(Podcast 2.7.19) Does God Experience Emotions? (w. Mark Ragsdale)

Source: (Podcast 2.7.19) Does God Experience Emotions? (w. Mark Ragsdale)

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Abortion and the Theology of a Purposeless Life

Source: Abortion and the Theology of a Purposeless Life

By: Brian G. Chilton | February 5, 2019

While I am intentionally not one of the political voices of the day, I do find that many times politics crosses over into theology and vice versa. One of the more troubling news I have read is that states like New York and Virginia have either passed or considered passing legislation to permit a baby to be aborted even if it is the day of the child’s birth. I have always been a pro-life advocate. Proponents for abortion have noted that the practice should be allowed in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the child is a product of rape. However, it is extremely difficult to imagine how even the best of Planned Parenthood’s apologists could defend the blatant murder of a child on the day of its birth.

The core root behind this issue is a theological one. Where does a person find purpose in life? The reality is that without God there is no purpose. If God does not exist, then everything is nothing more than a cosmic accident. This extreme version of abortion shows deep-rooted purposelessness in those who advocate such practices and the ones who participate in such murder in three ways.

  1. Purposelessness in the Theology of Life. If there is no God, then life has no purpose. For one to uphold extreme partial-birth abortion, one must think that the child’s life has no value. Some will claim that the child is nothing more than a clump of cells. This is far more difficult to defend when a child has reached the point of birth. However, for the one who accepts a fair rendering of the atheistic worldview, no life ultimately finds any meaning. Your life doesn’t matter. My life doesn’t matter. No life matters. Atheism leads to bad ends when it comes to upholding the value of life. However, if God does exist, then every life matters, including the child in the womb.
  2. Purposelessness in the Theology of Ethics. I am not a professional political analyst…and I don’t even play one on television. However, it doesn’t take a professional political analyst to know that something is driving this push for abortion. If I were to take a guess, I would say that money is the driving force behind the legislation. How ethical is it to kill an innocent child for the sake of financial security? How ethical is it to sacrifice children for the sake of research? The answer depends on your theological underpinning. If God exists, then everything has a purpose. If God doesn’t exist, then nothing does. Thus, everything is left as a free for all in a godless universe. Even legislature itself loses meaning. Why obey the law of the land if nothing matters? Yet, if God does exist, our lives not only hold great purpose but how we treat one another has immense value especially if God is love as noted by the apostle John (1 Jn. 4:16).
  3. Purposelessness in the Theology of God. This final point may seem a bit redundant especially since purpose and value demand God’s existence. The point here is that devaluing life’s value comes from a rebellion against God. Atheists like Richard Dawkins claim that they do not have a problem with intelligent design, just the concept of God (see the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed). Why is that? Most likely, the problem is with the thought that we are not the owners of our own domain. We desire freedom to the point that we do not want anyone or anything overseeing us. Human beings do not like the idea that there might be Someone greater than ourselves who will ultimately hold us accountable even if that Someone is a loving Being. Arguments such as, “My body, my decision,” illustrates an inherent desire to be the sole master and commander of one’s body. Yet, if there is a God, then each of us will be held accountable for what we do (Rm. 14:12)—unsettling for some.

My life, my ministry, and my writings are devoted to providing a defense for the existence of God and for the authenticity of the Christian faith. If I am wrong, then it doesn’t really matter because nothing is matters. If I am wrong, then abortion isn’t wrong because nothing is wrong or right. But if I and my Christian apologist colleagues are right, then God does exist, Christ is the Savior, life has value, and abortion is the unjustified murder of innocent children. Not only does each person’s life matter in a world governed by God, but the lives of each child in his or her mother’s womb holds substantial value as well. The abortion problem is not a political issue, it is a deeply rooted theological one.

 

 

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

 

(Podcast 1.28.19) John the Baptist: A Ministry of Humility (Jn. 1:19-42)

Source: (Podcast 1.28.19) John the Baptist: A Ministry of Humility (Jn. 1:19-42)

Brian G. Chilton discusses the ministry of John the Baptist and the humility that the prophet possessed. As John the Baptist was humble, it behooves the modern Christian to adopt the same kind of humility. Such humility stems from a proper understanding of God and creation’s relationship to his grandeur.

