Issue #94

What Augustine Might Say to Someone Deconstructing, a Lack of Generosity Means a Lack of Contentment, and more...

Issue #94
Photo by Elaine Casap / Unsplash

Explore the Scriptures 📖

Undesigned Coincidences in the Scriptures: An Argument for Their Veracity | Jonathan McLatchie 📃 →

McLatchie looks at three Old Testament examples of undesigned coincidences in scripture. These portions of scripture explain question marks we might find at other points, but in a way that seems like the author(s) clearly didn’t intend to answer those question marks. That gives us confidence that these scriptures are reliable.

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Watch and Wonder 📽

Division & Unity in the Church: What’s Worth It? | Sean McDowell and Scott Rae 📽 →

How important is unity for Christians today? What issues and circumstances should we divide over? In this discussion, Scott and Sean offer some biblical insights about unity in the church today. They discuss what issues we should "die on" and what issues we should seek unity over.

This is critical for Christians today. We certainly know how to divide, but have no idea how to be unified despite our differences. It’s too easy to find your particular niche tribe in the social media age, and that makes it too easy to divide with others outside your tribe.

Read and Reflect 📖

What Augustine Might Say to Someone Deconstructing | Josh Fenska 📃 →

In my early twenties, I dove deep into questions and doubts about the Christian faith. After hundreds of Sundays, countless youth programs, and a few years at a Christian college, I began dismantling many things I had always assumed. Today we would describe that experience as a kind of deconstruction. To those around me, I appeared argumentative and jaded. Inside, sometimes I felt free, sometimes afraid, sometimes numb. In the middle of that personal journey, I discovered a traveling companion as I began to read Augustine.

Augustine himself deconstructed, and Fenska looks at his story and what he might say to those struggling with doubt and who are dismantling their beliefs to find the truth.

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Challenge Your Brain 🧠

The Name of the Lord | Matthew Anderson, Derek Rishmawy, and Alastair Roberts 🎧 →

What exactly does it mean for God to “vindicate,” “sanctify,” or “glorify” His name? Derek has been giving this question a lot of systematic theology thought. Alastair and Matt join him in this intellectual workout, starting with the Lord’s Prayer and proceeding through Athanasius, Aquinas, honor culture, and our own times.

For More:

Consider Another Perspective 🤔

Check Your Fleece at the Door: How to Discern God’s Will amid Tough Decisions | Timothy Cho 📃 →

Should I pursue a new career? How do I know she’s the one? Is it time for me to retire? The answers to these questions could change your life. When Christians arrive at major forks in the road, they often ask, “How do I know God’s will?” Most believers know it’s wrong to call a psychic hotline or consult tarot cards and their horoscope. But we might be tempted to ask God for an observable sign, “putting out a fleece” like Gideon did in Judges 6:36–40.

Do Christians need observable signs to discern God’s will? Is this what we’re to learn from Gideon’s story? If not, what do believers need when facing tough decisions?

The most common way that I’ve observed Christians believing that they should discern God’s will is by finding inner peace about a decision. That view and others are examined biblically.

Consider the Culture 🎨

Robots, Transhumanism, and Life Beyond Earth | Lord Martin Rees and John Wyatt 📽 →

Is Artificial Intelligence a friend or foe of human flourishing? Does faith have any part to play in the robotics revolution, and the race to upgrade our bodies and even escape our planet? What does the future hold for humans?

Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees author of 'On The Future' and Christian bioethicist Dr John Wyatt author of 'The Robot Will See You Now', discuss these questions alongside clips from interviews with robotics experts Nigel Crooke and David Levy.

Artificial intelligence has recently made a lot of progress in creating custom artwork and text nearly indistinguishable from a human's. This does not mean that we are anywhere close to computers being self-aware, but it does mean that we are closer to building robots that feel like humans when we interact with them.

If you've enjoyed reading this letter, please share it with others and help us grow. We exist to help Christians grow in their faith and to make the name of Jesus Messiah glorified in all the earth. We grow thanks to readers like you sharing what we do with others. Thank you!

Best with a Cup of Tea ☕️

A Lack of Generosity Means a Lack of Contentment | Bryan Chapell 📃 →

If we really believe that the God who created the universe cares for us and is working in our lives, then that removes the fear that makes us hoard our money and turn away everyone who might need the generosity that God asks of us.

Money and time are the two precious resources that American Christians don’t want to talk about. Scripture tells us that generosity with our money and our time must be joyfully and freely given, and many churches fail that test. They use coercion or promises of God’s favor to encourage giving. That is not acceptable for any church to do.

But that doesn’t mean that giving is optional. In any area of our lives where we resist God’s presence and Lordship, there is idolatry and sin. God asks us to be generous for our good and his glory.

When God teaches us that our security is in him and not in our bank account, that allows us to be free from fear. Such fearlessness enables us to put our lives and resources on the line for Jesus. Our attitude toward our money—when we remember the Lord is our ultimate security—can free us for selfless and courageous service. We sometimes forget that God provides money as a kind of holy compass for our lives. How we view money (whether we are its stewards or its hostages) is an indicator of whether our hearts are in line with, or off course from, God’s mission.

We sometimes think to ourselves, I want more. What I have isn’t enough. And Paul tells us, “Because you’re not content and are always wanting more, you’re actually hurting yourself.” If we were content, we could pray the prayer of Proverbs 30:8–9:
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

Keep Your Mind on Things Above

I will be praying for you this week.

Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline — which all receive — then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
—Hebrews 12:7–8 (CSB)

Joel Fischer

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