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Drama, Family, Movie Reviews, Watch for free

FREE FILM: The Amazing Adventure

Drama / Black & White / Family 62 minutes / 1936 RATING: 7/10 Ernest Bliss (Cary Grant) is a young man who has inherited a lot of money from his father. That's allowed him to have a very nice house, to buy whatever he wants, and to never worry about working. Yet he's nervous, can't eat, and can't sleep. When he goes to the specialist and the doctor diagnoses him with "self-indulgence" Bliss is both offended and intrigued. What's the prescription then? The doctor tells Bliss to earn his own living for a year and dismisses him with a wave, knowing that this pampered socialite would never follow this advice. But Bliss ends up making him a bet: if Bliss does do it, then one year from now he'll expect a handshake and an apology from the doctor, and if Bliss loses, then he'll give £50,000 for the doctor's downtown charity clinic. That's the setup, and the general plotline is as you might expect. Bliss learns some lessons about just how it can be for a regular Joe, and it isn’t too long before he’s secretly using his connections and money to help the struggling people who have befriended him. CAUTIONS The only caution I would add is a mild one. At one point a conniving employer tries to so arrange things that he'll be alone with his newly hired secretary. But before he gets anywhere at all, Bliss intervenes. Nothing at all happens, and I mention it only to give a heads up to parents, in case their kids question why it was that Bliss thought the lady needed rescuing. CONCLUSION This is part Trading Places and part Cinderella, and while it might be predictable (though there are a couple of twists) it's also delightful! This makes for very fun family fare. If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch a version with closed captions here. But because the film's copyright wasn't renewed it is also freely available below (and it can even be chromecast to your TV).

Religion - Roman Catholic, Theology

What must Ben Shapiro do to be saved?

Does a person need to put their faith in Jesus to be saved? That was the underlying question conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro put to Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Barron in episode 31 of his Sunday Special. Ben Shapiro pulls no punches when he asks,

What’s the Catholic view on who gets into Heaven and who doesn’t? I feel like I lead a pretty good life—a very religiously based life—in which I try to keep, not just the Ten Commandments, but a solid 603 other commandments, as well. And I spend an awful lot of my time promulgating what I would consider to be Judeo-Christian virtues, particularly in Western societies. So, what’s the Catholic view of me? Am I basically screwed here?

Same question, different responses In asking this, Shapiro is asking the same question as the rich young ruler—albeit in a less elegant way. It’s the most important question a person can ask: What must I do to inherit eternal life? Like the rich young Jewish ruler from the first century, Shapiro qualifies his question with a list of good deeds. Both young Jewish men boast of their religiosity and their sincerity to keep the Law. Although their questions are similar, the answers they each receive are different. In Jesus’ response, He shows the rich ruler that he—like all of us—falls short of God’s perfect standard (Mark 10:21). In fact, he has not even kept the greatest commandment to love God above everything else, including his wealth. Jesus’ point is clear: You can’t enter God’s kingdom by working. Paul makes the same point in his letter to the Romans. He says, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). Paul adds, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:23–25a). In His short encounter with the rich ruler, Jesus illustrates how not to inherit eternal life. But, in an encounter with another Jewish ruler, He explains how to inherit eternal life. Speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Here’s what we learn from Jesus’ interactions with these two Jewish leaders. First, good works won’t work. Second, eternal life is received by faith—believing in Jesus. Contrast Jesus’ response to Bishop Barron’s:

No. The Catholic view—go back to the Second Vatican Council [which] says it very clearly.

Christ is the privileged route to salvation. God so loved the world He gave His only Son that we might find eternal life, so that’s the privileged route. However, Vatican II clearly teaches that someone outside the explicit Christian faith can be saved. Now, they’re saved through the grace of Christ indirectly received, so the grace is coming from Christ. But it might be received according to your conscience.

So if you’re following your conscience sincerely—or, in your case, you’re following the commandments of the Law sincerely—yeah, you can be saved.

Now, that doesn’t conduce to a complete relativism. We still would say the privileged route—the route that God has offered to humanity—is the route of His Son. But, no, you can be saved. Even, Vatican II says, an atheist of good will can be saved.

The belief that someone can by saved today without explicit faith in Christ is called inclusivism. Barron does a good job laying out the inclusivist position—a position taught by the Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, Bishop Barron doesn’t give any biblical support for the view. Why I am not an inclusivist There are a number of reasons why I am not an inclusivist. One of the most compelling arguments against inclusivism is found in the account of Cornelius. In Acts 10 and 11, Luke records what Cornelius is like.

