Thursday, February 11, 2010

Story

I said this in my Bible class Sunday morning (we've been discussing the opening two books of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus):

"The older I get, the less problem I have with the idea of God creating and doing everything in pretty much exactly the way the Bible describes. The reason I think He might well have done it that way is because it makes such a great STORY. His whole plan was for man to take His Name and His Story and His love to every corner of the earth. We remember stories. We like to tell stories. So it makes every kind of sense to me for God to have done things exactly the way scripture describes it, so we can get the Story right."

I know it's not scientific. I know the Story doesn't always fit the quantifiable facts as we understand them.

But, hey, we're talking about the God who created science and quantifiable fact out of the deep nothingness of nonexistence.

Is the Lord's arm too short? Is anything impossible for God?

I have said before - and still unwaveringly believe - that the Story of scripture points forward to, directly at, and back toward Jesus Christ. (And, I might add, then it points forward to Him again.) He is the Word, the Story.

Jesus is the One through Whom, by Whom, for Whom all things were made.

Is it any wonder that scripture tells the Story of God and man in a way that culminates in their reconciliation through One Who is both God and man; son of God and son of Man?

So, like Job, I have had to learn to stop denying or even questioning the testimony of scripture when it seems to disagree with what my finite, limited and ultimately microscopic brain has observed as science or verifiable fact.

Scripture is the way God wishes to tell the Story.

It is impossible for Him to lie.

So it is quite possible for it to be divinely accurate as well as poetically perfect.

Because we're talking about God.

If the writers, anonymous though some might be to us, had wanted to tell it in a different way than God wanted, He could have easily flooded them away, sent fire from heaven to consume them, sent them grazing in the field like a woolly beast or simply dried up their inkwell each time they tried to write fiction.

Instead, I believe God breathed the Story into their hearts. He inspired it. He Spirited it into them, and it refreshed them and gave life to them and excited them, and they respired it as accurately as possible and to every person who would listen.

So to bloody blue blazes with the teachings of men.

To blazes with man's logic, man's perception, man's interpretation, man's conclusions, man's doctrine, man's tests of fellowship, man's uninspired and breathless and lifeless brain-crap.

It's all nonsense. Balderdash. Poppycock.

If it doesn't square with what God says, it's bunk.

If God says to do something, He knows it's for our good, and we should do it.

If God says to not do something, He knows it will hurt or kill us and/or others, and we ought to run from it like the gates of hell itself.

If God expresses no opinion, we should ruddy well stop making out like He's said something approving or condemning by His silence.

If God tells His Story, we should shut up and listen.

It's His Story. His God-ness and our humanity. His perfection and our fallibility.

His Son.

And our only hope.

17 comments:

ellen said...

When you were on your blogging hiatus the past few weeks, I felt like I was holding my own as a project 4:4 blogger.
But I'm glad you're back even if your writing and thoughts put my efforts to shame.

Well said.

laymond said...

"Jesus is the one through whom,by whom, for whom all things were made"
Keith can you point me to where this is said in the bible, I would appreciate it.

by the way why can't anyone copy and past to your comment section, something wrong, or on purpose.

Keith Brenton said...

Laymond, it says so in:

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." ~ John 1:3

"... but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." ~ Hebrews 1:2

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." ~ Colossians 1:16-17

Sorry about the comments section, folks. I've switched it back. Didn't realize that Blogger's #3 alternative prevented pasting in some browsers, especially mobile/phone ones.

nick gill said...

"Is the Lord's arm too short? Is anything impossible for God?" (just copied and pasted from Keith's original text)

Laymond, you must be having computer trouble. I have no problem copying from the original post and pasting into the comment section.

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (Colossians 1:13-19 ESV)

laymond said...

Nick, read my answer left to you on Tim's blog.

Jeff Slater said...

Good stuff, Keith!

laymond said...

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Keith unless you are saying Jesus came before God, you have misunderstood the scripture you have pointed to in Col.

You are certainly right about John saying, all things were created by the "word of God" but nowhere in scripture does it say Jesus was that word.

Hebrews, now Hebrews is a lesson in contradiction. read the vs you recommended, then go to Heb. 2-10 and read it.
Check out Heb. 1-8 ff and then check out the original statements in mostly psalms. and tell me if you believe those statements were originally spoken by God to Jesus.

nick gill said...

Laymond,

The "all things" in Col 1:17 is the same as the "all things" in Col 1:16.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14-17 ESV)

When the Word became flesh, who did it become, Laymond? If not Jesus Christ, who?

Hebrews is hardly a lesson in contradiction. The writer lays the foundation, and assumes you've heard chapter 1 before you heard chapter 2.

laymond said...

On Tim’s blog Nick said “Simply put, yes: I believe the psalm is a poetic rendering of communication between the Father and the Son.’

