"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

How God Merges Culture and Truth in His Word

There are some conservatives who are concerned that "truth" is often compromised by the embrace of "culture." Evangelicals that adopt certain aspects of culture in order to promote "the truth" of God's word are sometimes condemned as "liberals" or "compromisers."

Interestingly, the biblical word "truth" is formed using the Greek culture of mythology. "Truth" translates the biblical Greek word "alethia." Alethia is a compound word composed of "a" (which means "not" in Greek) and "lethe" (which means "forgotten, hidden, or concealed" in Greek). Truth, then, literally means "that which is not hidden" or "that which is not forgotten."

Lethe was the Greek goddess of oblivion and forgetfulness. When people died, according to the ancient Greeks, they went to Hades where they had to drink from Lethe's water--a river in Hades named after the goddess Lethe. Those who would cup their hands, draw water from the river and drink, would forget their previous existence on earth. This would allow for the dead to be "reincarnated" and not remember their past lives.

The Apostle Paul says that we Christians are to delight in NOT hiding, concealing and forgetting (i.e. "lethe"). We are to "rejoice with the truth" (Gr. "alethia") I Corinthians 13:6. Comprehending the meaning of this word truth does not negate the rightful understanding that we Christians are to be people who love right doctrine, but the understanding of the etymology of the Greek word "truth" should lead us to believe other things as well:

(1). We Christians ought to rejoice in all matters of Christian ministry being placed out in the open for all to see and not hidden from view (i.e. "We are children of light, not darkness"). This should give every SBC convention committee (think GCR), institution (IMB, seminaries, etc...), church and person pause before we do ANYTHING in secret.

(2). We Christians ought to live lives that are authentic and transparent, avoiding hidden agendas and secrets.

(3). We Christians ought to delight in relationships that are built on genuine openness and real community--not the superficial, religious relationships often formed by institutional Christianity.

But the interesting tidbit about biblical "truth," at least from my perspective, is that the word itself comes from ancient Greek mythology. Not many western Christians realize this. It seems God is not as upset about using certain aspects of pagan culture to promote the "truth" as some would have us think.

God bless those evangelicals who understand this principle.

In His Grace,

Wade

61 comments:

Kevin M. Crowder said...

So what is your point? You cannot use the etymology of a Greek word to form your own theology. Even Paul knew things he did not share with the people. Jesus knew that at times things were to be done in secret. He knew there was a time and a place for all revealing. Even the Spirit has seen fit to reveal new light as the ages roll on. To say that hidden knowledge is not truth is to not understand the nature of the Greek language, nor the etymology our English word "truth."

All truth whether hidden or revealed is to be understood in light of the Logos revealed by that truth.

God's will is not accepted by a democratic vote. The Spirit gives the vision. If it is not you (general term) who gets the vision, then the validity and authority of the visionary is in no way less divine.

The Pentecostals and Charismatics speak of "The Generals of the Faith," Historic and Catholic Faiths speak of the Fathers of the Faith, Evangelical and Reformed Faiths speak of the Doctors and Divines of the Church. There is no question that many of these men made decisions alone in their prayer closets, together in councils, presbyteries, synods, diets, conclaves, or with the masses in open assemblies. But we cannot say that God is limited to the latter.

As to the title of your post: the word "merges" implies a continuous action. But this is not the case. He MERGED His truth with and IMBEDDED it into relevant cultural stories of the day. He WEAVED into it Hid redemptive plan through His Son Jesus. This is how we should read and interpret Scripture. Not in light of our present, and ever-changing culture.


Happy Black Friday!


K

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

My point?

Christians don't hide.

Christians don't deceive.

Christians don't conceal.

Christians love the light, not darkness.

That's four points. Smile. So, let me narrow it to one point.

Christians ought to be just as concerned about how they live as they are what they believe.


Blessings,

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

But they do, Wade. On all four counts. They do. Even you do. Your flesh and my flesh love the darkness. We love to hide and deceive and conceal for the sake of our personal happiness. That is the nature of sin. Even those who are new creatures in Christ will have remnants of the old man until death and glorification.

But is your post about hidden sin?


Or is it about men of God receiving a vision from God and planning for the future and dreaming about the man from Macedonia only to THEN tell you?

I think we focus too much on the particulars instead of the big picture Wade. I mean for goodness sake: Do you not have staff planning meetings at your church?

If so do you go in with a planned agenda or is it simply a brainstorming session and casting of lots for the best idea???

You want truth, but truth is wrapped in reason and logic. (a couple words you might want to check the etymology of)


;)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

One last point. Since Christians DO struggle with hidden sins, ought we to try and not POUNCE on them when we find out and cry foul??? Oughtn't we try and help them take the good shame they feel and help them to be more sanctified through the cross that saved them, instead of adding to their burnens the very heavy load of bad and destructive shame?

