When one refers to the “Synoptic Problem,” one is endeavoring to address a fundamental question in Scriptural textual criticism: “What is the best explanation for the textual similarities and differences between Matthew, Mark, and Luke?” (Baum, 911) How one determines a solution to this supposed problem discloses the source of one’s faith.
You have to believe me when I say that it’s not my intent to carry on eviscerating children’s television. I’m only in my late-twenties but I fear my online persona at times comes across too curmudgeonly. Nevertheless, the vocals from my 2-year-old’s favorite Disney Junior show recently assaulted my eardrums . . . and my theology.
The rich young ruler’s inquiry to the Lord Jesus in Mark 10:17–22 (along with Matt. 19:16–22; Luke 10:25–28) remains increasingly prescient for us today. I would say that it’s most likely the hottest burning question on everyone’s tongue, even if it’s not explicitly admitted; that question being, “How do I secure a spot in heaven?”
When endeavoring to define faith in the biblical sense, teachers and preachers hasten to bring their audience to Hebrews 11. This, of course, is the “faith chapter,” or the “hall of faith” (as it’s commonly called), in which we’re made to see this heroic faithfulness as displayed in the lives of many prominent Scriptural figures.
The notion of “easy believism” predominantly has a negative connotation. Its common usage is from those who wish to squash the idea that faith alone is necessary for salvation. Or by those who deem the burgeoning message of free grace as a threat to their moralistic systems of discipleship, spiritual growth, and mentoring.
How many of you are familiar with Gary Larson’s The Far Side? Anyone? No? Well, briefly, The Far Side is a nationally circulated, single-panel comic depicting surrealistic scenes bathed in awkward social situations and anthropomorphized characters who offer humorous and sometimes insightful perspectives on the issues of life.