Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies
Herbert W. Bateman IV
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Welcome

to the Cyber-Center
for Biblical Studies


 

 Featured Scripture

      O Lord, hear my prayer!
      Pay attention to my cry for help!
      Do not ignore me in my time of trouble!
      When I call out to you, quickly answer me!

      Psalm 102:1–2 (NET)

 

Featured Book  



The Cure: What if God isn’t what you think he is and neither are you

   by John Lynch, Bruce McNickel,
                                    and Bill Fraul

        
         Purchase on Amazon 
 

 



 Book Review

     The Cure: What if God isn’t what you
                      think he is and neither are you 

     Reviewed by Pastor Michael Hontz

 

  

Fifth Annual Bible Conference: 
 

       When

         Friday, September 7 @ 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
         Saturday, September 8 @ 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

      Where

            C E National, 1003 Presidential Drive 
                                   Winona Lake, IN 46590

     Who

          Dr. Mark L. Strauss
          Professor of N.T. Studies @ Bethel Seminary
          Contributing translator of the NIV Bible

         Author of 
            How to Read the Bible in Changing Times (2011) 
            How to Choose a Translation . . . (2007), and others

                  For tickets, click on this link EventBrite

 


Website Administrator & President of

Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies. 

Herbert W. Bateman IV

 

 


MISSION


The
Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies
 
is an internet resource center that promotes the reading, studying, teaching, and preaching of the Bible.

 


  

A Pastor’s Perspective — “Rethinking My Faith in the Face of My Grief: My Rethinking  (Part 3)”

by Skip Forbes 

In the final stage of my lament, I wrestle with God in my current circumstance. I deal with howthe death of my Carol left me and why. Again, I am forced to consider the question of God’s providence. Exactly what has God been up to following this life altering event?  

Within four weeks of Carol’s passing, I underwent two significant surgeries, confining me to my home for nine weeks.  Worse, the recovery regimen required that I lay flat on my back, either in bed or stretched out in a recliner. Nothing to do except read or watch TV; neither of which is convenient in a completely supine position. So, I simply pondered the loss of my wife. None of the recommended “distractions” was available to ease the grieving. 

So, what was God up to?He certainly wasn’t coming to my rescue and helping me with my grief.  It was mental torture! I did have friends make brief visits, which I appreciated, but then I was alone again with my grief and attending thoughts.

Providence is a theological derivative from the Bible. It is not a biblical term. It is our human way of seeking an answer to, “How did this happen?” or, perhaps, “Why did this happen?” or “What is God up to?” Providence seeks to understand God’s purposes and how these get accomplished.  

Now, I believe that God directs the history of the universe toward some ultimate end. But I cannot accept the notion that the Creator God put an orderly world into place and then leaves its day-to-day operation to chance. Nor can I accept that God directly intrudes or otherwise manipulates outcomes. For example, I am very familiar with statements like Proverbs 21:1 (“God turns the king’s heart”), but what exactly does this mean? How does it work out in the existential circumstance?  

God does not “wake up” in the early morning and “zap” up our weather for the day. Nor does he intercede/interfere in a human psyche and physically, emotionally, or volitionally alter human behavior.  God invested the original humans (and successive generations) with the matter of choice. Finally, my theology presupposes God “ordered up” (decreed?) Adam and Eve’s choice to fail miserably and the course for all subsequent natural and human events. Hence, disease, accidents, natural disasters, and human misadventures result from the Genesis Fall. Some people get sick and die, while others recover from serious surgeries. But why the differences in experiences and outcomes? And what is God’s role in this?

So, my exasperating question remains – What was/is God up to in my recent, serious, life experience that required(apparently in his view) me to have this extended period with little to do except think about my Carol’s death…and with little relief? I know from many biblical stories the implied teaching that God doesn’t promise immediate understanding of his ways and purposes. Perhaps understanding will elude us throughout our lifetimes. God’s ways and purposes are too vast and complicated that we may never understand. 

This is what is so frustrating, especially following the death of someone as close as a life-long mate and ministry partner. Humanly speaking, I want to know. No, I need to know.But the heavens are silent. Am I wrong to be unsatisfied with this?  Am I demonstrating an absence of faith?    

So when people ask how I am doing, my typical answer is, “I’m managing.”  But I’m not happy about it.  I pray this feeling will pass someday…even in the absence of understanding.

All three parts of Skip's article are available, just click on this link: Rethinking My Faith during Grief  (Parts 1–3)

Skip Forbes, former pastor of Bluffton Baptist Church, Bluffton, Indiana, is a retired Professor of Religion and Philosophy (Grace College and Seminary) who currently serves as an Elder at Fellowship Baptist Church, Warsaw, Indiana.

 

"A Pastor's Perspective" is a CCBS ministry directed by Timothy D. Sprankle, Senior Pastor of Leesburg Grace Brethren Church. He solicits, collects, and edits all submissions before posting. He earned his B.A. (2001) and M.Div. degrees from Grace Theological Seminary (2004). 

 

Previously posted blogs are also available: "A Pastor's Perspective."

 

 

Interpreting the Psalms for Teaching and Preaching (2010)

Interpreting the General Letters (2013)Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews (2007)

Commentary on Jude (2015)

Jesus the Messiah      (2012)