Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 30, 2013 0 comments

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I know many people who do, but unfortunately most of them don’t stick with their resolutions longer than a few weeks, if that. A study in 2007 showed that 88% of people break their New Year’s resolutions. Common resolutions are exercising more, eating healthier, improving finances, or thinking more positively - usually improving some aspect of yourself. Many resolutions aren’t necessarily measurable, which makes them hard to track and therefore to keep. I have never really made New Year’s resolutions, simply for the reason of failure - I don’t like to fail at things, and it’s highly likely that I would fail at keeping a New Year’s resolution.

The Bible is not clear on whether we should or shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions, probably because the concept was not common back then, although a few pagan religions had similar practices. We are encouraged to examine our ways, and to take a look at our lives and see where we’re at. Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”

But, why do we so often fail at making resolutions to change something in our lives? Often we look to our own strength to do so, rather than looking to God for help. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” While we may be able to change small habits on our own for a little while, any substantial and lasting change must come from God.

Another reason I don’t make New Year’s resolutions is because I believe that resolutions can be made any time of year, not just on January 1. The important part of a resolution is that you realize that a change needs to be made, and you start to actively make that change - whether it be by changing your habits, or by actively and daily looking to God for help on a particular issue. Change doesn’t just have to happen in January, but it should happen whenever needed.

Do you need help coming up with a New Year’s resolution for 2014? Try this on for size: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me [Paul], or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

Manger - He Was Born There, But He Didn't Stay

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 26, 2013 0 comments

Does anyone know what the number one TV show on cable has been for about the past year? It’s pretty hard to avoid the show altogether because so many people watch it, quote it, and buy its merchandise. I’m talking about the hit show on A & E called “Duck Dynasty”. In case you’ve been living under a rock and have heard nothing about it, it’s a reality show based on the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy manufacturing duck calls in Louisiana and were asked to allow cameras to follow what they do and how they live. Everyone who watches the show knows the family has Christian beliefs because they pray and talk about them openly. Yet, for some reason, the network was outraged this past week when it was discovered that the family’s father, Phil Robertson, shared his beliefs about homosexuality being a sin in a recent interview with a magazine AFTER he was asked what he believes is sinful behavior. Friends, all he did was quote Scripture, and his “comments” (which are actually the words of the Apostle Paul inspired by God in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) have been labeled as “hateful”. The story has been all over the news and has incited debates on both sides of the issue. A & E removed him from the show indefinitely and have taken their stand against his views.

I didn’t bring this up to rekindle any debate about homosexuality. You can read other blogs for that discussion. What I want to focus on here is the fact that Phil Robertson did not bash anyone and did not express hate to anyone. He merely quoted words from the Bible, a book in which he puts his trust. Rather than spouting words of hate and sharing his opinions, he simply quoted the Bible and left the rest up to God. His family has since said that some of his other statements were a bit coarse, but that he stands behind the Bible in which he believes. James tells the early Christians, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (4:10). While most who disagree with Robertson’s “comments” will not view them as humble, I remind you again that he quoted Scripture in an article he knew would get national attention. I don’t know him or his heart and I’m sure he has his sins like everyone else. But it seems to me that he has exemplified humility and submission to Scripture rather than his own opinions, and is trusting God to lift him up.

The best example of humility was set almost 2,000 years ago when Jesus came into this world through a virgin woman and was born and placed in a manger, according to Luke 2:7. God could have chosen lots of different ways to enter our world, but he knew his life and ministry on earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth would be marked by humility and suffering rather than wealth, splendor, or political domination. As Katie mentioned in Monday’s post, Philippians 2:6-8 explains the humility of Jesus beginning with “making himself nothing” (i.e. born in a manger) and continuing until he allowed himself to be a suffering servant crucified for our sins, as the prophecy of Isaiah 53 declares. However, that was not the end! Jesus was born in a manger, but he did not stay there. He died on the cross, but he did not stay there. He was buried in the ground, but he did not stay there! Immediately after we are reminded of Jesus’ humility in Philippians, we read about his reward. “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11). The word “therefore” connects the words that come before it and the words that come after it. We can only deduce from this that Jesus’ exaltation was a direct reward for his obedience and humility.

