Rhema and Logos Word of God

Intro_banner.pngThere has been no shortage of reference in the last six months, for a frame of temporal reference, as to the amount of times I have heard the Bible, or written word, called “The Word of God”.  And I try as often as I can to insert all of the caveats that go along with the exclusivity of the Written, or “Logos” word being God’s Word alone.  Continue reading

Scientific Theological Terminology

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There is a recognized language of science.  Empirically discoverable components are: Hypothesis, Theory, and Law.  These have a inductive or deductive order that they follow to a more concrete conclusion.  This process takes unassuming and objective approach to the discovery how things work in our universe.  While technically science is limited to empirical discoveries, science has methods that are applicable in other disciplines that may contribute to more clarity on a matter.  Theology has a likewise similar analogical tradition: Doctrine, Theology, and Law.

Just as an interpreted component of the universe is conceived as explanatory in the science fields, theological/biblical interpretation likewise moves from tentative local doctrines, to a highly scrutinized theological framework.  If, and only if, the framework appears to remain in all possible scenarios, science would classify such as thing as a law — a universal truth of the physical universe.  However, theology is dealing with much of a different type of experimental analytical process.  Theology approaches the development of doctrines through one of several types of filters, which not every theologian agrees on.

Some theologians acknowledge Scripture alone to bear authoritative capacity on the forming of doctrinal hypotheses, however, even with an exclusively Biblical hermeneutic, several factors contribute to how doctrines are arrived at.  Once doctrines are determined, they usually augment greater theological corners that have stood the test of time in theological tradition.  Consider the tenants of Protestant Calvinism, Arminianism, or Catholicism.  Even these clearly delineated theological corners are rooted in prior interpretive development through the careful study and prayerful consideration of theologians who have come before.  Several of these theological frameworks overlap in many areas, and some lack coverage that others may hold.  At the third level, theologians are, like philosophers, interested in arriving at the absolute truth.  Truth has been called the correct description of reality.  This is an undisputed goal of every theologian, as all acknowledge there was one things were done.

However, the nature of human reason limited the true arrival at truth.  Epistemological confidence is an evasive mist.  Different theological systems are the best conclusions we have in the field of theology.  Furthermore, God is said by many to exist outside of our frame of reference, potentially existing in spectrums that we are unable to perceive of.   Scientific methods are very limited in comprehending a being who exists outside of a physical existence, or simultaneously in physical spirituals realms.  Science have been able to speculate based on the microscopic discoveries of molecules, atoms, quantum physics theories, but these are indirectly observed, since man has to use tools that were developed with the assumption that what is being observed is the correct way to observe/interact with it.

Systematic theology has a very appealing status for modernists, as it leads to conclusions that are beyond theological models of interpretation, they intend to define who God is and how He works.  The difficulty with this is that the Bible reveals a story rather then a theological dissertation.  God didn’t ever what man to understand the laws that He created the universe with; He wanted us to interact in loving intimate relationship well.  The bible is full of stories where God is a character interacting with man.  This statement is, of course, biased.  There truly is no such thing as genuine objectivity, leading to a tentative conclusion that our attempts at reaching a clearly defined and exact law of the universe is not appropriate, nor really a primary goal God had intended for mankind.

Insipriational Source:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/dana/dox/scientific_method.html

 

Character, Story, Author, Inspiration

Character,Story,Author, Inspiration.pngThe character of a story is a usually the captivating focal point of any given story. We are drawn to the Han Solo’s, the Frodo Baggins, the King Oddesseus’, and the Prodigal’. It is often captivating to watch the “underdog” character rise to the challenge of overwhelming odds and defeat supposedly inevitable opposition. John Eldridge wrote a book about how our lives are like great epics entitled “EPIC”. Jesus preferred method of teaching his audience was through parables, and our modern generation still thrives on the film industry. People are captivated by complete character development, exotic and expansive landscapes and settings, on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the next major plot twist, and left frustrated or even confused with a cliff hanger leaves us in extended suspend for a sequel.

But the character would be able to exist outside of the context of the story. The only capacity for it to technically happen is for the author to extend the story with the original world clearly envisioned in his mind. The character lives inside the story he is tethered to. Some would say the character is locked inside the context of his story. But what if there is a greater context where the character can come to exist? The author of the story knows the story best, and the character who resides in it. He may choose to carefully, and methodically bring him (and likely his world) to exist in another world/universe. There are obviously multiple ways of doing this, but what is important is that the author knows best. Fan boys have been credited with extending (or even recreating) well-developed worlds in new directions to include their own perspective, or imaginative limits. But the most accepted extension lies within the imaginative capacity of the original author.

However, there is perhaps a further dimension here. The author collected and created his character, story, and world within the confines of his inspirational source(s). He pulled from other author’s works, our real history, or his own experience in life. While a new author could theoretically go to the same sources, entirely new character(s), with a new story and totally unique worlds usually emerge. Each story is intrinsically linked with it’s greater immediate context. Peering out to the inspiration level of story creation is theoretically the last possible preservation of (perhaps not so much the character, or even the story), but perhaps the author’s works.

Consider the Bible. In it we have several iconic characters. But the biggest and most prominent character is God Himself. We can see His actions on a consistent basis that we can begin to “know” Him. But we don’t just see Him in this Cannon of books, this collection of stories spanning centuries. We see others, We see a greater story unfolding outside the immediate, local stories. The temporal context, the cultures, and the literary authors credited with committing the books to writing change, along with their perspectives. But all the authors ascribe credit back to one inspirational source. They all pointedly link their narratives into a giant tapestry of man and God. At this level, most books fall into almost opposing genre’s, and are categorized throughout multilevel library facilities. But not the Bible. The cannon of Scripture, determined by it’s “human editors” around the 5th century AD, (although much context is deeply involved in the canonical determination) was found to be consistently linked by revelation from God (II Tim. 3:16-17). The story of the writing and canonical selection alone is an immense worth of an entire category itself!

What is interesting is that God, who is a character in much of the story, is also the Creator of the setting (Gen. 1:1). He is also often claimed as the author (since the prophets were given strict penalties for false testimony about God {Ex. 20:16; Deut. 18:20-24; Isa 8:20; Rom. 9:1; Prov. 6:16-19, 19:5; Eph. 4:25; Jn 8:44}). Furthermore, many of the human authors were not in the literary field, such as the prophet Amos, who was a simple shepherd (Amos 7:14).

This is a book where the inspirational source has broken down the concept of literary story construction. Internally and externally, we see God active in the Bible, especially when our archeological findings link to and reinforce the many stories found in it. Most exciting of all though, is the fact that the inspirational source, while done with His human literary authors, has not stopped His inspiration of the on-going story found in the Bible. It is a true-to-life “Never-ending-story”,

“Someone should write a book where the character slowly falls in love with the reader…”

 

Inspirational Source:

Jack Miles, God: A Biography (1995)