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T-Bone

Concerning the Bible...

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First a little background on what brought me to start this thread. Awhile back on another thread a poster referenced an article by Peter Enns. I liked it so much I purchased a few books by him –

- and now I’m enjoying that familiar experience of reevaluating certain beliefs in light of some new information…new to me anyway. I will get to something from one of his books in a little bit – but let me finish “the background.”

Recently on another thread I offered a very brief analysis of one of The Way International’s favorite buzzwords (Way-speak or ministry jargon) which is simply “The Word”. From which Twinky suggested I start a thread "The Word of God is the Will of God??".  

Well…after mulling that over for a bit - - I decided it might be more interesting to hear from Grease Spotters on what is their current view of the Bible.

It could be a combo of past and present views, why a change in your viewpoint, how you approach putting the stuff you learn into practice, why you don’t think it’s a book of any practical value, what you think of the quote from Peter Enns' book given below…whatever…In other words – the discussion is open to anyone – not just Christians.

I really wasn’t thinking of starting a what’s wrong (or right) with The Way or The Way’s Doctrine thread…although I’m not going to play thread-police-control, so whatever happens, happens. Hey, I don’t care - if this thread flops – I’m willing to go down with the ship – which just happens to be a submarine anyway :rolleyes:.

 

I titled this thread “Concerning the Bible” – and that gives you the ok to comment on just about anything that comes to mind when hearing that phrase... uhm.. also that was on the top of the page in Peter Enns’ book - hey, a young plagiarist has got to start somewhere! :biglaugh:

…I also had as a subtitle “confessions of a former fundamentalist” so that readers might understand where I’m coming from.

 

I have stated a few times over my years of being on Grease Spot that my beliefs are in a state of flux. I used to be such a study bug and checked out numerous versions of the Bible, a wide variety of systematic theologies, commentaries, biblical studies , etc....And so it was with perhaps a simple unspoken criteria for choosing what to read and study loosely based upon my preferences:

->  the authors were NEVER associated with The Way, that they stuck to general academic standards, had reputable credentials – or at least honest in representing their area of expertise,

- > that the things discussed made sense to me (they didn’t use double-talk or screwball “logic”) especially in areas that differed from what I was taught in The Way

- >. and lastly and perhaps most important especially after leaving a dishonest and controlling cult – the books I chose appeared to be an upfront presentation of information (in other words, not having a hidden agenda of treachery) and of course arming myself with the nuanced understanding that they may have arguments intended to support or defend a particular doctrine.

 

 

Going back and forth on what I think of this or that in my studies - - a few things seem to have been fairly constant in my belief system: there is a Creator, Jesus Christ is an actual person who once walked the earth, and the Bible is instrumental to informing me of the moral demands of the Creator.

And it’s really the last point – the Bible as part of my moral navigation system that has always captivated me. There’s been quite a few times while reading some theological work that I would get the feeling I’m a cop-out for not holding to the fundamentalist mindset that I had in The Way Ministry…that I am a sub-standard Christian…my faith being damaged goods…who knows…maybe so…

but if the will is still present to pursue a life of faith – then how screwed up is that? Okay – don’t answer that question - - I’ll just get to a quote from a book that offered me a glimmer of hope in understanding  - at least in part “what a long strange trip it’s been.”

There is something a little scary but also exciting when you cut loose the moorings of familiar dogma and set a course for uncharted waters. Granted, many way-points are probably familiar to others but not for someone like me who started on a journey with the idea that PFAL was the end-all for everything you wanted to know about anything. This is not a post to defend the Bible or my beliefs but simply a declaration of the course I have set.

 

And now on to an excerpt from one of Peter Enns’ books…

(And please don’t gasp when you hear the first part of the title of the book and start having PFAL flashbacks – please read the rest of the title as well as the quotes – you may be pleasantly surprised)

The following is from page vii of The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, by Peter Enns, Harper One – Harper Collins Publishers, co. 2014:

"The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘The Word of God’ in the sense that every passage, in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God; and we (under grace, with attention to tradition and to interpreters wiser than ourselves, and with the use of such intelligence and learning as we may have) receive that word from it not by using it as an encyclopedia or an encyclical but by steeping ourselves in its tone or temper and so learning its overall message…

We might have expected, we may think we should have preferred, an unrefracted light giving us ultimate truth in systematic form – something we could have tabulated and memorized and relied on like the multiplication table…But there is one argument which we should beware of using...God must have done what is best, this is best, therefore God has done this. For we are mortals and do not know what is best for us, and it is dangerous to prescribe what God must have done – especially when we cannot, for the life of us, see that He has after all done it."

