Started by Brian Stoffregen, July 23, 2007, 07:27:56 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 27, 2007, 04:00:13 PMI can see clearly from your posts why there needs to be both an LCMS and an ELCA. I could not, in good conscience, preach the text as you suggest, and you couldn't do it the way I do. We belong in different church bodies.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 27, 2007, 09:43:24 PMQuote from: Scott._.Yakimow on July 27, 2007, 03:37:24 PMBTW #2 -- Check out John 21:13. Here, Jesus takes bread and fish and gives it to the disciples. Perhaps he levitated it?Do such questions help understand the meaning of the passage? Why was this story remembered? Why was this story significant in John's community (and then for us)? "John," or whoever added this epilogue, certainly intends it to be connected with the feeding of the 5000. Those are the only two places in the NT that a particular word for fish is used. It is often argued that the feeding miracle is John's teaching on the Eucharist. Which suggests that both of these "fish" stories have meanings related to the celebration on Holy Communion. (It's been argued, and I think they are pursuasive, that the continued celebration of the eucharist grew out of these post-easter eating stories rather than just what happened in the upper room. Jesus was present in the disciples' eating at Emmaus and on the shore.John 21 also has many other more-than-historical/factual meanings, such as 153 fish being a symbol for all nations, such as the connection between the word helko found in 21:6, 11 and its use in 6:44; 12:32; and 18:10. Hauling in the fish is similar to what Jesus does in drawing all people to himself. Peter's actions in hauling in fish is in contrast to his drawing out his sword.
Quote from: Scott._.Yakimow on July 27, 2007, 03:37:24 PMBTW #2 -- Check out John 21:13. Here, Jesus takes bread and fish and gives it to the disciples. Perhaps he levitated it?
Quote from: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 04:40:17 PMAnd, of course, the interpretation of the church for two millenia. I don't disagree with Peter, though I might be more inclined to say the reverse is also true: The Bible says it happened because it happened.
QuoteOh, I don't think so. Think about textual criticism: scholars generally assume the the "most difficult reading" is most likely to be original. Besides, lest we forget, Bethlehem was a nothing backwater town of low population. Herod's slaughter of all the children under two (which likely wouldn't be all that many children, though obviously still horrible) would hardly catch the notice of the world beyond Bethlehem--particularly in light of Herod's known brutality.
QuoteWhatever that message might be, huh? Whatever they think it might be, or hope it might be on any given day.
QuoteSo on the Festival of Holy Innocents, you preach about the need for affordable health care? OK then.
QuoteOr maybe different universes?
Quote from: ptmccain on July 27, 2007, 10:10:44 PMWhen the texts are not important anyway, as they aren't for those of Brian's ilk, it doesn't matter, and you can twist them and turn them and make them say whatever you want. Brian, ultimately, is a charismatic/enthusiast who doesn't need the text, nor reality of the texts. All that matters is the "transformational" nature of the texts.Brian does not even clearly affirm that he believes that the resurrection of Christ's body is a fact.
Quote from: Mike_Bennett on July 27, 2007, 10:35:45 PMAnd yet, several ELCA pastors here would, I think, preach the text much more as Peter suggests rather than as you suggest.
QuoteAnd as one of them pointed out a few replies downstream, the Church has forever interpreted the text much more as Peter suggests.
QuoteI don't think it's realistic to suggest that your way is the ELCA way. There is in fact a current discussion going on in ELCA pitting "your" way against "Peter's" way of interpreting Scripture. I think it's useful for the LCMS participants in this forum to know that; presumably the ELCA participants already did know it.
Quote from: Scott._.Yakimow on July 27, 2007, 10:49:09 PMBut if the facticity is abandoned, the power of the proclamation is abandoned because it becomes the recitation of a fable.
QuoteYou had mentioned previously that if Thomas had touched Jesus, he wouldn't have touched anything.
