They say that the best teachers are those that know you best. I believe this to be true. A teacher that can reach into your heart and find your deepest needs, gaps, and desires is a teacher that will always succeed. Moreover, a teacher willing to go to great lengths to ensure your complete understanding of a given topic is a teacher like no other. This man or woman will never be forgotten. They will implant their face upon the hearts and minds of our young generations for decades, changing the future for the better.
Traveling from a poor, third-world country back to the United States is arguably the quickest way to become grateful. Within mere moments of landing, you, the American, realize just blessed you are, and vow to never forget to thank God for what He has blessed you with.
Then, two weeks later, you find yourself back in the rhythm you left behind, quite willing to take life for granted. I’m no exception. It is so easy to get caught up in the flow of today’s world, and forget to thank God for the little things.
In our past three Q&A’s, we have discussed three highly important topics: the character of God, foundations of Christianity, and Scripture. Yet so far, none of these topics have been as important as the one to be discussed today.
God and man. Deus et Hominum. Theós kai ánthropos.
Hey, and welcome back to another Monday Q&A! Today’s topic is “The Foundations of Christianity”, the second and last discussion here. Last week, we talked mostly about the depravity and utter sinfulness of man, but this week, our focus turns to Jesus and His effect upon man and sin.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!
8: What does the term “fall of man” mean and why is it important?
The term “fall of man” refers to the introduction of sin into the world. Described at the very beginning of the Bible, the Fall took place soon after the creation of the first man (Adam) and woman (Eve). The two lived in paradise and in perfect harmony with God, cherishing Him and fully submitting to His commandment- to not eat of “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, located in the middle of their Garden home.
Eventually, a fallen angel named Lucifer took on the shape of a serpent/snake and tempted Adam and Eve to break God’s commandment and eat the fruit. Lead by Adam, Eve took and ate the fruit, sinning for the first time in history and introducing sin into the very bloodstream of humanity.
Since then, man has been born in a fallen state, unable to not sin. We bear Adam’s curse and punishment for his failure, a punishment only removed by Jesus and His sacrifice.
Today is my parents’ 19th anniversary. Since their wedding day on June 29th, 2001, they have constantly fought for each other, focusing their full and complete hearts on God and their marriage. Through this time, they have inspired many couples to live out a God-focused marriage, keeping the literal Center of the universe at the center of their marriage.
They are, without a doubt, the two most inspirational people in my life.
Panic sets in. Heart racing, your eyes dart around frantically. You gasp desperately for breath, and your entirety trembles. There is no escape. The darkness has imprisoned you, and from within there is no way out.
Depression is the seemingly inescapable, wall-less prison that confines and cripples teens today. The cycle of fears feeding fears leaves teens feeling hopeless, worn out, and defeated. This is when the Devil tries his hardest to lead us into despair. Those lacking a consistent and strong connection to the truths of the Bible will ultimately fail to stand on their own strength. Yet, at times, it seems impossible to discard the mindset of despair. Thankfully, by God’s grace, there are three factors to combating this mindset.. This isn’t a “3 steps to leave depression” guidebook. It’s not the same for everyone. But in my personal experience, I’ve found that these three things are often key to my thoughts and doubts. I hope they help you as much as they did me.
We’re back again, continuing our series on the character of God. To cap it off, I am answering the last 7 questions from Stoa Apologetics’ worksheet questions on the character and being of God.
In last week’s post, I answered the first seven, mainly talking about the importance of God’s power and how it plays out into our lives. Today, the questions begin to extend further into the realm of Jesus’ existence and the proof found therein. Hang tight; it may be a bumpy ride.
Inspiration can come from the strangest of places. I have, in my three years as a blogger, been inspired by a bagel, a cup of coffee, and other, non food-related objects.
In this case, our inspiration comes from the badly-received movie “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”. The movie was quite predictable and, to nobody’s surprise, was another hard-hitting, sink-smashing DC film with over half the movie dedicated to action scenes.
