Senses by Ps Michael Podhaczky

I was sitting and watching the rain the other day and enjoying being present in the moment. It was so refreshing to watch, soothing to hear and pleasant to smell. If I had wanted to, I could have walked out into it and felt its acceptance of me and tasted its moist delights to include my five senses. But I was content at that time to embrace it with three senses.

Then I started thinking about how amazingly we have been created. We have senses that if we are honest, we totally take for granted. Then at that moment, I began to worship and thank our Heavenly Father for the way that He created us. How we could use our God-given senses to interact with His gift of rain. I thought about how fearfully and wonderfully we are made,
“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well” (Ps 139:14 ESV).

This is an interesting verse as there are some things that do not come through in the English translations. For example, the phrase “praise You,” is the Hebrew word yadahpronounced ‘yaw-daw’ and mean to ‘throw,’ or ‘shoot.’ Therefore, the verb here can mean to throw or shoot praise to God the creator. While the verb ‘fearfully,’ yare  pronounced ‘yaw-ray,’ is awe or reverence.

Then there is the phrase “wonderfully complex,” which is palah pronounced ‘paw-law’ meaning ‘to be distinct, be separated,’ or ‘to be distinguished.’ Then there is the word “marvellous,” which is also palah, but it is a participle, so it translates as ‘be treated as different, or ‘extraordinary.’

So, what is all of this saying? Coming back to me sitting and watching the rain and interacting with some of my senses, it is an amazing gift. I had the privilege of throwing praise to God, as it demanded me being in awe of the God the creator because of His creation of us and our senses. That is because we are distinct and extraordinary, no two the same.

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over

Einstein and Life by Ps Michael Podhaczky

This week I read an interview with Albert Einstien in a newspaper article from 1929. It was called “What Life Means to Einstien.”[1]It was a general interview regarding Einstein’s view of his life and times. We may have varying opinions of Albert Einstien, from awe to the negative. Regardless he has been written about from every angle, so it was nice to read some of his own words.

He said that he loved studying and teaching physics. However, he also enjoyed music especially playing his violin as his wife played the piano. He relished sailing his sailboat that he built. He delights in thinking in four dimensions, even if it is only abstractly. One of his great passions though was spending time alone in his attic thinking about “practical solutions to technical problems.”[2]He was quite shy, so this suited him, and his wife respected his space.

When asked by Viereck, the interviewer, “To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?”[3]he replied by saying,
“As a child, I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.
Viereck then asked about a book that was written at the time about Jesus. Einstien commented that,
“Its shallow, Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot (a witty remark).”[4]
Einstien was then asked if he accepted the historical Jesus. To which he replied,
“Unquestionably. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulses in every work. No myth is filled with such life… No man can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that his sayings are beautiful.”[5]

Unmistakably having read the Gospels, Einstien revered Jesus Christ beyond the limitation to mere words. He believed that Jesus really did exist. However, we have no proof that he believed in Jesus as his saviour. This is something better left between him and God. But, I would like to close with one of his concluding statements that we could learn something from,
“I am happy because I want nothing from anyone. I do not care for money. Decorations, titles or distinctions mean nothing to me. I do not crave praise. The only thing that gives me pleasure, apart from my work, my violin and my sailboat, is the appreciation of my fellow workers.”[6]

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over

[1] Viereck, George Sylvester. “What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck.” The Saturday Evening PostOctober 26, 1929.
[2] Viereck, George Sylvester. “What Life Means to Einstein,” 113.
[3] Viereck, George Sylvester. “What Life Means to Einstein,” 117.
[4] Viereck, George Sylvester. “What Life Means to Einstein,” 117.
[5] Viereck, George Sylvester. “What Life Means to Einstein,” 117.
[6] Viereck, George Sylvester. “What Life Means to Einstein,” 117.

The Bible: Illumination by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Finally, we come to Illumination, which is the work of God the Holy Spirit in enlightening the Bible. This is so that the reader is able to understand the Bible. This comes through in passages like (Ps 119:18, 105; Dan 5:14; Lk 24:32; Jn 14:26; 16:13-16; 1 Cor 2:10-13; 4:5; Eph 1:17-18; Col 1:9-12; Heb 4:12). This work of the Holy Spirit is based on revelation, inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility and the authority of the Bible. It is important to realise that the Holy Spirit does not give any new revelation, but inwardly illuminates the given Word of God to the reader.[1]

Without the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to aid the reader and studier, they might not correctly understand, apply, grasp and recall the Word of God.[2] All Christ-followers need illumination to understand, embrace, interpret and obey the Bible correctly. In the end,
“Only the Holy Spirit, who caused the Bible to be written, can make the truth of it clear to us. He does this by regeneration and illumination.”[3]

It is important to have an understanding of the supernatural work of illumination through the person of the Holy Spirit. So, concerning His work,the following explanation gives some insight on this matter.[4] Remember that Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit and not some mystical power of the words of Scripture. The Holy Spirit will use our study and meditation, not only to help us understand Scripture but also to apply it to our lives. The Bible reader’s accuracy, honesty and spiritual life can all affect the Spirit’s ministry of illumination. So, we need to be open to His leading.

[1] Horton, Michael. Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 64.
[2]Hernando, James D. Dictionary of Hermeneutics: A Concise Guide to Terms, Names, Methods, and Expressions. (Springfield, MO: GPH, 2005), 25.
[3]God Speaks: A Workbook of The Bible. (Highbury, London: Grace Publication Trust, 1980), 1/7.
[4] Litke, “8. Interpretation, Illumination and Application.” (21st May 2018)

The Bible: Authority by Ps Michael Podhaczky

The Bible’s own authority is based on the infallibility of the Bible. The whole Bible is God’s Word, which is authoritative for humanity at all times.[1] It is the final authority of truth, for life, and also for the faith of the Christ follower. It endures as the Word of God to the nation of Israel and Christ-followers at all times up until this day. It is important to grasp that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. Observe that Peter in (2 Peter 3:16), understood Paul’s writings to be God’s Word, calling it “Scripture” - (2 Peter 3:14-18).

Its significance may be questioned, suggesting that it is irrelevant and outdated, but this is not the case. The Bible is the Word of God to us that strengthens our faith. As correctly pointed out,
“How do we know that Scripture is the Word of God? How do we know this with that total conviction that brings the child of God into humble submission to the Word? How do we know this truth so that we are willing to lay down our lives for it? Because some skilled and knowledgeable redaction critic has proved it with an involved argument from literary and historical sources? God forbid. We know this by faith. Faith believes the Scriptures and the testimony of the Scriptures. Faith alone bows in humble submission to God’s Word.”[2]

The Bible does not need anyone to give it their authoritative backing. It is from God, so it has His authority. On the Bible conveying its own authority as the Word of God, it has been stated,
“…the normative authority of Holy Scripture is the authority of God Himself and is attested by Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church.”[3]

[1]God Speaks: A Workbook of The Bible. (Highbury, London: Grace Publication Trust, 1980), 2/4.
[2] Hanko, Herman C. “Issues in Hermeneutics.” (21st May 2018).
[3]“Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics: Article 1.” May 2018). Cf. also “The Supernatural Origin of Biblical Texts.” May 2018).

The Bible: Infallibility by Ps Michael Podhaczky

This next feature involves the Bible never being at fault. This is called Infallibility, which is based on inerrancy. Although this word is not used in the Bible, it is crucial to an understanding of its trustworthiness as the only infallible principle of faith.[1]It deals with the reality that the Bible is “free from or incapable of error.”[2]

It proposes that the Bible is the only divine dependably true source of faith and doctrine (teaching). This truth is clear from verses like, (2 Sam 7:28; Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17; and Col 1:5). It is the only reliable, trustworthy and absolute basis of the believer’s faith and teaching. Jesus accepted the genuineness and trustworthiness of the Old Testament. In light of the infallibility of the Old Testament, He used it to reprimand Satan’s temptations, Lk 4:1-13.

Paul declared the Scripture to be from God, supporting its infallibility as God inspired all Scripture, 2 Tim 3:16,17. Paul quoted from what he called “the Scripture,” that is, “the writing,” (1 Tim 5:18). The two passages that made up this verse, one came from the Old Testament (Deut 25:4), and the other from the gospel of (Lk 10:7).

On this matter, Peter said that the Old Testament prophets spoke by the Holy Spirit, and specifically adds that they did not speak forthemselves, 2 Pet 1:21. In (2 Pet 3:16) Peter used the phrase “the rest of the Scriptures” probably referring to the Old Testament. So, at this point, Paul’s and Peter’s writing may include some of the New Testament. So, there is a mutual acceptance of the writings of the Old Testament and the writings of the apostles as both coming from the breath of God through the hands of people. So in the end,
“‘…the inward work of the Holy Spirit’ produces ‘our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority’ of Scripture.”[3]

[1] Geisler, Norman. Systematic Theology: Introduction and Bible. Vol. One. (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2002), 246.
[2]Hernando, James D. Dictionary of Hermeneutics: A Concise Guide to Terms, Names, Methods, and Expressions. (Springfield, MO: GPH, 2005), 161.
[3] Horton, Michael. Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 53.

The Bible: Inerrancy by Ps Michael Podhaczky

The truth of Inerrancy is based on inspiration. The reason for this is that God’s Word, spoken by Him, does not have any mistakes as it is complete.[1] That is to say, it,
“…signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.”[2]
Accordingly, it is this inerrant Word of God that had its establishment on the “act of God, whereby the first writing of revealed truth was done without fault.”[3] This does not mean that translations of the Bible since the first manuscripts are entirely without copyist points of disagreement.

So, any issues regarding inerrancy deal with the original manuscripts of the Bible. They were written accurately, perfectly and reliably by God’s chosen writers. In other words, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance,they did not make mistakes in the process of recording His Word. Although inerrancy is claimed for the original writings, it does not negate the Holy Spirit using people to write the Bible under His guidance.[4]For example, this is seen in (Jer 36:2; Ex 4:12,15; Prov 30:5-6; 2 Pet 1:21; Rev 22:18-19).

It is sufficient to highlight the fact that, the modern translations are trustworthy. However, each serves a particular purpose thatneeds to be taken into consideration when answering the question of its use. Consequently, inerrancy describes the Bible’s nature.[5] So, concerning the matter of Inerrancy the Bible “makes good on its claims.”[6] It needs to be remembered that,
“The term inerrancy may be modern, but the concept is as old as the people of Bible days, including Jesus Himself: The Scriptures are the authority, and you can trust what they teach!”[7]

[1]God Speaks: A Workbook of The Bible. (Highbury, London: Grace Publication Trust, 1980), 1/4.
[2] Geisler, Norman. L. (ed.) Inerrancy. (Grand Rapids, MI: Acadmie Books, 1980), 500.
[3]God Speaks, 10/7.
[4] Horton, Michael. Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 57, 58.
[5]Vanhoozer, Kevin J.  “The Inerrancy of Scripture.” May 2018)
[6]Taylor, Justin. “Inerrancy and Infallibility: Truth Claims and Precision.” May 2018).
[7]Hart, Larry D. Truth Aflame: Theology for the Church in Renewal. (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 2005), 59. The italics are Hart’s.