Rappers And The Resurrection

What does making a music video have to do with the resurrection? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A week or two ago I was driving through our town and heard a news story in the morning. Two rappers had been out on a public bridge for cars to drive across making a music video when they got hit by a driver. The driver was not charged with anything since the performers should not have been in the middle of the road. I do not think there were any deaths involved and the rappers were charged for creating a disturbance of sorts.

So I’m hearing this story and thinking in some ways it’s kind of amusing. There are a couple of people making fools of themselves out in the middle of the street and fate kind of happens to them. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson and they won’t do it anymore.

Later on still, I was driving and I heard more of the story. It turns out I was wrong about what was going on in my mind’s eye. I had pictured two guys out in the road making a disturbance when a car comes through and doesn’t have time to stop. Apparently, I had it wrong, but I think it was justifiable based on how the story was described.

As it turns out, there was a group of people in the middle of the road. I am not sure how many, but only two of them were hit. This wasn’t just a couple of guys then, but a whole entourage. Listening to the earlier story, I would have been sure it was a couple of guys only because that’s all that were mentioned.

What does this have to do with the resurrection? In the resurrection stories, we often hear differences on how many women or angels were present. The authors can mention different numbers. They can do this while knowing more were present. In John 20, Mary Magdalene is seen going alone to the tomb, but when she gets to the disciples to tell them about the body being gone, she uses the word we saying that “We don’t know where they put him.”

It’s my personal theory that each Gospel writer mentioned the women who were his sources for the story and/or were still alive to talk about the story. Of course, it could also be just at times highlighting the ones who did something, such as the case of the angels at the tomb. If only one speaks, that is the one focused on. In his research, Mike Licona calls this spotlighting.

We still do this today in many of our own accounts and I would contend that the original news story I heard was doing just that. The whole group didn’t need to be talked about because they weren’t relevant in the mind of the reporter to what took place. The two stories do not contradict, but rather they complement one another and one brings out fully what happened more.  The same goes for the resurrection accounts.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: Making A Meal Of It

What do I think of Ben Witherington III’s book published by Baylor University Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife has been exploring Orthodoxy later. I find it interesting that yesterday many of us line up so that people can have a small piece of bread and drink from one cup. My wife and I not being part of the Orthodox Church are not allowed to partake, but we get a blessing. After all of that, we go over to a life center and there’s a meal there where people can get what they want and we can all sit at tables and chat with one another.

It’s ironic to think that the latter practice could be closer to the Lord’s Supper than the former is.

Witherington’s book is meant to give us a theology of the Lord’s Supper. I was quite intrigued to start this book since so many Protestant/Catholic/Orthodox debates can take place around this. I have to agree with my wife’s assessment as we discussed it beforehand that what we usually get at churches should be more accurately called “The Lord’s Snack.”

Witherington starts with Passover. Is this a parallel to the Lord’s Supper? Not really. Passover looked back to the past. The Lord’s Supper is meant more to look to the future. Still, we can get a lot out of learning about how Jews observed meals and how that could differ from the way the Greeks did it.

In the middle, you get an interesting look at John where Witherington explains his reasons for thinking Lazarus is the beloved disciple.  The more I see this case, the more I think Witherington could be on to something. The historians among us will be interested in this as well.

Witherington will go on to talk about the text as it is found in 1 Cor. 11 and in the Gospels and various places in the book of Acts. It’s interesting that this is such an important feature to churches, but really very little is said about it. What is tragic the most is what has happened to the event over time.

As we move away from the idea of house churches and we establish public places for people to go to, the meal becomes less of a meal. It becomes more individualized with personal wafers and in our day, personal cups. It is not the host, the head of the household, who presides over the meal, but rather it is a priest or a minister. Of course, anyone who does preside over this event should be aware of how it needs to be done respectfully, but is there a problem with making it the responsibility of the clergy?

The table has also been a place of exclusion many times. Let’s remember that our Lord ate and drank with prostitutes and tax collectors. At the Last Supper itself, Judas was present and Jesus gave him bread specifically. Of course, the church wanted to make sure that people did not come to their feasts to disrupt them, but could the feasts themselves not be an evangelistic opportunity?

