Call to Prayer and Worship – “Divine Makeover…It’s In the Bag” Retreat

12734245_10156508986055481_2998941931112910458_nAs the “Divine Makeover…It’s In the Bag” Women’s Retreat approaches, our guest speaker, Dr. Johnnie K. Seago, has provided verses to pray through in spiritual preparation. Feel free to choose several a day for meditation. Below the scriptures is a Spotify playlist the worship team created. We are praying over the next few days you will as Colossians 3:16 says,

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your heart to God” (ESV).

Call to Prayer:

“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:35-36).

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesusfrom the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:5-11).

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10).

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:16-18).

“[B]ut these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

“[R]emember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Ephesians 2:12-16).

“[H]aving been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:12-17).

Call to Worship: Spotify “It’s In the Bag” Call to Worship

Registration Form: “It’s In the Bag” Registration Form

The Women’s Ministry Team at Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church has been praying for each and every one of you. We are excited about what God has in store for each of us as we fellowship together March 4-5th. It is not too late to sign up! The above link will take you to the registration form and more are available in the church office.

 

 

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Dad’s Dinks

This morning I laid out the 4+ years of Dad’s Dinks I still have in my possession. My intent was to pick a few of my favorites and text them to him throughout the day. But as I began reading through them, so many memories flooded my soul and I was overwhelmed with the treasure I have.IMG_2348

 

The enemy is after our children and my Dad knew the value of going to battle for his kids. Exodus 15:3 says, “The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name.” My Dad has been many things to me, including coach, running buddy, youth minister, and boss. However, it is no wonder that sense my Dad is created in God’s image, the warrior is core to his identity and his role. The Bible even talks about children as arrows in their parents quiver (Psalm 127:4-5). Warrior image.

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My Dad started these “Dinks” when I was playing volleyball in junior high, and they continued through college. Many mornings, I would wake up with an index card lying on my dresser. The “Dink” always contained a scripture verse, and usually a thought or two. Miraculously, I held on to them, not fully appreciating their value at the time. I could write a sappy post about how loving my Dad was through these cards (which he was!), but more importantly I want to highlight how he was lovingly teaching me how to fight the enemy.

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As a parent, I appreciate the discipline it took for him to pen these truths to me. The words shared between a daddy and daughter can never be underestimated. Yes, my Dad taught me to play basketball, to ride a bike, to drive, to waterski, etc. But more importantly, he taught me to fight with the Word. My Dad knew the weighty responsibility he had to impart a spiritual legacy to his children. I have great respect for him and for the godly example he set.

 

So to all the dads out there: the little things matter. They add up to big piles of index cards forever cherished. Happy Father’s Day Daddy.

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A PK’s Review of “Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to Harmonization”

inerrancy-and-the-gospels-a-god-centered-approach-to-the-challenges-of-harmonizationI recently read the book, Inerrancy and the Gospels:A God-Centered Approach to Harmonization by Vern Poythress and found the book very insightful. Has anyone ever asked you why there are “discrepancies” in the Bible? Why two gospels record the same event with different details? Truth is, these difficult discrepancies exist and I wanted to know why. Harmonization is he process or method for formulating theories to explain the differences. Vern Sheridan Poythress, a professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, has written a refreshing book outlining theological frameworks for approaching harmonization within the gospels. I particularly enjoyed this book because while examples modeling harmonization with gospel examples lace the text, this book is not simply another book of mere harmonization attempts, but a work calling readers to “revise how we analyze virtually all modern ideas, including ideas about meaning and interpretation” (16).

Summary:

Poythress divides the book into seven parts, each with sub-chapters providing either further explanation of the harmonization principle presented, or examples of harmonization efforts using the discussed principle. Part One: The Challenge of Harmonization acknowledges difficulties in the gospels do exist while affirming biblical inspiration and authority. It is important to note, Poythress requires a presupposed “personalistic worldview” in his dealings with the Gospels (15). Part Two: Principles for Harmonization provides the necessary principles for harmonization. Assuming acceptance of inspiration and authority, Poythress reminds his readers the Gospels are not merely historical accounts and warns against “demanding an artificial precision” (62) in texts where “divine meaning actually precedes the events themselves” (36). Part Three: Attitudes in Harmonization philosophically presents the limitations of human knowledge juxtaposed to the mystery contained in God’s infinity (91). Resting in affirmations of authority and inspiration result in acceptance of the ultimacy and truthfulness of each Gospel account as they were written. The Synoptic Problem, or literary relationship between Matthew, Mark, and Luke is addressed in Part Four: Special Issues in Harmonization. Part Five: Individual Cases uses the principles discussed up to this point and attempts to handle events such as the cleansing of the temple, the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth, the cursing of the fig tree, and the commissioning of the twelve disciples. Part Six: Reporting Speeches highlights the meaning and intention of the Gospel writers in how they included or excluded detailed material. In establishing the framework for harmonization attempts of the speeches contained in the Gospels, Poythress claims, “Our primary principle is that God is reliable. So all three accounts faithfully represent the events, including what Jesus and his disciples said” (180). Finally, Part Seven: More Cases deals with two specific cases, that of Jairus’s daughter and blind Bartimaeus, using the principles and framework Poythress encourages.

Evaluation:

If the reader presently affirms inerrancy of Scripture, then this book is a great choice for encouragement. While many books covering harmonization principles first validate the inerrancy of Scripture, Poythress begins from a presupposition of inerrancy and therein lays its distinctiveness in its field. “In this book we are going to look at a sampling of these difficulties, with the goal of treating them in harmony with the conviction that the Bible is God’s word” (13).  This approach to Scripture, presupposing the New Testament’s own claims to authority and inerrancy can be somewhat limited in scope and influence. Those whom the Holy Spirit has already provided internal witness for authority and truth can benefit from this approach to harmonization: a process Poythress explains (46). However, convincing the skeptic of logical harmonization possibilities without first arguing for the historical accuracy of the Gospels, might not prove as valuable. Poythress’ presupposition is not to be regarded as an exclusive approach to harmonization as he regularly points to other works dealing with the processes and apologetics involved in affirmation of inerrancy and authority of the Bible (13, 15, 27-30).

Another significant critique concerns the larger influence of presuppositional approaches to apologetics. Attempts at harmonization are an apologetic endeavor and often, those seeking the answers to difficult passages are not working under a biblically authoritative worldview. Poythress does mention the goal of apologetics in harmonization, but only briefly in the broader context of the book. He states,

“Harmonization work in past centuries, including the work of Augustine and Calvin, frequently had an apologetic focus. It aimed to defend the Bible against charges of inconsistency and error. This goal is legitimate since being faithful to God includes trusting what he says. Harmonization efforts could influence both Christian believers and those who do not yet believe. These efforts may help believers overcome doubts, and they may help non-Christians consider seriously the claims of the Christian faith”(47).

Conclusion:

The impact of Poythress’ approach is limited to only those who share a presuppositional affirmation of inerrancy and authority resulting in limited influence. Even so, those limitations do not decrease the book’s value. Approaching the Scriptures as authoritative allows the reader to interpret conflicts in the Gospels with flexibility. The Gospels are foundationally essential for both new believers and veteran Christians. Followers of Christ are called to, “Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).[1] In order to give an appropriate defense, we as believers need to study the principles of harmonization because like Poythress rightly claims, scripture is ontologically, epistemologically, and ethically definitive (45, 46).


[1] Unless otherwise noted, the English Standard Version will be used.