Skip to content

Babel / Babyl

September 6, 2019
Old Testament Survey

Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church Lesson Six

Babel / Babyl

  1. Quick Review
    1. God Revealing Himself (Edenic Covenant; Adamic Covenant; Noahic Covenant)
    1. Consequences of Ignoring Who God Is
      1. Expulsion from the Garden / Curses
      1. The Flood
    1. Pattern: The Cycle of Judgment and Mercy
      1. Revelation/Warning; Sin; Suffering; Repentance; Forgiveness; Peace; Wandering … Warning
  2. The Dispersion and Dominion (Cultural) Mandate
    1. Adam and Eve, Genesis 1:26-28
    1. Noah, Genesis 9:1
    1. Table of Nations, Genesis 10
      1. Willing Obedience?
      1. Conflict with Genesis 11:1
  3. Discussion Questions:
    1. How can Genesis 11:1 be understood in view of Genesis 10:5,20,31-32?
    1. What was the sin of the Settlers of Shinar (Genesis 11:4)?
    1. What can we learn from the following terminology in Genesis 11:5?
      1. “Children of man”?
      1. “The LORD came down to see?”
    1. What is God’s Response in Genesis 11:6-8 to:
      1. One people, one language
      1. Globalism / “world peace”
    1. The Genesis 11:6-8 Restraints
      1. Punishment or Blessing?
      1. Judgment or Mercy?
      1. Permanent or Temporary?
  4. Genesis 10 and 11 in the New Testament
    1. The Great Commission at Matthew 28:18-19: All authority in heaven and on earth
    1. Acts 8 (Ethiopian eunuch); Acts 9 (Saul of Tarsus) Acts 10 (Cornelius)
    1. The song of Revelation 5:9
    1. The acclamation of Revelation 7:10
  5. Final thoughts / comments / questions
  6. Closing prayer: Psalm 150

Climate Change and Global Catastrophe

August 11, 2019
Old Testament Survey

Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church Lesson Five

Climate Change and Global Catastrophe

  1. Introduction: General and Special Revelation, and Infallibility
  2. Opening Discussion # 1 (Thought Provoker): What are some criticisms of the biblical account of the Flood that are often made?
  3. Opening Discussion # 2 (Thought Provoker): Why is the Flood story important to believers?
  4. Opening Discussion # 3 (Memory Jogger): What changed after the Flood?
  5. Biblical Description of the Flood (Special Revelation)        
    1. Prompted by human wickedness (Genesis 6:5-7)
    1. All the Mountains Were Covered: Genesis 7:18-24; Genesis 8:1-5
    1. The Ark Was a Huge Vessel 
    1. Human Population was Global: Genesis 6:1, 11-12
    1. All Humans (Except Noah and Family) were Killed: Genesis 7:21, 9:1
    1. All Air-Breathing Land Animals were Killed: Genesis 6:17; Gen. 9:16
    1. The Flood was Cataclysmic, not just Large
    1. God’s Promise and the Rainbow: Genesis 8:21; Genesis 9:8-17
    1. Year Long Stay in the Ark: Genesis 8:9, 14
    1. Global Devastation: Genesis 6:13; Isaiah 54:9; 2 Peter 3:5-7
    1. New Testament Affirmations (see above)
  6. Geological and Historical Corroboration (General Revelation)
  7. Discussion # 4: What is meant when we say Noah built the ark “by faith”? (Hebrews 11:7)
  8. Noah, Faith and the Gospel
  9. Jesus is Greater: Jesus is the Last Adam (1 Cor 15: 45); the Greater Noah (1 Pet 3: 20-21); the Greater Abraham (John 8: 58); The Greatest Prophet (Acts 3: 22-23); the Highest High Priest (to whom Levi paid a tithe; Heb 7: 7-9); and David’s Greater Son (Matt 22: 45).
  10. Conclusion / Closing Prayer: Psalm 33:6–9

Misogyny and Patriarchy

August 2, 2019
Old Testament Survey

           Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church

           
            Lesson Four

         Misogyny and Patriarchy

1.       Introduction: Thinking about thinking about God’s Word (What are we doing here?)

           a.        Magisterial Misuse of Reason (See Isaiah 55:8–9; Romans 9:19–21)

                      i.        Example: Paul at 1 Corinthians 2:2

           b.        Ministerial Use of Reason (See Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 22:36–38; Romans 12:2;1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5; 1 Peter 3:15)

                      i.        Example: Paul at Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-34)

