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October 8, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Bryan Smith of the BJU Press continues a doctrinal series entitled “God’s Word in Our Hands,” and his scripture passage is Genesis 1:28.
Welcome to The Daily Platform sponsored by Bob Jones University today Dr. Brian Smith of the BJ you press continues our doctrinal series entitled God's word in our hands, but we're continuing our series on God's word it word in our hand and we will, we began to work through the plans of who would come to speak one of the individuals that I definitely wanted to come was Dr. Brian Smith. Dr. Smith is on staff at the Bob Jones University press.
He is the senior manager for Biblical integration and it was a little over a year year and 1/2 ago I was at the creation Museum up in the Cincinnati area, Kentucky, and I was sitting in a seminar and a man stood up to speak and he started speaking about Biblical integration and I thought who is this dude and this guy is like good. It sounds like he's from Bob Jones University will come to find out he is and I didn't even know it at the time because his arguments in his presentation was so convincing that he has become one of the leading communicators of the importance of Biblical integration in your education, not just to the schools that use the Bob Jones University press material but literally throughout the United States. So he's going to come this morning and speak on the theme of Biblical integration and what this means I do not want to assume that because your student here that is very clear in your mind. So Dr. Smith you come were looking forward to your message.
Well my assignment this morning is to speak with you about the importance of Biblical integration and want to focus our attention on a particular word worldview that is vital to understanding how the Bible is integrated into all of our lives. We understand the term worldview and we understand the concept. The stands behind it were able to see how it is the Bible as a whole applies to our lives, such as diversity or reverse. There applies to our lives. It is the Bible as a whole and its entire message applies to our lives and some may question as to whether this term worldview really has that kind of power to convey that kind of understanding. After all, to look up the word worldview of the dictionary you will find a rather unimpressive definition.
Typical dictionary definition of the term worldview goes something like this. A view of the world. Well, that's not life-changing.
Nothing ever can be no it doesn't seem very insightful lesson. But if you go beyond the dictionary to careful treatments of the term in house and use of the last couple of centuries you find there is another layer of meaning to that term that often gets missed as that is the idea of story. Worldview is not just to view the world view the world. It comes in a certain form and that form is a grand overarching narrative, sometimes called a metanarrative by many different people to grand metanarrative that conveys where this world is come from how it's gone into its current condition where it's headed off in the future and that is so very important for everyone of us because all of us. We are all narrative creatures we make sense of the issues that we face in life by taking those issues and plugging them in to the metanarrative that we are committed to the grand overarching story that we are committed to were so regularly doing it. We do it almost instinctively.
That's very important understand because the narrative you plug the issues of life into has everything to do with how you see those issues a given issue can look vastly different depending on what narrative you plug it take for example marriage. You take marriage and plug it into the grand overarching narrative of ancient Greco-Roman polytheism looks like. One thing but you take marriage and plug it into the grand narrative of modern secularism, which is basically generated by the story of evolution.
It looks like some quite different. I gave an illustration just now about marriage or we could choose a whole bunch of different illustrations that could extend over talking about we talk about government and how it's used orders society we could talk about vocations varies vocations and the role they play in helping to encourage you and flourishing or how they inhibit human flourishing and encourage actually human depravity.
We can talk about your own major in the role. It's gonna play in affecting your life and through your life affecting the lives of other people. Name any issue that you can think of. It can look vastly different depending on the metanarrative you plug it into all that brings us to consider the word of God that you hold in your hands what you hold in your hands is a metanarrative from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible tells one continuous story. One continuous metanarrative of creation fall redemption. God made the world and everything in it for his own glory, and he made it right is seen fit in his wisdom to allow this world to fall into a broken condition because of human sinfulness, but do not fret. He is at work now to redeem this world to himself, that is the metanarrative that is the grand overarching narrative and God expects us to learn how to live in this world by taking the issues of our lives and plugging them regularly into that narrative in order that we might gain wisdom in order that we might know how to properly face the challenges that come up for us day after day in our lives. That's what we want to do the chapel message we want to walk away very rapidly through the story line of creation fall and redemption. Toward the end. Learn to plug our own lives into that story that we might gain wisdom for how we are to live for God in a very challenging world.
So let's begin with the Bible begins in creation to take us to Genesis chapter 1 Genesis chapter 1 Genesis 1 and two actually are the key creation narratives that we find in Scripture. The very important because it tells how the story begins.
