A New Perspective
So one of the many things I like about summer is I get to step back from incredibly busy year of teaching, you know, by the time summer rolls around you. I'm exhausted like all teachers because it's like a Non-Stop thing and this year especially with covid-19 difficult. Am I right? Yeah. I'm right. So I have really enjoyed stepping back and being able to pursue some of the things that I didn't have time at all to pursue during the teaching the school year. And so what I have been thinking about this is something that I've wanted to do for like months now is I want to start a new series and this series is going to hopefully challenge you. Hopefully it will challenge you and your expectations and it will help you to read the Bible with a new sort of Interest in it. The Bible is interesting because a lot of times we will take it and we'll do things with it. That actually make it less interesting and Incredibly boring and nobody really wants to read it. And so, I'm hoping that by the end of the series you're going to be looking at your Bible and like is that really in there or I can't believe that's in there or wow. That's amazing. I didn't realize I was in there. So that's my goal. My hope. The other things that I have been doing is, you know, I don't really watch a lot of TV, but there's a couple shows that was interested in that I had to put aside and put on hold for a bit. One of those shows is called Supernatural. Have you seen the show anybody? Yeah, 15 Seasons 15 years. The show has been on which is incredible to me like this last Apple store. I saw the guy like it was like product placement, Palm Pilot thing. This is before the iPhone, right? And he's like, on his email. Check his email with this really like elaborate and difficult thing. He is using like, this is amazing technology. So it's super fun to like look back and see how life was way back then before the iPhone and the see this seat beside the show that had lasted for so long. Why has it lasted for so long? I mean, it's not like great acting bad, but it's not the Super complicated plot lines. There is what I believe has made the show Lost so long as it's popach. The way that it is dealing with and it's all about the supernatural as you could just from the title. I think and culture. If you think about what kind of shows you see that are on, if you think about what people are talking about, you know, like what kind of shows they're watching. If you look at what people are reading about the stories that they're using for entertainment. I am willing to bet that most of the time you're going to have people who are seeking out the supernatural Rachelle and I trying to connect with our teenage boy
Are trying to watch the show the Marvel series with him. So it's like we have the ability to watch it this all the shows like and the timeline that it was created. I thought we started at the beginning and Michelle is watching this with us. You can know how strained our relationship is that we're trying to like build this connection with this boy that we're struggling with right now. So word watching these movies with him and I'm looking at it. I'm like that is so not real. How can people get into this? But we do, don't we? We do love superheroes. I mean, they're all over the place, and I have talked to you about this before and I'm not going to I'm not ashamed about it, but I watch that series. Warrior nun, Warrior nine, right? These are none who are like fighting evil Warrior nuns. I saw that. I was like, holy cow. Why did anybody send money for gas? But it was interesting because he's nuns are fighting evil. Right? And they have an interesting take on evil in that show. I have also talked to you about stranger things. It's really the first two seasons. I wouldn't like progressed beyond that but stranger things. This guy wrote a book about it uncovering, some of the ideas and trying to relate it to this Supernatural world. And so I believe like the like the author of Ecclesiastes says, the reason these things are. So you're not for the reasons like this drawer to the Supernatural is there is because God has put eternity in our heart. God has put eternity in our heart. And so we long for that Insight, that Unseen World. So there's a theologian. I like dr. Michael Heiser and I talked about him before a little bit here and there, but you wrote a book called The Unseen World and I've been working through this and I've read through it multiple times and he is bringing out. He's got his expertise is anxious that local languages. So the languages of the biblical world, the ancient biblical world like Acadian Ruger. Riddick anybody speaking. Any of those? Yeah heard of those anybody. Decide. So he has this like really, really specific knowledge about these ancient languages and he is primarily an Old Testaments, but he has interesting things to stay because it helps us understand the story of the Bible and I told you that I've Prefer, when I come to, the Bible, something called, like narrative, theology. Right? When I was at school, Systematic Theology was just like, you know, it's like one doctor and after another, and here's where you can find these proof packs for these toxins and it just was such a beat down for me cuz it seems so abstract, the end it. So I had a difficult time with Systematic Theology. How to do it, you know, it was part of the education. But Systematic, Theology was very abstract what I came to love and appreciate. And what if I have try to focus on in here is something that would even notice has a real name. Something that would be called like narrative theology. Looking at the story of the Bible, taking the story of the Bible on its own terms and seeing what we learn about ourselves and about God. Because there is a problem because what I want to do in this series is help, you understand this plot. That is all throughout the Bible about the supernatural. This is such an important part in the Bible that it is intertwined with every single Doctrine and every single episode that you are find in the Bible and especially and what Jesus is all about. And so we're going to look at the supernatural. Now, the reason I put this off so long is because I'm also like a really science-minded or a person of a skeptic. Right? I have a degree in biology. I teach biology. And so, I'm very much skeptical of that sort of scientific skepticism to anything that is out there. That is not there. Bible that is unseen. And so these are some problems that I have run into and there are different ways that Christians and Christian communities have approached. You have like, you're I guess more Evangelical, kind of group where Doctrine is the name of the