Is It OK TO Ask Hard Questions About Faith? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


Is It OK TO Ask Hard Questions About Faith?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 1 of 7

Is It OK TO Ask Hard Questions About Faith?
Life can be confusing. There are times that life doesn’t make sense. Even people who’ve walked with God for decades, people with a truly intimate spiritual relationship, confront situations and circumstances that plague them and that shake their faith down to its very foundations.
If that’s you— meaning, if YOU sometimes have questions, uncertainty, and even doubts, you’re normal.
What’s one good reason that it’s OK to ask hard questions? BECAUSE , in the Bible, we learn that both skeptics, and the greatest men and women in the history of faith asked really, really hard questions.
These include Pilate, Nicodemus, David, Mary, the Apostle Peter, Job, a Philippian jailer, and even Jesus Himself!
So I think it’s plain to see—not only is asking hard questions OK. When you do so, you’re in good company. People who ask hard questions show they’re seeking faith that is GENUINE.
So not only is it OK to ask hard questions… it’s necessary. We must. Not asking hard questions is a sign of cowardice. Not asking hard questions about your faith implies that it is flimsy, rather than indestructible.
Asking questions about faith doesn’t make you weak. It shows you’re strong.


Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)


2. Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
3. Is God Republican or Democrat?
4. Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

Red Hot: How to 'Catch on Fire' In Your Spiritual Life

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Red Hot: How to ‘Catch on Fire’ in Your Spiritual Life

We’ve all experienced it… Getting “stuck” spiritually, and bogging down to where your devotional life is slowed to a crawl.
A common problem in the Christian life is knowing how to build and stoke the spiritual flames deep within our souls.
In this vlog, I unpack an important secret I’ve learned from the wisdom of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:13 (especially in the NLT version of the Bible). Then I share the single most important secret to getting and staying red hot in our spiritual lives.
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"Can I Ask That?" Mini-Video Series Introduction

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Can I Ask That? Series

“Can I Ask That?”

Recently I was posed a handful of questions by a current Saddleback Pastor, Brandon Bathauer of Saddleback Church’s Irvine South and Great Park Campuses. He asked if I could give a one-minute response on 7 different questions about faith.
Here are the 7 questions in this series:
1. Is It OK to Ask Hard Questions About Faith?
2. Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
3. Is God Republican or Democrat?
4. Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

Follow Along Each Week for Another Installment of This 7 Part Video Series!


Subscribe and Get It Delivered Automatically!

Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

The Virtue of Study

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The Virtue of Study: Why All Christians Should Be Life-Long Learners

 
Christians Should Love Learning
I’m of the opinion that all committed Christians should (and do) have a genuine love of learning. Christians have been serious students of knowledge since Jesus called the Original Twelve. From Jesus’ example as the Master Teacher, to the scholarship of monks that led to the first and best universities, Christians have always been in the forefront of teaching, learning, and education. If you think about it, that’s the way it should be.
God Wants Us To Know More Than We Currently Know
First, God is omniscient— meaning He knows everything. This all-knowing God made part of His infinite knowledge available to us. He has done this through the process of “revelation.” Divine revelation is the act of God revealing knowledge to us. God has given us both General Revelation and Special Revelation.
General Revelation (the cosmos, science, history, and the human faculties of reflection and conscience) has two main purposes: (1) To provide knowledge that helps people survive and thrive in our earthly lives, and (2) To help us realize that a Supreme Being exists, so we will begin to seek to know the true identity of this God (which is discovered through Special Revelation).
Special Revelation (including the Bible, Jesus Christ, and God’s supernatural activity) provides us with the information we need to know God personally and to cultivate a never-ending relationship with Him. Together, God’s Revelation helps us live lives informed by God’s knowledge, truth, and wisdom.
Acquiring Great Knowledge Isn’t Effort-Free
But there’s a catch… Though God has revealed enormous amounts of information, we do not naturally or automatically possess all of this knowledge. In other words, “revelation” is everything that God has made knowable or discoverable. Some of it we already know, but we’re born with very little innate knowledge. The rest has to be learned.
God helps us discover new knowledge in two ways: Through reflecting on life experiences and by intentionally and deliberately committing ourselves to learning.
Christians, of all people, have a responsibility to learn. The Apostle Paul, in writing to Christians in the city of Ephesus, made this clear. He prayed that God would “give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God” (Eph 1:17, NLT). Not only that, but “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him” (Phil 2:13, NLT). For these reasons, Christians who walk with God have a supernatural desire to obtain information, knowledge, truth, and wisdom— and they are willing to do what it takes to learn them.
Christians Should Study Regularly and Systematically
Since there’s so much we need to know, Christians should be life-long learners. And because time is limited, we should be discriminating about how we study and what we learn.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give about building a strong Christian mind is this: study regularly and systematically. Don’t just pick and choose books or subjects willy-nilly. Rather, identify important categories of knowledge in which you should be informed, then deliberately, intentionally, regularly, and systematically use solid materials from reliable sources to build your mind and worldview.
No One Said It Better Than Paul
The Apostle Paul said it best: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

2 Timothy 2_2