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Theology Thursday Roadtrip!

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
The Truth Network Radio
July 28, 2022 10:56 pm

Theology Thursday Roadtrip!

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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July 28, 2022 10:56 pm

Theology Thursday Roadtrip!

Steve talks to Ken Casillas, Billy Gotcher, and Timothy Hughes today about theology and the event they are driving to.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network.

And now here's your host, Steve Noble. OK, we're doing something a little bit different today on Theology Thursday. Welcome back, everybody. Hope you're having a great week.

Something a little bit different today. And when you deal with the summertime for people that teach like myself, but especially at the collegiate or the seminary level, then their schedules are totally different. So Theology Thursday and scheduling Theology Thursday is a little bit more challenge in the summer, unless you're a more of a high school level teacher like me. And then I'm available pretty much all the time.

So that's the beauty of that versus being at a really high level like at, well, like at Bob Jones University or in this case, BJU Seminary. So we've got several professors who are road tripping back today from a Bible faculty summit, and we're going to talk to them about several different things. And if you feel like throwing up a little arrow prayer, just pray that the cell service holds out and everything goes well.

So this will be fun. I don't know what it's like to be in a car with a bunch of seminarians on a road trip, Dr. Ken Casillas. So why don't you tell us where you're calling in from? And it's good to hear from you. How you doing?

Hey, doing fine. We're actually making our way to Cincinnati right now. Ah, going right by the museum there and the ARC experience. I don't know if you have ever done that, but it's supposed to be pretty cool in Covington. So where were you guys, Ken?

And tell us about a little bit why you were up there. We were up at Detroit Baptist Seminary, and this is an annual event called the Bible Faculty Summit. And it rotates among different schools, but I think we had about a dozen different colleges and seminaries represented. And different members of their Bible faculties and a few other people that are involved in writing or teaching or even pastoral work come together. And it's an opportunity to share research projects and know what I'm thinking about and discuss our findings. It's a really great time.

Yeah, I can imagine. I mean, I think for most of us, Ken, we kind of put this stuff into the context to understand what you folks are doing. That a lot of people go to, quote unquote, an industry convention. They go spend several days with people that are in the same industry and they're kind of sharing new technologies or what's going on, a general update.

They're all concerned because they're kind of in the same in the same pool, so to speak. And I would imagine for you guys who you spend all your year there at BJU Seminary to be able to sit down with other professors from different schools around the country. That's got to be pretty invigorating and fun, as well as challenging and informative, I would imagine.

Yeah, it's great. It's like you said, sort of a professional conference. And there are different theological societies that have meetings like this once or more times a year.

And this is a really special one because we're a little bit closer to these schools. And the way it works is people submit paper topics. And if yours gets picked, you get a slot where maybe for 30 minutes you read it, you present it. And then you have a time of Q&A and discussion. And that's just it's just a blast.

Yeah. And so that's that would be fascinating. And how often can when you're at a Bible summit like this, a faculty summit, do you hear something that's completely kind of out of left field or different or kind of an abnormal perspective?

Or is it just kind of consistent, but yet maybe a little bit deeper than what you're used to hearing? Well, the topics and the people are vetted pretty well by the committee that runs it. I wouldn't say there's anything, you know, coming from out in left field, but there was definitely a span of people. So, for example, you had people that were dispensationalists, you had people who were covenant or reformed, some people in between. And so there are certainly issues that come up that we don't agree on. But it's good to kind of look at each other face to face and treat each other as real people, believers, brothers in Christ, and discuss these things.

Yeah. And that's something that whether you're teaching at a seminary level or not, every believer needs some help with that, especially after the last couple of years. We've seen so much division in the church over things that were important topics, but certainly not anything to divide over. How many people attended this? I think there were probably about 40 different professors and others that were involved, something like that.

And I think that's pretty typical. But it meets every summer about this time of the year. And is it always at the Detroit Seminary or does it move around? No, it moves around. So usually the participants, their school will host it on a rotating basis.

I think we've done it three or four times at BJU Seminary through the years. And so that way, not not everybody has to travel every summer. And so.

All right. Let me ask this question, because as soon as I heard that this was going to be an option, I was thinking, why are you guys driving from Detroit all the way back down to Greenville? Because that's a pretty good road trip. Yeah, I mean, it's about 10 hours of driving, but it's about a 12 hour time frame overall. And, you know, we have flown to these things before, but probably because of the number of guys, actually, there's supposed to be a couple more that had to back out at the last minute. So just because it's a little bit larger group, we decided to save a little money and make the road trip.

Yeah, especially with the way the economy is today. How many how many professors are with you, Ken? So there are three of us who are full time professors. We have another fellow who has a Ph.D. and he he helps with our seminary office and also teaches some on the undergrad level.

And then we have another fellow who teaches or who writes for BJU Press and is very much into theology as well. Now, are you all in the same car right now? Right now, we're in the van and I'm in the middle.

All right. So when you've got a bunch of seminarians on a road trip together, who controls the radio? Actually, I don't think the radio's been on a while. Probably because we've been discussing a lot.

That's what I thought. Especially coming back. You know, we're kind of kind of following up on the papers and talking about what what we like and what we question.

Yeah, that's great. So when we come back, we're about to hit the break. And so when we come back, we'll get Billy Gotcher.

Billy's been on the show before. And he's going to just kind of go over what some main takeaways from some of the papers that were presented. Yeah, he's going to share some highlights.

Great. And then we're going to talk to Timothy Hughes in the segment after that. I read Timothy's paper, which is fascinating for me as somebody that could qualify as a, quote unquote, ministry leader.

That was a great paper. And and that's a great question. We're going to deal with that. And then we'll come back to you at the end, Ken, to talk about something that confuses a lot of Christians and sometimes gets used against us.

The Old Testament law versus the way we live in the New Testament. We're talking to several professors from BJU Seminary. This is Steve Noble and The Steve Noble Show on a Theology Thursday road trip. We'll be right back.

Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show. It is Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary doing a little bit of a different take on that today. It's Theology Thursday road trip with several professors from BJU who are up in Detroit at a Bible faculty summit. And a bunch of different papers are presented. So you've got a lot of deep theological thinking going on there and great writers and like just like we get with the blog post every week from our friends at BJU Seminary. And sometimes a Bob Jones University depends on the guest. These are all incredible thinkers, great thought leaders, great writers. And so when we can dip into that pool, because the vast majority of you, as well as myself, are not spending a lot of time exposed to that level of theological, biblical thinking.

But we should get more than we do. And that's one of the main reasons we do Theology Thursdays. So I kind of help bridge that gap between professors and seminarians that you otherwise would never encounter yourself and bring them out here at the street level and engage and encourage and help teach us and help us grow in wisdom and knowledge. And that's why Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary is such a blessing. But today they're on their way back.

A pretty long drive from Detroit back down to Greenville, South Carolina. So joining us, Billy's been on the show before Billy Gotcher, one of the professors at BJU Seminary. Billy, how are you doing, my friend? I'm doing great, Steve. Good talking to you.

Good talking to you as well. It's a little different than the last time you were on as you guys are cruising down the highway. But I appreciated Ken kind of giving us the overview of what it was like there at the Bible Faculty Summit. But I know you've got some kind of some of the main takeaways from the papers that were presented.

Let me ask you this right quick, Billy. How many papers, like how long was this and how many papers were presented? We started on Tuesday night with two papers.

Everybody presents about 30 minutes and takes about 15 for question and answer. And we had a total of, I believe, 13 papers presented. So we were all day Wednesday. So we did three in the morning, three in the afternoon, two at night. So Wednesday and then we had two on Tuesday night and another three this morning. Yeah. Is 15 minutes of Q&A with a bunch of seminary professors enough time?

Oh, never. But there's always conversation. So like when you go to dinner or lunch and you sit down with the people that, you know, that the guys who you had more questions.

So there's always questions at night when we're done. So the guys who presented usually will get the people who are most interest or most follow up. So you get an opportunity to sit down and talk further, talk among each other, which actually we probably spent the first three hours of drip way back, just talking through some of the issues. We were all, you know, been presented and the different nuances. So it's really a refining time on your thinking and an amazing opportunity to learn from others who spent a lot of time thinking about some very specific issues and have read deeply, thoroughly and are presenting it. And, you know, there's in one sense, those 13 papers, you're digesting hundreds of hours of people's study, thought, reflection and putting that carefully into a paper. So, yeah, that's that's great.

