Saturday, February 8, 2014

Does Proverbs Promise Too Much?

"Does Proverbs promise to much?" is a problem that Dr. Bruce Waltke addresses with some helpful thoughts.  I have included three links to access the lecture in written and audio formats.  My suggestion would be to pull up the text and use it to follow the audio. 
Here are some incomplete excerpts to spark your interest.

    Evangelicals confess the Book of Proverbs' inspiration and intellectually assent to its authority, but emotionally many cannot takethe book seriously because its promises seem removed from the harsh reality of their experience. 
     The palpable rewards to which the gracious Lord obliges himself in the even verses of 3:1-10 confront us with the theological problem, "Do they promise too much? When applied to ordinary members of the
covenant community, the interpreter of the text and of life may try to resolve the tension by explaining that the problem lies in the human partner's failure to keep the commands, not in the Lord s failure to keep his obligations. The expositor, with Job's friend Eliphaz, might conclude that individuals do not experience these promises because of original sin: "Can a mortal be righteous before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker" (cf. Job 4:16-21). As does Job, however, most expositors, though conceding the problem of original sin, insist that thisis not the reason for the apparently failed promises.
      Their rejection of the facile explanation by the likes of Eliphaz isvalidated by the life of Jesus Christ. Though without sin, he apparentlydid not enjoy these promises. Instead of enjoying long life, he died inthe prime of life. Instead of enjoying favor with God and man, on thecross he lamented, "my God, my God, why did you forsake me" (Matt. 27:46), as the crowds jeered, "He trusts in God to deliver him; let Godrescue him!" (Matt 27:43). Instead of a smooth path he experienced rejection at birth, escaped the slaughter of the innocent, lived as an exilein Egypt, confronted hostility every day of his ministry, and ended up a lonely figure on the cross (cf. Isa 50:4-6). Instead of psychological and physical health, in the Garden of Gethsemane he experienced such trauma that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44). On the cross his malefactors so abused him that he no
longer appeared human (cf. Isa 52:14). How can it be said that thedevout have barns overflowing with grain and vats that burst with new wine, when the Epitome of Wisdom cautioned, "Foxes have holes and
birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head" (Matt 8:20)?
       To resolve this obvious tension created by failed covenant promises, I will reject three false solutions and propose four others to help us toward a resolution of the problem.
Acceptable Solutions

       Let us now turn to four solutions that I find helpful. First, most would agree that...
     If the life of Christ came to an end on the cross, the covenant promises of Proverbs, such as those found in the strophes of 3:1-10, failed. However, if we pursue the career of Christ  ...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What the Elders at Tulsa Bible Church teach about the Bible

I. The Bible (Bibliology)
A. Inspiration
1. We teach that the Bible is God's supernaturally given written revelation to man concerning Himself, His being, nature, character, will, and purposes; and concerning man, his nature, need, duty, and destiny. Thus the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God that is an objective (not subjective1 ) revelation2 which is verbally inspired by God in every word.3
·       2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. NKJV

2. We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, as sunlight through stained glass windows, they composed and recorded God's Word to man without error in the whole or in the part. 1
·       2 Peter 1.20-21 ...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. NKJV
12 Peter 1.20-21 21 Thessalonians 2:13  3 2 Timothy 3:16-17  

B. Inerrancy and Authority
We teach that Scriptures are absolutely without error (inerrant),1 misstatement, or defect of any kind in their moral and spiritual teachings and record of historical facts and science in the original documents. They are infallible2 and God-breathed;3 the only rule of faith and practice for the believer and in the church.4
·       Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. NKJV
·       Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. NKJV
1 John 16:12-13; 17:17  2 John 10:35  3 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17   4Matthew 5:18;   24:35;  John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2  Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:16

C. Hermeneutics
1. We teach the literal, grammatical, historical (contextual) interpretation of Scripture, which for example affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal 24-hour days.1 We teach a dispensational interpretation of the Scriptures, which distinguishes God's different programs for the Jew, the Church, and the Kingdom. 
·       Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. NKJV
·       Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ” NKJV
2. We teach that whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation.  The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.2 It is the responsibility of believers as they grow in maturity, to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that such truth is binding on all generations.  Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of Scripture.
1 Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17    2 John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20