Episode 5: Churches and the Bible. Why?

In this episode we talk about the Bible and common myths. Is it full of errors? Yes. What!? Watch and find out!

 

 

Resources Referenced in the Video:

Dan Wallace vs Bart Ehrman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVlapUsHxhg

James White vs Muslim on Reliability of the New Testament vs the Qur’an: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MThl8qxAc2k

Dan Wallace Shorter video on New Testament Reliability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lEmch2OAhs

Be sure to check out the documentary “The God Who Speaks”. It’s free if you have an Amazon Prime membership!

And check out our website: https://theologybrewers.com. I (Samuel) have done a couple lectures on this topic as well.

To Give what You Love for what You Love Most.

 

Samuel Dedicated by Hannah at the Temple by Frank W.W. Topham

As I was reading the book of Samuel, conviction struck hard within the first serval pages.

Most know the story well: Hannah is longing for a son because up till this point, she has been barren. There were many cultural pressures around having children at this time (though in the opposite way our current culture’s is), but the Scriptures show that this was truly a desire from the deepest depths of her heart.

After much faithful prayer, God grants her request, but what was convicting to me was her response; she takes what she desired so desperately, and gives back to Him who she desires and loved most.

Hannah gave her Son to work in the service of YHWH her God because she revered God more.

She knows she is only going to be able to see her Son once a year, and this would tear any loving parent’s heart, yet the passage does not indicate she made this sacrifice begrudgingly. In fact, Hannah prays a magnificent prayer of worship and praise:

“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (I Samuel 2:1-10)

This was a true act of worship and joy on Hannah’s part; to give back to her God what He had given her.

She who longed for a child so desperately, longed for the worship of her God more.

The emotions of that sacrifice were real to her, but she had a faith and love for God that most of us will probably never obtain this side of eternity.

Convicting.

Of Suffering and Evil

I was visiting my parents home in Pennsylvania about a month ago and was blessed by the fact that both of my brothers were there as well. This rarely happens anymore so it really was a special time. Naturally, my mom had scheduled us to sing in church together, seeing that all of us can at least change notes…and sometimes carry a tune (them more than I).

So my brother Seth chose a Shane and Shane song called “Though You Slay Me”. I love this song. It is melancholy and hopeful at the same time, and there is a reason for that.

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Christianity has a theology of suffering. In fact, the “problem of evil” was a very large part of my embracing the Doctrines of Grace. God either has to be in sovereign control over all things or the following two options are true: suffering is meaningles-or God is impotent (or both). These options though are not able to be derived from the Bible, which is were we draw our knowledge of God. So we are left with option 1: God is in sovereign control of evil.

Many Christians would acknowledge this, but to varying degrees. I would guess that the majority of Christendom would advocate that God is sovereign over the ends, but what about the means? God must have to let it ride because- you know, free will.  BUT is this what the Bible says?

Genesis 50: 19-20 “But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

God most certainly controlled the ends…but He also most certainly was not passive in the means.

What does Paul tell us to expect as Christians?

Phil 1:29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”

This is part of God’s plan. Not some uncontrollable thing that God has to work around.

To address the immediate objection: “Doesn’t this make God the author of sin?” I will most quickly and emphatically answer “NO!”

To use an analogy I have heard; No one in their right mind would condemn Shakespeare for the murder of King Duncan. Shakespeare may have wrote the play but Macbeth done dood the deed.

This is just a fraction of the level of disparity between our level of existence and God’s. He is the play writer but He does not commit the sins in the play Himself. God was not surprised by Adam and Eve’s sin. He had planned to redeem mankind before He had ever created the world. (Rev 13:8) Why? Because everything is about God showing His glory, His awesomeness, and His holiness. And so as not to confuse anyone, it is not about God needing to receiving glory  (see Austin Fischer’s book “Young, Restless, and No Longer Reformed”, and also see the following interactions between Kevin DeYoung and Austin) but rather about Him showing His glory. No action did this greater than the cross.

We suffer now, but there will be a day when all sorrow will cease, where there will be no suffering. Those whom God saved will live eternally in peace in His presence.

So until then, we can quote Romans 8:28 with full confidence because we know that God also controls the means. No suffering is pointless, though we may not see or understand. Take heart Christian, your Lord loves you; so cry out with Job “Though he slay me, I will hope in him”

Sailing, Sailing Over the…Lake

Sailing 1

 

I have the privilege of having an awesome friend, Tom, who bought a sail boat. This friend invited me along a couple days ago to join him on an excursion as he continues to improve as a sailor. For only being his 4th time out (and what was essentially my 1st), his skill has me predicting that he will be swashbuckling the seven seas soon…or at least Lake Minnetonka.

If you listen, there is always something to learn that not only applies to the “regular world” (like the parts of the boat, turn types, course patterns), but also our spiritual lives.

-As a side note this is actually a distinction I reject. Christianity is not a system, or a Sunday/Wednesday thing- it is our lives. Every part of our life is to be in the pursuit of Christ-likenss and the glorifying of God. This means that whether we are sailing, shopping, synchronized swimming, or sitting in a pew, we are to be worshiping God-

Tom was brave enough to hand me the steering-thingy (just kidding Tom, you taught well) and instruct me in the ways of bringing the boat about 180 degrees. Here was what struck me (not the boom, though close): no matter which way you turned, into the wind or with the wind, you could not afford to turn half-heartedly or hesitantly or you would end up in the “no go zone” (where you are directly into the wind, ergo not able to move except maybe backwards) or flipping. You had to commit. Push that rudder hard and hold it till you come full about.

Commitment. Basic principle of life. You cannot be a halfhearted Christian. I will read my Bible right before small group, or pray right before church, or sing in the choir on Sunday, than essentially be like every other heathen the rest of the week.

This doesn’t mean you are doing sinful things necessarily, but as a Christian, life is so much deeper for us than it is for the unbelieving. There is another dimension to everything we do-

We taste a steak and realize that God is good. We lose a loved one and realize that God is good.

There should be a joy, a peace, a patience, a kindness, a gentleness, a meekness, etc about a Christian that is the light of the gospel in every action. This is for what we should be striving. We are sinful, we will fail, but God always forgives and never condemns His children.

We also must realize that is is only through the Spirit that this can be accomplished. This means we must be in constant communion with God and cannot live a compartmentalized “Christian” life.

We must commit lest we stall or flip.