Soulnet 2015 – session 4

31 Jan

Live blog from session 4 at Soulnet.

And we are back with Krish as he speaks on how we can be sure to do justice to our young people and to Scripture in our youth work and how to deal with the tough parts in the Bible.

Krish starts by pointing out that there are many parts of the Old Testament that often cause us to have problems in accepting who God is.
Deuteronomy 20:10-18
“When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you. Now if the city will not make peace with you, but war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword. But the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourself; and you shall eat the enemies’ plunder which the Lord your God gives you. Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations.
“But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.

There are 3 ways people often respond to this:
1 – Is it actual or allegorical?
Old Testament events did not happen, they are just moral stories?
2 – Continuity or discontinuity?
We worship the God of the New Testament and he is different?
3 – Mascot or mishear?
The Israelites put words in God’s mouth or misheard him?

Krish affirms that the historical parts ACTUALL TOOK PLACE. God’s character HAS NOT CHANGED. The Bible is an ACCURATE record of what God said.

He points us to a 3 fold response:
T – Theological
H – Historical
E – Ethical

Theological response:
We need to look at the Bible in context. Just like if we try to understand a film by looking at a single frame, if we just looked at a single passage of the Bible then we will not be able to truly understand it.
Patient and just
Genesis 15
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
Foretaste of judgement
Matthew 10:14-15
And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
Trust the Old Testament because of Jesus
Matthew 5:17-18
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
Progressive revelation
Just as in education, we are taught to relearn things as we gain more knowledge and understanding, so we see in the Bible a progressive revelation of understanding of who God is.

Historical response:
We need to understand the language used. For example, it is possible that there were no civilians in Jericho as it may have been a military establishment. We can see how this might be so from the description of Jericho, as a city with such thick walls is unlikely to have had just a civilian population.

Ethical response:
Is morality personal (we decide for ourselves)? Is it communal (we decide as a community)? Or is it transcendent and eternal?
God isn’t safe, but He IS good!

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