Monday, January 23, 2006

I Like That..

I couldn't help but visit the Pontificators blog just out of curiosity and found time to inadvisably inject my own underdeveloped remarks about the theological discussion at hand. And while I didn't use the phrase "like flies trying to find their way out of a fly bottle", I sort of like that. I was intrigued by the fact that this person below, presumably, a Catholic, agreed with me, hopefully suggesting a possible much-encompassing accuracy to our remarks. Or we could be way off. At any rate I thought it was cute and had to snatch it up for the record even though I'm not sure what the bulk of his remark is talking about. But you know how those genius' are sometimes:

34. Spirit of Vatican II Says: January 23rd, 2006 at 3:16 am
We wander in what Todd Saunders, above, calls the circular theological trap, like flies trying to find their way out of the fly-bottle.
What is missing is consultation of what the Council called THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
The Gospel articulates itself truly only within open dialogue with the questions of contemporary humankind. A self-contained Christian discourse is by that very token false, an idol.

12 comments:

Rose~ said...

Hi Todd. What is the "Pontificator's Blog"? Is that the name of the blog?

Todd said...

Hi Rose. I was scrolling along on the "blogdomofgod" the other day and finding a blog called "pontifications" I couldn't resist going into it and reading some pontifications. Low and behold, there was Antonio straightening them out on some things. But it was all an endless debate on exactly how each theology read, Calvin, Luther and so on. Nobody really hearing the other person. Although I give Antonio alot of credit because someone has to do it. I think they were deleting Jodie's comments as well due to lack of answers. The guy is a former Episcopalian priest turned Catholic. A catholic author. Just another noise in the big wind tunnel of theological one-ups-man-ship. The post in reference is dated Jan. 19 called "Believe it and you may have it (or maybe not)". He starts out by mischaracterizing Luther, as if a catholic is going to give Luther a fair shot. See you. Todd

Todd said...

Rose, you can reach that blog by going over to Anti-Itch and clicking on Blogdom of God and then scrollong way down the page to blog number 19.

Susan said...

Hi there, Todd.
I just hopped over to your blogpond cuz I really appreciated your comments in that whirlwind of pontification. You were so well-spoken, gracious, and respectful that I wanted to see if you had a blog. Yay! You do.
I especially appreciated your comment: "You will truly succeed at your task ... when you can put it into common vernacular, which Christ did and which James did also." Thanks for speaking for those of us (at the very least, me) who get lost in the exegesispeak.
I also wanted to see an answer to your question regarding how works were not necessarily a prerequisite, but a requisite nonetheless. I understood your point, but didn't see the answer on the blog per se. Maybe it was answered and I just didn't understand it, but I don't think so.
Anywho, I digress... I just wanted to say thanks, and I'm glad I found your blog. I appreciate your keen perception and graciousness.
Incidentally, I also like your blog since your profession (read in your profile) is of interest to our family. We have a gaited horse farm (Kentucky Mountain, Rocky Mountain, and Spotted Saddle), where we breed, train and try to sell a few. Our farm is named Gaits of Grace.
Cya!

Todd said...

Todd said...
Hi Susan,
Glad you're out there blog hopping. Isn't this a good venue for learning how to sort through all of the devisiveness over scripture and get to some semblance of balance. Most of the debating is one-sided agenda bashing, but enough of it's not. It's just hard sometimes not to get sucked into the adolescent shouting matches. I now realize it was pointless for me to try and discuss anything in Evan and Steve's blog. But at least I can search through some ideas and nudge my own thinking further in the direction towards a greater understanding of God's knowledge and wisdon. I am going to make one last comment over at Evan's blog and at least complete the ideas I have going over there. I think that's going to answer your question on my "necessary prerequisite" remarks. I think I'm even going to post them over here just as a sort of record keeping. I would hope he could get serious with a response but we'll see. And I enjoy your grilling me on remarks of mine that I haven't made clear. I've already written a final comment to Evan but I want to leave it sit for half a day and then check it for clarity. It's been fascinating and I continue to learn as I blog. Glad it's the same for you. However, I'm going to get back to my music playing and studying and writing for a few weeks. I've found it's best for me if I do blogging in moderation. Especially as a single parent. You just don't have the time for some of these rambling unfocused discussions.

Hey, great to know you enjoy horses as well. The name of your farm sounds familiar. I've enjoyed gaited horses growing up as well although it was the Amer. Saddlebred. Now up here in N. WI all I care about is trail riding. Well, maybe I'll catch up with you again sometime.

Trying to abide in the joy and knowledge of the Word, Todd

Susan said...

