L. F. Bittle: Lions and Skunks

L. F. Bittle: Lions and Skunks

L. F. Bittle (1833-1905) worked for about twenty years with Daniel Sommer in producing the Apostolic Review. Sommer described him as “the best educated and the most modest man I ever knew” (Daniel Sommer: A Biography, p. 153). On one occasion when he was challenged for a debate, Bittle gave the following response:

“We can imagine a man brave enough to go forth into the forest to hunt lions, but on his return that same man would step aside when he would be confronted by a skunk” (Daniel Sommer: A Biography, p. 158).

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How to Discuss Contentious Topics (Season 13, Episode 12)

How to Discuss Contentious Topics (Season 13, Episode 12)

 
 
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How to Discuss Contentious Topics (Season 13, Episode 12)

In this season, we’re discussing social issues – problems that are facing our society and what the Bible has to say about these issues.

Many of the topics we have discussed in this study are controversial and can elicit strong emotional responses from individuals. Because of this, we may be tempted to avoid any type of discussion on these issues, especially if we know there will be disagreement.

However, as we have discussed, there are Biblical principles that apply to these topics. Therefore, discussions on these sorts of issues can provide a way to direct others – especially those who are not Christians – to what the Bible teaches. So we should not avoid discussing these things altogether, but we do need to understand the proper way to discuss contentious topics.

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Types of Questions We Don’t Need to Answer

Question Mark

When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9).

It is easy for discussions on controversial issues – either in person or online – to quickly become contentious. This is especially true right now regarding political discussions, but it is also true when it comes to topics that are religious in nature. Contentious discussions can consume our time and mental energy if we allow them to do so.

Questions are often used to draw us into discussions. Some questions are good. Peter said that we must be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Peter 3:15). However, some questions do not need to be answered. It is important that we know which questions would fall into this category. The Bible shows us what types of questions we do not need to answer.Continue Reading

Accusations Made Against Paul (12/13)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Acts 24-26.

When Paul stood before Felix, a lawyer named Tertullus brought accusations against him on behalf of the Jews. Notice the charges that were made:

For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him” (Acts 24:5-6).

Tertullus made four accusations against Paul. Similar ones may be made against those who teach the truth today. Notice what these accusations were:
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Spiritual Pacifism (4/2)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Judges 8-9.

After defeating the Midianites with only 300 men armed with trumpets and pitchers, Gideon pursued the kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna. Along the way they stopped in Succoth hoping to receive bread to help them finish their mission. However, the leaders were not at all eager to help.

Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, weary yet pursuing. He said to the men of Succoth, ‘Please give loaves of bread to the people who are following me, for they are weary, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.’

The leaders of Succoth said, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hands, that we should give bread to your army?’ Gideon said, ‘All right, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will thrash your bodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers’” (Judges 8:4-7).

The leaders of Succoth were perfectly willing to provide aid and support to Gideon and his men after the Midianite kings were killed. But while the kings were still alive, these men refused to get involved.
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