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Source: (consider it) Thread: All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
Martin60
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# 368

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As discussed ad nauseam, left, right and centre on the Kerg Unto Us... thread, where foretelling prophecy is defended right and centre and even by lefties except left wing loonies like me, well just me (and even I would accept it if God actually did it). I don't want to go near the Dead Horse of inerrancy, but as I asked in the context of alleged prophecy, "As we know from scripture all scripture is inspired; it says so. Including all the God the Killer stuff, which isn't how God is at all; if it doesn't look like Jesus it isn't God. So what is this 'inspiration'?".

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Buggered if I know mate; it's not a concept I find particularly useful.

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Gamaliel
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It's a fascinating topic, Martin, but I'm not sure how we can begin to address it without clip-clopping down into The Equine Graveyard.

FWIW, I don't believe that ideas of divine inspiration necessitate:

- Certain stories being literally true in every detail.

- A requirement to understand Genesis, Job, Jonah and apocalyptic books like Daniel and Revelations in a literal way.

But trying to set my stall out on any of that is going to get me into arguments with both right and left.

I'll have go but we're likely to end up going over very old ground with your 'magic' and 'God the Killer' tropes.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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That's because that's where the problem lies. Usually ends in an argument between people who can't see a problem with God ordering children to be slaughtered in cold blood and those who can.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Eutychus
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hosting/

Yup, it's going to be impossible to discuss this on the back of the Kerygmania thread without touching on inerrancy, so off to Dead Horses we go.

/hosting

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Martin60
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# 368

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Sir. (Might one ask if a link could be made from the Purg thread?)

Responding openly to K:LB

Are there any who can and who don't cop out with God's ways not being our ways and believe 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God.'? Or that any of it is? How does one discern if any?

[ 26. December 2017, 17:42: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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SvitlanaV2
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I can't speak about inerrancy, but want to refer to the idea that the biblical God is a 'killer'.

I understand that some modern theologians posit that God is weak. God the weakling seems to be an alternative to God the killer. Neither seems attractive on the surface, but I don't see any other solution, since we do all die, after all, and if God has anything to do with it then he must be a killer. And if he doesn't, yet allows it to happen, then he must be weak.

For me, God's love is exercised within and around his power to give and take life. I suppose that means that I lean in the 'killer' direction. I don't dislike the notion of God as weak, but I haven't really seen it enunciated at the popular or congregational level, so I'm not sure how it works out in practice.

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Eutychus
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Martin FYI there's a link at the top of the page if you click on the closed thread in Purg.

I need to go and lie down for a few days somewhere after the Keryg thread but I'd like to mention a thought arising from something Jamat said there:
quote:
The Bible needs to have structural and thematic integrity if God has inspired it. I believe he has. It cannot contain errors or he did not.
Usually, inerrantists claim Scripture is without error "as originally given", which on the one hand makes sense but on the other is a perfect cop-out since we don't have the original manuscripts, so any errors can be put down to copyists and so forth.

However, from my discussions with Jamat it would seem that inerrantists don't stop there and that this conviction might have more dramatic consequences.

Indeed, it would appear that in practice this inerrantist doctrine is applied backwards, as it were, to translations, in an attempt to make the translations themselves appear (as they would see it) "without error".

In other words, if one's starting point is that Scripture is wholly without error, any less-than-100%-accurate text must be patched up or explained away to make it so - and the new, sanitised translation is then presented as the equivalent of the inerrant original.

This seems to be functionally how Fruchtenbaum's reasoning, so often invoked by Jamat on that thread, operates, and thinking about it, it seems to be the approach taken by the dispensationalist Scofield reference bible with its notes.

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Gamaliel
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Yes, and the theological term for that is 'bollocks'.

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Martin60
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# 368

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Thanks Eutychus. What an astounding proposition. The concept of the missing inerrant original CORRECTLY, inspiredly restored in translation. A breathtakingly strong delusion. Brilliant on elucidating it. Hope you miss this as you're crashed out.

SvitlanaV2. I'm not talking God the weak killer by Him being creator of entropic creation. But The Killer. The one who slaughters humanity directly and by His righteous agents by the billion from one end of 'inspired' scripture, as believed by Jesus, to the other.

That's before He resurrects them to do even worse.

