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I’ve lived in Northeastern Wisconsin since I was four years old, way back in 1985. Before that, my upbringing revolved around being a pastor’s kid. I was even born in Bob Jones University Hospital in Greenville SC. It may be that the Bible and Theology were as big a part of my past as they have become my present and seemingly will be my future.
I was blessed to have met J.G. Lenhart (the author of this book) in 2006, the year before its publication. I was even part of the group of people honored with the privilege of reading Modeling God when it was still in manuscript form. It changed my life in more ways than even I know.
In 2009, two years after Modeling God’s publication, I started my journey towards Seminary. After finally submitting my life to the Lord a few years before, I immediately felt a calling into some type of ministry focused on teaching and preaching. This book was at the foundation of that journey. By the start of my schooling at Liberty University in 2009, I had already read and taught Modeling God multiple times. This book spoke to me; it seemed to be speaking right to me; it was speaking my language. I now had a grasp on who God is, what Salvation is, and how I can intentionally live the life God intended me to live. This was all possible because of the doctrine that was presented in this book.
My undergraduate classes (in which I double majored) and my graduate classes all had a heavy workload. However, due to my already having an understanding of the bedrock of what was being taught at university, the assignments were all a breeze. Yes, there was a lot of work. Yet I never struggled with having the answers and information I needed to complete the assignments. Because I had the answers to the foundation of all of Christianity, no matter the topic, the result was I had the answers to every subject. If I was given the assignment to do a research paper on Justification by Faith, I could do it because I understood the causes of Salvation. If I was given the assignment to do a research paper on God’s Providence, I could do it because I understood who God is at the foundational level.
I quickly saw the different levels to which a person can experience the written word, especially the Bible:
there’s what you read,
there’s the specific meaning (why) in the context of what you read, and
there’s the deeper meaning (how/Principle) that is true regardless of the context.
That deeper meaning, those contextless principles, is doctrine. This is exactly what Modeling God presents: the doctrine of the Bible.
When this is embraced, it actually gives the reader the ability to understand the Bible in an entirely new way, in the way God intended. It starts to make sense. It starts to become applicable in our modern day and age. It starts to help a person do God’s Word intentionally. It starts to help a person hear His still, small voice clearer than ever!
This also makes Modeling God a book that differs from what people are used to. This is what caused so many people to stand against J.G. Lenhart and his book. Modeling God went out of print due to attacks stating that the author was a heretic. However, as of the date of this publication, no one was ever able to explain to the author what was specifically heretical and give the correct explanation to be used in place of the “heretical” belief. Realize, everyone shied away from this opportunity and participated in whispering (gossip) because if their explanation was wrong, they would be the heretic. Even the most vocal opponents to this work had to factually misquote this work over 200 times in an attempt to prove their point. Basically, opponents used ad hominem and ad populum; approaches that have been declared as logical fallacies for millennia.
This is a dense textbook. Even when it’s read from a humble heart, the way it’s written and the content of this book can be hard to digest. Take your time. I’m here to help make this feel like less of a textbook. I’m here to help you digest this information so it can bless your walk with God the way it did mine and so many others.
If you consider yourself an “expert” with respect to Christianity and/or the Bible, it may take you twice as long to understand this book as you will first have to unlearn certain contradictory beliefs before you can learn the non-contradictory explanations from the Bible. If this is you, you will also feel what the critics of this book felt and I’d like to help you avoid committing the sin of whispering.
This second edition is in ebook form along with my commentary at the end of every chapter. The commentary may serve several purposes depending on the chapter, including:
Clarity and insight.
An answer to critics.
Provision of historical context and applications.
Additional information realized since the first publishing.
Modeling God was published fifteen years ago and has not only stood the test of time but has also explained what we have seen in the church since that time (pastors being burnt out, lower attendance, etc.). Each time I read this book, I still learn, it still seems fresh, and it’s still needed. I hope you have an enriching journey. God bless you!
Joel Swokowski, 2022
Senior Pastor, Music of Life Church - Kimberly
Master’s Degree in Theological Studies, Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary
Bachelor's Degree in Religion, Liberty University
Bachelor's Degree in Education, Liberty University
Chapter 1 - The Invitation
Imagine you are invited to a party where you will be able to participate in any sensual pleasure you desire for as long as you want.
It’s an exclusive party, but the invitation I hand you simply says “Admit One” and has a place for you to fill in your name. As you look at the invitation, you notice it contains no other information. The first question you would probably ask is, “When is the party?”