2.        Quick Review: Why Blame Adam?

           a.        Direct: Biblical/God’s Declaration: Genesis 3:17-19; Isaiah 43:27; Hosea 6:7; Job 31:33; Romans 5:12-19

           b.        Thoughtfulness (Mind of Christ): Breaking Adamic Covenant (Not Attending to God’s Word)

                      i.        God’s command given directly to Adam (Genesis 2:16-17)

                      ii.       Do not add: Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18

                      iii.      Responsibilities of Adam and Eve to each other

3.        Opening Discussion (Thought Provokers): What do the following words mean? (How) Are the following words used in criticism of the Old Testament?

           a.        Misogyny

           b.        Patriarchy (Genesis 18:12; Exodus 21:3,17, 22; Lev. 12:2–5; Leviticus 22:13)

4.        What can be said in response to criticisms of the Old Testament that draw from (or point to) these words/concepts?

           a.        Misogyny

           b.        Patriarchy (Exod. 22:22; Deut. 10:18; 14:29; 24:17, 19)

5.        Equality of Adam and Eve: How and to what extent was Eve equal to Adam?

           a.        How did this equality between man and woman appear to change over time in the Old Testament?

                      i.        Commonly cited examples:

                                 (1)      Numbers 5:11-31 adultery trial (but see Numbers 5:2; 5:6; 6:2)

                                 (2)      Leviticus 12 purification after childbirth [40 days/80 days] (but see purification offering at Leviticus 12:6)

                                 (3)      Family name/lineage, leverite marriage (Deut 25:5-6)

                                 (4)      Legal capacity to contract (Numbers 30)

                                 (5)      Initiation of divorce (Deut 25:1-4; cf Matt. 19:7)

                      ii.       Compare: Parity/equality of men and women – Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:12, 1:15; Deut. 5:16; 21:18–21; 27:16; Leviticus 19:3; Proverbs 6:20; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 19:26; Proverbs 23:25; Song of Songs 6:3, 7:10.

                      iii.      Compare: Strong women and influential women in the Old Testament: Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and Tamar (all in Genesis); the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah (Exod. 1); the Egyptian princess (Exod. 2); Miriam and Jethro’s seven daughters, including Zipporah, Moses’s wife (Exod. 2, 4, 15); the daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27); Deborah, Ruth, Naomi, Abigail, and Bathsheba (Judg. 4–5; Ruth 1–4; 1 Sam. 25; 1 Kings 1–2); and the Proverbs 31 woman.

                      iv.      Some other examples:

                                 (1)      Purity laws: Men (Lev. 15:16–18, 32; 22:4; Deut. 23:10)

                                 (2)      Laws addressing incest and adultery: Leviticus 18, 20

           b.        How are divorce and polygomy addressed in the Old Testament and, by comparison, in the New Testament? (Matt. 19:3-9; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31)

           c.        How does the New Testament elevate the status and role of women?

                      i.        E.g., Resurrection (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-24:5; John 20:1)

6.        What is the difference between “authority” and “responsibility”?

           a.        Which stems from (or emerges from, or is dependent upon) the other?

           b.        From a Biblical perspective, which is greater? (Genesis 3)

7.        How is the importance of individual responsibility for our own actions highlighted:

           a.        In the Old Testament (See Leviticus 20:24, 19:2-6; Deut. 26:16-19)

           b.        In the New Testament

8.        What is the ultimate responsibility of a follower of Christ?

9.        

           Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church

           
            Lesson Four

         Misogyny and Patriarchy

1.       Introduction: Thinking about thinking about God’s Word (What are we doing here?)

           a.        Magisterial Misuse of Reason (See Isaiah 55:8–9; Romans 9:19–21)

                      i.        Example: Paul at 1 Corinthians 2:2

           b.        Ministerial Use of Reason (See Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 22:36–38; Romans 12:2;1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5; 1 Peter 3:15)

                      i.        Example: Paul at Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-34)

