“Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” + LINKUP

 

Foxe's Book of MartyrsWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by by John Foxe, editied by Harold J. Chadwick.

John Foxe was a 16th century English historian best known for writing Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. His book gives a detailed account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history.

His book is about courageous men, women and children who have been tortured and killed because of their confessions of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But, even more, it’s a book about God’s amazing grace that enabled them to endure persecutions and often horrible deaths.

 

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs has been edited and updated many times since John Foxe wrote the first volume in English in 1563 under the title, Acts and Monuments of These Latter and Perillous Dayes, but it became known almost immediately as the Book of Martyrs.

At the time it was written many of the events the author describes were still taking place and it was written more like a reporter would write today. Foxe probably witnessed many of the events or knew people who did. Other stories were sent to him by those who had suffered or knew people who had.

Editor, Harold Chadwick writes:

Without question the book began in Foxe’s mind when he was at Magdalen College at Oxford University, where he held a fellowship for seven years. He had first been sent by his parents to Brasenose College at the University when he was sixteen. During that time Reformation doctrines were strong throughout Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and Foxe was highly influenced by them. He began intensive study of the Scriptures and began to question the doctrines and practices of the Roman church. Before long he was an affirmed Protestant and nothing ever turned him from that path. This so changed his conduct that before long suspicions began to arise about his allegiance to the Church of Rome. Then it was reported that Foxe was taking solitary walks in the evening and could be heard sobbing and pouring out prayers to God. When questioned about this practice, he openly stated his new religious opinions, and was almost immediately expelled from the college as a confirmed heretic.

Sometime later he married Agnes Randell, a fellow believer, and stayed for a time with her parents.

By this means and others, Foxe kept himself concealed for some time from the papist inquisitors. This continued from the reign of King Henry VIII, through the open and peaceful days of Edward VI, and into the reign of Queen Mary I, who brought back into England all of the Roman Catholic doctrines and the pope’s power. Knowing then what was to happen, Foxe and his family left England and traveled first to Strasbourg, France, then to Frankfurt, Germany, and then to Basel, Switzerland. There he found a number of English refugees who had fled England to avoid the cruelty of the persecutors, and there began work on his now famous book.

Foxe’s history of the martyrs starts with the first century martyrs, including Jesus Himself and Stephen who was martyred about 8 years after the crucifixion.  Continue reading

“Uprooting Anger” + LINKUP

 

Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem - Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem by Robert D. Jones.

 

Anger, who hasn’t experienced it. We call it by different names like: frustration, upset, hurt. Doing so makes us feel better about it or minimize it in some way.

Jesus had a different view. He didn’t minimize it. In fact, He showed us it’s a serious heart issue.

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matt. 5.21-22).

Murder and anger come from the same sinful heart condition. I may not pull out a gun, but I can murder with my words, attitudes and actions.

Because it’s a heart condition, it’s not enough to simply decide to quit exploding or giving someone else the silent treatment. While we may be able to grit our teeth and stuff those feelings for a while, sooner or later they erupt some place else.

So how can we attack anger at it’s root, in the heart? Robert Jones has given us a guide. He begins:

There will be no thorough and lasting godly change without root removal. Moralistic efforts to be patient with your co-workers won’t cut it. Regret-riddled resolutions to stop yelling at your kids won’t last. You must rip out those angry roots.

He goes on:

This book is written for the average reader who recognizes that anger is a too-frequent issue in his life and a too-prevalent problem in his family, work, and church relationships.

Mr. Jones defines anger and explains the differences between sinful anger and righteous anger. The heart of the book helps us understand that the roots of sinful anger don’t come from our circumstances, but from our inner beliefs and motives.  Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “How shall we escape …?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 49 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. When it comes to salvation, many intend to get right with God someday, but someday could be too late.

 

This week’s question: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2.3).

This could be the most important question for someone reading this!

We have probably all had something, sometime, that we have neglected: something we should have studied more, something we should have taken better care of, or something we should have paid attention to. It could be something minor or something major like a relationship or our physical health.

But there is one thing we can not afford to neglect: our eternal destiny. Hawkins quotes the old adage that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” That could literally be true for some. Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “Our Bodies: God’s Holy of Holies” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 48 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?” (1 Corinthians 6.19).

To better understand this weeks question, let’s read it in context. 1 Corinthians 6.18-20:

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Hawkins:

You’ve probably noticed: sex sells in modern America. It sells blue jeans, music, cars, computers, cameras, even mouthwash. Everyone is talking about sex today— everyone except for moms and dads in the home, and preachers and teachers in the church. So young people learn about sex from the hottest new entertainers of this day and the media— voices that too often fill their minds with immoral, if not utterly wrong, information. More than one generation in America has been raised with little to no moral absolutes, so relativism has taken root, influencing the thought processes of too many individuals away from God’s truth. What was yesterday’s shocking behavior is today’s norm. What used to slither down the darkened back alleys now struts proudly down Main Street.

I’m not sure exactly when Hawkins penned the words in this book, but those last two sentences become truer and truer by the minute! What was yesterday’s shocking behavior is certainly today’s norm. In fact, what used to be universally condemned is now being celebrated. What used to “slither down the darkened back alleys” is now considered hateful to even speak out against. Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “What do you want me to do?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 45 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9.6).

I love Hawkin’s opening to this chapter:

September 11, 2001, is a date like December 7, 1941— one that will live on in infamy. America was suddenly awakened to the reality that terrorism was not simply confined to the Middle East. Certainly, twenty-first-century terrorism is nothing new to that part of the world. One of the cruelest terrorist attacks of the first century took center stage in Acts, chapter 9. The man was en route from Jerusalem to Damascus, and his goal was clear: stamp out a Christian uprising there. In Acts 8 his terrorist cell, operating out of Jerusalem, had successfully eliminated Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The traveler was engaged in a systematic attempt to use intimidation and murder to crush this new and expanding church. This traveler— named Saul— was the master terrorist of his day, and like today’s terrorists, his evil acts were in the name of religion.

But something happened that transformed him. “Suddenly a light shone round him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ ” (Acts 9: 3– 5). The risen Christ revealed Himself to Saul who, “trembling and astonished,” asked, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (v. 6).

God had a unique job for Saul, later Paul. He would eventually write over half of the New Testament and travel all over the Mediterranean area sharing the gospel, teaching, and planting churches.

Like Paul each of us is unique and God has a unique purpose for us, a job no one else is designed to do in quite the same way – a job that will bring us joy and satisfaction in the process. Continue reading