A Key Theme in Acts
The book of Acts is one-hundred percent dependent on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus died on the cross, but did not rise from the dead, there would be no “Acts of the Apostles.” In fact, there would be no Christianity.
Acts begins with the resurrected Lord giving his disciples final instructions and explaining to them their responsibility to be witnesses to the world of what they had seen (Acts 1:6-8). What was the chief thing concerning which they were called to be witnesses? Peter answers that question as the disciples began the process of finding a replacement for Judas, when he says that the new apostle “must become with us a witness to [Christ’s] resurrection” (Acts 1:22). The message the apostles were to proclaim was the message of the resurrected Christ, and every major sermon given by the apostles in Acts contains that message. Continue reading The Resurrection of Christ in Acts and Its Pastoral Implications
From its inception until now, Christianity has hinged upon a certain truth: God is not silent. Churches across the world assemble weekly, colleges and seminaries are erected, and debates echo across the internet because of this truth. God speaks to man by breathing out his words. This formulation is the basis for what is called the doctrine of inspiration, a word which comes from the Latin inspirare, to breathe into. It is the doctrine of how God’s words are communicated to man. But what precisely does it mean to be inspired? What is the object being inspired? To what extent does this inspiration occur? These questions are matters of contention in the theological realm. The doctrine of inspiration is formulated differently among those who would profess Christianity. In light of these differences, I will argue that the Plenary Verbal position is the correct position on the basis of textual evidence and historical support. In this post as well as Part 2, therefore, I will present and explain four prominent positions on the doctrine of inspiration: the Neo-Orthodox position, the Roman Catholic position, the Limited position, and the Plenary Verbal position. I will seek to defend the veracity of the Plenary Verbal position by examining sources pertaining to inspiration which are considered prominent in each of these camps, summarizing each position clearly and faithfully, and finally arguing carefully from a textual and historical perspective that the Plenary Verbal position is the best position among the four while rebutting major objections raised against it. Continue reading Barth, Rome, and Liberals: Four Views on the Bible’s Origin, Pt. 1
I believe in the inerrancy, infallibility, and plenary verbal inspiration of the Bible. On what grounds do I hold such a view? Because the Bible says so. Jesus said that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). The apostle Paul, who was commissioned by Jesus, said, “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). In addition to the beliefs of Jesus Himself and His apostles we could add that, “the words, ‘The Lord said’, ‘The Lord spake’, ‘The word of the Lord came’, and cognate expressions are actually used 3,808 times in the Old Testament alone!” The testimony of the Bible concerning its divine origin is overwhelming, and that is my evidence for inspiration.
However, many will immediately object that this argument is invalid due to circular reasoning. They say we cannot use a source itself to prove its own authenticity. Rather, they say Christians are to look outside the Bible for evidence. That is true in most other cases. That is why we have lawyers, juries, witnesses, and so forth in a court case. If a man says he didn’t commit a murder, but three bystanders saw him do it, then his testimony is invalid. Or if a child says he saw the boogie man in his closet, no parent will believe them if the closet is empty. Continue reading Sanctified Circular Reasoning: The Legitimacy of Believing the Bible Because of the Bible
There are two types of Christians in this country: Secular and Biblical.
Secular Christians enter into “Church mode” on Sundays. They don’t swear. They don’t talk dirty. They don’t fight. They smile and get along! “I’m at Church,” is the explanation. They give their serious attention to the service but the after-service “fellowship” is the real fun. Church is a social club. It makes me feel good and I get to volunteer. If I don’t like this one, I’ll find another Church.
Biblical Christians savor Church because it revitalizes them for another week of Christian living. They often think of how this gathering will propel them to live in “the World.” While they genuinely enjoy the comradery with friends, Biblical Christians try to remember that Church is about God and not them. Faithfulness and commitment to the people of the Church, no matter how flawed, is the most important thing. Continue reading Secular Christianity vs. Biblical Christianity
A conviction is not something you hold, but something that holds you. It is something outside of which one cannot operate safely or consistently. In the present time, however, conviction is not seen so much as a virtue but a vice. “Arrogant,” and “Narrow-minded,” are some of the labels given to people moved by such convictions. But nothing could be further from the truth.
It is true people of conviction speak with boldness, directness, candor and clarity. However, this bravery must not be confused with arrogance. It is not pretentiousness that moves these people but an absolute certainty that what they believe is true and that what is popularly believed is a lie. Continue reading Conviction or Narrow-mindedness?