[b]Interview of revival and the word of God with Greg Gordon[/b]
1. I will ask for more biographical background including your path to God. Also, if have any articles written about you (long or short) that can be emailed prior to our talk, that would be great.
2. Please explain in depth your feelings about revivals and standing in tradition when studying the Bible.
Revival Definition - not meetings but very times of God coming in the midst of men. Revival is not as much "about" God as it "is" God.
"So tremendous has been this sense of an awareness of God, that I have known men out in the fields, so overcome that they were prostrate upon the ground."
Duncan Campbell The Lewis Revival
"Are we jealous for Gods glory? To me that is what revival is all about."
"I do not understand Christian people who are not thrilled by the whole idea of revival. . . . If you want a perfect exposition of 1 Corinthians 1:25-31, read books on revival."
Revival brings the truths of the bible into reality.
3. Please explain the genesis of Sermonindex.net
4. Do you consider yourself a traditionalist who advocates an apostolic vision of the Church? Do you feel the current Church has gone off the right path and, if so, what are your suggestions for putting it back on track? Note: Please comment on the role of Bible Study in this question. Also, Bible Study Magazine is non-denominational so please keep that in mind as well, thanks
Having a apostolic vision for the Church means to desire to see the reality of the book of acts and scripture back in common place. The Church has gone away from truth. The church has deviated from scripture and the counsel of God. Instead there are programs and plans of men. There is a great need to get back to the Bible as our sole authority and guide for what the church's purpose, function and plan in this world.
Never has there been so many ideas on what the Church should be in the history of man. Never have so many of men's ideas been expressed with total neglect of the simple counsel of the word of God.
In Jeremiah 5:30-31 it says: "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priest bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"
Bible study is paramount that is why in Church history the scriptures were hid from the lay people and kept by priest craft and clergy. When the scriptures are readily available to the people who are seeking God's face for truth they will find it!
Many people ask the question to the bible, bible how am I saved? or bible who is God? some ask the question: bible how to I raise my children, but very few ask the bible the question: bible how does church meet? or how does church function? what does church do? such questions will find apostolic truth to guide the church back into right paths.
5. What do you think the great leaders of ministry (past and present including Spurgeon, Luther, Calvin, etc) can teach us about Bible study and acquiring a closer connection to God? If you have quotes from favorite ministry leaders you would like to share, thats great.
I believe it is crucial to have a link to the past. It is crucial to understand the scriptures as men of old understood them! The problem is we look at things half heartily and superifically. We talk about things with second hand knoweldge or less. We don't have men who are meeting God in reality as He was met by men like Spurgon, Finney, Whitefield, Wesley, Edwards, Tozer and others. Personally in my Christian life some of the most changing moments has been to hear some old saints of God pray and share stories of God at work. Such things bolster our faith and give us a new mindset and approach to the word of God.
One of the major needs in bible reading and preaching is seriousness. We are very flippant with the holy scriptures and the holy things of God. We are making the things of God common in our day. Subjects such as hell, judgment, sin, death are seldom preached with instensity, belief and passion. But with careful bible study these subjects are all throughout scriptures and showed forth in a very serious manner. But for the sake of contextulation we add jokes and stories in our expositions to "ligthen" it up.
"Beware of reasoning about God's Word - obey it."
These men did not look to the scriptures simple to study them but to obey them. Men would crawl under the burden of God for a lost and perishing world. Such studied the bible to understand the lost condition of men, the holiness of God and his requirements.
"One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed."
"the Bible definately is infallible, how else could it survive so many years of bad preching"
"The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian."
It also is true in bible study we are just plain lazy! I believe this generation is one of the most undisciplined generations ever in the Church.
"Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy."
R. C. Sproul
6. Do you feel that the reformers view of Sola Scriptura shapes the way we view the Bible today?
Definetly. The concept of verse by verse study was really copulated with the puritans who were a group of reformed believers that labored to fullfil the gap of Great objective reailies of God being proclaimed in their day but little subjective reality being seen. To put it more simply there was alot of hyprocisy happening in england in the 16th century. But there was a resurgence of biblical studying, paticuarlity expositional teaching and preaching. And I believe we feel that influence down to our modern day.
But also under reformed rule at times bible study was actually hindered. The book of revelation was illegal to teach out of at times. Teachings of wrong doctrines were pushed with no biblical new testament backing such as the doctrine of infant baptism.
One sad fact is alot of good bible study, commentaries and sermons were burnt by the professing church of the day considering those writings heresy because of their stance on the bible and truth. 100's of dissenter groups throughout history that had very orthadox views of the bible were maligned as narrowed enthuasts and rebels because of their stand for truth.
I believe there is much good that has been perserved for us from the time of the reformers. Spurgeons sermons have been reproduced over 50 million times in the world now.
7. Personal Bible study questions:
--Please describe your Bible study habits-do you have a method?
I read the bible primarily to allow God to speak to me personally with my walk with Himself. As I read the bible I ask God for "light" on myself to expose and correct me. I read a old famous english writers "henry lockyer" who said that we need to let the bible "accuse us".
Secondly I read the bible to know more about God relationally. John 17:3 says to "know God" is eternal life. We can know much about God in reading the scriptures it is a revelation of himself namely in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thirdly the bible is to studied carefully. There are many hidden truths and blessing to those who study it very carefully. It says that the scriptures are more precious then gold, how careful would be to dig for gold if it was in our backyard. In the same way there is much to be gained from mining out hidden truths in the bible. Whether that be in greek, word studies, symbolism explained etc.
--When you study, do you read people like Calvin or Luther first? After? How do their writings help enhance your personal study? How do you determine if you think they are right and how much of their writing is rooted in their timeframe?
If we look in a modern book shop and find a book on the character of God is in a small paper back with 100 pages. And for contrast we look at "The attributes of God" by william charnock written many 100's of years ago that is over 1000 pages long! What a difference!
These men spent time meditating on God and His truths and were able to see depths that unfortunately we do not see in our day. So there is a great blessing in reading these older paths to gain light for our path today. for we walk on the same narrow road.
I think to try and read the bible alone is best and not always have a older commentary with you. But the famous George Whitefield was known to spend whole weeks prostrate with his matthew henry commentary and greek bible layed out infront of him. And he would season his times of study with prayer and cries of: "Use me God, use me God, use me God." It wasn't enough for him to read or understand the truths, he wanted them to become a reality in his life.
8. If someone was stranded on a desert island with only the Bible, and they had never read it, how would you suggest they begin to study it?
Genesis and then John. Both books start talking about the beginning and Christ is creator of the earth and changer of men's hearts. I read that spuregon recommended the crudens corcordance with the bible if stuck on a desert island. Daniel webster shared the most powerful truth he every thought of from the scriptures is the personall account of every man at the judgment seat of Christ.
We are very blessed in our day with such knoweldge of the scripture, great digital tools to search and understand scripture but in the midst of that all we must not neglect relying on the Holy Spirit of God who leads into all truth.
Imagine being stuck on a desert island without logos bible software. I am not sure how some pastors in our modern day would handle that. Hence perhaps the call and need to get back to relying more on the Holy Spirit of God alone.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon