February 29, 2008
In my Exposition I class the other day we looked at 1 Peter 3:15 which reads in part: “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (1 Peter 3:15b)
We’ve all heard this passage used as one of the main reasons why we do apologetics.
There are a plethera of examples:
“…Peter tells believers they should be ready to give a defense or answer for their faith in 1 Peter 3:15.” (1)
1 Peter 3:15 is an, “An Apologetic for Apologetics” (2)
“…there is a definite biblical foundation for apologetics. Such famous verses as Jude 3, 1 Peter 3:15, and Colossians 4:6 stand as mandates for a consistent reasonable defense of the faith.” (3)
Even Richard D. Patterson in his review of the Holman Christian Standard Bible Apologetics Study Bible said, “Unparalleled among existing study Bibles, the Apologetic Study Bible provides a wealth of accurate and dependable information for its readers in developing a consistent world view. Believers may with confidence be equipped to follow the Apostle Peter’s charge to “be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you . . . with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16).” (4)
Why? Well, that’s because the Greek word “ἀπολογία” (apologia) is used. Sound like any English word you know? That’s right, it’s where we get our English word “apologetics” from. Makes sense right? Read the rest of this entry »
February 23, 2008
I’m re-reading Richard Baxter’s work Reformed Pastor for my Discipleship and Leadership class. In answering the question of how much study should take place in the pastorate, and those who feel that study must take priority over personal visitation, one-on-one discipleship and counseling, Richard Baxter has some hard and yet true words:
That work which is our great end must be done, whatever be left undone. It is a very desirable thing for a physician to be thoroughly studied in his art; and to be able to see the reason of his practice, and to resolve such difficult controversies as are before him. But if he had the charge of a hospital, or lived in a city where the pestilence was raging, if he would be studying fermentation, the circulation of the blood, blisters, and the like, and such like excellent points, when he should be visiting his patients, and saving men’s lives; if he should even turn them away, and let them perish, and tell them that he has not time to give them advice, because he must follow his own studies, I would consider that man as a most preposterous student, who preferred the remote means before the end itself of his studies: indeed, I would think him but a civil kind of murderer. Men’s souls may be saved without knowing whether God did predetermine the creature in all its acts; whether the understanding necessarily determines the will; whether God works grace in a physical or in a moral way of causation; what freewill is; whether God have scientiam mediam,’ or positive decrees concerning the blame for evil deeds; and a hundred similar questions, which are probably the things you would be studying when you should be saving souls. Get well to heaven, and help your people thither, and you shall know all these things in a moment, and a thousand more, which now, by all your studies, you can never know; and is not this the most expeditious and certain way to knowledge
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor
(Edinburgh; Carlisle, PA.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 213-14.
February 22, 2008
In my Old Testament class this morning we were going over Ezekiel. There was something interesting mentioned that I had never really thought about before and it made me think of the argument between synergists and monergists.
Synergists say that God opens the way and man must respond. If man does not respond, God can’t do anything about it because man is free and God cannot interfere. They also believe that if God commands us to do something we can’t do that such a command would be fake, or at worst, evil. Read the rest of this entry »
February 21, 2008
This book seeks to introduce Christology as it has been viewed over the past two thousand years throughout the globe. The first section of the book explores the Biblical perspective, the second section looks at the early church through the mid-twentieth century. The second half of the book begins with the third section which covers twentieth-century Christologies; this really seems to begin the major focus of the book as Kärkkäinen moves from the well-known Western theologians to the fourth part of the book that covers contextual Christologies such as Process, Feminist, and Third World views from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Read the rest of this entry »
February 20, 2008
Much debate in these modern times surrounds the intended recipients of the letter of Ephesians, mostly because of a textual issue in Ephesians 1:1. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take a look at this issue more in-depth, for if the key phrase ἐν Ἐφέσῳ was not in the original autograph, figuring out who the intended recipients were becomes much more difficult. Read the rest of this entry »
February 8, 2008
This spring our chapel lecture series is on “The Truth About Homosexuality.” To be honest, at first I was wondering how the series could go one for five chapels, I mean isn’t the Bible pretty clear that homosexuality is wrong? But the series has actually been quite good, especially because of the culture here in the States that is telling us lies and trying to make something right and seem normal that less than 1% of our population is a part of, not to mention the clarity of the Bible on the issue that places homosexuality in the category of sin.
Thursday’s section was presented by Dr. Irvin A. Busenitz on “Marriage and Homosexuality: Towards a Biblical Understanding” and it was very enlightening. Read the rest of this entry »
February 6, 2008
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’” (Matthew 23:29-30)
This verse reminded me how easy it is to think myself better than another – especially when reading history, or even reading the Old Testament or the New. I read about Abraham and think, “man, what an idiot, lying about his wife when he knows God is on his side” or Jacob, that he was such a schemer. Or when I read about the disciples and how it took them forever to trust Jesus, I think, “man, they sure were dense!”
But I should not think myself any better than them, for what am I? Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2008
This is a little bit of a straw man, but I was thinking about it, so I thought I would post it to see what your thoughts are.
The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that they hold to the traditions of the Apostles, and that we should listen to them because they are pure and undefiled from the world. But is that true? One simple way to show that Orthodox tradition has changed is to take a look at the clothes that their priests are required to wear because they are not the same as they have always been. In fact, they have changed quite a bit (and even are different now based on region), and few of these ornate clothes or their symbolism really existed until after Christianity was “standardized” during the age of Constantine. Read the rest of this entry »