Another thought...

To go along with the previous post...

Since God has already reconciled people to Godself, and is 'not counting [people's] sins against them' (2Cor. 5), it seems to me that, again, the idea would be to show that you believe that by your actions, since, you will be held accountable for you actions at the 'end'.


Think about the impact of that statement in regard to mission. If 2Corinthians 5 is 'true', then we have got it all wrong. We are telling people that they are 'sinners in the hands of an angry god' when, in light of 2Corinthians 5, God has already reconciled with them. They just need to reconcile themselves back to God. It seems to me that we need to rethink this whole thing.

Blessings of God be with you.



Assentia said…
Jonathan Edwards has A LOT to account for.
Odysseus said…
Interesting comment. Thanks for noticing the quote. I would agree in part. I think that it doesn't stem from Edwards but goes back a lot further. All the way to Augustine, I would think. His idea of 'original sin' has done untold damage on the church and the world for a long, long time. Edwards was caught up in that world-view.

Thanks for stopping by! Please come by any time.

Ted M. Gossard said…
Okay, Odysseus. You seem to be saying people should not have to believe anything, yet you also seem to be saying that people need to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord along with their good works.

Of course people don't have to understand like what Paul writes in Romans and in Romans 3 about the the righteousness of God and faith in Jesus Christ, etc. But it seems to me that the gospel or good news is important for people to hear and believe in order to be saved. And from that to see their status as those of God's new creation in Jesus, as those baptized into Christ and thus living a new, resurrection life.

Your dichotomy may fit what Christianity does with the gospel: anti-creation, but it certainly doesn't fit what Scripture does with it.
Odysseus said…
Ted, I see what you're saying but I think that idea needs to be re-thought. That is, what is the answer to the question, 'Saved from...what/whom?' What was Paul meaning in Romans 3? Are we looking at this through the lens of Augustinian glasses and do we dare put on a different pair of glasses and see what we can see? What if being 'saved' in Romans 3 (or wherever) COULD MEAN something about the physical persecution leading up to and during the Roman/Jewish war? What if, during that time, which Christians were being tortured and slaughtered for their allegiance to a new King, making a confession of faith meant something different than we think it does? That is, standing up for Christ (and losing one's life) would mean gaining one's life in God's new world? What if it ONLY had a historical meaning -- or, metaphorically, what if it only applies to people in similar circumstances?

I'm just throwing out different thoughts here. Trying to shake us and see what falls off. If things don't need to change, then so be it. But if they do, and we continue to hold on to an old world-view (that really has nothing to do with our time now), then we have a problem.

Furthermore, while my dichotomy may not 'fit what Scripture does with the gospel', neither does yours. That is, how does what you wrote 'fit' with what St Paul wrote in 2Corithinas 5? Where does the Bible state that our forgiveness depends on our belief? It seems over and over again, the Bible ties our forgiveness to God's faithfulness.

Here is the rub. I am trying to reconcile people of other faith traditions, who promote a similar world-view, as authentic people of God. I may not be able to do that. Fine. But it is very hard for me to see God in Jesus (with 2Corithians 5 and other passages in the back of my mind) looking at Gandhi and saying, 'Sorry. You are not my child because you didn't believe that basic tenants of faith set out in the Nicene Creed'. Perhaps God will. But the Jesus I see in the Gospels is quite different from that. The people he seemed most upset with were with those who tied faith in God to a certain belief system. Same with Paul in Romans 2.

Lastly, I guess what I'm saying here is that are we certain that there is only ONE WAY of seeing Romans 3?

Blessings of God be with you.

Odysseus said…
You know, this just came to me too. It seems that I am doing the very thing that I don't like without even knowing it. I am trying to establish and 'either/or' thing when it would be better as an 'both/and' thing. I am not meaning to do that.

However, perhaps I'm not. Perhaps I'm trying to determine if those 'problem' passage need to be looked at in a different light. Obviously that is the case. But am I doing it to justify my own view or am I really trying to see things differently?

Maybe I should just rest in the mystery of it all.


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