 

About the Host

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years, is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical Philosophical Society, and currently serves as the senior pastor of Westfield Baptist Church.

About the Podcast

The Bellator Christi Podcast is a production of BellatorChristi.comand is protected under Creative Commons copyright. All rights reserved. The theme song is “Crucified,” written by John and Michaela Lemonis, performed by Crosby Lane, and produced by Mansion Entertainment(https://crosbylane.com). The views expressed on this podcast may not represent those of Bellator Christi or its affiliates. Be sure to subscribe to BellatorChristi.com to receive all the articles and podcasts in your inbox for free. Also, be sure to check out The Bellator Christi Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher and Google Play to subscribe for free.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

(Podcast 1.28.19) “Who is Jesus the Word?” (Jn. 1:1-18)

Source: (Podcast 1.28.19) “Who is Jesus the Word?” (Jn. 1:1-18)

The messages of Brian G. Chilton have returned to the Bellator Christi Podcast. On the Bellator Christi Podcast, we begin a new series in the Gospel of John. This first message examines the identity of Jesus as he is presented as the Logos (“the Word”). What does the Logos principle indicate concerning Jesus’s identity? This will be the topic of the message.

Do You Desire a Savior or a Santa Claus?

Source: Do You Desire a Savior or a Santa Claus?

By: Brian G. Chilton | January 28, 2019

 

The American church has a major problem. While I could certainly discuss declining attendance and many other issues, the root of the problem is focus. The American church has a spiritual maturity problem. It has nothing to do with Millennials, Gen-X, the iGen generation, or the Baby Boomers. The problem is an inherent desire to have a Santa Claus rather than a Savior.

This is a similar problem that the rich young ruler had. In Luke 18, a rich young ruler approached Jesus to inquire what was necessary for him to obtain eternal life. The young man listed all the good deeds he had performed in hopes that he would receive some special privilege from Jesus. Jesus gave the young man the answer. He was to sell everything he had and follow Jesus. It is not known if Jesus literally meant for the man to sell all he owned or if he was merely testing the man. Either way, the young man loved his possessions more than he desired to follow Jesus. The young man desired a Santa Claus rather than a Savior. Like the young ruler, the modern church also desires to have a Santa over a Savior in four ways.

  1. Needs over service. Notice that the rich young ruler was merely looking to have his needs met rather than seeing what he needed to do to serve the Lord. He was accustomed to living the good life and thought that following Christ would meet his personal needs. The problem was that Jesus demanded service. The man had to make God the focal point of his life. Rather than being egocentric (self-centered), he must become theocentric (God-centered). Too many Christians approach Christianity only for what they can receive than for what they can give. For this reason, many Christians church-hop (moving from one church to another) based on their perceived needs and desires. In such cases, the person wants a Santa Claus rather than a Savior.
  2. Works over faith. The young man thought that he could do enough things to earn his place in heaven. It is thought that if a child is good, he can make the “nice list” and receive a prize on Christmas morning. Too often, believers have accepted this mindset, believing that heaven is a thing to be earned rather than a place to be received. Yet, the Bible notes that “all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment” (Is. 64:6, CSB). Humanity does not have the ability to earn a spot in a place they don’t own. Like I could not force myself into a home that is not my own so a person cannot work oneself into a place that cannot be possessed. Again, the placement of works over trust in Christ leads one to desire a Santa Claus over a Savior.
  3. Entertainment over discipleship. Modern believers often want to be entertained. Many will seek places that have the best music or preachers that provide the most theatrics. Yet, such antics seldom provides true growth and discipleship. Rather, discipleship is the process in which one grows in the person’s walk with Christ. Discipleship includes dying to oneself. That is the opposite of the desire to be entertained. The desire to be entertained indicates one’s desire to have a Santa over a Savior.
  4. Comfort over mission. The young ruler was comfortable with his financial status. No one likes to be uncomfortable. Discomfort is not pleasant. The young man wanted to do the very least he could to obtain eternity. However, Christ was calling him to become missional. The young man could not accept this because he was hoping Jesus to be more like a Santa Claus figure than he was a Savior.

