Timeout: Revelation and the Crisis of Historicism

(George Tichy) #167

That’s kind of consistent with the SDA mentality. They provide you guidance, and you are supposed to just follow (obey?) it.

Providing Insight may not be safe since people may start thinking by themselves and even ask questions that may not be “convenient.”

No wonder they killed Insight… :roll_eyes: :innocent:


Launched in 1953 as Junior Guide. With the segmentation of the church into “junior” and “earliteen” divisions the name of the magazine was changed from Junior Guide to Guide as of January 1, 1964 and it was focused on elementary school grades 7-8.


Insight was a weekly magazine published from 1970-2017. Its predecessor magazine known as The Youth’s Instructor was established in 1852.


(Robert Lindbeck) #170

Thanks for the correction. I lost touch with all of those on the way out…

(Steve Mga) #171

Yes. “Insight” magazine was for those 13-14 to 17-18 or so.
The time in a persons life when they can begin CRITICAL THINKING.
No longer just thinking in black-white, yes-no, true-untrue.
Critical Thinking allows for looking at things with a 3rd Eye.
Understanding that there can be “Both-And” and being comfortable with “Gray Areas”.

Can it be that the way SDAs train up their children that they never develop the
Critical Thinking abilities. Unable to understand the “Both-And” and the Gray Areas
concepts, and miss the Development of one’s 3rd Eye?
Without Critical Thinking abilities one is an Adult with a Child-like reasoning and dangerous
when it comes to Bible Study – seeing the same things over and over with no new Light
Bulbs being turned on, OR the Ability to screw in an additional Light Bulb.

(Scott M Esh) #172

It really can be explained very simply. Yes, Revelation was to tell the people in those specific literal churches what was to take place, but that does not exclude everyone else. It applies to both time periods, then AND now. If the people who were alive in those churches were the only people the book of Revelation was written to, then why would they need all the information in the rest of the book of Revelation that addresses the second coming and the events leading up to it. According to your interpretation, God wrote a lot of important information that no one could use since they would be dead.

The accidental undertone of that interpretation is that the rest of the people on earth after that time should ignore the text as it does not relate to later ages.

You have a tendency to read a verse try to figure it out, and ignore all of the thousands of verses in the Bible that add to specific understandings. The Bible was not written for historical, cultural, or philosophical reasons, the Bible was written to show us God’s character which in turn shows us what true morality and love are like. We search for the moral impact of the verses, not peripheral stuff. In John 17:3 it specifically tells us that eternal life is only found by discovering what God is like. Luke 24 tells us that the disciples, who had already been with Jesus 3-1/2 years only BEGAN to understand the Bible when they understood in the verses what it said about Christ. When people fail to try to understand the moral tracing of any text, they lose the entire meaning as to why the Bible was written in the first place.

(Scott M Esh) #173

We live in a gray world. The entire reason why the Bible was written was to gradually make everything black and white and remove the gray. The Bible when understood guides our cognitive thinking. When we do cognitive thinking without God’s help, we are simply a runaway humanistic freight train headed for destruction.

(Scott M Esh) #174

If God gave us the book of Revelation, told us that there was a blessing for those who read it, then isn’t it important to take Him seriously and read it? If He gave it to us, then read it. It would be a serious thing to ignore the creator of the universe if it is a message from him.

Here is the reality. If it is from God, then we must seek to understand it. If we don’t believe it is from God, then reject the book. That is the real discussion.

As I read all of these posts, I am extremely saddened by all of the complex theological pseudo intelligence that tries to make the Bible astronomically complex with all the fancy words and crazy hermeneutics promoted. Christ said that that even little children can understand the Bible. Why do we make it so hard?

Romans 1:16 & 17 tell us that the power God uses to save us is found in the revelation of the righteousness of God being revealed to us. The moment we fail to see the character of God in EVERYTHING we read, we learn NOTHING!

The disciples were with Christ in person for 3-1/2 years but Luke 24:44-45 tells us that only after Christ explained the Bible as each passage related to his character that they BEGAN to understand the Bible.

Over and over again I see post after post about theological ideas but totally divorced from any insight as to what the text tells us about God in that text. Until we learn the simple truths about God found in each verse of the Bible, we become nothing more than the blind leading the blind.

As for me, I’m going to try to find out what the little children know about God that all of us hermeneutical, theology experts don’t have a clue of.

If salvation is this hard, then when every knee bows, there will be many hands raised telling God that He is not fair.


This reminds me of my “bible studies” classes in Jr. Academy in the mid 70’s. It was actually just a memorization course of seemingly unrelated verses without context leaving students discombobulated; never really understanding the bible at all. This technique was to allow for listening to topical sermons the rest of your life filled with familiar proof texts from bible and “SOP” without questioning the interpretation since none were actually produced.

