modify the message to make it more popular and palatable, we may indeed increase our numbers, but we will not have increased the number of people who are free from their sins.
As we individually talk to people about the gospel, we must speak the truth in love. Honest searchers who have been reading their Bibles will recognize that what we are saying to them concurs with what they have been reading. They will realize that there are people who believe and practice what they’ve read about in their Bibles.
We must be careful not to leave the impression that there are Christians in many different denominations, because there are not. We must not leave our denominational friends with the impression that we are just different kinds of Christians, because there are only believers and unbelievers. “There is one body, one hope, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Think about it. If there is only one of a thing, that thing is unique, distinctive, peculiar, and in a class by itself.
Read the gospel sermons of Peter, Paul, and others in the book of Acts. The messages of the first preachers didn’t seek a common ground and ignore differences. Their messages convicted men of sin and laid down the singular means—Jesus’ blood–through which they could receive forgiveness. Those who gladly received the word obeyed, and those who didn’t gladly receive the word rejected it, fought it, and persecuted those who preached it. That pattern will continue until Christ returns.
If we want to be popular, we’ll have to forsake the narrow way. But if we want to be a part of Christ’s kingdom we must stand out from the crowd by adhering to his commandments (Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus made this clear when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
In the judgment day, being distinctive will be much more comfortable than it is today. Keep that in mind.

A Remarkable Occurrence, by Werner Keller

via: The Bible as History, A Confirmation of the Book of Books

About 1050 B.C. Israel’s very existence was threatened. It saw itself to be on the point of losing all the fruits of its conquests and all its work of colonization, which had gone on almost two hundred years. It was on the verge of falling under the yoke of the Philistines and facing an existence of hopeless slavery. The only way to meet this frightful peril would be to amalgamate the loosely federated tribes and form a solid united front. It was in the face of this pressure from without that Israel became a nation. In those days there was only one possible form of government, a monarchy. The choice fell upon Saul, a Benjamite, a man renowned for his bravery and his great height. (I Sam. 9:2) It was a wise choice, for Saul belonged to the weakest tribe (I Sam. 9: 21), and the remaining tribes would therefore have no cause to be jealous.

Saul constituted his native town Gibeah as the capital (I Sam. 10:26; 11:4), collected round him a small standing army, and began guerrilla warfare. (I Sam. 13:1ff.) By surprise attacks he hunted the Philistine occupation troops out of the tribal territory.

That Saul was a tactician of a high order has recently, after 3000 years, been demonstrated anew. One example, unique in its way, shows how accurate the Bible is even in the smallest details and how reliable are its dates and information.

We owe to Major Vivian Gilbert, a British Army officer, this description of a truly remarkable occurrence. Writing in his reminiscences [The Romance of the Last Crusade], he says: “In the First World War a brigade major in Allenby’s army in Palestine was on one occasion searching his Bible with the light of a candle, looking for a certain name. His brigade had received orders to take a village that stood on a rocky prominence on the other side of a deep valley. It was called Michmash and the name seemed somehow familiar. Eventually he found it in I Samuel 15 and read there: ‘And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.’ It then went on to tell how Jonathan and his armor-bearer crossed over during the night ‘to the Philistines’ garrison’ on the other side, and how they passed two sharp rocks: ‘there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez and the name of the other Seneh.’ [I Sam. 14:4] They clambered up the cliff and overpowered the garrison ‘within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough.’ The main body of the enemy awakened by the melee thought they were surrounded by Saul’s troops and ‘melted away and they went on beating down one another.’ [I Sam. 14:14-16]” Thereupon Saul attacked with his whole force and beat the enemy, “So the Lord saved Israel that day.”

The brigade major reflected that there must still be this narrow passage through the rocks, between the two spurs, and at the end of it the “half acre of land.” He woke the commander and they read the passage through together once more. Patrols were sent out. They found the pass, which was thinly held by the Turks, and which led past two jagged rocks—obviously Bozez and Seneh. Up on top, beside Michmash they could see by the light of the moon a small flat field. The brigadier altered his plan of attack. Instead of deploying the whole brigade, he sent one company through the pass under cover of darkness. The few Turks whom they met were overpowered without a sound, the cliffs were scaled, and shortly before daybreak the company had taken up a position on “the half acre of land.”

The Turks woke up and took to their heels in disorder since they thought that they were being surrounded by Allenby’s army. They were all killed or taken prisoner.

“And so,” concludes Major Gilbert, “after thousands of years British troops successfully copied the tactics of Saul and Jonathan.”

“The Bible as History, A Confirmation of the Book of Books” (1956) pages 178-179 by Werner Keller

I Am A Christian

Sometimes when we look a the religious landscape around us we may be startled by the copious number of groups claiming to be following after Christ. I have often be queried and questioned along the lines of “what denomination are you”; “What do you believe” and other similar thoughts. As I write this I have been a Christian for almost 12 years. Looking back, I should have written something like this years ago. It might have helped both myself and members of my immediate family understand some of my faith a little clearer and staved off some of the misunderstandings that arise from time to time. I hope that as you read this, you will gain insight into the truth that is God’s Word.

