1 Cor 1-17

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129 Responses

  1. “In a church with thousands of divisions, what does Pauls appeal mean?”

    I think that this statement is a bit leading. Because we have differences, does not mean that we have divisions.(I am not denying that there are divisions out there – but I am saying that a difference of doctrine or style does not necessitate a division.)

  2. erunner says:

    “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:”

    I think of sanctification or being set apart here. The Corinthians were srounded by every type of evil and although they were physically among these people at the same time they were set apart. This letter would not just be read by the Corinthians and Paul very well have wanted this same desire to be communicated to the different churches where it would be shared.

    This certainly applies to each of us today as we are faced with the same circumstances all these years later. Paul desired that everyone would come to a place in their lives where they/we could live that set apart life. Being in the world but yet not a part of it. Ambassadors if you will.

  3. Em says:

    i guess Paul is appealing to the all the churches to get centered in Christ’s (finished) work on the cross as our entrance into the Kingdom … to catch on to the fact that redemption is a simple message that doesn’t need us hanging anything on it? it’s all Christ

    confessing that the i’m enjoying the rest of 1 Corinthians 1 this morning

  4. Steve Wright says:

    Paul’s appeal was made to one church. A specific church in Corinth. I think we err when we immediately seek to interpret through our present lens of multiple denominations and sub-denominations and independents and immediately assume the Body of Christ today is in opposition to this chapter.

    Start there. Imagine Paul addressing your specific church (by ‘your’ I mean the reader not Michael per se). One’s individual church having those strong divisions within it.

    It also sets the stage for the rest of the book. Specifically some of the discussions on lawsuits, divorce, communion…

    Of course, there is a present application, or else it wouldn’t be in the Bible. But to get there, we have to start at foundation of context.

  5. erunner says:

    “In a church with thousands of divisions, what does Paul’s appeal mean?”

    This brings the word schisms to mind. Here we have a church not far removed from the actual life of Christ already slipping away from the unity that Christ so desired for the church. People were putting mere men in place of Christ and Paul was appealing to them to not go down that road. Sadly the pervasive sin that was Corinth also came calling and although the Corinthian church lacked in none of the gifts they had already fallen away from their growth in Christ and of sanctification into all of the sins and more that permeated Corinth.

  6. Shaun Sells says:

    Paul asks three rhetorical question:
    1. Has Christ been divided?
    2. Paul was not crucified for you, was he?
    3. Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

    The point of those questions is to show the basis of our unity and fellowship is Jesus Christ. When we forget that and group according to rock stars; i.e. “I am of Luther”, “I am of Calvin”, “I am of erunner”; we will see be in danger of having divisions. When we are in conflict with other believers we should start with an appeal to the gospel for unity.

    Just some food for thought.

  7. What is this passage commanding us to do?

    Paul wants the Corinthians (and by extension us) to be united in mind and judgement. United in the mind of Christ and to judge using the mind of the Lord (1 Cor. 2:14-16).

    What does it mean to be “called to be saints together with all those in who in every place call on the name of the Lord?”

    That all of christians have been called by God and to remember your common Lord. I think the phrase “both their Lord and ours” is meant to give us that crucial element that we always need to remember when we have differences with other christians.

    In a church with thousands of divisions, what does Pauls appeal mean?

    Solely judging by what else he refers to in the divisions in the Corinthian church, I would say that he is telling us to watch out when following men and not to get conceited because you follow “such and such” a leader. And to remember our common head, Christ.

    I am layperson, and by no means a theologian, so feel free to speak up and say what you will about what I see. I will not be offended. 🙂

  8. Em says:

    D.T., from a plain old pew sitter’s vantage point – you picked up on the most fundamental failure (it erupts all over the place, dogs us like sin, itself) “not to get conceited because you follow “such and such” a leader.” conceit = pride, does it not? God hates pride – for a lot of reasons, if we think on it

  9. Nomans says:

    Sorry to be simple in answering, but I think it means God loves unity. I am also of the mind that God never calls us to do anything He won’t empower us for.
    Things like… unity.
    🙂

  10. Nomans says:

    “lest the cross be emptied of its power” Woo… that’s a show stopping statement. Makes me pay very close attention of Paul’s admonition.

  11. Nomans “Woo” indeed – amen

  12. covered says:

    erunner makes a great observation with regards to “schisms” with his comment #5. I believe this is the area that Michael wants us consider. We will have “schisms” and to believe we can all be in one accord all the time is not reasonable. Going back to schisms though which we will always have, Paul tells us that, “the members should have the same care for one another”. To me, this is where the rubber meets the road. How are we responding to our “schisms”? Getting attacked for disagreeing is not the example set for us. While I may not agree with MLD, I look forward to meeting him someday and discussing the things I may disagree with. The same goes for Alex. It is difficult to watch some of the dialogue here when it’s 2 or 3 going at it the same way we did before Christ. When we can disagree and yet still know that at the end of the day the same care is still there, it changes things. I’m a much better learner when I’m not getting beat up.

  13. Covered,
    See, I don’t see what we do here, disagreeing about doctrine, as “schism”. I think we all agree who Christ is and our place “in Christ”.We disagree as to what that looks like – usually in a worship service.

    Meet me for coffee some day. 🙂

  14. The same Paul who spoke of this unity is the same Paul who gave Mark and Silas the left foot of fellowship.

  15. Em says:

    can we say, in effect, “you are my brother/sister in Christ and you are not giving Him the respect due in your interpretation of Scripture?” i think we can and should … every now and then a comment pops up with the declaration, “you’re no Christian!” and that’s a wrong thing for any of us to say – in 99% of the cases … can you have 99% of two or three? 🙂

    MLD’s #14 is a point well taken – sometimes we have to say, “i’m outta here” … and it in no way condemns the annoying one to eternal damnation

  16. covered says:

    MLD, I agree with you that disagreeing with scripture isn’t a schism. I think it’s natural given our nature to disagree. My point was stated very eloquently by EM that as brother’s and sister’s in Christ, there’s an amount of respect or in Paul’s words, care for one another that should always be used. Just for the record, I do not believe that you disrespect others on this blog. I love Paul’s exhortation in Romans, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men”.

    I also want to apologize to Michael for presuming I knew why he led us where he did today. Maybe he wasn’t seeking application as much as he was interpretation.

  17. Paul wasn’t referring to divisions here as doctrinal differences. He was instead getting onto them for either preferring one man’s preaching over another, or preferring no man’s preaching (the reference to “I follow Christ, ouch Red Letter Xians) He doesn’t condemn anyones’s preaching as bad, but instead reprimands the listeners and eventually points them back to He who gives growth. And says he used them as examples in Chap 4., so that the listeners will not “go beyond what is written” or be “puffed up in favor of one against another” (Pride right there Em). So it seems the ultimate lesson is to deflate our own egos and as for “what is written” it seems to reference the OT passages he has quoted so far all about boasting in the Lord and the wisdom of those who think themselves wise. If we boast in the Lord, we won’t think ourselves wise and won’t see others that way and so see all these teachers clearly and accept good teaching no matter which preacher delivers it.

  18. Alex says:

    I think we don’t have a clue what it means and we can pretty much make the passage say whatever we want even though it seems pretty simple and straightforward.

