Wayne's Worldview is a place to share my unique perspective of the world as formed from my interpretation of the scriptures and my experience as a Christian. As a pastor, I am asked a lot of questions about current issues, life dilemmas, personal problems, politics, biblical interpretation...etc.I offer these "How I see it" thoughts in effort to challenge people to think about their worldview, and to stimulate good conversations that will help us become more whole.
Welcome to the conversation.
Welcome to the conversation.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
I realize that a lot of people have problems understanding the Bible. There are a number of reasons for this, one being that it is a very complex book. The Bible is not completely linear historically from beginning to end; it has history, poetry, doctrine, and prophesies…etc. In other word's it is unlike any other book we have ever read. So I want to give you a way of looking at the scriptures that may help. Instead of looking at the Bible from our perspective alone, it helps to think of it from the standpoint of God’s work. The Bible records various kinds of disclosures from God: dreams, visions, direct writing (the tablets of the Law), messages through prophets, the words of Jesus, and the accounts of the people who knew Jesus. God led some to record the things that were passed down through oral tradition and others wrote previously unknown information. The Apostle John wrote what he observed: from the life of Jesus in his Gospel; from his experience and the testimony of others in the book of Acts; and of his revelation from Jesus in the book of the Revelation. It’s important that we remember that it’s all from God as a revelation to us. We usually think of revelation as only the disclosure of what was previously unknown. But that is only part of what is involved. For example, Luke knew many historical and geographic facts before he wrote the book of Acts. However, their precise combination of what he knew and what God revealed as a combination was a revelation, by the work of the Holy Spirit called inspiration. The entire Bible is Gods revelation to us. So what is a revelation? It is a revealing or communication of something enlightening or astonishing. A revelation from God is the revealing of a divine truth to human beings. We desperately need this information, because we are not able to discover these spiritual realities by ourselves. For example: without the Ps. 19:1–6; and Rom 1:19–20 we might either think the stars are some kind of deity (like the ancient Greeks) or randomly occurring fiery masses (like the modern atheist), rather than something created to display the glory of God. But the most important revelations have to do with our spiritual condition in relation to God. When we know the nature of God – both his wrath and his mercy; the sinful nature of humanity, the existence of a future judgment, etc., we realize that we are in need of a solution for our predicament. The things we can know about God from observing creation or ourselves (what theologians call general revelation) cannot help us with our sin problem. To put it into metaphor, we are in the dark about the spiritual nature of all things until God sheds light on it. Through the Bible we have a special revelation of God and His purposes for humanity. Ask yourself this question: How could you know God or His will for our lives without the Bible? Unless He Himself tells us, how could we ever know for sure the answers to the questions which matter most to us? Understanding that the Bible is a written revelation to us from God is an essential starting point that helps us figure out its meaning. The Bible is not a simple book. Could any book that proposes to reveal the nature of God, man and all eternal concerns be expected to be an easy read? But without its great truths we have no answers to the great questions which concern our soul. Without it, we are left with the very limited knowledge of man. History, math and science don’t help us in the realm of the spirit and soul. God’s revelation is a beacon of light in a very dark world and without it we merely stumble around in the shadows searching for a way out.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Names are very significant in the Bible, whether they are people or places. Sometimes adding a single Hebrew or Greek word to your working knowledge can open new horizons of understanding. Take for example the name of the place BETH-EL. Maybe you have seen a churches by the name Bethel. Ever wonder why? Read on and you'll have your answer. Bethel is a town on the border of the territory of Ephraim (Josh. 16:1–4), at an important road junction 11 miles north of Jerusalem. Abraham built an altar there, Jacob had a dream there (Gen. 28:10–22), and named it Bethel: House (Beth) of God(El), which is the meaning of the Hebrew name. We also find Beth in Bethlehem (house of bread), Bethesda (House of grace) and Bethshan (house of quiet). Maybe when all my children leave the home I will re-name it Bethshan. You might recognize the similar el prefix or suffix in other Hebrew words like Immanuel, (God with us) Elijah (Jehovah is God), and Israel (He struggles with God)- The name given to Jacob when he struggled with God. Understanding a little word like El can also open doors of comprehension in your worship of el. By the way, you can usually read the meanings of names in the footnotes of any study Bible. I hope this vocabulary lesson will help you understand God's word better than before. Enjoy the word today.