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Critically Reading and Listening, Part 1

Mar 28th, 2017

ibc-faculty-killmonby Bobby Killmon

 

 

I always hear from elders to “listen and read critically” sermons and other commentaries. How can I do that well?

What a great question. There is no way to treat the breadth of that here in the brevity of this article, but perhaps we can treat one example in the next couple of column articles.

How we approach the Bible matters. Reading and listening to others discerningly is necessary because one’s theological starting points can distort what they write about Scripture. The importance of understanding how we approach Scripture is shown in the ramifications for what it does to biblical inspiration and inerrancy. Unwittingly, and I believe in most cases unconsciously, some have repeated things they’ve read or heard without realizing the consequences. This is especially true in dealing with liberal scholarship and how it makes its way into pulpits through things like the liberal development of “historical criticism.”

What is historical criticism and where did it come from? This development was “born” out of “hermeneutical presuppositions” which are our assumptions we hold when we approach reading the Bible. This can be seen by asking three very simple questions and realizing that our starting points determine our conclusions. They are as follows:

What is the Bible? There are basically three groups of answers to this question, although there are subsets in each. There is what has been called the “historical grammatical” approach that believes the Bible is the Word of God. “Historical” means, in this approach, the text is a true witness to God’s interaction in history and it has been recorded and preserved for us in the Bible.

The liberal approach of historical criticism suggests the Bible isn’t the word of God, but “contains” the word of God. “Historical” then means the text is a product of people through the historical process. The liberal critic assumes the Word of God is there, but it was “mixed up” with other human words that were a part of this historic process.

leadersarereadersFinally, there is post-modern skepticism or post-modern hermeneutics which says the Bible is merely a “human” document. They claim there is no word of God in it at all. They further say the Bible is simply a reflection of the religious experiences of individuals and communities.

Directly out of these conclusions the second question is already answered. How does our view of what the Bible is affect interpretation? Or what is the “task” of the reader or preacher? The Bible-believing approach (historical grammatical) says we are to understand the text correctly, then proclaim it.

The liberal historical critical approach (Bible “contains” the word of God) says if there are “words of God” and “human words,” the task of the reader or preacher is to discover which is which. We are to “sort out” the word of God, to finally “discover” the word of God, then proclaim it.

The post-modern skeptical approach (Bible is merely a “human” document) says simply read the Bible and see if anything agrees with our own desires for religious experience. This approach claims there’s nothing authoritative in the Bible; it’s simply another example of religious ideas, which can be used or dismissed as such.

So how does this affect teaching and preaching? How does this affect methodology? I will show in the next article that inerrancy and inspiration are at risk.

Creating Delinquents

Mar 21st, 2017

by R. L. Rodenbushibc-faculty-rob-rodenbush

 

In a South African game park known for rescuing animals from extinction, there was a problem.

Approximately 39 endangered white rhinos had been attacked and killed. Poaching was ruled out as a cause since the valuable rhino horns were left untouched. So game wardens began monitoring activity within the park, and what they found was fascinating. A group of younger orphaned elephants that had been transferred from another game park were the culprits.

Unusual, since elephants are typically herbivores and attacking rhinos went against their very nature.

The problem started nearly 20 years earlier when there were too many elephants in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The proposed solution was to cull the adult population of elephants and save the children, who could be easily transported. As CBS News reported back in 2000, “The intentions may have been good but the program created a whole generation of traumatized orphans thrown together without any adults to teach them how to behave.”

Eventually these elephants became lonely, troubled and aggressive and became known as “the Delinquents.”

A single elephant.As I read this story, I thought, How could people so easily miss the mark?  Did game wardens really think they could kill off the adults in a population and not have any consequences? That everything would be ok?

But when you think about it, as a society we are doing something very similar as we distance our children from traditional parenting and the influence of elders, teachers and preachers.

When a parent squanders or destroys influences of righteousness and holiness, how can that parent expect the child to grow to embrace these essentials? Sadly, it is often only when a child is in a crisis of rebellion that parents want the youth pastor, Sunday school teachers and pastor to save the day. But, unfortunately, after years of killing off their influence by badmouthing the church, picking and choosing which standards to enforce in the home, by not making church a priority; the time for intervention has long passed.

