In this article I want to interact with several misconceptions that people often have about wealth, poverty, and what the Bible says about both. Some of these mistaken ideas can be found in print, others are of a more urban-legend variety. All of them are false and unhelpful.
Myth #1: Money is the root of all evil
This phrase still gets thrown around in different contexts to this day, but it is not what Paul actually says in his letter to Timothy. Actually, Paul tells his young protege that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. In the context of 1 Tim 6, Paul is warning of the temptations that attend the desire to be rich. Yet, given this warning, it must be acknowledged that it is by God’s design that societies function through the exchange of goods and services and flourish when this exchange is conducted with honesty and integrity. When people love money (instead of God and people) they will act unlawfully to get more money, exploit and defraud other people (James 5:4), break laws, hoard their possessions (Luke 12:13-21), and act selfishly. But the love of money is the problem, not the money itself. Continue reading “16 Myths About Wealth, Poverty, and the Bible”
In the spring of 1741 Jonathan Edwards visited and ministered to a small congregation in Suffield, Connecticut. This little church was without a pastor for a short time but was blessed with a few excellent servants, including Edwards himself and the great evangelist George Whitefield.
A few months after Edwards visited the church, Elizabeth Hatheway, a member of the congregation, asked Edwards for some spiritual guidance. In response, Edwards wrote this young lady a lengthy letter with 19 points of advice on Christian living. Several years later, the letter was published under the title, Advice to Young Converts. It is currently published along with Edwards resolutions by P & R Publishing.
On point #3, Edwards gives some timely advice on how to listen to sermons.
When you hear sermons, hear them for yourself, even though what is spoken in them may be especially directed to the unconverted or to those that in other respects are in different circumstances from yourself. Let the chief intent of your mind be to consider what ways you can apply the things that you are hearing in the sermon. You should ask, What improvement should I make, based on these things, for my own soul’s good? Continue reading “How To Listen To a Sermon: Eagerness and Examination”
One of the ways that critics of inerrancy (the belief that the Bible is entirely true and contains no error of any kind) have sought to undermine the doctrine is by noting the areas where Scripture contradicts itself. These critics hold that because it is clear that genuine contradictions and errors exist in Scripture, then inerrancy—traditionally understood—must be abandoned.
In a recent book on the topic, Peter Enns—a confessing evangelical who no longer holds to inerrancy—examines a particular test case in the book of Acts in order to demonstrate how inerrancy fails to account for obvious discrepancies (read: contradiction) in the biblical text. The problem emerges when one compares two accounts in which Paul describes his conversion experience.
Acts: 9:7: “The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one” (ESV).
Acts 22:9: “Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me” (ESV). Continue reading “Inerrancy and Apparent Contradictions: Looking at Acts 9:7 and 22:9”
This Survey of Schaeffer’s life self-consciously omits discussion of Schaeffer’s involvement the inerrancy debate of the 1970s and early 1980s. Although Schaeffer’s involvement with the issue of inerrancy is a significant aspect of his life, I focus here on his influence among evangelicals with regard to their intellectual engagement with wider culture.
Francis Schaeffer was one of the first well-known evangelicals in the twentieth century to promote Christian thinking about philosophy, art, culture, and other important areas of modern learning. Prior to Schaeffer, evangelicals, beginning in the early to mid-20th century, had been, in large measure, guilty of shirking these kinds of intellectual pursuits and retreating into pietism, anti-intellecutalism, prophetic fanaticism, and separatism.
Continue reading “Compassionate Engagement: A Survey of the Life of Francis Schaeffer”