2.        Quick Review: Why Blame Adam?

           a.        Direct: Biblical/God’s Declaration: Genesis 3:17-19; Isaiah 43:27; Hosea 6:7; Job 31:33; Romans 5:12-19

           b.        Thoughtfulness (Mind of Christ): Breaking Adamic Covenant (Not Attending to God’s Word)

                      i.        God’s command given directly to Adam (Genesis 2:16-17)

                      ii.       Do not add: Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18

                      iii.      Responsibilities of Adam and Eve to each other

3.        Opening Discussion (Thought Provokers): What do the following words mean? (How) Are the following words used in criticism of the Old Testament?

           a.        Misogyny

           b.        Patriarchy (Genesis 18:12; Exodus 21:3,17, 22; Lev. 12:2–5; Leviticus 22:13)

4.        What can be said in response to criticisms of the Old Testament that draw from (or point to) these words/concepts?

           a.        Misogyny

           b.        Patriarchy (Exod. 22:22; Deut. 10:18; 14:29; 24:17, 19)

5.        Equality of Adam and Eve: How and to what extent was Eve equal to Adam?

           a.        How did this equality between man and woman appear to change over time in the Old Testament?

                      i.        Commonly cited examples:

                                 (1)      Numbers 5:11-31 adultery trial (but see Numbers 5:2; 5:6; 6:2)

                                 (2)      Leviticus 12 purification after childbirth [40 days/80 days] (but see purification offering at Leviticus 12:6)

                                 (3)      Family name/lineage, leverite marriage (Deut 25:5-6)

                                 (4)      Legal capacity to contract (Numbers 30)

                                 (5)      Initiation of divorce (Deut 25:1-4; cf Matt. 19:7)

                      ii.       Compare: Parity/equality of men and women – Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:12, 1:15; Deut. 5:16; 21:18–21; 27:16; Leviticus 19:3; Proverbs 6:20; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 19:26; Proverbs 23:25; Song of Songs 6:3, 7:10.

                      iii.      Compare: Strong women and influential women in the Old Testament: Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and Tamar (all in Genesis); the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah (Exod. 1); the Egyptian princess (Exod. 2); Miriam and Jethro’s seven daughters, including Zipporah, Moses’s wife (Exod. 2, 4, 15); the daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27); Deborah, Ruth, Naomi, Abigail, and Bathsheba (Judg. 4–5; Ruth 1–4; 1 Sam. 25; 1 Kings 1–2); and the Proverbs 31 woman.

                      iv.      Some other examples:

                                 (1)      Purity laws: Men (Lev. 15:16–18, 32; 22:4; Deut. 23:10)

                                 (2)      Laws addressing incest and adultery: Leviticus 18, 20

           b.        How are divorce and polygomy addressed in the Old Testament and, by comparison, in the New Testament? (Matt. 19:3-9; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31)

           c.        How does the New Testament elevate the status and role of women?

                      i.        E.g., Resurrection (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-24:5; John 20:1)

6.        What is the difference between “authority” and “responsibility”?

           a.        Which stems from (or emerges from, or is dependent upon) the other?

           b.        From a Biblical perspective, which is greater? (Genesis 3)

7.        How is the importance of individual responsibility for our own actions highlighted:

           a.        In the Old Testament (See Leviticus 20:24, 19:2-6; Deut. 26:16-19)

           b.        In the New Testament

8.        What is the ultimate responsibility of a follower of Christ?

9.        How are we also responsible for nurturing and attending to the flourishing of (church, family) as followers of Christ?

10.      Conclusion / Closing Prayer: Psalm 119:121-128

10.      Conclusion / Closing Prayer: Psalm 119:121-128

The First Adam

July 26, 2019
Old Testament Survey

Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church

Lesson Three                                             

The First Adam

         •        Acts 17:26

         •        Romans 5:14-18

         •        1 Corinthians 15:22

         •        2 Timothy 1:14

1.       Opening Discussion (Thought Provokers):

          a.       Did the serpent have legs? Genesis 3:14

          b.       Did Eve lie about God’s command? Genesis 3:3

          c.       Was Adam a wimp? Genesis 3:6

          d.       Was Adam totally depraved?

          e.       If Eve ate the fruit first, why does Adam get all the blame? (Isaiah 43:27; Hosea 6:7; Job 31:33; James 1:14-15)

2.       Quick Review: Heaven + earth = everything (entire cosmos): the majesty of Who God is.

          a.       Genesis 1 – The Vertical (God’s-eye, majestic, heavenly) viewpoint [H430elohiym] of the “what” of creation

          b.       Genesis 2: The Horizontal (Human story-of-redemption perspective, earthly) viewpoint of the “why” of creation

                    i.        [H3068 Yehovah H430elohiym ] links the idea of the pre-garden Creator-God with the post-Garden story of covenant and redemption.

