Finding the Answer

Idealism is not an answer – its ideal – but not an answer.

Scripture is not an answer – it’s a written statement – but not an answer.

How afraid are we to be ‘wrong’? What price is paid in the struggle for the seeking truth when we close off our minds and ears? If you have the truth/answer then you should have nothing to fear in talking doctrine – because your truth will bare you out – correct?

I typed the 2 sentences above because of what I have seen in many discussions with Christians over the past year – on a variety of sites – in which they use those 2 ideas as an answer. Those are not answers – they need to be expanded on to become answers.

Anyone can quote scripture but to shows what it means is quite another thing. Holding to ideals is a good thing – but even ideals do not solve problems in the ‘real world’.

EX1: It is ideal to think everyone should be saved.


Now if we were discussing ‘salvation’ and the ideal was all should be saved – well people will find a passage to back that – like the Acts passage. However, both need to be explained in detail as to (1) the definition of terms in the ideal and (2) what the passage means via interpretation (and its definitions).

The ideal is all should be ‘saved’ – what does that mean?

The passage – ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ – what does it mean?

I would add the obvious 3rd category – how did you analyze this idea in real life appliance? How did it look and what does it mean?

We are all subject to interpretation and our experiences in life – they will help us look at scripture. I don’t think we have anything to hide in discussion with one another – whether wrong or right – this is not the concern for me…learning is.

8 thoughts on “Finding the Answer

  1. Questions are better than answers anyway! Who can learn from the ones who claim to have all the answers, when the same people with ‘the answers’ are the only ones who get to write ‘the questions’ for their answers?

  2. True Yael. Screw being orthodox when all that matters is I am true to God. I wish I was orthodox – it would be nice – but it isn’t honest for me in my faith.

  3. No wishing to be Orthodox Jewish here in my world! Not in the least. I consider them to be right only about one thing. If they are what being Jewish is all about, then they’re 100% correct when they tell me I’m not a Jew.

  4. Orthodox – what does it mean? Literally, it means of the same opinion, and in this context, the predominant/ most widely accepted opinion. Orthodoxy is not always correct, but it’s certainly not always wrong.

    “Screw being orthodox” is not a wise statement because it is a categorical denunciation of orthodoxy. It also makes a proxy statement that heterodoxy for heterodoxy’s sake is acceptable.

    As for your Examples 1 and 2, they are nothing less than the focus of the entire Christian Bible. “What does that mean?” is an odd question to ask after so much reading. As a gift, enjoying the presence of God has no measure on earth. And that is exactly what His reward is (Gen. 15:1), Himself. Jesus offers us a glimpse of that Life through His earthly testimony and willing sacrifice.

    how did you analyze this idea in real life appliance?
    That should be the focus of the majority of our blog posts. Through the study of the inspired Word we should be subordinating our experiences to that Word to see what God’s guidance has done for us, and what happened when we ignored Him.

  5. Orthodoxy in Judaism is not the most widely accepted position. Only 10% of all Jews worldwide are Orthodox and their claim to be the holders of the one true faith is tenuous at best. Judaism has ever been flexible yet the Orthodox try to stop time in the 1700’s. Modern Orthodox is a somewhat different story, but I would say Modern and Orthodox are a contradiction in terms.

    What Orthodoxy is to Christianity I have no clue. I only speak from my side of the great divide when I say I have no time for Orthodoxy in my world.

  6. ““Screw being orthodox” is not a wise statement because it is a categorical denunciation of orthodoxy” (Jim)

    In one sense I agree – some beliefs within othodoxy are quite good. However, what I do denounce is the staunch defense of it – which is quite callous in some regards – and everything is made taboo (do not question type thing). Also I would say a few of the doctrines in the creeds and denominational statements kind of don’t sit right with me – and I have to question them (namely due to their application in real life scenarios).

    The whole ‘saved’ thing – my example – oddly enough has many remifications for the believer. It sets up the dichotomy of ‘right’ vs ‘wrong’ and ‘saved’ vs ‘unsaved’ – categories that actually aid in division both within the body of Christ and externally also (how someone saved judges those outside the body). Then the simple passage can easily be used to justify the position in most churches about confession and salvation – and basically saying some prayer is equated w/salvation. Then we also have the obvious ‘saved from what’ question. I rightfully have to ask ‘define the terms’ because we might be building from faulty pre-tenses.

  7. You criticize the Trinity because any plurality within God has no basis in Jewish thought. So where is the idea in Jewish thought that there is any name except that of YHWH which is powerful to save?

  8. Good question Josh – I checked into this a bit.

    Psalms records that salvation belongs to God approximately 60+ times by David.

    Miriam’s song in Exodus 15 (verse 2 and 3) reveals this same idea.

    Micah 7:7 and many verses in Isaiah speak about God being involved in the salvation of people (ie: usually meaning ‘saving’ them from something).

    Exodus 3:13-15 – God reveals a name to Moses that he is to use to speak to his own people in Egypt – as being sent by Him (I Am Who I Am). This same Name was the One that led them via the Exodus and supplied the Torah.

    ***Interestingly enough Jesus in John’s gospel is peppered with this phrase a lot – even says at one point ‘before Abraham was I Am’ (one of 2 places in the NT where Jesus can be alluded to as being God). However, I think John is making a big point about Jesus being the Messiah/Christ and not the actual deity Himself.

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