Re: asa-digest V1 #3398

From: Gary Collins (
Date: Wed Jun 18 2003 - 11:32:27 EDT

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    On Wed, 18 Jun 2003 11:06:42 -0400, Joel Moore wrote:

    >Hi Gary,
    >The response was supposed to be sent to the list but I messed up. I
    >(or you) can forward the message to the list if you think it'd be
    >I was trying to mention some cautionary/background remarks but would
    >imagine we substantially agree.

    Hi Joel,

    I expext we do. In fact, I'm pretty sure that all who are participating would
    substantially agree. I'm sure it's just my bumbling way of expressing
    myself that tends to cloud the issues somewhat!

    I think that what I was trying to say, to put it more succinctly, is that when we
    decide to believe certain information, we must by then have accepted, implicitly
    at least, that the source(s) from which we obtained it is (are) reliable. Conversely,
    if we don't hold our sources to be reliable, we won't put much faith in any
    information obtained from them.


    >>On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 21:11:06 -0400, Joel Moore wrote:
    >>thanks for this response. Was it not sent to the list? The address didn't come
    >>up when I clicked "reply to all". Is that intentional on your part?
    >>>When the Romans heard Paul's statement "Faith comes by hearing and
    >>>hearing by the word of God," they would have had a rather different
    >>>understanding of "the word of God" than we do.
    >>>First, much of the New Testament, including the gospels, was not yet
    >>>written when Paul wrote these words. So these words would have
    >>>invoked a much different image or thought in those hearing them (and
    >>>most likely not reading them). In fact, much of what they thought of
    >>>as the word of God would likely have been the tradition (sorry for a
    >>>somewhat dirty word for many evangelicals) of the church.
    >>Agreed, they certainly wouldn't have had the bible in the canonical
    >>(if that's the right word) form we have it today. But surely they would
    >>have had some form of written precursors - collected sayings of Jesus,
    >>for example - that maybe haven't survived to this day. And my
    >>understanding is that Mark's gospel actually came into existence
    >>quite early, though I'm not sure how early and don't have any sources
    >>with me to check. And they would have had Paul's own letters which
    >>were passed around, and evidently regarded as Scripture in Peter's
    >>Whatever they had, they must have reckoned it to be reliable and
    >>trustworthy, no?
    >>>Second, we need to remember that before the printing press most
    >>>people actually did hear the word of God rather than read off the
    >>>page. If one spoke of hearing the word of God, it would more likely
    >>>prompt memories of a place or an event where they heard that word (or
    >>>even experienced that word in the Eucharist), not a book because of
    >>>the general illiteracy of the population and the rarity of books.
    >>OK; so the letters, etc, would have been read to them.
    >>>Perhaps it could be suggested that the doctrine of inerrancy is
    >>>shaped, in part, by having the (seemingly) permanent and fixed
    >>>printed page, and bound book, that we now think of when we hear the
    >>>phrase "the word of God."
    >>True enough. I wasn't arguing for or against inerrancy as such,
    >>merely that those who do come to believe surely accept that
    >>what they read/are told is a reliable and trustworthy source of
    >>information about Jesus. If they don't acccept this, how/what are
    >>they going to find out about Jesus? I agree that they may "see
    >>Jesus in the lives of others" and so come to desire him themselves.
    >>And this will/can lay the foundations for such a trust to become
    >>a reality for them.
    >Joel Moore
    >315 Hosler
    >Department of Geosciences
    >Pennsylvania State University
    >University Park, PA 16802
    >(814) 863-8055

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