homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: God the pathological killer? (Page 4)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: God the pathological killer?
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Or this?

1 CHRON 13:9 When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10 The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Or this?

2 KINGS 2:23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Was Samuel lying?

1SA 15:1 Samuel said ... 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: `... attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
God didn't do any of those things. Ancient peoples understood God to be of this character, and so this is how He appeared to them. Or rather, this is how He permitted them to understand Him.

These were bad things, but permitted for a higher purpose. The higher purpose was to make a written record that could prepare the way for His coming, and serve as a basis for an angelic understanding of His mission, which was to restore peace to the earth.

There is nothing good in these accounts. The Divine Goodness is there only symbolically - that is, goodness destroying evil.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
hermit
Shipmate
# 1803

 - Posted      Profile for hermit   Email hermit   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Freddy, do you believe the laws in the Torah demanding death sentences for seemingly trivial matters (such as failure to keep the Sabbath, or a woman getting married when she wasn't a virgin) ... are from man or God? Jesus did seem to uphold their truth, even if the covenant was changed. And if they weren't from God, were any of the laws?

Jim, thank you for the "legal" excerpt, I've been meaning to read something good for me (and Dostoyevski in particular) but have only recently discovered a good used book store in a nearby village.

[ 27. March 2004, 17:24: Message edited by: hermit ]

--------------------
"You called out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness... You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain that peace which was yours." Confessions, St Augustine

Posts: 812 | From: Seattle | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by hermit:
Freddy, do you believe the laws in the Torah demanding death sentences for seemingly trivial matters (such as failure to keep the Sabbath, or a woman getting married when she wasn't a virgin) ... are from man or God? Jesus did seem to uphold their truth, even if the covenant was changed.

Everything in the Bible is from God. The difference is that it is given in accommodation to the people. Those laws in the Torah are literally totally wrong. It would be wrong to obey them, just as it is basically wrong to make animal sacrifices. It would have been wrong for Abraham to slay his son. This was a dark time in the history of humanity and people behaved harshly and cruelly.

In ancient times, however, people had a great reverance for symbolic actions. Animal sacrifices were therefore able to symbolize something sacred, even though in themselves they were disgusting.

So these trivial laws were simply symbolic. They were harsh and cruel because the people were harsh and cruel, but the symbolism could still be heavenly despite this.

Swedenborgianism attributes very deep meaning to these things. The rituals and laws, and their written accounts in the Old Testament, literally served as a basis for the connection of heaven and earth in the time before the Advent.

If it had been possible for anyone to receive the actual truth in that time, and for there to be true worship without the negative elements that are present in many Old Testament stories, this would have happened. However, if this had been possible there also would have been no need for the Incarnation. It happened only because of the sad state of the world.

So it is no surpise to me that the literal Old Testament contains many peculiar and even wicked things. I accept them, however, as metaphors symbolizing heavenly and spiritual things. If interpretted through the lens of the New Testament, however, I think that they can be just fine.

[ 27. March 2004, 17:42: Message edited by: Freddy ]

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

 - Posted      Profile for Father Gregory   Author's homepage   Email Father Gregory   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Freddy has it! [Overused]

I have a little theory about the supposedly divinely commanded slaughter of Isaac (Genesis 22) .... so indulge me.

NEVER did the Jews practice child sacrifice, (leastways those that didn't apostasise ... Micah 6:7). It seems a little strange, therefore, (to say the least) that the archetypal believer, Abraham, should be considered praiseworthy for an obedience that would have him slaughter his son by divine decree.

It's no use having God say:- "Only testing!" That's a bit like nuclear deterrence being play acting. Those actions for which we prepare, if credible, must be capable of being followed through. So do we have not only God, the pathological killer but also God the culler of children?

It's all in the context.

When someone experiences a paradigm shift in belief ... conversion, enlightenment, what you will ... it is rare to find in such a person, no matter how righteous, an instantaneous and comprehensive purging of old ways of thinking toward the new.

Abraham came out of a pagan culture where child sacrifice was practised. The most perfect offering, as we know, had to be the most costly personally. The measure of obedience was one's own blood. What more "natural" for Abraham to offer the One True God the very child of promise, blood of his blood, bone of his bone. That for which he yearned most he felt compelled to surrender. The requirements of this just and holy God always take precedence. But, was this truly the voice of God or that which he heard, angelically mediated, as he raised the knife:- "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know you fear God." God condescends to Abraham's imperfect understanding but honours the radical obedience. For all that, though, the understanding was imperfect. God does not bay for human blood. The substitute ram indicates the name of the place GOD-will-provide.

Skip 1700 years or so. God provided again. This time himself in the sacrifice of Christ. He willingly provided himself. He did not bay for Jesus' blood nor did the Christ placate the Molochian bloodlust of the Father, (Anselm?) This is a demonic reversion. No, God willingly offered HIMSELF for our sakes. Truly this is the wonder of the Incarnation. We now have no excuse. Unlike dogs we do not return to our vomit. The delusion of idols and the former ignorance have passed away.

GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE.

GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE.

GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE.

[ 27. March 2004, 18:52: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Faithful Sheepdog
Shipmate
# 2305

 - Posted      Profile for Faithful Sheepdog   Email Faithful Sheepdog   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
No-one seems to have mentioned the Christian Thinktank that is referenced in the Ship's links. This resource has several full length heavyweight articles on the subject of this thread.

Here is one and here is another. There may well be a few others, since I haven't done an extensive search.

Neil

--------------------
"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

Posts: 1097 | From: Scotland | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thank you Fr. Gregory! I think that you are completely right about this.

Maybe I belong in the Orthodox church. Or maybe you are half Swedenborgian! [Cool]

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The Christian Think Tank is AWESOME. I used to correspond with Glen Miller it's owner. What a guy.

I bow to the loving disposition of Father Gregory, the Ship's Orthodox community on this matter and to those faithful liberal Christians on other matters, like Arabella, Vikki, ChastMastr, Emma and others, particularly on sexual conservatism, as I have been forced to acknowledge, by my conscience, on other threads.

I do not doubt the quality of any one's faith.

And I acknowledge that my disposition tends to the Neanderthal. I find it easy to see the God of Love as a killer, I find it easy to reconcile The Son of God in His divine, dread, deadly power and in His utterly exemplary human face of sublime gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, mercy, tolerance; love and that He wears that face for us now whenever we invoke it.

I am quite prepared to be surprised, amazed in the resurrection that you are all right.

Are you if I am?

[ 28. March 2004, 10:26: Message edited by: Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard ]

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
I am quite prepared to be surprised, amazed in the resurrection that you are all right.
Are you if I am?

If I find that God really did kill all those people, and order the killing of countless more, I will lecture Him for at least half an hour on how wrong that is of Him.

I will then lay out for Him a far superior system by which He could have achieved the same results without being so mean. [Disappointed]

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Ah, but will the citizens of Sodom and the Amelekites, basking in His love, be wondering what the .... you're on about?! [Smile]

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
And Father Gregory, I absolutely have no doubt that God had NO intention whatsoever of making Abraham sacrifice Isaac. He wouldn't have asked if He hadn't known Abraham's heart.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

 - Posted      Profile for Father Gregory   Author's homepage   Email Father Gregory   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Dear Martin

quote:
Ah, but will the citizens of Sodom and the Amelekites, basking in His love, be wondering what the .... you're on about?!
But that's exactly what we Orthodox do believe they are doing .... except for them the Love of God is a painful burning rather than a sweet warmth. It all has to do with the disposition of the soul. Back to the River of Fire ....

Dear Freddy

One of the most delightful things I have discovered since joining the Ship and corresponding with you is just how much Swedenborgians and Orthodox share in common ... not in all things of course but in many other areas that, frankly, I never anticipated. [Axe murder]

[ 28. March 2004, 13:59: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
This is where I get more liberal than you Father Gregory, which is saying something! Why on Earth or in Hell or Heaven's name will the Amelekites or Sodomites be suffering in the resurrection?

Haven't they suffered enough? In being what they were and in the way God destroyed them?

They will be in awe at His grace and the vast majority if not all will fall in to His Son's arms after falling at His gracious, pierced feet.

They will berate the Jews of 2000 years later for their disbelief.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

 - Posted      Profile for Father Gregory   Author's homepage   Email Father Gregory   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Who said they would be? ... I was merely making a more general point that IF anyone suffers it is NOT because they are deprived of the Love of God but rather because they have set their faces against it.

[ 28. March 2004, 15:51: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
You did! I didn't notice any shift from the specific to the general!

