Re: Is Jonah to be taken literally?

From: Guy Blanchet (
Date: Sun Aug 26 2001 - 06:44:06 EDT

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    Mr. Van Till,

    You're confusing the Church of God with the Church of Rome. The arguing
    over whether or not Jesus was God was simply the beginnings of what the
    Chruch of Rome has come to refer to as Tradition. The Bible may
    clearly say something but Tradition may decide to 'rephrase' certain
    things to widen the road and give elbow room. That's what makes that
    institution a 'thoroughly human institution' as you say.

    One example of clearly established theological issues in the Bible is
    the deity of Jesus: "But about the Son (Jesus) he (God the Father) says:
    Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever." Hebrews 1:8. And
    that is only one of the many strong statements on this issue.

    Howard J. Van Till a écrit:

    > In a response to James Stark, Vince Calhoun asked.
    > > Isn't
    > > there adequate evidence from scripture that Jesus was God and that
    > we are
    > > called to worship Him?
    > Interesting question, especially in light of the fact that it took the
    > early Christian community several centuries to take a definitive stand
    > on precisely this question. For more of the story, see Richard E.
    > Rubenstein's book, When Jesus Became God (Harcourt, 1999). From the
    > back jacket:
    > "After almost three hundred years of persecution, Christianity made an
    > astonishing breakthrough in 324, when Constantine the Great became the
    > emperor of Rome. No longer fearing for their own survival, Christians
    > turned to the question of how to define what beliefs identified a
    > "true" Christian. Led by two charismatic priests‹Arius who preached
    > that Jesus, though uniquely holy, is less than God, and Athanasius who
    > argued that Jesus is God himself in human form‹the debate over Jesus'
    > degree of divinity escalated from heated argument to violence and
    > bloodshed."
    > Like many episodes in the history of the institutional Christian
    > church, this is a sobering story. What may seem so "obvious" to some
    > today is itself the product of human history, complete with all of the
    > shortcomings of human behavior. The Christian church is a thoroughly
    > human institution. Its historical decisions ought not be considered
    > beyond question.
    > Howard Van Till

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