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Summer Q&A (August 2013)

• Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy

During our weekend services on August 10-11 we hosted Q&A sessions with Greg Boyd, our Senior Pastor, and Paul Eddy, our Teaching Pastor. We included all three services, so enjoy listening to ALL the answers.

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Q&A – Saturday Evening

  1. If prayer is so powerful, why doesn’t it work so often?
  2. Greg and Paul, if I am married but I have trouble staying faithful to my wife because I struggle with infidelity, am I able to worship in the your church and not be judged? As long as I am sorry, will God accommodate my lifestyle as long as I am working on it?
  3. We went camping last weekend, and the ticks and mosquitoes were terrible. If everything is created by God and has a purpose, what’s up with the ticks and mosquitoes? Does Satan influence them?
  4. How can Jesus’ death be considered a sacrifice? God gave His only son… and then got him back!
  5. What does it mean for families to pray together? How do your families pray together, if at all?
  6. Some Christians have a fascination with the state of Israel. Should we be supporting the state of Israel? What role does their state play in the future?
  7. I have a Christian friend who goes to a different church in town. When they found out that we sometimes have women preachers here at Woodland Hills, they told me this was wrong because the Bible itself says that women shouldn’t teach men. Is my friend right about this?
  8. Is there any biblical evidence that those who commit suicide go to hell? My girlfriend, who I know loved Jesus, just killed herself. I can’t imagine she’s not in heaven. But some Christians I know are convinced she’s in hell. She was such a kind and servant-hearted person. But on the other hand, how is it fair that she is in heaven now and the rest of us are left with grief and so many questions?

Q&A – Sunday 9am

  1. What do you think of movies like “The Conjuring”? Do you think that demon possession really happens today?
  2. If we pray for God to bring a loved one to salvation, aren’t we really asking God to override that person’s freewill and coerce them into getting saved?
  3. If God were confined to human emotions, do you think he would be more happy or sad?
  4. I can understand the right of free choice, where God does not interfere because he has to let people make their own mistakes, but why doesn’t he save children who are born with disabilities? Or other situations where it’s no one’s fault?
  5. What do you guys think of the Proof of Heaven book and others like it? As Christians, what can we learn, if anything, from near-death experiences?
  6. The Bible seems to use two different formulas for baptism. One in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and another in Jesus name. Is there a difference and why does the Bible teach both formulas?
  7. A follow-up to the first question about “The Conjuring”. Are mediums and psychics (such as Long Island Medium) demonic?
  8. I’m confused about how God relates to time. In one sense he seems to be outside of time (by knowing and causing certain future events), yet he also seems to be in time (by responding to free agents’ decisions as they occur). It seems like these viewpoints are in conflict. How do you see God relating with time?
  9. I grew up in a church where we heard about the coming Rapture all the time. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard Greg preach about the Rapture once in all the time I’ve been at Woodland. Don’t you guys believe in the Rapture?
  10. What does Satan get out of doing and creating evil things? Why would he care about harming people? What does he get out of it?

Q&A – Sunday 11am

  1. How can you really be sure that the Bible accurately depicts the life and words of Jesus, especially given that three of the four Gospels are restatements of the same source? What if they are wrong? Isn’t that pretty scant evidence for belief?
  2. Is it possible to convert Satan from his evil ways? Could we pray for him and see a change in Satan’s heart?
  3. I feel like my spouse sometimes is working to bring me down. How do I keep my joy and peace when, the person who was created to be my partner, is working against me?
  4. Can God hear my prayers if I just say them in my head? If so, can Satan hear those same prayers?
  5. Are introverts at a disadvantage when it comes to the power of prayer? I don’t have many friends, and I know that the amount of people praying means something.
  6. I have several non-Christian friends who care deeply about the creation. They believe that the Bible and Christianity have encouraged the abuse and exploitation of animals and the environment. How should I respond? Is there a strong biblical basis for taking care of the creation?
  7. What would you say to the parents of the two-year old child who died in Wisconsin recently? Is their boy in heaven?
  8. Is being a part of a jury and making a decision about someone’s life “judging someone”? Can we serve on a jury and still not judge?
  9. How do you decide who to give money to when people are standing on the corner with signs that they are homeless? How much money do you give? And how do you know if they are truly in need?
  10. Greg often refers to leading scientific theories in his sermons. What is Woodland Hills’ theological interpretation of hyper-dimensional geometry, string theory, and the multi-verse view of quantum thermodynamics in the spirit realm?
  11. What is your biggest struggle as a follower of Jesus?
  12. What distinguishes Christian morality from secular morality? Is faith in Jesus needed to be a moral person?
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11 thoughts on “Summer Q&A (August 2013)

