Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Spectacular Sins Book Club--Chapter Two

As promised, the questions for chapter two. This is an amazing book, but it is heady. I would encourage you to get the book for yourselves to make more sense of what I'm trying to say!

1. I loved your quotes so much from the first session I'm going to ask you to share your favorite from this chapter!
(p. 36) "Paul's antidote for wimpy Christians is weighty doctrine. In Paul's mind, the most massive truths are meant for producing radical lives of obedience."

2. Re-read Colossians 1:15-16. Piper makes special mention that of all the things Paul could list that were made by, through, and for Christ, that he specifically mentions evil powers. In answering why Paul did this, Piper pulls an example from 2 Timothy 1:8 to show how he used weighty doctrine to address Timothy's practical issues of anxiety and fear that threatened the effect of his ministry. Considering Paul thought the 'heavy' things of God would help Timothy deal with everyday matters, how does knowing God created beings that He knew would turn from good to evil translate to your everyday life? (Use paragraphs 2 and 3 of page 36 to help form your thoughts.)
Given the difficulty I'm having wrapping my head around this weighty doctrine, I fear what that says about me (see above quote). But there is a reassurance for me in day-to-day life that God knew that what He intended for good would not always be good. I'm so like Paul in "the very thing I want to do I don't do" (Romans 7:15) It reassures that God's plan is not thwarted by my failure to live up to what He has called me to be any more than it is thwarted by the angels who rebelled. Nothing catches Him by surprise, and sometimes that is the most reassuring thought of all.

3. Five summary statements are given on p. 37 as to why God wants us to know the truth of Christ's sovereignty over 'rulers and authorities' and the way they are involved in the most spectacular sins of the universe. Which one is most meaningful to you? How does it comfort you and/or give you courage against the evil that we know has been disarmed by Christ?
The third statement is meaningful to me "our day is not so unlike Paul's...Paul was concerned that, in the pluralistic, intellectual atmosphere of Colossae, Christians could be captivated by high-sounding heresies." First it comforts me that today is not so different from Bible times that the Bible has become irrelevant, as some would have us believe. This pluralistic society needs to understand that Scripture is still absolute TRUTH and absolutely relevant to what we experience. Secondly it comforts me that no matter how sound those heresies appear, they are heresies but we can still separate them from truth through the knowledge and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

4. Okay, this question is more of an assignment. Look at the previous commenter's answers and respond to one of her(his?) insights. If you are the first commenter, you can refer to this original post. Let's get some discussion going! :) You'll have to visit Lisa's site to see the answer to this one!

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