Tag Archives: Douglas

#Thanksgiving (Special Days #Study Lesson)

R4E130828 –  Thanksgiving by Douglas Jacoby

1 Thanksgiving Origins of the American Celebration
2 Forgiveness Loves More Thanksgiving
3 Revelation Blessing Glory Wisdom Thanksgiving Honor Power

You can download the full audiobook recording on qobuz or amazon or itunes.

Biblical sidelights on Thanksgiving

  • Many of the Psalms express gratitude
    • Psalm 69:30 — “I will praise the name of God with a song / I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
    • Psalm 100:4 — “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! / Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
  • Thanksgiving is a special theme in Luke’s gospel
    • Luke is full of stories of people responding appropriately / inappropriately, with or without gratitude (such as the rich man and Zacchaeus, in Luke 18 and 19).
    • Luke 7 — the sinful woman loves much.
      • It is easy to despise those who effusively express their gratitude (like Michal, 2 Samuel 6). Do I look down on those more expressive than me? (Or on those less expressive than I am?)
      • How expressive am I? In thanking others, thanking God, sharing the good news…?
      • Further study: take a look at other versions of this story, for example in John 12.
    • Luke 17 — the 10 lepers
      • Forgetfulness, inattention, loss of focus — perhaps the failure of the 9 was inadvertent.
      • Returning to show thanks will cost us thought, energy, money, time (change of plans?)
      • Thanksgiving is a characteristic of authentic spirituality.
      • 2 Kings 5 — Naaman the leper.
    • Revelation 7:12 — “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
  • For further thought:
    • Notice the emphasis on gratitude in the epistles. Make a list of verses, and commit one to memory.
    • Do you agree that only 10% of Christians have the “gift of evangelism”? Why or why not? Either way, what are the implications?
    • If I am a parent, are my children grateful? Or do they seem to behave in an “entitled” way?
    • I preached a Thanksgiving sermon at the North River Church of Christ (Marietta, Georgia) on 27 November 2011, inspired by my study underlying this podcast. Perhaps you’ll want to listen to it (26 minutes).

 

Music from http://relate4ever.com/letter-for-children

Ecology

R4E130717 – Ecology by Douglas Jacoby

You can download the full audiobook recording on qobuz or amazon or itunes.

1. What’s ecology?
Ecology is a study of the relationships between organisms and the environments in which they live. The earth comprises many ecosystems, each delicately balanced. Over-farming, air pollution, water pollution, over-hunting and so on can have drastic consequences, such as the extinction of species, severe erosion, and dangerous spikes in greenhouse gases.

2. How do humans relate to nature?
Where do we as humans fit into the scheme of things? Genesis 1-2 (esp. 1:26-27, 2:7) indicate our natural origins (“day six” creation along with the other beasts, made from dirt). Yet there is also a divine origin, and humans are tasked with bearing (or being) the divine image. (This is not “speciesism”!) Thus we are in both worlds. We should be honored to be God’s children, yet humbled by our earthly origins.

3. What duties, or obligations, if any, do humans have toward the natural world?
According to Genesis 1:26,28, 2:15; Psalm 8:6; and many other passages, and in line with extensive Judaeo-Christian reflection on passages such as Luke 16:12, 19:17; 1 Corinthians 4:2 we have a responsibility to care for the creation. That is, ecology is part of spirituality. One clear example of ecological responsibility is the Sabbath principle in agriculture (Exodus 23:10; Leviticus 26:34-35; 2 Chronicles 36:21).

4. What about the Green movement?
This does not work if there is no God, or if, as many New Age thinkers opine, we are only part of nature. For in that case what argument could be made that we shouldn’t trash the planet, kill the weak, commit adultery, and so forth? With biblical monotheism there is a warrant for ecology; without it, such talk turns out to be mere smoke of opinion. Either we are only part of nature (like the other animals, and thus without moral responsibility), or we somehow transcend nature, as Scripture says (and thus are responsible for our ethics — environmental, familial, business, sexual, social, etc). This the Green movement falls for short, for it fails to achieve the insight that this is God’s world. (Psalm 104 powerfully attests to this fact.)

5. But isn’t it all going to burn?
Whether or not the fire of 2 Peter 3:10 is taken literally does not matter, since the Lord tells us to care for his creation (now) and to expect — in some sense we can only dimly grasp — a new creation at the end (2 Peter 3:13). Dismissive attitudes like “Our planet will indefinitely renew itself,” or “All I care about is my standard of living, not whether my company poisons the water,” or “Why does it matter, if everything’s gonna burn?” should not be found among those who fear God and believe his word.

6. What’s the vision?
As believers in the scriptures, we should all embrace the biblical vision of a creation released from its “bondage to decay” (Romans 8:18-22).

7. What should we do?

  • Strive to develop ecological sensitivity.
  • Talk about environmental issues.
  • Recycle.
  • Take ownership of the creation. We are not only stewards; in a sense, we are “gardeners.”
  • Don’t litter — ever.
  • Ask your “green” friends why ecology matters if there’s no God, and explain why ecology follows naturally from the mandate of Genesis 1.
  • Appreciate nature: enjoy the great outdoors, read works in the natural sciences, be awed by the creation.
  • Perhaps take a peek at Rolston’s interesting article.

Clashing Worldviews

R4E130715 – Clashing Worldviews by Douglas Jacoby

You can download the full audiobook recording on qobuz or amazon or itunes.

Joshua 24:14-15 – decision
Judges 6:28-32 – Asherah pole
Judges 9:13—inferior gods
Judges 16:23-30 – Samson & Dagon
1 Samuel 5:2-7 – Dagon exposed
1 Kings 11:1-8 – Solomon
1 Kings 12:26-33 – Jeroboam’s sin
1 Kings 18:27 – inferior gods
1 Kings 22:4-8 – outnumbered – (1 Kings 18:19)
2 Kings 17:7-41 – dangers of syncretism
2 Kings 23:10 – Molech
2 Chronicles 32:19 – religious relativism
Isaiah 44:6-20 – mockery of idolatry
Jeremiah 2:28 – city-gods
Lamentations 2:14 – false prophets
Ezekiel 8:1-18 – sun god, Tammuz
Daniel 2:11 – inferior gods
Daniel 5:4 – affront to God
John 14:6 – one way
John 18:38 – relativism
Acts 4:12 – one name
Acts 14:11-18 – fickleness
Acts 17:16-34 – “unknown god”
Romans 1:21-23 – classic passage
Romans 2:12-16 – saved by conscience?
1 Thessalonians 1:9 – turn at conversion
1 Timothy 2:4 – God wants all to be saved
Revelation 7:9 – universal vision
Note: My comments are primarily based on the ESV.