Divine Accommodation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    While reading this essay, I came across this:

    Divine Accommodation:

    This principle holds that God condescends to reveal himself in ways that human beings can understand. He adapts his message to our limited human capacities, not only in Scripture but in creation itself. In the case of the biblical writers, this means that God did not yank them out of their ancient worldviews or conceptualities but inspired them within their culture-specific frameworks of understanding, meeting them where they were. The second principle is progressive revelation, which states that God’s self-disclosure is ongoing and has unfolded in stages. When used of the Bible, this principle affirms that God did not vouchsafe everything to the biblical authors at one time but gradually. For instance, God allowed many of the Old Testament authors toretain their belief that other gods besides Yahweh existed and to write as if this were so and even to depict God stating as much (for example, Exod. 12:12; 15:11; 20:2–3; Deut. 32:8–9; Ps. 82; Ps. 89:6–10), before revealing to later biblical authors that Yahweh is in fact the only god there is (for example, Isa. 43:10–11; 44:6; 46:1–13). The principle of progressive revelation affirms also that later stages of God’s disclosure should issue in a revised appreciation of earlier stages. So, for instance, at a very broad level we should say that New Testament revelation clarifies and completes Old Testament revelation.​


    I agree with this view and find that it ties in nicely with Paul's description of the law and depictions of God or what pleases Him were actually a shadow of the reality of God in Jesus.

    Discuss...
     
  2. Yeshua1

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    that undercuts and denies the truth of the full inspiration of the bible, and it allows for partial revealtion within the Bible!

    Up to us to pick and chose which was rvelation/inspired, and what was mistaken viewpoints of the authors!

    paul states ALL scriptures have SAME degree of inspiration as divine revealtion from God, and peter concurred!
     
  3. MorseOp

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    Daniel C. Harlow is a member of Biologos. What is Biologos? The organization describes itself this way:

    Biologos brings together some of the most liberal thinkers in both Christianity and science (and I use the term "Christianity" loosely in this context).

    The Old Testament writers did not believe in the existence of other gods. They used the term in a general sense (c.f. Exodus 12:12). Exodus also makes in clear that there is only one God:

    Exodus 20:2-3 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    Progressive revelation is a necessary belief of those that believe in theistic evolution. Theistic evolution is outside the pale of orthodoxy.
     
    #3 MorseOp, Oct 24, 2012
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  4. quantumfaith

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    I like your commentary, but need to know more. I agree that the scriptures mentioned could indicate God "dealing with man" in his lost and confused state sounds reasonable. I think "progressive revelation" of God Himself to mankind is in fact true, scripture hints throughout its pages and culminates in the ultimate revelation of Christ.
     
  5. MorseOp

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    It is true that Christ is progressively revealed in the Old Testament, and finally revealed in the New. What is not progressive is an individual text. Messianic texts build on themselves, progressively revealing more about the Messiah. I am not sure that is what Harlow is describing.
     
  6. humblethinker

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    Would you think that at the time Abram was approached by God that he already was a theist? If so, how closely was his theology congruent with truth?

    I find no problem with viewing the presentation of the creation account as Harlow explains.
     
  7. quantumfaith

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    FTR, I have only some problems (personally) with Biologos. Most biologos supporters acknowledge and accept darwinian evolution. Evolution is not a problem or game changer for me, but I personally cannot accept darwinian (random naturalistic...ie without input from the God) evolution.

    Speculating abut Abram, obviously reared in a polytheistic culture, being called and commissioned by YHWH changed his "bent" on the matter. I would think that prior to his call and commission, at best, he may have entertained the concept of monotheism.
     
  8. MorseOp

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    I consider Abram's obedience to God's command in Genesis 12 to support the fact Abram was, indeed, a theist.

    Harlow believes in theistic evolution. I do not. Ergo I cannot agree with him.
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    God REVEALED Himself to Abram, God gave mankind the truth of One God, as paul described how sinners are futile in thinking about God unless God reveals Himself in a special way to them! See romans 1...

    Did paul and peter know more of the full truth of the Gospel and the truths of Christianity than Moses and Abraham? Yes, as they received the final revealtion of God thru Jesus, BUT ALL those whote wrote bible books were fully inspired by god, and they were NEVER holding to false teachings and doctrines, as GOD inspired their writings!