QuoteThese post-resurrection stories indicate that Jesus' resurrected body was of such a type that physical activities -- even eating -- could be engaged in. So while you addressed something that was not my point in my BTW #2, it does illustrate the point that I'm trying to make and which I still don't see you as clearly responding to.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:15:48 AMFor full disclosure, the paragraph that precedes the quoted one says: "We bear witness that the Bible is our only authentic and infallible source of God's revelation to us and all men, and that it is the only inerrant and competely adequate source and norm of Christian doctrine and life. We hold that the bible, as a whole and in all its parts, is the Word of God under all circumstances regardless of man's attitude toward it."What was new in this section is that the words "inerrant" and "infallible" were applied only to "Christian doctrine and life." This left open the possibility that the Bible did error in other matters, such as science or, might we even say, history?
Quote from: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 11:57:45 PMOK, McCain, Benke, the word "ilk" is hereby banned from further use. (Unless I use it, of course.)
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:25:08 AMQuote from: Scott._.Yakimow on July 27, 2007, 10:49:09 PMBut if the facticity is abandoned, the power of the proclamation is abandoned because it becomes the recitation of a fable.I think that's a false dichotomy. Parables are powerful proclamations -- perhaps the most powerful things Jesus said; and their power is not based on their facticity. Myths are powerful stories in perhaps every religion and their power is not based on their facticity. (Technically the word "myth" does not necessarily mean something made up. They can be based on historical events, but that isn't where their power comes.)
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:25:08 AMNot quite. I said that if Thomas had touched the hole in Jesus' hand, he would have touched nothing.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:25:08 AMThe Jesus in the story of John 21 is portrayed as having a physical body. The Jesus portrayed in the first appearnce story in Luke 24 does not seem to have a physical body, because it disappeared and was not recognized as Jesus, until the great theological moment of breaking bread; but the Jesus in the second appearance is portrayed has having a physical body of flesh and bones that they could touch; and he ate before them. Yet, this same Jesus, was carried away into heaven. In the stories of the risen Jesus' appearances to Paul in Acts he does not have a physical body -- unless light is considered something physical.
Quote from: Dan Fienen on July 28, 2007, 01:20:04 AMPerhaps I have gotten confused, so correct me if I misrepresent you. Can I take it that you would agree that it is possibile that the Bible did err in matters of science or history? And that such errors should not be considered significant since what is important for us is the more than literal or factual meaning that the Biblical stories teach? Is this your position? If I have understood you incorrectly, please clarify.
QuoteHowever, is not the discernment of the more than literal or factual meaning that the Biblical stories teach and hence the "Christian doctrine and life" taught therein also a matter of interpretation? I read a story and it says something to me in my life situation and interacting with my life story. Someone else reads the same story who is at a different place in her/his life and with a different life story and the Bible story tells them something else. It may even mean to them something opposite to what it said to me. Whose interpretation should be privileged? Is it even legitimate to ask who is right and who is wrong? Both interpretations appear valid to the person interpreting the story for its true significance.
QuoteIn what way then would it be meaningful to talk about the Bible being "inerrant" and "infallible" or even authoritative?
QuotePerhaps its significance is that these stories resonated and were seen as meaningful for the followers of Jesus who first wrote them down and for the communities that remembered and in which they were recorded. They have been meaningful - inspirational - for believers who have continued to read, tell and meditate upon them through the ages. So also they are meaningful and inspirational for believers today even if they do not derive the same meaning from the stories. (Or not if they do not appeal, like the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem to the couple attending a service, in which case why not discard them from my personal canon of meaningful Bible stories?) We have a continuity of stories even if not a continuity of belief about what the stories mean. Is this the faith handed down by the fathers?
QuoteIs there any way in which a preacher, or a church body could say of a Bible story that it means this and not that? Or even if we cannot determine what it "really" means, rule out some suggested meanings? Is the only absolute truth we have that we have no absolute truths? And do we know this absolutely?
