Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Christianity and Certainty

Dr. Dan Hayden serves as the Director of Ministries at Sola Scriptura in Orlando Florida. He has a daily radio feature, A Word from the Word, and has served as both pastor and seminary professor. His task was exploring the centrality of absolutes to Biblical Christianity.

He stated that there is no wisdom in uncertainty, and then began making some observations, such as the immense popularity of the Harry Potter series, to show us that the things of God have been marginalized by the culture. Moralism and feel good ideology without absolutes and any real foundation lead to the implied death of God in the society filled with humanism. This of course doesn’t change the truth, it only points out the problem.

The issue is truth, and the postmodern culture is 1) committed to relativism – no fact is true in all times and all places, and 2) committed to syncretism – the blending of elements from various faiths into a new form of spirituality.

The culture is not anti spirituality, they are highly spiritual, but orthodoxy has become “flexodoxy”.

Dr. Hayden took us to 2 Timothy 3 & 4, and dove into the original Greek to uncover some depth for us.

2 Timothy 3:1

This know
Present tense – continuous action
Imperative mood – very important

In the last days
Generally – the whole church age
Specifically – the end of the age

Perilous times
(Gr.) chalepoi – dangerous, difficult to endure
Illustration: Matthew 8:28 uses same word, the NASB renders it exceedingly fierce. In other words, this time would be like living among maniacs.

Godliness and Gospel – the world sees Christ through us

Chapters 3 & 4 are an inverted parallel, or chiasm, as it is called.

Chapter 3 / Chapter 4

The Culture
Last Days Culture (vs. 1-9) / Last Days Conflict (vs.9-18)

The Connection - authenticity
The Power of Godliness (vs.10-13) / Purpose of Godliness (vs.5-8)

The Core
Focus on the Word of God (vs.14-17) / Importance of Sound Doctrine (vs.1-4)

The Last Days Culture - Perilous Times caused by a lack of character

15 negative characteristics in these verses

Lovers of self – philautoshumanism

Lovers of money – philargurossecularism

Lovers of pleasures – philedonaiexistentialism (hedonism)

Form without power (vs.5)
Gender confusion (vs.6-7)
Religious confusion (vs.8-9)

More than lovers of God – philotheos

Parallels with 1 John 2:16

The Power of Godliness - example of Paul's life (vs.10-11)

The connection between God’s Word and ungodly culture is God’s people living godly lives.

Authenticity is:

Service – not lovers of self

Sacrifice – not lovers of money

Suffering – not lovers of pleasure

Persecution of the godly (vs.12)

Deception of the ungodly (vs.13)

A willingness to suffer for righteousness whatever the cost

Keep the Focus - Holy Scripture

The Gospel of Christ = The Power of God to change lives

Stick with the Word (vs.14)
“continue” – (Gr.) meno – dwell, abide, stay steady
“learned” – (Gr.) manthano – to learn, find out
“assured” – (Gr.) pistoo – to assure, become certain

Stand for the Truth (vs.15)
Into salvation
Through faith
In Christ Jesus
This is wisdom

Study the Scriptures (vs.16-17)
Teaching (truth) / Training (maturity)
Correcting (positive) / Exposing (negative)

Hear the Word of God, see what you’ve done wrong, make it right and live it out in Christ.

Scripture is the Foundation for Truth, the basis of all certainty

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free – Jesus

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Even So... said...

This was good stuff indeed...

Kristine said...

No kidding. There's a lot to chew on here. And it's SO timely.

Even So... said...

More to come soon...