March 25, 2007 Commentary:
"The Problem of Interpretation"
How do you know if your interpretation of the Bible is the correct interpretation? Is there even such a thing as correct interpretation? We're continuing our series for 2007, "A Time for Truth," and in this program we're continuing our discussion of Scripture. The problem of interpretation has plagued Christians from the very beginning: the early Gnostics in the early second century interpreted the Bible allegorically, and as a result, a lot of confusing doctrines came in to challenge the established faith of the church. In this program, we're going to be looking at the ways we interpret Scripture, particularly in the light of contemporary hermeneutics.
March 18, 2007 Commentary:
"Why Do Christians Believe the Bible?"
Mormons believe the Book of Mormon because of a "burning in the bosom." Muslims believe the Koran because of family tradition. So why do you believe the Bible? This whole year, as you may know, we're calling "A Time for Truth." Of course, any time and any year is a time for truth, but we think that especially in these times it is urgent that Christians know what they believe and why they believe it. Right now we're talking about the Scriptures, and why the Scriptures are so vital as the only rule for faith and practice. In this program we're going to focus on why we believe the Bible. We're going to talk about the reasons for our confidence in the Bible, and possible rival answers that people sometimes give.
March 11, 2007 Commentary:
"Reaching Out Without Selling Out"
On this program, in addition to your usual hosts we'll be joined by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington and author of Radical Reformission. Here at the White Horse Inn, we believe that the death, burial, and resurrection of the God-man Jesus Christ actually happened. That's why we use the word gospel, which literally means "good news." Now what do you do with news? You either believe it or you don't - and if you do believe it, you pass it along. That's the way it is with the Christian gospel: Those who are convinced of the truth of the Christian faith are called to be faithful witnesses of Christ and his gospel of grace. But far too often, churches who have attempted to reach out with this message have unfortunately ended up watering things down in order to gain a larger hearing. And so now, churches who offer cotton candy, narcissistic spirituality are found in just about every city across the country. At the same time, a lot of churches resisting this on the other end don't necessarily reach out to non-Christians. How can we reach out to non-believers with the gospel message while remaining faithful to Scripture? To help answer this question, we invited Mark Driscoll, a successful young pastor who's written on this theme and whose congregation ministers to people who were never raised in church.
March 4, 2007 Commentary:
"Finding Truth in a World of Spin"
If the truth isn't inside of us but outside of us, then it's something we can't make up. If you're a weather reporter in Chicago telling your audience every day during winter that it's going to be a beautiful, sunny day, just perfect for sailing or beach-combing at Lake Michigan, then you'll be fired by early January. Christians, too, are witnesses, reporters, announcers whose commission is to tell it like it is, not to make it up. In Jeremiah, God attacks the false prophets for "dressing the wounds of my people, as if it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace." Really what he was accusing them of was spin.
Similarly today, the church seems all too prone to spin the truth rather than face it and proclaim it. Like many politicians, preachers seem to think that they have to hide their convictions in order to get re-elected. God's holiness is not that terrifying or strange; it's more like friendliness. God's justice doesn't require satisfaction, and as for God's wrath, when's the last time that was part of the conversation? In any event, whatever God's scarier traits, love will always win out.
The wages of sin is not death, but unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Jesus Christ is not a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin, but an example who helps us live above it. We're not the ungodly who can only be justified by an imputed righteousness, but the righteous who need encouragement and a good life coach. We're just consumers who need to see the relevance of Jesus, not sinners who need to repent of our having thought for one moment that we knew what was relevant in the first place.
The church craves the world's approval. We call it evangelism, mission, and outreach. But what we really want is the world's approval. We're like the unpopular kids in school who are always too willing to do the bidding of the jocks on campus in the hope of a little respect. But respect is the last thing that empty flattery carries. Whether the world likes us or not, those who become believers will thank us for telling the truth, and those who don't may at least be taken aback by a church that finally knows its place and its message.