'...for them the Love of God is a painful burning rather than a sweet warmth'

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

 - Posted      Profile for Father Gregory   Author's homepage   Email Father Gregory   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sorry Martin ... I didn't make that clear. I would NEVER presume to say who was and wasn't saved.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hermit
Shipmate
# 1803

 - Posted      Profile for hermit   Email hermit   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog*:
No-one seems to have mentioned the Christian Thinktank that is referenced in the Ship's links. This resource has several full length heavyweight articles on the subject of this thread.

Here is one and here is another. There may well be a few others, since I haven't done an extensive search.

Neil

Yes, it's odd that no one commented even after you posted these - odd since they cover this matter in such depth from an inerrantist point of view, and because there's so little left to object to at the end.

I was actually intending to check these sources, but as you know Miller especially is so tediously thorough that my heart sank at the thought of spending an hour or so on one matter.

Here's just a tiny bit from the second link:
I hope it is clear by now this was not some simple 'act of territorial aggression' on the part of Ancient Israel! This was a defensive (and exceptional) military campaign. There just were not many practical options as to how to do this...





So, if the Amalekite aggression virtually required the elimination of the warrior-class, what practical options for survival remained for the women/kids?





Well, if this analysis is correct so far, we are faced clearly with the problem I pointed out earlier--the widows and fatherless kids, in the desert. This is, as pointed out above, a situation that the Amalekite warriors put their families in--NOT the Israelites per se.



So, what options would Israel might have had concerning the fatherless Amalekite family, once the warriors had been eliminated in battle?

There are ONLY four options to consider:



1. Take them back as slaves (or to be sold as slaves)

2. Take them back and turn them over to social relief programs/processes in Israel.

3. Leave them there in the desert to their fate

4. Kill them there in the desert



Option 1: Take them back as slaves (or to be sold as slaves).



This was, of course, what some other nations would have done. In fact, this is what many nations would have initiated the conflict for (see my discussion on OT Slavery for more documentation and discussion of this, and especially the horrors of being a foreign/POW female slave). The Amalekites alone would be an example of raids to produce slaves for re-sale in the slave trade....

..... Option 2: Take them back and turn them over to social relief programs/processes in Israel (or anywhere else, for that matter):



Similar problem here: there were no social relief programs/processes adequate to take care of this many dependent people. [Remember, most of these people would have been nomadic dependents (without agricultural or industrial skills) or minor children (consumers without the ability to contribute to their upkeep), at a time before the agricultural surpluses of Israel could support such a large group of resident aliens. As marauders, the Amalekites did amass some gold (1 Chr 18.11) and livestock, but God forbade the Israelite soldiers to take this with them as spoils of war (probably so Israel would not get a 'taste' of raiding other nations for booty, and become like the Amalekites).



There were no social relief, welfare, or benevolent resources ANYWHERE in the ANE, even in the "wealthiest" of nations. Even elderly care was a major issue, but not addressed by the public sector. There simply was not enough resource surplus or infrastructure available to do this:



· "In spite of the government's propaganda concern for widows and orphans, there was no systematic welfare system. The institution that dealt with the problem of young families bereft of a father and husband is called the a-r u-a, meaning 'dedicated.' Women and children were 'dedicated' by relatives who could no longer support them or by themselves, and they were employed especially in weaving and processing wool. Because we have several detailed records of such persons, we know that they usually did not live long after they had been dedicated, probably owing to the wretched conditions in which they lived and worked. ...Women weavers were exploited extensively at Lagas; their children no doubt died at a high rate: one group of 679 women had only 103 children, though other groups had more. "
.....

Posts: 812 | From: Seattle | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sean D
Cheery barman
# 2271

 - Posted      Profile for Sean D   Author's homepage   Email Sean D   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Your genuine praise makes me feel a little like that mad arsonist psycho in Steven King's magnificent The Stand. I'm not sure why ...

The awesome, admirable and pathetic (in the sense of full of pathos) Traschcan Man.

I have always thought him to be an amazing picture of worship and total, if feckless, devotion to the one who rescued him from isolation and meaninglessness. Quite a model, even if he picked the wrong team...

--------------------
postpostevangelical
http://www.stmellitus.org/

Posts: 2126 | From: North and South Kensington | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sean D:
Plainly and simply: God is either irrational and capricious or he is loving and just. He can't be both - but not because my brain can't comprehend how he could be both, but because he has revealed in Jesus Christ that he is not both. I have made my decision which I think he is not on the basis of my own fuzzy feelings but because of the God revealed on the cross.

