(“Authority is FORCE”-John Immel) Authority = GOOD = TRUTH: The singular root equation of ALL Reformation theology (pastoral kindness as FORCE)

This was originally a comment in response to James on the comment thread under the last article…which, as is often the case, became so long that I realized I had my next article about halfway into it.

The first part concerns James’ point that many neo-reformed agnostics (I can no longer in my rational consciousness declare them Christians…this is not me being passive aggressive; it is me taking a simple and cursory glance at the way Jesus Christ interacted with human beings as if THEY ACTUALLY EXISTED; something those who hold to Calvinism/neo-reformation theology simply cannot do, as human beings have NO living quarters in the mega-church sized mansions of their “sound doctrine”)…yes, James’ point that many neo-reformed agnostics “bludgeon” the laity with notions of “mystery”, even though, as James rightly points out, any true “mystery” to man is also utterly irrelevant to his existence, and thus should form no part of any comprehensive doctrine or theology.  Mystery is nothing more than existential pointlessness, and is best forgotten…which James points out is precisely Moses’s point.

Here is my response.  Oh…I have been giving a lot of thought to the presence of Wade Burelson on this blog, and our short conversations.  This post looks, in part, at my conclusions regarding Wade’s contributions here last week.

James,

I agree that anything which is truly a “mystery” is wholly irrelevant to man.  Man functions according to reason and truth, not mystery.  This is precisely why I refuse to concede that there is any such thing as soteriological paradox; why I do not concede foreknowledge nor predestination nor election as historical orthodoxy has taught it (and even perhaps as the Apostle Paul taught it…[and all cry HERETIC!]).  It really only ends in contradiction…which they sweep under the metaphysical rug by using a big and heady word like “paradox”.

But paradox in this case is totally unacceptable, as the idea of “action before existence” is purely contradictory, not paradoxical according to a legitimate use of the term.  In short, they bastardize the idea of paradox in order to reconcile their doctrine.  Paradox is just one of a long line of illegitimate theological children belonging to the redemptive historical hermeneutic crowd.

Incidentally, the wave/particle duality of light is an example a true paradox, explained by a deep and careful examination of the existential nature of a dimensionless particle (mass-less or near mass-less) like the photon and electron which though unobservable (meaning, one cannot view the particle as BOTH functioning like a wave AND a particle at the same moment, even though they very well may BE) is still rationally and logically explainable.  This is the true definition of paradox:  that which on a certain level seems contradictory, but after further study reveals itself to be reasonable and logically consistent.  This is NEVER where “election” in the hands of the neo-reformed agnostics/dualists winds up.  It lives in the cul de sac of impossible ideas.

But this is where they have their REAL problem with those of us who categorically reject “mystery” as a foundational tenet of Christian metaphysics.  According to their doctrine, man cannot possibly function according to anything BUT mystery, because all of reality is utterly UNKNOWABLE to man.  There aren’t SOME things which are mysteries…but EVERYTHING is a mystery.  The problem they have then is man claiming that he can know anything at all outside of any special divine revelation, given by God to the gnostic philosopher kings, and, to a lesser extent, the followers of Calvinist gnosticism in general.  It is precisely their belief in the idea that THEY as mere men and women have NO agency nor faculty which can grasp truth and therefor morality (good and evil) which ironically makes them the chosen few “good”.  See,  by definition, if morality is outside of us, then value is outside of us, and if value is outside of us, then knowledge MUST be outside of us.  It is impossible to separate knowledge from VALUE, and VALUE from MORALITY.  All three are inexorably bound into one epistemological cord of three unbreakable strands.

And this was, incidentally, where my entire argument with Randy was rooted (see the post where “Randy loses an argument”).  Randy hypocritically declares that reason is inferior to revelation in spite of the fact that it is patently AXIOMATIC that ALL men use REASON  in order to decided which ideas they will choose to believe or not believe.  God can provide revelation until the cows come home, but unless man can reason man can never DECIDE to agree that it is rational in any way to accord himself with the revelation.