Paul calls this a "ministry of reconcilliation."

You can read about that in 1 Corithians 5. But do not assume that the process is quick. Be prepared sometimes for a "slow resurrection" for those who are in Christ.

Thy Peace said...

I am reminded by this post the true power of Christ is in living The Word and not by simply repeating it without any action or change of the heart to follow The Word.

Only then the true power is revealed of a Christian walking in the light.

When this is not done, either in a personal level or in an institutional level, this light is very dim and never guides others and not even the person or institution espousing The Word.

That is why lot of times I feel it is better for one person to lead the Christian life and this becomes a bright beacon for the world. And this light is much brighter than all the muted lights of Christians who are not living The Word.

This is just a conjecture on my part ... Is it then when we die, we are not supposed to drink from Lethe's water, so that we remember and are not reincarnated? For we are to drink only of the living water and this water gives eternal life.

Benji Ramsaur said...

I think God can use whatever He wants to use.

However, if we interpret God's word through the lens of our cultural values instead of our cultural values through the lens of God's word, then I think we are unwise in our approach.

I would say the same thing concerning theologians, confessions, church decisions, and convention polity. I think we should interpret these things through the lens of Scripture instead of vice versa.

I think when we truly hold up Scripture as the highest authority, then we strive to interpret everything in it's light. However, when we interpret Scripture in the light of ___________, then I think ___________ is functioning as the highest authority and not Scripture.

That's why I don't like the phrase [at least the way it sounds] in the New Geneva Study Bible that says "Bringing the Light of the Reformation to Scripture" even though I probably would agree with a large amount of its commentary.

Scripture does not need the Reformation's light. Scripture is the highest light. It can't get brighter by bringing a lesser light to it.

Bryan Riley said...

One of the most amazing courses at the University of the Nations is called Principles of Redeeming Cultures. It celebrates cultural diversity and cultural uniqueness and longs to see all elements of a culture redeemed by the blood of Christ. We need not fear the dark or the lies - It is finished and Truth wins. We need to expose what is broken and bent and see it redeemed.

Kellye Hooks said...

Just out of curiosity, Wade...is your mention of the IMB directed at the board of trustees, or is it your belief that the company should not have people on platform in closed places? I read it as the latter, but after reading other comments, I'm thinking it is the former.

Strong Tower said...

Wow Wade, you note that the Greek is the source of alethia and then make the fact that it happens to appear in Greek Mythology to mean that the appeal in Scripture is to paganism? Weaved any webs lately?

So let me get this straight. Wade was named so because of an appeal his father was making to dairy farmers because Wade is a word derived from weide which means meadow or pasture?

It couldn't just be that the word alethia is Greek, could it? According to etymological resources the goddess got her name as a personification of the concept and not the other way around. So the word preceded the pagan application and therefore there needs be no allusion to paganism at all by Paul's use of alethia.

Alethia preceded the personification of it in Greek literature as a goddess in this manner: Parmenides gave her the name. It appears in the title of a poem in which a traveler (Pramenides) goes beyond and receives a revelation from an unnamed goddess. The title of his poem stuck as her name. She would then become known as Alethia in the mythology that followed, because she told him the truth about the nature of reality though she had no name in his poem.

It is hardly surprising that this is the fact about Alethia since in most cultures that is the progression- from words that have meaning to personification of them as mythos, to deification of mythos as a real beings.

God bless those evangelicals who don't make pretentious claims about things they have not really brought into the light. If your light Weide is darkness, how great is that? "We Christians ought to live lives that are authentic and transparent, avoiding hidden agendas and secrets."

Time to come into the light Weide.

Lydia said...

"(1). We Christians ought to rejoice in all matters of Christian ministry being placed out in the open for all to see and not hidden from view (i.e. "We are children of light, not darkness"). This should give every SBC convention committee (think GCR), institution (IMB, seminaries, etc...), church and person pause before we do ANYTHING in secret.

(2). We Christians ought to live lives that are authentic and transparent, avoiding hidden agendas and secrets.

(3). We Christians ought to delight in relationships that are built on genuine openness and real community--not the superficial, religious relationships often formed by institutional Christianity."

But then that would ruin the hierarchy and chain of command structures humans put in place of the Holy Spirit. Human power and authority would go out the window in the Body.

RM said...

I'm disappointed that Wade couldn't stretch this point to include women pastors. He must be losing his persuasive touch.

Pastor Pryme said...

Hello, reader-turned-commenter here,

Strong Tower makes an excellent point concerning etymology. Likewise, the word amen is of Hebrew origin and so the "a" doesn't mean what Greeks would have taken it to mean. It has a meaning similar to alethia in that it means to affirm or give a stamp of approval to what was said as being true, and to emphasize a point.