    I think, much like the simple Qualifications (and so much else that appears simple)…leadership will make it say whatever they want and offer up excuses like:

    “Well, we can’t all be unified in reality, that’s impossible, so it can’t be applicable to us all…it has to be isolated to a very hyper-local situation and is meant as a general, but not really applicable in real-life, principle. Unless, of course, you disagree with ME the leader, then you are in violation of this passage and causing DIVISION! REPENT ye heathen!”

  19. Alex, you need to address your bitterness at some point. It is disturbing.

  20. I doesn’t matter what the topic, what thread it is about – all topics come down to Alex’s issue.

    This will be my only Alex comment on this Bible study thread.

  21. pardon ze interrupcion. says:

    Here’s my take: language being what it is, it probably meant one thing then and another thing now. Lol.

  22. pardon ze interrupcion. says:

    Alex. My background is so similar to yours it’s scary. But I prefer keeping my mouth shut.

  23. Scott says:

    One way that I think we can have unity is to stop making the first thing you (pluralistic) ask a person when you meet them and find out they are a Christian, “WHAT CHURCH DO YOU ATTEND?”.

  24. ( |o )====::: says:

    Regarding us “Red Letter” peeps, it’s not that big of an issue. We see the church for what it is, and what it could be, just as all the ones who line up behind other honorable humans.

    “What is this passage commanding us to do?”
    Get along, be tolerant, kind, cutting each other slack.

    “What does it mean to be “called to be saints together with all those in who in every place call on the name of the Lord?””
    Accept the potential to be a blessing to others, and give it a try more often than not.

    “In a church with thousands of divisions, what does Pauls appeal mean?”
    Enrich each other, live life fully, learn as we go, move on beyond the hurts and create our own stellar and unique lives, living graciously.

    Now I’m gonna get into traffic and see just how long my dreaming plays out, probably as long as Paul’s… 😉

  25. ( |o )====::: says:

    PZI,
    Sorry to hear that, hoping you’re discovering the joy of being your own person.
    Say “Hi!” to Costco Cal

  26. erunner says:

    What I respect from Paul in this letter is his tone early on. Later we learn just how bad things were in Corinth but Paul opens with a loving tone. I imagine a loving father writing with sadness to a wandering son. He doesn’t go for the TKO but instead writes in humility.

    The lack of unity he immediately addresses. He didn’t launch into specifics of what this lack of unity led to.

    As I re-read this the question that comes to mind is the lack of unity a gateway sin as some might say marijuana is a gateway drug? If the Corinthians were bonded in the unity of love could they have avoided much of what we read of later on?

    I know where there are schisms pride has gotten a foothold. Pride was the great sin of Lucifer which led to his expulsion from the Heavenlies along with a third of the angels.

    So how do we look at divisions/schisms? Maybe we haven’t looked hard enough…

    If my thoughts need correction I would appreciate it. When I get to thinking on a portion of scripture like this I tend to see what may not be there.

  27. Michael says:

    A few thoughts here before I take my sick self to bed.

    1.”called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours”.
    The Body of Christ is a big family and we are “in fellowship” with everyone, everywhere that calls Jesus Lord. Regardless of geography or affiliation, we are family.

    2.We have been and are being sanctified, set apart as different from the prevailing culture and it’s by those differences that we should be able to recognize each other.

    3.”Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Paul was going to say some hard things to this church…but they were to be spoken under an umbrella of grace from God and an understanding that God was at peace with them despite their failings.

    4. The division spoken of here was along the lines of celebrity pastors…and Paul wanted to remind them that the power was in the message, not the messenger. In fact, lifting up the messenger served to rob the message of it’s power. “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

    5. I’ll repeat it again…the corrections given are rehabilitative, not retributive…given in love and thankfulness that these folks were part of the family.

    6. Lastly, note how often Paul speaks of Jesus…his whole message is centered on the person and work of Christ.

    Grace and peace to you all…

  28. Great thoughts Michael!
    I hope those antibiotics kick in soon.

  29. Reuben says:

    I have no idea what Steve said, but am in 100% agreement with Michael.

  30. Nonnie says:

    Michael’s number 27……beautiful teaching…..”but they were to be spoken under an umbrella of grace from God and an understanding that God was at peace with them despite their failings.” Excellent!

  31. Not a Lutheran says:

    Where churches cannot agree on a common confession, the basis for church fellowship does not exist.” (Lutheran Understanding of Church Fellowship, p. 5)
    2. Altar and pulpit fellowship is a relationship which signifies agreement not only in a church body’s formal statements but also agreement in the implementation of the formal confessions of a church body in its actual life and practice.

    And this is why I’m not a Missouri Synod Lutheran

  32. Not a Lutheran,
    If you think it is worthy to be in fellowship (make sure you properly understand the word) with people with whom you do not hold a common confession – that is your right as an American.

    For example since Mormons and JWs have a different confession – do you take communion with them?

    I know that you do not understand Altar and Pulpit fellowship so I will not comment.

    But I do like how you point out LCMS – because the ELCA does exactly what you profess – they will commune with anyone, commune with anyone and let anyone, regardless of opposing confessions into their pulpits.

    Remember, don’t be so open minded that your brains fall out. 😉

  33. As I think about this more – I wonder how many here hold the same view as me, where I restrict where I will take communion.

    So, if you go to a wedding and the pastor is openly gay, in a gay affirming church – are you going up for communion?

    Has your church ever hired a Lutheran pastor to fill it’s pulpit?

    If your answer is no, then you are just like me. We may draw the line in a slightly different place – but we draw the line.

  34. Nonnie says:

    MLD, yes agreed that different Christians will not agree on communion and may not partake of it in churches that view the elements differently. However, Paul says, “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours…” Are you saying that if you and I differ on our view of communion, that we cannot have the fellowship of rejoicing in the finished work of Christ, fellowship in praying for one another’s grandchildren, fellowship in sharing how God has ministered to us through His word today. I have visited a lot of churches and there are many I would never want to attend on regular basis, disagreeing with certain teachings and even how the service was conducted. However, after the service, I have always found myself having sweet fellowship, speaking of Jesus, praying for another, encouraging another or being encouraged in the grace of God. What say you?

  35. Michael says:

    I would say that I’m in communion with all who call on the name of Christ regardless of what their beliefs are about the Eucharist.

    Their beliefs don’t change what is actually happening at the table…

  36. Papias says:

    Michael’s #27 was right on.

    MLD – “The same Paul who spoke of this unity is the same Paul who gave Mark and Silas the left foot of fellowship.”

    Hopefully, I am not misunderstanding your point here. Paul later wrote that Mark was of value to him. He didn’t write off either of them. They had a disagreement over bringing Mark with them on mission, and Mark being related to Silas….things got “sharp”.

    So when Paul speaks of unity, even “sharp disagreement” does not break unity.

    Our unity is under Jesus and the Cross. Nothing add or taken away. If I have unity with other “flavors” of the faith, its all under the Cross. For example, I disagree with CC on Pastoral and financial accountability, but I have unity under the Cross with them.

