Editor's Note: After reading the Teachers notes for this week's Sabbath School lesson, Phillip Brantley was moved to send us this comment, which we are sharing here.]
This quarter’s Sabbath School Lessons—Glimpses of our God—devotes the second week’s lesson to the biblical teaching about Creation. I am dismayed to note that the Teachers Edition sets forth comments I find disturbing regarding science, the scientific method, and scientists, as follows:
Paul makes an extraordinary statement in his closing remarks to the Galatians: "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14, NIV) Never boast except in this ONE thing? The world (absolutely everything) has been crucified (killed) to me and I have been crucified (killed) to the world? Jesus has replaced absolutely everything? ONE has become ALL? Astonishing.
Isn’t this portion of Scripture the true crux of our spiritual journey as a church family? We have seen, in Galatians 5:16-25, a list of the “acts of a sinful nature” and there are certainly some major league issues listed there. I’m feeling pretty good as we get started into the list. But then we get to “sins” that impact our relationships. Paul seems to be saying to me that “moral failure” is more than adultery or acts of public depravity. He gives even more space to acts and attitudes that make me stop and take inventory.
In the first two thirds of the Letter to the Galatians, Paul is engaged in a frank and sometimes angry, rhetorical defense of his apostolic authority and the gospel that he had been proclaiming among the Gentiles. In these sections, Paul argues that he is as much an apostle as Peter and his colleagues in Jerusalem and that his teaching—that Gentiles could become Christians and live accordingly outside the context of the Jewish law—is true and biblically valid.