December 2018 – Noted apologist and philosopher Richard Howe is featured in Intro to God’s Revelation, a six-week study curriculum written and filmed by American Family Studios. Dr. Howe (richardghowe.com) is professor emeritus of philosophy and apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. He shared with AFA Journal some insights regarding this new resource.
AFA Journal: Give us an overview of this study.
Richard Howe: This study examines how God gets His truth to us and how we can apply it to our lives. To this end, it looks at (1) how God reveals Himself through creation, His prophets and apostles, and His Son Jesus Christ; (2) how revelation became Scripture; (3) how the Scripture has come down to us; (4) translation of the Scripture into many languages; (5) understanding the Scripture; and (6) applying the Scripture.
AFAJ: Where are these lessons most useful in a Christian’s daily life?
RH: In some ways, the series can function like a pegboard upon which other doctrines of the faith can be “hung.” Unless the foundation of truth is clear, the scaffolding for further truths will be in peril, and it becomes nearly impossible to teach further truths in seeking to make disciples.
AFAJ: What are the differences between salvation and discipleship?
RH: One cannot earn eternal life. It is only given as a gift. It costs us nothing, though it cost God the life of His Son (Romans 4:4-5). Discipleship, in contrast, costs us everything – perhaps even our own life in this world (Matthew 10:37-39).
AFAJ: How does one know if his church has good theology?
RH: One thing to look for is what role the Bible plays in the teachings of the leaders. Do they try to hide their Bible by calling it by other names or by only having veiled reference to it, or does the leadership boldly claim to base their teaching upon sound reason and biblical truth?
AFAJ: Why do some Christians fear some of the topics discussed in this study?
RH: Twenty-first century American Christianity is still reeling from the deleterious effects of anti-intellectualism that plagued much of the twentieth-century church. Seeking a deeper walk with God and wanting to avoid the growing attacks on our faith coming primarily from the academy, certain movements mistakenly thought the danger resided in matters of the intellect. As a result, these movements mistakenly thought that the only course for the Christian to achieve a healthy Christian life was to focus on experience at the expense of the intellect.
AFAJ: You once said that you lost your faith at one point, and apologetics helped restore it. How does this study relate to that?
RH: Understanding how God has revealed Himself through His creation and through His prophets, apostles, and His Son Jesus Christ is foundational for the full defense of the integrity and inerrancy of the Bible, showing that the history of the Bible, most importantly the resurrection of Jesus, is true.
AFAJ: Why is it important for us to have accurate theology, to mature as Christians and disciple others?
RH: The gospel is such that the simple trust of a child is enough for eternal life. But Satan is seeking whom he may devour.
There need to be some among us who are skilled to equip the body in defending the faith and teaching sound doctrine. While Paul was restrained in how deeply he could teach the Corinthians due to their immaturity, with the Ephesians he did not shrink from declaring to them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
Intro to God’s Revelation examines how God reveals Himself, the importance of the Bible in Christian faith, and how believers can rightly interpret Scriptures. Available at afastore.net or 877-927-4917.