The Apostle Peter wrote words almost identical to those of James, but added two key phrases. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). The key phrases are “under God’s mighty hand” and “in due time”. The question for you is whether you trust in God’s might enough to humble yourself and wait for HIM to lift you up when HE says it’s time, not when you do. Jesus lived on this earth for approximately 33 years between the manger and the cross. That’s a long time to live in humility. But make no mistake about it, Revelation 19:11-16 explains how he will return to the earth. He will be the “rider on a white horse” with “many crowns”, will have a “sharp sword out of his mouth with which to strike down the nations”, and will have “on his thigh the name ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’ written”. Jesus was humbly obedient like a silent lamb in the manger and on the cross, but he will return like a conquering lion!

What trials in your life right now do you need to approach with humility? Do you trust God that he can and will lift you up when the time is right? Do you believe he can do this without you needing to defend yourself even one bit? If so, I challenge you to stand on God’s Word and his promises as Phil Robertson and many others have done. When it seems like things are dim and God is not paying attention to your plight, remember that the soldiers mocked Jesus and celebrated his death as if they had won a victory. They didn’t know that it wasn’t the end. Whatever you are going through, God knows. He wants you to trust him enough to be humble, and then patiently wait for him to lift you up.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 23, 2013 0 comments

I’m a fan of the Christian parody band ApologetiX, and they have a song from years ago called “Manger,” which is a parody of the song “Angel” by Shaggy from a number of years ago. The song starts out with the lines: “Girl, use my manger for your darling angel / Cozier than my sheep you ought to be, Mary.” There are some funny lines later in the lyrics, but essentially the song discusses how there was no room for Mary and Joseph when she was about to give birth to Jesus, so they stayed in a stable and she laid the baby Jesus in a manger.

I would guess that for most of us, “manger” isn’t a word we tend to use in our everyday lives. So what is it? A manger is a feeding trough for animals, often made of wood. It’s a pretty lowly, humble wood structure, considering that it’s probably usually covered with the food and spit of animals.

Many people back in the time Jesus was born were expecting the Savior to come in a very grandiose way - probably in a royal palace surrounded by rich possessions. But that’s the opposite of what happened. Luke 2:6-7 says, “While they [Joseph and Mary] were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Jesus was born into the most humble of beginnings. The King of the Universe came to earth as a helpless baby boy, who didn’t even have a proper bed in which to lay his head. Jesus continued this humility as He went on with His ministry as an adult. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Similarly, in Philippians 2:6-11, the apostle Paul writes this about Jesus: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

Jesus came to earth with humble beginnings so that He could be humble even unto death, which was His purpose in coming here in the first place. Jesus was born humble, lived a humble life, and died a humble death. We are called to imitate Jesus in our own lives; how are you at being humble? As humans we want the best for ourselves, but we are called to be humble as Jesus Christ was humble, from the beginning of our life until the very end.

Preparing to Make the Advance

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 20, 2013 0 comments

Preparing to Make the Advance!
Brick by Brick

This past Wednesday God, in and through His people, supplied a piece of equipment for our radio ministry that was very much needed. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Through you He supplied the finances in under 24 hours of letting you know about this need. We had a person offer up a Match Challenge for this equipment and the finances were raised in under 5 hours from the time of the Match Challenge. Praise God and thank you for the support. Because of this I have had a number of you ask me how else you can support the ministry and work of Worldview Warriors. After thinking this through a bit and praying I have decided to share with you something that we believe we are called to do but we need serious prayer and financial support to see this come to fruition.

So, what is it?

For about a year now we have been preparing to expand our radio ministry through out the nation. It seems as if God has finally brought the right people into our path to make this a reality. In order to do this though we need financial support. We already have stations in Columbus and possibly even in Arizona that might be willing to take on part or all of our weekly 2 hour radio show, Do Not Keep Silent. In order to make this a reality though we need funds. We need people that are willing to support this ministry with one time gifts and with monthly support as well. We are also open to and can have sponsors built into our program as well. If any of this interests you or you believe you are being prompted to donate to the ministry of Worldview Warriors you can do that at the YELLOW button on the bottom of the following link where it says, Donate to Worldview Warriors: We are a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. So your end of the year gifts and any future gifts can be tax deductible if you so desire that option.