End of excerpt

== == == ==

Well…that’s all I wanted to share for now and would like to see to what other folks have to say  - - -

oh hey, forgot to mention the above quotes from Peter Enns' book  - – well…he did NOT actually say those things...

....at the bottom of page vii, Peter references where he got them from… C.S. Lewis ...in his  Reflections on the Psalms

I don’t know about you - - but as a former fundamentalist still nervously treading along a self-guided journey and  realizing those words came from a very familiar author who I have respected and loved ever since I first laid eyes on The Screwtape Letters (and since I never read or heard of his Reflections on the Psalms) it was a combination of shock, euphoria, and validation all at once. Praise Jesus and pass the bookmarks!

Okay - - now I’m done…anybody else have any thing they want to add?

 

== == ==

 

one other thing...addressing the Moderators now - i just realized maybe I should have posted this in questioning faith forum...I don't care if you need to move it - go ahead

Edited by T-Bone
formatting, typos and clarity

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I like to examine what I think, and ponder why I think it.  I try to put Way doctrine out of my mind - after all, I had some Christian upbringing before I got involved with that - but TWI came along at a time when I was wanting to know more, a decade or so after having been bored silly in my teens with "church."

I go to a little Bible study group and we are slowly working through the gospel of John.  The study guidebook is by Tom Wright.  It asks some pretty weird questions, and mostly we sort of ignore it.  It does get us talking, however, with differing views of where we are and how we got there.  Jim (in his 70s), a lovely man, "doesn't even know if he's a Christian any more."  This is after years of "outreach" and he currently is very involved with many church activities and volunteers at the local homeless centre, run by a local Christian charity.  His wife, Anne, (with an E) is currently a lay Reader, which is a sort of church official a little bit lower than an ordained minister - she's undergone a lot of study to achieve this status.  So she takes Christianity very seriously and is into Christian meditation, stillness, and Benedictine study (whatever that might comprise).  Derek, 70s, is a born-into-the-church Anglican Christian and profoundly Trinitarian.  Alex, (30s?) is a Russian from an Orthodox background.  Lorna (30s) had been raised as a Catholic.  Emma, early 20s, is very quiet and looks a bit bewildered at times.  Rebecca, 50s, a nurse, comes out with interesting ideas.  Ann (no E), late 30s, is a lesbian (and, in our now-defunct Sunday evening service, occasionally put the prayers together and they were always awesome, tender, and thoughtful).  I'm not really sure what the background is, of the 3 or 4 others in the group.

And then there's me: profoundly non-Trinitarian.  Ex-cultie.

So you can see there's scope for a lot of new ideas.  Every session, someone different leads, based on the Wright book, and researches the bits that appeal to them. But everyone else chips in with their ideas.

I find it interesting that Jim (doesn't even know if he's a Christian any more) is himself of interest and why he thinks that is kindly explored; whereas when I disclosed I'm non-Trini, that provoked some more aggressive discussion.  Or perhaps that's my hyper-sensitivity? No, the rest definitely think I'm strange.

What does this add to this thread?  I dunno. But I do enjoy the open discussion in this group, feel free to change or develop my views, and definitely don't feel I have to pander to any "party line."  I simply don't care what they think of me.  They have no power to condemn or guilt me into saying or doing anything.

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For the above Bible study group, I use BibleHub to help me prepare.  There are many different versions of the Bible that can be viewed, and many different commentaries.  Some of the commentaries are helpful, others are clearly written by someone with an agenda, and others are so old and written in such a dense style that they are almost unreadable.  But hey - there's freedom to look at these!  Which, even if densely written in an old-fashioned style, are still more readable and sensible than the kiddie-style contradictory stuff in the collaterals.

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I still don't feel that I have a proper concept of Jesus.  At least - of Jesus now.  I don't doubt the physical Jesus of two millennia ago.

