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Archive for March, 2011

This outline is one of a series on Basic Hermenutics.

PURPOSE OF SERIES:  To lay the foundation of good interpretation of the Bible.

SESSION ONE: INTRODUCTION AND COURSE DESCRIPTION OVERVIEW

I.                    Definition

a.       “How to read the Bible”

b.      “How to properly interpret the bible”

c.       “The method one has of Biblical interpretation”

II.                 Why is hermeneutic important?

a.       With a proper interpretation, you can know what the Scripture says

b.      You can have the right method to protect you from misinterpretation

i.      Be sober with this instruction: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2Timothy 2:15)

III.               Course Overview

a.       Hermeneutic in the context of Systematic Theology

i.      When one learns how to read the Bible, they desire to know what the Bible really teaches

1.      In this sense, there is a relationship between theology and hermeneutics

2.      This presupposes that the Bible should be the source and authority to be read.

a.       How should we study theology? This is the topic of Session Two

b.      Foundational Biblical Doctrines for Hermeneutics

i.      The Bible as God’s special written revelation

This is the topic of Session Three

ii.      Is the Bible the authoritative source for theology?

1.      Does the Bible teaches that the Bible is authoritative for theological truths?

This is the topic of Session Four

2.      Does that mean that the Bible is without error?

Ramification of this doctrine in the areas of Hermeneutics is explored in Session Five

iii.      Is their clarity in the Bible to even interpret it?

This is the topic of Session Six

c.       Principles in interpreting Scripture

i.      Principles of personal and ethical criteria of studying theology is the topic in session seven

ii.      A critical pivotal point for hermeneutics is the issue of the importance of words and grammar

1.      This is the topic of session eight

iii.      Interpretation in light of Context

1.      Immediate context- this is the topic in session nine

2.      Chapter and Book context- this is the topic in session ten

3.      Entirety of the Bible context- this is the topic in session eleven

d.      Hermeneutics and the relationship with other discipline

i.      Hermeneutics has a relationship with Systematic Theology

ii.      Hermeneutics has a relationship with other disciplines involving natural revelation

This is explored in the session twelve

iii.      Hermeneutics has a relationship with Apologetics

This is explored in session thirteen

GO TO SESSION TWO

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Westminster Bookstore is offering Thriving at College by Alex Chediak with a promotion of 50% off for the first copy of this book, 40% off for additional copies. Sale ends April 5.

The publisher’s description:

Going to college can be exciting, anxiety inducing, and expensive! You want your child to get the most out of their college experience—what advice do you give? Thriving at College by Alex Chediak is the perfect gift for a college student or a soon-to-be college student.

Filled with wisdom and practical advice from a seasoned college professor and student mentor, Thriving at College covers the ten most common mistakes that college students make—and how to avoid them! Alex leaves no stone unturned—he discusses everything from choosing a major and discerning one’s vocation to balancing academics and fun, from cultivating relationships with peers and professors to helping students figure out what to do with their summers. Most importantly, this book will help students not only keep their faith but build a vibrant faith and become the person God created them to be.

From the book,

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Before I comment on Libya, I want to make the observation that American laws are strict against those who support, aid and abet Radical Islam and terrorism.  I was reminded of this today when I read the news about Kamal Said Hassan recent request to be released pending sentencing. He was a Somali man who was arrested in 2008 for his connection with being in a Radical Islamic violent training camps and following orders with an Islamic insurgency group that want to bring an Islamic regime to Somalia after his return to America.  Obviously, America means business when it comes to those who support terror.

Would Obama, America’s own president be willing to aid and support Islamic jihad?  Who is the US supporting in Libya?

It’s too simple to say that the Libyan government is killing civilians (no doubt civilians are getting killed).  There’s also rebels who are fighting against him.

What I find saddening in Western media is the fact that the headlines are more about what our planes and bombs are doing instead of asking an important question of why they are bombing and fighting in the first place: Who are the insurgents we are protecting with our bombs and planes?

A good question.  Who are the Libyan rebels?

The London Telegraph has reported on March 25th, 2011 with the following headline, “Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have Al Qaeda link.”

You can read it for yourself in full by clicking HERE

However, even that headline is not totally accurate as it paints the picture of rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi just having to happen to have a few figthers here and there who have links to Al Qaeda.

When one read the entire newspiece about Al-Hasidi (some journalists call him Al-Hasadi instead), one will discover that he has fought in Afghanistan and was captured in Pakistan in 2002.  What a thought; the headline shouldn’t be some Al Qaeda linked insurgents are in Al-Hasadi’s rebel forces, but that the leader himself was involved with pro-Al Qaeda activity in Afghanistan!

