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Thread: CNN Faith Blog - Do You

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    Default CNN Belief Blog - Do You Speak Christian?

    Do You Speak Christian?

    Here we go again. Or maybe not.

    I don't take this as a slam, like that book Unchristian certainly was.

    A food for thought article on modeling our presentation of the good news to the masses after the Master. No one can rightly claim that He distorted or watered down the content. He wasn't in the least bit embarrassed about the content. He was the content. He did however, present it in a form that the yet-to-believe person could grasp.



    A salient quote, "If you donít want to speak Christian, they say, pay attention to how Christianityís founder spoke. Jesus spoke in a way that drew people in, says Leonard, the Wake Forest professor. 'He used stories, parables and metaphors,' Leonard says. 'He communicated in images that both the religious folks and nonreligious folks of his day understand.'"
    Last edited by SCSaunders; 08-01-2011 at 10:41 AM.

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    Default One, good quote is deserving of another

    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    A salient quote, "If you don’t want to speak Christian, they say, pay attention to how Christianity’s founder spoke. Jesus spoke in a way that drew people in, says Leonard, the Wake Forest professor. 'He used stories, parables and metaphors,' Leonard says. 'He communicated in images that both the religious folks and nonreligious folks of his day understand.'"
    "the disciples went, and asked him, Why do you speak to them in parables?
    He answered saying to them, Because you are granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but it has not been granted to them.
    For whoever has, it will be given, and they will receive more in abundance: but anyone who does not have, even what they have will be taken.
    Therefore. I speak to them in parables: so that observing they do not see; and listening they do not hear, nor do they understand.
    "

    (Mat 13:10-13)

    However, I do agree that Stories, parables, and metaphors continue to communicate to audiences today with out any need for special jargon to get the point across.
    Last edited by bkMitchell; 08-02-2011 at 08:23 AM.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    "the disciples went, and asked him, Why do you speak to them in parables?
    He answered saying to them, Because you are granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but it has not been granted to them.
    For whoever has, it will be given, and they will receive more in abundance: but anyone who does not have, even what they have will be taken.
    Therefore. I speak to them in parables: so that observing they do not see; and listening they do not hear, nor do they understand.
    "

    (Mat 13:10-13)

    However, I do agree that Stories, parables, and metaphors continue to communicate to audiences today with out any need for special jargon to get the point across.
    Great passage, the context of which more clearly defines who "to them" are - (Mat 13:14-16 ESV) "14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear."

    Divine discipline comes in many forms. Veiling the hearts of "them" to the message is scarey stuff indeed. (2Co 3:14-16 ESV) "14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." Paul ought to know: it's personal testimony with him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    (2Co 3:14-16 ESV) "14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." Paul ought to know: it's personal testimony with him.
    If, the metaphorical veil is lifted when one comes comes Christ...
    it is a wonder why more Christian communities do not take the Pentateuch/Torah more seriously since they no longer are hampered by the veil?


    Eisegesis, is a serious problem we must each struggle to deal with. Some, blame the publisher Art Scroll for making commentaries that only reflect one particular point of view while ignoring others. The Stone Chumash published by them is one which many accuse of representing only Rashi's point and that of the ultra-Orthodox. However, their Hebrew only Jaffah Chumash contains more commentaries than just Rashi and if one is able to read Aramaic then the Targum(available in both the stone and Jaffah editions) also provides for an alternative point of view. However, definitely the traditional Miqraot Gedolot contain far more points of view that any of Art Scrolls selections. In the end it is up to us to do our best to struggle and wrestle with each text.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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    If, the metaphorical veil is lifted when one comes comes Christ...
    it is a wonder why more Christian communities do not take the Pentateuch/Torah more seriously since they no longer are hampered by the veil?
    I'm with you. The more I read the Pentatuech/Torah the more it helps me understand the New Testament. It's "Mystery Doctrine" is totally dependent upon it. Paul wrote a lot of it. I would have loved to have been there to hear the scales drop from his eyes.


