WR005 – Week in Review – for the week ending May 9, 2014

Here’s the review of the week ending Friday, May 9, 2014.

Segment 1 Review of A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom for the week (begins at 00:00)

Segment 2 Review of A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom for the week (begins at 19:11)

Segment 3 Review of Current Events in Light of the Kingdom of God for the week (begins at 35:06)

Segment 4 Some comments on “objectivity versus subjectivity” and “Christian worldview” (begins at 47:41)

Total time 1:03:41

You Don’t Even Have to Read the Articles Because the Bias Is Evident in the Headlines

Regarding the Benham brothers, like so many others stories of this kind lately, the argument is ended before it’s started by the news media’s choice of vocabulary.  Notice, for example, this recent headline:

HGTV pulls Benham brothers show after ‘anti-gay’ comments – Erin Burnett OutFront – – CNN.com Blogs

Do we say that a person who is against cancer is “anti-cancer victim?”

Do we say that a person who opposes divorce is “anti-divorcee?”

Why then does the news media insist on calling people who think homosexuality is wrong “anti-gay?”

 

More Victims of the Anti-Christian Spirit That Has Risen to Rule in America

Plot another point on the downward trend line for religious freedom in America.  The forces that shout the loudest for tolerance are demonstrating once again their preference for intolerance.

We have to learn how to decode the hypocrisy.  What their words and actions taken together really mean is that they want everyone to be tolerant of lawlessness and intolerant of anyone who reminds us of unrighteousness.

I had never heard of these Benham brothers before reading this story, but they sound like class acts.  It should go without saying that they haven’t shown hate and don’t deserve the hatred they’re being shown.

(A 2 min read; 412 words)

Benham Brothers Speak Out on HGTV Show Being Canned: We’re Committed to Biblical Principles

Benham Brothers Speak Out on HGTV Show Being Canne…

David and Jason Benham issued a statement early Thursday in response to HGTV’s decision to cancel their upcoming show, “Flip It Forward,” after reports ca…

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“I Feel Super Great About Having an Abortion” — The Culture of Death Goes Viral

The following article tells me everything I need to know – and more – about a viral video of a woman having an abortion…happily.  I do not need to watch this video.  I cannot watch this video.  The very thought of watching it is abhorrent to me.  I don’t condemn anyone who watches it; I just can’t watch it myself.

The article states that an organization has given this video…an award!  Just when we think American cultural depravity has reached its limits, those limits are exceeded.

This video and the reaction to it demonstrates the power of human social approval to desensitize and deaden the individual human conscience.  Such human approbation is never completely sufficient to snuff out the voice of God, but it goes a long way toward assisting a person in suppressing that voice.

“If only Adolph Hitler had realized that he could have had the Nazi party produce film of the extermination camps he built for Jews so that he could expunge the guilt that was caused solely by the social pressure coming from people who thought it evil to murder his society’s undesirables.”  Thank God that man had enough guilt over his nefarious activities to hide them.  Today’s exterminators of children have become more brazen than he ever dared.

I do not blame this woman alone for the video she has produced, but the society at large which has not reacted in horror to what she has done…and that has even “awarded” her for her efforts.  God have mercy on us all!

(6 min read; 1,546 words)

“I Feel Super Great About Having an Abortion” — The Culture of Death Goes Viral – AlbertMohler.com.

The Problem with the Word “Inspiration”

When I wrote about “Inspiration Versus Inerrancy” the other day, someone responded that the word “inspiration” is problematic because its meaning can vary so much.  For example, you can read that a movie was “inspired” by a true story or that so-and-so is a truly an “inspiration” to us all.  You can probably think of some such examples yourself.  Thus to say that the Bible is “inspired” can communicate wildly varying ideas, depending on the perception of the person hearing you.

This is a fair point for someone to make, and I agree with it.  I’d only respond further with three quick points.

First, while the word “inspiration” has its difficulties, I don’t think it has as many difficulties as “inerrancy” (for the reasons that I gave in the earlier post).

Second, unlike “inerrancy,” “inspiration” is at least a biblical word; specifically, see 2 Timothy 3:16.   We can’t go too far wrong when using a biblical word to convey a biblical idea.  Note also that in 2 Timothy 3:16, the phrase says that the Scriptures are “inspired by God” – not just “inspired.”  That is, when we declare that the Bible is “inspired” we are actually using that single word as shorthand for “inspired by God” – not just “inspired” in a vague or undeclared sense.

Third, more often than saying the Bible is inspired, I say that it is the word of God.  This statement seems to work well in making clear my view because it gives someone a position to accept or reject.  That is, saying “the Bible is the word of God” doesn’t leave as much room for fence-sitting as the expression “the Bible is inspired by God.”  If the Bible is “inspired” in only a general or vague sense, then there are other books similarly described with which it must compete for attention.  However, if the Bible is “the word of God” it is in a class by itself – and deserves the appropriate attention – because all other books are merely from human beings.