Believers face many challenges. Some challenges could be resolved by simply following the will of the Lord. When a person’s emphasis is placed on the self, it can lead to all sorts of unhealthy practices. Furthermore, a person may find that one has not placed genuine faith in the risen Lord Jesus, but rather in an ideology comparable to Santa Claus rather than the historical and biblical Jesus of Nazareth. So as Jesus asked his disciples, we must ask ourselves, who do we say Jesus is (Mt. 16:15)?

 

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

(Podcast 1.24.19) The Impact of Biblical Ethics on Racism in Modern America (w. Wes McGarry)

Source: (Podcast 1.24.19) The Impact of Biblical Ethics on Racism in Modern America (w. Wes McGarry)

On this edition of the Bellator Christi Podcast, Brian Chilton speaks with Wes McGarry, author of The Impact of Biblical Ethics on Racism in Modern America, about the issues of racism in the church. McGarry defines racism and looks at examples that skeptics have misconstrued as racism on God’s part. McGarry argues that neither God nor Jesus was racist. Both countered racism with love. McGarry encourages the modern church to do the same. McGarry’s book is available for purchase on Amazon.com which you can access by clicking the following link: “The Impact of Biblical Ethics on Racism in Modern America”

 

About the Speakers

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years, is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical Philosophical Society, and currently serves as the senior pastor of Westfield Baptist Church.

Wes McGarry serves as the Associate Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church. He earned an MA in Christian Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his BA in Christian Ministry from Piedmont International University where he doubled minored in Student Ministry and Pastoral Studies. Wes enjoys Star Wars, serving the local church, spending time with his family, and expressing a deep love to his Savior. Wes recently published the book “The Impact of Biblical Ethics on Racism in Modern America” which is available at Amazon.com.

 

About the Podcast

The Bellator Christi Podcast is a production of BellatorChristi.comand is protected under Creative Commons copyright. All rights reserved. The theme song is “Crucified,” written by John and Michaela Lemonis, performed by Crosby Lane, and produced by Mansion Entertainment(https://crosbylane.com). The views expressed on this podcast may not represent those of Bellator Christi or its affiliates. Be sure to subscribe to BellatorChristi.com to receive all the articles and podcasts in your inbox for free. Also, be sure to check out The Bellator Christi Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher and Google Play to subscribe for free.

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

Benefits of Admiring God’s Creation

Source: Benefits of Admiring God’s Creation

By: Brian G. Chilton | January 22, 2019

On the evening of Sunday, January 20, 2019, I and countless individuals across the nation peered into the night sky to observe the Super Wolf Blood Moon. It was a rare treat to observe a total lunar eclipse as the Earth’s shadow was cast upon the moon. I love astronomy and scientific inquiry of the universe. A person finds certain benefits when taking the time to admire the Creator’s environmental creation. No, I am not speaking of finding some prophetic interpretation behind the natural phenomena as some have tried to do. Lunar eclipses do not necessarily indicate some apocalyptic sign. Rather, one finds certain spiritual benefits behind the practice.

  1. Benefit of Appreciation. First, a person finds the benefit of appreciation. The psalmist was moved to declare that “the fool says in his heart, ‘There’s no God’” (Ps. 14:1, CSB). Perhaps the psalmist’s motivation behind penning these words—in addition to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—was his appreciation of God’s work in creation. The moon has a purpose. The moon equalizes the ocean’s tides as well as regulates the spin of the earth. When a person understands the benefits that certain aspects of creation hold, the person holds a greater appreciation for the masterful work that God has done.
  2. Benefit of Awe. Another benefit is awe. Often, we as human beings tend to think of ourselves more highly than we should. Some tend the think that they are the only ones that matter and that the world revolves around themselves, as the cliché goes. However, when a person understands the grandeur of God’s creation and how small he or she is in comparison, a person is not as tempted to think of oneself in such a manner. The person realizes just how small one really is in comparison to the universe, much less in comparison to God.
  3. Benefit of Adoration. A third benefit is that of adoration. An appreciation of nature leads one to praise God for his beautiful handiwork. The psalmist praised God, proclaiming, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1). When a person understands the intricate beauty of creation, one is left with nothing but praise for the One who established it all.
  4. Benefit of Assurance. Finally, an admiration of creation brings about a certain assurance. Pertaining to Christ, Paul notes that “all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and by him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16). If God is able to create everything in the universe, then he can certainly handle any issue you might be facing. In addition, God’s creation of all things makes it possible for God to do nearly anything. Everything becomes possible with a God who is limitless in power.

