Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Presuppostional Profundity

I was helping my son with a math question today and came to understand something important yet very basic. If in his long division work he made an elementary mistake at the beginning, his efforts would be in vain as his answer would necessarily be wrong.

Isn't this how a lot of people spend their time and efforts? They make an incorrect assumption somewhere in the beginning of life and the mistake costs them dearly along the way.

So too, we can come to the Word of God making statements or conclusions based upon an incorrect presuppositional platform. This affects our understanding of God's word profoundly making us jump through theological hoops to make sense. We then further add to the dilemna by quoting commentators or theologians who also made the same mistakes, thereby intensifying the problem and creating confusion for future readers and followers.

Foundational Groundwork

It is imperative that we come to the Word of God without a preconceived bias or agenda. Rather we come simply asking God to confirm His Word by His Word. That is, we use scripture to explain scripture. Sounds simplistic doesn't it? It is! However, the problems come when we attempt to use our natural rationale or understanding to deduct spiritual principles, or worse, to discount the commands of Christ in favour of lessor constraints. We in effect become like the pharisees who arm twisted the law to fit their own traditions, conveniently circumventing the purpose of the law, which was to drive them to Christ.

So while I accept the sheer impossibility of any bias or presuppostions when coming to the word (as my brother Bobby points out), we must ask God for clarity and revelation to grasp the mysteries hidden from the natural mind. Thus the imperative to be transformed by the renewing of our minds becomes expedient and practical.

A Banquet Table

Lastly, the Word of God was given to us for many reasons, but one of the chief reasons was for our edification. We are exhorted to feed upon His Word as the bread of Life. Christ Himself is our true drink and our true meat. His logos simply helps us to hear His rhemas, which by the way never contradict what He has written. He has given us all things richly for our enjoyment, Christ Himself is our portion. Enjoy Him today!

3 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good stuff.

jazzycat said...

Very good points. If the core doctrinal points are incorrect, then things go haywire quickly. Grace, faith, sin, repentance, regeneration, Christ, and the other core doctrines are crucial to right understanding of God's word.

I would point out that any position of doctrine is a creed even if a single person develops it all alone. IOW if a person has a view on an issue, it is creedal. Ultimately all defense of a position must lead back to Scripture, but relying on theological opinions that support your view is not a weakness. It is in fact a strength.

While the reformed community is roundly critizized for citing the past greats, I have noticed that the FG group for example rely greatly on one man (Hodges). I think there is a far greater danger in relying on one person than on many. Look where believing Joseph Smith has gotten millions of people.

W.H.

Jim said...

"but relying on theological opinions that support your view is not a weakness. It is in fact a strength...

Jazzy:

Unfortunately many times that order is reversed and thus the perpetuation of wrong doctrine. But I don't disagree with reading the expositions of others.

I have noticed that the FG group for example rely greatly on one man (Hodges).

That may be, I have not read his books or Wilkin for that matter.

But I agree there is an inherent danger in reading only one or two authors. But I am not sure the FG people would claim that either?