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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Alister McGrath: Mere Discipleship (Encore Presentation)

January 11, 2020

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Sat @ 9AM & Monday @ 12AM (CT)
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Suicide Prevention Month

#CancelNetflix

#CancelNetflix – When you cancel be sure to check the “Other” box and share why … “We don’t support pedophiles” or “We don’t support child pornography”

Netflix has lost over $9 billion in market value since the #CancelNetflix hashtag went viral.

We have been Netflix subscribers since 2012. We canceled our subscription today. #CancelNetflix has been trending for days on twitter. If you are wondering why we canceled our Netflix subscription, I encourage you to read my full call to action newsletter from August 23rd “They’re coming for our kids”

Netflix has more than 182 million subscribers and added an additional 16 million subscribers during the pandemic.

Child exploitation is not okay.

Here is the link to cancel Netflix: https://.netflix.com/en/node/407

In my email from August 23rd (linked here, again), I offer some important protection suggestions for your family.

One word of warning: we must do more than cancel. We have to train our children and grandchildren to have a biblical worldview. Therefore, it is equally important to discuss why we stand for absolute truth and biblical values. Why we do not have to give into cultural pressure. Why we cannot be silent.

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

49 days until the election … did you know 1 in 4 Christians are not registered to vote? I am grateful for “My Faith Votes” 

National Voter Registration Sunday is just five days away. This Sunday, September 20, 2020, churches across the country will encourage their congregations to register and prepare to vote.

You can access all the free non-partisan materials for your church to participate in National Voter Registration Sunday with a virtual or in-person voter drive here.

One of the most requested My Faith Votes resources every election year is their Party Platform Guide. Please check it out and vote your faith!

Your Family: The Most Important Ministry

Thanks for watching Justin Johnston’s latest Lego Video! Thanks for subscribing to his channel: “Justin Lego Tube” and sharing the video! (4:43 length)

A very wise friend once told me: “Jeremiah, your most important ministry is your family … never forget this.” 

I am not a perfect Dad, but I want to be.

I am not a perfect husband, but I want to be.

I will never be a perfect Christian; thank God, my Savior is perfect for me!

Notwithstanding … I will stop at nothing to put my marriage and family first. It took me about 14 years to learn this lesson (c. 2018). I hope it does not take you as long.

We need to learn to say “no” for the bigger “yes” in our lives. Yes to our walk with Christ. Yes to our family. Everything else comes next.

The good news is, we can do it! When we have our ministry priorities correct, our greater ministry (that is, the work we do outside of our marriage and family) becomes even more impactful because we minister from a place of strength. We earn the right to be heard, not because of the size of platform, or the x-factor, or any other factor other than the calling and equipping of almighty God.

I recognize this reordering of priorities does not happen overnight. Yet, with God’s , it can happen.

There are also challenges. I get it. We only have 24 hours in a day. I have a ministry that keeps me busy 8-days-per-week. I feel the tension of being a Dad to five children who each need me. They spell love T.I.M.E. So we try to meet the need day in and day out. Life is messy. Each day is different, but we must keep the priorities in place.

Here are some practical thoughts (representative, but not exhaustive):

1). Read To Your Children (the report I’ve linked here is crucial). I am currently on book 4 Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Reading to Lily and Justin does not happen every night, but it occurs regularly! Remember, learning begins at birth, and it is important for children to be engaged in storytelling and interacting with the written word through books at a young age. By the age of three, children from wealthier families have heard about 30 million more words than children from lower-income families. For children entering kindergarten, 34 percent lack the basic language skills needed to learn how to read. By the time children from low-income families enter grade school, their ability to read is already an issue.

2). Find Hobbies with your Children (that do not involve screens!). During the lock-down, I have had to learn video editing. I did not enjoy learning video editing. I have a whole new appreciation for media editors. This is not my calling. I have no interest in video editing; however, my son (Justin, age 8) wanted to create a YouTube channel because he loves to share legos he builds, especially the more challenging lego builds. When Justin asked me to film him and edit the videos, the answer was yes. Then I had to learn how to edit and produce videos!

3). Be available. Children start taking at the most inconvenient moments. Have you noticed? It is never “the right time.” I recently finished writing my 10th book (64K+ words). Once upon a time, I asked the children to leave my office when I was writing previous books. I have not made that mistake in five years, but I learned from it. That is the point. Parenting is not perfect. We learn. We move forward. We can always improve. We need to be more available.

