30 May 2007

Because I said that I said so

by Frank Turk

Yes: this is another post on how to read your Bible. And as a brief exposition on why I'm not letting this topic go, it's because I am frankly tired of people tossing off the glib objection, "but how do you know? All those denominations out there – which one of them has the right reading?"

We have about 5000 readers a day at TeamPyro (when Dan and Phil are posting, anyway; when I post, the numbers fall off because, obviously, I'm just a reactionary Baptist), and when any of us post here, that means 5000 different people read the post. And let's face it: we have a problem with people failing to engage what we write here all the time. It's frustrating. People see their pet peeves in one sentence, and suddenly the post is not about what it's about, but about what this person has made his life's work to confute.

As another example, we were sitting in church in the last couple of weeks, and my son was sitting next to me (because my kids attend their age Sunday school, but they come to worship as if it matters) as my pastor was preaching on the doctrine of salvation. (Because we have a pastor at my church, fwiw, and not a motivational speaker) Well, Tad was on about why salvation implies a need for being saved, and he was completely on about this passage:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it -- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. [Rom 3]
And my son whispered to me as Tad read that passage, "Daddy, I know that verse."

Listen: it is important to memorize Scripture, and it is important for children to memorize Scripture because they must have a foothold in God's word which is the foundation of the way they perceive the whole world. But when my son said that, I was certain that he wasn't the only one in the service who was thinking that – because that's how many adults perceive Scripture: as maxims of wisdom which are not connected except that they are all bound together with cotton stitches in their Bible.

I mention that because unless we understand the real, literary connections of the 66 books of the Bible, we don't really understand the Bible – and almost every single error one can make in interpreting or paraphrasing the Bible is founded in misconstruing how one passage fits into the book it appears in, and then in the whole canon of Scripture together.

We touched on that last time, but how do you find these connections? Is there a way to do that?

Well, of course there is. Let's look at Romans 3 to flesh that out. Paul has made (in the part I have quoted) the clear affirmation that we're all sinners, and that Christ redeems sinners – but so what? How do we know what Paul meant by that?

The really sharp among you will say, "well, cent, it's because he spent the previous 2-1/2 chapters (as we reckon chapters) telling us how no man has any excuse because each man knows enough about God to know His invisible attributes." And that's fine – that's actually a good answer. I'm glad to see you are reading Romans that well.

But let me suggest something: Paul makes a far move vivid point in Romans 3 by referencing Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20, Psalm 5:9, Psalm 140:3, Psalm 10:7, Isaiah 59:7,8 and Psalm 36:1. You never ran all those down before, did you? Most people haven't, so don't feel like you’re some kind of outcast for not reading your center column reference. But let's look at only a couple of these to see what Paul is getting at.

For example, he cites Psa 14 – but why? Is it because there's a kernel of wisdom there and, like some motivational speaker, he can find some snippet of God's nice turns of phrase to underscore his point? Or is it because Paul's point here is that there is nothing new about the plight of man, and in that there is nothing new about God's plan of salvation. See: the point in Psa 14 is that certainly all the people God sees are sinful, but that psalm closes by affirming that God saves in spite of men's sinful foolishness.

And again, Paul cites Psa 140 to underscore the wickedness of men's mouths – but he cites Psa 140 because it says that God delivers men from that kind of wickedness. His point in connecting his theological statement in a letter to the Romans to the book of Psalms is that the Bible is telling one particular story about God's work through all of time.

This view of Scripture shuts the mouth of any man-centeredness. It is in this way we can see the systematic and unified aspect of Scripture which drives us away from our errors if we are willing to receive what is there.

It is in this way that Scripture explains itself – but this view of what is happening in Scripture requires that one connect all the dots. It requires one to have a larger picture of each book, and all the books, of Scripture than one can get buy reading a verse a day.

I'm sure you have some questions; please feel free to ask them in the meta.









47 comments:

donsands said...

Very good read.

Scripture interprets Scripture. Amen brother.

jsb said...

