Thread: OBW's Blog
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:45 AM   #19
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,428
Default Re: OBW's Blog

Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I fully believe that we can and do receive revelation concerning how we are to live. We may receive revelation that is specific and even not actually contained in scripture. I would say that scripture says nothing concerning the restricted consumption of alcohol. But you may receive revelation to refrain in all cases. That does not actually contradict scripture, so for yourself it would be proper (and even imperative assuming that it is true revelation) to refrain. But as scripture makes no such prohibition, to make it a point of teaching for others is not scriptural.
I run on revelation, but I don't presume it's extended beyond my borders. It's part of my personal conversation with God. I often bring it up in fellowship with others, but not as a point of teaching, or imposition, but rather to test it against the leading others have from the word. Thankfully, there is a little overlap with others. This encourages me to go on.

Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Then there is the interpretation from the perspective of the reader. This somewhat comes from a view of scripture as “telling a story” that is not always as significant in minute detail as it is in the whole of the presentation. While there are arguments for and against this view, I believe that it is at least somewhat valid. Within this kind of analysis, it might be less important to understand “what did John mean” in terms of specific words, phrases, and sentences, but in terms of the whole of his statements. While the specific statements are not made unimportant, they become subservient to the whole of what he is saying, just as Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians mentioned above were not about the make-up of the trinity but of the nature of the body He received upon resurrection. Context becomes important..
Yes, this is very much how I tend to operate. I try to get the overall theme, to understand the particulars.

For example, look at John's picture of the fall of Babylon. (Rev. 18:9-19). When I saw a satellite image of NYC after 9/11/01, I remembered the word of the merchants and sailors standing far off, and weeping because of the smoke of her burning. I mean, think about the terms: World Trade Center. The terrorists didn't strike some cornfield in Iowa, they attacked the center of world trade. "Cargo of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of thyine wood, and every vessel of ivory, etc, etc. " All of it, up in smoke.

Now, John's word in Revelation chapter 18 helped me understand the attacks in NYC, but I don't think his remarks were only understandable in that context. I think rather he was pointing to a principle, a general trend of wealth aggregation and eventual loss. The rich guy swaggering down the street will eventually get a gun in his face. This is true to NYC, to Rome, to Jerusalem, to anyone who hoards treasure. So the believers in Asia who read his words could "hear what the Spirit is speaking to the churches" just as much as any of us could, with 2,000 years of history and interpretation guiding us.

Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But as much as this, I believe that our faith is as much what we do and practice as what we believe. I do not mean practice in terms of religious rituals, but in how we conduct our lives. Some have questioned whether knowing actually precedes faith. I think that it is always in tandem, progressing from very rudimentary knowledge and action step-by-step through higher and higher levels as sanctification continues. Salvation may be by faith, but without ever seeing something in practical life, I will eventually doubt that faith...
For me, this is to realize and admit that I am at least partly blind. If I think I see, my blindness remains. (John 9:39-41).

When I admit that I am being subjective, I become slightly more objective. When I think I have objective reality in my grasp, I instead have nothing.

But, I am saved from relativism by believing that there in fact does exist a true and objective reality, and this reality is knowable in Jesus the Nazarene, whom God has made both Lord and Christ. I am probably only partway there. Whether I am an inch or a mile away, I am not yet there; I struggle forward. Lee attempted to hold objective truth in his hands, and revealed instead a terrible narcissism that hurt so many who have tried to follow this path of vanity.

Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I will make one comment specifically on your post. You mentioned something being "only partially in the reality." While I understand what you are saying and mostly agree, this notion of there being a yardstick that is "being in the reality" is problematic, especially if it leads to something that is not consistent with scripture. I do not think that is where you are headed, but it is the terminology of the LC and they have clearly used that yardstick to create doctrine that is not only not supported by scripture, but even contradictory in some cases. Such a yardstick is subject to personal manipulation, whether willful or accidental. I return to the notion that even if you want to rank things based on "reality," first, it is subjective and therefore dangerous, and second, it must still align with or within scripture.
Well, according to the record, at one point Apollos was only partly in the reality. He taught the baptism of John the Baptist only (Acts ch. 18). And Peter, when he shrank back when some came "from James" (Gal. ch.2) . And the Judaizers were partly there, partly not. And James, perhaps, as well. The fact that church history speaks of an "episcopal throne" set up after James' tenure in Jerusalem, which the flesh family of Jesus was sought to fill (being of the "line of David", and all) speaks to me of some lack. And the hard word of Jesus toward the "messengers" of the Asian assemblies in Revelations 2 and 3 suggests the possiblility of a trend.

But beyond those seemingly hard and fast examples, I don't want to read too much, lest I myself be found to depart from the truth. I am subjective; I hope that my admission of such is a safeguard from going too far astray, and especially from leading others astray after me.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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