10 Things I Supposedly Won’t Talk to You About Because I Need my Job (?)

Friends,

I came across this happiness: 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell you but Can’t because he needs the Job. Evidently, this is a book that has been written by someone. Here’s the list:

10 Things Your Minister Wants To Tell You

  1. How It All Began
  2. Why We’re Here
  3. What Is The Bible?
  4. Is There Really Such A Thing As A Miracle?
  5. How Do I Please God?
  6. What About Women?
  7. What About Homosexuality?
  8. What About Other Faiths?
  9. What Happens After We Die?
  10. How Will It All End?

Well, truth be told, I think I have touched on nearly all these categories at some point or another right here on this blog, and I know I have preached about them in my Sunday sermons. It looks like liberal pap to me. You can check out the blog where it was posted originally and see my reply.

jerry

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  1. Jerry,

    You might consider reading the book before judging it. 😉

  2. Brian,

    To be sure, I have passed no judgment on the book. I passed judgment on what you wrote at your blog about the book. You’ll notice I posted two links back to your blog. Furthermore, my contention is merely with the title: I am a preacher and I do preach on those subjects, here and in my pulpit on Sundays. Thanks for stopping by.

    jerry

  3. Jerry,

    The author doesn’t intend that ministers are scared to mention or preach about the 10 topics listed, he merely believes that they are afraid to mention certain controversial things about those topics – mainly because the congregations wouldn’t stand for it.

    Example – Genesis 1 tells a different story than Genesis 2.

    I’ve been raised in church my whole life and even went to a Baptist school, but no one ever pointed out the glaring discrepancies between those two chapters. Perhaps they were worried about the questions that might follow such a revelation.

  4. Brian,

    The title implies that ministers won’t talk about certain things, from the pulpit or otherwise, because they are afraid of the truth of those things. It implies that preachers are, in fact, intentionally misleading congregations and the people of God. To be sure, some are. It implies that preachers are more interested in the preservation of their livelihood than they are in truth. But those of us who preach the ‘whole council of God’ are not doing so, nor are we afraid of supposed ‘discrepencies’ in the canon.

    In fact, Genesis 1 and 2 do not tell a different story. Genesis 2 merely particularizes what is generalized in chapter 1. And, to be sure, when the Scripture was written, the authors did not sit down and impose artificial verse and chapter divisions on the text. They wrote as they were ‘carried along by the Spirit.’ So your ‘example’ holds no water because it is not an example of what you are arguing anyhow. Genesis 2 tells the creation story from a perspective that is different than Genesis 1, but there is nothing fundamentally incongruent about the two chapters theologically speaking.

    I’m sad to hear that you were raised in a church your ‘whole life.’ But that you believe that there are ‘glaring discrepencies’ in Scripture tells me more about you than Scripture. I’m glad that no one pointed out to you what is not there in the first place. That would make whoever pointed it out to be a liar. Only those who don’t trust the sufficiency of Scripture make the sort of arguments you are making and those arguments come not because you read the Scripture or became more learned than the rest of us who believe, but because you have listened to someone else who doesn’t trust the Word of God and aped their arguments.

    However, I’m not afraid of any question. So ask away. I’ll be more than happy to answer anything you may ask and if I cannot answer it, I’ll research until I can or I’ll tell you I don’t know. Either way, the Scripture is trustworthy in all things. Thanks again for stopping by.

    jerry

  5. Jerry,

    I expressed no sorrow about being raised in church. I attend church as an adult of my own free will and there is no need to feel sorry for me about it.

    There are definitely discrepancies in the creation story and in the Bible in general. Genesis 1 says that God made man and woman (at the same time) in His own image. It says God made animals before man. Genesis 2 says God made man and then took a rib to make woman. It says that God saw that Adam was lonely and made animals for his company and brought them to him so he could give them names.

    I know that you will find some way to explain why these verses are different, but there are plenty of other examples of inaccuracies in the Bible. The Gospel of John even has Jesus being crucified on a different day than the other Gospels. Every Gospel has a different account of who was at the tomb after Jesus rose from the dead. Which one is accurate?

