Sunday, November 22, 2015

Faithfully Valuing the Limits of Scripture (PART 7 - HOW TO READ)

This series explores the nature of Scripture (specifically those aspects which many of us find uncomfortable) and what our approach to Scripture should be as a consequence. This exploration is needed because our intrinsic human biases cause us to assume that God's nature / aims / priorities / etc all line up with our modernistic worldview, which focuses on detailed accurate synergistic information. However such an approach to Scripture clashes with many of its properties. Our response tends to be to curate Scripture, or to minimize our engagement with the aspects we find difficult to explain. Instead, we should engage with all of Scripture as God designed it, and challenge our perspective on it when needed. What does it look like when we value the uncomfortable aspects of Scripture?

The series so far:

  1. Introduction
  2. Progressive Revelation
  3. Relationships and Cognition
  4. Morality and Evil
  5. Coping with Evil I
  6. Coping with Evil II
  7. How to Read (this post)
So far I've spent a long time justifying my belief that God is more interested in the meta-cognitive goals of person-hood, expression, and relationship. Now I want to start exploring the practical aspects of reading Scripture. 

Scripture's purpose, specifically, is to be a collection of some of the individual progressive revelations of God's person-hood throughout history, which taken together He has deemed to be the most universally useful expression toward encouraging relationship with Him. It does this in an incredibly dynamic way. If we focus on cognitive information and a harmonious synthesis of theology, we can miss a lot of what the Bible has to offer toward relationship with God, and at its worst it can lead us to minimize aspects of Scripture to the point that they are almost useless to us. How should we approach Scripture keeping relationship in mind, and balancing the usefulness and limitations of cognition toward this ultimate aim? I have some general principles to share, but this is something I'd like to grow in more, so please share your own thoughts!

How to Read Scripture:

1) Immerse yourself in the passage, allowing every aspect of yourself to be impacted by the experience. We don't expect each expression of a person to be perfect and balanced - and likewise with each revelation - but they are unique and beautiful and insightful. By reading Scripture and inviting the Holy Spirit to speak through it, you are touching an aspect God, a deliberately designed expression of Himself! Never let this slip by you. 

2) Utilize flawed cognition to your relational advantage. Despite its limitations - which I have emphasized in my defense of God's relational aims - cognition is central to our approach to Scripture for obvious reasons. Firstly, Scripture is written in a language, meaning cognition has to be engaged to even start experiencing it with your other non-cognitive faculties. Secondly, 'Immersing yourself in the passage' is something that's not under much of our direct control, since all our faculties are overwhelmingly influenced by external circumstances, our subconscious, and each other. However, cognition is unique in that it is also (at least partly) consciously controlled, which gives us an avenue to steer and focus our other faculties of experience. If we are discussing how we should control our approach to Scripture, this control has to occur through our cognition

3) Attempt to cognitively understand what God intended for people to experience from his designed expression in Scripture. How Scripture's designed relational purpose is realized - or whether it is realized at all - varies between individuals. Our cognition needs to understand the intended experience if it is to steer our experience in the right direction. 

4) Deliberately consider multiple different experiences of God from the passage in mind. I think this is one of the most productive ways to attempt to properly experience God's expression through Scripture. These different perspectives help us break out of our worldview and so avoid subconscious worldview hijacking of our cognition, so we can consider God's intentions for the passage more clearly. But more profoundly, they help us stick to the first principle of relational experience (rather than cognitive accuracy). If we understand another person's relational experience, it allows us to experience an echo of God ourselves. In addition to the hypothetical 'universal intended experience' we're trying to understand from a passage, it's as if we were experiencing a personalized expression of God by proxy (albeit one with greater potential for error in our understanding, and with less universal benefit than Scripture itself). 

5) Start with some 'high yield' perspectives. Perhaps most useful is that of the original intended audience or of the author, since these are clearly going to be integral to God's intended experience of his expression in that passage of Scripture[1]. Also helpful to consider are the experiences of early and/or orthodox church consensus[2]. A final group of helpful perspectives are those of individual saints who you discern to be relating well to God in a holistic sense - these may be dead or living saints, famous or privately known[3]. 

