From Jim McGuiggan... ON READING THE BIBLE


No Bible book should be treated like an ancient artifact; examined for its grammar, syntax; examined historically, culturally and with tools of form, linguistic and literary criticism—end of story, and then put up on the shelf before we move on to another textual artifact.

The biblical books are covenant literature and the People of God have lived on them for millennia and God meant this literature to so function. As a single narrative [with all that that involves] it is alive and generates life because it is the voice of God’s Holy Spirit.

As a whole it cannot be embraced as covenant literature and climax in anyone but the one true God who has come to us in and through and as Jesus Christ.

Each book in the Bible is part of a single narrative and while each book has its own contribution to make to the entire Story—something we mustn’t ever forget—it has no sense by itself. That is, we could isolate the massive Exodus events from everything else and we could tell them in a story form easily enough as though it stood by itself but it would no longer be what it is in the biblical witness. It only makes biblical sense if it’s part of a single story connected with the past and looking to the future.

This is the claim of Jesus in passages like Luke 24:24, 44-47, and see Acts 3:17-18, 22-24; 26:22-23. Pay special attention also to Stephen’s Acts 7 speech before his critics, which shows the forward movement from Abraham to the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth [7:2, 52, 55]. Then he further shows the climax in Jesus by praying for their forgiveness and commending himself into the Lord’s keeping as Jesus did on the cross [Luke 23:34, 46].

The OT book of Obadiah doesn’t have to have a verse talking about Jesus in order to be part of a grand narrative that speaks of God’s dealings in and with Israel. It’s part of a single Story and each prophet contributes what he has to contribute concerning his own time in the single narrative of salvation history.

Zechariah speaks in his own time and circumstances about the ways of God and we need to allow him to speak his own message. But having by God’s enlightening grace done that to the best of our ability we need to see it with that forward look that even the prophets didn’t grasp [1 Peter 1:12].  Jesus, as mediated to us through the NT, is to be our final and authoritative interpreter.

But what does that mean—Jesus must be our final interpreter of the entire biblical witness? Whatever else it means it means he is the ALPHA & OMEGA. He’s to be the beginning and end of our study, our reflection, our preaching, our praise, our esteemed and cherished thoughts and our behavior in all our relationships. We are to look at him and see in him what God thinks of the wayward humans family; we’re to see him as more than [not less than] the one who forgives our sins—he’s the meaning of all things; in him all things hold together and have ultimate meaning [Colossians 1:17].

To see the Bible as a single overarching narrative that climaxes in Jesus—the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, glorification as Lord and the coming One—will affect how we hear Scripture. But to seek to hear Scripture better must mean that we seek to hear it for what it isGod’s self revelation that is seen in the history of the human family with particular emphasis on Israel as the chosen People—a history that climaxes in Jesus.

We want to know more than the Story and how it fits into a single narrative and Story. We want to know the God who reveals himself in that Story. So it isn’t enough to explain what the verses mean and how the sections and books work together as if that were the goal. The goal is to know GOD as he is revealed in Jesus.
            We’re not after religious ideas or principles or moral advice or an explanation of this verse or that—we want to encounter and admire and serve the living God. This and nothing less is [should be] the purpose of all biblical study and reflection. We must have the prophetic text and we’re glad to have it but it’s not an end in itself and if our study, teaching and preaching makes it an end in itself we’ve built an image and are calling people to serve it.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me; not even a Bible.”
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

The Messiah--Person or Ideal? by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


The Messiah--Person or Ideal?

