John distinguishes truth and falsehood, what proceeds from the mouth of God and what is purported to be truth but is a lie. That’s why John will later urge us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). How do we test the spirits? How do know truth? By holding fast to the revealed word of God, which is truth (John 17:14-19).
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either (1 John 2:23, NKJV).
What comes to mind when you think of antichrist? Perhaps a mighty demonic being or a rival to the throne of Jesus, such as described by Paul to the Thessalonians: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:9–10).
John, however, has spoken to us of many antichrists. Yet whether singular or plural, they are all cut from the same cloth and present us with the same challenge in our walk with Christ and work for Him in this world. That challenge has to do with love of the truth and acting upon it. At stake are matters of life and death.
John addresses believers as truth-holders. “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21).
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By Adam Nesmith — 2 years ago
Christians…should model humble engagement with scientific findings. Christians should not pretend that science is a perfect, objective, infallible source of truth. But they also shouldn’t have cynical attitude every time a scientific discovery is made.
As an engineer, I read scientific papers quite frequently. I am convinced most people do not know how to read scientific papers intelligently. This doesn’t need to be the case: you don’t have to be an expert to think critically about a study and its results. In a society which is obsessed with scientific discovery and “scientific truth,” Christians in particular need to be wise when engaging with modern science.
If you want to better engage with scientific findings, you are going to know certain questions to ask as you read scientific papers. Additionally, you are going to have to get a good grasp of the uncertainty inherent to any good science. Recently, I read a book that gives both a series of questions to ask of a scientific paper as well as a good analysis of the uncertainty inherent to science in general.
The book is called “Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth” by Stuart Richie. Although written by a non-Christian, it is an essential read for any Christian working in a STEM field and is useful for any believer who finds themselves looking up the latest “scientific study.” For today’s Book Quote of the Week, I want to look at questions Stuart Richie says you should ask when reading a scientific paper.
Is everything above board? Authors from reputable universities, companies, labs? Journal published in look professional?
How transparent is it? Can you find data set online anywhere?
Was the study well designed? How was the control group treated? When seeing headline claim, should ask “compared to what”
How big is the sample? How many subjects were included from the final sample and why?
Are the inferences appropriate? Causal language when only a correlation study? Experiments on animals jumped to humans?
Is there bias? Does the study have obvious political or social ramifications and do the scientists write about these in such a way that seems less than impartial? Where was the study funded?
How plausible is it really? If study involves human participants imagine yourself having taken a part…did the environment of the study even approximate the setting that the scientists want to know about?
Has it been replicated? Stop relying so heavily on individual studies
Questions from “Science Fictions:How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth” by Stuart Richie
What the Quote Means
These questions come at the very end of “Science Fictions.” The entire book looks at the ways researchers intentionally or unintentionally publish results which are misleading in one way or the other. The results can be over-hyped, they can ignore important data, or the conclusions can be impossible to replicate in a future study. All of these questions laid out by Richie are designed to help you as you read scientific papers to ask the simple question “is this true?”
Some of these questions are harder to answer if you don’t have a STEM background. But the basic questions of “how was the study designed? Who were the people who did the study? What were the conclusions of the study and do they make sense?” are always useful to have in the back of your mind when reading a “scientific conclusion.”
Now, the goal of these questions isn’t to cause you to never trust another scientific conclusion again. Rather, they are tools for you to more intelligently discern whether an article like “10 Superfoods which reduce aging instantly” is something you should read and take to heart, or not. These questions help you sort the “wheat from the chaff” so to speak.
By Robert Petterson — 2 years ago
Sadly, Evangelical Christians are buying into the thinking of the world. We should know better. Not only do we have the same evidence available to everyone else in the world, but we also have God’s Word. He has made it clear that our bodies belong to Him alone. He has made it plain that life is conceived even before conception in the womb.
When Justice Alito’s draft was leaked, thousands of mostly Millennial and Gen Z women took to the streets chanting, “My body, my choice.” That mantra is not only the argument for wholesale abortion, but the logic behind so much of what’s driving the thinking of our next generation of kids. Yet is “my body, my choice” reasonable? Is it logical?
If you want to have a conversation with your Gen Z children or grandkids, you should understand how social media, cultural influencers and educational elites have reprogrammed their values. Examining the values of this generation will help us understand why more than 85% of them embrace the LGBTQ+ agenda, and why 59% support the legality of abortion in almost all cases.
