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BroRog
Jul 6th 2008, 07:14 PM
In my early experience as a Bible student, discussing the Bible with fellow students, I bumped up against Systematic Theologies, and other organized and published Systems of thought, such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Catholicism, Historic Premillenialism, Dispensationalism, etc. Having not grown up in church and having not accepted any particular Systematic Theology, I found both a freedom to examine the scriptures for myself, and a frustration with those who set about to defend their particular System. Over the years, as I engaged the Bible and engaged my fellow Christians in discussion I found one enduring fact. Systems of thought can't be corrected.

Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that during our own investigation and study of the scriptures we find ourselves in disagreement with our Systematic Theology. What then? We are left with a choice. Do we now affirm our recent understanding of the passage or do we abandon our discovery in favor of what our System tells us is the "correct" view of a passage? For those who accepted and affirmed the System at an early age, it's a tough call. After all, many good and wise Christian scholars have developed the System before I arrived. What makes me think I am better or wiser than they?

Nonetheless, if we accept the axiom of "sola scriptura", we are right to bring our System under the bright light of the scriptures and where they differ, we affirm the scriptures not the System. But who are we to change the System? All we can do is individually affirm what we know to be true and let others change the System if possible. The System may never change since Institutions are the guardians of the System and The Institution's sole function is to keep the System in tact. I am very doubtful the System can be corrected.

A person can be corrected. A person can repent and change his or her mind. A person can reason with and do business with the truth. Systems of thought remain constant, fixed, and immune to correction.

Mograce2U
Jul 6th 2008, 09:03 PM
I suppose that as long as men endeavor to put God in a box that they must be the ones to define the box. As if a man-made box could hold a Being who is Spirit!

mikebr
Jul 6th 2008, 09:23 PM
If I understand you correctly I totally disagree. I at one time was a die hard dispensationalist. No longer. What changed my mind. Sola Scriptura. The Bible as I began to study and read shows me many a mistake in the old thought bank.

Joey Porter
Jul 6th 2008, 09:47 PM
The problem does not lie in people failing to use scripture to back up their beliefs. Almost everyone, all denominations, use scripture to back up their beliefs. The problem is in man's understanding of the scripture. Most people do not understand that the scriptures are just not written in a way that they can be understood by the human mind. Only Yahweh Himself can grant any man the understanding of all of the types, images, shadows, and parables in the scriptures. And in those types, images, shadows and parables lies the ultimate Truth.

It should be obvious that the mind of man can not accurately handle or understand the scriptures, what with all of the confusion and contradicting beliefs within the church. No one can understand the sciptures unless they reach a point of confessing to being blind, and being willing to abandon any and all of what they have believed and been taught. However, the nature of the human will is stubbornly set against doing so.

David Taylor
Jul 6th 2008, 09:53 PM
If I understand you correctly I totally disagree. I at one time was a die hard dispensationalist. No longer. What changed my mind. Sola Scriptura. The Bible as I began to study and read shows me many a mistake in the old thought bank.

I know 2 or 3 dozen folks who post in the Etc forum who were once dispensational in their eschatology but at some point in their lives were lead through their study and other folks sharing of scriptures, to reject that system.

For folks who value a search for truth, any "system" can be forgone if they are willing to allow "Systems of thought" to be challengeable and tested.

I personally was a dispensationalist for 25 years, not from careful study and evaluation on my own part, but because it was the only system I had ever heard of, and it was the popular system of the day taught by the tele-evangelists and fiction writers I came into contact with to "teach" me what eschatology "system'' I should believe...taking their word that it was the only true and valid system to accept and believe.

Systems can be changed, if the holder is willing to change when confronted with more sound truth and at God's timing.

mikebr
Jul 7th 2008, 01:17 AM
I know 2 or 3 dozen folks who post in the Etc forum who were once dispensational in their eschatology but at some point in their lives were lead through their study and other folks sharing of scriptures, to reject that system.

For folks who value a search for truth, any "system" can be forgone if they are willing to allow "Systems of thought" to be challengeable and tested.

I personally was a dispensationalist for 25 years, not from careful study and evaluation on my own part, but because it was the only system I had ever heard of, and it was the popular system of the day taught by the tele-evangelists and fiction writers I came into contact with to "teach" me what eschatology "system'' I should believe...taking their word that it was the only true and valid system to accept and believe.