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Harold Kushner is one of the most prominent Jewish voices in America today. Almost invariably, whenever the Hebrew point of view is desired, the news media solicit his opinions and publicize them widely. This Jewish leader has attracted considerable attention over the past couple of decades as a result of several controversial books he has authored.
In 1971 Kushner produced a book titled, When Children Ask About God. In this volume the famous “rabbi” offered advice to parents about how to cope with their children’s “fears, fantasies, and religious needs.” It is difficult to imagine a literary production that contains more error per square inch of space. As one surveys the pages of this work, he is reminded of the admonition of another Hebrew writer—one almost twenty centuries ago. A divine penman suggested that there are some, who by reason of time ought to be teachers, but who have need that someone teach them their ABCs all over again (Hebrews 5:12).
Consider, for example, Kushner’s observation regarding the term “Messiah.” He has written: “Today, few people still look for a person, called the Messiah, to appear and change the world.” He goes on to assert that the idea of “Messiah” arose in ancient times because people grew tired of unjust rulers, and so they longed for an ideal ruler to come and deliver them. He concluded by suggesting that the term “Messiah” merely embodies an “age” when “all the people will agree on what the world needs.”
Kushner’s view has no basis whatsoever in fact. There is not the slightest evidence in the Old Testament that his opinion regarding the Messiah is valid. Rather, this prominent scholar’s view is the result of his own skeptical inclinations regarding the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, Kushner even goes so far as to deny that God is a person.
But what of Kushner’s idea concerning the Messiah? Let us reflect upon this momentarily. The notion that the Messiah is but an “ideal” is negated thoroughly by a consideration of the test of the Old Testament Scriptures. No better refutation can be found than that which is detailed in the book of Isaiah, chapter 53. This marvelous section of divine literature is a galaxy of prophetic testimony regarding the nature of the Messiah, Who, incidentally, is identified specifically in the New Testament as Jesus Christ (see John 4:25-26). Consider these crucial points in this regard.
First, there is ample historical evidence that the early Jews, both before and after the birth of Jesus, believed that Isaiah 53 was Messianic in its import. It was only after the early Christians began to use it as an apologetic for their claim that Jesus of Nazareth was this Messiah that novel (i.e., nonpersonal) views of the passage became vogue.
Second, anyone who is able to read this chapter with reasonable skill can see clearly that a person is the object of the prophet’s oracle. Verse 2, for example, reads: “For he [the Messiah] grew up before him [God] as a tender plant.” Again: “He was despised, and rejected of men.” Count the personal pronouns referring to the Messiah that are employed within this chapter. Aside from rationalistic bias, there is no compelling reason whatsoever for denying that a real person is being described here.
In the New Testament, Paul spoke of certain Jews who refused to believe in Jesus as the Christ because of the “veil” that shrouded their hearts (2 Corinthians 3:15). Mr. Kushner is of that sort. There is ample evidence that the Messianic hope is fulfilled gloriously in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

From Mark Copeland... "THE CASE FOR CREATION" Resources For Further Study

                        "THE CASE FOR CREATION"

                      Resources For Further Study

The following resources are suggested by Center For Science & Culture:


Darwin on Trial, by Phillip Johnson
Darwin's Black Box, by Michael Behe
Design Inference, by William Dembski
Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent
Design, by William Dembski
Icons of Evolution, by Jonathan Wells
The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, by Charles
B. Thaxton
The Privileged Planet, by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, edited by John Angus Campbell
and Stephen Meyer


The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories
By: Stephen C. Meyer, Proceedings of the Biological Society of
Intelligent Design is not Creationism
By: Stephen C Meyer, The Daily Telegraph (London)
Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference
By: Michael J. Behe, Cosmic Pursuit
Evolution: Debate it
By: John Angus Campbell & Stephen C. Meyer, USA Today
Science & Design
By: William Dembski, First Things
DNA and Other Designs
By: Stephen C. Meyer, First Things
Survival of the Fakest (PDF)
By: Jonathan Wells, American Spectator
Are We Alone?
By: Jay W. Richards & Guillermo Gonzalez, The American Spectator


Privileged Planet
New science documentary explores Earth's extraordinary place in the
Unlocking the Mystery of Life
Documentary reveals growing number of scientific challenges to Darwinian
Icons of Evolution
Are students learning the whole truth about Darwin's theory of
Where Does the Evidence Lead?
Modular classroom version of Unlocking the Mystery of Life

