Andy Stanley – “We often read the Bible for application, inspiration, or direction. However, there are times when the author wants to simply point the reader to a big idea—an idea that fits with God’s grand story. In the Gospel of Mark, we read about Peter’s experience with Jesus that led Peter to believe in one big idea: the kingdom of God is near, and everyone is invited to participate.”
Tim Keller shares with us the psalmists painful prayer to a God he feels has abandoned him.
Tim Keller | Psalm 88
We all want to rid the world of injustice. But we can only recognize injustice if we know what justice is to begin with. We don’t always agree about what is just. So, who gets to define justice?
Andy did a great job of unpacking this question in the next installment of Who Needs God? There are gads of additional resources available on the dedicated website for the series accessible at Who Needs God?
The message this week – In Justice For All
Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
Should we really believe something just because the Bible tells us so?
This week’s sermon was the next in the series “Who Needs God” by Andy Stanley – a compelling discussion for those who have undergone Christian deconversion. Here’s the link:
Here’s a drive by of what was covered:
The Christian faith doesn’t exist because of the Bible, any more than you exist because of your birth certificate. Your birth certificate documents something that happened. If your birth certificate was lost to you, you would not disappear.
The Bible exists because of the Christian faith.
If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, as the Bible goes, so goes our faith. If the entire Bible isn’t true – if a single thing is found to be incorrect (through archaeological or scientific discovery for instance)- then Christianity isn’t true. It was never meant to be the center of the whole debate, and if we make it that, everything can quickly become a house of cards.
A quick history lesson:
- Jesus was born about 2-3 before 0 AD
- He was crucified in 30 AD, a few weeks later the church is launched. In 70 AD the temple was destroyed.
- Between 49 & 89 the NT manuscripts were written.
The NT manuscripts were written in a historical motif, not a story motif. Luke 3:1-2 shows a historian asking you to fact check him. He’s showing that this is a historical narrative.
This would be very high risk to write if you were lying. Luke was recording factual events of his time.
These documents were copied and distributed throughout the Roman world. We copy things that we want to preserve. These men and women didn’t make copies because they thought they were inspired. They did so because they were true eyewitness accounts.
Christianity was not born on the back of the Bible. It didn’t exist yet.
The Jewish scriptures weren’t combined with the NT until 350 AD. This was in the FOURTH century.
Before they were combined and titled “The Bible,” Christianity had already become the state religion of the Roman Empire, even though no one had ever actually held the Bible in their hands.
For the first 300 years the debate focused on an event, not a book!
The resurrection was the center of everything.
Christianity does not hang by the thread of “the Bible tells me so.” It’s better than that!
The pre-Bible version of the Christian faith was persecutable, defensible, believable, endurable and compelling.
The writers did not document what they believed they documented what they saw!
Christianity disrupted the Roman Empire because of a resurrected Savior, not because of the Bible.
Christianity is not about a book, it is about a WHO.