Can the Holy Spirit solve the problem with Vulcan Theology?

The last few posts have been inspired by several books on science I’ve been reading. They have explored the idea that we all come to the big questions in life with existing frameworks. These frameworks in turn lead to our holding various biases and presuppositions, which can result in our seeing what we wish to see rather than what is really there. I have adopted the term Vulcan Theology to describe this as it relates to interpreting Scripture.

As a result of these posts an interesting question arose. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in dealing with the Vulcan problem? If the Spirit provides illumination on a particular passage can that help us see it accurately?

This question invites us to first define the term illumination.

The Moody Handbook of Theology, defines illumination as “the ministry of the Holy Spirit whereby He enlightens those who are in a right relationship with Him to comprehend the written Word of God.” Going on to say that:

The believer is aided by the Holy Spirit’s ministry of illumination in guiding the believer to an understanding of divine truth (1 Cor 2:11-13).

J.I. Packer unpacks this term in Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs (link).

[Illumination] is not a giving of new revelation, but a work within us that enables us to grasp and to love the revelation that is there before us in the biblical text as heard and read, and as explained by teachers and writers.

Defining the work of illumination as the process in which the Spirit aids us in understanding the Scripture is a rather broad definition of the term. It does differentiate the work of illumination from other forms of guidance (ed. see this post and this one for more on that topic). However it still leaves open the question: does the Spirit help us arrive at the correct interpretation of a passage and thus eliminate Vulcan theology? Continue reading

The Hard Hitting Word for Word Bible Graphic Novel (Review)

When you discover that you are about to read about a Bible comic, you may be tempted to skip this post. After all aren’t comic books just for kids. Some might be, but be warned graphic novels are not your typical comic. And this is not for young kids. It is actually rated for readers 15 and up.

Graphic novels as a medium are intense and visual ways to experience a story. And the stories they tell have been the basis for popular movies and shows. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Frank Miller’s Spartan adventure 300, and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta are among some of the most notable.

The Bible is filled with stories that are powerful and vivid. But in an age that is dominated by YouTube, blockbuster films, and special effects, the vibrancy of these stories can be lost on the modern reader. That is something Simon Amadeus Pillario is looking to change. He is the creator of the Word for Word Bible Comic (link), which hopes to present the stories of the Bible, using the actual words of Scripture, as a set of graphic novels that are “historically accurate, unabridged, and untamed”. One of Pillario’s goals is to invite graphic novel fans, many of whom may not otherwise read a Bible, to pick up the Scriptures. But, it is also for Christians who want to visually experience these familiar stories.

When I firsKickStarter_Judges_originalt heard of the Word for Word Comic, it was through Kickstarter. And I thought, what am amazing idea to create a graphic novel version of the Bible. I quickly backed the project.

The first Kickstarter, was back in May 2014, for the book of Judges. And while the project is not finished yet, the digital editions that have been sent to backers are incredible. If you are a fan of graphic novels and want to experience the Scriptures in a “hard-hitting” new way, then you are going to love the Word for Word Bible Comic. Continue reading

5 Things John says about Jesus in 1 John

In the prologue to the epistle we know as 1 John, the Apostle writesThe Apostle John

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, … which we have touched with our hands … we proclaim to you

Here are 5 things that John proclaims to us about Jesus in this letter:

Jesus is the Christ

  • contra the claims of the false teachers (2:22), John boldly proclaims that Jesus is the Christ (1:3; 2:1; 3:23; 4:2; 5:1, 6, 20). All who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son sent by the Father to be the Savior, have eternal life (3:23; 4:14; 5:1,12 cmp John 3:16; 11:27).
  • John does not go to great lengths to explain the term Christ – which means Messiah — in this epistle. But it is evident from his Gospel that Messiah refers to the Savior and King promised to Israel and written about in the Scriptures (John 1:41; 4:25; 7:27,31,42; 12:34).

Jesus is Righteous Continue reading