It occurs to me that I don't have a big enough concept of "God," either.  My view is far too parochial.  God is the God of the universe, not of solely of Planet Earth, or even (merely) of our solar system.  Who, then, or what, is God?  An energy stream?  Plasma?  The bond that holds atoms and molecules together?  And yet, some - entity - that possesses what we (in our minute and dust-like brains) might call thought processes - some discrete entity that occurs literally everywhere, always. 

Sometimes I read a Bible and substitute every reference to "God" with "Love."  It makes for an interestingly different read.

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37 minutes ago, Twinky said:

It occurs to me that I don't have a big enough concept of "God," either.  My view is far too parochial. 

Might I suggest that perhaps a more patriarchal view is worth deeper consideration?

Rom.8

[15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

1Cor.8

[6] But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Gal.4

[6] And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Eph.4

[6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Jas.1

[17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

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TLC, God as Father I have a concept of.  And that's parochial.

God as Patriarch is also too parochial.  In fact, it's a figure of speech that is designed to help us understand and develop a relationship with God.  It's only a figure of speech.

God as HUGE and the creator of the far sides of the universe, the beginner of time, and the ender of Time, and entirely present throughout - that's a very big concept.  When you get more of the HUGEness of God, then you understand more of why the person of Jesus came, to personify God.  To "limit" God, if you like, so that God is small enough for us to begin to understand.

Now, God as the father of LIGHTS - that's much bigger.  Lights not being just light, and the sun and moon, and the stars, but the galaxies that are so far away that space telescopes can only just see them.  The father of these lights, for example - this astonishing infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space telescope was taken Sept 2016.

image.png

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Before I get invested in this thread, is this a "Christians only" perspective you're seeking, or can I feel free to explore from my non-Christian perspective?

If the latter, would you prefer the thread stay here or move to Questioning Faith?

 

I promise not to interfere if uninvited. :)

 

[I finished reading the opening post AFTER I posted this comment. I'll consider placement and decide tomorrow. Clearly there's no rush].

Edited by Raf

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9 hours ago, Raf said:

Before I get invested in this thread, is this a "Christians only" perspective you're seeking, or can I feel free to explore from my non-Christian perspective?

If the latter, would you prefer the thread stay here or move to Questioning Faith?

 

I promise not to interfere if uninvited. :)

 

[I finished reading the opening post AFTER I posted this comment. I'll consider placement and decide tomorrow. Clearly there's no rush].

 

as clearly stated in my first post (see below also) - feel free to express yourself and move the thread to questioning faith forum.

On 11/1/2017 at 3:36 PM, T-Bone said:

(SNIP)...

Well…after mulling that over for a bit - - I decided it might be more interesting to hear from Grease Spotters on what is their current view of the Bible.

It could be a combo of past and present views, why a change in your viewpoint, how you approach putting the stuff you learn into practice, why you don’t think it’s a book of any practical value, what you think of the quote from Peter Enns' book given below…whatever…In other words – the discussion is open to anyone – not just Christians.

I really wasn’t thinking of starting a what’s wrong (or right) with The Way or The Way’s Doctrine thread…although I’m not going to play thread-police-control, so whatever happens, happens. Hey, I don’t care - if this thread flops – I’m willing to go down with the ship – which just happens to be a submarine anyway :rolleyes:.

 

I titled this thread “Concerning the Bible” – and that gives you the ok to comment on just about anything that comes to mind when hearing that phrase...(SNIP)

...one other thing...addressing the Moderators now - i just realized maybe I should have posted this in questioning faith forum...I don't care if you need to move it - go ahead

 

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I don't know if you in the US will be able to follow this link but it's a really interesting series of 15 min talks by Neil MacGregor, ex curator of the British Museum, now working in some top museum in Germany.  Excellent credentials.  Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia, from which longer article I learn, to my surprise, that he is a devout Christian. 

Robert Neil MacGregor, OM, AO, FSA (born 16 June 1946) is a British art historian and museum director. He was the editor of the Burlington Magazine from 1981 to 1987, then Director of the National Gallery, London, from 1987 to 2002, Director of the British Museum from 2002 to 2015,[1] and is currently the founding director of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

He has run several most interesting series on examining the backgrounds to many artefacts and currently he is looking at Living with the Gods.  It's of general interest, not even remotely considering the Bible, but is considering the routines of religions (that's plural), what they might have meant then and now, and similarities and differences.  He bases his talk around some artefact that may or may not have (to us) religious significance.  The artefact might be a garment, a coin, a shard...

