Bible Think Tank

This site is designed to help you interact with others about God's Word. I further some thoughts we developed during morning and evening gatherings at church. I have my NT translations from the original Greek to English. Also, I have book reviews and other current events.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Living Biblically for a Year

The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs.

What would your life be like if you obeyed all the commands of the Bible? What a really neat, quirky question! Okay, what a ridiculous question. Ridiculous that I would ask you since this is the very cry of your heart. Ridiculous that a Newsweek writer would find it fresh and intriguing in an intellectual sense. Here is the article I am referring to.

Listen to the tagline of the article "What if you spent one year following every rule in the Bible? A. J. Jacobs did exactly that." Right, here's an unbeliever who's actually going to obey it all for even a day, let alone a whole year!?!? No offense, it just isn't possible. Not for you or me and not for the author. For the author's reputation sake: he admits in the article that he didn't keep them all even for one day.

But it does bring up two interesting questions. First, which of the over 630 commands are we required to obey as Christians? Second, can we keep all the ones that are required -and if not - how diligent are you to obey? It won't happen by accident.

The final question (and probably the most important) we need to talk about is: should I grow out my beard like Jacobs'?



Blogger delawaregirl said...

um, don't grow your beard out.

9/26/2007 3:36 PM  
Blogger Tim Bertolet said...

There is a sense that we do not have to obey any of the Laws anymore, in the sense that as a covenant that Law was in force only under the Old Covenant. Christ is the end of the Law (Rom. 10:4), the believer has died to the Law through that very Law(Gal. 2:19). Christ takes the punishment of the Law covenant upon Himself, is crushed by the Law and He merits the perfect obedience we need, which is imputed to us, (Justification). He then puts the Spirit in our hearts writing the Law of God on our hearts so that we might be conformed to His image in obedience (sanctification), thus there is a "third use of the Law" as it instructs for righteous living. But the Law as a covenant bond is superceeded by the New Covenant, the shadow replaced by the reality. Truly we are not "under Law" any longer.

Could we obey the law even the commands we are obligated to obey? No.

I think AJ Jacobs lacks two things: (1) a recognition of the weighter matters of the law (Jesus' Sermon on the Mount increases the weight of the Law into the heart not the letter). His racking up score on keeping the Law is much like the Pharisees.(2) A lack of understanding the Law in a redemptive historical role. The commands of the Law (particularly the ceremonial) are conditioned by their role as a tutor until Christ.

9/26/2007 6:37 PM  
Blogger Timothy Schmoyer said...



10/01/2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger Timothy Schmoyer said...

Tim B,

Props to your dad for emailing me this article. As for you, great thoughts on this subject. As for Jacobs, your assessment is right tha the lacks those two views on the Law. I think though that his view of the Law is informed by "our" view of the Law. That is to say, it is Christians who are at fault for the unregenerate's view of Christianity. They see us adding to the list of no's. Don't dance, picnic, see movies, etc. So we are reknowned for saying no. They begin to think that our Faith and our God are about No rather than the grander things that we know they are.

I'm not saying it's your fault or my fault, but I do think it is Christendom's fault.

I don't think Jacobs is concerned about justification by the Law as the motive for his experiment. I think his experiment was motivated by his perception of religious people as self-pronounced holy rollers who don't end up following through on obedience.

10/01/2007 10:42 AM  

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