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

 

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Misreading Scripture
              with Western Eyes

   by Randolph Richards and 
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 Book Review

     Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes

     Reviewed by Dr. Skip Forbes

 

  


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Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies. 

Herbert W. Bateman IV

 

 


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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 — On Rethinking Faith during Grief ("My Faith, Part 1")

“Rethinking My Faith in the Face of My Grief: My Grief  (Part 2)”

by Skip Forbes 

The short version of my crisis of faith is the recent death of my beloved wife of fifty-four years, coupled with two major surgeries that put me flat on my back with little to do except ponder my first Christmas without my beloved Carol in more than fifty-seven years. 

Carol passed away last August (2017) after a courageous battle with breast cancer. I am not being dramatic when I say this is the greatest disappointment in my life. Carol is no longer present in my life, so I am only left with memories. She is gone and I miss herdeeply…every day, all day. 

I miss herjoyful nature. I miss herdaily ritual of sitting at the piano at the end of the day rehearsing until the miscues were gone. I miss hernagging me to put away the dishes after drying because “the kitchen isn’t cleaned up until they were put away.” I miss heroccasional complaints that I didn’t hear because I was engrossed in a book or ESPN. I miss herphilosophical/theological push-back at some of my arguments. I miss herrare mistakes in the dishes she prepared. I miss herdislike of “big box stores” that required me to take her shopping across deadly crossroads for material. I miss herexpectation that I keep her car gassed because “that’s a man’s job.” 

I miss her“crafty” hands that were always busy exercising her mother’s gift taught to her as a child. I miss herbusy stitching tens of thousands of items (e.g., bookmark crosses; knitted baby caps for the newborns at our local hospital; beaded colored salvation messages for mission agencies; quilts, etc.) now scattered all over the world.  She, like her mother, modeled herself after the woman who anointed Jesus for his burial (Mark 14:8); she used her gift of giving and “did what she could.” I miss hercrafting clutter (something that friends are helping me dispose of). I miss my wife.

These memories are quite insufficient compared to her actualliving presence. Strangely, I would even love to have her back to continue her battle with cancer, which she took on so joyfully.  I would give anything for those days, for at least she would be here.

In my grief, I have received much advice from other believers, especially from other widows and widowers, which have surely been well-meaning. I have appreciated the spirit of such remarks, but right now I consider such “Christian happy talk” to not be particularly helpful.  

I am happy that my Carol is free of a horrible disease, but the theologian in me continues to wrestle with 2 Corinthians 5 where Paul says, “to be absent from the body is to me present with Christ.” Is Carol in the presence of her Redeemer as I write this?  I believe in the eternal condition, but is this her state now?

This is a frustrating mystery to me.  What I know for certain is that my beloved is gone, and my eyes are “leaking” as I write this. While she is no longer suffering, I remain disappointed that God would take her.  I am told by others that “You will never get over this, but you will get used to it.” No, I can’t see this as likely for me.

To be continued: “Rethinking My Faith in the Face of My Grief: My Rethinking  (Part 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)