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading March 6

Bible Reading  

March 6

The World English Bible

Mar. 6
Exodus 16

Exo 16:1 They took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 16:2 The whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness;
Exo 16:3 and the children of Israel said to them, "We wish that we had died by the hand of Yahweh in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots, when we ate our fill of bread, for you have brought us out into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Exo 16:4 Then said Yahweh to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law, or not.
Exo 16:5 It shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily."
Exo 16:6 Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, "At evening, then you shall know that Yahweh has brought you out from the land of Egypt;
Exo 16:7 and in the morning, then you shall see the glory of Yahweh; because he hears your murmurings against Yahweh. Who are we, that you murmur against us?"
Exo 16:8 Moses said, "Now Yahweh shall give you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to satisfy you; because Yahweh hears your murmurings which you murmur against him. And who are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against Yahweh."
Exo 16:9 Moses said to Aaron, "Tell all the congregation of the children of Israel, 'Come near before Yahweh, for he has heard your murmurings.' "
Exo 16:10 It happened, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of Yahweh appeared in the cloud.
Exo 16:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 16:12 "I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, 'At evening you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread: and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God.' "
Exo 16:13 It happened at evening that quail came up and covered the camp; and in the morning the dew lay around the camp.
Exo 16:14 When the dew that lay had gone, behold, on the surface of the wilderness was a small round thing, small as the frost on the ground.
Exo 16:15 When the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, "What is it?" For they didn't know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread which Yahweh has given you to eat."
Exo 16:16 This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded: "Gather of it everyone according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, you shall take it, every man for those who are in his tent."
Exo 16:17 The children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less.
Exo 16:18 When they measured it with an omer, he who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack. They gathered every man according to his eating.
Exo 16:19 Moses said to them, "Let no one leave of it until the morning."
Exo 16:20 Notwithstanding they didn't listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and became foul: and Moses was angry with them.
Exo 16:21 They gathered it morning by morning, everyone according to his eating. When the sun grew hot, it melted.
Exo 16:22 It happened that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one, and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
Exo 16:23 He said to them, "This is that which Yahweh has spoken, 'Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. Bake that which you want to bake, and boil that which you want to boil; and all that remains over lay up for yourselves to be kept until the morning.' "
Exo 16:24 They laid it up until the morning, as Moses asked, and it didn't become foul, neither was there any worm in it.
Exo 16:25 Moses said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Yahweh. Today you shall not find it in the field.
Exo 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath. In it there shall be none."
Exo 16:27 It happened on the seventh day, that some of the people went out to gather, and they found none.
Exo 16:28 Yahweh said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?
Exo 16:29 Behold, because Yahweh has given you the Sabbath, therefore he gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days. Everyone stay in his place. Let no one go out of his place on the seventh day."
Exo 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exo 16:31 The house of Israel called its name Manna, and it was like coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers with honey.
Exo 16:32 Moses said, "This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded, 'Let an omer-full of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 16:33 Moses said to Aaron, "Take a pot, and put an omer-full of manna in it, and lay it up before Yahweh, to be kept throughout your generations."
Exo 16:34 As Yahweh commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
Exo 16:35 The children of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan.

Exo 16:36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.


From Gary... TRY

We all have limitations- strength, intelligence, creativity and the like.  However, we never really know WHAT we are capable of until we TRY. This simple (yet beautiful) picture brought about the following.


First- Trust yourself. Doubt is a sure killer of action. TRY to believe in yourself. Who knows, you may not only surprise yourself, but others as well.

Second- Reach out beyond your comfort zone. Always doing the same thing the same way will produce the same results.

Third- Yield to God. We are more than just physical beings, so access that part of you that is linked to the Almighty. Open your BIBLE, follow the directions and T-R-Y!!!

Does it work?

Acts, Chapter 17 (WEB)
4  Some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas, of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and not a few of the chief women. 5 But the unpersuaded Jews took along some wicked men from the marketplace, and gathering a crowd, set the city in an uproar. Assaulting the house of Jason, they sought to bring them out to the people.  6 When they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and certain brothers  before the rulers of the city, crying, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here also,  7 whom Jason has received. These all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus!”  8 The multitude and the rulers of the city were troubled when they heard these things.  9 When they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. 

The answer is a resounding - YES!!!  Anything is possible- if you will just TRY!!!