6) Allow your cognition to function naturally and form a harmonized view of God as a person. Try to see God through each of the expressions you experience which you deem to be intended by God, or genuine healthy relationships. Remember you are trying to understand a person in the light of all their complex expressions. Don't make a God up who wraps perfectly around all these 'experiences' (this can never take into full consideration the dynamics of person-hood). Instead try to understand the God who expresses Himself in these ways

7) Don't let our modernistic worldview hijack your cognition and make an idol of it. This is an imperfect process and does not define 'relationship', though it is useful and natural.  Do not be distracted away from the aim of relationship with God.  Remember that the hypothetical 'universal intended experience' is actually going to be a spectrum of experience, just like any public expression in earthly relationships. Do not become obsessed with the difficulties of forming a harmonized view of God. Focus on God's intentions for Scripture (rather than picking 'the best' interpretation), and focus on God as a person (where Scripture springs from Him, rather than the reverse). Where cognitive perplexity exists, relate to God through this (some perplexity is a normal part of any relationship).

Its more (or less) intuitive

This approach is fairly intuitive and natural - read the passage for what it is, and consider the spectrum of legitimate ways to experience God through it (even if they contain different mixes of cognitive gaps). Despite its simplicity and intuitiveness, this approach IS difficult - because our worldview isn't happy with cognitive gaps, and because this approach requires us to put aside our preferred priorities and seek God as HE wishes to be found.[4][5]


Reading Scripture should utilize cognition to focus the rest of our faculties and allow our whole being to experience God as He intends. At the same time we need to be vigilant not to focus excessively on our cognition, or elevate its importance above other aspects of relationship. One way to do this is to deliberately consider the spectrum of legitimate experiences of others through Scripture - including the original audiences and authors, church consensus, and individual saints. We should let our cognition form a harmonized view of God, a God who would express Himself through all these experiences. But there will always be perplexities of person-hood and relationship that our cognition cannot 'solve', and we need to be careful not to assume that this means something is 'wrong', and not to let this distract us from relationship.
  • Are there any other reading / interpretation techniques that you feel are important to enhance a proper relationship with God?
  • Do you agree that considering a variety of perspectives is important?
  • Do you agree that considering the whole experience - not just the cognitive aspects - is important?
  • When deciding which experiences are useful to consider in your interpretation of Scripture, how much attention do you pay to the cognitive aspects of that experience?
  • How do you feel about accepting inevitable perplexities when it comes to forming a harmonize cognitive view of God?

Coming soon...

  • Next I'll deal with some further issues people have with this approach to Scripture, specifically how it can seem to threaten traditional theological processes and the concept of 'inerrancy'.
  • After that we'll explore some specific examples of progressive revelation and how a relational approach to Scripture leads ancient and modern saints to Him, but through different cognitive paths. 


[1 - When attempting to understand the experience of the original audiences and authors, it can be helpful to remember how progressive revelation functions to serve relationship with Christ. Each passage was written to enhance as much as possible the revelation of Christ to the intended audience, taking into account their interpretive bias, and the historical processes God intends to drive as part of his expression to mankind. Thus this consideration can be helped a lot by an understanding of the times and cultures and language etc (which can seem daunting), but a lot of this can be gleaned from the Scripture itself. Important things to remember is that these audiences did not have subsequent revelation to balance their cognitive experience of God, that they had different priorities and worldview to us, and that they had genres of language that we aren't too familiar with in our modernistic society .]

[2 - Church 'concensus' is clearly not unanimous, and has also frequently been plagued by political and selfish motivations. However, the greater unity there is among those who seem driven by a desire to relate to the God of Scripture, the more authority this consensus has as a legitimate intented experience of God.  After all, the church - functioning this way - is the means by which we trust God to have chosen and preserved Scripture in the first place. This kind of concensus can allowing many doctrines labeled as heretical by the modern American/Western church, and can also be troubled by the influence of the current worldview (e.g. Greek thinking paved the way for modernism and tended to idolise cognition).]

[3 - The more you know a person yourself and are persuaded of there relationship with God, the less 'orthodox' their cognitive views need to be in order to be useful. Conversely, some 'orthodox' saints may have an experience of God that is less than convincing, and so may not be worth considering.]

[4 - Our modernistic mind will search for reasons to avoid worldview reform - e.g. by disregarding it as 'post-modernism'. This view is post-modern in the sense that it recognises the problems with modernism, but it is NOT postmodern in the sense of denying the reality or importance of cognition, absolutes, truth, consistency, etc. This approach relies upon the essential foundation of absolute reality and consistency in the person of God - but our experience of God should not derive all its meaning from how well we grasps all the cognitive details of God's absolute reality and consistency. The incarnation reveals how God is more than willing to 'empty himself', forgoing some aspects of His reality in order to better express others (e.g. His willingness and ability to relate to us).]