So, take some time to spend in God’s creation. By admiring the beauty of God’s creation, you may find that you will be led to glorify the One who established it in place.

 

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

(Podcast 1.18.19) Does the Law of Conservation of Energy Restrict God’s Ability to Perform Miracles?

On this edition of the Bellator Christi Podcast, Brian Chilton discusses the First Law of Thermodynamics, otherwise known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, and whether or not the law restricts God’s ability to perform miracles. Chilton argues that the universe’s beginning, the expansion of the universe, and quantum particles illustrate that the universe is open to forces outside the universe, thus showing that God can and does perform miracles in the universe.

  • Reminder to sign up for https://www.youtube.com/bcpowerman. We have 89 subscribers but we need 11 more to reach our 100 subscriber goal so that I can change the URL to the YouTube account.
  • First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy. Energy is conserved and cannot be created or destroyed in a closed system.
  • Reasons to reword one’s understanding of the law.
  • The creation of the universe—the beginning of the universe—indicates that energy can be created.
  • Three options: open, flat, or closed. If the universe were completely closed, it would slow down in its expansion. However, it is speeding up. According to many cosmologists, the universe is flat which means that it is not completely closed.
  • “Quantum mechanics allows, and indeed requires, temporary violations of conservation of energy, so one particle can become a pair of heavier particles (the so-called virtual particles), which quickly rejoin into the original particle as if they had never been there. If that were all that occurred we would still be confident that it was a real effect because it is an intrinsic part of quantum mechanics, which is extremely well tested, and is a complete and tightly woven theory–if any part of it were wrong the whole structure would collapse.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-virtual-particles-rea/
  • Thus, the argument that nothing from outside the universe can impact the universe, meaning that God could not interact with the universe and perform miracles, is eroding. This is good news for those who believe that God exists and interacts with creation.

About the Host

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years, is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical Philosophical Society, and currently serves as the senior pastor of Westfield Baptist Church.

About the Podcast

The Bellator Christi Podcast is a production of BellatorChristi.comand is protected under Creative Commons copyright. All rights reserved. The theme song is “Crucified,” written by John and Michaela Lemonis, performed by Crosby Lane, and produced by Mansion Entertainment(https://crosbylane.com). The views expressed on this podcast may not represent those of Bellator Christi or its affiliates. Be sure to subscribe to BellatorChristi.com to receive all the articles and podcasts in your inbox for free. Also, be sure to check out The Bellator Christi Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher and Google Play to subscribe for free.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

Source: (Podcast 1.18.19) Does the Law of Conservation of Energy Restrict God’s Ability to Perform Miracles?

Salt and Light: Finding the Legitimate Balance in the Christian Life

Source: Salt and Light: Finding the Legitimate Balance in the Christian Life

By: Brian G. Chilton | January 14, 2019

Life is often about finding the right balance. Too much of anything is bad for a person, even water. Consuming too much water will cause one to lose electrolytes and minerals which could lead to death—a condition called hyponatremia. The point is, balance is important with nearly everything. This same is true of the Christian life and Christian theology. Consider the issue with divine sovereignty and human freedom. If a person accepts the sovereignty of God without human freedom, then a person accepts a determinist philosophy in which human beings become nothing more than preprogrammed robots. If a person accepts human freedom and neglects divine sovereignty, the person’s perception of God becomes flawed to the point that the person contends that God does not know anything about the future. Both concepts are beyond the teachings of Scripture in my estimation. Balance is important in one’s interpretation of Scripture.

Jesus presents two concepts concerning the Christian life in his classic message: the Sermon on the Mount. On the one hand, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Mt. 5:13, CSB). On the other hand, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16, CSB). One trait without the other leads to an illegitimate Christian lifestyle and an erroneous biblical interpretation.

