Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Sola Sisters have an excellent post demonstrating the difference between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity. You’ll see some great charts with the comparisons.
Assemblies of God has always been aberrational with their charismatic beliefs, including aberrant spiritual warfare teachings, but they still tend to hold to the fundamental doctrines of the Faith. Now it seems that they are jumping onto the contemplative bandwagon for this year’s General Council Conference as they invite false teacher Ruth Haley Barton to teach there.
Emergent false teacher Tony Jones has a new book out, spreading more of his apostate beliefs. Lighthouse Trails Research posted a book review of The New Christians. Just another mine to look out for in the Christian
minefields bookstores. And of course Christianity Astray Today has endorsed it.
Herescope posted a thought-provoking article, Circling the Wagons. Here’s a hint of what you will find there:
Where in the New Testament did the church attempt to gain pagan popularity in order to evangelize? Roman emperors and provincial authorities openly had legal homosexual marriage partners. But Paul and his churches didn't give them the time of day. They zealously protected their so-called product line, the Gospel message. No cheap pagan knock-offs. They actually believed the so-called 'product' of the Gospel would sell itself if faithfully preached and lived. I (Paul) planted, Apollos watered but God gives the increase. (1 Cor. 3:6). Just a reliable, unashamed intelligent presentation of the Gospel, because it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:17)
Rachel Evans again demonstrates that she has no clue about what the Bible teaches. Tim Keller (who usually gets things right, even if he does have some false teachings) discussed the fact that an obstacle to revival is fornication, and that the idea of giving up illicit sex for the Gospel is an affront to many people. Evans didn’t like that, and made this response:
I’m often asked to speak on the topic of why young people leave the church. This. This is why young people leave the church. Because our questions aren’t taken seriously, because our value tends to be linked inextricably to our virginity, because our ideas are dismissed as silly.
Hunter Baker gives an excellent response.
Willow Creek was one of the original market-driven assemblies, and while they are now a large association of assemblies, they are still focused on the wrong things. One of their assemblies is now searching for a “Spiritual Formation Pastor.” [link gone by 6/18/18]
This position is for a strong leader/developer who can create paths for new believers to move toward a FULL LIFE in Jesus Christ. This includes a restructuring/expansion of ALL things “discipleship.”
Ah yes, let’s dive headlong in to all things mystical and apostate; there just isn’t a “FULL LIFE in Jesus Christ” without Romanist or Quaker mysticism or contemplative prayer - and don’t forget the labyrinth!
False teacher Chuck Currie wants to join with all sorts of pagan religions so as to pray for Boston - and for American Muslims! The logo is about as anti-Christ as you can get.
Another false teacher among the Word of Faith cult is Peter Popoff. Now he is selling “miracle water” with all sorts of bogus claims. I find it really difficult to understand how people can be so very gullible.
Finally, I have over the past six years of blogging been accused of being unloving for exposing false teachers. The Cripplegate has an excellent article refuting such an idea.
Monday, April 22, 2013
As the sailor locates his position on the sea by ‘shooting’ the sun, so we may get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when, and only when, we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.
Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. The flesh whimpers against the rigor of God’s inexorable sentence and begs like Agag for a little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use. We can get a right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He is.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p.95
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The idea of cultivation and exercise [of the Christian faith], so dear to the saints of old, has now no place in our total religious picture. It is too slow, too common. We now demand glamour and fast-flowing dramatic action. A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.
The tragic results of this spirit are all about us: shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit. These and such as these are symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p.65
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, pg.17
Monday, April 15, 2013
An easy way to spot false teachers is the amount of control they exercise over their followers. Steven Furtick has a very interesting “confidentiality agreement” for volunteers serving in his goat-pen, “Elevation Church.” He has already demonstrated his arrogance, and his total disdain for anyone examining his teaching, but with this agreement he requires volunteers to sign he has reached a new low. Here is the concluding paragraph:
“I acknowledge that my breach of any of the restrictive covenants in this Agreement will result in irreparable damage to the Church. Therefore, in the event of any breach or threatened breach by me, I agree that the Church shall be entitled to an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction enjoining me from committing any violation or threatened violation of this Agreement. I further agree that the Church shall not be required to post a bond to obtain such an injunction. All remedies available to the Church by reason of a breach by me of this Agreement are cumulative, none is exclusive, and all remedies may be exercised concurrently or consecutively at the Church’s option."