By the way, I cannot imagine that I would have ever believed that the Bible was the word of God unless I had read it for myself.  The more I have read it, the more convinced I have become that it is the word of God.  Human beings simply could not have produced such thoughts on their own.  God truly does exceeding abundantly beyond all human beings can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

Ministry Newsletter Covering All My Blogs, Podcasts, Books, Etc.

Since my ministry activities include multiple blogs, podcasts, and books, I have decided to produce a periodic newsletter which will cover all these and related activities – in case there are any of you who want to keep up with it all.  I’m calling it Mike Gantt’s Ministry Newsletter.  It won’t be fancy.  It will just explain my overall view of things from time to time – but a minimum of monthly.  You can sign up for it on the right-hand side of this About page.  (And this is the only place on all of my blogs that you will be able to sign up for it.)

Note that my various blogs will allow you to sign up for an e-mail notification of each new blog post, but this newsletter sign-up is different.  Although I allow anonymous comments on my blogs and anonymous sign-ups for the blog post e-mails, for this ministry newsletter I wanted it to be a little more personal, which is why I ask for a name.  It should go without saying that I’m not going to use your information for any purpose other than the purposes I just stated for the newsletter, and that I am never going to try to sell you something or obtain a donation or anything else from you.  I just feel that I should provide a way for interested people to know more about the thinking of the person behind these various forms of content I am providing.

I do not expect many people to sign up for this newsletter, but for those want to keep up with all that I am doing in this ministry, this newsletter will provide a cohesive view of my activities and make sure that I don’t take on anything new without your knowing about it.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.  It empties today of its strength.”  – Unknown

Along similar lines, Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).  He wants us to seek strength through prayer each day to overcome the trouble of that day.  If we give away our strength to worry, it’s like trying to fill up the bathtub with water without ever plugging the drain.

And, as the quote says, worry does nothing to affect the trouble that may or may not come tomorrow anyway – so what’s the point?

Inspiration Versus Inerrancy

Conservative evangelicals were tired of liberal evangelicals who proclaimed the “inspiration” of the Scriptures in an equivocal way.  Liberals might agree, for example, that the Bible was “inspired,” but only in the sense that a beautiful poem might be an “inspiring” piece of literature – not in the sense that God was telling us something to believe or do.  In an attempt to prevent the weaseling, conservatives wrote the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in 1978.  Ever since, conservatives have proclaimed “The Inerrancy of Scripture!” or, simply, “Inerrancy! as the battle cry for this, their unequivocal position.

While I can sympathize with the conservatives’ frustration, their cure was as bad as the disease.  That is, “inerrancy” doesn’t say anything about what the Bible is.  It only says what the Bible isn’t.  To boot, “inerrancy” is not a biblical word.  That is, we don’t find it in the Bible.  As a result, inerrancy is a problematic way to defend the integrity of Scripture.

Let us return therefore to a biblical word, a perfectly good biblical word: inspiration.  That is, the Bible is inspired by God.  He “breathed” His life into its words (2 Timothy 3:16).  The ideas of the Bible are His because He was the one who inspired those who wrote it (2 Peter 1:21).  That some people will want to wriggle out of the plain implication of this word is something we simply have to accept.  We cannot force the truth on people.

Any reference to “inerrancy” sends skeptics scurrying for any of the supposed discrepancies found in the biblical text.  In an ancient text, copied by hand, there are surely going to be words and passages that are difficult to reconcile and understand.  What’s amazing about the Bible is that such difficulties are few and never involve a major theme or issue.  Therefore, the sad fact about disagreements over inerrancy is that they always skew the discussion toward trivialities.  Crying “Inerrancy!” leads to majoring on the minors.

The prophets and apostles of Israel who wrote the Bible were writing on behalf of God.  Thus they were writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  This means that we may rightly regard the Bible as the word of God.  That it is therefore inerrant should go without saying, for how could God speak erroneously?  But to center our faith on what is absent from the text misses the point.  Rather, let us declare the Bible as inspired, as the word of God.  For then we are declaring what the Bible is instead of what it isn’t.

I believe in the inspiration of Scripture.  The Bible is the word of God to me, and I will heed it as such.  My battle cry is “Inspiration!” and I will not equivocate about its meaning nor dispute its authority over my life.  Indeed, I love the Lord of whom it testifies so comprehensively and profoundly (John 5:39; Luke 24:27, 44).

WR004 – Week in Review – for the week ending May 2, 2014

This podcast discusses current events in light of the kingdom of God.

Segment 1 begins at 00:00

The Facebook face-off over atheism by Neal Jones, April 26, 2014 [as of June 1, 2014, the The State newspaper seems to no longer be maintaining this page.] 

Segment 2 begins at 13:29

Religion for $1,000, Alex by 

Bible literacy is going up, not down – thanks, Lady Gaga By Katie Edwards, University of Sheffield, April 18, 2014