You are relieved to find out the party was several months away and you had plenty of time to fit it into your schedule. Your next question would probably be, “Where is the party?”
To this, I might say, “Chicago.”
As I turn to leave, you stop me so you can ask, “Where in Chicago?”
When I answer, “In a building with a sign in front. Why do you ask?” you may begin to show frustration.
“Why do I ask? I want to know how to find it, that’s why!”
My answer would depend on where you are coming from. If you are a great distance away, I’d tell you to first take a plane. Then, I’d tell you to drive a car. As you try to interrupt, I say, “Let me be more helpful—when you drive the car, one pedal is the gas. That makes the car go. The other pedal is the brake. That makes the car stop. There is also a steering wheel. That helps you direct the car.”
If you haven’t given up, you may ask, “What am I supposed to do, drive every street until I find it? Could you please give me an address?” The reason you want an address is to know exactly where the party is so that you can find it intentionally. Another benefit of an address is that it allows you to measure your progress.
Up until you get the address, this process would be totally unacceptable for directions to the party. However, these are the same type of directions we get from people when we ask how to get closer to God. Think about it—the most important desire of your heart and you settle for directions that you’d consider ridiculous for something less important.
When we ask how to get closer to God, we are told to read the Bible, pray, believe (have faith), and love others. What parts of the Bible should we read? Read the whole thing? How is this any different from me giving you a Chicago phone book and saying, “The address is in here”? In the same way that we are looking for a specific street; when we read the Bible, what are we supposed to focus on?
How do we build our faith or love more? People usually point to Hebrews 11:1 (“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for”) or 1 Corinthians 13:4 (“Love is long-suffering, kind,” etc.) to answer these questions, yet these passages don’t tell us how faith or love works or, more importantly, how to intentionally increase these attributes.
Unfortunately, most people believe that when it comes to religion, we can’t be intentional. They express this by saying, “We can’t know these things,” or, “We aren’t supposed to try to understand them; it’s a mystery.” Some would even say it is “unnatural” to be able to explain these principles. Let’s deal with the first two responses separately.
First, religion commands us to make progress in these areas. In fact, we are held accountable for it. If we “can’t know” how to intentionally make progress, then why are we told to do these things? More to the point, why are we guilty when we don’t grow in these areas?
The weaker of the two responses is that we aren’t supposed to try to understand. This goes against everything we do, from reading the Bible to listening to a sermon. What is the purpose of teachers if it isn’t to try to intentionally help others understand? What is the purpose of the Bible if God doesn’t want us to try to understand? More importantly, why do these people want to avoid thinking?
These questions make some people so uncomfortable, sometimes their response is, “You are being scientific, while I have an artistic perspective.” When it is posed this way, this is an excuse. This has nothing to do with being creative.
When they say a person is scientific, they are saying that person believes if they understand the cause, they can intentionally get a desired result. When they say they are artistic, they are saying they don’t do things intentionally because they aren’t supposed to or can’t know the causes. These are the two previously mentioned responses. Their real hope is to have an excuse for why they don’t have to think. They believe this will allow them to do whatever they want without guilt.
Isn’t it interesting that unintentional people get upset when others become unintentional? They get mad when their car breaks down, their medication doesn’t work, or their leaders make bad decisions. Yet, intentional people don’t get upset when others become intentional. In fact, they can be intentional in everything they do, while people with the excuse cannot be unintentional in everything they do.
If you talk to these artists long enough, you will find they are very intentional with their art. They have certain guidelines on what does and doesn’t work. You will see this very quickly if you disagree with them. After all, if things can’t be understood, how can they be so sure their point of view is correct? In fact, their ability to convey the initial point of being unintentional requires them to be intentional in order to be understood. For example, they must be intentional when they use words. In reality, it takes an intentional approach to remain unintentional.
Later, we will see that the areas they want to remain unintentional in are areas in which they are comfortable. Their goal is to have an excuse not to think.
People who avoid thinking believe that not understanding somehow relieves them from the responsibility of changing their behavior. As you’ll see, however, the concepts in this book are true and impact our lives whether we understand them or not. What if we followed their example in other areas?
