This blog site exists because at nearly the age of sixty, I find I have a need to put into writing the Biblical truths that have so blessed my life since the age of seventeen, and which I have either voluntarily suppressed or been told to suppress for all but ten of those forty-three years. It seems that only on the Internet do I have the liberty to share them with others openly.
The ideas presented here in many ways run contrary to widely-accepted orthodox Protestant theology. Some pretty well-known Bible teachers and preachers have labeled this approach to understanding the Bible as dangerous and even heretical. Obviously I think they’re wrong. There’s a blog post on that topic here, and many other issues. But the Bible has some things to say about following men rather than God, and here I can teach the full message I have learned in good conscience before God.
But this is a joyful message, not a defensive one. To help you understand, I must tell you a little about my father. His father was a circuit-riding Methodist preacher, often away from home for weeks at a time. His mother died at an early age, and he and a younger sister lived for a time in the D. L. Moody Home (a group home for orphans and children of overseas missionaries). His father’s work and the Moody Home made a lasting impression on him about the importance of knowing and following God. As he grew to manhood, however, education and life buried the desire to know God. Soon after he married my mother during the Depression, he began to renew his search for the truth. He spent the next thirty years in several main-line Protestant denominations, but their teaching was more concerned with social activism than what the Bible says. As a Gideon, he began to understand the centrality of the Bible to true Christianity.
He was forty-seven when I was born (an “only child”), and retired at sixty-five when I was seventeen. We had planned to move to another community in another state, and his retirement came four months before my high school graduation. He moved into the older home we had purchased there and began remodeling. As he worked, he listened to the radio. Twice a day he heard a five-minute program by a local preacher, and what this preacher said began to make sense out of the Bible for the first time in my Dad’s life. As he learned, all of the apparent conflicts in Scripture fell into place, easily explained. Of greater importance, my father was spiritually at peace for the first time in his life, having a clear understanding of exactly where he stood with God.
When my mother and I rejoined him in our new home, we all learned together. I was the typical seventeen-year-old on the verge of attending college, full of a high school education and full of myself. But even I came to see the common sense of this teaching as we attended this preacher’s church every Sunday, and soaked it up like a sponge. Of course, it helped that I met and married my wife in that little church, and we’re still together nearly thirty-nine years later!
My father left this life behind only three years later, but in those three years he was satisfied and settled in his relationship and walk with Christ. He had no fears of God’s judgement, and no fear of death in spite of increasing heart problems. He was literally a changed man. The last words I had with him before he was taken to the surgery which he would not survive were reassuring each other that we would be together again in eternity because we both knew Christ as our mutual Savior.
In the years since his passing, I have been active in several churches, all purportedly Bible-teaching churches. I have come to understand that teaching is my area of spiritual giftedness, and have taught Adult Sunday School classes for many years. God has gradually brought me to a better understanding of how to study His Word, using tools and information readily available to all believers (you’ll find no “secret knowledge” here in spite of the name of this blog site). While I have no seminary degree, and haven’t even attended “Bible school”, that doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit hasn’t led me to what I will teach here. In some ways, it’s an advantage to not have been influenced by the convoluted theologies impressed on ministry professionals. So what I offer here is a fresh, simpler perspective, one that can be grasped by any believer given the right tools and sufficient desire to learn.
Yes, my credentials are weak in comparison to other men. But God’s power is in His Word, and is made perfect in human weakness. What you read here will be taken directly from the Bible, verse for verse. You, dear reader, have a responsibility before God to study the Bible for yourself to see if the things I write are true, like those early believers in the church in Berea did.
It’s my prayer that you’ll find the same hope, peace, confidence and security that my father did those many years ago, and that have been the mainstay of my life ever since. May God bless you richly through a better understanding of His love-letter to mankind, the Bible.
June 21, 2010