Too much Bible Science?

I am getting back in to reading Ross’ book The Genesis Question to finish it and carry on with the rolling review I started on it a while ago (when I got blasted for supporting the changes to the AG paper on the doctrine of Creation).   Here is a passage I came across:

That so many Christians today believe the Bible is largely devoid of scientific content is, at least in part, a reaction to the last two hundred years of dialogue between science and theology in which Christian theology appears to have been bested repeatedly by secular science.  The Bible, unlike any other book, is intended to be read and understood by people living in eras spanning at least 3,500 years.  This places some serious constraints on the quantity and kind of science it can contain.

For the Bible to adopt the scientific paradigms or language of any age would compromise the ability of the text to speak to earlier or later generations.  But, because the Bible does have the capacity to communicate to all generations of humanity, many Bible interpreters are tempted to read into the text far too much of the science of their time.  For example, I have received more than ten unsolicited manuscripts from individuals who are convinced that Genesis 1, properly understood, gives a detailed exposition of the origin and structure of the various families of fundamental particles even though no word in the text even hints of particles.

from Hugh Ross’ The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis (Navpress, 2001), 14-15.

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So basically, the Bible isn’t a scientific text so quit trying to make it out to be one.  If it happens that modern science can support some aspect of the Genesis creation narrative, cool!  If not, don’t try to wedge it into the text and make it fit.  Let the text be as it is and let it speak for itself!

what was lost

has been found!! I thought I lost a book and couldn’t find it for the life of me – couldn’t even think where I left or how it became lost. I asked if I could have a copy for review when the author spoke at a renewal meeting in October so I was trying to figure out what I was going to do.  Turns out I went to a cool place we like to take our kids called “Go Bananas” where there are toys and play houses and such for the kids to play while the parents shop or just to give the kids an outlet.

Well, we go in and the gal the owns it (we’ve been there several times before), saw me with Hays’ book The Conversion of the Imagination (of course I’d read a little while the kids played – one eye on the book and one eye on the kids, right?  🙂 ), and asked if I lost a book?

Turns out I accidently left the book there last time we visited! Thank God – I need to read it anyways and a few other books on leadership – there have been some things bothering me about what I see being put forth for models of church leadership – but I need to do some reading to be sure I understand a few things before going off on a rant that could be misinformed or ill thought out (I’ll give one hint: I am not keen on the CEO model of leadership for pastoral ministry…).

So…. anyways, whew, what was lost has indeed been found! 🙂

5 good reasons to own a synopsis of the gospels

can be found at James White’s blog here.

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(1) You never have to ask yourself, “Is this story in Mark also found in Matthew, Luke, or John as well? Or “How does Luke’s account describe this same parable in Matthew?” A synopsis allows you to see the parallel accounts on a single page. Are you aware that the story of the feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels? Again, a synopsis format conveniently lets you see all four accounts together and their different details and emphases. Another example, the story of Jesus calming the storm has Matthew’s account with Jesus saying, “O men of little faith.” Mark has “Have you no faith?” Luke has “Where is your faith?” Reading this story in a synopsis would make these differences observable.

(2) Learn the theological emphases of each gospel. Reading the gospels “vertically” is the most common way–Matthew through John, one at a time. But reading them “horizontally”–Matthew, Mark, Luke, John at the same time–will allow you to compare the theological differences with much more effectiveness because you are viewing the accounts together.

(3) To be aware of the distinctives in the gospel stories. Can you tell me which gospel account of the birth narrative contains the story of the “Wise Men”? Matthew or Luke’s account (or both)? Answer: only in Matthew. What about the “Shepherds out in the field keeping watch over their flock by night?” Answer: only in Luke’s account. (And Mark and John do not contain a birth narrative). If you use a synopsis, all these facts would be conspicuous on a single page!

(4) Read all four gospels in chronological sequence. Have you read the gospels before and noticed that the writers are often “inconsistent” with the chronology of events in the life of Jesus? That is not because they were careless and making mistakes in recalling the life of Jesus. Rather, they were more often concerned with thematic development than with a mere chronicle (and historicity for these ancient writers did not always require chronological sequence.)

(5) Read a synopsis in one year by reading one pericope every day! By coincidence, the synopsis has 367 pericopes (That is, all four gospels combined contain 367 units.) If you read one pericope a day next year, plus two additional days (but it is a leap year), you will have read all 367 units of all four gospels in a full year.

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Following the 5th reason is also a great way to keep up on one’s NT Greek if one gets it in the NT Greek edition! (there is a Greek/English edition too).

I also recommend Scot McKnight’s Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels (Guides to New Testament Exegesis) for a description of a good coloring system that helps in deciphering the differences between the accounts, which come out best only in the Greek.

