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Thread: CNN Faith Blog - Do You

  1. #11
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    Kaiser's book is an excellent one and I have nothing but profound admiration for him. I've met him. He is a wonderful man, great writer, and an excellent and very entertaining speaker. But I think this book surpasses Kaiser's.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    .... <em>All that was quoted in yesterday's 8:15 PM ....</em>
    I don't disagree with the letter and spirit of the overwhelming majority of your part in our discussion. I do have personal experience issues with pragmatics that flows from some of it's key implications. Let me focus and explicate what I mean.

    • Learning is a process that is cumulative - it's transformational effect builds over time [durative, persevering, progressive faithfulness]
    • Learning has a curriculum - the word of God - its contributions are profitable to our transformation [other curriculum is not]
    • Learning has divinely appointed divisions of labor - the gifts of pastors and teachers, those who study to show themselves approved unto God
    • Learning is not accomplished equally well by every member in this labor workforce - some are good, some are bad, some are approved and some are not
    • Learning equips one to discern who in this division is good and who is bad, who is approved and who isn't [A sheep will learn to recognize the voice of its shepherd and not be deceived by the voice of others]
    • And here's the crux of what wool-covered me has learned in order to discern the voice of a God-approved shepherd:
      • My real life for God is a life of Faith in God - this is where the rubber meets the road
      • My real life of faith mirrors the exemplars of the faith, the role models of the faith, as found in the curriculum of God
      • My faith like theirs and their faith like mine wrestles - we wrestle with our faith
      • Our faith wrestles much, much, much more with the God of the text than the text of God [His curriculum is not all that grey, clowdy and foggy to us]
      • His curriculum is way, way, way more transparent than opaque
      • This transparency is what I'm looking for from God, its what I need from God, through His curriculum, mediated by the office of elders [His under-shepherds] who cling with conviction to the curriculum, a curriculum saturated with patrons of the faith wrestling with the God of the text
        • They have lived a substitutionary life of the faith in every archetypal human experience of the faith
        • I live vicariously through them; seeking to model their successes and avoid their failures in every archetypal human experience of the faith
        • This gives me transformational wisdom - lessons from life substitutionary-vicarious experience

      • When the pulpit is high-jacked from a spiritually qualified elder, clinging to the word, preaching its every word with conviction by a philosophical scholar who lightly holds some flavor of the moment position - the cumulative effect is a never-ending vagina monologue and not the sovereign, transformational voice of God


    JMHO
    Last edited by SCSaunders; 08-09-2011 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Believe it or not - more punctuation than spelling issues

  3. #13
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    Arrow don't get me wrong

    SCSaunders,


    • I am neither a Philosopher nor a Scholar
    • I am a layman
    • I come from a faith movement in which the Bible is studied empirically and with passion
    • Because, God's word came in human clothing or rather language; grammar, syntax, and cultural context must be taken into consideration
    • spiritual/allegorical interpretations seem rather arbitrary to these ears
    • A text means nothing more and nothing less than what it meant to it's original audience (or rather what it was intended to mean)
    • I think we may see eye to but our jargon is different
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


  4. #14

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    Brian,

    Denominations are traditions, traditions started by men.
    Denominations are the traditions of men, that is why so many of these traditions bear the name of men.

    The written word is severely denuded of the Divine Author's craft of language, when grammar, syntax and cultural considerations are aborted from genre. Genre consideration is not spiritual/allegorical interpretation but literary delivery. Images. Metaphors. Allegories. Stories. Parables. Motif. Archetypes. Song. Poetry. Characters. Plot. Conflict. Symbols.

    The word of God means exactly what God intended it to mean. God intended its meaning for every member of His flock, in every generation of all time, in any culture - starting in those from Babel onward. His message is timeless, not frozen in time. His message is missionary - crossing cultural boundaries.

    We may very well be seeing eye to eye and yes I balk, pretty severely, at some of our jargon differences.

    Can you think of a single positive example from the word of God, even during the time of Christ's incarnation, in which scholarship or a scholar, as defined by our culture's current definitions are modeled in Scripture? There were scholars in Christ's day. There were the "men of the books." There were the "experts in the law." How are they portrayed? Good light? Bad light? How did they interact with our Savior? He with them? Was Christ what we would call a scholar? Did His preaching evidence what we would call scholarship? Just curious. Just asking. You are sharpening my iron.