Systems can be changed, if the holder is willing to change when confronted with more sound truth and at God's timing.

Ditto David................

BroRog
Jul 7th 2008, 01:47 AM
I know 2 or 3 dozen folks who post in the Etc forum who were once dispensational in their eschatology but at some point in their lives were lead through their study and other folks sharing of scriptures, to reject that system.

For folks who value a search for truth, any "system" can be forgone if they are willing to allow "Systems of thought" to be challengeable and tested.

I personally was a dispensationalist for 25 years, not from careful study and evaluation on my own part, but because it was the only system I had ever heard of, and it was the popular system of the day taught by the tele-evangelists and fiction writers I came into contact with to "teach" me what eschatology "system'' I should believe...taking their word that it was the only true and valid system to accept and believe.

Systems can be changed, if the holder is willing to change when confronted with more sound truth and at God's timing.

I assume you are no longer a Dispensationalist?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 7th 2008, 01:53 AM
In my early experience as a Bible student, discussing the Bible with fellow students, I bumped up against Systematic Theologies, and other organized and published Systems of thought, such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Catholicism, Historic Premillenialism, Dispensationalism, etc. Having not grown up in church and having not accepted any particular Systematic Theology, I found both a freedom to examine the scriptures for myself, and a frustration with those who set about to defend their particular System. Over the years, as I engaged the Bible and engaged my fellow Christians in discussion I found one enduring fact. Systems of thought can't be corrected.

Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that during our own investigation and study of the scriptures we find ourselves in disagreement with our Systematic Theology. What then? We are left with a choice. Do we now affirm our recent understanding of the passage or do we abandon our discovery in favor of what our System tells us is the "correct" view of a passage? For those who accepted and affirmed the System at an early age, it's a tough call. After all, many good and wise Christian scholars have developed the System before I arrived. What makes me think I am better or wiser than they?

Nonetheless, if we accept the axiom of "sola scriptura", we are right to bring our System under the bright light of the scriptures and where they differ, we affirm the scriptures not the System. But who are we to change the System? All we can do is individually affirm what we know to be true and let others change the System if possible. The System may never change since Institutions are the guardians of the System and The Institution's sole function is to keep the System in tact. I am very doubtful the System can be corrected.

A person can be corrected. A person can repent and change his or her mind. A person can reason with and do business with the truth. Systems of thought remain constant, fixed, and immune to correction.

The problem is there really is no such thing as an actual "system of thought." No one really adheres to any system completely. For instance, I could easily be described as a Calvinist (and I accept that title), but I am so out of the norm for most Calvinists that I easily don't fit within the system. Likewise, I can be described as Reformed, yet I accept and believe in Believer's Baptism which is antithetical to Reformed theology.

The reason we often bring up systems is to give a generalized idea of what a person believes. If I say, "I'm Reformed" or "I'm Evangelical" or "I'm Roman Catholic," then all of those give you an idea of what the person believes, but it doesn't totally encompass their beliefs.

For me, I do fall into categories, but I also search the Scriptures to verify the ideas in that system of thinking and see if the system lines up with the Scriptures.

Mograce2U
Jul 7th 2008, 02:28 AM
The problem is there really is no such thing as an actual "system of thought." No one really adheres to any system completely. For instance, I could easily be described as a Calvinist (and I accept that title), but I am so out of the norm for most Calvinists that I easily don't fit within the system. Likewise, I can be described as Reformed, yet I accept and believe in Believer's Baptism which is antithetical to Reformed theology.

The reason we often bring up systems is to give a generalized idea of what a person believes. If I say, "I'm Reformed" or "I'm Evangelical" or "I'm Roman Catholic," then all of those give you an idea of what the person believes, but it doesn't totally encompass their beliefs.

For me, I do fall into categories, but I also search the Scriptures to verify the ideas in that system of thinking and see if the system lines up with the Scriptures.I don't think I have ever met a Calvinist who has not taken it upon himself to change his system! I have Sproul's TULIP discourse in which he changes the letters to show what "they ought to be". So much for systematic theology... ;)

Sold Out
Jul 7th 2008, 03:16 PM
A person can be corrected. A person can repent and change his or her mind. A person can reason with and do business with the truth. Systems of thought remain constant, fixed, and immune to correction.

