Category Archives: Religious

Divorcing God

DivorcingGod

Our founding fathers intended religion and morality to be pillars of the new republic, providing the restraint that would allow liberty for the citizenry. Today, this delicate balance of religion and state has been eroded by a secularist push to isolate Christianity in our culture and render it irrelevant. As a people, we either return to our Christian roots… or we divorce God altogether.

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There really is not much more I can add to this write-up “…we either return to our Christian roots… or we divorce God altogether.” This pretty much sums it up!

Godspeed & Good Views!

Doc Murf

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Filed under christian, Documentary, Education, Faith, Film, History, Issues, Movie, Politics, Religious, Review

Your Dream. God’s Plan.: Are You Longing for Something More? by Tiffany Smiling

YourDreamGodsPlan

Like a lot of young women, Tiffany Smiling had been assured that the path to fulfillment looked like the one she’d seen in her favorite movies: She’d be swept away by a soul mate, live in a southern estate, and start a family.

But Tiffany’s story unfolded quite differently.

Weeks after serving on her high school’s homecoming court, while doctors operated to remove the brain tumor that was killing her, Tiffany suffered a paralyzing stroke. In the nick of a scalpel she lost her beauty and most of her physical ability. Returning to high school in a wheelchair, head half-shaved and face distorted, Tiffany vowed to be normal and live the dream.

And for a season, she did.

But just when the fairytale was within reach, God surprised Tiffany. Wooing her heart, God convinced her that there was something even better in store for her.

. . .And He has something better in store for you, too.

Read Your Dream. God’s Plan. and see how the Lord wants to use the broken pieces of your life for His greater plan for you.

Smiling’s story will help you see the ways God is writing your own amazing story—designed for His glory and your fulfillment.

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Truly a powerful testimony to the strength that one builds up through the trials and tribulations thrown in one’s path. Though many would throw in the towel, there are those whose faith is actually strengthened by the turmoil that is placed before them. Some even turn to God and listen to what He has to say to them! Tiffany Smiling is one of those people…a special and inspiring person with a tremendous story.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Case for a Creator Student Edition: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Lee Strobel

case for creator

n The Case for a Creator—Student Edition, best-selling author and former atheist Lee Strobel and popular writer Jane Vogel take younger readers on a remarkable investigation into the origin of the universe, interviewing many of the world’s most renown scientists and following the evidence wherever it leads.Their findings—presented in the third blockbuster “Case” book student edition—offer the most compelling scientific proof ever for intelligent design. Perfect for youth groups and young people eager to rebut the Darwinian and naturalistic views taught so commonly in schools.

*****

A well accomplished documentary from the perspective of a man seeking the truth, regardless of where the truth may lead him. Many others used within this documentary for those who watch in order to follow and see where the chips may fall! Excellent use of time to watch this documentary!

Godspeed & Good Reads! (…or viewing as the case may be!)

Doc Murf

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Experiencing the Words of Jesus: Trusting His Voice, Hearing His Heart by Max Lucado

Experiencing

Jesus’ ministry on this earth only lasted three and a half years, yet in that time His words turned heads, turned hearts, and ultimately turned the world upside down. The words of Jesus offer much to those who have ears to hear. They are His legacy. They are our heritage. In Experiencing the Words of Jesus, you will have the opportunity to hear His voice for yourself.
The words of Christ—discourses, parables, prayers, conversations. Eminently quotable. Undeniably powerful. Eternally true. Let the message that changed the world change your life forever.

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This was an interesting book. While it was, more specifically, a active workbook, I did just simply read through it. Those bits or “homework” which were expected to be accomplished may have to wait for another time. Although, the way Max Lucado organized this particular book was very telling and very educational. If you desire to learn more on the Lord and Creator of you…Max know how to organize the book for you and the homework you need! I will plan this out to be filled out sometime next year as part of a bible study.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It by Brigitte Gabriel

stopped

They Must Be Stopped is New York Times bestselling author Brigitte Gabriel’s warning to the world: We can no longer ignore the growth of radical Islam―we must act soon, and powerfully. Gabriel challenges our Western and politically correct notions about Islam, demonstrating why radical Islam is so deadly and how we can halt its progress.

Brigitte Gabriel speaks her mind:

*Fundamentalist Islam is a religion rooted in seventh-century teachings that are fundamentally opposed to democracy and equality.

*Radical Islamists are utterly contemptuous of all “infidels” (non-Muslims) and regard them as enemies worthy of death.

*Madrassas in America are increasing in number, and they are just one part of a growing radical Islamic army on U.S. soil.

*Radical Islam exploits the U.S. legal system and America’s protection of religion to spread its hatred for Western values.

*America must organize a unified voice that says “enough” to political correctness, and demands that government officials and elected representatives do whatever is necessary to protect us.

THIS was an excellent book! Brigitte Gabriel went to great lengths to explain the Islamic mindset and thought process. Enabling you and I to see how they plan to use our system of rights and laws to get their way and tear our system down. Thus replacing it with Sharia Law. And she follows on with how we can combat such tactics. Unfortunately for us, there are just too many Liberal & Activist politicians, judges and lawyers.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Christian, The Court and The Constitution by Jay Alan Sekulow

christian-court-constitution

An overview of the Christian’s civil rights.

Well written and a great amount of information concerning YOUR rights as a Christian in school or in the work force. A quick and worthwhile read. Many choose to yield their rights because they are intimidated, but your rights are protected and paramount!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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A History of God The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Karen Armstrong

Abridged download

Is the Universe wholly apart from God, or is Creation in some sense, a part of God? Is God solely One in nature, or is there a Threeness, or a Manyness, or an Infinitude to God? Is God knowable or beyond knowledge? Is God personal or impersonal? Does God have feelings? Billions of people have had an opinion on these matters, and that’s the subject of this groundbreaking book. Those who depend upon the unshakeableness of their beliefs may find this book upsetting or worse, but to those who consider and question their faith, Karen Armstrong’s A History of God will be challenging and illuminating, and perhaps, as I found it, even thrilling.

The title goes for brevity over accuracy. Perhaps it could have been titled “A History of the Idea of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” but that would have lacked panáche, to say the least. Armstrong concentrates on the changes in the concept of God, particularly the unique aspects of monotheistic theology, for instance, God as separate from Creation, God having a “personal” nature, and so forth.

religious cultures in conflict

Armstrong makes theological history simply fascinating. Beginning with the evidence for near-universal worship of a Sky God in prehistory, Armstrong traces the shift from the Sky God to the Earth Mother to polytheism, and then focuses on the revolutionary development of Abraham’s faith in one God which would clash with Canaanite, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian paganism for the next 1500 years. Many Christians interested in objective Biblical scholarship are familiar with the “Documentary Hypothesis” of the Pentateuch stemming from sources J, E, P, and D. Yet never have I seen an attempt to reconstruct the history and interplay of these perspectives throughout ancient Israel and the surrounding regions, and not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined it would be so illuminating…

For instance, Armstrong shows the revolutionary effect of the prophets in Judaism, beginning with Isaiah, at the time when the J and E material was still being written. She shows that prophetic Judaism was an “Axial religion,” a development of the Axial age when cities became the centers of culture in Asia and the Mediterranean. Other Axial religious developments included the teachings of Socrates, Plato, Zoroaster, the Upanishadic sages, the Buddha, Lao-tse, and Confucius. These all taught a universal ethic, insisting that God or the Absolute needed no temple, transcended all, was accessible to or within everyone, and that compassion was the highest virtue.

The prophets’ teaching that “God desires mercy, and not sacrifice,” was in sharp contrast to the priestly, Temple-based establishment, which insisted the Temple was the ultimate dwelling on God on Earth, having chosen the Israel out of all the nations. (This was the beginning of a clash which would endure until John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus.)

But this is just the beginning. Instead of specializing on a single religion or period in time, Armstrong boldly takes up all the threads of theology throughout the four millennia of the monotheistic religions. With them, she weaves a tapestry of our collective religious experience which can help us understand our faith and ourselves better. Subsequent chapters focus on the life of Christ, early Christian theologies, understandings (and misunderstandings) of Trinity, the influence of Greek philosophy upon Christianity and Islam, mysticism, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and Fundamentalism.

three persons or three personae?

A special treat is her insight on Trinitarian thought. It was a surprise to learn that the term “persons” in “One God in three Persons” came from the Latin word personae, referring to the masks of characters in a drama. Personae was the Latin translation of the Greek word hypostases, “expressions.”  The different words used in Greek and Latin to describe the Trinity reflected (and influenced) very different understandings of God’s nature. For the Eastern bishops, the Trinity described how One God, whose essence (ousia) is mysterious, ineffable, utterly beyond and above being known or described in any way, imparts his energies (energeia) to Creation through the expressions (hypostases) of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In other words, the Eastern view of the Trinity reconciled knowledge of God as both personal and beyond personal, knowing and loving in his expressions, and yet beyond any human conception at all in essence. Have you ever heard it like that before?

world-wide paradigm shifts

Brilliant also is her ability to relate the historic phenomena of mysticism, reformation, rationalism, and fundamentalism beyond just the Christian perspective, into a world-wide perspective simultaneously developing in all “the religions of God.” Her revelation that the Reformation was not just a Protestant reformation, but a universal one is a brilliant example. As the printing press spread, the authority of the written word took on unprecedented dimensions. Galileo, she points out, was condemned by the Catholic Church not because his heliocentric universe conflicted with any doctrine or dogma, but because it contradicted an extremely literal reading of the Bible.

Especially helpful is her knowledge about Islamic history with revealing treatments on philosophical and mystical eras in Islam, before the relatively recent phenomenon of Islamic Fundamentalism. It was fascinating to learn that some Sufi schools were so devoted to Jesus that they adapted the Shahada to “there is no God but God, and Jesus is His Prophet.”