(Steve Mga) #176

For about 20 years I was a teacher at an Academy that had a 50-bed nursing home.
It was a work-study program. In the nursing home the girl jobs were primarily nursing
assistant, housekeeping, food service. Boy jobs were nursing assistant, housekeeping,
sometimes food service. They would keep their jobs 9 weeks and then move on, either
in the nursing home, or other areas of campus.
I was an RN. Also Administrator. Sometimes taught the nursing assistant class. I also
taught Health to the Seniors, several years also taught 11th grade Chemistry.
9th and 10th grade students one had to BE VERY SPECIFIC about the tasks, how to
do them, very regimented instruction.
11th and 12th grade students with brain development could think in the Abstract. One
taught them the needed tasks and procedures, but one could also discuss outcomes
and what should look like when finished. They required only minimal supervision as
they could picture the finished job. Once in a while come up with an idea how to
improve doing it.
In other areas of the campus one could use the 11th and 12th graders as junior
supervisors over several students doing tasks.

(Scott M Esh) #177

FVThere are many mistakes being made here.

First , one author citing another. The Bible is very clear that there is only one author of the Bible. It is not authored by different people. Different people wrote what God wanted them to write, and their writings were guided by the Holy Spirit so that they wrote what God wanted them to write. This means that there is no need to have the authors specifically refer to each other. The Bible tells us that ALL SCRIPTURE can be used for learning, and that all scripture never contradicts other scripture because all the writings in the Bible came from a God.

Second, margin references should be taken with a grain of salt. God did not write the margins, humans did, so a margin reference can easily be false. The reality is that a margin reference is nothing more than a single persons idea that two verses MIGHT be linked. Often, the marginal references are totally wrong. No serious Bible scholar pays any attention to marginal references.

As long as the Biblical subject matter is in context and they are talking about the same subject matter, that is the only thing needed. Putting people’s views and opinions above how God wrote the Bible is a fast track to misunderstanding the Bible.

(Scott M Esh) #178

I appreciate your posts, but since almost every other word you write is either a complex word, or a rarely used one, I would have to say that most of the people reading what you write have absolutely no idea what you are talking about because you word things in such a complex way. Perhaps you could use simple words so that the general masses can understand what you say,

(Frankmer7) #179

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census… 1Chr. 21:1

Again, the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go take a census of Israel and Judah.” 2 Sam. 24:1

This is the same incident. One account says Satan provoked David to do what he did, the other says it was YHWH. Which is it? How is this not a contradiction?

To explain this, one needs to get down to the issues of inspiration, inerrancy, and who is really responsible for authorship. This goes beyond blithely saying that God is the author of the bible in some type of Platonist sense, dropping truth from heaven detached from time, space, history, and culture. It minimizes the human role in the writing of the biblical books.

Secondly, where does the bible specifically claim to have no contradictions? What chapter and verse can be cited to support such? I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I’m wondering if this is more of a hermeneutical assumption with which we approach the bible than a claim made by the text itself.

This is also ground that needs to be treaded upon carefully. Proverbs gives the idea that if one obeys God and does righteousness, then all will go well in life. It also assumes that evil behavior leads to calamity and poor outcomes. Psalms largely gives this picture, as well. However, Job, which comes from the skeptical wisdom tradition, stands in tension with this view, showing that righteousness doesn’t necessarily lead to prosperity and happy outcomes in life. That time and chance happen to all people, good and evil, with no apparent way of figuring out why, as Ecclesiastes says.

Our desire is to have the bible speak with one voice on every issue. I don’t think it, or truth, works like that. The bible seems to reveal sometimes complementary and sometimes competing views on different issues. It reveals that truth is often more complex and multi-faceted than a simplistic homogenizing of its contents.

In the end, I do believe that the scriptural narrative is designed to lead us to Jesus, as the NT states over and over. And, while the truth of the gospel is simple, it is not simplistic. Who is more complex to understand than Jesus? We, the church, are still trying to catch up.



(Patrick Travis) #180

1 kings 21:13 offers an explanation to ponder. God accomplishes both, not either or.

(Steve Mga) #181

Chronicles is written “From the Temple” view of the History of the Children of
Samuel and Kings are written from a different view of the History of the Children
of Israel.
That is why there is sometimes a “variation” in what is said about the same incident.


It’s not a contradiction for a couple of reasons.
First, because the two passages are differing in scope. The 1Chron passage is more closeup and only looks at the last link between Satan and David. The 2Sam passage looks at the bigger picture, the wider angle lens, and shows us more, that the unlawful census was indeed God’s idea and He used Satan to put the thought in David’s mind. (Much as the testing of Job was really God’s idea, but the details were left to Satan, who could only operate within the boundaries set by God.)

It’s an interesting incident because it points out the fact that people have differing theologies based on different hermeneutical lenses and thus differing understandings of good and evil, the character of God and of man, and their relationship.