"This view of Scripture shuts the mouth of any man-centeredness. It is in this way we can see the systematic and unified aspect of Scripture which drives us away from our errors if we are willing to receive what is there."

Boy is that right on. A well stated macro, Frank. The willingness to receive (and obey) stretches from Eden to Ephesus (where John reemphasizes "walking in the truth"), and to the entire world.

That's why "happy feet" preaching about better attitudes and the like is not just pointless, but powerless. Yech.

DJP said...

People see their pet peeves in one sentence, and suddenly the post is not about what it's about, but about what this person has made his life's work to confute.

Of course, I love that bit. (The rest is good, too!)

I like what I heard a pastor say once: the Bible is like one very, very long sentence; you can't just tear out a bit and ignore the rest.

Kevin Rhyne said...

I'm sorry...I lost the rest of what you said after "5000 a day"...Had to go back and re-read it.

There are, of course, several great things about this post.

First, you don't have a motivational speaker for a pastor. Second, your son knew the verse. Third, your son was in the service to hear the sermon. Fourth, you use the middle reference column in your Bible.

But, you do realize that what you are ultimately proposing, reading the whole counsel of God, not just a verse here and there, takes work...brain work, spiritually enhanced-prayed up kind of brain work.

Isn't that the issue? We (me included) are lazy the vast majority of time?

centuri0n said...

Kevin:

I thought we were supposed to Lord God with with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength. Maybe I'm the one who's asking too much ...

BTW, we have children's church at our church. I just don't my kids to grow up to be children.

Sharon said...

Cent:
You seem to be "verb-challenged" today. . . .

centuri0n said...

Yeah, what's up with that? It's like I grew up in a foreign country some days.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

"The post is not about what it's about, but about what this person has made his life's work to confute." I have learned that this person has had an "allergic reaction." Someone who has a deep reaction against something, like small, dysfunctional, boring churches, or a strong reaction against legalism.

I wife was a far better teacher of children than I ever was as a preacher. Those in her class over twenty years were better prepared to be adult Christans then I could have ever done. Just a foot note for children's church.

Sorry the point of the post? There is a connection between Genesis and Revelation? Would the connection be from the Reformed idea or the Dispendationalist point of view?

In preaching/teaching the New Testament for over twenty years, chapter by chapter, I would say that I preached much of the Old Testament verse by verse within those sermons preaching from the New Testament. Is this the point?

Too often in many churches the pastor is giving sermons a verse here and a verse there and never coming to the point of either.

Would you start from the New Testament and look back to the Old Testament in connecting the dots?

Charles

ezekiel said...

Genesis 1:1 to Rev 22:21. Then over again. The complete councel of God. The WORD.

If we teach from the NT only....we wind up with folks that tell me that there is no need to fear God. Jesus came and He is all about love, mercy, grace. In other words...we can live as we want. Jesus died for all sins, past, present and future.

Without a foundation in the OT, we fail to see the baptism of fire John the Baptist speaks of. We don't see the fire of affliction, refiners fire or fullers soap. Malachi 3:2

All these feel good, peace, peace get your blessings now preachers are leaving out the cleansing, refinement and holyness required to enter the kingdom. A holyness or righteousness only Jesus can provide through His grace and baptism of fire. Psalm 1

Sewing said...

What great timing, Frank. My pastor recommended recently that I read Jonathan Edwards' History of the Work of Redemption, because as he described it to me, Edwards takes a holistic view of God's redemptive intervention in human affairs, from Genesis through to Revelation. I'm still working on obtaining a copy of it, but the same day I was looking for it unsuccessfully in the church library, quite by "accident" (are there any "accidents" where God is involved?), I stumbled upon a book I had never heard of, Christianity is Jewish by Edith Schaeffer, whose husband you all know as Francis Schaeffer. I picked it up out of self interest, not knowing what would be inside. And what does she discuss? The same kind of bird's-eye, integrated view of the whole of God's redemptive history, of his plan for humankind. I'm reading it right now, and she's weaving together all these strands...like the consistent exhibition of a trusting faith in God among believers going right back to Abel, down through Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah (I'm up to the Suffering Servant now), and the constantly recurring motif that God gave to his early faithful of the paschal lamb for substitutionary atonement.

It all ties together. The whole is so, so much greater than the parts. Praise God that in His mercy and loving kindness, He works to redeem us for the sake of eternal life spent joyfully in communion with Him.

centuri0n said...

Charles:

I think that if you are reading the Bible personally and have never read the whole thing, you start at the first page of Genesis and read through until you have finished the last page of Revelation. The only issue in doing that is that some of the book order there is a convention rather than a mandatory requirement of the story, but if you are reading in some sort of alert manner you should be able to piece together the historical/narrative order in spite of some editorial/conventional license.

If you are preaching through the Bible, I think you are trying to do something different than the personal reader is doing, so let me put this a different way. When a teacher assigns a book to his class to read -- for example, the Tale of Two Cities -- he doesn't ask them to read some pivital chapter in the middle and then go back and pick up the rest eventually: he assigns them to read the book, and they read the book as it was written.

But when he comes back to teach or discuss the book, he starts someplace where the central thesis is evident, and then draws in all the crucial threads as they point to this thesis from introduction to denouement. That is, if he's teaching how to read and not how to, um, ignore the text for the sake of blathering on.

That, in my non-ministerial opinion, is how one ought to teach and preach through the Bible. Start someplace where the main points are evident -- you know this because you yourself have read the whole Bible -- and then teach through that part by seeking out all the places where the Bible itself speaks to these themes and conclusions.

And I wouldn't start in a book like Romans for two reasons:[1] Romans is a book full of -theological consequences- rather than a book of -theological premises-; [2] Most people don't know enough of the -theological premises- to encounter the theological consequences today.

What if you started teaching or preaching in the book of Matthew or Luke? These books are so theologically rich, and so utterly dependent on the OT, that it would be impossible to preach through them well without getting the whole substance of the OT in as you preached through.

Or what about teaching through Hebrews? You could view Hebrews as too rich for the average pew-person, but think on this: the opening line of this book is, "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."

Listen: that noise you hear is the the 10,000 megaton BOOM of the Gospel. Anyone who can't preach 3 one-hour sermons on those two verses needs to go back to homiletics class. And Hebrews doesn't get less involved in the Gospel from there -- it gets -more- involved by spelling out the advance of God's revelation from shadows to substance.

So -reading- the Bible is one thing, and -teaching- it is another. The latter -depends- on the former, but the latter does not necessarily follow the same form as the former.

centuri0n said...

Sewing:

We're all going to brag about "we knew you when" some day.


:-)

cwblogger said...

Beauty! I love reading and hearing about context! Our pastors have taught this well. It is great to read your perspective on it. It is frustrating to listen to preachers who take the text out of context, or at least who don't clarify what they are preaching.

I recently hear a preacher preach some great points about preaching that can be taken from the text, but was not the point of the passage. A disclaimer would have been nice, but it did provide some great discussion!

On a side note, I am unfamiliar with the difference between the reformed and dispensational view. Can anyone give me some places to find explanatory material? Thanks in advance!

Kevin Rhyne said...

On Francis Schaeffer, I once read an article that recounted his own approach to personal bible reading. He would read from three sections of Scripture a day. Start in Genesis, then Job, then Matthew and move forward from those three points throughout the year.

The article stated that Schaeffer gained a holistic view of Scripture that way and a view for the recurring themes and cycle of human error. The article stated this worked as a basis for Schaeffer's insights into the trends of Western culture and thought.

I've tried that approach, but have yet to write a "How Should We Then Live?" But, I found it interesting just the same.

Matt said...

Cent, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love it when you're frank!

Your analogy of reading a Tale of Two Cities is very fitting.

Kevin, you said:

Isn't that the issue? We (me included) are lazy the vast majority of time?

I think that's exactly the issue Frank is trying to get at. Isn't it so much easier to latch on to a few catch phrases and proof-texts and built a sloppy theology around that, than to systematically go through scripture and develop a proper understanding of the doctrine of God, the doctrine of Man, the doctrine of Sin, Salvation, the Church, etc?

Each year at about this time, our church library gets cleaned out to make room for new books. Books that have not been checked out in several years get put on a table in the church gym and are free for the taking. In the last two years I've picked up free books by A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy, Geisler's General Introduction to the Bible, Schaeffers How Should We Then Live, Lindsell's Battle for the Bible (a favourite among those of us who love warranted wedge issues!), Tenney's New Testament Survey, to name just a few.

Each year when I pick up these unwanted books, I am both appreciative that I have these classics without paying for them, but at the same time my heart is saddened when I think of my fellow church members passing over these books in favour of the latest Christian fiction book or motivational self-help book.

Cent, everybody,
how do us 5000 or so "keeners" become light in our churches and encourage our brothers and sisters to engage deeply with the Word of God and to love God with all their mind?

Kevin Rhyne said...

Matt,

First, what church do you go to and when is the date the library gets "cleaned"?

Second, IMHO, I think you encourage and motivate people to study the Word deeply by talking about theology with them, often. Even when they roll their eyes. They may not get the insights that the Lord is giving you in Scripture just yet. But they get that you're getting them...excitement is a motivator.

Third, when I hear preaching by guys like MacArthur, Piper, and even Phil, it stirs me up to study Scripture more closely. There are so many audio sermons you can download and record to a CD and just give to people if they are going through a particular struggle, curious about an issue, etc. Exegetical preaching makes me want to do my "quiet time" exegetically. I'm a geek, but it seems to work for me in keeping me stirred up to read my Bible deeper than I read the newspaper.

Kevin Rhyne said...

For the verb-enriched translation...

Frank: I just don't [want] my kids to grow up to be children.

Yes, I can see your point. That would seem to defeat the purpose of parenting...You definitely know the "adults" who spent too much time in children's church as kids...

centuri0n said...

Matt:

[1] Love your church and the people in it. In the worst case, such an one as these your once were. In the best case, such an one as these your still are -- except you read a really cool blog.

[2] Don't just read these big-brained books about the faith and your Bible: start right now to make some sense out of this big sack of theological confetti you have in your head. You don;t do that by memorizing a systematic theology -- you prolly can't even understand a systematic theology until you have some kind of personal grounding to resonate with such a thing.

[2a] The way you make sense of your theological confetti is to start someplace and start putting the pieces in order. For me, it started with the question, "what is the Gospel?" I mean, that word is everywhere in the NT, but what does it mean -- "good news"? What kind of Good News? Why should it be good news? From whom is it? To whom is it? etc. etc. etc. You have to get so committed to this thing that you do it every day.

[3] Not to go all Covey on you, but then you have to teach to learn. Write teaching outlines of what you have learned, have someone in your local church who is trustworthy check your work, and then get permission to teach this stuff. What the local church lacks today is people who are teaching from personal knowledge. I am -so- sick of selling "study guides" to the Bible and to topical subjects that I'm ready to set fire to that section of my local bookstore. You teach. You study. You do it!

That's not to run down commentaries or real theological scholarship: that's to run down pablum sold $7 at a time which doesn't improve anyone's understanding of the Bible.

Some decent Christian men and women use those things to enable them to lead a class or small group -- but listen: if you can take the 30 minute sit takes to prep on of those lessons, you could find a second 30 minutes in the same week and write your own lesson in which you would learn something.

[4] Teach to disciple and not to gain favor or prestige. This is the most important lesson, and if you miss it, you will be doing nobody a favor. The church does not need any stars: we have the Morning Star, the Dayspring (Lk 1:78) who is Our Lord and Savior. That's enough stardom. The church needs medics and janitors, theologically -- that's hardly glamorous.