Witherington at the end talks about being on tours in other countries where the Lord’s Supper was done. One person who gave a tour was a Muslim who was apparently questioning. The other was a lapsed Catholic. Witherington talks about how he invited both of them to the table to partake of the elements. Conversion took place.

Ultimately, my view of the Lord’s Supper right now is that the meal is largely symbolic, but meant to draw us into the presence of Christ. Jesus is the real host at every event. As the bread is broken, we are to remember that the body of Jesus was broken. As the wine flows, we are to remember how the blood of Jesus was poured out on the cross.

All of this is meant to draw us into the presence of Jesus. Yet at the same time, we don’t have this like a funeral dirge, but we have it as a celebration. We remember that this was not the end. He is coming back and we look forward to when He reigns again in the future totally when the Father rules on Earth as He does in Heaven.

The meal after the Lord’s Supper could ironically be closer to the Lord’s Supper since it is actually a meal and it is actually us communing together and meeting one another. After all, when the supper was had at Corinth, people were gorging themselves and getting drunk. Hard to think of an individual doing that on what’s given out on many a Sunday morning.

If there was any change I would make to the book, I would like more footnotes when later historical events are talked about. I would like to know where I can find these events in church historians. For instance, I know Witherington shares the story about Origen castrating himself, but I am skeptical of this event being a real one instead of just a legend about Origen.

Still, this book really makes one appreciate the Lord’s Supper and it’s hard to not be moved at the last chapter with the stories of conversion taking place. Those wishing to understand the doctrine of the meal are advised to read Witherington’s book. He’s a top-notch scholar that has again brought us great information and it’s easy to understand.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Check The Bibliography

Where do you go when you open a book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Most of my time is spent reading non-fiction. The rule I am giving does not apply to fiction and does not necessarily reply to material that is more devotional or self-help in nature. However, if you read a book arguing that another position is wrong, I want to make a recommendation on how to start.

Recently a skeptic I have interacted with wanted to send me a book he wrote on Christianity. I agreed to this. The book will be reviewed when I finish it so I won’t say what it is for now, but I did pick it up and check recently the bibliography. That was a section that confirmed many of my concerns.

When I went, for the most part, I pretty much just saw the Bible quoted over and over. If there was any Christian scholarship interacted with, it was certainly the very rare exception and right now, I can’t remember any of it that I saw. I could be mistaken, but that is what I saw.

Now some atheist who wants to apparently claim some piety might say “But isnt’ the Bible the Word of God? Shouldn’t quoting it be sufficient?” Well, of course not. You see, if you’re arguing that the Bible is wrong, you really need to take it on in the most serious way possible. It’s ridiculous to think you can take a book written in another context, place, language, and culture, and just quoting it in your English translation is enough to show you seriously understand all of those aspects that affect it.

You don’t.

If you say God should make it that way, then your objection is really a theological one and I want to know how you know this. Who told you that God should do it this way because it would be easier on you? Who said that He should be beholden to follow your rules?

By the way, I hold Christian books to the same standard. When I read a Christian work like this, I expect it to argue with that which is on the other side. There are a number of “apologetics” books that I have gone after because the author did not do this. If we want our opponents to take us seriously and really interact with the scholars on our side, we should do the same with them.

This doesn’t apply to just Christians and atheists. A Christian writing against any position should quote the other side regularly. This even includes more debates that are in-house. I have been reading on Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy more lately and I would think a Christian writing about the other side being incorrect on something should be quoting that other side often. Show me that you have seriously interacted with the material.

When you get that book then, go look at the bibliography. If you’re at the bookstore and want to get a serious investment, do the same thing. Of course, you will need to know the scholars on the sides you’re talking about in order to examine this claim, so again, you have to study as well. Perhaps you want to read a book with a bad bibliography just for amusement or some other reason. That’s your choice, but don’t expect a serious argument.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/18/2018: Holly Pivec and Doug Geivett

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So your church has a new leader there. He seems like a good guy, but he’s extremely charismatic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some people have that kind of personality. The pastor you’ve always had sure seems to listen to him a lot.