Due to some absence, I have only just seen this, so apologies if the discussion has moved on. This statement rests on a number of assumptions:
1) I am able to define what is "just" better than the writers of the Bible
2) The God revealed at the cross is different to that revealed in Joshua - it must be because I can't understand it any other way
3) Jesus implicitly disapproved of the actions attributed to the God in the OT, but decided, for some reason known only to himself, to not point this out, and in fact use those events as models for the coming judgement.
4) That we are so conversant, in our experience, with the nature of love, that we are able to define it better than God himself.

I do not think any of those assumptions can be warranted.

[ 29. March 2004, 12:06: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sean D
Cheery barman
# 2271

 - Posted      Profile for Sean D   Author's homepage   Email Sean D   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
Due to some absence, I have only just seen this, so apologies if the discussion has moved on. This statement rests on a number of assumptions:
1) I am able to define what is "just" better than the writers of the Bible
2) The God revealed at the cross is different to that revealed in Joshua - it must be because I can't understand it any other way
3) Jesus implicitly disapproved of the actions attributed to the God in the OT, but decided, for some reason known only to himself, to not point this out, and in fact use those events as models for the coming judgement.
4) That we are so conversant, in our experience, with the nature of love, that we are able to define it better than God himself.

I do not think any of those assumptions can be warranted.

1) No, because my notion of justice is defined by the Bible in which murder is wrong, life is precious and sacred and not to be harmed and that God wants all to be saved.
2) No, it is not that the God revealed is different, because clearly the God revealed in Jesus is a God of judgement and wrath against sin. But it is indeed my view as I've said that God is progressively revealed (I posted a response on the inerrancy thread about this). The God revealed more fully in Jesus really does have differences, e.g. being Trinity and accepting humanity on the basis of faith in Jesus rather than on ethnicity/circumcision etc.
3) I'm not aware that he uses the slaughter of the Amalakites thus. Neither am I aware of any reason why just because Jesus doesn't directly criticise the passage this means it's entirely and wonderfully commensurate with the God he reveals. This is an argument from silence.
4) I know very little about the nature of love, but thankfully don't need to know about it, as it is defined in the God revealed in Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John and the various other NT passages which discuss love describe it as self-giving, sacrificial and seeking the welfare and benefit of the other person. On these biblical definitions it seems obvious to me that the slaughter of the Amalakites is fundamentally unloving. I can also look at the passages in the NT which speak of God's saving will for the whole of humanity. If the Amalakites were so deserving of destruction, how can the Bible also say there will be members of every tribe, people, nation and tongue in heaven?

--------------------
postpostevangelical
http://www.stmellitus.org/

Posts: 2126 | From: North and South Kensington | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sean [Overused] [Overused] [Overused]

I was about to make those exact same replies.

The argument that God is incomprehensible, and that therefore what seems wicked and capricious to us is actually good, just doesn't work. Certainly good things might seem to us simple humans to be wicked and capricious - due to our misunderstanding. But this is not the same as saying that it is impossible for us to understand. There is always a rational explanation, waiting to be found. The trick is to find it.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Sean D wrote:
1) No, because my notion of justice is defined by the Bible in which murder is wrong, life is precious and sacred and not to be harmed and that God wants all to be saved.

No, apparently it is only defined by SOME of the Bible. There are places outside of Joshua where the Bible seems to be saying that God does not "want" (and there is a serious issue of definition of that word in the Bible) everyone to be saved (Romans 9 being the most obvious NT example). Life is indeed precious and sacred, but less precious and sacred than the glory of God himself. Or so it seems to me.

quote:

2) No, it is not that the God revealed is different, because clearly the God revealed in Jesus is a God of judgement and wrath against sin. But it is indeed my view as I've said that God is progressively revealed (I posted a response on the inerrancy thread about this). The God revealed more fully in Jesus really does have differences, e.g. being Trinity and accepting humanity on the basis of faith in Jesus rather than on ethnicity/circumcision etc.

I read your inerrancy reply. Not only do I remain unconvinced that something being revealed progressively allows us to say the previous revelation was mistaken (in fact I think it prevents us from doing so, if it is indeed progressive revelation of the same thing) to say the trinity is not revealed in the OT, and that being saved by faith is an NT innovation are two massively sweeping statements that I think most of the NT writers would disagree with. I don't think anyone is positing the thesis that God destroyed the Amalekites MERELY because of their ethnicity.
quote:

3) I'm not aware that he uses the slaughter of the Amalakites thus. Neither am I aware of any reason why just because Jesus doesn't directly criticise the passage this means it's entirely and wonderfully commensurate with the God he reveals. This is an argument from silence.