[ 26. December 2017, 22:36: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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3rdFooter
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Yes, and the theological term for that is 'bollocks'.

As a translator with self-taught greek of a pretty shaky quality, I can provide ample evidence for this standpoint.

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3F - Shunter in the sidings of God's Kingdom

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:


SvitlanaV2. I'm not talking God the weak killer by Him being creator of entropic creation. But The Killer. The one who slaughters humanity directly and by His righteous agents by the billion from one end of 'inspired' scripture, as believed by Jesus, to the other.

That's before He resurrects them to do even worse.

Killer or 'Killer': if God is all-powerful, what difference does it make? Are you arguing that God can hide behind human destructiveness or natural disasters? Isn't he supposed to be mightier than all of these?

Of course, I realise that what you're really talking about here is the OT set-up whereby the ancient Israelites engage in apparently divinely sanctioned violent interactions with their neighbours.

I don't think there's an argument for God's involvement in this sort of thing that's going to be acceptable to those at the most liberal end of the religion. But does it matter? Liberal and conservative Christians are different. There's interaction in the broad middle, and some movement from one end to the other, but the spectrum itself is never going to collapse. IMO the reasons for this are probably more psychological and sociological than they are theological.

But the question is what you actually do with these texts if you believe that what they have to say about God is utterly wrong. For the moderate churches the usual response is simply to ignore these passages. Most of the time, nothing else is required. You only have a problem if you insist on hanging out with Christians who won't leave these passages alone!

[ 27. December 2017, 00:08: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Jamat
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quote:
Gamaliel: A requirement to understand Genesis, Job, Jonah and apocalyptic books like Daniel and Revelations in a literal way.

But trying to set my stall out on any of that is going to get me into arguments with both right and left

This seems to me to beg lots of questions such as which ‘non literal’ stance are you going to take?

And as I’ve asked you before, what determines and defines ‘apocalyptic’ if you want to stick that in a genre of its own?
What do you do with Daniel which is in some parts historical and others pretty mystical?

I know what ground rules and assumptions I use in reading Revelation but you have continually made generalised dismissals of those so yes, please do set out your ‘stall’.

Martin 60: I’m not sure why you see justifications of inspiration from within the text as a cop out, nor why you are so determined to identify only with the Jesus of the gospels rather than say with the apocalyptic figure of Revelation 1-3 or with the prophetic figure, who must also be Jesus, from Isaiah 63 who comes from Edom with blood stained robes having just squashed all his enemies in the wine press of God’s wrath.

What decides your picture of Jesus seems to be your politics.

And what do you do with with the CS Lewis insight..the lord, liar or lunatic trifecta?

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
This seems to be functionally how Fruchtenbaum's reasoning, so often invoked by Jamat on that thread, operates, and thinking about it, it seems to be the approach taken by the dispensationalist Scofield reference bible with its notes.

One good thing about the Scofield ref. Bible: I saw an edition with a footnote on Genesis that "Eve was deceived, but Adam knew what he was doing". Nice change from women being blamed for the Fall!
[Smile]

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Eutychus
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They will go on to tell you that this means women should not teach or preach precisely because they are more easily deceived, 1 T 2:14.

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Golden Key
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But not in that Genesis footnote! [Smile]

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--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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hatless

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SvitlanaV2 said
quote:
But the question is what you actually do with these texts if you believe that what they have to say about God is utterly wrong. For the moderate churches the usual response is simply to ignore these passages. Most of the time, nothing else is required. You only have a problem if you insist on hanging out with Christians who won't leave these passages alone!
I think this is to the point. No one gives equal weight to all scripture; that way madness lies. We home in on passages that seem more important and interpret the rest in their light. Those bits that are for us central do indeed shape our politics.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:

SvitlanaV2. I'm not talking God the weak killer by Him being creator of entropic creation. But The Killer. The one who slaughters humanity directly and by His righteous agents by the billion from one end of 'inspired' scripture, as believed by Jesus, to the other.

That's before He resurrects them to do even worse.

Killer or 'Killer': if God is all-powerful, what difference does it make? Are you arguing that God can hide behind human destructiveness or natural disasters? Isn't he supposed to be mightier than all of these?