HT: Dave Black

Rod Decker article on hermeneutics and ministry

In looking for something in my emails, I came across an old article I sent to one of my professors at aGts back in 2006 – a lengthy article by Rod Decker called Respecting the Text (pdf) that I thought I would link for those interested.

It talks about hermeneutics and he ties it in with ministry and preaching.  Again, it is pretty long (a packed 18 pages) but may be well worth the reading – print it out and save it or read it that way if it will help.

Here is a very brief snippet that notes the essence of the article:

What about the Bible?  Do we interpret it different from the newspaper? The answer is not a simple yes or no.  The issue is a bit more complex than that.  So let’s look at some of the issues involved when we interpret holy Scripture.  Having done that, then we want to ask another question: How does all this affect how we do ministry?

Have fun and feel free to let me know what you think!  🙂

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed merry Christmas and great New Year!

Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Many Blessings in this coming New Year!

on Christmas

I just wanted to write and say that I like Christmas!  Well, at least from a theological point of view – I love the concept of Incarnation – that of Divinity becoming humanity for the sake of humanity – in order to save it.  I know that there are those who are not too keen on Christmas for various reasons – but I have really be coming to have great appreciation for the meaning and purposes of the season, which is that Jesus Christ came into the world – not to condemn the world but that he might save it through him!

I like the Advent season too – I know there are those who could care less, and I can understand why.  Yet, I have come to have great appreciation for this season as well.   We know that in systematic theological terms the life of Christ broken down into segments; there is his incarnation, his humiliation, his crucifixion (Atonement), his resurrection, and his exaltation.  Taken as a whole they represent a theological understanding of the Life of Christ.  Advent doesn’t necessarily highlight the incarnation to the negation of the other aspects of Christ’s life, but instead allows for the Christian to focus on the reality and implications of the incarnation for a season, just as we do with his crucifixion during Lent and his Resurrection during Easter and so on.

It has really been affecting me.  I mean just think about it – for thousands and thousands of years the entire world lived in darkness, walking about grasping for the light yet not finding it; searching for hope. yet not finding it, desiring true freedom, yet not finding it and then:  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned….”  Finally, in the form of a babe light has dawned; hope has been rekindled; true freedom and life is finally a possibility, even a reality.  Finally, the Salvation of the Lord has come – there is now hope for the nations, hope for all people – Jesus the light of the world has come into the world – and that light is the light and life of every man, woman and child.

That is Christmas and that is what gets me fired up about the season!

May you be blessed in this Christmas Season!

NLT Blogger Only Contest

Dear Bloggers,

I wanted to fill you in on an exciting contest that is currently being run and sponsored by the New Living Translation.  We’re highlighting three ministries, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsOasis International, and The Dream Center, (click on the link to learn more details about these ministries) and by voting for one of these ministries you’ll be entered to win one of many prizes.

To enter, visit the NLT Facebook page by clicking here.

There are several levels of prizes you can win, here are the details:

With the Give the Word Bible Contest and Giveaway:
• Ministries win: Each time the NLT Facebook Page reaches a fan count milestone, votes will be tallied and the three ministries will receive cash donations from the New Living Translation and Tyndale House Publishers.
• Everyone wins: Everyone who enters on the Bible Contest website wins a free download of Matthew West reading the Christmas story.
• Daily NLT Study Bible winners: Vote on the NLT Facebook page and you will be entered to win two NLT Study Bibles—one to keep and one to give away. A new winner will be chosen every day.
• Weekly Give the Word Locally winners: Tell us about a deserving local ministry on the NLT Bible Contest website and they could win five NLT Study Bibles and $250 worth of NLT products.
• One Grand Prize winner will enjoy a unique trip customized just for them and their family (or three guests of their choice), to Wycliffe Bible Translators world headquarters and the WordSpring Discovery Center where they will experience firsthand the exciting world of Bible translation. The Grand Prize winner could also choose to donate the value of the trip–$2000–to Wycliffe instead.

Here’s how you can win instantly!

1.   Post information about this contest on your blog with a link to the NLT Facebook Page.

2.   After you post the information click here and enter your information.

The first 100 people to enter their information will win a free copy of the Life Application Study Bible NLT.

The first 10 people will win a free copy of the Life Application Study Bible NLT and a free copy of the NLT Study Bible!

I will contact the winners by email on December 29th.

Thank you for being a part of the Tyndale Blog Network!

For information on future contests or other fun stuff feel free to follow me on twitter atwww.twitter.com/adamsab or the Tyndale House Publishers account atwww.twitter.com/tyndalehouse.

Adam Sabados

Tyndale House Publishers

Digital Media Coordinator