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Extracurricular Activities 6.7.14 — Biblical Authority, Jesus' Mistakes, & Unanswered Prayer
In the Bible all authority belongs to God and is then delegated to Jesus. The risen Jesus doesn’t say, “All authority in heaven and earth is given to . . . the books you chaps are going to go and write.” He says, “All authority has been given to me.” The phrase authority of scripture can only, at its best, be a shorthand for the authority of God in Jesus, mediated through scripture. Why would we even want to mention biblical authority? Why not say, “We live under Jesus’s authority,” and leave it at that? Wouldn’t that be the biblical thing to do? Well, yes, but as centuries of history demonstrate, the Bible is the God-given means through which we know who Jesus is.
On May 4, Mark Driscoll preached at Mars Hill Church in Seattle on Acts 6:1–7. As usual, the video of the sermon was not posted on the church's website until two weeks later. However, Mars Hill Church deleted a section from the video of Driscoll's original message. In that deleted section, Driscoll distinguished between sin and mistakes, claiming that Jesus never sinned but that he did make mistakes. Driscoll was referencing Luke 2:52, where Jesus is said to have grown in "wisdom and stature."
CT asked experts, "Did Jesus make mistakes?" Answers to the question are arranged below on a spectrum from "yes" at the top to "no" at the bottom.
Brent Nongbri has begun to establish himself as a critic of received (or widely assumed) opinions on the dates of several early NT papyri. His first venture along these lines was his critique of early dates of the famous Rylands fragment of the Gospel of John...In his latest publication, he queries the commonly-accepted date of one of the most substantial and important NT papyri: P66 (P. Bodmer II).
Last night I sat with a group of men from our church and talked about prayer. And, as usually happens, our thoughts turned toward unanswered prayer or prayer that is answered very differently than we had asked or hoped. Why are there times when God seems not to answer? If a good Father would never give his children a stone in place of bread, why does it seem like God sometimes does this very thing?
The best way I know how to answer is to point to the cross.
Over the past few years, one of the surprising trends has been watching seminaries across the country slowly start to lose incoming students. What has been even more surprising is that the majority of students who are enrolling aren’t getting their MDiv to serve a local church. They are paying large amounts of tuition (sometimes taking on excess amounts of student debt) to get a seminary degree in order to work at a non-profit ministry or run some kind of parachurch organization.
I think much of this impulse is good. I am glad that people have learned that God is up to more than just within the four walls of our church buildings. But I have a couple of concerns...
Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.
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