Category Archives: Bible Study

Book Review: Can A Christian Be A Nationalist? By Dr. Isabelo F. Magalit

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hhqprb4It seems to me when we talk about nationalism, we as a Filipino Christians sometimes can’t point our finger on it. We might see it on how blind nationalist cults like Iglesia ni Cristo, Ang Dating Daan or a Filipino church like Aglipayan built a religious group that is Pinoy. Some might not look far than to see how Ed Lapiz promotes it or the recently the resurgence of an evangelical movement that promotes the social gospel coined as “neighborology”.  But what does the Bible really says Christians being a nationalist?

The book “Can A Christian Be A Nationalist?” answers it with a resounding “Yes”. Dr. Magalit who wrote some books on sticky issues like homosexuality and family planning, tackles a topic that some of us are confused of. We know we are heaven’s citizen and pilgrims just passing through but do we care to promote nationalism? Dr. Magalit first answers the case against being nationalist which is for me impressive. Then he sites Paul and Moses as examples. He included a sort of survey and ends with his vision for the nation.

The book is definitely short and you might say its “bitin”. For a topic about nationalism there is much to be said. Then again this book is enough for Christians to open further discussion and do some actions.  This book is superbly done and a must read.

My verdict: 4.5 out of 5

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The Quotable Round-Up #49

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paper_zpshrjhwlqwHere are some of the quotes from the book “A Little Book for New Philosophers” by Paul Copan. If you enjoy these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.  Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

 

“We are more than our fluctuating inner states. We possess a will that can resolutely trust in the character and promises of a faithful God—a will that also perseveres and endures when we feel like giving up. We have an intellect to grasp the rational and practical coherence of the Christian faith.”

“Feeling that we’re not good enough (and we aren’t!) can incline us toward vainly striving to be accepted before God. Instead we should remind ourselves of the truth that acceptance before God has actually been accomplished by Christ on our behalf (Rom 15:7). In response, we should make it our ambition to be pleasing to God (2 Cor 5:9). This presupposes that God has already received us as his children. The Christian faith is a religion of gratitude. We can take further comfort from the fact that, the longer we walk with Christ, the more we realize how shot through with sin we are.”

“While many assume that all doubting is intellectual, very often it is not. When it is intellectual, the doubter should explore rational or evidential reasons for that doubt—as well as how the Christian faith addresses the deepest longings of our hearts. Many believers will experience times of doubt, but it is during the times of stability that we should explore the solid supports of our faith.”

Consider the problem of evil. Skeptics may support their negative stance toward God by pointing to many baffling evils that appear pointless. So, they infer, God couldn’t have a reason for them. But is this charge a fair one? Actually, no. For one thing, the skeptics aren’t applying their skepticism symmetrically. Their standards for theism are likely much more stringent than their standards for theological unbelief or disbelief.”

“Christian leaders and parents should give the young people entrusted to them ample room to doubt and ask honest questions in open forums and conversations around the supper table. The next generation should receive help in constructively and honestly working through these questions to strengthen their faith so they can embrace it as their own. Great harm comes when we keep our young people in a bubble in an effort to shield them from hard questions, or when we dismiss their struggles and exhort them to “pray harder,” “read the Bible” or “just believe.”

“God doesn’t rebuke saints for honest inner struggles, questions and emotions. And even amid their doubt and darkness, they may show forth God’s presence through living faithful lives. When we experience such struggles, we are in holy company.”

“In our philosophizing, we must have the courage to do at least two things: to resist false ideas in our pursuit of knowledge and to pursue philosophy in a distinctively Christian manner.”

The Quotable Round-Up #47

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Here are some of the quotes from the book “Awe” by Paul David Tripp and “God’s Promise of Happiness” by Randy Alcorn  . If you enjoy these quotes, please buy the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.  Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

 

“Creation is awesome. God designed it to be awesome. And God designed you to take in creation’s awesome display. You are meant to be inspired and to celebrate the awesome things that come from the Creator’s hand.”

“The gospel offers an exchange of misery-generating sin for happiness-giving righteousness provided by Jesus. That’s an incredible bargain—and startlingly good news!”

“When we lose ourselves in God’s purposes, Jesus says we’ll find ourselves—and also happiness.”

“Countless people in worse situations are happier than those in better situations. This demonstrates that happiness is dependent not on circumstances but on perspective, which is determined by our focus.”

