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Monday, November 08, 2010

Day 68 (Evangelist Paul)

[reaction to OYB's July 24-26 readings]

Today's readings from Romans do not so much challenge my views as a liberal Christian, as they support the point of view of many evangelicals. Like the Gospel of John, I recognize many of these passages as very important to many Christian, if perhaps a bit less important to me. They include ideas like, Jesus is for the Gentiles, Rom. 9:8, God works in mysterious ways that should not be questioned, Rom. 9:19-21, sometimes God presents us with stumbling blocks, Rom. 9:32, and the biggy from Romans, chapter 10 verse 9, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

A more significant challenge to my world view comes from 2 Chonicles 18. Over the last 15 years or so, my study of the Bible and books about the Bible have confirmed what my dad told me about prophesy. Prophets were the social commentators of their day. They were not fortune tellers. What I have noticed in this read through of the Bible, and what is brought to light pretty clearly in this story about the death of King Ahab, is that fortune telling is probably at least a component of prophesy. It is wrong to miss out on all the social justice they are calling for; but, it seems equally wrong to suggest that they weren't also including predictions of unpredictable things.


Matt Dick said...

Why should it challenge your world view? That the authors were fallible men and wrote that fortune tellers told the future is not a challenge, is it? The authors could be mistaken or embellishing to establish the prophets, yes?


JimII said...

It changes my world view about what the authors were thinking when writing about prophets.

And, it only changes it slightly. for the most part, the prophets were telling the kings to get back in line with God, or God would kick their asses; not predicting future events like Nostradomas (or whatever). This passage--and others that have cause me to wonder--shows that predicting the future was a part of the idea of prophesy. Although, I still maintain it is not the full picture.

When you tell your kids to put on a coat or they'll catch a cold, you aren't really predicting the future, but informing them of consequences. I think that is what most of prophesy is.

Matt Dick said...

ahh, I see. Yes, the authors definitely thought they were telling the future to some degree. But I also agree with you that it wasn't the whole or main point they were making.