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Bernie
Dec 2nd 2007, 06:21 PM
hi, interested to hear others' opinions on the topic of truth and its relationship to any form of figurative language or symbolism...and ultimately, how this relationship relates to the nature of "hidden" or esoteric meaning.

For example, when Jesus informed onlookers that He would rebuild the temple in three days (Jn 2:19), none of us (in retrospect) would accuse Him of lying. On the other hand, in what way was the truth of His statement hidden from His detractors? Is it reliable to say that truth spoken figuratively has a diminished effectiveness than if given specific application, i.e., if the temple had been literally destroyed and rebuilt in three days, would this truth outweigh or be more relevant than the figurative sense of it as seen in CHrist's death and resurrection? Is one form of truth more important or consequential than the other, and why? And, why does figurative truth seem to be not easily seen by the religious mind?

Comments?

dhtraveler
Dec 2nd 2007, 06:33 PM
I believe what you see in the example you just gave, is that there are many different layers of revelation.

One can read " If you destroy this temple it will be rebuilt in three day", and apply it literally, then run around saying 'Jesus is not God because the temple was not destroyed, thus not rebuilt in three days.' OR you can go into a deeper level of revelation and find that Jesus said "I am the chief corner stone"...and other such verses which tell us that Jesus is the temple of which he spoke.

Deeper revelation and knowledge of God, comes with the willingness to dig deeper into His word and not rip single verses out of context and accept the superficial ; ie top level meaning, when it is clear logically that the top level meaning is not what is intended.

Also, As one reads the word, one must already believe that God is not a liar and so, when you or I do not understand what the word is saying, we need lean not on our own lack of understanding and wait until God reveals the truth He is attempting to give us.

Do you trust that Gods word is true? If yes, than when you do not quickly understand the initial level meaning.. Wait until he draws you deeper.

dht

Ta-An
Dec 2nd 2007, 06:51 PM
He spoke of the temple of his body, as in this verse:

1 Cor 6:19 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=46&CHAP=6&SEARCH=jesus%20king%20lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Tanya~
Dec 2nd 2007, 07:18 PM
For example, when Jesus informed onlookers that He would rebuild the temple in three days (Jn 2:19), none of us (in retrospect) would accuse Him of lying.

It wasn't until after Jesus was raised from the dead that the apostles understood what Jesus meant. John wrote, "but He was speaking of the temple of His body." Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." His detractors started arguing with Him about it, but they completely missed the point. This comes out when Jesus was being falsely accused before the high priest.


Mark 14:57-59
Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 58 "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.'" 59 But not even then did their testimony agree.

On the other hand, in what way was the truth of His statement hidden from His detractors?

It was intentionally hidden from them by the fact that He didn't speak plainly to them. Because they rejected Him, it was not given to them to understand. His disciples didn't really understand either at that point but they believed Him anyway. Later when Jesus rose from the dead, they understood and believed.


John 2:21-22

21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

At the time, they were just as clueless. Even when Jesus told them plainly that He was going to be killed and that He would rise again the third day, they still didn't understand.


Luke 18:31-34

Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again."

34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.

The difference is that they believed Jesus even though they didn't always understand what He was saying.



Is it reliable to say that truth spoken figuratively has a diminished effectiveness than if given specific application, i.e., if the temple had been literally destroyed and rebuilt in three days, would this truth outweigh or be more relevant than the figurative sense of it as seen in CHrist's death and resurrection?

The application of what Jesus said was understood when it was fulfilled. Before that, only Jesus understood what He meant. He was speaking of the temple of His body, not about the one built by Herod.


Is one form of truth more important or consequential than the other, and why? And, why does figurative truth seem to be not easily seen by the religious mind?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The death, burial and resurrection is the most important truth that there is, and it is not a figurative truth. Jesus applied figurative language to a literal truth when speaking to those who rejected Him, but I don't think they didn't understand because of "the religious mind." They didn't understand because they rejected Him.

Bernie
Dec 3rd 2007, 10:58 PM
Hi all, thanks for responding.

dht:

I believe what you see in the example you just gave, is that there are many different layers of revelation.
I agree.


One can read " If you destroy this temple it will be rebuilt in three day", and apply it literally, then run around saying 'Jesus is not God because the temple was not destroyed, thus not rebuilt in three days.' OR you can go into a deeper level of revelation and find that Jesus said "I am the chief corner stone"...and other such verses which tell us that Jesus is the temple of which he spoke.
Again, I agree.


Deeper revelation and knowledge of God, comes with the willingness to dig deeper into His word and not rip single verses out of context and accept the superficial
True...but it's also true, I think, that sometimes single verses are sufficient to stand on their own.


ie top level meaning, when it is clear logically that the top level meaning is not what is intended.
I'm not sure what you mean here, dht. Could you elaborate?


Also, As one reads the word, one must already believe that God is not a liar and so, when you or I do not understand what the word is saying, we need lean not on our own lack of understanding and wait until God reveals the truth He is attempting to give us.
Okay, but this takes us back to one of my original questions: assuming that there is truth "hidden" in the spiritual language of Scripture, why is it hidden and how? Is literal truth greater or smaller in value than figurative truth in your opinion, and why?

Greetings, ACCM....


He spoke of the temple of his body, as in this verse:
True, Paul taught this, but it was considerably after the fact of Jesus declaring He'd rebuild the temple in three days. Why do you suppose Jesus chose not to tell His detractors that He was speaking figuratively? Was He being purposefully misleading, and if so, why? If you or I use this approach on someone, we'd likely be charged with being dishonest and evasive.

Howdy TanyaP,


It was intentionally hidden from them [Jesus' detractors] by the fact that He didn't speak plainly to them. Because they rejected Him, it was not given to them to understand. His disciples didn't really understand either at that point but they believed Him anyway. Later when Jesus rose from the dead, they understood and believed.

Good point. What's interesting to me (re your last sentence in the aboe quote) is that the apostles accepted as truth that He was speaking figuratively. Many who do so today are often declared "spiritualizers" by fellow Christians. How do we know who is a spiritualizer and who actually has spiritual understanding in your opinion? You noted that the apostles [I]"believed Jesus even though they didn't always understand what He was saying." How do we know we might not hear truth framed in figurative language and not believe it? If so, what would the significance of this be in your opinion?


Quote:
Is one form of truth more important or consequential than the other, and why? And, why does figurative truth seem to be not easily seen by the religious mind?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The death, burial and resurrection is the most important truth that there is, and it is not a figurative truth. Jesus applied figurative language to a literal truth when speaking to those who rejected Him, but I don't think they didn't understand because of "the religious mind." They didn't understand because they rejected Him.
Well, those who opposed Jesus were the religious hierarchy of God's chosen people. They were very religious people, but received not the truth. I believe there is a powerful dualism in Scripture, and thus agree completely with you that the Lord's death and reurrection consisted in a literal truth. I believe the literal and spiritual compliment and agree with one another, as all truth should logically do. Yet you're correct that some heard and believed--and presumably their belief preceded the reception of His words--while others' hearts were set against Him and heard/believed not.

In light of this, is it possible that Christians can be set harshly against certain truths and antagonistic toward it as many of the Jews were in Jesus' day? The phrase "religious mind" was merely a reference to the fact that those who opposed Christ publicly were decidedly religious in nature, but isn't it possible that this same spiritual "deafness" can afflict Christians as well?

dhtraveler
Dec 4th 2007, 12:05 AM
ie top level meaning, when it is clear logically that the top level meaning is not what is intended.
I'm not sure what you mean here, dht. Could you elaborate?



Also, As one reads the word, one must already believe that God is not a liar and so, when you or I do not understand what the word is saying, we need lean not on our own lack of understanding and wait until God reveals the truth He is attempting to give us.
Okay, but this takes us back to one of my original questions: assuming that there is truth "hidden" in the spiritual language of Scripture, why is it hidden and how? Is literal truth greater or smaller in value than figurative truth in your opinion, and why?

When I say "Top level" meaning, I am speaking of what you see is what you get. A person may read the verse which says "He gathers us under the shadow of his wing, as a mother hen gathers her chicks." and conclude that God has wings like a hen.
We cannot always depend that everything in Gods word is literal. There are analogies, parables, figurative language... and levels upon level within each.

I do believe this is why God said that we cannot live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Man has a tendency to be lazy and not search out the whole counsel. God's word is the tool we use to interpret God's word. Example, to understand the book of revelation properly, you must first know the other 65 books of the bible.

The things of God are hidden from those who do not have God's Spirit in them. The things of God cannot be understood by a man in the flesh. Deep calls unto Deep. Spirit unto Spirit.

God has given us His word and reveals it to us as He measure it. He will never give us more than we can handle so he slowly unfolds it over time, building upon a firm foundation , He will build a house. Little by Little.

Have you not ever read a scripture that you have read many times before and suddenly that scripture or group of scriptures, takes on a new life. they become a rhema word, a living and powerful word... You are sudden thrust into a new understanding because what you once read as words only, become your experience. As you apply His word through faith, (it) grows like a watered seed and brings forth much fruit.


dht

Tanya~
Dec 4th 2007, 01:22 AM
What's interesting to me (re your last sentence in the aboe quote) is that the apostles accepted as truth that He was speaking figuratively.

I don't think they understood it at all. They just plain didn't get it for a long time. There were times when Jesus spoke literally and they thought he must have been speaking figuratively. Case in point:


Mark 9:9-10
Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
Other times Jesus spoke figuratively and His disciples thought He meant it literally:


John 6:53

53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:66-67

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
It wasn't because the apostles understood what Jesus was saying. They believed in Him and stuck by Him in spite of the fact that there was much they didn't understand. Peter articulated it, and showed that they understood the one necessary thing:


John 6:68-69
But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Many who do so today are often declared "spiritualizers" by fellow Christians. How do we know who is a spiritualizer and who actually has spiritual understanding in your opinion?

We would have to compare what they were saying with the Scriptures. Those who tend to over-spiritualize things usually take things completely out of context and make it say something wholly other than what the author obviously intended, sometimes contradicting the very passage they are using. True spiritual understanding will manifest in the truth. There will be no deceitful handling or other abuse of Scripture.


You noted that the apostles [I]"believed Jesus even though they didn't always understand what He was saying." How do we know we might not hear truth framed in figurative language and not believe it? If so, what would the significance of this be in your opinion?

Maybe if you gave an example I could better understand the question. The double-negative throws me off a bit, and I'm having a difficult time getting your point.



Well, those who opposed Jesus were the religious hierarchy of God's chosen people. They were very religious people, but received not the truth.

Some, but not all, of those who oppose(d) Him are (were) religious. And some of the religious people received Him too, even though they didn't understand Him all that well either (cf. Nicodemus, John 3, 7:50; 19:39).

It's true that the leadership in general did reject Jesus. But the general population also rejected Him, and the same is true today.


I believe there is a powerful dualism in Scripture, and thus agree completely with you that the Lord's death and reurrection consisted in a literal truth.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. The death and resurrection was literal. I don't really understand what you mean by saying it "consisted in a literal truth."



In light of this, is it possible that Christians can be set harshly against certain truths and antagonistic toward it as many of the Jews were in Jesus' day?

Well like what, for example?

Brother Mark
Dec 4th 2007, 01:27 AM
And, why does figurative truth seem to be not easily seen by the religious mind?

Comments?

Because Jesus wanted to hide truth. Mark 4 tells us he spoke in parables in order to hide the truth. But those with a pure and humble heart, like his disciples (Matt 13), will understand because he will teach it to them.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. But it is the glory of kings to search it out.

Bernie
Dec 4th 2007, 11:17 PM
Hello TanyaP,

Thanks for your response.

We would have to compare what they were saying with the Scriptures. Those who tend to over-spiritualize things usually take things completely out of context and make it say something wholly other than what the author obviously intended, sometimes contradicting the very passage they are using. True spiritual understanding will manifest in the truth. There will be no deceitful handling or other abuse of Scripture.
Interesting statement. A reasonable case can be made that those who claim truth lie only or even primarily in 'what the author intended' is itself the product of a faulty interpretive system. Harsh literalists typically impose this guideline, though it's not biblical.

Take for example the example of Moses as a symbolic Christ in the Exodus, a very common type generally recognized through much of Christianity. There's no evidence to suggest that author(s) of Numbers and Exodus had any inkling that God used Moses and historical circumstance to typify Moses as Christ reconcilliator and Redeemer. In fact, if we were to stick to the "author intent" principle, all types would have to be dismissed as figments of man's imaginations because typology, lying beyond the grasp and attention of the author of any Biblical work has been woven into the structure of history itself. If types are legitimately placed in Scripture by God, the tenets of popular, modern literalism must be called into question, as the two stand opposed.

This brings the demand that "We would have to compare what[spiritualizers] were saying with the Scriptures. Those who tend to over-spiritualize things usually take things completely out of context" into question. If man-made interpretive principles are flawed, how can one discern truth 'context'? If the rules of context are designed to control what Scripture is allowed to say, how can truth be properly discerned in a spiritual interpretation? Author intent can only be of only very limited value, if the Bible is an inspired, spiritual book.

Is it possible that demand for the most literal interpretation is itself of the same defective nature as that of the religious leaders of Jesus' day, who demanded strict literalism from the Lord? The Lord Himself suggests this when He told them, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others." (Mat 23:23)

Corruption is shown here to automatically tend toward literal particulars (the sacrifice of things) while the weightier provisions are by nature ethereal and spiritual (justice, mercy).

My attempt here is to explore the relationship between truth and meaning. My point in the above is that there seems to be an animosity between literal and spiritual, and IMO the power of this animosity itself is caused by the degradation of truth. Truth is a slippery thing, though, awfully hard to lay hands on.


Quote:
You noted that the apostles "believed Jesus even though they didn't always understand what He was saying." How do we know we might not hear truth framed in figurative language and not believe it? If so, what would the significance of this be in your opinion?

