A four-night public debate is scheduled for July 2019 at the building of the Fort Sam Houston church of Christ in San Antonio, between Mac Deaver and Joshua Rodriguez. At issue is whether the Holy Spirit helps Christians directly, or only indirectly. Make plans to attend, if you can, and please let others know about it. For additional information, see the attached flyer.
Wesley Simons has posted his first 30 minute affirmative speech, which can be viewed here.
By agreement, after a participant posts a speech, his opponent has three weeks to post a speech, and so on, back and forth, until all sixteen speeches are finished.
Wesley Simons and Mac Deaver will be discussing the role of the Holy Spirit in the new birth. Each will have eight speeches (four affirmative and four negative speeches, apiece).
Simons will affirm: The scriptures teach that one must hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized in water, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins in order to be born again.
Deaver will affirm: The scriptures teach that one must hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized in water, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins and be baptized with the Holy Spirit in order to be born again.
The debate will be unusual in that it will not be live. Rather, it will consist of a series of recorded speeches, posted online, about three weeks apart. So, the discussion will carry over several months, allowing each speech ample time to be viewed and studied by all who are interested, worldwide.
Simons will have the first affirmative speech, which he hopes to make available in January 2018.
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Our good friends at Tennessee Bible College have a new blog, and we believe you would do both them and yourself a favor to check it out. While there, please enter your email address to subscribe (free) so you’ll be able to keep up to date when new content is added. Find it at ringoutthemessage.com
Roy C. Deaver’s much-used little book on how the Bible authorizes is now available for purchase online here and here. It is ideal for congregational study or in the preacher training classroom, where he spent so much of his life. Thanks to Stephen Bradd for getting the book in digitized form. Info for the book will be permanently listed on our website.
Biblical Notes has a brand new look. It is very minimal and will hopefully prove easier to read. Past articles are not completely uniform in font, but, going forward, the type should be better.
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Finally, here’s a short take on recent events from staff writer, Marlin Kilpatrick, who preaches for the Lord’s church in Fruitland Park, Florida. Marlin writes the following about “the change that’s needed”…
Someone has said, “Times, they are ‘a changing.” Indeed! But, not all change is for the better.
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court determined that “same-sex marriage” is now the law of the land. The court’s decision is definitely a change, but not for the betterment of mankind. Homosexuals and lesbians are now encouraged to pursue immorality. How disgusting before our fellowman and God, can we be!
Politics plays a significant role in promoting the various changes in the laws of our country. A prime example is seen in the recent tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina. The killing of nine innocent black people is not condoned by any sane person. But I am amazed how, before the senseless killings in the Methodist Church in Charleston, not one politician of whom I am aware was clamoring for the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol building, where it had flown for some 54 years. It would be interesting to know how many speeches the governor of South Carolina made, pleading for the removal of the Confederate flag, BEFORE the tragedy in the Methodist Church. So, we must make a change! Take the Confederate flag down! But will removal of the flag from all government buildings in South Carolina eliminate racism? No. Will it eliminate bigotry and hatred among the races? No. Only to the extent that men and women change their hearts (minds) will racism be eliminated.
The message of Jesus Christ is the only real answer to life’s problems, because it requires, not only faith, but also repentance. Repentance involves a change of the mind (i.e. our will). We must develop a different mindset toward sin. We must hate all sin, including the sin of prejudice.
When one obeys the gospel of Christ, he becomes a new creation in Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). This is the change that is needed, if we truly want to eliminate racism.
Though they do not generate email notices to your inbox, we are constantly adding sermons to the “Audio” section (Mac Deaver’s sermons are added weekly). There are also a couple of debates you can listen to.
We encourage readers to know about two great resources. For online Christian education, check out Tennessee Bible College. An excellent resource in the ongoing war between Christianity and our increasingly secular culture is the new Warren Christian Apologetics Center. Take a look at what they have to offer.
If you find a Biblical Notes article helpful, please do hit the “like” button and/or share it on your social media sites. Encourage your friends to subscribe. This month has already set a new record for visitors, page views, and shares. Also, remember that there are articles in the archives going back over five years. You can search the archives by category, by month, or by keyword.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-31, ESV)
I Will Pour Forth of My Spirit is a new commentary on Acts by Mac Deaver, published in May 2015. Its 246 pages cover each of the 28 chapters in Acts, with an outline, commentary, and study questions for each chapter. Two appendices offer discussion of the fulfilling of the Great Commission, and a helpful, explanatory outline of what was happening in Acts 2. The author’s preface states:
“I hope the reader finds his excursion through this little book both enjoyable and profitable and that he is encouraged in truth and comes to a better understanding of the New Testament book of Acts, which Luke so long ago by inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote. And I sincerely hope that he comes to comprehend that all men who have ever entered the kingdom (the church) of our Lord in the first century as described by Luke in Acts have, with regard to the essentials mentioned by Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3, entered in the same way. Furthermore, it is very important that we all see that if anyone enters the kingdom today in the twenty-first century, then, if the words of Jesus to Nicodemus hold true regarding all men of our time as well, we enter just as did those whose entries are recorded for us by Luke in Acts, when they entered during the first century by birth of water and Spirit.”
On March 25-28, 1991 Mac Deaver debated the skeptic, Ferrel Till, on the campus of what is now Texas State University in San Marcos. Propositions centered on alleged moral atrocities in the Bible, whether they are real, and whether they disprove the Bible’s inspiration. The transcription has recently been reprinted by Christian Researcher Publications as a paperback book, including the four nights of speeches and charts. Copies can be ordered here.