Bible Hacks: Identifying Theological Realities and Obedient Actions

How to Read the Bible Better

Bible Hacks: Identifying Theological Realities and Obedient Actions
For the next five weeks, I’ll be co-teaching a class called, Bible Hacks where myself and Daryl Docterman will teach short sessions designed to help you read the Bible better. Below are my teaching notes from session three as well as the audio of the class. Past sessions are listed here:

Session one: The Overarching Story of the Bible – by Daryl Docterman

Session one: Seeing the Gospel in Every Crevice of the Bible – by Brandon Kelley

Session two: Understanding the Old Testament Context – by Daryl Docterman

Session two: Understanding the New Testament Context – by Brandon Kelley

Session three: Going From Original Meaning to Contemporary Application – by Daryl Docterman

Bible Hacks: Understanding the New Testament Context

How to Read the Bible Better

Bible Hacks: Understanding the New Testament Context
For the next six weeks, I’ll be co-teaching a class called, Bible Hacks where myself and Daryl Docterman will teach short sessions designed to help you read the Bible better. Below are my teaching notes from session two as well as the audio of the class.

Session one: The Overarching Story of the Bible – by Daryl Docterman

Session one: Seeing the Gospel in Every Crevice of the Bible – by Brandon Kelley

Session two: Understanding the Old Testament Context – by Daryl Docterman

See the Dirt, Breathe the Air

A Reflection on Genesis 2:7

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” – Genesis 2:7

See the Dirt, Breathe the Air: a reflection on Genesis 2:7

Things were good but incomplete. The groundwork was laid for the climax of the scene. God had been busy speaking, painting, writing, creating. With every breath, life sprang forth from His mouth. In an instant, nothingness became something-ness.

The Necessary Intersection of Creativity and Theology

And How You Are Both Creative and a Theologian

God is an artist and the best thing He has created is you. He goes to a blank canvas with no instrument in hand. All He needs is His voice. With every word bursting forth into the blank space, the picture begins to take shape. It’s 4-dimensional, it’s living, it’s breathing, it’s here and now. Look around. You are living in His painting. You are His painting.

creativity and theology

The unique thing about you, the thing that sticks out like the proverbial elephant in the room is your reflection. No. Not the thing you see when you look in a mirror. Not the thing you see when you look down into a body of water. You don’t get any credit for this. The unique thing about you is whom you point back to, whom you reflect, whose image you were created in. God put His mark throughout His work of art, but none clearer, none more powerful than in you.

God is Unchanging and It Matters Greatly

A changing existence confronted by an unchanging God

The change in your life is quickly killing you. It’s killing your ability to trust in anything or anyone. You don’t look as you did ten years ago. You don’t think as you did five minutes ago. Your understanding is ever-expanding or it is diminishing – it isn’t staying the same… Change. It’s quickly killing your peace. You’re in search of it, remembering how things used to be. So what do we do?

God is Unchanging and It Matters Greatly

Life is like weather in the Midwest region of  the United States. One minute it is sunny and 75 degrees, and the next, it is snowing and 30 degrees. Change. It happens. All. The. Time. You’re happy then you’re not. You’re stressed then you’re stressed even more. Your kids are little then they’re not (my oldest just turned 3 years old!). 

A Fire Sale of Heavenly Proportions

Everything must go!

I must admit: one of my favorite movies is Live Free or Die Hard with Bruce Willis and Justin Long. It’s a combination of action and nerd. It’s perfect. In the movie a terrorist group begins executing a fire sale. Long’s character (a hacker who was being picked up as a suspect for the fire sale) explains to Willis (the cop picking him up to be questioned by the FBI) that a fire sale in the hacker world is a full fledged attack on the infrastructure of a country. “Everything must go,” he proclaims.

A Fire Sale of Heavenly Proportions

Everything must go… Yes! But not just the infrastructure of a singular country. No, that’s not enough. Everything must go… Everything. But I don’t mean via computer hacking. No. That would be too small. Incapable of doing what needs to be done. God is the only One who can pull off a fire sale of heavenly proportions. And that is what He has set out to do since chapter three of the book of Genesis. Ever since sin came in and corrupted His creation He has been on a quest, an adventure, of getting rid of the plague and bringing about something completely different.

This Baffles Me About the Church

Can I be honest?

So, about the Church… When I first began interacting with her, it was at a large Assemblies of God congregation in my hometown of Fort Wayne, IN. I saw the work of God in a couple close to me and I asked them if I could go to church with them! I was drawn to what they knew and what I didn’t. At that large Assemblies of God congregation I was confronted with the sheer magnitude of people who were there, the powerful music, and the powerful spoken messages. I knew something special was going on.

This Baffles Me About the Church

Since then, I’ve read the Bible, become a Jesus follower, and even followed God’s call into vocational ministry. Yes, since then I’ve become confronted with something entirely different than my first experience. No longer am I the person who has never been to a church gathering and asking people to go to church with them – I’m the one asking others to come with me now (no one has asked me if they could go to church with me yet). Back to the point about the Church… Yes, let’s talk about that.