Maybe if you gave an example I could better understand the question. The double-negative throws me off a bit, and I'm having a difficult time getting your point.
Sorry, the above wasn't very clearly put. At base, I tend to think of all information as framed in some ratio of truth and falsity. Your, my and everyone's personal theology, for example, are particular systems of information existing in some unknown [to us, not to God] measure of each. Assuming the Bible to be wholly true and inerrant in some real sense, I'm curious to know to what degree any person is able to discern Scripture's truth.

Truth is changeable in particualrs, but seems to have the aspect of eternality in universals, as re Jesus' words above. Justice and mercy are universal qualities, while mint, dill and cummin are material particulars which the mind wrongly fastens on as 'good'. It's true to say an orange is round, but that truth doesn't stick around in particulars; the orange eventually rots and loses its attributes (shape, color, tartness, etc.) and the truth "the orange is round" becomes false in regard to that particular orange.

When we debate True and False meaning in Scripture, we use a combination of literal and spiritual components, which often seem at odds, as you appear to confirm in noting the errors of spiritualizing where it fails to conform to literal standards. In light of this, given that literal or spiritual meaning, both possessed or apprehended, exists in some combination of true and false, isn't it not merely possible but likely that the literalist who disbelieves the spiritualizer as well as the spiritualizer who disdains the literalist both stand in danger of missing truth the other (or Scriputre) has to say?


I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. The death and resurrection was literal. I don't really understand what you mean by saying it "consisted in a literal truth."
I meant exactly what you stated here, that death and resurrection was literal...no more or less.


Quote:
In light of this, is it possible that Christians can be set harshly against certain truths and antagonistic toward it as many of the Jews were in Jesus' day?

Well like what, for example?
To delve into particular examples would be detrimental to the purpose of the thread. It'd take us off into debate about this or that particular belief and lose sight of the more important questions, imo. What I'm interested in investigating is the nature of our own standards of testing truth claims and their effectiveness or lack thereof. This seems to me to go hand in hand with one's affiliation to truth itself. I.e., what makes one person "hear" a truth while another "hears" something very different?

Tanya~
Dec 5th 2007, 02:06 AM
Interesting statement. A reasonable case can be made that those who claim truth lie only or even primarily in 'what the author intended' is itself the product of a faulty interpretive system. Harsh literalists typically impose this guideline, though it's not biblical.

What is a "harsh" literalist? :)


Take for example the example of Moses as a symbolic Christ in the Exodus, a very common type generally recognized through much of Christianity.

Seeing Moses as a type of Christ isn't the same as spiritualizing, for example, the story of the Exodus. One can see the story of the exodus of the children of Israel as literal history, while also recognizing that Moses acted in the role of savior to the Israelites and thus was a type of Christ.

Seeing Moses as a type of Christ comes from noting the similarities between the two, not spiritualizing the story.


There's no evidence to suggest that author(s) of Numbers and Exodus had any inkling that God used Moses and historical circumstance to typify Moses as Christ reconcilliator and Redeemer. In fact, if we were to stick to the "author intent" principle, all types would have to be dismissed as figments of man's imaginations because typology, lying beyond the grasp and attention of the author of any Biblical work has been woven into the structure of history itself.

The idea of typology is Biblical. I think it's a different issue than spiritualizing. A type is a prophetic symbol that isn't revealed until the antitype or fulfillment occurs. It is a foreshadowing of something, but not the thing itself. Adam was a type of Christ but not Christ Himself. Adam was a literal historical person, and so was Christ.



If types are legitimately placed in Scripture by God, the tenets of popular, modern literalism must be called into question, as the two stand opposed.

I don't know what you mean by popular modern literalism. The grammatical historical hermeneutic is not in opposition to typology, because literalness is not in conflict with the idea of a type. Moses was a real person as well as a type of Christ. Spiritualizing is when one rejects the idea of Moses as a literal historical person, but only as a story symbolizing Christ.


This brings the demand that "We would have to compare what[spiritualizers] were saying with the Scriptures. Those who tend to over-spiritualize things usually take things completely out of context" into question. If man-made interpretive principles are flawed, how can one discern truth 'context'?

The context is the setting of the particular passage. It is the whole passage and the book, other writings of the author, the language, the geographical, cultural, and historical setting.



If the rules of context are designed to control what Scripture is allowed to say, how can truth be properly discerned in a spiritual interpretation? Author intent can only be of only very limited value, if the Bible is an inspired, spiritual book.

Context isn't to put restraints on what Scripture "is allowed to say," it provides a framework in which it can be understood by all. This is why when Paul went to Berea, the Jews there were able to hear what he had to say, searched the Scriptures to see if what he said was true, and as a result, many of them believed.


Is it possible that demand for the most literal interpretation is itself of the same defective nature as that of the religious leaders of Jesus' day, who demanded strict literalism from the Lord?

I don't agree with your premise. Their problem wasn't that they demanded strict literalism. He came against their traditions and their hypocrisy. They were whitewashed tombs, looking good on the outside but being full of evil inside.


The Lord Himself suggests this when He told them, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others." (Mat 23:23)

The problem wasn't that they were literal. The weightier matters of the law were not hidden in spiritualized interpretations of the law of tithing. The commands about justice, mercy, and faithfulness were plainly set forth in the law.


Corruption is shown here to automatically tend toward literal particulars (the sacrifice of things) while the weightier provisions are by nature ethereal and spiritual (justice, mercy).

Jesus was not charging them with being too literal. He charged them with hypocrisy. They made a big show of certain aspects of the law where it suited them, and neglected those aspects of the law that required them to treat others the same way they would want to be treated.


My attempt here is to explore the relationship between truth and meaning. My point in the above is that there seems to be an animosity between literal and spiritual, and IMO the power of this animosity itself is caused by the degradation of truth. Truth is a slippery thing, though, awfully hard to lay hands on.

I don't see any animosity between literal and spiritual. I don't see any slipperiness in the truth. That which is spiritual has its basis in that which is literal. The literal truth of Jesus' death and bodily resurrection, for example, is not in conflict with the spiritual reality that through faith in Him, we can live a new life of godliness. And this spiritual truth is not in conflict with the hope of a future resurrection of our bodies and glorification with Him.



Sorry, the above wasn't very clearly put. At base, I tend to think of all information as framed in some ratio of truth and falsity. Your, my and everyone's personal theology, for example, are particular systems of information existing in some unknown [to us, not to God] measure of each. Assuming the Bible to be wholly true and inerrant in some real sense, I'm curious to know to what degree any person is able to discern Scripture's truth.

1 Cor 13:12
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
NKJV



Truth is changeable in particualrs, but seems to have the aspect of eternality in universals, as re Jesus' words above. Justice and mercy are universal qualities, while mint, dill and cummin are material particulars which the mind wrongly fastens on as 'good'.

Things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness have no reality in themselves unless there is some kind of framework in which they can be manifested. You're trying to divorce what you call 'spiritual' from 'literal' but one can't have justice in a purely 'spiritual' (as you seem to be defining it) sense. Justice is a literal thing, it just happens to be abstract. People cry out for justice because some wrong has been done. The wrong that has been done was not done in the abstract. Literal things happen, and someone is wronged, so justice needs to be executed against the person who wronged the victim. In order to execute justice, some literal things have to occur. The perpetrator has to be punished in some way. These things don't happen in a vacuum, in a spiritual realm apart from some kind of physically manifest action.

Mercy is the same thing. One shows mercy in physical, literal ways. A suffering person needs assistance. The assistance isn't a spiritual (as in non-literal or immaterial) thing. Mercy is shown when the suffering person is given some kind of aid. For example, the blind Bartimaeus who cried out to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"


Mark 10:51-52

51 So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?"

The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."

52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Mercy was manifested to Bartimaeus very literally. He was given his sight. This miracle can also bear great spiritual truth, speaking to our own spiritual blindness. We cry out to Him; we are like blind Bartimaeus. We also plead with Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight." This is what is in your heart, if my judgment of what you have written is correct. We want to be able to see the truth, that which is spiritual, but we are blind.

Bartimaeus was a literal person, and the miracle of his healing was literal and physical, and that was the manifestation of Jesus' mercy. Yet at the same time we can glean spiritual understanding and application from the story, without doing violence to the historicity of the record as it is written.

The problem I have with 'spiritualizing' is when a passage is denied its proper contextual interpretation.

Faithfulness also, while another abstract concept, nevertheless is not manifested apart from literal action. Israel was unfaithful to God as seen in their persistent idolatry. Those among them who were faithful, demonstrated their faithfulness in literal, tangible ways (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%2022-23;&version=50;).


When we debate True and False meaning in Scripture, we use a combination of literal and spiritual components, which often seem at odds, as you appear to confirm in noting the errors of spiritualizing where it fails to conform to literal standards. In light of this, given that literal or spiritual meaning, both possessed or apprehended, exists in some combination of true and false, isn't it not merely possible but likely that the literalist who disbelieves the spiritualizer as well as the spiritualizer who disdains the literalist both stand in danger of missing truth the other (or Scriputre) has to say?

I don't believe truth is that hard to apprehend. We can only know in part, but the part that we can know, is still knowable. :) I don't think literal and spiritual truth will be in conflict with one another. If there is conflict, then one or the other is being wrongly understood -- either on the spiritual or the literal side. When the understanding is on the mark, there will be no conflict.


What I'm interested in investigating is the nature of our own standards of testing truth claims and their effectiveness or lack thereof. This seems to me to go hand in hand with one's affiliation to truth itself. I.e., what makes one person "hear" a truth while another "hears" something very different?

In the case of those to whom Jesus spoke, those who heard were those who were receptive to Him. They are the ones who have ears to hear spiritually.

Bernie
Dec 5th 2007, 03:21 AM
Hello TanyaP,

Thanks for responding.



What is a "harsh" literalist?

One who contends for harsh literalism as the only or primary form of proper Bibical interpretation.



Seeing Moses as a type of Christ isn't the same as spiritualizing....The idea of typology is Biblical. I think it's a different issue than spiritualizing....Moses was a real person as well as a type of Christ. Spiritualizing is when one rejects the idea of Moses as a literal historical person, but only as a story symbolizing Christ.


I beg to differ. Methinks you define 'spiritualizing' to narrowly. I believe the case can be made that the intellectual power (targeted succinctly by Hume's statement, "The brute abstracts not") itself is a spiritual capacity. To merely discern and discuss Moses as a symbol of Christ or any other type is by nature a power made possible by spiritual capacity. Discerning spiritual meaning/truth from Scripture, whether in its base literal or deeper spiritual forms is discernment of prescriptive truth....and I believe this

I find it ironic that the modern literalist concedes types and symbolism, then relegates those they discern to the realm of the obvious to the exclusion of all else, depsite the fact that a rational study of the Lord's words and the principles they embrace almost universally point away from the literal and toward the abstract and spiritual (as noted in my previous post). Literalism is by its nature narrow controlling. Many of Jesus' criticisms of the religious hierarchy of His day speak directly to this point.

The following quote is from the site Biblical Typology: An Introduction:
"Typology (or typological symbolism) is a Christian form of biblical interpretation that proceeds on the assumption that God placed anticipations of Christ in the laws, events, and people of the Old Testament."
( http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/type/typo11.html)

The point I was making in my previous post, illustrated in the quote above, is that strict adherence to manmade standards of interpretation are immediately thrown into question by the very idea that God has manipulated circumstances in time to paint typological/figurative references throughout the Bible. This is about as far from author intent as one can get.



The grammatical historical hermeneutic is not in opposition to typology, because literalness is not in conflict with the idea of a type.

Perhaps more accurately, popular grammatical historical hermeneutics allows those basic, most easily seen types because they do not interfere with it's structure? But we're getting off topic....



I don't see any animosity between literal and spiritual.

Neither do I, at base. I probably didn't word this as clearly as I could have. Animosity at base level is between truth and falsehood. The literal is the weakest form of truth and is subject to change (which fact the atheist mind fastens on and tries to drag all reality toward the literal and particuar (read material). He does so because he finds comfort there (read absence of normative standards). I believe all religion, Christianity included, tend toward the literal as a means escape from the same pressure (Truth) the atheist hates. This said, there does exist animosity between literal and spiritual because the natural bent of the religious mind toward the stricter forms of literalism creates a blockage of truth...and this adherence becomes, to varying degrees, a falsehood of its own. Hence, the animosity, which again boils down to the antithesis between true and fasle.


Their problem wasn't that they demanded strict literalism. He came against their traditions and their hypocrisy. They were whitewashed tombs, looking good on the outside but being full of evil inside.
And here is an example of what I'm talking about. The focus of the literalist is on PARTICULARS, in which he sees Jesus' detractors as evil individuals. On a broader, more abstract and spiritual level, Christ was not showing us in those who opposed Him bad people, He was holding a mirror up to all who read the Bible. Those who read the NT and see "those bad Pharisees" stand condemned, because the great type here is of the human heart (spirit) itself. He wasn't showing us bad people, He was showing us ourselves. Bad people didn't murder Christ, you and I did. This is an example of the animosity between the literal and spiritual.

Listen: "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (Mat 15:17-20)
Note the comparison of literal to universal. First reference is to particuar reality (eating of 'wrong' foods) while Jesus leads away from this to spiritaul causes welling up from within, which have nothing to do with food itself.



Things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness have no reality in themselves unless there is some kind of framework in which they can be manifested. You're trying to divorce what you call 'spiritual' from 'literal' but one can't have justice in a purely 'spiritual' (as you seem to be defining it) sense.

You're not understanding me. I accept as necessary that literal and spiritual are manifestations of the same reality. Aquinas and the medievals taught this and I draw a good portion of my own theology from them.



People cry out for justice because some wrong has been done. The wrong that has been done was not done in the abstract.

Read the Mat 15 quote above....it claims the opposite. Sin merely finds its expression in literal particulars, but is actually from evil in the spirit. Don't believe me if you wish, but believe the Son of God who taught it.



If there is conflict, then one or the other is being wrongly understood -- either on the spiritual or the literal side. When the understanding is on the mark, there will be no conflict.