But I think there is a difference between the intended point of the post and how it came across. It seemed to me that the argument being made was that since Paul used a word of heathen origin that this meant Paul had no problem with getting truths from other religions. I could be mistaken but that is a possible impression.

Paul's use of such words cannot be taken as an endorsement of whatever culture they came from. He was just using the language. If we were to take this approach in all our Christian writings we'd have to change at least half of them because of the foreign etymology.

All truth is not God's truth, and all peace is not of the Prince of Peace. All light is not God's light and all love is not God's love. We get our truths from God's Word, not man's words.

Concerning culture, I agree that Paul used what he could to reach everyone. But upon reaching them he did not adopt their "truths" or "learn from them" as popular sayings go, but to teach them God's truth instead. We are here to shine Light on them, not get fake light from them.

----------------
Pastor Pryme
"hidden" because of 2 cor 12:6b - "so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me."

Jeff said...

I also found it interesting that the word "Hermeneutics" comes from the Greek root "Hermes" and "Hermes" was the Greek god of the message. So it makes sense that the word means the art and science of the study and interpretation of the message. I know of Christians who want nothing to do with the culture who were very disappointed when they hear that Christian scholars were using a word that had its roots in Greek mythology. Let's not be so naive' as to think we have not be woven into our culture both past and present...and let's engage rather than retreat from that culture.

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

Precisely my point.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Interesting thoughts. I do, like you, believe that we remember our lives on earth for eternity.

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Even though Wade is wrong in his Greek analysis, his understanding of engaging culture is spot on by recognizing such efforts as Theology Tap and Theology at the Bottleworks as being excellent ministries. They remain biblical however ONLY if the brewmasters are males. :)


K

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Methinks you jest.

Smile.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

It should be important to note that the etymology of a word, that it to say its origin, how it came to be used, does NOT determine its meaning both in the original setting of its use nor in the present age, nor anywhere in between. The meaning of a word is first and foremost determined by the writer/speaker’s intended use and secondly by the hearer/reader.

Sounds like it is time for everyone to get out and read their copy of D.A. Carson's "Exegetical Fallacies."

Jeff said...

This the point I have made regardig lexicons.
There is more to meaning then dictionary.
BTW, if people argue that the requirements
for senior pastors are male only is cultural then
there is the possiblity that at some point culture
might dictate male only leadership again. Thus
it's to see that God has chosen men to be pastors
regardless of culture.

Lydia said...

"It should be important to note that the etymology of a word, that it to say its origin, how it came to be used, does NOT determine its meaning both in the original setting of its use nor in the present age, nor anywhere in between. The meaning of a word is first and foremost determined by the writer/speaker’s intended use and secondly by the hearer/reader."

A good example of this would be the word "Church". Or, 'authenteo'.

Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that Linguists are a better source for such things than most theologian-scholars.

Lydia said...

There is more to meaning then dictionary.
BTW, if people argue that the requirements
for senior pastors are male only is cultural then
there is the possiblity that at some point culture
might dictate male only leadership again. Thus
it's to see that God has chosen men to be pastors
regardless of culture.

Fri Nov 27, 12:39:00 PM 2009

Let us take your very own words and subsitute slavery and see how it sounds.

In any event, any egal who studies the Word, would not make a cultural argument for the interpretation that women can teach or preach to anyone regardless of private parts.

We do not need to. It is a matter of scripture interpretation. It is only human that you and many others before you interpret it to your own advantage.

It has been pointed out several times that there is nothing in the OT to prohibit women from teaching or leading men. So trying to make it a cultural argument is absurd.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that Linguists are a better source for such things than most theologian-scholars."


Those whose primary discipline is linguistics or classics can help us with the semantic range of a word. But it is the theologians and biblical scholars which help us with the context and the definitive point of that range. The word for "church" has no issues by using a more broad section of the semantic range, in other words the Church IS the called out assembly, those who have been called out from amongst the heathen for a purpose, gathered together in the presence of and for the purpose of and indeed BY Christ. The church is/are quite simply "The Redeemed."

Lydia said...

"Those whose primary discipline is linguistics or classics can help us with the semantic range of a word."

That is very important, Kev. Too many theologian-translators have chosen to use a word or words for interpreting that conveys a different meaning than the whole pericope. Hebrews 13:17 comes to mind. (Along with many others) Where a linguist would have looked at how that word was tyically used in other places in the Word and literature.

" But it is the theologians and biblical scholars which help us with the context and the definitive point of that range."

Don't forget the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit, foremost, must be our interpreter. Else, it is a history book or club to beat folks with.


" The word for "church" has no issues by using a more broad section of the semantic range, in other words the Church IS the called out assembly,..."

