Tough Topics: A Biblical-Theological Bible Study


Tough TopicsI have been itching and craving to lead another Bible study for a while now. This has been a tremendously busy (though exceedingly joyful) six months for Erica and me as she has graduated from college, we married, and now are adjusting to married life and preparing for an uncertain Fall. However, this desire to lead another Bible study has welled up in my soul and it is about to overflow.

After looking over a number of different topics, books, and themes, I have decided along with Erica’s invaluable help to teach a Bible study that deals with difficult questions. Most Bible studies deal with a major topic or lead you through a book of the Bible and those studies are valuable in their own right. However, so often we leave those Bible studies with questions that they simply do not have time to answer. Also, day in and day out we are living in a world that is marred by sin and saturated with suffering. Innumerable questions about life arise and most Christians and even pastors do not dare approach them. Hard questions. Tough topics. Questions about life, God, Christianity, and the Bible that you would love to know the answer to. I fear too many people leave Bible studies with questions that they are too afraid to ask. Too many Christians read a passage, get confused about a tough topic, and just leave it at that. Is it enough to answer with “I don’t know” or “maybe”? I fully believe that we should speak where the Bible speaks and stay silent where the Bible stays silent. However, we can through sound biblical and systematic theology give accurate and sufficient answers to some of life’s toughest questions.

Here is a list of a few questions we will be probing in this study:

  • Does God hate sinners?
  • Does God change his mind?
  • Could Jesus have sinned? If so, then how is he divine? If not, then can we really consider him a man?
  • Will people be condemned for not believing in Jesus even if they have never heard of him or his gospel?
  • What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
  • What can we know about angels? Demons? Satan?
  • What happens to infants when they die? Is there an age of accountability?
  • Can you lose your salvation?
  • Can you leave the faith?
  • Are miraculous gifts for today?
  • What about speaking in tongues?
  • Does God love everyone in the exact same way?

These questions and more will take up our time for weeks upon weeks. My desire through this study is not to have a set time frame, such as a month-long or six-week long study. I want to take these questions, two per week, week by week, until our group is satisfied. We will add questions. More topics like divorce, remarriage, the content of the gospel, the necessity for Jesus’ death, etc. will be addressed. I pray this will be an edifying and humbling journey through the Word of God. I do not claim to have all of the answers, but by God’s grace I want to present what I believe his Word to say about each of the questions we ask. Each week will be a sober study with a spirit of humility, grace, and unabashed confidence in the Bible as we approach these tough topics. If there is anything I can guarantee you through this study, it is that you will become more spiritually mature by giving more detailed answers than “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” to these questions that so many people have. Also, I can assure you that if you commit yourself to this study, you will grow closer to God and your passions for him, desire for him, and affections for him will all be inflamed. Worship is the goal of this study. 

This Bible study will be meeting in London, KY. starting in July. An official starting date will be set once the number of group members is finalized. This study will be designed for students (both college and high school), but will be written on a level accessible to all ages. I am writing the material with the help of my wife Erica and invaluable resources that I will list below. The motivation for this Bible study comes from the reading of Sam Storms’ book, Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions. He has not produced a Bible study from this book, and he has no affiliation with the writing of this Bible study. However, ample credit and citation will be given in any materials I release. I am indebted to Sam Storms’ faithfulness to the Word, love for God, and his commitment to edify the saints. My thought and my answers are heavily influenced by Storms, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and others. This will be evident throughout this Bible study.

If you live in the London-Corbin-Williamsburg area, I would gladly invite you to join us on this journey to know God more through his Word and answer some of life’s hardest questions. If you are interested in joining this Bible study group, either comment on this blog post, email me at mgilbert735@students.sbts.edu or contact me on Facebook or Twitter (@mat_gilbert). Also, in your message to me, include any difficult questions you have about life or the Bible that you have always wanted answered. We may examine it one night. If you want to think more than you have ever thought before and desire God more passionately than you ever have, join us!

Just a few resources we will use to prepare this study:

Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Wayne Grudem)

Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine (Gregg Allison)

The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Michael Horton)

A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life

Saved by Grace

The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance

Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible

What is the Gospel?

For His Glory–For our Joy

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