Read the full report on this abuse of power.
Surprise, surprise! False teacher and wolf in sheep’s clothing Jim Wallis now supports same-sex fake marriage!
I’m sure by now my readers have heard the sad and tragic news about Rick Warren’s son’s suicide. I haven’t read any comments from apologetics ministries of any sort which have used this incident as a way to attack Rick Warren’s apostate teachings. However, this has not stopped false teachers from using this incident as a way to attack those who dare speak against Warren’s apostasy. Beth Moore is a false teacher who has one of the most reprehensible posts doing this, and she got full support from Rick Warren for doing so! So even Warren is using his son’s death to attack those who denounce his false teachings. And to add insult to injury, Mark Driscoll, another false teacher, steps in to do the same thing as Moore! I think this is disgusting. [both links gone by 1/2/16]
John Gleason’s Mind Renewers blog gave me a bit of a chuckle this week; he posted the modern version of John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the popular modern music draws him.” This is certainly the demonstrated belief of the seeker-sensitive and market-driven assemblies.
Speaking of all these false teachers - as well as previous posts which speak of false prophets - Elizabeth Prata, over at The End Time, asks the question as to why there are so many false prophets. An example she uses is Joseph Prince, and she demonstrates that Scripture tells us this would happen as we come closer and closer to the return of Christ.
The apostate Presbyterian Church (USA) is now having interfaith studies with Muslims. It’s even worse than that - the Muslims they are dealing with are those who promote the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization, and the PCUSA website promotes them! I can just see Paul having interfaith studies with the local pagans, can’t you? What they should be doing is reaching out to the Muslims with the Gospel, but the PCUSA as a denomination seems to have a difficult time following Christ to begin with! [Link gone by 9/14/20]
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Jesus was born of a woman in the fullness of time, when he couldn’t take it any longer. Jesus was saying, “Father is it time? Father is it time?”... [the Father answering] “Almost”... [Jesus] “Father is it time?” “Almost”... [Jesus] “Father, [Jesus screaming] Faaatheeeeeeer” The angels are saying, “Just let Him go. He’s driving us all crazy. He’s lovesick. Send Him!!” [Hood chuckles on tape] Jesus is saying, “Father is it time?” And the moment the Father says, “Now!” (emphasis added)
Allen Hood (Associate Director for the International House of Prayer), commentary on Galatians 4:4, as cited by Keith Gibson in, Wandering Stars, p.73
Can you really see this happening? Isn’t Jesus one with God the Father, and so wouldn’t He truly know the time? Was Jesus really so “lovesick” that He just couldn’t wait to be born?
This is part of the whole “Bridal Paradigm” nonsense taught by those of the New Apostolic Reformation and IHOP; it is nothing less than blasphemy. Allen Hood is a false apostle/prophet/teacher.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
This Chapter has more anti-Catholic apologetics, which is not supposed to be the subject of the book. Riplinger presents her own interpretation of Revelation as fact. There are too many interpretations, even by KJV adherents, for Riplinger to be so dogmatic.