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." II Timothy 3:7

The problem with systematic theology is that people completely stumble over the simplicity of Christ. Many a great mind has deceived him/herself because they 'over-think' the basic doctrines of the Bible.

The entire theme of the scriptures is Christ - how He was promised to Adam & Eve in Genesis, spoken of by the prophets, and how He came through His own creation, the human race, to redeem us. What else is there to know?

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." I Cor 2:2

Stefen
Jul 7th 2008, 04:14 PM
I believe the OP was misunderstood. I think he said that people can change their stances, but, that particular brand of theology as a whole can or will not.

keck553
Jul 7th 2008, 04:24 PM
When in doubt, read what God says.

BroRog
Jul 7th 2008, 07:20 PM
I believe the OP was misunderstood. I think he said that people can change their stances, but, that particular brand of theology as a whole can or will not.

Yes, that's what I meant.

I was reading the thread called "Historic Premillennialism", and I found myself becoming frustrated over the fact that many people argue their position from the System rather than the Bible. I'm not complaining about it. I'm just frustrated over the fact that the church doesn't seem to be able to move forward with a correct understanding, seeming to be stuck in various and respective ruts.


For instance, it's possible that the Amil position has the correct interpretation of Revelation 20:4, while the Premil position has the correct interpretation of Isaiah 65 if perchance the two passages are speaking about a different time period. But since each System ties them together, neither one is willing to entertain that possibility.

I'd like to see Bible Students consider alternatives to their own Systems and perhaps create a synthesis between various Systems as the Holy Spirit guides.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 7th 2008, 07:23 PM
Yes, that's what I meant.

I was reading the thread called "Historic Premillennialism", and I found myself becoming frustrated over the fact that many people argue their position from the System rather than the Bible. I'm not complaining about it. I'm just frustrated over the fact that the church doesn't seem to be able to move forward with a correct understanding, seeming to be stuck in various and respective ruts.


For instance, it's possible that the Amil position has the correct interpretation of Revelation 20:4, while the Premil position has the correct interpretation of Isaiah 65 if perchance the two passages are speaking about a different time period. But since each System ties them together, neither one is willing to entertain that possibility.

I'd like to see Bible Students consider alternatives to their own Systems and perhaps create a synthesis between various Systems as the Holy Spirit guides.


Well that's what I've attempted to do and I certainly think you have the right idea.

For instance, I posted that topic on dispensationalism and found out that, of the two competing views I don't fit into either camp...but I draw from both.

In maybe a more controversial view, I label myself Reformed and a Calvinist, but if I were to list all my beliefs and how we are to go about presenting those beliefs, it'd be hard to believe that I'm actually Reformed. I am Reformed in the "Schaefferian" sense of the word (more akin to Schaeffer's viewpoint on the issue).

I think it is vital for students to study the Bible in depth, to use commentaries, and come to the truth on their beliefs by using the Bible. Too often I see students going, "well I agree with 5 out of 8 of those statements in that system, so I guess I need to change three of my beliefs). I see no reason for this considering no system is perfect.

Mograce2U
Jul 7th 2008, 07:26 PM
Yes, that's what I meant.

I was reading the thread called "Historic Premillennialism", and I found myself becoming frustrated over the fact that many people argue their position from the System rather than the Bible. I'm not complaining about it. I'm just frustrated over the fact that the church doesn't seem to be able to move forward with a correct understanding, seeming to be stuck in various and respective ruts.


For instance, it's possible that the Amil position has the correct interpretation of Revelation 20:4, while the Premil position has the correct interpretation of Isaiah 65 if perchance the two passages are speaking about a different time period. But since each System ties them together, neither one is willing to entertain that possibility.

I'd like to see Bible Students consider alternatives to their own Systems and perhaps create a synthesis between various Systems as the Holy Spirit guides.And it does seem that whenever any light does come thru the scriptures for them, it is used to further perfect the system. What they ought to try is setting aside the system altogether and piece it together for themselves. Now how scarey is that?!

the rookie
Jul 7th 2008, 07:34 PM
Whoops! I posted a reply to the initial thesis in the end times section without seeing the thesis fleshed out a bit more here.

This is what I said:


Not a bad detour, but it is a little idealistic, IMO. I personally tire of the constant claims from many in here that they are "beholden to no system" and only "loyal to what the bible says" while using a systematic theology to build a systematic approach via logic and reason to interpret and explain what the bible says.

