Green Leaf Press Quarterly Newsletter April, 2007
Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." We believe that. We are not ashamed of the truth nor afraid of the truth; we are advocates of the truth. We recognize that God is the foundation of all that is real and that all truth is ultimately grounded in him.
It is not truth or faith. It is truth and faith. Faith without truth becomes foolishness. Consider the "Heaven’s Gate" cult in San Diego that committed group suicide because they had faith in a leader that told them that the comet, Kohoutek, appearing in the night skies, gave hope for their destiny. On the other hand it is impossible to live without faith. We cannot know everything. We cannot chemically test every morsel of food that enters into our mouths. Nor can we be absolutely assured, ahead of time, that the person that we marry will be virtuous and will care for us.
Faith should be founded in knowledge and reason, but we need to know that there are limits. Substantial elements of faith must deal with probabilities. For example, are we to believe the testimony of the eleven disciples and, in a very short time, thousands of people (who had the means to know otherwise) that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead? Or are we to believe that Jesus and the disciples and the early Christian community were all liars or were all deluded? It seems eminently reasonable to choose the former possibility over the latter.
The Bible makes it plain that in this life we are daily engaged in a spiritual battle, with ultimate consequences, whether or not we choose to recognize it.
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them: and he said to him, All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:8,9)
Our defense is truth, righteousness, faith, and the word of God (of course, there is more). (Ephesians 6:13-17)
It is important that we keep before us passages that encourage us to make purposeful and constructive use of our minds:
Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; (I Peter 3:15)
We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. (II Corinthians 10;5)
In this line, I would commend to you an article in Newsweek, April 9, 2007, "The God Debate" with and extensive dialogue between Rick Warren and Sam Harris. Sam Harris is one of the most articulate atheists of our day. He is the author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. Both books have sold well, and have gained considerable attention. If you will read the Newsweek article, you will see that Rick Warren holds up his end of the conversation quite well. On the other hand, Sam Harris alerts us to concerns that unbelievers have. Many of us may not be as knowledgeable or as well versed as Rick Warren, but he illustrates what we should be about. We are to be prepared and we are to give answer!
And that is the business that Green Leaf Press is in. To encourage Christians and those who are interested in Christianity to make good use of their minds and to equip Christians and to inform others of the considerable strengths of the case for believing in Jesus Christ. We are currently in a period of transition from primary reliance on direct mail to heavier reliance on the Internet. As a result our book sales have been slow for the past several months. Unfortunately, too much of this ministry depends on me–and frequently things do not get taken care of as soon as they should. I have just finished doing our income tax–a part of which was keeping track of mileage for ministry and medical purposes. I was amazed at the degree of my participation in several churches, the Presbytery, and Green Leaf Press. I understand better why things do not happen as fast as I think that they should! With all that I rejoice in the Lord, and am grateful for useful things to do.
We appreciate your prayers, your interest, and your support. I hope that you find this Newsletter helpful. If you know of someone that we should add to the mailing list, please let us know. The main purpose of these newsletters is to let people know about Green Leaf Press, our thinking regarding this ministry, and how we carry out this ministry. We do not consider it to be a fund-raising letter, but, of course are grateful for the support that we receive.
Foster H. Shannon, President
Green Leaf Press, Inc., P.O. Box 880, Alhambra, CA 91802-0880 Phone: (626) 281-7221 FAX:323-221-4334
Board of Directors: Richard Erdman, Eric Hoey, Al Soo Hoo, Bibiana Soo Hoo, Warren Potter, Dean Rowley, Foster Shannon, Janis Shannon, Darrel Sager, John Van Genderen, Matthew Welde
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