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Einstein said of Michael Faraday "that he, of all people, had made the greatest change in our conception of reality." He was one of the most famous scientists of his time.
C. Michael Patton from Reclaiming the Mind and Credo House has written a great little book to help new believers become disciples – Now That I'm a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus. I say "little" book not to demean it or even because it's that much briefer than other books, but because it's not intimidating.
I realized something about Bart Ehrman’s books reading his latest, How Jesus Became God. Most of his books are the same premise applied to different topics. Ehrman’s fundamental premise is that the New Testament documents, and most critically the Gospels, were written late, long after the eyewitnesses were gone. He thinks that they record oral tradition that changed over time before being committed to writing. So we have no authoritative or reliable record of Jesus.
Victor Rambo spent his career restoring sight to the blind in India, physically and spiritually. He was born to missionary parents, studied medicine in the U.S., and returned to India for the rest of his career. He trained students and developed mobile eye clinics that would go to the villages to help prevent blindness and restore sight. His success rate was comparable to that in the U.S. at the time. He told his patients before treatment that they were being healed in the name of Jesus.
Summit Ministries has been equipping Christian students to think more deeply and robustly about their Christian convictions, preparing them for the challenges they'll face as they leave home and enter the university and the secular world. STR's speakers have been part of that training for years, along with many other outstanding Christian teachers like Scott Klusendorf, Frank Beckwith, J.P. Moreland.
The movie based on the book releases this week. Since this child's account of his near death experience is consistent with Christianity, it may be tempting for Christians to find this story encouraging. But we've got to be careful accepting people's experiences as confirmation of the truth of Christianity. People of other faiths and no faith have near death experiences that are quite different and supposedly teach us things that are inconsistent with Christianity. So if you take some experiences as reliable testimony, how do you counter the others?
In the fall of 2012, Harvard historian Karen King announced she'd been given a fragment of a manuscript that mentioned Jesus' wife. It's in the news again because studies have indicated it's not a modern forgery. But whether or not it was a forgery isn't the main issue. The date of the manuscript is what's relevant, and even in 2012 when the announcement was made, it was considered to be a few centuries after Jesus – and long after the New Testament documents were written. So it presented no authoritative rival to those documents about Jesus.
Paul Brand was born to missionary parents in India. He became a surgeon in England and returned to India to care for leprosy patients. Dr. Brand's insight was that the damage to patients' limbs was not due to the disease, but injury that they never felt beause the disease dulled their nerves. He established the New Life Center in India, which was a village setting for leprosy patients. "This [kind of residential setting] helped dispel the stigma that was so prevalent even among medical professionals.
Elizabeth Fry was a British Quaker Christian who led the movement for prison reform in the 19th century. She was also the driving force behind reform legislation.
Arthur Guinness founded the Guinness Brewing Co. in 1755. He learned the art of brewing from his father and succeeded in establising a flourishing company. Arthur, a committed Christian, used his influence and wealth to help others. In 1759, Arthur moved to Dublin. There he found an abandoned brewery at St. James’ Gate, for rent for £100 down and £45 per year. Arthur somehow managed to get the owner to agree to a lease for up to 9,000 years on these terms, and so Arthur opened his new brewery in Dublin.