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Can We Trust A Bible Written by Imperfect People? with Special Guest Dr. Michael Horton

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2020 1:00 am

Can We Trust A Bible Written by Imperfect People? with Special Guest Dr. Michael Horton

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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April 24, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 430 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1.  I understand God wills whatsoever comes to pass, but why did God will sin in the first place? I was reading  1 John 4:12  which says that God’s love is perfected in us. And the only thing that I could come up with is that maybe God’s love exhibited through mercy, grace and sacrifice requires sin to exist for their use.  

2.  How do you understand the Bible being the word of God? Are you committed to inerrancy and how would you explain that?

3.  What does it mean when Scripture tells us that God hates someone?  Romans 9  quotes Genesis stating, “Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated.” Several passages speak of God’s hatred as well. I understand that some language is anthropomorphic so we can make sense of it but this is a difficult one to understand. Can you help this make sense please?

4.  I have a friend who is converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, and he is a really nice guy and I love him a lot. He is very smart and philosophical about things. But lately I find that when we talk about stuff, I end up getting really emotional and angry. So far I’ve done an okay job about not expressing that to him. Do you have any advice about how to not be a jerk to my friend as he goes on his path, though I’d rather he didn’t go on that path?  

5.  I love our church and I know that Jesus loves the church despite all our failures, but when I hear about how false teachers enter into positions of influence and lead people astray it really troubles me. How do you guys stay positive that God will keep his church pure?


Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism  by Bradley Nassif, Michael Horton, Vladimir Berzonsky, George Hancock-Stefan, and Edward Rommen

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If God is all loving, why does the Bible say that he hated certain people. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity high on Bill Meyer along with pastor Adrian Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question.

At 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can always email us with your question at questions at core, and intro. We have one of our favorite people back with us today. Our good friend Dr. Michael Horton from the leadership team at core Christianity welcome my great to have you. Hey Bill, thanks, it's great to be back together with you in a drill I was a little concerned there at the beginning when you said one of your favorite people that threw me off. I'm thrilled that I'm the one you're talking about Mike.

It's always exciting to get to answer questions together and I'm so glad your your back so soon to so good to see you too soon to have you on the Mike know you can tell how needy IMC will Mike I one of the things we've been doing here over the last week or so with so much negativity in the news during the coronavirus crisis. We have been doing our best to share some positive stories with our listeners each day and here's one of those when residents in the small town of Earlham Indiana check their mailboxes last week they found a gift and anonymous donors surprise the town of 1400 people by purchasing gift cards to three local restaurants and arranging for the city to send them to every single household. Now those gift cards added up to more than $82,000 and they are helping the town's local restaurants survive by serving take-out meals well. How's that for a nice surprise guys while amazing you know your hearing more and more wonderful stories. During all of this.

It just reminds you that sometimes the most difficult times can bring out the best in people and also become opportunities for us to talk about the reality of death and life.

Yeah and you know I don't want it to my own horn but I think that were helping to keep the local Greek restaurant afloat. Just because were so very happy to work on their arrival at your first question guys and this is a call we have from Luke Luke from Bellingham Washington particular question. I understand that Scripture teaches that God has willed whatsoever comes to pass.

In Ephesians 1, Amos and limitations chapter 3 and James core contain some of the passages but my question is why you think God willed that sin should exist in the first place. First John 412. This is God's love is perfected in us. Millionaire could come up quickly, but maybe God's will exhibited through mercy and grace and sacrifice requires sin to exist for their use. I'm interested in your thoughts. Yeah, thank you Luke that's a great question is an impossible one. Ultimately answer right because we don't know the mind of the Lord.

As Paul says in Romans 11, who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor is given him anything that he should repay him, so it's his ways are not our ways and yet he gives us some revelation about himself to indicate that it's impossible for God to sin, to tempt, or be tempted by sin. I think one thing we have to stay away from Luke at the outset is any hint that sin was necessary.

