Throughout His public ministry, Jesus had his fair share of obstructers. The Jewish authority made it a point of emphasis to entangle Jesus or test Jesus so that He would be discredited among the crowds. The Roman authority, Pilate in particular, had Him crucified to save his political position. Did you know that Jesus also faced push back from His family? This leads to a question to be asked, “What do I do when my family does not believe in Jesus at all or at least does not believe like I do?”Read More
n Rodney Stark’s work on The Rise of Christianity, he chronicles some of the plausible factors that led to Christianity growing from a small Jewish sect in Jerusalem to the official religion of the empire in just 300 years. Have you ever considered the astronomical rate of conversion that must have taken place to spread a particular faith that rapidly without the use of the sword? We see evidence of “mass conversion” early in the preaching of the Gospel - 3,000 new converts during Pentecost (Acts 2:41), 5,000 more after another apostolic message some days later (Acts 4:4). But the number of those who at least claimed Christianity would grow to several million within just a few generations. An obvious factor was the commitment to evangelism among early Christians - the fact that most took their great commission (Matthew 28:18-20) quite seriously. But what did people actually find attractive about Christianity? Why were they convicted to make Christ their Lord? Of course the main appeal was an understanding of the significance of an atoning death for sin and a resurrection that defeated death. But Stark also uses historical and social research to assert some further reasons. Here are some of them...Read More
No, this is not a political rant. Nor is it just about the man whose image it bears (although he does spur our examination of the topic). This is about reclaiming Christ-like speech.
A dichotomy has developed in our culture. On one side, “political correctness” and fear of offending in speech are championed to the point that vague words veil any sense of clarity in understanding a position (perhaps this verbose sentence is an example for you). On the flip side of the coin, bluntness reigns. Strong opinion. Quick sound bites. To the point. No concern for offending. “Calling a spade a spade!"
If you survey the speech of Jesus, you actually find both a sincere sensitivity and a sincere bluntness...Read More