This guy also has a fascination with miracles. It looks like for him, we’re on the edge of a great precipice. We’re at an age where something great is going to happen and it’s going to depend on us. We need to be doing the work of the Spirit here displayed in miracles. This is a miracle age.

And his word seems to be taken extremely seriously. Everything that he says is taken as gospel. He doesn’t really like to be questioned. Not only that, he’s not just at your church. He’s at several churches around you. It’s like he has this power over all of them.

He tells people how to spend their finances and what to do with education and what to do about marriage. Maybe in that last area, there could even be hints of impropriety. Ever since this guy came to your church, it looks like your church is about something else instead of preaching the gospel of Christ.

What’s going on?

It could be that your church has fallen victim to the New Apostolic Reformation. (NAR) This is a group of people insisting that they are apostles and that apostles are for today and your church cannot be in the fullness of faith without an apostle. There will also likely be prophets coming along for the ride as well encouraging the people in what they ought to do and not do.

Unfortunately, this is not harmless. There are plenty of people that have had their lives wrecked because they sat under the guidance of these people and their voice was treated as the voice of God. Fortunately, two people have done the work of equipping us to deal with them. They are Holly Pivec and Douglas Geivett. I don’t have the information for Geivett yet, but I can tell you about Pivec.

According to her bio:

Holly Pivec is co-author with Doug Geivett of two books on the New Apostolic Reformation or NAR, for short. She operates a popular blog on NAR, called Spirit of Error (www.spiritoferror.org). She’s a sought-after expert on NAR and has been interviewed by many high-profile media sources, including Religion News Association and the Washington Post. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

We’ll be talking about this movement that has affected so many churches in America and around the world and what can be done about it. How do you know if your church has been affected by it and if so, what can you do about it? I hope you’ll be listening to the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast on this topic. As always, please go on iTunes also and leave a positive review for the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Rules For The Honeymoon

How should you start your marriage off? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I use a program called Nextdoor here in the Atlanta area and with that, I am able to interact with a large number of neighbors. Recently, someone who is a travel agent put up a request wanting honeymoon ideas. I didn’t live in Atlanta when I went on my honeymoon, but I was able to give some advice and said upfront that I was in ministry. Well, why not give some of that here?

I am going to assume that this is a honeymoon gone on right after the wedding. If that’s not you, this might not apply the same way. Some couples go on a honeymoon later on after their marriage after all.

Let’s start with social media. Don’t. Sometimes it’s tempting to put all those wedding pictures on Facebook immediately and see what people had to say about the wedding and everything else. Let me tell you something about social media. Those posts and pictures are likely to stay up. Nothing says you have to read them now.

When I see people posting about how they just got married or saying where they have arrived I always ask them why they’re posting now. Why would you? Posting on social media makes it so that other people are interacting with you and you are more tempted to respond to them. Thus, when you should be cementing more and more your relationship with your new spouse, you are busy interacting with others. One marriage even got ended on the wedding night because the wife would not stop texting her friends.

It can wait. The world doesn’t need to know what you are doing and if you have lived according to Christian teachings, well, they already know what you’re going to be doing on your honeymoon. Also, I do hope you’ve done that, but sadly too many couples are having sex before their marriages. Saving it can make the honeymoon all the more special.

Do the same rule with email by the way. It can wait. There is no need for Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or anything like that on the honeymoon. Anything can wait until you get back.

If you’re a younger couple, like Allie and I were, please talk with your parents beforehand. I know parents always want to check on their children and make sure everything is fine, but I made a request clear to both families. Do not interact with us for that week unless it is an emergency. Parents don’t really need to be involved and really parents, do you want to hear about what your kids are doing on their honeymoon?

We all know I’m a big lover of the books, but this one is very important. Don’t bring them. You don’t need to do work on your honeymoon. If you’re in ministry, take a break from ministry. Seriously. The fate of the Kingdom of God does not rely on your doing ministry on your honeymoon. Of course, if you meet someone and they say they need the Gospel or some situation like that, do it, but don’t seek those situations out.