“Christians see the world seeking happiness instead of holiness, so we assume we should not seek happiness at all. But this false contrast between holiness and happiness is both unbiblical and impractical. The devil’s lie is that embracing holiness brings unhappiness. But God says duty and delight are connected.”

“The happiest people in the world are those who have a deep, gratitude-drenched relationship with Christ.”

“Happiness is impossible without repentance, forgiveness, and a right relationship with Christ.”

A Call for Contagious Praising (Part 2)

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adwdafejfdy-raul-petri_zpspm1kvcf1“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalms 34: 3

Before we list out the 3 things we should consider in having a contagious praising, we must first detour and remind ourselves of why we want others to come and praise God. In this way we can fully understand why praising is contagious.

Of course we can praise God individually. We can actually have a personal dealing with God that will overflow with joy that is acceptable with God. However, we shouldn’t limit it as a personal experience only. We are lead to come and praise together.

Why Praise Together?

  • Because Christianity is an accountability religion.

We are accountable to lead people to salvation. We are accountable to lead people to sanctification. If we consider that Jesus Christ is the ultimate joy and we express our joy to Him by praising Him, the logic will flow that we are accountable in leading people to praising Him.  Salvation and sanctification are the gates to see Christ as joyous and praiseworthy.

(to be continued next week…)

A Call for Contagious Praising (Part 1)

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adwdafejfdy-raul-petri_zpspm1kvcf1“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalms 34: 3

We all know that the Psalms is overflowing with spectacular verses and chapters on praising God.  Reading through it will give you every variety of praising and thanksgiving whether it victory, fear or doubt, the Psalmist has words that is meant for you to focus on the Lord. As we come to this lesson we shall see praising as an invitation of a praiseful individual to look at God’s goodness.

Psalms 34 has plenty of goodness God bestows to those who calls upon Him. Checking out verses 4 and 6 to see God extending His help in a personal level:

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

“This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.”

Also this psalm points out confidently that God will answer anyone:

“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” v.5

“Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” v. 9

“The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” v. 15

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” v. 19

“The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” v. 22

If we can experience goodness in our personal lives and others can also claim that blessedness, therefore we as Christians has a duty to express that joyful truth.

“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” v. 1

My soul makes its boast in the LORD…” v. 2

That duty should lead us to encourage people to experience God.

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” v. 8

By praising Him continuously and inviting others to do it too.

“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” v. 1

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” v.3

 

(to be continued next week…)

The Quotable Round-Up #45

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Happy New Year guys! Here are some of the quotes from the book “Awe” by Paul David Tripp. If you enjoy these quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“It’s wrong not to be in awe of what God created, but it’s even more deeply wrong when you can look at created glory without remembering God.”

“It is hard to accept that God knows better than we do.”

“Once awe of God is lost, the loss of a heart to obey isn’t far off.”

“Your admission of awe amnesia is a confession of your continuing need of your loving Redeemer.”

“Here’s the reality: most people who are angry with God are angry with him for being God.”

“If you’re not living in awe of God, you are left with no higher agenda than to live for yourself.”

“Awe of self, worship of self, underlies every form of self-destructive living.”

3 Self-Examining Questions Every Christian Should Consider (Part 1)

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Self-examination is uncomfortable. In our sinful nature we don’t want to see ourselves for who we are. We often want to dwell in this illusion that we are fine and nothing is wrong in our spiritual life. Truth really hurts. But examining ourselves is a necessity if we want to check who we really are and where we are going.

Let us now go to the Book of Job to see these questions. The Book of Job is not just about the patience, sufferings and faith of Job. Rather the main story is about God and His sovereignty. The crisis Satan brought to Job crush everything in him yet he remains steadfast for God. In the midst of his conversations with his friends, you can see that it’s theological in nature. Some do have the right understanding on God and some misrepresents Him. But there are penetrating questions we should consider that are scattered in the Book of Job. We collected three of them. Here’s the first one and next week we will see the rest.

  1. “Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?”—Job 13:9

 

This question shows the weight of how God searches us. I ask if it’s well or bearable for us if God checks us out.  Our unfaithfulness, our secret sins and our deception might come in mind and we don’t want it to be found out by God. But the reality is He already knows it! We can’t deny what we already have done. This will drive us to be humble and come to Him with a sorrowful heart. Will we start cleaning our mess knowing how heavy this question is? I hope and pray we will.

 

To be concluded next week. More articles here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com