But, to my complete surprise, the movie later delved into philosophy. As the plot nears the climax, Lex Luthor (the villain) has captured Superman’s mother, Martha, and is threatening to kill her. If Superman wants to see his mother alive, Luthor says, he must “bring me the head of the Bat”. Luthor will only release Martha if Superman kills Batman. But, before Superman leaves, Luthor says something extremely profound.
Have you ever had a bagel? You know, a nice fat one with extra bread, maybe with a little fried banana or a roasted ant on top?
Yeah, me neither.
I prefer a normal bagel, thank you very much. A little peanut butter or apple butter, and I’m set for the afternoon. Throw in some chocolate milk, and I’ll last most of the morning too.
I honestly didn’t know the true wonder of bagels until about three weeks ago. My mom had bought a half-dozen from the grocery store, and I randomly decided to try one.
I knew instantly that I had found the perfect snack.
They’re soft, tasty, and filling too. Easy to bite into with enough variance in toppings that you’ll never really have the same bagel twice.
The Bible is like that in a lot of ways, actually. When read with the right appetite, it becomes easy to digest and provides more than enough energy to get you through the day. It is never the same, and as you continue to read, you go deeper and deeper into God’s word, discovering entirely new things that seemed to have been masked until that moment.
On January 2nd, 2020, I published the most ironic blog post of my life. Titled “Why 2020 Will Be the Best Year of My Life“, the post outlined my plans for the year and detailed how I thought the year would go.
Even in the darkest of times, God is good. It seems cliche, doesn’t it? Yet over the last eight weeks, this has become my mantra. I have repeated it over and over again, and the words still haven’t lost their meaning.
We all suffer. It’s part of being human. Some suffer more than others, leaving us to question life’s equality. Others bear suffering as their cross, convinced that the burden doesn’t exist.
In one way or another, every single one of us is suffering. You, reading this, are suffering. Right now. In some way, you are. I, writing this, am suffering. It’s part of sin’s curse.
These words were sung by popular 90’s band U2. At the time, nobody knew what Yahweh even meant. The song seemed rather random, as many of U2’s works were at the time. And, while many of U2’s fans did not understand the song’s meaning, the writers did. They were referencing God, and only the Christians and Jews recognized it.
It’s in our nature to work and aspire. Some of us are loud and outspoken, while others are quiet and reserved. Ambition and aspiration are in all of us -adults, teens, Christians, and non-Christians. Many share common goals such as:
1. Desiring a certain job/career.
2. Aiming to be popular.
3. Gaining wealth.
If you asked a random person on the street to define or explain success, chances are you will get something like the three above.
But, if left unchecked against the truth of the Gospel, these simple goals will naturally grow into sinful desires and idols of the heart. As a result of living in a sinful world, we have sinful hearts that glorify objects instead of the One True God.
Prayer is one of the key foundations of Faith. Much of our Faith, as Christians, hinges upon it, and without it, we are rendered completely unable to grow in relationship with Christ. Many would describe such a man as a “dead Christian”, having Faith but lacking fruit.
A Christian’s spiritual walk involves prayer from the beginning to the end. From praying the classic “sinner’s prayer” as a teenager or adult to praying our last words on our deathbed, prayer is deeply rooted within the life of every Christian. A Christian with a healthy prayer life can expect to see his relationship with Christ grow, and in direct relation to this, the strength of his Faith will grow also.
Sometimes, it just feels like the whole world is against you. Your friends think you’re weird, your siblings think you’re a dork, your parents are disappointed in your grades, and your best friend just moved to Montana. The only thing you want to do is run away from home. Is this you? I hope it’s not just me.
Honestly, this often isn’t far from the truth. Somedays, you feel like you’re on top of the world. Others, you want to find the nearest cliff. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum more times than I can count, and I’m positive I’m not the only one.
When you feel this type of pressure, there is only two things you can do: throw yourself in a river or throw yourself in a river.