I was wondering.....

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by UnchartedSpirit, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. UnchartedSpirit

    UnchartedSpirit
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    are the Psalms and the books of wisdom really to be taken all that literally or even seriously?
     
  2. Ransom

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    Of course. They are, after all, God-breathed Scripture. The mistake comes in treating them as something other than they are.

    The Psalms are poetry, and therefore they must be read as poetry - not as history or as law or as a letter. The nature of poetry is that it has a tendency to be more figurative.

    So, for example, when a psalm says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psa. 50:10), obviously it doesn't mean that God doesn't own all the sheep or that the cattle on Hill #1001 belong to someone else. It's a figure of speech saying something that is more generally true of God: Everything is his possession.

    The Proverbs are wise sayings. Some people have a tendency to treat them as law or promise. Neither is correct. They are simply wise utterances that provide practical wisdom and make general statements about the way the world tends to work. They tell you something about the kind of person you ought to be and the kind of benefits you ought to expect as a result.

    So, for example, when the author says to "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6), it isn't a sure and fast promise, and it doesn't prove the Bible wrong when a properly raised child goes off the rails. It means that a properly raised child, generally speaking, will live as he is taught and will pass that on to his children.

    Prov. 26:4-5, if they are read as though they are law, are formally contradictory. Do you answer a fool according to his folly, or don't you? However, when they are read as practical advice rather than rules, there is no contradiction: the teaching is that some fools need to be corrected and some need to be mocked in order for their foolishness to be seen and corrected. It's not law, it's wisdom: and indeed it requires a bit of wisdom to know which approach to take in a given situation.
     
  3. UnchartedSpirit

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    but specifically, in Proverbs 16
    "The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for punishment"
    how to I take this?
     
  4. webdog

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    So the declarative statement "will not depart from it", is only a wise saying, and not full truth or promise? My pastor thinks along these same lines, but I have a hard time buying that since ALL of Scripture is inspired from God, that the entire book of Proverbs are only there to give us "wise sayings" and not Biblical truth.
    Then why did it not begin with "Generally speaking..."? I don't see this in the text, but rather "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it "
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Because the genre of proverbs assumes that you already know that. A proverb of old is just like a proverb of new. It describes a basic truth in a memorable fashion. "A stitch in time saves nine" usually works, but not always. A proverb of Scripture is not a legal guarantee. It is a piece of wisdom about living.
     
  6. UnchartedSpirit

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    Pastor Larry? The one that just moved!?!
     
  7. Ransom

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    webdog said:

    So the declarative statement "will not depart from it", is only a wise saying, and not full truth or promise? My pastor thinks along these same lines, but I have a hard time buying that since ALL of Scripture is inspired from God, that the entire book of Proverbs are only there to give us "wise sayings" and not Biblical truth.

    If you infer from what I said that I believe Prov. 22:6 not to be inspired by God nor biblical truth, you have a very active imagination.

    Then why did it not begin with "Generally speaking..."?

    Because proverbs are a literary genre well understood by their intended audience, and therefore there is no need to preface each one with "generally speaking." The original hearers would have understood that as a given.

    As Pastor Larry said, modern proverbs do the same thing. He gave a good example. Here's another: "No news is good news." It ain't necessarily so. (Tell that to the parents who are freaking out over a missing child.)

    I suggest you take a spin through a good commentary on Proverbs, or a decent book on biblical hermeneutics. Fee and Stuart's How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth is very accessible, and is particularly good at explaining the importance to proper interpretation of identifying a passage's literary genre.

    That is why the Church has been given pastors, teachers, and theologians - to understand the meaning of a biblical passage for its day, and to explain the relevance of the passage for ours.

    I don't see this in the text, but rather "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it "

    And how do you explain those children who do depart from it, even though their parents trained them up properly? Is the Bible lying? Or do you simply assume a hidden fault in the parents because you have a presuppositional commitment to a particular (erroneous) interpretation of Scripture?
     
  8. Ransom

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    UnchartedSpirit asked:

    but specifically, in Proverbs 16
    "The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for punishment"
    how to I take this?


    That is a truth taught elsewhere in Scripture. Read Romans 9, for example, where Paul uses it to explain God's freedom in justifying whom he wishes.
     
  9. UnchartedSpirit

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    Perhaps it was just it being NKJV, but I need further explanation of that passage
     
  10. Ransom

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    Perhaps it was just it being NKJV, but I need further explanation of that passage

    In Romans 9:14-18, Paul writes that God raised up Pharaoh and hardened his heart for the express purpose of showing his power and glorifying his own name. If you read Exodus, you know that in the end God was vindicated, and Pharaoh's power annihilated, when God destroyed his army in the Red Sea.

    That is a specific example of God creating the wicked for the day of destruction. Pharaoh was made to play a specific role in the history of the people of God.
     
  11. webdog

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    How did God "harden" Pharaoh's heart? He blessed Israel. Later in the Bible we are told not to harden our hearts as Pharah hardened his. Let Scripture interpret Scripture. It is false to say that God created the wicked for the sole purpose of destruction.
     
  12. webdog

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    If you believe you can lose your salvation, I can see how you can ask this question. If you raise your child to have faith in Christ...and they backslide, they are still secure. They cannot "depart from it"
    No. It would be lying if after raising your child correctly, they did end up in hell.
    Again, this stems from your erroneous stance that a wise saying can be wise...without being truth. Your "either or" view gives the book of Proverbs a "50/50" chance at truth. I will continue to believe it is 100% truth.
     
  13. UnchartedSpirit

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    but Romans 9 seems to contradict the LifeWay Adult Study guides interpetation to Jonah this week...I mean is this is why there are hardcore blasphemers around, just for desturction? Do we still have to preach to them? How do I know if I'm not a vessel for destruction?
     
  14. Ransom

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    webdog said:

    If you believe you can lose your salvation, I can see how you can ask this question.

    I don't believe that, but thanks for simply assuming it without warrant.

    If you raise your child to have faith in Christ...and they backslide, they are still secure. They cannot "depart from it"

    Who says that Prov. 22:6 is about having faith, instead of living a moral life?

    Your "either or" view gives the book of Proverbs a "50/50" chance at truth.

    I have no clue what you are talking about. It certainly bears no resemblance to anything I believe.
     
  15. Ransom

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    UnchartedSpirit said:

    but Romans 9 seems to contradict the LifeWay Adult Study guides interpetation to Jonah this week...

    Uh-huh . . . and which apostle penned the LifeWay Adult Study Guides again?

    I mean is this is why there are hardcore blasphemers around, just for desturction?

    Yes, in one sense.

    Why did Pharaoh harden his heart? Was it because he hated Moses and the Israelites? Or was it because God had ordained a role for him in the redemption of his people Israel that would make God's own power and glory manifest?

    Which is more true? Well, they both are. But which is more fundamentally true?

    Do we still have to preach to them?

    Yes, because God commands that the Gospel go out to all the world (Matt. 28:19).

    How do I know if I'm not a vessel for destruction?

    "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" (2 Cor. 13:4-6).
     
  16. webdog

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    1. I never implied you believed you could lose your salvation. I said "if"...

    2. What does a "moral life" consist of? How does one lead a "moral life" apart from faith? What does "training a child in the way they should grow" mean? How to be polite, kind and a "good person"? If this does not deal with raising a child to love the Lord...I don't know what does.

    3. Since you do not know what I am talking about, your claim that Proverbs is "only wise sayings" means that it is not necessarily ALL TRUTH. For it to be considered "wise", it HAS to consist of truth, as wisdom cannot be false.
     
  17. Ransom

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    3. Since you do not know what I am talking about, your claim that Proverbs is "only wise sayings" means that it is not necessarily ALL TRUTH. For it to be considered "wise", it HAS to consist of truth, as wisdom cannot be false.

    Are you a Jesuit? Your capacity for specious reasoning appears to be right up their alley.
     
  18. webdog

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    Your personal attack aside, claim to state how something not true can be wise? I know reformers think they know it all so please do share.
     
  19. webdog

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    God created no man for the sole purpose of destruction. The Bible says that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth will reveal the meaning of Proverbs 16.
    Yes. You bring up a good point. If man were truly created with the sole purpose of being destroyed, there would be no need to preach to them, and God's command to do so would be foolish. Nothing God does is in vain.
    If you are "in Christ", you will not be a vessel for destruction. If you are not, you will be one.
     
  20. Johnv

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    Seriously? Yes. Literally? They must be taken in the context they were delivered.

    For example, take Song of Solomon. Solomon writes that his lover is the most beautiful of all. Everyone knows that my wife is ten times more beautiful that Solomon's lover ever was!!!

    A literalist view will say that Solomon's lover is factually the most beautiful woman of all. A contextual vies will say that, from Solomon's viewpoint, she was the most beautiful woman to him.

    The contextual viewpoint does not in any way compromise the 100% truthfulnes of scripture. The literalist viewpoint will end up with lots of husbands sleepin on the couch!!
     

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