IF. He isn't. It's utter non-sense. If He were then it makes an unbridgeable difference. It would mean that He could prevent suffering but chooses not to for some eternally ineffable reason. That He is utterly impassible. Not moved to act by suffering at all, except in Incarnation. But He can't. THAT makes it OK. God is helpless in the plain sight of human destructiveness and natural disasters. There's not a thing He can do about it in this level of creation and He can't create by fiat, ex nihilo above it (unless we accept angels as real, which are prone to go to the bad). I cannot imagine how He transcends all that, but the Incarnation is the door to it. So yes, in transcendence He is mightier than all non-transcendent creation for a start. But not within it, except as Jesus in all His humanity. If transcendent creation can go to the bad then … all bets are off. Nothing makes sense.
quote:

Of course, I realise that what you're really talking about here is the OT set-up whereby the ancient Israelites engage in apparently divinely sanctioned violent interactions with their neighbours.

I don't think there's an argument for God's involvement in this sort of thing that's going to be acceptable to those at the most liberal end of the religion.

The most? Wow – flesh tearing irony alert – so non-most liberals accept that He did command infanticidal genocide? He suffered the little children eh?
quote:

But does it matter? Liberal and conservative Christians are different. There's interaction in the broad middle, and some movement from one end to the other, but the spectrum itself is never going to collapse. IMO the reasons for this are probably more psychological and sociological than they are theological.

It matters. Unless we have a strong, generous, benevolent, radical orthodoxy Christianity has no chance whatsoever up against Islam, Russia, China, the US. The gates of Hell will continue to close.
quote:

But the question is what you actually do with these texts if you believe that what they have to say about God is utterly wrong. For the moderate churches the usual response is simply to ignore these passages. Most of the time, nothing else is required. You only have a problem if you insist on hanging out with Christians who won't leave these passages alone!

They are the only ones I know doing anything directly for the poor.


quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:

Martin 60: I’m not sure why you see justifications of inspiration from within the text as a cop out, nor why you are so determined to identify only with the Jesus of the gospels rather than say with the apocalyptic figure of Revelation 1-3 or with the prophetic figure, who must also be Jesus, from Isaiah 63 who comes from Edom with blood stained robes having just squashed all his enemies in the wine press of God’s wrath.

What decides your picture of Jesus seems to be your politics.

And what do you do with with the CS Lewis insight..the lord, liar or lunatic trifecta?

Self justification by a text is meaningless. I identify appropriately with all Jesuses. Gospel, apocalyptic and prophetic, even from late exilic Deutero or post-exilic Trito (-) Isaiah if that could be demonstrated, rather than being obviously apocalyptic oracles. My picture of Jesus is the same as Isaiah's politics. Which transformed my politics.

As for betting, I take Pascal's wager only. And what is the third position?

[ 27. December 2017, 10:19: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:


SvitlanaV2. I'm not talking God the weak killer by Him being creator of entropic creation. But The Killer. The one who slaughters humanity directly and by His righteous agents by the billion from one end of 'inspired' scripture, as believed by Jesus, to the other.

That's before He resurrects them to do even worse.

Killer or 'Killer': if God is all-powerful, what difference does it make? Are you arguing that God can hide behind human destructiveness or natural disasters? Isn't he supposed to be mightier than all of these?

Of course, I realise that what you're really talking about here is the OT set-up whereby the ancient Israelites engage in apparently divinely sanctioned violent interactions with their neighbours.

I don't think there's an argument for God's involvement in this sort of thing that's going to be acceptable to those at the most liberal end of the religion. But does it matter? Liberal and conservative Christians are different. There's interaction in the broad middle, and some movement from one end to the other, but the spectrum itself is never going to collapse. IMO the reasons for this are probably more psychological and sociological than they are theological.

But the question is what you actually do with these texts if you believe that what they have to say about God is utterly wrong. For the moderate churches the usual response is simply to ignore these passages. Most of the time, nothing else is required. You only have a problem if you insist on hanging out with Christians who won't leave these passages alone!

What do I do with them? I see them as a national origin myth, like Romulus and Remus, the Irish Book of Invasions or Monmouth's Historia Brittonum. To what extent historical events underly them, I see victors writing the accounts to make themselves out to be the good guys. They must have been, hey, since they won?

Falling over myself to find justifications for going door to door killing young and old, from toothless grandparents to babies, I do not do. Might as well go looking for square triangles.

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Gamaliel
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I will set my stall out, Jamat.

I have I had time yet but will start a new thread on the topic of apocalyptic literature and how to approach it, ie. not in the way that you do ...

(Remembers conversations with Jamat where we've discussed how literally to take imagery from Revelation)

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
God is helpless in the plain sight of human destructiveness and natural disasters. There's not a thing He can do about it in this level of creation and He can't create by fiat, ex nihilo above it (unless we accept angels as real, which are prone to go to the bad). I cannot imagine how He transcends all that, but the Incarnation is the door to it.



So in essence, you go with the 'weak God' idea. That's fair enough.

quote:
Wow – flesh tearing irony alert – so non-most liberals accept that He did command infanticidal genocide? He suffered the little children eh?



Well, we all know you disapprove of this stuff. But what are you going to do about it? How are you going to re-edit the Bible? How is world Christianity formally going to declare the Bible to be full of error and yet retain hold of the believers who remain?

The only way is to to treat those passages with relative silence, as I said above. Theologians can explore the problem in more depth, but I don't think there's any way they can impose their understanding uniformly on the rest of us.


quote:

Unless we have a strong, generous, benevolent, radical orthodoxy Christianity has no chance whatsoever up against Islam, Russia, China, the US. The gates of Hell will continue to close.



I'm afraid I don't think Christianity will ever have that kind of political influence now, certainly not in the secular Western nations. And I doubt that Muslims would respect a religion whose members have openly re-written their holy book to make it more palatable.


quote:

'Christians who won't leave these passages alone' [...] are the only ones I know doing anything directly for the poor.



The problem I can see here is that once you change these people's approach to the Bible, then you may well damage their effectiveness when it comes to helping the poor. For example, will they be as cohesive, as committed and as focused? Will they be able to keep their numbers and their resources up? If not, that may have a detrimental effect on their mission, no matter how well-meaning they are or how much they have to say about social justice or reducing world poverty, etc.

quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:


Falling over myself to find justifications for going door to door killing young and old, from toothless grandparents to babies, I do not do. Might as well go looking for square triangles.

And that's fine. But since very few churches ask you to find justification for this, I don't see what the great problem is on an individual level.

I'm sure there are plenty of vicars who see no particular benefit in stories about divinely sanctioned killing sprees, and generally draw as little attention to them as possible.

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quetzalcoatl
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I like your dry minimalism, Svitlana. For example, the idea of a vicar drawing as little attention as possible to God the genocide killer, is kind of poignant.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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The problem is all internal Svit, fighting the accusatory recriminations of my undead inner fundamentalist.

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quetzalcoatl
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Yeah, I have an undead inner Christian, who keeps moaning, why did you leave? Because it's effing boring.

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Martin60
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Weak God: No such entity. Ground of being God, of what can be. Obviously what can't be is a pre-transcendent creation without suffering.

Infanticidal genocide God: I can't believe that you approve of it. What am I going to do about it? This. How am I going to re-edit the Bible? How could I possibly do that, why would I want to change the past? The way dispensationalists do? I'm going to do what I do, struggle to follow the deconstruction, transcend enculturation. How is world Christianity formally going to declare the Bible to be full of error and yet retain hold of the believers who remain? Why would it, should it, do that?

Silence in the face of evil isn't an option unless you're Jesus before Herod. Especially evil done in the name of Christ against the poor, LGBT+, the other. Understanding cannot be imposed, only suffered.

Christianity can have no political clout except for the bad as it does in the US and Russia, beasts and profits, unless it is counter-cultural. I don't doubt that Muslims would despise those who re-write 'holy' books either and so they should and so do I. Translating from non-existent originals the 'copies' of which contain the 'wrong' words is pretty despicable.

Nothing can change charismatic evangelicals except aging out. Long may they continue to make a difference. A couple or three decades at least.

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wabale
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I believe it was fifty years ago that the Church of England removed some of the more bloodthirsty readings from the Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Why did it take nearly 2000 years for the Church to find these passages unsuitable? And why then I wonder?
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
I believe it was fifty years ago that the Church of England removed some of the more bloodthirsty readings from the Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Why did it take nearly 2000 years for the Church to find these passages unsuitable? And why then I wonder?