Yeah, it's a great opportunity. And to be able to kind of glean from all of that work of different people is really awesome. So what were some of the main takeaways for you, Billy, being there at the conference? Well, two of the sessions dealt with and this is just interesting to me. There's kind of been a resurgence in a confessional sense for some King James only type proponents coming from what would I say was an unusual source. So and there were two papers that kind of dealt with that issue. So that was I mean, one of them just dealt with the promise of Psalm 12 and about what is the nature of that promise about the pure words and then getting into the Lord will keep them, the Lord will protect them. And so it was just does that promise with many people?

Well, some have taken missions in many sort of taken proponents of being like the King James is the only English Bible to say that that is a promise of a perfect preservation. And so there was a really deep dive on that text that really what this text. Yeah, we've we've discussed that before with some of the other guests on Theology Thursday in the past year, which was always fascinating. What else kind of stood out to you?

Well, there was one of the last four. I mean, we just dealt this morning was one of them just dealing with the nature of talking about the biblical story. So we've had long conversations about that from being the fall and some creation and fall and redemption and then talking through the nature of redemption always involved with judgment. So, yeah, I'm sure there's judgment to get to redemption. And so that conversation around redemption being one of the grand themes, but not to miss the fact that there's judgment in redemption. Yeah, and I think I think one of the things that we struggle with kind of just regular Christian folks out there is you kind of forget as people do their daily Bible reading or they're in a Bible study, they'll look at it in a very the entire scripture.

They'll look at it in a very fragmented way. And I think sometimes we we lose sight of the grand narrative from creation to the fall to redemption and restoration to understand that everything you're reading is part of this much bigger narrative. And I think a lot of times people struggle to kind of remember that.

Right. And that's one of the current major studies, too, with several papers for dealing with the nature of intertextuality. So references in the New Testament to Old Testament story and how these are bridging the entire story of scripture.

Have you ever seen, Billy, I'll share this a couple of times a year on social media. There is a highly detailed graphic out there. It looks like kind of a confluence of a bunch of different rainbows, a bunch of arcs, and it basically shows all the references in the New Testament to the Old Testament. So you have all these arcing lines. It's literally massive, but it's one of the amazing things that I think often we lose sight of. Yeah, actually, I think that graphic was actually shown in one. Yeah, it's really amazing to see the consistency of that.

And of course, people that are trying to tear down the Bible when you have to start dealing with that type of reality, they lose their footing quickly because to think that that could all be engineered by creating something out of whole cloth that wasn't inspired over the course of several thousand years is absolutely ridiculous. What else kind of jumped out at you? Well, I mean, you're going to talk to Ken and Timothy, so I don't want to steal theirs.

I thought they did a great job, so I'm going to cheer them on. It was wonderful to sit and really think about what God is doing in human history, in the fulfillment of His purposes and plans. And the neat thing is to sit with brothers from a lot of different places, and yet we're sitting around the authority of God's Word with no debate about that. And we are wanting to know what God has said and present it well to others. And if, you know, when you get into the grand story of redemption and creation and drawing people to Christ, and then ultimately the celebration, we get to look forward in His presence. I mean, that's a pretty sweet time to fellowship.

Oh, man. Yeah. And I think that and I mentioned this to Ken, it's a good example for all of us that, you know, you're going to have some differences here and there with a group like that coming from different institutions and and some different perspectives here and there. Yet you agree on all the majors and you're all brothers in Christ. And that's that's something that I think we need to work on in the church, especially after the last couple of years.

I mentioned that to Ken. That's a great example for all of us that you can have sweet fellowship and grow and grow in sanctification and knowledge. While at the same time, you can have some some differences that are real and significant, but don't destroy that bond in Christ. I think it's a great example for all of us. Yeah.

And it is it's great. I mean, we had, you know, there was a tremendous, you know, kind of a more almost a little maybe on a devotional level. Yeah.

But it was really good on the nature of Proverbs and how Proverbs plays into our whole sanctification and the pursuit of holiness. Wow. Yeah. So awesome. I appreciate you spending some time and sharing with us, Billy. We appreciate you guys being on the road and helping us out and sharing.

I'm going to put you guys on hold. We'll be right back after this talking to the professors on a road trip from B.J.U. Seminary. This is Steve Noble.

