Tuesday, December 19, 2006


"When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live."
Exodus 1:16

Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, "Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live."
Exodus 1:22

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
Matthew 2:16

Addiction: Progressive Sin

A more precise way to think about the progression of addiction is that it begins as the sin of the naïve and develops into the sin of one who is hardened and trapped. It starts as a sin with few consequences and develops into a sin with painful consequences. At first, the consequences might be a ing headache or a little less spending money. With practice, everything is spoiled: the body is sick, the soul is numb, and relationships are broken. Practiced, repeated sin results in slavery, a multitude of painful consequences, and God abandoning people to their own desires so they are left always wanting one more. Such a profile can only be described as a great tragedy.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 38, 39]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Portia Nelson has written a piece titled: "Autobiography in Five Short Chapters." It reads:

Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place,
but it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.

Sin and More

Heavy drinkers and other addicts genuinely feel out of control, but they are also making choices rooted in their own self-centeredness and pride. Since this is an apparent paradox, we tend to emphasize one or the other. Theology, however, keeps us balanced. Sometimes we will stress the in-control nature of our hearts, at other times we will emphasize the powerlessness and slavery of addictive behaviors. Yet good, practical theology keeps this larger spectrum of sin in mind. It also recognizes that sin is not the only biblical doctrine relevant to addictions.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 36]

Even Denying the Master

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their , and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
2 Peter 2:1-3

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Addiction: Slavery to Passions and Desires

With this biblical reframing of addictions, perhaps we should suggest a more precise definition. Addiction is to the rule of a substance, activity, or state of mind, which then becomes the center of life, defending itself from the truth so that even bad consequences don’t bring repentance, and leading to further estrangement from God. To locate it on the theological map, look under sin. More specifically, since sin is a broad category that includes both self-conscious disobedience and victimizing slavery, find addiction on the side that emphasizes slavery.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 35]

A Lamp Shining In the Darkness

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:16-21

Monday, December 11, 2006

Slavery to Sin Looks Like Disease

Sin is more than conscious choices. Like a cruel taskmaster, sin victimizes and controls us (John 8:34). It captures and overtakes (Gal. 6:1). In fact, there are times when we intend to do one thing but sin causes us to do things we don’t want to do. Even though we may really want to change, it can seem like an overwhelming or impossible task to actually do so. As the apostle Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do….As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me” (Rom. 7:15, 17). In other words, sin feels exactly like a disease. It feels as if something outside ourselves has taken over....
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 33]

Make Your Calling and Election Sure

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
2 Peter 1:5-10

Friday, December 08, 2006

Disease or Sin?

There is a dramatic difference between seeing drunkenness as a victimizing physical weakness versus an expression of a self-focused heart.
  • A physical weakness is not changed, only tolerated and controlled. A self-centered, idolatrous heart can be transformed by sanctifying grace through the Holy Spirit and can receive spiritual resources to fight a winning battle.
  • A physical weakness does not motivate us to engage in spiritual battle. Knowing that we have a self-centered heart should compel us to examine ourselves and repent.
  • A physical weakness limits Jesus Christ’s role to that of helper. The person convicted of a self-centered heart cries out to Christ the Lord, Redeemer, Shepherd, Conqueror, and King.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 32]

Everything Pertaining to Life

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
2 Peter 1:2-4

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stop Depriving One Another

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have s e xual relations with a woman." But because of the temptation to s e xual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7:1-5

Our Bodies Can't Make Us Sin

Biblical approaches to addictions do not deny that the physical body is part of the addictive process. We are, after all, embodied souls. Everything we do is physical. Where Scripture brings more precision into this discussion is in its teaching that the physical body can’t make us sin. It can make our lives miserable, it can leave us vulnerable to certain temptations, and sometimes it could be the focus of our attention, but it can’t irresistibly force us to violate God’s commands.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 31]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Church Authority

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."
Matthew 18:18-20

One Drink, One Drunk?

