By Editorial Staff
Published April 7, 2008
By Robert L. Short
Q. What’s the best thing you can do for yourself and others?
A. Know the Bible!
“Jesus answered them, ‘How wrong you are! It is because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power.’” – Matthew 22:29 TEV
When Jesus made this statement to the Sadducees, they weren’t discussing little questions. They were discussing some really big ones. These are the only questions the Bible and Jesus are interested in – the really big ones. For the most part, they are interested in meaning, not means. They discuss ultimates, not penultimates. The author of the book of Revelation talks about “the four corners of the earth” (Rev. 7:1, 20:8). Does this mean that John thought that the earth was shaped like this page, with flat corners? Maybe so. Maybe not.
Apparently the question didn’t bother him very much, or he would have mentioned it. No, John wasn’t interested in the physical shape of the world but in the spiritual shape the world was in. We’re asking the Bible the wrong questions when we come to it with our little questions. Its purpose is to answer the questions that really bother us the most and are the hardest for us to handle.
None of us can escape these big questions any more than we can escape seeing Woodstock’s single giant question mark here. These questions are to us what this question is to Woodstock: bigger than we are. They are also over our heads. Nevertheless, most of us are forced to come up with at least some provisional answers for these big non-provisional questions.
But what if our answers are wrong? This would mean we’d be basing our entire lives on something that wasn’t true. We’d be embarking on a long trip, but sailing on the wrong ship. And in the case of others, we’d constantly be suppling them with incorrect information.
When Snoopy attempts to write a book on theology, he hits on what he considers the perfect title: “Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?” Good question. This is the first question of all good theology. “How do we know right from wrong?” “How do we know the truth?” Or “Can we know the truth?”
Also notice this: Jesus didn’t say, “In my humble opinion, it seems to me that you may be somewhat mistaken;” or, “Perhaps we should all think about this a little more.” No, he said bluntly, “How wrong you are!” You are wrong because your knowledge is inadequate; “You don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power.” Evidently, for Jesus, these were the two sources that held the answers to life’s really big questions. If he’s right, and we don’t want to be wrong, then obviously this is the best thing we can do for ourselves: Know the scriptures!
Shouldn’t we also know God’s power? Yes. But this is not anything we can do for ourselves. If it were, this would be a power we could control. It would not be God’s power but ours.
- Robert L. Short
A timely and provocative conversation between faith and culture, Short Meditations on the Bible and Peanuts is Robert L. Short’s follow-up to the 25th anniversary of the best seller The Gospel According to Peanuts. Charles M. Schulz, who became a Christian after his mother’s death in his early twenties, and Short, a theologian, team up using humor to make us think seriously.
Like The Gospel According to Peanuts and Parables of Peanuts, Short uses Peanuts comic strips to provide us with insightful glimpses into Truth. This was a perilous experiment that came off.
Short Meditations on the Bible and Peanuts, by Robert L. Short, will be available beginning in October through Westminster/Knox Press for $7.95.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Arts and Media
Your comments are welcome!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)