I was thinking more along the lines of it's origin and consequently what that word tends to mean today: A building.

It would be interesting to see how differently we would view 'the assembly of called out ones' if the translators had used that or 'Body of Christ', instead.

Just musing on Black Friday where we are hunkered down and NOT going out to contend with the masses in pursuit of material happiness. :o)

Marvin Merriweather said...

"Since Christians DO struggle with hidden sins, ought we to try and not POUNCE on them when we find out and cry foul???"

I'm wondering what will happen when people discover my true identity...is someone going to try and capitalize to make themselves look good, or will they attempt to restore me into Christian fellowship?

You make a good point, Kevin. Many Christians have a sin radar that never sleeps...and when they discover sin, they POUNCE!

Sound like anything you've read on BLOGS lately?

Benji Ramsaur said...

"It is only human that you and many others before you interpret it to your own advantage."

So, let me see how this looks like it is shaping up:

From Comp--you egals are interpreting the Scriptures with a social agenda derived from culture.

From egal--you comps are interpreting the Scriptures with a selfish agenda derived from sin.

Did I get that right?

*warning*...*warning*... [sarcasm alert]

Since we can legitimately get our etymology from culture, then I think we should get another deity [lethe] from culture as well.

It makes things equal.

[male Yahweh/female lethe]. :)

Benji Ramsaur said...

But Benji, if you look in the Old Testament, you will se that God has female characteristics as well...

[I just wanted to help start someone off in a response to me] :)

Benji Ramsaur said...

"see"

Tom Parker said...

If we as SB took such a strong stance against ??? as we have alcohol, what would our denomination be like?

It has always fascinated me that it is the strong stance against alcohol but not smoking.

Thought--how many of our current SBC ministers smoke?

Christiane said...

Our culture currently has what teachers call 'a short attention span'. We want results and we want them NOW.
WE want them, or we grow impatient.
And therein lies the problem with some in the Church.

They can't fathom why it may be that someone who is broken would come, in their brokeness, to a place like a Church! Not only do they not understand why 'such a sinner' would come into 'their' church, but their attitude is: 'if they won't shape up on OUR time-table, kick 'em out'.
So the 'righteous ones' bow down to the impatience in our culture;
and our culture wins out over what we know of the Way of Our Lord.

I would like to share this from another blog. It is by Keith Todd, and it states the problem well, I think:

“Let’s just remember that we all have a story. We are all broken.

The gospel shall find it’s way. It’s not on our time.

The God we worship is much grander and much more in tune with the story of the broken.
Let us embody Christ in our lives as broken people who need Christ.

The Living Waters shall engulf those who seek His love. We just need to keep it real and love as Christ loved us.

Let us remember that broken people are the most important people in the room.

The most important thing we can show them is Love. We are just a piece of their story and a small but grand part of a bigger picture.”


There is something else, I know about: it is that in caring for those who need Christ's love, that we ourselves begin to understand more about the power of that love as it works through us to help a broken person.

Same in teaching: if a teacher wants a student to understand something better, the teacher may ask the student to patiently explain it to another student.
Strangely, it works rather well.

Caritas,
L's

Lydia said...

"It is only human that you and many others before you interpret it to your own advantage."

So, let me see how this looks like it is shaping up:

From Comp--you egals are interpreting the Scriptures with a social agenda derived from culture.

From egal--you comps are interpreting the Scriptures with a selfish agenda derived from sin.

Did I get that right?"

Wrong. I cannot speak for all egals but I would never take my interpretation from a social agenda derived from culture. But I do see progressive revelation of understanding truth which is why we no longer think it is normal to buy and sell people and then make them work for us for free.

That was an interpretation that benefited some.

Someday, perhaps some pastors will stop seeing themselves as a form of Levite Priest. :)

revben said...

Lydia,

I was referring to how I perceived both sides to perceive each other and then asked the question that I did.

In other words, the question in part concerns whether comps perceive that about you, not whether you perceive that about yourself.

I'm glad you brought up the last idea that you did because I want to ask you this:

Do you think that "any" form of leadership in the church tends to be labeled hierarchical by the egal side?

Personally, I am against heavy handedness and pressuring folks to believe or practice against their conscience accurately informed by Scripture. However, I am not against persuasive leadership.

Accordingly, even though I am not a member, I would imagine that Wade is a good example of not being heavy handed and yet persuasive in his leadership at Emmanuel. I think Wade knows how to teach and preach God's word "and" patiently wait for the Spirit to do His good work.

In contrast to this, I could see other pastors possibly faithfully teaching and preaching the Scripture, but not waiting on the Spirit so that they end up trying to intimidate folks into submission.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Lydia,

I am on someone else's computer. The comment from "revben" above is actually my comment--Benji Ramsaur.

