Archive for ‘Biblical Studies’

March 14th, 2014

Upcoming Paper on Divine Sovereignty and Omnipotence

by Max Andrews

Several months ago I was approached by an editor for a journal (Testamentum Imperium) requesting that I submit a paper. The theme of the issue is   “Divine Sovereignty in Reformed Theology.” They are backlogged with some people having withdrawn before submission. I suspect I’ll be the token Molinist. Naturally, I’ll be offering a defense of a Molinist model of divine sovereignty. Below is the abstract for my paper titled, “The Sovereignty of God and Omnipotence”.

Abstract: The means by which God conducts his sovereign rein over creation has varied amongst theologians and philosophers of religion for centuries. I will argue that omnipotence is a modal function and is a bilateral means in conjunction with omniscience by which God sovereignly controls creation. Without having these two attributes (as well as goodness, love, etc.) functioning together then there are deleterious theological consequences for the actualization of states of affairs.

March 3rd, 2014

The Problem of Bad “Biblical” Rhetoric

by Max Andrews

If we are pursuing truth then there are many means to discovering what the truth is [about God, reality, etc.]. It’s incredibly naïve to dismiss something because it is not in a preferred category. If we are pursing truth then it would be a category error to dismiss a challenging viewpoint simply because of categorically dismissiveness. Throwing words around like unbiblical, sub-biblical, and non-biblcal are rhetorical devices used in a debate when both parties (or more) believe that they are defending a biblical position. You may believe that something is one of the aforementioned categories but to continuously bring it up is quite the rhetorical effort, and I admit, probably effective to the listeners and debaters, but it doesn’t help and it’s simply annoying. The same thing goes for the claim of “meaningful exegesis” (some people may recognize that line). The two parties in the debate sincerely believe they are doing meaningful exegesis but it simply rhetoric and places the person categorically below the other one by trumpeting their position as being [the only] biblical position. It’s like political public opinion. If you repeat something long enough, be it true or not true, they’re going to start believing it (analogically speaking, the audience or listeners).

February 11th, 2014

Admit it, We’re All a bit Jonah

by Max Andrews

Question:  When I say, “Jonah,” what do you think of?

Historical Background:  Eighth century B.C.—Jonah was a prophet from Israel (Northern Kingdom) called to preach repentance to Nineveh (Assyrian).  Instead, he attempted to flee to Tarshish (Spain?).  Jonah had many reasons not to like Nineveh.

  • During Assyrian captivity they would torture.  Their methods would be cutting the skin on the side of the body and peeling it off a live person.
  • They would place bodies on spears for display.
    read more »

December 14th, 2013

Sound Hermeneutics for the Old Testament

by Max Andrews

The Old Testament is a vastly misunderstood text of Scripture. Many atheists love to point to OT passages and denounce them for some reason or another. Likewise, many [liberal] Christians do the same or simply dismiss many OT passages. In my experience, most misunderstandings about the OT pertains to thee 613 commands in the OT Scriptures. For some reason, and I think due to a lack of understanding and bad exegesis, much of the OT law is dismissed. I’ve never actually come across an atheist who makes an objection to some OT passage whilst offering any exegetical argument or evidence. My intentions are to educate the ignorant pertaining to OT hermeneutics so Christians and non-believers alike may learn how to properly handle the text in an intellectually responsible fashion.

Here are a few [obscure] texts:

You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. Ex. 34.26b

You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material. Lev. 19.19b

You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself. Deut. 22.12

We consistently violate OT laws.

You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. Lev. 19.32

And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. Deut. 14.8

November 21st, 2013

The Meaning of the word YOM–”Day” in Hebrew

by Max Andrews

There are four literal interpretations of YOM (as even Dr. DeWitt concedes, cf. p. 73 in the textbook).  The four definitions are 1) a portion of the daylight hours (2) the entire daylight segment of a twenty-four-hour day, (3) a twenty-four-hour day, and (4) a long but finite time period.[1]  Unlike the modern Hebrew and English, biblical Hebrew had no other word for a finite era or epoch. The figure of speech of “a day is like a thousand years” in 2 Pt. is a  a simile, which is noncontroversial; I don’t advocate that 2 Peter permits that interpretation in Genesis.  The four definitions of YOM are literal definitions; it’s unnecessary to say it’s non-literal (refer to my previously cited lexicons). 

November 20th, 2013

When Asked if I was Surprised to Find Evidence for a Young Earth

by Max Andrews

Several years ago I was taking a [required] course that teaches creationism. I have a few comments about the course I’ll keep to myself [as in it shouldn't be in the university] but I think most readers know where I stand on university and academia issues and standards. I was asked the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?”

My response is simply that this is a loaded question.  I don’t think I can say there’s no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence.  There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.

November 18th, 2013

Outline of Ephesians

by Max Andrews

The Book of Ephesians

  1. Introduction and Jesus purposes in salvation 1.1-23
    1. Greetings to audience and blessings to God 1.1-3
    2. Believers have been predestined to adoption 1.4-6
    3. Redemption through Christ and inheritance 1.7-12
    4. Believers are sealed with a promise of the Holy Spirit 1.13-14
    5. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians 1.15-19a
    6. Jesus rules over all things and all things are in subjection to Him 1.19b-23
      read more »

November 14th, 2013

Should Gay Marriages be Allowed Divorce?

by Max Andrews

It seems to be an inevitable fact that gay/homosexual marriage will become increasingly permitted amongst US states and across the world. Traditionally, marriage is supposed to be a lifelong covenant and divorce is not permitted (debatable issue I discuss below). Likewise, traditionally, marriage is supposed to be between a male and a female. So, now that traditional and sacred demarcations have been broken how far do we let them continue to break? The question I’m posing is: should we allow gay marriages to end in divorce?

Now, I’m not approaching this from a purely sociological perspective but I’m approaching this from what I believe to be a Christian and biblical perspective.

August 1st, 2013

Reza Aslan Lacks Religio-Historical Accuracy Concerning Jesus’ Crucifixion

by Max Andrews

The reasons Aslan presents for Jesus’ crucifixion are lacking in religio-historical accuracy. There were certainly political reasons that involved Rome and Pilate. Pilate’s action to offer one criminal for another [accused criminal] was not unprecedented.  Josephus [in Antiquities 20.9.3 §§208-210; 20.9.5 §215] gives an account of the release of prisoners.  Pilate’s motivation seems to have been more political rather than sympathetic to Jesus.  Pilate was only trying to appease the crowds for he has already dealt with rebellious Jews in the beginning of his governorship [Josephus, Jewish War 2.9.2-4 §§169-177, Antiquities 18.3.1 §§55-59].

July 31st, 2013

Purgatory: Do Our Souls Demand it?

by Max Andrews

The following is a guest post by Shaun M. Smith. Shaun is a Masters level student of philosophy and a Graduate Assistant serving as an online philosophy instructor for Liberty University. I do not agree with Shaun’s position and this is not an endorsement of his views.

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There is no doubt to me, or perhaps to any Protestant Christian, the term “purgatory” is followed with such nail biting disgust.  Seemingly so, almost every Protestant dismisses the doctrine without even coming close to understanding the essential nature and properties of the doctrine of purgatory.  Due to the Catholic Church’s overly corrupted use of such a doctrine, most in western theology have grown bitter towards the doctrine of purgatory, as Martin Luther once did (perhaps, rightly so!).