Thanks for coming! I plan to post a lot of interesting articles and comment on a wide range of things-- from political to religious, from private to public, from formal writing on public policy to snippets on random observations.
Monday, February 20, 2012
my notes for The Story, Chapter 1 (excerpts from Genesis 1-8)
1:1 (p. 1)’s “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”; God is…
-purposeful in creating order with freedom out of chaos (vs. capricious)
-gracious and lavish in His blessings (benevolent vs. deism or malevolent)
-creative (enjoys Creation), intricate (vs. deistic), extravagant (vs. mere function)
-distinct from his Creation (vs. New Age, pantheism) and Lord over it (vs. polytheism)
-eternal, powerful, and sovereign over nature and man
--> if you believe Genesis 1:1, the rest is a lot easier...
evolution vs. Evolution—and the “three gaps”
-surface intuition of natural selection and considerable evidence of "micro-evolution" (defined as "adaptation within the boundaries of a species")
-macro-evolution as extrapolation, science-flavored story/narrative vs. Scientificexplanation(ask a proponent to ‘explain’ how organism X turned into organism Y)
--> Evolutionary gap problems: from nothing to matter, to life, to human life
-Genesis 1:1,21,27’s three uses of "create" ("bara") to fill those gaps
--> BOTTOMLINE: God may have used evolution aspartof the creation story, but conflicts if it assumes away the Creator OR assumes that man evolved from something
1:2 (p. 1)’s “formless and empty, darkness…the Spirit of God was hovering…”
-w/ app. to our lives
1:26-28 (p. 2-3)’s made in the image of God, to “be fruitful and multiply”, to “rule over” the Earth:we are made in God’s image implies we are built/made/created to...
1.) convert chaos into order (with freedom) and to act with purpose (1:2)
2.) to be creative and to create things of use and beauty within our ‘work’
3.) value and enjoy creation as ‘good’
4.) be people whose word is good—that when it is said, it is as good as done
5.) respect the equality of all people and their individual differences
6.) exercise proper dominion/stewardship over nature and our resources
7.) bless God and others—as we have been ‘blessed’ by God
8.) work to empower others—as we have been empowered by God
9.) pursue teamwork and community as we do our work (1:26's ‘our’/Trinity)
10.) view ourselves as God’s royal ambassadors in the world (II Cor 5:17-20)
-->history and our story (done well) as an extension of God’s creation (Jn5:17, Heb 1:3)
-->see: the life and ministry of Jesus in all of the above
2:7 (p. 3)’s dust and breath
-dust as something formless (Gen 1:2), dry (w/ app. to spiritual matters and the springs of living waters), and so “common”
-Matthew Henry's "despicable...a very unlikely thing to make a man of; but the same infinite power that made the world (out) of nothing, made man (out) of next to nothing."
-God condescended to make something in His image—out of dirt!
-humility: God created us, out of dust, and we require His breath
-combo: we’re comprised of physical/spiritual, earthly/divine; natural/supernatural
1:27 (p. 3) and 2:18,20,23 (p. 4)’s male/female, equal but complementary
2:15, 24 (p. 4)’s first two “institutions”: work and marriage
-job as a blessing pre-Fall; meant to be a (redeemed) blessing post-Fall
-built/meant to work; but need relationships to be fulfilled as well
2:16-17, 3:1-3 (p. 4, 5)’s wide bounty and narrow prohibition
3:1-6a (p. 5)’s anatomy of sin
-1b’s injects doubt about God's word: "Did God really say..."
-1b’s challenging God's love/goodness: "you must not eat..."
-2-3’sadds “and you must not touch it" (self-control mechanism presented as a legalism)
-4's denial of God's judgment (costs): “you will not surely die”
-5's twisting of truth (adds benefits): "your eyes will be opened…you will be like God"
-6a’s looked (saw), took, ate, gave some to Adam
3:6b,9 (p. 5)’s failure and responsibility of Adam
-sin of omission / fails to intervene; God comes looking for Adam
3:1,9 (p. 5)’s questions to man—by the Serpent and God!
-the power of questions; see also: the ministry of Jesus
Two basic approaches to salvation
a.) 3:7’s own efforts; 3:8-10’s hide/denial; and 3:11-13’s “blame game” VS.
b.) 3:15b’s 1stprophecy of Jesus; 3:21’s covered by God’s sacrifice and death/blood; and 3:22b’s grace of finite life to restore right relationship with God (p. 5-6)
4:1-16à6:5,11-12’s progression of sin, but 6:9,13-14’s God’s rescue plan (p. 7-8)
-Genesis’ three Creation accounts: 1:1’s big picture (1), 2:4’s humans (3) and Genesis 5:1’s overview of history from Adam to Noah
8:16-18’s sin of Noah (Gen 9:20-23) vs. 8:21-22’s grace despite sin (p. 10-11)
-8:16’s command vs.’s different order (followed’s command on how to enter—the old world’s model!)
First and foremost, I am saved by God's grace as manifested most clearly through the atoning death of Jesus Christ-- and thus, adopted into His family. As a result, I increasingly seek to extend His grace to others in my daily life. On the home front, I am a husband and father to four young boys (two by adoption and two the more conventional way). Professionally, I am an economist who loves to teach and is active in public policy circles. Vocationally, I am an active writer and the author of three books (one on the book of Joshua; two on public policy-- one secular, one Christian). Finally, I am the co-author of a 21-month discipleship curriculum, Thoroughly Equipped, for developing competent lay-leaders in the Church.