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Source: (consider it) Thread: Words of Paul=Jesus?
Jammy Dodger

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At the risk of introducing a tangent. In the OP the statement was:
quote:
"In orthodox Christology, the words of Paul ARE the words of Jesus."
I don't think that was intended exclusively to refer to Paul - but to any writer of the NT or Scripture as a whole for that matter. So James = Jesus, Peter = Jesus, writer to the Hebrews = Jesus, etc.

I grew up in a church that frowned upon "red letter Bibles" (the ones that put the spoken words of Jesus in red type) as this "elevated" the words of Jesus above all other Scripture (so the argument went).

I think the idea was Jesus said he only spoke what his Father told him to, which was by the Holy Spirit anyway who is the one who as inspired all of Scripture, God the Father, Son & Spirit are all one anyway so basically any passage of Scripture should be read as if Jesus spoke it directly. What Brian McLaren would describe as a "flat" reading of Scripture.

Just thought I would make the point that I don't think the original issue related just to Paul specifically as I have come across similar statements from other people in conversation. Apologies if that was obvious.

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


I repeat - don't make up to suit your own preferences a Jesus different from the Jesus actually portrayed in the gospels. Either honestly accept him or honestly reject him, but don't mess around with him.

Or perhaps take a bit of notice of the context and stop assuming the bible can be read in isolation.
Actually I'm very keen on reading in context
A) in terms of reading texts in both their local context and in the wider context of the Bible as a whole, and
B) in terms of taking account of the wider context of the surrounding world and definitely NOT reading the bible in isolation.

I may have come to essentially Anabaptist conclusions on many issues - that doesn't mean that I'm some isolated backwoods hyper-literal fundamentalist who only knows the Bible 'in isolation'. As I've pointed out elsewhere I'm a hyperlexic and very widely read. And BTW a considerable CS Lewis fan.

The point here is that LION, the only Jesus we know with any certainty is the Jesus of the NT - the Jesus essentially from accounts of those who knew him, even if, as in Luke's case, collected by someone who wasn't a witness himself. What is recorded as Jesus' teaching in the NT is very strongly likely to represent his actual teaching.

What I'm concerned with here is a phenomenon seen among so-called 'liberal' theologians. As an example I once heard a man preach on one of Jesus' parables and at one point he quoted what Jesus said and then said "Would our Jesus have said that?"

The parable in question is sufficiently unusual that I'd regard it as unlikely that it's anything other than a genuine record of a real occasion which the hearers found memorable. But the thing is that this preacher had no real scholarly reason to deny those words to Jesus - it's just that he doesn't like what Jesus said and would prefer Jesus to have said something else. So he appeals against the recorded teaching to an 'our Jesus' who "wouldn't have said that".

And of course such an 'our Jesus' fits pretty precisely the notion of an idol - a god made up by the worshipper to suit the worshipper's desires. And that's what my objection is here - that someone like 'bib' is in this case setting against Paul what is clearly a very selective version of Jesus rather than the Jesus we see in the Bible. Martin 60 seems to have seen the same point and I was basically agreeing with him on that, albeit with some qualifications/reservations.

As for Jesus calling the Gentile woman a 'dog', I think a great deal would depend on how he said this - and the woman's spirited reply suggests that she saw in Jesus something other than the standard racist Jew, and his further response to that shows that he was not being racist himself. As I said before, Jesus was operating in a transitional period - in which he was responsible for the transition - and in a Jewish culture which wasn't entirely as God would have liked. Note that in most cases he compares Jews unfavorably to Gentiles....

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


What I'm concerned with here is a phenomenon seen among so-called 'liberal' theologians. As an example I once heard a man preach on one of Jesus' parables and at one point he quoted what Jesus said and then said "Would our Jesus have said that?"

The parable in question is sufficiently unusual that I'd regard it as unlikely that it's anything other than a genuine record of a real occasion which the hearers found memorable. But the thing is that this preacher had no real scholarly reason to deny those words to Jesus - it's just that he doesn't like what Jesus said and would prefer Jesus to have said something else. So he appeals against the recorded teaching to an 'our Jesus' who "wouldn't have said that"...

As for Jesus calling the Gentile woman a 'dog', I think a great deal would depend on how he said this - and the woman's spirited reply suggests that she saw in Jesus something other than the standard racist Jew, and his further response to that shows that he was not being racist himself. As I said before, Jesus was operating in a transitional period - in which he was responsible for the transition - and in a Jewish culture which wasn't entirely as God would have liked. Note that in most cases he compares Jews unfavorably to Gentiles....

One explanation I've heard is that Jesus was rhetorically echoing either a common saying or the whisperings of the disciples-- who often seem to see themselves as gatekeepers keeping the undeserving-- women, children, Gentiles, hungry crowds-- away from Jesus. By echoing that common saying he was setting the woman up to be the "hero" of the story-- this unlikely preacher gets to be the one who delivers the zinger that changes perspective.

Of course, that sort of exegesis could be as fanciful as the one employed by your "liberal preacher" mentioned above-- just as prone to misuse whenever we hear Jesus saying something we don't like.

I totally appreciate your point about reading narratives contextually and not dismissing something just because we don't like it or it doesn't fit our preconceived presumptions about Jesus. Often it is the things that "don't fit"-- the things that challenge our preconceptions-- that are the most transformative.

And yet-- we have to admit there are passages that seem to be in conflict, passages that seem to present two very different pictures of Jesus. When that happens, we have several options:
1. Do some exegetical gymnastics to try to make both contradictory statements work-- hard to accomplish and lots of cognitive dissonance
2. Assume the NT is a human document so all of it is prone to error, or that Jesus is not perfect (as the story re calling the woman a "dog" suggests) but was simply human and prone to error. I'm guessing you won't like either of these any more than the liberal preacher's approach.
3. Assume some things were either heard/remembered incorrectly or had some cultural allusions (eg to common sayings) that served a rhetorical purpose we don't get.

If we go with #3, the best thing we can do is look to the overall picture of Jesus presented in the gospels, and go with the strongest/ most dominant theme. If something seems out of place (calling Gentiles "dogs" is very much at odds with Jesus' overall pattern of ministry among Gentiles) so we can assume it either was heard incorrectly or we're missing some rhetorical twist.

But that will probably yield something not dissimilar to the liberal theologian's approach, though-- since our reading of the overall narrative arc will of course be influenced by our presumptions about Jesus and confirmation bias. I think to a large extent that's inevitable. Reading Scripture in diverse groups can help with that-- helping you read the narratives thru other people's perspective-- but it's still going to be a subjective approach. Best to admit that and acknowledge all the inherent eisegesis that may suggest imho.

[ 01. November 2017, 15:37: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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k-mann
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by k-mann:
They both claim to present us with the teaching of Christ, the Gospel og Christ. I don't see why Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are more reliable than Paul in doing that.

Not what you asked..
It was.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
As for Jesus calling the Gentile woman a 'dog', I think a great deal would depend on how he said this - and the woman's spirited reply suggests that she saw in Jesus something other than the standard racist Jew, and his further response to that shows that he was not being racist himself.

We discussed this a while back, and someone who had lived a long time in the Middle East said that, to Middle Eastern ears, this does not sound the way it does to us. There is apparently a large culture-gap here.

Moo

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Steve Langton
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by cliffdweller;
quote:
And yet-- we have to admit there are passages that seem to be in conflict, passages that seem to present two very different pictures of Jesus.
Contrary to how some have portrayed it I don't think I know everything and I'm quite happy to admit it. When I post an opinion I'm quite happy to see it challenged by better evidence and better logic.

This is a slightly different situation, though. 'Liberals' are seeing 'very different pictures of Jesus' where I actually see one consistent picture. The 'liberal' finds it necessary to pick and choose to have the picture he wants, that 'our Jesus' who 'wouldn't say that'; I don't find that necessity.