WW1 and WW2? The Final Solution? The Gulags? Mass murder and slaughter in the tens of millions might have had something to do with it.

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wabale
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Agreed mousethief. Just been watching a documentary about the year of my birth, 1945, and reminding myself what an awful year it was! I believe the body count for the rest of the century after WWll is actually greater than that of the two world wars combined. However, other wars, gulags and final solutions have been documented from the beginning of human history, and the prehistoric evidence is equally depressing. While some of the warlike sentiments presented in the Psalms appear unchristian, I have have to ask myself what I would have done if I had been around at the time when someone shouted “The Canaanites / Philistines / whoever are coming!”
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hatless

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Wouldn’t it be strange if we had a bible that we all thought was pretty good? Can you imagine how dull it would be? Reading the bible would have no surprises, no sense of danger, would require no effort and would cause no bafflement. No one would have to perform interpretative double backflips to explain why Romans 1 and 2 are actually anti-homophobic. Questions like whether the various kings and stewards in the parables represent God would not be left hanging in the air. It would all be obvious, we would all sweetly agree, and it would be screaming flat, boring and pointless.

I think all scripture is inspired because the bad bits, the stupid bits, the offensive bits and the nutty bits wake up the fire in us all. God’s breath is in faith’s protest at the letter.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
Agreed mousethief. Just been watching a documentary about the year of my birth, 1945, and reminding myself what an awful year it was! I believe the body count for the rest of the century after WWll is actually greater than that of the two world wars combined. However, other wars, gulags and final solutions have been documented from the beginning of human history, and the prehistoric evidence is equally depressing. While some of the warlike sentiments presented in the Psalms appear unchristian, I have have to ask myself what I would have done if I had been around at the time when someone shouted “The Canaanites / Philistines / whoever are coming!”

Try minding your own business in Jericho when someone shouts "The Israelites are coming." Then watch as they slaughter your wife and children before putting you to the sword.

And all because God told them to.

We'd not give that idea the time of day if IS did it, and we shouldn't allow the passage of time to let us give the idea the time of day in the Bible either.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Martin60
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Hatless. Now THAT'S inspired. As inspired as anything in, by scripture. As inspired as any chthon yearning below the dirt for that above it.

[ 27. December 2017, 16:45: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Jamat
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quote:
Self justification by a text is meaningless. I identify appropriately with all Jesuses. Gospel, apocalyptic and prophetic, even from late exilic Deutero or post-exilic Trito (-) Isaiah if that could be demonstrated, rather than being obviously apocalyptic oracles. My picture of Jesus is the same as Isaiah's politics. Which transformed my politics
The Bible is not a text. It is a library.

Regarding ‘ Jesus’, your statement is not credible. You never define which ‘Jesus’ you worship. There a lots of pictures of him. The inclusive gospel figure who welcomes children is only one. You have the glorified Jesus of Rev 1-3 for instance, the one who threatens the churches with removal of candle sticks. You have the Jesus who, prophetically speaking is returning to reign on the earth.

Please do not just fob off these questions with cryptic, unintelligible responses. You began this thread remember?

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Martin60
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Text is SYMBOLIC, representative of library. Metaphoric, semiotic, semiological. If you call 66 'books' a library. Which is ...

My picture of Jesus is the God who grants justice, defends the oppressed, takes up the cause of the fatherless; pleads the case of the widow - Isaiah's politics. Through us, His only hands in this pre-transcendent life.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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A library is a collection of texts.

At least it was the last time I looked ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I think all scripture is inspired because the bad bits, the stupid bits, the offensive bits and the nutty bits wake up the fire in us all.

Bullshit. These bits don't wake up the fire in us all. Lots of people are merely put off by these things and give up reading the Bible at all because of them. I'd bet the rent that more people are put off than fired up.

[ 27. December 2017, 17:30: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Gamaliel
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So, if the scriptures are a library, then what's to prevent individual texts within that library being collections or accumulations of texts?

Like Isaiah for instance.

Why not Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah and Trito-Isaiah?

We've had this discussion before somewhere ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Text is SYMBOLIC, representative of library. Metaphoric, semiotic, semiological. If you call 66 'books' a library. Which is ...