  1. Dave Pritchard says:

    In reference to Greg’s comment on the “Plutonic” influences of our understanding of God in relation to “Time”. If God can exist both simultaneously in “Time”, as well as in “Eternity” which is outside of Time, and should not be considered “open” at both ends – forever ever in the past or forever ever in the future, but rather currently and having a “Timelessness” as in being a compete and perfect simultaneous possession of unending Life, then it would seem that “Divine Foreknowledge” is a human construction by historically temporal bound creatures attempting to understand Gods “Timeless” or “Eternity Now” actions.

    Perhaps I have conflated the concept of “Eternal Life” with the metaphysical attributes of God being “Eternal” and may have talked myself into a loop here but it seems that this view of God supports, rather than contradicts, the “Open View” of Providence in that God is not bound or tied down to specific actions in a linear sequence but can respond to, as well as instigate, all potential actions or decisions we might make. (?)

    “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:17 NIV)

  2. Matt says:

    Here’s how I view Christ’s sacrifice being a “real” sacrifice. I don’t believe Jesus KNEW (100% knowledge) that his death would solve anything but was anything than a futile exercise. He became human and therefore was subject the limitations of humanity. Now then, he DID have FAITH that it would work out for God’s will, but I don’t think he had any psychological certainty that it would accomplish anything until it was done. I reference for example where Jesus said that “only the Father knows the hour” of Jesus return = another example of him being subject to his humanity. For me it’s even more beautiful that he didn’t KNOW, he just had Faith and followed the father’s will. Just like Abraham didn’t KNOW how Isaac would be saved, but he had FAITH that God would have the solution.

  3. Peter says:

    A comment in relation to the question on what Satan gets out of harming people.

    In Genesis 1:26 we are told…Then God said, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”. So while God has dominion over His creation, man, created in His image, shared part of that dominion over the areas mentioned.

    Notwithstanding the fall, that desire for dominion is still present in man today. We all have our kingdoms over which we wish to exercise our control. These are not necessarily lands and countries but can be our homes, our possessions, our jobs and even driving down the road. When someone ‘invades’ that space or our dominion, quite often there is a rise in our anger, rage, contempt and judgment against the ‘invader’ who takes away from our ‘kingdom’.

    We know ourselves as fallen individuals what satisfaction we get out of regaining and/or increasing our dominion in those situations Likewise we also know the feelings when dominion is lost and revenge takes center stage.

    We are told in Isaiah 14:12-14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Here Satan sought to extend his kingdom/dominion to be “like the most High” however, being cast out of Heaven and losing the dominion that he previously had, the revenge aspect arises and has resulted in what Paul says (Ep 6:12) “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    Associated with this was the creation of man. Up until then, heavenly beings were created to undertake various roles in God’s kingdom. However, the creation of man in the image of God, who are His children and will ultimately be priests and kings in the renewed creation, are a new higher category than the heavenly beings in the Kingdom of God. In one sense any hope of Satan to be “like the most High” has also been usurped by man and, hence his attacks to destroy man or ensnare man into his service.

    So ultimately Satan’s attacks on man are both an attempt to gain dominion and the impenitent to worship him.

    The overriding aspect to this is that God in His love gave or shared with man His dominion in the creation and through Jesus extends this partnered dominion to His whole Kingdom….unlike Satan where his dominion is purely for self interest.

  4. CarolJean says:

    Matt, How do you explain Hebrews 12:2 “who for the joy set before him” iow, Jesus knew the end result of his death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus knew that he would rise again the third day. He told his disciples that he would more than a few times. I agree with you that were things Jesus didn’t know but his death and following events he knew.

  5. ben says:

    hello,i would like to be able to make comments/questions.

  6. ben says:

    about demons,why is it that demons get in some people only?the bible says that the word is under satan influence is that means that everyone has a demon before their covertion?why is that cast a demon from someones body takes that long?it shouldnt be inmediatly in the name of Jesus like the Bible says?

  7. Dave Pritchard says:


    I think J.R.R. Tolkien got in right when Gandalf said to Saurman: “There is only one Lord of the Ring. Only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not “Share Power!” – He then jumps onto an Eagle’s back and escapes….

