Bible studentAt the end of every week, we will be posting Bible readings for the next week–there will be 50 weeks of readings in all. Each entry will have six days worth of readings in four different categories. One category will be the gospels. The second category will be the New Testament history and epistles. A third category will be from Old Testament wisdom and poetry literature. And the last category will be OT historical and prophetic books.

If you choose categories one and two, you can read through the whole New Testament this year. Categories three and four will get you through the whole Old Testament this year. Read all four and you will complete the whole Bible. Reading only category one could be a whole year of meditating upon the person and work of Christ through the inspired perspective of the eyewitnesses. You decide, but I encourage you to make it your goal to read through the whole Bible.

Each week, along with the posted readings, I will ask you to consider a particular question from one section of the readings. When you have read that section, and considered the question, please post your thoughts and comments by clicking on the “comments” link at the bottom of the post.

Here are this week’s readings.

Category 1 – New Testament Gospels

  • Day 1 – Matthew 1:1-17
  • Day 2 – Matthew 1:18-25
  • Day 3 – Matthew 2:1-12
  • Day 4 – Matthew 2:13-23
  • Day 5 – Matthew 3:1-12
  • Day 6 – Matthew 3:13-17

Category 2 – New Testament History & Epistles

  • Day 1 – Acts 1:1-11
  • Day 2 – Acts 1:12-26
  • Day 3 – Acts 2:1-21
  • Day 4 – Acts 2:22-47
  • Day 5 – Acts 3
  • Day 6 – Acts 4:1-22

Category 3 – Old Testament Wisdom & Poetry

  • Day 1 – Psalm 1
  • Day 2 – Psalm 2
  • Day 3 – Psalm 3
  • Day 4 – Psalm 4
  • Day 5 – Psalm 5
  • Day 6 – Psalm 6

Category 4 – Old Testament History & Prophets

  • Day 1 – Genesis 1-2
  • Day 2 – Genesis 3-4
  • Day 3 – Genesis 5-8
  • Day 4 – Genesis 9-11
  • Day 5 – Genesis 12-14
  • Day 6 – Genesis 15-17

Here is our first question for consideration and comment.

This week you will read the account of God creating the earth, along with the account of the worldwide flood and it’s promises and implications. Consider what God’s Word says about this history, its descriptions, and the related divine promises. How do these descriptions and promises relate to the topic of “global warming,” and how biblically minded Christians should think about that topic? Are there any specific promises or divine statements that carry implications for this subject?

Please post your thoughts and comments. I would love to interact with as many people as possible.

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About Brian Sayers

Brian has been an elder, and staff pastor, at Christ Community Church since September of 2000. He is a 1998 graduate of The Master's Seminary (M.Div).

12 Comments

  1. LydiaThorburn on January 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Hi,

    I’m going to be starting all of the catagories in order to go through the Bible in a year. Is this where we answer the weekly questions? Just want to make sure that this is where it is. Thanks!

    Lydia Thorburn

  2. Fred on January 8, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    One of the main responsibilities that I understood from God’s Word in Genesis is that God blessed us with all that is around us “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it!” in Genesis 1v.28, but we have a responsibility to take care of it wisely. We are called to subdue the earth, but that does not mean that in subduing the Earth we are supposed to be irresponsible in how we subdue it. Example: If we cut down trees to built a home, then that would be exercising dominion and subduing what God has given us correctly, but if we cut down trees outside our house just so we have a better view, that may not be subduing correctly. How we take care of this planet is largely the cause I feel of the environment of Global warming that we have today. God, promises that he will never flood the Earth to destroy all living creatures again in Genesis, we still see his promise to us today every time that there is a rainbow in the sky. He said that this would be a sign of his promise and a reminder to him, that he wouldn’t destroy all living creatures again that way. I think one of the other things is that God promises that in man’s work he will have to toil painfully all the days of his life thus making it difficult to provide food and so forth. I think that this has another factor in how we are taking care of the Earth that God has blessed us with. “We” know that it is more difficult to produce food and so forth. Through our sin and selfishness and our desire to get what we want we have make poor choices in how we care for our environment around us.
    Okay, I think that I have rambled a little. I think that one thing that we should keep in mind as Christians is that God has blessed us with all living plants and animals on this earth and the earth itself. We have a responsibility to honor God in how we take care of it. We are obligated to take care of it wisely and thoughtfully in all that we do. Does this make sense?

  3. LydiaThorburn on January 8, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Hey,

    Thanks for verifying that! I’m looking forward to discussing the Bible reading every week with you people.

    Lydia

  4. LydiaThorburn on January 8, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Mr. Thompson,

    Great points! I was thinking, as I read your post, about how God did tell us to subdue the earth. I looked subdue up in the dictionary and it means to hold something under control by force. So, we are supposed to control it the earth. Doesn’t that mean that we are allowed to do things to a certain extent, like cutting trees down so we get a better view? I mean, we would be able to live without cutting trees, digging ditches, and pouring concrete. Our society today requires that we do that. Especially up here in NH and VT, we wouldn’t be able to have a home without clearing some trees.

    As for global warming, scienctists like to make a big deal out of little things. The ozone layer has a little itsy bitsy hole in it over Antarctica. No one lives in Antarctica! So, global warming is not harmful to human beings. I don’t think that how we control the earth itself (trees and ditches and stuff) has to do with the idea of global warming. Scientists are blaming things like refridgerators for the hole in the ozone layer, but refridgerators are necessary in our society (there isn’t always a cold brook nearby where you can keep things cold.. lol).

    Does this make sense to anyone? Because I don’t want to sound weird and know-it-all-ish. XD

    Lydia

  5. Brian Sayers on January 9, 2008 at 9:29 am

    To all:

    Good discussions and questions. I am in agreement that our obligation to subdue the earth includes taking care of it, not just “using it any way we want.” History proves that stripping land completely of resources (strip mining, slaughtering the bison, massive logging in a way that does not encourage future growth, etc.) is not helpful and does not preserve the resources God has given us in a useful way. Creating a view would probably be ok, but I think Fred had in mind tearing things down without being sensitive to the whole area.

    A passage in Genesis that I think addresses one aspect of the “Global Warming” debate is Genesis 8:22. When God is promising never to curse the earth through total destruction again, He says, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” Cycles of “warmer” or “colder” climates have always happened, and the warm cycle that is happening now is probably partially caused by the way we are using resources. But regardless, it will not happen to a degree that brings devastation and completely destroys the cycles of the seasons.

    Some might argue that polar ice caps are melting and Polar Bears are not able to get the food they need, and the waters will rise and flood parts of the earth near the oceans where people live, and habitats will change. These kinds of cycles used to happen continually, before people had the technology and desire to measure them. Many species have become extinct without any contribution from mankind at all. Mankind should not be irresponsible in its care of the environment. However, at the same time, even If some species of animals become extinct as a result of what we do to survive, only mankind–not animals–are created in the image of God and have been given a divine mandate to subdue and rule over the earth. Many of those who are gravely concerned about Polar Bears (or any other species) do not share this view. They have gone down the road that Romans 1 tells us mankind will–worshipping and serving the creature rather than the creator.

    People (particularly Christians), on the other hand, while being careful and responsible with the environment, cannot make maintenance of habitats or survival of species an idol that must be set up and obeyed above all else.

    As for those who live so close to shore that their homes will be destroyed due to the rising waters resulting from melting ice caps, I have this advice–move to higher ground.

    Pastor Brian

  6. Fred on January 9, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Hey Gang,

    Great points. I think that one of the main things that we have to look at when it comes to global warming is how are they determining that these things are happening? What I mean by this is: Are they doing it totally outside of a Soverign and Almighty God and his ability to control the universe? Or are they doing totally relying on themselves and the finite knowledge of mankind? We have only been here for a very short while. While God who is the creator and sustainer of the universe is in total control of our enviroment.

    I think that yes,if we subdue the earth and everything in it in an irresponsible way then it would have an adverse effect on the world’s eviroment. I think that it is more obvious to realize that refridgeration that used to use CFC’S or that burning mass amounts of coal would increase the green house effect,thus causing a warmer climate. But is that outside of God’s control? I know it isn’t based on what he has taught me in His Word about him.

    I think a larger question is: What is the source of the problem? What I mean is: If we, as mankind strip mine a coal field leaving nothing left but a waste land. Would that be subduing the earth correctly or uncorrectly in a manner that honors God with what he has blessed us with? I think that Global warming has a two part answer.

    1. Global warming I believe is part of God’s plan for the seasons and cycles that change. Only he knows what the climate and enviroment will be like for now and the future to come. I agree with Brian that God shows us a promise that mankind won’t perish through the changing global warming. God promises that the season’s will continue.

    2. The other thing is that the enviroment that we live in like: “California smog” is a direct result of mankinds selfish desire to live outside of God and what we truly need. There are a lot of things in this world that are modern conviences that have affected our enviroment that we truly don’t need. I think that this is one way that the modern industrial revolution has effected our enviroment. If we think about what GOd has promised us, we realize that in our sinful choices sometimes we make choices that have adverse effects on the enviroment around us. I think that a lot of the things that we have in this country are more a convenience and selfish factor than a necessary way of life.

    I think that one of the dangers that we have in the world today is that mankind is trying to play God and live outside of God in explaining everything that we have around us by using science as that tool, instead of submitting to his authority and divine control. It is easy to get caught up in the world’s opinion of science on many fronts (enviroment, mankind, universe, etc… I don’t think that science is bad inherently, but I think that mankind has used it as an idol to explain away God and his sovereignty and everthing that we have around us in our lives.

    I agree with Brian that many have gone down that road of worshipping the creature than the creator. This may open up a can of worms, but oh well. This may be a good example of that. “Greenpeace” is very active in saving the enviroment and the animals. At what cost do they do this? If we look at it biblically, they are putting animals and the enviroment above man and God, not the way that God intended. Is this a posible cause and contribution to the Global warming effect? or is it just a stretch?

    Look forward to the next post. Great topic. Thank you

  7. Fred on January 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Okay, thought about it more. Here is a question. Do you think that in Genesis 7 when God reaseaded the flood gates of the sky that this could have been the beginning of the climate changing to a warmer one?

    (Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. Gen 7:12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.)

    It is just a thought, if the climate then was cooler due to a watery expanse above and one below, that the sunlight would have had a harder time to shine through the expanse above, thus keeping the climate cooler and more oxogen rich, but without that exanse above the climate gets warmer because there is less to shield us from the rays and heat of the sun. I am not saying that this is the chief cause of Global warming, but this could possibly be the beginning and that would change our view of what we think about global warming today dirastically. Just a thought. What is everyone’s thoughts on this? Does this make sense? Could it be possible based on what we know of God’s Word?

    Thanks,
    Fred

  8. LydiaThorburn on January 11, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Well, I was thinking that God didn’t say specifically that summer would never get any hotter than 100 degrees or winter won’t get any colder than -13 degrees. And, in some places on the earth, there are no seasons. Like in Mexico, they don’t get Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. They have Summer all year round. How does that come into play when God said that the seasons will not cease?

    Lydia Rose

  9. BethC on January 12, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Hi guys!

    As are most things in science, there is not general consensus that the recent global warming is actually climate change despite how the media is presenting it. Instead, it may be the regular cyclical changes in mean temperature that has been happening for thousands of years. Glaciers melt, glaciers grow. Incidentally, Al Gore removed the very large incident of global warming in the 1500’s from his graph of mean temperature when he testified before Congress. The slight rise in mean temperature may not be due to human activity, and may not actually be bad for ecosystems. However, I agree that we should be good stewards of what God has given us dominion over, be cognizant of what we consume (and therefore what we throw away),and are not driven by collecting material goods (or buy used and recycle).

    I realized this past Christmas that I didn’t know how long Mary, Joseph and Jesus were in Egypt. I looked it up this week and I guess they think Herod died 4 BC and they say Jesus was born 4 BC. So they must have been in Egypt for a period of weeks or months.

    Also, I never understood why the people would build the tower of Babel. I think I understand it now- they were prideful of their building and populating power. Instead of obeying God and spreading out, they were making a monument to honor themselves, which makes me think- do monuments to glorify men please God?

    The Genesis reading this week was inspiring in that it demonstrated how God orchestrates everything, and somehow lets men sin- but then continually deals with that sin- Adam and Eve, Cain, the people in Noah’s day, the tower of Babel. Interesting how He doesn’t just squish the Earth between His fingers and move onto other projects. He deals with us even though we are sinful, and is still glorified in His relationships with us.

  10. LydiaThorburn on January 12, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I was wondering the same thing abut monuments to men. Like in Greece, they have a monument to the goddess Athena. Of course, even though I Do NOT believe in Athena, I would love to go and see the arcitecture and have the thrill of just walking where people walk thousands of years ago. Is there anything wrong with me wanting to go to these places that were built to please men.. and is it sinful for me to take general delight in those buildings or monuments?

  11. Brian Sayers on January 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I believe it is acceptable biblically to make a statue of other humans as a way to honor them for their life and to remember them. It is not ok to worship the statue, however, or you will prove yourself to be as dumb as the stone or wood it is made out of (Psalm 115:4-8).

    As for the architecture, I am convinced that man’s ability to design and build with creativity is an evidence of our having been created in the image and likeness of God, the ultimate Creator. As we exercise our “creative” minds we reflect the glory of the Lord, and we must recognize that man’s reflection of that image has been tainted by sin. As we view such marvels, the Christian, should give thanks to God for their own abilities, and recognize that even the greatest of men have been given their abilities by God too…so we conclude that He is worthy of the ultimate praise. Giving praise to man for their achievements should be subordiante to the praise we give God for bestowing the strength and ability. So, yes, we can take delight in those buildings and monuments, praising the creative abilities of men, who reflect the image of the true Creator.

  12. LydiaThorburn on January 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Hey peoples:

    It’s been kinda quiet over here but I’ve been thinking a lot about this debate. (Btw, I am a little behind on my Bible reading because of my sudden trip to NY and I didn’t have time to jot down the schedule and then the library wouldn’t let me come to this site for some reason. Anyway, I’ll be catching up!)

    I was thinking about how ppl take God’s promises for granted. For example, ppl can trash the earth and think, “Oh, God’ll still send the seasons!” and also Christians, esp., can say to themselves, “Oh, I don’t think it’ll hurt to do this sin. God has promised me his eternal life in heaven, so I’m A OK. I can always confess it later.” That last sentence is just WRONG. What is there in the Bible that proves this against Christians?

    Lydz

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