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Posts Tagged ‘God’s Word’

Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? Engaging with Andy Stanley

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment

by Michael J. Kruger

One of the most profound challenges for Christians as we live in an ever-more-hostile world is how to properly defend the faith against the incessant attacks against it. And these attacks have taken their toll. We have seen far too many casualties over the years as people leave the church because they had doubts or questions that were never answered.

It is precisely this issue that is behind Andy Stanley’s recent sermon, “The Bible Told Me So” (preached Aug 28, 2016). Stanley, son of well-known Atlanta pastor, Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.

Stanley’s concern in this sermon is for those who have experienced what he calls “deconversions”—people who went to church as a child but have drifted away from the faith as they have reached adulthood. They drifted away because they went to a church that refused to answer their difficult questions and insisted that they were “just supposed to have faith.”

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section One – Authority, Revelation, and Scripture (Q.4)

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

William F. Leonhart III

Q.4: What is the Word of God?

A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, and the only certain rule of faith and obedience.1

12 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 2:20

In ages past, God revealed Himself in many ways. He spoke through visions, dreams, a burning bush, and even a donkey. At one point, He spoke through a stuttering, stammering prophet. At other points, He spoke directly to people. This same God “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world,” (Heb. 1:2; NASB). These words of Christ, by the work of His Spirit, were brought to His apostles’ remembrance and written down in His holy word.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: A Few Reasons why I believe the Bible

February 25, 2015 2 comments

The Bible is not the book of the year, it is the book of the ages. It has outsold, outlasted and surpassed in reach more than all other books put together. However, not so long ago, personal reading of the Bible was frowned upon in my native Ireland.

In fact, in many countries, the Bible has been burned and banned. Indeed, rather than accept that the Bible is God’s word, many still deny, distort and disregard its gracious truths. “Oh, we can’t believe the Bible,” some sneeringly say, “Science disproves it.” Well, I’ll be the first to admit that the Bible is not a science textbook. It isn’t meant to be. It’s a book that teaches us about God, His character and His redemption through Jesus Christ. However, when someone says that science disproves the Bible, they are incorrect. They would be more accurate if they said that some science disagrees with certain parts of the Bible. Disagreement, however, neither proves nor disproves anything.

Given enough time, science will catch up with the truths of the Scriptures. Science, you see, is always changing and developing. For example, it is reported that in 1861, the French Academy of Science printed a brochure giving 51 incontrovertible scientific facts as to why the Bible was in error. Today, not one scientist believes in any of these so called proofs.

Again, for thousands of years, the science of the day maintained that the earth was flat. In 1492, as his ears rang loud with warnings that he would fall off the edge of the world, poor old Columbus set sail to discover new lands. But the earth wasn’t flat. The Bible had said this all along. 2,700 years ago the Bible prophet Isaiah stated, “It is He that sits on the circle of the Earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word “Circle” is literally the word for sphere or globe! So, how did Isaiah know that the earth was a sphere? That’s simple. God told him (2 Peter 1:21).

God’s word is never changing, but science is. For example, we take it for granted that the earth is suspended in space. But science didn’t always believe that. In ancient Egypt, they believed that the earth rested on 5 pillars. The Greeks, in turn, believed that it was supported by a giant named Atlas. The ancient Hindus believed that the world rested on the backs of giant elephants who in turn rested on a giant turtle who rested on the back of a coiled serpent swimming in a cosmic sea. But we don’t find anything like that in the Bible. What we do find, however, is Job 26:7 which informs us, “He hangs the earth upon nothing!” Wow! How did Job know that? That’s simple. God told him.

Again, consider how in 150 BC, Hipparchus the astronomer charted the heavens and concluded there were 1,022 stars. A few hundred years later, Ptolemy, said that due to scientific advances he could now tell that Hipparchus was incorrect. There were not 1,022 stars, there were, in fact, 1,026. Then, 1300 years later, along came Galileo with his telescope and reckoned that the stars numbered in their 1000s. Was he correct? Far from it! Astronomers now estimate that there are at least 12 octillion stars in the known galaxies.