I find it intellectually dishonest and a bit lacking in self-awareness to claim no allegiance to some kind of systematic theology, as if these conclusions just magically emerged with no forethought or "connecting of the dots". The "jot and tittle" of scripture requires that we build a line-upon-line mode of reason and logic from a framework that has somewhat of a continuity to what scripture says as a whole about itself.

The issue is whether or not that logical flow is progressive in nature in a manner that sees a Genesis to Revelation continuity versus a Matthew to Revelation explanation of Genesis to Malachi. Until that "system of thought" is settled, we will always be filtering our conclusions through one of the two - and insisting that we don't only exacerbates the problem.

Hope I wasn't too intense there...:D

In other words, I mean to say that I agree that we must not be beholden to or pledge allegiance to a system of thought over the word, I think all will agree with that assertion.

But there must be a system - a systematic, line-by-line, inductive method by which we draw our conclusions. The prophetic invitation was "come let us reason together..." by which God honors our ability to draw logical conclusions based on the information He gives us - in a purposely "non-linear" or "non-straightforward" manner. Thus we are forced to pray, fast, ask, inquire, and study diligently. But to imagine that we end the journey without any coherent systematic theology is where the idealism resides, IMO. There has to be, otherwise we can say whatever we want about any passage we choose. We must be governed in our interpretation by some "rules" or everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

That's my take, anyways...:D

HisLeast
Jul 7th 2008, 07:41 PM
The system that best describes my understanding of many biblical concepts: "Igna'ant" :help:

the rookie
Jul 7th 2008, 07:49 PM
The system that best describes my understanding of many biblical concepts: "Igna'ant" :help:

:lol:

While I love the humility, you've said too many cool things over the years for me to buy into that assertion. Nice try though. :)

BroRog
Jul 8th 2008, 12:19 AM
Whoops! I posted a reply to the initial thesis in the end times section without seeing the thesis fleshed out a bit more here.

This is what I said:



In other words, I mean to say that I agree that we must not be beholden to or pledge allegiance to a system of thought over the word, I think all will agree with that assertion.

But there must be a system - a systematic, line-by-line, inductive method by which we draw our conclusions. The prophetic invitation was "come let us reason together..." by which God honors our ability to draw logical conclusions based on the information He gives us - in a purposely "non-linear" or "non-straightforward" manner. Thus we are forced to pray, fast, ask, inquire, and study diligently. But to imagine that we end the journey without any coherent systematic theology is where the idealism resides, IMO. There has to be, otherwise we can say whatever we want about any passage we choose. We must be governed in our interpretation by some "rules" or everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

That's my take, anyways...:D

Perhaps it's a good idea to create a system of my own. I wish there was software to help me get organized. :)

Scubadude
Jul 8th 2008, 12:39 AM
The word of God is living and active. Systems of thought like you mentioned are not. As you were saying, there is no room for continued thinking. :agree:

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 01:04 AM
Perhaps it's a good idea to create a system of my own. I wish there was software to help me get organized. :)

:lol: I'm not sure I follow why you would respond to my point in such a manner, but it sure was entertaining.

Mograce2U
Jul 8th 2008, 03:29 AM
Whoops! I posted a reply to the initial thesis in the end times section without seeing the thesis fleshed out a bit more here.

This is what I said:
...
In other words, I mean to say that I agree that we must not be beholden to or pledge allegiance to a system of thought over the word, I think all will agree with that assertion.

But there must be a system - a systematic, line-by-line, inductive method by which we draw our conclusions. The prophetic invitation was "come let us reason together..." by which God honors our ability to draw logical conclusions based on the information He gives us - in a purposely "non-linear" or "non-straightforward" manner. Thus we are forced to pray, fast, ask, inquire, and study diligently. But to imagine that we end the journey without any coherent systematic theology is where the idealism resides, IMO. There has to be, otherwise we can say whatever we want about any passage we choose. We must be governed in our interpretation by some "rules" or everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

That's my take, anyways...:DAnd so the question becomes "Whose rules?". Just because one rejects a certain man-made "systematic approach" does not necessarily follow that he is in a free-for-all when it concerns scripture. To build upon what one has learned is the biblical pattern and does not need to imply that one must deviate from the gospel to make the scripture say whatever they want. Because if we are doing that then we are not rightly dividing the word - at all.

