Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Room in the Tent

In case you've been away the last two Sundays or if you are an out of the area "life together" reader. . . . we've launched into our new Genesis series, "The Gospel According to Genesis: Beginnings."

If you missed either of the last two messages, you can pull them down from iTunes HERE or from our website HERE.

Sunday's message was significant in that we dealt with some elephants in the room including various perspectives on the age of the earth and the length of days in Genesis. My argument is that there is "room in the tent" for various perspectives on these questions. Regardless of our personal beliefs/convictions, we ought to be charitable toward those who hold differing viewpoints. I then went on to layout what I believe are 3 essential, non-negotiable truths taught in Genesis that Christians ought to believe together.

(If you missed it, aren't you intrigued and don't you want to listen?)

Needless to say the emails keep coming . . . from folks on all sides of the issues. In hearing from biologists and nuclear physicists and others, I've been once more reminded that Grace is a very diverse place. By and large the dialogue has been what I hope for and encouraged: civil, charitable, open and humble.

A word about the homework assignment. . .

You may have noticed that the bottom of the outline included an assignment to either watch the movie "Expelled" or to read the Creation chapter from Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. After the outlines were printed, we realized that we couldn't figure out how to get that long chapter in PDF form. So instead, we posted four Wayne Grudem lectures on the same material from a Sunday school class that he teaches at Scottsdale Bible Church. For those of you interested in this subject, I really encourage you to make the time to listen to these lectures as they will challenge and broaden your perspective, while taking you further than we were able to go last Sunday together. Again, you can get those HERE.

Several of you asked me post some of the quotes from Sunday's message. I will try and post those later today or tomorrow.

As always, your input is invited and appreciated. Let's keep the dialogue going. . . .


Erik said...

I was sitting in the back on Sunday, thinking "PREACH IT!" You affirmed what I've been telling jr. highers for years: Don't let non-essential doctrine affect your relationships.
Does it really change anything if God created the earth and it's 10,000 years old; or if he created it, then let it age for a billion years; or if he created it to look a billion years old?
He still created it. He still sent his son to die for us. Jesus still rose from the grave to conquer death. Jesus is still the only way to heaven.
It's fun to discuss/debate creation, endtimes, etc. But don't forget what's essential, and don't let non-essential issues create division.

Joe Pollon said...

I would love to read some of the e-mails you've received. It would be enlightening to understand the different arguments.

I've often heard, if you can't take the six days (24 hour days) literally, then you can't take anything else literally, including miracles, revelations & resurrections.

Can anyone give us a sampling of the counter to this argument? Or Tim, can you give us some excerpts of what you received?

Tim said...


I think lit genre considerations, purpose and intent of the Genesis 1 narrative, and broad interpretation of the word "yom", all make possible longer, non-literal 24 hour days.

You may find it helpful to listen to my message, if you haven't, and the additional audio resources we've posted (click the links)to hear the broader arguments.

I think Grudem does a good job representing the range of positions.

thanks for engaging. . . Tim

Anonymous said...

My family and I are a fairly new to Grace (about a year), and found it nice to hear you open up the topic of having two different beliefs apart of the same Church family. Although this topic and others would not be a fellowship breaker for me, I was convicted about the importance of knowing both sides. Enabling me to be prepared for the time when someone who is passionate about "the other side", comes across my path.
However for me the the bigger question is,
"So now what? There are 2 camps under one tent, what are we in our own life, going to do with the other side?" I know I have never won anyone to Christ by exposing our difference, but though relationship and common ground! To me that's the big picture.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Keep up the good work.... at least for this family!