In Africa, there was no salvaging the delinquent elephants. Researchers tried everything they knew to try to retrain the creatures. They showed them love, worked to try and teach them how adult elephants behave. But ultimately, they became too dangerous, attacking more animals and even humans and had to be put down.

We are afforded a window of opportunity – a time to plant the right seeds and make an investment in the lives of our children. But, too often we resist the authority in our lives and in the lives of our children. Let us not kill the voices of reason, the voices of wisdom, the voices of influence, the voices of sound doctrine, and of right living.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37)

CONNECT 2017 recap

Mar 16th, 2017

On February 23, 2017, Indiana Bible College hosted 158 high school juniors and seniors. The guests were welcomed by the student body for three days of events. Thursday afternoon was the beginning of a great weekend. Students from all over the country came expecting great things to happen.


IBC CONNECT is designed for potential students to experience first-hand what it is like to attend IBC.


Each CONNECT student is assigned an IBC img_5208student; everyone attends classes, chapel, choir, and lunch together. After check-in on Thursday, IBC students, CONNECT students and staff were all a part of the CONNECT SOCIAL. From pizza to archery tag, everyone had a fun time.

A specific class schedule is designed for CONNECT weekend. Students have the option to choose course offerings that highlight each minor offered at Indiana
Bible College. Chapel typically happens on Tuesday/Thursday at IBC; however, during
CONNECT we had a Friday chapel where Bro. Mooney challenged students, “Can we do it again?” One of the most life-changing events for both IBC and CONNECT students is the Friday night Worship Studies Concert. IBC Singers, IBC Chorale, Unidos, and IBC Praise were among those who ministered to the CONNECT students at the concert. Many IBC students who recall being a part of previous CONNECT events were among those singing and playing on the platform this year. As the concert progressed, the Spirit of God fell and filled the entire room.

Lift up holy hands.Kaitlyn Doublin, a CONNECT student from North Carolina, said, “Being able to have a real IBC experience was exactly what I needed from God. From meeting new people, feeling enriched in ministry driven courses, and having God move over my heart during chapel and the concert, it was worth the trip.”

IBC CONNECT was a powerful experience for all of those involved. In one weekend CONNECT students experienced all three aspects of the Bible school experience: academic, spiritual and social life. We are excited to see applications come in from all around the country to become part of the IBC family. It is never too early to make plans to CONNECT attend next year, February 22-24, 2018. (click here for more information)

Students in class


The future of ministry is being prepared here, SAY YES.


 

How to Connect with CONNECT 2017

Feb 24th, 2017
ibc-faculty-jaye-rodenbush by Jaye Rodenbush

Thanks to the amazing staff and students of Indiana Bible College. Preparing the campus tonight for our record-breaking IBC CONNECT Weekend. CONNECT is the weekend high school juniors and seniors come and explore the campus, attend chapel, classes and social events all while getting acquainted with the faculty, staff and students of IBC. We are expecting a fabulous weekend. Thanks to our new CONNECT students, we are working to get you ALL comfortably on campus so that you will have a great experience.

Thanks to Promotions Director Christopher Henderson and his team for his tireless work to make this happen. We knew the CONNECT attendance numbers were up, but this response has blown through our projections and has been incredible. It looks like the student body of IBC FALL 2018 is going to be great!

Perhaps your time to experience Bible college has passed, but it’s never to late to join us in other ways. We REALLY could use your help. Our greatest need is for people with a heart for students to do the following:

1. PRAY

Pray God sends us great students with a heart for revival. Pray that while at IBC they can find and develop their calling. Pray that they can use the time they have at IBC to make the connections and build the relationships that will help them fulfill the destiny God has placed upon their hearts. Pray that God anoints our faculty and staff to pour into the hearts and lives of each student that walks through our doors. Pray that God daily renews our passion for this work. Pray that he supplies the families of our IBC faculty and staff with the health and financial blessings they need to dedicate even greater focus to this great task ahead of us.