However, no one needed to calculate the number of the celestial luminaries. Jeremiah, the Bible prophet, had already let them know. He stated explicitly that the host of heaven (the stars) cannot be numbered (Jeremiah 33:22). How did he know that? It’s simple. God told him.

If time and space were to allow, we could discuss another reason why I believe the Bible and that is the reliability of Bible prophesy. It’s fascinating. Names like Josiah, Cyrus and Daniel would be prominent. The precise prophesy concerning the destruction of Babylon would be noted. We could also observe the Bible’s accuracy in foretelling the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ. We could likewise note how the Lord Jesus endorsed the Bible as being God’s book. However, those things must wait for another time.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Is It Possible for Christians to Idolize the Bible?

January 26, 2015 13 comments

My comment: As I discuss scripture on social media, I am often accused of making the Bible an idol. Those who accuse me of this do not like it when I constantly appeal to scripture to make my case concerning the topic under discussion. I am usually told by many on social media that we are not to make the Bible an idol, but the main thing is for a person to have Jesus in their heart. Now I would absolutely agree that we need to know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, but where and through what medium does our Lord communicate his will to us? Christ’s will can only be made known to us through sacred scripture.

Scripture tells us that the very words of holy writ are inspired of God. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,……..” Paul’s declaration of scripture’s inspiration refers to its origin. He uses the Greek word ‘theopneust’, which means ‘God-breathed’. Though the word is usually translated ‘inspired’, which means to breathe in, technically the word ‘theopneust’ refers to a breathing out, which might more accurately be translated ‘expired’. Paul is saying that scripture is expired or breathed out by God. This breathing out is the breath of God.

The Reformers had a high view of scripture. They believed that the Bible is the Word of God, the verbum Dei, or the voice of God, the vox Dei. Matter fact it has been said that justification was the material cause of the Reformation, while the issue of authority was its formal cause. The battle cry of the Reformers and now my battle cry also, is sola fide and sola scriptura. Faith Alone and Scripture Alone is what I stand on. With this much stated, I want to point you to an article:

 

 

By Colin Smith

A few months ago, I read the following in an article by an author who self-identifies as an evangelical: “While the Bible is an important and authoritative guide for Christian faith and practice, it isn’t the foundation or center of our faith- Jesus is… Studying Scripture is valuable, but nowhere near as valuable as cultivating a day to day relationship with the God incarnate.”

This author has a number of views that make him a bit of an outlier in the evangelical movement as it’s been traditionally defined. However, I’m finding that his view of Scripture is increasingly common. More and more, I hear sentiments within the Church like:

 

•“Many Christians are putting too much emphasis on the Bible instead of Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
•“The Trinity is not Father, Son, and Holy Scripture.”
•“Beware of making the Bible an idol.”

Hence the question: Is it possible for Christians to idolize the Bible?

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Gendered terms rightly defined by James White

January 7, 2014 4 comments

I would like to share an article from James White at Alpha Omega Ministries. This article is profound in that it rightly defines words such as: father, mother, husband, wife, and marriage; words that today are trying to be redefined. But as James White states, these words cannot be redefined because they are gendered terms and will always describe the object, in which they are being used towards, by their very definition. In other words, just as the term bachelor will always carry with it the meaning of an unmarried man, even so the term husband will always carry with it, the notion of a man who is married to a woman.

Here is the article:

 

 

Mr. Church: That is the Sound of the Barbarians at the Gates

Yesterday I was directed to a Tweet picture that spoke volumes. Here it is:

Pictures can say more than a thousand words, to be sure. And this picture speaks volumes. But I would like to respond to Mr. Church’s interpretation, which I would call the “interpretation of inevitability.”