3.       Genesis 3: God’s interaction with humans

          a.       Pattern/framework of interaction: “Covenant”

                    i.        Solemn agreement backed up by God’s promise: “An absolute agreement between distinct persons, about the order and dispensing of things in their power, unto their mutual concern and advantage” (John Owen)

                    ii.       Not quid pro quo or the result of negotiation

                    iii.      Two (and only two) categories of covenants are possible between God and humans

                              (1)     Covenant of works founded upon what we shall do for salvation

                              (2)     Covenant of grace founded upon what God shall do for us to save us

          b.       Adamic Covenant (covenant of works; covenant of creation),: Genesis 2:16-17

                    i.        “The distance between God and the Creature is so great, that although reasonable Creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of Life, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express, by way of Covenant” (Baptist Confession of Faith (1689), ¶7.1)

                    ii.       The Potter’s right to impose requirements upon the clay: disobedience would render the creation liable to punishment/extinction, but obedience would not engender the right of any reward

                    iii.      The LORD God revealed Himself not only as Sovereign, Creator and Lawgiver, but also as loving Father who graciously established a covenant relationship with Adam as representative head of the human race.

                    iv.      The LORD God, as author of the Adamic covenant (covenant of works, or covenant of creation) promised eternal life in the way of obedience, enabling Adam to obtain eternal life for himself and his descendants (Romans 7:10). See also Lev. 18:5; Ezek. 20:11-13, Ezek. 20:20; Luke 10:28; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:12.

          c.       Compare: The Everlasting Covenant (Isaiah 55:3; Luke 22:22; John 6:38-39; Ephesians 3:11; Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 13:20; Revelation 13:8)

                    i.        The Father promising to bring to the Son all whom the Father had given Him (John 6:39; John 17:9; John 17:24).

                              (1)     The Son would become man (Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5), become for a while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:7), and be found under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5).

                              (2)     The Son would die for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2; 1 Pet. 2:24), and the Father would raise the Son from the Dead (Psalm 2).

                    ii.       First publication of the Everlasting Covenant: Genesis 3:15

4.       Conclusion

          a.       Christ as the “yes” of God’s covenantal relationship (2 Corinthians 1:20; Luke 22:40)                              

          b.       Christ as the first and only covenant-keeper on the human side (1 Corinthians 15:45) and on God’s side (Romans 5:8)