Second, I suggest that the contradiction you see here is not in the Bible but in certain particular Christian theologies due to a set of suppositions that have been taught about God. These include that God never does anything we consider evil (of course, inherent in that assumption is another one - that we are in a position to know good from evil and hence assess God’s actions). Others include that He never uses Satan for His purposes (Paul knew better, see 1Cor5:5 or 1Tim 1:20), and He never interferes with our ‘free will’. The Bible shows all of these assumptions to be false.

We have the habit of reading the Bible to verify our suppositions or assumptions rather than changing our views as we gain new understanding by studying its pages. The former is much easier and less challenging.

(Frankmer7) #183


Where is this link in either passage? Where does the 2Samuel passage indicate what you propose? This is an a priori interpretive assumption with which people approach the passages, but cannot be derived from the text itself.

What I’m pointing to is a textual contradiction…never mind the theological implications. The texts point to two different actors…one says Satan, the other says God. Neither qualifies the other, as if God was using Satan. That is an assumption brought to the text. It is not in it.

With all this said, I’m not saying that these are in total contradiction, Dave. What I am saying is similar to what you are, we all come with assumptions to the biblical text, as if it is saying something that it never says.

The original poster I was responding to said that the bible says that it never contradicts itself. Where in the world does the bible ever say this? It simply doesn’t. That is an assumption we bring to the bible. The biblical authors weren’t even aware that they were writing correspondence that would end up being codified as the scriptures, so they never said such. That wasn’t their concern. It has become ours.

He also said this in conjunction with the statement that God is the author of the bible. That gives the idea that God dropped truth straight from heaven to nearly passive vessels, apart from historical, cultural, and life situations in which the human writers operated. The reality is that inspired writers wrote within these contexts, and saw God and truth from within the framework of these contexts.

I used these particular texts to show that one can’t blithely toss such statements off without digging much more deeply. Both statements about David’s census were conditioned by cultural and theological lenses that were hundreds of years apart, and reveal different perspectives of God. In a sense neither is no less true than the other. However, they reveal that truth is not issued, perceived, or expressed in a cultural or historical vacuum even for the biblical writers.

Additionally, I pointed to the tensions within the wisdom tradition between Proverbs and Psalms on the one hand, and Job and Ecclesiastes on the other. These reveal that truth is not the univocal proclamation of one view, but sometimes a multi faceted affair of voices that stand in tension with one another. Fundamentalist readings of the bible seek to codify its contents according to the former. I think that the bible, and the pursuit of truth, often involves the latter…much more often than we are comfortable with.

Thanks for your thoughts, Dave…



In a nutshell, our teachings about Jesus and salvation (soteriology) and our teachings about prophecy and the end times (eschatology) are like two wet tom cats tied up in a gunnysack.

Ain’t never gonna get along.

We’re not gonna to think our way outta this gunnysack.

We’re not gonna “rigorously exegete” ourselves outta this gunnysack.

We can “enforce policy” until the cows come home.

Still in the gunnysack.

What to do? What to doooo?

Keep your ear to the ground.

Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

The best way to keep your ear to the ground is to assume the prayer posture of Elijah.

This is not some magical thing; it is an expectant and humble attitude of heart.

So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees
I Kings 18

That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
Job 34

On Rejecting the Spirit of Prophecy
(Patrick Travis) #185

I mistakenly did not say 1 kgs.22 yesterday. Ponder. I suggest the two recorded comments about David are not contradictory but complinentary…


I understand the points you were trying to make and largely agree with them. I agree that the Bible never claims it is free of contradictions, as a matter of fact I think God has had many apparent contradictions included to challenge us to want to continue unlocking the riches of His word.

I think God rewards the diligent seeker with additional understanding.
‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings to search out a matter.’ Prov 25:2

I believe God recognizes a sincere seeker, and simple as this sounds, Christ said He would send the Spirit to guide us into truth. We should be ever aware of this. As 2Tim 2:15 says, to be approved of God we must rightly divide the word of truth. The Spirit is to help us do so.

I also agree that we must take into account the historical context of Biblical statements, particularly admonitions. As you know, I really struggle when Adventists quote old covenant obedience requirements for salvation appropriate before the cross and apply them without thinking in our new covenant age.

Also, as you say, the imprecatory prayers of the Psalms are not fitting for our times in which we have been given further understanding of the love of God.

Thanks for trying to get us to stop and at least examine our suppositions and think about what we are reading into a text.

Also as Adventists believe, sometimes we are directed to listen to others who have been given insight. Speaking of which, did you ever wonder why God was angry with Israel and incited David’s unlawful census? If you are interested, here is an explanation I never would have come up with:

BTW, way back in comment #69, Scott asked you about your take on a couple of verses. Unless I missed it, you did not provide an answer. I would also be interested in your take on these verses.