Falling into the Gap (Theory)

"The Creation of Light" by Gustave Doré
“The Creation of Light” by Gustave Doré

As part of an assignment this past week for a class on the Old Testament, we had to decide and defend which view of creation we support (as they are outlined by Mark Driscoll here). Most of the students chose historic creationism or young-earth creationism, which is probably to be expected since it is a relatively conservative Christian school. What did surprise me, however, is the number of people who chose gap theory as their personal view of creation.

Gap theory (also known as restitution theory or the Divine Judgment interpretation) was popularized by C. I. Scofield‘s notes on the Bible and holds that Genesis 1:1 describes an original creation by God, performed at an indeterminate time in the past (perhaps billions of years ago). Some event (most likely the fall of Lucifer) caused God to judge the earth, rendering it “formless and void.” Genesis 1:2, then, describes a second event, that took place at some point between Genesis 1:1 & 1:3, where God’s spirit prepared the corrupted earth for the creation described in 1:3-27. Thus, an earth and fossils that science tells us date back billions of years are said to be from the first creation and not from the six days of creation described in the latter 25 verses of Genesis 1. Support for this theory is drawn from the fact that: Continue reading Falling into the Gap (Theory)

Philippians 4:13: A Statement of Empowerment or Dependence?

I don’t have a lot of memories of my parents embarrassing me when I was a kid, but one in particular stands out. I was probably about 10-years-old (give or take a year or so) and playing baseball for the local little league. My team was in a big game, and it had gone into extra innings. I was standing in right-field, waiting for the next pitch, when all of a sudden I heard my mom’s voice screaming, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!”

I can laugh about it now, but at the time, I was mortified. Being an introvert, I don’t particularly like the spotlight under normal circumstances. But when all eyes are on you because of a crazy lady shouting Bible verses, it’s a special kind of misery. Suffice it to say that I never again gave her trouble about not paying attention at one of my sporting events. In fact, from then on, I was happy to look over in her direction and see her reading a book instead of watching the game.

But while I was embarrassed that my mom was attaching that verse to my performance on the baseball field for me, applying Philippians 4:13 to a sporting event or other accomplishment or aspiration is hardly a novel concept. Somehow Paul’s declaration that he could do all things through Him who gave him strength has been transformed into a personal missions statement promoting self-empowerment and a “can do” attitude that belies Paul’s original meaning. Continue reading Philippians 4:13: A Statement of Empowerment or Dependence?

We Are All Witnesses

my sermon from last Sunday:

We Are All Witnesses
Acts 1:1-11

  1. What We Witness
    1. Witness = martys-> martyr
      1. Testifies to facts
      2. Offers the truth
      3. Gives an evangelistic confession
    2. Christians testify to the facts and truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and give a confession of the salvation we have through them.
  2. Why We Witness
    1. The Resurrection is Real (1:3)
    2. God Is Working Through Us (1:1, 8)
    3. The Gospel Is Our Only Hope for Change (1:6-8)
    4. Time Is Short (1:11)
  3. Where We Witness
    1. Jerusalem
    2. Judea and Samaria
    3. The End of the Earth
  4. How We Witness
    1. Through the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit
    2. Each According to His Gifts and Calling
    3. Both Individually and as a Church

Цель общения в сети

 

This is a translation of the original English version of this post.

Зачем нам нужна страничка в социальных (на Фейсбук, в Одноклассниках, В контакте и т.д.)?

Вы задумывались об этом?

Я часто слышу от подростков, что они не могут дождаться, когда родители разрешат им зайти в интернет, в частности на Фейсбук и если я спрошу, почему это так важно для них, почти всегда слышу один и тот же ответ: «все мои друзья сидят там…»- не очень убедительный повод!

Я вижу много разных сообщений, комментариев от  тех кто называет себя «христианами», и меня эти действия настораживают, особенно от молодежи (старшеклассников и студентов). Я провел последние 10 лет работая с молодежью и поэтому большинство моих друзей на фейсбук молодые люди, и чаще всего я не вижу разницы между тем что пишет христианская молодежь и неверущие. И это печалит, раздражает и иногда даже вызывает гнев, в зависимости от того что написано. Я только прихожу к одному выводу, что все эти обсуждения, фотографии и выражения кажутся нехристианскими потому что они бесцельны и это большая проблема. Continue reading Цель общения в сети

When You Feel Like Giving Up

my sermon from this past Sunday:

When You Feel Like Giving Up
1 Kings 19

I. Elijah’s Problem
A. Focus on the Temporal
B. Forgetfulness
C. Fear
D. Flight

II. God’s Solution
A. Resources
B. Revelation
C. Relationships
D. Recommission

When You Feel Like Giving Up:
1. Trust God to provide.
2. Seek God in His Word.
3. Avoid isolating yourself.
4. Get/stay involved in ministry.

To the Class of 2012

I wrote the following for the senior class at Trinity Christian School as part of a special issue of the student newspaper that was dedicated to them:

—–

Beloved Class of 2012,

I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to play a role in your lives and development (1 Thess. 2:8). As you head off to college, allow me to impart some final wisdom. Continue reading To the Class of 2012

The Motivation to Serve

10      But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.
11      “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
12      “For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.
13      “Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
(Matthew 26:10-13)

A few things stand out at me from this passage: Continue reading The Motivation to Serve

Woe to You

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
14 [“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’
17 “You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?
18 “And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’
19 “You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?
20 “Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it.
21 “And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it.
22 “And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.
(Matthew 23:13-22)

I have mixed feelings about this chapter. On the one hand, I love it because it obliterates the image of Jesus as a dull, boring, serious guy with no sense of humor. There are exclamation points everywhere (at least there are in translations other than the NASB, which I quoted here). He calls the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and blind guides. He uses hyperbole and sarcasm to drive his points home. I can just imagine spectators with their mouths agape or snickering into their hands as Jesus verbally undressed these men who took themselves entirely too seriously. On the other hand, I hate it because it exposes my own Pharisaical heart. It’s hard to laugh too much at Jesus’ exaggerations and insults without wondering if they are aimed at me as well.

In verse 13, Jesus begins pronouncing 7 (or 8, depending on your translation) “woes” upon the scribes and Pharisees for actions that motivated his use of the word “hypocrite” to point out that they were appearing one way while acting another. Their very attempts to give the appearance of righteousness showed their lack of righteousness, and today Jesus goes beyond their appearance to expose their hearts. This entire section reminds me of James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” The Pharisees failed to correctly teach and lead the people God had entrusted to them, and Jesus judges them harshly. Let’s look at why. Continue reading Woe to You

How We Relate to Government

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:1-4)

In his commentary on Romans 13:1, John Calvin writes that

There are indeed always some tumultuous spirits who believe that the kingdom of Christ cannot be sufficiently elevated, unless all earthly powers be abolished, and that they cannot enjoy the liberty given by him, except they shake off every yoke of human subjection. Continue reading How We Relate to Government