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I’m now embarking on posting here on the KR blog the paper that I wrote and presented as a speaker at Sir Anthony Buzzard’s & the Atlanta Bible College’s “20th Theological Conference” in Atlanta, GA on 5/13/11.  Originally this paper was titled “A Common Sense Approach to the Biblical Presentation of Jesus, Death, and THE Devil“. However at 20 very long typed pages it is just too much to post on the blog.  In talking with Sean there at the conference about the KR blog, he brought up Victor’s thinking that more people will read short articles than long ones.  I think that’s a smart approach and is something I will try to do here where possible. Plus this gives me a lot of subject material for quite some time!  Keep in mind though, that I wrote this as a long-form paper and its topics won’t always break into similar sizes – in other words, some of these segments will be nice and short and others will be considerably longer.

This first segment lays the groundwork for providing what I mean by common sense, how it has always been important to me personally, and how important it is for biblical study.  I hope you enjoy it and take it to heart.

Biblical Common Sense – Introduction – What is it & Why is it important?

Common Sense, what is it? Well according to Merriam-Webster the proper definition is as follows:

Common Sense: sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.

Wow. What an easy to comprehend definition. The very definition of common sense almost seems like “common sense”.  To be able to make a sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts sure sounds right.  It sounds like what we should always strive to do. And people do exactly that all the time, everyday.  When we drive to work and see that the sky is overly cloudy and looks like it might rain, we know it wouldn’t be wise to leave our car windows down.  If your battery powered flashlight starts getting dimmer, you understand that you might need to put new batteries in it.  Part and parcel of common sense is paying attention to the obvious.  It is using the knowledge and experience of life to see and comprehend accurately what is right in front of us. Again, common sense is plain ordinary good judgment that is not based on any specialized knowledge.

For me, common sense has always been something I’ve prided myself in having.  A lot of it was instilled by my father who himself had a strong common sense approach to life.  A lot of it though just came naturally.  Ever since I was a child I had a need to understand and make sense of things. I remember driving my mother crazy at times by not being able to simply accept things without a proper explanation that made sense to me. Whenever she would tell me to do something or not to do whatever I might have been doing, I would always ask WHY? Of course this is something that children are wont to do, but for me it wasn’t just a delay tactic, but something that truly mattered to me. I wanted to know the reason.  A “because I said so” answer from my mother was something I could never accept.  That drove me crazy! And it wasn’t because I didn’t respect her as a parent.  I just had to make sense of why I was being told this.  When an answer was given to me that did make sense, I could accept it. I could move on.  I still might not have liked doing it, but at least I understood it. The common sense aspect of my thinking was appeased.

Ever since those early years trying my mother’s patience, I’ve always had a strong common sense approach to life.  This has served me well over time in most every aspect of life and I believe it also serves me well in my Biblical studies.  Like everything else in life, I try to use a common sense approach to Scripture.  I feel that it has to make sense at the most basic level.  If God is communicating to humanity throughout the generations of time through the written word (which I firmly believe He does through The Bible), then having it make sense to people is of primary importance.  Of course right here the skeptic or the Atheist could chime in and say that the Bible defies common sense.  They would say that tales of the supernatural and miracles are contrary to logic and rational thought, much less common sense.  From the viewpoint of a non-believer that can appear to be true.  But once the existence of God is recognized and faith in Him and His Holy Scriptures becomes your axiom, then miracles and other supernatural occurrences become not just possible, but entirely logical.  However the point of my presentation is not a defense of theism or The Bible, but is that within the framework of God’ written word, what practically all of believers of Scripture feel is the truth given to us from God, common sense still must be applied to it in order to properly understand what God is communicating to us.  What God articulates to us as rational cognitive thinking beings must make sense to us in order for us to understand Him. Common sense is a part of how we think and make logical judgments about life and the world around us.  That is how God created us. Common sense was made into our mental makeup by God. Hence the popularly heard term “God-given Common sense” is very accurate.  And if God gave it to us, we should definitely strive to use it as a proper guide through his written word. His instructions throughout the Bible – beginning to end, should be read using God’s gift of common sense.

With that in mind, in future “Biblical Common Sense” columns I post here on this blog, we will examine  how utilizing common sense will keep us on track on the three very important biblical subjects of Jesus, Death, and the Devil. Yes, these are three VAST subjects that one could write an entire book about.  Indeed volumes and volumes of books have been written about them. But I believe that if one maintains a God-given common sense approach to the important details of the Bible’s presentation of each of these subjects, all difficulties and complexities will fade away and the simple truth of what God really intends us to know about them will be clearly visible.

Coming next; “Jesus – God’s son”.

Biblical Common Sense Series:

1. Intro

2. Jesus – God’s Son

3. Jesus – “This is MY Son”

4. Jesus – The Anointed of God

5. Jesus – The Messiah is suppose to be…

6. Jesus – Jesus Was Seen!

7. Jesus – Two Adams

8. Jesus – Not Equal, Not the Same!



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