This entire post has been cross-posted from rebelrehab.com and was written by Bobby Morgan. The original blog post can be found in its entirety here.
Can I believe the Bible?
Recently I have been involved in conversations that have pushed me as a believer to ask questions - great questions about what I believe. Much of this inquisition has been in the area of the Bible’s validity, inerrancy, and inspiration. Do I believe the Bible? Do I believe the Bible is God’s Word? Is the Bible trustworthy? My answer to these questions is an emphatic - YES! I heard an excellent sermon on the subject that I will share below. Please take the time to read and listen. 2 Peter 1:16-2116 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 1.The Bible is a maintained collection of historical documents.Contained in Scripture are 66 books written on 3 continents, written in 3 languages by 40+ authors, and written over the course of about 1500 years revealing one single message. It is filled with names, times, places. There have been over 23,000 archaeological digs performed--none has refuted historical facts from the Bible.
Luke 1:1-4Dedication to Theophilus1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.Luke, a physician - a profession known for precision and accuracy - is sent to research the truth of Christ. The ESV Study Bible highlights the following: The sources for these narratives were the eyewitnesses and ministers, especially the 12 apostles (6:13–16). delivered. A technical Greek term for passing on tradition.word. Divine revelation. Luke’s credentials as a writer involve having followed (or investigated) all things closely (or carefully) for some time past. Orderly refers to logical orderliness (cf. Acts 11:4). most excellent. An address for officials (cf. Acts 23:26; 24:2; 26:25) and people of high social standing.2. The Bible was written [largely] by eyewitnesses, during the lifetimes of other eyewitnesses.1 Corinthians 15: 3-83 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. There had to have been a minimum of 300 living eyewitnesses when the book of 1 Corintians was written. We have 6,000 manuscripts or portions of manuscripts for the New Testament alone (versus fewer than 12 copies of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, fewer than 10 copies of Aristotle's Poetics, and 0 manuscripts of the writings of Socrates--we know about him only through the writings of Plato). The earliest manuscripts we have of the NT date from around A.D. 120. within 2.5 decades after the original manuscripts were written (for Gallic Wars, the earliest manuscripts we have were written 1,000 years after the original; for Poetics, the earliest were written 1,400 years after the original; for Socrates, we've got nothing but Plato's accounts; and for Homer's Iliad, the earliest manuscript was written 2,100 years after Homer's time).Two Common Objections:The "Telephone" Objection:This objection says that because there are so many versions of Scripture, that they must be corrupted and tainted. They are essentially “copies of copies.” But, Bible translations are all based on original-language manuscripts--it's not like a game of telephone in which one translation is based on another translation, which was based on another translation.The "Over-Zealous Monk" Objection:In order for an "over-zealous monk" to have changed all the manuscripts, he would have had to have changed all 6,000 manuscripts in the Greek, then learned to lie in Syriac, Coptic, and Latin (changing these translations of the Greek NT as well). It's estimated that at least 95-98 % of NT can be reproduced from writings of early church fathers. These would need to have been changed by the over-zealous monk as well. In addition, all this would have taken about 300 years. 3. The Bible reports supernatural events that occur in fulfillment of specific prophesy.Just one example:Psalm 22 was written 1,000 years before Jesus. It was born by a man who had never witnessed crucifixion because it hadn't been invented yet. Yet, it describes Jesus's crucifixion in detail (and Jesus cries out the name of this Psalm while on the cross--"Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani").4. The Scriptures claim that they are divine, not human, in origin.Main Objection: Unscientific/Defies ScienceThe scientific method can be used only to prove something observable, measurable, and repeatable. You can't use the scientific method to prove historical events (e.g., you can't prove that George Washington was our first president using the scientific method). For history, we use not the scientific method, but the evidentiary method, like that used in court. When talking about history, we look for witnesses who are reliable, whose stories are corroborated.For the Bible, we have 66 books, written in 3 languages, on 3 continents, by 40 authors, over the course of 1,500 years, with internal consistency and external corroboration (e.g., in the writings of Philo and Josephus; 23,000 archaeological digs).In conclusion, I echo the words of Baucham:"I choose to believe the Bible because it's a reliable collection of historical documents written [largely] by eyewitnesses* during the lifetime(s) of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim that their writings are divine, not human in origin. And oh, by the way--I tried it. Changed my life."
This entire post has been cross-posted from rebelrehab.com and was written by Bobby Morgan. The original blog post can be found in its entirety here.
For any of you who appreciate a good throwback.... this is awesome
It's always incredible to hear the complete story laid out from beginning to end. What an awesome reminder of the true Joy of the season. Jesus Paid It All!
Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’ --John 21:21-22
One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.
Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.
