Re: Seely's Views 2

From: Don Winterstein <dfwinterstein@msn.com>
Date: Wed Sep 22 2004 - 04:37:33 EDT

Glenn Morton and I were discussing noise in God's communication with man. We sought a clearer understanding of divine inspiration of Scripture. In taking leave of the thread, Glenn graciously allowed me the last word in our discussion. At first I thought, "Why bother?" Then, "Seize the opportunity!" Then I was away for a week, so this may be stale but still worth pursuing, if only to clarify my thinking.

God in Scripture is always revealing himself. That is the overriding purpose. Scriptures contain information, but the information is there to enable and support the divine self-revelation. The information is not there for its own sake.

To say that God reveals himself means only secondarily that God reveals facts about himself. To say that God reveals himself in Scripture means that God uses Scripture to insert himself into human lives.

God is Spirit, so there is no way he can reveal himself directly via physical means such as Scriptures. His methods must be indirect. God reveals himself through tone, innuendo, suggestion, flavor, context, atmosphere. You read the words, and the words mean something, but the true intended meaning comes when you catch your breath and sense God sitting there in the room with you. The true meaning comes when you read between the lines.

What God says about the creating is less important than the way he says it.

Whether God said, "Eat no pork," or "Eat pork," is of no consequence outside of the context. Neither command will bring one closer to God outside the context.

The message that Glenn seems to have been getting from Shannon in the end seems little different from the pronouncements my ultraconservative YEC father used to make: "If you reject a straightforward interpretation of any part of the Bible that seems to be speaking straightforwardly, then the whole Bible loses authority and becomes susceptible to second guessing." Dad was right, but only if you think of the Bible as a source of inerrant factual information rather than as a means through which God makes himself known.

If you you have all the facts, you don't necessarily have the Person, because the Person cannot be known from facts but comes between the facts; he cannot be seen in words but between the words. The facts are flesh, but the Person is Spirit.

Something similar is true of Christ: To see his body is not to have him. His disciples saw him at great length but came to know him truly only through the Spirit. Christ can be known truly only in Spirit.

So when you read the inspired words, do not go sentence by sentence seeking the truth in each but read many at once and perceive Truth in the spaces between them.

This is not to say that facts about God are unimportant. Gross misconceptions can set up barriers to God. Still, God has been able to work in people who are very ignorant of the facts about him--and, truth be told, we all are.

Don

 
Received on Wed Sep 22 04:50:03 2004

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