Things I Think…

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45 Responses

  1. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    Do your purple shoes come with batteries? :-‘)

  2. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    They don’t need ’em…they shine. 🙂

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    Your thought #5.

    A BIG YES! I only have a LinkedIn account and even there some people post political memes and misinformation. I have been tempted a few times to post in response, but I don’t want to go down that same path.

    Instead, this is what I posted a week or two ago. A quote by Henri Nouwen:

    “Did I offer peace today?
    Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?
    Did I say words of healing?
    Did I let go of my anger and resentment?
    Did I forgive?
    Did I love?
    These are the real questions”

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    And YES YES to #1…purple is one of my favorite colors, and not just ’cause I’m a Vikes fan. I am even wearing a purple Polo shirt at this very moment.

  5. Linn says:

    My favorite non-political color is blue, but I think a purple designation is great. We’re the eggplants!
    As to social media sites, I’m only on Facebook and I try to post positive, non-controversial stuff. But people can even get upset over a cat meme. I’d rather be nice to my blood pressure.

  6. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Excellent quote…directly to the point!

  7. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I get complaints over too much cat stuff…I help them along by unfriending them…

  8. Dan from Georgia says:

    #4…if you want a Vikings book cover…

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/123364974726

  9. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Nice find!
    I may need to own that…:-)

  10. Captain Kevin says:

    The mattress company Purple makes a “Bony Ass Seat Cushion.” I use it when driving and for sitting on the metal folding chairs at church, and it’s really helpful.

    I’d order one of their mattresses too if I could afford it.

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    #3&4 – I was taught early in my Christian experience that there’s only one correct interpretation for every Bible verse. As I got older and read more, I realized, as Colonel Sherman Potter would say, that is “horse hockey.”

  12. Michael says:

    CK,

    It’s still a hard sell among evangelicals…

  13. Linn says:

    Capt Kevin,
    And the people who only agree on one-verse interpretation end up disagreeing with each other, and thus another little group is born (common among independent fundamentalists and Baptists, which is why there are so many groups of them). They were my former people.

  14. Jean says:

    If I said, “My roof has a leak” or “Hotdogs are delicious” or “I love my kids”, no one would ask me, “What do you mean?”

    Somehow, and maybe it the popularity of commentaries or verse-by-verse preaching or just human arrogance, some people think scripture requires interpretation to discover its meaning.

    Is it possible that the words of Scripture formed into sentences and recorded in the Old and New Testaments convey its meaning without the need for interpretation to discover its meaning?

    If the interpreter determines the meaning of Scripture, then (1) who or what is the authority the Spirit or the fallible human interpreter? and (2) where is divine inspiration resident, in the Word or in the fallible human interpreter?

    Much of modern interpretation, in my experience, is an interpreter trying to avoid what the Scripture text plainly says. For example, on the topics of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, hell, sexuality, marriage, qualifications for being a pastor, submission to temporal authority, racial equality, slavery, etc.

  15. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Scripture has been interpreted since scripture was written.

    The arrogance is in assuming that one groups interpretation is the “true” word from God…it’s really not that simple.

  16. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Do a little experiment.
    Look up the OT references in the NT…and you’ll see that Paul and the NT writers engage in interpretation of the OT texts that is baffling at times…they didn’t just use literal interpretations that make sense on the surface…

  17. filistine says:

    people swallow lazy interpretations because they’re lazy themselves–no different than your observation about virtue signaling; it’s about one’s clique or circle. I would imagine your NT Wright pushback was from people who never read a page of NT Wright, but heard from someone they implicitly trust that NTW was the second coming of anyone’s favorite heretic. Most passionate beliefs today are opinions spoken cleverly and persuasively with little context, evidence, or presentation of reasonable additional options. It’s not because the speaker is evil, but ill equipped, in over his/her head, lazy, and blinded by the need to be ‘successful.’ I used to roll my eyes every time a former pastor used to cajole everyone as “students of the Word” when in reality he wasn’t one and we all were merely avid listeners.

  18. Michael says:

    fil,

    Every word gold…thank you.

  19. bob1 says:

    DFG,

    I really like what you posted from Henri Nouwen.

    Really, it doesn’t take much to beva good influence.

    Thank you for sharing that!

  20. bob1 says:

    Be a good influence…

  21. Josh says:

    “Is it possible that the words of Scripture formed into sentences and recorded in the Old and New Testaments convey its meaning without the need for interpretation to discover its meaning?”

    No, that is not possible. With scripture, or language of any kind. You’ll have to interpret this post I’m making in order to make sense of it. The idea that ancient literature written in ancient languages wouldn’t have to be interpreted for modern audiences who have no concept of those languages is pure fantasy. What the reader is really saying when he says “the scripture needs no interpretation” is “my interpretation is the only one that matters.”

  22. Michael says:

    Well said , Josh.

    “What the reader is really saying when he says “the scripture needs no interpretation” is “my interpretation is the only one that matters.””

    And that’s ok…it means that someone has found a way to understand these things that they can live with and worship in…

  23. Josh says:

    I’m not sure it’s ok. It’s great if the person can hold that belief and allow others to find the truth for themselves. It’s awful if that person’s interpretation is then used as a litmus test for who is in and who is out.

  24. Jean says:

    I would like to provide some clarifications to my post at 6:59 pm above. Maybe we could agree to one or more of my points below:

    I believe that Scripture is “sufficient,” meaning it includes within the canon, all doctrines necessary to proclaim, believe and confess God’s Gospel of his saving deeds in Christ. If Scripture is sufficient, then it must contain these doctrines internally, and one does not need extraneous information to learn, believe and proclaim these doctrines.

    I believe that Scripture is clear as to the “rule of faith.” The rule of faith are those doctrines that are integral to God’s plan of salvation in Christ, which must be believed in order to be reckoned righteous by God. Some verses may be obscure, but that is because of human sin and weakness and not because of God. However, there are enough clear scriptures on matters contained in the rule of faith that no such rule depends on an obscure verse here or there.

    The reader has the text, which contains the author’s words arranged to convey his intent. The reader should seek to understand the author’s intent (objective), not what the scripture means to me or to you (subjective).

    The interpretation is in the scope of understanding the meaning of the words, the grammar and sentence struction, the context of the text and how that text works together with the rest of Scripture.

    I believe that scripture interprets scripture. Therefore, the meaning of the words, the grammar and sentence struction and context can be learned and understood by reference to other scriptures and the scriptures as a whole. So, yes, in a sense there is interpretation, but it is at the level of the actual words and sentences and context, not what I think the author meant (which I really have no extra-biblical insight into) or what it means to me in my subjective experience of the text.

    To give an example, the New Perspective on Paul has, through historical analysis using outside sources (e.g., on 2nd Temple Judaism), tried to redefine certain words which are critical to the rule of faith, such as “grace” “law,” and “justification.” Because historians by nature (1) bring their own presuppositions, (2) have only an incomplete set of historical evidence, and (3) are not inspired by the Spirit, it is inappropriate to allow such sources to color the meaning of Scripture, especially when it comes to the rule of faith.

    At the end of the day, I am an advocate for Scripture which people can hang their eternal hope on. A solid rock and not shifting sand. I think the scripture is sufficient and clear to convey one rule of faith to every reader/listener.

  25. Michael says:

    “It’s awful if that person’s interpretation is then used as a litmus test for who is in and who is out.”

    It can be, but if it simply means you’re in a tribe of like minded believers, that’s not a big deal.

    People find Jesus in a lot of different ways and places…

  26. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I believe Scripture is sufficient for salvation….but I’m hard pressed to believe that the average reader would parse the Trinity out of their reading.

    Scripture does interpret scripture…but when you look at how Jesus and Paul interpreted OT texts you have a great deal of explaining to do.

    I found the New Perspective very helpful, but Lutherans and the Reformed will have issues with it…and I’m ok with that.

  27. Josh says:

    “It can be, but if it simply means you’re in a tribe of like minded believers, that’s not a big deal.”

    I understand what you’re saying, but I have been a part of using your interpretation of scripture as a weapon against others. It crushes people and pushes far more away from God than the few who choose to conform to your system.

  28. Jean says:

    Thanks for commenting on my posts Michael. I appreciate your POV.

  29. Josh says:

    The New Perspective was wildly overreacted to. If it was published today no one would bat an eye.
    Even those who were against benefited from having to think through things from a different perspective.

    Just the bible, and nothing else, will leave you with way more questions than answers. People need room to seek out answers for those questions and also need the benefit of other perspectives.

    Even the phrase “scripture is sufficient” requires a ton of interpretation before we know if we are even talking about the same thing when we say that.

  30. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I was one of those that wildly overreacted to the NPP and helped destroy a mans business over it.
    We ended up destroying his faith as well…he’s agnostic at best now.

    God forgives me, but he never will…

  31. Josh says:

    It was part of a Paul class I did in undergrad. Not promoted or denied, just presented along with other works on Paul. There were WAY worse perspectives 🙂

  32. Josh says:

    Jean – I apologize if I sound adversarial. Haven’t really thought about these things in a while, and just remembering that I enjoy it.

  33. Jean says:

    No problem Josh. Good discussion!

  34. Terry says:

    I’ve always loved purple (and it’s sibling violet) and at 14 bought a pair of purple Converse All-Star high tops. This may have led to rumors of me being gay, along with not dating. It didn’t take much in 1974. My newest pair are navy blue.

  35. Michael says:

    Terry,

    I’m old now and don’t care what anyone thinks…I wear my teams colors and have fun with it.

    I’ve also got three Viking purple jerseys and a purple and gold Kings sweater… goes well with my gold/yellow sweat pants…

  36. Jean says:

    Prince was known for the color purple. That sanctifies it in my book.

  37. Michael says:

    Jean
    On that we agree!

  38. Alex says:

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

    I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
    And run my stick along the public railings
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
    And learn to spit.

    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
    Or only bread and pickle for a week
    And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street
    And set a good example for the children.
    We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

    But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
    So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
    When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

    from Warning:When I am an Old Woman I shall wear purple, Jenny Johnson

  39. JD says:

    I’m wearing a purple T shirt. After my accident they cut off my favorite Levis, which happened to be purple.
    Cue Twilight Zone theme.

  40. Michael says:

    Alex…perfect.

  41. Michael says:

    JD,

    Just shows you’re among your people… 🙂
    Hope the days are getting a little better…

  42. Everstudy says:

    Just to be contrary… I don’t like purple.

    My son wears it nonstop… it was his school color at GCU.

    I’m a black and gold guy… born in So. Cal., but should have been Pittsburgh.

  43. John in AZ says:

    When I was a young man I had a short sleeve buttoned shirt that was solid purple. I thought it was okay but every time I wore it to church it seemed to make some people think I was unsaved. One time at the end of the service a little old lady who thought she was whispering but was actually loud enough for everyone to hear her touched me on the shoulder and said “Do you need to make a decision?” I made a decision not to wear that shirt to church anymore.

  44. Captain Kevin says:

    Everstudy, one of my daughters graduated from GCU, and I still wear my grey and purple polo and my GCU Dad t-shirt.

  45. Captain Kevin says:

    John in AZ, that’s crazy! I’ve worn purple to various churches for years, and even the occasional pink polo. Nobody ever said anything negative. Doesn’t mean they didn’t think it though.

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