If you would like to contact us with questions, comments or suggestions please write to us at You can also call us at 419-310-1949

After 7 years of Worldview Warriors being in existence and laying a solid foundation, the Worldview Warriors Team and I believe we are finally ready to build upon that foundation, "BRICK BY BRICK". Will you please join us in this incredible journey and season of Worldview Warriors? Please seriously consider becoming a part of this adventure with your prayers and financial support. Thank you.

If you want to send in a financial gift via mail please send your gift to:

Worldview Warriors
PO BOX 681
Findlay, OH 45839

Thanks again!

Star - A Messenger of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 19, 2013 0 comments

Being the lover of patriotism that I am, one of my favorite songs ever since I was a kid has been “God Bless the U.S.A” by Lee Greenwood. The words “proud to be an American” have always encouraged that passion for the land and nation into which God decided we would be born. Unfortunately, a closer look at the lyrics reveals that God doesn’t really get the credit he deserves. While I’ll always love the song, one verse drives me crazy. He says, “If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life and I had to start again with just my children and my wife, I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today ‘cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away”. Seriously, how can your title be about God blessing the country when you credit your “lucky stars” for getting you here? I remember hearing that song with my dad one time and him saying, “Your lucky stars don’t have anything to do with it, man!”

It’s a phrase we hear often in sports and other areas of life as well. When someone experiences a series of circumstances that put him in a position to succeed, it is said that “the stars are aligning” for him. It’s a not-so-subtle way of denying the work of God and explaining it as something else. Some of you may even be in the crowd that likes to read their horoscopes each day. In case you didn’t know, your horoscope is “the relative position of the stars or planets at a particular moment, especially somebody’s time of birth”, or “an astrologer’s description of an individual’s personality and future” based on that position, according to Webster. I’ve always been amazed that horoscopes continue to be printed because the idea of them seems so senseless to me, but the fact that they’ve been printed and popular for so many years indicates a strong level of interest. To me, this shows that people are searching for truth about their lives yet are unwilling to seek the only One who holds the answers. I know believers who read their horoscopes and I’m not saying you are condemned for doing so. However, I challenge anyone who reads them to evaluate your reasons, and then to accept that only God knows your future and only he can reveal it to you if or when he chooses.

God loves to use his creation to send his message. The problem is that the world tends to begin to depend on creation for all answers rather than the Creator. The stars are one of the best examples of this. I’ve already talked about how so many “thank” their lucky stars, believe the stars are aligned for them, or look to the positions of the stars (horoscopes) for answers. While God would not approve of his creation being viewed in this way, the fact remains that he created the stars with a purpose. In my opinion, that purpose has been to send messages at key times. In Genesis 15, the future of the nation of God’s people was on the line. Abram had been told previously that God would make him into a great nation (Gen. 12:1-3), but he was struggling with doubt. He asked God what he would give him as his reward for following him, since he had no children and figured his servant would be his heir (Gen. 15:2-3). God responded by taking Abram outside and speaking to him. “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be” (v. 5). God used the stars as a collective messenger to Abram regarding his promise.

As Katie shared in Monday’s blog, God used the “star from the east” to send the message that the long-awaited Messiah had been born and to lead those who were searching directly to him. This is all recorded in Matthew 2. Then in Revelation 1-3, the “seven stars” held in God’s hand are referenced five different times. Specifically in Revelation 1:20, we learn the mystery that “the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches”. In the coming chapters, “angel” and “star” would be synonymous, with the Greek words for each being translated as “messenger”. Scholars can argue how each message was given, but all that really matters is that no matter what, God used his creation to send his message. Whether he revealed it by a star or an angel, both are created by him!

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that God will not reveal a message to you using stars. That would be dumb of me since he has obviously done it before. What I will most certainly tell you is that when he has done it in the past, those instances were considered special revelation. We learned in seminary the difference between “general” and “special” revelation from God. Sometimes God chooses to reveal the same thing to everyone (i.e. his power through a storm), and sometimes he chooses to reveal something to a specific person or group in a specific way (i.e. personal dreams). Therefore, choosing to look at the stars or any other part of God’s creation for answers just because that is the way he sent messages to someone else in the past fails to accept that God is sovereign over all of his creation.

Next time you look at the beauty of the stars, go ahead and appreciate what you see. More than anything, appreciate a God who created such beauty and uses it to send messages to his beloved people. As you think about that, think about what other “messengers” God might be using to get your attention and make sure you are hearing his message loud and clear.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 16, 2013 0 comments

If you’re in a play and you’re the star of the show, you’re the most important character. In that same sense, some might say that Jesus is the star of the Bible, since He is the most important character. But there is a physical star that is important too, because it pointed the way to Jesus.

