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Jun
29

A GOVERNMENT GOD APPROVES:THE KING AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART

            On the day we call Palm Sunday, Jesus led an army of peasants to occupy the city of Jerusalem. Like the actors in the Gideon drama from the previous article, Jesus’ army was essentially defenseless, and its advantage was precisely in that fact. In both cases the winning side was not dressed like an army nor equipped as an army, and in no way looked like an army. Still it acted...
Jun
22

Who Has the Right to Declare War

Copyright June 2015 by Philip E. Friesen JUST WAR ACCORDING TO MOSES There is one ethical issue where most Christians, Jews, and Muslims seem to agree fully. That is a belief in the Divine sanction of just war. Details vary somewhat, but the principle is the same. In all three systems, war is justified in a just cause, but there must be some legitimate authority to authorize the execution of this...
Mar
20

PARADISE (March 15 presentation at the Islamic Center of Minnesota)

Paradise, or heaven, is not a physical place, but a state of relationship. THE ORIGINAL PARADISE from Genesis 2. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge...
Jan
5

New Year’s Bus Ride

January 2, 2015 An ad on a bus I rode home today carried this message: It normally takes seven attempts to quit smoking. Don’t give up. You can do it. Why can’t we keep people from starting the tobacco habit? Why don’t we make the sale illegal? The reason we don’t is that prohibition doesn’t work. The prohibition of alcohol resulted in the expansion of criminal activity and the corruption of the...
Dec
15

Christmas Meditation for Christians & Muslims

WHAT IS GOD LIKE? A LESSON FROM ABRAHAM, MOSES, AND JESUS FOR CHRISTMAS 2014 We know something about what a person is like by what he or she does, whether it is good or not good. We know something of what an artist is like by what he or she creates, whether it is beautiful and inspiring or not. We know what God is like by seeing what God does and what God creates. We also know what a person is like by what...
Oct
23

On Church Conflict: Avoiding the Rock in the MIddle of the River

Avoiding the Rock in the Middle of the River When a river meets a large obstacle in its path, it separates into two channels and goes around the obstacle, coming back together once the obstacle has passed. At the end of Acts 15, Paul and Barnabus ran into a rock. Barnabus wanted to bring his cousin, Mark, along, while Paul felt Mark would be a liability. The missionaries parted ways with Barnabus taking...
Oct
23

The Great Arab Conquests, initial thoughts

The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In, by Hugh Kennedy In the introduction to Kennedy’s book, the author contends that we can really know almost nothing about the first century of Islam, because the data is sparse and mostly anecdotal, but the material we do have is precious, mainly in how it reveals the official story of what happened from the perspective of a...

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