Precisely as I see it. In the end, the perfection and unity of truth will rule the day.



In the case of those to whom Jesus spoke, those who heard were those who were receptive to Him. They are the ones who have ears to hear spiritually.

Agreed. What were the prerequisites of those who heard? What causes hearing? Is the hearing physical (sound waves striking ear drums, translated into concepts in consciousness) or spiritual? What do you think is truth's relationship to hearing in either sense?

Btw, thanks for the lively exchange, TanyaP.

Tanya~
Dec 5th 2007, 05:20 AM
[QUOTE] One who contends for harsh literalism as the only or primary form of proper Bibical interpretation.

What I am trying to get at is, what do you mean by HARSH literalism? Do you mean extreme literalism, as in nothing in Scripture can be understood figuratively?


Discerning spiritual meaning/truth from Scripture, whether in its base literal or deeper spiritual forms is discernment of prescriptive truth

I don't have any problem with that. I believe in understanding Scripture spiritually. In fact unless one has the Holy Spirit and is thus spiritual, one cannot understand Scripture, even if one can understand the sentences.


I find it ironic that the modern literalist concedes types and symbolism, then relegates those they discern to the realm of the obvious to the exclusion of all else, depsite the fact that a rational study of the Lord's words and the principles they embrace almost universally point away from the literal and toward the abstract and spiritual (as noted in my previous post).

All of what Jesus said was spiritual.


John 6:63-64
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.


Literalism is by its nature narrow controlling. Many of Jesus' criticisms of the religious hierarchy of His day speak directly to this point.

Well maybe if you define what you mean by literalism I will understand better what it is you're trying to say. I can't really tell what it is you're rejecting. You believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead, yet you're saying that literalism is narrow and controlling. Is it wrong to believe that there are things in Scripture that should be understood literally?

When Jesus spoke in parables, He wasn't really talking about soil and seeds, dough and leaven, birds and trees. Are you saying that a "harsh literalist" doesn't recognize Jesus' figurative language?


The point I was making in my previous post, illustrated in the quote above, is that strict adherence to manmade standards of interpretation are immediately thrown into question by the very idea that God has manipulated circumstances in time to paint typological/figurative references throughout the Bible. This is about as far from author intent as one can get.


1 Peter 1:10-12
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things which angels desire to look into.

I probably didn't word this as clearly as I could have. Animosity at base level is between truth and falsehood. The literal is the weakest form of truth

How is the literal the weakest form of truth? Jesus died and rose again. He literally died, and He literally came back to life physically. That is the most powerful truth in all of human history. Truth ultimately manifests in some way. If there is no manifestation of truth, then how can it have any power? But manifestation requires something that is literal, no matter how figuratively that truth is expressed or taught.



And here is an example of what I'm talking about. The focus of the literalist is on PARTICULARS, in which he sees Jesus' detractors as evil individuals. On a broader, more abstract and spiritual level, Christ was not showing us in those who opposed Him bad people, He was holding a mirror up to all who read the Bible. Those who read the NT and see "those bad Pharisees" stand condemned, because the great type here is of the human heart (spirit) itself. He wasn't showing us bad people, He was showing us ourselves. Bad people didn't murder Christ, you and I did. This is an example of the animosity between the literal and spiritual.

Excellent point. I agree. Yet I also believe that there were literal Pharisees and Sadduccees, and there were also was a literal Mary who was not one of them. If one looks at the Pharisee and sees himself, he will either be convicted and repent, or he will refuse to see it. Each character in Scripture can be seen in an archetypal sense, and we can indeed see ourselves in them. If the shoe fits... repent.


Heb 4:12-13
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.


2 Tim 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

It sounds to me as if you want to completely dispense with any literal understanding of Scripture, but I think by doing so, you become guilty of the very thing you accuse these so-called "harsh literalists" of doing, but on the flip-side. It's like the Pharisees vs. the Sadducees. They were both wrong, albeit in different ways.



Listen: "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (Mat 15:17-20)
Note the comparison of literal to universal. First reference is to particuar reality (eating of 'wrong' foods) while Jesus leads away from this to spiritaul causes welling up from within, which have nothing to do with food itself.

Yes, that's easy to see, as Jesus plainly explains Himself in the passage. When I think of people who wrongly "spiritualize" things, it isn't when they understand the things that are spiritual. It is when they take something that is meant one way, as if it is meant a completely different way, twisting the Scripture to prove their own points, handling the word of God in a deceitful way in order to accomplish some goal that they have.

Bernie
Dec 5th 2007, 10:35 PM
Hi TanyaP,


Is it wrong to believe that there are things in Scripture that should be understood literally? .....It sounds to me as if you want to completely dispense with any literal understanding of Scripture, but I think by doing so, you become guilty of the very thing you accuse these so-called "harsh literalists" of doing, but on the flip-side.
The 'sound' you hear of me wanting to dispense with any literal understanding of Scripture may be due to some bias in your perception, TanyaP. You appear to have missed my addressing this issue in my last post....
"You're not understanding me. I accept as necessary that literal and spiritual are manifestations of the same reality. Aquinas and the medievals taught this and I draw a good portion of my own theology from them." Not only the medieval theologians, but most of the older mystics also maintained (which I accept) that literal and spiritual are necessary constituents of a single reality. I'm not against literal interpretation, I'm against the degree to which modern literalism tends to be controlling, often (certainly not always...I hold orthodoxy in high respect) to the detriment of truth. How this is so Jesus shows us in the NT. I'm not criticising you, I'm criticising us. When Christianity reaches the day we can no longer criticize ourselves, we're in trouble... "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?" (2Cor 13:5)

The term harsh literalism is another way of saying excessive literalism.


If one looks at the Pharisee and sees himself, he will either be convicted and repent, or he will refuse to see it. Each character in Scripture can be seen in an archetypal sense, and we can indeed see ourselves in them. If the shoe fits... repent.
Well put. But we often repent of some things while holding to other evils. And if we extrapolate this out, the particular elements of most facets of the faith disolve into a fragmented mass of saved/not saved elements within every individual. I.e., we stuggle with some things and stand strong in others. Every individual is, at any particular moment in time, a fragmented conglomerate of true and false, hearing and not hearing, illumination and failed understanding, good and evil, truth and falsehood, etc.


When I think of people who wrongly "spiritualize" things, it isn't when they understand the things that are spiritual. It is when they take something that is meant one way, as if it is meant a completely different way, twisting the Scripture to prove their own points, handling the word of God in a deceitful way in order to accomplish some goal that they have.
In the spirit of the OP, let's address on this. How do you or I know that when someone spiritualizes he or she is actually out in left field? The Pharisees undoubtedly all got together shook their heads at the heretic from Nazareth, sure of themselves to the point of arogance re their standing with God and in truth, that this upstart was of the devil (which, of course, they accused Him of).

In the set of circumstances in which "A" offers a spiritual proposition/interpretation of Scripture and "B" denounces the interpretation as false, what is the proper test for correctly determining who is right? Within Christianity, Calvinists and Arminians have been going at one another for over 400 years. Both use generally the same interpretive methodology (heavily literal), yet they arrive at very different salvational pictures. Both claim to be more true than the other. We have in either instance three players, Truth "A" and "B", or Truth Calvinist or Arminian. Because truth logically attains the perfection of pure unity, and there is disunity in either set, from whence arises the disunity or falsity...and how is unity with absolute Truth attained?

What blocked the "hearing" of the Pharisees? This is actually the same state of affairs as the above sets of circumstances...there is in the equation a lack of the internal (meaning in the human intellect) uniting with external truth. How is this overcome?

Tanya~
Dec 6th 2007, 02:39 AM
Hi Bernie,


I'm not against literal interpretation, I'm against the degree to which modern literalism tends to be controlling, often (certainly not always...I hold orthodoxy in high respect) to the detriment of truth. How this is so Jesus shows us in the NT. I'm not criticising you, I'm criticising us. When Christianity reaches the day we can no longer criticize ourselves, we're in trouble... "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?" (2Cor 13:5)

The term harsh literalism is another way of saying excessive literalism.

Please help me out here! :help: What do you mean by excessive literalism? Can you provide an example of someone using excessive literalism so I can understand what you're against?



But we often repent of some things while holding to other evils.

Well that's true, but I'm not sure what that has to do with excessive literalism. I know people who excessively spiritualize, who do not repent.


And if we extrapolate this out, the particular elements of most facets of the faith disolve into a fragmented mass of saved/not saved elements within every individual. I.e., we stuggle with some things and stand strong in others. Every individual is, at any particular moment in time, a fragmented conglomerate of true and false, hearing and not hearing, illumination and failed understanding, good and evil, truth and falsehood, etc.

Methinks thou dost overthink it. :) Each of us is growing in our faith and to the extent that we are able to hear, that we receive and use, God gives us more. This is how we grow. If we will not hear, then even what we have will be taken away. But I still don't know what that has to do with excessive literalism. Maybe it's because I still don't know what you mean by it. I do wish you would give me a clear definition.


In the spirit of the OP, let's address on this. How do you or I know that when someone spiritualizes he or she is actually out in left field? The Pharisees undoubtedly all got together shook their heads at the heretic from Nazareth, sure of themselves to the point of arogance re their standing with God and in truth, that this upstart was of the devil (which, of course, they accused Him of).

The problem though, wasn't that they failed to 'spiritualize' but that they didn't have the love of God in them.


In the set of circumstances in which "A" offers a spiritual proposition/interpretation of Scripture and "B" denounces the interpretation as false, what is the proper test for correctly determining who is right?

In some cases things are argued that really have no relevance one way or the other. The truth of Christ is what is essential, and if something is contrary to the revealed truth in Christ, then it is to be rejected.



Within Christianity, Calvinists and Arminians have been going at one another for over 400 years. Both use generally the same interpretive methodology (heavily literal), yet they arrive at very different salvational pictures. Both claim to be more true than the other. We have in either instance three players, Truth "A" and "B", or Truth Calvinist or Arminian. Because truth logically attains the perfection of pure unity, and there is disunity in either set, from whence arises the disunity or falsity...and how is unity with absolute Truth attained?

Unity is in Christ. Whether Calvinist or Arminian or something other than either, the end result for each believer is the same. Christ is not divided. The Calvinist argues that nobody can believe unless God makes him believe. The Arminian argues that man has free will and can choose to believe. Yet with both, those who believe the gospel are in Christ. Paul said something interesting about factions in the church:


1 Cor 11:18-19
18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.


What blocked the "hearing" of the Pharisees? This is actually the same state of affairs as the above sets of circumstances...there is in the equation a lack of the internal (meaning in the human intellect) uniting with external truth. How is this overcome?

Jesus tells us how it is overcome:


Mark 4:24-25
24 Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

Bernie
Dec 6th 2007, 10:54 PM
Hi TanyaP,

The literalism thing is peripheral and irrelevant to the intent of the thread.


Methinks thou dost overthink it.
Possibly. Or perhaps the average Christian becomes content with what's taught and doesn't think these things through as thoroughly as they should.


The problem though, wasn't that they failed to 'spiritualize' but that they didn't have the love of God in them.
Okay, but you sidestepped the question: "How do you or I know that when someone spiritualizes he or she is actually out in left field?" This is about testing truth claims. Where and how, in disputed theologies/interpretations, do truth and falsity exist? What role do they play in the exchange?


The truth of Christ is what is essential, and if something is contrary to the revealed truth in Christ, then it is to be rejected.
Okay, how do you know when you have the truth of Christ and the other guy doesn't? When he fails to agree with you?


Unity is in Christ.
What does this statement mean in real terms?


Christ is not divided. The Calvinist argues that nobody can believe unless God makes him believe. The Arminian argues that man has free will and can choose to believe. Yet with both, those who believe the gospel are in Christ.
So would you 'overthink' this with me for a bit and agree that the information contained by either C or A can be said to be fragmented into subsets of information, some true and some false using as a point of reference, absolute Truth (meaning pure truth, or God's essence)?


Jesus tells us how it is overcome:

Mark 4:24-25
24 Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."
What sort of "hearing" is the Lord talking about? What does He mean when He says "more will be given"? More what? What will be taken from the one who does not have? Try not to answer this from the doctrine you've been taught, think about it and use your own words and ideas.

I'm enjoying our exchange, TanyaP. You're an honorable correspondent, as re the saying 'honorable men (and women) may both agree and disagree honorably'.

Tanya~
Dec 6th 2007, 11:54 PM
Okay, how do you know when you have the truth of Christ and the other guy doesn't? When he fails to agree with you?

No, I know that someone doesn't have the truth of Christ when they deny Him, when they deny the gospel.



What does this statement mean in real terms?

Those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ are one in Him. Even though we may disagree on various theological issues, we are still one in Him. Unless one does not have Him, in which case we are not united.



So would you 'overthink' this with me for a bit and agree that the information contained by either C or A can be said to be fragmented into subsets of information, some true and some false using as a point of reference, absolute Truth (meaning pure truth, or God's essence)?

Sure.



What sort of "hearing" is the Lord talking about? What does He mean when He says "more will be given"? More what? What will be taken from the one who does not have? Try not to answer this from the doctrine you've been taught, think about it and use your own words and ideas.

Mark 4:11-12
11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that

'Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.'"
NKJV

The disciples were to take heed what they were hearing -- the things Jesus was telling them. Those who receive the word and understand, and use (obey) what they have been given, would be given more. Those who heard but did not receive it, even what they had been given would be taken away.



I'm enjoying our exchange, TanyaP. You're an honorable correspondent, as re the saying 'honorable men (and women) may both agree and disagree honorably'.

:)

Brother Mark
Dec 7th 2007, 12:05 AM
Mark 4:11-12
11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that

'Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.'"
NKJV

The disciples were to take heed what they were hearing -- the things Jesus was telling them. Those who receive the word and understand, and use (obey) what they have been given, would be given more. Those who heard but did not receive it, even what they had been given would be taken away.

