Each month we invite Bible professors from the University of Northwestern into the studio and open the phone lines for questions on the Bible, faith and the church. This month on Ask the Professor we welcome back Professors Mark Muska and Brad Sickler to field your questions.
Covered during this discussion:
• How to grieve as a Christian when a loved one dies who doesn’t know Christ.
• What did Jesus mean when He gave authority to His disciples to “loose” or “retain” the sins of others?
Mark takes us to John 20 to show the context. “He’s speaking to the apostles here.. someone who is officially appointed by Christ to represent the gospel after He’s gone. They are doing this on behalf of Christ, rather than on their own authority.”
• What does it mean to go to God “in prayer and petition”?
Brad says it’s a heart posture of going to someone with a request. It’s “a type of prayer among other types of prayer. You’re in submission to God.” Mark points to the tension of praying in faith but also recognizing the ultimate sovereignty of God over our situation.
• How did sacrifice work in the Old Testament if no blood was shed in the specific type of offering?
Mark offers his thoughts. “From the New Testament point of view, Jesus Christ’s death, His blood, provide forgiveness. So all these other offerings are extended to His sacrifice on the cross. None of that has any power if it’s not linked to Jesus’ death on the cross.” Brad also points out that the writer of Hebrews describes this as a way of comparing the old and new covenants and finding the new covenant to be superior.
• How does forgiveness work when the one who offended doesn’t acknowledge their sin?
• The practice of praying to Mary, the mother of Jesus.