Specifically this is about the passages where far from being the cosy comfortable guy who 'wouldn't say that', Jesus talks far more about hell than even Paul. The 'liberal' is determined that there can't be a hell so he tries to disregard those passages. And so he ends up with a very nice Jesus, but not really the Jesus of the NT - it is a Jesus he has made up to suit what he wants to believe, and there is no serious objective scholarly foundation for that step, it really is just the subjective opinion/wish of the 'liberal'.

Now I don't claim to know if anybody actually ends up finally in the state called 'hell'. But I believe Jesus talks about it because it is a real possibility for those who ultimately reject God. As the passage in John 3 points out, the judgement is that they choose the darkness. I believe it's Milton in Paradise Lost who portrays hell as a realm locked not from the outside by God, but from the inside to keep God out (which of course can't work).

I find it interesting that the 'liberals' and atheists etc who most vehemently reject hell are nevertheless also most vehement in rejecting the idea of God ever compelling anyone. They often aren't even happy that God might tell them what to do, let alone make them do it. But if they want to choose the darkness, why complain that they might get what they've chosen?

I think that in itself is a topic for another thread. The issue here is whether it really works to make up a Jesus to suit yourself but nevertheless claim to be a Christian. I'm currently reading J Gresham Machen's "Christianity and Liberalism" and I think his basic point is incontrovertible - Liberalism is not Christianity but a different religious idea devised by men to suit themselves while using a very selective set of Christian ideas and words to benefit from the association with Christianity.

If you don't do that liberal picking/selecting, Jesus and Paul are not in conflict. If you don't agree with them you surely should not pretend to be a Christian....

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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You really don't like us progressives, do you Steve? You realise that by stating you don't know if anyone ends up in Hell you'd be considered a liberal by some don't you - the problem with finger pointing andone drawing is that it's a game all can play.

[ 02. November 2017, 11:03: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Bloody phone - that's *line* drawing

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Martin60
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This liberal knows that Jesus is perfectly accurately quoted and represented. I don't know any liberal who could possibly believe otherwise.

Jesus, being fully human, was making it up as a He went along of course. He couldn't possibly know anything beyond His human life except by the Spirit. He recalled seeing Satan fall like lightning, He knew that gender is transcended in the resurrection. What else? The end of the Jewish world. Anything else? He believed all manner of untrue things. How could He not? All He had to go on was the TaNaKh; in which He correctly saw His mission despite it not being there, His enculturation and His divine nature, the frog-trumping prince.

[ 02. November 2017, 14:48: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
This is a slightly different situation, though. 'Liberals' are seeing 'very different pictures of Jesus' where I actually see one consistent picture. The 'liberal' finds it necessary to pick and choose to have the picture he wants, that 'our Jesus' who 'wouldn't say that'; I don't find that necessity.

Specifically this is about the passages where far from being the cosy comfortable guy who 'wouldn't say that', Jesus talks far more about hell than even Paul. The 'liberal' is determined that there can't be a hell so he tries to disregard those passages. And so he ends up with a very nice Jesus, but not really the Jesus of the NT - it is a Jesus he has made up to suit what he wants to believe, and there is no serious objective scholarly foundation for that step, it really is just the subjective opinion/wish of the 'liberal'.

Now I don't claim to know if anybody actually ends up finally in the state called 'hell'. But I believe Jesus talks about it because it is a real possibility for those who ultimately reject God. As the passage in John 3 points out, the judgement is that they choose the darkness. I believe it's Milton in Paradise Lost who portrays hell as a realm locked not from the outside by God, but from the inside to keep God out (which of course can't work).

I find it interesting that the 'liberals' and atheists etc who most vehemently reject hell are nevertheless also most vehement in rejecting the idea of God ever compelling anyone. They often aren't even happy that God might tell them what to do, let alone make them do it. But if they want to choose the darkness, why complain that they might get what they've chosen?

Steve, I have found myself wondering why “liberals” is always placed within scare quotes in your posts. I’m coming to the conclusion that, intentional or not, it signals that the “liberals” being criticized are a hefty over-generalization at best and a caricature at worst. I’m sorry, but the result is that I have trouble taking your criticisms of “liberals” seriously or giving your arguments about “liberalism” any credence at all. (Citations to Machan don’t help in that regard as far as I’m concerned.)

