Because we don’t have a gun in the house to shoot an intruder?
Yes…we do have to be careful that we are not “extrapolating” out the mind of God, etc.
I understand that this paradigm is literally what the NT operates within. I also understand that in our Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment cultures, we have moved past such ancient narratives and worldviews, seeing things in totally naturalistic terms when it comes to this.
However, how does one explain the phenomena of so called demon possession in other societies and cultures, that is still experienced and explained by people in this way today. Is it the outgrowth of superstition, or is there really a personal, malignant force behind evil?
IOW, is Paul’s encouragement to the Roman churches something that we can still take literally, “God will crush Satan under your feet shortly?” The shortly part may be up for debate, but what about the rest?
All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
30 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[ and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today.9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Offer of Life or Death
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deut.29-30.
Kim, This is what you call Bibliolatry.
I will let the “experts” deal with this one for another perspective:
"However, how does one explain the phenomena of so called demon possession in other societies and cultures, that is still experienced and explained by people in this way today. Is it the outgrowth of superstition, or is there really a personal, malignant force behind evil?"
"IOW, is Paul’s encouragement to the Roman churches something that we can still take literally, “God will crush Satan under your feet shortly?” The shortly part may be up for debate, but what about the rest?"
I believe that Paul understood “evil” as Satan…as a literal being.
Your words. The thought was some don’t feel we have a right to take life even when protecting…
What is what I call “Bibliolatry”…there are so many texts. Break it down for me, Patrick.
It seems rather clear to me what it said Kim. Both the Jewish and Christian faiths are built on the premise that the scriptures are God’s word to us…and understandable in most cases. If one chooses not to believe that…fine but it isn’t “The Faith” once delivered to the saints.
What power we humans have…to choose and reject the parts we don’t like.
Dear Patrick Travis. Your questions are important, but they seem to assume that the answer we give can be plotted into the story in Revelation. Alden Thompson and others give good expositions of stories of divine violence in the Old Testament. My main existential concern has been the experience of God’s absence and now here: what is happening in Revelation? And now to the questions: 1. It was God who killed Aaron’s sons (as I recall, fire went out from God), but it is not God who kills in the third angel’s message. 2. God can be righteous in a legal sense even if God tortures according to the principle of “lex talionis”: the punishment should fit the crime. But that is not what God is doing in Revelation despite the massive support for this view.
Yeah, Kim. He, and the entire NT casts the gospel in the vision of kingdom, as did Jesus. Paul speaks of this present age as under the reign of sin, implying realm/kingdom. It has a usurper as ruler or lord, who uses corrupt human power structures, principalities and powers, to enforce his rule. The gospel proclaims Jesus as the one true Lord, in the end establishing his gracious rule.
I have no doubt that it was “clear” to you, Patrick…we have many here that “believe” that they know what “God says”, etc. Should your biblical “interpretation” be superior to others?
I can understand how you see this, Frank.
How do you see the picture if you don’t take the NT literally on these issues, Kim? I’m not saying this critically. I just am interested in knowing what you think.
Great question. I don’t take nearly the entire Bible literally, Frank. There may very well be literalism in some or most of the stories. However, the entire Bible speaks to me of the human condition and the story of God’s love.
Thanks Sigve. I have read some of Alden’s thoughts. So we have OT God that could righteously kill and a NT God that can’t and needs Satan to do it in much of Rev’s judgments? Sin is worthy of death and God chooses the time. But thanks be to God now that we have been justified by His blood we shall be saved from God’s wrath in Him. Rom.5:9.
I’m beginning to believe that current SDA theology is blinded by the Sabbath, whatever one believes about it. Why go back to creation and the old covenant when Christ crucified and risen is the focus of the new covenant, its writers, Revelation and yes, the teachings of Christ.
Commitment, authority and the answer to the charge of God being arbitrary surely must focus on Revelation 5 with Revelation 4 as a backdrop when we try to follow John’s logic.
Revelation 5 highlights the basis for worship. Christ is worthy because He was slain and purchased for God with His blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Creation is basic but there was a fall from grace. The cross is the axle on which the universe turns, to quote Horatius Bonar.
Why focus on the shadow of the Sabbath when the finished work of the Lamb is the reality. The cross, not creation calls forth the praise of the Lamb in heaven’s throne-room. Christ, the slain Lamb, is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, might, honour, glory, blessing and dominion.
Why do we need the Sabbath as a sign when we have Jesus Christ and His shed blood and resurrection as the reality of God’s commitment, authority and faithfulness?
Paul was God’s chosen apostle to the Gentile world. Did Paul focus on Christ or on the Sabbath, on Christ’s finished work on the cross, or on a human work involving a day of worship? Could we ask the same about John and Peter and James, not forgetting Jude and whoever wrote Hebrews?
It isn’t an interpretation of the words I gave you. Words have meaning Kim. You have to explain away meaning to arrive at many of today’s interpretations.
If someone is trying to protect the original music scores of Mozart should they be accused of “Mozartology” or are they simply trying to preserve his music as written.
I agree, Pat. However, the notes on the page are only the bare bones, and only really come alive in the hands of an interpreter, who gets style, phrasing, performance practice, etc. It’s what all classical musicians are engaged in…interpretation. So are we with the Bible, we all engage in the same. But, not all interpretive approaches are equal, I would say…musically or biblically. The challenge is learning to increasingly discern such.
I understand your position. I believe that you may have left Adventism…but much of it still has stuck with you.