Dear friends,

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates was a famous Greek philosopher who died in 399 BC. He went on trial in Athens for impiety (not showing proper respect to the gods and what the city believed was sacred) and for corrupting the youth of the city. At his trial, as part of his defense, he is recorded as saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Plato was sentenced to death by drinking poison.

Today and next week I will, maybe, surprise some people by saying some things which go against our cultural understanding. Actually, most weeks, we see ways that the Bible addresses human problems; sometimes the Bible provides a surprising justification for what the culture believes should be done. Sometimes the Bible disagrees and critiques cultural understandings. If the Bible really is God’s Word written, then we should expect it to speak like this. Since God is the creator and sustainer of all things and He provides a measure of “common grace” then we should expect that the Bible and a culture will often agree – even if the Bible grounds its position in a different way than the culture does. On the other hand, since every culture is “bent” or “fallen”, and made up of bent/fallen human beings, then we should expect that there will always be ways that the Bible disagrees with the culture – teaching a different virtue and warning of a different vice.

So, on one hand, people at Messiah are accustomed to me showing how the Bible agrees and disagrees with cultural understandings; on the other hand, people might be surprised by some disagreements. Even though it is not in the Bible, I think everyone agrees with Socrates that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” A Christian is a person who has been reconciled to God by putting their faith in the person and work of Jesus – God’s effective and powerful provision to save fallen/bent human beings like you and me. For us, the examined life is rooted in being gripped by the Gospel as we search the Scriptures. We know that the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to bring Christians to examine their life.

About six or seven years ago my study of the Bible led me to set aside the so-called “egalitarian” position and see that “complimentarianism” is the consistent way to read and understand the Bible – if you listen to the sermon this week and next you will know what I am referring to if these terms are unfamiliar. For now, try to read the Bible every day. Try to read all of the Bible on a regular basis. Read for wide knowledge and deep knowledge. Memorize key texts.  Expect the Bible to challenge you. Please pray for me as I preach and teach God’s Word.