I have the privilege of spending the week at Shepherds Conference. This is an annual gathering of leaders and pastors from all over the world to spend time in fellowship, learning and encouragement. This year is different however, because this years conference is built around the topic of the inerrancy of the Bible.
One of the repeated questions that keeps coming up in this conference is, “Why does this debate keep resurfacing? Didn’t we settle this years ago? Didn’t these objections get cleared up decades ago?”
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” ¹
John Adams said these words in his defense of the British troops involved in the, so called, Boston Massacre. No one else would defend them in court at the time. Tensions between the colonies and Great Britain were at their peak. An event like this was merely another major spark in a fire that was ready to roar.
One of the most compelling characteristics of the biblical gospel message is its profound uniqueness. Through the years, as I have struggles with questions of faith, religion and truth, as I have put the biblical message under my own criticism and scrutiny, I have been astounded at the particularity and specificity of this message. Despite its hundreds of misrepresentations, it is a story that is truly distinct, a worldview that stands apart.
We live in a world where there basically seem to be two categories of people: the religious and the secular. The religious people, which actually make up the vast majority of humanity¹, believe in the importance of serving God, following his will and seeking to please him. To them life revolves around the question of life after death, or heaven. The secular person is generally urban, educated and career driven. Priorities in life that stand out to this population is personal freedom and fulfillment. The idea that truth can be dictated by a single source or system of thought is strongly opposed. Secular people in our time often admit to have some sort of spiritual values but these are very vague, loosely held and ever-evolving.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
In the study of christology (a theological word for the study of what the Bible teaches about Jesus) there exists an interesting and perplexing question which often stumps Bible students. If Jesus was both 100% man and 100% God, that means that it was actually impossible for him to sin right? Doesn’t that mean that any trail or temptation in his life was very easy to endure seeing that he couldn’t actually fail? Continue reading
The words of novelist David Foster Wallace, not long before his scuicide:
“Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship…is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough…Worship you body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you…Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is…they’re unconscious. They are default settings.”