Non-Fundamental Christian

A view of Christianity


...... to ask that faith be dependent on the ability to give a one to one correspondence between a biblical text and what it describes is theologically nonsense because it places the cart before the horse. As I understand it, Christian faith is not faith in the Bible. It is faith in God’s action in the Risen Christ.

A very provocative and challenging article.

Kevin H and Tom Wetmore like this

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 I see one crux being in the area of whether man is able of himself to render acceptable obedience apart from the intervention of God.  Whatever teaching you can look at as to defining original sin.... when God interposed His righteousness on behalf of mankind he preserved and sustained humanity to give them time with grace and mercy to learn of Him and live.  This gave time for the conflict between sin and righteousness to unfold and occasioned the revelation of the righteousness of God in the life, sacrifice, and intercession of Christ.

Fundamentalism is man believing he can perform acceptably and be righteous before God if he Gets the truth right, if he has all his scriptures lined up,  essentially,  having all his ducks in a row.  This is a system of thought people can be inducted into by indoctrination and produces lots of works.  It is not the only systematic Christian form righteousness by human effort takes.

On the other hand is faith faith faith without any expression of the righteousness of God in your life... this too is a fatal error.

There ares also a myriad of individual forms self righteousness can take as many as their are human beings i imagine.  We either live by faith or by something else whatever it may be.

from an eg white devotional..
The Faith I Live By

"The Lord speaks to human beings in imperfect speech, in order that the degenerate senses, the dull, earthly perception, of earthly beings may comprehend His words. Thus is shown God’s condescension. He meets fallen human beings where they are. The Bible, perfect as it is in its simplicity, does not answer to the great ideas of God; for infinite ideas cannot be perfectly embodied in finite vehicles of thought. Instead of the expressions of the Bible being exaggerated, as many people suppose, the strong expressions break down before the magnificence of the thought, though the penman selected the most expressive language through which to convey the truths of higher education. {FLB 10.4}

The errors of fundamentalism are able to  obscure the goodness of God towards us.

Interesting times.


Kevin H and LifeHiscost like this

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I have so far read about the first third of the article. So far so good. Fundamentalism and Seventh-day Adventism has had a strange relationship. Also, probably many Fundamentalists feel that if they give up fundamentalism that it means that they have to give up Adam and Eve and HAVE to accept traditional evolutionism. That they have to give up the flood, have to not know what to trust in the Bible so it becomes just another book, so why even have faith in God and hope for an after life and have a Jesus who is not raised from the dead so we are also hopeless.

But all that we have to give up is the idea that the Bible can not have different ideas that don't always agree. That we can find development of knowledge about God. That we can see how God works with people. How he can give a basic message and have the prophet study and teach and his students make applications and editing. How God can work with different types of people at different stages and how we can disagree and how God works with people even thought they do not see eye to eye on everything. You can see how God wanted to work with people in the past that can teach us how he can work with us. And it allows us to read the Bible just as it is. We can see how the phrase "Without form and void" indicates that there was something going on here (and as we learn more about the Great Controversy both in Ellen White and from her illumination to us start to notice things we were reading over and missing in scripture, and also seeing it in the ancient world) we can see the role of this earth before and leading up to the chaos that lead to the angels and unfallen worlds form the two sides of the great controversy. When the two sides have formed then there was a special creation. But then periods of a downward evolution first adapting to a sinful world then adapting to a post flood world.

We can accept a historical Moses who lead Israel and gave laws, but have room for these to have been discussed and applied in both the northern and southern area, consolidated under King David, but then again develop in both the north and south and then northern ideas through Jeremiah come down south. We can live with how Deuteronomy 4 can offer two possible paths for the Hebrews: Either living in the land faithfully, God bless them, that piece of land being in the major intersection of the world. While that was an ideal position for toll collection and fees; the religion of the people who live there came to some strange beliefs. They thought that if they raped someone that they stole some of their life force. And if they rapped the person to death that they stole all their life forces; meaning money this merchant would have made will now be their money. Animals that were to be born to his flock will now become a part of your flock, children that would have been born to his wife will now be born to your wife; and thus this important intersection of the world became also one of the most dangerous places in the world. To place a new people there would make it safe for the caravans to pass through (and we don't see the mowing down of the old people only those who opposed the new people and did not convert to become a part of them, and thus converts from that religion that made them so dangerous into one that made the area  safe.) And that if they were faithful merchants would tell what they saw in these people. Nations would either join them or reject them and it would lead into the kingdom of God. But if not faithful God would send them curses to encourage them to change. If nothing else works then they would go into exile. There they would call upon God and share with their neighbors their unfaithfulness and God's faithfulness and the exile would be the LAST days ending in a second great exodus lead by the Messiah.

We can read in the books about the spies and not get ruffled by how Numbers has 2 faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb, and 10 unfaithful spies, but in Deuteronomy all 12 spies are faithful but the people rebel and Joshua and Caleb defend the spies from the people, and we can read passages where it seems to indicate that Caleb was the only faithful spy and Joshua might not have been one of the spies without us trying to create a nice smooth picture in our mind were we read over the inconsistencies and pretend they are not there, or freak out "What there is disagreement as to whether there were 1, 2 or 12 faithful spies, well that shows that the Bible can't be trusted and there must not have been any spies at all, the event never happened." We can read Isaiah and read about a prophet Isaiah who really live in Jerusalem. He was involved with King Hezekiah's reformation. We can read Hezekiah's illness and healing not as the message "Hezekiah should have just shut up and behaved" but that God wants us to cry out to him. He wants to heal us and he wants to bless us so that we can share him with others. The people from Babylon came. Will Hezekiah share his true wealth his God? Will his reformation spread to Babylon and to the utter most parts of the world? (according to the book "Lies my Teacher told me" I noticed that the author has at this time the Phoenicians having limited trade with pottery and items that came from what we today call the Americas. While they could not have major trade that long a distance, there appears to have been contact where some missionaries could have even reached the natives in this hemisphere.). But no, Hezekiah showed them his stuff. Instead of returning with his God and making His God theirs, they returned with memories of his stuff and a decision to come back and make his stuff theirs, and the message that the exile (which Deuteronomy 4 said should have been the last days) was coming. Then the excitement about the comfort for God's people living in exile and a very William Miller like prophet of the Isaiah school giving messages about preparing to go home, and then the later writings of that prophet realizing the great disappointment that this imminent coming of the Lord was not going to happen at this time as he predicted, that the exiles will go home and have another chance in the land for God to use them. And how we can find in Daniel 1-7 and somewhat 8 the same imminent idea of the last days and the imminent coming of the Lord's kingdom. Daniel 8 pointing out that they only have 2300 days left to share the gospel so that the Lord can come but that he might not because people are not ready, and Daniel 9-12 like the end of Isaiah, having suffered a great disappointment and making plans on how to live past the great disappointment.

We can live with Mark understanding that no one knew who Jesus was until you came to a Centurion, a man so polytheistic that he says the truth but in words that would have shocked a monotheist; that he realized that Jesus was indeed God. And how Luke has everyone knowing who Jesus was even before he was born, but when Luke reaches this centurion he only recognizes Jesus to be a good man.

There is a push for plain reading of the scripture. Sadly too many people don't have faith in the Bible but in the Bible being some kind of magical book. They have to in their minds read over without seeing or tap dancing over texts that don't fit their nice picture of how they believe inspiration to work.

I was going to close with a story but too tired to write it. I'll be back.

phkrause and CoAspen like this

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