NOTE: I leave to go to a conference on Sunday afternoon, June 18th. So I’m getting this week’s Music Notes to you a few days early. :))
SUNDAY, June 25th
Choir: “Standing on the Solid Rock Medley” (sorry for the confusion; I’ve changed the song schedule a little. We will sing this song on the 25th)
Preacher: Jim Gerlt
REMINDER: Monday, June 19th – Staff & volunteers will begin clearing the FLC kitchen for demolition and construction.
FINAL NOTICE BEFORE EVENT: You can access all the information (and needed help) for this event by clicking here. The event is this coming Friday, June 23rd. Staff liaison is Mike Lewis (since I will be out of town.) Questions? Contact Mike.
I recently met with Pastor Jason about our Bacon Heights web site. As we visited, one of the tasks he invited me to oversee is a web page dedicated to the hard questions of the Christian faith. (This is a passion of mine and a field of graduate study I have enjoyed.) I simply wanted to alert you to the fact that I have begun work on that web page. You can view the link here. The site is in its embryonic stages as I have only just begun working on it. In the coming weeks and months, I will work to improve and broaden the design, resources and information. But, even now, I have provided quotes and web links to helpful sites and resources. Enjoy learning why you believe what you believe. Incidentally, I’ve also updated our Music Ministry web page. You can check that out here.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT THE BIBLE IS “GOD-BREATHED?”
What follows is an excellent, systematic response to that question by Lee Strobel. Enjoy.
Amos makes it clear that he was minding his business, shepherding livestock and caring for sycamore trees, when God called him as a prophet. Just as his calling was divinely inspired, so too is the record of his life. The Bible says that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). So what do Christians believe was the process by which God created the Bible?
Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, one of the foremost scholars of New Testament Greek, fields this question by saying, “We aren’t given a lot regarding the process of inspiration, but we know the Bible wasn’t dictated by God. Look at the Old Testament: Isaiah has a huge vocabulary and is often considered the Shakespeare of the Hebrew prophets, while Amos was a simple farmer with a much more modest vocabulary. Yet both books were inspired. Obviously, this doesn’t mean verbal dictation. God wasn’t looking for stenographers but holy men to write his book.”
Some clues about the inspiration of Scripture are apparent when Matthew quotes the Old Testament, saying, “This was spoken by the Lord through the prophet” (Matthew 2:15, author’s paraphrase). “By the Lord” suggests God is the ultimate agent of that prophecy. “Through the prophet” suggests an intermediate agent who also uses his personality. That means the prophet was not taking dictation from God; instead, God was communicating through visions, dreams and so forth, and the prophet was putting it in his own words.
When Christians say the Bible is inspired, they mean it is both the Word of God and the words of men. Founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer, puts it well: “Without violating the authors’ personalities, they wrote with their own feelings, literary abilities, and concerns. But in the end, God could say, That’s exactly what I wanted to have written.”
Dr. Wallace says, “Remarkably, the New Testament writers didn’t even know they were writing Scripture, so obviously God’s work was behind the scenes. In the end, I think this is a greater miracle than a Bible coming down from heaven on golden tablets, because the books of the Bible are a collective product that men embraced as their own while ultimately — and often only much later — recognizing that there was another author behind the scenes. It wasn’t until one of the final books of the New Testament was written that Peter uses the word Scripture in referring to Paul’s letters” (see 2 Peter 3:16).
QUOTE(s) of the WEEK
“If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous . . . There are two equally dangerous extremes: to exclude reason; to admit nothing but reason.” ― Blaise Pascal, 17th century mathematician & physicist
“We may be, in part, products of our past: but if the gospel is true, we do not need to be prisoners of it.” Andy Bannister
LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE
GRACE NOTES: “Who is Jesus?”
It’s the most important answer you’ll ever give. Read the blog here.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick