In a thread at Marshall’s place a liberal theologian was claiming that Paul was wrong in some of what he wrote in the Bible. Finding this amusing from a person who claims to be a Christian, I said, “Hey everyone, [name withheld to spare him further embarrassment] is right and St. Paul is wrong. Just wanted to clear that up!”
Thanks! I’ll cop to that on some things. Absolutely. Specifically, any thoughts of his that are defined primarily by his time and place and culture.
Oh, where to begin. It never occurs to these pretenders that all they are doing is making a god in their own image. They find a few points of agreement with the Bible, as if having your Venn diagram overlap a bit with another group made you one of them (Hey, the KKK is pro-life but that is about the only thing on which we agree).
They assume that wherever they disagree with Paul that they must be right and Paul must be wrong. But they think we’re arrogant and “bibliolators” for taking the claims of the Bible to be true. So they know what God really thinks but Paul didn’t, eh? They pick and choose what they like and assume they have it right.
They are just your basic Dalmatian Theologians, believing the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots. They follow their hearts, but live in ignorance of Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? They claim to follow Jesus, but ignore his views on the Old Testament, marriage and so much more.
Then there is the question begging of saying they are thoughts of Paul’s and assuming God didn’t inspire them. Paul claims to speak for God and Peter viewed Paul’s writings as scripture. Presumably this expert thinks Peter was mistaken as well. So if Paul wasn’t speaking for God and if the ~3,000 specific instances where God is quoted are wrong as well, then the Bible has so many lies that I don’t know why these folks bother to open the book.
And they assume that their views aren’t unduly influence by their time, place and culture — never noticing that their beliefs are virtually indistinguishable from the far political Left and that they discovered Paul’s “errors” regarding same sex unions at about the same time that MTV did. Go figure.
Sometimes it is just best to let others write all they like and let their words convict them — such as when they put their words over scripture. Sort of a blogging version of Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy.
I really like this quote by Dionysius, an early church leader:
I myself have read the writings and teachings of the heretics, polluting my soul for a while with their abominable notions, though deriving this benefit: I was able to refute them for myself and loathe them even more.