Perceiving Coherence in Life Despite Undeserved Suffering (Ecclesiastes 4/5)

Perceiving Coherence in Life Despite Undeserved Suffering
Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning (4/5)

This video presents the coherent argument of Ecclesiastes, and thus presents the overall message of Ecclesiastes. In the process it reveals how to meet the second condition for experiencing the meaning of life, which is, being able to perceive how every aspect of life, especially the painful aspects, fits into a coherent whole. For it reveals how even the reality of “innocent” (that is, undeserved) suffering coheres with God’s purpose for humanity. This revelation, together with that of God’s purpose for humanity, provide the answer to the human quest for meaning in a way most satisfying to the human heart.

 

Discovering the Most Worthwhile Purpose for Living ( Ecclesiastes 3/5)

Discovering the Most Worthwhile Purpose for Living ( Ecclesiastes 3/5)
Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning (3/5)

There are two conditions for experiencing the meaning of life. This video discusses the first, revealed in Ecclesiastes as living out God’s purpose for humanity. This condition is corroborated empirically by real-life human experience in a recent PhD thesis. One need not be a Christian to discover and live out this purpose and experience the meaning of life. However, Ecclesiastes also reveals that God will one day judge every person based on this purpose. Because of sin, no one can live out this purpose perfectly and so everyone needs God’s forgiveness. Hence Ecclesiastes points non-Christians to Christ no matter how meaningful their life may be.

Biblical Dualism and the Soul Between Death and Resurrection (the Intermediate State)

Death, Resurrection and Life Everlasting DRLE Pt.2

Death involves disintegration of a person’s vital power (nepesh, “soul”; Gen. 35:18; 1 Kings 19:4), cessation of bodily life, and separation of the body and the soul. Does the soul continue to exist after the death of the person? The monist theologian’s answer is “no”. Monism argues that according to the Bible, a human being is not divided into separate parts, i.e. body, soul, and spirit, but he exists as a unified or holistic self. Since the soul and the body are just different aspects of a person, existence entails bodily existence. There is no possibility of disembodied existence of the soul after death. The purpose of this post is to show that monism contradicts the Bible which ascribes to the disembodied soul some forms of consciousness in the intermediate state between death and final resurrection.1This post focuses on the biblical teaching on the soul’s disembodied existence in the intermediate state. For a philosophical defence of the tenability of disembodied existence of the soul, see Paul Helm, “A Theory of Disembodied Survival and Re-embodied Existence,” Religious Studies (1978), pp. 15-26; Richard Purtill, “Disembodied Survival,” Sophia 12 (1973), pp. 1-10. Continue reading “Biblical Dualism and the Soul Between Death and Resurrection (the Intermediate State)”

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    This post focuses on the biblical teaching on the soul’s disembodied existence in the intermediate state. For a philosophical defence of the tenability of disembodied existence of the soul, see Paul Helm, “A Theory of Disembodied Survival and Re-embodied Existence,” Religious Studies (1978), pp. 15-26; Richard Purtill, “Disembodied Survival,” Sophia 12 (1973), pp. 1-10.

Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds—This and the Next (Ecclesiastes 2/5)

Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds—This and the Next (Ecclesiastes 2/5)

Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning 2/5

Only two out of thirty over English translations of the Bible render the theme of Ecclesiastes as “Everything is meaningless.” Most translations retain the traditional rendering “All is vanity.” Yet most Christians today assume that Ecclesiastes says, “Everything is meaningless.” Since this robs Ecclesiastes of its God-inspired message, this video seeks to defend the traditional rendering. It shows that “All is vanity” is an objective description of reality whereas “Everything is meaningless” is a pessimistic response to that reality. Ecclesiastes itself teaches a realistic response. The Gospel empowers Christians to also have an optimistic response. Hence they can enjoy the best of both worlds—this and the next.

You can watch the full video at
Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning 2/5

Everything Is Not Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1/5)

Everything Is Not Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1/5)
Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning (1/5)

1) Ecclesiastes is about the human quest for meaning. This quest became pronounced in the 20th century and even more so in the 21st century. Hence Ecclesiastes is needed today more than ever. However, the message is presented in a way so unique that it is often misunderstood. Most biblical scholars see pessimism and contradictions in the book. This has undermined the authority of Ecclesiastes as Scripture inspired by God.

This is the first in a series of five videos which seeks to reclaim the authoritative message of Ecclesiastes. This video introduces the series as well as seeks to remove the immediate obstacles to accepting Ecclesiastes as authoritative Scripture—apparent pessimism and apparent contradictions. It shows that the theme of Ecclesiastes is realistic, not pessimistic, and that the supposed contradictions are indeed apparent, not real.

