Archive for March 29th, 2009

Hornady Critical Defense FTX Ammunition

Posted on March 29, 2009. Filed under: Guns and Hunting |

If you want a reliable, accurate jacketed hollow point self-defense round for your concealed carry pistol or revolver, you need to try the newest bullet from Hornady, the Critical Defense FTX. This bullet has solved the problem that hollowpoints have had for years- the hollowed out area in the front of the bullet gets plugged with dry material, like clothing, and then the bullet fails to properly expand. The Hornady Critical Defense FTX offers reliable expansion even through a thick winter coat.

www.hornady.com/story.php?s=786

Yesterday I went to the range at The Shooter’s Club in Fort Worth with my son Jeremy and friend Erich.

www.theshootersclub.com/

Erich and Jeremy both had new pistols they were wanting to try out and I was needing some practice with my S&W Mod. 66. But I was also eager to try out some new ammo that Jeremy had turned me on to, the Hornady Critical Defense FTX.

Friday after work I pulled into the Grapevine Academy store to pick up some ammo. They were basically out of all target ammo for the .380 and 9mm and .38 Special. The had almost no pistol ammo and were out of .308 rifle ammo. This was a little bit disconcerting. I had heard that there has been a run on guns and ammo since the election of B. Husseing Obamasky, but this was ridiculous. They did have some Hornady Critical Defense FTX in .380 so I picked up a box. At $25 a box, I only got the one box of 25 rds. I picked up a box of Winchester 147gr. 9mm because that was all they had. Voof!

We got to The Shooter’s Club at about 1130 Saturday and they had several firing lanes open, but right after we bought our tickets, a lot more people came in and filled the place up. We were just in time!

I have been to most of the shooting ranges in the Fort Worth area and The Shooters Club is definitely one of the best. The staff are always fun to talk with and knowledgeable and the range is a good solid, workable indoor range.

The three of us went to our assigned lanes and began unpacking. I had brought 3 handguns: my Ruger P-89, which I ended up not shooting, my S&W Mod 66, and my Taurus PT-58 in .380 ACP. Jeremy provided the ride to the range and the targets and soon we were all three sending bullets down range.

Jeremy was trying out his new Taurus PT-111 Millenium Pro 9mm which he had shot once before but had some technical failures and had to send it in to get fixed. He got it back not long ago and now was ready to really test it out. He shot well with a small variety of ammo and really likes it.

www.taurus-handguns.com/category/948-Taurus_Millennium_Pistols.aspx

He tried one box of the Hornady Critical Defense ammo and had no problems. But his Millenium did have 1 failure to fire with American Eagle ammo. As soon as he squeezed the trigger again it fired.

Next, Jeremy switched to his Glock 19 in 9mm and fired another couple of boxes.

www.glock.com/english/index_pistols.htm

I had two goals for today’s training. 1) With my model 66 over the years I have noticed that 95% of the time I shoot it on single action. With a 6″ barrel, it is not a concealed carry gun, but I do carry it when I am hog hunting as my back up. On single action I can hit a man sized target at about 75 yards. But I need to practice it on double action, so that was the goal today.

My second goal was to shoot the box of 25 rds of Hornady Critical Defense in my Taurus PT-58 to see if it would function with this bullet. I had previously had some trouble with Hornady XTP rounds jamming my .380 so I stopped carrying that bullet in favor of Winchester Silvertips and Remington Golden Sabres, my two favorite hollow-points.

I pulled out the  Model 66 first and I took out a box of 100 rds of .38 special FMJ 130 grain bullets. I decided to conduct this training with the lower recoil .38s and next time move up to the .38 +P and then later move up to .357mag.

I put up a target and ran it out to about 7 yards. My plan was to fire 3 rds quickly, 2 to the chest in a point shoot style very fast, the 3rd round aimed at the head, but still very quickly. The goal was to get 3 rds in the kill zone in 2 seconds or less. This would be very different from the Qual ranges for my security officer’s license that was run very slowly with timed shoots with a ridiculous amount of time so that we could take a sure steady aim with each round. Today, I was going for speed first, but I wanted to see how that speed affected my accuracy.

I fired the first box of 50 at 7 yards and here is my score:

7 ring- 1

8 ring- 6

9 ring- 12

10 ring- 13

X ring- 7

Head- 16

Miss- 1 (head shot)

Total 56 rds.

Now that is not great shooting, a lot of guys could put all the rounds in the 9 or 10 ring at 7 yds. But, I was happy with my speed and accuracy. The one shot that missed the head, I knew immediately that I had pulled it out without taking aim. If I had been shooting that round at the body it would have been in the 8 ring; but if you are going to take a head shot, you had better aim every time.

The next box of .38s I moved the target all the way back to the 10 yard range. The only problem with The Shooter’s Club is that their range only goes to 10 yards.

At this range here is my score:

Outer edge (6 ring?) -1 (I immediately knew I had pulled this one out, it still hit the perp in the arm)

7 ring- 1

8 ring- 8

9 ring- 12

10 ring- 6

X ring- 4

Head- 11 with 2 misses (and one of those would have taken off his ear)

Total- 44

All in all I was satisfied with this bit of training. My goal for next time, besides upping the power to +P, is to have ZERO misses. At Ten yards it is simply unacceptable to miss with even a head shot.

After those hundred rounds I laid my Mod. 66 aside to cool off and pulled out my Taurus .380. A lot of people who write for gun mags always enjoy discounting the .380. I like this diminutive round a lot because I can fire it accurately and not have to worry about over-penetration and liability concerns that entails. The guy next to me on the range was firing .357 Sig ammo. That is an excellent round, but I am not sure I would carry that for personal defense unless we had a TEOTWAWKI situation or if I was hog huntin’.

I have had my Taurus PT-58 since 1994 and it is wonderful and reliable pistol. It is about th largest .380 ever made I guess, but with a 12 and 1 capacity, it has to be large.

All I wanted to do this morning was test it with the 25 rounds of Hornady I had purchased because my prior experience with Hornady had not been good with this pistol.

I loaded up the magazine and set the target at 7 yards. I kept the same firing sequence I had used with the Mod. 66, two rounds center of mass fired Very quickly with just a point shoot, then 1 bullet aimed at the head, but all in 2 seconds or less. After firing those 12 rds I loaded the remaining 13 and pushed the target out to 10 yds and repeated the exercise. I did not change targets this time like I did with the .38s but here is my score:

7 ring-1 (and that was dead center, below the Adam’s apple)

8 ring- 6

9 ring- 6

10 ring- 2

X ring- 1

Head – 9

That score doesn’t tell the whole story. With the .38 my groups were pretty big, but all those were double action. Now with the .380 my group was very tight, the dispersion was up and down, but all centered. The double action first round on every 3 round set shot lower in the group, but the lowest bullet was the 1 round in the X ring! The group was about 4″ wide but centered where the heart would be. The head shots were also more tightly grouped than with the S&W mod 66, but all the .380 head shots were fired on single action.

I had NO misfires or jams with the Hornady Critical Defense FTX rounds. These 90 grain jhp bullets leave the muzzle at about 1000 fps and have about 200 foot pounds of energy. Hitting where I was hitting, and not one miss, I am confident that each shot would have stopped an aggressor cold.

Now before I can whoop and hollar about the new Hornady bullets, I will have to test 1 or two more boxes with my Taurus and then get 2-3 boxes for my wife’s Sig P-230. I quite simply will not trust a new type of ammo until I have fired at least 50 rounds through the gun, and 75-100 is better. But at $1 a bullet for .380…..Voof! I will have to go slow ’cause that will break my very limited shooting budget. So far I am very impressed with this new offering by Hornady.

Go to the website I have linked above to see how the round actually works. If this bullet tests good in my two .380’s, I will start loading the Hornady bullets in all my guns!

The shoot at the range was a good time for the three of us. We went back to the house and had some hot tea and talked about guns, politics, books and religion, a great time!

Equality 7-2521

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Genesis 11:27-12:9 “Was Abraham a Historical Figure?”

Posted on March 29, 2009. Filed under: Genesis: Answers to Life's Crucial Questions |

Redeemer Church Sunday School

Genesis Class

Genesis 11:27-12:9 “Was Abraham a Historical Figure?”

Bryan Walker

 

Read Genesis 11:27-12:9; Acts 7:1-8

 

Introduction: Without a doubt Abraham is one of the Big Three Old Testament characters (the other two being Moses and King David). Yet many liberals don’t think there ever was a real Abraham. This morning we are going to look at Abraham in the big picture and then look at his family’s beginnings. We shall see that there is some good supporting evidence for their being an historical Abraham and that amongst his family, when Abram received his call from the LORD, there was one who died, one who stayed, one who stopped, one who strayed, and finally, one who obeyed.

 

I.                   Historical and Literary Background

A.     Crucial Question: Was Abram a Real, Historical Person?

1.      Post-flood history– The first eleven chapters of the Bible we believe to be historical. In other words, I believe there was a real Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Methuselah and Noah, Ham and Shem. I believe there was a real Creation with a real Garden of Eden and a talking snake. I believe there was a real Flood and a real Ark with real animals on board. But we have not much extra-biblical support for these things so to an extent, they are beyond history in the strictest sense. For me to affirm their historicity is more of a faith statement based upon the veracity of the rest of Scripture.

2.      With the account of Terah and the Abraham story we get to the part of Scripture that is supported, generally, by history and archeology. Some would say that doesn’t or shouldn’t matter. I say that the historicity of the Bible is one of the major blessings of God as it does support and confirm the doctrines of the inspiration and truthfulness of Scripture. If you want a book that is not rooted in history go to the Book of Mormon. The Bible’s historicity supports its claims that God revealed himself to real people in space and time. Take away the historicity of the Bible and our faith would crumble. Paul speaks of the historicity of the resurrection of Christ in 1 Cor. 15.

 

Though we do not have any extra-biblical document or artifact that “proves” Abraham was a real person (or Isaac, Jacob or Joseph), what we have is a lot of documents and artifacts that show conclusively that the cultural milieu of Abraham’s day that we see in Genesis is accurate. One reason that this is important is that the Bible claims that Moses wrote Genesis, yet he is writing about things that happened hundreds of years, maybe even a thousand years before his day. Things were enough different in Moses’ day that the general cultural situation was substantially different, yet he gets Abraham’s day right, according to other sources we now have.

 

For example, we know that Abram was married to his half-sister, Sarai, the daughter of Terah by another wife. This was not allowed in Moses’ day, the Law forbids it. It was allowed, we now know, in Abraham’s day. We now know that Terah’s migration from Ur to Haran, and Abram’s subsequent journey from Haran to Canaan was a part of a broader migration pattern by the people group Abram came from at about the same time.

 

There have been, and still are, fierce scholarly battles over the historicity of the narratives in the Pentateuch. Beginning in the late 19th century until the middle of the 20th, the liberal critics seriously discredited the historical nature of the Pentateuch. But by the middle of the 20th century there were some conservative scholars who were able to use the science of archeology to prove the background of the narratives in the Pentateuch was accurate. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that liberal scholars treat the Bible differently than they treat other ancient literature and are much more critical of the Bible than they are of other literature. They respond that it is because the Bible is a religious work so the people writing it are biased. Yet, the conservative scholars reply, that the liberal scholars do not treat other ancient religious texts as harshly as the Bible, thus revealing they have an a priori disposition against the Bible. Two of the more conservative OT scholars need to be singled out for their work, William F. Albright and John Bright.

 

3.      I believe Abraham was a historical figure and that the stories in Genesis are true. Does this mean that the accounts are trouble free? No. But they are true. Abraham is mentioned over 90 times in the NT, so if you deny the historicity of Abraham, you will much difficulty in accepting the veracity of the NT as well.

4.      One of the few things that Christianity, Judaism and islam all share is…Abraham.

 

B.     Literary Background

 

1.      The placement of Abraham’s story within the broader framework of Genesis shows him to be the central character of the book. Moses begins the second main section of Genesis with Abraham. Depending on how you count the toledoths, either 10 or 11, Abraham is in a key position (some commentators apparently combine the 2 toledoths in ch. 36:1, 9, the two accounts of Esau). There are 5 pre-Abrahamic toledoths (2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:9) and 5 post-Abrahamic toledoths (25:12; 25:19; 36:1, 9; 37:2).

