Books of the Book: John

Unique Features of John

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00001A

00:21 One of the reasons why I enjoy
00:23 reading and studying the Bible
00:25 is because in it I find purpose in life.
00:27 It guides me, it leads me,
00:29 it is the light unto my path
00:31 and I thank God not because he found me--
00:33 for He never lost me but I-- but because I found Him.
00:37 The Bible says that there is a way that seems right to a man,
00:40 but its end is the way of death.
00:42 In other words my opinions without any foundation of truth
00:45 will lead me to destruction,
00:47 but then there is another way and that is Jesus Christ.
00:51 He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
00:54 God's desire for us is to follow the way to life
00:58 for there are few who find it.
01:00 My name is Deyvy Rodriguez and I welcome you
01:02 to this program "Books of the Book."
01:04 And I'm so glad you've decided to take this time
01:07 to join us in this Bible study.
01:09 And today we're starting a new series of Bible study
01:12 focusing on the Book of John or the Gospel of John.
01:16 And I'm so pleased to have with us
01:18 a brilliant scholar of the Bible and that is Dr. Jon Paulien.
01:22 Dr. Jon Paulien, welcome.
01:24 Hello, it's good to be here
01:26 and it's good to be with you, Deyvy.
01:30 We're gonna try to do something pretty exciting here
01:32 because the reality is that Deyvy and I have only just met
01:37 and that was just before we came on the set
01:40 that we met for the first time.
01:42 And that means, well, he have some idea of the script.
01:46 I'm not quite sure
01:47 of what exactly he knows about the Gospel of John.
01:50 I'm not quite sure what questions he's gonna ask.
01:54 And I think that's gonna create some interesting--
01:57 a little bit of jeopardy here even.
01:59 So looking forward to this
02:01 we can talk about the Gospel of John together,
02:02 but since we're just getting to know each other,
02:04 Deyvy, tell me a little bit about yourself.
02:06 Where are you from?
02:08 You know, what brought you here to 3ABN?
02:11 Yeah, well, you know, originally I am from Mexico
02:13 and I grew up in New Mexico
02:15 which is of course another state of the United States.
02:18 And I have to emphasize because--
02:19 I have to emphasize that because some people don't know
02:22 that New Mexico is actually another state.
02:24 But the way I came to 3ABN is quite interesting.
02:28 I was at one of the GYC sessions or--
02:33 oh not sessions or conference meetings.
02:35 In Houston, Texas that was about maybe a year ago
02:38 and I had recently comeback from a three year
02:41 missionary journey in South Korea.
02:44 I was in Seoul for three years.
02:46 I was a Bible teacher there in English
02:49 and so after the three years I came back
02:52 and somehow at GYC,
02:54 I made that connection to work at 3ABN.
02:59 Thankfully they saw in me some kind of--
03:03 I don't know, gift I suppose, but they called me
03:07 and I thank God that I am here today.
03:09 Did you grow up speaking English?
03:11 Or were you born in--
03:12 how long were you in Mexico and then moved to?
03:15 You know, I was in Mexico for six years,
03:17 my first six years and after that
03:19 we then moved to the United States.
03:21 So at home Spanish is spoken
03:24 and I began to pick up English at school
03:28 and I'm still learning English as I go in.
03:30 So I have to balance, you know,
03:31 make sure I don't forget my Spanish,
03:33 but my parents don't really speak English.
03:36 So when I come home I have to speak Spanish.
03:39 Well, that's interesting
03:41 because I grew up in an immigrant home too.
03:43 I was actually born in the Upper East Side of Manhattan
03:46 when it was poor.
03:48 Today it's some of the most expensive
03:49 real estate in the world.
03:51 And it was like a sixth floor walkup apartment
03:54 where I was born.
03:56 And I grew up in New York City but my parents were German
03:59 and they spoke German at home
04:00 and we went to a German speaking church.
04:03 So I grew up hearing this other language
04:06 but also learning the English from my friends and so on.
04:09 So I kind of had a similar background to you in that way.
04:13 Do you speak German now, still?
04:15 I can do pretty well.
04:17 If I go to Germany I've got to be there three, four days.
04:20 You know, the vocabulary isn't there, the complexity.
04:23 Three, four days in, I'll start searching
04:25 for English words to say what I want to say.
04:27 So I can do okay in Germany after a week or so,
04:31 but I don't use it everyday as part of the language.
04:34 Now what do you currently do now?
04:36 I know that you are a--
04:38 you told me you were a dean because like we said--
04:40 like you said we just met today. Yeah.
04:42 And as a matter of fact, we didn't even know what
04:44 we were going to match clothes here, we're wearing purple.
04:47 Yeah, you did a good job.
04:49 But you told me that you are dean
04:52 at the department of Religion
04:55 at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.
04:58 Tell us a little more of
04:59 what are your duties and responsibilities there?
05:02 How long you've been there?
05:03 I'm in charge of the religion faculties.
05:06 We called a school of religion
05:08 and while we have a few small programs,
05:10 most of what we do is teaching in all the other schools.
05:14 It's the only institution in all of North America
05:19 where you have religion involved in every program at every level.
05:24 We are teaching in bio-chemistry,
05:26 we're teaching religion classes.
05:28 medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing,
05:32 you name it, physical therapy.
05:34 This religion interwoven because at Loma Linda
05:36 we believe that healthcare should be holistic,
05:41 that we should deal with the whole person that,
05:43 that patients want to talk about God
05:46 and have spiritual concerns and emotional concerns
05:50 and so on when they are in the hospital etcetera.
05:53 So we teach healthcare in the larger context of faith
05:58 and the sort of my job as to exactly
06:01 how that's going to work from the religion side.
06:05 So I don't teach a whole lot right now,
06:07 I more of an administrator,
06:09 but then I get to have fun like this every so often.
06:11 Okay, so every student who is graduating
06:13 will at least have gone through
06:15 some kind of religious courses. That's right.
06:18 Concerning particularly that the wholeness concept
06:21 as a Seventh-day Adventist Institution.
06:24 Loma Linda University believes that we're whole persons,
06:26 not body and soul separated.
06:28 And so your spiritual life, your emotional life,
06:32 your mental life, all that's gonna effect
06:34 whether you're healthy or sick.
06:36 You know, your body is deeply affected by how you feel,
06:40 what you think and so on by integrating all that,
06:42 we think its better healthcare and also a wonderful witness
06:47 just despite its very existence to people
06:49 who might not otherwise know of God.
06:51 When they see a physician
06:53 treating them with respect and kindness
06:56 and being willing to offer prayer if they want that.
06:59 So in a sense you are preparing missionaries? Exactly.
07:01 To go out into the field and-- Yes.
07:03 You could talk about medical missionaries.
07:06 In that they use the contacts that they have with people
07:10 to engage the whole person and not just the body.
07:14 You know, we're not just treating bodies,
07:15 we're treating people.
07:17 When we get to John 5, there's a story there
07:20 in which Jesus heals a guys body,
07:22 but doesn't heal the spiritual and emotional side.
07:26 And that creates a dynamic in the story that will--
07:30 I think be instructive for us,
07:32 but that's for later on in the series.
07:34 Tell us a little more about Loma Linda?
07:37 I know that Loma Linda has been in the news recently a lot.
07:41 It's received a lot of positive views
07:44 on this particular university or even community.
07:49 Tell us more about Loma Linda?
07:51 Well, thank you for asking that.
07:53 It has recently been designated
07:56 one of the five blue zones in the world.
07:59 And this is a-- an enclave,
08:01 a small place where would say a few thousand people each
08:05 where the people just live longer
08:06 and are healthier than anywhere else.
08:08 That's what the blue zone is?
08:09 Lot's of 100 year olds things like that.
08:12 And national geographic did some research
08:15 and found Okinawa, I think it's--is it--
08:21 Italy? Was it Italy?
08:22 Yeah, that's-- is it Sicily?
08:24 No, it said other one Corsica, I think has one of these.
08:27 Nicaragua has one.
08:30 Just isolated communities that live longer,
08:32 Loma Linda is different.
08:34 It's not an isolated community,
08:36 it's in the middle of greater Los Angeles.
08:38 And in that bustling urban western context
08:42 there's a community that lives 10 years longer
08:44 and it's healthier than the surrounding communities
08:47 and people are starting to notice what's going on.
08:49 And that's because for 100 years we've been following
08:53 the Seventh-day Adventist lifestyle.
08:55 And that includes things like vegetarianism,
08:58 lots of exercise, fresh air, sunshine,
09:02 all these natural remedies, proper diet, etcetera.
09:05 And so Newsweek magazine recently published.
09:09 If you want to live 10 years longer
09:11 become a Seventh-day Adventist.
09:12 Now that wasn't us saying, but they just discovered that
09:15 hey, if you take it seriously,
09:18 it can change your life in this world
09:20 not just for the life to come. Amen.
09:22 So they have-- the Seventh-day Adventist have
09:23 like a special message if you want to live longer.
09:26 But, you know, our hearts are touched right now
09:28 because we've come to realize that
09:30 one of the sickest communities in the entire country
09:33 is right next door to us, San Bernardino.
09:36 And there are people have suffered in poverty
09:39 and lack of good health care
09:41 and lack of good health habits and so on.
09:43 And so we are hoping to establish
09:45 centers of healing in San Bernardino
09:49 and see if we can share
09:53 some of the blessings that we have. Amen.
09:55 But, Dr. Paulien, I opened up the program
09:58 saying the reasons why I enjoy reading and studying the Bible.
10:02 And like I said, because in it I find a purpose,
10:05 you know, I find direction in life.
10:07 And the reason I said this is
10:10 because before I became a Christian,
10:13 and I want to say committed Christian,
10:16 I didn't read the Bible
10:18 and when I did began to read the Bible,
10:22 I decided to read it-- read Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.
10:26 And the reason why I chose Ecclesiastes and Proverbs
10:28 is because I believe that
10:30 there was not really much religion in there.
10:32 And so I thought well, you know,
10:33 I'm pretty sure that I can gain
10:35 some kind of wisdom in these wisdom books.
10:39 So I saw some many practical lessons there.
10:43 But then as I began to read more and more
10:46 then I went into more of the theological side
10:49 and who is Jesus and salvation
10:51 and that's where eventually will led me
10:53 to make that ultimate decision to follow Jesus Christ.
10:57 So my question to you is, why or what would be
11:02 your reason for studying and reading the Bible?
11:05 You're a scholar, you've written--
11:08 you told me you've written several books
11:09 more than 20 or 25, 30 even.
11:12 Tell me what's your joy in reading
11:15 or even studying the Bible?
11:17 What I think is special about the Bible
11:19 and particularly about the four gospels
11:22 is a tremendous story.
11:24 And the story is about a God
11:27 who wants desperately to communicate with us.
11:30 And in order to communicate He's tried visions and dreams
11:35 and different ways to communicate,
11:38 but in the end God is out there
11:41 no one has seen Him or touched Him.
11:43 And so it's very hard for human beings
11:45 to really understand what God is like.
11:47 And so God made a decision,
11:50 I'm going to come down Myself and become human.
11:56 And I'm gonna walk among them,
11:58 live among them and show them what God is like.
12:04 And so the story, the big narrative,
12:07 the big narrative of the Bible is that God loves us so much
12:11 that He was willing to come down and live among us,
12:14 become one of us so that we could see
12:16 in engaging with somebody,
12:18 human being of flesh like ourselves
12:21 that we would understand better what God is like.
12:24 I mean, God spoke through the thunders of Sinai.
12:27 He spoke through the prophets.
12:29 He spoke through all kinds of different events
12:32 in the course of history,
12:34 but to have God in person was special.
12:36 And the four gospels are accounting
12:40 the story of when God came down.
12:43 So that plan of salvation
12:45 we can find it in the Bible? That's right.
12:47 And in the four gospels particularly
12:50 is perhaps the clearest place where this narrative of the God
12:54 who comes down has made real to us.
12:58 Now in this series we're studying the Gospel of John.
13:02 We have the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, John.
13:07 I've heard it say that there's really is only one gospel.
13:10 Why another gospel?
13:12 Why couldn't we just do with Matthew, Mark, and Luke?
13:14 Why did-- whoever wrote--
13:17 and we're gonna talk about this later
13:19 but the author why did he had to come up with another gospel?
13:23 Why are there four-- yeah.
13:25 In other words, what's the difference
13:26 between the Gospel of John than the other three gospels?
13:30 Well, I think the bottom line is this
13:32 that there are four gospels in the Bible
13:35 because God knew there are lot of different kinds of people
13:38 that different stories attract different people.
13:42 And so by having four gospels there are at least
13:45 four different ways you can come to the story of Jesus
13:49 and understand it for yourself.
13:51 And so having four turns out to be better than one.
13:55 Some people might like Matthew the best
13:56 and other might like Luke or John the best,
13:59 but having the four gives us more windows
14:02 into what God is like.
14:04 Now these four gospels do not or do they contradict each other?
14:10 Well, they do not contradict each other
14:12 in the sense that each of them
14:14 is telling the story from a particular perspective.
14:16 Just like if you have an auto accident
14:18 and you have four witnesses
14:20 they may each have a different perspective
14:22 where they're all seeing a part of the story together
14:26 you have an even stronger window into the story.
14:29 So where the gospels don't seem to say the same thing,
14:32 it's like four different testimonies to that one story.
14:36 Okay, well, we're gonna continue
14:38 and picking up on this Gospel of John
14:41 after we return from this short break.


Revised 2014-12-17