When we went on ours, the only book I brought with me was the Bible, because that is still foundational for our marriage. Other than that, everything else was left back at our apartment. (And no, we did not live together before we got married)

Reading The Bible Slowly

Should you take your time? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I do Bible reading generally in the morning with a chapter in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. I have also started doing Bible reading at night, except at night, I do it differently. I do this at two different times as well.

One time is when my wife is ready to go to sleep. I stay up some, but we pick a book of the Bible and go through it together. For now, we use the NET to go through and follow the paragraphs in there and just read one a night. I find that when I read the Bible out loud and to my wife in the evening, I tend to notice aspects of the text I haven’t noticed before.

The second time I do this is right before I go to bed. This time, it’s not out loud so I don’t wake up the Princess. It’s also shorter and I go by my memory. I pick the text that I am going through and usually read no more than two verses. You can vary this as you see fit. If I was going through the Gospels, I might read one pericope at a time for instance. That could depend on the length. If you wanted to go shorter, it’s your study and that’s up to you. Also, if I am finishing a chapter, I can go and add on a final third verse.

Right now, I am going through Hebrews at night. This is giving me plenty of insights into Hebrews that I never noticed before. What I do is go through the text and try to get it as ingrained on my memory as possible and then go to bed and ask questions about the text and explore what it means. I try to also connect this with the reading that I have done before. This helps keep the passage in its context for me.

I also have a commentary on Hebrews here that I have been going through as well. Having another guide helps me realize things that I might not have noticed on my own. I find this to be an incredibly helpful aid.

This also can give me something else to think about when I try to go to sleep at night. It’s not a perfect success as sometimes anxiety does still pop up, but when I have a text, at least I can think about that instead of any things I regret during the day or any time during the past or any concerns about tomorrow. If I want to pray about something I have found out, I can do that as well.

Going through slowly allows me to take my time and savor over a text as it were instead of being in any sort of rush job. Doing this at night means there is no interruption. Going before I go to sleep means I have something to think about. Again, this is just my suggestion, but I find it helpful for me and you can vary it as you see fit if you want to try it. After all, it’s your study and not mine.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Roman Catholicism. Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites Us

What do I think of this multi-authored work published by Moody Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Our story can begin from very different perspectives. We can look at Pope Boniface VIII who told us that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that the saved must be in submission to the Roman Pontiff. Later on, the Westminster Confession refers to the Pope with such great compliments as calling him the antichrist, Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition.

Can’t we all just get along?

Over time, we have indeed got along better. Still, we can wonder how this relationship works. How serious are our differences? Are the differences between a Protestant and a Catholic on the same level as those of a Methodist and a Baptist?

In this work, many evangelical Protestants state their opinion. Sometimes it can seem hard to get an overall idea. One side can seem to say we need to strive for unity. Another gets the impression that our differences are too radical and based on differences of the Gospel itself.

Many chapters deal with many different perspectives. I naturally found the chapters on history and such to be the most interesting. The chapter detailing conversions to Catholicism by people like Tom Howard and Scott Hahn were quite interesting. Sometimes, seeing people who I think should know better be concerned about supposed cracks in Protestantism, I just had to wonder. These seemed like pretty simple objections to me. It’s possible I’m missing something, but it’s also possible I’m not.

William Webster’s was the chapter I found the most appealing of all. This one involved a look at the doctrines historically, including how many of the church fathers interpreted a key passage like Matthew 16:18. Webster’s critique is one I think a Catholic should want to answer.

The question of unity is regularly raised. On the one hand, we want to be unified because there are opponents on the gate that want to get rid of both of us. On the other hand, shouldn’t a unity be built on truth? What if there are differences in how we see the Gospel? Do we brush those aside? Do both sides though want to return to a state where the other is the side of the devil?

There’s also concern over an increasing liberalism in Catholicism today, such that many other religions can be seen as being under salvation, and of course differences between the Council of Trent and Vatican II. While I have not heavily invested myself into these issues, they are quite concerning. I do know also that Pope Francis has been making a lot of waves.

So where do I stand from here? How about aiming for better-natured disagreements? I still cherish my Roman Catholic friends. I have no doubt many Roman Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ. I also don’t doubt that many are lost. The same I say about Baptists and Lutherans and Presbyterians and other denominations. I know many Catholics who I am convinced love Jesus more than I do and Thomas Aquinas is my favorite thinker outside the Bible.