    Scott
    Last edited by SCSaunders; 08-09-2011 at 03:39 PM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    Denominations are traditions, traditions started by men.
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    The written word is severely denuded of the Divine Author's craft of language, when grammar, syntax and cultural considerations are aborted from genre.
    You're preaching to the choir as we clearly agree on this one!
    On July, 2nd 2011 I wrote on my blog“I assume that when reading literature in one’s native language one automatically (or from experience and being condition to do so) tags Genre. So, when one hears or reads the words “once upon a time…” he/she knows that he/she is reading a fairy tale and not a news paper article. Now, I presuppose that the writings called Scripture or the Bible can be taken as a literary anthology of the ancient near east and if the NT (or even the LXX) is also included as Hellenist Jewish literature. Now, if Scripture can be consider as literature then it may also be categorized further into genre.”



    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    The word of God means exactly what God intended it to mean.
    Once, again we agree.


    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    Can you think of a single positive example from the word of God, even during the time of Christ's incarnation, in which scholarship or a scholar, as defined by our culture's current definitions are modeled in Scripture?
    Not, sure what you mean by our culture? So, let's just go by the dictionary definition instead:
    [1.a person who attends a school or studies under a teacher : pupil

    2.a person who has done advanced study in a special field : a learned person

    3. a holder of a scholarship ]

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scholar

    The first definition is the one most likely to apply to vast majority of characters we encounter in scripture. During the time Jesus walked the earth most Jewish boys studied under a teacher who taught them how to read the torah scroll, then later they were either sent to learn a craft or study under teacher who taught would would become the mishnah. In the gospel accounts we find that Jesus was able to take part in the scriptural readings and apparantly no one taught it was strange that he could read. We, also find that some of the disciple/pupils studied under John and then later followed Jesus as their Rabbi. These same disciple we able to write in Koine Greek, unless of course they first wrote in Aramaic and it was later translated into Greek. But, if they were able to write in Greek they proved they recieved a multilingual education. If Luke was physician then it is evident that the 2nd definition applies to him. Luke was able to write in an almost attic style of Greek and he was able to do his own research. Paul may have started off as the type of scholar who dislike, but apparently after he came to Christ his scholarship was put to use in writing much of the new testament and traveling around to teach.


    Nicodemus a pharisee and a teacher does not appear to be painted in a bad light. He seems to be a sincere scholar he clearly kept any eye on Jesus and even when to pay his respect to Jesus at his funeral.


    Ezra is also a scholar, scribe, and teacher of God's instruction/Law.
    Ezr. 7:10
    Neh. 8:13

    Deuteronomy 6:7 contains the direct command to teach the Torah and to on it
    Psalms 1:2 seems to support the idea that it is a good thing to study God's Law/Torah as well as many other Psalms.

    Study or rather Scholarship according to what I have seen does not appear to be a bad thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    There were scholars in Christ's day. There were the "men of the books." There were the "experts in the law."
    I tell you, that if your righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you guys will not enter to the kingdom of the heavens. (Mat 5:20 )

    Did, Jesus attack some of the Pharisess, yes! Did he attack each of the various sects of the Pharisees? No! Later, in the book of Act's we find that some Pharisees did come to believe in Jesus. We also know from both the NT an history that James the brother of Jesus presided over the Jerusalem Church made up of pharisaic Christians. Were, they perfect, no and neither were the Christians in other nations Paul writes, too. Now, what about Roman, Jesus says very little about the injustice done by the Romans immoral and cruel leadership. Does that mean that Roman practices were approved off in his sight? They were also other nations who held to pagan practices, since Jesus does not mention the are they therefore okay? If, the answer is no, then Jesus' ridiculing of the Pharisess and Scribes may not some how equate to a totally disregard of all study/scholarship.


    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    Was Christ what we would call a scholar? Did His preaching evidence what we would call scholarship?
    Yes, very often it is. A lot, of what Jesus says often sound like the saying from the Mishnah. Jesus' quotes something like the LXX but often it appears that he corrects it to the Masoretic text unless of course he was quoting the MT along. Then his interpretations or readings often reflect a how text could be read without the massoretic vowel points. Jesus in the gospel comes off as a Hasidic rabbi/scholar in the way talks and handles debates.

