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Former Atheist Shares How Richard Dawkins Videos Led Him to Go ‘All In’ for Jesus

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In Peter Byrom’s story, famed atheist Richard Dawkins was the evangelist.

Byrom was born and raised in East Sussex, England, to a Christian family. He grew up nominally religious, but abandoned the vestiges of his faith when he left home for college.

Duped by the lie that Christianity is incompatible with intellectualism, Byrom dissolved whatever lingering interest he may have had in God and quickly turned to atheism — a transition fast-tracked by a roommate who, like him, was raised to believe in God but had since turned away from his upbringing.

The roommate, Byrom recalled during a recent conversation with CBN’s Faithwire, was a fan of Dawkins and urged the new atheist convert to read the evolutionary biologist’s book, “The God Delusion.”

Byrom quickly read the book and was intrigued by the aggressive approach espoused by Dawkins and others like him.

“I was very taken by what Dawkins’ definition of faith is,” he said. “He said faith is believing something without any evidence. Now I know that’s a false definition of faith — that’s not what faith means. But at the time, I bought that.”

It didn’t take long, in fact, for Byrom to buy into the Dawkins dogma — hook, line, and sinker.

After reading “The God Delusion,” Byrom dove headfirst down a rabbit hole of content from Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett, known as the “Four Horsemen of the New Atheism,” a term coined in 2006 by journalist Gary Wolf to describe 21st-century atheists who believe religion should not be tolerated as an acceptable alternative to atheism.

There’s no doubt, though, Byrom’s deep dive into atheist content didn’t bring about the result Dawkins may have hoped for. Instead of serving as the sage atheist leading Byrom further and further from faith, the famed author served as something of an evangelist to the then-college student.

Asked how he came to believe in Jesus, Byrom quipped, “There’s an extent to which you might have to blame YouTube.”

Like any college student eager to put off homework, he recalled watching a near endless stream of YouTube videos of Dawkins facing off with unprepared Christians who did not represent the faith well. For a while, that satisfied Byrom, but it didn’t last.

Soon enough, Byrom stumbled upon videos of Christian apologists debating atheists. He was particularly impressed with William Lane Craig, a Christian philosopher who runs the ministry Reasonable Faith.

He quickly realized that many of the arguments employed by Dawkins and others to advocate atheism weren’t really all that strong. What took Byrom by surprise, though, was that he began to open up to the possibility Christianity is true.

“It was surprising,” he said of his shift toward belief in God. “And, at first, it was actually quite unwelcome because I kind of entered into this almost as an interest, really, and I was rooting for people like Dawkins and so forth. Because I actually didn’t find the idea of there being a God, an authority like that very attractive and I would’ve preferred that it wasn’t true, but I just kind of got hooked.”

Byrom found himself so entangled in the issue that, at one point, he even went to an event hosted by Dawkins and, during a question-and-answer portion, asked the atheist why he had refused to debate Craig.

Dawkins, for his part, claimed Craig is a “professional debater” rather than a bonafide scholar and asserted his schedule is just too full to debate the Christian apologist.

As for Byrom, he said the “tipping point” in his shift from atheism to Christianity “was that I did come to realize that the objections that I had to Christianity — including the arguments of the new atheists — they really weren’t strong enough. I didn’t have any intellectual objections, any strong enough ones left. So all that I had remaining were actually just my very personal, emotional reasons for not wanting to come to faith.”

He has since had the opportunity to meet with Craig and his wife, Jan, who impressed upon Byrom the importance of taking his newfound faith seriously.

“She just said very clearly to me, Look, Pete, it’s great that you have come to this point of you say[ing] that you’re no longer an atheist and that you’ve really engaged with all these good reasons for Christianity, but really, the key thing is it is about Jesus and, if you’re not prepared to give Him everything, then you actually shouldn’t become a Christian. Don’t do it.’”