He does use Sodom and Gomorrah though. Which I would have thought raises similar questions on your view.
Even if it is an argument from silence, it is still an argument. Jesus didn't hesitate to point out people's misunderstandings of God from the OT elsewhere. It certainly seems strange to me that is (as you are suggesting) he meant to introduce such a wholesale revision of God's character he didn't bother to mention it.
quote:

I can also look at the passages in the NT which speak of God's saving will for the whole of humanity. If the Amalakites were so deserving of destruction, how can the Bible also say there will be members of every tribe, people, nation and tongue in heaven?

Do you mean this? Let me introduce you to the doctrine commonly known as grace. (Sorry needlessly sarcastic, couldn't resist) The answer is surely that no one from any of those tribes will be there because they deserve it! The Jewish people who are there won't be there because they kept the law. The British people who are there won't be there because they were good and gave to charity. All of them will only be there because of God's gracious gift of rescue to them.

There seems underlying this whole debate, to me anyway, to be a serious difference in how we see our relationship to God. As far as I can see he is creator, we are creatures, we are sinful, he is holy. Thus he has every right to deal with us has he sees fit, and the just fair way to deal with us would always be punishment. If he chooses to have mercy, that too is his prerogative. I'm very nervous of a position that begins to tell God that there are things he can and cannot do.

--------------------
He hath loved us, He hath loved us, because he would love

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
[Smile] [Big Grin] [Biased] [Yipee] [Snigger] [Overused] [Axe murder] [Votive]

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
There seems underlying this whole debate, to me anyway, to be a serious difference in how we see our relationship to God. As far as I can see he is creator, we are creatures, we are sinful, he is holy. Thus he has every right to deal with us has he sees fit, and the just fair way to deal with us would always be punishment. If he chooses to have mercy, that too is his prerogative. I'm very nervous of a position that begins to tell God that there are things he can and cannot do.

Yes, this underlying difference in how we see our relationship to God is a problem.

As I see it, God is love, and created the human race because the entire nature of love is to love something outside of itself. Love also seeks to be joined freely with what is loved, and desires to make the object of that love happy. This is what creation is all about.

God's relationship with the human race is therefore defined by these purposes - a definition created not by us but by Him. All His actions must be consistent with this because this is what He is. The history, foibles, and trials of the human race are explained simply by the interaction between God's love and human freedom.

When God is described in the Old Testament in ways that make Him appear different than this, it is because this is how goodness appears from the point of view of sin - which we are free to have. This is also how justice appears when it is reduced to its simplest terms, which is all we can see in our simplicity. The way that it appears is not necessarily the way that it actually is. Nevertheless, an explanation is possible that resolves the apparent contradictions.

The complex and complete picture of God that emerges from the Old and New Testaments taken as a whole is one of a God of love, who is merciful and gracious, and yet who defeats sin and evil. He is supremely intelligent, rational, just and fair.

Inconsistency, irrationality, and unmercifulness are not usually depicted as attributes of God - but they do crop up, or appear to crop up, in various places in the Bible. To my mind, this just means that they need to be explained - and I am confident that logical, intelligent, and consistent explanations are possible for each one, explanations harmonizing them with the greater picture.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well this is at risk of going well off course. But as I understand "God is love" it describes his perfect relationship of love within the Godhead itself. I struggle with the idea of God's "need" to create us to have someone to love, because it implies there is something lacking in God's own perfect trinitarian relationship. Which I don't think there is. I do think the old Westminster Confession got it right, that ultimately we are created for God's glory, rather than for his company.

quote:

The complex and complete picture of God that emerges from the Old and New Testaments taken as a whole is one of a God of love, who is merciful and gracious, and yet who defeats sin and evil. He is supremely intelligent, rational, just and fair.

Inconsistency, irrationality, and unmercifulness are not usually depicted as attributes of God - but they do crop up, or appear to crop up, in various places in the Bible. To my mind, this just means that they need to be explained - and I am confident that logical, intelligent, and consistent explanations are possible for each one, explanations harmonizing them with the greater picture.

