One of the problems with preachers who are obsessed with prophecy is that virtually read every current event as a sign that Jesus is coming back. Most of us see the mistake in that view. But we could fall into the opposite extreme so that we don’t think much about Jesus’ second coming. For instance, the Abstract of Principles, the statement of faith at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where I teach, says nothing about Jesus coming back. Surely it was assumed when the statement was written. Still, such a cardinal doctrine should be stated outright.
What is the purpose of the dark nights in general? Two things. The first one is the development of a spiritual hunger and a purging of the heart. If you would look with me to Deuteronomy 8. In Deuteronomy 8:1-5, this is actually the text that Jesus quotes when He’s being tempted. The first temptation by the devil.
Psalm 87may strike a first time reader as an odd psalm. Why would an entire psalm be dedicated to people from various forgotten nations like Rhab (a name for Egypt), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Cush? Furthermore, why would they be found boasting that they were “born in Zion” as declared in verses 4, 5 and 6 of the Psalm?
One of the great challenges to Christian spirituality in the western countries, in the developing nations, in our globalized modern economy, one of the greatest challenges of all is secularism, for secularism squeezes spiritual life to death. And in our common fight against secularization, the destroying of real spiritual life, Christians are finding God today in different ways. Let me suggest to you five as we near the end. There are some Christians, we might call them liturgical Christians, they pay a great deal of attention to the structure of their worship services.&nb
1. God is the greatest Reality in the universe.
And pastors swim in that sea with ever-replenished joy.
I am the Lᴏʀᴅ, and there is no other, besides me there is no God. (Isaiah 45:5)
You have some things that are difficult to deal with in the Psalms in which the psalmist is actually calling down bad things on his enemies. There are wonderful praise psalms like Psalm 19. But look at Psalm 18 just for a minute. And we are told at the beginning of this Psalm that this is a thanksgiving for deliverance by God, a psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.
I spend a lot of time alone. And I like it. Working on my laptop, reading a book, or just listening to the birds outside my window, I cherish any time I get to myself. As an introvert, I’m wired that way. I enjoy (some) people, but I need my time alone.
Worship is first and foremost for God and about God. Its benefits, in forming believers and in reaching unbelievers, are secondary.
The 2012 Annual Report is now available for download. If you haven't already seen it, you can download a copy of it here. Thanks again for all of your prayers and support in 2012 and your ongoing partnership in 2013. We're excited about what the Lord is doing through BT.
Katherine Weber of the Christian Post recently asked Dr. Daniel Wallace three questions about the authenticity of the Gospel of Judas:
1) What are your thoughts on the authenticity of the Gospel of Judas? Is ink testing and comparison, in your opinion, an adequate method of determining the validity of an ancient text?
2) What criticisms do you have of the Gospel of Judas’ authenticity?
3) If it became a fact that the Gospel of Judas were real, how would this change the study of the New Testament?