2.      Moses has dealt with the larger story of humanity in Gen. 1-11:9. At 11:10 he begins focusing on the genealogy of Shem narrowing the story down to Terah and his 3 sons. (Again, Adam had 3 sons mentioned-Cain, Abel and Seth; Moses had three sons mentioned and now Terah has 3 sons.)

3.      The doctrine of election is subtly portrayed in the genealogies and then boldly portrayed in the Patriarch narratives. Seth over Cain, Shem over Ham or Japheth, Peleg over Joktan, Abram over Nahor and Haran (11:27-32). Shem’s son, Eber, might be where we get the name Hebrews from, ‘eber vs. ‘ibri.

 

II.                Abraham in Three Religions

A.     Judaism

1.      Above all, Abraham is the Father of the Jewish People. (Deut. 6:10; Josh 24:3; 2Chron 20:7; Psalm 105:6; Isa. 51:2; 63:6; 4 Maccabees 6:16-21; 17:5; 1 Esdra 9:55; Luke 3:8; John 8:39, 53; Acts 3:25; 7:2).

2.      Abraham’s journey from Ur and again later from Egypt, prefigured Israel’s journeys from Egypt with Moses and then, much later, from Babylon under the edict of Cyrus.

3.      God’s covenant with Abraham included a royal land grant centuries prior to the Davidic Kingdom.

4.      Jewish tradition considered Abraham to have kept the Law prior to the giving of the Law. He was the model of righteousness. As such he was considered to be the abode of the pious after death (Matt.8:11; Lk. 13:28; 16:23).

B.     Christianity

1.      The Church accepted Abraham’s place as the recipient of God’s covenant. (Lk.1:73; Acts 3:25; Rom.4:13, 16; Gal.3:16,18; Heb.6:13; 11:17). Jesus is the promised Seed of Abraham. Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness and that same kind of faith, which preceded the giving of the Law, is what we need to be saved.

2.      Abraham’s circumcision is related to Christian baptism.

3.      Abraham’s offering of his son Isaac points to our hope for resurrection and the substitutionary death of Christ.

4.      Jesus is shown to be a descendant of Abraham’s.

C.     Islam

1.      Muhammad pointed to Abraham as the model for true believers in Islam. He opposed idolatry (Surah 6:74ff; 19:42ff). Islam teaches that Abraham was worshipping Allah and was a Muslim and that Judaism corrupted the religion as did Christianity. Abraham practiced 4 of the 5 “Pillars” 1) rejected false gods for Allah alone; 2)Obeyed God’s will 3) made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and, 4) offered sacrifice to Allah.

2.      Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham through Ishmael.

3.      Abraham and Ishmael, in the Koran, were directed by Allah to go to Mecca and there they founded and purified the holy sanctuary Ka’ba. This parallels the Jewish belief that Abraham offered Isaac on Mt. Moriah which is where Solomon later built his Temple.

 

III.             Terah’s Family

A.     Ur of the Chaldeans

1.      Ur is traditionally identified as the home of Terah. This city, located in southern Iraq, has been excavated by C.L.Wooley in 1922-34 and was one of the principal cities of ancient Sumer, the cradle of civilization.  

2.      In 15:7 the LORD informs Abram that it was He who brought him out of Ur. Even though Abram was following his father, and his father was probably not a follower of the LORD, it was the LORD who directed their paths. Acts 7 informs us that the call of Abram in ch. 12 occurred while he still lived in Ur. The Elamites destroyed Ur in 1950BC which is close enough to the time of Abram’s journey that it might be one of the causes of Terah wanting to leave as well.

3.      Chaldeans is an added update much later. They were not called Chaldeans until about the 9th century BC.

B.     Family relationships

1.      Marrying close family relations was practiced at this time. Endogamy is the technical term. Sarai was Abram’s half sister we find out in 20:12. Milcah married her uncle Nahor in 11:29. Sarai means princess and Micah is related to the word for queen. Milcah’s granddaughter is Rebekah, born to Milcah’s son, Bethuel, and she marries Abraham’s son Isaac. Milcah’s grandson, Laban, has two daughters, Leah and Rachel who marry Abram’s grandson, Jacob.

