Two-minute theology: defining what you believe in under two minutes. Can you do it?
I think the easiest way to explain this principle is to look at Passover timing. Admittedly, this is a “non-issue” for most Christians. Outside of the churches of god, everyone knows when the approximate time the Passover lamb was killed. For the vast majority of Christians, the more important question is, “Was the Last Supper a Passover meal.” There are legitimate arguments on both sides.
Example: Late 14th Passover timing
I’ll use this as an example. Here’s my “2-minute” answer to why I believe the Passover lamb was killed on the latter portion of Abib 14.
- The Passover is the lamb and not the action of God through the destroyer passing over the Israelites.
- The lamb was killed on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib in Egypt. Then it was consumed when it was done cooking.
- The “night to be much remembered” is the night to remember what God did when He protected Israel from the destroyer while they ate the Passover lamb.
- I believe the righteous kings of Israel, Hezekiah and Josiah, under whose leadership the Passover lambs were sacrificed in the temple in the latter parts of the 14th demonstrated to the Israelites how God wanted the Passover performed. Thus I believe 2 Chron. 30 and 35 are clearly identifying the time frame of ben ha arbyim. These Passovers harmonize with the rest of scripture on when and how the Passover was to be sacrificed.
- I believe the vast majority of historical resources show the Passover lamb was killed in the temple on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib.
- Also, I believe Jesus ate a meal on the early 14th, so it could not be a Passover meal.
- I believe Jesus was sacrificed on the cross at the same time the Jews were correctly sacrificing the Passover in the temple.
That is pretty straightforward.
Why don’t Christians want to be able to explain their theological points in a short, succinct manner? I think it is because they have built points of their theology on a house of cards. They don’t want to show how thin and flimsy that house is.
Can you identify the counterarguments?
I think below is a good representation of how “Early 14th Passover” believers would have to present their beliefs in a similar, short succinct manner. See if you can see any flaws in the argument.
Example: Early 14th Passover timing
- Early 14ers believe the Passover is the action of God through the destroyer passing over the Israelites and is not the lamb. (Editor’s note—It can’t be both because they are two different Hebrew words.)
- The lamb was killed just after sunset at the start of the 14th of Abib in Egypt and consumed when it was done cooking.
- The “night to be much remembered” is the night the Israelites march out of Egypt. Thus it is a night to remember their freedom.
- Early 14ers believe the righteous kings of Israel, Hezekiah and Josiah, under whose leadership the Passover lambs were sacrificed in the temple on the latter parts of the 14th, did it at the wrong time and the wrong way because the Israelites were so evil they could not be trusted to do the Passover sacrifice the “right way.” Thus the Passovers of 2 Chron. 30 and 35 do not harmonize with the rest of scripture on how and when the Passover was to be sacrificed. Thus they believe Ex. 16 is the primary verse that reveals what the time frame for ben ha arbyim is. All other verses need to be looked at in their context.
- Early 14ers do not believe the vast majority of historical resources that show the Passover lamb was killed in the temple on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib are true and are errant at best, or as a number of their teachers preach, are lies designed to trick Christians into keeping the Passover at the wrong time and in the wrong way.
- Also, Early 14ers believe Jesus ate a Passover meal on the early 14th.
- Early 14ers believe Jesus was sacrificed on the cross at the same time the Jews were incorrectly sacrificing the Passover in the temple. The “real” Passover lambs were sacrificed 16 hours earlier.
Supporting your argument
Of course, you can look at Deut. 16 and all of Ex. 12, Lev. 12 and 14, and Numbers 9 and 28. You can examine the time of the afternoon sacrifice with Elijah in 1 Kings 18. You can compare and contrast the four gospel accounts with 1 Cor. 11. Look at all 11 instances of ben ha arbyim and what erev (evening) and baquor (morning) mean. And many more scriptures to justify your belief. I have done exactly that in Jesus, the True Passover, which can be downloaded here. And I believe you should examine scripture to learn more about God and how to serve Him. But you should be willing to put down your beliefs about what God is teaching us in the Bible in just a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs at most, either in writing or orally.
So are we, as Christians, willing to give a very brief explanation of what we believe?
Can you explain…
- Are you ready to explain what the gospel message is?
- Are you ready to explain what the kingdom of God is?
- Are you ready to explain what real repentance is about?
“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Why is this stuck in the middle of the chapter about the holy days?– Lev. 23:32
Are you prepared?
- Are you prepared to tell people, especially interested Jews, why Jesus had to die on the cross when human sacrifice is outlawed in the bible?
- Are you prepared to explain what God’s love is about by referencing John 3:16-7?
- Are you ready to explain why the God of the Old Testament is not a vengeful God, but a loving Father?
- Are you ready to tell people why YHVH is dad and not a vengeful Zeus-like figure?
- Are you ready to tell mainstream Christians how the Sermon on the Mount is nothing new? That it is simply Jesus explaining what the Torah taught in more detail?
What about this…
- Why do you hallow a 7th day Sabbath while most Christians hallow Sunday?
- Are you ready to explain to Catholics about why the Pope did not have the authority to change the Sabbath to the 8th day?
- Are you ready to explain to Protestants how the four verses they use to justify changing the Sabbath to the 8th day don’t justify that?
- How can Jesus have been in the grave three days and three nights if he was crucified on Friday and arose on Sunday?
Little and big topics…
- Are you ready to explain why you are sharing some of the physical gifts God has given you with those who need them? And how this relates to tithing and gifts and offerings?
- When you don’t eat pork or shellfish and someone asks if you are Jewish, can you tell them why you don’t eat it?
- If a Jewish friend who knows you don’t eat unclean foods, but don’t eat kosher, asks why, can you explain why you do what you do according to scripture?
- When you are taking off time for the annual holy days, are you prepared to tell your boss and co-workers why you are taking that time off?
- Are you ready to explain how the Acts 15 conference was only about removing the requirement that males had to be circumcised to be in covenant with YHVH and was not about doing away with the Torah?
- Are you ready to explain how Galatians is not about Paul hating on the Torah? What are the “works of the law” really?
Try your own hand at Two-Minute Theology
I have picked out examples of subjects for two-minute theology that came off the top of my head. Can you define your beliefs succinctly?
I am sure you could pick out many more subjects like this. And I believe you and I should pick those examples out. It is certain we are living in the times of the ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” It is possible we may soon be living like the Chinese Uighurs. And I think we need to be ready as we have never been before.