But still they insist that this must be the case because man–in order that their utter and categorical lie of total depravity might continue to gang-press unsuspecting victims into service to their own will to power–can NEVER be said to NEED to accord God’s revelation with his own existence.  Because man’s existence is utterly besides the point…and how DARE man expect God’s revelation to validate man’s SELF, as if man has any right to expect that His Creator actually affirm and promote his life.  How DARE man demand that anything which passes as “revelation” or “truth” from God first be vetted and confirmed by reason, the very faculty man MUST employ in order to perpetuate and preserve his life.

Remember my equation:  authority = GOOD= TRUTH; and remember, as John Immel so perfectly and succinctly states, authority is FORCE, period!  Authority is nothing more than the man with the bigger GUN, figuratively or literally speaking.  And since God is the ultimate authority, then to HIM alone is all good and truth according to the standard operating orthodoxy…it is forever OUTSIDE of man, so man can NEVER be in a position or possess ANY faculty or agency capable of grasping truth; so man cannot, by Randy’s and every other Calvinist despot’s definition, ever REALLY receive God’s revelation.

So, that being the case, whoever receives God’s revelation and declares it is, in fact, God’s proxy here on Earth, bringing TRUTH…or rather, FORCING truth, on all of us blind, drooling slobs, scarcely better than filthy animals.  Which is why Wade and Randy and any other neo-reformed proselyte NEVER have to concede any argument, and certainly not arguments based on REASON, because in their philosophical/theological/epistemological construct, reason simply CANNOT exist.  Wade Burleson can talk in metaphysical orbits all day long, up one side of the rational fence and down the other and under the belly of madness and through the stem of irrelevancy and into the sea of lunacy and up to the stratosphere of magic and mayhem and mysticism and he can never actually be wrong, because the ONLY truth is GOD, and HE, as one of the enlightened “chosen” has TRUTH by proxy, full stop.  Which means anyone NOT chosen as he, regardless of how much reason they have, or how they run circles around Wade and the insanity of reformed theology, still can never possibly be right.  Period.  The plumb line for TRUTH is simple:  agreement with Wade.  Or agreement with Randy; or agreeing with CJ Mahaney; or agreeing with Brent Detwiler, or any other neo-reformed bobblehead with the eyes popped out.

The formula NEVER fails to explain where they come from:  authority = good = truth.  It is a formula that has terrorized and devoured human kind for centuries, and it will continue to do so.

The PROOF you are wrong is merely that you disagree with THEM.  That is all the proof they need.  They are never in the position of having to defend their arguments because they have the heavenly mandate to FORCE those whom God has not chosen to reveal the “truth to”; to force them either INTO the thinking of God, or out of the way entirely (by torture or excommunication or death, as the history of the protestant church bears out in all its infamous glory for those with access to Google to see) By definition, God does not and cannot possibly CARE about the ones He has not chosen.  And if God doesn’t care about them, there is little point in trying to “tell” them about a truth they cannot receive anyway.  That’s why authority, why FORCE, is so fucking important to the power and leadership structures of Calvinist churches in America.

Now this next part will sound horrible and mean, and I apologize, but in light of what I know about what Wade believes, I must submit my opinion to this article.