We see back in Genesis 1:16 that God created the stars. It says, “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” When I read this verse, it almost seems like the stars were an afterthought, since they’re barely mentioned. The two verses prior to this one (Genesis 1:14-15) give more detail about the purpose for the two great lights, the sun and the moon. But that brief mention at the end of verse 16 is the only time the stars are mentioned in the creation narrative, even though modern day astronomers are still discovering the vastness of the stars of our universe. It is important, however, that God did create the stars, along with the sun and moon.

Fast forward now to the birth of Jesus, toward the end of Matthew 1. Matthew 2:1-2 then reads, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’” The story continues in Matthew 2:9-11: “After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

This star was important because it brought the Magi (commonly referred to as the “Wise Men”) to come and worship the baby Jesus. While some contend that this star was simply an angel or other glowing light, the word used in the original Greek text indicates that it was a real, physical star in the sky. The Magi were overjoyed when they saw this star, because they knew what it meant - the long-awaited Messiah had come to earth!

In Revelation 22:16, Jesus calls Himself the Morning Star: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” But what does that mean? Astrologically speaking, the morning star is Venus, and it rises within an hour or two of the sun. Jesus, the Morning Star, has risen from the dead, and soon He will come again to bring God’s light of redemption to the entire world for all of eternity.

The next time you see a star in the sky, remember that God created it, and He points the way to the redemption that is coming through our Morning Star of Jesus Christ.

Yahweh - A Name With Promises

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 12, 2013 0 comments

One lesson that many of us have probably learned at some point in our lives is that there is a lot of pressure in expectations. If you’ve ever promised somebody something you were relatively confident you could deliver only to find the task much more difficult, you’ve experienced great pressure. If you make a promise you know you can’t keep just to get someone to believe in you at the time, you feel the instantly overwhelming pressure of trying to do the impossible. Sometimes the expectations are from others. When parents fail to encourage and appreciate their children for what they have already done because they are constantly pushing them to do more, those children feel the pressure of the expectation that they will constantly achieve. Some of you have probably seen those talk shows where parents seem to be more wrapped up in their kids’ sports, educational goals, or beauty pageants than the kids themselves!

My guess is that some of you reading this right now are either dealing with these things or have baggage from your past where you feel like a parent or someone else put expectations on you that caused you to go through life with pressure rather than peace. In some cases, your very name may even be attached to the expectation. Your first name may have been selected by your parents because of their thoughts of what you would become, or there may be expectations attached to your last name because of a family legacy. Either way, I believe most of us would choose not to have pressure attached to our lives or our names if we could.

Last week, I wrote about the concept known as “ex nihilo”, which refers to God creating the world out of nothing. In the post, I explained that the very first truth about God that we learn in the Bible is that he was here before anything else. This is the foundation for everything else we believe, and every human being must choose to believe either that God was lying or was telling the truth. Whatever you believe about that influences how you receive and respond to God’s promises as they relate to your life. The thing about God is that he’s not trying to dodge the pressure of expectations. In fact, he desires that you trust him so much that even his name is on the line with his promises.

You may have seen in Monday’s post that “Yahweh” is the name of the Lord from the Old Testament. As Katie mentioned, the root of the Hebrew word likely comes from Exodus 3:14 where God says “I Am” in response to Moses asking him what he should tell those who ask for the name of the God of their fathers. In the next verse, God says, “This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation” (v. 15). How awesome that is! When God says “forever”, he means it! Friends, that means that even today God’s name is “I Am”. Since we are not God and do not get to say those words, it would be more appropriate to say, “He Is”. Thus, the name YAHWEH is likely from the third-person form of what he named himself before Moses so many years ago. You may be asking why he gave himself that name. Well, other than the obvious statement that he was here before anything else, he was also making a promise. Some translations, instead of “I Am”, have it written as “I Will Be”. This is where context of such an important declaration comes into play.