    This of course is my opinion or reading of the texts.

    POST SCRIPT:

    We, both wary of religious charlatans and we have thus far discussed two types:

    (a) a particular scholarly type that can be arrogant and cause trouble in churches by preaching theories and current fads as truth and thus leading the biblically literate astray.
    (b) preachers who use a so called 'Spiritual interpretation' as an excuse to ignore literary context and read whatever meaning they want into the text.

    Both of the above issues could be circumvented (in my opinion) if more congregations are Biblically literate and if congregants are able to test doctrines and spirits using a basic knowledge of the Bible and Biblical based theology as their guide. I believe that the Holy Spirit often guides us by bring verses and scriptures to our mind when we face trials.



    Although, I do not know much about the theology of Col. R.B. Thieme Jr. one of your teachers, I do know he was a fellow Houstonian and he helped to lead a congregation and individuals to become more Biblically literate through mentoring them. Whether or not I agree with everything he taught, I can appreciate the fact that did help people and do the best he could according to his understanding of the scripture.




    Last edited by bkMitchell; 08-10-2011 at 12:48 PM.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    Although, I do not know much about the theology of Col. R.B. Thieme Jr. one of your teachers, I do know he was a fellow Houstonian and he helped to lead a congregation and individuals to become more Biblically literate through mentoring them. Whether or not I agree with everything he taught, I can appreciate the fact that did help people and do the best he could according to his understanding of the scripture.
    Brian,

    As usual, love your comments and interactions. I think we have strong similarities. Sorry about that!

    Here's the thing with Col. Thieme. He was a part of my past. A very big part of my past, a past with influences that remain. I will never deny Col. Thieme. I will never rewrite him nor his ministry out of my past. I will revise his remaining influences as I spend time in the word - advice that he himself advocated. I will pass along some of his ministry to my daughters: I think it's that good. It correlates very well with the text, the arbiter of my judgement calls. He advocated seminary education. He wasn't threatened if you went after this kind of training. I know how he treated - on a personal level - some of my friends who graduated from DTS. He was very kind to them. Like so may public figures, there's a personal side you will never hear about. But .... whatever.

    I respectfully treat what he taught me the same way I do my parents. I keep some things. I revise others. But, what I will never personally do is sacrifice him on some alter of expediency so that I can gain entry into some fellowship, especially if that fellowship is one of philosophical and scholastic types. JMHO.

    I don't parrot this man's ministry and I don't parrot those who hate his ministry.

    Just as Paul revised his opinion and relationship regarding his former tradition [denomination of Pharisee] and it's leaders, I have done and will continue to do the same. And like Paul, without blaming the text.

    Ultimately we all get judged. Realistically we all have many judging us. The judge I care the most about sits on the bema seat of Christ. I attempt my best in anticipation of His judgment. I don't really care about the bema seat of so 'n' so nor such 'n' such. To the former I sing, "How Great Thou Art!" To the latter I text, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot."

    And from time to time, when navigating all this, I chuckle at some of the history that a professor @ DTS shared during his historical theology courses. Not all the brothers and sisters kissed each other. Some of them fanged each other and did so with humor. I can't remember who, but one would quip when his critics started condemning from upon their high horse toilet seats, "The dogs are barking!"

    Scott

    PS I don't think your posts are the barking of dogs. Just making that clear.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    Thanks, this book does look interesting
    FWIW, BK, I reviewed Rydelnik's book here. Liked it a lot.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
    FWIW, BK, I reviewed Rydelnik's book here. Liked it a lot.
    Thank you! I have recently placed an order for the book, but it's probably going to be a while before it gets, here. So, your detailed review will be really appreciated by me.


    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    Brian,
    As usual, love your comments and interactions.
    Me, too.



