Dear Faithful ABR Supporter,
"See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you." -Isaiah 60:2
ABR Director Scott Lanser and I recently spent considerable time together at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society in Milwaukee, WI. During our extended time of fellowship, we had rather in-depth discussions of the seemingly unstoppable wave of virulent secularism overtaking western society, and specifically, the United States. With an almost frenzied and demonic intensity, secular liberalism, in its varied forms, and in its manifold shapes and sizes, has extended its tentacles into every crack and crevice of our society. Day after day after day, we read about another instance where secularism conquers. Recent elections, for example, legalized so-called homosexual "marriage" in two more states.
I commented to Scott that I have personally seen the bewitching power of secularism consistently delude otherwise reasonable people, even dragging some from orthodox church commitments into dangerous and sometimes heretical territory. Several close friends have watched their churches being destroyed from within, and despite their best efforts and faithful prayers, the secular tsunami could not be stopped. Words of truth, warning and reason often seem to have no effect on those caught up in this wave of ruin.
While the cultural situation does appear grim, the church must hold on to the truths of the Bible and cling to the Lord who inspired the very words contained therein. Like the prophet Isaiah, members of the church must come to the sober realization that the world is, indeed, a very dark place.
Further, we seem to be living in an historical moment where that darkness appears to be intensifying. In that intensifying darkness, the light of the glorious Gospel must be shone by those of us entrusted with preaching, evangelizing, teaching, and shepherding. The precious Word of God must be proclaimed with boldness and faithfulness to deliver our fellow man from the chains of darkness!
This issue of Bible and Spade contains articles to help equip you for the challenging and serious spiritual battle in which the church must engage and cannot avoid. Christian philosopher Greg Bahnsen presents a thoughtful and enlightening article on the proper place of human reasoning. Titus Kennedy cites and analyzes archaeological and historical evidence pertaining to the trial of Jesus in the New Testament. ABR Associate Dewayne Bryant refutes more of the erroneous half-truths being promulgated by Bart Ehrman concerning the writing and transmission of the New Testament. Jared Compton does the tough and often time consuming work of dialoguing with an atheist concerning the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lastly, Mike Caba shows how archaeological and historical evidence from the Persian period affirms the historical reliability of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. We hope you find these articles both enriching and inspiring.
As we enter into the Christmas season and the 2012 year comes to an end, we humbly ask for your financial gifts to help ABR continue to fulfill its calling. We are convicted in our very bones to proclaim the truth of the Bible, utilize evidences from archaeology to affirm Scripture, defend the Faith, and witness to the truth of the Gospel of Christ.
Thank you for your faithful support and prayers. We are most grateful for your partnership with us. We trust your Christmas season will be blessed as you celebrate the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Until He Comes in Glory,
Henry B. Smith Jr.
Director of Development
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