Saturday, October 29, 2011

Arius, Athanasius and Jehovah's Witnesses

A couple years ago I wrote about an encounter I had with a Jehovah’s Witness. I wondered then (and still wonder now) how best to carry on a conversation with them. They have some sincerely held beliefs that motivate their proselytizing activity. And they generally are not argumentative or confrontational (at least not with me). I often ask them if they believe the Gospel, that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose from the dead, and their answer is usually an unequivocal “yes”.

For those of you who are not clear on the difference between the Jehovah’s Witness’ beliefs and classical Christianity, it has to do with their understanding of who Jesus is. They believe him to be a created being, even the first created being, but nonetheless separate and apart from God Himself, as opposed to the classic Trinitarian belief that God is One Being but somehow Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ephesus Comes to Wall Street

The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. (Acts 19:32)

The story is told in the book of Acts of a riot that erupted when the Apostle Paul began preaching the Gospel in the city of Ephesus. Indeed, wherever Paul went he stirred up controversy, and Ephesus was no exception. His Gospel message was apparently persuading many people, even in the midst of fierce opposition, partly because God was confirming his message with miraculous signs, but also because of Paul’s ability to persuade with calm logic and reason: