Re: Did Peter walk on water?

Date: Sun Sep 29 2002 - 11:29:30 EDT

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Did Peter walk on water?"

    I respond to two recent posts

    Bob Schneider wrote:

    I strongly believe that anyone reading Matthew or other biblical texts
      will be able to derive much that would enlighten his mind or "the eyes of
      his heart" (Eph. 1:18) and bring him the message of salvation to his great
      benefit; millions have over the centuries. But we all would gain a much
      deeper appreciation, and perhaps greater spiritual fruits, if we were
      willing to benefit from the work of devoted scholars who can teach us, for
      example, how to recognize and interpret a midrashic text in a gospel or an

    I did not for a moment mean to say, suggest, or
    in any way imply that the study of scholarly texts
    is foolishness. In one of my posts on Jonah I had
    suggested that it would be wise to take a few
    courses on theology before getting worked up on
    interpretation of scripture.

    However, "haggadic midrash" strikes me as a bit
    obscure. Church libraries in Japan are typically
    small, so maybe this is the fault of lack of
    resources, but I had to look pretty hard to find
    NT references to it and they were all as clear as
    mud on its specific role. My own commentaries have
    less than a paragraph on the subject. I am not a
    theology major, nor do I sense any call whatsoever
    to be one. If anything, my mission would be to
    show that Christians can do good science, at least
    as good as any atheist. At this level of difficulty,
    I surmise that it becomes an exercise
    approaching mastering the literature in some narrow
    disciple of biology. I simply do not have time for
    such exercises in biblical studies --- period.

    So first is leaving theological pronouncements at an
    inaccessible level where I cannot even assess whether
    they are true or false. I realize that it is a challenge to write
    these kinds of things, but one
    should not assume that everyone on this list has a
    Ph.D. in their own particular area of expertise either. Nor is even a
    Ph.D. and years of experience likely to
    be adequate in a lot of cases.

    The second point is whereas
    I suppose I shouldn't expect translators
    to point out delineation's for me, I cannot
    see any obvious way to trim the message
    of Mt 14:22-33 in such a way that I don't
    end up hacking off the whole thing. Whereas
    the subject of the thread is _Peter_, I cannot
    see the fine lines of separation between Jesus
    and Peter clearly, and if I keep working this
    way, where does that lead me? Since I confess
    a faith in Christ as God crucified and raised,
    I must certainly reject hacking off the whole
    thing, but what then?
    At least without a clear picture of how I am
    supposed to do this kind of fine razor job, I
    am inclined to go on faith, even if it challenges
    my scientific and intellectual faculties to do so.


    John Burgeson wrote:
    I am in general agreement with you on this subject, Wayne, but I have to say
      I'll at least listen to the "muddle." I find Murphy's arguments interesing,
      sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't. Here at Iliff we get exposed to many
      varieties of spiritual thinking. Nobody tells us we must buy into them, but
      always we are enjoined to understand them...

    Yes, it was not a good choice of words to call it
    "muddle", maybe I'm trying to say something like
    "I'd better have a good pair of skis
    and a heck of a lot of experience before I even
    consider attempting to slide down any slope where
    the above example appears to be leading (from my
    personal feeling)". Or said another way, I'm
    quite capable of sin, and if you give me that one
    to freely play with at whim, well...., human beings
    are rationalizing animals..... and ..... (grin).

    by Grace alone we proceed,

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