I mention this because it might give some insight into how some different religious practices came into existence.  How those practices play out in other cultures, religions, time periods.  One recently was about sacrifice, starting with Incas, moving through various stages, taking in Christianity, and moving forward.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09c1mhy

If that doesn't work, you could try bbc.com (rather than bbc.co.uk).

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8 hours ago, T-Bone said:

 

as clearly stated in my first post (see below also) - feel free to express yourself and move the thread to questioning faith forum.

 

Yes, I made the mistake of stopping midway through your first post, sending mine, then realizing that you'd already addressed my question. Thank you though.

 

In the interest of making sure it doesn't become an "atheist" thread, I'm going to leave it here unless another moderator reads and thinks I've misjudged.

I trust that all views are welcome for discussion, though.

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32 minutes ago, Raf said:

Yes, I made the mistake of stopping midway through your first post, sending mine, then realizing that you'd already addressed my question. Thank you though.

 

In the interest of making sure it doesn't become an "atheist" thread, I'm going to leave it here unless another moderator reads and thinks I've misjudged.

I trust that all views are welcome for discussion, though.

indeed all views are welcome, as far as I'm concerned.

 

and sorry to be repetitive and self-referencing :rolleyes: - but one of the last points I made in my first post was - - hopefully - - setting the spirit of this thread...perhaps inspiring others to share the reasoning for the course they have set...and if folks would think about the bigger picture...context...the common ground of Grease Spot - that being most of us here were a part of a group (The Way International) that has a fundamentalist view of the Bible...therefore - - in my thinking anyway - - there is no reason for debate or defending one's choice of path since they left TWI (assuming all who respond have left - but it could be one is still in TWI - they too are free to explain the path of their choice )

I dunno ....maybe it's wishful thinking on my part...was just shooting for a discussion that wouldn't be another hostile bashing of opposing views on anything.

 

On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 3:36 PM, T-Bone said:

(SNIP)... This is not a post to defend the Bible or my beliefs but simply a declaration of the course I have set....(SNIP)

 

 

Edited by T-Bone
needed more time
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ahem...if I may say a few more words...

to all who view this thread,

Honestly there is no right or wrong answer I’m watching out for…actually I think I’m wanting a taste of the good old days of Grease Spot when some of us (and sadly some of the posters I have not seen here in a few years) would set aside our differences and “philosophize” about the journey thus far. Come to think of it – I should have said something in my first post that described the enormous influence Grease Spot has had – and even continues to have when I process certain things. maybe there's something to "no man is an island" - especially when I'm  trying to figure .my way out of a convoluted hot mess...whatever that is...I appreciate the help. :rolleyes:

Yes, we can be a hypercritical and argumentative bunch – and probably more so than any other “think tank” :biglaugh:   …and that probably has a lot to do with many of us being young and naïve when we were involved with a certain controlling organization…and in my opinion, it’s only natural that we bounce back with a vengeance…release the hounds of critical thinking  :dance:

I won’t say much more about what I’m personally looking for on this thread – as I said there is no right or wrong answer – I don’t get into judging one person’s approach as superior or inferior – intellectually or emotionally - from someone else's aprroach…perhaps if folks need a little more direction on what to say - - I would suggest consider what I did in my first post – I gave a few details on things I’ve read, my criteria – or preferences for reading material – and the core elements of my belief system during this journey…honestly I could be wrong on any and all of this (the core elements of my beliefs) – so I’m not fishing for validation. And for that matter - looking for some direction - look at Twinky’s posts - great input there - thanks Twinky!!!

I happen to think in many ways people are more alike than different – but I am always fascinated by the different ways folks process stuff…so that’s it for me…sorry I’m still verbose  dadgumit  :asdf:…and maybe this is just an exercise in futility…if so, sorry to waste everyone’s time.