Welcome back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble Show. Great to be with you today doing Theology Thursday from the road with several of our friends at B.J.U. Seminary. We're just up in Detroit for a Bible faculty summit. And one of the papers that they shared with me, which I appreciate, was written by Timothy Hughes. And this one was particularly appropriate for me. And let me just tell you the title, then I'll just set it up a little bit. Then we'll get Timothy in to share with us and help us walk through it. And I've got some questions for him.

Save yourself and your hearers. The relationship between the minister's sanctification and ministry effectiveness. This is looking at First Timothy. OK, the minister's sanctification. So the personal, in some ways, private life of a pastor, a minister, a ministry leader, their own sanctification, their own walk with the Lord. How are they doing in sanctification and holiness and purity versus the success of their ministry? So to put it in kind of simple terms, layman's terms, the more sanctified and the more holy the minister or the pastor is, does that mean the more successful their ministry is? And then on the opposite side of that, the more you struggle and fall and sin, does that inhibit the strength and the, quote unquote, success of your ministry? And then you have somebody like Ravi Zacharias or any other major Christian ministry leader who builds an enormous ministry, either nationwide, worldwide, whatever, and then they fall. And you find out, like in the sad case of Ravi Zacharias, he had years of really, really a dark other side.

Yet from an earthly perspective, there was a whole lot of success there. So this is a fascinating topic, and this is the paper that Timothy Hughes wrote and then shared there at the conference and really appreciate the chance to talk through this. Timothy, thanks so much for being on. How are you? I'm doing good. How are you?

I'm very well. Thank you very much. I love this topic and read the whole paper. It was excellent for me as somebody that's kind of a ministry leader. It hits close to home, which I appreciate.

But how did you get on? Why did you pick this particular topic? Yeah, you know, that's a really good question. I basically wrote my dissertation on this, and years ago, at the time, I wanted to do something. You know, I didn't want to spend a couple of years reading a liberal theologian, you know, so I could tear him apart. I wanted to spend time in the text of Scripture, and I wanted, you know, I'm really thankful that the Lord led me to this topic and my committee approved me. It helped me with it. It gave me time to think about things I really needed to be thinking about anyway. It was a good challenge. And, you know, growing up, my parents' room as a kid had this little Bible verse from, I think, 2 Timothy on it.

Boy, I should know which chapter, but it says, you know, basically, you'll be a vessel for honor, sanctified, and me fitting for the master's use. That was kind of ingrained into me. It's always, you know, been aspirational, but I think that played in a little bit, too. But it was great jumping into all three of these letters, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, which we tend to call the pastoral epistles, and a lot of people write them off.

And I like to argue they're for everyone, but in a special way. Yeah, and that's where it gets interesting, because you can look at a couple of cases as I read through it, Timothy, and I was thinking about whether there's some incredible men of God out there who are sanctified in Christ and growing in Christ and living lives that are above reproach. They've got great families, yet they pastor a small church, they pastor a small ministry. It doesn't look like this is some kind of superstar ministry. And then you've got people on the other end of that, like Ravi Zacharias, who flies all over the world.

And then we find out, sadly, that he's lived a really, really depraved life for years. And so help us understand kind of what's the nature when we say a successful ministry. What do we mean by that?

Yeah, and that's really the burning question, right? And so, you know, when I started down this journey, I was really interested. There's so much material in 1 Timothy, is what my paper this time focused on. There's so much material in 1 Timothy that addresses the ministry leader at the level of his heart, his spiritual growth, his holiness. But there's also so much in the letter as well that really gives you goals for ministry. That this is where the Lord wants his people to be and interact.

So, you know, I wanted to see what the relationship might be. And if you just start talking about ministry success, the big question is, who gets to define that? And so what I, you know, what I decided to do was, hey, let me try to figure out if this letter gives me a benchmark for that.

Is there something I see that would form a definition of success? I didn't go all over the New Testament. I didn't go all over the Old Testament. I probably didn't say everything that could be said about defining ministry success.