    This view of God and the scriptures and how man reacted and knew God strikes me of bring back the ole Documentary Hypothesis, and source OT criticism, under the banner of "faith and science!"
     
  10. Benjamin

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    I’ve noted, especially as of late a lot of evidence that “Progressive Revelation” is not properly understood and a lack of applying these principles in such things as OT salvation by many here and have been wanting to start a tread or two to exercise some thought and understanding on this important subject, but this would take a lot of my time and unfortunately I simply don’t have it right now.

    My view, although, in sharp contrast to the understanding Dispensationalists hold on Progressive Revelation has served to greatly strengthened my view of Progressive Covenantalism, which I hold in close union with true creaturely volitional abilities along with unholding the necessity of "real" faith for salvation in both the OT and NT.

    Further, concerning Progressive revelation and Theistic Evolutionist I believe they often take it too far and would take exception with many of their principles which IMO flow straight into Darwinism Evolutionary principles rather than Divine creation; personally…I am obliged to focus on a type of gap theory :eek: ...:laugh:... which helps support the Biblical account of creation as written while I contend with upholding the true Divine purposes in the creation of man within time.

    Love the subject though and maybe in a week or so I can yank Humble's chain on this. :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #10 Benjamin, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2012
  11. humblethinker

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    "The principle of progressive revelation affirms also that later stages of God’s disclosure should issue in a revised appreciation of earlier stages."​

    Other than for the sake of a future potential relationship with a people, why would God communicate to man in a progressive manner? Why would he accommodate their inability to understand but for the sake of relationship? Perhaps God was aware that too much revelation too quickly would result in a rejection of God by man?

    All descriptions and narratives about God and his interaction with humans in the old testament should be viewed through the lense of Jesus. So, imo, throughout the Old Testament we have God humbling himself, willing to be misunderstood as what He wasn't, willing to become what he wasn't, for the sake of relationship, preparing for the world to receive who He actually always has been: the self emptying, humble, loving God. The revelation of God could not have been more clear or definitive than Jesus. All of our ideas of God should be seen through the lense of and in light of Jesus.
     
  12. humblethinker

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    May I share some thoughts I had the other day after thinking about Phillippians 2:7:

    I think of my son playing goodguys vs badguys with our pretend guns. I was willing to be considered silly by adults to experience relationship with my son.

    I think of my daughter as a young child playing with her dolls and me, like her with pretend voice, entering into her world of stuffed animals, we together related to each other on her level, in her interests with her needs. She could not pretend to be an adult, so, I had to become a child like her to show her love and interest and relationship.

    It could not be said that I was fake or misleading or deceptive. While I took on the guise of a child, my actions were a genuine expression of love for my children's own sake and for the sake of our current and future relationship.

    We have a God so loving and interested in us that for the sake of relationship he was willing to be thought of as what he was not and in some ways actually become what he was not. He was willing to empty himself of what he was for the sake of relationship.

    Philippians 2:7 AMP
    "But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being."​
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    Are you saying here that God showed Himself as being 'bad" in the ot, and a Good Guy in the new?
     
  14. humblethinker

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    I'm saying that God, motivated by love, chose to accommodate man's immaturity in order for man to enter into relationship with Him which resulted in the progressive revelation of Himself as a self sacrificial, loving deity.
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    HT,

    In many of your posts...you go in a direction that does not seem to be healthy. This will trigger a negative response by many here. It could be how your mind works.....but I do not see this kind of reasoning in scripture except from Job's three friends....or those who oppose God.
    Satan, Pharoah,Neduchadnezzar,etc.

    I am not trying to be hostile to you here. Most teachers would point out that progressive revelation was and is still the way God has designed to reveal Himself to us. we are totally dependant on what He reveals....not what we speculate about .
    As believers our minds are being renewed by scripture itself....not our unsanctified ideas and speculations.


    To make a statement.....perhaps God was aware.....is a defective statement...even though I see how you are using it...at best it is defective from the start. There is not good thought to come from this.

    Why not spend more time seeing exactly what is revealed.....or...what other scripture tells us how to know it;

     
  16. humblethinker

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    Icon, Thanks for your concern. It sounds like you agree with the ideas of divine accommodation and progressive revelation. Good. Can you tell me what your opinion is as to why God chose such?

