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God's Not Mad at You
“Should we get doctrine from the book of Acts?”

“Should we get doctrine from the book of Acts?”

NOVEMBER 26, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Should we get doctrine from the book of Acts?”

Steve Brown:
Should we get doctrine from the book of Acts? The answer to that and questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions, so here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible, that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hey Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. And Matthew is a great gift to us here at Key Life and our guys behind the scenes. You know, all these guys.

Steve Brown:
You know, what we ought to do sometime is just have a week of programs, when we introduce the staff.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. We should do that.

Steve Brown:
The people, they hear our voices, so we get credit or blame. I think we ought to spread both around.

Pete Alwinson:
Jeremy could cut us off, if he wanted to. Right? I mean, come on.

Steve Brown:
Jeremy, who produces this program and all the Key Life programs is multi-gifted.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
He’s one of the finest musicians I’ve ever known, plays several instruments and sometimes, and this is true at the same time. He’s a teacher and incredibly, he goes to seminary, so he’s educated theologically and he is unbelievable in terms of technical production.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, there it is.

Steve Brown:
There you go.

Pete Alwinson:
So, we’re not in this alone.

Steve Brown:
No, we’re really not. And a lot of people make this happen. And we are so thankful for it. And you’re one of them you come in here in the midst of a busy schedule every Friday. And I appreciate that more than you know.

Pete Alwinson:
Love it.

Steve Brown:
And I come here too. So, I ought to get some credit for that too.

Pete Alwinson:
Come on. You’ve got the voice, man.

Steve Brown:
Hey, listen. Pete comes in every Friday and we answer questions and we love your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, record your question, and we sometimes put your voice on the air. You can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada, it’s

P.O. Box 28060

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And as you ask your question, if you can help us financially, we’ll rise up and call you blessed. And we’ll use it for the glory of God. Only about 10% of the people who benefit by this ministry are able to help us financially. And that makes them champions, for those who can’t. So, if you can be a champion for somebody else, be as generous as you can. If you’re not called there, we understand, say a prayer for us, Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Well, Father, we come to you at the end of this week. And it’s been a long week and for some, it’s been a great week and full of challenges, for others, it’s been a week of sickness, it’s been a week of maybe some difficult news. And so, we come to you and we look up for a minute and we remember that you are God and that our lives are not randomly led and lived in a world without God. But you have come after us, that we are your beloved children, daughters, and sons. That you’ve forgiven us because of Jesus that you have a plan for our life. And that truly because of the gospel, all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to your purpose. So, we rest in you right now and we give you the week and we ask that you would continue to unfold your plan and your truth to glorify your name and spread your gospel, build your church. And that we would be a part of it. Meet our needs Father, we pray. Thank you for Steve for Key Life for the time to even be honest with our questions that you could help bring us answers through your word. And so, we give you honor and praise in this time. Now, as we pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. By the way Pete, you have a good Thanksgiving?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, man. How about you?

Steve Brown:
I had a wonderful one. We’re both lying through our teeth. You know, the truth is we’re recording this before Thanksgiving. So, we are saying we had a good Thanksgiving, by faith.

Pete Alwinson:
By faith. I know we’re going to our son’s in Atlanta. And I know it’s going to be a great time.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I’m going to have family. I’m going to have a great time too. So by faith, I trust that we will. And by faith, I trust that you have a great Thanksgiving.

Pete Alwinson:
Amen.

Steve Brown:
Hey, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
I’m listening to your series on podcasts, on the book of Acts. And you surprised me the other day by saying that the book of Acts is not meant to be used for doctrine. What other books that should not be used looking for doctrine and which books should you look at to find doctrine?

Steve Brown:
That’s a good comment there. Good question. What I was saying when I said that, and then you can comment on it is that you have to be careful. There is of course doctrine in the book of Acts, but there are a lot of puzzling things that are taking place. So, the inerrancy of the book of Acts is not necessarily, it never contradicts Biblical doctrine at any point, but it is descriptive rather than pedagogical. And it was designed that way. Even if sometimes it would seem like, that it contradicts the way we have come to understand Biblical theology. And so, it’s a dangerous thing to build your theology on a transitional book that is historical, simply describing what was changed. They had not been able to develop church polity. There is nothing in Acts that will speak of elders and deacons in the way that’s more detailed, when Paul writes to Timothy and Titus. There are a lot of things there that seems to be two workings of grace on occasions. And it’s an, and it’s not, you’re not to build a doctrine on that. You’re to say, well, that’s what happened when you transitioned from one thing that’s really big to something else that’s really bigger. Describe what happens and then give me some information on what God was doing. And you’ll find that in Romans, you’ll find it in every other book of the Bible. There is doctrine there, but don’t build your life on a doctrine that you found in the book of Acts.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s powerful. And that, it is, you know, we have the gospels, Acts and the epistles. And it is a transitional book. There might be a parallel to the idea of, in you have the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, then you have Joshua. And Joshua is a transition book too, that commands certain things that really are not normative for Israel.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, it really backs up your point there that in Joshua, is there doctrine in Joshua? Yes. But Israel is not normatively called to wage warfare on their neighbors. For instance, as they were in Joshua.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
So, it’s descriptive.