“Because that actually is what it’s about,” he continued. “You’ve got to go all in and give everything to Him, and that really just made me realize what the decision had to be.”
Sources:faithwire
http://theendtimeradio.com

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The Bible was telling the truth

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A recent article in Britain’s The Daily Mail suggested that the prophets Amos and Zechariah may have had something right. As the writer puts it,

“A scientific breakthrough has exposed the truth about a site in ancient Jerusalem, overturning expert opinion and vindicating the Bible’s account. Until now, experts believed a stretch of wall in the original heart of the city was built by Hezekiah, King of Judah, whose reign straddled the seventh and eighth centuries BC. … But now an almost decade-long study has revealed it was built by his great-grandfather, Uzziah, after a huge earthquake, echoing the account of the Bible.”

“… echoing the account of the Bible.” The story reminds me of a scene from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, when a character says to Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, “You actually were telling the truth.” To which Captain Jack replied, “I do that quite a lot. Yet people are always surprised.”

Throughout the last century, and especially in the last few decades, the scholarly world has been “surprised” to find that the biblical authors were telling the truth. Skeptics assume that the content of the Bible is more “pious fraud” than history, a well-intentioned story to inspire the faithful. And yet the reliability of the Word of God has been repeatedly affirmed, as more biblical archaeological sites are discovered and more extra-biblical sources corroborate biblical events.

From small artifacts to larger sites, recent discoveries lend proof to biblical accounts. For example, DNA found in the City of David confirmed that the Philistines, Israel’s main enemy during the reign of King David, turned out to be exactly the sort of people the Old Testament described. A smaller discovery was of a signet ring that confirmed the detail of an Old Testament character who only gets a passing mention in 2 Kings. And, of course, there was the discovery of the site of the Pool of Siloam, where we know Jesus walked.

These findings match characters and events in the Bible to tangible, touchable, real things, a crucial confirmation for a worldview that is not esoteric but fully grounded in events that took place within human history. Luke, once written off as a fable-maker, is now considered by most scholars to be an excellent and precise historian. Though online atheists may continue to insist that Jesus never existed, no reputable biblical scholar would support this theory. To paraphrase Mark Twain’s preemptive obituary, rumors of the Bible’s inaccuracies have been greatly exaggerated.

Of course, the Bible is a more comfortable book if only merely “spiritually” true and not really true. This is the sort of thinking that has both shaped and sapped the strength of liberal Christianity, such as is found in many mainline denominations. Once giants in American Christianity, most are now mere husks of their former glories, with increasingly empty churches that have dropped all the doctrine but kept the robes and collars of their now rainbow-accented vestments.

The Bible, however, doesn’t offer the option of just believing the comfortable stuff. It demands to be taken as fact or not at all, while making claims about real times and real places, about real people and real things. Most notably, it claims that the God revealed in its pages intruded Himself into the grit and grime of our fallen world in a way that can now be found by archaeological discoveries. If the God of the Bible is indeed God, He is the God of the real world.

It should comfort that what God has given to us in the Bible is true. Thus, it can be trusted in all that it promises, whether about the past, the present, or the future.
Sources:Christian Post

http://theendtimeradio.com

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ചൈനയും ഉത്തരകൊറിയയും അടക്കം ചില രാജ്യങ്ങൾ വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് നിരോധിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്! കാരണമറിയാമോ?

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വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് ലോകമെമ്പാടുമുള്ള ഏറ്റവും ജനപ്രിയ സന്ദേശമയക്കൽ ആപ്ലിക്കേഷനുകളിൽ ഒന്നാണ്. രണ്ട് ബില്ല്യണിലധികം ഉപയോക്താക്കൾ വാട്സ്ആപ്പിനുണ്ട്. എന്നാൽ ചില രാജ്യങ്ങളിൽ വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് നിരോധിച്ചിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ഇത്തരം നിരോധനങ്ങൾക്ക് പിന്നിലെ കാരണങ്ങൾ എന്തൊക്കെയാണെന്ന് നോക്കാം.

വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് നിരോധിച്ച രാജ്യങ്ങൾ:

* ചൈന: ചൈനയിൽ സർക്കാർ കർശനമായ ഇന്റർനെറ്റ് നിയന്ത്രണങ്ങൾ നടപ്പിലാക്കുന്നുണ്ട്, ഇതിനെ ‘ഗ്രേറ്റ് ഫയർവാൾ’ (Great Firewall) എന്ന് വിളിക്കുന്നു. വിദേശ സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയ പ്ലാറ്റ്‌ഫോമുകളും മെസേജിംഗ് ആപ്പുകളും ഉൾപ്പെടെ നിരവധി വെബ്‌സൈറ്റുകളും ആപ്പുകളും ഈ ഫയർവാൾ വഴി തടയുന്നു. ചൈനയിൽ അവരുടേതായ നിയന്ത്രണ സംവിധാനങ്ങളുള്ള സെൻ‌സർ ചെയ്‌ത സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയ പ്ലാറ്റ്‌ഫോമുകളും മെസേജിംഗ് ആപ്പുകളും ഉപയോഗിക്കാൻ ആളുകളെ പ്രോത്സാഹിപ്പിക്കുക എന്നതാണ് ഒരു കാരണം.

* ഉത്തരകൊറിയ: ലോകത്തിലെ ഏറ്റവും നിഗൂഢമായ സമൂഹങ്ങളിലൊന്നാണ് ഉത്തരകൊറിയ. സർക്കാർ വിവരങ്ങളുടെ നിയന്ത്രണത്തിൽ വളരെ കർശനമാണ്. പുറത്തുള്ള ലോകവുമായുള്ള ആശയവിനിമയം പരിമിതപ്പെടുത്തുന്നതിനാണ് വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് പോലുള്ള ആപ്പുകൾ നിരോധിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നത്.

* ഇറാൻ: രാജ്യത്തെ അസ്ഥിരതയുടെ സമയങ്ങളിൽ ഇറാൻ അടക്കിടെ വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് താൽക്കാലികമായി നിരോധിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. സർക്കാർ വിരുദ്ധ പ്രവർത്തനങ്ങൾക്കും പ്രചരണങ്ങൾക്കും വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നത് തടയാനാണ് ഇത്.

യുഎഇയിലും ഖത്തറിലും വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് കോളുകൾ തടഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്. ടെലികോം കമ്പനികളുടെ വരുമാനം വർദ്ധിപ്പിക്കാനാണ് ഇതെന്നാണ് പറയുന്നത്. വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് നിരോധിക്കുന്നതിന് പിന്നിലെ കാരണങ്ങൾ രാജ്യങ്ങൾക്കനുസരിച്ച് വ്യത്യസ്തമാണ്. ചില സർക്കാരുകൾ വിവരങ്ങളുടെ നിയന്ത്രണവും സെൻസർഷിപ്പും നടപ്പിലാക്കാനാണ് ഇത് ചെയ്യുന്നത്. മറ്റുള്ളവർ ദേശീയ സുരക്ഷാ ആശങ്കകളോ ടെലികോം വരുമാനം വർദ്ധിപ്പിക്കാനുള്ള ശ്രമങ്ങളോ ആയിരിക്കാം കാരണം. അതേസമയം ഈ നിയന്ത്രണങ്ങൾ മറികടക്കാൻ വിപിഎൻ പോലുള്ളവ ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നവരുമുണ്ട്.
Sources:azchavattomonline.com

http://theendtimeradio.com

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8 ways the Kingdom connects us back to the Garden of Eden

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When Jesus came as the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), He announced the good news of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). What is the Kingdom of God? The rule of God emanates from the throne of God in Heaven. Hence, the Kingdom of God rules over all of creation (Psalm 22:28; 24:1; 103:19).

Consequently, when Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Matthew 4:17), He declared that restoring the created order back under His rule as it was in the Garden of Eden (before the fall) was now inaugurated.

We see themes relating to the work of restoration to Eden throughout Scripture (Isaiah 11:6-9; 51:3; 65:17-25; Ezek. 36:34-36; Romans 8:19-21; Rev. 21:1-5).

In light of this, we see that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is related to the reconciliation of the world, not merely to individual sinners (2 Corinthians 5:19).

The following are eight ways the Kingdom of God is connected to the Edenic state.