    We should be able to discuss ALL the secondary issues of our faith without flaming each other, and I wish we could we could do it for politics as well, but I am too cynical to believe that could happen. 😉

    This is a much needed discussion – thanks Michael.

  37. Nonnie says:

    Amen to Michael’s 35!

  38. Paps,
    “So when Paul speaks of unity, even “sharp disagreement” does not break unity.”

    That has been my point all along – I do not think that we do anything here on the PP that can be called “not unity”.

    I used Paul as my example to those who think everything has to be smoothed over so we are not divisive. Paul, in unity, said “get outta here, Mark!”

  39. covered says:

    Papias, your #36 reminded me of something that always makes me smile. My wife loves others almost to a fault. She’s kind to everyone and always feels the need to find the person sitting alone so she can love on them. When someone recently stabbed me in the back she said to me, “I never want to see that person again until I get to heaven”. For some reason I see unity but it’s at a distance 🙂

  40. Nonnie,
    “Are you saying that if you and I differ on our view of communion, that we cannot have the fellowship of rejoicing in the finished work of Christ,..”

    Of course we can – but it is a matter of how spiritually intimate we can be.

    Take communion itself for example – how do we walk together in communion if we sharply disagree (1) what we are doing (2) for what purpose we are doing it and (3) and what we are doing it with?

    Now, I find that most non litugical types are willing to cast those differences to the wind and just say “it’s not important – just do it.” That may be fine for some.

    Now, can I go to a Superbowl party with a bunch of brothers and sisters – no problem – but I get the feeling from some that communion and Superbowl parties are on the same “fellowship” level.

  41. Papias says:

    MLD – That’s what I thought you were saying. 🙂

    Covered – “I never want to see that person again until I get to heaven”. Thats a good one. I have a few people that applies to as well…..

    Under the umbrella of unity, I guess that my question boils down to this:

    How do we ask for change in an organization?

    Is it even possible to ask an org to change?

    PonderingPapias

  42. Em says:

    maybe, not saying it’s true, but MAYBE it is the Lord’s plan that we be scattered and divided in our fellowships for the very reason that it prompts us to examine and defend our understanding of the Faith … if so, not saying it is, but if it is, then none of us should be too smug to enjoy Christ together … i am sure that in Eternity we will still be learning and unlearning a great deal …
    However, i am doubtful – very doubtful – that one can defend and deny Immanuel, the Lamb supplied by God, Himself is Himself our Redeemer – Great God, what a staggering victory is in process

    just sayin

  43. Papias,
    “How do we ask for change in an organization?
    Is it even possible to ask an org to change?”

    We either stay and seek to be the change we want to see, or we move to an environment which encourages innovation and practices close to what we want to experience.

    I might add, avoid getting to know too much beyond what you can handle. 😉

  44. papiaslogia says:

    I hear ya Gman. Just seems like an either/or proposition, and the fighting against the machine gets …..tiring.

    Just finished rereading The Hobbit last night, and this quote at the end stuck with me:

    “Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

  45. Bob says:

    Not a Lutheran

    MLD makes it very clear he fellowships at football, beers and PP but not in confession, the altar and pulpit. These are major distinctions for his denomination.

    To not “fellowship,” according to the synod’s publication, in these areas are essentials of the faith and do divide according to the scripture mentioned in this thread.

    MLD, himself, compared this to allowing a Mormon with the application being those who disagree on the Eucharist position of the synod.

    Conclusion. We can agree on beer and sports but fellowship over “essentials” will never happen.

  46. London says:

    1. I don’t see that is “commanding” us to do anything.
    Pretty sure Paul isn’t in charge, so he doesn’t get to make commandments.
    Plus, in that version at least, he says he’s appealing which is not the same as commanding.
    He’s suggesting, or pleading (think Rodney King) that we all get along, put our priorities where they belong – on following Jesus, not the leader du jour.

    2. To be called saints together along with everyone else who calls on the name of the Lord. You’re a small part of a very big picture. No better, no less than anyone else. I’m not a fan of war images, but it makeshift thing of being just one foot soldiers in a huge block of soliders storming a castle. Everyone under the same flag, moving as they’ve been directed.
    Or…everyone in a MASSIVE orchestra playing there part to make up the entirety of the song if you choose.

    3. Paul’s appeal means we mucked something up along the way….

  47. Em says:

    FWIW – i think London just hit on something important – are Paul’s directions commandments? perhaps, that has caused a lot of distortions in interpreting his writings? we miss the principle behind what he is saying? … for instance, he spoke of head coverings for women inside church buildings/meetings … fancy, sometimes flirtatious millinery was what that evolved into – i think, our foremothers missed his point entirely and, of course, there’s more and more debatable Paul – but when he speaks, i listen non-the-less … 🙂

  48. Bob,
    It’s not “fellowship over the essentials” but a matter of are our essentials in line. Look, I don’t commune with Roman Catholics for the same reason –
    1.) we don’t agree why were are there – they are there for a re sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist – I am not.
    2.) We don’t agree on what we are taking in our mouth – they believe that the bread and wine have changed from one form to another (bread to flesh, wine to blood) – I don’t – as I believe the bread is bread and the wine is wine, but in, with and under that is the real body and blood of Jesus)

    So how are we in “communion” under these circumstances? Do you commune with the RCC?

    When Jesus said “do this in remembrance of me” the question I ask is “do what?”

  49. And we are in fellowship for confession – I will listen to yours anytime. 🙂

  50. Paul A. Lytton says:

    I am sure this is debatable but I personally take communion for the sole purpose that Jesus Himself said to “Do this in membrane of me”. It is between Him and me, not me and the others. I am not remembering anything about the other people I take it with, only Him.

  51. PP Vet says:

    I would hope to be able to enjoy the unity of the spirit with anyone who confesses Christ and has a lifestyle that meets the Christian Very Vague Standard of Acceptability (VVSA).

  52. Steve Wright nailed it for me in comment 4

  53. I must say I am enjoying reading this thread a lot.
    Nothing to add, just gonna read and think.

  54. Alex says:

    Well, this illustrates the transitory nature of Truth and the explaining away of “simple” reading of Scripture. My guess is that no post-Reformation protestant could view this passage any other way than Steve W. articulates below…w/o admitting error.

    Steve Wright said, “Paul’s appeal was made to one church. A specific church in Corinth. I think we err when we immediately seek to interpret through our present lens of multiple denominations and sub-denominations and independents and immediately assume the Body of Christ today is in opposition to this chapter.

    Start there. Imagine Paul addressing your specific church (by ‘your’ I mean the reader not Michael per se). One’s individual church having those strong divisions within it.

    It also sets the stage for the rest of the book. Specifically some of the discussions on lawsuits, divorce, communion…

    Of course, there is a present application, or else it wouldn’t be in the Bible. But to get there, we have to start at foundation of context.”

    Context, LOL. Steve, you’ve turned what could very well be a Universal Principle into a very local contextual Relative/Subjective truth…which is fine…but you make Universals out of other similar teachings of Paul, w/o any consistent rational to do so, other than fitting the meaning into your preconceived Box.

    Steve’s example of localizing what very well could be a Universal teaching…and Steve’s example of Universalizing what very well could be a local teaching in other areas…is indicative of the inconsistent and Subjective nature of Scripture interpretation by many in Christianity. It is glaring from a Philosophical Logic perspective…like a giant neon billboard flashing “You’re Picking and Choosing Based on Your Preconceived Notions and Fitting Simple Reading of Scripture Into Your Chosen Box”

    Much of our Truth is transitory and Relative/Subjective as illustrated by Steve’s example above…contrasted with other similar passages he argues much differently.

  55. Alex says:

    Derek said, “Alex, you need to address your bitterness at some point. It is disturbing.”

    You’re judging, don’t be so judgmental. You sound bitter. You should pray about that.

    MLD said, “I doesn’t matter what the topic, what thread it is about – all topics come down to Alex’s issue.This will be my only Alex comment on this Bible study thread.”

    You’re projecting here. You’re the one making it about me, I simply gave my take on the subject…and my take is all I got. Do you want me to give your take or someone else’s take instead?

    pardon ze interrupcion. said, “Alex. My background is so similar to yours it’s scary. But I prefer keeping my mouth shut.”

    Sorry to hear that PZI. Sucks don’t it? I kept my mouth shut for a long long time and watched more folks and more family get hurt by doing so. I came under conviction that was the wrong approach…so I opened my mouth and spoke up.

  56. LOL – once again Alex, all I can say is that the Master’s College education did not serve you well. Obviously you learned nothing about “the implied reader”. Who was this directed to and for what purpose. You have to use that as a starting point. You cannot begin with “what does this mean to me?”… in fact you can’t even end there.

    Do you really believe that Paul was writing to you and your church? No! You can take the principles for application but that is about it.

    Look at Galatians – is Paul writing to you and your church because some brothers from Jerusalem followed him into Boise and corrupted Paul’s teachings that he had entrusted to your pastor?

  57. “Do you want me to give your take or someone else’s take instead?”

    It would be more accurate. 🙂

  58. Alex says:

    To follow the Logic/Rationale of a Steve W’s position (and it’s not that I’m picking on Steve b/c of CC, it’s b/c he’s the one who presented the Rationale and Dread amen’d it):

    If Paul’s Commands in this passage are Localized and not a Universal…then

    (Note the “if” and “then” above)

    …then to be consistent, one would have to assume that others of Paul’s commands to specific literal churches and locales is to be treated the same…no?

    Yet, many times folks teach as Universals applicable to today the teaching of Paul to a specific local congregation…yet in this instance, it is hyper-local and not necessarily applicable to the divisions of 9,000-30,000+ denominations and splintering we see in existence today.

    It’s a convenient method of Scripture interpretation…not very intellectually honest or consistent…but I see how it benefits the leadership in protestantism in the flexibility to create Universal Truths when it fits their Box…and localize and Relativize other Truths and commands that contradict their current practice.

    …just callin’ it as it is from a Philosophical Logic perspective…again noting that much of “Truth” in Scripture is really man’s particular interpretation of Scripture and not necessarily what God actually intended through what was recorded as Scripture.

  59. No, MLD is right…it all threads do eventually lead to Alex. Why, because Alex eventually turns them all towards himself.
    Don’t worry about replying to me Alex, because I am not taking the Alex troll bait anymore.

  60. When Paul says “you foolish Galatians” is he really saying “You foolish (fill in the blank of your city when you read this)?”

  61. Alex says:

    MLD, I’ll leave you to your obtusity. It has become apparent to me that no amount of education in the subject of Reason will do any good directed to you. You appear quite comfortable in your delusion and ignorance and inconsistent Belief System that is long on a patch-work quilt-like hodge-podge of other people’s positions…and short on critical thinking and reason. Don’t worry, you have a lot of company 😉

  62. Alex says:

    Derek, as the blog host famously says, bite me. I couldn’t care less. It’s not about you or me etc. I’m expressing my take on the subject of this thread. If you don’t like it, STFU.

  63. Alex says:

    I know some of you don’t like your comfort zones challenged, but in the real world outside some of the Bubbles you’re comfortable in…the inconsistency in the treatment of Scripture is very noticeable. If you can’t stomach it, I suggest you skip past my posts. I’m giving my take on the subject from a philosophical logic perspective…and I was told by Rolph and others that Scripture is entirely “reasonable” and “logical”…so if it is…then I’m applying the discipline to the passages and the interpretations expressed in this thread.

  64. Michael says:

    Just got home.
    See that Alex has now told both the blog owner and a reader to “stfu”.
    I’ve had enough now.

  65. MLD, when you said ” with and under that is the real body and blood of Jesus” what do you exactly mean by that?

  66. Alex, you can use all the “big” words and put special words in Caps and talk philosophically, and about reason etc – but in the end, you are the one who comes to the conclusion that we can know no truth… wait Truth, from the Bible.

    So I guess I will stay with my obtusity and comfort zone, falsely believing that God speaks clearly and does not stutter. Let me use a big Alex term – I believe in the perspicuity of Scripture.

  67. Derek, thanks for asking.
    There are 3 main ways to look at the elements of communion
    1.) The RRC view is that the elements begin as bread and wine – but by the time they hit your mouth, they have changed to flesh and blood. No more bread and wine, just body just flesh and blood.

    2.) The memorial view begins with bread and wine and stays bread and wine all the way through.

    3.) The Lutheran position is that the elements begin as bread and wine and at the time of the institution, the real body and blood become present with the bread and wine – so we start with bread and wind and end up with bread and body along with wind and blood.

    4.) There is also the Reformed view but that is too weird – that’s just a shout out to Michael. 😉

    Since it is a mystery, and pretty much unexplainable through natural senses and reason, the term “in, with and under” was coined to describe it.

  68. Yeah, I was raised in the Christian Church (Church of Christ w/instruments and a bit more liberal in dress) and subscribed to the memorial view. Go to a Baptist church now, still memorial view.
    So, what is the institution? It doesn’t seem different from the RCC view much.
    You can leave an answer, I have to get ready to go to bed, my day starts early.
    Sorry for the agitation, Michael. I had some to do with it with my response and for that I am sorry.

  69. Michael says:

    To simplify, the Reformed view is that Christ is spiritually present in the elements and they are a means of grace to the Body.

  70. Fly on a Wall says:

    Alex, I’ve stood up for you before in this blog. Please don’t make me regret my decision.

    Alex, the more I think about it, i’m convinced the Holy Spirit writes your blog. Your much more coherent, understanding, and NICE over there.

    Please try to show the people here the same respect.

  71. papiaslogia,
    Love the new screen name, btw. 😉

    I’m in a season of choosing to be “free range” and fellowshipping with individuals, occasionally attending seasonal or family inspired religious services.

    Like you mentioned, “The Machine”, its all just too wearisome. I’ve seen too much, still do, even in my current, self imposed very limited ecclesiastical opportunities to serve.

    I just keep trying to stay focused on Jesus because everything else has proven to be so sadly flawed, especially me.

  72. Derek,
    “So, what is the institution? It doesn’t seem different from the RCC view much.”

    the institution of the Lord’s Supper is as follows

    “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread,
    and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and
    said: Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you. This do in
    remembrance of me. In the same way also He took the cup after supper,
    and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: Drink of it, all
    of you; this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for
    the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance
    of me.”