Benji

Kevin M. Crowder said...

L's,

Have you ever read JP2's book "The Theology of the Body"? I have not, but I am reading a book which quotes him quite extensively and to my surprise I agree with many of the quotes. Not that I have ever doubted his brilliance, but me being a Protestant and all...

;)

Anyway, curious if you have read it, and what your thoughts are on his throughts regarding the topics of late.

I still enjoy reading your wisdom when you post. (When I agree that is.)

:)

K

Lydia said...

"Do you think that "any" form of leadership in the church tends to be labeled hierarchical by the egal side?"

Hi Revben aka Benji :o)

There are no "leaders" in the true Body. Only servants. And those more spiritually mature would know they are the most lowly of all. :o)

And, I apologize. I knew you were talking about perceptions. I do know that some egals make cultural arguments and I think they are just as wrong as the faux comps who should just be honest and call themselves Patriarchs. (There is no such thing as complimentarian if it is hierarchal)

Christiane said...

Hi KEVIN,

Yes, I have read part of John Paul II's 'Theology of the Body'.
But not the complete volume of work, which is quite voluminous.

I believe that it is used as a reference by some priests in the year-long instruction of an engaged couple that have been called to the sacrament of matrimony in our Church.

HOWEVER, if you want my comments on some of the current topics being discussed (like between yourself and our Lydia), I have to say that I am in agreement with Lydia.

It may surprise you about how diverse our Church can be on an issue. Therese of Lisieux died at age 24. SHE wanted to be a priest so much so, that she told her sister that it was merciful for God to take her heaven before her twenty-fifth birthday. Reason: because He knew and understood how heartbreakingly painful it would have been for her to reach the age of 25, when men were allowed to be ordained as priest.
Now, Kevin, the Church knew about her writings and about her statement to her sister. Did they condemn her? Nope. They didn't.
They made her a 'Doctor of the Church', a very rare acknowledgment that, in her writings, there was so much that pointed to Lord Christ in such a special way that many were brought to Him who read them.

So, go figure.
Oh, and don't be worried about disagreeing with me at all. I don't even agree with myself all of the time. :)

Pax Christi,
L's

P.S. If you want to discuss any specific quotations from JP II's writings, just let me know and I will be happy to comment. :)

Chris Ryan said...

Tom,

It hasn't been about how many ministers smoke (though Spurgeon wouldn't have liked to see smoking made a sin). It was about how the Southern planters who wrote big checks that the SB ministers didn't want to offend.

Amanda said...

"Those whose primary discipline is linguistics or classics can help us with the semantic range of a word. But it is the theologians and biblical scholars which help us with the context and the definitive point of that range."

While semantics certainly is one (arguably small, depending on your perspective) subfield within linguistics, it is hardly the only one. Other areas of linguistics, such as pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, etc., DO deal with context and how those words are used within their contexts, be that at the sentence, text (spoken or written), or broader social level. We linguists can speak to a whole lot more than simply the semantic ranges of words. Just saying. :) Now back to my lurking...

Rex Ray said...

Hey! If God can use a donkey to teach a man, he can use a woman.

For proof, ask any husband.

Pege` said...

Wade, I understand your four points and whole heartidly agree because if we LIVE what we BELIEVE we will live by these four points!!

BLESSINGS,
Pege'

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

ADVENTUS CHRISTI

Wade wrote:
"Christians love the light, not the darkness."

In my family, we are beginning a season of preparation with the lighting of a candle and a reading from the prophecies that foretold and foretell of the Coming of Christ among us. I'd like to share our family's first reading from Isaiah 2 with you:

"2 In days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
3 Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."


The interesting thing about this season, is that it not only re-lives the yearnings of those who awaited the Incarnation of Our Savior, it also expresses our own great longing for His Presence to be always renewed in our own hearts;
and, in the fulfillment of time, it represents our deepest yearnings for Him to return to us on the Day of the Lord.

And the candle? . . . when lit, the candle burns long after our praying; to represent that our prayers, said in Christ's Name, will remain before the Lord for all eternity.

Peace of Christ to you,
Love, L's

Darrell said...

Brother KMC,

I say this tongue in cheek and with a sense of humor so please don't misunderstand.

So, if in someones opinion, D.A. Carson is right in his opinions that he states in "Exegetical Fallacies," then it must be right because a group of people believe it is right and all who disagree with him and the others and thier opinions are always wrong?

Isn't that dangerous? Isn't that what cause Luther to rise up and later caused our ancestors to fight and die for religious freedom.

Not hashness, snottiness, or smart-aleckness (is that a word) intended.

d

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"So, if in someones opinion, D.A. Carson is right in his opinions that he states in "Exegetical Fallacies," then it must be right because a group of people believe it is right and all who disagree with him and the others and thier opinions are always wrong?"