When you use the term that he had to in order that Sin isn't necessary. Think of sin as you of the corrosion on a beautiful piece of silver or that stuff that grows on top of the casserole in the refrigerator that's been there for a year and 1/2, that's gross Mike that was really disgusting and I had to reach pretty far back into my college experience for that but then you know it's nothing so you know it's corrosion on something it isn't itself anything. Sin is a depriving of something good of its being. It's basically like tagging the Mona Lisa, you just spray paint over this beautiful masterpiece. Only God can create Satan only imitates and destroys Satan undoes the beauty he covers over the beauty and yet the beauty still shines through all right. So if you if you look at it that way. Luke God never creates evil he never creates sin.

He's never the cause of sin, but rather of the good that sin clings to write. So then we still have all those passages you're talking about work, God is said to will everything that comes to pass. Nothing is beyond his plan or purpose well you have to distinguish I think between the decreed of and permissive will of God, so God decreased things in different ways.

He doesn't have to decree that there will be evil in the world.

He decrees how he's going to overcome evil with good. And so guess evil is included in his decree in his plan in his purpose but he never decrees anything that he has already figured out how to conquer.

That's an important thing to think about. He never allows anything that he hasn't already determined from eternity. How he's going to turn it for his glory and the salvation of his people. Now we don't know how it works.

We don't know how our will is really 100% engaged and we are fully responsible and yet God is fully sovereign, but we know that both of those are true because the Bible teaches it. Genesis 50 verse 20 you know this is when Joseph's brothers come during the famine. They have thrown them in a pit left them for dead and now God has raised him up and made him Prime Minister of Egypt they come during the famine, and they don't recognize him.

Finally he reveals that he is the brother they threw in the pit and now he basically has power of life or death over them and their terrified and instead of exercising his right to condemn them, he says. As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring about that many people should be kept alive as they are today. So in other words, different goals for the same event. God is not the only agent actively determining things and executing things in the world but he is the only one who makes sure that the bad motives of sinful creatures don't for his purposes in the same event. God has one purpose, and the brothers have another purpose and because God is the one who sovereign God's purposes cannot be thwarted is not good news. Great.

And so it's wonderful to know that God doesn't blame sin into the world. God doesn't bring evil into the world, but he sovereign over how far he's going to let evil go in this world and in our lives as bad as it looks around us at times.

We have no idea what it would be like if God were not restraining the evil of our own sinful hearts. While that is such a great response Michael to Luke's question Lou thank you for your your thoughtful question. We do appreciate that your listing the core Christianity Dr. Michael Horton has joined us today and Adrian we have a question for you. This one comes from Roger who emailed us and he says how do you understand the Bible being the word of God.

Are you committed to inerrancy and how would you explain that I am committed to the doctrine of inerrancy and I would go to a verse in the Bible.

Second Timothy chapter 3 verse 16.

Listen what it says there and I think this really sums up what it what it is that I'm thinking about when I think about this doctrine. Ultimately, all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be completely equipped for every good work. Inerrancy. I think is key because it's the authority of God's word that makes it profitable for Paul to be able to make this statement all Scripture is able to reprove to rebuke to teach us to train us will look at if the Bible wasn't true. That wouldn't be the case. The problem that we see so often today and it's the age-old problem. It's what Satan tried to do way back in the garden is people question what God has said instead of believing God's word. What we do is we tell ourselves. I don't have to believe it. For this reason or the other I don't have to believe it because I don't think the manuscripts were copied the right way or I don't have to believe it because it's not clear you know I need somebody who can interpret it for me and so I am not accountable to the word of God. I think Satan has all these different ways that he tries to convince us that the word of God is not trustworthy. Paul wants us to know what I think this is just one of the characteristics. One of the attributes of Scripture that it is authoritative that were hearing God speak to us.

I mean that the language there in second Timothy 316, really is beautiful. It's as if when you hear the word of God.

God is breathing on you for what it what wild image and yet were supposed understand that this is God's word and because it's God's word because God is the one who, speaking to us. We listen carries weight it carries authority.

We are not the judge of God's word.

God's word judges us and it makes us alive. Roger appreciate your question. Thank you Roger for emailing us. By the way our email address.

