Dr. Joseph Bunce - 2018

Dr. Joseph Bunce serves as lead missionary and executive director for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

I have been asked many times to start writing These Roads again. I have taken some time away from writing them for a variety of reasons. First, I needed a break. So, I took some writing time off. Second, as most are aware, I will be retiring as the executive director in February 2021. I did not want to create an expectation that the person following me would write articles. The title of my article has been “These Roads.” And, I can truthfully say that I have traveled every paved road and many dirt roads in this beautiful state. I have thoroughly loved serving New Mexico Baptists.

One way that I have served is helping pastors as they lead their churches. I often ask pastors questions to assist them in processing the difficult decisions that they are called to make. I have been writing a series of sermons based on the greatest questions in the Bible. I would like to share these with you over the next few months.  

Doctors use questions to diagnose, and lawyers use questions to frame a legal case. God uses questions to help us be aware of our spiritual condition. Questions can be used to provide discernment or create doubt. The first two questions in the Bible illustrate this truth. The serpent asked Eve a question seeking to create doubt. God asked a series of questions to provide discernment. “Where art thou?” was not asked because God had no idea where Adam and Eve were hiding.

Ravi Zacharias passed away a few weeks ago. In my opinion, he was one of the greatest apologists ever. He is also noted for asking profound questions. Here are two quotes of his that reveal the power of questions. First, “When you think of it, really there are only four fundamental questions of life. You’ve asked them. I’ve asked them. Every thinking person asks them. They boil down to this: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. How did I come into being? What brings life meaning? How do I know right from wrong? Where am I headed after I die?”  

Second, “Everyone - pantheist, atheist, skeptic, polytheist - has to answer these questions. ‘Where did I come from? What is life’s meaning? How do I define right from wrong, and what happens when I die?’ Those are the fulcrum points of our existence.”

The entire Genesis narrative of the fall of man requires us, as individuals, to ask four basic questions. First, “Am I accountable to God?” This is a fundamental question that has been lost in our modern world. Second, “Am I dependent upon God?” Third, “Am I inferior to God?” Fourth, “Am I loved by God?” 

If you can honestly answer “Yes” to all of the above questions, great. Most of our sin is crouched in a “No” answer to one of these questions. Today, if God asked you, “Where art thou,” how would you answer? I am so happy that God comes calling to us as he did to Adam and Eve. He is so full of grace, and he pursues us. 

Please know: Sharon and I love New Mexico Baptists.

Dr. B

Joseph Bunce is executive director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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