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Theology

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by brotherjim, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. brotherjim

    brotherjim Member

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    WARNING: What you are about to read is Truth of the extremely blinding and revealing kind. Therefore DO NOT CONTINUE if you are easily enflamed when the veils of the heart are ripped back, its nakedness exposed to the Light of God's absolute Truths.

    I allege the following axiom (sense 2) was given to me by the Lord last year (I am myself a born-again Christian, btw):

    Barring any specific intervention by God to the contrary, man, even born-again Christian man, will always limit theology to that which he has either personally experienced or is willing to yet undergo, even at the cost of others' potentially eternal souls.

    Selah (kindly think upon it for a time), bj
    [email protected]
     
  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    So...do you consider this a positive or negative? I certainly consider it a positive to limit theology to what I have received or received from communion with God.
     
  3. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Man does tend to limit God... until he sees the light.
     
  4. brotherjim

    brotherjim Member

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    Perhaps if I add the following addendum, it will add illumination:

    And even more astounding, every person, even though they believe different than other people, believes that they are the one in whose life God "specific[ally] interven[ed]" and therefore of whose theology there is no human limitation--despite the fact that all cannot be correct.

     
  5. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I think we can largely agree then. Not everyone is right, and humility is in order.

    How, then, do you propose determining correct interpretations and theology?

    We both obviously concur that we can't use our individual experiences as the best criteria, becaus so doing, is tantamount to making the claim that "I figured it out, and those people before me had it wrong." The claim would be the height of arrogance.

    Conversely, though, if we practice a form of theological reductionalism here, and reduce everything to its bare minimum, we eventually define away the Christian faith. It will come down solely to "love," and that is a truth common to many groups. When we reach that point, we have denied the neccessity of Christianity, Christ on the cross, and a large bulk of His teachings.

    It would seem, then, that the conundrum you brought up needs resolving or else the Christian faith becomes logically untenable.
     
  6. brotherjim

    brotherjim Member

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    Greetings, No*s.

    I'm going to shuffle your statements.
    The above--and please do not let our adversary puff you up with my statement--should be dipped in bronze and attached to every--.

    I posted the same maxim on more than a half dozen forums, and you are the first to have correctly concluded, in writing any how. Truly, Christians have virtually altogether become "too wise in [their] own conceits," exemplifying the "height of arrogance" (quoting you).

    The maxim, as you realize, does not define theology--having merely expounded upon it, but defines self-justification and its resultant denial.
    Agreed, but if I may expound: . . . and unfeigned Meekness (not the same as humility--both are needed) and unbridled Love and near-boundless Long-suffering and--.
    The same way the Apostles did it. They were first prepared--and thus why the NT "Books" were not written for 20 or 30 years into it--through further purification of their heart.

    "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."

    If the heart has been first made pure, and the person without guile, there is no inward motivation/reason for man to self-justify himself and therefore pervert the Word of God and its true and complete requirements for eternal Life.

    In John's 1st Epistle he states quite plainly that his "children" have no need to be taught of man. While of course man will take such and use it to flame the rebellion still hiding within his heart, if viewed objectively and truthfully (ha!), that statement by John was not given to any "general audience," but to those already established in the whole counsel and pure Love of the Truth (as compared to self-justification); those who were walking in the Light, moment-by-moment admitting to their ongoing sinfulness and humanistic, legalistic, etc. propensities; etc.
    Well, well said--kinda'. (And as tempting the proposition, we here are of course are not some Council of Trent or Council of Jerusalem, so all does not need to be resoved here and now, publicly: it's STILL intended a Gospel accessible only by Faith, "so that no man can boast.")

    You are of course correct that "many groups" have done what you state, both within the walls of Christianity and without.

    So of necessity, attached to all--insofar as it's possible with us--teachings and proselytizing and such along these lines, must be a "disclaimer" warning the audience that walking in Love according to the Scriptural definition, is not what is most often manifested.

    To illustrate by way of personal testimony:

    During my first year as a committed Christian, I came across much concerning the subject of walking in Love. I was barraged (sp?) by it, seemingly at every corner. Books, tapes, copies of teachings, you name it. But all to no avail insofar as any holy manifestation in my walk.

    Then one day I was led of the Spirit to set down and, taking 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, I completed dissected it, making an outline like we were taught in school to do as a study methodology. I looked up every definition and word, both in a Strong's and secular dictionary, ending up with four pages containing every synonym, etc. Then, as the Word says, that became my own personal "schoolmaster," it reflecting against the reality of my own attempts at Loving as God commanded, and it declared me dead.

    See the difference of approach? (Of course you do, Simon Bar-jonas.)
    Amen.

    Thank you, Jesus, for this blessed koinania of fellowship.

    brotherjim
    [email protected]


    P.S. and for whomever, the definition of walking in Love is further defined by Paul among his well-disguised (anti-cosmopolitan/contemporary) discussions of such things as eating meat previously sacrificed to idols, etc. [Edit+: ref. Romans 13:8 through 15:3a; 1 Cor. 8:1 through 11:34--you're welcome.]
     
  7. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I came to a very similar conclusion.

    If I worked hard, and I figured it out, then it is a point of pride, and I need to point it out to all Christianity. No, that would be the very height of arrogance.

    I also considered "experience," but experience isn't a good determiner of Truth. Indeed, there are varieties of experiences, all seemingly legitimate to those experiencing them, and these experiences all teach different truths.

    I also tried the route of study, pray, and be meek and humble. That, too, led to problems, because in my faith and studies, I found that people who tried the same approach came to all the vastly different conclusions.