5.       Closing Prayer: Psalm 119:113-120

Creation Accounts for Everything

July 19, 2019
Old Testament Survey

Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church

Lesson Two

Creation Accounts for Everything

  1. Opening Discussion – “Getting” Unbelievers (Meaning of life and living for/against nature):
    1. How do people who do not believe in creation make sense of the world and of life?
    2. How do people who do not believe in creation deal with the beauty and cruelty of nature?
    3. How do they deal with “the problem of life”? (e.g., Job 4:12-21)
  2. Starting (Startling) Point – Unique features of Genesis 1 and 2: Creation…
    1. Was and is accomplished by an eternal God: Psalm 90:2
    2. Was and is from nothing – Ex nihilo [H1254 bara’]: Jeremiah 10:16; Isaiah 44:24
    3. Was and is Personal and ongoing – John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 11:3
    4. Was and is subject to God’s laws – God is the Lawgiver of physical laws (Psalm 33:6-9; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3)
  3. God is the Creater and source of time, space, energy, matter and … light (Rev, 21:23; Rev. 22:5)
  4. Genesis Accounts for Everything (i.e., heaven and earth: Genesis 14:19; Genesis 14:22; Jeremiah 23:24; 2 Kings 19:15; 2 Chronicles 2:12; Psalms 115:15, 121:2, 124:8, 134:3, 146:6; Isaiah 37:16)
  5. Genesis 1: The Vertical (God’s-eye, majestic) viewpoint [H430elohiym] of the “what” of creation
    1. The mysteries of light, energy, matter and mass.
    2. God’s majesty, omniscience, creativity, love, orderliness and timeliness
      1. Mapping our lives to God’s rhythm of work and rest (Exodus 20:11; Exodus 34:21)
    3. Heaven + earth = everything (entire cosmos): the majesty of Who God is.
  6. Genesis 2: The Horizontal (Human story-of-redemption perspective) viewpoint of the “why” of creation
    1. [H3068 Yehovah H430elohiym ] links the idea of the pre-garden Creator-God with the post-Garden story of covenant and redemption.
    2. Genesis 1:3 Light before the Genesis 1:16 Sun?
      1. “The fact that Genesis talks about light existing before the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars seem rather to be evidence of divine authorship of the Bible. It was inconceivable to pagan thinking that life could exist without the sun and its light. Hence pagan religions worshiped the sun as the source of light and heat . . . The Bible is unique in stating that the sun is of secondary importance.” (Donald Chittick, The Controversy, Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1984, p. 151)
    3. Genesis 1:11-12 Plants before Genesis 2:5 shrubs [H7880 siyach] and cultivated crops [H6212 `eseb] of the field?
      1. Desert vegetation after a rain (Gen 2:5; Gen 21:15; Job 30:4l; Job 30:7)
    4. Animals on the fifth day (Genesis 1:20-25) or sixth day (Genesis 2:19)?
      1. Pluperfect “had” formed [H3335 yatsar], and now presented [H935 bow’].
  7. Eve and the (very long?) sixth day? “A little help??!!”
      1. God’s orderly presentation of animals and Adam’s job of naming kinds (Genesis 6:20).
      2. Tension for Adam: the LORD’s first observation of what is not good (and the LORD’s problem-solving gift).
  8. Q & A and Closing Discussion about “wasted space”
      1. The countryside? Deserts? The cosmos? You?
      2. Compare: Psalm 19:1
  9. Conclusion
  10. Closing Prayer: Psalm 119:105-112

Reliability and Canonicity of the Old Testament

July 2, 2019
Old Testament Survey

Old Testament Survey Series in the Koinonia Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) at Cornerstone Baptist Church: Lesson One

Reliability and Canonicity of the Old Testament

1.         Starting point: Spiritual truths are only accessible with divine help: 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.

            a.         1 Corinthians 2:9 quotes Isaiah 64:4

2.         Discussion Question: What are some of the challenges, criticisms, questions and concerns about the relevance, reliability, content and message(s) of the Old Testament?

            a.         Textual Criticism: What words were in the original text?

            b.         Linguistic Criticism: What do/did the original words and phrases mean?

            c.         Literary/Heremeneutical Criticism: What was context, genre, audience, purpose? What were the cultural and historical influences and perspectives?

            d.         Redaction Criticism: How was the text compiled and copied, and what influences and motivations were involved?

            e.         Canonical Criticism: What does the text contribute toward the canon of scripture?

            f.         Theological Criticism: What does the text have to say about the attributes of God? How does the text cohere with the rest of the canon with respect to an understanding of God?

3.         Responding to Textual Criticism: What extra-biblical evidence corroborates the reliability of the Old Testament text?

            a.         From the days of Ezra, the priests and scribes carefully copied and preserved the sacred text (see J. Warner Wallace, “Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Trustworth Process of Transmission”).

                        i.         The copying process was very precise. For example, the scribes were required to count the number of lines, letters, and words per page of the new copy and compare that count with the count of the original page.

            b.         The Dead Sea Scrolls

                        i.         Over 800 scrolls, containing 225 copies of biblical books that existed in the first through third centuries BC, including 38 of the 39 books of the Old Testament.

                                    (1)       These scrolls provide textual critics with ancient manuscripts against which they can compare modern texts for accuracy. The correspondence and accuracy is astounding.

            c.         Other archeological discoveries

                        i.         E.g., The oldest OT manuscript discovered so far is a fragment of the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24-27 found in a silver amulet near Jerusalem dating to the 7th century B.C. (2600 years old!)

            d.         Consider: What we have in light of the realities of ancient manuscripts: (a) deterioration of papyrus or leather manuscripts; (b) war (including the destruction and burning of Jerusalem twice during the Old Testament period and again in 72 AD); and ritual burial of copied manuscripts to avoid defilement by pagans.

4.         Responding to Canonical Criticism: What extrabiblical evidence corroborates the canonicity of the Old Testament text (i.e., Law, Prophets and Writings)?

            a.         Dead Sea Scrolls also attest to the canonicity of the Old Testament.