First, the issue of the abuse of language, the constant ploy of those seeking to degrade the moral and ethical foundation of a culture. The term “homophobe” is one of the most absurd, vacuous, mind-numbing terms ever introduced into the English language. It has no meaningful function, since its actual meaning, and its usage, are rarely concurrent. I do not know any homophobes, personally, since that term would refer to someone who has an irrational fear of their own kind. But that is not how Mr. Church is using it. It is a convenient, if untruthful, term used to slander those who believe homosexuality, as an act and as a lifestyle, is immoral and destructive to human flourishing. Hence it is a convenient way of demonizing an entire position without even offering a meaningful moral or ethical argument. The regularity of its use is witness to the bankruptcy of the position espoused by Mr. Church.

Next, when I look at this picture, many issues crowd my mind. Some I will not enter into here (military readiness, the on-going degradation of the strength of the US and the results that will have in destabilizing the political structures around the world). The main issue though is this: if this is supposed to be a “marriage,” who is the husband, and who is the wife? I am not talking about dominant/submissive roles. I am talking about husbands and wives. See, words have meanings. Marriage has meaning. To marry, as a verb, has meaning, and hence, that meaning is filled out by the direct object of the verb. I, a man, married a woman. Hence, I am a husband, with all the meaning that term carries, to a specific woman, who is my wife, with all the meaning that term likewise carries. All the public education and eradication of human nature in the world cannot remove from those who are created in the image of God a basic, instinctive understanding that “husband” is a gendered term, “wife” is a gendered term, “father” is a gendered term, and “mother” is the most gendered term known to humanity. Hence, “marriage” has a meaning that this picture can never represent, since there is no husband, and there is no wife, in it. Without a husband, you have no marriage. Without a wife, you have no marriage. You can have relationships of all kinds, but what you do not have is a marriage. All the glazed eyes of judges or the wild eyes of zealots can not change this basic reality. This is why we instinctively show pity and compassion to the child who has lost a father or a mother: we recognize the need for both. This is why we likewise look down upon the abusive parent of either gender, and we do so properly. Shame is a proper and good thing when it is used to curb the evil of men and women. But all of these considerations are irrelevant to the picture above, for there is no father, there is no mother, no husband, no wife, no marriage. Just two men kissing, one in uniform. Their strong feelings for each other can never surmount the insurmountable: they cannot be married anymore than they can bear children, fly, leap over tall buildings, or live under water. They were made one way, and their rejection of their God-ordained roles does not redefine marriage.

So the sound I hear when I see this picture has nothing to do with abusing the English language through absurd non-terms like “homophobe.” It has nothing to do with advancement in the 21st century. It has everything to do with the sound the citizens of Rome heard in the early 5th century as those they called “barbarians” swept into the EternalCity. Rome had been crumbling from the inside for centuries—much more slowly, I note, than Western Society today, where such processes take place in the span of a few generations rather than centuries (mainly due to our advanced communications technology). Civilizations that fundamentally reject God’s creative purpose collapse, in time. How else could it be? One will either have a culture of life, or a culture of death, and homosexuality, no matter what else is said about it, does not foster life. It is fundamentally self-centered and narcissistic at its core. The profaning of marriage seen in the above graphic has one inevitable result: it cannot produce life. That which does not produce life tends toward death. That is the bent of this society, just as it became the bent of the later centuries of the Roman Empire. And thus we prove yet once again that those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.

 

Source [Alpha Omega Ministries]

Question 45-Puritan Catechism

November 14, 2013 1 comment

Spurgeon 3Q. What is required in the second commandment?

A. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, (Deuteronomy 32:46; Matthew 28:20) and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in his Word. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

The First Question to one Seeking Ordination

August 10, 2012 2 comments

We come in this book to look at the first stupendous fact in the history of man. If a minister is being examined for ordination, it is almost sufficient to put one question. His answer to that question will determine where he stands on everything else. The question is, “What do you believe about the fall of man? Is this account here in Genesis his starting? Is it an allegory? Is it poetry?”

Our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles and all the prophets subsequent to Moses treat it as history pure and simple. If it be not history, there is no beginning to the world’s history and there is no explanation of all the subsequent movements of Divine Providence and of the history of man.

B. H. Carroll—Man’s Creation, Fall, and Redemption