    In practice it is not much different than the RCC view – we differ in purpose, that we do not think it is a recreation of Christ’s sacrifice and we differ as I said above that we do not think the bread and wine disappear.

    But we are much closer to the RCC view than we are the memorial view. If Jesus said “this is my body, we take him at his word that his body is there. There are better words in the original language if Jesus had wanted to say “this represents my body” or “this is symbolic of my body.”

  73. Bob says:

    Before I leave this conversation and disappear into the internet mist I thought I would again respond to the misdirection and boorish statements so often tossed out by MLD, the number one poster here.

    The issue of essentials and division so often attributed to the various doctrines and practices of the worlds denominations I believe has been summed up quite well by this article, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html.

    While I am neither Catholic or Lutheran the authors of this long article bring up quite well the issues of doctrine, practice and justification and how they may be harmonized between differing views. Does this achieve what Paul desired and the point of this thread? I think it does a good job of it and is worth reading.

  74. And the LCMS refused to participate let alone sign such a document.

    But Bob I ask this – would you as a representative of your church sign this document? The Lutheran Worldwide organization that did sign this gave 100% to the RCC and received nothing back.

    Trent is still 100% in place – those who hold to faith alone are still cursed to anathema by Rome. There are at least a dozen canons that assign us to hell. I should at least say assign Lutherans to hell, since I do not know the position you hold. You may have given up enough for the sake of “unity” to warrant full fellowship… I don’t know.

  75. At some point last night, I realized what you meant by the Institution. Just having a brain fart there.
    As a memorialist, I have always seen Jesus statements, in the light of his body and blood still being physically present there, as Him pointing out to the disciples that it was a ceremony.
    As to the reformed view, I can see communion as a a means of grace to the Body, but I don’t understand why Christ would need to be spiritually present in them since he is spiritually present in all christians.

  76. Bob says:

    MLD

    Again you misdirect the conversation by asking why one would sign such document? The topic here is Paul’s call for no division and the article I posed gives a common point of agreement, justification through faith alone in The Christ. You quiet clearly divide and can not seem to agree on an essential and this is why I started with I’m not a Lutheran.

    Off into the mist and thank you for affirming my opinion.

  77. Thanks Bob (Alex).
    But you seem to cause division when you disagree with me. 🙂 My advise to those who cause division by disagreeing with me is STOP IT!!!

  78. I’m with Derek @ 75 – I don’t like the term Memorialist, because it is much more than *just* a memorial. Still, as described above, that’s the position that seems correct. When you take The Lord’s Supper, you are obviously in communion with Christ, but also you are in communion with every saint who ever ate the bread and drank the wine. So no physical blood or flesh, but something very important and meaningful happening.

  79. Bob says:

    MLD

    I’m not Alex and I have not posted in this blog for about a year. I do find it entertaining how you and Alex go at it and if it weren’t for his rage I would side with him more often.

    The issue at hand was division but I guess as long as the big denominations exist and people are allowed to read the scriptures for themselves Paul’s desire will only come at the end of this age. I offered a position paper which seemed to point out one item we wouldn’t divide on but alas it too caused division.

    I guess these “conversations” are what keeps PP at the top of the blogging Internet religious blogging roles and is why the owner keeps starting them. You know if we agreed on anything more than sports and ale PP would disappear and you wouldn’t have anything to do all day.

    Christ alone.

  80. Bob,
    Conversation is good – it’s the way that the world came out of the dark ages.

    My first question is this – why am I the one who is divisive and not those who disagree with me?
    Second, why aren’t you a Roman Catholic – or perhaps Eastern Orthodox – why do you cause division with them?

    The reason I said Alex is that you called me by terms exclusive to Alex
    “boorish statements so often tossed out by MLD, the number one poster here.”

    Many may think that of me, but no one else calls me those. 🙂

  81. MLD – you got your own thread over at SCCl’s facebook page. Congrats!

  82. Really, that’s funny, I haven’t talked to them since they were here a couple of months ago. They just troll the internet looking for things to fill content.

    Someone one here must be feeding them info.

  83. ( |o )====::: says:

    Josh,
    Would you please post the link?

  84. http://www.facebook.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/posts/433448406727751?comment_id=3758462&notif_t=like

    Well, MLD you kinda blasted them out of the blue the other day. I figured you were hoping for such a reaction.

  85. Josh, I made the comment as a tongue in cheek response to why I had so many comments for the 4th quarter.
    But I figured none of them could read, so I didn’t think it would go outside of our room

    Look, it just shows that their “real” issue isn’t all that real if they turn their attention to me. 🙂

  86. I don’t think “they” have a singular issue, really.

  87. Em says:

    hmmm … SCCL … scanned Josh’ link … some fella (think it was a male) over there commented that he wants to beat MLD up and then hug him? 😀

  88. One commenter over there asked if the my comment was made by Em. 🙂 They can’t tell us apart – to them, all Christians look alike..

  89. Alex says:

    Bob’s got your number MLD.

    Bob, sorry, the “rage” will probably always be there for me…it cannot be quenched, it seems. Wish I cared less and was more dispassionate, I’d probably persuade more folks.

  90. Alex,
    Thank you for your kind words at SCCL.

    They’re a tough bunch there but any day I can get a good Snopes link is worth the wade 😉
    Peace,
    -g

  91. Wow, Josh I wish I hadn’t looked at that link. Luckily, I wasn’t around to participate in that SCCL thread, cause it read nasty. And anytime they are mentioned here I take a look at their FB page and realize what I dislike about them. They mock everything and are foul and rude. Some of the things they bring up there need to be addressed, but not in their mocking way. The tone over there is one of moral superiority to everyone else in christendom. You know there are a lot of things in this world that christians do that are dumb and crazy, but SCCL is just the one who throws the red meat to the lions.

  92. Scott says:

    Had to chuckle as I read the g-man and Dereks overlapping comments.

  93. Alex says:

    Derek, there are good reasons for their cynicism and their angst. I have found “Christians” to be similarly “foul” and “rude” but usually couched in more piety The tone being one of “moral superiority” is much more in the Christian Camp…though there is that sense in all Groups…as everyone tends to think they’re right and have the “truth” while the other guy is the unenlightened immoral idiot.

    As a student of humanity…I very much see the similarity in all Groups…Christians are no different (though they often profess to be). A little pressure, a little offense, a little disagreement, a little persistence…it all comes out.

  94. I don’t believe that the bible has good things to say about mockers. And though I may be guilty to some extent of making fun of things christians do. I try to think twice about talking about my Lord’s bride in the way those people do. I can relate cause I don’t like to hear bad things spoken of my wife.

  95. Alex says:

    Derek said, “I don’t believe that the bible has good things to say about mockers. And though I may be guilty to some extent of making fun of things christians do. I try to think twice about talking about my Lord’s bride in the way those people do. I can relate cause I don’t like to hear bad things spoken of my wife.”

    Was it addressed “locally” to a specific local church…or as a Universal…and why? LOL

    See the problem?

  96. Em says:

    knowing full well that i should just let this thread be and go do something else …

    hasn’t it occurred to anyone that #84 links to a bunch of sophomoric, unseasoned smart aleks – cheap wit from overheated brains? their children will rise up someday and call them idiots, also

  97. Em says:

    “See the problem?” he asks … yes, actually, i do 😀

  98. Alex says:

    Em, LOL…but you pretty much just did the same/similar…we all do it.

    I think the deeper more spiritual question is…why? And, if we’re correct about “why”…does the Great Commission apply to that Group vs. what most of Evangelicalism does…which is preach to the already-churched masses and simply competes for existing spiritual market-share.

    Does anyone “really” get saved for the first time at a Greg Laurie Crusade? Generally, it’s the low hanging fruit and re-dedications or folks who already believe in God, but aren’t following Him at that moment (or so they think) and/or are having some crisis in their lives, etc.

    The Atheist/Agnostic is a true unbeliever. They’re an interesting Crowd. Many have had very negative religious/church/Christian experiences and their cynicism is rooted in that fact. They also tend to buy into the rationalism of the New Atheism and Science-ology etc and as such, see both the contradiction in word and action in our general Group (though we are so splintered…yet we do have hypocrisy and inconsistency as a common denominator).

    Conversely, Atheists/Agnostics…much like the smug Theologian…tend to think they’ve got all the answers (even though they protest to knowing anything for certain if pushed).

    I find both Groups very similar….even though they profess very different ideologies.

    People tick the same. It’s uncanny.

  99. Alex, the hole in your argument, if it is to be considered a justification for unbelief, is that it makes the Believer responsible for causing atheists and agnostics … they may use us for fodder for their cannons, but that is their problem
    fundamentally, are they declaring that they are looking for a man who will justify their belief in God and that they haven’t found one? hmmm

    MLD, someone suspects you might be me? NO WAY, but i guess there are only three of us who know for certain … 😎

  100. Alex says:

    My point about “see the problem” is layered.

    This thread is about a passage in Scripture that deals with unity and commands us to not be divided (that’s the simple take). “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” <—very straightforward.

    The fact that Protestantism is so divided (and even among Denominations there is tremendous division) is in direct contradiction to the simple reading of the passage…which necessitates a Relativisation and contextualization to rearrange the simple meaning…as exampled by Steve Wright and amen'd by others above.

    The rationale presented for such is that Paul was addressing a specific local church…Corinth in this example.

    This, as Steve W. asserts, makes the teaching a localized issue and not Universally applicable.

    Yet, Paul addresses the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians etc etc as specific local churches in "letters" that are specifically addressed to each of them…and much is embraced as Universal and not localized…with some picking and choosing there-in depending on the particular Group's pet Box, pet emphasis, taboo issues, Sacred Cows, protected issues, etc.

    The Church, at the fractured local levels, does not hold a consistent pattern of interpreting Scripture simply. It is a hodge-podge of pick-and-choose and "truth" has changed…and changes from time period to time period and from denomination/Group to denomination/Group…and the "truth" of Scripture is largely a particular Group's "official" interpretation of all the holy text vs. a consistently applied "simple meaning". Some Theological Boxes are less contradictory and less pick-and-choose than others…but every Box is full of holes and contradiction…and it's difficult to illustrate it more than the example of this topic and this thread.

    Yet, the smugness of the Christian shows…as very few accept this reality…but rather have it all figured out and profess a much stronger belief than they really can possess. The Expressed Belief becomes their Faith…and it becomes an exercise in Works Righteousness if you will (often). There is a faux-confidence that is built up in projecting a particular certain Belief that is affirmed and amen'd and validated by a particular accepted established Group under the Christian Umbrella. In reality, we know very little…there is very little we can be 100% certain of…and the acceptance of this fact is not a lack of Faith…it is the nature of things and probably more an expression of Faith than the faux-certainty and regurgitation of rote catechism, doctrine and theological construction.

    Another layer: In Derek's statement, he is angered about the mockery of the "bride of Christ" and the "church"…while accepting that he does make fun of Christians at times.

    This is very telling here, "I try to think twice about talking about my Lord’s bride in the way those people do. I can relate cause I don’t like to hear bad things spoken of my wife."

    Who is the "Lord's bride"?

    The topic of this thread is Paul addressing a specific local church. Is the Church at Corinth the 'bride of Christ'? Is Corinth a part of the Universal Church?

    If Corinth is part of the Universal Church and is the Bride of Christ…then when Paul the Apostle addressed Corinth, his instruction was Universal in nature as spiritual instructions are largely assumed to be Universal for all of time and "inerrant, infallible, -perfect, same yesterday, today and forever, perfect, etc" from the Conservative perspective.

    If addressing a specific local church is Scripture is not a Universal…then Liberalism (in Theology) is correct and truth is very contextual and Relative/Subjective and localized…by Age/Era, by Culture, by evolving Consensus, etc.

    Steve Wright hails from a "church" that professes to "teach the bible simply"…yet picks and chooses what is for local application only vs. what is for Universal application….with no real philosophically logical basis to do so with intellectual consistency (though he'll appeal to a context and framework…it just isn't correct from the universally accepted laws of reason/philosophical logic).

    The third layer of irony in Derek's statement is more pithy: Maybe they are mocking a local church and not the Bride of Christ/Church Universal…which illustrates the potentially false dichotomy.

  101. Alex says:

    Em said, ” if it is to be considered a justification for unbelief, ”

    I’m glad to see that qualifier 🙂 I didn’t intend it to be a justification for unbelief, but rather a physical/emotional/intellectual reality that tends to affirm unbelief.

  102. Steve Wright says:

    Wow. One post, a simple observation and conversation starter, all the way back at #4 and I am still being (mis)quoted almost 100 posts later.

    These are always great examples though of Alex’s emotions and passions making him incapable of actually digesting the reality of what was said. I’m sure it happens at other times in his life too.

    I’ll remind the reader that all I did was state a foundational exegetical principle – that is what would the passage mean to the original audience BEFORE looking for the universal application, which I most certainly said DOES exist.

  103. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “These are always great examples though of Alex’s emotions and passions making him incapable of actually digesting the reality of what was said. I’m sure it happens at other times in his life too.”

    Ad hominem and poisoning the well. If you have a beef with my assertion, answer it and show why it’s wrong vs. name-calling and smearing (which is an example of “emotions and passions” etc and not based in reason).

  104. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “all I did was state a foundational exegetical principle ”

    Alex predicted: “with no real philosophically logical basis to do so with intellectual consistency (though he’ll appeal to a context and framework)” i.e. “foundational exegetical principle” which is theology-speak for “Steve’s Box”

    ….yup.

  105. Alex says:

    Steve, when you appeal to “foundational exegetical principle”….whose version?

    Are you aware of all the vast differences underneath the Christian orthodoxy umbrella in what constitutes ‘correct” exegetical principle?

    You make the statement as if there is one, concrete indisputable universal principle to follow…yet in reality there is vast divergence in what is “proper” exegesis and divergence in hermeneutic…to the point we have 9,000 to 30,000 denominations, mainlines, RCC, EO etc etc. all with quite a divergence of opinion regarding the same Scripture (though even what is agreed as Canon is in dispute).