    I think perhaps you misunderstood what I meant by, "Perhaps God was aware..." so let me rephrase it: "Perhaps it was the case that God was aware...". Does that help?
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    HT,

    I am a fairly simple person.I just take it as it comes.
    God in revealing himself to Moses does not tell him everything that he might have wanted to know, but as Creator reveals the basis of giving us an understanding of his Divine holiness,and righteousness. He defines for us all reality.He gives meaning to all things.

    Simply put....He explains the universe....and mans place in it. He explains how the fall into sin has now set the stage for what he is going to have unfold.
    The gospel is the Divine remedy to the revealed Divine wrath against sin.
    Because of the effects of the fall....it has become necessary that revelation come slowly because God had many truths in types and shadow that had to be displayed for us...to demonstrate the unseen heavenly realities....for both men and angels;


    Sin has darkened our minds and understanding. Our minds have to be brain-washed....by the word.

    The apostle Paul is helpful here:

    If you keep it simple.....we have more than enough reveled to us, that we are to meditate on with a view to obey.:thumbs:

    you said:
    NO.....there was or is NO TIME WHEN GOD IS NOT AWARE....so the wording you are employing fails from the start.

    we are to think God's thoughts...after Him.
     
    #17 Iconoclast, Oct 26, 2012
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  18. Iconoclast

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    From A Baptist Cathechism with Commentary:
    Man, as the image–bearer of God was created as a creature of faith
    because, first, every fact is a created fact, and, second, because the source of
    truth and knowledge was external to himself, i.e., his faith was to be placed in
    the Word of God. Only fallen man seeks to find the source of truth within
    himself, independent of God, i.e., fallen, sinful man considers himself to be
    autonomous [a law unto himself, i.e., self–determining and completely
    independent of God] (Gen. 3:1–7).
    Christians are to have a “revelational epistemology” [Epistemology is the
    science of knowledge and truth–claims], i.e., the Scriptures are to form our
    authoritative, non–contradictory source for truth and knowledge. This holds
    true for our lives, worship, morality, corporate church life, evangelism and
    defending the faith.

    Although the Scriptures do not reveal everything (Deut. 29:29), their
    revelation is sufficient for our knowledge, obedience and expectation. To go
    beyond Scripture in matters undisclosed to us is speculation. To reason from
    the Scriptures and draw “good and necessary consequences” is legitimate, as
    it is by this means that we apply the Scriptures consistently to our lives,
    remain consistent with preaching on aspects of doctrinal truth or to situations
    which may confront us—but only if such consequences or reasoning are both
    good and necessary. We must never base any doctrine on such reasoning.

    Good and necessary consequences are concerned with application, not
    interpretation. Our Lord used this means of reasoning from the spiritual nature
    of God to true spiritual worship (Jn. 4:23–24). He reasoned from the
    Scriptures to justify his healing, doing good on the Sabbath Day, and reasoned
    that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Matt. 12:10–
    12; Mk. 2:23–28; 3:1–5). He also reasoned from God’s care of creation to
    comfort and provision (Matt. 6:28–32; 10:28–31; Lk. 12:22–31).
     
  19. humblethinker

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    Thanks Icon. I see what you were saying... and I suppose I was just accommmodating ;-) those that might disagree with the idea of progressive revelation. So, perhaps you might find this phrasing more agreeable: "God was aware that too much revelation too quickly would result in a rejection of God by man?" But that phrasing in the form of a question doesn't seem to communicate what I meant... wow... this takes a lot of accommodating... Is it unacceptable to you if I keep it the way I originally worded it now that you are aware that the phrasing is not intended to communicate that God was unaware of ancient man's difficulty in accepting a God who, in their minds, would have been illogical, incongruent and weak?

    Since you agree with DA and PR, perhaps you could rephrase the point for me more to your liking? I have found that there's always a different way to say the same thing and, if it helps others understand the meaning, then why not?
     
    #19 humblethinker, Oct 26, 2012
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  20. Yeshua1

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    progressive revelation is that God in the Bible has granted out more and more complete truth on a doctrine, but that does NOT mean the revelation before given by him was faulty, just incomplete!

    the OT pointed towards jesus, but the NT Apostles, especially paul, were given by him the comoplete/full truth of what the Cross and messiah meant!
     

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