2. INVEST

Our greatest need at IBC is funding for qualified, hard-working, dedicated students, who despite their best efforts, are struggling financially to work their way through college. Donations are tax deductible and you may designate a specific student that you already know or allow the scholarship committee to help you choose from a variety of worthy recipients. Due to the considerable growth of our student body, we are committed to a variety campus improvements. Housing this number of students each year requires a great commitment by our host church, Calvary Tabernacle. They have gone above and beyond to support the work of Indiana 16864679_10155857861858696_4518722866254251812_nBible College, but we have much work still to be done. Funding needed for campus improvements includes emergency projects that HAVE to be done in the next six months, to what we like to call “DREAM” projects that would make our campus more conducive to creative methodology and more comfortable for both staff and students. We truly need some MIRACLES. We are thinking big and dreaming big, because we know we have a big GOD.

Thank you for all of your support of IBC through the years.

God Bless,

Rob Rodenbush & Jaye Mooney Rodenbush

Indiana Bible College Executive Vice President & Dean of Administration

Dialogue with Reality

Feb 6th, 2017

ibc-faculty-paul-mooneyby Paul Mooney

 

I suspect we would all agree that no political campaign in recent history has incited more dialogue, denunciation, false news, real news, insulting rages, horrible feuding, bold oratory and occasionally some powerful and commanding rhetoric. Laying aside political opinion, it is obvious that despite the ugliness of the debates and the constant barrage of negative news reporting, the nation, nevertheless, was fully engaged. Coffee shops, talk shows, universities, offices, family gatherings, and even churches provided lively venues for endless dialogue. The result? American voters responded. And a political revolution exploded into the history books.

The issues, although still in a state of fluidity, are at the very least being submitted to debate and dialogue by large numbers of people, both on the left and right. This dialogue is illuminating America’s ugly sins and weaknesses. Yet, in some ways, it is also revealing the glorious hope for this country’s future. We are rediscovering what’s important, the things that matter.

pickupthephone2Christians should learn from our culture’s present example. Dialogue matters. Preaching the Bible under the anointing of the Holy Spirit reveals the conflicts caused by sin. It turns the world toward the truth. It strengthens the vision and joy of the church. It calls home backsliders. It gives peace and hope to the hearts and minds of God’s beloved humanity. Jesus commanded His disciples to go and preach. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). I suspect Jesus gave this command because it works. It’s His chosen method.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). Herein lies an important issue, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). We can shake the world again — ‘preach.’ Jerry Jones, our beloved General Secretary, got it right in his new book entitled We Preach.

“It’s easy to forget,” as James Herrick, Hope College professor, mentioned recently in his discussion concerning the massive negative impact that the Internet is having on our children, “that students today inhabit a ‘phantasmagoric’ theater of afrenetic-media images, raw emotion, and powerful appeals that undermine the ‘self,’ to make a sale.”

The more one looks into Herrick’s warning the more one understands the monumental significance it plays concerning the darkness of this “present world.” The word phantasmagoric references the images of horror, religious mysteries, animalism, violent rituals and such, as is common to the cyber world, video games, television and movies, that dominates minds and lives, especially of children. Once exposed, young minds carry these images, messages, thoughts, suggestions, challenges and inducements in their heads and hearts constantly, every day. These strong and influential images shape a child’s thinking and personality. It is not good. The consequences are destroying the innocence and happiness of our children. Many are enticed into alternate personalities or extreme characterizations.

Psychologist Michael Seto states, “We are living through the largest unregulated social experiment of all time. A generation of youth who have been exposed to extreme content online, we are facing serious ‘socio-technological implications.’” In London, 200 teachers, psychiatrists, neuroscientists and other experts signed a paper expressing alarm over the “erosion of childhood” (The Daily Telegraph).


Either we preach in order to challenge the darkness of this world or we lose. The Prophets and the Apostles were protagonists against humanism. God’s carved stones given to Moses were a direct challenge to the status quo. Our generation must understand that there is no compatible compromise with the world’s philosophies. Trying to adapt the manners, techniques, and/or methods of this world, or worse, the false manner and methods of charismatic charlatans into the structure of an Apostolic church is a foolish endeavor — the very opposite of the Apostles’ foundation.

An Apostolic church is the one place we should expect the believers to be overcoming these matters. It’s possible, of course. Preach the word — it transforms sorrow into joy, it strengthens the weak, it expels darkness from the mind. Confront and address the false hopes and false religions that are overwhelming the world. May we forever exalt Godly living as a lifestyle of joy and peace, deny the overt juvenilization of church services, and call our youth to greatness in Christ.

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