My Biblically based opinion on all things. Political, Social, Cultural, Spiritual, etc...
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." The Romans 15:4 Project
Mick Dobra

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Scripture is our divine instruction and source of hope

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Paul next justifies his use of the scripture for instruction and hope. He makes a comprehensive exhortation that “everything” in scripture is there to teach us (Morris 499). It is the authoritative word of God. As a Pharisee, Paul understood this very clearly, and as Morris describes, “For him the Bible ends all argument” (499). But it goes beyond instruction. Because of God’s character revealed in scripture, and His love revealed in His Son, we can place our complete faith in Him and hold on to that hope. As F. F. Bruce describes, “[The scriptures] provide ample evidence of God’s fidelity, especially when they are read in the light of Christ’s fulfillment of them; therefore their readers are encouraged to place their hope in the Lord and wait patiently for him” (241). This admission would have spoken volumes to both the Jews and gentiles. It confirms the authority of scripture for the Jews, and to the love of God through it’s fulfillment in Jesus to both.

Read more, Romans 15:1-6 Exegetical...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Middle East Mess Not So Messy?

Let me see if I can work some of this out.

1. Israel is giving up the element of surprise by warning Lebanese civilians when and where they will be attacking. Doesn’t sound very evil to me *shrug* (Stahl).

2. A Mr. Egeland, the U.Ns’ emergency relief coordinator, has reported that Hizballah is moving [hiding] among civilians. No big surprise there *shrug* (BBC).

So why are the U.N. and Arab organizations laying the blame at the feet of Israel? If there is any disproportionate use of force, it is the disproportionate propaganda and media attention in favor of the Islamic terrorists. All the noise has me confused. Is anyone really listening to the Arab American Institute when they claim Israel is actually intentionally targeting Lebanese civilians? Unfortunately someone probably is.

Diplomacy? Peace? Israel gave the Palestinians Gaza. It didn’t work! They continued to attack and terrorize Israel. Leading up to the attack and kidnapping that sparked this most recent fire storm. How is that considered peace?

War is ugly. The terror tactics and underlying "cause" of Hizballah are evil. If my family were threatened, I would most certainly use disproportionate force to protect them.

I’m praying for everyone involved, most of all the innocent civilians caught in the cross fire. There is a special place in my heart for Israel. They continually live in fear of a bus exploding in crowded markets. And it was through the people of Israel that we were introduced to God and our Savior Jesus.

Psalm 122
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the LORD."
2 Our feet are standing
in your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD,
to praise the name of the LORD
according to the statute given to Israel.
5 There the thrones for judgment stand,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels."
8 For the sake of my brothers and friends,
I will say, "Peace be within you."
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your prosperity.

Peace be with Israel.


Works Cited:

BBC “Fighting inside Lebanese border” BBC News. Posted: Thursday, 20 July, 2006, 11:16 GMT UK. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5197186.stm

Stahl, Julie. “Israel Giving Up ‘Element of Surprise’ to Save Civilian Lives” CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief. Posted: July 20, 2006. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200607/INT20060720d.html

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Are Nature's Fundamental Laws Changing?

Man’s Wisdom vs. Biblical Wisdom

“Recent research has found evidence that the value of certain fundamental parameters, such as the speed of light or the strength of the invisible glue that holds atomic nuclei together, may have been different in the past.
‘There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant,’ says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. ‘These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are.’” (Schirber).

We did not create nature, so we can not define it in terms of absolutes. We can observe in reverent wonder at the marvelous creation, and speculate on its operation, but we can not control it by our will. If the speed of light is in question, and we use the speed of light to determine that the universe is oh so many billions of years old, then maybe we really don’t have any idea, do we?

People used to think the earth was flat even though the Bible told us it was a globe.

He sits enthroned above the circle* of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (Isaiah 40:22)

People used to think the earth was carried around on the back of a great beast even though the Bible told us it was free floating.

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. (Job 26:7)

Now people think we evolved from nothingness even though the Bible tells us God created us.

Do you see a pattern here?

So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. (Genesis 1:27)



* Note’s on the word “circle” (New International Version)

Transliterated: chuwg = circle, circuit, compass.

Original word: gwx = to encircle, encompass, describe a circle, draw round, make a circle.

Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary: “Circle – applicable to the globular [having the shape of a globe] form of the earth.”


Works Cited:

Schirber, Michael. “Scientists: Nature’s Fundamental Laws May Be Changing” FoxNews.com. July 13, 2006: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,203180,00.html

Monday, July 03, 2006

Independence Day 2006 - Freedom

Freedom. It is the idea that defines America and Americans. Differences among individuals are held together with the defining idea of freedom. As Molly McCarroll says, “This is the value for which wars are fought and character is built. It is the crutch that can make even the most handicapped of spirits stand upright and the trophy toward which the world’s oppressed can always struggle” (McCarroll).

I’ve learned some valuable lessons about freedom in the last few weeks. I see America falling from her glory and the activist in me wants to make changes in government, politics, and policy to restore America’s greatness. But that is the danger of freedom, using it to restrict freedoms for the sake of the good of the country. It is a struggle not to judge the actions of others at large and want to restrict their actions when they are detrimental to the good of our nation. Molly explains, “The result is a treacherous situation where the fear of imposing judgment and thereby undermining another’s freedom handcuffs concerned citizens from defending the standards that have made them great” (McCarroll). There are times when restraint is needed. The challenge is to pick your battles. Which “cause” is truly worth fighting for? I don’t know the answer to that question.

It is best when the citizens know when to restrain themselves. Our founders knew this form of government would only work for a “moral and religious” people. They “understood that freedom and the individualism that accompanies it provide the framework in which greatness can be achieved, but it is the development and exercise of a virtuous character that makes such greatness possible” (McCarroll).

This Independence Day let us spend a little time reflecting on how we express our freedom. Do we spend our time in self indulgent, and self gratifying expressions of our freedoms? Do we express immoral freedoms just because we can? Are there times when we individually and corporately need to show restraint for the greatness of the nation?

True freedom, with no regard to our current situation, is only found in our eternal identity through Christ Jesus. He has the power to carry us above our circumstances and destructive desires. He gives us our purpose and the hope that justice will prevail. It is through this hope that we can give our lives as living sacrifices for the Kingdom of Heaven, “For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.” (Galatians 5:13 HCSB)

What would you give your life for? Would you stand for Freedom? Would you personally sacrifice a liberty for the good of the body? These are not unreasonable questions when you know your living in eternity!

Works Cited:

Special thanks to Jim Powell, Pastor, Mentor, Friend.

McCarroll, Molly. “The Idea of America” The Family Security Foundation, Inc. Posted: July 3, 2006: http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/challenges.php?id=152258