But more than that very important because they tell us how life is supposed to be in front have wisdom in facing our lives we got to know how life is supposed to be first before we can really evaluate the challenges the standard forest. For that reason there are many different things. In Genesis 1 into their very important for us to consider in order to develop a Christian worldview.
We however cannot consider all of those things we just consider a handful of things that come up toward the end of Genesis 1.
In particular we find in Genesis 126 to 28.
These three verses are key in developing a Christian worldview because these three verses tell us who we are as human beings.
They also tell us why we are here. Genesis 126 and 27 tell us who we are. We are image bearers of God in Genesis 128 tells us why we are here called the creation mandate. Let's focus on that. Let's read Genesis 128 and God blessed them, and set into them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves with upon the earth.
From these words called the creation mandate, we learn the God made us with a job to do and that job is to fill the earth, that job is also to have dominion over all the parts and pieces of the earth. Those two basic have in Genesis 128 express.
Generally, the whole of human life. The first half expresses human life lived at home with the second half refers to life lived in the realm of work and labor and the key word that's used there to describe what our work and labors to be all about is this word dominion.
Don't be afraid of that word a lot of times and people look at Genesis 1 of the look of his word, dominion, and subdue and the context of Genesis 1 into the little nervous. They think that what you saying that were supposed to go out into the world and abusively miss treat other people and selfishly crush the things that God is put out here in the world for us. No, absolutely not abuse, as part of the fall in Genesis 1 and two is here to tell us what life look like before the fall is here to tell us the way things are supposed to be an abuse has no place in the way that things are supposed to be according to the original creation of goodness of God's world. That's not what dominion is all about what is to give you two key definitions. This will show up on the test. By the way these two key definition blind well on the test go dwell in the task you're not allowed to leave the FMA this afternoon to key definitions that in context express what's going on here with dominion first would be this maximizing the usefulness of maximizing the usefulness of God's world goddess filled his world with latent potential, and he expects us to go out into that world and together with other people study that world uncover that latent potential and then work together with other people to use that potential to enrich the lives of other people and to declare the glory of God as a means for to be declared in the world is another definition pressing God's world toward its ideal when God calls us to exercise dominion is not calling us to break his world is calling us to engage his world with thoughtful work in order to press that world toward the ideal that is meant for God has an ideal for this world and its grown-up condition and I can say with great confidence that his desire for this world and its grown-up condition is not a garden with two people and it that's all the story begins. That's what the world is like in its infancy, but in its full maturity look something like something quite different. It looks like what we find. At the end of the story.
Revelation 21 and 22. What you find there those passages. If you find the center of human existence for all eternity is not a garden but is a huge glorious city with millions of redeem people living together, working together, worshiping God together and what does that suggest it suggests that civilization culture society.
These are not dirty words in a Christian worldview. They are wholly sacred precious terms in a Christian worldview and they have their roots ultimately not backing Revelation 21. The got their roots all the way back in Genesis chapter 1 you see Genesis 128.
In the end is about much more than fish and birds and insects.
It is about culture is about humans engaging in the work of developing culture. The word culture doesn't appear in Genesis 128. The key themes of culture found in every line of Genesis 128 when humans attempt to live out the commands of the creation mandate of Genesis 128. Day after day week after week, year after year culture is what results very quickly the artifacts of culture get invented and put to use. Very quickly the social fabric of society begins to be woven together into a common civilization. This is the reason that when you look at the biblical narrative you see human society and culture forming up much earlier and that storyline that a secularist is willing to recognize from his storyline going to the secularist worldview. It takes millions of years for human culture to develop. But in a Christian worldview in the Christian storyline culture and civilization and society begins to develop in Genesis 4 and the first generations of people.
Why is that it is because the creation mandate is not just written on the first page of Scripture is written on the mind and heart of every human being that has ever lived on the face of the earth. We long to be engaged in work of culture creation is what God is made.
Culture is what we make out of what God is made and when we make culture out of God's good creation. We do not commit a crime against the glory of God.
We instead declare the glory of God, we mean to my pressing his world towards ideal.
Now we would all love to stop the story right there with me, but we can because that's not where the story ends story continues in chapter 3 of Genesis to tell us how things went wrong. All is not well in God's world.
All is not well in God's world, not because God is failed is because we have failed God. Genesis retells the story and it tells it in this way God given us one prohibition. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God was testing us to see if we would exercise dominion underneath his greater dominion over us and you know the story site in the form of a serpent tempted us to rebel against God, to attempt to exercise dominion independent of his greater dominion over us. We failed the test. We fell in temptation and this failure has led to all of our will, sorrow, suffering, disease, death.