You may read and comment on the video at
Everything Is Not Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1/5)

Genesis 1:1 – The Correct Translation: “In the beginning, God Created the Heavens and the Earth” (KJV, ESV, NIV) vs “In the Beginning when God Created the Heavens and the Earth (NRSV, JPS).”

The standard translation takes Gen.1:1 to be an independent clause which refers to the absolute beginning of the universe: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word bərēʾšît (beginning) denotes the start of a whole sequence of events, that is, the absolute beginning of “the heavens and the earth.” The phrase is a rhetorical device (merism) which combines two extremes in order to refer to everything in between them. The translation is consistent with the idea that God created the whole universe ex nihilo.

The NET Bible supports the traditional scholarship in its translators’ notes on Gen. 1:1 – “the translation assumes that the form translated “beginning” is in the absolute state rather than the construct (“in the beginning of,” or “when God created”). In other words, the clause in v. 1 is a main clause, v. 2 has three clauses that are descriptive and supply background information, and v. 3 begins the narrative sequence proper.”

This traditional interpretation has been dominant for centuries. However, it has recently been seriously challenged by scholars who are informed by historical criticism of the Pentateuch which began in the 19th century. Continue reading “Genesis 1:1 – The Correct Translation: “In the beginning, God Created the Heavens and the Earth” (KJV, ESV, NIV) vs “In the Beginning when God Created the Heavens and the Earth (NRSV, JPS).””

Book of Genesis vs Babylonian Creation (Enuma Elish) and Babylonian Flood (Epic of Gilgamesh)

Genesis vs Ancient Near East Polytheistic Myths: Plagiarism or Polemics? Part 2

A. Genesis and Babylonian Creation & Flood Accounts: Similar but Independent Accounts

The chart below lists several parallels between the Creation and Flood accounts of Genesis and the Mesopotamia Enuma Elish. [Source: Currid, p. 37-38]

Enuma Elish (Mesopotamia) Genesis
Divine spirit and cosmic matter are coexistent and coeternal Divine spirit creates cosmic matter and exists independently of it
Primeval chaos; Tiamat enveloped in darkness The earth a desolate waste, with darkness covering the deep (tehom)
Light emanating from the gods Light created
The creation of the firmament The creation of the firmament
The creation of dry land The creation of dry land
The creation of the luminaries The creation of the luminaries
The creation of man The creation of man
The gods rest and celebrate God rests and sanctifies the seventh day

How does one account for these similarities? Continue reading “Book of Genesis vs Babylonian Creation (Enuma Elish) and Babylonian Flood (Epic of Gilgamesh)”

Series 3: The Prophecies of the Messiah and His Kingdom in the Book of Isaiah Part 7. Is the book of Isaiah a unified work written by the eighth-century prophet Isaiah?

Question: You have assumed the traditional view that the book of Isaiah comprises a unified work, in particular one written by the eighth-century prophet named Isaiah. But many scholars in academia argue that the book of Isaiah is a collection of many historical sources or “authors.” In fact, increasingly even “Evangelical scholars” reject the traditional view that Isaiah is the author of the book. Why do you still assume the traditional view is correct?

Discussants: Dr. Leong Tien Fock and Dr. Ng Kam Weng.

You are welcome to join the discussion at:
Part 7. The Unity and Authorship of the Book of Isaiah

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Series 3: The Prophecies of the Messiah and His Kingdom in the Book of Isaiah. Part 5. Does the book of Isaiah indicate that God is Triune?

The Trinity in Isaiah (Isaiah 11:2; 51:9-10; 53:1; 63:7-14; cf. Micah 5:2; Daniel 7:7-10, 13-14)

Question: The good news or Gospel in the New Testament is that the Triune God has accomplished salvation in saving fallen mankind. If indeed, Isaiah presents the Gospel of Christ in advance of the New Testament, is there any indication in the book of Isaiah that God is Triune.

Discussants: Dr. Leong Tien Fock and Dr. Ng Kam Weng.
You are welcome to join the discussion at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDgVleUr-08

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Series 3: The Prophecies of the Messiah and His Kingdom in the Book of Isaiah Part 4. What is Isaiah’s teaching about the New Covenant?

Question: One defining element of God’s salvation is the promise of a new covenant between God and his people which Jeremiah & Ezekiel prophesied. What is Isaiah’s teaching about the New Covenant?

Discussants: Dr. Leong Tien Fock and Dr. Ng Kam Weng.You are welcome to join the discussion at:

Part 4. What is Isaiah’s teaching about the New Covenant?

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