Our understanding of theology impacts every area of our lives. Theology is not just a mental exercise, but forms the core of who we are and how we live. Theology shapes practice.
My name is Tim and I have a passion for challenging people to live what they say they believe – especially fellow Christians. I received my Master of Divinity from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and serve as a pastor at Watson Bible Church near Kalamazoo, Michigan. My wife and I have five young children that keep us crazy busy, which is why it is sometimes difficult for me to post regularly!
Feel free to comment on any posts, or you can email me at pastortim (at) watsonbible (dot ) com.
Great blog Tim. These issues you bring up are definitely challenging to this layman’s mind. Keep up the good work!
Hi Tim and Rachel
I am enjoying your blog, Tim and the discussions generated cause us all to examine ourselves. May “iron sharpeneth iron” through your insights and wisdom.
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, I pray she will grow in the ways of the Lord and have no doubt that you will thoroughly enjoy the adventure! What a blessing daughters are! We welcomed our daughter into the world 9 months ago and together with our two sons we have a home growing with little blessings.
I look forward to reading more about the Work of God in California from here in Australia.
Have a blessed day in Jesus.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and give some insight. Your site was helpful and I look forward to reading more. Thanks again!
Thanks for the coverage – just a point of clarification – the downloads will be free forevermore, not just on Monday, May 11th. 🙂
You said “I have a passion for challenging people to live what they say they believe – especially fellow Christians.” Let’s explore that.
That’s right. Just like you have a passion for tearing down the church while trying to justify it biblically. Just tell me and the readers here your views so we can discuss them in the open.
You have no fruit, nor do the works Jesus did. It won’t be me tearing a church down, it’ll be God. I am nothing. You won’t have the honesty to discuss scripture. Be we can try. “Challenging people to live what they say.” Can you say Mark 16 describes you as a christian? Can you tell me your preaching is confirmed by the spirit doing works?
You know nothing of the fruit of my ministry. You are right, though, I do not do the works Jesus did. He was God. I am not. His works were to demonstrate to people that he was who he claimed to be. When I proclaim the word of God, I do not need signs to validate who I am. I am no one. God validates his word by working in the lives of others through his Spirit.
You want me to validate my salvation by Mark 16? I assume you mean verses 9-20 (especially vv. 15-18). I also assume that you would say these verses describe you? You do realize that almost all New Testament scholars do not believe these verses are even authentic, right? These verses are absent from the earliest manuscripts of Mark and the vocabulary, style, and theological content are all very different from the rest of the book. You need to find another passage than one that has serious doubts regarding its authenticity to make your point.
I am going to ask you to refrain from commenting on my blog any longer if you continue to focus on personal attacks and not on the topics that I am posting. You can use your own blog to launch attacks against your problems with the church.
I thought you might not have the courage, too young I guess. Yes I have more than just Mark 16, but you will find a way or have been taught a way to nullify the works of faith. And yes, by God’s grace those verse’s are and have been coming true. God bless you Tim.
” Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Will this do instead?
I am willing to have an honest discussion with you on these matters, but you have failed to engage in true dialogue. In every responsed to your comments I have included one or more questions for you to respond to. You have chosen to ignore my questions and only voice more of your views. When you are willing to truly engage by answering my questions to you, I will continue this discussion, but not until you stop ignoring things you would rather not mention.
Yes, I realize that most scholars have not recognized parts of Mark. And no sir, I did not intend for you to validate you salvation.
Hi Tim; I have truly enjoyed reading through you blog but I guess i’m wondering, Who is Tim Farley? Could you share some of your testimony and backround? Would love to know more about you and your bride. 🙂 Mark
Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you. We have been passing around the flu at our house and I have not been feeling too great the last couple of days.
You are right that I have not put much personal information on here. When I started this blog I wanted it to be a place to discuss theological issues rather than a personal diary or journal. However, since you asked, I will share a little about myself.
I was raised in a Christian home in NE Ohio and came to know Christ at a young age (9). When my best friend died in an accident while I was in my early twenties, I went through a time of feeling angry with God and searching to know if I truly believed what I had grown up knowing. In the end, God showed his grace and mercy to me in many ways and I emerged stronger and more committed to living my life for Christ than I had ever been.
I began serving my local church by helping in the youth ministry. I am a musician and they needed someone to help form a student worship team. Over time I also taught Bible lessons and participated in almost every area of the youth ministry. Later, I also was asked to start a college-age ministry for the church, which I did for a little over a year.
After several years volunteering, I decided to go to seminary. This decision was made after two former pastors continued to encourage me to consider full-time ministry. Before this I was a technology sales rep and had earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration.
I loved the 3 years I spent in seminary, especially studying Greek and Hebrew. I still love to work in the original languages even though my skills have diminished some. I also loved the church I interned at while studying. I was primarily involved in the youth ministry there, but they gave me opportunity to be involved in almost every area of the ministry. It was a large and growing ministry of about 800, so I feel it gave me some excellent experience.
After seminary, I took a position in California as a Youth/Worship/Outreach pastor. I served there for three years. However, after the birth of our first child, Rachel and I realized that we needed to be closer to family and we are now looking for a ministry closer to home (NE Ohio).
Rachel and I met while attending the same church. We got to know each other because we both served in many of the same areas. We were married in February of 2007. Rachel is a registered nurse and a graduate of Cedarville University in Ohio. Our daughter, Sarah, was born in January of 2009.
I am an outdoor lover. I have always enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping. Over the last 5 to 10 years, I have also come to love cycling, backpacking, hiking, and snowshoeing. I am a sports fan as well. I grew up playing baseball and still love to play softball whenever possible. I never played organized football, but I am a die-hard Ohio State fan (sorry if you are a U of M guy).
Tim, I found your blog yesterday and have been reading some of your posts. First I need to say, Go Bucks! 🙂 I’m originally from Canton, Ohio so we’re probably from the same neck of the woods.
Second, I want to thank you for your faithfulness to God and the work you are doing here. This is good stuff. I like the discussions you help create and the way it encourages people to think more deeply and analytically about their faith, spirituality, and theology. Our church needs more of this. This /is/ the work of Jesus.
I look forward to reading more. I’m sure I’ll find stuff I disagree with but the that’s not the important thing, is it. The important thing is that we learn to love one another as God loves us. Grace to you, my friend.
Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I am originally from the Elyria, Ohio area (SW of Cleveland), so not too far from Canton. I appreciate your encouraging words. I do hope this blog encourages fellow Christians to think. As you said, I am sure we will disagree on some things, but that is okay. I hope we can learn from each other.
It is definitely time for a new picture, Pastor Tim….you know, one of those dignified ones!;-)
Tim, I would like to hear from you. Let me know how you are doing these days.
“Comments are closed”…..are you done with this blog? Reread some of the posts. Just wondered.
Tim..Are you familiar with the late Dr. Ray Rogers? One of the scientists on the Team that examined the Shroud, back in 1988! He died an Atheist…but wrote a paper before he died…in which he PROVES why the C14 date IS, IN FACT, NOT representative of the ENTIRE SHROUD! So, the C14 date WAS CORRECT…but it was accurate only in that the section cut for the samples, was, IN FACT, from a repaired section of the Shroud!. Google: Dr. John P. Jackson, Dr. Raymond Rogers, and research the latest work on the C14 test and why it was/is, not accurate for determining the actual age of the ENTIRE CLOTH!
Also, nobody has been able to reproduce the Shroud with ALL of the characteristics of it!.
