• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Help, looking for feedback

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by def, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. def

    def Member Supporter

    429
    +25
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    I have published an eBook, 'Interpreting the Gospel with Complexity Theory', and would appreciate some feedback. The eBook is on Amazon and it is free for three days, starting 21st March.

    Justification and some other hot topics are used as case studies, and the results may interest you.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

    692
    +222
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    Very cool. Would you say that a basic requirement for interpreting the Holy Scriptures would be to possess the Indwelling Spirit? Would you cover this at all? If so, and if the Supreme Teacher, the Holy Spirit is the core of your book, I'd be willing to check it out.
     
  3. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Member

    199
    +112
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    "This book introduces complexity theory and the principles of self-organisation in ant colonies. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the self-organisation process by resolving several conflicting Christian beliefs."

    This is an introduction on Amazon to your ebook. When someone interprets the Bible through a man-made theory, the process is backwards in my opinion. We are to interpret all things through the Scriptures by the leading & guiding of the Holy Spirit into all truth, not vice versa.

    Principles of SELF-organization is my first red flag.

    Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    Another red flag is this man-made theory resolves several conflicting Christian beliefs. First of all Christian beliefs are not in conflict with one another. The faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) and passed down doesn't have conflicts; it is in harmony with the very teachings of Christ.

    It is these teachings that make us wise unto salvation & how to grow up in our salvation (2 Tim 3:14-17) & telsl us what we need pertaining to life and living godly in this evil wordly system. (2 Pet 1:2-4)

    While you are excited about your new book & writing a book is quite an accomplishment (congrats), it should be in line with the Scriptures & proper exegesis not eisogesis.

    Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer & gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—& poverty will come on you like a thief & scarcity like an armed man.

    If your book is about the slothful person & how they can learn from the ant, THEN you are doing a biblical study. But if you are using the complexity theory to eisogetically apply to other 'hot topics' like justification (which isn't the topic concerning learning from ants) or resolving supposed conflicts in Christian beliefs, then you are pulling those verses out of context & not dealing with them as God divinely has shown. I hope that is not what you are doing.

    I will try to look at your book tomorrow with the free preview.

    I Thess 5:16-22 Rejoice at all times. 17Pray without ceasing. 18Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19Do not extinguish the Spirit. 20Do not treat prophecies with contempt, 21but test all things. Hold fast to what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,708
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Possibly, right here, you can post what you find to be in conflict and we can discuss this.

    In any case, ones can find a conflict, not of Christian beliefs but of how they themselves understand Christian beliefs.
     
  5. def

    def Member Supporter

    429
    +25
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    For three days, Interpreting the Gospel with Complexity Theory, is free to download from Amazon.

    Stephen Hawking: The 21st century would be the century of complexity.
     
  6. def

    def Member Supporter

    429
    +25
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    I won't say that the Holy Spirit is the core of the book, the goal is to show complexity theory as a method for Bible study, and in doing so, the book shows the various roles of the Holy Spirit. The Sermon on the Mount is central to the gospel message, the first Beatitude explains the gift and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The second Beatitude explains the Spirit as a Comforter, the spirit of Truth. The third Beatitude explains the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit, and so on.
     
  7. def

    def Member Supporter

    429
    +25
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    I agree that perceived conflicts are the result of how one understands scriptures. My book points out that traditional method of focusing on finding the author's intended meaning is the primary cause of errors. Instead, complexity theory focuses on finding relationships. The case study on justification shows that justification can be understood without knowing its meaning. When the process is understood, the meaning can be verified.
     
  8. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Member

    199
    +112
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Looking at your book, some of your basic premises are false, in my opinion, based on Scripture. First of all, you are using a man-generated, man-centered approach to interpreting the gospel message. You mention the science of complexity theory, which is primarily based on mathematics & probability theory--what would mathematically be the most probable solution.

    I Cor 2:4,14 And my speech & my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit & of power. And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

    That is antithetical to understanding the Bible. The Bible cannot be understood apart from receiving revelation from the Lord & being guided by the Holy Spirit into all the truth. It is the Holy Spirit that brings to our remembrance what Christ has taught & opens our minds to understand the Scriptures.

    Luke 24:25-27 Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things & then to enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses & all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.

    Luke 24:44-49 Jesus said to them, “These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets & the Psalms.” Then He OPENED THEIR MINDS TO UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURE.

