Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anniversary Day

So, today is my fourth anniversary, and I wanted to reflect on what marriage has meant to me over the past few years. In Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas writes that marriage is more about our holiness than our happiness. I think that is a very interesting way of putting it. Although our marriage has been full of happy moments, I think the greatest benefit to me personally is how it has grown my character closer to that of Christ. Holiness is all about conforming to the image of Christ, forsaking the world, and setting yourself apart for God. No one exemplified this more than Jesus. As I've traveled down the road of marriage just a little I can see many instances in which I've had to resist my sinful temptation and do what God would want.

For example, I don't really enjoy washing the dishes. I know my wife shares my same distaste for this task, yet is still needs to be done. We don't have a dishwasher at the moment, so the duty has to fall to someone. I think not washing the dishes would certainly make my happier, but being selfless and putting my wife's happiness first helps me to be more holy, more Christlike. Now, I want to give credit to Moriah. She does the dishes a lot. This is mainly due to her need for the house to be in order and clean (which I really appreciate). But, when there is a chance for me to do them, I need to jump at that to show my love for my wife.

This is just a small thing, but one of many that grows my character. I am so thankful for all that Moriah does, from laundry every week, to cooking, to teaching our girls little things like their colors and how to love each other. I really struck it rich with her, although my theology tells me that God ordained that she would be my wife. Praise God for pairing her with me. I think I got the better end of that deal.

Although this is our fourth anniversary of marriage, we are approaching eight years of being together as a couple. That's almost a third of my life that I've been with this wonderful woman. I'm pumped for what God has in store for us over the next years and decades. I'm sure there will be plenty of happy times, but what I'm really excited about is how God will grow both of us into the image of His Son through our covenant of marriage.

I love you Moriah...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bible Q & A- Na Session 3

This message wasn't really a message. They had people come down to two mics and ask their questions about the Bible. Below is the list and some notes on the answers given. It was great to see the interest. There were at least 50 lined up to ask questions, and he only got to about 10 of them. He is a very smart guy and answered the questions like he had prepared answers ready to go. He speaks from a wealth of knowledge and I think you'll find the responses helpful.

Na Session 3- Al Mohler

"Q & A about the Bible"

What separates the Bible from other books?

-When we say that the Bible is inspired, we aren't paying it a compliment by saying it is so good that it qualifies as holy text. It is inspired for many other reasons

How did we get our 66 books and why were some ommitted?

-Apocryphal writings- the early church considered them important spiritual books, but never on the same level as the cannon (Maccabees, etc.)

-Pseudo-pigraphal- not actually true writings (gospel of Mary not actually written by Mary)

-Gnostic groups- a few who believed they had the key to scriptures that wrote books they believed were true, but weren't scripture

Apostalicity- had to be linked to an Apostle

Catholicity- all churches recognize that these are the correct books

-By the 2nd century, the church had already settled on the 66 books we have now, and they believed it was complete, nothing needing to be added and nothing needed to be taken away

What about passages that are in some Bible's and not others (end of Mark 16:9-20 , etc.)?

-There a significant textual questions about those texts, although he believes they should still be in the scriptures

-The original manuscripts are gone so we don't know exactly what they should look like

What parts of the law are applicable today? Why some things and not others?

- the law shows us our need for Christ and it teaches us how to live

-Different kinds of law

-Moral law (repeated in the NT and inhanced- murder to anger, adultery to lust)

-Ceremonial law (what happens in worship- sacrifices, festivals, holiness code) which is done away with completely in the NT because it is fulfilled in Christ

-We need to discuss homosexuality one of many sexual sins that all of us can fall in left to ourselves

Is the Bible inerrant, infallible, consequentially inerrant, etc.?

-Infallible- it will never fail... this is true, but not a complete statement

-Inerrant- no errors

-If we say that the inconsequential parts may have errors, then what do we say is inconsequential? Every part of scripture is essential. Either it is without error or it is. There is no in between.


