Thursday, February 14, 2019

Fathers and children

A lot of rhetoric about looking after children is about hitting them (miss understanding of Proverbs 13:24). But here it is in the New Testament:

Compare some scriptures about fathers and children: What father gives his son a stone? (Matt 7:9); and how are we to care for our children? (Eph 6:4); (Col 3:21). And an example of it: 1 Thess 2:11.

Further on the Proverbs passage from Thomas Haller:
Through a closer examination of the Hebrew word for “rod” (shebet) one can see that in the Hebrew dictionary it has various meanings, a stick for walking, writing, fighting, ruling, and punishment. The word “shebet” is most frequently used when referring to shepherds who are tending their flocks. The Shepherds used the stick to fight off prey and to gently guide wandering sheep, not to beat them. Please remember that these verses come from a book of poetry. Writers of poetry use familiar words of the day to represent concepts that the people to whom they are writing can create an image of what they are writing about. The image that we are to extract from these verses in Proverbs is one of creating a culture of accountability. The point that God is making is that we as parents are to hold our children accountable for their choices and actions.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Cooking it up

Brenton Cook, in his somewhat OK article Hume's Guillotine makes some interesting comments which, to my mind, betray a misunderstanding of the doctrine of Creation.

A few quotes:

Ex. 1 Divine Command
Ex. 1
The Divine Command Theory at work? The problem is that this does not go to the heart of the matter. Murder is not 'wrong' becuase God says so. God tells us it is wrong because in a fallen state we are not able to live out our 'image-ness' and be in harmony with God who is love. It is not part of basic reality (shown in the Trinity) that one murders another. This is inconsistent with the first ontological step. That God (in three persons) is love and is always, without beginning or end. To murder is to turn your back on how God is and thus how we truly are, under the besmirching of sin. It is to participate in 'not-God-ness'.

Ex. 2 Begin with the Personal
Ex. 2
As I alluded above, Christianity almost begins with the personal basis of reality. I say almost because that is rather abstractly philosophical. The Christian begins with God in three persons who is love. The loving relational basis of reality!

Ex. 3 Paternal Command Theory

Ex. 3 
Only a Calvinist would choose this illustration! Read the extract, then read Philippians; try 3:7-16.
Our relationship with God is completely different from the reflexive Calvinist talks about commands, not love! Compare some scriptures about fathers and children: What father gives his son a stone? (Matt 7:9); and how are we to care for our children? (Eph 6:4); (Col 3:21). And an example of it: 1 Thess 2:11. Simple; we are not to anger or exasperate them. Nothing like the first stop of Calvinism.  For a biblical approach to the example in Extract 3, see my remarks above.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Philosphical apologetics

A starting point for the subject:

Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) book III, part I, section I
In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.
If you don't get it, leave a comment and I'll enlarge a little on it.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Lead me where?

In a recent  article on Smart Church Management on team charters the term 'leader' was used.

My comment:

I don't like the term 'leader' in any Christian context. We are led by the Spirit. The term creates an impression of inherent authority which runs against the dynamic of a church. Better 'convenor', 'facilitator', 'organiser', 'administrator'. More humble, more Christian, more community, and more accurate.
I could have added 'minister' as well, or 'servant' to defuse any historical confusion. The age old term that truly and scriptually describes who we relate in the church. Church is not a business, political party, military unit or Boy Scout troop.