Amen. Jesus spoke in parables and explained the meaning to the disciples. Jesus taught exactly like God teaches because they are the same. Things spoken in scripture can be understood through the Spirit. But there is much there we do not understand at first glance, for parables hide truth while the Spirit reveals it.

Tanya~
Dec 7th 2007, 02:19 AM
(Thanks Mark!) Another thing I wanted to add in relation to that parable...

John came preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He was the forerunner of Jesus. Those who heard John and repented (and received his baptism) were prepared to hear and receive Jesus.
Luke 7:29-30
And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
Those who rejected John's baptism also rejected Jesus. Because they rejected Him, they were not given to receive more -- the understanding of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Those who obeyed what they did hear (repent) were given more. Those who did not obey, even what they did have was taken away. Thus:


Matt 13:11-17

11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.'

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
NKJV

Mark F
Dec 7th 2007, 03:47 AM
John 2:19


"Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
NKJV

Is this in fact a figurative statement? We think of a structure when we read the word "temple". Jesus Christ was the only perfect house of God that has ever been on earth. Even though nobody understood it dosen't mean it was figurative. Jesus use of the word "temple" is as true as it gets. I consider this a very literal statement.

Now this I consider a spiritual truth, or figurative:
John 6:51


"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” NKJV


John 3:3

"Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot .....(see)..... the kingdom of God.”

When I study, I always want to recognise (which I admittedly miss sometimes) the Person of Christ. If you think about it, all truth fails in comparison to the revelation of Jesus. Every aspect of our lives always should be evaluated as to how it relates to Him, as also unbelievers its just that they don't know it.

All descriptions of God must be figurative, obviously He has no arm, yet in Psalms He found no man and His own arm brought salvation, He's not a rock, but Peter and Paul both referred to Him as such. He is unsearchable, how else could we understand the vastness of how He can meet any need?

Psalm 19:7


"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;" NKJV


Just a few thoughts...

Mark

Bernie
Dec 7th 2007, 05:26 PM
Greetings TanyaP,

Thanks for continuing our walk here.



someone doesn't have the truth of Christ when they deny Him, when they deny the gospel.



Those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ are one in Him. Even though we may disagree on various theological issues, we are still one in Him. Unless one does not have Him, in which case we are not united.
I think it would suit the purpose of the thread to press 'pause' here and explore the meaning of these statements. I'm trying to figure out truth's real relationship to belief, remember. Expressions of belief like the two above, as is true of all such statements, are preceded by conceptual structures (our presuppositions) pertinent to each individual, which tend to make communication difficult sometimes. As I see it, the elements of each person's theological structure exist in some fragmented ration of unity or disunity (true or false) with respect to absolute truth. If ideas were apples, and prescriptive 'apples' were all kept in a single barrel, some would be shiny and red and others dark and rotten...but together, they make up a single entity, one's theology. Btw, I use the word "prescriptive" because it tends to work as a blanket term for a number of other words we use to refer to the same class of concepts....spiritual/ethical/moral, etc. All are normative in nature, which nature suggests prescriptive value, distinct from descriptive truth (what pertains to matter, time and space, like scientific study, etc.).

I'm not trying to bore you, but want to set the stage for exploring our theological terminology as carefully as we can without talking past each other.

In your first statement, " I know that someone doesn't have the truth of Christ when they deny Him, when they deny the gospel", "A" may have a differnt interpretation than "B" of what the "truth of Christ" means, which will naturally adjust "A"s discernment/interpretation of the last part of this statement, "when they deny Him...they deny the gospel".

Remember, Jesus' detractors thought He was talking about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days, but in this case, the literal truth of His statement was placed before them in such a way that its actuality was hidden from them. Traditional thinking tends to miss possible realms of significance here, I suspect. In this case, we could say Jesus' language was by nature esoteric (hidden), but only hidden by virtue of Jesus allowing His enemies to draw wrong conclusions. Their conclusions were triggered by a priori assumptions, and the argument can reasonably be made that the force of those assumptions expresed some apparently high ratio of falsity within their theological "apple barrel". Assuming that we humans all have the same propensity to fallenness as they, how do we know where truth lies in the statement "When they deny Christ, they deny the gospel"?

For instance, hearing, it may again be reasonably be argued, can come in both literal (sound waves in ear, translating to neuronal activity in brain) and spiritual (internall illumination or revelational transfer of truth laying outside physical transfer) means. If we can conced the truth potential of either method, then one need not "hear" words spoken in a certain order, leading to a certain set of doctrines in order to "hear the truth of Christ".

Looking at your second statement, "Those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ are one in Him. Even though we may disagree on various theological issues, we are still one in Him. Unless one does not have Him, in which case we are not united", questions are raised in the spirit of discerning possible truth...
1) Those who "believe" in what sense of belief? Is it possible for a Moslem peasant in an isolated region of Iran to "hear" Christ's call, and if not what would this person hear? Assuming Christ is Truth (Jn 14:6), a person "hearing" Christ would have to at base hear "Truth", as I see it.
2) To what degree may one disagree in theology and still be un unity?

This is enough for this post, looking forward to your answers.

Hi MarkF,


Quote:
"Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
NKJV
Is this in fact a figurative statement? We think of a structure when we read the word "temple". Jesus Christ was the only perfect house of God that has ever been on earth. Even though nobody understood it dosen't mean it was figurative. Jesus use of the word "temple" is as true as it gets. I consider this a very literal statement.

Now this I consider a spiritual truth, or figurative:
John 6:51

Quote:
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” NKJV
John 3:3

Quote:
"Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot .....(see)..... the kingdom of God.”

I see your point here, and think the answer may be that all three are figurative insofar as they meet the requirements of figurative language (i.e., all being to different degrees emblematic/symbolic figures of speech). I think you provide a good representation of the principle that there are varying levels or shades of meaning and truth in Scripture, that some truths are nearer our natural perception, more amenable to grasping with a minumum or 'surface' understanding and others more 'distant'.

If true, this structure suggests what traditional Christianity has said from the beginning, that there are layers of truth and meaning to be mined from the Scriptures not readily apparent to the rational eye....although when revealed, all such revelation can be seen to be perfectly rational and logical in nature.


Jesus spoke in parables and explained the meaning to the disciples. Jesus taught exactly like God teaches because they are the same. Things spoken in scripture can be understood through the Spirit. But there is much there we do not understand at first glance, for parables hide truth while the Spirit reveals it.

Well put, Brother Mark. I'm trying to figure out why (and, where possible, how much) truth might be 'hidden' from us in Scripture.

Tanya~
Dec 7th 2007, 07:11 PM
Assuming that we humans all have the same propensity to fallenness as they, how do we know where truth lies in the statement "When they deny Christ, they deny the gospel"?

I think if it's so difficult, then one may as well give up. This is why words have to mean things, and the meaning of the words has to be understandable, at least on some basic level.


For instance, hearing, it may again be reasonably be argued, can come in both literal (sound waves in ear, translating to neuronal activity in brain) and spiritual (internall illumination or revelational transfer of truth laying outside physical transfer) means. If we can conced the truth potential of either method, then one need not "hear" words spoken in a certain order, leading to a certain set of doctrines in order to "hear the truth of Christ".

Hearing (physical sound waves) they hear but do not understand. Why? It is simply because they rejected what Jesus said to begin with. What they heard at the beginning, they rejected. So from that point, they continued to hear the sound waves, but didn't 'hear' in the spiritual sense that is to understand, to take heed, to receive the thing spoken.



1) Those who "believe" in what sense of belief? Is it possible for a Moslem peasant in an isolated region of Iran to "hear" Christ's call, and if not what would this person hear? Assuming Christ is Truth (Jn 14:6), a person "hearing" Christ would have to at base hear "Truth", as I see it.

There are testimonies of Muslims having visions of Christ (http://www.epm.org/articles/dreams_visions.html) which gives them opportunity to respond. If they receive it, they are given more. Many come to Christ. If they reject it, they will not receive more.



2) To what degree may one disagree in theology and still be un unity?

If one believes the gospel, one is in Christ. And if we are in Christ, we are unified in Him. We can be divided on other grounds which is a sad thing but a necessary thing, and it was prophesied that it would be so.

I'm finding myself doing a lot of head-scratching here. I'm finding the discussion to be oddly frustrating. Don't know why. I really am having a hard time understanding what your point is.

Brother Mark
Dec 7th 2007, 07:33 PM
Well put, Brother Mark. I'm trying to figure out why (and, where possible, how much) truth might be 'hidden' from us in Scripture.

I understand the sentiments. I think there is more than we could ever imagine tucked away in the scriptures.

Rom 16:25-27

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
NASB

Is anything so sweet as to have the Spirit open our eyes to see the "parables" of the Old and New Testament reveal our precious Savior.

1 Peter 1:13

13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
NASB

Much grace comes when our eyes are opened and the Lord reveals himself to us in His word.

Can why and how much be answered? Perhaps but it is, what it is.

Blessings,

Mark

Bernie
Dec 7th 2007, 09:33 PM
Hi TanyaP,



I think if it's so difficult, then one may as well give up. This is why words have to mean things, and the meaning of the words has to be understandable, at least on some basic level.

But shouldn't we expect the pursuit of truth to be difficult? Peter noted, "AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?" (1Pet 4:18) And the Lord Himself taught, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." (Mat 7:13-14). In Revelation, the Lord promises salvation to those who overcome, suggesting to me that to search out Truth Himself, difficult as it may be to find Him, is certainly worth the effort.



Hearing (physical sound waves) they hear but do not understand. Why? It is simply because they rejected what Jesus said to begin with. What they heard at the beginning, they rejected. So from that point, they continued to hear the sound waves, but didn't 'hear' in the spiritual sense that is to understand, to take heed, to receive the thing spoken.

But is it really so simple? Looking at the act of accepting and rejecting, is it possible that to "hear" Christ's call can proceed only from a necessary prior alignment? In other words, to what extent might it be possible that one has to be made capable of hearing and understanding before he/she can move the will to accept or reject the call?



There are testimonies of Muslims having visions of Christ (http://www.epm.org/articles/dreams_visions.html) which gives them opportunity to respond. If they receive it, they are given more. Many come to Christ. If they reject it, they will not receive more.


How do you arrive at the conclusion that once rejected, God gives no more chances?



If one believes the gospel, one is in Christ. And if we are in Christ, we are unified in Him. We can be divided on other grounds which is a sad thing but a necessary thing, and it was prophesied that it would be so.

Okay, let's try an example here, to clarify what you're saying. A progressive might say the gospel is primarily or purely conceptual and requires no historical, risen Christ, that to believe in good and reject evil on any level (or to principally seek the good despite a natural disposition toward evil) itself is sufficient for salvation. The conservative will say that the literal, historical, resurrected Christ is necessary to fufill the gospel message and award salvation. Is one of these views wholly or mostly true and other false? Which is true, and why?



I'm finding myself doing a lot of head-scratching here. I'm finding the discussion to be oddly frustrating. Don't know why. I really am having a hard time understanding what your point is.

I'm mostly trying to ask questions aimed down roads I've been on for some time, trying to see how others respond. My own opinion is that the human mind is essentially lazy about spiritual things, for good reason;truth is the enemy of falsity, and whenever the two are introduced to one another, a certain tension and resistance rises in the human intellect. We call this the moral law. If you stop and think about it, in a perfect (wholly true) state, prescriptive/moral pressure wouldn't exist. Perfect unity provides perfect ease, happiness, contentment, etc. We're evil beings, and when we study spiritual concepts, we 'sting' the old man within, who prefers the comfort of darkness. The atheist mind is a good example of this; it reacts most violently against Truth it has not been cleansed to "hear" and "see". Hence the myriad arguments and philosophies which seek to hide or cover up truth. This tension and resistance is normal, but it's also why it's so hard for us to get past a superficial theology and drink the deeper things of God's Spirit. Truth, the very thing that saves us, is also our enemy, so we have to be brought to it gradually, in small steps. (We Christians call this sanctification).

The above may also give you insights into my fascination with truth in the intellect and how and why it (and especially falsity, our natural spiritual disease) reacts the way it does with God's pure, holy Truth--and why I ask these questions.

It's hard to have discussions about truth, because these always end up leading into areas we find unsettling, IMO.

Brother Mark
Dec 7th 2007, 09:35 PM
I really am having a hard time understanding what your point is.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I think I might know what he is getting at. That if we are to understand all of scripture and what the Lord would have us understand, that a simple reading of scripture will not fully reveal it. That God has used stories and types and shadows to hide the truth and that truth is revealed through the Holy Spirit by revealing these things instead of revealed by much study and exogesis of passages.

Tanya~
Dec 7th 2007, 10:42 PM
Hi TanyaP,


But shouldn't we expect the pursuit of truth to be difficult? Peter noted, "AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?" (1Pet 4:18) And the Lord Himself taught, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." (Mat 7:13-14). In Revelation, the Lord promises salvation to those who overcome, suggesting to me that to search out Truth Himself, difficult as it may be to find Him, is certainly worth the effort.

The difficulty is not that it is so hard to understand. It is difficult because of what it costs.



But is it really so simple? Looking at the act of accepting and rejecting, is it possible that to "hear" Christ's call can proceed only from a necessary prior alignment? In other words, to what extent might it be possible that one has to be made capable of hearing and understanding before he/she can move the will to accept or reject the call?

From man's point of view, which is our point of view, it is about hearing and responding to what one hears. Whatever you believe about the mechanism of that response is irrelevant to the command to repent and believe the gospel.



How do you arrive at the conclusion that once rejected, God gives no more chances?

I didn't say that, nor did I mean that.



Okay, let's try an example here, to clarify what you're saying. A progressive might say the gospel is primarily or purely conceptual and requires no historical, risen Christ, that to believe in good and reject evil on any level (or to principally seek the good despite a natural disposition toward evil) itself is sufficient for salvation. The conservative will say that the literal, historical, resurrected Christ is necessary to fufill the gospel message and award salvation. Is one of these views wholly or mostly true and other false? Which is true, and why?