... I mean, since you asked ...

Sewing said...

Cent—moi?

I'm just a wretched sinner, saved by God's grace only because our secular Jewish Sunday school taught us Dem Bones when we were kids—with no Biblical context whatsoever—so after two and a half decades of wondering what life is all about and why does God keep bothering me, and being dragged kicking and screaming by His irresistible grace to Christ, when our pastor preached on the regrafting of the Jews into God's olive tree in Romans 11 and—blessed the Holy Spirit—he quoted the Lord's promise to unbelieving Jews from Ezekiel 37, then something started percolating in my mind that led me to repentance and salvation.

Anything I write here that's remotely insightful, I'm writing in spite of my own pride and folly. And I'm still a sinner, so your comment is the kind of thing that'll go straight to my head. ;)

centuri0n said...

Kevin:

[want] is implied in Arkansan. Thanks for the translation.

And we don't want to get the Charismatics all stirred up, so keep those comments to a minimum.

:-)

M.W. Brewer said...

Centurion,

In the third paragraph, fourth word, you write: "we" and I have to let you know that is something that really peeves me off...kidding.

This is a wonderful post emphasizing the completeness of the whole Bible. The connectivity of the entire Word of God. Scripture interpreting Scripture.

Thank you. With the "you can't believe the Bible because it contradicts itself" conversations that I have been having all week(which aided in the "third paragraph, fourth word" comment), this is a breath of fresh air.

Blessings,

Michael

ReformedMommy said...

Last week I was reviewing with my gifted teacher/husband a lesson on 2 Chronicles 19 (from one of those $7 study guides I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants to burn!!) I was looking, as usual, for ways I could point the women to confidence in Christ, rather than their own righteousness (something somewhat challenging in a book so full of statements about God searching for a heart fully His). He immediately called my attention to Josh's (you know that's what his mom called him!) final words -

"... may the Lord be with the upright!"

and asked "How can he ask this? Was he upright? Are we? And if the Lord will always be with the upright, why does Jesus cry out to God on the cross in Matt. 27 "My God, Why have you forsaken me?"

I love my husband.

ReformedMommy said...

And another thing, -

Agreeing wholeheartedly that this approach to Scripture study is beneficial, nay, even potentially transformational, what kind of uproar might there be over a Bible that was actually formatted along these lines? E.g. My "one thing" topic for the last few years has been the Holy Spirit and His work in both regeneration and sanctification. What if there was a Bible that had a section on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Sort of a concordance done right?

centuri0n said...

reformedmommy:

That's called a Topical Bible.

John MacArthur has edited one, in fact.

Ric said...

cent, awesome!

Sewing said...

By the way, Centuri0n and Kevin Rhyne, thanks for all the good advice the two of you have given here in the comments.

Matt said...

Yeah, thanks for the advice Kevin and Cent. Cent, your #4 hits me especially hard. Is the feeling of being an indispensible church member something that I have a unique struggle with, or do other theology keeners also struggle in this area?

While I am quite involved in my church, I am not in an elder or ministerial-type role, so my theologizing is done in the absence of criticism and pastoral concern. I suppose that's not a good thing. If nothing else, it should serve to humble me.

Thanx again guys!

centuri0n said...

My suggestion if you feel indispensible is to take a year off from doing all your indispensible tasks. When people started telling me that this or that committee couldn't go on without me, I resigned. The only task I have kept for 4 years now is the laundry from baptisms -- and if you think that's a glamorous job, well, it's laundry.

SJ Camp said...

Cent:
Very good post... thank you brother.

One question about the stats: your Sitemeter says Average Visits Per Day 2,181. How does the 5,.000 compute in this; or is the 5K the "Baptist" translation of the numbers? :-).

Thanks again for the post...
Campi.
Psalm 119:24

Kevin Rhyne said...

And we don't want to get the Charismatics all stirred up, so keep those comments to a minimum.

LOL...will do...

lordodamanor said...

Luther read the Bible through twice a year, sometimes more. Haven't done that for a while.

People ask me how I study. Can't tell ya. I just get this idea and see where it leads. And there is always something that is there. The Lord knows where all the gold is and the roads that take you there.

Lately, I have encouraged people to read a verse in context. Then I define contexts a Genesis to Revelation. Besides, book order is is important. So, let me tell you, Revelations is the prologue.

Would you start from the New Testament and look back to the Old Testament in connecting the dots?

It is interesting that the Apostles started with the OT to interpret the Gospels. I have always heard it said that we should veiw the Bible through the eyes of the NT. But, I am not so sure. The entire context of Scripture is really the prescription lenses we need to correct our vision.

I love it when you're frank!

This is rich! I'll bet Frank does too.

That's not to run down commentaries or real theological scholarship: that's to run down pablum sold $7 at a time which doesn't improve anyone's understanding of the Bible.

Unfortunately we use Lifeway, and it is really dead. I have encouraged my friends who teach or plan on teaching to do their own studies as Frank suggested. After all it they are teachers, then why not trust the Holy Spirit? Interestingly my adult class teacher has dropped Lifeway and picked up Pink's commentary on John and is doing his studies and using the commentary in class as the sounding board from teaching. It's Great!

That's called a Topical Bible.

This is one caution when using a Topical guide. You will be getting the editor's theology mixed in with the topics. Use them, they are usually good chain references. Then go get an unreferenced one and go where God will lead. Balance them, and have fun.

Great post, thanks!

centuri0n said...

Campi:

Brother, jealousy still looks like a racoon cap made our of an armadillo on you. :-)

FOI statement: I had our reports at Google Analytics set up to show me "pageviews" and not "visits". However, the number of raw visits from Google analytics is higher than sitemeter -- and this is true for both this site and my own blog.

Sorry for the confusion.

Michaelb said...

I pastor a church in the middle of a Christian Rehab.No..it's not rehab for those who are addicted to Jesus.

Christ at the center of our life is the only answer to staying clean and sober.

Most of the people I deal with are very Biblically challanged, but they have a hunger for the Word. So I have started teaching line by line beginning in Genesis. This has opened up new horizon's for a lot of these men. They are now checking out commnetaries from our church library. Audio and Video of teachings are constantly being played at night. Not because these men have to, but because someone took the time to unravel what it means to read the Bible.
Thanks for your web site....
keep posting.

mb

Elle said...

I didn't begin to understand the Bible until I read the Bible in whole--not just front to back, but in the connections of the references and sidenotes, in the whole counsel of God, tracing the covenants, prophecies and persons. Nothing makes me crazier than trying to converse with someone about the Bible whose understanding of Scripture is relegated to the latest refrigerator magnet snippet. What a grievous state for Christendom to find themselves in. Thanks for this post--very encouraging to know that 5000 or so people will have been exposed to this truth. May God nourish its seeds to His glory!

centuri0n said...

LODM:

While it's true that the Topical Bible tends to be a commentary by subject, that's really true of any reference material. The study notes in any study Bible are profitable insofar as one recognizes the biases of the source -- for example, Dake vs. Scofield vs. MacArthur vs. Zondervan.

There are also the limits of the writer to grapple with. Today we have search tools for Scripture that are so powerful that anyone -- anyone with time and patience -- could compile a comprehensive concordance with really a minimal investment of intellectual capital.

Can you imagine what James Strong went through to compile his concordance? Can you imagine the breadth of Biblical knowledge he had when he was finished? We could do his work in about a tenth of the time using modern tools, but would we have a tenth of his grasp of Scripture when we were done?

Kevin Rhyne said...

We could do his work in about a tenth of the time using modern tools, but would we have a tenth of his grasp of Scripture when we were done?

I am compelled to answer: Prolly not.

It's the difference between doing math by hand and a calculator. Learning the discipline helps to use the technology better.

David said...

I take one day off from reading, and see what happens?! Such a great post.