No, but the fallacies in Carson's book are not really in question except by the uninformed. Once they become informed they almost always agree.

:) (Tongue not in cheek; nor should yours be in yours.) You could never offend me brother.

You asked the right question. I gave the right answer. What a team we make! :)


K

Darrell said...

KMC

The question remains, If they dare to disagree (you said most come to agree) then do those sho disagree become the persecuted because they are not in the majority?.

A pure democracy can never work. If the majority rules against God......

or the majority says murder is OK?????

My point is that all side issues are not the main thing and "the main thing is that the main thing remain the main thing."

Freedom from religion is as import as freedom of religion. religion is man trying to please God, which we can never do and Christianity is God reaching down in His will and Mercy to save us. Perfect doctrine and understanding on earth is not possible. Paul said "we see only in part now....."

Lets not fight over things that God might dare to disagree with. Truth is not hidden from Him. He may not agree with us anyway.

grace
d

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Darrell,

Forgive me, but your question has slightly changed and broadened. Whether one agrees with the literary principles in Carson's book is irrelevant to a pure denominational democracy. The Catholic Church dogmatically teaches a concept called sensus fidelium, or “sense of the faithful” by which the Spirit pours out understanding for Magisterial Decrees (ex cathedra Papal and Councicular decrees). Now obviously I do not believe in the infallibility of the Pope, but I do believe that the Spirit works through the church, and as such gives sensus fidelium when needed to accomplish the will of the Father. That can happen through the teachings of Ordained ministers (Carson) or through the decrees of the Councils (SBC’s BFM; Westminster Standards; London Baptist Confessions; Apostles Creed; Nicene Creed; etc). The Bible itself calls each of us to “give an account”. Some have chosen to do such a thing through position papers, sermons, witnessing, etc; but when a person speaks against a doctrine or idea without having given due process to the idea, or to the Sacred Scripture, then I am of the opinion that Scripture would have that person remain silent. Where that person, living in ignorance and in being unfaithful to the Sacred Text of Holy Scripture, remains in sin and is unable to give an account, is in my opinion bound to the sensus fidelium of the body to which they have united.

Understand that in my finiteness, there are a great many Christian ideals on which I am bound my own words to remain silent. But because of the nature of my studies, I am able to affirm the above councicular decrees with some minor, and some major reservations. But as I always I pray for the strength to be more “faithful,” and the wisdom for more “sense.”

The Lord keep you and yours,
Kevin

Darrell said...

Bro, by this statement,

"but I do believe that the Spirit works through the church"

do you mean the 501c3 religious, denominational, good ol boy clubs or the larger body of worldwide believers Christ called his Bride?

and in this statement "That can happen through the teachings of Ordained ministers (Carson) or through the decrees of the Councils (SBC’s BFM; Westminster Standards; London Baptist Confessions; Apostles Creed; Nicene Creed; etc). "

how can that be sence the Word gives us no example of ordination and its qualifications that the churches today practice. It is all man made tradition. Allthe writings you have listed are all man made (literally mostly are male made)

they have no weight in light of Holy Scripture. They are just a group of people and their interpretations and applications.


The statement of "give account" to you think it is to give account to another man or system or tradition? Who among men can judge men?

In this statement:

"Where that person, living in ignorance and in being unfaithful to the Sacred Text of Holy Scripture, remains in sin and is unable to give an account,"

I am not sure what you mean by "ignorance" here. If you mean uneducated, cant read etc I would disagree. many people in the Bible, who could not read or write " believed and
were saved" If "ignorant" means interpretations different than yours and mine then we both might be in sin with the arrogance of thinking our interpretations are inerrant.

We must leard to not let our book learnin' outrun our humbleness.

Preach on Bro
darrell

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Joy Joy Treat Treat!

Your questions just keep getting better. :)

Who was it that said: "One cannot have God as Father who does not The Church as Mother."? I most certainly believe in the divine power of the universal invisible church and all that that entails, but we as believers begin that interaction with the Church's divine qualities in the local visible expression. God's grace is imparted to us as a result of many different flavors of that expression. Legal corporations and denominational standings aside, we do not receive salvific grace which does not flow through this visible "mother church" first.

Beware the man who says "I preach the Bible" yet denies and disaffirms the time and Scripture tested Confessions and Creeds of the Universal Church of the ages. Who are we today to hold a monopoly on the doctrines of the ages and ignore the faith of our fathers?

Study we must, to show ourselves approved, but reaffirmation and connection with the historic church is essential to our faith, and essential to the proclamation of the Gospel.

