Hello, everyone. Today is Friday, May the 19th. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at ClearViewTodayShow.com.
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We're going to leave a couple of links in the description to help you do just that. But today, we have a very special episode. We do, and it has nothing to do with the creep that's behind you.
There's a creep behind me right now, I'm not going to lie. I don't love it. He wants his sunflower seeds, and he's angry that I took some.
Give me some seeds real quick. Settle yourself, because we've got to talk about the exciting episode coming up today. You know why he's doing this? It's because Dr. Shah is not here. Dr. Shah is out of town. Can I say that?
That's an understatement. He is on the other side of the planet. He's out of country.
Later on today, which really, for these guys listening to the radio, it's going to be a couple of seconds, but we are going to set up a Zoom call and talk to him from Turkey. I don't know, what time is it right there? It's like early evening.
Plus seven from where we are now. It's like early evening right now. I think it's pre-evening. It's the pre-evening. It's not the evening. It's not night. It's not the afternoon. It's pre-evening.
But anyway, I'm not sure what part of Turkey he's in right now. Instead of doing our normal intro, we're just going to cut right over to the other side of the planet, and we will talk to you guys right after this. That's right. Stay tuned. We'll be right back. Hey there, listeners. I'm John Galantis.
And I'm Ellie Galantis. We just want to take a quick second and talk to you about Dr. Shah's and Nicole's book, 30 Days to a New Beginning, daily devotions to help you move forward. You know, this is actually the second book in the 30 Days series. And the whole point of this devotional is to help us get unstuck from the ruts of life. You know, when it comes to running the race of life, it matters how you start, but a bad start doesn't ultimately determine how you finish the race. You can have a good finish, even with a bad start. And that's where this book comes in. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck.
Instead of going out and buying some gadget or some planner, like I know I've done several times. I know that's right. 30 Days encourages you to find your fresh start in God's Word. Life doesn't have a reset button, but our God is a God who does new things.
His mercies are new every day, which means every day is a new chance for you to start over. You can grab 30 Days to a New Beginning on Amazon.com. We're going to leave a link in the description box below. And if you already have the book, let us know what you think about it.
That's right. Send us a text, 252-582-5028. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show?
Let's do it. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com.
Or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. You can send us an email to contact at ClearViewTodayShow.com. We have a very special Clear View Today episode.
I know! We usually don't do interplanetary recordings, but I will say, if you're new with us, know that this is not normally how we do the show. But we do want to let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism.
We're going to hear about that very shortly. He's a professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. Dr. Shah, normally this is where we'd say, hey, we're in the studio today, but I'm in the studio. Ryan's in the studio. You're, I think, on the other side of town. Gardner-Meadow. Really, really on the other side of town. We are actually in Turkey. We are actually sitting on the turquoise coast. The Mediterranean Ocean is right there. If you see the water, that's the Mediterranean Sea.
The Mediterranean Sea is right there. That's crazy. We don't need your money. Amazing. Yep. How has your trip been so far? It's been amazing. It's been amazing.
It's been tiring. But every time we think, I don't know if I can do this anymore, we go to the next site, and we're just like, wow! It just gives you another, it gives you a second wind to keep going. Biblical sites have that element to them, where it's like, OK, I could travel and see anything in the world, but this is in the Bible. This is something that God has placed me here for some reason to see this in the here and now. That's incredible.
I would imagine, for you guys, it's like Scripture coming to life right off the page. All these places that you read about, now you're walking. Now you're drinking it in, and you're breathing that air.
Man, I can't even imagine. I always wanted to go to Turkey. But I wasn't sure if it was safe, and how it was traveled, and all those kinds of things. I should know better, because I've traveled in the Middle East, to Israel, to Egypt, Jordan, Greece. Greece is not in the Middle East, but I've traveled there. I've been to India several times. I grew up in India, so I know how it is.
But at the same time, I always had this hesitation. Until a few years ago, I realized if I am a New Testament scholar, and I want to be an authority, and I am an authority on Paul's writings, and Paul's missionary journeys, and even Peter's writings, because Peter is also writing to people in the northern part of Asia Minor, which is modern-day Turkey. I need to know the landscape.
I need to understand the geography. I need to be able to walk the steps that Paul, and Barnabas, and Silas, and John Mark, and of course, Peter, took in spreading the gospel into this part of the world. And so finally, I said, we're going. And here we are. Yeah.
It's amazing. It's like you said, being a New Testament scholar, you understand, I think better than anybody, that the context that these people wrote these words matters. God didn't place them in a vacuum. He placed them in Egypt. He placed them in Turkey. He placed them in Israel. And so the geography of where you are matters when you're reading the Bible.
And I think it's really cool that you can go and you can see these landscapes with your own eyes. What is it like to walk the streets where Paul walked? Well, like I was saying, one of our stops has been Tarsus. And it's surreal when you realize, when you just stop long enough and realize that the apostle Paul was born in Tarsus. He was raised there. And of course, I think he moved away when he got older.
And then there was another thing that happened, and I did not even know it. I was recording Avaran one day while we were still in Tarsus, and he started talking about Jonah. And when God told him to go to Nineveh, he instead got on a ship and went to Tarshish, which is Tarsus. Same place. Yeah.
Same place. Yeah. I mean, scholars say it could have been another place, another part, but more and more scholars are now coming to the conclusion that Tarshish and Tarsus are the same place. And to me, there's a significance there, because think about it. Jonah was running away from God, going to Tarshish so that he wouldn't have to go and witness to the Gentiles. And Paul raised an apostle from Tarsus who became the apostle to the Gentiles. Man, just that symmetry there is profound.
Yeah. And that's something that I've been figuring out with you, Dr. Chaz. We've been looking through Samuel a lot, that the geography of where we are matters. The places that God places these people. I know we already said that, but it really matters a lot, because there is a poetry to Scripture. There's a poetry to how God works. Even if that poetry takes thousands of years to see to fruition, for him, that's nothing. And for us, it's to our benefit, because people like you and Nicole can go see those places, put those pieces together, and then deliver the message in a new and fresh way. Yeah. We have an idea that everything in the Bible are principles or doctrines or statements or maxims or truths.
But it's more than that. They always have a landscape. I mean, everything began with the Garden of Eden, and then God called Abraham to leave his country and go to a land that he will show him, which, of course, we know as the land of Israel. And then God called his people out of Egypt. I mean, so the land is very much connected to our salvation history, if you may. It's all connected. And I would say, too, every time that I've gone on one of these trips, and I've gone back and started doing my devotions, and I get to a place in the Bible, and it says this one place, and you're like, wait a minute, I've been there.
I've stood on the streets in this city. And so it brings the Bible to life when you're able to go to these countries. And so what we're trying to do is we're trying to bring that to people who may never be able to travel to these countries.
We're trying to bring it to life for them. Yeah, I 100% agree with Nicole, because a lot of skepticism, whether it's in the secular world, or in the church world, or in the academic world, or in the Christian academia, is coming from a lack of faith in the names and places and events. And so we almost think like this is no different than the Chronicles of Narnia. Even though we know C.S. Lewis was a great apologist, we think it's no different than, say, the myths and mythologies, fairy tales, Disney stories. But that's not the case.
I mean, these are real places, real people, real events. Like we were in one of the museums, and we saw a plaque or a stone inscription with Sergius Paulus. Sergius Paulus was a very important individual in Asia Minor, southern part, who invited Paul and Barnabas to come and share the gospel with him.
Tell him more about it. How awesome it is that Luke talks about him in the book of Acts. And here we are in this museum, and there is his inscription, his name written out.
I took many selfies right there. I know him! It's like you're saying, it's not just places, not just landscapes that are jumping to life. It's these names, these people that I'm reading about this person in the Bible, and now I know from this other source that this isn't just a made-up name. This isn't like a mythological character. This is someone who actually lived.
There are records of him outside of Scripture, and then that just makes our confidence in Scripture all the greater. Lewis Buehler- We're hard-wired to relate to characters. That's why we watch so much fiction and we dive into these characters. But knowing that not only are these characters with lessons to teach us and stories to tell that apply to our lives, but they're real people who existed in the real world, makes them a lot more compelling and makes them a lot more relatable. They weren't dreamed up by some author somewhere. They were real people that God placed in history for us.