    And He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer & rise from the dead on the third day & in His name repentance & forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

    And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father on you. But remain in the city until you've been clothed with power from on high.”

    Even a new believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can understand this simple gospel message & be able to be a witness to it. I know. I was one many years ago & was able to share this simple gospel message right away.

    Have you not read the early church fathers & their teaching on the prophesies from the OT? You realize, I'm sure, that the gospel message preached by the apostles came from the OT as they did not have the NT yet, except for the doctrine of Christ & what He taught.

    Third, you ASSUME that most Christians don't agree. That is a serious error. The basic message & understanding of the gospel is fully understood across Christiandom. The basic creeds are agreed upon 99% by every major branch of Christiandom (filoque being one exception or the very end of the Athanasian Creed).

    This is the error you have made. The gospel message hasn't changed for 2000 years. It was hammered out due to the prolific amount of heretical teaching that sought to distort the gospel. That is the main butterfly effect: heretical false teaching that results in chaos of the one true gospel message & leads people astray.

    Where disagreement comes in is usually in some minor issues like speaking in tongues or whether one can have assurance of salvation or not or the timing of Christ's return to earth (pre- post- trib, etc.) Those don't affect the basic gospel message.

    I have been involved with many denominations over 40 years of being a spiritually born again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ & have not found a difference in understanding of the basic gospel--except for one thing--those who deviate from this message, the butterfly effect--are cults & false, heretical Christian systems.

    The Apostle Peter gives a primary reason why people may have errors in interpreting the Bible, especially with difficult passages.

    2 Pet 3:15-18 Consider also that our Lord’s patience brings salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, WHICH IGNORANT & UNSTABLE PEOPLE DISTORT, as they do to the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    Therefore, beloved, since you ALREADY KNOW THESE THINGS, be on your guard so that you will not be CARRIED AWAY BY THE ERROR OF THE LAWLESS & fall from your secure standing. But grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now & to the day of eternity. Amen.

    One of the major issues of errors in Bible interpretation is not distinguishing between those who need milk & those who are tested & mature & can eat meat. Those who are infants & need milk are ignorant & unstable, just like an infant trying to learn how to walk.

    I Cor 3:1-9 Brothers, I could not address you AS SPIRITUAL, but as worldly—as INFANTS IN CHRIST. I gave you MILK, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy & dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man? For when one of you says, “I follow Paul” & another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

    What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. I planted the seed & Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. He who plants & he who waters are one in purpose & each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

    Infants in Christ often walk in the flesh & are carnal, demanding & selfish like little children. That is why Christ has gifted people of the five fold ministry to help the body of Christ be mature & not tossed about by every wind of doctrine. God has given elders/overseer/presbyters & deacons to serve in giving oversight & shepherding & feeding the flock.

    I Tim 3:6-10 He must NOT be a recent convert, or he may become conceited & fall under the same condemnation as the devil. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace & into the snare of the devil.

    Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued or given to much wine or greedy for money. They must hold to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Additionally, THEY MUST FIRST BE TESTED. Then, if they are ABOVE REPROACH, let them serve as deacons.

    Heb 5:11-14 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain, because you are DULL OF HEARING. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to reteach you the BASIC PRINCIPLES OF GOD'S WORD. You need MILK NOT SOLID FOOD! For everyone who lives on milk is STILL AN INFANT, INEXPERIENCED in the message of righteousness. But solid food is for THE MATURE who by constant use have trained their senses to distinguish good from evil.

    The basic principles of God's Word are then outlined in Heb 6:1-3. These are some of the basic tenets found in the Creeds. Another essential list is found in Ephesians 4:1-6.

    Eph 4:11-16 And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we MATURE to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

    THEN WE WILL NO LONGER BE INFANTS, tossed about by the waves and CARRIED AROUND BY EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE & by the clever cunning of men in their DECEITFUL SCHEMING. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head. From Him the whole body is fitted & held together by every supporting ligament & as each individual part does its work, the body grows and builds itself up in love.

    God has given safeguards.

    Thus the Bible is NOT identified as a chaos system. The Bible is identified by God as His 'breathed out' Scripture, His direct revelation to mankind, which is the truth. People by the billions have come to know Christ as their personal Lord & Savior & had no problem understanding the gospel message as brought about by God granting people repentance that leads to the acknowledging of the gospel truth & in faith turning to Christ to be saved & to follow Him as His disciple.

