If there is a congregation available, I would suggest you also
try a Conservative congregation for a while.
I enjoy the congregation I have been attending on Friday evenings
for a number of years.
I have also enjoyed the revised Prayer Book. It has been nicely
expanded with poetry, readings by many Jews through the centuries
on the side columns of each page.
Really?! Where do I sign up? Is there a fee?
Daniel 7 is a diagnostic assessment and associated prognosis of the reality of the nature, character and consequential outcomes of two Kingdoms. This locates it squarely within the context of the Great Controversy where God and His Ways are being publically disputed.
Within such a context, only a revelation of reality - evidence that speaks for itself - can vindicate Satan’s allegations and insinuations against God. The ‘accused’ (God) cannot vindicate Himself by by being Supreme Judge and making a determination. If this were possible (which it isn’t) God could have vindicated Himself back at Lucifer’s fall and saved a lot of grief and suffering.
I would propose that scriptural references and allusions to judicial concepts are metaphor to reflect aspects of processes (eg, non-arbitrary and transparent) - not the entire sum of those processes.
When stepping back and viewing the entirety of scripture, we also see the metaphor of healing used extensively. Note particularly the conclusion to the wounding of the Messiah in Isaiah 53:5 - we are healed. If salvation is fundamentally a forensic/judicial process, Isaiah 53:5 should say we are pardoned or declared not guilty or similar rather than healed.
Is there a pre-Advent judgment? I would say that yes there is but only in as much as ‘judgments’ have needed to be ongoingly made by all members of creation ever since Satan voiced his allegations and accusations of God and will need to keep being undertaken until the resolution of the Great Controversy is settled.
I would therefore contend that we have failed to understand the actual nature of Cosmic ‘judgment’.
Always seemed to me that it is pretty vain of people to say it is about us when the conflict is about a judgement of God. Could rephrase the song. I bet you think this judgement is all about you.
You guys are simply reading Adventist theology into Daniel that just isn’t in the text itself. Chapter 7 clearly says that oppressive world kingdoms were under judgement, and that judgement was to be made in favor of the oppressed holy ones that belong to the most high God… the God of Israel. Nowhere is a judgement about God’s character or righteousness seen in the text. Everywhere it suggests that humanity and its forms of power are the subject of judgement, vis a vis how they relate to the rule of God.
Later, in chapter 9, Daniel appeals to God to deliver his people solely on the basis of his mercy and covenant faithfulness…iow, God’s righteousness, not their own. In fact, he says that God was just in his judgement of Israel because of their unfaithfulness. This is in line with the NT where books like Romans and Revelation say that God is just when he judges. This isn’t questioned, nor is there anyplace that says that heavenly beings have God on trial.
Finally, Jesus applied the vision of the son of man coming on clouds from Daniel 7 to himself, to indicate that he would sit as judge of those in the Israel of his day who rejected him, and would oppress those who belonged to him. If God was on trial anywhere, it was at the end of Jesus’s life, where he was convicted and sentenced to death by a kangaroo court, and crucified as a common criminal. But, it was through this that God then vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead, and appointed him as judge of the world. And it was through his death and resurrection that Jesus vindicated the name of God… that God is trustworthy and faithful to his covenant promises.
The idea that God is now put on trial by his creatures flies in the face of all of this, and diminishes what Jesus did at the cross and through his resurrection from the dead.
Thanks for the suggestion, Steve; I visited one years ago and enjoyed it. The friend I visit with is Reformed but I thought if I were Jewish I would probably prefer Conservative Judaism. And I hear that these days many Jews regularly like to visit between synagogues — even Orthodox to Reformed.
When I was younger I felt liturgy was just old-fashioned empty ritual (and I am sure for many church-goers and synagogue-goers it is), but now I have learned to value the centuries of deep wisdom and devotion embedded in a good Prayer Book, and have observed the joy in much of the synagogue congregation as they repeated and sung together familiar things they must have repeated a thousand times through the seasons of their lives. There are certainly positives and negatives to both liturgical and non-liturgical kinds of worship.
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