In Exodus 3, God was first calling Moses to be the deliverer of his people from the oppression of Pharaoh and Egypt. God had already told Moses he would set his people free, so just think how Moses must have felt upon hearing the promise of “I Am” or “I Will”. Then, in Exodus 6:2-8, God reminds Moses of his name and his promise. He reminds Moses that he did not reveal his name as Yahweh to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but only as God Almighty (v. 3). He reminds Moses of the covenant he made with those fathers (v. 4), and that he has now “remembered” his covenant (v. 5). This is so cool! Rather than just expecting Moses to blindly believe him, God explained what he has done in the past, how he is keeping his promises, how Moses can know this because God chose to share his very name for the first time with him, and how that name is the essence of his promises. Once God says “I Am” or “I Will”, that about settles it! He then tells Moses to go tell the Israelites that he will bring them “out from under the yoke of the Egyptians” and that he will follow through on his promise to their fathers to bring them to their own land (vv. 6-8). In that promise, God begins AND ends with “I am the Lord”, putting his name on the line with this promise.

What promises do you need to trust God for today? Exodus 6:9 tells us that the people did not believe Moses, which really means they did not believe the Lord “because of their discouragement and cruel bondage”. Yet, God followed through on his promise anyway. Later, in Exodus 34:6-7, God makes more promises that begin with his name. He proclaims, “The Lord (Yahweh), the Lord (Yahweh), the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (parenthetical words mine). I can’t begin to tell you how much I have needed to bank on those promises lately and I’m sure I’m not the only one reading this who feels that way. God promises to set us free from what enslaves us if we’ll let him, and sometimes even when we don’t. He promises to love, show compassion and grace, and to forgive our wickedness. There will be consequences, as he says later in Exodus 34. But the consequences are temporary and we need simply to cry out to him and he will always do as he has promised. No matter what your past includes, you can trust God to rescue and forgive you, because his very name and reputation are on the line!

First Day of Class

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 0 comments
Starting in 2014 Bill Seng who has been a guest blog writer for Worldview Warriors over the past year will be joining us full time releasing a blog entry every Wednesday.

Bill is the second oldest of five brothers in his family. He hails from a competitive athletic background; he played football for seven years and wrestled for twenty years (including a year in college and four years of coaching). Despite his love for athletics, he left the field of competition to pursue ministry opportunities on the streets of Cleveland. After graduating from Cleveland State University, he pursued his love for ministry by enrolling as a student at Winebrenner Theological Seminary. He graduated with a Master’s of Divinity with a focus in Biblical Studies in 2010 and desires to use his relationship with Jesus and knowledge of the Bible to help people live their lives to the fullest.

He will be writing in story format and we are excited and pleased to release these every Wednesday morning starting on January 8, 2014.

Here is just a small taste of the first entry.

First day of class
By Bill Seng

I showed up about fifteen minutes early. I am a stickler for being on time because, as far as I know, professors appreciate students who are not only punctual, but excited about learning. Showing up early proved that I wanted to be there and I wanted to learn. Of course being the first day of class it did not make that big of a difference because everybody shows up the first day. It is only after the first few weeks that the professors start to learn about who really cares about class and who does not.

Being a single guy, of course, I made sure to get a good seat…meaning that I found the most attractive girl in the room who was not already talking to someone to sit next to during the lecture. And I must say, mission accomplished. I sat down next to an athletic young lady who just happened to make it back from practice just in time for class. After unpacking my books and everything, I introduced myself.

“Hi, my name is Ryan.”

She replied, “Isn’t this place awful?”

“Um,” I hesitated, “I suppose it isn’t too bad, but it could use some work I suppose.”

“Yeah, a little.” Not too encouraging of a reply.

“So, what’s your name?” I was desperately trying to save the conversation and my chances.

“My name’s Megan.” I’m sorry, I just got out of soccer practice and I’m a little bit cranky.

“No problem, I understand.” I said with grace in my voice and a smile on my face.

From that point on the conversation was not too bad. We became acquainted with one another and rode out the fifteen minutes before class, anticipating a boring first day lecture. Finally, our professor walked in and we all hushed. He was your typical science type, that is, for university standards. He had long grayish white hair tied back behind his hair, wrinkles in his forehead from looking into the microscope frequently, business casual clothing, bottomed out with a pair sandals to preserve an attempted neo-hippie sort of image.

“Welcome class. I am Dr. Derkins. This is Biology 101, if you are in the wrong classroom please feel free to leave whenever you feel necessary, or finally start listening.”

First ten minutes was standard: Syllabus, grading scale, expectations – you know the routine. Then he transitioned into our first lesson.