    The ‘truth’ is you filter your interpretation through an ‘exegetical principle’ framework that you ascribe to…even though it may be inconsistent from a rigid Philosophical Logic framework.

    Exegesis begs interpretation of text…as such it quickly becomes quite Relative/Subjective and the majority of what is stated as “truth” by the pastor/teacher is often a particular exegetes opinion of what he thinks the text is saying…when in reality it could very well be something entirely different.

  106. Scott,
    Your post #92, it’s just that after all is said and done the fine folk at that site and FB are just all of us, but having made the choice to stop “playing nice”.

    Once I stepped away from being told what to think by others, I regained my sense of outrage at what “normal people” (everyone outside of the Christian bubble) are outraged at, and I regained my sense of humor and learned to lighten up and not take everything so seriously.

    Also, these people are simply hurting, just like the rest of us, and their pain has been caused by an earlier “me” when I was a guy who valued being “right” more than loving others for who they are, just as they are.

    …and then there’s the Snopes article about the lemming lie. 😉

  107. ( |o )====:::
    “Also, these people are simply hurting,”

    Yes, they are simply hurting others. I don’t think you read them close enough. Someone writes an article on a given topic, they don’t just disagree – they go for the jugular with the intent to ruin the person’s reputation… someone they do not even know other than he wrote an article. And I would bet that half the people that toss their dung, don’t even read the posted article.
    They worship … well really they just worship themselves.

  108. Steve Wright spoke of foundational exegetical principles – I spoke earlier of the “implied reader” – Steve and I are on the same page.

    Alex thinks Paul’s letters were addressed “to whom it may concern”.

  109. MLD,
    Sorry, I can’t at all share your take on these folks.
    They are the object of Jesus’ love, pure and simple, and I am more than glad to welcome anyone who wants to drop by and share their hearts.

    Regarding Paul’s letters, they are clear as to who they’re addressed to… Timothy got a couple, the Romans, some speculate the Hebrews got one too.

    All these years later we like to pretend they were written to us. Sometimes it works out fine, other times, not so much, just like the rest of our sacred texts.

    That doesn’t make them any less amazing when it does work, more often than not.

    Peace

  110. Alex says:

    G, yup.

    MLD said, “Steve Wright spoke of foundational exegetical principles – I spoke earlier of the “implied reader” – Steve and I are on the same page. Alex thinks Paul’s letters were addressed “to whom it may concern”.”

    No. I’m pointing out the inconsistency in Steve’s pick-and-choosiness when it comes to interpreting a passage that says “don’t be divided, don’t divide” and the fact the protestant church etc is divided…and the stated rationale is to localize it based on Paul addressing a specific local church with his letter to them.

    …contrasted with the fact you and Steve and others make Universals out of the same “local letters”. It’s an incongruity and very subjective.

    Is the stuff Paul wrote specifically to localities a Universal applicable to today…or is it something just for that particular local church at that particular time?

    There’s the rub.

    Steve, you and pretty much most of Christianity arbitrarily picks and chooses what to make Universal in those letters (applicable to everyone for all of time in every culture, context, etc) and what to make “well that was just for the church at Corinth b/c they were struggling with some celebrity pastor worship and it doesn’t mean b/c we’re so divided ourselves from the rest of the ‘body of Christ’ that we’re in sin”

    This particular passage and this particular discussion really boils down the competing Theological theories: Conservatism/Fundamentalism vs. Liberalism

    MLD, the Lutherans have had the same “division”…no?

    Today, I largely see Selective Fundamentalism and Liberalism. I don’t see any true Fundamentalists, as Fundies tend to pick-and-choose which passages to adhere to “simply” vs. taking a very Liberal approach and Relativizing the “simple meaning” of the text away if it means they’ll have to do something they don’t want to do…or if it means they’ll have to repent of a sin they don’t like or if it means they’ll have to change a practice they have grown accustomed to…all while taking a very literal approach to homosexuality and women’s submission and the things they like to take literally.

    Paul the Apostle is the same guy who laid out the Qualifications of Pastor/Elder…same guy who laid out the “don’t be divided”…same guy that laid out the Priesthood of Believers….same guy who laid out church discipline and public rebuke etc…and many other issues that are explained away by Selective Fundamentalists.

    Yet, Paul is the same guy who laid out Woman’s submission and Complementarianism, the same guy that laid out the “offices” and hierarchy of leadership, etc…even though Jesus spoke against both.

    Selective Fundamentalists claim “literal!” “Universal!” for one set of teachings they very much like…while Relativizing the stuff they don’t like as “local” for that particular church body only, not applicable as the simple reading implies for us today…when it comes to stuff they don’t like.

    I don’t know which “side” is right. I do know the Incongruity, Duplicity and Hypocrisy and Inconsistency when I see it.

  111. Alex says:

    Christian Fundamentalism is universally defined as “a literal approach to interpreting the bible”.

    “We simply teach the bible simply” is what one of the many self-reported Christian Fundamentalist denominations claims.

    Yet, I have yet to find any true Fundamentalists under the Christian orthodox umbrella who really take a ‘literal’ and ‘simple’ approach to interpreting the bible.

    They are more aptly named Selective Fundamentalists.

    Liberals appear to be more consistent in their approach and more honest about their break from simple literal interpretations of the bible.

    The other Camp is quite an exercise in picking and choosing and inconsistency, incongruity and contradiction.

  112. Alex says:

    The other fly in the ointment is that as Origen and many others throughout history have correctly identified…there is much contradiction in the bible and competing teachings…often Jesus vs. Paul and OT vs. NT etc.

    “The one God speaks with one voice; apparent contradictions within the text reflect problems of human understanding or hints toward an allegorical substratum to the text rather than any real inconsistency in the divine word (Origen, On First Principles IV.I.7; ibid. IV.II.9).”

    Judaism has struggled similarly throughout history.

    “The term midrash, which comprehends in its definition the exegetical work of Bereshit Rabba, is derived from derash. Derash denotes a “searching out,” a “questioning” or an “inquiring into” the text at hand. It is separate, if not wholly distinct, from peshat, a relatively literal reading of a text in a way more or less consistent with common sense. Derash is a more free form mode of exegesis, allowing its practitioner considerable room for maneuver in his inquiries into the meaning of Scripture. It also denotes an ongoing, rather than a definitive, act of exegesis. Its claims of authority are limited and relative to those of comparable uses of derash. Its purpose is to consider Scripture as a course toward defining it, rather than to define it outright and definitively. The exegetical theory behind the Bereshit Rabba is one which essentially relies on discussion and debate to draw out the possible meanings of Scripture.” –Exegetical Theory: Bereshit Rabba

    Karl Barth broke from the Liberalism of his day and focused “his” exegetical principle on a more literal approach to the text of the bible.

    Barth asserted that “the being of God is the hermeneutical problem”…and Barth’s approach to the Bible was “more according to its subject matter, content, and substance, entering with more attention and love into the meaning of the Bible itself”.

