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Pastor Harry Reeder: The Museum of the Bible is a great idea…provided we don’t worship the Bible


 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the 10 min. audio

 

Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to take you to an article out of Christianity Today. Let me give you a quote: “’It was surprising to us that a book this influential didn’t have a major museum focused on it,’ says Steve Green, Hobby Lobby president and the Museum of Bible founder.

DR. REEDER: Tom, they have just spent, wow, $500 million to make a museum that depicts and presents the facts, the history and the features concerning the Bible.

Of course, the Bible that, which we believe is the Word of God – it doesn’t become the Word of God, it is the Word of God – and so the history of the Bible certainly is appropriate.

I want to speak an affirming word about this project, Tom, with one caveat, but I also want to make a little bit of a counter statement concerning this initiative.

First of all, I understand it’s really well-done technologically, factually, historicity – an amazing project. This is my caveat: I haven’t experienced it, I haven’t looked at it, so I cannot, without some reservation, verify it, and the reservation is I just don’t know. I haven’t been there.

For instance, I remember everybody telling me, “This movie on Noah is coming out and you need to promote it in the church.” Well, thankfully, I had enough sense not to promote it until I saw it and, once I saw it, I said, “Are you kidding me? Promote it? If I could get a match, I’d probably burn the thing so I’m not going to promote it.”

But, given the reputation of Mr. Green and given the names of the people that I saw that were involved in this project, my sense is it’s probably well done.

Now, it is carefully done and I quote one of them, “We’re not trying to cram religion down people’s throat.”

I’m so grateful that Jesus crammed religion down into my heart because my heart wasn’t going in that direction and the way He crammed it into my heart was He first gave me a new heart that wanted it.

I understand what they’re saying – they’re trying to make a factual presentation about the Bible -and then let it speak for itself. I’m all for that. Here’s the problem with that, though, and so I’m finally going to get to my issue, here. The Bible can and does speak clearly in terms of what it says, but the Bible was made to be preached and taught. The Bible, in a sense, doesn’t speak for itself.

Remember the Ethiopian eunuch is reading Isaiah 53, the clearest text in the Old Testament about Jesus, and Phillip says, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” and he says, “How can I unless someone explained it?”

Faith comes by hearing – not reading, hearing the Word of God. It is through the foolishness of the message Bible preached that we are being saved – the Bible message of the Gospel that we are being saved.

There’s my caveat. Having said that, that doesn’t mean something like this museum cannot be inspirational, instructional, helpful and, by the way, a great tool that you can use to talk with people when you take them there or take groups there and go through it, given its factuality, its historicity and its accuracy.

Having said that, just stop and think about some of the facts, Tom. The Bible was put together over 1,600 years by 40 plus human authors and claims to have one author who worked through all the authors and those authors claim the same thing which is why they kept saying not “Thus saith Isaiah,” but “Thus saith the Lord,” or Jeremiah, “The Word of the Lord came to me.”

And, so, how did that happen? What were the dynamics of it? And, in God’s special providence, how was the Bible preserved so that we have a manuscript of the Bible with none of the original autographs, none of the original pieces, yet, through the multiplication of all the texts that we have – and you begin to do textual criticism, you easily arrive at an accurate rendition of the Word of God – everything has been so documented by God’s special act of providence as to how He has preserved this message that declares the glory of the triune God through the pre-imminence of Christ – the God who made us, who saves us and who sustains us.

Tom Lamprecht: Harry, there are places in the Scriptures where both apostles and angels were worshipped as they did the work of the Lord. Is there any fear that we could begin to idolize the Bible?

DR. REEDER: Tom, that’s a great question – it really is. You’re right. People are going to worship. People say, “Well, know, people need to start worshipping.” Oh, they do – just go watch a football game.

We have a relentless capacity and compulsion to worship and the question is not, “Are we going to worship?” The question is, “Will we worship the one who alone should be worshipped and will we worship Him rightly?”

Those are the two salient questions and you’re right: Two times in the Book of Revelation, John is so overwhelmed and compelled to worship, he falls down and starts worshipping an angel and the angel, both times, says, “Don’t do that. Worship God.” They tried to worship Peter and they tried to worship Paul and they said, “Don’t do that.” False worship is idolatry, idol latria, that is, false objects with worship – latria means “worship.”

And one of the things that we can become is Bibliolaters. The Bible isn’t there for us to worship. The Word of God is there to reveal the God of the Word. The Word of God reveals to us what you could never know from God’s general revelation in creation, but you need to know to worship Him, and what you need to know to be saved by Him and what you need to know in order to serve Him.

“All Scripture is God-breathed as inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproofing, correction that the men of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is God’s inerrant and sufficient message to us as to who He is, how I can be right with Him and how I can serve Him and be equipped for every good work.

Tom, the Bible is truth. Jesus said this, “Thy Word is truth,” so everything in the Bible is truth. Now, not all truth is in the Bible – there are facts of truth that we observe from general revelation, God’s creation, that are not in the Bible but they’re true and the Bible will give us a framework in which we can affirm their truthfulness.

All truth is not in the Bible, but all that is in the Bible is true. And that which is in the Bible is what is necessary for us to be able to affirm truth where the direction of truth leads us, which is the glory of God, by the grace of God, to be saved by God, through the Son of God by the power of the Spirit of God and that’s what the Word of God gives to us.

Tom Lamprecht: What I hear you saying is that people could misuse this new museum on the Bible if they so choose?

DR. REEDER: Well, yeah, and let me say this: The museum has been designed to put the facts out about the history and the features of the Bible and I’m glad for that, but you can’t stop there – otherwise, you would be drawn to the adoration of the Book. And we are people of the Book, but we are people of the Book that we might be the people of God. I think this is a great instrument.

I tell people, “You know, you need to get a Bible. And, by the way, don’t just get a Bible and put it on your coffee table and think it’s going to give out some vibrations and make your home sacred or something. No, get the Bible and then go to step two, read it. Then make sure that step three is always prevalent, and that is hear it.

Hear it faithfully preached because, with the preaching of it, Jesus, Himself, begins to speak.

And then what? Obey it. Don’t obey it thinking that your obedience will save you, but obey it because you love your Savior who saves you.

Don’t be hearers of the Word only, but be doers of the Word so that we become those who, again, are people of the Book and the Word of God takes us to the God of the Word as our creator, our redeemer, our sustainer, and the Lord of Glory is our life.

And thank you, O God, for giving us this Word of God. We wouldn’t worship it, but we would use it as You intended for us to worship You.

Tom Lamprecht: The Museum of the Bible opened on November the 17th. It’s situated just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol and two blocks from the National Mall and it is free.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

7 hours ago

Aderholt named ranking member of appropriations subcommittee critical to north Alabama’s economy

On Tuesday, Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-4) was named ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds NASA and the FBI, amongst other important economic engines.

In a statement, Aderholt said, “It is a great honor to be named the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. This subcommittee is certainly important to America, but even more so for North Alabama.”

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“This subcommittee is directly responsible for funding NASA and the FBI, along with the Department of Commerce,” Aderholt explained. “The FBI and NASA are two very important agencies to the economy of not only Huntsville, but also the northern portion of our state. NASA, of course, has a long history in this region and gave rise to Huntsville’s name as the Rocket City. And in just the past few years, the FBI has built a presence on Redstone Arsenal and is in the process of growing to a level of approximately 4,000 jobs.”

The congressman concluded, “With my leadership on this subcommittee, I will work to ensure that North Alabama continues to lead as we return to the moon, put boots on Mars and travel into deep space. And with the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, and growing footprint in North Alabama, I will also be a voice to let my colleagues know that North Alabama is in a prime position to be a hub for matters concerning our national security.”

Aderholt also serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

8 hours ago

Is Doug Jones a foot soldier in the Democrat Civil War for taking a shot at liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

If you are Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) right now, you probably know you have almost no chance of being elected to a full term as a United State senator.

This obviously could change. Roy Moore could continue to crave the spotlight and enter a Republican primary field in 2020, but this is obviously a long-shot for him.

Complicating Jones’ life right now is a number of new Democratic members of the House of Representatives. They are outspoken, silly and contrary to the carefully crafted image Jones wants to sell to Alabama. Jones wants to be Mr. Moderate, a conservative-ish Democrat in the mold of former Congressman Bud Cramer (D-Huntsville), but he can’t do that if he is constantly dealing with a 24-hour news cycle where his fellow Democrats are acting nuts.

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Jones seems to know this, and the clearest way to distinguish himself from members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is to directly scold her to The Hill.

He said, “I think it skews what’s really there for the Democratic Party.”

Jones seems to want to differentiate himself from Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of non-stop Twitter trolling will endear her to the same media that can’t let a Trump tweet go without an analysis of its impact. But Jones didn’t stop there. He also thinks this style of bomb-throwing is ineffective politics.

“When it gets time to get things done, that’s what people are going to be looking at — they’re going to be looking at the middle-of-the-roaders because it’s the only way to get anything done,” Jones stated.

If recent history is any judge, Ocasio-Cortez will not let these comments slide without a response. The fight for the soul of the Democratic Party is on and Jones will likely find himself out-gunned and without many powerful allies.

In response to similar criticism from former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Ocasio-Cortez responded with the following tweet:

Will Jones double-down or will he slink back to his backbench for fear of his party’s base if she hits back?

For now, Jones sounds like he thinks his voters want him to get stuff done, but considering that Jones’ main accomplishment at this point in his Senate career is his vote against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation it is likely most Alabama voters would prefer he enjoys his time in Washington D.C. as a spectator before being sent home in 2020.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

9 hours ago

Trump AG nominee: Sessions ‘probably did the right thing’ in recusing himself from Russia probe

Attorney General-nominee William Barr on Tuesday said Jeff Sessions “probably did the right thing” in recusing himself from the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, according to The Washington Post.

Barr previously served as attorney general from 1991-1993. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr was asked by committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the probe because he was involved in the Trump campaign.

“I am not sure of all of the facts, but I think he probably did the right thing recusing himself,” Barr said.

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This came the day after Sessions attended Alabama’s Inaugural Day festivities, including the swearing-in ceremony for all statewide elected officials and reception for state Attorney General Steve Marshall.

During Marshall’s event in the attorney general’s office building, Sessions said, “Do the right thing every day and usually things will work out… [well,] not always.”

After the laughter of the room started to subside, he added, “At least in the United States, when they fire you, they don’t shoot you like they do in some countries.”

Sessions’ relationship with President Donald Trump was eroded by the recusal and the president’s public attacks on both that decision and Sessions personally. He resigned at the request of the president in November.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

State Sen. Gerald Allen responds to judge striking down Alabama Memorial Preservation Act — ‘Judges are not kings’

On Tuesday afternoon, State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), the sponsor of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, criticized Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Graffeo made the ruling Monday.

“Under the Constitution, judges are to be neutral umpires who apply the rule of law fairly,” Allen said in a statement. “A judge’s personal beliefs, whether about politics, sociology, or history, have no bearing on how he is to apply the law.”

He continued, “Judge Graffeo has taken it upon himself to know and declare that it is ‘undisputed’ that the majority of residents of Birmingham are ‘repulsed’ by the Linn Park monument, and has thus ruled the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act void. But judges are not kings, and judicial activism is no substitute for the democratic process.”

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“The Memorial Preservation Act is meant to thoughtfully preserve the entire story of Alabama’s history for future generations. The law was vigorously debated for months by the people of Alabama’s duly-elected representatives in the State Legislature, and passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate,” Allen advised.

He concluded, “The Attorney General’s Office is confident that the Memorial Preservation Act is constitutional, and I look forward to the Attorney General’s appeal of Judge Graffeo’s ruling.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Judge voids Alabama law protecting Confederate monuments

A judge has overturned an Alabama law meant to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments from public property, ruling the act infringed on the rights of citizens in a mostly black city who are “repulsed” by the memorial.

The 10-page ruling issued late Monday by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo said a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of historical monuments wrongly violated the free speech rights of local communities.

The law cannot be enforced, Graffeo ruled, but the state could still appeal.

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The attorney general’s comment had no immediate response to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

The state sued the city of Birmingham after officials tried to remove a 52-foot-tall (16-meter)-tall obelisk that was erected to honor Confederate veterans in a downtown park in 1905.

Rather than toppling the stone marker, the city built a 12-foot (3.6-meter)-tall wooden box around it.

Birmingham’s population of 210,000 is more than 70 percent black, and the judge said it was indisputable that most citizens are “repulsed” by the memorial.

He rejected the state’s claims that lawmakers had the power to protect historical monuments statewide.

The law includes a $25,000 penalty for removing or altering a historical monument, but the judge said the penalty was unconstitutional.

The city has not had to pay while the lawsuit worked its way through court.

The ruling came hours after the inauguration of Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who signed the law and opened her campaign last year with a commercial that prominently showed Confederate monuments.

“We can’t change or erase our history, but here in Alabama we know something that Washington doesn’t. To get where we are going means understanding where we have been,” Ivey said in the ad.

Supporters of the law contend it protects not just Confederate memorials but historical markers of any kind, but rebel memorials have been an issue nationwide since a white supremacist gunman killed nine worshippers in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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