1. PP.124-125. “God of forces.” Riplinger goes into a discussion about one of “Lucifer’s” “last-days aliases” being, according to the KJV (Daniel 11:38), “the God of forces.” This discussion brings in examples of the many New Age uses of “the Force” (e.g., in “Star Wars”) or “the Forces,” and sets the stage to say that any use of the term is indeed discussing the demonic realm. And, of course, she also cites the New Age book, “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ,” which also uses the KJV phrase, “God of Forces” when referring to Satan. Then the clincher comes when she “proves” it is another example of new Bibles hiding references to Satan, because they say, “god of fortresses.” There are five times the word “fortress” is used in Daniel 11, and, as Matthew Henry points out, the reference is to a deity of power. Whether it be a god of “forces” or a god of “fortresses,” the symbol is one of power. While Riplinger is certain it is new age “forces,” what is to say that they are not military forces, or the forces of nature? Nowhere in the Bible does it say that “the God of Forces” is a name for Satan, and it takes a lot of stretch to build this case. It sounds more like paranoia and irrelevant reasoning.
2. PP. 125-127. Riplinger cites Alexander Hislop (whose book has been soundly discredited) as identifying the goddess Diana as the “God of Forces.” And then she goes into an anecdote about a European nightclub, with a statue of Diana, wherein all sorts of dark forces are present. The whole point of this dissertation is to point out how again new versions hide such evil by replacing the name “Diana,” in various passages in Acts, with the name “Artemis.” Diana was the Roman version of Artemis. Since the N.T. is written in Greek, I guess I would think they’d use the Greek version. It is the same goddess no matter what - no one is hiding anything!! But the really interesting thing, to me anyway, is that in the Greek TR underlying the KJV, it says “Artemis,” which means the KJV translators chose “Diana,” and Riplinger praises them for doing so! I’ll just address three of her claims:
a. First, it is absurd to say that “Diana” is the goddess “whom all Asia and the world worshipped” by that name. Several gods of Roman and Greek mythology, for example, went by different names depending on the culture, but they were still the same god. So, whether the name was “Artemis” or “Diana,” it would still be the same goddess “whom all Asia and the world worshipped.”
b. Where does Riplinger get the authority to identify KJV as “intended” for “all Asia and the world”? It’s in English! When KJV was written, English was NOT the world-wide language it is now, and even now the Bible is in different languages for the rest of the world. KJV is NOT God-inspired!
c. Riplinger is praising KJV for using dynamic equivalency by rendering “Artemis” as “Diana,” while complaining that NAS/NIV translate directly from the Greek! This is quite ironic in light of the premise of the book! But the Greek doesn’t fit Riplinger’s conspiracy theory so she had to build an illogical case to force it to fit.
3. P.128, 1 Cor. 9:27. KJV says “I keep under my body” but new versions say, “I beat my body,” or “I buffet my body,” or “I punish my body.” Riplinger says that this is adopting pagan doctrines of self-torture and self-denial to bring oneself to a high spiritual state. Then she says, “None of the Greek words for ‘beat’ (dero, tupto, proskopto, prosregnumi, or rhabdizo) are in the sentence; nor is the word “punish” (kolazo, timorea) or buffet (kolaphizo). The word used is ‘hupopiazo.’ The apostle Paul is saying, ‘I keep under [keep down] my body, and bring it into subjection.’ ... In other words, he does not allow the ‘lusts of the flesh’ to dominate him.”
Well, I have a Bible put out by KJV only people, and it is called “The Defined King James Bible,” the purpose of which is to have footnoted definitions of all the archaic language. For this passage it has the following footnote for “keep under” as follows: “Gk beat black & blue; discipline by hardships.” I guess that sort of destroys Riplinger’s argument! Sorry, but again she is trying to force her thinking into the text. CONTEXT says Paul is using the analogy of a boxer (v.26), and he is boxing himself, metaphorically-speaking.
4. P.129, Col. 2:23.
KJV: “Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body...”
NAS: “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body...”
NIV: “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body...”
In context, they mean the same! Riplinger claims this is putting “asceticism” in the text! How she got to that point was by using all sorts of irrelevant information, which makes no sense at all - but it supports her agenda.
