Harry Potter starts his story as an unwanted nephew living in a storage space under his abusive family's stairs. He ends up the most famous, respected, and powerful wizard in the world. Aladdin begins as a street rat who's gotta steal to eat and gotta eat to live while Jafar is the second most powerful man in Agraba using the Sultan as his puppet. By the end of the tale, Jafar is imprisoned and destined for servitude but Aladdin gets the girl and will one day be the ruler of the kingdom. We love a good flip-flop in a story. One story in the Bible is absolutely filled with them.
**Teensy Weensy Spoiler Alert: I'm gonna use a quote from the movie but nothing that really ruins the plot. Just wanted to give fair warning to my spoiler paranoid friends.
Finally, a movie that has it all! Its been a long time since I saw a movie this good. Obviously,Avengers is an action packed flick with loads of special effects and crazy combat scenes. But its more than just an explosion fest to herald in the epic summer movie season. This movie actually has substance. The dialogue is great and the movie touches on some great themes such as the strength of teamwork and the question of what makes a true hero. Be warned, there is some swearing and obviously violence, but nothing over the top. I highly recommend it and give it two thumbs up!
What is Prophesy?
This is a huge part of answering this question because there are actually two different categories when speaking of prophecy. There is "Prophecy" and there is "prophecy".
In the Old Testament, there were men called Prophets who spoke the very words of God. They would say things like "Thus saith the Lord..." In fact, they wrote down the words that they spoke and their writings became part of the Bible and we treat them with God's authority to this day. These are men like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others. In the New Testament, we see men who did similar things. We call them Apostles. This includes Peter, James, John, Paul, and others.
This kind of Prophecy (upper case P) is fully authoritative, 100% accurate, and always to be obeyed. This kind of Prophecy produces Scripture. This kind of Prophecy can be defined as "Declaring the very Words of God."
Throughout the Bible, we see a sort of lesser form of prophecy. We see people who speak under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They declare praise to God and give counsel to those who need it. They sometimes received knowledge or insight that was beyond what they could have naturally known. These men and women are often nameless throughout the Bible but include men like King Saul and the disciples in Tyre mentioned in Acts 21:4.
This kind of prophecy (lower case p) is subject to the Scriptures. It is to be tested and weighed rather than accepted and obeyed. It does not produce Scripture. This kind of prophecy can be defined as "Speaking about something that God has revealed to you or called to your mind."
*I apologize for typos, I have a packed day and don't have time to go over this with a fine comb yet!
As far as serious subjects go, its hard to get much more serious than when talking about Hell. If Hell is real, then it should definitely be a scary and saddening thought. Thinking of anyone suffering in a place of eternal torment is heart-wrenching. Hell is not pleasant to think about.
Out of that discomfort with the thought of Hell, modern opinions are changing. While 74% of Americans believe in Heaven, only 59% believe in Hell. Rob Bell recently released a book called Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. In his book, Rob proposes that Hell is nothing more than the evils we commit in this life and that no one will actually be separated from God in Hell forever. Instead, Bell proposes that everyone will one day be reunited with God because God's love will win everyone over (Bell has claimed that's not what he necessarily believes, but that's hard to accept given the way his book lays this out).
So is Hell real? Is it just some old myth that we have outgrown? Is it foolish and silly for a modern and educated person to believe in such a childish thing? Was Hell simply made up to scare people into religion? Does the existence of Hell mean that God is evil and cruel?
The votes are in and today's question is: Can demons hurt us? Whether you're a Christian or not, you've probably been scared of demons at one point or another. Have you seen the Exorcist? Have you heard strange, scary, and unexplainable stories around a campfire? The devil and demons can be a scary thing to talk about, but what is true and what is Hollywood? What is real and what is hype?
Have you been watching Steven Spielberg's new masterpiece? If you catch Terra Nova on Fox, you're in for breathtaking nature scenes, futuristic technology, and, best of all, dinosaur-packed action!
Enough Sci-Fi, did you know the Bible talks about a Terra Nova?
Even if you haven't been watching America's Got Talent, you've probably at least seen a youtube clip or heard talk about the Frank Sinatra singer with dreadlocks. Just a few weeks ago, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. went from being a full time car washer with a failing music career to nationally famous with a hot new gig in Vegas. I'll be honest, he wasn't my first choice on the show this season. I was rooting for the Silhouettes at the end there. But I still find his victory heart warming. Don't you?
I was a freshman in high school. I left the locker room with my gym shirt and tight gym shorts on. Why do they always make them too small? I lined up with the rest of my class and we were cracking jokes about something or other when Coach Murry walked in. He seemed a little shocked about something and with a shake of his head and a half grin he said, “Did you hear what happened?” We all shook our heads no. “Some idiot crashed a small plane into the Pentagon.”
Well that’s strange I thought. We finished up PE and I thought nothing of it. But by the look on my algebra teacher’s face when I walked into my next classroom, I could tell something was really wrong. She turned on the TV and we watched in horror as smoke poured out of the towers on live television.
Mark has been happily married for five years, has a year and a half old daughter, and serves as a youth and children pastor in Oak Park.