I believe that Wade’s choice of force is his congenial personality, his boldness in coming onto discernment blogs and engaging them in a friendly way…but notice how he NEVER concedes ANY argument EVER.  He always has an answer, even though he fully concedes “it may not make sense to you” (it doesn’t HAVE to make sense; it CAN’T make sense, apart from God knowing it for you).  It is because he understands that his job is NOT to learn or to have his mind changed, but to bring TRUTH to the unenlightened barbarian masses like you and me…it’s not stressful for him to defend his ideas because by definition, he CANNOT defend them because only GOD can make someone understand TRUTH. For no agency of man can get it.  If God doesn’t will it, Argo will never understand Wade’s truth; if God wills it, Argo cannot HELP but understand Wade’s truth.  Wade knows that he really has nothing to do with it, which is why he has no problem coming onto the turf of those who deny his doctrine and approaching them with all the genuine kindness and warmth of his personality. His tool, or his “gift” as I’m sure he sees it, is his inherent kindness.  And no, I do NOT think he is faking it…I DO think Wade is genuinely a very, very kind person…but that doesn’t make what he is DOING any less despotic than any other reformed “authority” because it is HOW he is using it…it is what he uses it in SERVICE to.  It is what DRIVES his actions:  his assumption that he CANNOT be wrong because HE has a monopoly on “truth”, and that at the end of the day he is never on the hook to defend his ideas, because God’s revelation and calling to him is proof of his authority, and as you well know by now:  AUTHORITY = GOOD = TRUTH.

One has to wonder if Wade sees the explicit futility and irrelevance of engaging anyone at all with ideas that by definition he doesn’t have to defend because any defense of his can avail nothing (doctrinally speaking, even he cannot really understand the “revelation” God has given him, though he says it “makes sense”; but that is a mere twisting of semantics)…for MAN, again, has NOTHING to do with his own existential reality.  This is the assumption behind “sovereign grace”.  It’s AAAAALLLLL God.

Notice what Wade said to me in one of his comments:  “It may not make sense to you, but it makes sense to me.”  This is PRECISELY the cornerstone of his doctrinal stance, and why he likely feels NO pressure to convince anyone here on this blog of the truth of his ideas (he is not here to “impress” my readers, remember…another translation of this is “convince you of the rationality and logical consistency of his “sound doctrine”).  You see, ANYTHING I don’t agree with has nothing to do with it being inherently unreasonable, but EVERYTHING to do with the fact that God has not given me “grace to perceive”  (thanks, Ceeej!).

Wade can change words, meanings, ideas, rationale, say one thing and then say another, say one thing and do another, and vice versa, LITERALLY moment by moment and still, he gets to win every debate;  he gets to decide every disagreement; he gets to skip and hop from one existential, theoretical, doctrinal, and metaphysical bench mark to another on a whim, and he is never culpable for failures of reason because reason is a function of man’s “un-chosen” and un-enlightened mind, and what seems reasonable to man MUST be false because again man, by reformed definition, possesses no ability or faculty in himself to apprehend truth, full stop.  And this is really nothing more than declaring that man doesn’t actually exist.  Which is the whole flaccid contradiction the entire theology is built on.

So whether “kindness” or “cruelty” or “violence” or “death” or “culling” or “dazzling” or “brainwashing”,  it doesn’t matter.  It is all part of a mandate to use authority to FORCE others into right thinking, as the “man of God in the stead of God” (the MOG-SOG)…as an  extension of God himself.  It is all in service to the idea that FORCE is Authority, and authority is GOOD and GOOD is TRUTH.  There is no room for man’s volition, or reason, or SELF at all. Man is nothing more than the collective the gnostic “authority” has been given to possess “for God’s use”.  Which, as they are the ONLY real and actual manifestation of God here on earth or anywhere according to their philosophy, they OWN YOUR ASS.

Full stop.

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15 thoughts on “(“Authority is FORCE”-John Immel) Authority = GOOD = TRUTH: The singular root equation of ALL Reformation theology (pastoral kindness as FORCE)

  1. Wade can change words, meanings, ideas, rationale, say one thing and then say another, say one thing and do another, and vice versa, LITERALLY moment by moment and still, he gets to win every debate; he gets to decide every disagreement; he gets to skip and hop from one existential, theoretical, doctrinal, and metaphysical bench mark to another on a whim, and he is never culpable for failures of reason because reason is a function of man’s “un-chosen” and un-enlightened mind, and what seems reasonable to man MUST be false because again man, by reformed definition, possesses no ability or faculty in himself to apprehend truth, full stop. And this is really nothing more than declaring that man doesn’t actually exist. Which is the whole flaccid contradiction the entire theology is built on.”