Todd,
I sure hope I didn't give you the impression that I was grilling you on remarks you say that you didn't make clear. To the contrary, you were the clearest breath of fresh air and reason that I read in that entire discussion, which I printed out to read in hard copy (easier than on-screen to my aging eyes) and also to better digest.
What I find fascinating in the blogosphere is the thought-provoking and spirit-stimulating topics previously unbeknownst to me. I had never heard of reformed Calvinism or Arminianism (did I get that right?), but the former strikes me as sound, though I know little about it. Lots of room for growth here, though I need to dig through scripture for validation as opposed to man's exegesis, the latter of which may be necessary but it sure can bring out the flesh in a big way.
I started a blog, but quickly took it down cuz the only thing I could think to share were photos of my daughter, and we hear a lot of sad stories here in Florida about child abduction, so I thought twice about it. I also have little to add to the mix right now. It's just not the right season in my life.
I think it's good if you just blog when you have something to say rather than feel obliged to just stick any ol' thing up there on a daily basis. I went back and read Doulogos' (Daniel's) first few months' blog entries, and I enjoyed how he seemed to relish the writing even when no one was commenting. Maybe all the more so.
Thanks for your diligence in maintaining balance and grace on some of these sites that remind me of my brothers (twins) in their younger days when they were all knock-em-sock-em-oh-yeah-well-you're-the-dodo-head mode.
I'll keep you and your daughter in my prayers. Single parenting isn't easy. It's good you have a Father helping you.
Peace.

Hattigrace said...

Must be a terrific responsibility you have to straighten out the entire Christian world, past and present, and to align them all with your interpretation on Scripture and the history of the church.

Todd said...

Hattigrace,

It's a responsibility we all have, to align ourselves with the one true interpretation of Scripture. There cannot be more than the one. Finding it is not always easy because of all of the bad teaching that abounds throughout the Christian world. And if you are going to entangle yourself in the affairs of tradtion to find Scriptural meaning then, in the short run you'll be comforted, but in the long run you'll be further distracted.

Scripture can be as useful at telling the believer what is not Truth, as it is at telling what is Truth. Alot of the time during the process of arriving at Biblical Truth, it is more important to know, at times, what is not Truth, and then keep on going.

Study the history of the church and all of the man made theologies, it's fascinating, and you'll know all about them, but then you'll be tempted to embrace one, alienating yourself from other believers, and stumbling into the pit of endless and fruitless theological standoffsmanship from other believers.

I realize you did not come here for advice, or to argue, but I'm still going to share with you what has brought me to what I percieve as a good place in relation to God and His Word. And that is; a good current 'literal' translation of the Bible, the NASB or ASB; an approach (helpful teacher is always a good addition)that makes the Bible prove itself, with no one elses excessive words, presupossitions or anything that comes from anyone elses mouth other than biblical text.

Take that for whatever value you find in it or not. Thanks for stopping by with a little candor. By the way, judging from your comments in Doug's blog where we both commented, to me you are a very impressive student of the Word, with a great approach.

Todd

Hattigrace said...

I so agree with you, God is not confused about His Spirit breathed Word. And, in His infinite love and mercy, He has provided a trustworthy interpretation.

If the NASB and ASB is the best (only?) Bible translations for truth, then what happened for the 1900 years of saints before?

I align myself with the fathers of our faith that labored and anguished to define true faith as in the Apostle's Creed. You and I say "the Trinity" like we say "the law of gravity". But for the 1st and 2nd century church, that word was no where in scripture. Heresy abounded (nothing new under the sun), so to distinguish true faith from error, our father's toiled over each word of the Creed.

As they did the canonization of the Bible. For the first 400 years of the church, there was no gathered Word of God. The church stayed in unity under the oral tradition of instruction of the magistrate of the church and the separate writings/letters of the apostles.

Just those two milemarkers of our faith, the Creed and the canonization I believe is worthy of careful and appreciative study. And maybe at that place, the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 and that 1 John 3 admonishes us to will begin.

If we step back and look at the condition of Christianity, as a whole, it does not look healthy, victorious, glorious or gracious and seasoned with humility to the unbelieving world. So, I have to say, what part of the contentious, argumentative, devisive mess am I?

All I knew to do was to go back to the roots of the church, after the apostles were gone, then what? I studied that in The Story of Christian Theology, by Roger Olson, (I think that is his name).

I am not real brainy and he writes at a level I can understand. It is an overview, but even his overview was a much closer look than I had ever taken.

". . .and belief in the truth. . . therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the TRADITIONS which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle(letter). . . may our Lord Jesus Christ. . . comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." 2 Thes2:13-17

The traditions of men were an attempt at salvation and self-righteousness without the Shed Blood of Jesus. God has His traditions, carried on from OT, NT and the church.

I hope you will join me in appreciating and studying the work of our fathers.

Todd said...

Hattigrace,
Everything in your comments that you are saying about the catholic church and even the early church, is of no more than sentimental value to anybody but a catholic. The catholic church was created as a political entity and served it's purpose well but always had a remnant outside of it, and inside of it, that could see the Roman catholic church was merely a political organization. God's Word exists in the texts of scripture, and is totally accessible by anybody who desires to know its Truth.