For example, over a hundred years ago, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that maternity patients were dying at an alarming rate. He made the connection that students who had just finished working on cadavers were treating the patients! After insisting that the students wash their hands before treating the mothers, the number of deaths decreased by over a factor of five.1
Should Dr. Semmelweis have not tried to understand the reason maternity patients were dying? Should he have not altered the behavior of his students? Most importantly, even if he had decided he couldn’t understand, it still would have negatively affected his patients. Allow me one more analogy…
Wine is made from fermented grapes. People initially found that when grapes were crushed and allowed to stand, the juice unexpectedly turned into alcohol. Eventually, they understood that yeast on the skin of the grape converted the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol. What was their response? Was it to continue crushing grapes and hope for the best? No; they began to apply this understanding and intentionally add yeast to the crushed grapes in order to ensure progress toward turning the juice into wine.
God acts according to a set of principles whether we understand them or not. If we don’t understand them, things appear to be random and we will eventually become frustrated. However, if our understanding is increased and applied, it will result in more progress toward improving our interactions with God. This is most helpful when we face adversity. It is at these moments when everyone strives to be intentional. God knows that and wants to help us overcome those times intentionally. He has given us everything we need in order to intentionally grow and overcome adversity, but we must understand how the principles work if we want to ensure our progress, especially through the tough times. Ultimately, understanding God from first principles involves thinking more, not less.
We can know how God works. In fact, we are supposed to know. God did give us an address because He wants us to make it to His party.
Do you believe you can know how to intentionally get closer to God?
Do you believe you are supposed to know how to intentionally get closer to God?
How does it make you feel when people give you abstract instructions like, “Read your Bible”?
What do you believe is the biggest barrier preventing you from getting closer to God?
What information do you think you need in order to get closer to God?
Joel Swokowski’s Commentary
This chapter sets the precedence of being intentional, which is the heart of this book. This book is meant to help you intentionally understand God, salvation, the meaning of life, etc. This book is meant to help you understand these concepts at the level where you can live them out on purpose or, in other words, intentionally!
God has given us a guidebook: His Word, the Bible. So then, why do so many Christians fear whether or not they’re really saved? Why do so many Christians say and believe that God is a mystery, that He can’t be understood? There are so many questions that Christians have that God has given answers to, yet the church seems blind to these answers.
It seems to me that God wants to be known. What do you believe? Does God want you to know Him? Or is God preventing you from knowing Him?
“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
The Bible shows us very clearly that God wants to be known!
God Wants to be Known
The verses from Jeremiah 9 have great meaning in my life. Early on in my walk with the Lord, I was given the opportunity to attend a Leadership Workshop with other Christian leaders. I was on fire for the Lord, with others who appeared to feel the same. These were people in full-time ministry seeking to teach and learn more about our Father in Heaven. It was a treat for an aspiring teacher.
I remember vividly the last day of class. I had already read Modeling God and had been applying and sharing the truth within this book. I was eager and zealous to give others this truth as well. I wanted other people to be transformed in the way I was. I shared with a leader what I knew to be God’s Nature. I defined it for her and started to expose the contradictions that I had been hearing in the church. Her response baffled me. She accused me of pride and spiritual abuse! She claimed that I could not know God the way I was saying I did and that her own grandfather, on his deathbed, did not know the Lord the way I was saying was possible.
I now know that she was the one spiritually abusing me. She negated my beliefs and instead of bringing clarity to what I was sharing, she brought confusion and frustration.
I wonder, how many other Christians have had the same experiences I had? What is your definition for God’s Nature?
The verses from Jeremiah 9 come into play in this story by way of my brother. At the time, my older brother was mentoring me and had actually been part of this Leadership Workshop that I was attending. He saw the entire exchange and he saw how distraught I was at the hands of a leader who was supposed to be nurturing and caring towards me. That same afternoon, my brother shared Jeremiah 9:23-24 with me. He encouraged me to continue my pursuit of understanding God. He had my back. I’m not sure what would have happened to me if I did not have the support I did from my brother who helped me jump over the stumblingblock that was put before my path that day.
You probably also noticed that this chapter introduced some discussion questions. I’ve revisited these questions in my own life every time I’ve read this book. I’ve also used them as a guide in discussing these topics and questions with others in the Modeling God classes that I’ve been privileged to lead.
My advice to you is to answer each question, either by writing them out or speaking them out loud. We’re all on different paths and we’re all making progress at different speeds. Answering these questions can help you mark your own progress in your journey of reading this book. Furthermore, it’s a benefit to your own thought process to answer these questions for yourself. You may find that some of the harder, more convicting things you learn may cause your mind to start reeling. It may even cause you to have a hard time falling asleep. When I experience this happening in my life, I take it as a sign that I need to state my own beliefs about what I’m learning.
