Bob Wilson wrote:Many dear brothers here have asserted that all views expressed by the Biblical writers must be consistent with each other ('non-contradictory'). And I can see that if a whole volume shared the Qu'ran or Book of Mormon's claim to be directly inscribed by God (and I was persuaded I could be sure of That), then such an expectation of absolute harmony would be plausible. But if the profitable Biblical witness involves writers moved by the Spirit, yet able to retain the varying vantage points and human character of their own personality and time, we might expect it to include the diversity of views that appear so manifest in it. We may even expect it to reflect a progression of understanding of what God reveals (which also seems manifest). And by definition, insisting such a progressive revelation must all assert the same views would seem to me unjustified.
With my upbringing, I sympathize with this concern that we must have a perfect or inerrant book in order to claim certainty for our beliefs. And I honestly don't have a solution for the feeling that we require a faith that can claim certainty about its' doctrines (though I now doubt God puts a premium on this version of valid faith or epistemology).
In candor, I don't see how believers in varying faiths have the faculties to even know with certainty that they can start by knowing their book actually has such perfect certitude (much less that we can assure that our reading of it can claim certainty). What I do see is that it's unconvincing to keep emphasizing an apparently circular argument: that everything in the Bible must be correct because otherwise we can't know what is correct. Jesus argued we are to love God with our mind, and wishing the Bible is that kind of book is insufficient to make it that kind of book.
"I see, said the blind man, to his deaf dog, and he picked up his hammer and saw"
Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:We can look at reconciling Genesis with modern science (i.e. big bang, old earth, evolution, etc.), on threads here. Then we can see that modern science, doesn't always fit comfortably into Genesis.
Geoffrey wrote:Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:We can look at reconciling Genesis with modern science (i.e. big bang, old earth, evolution, etc.), on threads here. Then we can see that modern science, doesn't always fit comfortably into Genesis.
The only thing in the contemporary scientific paradigm that does not fit comfortably with Genesis is the idea that human beings biologically evolved from animals. Genesis 2:7 and 2:21-22 give a different account of human origins.
But everything else (big bang, biological evolution of plants and animals, a universe and earth billions of years old, no global flood, etc.) are all easily compatible with the Bible, even when regarded as infallible and inerrant.
This position was shared by The Fundamentals, published from 1910 to 1915, from which we get the term "fundamentalist". The idea that contemporary science and the Bible are at serious odds is a curious notion that didn't start getting traction until the 1960s.
Geoffrey wrote:This page gives a brief overview of The Fundamentals, as well as links to the text thereof.
Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:Geoffrey wrote:This page gives a brief overview of The Fundamentals, as well as links to the text thereof.
Well, if some of the essays were good at reconciling, modern science and Genesis...Their message got lost, in this day and age.
steve7150 wrote:ore salient, I don't see Jesus as simply teaching that this commandment does not apply to him, yet does to us. My impression is that he is presented as the ultimate interpreter of the Law, and that his examples of David breaking the law to meet a need, and his statement that we must understand this commandment as "made for (benefitting) man,"
Thanks for your response Bob. I can see your take on Jesus responses about the Sabbath benefiting man but i also see in John 5.17 and other verses that his Father and himself were always working which meant to them the Sabbath was like any other day. Also i don't see the Sabbath command repeated in the New Covenant but actually replaced by the rest in Christ. But i am looking forward to your response.
... all those righteous men already mentioned [Abel, Enoch, Noah,] , though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses... Chapter 19
..For if there was no need of circumcision before
Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now,...(Chapter 23)
.Do you see that the elements are not idle, and keep no Sabbaths? Chapter 23
Think it not strange that we drink hot water on the Sabbaths, since God directs the government of the universe on this day equally as on all others.. (Chapter 29)
For the true spiritual Israel, and descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham (who in uncircumcision was approved of and blessed by God on account of his faith, and called the father of many nations), are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ, as shall be demonstrated while we proceed. (Chapter 11 near the end)
The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances: if there is any perjured person or a thief among you, let him cease to be so; if any adulterer, let him repent; then he has kept the sweet and true sabbaths of God. If any one has impure hands, let him wash and be pure. (Chapter 12 at the end)
qaz wrote:Bob, I look forward to reading your paper on how Jesus used OT verses during his ministry.
LLC wrote:Sorry Eaglesway, but I don't see this great progression of man that you and others speak of. In looking at mankind as a whole,I don't consider the people of the Old Testament as primordial man, nor do I think that we are more mature today as compared to those of old. God's Laws do not change. He still deals with man in the same ways as He did from the beginning. We rise and we fall; we are lost and are found. I think that the people of future generations will most likely be doing the same.
steve7150 wrote:I often hear the argument that a different morality applies to us than for Jesus or God. But how often does the Bible explicitly urge us not to follow Jesus, or not to be like God, compared to how many times it urges that imitating them is foundational for our life? I'll soon post a new essay arguing that Jesus' life and teaching was guided precisely by his perception of God and His ways. So I am reluctant to endorse a gulf here.
Jesus was also guided by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God when Satan tried to tempt him. At that time that was the OT alone and that was a great opportunity for Jesus to make a distinction if there was one like by saying "every legitimate word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!
More salient, I don't see Jesus as simply teaching that this commandment does not apply to him, yet does to us. My impression is that he is presented as the ultimate interpreter of the Law, and that his examples of David breaking the law to meet a need, and his statement that we must understand this commandment as "made for (benefitting) man," are rational arguments that Sabbath work that meets an important need can justify violating the literal meaning that seemed clear and certain to the Pharisees. Thus, as on many other violations of the law, such as embracing unclean sinners, he is teaching us to follow him in doing the same, as we too learn to be lead by His Spirit. Indeed, that's why I too am rather cavalier about Saturday work, and the Bible's Sabbath law. It's because Jesus has convinced me that a legal following of it can be misguided.
The Sermon on the Mount in 30 minutes!
Obviously, you can't survey the whole thing. So you pick a topic or a question raised by the Sermon and talk about that.
The question I picked was this: Are we supposed to obey the Sermon on the Mount?
That might seem like a really weird question. Of course we're supposed to follow the Sermon on the Mount. Why else would Jesus have preached it?
But there's actually a great deal of debate on this point. For my class I highlighted three places where Christians have balked at obeying the Sermon.
1. Morally Impossible
Some within the Christian tradition have argued that the Sermon is so severe and lofty in its demands that it can't possibly be obeyed. Then why was the Sermon given? To expose and humble us. By setting the bar so high the Sermon shows us that we can't be righteous through moral performance.
2. Theologically Problematic
On a related note, the Sermon equates righteousness with moral performance: "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
You want forgiveness? It's not about grace: You have to forgive. You don't want God to judge you? It's not about grace: You must not judge others. When it comes to getting into heaven, the measure you use to judge others will be the measure that you'll be judged by (Matthew 7.1-2). Not much atonement theology here.
There's also a legalistic strain that runs through the Sermon. For example:
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5.19-20)
Moral perfection is also assumed in places: "Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect."
And finally, beyond righteousness being the result of moral performance, damnation for moral failure lurks everywhere in the Sermon:
"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell."
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."
"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
3. Politically Irresponsible
Perhaps the biggest argument that the Sermon shouldn't be fully obeyed is the opinion that the Sermon is politically impractical.
"Do not resist an evil person," "love your enemies," and "turn the other cheek" are taken to be immoral stances in the face of evil. And if not immoral, than morally irresponsible.
So these are the reasons you hear for not obeying the Sermon on the Mount. And yet, in his final comparison in the Sermon about the wise and foolish builders, Jesus cuts across all these objections:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
davo wrote:Well *the command* has always been… “Six days shall ye work…” — how many so-called ‘Sabbath keepers’ break this straight off in having 2 day weekends!?
maintenanceman wrote:davo wrote:Well *the command* has always been… “Six days shall ye work…” — how many so-called ‘Sabbath keepers’ break this straight off in having 2 day weekends!?
I don't know any Sabbath keepers that have a two day Sabbath here in America... Though they (the Sabbath keepers) have to deal with the Sunday traditions of our culture. But I would ask how that would be breaking the command. One can work while the community is at rest aye?
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