Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Biblical... how would you determine being biblical?

Christians over the centuries have always had theological disputes or just some good friendly debates. I'm for conversation at the moment because I do see a lot of learning to be gained on both sides of any debate (I'm being general here). But what struck me is each camp (doesn't matter who) claims that he/she is biblical, and does give very reasonable passages to support their view of a given subject (take the debate on justification for that matter).

Now the matter arises for us who are reading them (whatever format that might be) to weigh each author, scholar or religious leader based on their presentation and biblical authorization of their views to make up our minds. Phew this is hard sometimes because we all at some point don't have the kind of scholar's mind to comprehend each issue or view. Lets face it we are not scholars (I'm just a wannabe for that matter based on my reading material, I just try to be informed).

But how should we respond to these views. How do we know who is really biblical? How do we make up our minds actually? I'd like to hear your opinions here. Another question I would like to ask also is how do you personally make up your mind on a certain issue (justification for example) when there are debates about it by certain scholars (N. T. Wright and John Piper), in asking who is telling the most 'faithful to scripture approach' ?

I'm try to articulate mine next week. (regardless of any comments or not ;) )


Troy Hamby said...

I try to read a broad range of scholarly works by different authors (John Stott, John Piper, N.T. Wright, Dallas Willard). Then, I try to internalize the overall theme they are trying to convey and allow the Holy Spirit to make it applicable to my life and current situation. Some stuff I agree with, some I don't, but I usually learn from it all.

I find that most authors are "Biblical", it's just their opinions about interpretation and exegesis that differs. But that's what makes it fun:)

Anonymous said...

hey Jon,

Enjoyed reading your posts. Keeps me refreshed. God bless your writings!


Like a Mustard Seed said...

I don't get caught up weighing the various opinions of the "heralded" theologians of the day. Not that it's totally bad to go to famous bible commentators, but I've just come to the place where I've realized that God is ultimately the one who communicates truth to anyone, and we can really just go to Him, and ask Him to help us understand something, and He is always willing to respond. Maybe the answers don't come right away, and maybe he uses all kinds of unexpected angles to help us understand something, but ultimately, everyone is capable of understanding the Truths of the gospel. I think putting an emphasis on "theologians" to help us understand things, really just ends up recreating the whole scenario found back in the Roman Catholic church, where only the priests were even allowed to read the bible, and everyone else just relied on them to interpret it for them.... Not really a great example to follow...

Tremonti said...

Thanks everyone for your contributions to this. I'm a little (way too late) late in commenting to what each of you said but I'm finding that this post has difficult issues at hand.

I must agree with you on reading broadly of authors with different theological leanings. The perspective that each gives is worth listening to...even if we might not agree with them. I value what you said here if i may quote what you said, "it's just their opinions about interpretation and exegesis that differs" on authors (most of them) being biblical.

I might add also what differs each author is also their theological affiliations. What I mean is some authors hold too tightly to their strand of tradition that their interpretations also follow suit in that direction.

Like a Mustard seed,
If i do get your point correctly, you are explaining that truth is not held up to just the professionals but is knowable to the wider body of Christians with God helping us discern his word.

I agree with you here but would also add that there is a wide rage of voices that we also can benefit from (with the access of books, the internet, teaches etc). with this said their voices or teachings also must be judged by us with our own reading and understanding (all be it with the help from God). Anyway I hope I get what you are saying here.

Thanks for your comments. Im working out the post in conjuction with how i determine or work through the issue of being biblical.

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations