The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Nietzsche was extremely critical of Christianity in the book “The Anti-Christ.”  There are scholars who believe the title of his book should have been translated as “The Anti-Christian.”  It fits with the wording and matches the book’s theme.

According to Nietzsche, “The very word ‘Christianity’ is a misunderstanding — in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.”

Nietzsche felt Christianity pushed pity on followers, to the point of creating suffering among the believers.  He viewed religious leaders as manipulative liars and hypocrites.  He also believed faith was used to push people to accept what the church teaches, without questioning and without seeking for factual information.

His words were harsh; however, a quick review of the history of Christianity will reveal they were not unfounded.

I think, sometimes we need to pay attention to those who are critical of our belief system.  I admit, it’s not an easy thing to do.  However; we may find discrepancies or inadequacies that were previously missed by us.  If what we believe is true, it will hold up to research and questioning.  Therefore, there is no reason to refuse to check the facts behind what we are being taught.

If I Could, I Would

A few weeks ago, I was at church and the preacher was talking about various things we hear when reading the Bible and how we should, or would if we could, react to those messages.

This is what I hear and should do or would do if I could:

  • I hear forgiveness.  If I could, I would be more forgiving of others and show mercy to others.
  • I hear love.  If I could, I would be an example of that love and teach others about the love of God.
  • I hear hope.  If I could, I would rely on that hope and not suffer from anxiety attacks.
  • I hear commitment.  If I could, I would finish what I start and be dedicated to the task at hand.
  • I hear freedom.  If I could, I would live as a person free from sin and condemnation.

This message was part of a series and the basic points of the series are:

  • Put your faith into action
  • Don’t show partiality, love others, love equally, and love freely
  • Freedom from legalism is freedom to love
  • Don’t be a slave to sin, instead be a slave to righteousness
  • Don’t be a salve to the law, instead be a slave to the word of God

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Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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After finishing The Zombie Survival Guide, I decided to read Pilgrim’s Progress.  What can I say?  I have strange reading habits.

John Bunyan wrote this book in the 1600’s.  The story is a classic, because the lessons found in this book are applicable even to this day.

The main character is Christian.  He felt convicted by the Word of God, so Christian leaves his hometown, family, friends, and everything he owns behind to find peace, forgiveness, and release from his burdens.  He begins his journey to the Celestial City on Mount Zion.

While traveling, Christian meets other pilgrims.  He finds some of them to be helpful and encouraging.  However, he also encounters people that try to discourage him from his journey.

Christian also faces various attacks, trials, and tribulations.  He struggles to pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and the Slough of Despond.

At times, Christian stumbles and wanders off of the path to the Celestial City.  In spite of all that happens to him and in spite of his own mistakes, Christian is determined.  He never surrenders.

In the end, Christian completes his journey and arrives at the Celestial City.

Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons by Vance Nelson

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Vance Nelson starts the book by talking a little bit about the history of paleontology.  Until the 1840’s, dinosaurs were referred to as dragons.  At the natural history museum, founded by Sir Richard Owen, dinosaur remains were labeled as sea dragons.

Next, the author writes about the age of dinosaur bones and evidence relating to their date of extinction.  He uses scientific studies and discovers to prove the dinosaur extinction happen much more recently than is commonly believed.

  • Carbon Dating can be used to determine the age of fossil remains.  Living creatures have a set ratio of carbon 14 and carbon 12 inside of them.  After death, the levels of carbon 14 dissipates, but the levels of carbon 12 remain consistent.  Carbon dating test done on dinosaur bones show they are 20,000 to 40,000 years old.
  • Dr Mary Schweitzer discovered soft tissue (with blood vessels and blood cells) inside a femur belonging to a T. Rex.  Since we know how fast tissue degrades, it calls into question the age of that dinosaur.
  • Dinosaur fossils are unearthed next to fossils belonging to creatures that are still living today, such as crocodiles, alligators, and soft shelled turtles.  If a catastrophic event caused the dinosaurs to become extinct millions of years ago, then why are these creators still living today?
  • Discoveries of animals previously believed to be extinct have occurred.  Scientist thought the Coelacanth (a type of fish) went extinct millions of years ago.  However, a living Coelacanth was found in 1938, off the coast of South Africa.
  • Dinosaur like creatures have been depicted in ancient artwork.  These drawings and ceramic pieces have a striking resemblance to dinosaurs.  How did ancient people learn about dinosaurs?

 

Great Things From a Little Faith

Matthew 13:31-32

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (ESV)

God understands human frailty.  God uses our faith and efforts to change the world, even if our faith is small.  With God, great things can come from a little faith.

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The Brook Church – Why I Attend

I live in Alabama, so there is no shortage of churches in the area.  There seems to be a church on every corner.

A little over a year ago, I started attending The Brook Church in Madison, Alabama.  I keep going back for several reasons.

I have been able to make friends there.  I enjoy the services and being involved with the children’s ministry.  I love attending the missional community groups that the church sponsors.

Those things are great, but they are not the main reasons I think The Brook is the best church for me.

I continue to learn new things when I attend church on Sunday and during missional community group meetings.  I also feel inspired to be a better person.  I am constantly growing and trying to improve myself.  I want to be willing to forgive others and be willing to apologize when I have done wrong.  I want to be honest and have moral integrity.  I want others to see me as someone with good character traits.

I still have areas of my life that need improvement and I make a lot of mistakes.  However, I am always trying and The Brook is helping me to achieve my goal of being a better person and a better Christian.