If Christ is not risen, we are all still in our sins.


It's hard to have discussions about truth, because these always end up leading into areas we find unsettling, IMO.

:) I still don't understand what you're arguing about.

Bernie
Dec 8th 2007, 04:07 PM
Hey, Bro Mark:


I think I might know what he is getting at. That if we are to understand all of scripture and what the Lord would have us understand, that a simple reading of scripture will not fully reveal it. That God has used stories and types and shadows to hide the truth and that truth is revealed through the Holy Spirit by revealing these things instead of revealed by much study and exogesis of passages.
Bingo! After years of online debate on various theology/philosophy boards, I'm disappointed in the degree to which we Christians argue from preconceived notions, losing sight of the main goal--TRUTH. We all do it. I'm trying to explore ways to 'crack the barrier' of superficiality. Can't do that until and unless we know 1) what constitutes superficiality in our approach to the things of God, and, 2) how we might exchange superficial theology with a drive toward truth.

I'm a high school dropout and have spent considerable time criticizing scholars, but have come to admire the way scholarship carefully picks their way through every angle, studiously poring over even the smallest matters. Lots of this seems like a waste of time, and like anyone else, sometimes scholars spiral off on their own little bents (ultimately, motive fuels the will and the direction our theology takes, but this is a different topic...) but I've come to realize that if even for the wrong reasons (fear of losing professional prestige, etc.), the methodology of scholarship is much closer to the way truth should be approached than we layfolks do our theology.

Howdy TanyaP,


The difficulty is not that it is so hard to understand. It is difficult because of what it costs.
How do you arrive at this conclusion? How do you know that the difficulty Peter speaks of might not exist on a number of levels?


From man's point of view, which is our point of view, it is about hearing and responding to what one hears. Whatever you believe about the mechanism of that response is irrelevant to the command to repent and believe the gospel.
??? huh? I don't understand this statement at all. Could you elaborate?


Quote:
How do you arrive at the conclusion that once rejected, God gives no more chances?

I didn't say that, nor did I mean that.
Forgive me if I misunderstood you. What did you mean?


Quote:
Okay, let's try an example here, to clarify what you're saying. A progressive might say the gospel is primarily or purely conceptual and requires no historical, risen Christ, that to believe in good and reject evil on any level (or to principally seek the good despite a natural disposition toward evil) itself is sufficient for salvation. The conservative will say that the literal, historical, resurrected Christ is necessary to fufill the gospel message and award salvation. Is one of these views wholly or mostly true and other false? Which is true, and why?

If Christ is not risen, we are all still in our sins.
I agree with Paul and you, but am asking you to join me in divorcing ourselves from any emotional attachment we have to this long enough to explore to what extent the progressive view might be true.

For instance, the principle that literal meaning can be representative of deeper truth--included in the subject of this section and this particular thread--does hold up to examination. On the other hand, I struggle with granting assent to the notion that pure myth, devoid of literal circumstances to give rise to it, can be true....but have to be honest and admit that it's possible. On the one hand, I can't see how one can believe in a "Christ" who was never actually present on earth to die for sin, but also can't say that belief that the message is a myth necessarily cancels the salvation of the one who thus believes. See what I mean?


I still don't understand what you're arguing about.
This goes without saying, TanyaP, as the fact is, I'm not really 'arguing' about anything in particular....just asking questions. How and why do you interpret "arguing" from questions?

Brother Mark
Dec 8th 2007, 04:17 PM
Hey, Bro Mark:


Bingo! After years of online debate on various theology/philosophy boards, I'm disappointed in the degree to which we Christians argue from preconceived notions, losing sight of the main goal--TRUTH. We all do it. I'm trying to explore ways to 'crack the barrier' of superficiality. Can't do that until and unless we know 1) what constitutes superficiality in our approach to the things of God, and, 2) how we might exchange superficial theology with a drive toward truth.

I'm a high school dropout and have spent considerable time criticizing scholars, but have come to admire the way scholarship carefully picks their way through every angle, studiously poring over even the smallest matters. Lots of this seems like a waste of time, and like anyone else, sometimes scholars spiral off on their own little bents (ultimately, motive fuels the will and the direction our theology takes, but this is a different topic...) but I've come to realize that if even for the wrong reasons (fear of losing professional prestige, etc.), the methodology of scholarship is much closer to the way truth should be approached than we layfolks do our theology.

I have thought about this stuff a little bit. I think it's both my friend. For instance, when Paul wrote much of scripture after Acts, much of it is precept upon precept, or if you will, a fuller explanation to the modern day disciples of many of the parables and types and shadows. Often he drops little hints in his epistles to the OT types. For instance, to the Corinthians he spoke of "God that shined light in the darkness" was a quote from Genesis 1. Paul was saying that Genesis 1 was a type of how the Corinthians got saved. Just as light entered the world, so light entered their hearts. Darkness was upon the face of the deep of my heart. The holy Spirit hovered over my heart. Then God said "let their be Light" in my heart and I was saved. As the process continues, we are made in the image of Christ and God said "it is very good". But prior to that he said "it is good". Interesting that "very good" was said after man was made in the image of God.

But that's a side track. Just thought you might enjoy it.

Precept upon precept can be seen and studied in scripture. The richness of scripture, and the power IMO, comes from a study of things that are revealed when God opens our eyes to see what before we could not see.

What first interested me in the types and shadows was when someone first began to show me Jesus in the OT. Oh how my heart burned within me when they were pointed out to me! I felt just like the two men on the road to Emmaus!

Studyin'2Show
Dec 8th 2007, 05:13 PM
I'm going to jump in here and I hope my example doesn't seem to trivial as to offend. I actually just taught on the concept you mentioned Mark; precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line. I repeated because God's word does and there is much to be gleaned from that simple fact. Here's the scripture from which it comes:

Isaiah 28:12-13
12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was to them,

“ Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,”
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught.

God had given us ALL we need to gain understanding on the deepest level but unfortunately most do not take the time required to do so. It's more than just the repetition of reading scripture over and over although that is a good place to start. Like crawling before you walk and walking before you run. Anyway, here is the example I used in my teaching.

I have a 10 yr old son that has a PS2 game system. I'm forty and my hubby and I have a friend who's a little older than me who comes over and will play with my son sometimes. When they play football, my son always beats him like 98-17 or something ridiculous like that. :D Why? Because although our friend understands many things about the game system, he has not spent the time and effort to go beyond the basic understanding to the level upon level, level upon level understanding. Now, if I were to sit down to play, I would have to learn even the basics. What does the triangle do? What does the 'X' do? What does the square do? And so on. I don't even want to imagine what the score would be if I played my son! :o It wouldn't just be a blowout, it would be a massacre! :lol: Okay, let me get to the point. My son, in this example, has gone beyond the basic understanding. He has exceeded understanding the different levels. He has taken it to the point of reading gamer magazines and going online to gain even deeper understanding. One level is built upon the next, and the next upon the next, and the next upon the next. If I were to even try to read the gamer magazine it would be like reading a different language and I would not understand it. One can not go out to build a 5 story building and build the fifth floor first. You MUST build the first floor and upon that put the second and then the third and so on.

In far too many cases, believers seem absolutely satisfied with only the most basic of foundations and nothing else built upon it. Or they will attempt to go straight to the third floor and because it has not been built upon a solid first and second floor of understanding they may come to a message board and attempt to discuss that which they are not properly equipped to discuss because their understanding has no foundation beneath it. When the rains come and the wind beats against it, it crumbles! And, unfortunately, the unbelievers see and they gawk and laugh and think, unwisely, that their flimsy interpretation of it is what our faith really is. :rolleyes:

The solution, as I see it, is to take the time and effort to build good precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, so that WE may be effect disciples for our Messiah. And as proper ambassadors for Him, we must strive to teach those we disciple and lead to Him, that they need to build their understanding in the same fashion; precept upon precept! :idea:

God Bless!

Tanya~
Dec 8th 2007, 05:21 PM
How do you arrive at this conclusion? How do you know that the difficulty Peter speaks of might not exist on a number of levels?

How do you know that it does? When I read the passage in context, I see what he's talking about. He's talking about righteousness and suffering. If you want to read other stuff into it, and if you feel that this makes you more understanding of truth than me, then so be it. I don't know that Peter is speaking on other levels. What he says there is hard enough, and I accept it at face value. If in your view that makes me a 'harsh literalist' or that I will not be saved because of it, then I guess I'll have to just live with that.


??? huh? I don't understand this statement at all. Could you elaborate?Well I'll try to answer the question again. You had said:
But is it really so simple? Looking at the act of accepting and rejecting, is it possible that to "hear" Christ's call can proceed only from a necessary prior alignment? In other words, to what extent might it be possible that one has to be made capable of hearing and understanding before he/she can move the will to accept or reject the call?From our point of view, all we have to go on is what we have been given. When we respond to what we have been given, then we receive more. Then we must respond to that. Then we receive more. And on and on. To whom much is given, much will be required.



Forgive me if I misunderstood you. What did you mean?A person receives revelation from God. He either (a) receives it, in which case he will then receive more; or he (b) rejects it, in which case he will not receive more. In other words, if someone rejects the degree of revelation that they HAVE been given, God will not give them even more (higher, greater) revelation in an attempt to get them to respond to Him. If they reject what they have been given, then that's all they'll get. And in the end if they rejected it to the end, even that will be taken away.


For instance, the principle that literal meaning can be representative of deeper truth--included in the subject of this section and this particular thread--does hold up to examination. On the other hand, I struggle with granting assent to the notion that pure myth, devoid of literal circumstances to give rise to it, can be true....but have to be honest and admit that it's possible. On the one hand, I can't see how one can believe in a "Christ" who was never actually present on earth to die for sin, but also can't say that belief that the message is a myth necessarily cancels the salvation of the one who thus believes. See what I mean?If a person only understands Christ as a myth, then he doesn't understand Christ at all. Belief that Jesus has been raised from the dead is essential to salvation. If one doesn't even believe that Jesus was God manifest in human flesh (literally, really, truly), then he doesn't have Christ.

The literal resurrection of Christ IS the deep truth. IF Christ is NOT risen, we are all still in our sins.


This goes without saying, TanyaP, as the fact is, I'm not really 'arguing' about anything in particular....just asking questions. How and why do you interpret "arguing" from questions?An argument is setting forth a case over against another case. You're arguing, even though you're posing your arguments in the form of questions. You have a case to make, an axe to grind, a beef against something. At the beginning you were using language indicating a certain disdain for what you were calling "harsh literalism" but you never did answer my questions about what you meant by that -- you simply moved away from it. So I'm still trying to figure out what your beef is.

Brother Mark
Dec 8th 2007, 05:25 PM
I'm going to jump in here and I hope my example doesn't seem to trivial as to offend. I actually just taught on the concept you mentioned Mark; precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line. I repeated because God's word does and there is much to be gleaned from that simple fact. Here's the scripture from which it comes:

Thanks S2S. I was referring to the word when I used that phrase. Scripture also speaks in parables and dark sayings. In other words, without both, we miss out on the fullness of the word. It is both precept upon precept and the hidden truths.

Bernie
Dec 8th 2007, 08:44 PM
Hi TanyaP,


How do you know that it does?
I suspect there exist layers of meaning in all Scripture from personal experience and study, common sense and insights I believe the Spirit of God has granted me, same as any other Christian. Christians from all walks often mention levels and layers of meaning in Scripture, so this is certainly not a new concept.


When I read the passage in context, I see what he's talking about. He's talking about righteousness and suffering. If you want to read other stuff into it, and if you feel that this makes you more understanding of truth than me, then so be it.
Come now, TanyaP, you needn't be abrasive. This is about learning, my questions aren't designed as a personal attack of any sort, they're designed to help us think. How do you know that "other stuff" me or anyone else might "read into it" is false and not true? What tests of truth do you use? The Pharisees read into Christ's words that He would rebuild the literal temple in Jerusalem. Had they carefully asked questions, they could have easily arrived at the truth of what Jesus was teaching. All I'm trying to do is find out why we don't ask the questions we should, why we have this tendency to fasten on what we're largely taught by others to the exclusion of a reasonable effort to test our own truth claims.


I don't know that Peter is speaking on other levels. What he says there is hard enough, and I accept it at face value. If in your view that makes me a 'harsh literalist' or that I will not be saved because of it, then I guess I'll have to just live with that.
Of course I have never accused you of being a harsh literalist or ventured any opinion regarding your or anyone else's salvation. Why are you becoming increasingly agitated and antagonistic? BTW, I also didn't suggest that Peter was "speaking on other levels". I asked, "How do you know that the difficulty Peter speaks of might not exist on a number of levels?" I believe levels of truth and meaning in Scripture are placed there by God, the authors are only minor contributors to God's word--though highly honored and blessed to have been chosen to this task. As to accepting Scripture at "face value", we often do no such thing, but mix our own meaning in with God's. The hard part is figuring out His from ours. This is just our fallen nature; we all do it.

The questions about the mechanics of hearing and not hearing, while pertinent to the spirit of the thread, is nonetheless a bit peripheral and moves us toward a new discussion (the Calvinist/Arminian controversy) so it would probably be best to depart this.


If a person only understands Christ as a myth, then he doesn't understand Christ at all.
This is an interesting statement. I tend to take the position that rejecting the historical/literal birth, death and resurrection of Jesus as fails primarily because it falsifies a literal truth. I accept on faith, supported by evidence that Christ Jesus was God incarnate, was crucified, died for sins, and rose from the dead. Digging deeper, I want to ask why is the progressive not "saved" by failing to believe this? Though he opts for more secular forms of theology like historical criticism, many I've corresponded with still accept as true the basic concept or (in their language) "mythical truth" of the Christian message, regardless of the reality or lack thereof of the historical Christ.