Edited by T-Bone
one more time... with feeling

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I started having doubts about the organization of TWI sometime during my sophomore year of high school (1984-85) but at that time I still bought into the fallacy that VPW had the most accurate interpretation of the Bible and held him in high regard. From personal observations I noticed that things had deteriorated shortly thereafter and by my senior year of high school (1987) I wanted nothing to do with TWI, although I still participated so that I would not upset my mother. When my mother declined the loyalty oath in 1989 there was such a release and sense of freedom that I began reading from a variety of sources outside of TWI. It was exhilarating to say the least to be able to read from other perspectives. As time went on and my own personal research continued, I began to take the Bible less literally. I've come to the conclusion that the bible is mostly symbolic or figurative but true nonetheless. I still believe in the basic message that God has provided a means of redemption of mankind from it's fallen state. Regarding doctrinal changes... the biggest change I've made since leaving TWI is my switch to partial preterism. 

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I'm just kind of trying to soak this thread in. It casts a rather wide net (either that, or I don't get the point).

So here's my journey, in a nutshell:

I thought TWI had it right. I thought Wierwille had it right. Not because some voice in his office made him a promise or sent him a snowstorm in early October. I actually didn't know that story. I thought he had it right because of the stream of logic (including the many flaws therein that I failed to recognize at the time).

But a lot of what happened here at GSC forced me to let go of the framework I had built up to stave off criticisms of the Bible. I think most of us have that framework in common, at least at some point in our lives. What we chose to do with it is individual, but we're here on this site because we accepted TWI's assertions at one point. You know what I'm talking about: there are no errors or contradictions. The first century church had it right, got corrupted, and we've been dealing with the repercussions ever since. The apostles all fit in a Honda.

(They were of one accord. Get it?)

Then came the great James debate, and my holier-than-thou effort to reconcile Galatians and James against certain people's determination to yank James from the canon. I gave it my best, but in retrospect I feel I fell short. My premise was wrong. Galatians and James do contradict each other. A lot. They don't even agree on fundamental terminology. They use the same words to mean different things. Reconciling them is exhausting work precisely because James and Paul are not just discussing different topics, but they are doing so in a way that establishes neither of them truly grasps the other's point.

I finally realized that there are... contradictions? No, I preferred to call them paradoxes: two ideas that coexisted even while seeming to contradict each other. We are saved by grace. We are saved by works. It depends on what you mean by saved, grace and works.

And then came the Actual Errors thread: the notion that Wierwille's writings were God-breathed was contradicted by a simple application of Wierwille's definition of God-breathed to his works. Wierwille's books could not be God-breathed if they did not meet the criteria his books set for what God-breathed means! Blah blah blah. And then someone pointed out, hey Raf, using that logic, you can't establish that the Bible is God-breathed!

And that turns out to be true, using the same logic. The only way out was to use a different logic: The Bible could still be God-breathed if Wierwille was wrong about what God-breathed means, what characteristics a God-breathed document would exhibit.

So now I'm looking at the Bible as a collection of writings by people who did not always agree with each other.

Some other things became clear later on: Paul all but calls the author of Luke a flat-out liar. Whoever wrote Mark was barely familiar with the geography of Palestine.

Job... JOB! This story could not be literally true unless God was unspeakably capricious and cruel. Who among you would compensate a man who lost his dog by giving him a new dog? Yet God compensates Job with a new wife and children. What-what-WHAT?

Does God know everything? Did He know from before the dawn of time that I would scratch my left forearm as I typed this post on Nov. 9, 2017? And not only does he know everything that will happen, he knows everything that WOULD have happened had we all made different choices about everything? Do you have any idea how many contingencies (parallel universes) each person would trigger on an average day by choosing one thing over another? God knows ALL those contingencies?

[Yes, I posted before I finished my thought. You didn't really want me to drone on and on, did you? We all know where this story ends...]

Edited by Raf
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16 hours ago, Raf said:

I'm just kind of trying to soak this thread in. It casts a rather wide net (either that, or I don't get the point).

So here's my journey, in a nutshell:

....(snip)

Yup that’s the point - the starter post did cast a wide net - sort of asking in a round about way ,for one’s journey thus far... “in a nutshell “ as you put it...

 

Yes, yours and InfoAbsorption’s are exactly what I’ve been hoping for in continuing this thread.... and that’s really all I want to say for now since I’ve said way too much already.

 

I think the starter post would have been right to the point if someone like you - who puts words together for a living - had started it rather than a technician who specializes in technical writing so as to deluge the reader with way too many details.  :biglaugh:....ok now I’m done... that’s it ...finis...