2.      Why is Sarai not featured here as Milcah? She is not given a beginning and she is mentioned as being childless. To the people of that day this would communicate meaninglessness, a person with no beginning and no future. Her barrenness is a constant part of the story until the birth of Isaac in her old age. Barrenness, however, as the patriarchal stories unfold, is a sign of God’s blessing, a sign of being of the elect. Look at Rebekah in 25:21; and Rachel, the favorite wife of Jacob. This can even be seen as a metaphor of Israel who was spiritually barren, corrupted by legalism, occupied by Rome, but bore the Messiah, Jesus.

 

Application: When we are weak and “barren” we can have hope because our God uses the weak and barren in surprising ways. We must always respond in faith, even when we see others being “fruitful” while we seem to be “unfruitful”.

 

“Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely. He sees and knows all the way you have trod; never alone are the least of his children; have faith in God! Have faith in God

 

Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered, your earnest plea he will never forget; wait on the Lord, trust his Word and be patient. Have faith in God, he’ll answer yet.

 

Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow, His heart is touched by your grief and despair; Cast all your cares and your burdens upon him, and leave them there, oh, leave them there.

 

Have faith in God though all else fail about you; Have faith in God, He provides for his own. He cannot fail tho all kingdoms shall perish, he rules, he reigns upon his throne.

 

Refrain:

Have faith in God, He’s on his throne; Have faith in God he watches o’er his own. He cannot fail, he must prevail; have faith in God, have faith in God.

 

“Have Faith in God” B.B. McKinney 1934, Broadman Press, The Baptist Hymnal, 1991ed., Convention Press: Nashville, TN. #405.

 

C.     Setting Out for Canaan

1.      Vs. 28 Haran died-

 

2.      Vs.31 Terah took …Abram…and Lot…and Sarai (but not Nahor) Why did Nahor not go with the rest of the family? Nahor was the one who stayed. He had no faith for the journey. He stayed in the land of idolatry.

3.      Vs. 31 shows that Terah set out for Canaan, but stopped in Haran, which was way out of the path to Canaan. Was Terah part of the call to Abram to go to Canaan? If so, why did he get sidetracked? Keep in mind that Abram’s family and background was idolatrous (Josh.24:14). When it says that Terah “settled there” in Haran, the meaning is negative, it casts doubt on his decision to stop in Haran. This sets up a negative contrast with the positive obedience of Abram in 12:4. The last time the words “settled there” were used were back in 11:2 where people settled there in the plain of Shinar and built the Tower of Babel. Abraham was to be a sojourner, he would not come to settle in any one place, nor would he own any other land other than his tomb. Terah was the man who stopped. Was Terah a believer or a pretender? Was he like the seed that was choked out by the thorns in Mark 4 where the cares of this world choke off the fruit?

4.      Vs.31 and Lot…his grandson…Lot would be the one who chose to settle by Sodom, then he moves into Sodom, then he is sitting in the gates of the city as a leader in that wicked city, finally he is dragged out of Sodom by two angels before it is destroyed. Lot is the one who strayed.

5.      Vs12:4 So Abram went as the LORD had told him… Abram is the one who obeyed.

6.       Application: There are those who reject the call and stay in their sinful condition, like Nahor. There are those who may seem to be called, like Terah, but get sidetracked easily and choose to settle in Haran instead of continuing the journey to the Promised Land. There are those who follow for a long time but do not finish well and end up straying into gross sin, like Lot. We must fix our eyes on Jesus and never lose sight of the goal of holiness, Christ-likeness and, ultimately, heaven. That would be like Abraham.

7.      And Terah died in Haran. For those whose home is this life and this world, death awaits. For those whose sights are set on the land of promise, they shall be rewarded with seeing God. All those who deny God and suppress the truth, they shall not even find consolation in death.

*****************************

Sources:

The New American Commentary Series, Genesis11:27-50:26, Vol.1B by Kenneth A. Matthews. Broadman&Holman: Nashville, TN. 2005 (pp.24-37, 83-104).

Be Basic-Genesis 1-11 Believing the Simple Truth of God’s Word by Warren W. Wiersbe. Chariot Victor Publishing: Colorado Springs, 1998 (p.141).

Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Genesis, by Derek Kidner. InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, Ill. 1967 (pp.111-112).

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 2, “Genesis” by John H. Sailhamer. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1990 (pp.108-111).

 

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