The Kingdom of God - Past, Present or Future? (Search For Truth Series)

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So according to this professor, Adam and Eve were animals before God breathed the breath of life into them. Is his interpretive work what Paul had in mind when he advised Timothy to be diligent in his efforts to accurately interpret the Word of Truth 2 Timothy ?

The LORD Knows Our Past, Present & Future

The example above highlights the importance of being able to properly interpret the Bible. In this postmodern age, bizarre interpretations are accepted because people believe they have the right to decide for themselves what a passage means. In other words, meaning is in the eye of the beholder, so you can decide truth for yourself. He routinely rebuked those who twisted the words of Scripture or misapplied them.

Stolen Child

We can have perfect confidence that God is capable of accurately relaying His Word to us in a way that we can understand. A given document means what the author intended it to mean. The alternative would make communication futile. There would be no point in writing anything if the readers are simply going to take what they want from the passage, rather than what the writer intends. Hermeneutics from the Greek word hermeneuo , which means to explain or interpret is the branch of theology that focuses on identifying and applying sound principles of biblical interpretation.

While the Bible is generally plain in its meaning, proper interpretation requires careful study and is not always an easy task. Consider that the Bible was written over a period of roughly 2, years by 40 or more authors using three languages Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek. The authors wrote in different genres and had different vocabularies, personalities, cultural backgrounds, and social standings. The Holy Spirit moved each of these men to produce His inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word 2 Timothy ; 2 Peter —21 , but He allowed their various writing styles and personalities to be expressed in its pages.

It was written in a culture very different from our modern world and has been translated from its original languages. These are just some of the factors that must be taken into account as we interpret. In fact, Bible colleges and seminaries often require their students to complete a course in hermeneutics.

Numerous books have been written to explain these principles, and while Bible-believing Christians may disagree over particulars, there is general agreement about the major rules required to rightly divide the Word of Truth. This is not to claim that only the scholarly elite can correctly interpret the Bible. Various groups have wrongly held this position. William Tyndale lived in the early sixteenth century when only certain people were allowed to interpret the Bible, which was only available in Latin, not the language of the common man. Tyndale is credited with telling a priest that he could make a boy who drove a plough to know more of the Scripture than the priest himself.

We must also battle against our pride, which tempts us to think that our own views are always right or that the beliefs of a particular teacher are necessarily right. We must strive to be like the Bereans who were commended by Luke for searching the Old Testament Scriptures daily to make sure that what Paul taught was true Acts However, we must keep in mind several important points.

First, Christians must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit while studying the Bible. But we are limited in our understanding and often hindered by pride.

Eternal Truth

We need the Holy Spirit to help us to think correctly, lest we distort the Scriptures 2 Peter Second, a person can spend his or her entire life and still never come close to mining the depths of Scripture. The Bible is written in such a marvelous way that a child can understand the basic message, and yet the most educated theologians continue to learn new things from the Bible as they study it. There is always so much more to learn, so we must humbly approach the Word of God. Finally, since the Bible consists of written data, then in order to understand it, we must follow standard rules of grammar and interpretation.

We will examine these rules or principles throughout this chapter and the next, especially as they relate to Genesis. Because people often confuse the two concepts, it must be pointed out that interpretation is different than application, although they are related. Bible-believing Christians generally follow a method of interpretation known as the historical-grammatical approach.

That is, we try to find the plain literal meaning of the words based on an understanding of the historical and cultural settings in which the book was written.


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This hermeneutical approach has several strengths. It can be demonstrated that the New Testament authors interpreted the Old Testament in this manner. Finally, this approach is consistent with how we utilize language on a daily basis while interacting with others. If the postmodern approach is accurate and meaning is determined by the recipient of the message, then perhaps your friend is really just telling you that he likes pancakes. Communication becomes impossible in such a world, and it gets even worse if your friend was talking to you and several other buddies.

Words have a particular meaning in a particular context. When they are placed together in sentences and paragraphs, then a person must follow common-sense rules in order to derive the appropriate meaning. The sender of the message had a reason for choosing the words he did and putting those words together in a particular order and context. The same is true with the Bible. God had a reason for moving the writers of the Bible to use the words they did in the order they did. Our goal must be to ascertain the AIM. The following principles do not comprise an exhaustive list but are some of the major concepts found in the majority of books on interpretation.