Edited by T-Bone
Clarity

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Ok, so, to sum up where I'm at now:

I obviously don't believe there is such a thing as "god-breathed."

Clearly these writings are not history.

To the extent that they are sincere, they are an attempt by flawed men to understand the will of a God whose attributes evolved over time.

In doing so, they fell all over each other. "I am the Lord! I change not! Except for that thing. I changed on that thing. Oh, and the other thing. It was a different time. But I didn't change! You know, just, times changed."

Some of their musings turned out to be wonderful and stood the test of time. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is, understood properly, better than any other law man could come up with. "Here's the correct way to handle a runaway slave" is less worthy of admiration.

There's also an extent to which this book is an effort by some people to control other people. There's nothing to admire there.

I would never say there's nothing good in the Bible, just as I would never say there was nothing Biblical in TWI.

I would say that whatever is good in the Bible is good because good men put it there. And what is bad is God's fault.

Just kidding. Wanted to see if you were still reading. What is bad in the Bible is bad because the men who put it there were bad, or wrong, or mistaken, or evil, or... human.

 

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Humans evolved from non-human animals.

These creatures evolved mechanisms for survival.  Including instinctive reactions to various situations.

A common example is that of snakes.  Humans are born with some fear of snakes because their non-human ancestors adapted and evolved to fear snakes.  That fear has not be selectively removed from the population.

Ancient humans did not understand why this was, modern humans do.  It would be logical for ancient humans to use the snake as a symbol of evil, since it felt right and so many others would have agreed that seems to be right.

The Bible is a unique collection of writings which are an effort by ancient humans to express the murky truths written in our DNA.

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My "current view of the Bible"? No  "problen". My personal "Canon" of the New Testament Begins with Matthew and ends at Acts 28. I accept nothing Saul of Tarsus wrote in his personal communications to various "churches" in different cities, or to specific individuals, as being "the God-breathed Word and Will of God". Nor do I care about the other New Testament epistles or The Book of Revelation. I consider the teachings, actions, and mission of  Jesus Christ to be the doctrinal and practical center of HIS Church, not the Pauline or any other epistles. Why should these letters be any more "God-breathed" than those referred to as The Apocrypha? You're expecting me to be believe the Canon of the New Testament is also God-breathed?

As far as the Hebrew Old Testament, there are parts I believe are inspired (e.g. Psalms, Proverbs, the "Major" Prophets) and others that I feel exactly the same about as I feel about the Pauline Epistles. 

That's my current view in a nutshell T-Bone. Great question. I could go into lengthy explanations for the statements I made above, but I'd rather just respond to questions or comments or snide remarks if they should appear. Thanks for asking for our opinions T-Bone.

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3 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

My "current view of the Bible"? No  "problen". My personal "Canon" of the New Testament Begins with Matthew and ends at Acts 28. I accept nothing Saul of Tarsus wrote in his personal communications to various "churches" in different cities, or to specific individuals, as being "the God-breathed Word and Will of God". Nor do I care about the other New Testament epistles or The Book of Revelation. I consider the teachings, actions, and mission of  Jesus Christ to be the doctrinal and practical center of HIS Church, not the Pauline or any other epistles. Why should these letters be any more "God-breathed" than those referred to as The Apocrypha? You're expecting me to be believe the Canon of the New Testament is also God-breathed?

As far as the Hebrew Old Testament, there are parts I believe are inspired (e.g. Psalms, Proverbs, the "Major" Prophets) and others that I feel exactly the same about as I feel about the Pauline Epistles. 

That's my current view in a nutshell T-Bone. Great question. I could go into lengthy explanations for the statements I made above, but I'd rather just respond to questions or comments or snide remarks if they should appear. Thanks for asking for our opinions T-Bone.

1. Do you believe anything Saul/Paul wrote during his travels in Acts were inspired by the Holy Spirit?

2. Do you believe anything Peter or James wrote in Acts were inspired by the Holy Spirit?

The reason I’m asking is because you included Acts in your “personal Canon” but not what any of those guys wrote during the Acts timeframe. 

And if I misunderstood your statement forgive me. Just looking for some clarity. I have questions at times about what these men wrote because of how different their “doctrine” appears to differ from the “words in red” that were recorded by the gospel writers of Jesus’ life on earth. 

Thanks very much DWBH. 