(Heb 4:12 KJV) For the word of God is quick [livng], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The word of God is self-corrective, making wise the foolish, and sanctifies and purifies what has been defiled. So rather than to assume that a rule must be kept - even if only given secondary import; seems to fail to consider that the word of God is itself the rule AND contains the power to see that it is kept.

(Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 03:42 AM
And so the question becomes "Whose rules?". Just because one rejects a certain man-made "systematic approach" does not necessarily follow that he is in a free-for-all when it concerns scripture. To build upon what one has learned is the biblical pattern and does not need to imply that one must deviate from the gospel to make the scripture say whatever they want. Because if we are doing that then we are not rightly dividing the word - at all.

(Heb 4:12 KJV) For the word of God is quick [livng], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The word of God is self-corrective, making wise the foolish, and sanctifies and purifies what has been defiled. So rather than to assume that a rule must be kept - even if only given secondary import; seems to fail to consider that the word of God is itself the rule AND contains the power to see that it is kept.

(Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

What does that even mean? By what measure do you draw any conclusions about what scripture is saying? Are you proof-texting your comments about the not needing any systematic approach at all to study the word? I'm genuinely not connecting here.

I'll say it again, I find it critically important to have some sort of systematic approach or methodology to studying the scriptures. I am not sure why this is a provocative statement, but I'm glad it's stirring the pot, I suppose.

What I am not doing is demanding that a theological stream dictate the system or set of rules utilized in a systematic approach. But it would be helpful if someone could exegete or develop what a passage actually means rather than giving me their opinion or perspective on what it says. How can we come to an orthodox / common understanding of scripture if there is no systematic approach? That's the question I am wondering if someone in the "I don't need no stinkin' man-made system" camp can answer.

My heart's Desire
Jul 8th 2008, 03:50 AM
I have a system. It's called let Scripture intrepret Scripture. ;)

Mograce2U
Jul 8th 2008, 04:25 AM
What does that even mean? By what measure do you draw any conclusions about what scripture is saying? Are you proof-texting your comments about the not needing any systematic approach at all to study the word? I'm genuinely not connecting here.

I'll say it again, I find it critically important to have some sort of systematic approach or methodology to studying the scriptures. I am not sure why this is a provocative statement, but I'm glad it's stirring the pot, I suppose.

What I am not doing is demanding that a theological stream dictate the system or set of rules utilized in a systematic approach. But it would be helpful if someone could exegete or develop what a passage actually means rather than giving me their opinion or perspective on what it says. How can we come to an orthodox / common understanding of scripture if there is no systematic approach? That's the question I am wondering if someone in the "I don't need no stinkin' man-made system" camp can answer.LOL! Too cute! :rofl:

Ok, I will compose myself. Trouble is Rookie that your rule books gives you absolutely no guarantee that you have got it right. Orthodox? Gimme a break. Are we talking Catholic or Reformed? Neither of which really matters, since they are of the same ilk. It is actually harder than that.

(2 Cor 10:12 KJV) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Yet this is the rule book you want to hold fast to? Go figure...

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 04:45 AM
LOL! Too cute! :rofl:

Ok, I will compose myself. Trouble is Rookie that your rule books gives you absolutely no guarantee that you have got it right. Orthodox? Gimme a break. Are we talking Catholic or Reformed? Neither of which really matters, since they are of the same ilk. It is actually harder than that.

(2 Cor 10:12 KJV) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Yet this is the rule book you want to hold fast to? Go figure...

I'll give you a pass here because I am guessing you haven't quite thought through the implications of what you are saying. It's partly because I'm still not connecting to what you are actually saying, to be honest.

For example, are you implying that orthodoxy is impossible, laughable, or simply a foolish goal to attain to? Since Paul honed in with laser beam focus on "unity of the faith" in Eph. 4 as a sign of the maturity of the church and the fullness of God "...together with all the saints" (Eph. 3), I would think that orthodoxy would therefore be a worthy goal to strive for as believers. How can we get there? Is there a plan, or a way forward? Or should I "give you a break" from such difficult questions?