I accept that man is by nature fallen and degenerate....my progressive correspondents often accept that man is largely good, but has the natural tendency toward imperfection and error. I accept that Christ was born, died, and rose from the dead as a propitiation for sins. They accept that in this natural tendency toward imperfection, the spiritual Bible message is that God is remaking by some form of "spiritual evolution" what we mess up. They accept these kinds of things and maintain membership and allegiance in a church. Many, perhaps most, accept that murder, taking the Lord's name in vain, stealing, etc. are avoidable forms of sin...same as you and I. Whether you or I accept their religious allegiance as legitimate or not, they maintain a religious system as we do. Might not our own religious allegiances be also suspect? Truth is a slippery thing, just when we think we've got it trapped in our own theology, it turns around a bites us on the behind.

The question I'm asking is, at what point in the journey from literal to figurative does truth itself lose its legitimacy and why? Why is the liberal unsaved? What is it about belief in certain ideals or creeds or particular ways of thinking that achieves salvation? Anyone?


You're arguing, even though you're posing your arguments in the form of questions. You have a case to make, an axe to grind, a beef against something. At the beginning you were using language indicating a certain disdain for what you were calling "harsh literalism" but you never did answer my questions about what you meant by that -- you simply moved away from it. So I'm still trying to figure out what your beef is.
Yep, I messed up. I let one of my personal biases--modern literal interpretive form, which I believe is a 'darkening agent' embedded in many, many Christian minds--slip into the conversation. And I also immediately recognized my mistake when you latched onto it and tried to move the discussion in that direction. Having run into similar circumstances many times, I've come to recognize how this works. Best defense when one feels threatened is a good offense, and can't get a good offense going till we locate something to shoot our arrows at in the other guy's beliefs. Sorry you've been focussing on this, TanyaP...you're wrong. When I have an axe to grind, I am perfectly capable and willing to roll up my sleeves and grind it. Am finding in my old age that 'axe-grinding' methods ususally do little to contribute to profitable dialog.

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He made the statement that He would rebuild the temple in three days. As He preached every day, the hard hearts of the Pharisees listened less and less to what He was saying (truth) and instead began in their spiritual sickness to "hear" what they wanted. Hence, they were ready to pounce in the rage and darkness of their heart when He told them "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

TanyaP you're looking for and "axe to grind", a "beef against something" in my posts where none is intended. If I have a beef in this thread, it's in trying to figure out why there's so little truth in discussions on Christian theology boards, and why we/I have to struggle so hard to find it. You're obviously starting to hear me "say" things about you that simply aren't there, so we probably ought to quit as it appears trying to maintain a foward-moving discussion at this point has dwindling chances of success. God bless you in your walk.

Studyin'2Show
Dec 8th 2007, 09:45 PM
Thanks S2S. I was referring to the word when I used that phrase. Scripture also speaks in parables and dark sayings. In other words, without both, we miss out on the fullness of the word. It is both precept upon precept and the hidden truths.Yes, I got that point. I wasn't adding to or contradicting what you said, merely taking it in a different direction. ;) Simply to put things into the perspective of building a house. The nails are important, the two-by-fours are important, the plywood is important, the drywall is important, and so on. One can't say that the nails are more important than the drywall or that the plywood is more important than the two-by-fours. They ALL have there unique purpose and ALL are necessary for the structure to be sound. Precept upon precept. precept upon precept. And THAT is what I see as a deficiency in the average believer. Too many are satisfied with all drywall and no nails or all nails and no plywood. Is that a problem? Yes. Can it be corrected? Absolutely!

God Bless!

Tanya~
Dec 8th 2007, 09:58 PM
Hi TanyaP,

[QUOTE]
I suspect there exist layers of meaning in all Scripture from personal experience and study, common sense and insights I believe the Spirit of God has granted me, same as any other Christian. Christians from all walks often mention levels and layers of meaning in Scripture, so this is certainly not a new concept.

Perhaps you can share with me these layers of meaning in Peter's exhortation. You suggest that he is somehow secretly saying that one can scarcely be saved, because truth is too hard for most people to understand. How do you arrive at that? Surely you must have some basis for that understanding.



How do you know that "other stuff" me or anyone else might "read into it" is false and not true? What tests of truth do you use?

How can I know that what you're reading into it is true and not false? Is there no way that I can judge your interpretation? But if we understand that the words of Peter are meant to be understood, and that they mean what they say, then we have some basis by which we can understand, and teach others. But if the words have no apparent meaning and some hidden truth must be somehow discerned from them, how can anyone know that your source is God and not yourself or something more sinister?



Why are you becoming increasingly agitated and antagonistic?

I'm finding the whole discussion increasingly frustrating. What you are suggesting is that we can't know the truth with any certainty.


I want to ask why is the progressive not "saved" by failing to believe this? Though he opts for more secular forms of theology like historical criticism, many I've corresponded with still accept as true the basic concept or (in their language) "mythical truth" of the Christian message, regardless of the reality or lack thereof of the historical Christ.

In myth, any myth can stand in the place of any other myth. Anything can be interpreted in any number of ways, to suit man's pleasure. When there is literal truth, nothing can replace it. It isn't subject to any meaning one would apply to it. One can get mythical "truth" (so-called) from any religion or no religion, following or believing in any god or no god.



The question I'm asking is, at what point in the journey from literal to figurative does truth itself lose its legitimacy and why?

I don't think truth loses legitimacy, except in the minds of those who reject it. To them, it is not legitimate. But that doesn't change the fact that it is what it is.


Why is the liberal unsaved? What is it about belief in certain ideals or creeds or particular ways of thinking that achieves salvation? Anyone?

Salvation is by believing the gospel, not a creed or ideal or a particular way of thinking. Anyone, liberal or otherwise, can be saved by believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


If I have a beef in this thread, it's in trying to figure out why there's so little truth in discussions on Christian theology boards, and why we/I have to struggle so hard to find it.

My guess, based on my own experience over the years in getting embroiled in such discussions, is that these discussions themselves are utterly fruitless and unedifying.

Jesus was very clear on what the Main Thing is. The Two commandments are the Main Thing. Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Anything apart from that is rubbish. If one understands those two things, then one understands enough of Truth to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and will find when they get there, that they have laid up for themselves treasure for eternity.

I don't think that is slippery or hard to understand. It is when we get involved in pointless disputes about questionable things that we end up having, as you say, truth biting us on the backside.

Brother Mark
Dec 8th 2007, 10:18 PM
Yes, I got that point. I wasn't adding to or contradicting what you said, merely taking it in a different direction. ;)

Got it. :cool:


Simply to put things into the perspective of building a house. The nails are important, the two-by-fours are important, the plywood is important, the drywall is important, and so on. One can't say that the nails are more important than the drywall or that the plywood is more important than the two-by-fours. They ALL have there unique purpose and ALL are necessary for the structure to be sound. Precept upon precept. precept upon precept. And THAT is what I see as a deficiency in the average believer. Too many are satisfied with all drywall and no nails or all nails and no plywood. Is that a problem? Yes. Can it be corrected? Absolutely!

God Bless!


I understand what you are getting at. I suppose I have seen the problem in the other direction. I know folks that are well versed in the precepts, but the word rarely seems to come alive to them or in their teaching. Oh, doctrines and such are there, the house is there, but the revelation of things that have to be revealed and are charged with life seem absent. They simply take the approach of dissecting the verse and using language rules to come to an understanding of what the author was saying but leave little room to hear what the Author wants to say directly to them.

Studyin'2Show
Dec 8th 2007, 10:37 PM
I guess I see the revelation as the nails that hold the house together. Without the revelation; vision, the people perish. I think you may be misreading what I mean by precept upon precept, line upon line. It has nothing to do with simple doctrine. I'm not really doctrine driven. So, you see, those who think they have the house all together but have no revelation, are fooling themselves. They may have what appears to be a house, but when the rain comes and when the wind beats against that so-called house....it WILL fall to pieces!

God Bless!

Brother Mark
Dec 8th 2007, 10:43 PM
OK. That makes sense. The bible was dead to me until the hidden revelation was revealed and the word became life.

Mark G
Dec 9th 2007, 05:21 PM
Hello to all

I'd like to add this story to this thread, maybe there's some answers in it.

What do you see?

Mat 15:30-31 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking; the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus was walking to a place where He was going to teach. He reached out and touched a man on the shoulder healing him instantly. When this man was young he had broken his leg and it did not heal properly. Because of this he limped badly and was never treated as a normal person. The instant the man was healed he fell to his knees praising Jesus as Jesus walked away. On his way home he told every person whom he saw that a man named Jesus healed him. He always enjoyed telling his story. He especially likes telling it at special occasion.

When this man was very old his grandson mentioned to him that he heard someone talking about a man named Jesus and he thought he remember that his grandfather said that he knew Him. Sitting straight up, with eyes wide-open he said, “Yes, I know all about him”. I followed him and he’s the one who healed me. He went on to tell his grandson that Jesus was sometime hard to understand and a little strange. He also told the boy that most of the people were against him because he was against our Jewish tradition, adding that he did see Him do many amazing things.

The grandson then asked him what really happened to this Jesus. The man thought for a while and then replied. You know boy, I'm not sure exactly what happened. The Government of Roman killed Him because he was causing all sorts of problems. Some of the most serious charges against him where brought by our leaders and concerned our law. Most of the people said that he was a false prophet and just a man. A few said that He was the Messiah and the Son of God. I always wondered why a false prophet would want to heal me without asking for something in return. But it is recorded that the Messiah will lead us to victory over our enemies. If Jesus was the Messiah how come he did not do this? They said that after three days He came back from the dead and I like to think that this is what happened.

Who did this man see?

Mark 10:46-52.... As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man,... was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Jesus was walking to a place where He was going to teach.
He walked by a man that was sitting by the road. The man was in need of healing and was seeking to be healed by “Jesus of Nazareth”. He was healed and instantly saw that this was going to be a life changing experience. In the next few months he learned more about God and himself than all his other years put together. Jesus taught about many things like a Kingdom not of this world and the great plan of God. However, they all agreed that most important truth that Jesus taught was that we could have a relationship with God like a Father has with His son.

When this man was very old his grandson asked him to tell the story of Jesus the Christ. Ok, I will tell it to you again, he said as he lifts his grandson on his knee. God the Father in heaven and His Son Jesus the Christ made a plan before the creation of this world. Jesus the Son of God came to earth to fulfill His part. He told us many truths. I have to admit that it was a little strange in the beginning because we had never heard anyone ever speak like Him or do the miracles that He did. He wanted us to see God as a Father. Jesus told us that if we became sons of God that through Him we will become His Church and that the Church has a special calling. I have tried to do the will of the Father since the first day that I started to see who Jesus Christ is.

It did take a pretty long time after I left everything and followed Him to start to see the perfect plan of God. I still wonder why it took me so long to understand that God first just wanted a personal relationship with me. Back in those days we went through a lot, the good far overshadowing the bad. With each new experience that we went through we learned that even the bad things happened for our own ultimate good. We learned to put our faith in God and not man. After many trials and testing we became strong, not in our self, we learned that it was His strength that made us strong. Even thought there is trouble all around us I have a peace that I cannot describe. The man went on and on until the grandson asked him about Jesus death. Every time that he talked to his grandfather about Jesus he would bring up Christ’s death because he knew that this subject always brought out a side of his grandfather that he never sees any other way.

The room became quit for just a second and tears started to form in his eyes. Israel, he said softly. That was the worst time of my life. We had to watch our Messiah die. When they took Jesus to be crucified, we all fled and hid. He was nailed to the cross and his last words were “It is finished” and He asked the Father to forgive us all because we did not know what we were doing. Everything was gone. We had lost all. During those three long days the only thing that keep living bearable was the things that we saw and hope that we had in the words that He had spoken to us.

As you know the man goes on to say. After those three days Jesus was resurrected from the dead. The Holy Spirit that God sent has revealed so much to us. Throughout these many years we’ve seen more than we could have imagined. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and did everything that was prophesied that He would do. He offered up the perfect sacrifice that God accepted. Because of this we live in a time of Grace and there is no other sacrifices needed. To see what I'm trying to say, takes time. You will have to know who Jesus is. More important and much harder you will have to understand Him. To understand Him will take experiencing some of what He experienced.

This man saw the resurrected Christ.

As his grandson sat there taken in all that he heard. His face brightens up as a thought came to him. Grandpa, I see what you are saying; you followed God in your life just like Jesus did. You went through a death concerning the things of this world and was resurrected a new man, a son of God. His grandfather then squeezed his grandson a little harder and said, “You are starting to see”.

Ta-An
Dec 9th 2007, 06:07 PM
I suspect there exist layers of meaning in all Scripture from personal experience and study, common sense and insights I believe the Spirit of God has granted me, same as any other Christian. Christians from all walks often mention levels and layers of meaning in Scripture, so this is certainly not a new concept.


.This is how I was taught :)


1st level of interpretation: Pashat.. Plain text: Who, what ,when, where, why...
2nd level of interpretation: Hermeneutics: (Midrash) Interpretation study
3rd level of interpretation: Esoteric: Hidden, you need to peel it open
4th level of interpretation: Cavalous: different mysterious, layers, numerology bible code etc.

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 06:14 PM
This is how I was taught :)


1st level of interpretation: Pashat.. Plain text: Who, what ,when, where, why...
2nd level of interpretation: Hermeneutics: (Midrash) Interpretation study
3rd level of interpretation: Esoteric: Hidden, you need to peel it open
4th level of interpretation: Cavalous: different mysterious, layers, numerology bible code etc.

Paul taught also that scripture could have layers of meanings. When he spoke of not muzzling the ox he gave a second layer of meaning. When he spoke of Isaac and Ishmael he gave layers of meanings. For some reason, this is not encouraged in private bible study. :dunno:

And of course, this was Jesus primary way of teaching. If we only use the first level you mentioned, we would never know the true meaning of many parables because they were used to intentionally hide truth.

This doesn't mean contextual reading should be discouraged. It just means that it should only be one of several ways that we read the scriptures.

