To Combat Modern Heresies?
Aquila Lee on 9 Nov 2005
Peter 1:3-11 functions as a summary of the whole book of 2 Peter. In these
verses Peter emphasizes two things: knowing God and Jesus Christ and
living a holy life. With these emphases, he gives the impression that
Christians are almost automatically in a position to live holy lives. But
do we match his high expectations in our daily walk with God?
we want to listen to the message of Peter in a more direct and compelling
way, it is important to know about the occasion and purpose of the letter,
and one major problem these Christians were facing in those days was the
problem of false teachers. In Chapter 2, Peter gives a warning against
certain false teachers. That these false teachers ‘will secretly
introduce destructive heresies’ (v.1) suggests that they were not those
who entered the churches from outside but members of those churches. They
were themselves Christians who uncritically accepted popular contemporary
are not only related to our church doctrines, but also our practical
application of the biblical truth. We may find a powerful connection
between the heresies of Peter's day and our contemporary popular culture,
philosophy, lifestyle and worldview that are introduced into the churches,
e.g., today’s materialistic worldview and consumerism, today’s moral
values and ethical teachings, ‘health and wealth theology,’ etc.
then, to combat these ‘modern heresies’? The recipe is found in the
twofold emphasis in today's passage: the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ
and a holy living. If we want to stay away from ‘modern heresies,’ we
need to maintain a deeper knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. Notice his
repetitive use of the expression 'the knowledge of God and of Jesus
Christ' (1:2, 3, 6, 8; 3:18). Peter is repudiating the claims of the false
teachers to superior knowledge by showing them what true Christian
knowledge is all about. He counterclaims that true Christian knowledge
comes from the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, which enables us and
provides us everything that we need for a godly life!
speaker on 23 November will be Mr Yue Fah Yong.
We apologise for the absence of a ‘Good Book’ column this week. Our reviewer was unable to complete a review owing to a combination of illness and a particular pressing engagement. This is, however, a good opportunity for me to tell you that I will be acting as editor of BTW until the end of June 2006. If you have any suggestions as to how BTW may be improved (made more useful, informative, readable, etc.), please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (my preferred email address). You may also contact me if you are interested in submitting a piece for publication in BGST: I don't guarantee publication, but I would be glad to discuss the possibility with you. Does anyone, for example, feel inspired to write a short Christmas devotional over the next few weeks? Please get in touch.
of Paul and Gail Stevens
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Sherry Hua 23/11
Joyce Tay 23/11
Amy Teo 23/11
Koh May Fern 24/11
Carol Cheang 24/11
Hukali Aye 25/11
Chia Meow Hah 27/11