Yours, as ever

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Christian Thinkers Society

51 days until the election … here is an important reminder “I’m voting for an Essential Church” (please share)

A Rush of Hope

As Christian Thinkers, we are called to be the people who bring HOPE! No matter what challenges we face, hope is on our side because we serve Jesus Christ. I love constantly resourcing you with ways to be a Christian Thinker, which includes creative ways to spread the love of Jesus Christ in your community. For the first time in 30 years my friend, Pastor Greg Laurie, was not able to use Angels Stadium (Anaheim, California) for the annual Harvest Crusade. I respect Pastor Greg because instead of doing nothing, he upped his game to a Cinematic Crusade! Early this week Pastor Greg emailed Audrey and me a link to watch “A Rush of Hope” – which will be Streaming live this Labor Day weekend. The film is powerful, moving, and anchored in sharing the Hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I have included the film preview below, please check it out. A Rush of Hope is a digital event that will answer life’s biggest questions and will keep you on the edge of your seat. As I mentioned, they’re calling it a cinematic crusade, and it’s a completely new way of sharing the gospel!

A cinematic crusade?

This is the biggest event Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest has ever put on, and it’s probably the most ambitious project they’ve ever put together. Some of you may still be wondering, “What exactly is a cinematic crusade?”

Think about it this way: You might go and see a wonderful Christian film like I Still Believe or I Can Only Imagine, and you’ll be moved by the story. And then you might also watch a preacher on television, preaching and giving the gospel.

Each is a separate medium. One is a medium of entertainment storytelling. The other is a medium of communication and preaching.

Pastor Greg and his team married these two media together in something that’s unique. So it’s cinematic. It’s storytelling. I like to think of it as “weaponized art”—and I mean weaponized in the way. We might say it has gospel hooks.

So I invite you to take part. It is free and done with excellence! And not only participate, but send the link out on social media. Share using their free graphics and videos.

Don’t you think our world needs A Rush of Hope?

A Rush of Hope will be broadcast LIVE this Labor Day weekend, September 4–7. See all showtimes at harvest.org/hope.

RSVP to be part of the premiere!

Also, I want to make sure you did not miss my recent blog post “They’re coming for our kids and grandkids” – be sure to check out ways we protect our families by being proactive with all of the devices in our home.

Finally, thank you for your prayers for me! I finished my 10th book manuscript this week: Unleashing Shalom! 64,567 words and 14 chapters are submitted to my wonderful editor and the good people at Bethany House/Baker Publishing Company. All of our books, Bible studies, and ministry resources are much more than a one-off book or resource; each project becomes a ministry outreach tool with live events, equipping churches with curriculum, media programs, etc. We are extremely prayerful and thoughtful with each project becaue these resources are used for years and years. I look forward to unveiling more about this new project!

Shalom!

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Press Release

IRVINE, Calif. — “A Rush of Hope,” a cinematic crusade from Greg Laurie and Harvest ministries will release on over 100 streaming channels Sept. 4-7, 2020.

Created in partnership with the Erwin Brothers’ Kingdom Story Company, “A Rush of Hope” will include encouraging messages from Greg Laurie, outtakes from faith-based films such as I Still Believe and Woodlawn and performances by artists such as Jeremy Camp, for KING & COUNTRY and MercyMe.

“Our life is like a movie,” says the voice of Laurie in the trailer. “It has a beginning, middle and end.”

“We all have questions about this movie that we are in. Is this movie a tragedy? Is it a love story? Or is it a comedy even? Do we win in the end? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? And what happens after I die?

“There are answers to these questions,” Laurie says.

“A Rush of Hope” is Harvest’s creative response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced the ministry to cancel its in-person crusades scheduled this year at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium. The film’s release date was originally announced for August, but it has been moved to Sept. 4-7.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Laurie said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed all our plans, but it has opened an incredible window of opportunity for the gospel. Now, more than ever, people are hungry for something the world cannot give them. This cinematic crusade is designed to reach as many people as possible and them answer the deepest questions of their hearts.”

The move from an in-person stadium event to a cinematic crusade follows the success of other digital ministries launched by Harvest. Greg’s podcast received over one million downloads in its first month, and Harvest at Home, the online church platform that broadcasts Greg’s live sermons, has seen over 80,000 professions of faith since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The unprecedented success of Laurie’s online ministry was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal.

“A Rush of Hope” will be available to stream on the below social platforms Sept. 4-7:

Harvest.org

Greg Laurie Facebook Live (crossposted with 100 media partners)

Greg Laurie YouTube Live

Greg Laurie Twitter Live

Harvest Roku channel

Harvest Amazon Fire channel

Harvest Apple TV channel

Would you like to learn more about how you experience more Shalom in your life? What are the most important six adjectives, two nouns, and one verb for you to have God’s indescribable peace in your life? Check out my message below! 

