Saturday, July 14, 2007

Indication or Interpretation?

When it comes to the Biblical account of creation I have heard well meaning interpretations, especially regarding the literal six days in which God created the earth. Ken Hamm of Answers in Genesis has recently sent out an email asking "Should Christians Divide..."(over this literal six days issue). I find it very interesting regarding some of the issues surrounding our Baptist Faith and Message that we affirm in order to be considered "cooperating" Baptist churches, denominational employees, etc.

My summary of Hamm's statement is that it gives gives two reasons why someone who takes a non-literal six days interpretation is really indicating a lack of belief in the authority of God's inerrant Word.

That issue may be seen in this question. What is the effect on someone affirming the Baptist Faith and Message, including it's statement of Biblical inerrancy, but taking a non-traditional view/interpretation of a portion of Scripture? In the case of the Answers in Genesis statement the argument is framed in these terms: Anyone who believes the Bible to be inerrant must believe that the six days of creation are literal days, not some other reference to "time periods".

I will admit up front that I wholeheartedly affirm a literal interpretation of Scripture and I personally believe the literal six day account of creation. I also believe that organizations like Answers In Genesis and The Institution For Creation Research have done a worthy job in putting up the science to back up the true historical account as we know it in the Bible.

My concern however is that there may be some area for interpretation that would allow for someone to view the days as time periods. For me this is not a Primary Doctrine, like the inerrncy of God's Word or the Deity of Jesus. It is to me an important Secondary Doctrine, something I would not say makes someone else an unbeliever if they disagree with me but someone who I would be wary of full cooperation, at least in certain aspects.

There is the rub. My personal opinion is that I would be wary of full cooperation with someone who did not INTERPRET Scripture the way I do but still claims the Bible as the authoritative and infallible Word of God. The Baptist Faith and Message, however, does not speak specifically to the "days of creation". Therefore, I am in fact cooperating with those who may INTERPRET Scripture differently than I do on this point.

I don't necessarily think that is always healthy but I can live with it. How about you?

Monday, July 09, 2007

News Blues

Sometimes you read a news story and for some reason it feels like a punch in the gut. With so many tragic and terrible news items every day we have become desensitized to the pain and suffering of others. Read about a murder and you think to yourself, "I'm glad that didn't happen to me/my family." Read about a rape? "Gosh, I need to talk to my daughter about being more careful." Drug overdose, "I'm glad my children would never do anything like that." Then we order our "Fourbucks" coffee and drive on to work/the baseball game/dinner/the movies.

All of a sudden one story comes out of our blind spot and smacks us into a sober awareness. That happened to me today. A twelve year old baby sitter was run over by her employer as he was taking her home. Read about it here:,2933,288702,00.html I read the story and can't figure out all the details but the police say after they both got out of the truck to investigate something related to the man's horses he got back in and whipped the truck around, striking the girl and killing her. Among other things the police have accused him of driving in an erratic manner. I upgraded my anger when I read the line about the man's actions, or inaction, in not taking the girl to the hospital until 5 am when the accident occurred about 11:30 PM the night before.

I guess this one got to me because I have a 12 year old daughter. As with so many crimes and even accidents this one just seems so senseless, so easily avoidable. I am trying to have compassion on the man who did this. How would Jesus treat him? What would the Master think? Every time I do think about it I see myself in that situation. What would I do? I am so very afraid I would meet recklessness with reckless retribution.

I am glad that God is not that way. I understand the heartfelt passion behind the cry of David, "Against thee and thee only have I sinned!" While I might want to strike out at someone who could do so foolish a thing, accident though it might be, I am at the same time thankful that God is not that way. Otherwise I, along with you, would have been "smited" long ago.

Pray for the family of that young girl. Hold your own children/grandchildren tight tonight or the next time you see them. Praise God for His rich mercy. Reach out to someone no one else seems to want to reach out to in love. Place your anger at the foot of the cross.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Vacation Bible School

This week is VBS at our church. We have done more advertising this year than I can remember doing before. I hope and pray it will be a huge success. I am praying for not only children to be brought to a relationship with Jesus but also for families to be brought to Him or back to Him, whatever the case may be.

Please pray also that I will not be called on to testify at a trial this week. It would severely hamper my already crowded work schedule and leave it almost impossible to be present for any of the VBS.

Just another thought. VBS is one of the best "come and see" strategies we still use. The challenge today is that we need more "go and tell" strategies. How is your church/ministry getting out of the "inviting" business and into the "going" business?