How Should We View the World?

This is an outline that I did on the subject of Worldview. I am not sure if this outline will be helpful in this format, but how you view the world is pretty important.  

Worldview

What is it?

        -Answers life’s Basic questions.

        -everyone has one.

Basic questions of life

        -the question of God

                a. non-biblical god
                b. No God
                c. the biblical god

        -ultimate reality

        -knowledge

                a. How do we know anything?
                b. Do we know only what we experience?
                c. do we know only through reason?
                d. do we know anything through faith?

        -Ethics

                a. Relative ethics
                b. Transcendent

Examples of world view effects

        -Like looking thorugh a pair of colored lenses.

        -functions like a road map, it help navigate through life.

        -like a connect-the-dot- puzzle.

Test for world views

        -test of reason

        -outer experience

        -inner experience

        -practice

        -Law of “non-contradictions”

Logical self-defeating world views

        -skepticism

        -relativism

        -evidentialism

       

Book Review: The Literary Study Bible

The Literary Study Bible

lsb-320x200.jpgEarlier this year the father-and-son team of Leland (English Professor) and Phillip Graham (Expositor) Ryken came out with the newest study Bible, the Literary Study Bible.  This study Bible is quite a bit different than the usual study Bible.  “This literary Bible is governed by a twofold goal: (1) to make the Bible reader friendly and (2) to show how application of literary tools of analysis helps in reading and understanding the Bible.”   To this end the LSB accomplishes its goals.  First, it makes the Bible reader friendly by helping the reader to understand the context of entire passages.  Rather than providing notes on individual verses, and problem passages the LSB provides a brief summary statement of the passage you are about to read.  This statement summarizes the content of the passage, explains any literary devices uses in the passage, and provided helpful applications that stem from the passage.  These introductory notes are incredibly helpful to readers as they sit down to read portions of the Bible. 

Here is an example of one of these introductory notes (Taken from Genesis 3):

The Fall [ chapter 3 ]. Genesis 3 completes the Bible’s three-part story of origins. Its contribution is to record how sin and suffering entered the world. The story encompasses multiple archetypal plot motifs, including temptation, the fall from innocence, crime and punishment, and initiation. Additionally, Genesis 3 is the prototypical literary tragedy in the Bible. Satan (in the form of a serpent) is the archetypal tempter; Adam and Eve are the archetypal guilty children; God is the judge who, as a divine parent, ferrets out the truth from reluctant children. Even though this is one of the saddest stories in the Bible, nonetheless loss is balanced by restoration and judgment by mercy. The mainspring of the plot is disobedience. The story is an anatomy of how sin works in people’s lives and of the effects of sin. The theological center of the story is Adam and Eve’s spiritual alienation from God through sin, but at the human level the story is also a psychological portrayal of the dynamics of guilt. This historical narrative tells us both what happened on that fateful day and how sin happens in our own lives.

Second, the LSB helps the reader to see the bible as literature, and interpret it as such.  By this I mean that God chose to reveal himself through the written word, and He chose to use specific literary devices in His revelation.  This means that at some level the reader of the Scriptures must understand how these literary devices work.  In some cases this is quite easy.  For instance, the commands are clearly directives for how we are to live our lives and need to be interpreted as such.  However, when the writers of Scripture employ allegory, prophecy, etc. it becomes more difficult to understand.  In these instances it is necessary for the reader to understand the type of literature being used in order to understand the meaning of the passage.  This is where the LSB is extremely useful.  The notes in the LSB help the reader to identify literary devices, characters in the story, and much more.  In fact, in the back of the Bible there is a glossary of the literary terms used.  For instance, the glossary defines a proverb as:

A concise, memorable statement of a general truth.  Proverbs express an insight into the repeatable situations of life.  They are often so striking that the do not merely express an insight but compel it.  Proverbs are simultaneously simple and profound, specific and universal.  Proverbs achieve their memorable quality through tighter-than-normal syntax, figurative language, and (frequently) the verse form of parallelism.  Proverbs are the human race’s testimony to its own experience, and they grow out of close observation, usually of the social and human scene. 

In addition to the notes, and the glossary each book of the Bible has its own introduction that contain extremely helpful notes.

Overall I have benefited greatly from using the LSB in my daily reading of Scripture.  The notes have helped me to focus on the passage, and the specifically what the passage means.  It is much different than your typical study Bible, so I would not suggest getting rid of a study Bible you have for this one.  However, I would highly suggest investing in this study Bible for your personal reading, and family worship.  

Title: The Literary Study Bible
Author: Leland and Phillip Graham Ryken
Publisher: Crossway
Year: 2007
Price USD: $49.99 from Crossway
ISBN: 978-1-58134-808-8
Website: http://www.esvliterarystudybible.org/ (You can view an on-line preview here)

An Interview w/ Mike Huckabee

The upcoming Presidential race is fast becoming ‘the’ topic of conversation.  In my mind the candidate that will best represent my beliefs and convictions is Mike Huckabee.  Huckabee is a ‘Dark Horse’ and if you are not familiar with him then you need to become familiar with him.  A great place to start is the interview that Tim Ellsworth was able to do with Huckabee.  Tim posted this interview on his blog yesterday, and you can read it HERE. 

This is a sampling of what you will find in this interesting interview:

Tim: How will your faith affect how you run your campaign? If elected, how will it affect your presidency?

Gov. Huckabee: My faith is my life – it defines me. I don’t separate my personal and professional lives. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them, both in how I am running this campaign and how I will govern if elected president. For example, when it comes to the environment, I believe in being a good steward of the earth. Real faith makes us humble and mindful, not of the faults of others, but of our own. It makes us less judgmental, as we see others with the same frailties we have. Faith gives us strength in the face of injustice and motivates us to do our best for “the least of us.” Our nation was birthed in a spirit of faith — not a prescriptive one telling us whether to believe, but one acknowledging that a providence pervades our world. We need a president who leads in that spirit.

Great job Tim.  Thanks for getting the information out there.

Rested, Relaxed, and Ready for Action

footrest.jpgYou will have to excuse my absence from the blog last week.  In my defense my absence from the blog coincided with my absence from home.  Last week (Wed – Sun) our family took our first ever family vacation.  We toured the state of Florida by visiting my Grandparents in Port Charlotte, and then heading down to Jupiter for a few days.  We had a blast spending time together, going to the beach, and eating out every night.  We chose to go out of town last week for two reasons.  First, it has been a grueling few months.  I had been into the office every day for three straight weeks, and we were all tired.  Second, today and tomorrow I have a couple of big mid-term tests.  Getting out of town allowed me to spend quite a bit of time studying.  Every day I would wake up a couple of hours before the girls and study; additionally I would study during nap times. 

Overall it was a great time, and I hope to post a few family photos toward the end of this week.  I am also hoping to do a review on the new ‘Literary Study Bible.’  I just received it in the mail and I am using it to read through the book of John.  So far so good…

Bob Jones III gives Presidential Support to…

This week Bob Jones III, chancelor of Bob Jones University, endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for President.   Jones was quoted as saying:

“This is all about beating Hillary,” Jones said. “And I just believe that this man has the credentials both personally and ideologically in terms of his view about what American government should be to best represent the rank and file of conservative Americans.

“If it turns out to be Guiliani and Hillary, we’ve got two pro- choice candidates, and that would be a disaster.”

On the issue of Romnney’s religion Jones said:

“What is the alternative, Hillary’s lack of religion or an erroneous religion?
As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism,” he said. “But I’m not voting for a preacher. I’m voting for a president. It boils down to who can best represent conservative American beliefs, not religious beliefs.”