Tuesday, March 03, 2015

This from Bill:

Working with college students and teaching in the Seminary, I am frequently confronted with the idea that the Bible is just the invention of men. This morning, in my quiet time, I was reading Galatians and noted that Paul confronted the same issue! That lead me to the following thoughts:

Gal 1:11 “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.” – People often say that they don’t trust the Bible because it is just teachings of men. Paul addresses this directly, continuing to say, Gal 1:12 “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” Paul is saying that he is a prophet like Moses; that is, just as God and Moses met on the mountaintop, where God revealed the Law to Moses, Jesus did the same with Paul, explaining the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith. Paul didn’t just think of it. He didn’t make it up. Jesus revealed it. Some people, even some Christians, are not comfortable with that. They like to think that the Gospel evolved, naturally. It did not. It was a supernatural, burning bush, shining light, knock-you-off-of-your-horse-on-the-road-to-Damascus epiphany (God appearance). 

The question is, does God really speak? Does God really appear on the scene? The notion of the Gospel being invented by men or just a collection of human teachings presupposes that God does not appear on the scene, or that God does not talk or reveal things miraculously. In Paul’s context with the Galatians, some humans have added to the Gospel, to make salvation a thing of grace plus works. Their fallacy was thinking that they could add to what Jesus had miraculously revealed (like they could improve on His revelation). The modern day fallacy is that God doesn’t reveal anything; i.e., that Moses never saw a real burning bush and that Paul never actually met the resurrected Christ. Paul’s first-hand testimony to the Galatians doesn’t allow for either.

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