    The problem of the butterfly effect, as you call it, is primarily heretical teaching, not basic Christian doctrine that has been affirmed for almost two millenia.

    The illustration of the ant is a matter of eisogetic study not exegetical study. First, the ant (there are over 20,000 varieties of ants in the world) receives its designed functions from God. Just as birds & other creatures migrate & some mammals hibernate, God has uniquely designed them to function that way. It is not by change that they do what they do.

    Some ant species have older ants teach younger ants how to gather food.

    Second, the verse you quote has to do with teaching about slothfulness. The ant is given as an illustration to not be lazy but to work the crop & to harvest it at the time that it is ready to be harvested or its too late & the crop is lost.

    And that is basic Bible study principles of context & what the Scripture actually says. Most of the time it isn't hard to understand because the Lord makes most of the Bible understandable for those who have spiritual discernment by the Holy Spirit.

    The problem comes in making errors because of what you are doing: eisogetical study (taking a premise from outside Scripture & re-defining how to study it apart from how God revealed how to do it) that takes something outside of Scripture, then goes to try & find correlation & connection from isolating verses out of context like I showed above & using humanistic philosophy & mathematical analysis to arrive at your conclusions.

    That is dangerous ground to be on.

    Here is a prime example of how dangerous this theory is: "the gospel CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD from INDIVIDUAL SCRIPTURE."

    Of course it can & should be. One simple example is I Cor 15:1-5.

    Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received & in which you stand firm. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures & that He appeared to Cephas & then to the Twelve.

    What is of first importance that Paul Himself received, that his readers & we are to understand concerning the gospel preached & the gospel received & the gospel firmly held onto? If one doesn't hold this simple truth, one can believe in vain.

    Not hard to understand. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, Christ was buried. Christ was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Christ appeared to others verifying His resurrection & were eye witnesses of it.

    The simple gospel people receive & believe in & hold onto firmly is just what is said in that individual Scripture. Paul received it as of first importance. Who did he receive his gospel message from that he preached? He received it from Jesus Christ Himself.

    I quoted Jesus in Luke 24 as to what He said was the gospel to be preached to the whole world. ("These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is WRITTEN about Me IN the Law of Moses, the Prophets & the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.This is what is written: The Christ will suffer & rise from the dead on the third day & in His name repentance & forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.")

    Looks like indeed that is what Paul received from Christ as well as the other Apostles.

    The Creeds say the same thing: 'suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died & was buried...On the third day He arose again from the dead.

    All according to the Scriptures, from Moses forward. This is what the prophets preached. This is what Jesus preached. This is what all the apostles preached. This is what the church of Jesus Christ has preached for 2000 millenia. This is what the church around the world preaches today still.

    Same gospel message to be received & believed in & held onto firmly. What is the church's firm foundation? Jesus Christ, as the cornerstone & the prophets & the apostles.

    Not hard to figure out. Even a four year old can figure it out & that is verifiable too. Not complex. Not chaos. Not in error. Simple Scripture.

    You should try it & not abandon it. You should abandon your man-made & scientific mathematics to try & explain REVELATION. That is what it is: God's truth revealed to us by the illumination of the power of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED & not from persuasive word's of man's wisdom.

    The gospel message is simple that most common people can understand as the Holy Spirit reveals it to their hearts & minds.

    You are the one that is complicating it & making it complex & chaotic. This persuasion does not come from above.

    Matt 11:25 At that time Jesus answering said, 'I do confess to Thee, Father, Lord of the heavens & of the earth, that thou didst hide these things from wise & understanding ones & did reveal them to babes.

    Acts 4:10-13 Let this be known to all of you & to all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

    Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” When they saw the boldness of Peter & John & realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they marveled & took note that these men had been with Jesus.

    They turned the world upside down.

    Unschooled, ordinary fishermen, preaching the simple gospel message learned from Christ--before the highly educated, that put Christ to death--who rejected this simple gospel message.

    That is what it has been, for the most part, all down through history.

    I Cor 1:18-21,26-28 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

    Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly & despised things of the world & the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast in His presence.

    I Cor 2:13-16 And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is not subject to anyone’s judgment. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

    I am an ordinary man & I will firmly hold onto the simple gospel message that was preached to me, that I received & that changed my life. I am a witness of what Christ taught, the prophets taught, the apostles taught. It is all according to the Scriptures.

