2009 11 18
I'm sitting here writing this blog using a laptop computer that is sufficiently far from any wifi connection so as to prevent myself from being connected. I'm going to write it and I cannot guarantee how long it will be for me to upload it to my site.
I recently finished reading a very good book by Gregory A. Boyd called God of the Possible. Mr. Boyd explains quite nicely a theological viewpoint that seeks to solve the logical contradiction that ultimately results from the traditional view that the past and the future is laid out before God and from God's perspective there is no perceptive difference between the past and the future. The contradicion reveals itself when a person attempts to hold the timelessness of God yet hold on to Biblical claims that God answers prayer and that God responds favorably to the petitions of the saints.
The fact of the matter is that modern protestant Christians view God through glasses that to a great extent are strongly shaded by paagan Greek philosophy and very lightly by actual Biblical evidence. Many Christians approach theology by philosophy and then look into Scripture to find support for their conclusions.
Mr. Boyd demonstrates how an unbiased examination of Scripture will result in a theology very different from the classical (philosophical/church tradition) view.
Here are a few quotes.
Defenders of the classical view argue that the purpose of divine testing wasn't for God to find out how his covenant partners would behave, but for the covenant partners to find out something about themselves. Unfortunately for this view, this is not at all how Scripture describes the matter.
God tested Hezekiah "to know all that was in his heart" (2 Chron. 32:31).
... (more examples) ...
Note carefully, these verses do not say that the purpose of the testing was for the covenant partners to know their own hearts.
Scripture teaches us that God literally finds out how people will choose when they choose (64-65).
[O]ur hearts respond to things more passionately if our minds are able to understand them. My conviction is that many Christians do not pray as passionately as they could because they don't see how it could make any significant difference. They pray, but they often do so out of sheer obedience and without the sense of urgency that Scripture consistently attaches to prayer.
The common saying that "prayer changes us, not God" simply doesn't reflect the purpose or the urgency that Scripture gives to petitionary prayer (95).
We are to pray that the Father's will would be done (Matt. 6:10), not accept things as though his will was already being done! (102)
It takes a truly self-confident, sovereign God to make himself vulnerable. It takes a God who is truly in authority to give away some of his control, knowing that doing so might cause him incredible pain. By contrast, to simply control others so that you always get your way is the surest sign of insecurity and weakness (149).
The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to believe, but he does not make it impossible not to believe. Scripture makes it clear that people can - and do - resist the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives (e.g., Isa. 63:10; Luke 7:30; Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:30; Heb 3:8, 15; 4:7).
From all of this [sic] it follows that if a person is saved, they [sic] have only God to thank for it, while if they [sic] are not, they [sic] have only themselves [sic] to blame (139).
That last paragraph is the only place I noticed any grammatical errors. Everybody knows I have a large beam in my own eye. It is still a very good point made by Mr. Boyd.