Language Changing and Obstacles to Understanding

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What do you think of when you hear the word “satan” or “devil”?

My guess is, there is likely a red figure, maybe horns and a pitchfork are included. This image is drawn directly from fan fare and modern imaginings. If we look to the Bible, we see Paul point out that “Satan himself masquerades as an angle of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).

This is an example of the many things we can slowly divert from truth on because of the imagery around something or even the language.

In this article, centered around the Apostles Creed, ancient in its reciting by Christians all over the world and in wide use today, the same issue is present. As disciples today, we need to do some digging to cut to the truth, and make sure that what we teach and store up in our hearts is in accordance with sound doctrine.

One point requiring absolute clarity is that “descended into hell” did not mean, until Calvin, “descend into the place of torment.” The creedal Latin varies between ad inferna (“descended into hell”) and ad inferos (“descended to the dead [ones]”), but these are synonyms until the Reformation.

You can read the article here.

What we’re reading today

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This week we dive into the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. An author who has been under the spotlight in modern evangelical culture, and been persistent in challenging the status quo of American Christianity.

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““[Y]ou have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin. When you are pursuing love, running toward Christ, you do not have opportunity to wonder, ‘Am I doing this right?’ or ‘Did I serve enough this week?’ When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry or fear. As long as you are running, you’re safe.”

You can get the book here

Thursday Links: Language Learning

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If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

There are so many great language learning resources out there these days, specifically through the internet. If you are thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, it may be to a place where English is not the local language and not even commonly used!

Of course, because of English’s wide usage, and the by the Spirit’s guiding, you can still be used. However, learning the local language can go a long ways in being effective and simply navigating the daily ins and outs!

Chinese: https://www.chinesezerotohero.com/ ……….. https://mandarincorner.org/ ………. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSDFz1DafnE ………..

Brazil (Portuguese): http://www.easyportuguese.com/ ……… https://www.fluentin3months.com/free-online-portuguese-language-…….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjq5eJn530Y ……….

Spanish: http://index-of.es/Varios-2/Spanish%20Essentials%20For%20Dummies.pdf ………. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7-nb1wlnyA……

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it can give you an idea of learning techniques and resources. Learning a new language will certainly enrich your perspective in life. And there is no better way than living in the country that speaks that language!

If you are thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, the gospel comes first. Learning a language can be a bonus but also a benefit to the mission!

Featured Article

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From Stan Rodda’s article “Our Apologetics Must Surrender to the Transformative Power of Jesus Christ!”

If you’re thinking about taking the One Year Challenge and being on mission for God, you are thinking of how you can lead people to Christ, let this man’s insight and experience enter the discussion!

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Tyler (not his real name) is an environmentalist, evolution believing, democrat voting, self-identified “none.” He and I started having faith conversations around six months ago. As he explored, he immediately jumped to the common questions. “Well, if I talk to you about this, am I going to have to change my beliefs about evolution? And what about how I vote? I have deep convictions about voting to save the environment from climate change.”

What I heard was, “If you tell me that following Jesus means I have to vote Republican and suddenly believe the earth is 6000 years old, I’m out.”

Where would you begin with a person like Tyler? Likely with some sort of argument beginning to break down evolution. And if you went after how he votes first thing, you’re probably going to lose the opportunity to share Jesus. I don’t know anyone saved who was argued out of how they prefer to vote. Even a guy with no current framework for religion or faith in his life, was expecting our conversations to be somewhat confrontational and to debate these deeply held convictions and beliefs.

I think my response to Tyler took him by surprise. My first response was, “Tyler, I believe that someday you will stand before God. And when you do, He won’t ask you how old the earth is. He also won’t ask you how you voted. He will ask you what you did with Jesus. Are you open to discovering Jesus with me?” He said, “Yes.”

Read the full article HERE.

What we’re reading today

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From Thomas Brook’s classic, “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”

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…solemnly to consider, That the spiritual riches of the poorest saints infinitely transcend the temporal riches of all the wicked men in the world; their spiritual riches satisfy them; they can sit down satisfied with the riches of grace that are in Christ, without earthly honors or riches.

You can buy the book here (extremely cheap!) and likely find it online in pdf form for free. WELL WORTH THE READ! Especially if you are considering taking the One Year Challenge. Satan will certainly oppose any who who would attempt great things for God in going on mission, it is our job to put on the armor that God has provided!

“in order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 

2 Corinthians 2:11