Tanya~
Dec 9th 2007, 06:30 PM
Paul taught also that scripture could have layers of meanings. When he spoke of not muzzling the ox he gave a second layer of meaning. When he spoke of Isaac and Ishmael he gave layers of meanings. For some reason, this is not encouraged in private bible study. :dunno:

When a person is studying privately and is shown something by the Spirit to apply to their lives, that is one thing. When the private interpretation is passed out to others, it's different.

Regarding Paul and the muzzling of the ox, we can see that the principle is the same. If it was wrong to muzzle the ox while it labors, how much more is it wrong not to support those who labor in the word for the sake of the people's spiritual welfare? It is perfectly reasonable to apply a principle in different ways. Paul didn't change the principle.

The problem is when a person's private interpretation is imposed on others. In this way, the private interpretation cannot be evaluated. This is how people are led astray. Someone says, "God told me..." and if it is completely foreign to the teaching of Scripture, that doesn't matter because it is 'secret knowledge' or 'new revelation' and it doesn't have to be consistent with Scripture. People can say whatever they want to say, and they hold themselves above scrutiny simply because they think they have some inside knowledge.

Paul said, "Let the prophets speak, and let the others judge." There has to be some kind of objective basis by which one can judge whether what the prophet said was worthy of acceptance. "Test all things, hold fast to that which is good."

The Jews in Berea were noble because they listened to Paul with an open mind, and they searched the Scriptures to see if the things he said were true. Many of them believed as a result. The contrast is the Jews at Thessalonica, who wouldn't even listen to Paul, much less compare what he said with the Scriptures.

Ta-An
Dec 9th 2007, 06:35 PM
And of course, this was Jesus primary way of teaching. If we only use the first level you mentioned, we would never know the true meaning of many parables because they were used to intentionally hide truth.

Indeed so.... These 3 scriptures say something to me.... about the light in my eyes (understanding the Word / having open eyes to see)
Ps 13:3 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=19&CHAP=13&SEARCH=jesus%20king%20lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=3) Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Ps 19:8 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=19&CHAP=19&SEARCH=jesus%20king%20lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Ps 38:10 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=19&CHAP=38&SEARCH=jesus%20king%20lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=10) My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

When His law is written in my heart, my eyes will have His light and I shall see..

Jn 12:40 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=43&CHAP=12&SEARCH=jesus%20king%20lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

G_d grants understanding (open eyes) to soft hearts, ;)

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 06:39 PM
When a person is studying privately and is shown something by the Spirit to apply to their lives, that is one thing. When the private interpretation is passed out to others, it's different.

Regarding Paul and the muzzling of the ox, we can see that the principle is the same. If it was wrong to muzzle the ox while it labors, how much more is it wrong not to support those who labor in the word for the sake of the people's spiritual welfare? It is perfectly reasonable to apply a principle in different ways. Paul didn't change the principle.

The problem is when a person's private interpretation is imposed on others. In this way, the private interpretation cannot be evaluated. This is how people are led astray. Someone says, "God told me..." and if it is completely foreign to the teaching of Scripture, that doesn't matter because it is 'secret knowledge' or 'new revelation' and it doesn't have to be consistent with Scripture. People can say whatever they want to say, and they hold themselves above scrutiny simply because they think they have some inside knowledge. But let's teach the interpretation if we think it is from the Spirit.


Paul said, "Let the prophets speak, and let the others judge." There has to be some kind of objective basis by which one can judge whether what the prophet said was worthy of acceptance. "Test all things, hold fast to that which is good."

The Jews in Berea were noble because they listened to Paul with an open mind, and they searched the Scriptures to see if the things he said were true. Many of them believed as a result. The contrast is the Jews at Thessalonica, who wouldn't even listen to Paul, much less compare what he said with the Scriptures.

Was Paul's interpretation of Isaac and Ishmael private? Or Jesus interpretation of parables? And Paul even went so far as to say law about the ox was written more for us than it was the for the ox. The only way to know that was through the holy Spirit and knowing what the whole word is about. Simple contextual readings don't always show us that.

Overall, I do agree with letting the prophets judge. Often my Spirit flies when a hidden truth is spoken of by another believer. It is one of the ways the Lord teaches. If Paul taught today about Isaac, Sarah and Ishmael and Hagar and what they represent, it would be resisted if we used modern day requirements for interpretation.

What I think we need to be careful of, is using pictures to show what is not confirmed in other areas. Most of the time, the word will show us the types and shadows and hidden things through other passages that are plainly revealed.

Jesus teaching style was in parables. He is just like God. In other words, he taught as God teaches. If we are to understand the OT, we must know that it is more than history. Hence, the picture of the ox, Isaac being the son of promise, Hagar being under bondage and Jerusalem, etc. Historically true, yet taught in parable form.

As for private application, I agree this is different. But private interpretation and private application are not the same. God may use a scripture to tell me to take a certain job. That is private application. But when he shows me the meaning of a certain passage, that is interpretation. Both can be taught as proper use of scripture. But private application should not be forced or taught for others to follow. In other words just because God told me to take that job through scripture doesn't mean he is telling you to take the same job.

Ta-An
Dec 9th 2007, 06:41 PM
When a person is studying privately and is shown something by the Spirit to apply to their lives, that is one thing. When the private interpretation is passed out to others, it's different.

yup.... .yet I do not think He minds the sharing of an interpretation He gives,,,, the problem comes in where some people get jealous because they do not see.... and then bad mouths those that do see.... this often happens around the gift of prophesy too.... so sad!!!

Studyin'2Show
Dec 9th 2007, 06:59 PM
I do not see any conflict in each of us seeking the deeper understanding of scripture. :hmm:

Tanya~
Dec 9th 2007, 07:04 PM
Hi Mark,


Was Paul's interpretation of Isaac and Ishmael private? Or Jesus interpretation of parables? [And Paul even went so far as to say law about the ox was written more for us than it was the for the ox. The only way to know that was through the holy Spirit and knowing what the whole word is about. Simple contextual readings don't always show us that.

Paul and Jesus' words both are recorded Scripture. We can have the certainty that what is written is to be accepted.

2 Peter 1:19-21

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
NKJV

It is very different for me to read something in the Scripture, opening up a new meaning of another Scripture, than if I come up with something and pass it along to others. When I say something it might come from the Holy Spirit, or it might come from my own heart.

But the issue of the ox still remains: the principle is the same. The only difference is that the law applied the principle to oxen, whereas Paul applied the principle to elders who labor among the people.

I agree and understand that there is much that can be applied from Scripture. I'm not arguing against that at all. What bothers me is when someone makes up something and sets it forth as "truth" when there is no basis -- no foundation or principle that one can use to judge what is said. Paul's use of the principle of not muzzling the ox is perfectly reasonable from the point of view of someone who respects the meaning of words and the context in which things are presented in Scripture.

Jesus and His parables are different. He gave the parables and the interpretation. He is also Jesus. Because I'm not Jesus, I need something objective against which to judge my ideas. I'm subject to being wrong.


Overall, I do agree with letting the prophets judge. Often my Spirit flies when a hidden truth is spoken of by another believer. It is one of the ways the Lord teaches. If Paul taught today about Isaac, Sarah and Ishmael and Hagar and what they represent, it would be resisted if we used modern day requirements for interpretation.

Paul was an apostle, chosen by Jesus to receive revelation that was to become Scripture. Paul's authority was evidenced by the signs that he did, and the things he suffered for the sake of the gospel. We can't put ourselves on the same platform with Paul. If Paul wrote that Sarah and Hagar are symbolic of Mt. Zion and Mt. Sinai, I have no difficulty accepting that. I know that Paul was inspired. But when some guy who doesn't have the authority of Paul says something that doesn't fit with Scripture, I think it is reasonable for me to regard it with skepticism, as you say here:



What I think we need to be careful of, is using pictures to show what is not confirmed in other areas. Most of the time, the word will show us the types and shadows and hidden things through other passages that are plainly revealed.

That is the key. There has to be some kind of basis for accepting something as true, and there has to be some kind of basis for recognizing something as false. Otherwise we cannot guard what has been revealed. It gets changed, perverted and twisted in such a way that the word of God itself is, as Jesus said, "made of no effect." It is human nature to do such with the word of God. The Jews did it with their traditions, nullifying God's command.


Jesus teaching style was in parables. He is just like God. In other words, he taught as God teaches. If we are to understand the OT, we must know that it is more than history. Hence, the picture of the ox, Isaac being the son of promise, Hagar being under bondage and Jerusalem, etc. Historically true, yet taught in parable form.

I agree that the OT is much more than history.


2 Tim 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This applies to all Scripture, and at the time it was written, the only available Scripture was the OT.

Ta-An
Dec 9th 2007, 07:16 PM
I do not see any conflict in each of us seeking the deeper understanding of scripture. :hmm:No... not here!!!

I am referring to what I have heard from the pulpit in my church..... our minister does not feel comfortable with the gift of the Holy Spirit in the church and ......... long story....... but not here S2S,,, my appology if my post gave that impression :blush:

Studyin'2Show
Dec 9th 2007, 07:27 PM
No... not here!!!

I am referring to what I have heard from the pulpit in my church..... our minister does not feel comfortable with the gift of the Holy Spirit in the church and ......... long story....... but not here S2S,,, my appology if my post gave that impression :blush:No, I was not singling anyone out. :D

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 07:42 PM
It is very different for me to read something in the Scripture, opening up a new meaning of another Scripture, than if I come up with something and pass it along to others. When I say something it might come from the Holy Spirit, or it might come from my own heart.

True enough. Which is why we verify it in other passages.


But the issue of the ox still remains: the principle is the same. The only difference is that the law applied the principle to oxen, whereas Paul applied the principle to elders who labor among the people.

I agree, it is a principle. But that principle was hidden with the ox but meant for people. That is something the Lord does. He hides things because it is his glory to do so.


Jesus and His parables are different. He gave the parables and the interpretation. He is also Jesus. Because I'm not Jesus, I need something objective against which to judge my ideas. I'm subject to being wrong.

But we have Jesus in us. Not only that, but Jesus and God are exactly the same. Should we expect God to teach any differently than Jesus taught?


Paul was an apostle, chosen by Jesus to receive revelation that was to become Scripture. Paul's authority was evidenced by the signs that he did, and the things he suffered for the sake of the gospel. We can't put ourselves on the same platform with Paul. If Paul wrote that Sarah and Hagar are symbolic of Mt. Zion and Mt. Sinai, I have no difficulty accepting that. I know that Paul was inspired. But when some guy who doesn't have the authority of Paul says something that doesn't fit with Scripture, I think it is reasonable for me to regard it with skepticism, as you say here:

But Paul gives us an example of how he interpreted OT scripture. Yet, we fear going the same way. Why is that? Should we not fear more not following his example?



That is the key. There has to be some kind of basis for accepting something as true, and there has to be some kind of basis for recognizing something as false. Otherwise we cannot guard what has been revealed. It gets changed, perverted and twisted in such a way that the word of God itself is, as Jesus said, "made of no effect." It is human nature to do such with the word of God. The Jews did it with their traditions, nullifying God's command.

Of course human nature can twist the word. But the Holy Spirit can be trusted to teach us. When God hides a truth, he often sets the principle out there over and over and over again. So when we see the hidden truth, it is not just one passage, but many.


I agree that the OT is much more than history.

2 Tim 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This applies to all Scripture, and at the time it was written, the only available Scripture was the OT.


Oh, I know you believe it to be more than history Tanya. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I am sorry about that. What I was trying to imply was that the OT is a great source of illustrating NT truth. From Romans through Jude, much of scripture is precept upon precept. The OT can be seen in parable form to illustrate much of what is written in the NT. Hence, the types and shadows that are pointed out. Some truths are pointed out in the NT and the types can be seen in the OT. I don't believe all the types are mentioned in the NT that can be found in the old. But I do believe all the principles taught through the types can be found in the NT.

Just to re-iterate what I feel is a very valid point. Paul shows us many times how to view the OT, yet we fear going there. I think his example is a great one for us to follow. Especially when we see that Jesus, who is the exact image of God, taught in parables (types and shadows). In other words, both God (the author of the OT) and Jesus teach this way. Paul, understanding that, looked for those truths for 13 years in the desert.

Tanya~
Dec 9th 2007, 09:04 PM
But we have Jesus in us. Not only that, but Jesus and God are exactly the same. Should we expect God to teach any differently than Jesus taught?

The problem isn't with God or with Jesus, it is with us. We're subject to error. Jesus did say that the time would come when He would speak plainly.

John 16:25-28

"These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father."

But Paul gives us an example of how he interpreted OT scripture. Yet, we fear going the same way. Why is that? Should we not fear more not following his example?There is no fear in taking understanding from Scripture. That's not a problem. The problem is with what the OP was suggesting. For example:


A progressive might say the gospel is primarily or purely conceptual and requires no historical, risen Christ, that to believe in good and reject evil on any level (or to principally seek the good despite a natural disposition toward evil) itself is sufficient for salvation. The conservative will say that the literal, historical, resurrected Christ is necessary to fufill the gospel message and award salvation. Is one of these views wholly or mostly true and other false? Which is true, and why?

Now we can take Scripture and answer this, or not. Scripture says this:

1 John 4:1-3
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist , which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
There is nothing esoteric about what John said or what he meant. What he received was from God, and intended for us to understand it so that we know what to do when we encounter this kind of thing. There are no 'several layers' of understanding in this passage -- it's very straight-forward. Yet someone might take an unrelated passage, twist and turn it about, and make it say something that would essentially nullify what John wrote. This is the problem.

If someone receives "insight" that nullifies something that the Lord has clearly set forth, then we can be confident that it is false. If someone receives some insight that is in keeping with what is clearly revealed, then it enhances our understanding and we can be edified by it.

The problem is that people use esoteric interpretations to take away or add to what God has clearly revealed. The ultimate in taking away from what God has revealed clearly, is the idea that Jesus is just a myth, and that we can be saved by believing the 'truths' expressed in the (mythological) stories, rather than believing the 'stories' to be true, factual, literal history.



Oh, I know you believe it to be more than history Tanya. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I am sorry about that. What I was trying to imply was that the OT is a great source of illustrating NT truth. I agree. I love the OT for that. There is some stuff in the NT like that too. For example, Paul's adventure in the ship on the way to Rome. The signs that Jesus did are extremely rich with deeper meaning that I can only scratch the surface with understanding. It is like what David said:

Ps 139:6
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

The OT can be seen in parable form to illustrate much of what is written in the NT. Hence, the types and shadows that are pointed out. Some truths are pointed out in the NT and the types can be seen in the OT. I don't believe all the types are mentioned in the NT that can be found in the old. But I do believe all the principles taught through the types can be found in the NT.:pp :)

I agree. Again though, I don't think this is what the OP was talking about. Here is another quote:



I struggle with granting assent to the notion that pure myth, devoid of literal circumstances to give rise to it, can be true....but have to be honest and admit that it's possible. On the one hand, I can't see how one can believe in a "Christ" who was never actually present on earth to die for sin, but also can't say that belief that the message is a myth necessarily cancels the salvation of the one who thus believes. See what I mean?

I don't think I'm the only one who has a problem with this. Those who say that Jesus did not come in the flesh are antichrist. Unless there was a historical Jesus who literally died and literally physically rose in the body from the dead, we do not have Christ, and we are all still in our sins.

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 09:22 PM
The problem isn't with God or with Jesus, it is with us. We're subject to error. Jesus did say that the time would come when He would speak plainly.
John 16:25-28

"These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father."

Correct. We are in agreement. I think he spoke clearly from Romans through Jude. Though even there we find revelation.



The problem is that people use esoteric interpretations to take away or add to what God has clearly revealed. The ultimate in taking away from what God has revealed clearly, is the idea that Jesus is just a myth, and that we can be saved by believing the 'truths' expressed in the (mythological) stories, rather than believing the 'stories' to be true, factual, literal history.

Yep. As you said below, saying Jesus did not come in the flesh is antichrist. But the hidden can explain more fully that which is clearly revealed. For instance, God clearly revealed to us that we are priest unto God. But the full meaning is hidden in the type and shadow of the priesthood of the OT. But on this, think we agree.


I agree. I love the OT for that. There is some stuff in the NT like that too. For example, Paul's adventure in the ship on the way to Rome. The signs that Jesus did are extremely rich with deeper meaning that I can only scratch the surface with understanding. It is like what David said:
Ps 139:6
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
:pp :)

Agree, that it is wonderful! But we can attain to some of it and enjoy it! On some things, we cannot and I lay them down. One for me is the whole chosen vs choosing. Shoot, on the one hand God chose me. On the other, he made me an offer that I accepted. Which is it? Such things are too wonderful for me and I cannot attain to it.


I don't think I'm the only one who has a problem with this. Those who say that Jesus did not come in the flesh are antichrist. Unless there was a historical Jesus who literally died and literally physically rose in the body from the dead, we do not have Christ, and we are all still in our sins.


Nope. It is a major problem. Jesus coming spiritually but not in the flesh is antichrist. It was and is a necessity that Jesus existed in the flesh and this too is taught by the hidden parts of scripture.

The danger in hidden stuff is that those with impure hearts are led astray. Deception is always, always, always a heart issue. The deceiver, while held accountable for deceiving, is not the root cause of deception. Instead, the root cause of deception is the one being deceived allows it to occur.

Anyway, clearly Christ not coming in the flesh is a heretical teaching that John confronted head on and called a teaching of the antichrist.

Tanya~
Dec 9th 2007, 09:35 PM
The danger in hidden stuff is that those with impure hearts are led astray.

It is also the innocent, the untaught, the unstable, those who are babes and not yet able to discern between truth and error, who are damaged by these kinds of things. There is a lot in Scripture about false teachers and false teachings, and the damage it does to people. Those who are given the responsibility over the flock are charged with protecting the people from teachings like this.

That's why John told the lady that someone who comes with that teaching shouldn't even be let into her house. John did not pull any punches when he told her how to deal with that kind of teacher.


2 John 9-11
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

The stuff is dangerous and leads astray those who are simple. New people need solid grounding in the Scriptures, to lay the foundation of understanding, so that when they do hear some off-the-wall teaching, they will be able to recognize it, because they will have the basis of truth which is what is clearly taught in Scripture. As they grow and as they receive from the Lord, they will get greater understanding and insight as He leads. But it has to start with the foundation -- that which is clearly taught and understandable to everyone in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 09:41 PM
It is also the innocent, the untaught, the unstable, those who are babes and not yet able to discern between truth and error, who are damaged by these kinds of things. There is a lot in Scripture about false teachers and false teachings, and the damage it does to people. Those who are given the responsibility over the flock are charged with protecting the people from teachings like this.

True enough. But I don't think the "innocent" are innocent when they are deceived. That would make for an interesting thread. Jesus was never deceived and he is a great example for us. In other words, the pure in heart, will not be deceived even while growing in grace and wisdom. Or said another way, if Jesus was taught that while he was growing up, would he have believed it? No. Because he was pure in heart and guarded his heart and learned to be with God early on. God held Satan responsible for being a deceiver. But he held Eve responsible for being deceived. In other words, we are deceived because sin is deceitful. When we sin, we get deceived.


That's why John told the lady that someone who comes with that teaching shouldn't even be let into her house. John did not pull any punches when he told her how to deal with that kind of teacher.
2 John 9-11
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
The stuff is dangerous and leads astray those who are simple. New people need solid grounding in the Scriptures, to lay the foundation of understanding, so that when they do hear some off-the-wall teaching, they will be able to recognize it, because they will have the basis of truth which is what is clearly taught in Scripture. As they grow and as they receive from the Lord, they will get greater understanding and insight as He leads. But it has to start with the foundation -- that which is clearly taught and understandable to everyone in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.
It is dangerous when it is not truth. But, we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater. That's the point I am getting at. The hidden truths are there and just as valid as the revealed ones. Close study should show that they are one and the same. Truths often can have more power and authority when taught through the hidden illustrations. Hence Jesus taught as one having power and authority and he taught using parables.

Tanya~
Dec 9th 2007, 09:57 PM
True enough. But I don't think the "innocent" are innocent when they are deceived.

What I'm trying to say is that the church leadership has a responsibility to guard the truth, for the sake of the flock. The warnings about false teachers is so that the leaders will protect those who are entrusted to their care.


Acts 20:28-30
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
It is urgent for the sake of the church that the leadership protects the flock from the false teachers. The whole responsibility for deception is not on those who are led astray, because in many cases, they are led astray because they simply do not know better, and in some cases they do not know better because they have not been taught. Paul urges the elders at Ephesus to protect them from the wolves. It is not always the fault of the lamb if the wolf hurts him.




It is dangerous when it is not truth. But, we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Last I checked, I saw no babies in Gnostic teachings. :)

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 10:02 PM
What I'm trying to say is that the church leadership has a responsibility to guard the truth, for the sake of the flock. The warnings about false teachers is so that the leaders will protect those who are entrusted to their care.
Acts 20:28-30
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
It is urgent for the sake of the church that the leadership protects the flock from the false teachers. The whole responsibility for deception is not on those who are led astray, because in many cases, they are led astray because they simply do not know better, and in some cases they do not know better because they have not been taught. Paul urges the elders at Ephesus to protect them from the wolves. It is not always the fault of the lamb if the wolf hurts him.

True. But it is always the fault of the lamb if he is deceived. ;) That is why scripture warns over and over "let no man deceive you". He holds the one deceived responsible for their deception.


Last I checked, I saw no babies in Gnostic teachings. :)Oh, the reference wasn't to teaching but to the style. The hidden truths should not be thrown out because they are hidden. Just as misapplication of a literal reading doesn't nullify the style, neither does misapplication of types and shadows or hidden truths mean they should be given a lesser place at the pulpit.

Just so you know, the more literal but inaccurate has done far more harm in my own personal life than the hidden but inaccurate meanings ever did.
Of course, most of the hidden, but inaccurate readings are rejected outright because the spirit within us and the literal readings say "woa. that ain't right".

Studyin'2Show
Dec 9th 2007, 10:20 PM
Last I checked, I saw no babies in Gnostic teachings. :)Somehow, I'm missing something. I don't think I've seen anyone even imply that this is about someone encouraging a baby Christian to follow some extrabiblical doctrine because someone else said they heard something. :o I do believe that it is the Living Word because EACH believer needs to read the word for themselves and dig deeper beyond what their pastor may spoon feed them once a week.

Tanya~
Dec 9th 2007, 10:24 PM
Somehow, I'm missing something. I don't think I've seen anyone even imply that this is about someone encouraging a baby Christian to follow some extrabiblical doctrine because someone else said they heard something. :o I do believe that it is the Living Word because EACH believer needs to read the word for themselves and dig deeper beyond what their pastor may spoon feed them once a week.

Mark had said don't toss out the baby with the bath water, and I was saying that with Gnostic teaching there are no 'babies' to be tossed out... it's all bath water.

See the trouble we get into when we speak metaphorically!

Brother Mark
Dec 9th 2007, 10:26 PM
Mark had said don't toss out the baby with the bath water, and I was saying that with Gnostic teaching there are no 'babies' to be tossed out... it's all bath water.

See the trouble we get into when we speak metaphorically!

LOL! True it can cause trouble. But Jesus and God spoke in it for a reason Tanya. For a long time, it was God's preferred way of teaching and to a large degree, it still is. Though at least now, we do have precept upon precept.

The baby I was speaking about was the metaphor. ;)

Studyin'2Show
Dec 9th 2007, 11:03 PM
Mark had said don't toss out the baby with the bath water, and I was saying that with Gnostic teaching there are no 'babies' to be tossed out... it's all bath water.

See the trouble we get into when we speak metaphorically!:lol: Yeah, I got the baby metaphor. I agree that one should run fast away from Gnostic teachings. I was just commenting that I didn't see that any of what had been discussed would fall into the Gnostic category. ;)

Tanya~
Dec 10th 2007, 02:41 AM
:lol: Yeah, I got the baby metaphor. I agree that one should run fast away from Gnostic teachings. I was just commenting that I didn't see that any of what had been discussed would fall into the Gnostic category. ;)

Here are some quotes:



A progressive might say the gospel is primarily or purely conceptual and requires no historical, risen Christ, that to believe in good and reject evil on any level (or to principally seek the good despite a natural disposition toward evil) itself is sufficient for salvation.


For instance, the principle that literal meaning can be representative of deeper truth--included in the subject of this section and this particular thread--does hold up to examination. On the other hand, I struggle with granting assent to the notion that pure myth, devoid of literal circumstances to give rise to it, can be true....but have to be honest and admit that it's possible. On the one hand, I can't see how one can believe in a "Christ" who was never actually present on earth to die for sin, but also can't say that belief that the message is a myth necessarily cancels the salvation of the one who thus believes. See what I mean?




If a person only understands Christ as a myth, then he doesn't understand Christ at all.
This is an interesting statement. I tend to take the position that rejecting the historical/literal birth, death and resurrection of Jesus as fails primarily because it falsifies a literal truth. I accept on faith, supported by evidence that Christ Jesus was God incarnate, was crucified, died for sins, and rose from the dead. Digging deeper, I want to ask why is the progressive not "saved" by failing to believe this? Though he opts for more secular forms of theology like historical criticism, many I've corresponded with still accept as true the basic concept or (in their language) "mythical truth" of the Christian message, regardless of the reality or lack thereof of the historical Christ.

We can see in the above that Bernie doesn't claim to subscribe to the Gnostic ideas of a mythical, non-historic Jesus, however, the idea that this idea that one can be saved by a purely symbolic view of Jesus is Gnostic and not Christian.


Whether you or I accept their religious allegiance as legitimate or not, they maintain a religious system as we do. Might not our own religious allegiances be also suspect? Truth is a slippery thing, just when we think we've got it trapped in our own theology, it turns around a bites us on the behind.

Do you see in this statement the idea that we cannot know that our understanding of Scripture is The Truth because truth is 'slippery' and our view of Christ as a historical (literal) Person who died literally and rose again literally might be wrong?

Here is a page that gives a little info on Gnosticism as it relates to Scripture:
http://www.deusvitae.com/faith/denominations/gnosticism.html
1 Tim 6:20-21

O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge [gnosis] — 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

Grace be with you. Amen.

2 Tim 2:15
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Brother Mark
Dec 10th 2007, 02:59 AM
Yea. That stuff is definitely not truth. I am glad you are on top of it. It is very close, if not exactly, gnostic.

And it is also antichrist to suggest that Jesus did not come in the flesh.

Studyin'2Show
Dec 10th 2007, 03:03 AM
Well, thanks for pointing that out Tanya! I don't really like the quote - reply - quote - reply posts so I tend to just give them a cursory glance and quite obviously missed that. I thought you were having a problem with what Mark was posting. :D

God Bless!

Tanya~
Dec 10th 2007, 03:38 AM
I thought you were having a problem with what Mark was posting. :D

Well sometimes I do... but this is on a completely different level. :) Mark and I do not disagree that Jesus is God incarnate (in human flesh). Mark and I agree that Jesus died and rose again bodily, and we both agree that believing this is absolutely essential to Christian faith. On that basis we are of one mind, regardless of other things about which we may disagree.

RoadWarrior
Dec 10th 2007, 03:54 AM
.... I'm trying to figure out truth's real relationship to belief, remember. ...


If I may chime in ...

A person can believe anything by choosing and deciding to believe it, but believing it does not make it true. If we believe a lie, we are deceived and the truth is not in us.



1 Jn 2:3-6
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
NKJV

Believing or not believing something, does not make it true or untrue. Truth does not depend on whether we believe it. But the sound foundation of belief does depend on being based on truth.

Truth is truth, and when we believe something that is true, and put our trust in it, it is dependable.

watchinginawe
Dec 11th 2007, 01:59 PM
We are going to shut down this thread since we believe it has wandered outside of the intent of this forum.

Thanks.