These are the things that fill our lives and yet these are not the worst things that we need in life very worst things of the things that are broken inside of us we sin we love to sin. We do not love God, as we should. We do not love our neighbors as we should, in all of life is become poison because of our fall into sin all the blessings of the creation mandate and become poison because of our fall into sin. Life at home has become poison to give Adam's words is words of response to God. When God questions him about his deeds in Genesis 3 verse 12 Adam says the woman whom thou gavest to be with me. She gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat. I've often wondered where Adam slept that night. You see right away in the middle of Genesis 3. Life at home is become poison because of our fall into sin. Jury farther to Genesis for you find that life at work in the realm of culture and society. Likewise has been poison because of our fall into sin. Genesis for the end, tells how Cain went out from the presence of the Lord to build the city in the land of nod. There he fathers a line of descendents, who together work together to produce a number of developments in agriculture, musical instruments and number of other things as well. On the surface it appears that mankind is moving forward and exercising dominion as he was always meant to look little more carefully and scratch the service you find there sin there. There is selfishness there. There is social injustice. There there is polygamy there so it is all throughout human history we live in selfishness at home. We live in corruption out of the world of work and society, and we naturally raise this question who will deliver us from the mess that we have made of God's very good world. Only God and that is exactly what a biblical worldview goes on to tell God steps into our tragic situation because God does not abandon the work of his. He steps into our tragic situation immediately begins to reveal a plan by which he will restore us to our original stature in our original calling when most thrilling things about a biblical worldview is that the third and final component is not fall but is redemption and everything it's marvelous and all of that is that the Bible takes its time to tell the story of redemption you get creation in Genesis 1 into those certain implications are found in every other page.
After that it fall in Genesis 3, though of course applications are found right through the biblical storyline where does redemption unfold everywhere else. The Bible is not a negative pessimistic book. It is filled with hope. Now it's true that the Bible takes its time to tell the story of redemption. I however, rest assured will not take my time to tell the story of redemption. I will cover it very very rapidly and I will attempt to do that by telling all with reference to just one verse Genesis 315 Genesis 315 is good verse for that because it tells the whole story of redemption in one single packed, seminal statement.
Here's what it says God speaks a a statement of curse on the serpent as Satan. But in that as a whisper of hope to the human race, and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed it shall bruise thy head, thou shall bruise his heel. It's remarkable in that it can tell the whole story redemption are just a handful of lines. It's also remarkable because it comes from a previous state we've already considered. It is an echo basically Genesis 120 at the core of both statements is the same basic idea.
Genesis 128 God says, I call on you. The human race to rule over my world underneath migraine rule over you, and Genesis 315 God says I am sending someone to you who will rule for you though you have failed. What is it mean to crush the enemy on the head, but to subdue and what is that suggest that ever after a good and righteous and wise dominion follow for Genesis 315 does not destroy Genesis 128. It restores Genesis 128 you could from that perspective. Summarize the whole storyline of Scripture in these words. Jesus, the second Adam comes to fulfill the dominion that the first Adam failed to fulfill when you understand that you can see how it is of the whole story of Scripture fits together in a tight unity. This is the reason that from Genesis 3 on your never far from the promise of the coming king is the reason also that when Jesus first comes onto the stage of Scripture he comes onto the stage of Scripture and history saying what he says the time is been fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the gospel of the kingdom of God is the order that God is meant for the universe from the very beginning that man should rule over this world underneath God's greater rule over man now at last in Mark chapter 1, that kingdom has arrived wide because the king has arrived and he comes to set up the kingdom. But there is a condition you must repent and believe in the gospel, you must turn away from your sin and give yourself holy and without reservation to the king that God is appointed for and if you do that you have the kingdom. If you do that. Jesus promises you eternal life was that eternal life look like that is again a Revelation 21 to 22 become so very significant, particularly Revelation 22 five will receive one of the final statements in the storyline of redemption. These words, there shall be no night there. They need no candle, neither light of the sun for the Lord God giveth them light and they shall reign for ever and ever. So the story of Scripture ends much as it began began with God calling us to exercise dominion. It continues with us. Failing God miserably, but it continues with God promising to send his own son to be our own son, and when that's on triumphs. We all triumphed with them.
If we repent and believe the gospel and in the end. Genesis 128 is not lost but is restored for all eternity are home forever and ever, is not to sit on cloud strumming heart are home forever and ever is to live with her feet firmly planted on the ground of the new earth.