Jesus tells us, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay…” (Matthew 5:37) and also to go hot or cold, and not be lukewarm (Revelation 3:16-17). Answering the questions at the end of each chapter can be one way for you to clearly and boldly state what you believe, to go hot or cold, and just maybe see what God will do on your behalf. Let’s be active and intentional readers!
The first of these two books identifies four tools for determining a comprehensive worldview that presents and proves the only possible explanation for a supreme being and salvation. The second book applies this worldview to everyday interactions and presents the meaning of life.
The term “worldview” has a long history, but is a relatively new term for most people and refers to an overarching framework or model that gives us a way of looking at and understanding the world. In a culture, it is expressed across the board in areas such as art, politics, science, and religion.
Actually, everyone has a worldview. Everyone has a personal model that explains how he or she views the world. In fact, part of the task of evangelism is to free people from the power of false worldviews by diagnosing points where they contradict reality. The result of worldview thinking is a deepening of our spiritual character and the character of our lives. Ultimately, the worldview brings consistency to a message and meaning to the existence of the individual.
Recently, numerous books have been written on the importance of getting the Christian community to present themselves in terms of a worldview. Currently, Christianity is presenting itself in piecemeal fashion; that is, they are treating each issue (e.g. abortion) as a separate challenge to their moral structure. Once the issues have been compartmentalized, it is relatively easy for opponents of Christianity to show the general public the contradictions between the issues. The result is that Christianity is represented as not having real-world, practical applications to the individual, as well as our culture.
Rather than allowing outside forces to divide and conquer the Christian influence on our country and world, Christians need to educate people as to how each issue is actually a part of a non-contradictory, superstructure belief. The reason this hasn’t been done is that a non-contradictory model that non-Christians can understand hasn’t been identified. This is the crucial challenge. Currently, Christians don’t extend their explanation of their worldview past creation (“God created the heavens and the Earth”), the fall (“man is sinful”), and redemption (“Jesus died for our sins”). This traditional worldview has been good enough to differentiate Christianity from the other well-known worldviews because this simple model shows them the contradictions in these established religions.
Today, however, their model needs to apply to real-world topics. These real-world topics are subtle and opinions are derived from the worldviews of common, everyday people. Since they are addressing subtle worldviews, their model needs to be more detailed and objective. This will require a significantly more complex model that makes sense to non-Christians. This book begins the presentation of this long-awaited model.
The goal of this series is to present a model that explains how God operates, and how the concepts people talk about when expressing their beliefs fit into the worldview. The order of explanation, beginning with the first book, can best be explained by imagining a wall that is 200 miles long and 50 miles high. The wall is made up of tiles that are hundreds of feet square.
Most people are within arm’s length of the wall. They know they are looking at a blue tile, for instance. However, they are telling each other that the wall is completely blue. In fact, there are people walking up and down the blue section explaining to the people more detailed facts about the blue wall.
If one were to leave the comfort of the crowd and back several hundred feet away from the wall, they would notice that they were looking only at a blue tile. They would realize the wall is not entirely blue but made up of different colors. Everyone at this distance would feel superior to the others because they realize the wall isn’t entirely one color.
If one continued moving away from the wall, they would find the vast number of tiles overwhelming. It would appear the wall is nothing more than a random collection of colored tiles. At this point, the individual must make a hard decision—continue this uncomfortable journey away from the wall or return to the comfort of the crowd.
If they persevered and moved further from the wall, they would find the tiles make up a picture of a man standing on grass. It now appears the wall is a mural and is actually trying to portray an image. As they encounter people who have walked parallel to the wall, or read what others have learned, they find people talking about a fish out of water. In an effort to agree, they think they must be speaking figuratively and have interpreted the man to be the fish out of water; however, if they were to decide to get as far away from the wall as possible in order to take in the big picture, they would eventually find the mural is of a person teaching a man how to fish.
Most people focus on becoming experts on the details of a belief system. They walk closer to the wall. These books are attempting to take you far enough away from the wall that you get the big picture. This first book will only show you the wall isn’t entirely blue. As you make your way through the books, the concepts in the first two books should begin to present an image. No doubt you will notice some tiles are missing, however, not enough to take away from the overall image. I will leave the filling in of these tiles for subsequent books.
In identifying this worldview, I found the key to every person’s belief lies in the definition of a set of key words. It seemed to be impossible for anyone to describe their beliefs without using one of these key words. I realized the confusion we experience is due to the contradictory definitions of these key words.