5. P.130-131, Gal. 5:12. In the KJV it looks as if Paul is wanting the Judaizers to be cut off from the assembly, while newer versions have him saying he wishes they would emasculate themselves. The CONTEXT is about circumcision, so the wish that preachers of it would go further and emasculate themselves would be a logical follow-on: “You want circumcision, go all the way then and remove the whole organ!” I’m sure it has to do with the different Greek texts, but Riplinger makes it into an issue of how Paul is cursing them in the modern versions, which is not what Christians should be doing. And of course she immediately claims that self-emasculation is a “New Age and ancient occult practice,” and then gives some citations which prove that assertion. Of course the fact that self-emasculation may have been a practice in some “New Age” and occult cultures, it is a non sequitur logic fallacy to say that is why the modern translations are this way. She especially attacks the NASB “mutilate” and says, “the NASB is giving expression to a practice foreign to Christianity but familiar to the mystery religions” - and then quotes from a book saying it was a Babylonian religious virtue. Another bit of irrelevant information.
Riplinger has to go one step farther and claim that Origen was the author of the Greek N.T. manuscripts used by new versions, and he was prompted by these teachings to castrate himself.
6. P.131, Rev. 19:2. Jumping immediately from the previous ramblings about self-emasculation, Riplinger’s next paragraph is entirely off topic as she claims the new versions hide the “blood stained hands” of the “MOTHER OF HARLOTS” because they delete the phrase “at her hand.” KJV says, “he...hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand,” while new versions say, “He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” There is no difference in understanding, especially since the object of discussion in the verse is not her “hands.”
7. P.131-132 is a complaint about the “veil” new versions put over Babylon’s identity in Revelation. She claims the ancient religions of Babylon were called “the mysteries,” and therefore by eliminating that ID it makes the Babylon of Revelation 17:5 merely a city instead of a religious system. The NAS, for example, says, “upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ‘BABYLON THE GREAT...’” - instead of KJV’s, “upon her forehead was a name written, ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT...’” NIV, though, states it this way: “This title was written on her forehead: ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT...’”
The problem becomes as to whether or not it IS a mystery or “mystery” is part of the name. Either way, it is discussing the woman. Does it alter doctrine of any sort to say the name written is a mystery or part of the name is “Mystery”? Is this a “veil” hiding her true identity? I’m not convinced. Whether or not it is part of her name does not thereby change it from a religious system to a city. Riplinger has not proven that “Mystery Babylon” as a name is a religious system - she just asserts that it is a reference to ancient religious systems and you must agree with her.
But let’s look at her chart on p.132 which “proves” her case. She has on one side “NIV, NASB, et al” and on the other side “KJV” to compare four passages.
a. Rev. 17:5 (the column for the passage does not state the passage, but it has already been addressed in the previous paragraphs, so we must assume that context”
NIV, NASB, et al: “BABYLON”
KJV: “MYSTERY BABYLON”
Well, NIV says the same as KJV, so she misrepresents that version, as well as a few more which agree with that being in the name. However, the majority of the translations say, in some fashion, that the name itself is a mystery, has a mysterious meaning, etc. And I really think that is the intent of the KJV way of saying it, even if it is part of the name - that the name itself is a mystery, and not that it means it is part of the “mystery religions.” What is interesting is that Matthew Henry agrees that “mystery” is not part of the name, rather it is descriptive of the name! So here we have a well-respected theologian of late 1600s to early 1700s who agrees with all the “New Age” versions rather than with Riplinger. Who should I trust?
b. Rev. 17:9-10:
NIV, NASB, et al: “sits, and they”
KJV: “sitteth. And there”
Let’s look at the full passage:
KJV: “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings...”
NASB: “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings...”
NIV: “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings...”
So, according to the Riplinger understanding of the KJV, the seven heads just represent mountains, and in addition to that there are seven kings discussed. The others say that the seven heads represent seven hills as well as seven kings. Again, Matthew Henry’s commentary agrees with the understanding of the new translations in that the heads represent mountains, which are also kings. And that is how I understood KJV when I was a new Christian, so it appears Riplinger is the one who doesn’t understand what she reads.
