Posted By MSH on February 27, 2009
Mr. Molina writes:
Could this be about how God sees/relates to history?
He knows the end from the beginning, doesn’t this put Him then at an advantage (obviously, but bear with me) to “pull the strings” as it were of history, events and time, so that what seems like mistakes, errors, or mysteries to us will be completely vindicated, explained or mean more in the future?
MSH: If you have language in Scripture is genuinely unscientific (i.e., contrary to the reality of general revelation), it won’t be vindicated.
It definitely seems to mirror what has been happening since the revelation was written. We know more now than we did back then; knowledge will only increase, yet God stays the same and so does His message and truth even as it continues to educate and aid our faith and as it increases our knowledge and fear of Him…so, at the risk of sounding sci-fi, I can’t help but think that this is exactly what God wanted…each generation gets what it needs from the scriptures, no more no less. And He makes sure that each generation both preserves the revelation so far and understand much more of it for the next generation and so on until we all have come to the “fulness of Christ” to borrow the term…and I believe He does/will do this without so much changing the letter as our understanding of how the letters came together and what is and is not critical (which is the atmosphere the Bible finds itself in presently in history I think). We know from O.T. that God does ordain and carry out his plans in spite of men (nations/kingdoms rising and falling at his command). So, though we can never truly know the mind of God, I think we have a vantage point in time where we can discern a pattern of His priorities and intentions by what has been made clear and is not clear for each generation of humans post-text; ultimately, that He retrains our faith and teaches us who He is every time the bible is tested and found true in spite of our errors or its-and our-limited scope at present…and perhaps that is the main purpose of the exercise..not perfection (wholeness of the text) but perfect devotion (wholeness of our faith). If you subscribe to immutability (which after reading a post here I guess there are those who don’t…not throwing stones here) then God can remain wholly Himself (therefore holding all humanity equally guilty for sin) while at the same time holding each generation culpable for what it does understand from the written word…I think the sayings of Jesus on how Sodom and Gomorrah would be held in lighter judgment than the Jews He preached to for denying Him bears this out…meaning, that God doesn’t intend for any one generation to be the possessor of ALL sides of the truth at once at any given time (save what pertains to Salvation) and any attempt at this would be arrogant on our part (to assume this) but that we should use our energy and available resources to understand what God wants us to know today in light of what He has already spoken (sounds redundant, I know, this is the aim of all Bible publishers) while still Providentially guiding history so that the Bible continues to solve the problems of not- yet-born peoples…until He appears…(even the 1st generation who ever held the “true autographs” of the OT could not have known that Jesus was its fulfillment as that revelation was not yet given) it would be unbearable in the Judgment and unnecessary for salvation. I’m not trying to come up with a “cop out” theology, just trying to reconcile what we know from what we don’t know…I mean, if one of the first people who ever laid eyes on scripture came to life now I bet His understanding of it would be completely different and this in no way devalues the importance, worthiness, veracity or relevance of that scripture he learned and grasped!
MSH: This is a bit loftier and more ambitious than what I’m angling for! Generally, I agree with your sentiment that God’s truth was grasped unequally – and that can work in either past or present direction (i.e., an ancient person reading a given passage certainly could have understood it BETTER than we do, and yet we have an advantage in some respects via having more revelation – a greater “whole” can better illumine certain “parts”). How this reflects God’s greater acting in history I’m not sure (and again, I wasn’t thinking that big).