Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Always Learning, but based on the knowledge of the truth

I am always learning; and confess I have a long way to go . . . but thanks be to God for giving me grace and granting repentance and faith (2 Timothy 2:24-26; Philippians 1:29), so that I can learn more from the foundation of already knowing the Lord, rather than falling into the danger of 2 Timothy 3:7.
One of the themes of 2 Peter is growing in knowing God and the knowledge of the truth. (2 Peter 1:2; 1:3; 1:5-6; 1:8; 2:20; 3:18) 2 Peter 2:20 indicates that that knowledge in that context of the false teachers of chapter 2 was only intellectual knowledge of the truths (like James 2:19) and not true conversion; because their natures were not changed, as they were like pigs that returned to the mud, and dogs to their own vomit. (2 Peter 2:21-22) True believers in Christ have their natures changed. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:6; 6:22; 2 Peter 1:3-4; John 3:1-8) Colossians 1:9-10 also exhorts us to grow in knowing God and His will and in spiritual wisdom; and Philippians 3:7-14 speaks of pressing on to know Christ deeper. 2 Timothy 2:25 speaks of “God granting repentance and coming to the knowledge of the truth.” Jesus said “the truth will set you free”, if you abide in His word. (John 8:31-32) Jesus said “Thy Word is truth”. (John 17:17); in fact Jesus is “the Truth”. (John 14:6) David prayed, “Thou dost desire truth in the inner-most being; And in the hidden part, Thou wilt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6)
So, we are to keep growing in our knowledge of God and knowledge of the truth; and good books can help us grow in our knowledge of sound theology and in apologetics and historical background on the Bible. Let us pray as we study and be watchful to take knowledge and use it to glorify God and grow closer to the Lord Himself.
But some people are “always learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7)
Let us pray that with all our gaining of knowledge in apologetic defense, that it will be based on the foundation of knowing Christ as Lord, and not just head knowledge of facts and historical background.
With that exhortation, these sources seem to have been helpful to many in dealing with modern attacks on the Bible from atheists, skeptics, agnostics, Muslims, etc.
More Defense of the Gospel of John
Richard Bauckham gives lots of good scholarly evidence that the apostle John is the author of the 4th Gospel, the Gospel according to John. He was on the Unbelievable Radio Program (August 29, 2009) with Justin Brierley and discussed issues of the reliability of the NT gospels with a liberal professor, James Crossley. Dr. White has been mentioning this book for several years now on his Dividing Line Program and in blog articles; and others have also mentioned this book in apologetic contexts, so it must be excellent.

Dan Wallace refuting Bart Ehrman’s Forged:
Part 3 is especially good in reference to the book below on the use of an amanuensis (secretary).
About Secretaries (Amanuenses) in the Ancient world:
A book to look into in a follow-up to my article on "Not Even Mentioning the Best Evidence" and I Peter 5:12 and the use of a secretary or amanuensis:
Paul and First Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition, and Collection. By E. Randolph Richards. (Thanks to Dr. Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary for recommending this book.)

When Dr. Bock wrote, “I have nothing to add to that”; that sounds like a pretty good source for apologetics for the issue of first century secretaries (amanuenses).

Top Commentaries by Keith Matthison of Ligonier Ministries:
I am praying that the Lord will give me wisdom and some extra money to get some of these.
This one on 2 Peter and Jude looks really good.

There will be things that we will disagree with in all these books; and they are not infallible themselves; only Scripture itself is infallible and inerrant. The authors may have some really wrong ideas and reach wrong conclusions and have faulty assumptions about some things; but we must use our minds and love God with all our mind in study of the truth and we must love God with all our heart in praise and devotion and give the mysteries of life, history, and our doubts over to the Lord Himself, who is the Truth. See Deuteronomy 29:29


Anonymous said...

I like this approach!


When I read:

"...Let us pray as we study and be watchful to take knowledge and use it to glorify God and grow closer to the Lord Himself."

I thought of these Words that came out of Hannah's heart and mouth:

"...1Sa 2:3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed..."

Ken said...

Thanks brother!
good word from 1 Sam. 2:3