Skip to main content

Truth and meaning...

Chris Tilling recently wrote "However, while we may agree on certain propositions being true, what matters is what they mean."

Which is an excellent point. A Biblical example for me is Malachi 3:6 "I the Lord do not change..." This is a very clear proposition straight from the mouth of God on what God's nature is. But what does it mean? Does it mean that God never does anything, as any action is a change from inaction surely? But that cannot be right, see Genesis 2:2 for example. Does it mean that God cannot change his mind because he sees all things, including the future, and therefor his mind has always been made up because he was always going to do what he was always going to do? This is often the argument made from this verse in relation to open theology. But if we read the verse in context (shock horror) we find that God is not talking about either of those but God's own propensity to show mercy to Israel: "... and so you the descendents of Jacob, are not yet completely lost."

So the proposition that God does not change is true
But what it means is that God continues to show mercy to his people when they repent: "Turn back to me and I will turn to you." (Mal 3:7)

Comments

  1. Hi Jonathon, do you think we are better off today with the 'study aids' we have? I sometimes think it would be nice to just read Scripture without wondering if there is something I am missing.

    ps glad I found your blog :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi george, welcome :)
    Yes and no. There is an aweful lot of good stuff out there, which as people reading documents thousands of years old we do need. The problem is the amount of rubbish out there too, and our desire for instant gratification, we always want to know what it means before we have even taken the time to see what it says. Personally I hate study Bibles for exactly that reason, they discourage reading what scripture says and cause us to jump out at every difficult verse for a caption which tells us what to believe... grrrr.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

The false link between suicide and mental illness

One characteristic of human society is the tendency to keep doing something over and over again despite it not working. One example would be our approach to incarcerating criminals to punish them instead of rehabilitating them, compounding their trauma and making it harder for them to live productive law-abiding lives when they get out. But this is the "common-sense" approach, the intuitive human response to the failings of others, punish them and they wont dare do it again. It has never worked, ever, but let's keep doing it. Secular society is screwed because it cannot comprehend that its vision is blurred by sin and therefore knee-jerk, common sense solutions are usually destructive and counter-productive.

So it is with our response to suicide. To kill yourself must be the response of the weak minded and sick - so the thinking goes - so to combat rising suicide we treat individuals medically. Yet suicide is a perfectly rational response to a world as broken as ours and…

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.