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May 26 2006 By virtueonline TAKEN INTO HEAVEN

As my mind took me back all those years, Phil Yancey reminded me of Bill's twenty-eight years as pastor of that church. One Sunday Bill was attacked by three men in the sanctuary, as they sought to rob him of the morning offering. He was hit over the head with a bowling pin, kicked and battered with a fire extinguisher. They stripped him of his clothing, gagged and tied him up before leaving him. He began a tutoring program for the local students.

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May 20 2006 By virtueonline LOVE IS BLIND TO DISTINCTIONS

Jesus gives an example of this at a dinner party hosted by a prominent Pharisee, when he noticed how the guests were picking the places of honor at the table. "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.

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May 12 2006 By virtueonline Love Your Neighbor "As Yourself"

This raises another problem. There is a strain of teaching in some Christian circles that would denigrate self-love. Conviction of sin is so heavily stressed in some teaching that the believer is led to an attitude of self-abhorrence and self-loathing. But how can such an attitude be compatible with measuring our love for others by our love for ourselves?

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May 07 2006 By virtueonline HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT LOVE EXISTS?

There are some people who are so skeptical about love that they deceive themselves into thinking that love does not exist.

They cheat themselves out of love. They are self-deceived. They lock themselves out from love.

They prevent themselves from experiencing the essence of life; for it is love that endures. Love never ends. Love is eternal. In eternity to find out that you have rejected love, and been self-deceived, is to find that you have lost everything.

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April 28 2006 By virtueonline THE RESURRECTION BODY

St. Paul turns the tables on such thinking in 1 Corinthians 15 when he uses the analogies of nature to explain the resurrection of the body. He answers the question: "But someone may ask, 'How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?'" (v.35)

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April 23 2006 By virtueonline DOUBTING THE RESURRECTION

Paul gave us several consequences of not believing in the resurrection of the dead. He said that the Christian faith and life is absurd if the resurrection is not true.

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April 17 2006 By virtueonline THIS IS IT! - by Ted Schroder

First, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. He took our place on the Cross and died so that we might be forgiven and made acceptable to God, and ourselves.

Secondly, that Christ was buried. He really died, and he really was buried. Despite being the Son of God he experienced all the sufferings and terrors of dying and death. He truly took upon himself our sinful and weak humanity.

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April 07 2006 By virtueonline THE DEMONSTRATION OF THE LOVE OF GOD

We couldn't accept a cheap and superficial forgiveness for ourselves if we had been assaulted, rejected, offended, hurt, or abused. If so, why should we force such a conception of forgiveness on God? Because we want to minimize the damage our sin has occasioned. We want to be let off lightly. We don't want to feel badly about what we have done, or about what we have left undone. We don't want to feel guilty.

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April 01 2006 By virtueonline LOVE OR COVET: GIVE OR TAKE

Desire is natural to human life. Not to desire is to be apathetic, and to have no goals. To love is to desire. To covet, however, is to want to have something which is not ours to have - to take away from someone what is their's. It is sinful desire, greedy desire, selfish desire, avarice, cupidity. Wars are started by national leaders coveting the territory and resources of other nations. Takeovers occur because companies covet their competitor's business.

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March 18 2006 By virtueonline TRUE OR FALSE? - by Ted Schroder

Paul Zahl has drawn attention to this issue in his citing George Orwell's novel, 1984. The psychologist Erich Fromm, commenting on Orwell's portrayal of Big Brother, wrote, "In describing the kind of thinking which is dominant in 1984, Orwell has coined a word which has already become part of the modern vocabulary: 'Doublethink.'

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