Steve Brown:
And you’ve got to do things in context. And one of the principles of understanding of Scripture is that the whole interprets the part. That the letters interpret the gospels. And, that’s a good thing to remember.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely, foundational principles.

Steve Brown:
And that’s why systematic Biblical theology is important, is that it deals with those kinds of issues in a very Biblical way.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
This is an e-mail. What is the intermediate heaven like? What will it be like? Will we be able to recognize others? Will we be able to speak with and fellowship with Jesus? What will we do there? Will we comprehend eternity? Will we have memory of our lives on earth? Will we grieve our loved ones who were not elect or who had never chosen Christ and are lost? Pete, would you answer that in 30 seconds or less?

Pete Alwinson:
I love it. I love it. Well, I’m not sure what they mean by intermediate heaven. Do they mean the intermediate state?

Steve Brown:
That was in the e-mail. I’m not sure either.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, if they mean, let’s just deal with heaven, I think, yes, we will have increased knowledge of a very, I think there will be a continuity. I think we’ll remember our lives here.

Steve Brown:
I agree.

Pete Alwinson:
I think I’ll know you and you’ll know me, but I will have dark hair again.

Steve Brown:
I’ll have hair again. Yeah. Elyse Fitzpatrick has a wonderful book on heaven, which is quite Biblical. She uses reams of Biblical, and I would recommend that our friend get that book and read it, but basically she says heaven is not going to be an extended worship service. Good heavens about an hour and a half is all I can deal with, but it’s going to be the place where we get to do things we didn’t do on the earth and didn’t have time to and wanted to. She makes it a very normal and exciting because obviously the Scripture says

Eye have not seen nor ear heard nor the mind of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.

Pete Alwinson:
Great text man. And you say you’re not a Navigator, but you, that’s a wonderful text of Scripture to meditate on about heaven. It’s going to be great.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.It really is.

Pete Alwinson:
Ongoing learning. It’s going to be great.

Steve Brown:
This is a short e-mail. And I’m not sure how to answer. What about dinosaurs?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, they existed. And, they don’t anymore.

Steve Brown:
Good answer. I can go with that, are they purple?

Pete Alwinson:
Some were I have no idea. You know, the reality is, is that they did exist, the fossil record proves it. When did they exist? Did they co-exist with humankind, with us. There’s some evidence of that. What does Hugh Ross think on that subject?

Steve Brown:
Well, he sees an old earth. A lot of Christians see a young earth, creation seven days. And, I think one of the things, and I guess this is what the question has to do with, is were dinosaurs and humans together. And if they were, and there is a place where there’s a human footstep and a footprint of a dinosaur in the same place. Which kind of messes up all the theories that everybody has.

Pete Alwinson:
It really does. It’s such a big issue. And there’s so many different opinions out there. There’s probably no one, right one in existence right now.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
I don’t think, it doesn’t have to hurt our faith as Christians, even though we don’t have the total answers. I hunt Gators, and sometimes when I pull up one of those suckers in, it feels like I got a dinosaur. They’re amazing animals.

Steve Brown:
Maybe cousins, you don’t know.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. They’re prehistoric.

Steve Brown:
Is there a difference between, this is an e-mail, God’s will and God’s plan? Now, we don’t have much time. So, it’s a yes and no answer. Okay?

Pete Alwinson:
Okay. No. Right?

Steve Brown:
That’s true. We still have a little bit more time. You want to comment more on that?

Pete Alwinson:
There is the decrees of God, there’s the permissive will of God, and there is the pre, of what is the other one? What’s, why is my mind?

Steve Brown:
Don’t look at me, I’m old.

Pete Alwinson:
The permissive will of God, the preceptive will of God,

Steve Brown:
There you go.

Pete Alwinson:
or the precepts of God,

Steve Brown:
I knew that. I just wanted to see if you knew it.

Pete Alwinson:
and the decretive will of God. And so, yeah, you know, it’s a powerful thing. He’s totally in charge.

Steve Brown:
So, God’s will and God’s plan are the same.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And we’re gone. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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