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. (Acts 10:1–2)

Cornelius seems to have a lot going for him. But he’s got a problem: He’s never heard the gospel. Knowing how Cornelius has responded to the light he’s been given, God gives him more light. He sends him a vision. In the vision, an angel tells Cornelius to send for a man named Peter.

And he [Cornelius] told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, “Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.” (Acts 11:13–14)

Notice the text says that Cornelius isn’t saved at this point. He has to hear “the message” by which he can be saved. God-fearing? Yes. Devout and sincere? True. Generous and religious? Absolutely. Even Peter is impressed by Cornelius’s spiritual accolades. Now notice what Peter doesn’t do. He doesn’t reassure Cornelius that he has been saved “by grace indirectly received”—as Barron put it. He isn’t saved by “sincerely following his conscience.” He doesn’t speak of two routes to God: a “privileged route” received by faith in Christ and another route where faith in Christ isn’t required. No, the text says Cornelius needed to hear a message “by which he will be saved.” What was that message? We are not left guessing. Peter tells us,

And he [Jesus] commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:42–43)

Even with all of his spiritual nobility and religious sincerity, Cornelius was still lost and in need of salvation. If inclusivism were true, Peter would not have needed to make a trip to Cornelius. But Peter had to make the trip because—as Paul says—“How will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14–15). How can people call on Jesus if they have not believed in Jesus? The answer is, they can’t. How are people going to believe in Jesus if they have never heard of Jesus? The answer is, they can’t. How are they going to hear the good news if no one tells them the good news? The answer is, they won’t. Paul’s line of thinking is clear and straightforward. If no one is sent to these people, then there will be no one to preach the good news. If no one preaches to these people, then they will not hear the good news. If these people do not hear the good news, then they cannot believe. And if they do not believe, then they cannot be saved. One way to be saved In sum, Paul tells us that the people need to hear and believe the gospel in order to be saved. There is no other means of salvation. By the way, this is consistent with Peter’s testimony. He says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Notice he doesn’t merely say that there is no other savior. He says there is no other name. His name—Jesus’ identity—seems necessary. That’s why Peter tells Cornelius, “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). The story of Cornelius should be an encouragement to us because it shows the lengths to which God will go to make sure people seeking after God will hear the gospel so that they can be saved. God had given Cornelius some light—through creation and conscience—but this was not enough light to save him. Since Cornelius responded positively to the light he was given, God gave him more light—specifically, the gospel. Inclusivism is a bad idea Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have victims. Inclusivism is a bad idea because it gives people—like Shapiro—false hope that they can have eternal life without coming to Jesus on His terms. Those who refuse to come to Jesus will not receive life (John 5:40). Jesus explicitly states, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Bishop Barron is wrong. Shapiro cannot be saved by “following the commandments of the Law sincerely.” Paul addresses this very thing in his letter to the Galatians. He says,

Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Gal. 2:16).

Shapiro’s good works will never be enough. Only those who put their trust in Christ will receive eternal life. The answer to Shapiro’s question isn’t hard. In fact, the apostle Paul answers the question “What must I do to be saved?” in a single sentence. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

This article is reprinted with permission from Tim Barnett and Stand to Reason (str.org) where it first appeared here. The Ben Shapiro picture has been adapted from one copyright © by Gage Skidmore and is used here under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