    This is probably the most maddening part of the whole Reformed determinist god construct. Since we cannot use reason, what is the point of engagement?

    We are to accept that only God chooses those who are to be saved (before Adam sinned, btw) but yet, we are also to believe that his NOT choosing someone else is grace. We are to think of this as Grace!

    We have no input into it at all. THEN we are to believe that this construct of only God choosing who is to be saved and passing over others. does NOT mean God is the author of evil. Even though the evil glorifies him and in some cases is for our own good. The ONLY thing they have is mystery in order to believe this and then turn around and say God is Good. Where is Satan? Where is the Holy Spirit and for what purpose?

    There is nothing reasonable about the determinist god and it’s dualism. In fact, I often wonder why God created us with brains like we have to reason and think, if it is true. Just to drive you crazy, Argo? :o)

  2. No Christian wants to hear this, but this is precisely why Paul bashed the Law so much. Nobody who grounds themselves in the Law would ever buy into determinism or the notion of God just choosing who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, or whatever you want to call it. The Law is the biggest obstacle to this. That’s why the Reformers were all such antisemites. Nobody can come away from the Law and not believe both in freewill and that God judges according to works and punishes proportionally rather than one-size-fits-all-eternity-in-hell-for-ever-little-thing. The Law is the castle into which we must run when the dragons of the Reformation attack.

  3. James,

    You really won’t get any disagreement from me on that comment. I have no counter argument. The only thing left is to try to re-interpret what Paul argues. And I haven’t been able to do this without some significant subjective interpretations of my own. Still, in the interest of accepting that Paul truly was a live witness to Christ’s personal commission, I am not opposed to trying.

  4. Argo, Either you are getting easier to understand or I’m getting better at understanding you! Or both! LOL

    Growing up in a SB church, I never heard the word “mystery” or “paradox” once. It was all thinking, learning (much of the OT in Sunday school) & being responsible & good. How to obey & please God. Now good is a very bad 4-letter word. Oh my!

    Back then, If I were told a religion was based on mystery & paradox I would have thought of the moonies & far out weird cults.

    I guess a slow cold-to-boil works. You never know you’re a lobster being served for dinner.

    Thank God I came to my senses! But it takes time for many of us. Our society is even ingrained in this type of “God’s in 24/7 control” thinking & the chose few all out celebrity worship. You really have to swim upstream, against the current.

  5. James,
    Exactly. When someone says the law doesn’t matter I immediately think they should get their head examined. Who wants to live in a society without laws? Not me! It’s what keeps much evil in check. What kind of God says only non-Christians should obey His laws? Ahh, that elitist, elect mentality again…

  6. The weirdest thing to me was always the fact that IF the truly believe what they say they believe, then they can’t really claim to know anything at all, because they concede that they are merely a variation of “God’s will”…which is God’s “sovereignty”. Which means that every thought–every twitch and nuance or hiccup of the brain and body, even the slightest subatomic shift or fluctuation is nothing more than God Himself in action.

    And so IF God is truly in control, then to what purpose? What is the objective? Well, besides the – again- obvious (and yet contradictory…because ALL “knowledge” of ANY sort is irreconcilable with the theology, because man cannot exist in it) fact that everything is utterly unknowable, you’d have to assume that the objective is “God” Himself. For we have conceded that ALL is nothing but God. So then God’s existence is pointless; an endless circle of creating Himself, for Himself, TO Himself.

