Calm down, the iBible is just a joke, but not too far off from reality. Someone emailed me about the “YouVersion” – a Web 2.0 experiment that marries social networking, virtual collaboration, and blogging, to the Bible. Its sort of a glorified myspace meets wikipedia with an obvious marketing rip-off of the multi-billion dollar youtube. At first I thought it was a joke, taking a snark at the self-centered ness of American evangelicalism – here is a bible that’s all about you; but sadly the makers of the youversion do not report to jest at all. They want you to insert your favorite links, upload pictures of your cat, and add homemade video to your favorite scripture passages to create your very own customized electronic canon. To their credit, I signed up and as far as I can tell, at least they stop short of allowing folks to edit the texts itself. Bummer, because I was sort of looking forward to inserting myself next to Moses in parting the Red Sea, naming some random animals with Adam, and walking on water. Perhaps I could even slay Goliath, storm Jericho, surf the Sea of Tiberias, and have the 144,000 bow down and worship me. Queue commercial – “The you version – Its all about you – what do you want to believe today?”
from the Baptist Faith & Message 2000:
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
- The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul
- God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism by Bruce A. Ware
- The Forgotten Trinity by James White
- Whatever Happened To God? – James Montgomery Boice
- Abstract of Systematic Theology (chapters . 1-16) – James Petigru Boyce
- The Attributes of God – A.W. Pink
- The Trinity – Jonathan Edwards
- The Trinity – Sam Storms
- The doctrine of the Trinity – John Piper
I decided to extend the postings of the Baptist Faith & Message by one week by spanning the second article over four weeks instead of the projected three. That gives me the opportunity to mull over the first paragraph a little longer before going to each person of the Trinity individually.
The first paragraph begins with an unequivocal monotheistic statement. The BF&M reads, “There is one and only one living and true God.” This speaks directly against Mormonism, which James White calls, the “most polytheistic religion” he has ever encountered. The Trinitarian statement at the close of the paragraph runs counter to the Jehovah Witness teaching that denies the full deity of Christ. I wish I had time to pull together some good resources on these two heresies. I welcome anyone who would like to add some good pointers as comments.
This article also directly addresses the “open theism” controversy gaining ground in some circles of evangelicalism. Teachers, like Greg Boyd and others, assert that God does not infallibly know the future, much less have the power to direct it. It seems to me that basically this false teaching takes Arminianism to its natural conclusion. Be careful of anyone who holds that god takes risks, or that God does the best he can under the circumstances. Since God holds the future in his hand, he does not ever encounter risk or uncertain situations.
from the Baptist Faith & Message 2000:
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
Exodus 24: | Deuteronomy 4:1-| Deuteronomy 17:1 | Joshua 8:3 | Psalms 19:7-1 | Psalms 119:11,89,105,14 | Isaiah 34:1 | Isaiah 40: | Jeremiah 15:1 | Jeremiah 3 | Matthew 5:17-1 | Matthew 22:2 | Luke 21:3 | Luke 24:44-4 | John 5:3 | John 16:13-1 | John 17:1 | Acts 2:16ff | Acts 17:1 | Romans 15: | Romans 16:25-2 | 2 Timothy 3:15-1 | Hebrews 1:1-| Hebrews 4:1 | 1 Peter 1:2 | 2 Peter 1:19-2
- Baptists and the Bible – Tom Nettles
- Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bibles Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity – James White
- The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
- Sola Scriptura: Crucial To Evangelicalism – RC Sproul
- The Sufficiency of Scripture – Part 1 – John MacArthur
- The Sufficiency of Scripture – Part 2 – John MacArthur
One of the main impetuses behind the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message revision of the 1963 statement rests in this first article. The last sentence of the earlier document read, “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” Some interpreted this wording to leave some wiggle room between what the scripture actually says and what someone might imagine Jesus to have done, taught, or believed. In a world where some scholars attempt to plant a wedge between Jesus and the apostle Paul, the 1963 statement could imply that we can ignore what Paul and other biblical writers speak clearly if Jesus didn’t echo the exact sentiment. We believe all scripture stands sufficient, therefore the committee reworded the last sentence to read, “All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”
Starting next Thursday, I plan to launch a personal systematic theology overview study, using the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a guide. Each week I will post an article from the confession, with the scripture references linked to the ESV. I will also try to include links to pertinent documents on the web, sermons, and books. I invite anyone to join me in the study by adding your comments or links to the corresponding entry.
Several factors motivate my study. Our church, Lakeshore Baptist church uses the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, as well as other historic confessions. In order for these documents to serve their intended function, we must know what they say and continually acquaint ourselves with them for our own instruction. To that end, we read through our confessions as part of each weeks Sunday morning service. Next week, Lord willing, we will begin reading through the BF&M. Three weeks for the doctrine of God; God the Father. god the son, and God the Holy Spirit, will take 20 weeks. My online study will correspond to the corporate readings.
We also want to foster a Berean spirit Acts 17:11. In this online study I will provide the scripture links to the corresponding references for each article, with the understanding that the Word of God, stands as the “supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.”
I just registered for the Expositor’s Conference held in Mobile Alabama October 1-2. I’m excited to hear two of my heroes in the faith, John Macarthur and Steve Lawson.
NEW LAW by Derek Webb
Don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for
don’t teach me about truth and beauty
just label my music
don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice
don’t teach me about loving my enemies
don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law
i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me
don’t teach me how to live like a free man
just give me a new law
do not be afraid