In your previous comment you wrote twice that I was mistaken concerning your intention – in this most recent comment you insist that I didn’t misunderstand you but rather that you believe that I understood – can you please explain your intentions more clearly? Was I mistaken or did I understand?
You didn’t answer my question as to how you came to the conclusion that Jesus was divine – can you please explain how you came to this conclusion?
You did seem to supply an answer as to how you know that Scripture is authoritative – but I didn’t understand it – can you please clarify?
What is your point with the question about Adam and Eve’s worship? (Incidentally I don’t find the question “troublesome” at all.) Can you please spell it out more clearly?
Blessings and peace
I am not going to backtrack and go through your blog and mine in search of those two instances to which you allude. I am willing to take you at your word specifically that that I stated you misunderstood my intentions.
I feel a bit awkward,Yisroel, having to explain my intentions? You, Annelise, Yecheil and others have seen more than a few comments from me. I prefer those words delivered in the spirit of fellowship and edification speak for my intentions. If I said you misunderstood my intentions on the other hand I thought you had understood the meaning in the content of my comments. I will offer a brief comment on these questions. I will post these in several entries because of the allowable word count, but also for easier separation of topics. I do not answer every single question you ask because while its quick and easy to write a question I am not satisfied with a quick, single sentence response. Also, the barrage and range of subject matter questions is a task I cannot respond to every time.
blessing to you, Gil
1) You didn’t answer my question as to how you came to the conclusion that Jesus was divine – can you please explain how you came to this conclusion?
After years of denying God it was He who drew me to seek him in my late twenties. Long story short, I weighed two realities common to Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim and animal and play alike: birth and death. None of us remember our birth. We are told when, where and to whom we were born. It is an event in the past.
This is not so with the specter of death that is before every animal, plant and man alike. Whether one knows or believes the historicity of the account in the garden of Eden; death is ever present.
As much as I was moved by the words Jesus spoke and the things he did it was his open, unapologetic claims before friend and foe, not of divinity as that on which many choke, but concerning his death and resurrection. It was the reality of the resurrection that convicted me and convinced me that this was an extraordinary individual whom I was compelled to get to know.
Ezekiel’s valley of the resurrection of the dry bones was not a lofty, amazing fairy tale. Anyone who regards the prophet’s vision as anything but the very real possibility of what God is capable of doing would probably think there was nothing God would or could do after the fall of Adam and Eve. The extent of the vision that God went beyond a fresh or even a dry corpse to a site littered with disjointed, scattered bones is a mere suggestion of what man, the creation of his hands, forgets God is capable.
Who had ever dared even to think to make a claim of laying down his life and taking it up again? And, if that individual fulfills those words what are the implications or cause to ponder about life and death?
2) You did seem to supply an answer as to how you know that Scripture is authoritative – but I didn’t understand it – can you please clarify?
The word of God was just that when it 1) was in the mind of God before he ever spoke it, 2) after he spoke it to Moses, 3) when it was heard by Moses, 4) when it was orally repeated by Moses, 5) before it was written, 6) after it was written, 7) when it was read, – by the priests, the kings, by the Jews, by Jesus, by the apostles, the saints in Christ.
Scripture is authoritative because of its matter-of-fact, unapologetic claims. The earth and all its fullness is the Lord’s and his word bears testimony that He is able to draw the testimony of the wicked as well as the righteous to declare that the Lord is God.
3) What is your point with the question about Adam and Eve’s worship?
There is no key point about Adam and Eve’s worship to be made, Yisroel. My mention of worship was one of any number of things which one could cite to stake a claim that God never said anything about something. Again, and by way of a refresher, the scripture never states 1) God commanded them to worship, or that 2) God commanded how he wanted them to worship him.
My original mention of this was to apply the same reasoning by Annelise to Deuteronomy 30 when she states God never said anything in that passage about a future king. The general tone of your perspective, please correct me if I”m wrong, is similar: God said he alone was to be worshiped. Anything other than that would be idolatry, God never stated he would send a man whom Israel was to worship. All quite true, Yisroel.
But my point, aside of things God never SAID such as Adam and Eve’s worship and those things God DID, such as a bronze serpent, a wooden arc were not devoid of a message to be understood by Israel and all who read the scriptures. One point of meaning was that a bronze serpent may look like any bronze serpent and may even cause some to choke thinking this is idolatry, except __ that God did it. Another point of meaning was God in box? I don’t say this by way of mockery, but to look at something God did for as many years as he dwelt among Israel in that arc. I for one would not argue by parsing verbs and dissecting nouns to convince myself that REALLY IT WAS NOT GOD who dwelt in that arc. We know of those who paid with their lives for their ignorance and unbelief concerning that arc.
You rushed to make a leap and to awaken me to the realization of how close my point about the bronze serpent as towards openly justifying the worship of a stone. Yet, I had little reason to doubt that you understood me.
peace to you. Gil
My thought earlier about Deuteronomy 30 was not to suggest that it is a comprehensive and final account of everything that Jews were ever supposed to believe or to do. Definitely more could be shown to each generation.
The question is whether the claims about Jesus were from God (in that manner), or not from Him. So when I mentioned Deut 30 it was not as a final proof, but just to point out something strange. These passages were given as simple instructions to Jews in a generation like our own. Of course there are things that aren’t mentioned in that chapter but which are extremely important for such people to respond to God in. But the Christian claim is monumental, and the lack of warning about it in passages like this (and of any unambiguous reference to it in all the Jewish scriptures) really is a big issue.
“Also, the barrage and range of subject matter questions is a task I cannot respond to every time.”
Understood, Annelisse. I didn’t think you were pressing for Deuteronomy 30 as a comprehensive and final account and I certainly didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. Unfortunately that’s what happens too often in these discussions because we trust the other has the familiarity to understand the details which we leave out in the interest of brevity.
I really appreciate the three way participation between you, Yisroel and myself to read each other’s comments even when not addressed to us directly.
Happy Thanksgiving, Annelisse!! (even if you live in Australia)
Thank you, Gil! I didn’t realise that it was Thanksgiving, but I hope you had a joyful one.
I’ll reply to your comments to me on this blog and on yours in a little while. I just finished exams and I’m happy with how they went, but really tired as well… I’m trying to stay away from written words for a day or two. For a few weeks I’m also trying not to be involved in this Jewish-Christian conversation because I need some space just with God after a pretty big year of decisions that first came from this context. But our conversation is a valuable one, so it’s become an exception. I’ll get back to you soon.
Shabbat Shalom 🙂
Blessings and peace among men with whom God is well pleased