Debbie Wade- One thing, I was actually having a conversation with one of the people that's on our trip with us this week. I said, you know, it's amazing that archaeology is proving the Bible right. As much as they really would not want that to happen, they keep proving the Bible correct, because the Bible is the truth. And every time they excavate a new place, it lines up with the biblical narrative. D'Souza- And, you know, one of the things I noticed is when you look at Paul's missionary journeys, first one, second one, third one, he's coming through Asia Minor.
And it's amazing. Luke as a historian, when he gave the names and places of these, you know, the places where Paul went through, at one time, scholars used to argue and say, well, that's not what it's called. And that's not what we know him as. And, you know, Luke was not a good historian. Even until recently, many of you may not know about this north-south Galatian controversy.
Okay. Did Paul write to the ethnically Galatian people, the Celtic people to the north? Or did he write to the Roman province of Galatia that it became known later on? You know, for the majority of church history, people believe that it was a northern part, the Celtic people that Paul went to, and then he wrote to them, oh, foolish Galatians, and all that stuff. Now we were in one of the sites where they found an inscription with Galatia Pamphylia, which means Galatian province was not just to the north or the middle. It was all over the south. So I still believe in some ways that Paul was writing to those Celtic people as well.
I think the churches were spread out everywhere. But again, in 2023, there are scholars who are proving this, that the Bible is right. Something you told me years ago that's always stuck with me is that you can never eradicate truth. You really can't.
You can pile lies on top of it, and you can try to twist it and make it say. And for a time, people will believe it. But the reason the Bible has stood the test of time is because it's the truth, and truth can't be eradicated. Like I say, it could be covered up or it could be hidden, but God will always find a way to bring truth back out. That is very true.
I agree. Learning all this, historical accounts, pictures, videos, all these kinds of things, we're not stopping here because from this, our understanding of God begins to grow deeper. Our understanding of the Christian life begins to get richer. We begin to see that we have the same problem, which is sin. We have the same solution, which is God's son.
Always has been since the beginning of time is today and will be to the end of time. It is through Jesus and Jesus alone. And the Christian life, it's a tough life.
Like Paul says, we will enter into the kingdom of God through much tribulations. And I look across this little bay over here and know that Paul was shipwrecked three times. He talks about, I was shipwrecked three times. I mean shipwrecked. He also talks about being marooned, like they were drifting.
And I see this ocean, this is just a coastline. When you go further out and be out there 2000 years ago, drifting in a boat, and you're not their primary concern because you're some traveling preacher, prophet, something who knows what he is, but he's there with you in the boat now and preaching to everybody. So all the struggles that he went through, and it's a reminder to me, a reminder to us that Christian life is a struggle at times.
It's tough. Just because you're serving God, just because you believe the truth, doesn't mean that bad things won't happen to you. In fact, sometimes a lot of bad things can happen to you when you're trying to follow God. We tend to think of those episodes in Paul's life as just that episodes because we know how the story ends. So it's like, oh yeah, that Paul that time was shipwrecked or that time he was marooned. But as you were talking about it, that's going to hit me like, this dude probably was sure he was going to die. He's out there marooned.
No one's coming to help me. For us, it's like, yeah, I remember that story in the Bible. But for him, it's like, I'm done.
Paul hadn't seen past that story yet, so he's like, this could be it. I might as well preach the Gospel while we're here. If we're not going to make it off this boat, you guys are at least getting saved. That's a great attitude to have. Like, hey, if I got to go, I'm going to preach the Gospel on the way out. He used every opportunity to share the Gospel. And that's what I think I'm learning from this trip.
Ups and downs. I mean, some of the mountains we saw, I mean, it was unbelievable. I was like, I cannot believe that Paul on the Via Sebastian or going to these mountains, I mean, miles and miles of walking. And even the mountains are called the Tarsus Mountains. Taurus Mountains. Taurus Mountains. That's right. The Taurus Mountains.
Yeah. Well, when you actually see the landscape and see how jagged some of these mountains are, I cannot imagine what he went through. And some of these trips, some of these missionary journeys, they were not 20 miles. They were not 30 miles. They were hundreds of miles. Hundreds and hundreds of miles.