game. Is that six Systematic Theology idea, right? Doctrine is what it's about. I said, they're going to take a lens and put it on the Bible and it's a Lynn's of Doctrine. And that's part of the reformed tradition as well. That is the approach. The scripture that I think makes scripture pouring makes it not relevant. Doesn't really answer. The questions. We are, are trying to answer now. Don't hear me. When I say that, I don't want you to, like, throw Doctrine out because we don't need to do that. But I think that Lynn's that we are looking through to understand this Longing. For Eternity, the story of the Bible. I think it can make things like it. It it blinds us ironically to what is there in the story. Another approach is more and this is again, I don't really like to see ology, but the other thing that is really a turn off for me, I don't know if it is for you either, but it's like a charismatic kind of approach the scripture right experience. Of the Supernatural is what it's all about. The charismatic movement is, is a, is a has-been in different forms about church history. You have had desert fathers going into the desert to take everything and stuff the try to experience God 101. What happens though? Or what can happen and what turns me off is that all of a sudden, almost anything goes, if somebody has an experience? Somebody has this experience. Therefore, God must be like this. So it gets unmoored pretty quickly. We are no longer anchored in that narrative, that story of the Bible. And so, these are some extremes that we come to. We have our overemphasis on Doctrine. We have are over emphasis on personal experience and then we have just what everybody has by being live in the modern world of skepticism towards anything that we call Supernatural. So, what I wanted to do was look at the narrative and we'll take pieces here and there and try to understand it from The Narrative itself. The story itself and see what some of the hostages. You read, everybody, like ever read through the Bible straight through and here. Now or just don't want to admit it, but why would you want to admit? That's a good thing. But actually I understand why you don't do it. Right? I understand why I was like why I struggle to do it because it doesn't take long. I mean like by chapter 3, it gets really weird really fast by chapter 6, in Genesis, you are talking about things like the Nephilim, these Giants that walked the Earth and you're just like what do I do with this? And there's these passages all throughout scripture are hinting at or are showing us a piece of this part of creation that we don't really consider very much. And so this is difficult to, it makes it difficult to read. It also makes it difficult to understand what Jesus is doing. I my brother-in-law one time. He wasn't a Christian at that point and he was like considering it and he asked me straight out. I was in Cemetery at this point. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? What's the cross fell about? And I'm like, well. It's just complicated and Survey really what I was saying to him. Is it kind of hard to understand? Because if we explain it and the church, it doesn't really make a ton of sense. So you are reading scripture. You have methylene, you have these like giants, you have sons of God, you have Gods. So that passage that we read and the psalm 82. The reason I wanted us to look at that is because of the translation of verse one. I'll come back to that in the suck but it's difficult to read scripture and read the reason is because we don't take the story seriously on its own terms. So we're going to explore some of those things like those ideas. And what I want you to see is that when we come to scripture. I don't really want you to bring that lens of doc, from these preconceived ideas about how you think the story goes. Okay, you all admit it. You haven't read through the Bible entirely, so you don't really know how the story goes anyway. I don't want you to bring those that one, right? I don't want you to bring this this sort of unmoored unhinged approach to the Bible where you all of a sudden can just like believe whatever you want to believe, because everybody can believe whatever they want to believe. All right, whatever you believe is nice. What I believe is. Nice, just don't get in the way of my beliefs. I don't want you to do that. We need to stay anchored in scripture. And so what the invitation is then, also the deal was that. Third big problem is for, Utah. Set aside or tone down your skepticism and I want you to bring some humility as we do this study of the next few weeks. I want you to kind of set aside your disbelief about how things are in the world and just just like this is all you get to by the end of the series. That's fine. But just pretends right set aside your skepticism and just inhabit this story because if we're honest there's a lot and creation that we do not. Perceive. I talked about this before, loudest sound in the animal world. We cannot hear. We need to speed it up. In order to hear at the there. There is a whole world are multiple worlds that are unseen and we didn't even know they existed before certain instruments were developed. I mean, like I'm talking about not long ago, the instrument in the nineteenth Century that changed, everything started to review and Unseen World. I thought that is required here. Just tone down the skepticism, and don't get rid of it. That's a healthy thing tone, down, the doubt, and bring that it aside, and realize that there are things. That you have not seen and cannot see. And in the future. We're going to be looking back and they're going to be other things that we perceive that we had no conception of before. So we need to read scripture more like this song as like a mosaic there. A lot of beautiful ancient Christian Mosaic early churches. I mean incredible if you have ever looked at some of the churches in Europe you you know that there's these mosaics are part of them. And I think that's intentional because the Mosaic you see a piece at a time. Right? One thing here here and if you just saw that piece and you like just saw that piece then you're like, I don't really understand what it is. For example. Here's a piece. You guys know what that is.
No, you don't don't try to pretend like you do. So here's a piece Psalm 82, for example, here's a piece. A scripture that will study will talk about Joe. Here's another piece. Any ideas? What? We're looking at here? So we're going to be looking at pieces and then putting it all together. And by the way, these pieces you have never seen unless you taking my class or you have no majored in science. Any ideas, what? We're looking at at all.