Creeds and Confessions ARE Scripture where they are simply affirmations of It. Do you believe in the deity of Christ? If Scripture teaches this, and you affirm Scripture, then your confession is no different than Scripture. But does not the weight of full Body of Christ bear at least the same? Do not the affirmations of the Church bear the same weight as the biblical doctrines which they affirm?

The man who's confession is: "I believe in the Bible" is a noble one, yet his confession confesses nothing, nor does it present the Christ, nor the Gospel of Salvation to the lost.

As to my use of the word "ignorance," I mean disrespect to none, but use it simply to denote lack of knowledge. A lack of knowledge due to a lack of seeking such knowledge when the "good" knowledge is written down for all to see, is sin. (Jas 4:17)

"When the cost of acquiring information is greater than the benefits to be derived from the information, it is rational to be ignorant." (from: The Theory of Rational Ignorance, Clemson Univ.)

That is a secular quote born of the sinful nature of mankind. While it is totally true, it also proves the irrationality of seeking God, seeking Christ, seeking the logos, seeking the truth. Sometimes God demands of us the irrational. But then is the cost of determining the truth greater than the benefits of the truth? Only if salvation were not given on the basis of understanding the truth. But whereas obedience to the truth is concerned, determining and applying the truth can be quite easily described as more costly than the benefits of the here and now. Thus making the irrational the preferred method of pleasing the will of God--that is to say for eternal purposes, or for His glory now instead of ours.

Serving God is irrational--it costs us everything.

“We must leard to not let our book learnin' outrun our humbleness.”

Nor can we let our humility (rationality) outrun our learnin’ from The Book. ;)

K

Darrell said...

Dang, that wasn't bad. Remember, this post of Wade's is about truth.

Truth to me says the quote "One cannot have God as Father who does not The Church as Mother" borders on heresy.

Scripture says that the Blood of Christ saves us. The church doesn't. I have led folks to Christ who have never set foot in a church before or after their salvation. TOO MUCH WORLDLY CORRUPTION.

You do not have to go to church to be saved or to get to heaven.

Uniting yourself with other believers is not what Americans call church. It can happen in the underground sewers of Eastern Europe. I was there. No creeds, no one ordained, no preacher. Just 9 people some one told of Jesus and one pamplet of the book of John.

We have gotten way to far into our own education, diploma's and MDivs when we think God needs us and our petty knowledge to accomplish what Christ has already done. We cannot do His part and the part of the Holy Spirit.

This quote "Beware the man who says "I preach the Bible" yet denies and disaffirms the time and Scripture tested Confessions and Creeds of the Universal Church of the ages. Who are we today to hold a monopoly on the doctrines of the ages and ignore the faith of our fathers?

Who has all rights and knowledge? How can we claim that all the men in the past had it right? There is enough corruption before and after the reformation to go around. Millions have died at the hand of catholic and protestant alike. These were so called "great leaders" who believed themselves to be infallible and hence, their interpretations and applications were infallible. They slaughtered at will those who dared to disagree.

All creeds are always controlled by those HUMANS (usually always men) in control at that given time. (wonder if women would get it better if given a shot) All one has to do is look at the SBC and the new faith and message to se the manipulation by the current power brokers. Old time Baptist who fought, sacrificed and died for us would roll over in their graves.

I will take a simple country preacher, who loves the lord with all his heart, and has never cracked any book but the Word of God over all the PhD's in the world, any day.

We are so saturated with education, we have lost wisdom.

Ask Richard Wormbrand

grace
D

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I will take a simple country preacher, who loves the lord with all his heart, and has never cracked any book but the Word of God over all the PhD's in the world, any day."

I'm not sure what we are "taking" them for, but if I have to choose, I choose the Ph.D's. Nothing against country preachers, I was one.

However, I do not buy the distinction. Truth can come from a theological degree as it can come from a simple reading of the Word. But I will never exhaust theological truths in my lifetime even if I listen to and read every Ph.D alive today, much less my own primary study. While I rely on the Spirit and my own study, I heavily pepper it with the learned knowledge of those past and present who have been divinely gifted. I consider that humility.

Me and my Bible are NOTHING without the truth of the Logos contained in its pages. The Spirit of God does not just hand us truth on a silver platter. But Satan will surely hand us lies, whilst dressed in a robe like righteousness.

"Uniting yourself with other believers is not what Americans call church. It can happen in the underground sewers of Eastern Europe. I was there. No creeds, no one ordained, no preacher. Just 9 people some one told of Jesus and one pamplet of the book of John."

