Saturday, March 08, 2008

Are You in The Word?

The more I read in the blogosphere the more I am convinced that we as God's people are neglecting a profoundly simple practice. Let me explain.

I have come to realize that all of us are guided in our lives by something called presuppositions. We understand things to be a certain way and therefore act accordingly. What is more striking however is that many of our presuppositions have little to do with the Word of God directly and are more often than not filtered through either the writings or teachings of a pastor, theologian, or doctrinal statement.

It seems we are not placing ample weight on the pure word of God alone. Why do I say that?

Well first of all, many times our responses to a theological question contain philosophical tones that do not align with Biblical texts. We like to juxtapose Biblical clich├ęs with our notions and the lines become blurred.

I have found that many have not arrived at their conclusions solely based on scriptural study but have been "guided" to their answers from the influence of mentors and peers. This is probably most unavoidable as Bobby Grow likes to reiterate.

That being the case, are we willing to re-evaluate our positions when confronted with substantial Biblical proof that we may be incomplete in our answer? Are we open to correction? Do we have a teachable spirit?

I appreciate Daniel's posts over at Doulogos because he is a man that demonstrates this principle often and most humbly. Further, he is faithful to give detailed explanations of his views with excellent scriptural support allowing me to see how he arrived at his conclusions. While I have not always agreed with him 100%, his method of analysis allows me to understand why he believes what he does and causes me to better evaluate my own positions.

How much time do you spend in God's word seeking not only answers to your questions, but more importantly the person of Christ. I will confess that I fall short in this area.



5 comments:

bobby grow said...

Jim,

good points. You know some have spoken of doing theology via this distinction: Scripture's external exegesis, and then its correlating internal logic. The former, has prima facie value, while the latter is debatable relative to its correlation or non-correlation to what it supposedly is talking about (i.e. what scripture clearly discloses--e.g. external exegesis). For example, when Heb. 13:8 says:

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever . . .

ok, what does this mean, or better imply. The external aspect would be to say simply . . . ok Jesus is "unchangable". But what is the "inner logic" or what is "underneath" or "behind" this statement theologically? I think that's what Haldens' article is getting at, as is my most recent. In other words, thinking organically, if Jesus is the same "always", then how do we relate that to the fact that He has hair, bones, and skin now and for all eternity . . . but prior to the incarnation He did not have these extensions. In other words in what way is Jesus the same always . . . clearly there is some sort of discontinuity between His before "flesh" and "after flesh" life--or is there?

I appreciate Daniel, he is very thoughtful and articulate . . . but sometimes I think, at least to me, although I know his intentions are good, he comes off arrogant. In the sense that "he" is able, apart from other voices in the church (through her history), come to conclusions on his own--just "him and his Bible" . . . and in the process he just happens to become a Five-point Calvinist, etc. I think this represents a blind spot in his methodology---but one thing he certainly is not blind on is his desire for the primacy of scripture, which is highly respectable.

I typically read through the scriptures twice a year, and it is constantly the "measure" by which I test all things--although imperfectly at points :-). I like how you add "but more importantly the person of Christ" (emphasizing the instrumentality of scripture).

One more thing, I am as imperfect as Daniel or anyone else, relative to Christ, and I also have blind-spots . . . I just didn't want anyone to get hit by a "beam" or anything when they read my comment here ;-).

Even So... said...

Good thing Bobby, 'cause I was about to throw at Grow with my own log...

;-)

(that wasn't a wink, but the splinter effect...)

Oh yeah, good post, Jim, and congrats again on the latest little one...

Jim said...

Bobby, regarding your paragraph on Heb. 13:8; fascinating!

I would agree with you that there appears to be some tension when the whole context is taken into consideration. While obviously Jesus Christ does not change as far as His nature, character, and Godhead are concerned, there is no doubt that He has gone through a "process" by His incarnation and subsequent death and resurrection. Surely this fact alone is more than our finite minds can grasp and demonstrates a level of love that is unfathomable.

God bless,
Jim

Jim said...

Sorry guys, I wasn't trying to elicit any confessions. I don't get the feeling that you all have it together either.

God bless,
Jim

Amaya said...

Well said.