Are you implying that we have nothing to learn from church history, or some of the great Catholic theologians (i.e. Augustine, Aquinas, etc.) or the great Reformed theologians (i.e. Luther, Calvin, Edwards, etc.)? What are you saying when you lump them together as the "same ilk"? Are you tossing their contributions to modern Christian thought out the window? Please clarify if possible.

Finally, what does that scripture you quoted actually mean? Are you saying that Paul was writing to the Corinthians warning them about the dangers of systematic theology? Are you simply throwing a verse out there hoping it proves your point? I ask, mostly because it seems as if you were inadvertantly proving my point, and I can't imagine that you were looking to do that.

So, while my methodology (which is fairly quite simple: I want to be as precise as possible in discovering what Paul was trying to say, rather than using Paul to communicate what I want to say) may not be perfect, and is slightly "man-made" in that I do have a set of rules that I follow to try to be precise in my understanding of scripture, I have to say that, so far, I'm quite unconverted to your team on this matter.

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 04:47 AM
I have a system. It's called let Scripture intrepret Scripture. ;)

Sure, but which comes first, the chicken or the egg? At some point, you have to have some sort of systematic approach to interpret the "first scripture" passage that then interprets the other scripture passages. You didn't pick up the Bible, pick a random verse, and start using it to interpret all of the other passages, did you?

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 05:21 AM
Originally Posted by you

I agree. The intended audience and what they perhaps already knew certainly helps us understand the author's intent. We ought not to assume anything based on our own experience only. Sometimes it seems that our teachers so rush to provide a modern application, that they fail to give us the setting so we might know the full import of the text.I'm confused by your assertions in this thread. From your statements here from another thread, I count at least two "rules" - and "man-made" ones, at that. I want to again state that I agree with your points here, and think that they are right on - but you do have some sort of an extra-biblical rule book you are adhering to somewhere here, unless you want to recant regarding your above statements?

My heart's Desire
Jul 8th 2008, 02:36 PM
Sure, but which comes first, the chicken or the egg? At some point, you have to have some sort of systematic approach to interpret the "first scripture" passage that then interprets the other scripture passages. You didn't pick up the Bible, pick a random verse, and start using it to interpret all of the other passages, did you?
Well, that's kind of true considering if you pick a theme, a verse, a word to study and compare, then even that is a system right?

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 02:43 PM
Well, that's kind of true considering if you pick a theme, a verse, a word to study and compare, then even that is a system right?

You got it! :D

Mograce2U
Jul 8th 2008, 03:48 PM
Sure, but which comes first, the chicken or the egg? At some point, you have to have some sort of systematic approach to interpret the "first scripture" passage that then interprets the other scripture passages. You didn't pick up the Bible, pick a random verse, and start using it to interpret all of the other passages, did you?I suppose the systems men have developed have their place - in the beginning. And I am sure we have all used them because we don't know what we are going to find in scripture at the first and need others who have gone before to guide us. But somewhere along the way our dependence must turn to the Lord to guide us and those systems are really not needed anymore. Just like there is no longer a need for tutors once a son has taken his place alongside his father.

Have I made my position any clearer?

ProDeo
Jul 8th 2008, 03:56 PM
A person can be corrected. A person can repent and change his or her mind. A person can reason with and do business with the truth. Systems of thought remain constant, fixed, and immune to correction.

Regarding the problem you addressed: take 10 controversial (not necessarily Biblical) issues and formulate 10 questions in such a way that they can be answered with "yes" or "no". Create a poll and ask 10 people to participate. How much % chance do you estimate a 100% match between 2 people?

Ever met a person that has the exact same belief system as you? That person probably doesn't exist, nor has existed, nor will be born. Like there never was any person like you on this earth so are our belief systems, unique.

I am just writing this to highlight the dynamics involved regarding the issue you addressed, these are huge and might be easily underestimated. Not convinced? Do the poll ;)

Having said that I can testify of at least 2 fundamental changes in my belief system since I arrived here at the forum a couple of months ago. Bottom line: maybe things are not so bad.

Ed

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 05:26 PM
I suppose the systems men have developed have their place - in the beginning. And I am sure we have all used them because we don't know what we are going to find in scripture at the first and need others who have gone before to guide us. But somewhere along the way our dependence must turn to the Lord to guide us and those systems are really not needed anymore. Just like there is no longer a need for tutors once a son has taken his place alongside his father.

