The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. However, the blog is meant to be a series and so if you find it interesting you can go back and read it or, if you would prefer you can download a PDF of the entire blog. This PDF will be updated every Saturday so that it will have the entire blog, from first post to last, through the latest Saturday.
Before we look at some of the obvious implications of what we have covered this far in the blog, it is important to recap the following points. Instead of sharing this particular posting with you dear reader, referring to we/us, I would like to shift for the moment to me and what I have discussed. I have shown that the current evangelical and fundamental view of the scripture, i.e., referring to the bible as the word of God, is not what Jesus and his apostle’s taught. They taught that the word of God was Jesus and the gospel and that the scripture was the scripture. This changes the focus to redemption and therefore, the scripture is the source of understanding the gospel and not necessarily a handbook for faith and practice…It can be used that way sparingly but not to the extent that it is used today.
I have looked at a transition between covenants that began with John the Baptist and continued on to 70CE the destruction of the temple and, even on to 135CE and, the plowing under of Jerusalem. While it has not been developed that much yet, I have begun to look at the Jew-Gentile distinction that was present in the New Testament writings. Likewise, I have looked at the blending of covenants during this time of transition and how that has carried over into evangelical and fundamentalist doctrine and dogma.
Finally, I have looked at the imminent expectation of the fulfillment of prophecy, the actual grammatical expression of the beliefs surrounding the end of the age and the age to come. I have shown that this expectation was limited to the generation alive at the time of Jesus and that it is everywhere in the New Testament writings. I have suggested that the imminence is stated in such a way as to demand seeing first century fulfillment.
This leads me to conclude that there is a lot about current evangelical doctrine that is questionable to say the least. Let me state right here that I see clearly that the church through out the centuries did pass on enough of the gospel message, (at times with greater light and at times with the light shrouded more), but in any case…the gospel message, the work of Christ on behalf of humanity, has been handed down from generation to generation via the church. And thereby we owe gratitude to the church no matter what the status of light is. With this I think that the apostle Paul would agree (Philippians 1:15).
Let me state plainly that I have a very high Christological view. In my opinion and belief, Jesus is God and is the uniquely first born son, that while in him, I am like him, he is greater than me. I am comfortable with the apostle’s creed. The farther removed from the first century, the more skeptical I am of creeds in general. I thank you for the opportunity to state my beliefs lest some should conclude things about my beliefs that are erroneous.
This post is growing a little long but I want point out that in the next posts I will point out exactly what I think the implications are and what we can gather from these implications.