The Bible: How Do I Know What It Means?

How do you apply the Bible to your life?

I have a sad confession. I always figured the whole point of reading the Bible was me.

I thought it was about my life, learning how to live better, do the right things, stuff like that. So my first big revelation about the Bible was that it’s, well, God’s revelation of Himself. The Bible Is About God.

Imagine that. It’s not all about me.

How do I know God’s will in my situation?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good
and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 NKJV

Over the years one of the questions I get asked most often is, “How do I know God’s will in my situation?” At the risk of sounding trite, discovering God’s will in any situation or circumstance really isn’t that difficult. God doesn’t play guessing games with us, and He doesn’t delight in making us take wild guesses only to discover we did the wrong thing. God’s will for us is outlined perfectly in the Scriptures, but that’s where we run up against problems.

The Bible: Who’s The Audience?

Have you ever thought about the original audience for the writers of the Bible?

My answer a couple of years ago would have been, “Who cares?”

Turns out that I need to care if I really want to make sense of Scripture.

I’ve mentioned before a writing team I joined at church and a book we studied together: How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. One important understanding from that study was that interpreting scripture is a three-step process.


Who Chooses The Actual Words In The Bible?

Have you ever thought about the individuals who actually translate Scripture?

One thing’s for sure: they’re a lot smarter than I am.

Scholars dedicate large chunks of their lives to studying ancient languages. They dissect and fuss over difficult manuscripts. They tirelessly search for the proper words to convey the true meaning of God’s word.

The Half Empty Glass Is Leaking

Do you consider yourself an optimist? Why (or why not)?

I'm doing a talk this week for an Optimist Club, so I'm thinking about optimism. I did a little research to find out what optimism is, where it originates, why some folks have it and some don't.

Frankly, for much of my life I was a confirmed pessimist. I not only saw the glass as half-empty, but I was certain it was leaking and eventually would be completely dry.

I was the second person in this exchange.

Optimist:"This is the best of all possible worlds."

Pessimist: "If that's the case, then things can never get any better."

Good Without God?

Is “good” always good?

I’ll bet you received a lot of “year-end” messages from different organizations seeking a final funding push. One that caught my attention was an appeal to join in combating their perception of a growing movement called “good without God.”

I was invited to sign an online declaration—and of course to send some money. I did neither, but I did find myself wondering whether I object to the notion of “good without God.” What do you think?

I recalled a conversation with a close friend (I’ll call him Ben) as he explained why he never took his kids to church.

A good family

Do You Have a Good Conscience?

1 Timothy 1:18-20 NRSV
I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Liberty vs. Toleration

by Rousas J. Rushdoony

One of the areas of profound ignorance today is religious liberty and the meaning thereof. The common pattern throughout history, including in the Roman Empire, has been religious toleration, a very different thing. In religious toleration, the state is paramount, and, in every sphere, its powers are totalitarian. The state is the sovereign or lord, the supreme religious entity and power. The state decrees what and who can exist, and it establishes the terms of existence. The state reserves the power to license and tolerate one or more religions upon its own conditions and subject to state controls, regulation, and supervision.

Just Tell Me The Rules

Jesus said, "You know the way to the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." [John 14:4-7]

Have you ever been frustrated and said, "Just tell me the rules"?

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