Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Good answer. Good answer. I like the way you think. I'm gonna be watching you.

I'm a big fan of Q&A and we benefit greatly from having it at the end of our adult Bible study messages on Sunday nights at Providence Church.

A good answer is hard to come by, but I commend to you the following.

They are some interesting Q&A whammies from Desiring God Ministries, primarily John Piper. I've given an exerpt, but I encourage you to read the answers in their entirety.

Q: Why is Satan left on earth?
Why then does God tolerate Satan? The key is that God aims to defeat Satan in a way that glorifies not only his power, but also the superior beauty and worth and desirability of his Son over Satan. God could simply exert raw power and snuff Satan out. That would glorify God's power. But it would not display so clearly the superior worth of Jesus over Satan. That will be displayed as Christ defeats Satan by his death and then by winning superior allegiance from the saints over the lies of Satan.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: What is the position of Bethlehem Baptist Church of homosexuality?
5. We believe that all persons have been created in the image of God and should be accorded human dignity. We believe therefore that hateful, fearful, unconcerned harassment of persons with a homosexual orientation should be repudiated. We believe that respect for persons with a homosexual orientation involves honest, reasoned, nonviolent sharing of facts concerning the immorality and liability of homosexual behavior. On the other hand, endorsing behavior which the Bible disapproves endangers persons and dishonors God.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Does it matter what others think of us?
[The key is] realizing that our aim in life is for "Christ to be magnified in our bodies whether by life or by death" (Philippians 1:19-20). In other words, with Paul, we do care - really care - about what others think of Christ. Their salvation hangs on what they think of Christ. And our lives are to display his truth and beauty. So we must care what others think of us as representative of Christ. Love demands it.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Do mature Christians pursue unity or do they pursue doctrine?
Some see doctrine as divisive, discordant, and disagreeable. Others see the avoidance of doctrinal clarity as the slippery slope to the church's undoing. So how can Christians grow in unity without compromising the church's foundations for unity, and yet simultaneously press for clarity in doctrine without becoming quarrelsome?

... The way to keep the second commandment (love your neighbor as yourself) is not by abandoning the first commandment (love God without reserve). Clarity on important things (i.e., God) is a means to unity. People who cherish the same truths find themselves unified, seemingly without effort.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Do Jews have a divine right in the Promised Land?
... the Bible does not teach us to be partial to Israel or to the Palestinians because either has a special divine status.

... This does not mean that other nations have the right to molest her. She still has human rights among nations when she has no divine right.

... The Christian plea in the Middle East to Palestinians and Jews is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). And until that great day when both Jewish and Gentile followers of King Jesus inherit the earth (not just the land), without lifting sword or gun, the rights of nations should be decided by the principles of compassionate and public justice, not claims to national divine right or status.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: How should you pray for pastoral staff?
1. Ask God to give us an inclination to his Word and not to money or fame or power (Psalm 119:36), and to open our eyes to see wonderful things when we read his Word (Psalm 119:18), and to have hearts united in the fear of God rather than fragmented over a dozen concerns (Psalm 86:11), and to be satisfied in his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14). (This is the IOUS acronym I use almost every day in praying for those I love.)
(Read the full answer.)

Q: How do you fight the sin of pride, especially when you are praised?
I remember that I am by nature a depraved sinner and that, in all my sinning, I have treated God with contempt, preferring other things to his glory. I take stock that I have never done a good deed for which I don’t need to repent. Each one is flawed because perfection is commanded. Therefore I realize that God owes me nothing but pain in this life and the next.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: How has Christ fulfilled and ended the Old Testament regime?

2. All the Scriptures are about Jesus Christ, even where there is no explicit prediction. That is, there is a fullness of implication in all Scriptures that points to Christ and is satisfied only when he has come and done his work. “The meaning of all the Scriptures is unlocked by the death and resurrection of Jesus.” (Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, p. 54)
-Luke 24:27: And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

5. The law was kept perfectly by Christ. And all its penalties against God’s sinful people were poured out on Christ. Therefore, the law is now manifestly not the path to righteousness, Christ is. The ultimate goal of the law is that we would look to Christ, not law-keeping, for our righteousness.
-Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Is it ever right to be angry at God?
It is wrong - always wrong - to disapprove of God for what he does and permits. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (Genesis 18:25). It is arrogant for finite, sinful creatures to disapprove of God for what he does and permits. We may weep over the pain. We may be angry at sin and Satan. But God does only what is right. "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments" (Revelation 16:7).

But many who say it is right to be angry with God really mean it is right to express anger at God. When they hear me say it is wrong to be angry with God, they think I mean "stuff your feelings and be a hypocrite." That's not what I mean. I mean it is always wrong to disapprove of God in any of his judgments.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Should only unanimous decisions guide the church?
Bottom line: it is a tragedy when a body of spiritual leaders, or a body of believers in general, give the least mature people the veto power over wise counsel. There is simply nothing in the Bible that says a weak and unspiritual person in the church should be able to paralyze the advance of God's people.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: How do you teach doctrine to a 6-year old?
My daughter, Talitha, is six years old. Recently she and my wife and I were reading through Romans together. This was her choice after we finished Acts. She is just learning to read, and I was putting my finger on each word. She stopped me in mid-sentence at the beginning of chapter five and asked, "What does 'justified' mean?" What do you say to a six-year-old? Do you say, There are more important things to think about, so just trust Jesus and be a good girl? Or do you say that it is very complex and even adults are not able to understand it fully, so you can wait and deal with it when you are older? Or do we say that it simply means that Jesus died in our place so that all our sins might be forgiven?
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Why should you listen to a question before answering it?
5. A question sometimes reveals assumptions that you do not share. If you try to answer the question on the basis of your assumptions without understanding the questioner’s assumptions, you will probably speak right past him. If you listen carefully and let the person finish, you may discern what he is assuming that you do not. Then you can probe these assumptions before you answer. Often, when dealing at this level, the question answers itself. It was really about these deeper differences.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: What is humility?
2. Humility does not feel a right to better treatment than Jesus got.

5. Humility knows it is fallible, and so considers criticism and learns from it; but also knows that God has made provision for human conviction and that he calls us to persuade others.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: What does John Piper believe about dispensationalism, covenant theology, and new covenant theology?
John Piper has some things in common with each of these views, but does not classify himself within any of these three camps. He is probably the furthest away from dispensationalism, although he does agree with dispensationalism that there will be a millennium.

Many of his theological heroes have been covenant theologians (for example, many of the Puritans), and he does see some merit in the concept of a pre-fall covenant of works, but he has not taken a position on their specific conception of the covenant of grace.

In regards to his views on the Mosaic Law, he seems closer to new covenant theology than covenant theology, although once again it would not work to say that he precisely falls within that category.
(Read the full answer.)

Q: Does God choose who will be saved?
We are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith in Christ in order to inherit eternal life. But faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross and quickens us with irresistible grace and brings us to faith.
(Read the full answer.)


At 26 July, 2007 14:24, Blogger samurai said...

It's not 'fair'. So much to read, and so little time.

Thank you for taking the time to blog...

At 27 July, 2007 16:11, Blogger Linda said...

I, too, enjoyed this Q and A. Thanks.


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