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS THIS WEEK

Click here to learn more. In-depth analysis delivered weekly - Subscribe to our newsletter, featuring our editors' top picks from the past week. Sign in Subscribe. Subscribe Login Sign up. Foreign Policy. Trending U. Our subject is not easy, not because Loading, please wait More: Middle East Demography. To bring the right nourishment and genuine healing, no finer preparation can come from a Christian liberal arts education.

From this firm foundation the most relevant discoveries about His greatest creation, humanity, and the wonders of the entire universe can come to light. Christian faith and expansive learning are the two best antidotes to the narrow-minded relativism so prevalent today. The liberal arts means that one studies the Bible, history, grammar, science, social science, mathematics, foreign languages, literature, and rhetoric. In the first two years of a college education, where general education is central, all students walk on the same path forward.

Instructors teach the Bible and introduce key concepts from the humanities, sciences, and languages. From the great classics of the Ancients to the best of the modern era, a student will be exposed to all that God has done. The final two years allow a student to concentrate on a major and decide on a career path. The result is a person with a depth of learning and insight not found anywhere else.

A person commits to a Christian education with the expectation of gaining knowledge and skills not available at a secular school. In each of the classes of a liberal arts college, the instructor adds value to the character and abilities of anyone who embraces the process. Along with rigorous classes, a good Christian college provides many worship experiences and great mission opportunities. The best way to fulfill the great commission in the Bible is to increase the number of students entering places of Christian higher education.

Without a strong commitment to this route and all that it will take to sustain an endeavor of this magnitude, the cause of Christ in this state and nation may dim and become lukewarm. The Bible is replete with leaders who espoused brilliant faith and a warm devotion to knowledge. These two leaders prepared communities of believers for the trials and triumphs of a Christian life.

So, too, our society today requires Godly men and Godly women who can use critical thinking, express themselves with excellent writing and communication skills, and who are not afraid to navigate the pitfalls of a more complicated, and indeed, more expansive information age. Problems today call for well-thought-out, nuanced responses rather than quick and simple reactions. No dollar amount can be placed on someone who possesses the patient attributes of an intellectual who loves the Lord and their neighbor.

He valued expansive learning and carried a deep faith right into the public square. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. He attained a B. At the time, the university bustled with scholarly activity as a hub of the European intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment.

The education Rush received after several years of intensive studies represented the finest available in the English speaking world. Rush returned to America and established a medical practice in Philadelphia, which was at the time a thriving port city later selected as the first capital city of the new United States. Over his lifetime, Rush thought and wrote on a wide range of topics. He became an early advocate for the abolition of slavery which he approached from a Christian standpoint similar to Evangelicals in England and elsewhere.

Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history | Matthew Avery Sutton | Opinion | The Guardian

He advocated temperance from a moral and scientific position when alcohol remained a ubiquitous blight on society. He made improvements in medical practice, helped found a college in Pennsylvania, and trained thousands of medical students. His political career encompassed the late colonial period, Revolutionary War, and days of the Early Republic. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence and supported the adoption of the U. He became friends with George Washington, John Adams, and nearly all other luminaries of the era.

Rush built a reputation that placed him at the forefront of national affairs. At the asking of President Thomas Jefferson, he schooled Meriwether Lewis in medicine and packed for him a first-aid kit. Lewis and Clark made their arduous journey traversing the North American continent with provisions selected by the finest physician in the country.

Rush conversed with Christians of all denominations and worked with them on improvement projects that bettered all mankind. In big and small ways, Rush provided an early model of the great benefit of what happens when a person embraces Christianity and life-long learning.

There at the beginning of our national history, Rush provided an exemplary model of what could be accomplished when faith and learning are woven together. This one example illustrates how the value of a Christian liberal arts education can lift up an entire country. To be introduced and educated in the knowledge of the ages allows a person today to step forward with confidence and to carry into the world time-tested solutions. The graduate of a college where Christianity and liberal arts thrive can achieve a well-rounded education and this person becomes a strong member of the Church they attend.