Found your post regarding “…and a little child shall lead them.”, quoted from Isaiah, from a few years back. Didn’t see anyplace to reply there, so I am here. Let’s move from the Hebrew bible to the Christian one, see what Jesus thought about children and their relation to adults and the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Children as exemplars, for us adults to emulate? Is Jesus kidding? Do you think he was familiar with Isaiah? Would not he have been fully aware how his statement extended Isaiah’s? So, in fact, grammatical and logically, Jesus affirms the ability of little children to bring a greater sense of divinity (the kingdom) to adult sensibility, far beyond the literal depiction offered by Isaiah (who was, by the way, a real metaphorical guy – I’m sure he delighted in Jesus’ interpretation). To complain of an expanded interpretation of Isaiah is to find fault with the view expounded by Jesus. By the way, all this, about little children leading adults, is apparent simply by deeply heeding the countenance and precious being of a newborn. New eyes may be required. Have fun; it’s a real hoot!
You miss the whole message from Isaiah if you want to make it about children being examples to adults. Isaiah is describing a restored created order where children have no need to fear violence. It will no longer be present. Isaiah is describing the new earth when sin is vanquished. Taking a text out of context leads folks to putting any interpretation they want on it.
I apologize for not making it clear that my posting was not about MY reading of Isaiah’s, but rather about Jesus’ and his intentions. The first question is, when Jesus commented on “little children” (“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”, “At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”), was he consciously and purposely expounding on Isaiah’s comment (“…and a little child shall lead them.”)? Did he intend to take Isaiah’s meaning out of its narrow and literal context (leading the animals in the messianic age) and apply it more broadly and universally (the way of being in the eternal kingdom)? Was his “new testament” a fullfillment of the “old”? Or perhaps Jesus’ intention was to do no such thing, that his “little children” assertions, from his point of view, were unrelated to Isaiah’s quote. Fair enough. I personally suspect with Jesus’ utter familiarity and passionate love of Jewish teachings, he purposely made that connection, but made it “newer”, less literal, more universal, you know, “the good news”. But let’s say it was not his intention to link his insights to Isaiah’s words. Ok, so people today are in the habit of quoting Isaiah to capture Jesus’ message (children are exemplars in some way; Jesus urges us to become like little children, of this, there can be no dispute (“…unless you change and become like little children”). I would think that a Christian’s primary concern would be, What would Jesus think of such a thing, people promoting his message though with an inaccurate reference? Would he mind people “misquoting” Isaiah to spread his message about “little children”? Was he a rigid “letter of the law” kind of guy, who might become critical if every “i” were not dotted, every “t” not crossed, if every Shabbat law not observed? Or might Jesus be so terribly delighted that adults are recognizing the eternal truths our Father has revealed to them, mis-quote notwithstanding. What would Jesus do and say? “No, people, no! Isaiah had no such meaning! C’mon already! Gee whiz, how you people unnerve me with your ignorance!” – or alternatively – “Yes, isn’t it wondrous, the children are so beautiful and gorgeous. As I said once, I repeat, let us all be more like them, let us all follow them and venture forth into the kingdom.” How do you imagine Jesus responding? I’m sure “what would Jesus do, say, think” has a particular resonance and relevance for you. I’m truly curious, what would your Jesus say and do?
I do not think Jesus was quoting from, or alluding to, the Isaiah passage when he made this statement. He speaks of being like children in relation to having child-like faith (not in any other way). Just because he uses the imagery of a child here does not mean he is tying it to Isaiah, who also uses the imagery of a child, but in a different way. Isaiah has a message he was communicating and it was about the new earth. Jesus had a message he was communicating and it was about simple trust (faith). Do not confuse the two.
Thank you for your service in ministry
Thank you, Jason.
Tim, are you still blogging? I am at Maranatha Village in Sebring, Florida. Went to school years ago with Kelsey Pietsch. Would like to connect with you via txt, messenger, email. I blog at gracejourney.blog
Hi Gerry. I have not been blogging for a while, but I am still keeping up with my pages. I also blogged for a few years at ShapedByTheWord.com . Glad you know Kelsey. He and I are friends from our days in California together.