The following is a thought experiment.
In 1827 to 1830, a popular story about an American hero was widely told. Later, separate authors writing in different parts of the country published their version of the story in newspapers and magazines. The story was reprinted so often that today no one can agree on which version of the story is the earliest. It is assumed that the original manuscript of each author is lost. By now the story has been quoted and reprinted so many times that it is well known, but some doubts remain as to whether the story can be proven to be completely factual.
There are some basic propositions agreed upon by everyone, but widely different conclusions. Read each of the following propositions and choose either “a” or “b” as the better logical conclusion based on the facts and common sense.
1. The four most widely accepted accounts of the story purportedly come from two eyewitnesses and two reporters. Each has written a similar story. Why are they so similar?
a. The writers must have copied from each other.
b. The two eyewitnesses arrived at a similar account independently; the reporters by interviewing the other eyewitnesses available to them.
2. Each of the four stories has minor variations in details, chronological order, wording, spoken words by the main characters, etc. Why do these variations exist?
a. These variations can be explained by examining hypothetical motivations and personal agendas on the part of the writers.
b. These variations are taken for granted in that they are due to normal differences in point of view.
3. Each of the stories has a named author. What can we know about him?
a. The eyewitness claim of the author is not to be believed; rather each story was compiled by a committee of editors who used a name of a popular figure from the time period as a pseudonym.
b. The story was most likely written by the named author.
4. In the story, the main character correctly predicts that a war will take place in a few years during which the capital city of his state will be burned. What are we to make about this fulfilled prediction?
a. The story was obviously not written prior to 1865, but was probably written 10 to 50 years after the event.
b. This prediction shows remarkable foresight on the part of the main character.
5. If one wishes to test the truthfulness of the accounts, which method is better?
a. We should be skeptical and distrust the accounts of friends and acquaintances as “biased” and distrust even the testimony of credible historians because they were not necessarily contemporary eyewitnesses to the events.
b. We should examine the corroborating testimony of people who were personal acquaintances of the authors or of credible historians who lived within a generation of the events.
6. In order to discern whether or not the account is to be understood as fiction or non-fiction, as factual or allegorical, which method is better?
a. The reader must make some educated guesses using the modern tools of source criticism, form criticism and redaction criticism. Each person reading the account in the 21st century must decide for himself what the characters in the story really did and said way back then.
b. The reader must take into account exactly how the stories were accepted and interpreted as recorded in the source literature and commentaries of the 19th century.
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What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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