It is ironic to think that in one part of the world (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq) the United States drop bombs on any who have miniscule ties to Al Qaeda, while under this current administration with President Obama, in another part of the world (Libya) we drop bombs on the enemies of those with ties to Al Qaeda instead. Remember that the Al-Qaeda linked insurgents based around the Libyan town of Derna has supplied suicide bombers in Iraq and figthers for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the past.

The U.S. have had a history within the intelligence and covert operations community of assuming that men whom we support to overthrow another regime will be our “agents” our “lackeys” but if the names like Ho-Chi-Minh, Saddam Hussein don’t ring in a bell in terms of lesson from history, we need to realize that these men who are depraved enough to murder many innocent lives and risk their own mortality is probably too depraved and vicious to be a listening “agent” of America’s agenda–whatever that agenda is.  Sadly in the current crisis with Libya, the West has yet to figure what their objective is.

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Christian apologist Cornelius Van Til, who’s disciple included Greg Bahnsen and John Frame, has once written a little pamphlet/essay titled, “Why I believe”

Over at Reformed Audio, there is an audio reading of this work!

You can listen to the MP3 by clicking HERE

Or you can download it by clicking HERE

It’s about 55 minutes long. Enjoy.

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This Movieology thing by American Vision seems like a good idea.

I know there are websites out there reviewing the content of movies for Christian concerns such as sexual immorality and language.

But there needs to be a review in terms of worldview analysis as well.

Here’s one they did concerning the movie, “Battle: Los Angeles”

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R. Scott Clark has written a recent piece titled, “Why one should read before writing or the difference between is and must be” over at his blog on March 23rd, 2011.  It basically responds to TurretinFan, and TurretinFan’s response can be found HERE.  Paul Manata at his blog has also offered his thoughts on the same post made by Clark, in his entry titled, “How not to argue against a position Part III” and I think Clark should really read what Manata has to say and learn something there.

I have nothing to offer in terms of the same caliber compare to what these men have said.  Nor do I have the time presently.

But I wanted to point out one point, which Clark complained about TurretinFan:

why don’t Christian bloggers take personal responsibility for the things they write? My name is on every post. I’m held to account for every syllable. I don’t understand the ethos of anonymous Christian blogging. Doesn’t the 9th commandment entail taking such accountability?

My first thought at reading this was whether the 9th commandment entailed an “accountability” that goes against the idea of Christians blogging anonymously.  But I took the advice of an older man, and did not wanted to write anything until I read the ninth commandment first.

I looked over at the ninth commandment in my Bible and it states this in the NASB:

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I just don’t know how the prohibition not to bear false witness against one’s neighbor would “entail” that one should not blog anonymously.  I scratched my head with that one.  Exodus 20:16 seems to be speaking about the truth claim of what one asserts about others instead of the protection of one’s identity.  It seems that it is possible that one can be anonymous to SOME people and yet obey this commandment and not bear false witness against someone.  I think of those in the business of law enforcement, such as my boss who was a former undercover officer, who can testify in a trial and not bear false witness concerning a suspect by speaking only the truth of the matter.  Yet, in some sense the witness he bears is anonymous to MOST people (for obvious reason because of the nature of his work).

In either case, I find it ironic that TurretinFan has said more than once he was willing to email R. Scott Clark his personal information (names, etc) provided that he agree to keep that information from being revealed publicly, for the sake of keeping him accountable to his church leadership if the need arise.  Clark’s blog post fail to acknowledge this.  But I digress.

My main point is this:  This incident is another example that when it comes to the Scriptures,

one should read before writing.

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Dr. Michael Vlach, Assistant Professor of Theology at The Master’s Seminary who among other things, teaches the apologetics course has a message delivered titled, “Making Sense of Evil and Suffering” available through SermonAudio.com

You can listen to the 55 minutes message directly by clicking HERE or Download it for latter by clicking HERE

Here’s a little information about Dr. Vlach from The Master’s Seminary website:

Associate Professor of Theology

  • B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.Div., The Master’s Seminary
  • Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Before joining The Master’s Seminary faculty in 2006, Dr. Vlach functioned as a Professor of Humanities at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also taught Bible, Theology, and Hermeneutics for Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. While working on his doctorate, Dr. Vlach was the Senior Researcher/Writer at Church Initiative, a church-equipping ministry in Wake Forest, North Carolina. An ordained minister, Dr. Vlach served as an assistant pastor in Lincoln, Nebraska for five years where he headed up a church-based Bible training institute. Michael speaks regularly at churches and conferences and has appeared on several national radio broadcasts. He has also published numerous articles in Christian magazines and scholarly journals. Dr. Vlach began his tenure at TMS in 2006.

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