…With heavy drinking, this has been simplified to the motto, “One drink, one drunk.” That is, once you take the first drink, your craving for the second will be irresistible. This motto has been canonized as gospel in many quarters but it is not as simple as it seems. For example, every persons who struggles with heavy drinking will be able to remember times when he or she had just one drink. Even though it is wise advice to avoid the first drink, it is just plain wrong to say that the first drink will inevitably and irresistibly lead to the second. In fact, some have suggested that the motto has backfired, in that problem drinkers assume they will have to continue to drink if they drink just one. The reality is that in order to drink to intoxication, there must be time, resources, and a context where drinkers feel they have permission to continue. Drunkenness is not inevitable after one drink, nor is the craving for more always present after one drink.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 30]

The Chief Cornerstone

Who can tell me the truth about the canon? The Bible tells me that the church is the pillar and foundation of truth. What is the church? I think Christians would say that only Jesus—who is the way, the truth and the life, really would have the authority to say. If Jesus is in fact God omniscient, this stands to reason: look around you; many different people have many different and contradictory opinions. Therefore all human “truth” is subjective, unless Christians are right, and only Jesus is “The Way, the Truth and The Life.” He would be capable of truth. So if the church was capable of choosing the canon, then Jesus would have to give the church the authority (i.e. “capability”) to do so.

So what (or where) is this church that bears God’s authority? When he established His church Jesus said, “Upon this Rock I will build my church.” If the church is the pillar and foundation of truth and it was established and built by Christ, then it, presumably, is the only body that can tell us authoritatively which books are in the canon of scripture.

When Jesus said He was establishing the pillar and foundation of truth (which alone can tell us what is in the Canon), what did He mean by “the Rock?” Was it Peter (as Catholics argue), was it Jesus Himself, was it Peter’s faith?” Presumably if we can find the “rock” we will know where Christ’s church is.

Mike, where or what is the Rock? Please give me your answer. But, perhaps more importantly (and sincere) respect, please give me reasons why I can believe that you know the true answer to this question.

Tom’s next questions are quite good and reasonable. What is the Church and how do we know?

I’ll start with the last question first. Why would anyone read further? I know what I’m saying is true because I see it in the Bible, the Word of God. If I’m wrong in my ordering or exegesis, I would be happy to change my mind. But the correction would need to be based on the Scripture and right understanding of Scripture. God’s word does not change, though I might misread it. But on the things I’ve said below, I don’t think so.

Tom is correct to notice that Christ is the rock, the final authority, the truth, etc. but what do we mean by all these terms and where do they come from?

Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us that God is the rock of our salvation. He is filled with justice, mercy and truth. He has given his people birth into a new life (cf. the context, esp. vss. 15, 18).

Isaiah 44:8 tells us that there is no other rock besides God. There are, of course, a lot of passages between Deuteronomy and Isaiah which tell us what kind of rock God is: that he is loving, kind, merciful, loves to give forgiveness, etc., but we are headed in a particular direction here.

What is the God of Israel’s name? Who is he as distinguished from the gods of the other countries surrounding Israel? YHWH is his name. We sometimes call him Yahweh, or Jehovah and most modern translations of the Bible translate his name as Lord (small caps) to distinguish it from Lord, who might be a human person. The point here is that it is not just any god who is the Rock, it is Yahweh who is the only Rock the foundation, the savior of God’s people.

Isaiah 40:3 says that a prophet will come telling the people to “prepare a way for the Lord (Yahweh), make straight a highway for our God (as opposed to the gods of other lands). Then the Apostle Matthew tells us that John the Baptist was the one “who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight'" (Mat. 3:3). Matthew’s point here is that the one John was announcing was God on earth. And when you go back to various passages in the Old Testament you can see that God had promised that he would indeed live on earth and save his people from their sins by dying on a cross. He would also prove it to be the case by rising from the dead three days later.

This coming one, as it turned out, was Jesus of Nazareth, Immanuel, God with us. YHWH in human form, walking around, eating and drinking.

But the Bible takes the image of a stone and uses it to talk about a building, made up of the people of God. In Isaiah 28:16 God says that he will set a tested stone to be the cornerstone in the Kingdom of God. And previously Psalm 118:22 had said that the Jews would reject the stone, but that it would become a precious cornerstone. Jesus understood that he was that stone, tested and precious, when he said to the Jews, “"Have you never read in the Scriptures: "' The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits” (Mat. 21:42-43). Contextually he is saying that the Jews would reject him and that God would take the Kingdom of Heaven from them and give it to those who would believe.

