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Saturday, March 24, 2012

God, The Bible, and Christianity

The Bible study group that I "lead" during the week has been studying a book by D. A. Carson, entitled The God Who is There. We're also watching the video. I can't recommend them highly enough. The audio and visual are available online as well.

I was privileged to take (I believe) three classes from Dr. Carson while I did my doctoral work at Trinity. We also were members at the same church for several years during that time and he helped me pursue a university teaching position (which didn't work out). He is a godly, gracious, and learned man. He also has a way of cutting through to the heart of the matter without losing sight of peripheral issues.

So what is the book about? Whether you have been in the church for a short time, a long time, or whether you are only interested in Christianity, you need to read the book or watch/listen to the audio-visual material. Do you want to see how theology leads to awe and worship and service?

I remember how when at seminary I came across the term "salvation-history." That is, the Bible is more than doctrine (although it certainly is that); it is the story of how God is working to redeem humanity, the world, and the entire universe through the person, sacrifice, and victory of Jesus Christ. Our understanding of the Bible and of the nature of Christianity, therefore, must flow from knowing the story first and our place in it. To use an analogy (and have it backwards, I know), "salvation-history" is the Christian equivalent of the history of Middle-Earth as told in the Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings.

Here's the blurb from the site that has the a/v material I mentioned above:
In February 2009, Don Carson presented a 14-part seminar entitled “The God Who Is There” at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. This series will serve the church well because it simultaneously evangelizes non-Christians and edifies Christians by explaining the Bible’s storyline in a non-reductionistic way. The series is geared toward “seekers” and articulates Christianity in a way that causes hearers either to reject or embrace the gospel. It’s one thing to know the Bible’s storyline, but it’s another to know one’s role in God’s ongoing story of redemption. “The God Who Is There” engages people at the worldview-level.
Are you interested in learning about Christianity or the Bible? Do you lead a Bible study or Christian small group? Are you looking for something to read that will challenge the way that you look at the world? Are you curious about God? Read the book or listen/watch the a/v material.

And may your life be forever changed as you meet and surrender to the ultimate reality, the God Who is There.

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