You see, what I see this doing is seeking to define these things (rationality, mercy, consistency) from outside the schema that God reveals about himself. Maybe there's an issue here as well about how we see ourselves , but I don't think we are capable of defining the love that God is outside of seeing what he is. He is the definition of love, rather than us coming with such a definition and ruling out what does not fit our definition as "not God". We certainly, in our sinfulness, cannot outdefine God from love. Rather we must accept what he says is loving and merciful and just.
Martin, if that line of smilies was for me then thank you, if not then...er...it was very pretty.

[ 29. March 2004, 14:25: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
You're welcome! Freddy too. In fact as they say in Ireland, God bless all here.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
You see, what I see this doing is seeking to define these things (rationality, mercy, consistency) from outside the schema that God reveals about himself. Maybe there's an issue here as well about how we see ourselves , but I don't think we are capable of defining the love that God is outside of seeing what he is. He is the definition of love, rather than us coming with such a definition and ruling out what does not fit our definition as "not God". We certainly, in our sinfulness, cannot outdefine God from love. Rather we must accept what he says is loving and merciful and just.

I can certainly understand this, and I applaud this point of view. I agree that it is God, not we, who defines, and that whatever He says is loving, merciful and just - quite apart from our inadequate human definitions.

Ironically, however, your explanation does constitute an effort to explain and rationalize. To my mind this defeats your assertion that this isn't necessary.

In the last analysis, I don't think that it is possible for the revealed God to be God without being consistent with the revealed God. The whole concept of revelation throws a wrench, to my mind, into the assertion that God needs no explanation.

Still, I love the starting point that it is God, not we, who does the defining.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sean D
Cheery barman
# 2271

 - Posted      Profile for Sean D   Author's homepage   Email Sean D   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Hi Lep

I'm going to try and make this a fairly brief reply as I'm running out of steam and I think we could only now debate this particular issue fully if it turned into a full-blown inerrancy debate and that's down in the land of equines pending the glue factory for a reason...

quote:
No, apparently it is only defined by SOME of the Bible.
See point about it being the whole of Scripture which reveals God. I'm not aware of any Bible verse which tells us that "every text of Scripture reveals God equally as much as every other text". This is therefore a rational, extra-biblical deduction every bit as much as my deductions are. You just think it's a better deduction. That's what inerrancy debates always boil down to and why they're so irresolvable.

quote:
There are places outside of Joshua where the Bible seems to be saying that God does not "want" (and there is a serious issue of definition of that word in the Bible) everyone to be saved (Romans 9 being the most obvious NT example). Life is indeed precious and sacred, but less precious and sacred than the glory of God himself. Or so it seems to me.


Tiny bit of a false dichotomy? God's glory is shown in the love he shows for humanity in not condemning us all. I am not a Calvinist and that's a whole other biblical question. This is an assumption of mine but I believe it's a biblical one.

quote:
He does use Sodom and Gomorrah though. Which I would have thought raises similar questions on your view.
Not really - a pretty different case. According to that text, as has been mentioned, everyone in that city was guilty of attempted rape. The specific reason for the destruction of the Amalakites given by the text is that their ancestors were mean to the people of Israel.

quote:
Even if it is an argument from silence, it is still an argument. Jesus didn't hesitate to point out people's misunderstandings of God from the OT elsewhere. It certainly seems strange to me that is (as you are suggesting) he meant to introduce such a wholesale revision of God's character he didn't bother to mention it.


Not quite what I was getting at. It's not that Jesus intended necessarily to do this, but that he reveals a God whose response to sin is to bear it upon himself and to redeem the sinful - not to punish. He can punish and he has every right to punish. But he chooses not to. I'm not arguing for a wholesale revision of the OT picture of God. I am saying that sometimes the OT writers got it wrong, in the same way that sometimes they made grammatical mistakes, sometimes they made historical mistakes etc etc - sometimes they made theological mistakes too.

quote:
Do you mean this? Let me introduce you to the doctrine commonly known as grace. (Sorry needlessly sarcastic, couldn't resist) The answer is surely that no one from any of those tribes will be there because they deserve it!


OK sorry that was a rubbish argument!

quote:
There seems underlying this whole debate, to me anyway, to be a serious difference in how we see our relationship to God.
It's nothing to do with that. I believe in the sovereignty of God, the universal sinfulness of humanity, the righteous wrath of God against sin and therefore sinners, the judgement of death and eternal separation of God upon us all and the justice of punishing us. I am saved by grace alone. I contribute nothing to my relationship to God. It is all his love and gracious gift and I love him desperately for it.