Further, the Apostles understood that Jesus was not only YHWH, but that he was the Stone as well, rejected by his people and having become the cornerstone of the Christian Church, the Kingdom of God, made up of all who believe and are baptized. We see this specifically in 1 Peter 2:6-9 when Peter says that these same verses and more refer to Jesus the Christ. Jesus is not only God on earth, but he is also the Stone of offense, the Stone the builders rejected, and the stone that has become the cornerstone of the whole building.

A building does not only consist of a cornerstone, however, it also includes a foundation and an actual building. The New Testament writers said that Jesus is the cornerstone of the building, the church, with the apostles and prophets as its foundation (cf. Eph. 2:20-22). The building that rests on this foundation is made up of the church itself, you and me and all those who down through history have believed and been baptized (1 Pet. 2:1-10). So the picture is that the building is made up of bricks, a foundation, and a cornerstone. It makes up the Church itself.

To get back to Tom’s questions, then, Jesus is the Stone that holds the whole thing together. The Apostles, including Peter, are the foundation of the building. And the saints down through history are the bricks that make up the building.

There are several metaphors the Bible uses that are helpful here. One of them is that of a body. The Church is the body of Christ and Christ is the head of the body. What Christ wants to do his body follows him in doing. As the building grows, the kingdom grows and so the body grows. But bodies grow in several ways at the same time. It grows out and up, and it also changes its look. So too the body of Christ. As the Gospel spreads through the world the body grows (e.g. the Mustard seed for example). And because sin is in the world, the body has various ailments, sprains, breaks, pimples, cancers, etc. But because the body of Christ is Christ’s body, it can never be killed. It has already been killed and is risen. Christ has also promised to make his bride beautiful over time (to mix the metaphors) and so we know that because Jesus is Lord, the body will be changing over time.

In history, the church has held various councils and meetings to establish certain key truths about Christianity. God has not left us without a Word, he has given us teachers, preachers, parents, and the Holy Spirit to help us understand his will for us in the world. It is important to remember that the whole thing is organic. There is no human structure like the empire state building, which will eventually fall over. Christ’s building is eternal because it is made up of baptized believers, who are loving, serving, worshiping, and living in Christ.

We do not worship the Bible, we worship the God of the Bible. But we do read and diligently study the Bible. It is the repository of what God thinks and desires. It is our source of specific knowledge of God and how he wants us to live as we wait for him. In addition to studying the word itself, we study what others through history have learned and gleaned from it. They are not authoritative in the same way the Bible is, but because these saints have gone before us in the power of the Spirit of God it would be folly for us to ignore their discoveries. The Church of Christ is the presence of Christ in the world and what the Church has believed through the years is what we believe and teach. This is because this is what the cornerstone of the Church believes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Trust Him Because He Loves Me

Again, Tom writes:

Similarly, if one of the tests of the canon of scripture is whether or not it leads you to another God besides the one found in the Bible, and if your reason for believing that the God of the Bible is the word of the true God primarily because the Bible says so, how do you know that a writing that leads you to another God is not, in fact, leading you to the true God (who may not be the God of the Bible at all)? Perhaps this other God also has his or her own scriptures that say that he or she is the true God (and that all others are wrong).

It seems to me that in the case of the policeman, you need an authority to tell you that this is truly a policeman. A badge is helpful, and your gut feelings about whether this fellow really could be a policeman or not are helpful, but a government that backs up the man’s claim to be a policeman is the best proof. There you have something solid.

Hi Tom,

Beyond what I wrote in my last post, Douglas Wilson wrote a little piece as part of his “What I Learned in Narnia” series. You can find it here: http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=3203.

To this I would add that I know the Bible is the word of God because I know him. He is my savior, my redeemer, my God, my Lord, and my friend. I know that my redeemer lives and he has not left me or his people without a word. The bible is that word. I have been a Christian my entire life and nothing has shown itself to be in opposition to what I find in the Scriptures.

Occasionally I have questions, but because I know God I’m happy to wait for him to reveal the answers either in this life or the next (or never at all). Because God loves me and I know it full well, I am content to wait on him. I trust him.