1. Through work

God’s first act after creating Adam was to put him in a garden to work and keep it (Genesis 2:15). Even before Adam had a family, he worked unto the Lord. (Hence, using our abilities to work is not merely to provide for our family but is an act of worship since we are reflecting Yahweh who worked for the six days of creation.)

Consequently, Paul the apostle commands the Church to work and to be a blessing to others (Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:11). Paul even declares that if a man does not work, he should not eat! (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

Thus, Christians are called to work and plant the Garden of the Lord as part of our Christian witness that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

2. Through God’s provision

God planted humanity in a lush garden with enough to sustain it even before Adam worked. Humans did nothing to earn what we were born into, yet God provided everything we needed for sustenance through His grace.

Consequently, continuing to receive divine provision is one way the Church manifests the Kingdom of God to the rest of the world.

3. Through holy matrimony

God joined one man and one woman to be “one flesh” as the foundation of civilization (Gen. 2:21-24). Before there was human government, there was marriage. Thus, His Kingdom influence started with biblical marriage.

Also, the fact that God made binary gender to represent His nature implies that it takes both male and female to transmit the image of God to the next generation (Genesis 1:27). Hence, two men and two women cannot fully transmit the image of God to the next generation.

The main reason why Satan distorted biblical marriage with alternative forms of family as well as through the proliferation of pornography and divorce, is to prevent the complete image of God from being transmitted to the next generation.

Consequently, when Christians live faithfully together in holy matrimony and raise their children in the Lord, they plant the Garden of the Lord and manifest His Kingdom in the world.

4. Through defining reality

God brought the animals of the earth to Adam so he could name them (Genesis 2:19-20). As God’s vice-regent, it was up to Adam to name and define reality. Thus, whoever defines a thing can categorize and frame the perspective of that entity.

This is why there is an ideological push to reframe biblical symbols such as the rainbow and to redefine biblical concepts such as marriage, gender, human sexuality, and social justice (Genesis 9:13).

The rainbow symbolizes God’s promise to Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 9:13-17). Today, the rainbow is widely recognized as a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community, representing diversity and inclusion.

Marriage

Historically, marriage has been defined as a union between one man and one woman. Many societies now recognize same-sex marriages and broader definitions of partnerships and unions.

Gender

Gender was traditionally understood as strictly male or female, based on biological sex.

The concept of gender has expanded to include a spectrum of identities beyond the binary male and female, such as non-binary, pansexual and genderfluid.

Woke

The connotation of the traditional meaning had to do with a conversion experience in which a person’s eyes were opened, and they were turned from darkness to light, which is why the term “awakening” was used to describe masses of people coming to Christ (Acts 26:18). Now ”woke” has been hijacked to describe people who ascribe to the far left (woke) ideology. Consequently, the Church is called to function as cultural creatives who define reality for society in a way that aligns with the Kingdom of God.

5. Through cultivation

Adam was called to cultivate the Garden of the Lord and subdue the rest of the earth (Genesis 1:28). Similarly, believers are called to plant systems and create art that reflect the beauty of the Lord as depicted in the Garden of Eden for human flourishing.

6. Through multiplication

As God created the world with the ability for every living thing to multiply (Genesis 1), the Ephesians 4:11 ministry gifts were called to equip people who can multiply biological families, churches, and businesses, so the seeds of the Garden of the Lord will eventually fill all things (Ephesians 4:10-12)

7. Through stewardship

As God called Adam to steward the created order, God has called the church to nurture people capable of managing their families, churches, and businesses and to produce Christ-followers capable of stewarding leadership in society for the glory of God.

8. The ‘tree-centric’ world on the 8th day

The Tree of Life was in the midst of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection created a “Tree-Centric” world since the cross (tree) of Christ became the Tree of Life that brought healing and reconciliation back to the created order (I Peter 2:24). Since Jesus rose on the 8th day, this also represented new beginnings regarding the process of the renewal of all things.

Consequently, as Christ-followers live a cross-shaped life, they will be His agents of healing that plant the garden of the Lord as an oasis of hope amid broken cities.
Sources:Christian Post

http://theendtimeradio.com

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