But I do have things to think about. Can I discuss these with my Catholic friends? Absolutely. My main hope is that if we disagree, we will still part as that. Friends.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy 28th Birthday Princess!

What’s going on today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today is a special day, like all days, but some days are extra special. This is one such day. 28 years ago today the world was blessed with a demonstration of God’s beauty on this Earth as Allie Licona came into the world. Of course, that’s her maiden name. Today, she is known as Allie Peters. She has been the woman I have been married to for the past eight years. That means more than a quarter of her life has been spent being married to her man.

Princess. Let me say that you amaze me so much. Through your love, I have grown to be more and more the man I need to be. I have way more confidence than I ever did and my diet is far better than it has ever been. I have worked to overcome more and more hurdles. Of course, there is a long way to go, but you have made the difference.

You did it just by being you. It’s the strangest thing. I am no longer looking out for #1. Of course, there is that tendency to do that still, but more and more I learn what it means to sacrifice. I learn what it means to love as Christ loved the church. I learn to put my own desires on hold and do things I normally wouldn’t. In reality then, your good has become my good as I see your good as something greater and worth pursuing.

It is my hope everyday that I will do something to bring you joy that day. Your smile is one of the most beautiful sights I see and I love it especially when I know I am the one who brought it to you. When I go to bed and give thanks for my blessings, you’re one of the first ones I give thanks for. I cannot believe I have a beautiful and special woman in my life sometimes who shares everything with me. You share your life and body with me and now even have my name given to you and may you see it as a name that is a badge of honor to have.

Love is a sacred gift. Sometimes it’s said that the gift God gave us is Himself. Sometimes it’s said He gave us love. The answer is one and the same. God in giving us Himself gives us love for He is love. The same it is with you. The gift of yourself to me is the gift of love to me. That gift makes me want to be a better Christian. It makes me want to be more like Jesus.

I have something planned for you today. I really wish I had enough to do everything. If money weren’t an object, I would love to fly you to Kyoto someday or anywhere in the world you want to go. I have a hard time thinking of things that I want for myself nowadays. I have Jesus and I have you and that is plenty enough to keep me happy. I appreciate all the books I get from publishers and the like, but you are a far better gift than any addition to my library could ever be.

Princess. To some people, you may not mean anything, but to one person at least, you mean everything. There is one person at least who sees you as the bright spot in his world everyday and dreads a darkness where you are not there. You are loved immensely and any gift I give you will fall far short of expressing the true and deep love for you I have in me.

Happy birthday, Princess. May you have another wonderful 28 years and even more after this! Your man still wants to grow old with you.

Love you, Princess.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 8/11/2018: Michael Heiser

What’s coming up? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The divine council is a theme that occurs from time to time in the Old Testament. When we go to Genesis early on, we can see a few times it takes place in Genesis 1-11. These passages can sometimes be read in the sense of a royal we, but maybe they mean something else. When King Ahab is considering going off to battle and God has in mind to entice him to do it so he will die there, we see a divine council taking place. When we read Psalm 82, we get told about God sitting among the gods and saying to certain people, “I have said that you are gods.” Jesus even quotes this passage in John 10.

What is going on in these passages? Is there an Ancient Near Eastern motif that we’re missing? Is the Bible teaching polytheism? Could these passages somehow influence how we witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons? After all, Mormons seem to enjoy going to these passages to show a plurality of gods. Are they right? If there is a plurality of gods, how will that help with Jehovah’s Witnesses who are adamant monotheists? Besides, aren’t Christians supposed to be monotheists also?

To discuss these passages and how they interact with these groups, I am having a guest come on that many people have requested over the years and he was very willing to come on. We wanted him back in December, but a blizzard came through in his area unfortunately and shut down the power. Hopefully, all will go well this time. My guest will be Michael Heiser. So who is he?