You said:________________
If the NASB and ASB is the best (only?) Bible translations for truth, then what happened for the 1900 years of saints before?
________________

All we as believers care about is the original Greek texts. And we have access to most of those. In the bible we are looking at letters and scripts that can be verified as being in existence at the time of the appostles and in circulation during their lives in many cases, and in most cases, the lives of the people who knew them, or were taught directly by them. To know what was in those Greek letters of the Apostles we need an accurate rendering of what they literally say, and the ASV is credited with doing a good job with that. The KJV is credited with good literal translation as well, but to me is outdated and hard to read. That is what we have to check the church fathers with. Good literal translations of God's inspired Word. That trumps all church fathers. The only church fathers we care about are the authors of the New Testament and any of their writings that were preserved accurately.

You said:_____________
I align myself with the fathers of our faith that labored and anguished to define true faith as in the Apostle's Creed.... so to distinguish true faith from error, our father's toiled over each word of the Creed.
__________________

I have much more trust in myself in getting meaning from scripture. I have the same transcripts the church fathers did, and in many cases, more reliably dated original Greek material. I couldn't care less how much they toiled, God did not write the word to have to be toiled over by a few and then explained to the rest, but for all to understand. The church fathers toiled over the word, also with the dilemma of how to present it to the rest of the world, that fit in with the world, while keeping the peace, and their postions. They contributed nothing to the Word except their opinions, and only during that time were their opinions needed.

The fact that, for 400 years there was no gathered word of God means that they were at a disadvantage in their evaluations much moreso then we are today. The word of God was subsequently gathered into one useful text and their services were no longer needed. Any oral unity the church stayed in through time is trumped by scripture, and indeed, in some of its careless aspects, the early Roman catholic church did a disservice to pure scripture in many ways. I'm know I am putting this very strongly.

You said_________________
Just those two milemarkers of our faith, the Creed and the canonization I believe is worthy of careful and appreciative study. And maybe at that place, the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 and that 1 John 3 admonishes us to will begin.

_______________________

No, they can be credited as faithful workmen in the Word, some of them, but in their zeal they also became responsible for the beginning of dissunity in the Body of Christ, because the Creed and the canonization took liberty with scripture that scripture does not allow. They helped set in motion the idea that has become a norm which is that God's word is not self-explanatory and needs us to shed light on its real meaning.

You said____________
If we step back and look at the condition of Christianity, as a whole, it does not look healthy, victorious, glorious or gracious and seasoned with humility to the unbelieving world. So, I have to say, what part of the contentious, argumentative, devisive mess am I?
____________________

The Cahtolic theology can be shown to be at odds with scriptural truth, so that would be the part of the mess you have chosen to be.

You said___________
All I knew to do was to go back to the roots of the church, after the apostles were gone, then what? I studied that in The Story of Christian Theology, by Roger Olson, (I think that is his name).
_____________________

The apostles are supposed to be gone and their Word from God is sufficient. Except in the face of teachers who lack accuracy and truness to the entire Word. The Bible is a big book and easy to misrepresent.

You said________________

". . .and belief in the truth. . . therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the TRADITIONS which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle(letter). . . may our Lord Jesus Christ. . . comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." 2 Thes2:13-17

The traditions of men were an attempt at salvation and self-righteousness without the Shed Blood of Jesus. God has His traditions, carried on from OT, NT and the church.

I hope you will join me in appreciating and studying the work of our fathers.
_____________________

We can see many divergent traditions begining in the early church which we have no choice other than to test with biblical principle we know for sure. Principles obtained by the thorough inclusion of all historically documented reliable scripture. Any acceptions open the door to what we see today, everybody chosing their own traditions, and the fractured body of believers, which is not acceptable to God. The traditions Paul was referring to were his teachings, and the other known apostles or people under there direct hands on charge, which were to remain the same through time as when he and they originally taught them, unchanging. Teaching approved by and mentored by him, or the other apostles who had been with Jesus and who Jesus was still using. In many other contexts, biblical traditions are an abomination and distraction, being man-made. There is no biblical principle, that I am aware of, regarding or defining the importance of anything described as a tradition.

I enjoy the hard work of the church fathers with historical fascination and appreciation, but have learned to intentionally steer clear of them when it come to looking for Biblical Truth. If the Truth is not able to be gotten from the Bible today, by the faithful and able believer, then it is truly not Truth, and we are then left with nothing of any value.

This is my view of what you last commented. Hopefully, while you may not agree with everything, it will at least prove to be constructive or useful in some way. It certainly is rushed, but well intended. I am glad that you found a spiritual family in your local catholic church. Afterall, you're doing it with the glory of God in mind.

Todd

Todd said...

Incidentally, for me, Halley's Bible Handbook has been a great resource in showing the documentation and reliability of the ancient scriptural texts we rely upon today.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Yes, Todd. But does your
hubris allow space for
another viewpoint. Or, like
most, are you marinating in
your own creativity?

I challenge you to sample
another reality. reb

www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com