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Passions in Poetry

Righteousness and Peace have kissed

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Stephanos
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0 posted 12-18-2002 12:34 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

In a previous thread, a point was made about the apparent discrepancy between the ways of God in the Old Testament and of Christ in the New Testament.  Although this situation can be used to mock or angrily discredit the character of God as portrayed in the Bible, I have found that it can be a legitimate point of concern.  Because if there is a true inconsistency then the revelation of God is seriously flawed.  I myself have struggled with the question.  How, for example, can the teachings of Christ about love, be reconciled with God commanding the Jews to kill in acts of war?  There was a time in my Christian walk when I took it for granted that God was justified in everything, and it made moral sense even if I didn't understand.  However, this became a more difficult position to maintain as I began to take seriously the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles.  Also developing a love for people and humanity made these accounts all the more heart-wrenching to me.  Through much prayer, seeking, and meditation in the scriptures, I found what was an adequate reconciliation in my mind... something that, though still requiring a degree of faith, gave me peace and yet satisfied my genuine questions with some cogent answers.  The title for this thread is taken from a bit of Old Testament Poetry where the Psalmist David (I believe), wrote:


"Mercy and truth have met together;
Rightousness and peace have kissed
" (Ps 85:10)


The point is, for me, I saw after a season of struggle the true possibility for the rigorous "rightousness" or "stern justice" of the Old Testament to be reconciled with the revelation of Peace and Love of the New Testament.  Another scripture mentions that the "Lion shall lay down with the Lamb".  Poetically and metaphorically, this is what happened in my heart as I came to see some different things in scripture I never considered.  I am opening the question for discussion.  While I am aware that not everyone will respond to this using scripture, and that neither should I expect it, I want to make the point that when discussing an internal matter of consistency within a worldview or faith, whatever is seen as authoritative within that system must be the primary source of reference.

  

Are the ways of God as recorded in the Old Testament antithetical to the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament?  If so, is a cogent synthesis possible?



Just for a possible direction for discussion, I have some interesting thoughts about the differing functions of Law and Grace, coupled with the idea that if God's revelation is partial rather than total, and progressive rather than stationary, an apparant inconsistency might have a genuine reason behind it, and perhaps is not an inconsistency at all.  A catepillar, cacoon and a butterfly are three things which are hard to synthesize until the fact of metamorphosis is observed.



Stephen.
  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-19-2002 01:57 AM).]

Midnitesun
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1 posted 12-18-2002 09:58 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Hello. I am not a Bible reader, so I'm not able to address this with specific references. From my vantage point, I've always considered the Bible and other major world religious manuscripts as arrows pointing to a 'progressive revelations' theory as the fundamental truth. In my own mind, it correlates well with general evolutionary concepts. We progress, evolve, metaphorph individually and as a group....but not always in a direction that is desirable. Some prefer the state of the egg or cocoon to the emerging moth.
So while I'm unable to cite any specific passages, it makes sense to me that you would find many ideas in the New Testament different from the Old.
Stephanos
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2 posted 12-18-2002 11:52 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Midnitesun,

I am not so ambitious as to attempt a synthesis of world religions.  Actually I don't think it is possible to reconcile the underlying incompatible worldviews involved, unless of course you say that religion is just a fanciful or primitive way to describe the evolutionary process of humankind.  But that is mythologization of all religions, denying their ultimate answers, and supplanting them with the ultimate answers of evolutionary naturalism.  But in my opinion, this is no genuine synthesis since there is no real attempt to even explain or bring together points of conflict.


I am merely speaking of the possible synthesis of different expressions which sprang from the same source, and rest upon the same basic worldview.  These "dispensations" occurred at different times but proceeded from the same Hebraic worldview.  But world religions and their contradictory systems of thought often exist(ed) contemporaneously.  It may be difficult enough to synthesize the different elements of the Old Testament  Bible and the New Testament.  And I am posing this possibility here.  But to try to bring everything in the world together, I am not prepared.  Nor do I think it is even possible.  But to try to do so would make an interesting thread of it's own, no doubt.  Here I am dealing with complex pieces of a puzzle which at first glance seem impossible to fit together, but I am dealing with them within the framework of Christianity.  

I am asking if Christians can solve this seeming juxtaposition without just saying, "well that's just the way it is", or without rescinding the claim that Christianity is the fulfillment of God's exclusive revelation to the world . . . a revelation with Hebraic roots.  Can the Lion really lie down with the Lamb?  I'm answering in the affirmative.


Stephen.
Opeth
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3 posted 12-18-2002 12:12 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Which one of the Godhead gave the orders to kill in the OT, the Father, the Son or the HS? Doesn't it say in the NT that all things were created by/through Christ, so wouldn't that make Christ the Godhead of the OT?
Stephanos
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4 posted 12-18-2002 12:30 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

It was not the purpose of this thread to debate over the Trinity.  We can discuss this issue on simple terms where it is admitted that the God of the New Testament is the same God of the Old Testament.  So if you want to know how the Creator of the Old testament can be reconciled with the Christ of the New Testament ... then we are asking the same question.  However, we can do this sufficiently without spinning off into a dispute over the Triune nature of God.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-18-2002 12:32 PM).]

Opeth
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5 posted 12-18-2002 12:38 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Stephan,

It is rather obvious to me, that as soon as you read my reply, you immediately misinterpreted my intentions. I am not trying to debate the trinity. To find an answer to the question you posed in this thread, I believe we would first have to establish which Godhead gave the orders for the Israelites to kill. The trinity dispute never even entered my mind. Your biased opinion of myself was most evident in your response.
Stephanos
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6 posted 12-18-2002 07:08 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

Believing as I do that there is one God who does not act against his own nature, I don't see how your question is relevant to this thread.  The Old Testament refers to YHWH, or Elohim when speaking of God.  Sorry if I misinterpreted your intentions.  


Stephen.
 
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