[5 - Even if we agree with this approach to Scripture, it doesn't make the difficulties go away! Our preference for cognitive information is deeply ingrained in our culture, and makes us constantly think about how this approach deals with cognition. What a shame to miss the beauty of the big picture, because we are thinking too much about how the picture is bigger than the sum of its parts and can't be contained in a cognitive description of it! What a shame to miss Jesus because we're thinking about how a person can't be described well with words alone! It can be good to understand how cognition and relationship interact - but Satan can use anything to distract us from actually relating to Jesus.]


  1. Thanks Josh!
    I particularly like this sentence -
    "this approach requires us to put aside our preferred priorities and seek God as HE wishes to be found."

    Josh, could you give us an example of a situation in scripture that could be seen in various different conflicting lights. For example, a situation where the viewpoint (or world view) of the person would be considerably different to someone like us who has thousands of years of further progressive revelations about God.

    I am sure that some actions or experiences from past prophets would have had good intentions based on their limited knowledge, but may not necessarily be something we would entertain today.

  2. OK brother Joshua, again I feel that I am always controversial, but someone needs to say it.
    I know that you have put a lot of work and thought into this post and I'm grateful for that.
    But I think that was and is the mistake of Israel, Israel wants to understand the Scriptures and to have a relationship with God and a deeper experience with God etc.
    All the Law and the Commandments was given to Israel, they had it all, but still they don't know God or have a relationship with God and neither can they.
    Israel always wanted their own ways and made up their own gods according to their own understanding and worshiped them on high places.
    They never listen to the prophets who spoke the oracle of the Lord, and when God came to His own, they received Him not but crucified Him on the cross.
    The same as today, it hasn't changed.

    Everybody believes in God, everybody wants a deeper relationship with their God, or a better understanding and experience etc. Well, can they??
    The answer to that is NO, they cannot.
    They are stubborn and stiff-necked just like Israel, I am speaking about the Christian church of today.
    All the preachers, blog-writers and book writers speak about 'GOD' and even every devil talks about GOD, and when I ask them, 'which God? please identify the God you are talking about', then they are unable to do so.
    So, where is the problem?
    I think that the problem occurs when the writer or speaker doesn't NAME the God that he or she is talking about.

    Brother Joshua, in your post you have mentioned the description deity 'God' 40 times and not once did you give Him His NAME, yes His only Name which is JESUS.
    You have mentioned the Name Jesus twice in the last two sentences, but not in relation as God.
    God without His Name is an unknowable God.
    You see, every one who reads your post will superimpose their own god with the name of their own god into that which you are saying.
    A Jehovah Witness will think that you are talking about Jehovah, a Muslim thinks that you are talking about Allah, Christians think that you are taking about their three god-persons etc. etc.

    Joshua, you need to put the Name of God into your writing, and that Name is 'Jesus', yes, Jesus and no other Name.
    The Name 'JESUS' will divide the sheep from the goats.
    And only then your message becomes clear to everyone and everyone will be drawn to Jesus who is the Christ the only God (Jude 1:25).

    Only in Jesus alone we can understand God, or have a relationship with God, or experience God, or whatever else there is. Jesus alone is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).

  3. HI Paul,

    Thank you once again for your comments. It is always great to share our thoughts and decipher what is true together.

    I feel that what you are saying in your last comment doesn't reflect what is portrayed in scripture. It is a noble thing to search the scriptures and divide the word of truth. The problem with people today is that people don't search the scriptures or attempt to divide them. They believe the first thing they are told and put their head in the sand when a differing view comes across their path. Josh examines the various viewpoints, takes what he sees as most likely to be true and pulls it together - a very noble act.

    Acts 17: 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    We have already discussed in another post about the Oneness theology v the Trinity and tend to disagree, which is ok. The Bible doesn't appear to be extremely clear about some of these issues and it takes a divider of the truth to see how it works - and these examinations can bring differing conclusions, but also agree on so much.

    The name of Jesus is not entirely essential (though I believe extremely important), because God never used that name for thousands of years, and yet people seemed to know who He was. Especially Abraham who was a friend of God! (Or was that not Jesus he was friends with?) We cannot limit our Creator to one descriptive name meaning "Saviour" when God is so much more than a "Saviour". A Saviour is only one element of many that represents who God is.

    Also, just because someone enjoys wrestling with the truths about God, does not mean they don't have a relationship with Him. In fact it is because they wrestle and try to understand God that means they are entering into a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him.

  4. Yes brother Daniel, I'm sure that not one of us will fall short against the Bereans. In fact we have a far greater advantage over the Bereans, they only had the Old Testament to examine, but we have the Old and New Testaments and the Spirit of God who leads us into all the truth.