    Eisegesis, is a serious problem we must each struggle to deal with. Some, blame the publisher Art Scroll for making commentaries that only reflect one particular point of view while ignoring others. The Stone Chumash published by them is one which many accuse of representing only Rashi's point and that of the ultra-Orthodox. However, their Hebrew only Jaffah Chumash contains more commentaries than just Rashi and if one is able to read Aramaic then the Targum(available in both the stone and Jaffah editions) also provides for an alternative point of view. However, definitely the traditional Miqraot Gedolot contain far more points of view that any of Art Scrolls selections. In the end it is up to us to do our best to struggle and wrestle with each text.
    I'm not familiar with everything you wrote here, but I have read some of the Art Scroll stuff. At my local libraries, folks donate books. The library sells them for 50 cents/paperback and $1.00/hardback. Got a GKC, barely opened, for my dad for a buck. Somebody has been donating their Art Scroll stuff, as well as other stuff. I've been flipping it's pages, back to front.

    To me, FWIW, Eisegesis includes any POV not intended by the Divine Author. To me all of Scripture is not a matter of one's private own interpretation. I believe Scripture is unlike any other writing. It's alive and powerful. It judges the thoughts and intents of man's hidden heart - and most folks hate it when someone can read their heart. They'd rather gather at the feet of a speaker who will tickle their ears. I think to let Scripture speak for itself is to hear the voice of God in all it's doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness - as painful as that pruning process is. It's all good; good news.
    Last edited by SCSaunders; 08-08-2011 at 08:13 AM. Reason: As God is my witness - I loathe spelling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    ...To me, FWIW, Eisegesis includes any POV not intended by the Divine Author. To me all of Scripture is not a matter of one's private own interpretation...
    Saunders, when all is said and done it is painfully obvious that no one seriously believes that there is more than one right understanding of scripture. After, all if those of us with in the Judeo-Christian continuum actually accepted relativism/Subjectivity in terms of hermeneutics as being legitimatized there would be no need for various denominations or sects with Judaism or Christianity. We could all just go to one big generic congregation and be happy. But, sects, groups, denominations, translations, and theologies abound preciously because we can not in good faith accept the claims of everyone else as valid interpretations of Scripture.

    "If the scripture has more than one meaning, it has no meaning at all."
    Milton Terry, as quoted by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr in the Messiah in the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House 1995)

    This is why I believe we must each struggle and wrestle with the texts in search of meaning and application. It is not enough to accept our families or congregations interpretations, we must find out whether or not these things are so for ourselves. Yes, our parents' and congregations'(or confessional) interpretations maybe absolutely correct, but if we did not work to obtain and come to our own understanding of scripture and theology we will surely not appreciate as much as if we had. Some who hold to 'orthodox' theology fall away when attacked/challenged either by their own doubts or by external forces simply because they never truly had an understanding of the texts they professed to believe in.


    By the way 'The Handbook on the Pentateuch' by Victor P. Hamilton is one I think is great representation of the grammatico-historical method and of a man I think to be a very enlightened Christian scholar of the Torah.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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    Hey Brian, here is a book that you might really like. It argues for one meaning. It is very well done.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post


    Saunders, when all is said and done it is painfully obvious that no one seriously believes that there is more than one right understanding of scripture. After, all if those of us with in the Judeo-Christian continuum actually accepted relativism/Subjectivity in terms of hermeneutics as being legitimatized there would be no need for various denominations or sects with Judaism or Christianity. We could all just go to one big generic congregation and be happy. But, sects, groups, denominations, translations, and theologies abound preciously because we can not in good faith accept the claims of everyone else as valid interpretations of Scripture.

    "If the scripture has more than one meaning, it has no meaning at all."
    Milton Terry, as quoted by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr in the Messiah in the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House 1995)

    This is why I believe we must each struggle and wrestle with the texts in search of meaning and application. It is not enough to accept our families or congregations interpretations, we must find out whether or not these things are so for ourselves. Yes, our parents' and congregations'(or confessional) interpretations maybe absolutely correct, but if we did not work to obtain and come to our own understanding of scripture and theology we will surely not appreciate as much as if we had. Some who hold to 'orthodox' theology fall away when attacked/challenged either by their own doubts or by external forces simply because they never truly had an understanding of the texts they professed to believe in.


