Dr. Will Varner, Professor of Bible and Greek at The Master’s College
“Now the LORD said to Abram … I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
The above passage from Genesis has been a topic of debate for time immemorial? (It came up last week in our discussion about Ron Paul’s views on Israel.) So what exactly does it mean God will “bless those who bless Abram”?
Was that blessing for those who lived just during the time of Abram or did it extend to his descendants as well? And if to his descendants, does that mean both Jews, from his son Isaac, and also Arabs from his son Ishmael?
And how are we to “bless Abram”? Does “we” refer to individuals or nations or both? What does “blessing Abram” mean for the United States and our relationship with the secular state of Israel? And what about the common Christian belief that the Jews and the nation of Israel have been replaced in the “favored” or “chosen” category by the church?
As you can see, there are lots of questions to ponder when it comes to understanding what God’s call for Christians is when it comes to the Jews and Israel. Fortunately, our guest on Saturday, Dr. Will Varner, has insight and experience with this issue. Dr. Varner is professor of Bible and Greek at The Master’s College and is the director of their Israel Bible Extension program.
We will also hear from Dr. Wess Stafford, the president of Compassion International, one of the world’s most respected, gospel-centered child development organizations. If you haven’t had the chance yet to find a child to sponsor as part of The Christian Worldview FaithWorks Initiative with Compassion International, click here or call toll free 1-855-549-7535.
“For it [governmental authority] is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans 13:4).
There are now just four Republican presidential candidates remaining who are vying for their party’s nomination to run against President Obama in this fall’s general election. Only one of them professes to be a born-again Christian of the Protestant kind — Ron Paul. (Mitt Romney is a Mormon and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are Roman Catholics.)
If you’ve watched any of the Republican debates, Ron Paul doesn’t fit the modern Republican mold. Not only does he look much older than the other candidates (Paul is 76), but his views, especially as they relate to foreign policy and personal liberties, are outside the Republican mainstream as well.
But should they be considered outside the biblical Christian mainstream? While most “experts” say Ron Paul is “unelectable” and “out of step”, his blend of conservative and libertarian positions on the issues attracts many followers. Even prominent pastor Voddie Baucham recently explained in a column why he is voting for Ron Paul.
In The Christian Worldview’s continuing series of analyzing various aspects of the presidential candidates (for example, we discussed Romney’s Mormonism in Nov. 2011), we’ll take a closer look this Saturday at some of the more controversial views of Ron Paul to see whether they are consistent with a biblical worldview for government.