Influenced vs. Determined

Most researchers are quick to point out that the biologically oriented studies suggest that genetics can influence people, and with this scripture has no dispute. People can be physiologically predisposed to enjoying a particular drug, food, activity, or physical experience, but there is a categorical difference between being influenced by genetics and being determined by it. Possible physiological tendencies do not mean that self-control is impossible or that personal responsibility is diminished. They simply mean that some people must be more vigilant in situations where that sin can be easily provoked.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 27,28]

Self Glorification Maintains Unbelief

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
John 5:44

Word of God

This is a short list of sources for how we got our Bible.

Holy Scripture, by William Bloesch, p. 149ff.
The Canon of Scripture, by F.F. Bruce, p. 255ff.
Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem, p. 54ff.
Systematic Theology, by Louis Berkhof, p. 144ff.
Foundations of the Christian Faith, by Boice, p. 37ff.

Pretty much any book that talks about the Bible also talks about how we got the Bible in the form we have it today.

Happy reading.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Word of God and Circular Reasoning

Tom made some great comments and asked some good questions. I’ll answer them as I get time, over the next few days.

You wrote: "We know that the Bible is the Word of God primarily because it says it is and assumes that it is.” I find this reasoning unsatisfying. It is, I believe, what is known as "circular reasoning," like someone telling you he is a policeman and that you have to believe it because he is a policeman. Later on you might find out that he lied, or was confused and only thought he was a policeman. So why would I believe that the Bible is the word of God primarily because it says so?


First let me say that I appreciate your tone and your curiosity. You are asking good questions in a good way. I appreciate that.

The first answer is that all arguments are, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, circular. They all eventually get to the point of asking, who says? Or by what standard? The problem, then, isn’t that the argument is circular, which I’m happy to admit it is, but who or what is the authority for the facts or presuppositions of the argument? In many cases we are happy to admit the authority of the speaker or source as a valid authority (experts, authors, athletes, etc.). In this case we are saying that the one who defines everything is our authority. God tells us what everything is. The sky is blue, for example, because he says it is. 2+2=4 because that is the way God defined that particular math problem. We are so used to the way life is that we forget that it is this way for purposeful reasons, and those reasons abide in the mind of God.

So, the first answer to your question is we believe the Bible to be God’s word because God says it is and he is a suitable authority to make circular statements about himself. How could he do anything else? There can be no higher authority to appeal to.

If a fellow claiming to be a policeman comes up to you and tells you to get out of the car, you can only tell if he isn’t a policeman by appealing to something above him. Policeman must wear badges, for example. A higher court decreed it. Does he have a badge on? Then according to that higher decree there is a good chance that he is indeed a cop. But let’s say that you found out later that he wasn’t a policeman after all. How would you determine this unless you appealed to some higher power or authority? In the case of God and his word, there is no higher authority to appeal to. So you have to take his tests and apply them to people who claim to speak on his behalf. Which leads to the second point.

The Tests of a Prophet
Second, the Koran claims to be the word of God. The Book of Mormon claims to be the word of God. We could go on for a long time listing books that claim to be sacred scripture. All of these books and texts assume or teach that the Old Testament is accurate as far as it goes. For example, the Koran agrees with the Old Testament as far as Ishmael. The Book of Mormon declares itself to be another testament, claiming to be in complete agreement with what is already found in the Old and New Testaments.

So, we are to run the tests given in the Bible to see if their prophets are true prophets and their texts truly the Word of God. Do they seek to have us follow gods other than the God of the Bible? Even if you go way back to the beginning you can see that the god of the Koran is not the same God as the God of the first 17 chapters of the Bible. The first verse of the Bible, for example says that God created everything. God made the world in such a way that we understand that created object reflects the character and nature of the one who created. Thus whatever God creates will reflect who he is to anyone looking at the created object. This means that we can look around us, at any level, and make observations about the person of the being that created what we find. What we see is great diversity and great similarity at the same time. We see complexity and simplicity. We see singularity and plurality. Then, when we look from the creation to the Bible we find that same God revealed on those pages. We find a single God with plurality personality—a Trinity. That is the kind of God we find in the Bible. But is it the same God we find in the Koran? No. The God of Islam is a monadic, singular God. Mohamed was not a very good Bible scholar. He got the one god part of Judaism right, but not the triune God of the Bible as a whole. This is because the man who claimed to speak for God in the 7th century did not know the true God and consequently was not sent by him. (Mormonism fails this test as well btw.)

