Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ishmael, Esau, and the Armor of God

   What ISIS Really Wants I was going to do this one later.  It came to me this morning, while I was sort of half awake and half asleep.  I’m still trying to get completely over this pneumonia thing – it’s a real pain.  Then I saw an interview with Graeme Wood who wrote an article for The Atlantic with the title What ISIS Really Wants.  Then I thought – I really need to at least get the shell of this out.  There’s an article I did a few years back on the amazing parallels in the “End Times” scenarios in the Christian Bible and the Islamic Qur’an.  Equally amazing are the different interpretations.  I’ll look for it and put it up later.  But this article starts to get into the “End Times” goals of ISIS.  As much as some would like to deny it – this is real.  Right or wrong – only God knows.  But it’s their philosophy – and we ignore it at our own peril.  Interestingly enough – I also think by ignoring it – we are also ignoring God. So – I’ve written about Ishmael and Esau before.  You can search this site for Esau to […]

Praying at night – the Qur’an and the Bible

  The Qur’an, in Sura 73, encourages praying at night.   How does this compare with what’s in the Bible? We’ll look at the New Testament to see how the two compare and contrast. And then look at what the differences mean.   The first thing I thought of when I read this was the verses in the Bible that relate darkness to evil and light to good.  Of course, that thought was quickly replaced with a stronger one that said – No, that can’t be what this is about.  After looking into it more, I think the second thought is correct.   Let’s look at what this Sura has to say.   [73:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [73:1] O you cloaked one. [73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely. [73:3] Half of it, or a little less. [73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. [73:5] We will give you a heavy message. [73:6] The meditation at night is more effective, and more righteous. [73:7] You have a lot of time during the day for other matters. [73:8] You shall commemorate the name of your Lord, to come ever […]

Would Jesus heal an ISIS fighter?

  Would Jesus heal an ISIS fighter?   But maybe just as important is the answer to why this question is so important.   Would Jesus heal an ISIS fighter? I believe there’s no doubt as to how this would be answered. The Faith of the Centurion Mt 8:5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”  Mt 8:7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” Mt 8:8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Mt 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, […]

The problem of rules, part 2

  We hate rules.  But could we live without them?   Take the game of Monopoly for example.  There’s lot of rules.  And we follow them. Especially when we can use one of them to nail one of the other players.   Like when someone else gets the advance token to Boardwalk card, when we own Boardwalk with a Hotel on it. The other person can’t ignore the rule that says they have to do what that card tells them to do. Yes – rules are awesome!  Until they apply to us. What if Monopoly didn’t have any rules?   What if you could ignore the Chance and Community Chest cards that we didn’t like? What if we could Advance to GO and Collect $200 any time we felt like it – and didn’t wait for that card? What if we could ignore the Go to Jail! Go Directly to Jail! Do not collect $200! card? What if we could move any number of spaces, no matter what the dice said? That would be dangerous.  Either people wouldn’t play – or they’d kill each other. But that’s not what happens. We learn the rules. And we play according to the rules. Until we learn that sometimes […]

It’s time for Christians to acknowledge what Darwin REALLY did

  What Darwin really did was prove the Bible was correct! And who told Moses what we read in Genesis today?  God.   It’s about time Christians stopped attacking Darwin for his order of creation of species – and start telling it like it really is – that Darwin merely discovered an order of creation that Moses already knew 5,000 years ago.  And Moses knew – because God told Him. I posted something a couple days ago about why the Big Bang Theory is not contrary to what the Bible says.  Not only that, but scientists are now trying to find a different theory – I believe in large part because too many scientists, who are also Christian, are embracing the Big Bang theory as very much in line with what Moses wrote.  In other words –  the Big Bang Theory confirms what God told Moses 5,000 years ago! Now that we’ve just passed another birthday for Charles Darwin, it’s time to look at what he really did.  And I think we’ll find it’s pretty much the same.  All Darwin really did is yet again prove that what God told Moses is again being proved out by scientists. Let’s look at […]

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. But just how “self-evident” are they?  Maybe that depends on just who “self” is? The Declaration of  Independence does say the words above.  But I wonder – do they mean the same thing to us as they do to the Creator to whom we assign those words? Life From – 1. the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. 2. the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms, especially metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaptation to environment. 3. the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: “to risk one’s life; a short life and a merry one.” 4. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul: “eternal life.” OK – eternal life is there at number four.  But look at the first three.  I’m going to bet that few people think of “life” in […]

Why are scientists running away from The Big Bang?

Some say Christians should avoid science.  Others, like me, say we should embrace it.  Could God be the reason scientists are now saying the big bang didn’t happen? Everything we know about the Big Bang could be wrong     The quote above is from  Here’s the opening line from the article.  Hope you’re sitting down. Could the Big Bang theory be wrong? A proposed new model of the universe argues yes—the universe has no origin point at all. It’s funny.  Some people say Christians should stay away from comparing science and the Bible.  Others – like C. S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors – say the exact opposite.  I’ve always thought embracing both science and the Bible should be a good thing.  I mean – what are we afraid of?  That God lied about how the universe was created?  Or maybe that He doesn’t know how it happened? The fear is that by trying to use the Bible to explain what scientists say, we are up against a moving target – because even though science claims to have the answer and really “know” things – those “known” things change.  Just like this one says – Everything we […]

