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The Bible: Have we found all the original manuscripts?

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This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

How do we know that all of the original manuscripts have already been found?

I didn’t get to answer this one on Sunday, but the answer is simple. None of the original manuscripts have been found. Sadly, the oldest shred of any manuscript we have is a fragment from the gospel of John that dates to about 100-120 AD. It’s theoretically possible that John himself wrote that fragment since he died around 90 AD, but it’s highly unlikely. What we have are so many thousands of copies, versions, translations, and commentaries that we can reconstruct the originals with a high degree of certainty. Continue reading

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The Bible: Is one translation of the Bible more accurate?

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This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

Is one translation of the Bible more accurate? Why the need for so many English translations?

I addressed this one on Sunday, and the basic answer is that because inerrancy depends on understanding the original intent of the original manuscripts, we employ as much scholarship and study as it takes to get back to both. Some scholarship helps us reconstruct the original manuscripts with greater accuracy. Some scholarship helps us translate the original intent with greater accuracy. Continue reading

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The Bible: Do NT verses on Scripture apply to both Testaments?

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This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

Can we generalize New Testament verses on the authority of Scripture (eg. 2 Tim 3:15-17) to the NT since in the original context they were referring only to the Old Testament?

I didn’t get to answer this one on Sunday, but it’s a good question and deserves a little time. Basically, the question raises the issue that the New Testament authors use the word Scripture to refer to their Scripture which would have been the Jewish Scriptures or the Old Testament. Therefore, one could argue, the New Testament passages on Scriptural authority apply only to the Old Testament. As a result, how do we get our idea that the New Testament is also authoritative? Continue reading

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DOGMA: The Authority of the Bible

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At Lafayette Community Church, I have just begun a teaching series called DOGMA to discuss the core beliefs of our church and why we should be dogmatic about them.

Even though our world is filled with arguments about tolerance, the Bible is completely intolerant about a few key doctrines. We would say the Bible is dogmatic about them, and though we never berate or belittle those who disagree with us, we can certainly hold that over certain issues, there are clearly defined lines between right and wrong.

This series is all about exploring those lines. Continue reading

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Random: My thoughts on prepositions

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The preposition at the end of a sentence is one of those grammar “rules” that is often disregarded, but the three main reasons it is there as a rule as I understand it are the following:

  1. To reduce redundancy.
  2. To increase clarity.
  3. To strengthen speech.

To illustrate #1, for example, the most commonly misused preposition that I’ve heard is “at.” It shows up in the sentence, “Let me tell you where I am at.” The preposition in this case is adding a layer of redundancy that isn’t necessary. Simply removing it, we are left with, “Let me tell you where I am.” This second version is stronger, because the emphasis is on the verb. People inherently know this, I think, because the usual formulation of the sentence actually goes like this: “Let me tell you where I’m at.” People will use the contracted form of “I am” but feel like something is missing, and so they will add the lingering “at” to finish the sentence. Continue reading

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Overheard in yesterday’s sermon…

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During my message yesterday at Lafayette Community Church, I made reference to a couple psychological researchers who made presentations at the TED conference regarding happiness and freedom and choice.

The two researchers are Dan Gilbert and Barry Schwartz. Linked here are the videos where they explain the results of their research:

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What is “it”?

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Some people have “it.” Some people don’t. Some people get “it.” Some people won’t.

Recently, I have been teaching a series of messages on what it means to have “it” as a believer. I mean, when you consider that Christians have a direct line of access to the God of the Universe, doesn’t it make sense that we should be expressing evidence of something special about us? Shouldn’t Christians be the most amazing, interesting, weird, and cool people on the planet? Continue reading

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Thoughts on Evolution, Creation, and Adam and Eve

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Why Evolution Is True (Book Cover)
For a few weeks now, I have been teaching in my church on the topic of belief and doubt, so I have been on a personal journey to understand the mind of the atheist so I can better understand the mind of the serious person who cannot cross the line of faith and possibly understand the mind of the person who wants to believe but is having difficulty taking the final step of commitment.

In the process, I have been learning things about the Theory of Evolution that have really interested me. I’ll get to a couple of those things in a moment, but first, let me tell you my perspective on the whole evolution and creation issue. Continue reading

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Why do non-Christians go to church? (postponed)

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Okay, it’s finally time for me to begin tackling this question. The problem is that I don’t really know the answers so this is going to be a general musing with some of my own hunches. Therefore, I’m really interested to know your opinions on it too. Perhaps together, we can figure some of this out.

That is how I started writing this post, but that was two weeks ago, and I still don’t have any really good answer for this question, so I’m posting this now just to let you know I’m still working on it.

I’m going to be reading a book called Surprising Insights from the Unchurched to figure out the major factors leading people outside the world of church to explore the church world in the first place.

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