Bein’ Berean

One more encouragement before we get earnestly into the body of the conversation…

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. [Acts 17:10-11]

Most people, a friend once told me, are down on what they ain’t up on. Copernicus was executed for suggesting that the earth revolved around the sun, and not vice versa. Galileo died under house arrest for attempting to convince the intelligentsia (which, in the interest of full disclosure, included prominent churchmen!) of the same thing. Galileo had devised a handy little devise called the “telescope” that proved his theory. But the powers that were refused to even look through the telescope to examine the claim he made. They branded him a heretic, tried him as a criminal. He avoided execution by recanting…in a way. He said, basically, “Look. If I say it’s true or if I say it’s false, nothing changes. It is what it is. Suit yourself.”  Tragedy.

My encouragement is that the evidence be examined on its own merits…that is, let us reason together from the Bible (Sola Scriptura!) and, with humility and awe, see what God says concerning the things about which we are to inquire. Let us be like the Bereans. Let’s examine the Scriptures.

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2 responses to “Bein’ Berean

  1. I find it interesting that the Author of Acts 17 is also the same guy that opened his Gospel stating “It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:3-4
    Luke having the technical mind of a surgeon didn’t simply take the other Gospel writers at their word (apparently Luke had access to the book of Mark, it’s quoted frequently) he investigated the claims; as he states “having followed all things closely for some time past”
    So, where lies the problem? I attended 3 different churches and in all of them was encouraged from the pulpit to investigate, but only recently began that act. Do we not know where to start or how? Is our cultural lean towards gaining all things quickly; from drive through dinners to steroid induced muscularity; causing a stumble?
    I think as ambassadors of Christ, we should take a more active role in assisting the impartation of examining the Scriptures and not just with those that come to our churches. In my experience it was the mentoring of a now brother and friend that made the difference for me.

  2. Good points. I think our Western culture (and our Western church culture) is fixated on what’s easy, convenient and painless. To do serious investigation of anything takes work. To look into the deep things of God is certainly no exception.

    As we look at our culture (church and otherwise) we need to ask ourselves what needs to change. The change begins with the church culture. Do our churches (more pointedly, does our church) desire to be a culture where mutual encouragement, confrontation, teaching, burden-bearing, prayer, etc. are the way of life? If the church is content to be a consumer-driven, shallow club, she are not well-suited to be all of that.

    This departure from the culture of customer satisfaction (which is wholly unsatisfying!) is no less radical than regeneration itself. But when the church dedicates itself to being truly countercultural, the environment is rich for true discipleship. This is what I pray for our church. Join me?

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