Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Did Jesus teach the "Romans Road"?

Adam Stephens said...

I read a great quote it states "When we can find hardly any instance of our favorite theological category in the whole of the four Gospels, we need to be wary of How important our own interpretations and theological favorites are" I have to ask the question,is the Romans Road a man made method or what Jesus Taught? Some of these scriptures I can't find in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) at all. The Plan of Salvation according to Jesus within the Gospels was Believe (Salvation) followed by Repentance (To turn from Self and Sin to Him) with a call to pick up your cross and follow Him. This is the consistent message from Jesus Himself. No Prayer was ever recorded for salvation or No confessing with the mouth. We need to dig into Roman history to find the true meaning of what Paul is saying. Many today say that Romans would profess Caesar as Lord and not Jesus. The result is Paul pleading with them to Profess Jesus as Lord, not Caesar. In 1st century Rome denying Caesar would mean you would be in danger of your life. A person professing Jesus would indicate true belief. Today this wouldn't apply directly in the context of the passage. I find the Romans road creates what is called easy-believism. True belief results in denying self and relentlessly pursuing Christ as the only hope. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Is the Word of God inerrant?

Thoughts from theologian Greg Boyd:
It’s my conviction that the only place to begin our reflections on the “God-breathed” nature of Scripture that can claim a trans-human authority is Jesus Christ. As with everything else pertaining to God, I submit that to understand the nature of biblical inspiration we must adopt Paul’s humble mindset and start with the confession that we “know nothing … except Jesus Christ and him crucified ” (1 Cor 2:2). From beginning to end our thinking about the nature of Scripture should be centered on the crucified Christ. Jesus is not one of God’s words; Jesus, as the God-become-human, is the Word to which all the words of Scripture bear witness. As such, we should regard him to be the essential content and controlling center of all “God-breathed” words. - 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A High View of Scripture

A high view of Scripture takes the Bible seriously, while also taking its historical context and the humanity of its authors seriously. A high view of Scripture is held by those who actually read Scripture, seek to understand why the human authors wrote what they did, and how they convey God’s timeless will for us today. A high view of Scripture includes not only reading the Bible, but seeking to live its timeless messages, which are discerned in the light of Jesus Christ, who is the definitive Word of God. - 
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Friday, September 11, 2015

Three Buckets of Scripture

From "Making Sense of the Bible" by Adam Hamilton -

 "I suggest that there are three “buckets” into which scriptures fall:

1. Scriptures that express God’s heart, character and timeless will for human beings.
2. Scriptures that expressed God’s will in a particular time, but are no longer binding.
3. Scriptures that never fully expressed the heart, character or will of God.

Bucket one scriptures include passages like the two great commandments: love God and love your neighbor.  They include passages that call us to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God,” and to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”   Most of the Bible fits into this category – capturing God’s heart, character and timeless will for humanity.

Bucket two scriptures, those that expressed God’s will for his people in a specific time and circumstances but which do not express the timeless will of God, include the command that males be circumcised, commands regarding animal sacrifices, clean and unclean foods, and hundreds of other passages in the Law.  The Apostles, in Acts 15, determined that most of the laws like these were no longer binding upon Christians.

The idea of a third bucket, passages that never fully reflected God’s heart and will, is disconcerting to some.  It challenges some deeply held beliefs about how God spoke and continues to speak through the biblical authors.  Here are a few examples of scripture I don’t believe ever accurately captured God’s heart, character, or will:  Leviticus 21:9 requires that if the daughter of a priest becomes a prostitute she must be burned to death.  In Exodus 21:20-21, God permits slave-owners to beat their slaves with rods provided they don’t die within the first 48 hours after the beating “for the slave is his property.”  God commands the destruction of every man, woman, and child in 31 Canaanite cities and later killis 70,000 Israelites in punishment for David taking a census. These passages seem to me to be completely inconsistent with the God revealed in Jesus Christ who cared for prostitutes, commanded that we love our enemies, and gave his life to save sinners.

Where Christians disagree is whether the handful of scriptures that condemn same-sex sexual activity belong to bucket one, two, or three.  Do these passages describe God’s heart and timeless will, or might they have been addressing specific forms of same-sex activity in ancient Israel and in the first century Greco-Roman world, or perhaps they may not have captured God’s heart and character at all?

How we answer the questions of what scripture is, how when and why it was written, and the way in which God influenced its human authors shapes how we make sense of issues like homosexuality."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Power of Grace

"Grace empowers you to be who God created you to be". Ted Roberts - Pure Desire Ministries