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now rated arrrrrr

   It’s interesting that when I post nonseriously, the responses are generally much more abundant and insightful and thoughtful than when I post a serious thought, where they are sadly lacking.  Intriguing I say.

    On a vague socio-religous note, our sister hall may (or may not) think we’re going to hell.  It’s moderatly funny to see reactions to some of Palmer’s ideas.

    Most predominant is how I, personally, do not much care for Paul or some of his works.  In the words of a freshman….”Uh, but you don’t have a choice!!” , which made me chuckle.  I’m dong a pretty good job of not liking him for not having a choice.  It’s not that I hate Paul; I just feel he isn’t consistent with some of what Jesus taught and also seems to be inconsistent with a great deal of the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible.  I’d prefer to not go in depth on Xanga, but feel free to punch me in the face and force me to talk to you about it.  I also realize I’m coming from a much more Judiastic background then many people reading this, so maybe a little explanation here will help.  Paul is the one who we seem to get our ideas about the “old” covanent from, and where we seem to draw most of our ideas that the “Old” Testament has less relevance.  Yet, Jesus seemed to indicate the importance of Torah, never dismissing or undermining its ideals.  (Please remember when he “violated” the Law, he never violated Torah; he went against what is known as the Oral Torah which is found non-orally now in Talmud and the Midrashim.)  So from a society to which the Torah is the most important thing God has given to man, the dismissal or even any sort of minimization of that is difficult to get around. 

    Perhaps the problem isn’t with Paul, but our interpretation of him.  How much of the Tanakh (the Old Testament) was doctrine, theology, etc, and how much was stories illustrating the nature of God and how he interacts with the world?  On the other hand, most of the New Testament seems to be doctrinally focused.  We seem to assume that this doctrine is proper for all times, and what Paul said to one place is true always.  I would probably go ahead and on a standardized test mark “strongly disagree”.  Let’s say in one church, Paul really did want the women to be quiet, not teach, and go make babies.  I don’t think that means it’s true for all places.  Pauls letters were…letters.  Written to specific places, in specific circumstances, with specific problems.  It’s not to say they aren’t divinely inspired, but that doesn’t make them appropriate for all cultures and times.  Romans 9-11 (a particular favorite enigma of mine, by the way), Paul does a mess of explaining God’s plan with the Jews and Gentiles, messes with free will/presdestination, and creates a genereally confusing mess worthy of being called divinely inspired.  Does that make Paul a terrible vessel for God to write through, or does it mean these thoughts are way above us, and we don’t really need to be so concerned about them if we know the nature of God, his love for us, and his unchangeability?

Anyway, Cedarville may read this, question my theology, and ban me from going on MIS trips, but thats ok.  Questioning is great; it is healthy, and needs to be done much, much more if we are all really going to be able to experience God and understand how great are the depths of what we cannot understand

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5 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Well, it’s whether or not you believe the Bible to be inspired, every doctrine, every word.  You can interpret Paul differently (as long as, let’s be honest, it logically makes sense) but he’s in the Bible, God called him at Damascus, I believe him to be inspired/ordained of God.

  2. I totally agree on Romans 9-11. That whole section confused the crap out of me freshman year (now I tend to go with the “these thoughts are way above us, and we don’t really need to be so concerned about them if we know the nature of God, his love for us, and his unchangeability” idea. Not to say I’m copping out, I’m definately not. I still am not sure what I think of the predestination/free will arguement, but I believe God is at the center of the issue. The way I reconciled it was that I’ve never questioned or ceased to understand the trinity, and it doesn’t really make much sense to me, so why destroy all of my faith based on another thing that doesn’t really make that much sense to me?

    Maybe that’s not how we’re supposed to reason out our faith, and believing in the bible because we want to isn’t supposed to be our answer, but that’s where I’m at. I can’t point to anything to prove the bible, and I also think the whole story of the bible is crazy.

    Yet, I believe it’s totally true and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t pursue all forms of possible truth because I’ve found not only what I think is true, but what I want to be true as well. Maybe this means that I have less certainty than others, but what I really think it means is that all I know about the bible and Christianity for sure is that God has given me life and chooses to communicate to me and His followers through the bible (even if it seems crazy or silly).

    I totally know what you mean about the whole “nobody leaves comments when you post something serious,” but sometimes you get long posts like this one to a serious post.

  3. people always say “these are letters to specific people,” but not only was he writing certain things for certain churches, but to gentiles, and therefore said things that are applicable to gentiles, geared toward gentiles. of course gentiles are free from the covenant the children of israel made with god…they aren’t the children of israel. i’m not saying jews can’t learn from these books, actually, i’m not saying anyone but ancient greeks can’t learn from these books…but in my opinion, they are god-inspired (in the plain sense of the word) letters by a man who was called by god to the people he was called to, and not every word comes from the lips of god as instruction to all humankind.

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t think it’s as complicated as people make it out. I think most of his writings are pretty much about daily application of faith and heart attitude and how they should be functioning. That’s just a complicated subject in general. His writings can be a bit difficult, but if you try to understand the history behind it I find it’s a great deal easier.

  5. I guess what really gets me is that Paul was agreed with by others like Peter and James in Acts 15 that Gentiles should not be placed underneath the law. While it seems to me this implies that the Jewish people are still under the law. Paul is considered the apostle to the Gentiles and his writings reflect that. Your search for messianic jewish doctrine should end you up more in Peter, the apostle to the Jews, and maybe the book of Hebrews.

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