59 days until the election … here is an important reminder “I am voting for unborn babies!” … please share this image! 

Check out some important stories:

They’re coming for our kids and grandkids (and a personal update)

Do you think Christianly? 

Not sure why Wallmart is misspelled in this meme? Is a ‘Christian Thinker’ an oxymoron? Well, for some the descriptor may be correct.

Dear , Far too many Christians are soft targets for the ebbs and flows of cultural narrative and misinformation. Being a Christian in today’s context requires some conviction and courage so it’s not just a cultural Christianity. Christianity is not antithetical to education; in fact, the opposite is true. There is this body of truth that is the Christian faith that has been passed along – people have thought deeply about it and it has led to this great Christian thinking that has become the foundation through which we address issues of the liberal arts, humanities, politics, philosophy, the arts, social sciences, natural sciences, media, journalism, and music – the whole spectrum.

Unfortunately, there is a sense in which people think of the Christian faith as being anti-intellectual, somewhat mindless, and totally experiential in approach. The fact is the Christian faith has produced some of the great thinkers in the last 2,000 years. We believe all knowledge, truth, and understanding finds its source in God, yet this is not always reflected in the day-to-day reality of Christian living.

How can you “think Christianly”? I am glad you asked.

Here are 3 Ways to Think Christianly.

Ben Davis, Caldron Pool

#1 All Truth is God’s Truth

In his Faith Seeks Understanding and in his All Truth is God’s Truth, published a few years later, Professor Arthur Holmes (1924 – 2011, long-time professor of Philosophy and English Literature at Wheaton College) made the important point that Christian faith and truth go hand in handChristian faith is not and should not be in conflict with truth. The God of Christian faith is a God of truth. He is not a God of error or falsehood. We, humans, are fallible creatures, who must learn and must be taught. We learn from what God has revealed in his Word and in his World. Each s us understand the other. Just as surely as we do not possess all that is to be known with respect to the World, so we do not know all that is to be known with respect to the Word of God. Both must be studied with an open, honest mind. Education is vital. Do you educate yourself in God’s Word? How much time do you spend knowing God in His Word?

Be Informed: Christians in China Ordered to Replace Crosses With Portraits of Mao or Else Lose Welfare Payments

#2 Faith is Not Stupid

Faith and the mind are not at odds; faith is not believing nonsense, faith is not embracing unreasonable, illogical things. In short, faith is not stupid. Some people seem to have faith in faith (as Dawkins and other atheists have in fact pointed out). Faith is intelligent; it is educated; it is learned; it is hungry for understanding. A healthy faith is a seeking faith. A healthy faith is not satisfied to be ignorant, to be naïve, to remain in the dark, or to pass on misinformation.

Here’s a great example from recent media of Christian Faith, would you stand alone? Orlando’s Jonathan Isaac first in NBA bubble to stand during anthem

#3 Ideas Are Powerful

Can we really describe the full measure of a human being, if we limit our knowledge to the brute facts of biology? If our anthropology fails to take into account the spiritual and moral dimensions of humanity, will we truly discover the essence of humanity? I probe this very important question in my recently published book, Unimaginable: What our World would be like without Christianity. In several chapters, I describe the horrors that overtook our world in the twentieth century will anti-Christian and anti-God worldviews dominated the social and political landscapes of several countries when the philosophies of men like Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx inspired men like Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Embracing a new worldview that declared God was no more these men erased humanity too. Humans were now nothing more than two-legged animals. No longer made in the image of God, humanity now could be treated like animals. Unwanted humans were rounded up and enslaved, millions were murdered. I mention these atrocities only to underscore the point that thoughts do matter. A worldview is not of little consequence. Today our society is in the midst of a great struggle between two competing and often diametrically opposed worldviews: One worldview is the worldview that has dominated the West for centuries and in the last two centuries has made inroads into the east. That is the worldview of Christianity. It is a worldview that says the World was made by an intelligent, loving Creator. It is a worldview that offers the explanation for the ongoing astonishing discoveries of science. This worldview affirms that humanity is made in the image of God and that therefore human life if precious, that it has purpose and has a destiny.

But this Christian worldview is being pushed aside by an increasingly hostile alternative worldview, a worldview that says there is no God and that we humans have no purpose, that we are nothing more than a cosmic accident; that we have no future, that we have no destiny; that our future ultimately is oblivion. This is the philosophy of nihilism, “nothingness,” from the Latin word nihil, which means “nothing.” The Nihilists affirm that there is no ultimate truth, there is no right or wrong, there are no morals, there is no God, and that we humans are not especially important; we are no more than smart, two-legged animals. Someday the human race will be extinct. It will be the end. Game over.