News

Saturday Selections - November 9, 2019

Humans don't earn their value In this video, Amy Hall makes the vital point that our value is not earned. But she pulls up just short of the finish line when, at the end of the video, she bases our worth on us all being human. But that begs a question: why is being human more valuable than being an animal? The world has no answer to that question: why would we treat one creature any more special than any other? But God tells us we have a special value that comes from being made in His Image (Gen. 1:26, Gen 9:6, James 3:9). This is not only an argument for the unborn's worth but the only basis for equality. Humans come in different shapes, sizes, colors and have vastly different abilities and interests, so in what sense are any of us "equal"? Only this: we are all made in God's Image. Even as Christian and non-Christian alike believe in equality – God's law seems to have written that on our hearts (Rom 2:15) – it is only the Christian who has an explanation for it. Hall would have done better to clearly base her argument on God's Word. As would we. How evangelicals ended slavery all over the world...and in Canada While God allows slavery in the Bible, He forbids the dehumanizing slavery as we have known it in North America and around the world. Just consider these passages: “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” - Ex. 21:16 “You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in the place that he shall choose within one of your towns, wherever it suits him. You shall not wrong him.” - Deut. 23:15-16 "...but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant..." - Ex. 20:10b That bears very little resemblance to the way the slave trade was run in the Western world. And no wonder then that Christians – those who read God's Word and took it seriously – lead the fight against that form of slavery based, as it was, on a denial that blacks were also made in the very Image of God. Phillip E. Johnson (1940-2019), the man who put Darwin on trial "In many ways, Phillip Johnson was a Luther-like reformer....Johnson, who passed away peacefully in his home over the weekend, is widely considered the godfather of the modern Intelligent Design movement. His 1991 book Darwin on Trial revealed how Darwinian evolution was plagued by worldview-level problems: most importantly, its reliance on philosophical naturalism." Prominent abortion photographed with placard reading “Even on my worst days, I’m killing it” Do abortionists know that what they are doing is murder? Very often, the answer is yes. The power of touch Cuddling on the couch, sitting close together at church, holding hands on a walk – all of them are wonderful ways to connect with your better half. And yet many couples shy away from this regular physical contact, in part because one spouse might hope this physical contact leads to another sort, and maybe the other fears it will lead to the other sort. But what if physical touching was just that and nothing more? Here are 25 suggestions for increasing the physical contact in your marriage in ways that will bind you together even if they don't lead to anything more. Dusty Marshall on the American Holocaust There's a lot of Christians artists using rap to make powerful statements. American Holocaust is a call out to be both those killing babies and those sitting on the sidelines to change their ways.

Adult fiction, Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Greg Dawson and the psychology class

by Jay Adams 2008 / 149 pages This is a novel, but it'd be more accurate to call it a textbook masquerading as a novel – the goal here is education, not entertainment. Jay Adams' fictional protagonist Greg Dawson is a preacher who lives near a Christian college. Some of the students want to know the difference between the psychological counseling theories they are being taught and the biblical counseling Greg Dawson uses. Via a series of informal conversations with Pastor Dawson, the students learn that the psychology they’re being taught at their Christian college is built on secular counseling theories. They are asked to consider just how many different secular counseling theories there are. These theories claim to be built on insights into what Man is really like, and yet the different theories disagree with one another, and sometimes wildly. So how are we to evaluate them? Dawson points students to the Bible, asking them to examine how many of the theories line up with a biblical understanding of our inner nature. So long as these secular theories understand Man outside of our relationship with God how can they understand what Mankind is really like? Dawson asks them to also consider that most of these theories don't acknowledge our sinful nature, or understand our purpose here on earth. As the back of the book details, some of the other issues explored include: the difference between apologizing and forgiveness the place of evangelism and faith in Biblical counseling Is all truth God's truth? some specific issues such as depression, mental illness, and marriage Adams is only one of many experts to consult when it comes to biblical counseling. Others include Ed Welch, Heath Lambert, Wayne Mack, Paul David Tripp and David Powilson. But this book is an ideal introduction to the subject – the novel format makes for an easy, yet highly educational, read. And if you like this one, you'll be interested to know Jay Adams has written two other "Greg Dawson" novels: The Case of the Hopeless Marriage and Together for Good: Counseling and the Providence of God.

AA
Dating
Tagged: Dating, featured, singles

What is “Sovereign Grace Singles”? An interview with founder Dean Scott

Dean Scott started Sovereign Grace Singles to help Reformed singles meet and mingle with other like-minded, and like-hearted, Christians. In the following interview we’ve asked him to give us some more details about his website, and what prompted him to create it.

****

Reformed Perspective: In preparing for this interview I saw the comments of an Arminian professor who said your online Reformed dating site conflicted with Calvinism. He seemed to think that anyone who believes in God’s sovereignty over all things would just keep quiet and wait for God to drop a spouse in their lap. How would you respond? What is this professor missing?

Dean Scott: I remember that same quote – it was from a Christianity Today article – and I when read it, well, I was embarrassed for the professor who made it. Doesn’t he know Calvinists do evangelism? Why would we do that, if we held the “do nothing – God will do it all” caricature he presents of Calvinism?

But we know God often uses us as the means by which He does his work here are on Earth. That’s why Paul asks, “And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). When it comes to spreading the gospel, God uses preachers – that is his means.

And consider prayer – I like what Spurgeon said about prayer…

“You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer, for the saints in prayer appear as one in word, and deed, and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist.”

In other words, an Arminian in prayer is acting like a Calvinist – asking God to change people’s hearts. But here, too, God presents prayers as a means through which He works. This objection gets even sillier when you ask questions like:

  • Does a Calvinist work? Why? Because work is the means God has given us to make money to pay life’s expenses.
  • Does a Calvinist shop at the grocery store or does he think food will simply arrive on his plate at dinnertime?
  • Does he own an automobile? Why? Because it is the means to get him where he wishes to go.