    By the way 'The Handbook on the Pentateuch' by Victor P. Hamilton is one I think is great representation of the grammatico-historical method and of a man I think to be a very enlightened Christian scholar of the Torah.
    Brian, my lifelong experience - with biblical scholars and their scholarship - has been that there is a great chasm between statement of the principles you've mentioned above and the acting according to them. I currently summarize it this way: scholarship is a genre [and all that that implies] that begins not with the text, but with the cacophony of differing interpreted meanings of the text.

    In Scripture the church is described as the household of the living God and a pillar and foundation of His truth. His truth does not contradict itself nor is it some Zeleg that goes chameleon in every "I'm of *insert interpreter's name* setting. Scholars and scholarship ask us to hold "our" [own private or *I'm of ______________'s*] interpretations of this truth "lightly" - as if this is a form of humility. Any view held this way certainly would not warrant the backbone of trusting and believing to the point of martyrdom. Yet martyrdom has been the fate of many great members of this household.

    I personally don't believe the literary voice of Master Communicator speaks with that much forked-tongue, not when combined with the Illuminating work of God the Holy Spirit. I think when God's church listens to these kind of debates - over periods and periods of time - it destroys His sheep who are listening [2Ti 2:14]. The listeners need to be protected from these kind of speakers, be they supposed super apostles or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    Brian, my lifelong experience - with biblical scholars and their scholarship - has been that there is a great chasm between statement of the principles you've mentioned above and the acting according to them.
    I am in agreement with you.

    However, I wasn't addressing the academic Biblical Scholars, but rather I was trying to point out that there are numerous denominations, with in Christianity some of which claim to have the 'truth' or the right interpretation in exclusion of other points of views held by other denominations.


    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    In Scripture the church is described as the household of the living God and a pillar and foundation of His truth. His truth does not contradict itself nor is it some Zeleg that goes chameleon in every "I'm of *insert interpreter's name* setting.
    Unfortunately, there are over 33,820 denominations often with rival claims to 'truth' and the very thing spoken of above continues to happen thousands of times.




    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    I personally don't believe the literary voice of Master Communicator speaks with that much forked-tongue, not when combined with the Illuminating work of God the Holy Spirit.
    On the following BWs' thread(link) I ran into a forum user claiming to hold the spiritual interpretation or some type of spiritual exegetical method? I tried to get that user to define and clarify the steps necessary to perform this type of method. Here is a short quote :

    Quote Originally Posted by dalemac View Post
    There are many OT and NT truths taught in the Bible that the saints of God have not really experienced or come into in any real great depth, but God will bring his choice bride into all of them in the last days as he reveals more of His logos to us through the written Word and by his Holy Spirit...how are we a going to understand it and obtain unto this marvelous wonderful truth unless the Holy Sprit gives us more revelation and understanding that will be based on the written Word of God?...
    Is, the statement above simular what you have in mind when you speak of the Holy Spirit helping readers understand scripture? I personal find the kind of statements like the above to be far more confusing than helpful. So, maybe you can help me comprehended what that user was trying to convey?


    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    I think when God's church listens to these kind of debates - over periods and periods of time - it destroys His sheep who are listening [2Ti 2:14]. The listeners need to be protected from these kind of speakers, be they supposed super apostles or not.
    Yes, but which denomination do you believe is God's Church?
    Or, are all denominations collectively apart of God's Church?

    Less, than one percent of the population is Christian in Japan, but in the area in which I live in there are Catholic, Anglican, Mormon, Jehovah witness, united Church of Christ, reform christian church, church of Christ, missionary Baptist, and non-denominational congregations.
    Last edited by bkMitchell; 08-08-2011 at 09:09 PM.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post
    Hey Brian, here is a book that you might really like. It argues for one meaning. It is very well done.
    Thanks, this book does look interesting. How, does it compare with Walter Kaiser's studies on the same issues?
    I have also read Raphael Patai's 'The Messiah Texts' compilation or anthology, but in general I think Walter Kaiser's no non sense approach is great.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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