What do we find when we examine Mormonism? The second test is that the things the prophet says will happen do. If you examine the claims of Joseph Smith you will find that he gave all sorts of prophetic decrees and exhortations that had foretelling aspects to them. Some of them appeared to come true, but many many did not. If you’d like to see more on this you can visit a web site like this: http://www.utlm.org/. The Bible says that if God is speaking through a man, what he says will happen does. In the Bible we see this kind of prophecy happening over and over again with no flaws or misses. Thus we know that the Bible is true and Mormonism is a false religion. (Islam fails this test too.)

What about the third test? What the newer prophet says must fit with previous scripture. This means that if somehow the prophet either didn’t make any predictive announcements or if they somehow came true and if the god seemed to be the same God of the Bible, you would need to watch for a little longer to see if what they were saying lined up with what we already had. If you hold either Mormonism or Islam up to the Bible, they fail this test as well. Islam is a religion of vengeance and warfare. Mormonism is a polytheistic religion in which the God of the Bible is not the highest God in the universe, simply one of many.

Lest the reader think I am picking on these two other “religions” let me say that we can do this with any religious group in the world. Is what they are representing to us as God’s word, actually God’s word? Does it agree with what we see around us? Does what they teach about God and the world fit with how life actually is and what we understand about God in his word? Does it try to lead us away from the God revealed in the bible? Does it tell us of a god that doesn’t do what he says he will do? Does it tell us of a God who changes his mind and character to suit the “prophet”? Does the god represented look amazingly like the man who claims to represent him?

You might say that Jesus looked a lot like God, to which I would say yes, but that is because he was God. Abraham didn’t look anything like the God he represented. Neither did Moses or any other prophet in the Bible. They were all very human and very sinful human beings. The claim in the Bible, however about Jesus, is that he was God incarnate. And this is key to the difference between Christianity and the other religions. They claim that Jesus was a prophet, but the Bible claims that he was God.

My point here is that when you subject the prophecies of the other religions through the basic tests of prophecy, you find that only Christianity passes them all.

Redemptive History
There is a third proof that the Bible is the word of God. This is tied to the major theme of the book—redemptive history. The bible is a book about God and his dealings with man. But the primary relationship between God and man involves redemption. Man sinned and is in rebellion against God. The story of the Bible is primarily about how God is working in history to save his people from their sins and to restore them to the covenantal relationship they were originally created to share with him. The key question to ask here is, Is it true? Does the explanation of God fit with what we see around us? Yes it does. The God taught about in the Bible is the only way we can accurately explain everything we see around us.

Second, does what the text say will happen happen in actual history? Yes. Everything the prophets said would happen happened. Not only did it happen exactly like how it was described, but it also happened when they said it would happen.

Third, what does the Bible point to? It points to and culminates in Jesus of Nazareth. It not only culminates in Jesus the man, but it is fulfilled in his death for humanity on a cross. But even more spectacularly, the promise is that he would rise from the dead. If he did not rise, none of anything else in the Bible is true and the whole thing should be chucked into a deep hole somewhere. But it did happen. Jesus did rise from the dead. The Bible says that Jesus was justified as the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:3). And when Jesus was vindicated, the Bible was also validated as being the Word of God.

I hope this helps.

Addictions: Purposeful Decisions

But the disease doesn’t fit as well as we might think. The cravings and desires at the core of the addictive experience are not quite the same as an invading virus. If you catch a virus, you have no choice. You don’t want it, and you would be glad to be rid of it. Heaving drinking, however, doesn’t just happen to us. Instead, the drinker feels there are pay off—however temporary—to drunkenness. (There are for any sin.) In other words, addicts make choices to pursue their addiction…Even with the associated misery, people drink because on some level drinking does something for them. Their drinking is purposeful.
[Welch, Edward T., Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2001), pg. 26]

Preparation for Victory

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.

Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
Proverbs 24:17-20