-Takes into account that worldview establishes the way we construct reality

-some truth applies where other truths don't, that there are different people groups with different stories that historicize their background

-this produces the wrong type of humility by saying that no one can really know truth.. truth is only meaningful to the individual

-it states that the reader is the authority, not the writer

-postmodernism denies that there is a great universal truth that we can know and are held accountable to and that there is a metanarrative that ties everything together

What about the Doctrines of Grace and people who don't believe in them?

-people want to have some part in salvation

-semi-palagian: our environment makes us sinful and we only need a certain amount of grace to boost us across the finish line

-it is hard to show people grace when we are strangling them with the doctrines of grace

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Authority of Scripture- Na Session 2

Mark Dever- The Authority of Scripture

I found this message particularly encouraging in regards to bolstering my faith in the authenticity of the Bible I read today. To understand the depths God has taken to ensure the security of His Word is just astonishing. I hope you will be as encouraged as I was by this message and that it will instill a new confidence in the authority of scripture in your mind.

Just like last time, here are my notes. I apologize for the fragmented nature of them, but it is better than nothing. Enjoy...

New Attitude- Session 2

Mark Dever

"The Authority of Scripture"

-this rising generation struggles with replacing the things of God with the passing things of this world

-The question before us today is

What do we believe and how will we answer questions about belief?

How can we have confidence in the authority of scripture?


-F.F. Bruce- The NT Documents: Are they reliable?

-J.I. Packer- Fundamentalism and the Word of God

-John Wynam- Christ and the Bible

I. The Reliability of the Bible (Apologetic Question)

-focus on the gospels- if we agree that the gospels are historically accurate, then we can move from that to understanding the reliability of the rest of the bible.

A. Is the Bible reliable in reference to all the translations (ESV, NKJV, NASB, etc.)

-all the translations don't negate that the Bible is translatable

-they all say the same thing at the root and basic point

B. Is this really what was written down all those years ago?

-Yes, there are texts old enough to prove that they are still accurate

-The NT is only 50 years removed from the original manuscripts

-The Bible is unprecedented in terms of ancient documents that we still have (22,000 ancient manuscripts)

C. Was what was written down by the original authors accurate and not just propaganda?

-things passed down orally from memory can be and usually are accurate for ancient cultures

-We need to ask why we doubt the reliability and then address those individual issue

-The Bible is historically accurate and is backed up by archeology. The authors take great care to be historically accurate (Luke 1:1-4)

-1 Cor. 7:10 - I, not the Lord, means Paul is adding to what Christ(Lord) said.

-There are a lot of details in the NT that wouldn't be smart in starting a new religion, but are recorded anyway because that is what happened.

-The gospels show the flaws of their own authors

D. Is it true?

-That is the real question to spend our time on, as well as the implications of what it means if it is true.

II. The Authority of the Bible (Question to the Believer)

-Just because I don't know everything doesn't mean I don't know anything.

-We are made to know God... and the fact that we don't know everything doesn't imply that we can't know anything for certain. That is a lie from Satan implanted in the world

OT Verses Exodus 24:4 , Ezekiel 34, Deuteronomy 4:1-2 , Deuteronomy 17:18 , Psalm 19:7-10 , Psalm 119:11, 89, 105, 140,

NT Verses: Acts 1:16, 17:11, Romans 15:4, James 2:8, Acts 4:25, Galatians 3:8, 2 Tim. 3:16, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 3:15-16

Jesus' verses: Matt. 4:4, Luke 21:33, Mt. 19:5, John 5:46-47, 10:35,

Luke 24, Matt. 5:17-18

-If I am to be a disciple of Christ, I must see the scriptures as Jesus saw them.

-We should be regularly fed by faithful exposition of God's Word

Ephesians 5:10 - we are to find what is pleasing to God through scripture

-You cannot read too much in scripture. What you read you cannot read too carefully... -Luther quote

-We fall into the trap of thinking collecting the words and knowledge of Christ without putting them into practice

Matt. 7:24-27

-God's means of transforming us is by His Word (Romans 12:2)