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Author Topic: The God Grab Bag  (Read 84739 times)
2ram
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« Reply #165 on: September 19, 2005, 06:10:07 pm »

.....
It is the failure to ultimately,  be led by God's Spirit, that led to the tragedy of the assemblies!.....

This is exactly the problem.

Marcia
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Oscar
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« Reply #166 on: September 19, 2005, 08:29:07 pm »

Verne,

Quote

.If you ingore His general revelation, He will see to it that you get special revelation.

Earlier in our discussion I suggested that you consult any  systematic theology available concerning the definitions of the two terms you have used above.
General revelation is God's revelation of himself through the creation, including the consciences of men.
Special revelation is God's revelation of himself through the inspired scriptures and all aspects of the life of Jesus Christ.  It also includes many things no longer available to us, such as the prophecies of New Testament prophets, the oral teaching of Jesus, and more.

One can access general revelation by looking up at the stars or walking in the woods.  One can access special revelation by opening the Blble.

What you are advocating is something else.  My term for it is mystical revelation.  Many christians believe that if they have an insight into the meaning of a passage of scripture, they are receiving direct, non-mediated communication from God.  They also frequently believe that the thoughts that occur to them are sometimes the voice of God...or the Devil.

As I have said, I have serious doubts about this.  My doubts grew out of my observations of the confused teachings and practices associated with these ideas in my early years as a Christian.  I noticed that the messages people purportedly received from God were always rehashes of ideas clearly taught in the scriptures.  They were also frequently confused as to what the passages they would paraphrase actually taught.
I also noticed that no one followed the directions that were sometimes contained in the "prophecies."

Recently, I visited the home of some folks who were assembly "true believers" until their satellite assembly dissolved. When I asked the wife why she had stayed even after George had been exposed for what he was.  Her answer, "I asked the Lord what I should do, and he gave me a word, telling me that I should stay."  

If I were to accept that her "word" was a valid communication from God, as she believes, I would have to believe that God wanted folks to stay and suffer abuse.  I don't.  This sister believes much as you do.  So, she stayed until the bitter end.

Seems to me that this actual, real-life situation shows that some of the ideas in your last post are not well founded.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux
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outdeep
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« Reply #167 on: September 19, 2005, 08:30:08 pm »

Here are the points I gleened from this thread:

1.  There is a continum of belief among Christians on balancing the objective and subjective in the Christian life.  Subjective means that God leads us by communicating directly with our mind through some sort of inner "speaking".  Objective means that we walk by propositional truths that anyone can read in the Bible.  All Christians agree that both have been used by God.  The disagreement is to what extent God typically uses each method with a Christian.  Some believe the subjective leading of God is to be expected as a daily occurance.  Others believe that subjective leadings are less frequent and should not be responded to without careful thought.

2.  Propositional truths of the Bible can be understood by all (I have heart atheists describe the gospel) but it takes the supernatural power of God to believe and apply these truths.

3.  Tom made a very strong point by suggesting that opening oneself up too far to the subjective side of things has historically made one unable to distinguish if he or she is responding to God or some sort of demonic deceiption because one has removed himself from objective criteria.  Take the point for what its worth.

4.  Frank was understandably offended and called Tom an idiot.  Now that we have all cooled down, lets cut the blame assessment and get back on topic.

5.  Margaret's suggestion of "six weeks off" I'm sure is well intended.  However, I don't think it is realistic.  A bullitin board is an open board for anyone to drop in at any time.  To enforce various rules or create a different type of community, you need a different medium than we have here.  Telling people you don't happen to like that they should take six weeks off so you can continue to post what you want seems a bit disengenuous to me.  Personally, when I get fed up with the board, I leave.  After all, I can only control my behavior.  I can't control others.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 08:32:13 pm by Dave Sable » Logged
outdeep
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« Reply #168 on: September 20, 2005, 12:39:22 am »


Tom never used the word "subjective" Dave.  A parent can get very "subjective" /irrationally emotional when he/she has misplaced a child at the Mall.  Tom used the term "demon possession" in so many words which is world's away from the term "subjective."  Let's not confuse terms here. 

This is nothing more than superstition.  It certainly is not a mature, scriptural view.  Hebrews clearly teaches that the children of Israel did not enter into God's rest and did not hear His voice due to unbelief. 

Believer's hear (spiritually).  Unbeliever's do not hear God.  Simple.
Thanks, but I'm not confusing terms.  Here is the quote that caused all the problems:

"Deceiving spirits encourage shortcuts, bypass the mind and seek to create a dependency upon esoteric knowledge, (knowledge that can only be understood by a few elite people), Spirit guides can give you the knowledge you seek by bypassing your mind.  You won't even have to think.  Just go by what you hear in your head. Sounds good doesn't it?  That's how a medium works!  New Age channelers are making big money with their esoteric knowledge.  Some will even profess to be Christians. Satan gives them enough truth to hook a gullible public."

It does highlight the problem of abandoning objective reason and depending solely on subjectivly receiving messages.   Several Christians I have observed who say "God spoke to me on a daily basis" is often "going by what they hear in their head".  They resist study of theology because God lays the answers upon their heart.  The point is comparing how similar the subjective process of "God spoke to me" is to the subjective process of mediums and new age channelers who also get direct knowledge through subjective means.

Perhaps you are right that the information that is impressed upon a believer's heart is different.  Perhaps they can go with whatever is in their head and assume it is from God just because they are Chrisitians.  While no one on the board denies that God may speak directly to individuals, I think the disagreement is that we take different place on the continum between objectivity and subjectivity and we feel uneasy when others are too far down the lane one way or the other. 
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matthew r. sciaini
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« Reply #169 on: September 20, 2005, 08:05:01 am »

Quote
Earlier in our discussion I suggested that you consult any  systematic theology available concerning the definitions of the two terms you have used above.
General revelation is God's revelation of himself through the creation, including the consciences of men.
Special revelation is God's revelation of himself through the inspired scriptures and all aspects of the life of Jesus Christ.  It also includes many things no longer available to us, such as the prophecies of New Testament prophets, the oral teaching of Jesus, and more.
(Tom's word)

Seems to me like Tom wants to make the human intellect the measure of all things spiritual.

Matt Sciaini
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 09:28:38 am by Tom Maddux » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #170 on: September 20, 2005, 10:04:11 am »

(Tom's word)

Seems to me like Tom wants to make the human intellect the measure of all things spiritual.

Matt Sciaini

Matt,

I "dressed up" your post to set off the quote from my post.  I did not change any of the text in the post.

Verne and I have been debating, on and off, for nearly a year is the subject of just how spiritual truth is communicated, especially through the scriptures.  In our assembly background, we absorbed a way of looking at the scriptures that makes some assumptions that I have come to doubt.

Remember Chapter Summary...1. What does it say?  The text is read.  2. What does it mean to me?  The text is not interpreted.  Rather, one was supposed to "listen" to the Spirit or one's heart or whatever, and decide what the text was "saying" to you personally at that particular time.
3. Then, what am I going to do...you know the rest.

Scripture, in this view, scripture is merely a sort of "stimulus" or "vehicle" that the Holy Spirit uses to teach you directly, communicating to your inner consciousness in some manner to instruct you personally.  The guy in the next chair could be being taught something entirely different from the same text.

Both the text and the reader, in this view, are inspired. The problem is, everyone does not seem equally inspired, remember?  Someone pops up with a "meaning" that is the opposite of what it says and gets corrected in the meeting.

In seminaries the view is different. The rule is "one meaning, many applications."  Scripture is viewed as inspired, but not the reader.  The reader's spiritual condition makes a difference.  Regenerate or not, mature/immature, knows original languages or not, background information about the situation being addressed...all these come into play. 

The idea is that a biblical author, under the inspiration of the HS, sat down and wrote specific words to address a specific situation.  Knowing what that situation was helps the reader arrive at the intended meaning of the author.  The reader then prayerfully applies the meaning to whatever situation is necessary.

It takes skill to do this.  That's why people study in seminaries.  It does not confer infallibility on the reader.  If you stop to think about it, the "mystical" method we used in the assembly actually should produce an infallible understanding...and we know how that worked in practice. 

I don't think this makes the human intellect the measure of all things spiritual.  But it does mean that disciplined study is necessary to get a real grip on the Bible.  If God just teaches directly...why study?  God knows, and through the HS just tells you.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux

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vernecarty
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« Reply #171 on: September 20, 2005, 04:26:56 pm »

.

It takes skill to do this.  That's why people study in seminaries.  It does not confer infallibility on the reader.  If you stop to think about it, the "mystical" method we used in the assembly actually should produce an infallible understanding...and we know how that worked in practice. 

I don't think this makes the human intellect the measure of all things spiritual.  But it does mean that disciplined study is necessary to get a real grip on the Bible.  If God just teaches directly...why study?  God knows, and through the HS just tells you.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux



Tom my good friend, do you have any idea how ridiculous your erecting and demolishing straw men makes you look?
There is not a single person who has suggested that diligent study of the Scriptures is not important.
You threw out the challenge for someone to demonstrate to you any Biblical example of  God's communicating truth to a human by non sensible means, or that could not be obtained by the usual cognitive process.
Your adducing an example of a person claiming God told her to remain in what is clearly a cultic environment is hardly instructive or persuasive. How one validates that this has happened has never been the question and your pretending that anyone who disagrees with you is stuck in the malaise of wrong assembly teaching and practice cheapens the discussion.
Have the intellectual honesty to admit when you make a mistake. What you are doing is destroying your credibility my friend.
Verne
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 06:16:44 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
Jem
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« Reply #172 on: September 20, 2005, 06:18:09 pm »

Since leaving the assembly we have been accountable to a couple in our church for our "strange ways of thinking." In trying to make help them understand where we are coming from we suggested they read this site and assembly reflections. They thought the reflections site was very useful, but they said of this bb, and this thread inparticular, "You might want to permanently log off that bb. Those people are rude to each other. Are you sure they are the ones that left?"
They said more, but it was basically Lurkers asylum post reworded. Quite amusing.
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Marty
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« Reply #173 on: September 20, 2005, 06:37:11 pm »


Verne and I have been debating, on and off, for nearly a year is the subject of just how spiritual truth is communicated, especially through the scriptures.  In our assembly background, we absorbed a way of looking at the scriptures that makes some assumptions that I have come to doubt.

Remember Chapter Summary...1. What does it say?  The text is read.  2. What does it mean to me?  The text is not interpreted.  Rather, one was supposed to "listen" to the Spirit or one's heart or whatever, and decide what the text was "saying" to you personally at that particular time.
3. Then, what am I going to do...you know the rest.

Scripture, in this view, scripture is merely a sort of "stimulus" or "vehicle" that the Holy Spirit uses to teach you directly, communicating to your inner consciousness in some manner to instruct you personally.  The guy in the next chair could be being taught something entirely different from the same text.

Both the text and the reader, in this view, are inspired. The problem is, everyone does not seem equally inspired, remember?  Someone pops up with a "meaning" that is the opposite of what it says and gets corrected in the meeting.






I was cleaning up some old books of my mothers the other day. I came a cross a book originally published in the 1950’s and then republished later by the Billy Graham association. I don’t know the name of the book because it was irrelevant at the time. As I flipped through it I came across a bible study section that had 3 points to studying. What does it say, what does it mean, what am I going to do about it.

Chapter summary was not invented by George. It has been a tool for studying the Word of God for decades. Because George used it many disqualify it as being a viable means of study. The other argument is anecdotal. That is, I know a person who did such and such therefore that proves God does not speak to His people. How God communicates to His people is not dependent upon us, it depends on Him. How he will do what He wants to do.




In seminaries the view is different. The rule is "one meaning, many applications."  Scripture is viewed as inspired, but not the reader.  The reader's spiritual condition makes a difference.  Regenerate or not, mature/immature, knows original languages or not, background information about the situation being addressed...all these come into play. 

The idea is that a biblical author, under the inspiration of the HS, sat down and wrote specific words to address a specific situation.  Knowing what that situation was helps the reader arrive at the intended meaning of the author.  The reader then prayerfully applies the meaning to whatever situation is necessary.