And they were over these mountains or around the mountains if you couldn't go over them, that you had to go around them somehow. So it's just, like I said earlier, it just brings the Bible to life. And when I began to read in the New Testament and I began to read Paul's letters to the Galatians and to the Ephesians and the Colossians and all these people, I'm going to remember what I saw. I can pull the pictures up on my phone.
It will literally leap off the page. Yeah. What's your favorite thing that you've seen so far? Well, it's only been halfway through the trip right now. We haven't gone to some of the other sites. Like we haven't seen Pergamum. We haven't seen Laodicea.
We haven't seen Ephesus. So there's a whole lot of places we haven't seen yet. Colossae, but we're going to go there in the next few days. I would say so far, Tarsus, I enjoy Tarsus, even though it's not much there, just the fact that I was walking in Paul's hometown.
That just got me. I would have to say right here in Patara, this is beautiful. I mean, we walked into the hotel room and through our hotel window, you can see the bay.
You can see the bay of the Mediterranean Sea. When you sit by the ocean and just hear the waves coming in, it's just relaxing. Ryan, you will know soon, but as you know, these trips can sometimes be grueling. The hours that you're on the road, that you're walking, that you're seeing, and even all the information that the tour guide and Dr. Rasmussen, he's giving us all this information and you feel like your brain's going to explode. You just can't fit any more in your brain.
And that's if you're not filming. And you come here to a place like this and it's just like you just kind of feel your body just relax and say, okay, I can do this. I can keep going. I will wholeheartedly encourage people to go. We take trips to Israel. We're taking trips to Greece coming up soon down the road. Egypt is coming up as well.
And I believe Turkey is going to come back. So I'm planning on taking a trip. I always go first, take Nicole with me. I go first because I want to know, I want to understand. And then I can take people and not be running around taking pictures and getting separated from the team. I want to know first, the landscape, everything, the people, the guide.
I want to be solid about him. Once that is settled, then I'm ready to take the trip. But I think after this, we're ready for Turkey. That's awesome. That's awesome. How has the trip been so far? So like first day you get off the plane, where do you go?
How do you end up to where you are right now throughout these last few days? Everything is in a sense taken care of. Price wise is very reasonable. People get scared of price. Oh my goodness. You'd be surprised how reasonable it is. And it's just unbelievable.
And go now. You never know. You may not have the opportunity later on or places may close up or get destroyed.
Like Antioch on the Orentis, which is where believers were first called Christians. I mean, think about it. We can go because of the earthquake.
That was back in February. Everything is destroyed. So we can go. What do the historical sites look like?
Maybe next year things may clear up enough to do that. So, but overall food is taken care of. You know, we eat lunches where we want to. We eat a lot of junk. Yes.
He's drinking tons of Sprite and Fanta. Things I don't usually drink in Turkey. Oh yes, they do. They have, they have everything that you would ever want here. And I will have to say, this was not what I pictured Turkey would be like. I think sometimes I believe sometimes we have preconceived ideas of what countries will be like. And then when you come in and you begin to do the tours, you're shocked because it's not, your preconceived ideas are completely obliterated. Well, I will also add, I mean, of course there's a lack of Christianity here. There's a sense of heaviness.
I can sense that. I mean, yeah, there's a lot of modernization. I mean, it seems like things are going well, but without Christianity, there's a huge part missing. You know, we talk about hope.
People don't have hope. So maybe you have some advancement, maybe some good things are happening. Maybe you can get by, but do you truly have the joy? Do you truly have the connection? Do you have that connection for which God made you, right?
There's a hole in your heart that can only be filled with God. And so all of this is part of, you know, coming here. So we're praying. We're praying for the nation as well and join the tour, but we're also praying for the people.
Yeah, absolutely. What is the, what is the religious situation like in, in, is there a predominant religion in Turkey or is it just, is it no religion? What does the religious affiliation look like? It's more of a secular state with Islam. So people are, a lot of people are secular.