    But the truth of God, I submit is really this: not that GOD is the perfect objective of all Creation, which the neo-Reformers in general and Calvinists specifically would have you believe (Creation is FOR God…He OWNS you and me), but that LIFE is the perfect objective. That God, apart from LIFE that is NOT Himself cannot be said to be truly God. That the nature of all EXISTENCE is the RELATIONSHIP between SELF and OTHER, and that you cannot have existence as we would define it apart from this relationship. And this is why it MUST be axiomatic, I submit, that all LIFE has EQUAL moral and existential value. That man’s life is as morally GOOD as God’s life.

    And this is something that they will never concede, because it undercuts their authority at the root. If THEY cannot claim a greater moral worth because they are God’s gnostic proxies here on Earth, then they have no real claim to any divine authority (believe me, whether they acknowledge it or not, their presumption is that they are “better” than you, by divine, predestined pleasure…to RULE you); they cannot be said to ever have a mandate to FORCE you, but they are utterly on the hook to explain their ideas in a way that affirms YOUR existence, and YOUR mind, and YOUR understanding…they must defend themselves according to human contextual reason because that is how YOU exist. And if they have to do that, then…bye, bye hyper-authoritarian (and financially lucrative) mystic collectives.

    Wade Burleson openly declares this kind of thinking “destructive to humanity”. Well, what does that say? I understand his knee-jerk fatalistic determinist reaction and likely his recoiling at the idea of “God is not God without His Creation”, but beyond that, what does this say about his view of humanity? Namely, that it is PERPETUALLY and INEXORABLY a big fat moral failure by NATURE. And as such, it always falls short of TRUTH (because you cannot–I repeat, cannot separate epistemological TRUTH/knowledge/understanding from moral VALUE (what is good is rooted in an efficacious and sound understanding of what IS, period).

    This falls RIGHT in line with Calvinist despotism, and is precisely why Calvinist theocracies (such as the Puritans in Massachusetts and Calvin in Geneva and the Anglican Church in England, and Sovereign Grace Ministries) are always, always, always abusive. The doctrine hates humanity for what it is: a giant, stupid, pointless, brainless, shiftless, dickless (the Calvinists are the only TRUE men, a la Mark Driscoll) moral failure which must be FORCED into proper thinking and behavior which by design eludes it. By whom? By Plato’s philosopher kings. By those “standing in the stead of God”. By Wade, and CJ, and Piper, and really anyone else who claims a “divine calling” (vetted, of course, by their blind devotion to the doctrinal and intellectual whims of their “senior” mystics…because, despite the lie of the “equality of elders”, there must always be the AUTHORITY above all authorities),

    Put simply, when we decide that human beings do not have as much right to live as God does (which is precisely what you must concede if you concede lesser “worth”), then it is open season on people; death, exploitation, oppression, larceny…all in service to the Consciousness Prime which THEY ALONE can understand.

    So, the question I pose is: Is God really God without creation?

    And at best I submit that that question itself is irrelevant, for the material of all humanity are infinite particles (massless, dimensionless, which are infinite…cannot be created or destroyed) which cannot be said to have a “beginning”. Therefore, just as God is forever, so is the material from which man sprung. The point being is that God and OTHER have always existed. There could never have been a Creation out of NOTHING (by defintion). So the LITERAL answer is, no, there is no God without “creation” because that scenario has never existed. God, in order to be God must be the God of SOMETHING, no? If God is ALL that exists, then God is merely “self”…but a self that cannot be said to exist because how can you claim that a SELF exists if there is NOTHING by which to differentiate this SELF from…well, anything. Existence is predicated on this: that a thing exists TO something…that it is observable. Without OTHER, self is NOT observable, and thus it simply cannot be said to exist.

    If God was ALWAYS God, then there MUST be a perpetual OTHER so that God can be realized as truly God.

    Okay…diversion. But I am going to do a post on this today I think.

  7. “Argo, Either you are getting easier to understand or I’m getting better at understanding you! Or both! LOL”

    Well, yeah, I think it is likely both. I like to think I have evolved in my writing; and I KNOW that all of us have evolved in our thinking.

