Looking for answers
Perhaps it has happened to you.
You are preparing a Sunday School lesson, have a question, and can’t seem to find a response that seems sufficient. You search resources available to you, but you just can’t put your finger on a satisfactory answer.
Perhaps you have recently been called to a ministry in your church and it has taken you out of your comfort zone. In your heart you really want to serve the Lord to the best of your ability. However, you feel like you aren’t equipped well enough.
Or perhaps a coworker, or even your child, asks you a question about the Bible or about the Church and you wish you could give a better response. Though you feel confident in your faith, you just wish you had a better answer to give at a deeper level.
If you have ever felt this way, know that you are not alone! There are many who, like you, are searching for answers in their pursuit of studying the Bible, understanding what it says, and applying it to ministry in the local church.
Helping meet a need
Central Christian College of the Bible recognizes that a need exists to help more people find answers to the questions they have about the Bible. Further, a need exists to discuss the Bible at a deeper level—deeper than what space permits in Sunday School lesson commentaries and small group discussion guides.
This blog, findmorebible.com, is designed to help meet this need. Professors, students, and alumni of Central contribute to this blog which discusses the Bible and ministry in an in-depth manner. We want to help you, the reader, dig deeper into to the greatest Book of all and what it means for your life. We want to help you on your journey to know the Bible better, to study the Bible for yourself, and to be better equipped to serve in your home church.
The binocular effect
If you have ever looked through a pair of binoculars, you know that they allow you to see details up close and personal. Take this picture which features one pair of binoculars.
These binoculars allow the viewer to see the bird in wonderful, crisp detail from a great distance. The value of the binoculars is that they allow close examination of a specific object.
However, there is a tradeoff. In choosing to view the bird up close, the viewer cannot see the big picture of the forest. It is impossible to view both the broad picture and the small detailed picture at the same time. The viewer can only focus on one or the other at the same time.
Blogs work the same way. Their value lies in the specific subjects on which they focus. It would be possible to blog on anything and everything. Even within Christendom, one could write about a myriad of different subjects. However, as soon as the choice is made to focus on the broad picture, the tradeoff is that much less focus is able to be given to the vivid details and contours of a specific subject. Call it the binocular effect.
The focus of findmorebible.com
Findmorebible.com “looks through the binoculars” and focuses on the Bible in the three specific areas of Bible content, Bible study, and the Bible and ministry. Every blog post found on findmorebible.com focuses on the Bible in one of these three ways. We want to help our readers know and understand the Bible better and how it applies to serving in the local church.
Let me elaborate on these three areas.
- Bible content: what does the Bible say?
We are living in a time that is becoming increasingly post-Christian. For example, the Barna Research Group found that in the span of two years- from 2013 to 2015- Americans who qualify as “post-Christian” rose from 37% in 2013 to 44% in 2015.
This means a greater need exists more than ever for Christians to simply know what the Bible says.
There are several reasons for this. One is that many Christians who are new to the faith need to understand the content of the Bible. They need to know what the Bible says and how the pieces of the Bible fit together. Take an example. Matthew 27:51 records that when Jesus died, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Someone new to the faith probably has little idea was this detail means. However, when read in light of the design of the tabernacle in Exodus 25-40, this becomes a very significant detail: because of the death of Jesus, the way is opened to the presence of God!
The point is that there is an ongoing need to discuss and understand the content of the Bible.
Another reason to focus on what the Bible says is to enable us to be better prepared to defend the Scripture when attacks are leveled against it or when misinformation circulates about the Bible. For example, it is assumed by many that Eve sinned by eating an apple in the Garden of Eden. However, the Bible does not speak of an apple tree. Eve ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (see Gen 2:15-17; 3:1-6).
More serious is the often quoted words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This passage is generally used in such a way to say, “You don’t have the right to say what I am doing is wrong.” Yet in the same context Jesus says, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine” (Matt 7:6) and, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15-16).
Jesus clearly teaches us to make judgments about the actions of others. What He prohibits is the hypocritical type of judging which picks at the fault of a brother all the while having a glaring sin in one’s own life (see Matt 7:3-5).
Focusing on Bible content is the solution to correcting misinformation that circulates about the Bible.
What about attacks made against the Bible? For example, it is assumed by some that the Bible and science are hopelessly inconsistent with each other and therefore the Bible cannot be trusted in matters related to science. However, focusing on content of the Bible shows that the Bible can be trusted, as some top Christian scientists have demonstrated.
Findmorebible.com focuses on the content of the Bible in an in-depth, academic way.
2. Bible study: what does the Bible mean?
Closely related to Bible content is Bible study. Not only are we interested in what the Bible says; we also want to know what it means.
Findmorebible.com is devoted to understanding what the Bible means and helping our readers grow in their own ability to study the Bible for themselves.
An old adage says, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” Findmorebible.com is devoted to teaching others to study the Bible so they can feed themselves spiritually from God’s word for a lifetime.
There are many topics pertaining to Bible study which are worthy to explore in detail. Take parable interpretation as an example. Some of the most well-known teaching of Jesus came in the form of parables. Yet scholars have long debated how parables should be interpreted, as Craig Blomberg aptly explains. For much of church history the parables of Jesus were heavily allegorized and treated anachronistically. However, in the late 1800s Adolf Julicher wrote two volumes on parable interpretation which concluded that parables often have only a single point of comparison between the story in the parable and what the story represented.
This led to the “rule of parable interpretation” that parables have only one main point. This view is problematic in that some parables have multiple points. For example, in the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:3-9, 18-23), Jesus makes four points with four different soil types!
It is necessary to explore the issue of how to study the parables of Jesus in order to understand individual parables more accurately and also to help others interpret all of the parables for themselves.
Findmorebible.com is devoted to exploring what the Bible means.
3. The Bible and ministry: how does the Bible apply?
Consider the carpenter who has a passion for building houses. He has all of the tools necessary in his toolbox. Through years of study and practice in carpentry, he has the knowledge of a master carpenter. Imagine his frustration of having everything he needs, but no outlet to share it.
Or think of music. Imagine if you purchased a guitar and had all of the accessories to play beautiful music in your hands. You also have studied music and honed your ability to play the instrument. Imagine the frustration of having everything you need, but no outlet to share it.
So it is with learning the content of the Bible and studying the Bible. It would be incredibly frustrating to have the tools and knowledge you need and yet have no outlet to share it.
Thankfully, God provides an outlet for us to put to practice what we learn from His word: ministry in His kingdom. Jesus has commanded us to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20).
In Ephesians 4:11-16, Paul teaches that Christ “gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” that the body of Christ might attain maturity.
In the church, God has placed the members in the body as He desired (see 1 Cor 12:14-27). Just as with our human bodies, each member of the body of Christ is important and has a unique role to fill. Among other things, we are directed to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds encouraging one another” (Heb 10:24-25).
Findmorebible.com is devoted to helping readers more effectively put their Bible knowledge and Bible study to practice in the God-given outlet of ministry in the kingdom of God. Here are some examples:
- Help Sunday School teachers be more successful in their ministry.
- Help parents give solid Bible answers to their children.
- Help elders more wisely shepherd the flock of God.
- Help deacons better serve in their ministry roles in the local church.
- Help those aspiring to preach be better equipped.
- Help children’s ministers to more aptly teach and shape children for Christ.
Having all of the right tools and knowledge is not enough. It must find an outlet. Findmorebible.com is devoted to helping readers more effectively minister in the kingdom.
We invite you to subscribe to findmorebible.com and to share in our journey as we explore what the Bible says, what the Bible means, and how the Bible applies to ministry in the local church.