They don't believe, atheistic or just agnostic, but then there's also Islam there. And I think that sort of controls the people. And, and so that's where I feel like the gospel needs to come. Yeah, absolutely. It's really sad though, to, to think about the fact that this is where Paul took a lot of his missionary journeys and there were so many churches here in the first and second century, and now you can't, the churches that were once, I mean, they're gone. That's the sad part.
Yeah. And I mean, I walk around on these ruins and I mean, churches were there throughout the Byzantine era, right up until four, 500 years ago, but now walking around it's so sad to see these buildings are gone. There's nothing but stones left, you know, some inscriptions here and there, some crosses, but overall it's a different world. And so, and that's a lesson for us in America, you know, Hey, you got to stand for the truth. You got to share the gospel.
You got to keep talking about Jesus Christ. That's true. Cause I can imagine the Ephesians or the Colossians or the Galatians might've felt that they were, that church would never evolve or that church would never be destroyed. This is where I'm living in now is the ideal. And that's what we all think. And we think the same thing in America.
Well, America can't fall. Look how great we are. Look how powerful we are. Look how much God's blessed us. Yeah, that's true. But you get away from those values and you'll see. All you'll be left with is a pile of rubble like you were talking about.
Exactly. It's sad to walk through those churches and know that there were people sitting here at one time. There were families here. There were new converts being baptized.
There were messages being preached. Like I was in Hagia Sophia. You know, now it's a mosque and that's where Chrysostom used to preach.
Of course, the building was destroyed a couple of times and all that has been rebuilt and renovated. But that's where, you know, I don't know. Some historians even speculate in a Sunday, as many as 200,000 people would come. Imagine 200,000 people worshiping in one church. You know, people talk about the big churches. 200,000.
How does that work? Maybe it's wrong, but you know, maybe the numbers are inflated. I don't know. But a lot of historians have said it was a massive church. And today it's not there. It's a mosque. So we need to learn from these places and people in the past. Amen. Sciplee, you just said something that sort of triggered my brain a little bit, where it was like, it's a mosque now.
And thinking about that passage of time, thinking about how much time has to pass to separate my emotions from where I am now. A lot of the people who listen to our show are in ministry. They're pastors, or they're associate pastors, or worship pastors, but they're in ministry. I mean, think about the fact that 1,000 years from now, maybe even 200 years from now, your church might be a mosque. Your church may be devoted to worshiping a false god. And the fact that we're okay with that, just because I'll be dead and it won't matter to me, is not at all how God wants us. You know what I mean? Like, there's a heaviness there, like you said, Dr. Shaw. It is.
He said something about it, and I said, you know, you're right. You know, the people and just that there's no, it doesn't seem to be any hope. And there really isn't. When you're talking about Islam, there is no hope in Islam. There really is not.
It's just if God happens to be in a good mood that day. Yeah. Well, that's not an assurance. You know that? Yeah. Right.
I think you told a similar story with your grandfather one time, Dr. Shaw. That's right. Yeah. And so that's exactly what Nicole is sharing. You know, there's no assurance of salvation in Islam. And only Christ offers that.
He's the only way truth in life. And so we're excited. We're hoping to have some pictures and videos coming out real soon. There's a series we're going to have on the seven churches in the book of Revelation. They're right here in Turkey.
All seven. I'm looking forward to hearing stories from the rest of the trip. I absolutely cannot wait.
I cannot wait. Thank you guys so much for taking time out of your trip to call in and have an interview like this. Well, thank you. I appreciate how busy both of you all are, and Nicholas back there, and David as well. Thank you guys for what you all do. We love you, and can't wait to see you all again soon.
Amen. We love you guys. We miss you. We miss you very much.
We'll see you soon. If you guys enjoyed this episode, or you have questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Or, you can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. And don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website.
We're grateful to all of you who are giving partners, and grateful that you're standing side by side as we seek to impact as many people as possible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Would you take me to Turkey if I asked nicely? Not right now. Maybe. Are you paying your way, or am I paying for you? Take me to Turkey kind of implies that I'm paying for you. Yes. Yeah, sorry. I apologize if that wasn't clear. It was pretty clear.
I cannot afford to take you to Turkey right now. Awesome. Well, you want to tell them we love them? We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clearview Today!
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