One thing that has been great for me is reading through about 10 different children's story Bibles with my young kids. Some of the good ones even handle the weird and tough stories in the OT. Then it gets me to go back and re-read the real thing. Following that up with the associated prophets, the links to the NT where it's quoted, I get some good BIG-picture insight on the Word.

Once again, thumbs up, cent.

jsb said...

Let me put a plug in for the chronological Bible (I use the one put together by F. LeGarde Smith). The benefit here is to get the broad overview of Scirpture. I read through the whole thing last year, and this year am doing the NT a few times. It's wonderful to read the Gospels this way, and see Paul's letters in context, etc.

Again, this is mainly to get a handle on the "big picture," which makes subsequent study of any portion of Scripture more meaningful and contextual.

vincit omnia veritas said...

Perhaps one of those books from the biblical sort of Biblical Theology would help as well. I guess all the dots connected together should reveal a picture of Christ and redemption, isn't it?

Mark said...

Thanks for the great article. i esp. liked "because that's how many adults perceive Scripture: as maxims of wisdom which are not connected except that they are all bound together with cotton stitches in their Bible."
I was raised in the Pentecostal Movement and had absolutly no concept of the connection of scripture. Taking scripture out of context was the name of the game. Thank God for men like MacArthur & Piper who preach the word. God is sovereign I never concieved of being anything but pentecostal but God in his marvelous grace set me free through expository preaching of His Word! Keep it up!!!!!

philness said...

Good stuff Cent. Your on like a pot of neck bones as we say here in the south.

Its been said the OT is like a coloring book illustration. We should go there more often. Especially now that the kids are out of school.

Rick said...

Hey Everyone,

Why do systematic theologians disagree on significant issues if truth is found through a systematic study of scripture?

It seems this posts idea of knowing God comes down to the capability of someones intellectual ability (i.e. the smartest guy who applies himself to scripture can know God the best)

What about the average Joe? The person who isn't very intellectual or smart, who doesn't understand concepts and systematic studies? Is that person's relationship with God dependent on the smarter person's help?

What of John 5

39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Is there a tendency in Christianity towards knowing God through scripture when Jesus is offering another way?

What is that way?

Sewing said...

Haven't we been over this before?

ezekiel said...

Rick, if you can, try to struggle through John 1 and let us know how you can know Jesus and not know the WORD.

Rick said...

Hey sewing,

I guess we have been through this before in that other post...which begs the question 'why am i bringing it up again?'

Hey Ezekiel,

I don't sense any concern for me in your sarcasm...just religious 'know it all' pride which is why some people don't care anything about christianity.

Do you even care about me?

Rick

ezekiel said...

Rick, I love you like a neighbor. I have to.:) No sarcasm inteded. Sorry you took it that way.

The way Jesus offers is in Hebrews 8:10, 10:16.

As you say. He offers a new way. He still writes his statutes and commandments on your heart.

But wait, I thought it was a new way.......Jer 31:33

Psalms 32:8


It appears you subscribe to the easy believism that our pulpits a spewing today. All I can do is warn you. It aint so....you have to read the WORD to discover that for yourself though.

They preach a false Gospel, walk down the isle and join the church and hey...you have your ticket to paradise and you can continue to live any way you want.. Sin all you want, after all, Jesus died for your past, present and future sin. Right?

Good luck neighbor, in your search. Seek and you will find.

ReformedMommy said...

Rick, I waited as long as I could, but I just can't hold back anymore - that's why an understanding of the Holy Spirit is so important! He is our teacher and guide into all truth (Jn. 14 and 16). Because of Him and what He teaches us (and, even more wonderful, enables us to do), anyone in whom He resides can say with David that he has more wisdom than all his (earthly) teachers. Cent's point is that we must remember that He is teaching one subject (the glory of Christ), with the entire Bible as His textbook. The measure of our understanding is the application of that textbook in our love for Christ and one another, not, as you point out, in our finite, human ability to comprehend theological facts.

I need to go and read Leviticus now . . .