Friday, September 23, 2016
Case #1: Jesus and the Bible.
1. Jesus was a real person in space-time history who lived in 1st century Israel, was crucified under the Roman leader Pontius Pilate, and three days later was announced by His followers to have resurrected from the dead, causing a world-changing religion to form that is now called Christianity. (this can be confirmed from extra-biblical/secular sources of history)
2. The best explanation for Jesus' resurrection is that it really happened.
3. If the resurrection happened, all other miraculous reports of Jesus' ministry in the New Testament are most likely to be true as well.
4. If the miracle accounts are true, so are the authoritative statements and teaching of Jesus.
5. Jesus taught, believed, and assumed that the Old Testament was written by God and spoken by God.
6. Jesus prophesied that when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles that they were to proclaim His life, death, resurrection, and its implications in His power (with the natural assumption it would be just as accurate as God's previous speaking in the Old Testament, cf. 2 Timothy 3:15-16). This is what we call the New Testament.
7. Thus, Christians should trust the authoritative teaching of Jesus that the Bible is the Word of God.
Case #2: The Bible and Reality
1. Humans have senses, reason, and innate ability to comprehend what is true, real, and rational.
2. The Bible makes claims to what is true, real, and rational.
3. The Bible best reflects reality, both in its history and its details regarding life, humanity, and the world.
4. Therefore, the Bible is true, real, and rational.
5. The most likely source for a true, real, and rational Bible is God Himself.
6. Thus, the Bible comes from God.
All that to say, a divine book will require divine assistance to fully understand and embrace (cf. 1 Corinthians 2). The Bible says the human heart and mind are broken and opposed to the things of God. A veil is over our eyes to fully understand the good news contained in the Holy Scriptures. Spirit of God, lift that veil. We need Jesus and His salvation.
Many people do not have to go through the process(es) described above to trust the Bible. God in His grace gives them confidence of His speaking through Scripture. Like a child who just knows the tone and tenor of their father's voice, some Christians just hear the Bible and hear God. Such people shouldn't look down on others who find it harder to trust God's Word, but rather say, "Thank you," for such a marvelous gift.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
"Marriage is a drag. Remember all the fun and freedom you had when you were single?"
"You're not a complete woman unless you have children. What's a couple of tens of thousands of dollars as long as you get a baby?"
"Kids have stolen your life. Is it too much to ask to have a few free days to yourself?"
"You're only 45 minutes late. She'll understand and the kids are too little to notice. How else will you afford this lifestyle if you bow out on work every time your wife needs a little help at home?"
"You'll only resent this job more and more if you don't get out of here right now. You've worked so hard, and this stress is over the top. A couple of beers will help you get to where you need to be so you can go home and help with a good attitude."
"That cake is exactly what you need to deal with the day you've had."
"Hey fatty, if you'd just skip food for 2 days, you could finally fit in that dress you used to wear."
"Those $200 shoes are what you need to perform at your best."
"Don't even think about going to Jesus. All he'll want to do is steal your soul and whisper things in your ear."
Friday, September 09, 2016
1. A fun children's ministry?
2. A fancy facility?
3. A fantastic website?
4. A flawless communicator?
5. A friendly atmosphere?
6. A fabulous choir?
7. A flurry of spiritual activity?
8. A functional program calendar?
9. A funny preacher?
I charge you, under God, preach the Word. (-The Apostle Paul)