QuoteIf a story can mean anything at all, that is it has no definate meaning but has whatever meaning the reader assigns it, can it actually mean or teach anything? Do not the Bible stories (especially since their meaningfulness do not lie in their reportage of historic events - which they may or may not have done with undeterminable degrees of accuracy) become a kind of Rorschach inkblots, meaningless in themselves until the reader pours meaning into them, what they mean to me?
Quote from: Scott._.Yaki mow on July 28, 2007, 09:07:49 AMI'm not talking about the parables that Jesus told -- I am talking about the things that I have mentioned repeatedly, i.e., the suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and ascenscion of Jesus (I was going to substitute to the word "we" for "I" in this sentence, but I realized that that would be false -- we have not been talking about much of anything except what apparently comes to mind at the time).
QuoteBut in any case, my point has always been that you cannot and must not separate the facticity of Jesus suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension from the proclamation of it. So when we are talking about what Jesus actually did for us, there is no dichotomy between the two. BUT YOU ARE SAYING THAT THERE IS -- THAT ONE CAN TAKE OR LEAVE WHAT JESUS ACTUALLY DID FOR US AND STILL HAVE THE MESSAGE.
QuoteTo repeat, I am not speaking of Jesus' parables, but of his suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
Quote from: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 12:26:19 PMThe text states what is intended: to teach us that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, truly, bodily, physically. If he did not, as Paul says, then we are truly among all men most to be pitied.
QuoteI've said it before, but I still can find no difference at all in how Brian is approaching the Gospel texts than how one could well use Aesop's Fables or Grimm's Fairy Tales. They all contain truth, they can all be transformational, while they can all be absolutely factually untrue, which is irrelevant to their power to transform.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:08:52 PMI think Luther opened up that possibility when he believed every believer should have a Bible in their own language so that they can read and interpret it for themselves. He trusted that the Spirit (and I think he might add, the church) would guide them into right interpretations. We know that this doesn't always happen.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMI am arguing that these stories from the time they were written, were meant to be understood as more-tha-literal and more-than-factual stories.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMI am saying that the gospel stories are not all that clear about exactly what Jesus did for us. I am certain that he suffered and was crucified. Part of that certainty is the fact that all four gospels are pretty similar in their stories of his suffering and crucifixion. In a sense, to argue against what I said above, it is like having four eyewitness report the same or similar things about an event. If they all agree, it is more likely that it happened as they have told the story. There is agreement in the gospels about the empty tomb. There is agreement about a resurrection, both in the gospels and other NT writings.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMI'm arguing, as I do for any miracle stories, that we look for the meaning(s) of the event; which is what I am calling a parabolic interpretation of the story. I don't think that the stories are told just to inform us, "This is what happened." That is part of it, but asking questions such as "Why does Matthew include this story?" "How does it fit into his entire work?" I think that it is significant and part of Matthew's message that at the beginning of Jesus' life and at the end, the idea of Emmanuel: "God with us / I am with you always" are affirmed.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMThe other approach, is to assume that such well-defined doctrines that developed over the years, are not present in the scriptures, and we study each Gospel on its own merits.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMWe take each gospel, I think, more seriously when we do not try to impose later doctrinal matters onto the writings.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMMatthew has a different theology than Mark, Luke, and John. The ascension is not part of his story. Resurrection appearances are not part of Mark's story. I believe that we need to take those differences seriously. God gave us four different gospels.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:42:50 PMI think that when you talk about suffering, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, you are speaking doctrinally, e.g., what we confess in our creeds. I am talking about the stories in the gospels (and in Acts and Paul where they relate to these events). Doctrines are important. As I noted elsewhere, interpretations that deny the gospel are false interpretations.[/u] However, trying to fit something like the Ascension or Pentecost into Matthew or Mark's stories of Jesus, is to misuse the stories God has given us. (This isn't to deny either event, but taking even more seriously the messages of Matthew and Mark.)