But I just thought we need a contextual definition. And so I thought, you know, if 1 Timothy ever says, hey, here's a goal for ministry. You know, do this in order that, after an order that I'm probably looking at a ministry goal. I want the, you know, people in the church to, I'm thinking, you know, and the pastor is responsible to lead them. That's probably a ministry goal if the church behaved this way. And so I sort of, there's places in the letter where if you do this, you'll be a good minister. And I'm like, wow, that's an apostolic attaboy.

That's a big thumbs up. I think if Paul says you're doing a good job, that's probably, you're meeting a goal there, effective ministry. So I thought, I think these goals sort of, in 1 Timothy, break down into maybe three categories. The man, the ministry, and the mission. So there's goals that, you know, if you do this, you'll be a good minister.

That's very personal, right? Right. And then there's other, that's just an example. There's other goals that have to do with the effect of that man's ministry on his people. And then broadening out beyond that, the effect of both of them together on a wider watching world, missional goals. And God's salvific purposes and power that he wants to see exercised in the world through the winds of the church. So that's kind of how I saw the three categories of goals break down in the letter. And I just thought, you know, we're going to use that as a standard for effective ministry in the pastorals.

And so, you know, you can take that model, the hard soil, easy soil, rural city, and I still think get some value and mileage out of it. Oh, absolutely. I mean, it was an incredibly helpful paper for me to read. It's not super long.

It's only about like, what, 29, 30 pages. But it's interesting that I reacted the way I did that I mentioned to you, because being a westerner and an American, I go through this and go, OK, the relationship between the minister's sanctification, personal sanctification and ministry effectiveness. And when you hear that and the American context, Timothy, we translate that into size and scope and notoriety and budget.

But that's not what ministry effectiveness is about. Yeah, and we want to bear fruit. We want to bear much fruit. And we also recognize the sovereignty of God. And we want to be focused on on his goals and praying towards those and working towards those. But, you know, if we're not if we're not looking at the behavior of of those under our ministry and how they're growing in grace, how many of them show up, I'm not saying you can't count the numbers on a Sunday morning. Sure, but far more important is how are my people growing in grace and their appetite for their word and treating each other graciously and having a heart for the lost? And those things might be a lot harder to assess and quantify, but maybe more important. Well, yeah, I mean, you can have 5000 people in your church that aren't growing and you can have 550 people in your church that are growing tremendously. And if you're going to go, which one's more effective from God's perspective, from a biblical perspective, that's a pretty easy one. There's there's one church that I know of here locally in the Raleigh area, Timothy, that they actually do an annual review.

This is going to sound crazy to some people. They do an annual review with their members, like individually. And they sit down and talk about, hey, you know, what's going on with your sanctification and your growth and and where you're struggling. Do you feel like you're growing in Christ? Do you want to? And I think they actually do like a membership renewal. Like, are you are you serious here?

Are you? And I think that's the kind of accountability. And most churches, they don't have they really unless something major happens, you don't really know what's happening with the individual lives of your people. I think that's one of the challenges that this brings up.

Yeah, pretty interesting. So when you when you so that let's take it out of the kind of the obvious context, we just have about a minute left for somebody that say, hey, most of us aren't ministers. Timothy, most of us aren't pastors. Most people aren't running a, quote unquote, ministry like I am. Because does this apply also just to the effectiveness of your average Christian? My effectiveness for Christ is directly related to my own sanctification. I would think so. You know, and one of the things that's really interesting about the pastoral officials, we tend to say, hey, they're not just for pastors. Look at the qualifications.

Shouldn't we all be striving for this? And I think that's really highlighted when you actually look at all the pastoral past of normal people, if that's the OK way to say it. Yeah. Yeah. And it's a lot of the very same things. I mean, if you look at this letter, the the pastors to adhere to sound doctrine and there's this whole slew of references that still are God's people. Right. They're supposed to be holy. And so that's going to affect that's going to affect the people around us, whether we're pastors or not.

That's a great point. And really, really a thought provoking article that Tim Hughes wrote. Timothy Hughes, I'll make it available.

If you want to send me an email, I'll share with you. Timothy, thanks for your time. I'm going to put you on hold. We'll be right back with Theology Thursday.

Thanks. Just throwing a few curveballs out there today. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. Great to be with you. Theology Thursday, a little road trip version of Theology Thursday as Dr. Ken Casias and Billy Gotcher. And that was Timothy Hughes we were just talking about or talking to about. And then now we're going to go back to Ken.

