This is an offshoot conversation with Jason who entered into a thread concerning Fundamentalism as it may or may not fit into the Emergent thought. I will say upfront I do not think so.
I will not post Jason’s post here as one can read it in full at TSKW’s site.
His main points which I hope I have addressed in my response are, and Jason please correct me as I do the modern thing and reduce your thought to points.
- The main problem of PM and Fundamentalism is consistency in logic.
- Dealing with so called “paradoxes”
- Confronting the “Mystery” of Who God is. Is He truly unknowable?
- The issue of weird doctrine and interpretation.
- Biblical inspiration (I am not sure I have addressed this though I will make an attempt at it at a later time.
I will add Jason as many of my readers are seems well educated. I am always a little intimidated as my own knowledge is lacking in many regards.
Be blessed and feel free to enter the conversation.
It is good to discuss with respect isn’t it.
I agree that one of the characteristics of God is consistency. I see that with our own tainted worldview we often input our own Ideals about God into doctrines or miss the main point altogether. As in Isaiah 57, I see that God is saying His thoughts are on a level that only to know Him may we understand. To know Him is to forsake our evil, turn to God and then He will give us His Way.
This Way is a Person, or Jesus Himself. He has given us His mind, yet we still often work from the bottom up in logic to find His Way. When one comes to Christ we are exchanging our will for His Will and Purpose. A purpose is given at the inception of a Christian rebirth into Christ. We do not seek a purpose it seeks us as we live in Christ.
Too often, and I through myself into this camp as often I too fail, we do not look to Christ Jesus as The Truth Absolute. I agree to a point that we finite and fallen creatures cannot understand truth without tainting it in some way. Though we may grasp a part, it is corrupted as it passes through the filters of our mind. In that way I see the Relativists are right. We have had our eyes open to see the difference between good and evil, given statutes and laws that step by step give us all the mercy and grace and forgiveness and blessings of God, yet have not the moral consistency to live it out.
We need something more. That is Truth, or as John said, The Logos of God, came to us and showed us it was possible by a total dependant relationship with the Father, or as I say the Speaker. For the Word is dependant on the Speaker as Jesus was dependant on the Father. I am one with Christ as I am dependant for all things on Christ Jesus.
I do think doctrine is a good thing; the issue to me is that does the doctrine add too or hinder grace. Either way it takes away from the purity of Grace. Jesus’ Grace is sufficient. We can say the line is here cross it and one is saved; yet the true line is with in each person’s heart… and God only knows when that line is crossed.
I do believe God is a mystery… yet not as One that cannot ever be known. Rather One that is continually revealing Himself to us. That was the purpose of Jesus to reveal the Love and mercy and Grace of God in His desire of relationship with a fallen creature. There are levels of this great mystery we will have told to us later.
I agree that it is often a cop out to use “paradox” as a way of explaining what someone does not understand. Honesty is greatly needed these days and a genuine, “I don’t know”, can go so much farther than a lofty “paradoxical” explanation that really makes the person sound either of great knowledge or plain silly. Honesty is much needed in theology.
As far as evil that be stills man, I see in scripture that God will do some great and terrible things in line of judgment. Did He have His hand in Katrina, or the recent earthquakes in Pakistan? How quick we are to blame God, or Satan or Bush, or whoever. How slow we are to respond with compassion and aid and Love. The way I see God having a hand is in our response. What was our reaction? I look at the scripture and see in Luke 13 Jesus talking of those who died when the tower in Siloam as it fell on them. He asks are these men more guilty then any others in Jerusalem? I ask the same here… if this Katrina was God’s judgment, why were those people’s sin worse than anyone else’s in America?
We are quick to judge and slow to give mercy.
God tells us He is not a man that He would lie. To me meaning that He will not go back on His word as say the God of Islam may, or man himself who in one breath can smile then kill you as you turn your back. Though we may lack understanding God consistently desires for us to know Him. In that is a greater mystery than trying to fathom whether God is knowable. We serve that God of revelation, not an arbitrary god like Allah who can be good then bring calamity and have no reason other than he is god. That is what sets our Great God apart from the others.
I could go on…