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mr cheesy
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It is because a "liberal" is anyone who doesn't instantly agree with Steve Langton's idiosyncratic view of theology. In fact it turns out that many of those who disagree with this are actually "conservative" or "orthodox" but just disagree with him.

He seems to think that because he has thought it (and because he has aspergers, that somehow means he has thought about, considered and rejected all other objections) and come to a conclusion, then that is the only possible truth. Therefore anyone who doesn't agree is somehow liberal.

[ 03. November 2017, 10:55: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Steve Langton
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by Nick Tamen
quote:
Steve, I have found myself wondering why “liberals” is always placed within scare quotes in your posts.
It might be because I'm not actually thinking in terms of 'scare quotes' but just an emphasis. Though experience does suggest that all too often the 'liberals' are very intolerant and illiberal in realty.

And the 'generalisation' about how 'liberals' treat the Bible is based on an awful lot of examples I've come across over the years.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Nick Tamen
quote:
Steve, I have found myself wondering why “liberals” is always placed within scare quotes in your posts.
It might be because I'm not actually thinking in terms of 'scare quotes' but just an emphasis.
Aside from the fact that quotation marks are not properly used to denote emphasis—that’s what italics and bolding are for—you consistently put “liberals” and “liberalism” in quotation marks every time you use those words. Why the need for emphasis every time? (Indeed, why the need for emphasis at all.)

quote:
Though experience does suggest that all too often the 'liberals' are very intolerant and illiberal in realty.

And the 'generalisation' about how 'liberals' treat the Bible is based on an awful lot of examples I've come across over the years.

Which means nothing except that’s your experience. I can cite an awful lot of examples to the contrary. Either way, anecdotes, not data.

Sorry Steve—it appears to be simple disagreement with and maybe prejudice against “liberals,” whoever they may be exactly, or as mr cheesy says, slapping the “liberal” label on anyone you disagree with.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Nick Tamen
quote:
Steve, I have found myself wondering why “liberals” is always placed within scare quotes in your posts.
It might be because I'm not actually thinking in terms of 'scare quotes' but just an emphasis. Though experience does suggest that all too often the 'liberals' are very intolerant and illiberal in realty.

And the 'generalisation' about how 'liberals' treat the Bible is based on an awful lot of examples I've come across over the years.

So which liberal estate agents here or anywhere are intolerant and illiberal?

[ 03. November 2017, 13:03: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quotes are not for emphasis, Steve. Bold, Italic, Capitals if you must, but quotes mean either "what someone said" or "what people call it but it isn't really"

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
You really don't like us progressives, do you Steve? You realise that by stating you don't know if anyone ends up in Hell you'd be considered a liberal by some don't you - the problem with finger pointing andone drawing is that it's a game all can play.

You are probably right; yes the Bible does clearly imply that some humans and other beings will end up 'in hell'. It helps if you think of hell not just as a mere 'place' to which someone could perhaps be inappropriately assigned, but as a state which people only end up in (a) because it's what they choose, being unable to accept living in heaven with God, and (b) because as they can't live with heaven they haven't left themselves a real alternative.

What is nevertheless clear is that Jesus talks frequently about 'hell' (and not only when he uses the actual word for it) and 'liberals' - and there certainly are more than a few - who try to oppose a Jesus who supposedly didn't believe in hell to a supposedly hellfire and damnation Paul seem to be reading the NT in a very odd way indeed - to which I would not feel it appropriate to apply the word 'progressive'.

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Steve Langton
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by Karl; Liberal Backslider
quote:
"what people call it but it isn't really"
Yeah, that basically - but why is that usage called "scare quotes"? What does that usefully contribute to the discussion?
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Steve Langton
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by Martin 60;
quote:
So which liberal estate agents here or anywhere are intolerant and illiberal?
it is precisely to distinguish so-called 'liberal' theologians from all kinds of other liberals - including the party I still just about vote for - that I use those quotes.
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Nick Tamen

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Steve, it would probably help things a great deal if you’d explain the difference you see between a liberal and a “liberal.”

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Karl; Liberal Backslider
quote:
"what people call it but it isn't really"
Yeah, that basically - but why is that usage called "scare quotes"? What does that usefully contribute to the discussion?
Scare quotes is a standard term for what you’re doing: The Wiki on Scare quotes.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Steve Langton
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by Nick Tamen
quote:
slapping the “liberal” label on anyone you disagree with.
I thought I'd "slapped it" on people of a quite specific view/style-of-interpretation which certainly exists and which I disagree with because it's a bad form of interpretation. Which is what we ought to be discussing. Because I'm still puzzled by the way bib seems to have no problem with Jesus but a problem with Paul when, as Martin also pointed out, Jesus is also recorded saying essentially the things bib appears to disagree with in Paul.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
You are probably right; yes the Bible does clearly imply that some humans and other beings will end up 'in hell'.

Only if you utterly mangle the different words used in different places together; totally reject the context in which the things were said (or depicted as saying) and totally reject the scholarship about the cultural understanding of the terms.

Yeah, in that situation it is plainly obvious what the bible teaches about hell. For everyone else, the thing is extremely complicated.


quote:
It helps if you think of hell not just as a mere 'place' to which someone could perhaps be inappropriately assigned, but as a state which people only end up in (a) because it's what they choose, being unable to accept living in heaven with God, and (b) because as they can't live with heaven they haven't left themselves a real alternative.
It kinda also helps if you don't parade your thoughts in the same breath as the bible - strongly implying that they're on the same level.

They're not. Your thoughts are exactly just that - thoughts.

No better or worse than anyone elses.

quote:
What is nevertheless clear is that Jesus talks frequently about 'hell' (and not only when he uses the actual word for it) and 'liberals' - and there certainly are more than a few - who try to oppose a Jesus who supposedly didn't believe in hell to a supposedly hellfire and damnation Paul seem to be reading the NT in a very odd way indeed - to which I would not feel it appropriate to apply the word 'progressive'.
Nope it is far from clear. If you'd bothered to even scratch the surface of the words used and translated "hell", you'd know this.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
I thought I'd "slapped it" on people of a quite specific view/style-of-interpretation which certainly exists and which I disagree with because it's a bad form of interpretation. Which is what we ought to be discussing. Because I'm still puzzled by the way bib seems to have no problem with Jesus but a problem with Paul when, as Martin also pointed out, Jesus is also recorded saying essentially the things bib appears to disagree with in Paul.

My suggestion would be that if you’re puzzled by bib’s position and form of interpretation, then engage with bib’s position and interpretation rather than making generalized swipes at “liberals” and “liberalism”—especially when it’s really not at all clear who or what you mean by those terms.

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Steve Langton
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Nick, thanks for the reference on 'scare quotes' - as it says at one point in that article, the use of the word 'scare' is potentially confusing, so it's not a helpful term.

"Liberal" is a word with a wide range of meaning from I think an origin in terms of generosity. As a term for theologians it seems to be used of again a quite broad collection of views all of which have in common that they basically try to devise a Christian theology significantly different from that found in the NT - but still want to be thought of as 'Christian'. As Machen said, something that calls itself Christian but is really a different animal, more about how the 'liberal' thinks it should be than about the original teaching.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

"Liberal" is a word with a wide range of meaning from I think an origin in terms of generosity. As a term for theologians it seems to be used of again a quite broad collection of views all of which have in common that they basically try to devise a Christian theology significantly different from that found in the NT - but still want to be thought of as 'Christian'. As Machen said, something that calls itself Christian but is really a different animal, more about how the 'liberal' thinks it should be than about the original teaching.

There is no Christian theology found in the NT. Christian theology is derived from the NT.

Asserting your opinion over and over again is not proof that your opinion = NT theology.

[ 03. November 2017, 14:30: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Nick, thanks for the reference on 'scare quotes' - as it says at one point in that article, the use of the word 'scare' is potentially confusing, so it's not a helpful term.

The article does note the word “scare” “may be confusing.” It is, nevertheless, a well-established term.

quote:
"Liberal" is a word with a wide range of meaning from I think an origin in terms of generosity. As a term for theologians it seems to be used of again a quite broad collection of views all of which have in common that they basically try to devise a Christian theology significantly different from that found in the NT - but still want to be thought of as 'Christian'.
This is going to be pretty subjective definition, turning on ones own understanding of what is taught in the NT. By this definition, I have a suspicion that from your perspective the RCs and the Orthodox, among others, are “liberal.”

And you still haven’t explained the difference between “liberal” (with quote marks) and liberal (without quote marks). You’ve suggested there’s a difference, but I for one can’t tell what it is.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:


And you still haven’t explained the difference between “liberal” (with quote marks) and liberal (without quote marks). You’ve suggested there’s a difference, but I for one can’t tell what it is.

It seems that there are two different kinds of liberals to Steve. There are the "good" liberals, like the Liberal party, who stand for various freedoms that Steve - as an Anabaptist and pacifist - strongly believes in.

But there are also "liberals" who are people who hold erroneous theology and palm off their obviously incorrect theology as liberal whilst at the same time as being illiberal - particularly with regard to accepting that Steve's views are legitimate and should be at least considered as possibly right.

He wants to be around people who say "hmm yes Steve, your views on gay sex are very interesting, I'll go away and think those over and decide whether they might be true" rather than "nope, that's total bollocks".

Which is a silly way to use the term in my view, but there we are.

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quetzalcoatl
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Presumably, 'liberals' aren't 'Christian' really, in fact, they have 'departed' from the 'truth', or do I mean 'truthiness'? Who 'knows'? Not 'me'.

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rolyn
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Always thought it was St Paul who, throwing away the Torah, departed from the 'Thou shalt nots...' and went more for the Yay, whatever floats your boat approach.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Presumably, 'liberals' aren't 'Christian' really, in fact, they have 'departed' from the 'truth', or do I mean 'truthiness'? Who 'knows'? Not 'me'.

Cut "it" "out".

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Always thought it was St Paul who, throwing away the Torah, departed from the 'Thou shalt nots...' and went more for the Yay, whatever floats your boat approach.

Perhaps you should actually read Paul??
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rolyn
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I have read some of Paul’s Letters.
He strikes me as someone who himself wasn’t much bothered by sex. However he seemed to be preaching general restraint in the light of excessive perversions in places like Corinth.

That message appears to have stood the test of time when one looks around today.

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
I have read some of Paul’s Letters.
He strikes me as someone who himself wasn’t much bothered by sex. However he seemed to be preaching general restraint in the light of excessive perversions in places like Corinth.

That message appears to have stood the test of time when one looks around today.

Right here I'm not too 'bothered about sex', except insofar as 'gay sex' is currently a hot topic and difficult to ignore; I mentioned it in an earlier post to show an example of liberalism in dealing with it. But I think I would challenge both the idea that Paul just 'threw away' the Torah and that his approach was just "Yay, whatever floats your boat". I think his position is both more complex and more hard-edged/less 'hippy' than that.

Jesus didn't throw the Torah out either, but as he put it 'fulfilled' it, and in terms of the thread topic here I don't see that he and Paul are in contradiction. Different emphases, yes, but truly different teaching, no. And I think some of the difference in emphasis is precisely because the gospels could, in effect, take for granted what was in the epistles and supplement it rather than repeat it.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Always thought it was St Paul who, throwing away the Torah, departed from the 'Thou shalt nots...' and went more for the Yay, whatever floats your boat approach.

Perhaps you should actually read Paul??
My thoughts exactly!!!

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Steve Langton
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by mr cheesy
quote:

quote:
quote from SL;
It helps if you think of hell not just as a mere 'place' to which someone could perhaps be inappropriately assigned, but as a state which people only end up in (a) because it's what they choose, being unable to accept living in heaven with God, and (b) because as they can't live with heaven they haven't left themselves a real alternative.