The word Christian is used specifically in three bible passages:

•1 Peter 4:16

•“But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.”

•Acts 11:26

•“The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

•Acts 26:28

•“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

In 1 Peter chapter 4, verses 15 -19, we find the following text:

As you read the text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Wears name glorifying God
  • Part of house of God
  • Has obeyed the gospel
  • Is “Righteous” – “Saved”
  • Acts “according to the will of God”
  • Involved in well-doing as defined by Creator

By way of contrast one would not be a Christian if they:

  • Wear a name glorifying one other than God
  • Not part of the house of God
  • Have not obeyed the gospel
  • “Ungodly” – “Sinner”
  • Acts contrary to the will of God
  • Involved in well-doing as defined by man

This simple text helps us understand that simply declaring yourself to be a Christian does not necessarily make it so. In the world about us we find many who would cling to the name Christian even though they have no part or parcel of the work of and for Christ. Dear reader ask your self the question, where do I find myself in the text of 1 Peter 4:15-19? Have I obeyed the Gospel? or am I still in rebellion to Christ?

Consider that if you were to follow after the ideal of many well intentioned folks and lean upon a creed book, or some other religious manual, they do not create Christians as shown in the bible, they create just what was indented by their authors, orthodox Baptists, Methodists, Catholics and the such-like as shown below.

The next text that we will look at is Acts chapter 11, verses 21-26

In this second text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Is a believer who has turned to the Lord
  • Is a member of the same church as in New Testament time
  • Is one who is added to the Lord
  • Is a disciple of Christ

Again, by way of contrast one would not be a Christian if they:

  • Are an unbeliever who has not turned to the Lord
  • Are a member of church not found in New Testament time
  • Are one who is added to human organization
  • Are a disciple of man

In Acts chapter 11 we find the import reference to the facts that disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch. Note how the word was used. It describes them, the people the very ones of turned to the Lord. It was not used to denote a school, a home, or any such thing, it identifies whom they follow. To often do we find that the name of Christ has been sullied by it’s use in areas that He did not command! Dear reader, again ask your self the question, where do I find myself in the text of Acts 11:21-26? Have to the Lord? or am I running far from him?

The final primary text that we will look at is Acts chapter 26, verses 27-29

In this last text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Believes the preaching about Jesus
  • Is persuaded to become a follower of Christ
  • Obeys the same gospel obeyed by Paul

In this, the last of our three texts, Acts chapter 26, the apostle Paul is preaching to King Agrippa. The King asserts in response to Paul’s preaching that he could become a Christian. Paul Replied that he could and in so doing he would become such as Paul was. Looking back in the life of Paul we can note four Bible passages.

Acts 22:16

16’And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

Dear reader, ask your self the question, Have I been baptized like the apostle Paul? if not then how can you claim to be a Christian?

Romans 6:3-11

3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Dear reader, ask your self a question, Have I been baptized into Christ so I can be baptized into His Death? if not then how can you hope in the resurrection?

Acts 19:1-5

1And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, 2and he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Dear reader, ask your self a question, Have I been baptized as Christ commanded? Even though you may have been immersed, it does not mean your sins were washed away.

1 Corinthians 12:13
13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Dear reader, Finally ask your self this question, to whom am I joined. If you are baptized such as Paul was then you will be baptized into one body, Christ’s body!

Who Wrote the Gospels? Audio and Video by Tim McGrew


Who Wrote the Gospels? Audio and Video by Tim McGrew“Who wrote the Gospels? Are there good reasons to attribute their authorship to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? In this talk, Dr. Timothy McGrew lays out the case for the traditional authorship of the Gospels, while countering Bart Ehrman‘s claims that the Gospels are forgeries. This is one hour of content followed by twenty minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is hereNoteshere! Visit the Library of Historical Apologetics.

Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 45min)
Video on YouTube here.”

External Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Video


External Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Video“In this lecture, entitled External Evidences for the Truth of the GospelsDr. Timothy McGrew maps out the external and internal evidence bearing on the authenticity of the Gospels and explores some of the positive external evidence for their truthfulness. These include non-Christian sources and incidental historical confirmations. This is one hour of content followed by thirty minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is here. Visit theLibrary of Historical Apologetics.

Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 30min)
Video on YouTube here.”

Internal Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Video


“In this lecture, entitled Internal Evidences for the Truth of the GospelsDr. Timothy McGrew presents inteInternal Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Videornalevidence bearing on the authenticity of the Gospels, with a special emphasis on undesigned coincidences in the Gospel accounts. This is about 45 minutes of content followed by fifteen minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is here. Handout PDF here. Visit the Library of Historical Apologetics. This is the third of a series—part 1 herepart 2 here.

Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 30min)

Video on YouTube here.”

An Introduction to the study of Christian Evidences

The workbook we are following can be found here: Evidences Workbook: edited by Harry Osborne

2012.01.15 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 01
2012.01.22 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 02
2012.01.29 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 03
2012.02.05 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 04
2012.02.12 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 05
2012.02.19 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 06
2012.02.26 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 07

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