It takes skill to do this.  That's why people study in seminaries.  It does not confer infallibility on the reader.  If you stop to think about it, the "mystical" method we used in the assembly actually should produce an infallible understanding...and we know how that worked in practice. 

I don't think this makes the human intellect the measure of all things spiritual.  But it does mean that disciplined study is necessary to get a real grip on the Bible.  If God just teaches directly...why study?  God knows, and through the HS just tells you.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux



Because the seminary Tom attended teaches one meaning, many applications does that mean it is correct. Is there only one meaning to scripture passages? If that were so then it is possible to know everything about God by diligent study, as Tom says.

The problem with that is it limits understanding and knowing God to nothing more than human intellect. Is God not more than that? Eph 2:7, “ That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” The Bible tells us it will take more than diligent study to unfold all the treasures in Christ. It will take revelation from God throughout the ages to come.  Perhaps He might show us a glimpse of some of it while on this earth. Something transcending human intellect. Maybe.




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frank
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« Reply #174 on: September 20, 2005, 07:01:17 pm »

Tom my good friend, do you have any idea how ridiculous your erecting and demolishing straw men makes you look?
There is not a single person who has suggested that diligent study of the Scriptures is not important.
You threw out the challenge for someone to demonstrate to you any Biblical example of  God's communicating truth to a human by non sensible means, or that could not be obtained by the usual cognitive process.
Your adducing an example of a person claiming God told her to remain in what is clearly a cultic environment is hardly instructive or persuasive. How one validates that this has happened has never been the question and your pretending that anyone who disagrees with you is stuck in the malaise of wrong assembly teaching and practice cheapens the discussion.
Have the intellectual honesty to admit when you make a mistake. What you are doing is destroying your credibility my friend.
Verne

Yes, that's it.

Let's pretend that he doesn't do this all the time.  And let's pretend that he didn't say he was "convinced," that I was under occult influence.

Let's pretend that he has credibility.

f
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vernecarty
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« Reply #175 on: September 20, 2005, 07:09:42 pm »



I was cleaning up some old books of my mothers the other day. I came a cross a book originally published in the 1950’s and then republished later by the Billy Graham association. I don’t know the name of the book because it was irrelevant at the time. As I flipped through it I came across a bible study section that had 3 points to studying. What does it say, what does it mean, what am I going to do about it.

Chapter summary was not invented by George. It has been a tool for studying the Word of God for decades. Because George used it many disqualify it as being a viable means of study. The other argument is anecdotal. That is, I know a person who did such and such therefore that proves God does not speak to His people. How God communicates to His people is not dependent upon us, it depends on Him. How he will do what He wants to do.


Because the seminary Tom attended teaches one meaning, many applications does that mean it is correct. Is there only one meaning to scripture passages? If that were so then it is possible to know everything about God by diligent study, as Tom says.

The problem with that is it limits understanding and knowing God to nothing more than human intellect. Is God not more than that? Eph 2:7, “ That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” The Bible tells us it will take more than diligent study to unfold all the treasures in Christ. It will take revelation from God throughout the ages to come.  Perhaps He might show us a glimpse of some of it while on this earth. Something transcending human intellect. Maybe.



Great points Marty. Goes to show that there are some things that you won't learn just by attending seminary.
But then again, you drew those conclusions by a literal reading of that passage in Ephesians did you not?
Hmmnnnn.... Smiley
Verne

p.s for someone who would consider himself to be at the core a spiritual being, the flaws in Tom's epistimological model are truly startling. Not even the most inveterate mechanistic thinker would deny the truth for example, of "genetic memory", philosophical models of epistimology notwithstanding... Smiley
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 07:42:51 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
Marty
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« Reply #176 on: September 20, 2005, 08:07:49 pm »


p.s for someone who would consider himself to be at the core a spiritual being, the flaws in Tom's epistimological model are truly startling. Not even the most inveterate mechanistic thinker would deny the truth for example, of "genetic memory", philosophical models of epistimology notwithstanding... Smiley



I suppose I could get the dictionary out, but coundn't this be stated a little simpler, please?


I never seen no writin like that in no Louis L’Amour book I ever read. I don’t think those are even real words.