“As I said, this is Biology 101. There are many crazy ideas about what Biology is, so I don’t want any of you to be confused, otherwise you might fall behind in this class. I want to make you all aware of a group of people that, if you buy into their teachings, will greatly stunt your growth as scientists. We’ll just call them “nutty-creationists.”

More to come starting in 2014!


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 9, 2013 0 comments

Today’s word is the only word we’ve covered that’s not really a word. Yahweh is considered to be the name of God from the Hebrew Bible, but it’s really just an English interpretation of that word.

The name of God is known as the tetragrammaton, since it’s four consonants in the Hebrew language. Those consonants are yod (pronounced “yode”), he (pronounced “hey”), vav, and he. Those match up with the consonants we see in the word Yahweh, since the vav can be either a “w” or a “v.” There are usually vowels included with these consonants, but they’re different than what we see in the English-ized Yahweh.

So, why do I say that this word isn’t really a word? Well partly because Yahweh is a poor translation, but also because the Hebrew people believe that God’s name is so sacred it should never, ever be pronounced. For a long time, it was forbidden for a Jew to pronounce this word, which led to its real pronunciation being completely forgotten. The root of the tetragrammaton YHWH may come from the Hebrew verb “to be,” which has similar consonants. We could reference Exodus 3:14 here, when God says to Moses that He is “I am who I am.”

When reading in Hebrew and you come to the YHWH tetragrammaton, it is tradition to pronounce it as “Adonai,” which would mean “my Lord.” We don’t know for sure how to pronounce YHWH, and today most people continue the tradition of not attempting to pronounce it out of reverence for God. Orthodox Jews will instead say “hashem” when they come across YHWH, which means “the name” in Hebrew.

Either way, the name of God should be regarded as holy and majestic because God is holy. Even the best Hebrew scholars cannot understand and agree on the origin or pronunciation of the name of God, just as no human can fully understand God in all of His power and majesty. We must treat the name of God with the reverence it deserves. As is written in Exodus 20:7, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

On a lighter note, check out this video for a fun take on YHWH. Remember to regard the name of God in high importance, however it is pronounced.

Ex Nihilo - It's No Lie

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 5, 2013 3 comments

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Liar, Liar”, starring Jim Carrey. There are many quotable lines in the movie and it is considered a comedy for good reason. However, the film also exposes a major misperception that many of us have – that lying is often harmless. Think about it. When you tell a lie, don’t you often rationalize it by telling yourself that no one will know, so no one will be hurt? I can almost guarantee that you tell yourself that your lie sounds better than the truth, because otherwise you would just speak the truth. The movie depicts a little boy who is tired of the constant heartache caused by his father making him promises that he ultimately cannot or will not keep. The viewer sees that the father continues to enjoy his life despite his lies because he is seemingly unaware of the consequences. Meanwhile, his precious son hangs on every promise he makes and trusts each one, only to be let down every time. The boy makes a birthday wish that his dad, for just one day, can’t tell a lie. The wish is granted and, because the father is a lawyer, hilarity ensues just about everywhere he goes.

Like the little boy in the movie, we hang on the promises that our Father makes. If we truly trust in him, we live in such a way that his failure to follow through on his promises would destroy us. Our trust is based on faith, but our faith is partially based on what has taken place in the past and whether God has ever lied or let us down before. That is really the foundation for everything else you believe. You must determine whether you believe God is a liar or not. I say this because there is really no middle ground. God’s Word says that he created the universe “ex nihilo”, or out of nothing. It’s either true, or God is lying. It’s not like there was a possible misunderstanding that could make the two views mesh together. Because this is the very first claim that hits us square in the face when we come to the Bible, it determines everything else we believe.

If you’re looking for the direct claim that God created everything out of nothing, you won’t find it in Genesis 1:1. But if you look closely, its implication is obvious. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. I submit to you that the most important words in the sentence are not “God created”, but are actually “in the beginning God”. This means there was NOTHING before God. If there was nothing before him, what could he have used to create anything? While this defies human logic from the standpoint that we cannot create out of nothing, we must remember that God is not a man who would be subject to the laws of nature. Furthermore, the opposite view that everything must come from something else also defies human logic. A wise friend of mine from college who was very much into the science of the creation of all things would always say, “No matter how far back you go, you’ll never be able to get to the starting point of all things unless you’re willing to accept that something was here before nothing else was”. If you think about it logically, he’s right!

