Is Your Faith Public or Private?

Date: November 24, 2013
Study: Scripture: Unchanging Truth in a Changing World
Teacher: Jeff Nichols

Scripture is the lens through which we view the world: John 1:1-5

Today’s society is divided into two spheres:

  1. Private Sphere – Personal Preferences
  2. Public Sphere – Scientific Knowledge – “Values have been reduced to arbitrary, existential decisions.” Values are determined by individual choice.

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Facts are binding on everyone. Often so-called “facts” are the tools used to delegitimize the biblical perspective in the public square today. Science is viewed as the great equalizer, the arbiter, in the public space used to evaluate the “rules” for society (example: the exclusion of Intelligent Design in science textbooks for public schools). Science is still a device of man. Science as a tool, without the overtness of confirmation bias, points to God as the Creator. Man introduces biases.

Science sometimes gets it wrong: Amgen, an American pharmaceutical company, tried to replicate 53 studies that they considered landmarks in the basic science of cancer, often cooperating closely with the original researchers to ensure that their experimental technique matched the one used first time round. According to a piece they wrote last year in Nature, they were able to reproduce the original results in just six (source: The Economist).

Developing a worldview is like a “mental map” that tells us how to navigate the world effectively. A worldview provides us with the framework to knowledgeably converse on topics like: evolution, sexuality, marriage, justice, politics, economics. Providing scriptural truths on these topics is needed in this time and age of skepticism.

When we think about our Christian worldview, we must ask oursevles: “Is this framework a tool to pounce on unsuspecting liberals or unbelievers we are ministering to?” If you answer is “yes,” you definitely need to reevaluate your motivations for the worldview you have. Our motivation in developing and discussing our Christian worldview should always be the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10: 26-27). Love and compassion should always be infused in our motivation and speech when discussing sin, values, politics, etc (Romans 3:23). There will be times we don’t have an answer. When that happens, we must intentionally seek the answer together.

To grow intellectually, we must first commit to growing spiritually by “taking every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinithians 10:5).

References:
“Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey

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HACM Weekly Roundup [11/22/13]

Articles

Quotes

  • “The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not moments of self-satisfaction but self-forgetfulness.” —John Piper
  • “The call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it’s a summons to lose our lives.” -David Platt
  • “Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.” —Matt Chandler

Video

HACM Weekly Roundup [11/15/13]

Articles

  • God Desires You Far More Than You Desire Him:Christianity is not so much about you desiring God as it is about God desiring you. I wonder if you believe that. The truth is that we will not desire God if we don’t believe that really God desires us. If God is a powerful person who in reality cares little or nothing about us, we may have a fear-based respect for him, but we will not love him. We will certainly not be satisfied in him. We will keep our distance from him and find our true satisfaction elsewhere.”
  • Only God Can Judge Me?: “In Matthew 7 Jesus says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Even those of us who’ve never read the Bible can quote this part of his sermon word for word. This may be the most well known Bible verse in our day. And it may also be the most misunderstood. Misunderstanding this verse means we misunderstand how we’re supposed to love one another. So it’s important that we ask the question: What does Jesus mean when he tells us not to judge?”
  • 9 Myths of Discipleship: “We’re called to be disciples and make disciples, but this call often feels overwhelming. However, discipleship doesn’t have to feel this way. Our tendency is to overcomplicate it and think of it as something it’s not.”

Quotes

  • “Those sins that seem most sweet in life will prove most bitter in death.” —Thomas Brooks
  • “The servants of the Lord are to sing his praises in this life to the world’s end; and in the next life world without end.” —John Boys
  • “Child of God, you cost Christ too much for him to forget you.” —C.H. Spurgeon

Video

Biblical Interpretation: Historic and Didactic Passages

Date: November 10, 2013
Study: Scripture: Unchanging Truth in a Changing World
Teacher: Lawson Hembree

Review:
Seven Principles for Interpreting Scripture

  1. Read the Bible reverently
  2. Read the Bible prayerfully
  3. Read the Bible collectively
  4. Read the Bible humbly— If your interpretation is shown to be incorrect by exegesis, then be humble enough to change your interpretation.
  5. Read the Bible carefully
  6. Read the Bible Christologically— Everything in the Bible points to Jesus.
  7. Read the Bible obediently

Historical Passages vs Didactic Passages
Big Idea: Interpret narrative passages with the help of didactic passages.  Continue reading

Missional Living [Member Post]

[HACM member post courtesy of Rebekah Hinkle. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about Rebekah]

A few weeks ago returned from a trip to Los Angeles where I attended the Strange Fire conference.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was a blessed privilege to listen to the Word delivered.  The uniqueness of being able to sit at a table with complete strangers and have sweet fellowship was such an incredible experience (behold the communion of the Spirit!).

While I loved my time spent at the actual conference, I was not so impressed with LA.  My friend Lara and I landed at the LAX airport around six in the evening and then navigated about 30 minutes to Van Nuy our hotel was located.  By the time we had gotten our bags and picked up the rental car, it was dark.  Our first look in the city took me back to my international travels; I felt like I was in a far off land with lights, cars, and surprisingly short buildings.  Once near the hotel, we began to question whether our choice of lodging was wise.  The neighborhood was dirty with plenty of bars on windows and doors.   In the daylight we found that things weren’t as scary as they seemed.  Yet, both in day and night, I determined, “I do not want to live here…ever”.

Just like every good little Christian girl who says such a thing, I quickly followed the thought with “Well, LORD, if you want me to be a missionary to this pagan place, I would obey.”     And I meant it.  The city is full of lost people.  I would serve there if He showed me I was to go. I then began to consider how I would live my life as a missionary in LA. I would find a job, partner with believers there, and seek to make connections with those who need Jesus.  I soon realized anything that I would do there as a missionary, I can do where I live. Not only that, I should be doing here. Right here in my town.

Of all the things that I learned at the conference, this concept of missional living, which was not one of the conference lecture topics, is what I took home.  I must live missionally in my town because there are lost people here too.  It begins at home in Jerusalem.   I must strive to be useful and faithful here if I am to be useful elsewhere.

The call is the same for all of us. No matter what your location or station in life, if you are indeed a believer, you are to be living missionally. It is not an afterthought. We are ambassadors for Christ, empowered by the Spirit to preach the message of reconciliation!  You may be a college student who seems confined by the four walls of your dorm room or the lab. Ask the LORD to show you how to reach out and touch the community where you live with the Gospel .

What this looks like is different for every person.   I don’t play sports at all which means I will never be coaching girl’s club basketball.   I do like to sew thus joining a sewing club or taking a class to improve my skill might be an option.  Maybe you are flat broke.  Something like reaching out to the neighborhood kids only takes time.  When brainstorming for ways to reach out, I came up with the following short list of ideas and reminders.

  • Do not confine your ministry to solely church related things
  • be intentional in conversations at work and play
  • build relationships in you neighborhood
  • join a fitness class in order to rub shoulders with unbelievers
  • get involved in community activities (5ks, fundraisers, tutoring)
  • Volunteer at local food-bank,  nursing home,  crisis center
  • Join a city league sports team
  • Coach a boys/girls club team
  • Join an local club like photography or sewing

How will you reach into your community and share the Gospel?

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About the Author: Thanks to her mother’s insistence, Rebekah Hinkle went to college and earned a degree that married her love of people and science. Dental Hygiene has proved to be a fantastic platform for sharing the Gospel. As it turns out, she doesn’t hate school as much as she thought and is currently plugging away towards a bachelors in Biblical and Theological studies from Boyce College. Rebekah loves dishes, books, junkin’, and all things homemaker-y. You can read more results of random fits of inspiration on her blog Picken’s Place

Want to write your own guest post on the HACM blog? Send an email to college@habc.net with a topic your passionate about.

Interpreting Scripture, Part 2

Date: November 3, 2013
Study: Scripture: Unchanging Truth in a Changing World
Teacher: Kameron Slater

Interpreting Scripture

  1. What is the definition of hermeneutics? What is its purpose?
    Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation. It establishes rules and guideline for interpretation.
  2. Two strategies for interpretation:
    1. Strict constructionist- an interpretive, grammatical-historical approach [correct]
    2. Broad- a legislative, continually changing approach [incorrect]
  3. Rules or principles for interpretation:
    1. Analogy of faith- Scripture interprets Scripture
    2. Literal sense- Bible should be interpreted literally  Continue reading