                        i.         Document 4QMMT refers to the “book of Moses, the books of the Prophets, and David (law, prophets, and writings).

            b.         References to the Law, the Prophets and other books three times by the grandson of Jesus ben Sirach in the prologue to the apocrypha book Ecclesiasticus. The grandson translated the Old Testaments manuscripts from Hebrew to Greek (about 130 BC).

            c.         Philo, a Jewish philosopher who lived around the time of Christ, referred to the laws, the prophets and the psalms and other devotional writings.

            d.         Various records in the Talmud(s) and the Mishna achknowledge the understanding that the Jewish canon (Old Testament) was closed after Micah and 2 Chronicles (400 BC).

5.         The Old Testament’s Claims of Inspiration

            a.         Over 3,000 times the Old Testament writers affirm divine guidance in their writings.

                        i.         E.g., Exodus 4:12; 2 Samuel 23:2; Jeremiah. 1:7, 9

6.         The New Testament’s Affirmation of the Old Testament

            a.         The New Testament refers to the Old Testament as “Moses and the Prophets”: Luke 16:29, 31; Luke 24:7, 44; John 1:45; Acts 26:22; Acts 28:23.

            b.         The New Testament refers to the Old Testament as “The Scriptures”: Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:29; Luke 2:22-24; Luke 24:32; John 5:29; Acts 17:2,11; Acts 18:24; Romans 1:2,3; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:2.

            c.         The New Testament affirms the inspiration of the Old Testament, including the way the Old Testament points to Jesus Christ: Luke 24:44; John 5:46; Acts 10:43

                        i.         Some passages are direct quotes from God (e.g., Exodus 20:1-17);

                        ii.        Jesus quotes the Old Testament as the Word of God: Matt 5:18; Mark 12:35; John 10:35

                        iii.       The New Testament recognized the Old Testament canon of Scripture: 2 Cor. 3:14

7.         Conclusion

            a.         The Bible is a gift from God. Pray for greater insight and appreciation (Ephesians 1:18)

            b.         Don’t expect unbelievers to “buy into” the Bible; instead pray that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes. Acts 26:18

            c.         By God’s grace, extra-biblical evidence refutes textual criticism and canonical criticism.

            d.         The Old Testament claims to be inspired by God, and the New Testament affirms this.

                        i.         If you accept the facts of creation and the Resurrection, the entire Bible is validated by Christ the Son of God.

8.         Closing Prayer: Psalm 119:97-104

Speaking Truth to Skepticism

April 16, 2019
First Step to Truth

Every once in a while I run into a person (such as student) who confidently and proudly offers the following philosophical aphorism: “Your truth is true for you, and my truth is true for me.”
My first reaction, when I hear this, is to ask myself whether any real communication is possible if this statement is, um, true.
I know that folks who are followers of Christ run into this sometimes, and feel frustrated … again, because it is a conversation-stopper.
Now, the standard Christian apologetics response might be to ask, “Is that statement just true for you, or are you insisting that it is also true for me?”
Or something along those lines.
But that’s an unfair response, or at least an unhelpful one. That’s because it’s likely that this person is so steeped in “postmodernism” (or late modernism, or post-postmodernism, or whatever label you like), that categories such as moral truth and metaphysical truth have no meaning. So, to hold up a mirror and show the incoherence and inherent falsehood of their claim will likely just confuse them.
No progress is being made.
So if we want to eventually have an opportunity to present the Gospel in a way that can actually make sense to that person, it helpful to at least try to understand the philosophical foundations (such as they are) on which they stand — even if they do not realize it. This requires, among other things, at least some working knowledge of the ideas generally clustered around the notion of postmodernism. It also requires attentiveness, empathy, and, frankly, love.
There are many ways to accomplish the first requirement, but one of the easiest and most accessible, in my opinion, would be to view the lectures presented at a 2007 Ligonier conference with the theme “Contending for the Truth.”
The topics at that conference included:

Tim Keller has also offered some thoughts and tools. Chapter 5 of his book, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism, is particularly informative and helpful. I will have more to say about the content of that chapter in a future blog post.
Meanwhile, the question on the table is this: How do we better prepare ourselves in order to communicate the truth of the Gospel to those who resist the notion of truth itself?
Understanding the postmodernism is a first step.