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Start Your New Week with a Word of Edification, Exhortation and Comfort from Daniel Botkin

Welcome to the Gates of Eden Blog ~ New posts weekly at 8PM following Shabbat

March 15, 2020

I have often heard people use the words spirit and spiritual when talking about art and art-related topics, but I have rarely if ever heard anyone explain what the somewhat vague adjective "spiritual" actually means when it is used to describe art. As an artist who makes his living primarily by writing articles on theological subjects and teaching the Bible, I would like to share some things which validate the idea that art and the creative process are, indeed, spiritual. We are created in the image of God. There are several aspects of God's nature and character which He imparts to His human creatures, and one of those aspects is His urge to create. As a matter of fact, the very first thing the Bible says about God is that He created: "In the beginning God created..." In the Hebrew text the verb "created" actually comes before the subject "God," thus emphasizing the importance of the creative urge and the creative process.

December 14, 2019

Among Christians there are two extreme views of speaking in tongues. One extreme view is the belief that people who never speak in tongues are lost and on their way to hell. This view is based on the notion that the initial external evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues, and if a person has never spoken in tongues, that is evidence they do not have the Spirit and therefore do not belong to Christ, because “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). Brethren, I, like Paul, speak in tongues more than ye all. And like Paul, I would that ye all spake with tongues. Nevertheless, I reject this false notion. The opposite extreme view of speaking in tongues is the notion that all modern-day manifestations of speaking in tongues are deceptions and delusions, inspired either by people’s fleshly wishful thinking, or by demonic spirits.

November 17, 2019

"Queers wear red on Thursdays." At least that was what students said at my high school in 1964. We didn't know where that rumor came from, or even if it was true, but we weren't taking any chances. Every Thursday we made sure to not wear any garment with red in it. Even white socks with red stripes along the tops were avoided on Thursdays. We didn't want to do anything that might raise even a remote suspicion that we might be one of "them," because we were disgusted by the thought of the things that "those people" did. Even if we didn't know the word "abomination," we knew that homosexuality was an abomination. We didn't even need the Bible to tell us that. In the 1960s we knew intuitively that homosexual behavior was an

July 14, 2019

In Numbers 16 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron. As a result, Yahweh caused the earth to open its mouth and swallow the three rebels and their families, so that they all went down alive into the pit. Then the earth closed over them. This should have been enough to convince everyone that Aaron was indeed Yahweh's choice to be High Priest. Nonetheless, to further confirm the authority and priesthood of Aaron, God had all twelve heads of the twelve tribes bring their rods to Moses. Each rod, including Aaron's, had its owner's name written on it. All twelve rods were then laid together overnight in the tabernacle. The next morning all the rods still looked the same, except for Aaron's. Aaron's rod

February 24, 2019

I have often heard people use the words spirit and spiritual when talking about art and art-related topics, but I have rarely if ever heard anyone explain what the somewhat vague adjective "spiritual" actually means when it is used to describe art. As an artist who makes his living primarily by writing articles on theological subjects and teaching the Bible, I would like to share some things which validate the idea that art and the creative process are, indeed, spiritual. We are created in the image of God. There are several aspects of God's nature and character which He imparts to His human creatures, and one of those aspects is His urge to create. As a matter of fact, the very first thing

November 25, 2018

“Forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Cor. 14:39). Among Christians there are two extreme views of speaking in tongues. One extreme view is the belief that people who never speak in tongues are lost and on their way to hell. This view is based on the notion that the initial external evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues, and if a person has never spoken in tongues, that is evidence they do not have the Spirit and therefore do not belong to Christ, because “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). Brethren, I, like Paul, speak in tongues more than ye all. And like Paul, I would that ye all spake with tongues. Nevertheless, I reject this false notion. The opposite extreme view of speaking in tongues is the notion that all

October 28, 2018

"Queers wear red on Thursdays." At least that was what students said at my high school in 1964. We didn't know where that rumor came from, or even if it was true, but we weren't taking any chances. Every Thursday we made sure to not wear any garment with red in it. Even white socks with red stripes along the tops were avoided on Thursdays. We didn't want to do anything that might raise even a remote suspicion that we might be one of "them," because we were disgusted by the thought of the things that "those people" did. Even if we didn't know the word "abomination," we knew that homosexuality was an abomination. We didn't even need the Bible to tell us that. In the 1960s we knew intuitively that homosexual behavior was an abomination. Fast forward to the 1970s. I was in college, sitting in the art building at Illinois

June 17, 2018

In Numbers 16 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron. As a result, Yahweh caused the earth to open its mouth and swallow the three rebels and their families, so that they all went down alive into the pit. Then the earth closed over them. This should have been enough to convince

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