    Learning humbly from a teacher, likewise, presents the same problem. The teacher had to learn from someone as well, and if their teacher taught them a poor rule of faith, then they will pass this down, and thus, I am made vulnerable.

    Ultimately...I found myself in Orthodoxy, where I know how far the teachers date back, where I can receive without inserting too many of my own ideas, and where I can still study the Scripture actively, but without the need to correct everyone who went before me.

    It's the only way I've found to balance the equation, and it avoids relativism quite well.
     
  8. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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    You mention that Man will always "limit theology to that which he has personally experienced or is willing yet to undergo, even at the cost of others' potentially eternal souls".

    Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems as though you believe this to be a bad thing. This surprises me as you say you are a "born-again Christian". Everything that Christians believe is based upon what someone else wrote in a book. None of it is based on personal experience (if you are a true Christian).

    I myself am a born again non-Christian.

    Everything that I believe, or do not believe is based on my own conscience.

    I completely agree with you that Man bases his beliefs on his own experiences, what I do not agree on, is that it is a bad thing. We are humans, what else can we base our beliefs on, blind faith?
     
  9. brotherjim

    brotherjim Member

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    Hey, huajiro.

    First, may I suggest that you, being a self-declared "non-Christian," are not in a place where you can define what is or is not "a true Christian." How 'bout letting that one up to Christians. (Speaking strictly matter-of-factly.)

    Second, the contemporary Christian, by and large, has not themselves determined the correct definition, which is the reality of the maxim and its reason for being.

    Third, you are also incorrect--theoretically but not experientially, and quite understandably so, in your stating that Christian beliefs are based upon what someone wrote in a book. To wit:

    1) Consider the early church that had no NT. Sure, if they were Hebrews they had OT Books with which they could at least study something. But the Gentile believers had no such Jewish background, and even if they had, both groups were very limited in what could be extracted from just the OT, since the difference in dispensations was huge.

    2) Consider how Paul, the most prolific of the NT writers, came to know the Gospel. He did not read of it, of course (except for the above limitations), but neither was he taught it from another (leastwise for the greater part). Paul received the Gospel by direct revelation of Christ Jesus, the same method I assert should be the norm for every Christian (ref. also 1 John 2:27).

    But you are correct in that virtually all Christians have come about their theology via an incorrect, or rather incomplete, way.

    God has ordained Truth be established in the Christian by two or three or more "witnesses." The written Word, our Holy Bible, may certainly be one of those witnesses--and for the top hierarchial plateau in the church it must be one and is why, in a large part, it exists. But consider how man, and all people and not just Christians, do not want to serve an invisible God, so they construct various idols of worship. Many Christians have taken an otherwise holy thing, the Christian Bible, and instead of using it as its intended purpose have worshipped it as an idol and have done what you, hij., rightly accuse them of, exalting it above the Living Bible, the Living Lord Jesus Himself and His Father. (We who are Evang. and charis. do the same thing with our New Birth and Holy Ghost "Baptism" experiences, similar to the attempt of idolization Peter and John committed on the Mount of Transf.)

    I contend that God's ordained methodology is for the Christian to obtain knowledge of God directly from Him, through prayer and meditation in the Spirit. Then, as a subsequent act and for additional witness, i.e., secondly, go to the written Word to find added witness either for or against.

    But here in the materialistic West it takes a good decade or two for someone to correctly hear the Voice of God on a consistent and trustworthy basis. So the written Word--as well as pastors--serve the additional function of helping keep the Christian from total self-destruction, as well as prevents bringing great embarassment to, and therefore dilution of witness of, the Christian church, in the meantime.

    Finally, those of us who have at one time received the instantaneously given, supernatural New Birth, received along with it, "His Spirit bearing witness with [our] spirit, that [we] are [indeed] the children of God." So, yes, the Christians belief is based, or rather should be based, upon the invisible, and one of these is "Faith" because that's how God ordained it to be, "so that no man can boast." If God does not provide the Faith, man has no chance of forming an intimate relationship with Him: His rules, not ours, and the unholy animal called man is in no place to judge the methodologies of a perfectly holy and absolutely truthful and wonderfully just God.

    And only God can reveal, in the invisible spirit realm and in someone's inner person, Christianity as being the Way to God, much less the only way. If He has not so done this with you, I am sorry, truly, sincerely, bro. jim
     
  10. hoomer

    hoomer Member

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    I disagree I beeive God has and will reveal and intervened in many lives

    Personally Ibeleive we are ALL wrong.....
    "those who know do not speak, those that speak do not know" --lao tzu
     
  11. hoomer

    hoomer Member

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    for me we can reduce the entirety of christianity to 1 word...lol....

    BELIEVE....

    but I'l read the rest of the repies in this topic when I get a chance.....not that my opinion really matters
     
  12. brotherjim

    brotherjim Member

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    Well, depending upon how we would agree to define your word "many," I can agree with you on this, hoomer.

    God has most certainly intervened in the lives of the 1st century Apostles.

    God has intervened, to some degree, in the lives of a handful of notables since that 1st century--all who are Christians likely have their personal favorites in mind (for me, John Wesley and William Gurnall come to mind).

    And contrary to how my posts may appear, I'm not a fatalist (neither an idealist, btw), and I too "believe all things; hope all things," and am also expecting "God . . . will [further] reveal and intervene. . . ."

    Whatever else He may be, God is sovereign and He has a timetable by which He reveals Himself through the ages.

    Praise His Holy Name, bj
     
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