Ishmael, Pharaoh, Moses – and Esau

[73:15] We have sent to you a messenger, just as we sent to Pharaoh a messenger. … [73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.   Based on these verses, what is the Qur’an really saying about the path to God? Apparently there are choices to be made.    Christians and Jews should all know the story of Moses.  But there’s a few things we saw before that I’d like to remind you of – just in case you’ve forgotten.  The Israelites were in Egypt because of the famine that took place hundreds of years earlier.  Shortly before the drought began that caused the famine, Joseph had been sold, by his brothers, into slavery.  They sold him to Ishmaelites.  Those Ishmaelites took him to Egypt, where he rose from being a slave to being the number two person in all of Egypt.  All this because of a band of Ishmaelites. Fast forward about 400 years, and we have Moses being sent by God to confront Pharaoh and set the Israelites free.  Then comes the plagues.  And finally – freedom for the Israelites.  If you’d like to read the previous post to get more […]

Moses, Pharaoh, praying at night, more abrogation, and the assembling of the Qur’an

  In the 3rd Sura of the Qur’an, we are again sent to the Old Testament to understand the background of these verses. This time – Moses and Pharaoh. There is also an interesting command to pray at night. Finally, we see 6 verses stricken and replaced by others.  Once more, the stricken verses seem to replace forgiveness towards unbelievers with harsh penalties.  There is a pattern developing – even in these first three Suras.  To understand this pattern, we’ll also look at how the Qur’an came to be a written document.  Below is Sura 73 – as originally revealed.  (More or less.  I say this, because there are disagreements as to whether all of the verses were part of the original revelation.  Some feel [73:20] was actually a later revelation, but was included as part of this Sura.) Sura 73, Cloaked — part 1a – praying at night [73:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [73:1] O you cloaked one. [73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely. [73:3] Half of it, or a little less. [73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. [73:5] We will give you a heavy message. [73:6] […]

Jonah Abrogated. Islam Hijacked?

If what we see in the Middle East today is a hijacked version of Islam – then Islam was hijacked before the Qur’an was put in written form!  However – we must never lose sight of the fact that God has plainly stated he loves the Muslim people.  And so should we. Hard to believe?  It sure seems impossible to believe.  And yet – as we’ve seen – this is the only possible conclusion when we consider the words of the Bible that all Christians and Jews believe is the Word of God.   As usual – the question comes down to – do we just  believe in God or do we actually  believe God? This is part of a continuing series.  If you haven’t read the earlier references to Jonah – please do. Otherwise, this probably won’t make much sense. It’s best to start at the very beginning – but it’s getting pretty long now, so I encourage you to at least check out the Jonah references.  There is a list of the entire Islam series here. Yes – Jonah was abrogated. Of course – there is disagreement between various Muslim sects as to whether this is really true. That disagreement […]

Jonah revisited – from the OT to Christianity and Islam

Yes.  Jonah, the reluctant prophet with 4 short chapters, has ties to both Christianity and Islam. This isn’t going at all like I expected when I started this project.  I went into it with the feeling that Muslims and Christians couldn’t possibly be talking about the same God.  And I expected to be writing about the evidence to prove that.  But the deeper I look, the more I realize that they did start with the same God.  The evidence is there – in the Old Testament.  In the history that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have in common. Then something happened.  We learned about abrogation in my last post – Abrogation in the Qur’an.  Before looking at  The Abrogation of Jonah, let’s look at the impact of Jonah – how his actions and prophecy related to all three peoples – Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  Of course, in Jonah’s time, there were no Christians or Muslims.  But like so many OT prophecies, they existed at multiple levels.  There was the immediate impact – there was possibly a Messianic link – and finally “end times” events.   But – while the actual religions were not there by name – the ancestors of those who would […]

Abrogation in the Qur’an

Abrogation.  This is how a religion can talk about peace, incite violence, and claim no contradiction in what it teaches. Some in Islam say there is no such thing as abrogation.  We’ll shortly see that the Qur’an itself puts the lie to this statement. Others say abrogation is the key to understanding Islam. If you’ve read the previous articles in this series, then you understand the importance of  [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish.  But that verse was abrogated! This article will look at abrogation – what it means- and what is the impact of having verses abrogated.  Then, we’ll return to the Jonah question, so see how it fits in with the first paragraph above. Post Views: 115

Cockroaches have personalities? Science – or dehumanize people at any cost?

Is this really a goal of some scientists – to prove that people are no better than cockroaches? Filthy, smelly, repulsive. There are a lot of ways to describe cockroaches, but “full of personality” usually isn’t one of them. Yet a team of scientists has not only found evidence that the scuttling insects have personalities, but also discovered that when cockroaches get together, they create a group personality. I read this, and can’t help but think of this verse from the Bible – Jn 11:35 Jesus wept. Seriously.  Is this what some people aspire to?  Reducing human life to the level of a cockroach? Makes me think of some other Bible verses – God’s Wrath Against Mankind Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Ro 1:21 For although they […]

Who were the other two men on the crosses?

  Who were the other men on the crosses with Jesus? They were us.  You and me. They were everyone who has ever heard the name of Jesus. It’s a simple story.   Quite short.  Twelve verses.  In Luke’s Gospel. And Yet – it tells the story of every one of us. Lk 23:32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Lk 23:35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” Lk 23:36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” Lk 23:38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Lk 23:39 One of […]