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Oscar
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« Reply #177 on: September 20, 2005, 08:25:59 pm »

Marty,

Quote

I was cleaning up some old books of my mothers the other day. I came a cross a book originally published in the 1950’s and then republished later by the Billy Graham association. I don’t know the name of the book because it was irrelevant at the time. As I flipped through it I came across a bible study section that had 3 points to studying. What does it say, what does it mean, what am I going to do about it.

Chapter summary was not invented by George. It has been a tool for studying the Word of God for decades. Because George used it many disqualify it as being a viable means of study. The other argument is anecdotal. That is, I know a person who did such and such therefore that proves God does not speak to His people. How God communicates to His people is not dependent upon us, it depends on Him. How he will do what He wants to do.


Many years ago, back in the 70's, I read the book "Daws".  It is the biography of Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators.  He also established the follow-up program for the Billy Graham ministry. He and Graham were close friends.  Graham helped the Navigators to raise money to buy the Glen Eyre, the Navigator center in Colorado.  Later he preached Trotman's funeral.

It describes Trotman's involvement with students at UCLA in the 1930's.  There is a church just north of the campus called the University Bible Church.  The pastor, Milo Jamison, had been using the Chapter summary method with a student group for some time.  Trotman picked it up and used it in his own bible studies.

Once GG was sitting in my study, and I opened the book to that page and handed it to him.  He said, "I had no idea."  However, since at a different time he told me that he had attended Dawson Trotman's bible studies in Pasadena, I suspect that his statement really meant, "I had no idea I would get caught."

Now, chapter summary is a useful method for familiarizing people with what the Bible says.  It gets people into the Bible, and a chapter summary study can fit into a lunch hour.  So, I wouldn't discard it.

But lets say someone gives this meaning based on the words, "Jesus wept."  "This means that I should care more about people."  No one will argue with that, at least not at a Bible study.  But the meaning of the phrase is that the man called Jesus that scripture describes felt grief and wept.  What this person has done is to make a personal application.  One meaning, many applications.

Blessings

Thomas Maddux
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vernecarty
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« Reply #178 on: September 20, 2005, 08:34:32 pm »


I suppose I could get the dictionary out, but coundn't this be stated a little simpler, please?

Do forgive.
Epistimology is that branch of philosophy that investigates the nature and the orgin of knowledge.
Remarkably, while Tom does admit ( since his systematic theology confirms it, not because God has instructed him in any way apparently) special revelation is one such source of knowldge, he has made the incredible logical leap to the conclusion that special revelation is now complete and no longer likely, if not outright impossible! That is to say, that we either know it all already, or we have the means to do so!. As I said, remarkable!
Verne

p.s all of the sins I most despise in myself, I did not just read somewhere and go "Yep. that's me!"
Some of these things I have been reading about for decades...some of you get my drift...we rarely change, or even desire to, unless God really shows us what we are truly like...this is not just theology folks, this is practical Christianity... Smiley
« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 08:43:30 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #179 on: September 20, 2005, 08:39:59 pm »

Marty,

Quote
Because the seminary Tom attended teaches one meaning, many applications does that mean it is correct. Is there only one meaning to scripture passages? If that were so then it is possible to know everything about God by diligent study, as Tom says.

The problem with that is it limits understanding and knowing God to nothing more than human intellect. Is God not more than that? Eph 2:7, “ That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” The Bible tells us it will take more than diligent study to unfold all the treasures in Christ. It will take revelation from God throughout the ages to come.  Perhaps He might show us a glimpse of some of it while on this earth. Something transcending human intellect. Maybe.

A question for you.  If God were to reveal something to you that transcended human intellect, what would you know it with?  You certainly wouldn't be able to comprehend it with your intellect, since it transcends the intellect's limits.

So you would know it with......what?

Also, you have entered this discussion, as far as I can tell, recently, you may not be aware of something that has gone on.  

It is one thing to claim that people are taught of God in ways that transcend the intellect.  It is quite another to demonstrate the actual possession of such knowledge.  I have repeatedly requested that the advocates of this idea share something with us that cannot be learned from reading and analyzing the scriptures.

To date, no one has even tried.

Would you like to do so?

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux
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