    Michael’s favorite, John Calvin took an 8 step approach in defining “his” exegetical principles:

    1. Clarity and brevity. 2. Then Intention of the Author 3. The Historical context 4. The Original grammatical meaning 5. Literary context 6. Meaning beyond the literal biblical wording 7. Figures of speech 8. The scope of focus on the person and work of Christ

    The 8 points illustrate the subjective nature in interpretation of text…even within Calvin’s 8 principles are caveat for “Meaning beyond the literal biblical wording”…which begs rather subjective opinion beyond the simple reading.

    Again, Steve, whose “foundational exegetical principle” are you appealing to? There are a ton more than these above…and it all continues to illustrate the Macro point I’ve been making since I got here.

  113. Alex,
    “No. I’m pointing out the inconsistency in Steve’s pick-and-choosiness when it comes to interpreting a passage that says “don’t be divided, don’t divide” ”

    Here is your challenge, and it should be a simple one (but you never answer directly) – Steve has made 2 comments on this 1 Cor thread #4 & #102. Show me where he gave his interpretation of the passage.

    The only thing he spoke of was the general principle you have to follow when you pick up the book – the whole book – he never once gave an interpretation of the “division” passage.

    So, you’re the logic guy – is your complaint just a straw man?

  114. Here is the problem you have Alex – you name several principles, but in essence they are the same – they all state that you have to stand back from the text, not just jump in – but first ask some questions about the whole writing, before going into individual texts and verses.

    You on the other hand seem to deny any principle and just jump into any, and even the smallest of texts, read them as they were written to you, and left as a sticky note by God on your refrigerator door.

    I am in the 10th week of a 12 week study in Galatians and every Sunday morning I remind the people in my class that this book is not about you – it is for your use, but you are not Galatians. I review each week the setting and the purpose so that when we got to chapters 5 & 6 and we are talking about the Works of the Flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit and the and Sowing and Reaping that these are not just stand alone teachings (the mistake many make) but they are sown into the fabric of who the Galatians are and the troubled start they had to their church existence after Paul’s departure.

  115. Today on the Church Calender (Google it if you don’t know what it is or if your pastor has taught you it falls in the category of The Traditions of Men.) is The Festival of the Confession of St. Peter.

    But I want to toss a bone Alex’s way – many people do loosely use scripture as you say – in this case, some people call him Simon and other’s call him Peter.

    How do we put up with such division in the church today.;-)

  116. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Here is your challenge, and it should be a simple one (but you never answer directly) – Steve has made 2 comments on this 1 Cor thread #4 & #102. Show me where he gave his interpretation of the passage.The only thing he spoke of was the general principle you have to follow when you pick up the book – the whole book – he never once gave an interpretation of the “division” passage.”

    Alex says: Exegetical Principle is by definition an “interpretation” as is hermeneutic. Do you disagree with the Universally accepted definitions/meanings of those words?

    Steve gave his opinion about the passage and appealed to “his” exegetical principles…which by definition is interpretation.

    MLD said, “So, you’re the logic guy – is your complaint just a straw man?””

    Alex says: No, I don’t think it is, you haven’t shown such, but I’m open to it if you can make the case.

  117. “Alex says: Exegetical Principle is by definition an “interpretation” as is hermeneutic.”

    No, a hermeneutic is a method you use to later make an interpretation. You need to show where Steve made an interpretation using his stated hermeneutic.

    Using your statement, commentaries on 1 Corinthians would just be one page – the author would state his hermeneutical principle and the reader could figure out the 16 chapters.

  118. Alex says:

    MLD, you’re missing the point…you’re arguing against the Conclusion and not the Premise.

  119. Alex says:

    MLD, the very nature of the opinion Steve shared about how to approach the text and appealing to what “his” “foundational exegetical principles” as the proper framework to do so…is by definition “opinion” and “subjective” and “interpretation”

    You are entitled to your opinions, sir. However, you are not entitled to redefine the Universally accepted definitions of words and meanings nor are you entitled to redefine the rigid process of philosophical logic.

  120. Alex says:

    MLD said, “No, a hermeneutic is a method you use to later make an interpretation.”

    If your above statement were truly a Universal…there would be one Hermeneutic and on Interpretation thereof.

    The fact there are broad range of hermeneutic and exegetical principles is prove (self-evident) of the subjective nature and interpretive nature of Steve’s appeal and the expression of his opinion about how to approach the passage.

  121. Alex, since you have no interpretive principle to use when approaching scriptures, I guess I will have to drop this this topic and say – this is the reason that you are locked in “we can’t know what any of the scriptures means.”

    We disagree, and that is fine – but you cannot continue to head butt those who think there is a method to reading scriptures. This would be a good time to sit down with your pastor.

  122. erunner says:

    MLD and Alex in action. Sadly, Michael ends up the loser.

  123. I hit enter too soon – sit down with your pastor and find out if he has an interpretive principle (hermeneutic) or if he just preaches by the seat of his pants.

    I will bet that he is quite similar to Steve.

  124. Alex says:

    MLD, my pastor presents the leading “interpretations” underneath the umbrella of what is considered historical orthodox Christianity. He then gives his “opinion” of which interpretation for that particular passage as “most likely true”…while extending grace to the other interpretations and not condemning them to hell and dividing over.

    I find his approach intellectually honest. I find your more rigid approach intellectually dishonest, though I don’t question your sincerity, I think you just don’t know any better.

    I try to apply rigid Philosophical Logic to the text, but have noted early on that the bible is not rational or logical when this rigid Universally accepted filter is applied.

  125. Alex says:

    E, how is Michael the loser? I thought the recent Analytics showed how well-read the blog still is? (even with MLD dominating as far-and-away the “top commenter”)

  126. What is my rigid approach? – I only said that I read in view of the implied reader – how was a Corinthian expected to read this letter. Sorry if that is a rigid approach.

  127. erunner says:

    Alex, You need to watch the video.

  128. Fly on a Wall says:

    Fungelicals. I can add that to vocabulary.

    hahahaha… the interwebz is so much fun.

  129. Fly on a Wall says:

    I think I’m being moderated. I don’t know why. I can’t post in Open Blogging.

    That’s a shame. I actually had something worthy to post.

    I’ll post it here. I don’t know why anyone would take objection to it, but let me know if I’m doing something wrong.

    Here’s my comment i wrote in Open Blogging.

    Someone gave me this link to this blog and I’ve been so blessed by it
    http://www.internetmonk.com/

    There’s a great post today titled “I Have My Doubts”.

    Does the imonk read this blog? It just occurred to me, maybe he wrote it after reading 1Cor 1-17?? Haha, wouldn’t that be ironic?

    Anyways… I couldn’t follow the debate that ensued over 1 Cor 1-17, please excuse my lack of theology training. But the little bit I caught was, “do we ever really know?”

    I’m going on a limb here, maybe jeopardizing any future I have in ministry (oh who am I kidding? I did that long ago) and I’m going to agree with imonk and say, “No. No one really knows. And those that say they do, are stuffing their doubt, out of fear.” I know that I have my doubts, but I continue to trust the Lord. That’s what I see as faith, I don’t know what’s going on, I even doubt the validity of it all, but I cling on to the hope that it exists.

    Anyways, I highly recommend his post and his blog. Very interesting stuff. I know there’s a lot here that feel publicly expressing their doubt would be a big no-no. It may be reassuring and a blessing to read that you’re not alone.

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