In Judges 7 we have the amazing story of God fighting for His people against the Midianites. In this account we see God reducing the number of the Israelite army again and again. Why does He do this?
For His Glory alone.
When victory is accomplished, do we recognize God as the source? Can we trust God like Gideon did?
2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
Midian’s army was 130,000 strong. Israel had 22,000. God reduced it to 10,000 men, and then again to merely 300 men.
Take that in. 300 men vs 130,000. The odds are staggering.
Look at this graphic to get a visual understanding of the sheer magnitude of this lopsided battle. (Click here to be able to zoom in.)
The growth of the Christian Movie genre is apparent to all. It is not surprising when we hear through the grapevine, on christian radio, or while chatting in a small group bible study, that there is a new faith-based film out or coming soon. Churches may offer showings. Parents may encourage a family night. But what impact do these films have on the general public as well as the evangelical niche?
The Barna Research group graphic below is part of a larger article titled: Sequels, Selfies and Space: 2013 at the Movies.
Asking specifically, “In the past two years, has a movie made me think seriously about religion or change my views about Christianity?” Here are the statistics broken down by 4 categories: All Americans, Evangelicals, Practicing Protestants, Other Faiths.
I thought the findings are interesting. The big screen can sure get us thinking, but does it really change anything?
Here is a wealth of information about the books of the Bible in an easy to navigate format. Info about genre, author, date, and title are all easily accessible for all 66 books!
Click the graphic below for the full size version. (1600×1200 .png)
Lust is defined by Dictionary.com as “a passionate or overmastering desire or craving”. Here we can see the breakdown of lust and how the different aspects interact. This is paired with a biblical explanation through bible verses dealing with each component.
Click the graphic to enlarge.
Barna polled Christian women to get a fuller picture of how they view themselves and what is most important to them. This poll was taken in 2012, but I think it would still be relatively representative of the female demographic within the Christian Church. What do you think? Surprising results, or as expected?
Click image for larger version.
“Which bible translation should I use?” This question is asked to me often by people just beginning to get serious about studying God’s Word. This is an important question to take some time thinking through. I believe there are some translations that are better than others.
(FYI, here are some of my tips on How to Study the Bible.)
Here are the top sellers of 2015 according to Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
So are there differences between these translations?!?
Yes and no.
While the main heartbeat of the Biblical message is consistent in all these reliable texts, the nature of language translation allowing for a range of meaning in individual words, and the ongoing advances in ancient language understanding, create a scale of wording choice as seen by different translators/editors who publish these varying translations.
When looking at the original ancient languages imagine all those words are square pegs. Then imagine all modern words are round holes. It is impossible to get a perfect fit of the ancient meaning of a word into a modern word format.
Therefore you must choose, do we match as best we can word for word or do we translate the larger thought more smoothly thus loosing some connection to individual words? Here is the scale of where modern bible translations fall on this question. (click the photo for a larger view.)
For some textual comparisons of this challenge, see my Bible Translations Handout. It may help you make an informed decision as you dig deeply into God’s Word.
Check out Stephen C. Meyer’s new book, Darwin’s Doubt. It is a good challenge to the denominate evolutionary presuppositions out there. Here is his brief infographic to get your mind churning.