Just a personal note. I’ve been hearing (and seeing, in email) my own name a lot recently — how I (allegedly) believe or don’t believe XYZ, or how someone is suspicious of me, or how I need to debate some person. Sigh.
For the record (this is a laziness test for detractors — to see if they’ll bother to look at places like my website for information on me):
- While I do not believe that Gen 1:1-3 must be read as creation ex nihilo, I affirm the idea of creation ex nihilo. Honestly, you have to be a poor reader or listener to miss this. I’ve often said creation ex nihilo is logically required (every effect has a cause, and the idea that matter spontaneously came into existence or is eternal is neither scientific nor coherent). However, the necessity of this idea for logical coherence (and the worldview of the Bible) is different than the question of whether Gen 1:1-3 “teaches” that idea. Those three verses can be, and have been, understood in other ways. This is a matter of Hebrew syntax, not my own musings. I didn’t write the verses, but I do know something about their exegesis.
- I don’t believe in debates. Debates are for the lazy. What I mean by that is that, if someone really wants to learn something, they’ll study and do research. They won’t be content to be entertained. Debates are a substitute for study. They are academic bloodsport — entertainment for both sides that allows both sides to avoid the hard work of studying. I’m not an entertainer. If you want to know what I think and why I think it, read what I write. If you still want entertainment, get used to disappointment. Don’t be lazy.
- In regard to people who have never read my work and are suspicious of what I teach, see the last line line above. Have the patience and honesty to read the material. Many thousands have, of all traditions, and enjoyed the experience: Calvinists, Arminians, amiller, premillers, [fill in some other thing Christians fight about].
Really, folks, I’m serious about viewing my life as a race against time. I will not spend my time shooting at other Christians. I care only if the clarity of the gospel is present, and what the biblical text can exegetically sustain on all other matters. I don’t care about anyone’s views of creation, end times, election, tongues, etc. I want people to stop parroting the views of their traditions and get their noses back into the biblical text — and read that text in its own context, not some post-biblical context or tradition. If it irritates you that I don’t have the gift of indignation and want to have a “ministry” that fights other believers, go somewhere else. Again, I’m not here to entertain. I’m here to help you become a better reader and student of Scripture. I’m here to help people see when their views are possible, and perhaps plausible, or not. I’m not here to tell people what to believe or gain followers. I’ll let other “ministries” do that (sarcastic, but sadly true).
It’s that simple.