Well, now it is Thursday, but I still want to jot down some long-overdue notes that have accumulated:
What is a doctrine? A doctrine is simply a theme from scripture. Sometimes we use fancy words in church that we can’t explain, so I need to be able to speak clearly to my Sunday School class. Our tendnecy is to domesticate or tame scripture. What doctrines are essential? That really is the wrong question to ask, and since the Spirit is at work in teaching us, there is no minimum position. Don’t try to tame Scripture. I don’t know how to preach it without feeling guilty myself, but Scripture does say to give to everyone who asks. We don’t know everything. But there is, by God’s grace, an upward spiral of biblical learning as well as application and godliness for those who are believers. Don’t avoid the difficult topics. A faithful Christian seeks to understand. What is the relationship between Christ and the Law? I read that Jesus’ fulfilling the law does not mean that he was perfect (though he was), but rather that he gave the teaching to which it pointed. Christ is now at the center rather than Torah. He was claiming this, so the people responded in disbelief that someone would claim to displace the law; only God can do that. The law itself is in its full authority and completed eschatological form, when we say it is the perfect or perfected law. Honor the face = favoritism.
What would you do over if you could? Among other things, I was wondering how long a list I could compose if I recorded every superfluous expenditure. Communication is tough. I once told a friend that I judge sin liberally. I meant that I apply the title of sin liberally, or easily. He took it to mean that I act as a liberal and don’t apply it much at all. For all its benefits, the university system has problems. One major problem it causes that I just realized is that it preserves contrarian ideas. Even those disproven, be it philosophy or psychology, are still preserved and taught. Since when are ideas rather than actual truth important? Apparently Wayne Grudem wrote a paper on lying. His position is that it is never right to lie; I want to find that paper. 10 Things I Hate About Commandments.
Preaching is hard. But we speak not of our own authority and wisdom but merely to emphasize and explain God’s words. People get it mixed up, and I think that is why some preachers are ashamed and too timid to say certain things, thinking that they are the authority and source of their sermon. because God has told us in his word, and not the preacher, and it is authoritative. A translation tip: follow the structure of the greek and hebrew as long as it makes sense in English. Also, Bible translation is not only for the people who are under good preaching week by week, but should be accessible and understandable by a wide net of people. It is too bad the books here are more expensive. Because i like the free pdf copies they provide.
Finally, and I’ve heard this one said somewhere: Don’t look for the boundaries and try to stray, but as a sheep stay near to the shepherd.