Greg on the Tree of Life


(Ashwin S) #32

George, how is this the “analysis of a historian” :thinking:

(George) #33

@Ashwin_s, you ask how my last post is the analysis of an Historian?

It is my own “counter-response” to @Greg’s rhetoric. If you or he want a better response, then you or he better start using some of the more reliable forms of Text-Critical analysis.

Genesis is full of allegory and figurative narrative … and if he isn’t able to even identify it, I’m not going to invest a lot of time into a text-critical response.


Aren’t christians just as fallible when they interpret the Bible as when they interpret the scientific evidence?

(Greg) #35

Huh? For one to place his keen historical and pragmatic focus on the “tree of life,” an admitted rather subjectively defined item in the garden since it is ALSO present in the new earth where unblemished saints bought by the blood of Christ will reside but then ignore what appears to be a much more scientific and precise language to define a day and that there were 6 of them for God’s creation purposes is absolutely mind blowing theological illogic.

I don’t have all of the answers. But I still revere the God who gave us all life as One who transcends our existence and won’t be willing to play theological gymnastics to build a case for a new idea, a new book, etc either.

Maybe some young earth groups have made mistakes from time to time about the terms. But as I process all that is going on here, I believe that they and all of the fine theologians who are also young earth creationists are absolutely correct that when a case for Christianity is being made on the foundation of old earth evolutionistic ideas, Christianity can become muddled very quickly. Makes me wonder if much of the flack they get is less deserving and more empowered by the whims of the world.

(Ashwin S) #36

Yes… Christians can go wrong in Interpreting the bible … you will find that admission in the next few lines of what I wrote…

(Greg) #37

Jesus said, do not judge because when you do, the MEASURE you use will be applied to you. Who has the right to judge? God and Scripture says that we will be judged by the words that we say. I believe that we are all going to be surprised when those of us in heaven come into access to all true knowledge. We will be surprised about what stuff we misunderstood. I don’t want myself, my family or my friends to be judged because we chose to interpret what seems to be a logical rendering of Scripture in a way that suits human science or opinions. I definitely don’t want to be judged as a person who actually misled folks away from gospel salvation because I chose to be loose in how I interpreted Scripture either! Did you know that is exactly the language used towards the Pharisees by Jesus? The Pharisees chose to redefine Scripture to suit their logic and the apostacy created by this Jesus actually suggested caused others who WOULD have come to salvation if the apostate environment was not created by theological gymnastics in the first place. WOW.


I think the path goes both ways. People have left the church because they couldn’t accept a religion that required the denial of rather obvious scientific findings. It may be one of those darned if you do, darned if you don’t situations.

If you are saying that the Bible does not follow scientific logic, then that could be problematic.

(Ashwin S) #39

Actually, any detailed explanation of Genesis can become complicated.
The issues with a YEC interpretation are as below -
1). The idea that death did not exist from the beginning of creation -This directly contradicts the bible. (I mentioned how to you).
2) The fact that the bible does not say how old the earth is anywhere.
3) all that exists for the time of Adam is a count from a genealogy… the genealogy was not given to us to count the time of Adams creation and we can’t be sure they are complete.

As Christians we have often misunderstood the scripture when it comes to the time of things. Daniel predicted the coming of Jesus quite acurately, yet no one was prepared. The same is true for his return. The “last days” started with the ressurection of Jesus… it’s still going on. Peter cautioned believers and scoffers by teaching us that God’s timing is not like ours…
Humility in this regard is wise because the bible does not explicitly teach us these things.
It’s always a good strategy to hold on to that which is certain as opposed to fighting over genealogies.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #40

Greg, Christ-followers are commanded to judge:

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
---- 1 Corinthians 2:15 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul tells me that I am to judge all things.

So, have you considered that this topic of judging is a bit more complicated than what you are assuming?

And I don’t want myself to be judged because I chose to interpret the scriptures in a way that suits human theology or opinions (such as Greg’s theology and Greg’s opinions.) Did you notice what I did there? I put a spin on my rhetoric that is quite similar to the spin that you used. Anyone can play that same game of pretending that they alone are taking the high road and all others who disagree with them are taking the wrong road.

I would rather interpret the scriptures in a way that suits the author’s original intention.

Greg, I definitely don’t want to be judged as a person who actually misled folks away from gospel salvation because I chose to be overly literal in how I interpreted Scripture when that is not what the original author intended.

When Jesus said “I am the door”, should I interpret his words literally? Or should I recognize that Jesus was speaking more loosely, using a metaphor where he compared himself to a physical door which his audience would know from daily life and would recognize as meaning that he is the entry-point of salvation?)

Greg, you are confusing “interpreting loosely” with “Those interpretations which differ from mine, especially when those interpretations don’t seem obvious to me.”

By the way, Greg, one of the errors of the Pharisees was that they often would interpret the scriptures too rigidly (not too loosely) while ignoring the spirit of the Torah. (Remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees tithing from their spice racks?)

(Dan Eastwood) #41

Frankly, we all have that right. If the words I say imply “something awful” (a terrorist act, perhaps), then everyone should be judging me as wrong. In good conscience they should speak out about “awfulness”. We could name other real world examples of awfulness that pretty much everyone would agree to: hate speech, intolerance, injustice, etc…
It’s no great stretch to see that lesser awfulness can occur, with the same need to speak out. If this is the MEASURE that will be applied to me, then my answer is BRING IT ON.

(Greg) #42

Believe me, i understand exactly what you are saying… do u know the theologians whom i favor? John MacArthur being one of them…i think if i were the kind you are suggesting im interpreting, i would not be so adamant to vocalize rebuttal to many of the ideas, including some from yourself which i believe to be out of bounds scripturally.

Jesus tells us not to “judge” in His sermon on the mount. He is getting the attention of the Pharisees. Instead of abiding by Scriptural principle which should have produced humility and reverence to God and His word, they were putting their own spin on Scriptures and chose a view of the Messiah that fit their own political agenda. The basis of their accessing the True Messiah was one of self-righteousness- that is righteousness defined by self perceptions, self standards, self promoting ideals. This basis which was used to access who Jesus was was wrong and caused them to judge and condemn Him to death. Jesus said to them that the basis of their judgement would be used against them! If one could imagine standing before God and Him telling them that the Jesus he sought was one of his self perceptions and not the one defined in the pages of His Word!

How this relates to a discusssion about evolution?? It relates bc the players loose on Gen 1-3 tend to suggest the Bible not complete, or men still prophecying added material to Scripture, or mans science should cause us to rethink validity of Scripture instead of the other way around. Need to run to work…will catch up w your thoughts later tonight or tomorrow.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #43

I was introduced to John Macarthur many years ago but I never got to know him. John Macarthur is a popular preacher, not a theologian. Indeed, I’ve never heard him claim to be a theologian. He lacks the training of a theologian and his writings are not reflective of a trained theologian. And in all the years when I was attending the AAR/SBL and ETS conferences, I never saw Macarthur participating in the peer-review process of the academic community of theologians and religious studies scholars. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t expect the average preacher to be doing the work of a theologian. That is not the same job description. It is not the same calling. (Of course, many theologians are also preachers.)

I’ve never heard anyone claim that the Bible is “not complete”. I’m not even sure what that would mean. The Bible is not meant to be “complete” in the sense of some sort of “encyclopedia of all knowledge”. The Bible communicates God’s message of salvation and explains God’s will for his relationship with people and for the relationships between people. Science is not the focus.


Hey, Allen, I’ve just checked Macarthur and I have to ask, why do so many evangelicals despise (I don’t think that’s too strong of a word) work based theology?

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #45

Are you perhaps referring to those who have disagreed with John Macarthur on his “Lordship salvation” writings?

You may find a lot of useful answers to your question if you Google with the keywords “John Macarthur” and “Lordship salvation.” If you have questions beyond that—and your question is indeed a good one and a complex one—it may be worth starting its own thread. (However, I will say upfront that I haven’t kept current on that particular Macarthur controversy, so others on this forum may provide better answers.)

(Herculean Skeptic) #46

23 posts were split to a new topic: Faith, Works, and Paul

(system) #47

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