Progressive: Gen Zs are progressive on issues like LGBTQ+ rights, abortion, racial justice and open borders. They believe government should play a greater role in solving problems and are more likely to attribute climate change to human activity rather than natural patterns.
Compassion: Feelings are more important than the dogmas of right or wrong. The emotional trauma of a woman being forced to carry a child supersedes the moral rightness or wrongness of her choice to abort. To cause others to feel bad about their decisions is hateful. To make a moral judgment is bigotry.
Diversity and Inclusion: Gen Z wants to work for companies that champion diversity and buy products from advertisers who use images portraying diversity. Everyone should be welcomed and included, regardless of race, gender, sexual preferences, religious views or moral beliefs. (Everyone, that is, except for those whose views are not inclusive: evangelical Christians or political conservatives.)
Authentic: As Frank Sinatra once sang, “I’ve gotta be me.” And “me” is whatever I decide I want to be, regardless of what the biology or scientific facts say. To be authentic is no longer to express verifiable reality, but to express what you imagine yourself to be, and then to demand that others see you the same way.
Is it really “our body, our choice?”
The LGBTQ+ lobby changed everything when they convinced cultural elites to divide sex and gender distinctions: your sex defined by empirical data like your genitalia and chromosome makeup at birth; your gender determined by what you feel it is or want it to be. If, as a woman, you insist that the preborn baby in your womb is not a viable person and subject to elimination, but others disagree, then those pro-life supporters are haters of women. In the value system of most Gen Zs, each person gets the right to decide what is real to them, and those who push back are denying their fundamental right to be who they want to be.
When it comes to who owns our bodies, there are only three choices:
You own your own body: This thinking is at the root of the pro-abortion movement when it comes to abortion and the sexual preference and gender identity lobby. This lawlessness is what’s destroying our society. In 2 Timothy 3:1, the Apostle predicts our dystopian future: “In the last days people will be lovers of self…” He goes on to describe the horrors that are unleashed on society when everyone does what they see fit.
By Scott Hubbard — 2 months ago
Keep praying, keep waiting, keep looking for the kingdom you cannot trace. Set your weary heart like a watchman on the walls, asking and aching for morning. Obey your Lord in the darkness, and dare to believe that he will bring the dawn.
For some saints, in some seasons, the spiritual darkness can rest so thick, and last so long, that normal patterns of obedience begin to feel futile.
We’ve read and prayed and fought temptation, for weeks or months or maybe years. But now, perhaps, we wonder what’s the point. Why read when little changes? Why pray when God seems silent? Why obey in the lonely dark when no one seems to see or care? The days have been sunless for so long; why live as if the sky will soon turn bright?
Not all of God’s people have known such seasons. But for those who have, or will, God has not left us friendless. Here in the dark, a brother walks before us, his day far blacker than ours, his obedience a torch on the road ahead.
His story takes place on Good Friday, dark Friday, dead Friday. For some time, he had let his hope take flight, daring to believe he had seen, in Jesus, his own Messiah’s face. But then Friday came, and he watched that face drain into gray; he saw his Lord hang limp upon the cross. And somehow, someway, he did not flee. He did not fall away. He did not sink into despair.
Instead, Joseph of Arimathea “took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus” (Mark 15:43). Three nails and a spear had snuffed out his sun. And without any light to guide him, Joseph still obeyed.
Joseph’s Unlikely Obedience
In this simple account of Jesus’s burial, we find a most unlikely obedience.
First, Joseph was not one of the twelve disciples, whom we might expect to see at such a moment. Until now, in fact, he had followed Jesus “secretly” (John 19:38). “A respected member of the council” (Mark 15:43), Joseph was a disciple in high places, a man who kept his allegiances mostly quiet. Yet on Good Friday, when his allegiance was least likely to do him good, he speaks.
Second, burying Jesus would have cost Joseph dearly. Financially, he bought the linen shroud himself and placed Jesus in a tomb he had just cut — no doubt with other purposes in mind (Mark 15:46; Matthew 27:57). Ceremonially, handling a dead body rendered him unclean. And socially, he embraced the indignity of touching blood and sweat, of bending his grown body under another’s, as if he were a slave or Roman soldier.
Third, and most surprising, Joseph, along with the other disciples, had every reason to feel his hopes crucified, breathless as the body he carried. We have no cause to suspect he saw the resurrection coming. Like the eleven, huddled in that hopeless locked room, he surely expected the stone to stay unmoved.