Tuesday, June 10, 2008

But.. what about the Shellfish?

Dr. Al Mohler took the stage after lunch to do something which apparently has never happened at New Attitude before- he took questions from us. Dr. Mohler has been referred to as the "reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S" by Time magazine.
As young adults from across the United States asked their questions of Dr. Mohler he did not hesitate once in his responses, but clearly and easily gave sound Biblical answers to what many would consider difficult subjects. Here are the ones I was able to write down.
“Bible Q & A” with Al Mohler

What is the difference between the claims other religious books and the Bible? What makes the Bible distinct?
-Canonization. The Bible features several authors who were led to understanding by the Holy Spirit, not one person believed to have been imparted a word by a higher power.
-The personal relationship. There is no personal relationship with Allah. God through Christ humbled himself so that we might know Him.
-The Koran and other “holy books” make different claims than the Bible.

How were the books of the Bible selected and why were books such as “Thomas” not included?
-The early church recognized the historical significance of other books but realized that they were not on the same level as these 66 books.
-Apostolicity and Catholicity - the books had to be tied to an apostle and be universal to the church
…he talked too fast for me to record the others!

Next he addressed a question regarding the validity of stories such as John 7:53-8:11 and the ‘longer ending of Mark’. I had no idea what he was talking about at first and was not able to grab notes for that one…

The law – how should we interpret it and apply it? When we tell someone that homosexuality is wrong according to Leviticus, they say that it also says shellfish and cutting their hair is wrong. Do we use some of it or only part of it?
-The law is important because it serves to show us our need for a savior. If there had been no law to convict us, there would be no need for grace.
-The law was the direction under the old covenant, however a new covenant has come through Christ.
-We should not refer to Leviticus when addressing questions on homosexuality. Refer to Romans. However, it is not about accusing them, it is about leading them to find the grace of Christ.

This is the point I found the most helpful. Using Paul’s words about us needing the law to convict us was encouraging! Homosexuality doesn't put anyone further from the grace of God than any other sin that I struggle with. The bottom line is that we need to show all sinners love through the grace of God.

There are those who say that the Bible is authoritative and reliable, but not inerrant. Is it inerrant?
-By allowing for error in the Bible you cast doubt on the entirety of the word of God – NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Should we be wary of Postmodern ideas with respect to the Bible?
-It denies that there is a uniform right and wrong and that we are held accountable to one story.
-Right and wrong should be shaped by Biblical standards, not society.

How do you share the gospel of grace with those who are in favor of Pelagianism?
-Pelagianism says that we are born morally neutral. We all want a part of it, to be able to say that we can do something.
-We need to exhibit God’s grace through our actions!

There was a final question regarding how the gospel should play into our artistic talents and how we should use them in society at large. I was still writing notes from his last point and did not record anything, but his basic point was that we should definitely incorporate the gospel in all areas of our lives and talents, including our artistic talents.
After the Q&A session, which was very neat to watch, some of us headed out to the Neighborhood to go SGM shopping! I ran into Martha Weiman- it was SO good to see her again!
I picked up three books:

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett. I shared this one with Jonathan, and he's going through it first. Seems like a good book to get some of our youth hooked on...
Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. Humility was one of the things which I believe God spoke to me about through the conference, so I thought C.J. was a good place to start.
Guard Us, Guide Us by J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom. Seems very deep and may be a tad legalistic and points, but guidance is always a good subject. I loaned this one out to dad while I read Humility.

And a CD:
LU by Bob and Devon Kauflin. Alot of good songs from the conference!
After the Neighborhood some of the girls came back with Beth and I to our room. We talked for a little while about what was new in our lives. It's funny how you can re-connect with people so easily. It was encouraging to hear other people my age struggling with similar situations.

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