In that same way, Sovereign Grace Singles (SGS) is the means God can and has used for many couples to find their like-minded mates.

RP: What’s the one-sentence answer to “What is Sovereign Grace Singles”?

DS: SGS’s focus is to bring together Reformed single Christian men and women who wish to meet other Reformed Christian singles for spiritually like-minded, loving relationships, walking together in mutual agreement, based on the words of Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” This is the theme verse of SGS.

RP: How did you first come up with the idea for SGS?

DS: I had been single for many years and did not want to be. I wanted a mate who believed the same as I did…Reformed in faith and doctrine. But the Christian “dating” websites were a disappointment at best.

Then in 2004, I was fishing with some members of a non-Christian flyfishing club I was part of. These were nice guys but the way they talked, what they talked about, the smoking, excessive drinking, and more, had me thinking, Wouldn’t this be even better if I could go flyfishing with other Reformed believers? What if I could go fishing with other brothers and sisters in Christ who could be struck by the incredible beauty of a brown trout and be filled with the same need to praise the God who made it?

And that “spawned” (pardon the pun) the genesis of the SGS idea.

How could I go find the fellowship that I was looking for?  The Internet!  That’s how I could find other Reformed singles! And when the thought hit, I asked myself, “Why not do it?”

SGS was developed and launched in January of 2005. It was a website where Reformed singles could meet for fellowship, service, or perhaps even romance. The first wedding was less than a year later in December and the groom was a businessman who invited me to be their guest at the wedding in Germany! The bride was from India but living in south Florida and their story is amazing and heartwarming to read. I think they have four kids now!

I also met my wife Karen in December of 2005. She was widowed with 4 fantastic adult kids who loved the Lord and she had an incredible extended family and church body. We were married in September of 2006. I have 5 grandkids with another on the way! Three of them are a result of the youngest son, Steven meeting his bride, Sarah on SGS as well!

RP: What can someone joining SGS expect? What specifically do you offer?

DS: On SGS, members can search for friends, activity partners, possible romantic interests and Events in which to participate. There’s was just an Event in Indiana in September promoted on SGS, via group email and Facebook. I’ve made some excellent friends and had some sweet fellowship at Reformed Conferences and Cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean which SGSers have attended. A group of guys and myself went to practice our Second Amendment skills at Frontsight for their 4-day defensive handgun course and had an excellent time!

In addition to Events, and emailing other members within SGS, there is Chat and Forums. Members are encouraged to create their own Event locally and we’d be glad to promote it. If they know of Events in which SGSers might be interested, let us know and we can put it on SGS Calendar.

RP: People online often seem ruder than they’d be in real life. And on a number of Reformed social forums geared to singles, there sometimes seem to be young men intent on impressing the ladies by showing off their theological chops. They start firestorms, attacking rather than discussing, and just generally bring heat but no light. I’d assume that has to happen sometimes on SGS too. What’s your approach to dealing with it?

DS: I know exactly to what you are referring. The place that could occur is in SGS Forums, but I have not actually seen that.

If it were to occur, I would want it to be observed and learned from…to be seen as a mean of getting to know someone. One of the negative things about “dating” is that it is usually two persons alone with little interaction with others, as compared with courtship where the couple is more involved with family, friends and peers. In that context you can learn a lot about a person in the way they interact with others, especially those who might think or act differently than themselves.

Well, in Forums that interaction with others can also take place (even if to a lesser degree than in person) and whatever they reveal about themselves, for good or bad, is, frankly, helpful to everyone else there in the search for a “mate.”

That said, if rude behavior were observed I might contact them, especially if it were extreme. However, again, I have never observed that.  I think others involved in the conversation call each other to accountability. It is not Facebook – conversations are far more friendly here.

RP: And what are the costs?

DS: When someone goes to SGS they will be invited to create a Profile by answering questions about themselves such as age, location, Reformed denomination, hobbies, etc. The goal is to allow others to get to know them, learning about them by reading their “story.” There is a search feature to allow you to find others in your country, and that’s free to all regardless of subscription status but if you want to chat or email other members, then they have to sign up for a subscription. The cost of the subscription depends on the length: a month is $19.99, 3 months is $44.99, 6 months is $69.99 and a Year is $89.99. These subscriptions are far less expensive than other “dating” sites.

To find out more, visit www.SovereignGraceSingles.com.


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