That creature that by the way is alive. Anybody know what time it is?
Play a song by 7th graders. Of course, you don't. I mean never have seen this before, but that is alive. It's one cell. And it has all the functions of life and it survives as only one cell. And because it's a cell that's twenty microns. You cannot see it with your eyes. There's this world. That is exploding with life, that has different rules and functions in different ways. That is Among Us, right. Now, there's this world and I want to suggest to you that as you sort of put your skepticism or tone it down. And as you kind of like, you know, bring some humility to this, you know, the late 18th 19th, century. We even had the instrument to see that thing the microscope. So, for most of our history, you'll know, I am like civilization developed culture had no idea of this thing. Is a paramecium by the way. One cell. That's all it is. And you were looking at different structures different pieces of it. And so, we're going to look at different pieces. We're going to zoom out so we can try to understand this unseen reality. That is very much alive and vibrant and part of our experience. And so we have a series on the Supernatural and we're going to get the questions that I usually avoid. I don't know why I do, but just have avoided at least in my time here, questions. Like, what's the deal with angels? Are they real? What about demons are those things, real? This thing having? What's that all about? What is it? The Divine Council or the Heavenly Host? Why is that said or sons of God? What's thought about or are there more than one gods? More than one God. The look at Psalm 82, again. First verse. The reason I like this translation because it does a good job. And I don't know if it struck you as odd or if you do with a lot of us do when we're reading and we can't quite fit into our framework or understanding of scripture. If you're reading, God provides and the Heavenly Council. There's that worth term in the Assembly of the Gods. Assembly of the Gods. It makes it sound like there's more than one God, doesn't it? And this is a faithful translation because the Hebrew their Elohim means. So Elohim presides in the Heavenly Council and the Assembly of the Elohim. That's the rules to words are their present in that same sentence. What is that about? So just to like, call me down a little bit know, we're not saying there's more than one God. We're not staying. That Jewish monotheism is not something that was really understood. But what does that mean? How can that even be possible? How is it that Elohim is present twice in that same verse. How are we to understand that? So we'll be looking at these strange packages that are hard for us to understand especially since we don't have a PhD in ancient biblical languages. That makes it difficult. Doesn't it? You don't even read Hebrew. I barely retweet Hebrews. So, it's like, it's, it's hard when you kind of miss this and our translations will give us these little crutches and Papas gloss over strange. Things strange parts of the Bible like this. And so my Invitation to you. Is an invitation that comes from a passage that I want us to look at quickly 2nd Kings 6:8 through 17. Listen for God's word to you. I need your help advance in the Outer Banks. Listen to this strange story. That is really an invitation when the king of a round was at war with Israel. He would confer with his officers and say, we will mobilize our forces at such-and-such a place, but immediately Elijah. The man of God would warn the king of Israel. Do not go near that place for the arameans are planning to mobilize their troops. They are their troops there. This is an area of like, modern-day Syria's where this would be. So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated. By the man of God. This is Elijah. The time time and again and Elijah warned the king so that he would be on the alert. Their the king of a round became very upset over this, you know, the people are being warned by Elijah. He called his officers together and demanded which of you is the traitor who is telling the enemy our plans. That's what he's saying. Who has been informing? The king of Israel of my plans. It is not us my Lord the king one of the officers replied Elijah. The prophet in Israel tells the king of Israel, even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom, go and find out where he is the king demanded so I can send troops to seize him and the report came back Elijah is at Dolphin. So one night with the king of a ramp sent, the great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city. And when the servants The manso Elijah's servant servant of the man of God, got up early the next morning and went outside. There were troops horses and chariots everywhere. Also, what will we do now that young man cry to Elijah? Don't be afraid. So the servants sees all these chariots and horses, and this Army that is going to descend on the city to do away with Elijah. And he says, don't be afraid, that's not very reasonable. Why would you say that? I'm afraid that tell me how to feel. So Elijah saying don't be afraid and he says this interesting thing and does this interesting thing for there are more on our side than on theirs. Like there's two of us. Elijah. Do you not see that? There's just two of us. That's all there is. I don't understand what you said. There's like a lot of like chariots and horses there two of us where the deal with this. No, I'm afraid and then Elijah prayed and this is a prayer that I want you to be praying. That is is an invitation for you to be praying over the series, Elijah prayed. Oh Lord. Open his eyes. And let him see.
The Lord, open, the young man's eyes, the servants eyes. And when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elijah was filled with horses and Chariots of Fire. Open. His eyes. That's my prayer for us. This is a glimpse. This is like looking at the little organelle in the paramecium. One little glimpse into what's going on. This very strange Story. The strange thing that's happening in the Bible. By the way, the prophets are the ones who are giving us most of the time, the Glimpse write these little scenes, these little parts of the Unseen World to help us piece it together. And it's strange and we don't understand it, and that's okay. But my prayer for you is Elijah's prayer, open your eyes, open my eyes, God, so that we can see what is going on in the Bible. In a new way, is going to invite us to understand our identity and our purpose and is going to motivate us more than watching Supernatural on TV. To God be all the glory now and forever. Amen.
I want invite you to stay.