Let me set this one up. One of the things that Ken did is kind of looking at the mosaic law, the Old Testament law. And does that is that 100 percent gone? We wiped it out like I don't know, like Hamas wants to do to Israel. You just wipe it off the face of the map.

It's gone. The Old Testament law is gone. The mosaic law is gone. We don't pay any attention to the old civil law, the old moral law, the old ceremonial law. That stuff's all history.

Just ignore it. Or is there something from the Old Testament that translates into us today? So in what sense are Christians not under the mosaic law?

And I would ask the follow up question. In what sense are Christians under the mosaic law? Where does the Old Testament still apply to us today? Hey, Steve, we're in the New Testament.

We're in the new covenant. I know. I understand that.

But are there some things there that are crossing over? I would use it. I would put it this way to be somewhat obnoxious, but to make a point. So if you're going to stick to the Old Testament law, here's something you could do on your average Saturday night. You know, get a get a box of rocks and go sit outside somewhere in the parking lot at your local Red Lobster. And when people come outside, ask them what they had for dinner and if it involves shellfish. Hey, I had lobster. Oh, let fly.

Hey, I had shrimp. Oh, let fly. Just start pounding those people because they're violating the Old Testament law. And then you can pat yourself on the back and give yourself a little Old Old Testament virtue signal. Is that the deal? Of course not. It's ridiculous, right? But a lot of Christians don't really understand our relationship with the Old Testament law. And so Ken's going to help us understand that.

Back to Dr. Ken Casillas. Thanks, buddy, for helping us on this one. Sure thing.

Glad to help. So that so I was kind of tongue in cheek a little bit there with the whole Red Lobster thing. But I think a lot of Christians really I don't don't fully understand. We say we're under the New Covenant. And so all the old stuff is gone with the ceremonial law.

OK, that makes sense. The civil law, maybe a little bit here and there. The moral law.

I don't think that's gone. So how do we handle this? What what?

Let's start with the negatives. What what are we not under from the Mosaic law anymore? Well, you know, I certainly want to emphasize the negative for a bit, because that is a big point in the New Testament, especially the writings of Paul. He actually has a statement in Romans six that we are not under law, but under grace.

Yeah. And there are different senses in which that is true when you look at all the passages of the topic. And he certainly you know, that certainly would be included in that, that we're not under the law as a way of salvation. And there is something called legalism, which is the sort of default mode of human religion that somehow by our obedience, we're trying to commend ourselves to the Lord and gain our own righteousness. And so really, nobody has ever been able to do that, no matter when they lived.

And nobody's ever been saved that way. And so we're definitely not under the law in that sense. We're not under the law as our what I call our covenantal code. And the way the Lord operates throughout history is by way of covenant relationships.

And those relationships have certain characteristics and requirements. And as far as the Mosaic law is concerned, that was really inseparable from the covenant that God made with Israel, which is not the arrangement that he has with the church. And then with that, when you read the New Testament, I have this other general point that we're not under the law as kind of like the overall emphasis of what's happening with the Christian life. It's just about keeping a bunch of rules. Really, there are there are there are plenty of commandments in the New Testament.

But the the nature of those is a lot of them are fairly general and not working everything out into detail. Because I think by this point in history, the Lord has revealed enough to where he shouldn't have to tell us every last night. Right. And there's also the special ministry of the Holy Spirit that's emphasized in the new covenant, where as we are following his leading and responding to his word, he's guiding us into into holiness. And so law has a place, but it's not like the core or the center as far as our relationship with God today.

So that's kind of a summary of the negative side. And then what on that one, because sometimes, Ken, this is this is a way that some people outside the church will want to attack the church and they'll throw things at the Christians today and say, well, you guys think we should be you should be stoning homosexuals and all that kind of stuff. What's this what's this kind of a simple layman's way for somebody to deal with that type of objection, where they throw something that was specific to Israel at a certain place at a certain time in a different relationship, a kind of pre-covenantal relationship in terms of salvation through Christ.