  1. Salt – Light = Legalism.

First, Jesus instructs the Christian to be the salt of the earth. Salt was used in biblical days as a purifying agent as well as a substance to add flavor to food. If the salt lost its flavor, then the salt was not good for anything except to be thrown out. The worthless salt would be thrown out to do nothing but kill the grass on which it fell. Salt represents the righteousness of a person as well as the person’s stand for truth.

If a person has salt in one’s life with no light (representing God’s love and grace), then the person will become a legalist. Legalistic Christianity has led more individuals to atheism than Karl Marx and Charles Darwin combined. Legalism can also lead to the creation of cults and cultic churches which is extremely troubling! Legalism is an inauthentic Christian worldview which Jesus and Paul often combated. Don’t let yourself become Pharisaical or a Judaizer in your stance for truth. As Paul says, “And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Co. 13:3).

  1. Light – Salt = Liberalism.

Jesus also tells his disciples to be the light of the world (Mt. 5:14). This is intriguing as Jesus also says that he is the light of the world (Jn. 8:12). Light is a symbol of God’s presence (Ps. 27:1; Is. 9:2; 2 Co. 4:6) as God is light (1 Jn. 1:5). Light represents God’s love, grace, and goodness. Jesus said that if we follow him, we “believe in the light so that you may become children of the light” (Jn. 12:36). Thus, people can only be the light of the world if they have received the Light of the World into their lives. Furthermore, shining forth the light of God means that we share God’s love and grace to a dark world.

However, if a person lives his or her life with light that is not tempered with salt, then the person accepts a liberal mindset which is as destructive as legalism. Liberalism, in this sense, shares God’s word and extends God’s love but does not hold a standard of truth and moral righteousness. The result is a life that is not undergirded with God’s truth and eventually becomes watered down. This person is ironically one who becomes more susceptible to cults and cult-like movements due to his or her naivety.

  1. Salt + Light = Legitimate.

The only legitimate construct is one that combines both salt and light. Salt with no light leads to legalism, light with no salt leads to liberalism, but salt and light leads to a legitimate Christian walk. Paul notes that a life of love is one that “finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth” (1 Co. 13:6). You might say, “Yeah, but I don’t like telling anyone that they may be wrong.” Consider this: If you witnessed someone who was unaware that he or she was standing dangerously close to a cliff’s edge, would you advise them to be careful or just let them fall to their death? The loving thing to do would be to caution the person of the danger. Likewise, Christians should lovingly stand for truth and lovingly extend God’s grace to all they encounter by acts of kindness. As Jesus said, we need to both be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. As a friend of mine once said, “Only Jesus had the appropriate balance. We need to attempt to find that balance ourselves.”

 

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

(Podcast 1.10.19) Top Ten Challenges Facing the Church in 2019 (w. Wes McGarry)

Source: (Podcast 1.10.19) Top Ten Challenges Facing the Church in 2019 (w. Wes McGarry)

On this edition of the Bellator Christi Podcast, Brian Chilton and Wes McGarry (the pastoral team at Westfield Baptist Church) discuss the top-ten challenges facing the church in 2019. These issues are not related to one specific church but are issues that the church in America must face as a collaborative whole. They discuss depression, expectations of the pastoral staff in general, disunity in the church, politics, traditionalism, ethical standards, biblical authority, the lack of evangelism, apathy, and doctrine. Join us for a lively conversation on some very important issues.

About the Speakers

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years, is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical Philosophical Society, and currently serves as the senior pastor of Westfield Baptist Church.

Wes McGarry serves as the Associate Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church. He earned an MA in Christian Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his BA in Christian Ministry from Piedmont International University where he doubled minored in Student Ministry and Pastoral Studies. Wes enjoys Star Wars, serving the local church, spending time with his family, and expressing a deep love to his Savior. Wes recently published the book “The Impact on Biblical Ethics on Racism in Modern America” which is available at Amazon.com.

 

About the Podcast

The Bellator Christi Podcast is a production of BellatorChristi.comand is protected under Creative Commons copyright. All rights reserved. The theme song is “Crucified,” written by John and Michaela Lemonis, performed by Crosby Lane, and produced by Mansion Entertainment(https://crosbylane.com). The views expressed on this podcast may not represent those of Bellator Christi or its affiliates. Be sure to subscribe to BellatorChristi.com to receive all the articles and podcasts in your inbox for free. Also, be sure to check out The Bellator Christi Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher and Google Play to subscribe for free.