    KEEP IT UP! This destructive philosophy will be dismantled and scuttled yet!

    There is no force like the force of a BETTER IDEA!

  8. That’s true. But what I really have in mind is that the Law as the earliest unit of revelation sets the ground-rules, the metaphyics if you will. You can’t get rid of freewill later on because the Law already makes it clear we’ve got it: “Behold I set before you life and death; choose life that you may live.” You can’t bring in a Trinity because the Law is clear from the beginning there is only one God. You can’t make God a man because the Law is clear “God is not a man that he should repent, nor a son of man that he should lie. Shall he promise and not make it good?” You can’t just throw away these groundrules and claim that its “progressive revelation.” Progressive revelation might add a commandment or something, but it can’t change all the metaphyical rules; that’s nonsense.

  9. “Growing up in a SB church, I never heard the word “mystery” or “paradox” once. It was all thinking, learning (much of the OT in Sunday school) & being responsible & good. How to obey & please God. Now good is a very bad 4-letter word. Oh my! ”

    A mom, it is uncanny how similar our SB growing up experiences were. I do not recognize at all what the SBC has become. It is like a “religion” and I do not recognize it.

    A while back I kept seeing SBC YRR seminary people and pastors writing about how shallow the SBC was with all their “morality” teaching which was a dig on exactly what you are talking about….we were taught to be responsible for ourselves before God. Because He gave us the ability (including the Holy Spirit).

    They want us gospel navel gazing as you know we cannot be moral unless God forces us to be.

  10. TRUTH AND AUTHORITY?

    Where should Christians look for God’s authoritative truth? Should it be the Bible? Should it be the church of your choice or the church you belong to by chance?

    The Bible was completed in 95 A.D. when the apostle John wrote Revelation. Who wrote the Bible? Was it God or was it the church?

    John 14:24-26 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent me. (THE WORDS JESUS SPOKE WERE FROM GOD THE FATHER) 25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all the I said to you.

    The words of Jesus were from God the Father and He said that The Father would send the apostles the Holy Spirit so they could remember all that He said. The words of the apostles were God’s word, their words were Scripture, their words were the Bible.

    In, John 14:24-26, Jesus was not talking to the Pope, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, Joesph Smith Jr, Mary Baker Eddy, cardinals, bishops, elders, so-called modern day apostles, preachers, pastors, nor any one claiming to speak for God. If the church or theses men as individuals, were speaking for God by new revelation, then, we would have added books to the Bible. There would the books of the Popes, the book of John Calvin, the book of Billy Graham, the books of elders, the books of churches, the book of Joesph Smith Jr. etc.

    THE BIBLE IS THE AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH.
    THE CHURCH HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO CHANGE OR OVERRULE THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE. THE CHURCH CANNOT ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY FROM SCRIPTURE!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>> steve finnell a christian view

  11. Steve,

    Welcome. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    When you say the bible has “authority”, what do you mean by that? Do you mean merely that the bible speaks truths regarding man’s existence and his epistemology? Or do you mean that the bible has the authority to overrule man’s own reason and mind in how he actively pursues his own life? Or is it some or all of both?

    When we proclaim that the bible has “authority”, we need to carefully define the term. Strictly speaking, authority is not like truth. Authority is force…meaning, authority retains the mandate to compel people against their wills if necessary in order that they should comply with its rules, or standards, or teachings, or laws, etc. etc.

    I have no problem arguing that the bible contains truth. I am a Christian…I think the OT in particular is the single greatest canon of thought ever realized. But that truth must be held to the standard of man’s life, not the other way around. Truth is FOR man, not man for TRUTH. When we begin to introduce “authority” into a body of thought, the assumption is that it is no longer necessary to actually convince men as to WHY the body of thought should be accepted.

    And that isn’t Christianity. It isn’t love. It is conquest. It is death.

  12. “The Bible was completed in 95 A.D. when the apostle John wrote Revelation.”