The real difference between us is which logical, rational deduction do we make. Very crudely, yours is "The Bible is inspired by God therefore God said it so it can contain no errors." Mine is "The Bible is inspired by God but there's no biblical reason to suppose that this should mean it is error-free. Two things which are totally self-contradictory cannot both be true, even if the Bible says them both."

--------------------
postpostevangelical
http://www.stmellitus.org/

Posts: 2126 | From: North and South Kensington | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sean

Yup, getting all of this, and indeed I agree there is a difference here in our views of the Bible. The "you" in my previous comment was wider than just you Sean, and as Freddy says it does underly some of the discussion.
The Sodom and Gomorrah thing, I think realistically does cause a bit of a problem for your view. A more common answer (put forward on this thread, with which I disagree) is that Jesus didn't need it to be a real event to be using it as an example.
It is just as possible that the Amalekites were man woman and child as guilty of rebellion against God as the people in those cities (and in fact, I think, because of original sin, there should be a de facto assumption they were.)

I'm not sure we need to throw our whole hands up in horror at the deduction issue. There are good and bad deductions. There are deductions that seem plausible and are nevertheless wrong, and that are implausible, but turn out to be right. Try the latter with any Agatha Christie book - the least likely person is always the murderer!
The deductions we have come to looking at the text are indeed different, and both indeed have grounding, but the truth is out there...

No one is saying that reason is not involved, rather that there is a dialectic between reason and text in which text (IMO) must always be given ultimate authority. Our logic too is fallen.

Anyhoo, your probably right that this is getting exhausted - thanks for the chat. Useful. Interesting. [Yipee]

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sean D
Cheery barman
# 2271

 - Posted      Profile for Sean D   Author's homepage   Email Sean D   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
No one is saying that reason is not involved, rather that there is a dialectic between reason and text in which text (IMO) must always be given ultimate authority. Our logic too is fallen.

I agree with this. It simply seems to me to be much more of a logical stretch from "The Bible is inspired" to "The Bible contains no errors" than it is from "Two things which are mutually contradictory cannot both be true" to "The Bible therefore contains errors and it never said it didn't anyway". The problem I have therefore with inerrancy arguments is that they are too heavily deduced, whereas I take the words of Scripture much more at face value, believe it or not. For example, when the Bible contradicts itself, I assume each biblical writer had a reason for saying what he or she said - rather than twisting one or both texts to fit each other, as I used to have to do when I believed in inerrancy. I ended up being unfaithful to the text and refusing to allow it to speak for itself.

So, I also have a dialectic of text and reason - and I also put the text as my supreme authority. But I let the facts of the text (i.e. it contains mistakes) as well as the statements of the text (that it is inspired) guide my reasoning.

--------------------
postpostevangelical
http://www.stmellitus.org/

Posts: 2126 | From: North and South Kensington | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yup. Completely.
I know you weren't implying this, but my irk is with the view that says - because you use reason to make judgement about the Bible, you don't believe in the authority of the Bible more than anyone else. So why not just admit it is all to do with reason and nothing to do with the authority of the text?

Which is obviously just bootstrapping something to something else to try and make the person you disagree with look stupid. And it does my head in.

The (inerrancy) question remains this - can the text remain authoritative over my reason, if I use my reason to decide parts of the text are mistaken? My view is no, yours is yes. That's the bottom line I think.

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

 - Posted      Profile for Freddy   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
The (inerrancy) question remains this - can the text remain authoritative over my reason, if I use my reason to decide parts of the text are mistaken? My view is no, yours is yes. That's the bottom line I think.

It's not the bottom line. Reason is used not to decide that parts of the text are mistaken, but to harmonize the apparently contradictory aspects of divine revelation.

It is true that this means that it is mistaken in one sense to say that God killed the Canaanites or ordered their death. In another sense, however, this killing merely describes the truth that God is opposed to wickedness and that wickedness is destroyed in His presence. It is therefore perfectly true if understood spiritually and in context.

This isn't reason having authority over the text. It is reason collating apparently contradictory aspects of revelation, so that all of dividne revelation has authority.

[ 31. March 2004, 16:52: Message edited by: Freddy ]

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
 
  ship of fools