Have I made my position any clearer?

Sure - but where do you draw authority from in regards to the meaning of a text? The Lord? Other passages? Where did your authority (relating to meaning, interpretation, etc.) come from in regards to the earlier passages? Your position is very clear, absolutely. But where does that leave us? If one can appeal to "the Lord told me" when wrestling over the meaning of scripture than we have effectively ended the discussion and declared the one who hears best the winner.

Scriptural interpretation is not a subjective exercise, with tons of options regarding what passages mean. There are layers of meaning that we will explore forever, but there has to be a baseline or a standard by which we all begin the journey, otherwise anything goes.

Your above paragraph testifies to your agreement with my last statement, but what I am confused by is at what point we become mature enough to be able to abandon the systematic approach that served us early on. In other words, the care and precise diligence we begin our bible study with seems to be something I can never graduate from.

Now, I'll halfway negate my own argument and support yours - John was clear that the truth must abide in us in a living way by which we have no need of a teacher to tell us what is true or false regarding the nature and character of God (1 John 1:18-27). The Holy Spirit is the greatest instructor one could have regarding truth and His ability to "enlighten the eyes of our understanding" (Eph. 1:18) according to His zeal to reveal the deep things of God / spiritual things to spiritual men and women (1 Cor. 2:10-16) through the mind of Christ that we might stand in His counsel and walk in friendship with Him (Jas. 4:5).

We want to be like John the apostle, Ezekiel, and others and "eat the book" by which our minds become soaked in the language and wisdom of the scriptures. I want to think biblically, having my thoughts, values, and ideas shaped and formed by the word itself. So in that sense, yes, we have to go far beyond a system or set of rules that helps us understand the word - we need living understanding fueling a burning heart for God.

My guess is that this is your point, and if so I am in full agreement.

Have I made my position clearer as well?

Mograce2U
Jul 8th 2008, 05:37 PM
Rookie,
I suppose it is natural to want some visibile means by which to make this test. But truth is the gospel is the only test we have to guide us in the scriptures. Those who stray from its revealed truth and go off into anti-gospel tangents and speculation do so from their own carnal minds. Your rule book is not going to help them recover. We are testing spirits in that case and discernment comes from practice. I suppose being able to show one his logical fallacies might help to turn him back. But I certainly wouldn't place that tool above the power of God to convict. I will concede that in the proper place - which is submitted to God, these tools do have their purpose.

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 05:47 PM
Rookie,
I suppose it is natural to want some visibile means by which to make this test. But truth is the gospel is the only test we have to guide us in the scriptures. Those who stray from its revealed truth and go off into anti-gospel tangents and speculation do so from their own carnal minds. Your rule book is not going to help them recover. We are testing spirits in that case and discernment comes from practice. I suppose being able to show one his logical fallacies might help to turn him back. But I certainly wouldn't place that tool above the power of God to convict. I will concede that in the proper place - which is submitted to God, these tools do have their purpose.

Sweet! I agree 100%! I love it! :D

Friend of I AM
Jul 8th 2008, 06:07 PM
Rookie,
I suppose it is natural to want some visibile means by which to make this test. But truth is the gospel is the only test we have to guide us in the scriptures. Those who stray from its revealed truth and go off into anti-gospel tangents and speculation do so from their own carnal minds. Your rule book is not going to help them recover. We are testing spirits in that case and discernment comes from practice. I suppose being able to show one his logical fallacies might help to turn him back. But I certainly wouldn't place that tool above the power of God to convict. I will concede that in the proper place - which is submitted to God, these tools do have their purpose.

Good points Robin. You know what the funny thing is, each time man develops a system - God develops a new system which essentially breaks the established rules man thought were in place regarding that system...and what we felt we had a firm grasp on..lol.

He did it when he first administered the ten commandments and the Mosaic law, He did it with the coming of Christ, and I'm sure he'll also once again floor us at some point with something else that takes men by surprise. People at times act as if God is a computer, and only can work in a linear way. Problem is that this mode of thinking really limits the power of God(and what he can do) and to be frank - we ourselves are more or less the computers which have the various codes punched in.