    Steve Finnell, why do you post so many spam posts trying to drive traffic to your COC blog to convince everyone that baptism is necessary to salvation?

    I used to be in the church of Christ denomination myself. And I’ve heard all the arguments a billion times.

    And this claim that the New Testament was compiled by the apostle John, where is your proof? The last page of my NT doesn’t say “And I John the apostle have compiled together all these books by the direction of the Holy Spirit” — does yours????

    Revelation was likely not written in 95 AD, but a little later like 120 AD. Its not very likely the Pauline epistles even existed until close to 140 AD. Justin Martyr in 150 AD does cite Revelation, but not Paul, and Paul would have been more useful for his anti-Jewish polemic. The 4 gospel canon was not even put together as a canon until 180 AD. Your lay never-read-anything-but-the-Bible-itself-and-don’t-know-any-church-history position over in the COC is not credible.

    And now, since I know you probably just drop these comments and never come back to read them, to your blog I head.

  13. Steve’s meaning of “authority” is the COC meaning: No church that doesn’t follow the Bible perfectly is a legitimate church, and nobody who attends an illegitimate church can be saved. The Bible’s authority does not only consist in what it says, but what it doesn’t say: “The silence of the Scriptures is authoritative.” This is used to condemn to hell everyone who attends a church that uses instrumental music. Because, the New Testament is silent on instrumental music, and “The silence of the Scriptures is authoritative,” meaning that you are not “authorized” (that’s a word they love to use) to do anything in church that the New Testament does not tell you to do. And if you do anything that is not “authorized” you will go to hell. Sunday school is not “authorized” and therefore, everyone participating in Sunday school will go to hell — and everyone attending a church that has Sunday school will go to hell, whether they personally participate in it or not, because we are to shun “the unfruitful works of darkness” — yes, they would dare use that phrase concerning Sunday school! Anything not “authorized” is an unfruitful work of darkness in their denominational vocabulary. But to them. they are not a denomination, but they are the one true church established in 33 AD on Pentecost. That’s why they only call their church “church of Christ.” It is, of course, splintered into many groups. Some have Sunday school, yet still condemn those who use instruments of music. Some use only one cup in communion, condemning to hell those of the same denomination who use multiple cups. Its a mess. Most by “The Bible is our authority” they mean that it is our authority to condemn everyone over pointless ceremonial things that amount to nothing in the gran scheme of things, and to ignore morality in much the same way the faith alonists do. If I sound bitter, imagine 30 years of this crap.

  14. Argo, I’ve started reading a book The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture by Yoram Hazony, because of a interview I saw of the author on youtube. I’ve read through the introduction so far, and he kind of sounds like you a little bit. Take this quote for instance:

    The question of what is meant by truth in Hebrew Scripture is pursued in Chapter 7, “Truth and Being in the Hebrew Bible,” which seeks a reconstruction of the metaphysical presuppositions of the biblical authors. I begin by observing that in the Hebrew Bible, truth and falsity are not usually qualities of things that are said, but of objects: In Scripture, we find that things such as roads, men, horses, bread, and seeds can be true or false! Examining the way the Hebrew word for truth (emet) is used in the Bible, I conclude that an object is considered true to the extent that it can be relied upon in the face of hardship and changes in circumstance. But how does this work? It seems to leave the biblical authors without a coherent way of understanding what is meant by true speech. Answering this question, I suggest, forces us to look more carefully at the Hebrew term for spoken words (davar, pl. devarim), which is also the principal term used in biblical Hebrew to refer to objects. I argue that the biblical authors don’t subscribe to a metaphysical picture in which word and object are independent from one another because they don’t see the world and the mind of the observer as independent form one another. They recognize the object as understood as the only reality, and hold that true speech (or true things) is that which can be relied upon in the face of hardship and changing circumstance. In fact, this is what is meant by God’s word.

    The object is the only reality. Now, who else says that?

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