How Do We Interprete the Bible Without Seeing it Thru Our "Systems? cal/Arm/Dispy etc

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. JesusFan

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    How do you read and study the Bible and avoid using your own theology/system to "proof text" it, and to allow the HS to actually point out where you just might have to adjust theology a bit?
     
  2. drfuss

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    Wrong post. Sorry.
     
    #2 drfuss, Dec 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2011
  3. glfredrick

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    How about merely reading it -- in context.

    Know whom is speaking and to whom, and for what occaision. Grasp what is being saidm and ask if there are any implications from what was said and done during that time for us in this.

    By doing so, one will arrive at a point where one knows that God is, that God has a plan that He is working out to redeem lost humanity, and that all of the above is for God's glory so that we might worship Him forever.

    Oh, and you cannot proof text choice by actually reading the text in context.
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Honestly, if I hadn't been a debater in high school and college I think I would still be a Calvinists today. In logic/debate courses you are taught to study and defend both sides of a debate, which is not natural. If you don't believe me, try defending abortion or some other very convicting subject. Try making yourself stand in the others shoes and come up with sound reasonable arguments. That skill was drilled into me for 8 years and forced me to be able to objectively look at issues from more than one perspective. If I hadn't been taught that skill I don't think I could have been convinced to look at those passages from another vantage point. I had been a Cal for a decade of my life. I was VERY convinced I was right and it wasn't until I forced myself to take up the defense of Arminianism and give it a fair and objective look that I became convinced to leave Calvinism.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    Skandelon, do you realize that you just implicated yourself in very "human" terms? What of the leading of God from the Scriptures? What of the revelation of God in the Scriptures that goes just so far and no further (unlike human logical arguments where the point is often (almost always) pressed beyond where God takes it!)? What of a God who will not share His glory or throne with anyone else -- First Commandment -- and who alone is the author and finisher of salvation?

    None of these issues can be derived from human logical inferences, but they are ALL revealed in the text by God.

    To the man who can be "convinced" is always another point just around the corner that is even more "convincing." The FATAL FLAW in the Arminian system.
     
  7. preacher4truth

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    It troubles me that the human element is so aggrandized in his post. But I am not surprised, this is all stems from arminian and non-cal error.

    Nothing in Scripture supports this facet of arminian theology, and all other error with this theology stems from this false premise. I see nothing that lends itself to a theology that makes God dependent upon the choice of man, nor anything in Scripture that unduly exalts man. Spiritual discernment, not the logic of man, will ensure that the honest spiritual man rejects this type of theology altogether.

    I can understand to a point where one says he was logically led to be arminian. Think about it: "logically lead." Yes, logically, by mans reason and understanding, which is exactly what is exalted within this theology and with other non-cal theologies. But Scripture and truth aren't in agreement with man and his reason, nor are they logically discerned, but spiritually. Thus one theological stance leads one to accept the things of God spiritually, with many things being against what seems sound reason and logic, and that theology is what some call "Calvinism." We are admonished to not lean upon our own understanding.

    To the OP, one must use context in reading. Ones theology may be difficult to put to the side as one studies, and one must choose to be honest when dealing with truth.
     
  8. mandym

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    Seeing scripture through the lens of any system is in error. That sets up preconceived interpretations and eisegesis.
     
  9. 12strings

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  10. convicted1

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  11. preacher4truth

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    OK. What "aspects" of arminian theology are you referring to? Care to be more concise? Perhaps the points that exalt man, is this what you are referring to? In other words, when we get to this specific aspect to which I am referring, then yes, my statement would then be all inclusive and to this point I make my assailment. Hence, I'll be dogmatic about this as it is a fitting and appropriate response to what's at stake.



    Are you saying that anyone who accepts Calvnist theology is exalting "logic"?

    Nothing in Calvinist theology concerning the pursuit of Scriptural truth and exaltation of God places man above God, or that mans choice cripples Sovereign God, or that God awaits mans choice.

