Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Interpreting prophecy

Just before writing some of the most Old Testament-like warnings in the New Testament, in his second letter the Apostle Peter wrote about the nature of prophecy.

He specifically draws a contrast between • something that's made up (“cleverly told fables” 1:16; “a product of human initiative” 1:21) and • something that has the backing of the Holy Spirit (1:21).

He clearly comes down on the side of the supernatural origin in writing, “no prophecy found in Scripture is a matter of the prophet's own interpretation … but it comes when men are moved to speak on behalf of God by the Holy Spirit” (1:21-22).

In other words, the meaning is not up to the man giving it because he is not the origin of it.

Limited man would not come up with God-sized ideas or actions, but he can communicate them.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Defenses are nothing without turning to God

When a people turn away from the Lord, eventually the Lord may appoint a time for destruction (22:5).

The appropriate response is not to celebrate and party.

In Isaiah 22, however, that's exactly what happens. The people have stored up weapons, put their trust in them (v. 8), and don't even use them (v. 3). They built other defenses as well (v. 9-11).

“But in all this you neglected the One who could really save you; You failed to consider the One who actually made this place and established it so long ago” (Isaiah 22:11).

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Devil’s castaways

George Whitefield, standing in his tabernacle in London with a multitude gathered around him, cried out, “The Lord Jesus will save the Devil’s castaways!” 

Two poor, abandoned women outside in the street heard him as his silvery voice rang out into the air. Looking into each other’s faces, they said, “That must mean you and me.” They wept and rejoiced. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Finding rest

I was in Wales once, and a lady told me this little story. 

An English friend of hers, a mother, had a daughter that was sick. At first, they thought there was no danger. 

Then one day the doctor came in and said the symptoms were very serious. He took the mother out of the room and told her that the child would not live. It came like a thunderbolt. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Give me the sheep

After being superintendent of a Sunday school in Chicago for a number of years—a school of over a thousand members, children that came from godless homes, having mothers and fathers working against me, taking the children off on excursions on Sunday, and doing all they could to break up the work I was trying to do—I used to think that if I should ever stand before an audience, I would speak only to parents. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Planted

Plantados tells what communism is like. The contrast to freedom is stark.

Twice the film made an important point that those standing for freedom from communism were standing for freedom in Christ the King. That was mentioned during the first firing squad scene and in the credits. The freedom to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been enemy #1 for communism, sometimes unusually so. Communism is a threat to the soul of man.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Worth more than 10,000 worlds

Twenty-four hours before the rain began to fall, Noah’s ark wasn’t worth much more than firewood. 

But twenty-four hours after the rain began to fall, Noah’s ark was worth more than all the world. 

There wasn’t a man still living who wouldn’t have given everything for a seat in the ark. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Man + Machine

In 1997, Watson’s precursor, IBM’s Deep Blue, beat the reigning chess grand master Garry Kasparov in a famous man-versus-machine match. After machines repeated their victories in a few more matches, humans largely lost interest in such contests. 

You might think that was the end of the story (if not the end of human history), but Kasparov realized that he could have performed better against Deep Blue if he’d had the same instant access to a massive database of all previous chess moves that Deep Blue had. If this database tool was fair for an AI, why not for a human? 

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