Before coming to Texas, I taught at Acadia Divinity College, part of Acadia University, located in eastern Canada. Acadia University is Canadian Ivy League. To get into this university you have to be a straight-A student. I kid you not! Acadia is Canada’s Harvard—or maybe I should say Harvard is America’s Acadia! On one occasion Acadia University Professor of Philosophy and atheist Paul Abela presented a lecture he called, “The Struggle for Meaning.” In this lecture he asserted that life had no meaning, that life was hardly more than an agonizing struggle with unending pain, sickness, and weakness. “If we could hear all of the world’s insects and animals, it would be a never-ending scream.” Professor Abela could see nothing in the world that gave him hope. Humanity was nothing more than an unfortunate biological accident. Someday it will end. What a relief!

Can you imagine a worldview more dismal than that? I feel sorry for Professor Abela. What hope can he share with his family, with his students? None. Is it any wonder that suicide among today’s youth is on the rise? Many youth, including children, simply have no hope. They have no hope because they have embraced a worldview that is pessimistic—and worse, it is nihilistic: there simply is nothing, nothing to live for.

Jesus offers a better way. We have to share “the Truth” because He, Jesus, The Truth, sets us free.

Here’s a great example from recent media about the power of ideas and standing for truth: SBA List Responds to PP’s Removal of Margaret Sanger’s Name from Manhattan Facility

Yours in Truth,

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

When Common Sense is No Longer Common

What do we do when “common sense” ceases to be “common”? Are you awake? Or are you allowing the drifting cultural narrative to lull you to sleep? Do you allow the media to inform, or worse, influence your worldview? With the points I share in this update, I wonder why common sense has disappeared.

Are you committed to being a “Christan Thinker” loving God with your heart, soul, and mind? The mission of the Christian Thinkers Society is to inspire Christians to become Thinkers and Thinkers to become Christians. 

Now it is time for real talk. Here are 5 issues that are concerning me right now. I want you to be informed and conversant as a Christian Thinker.

Favoring Casinos over Churches Why We Must Pray For Our Nation. By a vote of 5-4, the US Supreme Court yesterday denied an injunction from Nevada churches seeking to be allowed to operate under the same COVID-19 standards as casinos and movie theaters. Chief Justice Roberts, a GW Bush appointee, joined with the progressive Justices to deny the injunction. Alito, Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch all dissented. I paste Gorsuch’s dissent below because it is so short—and on point. If you are a person of faith, you should be very concerned about this.

#1 State bans against worship services (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, mind you)  while strip-clubs, abortion clinics, and “essential business” thrives. With social distancing and appropriate precautions, churches should be able to meet safely.

Judge Alito on the prolonging of state bans against church services: “The problem is no longer one of exigency, but one of considered yet discriminatory treatment of places of worship.” Read it for yourself herehttps://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/19a1070_08l1.pdf

#2 Elections Matter. There are biblical principles for political engagement. Believers, we need to “vote Christianly” to protect the Judea-Christian heritage of America. I have written extensively in my book Unimaginable on what happens when God is sidelined and Christianity is marginalized in society – evil reigns. We are there now. Do not be discouraged. Our faith thrives under adversity, as long as Christians speak up for and live the truth.  (I include an interview below on this subject).

I also want to equip you with an excellent guide on how to vote your faith. This is the most important election of our time: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF19G02.pdf

#3 Does it seem strange to you that we cannot attend baseball games, but it is okay to sit in an airplane packed airplane? There is really not much more I can offer here. Common sense? Where does this end?

#4 People Are Losing Hope. Suicides are escalating. Please be informed. According to the APA, suicide rates were already skyrocketing BEFORE Covid-19: see here.  Calls to suicide prevention lines are surging. See: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates.” I am extremely concerned about the mental health toll on our families, children, spouses, co-workers, and friends. Remember, Christians are the people who bring hope! Our hope is not based in feeling but on the facts of God’s undying love for humanity.

Would you please pray for me as I finish my next book The Spirituality of Happiness and Peace (published by Baker/Bethany House) – what does it mean for God’s people to have Shalom? Do you have His peace? At times, I feel like I am a professional worrier! You might feel that way, too. God wants to unleash his Shalom into our lives.

#5 Stop Being Triggered. Have a conversation. Stop cancel culture. Be informed before you speak. Better yet, pray before speaking. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Speak the truth in love. Be the church that never sleeps.

