The Way of Messiah (Episode 3)

EPISODE 3: Reformation 2.0

This week (March 10) on Shabbat Night Live, sometimes we as believers need a reminder of who we really are. Martin Luther did it by nailing his 95 theses to a church door.

Today, Luke and Kayte Abaffy are calling for Reformation 2.0 in a new book called The Truth — a reminder to today’s Church that they are Israel, and as such, should start acting like it!.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) What are the challenges facing those believers who would instigate a second reformation in our present-day world? How do internal divisions within many denominations, secular politicization, and the growing “Christophobia” of many powerful leaders and agencies all combine to sow discord and confusion among the faithful who seek a genuine authority regarding doctrine and practice?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) How do personal accidents or injuries serve to impact our spiritual lives in complex and unforeseen ways? Why are these private and traumatic experiences so often treated in a pretentious and self-serving manner by those who have little if any spirituality, as opposed to others who are willing to view such events as providential challenges for future apostolic work?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How does a contemporary evangelical effort like The Way dramatize the importance and enduring controversy over the writings of Paul? How has the proliferation of biblical translations over the centuries served to diminish the role of historical context – those of both 13th BC and AD 1st C. – in the comprehension of his expressions of Christian doctrine, to the extent of virtually dismissing the role of the Law of Moses?  
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How can this negation of the Hebrew ethos in present-day Christian evangelization be said to have contributed indirectly to pervasive popular agnosticism and outright hostility toward worship by many advocacy groups? How does the practice of parsing and editing scripture suggest the wiles of Satan in its refusal to accept the stricture of venerable rules and the potential for permissiveness and the rationalization of sin?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) As with fortuitous personal accidents, how do unexpected insights gleaned from the study of scripture compel us to reassess our received knowledge and assumptions about our search for salvation? How does this in turn aid our recognition of the apprehension of YeHoVaH as part of an ongoing revelation of the truth, one that is dependent on our willingness to persevere in learning as well as worship?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 37:00) How can the documented decline in deep literacy since the turn of the millennium be viewed as having encouraged a resistance to serious consideration of scripture and the viability of Christian belief? How has the proliferation of aural and video representations of biblical narrative, both dramatic and documentary, possibly undermined the potential insights that can be derived from private glossing and rereading of texts?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) Similarly, how has the prevalence of visual imagery over the postwar period contributed to a virtual dependence on still photographs and moving video to convey ideas in education, whether formal or private? Have we unwittingly fostered an overreliance on such elements as PowerPoint and streaming video, to the detriment of our rhetorical skills in interpretation of the written word in learning environments?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How have efforts over time by publishers of biblical translations to enhance their texts with illustrations possibly thwarted their own intentions, thanks to the inclusion of representations that are either luridly overstylized or self-consciously contemporary and “relevant”? Why has virtually every generation of Christian educators found it necessary to recreate personages and events from the Bible for young learners in a newly contrived manner instead of a historical framework?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) Similarly, how might the idioms of particular English Bible translations prove to be a hindrance for contemporary readers who seek a fundamental, literal understanding of narrative before consideration of doctrinal significance? How does the common presence of “therefore” within a seeming non sequitur or the appearance in the KJV of archaisms like “it came to pass” or “verily” demonstrate the need for linguistic context as well as secondary apparatus?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) How do the scriptural “contradictions” discussed here recall the common practice of arbitrary selection of quotations from the Bible to justify questionable beliefs or conduct? How instead does the close examination of text and context between Old and New Testament passages demonstrate both the doctrinal coherence and consistency between these divisions and the fallacy of glib accusations of treating the sacred text without proper Christian charity?

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