    So then, in your last line above you are correct. When ones theology exalts man in this way, one should pause due to its statements concerning God and its exaltation of man beyond measure, and turn back from this.

    That was my entire point.

    Do Calvinists tend to become haughty? Perhaps. Is the described flaw in arminian theology haughty in the specific aspect I am addressing? Absolutely. So here we have a calvinist person who perhaps becomes arrogant due to discovering of truth, but in this is giving God all Glory, Supremacy and Sovereignty magnifying His greatness and in turn recognizing the abased state of man in comparison, with a proper and Biblical understanding of man in his lost state; -or- we have one whose theology leans towards mans choice and reason as a controlling factor supplanting in many cases the Sovereignty of God.

    I hope you see my point and why in this aspect, yes, I will be dogmatic as you've seen.

    I agree.
     
  12. convicted1

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    The best any of us can do is to study and seek after God for His wisdom. As much as I oppose DoG, I ask God a lot if I have this right(defending FW). One should never be past being teachable.
     
  13. glfredrick

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    Before we get too far afield from the issue, let's consider two important facts:

    1) NO ONE can read Scripture or consider the claims therein without theology. That is an impossibility. The best we can do is to know our own theological stance (as well as that of other positions) and to decipher the bias that we bring to the text as a result of that stance.

    2) NO ONE who is human can operate apart from a logical stance. Logic is how we bring both comprehension and coherence to what it is that we read.

    That being said, one can go beyond where either logic or theology in context should take us. That is where one starts to get into trouble.

    For instance (and I'm using this because it is an item that we are not currently debating) let's suppose a homosexual reads Scripture and sees that Scripture through his or her own worldview lens, applying both a personal theology and logic to what is read. That homosexual might then tend to highlight the passages that seem to favor his or her position, John reclining on Jesus, the fact that all the Apostles were men, the fact that two "sisters" named Mary and Martha seemed to live togehter without husbands, the issues surrounding the love and acceptance of Jesus as His highest purpose, that Jesus never spoke negatively concerning homosexuality, etc. (and all are arguments indeed used by the homosexuals in reference to their position and Scripture!). Here, an individual brings in a worldview and uses that worldview to interpret everything he or she reads. We would rightly say that "in context" the Scriptures DO NOT support that line of reasoning and that there are plenty of other Scriptures that speak very openly and clearly about the abomination called homosexuality including the claim by God that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

    Now, substitute the theological tenats of Calvinism, Arminianism, Pelagianism, non-position, etc., and do the same exercise. Essentially the same results -- a position that is not supported by Scripture "in context" is logically deduced. Now that is not to say that one might not arrive at one of these positions anyway -- but the text drives the position not the position the text -- that is the key.

    In studying the doctrines (theology) of God as revealed in the Scriptures, we might see broad categories that virtually everyone who is orthodox down through the ages agrees upon (more so than one might think based on the arguments we see every day on this board!). We see a Creator King, God, who is Almighty and Sovereign in His power and authority. ALL who are Christians MUST agree to that or else they worship some god not found in the pages of revealed Scripture (save as an example of wayward sinful man).

    This concept is found in both the tenets of Calvinism and Arminianism. It is not, however found in Pelagianism, so right off that should sound an alarm to our theology and logic that perhaps the Pelagian tack is one that is not scripturally consistent or coherent -- and indeed it is not -- Pelagianism has been declared heretical by every church council that has taken up the issue.

    Yet, some argue, based on their personal theology and logic, as if a Pelagian position, which exults the ability of man to act upon his or her own salvific concerns, is true and not heretical. Some of these arguments are made before the individuals think through the process, some are made because that is what they have always heard from "trusted" teachers (who may be in error themselves) and some are made from a truly informed state with not a care that they violate the doctrines that are clear in Scripture. Here, logic and personal theology ARE the worldview by which Scripture is interpreted instead of the Text in context, and here lies the logical questions that go FAR afield from actual belief of either Calvinist, Arminian, or non-whatever.

