NOTE: Next Navigator will be published on August 5th.
THIS SUNDAY, 7/18
- Sammy concludes his series from the Psalms, using chapter 51 as his text. This is David’s cry for mercy and forgiveness after being confronted by Nathan about his sin of adultery and murder.
The question is not only, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but also, “Was there strong Bible learning?” This week’s tip: “context, context, context.”
Much damage and misinformation can occur as a result of lazy preparation. If you were preparing for an important interview or public debate you would make certain you knew your stuff. The same level of responsibility applies to teaching the Bible.
After prayer (the most critical aspect of biblical teaching), historical, cultural and literary context play a vital role in helping your listeners better understand what the text meant to its original audience. You are then given tremendous insight into how to translate the text into modern culture.
In his book, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, R.C. Sproul counseled,
“If we can identify the author, his chief purpose, as well as his intended audience, this goes a long way in helping us understand their teaching with greater accuracy.”
And, one theologian offered insight into the commitment one must have when preparing to teach:
Working in a text means discerning its literary structure, intelligently created by the original authors, to communicate to an audience that would have seen what they were doing. If that sounds like work, it is.
Providing context helps a 21st century audience use their imagination to, for example, hear the bleating of the sheep David is shepherding, to feel the dust of those 1st century Palestinian roads, to hear the march of Roman soldiers, and to look over the shoulder of Jesus visiting with Nicodemus.
PRAY FOR OUR FIRST-RESPONDERS
Some of you may not know that our University Pastor, Shawn Coleman, is also a Federal Fire Fighter. As such, he spends the summers in Arizona fighting fires. You’ve no doubt read in the news about the historic heat wave/drought plaguing the western part of the U.S. which is fueling the spread of these infernos.
Below is a photo Shawn sent of one fire they’ve been fighting. This will give you insight into the earthly hell these brave men are fighting.
A few days ago, Shawn sent the following message. It made national news. He gave me permission to share it. My heart breaks for the families. Please lift them all to Jesus.
“Two of my guys died yesterday when their plane crashed on a fire outside of Wickieup, AZ. We are dealing with their loss and the NTSB investigation today. We are also clearing out their personal items from the base. Not an easy day. Matt Miller was the pilot and Jeff Piechura was the Air Attack.”
I can’t remember if I’ve recommended to you a solid web site called Got Questions. You can access it here, and type in almost any conceivable question about the Christian worldview to find good food-for-thought. Great resource for your studies and preparation.
Recently, they posted, ‘What are the most famous/questions in the Bible?’ Not questions about the Bible, but in the Bible. Thought you might enjoy reading it. Click here to read the article.
APPROACHING A KING
The ancient rule of approaching a king is demonstrated for us in the story of Esther: to approach without being invited likely incurred a death sentence. This was serious business.
Through Jeremiah, God warns,
Given this historical context, the quote below by Tim Keller is awe-inspiring:
Indeed, Paul celebrated,
This is why the author of Hebrews could write,
THE IMAGINATION OF GOD
The atlas moth has wings that mimic two cobras watching her back.
SEEN ON TWITTER
Atheists: There is no magical man in the sky
Christians: What a coincidence! We don’t believe that either.
Even non-Christians are familiar with Paul’s warning to the Galatians: “you reap what you sow.”
But, many don’t fully understand that the scriptures are replete with this principle. For example:
JUST SO YOU KNOW
Personally, I have no problem with the cost of this suit. Want me to stand on the moon? My suit better not be purchased at JC Penney.
Friendly reminder: Please mark your calendar for Sunday evening, October 3rd; 6pm, in our FLC. Spouses are invited.
QUOTE(s) of the WEEK
I heard a preacher one time say, “A lot of Christians say ‘I’m being attacked by the devil’ when in reality they’re under God’s judgment.” I’ve never forgotten that.
“People swear they’re fighting demons, when they’re actually fighting the consequences of their own choices.”
“There would be no sense in saying you trusted Jesus if you would not take his advice.” – C.S. Lewis
LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE
This is soooo true…
SOUL FOOD: Nowhere to Run to – Nowhere to Hide
Just typing out this blog gave me chills. Read the blog here.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick