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