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

The Messianic Prophecy of Genesis 49:10

Source: The Messianic Prophecy of Genesis 49:10

By: Brian G. Chilton | January 7, 2019

Unfortunately, messianic prophecies are not given the attention today that they were in previous generations. Perhaps such a lessening of the prophecies come by a preconceived anti-supernatural bias against predictions of future events. Possibly. Or, it could come by the impression that Christians are reading into the texts what they desire. It is true that some passages may have been stretched to fit the Christian worldview. However, many held messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible (i.e., Old Testament) are legitimate. They hold a great deal of weight and are quite useful in modern apologetics.

Michael Brown mentions an often-forgotten messianic prophecy in the Torah found in Genesis 49:10. The text comes from Jacob’s final address to his sons before his death. Jacob says, “The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff between his feet until he whose right it comes (Shiloh, mine) and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him” (Gn. 49:19, CSB). The text has been considered messianic for many years—that is, it predicts the future coming of Messiah. But is this text an authentic messianic prophecy? It appears so for four reasons.

  1. Definition of ShilohIn the CSB translation, the term translated as “he whose right it comes” is the term shiloh. Shiloh can mean “the peaceful one,” “the one whose right it comes,” and/or “the one to whom tribute comes.” A derivative of the term, which may be used in the text, is shelloh which means “whose it is.” The Septuagint (LXX), the Peshito, and the Jewish Targums prefer all favor this derivative. It appears that the term is also referenced in Ezekiel 21:27 where the prophet says, “A ruin, a ruin, I will make it a ruin! Yet this will not happen until he comes; I have given the judgment to him” (Ez. 21:27, CSB, emphasis mine).
  2. Importance of Judah. Judah was guilty of immorality in chapter 38. However, Judah would not be completely disqualified from a future inheritance. Through Judah’s lineage, the Messiah would usher in a future age of abundance and prosperity. Thus, the son who would bring forth this promise would be from the lineage of Judah.
  3. Personification of the Descendant. One of the tricky aspects of the text is trying to define the term The question is whether the term refers to a person or to a place. Michael Brown contends that Jewish translations hold that the term is personal (Brown AJOTJ3, 12). Furthermore, the text renders Shiloh as a person rather than a place. The personal pronouns suggest that Shiloh references a person who accepts the kingly rule. Personal descriptions are given of him in verses 11 and 12. There are good reasons for accepting the reference as a person rather than a place. Ultimately, an eternal reign only makes sense when referencing the eternal Messiah.
  4. Fulfillment Found in Jesus. The NT seems to indicate that Genesis 49:10 is a messianic prophecy implicitly. Jesus is shown to be a descendant of Judah (Mt. 1) as he is identified as the “Lion from the tribe of Judah” (Rv. 5:5). Each tribe had its own banner with a respective symbol. The lion was the symbol for the tribe of Judah. Jesus would be the banner for the tribe. If Genesis 49:10 is a messianic prophecy which the evidence seems to suggest, then Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of the passage.

While some have held that the Torah does not contain a messianic prophecy, Genesis 49:10 seems to counter such an objection. From the definition of Shiloh to the personification of the term, a person can find further corroboration of Jesus’s claim to be Messiah. If Jesus is not the Messiah, then there could never be one. For who else could be from the tribe of Judah who would also have an everlasting reign?

Source:

Brown, Michael J. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Volume Three—Messianic Prophecy Objections. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003.

About the Author

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

2019 Bible Reading Plan

Source: 2019 Bible Reading Plan

By: Brian G. Chilton | December 31, 2018

 

On this last day of 2018, we reflect on the year that has passed. 2018 has been an exciting year for my family and me. We moved to a new location and to a new church at Westfield Baptist Church. We are excited about the new friends we have met and the new ministry opportunities that God has presented. New Year’s Day not only provides time for reflection on the year that has passed, but it provides excitement to the possibilities in the year to come. Like many of you, I have set personal goals to get in more exercise and to eat healthier. Yet, the most important resolutions that can be set are spiritual. As part of your spiritual resolutions for 2019, I encourage you to set forth a Bible reading plan. I have come across five that look exceptionally good. Click the titles to be taken to the programs.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan

The Chronological Bible Reading plan is a one-year plan that takes a person through the Bible historically as each event transpired. For the history buffs, this may be a plan you will like. The only downside is that a person will not start reading the NT until October.