    It’s fairly obvious that Tolkien used the character “Sauron” as a metaphor for “The Devil” and like in the book, there’s a whole host of evil minions who follow him and carry out his destructive agenda. But they’re not all that smart! In fact, I think “Satan’s Kingdom” (if you will) is “Divided against itself and will not stand”! – (Mark 3:24) Look what happened when they went into the pigs in (Mark 5:11 – 13)

    (Revelation 12) potentially talks about a third of the Angels rebelling with Lucifer, which could number in the thousands or even millions! But like Peter said in his comment, it’s all about the devil’s “self-interest”. Does Satan then attempt to assign individual or multiple demons to each and every one us – possibly – but not very likely. To confront this fear though, I think we need to remember what it says in the book of James 4:7 –

    “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

    That’s a solid start and when we do this, the “The devil, like a roaring lion prowling about” mentioned in (I Peter 5:8) won’t be able get a foothold in our minds and hearts. That doesn’t mean demon “oppression” couldn’t possibly continue but once you’ve got the Holy Spirit living in you by accepting Jesus, the devil simply cant win! –

    “Greater is He [Jesus] that is in you, than he [Satan] that is in the world!” – I John 4:4

    Now, some demonic activity is “Mega-Serious” and can work collectively in a culture like Greg was talking about in that part of Haiti, where he was confronted by that possessed woman. I’m sure that there are lots of other places as well in the “Principalities and Kingdoms of this World” – (Ephesians 6:12) but it would seem that the persistent infestation of demonic activity usually occurs in those environments and in those particular people who habitually open themselves up either subtly or deliberately to a heart of darkness where anger, lust, jealously and hate thrive. Thus, it may be more difficult to cast out, destroy or release the oppression, if that person has been embedded in that lifestyle.

    (I John 4:18) – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

    When combined with

    (Luke 10:19) – “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

    Is a pretty powerful spiritual punch that’s sure to knock the devil clear out of the ring! But this is a very, very serious business and should not be taken lightly! Consulting the experts like Greg and others is paramount to achieving a lasting deliverance! Greg’ book – “God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict” and possibly R.C. Sproul’s – “Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels, and Demons” are two really great books on the subject!

  8. Simon Lundström says:

    Dave, Great post!! I’m just being a total geek here and I have to say that Sauron is not the Arch-Enemy in the Lord of the Rings.. Rather Sauron is the servant of the enemy of Ilúvatar (God) who is called Morgoth..

    Just read Silmarillion.. So basically Sauron himself serves this mega-evil angelic being called Morgoth who has been up to destroying creation ever since it began.

  9. Dave Pritchard says:


    I think you’re absolutely right! Ha! I read the Silmarillion way, way back in the day. I’m not sure, but wasn’t he – “Morgoth” imprisioned forever in chains underground and actually Sauron was he chief disciple/lieutenant who then was totally cortupted by his obsession with the “Silmarilli” ?
    So, “if” that’s the case, then actually Sauron is more like “The Antichrist” ? But of course the “Deceiver” or “The Antichrist” is usually seen in scripture as marking out a certain category of persons, rather than a specific individual – but that’s up to debate with some depending on where you’re coming from eschatologically.

  10. Matt says:


    Thanks for your question. I feel like that verse actually reinforces my point. Think of yourself. You have a joy (christian life you are living and the ultimate victory that will come of it) set before you. But you don’t “know” ( equals 100% psychological certainty) that any of it is real or that it your life will end in victory or that serving christ was in vain. All you or I (or in my belief Jesus) had was faith. Heck if he “knew”, I don’t think he would have asked the lord to “take away this cup from me” – seems kinda like he thought there might be a chance, BUT in faith he ended it with “not my will but your will be done”.

    Just my 2 cents.

  11. Don Alexander says:

    Very bold to conduct a live Q & A. An exceptional and honest exercise. Thank you. I’ve gained much encouragement through the podcasts, books, and interaction.
    RE: support and future place of the State of Israel (time 26:30)
    I feel more consideration would be worthwhile, even though it can be a challenging issue to address.
    I agree that followers of Jesus must be careful not to apply Biblical promises to national and political pursuits, and it’s easy to be frustrated with local domestic policies and misguided Christian leadership.
    Understandably, some have even become embittered by the debate.
    But many are genuinely wondering how to reconcile the person of Jesus with questions surrounding Israel, be it the people and race or the modern political state.
    Has there ever been a godly nation? What should we expect from Israel?
    Both through his mercy and his judgement, scripture would suggest that historically God chose to reveal himself to the nations through his dealings with the people of Israel.
    What promises remain?
    How might we expect to see the love of Jesus to break down divides and bring healing between Arab and Jewish believers in the midst of conflict and division?

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