Archive | January, 2015

News Weak – The Problems with Mr. Eichenwald’s Article

21 Jan

2014_12_26_Cover_600 x 800Earlier this week, I referenced the Newsweek article entitled, “The Bible – So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.”  Here is a response from Ben Witherington that I believe will be helpful for those seeking a response to the criticism that the author aimed at the Bible’s credibility.

Dr. Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England.

If you have written or read a good response to the article, please leave it below to share with others.

 

What we can learn from, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.”

19 Jan

2014_12_26_Cover_600 x 800On December 23, Newsweek magazine gave a gift to Christians in an article entitled, “The Bible:  So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.

The author claims that the article is not about bashing the Bible or Christians, but its tone (let alone biased viewpoints) tells another story.  I don’t have time or energy to write a rebuttal.  Although later this week, I will post one for my readers.  Here are my initial thoughts.

What form of current Christianity is the author describing?

The author describes over and over again how different groups of Christians believed differently in the times of the early church; however, he assumes all Christians today believe the same.  He uses two terms “Fundamentalists” and “Evangelical” which he does not clearly define (Nor are they defined clearly in today’s world.)  For example, the author states that “The gold standard of English Bibles is the King James Version, completed in 1611, but that was not a translation of the original Greek.”  While I know there are people who hold to this belief, they are a smaller subset of Christians.

Why would I write about such an article?  Because I believe that it is important for Christians to get out of their often secluded worlds, and know what mainstream society believe and feel about their faith.  As I worked my way through the article (Warning:  It was laborious.), there were a few points that I believe that Christianity needs to acknowledge.

1.  God alone is the Judge.

While I didn’t care for much of the article, here is a passage worth repeating.  “God doesn’t need the help of fundamentalists in determining what should be done in the afterlife with the prideful, the greedy, the debaters or even those homosexuals. Which could well be why Jesus cautioned his followers against judging others while ignoring their own sins. In fact, he had a specific word for people obsessed with the sins of others. He called them hypocrites.”  As Christians, we are not called to shake our fingers and look down our noses at others in desperate hope to forget about our own shortcomings.  The New Testament is filled with warnings against judging others.  This author’s sentence made me cringe because I think it holds some truth.  He states he wanted to, “to shine a light on a book that has been abused by people who claim to revere it but don’t read it, in the process creating misery for others.”  His words contain a message that the Church needs to hear.

2.  Know the Bible.

The author writes, “If Christians truly want to treat the New Testament as the foundation of the religion, they have to know it.”  While his definition of “know” it, might be different than mine, Christians should know and study the book that they claim to follow.  His words contain a message that the Church needs to hear.

I hope that the article inspires you to read and know the Bible.

 

photoDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to encourage emerging adults and their parents.  He is thankful for many mentors in his life who inspired a deep passion to know and understand the Bible.

 

 

I am changing.

16 Jan

I know that these changes should have happened long ago.  I know that I was blinded for far too long.  But I am glad that I had patient teachers, and people who have helped me along my journey.

My journey started in the countryside of Indiana in a rural conservative church.  Race was never discussed at our church.  What I do know is that everyone liked our town the way it was – completely white.  Even though I never heard about race from a pulpit, people from my church would regularly discuss race.  It was a strange world where God’s love and racism could supposedly cohabit.  It was all I had ever known, but I am changing.

When my family and I decided to buy a house in Minnesota, people kept talking to us about where to buy our home.  We were constantly advised against moving near the church in which we served because they predicted falling property values and declining school districts due to diversity.  It once would have been an easy decision, but I am changing.

A couple of weeks ago at work, a co-worker started talking about the Ferguson case.  In angry tones, he complained how protestors were ignorant.  His solution was that they should shut up and go get their welfare checks.  I was not a part of the conversation; however, his words were so offensive, that I could not handle it.  I still can hardly believe the words that came out of my mouth as I silenced the offender.  I once was silent, but I am changing.

I am not who I was, but I am not yet who I should be.

I will overcome my past.

I will choose diversity.

I will speak up.

I will stand with you… because Black Lives Matter.

I know that your message is being heard, and that lives are being changed.  I know because I am one of them.

This change will not end with me.  I am also purposeful to raise my three sons to one day stand beside you and me as we work towards unity and equality here in America.

 

Superhero puzzleDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the father of three sons whom he aspires to raise with a love for all people, and a passion for justice in our society.

 

Facebook Post Gets Wrong When It Comes to God, Sin and Ferguson

13 Jan

After the grand jury’s decision regarding the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, many people went to their blogs and twitter accounts to share their views and opinions.  Many of these blog posts went viral.

Ben WatsonOne post that went viral was the response by New Orleans Saint player, Ben Watson.  Over 860k people liked the article, and almost 475k people shared it (Wow, I am aspiring to 75 shares.)  My personal Facebook feed was covered with Ben’s response.  I applaud his courage, and loved his desire to stand for his faith.

I found this article over the weekend, and I wanted to share it with our readers.

The author of the article says that while he applauds Watson’s Christian beliefs, as citizens, we cannot resolve the issue by calling people to love God.

A love for God moves us to thoughts, decisions, and actions.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Faith and Doubt with Philip Yancey

8 Jan

Earlier this week, I released a piece on how the disciples lacked faith in Jesus right up until His final words to them (Matthew 28:17).

I saw a post on doubting by Philip Yancey, and wanted to share it with my fellow doubters.  It is good to know that as someone who struggles with doubt, that I have good company.  Philip Yancey is the author of many books including:  The Jesus I Never Knew, What’s So Amazing About Grace? and Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?  His books have garnered 13 Gold Medallion Awards from Christian publishers and booksellers.

My favorite line of the article is,

“Inquisitiveness and questioning are inevitable parts of the life of faith.  Where there is certainty there is no room for faith.”   

My world once ruled by a modernistic mindset contained little room for doubt, now I know that there is no faith without it.

To read more, click here.

 

 

Doubting to the Very End.

6 Jan

When the disciples saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:17 NIV)

For three years, I had walked with him.  I saw him feed five thousand.  I witnessed him heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead – all of which could not keep the doubt away.

There should be no doubt. There should be no second thoughts.

I heard his voice, felt his touch, and saw him perform the miraculous with my own eyes.  These were not stories handed down through the ages, but my own personal experiences.

Matthew was right.  Some of us doubted.  Even after all we had been through.  My mind was uneasy, and my heart was unsettled.

I hate that I am one of those who doubted. I tried to hide it, but I am sure that Matthew was not the only one who knew.  Jesus knew.  I am not proud of my doubt for it brings embarrassment and shame.  As He addressed us that day, I wanted to fully believe.  My heart and body often waylay the intentions of my mind.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

© 2013 Jessica Sheridan, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

These were His last words. It was the last time that I would see Him. It was the last time that He would see me. He knew the doubts and darkness that I bore, but He spoke the words anyway.

“Go and make disciples.”

Jesus, how am I supposed to go in the midst of such doubt?  Jesus, I am not ready.  I am not able.

And yet they did. All of them to the point of martyrdom.

So having doubt does not exclude me from fulfilling His command.  The disciples’ doubt did not determine their direction, but was a part of their journey.

I am glad to hear that because it has always been apart of mine.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to provide resources and encouragement to emerging adults and their parents.

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