    Accepting that the Bible has errors doesn’t detract from it’s value. It is the most important book ever written and it is authoritative. However, it was written by man and anything touched by man is imperfect.

    If you truly believe that the Bible is infallible, then which translation are you referring to? If it’s the original texts, they don’t exist anymore.

    I really believe these discussions are a waste of time. Neither of us will change our minds, right?

  6. Brian,

    Thanks for stopping by (again). I do not accept that the Bible is full of errors. And there are others who have taken the time to refute your claims to discrepencies so I’m not going to rehearse them here (I’ll quote from one below who has made the case well). Also, you quite misunderstood my ‘feel sorry for you.’ On the contrary, I don’t feel ‘sorry’ for you at all in the sense that you think. I was expressing utter shock that someone who claims to have been, and evidently is still being (you said ‘all my life’), ‘raised in the church’ would have such a deplorable opinion of the Word of God. I’m not sure how anyone can build a biblical faith in Christ when he believes that the Book where we learn of the Christ is full of errors (which is merely a polite way of saying ‘lies’).

    If the Bible is full of ‘errors’ as you say, then it is simply not the ‘Word of God’ as I say. It cannot be both infallible and inerrant and fallible and errant. You can’t claim it is authoritative if it is full of errors. And what errors? It is strange that you say there are ‘definitely’ errors and I say there are ‘definitely’ not errors.

    The Bible, ‘touched by man’ as you claim, was also written as men were ‘carried along by the Spirit’ and not merely by men of their own volition. It claims to be marked by the Spirit of God. JI Packer wrote, “You know that for more than three hundred years God-shrinkers have been at work in the churches of the Reformation, scaling down our Maker to the measure of man’s mind and dissolving the Bible view of him as teh Lord who reigns and speaks” (Beyond the Battle for the Bible, 11). This is precisely the problem that exists in the church today: Too many ‘Christians’ have asserted that we cannot trust the Bible and thus we must re-write what the Bible says. (I linked in an older post to an essay by Luke Timothy Johnson who flat out says we must ignore the Bible when it comes to the issue of homosexuality for example.)

    As to your lsat question, Do I really believe these discussions are a waste of time (although you stated a fact, and did not necessarily ask a question)? Here again is Packer: “I, however, am one of those who think this battle very important, and this is why. Biblical inerrancy and biblical authority are bound up together. Only truth can have final authority to determine belief and behavior, and Scripture cannot have such authority further than it is true. A factually and theologically untrustworthy Bible could still impress us as a presentation of religious experience and expertise, but clearly we cannot claim that it is all God’s testimony and teaching, given to control our convictions and conduct, if we are not prepared to affirm its total truthfulness.” (Beyond the Battle for the Bible, 17)

    Furthermore, Jesus himself had no problem accepting that the Scripture was factually accurate. I’ll close with one last thought, because, I hope you will change your mind:

    “So the decision facing Christians today [Packer was writing in 1980] is simply: will we take our lead at this point from Jesus and the apostles or not? Will we let ourselves be guided by a Bible received as inspired and therefore wholly ture (for God is not the author of untruths), or will we strike out, against our Lord and his most authoritative representatives, on a line of our own? If we do, we have already resolved in principle to be led not by the Bible as given, but by the Bible as we edit and reduce it, and we are likely to be found before long scaling down its mysteries (eg., incarnation and atonement) and relativizing its absolutes (eg., in sexual ethics) in the light of our own divergent ideas.” (Beyond the Battle for the Bible, 19)

    I hope this helps you understand why the conversation is not a waste of time and why I am persisting despite your announcement that you will not change your mind. It does matter what we think of the Bible and I think we can see the results in the church of what happens when we reduce the trustworthiness of the Scripture.

    in Christ’s love,

    jerry

    PS–My original point was very simply this: Not all preachers refuse to speak on what the Bible says about those 10 categories that your author says we won’t talk about. That’s really the only point I was trying to make. There are plenty of us who refuse to compromise the Word of God for anyone or for any paycheck. That was my point. But I appreciate that you have afforded me an occasion to speak clearly about the Authority of the Word of God and it’s accuracy in all things.

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