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Hi JayDee! Thanks for your comments!

Re: Question 1) By saying "Saul/Paul wrote during his travels in Acts", you are referring to the various Epistles Paul wrote during the time-frame of Acts. As I said previously, I personally do not accept anything Paul wrote as being "God-breathed", or "The Word and Will of God" for whatever "dispensation" the Bullinger freaks want to call the Church of The Body of Christ. The Book of Acts of The Apostles, in my current view  is an inspired account of just exactly THAT......the Acts of The Apostles following the Ascension of Jesus Christ to the Right Hand of the Throne of God, "where he ever liveth to make intercession for the saints according to the will of God".

Re: Question 2) I am not aware that James or Peter wrote anything "in Acts", however I think your question is the same as the first, namely, do I believe that anything Peter or James WROTE during the time period covered by Acts, is God-breathed, or "inspired by the Holy Spirit" as you put it. My answer is no, in the same way as I do not regard Pauline writings as being THE written Word and Will of God to The Church of The Body of Christ for application by and obedience to it as "revelation" and "commanded by God" by ALL members in particular in the identical manner. I do not accept that personal letters written to specific individuals, or specific groups of Christians, by Apostles, are meant to be generalized and applied to and by the ENTIRE church worldwide for ALL Christians.

i do believe that there are numerous places in all the various Epistles of the Canonized New Testament which were authentically INSPIRED by God, or Christ. However, I do not equate "inspired by" with "God-breathed Word and Will of God" as does dictor paul, or Ethelbert W. I do not accept the belief that ALL Scripture is dictated by God The Father using the vocabulary and understanding of the individual writer(s). THERE ARE NO ORIGINALS.........selah.

Thanks for your reply JayDee!:wave:

 

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On ‎11‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:23 AM, DontWorryBeHappy said:

My "current view of the Bible"? No  "problen". My personal "Canon" of the New Testament Begins with Matthew and ends at Acts 28. I accept nothing Saul of Tarsus wrote in his personal communications to various "churches" in different cities, or to specific individuals, as being "the God-breathed Word and Will of God". Nor do I care about the other New Testament epistles or The Book of Revelation. I consider the teachings, actions, and mission of  Jesus Christ to be the doctrinal and practical center of HIS Church, not the Pauline or any other epistles. Why should these letters be any more "God-breathed" than those referred to as The Apocrypha? You're expecting me to be believe the Canon of the New Testament is also God-breathed?

As far as the Hebrew Old Testament, there are parts I believe are inspired (e.g. Psalms, Proverbs, the "Major" Prophets) and others that I feel exactly the same about as I feel about the Pauline Epistles. 

That's my current view in a nutshell T-Bone. Great question. I could go into lengthy explanations for the statements I made above, but I'd rather just respond to questions or comments or snide remarks if they should appear. Thanks for asking for our opinions T-Bone.

So, what good reason might you have for Jesus Christ's refusal to even speak to the Gentiles that sought to meet with him in John 12:20-22, and why did his apostles never conduct any outreach to the Gentiles after the day of Pentecost (as evidenced by Acts 11:19, and further attested to in Galatians 2:9)?   

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I need no excuses. I don't believe the Bible is the God-breathed Word of God. I don't believe the Bible is inerrant. I don't believe the Bible is perfect. Therefore, I have no need to make excuses for it's obvious and numerous contradictions. YOU need excuses, like the man-invented theory of dispensationalism, and the man-made religion of TWIt, to obviate the cognitive dissonance it takes to believe your own words of obfuscation and those in the Bible itself. Your verbal and semantic gymnastics are truly a gold medal performance of logical fallacies and man-made fantasies. What is your practical, daily relationship with Jesus Christ? After all HE IS THE WORD.

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4 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

I need no excuses.

Then why have them?

4 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

I don't believe the Bible is the God-breathed Word of God. I don't believe the Bible is inerrant. I don't believe the Bible is perfect.

Of course you don't.  Yet, you are evidently compelled to denigrate anyone else that doesn't believe as you do, in a forum where such things are presumed to be true.

4 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

YOU need excuses, like the man-invented theory of dispensationalism

A reference to scripture in a doctrinal forum (as this purports itself to be) is not an excuse.  Furthermore, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that "dispensation" is a reasonably good English translation of the Greek work oikonomia, which (in one form or another) is used some number of times in the Bible.  Though, given your propensity to pick and chose whatever you want to represent truth, it's comes as no surprise that anything and everything that you personally don't or can't believe must absolutely be, "man made."  

