Issue #71

Was Ezekiel 26 a False Prophecy, Why Christian Teens Have an Identity Crisis, God Takes Joy Seriously, and more...

Issue #71
Photo by MI PHAM / Unsplash

Consider Another Perspective 🤔

Our Young Earth: Arguments for Thousands of Years | Jason DeRouchie 📃 →

Our Old Earth: Arguments for Billions of Years | Wayne Grudem 📃 →

This pair of articles—written as a pair—are a pair of articles from well-respected Bible scholars on why they hold to their positions on the age of the earth.

Comparing their respective approaches is interesting. DeRouchie, arguing for a young earth, argues primarily on the grounds of special revelation—that God has clearly revealed in his inspired scripture that the earth was created a few thousand years ago.

Grudem, on the other hand, believes in billions of years of history. He primarily argues from natural revelation that God's work as revealed in nature and understood through science is generally reliable and sound. He briefly appeals to Biblical arguments that inspired scripture does not intend to give us an exact age of the earth. Therefore, turning to natural revelation to understand the age of the earth is how God intended us to answer such questions.

I do not think that either approach is going to convince the other side. If an informed Christian holds to an old-earth view, it’s unlikely that DeRouchie’s Biblical arguments will be convincing. And if an informed Christian holds to a young-earth view, they are very likely going to look at Grudem’s argument from natural revelation with extreme skepticism.

While I think this may have been a more productive conversation if the two scholars did not talk past each other, I think the two articles will nonetheless be helpful for those with an open mind.

Explore the Scriptures 📖

Ezekiel 26: Was It a False Prophecy? | Michael Miller, Joshua Lewis, and Michael Rowntree 📽 →

I truly enjoyed this video from the Remnant Radio crew about Ezekiel 26. They open by explaining the problem: in Ezekiel 26 it appears that God tells Ezekiel to prophecy terrible destruction upon Tyre. But was that prophecy fulfilled? Ezekiel 29 seems to say that Tyre was not destroyed as was prophesied.

So is this a failed prophecy?

I think Miller, Lewis, and Rowntree did a great job of explaining the different options available to the Christian (at least one that believes in inerrancy) and their strengths and weaknesses.

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Family Focus 🏡

Why Christian Teens Have an Identity Crisis | Sara Barratt 📃 →

Do a quick web search on “identity crisis” and it’s not hard to figure out the general consensus on how to fix one. We’re encouraged to “look inward and explore,” “go on a journey of self-discovery,” “do things that make you happy,” “ignore judgment” and, in short, turn our focus entirely toward ourselves. According to this thinking, our identity is something only we can define, and our emotions get the ruling vote on who we are. Any objective standard of identity has been torn away. Growing up amid such uncertainty, is it any wonder teens are questioning who they are?

You only have to watch a modern children’s movie or a few hours of TV targeted at teens or kids to see where this angst comes from. But what is the solution? Read Barratt’s article and find out!

Living This Christian Life 🤴👸

Positive Thinking ≠ Lasting Encouragement | Lindsey Carlson and Matt Tully 🎧 →

I’ve linked to an article by Carlson in Issue #69 (“What Did You Expect God to Do?”), and this podcast expands on that work. This podcast pairs nicely with the article above. We are told that looking inward and thinking positively is the solution to our identity crisis, but it’s failing so many of our young people.

Self-help and positive thinking are not the answer despite the culture's—and even some pastors'—encouragement in that direction. If you’re looking for true hope, listen to this podcast, and check out Carlson’s book, linked below.

For More:

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Consider the Culture 🎨

How to Respond to a Colleague Mourning Roe | Charlie Self 📃 →

When Roe v. Wade was overturned, I was thrilled. But I work in a liberal corporate setting, and I’m not sure how to address it at work. For example, there are times when my boss asks how everyone is doing, and a colleague or two bemoans the ruling. Do I just stay quiet and let them vent? Do I say I’m actually celebrating it? I don’t want to unnecessarily create a stir, but on the other hand, I do want to be faithful to the gospel.

There have been many news stories about companies seeking to assist workers in getting abortions and fighting politically for abortion. I’ve seen this in my own setting. In these types of settings, it can be difficult to advocate for the unborn.

This article helps us by carefully and pastorally looking at the issue. If this is a question that you need to take seriously, this will help.

Musical Masterpiece 🎼

Jesus You Come | Tenielle Neda, feat. Jon Guerra 🎶 →

How about a Christmas in August song? 🎄

Jesus you come, Emmanuel.
Jesus you come, Lord of the World.
In obedience, sent to the earth
To live to walk to die to rise,
to bring the Spirit’s birth.
God Most High
Holy One
The humble King is here with us
Son of Man
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Our God is here with us.
Jesus you come, Emmanuel
God incarnate, divine miracle
Came down to us, born of great love,
That we might be daughters, sons
Of the Living One.
Jesus you come, Emmanuel.
Given, a son: light of the world.
Perfect prince of peace, lamb without blemish.
You lived, you walked, you died, you rose
to reconcile the lost.
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Best with a Cup of Tea ☕️

God Takes Joy Seriously (And So Should You) | Heather Caliri 📃 →

In college, when I read Psalm 119, I underlined the first verse: “Happy are those whose way is blameless.” Next to it, I wrote, “Is anyone happy?“

At the time, I thought my way was blameless. I was a student leader in Campus Crusade for Christ’s ministry. I read my Bible and prayed regularly. I evangelized, I served.

I was also terribly, terribly unhappy. My faith was a heavy yoke. At night, alone in my dorm room, I had panic attacks, and thinking of my future put a knot in my stomach.

But I didn’t think unhappiness was a big deal for Christians. Wasn’t I supposed to be content with any situation? My feelings were beside the point.

But she learned a lesson very similar to what John Piper is famous for saying, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” God cares more about our eternal happiness than our immediate happiness, yes. But that does not mean that God wants joyless people. We are called to joy through our satisfaction in him, not our satisfaction in marriage, food, cars, or anything else. That’s the difference between a Christian theology of happiness and an unchristian one. Christians believe that only God can truly satisfy our deepest needs.

Caliri gives us three reasons why we should care about happiness:

1. Honesty about Unhappiness Is the Gateway to Joy
2. Unhappiness Is an Important Call to Action
3. We Serve a God of Joy

Keep Your Mind on Things Above

I will be praying for you this week.

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
— Matthew 10:29–31 (CSB)

Joel Fischer