These key words are the tiles in the wall. Consequently, the worldview depends on defining these key words in a non-contradictory fashion. In order to identify specific definitions, I applied SI Hayakawa’s “Ladder of Abstraction” to these key words (e.g., God and salvation).
The classic explanation involves Bessie the Cow. The most specific word to describe her is “Bessie.” The word “Bessie” can be seen as appearing on the lowest rung of the ladder. The next rung up could be “Cow.” This word does refer to “Bessie,” but it can refer to “Elsie” as well. Continuing up the ladder, the next rung could be labeled “Livestock.” The subsequent rung could be labeled “Farm Assets.” Finally, for our example, the last rung could be labeled “Wealth.” All of these words apply to Bessie.
When we want to be inclusive, we move up the ladder. For instance, if I want to talk about Bessie and you want to talk about Elsie, it is easier for us to talk about Cows. The farmer could have a discussion with the CEO of a multinational corporation if they discussed Wealth. Moving up the ladder makes us more comfortable with others.
However, if we want to solve a problem, we need to become more specific. We need to move down the ladder. In fact, one could say we need to become more intentional. Failures to communicate occur when people operate on different rungs of the ladder.
If someone talked to me about Bessie and spoke of a Farm Asset, I may ask whether they were going to use unleaded or diesel fuel in his Farm Asset. When they say they are talking about Livestock, they have moved down the ladder. However, I may then ask him what kind of saddle they have for his livestock. At this point, they would talk about Cows. We would be unable to have a non-contradictory discussion until they moved to the bottom rung.
I began to notice other examples of people speaking on different rungs. For instance, this is what occurred when Jesus spoke of “eating his flesh” (John 6:54) or “living waters” (John 4:10). We will see Jesus did this to determine who wanted to be intentional. On the other hand, some politicians do this to create confusion. Unfortunately, I find most clergy also do this when they give a sermon.
Actually, I found that all people (including myself) refer to the key words with definitions that are three or four rungs up the ladder. This is because we all have contradictory worldviews and need to cling to definitions at this level of abstraction to remain comfortable. In order to identify a non-contradictory model, I had to get all of these words defined at their bottom rung. Once I had these definitions, I discussed the worldview with theologians, clergy, professors, Christians, and atheists.
For the last five years, no one has been able to find a contradiction. In fact, the proof of the accuracy of the model has been the ability to show others how they can intentionally increase their faith or righteousness in the next five minutes. After all, if you understand the bottom-rung definitions of the key words (e.g., “faith” and “righteous”), you will know how to intentionally increase each attribute.
Finally, we will find that once we complete the worldview and have addressed the last concepts, we will end up where we began in the first book. The proof that this worldview is non-contradictory occurs when these last concepts mesh with the very first concepts. In effect, we have modeled theology.
Theology is the study of God. The study of the key concepts has a natural progression that has been recognized from the beginning. For example, every book on theology that discusses salvation must immediately address faith, grace, rewards, and free will.
I see the entire worldview as a series of ladders in a circle. Each ladder addresses a specific key word (e.g., grace). The rungs on each ladder correspond to a definition of each key word. Referring to the Ladder of Abstraction, the rungs at the bottom are the non-contradictory definitions. The rungs above increase in abstraction as you go further from the bottom rung.
In addition, lines connect this circle of ladders. Each concept is naturally connected to another concept. As I mentioned previously, any discussion of salvation leads to a discussion of grace, faith, free will, and rewards.
The goal of these books is to define all the key words at the bottom rung. When this is done, the contradictions will be removed. The proof is when we start at God and work our way to the Meaning of Life, we will end up back to God. At that point, our definition of the Meaning of Life should coincide with our definition of God and all the other key words.
If the definition of the Meaning of Life was at a higher rung, then we’d need to continue to work out the contradictions. The reason there could be a disconnect between the Meaning of Life and God is when you go from one concept to one it is connected to, you will only be able to match the rung level or go higher on the next word’s Ladder of Abstraction.
When a person gives a definition of a key word, there are two ways to expose their contradictions. The first and easiest way is to ask questions until they change their definition (moves down the ladder). Since these books will help you know the definition at the lowest rung, it is pretty easy to ask the right questions to expose his contradictions.
The second way is to ask questions about the ladder that is connected to the key word being discussed. As mentioned previously, in order to avoid contradictions, the person will have to stay at the same level or become more abstract. They cannot define the connecting concept in a less abstract manner. If you keep moving to the next ladder, they will eventually drift up to a definition that is ridiculous.