But what's an easy way for them to kind of deal with that? I don't want to say it's a one liner, but something simple so they can make try to make people understand that they're taking things totally out of context. Well, I would say those kind of criminal penalties are a function of the government that God set up. And there's no indication in scripture that every human government needs to operate with all the detailed policy. Now, before the law, actually, the Lord does talk about capital punishment for murder. And so the fact that that happened even before the Old Covenant and the law would lead us to conclude that that does apply, that that would be the way that God wants all society to be to be managed to be covered. But there's a lot of other a lot of other penalties in the law itself that we don't assume that just because God said it to them at that time, that he requires every other nation to do that. Right. Yeah, it's such an important point for people to understand and be able to communicate, because that one still gets thrown around every once in a while that people that want to attack Christianity.

But let's flip to the other side of it. So in what sense can are we still under that Old Testament law? What things do we pull out of the Old Testament that we should seriously consider and realize apply to our lives today?

Well, I like to put it this way, that the law still functions for us as an ethical paradigm or pattern where, particularly when you compare what God was requiring or prohibiting in the law with what he said before and what he says after, there really is a continuity as far as ethics or moral norms. And so, you know, some of the most simple would be that in nine out of the Ten Commandments, those are things that don't really have specifically to do with one nation or a special covenant. I mean, just like on the surface, I think the average reader would say, God says, don't murder, don't steal, that that reflects these universal norms. They're there in the covenant. We don't obey them because they're in the covenant, but because they express the character of God.

And obviously when we see it repeated in the New Testament, that's very confirmatory as well. So we look for those ties that are across the canon that express these moral norms. And then what I want to say is that those moral norms are also at the bottom of all of the other sort of picky laws, where in that setting, you can see that the Lord is commanding this because it reflects some reality about his character, whether it's his purity, his love, his justice, his compassion, whatever it might be. And so we look at those as illustrations of the underlying reality about his character. And then we look for ways in our lives and in our society to flesh those out in forms that are appropriate to where we live and our relationships are setting. Yeah, and you mentioned that we look at it sets up this ethical pattern. I mean, I teach Christian ethics to high school aged homeschoolers up here in the Raleigh area. And when I do six weeks of theology before we ever tackle a single modern subject, but they're usually a little surprised that I'm spending time in the Old Testament and specifically in the Ten Commandments because to show them, hey, we already have all the tools here and a lot of this stuff just helps you understand the character of God.

So then when we get into a topic, whether it's euthanasia or the environment or abortion or transgenderism, whatever the case, that's like, how does God's character react to this particular issue? So that ethical norm is super important to pull out of the Old Testament because that's where it was established. Right.

Yeah. And the helpful thing is that even though that was under an old covenant, there are so many specifics because of the God ruling in such a direct way with the details of their lives that it becomes very instructive. Like this isn't abstract. This is supposed to be worked out into the nitty gritties of our lives, to the realities of our relationships, our families, our society, our government, our business. I mean, it touches on so many things. Yeah, and that's the reminder is and that we have to understand this for ourselves. We have to teach it to our children. You teach it there at the seminary, that a biblical worldview is a comprehensive worldview, because if it's not comprehensive, if we can't overlay it into all the nooks and crannies of life, then it's not a comprehensive worldview. Then I would say, what's the point? If all it's going to do is help you on Sunday morning when you spend an hour and a half at church, then it's not very helpful. In this case, this stuff applies to every nook and cranny of life.

It's a reminder that I think we all need to hear, quite frankly. For sure. For sure. Yeah.

Again, the value of the Old Testament is that God spelled it out in so many ways for them. Yeah. And it's a part of our Bible to instruct us and just give us that mindset.

I need to work out the details as I apply this. Of course, the Spirit helps. Yep. And I thank God for that, that we have the Spirit to lead us into that type of understanding and then application to our own lives. Dr. Ken Casillas, thanks so much for pulling this off today and being willing to call in. I know you guys are tired and a long trip, but we tell thank you, please, to Billy and Timothy and the other guys. We really appreciate you.

Have a safe trip back home and we look forward to talking to you again real soon. All right. Thank you, Steve. You're welcome. All right.

Thanks so much. We'll talk to you guys later. And that worked out pretty good, didn't it? That was good. And to have different guys talking about different things. It's such a blessing to work with our friends down at BGU Seminary and the university, Bob Jones University. So many great thought leaders and so much wisdom. Try to bring that to you every Thursday here on the show. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, never forward.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 19:44:12 / 2023-03-18 20:00:05 / 16

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