Nick, I believe Hebrews attributes these statements to the Father, said to his Son. Is that how you see it.

Ps: 102:25: Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
Ps: 45:6: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

Just a few vs down we see this.

Ps: 45:10: Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
11: So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

Who is talking to who here Nick.

I guess we can discuss this over here if it is OK with Keith. No need tying up both blogs.

Are you already fed up with us Keith?

laymond said...

Nick "When the Word became flesh, who did it become, Laymond? If not Jesus Christ, who?"

1: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2: Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,----.

Nick do you see the prophets as "the word" if not why not. They were, simply put, replaced by Jesus as the messenger.

nick gill said...

No, I do not see the prophets themselves as the word. The prophets spoke the word of God. They themselves were not the word. They were never ever described this: "the Word became flesh."

Jesus Christ is the Word which became flesh.

And in Psalm 45, there is a clear audience shift at verse 10, where the poem shifts from Father-Son communication to the Father addressing Israel. However, since wisdom is always female in the OT, and Jesus is described as the wisdom of God, and Israel is sometimes addressed in OT Scripture as God's son and sometimes as God's daughter, I wouldn't presume to say with absolute certainty that the second half of Ps45 is between God and Israel. But it certainly looks that way.

Do you believe there's a break between verses 6 and 7? It certainly looks like there's some mysterious difference between the "O God" of v6 and the "therefore God, your God" of v7. They're both Elohim, but that isn't exactly the most precise term, since it is plural!

I'm going to finally give in and open up a Trinity discussion over at Fumbling, so we won't be hijacking either blog.

nick gill said...

Here's the link for my blog where I'm opening up the Trinity discussion. I don't expect to be either exhaustive, systematic, or conclusive -- I just want to stop hijacking other people's blogs with Trinitarian arguments.

http://fumblingtowardseternity.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/who-is-jesus-really-thinking-out-loud/

Keith Brenton said...

Y'all just quibble as much as you want to. Laymond, the antecedent of Colossians 1:16-17 in the previous verse is the Son, not the Father. In verse 15, otherwise, you would be reading the word "He" as "God is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." See the verses that follow also, 18 and 19. Check the entire pericope, the chapter that surrounds the isolated verses I cited. Get the whole Story!

I appreciate the fact that you've opened my eyes to the fact that the term "Trinity" is nowhere used in scripture, and I have discontinued using it since it's not a scriptural term.

At the same time, it remains a scriptural concept; "Trinity" is just man's word for it.

To speak plainly, bro, I think you've got an intentional mental block on this point when you read scripture. You are no longer open to letting scripture say what it says. You're just as mule-headed as the rest of us - but pointed in a different direction.

You tend to avoid the questions and scriptures folks point out that address the "one-yet-more-than-one" (for lack of a better term) nature of God.

We all agree, generally speaking, that God the Father and Jesus the Son share a unique relationship, expressed in those terms so we can understand it better. But to reduce Jesus simply to the status of a man rather than an eternal part of the eternal God's personality who became flesh and lived among us is perilously close to the heresy addressed in the epistles of John (1 John 4:2 and 2 John 1:7. If Jesus came in the flesh, He had to have come from somewhere, and the answer is "from God." (John 8:58)

We've all tiptoed around it, Laymond, because we love you and find you just as ornery as we are ... but that's the fear that keeps driving us to argue with you: that you're believing and teaching something that is dangerous and misleading: a different Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4). In other words, a fully human but not fully divine Christ does not square with what God says in His Story.

I'm sorry if this offends you, but I will not accept a different Jesus, receive a different Spirit or believe a different gospel.

And I'm just not of a notion to argue it with you anymore.

Luke said...

Amen!

(On the post, and especially the most recent comment.)

laymond said...

Keith, It is strange that you see me as preaching another Jesus than Paul did, and I see you as doing that very thing,I seem to remember Paul referring to Jesus as "a man" and can't recall him ever calling him "God". but as you say we will just have to wait and see. If I am right my savior will be a holy man influenced by his Father God.
If you are right your savior is God pretending to be a man. peace

laymond said...

Sure a lot of human ancestry here to claim to be God.Jesus was a blood cousin to John the baptist, whose birth was as influenced by God as his own.
Mt:1:1: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Mt:1:16: And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17: So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

laymond said...

Nick, Although some of Paul's writings leaves some wiggle room for individual interpretation, the following, does not.
He could not have put the hierarchy in any simpler language.

1Cor:11:1: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2: Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3: But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

NLT - 1Cr 11:3 -
But there is one thing I want you to know: A man is responsible to Christ, a woman is responsible to her husband, and Christ is responsible to God.

I suppose in order to make the point of the trinity, we could just ignore the first 27 words of vs 3, and quote the last three.
"Christ is God"

We will all believe what we will so as Keith said I see no need to discuss the subject farther.
May the God and Father of our lord bless you.