Really easy just questions at core, you can also call us with your questions at 833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 Mike we have a question from Maluku posted on our Instagram page and he says, what does it mean when Scripture tells us that God hates someone. Romans nine quotes Genesis stating Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated several passages speak of God's hatred as well. I understand that some languages anthropomorphic that we can make sense of it, but this is difficult for one to understand. Can you help me make sense of this. Please very well informed way of asking a very difficult question. Luke, I think first of all, you're right that we do have to understand that much of the language in Scripture when speaking about God and his attributes is anthropomorphic language that is language that draws upon familiar experience of human beings and how they behave and yet God himself says I'm not like that really. I'll use that as an analogy, there's some similarity there enough that you can understand this, but he does say that he loved Jacob and hated Esau. It's not the only place in Scripture. As you know, there plenty of places in the Bible tell us that God you know hates the wicked, or God hates those who transgress and I remember Luke when I read this in Romans nine Jacob I loved, but Esau have I hated even before the twins were born, having done nothing good or bad. So that would be according to God's election, I threw my Bible across the room. I was a teenager and I was going for Romans and Romans was wonderful was revolutionary that I got to Romans nine, I thought oh my goodness this much.

It took me about two days before my Bible up again and I said you know what actually this might be a sign that you're actually dealing with the real God.

If you're not in control. Reality is like that sometimes you hear something you don't want to hear because there's actually someone pulling at the other end so there are lots of passages that tell us that God hates people. There are lots of passages that tell us that God loves all that he is made. Psalm 145 verse nine he sends rain upon the just and the unjust alike.

Matthew 545 God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, John 316. I think what we have to do here Luke at this point is distinguished between God's hidden this and revealed nest 101 on earth does that mean God hides himself in majestic glory know I can see the splendor of God, the cherubim hide their faces in God's presence at its blinding glory, and so God conceals himself close himself in our humanity descends in the person of Jesus of Nazareth eternal son glorious divinity in himself assumes our humanity descends to us and is just like any other man, so much so that people say. Isn't this the son of Joseph and Mary, whose our kids grow up with him and played stickball in the street and he claims to be the Messiah. I don't think so.

Can you so fully human.

And so he failed his glory in our humanity. And that's what he does when he tells us whosoever will let him come to me God so loved the world, that's what God is revealed, we shouldn't go beyond what God has revealed about himself to sort of divine. His secrets we know from Scripture that God has chosen whom he will choose and that's mercy. What if God had just left it up to our free will. None of us would be sick were all dead in trespasses and sins, God is not actively turning people who are in a neutral position against him. Rather, God is simply leaving the rest and mercifully choosing those whom he will draw to himself as Jesus said in John six no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him.

Now that doesn't mean we don't choose him, but it means we choose him because he first shows us and so this is a very important doctrine that were taught in Scripture. But when it comes to knowing whether God loves me. You know, we don't sit down with the Daisy and say he loves me he loves me not. He loves me he loves me not. We go to the revealed word, not his secrets but his revelation which is come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Answer that invitation and you will know that you are one. He's love from all eternity. What a beautiful response and Mike, I really appreciate the answer and I also appreciate the fact when we have you on the show we just hand you all the most difficult questions like why world and Jacob I have loved Esau I've hated so thank you for taking the blows you save up all the really hard ones for you. Mike is very close. By the way, we should mention guys this is core Christianity and we have a special offer of this month which is awesome. Bible study on the book of Romans as speaking of the book of Romans remake was just talking about that that wonderful passage is a difficult passage for many in Romans chapter 9 about God's sovereignty and God's love for his people. This is a 10 week study that is to help you dig into this very important letter that the apostle Paul wrote in I know that you're gonna be edified. You're gonna be encouraging your faith that you dig into the Scriptures that is to understand more and more who God is and what he's done for you so you can head over to core to get your hands on this Bible study on the book of Romans is yours for a donation of $20 or more and so that you take advantage of this. You can also call us anytime at 833-843-2673. That's 833 the core right we have a caller on the line. This is indigo with the question for us and he's a really nice guy and I love them a lot and he's very smart and philosophical and thing that lately I find that when he talks about when we talk about that that I end up getting really emotional and angry and so far I've been an okay job but not expecting that to him that any advice you have about how not to be a jerk to my friend as he goes on a path that I'd rather he didn't go on that path would be really great thank you I hey indigo, thank you for that question, boy, I've had I've had friends even close friends who converted to things like orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism, and it's hard to know because you get into these discussions and you love this friend you know you want to see them continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ and there. There are some serious problems with some of these traditions, I would say don't just dismiss your friends questions and concerns. Sometimes people convert to something like orthodoxy are looking for something that is good that they haven't been able to find in their evangelical Christian church that you sometimes are tired of the fluff. They want something that's substantial or tired of lack of historical rootedness they want to church with structure, and a sense of being ancient tired of the lack of reference that we so often see in many churches today are the one feeling of something holy and something different or one of the big ones that I've I've seen over and over again is tired of divisions we just feel like all the churches so divided they want to be a part of the church that they think is totally unified and one. There are valid concerns but here's where the substance needs to come from and this is that the sad thing that I seen so many times and people you know will will go to some of these traditions they're looking for the substance in something other than the word of the gospel. A lot of times people convert to something like orthodoxy assume that they discovered the ancient church, when in reality the Orthodox Church has a developed tradition just like the Roman Catholic Church or your typical Baptist Church silk recognized that your friend probably has good intentions. You don't need to be angry. Maybe he's looking for something good you need to be mad at him, but maybe steering the discussion toward the gospel what it is that that we find in God's word that so important that I think a lot of times is missed in some of these traditions that tend to emphasize data. Some of the sort of developed religious practices. Sometimes you don't find anywhere in the Bible instead of focusing on the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith. And so I would say pray for your friend and I I know that there are also some really good resources.

