Theology must be based on God’s revelation of Himself and His will found in His Word. Too often we base it on a reaction to someone or some doctrine we are certain is wrong. And when we do, we can end up being just as wrong.
A few days ago I highlighted a “shocking Bible contradiction.” I’ve listened here and on Facebook to some great points that have helped me consider these two passages and how they fit together. I want to share a fundamental issue that will help us as we study these passages (and all others).
Folks who like to critique the Bible love to point out contradictions. Even those who believe the Bible is God’s Word sometimes struggle with passages they fear contradict. I recently recognized something about one of the more famous questions regarding possible contradiction in the New Testament: Romans 4 vs. James 2. I want to share this to provoke some thought and hopefully some constructive discussion.
“You’re such a Pharisee!” he said with a sneer.
Why don’t we ever hear the same thing said about being a Sadducee? Why aren’t we worried about a Sadducaic influence the same way we are a Pharisaic one? I am increasingly afraid that we are so concerned about the leaven of all the potential Pharisees out there, that we are letting the leaven of all the potential Sadducees slip by unnoticed.
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him…”
–Philippians 3:7-9 (ESV)
If I say that it doesn’t matter what you believe,
I’m really saying
what you believe doesn’t matter.
Does that sound very tolerant to you?
It’s been several months since I dropped off of Facebook. I no longer have more than 2000 friends. But the friends I have are even better. Perhaps this video explains why.
I met an interesting fellow at the coffee shop the other day. I had been intently studying while he was focused on his computer at the next table. He started to get his things together, ready to go. He stood up to leave, but then started talking to me.
“Has anyone close to you ever died?” he asked.