This post was cross-posted from utmost.org
I've done a lot of thinking about social media in the past. Is it good, is it bad, is it neutral? Is it something we as christians should pursue? as a church? It certainly has some value, or at least fulfills some felt need, but despite the "good" associated with it, I can never look too far beyond the overall effect it is having on us as individuals and from there, on society. This video sums up a lot of my thoughts in a powerful and cons ice wa
Sleep is a wonderful gift from God. It's even more wonderful when it eludes me. We usually don't even think about it until we lose it or don't get what we feel we need.
Last night I woke up at 2:22 am. Boing! My eyes were tired and I kept them shut, but my body and mind were wide awake! This happens every so often. I'll have a few nights of a good 8 hours, then one of waking up in the middle of the night and lying there for several hours.
Isn't it ironic that when we're kids, it's such a novelty and treat if we get to stay up late for a special occasion. And when we're teens, we make it a habit to stay up as late as we can as often as we can. I remember one time my family and some friends spent a couple of days at Pine Knot, a cabin my grandparents owned in the mountains of western Pa. The cabin had 2 large rooms: 1 was furnished with multiple beds, the other with kitchen and dining furniture. I was an older teen at the time, and my brother and sister, along with other teen friends decided to stay up all night. We played games and chatted at the dining room tables until daylight. Not one wink of sleep all night. This was pretty significant! And I bragged about it to my Grandpa. He told me then that once you lose sleep, you never make it up. Really? I had never thought about that and what kid does?
The college age young person stays up late to study for exams, write papers, or party into the wee hours. Just about the time you get some common sense and decide you feel so much better with a good night's sleep, you get married and start a family. Most babies do not sleep through the night. None of mine did for a very long time.
As the children get older, there are many nights where they do sleep long hours. But there are those nights when they get sick or have nightmares or just can't sleep for whatever reason. One of our daughters (she knows who she is!) used to come into our room in the middle of the night and announce: "Mommy, Daddy, I can't sleep." Thanks for letting us know!
Then the cycle begins again as your own children hit their teen years and think you're so "old" and "out of it" for going to bed soooo early. I remember another daughter insisting to us one time: "Mom, no one - NO ONE - goes to bed as early as you guys." Well, what she didn't realize was that she didn't get up as early as we did. At the time, Andy needed to be at his job by 6:00 am.
So we get the kids all married and out of the house. Life is wonderful. We'll finally get a good night's sleep. Surprise! Now we're in our fifties and I've hit menopause. Aghghghghgh!
So long ago when I was up in the night with a nursing baby, I determined I would use the time constructively instead of complaining and wishing I could be back in my bed. What do I do with those precious night time hours when I happen to be awake:
1. I listen to the quiet and enjoy it. There's nothing as peaceful and restful as a house in the middle of the night.
2. I review Scriptures I've memorized. One verse I particularly like and it is very appropriate: "On my bed I remember You. I think of You through the watches of the night." (Psalm 63:6)
3. I take advantage of the time to pray: for my family, friends, enemies (!), my church, country, missionaries, the world, and anything else the Lord might bring to my mind.
Here are 2 quotes Pastor Mark uses at times:The first requirement for a Spirit filled life is 8 hours of sleep
.~Lewis Sperry Chafer
Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
I found this quote on the web:If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters.
~Author unknown, attributed to Jim Davis
One of my favorite children's books ends with a lullaby:Sleep, sleep, my little fur child,
Out of the windiness, out of the wild,
Sleep, sleep, warm in your fur
All night long,
In your little fur family.
My point is that sleep is a gift, a wonderful gift from God - the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). And Psalm 127:2 says: "In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for He grants sleep to those He loves."
O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.~Thomas Hood, Miss Kilmansegg - Her Dream
written by Phyllis Wallin
It's safe to bet you probably haven't given the sound of coffee too much thought.. This cool little video shows what you're missing. A nice reflection on minutia.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67:3, 5)
Why does God demand we must praise God?
Just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?”
The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about. My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value.
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
There is the solution! We praise what we enjoy because the delight is incomplete until it is expressed in praise. If we were not allowed to speak of what we value and celebrate what we love and praise what we admire, our joy could not be full.
So if God loves us enough to make our joy full, he must not only give us himself; he must also win from us the praise of our hearts — not because he needs to shore up some weakness in himself or compensate for some deficiency, but because he loves us and seeks the fullness of our joy that can be found only in knowing and praising him, the most magnificent of all beings.
If he is truly for us, he must be for himself! God is the one Being in all the universe for whom seeking his own praise is the ultimately loving act. For him, self-exaltation is the highest virtue. When he does all things “for the praise of his glory,” he preserves for us and offers to us the only thing in all the world that can satisfy our longings.
God is for us! And the foundation of this love is that God has been, is now, and always will be for himself.