Good morning family!
I came across an old joke this morning. The gist of it was a little girl arguing with her school teacher about Jonah. The teacher says whales’ throats are too small and it is impossible for one to swallow a human. Girl resolves to ask Jonah about it when she gets to Heaven. “What if he is in Hell?” the teacher asks flippantly. “Well then you can ask him,” she says.
It made me think about all the impossibilities, oddities, and otherwise scientifically difficult to explain narratives in scripture. It made me think about how often I have read intelligent educated Christians seek the most secular explanation possible for things stated in the Holy Bible. I then reflected on how often new translations are being created to smooth off the rough edges and cater to specific demographics (gender-neutral translations, “no hell” translations, etc). Then a recurring question popped in my mind but with new context.
I believe Jesus of Nazareth was born of a woman without any contribution from a man (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23-25). I believe He led a literally perfect life on earth (1 Peter 2:22) and was executed. I believe He DIED (John 19:30-34) and was actually DEAD and buried for 3 days before taking up his own life again (John 10:17-18). I believe that on the 3rd day he actually rose from the dead (Mark 16:9, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Okay, sorry for being long-winded. Here’s the question:
If you (like me) believe God’s power can impregnate a human virgin without sperm, produce a man who is the perfect Word of God, empower that man to live a flawless and sinless life… and if that man can die, be buried, and rise from the dead 3 days later… why would you have trouble believing God could make a sea mammal swallow a hard-headed prophet? Why is it easy to believe God spoke the universe into existence, but not that He could knock down the walls of Jericho the way He did? Why is it okay that Jesus cast out demons but not okay that the sun stood still for Joshua? In what reality does a bull, hippopotamus, ox, or any other modern animal have a tail like a cedar tree?
My point the Gospel is the truth. Spirit and Truth trump secular humanism every time. I would rather believe God’s word and let the haters hate (John 15:18-21). For the past few weeks a recurring verse has come up over and over: 2nd Timothy 2:15. The point a brother made Sunday was “note it says approved unto God… you study to for God’s approval.” Not for academia’s approval. Not for man’s approval.
If you took the time to turn there, please read 2 Timothy 2:14-16. Shucks, read the whole chapter. It says stay focused. Teach the truth to faithful men. It says don’t get caught up in the drama of this world. Remember Jesus was raised from the dead. Avoid vain and profane babbling (an entire sermon unto itself). Be a solder and avoid foolish and ignorant questions that lead to strife.
Okay I’m done. I really meant to just ask “why do people readily believe parts of scripture and dedicate great effort to explaining away other parts?”
The rest of that just sort of popped out. I love you all and just wanted to share what was on my mind this morning.