This is such a big question Mike effect if you wrote up a book kind of back-and-forth discussion with an Orthodox theologian on the doctrine of justification, didn't you. You contributed to one contributed the outset. One of those three or four views books go to work. Show notes today and will leave it there. I love the way you talk about this a drill that it not necessarily that he's looking for wrong things, but that he is looking for some of the right things in the wrong places, not realizing that it's a lot more complicated than he might think at first here's the problem with a lot of the websites for Easter orthodoxy and Roman Roman Catholic cold communion website. For example, is that their very apologetics oriented to the point where let's just say they don't give you completely accurate information about the history and teachings of those traditions.

It's definitely trying to get you in the front door and I think anybody who's thinking about making that jump has to definitely look before they leap, they have to delve into it themselves and not rely on apologetics websites, and indigo. Let me just again say you know II know how difficult this can be you. You love your friend you care about your friend. Go to the Scriptures and look to Jesus a minute something that we say over and over again on this program and the reason we do is because you just can't reinforce this enough. It's so easy for us to take our eyes off Christ to fix our eyes on human traditions on our own works righteousness. That's our sort of default setting but when we look to Jesus all of that melts away when we see him standing in his perfect righteousness that gift of that righteousness that he gives to us.

You know that something that I think, sadly, is not emphasized in a lot of these traditions and I think what you want to do.

And in this time with your friend is to have conversations with him is go to that Jesus, the one whose perfect one whose good. The one who gave himself for us. We got an email question here from Victor.

He says I love our church and I know that Jesus loves the church, despite all our failures, but when I hear about how false teachers enter into positions of influence and lead people astray.

It really troubles me how you guys stay positive that God will keep his church fewer Victor. First of all, we have absolutely no reason to believe that the church is not going to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream of this passing evil age. We have no reason to believe that except the promise of our risen Lord Jesus Christ who said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Matthew 1618, Jesus told his disciples in Luke 12 do not be anxious, God cares for every sparrow he'll certainly take care of us and all who confess him Jesus as the Messiah will be saved. The good news here Victor is were not building the church, Christ is we're receiving a kingdom it's our inheritance and just as in our own personal lives. We see a lot of ups and downs and can't base our objective status before God on how we feel and what's going on around us in so many times we slip up and fail and fall in sin so we can't say Christ is the band of the church because of all these false teachers running around. This is always been the case when people say I wish we could go back to the apostolic church.

I say which one, the one, the church of Galatia that almost that is the church anymore. The church is always been on the receiving end of salvation. The church has no potential to save itself is always on the receiving end of God's word wherever God's word is faithfully proclaimed, particularly his gospel clearly preached.

There is a church no matter how messed up it is.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together

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