God being who he is acting essentially the same way as he always has - as everything we are doing contributes to his ultimate plan and is under his control. So to answer the title of the thread, yes systems of thought can indeed be changed. If they couldn't be changed then mankind would be in a real bad situation at this point, as God would not have any ability to reach mankind/offer salvation/change their thinking through our one and only savior, Christ Jesus.

the rookie
Jul 8th 2008, 06:16 PM
I guess the point I am making would be easily and quickly understood by a seasoned musician.

Young musicians want to abandon structure, form, and restraint and just "jam". Of course, this approach becomes boring, empty, and directionless after a while - after which the early idealism fades. Musicians can't really function or flow well together without structure that enables communication and enhances freedom to soar together. In other words, the more rigorously musicians practice, rehearse, and adhere to the agreed upon structure (man-made) of music, the more freedom they have in playing together to soar, improvise, and make music. Jazz is the most rigorously structured exercise in improvisation one could ever witness.

To me, bible study is the same way - the more disciplined I am to fight for the meaning of a text by adhering to some simple grammatical and historical "rules" - or by adding "structure" to my study of the scripture, the more freedom I ultimately have to soar devotionally when I talk to God about the Bible. I actually feel like I can talk to Him about what was on His mind when He inspired the phrases and ideas rather than talking to Him about my own ideas and opinions. I fee like I can ask better, more precise questions when I pray the scriptures.

I have way more fun and find way more life when I am disciplined in my approach to the word because I find I have more confidence regarding the actual meaning of the text (or, as close I as I can discern right now in my limitations).

Hope that makes sense...

Friend of I AM
Jul 9th 2008, 02:25 PM
I guess the point I am making would be easily and quickly understood by a seasoned musician.

Young musicians want to abandon structure, form, and restraint and just "jam". Of course, this approach becomes boring, empty, and directionless after a while - after which the early idealism fades. Musicians can't really function or flow well together without structure that enables communication and enhances freedom to soar together. In other words, the more rigorously musicians practice, rehearse, and adhere to the agreed upon structure (man-made) of music, the more freedom they have in playing together to soar, improvise, and make music. Jazz is the most rigorously structured exercise in improvisation one could ever witness.

To me, bible study is the same way - the more disciplined I am to fight for the meaning of a text by adhering to some simple grammatical and historical "rules" - or by adding "structure" to my study of the scripture, the more freedom I ultimately have to soar devotionally when I talk to God about the Bible. I actually feel like I can talk to Him about what was on His mind when He inspired the phrases and ideas rather than talking to Him about my own ideas and opinions. I fee like I can ask better, more precise questions when I pray the scriptures.

I have way more fun and find way more life when I am disciplined in my approach to the word because I find I have more confidence regarding the actual meaning of the text (or, as close I as I can discern right now in my limitations).

Hope that makes sense...

I think that makes a lot of sense rookie. Structure is important. Just important not to think that God's sense of structure is synonomous with our style of thinking. Meaning, God has his plan that he is consistant with, his way of things that he is consistant with doing. But as you've mentioned, it is good to practice, studying and learning, and preaching the bible in a way that God has approved us to study in. The most important part of our walk though, should be living in a way that is pleasing to God(being loving towards God(having faith, obeying him, etc) and men). Any man who worships God in this way is approved by him.

HisLeast
Jul 10th 2008, 12:57 PM
Didn't Peter & Paul have a "system of thought" disagreement?

Friend of I AM
Jul 10th 2008, 01:21 PM
Didn't Peter & Paul have a "system of thought" disagreement?

Not that I know of. Only thing that happened was Paul rebuked Peter for dining with the Pharisees and passing over the table with the poor people. Other than that they were all on the same mode of thought regarding spreading the gospel of Christ.

Paul and Barnabas did actually have a disagreement though, and went their seperate ways regarding the spreading of the gospel. Apparently from the scripture though, it was relatively minor - but major enough to make them go their seperate ways.

My heart's Desire
Jul 12th 2008, 05:20 AM
Didn't Peter & Paul have a "system of thought" disagreement?
They did and they didn't. Some from the Jerusalem church tried to tell the Gentiles that after faith in Christ's death, burial and resurrection (which Paul preached) they must also be circumcised and follow the Law of Moses to be saved. There was a big discussion over it, but in the end Peter remembered Cornelius and he stood up and told them all that nothing was required of the Gentiles converts except that they refrain from something about idols I think and one other thing. They blessed and sent Paul on his way to his ministry to the Gentiles.