Category Archives: Bible

The Role of Faith

Some look to their faith in God in their happiest or awe-struck moments, or some lean on their faith in their lowest or darkest moments.  Some turn to their faith “just in case it’s true,” and some long for a relationship with a powerful God. Some “just know or feel” that He is real, and others have found “facts” which undergird their faith. Benefits exist for believing in God, and for not believing in God. Others would never go back to their belief in God.

Beyond one’s personal experience, spirituality can also be tied to science and history. One question that is explored from the scientific perspective is how do you get life from non-life? Even if the universe contains as many as 100 billion trillion planets, probabilities would argue against the existence of even one that by natural processes alone would end up with the just-right surface gravity, surface temperature, atmospheric composition, atmospheric pressure, crustal iron abundance, tectonics, volcanism, rotation rate, rotation rate decline, stable rotation axis and degree of tilt to sustain life (Hugh Ross).

Also, the age of the earth is debated through the study of radiometric dating, the influx of salts into the ocean, the rate of decay of the earth’s magnetic field, the growth rate of human populations, and other examples. (One’s answer depends on one’s assumptions about the uniformity of natural law, uniformity of process, uniformity of rate and uniformity of outcome). Some scientists defend a global flood that produced fossil-bearing sedimentary rock on every continent. Some assume there is a God and explain science and history from that assumption, and some assume that the existence of God cannot be determined.

Others look to the Bible for information on both the origins of our world, and their faith.  The Biblical account can be construed as an allegory or history. Hebrew expert Dr. Steven Boyd concludes it is history.  He writes, “For Genesis 1:1-2:3, this probability is between 0.999942 at a 95% confidence level. Thus, we conclude with statistical certainty that this text is narrative, not poetry. It is therefore statistically indefensible to argue that it is poetry. The hermeneutical implication of this finding is that this text should be read as other historical narratives . . . ” (Dr. Steven Boyd, Associate Professor of Bible, The Master’s College, Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, Volume II, editors Larry Vardiman, Andrew Snelling, and Eugene Chaffin).

Some Bible-believers believe that the beginning of Genesis is an allegory or that a “day” in Genesis is actually a longer period of time.  A complication for those who believe that creation is millions of years old is that in the fossil remains of rock layers, there is evidence of death, violence, suffering, and disease. This contradicts the Bible’s assertion that God’s creation was “very good,” translated as “it was the very best that it could possible be” (Gen. 1:31), and perfect (Duet. 32:4). It has parallels to heaven. Death came into the world through sin (1 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 8:20-22; Romans 5:12).

Others take a historical and a legal approach to look for the preponderance of the evidence in determining the existence and impact of Christ. They ask questions about Christ, who claimed to be God. Is Jesus crazy, a master manipulator, or stable? How did the Christian movement develop quickly, with its founders who quickly transitioned from fear to a willingness to die for their beliefs in Christ? Are the records trustworthy?

Faith will continue to be a source of comfort. Loss of faith is associated with distress. If God is real, and He offers a interactive relationship, such a relationship is attained through faith. Evidence can be found for the existence of God, or against Biblical claims about God. (Evidence cannot be found against a god, but perhaps against a particular definition of God). Often the evidence found reflects one’s personal preference. The existence of suffering though, is not debated. Where the responsibility lies for the suffering though, continues to be debated.

A Mediation Model for Christians

Jesus was fully immersed in the identity, experiences and perspective of both God and man as mediator between the two. So for mediation to be successful, each has to identify with the experience and perspective of the other, overcome strong emotional states, and consider all options to bridge the gap. “Each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).

Remember, neither side is without fault. “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). God repeatedly commands his people to seek and pursue peace (Psalms 34:14; Jer. 29:7; Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 7:15; 2 Cor. 13:11; Col. 3:15; 1 Thes.5:13; Heb. 12:14. He also promises to bless those who do so (Psalms 37:37; Prov. 12:20; Mat. 5:9; James 3:18).

God’s sovereignty is so complete that he exercises ultimate control even over painful and unjust events (Ex. 4:10-12; Job 1:6-12; 42:11; Psalms 71:20-22; Isaiah 45:5-7; Lam. 3:37-38; Amos 3:6; 1 Peter 3:17). The biblical examples of Joseph resisting the same temptation David failed to resist resulted in suffering for both, but God used both greatly. God will remain present in our suffering and accomplish good through our trust in Him (Isaiah 43:2-3).

Resources

What Does the Bible Say About Divorce?

Divorce and Remarriage: A Redemptive Theology by Rubel Shelly

The Peacemaker by Ken Sande

Hope in the Face of Conflict by Ken C. Newberger

 

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What Does the Bible Say about Divorce?

By Dean Whitfield

I believe in the inspired inerrancy of Scripture in the original manuscripts and all that implies; which includes that (1) Scripture does not contradict itself (Luke 16:11), (2) Christ fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17), (3) our God is a god of logic, not confusion (I Cor. 14:33), and (4) the truths of Scripture are available to everyone without prior need of special education or intellectual capabilities (II Tim. 3:16-17; Jas. 1:5).

Any discussion concerning the divorced and the church must of necessity begin with an understanding of God’s position on divorce. Continue reading What Does the Bible Say about Divorce?