Living out the implications of Genesis 128 for ever. And that's the story. Now it's time for us to find our place in the story are places not found in Revelation 22. We live in a world of the kingdom of God is, but it has not yet the our place in the story, therefore, is found in passages like the sermon on the Mount looks like the book of Colossians book of Philippians work.
Certainly one of my favorites. Ephesians start Ephesians 5 now is her final passage Ephesians 5 verse 15 will look at that just a moment. It is here in Ephesians 5 and six that Paul gives a number of admonitions to these Christians in Ephesus regarding what it means to walk worthy of the Lord in the present evil age in a world where the kingdom is, but it has not yet fully come in he said to them in verse 15 C than that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. He exhorts them to redeem the time, what is at me.
Paul is calling them to think about life from the entire biblical metanarrative. We live in an evil age. He says so work hard to rescue from the clutches of this present evil age, the portion of the age. That is put in your charge time is given to you. What is it mean to live in this present evil age it means to live every day seeking to live redemptive lady in our wicked fallen cultures was that supposed to look like less what the rest of Ephesians is about get this picture after picture regarding what that is supposed to look like.
I think in particular that extended passage found in Ephesians 521 through chapter 6 and verse nine Paul gives exhortation after exhortation in three different categories of relationships.
The husband-wife relationship the parent-child relationship.
The master slave relationship is interesting it unfolds in the two halves of Genesis 128 life lived at home life lived in labor life lived in work. There are many lessons to be derived from that passage will just here focus on one when you look very carefully what Paul has to say here, you're struck with this.
The power that we exert in cultures should be a powerless kind of power.
I'm referring primarily what Paul says to the Masters in 69. He is exhorting them regarding their life lived and worked their life lived in labor something that is a part of the original operational goodness of God's world, but they are currently operating in a social structure that is twisted that has no place in God's original racially good world work in the realm of slavery. Yet Paul does not tell them to immediately emancipate all of their slaves were not think it has something to do with Paul's very high regard for law and order law in order to is something that has its foundations deep in the creation of goodness of God's world. God loves law and order, therefore so does Paul therefore is unwilling to give any exhortations that would call into question the goodness and the appropriateness of law and order in that society. But that doesn't mean the Paul leaves him off the hook.
He then gives them a number of very challenging exhortations, especially what he says. And just to forbearing threat, as a Christian. Master Paul is saying. Certainly you must not beat your slaves, but something even more than that. You cannot even speak to them in a threatening sort of manner and what Paul essentially does. At that point is, he severs the cord that held together slavery as an institution and that is not lost on history the impact of Paul's exhortation here in this passage and other passages that are parallel to it over the course of several centuries. This aspect of society was significantly changed as the behavior of Christians in this part of the world was challenged and thus developed a conscience and that society regarding the treatment of slaves. It didn't produce a heaven on earth, but it made things better for a lot of people and it worked together with a bunch of other changes that the Christian church was able to show through the light of his testimony to create a broad cultural platform from which the Christian church was able to proclaim the glories of the gospel in a broad and penetrating way greater than it was able to do.
In other words, they learn the lesson of giving up their power in order to exert a far better power in their world is very instructive. Parallel here for all of us, you're going out into vocations or going out into social structures that are in some ways similar to the slavery that's referred here, referred to herein. Ephesians 6 and verse you're going out into vocations that on some level are what they are because of the correctional goodness of God's world, but they also are what they are because they been twisted by human fallenness.
They been twisted by sin and for that reason these vocations are not houses for human flourishing. They tend to be houses for developing and committing more and more people to bondage in a very fallen world that is the world that you're going out into that is the location that you're going out and some form or another. What are you going to do when you get what would Paul tell you to do. It would likely exhorts you to consider that there is a forbearing threatening exhortation that you need to consider and live by all the way through that vocations are going into and in so doing you will exert a powerless sort of power in your place of service your place of work. I can tell you it will take wisdom to uncover that applet application wisdom derived from the biblical worldview wisdom derived from your education here wisdom derived from meeting regularly with God, but it will require more it will require love, love your neighbor which is just as great as love that you have for yourself or regularly.
You will have to decide not to make full use of the rights and the privileges that your culture is willing to give to you all in order so that someone else my flourish. But in the end God will give you the grace for every decision, every challenge because ultimate reality is not the survival of the fittest ultimate reality is God in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
That's the story. Your privilege is that you get to play part, I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
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