    You said, 'The Bible doesn't appear to be extremely clear about some of these issues'.

    Yes Daniel, the Bible is very clear about all doctrines and every issue we can think of.
    The Bible is the Word of God written for us so that we can know and fully understand the whole counsel of God in every detail. For that reason the Lord Jesus has given us His written Word (Bible) and His Spirit to abide with us and in us forever.
    No man can fully understand the Scriptures without the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, and whosoever does not have the Spirit does not belong to God (Rom.8:9).
    We now know the Lord Jesus Christ no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (2 Cor. 5:16-17), therefore it is important that we have received the Spirit of the Lord Jesus.
    Without the Spirit of God a man is dead (James, 2:26), by that I mean 'spiritually dead' and he cannot understand the Scriptures, because the Scriptures are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).

    If you are talking about god, you need to give us the name of that god you are talking about, or else we don't know who you mean.
    Therefore it is the NAME which is most important or essential. Only the NAME can identify the god you are talking about.
    If you are referring to the name Allah, we know that you are speaking about the god of the Muslims, but that name is not the Name of my God and it has nothing to do with my God the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The same is with any other name.
    Perhaps you can see the importance of the only true Name of God which is JESUS.

    Because you mention the name 'Jesus', that does not mean that you are talking about my God, since there are many other men with the name Jesus.
    To address my God the creator of heaven and earth you need to put the TITLE 'Lord' in front of His only Name, and Lord means GOD, it doesn't mean anything else but God (deity).
    And if that is not sufficient, as it is not for some, then we or you need to add the DESCRIPTION 'Christ' after His Name, Christ means God who is Spirit (John 4:24) came in flesh, as the prophets have foretold.
    And if that is still not clear enough, you can add on His address :-) from Nazareth, Galilee and whatever else you know.
    But His Name is 'JESUS'! And no other.

    Well Daniel, I'm not pedantic about that, but Jesus doesn't mean 'Saviour'.
    The name Jesus is just a name, just like any other name, nothing special.
    In the district of Galilee many men were called Jesus and they surely didn't mean 'Saviour'.
    Jesus is distinguished from any other Jesus by His TITLE and DESCRIPTION.
    But a title and description is meaningless unless we put a NAME to it, and that name is Jesus the name of the true God which is above all other names.

    A name cannot represent God, not even the name Jesus, only the person of the Lord Jesus does.
    If you take away the Name of God, you have an unknowable god.
    If you give another name to god, you have a false god.
    If you have three persons or entities who are a god, then you are a polytheist and have transgressed the first commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Well brother, the road is narrow and only few are those who find it, therefore you need to make every effort to sort out that problem.

  5. Dan - I will be giving more examples in later posts! But here's my favourite example: Genesis (queue ominous music). Our worldview means that the modern controversies of Genesis are almost exclusively focussed on what information can or can't be gleaned from it, how 'literally' to interpret it, etc. This question was almost certainly not a concern for ancient readers.

    Creation epics were a common literary genre in ancient near east cultures and all Israelites would have been aware of multiple accounts from varying nearby religions. They were deliberately styled to be dramatic, to compete with each other (showing off their respective gods), and to emphasise that tribe's meaning and purpose. Ancient Israelites were happy to glean what was intended from Genesis - an emotionally charged view of God which was superior to surrounding cultures and gave Israel significance. This does require a lot of accurate cognitive information to be gleaned from Genesis, and a basis in real truth. But I'm sure ancient Israelites (if they even thought about it) didn't think Genesis could be taken as an clear unbiased accurate and complete cognitive description of all of Creation history. Instead its words and literary features work perfectly toward their relational purposes.

    This doesn't resolve our modern cognitive controversies - we can still argue about whether '7 days' was meant to be understood literally in order to fulfil Genesis' relational purpose, or not. But at least we're discussing things from a relational perspective, which helps focus our arguments on relationally-productive issues.

  6. Paul - It is important to ensure that the distinct personhood of Jesus is displayed and identified in discussions. One important cognitive shortcut to doing so is using God's name(s) - especially Jesus (since He is the best expression of God's fullness). I do need to remember to be more clear more often. Clearly distinguishing between Christianity and other beliefs is not the only goal however. Sometimes it is a helpful bridging step to talk more generically of common ground, to build relationships and open peoples minds and emotions to possibilities they might otherwise never consider. This is what Paul did frequently when talking to the Athenians and Jews, and it is a tension I often feel when writing public posts. Obviously my hope is to bring people to relationship with Jesus eventually, so I try to make Him apparent enough that everyone knows who I'm talking about, but without obstructing or distracting those who are just starting to search.

