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Friday, July 20, 2012

The problem with fundamentalism, part 2: Religious fundamentalism - - a response

(This is my brief response to the article which I encourage you to read in its entirety. gt)

Really, there is no problem. Yes, I can appreciate if that sounds simplistic, but it's more in the interest of brevity. I have read both parts of your series.

The things you enumerate: the imperfect nature of words, translations and trinity are the old wheel-spinning rut of best-selling book stuff by Ehrman and others.

You are correct words are imperfect and as such incapable of delivering perfection. It is the dialog of discernment and the resultant understanding which delivers perfection; the completeness by which anyone is able to coherently express their own understanding of a word in context of a passage or a life situation.

As many times as I have heard anyone reject my teaching because of a particular Bible translation in my hand I have been just as quick to ask for their own translation. Why? Because the point to be made can be just easily made from any translation. Yet, the translation scramble remains a favorite to create the impression the presenter has any understanding or in any case to create the desired confusion in the faith of those who have heard their words.
Personally, I have no need, use or desire for the term trinity. It suffices for me as a reader of the New Testament that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are alluded to, spoken of and manifested in different ways as different, distinct entities. I have no problem with any who uses it. I do reject the favorite charge often made that I am merely parroting what Constantine and the council of Nicea delivered to the church. This is a common falsehood and error.

It is a falsehood because the council merely acted on what it acknowledged was already common knowledge and practice throughout the churches all over. It is in error because I am able to speak of and teach the realities of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as they are presented in scripture without any reliance on a document from the Nicean council. If, and I emphasis IF, what the council determined and what I speak and teach are the same it is not because of the council, but because, as I said, the NT is permeated with these things. There is no need for a catchy and perhaps well-intentioned term coined a body led by a emperor with little to no knowledge of scripture.

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