    We ought not carry the logical arguments beyond what the individual theology actually STATES, nor should we use logical arguments to tear down a brother or sister just because we think that we can score points by doing so. Points for or against whom, and what does God think about us doing that -- on purpose -- God forbid, yet, again, it is an every day happenstance here on the board.

    I hope that I have triggered a few thoughts in us (all of us) for we do a great disservice to the kingdom and our King when we run willy-nilly all over the place and raise up against brothers and sisters in Christ based on faulty logical and theological arguments. Speak the truth in love is what the Scriptures tell us to do, and so we should. :thumbsup:
     
  14. jaigner

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    Unfortunately, none of us can ever separate ourselves from this completely. We have to do the best we can to understand the text in its historical and grammatical context and then rely on the Spirit.
     
  15. 12strings

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  16. Skandelon

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    Thank you 12strings! Good response.

    All of our terms are human.:tongue3:

    God gave us logic, reason, and intellect to be used, and skills that can be learned and developed Thus, I could have 'spiritualized' my response a bit more to give God all the credit for the skills I was taught etc, but this seems a bit nit-picky to me, don't you think?

    Could we not ask Calvinists the same question? After all we both believe the other camp takes things beyond the revelation of the text.
     
  17. Van

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    How to study the Bible without viewing it through our presuppositions?

    We cannot!

    So the question we must ask ourselves is: Do we think what we understood to be true in the past should be reviewed critically, or should be assume we got it right the first time. On this board, we have Calvinists who say they started out with an Arminian view but "found" Calvinism is Scripture. Then we have others who thought Calvinism must be well supported since so many claim to be Calvinists, but when we studied the text we found Calvinism has not actually support when contextually considered.

    If we assume both sides are telling the truth, that means no one can be sure they have not rewritten the Bible according to what seems good to them.
     
  18. 12strings

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    This may be true in some aspects, but it does not mean we cannot KNOW things. We know Jesus Christ is God with us who died to pay the penalty for sins so God could be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. We know God created us. We know that it is a sin to put other things at a higher priority than God. There are some things we can know.

    There also things that we must decide where we stand on if we want to have any fellowship in a church at all. Do I think infants should be baptized? NO. Do I think paedobaptists are going to hell? NO. Do I think there is a slight possibility that they might be right? Not really, but I may find out they were when I get to heaven.
     
  19. Van

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    Hi 12 Strings, why do you believe Jesus is God when other honest careful students of the bible have "found" that Jesus was created. I used to think I could explain my position to others and they would see what I saw and agree or be able to show me where I went sideways, but that is just not true. When I confronted you with what I saw as facts, you simply changed the subject and never said why I was mistaken or admitted you were mistaken. No common ground can be found with Skandelon, or you, and you two are the most honest and caring Christians on the board.
     
  20. 12strings

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    1. Why I believe Jesus is God: Matt. 1:23, John 1, Hebrews 1, Colossians 1, Philippians 2, Is. 9:6-7, Revelation 4-5, and others.

    2. Regarding how we can know we are interpreting scripture correctly: I would add one more thing that has not been added here, that we MUST take in to account what historical Christians have believed, and what other living Christians believe. They are not infallible, but We are unwise when we think we have discovered some new truth that no one else has believed for the last 2,000 years. The ancient creeds can help us have a grounding or center that keeps us from going too far astray. To disregard such things is to in effect claim that those early christians got it all wrong, and that they arians and gnostics might have been just as right as the groups that called them heretics...which is to beleive that there is no real truth.

    3. Regarding Skan, You, & Me: Thanks, I assume you are referring to our recent discussion on the definition of omniscience. I can't speak for Skan, but I guess I'm just an honest, caring, stupid Christian. (or maybe I'm devious enough to convince at least one person on this board who has never met me that I am "honest and caring")
     

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