4 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

What is your practical, daily relationship with Jesus Christ?

Alive and well, thank you for asking.
(But quite frankly, I actually think you don't give a rat's arse about my personal relationship with him.)

Edited by TLC

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8 hours ago, DontWorryBeHappy said:

I need no excuses. I don't believe the Bible is the God-breathed Word of God. I don't believe the Bible is inerrant. I don't believe the Bible is perfect. Therefore, I have no need to make excuses for it's obvious and numerous contradictions.... (SNIP)

 

4 hours ago, TLC said:

(SNIP)...Yet, you are evidently compelled to denigrate anyone else that doesn't believe as you do, in a forum where such things are presumed to be true....(SNIP)

 

 

On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 3:36 PM, T-Bone said:

(SNIP)...This is not a post to defend the Bible or my beliefs but simply a declaration of the course I have set....(SNIP)

== == == ==

(C.S.Lewis' quote follows)

"The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘The Word of God’ in the sense that every passage, in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God; and we (under grace, with attention to tradition and to interpreters wiser than ourselves, and with the use of such intelligence and learning as we may have) receive that word from it not by using it as an encyclopedia or an encyclical but by steeping ourselves in its tone or temper and so learning its overall message…

== == == == ==

(SNIP) one other thing...addressing the Moderators now - i just realized maybe I should have posted this in questioning faith forum...I don't care if you need to move it - go ahead

TLC,

being that this is not a Christian or religious forum, and since ideas like the Bible being the God-breathed word of God, or that it is inerrant, or perfect are not universally accepted here – I think you are being rather presumptuous in leveling a charge against someone for violating a non-existent standard regarding this forum.

 

besides the fact, that in my very first post I quoted C.S. Lewis’ view of the Bible – where he said:  

“The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘The Word of God’ in the sense that every passage, in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God;”

 

And with all my comments in that first post that echo the same sentiment as C.S. Lewis’ words, and what I said to others who wanted clarification of what to post - I thought it was pretty clear that this thread was about folks posting their current views of the Bible, their journey thus far after once being involved with TWI. also I did give this thread a subtitle "confessions of a former fundamentalist" ...if one would care to look up the definition of a fundamentalist  while noting that I put the word "former" in front of it - it should be evident that I (the person who started this thread ) no longer hold to a strict belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible...I even drew attention to that fact several times within my first post.

…I do apologize if anyone got the wrong idea – as if we were debating what is the correct view of the Bible…but in reading all the posts so far – I think everyone got that -  generally the content of their posts described a philosophical quest... and were definitely   NOT     a major dissertation on any Bible doctrine     ...so I am mystified why you zeroed in on one particular post when all the other posts expressed some very divergent views of the Bible....I mean - I could understand it if you have me on your ignore list - which you may have, I dunno - so you didn't see the specific questions / suggestions I had laid out - but given the fact that all the other posts were definitely not lining up with the typical fundamentalist mindset, but rather were responding appropriately to my questions / suggestions  - I am wondering what your intention was in picking apart one particular post.

...maybe I should also add it’s just not cool to attack another person’s beliefs on this thread – that is totally off topic! Because this thread is all about one’s personal belief system I DID say in my first post that I did not intend to defend the Bible or my beliefs – I was expecting everyone who posted to feel the same way.

also in my first post I did say to the moderators maybe I should have started this thread in the questioning faith forum. So it’s not like I was being deceptive – but maybe because it’s in doctrinal I guess some folks could drum up an issue about something…I mean look at the definition of doctrine  

noun

1. a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government:

Catholic doctrines; the Monroe Doctrine.

2. something that is taught; teachings collectively: religious doctrine.

3. a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject:

the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

== == == ==

I’m not arguing about doctrine on this thread…I’m promoting freedom of thought.

maybe I should have started this thread in the Open forum…as in open to new ideas…open minded…open, free – NOT imprisoned…so addressing the moderators once again, feel free to move this to the questioning faith forum…or the open forum or leave it here – I don’t care.

 

Edited by T-Bone
needed more time to get it right...or write
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