Part of Riplinger’s complaint is that the seven hills must be referring to Rome as a reconstituted “mystery religion” in the form of Roman Catholicism. However, Henry Morris (a KJV adherent), in The Revelation Record, makes the following observation:
This has been widely interpreted as the “seven-hilled city of Rome,” with the woman correspondingly identified as the Roman Catholic Church. Such an identification is wrong, however, for several reasons. The Roman Catholic Church does not sit on the seven hills or Rome. Its churches are all over the world and its headquarters only in Vatican City. Furthermore, many cities have seven hills, and Rome itself has more than seven. Besides that, a “hill” (Greek bounos) such as in Rome is not a “mountain” (Greek oros), and it is the latter word that is used here.
The clearest interpretation is shown in the very next verse, which identifies the seven mountains as seven kings, with one being the beast mentioned in this chapter. The latter we have already seen to represent a Satan-controlled kingdom, the first (and last) in a series of similar kingdoms, all comprising political Babylon. Thus the scarlet-arrayed harlot is seen as supported through the ages by seven kingdoms.
The seven heads of the beast on which the harlot rides are thus interpreted as seven mountains, but these in turn are interpreted as seven kings. The equating of mountains with kings requires yet another link in the chain to conform to scriptural example elsewhere. That is, mountains often represent kingdoms, and each kingdom is usually equated with some prominent king at its head.
Morris goes on to cite examples of mountains being kingdoms/kings from Isa.2 and Dan. 2. Since Morris uses only KJV, Riplinger can’t cite him for changing the text when he identifies the connection between the seven kings of v.10 with the mountains of v.9
c. Rev. 17:18. “That great city” (KJV) or “The great city” (all others) - both say the same thing. So what’s the problem? Riplinger believes “that” is pointing to Rome and Catholicism, and she must have everything pointing to Roman Catholicism or else the Bibles are “New Age.” The context of this passage is identical whether the word “that” or “the” is used - they are both pointing to a particular city!
d. Rev. 11:8. “Spiritually” (KJV) or “mystically,” or “figuratively” (all others). In context, they all say the same thing!
8. Morris does an excellent job of interpreting Revelation in a literal manner, and demonstrating that Babylon is not Rome but truly Babylon. Another reason for accepting that “Babylon” is indeed Babylon and not Rome is the fact that Babylon was a major Jewish settlement with major theological academies. This is also seen from the following from The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, by Alfred Edersheim:
The Palestinians…had to acknowledge that, ‘when the Law had fallen into oblivion, it was restored by Ezra of Babylon; when it was a second time forgotten, Hillel the Babylonian came and recovered it; and when yet a third time it fell into oblivion, Rabbi Chija came from Babylon and gave it back once more.’
Such then was that Hebrew dispersion which, from the first, constituted really the chief part and the strength of the Jewish nation, and with which its religious future was also to lie. For it is one of those strangely significant, almost symbolical, facts in history, that after the destruction of Jerusalem the spiritual supremacy of Palestine passed to Babylonia, and that Rabbinical Judaism, under the stress of political adversity, voluntarily transferred itself to the seats of Israel’s ancient dispersion, as if to ratify by its own act what the judgement of God had formerly executed.
9. Just for clarification, I think Dave Hunt’s book, A Woman Rides the Beast, gives the best evidence for Rome being “Babylon.” My personal belief is that Hunt has an even better argument than Morris and I accept Rome as Babylon. However, neither view should be dogmatically presented in order to develop a theory of error among new Bible versions.
10. Summation: Too much anti-Catholic bias for objective analysis. Riplinger asserts that her interpretation of Revelation is the factual one.
a. Paranoia and irrelevant reasoning behind “God of forces” and the “Diana/Artemis” argument.
b. The assumption that KJV is “intended” for “all Asia and the world.”
c. Avoiding the context to make a case in several verses, and is contradicted by Matthew Henry
d. Personal dogma in relation to the “City of the Seven Hills” and interpretation of Revelation in general.
e. No valid arguments provided, and therefore another wasted chapter.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Biblical unity is a unity based on truth, not in opposition to it. The Bible does not advocate peace at any price. There are lines of no compromise. We are not to join hands with false teachers.