Here are some other stories we are following at Christian Thinkers Society:

China orders Christians to renounce faith in Jesus & worship President Xi Jinping instead

 

CDC: The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall

John MacArthur says Grace Community Church ‘has duty to remain open’

Let’s stay humble, informed, compassionate, but be bold for truth!

Let us “think Christianly.”

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Christian Thinkers Society

JUSTICE GORSUCH, Dissenting: This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshipers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.

My friend, Warren Cole Smith, interviewed me a while back on the BreakPoint Podcast.

What would the world be like without Christianity? Historian and author Jeremiah Johnston asks that question in his new book, “Unimaginable.” And today on the BreakPoint podcast, Warren Cole Smith interviews Jeremiah Johnston about his sobering conclusions. Click here to listen.

Who do I want to be during COVID-19? Fear Zone, Learning Zone, or Faith Zone?

Never trade what you do know for what you don’t know! This is one of the most important principles of being a “Christian Thinker,” especially in a COVID-19 world. We have a choice to make: We can focus on the problems or we can trust the promises. Our emotions can lie to us, and we need to counter our emotions with truth. We rest in who we are in Christ and the promises of God are for today.

There are 31,102 verses in the Bible (23,144 in the Old Testament and 7,958 in the New Testament). What verse would you guess is the most-searched-for Bible verse? It’s not John 3:16. In fact, for three-years-in-a-row this is the verse:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Jesus likely preached the “Sermon on the Mount” several times (see Matthew 5-7). In Matthew 6:25-34, three times Jesus says, “Do not worry!” This is a command. It is far easier to write the words “do not worry” than apply them to life, but one of the greatest promises of the Bible accompanies the promise. God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds. When we cannot see the hand of God, we must trust His heart and character (I have written about this theme extensively in my Bible study Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions).

Audrey and I are blessed with five children. One of our children has struggled with severe anxiety at times since the schools were closed in March. We have seen how fear can paralyze anyone, even those in our family. How should we respond as Christian Thinkers? I have a special message for you. We can live in the “protective presence of God,” which promises God’s presence in our lives, no matter our situation. We mix the promises of God with faith and rest. 1 Peter 1:3-9 says we have a “living hope”

We live in faith, not fear. Like you, as Audrey and I have prayed, ministered, written, flexed, and lived in 2020, we have noticed many people living in the “fear zone” (see image above) rather than the “faith zone.” I ask you to prayerfully review the infographic above and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about where you are and where He needs you to be.

We also pray. Our family continues praying for all on the front lines. What a reminder to live in the present and enjoy it immensely. We have grace for today and present pleasures (time together) are among God’s good gifts.

We Think Christianly. Being a Christin Thinker means we do not allow our minds to be corrupted by culture. Being a Christian Thinker means we do not allow false-information to steal our joy and hope. Being a Christian Thinker means we anchor every emotion and feeling to the truth of God’s changeless character and unbreakable word. Being Christian Thinkers ensures we are never silenced.

We bring hope. As followers of Jesus, we are the people who bring hope. Hope comes when we have a plan. I hope you enjoy a special Sunday sermon for you today linked below. Authentic Christian faith is never surprised by adversity or problems.

Thank you, Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Watch Dr. Johnston’s recent message “The Protective Presence of God”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jeremiah Johnston Show Podcast

Billy Graham Encouragement

Watch this clip right now. You can share it, too. Truth never changes.

– Jeremiah and Audrey Johnston

Billy Graham clip.

Dear friend,

Since Hurricane Harvey, I use twitter to stay current with the news and try to retweet our Fort Bend County officials (here in Houston, TX), where possible. I watched this exceptional clip from Billy Graham via twitter. It is 50 seconds worth your time. You can copy the YouTube link and share it with friends here: https://youtu.be/t7rdbHaoMZ4.

In the sermon clip, Billy states:

“Habakkuk said, “Lord please tell me what you’re doing.” And God said, “No, I’m not going to tell you, Habakkuk. Because if I told you what I was doing you wouldn’t believe it.”

If God today told us what He’s doing in the world, we wouldn’t believe it.

Don’t you think God’s given up, and God’s abdicated, and God’s left the throne. He hasn’t.

He’s still on the throne. And those of us that know Him, put our trust in Him and Him alone.

I don’t put my trust in Washington. I don’t put my trust in the United Nations. I don’t put my trust in myself. I don’t put trust in my money.

I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

When all the rest of it fails and crumbles and shatters, He’ll be there.”

Thank you, Jesus. We trust you, and you alone. We will put our trust in God and God alone. Thank you Billy Graham“For I am doing something in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it.” Habakkuk 1:5

Never forget, we (followers of Jesus) are the people who bring hope. 

Jeremiah and Audrey Johnston