I get a lot of questions from people. Some are deep, some are fun. Here are some of my favorites and my brief responses to them. If you’d like to talk about any of them more in depth I’d be happy to converse. So away we go!
– Is a believer’s baptism valid if the minister that performed it later renounces the faith?
Interesting question! Yes, it is still valid. Salvation comes by God’s grace through faith, not by immersion. Baptism is an outward sign of what God’s doing in the heart. The pastor doing the baptism doesn’t save or confer salvation.
– What are your thoughts on the future of organ music in churches?
Depends on the type of organ. A Hammond B3 rotary sound is popular again. I do think that the era of the pipe organ is waning. That’s okay, though, because musicianship is fluid and not static. Who plays the lyre in worship anymore? 🙂
– What do you think of the doctrine of the inerrancy of the bible? Do you see any errors or real contradictions?
I believe that the Bible is inspired. I think that inerrancy is a human way to try to protect the Bible because we don’t have a big enough view of God to believe simultaneously in inspiration & humanity within the text. That being said, I don’t think the Bible contains “contradictions” the way that angry atheists do when they try to poke holes in Scripture.
Since ancient thinking, writing, and narrative were different than contemporary thought, word, and narrative, it doesn’t make sense to force our understanding on the Bible. Since the advent of the printing press our culture has been obsessed with “historical truth” and “fact.” Oral societies don’t function in these concepts the same way we do.
Two storytellers from oral societies could each tell their version of a story and be “truthful” even though their stories might have slight variances. This is merely a part of storytelling, not error. For example, when Jesus exorcises demons and sends them into a herd of pigs how many demoniacs were there? Mark says 1. Matthew says 2. Who is right? It doesn’t really matter. The point is not the number of demon possessed men but the power encounter between Jesus and the demons.
The Bible contains these kinds of differences, but we should not view them as error or contradiction – merely the result of multiple people telling the story. It does not minimize or reduce the power and potency of Scripture to say that God used flawed humanity to communicate Divine truth.
– Are you opposed to the legalization of gay marriage?
I am opposed to the legalization of same-sex MARRIAGE. I believe that marriage is a spiritual event, not a state-sanctioned event. That being said, I do not believe that Christians should forbid people from living the way they want, so I would not oppose the legalization of same-sex unions (and the rights that go with) from a political point of view – but I think the state should stay out of the “marriage” business (and out of all of the church’s business, actually) and leave that to the church.
– If you could have anything you want for dinner tonight, what would you have?
Easy! Hotdogs and Mac & Cheese. It’s my fave. I’m a man of simple tastes. 🙂
– What is the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?
Respect God, keep his commandments, and never take life so seriously you can’t laugh at yourself 🙂
– Is it wrong to get piercings? My parents are freaking out about one little thing…
It is not wrong to get piercings. The Bible does talk about obeying and honoring parents. If you’re having trouble convincing them but REALLY want one, I would recommend waiting until you’re out on your own. Honor them before seeking to exercise your Xian freedom. 🙂
– What was the worst thing you ever ate?
Wasabi. Didn’t know what it was…
– Is there a passage in the bible that addresses swearing?
No, the Bible never addresses profanity. There are some passages about wholesome talk, but in context they’re not about saying four letter words. Now it IS a good practice to use real words to communicate rather than expletives (you’ll offend fewer people) but God won’t condemn you for profanity.
– Who is your favorite person in the Bible?
I know you mean besides Jesus – no Christian can have a favorite person above Jesus. After Jesus, one of my favorites is David.
He’s a tragic character who made a lot of personal and professional flubs, yet he is still remembered as “a man after God’s heart”.
David gives hope to schmucks like me. Though I mess up God can still use me for His purposes.