    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    I think we have strong similarities. Sorry about that!
    Unfortunately, that is one the side effects when more two or more take Biblical text at face value and with an open mind. People from different backgrounds sometimes start coming to simular conclusions. Previously, I was a lot more hardhearted/stubborn than I am today when read scripture; I did my best to rationalize conclusions away I wasn't comfortable with.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCSaunders View Post
    Here's the thing with Col. Thieme. He was a part of my past. A very big part of my past, a past with influences that remain. I will never deny Col. Thieme. I will never rewrite him nor his ministry out of my past. I will revise his remaining influences as I spend time in the word ...Just as Paul revised his opinion and relationship regarding his former tradition [denomination of Pharisee] and it's leaders, I have done and will continue to do the same. And like Paul, without blaming the text.
    Think Paul did something simular cause he continued to be able to say:
    ἐγὼ Φαρισαῖός εἰμι, υἱὸς Φαρισαίου (Act 23:6 GOC)
    I am a Pharisee the son of a Pharisee

    You, do bring up an important point about respect. Think about the fact that although Jesus defended himself from the Pharisees and denounced the Pharisee he told his followers: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you--but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice". (Mat 23:2-3 ESV) Therefore, even in the worse cases it is possible to respectfully disagree and learn from others in authority.

    Now, concerning Col. Thieme I am aware that even he revised some of his ideas and continued learning and that's a good thing. Since, I am not really a theologian and did not know the man I can not sit in judgement on his theology. However, I have meet students of his and those I have met show a lot of maturity in that they like you are able to take the good from bad and tend to have a passion for Biblical languages and text. I am sure you know that Jesus (Matthew 7:20 ) speaks us about discernment of individuals. Yet, this discernment(at least in this context) is not about peoples theologies/doctrines, but rather about their actions. When, Jesus does speak about Judging earlier in that same section (Matthew 7:1) there is a warning that way we judge is the way we will be judged.
    Last edited by bkMitchell; 08-12-2011 at 10:05 AM.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post

    You, do bring up an important point about respect. Think about the fact that although Jesus defended himself from the Pharisees and denounced the Pharisee he told his followers: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you--but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice". (Mat 23:2-3 ESV) Therefore, even in the worse cases it is possible to respectfully disagree and learn from others in authority.
    Agreed. And at the same time, this is why the name of God was/is being blasphemed among the Gentiles, referring to Paul's comments in Romans about the Jews and how they were using the Hebrew Scriptures on other people, not themselves. So busy with all those wood splinters in everyone else, never saw the log in their own.

    Now, concerning Col. Thieme I am aware that even he revised some of his ideas and continued learning and that's a good thing. Since, I am not really a theologian and did not know the man I can not sit in judgement on his theology. However, I have meet students of his and those I have met show a lot of maturity in that they like you are able to take the good from bad and tend to have a passion for Biblical languages and text. I am sure you know that Jesus (Matthew 7:20 ) speaks us about discernment of individuals. Yet, this discernment(at least in this context) is not about peoples theologies/doctrines, but rather about their actions. When, Jesus does speak about Judging earlier in that same section (Matthew 7:1) there is a warning that way we judge is the way we will be judged.
    Col. Thieme is like anyone from history who as had an influence. They have haters. He's had/has followers who rightly cause the name of Thieme to be blasphemed. Rightly. I don't deny it.

    At the same time, in my lifetime, bible college graduates, seminary graduates, Christian book store addicts - the exact same thing can be said. To be around them is very Deju Vu of a Thieme-taper. Yet the math remains: This archetypal pattern + selectively limited to a Theime taper = evil. This archetypal pattern + freely open to any other "taper" = "Ahhhhhh, look at the journey they are on. What a wonderful life of the mind, letting truth take them wherever it may lead. How cute."

    In any conversation with a fellow Christian, when we reach an impasse, "Oh, you were/are a taper. That it explains it." Bigoted dismissal. To be fair, I'm tempted to do the same, "Oh, he's a 'five pointer.' Learned that from 'so 'n' so.' That explains it." At some point this all gets very circular. It all gets very double-standard. It gets old.

    I post a thread, after having been a member of this forum for some time, a thread merely praising God for what Bob had done for me - my personal testimony and no one else's, posting it at the time of Bob's death and "Whammo!" The dogs started barking.

    Lesson learned. Did not repeat that blunder before this group when his wife went to be with the Lord, nor when his brother in law, nor when others I met through his ministry.

    Scott
    Last edited by SCSaunders; 08-12-2011 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Take one guess - typical Thiemite failure [for sure]

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
    FWIW, BK, I reviewed Rydelnik's book here. Liked it a lot.
    Hey Dan, excellent review! (I liked your review almost as much as I liked the book!) By the way, I noticed Michael himself posted a comment. Do you know him?

    Irving

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