Despite five well-earned frims, A History of God has minor but significant flaws: Awkward sentences abound, and her lack of direct experience with conservative American Protestantism makes her disdain for it seem less than objective. Furthermore, errors like “Maurice Cerullo” (i.e. Morris Cerullo) make it feel insufficiently edited, particularly in the age of the Internet. However, none of these are fatal flaws by any means; Armstrong has created a landmark work, undoubtedly unique in its combination of depth and scope. What can I say, but read it!

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This was a worthy read, though I felt I could not pin down precisely where the author’s beliefs lie. There was a great amount of philosophical input (both pro & con), also there was a good amount of information as it related to several differing sects of Christianity, and information concerning the Islamic faith. However, I felt that she was a bit disingenuous with respect to the information presented about the Islamic faith. She had mentioned that Islam was, in essence, a successful coalescing religion which brought together and united the many clans (never once mentioning the warfare onslaught in order to do so, nor any mention of the believe in Allah or die ultimatum.) She touted that there was no compulsion in religion, yet time and again the Quran states (emphatically) or infers that there would be death to the non-believers.

Over all, I thought it was a decent-good read with much unknown information, philosophies, and other religious input. Worthy of the time it took to read. I feel a bit wiser as I understand a few things better, I have been made aware of a few things I didn’t know before, and I understand how others can be misguided as they do not do enough adequate research into their fields of study. They take what is written as truth and leave it there.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Living with Purpose: Devotions for Discovering Your God-Given Potential Kindle Edition by Myles Munroe

living

Inspiration That Will Unlock Your Potential and Release Your Destiny!

You were made for greatness, not mediocrity.

Every human being was formed in the image and likeness of the Creator—a God of purpose and destiny. In turn, it is Heaven’s perfect plan for you to maximize your life, fulfill your destiny and live with a sense of divine purpose!

In the Living With Purpose devotional, you will receive access to Biblical wisdom and spiritual insights that will help you face your day with increased vision and live your life with a greater sense of destiny.

Dr. Myles Munroe was more than a revolutionary ministry leader and bestselling author; he was a prophetic voice who called forth potential in the lives of those to whom he ministered. Through this collection of his timeless teachings on purpose and potential, Dr. Munroe encourages you to dream bigger, inspires your vision, and empowers your potential!

It’s time for you to live with divine purpose!

An inspiring book that will lead you through a biblical journey to search for your specific purpose in this life, in order to glorify God! A worthy and fast read, for certain.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary by Marcus J. Borg

Jesus Uncovering the Life.png

From top Jesus expert Marcus Borg, a completely updated and revised version of his vision of Jesus—as charismatic healer, sage, and prophet, a man living in the power of the spirit and dedicated to radical social change.

Fully revised and updated, this is Borg’s major book on the historical Jesus. He shows how the Gospel portraits of Jesus, historically seen, make sense. Borg takes into account all the recent developments in historical Jesus scholarship, as well as new theories on who Jesus was and how the Gospels reflect that.

The original version of this book was published well before popular fascination with the historical Jesus. Now this new version takes advantage of all the research that has gone on since the 80s. The revisions establish it as Borg’s big but popular book on Jesus.

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In my opinion, this book is attempting to redefine who Jesus was and what the bible itself, is. Simply put I believe Mr. Borg believes in God, just not the way God is described in the biblical text. I also believe, based upon what I’ve read, that the bible is simply the words of men, metaphorical and not necessarily factual. I was a little disappointed in this book. I do not believe he ever took into account the oral tradition of the Israelites concerning the passing down history from one generation to another. Nor did he seem to take into account the fact that the ancient Greek language does not use quotation marks. Passing on one’s history, culturally through the oral tradition, was, is and always has been that if you maintain the true sense of what your teacher has spoken, you have done your job with honor. Like all other witness accounts, not all will be perfectly matched. However, I believe this book gives one a new perspective on how some people, if not many people, think with respect to God, Jesus, and the Bible.

On a more positive note, I thought Mr. Borg had infused an excellent amount of historical information, culturally and factual, within the confines of these pages. This aided in understanding what was happening at the time, how things were done, the atmosphere of the aristocracy who were in charge at the time (i.e., the Herods of the time.) Well done and worth the read, but be careful what you accept as explanations. By the end of the book I did not know what to think of Mr. Borg on his position about either the bible or Jesus. Although this book was worth the time spent gleaning information from it.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law by J. Budziszewski

written-heart

Voted one of Christianity Today’s 1998 Books of the Year! With uninterrupted clarity, frequent eloquence and occasional humor, J. Budziszewski presents and defends the natural law tradition in what is at once a primer for students and a vigorous argument for scholars. Written on the Heart expounds the work of the leading architects of theory on natural law, including Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and John Locke. It also takes up contemporary philosophy, theology and political science, colorfully running against the intimidating tide of advanced pluralism that finds natural law so difficult to tolerate. Throughout the volume, Budziszewski sure-footedly achieves his self-confessed aim of displaying the “subtlety, richness and intellectual surprise” of the natural law tradition.

A bit of a tough read, but well worth it! It is quite an aid in understanding the Natural Law in order to apply it toward the laws of God, as well as, biblical precepts. Natural law is as important, in that, it is but another way to discuss Christian Design to another not of our faith.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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