According to his bio:

Michael S. Heiser (M.A., Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Ph.D., Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison) taught at the college level for twelve years before accepting a position at Logos Bible Software with a focus on producing ancient text databases and other digital resources for study of the ancient world and biblical studies. He is now the Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software (Faithlife Corp.) and a regular contributor to Faithlife’s Bible Study Magazine. He has also published widely in scholarly journals and is a best-selling author. His books include: The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (Lexham, 2015)Supernatural: What The Bible Teaches About The Unseen World and Why It Matters (Lexham, 2015); Reversing Hermon: Enoch, The Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ (Defender, 2017); Angels: What The Bible Really Says About the Heavenly Host (Lexham, 2018); and the 60-Second Scholar series: Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Study (Zondervan, 2018);  Brief Insights on Mastering the Bible (Zondervan, 2018);  Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Doctrine (Zondervan, 2018). 

Heiser advocates that interpreting the Bible in context means reading it in light of the context that produced it instead of Christian tradition or modern thinking. Readers discover a radical new relevance and coherence when they read the Bible through the eyes of its writer. Years ago, this passion for convincing readers of the importance of an ancient worldview prompted Dr. Heiser to create The Naked Bible blog and the popular Naked Bible Podcast. Dr. Heiser’s non-profit ministry (MIQLAT.org) provides translations of his work free of charge in over a dozen languages and has partnered with AllAboutGod.com to create the new YouTube Channel FringePop321, which seeks to engage people attracted to new age and popular fringe beliefs. To that end Dr. Heiser has also written two science fiction novels (The FacadeThe Portent) and hosts a podcast dedicated to discussing peer-reviewed research on these subjects (PEERANORMAL).

I hope you’ll be joining us for this episode as we talk about these topics. Please also go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It’s really inspiring to see how many people like the show.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Pastor. Let Questions Come

Should Christians ask questions? Let’s jump into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Monday I did a podcast with the Mentionables. In it, Marc Lambert of Hey, Pastor, talked about how as a pastor he encourages people to ask questions. Too many pastors seem to shy away from questions or tell people to not ask them or to just have faith.

An attitude of not answering questions does no favors to anyone in your congregation if you’re a pastor. Someone who is questioning is someone who is wanting to learn. When your children go to school, you want them to ask the teacher questions so you can learn. Do you not want them to learn at church?

My wife has been looking into Orthodoxy lately. I’m not a big fan of it, but I do agree with something that the priest at the church said. Truth doesn’t need to be afraid to ask any questions. He’s absolutely right on that. No pastor should be afraid of questions.

“But Nick! What if they have a question I can’t answer? What then?!”

How about this? You go and say “Let’s find an answer together.” Do the research with them. Show them how it can be answered. You will not only help them answer the question, but you will teach them that it’s okay to ask and how to go about answering questions.

One of the big reasons people leave the church is unanswered questions. They then buy into the whole idea that faith is believing without evidence. This is a blatantly false idea, but it still gets around. Sadly, too many people who will read a Richard Dawkins saying this will have more than enough evidence from their Christian friends that this is exactly what it means.

I posted a link to the Mentionables above. They also do have a network pastors where you can find people in your area who are willing to answer questions. These people, like myself, aren’t big names yet and will likely jump at the chance to do any work and will have openings in their schedules. This means that if you really just can’t get around to doing this, there are people who you can find who will help out.

Apologetics if you’re a pastor should be part of your ministry. Consider giving a sermon. When you open up the text, would it kill you to give some of the historical background? Could you talk about the date of the text and who wrote it and why? Could you perhaps share any archaeological data that has been found?

You can still go and explain the text and give an application. It is not that hard. When my grandmother died, I was one of three people assigned to speak at her funeral. I had ten minutes. What did I do? I spent the first five minutes talking about the resurrection of Jesus and how we know it’s true. I spent the last five talking about what it meant for everyone there who is a believer, including my grandmother. It worked great. The message got a lot of positive response. That took just a few minutes.

The best church my wife and I ever went to had a program set up where during the sermon, you could text in a question that you have. The pastor would then come out at the end and answer questions. If a question required a greater response, he would make a vlog about it sometime during the week for people to watch. No one could leave that church saying questions were unwelcome.

Pastor. Please encourage the asking of questions. Refusing them only creates future atheists. If people want to learn about God, don’t deny them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters