David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Tag: bible

American Patriot’s Bible – Words Cannot Describe II

America has a rich history rooted in the Christian faith, drawing many principles from Scripture. And while this is true, it does not lend us the conclusion that America was a “Christian nation,” even at our founding. Such an assumption is absurd and presents a misguided interpretation of history and a misunderstanding of the nature of how people are converted and saved. Many of the founding fathers were deists, an ideology which runs counter to the Biblical portrayal of an all-sovereign God, which necessarily affects our understanding of the Gospel.

The assumption that this was a Christian nation, displayed prominently within this Bible version, will hurt the cause of the Gospel in that it delivers the understanding to the unconverted that if you are an American and support the Constitution, you are a Christian and are “in” God’s favor. This is blatantly fallacious and patently unbiblical. American Religion is opposed to the Biblical Gospel. The Biblical Gospel critiques American Religion much in the same way Jesus critiqued the Pharisees.

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The Soap Opera of the Old Testament

When we read Scripture and particularly the Old Testament, it is so easy to automatically view those heroes of the faith, those glowing golden embossed characters we have all read about as kids as if they did no wrong. Sadly, a lot of times, we carry those portrayals with us into adulthood. Sure they made “mistakes,” the thinking goes, but they are people who kept their act together 99% of the time and are worthy of imitation as a result. And unfortunately, this is where we think the teaching stops.

The natural result of this thinking and its resultant teaching is that the historical characters of the Scriptures merely become our models for how to live, people we should imitate in faith and good works. Now of course, to a certain extent that is true. Yet, is that all there is to these narratives? I thought the Bible was a book about God and His works? Does this not apply to every square inch of Scripture including every single narrative?

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You Never Know How the Holy Spirit May Move

Yes, his mind was not changed toward theism (let alone the Gospel), yes, he’s still a confident atheist … yet this act of kindness from a believer very well could be the planting of a seed that the Holy Spirit will use to later bring him to faith. May we pray this happens. Sometimes the best apologetic for our faith are not air tight logical arguments (though those are necessary for removing stumbling blocks and giving clear testimony to the Gospel) but genuine kindness and care for the souls of others. Our hope for his salvation is not in his “decision” or will to believe, for they both are in bondage to the blindness of sin and the hardness of the wrath of God that rests on him even at this moment (John 3:36). Our hope in evangelizing and apologetically defending the faith lies in the power of the Holy Spirit to grant those we come into contact with the eyes to see Him, the ears to hear Him, and a new heart that is submissive and responsive to God. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8 … and the reason this is so is because God is sovereign in salvation, not us.

(Thanks for sending this my way, Ryan McCarthy)

Instructions For How to Live? Or Promises of Redemption?

Is the Old Testament just a bunch of stories and instruction for what we should and shouldn’t do? Or is it one big story compiled of smaller stories, that all make up an unfolding drama of redemption from Genesis to Revelation, in which God reveals hints and pictures that all point to the grand climax of this story: the perfect, law-fulling life, sacrificial death and hope filled resurrection, ascension and return of Christ? I would argue the latter. For instance, the writer of Hebrews says of Moses:

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. – Hebrews 11:24-26

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