Romans 16:17 indicates that it is those bringing in the new and different doctrines who are responsible for creating the division. Similarly, the apostle John declared that those who went out from us did so that it might be manifest that they were not of us (1 John 2:19). 1 Cor. 11 indicates that it is necessary that divisions come so that it may be obvious who those are who are approved of God.
It is the new apostles and prophets who are the true schismatics. They have chosen a course that takes then away from the rest of the body. Consider it this way; if the church is continuing to teach the historic doctrines of the faith and a particular teacher moves away from these doctrines to teach something else, who moved? Who created the separation? Who is really causing the division? Pointing out that a division exists by exposing the new, false doctrines is not the cause of division. The fault here does not lie with those concerned with biblical truth but with those who have abandoned it.
Keith Gibson, Wandering Stars, p. 59
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I found this book a year ago at the St. Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment and just now had a chance to read it (my “to read” shelves are soooooo backed up!). It is an excellent analysis of the New Apostolic Reformation movement, as well as of associated persons, and those with similar ideology, such as the International Coalition of Apostles and the Elijah List.
Keith Gibson is an excellent apologist, and I have had the pleasure of attending some of his classes over the years, as well as reading some of his other material. He writes in a way which keeps your attention - you never get bored!
In this book he also exposes some of the false teachings associated with the International House of Prayer and the false apostles and prophets there. That institution is a virtual warehouse of aberrational teachings.
Here are some of the names of these false apostles and prophets you will learn about in this book:
Paul Keith Davis
Mary K. Baxter
George Otis, Jr.
The book exposes Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, “five-fold ministry,” Dominion/Kingdom Now Theology, Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, and other similar aberrant and false theologies, as well as the past teachers behind all these movements.
If these names or doctrines show up in any of the books you study or at the place where you worship, you need to read this book so as to arm yourself. These people and their teachings are spiritually dangerous.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I have previously mentioned the many “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs being used in church as “worship” songs, and how they completely distort the character of Jesus. The International House of Prayer teaches what is known as the “bridal paradigm” of Jesus being the bridegroom of the individual Christian - which again distorts Jesus’ character, as well as twisting what the Scripture actually does say.
My wife receives daily email devotions from Joni Eareckson Tada’s Joni and Friends ministry, and today’s devotion speaks to this aberration. I think she has hit the proverbial nail on the head.
Have you ever noticed that we treat a person or an object sentimentally because of emotion, not reason? That's certainly true when it comes to the sentimental pictures we have of Jesus...Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherub-like children and bluebirds. Everywhere this Jesus walks, strains of organ music sound.
We even have sentimental hymns about the Lord. "He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing." That's a line from one of my father's favorite hymns, and I know those thoughts can comfort us. But they are more reinforcement of a romanticized image. We have gilded the real Jesus with so much "dew on the roses" that many people have lost touch with Him.
Why do we prefer a sentimental picture? It requires nothing from us, neither conviction nor commitment. Because it lacks truth, it lacks power. We have to change that picture. And one way to do it is to think about the resurrection. Sure, romanticists try to color the resurrection with lilies and birds, but lay aside the emotions and think of the facts for a moment: A man, stone-cold dead, rose from His slab, and walked out of His grave.
That's almost frightening. But that's what Jesus did. That reality has power; it's truth that grips you. Some people believe Jesus came to do nice, sweet things like turn bad people into good. Not so. Our Lord and Savior came to turn dead people into living ones - and there's nothing sentimental about that. Erase images of syrupy sweetness. Replace them with mental pictures of a powerful God who overcame the harshest foe - death itself. Then you will begin to grasp how amazing God really is.