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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Comments, Comments, Comments

Since I had posted the Emergent Embraces Ecumenism post, I have decided to comment a little bit. Some of you may not be aware of the situation, but much of it has to do with how one defines and describes the kingdom of God. It also has do with the relationship between Christianity and other religions (how we relate, dialogue, "learn," etc.) I have attemped to address the issue from different angles and looks like I have upset a few people. On one blog, I have been charged with "anti-semitic" language. Interestingly enough, my comment was nothing but a quote from Jesus. Go figure. I must admit that I do not comment much on people's blogs, but in the last couple of days I felt important enough to do so. If you would like to read or join in the issue, check out Steve McCoy's post here.


Anonymous Mike Noakes said...

Which comment was anti-judaism?

12/12/2005 01:07:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Click on the link "on one blog" and it will take you too it. It was my quotation of John 8 and John 5 texts.

12/12/2005 01:25:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would take that to be anti-judaism. I think you need to rephrase that next time you say it. No offense or anything, but Jesus wasn't speaking to the Jews. He was speaking to the religious leaders of both the conservative and liberal end of judaism.

And he called them sons of hell.

It wasn't against the Jews, it was against hypocrisy on both sides of the table. Which is something we evangelicals forget so often today.

I'm not saying you're anti-semitic... but that statement, apart from any context of your regards towards jews, would be taken as such.

12/12/2005 05:18:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Having given some additional thought to what I said, I agree. The tone was too harsh. Also, if I had any clue of who J. Shawn Landres is (Director of Research in the S3K organization), I probably would have approached him differently.

That being said, I am NOT a anti-semitic. I am NOT in any sense, form, or fashion intending to trivialize or minimize the significance of the Jewish race in the eyes of God. They were God's chosen people in covenant with Jehovah. Yet I believe that the Jews need Jesus. Salvation is in no other name. Whether I meet a Jew or a Samaritan, a Roman or a Greek, I want them to know of the love of God abounding and overflowing in Jesus Christ.

For the sake of discussion, I have attempted to defend what I consider orthodox Christianity. I do not believe that Christianity in belief or in practice should be syncretized with any religion, even Judaism. And where Christianity is challenged, I feel it necessary to meet that challenge with God's Word in a humble, yet truthful way. Where I have failed to do that, I ask God for mercy and forgiveness; and where I have been faithful, I ask that God remind me that I am nothing without Him.

12/12/2005 11:09:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree with you that all people have fallen short of the the Glory of God. And I believe that the call of salvation is given to all (I did intentionely word it that way to avoid any differences we may have regarding divine election).

What would you have syncretized to mean? There are obvious comparisons (although many more contrasts) in other faiths that would bear some resemblence to our own. As paul said, speaking to another faith, There are many things you have right. Things you are looking for. Things you are trying to satisfy.

"yes, but..."

12/12/2005 11:15:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

What I mean by syncretizing is the assimilation and integration of other religious belief into Christianity (or vice-versa). Christianity is fundamentally incompatible with every other world religion. It cannot be syncretized (joined to another religious tradition). Many have tried to do so but have only wound up denying the essential truths of the Christian faith. What they end up having is something entirely different and contrary to what Christianity originally is.

I am assuming that the reference you are making with Paul is from Acts 17. That being the case, I am sure that Paul was well-read (given his credentials and background). Paul reasoned with the men of Athens and in the Aeropagus concerning the "Unkown God." But it is imperative that one see that Paul's reasoning began (Acts 17:18) and ended (Acts 17:32) with the resurrection. He was not giving credit nor was he trying to find commonality with their religion; rather, he was showing them that the One and True God is none other than Jesus Christ par excellence. The response was divided - some heard of the resurrection and mocked this "babbler" and others inquired further with greater interset. But be it known that he preached Jesus Christ as God, and his resurrection as proof of his deity. This same Paul also also said that if Christ is not risen, our faith is futile, our preaching is purposeless, and we of all men are most to be pitied (1 Cor. 15).

The distinguishing mark of Christianity is the person and work of Jesus Christ. And it is here where the essence of Christianity is found, and it is here where Christianity is incompatible. Where there is commonality, it is at best peripheral, and I am aware that many religions carry the same human ethic. But moral or ethical overlap does not overlook undilutable truth-claims which must be appreicated if each religion is to be given due respect.

If you could give me specific examples of truth claims of other religions where there is commonality, I will consider them. I know of a few already (for example the meeting of religions around the doctrine of the Trinity) and have been studying them. Let me know what you find.

12/13/2005 05:52:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morality and Ethics are truth. You really need to read Velvet Elvis.

12/13/2005 07:11:00 PM

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