The history of theology is filled with people who gave a definition on a higher rung and eventually ran out of steam as they applied their definition to the next key word. Defining the connecting concept less abstractly exposes the contradictions in the first concept. Clearly, the only non-contradictory theology would be the one made of definitions solely from the bottom rung of each ladder.
This first book focuses on the modern apologetic tools necessary to identify the worldview (Modeletics™) and the application of these tools to identify non-contradictory models for God and salvation. I call these “Foundational Principles,” because these are the principles every person should understand before they begin their spiritual journey.
The first five chapters introduce Modeletics and use these tools to determine the model for God. The next five chapters introduce the principles of the Salvation Model and show that grace cannot be “unmerited favor.” The final five chapters complete the Salvation Model and show that Jesus actually had two messages:
How to get to heaven (Salvation Model) and
How to get rewards on earth and in heaven (Reward Model).
It seems every other book about Jesus (except for the Bible) tries to resolve these two messages into one by ignoring the verses connected with the other message, abstracting Christ’s words until they apply to both, or arguing for interpretation/translation errors.
Joel Swokowski’s Commentary
The “four tools” mentioned in the first sentence are “God-given” tools. As we go, I’ll give a scriptural reference for each of the tools, specifically showing how Jesus used these tools Himself. He didn’t teach them as if they were new, He used them as if and because they’ve always existed.
The Preface discussed the need for Christians to have explanations for real-world topics. This book gives those explanations and this is why this book and the information within are still relevant and needed today.
As stated in my introduction, this book presents doctrine. These are the foundational truths/principles that are true regardless of what you’re reading and regardless of the context. You can apply this to the “Ladder of Abstraction” as well in that the “bottom rung” of any ladder would be the Doctrinal explanation of that concept.
The wall analogy is a great example of analysis vs. synthesis. Analysis involves breaking something down to its smallest parts. Today, people realize this doesn’t give us any answers related to purpose because you eventually end up with nothing. In Europe, they drive on the left side of the road. Will taking a European car apart explain why they drive on the left side of the road? No. The understanding and purpose always lie outside of the thing we are looking at, which is synthesis. The author rightly chose synthesis over analysis to understand the Bible and the worldview which is the first reason why he was able to come to this model and write this book when no one else has been able to.
The author used the King James Version of the Bible to show this model was determinable for hundreds of years. Furthermore, we will see at the end of Book 1, CS Lewis told us to determine a Model for God!
Worldview: a model that gives us a way of looking at and understanding the world. This gets even simpler when you treat it like a simple compound word: world & view. In other words, I can define this merely as, “how I view the world.” What this book does is give some of the key words and their definitions that every person needs in order to intentionally understand their worldview. For example, whether a person believes in God or not, they do need to account for “God” in their belief about “how we all got here” or “how this all started.”
Model: an explanation for observed effects. A model for any concept helps a person understand the causes of that concept and the resulting effects. We all have a model for every belief we carry, whether we can explain it or not. Can you believe that one of the ways the author was persecuted was for using the term “model?”
Models are used in everyday life. For example, an architectural blueprint of a building helps the contractors understand the foundational elements of the building that guides the placement of all the rest of the components of that building. The blueprint is a model. That reminds me! Didn’t God give the Israelites a “blueprint” to create the Tabernacle in Exodus 25:9? He called it a “pattern” and that word means “model!” Even God uses models!
You can see the models presented in this book in the same way, a blueprint. The models will give you the foundational elements (doctrine/how) that will guide you in the placement of all the components (what & why) of the Bible.
Furthermore, when you look at the Greek word for "model," the closest English translation to model is "relationship." This brings even more clarity to what it means to have a "model" for any belief or concept you hold. The model would attempt to show the relationship between what we see in the tangible realm and the intangible elements that are the source of what we observe.
From what I presented in the Introduction, a model would be representative of the "relationship" between:
What you read,
The specific meaning (why) in the context of what you read, and
The deeper meaning (how/Principle) that is true regardless of the context.
Principle: A foundational truth upon which others are built. You’ll see this book is chock-full of these. Be prepared to be introduced to a plethora of words. But don’t worry, they’ll all be clearly defined and explained.
Unmerited Favor: the traditional and contradictory definition for the doctrine of Grace. As you read, you’ll see how this definition cannot be true. This happened to be one of the points in this book that was the most hotly contested. Yet, no one could ever give the right answer to the definition of Grace without relying on man-made tradition.