It kinda also helps if you don't parade your thoughts in the same breath as the bible - strongly implying that they're on the same level.

They're not. Your thoughts are exactly just that - thoughts.

No better or worse than anyone elses.

Kinda agree with you. Again contrary to how some have tried to portray me I don't by any means think I'm any kind of infallible interpreter. I do generally try to show some of the evidence, context, etc for my suggestions. In this case,for example, part of the evidence, mentioned in a previous post and therefore not repeated in the later one, is John 3/18-21 with its point that those condemned have themselves chosen the darkness. And I'd expect from you a discussion of the implications of that rather than just a sneering attack on me for making a fairly ordinary comment which of course I'm quite happy to have challenged by actual evidence. But not at all happy to have it just unhelpfully sneered at.
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Steve Langton
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by Nick Tamen;
quote:
My suggestion would be that if you’re puzzled by bib’s position and form of interpretation, then engage with bib’s position and interpretation rather than making generalized swipes at “liberals” and “liberalism”—especially when it’s really not at all clear who or what you mean by those terms.
I've just been back to bib's original comment and my response to both him and Martin 60. At that stage 'liberals' were not mentioned - that happened when mr cheesy and others widened the discussion.

I shared what appears also to have been Martin's puzzlement at bib having no problem with Jesus but having a problem with Paul when Jesus' own recorded statements are also pretty strong - like for instance the many references to 'hell/Gehenna' and so on. I'm quite happy to further discuss that with bib, but until bib shows up again I'm rather left with dealing with others like mr cheesy who have both widened the discussion and really personally insulted me as well.

I am preparing a clarification of some points you (Nick) have queried. Will likely not be finished till sometime tomorrow....

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by Jammy Dodger:
At the risk of introducing a tangent. In the OP the statement was:
quote:
"In orthodox Christology, the words of Paul ARE the words of Jesus."
I don't think that was intended exclusively to refer to Paul - but to any writer of the NT or Scripture as a whole for that matter. So James = Jesus, Peter = Jesus, writer to the Hebrews = Jesus, etc.

I grew up in a church that frowned upon "red letter Bibles" (the ones that put the spoken words of Jesus in red type) as this "elevated" the words of Jesus above all other Scripture (so the argument went).

I think the idea was Jesus said he only spoke what his Father told him to, which was by the Holy Spirit anyway who is the one who as inspired all of Scripture, God the Father, Son & Spirit are all one anyway so basically any passage of Scripture should be read as if Jesus spoke it directly. What Brian McLaren would describe as a "flat" reading of Scripture.

Just thought I would make the point that I don't think the original issue related just to Paul specifically as I have come across similar statements from other people in conversation. Apologies if that was obvious.

I wouldn't think it was orthodox to simply equate with each other all Scriptural writers - or others whose words they record; but yes, in orthodox Christianity it's all Scripture so it's all from God.

The problem with a 'flat' interpretation is simply that whether with the Bible or most other books (I'm not sure I can quite say "all"), it's an unnatural way to read a text. In more everyday texts we apply, almost subconsciously, all kinds of considerations about context, background knowledge, etc., and interpret in quite a flexible and 3D if not multi-dimensional fashion. At the same time it is the text itself which is the arbiter of how good our interpretation is.

In Biblical interpretation the meaning of the word 'literal' has changed over the years and from c1920 has tended to mean a somewhat 'dumb wooden' or even 'flat' interpretation. Back in the Reformation, as per a passage I've frequently quoted from Tyndale, 'literal' was in contrast to the other (more exotic) of the scholarly 'Four-Fold Sense' interpretation'; and in that context the idea of 'literal' corresponded more to what we'd see as reading the Bible in the same kind of way as we read other books - which as I say is not usually a 'flat' reading.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Always thought it was St Paul who, throwing away the Torah, departed from the 'Thou shalt nots...' and went more for the Yay, whatever floats your boat approach.

This doesn't sound like any Pauline writings I've read. Can you point us to a place or two where he comes across this way to you?

[ 04. November 2017, 22:41: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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