The direct claim that fits this post is found in Hebrews 11:3. “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible”. Think about it, folks. When you walk outside and look around, do you see something that looks like order or chaos? I ask that question because a classmate of mine at seminary once said that “we have evidence of what happens in an explosion and the result is usually chaos, not perfect order”. All the scientific evidence regarding the order of the universe, our distance from the sun, etc. shows us that it had to be designed and not the result of things “just falling into place”. So the point of the author of Hebrews is that, while believing God could create out of nothing is a matter of faith, it DOES come with some logic, reason, and understanding that we get by simply looking at his creation. The writer uses that verse as the springboard for an entire chapter of stories about the faith of others because he knows it is the very foundation on which our faith in God for ANYTHING ELSE is built. Everything you see was not made with tangible materials, but “at God’s command”. You can cross-reference that with Genesis 1, where God speaks everything into existence right up until he decides to form the man out of the ground (his reasons for that are for another discussion).

The great thing about God is that he has a plan and he is sovereign over all things. While he allowed human beings to have the freedom to reject him and turn his creation upside down, he also had a plan for redemption all along. “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come” (Isaiah 46:9-10). When God created the universe just by speaking, he knew the world was going to be full of trouble eventually and that he would create a place where those who trust in his redemptive plan through Jesus Christ would be able to dwell with him forever. A later prophecy in Isaiah reveals this. “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

The question is, as you go through your trials in this fallen world, do you believe God is telling the truth? Do you believe he can and will create a NEW earth where your sufferings will be long gone? Do you believe that resisting your temptations now, which is an act of faith, makes logical sense because of the reward that awaits you? If you don’t believe the four words “in the beginning God”, I’d venture to say it’s going to be tough to trust in anything else he says when you face trying circumstances. I encourage you to see for yourself that God does not and cannot lie, that he created the universe out of nothing, and that this act can be your basis for trusting him with anything else in your life.

Ex Nihilo

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 2, 2013 0 comments

While I am creating this blog post by writing it, I am starting with something and not creating it “ex nihilo.” Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase that literally means “out of nothing.” It is most commonly referred to when discussing how God created the universe. Naturally, this concept is hotly debated, and has been for many centuries.

The ex nihilo view of creation means there must be a Creator - a being who existed before the creation of our world, but yet absolutely nothing existed before that. The Creator didn’t create the world out of something; there was totally, absolutely nothing to start with. The Creator started with nothing and ended up with something - everything that exists today in our world.

We see evidence of creation ex nihilo in Genesis 1:2 which says, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The words for “formless” and “empty” in Hebrew imply a state of complete void, where absolutely nothing existed, not any form of matter or particles or anything. We see the presence of the Spirit of God, but that’s it.

There is a logical approach of thought to the idea of ex nihilo, which goes as follows:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe must have a cause.
The cause in this case is the Creator, since nothing else could have caused the universe to come into existence out of absolutely nothing.

But, naturally, there are also opponents to the ex nihilo view of creation. One opposing view is that it’s impossible for us to conceive of absolute nothingness, so this view doesn’t make sense to us. My response to that would be that I don’t want to believe in a God I can understand, or He wouldn’t be the almighty God!

Another opposition is that we have no evidence that our universe originally came into being from absolutely nothing. But, I would counter that we also have no evidence that our universe came into being from something; basically, we have no physical evidence one way or the other, and either position has to be taken on faith.

One more opposition is that if God once had the power to create from absolutely nothing, God essentially retains that power. But a God of love with this capacity appears at fault for failing to prevent evil. My response to that is that God loves us enough that He allowed us the free will to turn against Him and sin, thus bringing evil into the world. If we didn’t have free will, then we could not make the choice to love or deny God, and our love to Him would be meaningless. Even though evil did come into the world through mankind’s sin, God loves us so much that He gave us a way out through His son Jesus, who died and was raised to live again! All we need to do is believe in Him, and after this life we will experience one where there is absolutely no evil.

There are many other arguments both for and against the idea of ex nihilo creation, and I would encourage you to wrestle through them on your own. What do you believe about how our world came to be? Did God create it ex nihilo, out of nothing, or did He start with something and work from there? Seek out the Truth on this subject, wherever that may lead you.