    It is the same message I have heard repeated in various Baptist sects, in various reformed churches, in the Brethren, in various Lutheran sects, in the Catholic church, in the Coptic church, in the Orthodox sects, in independent churches, in nondenominational home church fellowships.

    It hasn't changed. The fundamental simple truths remain the same & continue to change lives all over the world today.

    An uneducated native man was sitting under a tree reading the Bible. A sociologist studying this tribe saw it & said that the book he was reading was myth & fairy tale. The man looked up & said that if it wasn't for this supposed fairy tale that had transformed his life, he would have killed & eaten this man as his former way of life.

    Thanks for making your book available for these three days. I hope you can see my points. I could go into much more detail but hope you see the truth in what I say. May the Lord give you understanding in the knowledge & grace that is found in Christ Jesus.

    This saying comes from an otherwise undistinguished German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius. The phrase occurs in a tract on Christian unity written (circa 1627) during the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), a bloody time in European history in which religious tensions played a significant role. The saying has found great favor among subsequent writers such as Richard Baxter & has since been adopted as a motto by the Moravian Church of North America & the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Might it serve us well as a motto for every church & for every denomination today?

    “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  9. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,708
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Well, if we can get to know an author, then we might be able to know what the person means by things.

    But in case we try to pick apart a writing, based on theories of what words mean to other than the author, now we might have a problem.

    And I am not going to assume who is a real expert on Greek or Hebrew :) I think I have seen how ones can tend to honor the scholars who are saying what they already believe in.

    And so, because I too can be already prejudiced while others also can be imperfect, prayer can help, but only as much as God makes this work! Because my own character can effect the prayer communication.

    Ok . . . so may be how ones were relating with one another had something to do with what was meant by what was said or is written.

    For example, John was resting his head on Jesus' bosom, when Peter made a gesture for him to ask Jesus who would betray Him. And Jesus used a signal to show who. He did not tell everyone, openly, but He dipped and passed the sop, to show who. There was inside communication, based on the relationship.

    And I think there were times when Paul wrote something that referred to a situation that the readers were acquainted with, but he does not go into identifying detail about the situation. Even so, things he said could be applied to other situations.

    Well, I would say someone can experience inside oneself what happens when God justifies a person. He makes a person right, by turning someone "from the power of Satan to God" (in Acts 26:18). Someone becomes right, by defecting to Jesus and His kingdom, but this includes experiencing how you are effected by being "joined to the Lord" so you are "one spirit with Him." (1 Corinthians 6:17)

    And the Bible says,

    "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

    There are scriptures like these, which talk about what we are actually experiencing, deeper than words can tell. And all this relates with various scriptures, so we get more and more of the love meaning of scripture.
     
  10. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

    692
    +222
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    I like your answer. Thanks!
     
  11. def

    def Member Supporter

    429
    +25
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    This is a common interpretation and I have several issues with it.

    First, the Bible has a much wider description of a slothful person; it describes a person who is like a door on a hinge, has a hand in the bowl but don't lift it up to his mouth, etc. It is more than lazy: he is easily swayed, he wants to be spoon-fed.

    Secondly, to procrastinate and miss out on the harvest is an obvious cause and effect; there is no wisdom in the advice, at best, it is a reminder.

    Thirdly, the passage calls the slothful to consider the way ant operates, it is about a process and not attitude.

    Fourthly, animals (e.g. beaver) are generally hard working, why pick the ants? Because it is about wisdom and not work ethics. Ants have a system of task specialisation: reproduction, foraging for food, security, labour, etc. Ants carry out the tasks without a guide, overseer, or rule (no planning, directing, or controlling). It is a system of self-organisation.

    Fifthly, the kingdom of God is never about food and drink (Romans 14:7), the Bible points to a way where the man in the vineyard with no understanding can get wisdom (Proverbs 24:30).
     
  12. def

    def Member Supporter

    429
    +25
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    I was hoping you like the methodology.
     
  13. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

    692
    +222
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    I really enjoyed reading your post. Nice Work.
     
  14. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

    +449
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    If Scriptures are seen as a wagon wheel with all the spokes emanating from/pointing to the hub (Christ and His redemptive work), then every (true) concept extraneous to such passages as 1Cor 15:1-4 are spokes on the wheel, and every false man-made concept is part of another wheel.
     
Loading...