My picture of Jesus is the God who grants justice, defends the oppressed, takes up the cause of the fatherless; pleads the case of the widow - Isaiah's politics. Through us, His only hands in this pre-transcendent life.

That is a rather left wing new age picture of him rather than a Biblical one. What about the one who is returning to earth at some stage to judge the wicked and set up his kingdom. Does that Jesus not exist for you?

When I say library it is in relation to its variety and compilation over time. You can get pedantic about definitions if you want but realistically we have 66 books by 40 authors, more if you add in apocrypha, pseudo graphia etc.
If you find common themes, common character references, common images of God, supernatural, moral consistency etc, then it is quite reasonable to check and test one or other of these things across the different books. All to say, that to exclude intertextual confirmation, as you seem to want to, and demand only reinforcement from outside the ‘library’, which are from texts then that is an unreasonable and dismissive condition, an unfair demand.

Not to say you do not have this from people like Josephus, Pliny the younger, Herodotus and Thucydides, but their references are necessarily going to be scattered and piecemeal.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
I believe it was fifty years ago that the Church of England removed some of the more bloodthirsty readings from the Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Why did it take nearly 2000 years for the Church to find these passages unsuitable? And why then I wonder?

Because it's taken the human race nearly as long to see some things as vil.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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HCH
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One way to decide which Scriptural passages are of greatest value might be to ask which passages are quoted in later passages. I think there's quite a bit of it which is never mentioned later.

By the way, reacting to the title of the thread: is this strictly referring to Jewish and Christian sacred writing or to the scriptures of all religions? What about the Koran, the book of Mormon or the writings of Mary Baker Eddy?

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I think all scripture is inspired because the bad bits, the stupid bits, the offensive bits and the nutty bits wake up the fire in us all.

Bullshit. These bits don't wake up the fire in us all. Lots of people are merely put off by these things and give up reading the Bible at all because of them. I'd bet the rent that more people are put off than fired up.
OK, I agree it’s not all, it’s those on the inside. It’s the rather perverse payoff we get for acknowledging such a mixed canon. For the enquiring outsider it’s a turn off.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Gramps49
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When I say library it is in relation to its variety and compilation over time. You can get pedantic about definitions if you want but realistically we have 66 books by 40 authors, more if you add in apocrypha, pseudo graphia etc.

Just 40 writers? I think there were many more if you look at the various traditions within one book.

For me, inspiration does not mean that God dictated word for word what God wanted to be said, but rather people wrote from faith to promote the faith.

Yes, there are contradictions. Yes there are errors of fact. The Bible is not a science book. It is not even a history book. It contains myths. It was written at particular times for particular purposes, but it still conveys timeless messages.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:


Infanticidal genocide God: I can't believe that you approve of it.



I wouldn't say I 'approve' of it. It just is, AFAICS. The world is full of suffering, and if God is indeed the Lord and Master of all galaxies then the suffering comes from him, ultimately, regardless of how visible he is in the process.

quote:
How is world Christianity formally going to declare the Bible to be full of error and yet retain hold of the believers who remain? Why would it, should it, do that?



You mean why would world Christianity want the believers to remain?

If we want the church to serve the poor then the church needs people to do that work. It needs the money to feed, house, clothe, counsel and medicate the suffering. A church that disregards its own decline is going to be able to do less and less other than pontificate.

quote:

Silence in the face of evil isn't an option unless you're Jesus before Herod. Especially evil done in the name of Christ against the poor, LGBT+, the other.



I think this attitude is reasonable. If you see a theology as having a detrimental result in the real world then it makes sense to argue against it.

So what are the real world problems that occur as a result of the 'killer God' theology? You seem to think it's influenced American foreign policy. Maybe American evangelicals see themselves as a modern Chosen People, tasked by God to destroy their enemies before their enemies destroy them.

Any Chosen People narrative is problematic, because such a nation is surely obliged to cultivate a single minded bellicosity if it's going to last for centuries in a violent world. Any God who disapproves of such an attitude among his Chosen might be accused of hypocrisy....

quote:

Nothing can change charismatic evangelicals except aging out. Long may they continue to make a difference. A couple or three decades at least.

If you're correct, then charismatic evangelicals are only following in the respectable path of the tolerant, social justice-focused MOTR Christians who preceded them in importance, and also in aging.

I think there'll be evangelical Christians in Britain throughout the century, but I suppose more secular attention will be paid to Muslims, since their numbers will be greater, and they'll be more visible.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
My picture of Jesus is the God who grants justice, defends the oppressed, takes up the cause of the fatherless; pleads the case of the widow - Isaiah's politics. Through us, His only hands in this pre-transcendent life.

That is a rather left wing new age picture of him rather than a Biblical one.
To the contrary, that is a very Biblical picture of Jesus; indeed, he claimed it for himself in the synagogue in Nazareth. Whether it is a complete picture of Jesus as presented in the NT is a different question. But to dismiss it as “left wing new age” is to ignore part of the Scriptural witness in the same way that you frequently accuse “liberals” of doing.

quote:
What about the one who is returning to earth at some stage to judge the wicked and set up his kingdom. Does that Jesus not exist for you?
Martin may feel differently, of course, but it seems to me that picture of Jesus goes hand in hand with the Jesus described by Martin.

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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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Nick Tamen

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Tangent alert:

Jamat, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to answer your question about Fruchtenbaum before that thread was closed. I feel that I owe you an answer, but I don't want to derail this thread. So I'll simply say I did read, more than once, the blog post to which you linked, and I did not find Fruchtenbaum's argument for why almah should be translated as “virgin” in Isaiah 7 convincing at all, largely for the reasons put forth by Eutychus. I found it a very superficial argument, especially given that his recourse to the Septuagint seemed to ignore those places that parthenos is used for women whom the text makes clear are not virgins. In essence, the argument seems to rest almost entirely on an a priori assumption that almah in Isaiah 7 must mean “virgin," so whenever it is used anywhere it means “virgin."

/Tangent

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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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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Tangent alert:

Jamat, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to answer your question about Fruchtenbaum before that thread was closed. I feel that I owe you an answer, but I don't want to derail this thread. So I'll simply say I did read, more than once, the blog post to which you linked, and I did not find Fruchtenbaum's argument for why almah should be translated as “virgin” in Isaiah 7 convincing at all, largely for the reasons put forth by Eutychus. I found it a very superficial argument, especially given that his recourse to the Septuagint seemed to ignore those places that parthenos is used for women whom the text makes clear are not virgins. In essence, the argument seems to rest almost entirely on an a priori assumption that almah in Isaiah 7 must mean “virgin," so whenever it is used anywhere it means “virgin."

/Tangent

Thanks. Happy new year.
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Barnabas62
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I owe most of my understanding of this topic to James Barr's book 'Fundamentalism'. The forced bonding between inspiration and innerancy creates a self-enclosing ideology.

It is interesting that Eutychus mentioned Scofield's reference bible, since it displays the disease best of all. 19th century Dispensationalism was, in its own mad way, a defence of biblical inspiration from the textual attacks on the consistency of scriptural texts. It was able to explain, or explain away, differences between the words of Jesus and the words of Paul re forgiveness, but only at the cost of placing the Sermon on the Mount (including the Lord's prayer) in an earlier dispensation. The net effect was that the defence of innerant texts did and still does great damage to much that is central to mainstream Christianity.

This isn't just an academic theory. It's something I experienced personally in the 70s and 80s and almost drove me away from Christianity altogether. Barr's book severed the knot of confusion which was strangling my faith.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I owe most of my understanding of this topic to James Barr's book 'Fundamentalism'. The forced bonding between inspiration and innerancy creates a self-enclosing ideology.

It is interesting that Eutychus mentioned Scofield's reference bible, since it displays the disease best of all. 19th century Dispensationalism was, in its own mad way, a defence of biblical inspiration from the textual attacks on the consistency of scriptural texts. It was able to explain, or explain away, differences between the words of Jesus and the words of Paul re forgiveness, but only at the cost of placing the Sermon on the Mount (including the Lord's prayer) in an earlier dispensation. The net effect was that the defence of innerant texts did and still does great damage to much that is central to mainstream Christianity.

This isn't just an academic theory. It's something I experienced personally in the 70s and 80s and almost drove me away from Christianity altogether. Barr's book severed the knot of confusion which was strangling my faith.

Yes, this.

I've not read James Barr's book but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have stuck around very long had I continued attending Brethren assemblies as I did as a young evangelical convert.

Arguably, though, I went into something equally strait-jacketed and loopy in the form of the then up-and-coming 'new churches' - which were full of former Brethren.

To be fair, as those outfits weren't dispensationalist they didn't topple into the Schofield quagmire but the same fundie tendencies were there, only pointed in a slightly different direction.

The thing is, though, that such tendencies aren't restricted to Protestant evangelicalism. There are equivalents in other traditions, but directed in different directions ...

I do think that Dispensationalism is a dead-end in an equal and opposite way to full-on Spong-y liberalism. Both are equally detrimental and harmful.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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Thank God for Bar/r/nabas62!

Jamat

Your randomly read, wooden, six day cookbook interpretation of your 'library' (the size of an epic novel, I've got it in that form of course, The Book of God) Bible is flat with regard to a thousand years of cultural evolution, so you can see no move to the left, i.e. to the people, to humanity, to equality of outcome for all, away from privilege. As epitomized by God's left wing move, God's new age, in Jesus. The Jesus of apocalyptic prophecy doesn't exist, so how can He exist for me? He never will. Not just for me but for you or anyone and everyone else. Not in this pre-transcendent world. Or in the transcendent of course. Except figuratively.

Leo – aye, the arc is long.

HCH – nice point. 855 verses are used in the new from the 23,145 in the old. Less than 4% Nothing about infanticidal genocide gets over the bar.

The OP is about the old (Jewish) in the new (Christian). There was no new at the time of the OP quote from Timothy of course.

SvitlanaV2

So, the infanticidal genocidal God of inspired scripture is real to you? Or that's moot, because we agree, as creator He is responsible for the suffering that inescapably entails? Suffering that He is powerless to change apart from in inspiring us? …as He did all scripture allegedly? Apart from the extreme suffering He causes if He's real as inspiredly writ.

No, I don't mean 'why would world Christianity want the believers to remain?'. I mean why would I want world Christianity to formally declare the Bible to be full of error? Unless that was part of a transcendent move guaranteed to stop the decline. World Christianity is growing explosively anyway. With African population. With Islam coming up on the inside.

Yeah, God the Fascist underwrites US and Russian politics, foreign and domestic.

As for charismatic evangelicals lasting to the end of the century, not under any roof but a house church. Unlike Islam as we agree.


Nick - Martin feels the same.


So, what is this 'inspiration' of which Timothy speaks? Beyond the perfectly dictated lost original, autistic, virgin text.

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Love wins

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wabale
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
While some of the warlike sentiments presented in the Psalms appear unchristian, I have have to ask myself what I would have done if I had been around at the time when someone shouted “The Canaanites / Philistines / whoever are coming!”

Try minding your own business in Jericho when someone shouts "The Israelites are coming." Then watch as they slaughter your wife and children before putting you to the sword.

And all because God told them to.

Karl, Thanks for the good advice in how to react positively to a potentially genocidal attack in 1st Millenium BCE Palestine. I actually agree with what I take to be your underlying point: you didn’t have a choice about fighting or not in those days, and perhaps I should have made that clearer. And my reference to ‘whoever’ actually was meant to cover the Israelites and every state in the world that has ever existed. The genocidal potential of warfare was (and is) universal, and is rarely touched upon in the military histories.

The ‘all’ part of your comment ‘And all because God told them to’ surely misses the deeper point that being potentially murderous is embedded in human nature, which raises quite different questions: it’s God’s fault all right, but in a different way. However I’m not clear how those of us who live in a country which recently joined in attacking Iraq with apparent total disregard to what would happen to its people have a moral leg to stand on when discussing the conduct of ancient warfare.

I believe that under the New Covenant, we do have a choice about taking up arms or not. It was for that reason that the early Church encouraged Christians not to serve in the Roman army - presumably because it did not seem to go with what Jesus had taught about The Kingdom. The fact that the Church later chose a different path doesn’t necessarily make it the right one.

I don’t personally find the accounts of Old Testament warfare a reason for doubting the inspiration of Scripture. That may be because I don’t read many theology books and have just had to look up ‘Dispensationalism’ as I hadn’t realised it was a heresy!

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Martin60
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So what (the OP subject) is it wabale?

[ 28. December 2017, 10:31: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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