My local church just finished a one-year survey of the Bible, and the year was ended with a Q&A session, that I am linking to, for your video viewing (follow this link: sorry, I was not able to embed the video itself!), with Pastors Travis Simone, Hunter Ruch, Rich Sylvester, Dale South and Claude Marshall. This was a fantastic example of how pastors with different views can come together in an attitude of humility, and model good conversation with one another.
When pastors preach, typically no one dares to ask a question. So, if you ever get stuck on something, you may or may not be able to get back to your pastor to discuss what concerns you. You may feel intimidated. You might never ask, as you might think you have a stupid question, when it really is not. That is why it is a good idea for pastors to have Q&A sessions like these to tackle sincere questions from the flock.
The times are approximate, but I have tried to mark the time when a question comes up in the discussion, so that you can track this easier. The questions were all really good:
- 0:00 Music filler intro that you can skip.
- 11:46 Introduction
- 17:39 Why did Jesus of Nazareth never clarify to his listeners that he was born in Bethlehem as a fulfillment of prophecy?
- 26:29 How do we handle the multiple interpretations of the Book of Revelation?
- 49:06 How important is numerology in the Bible?
- 1:00:00 How do we interpret the Rapture? How many times does the Bible say that Jesus is coming back?
- 1:18:40 What is the Apocrypha? Is it important for us to know the Apocrypha?
- 1:27:00 How are we to understand the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?
- 1:38:00 What is our responsibility in submitting to civil authority from Romans 13?
A few comments on the questions:
- The Nazareth/Bethlehem question is important as skeptic Bart Ehrman says that Jesus was really born in Nazareth, and that the Gospel writers invented the Bethlehem birth story as a way to have a cover for saying that Jesus was the Messiah of Old Testament prophecy. It is helpful for Christians to think about this and have an answer for this claim.
- Yes, there are multiple interpretations of the Book of Revelation, as well as different views of the Rapture, and the panel reflects this plurality of views: (1) a progressive dispensationalist, who holds to a pre-tribulational rapture, followed by a premillennial return of Christ; (2) a partial preterist, who believes that much of Revelation was fulfilled in the 1st century A.D. (except for the last few chapters of the book); (3) a post-tribulational rapture proponent, who holds to a non-dispensational, historic premillennialism view; and (4) an amillennialist, who is very wary of speculations regarding futurist views of Revelation. See if you can pick out which is which. Learn more about these different viewpoints here.
- Regarding the Apocrypha, Protestants do not consider it as Scripture, but yes, it is important for us to know the basics of the Apocrypha, as it helps us to better understand the New Testament.
- For more information about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, from a Biblical perspective, the video mentions a two-part Romans 9-11 Q&A session that dives into this in great detail (Night #1 & Night #2).
- Romans 13. Yes, this is important in the age of COVID-19, where the importance of religious freedom needs to be balanced with public health concerns, and loving your neighbor well.
Enjoy the discussion.