5x5x5 New Testament Reading Plan

Discipleship Journal produced a 5x5x5 one-year reading plan through the NT. The plan takes 5 minutes a day, over 5 days a week, and provides 5 ways to engage the text before taking two days for reflection. Then, the process begins afresh. This program is good for those who want to read through the NT and may be new to Bible reading programs. The plan is also good to help the person catch up if they forgot to read one day. The downside is that the program does not cover the OT.

Tabletalk Magazine Bible in a Year

Tabletalk Magazine produced a compelling one-year Bible reading program that chronologically covers the Bible while engaging both the OT and NT each day. The program is especially attractive in that it provides readings to be covered each weekend while not being overly stringent on which day the reading is to occur. The setup allows a person the opportunity to catch up on their readings should they fall behind. The daily readings are not overly complicated, either. This is a program I am personally considering for the year ahead.

Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Discipleship Journal produced another Bible reading plan for those who may be a bit more experienced in yearly Bible readings. This plan covers the entire Bible over the course of a year. Like Tabletalk Magazine’s plan, I am highly considering using this plan. This plan has a daily reading from the OT, a reading from the Wisdom Literature (Psalms, Proverbs), a reading from the Gospels, and a reading from the NT. The readings are not overwhelming in scope. Each day holds a reading, unlike Tabletalk’s plan that allows for one to catch up in any readings they may have neglected in the week ahead, but the readings are not too lengthy. I have been accustomed to the daily readings in the Book of Common Prayer which follows a similar pattern to this reading plan. This might be the program I use.

5 Day Reading Plan

BibleClassMaterial.com published this program which, like the Tabletalk program, only requires five days a week to accomplish. For those who want a straight reading of Scripture as it appears in the Bible while also reading in the NT each day, this program may be for you. By the end of the year, the person using this program will have read from Genesis to Malachi and from Matthew to Revelation. The only downside to this program is that the readings can get long in sections. However, since the plan does not include weekends, a person can easily catch up on the plan’s off days.

Whichever plan is best for you, I think it is important to have some reading Bible reading program in place. If you should find yourself where you missed a few days, don’t be discouraged. Simply pick the program back up and continue. They say to eat an apple a day will keep the doctor away. Likewise, reading the Bible each day will keep the Devil at bay.

I hope each of you has a most wonderful and blessed 2019!!!

 

About the Author

 Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

 

© 2019. BellatorChristi.com.

(Podcast 12.28.18) Bird Box and Fighting the Demons We Face Today

Source: (Podcast 12.28.18) Bird Box and Fighting the Demons We Face Today

On this edition of the Bellator Christi Podcast, host Brian Chilton discusses Netflix’s latest movie thriller Bird Box and the similarities it holds to the demons facing us today. Be warned, this episode includes spoilers. So, if you haven’t watched the movie and plan to watch it, you might want to wait to listen to this episode at a later time. Chilton discusses the premise of the movie and correlates its themes to four ways Christians must fight the demons of today while spreading the light of Christ.

Bird Box is a production of Bluegrass Films, Chris Morgan Productions, and Universal Pictures and is distributed by Netflix. All images and namesakes of Bird Box belong to its producers. All rights reserved.

About the Host

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years, is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical Philosophical Society, and currently serves as the senior pastor of Westfield Baptist Church.

About the Podcast

The Bellator Christi Podcast is a production of BellatorChristi.comand is protected under Creative Commons copyright. All rights reserved. The theme song is “Crucified,” written by John and Michaela Lemonis, performed by Crosby Lane, and produced by Mansion Entertainment(https://crosbylane.com). The views expressed on this podcast may not represent those of Bellator Christi or its affiliates. Be sure to subscribe to BellatorChristi.com to receive all the articles and podcasts in your inbox for free. Also, be sure to check out The Bellator Christi Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher and Google Play to subscribe for free.

© 2018. BellatorChristi.com.