Educate Yourself 102

bible_openIn mid-August I wrote

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4 Responses to Educate Yourself 102

  1. robyndevorah says:

    Wow. You’re right. I always think I don’t have the time, but I do. And fifteen minutes is a good place to start.

  2. Nice post.

    I was thinking about studying theology as well but decided against it as I feared the many questions that would arise. Many of which did arise in the course of my readings and have led me to a point that many of my previous answers I am no longer able to backup.

    On my blog you also wrote about approaching some things (doctrines, ideas) as clouded in mystery but how do you avoid not using this as a, perhaps necessary, cop-out?



  3. Daniel:

    You asked how I can appeal to the mystery of truth without it merely being a cop-out.

    My first response: when studying theology, doubt what you read. Look for flaws, overstatements, opposing arguments. Read the other side. Answers seem easy when we here a good presentation, but they become more dubious when we hear equally good research on the other side. I may not be up to the task of out-arguing James Dunn about NT theology, but there are those who are up to that task. The work you have read on logos theology is not, as far as I know, widely accepted. It is a debatable position.

    My second response: think about your epistemology. I like what N.T. Wright has to say about critical realism in The New Testament and the People of God. Kenton Sparks argues similarly in God’s Word in Human Words (a flawed book, too easily finding “contradictions” in the Bible, but one well worth reading). Critical realism accepts reality without certainty and chooses to accept what appears to be true, while admitting that knowledge is always partial for us.

    In other words, if I believe that Yeshua revealed and hinted at his deity (in the synoptics), I don’t have to understand it or figure it all out. I simply believe the simpler explanation (incarnation) is preferable to the logically twisted and intricate logos-theology idea you have expressed, apparently from reading Dunn. I could never prove that my understanding of something as mysterious as the incarnation is right. What chance do I have of adequately understanding the infinite manifesting in the finite?

    Therefore, I am comfortable with unanswered questions and potential contradictions in the text. I am comfortable with gospels and apostles using various means to express or even guess at a mystery even they did not understand. I gave up thinking the apostles knew everything and the trick was to simply interpret them according to some sure-fire hermeneutical scheme. Multivalence and ambiguity are not antithetical to God’s intention in passing down inspired literature. If God was hung up about details and some notion of certain interpretation he’d never have had the apostles quote from the LXX instead of the MT or have included Ecclesiastes or Job or Ezekiel in his revelation to humankind.


  4. dansangelflew says:

    Thank you for the encouragement to study more. I plan to do this in this new season. Chag Sameach to you and yours Derek.

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