I am not really concerned with what Americans call church. The grace of God imparted to the elect in those sewers of Eastern Europe DID flow through the church. It flowed through the Sacred Writings of the Apostle John and through teachings and love of YOU and other believers in those trenches--ALL carried along of course by the Blood of our Precious Savior. There is no salvation outside the Church--this is the ordinary means. God is of course free to work outside the ordinary, but Scripture is replete with example of this ordinary flow of grace upon those whom the Father has given the Son. This is far from heresy my brother. It is a truth which has been espoused by Protestant and Catholic alike for as long as the Fathers have been writing. Certainly we are pleased with our Catholic Brothers and Sister in their understanding of the doctrine--Post Vatican II. Their prior understanding is what I would join you in calling heresy.

We are called into unity with Christ--Each of us who believe; each of us who have been baptized in the name of the triune God. A study of our differences with grace and humility and love and understanding will ultimately reveal that we each have more in common than we have not in common. The Body of Christ is not a subset of Religion we call Baptists. Yet we Baptists regularly cut off the hands and feet, or the mouths and eyes of the Body.

I ran across a Cable show of Mac Brunson at FBCJax where he was preaching over the duties of the Pastor. After slamming the idea of "Elder Leadership" and some other garbage he was spewing, he grasped his pulpit while proclaiming to "protect it" against the wolves. I am not sure who is doing all the clamoring about him, but as that was the first time I had seen him preach in his church I was shocked---at the fact that this quite large church was FULL, and they love him, and agree with him, and applaud his "wolvery." Yet what he preaches is straight out of the pages of the Fundamental Baptist Smeltery. (Independent, autonomous Baptist Churches; Senior Pastor Rule by loud dogmatic preaching; and hacking up Catholics and other Baptists from the pulpit.)

Gag a maggot off a gut wagon!


But I digress...

:)


What were we even talking about D?


K

Thy Peace said...

Today's sermon from Pastor Wade deals with this post. If you watch the video, it is titled "Love Rejoices in the Truth", 1 Cor 13:6, Part 13 of series, Nov 29, 09. The sermon is from 25:56 to 55:36.

Thy Peace said...

Kevin, if you read this post, it will explain about the later part of your comment.

Darrell said...

digress....ahhhhh!amen! me to. when all truth is indeed in the open, we won't need phd's or creeds, or backroom deals.

Darby Livingston said...

"Yet what he preaches is straight out of the pages of the Fundamental Baptist Smeltery. (Independent, autonomous Baptist Churches; Senior Pastor Rule by loud dogmatic preaching; and hacking up Catholics and other Baptists from the pulpit.)"

Kevin, you left out the trail of blood and King James version.

Darby Livingston said...

I should clarify. I'm not referring to Mac, per se, just that those two things usually accompany that kind of doctrinal stance.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"when all truth is indeed in the open, we won't need phd's or creeds, or backroom deals."

You are of course speaking of the consummation of the age when we shall know all truth. But until then, it does not hurt to read the informed, glean from their knowledge, and humbly submit to others' explanation of the truth. :)


Nothing wrong with studying those of ages past. Without Calvin I would still be a heretic. Without John Gill Wade would have no sermon material. :)


K

Lydia said...

"I'm not sure what we are "taking" them for, but if I have to choose, I choose the Ph.D's."

Funny how Jesus did this backwards from your preference. He did not choose the cream of the educated Rabbinical crop as His first 12.

Then He chose Paul, the cream of the educated Rabbinical crop to take the Gospel to the Gentiles!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lydia,

I am not "taking" men to follow me. I am "taking" or listening to men who follow Christ. I am not sure what Christ did in choosing His apostles has to do with me in this instance but your observation is noted.

:)

Lydia said...

Kevin,

Hint: It has to do with the Holy Spirit.

Barry said...

Someone twittered a link to this blog and the title was very interesting. Once I got there it felt like the "useless" arguments that Paul warns against.
This may be incredibly intellectually stimulating to some but the lost world craves some of your spiritual articulation to help them find a way in the desert!
If you have over a dozen comments on some dude's blog referring to the same posts and your words vastly outnumber the creator of the blog you got to take a good long look and ask, "Is this a little compulsive?" "Do I have a need to show how smart I am?"
You guys are brilliant!
Focus it towards people!
With respect and love to brothers and sisters of my own tribe...

Darrell said...

When I said " I will take" the meaning was that I would trust a man who read only the Bible and was totally sold out to his Creator before I would trust a boatload of puffed up, pharisees like I see taking over the SBC. Those types of Dr's of the church have always been ahinderance to the work.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I am not sure who's gossiping over at Twitter, nor am I sure why 12 is the magic number, but here are the winners for this thread:

14-Kevin M. Crowder (w/ this one)
08-Lydia
06-Darrell
05-Benji R.
03-3 way tie (Wade, Thy Peace, & L's)

2 people had 2 posts.

13 people had one post.

So, either I loose or I win. Either way I could care less.

Since I frequently take lengthy sabbaticals, my time here (depending on the subject) will be maximized. :)

K