    Knowing God's name(s) is also an exciting and intimate aspect to a relationship. However it is not necessary to know God personally and intimately. My whole series is suggesting that specific cognitive beliefs are not the hallmark of healthy relationships, that we all have different cognitive (and non-cognitive) gaps in our relationship with Christ, and that cognitive clarity is not the aim of Scripture. So the 'name' of God is not necessarily needed, neither is a specific belief in oneness or trinity. Relationships are not so easy to differentiate as you make out. You need to understand motives, emotions, unconscious desires, worldview, experiences, as well as cognition to get a picture of whether a relationship is healthy or not. There are many instances in Scripture, history, and the present where knowing God's name does NOT indicate a relationship with God. And vice-versa - where a relationship with God (Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth) exists WITHOUT knowing His name. Both Trinitarian and Oneness theologies can be held for good reason based on a healthy relationship with the same Jesus Christ. I have been justifying this position, but if you disagree I'd like to hear where you think this justification fails.

  7. Thanks Joshua for saying that. I know that you are very sensitive in everything you say and you choose your words carefully in order not to offend anyone, perhaps that's why you are called a peace-maker :-)

    In contrast, I call a spade a spade and not an agricultural implement, my language is plain and simple and direct to the point. For me it is important to get the point across so that it is clearly understood, like the trumpet sound, it must be clear for the army to go to battle.
    To me, the Scriptures are black and white and no shades of grey, the moment a grey emerges, it is an uncertainty and it needs to be resolved.
    It is the will of the Lord Jesus to lead us into ALL the truth and not into uncertainties and speculations.
    Uncertainties cause us to doubt in the Lord Jesus and eventually fall away from Him into our own made up religion.

    Your comment to Daniel about 'creation' in example.
    The Scriptures do not support any other explanation apart from a 24 hour day creation.
    Yes there are Christians who believe in the six thousand year creation theory, considering (2 Peter 3:8).
    But the plain truth is that the Lord Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth and everything in it in six literal 24 hour days and on the seventh day He rested.

    Genesis 1:5, And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
    Genesis 1:8, And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
    Genesis 1:13, And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
    And there was EVENING and there was MORNING, a fourth day etc.
    Only a 24 hour day has ONE evening and ONE morning, a thousand years have many more evenings and mornings, therefore the thousand year theory is simply not true.

    Yes brother, my view might be emotionally charged against any other view :-) perhaps like Israel.

    Joshua, I still detect that you have put an 'S' on God's name [s].
    An 'S' means many names, but God has many titles and descriptions but only ONE Name and that is the most wonderful Name JESUS !!! :-)
    If God would have many names, then it would be easy for anyone to give me just ONE name of God, other than Jesus.

    Yes, you allow for someone else to think and believe that God has many names, but I don't.

    To say that God has many names is the same as to say that God is many persons, either way, it makes it impossible for anyone to know God or have a relationship with Him. Therefore Jesus said, that anyone will die in their sins unless they believe that He (Jesus) is the only one person who is GOD (John 8:24).

    Perhaps you can see the importance for NOT dividing His Name and His person, by that I mean not in the slightest form or way, because we who blog, preach and teach stand under a greater judgement than those who don't (James 3:1).
    I do not give to anyone the opportunity to entertain a god of their own making, an unknowable god with many names, or even a three person god (the trinity).

    Continuing on next comment.

  8. Joshua,
    Concerning a relationship with God.
    The Old Testament saints had a relationship with Jesus Christ without knowing His Name. Jesus said that Moses wrote about Him (Jesus) (John 5:46).
    I do not believe that from the New Testament time on anyone can have a relationship with God unless they know and believe in Jesus Christ alone and know His Name, that is because His only Name had been revealed.

    A relationship is two sided and the Lord Jesus will not have a relationship with someone who doesn't know and believe His only Name.

    The word 'God' is a description (deity) and that description can be given to anyone, even to the devil (2 Cor. 4:4), therefore the NAME is most important.
    Any god relationship apart from Jesus who is the Christ are relationships with demons.
    (1 John 4:3) "every spirit that does not confess JESUS is not from God."

    We need to put a name to the person with whom we have a relationship, if we put the wrong name, we will have a relationship with the wrong god.

    Tell me, how can someone have a relationship with three god persons (the trinity), knowing only three titles and descriptions?
    Father is a title and not a name.
    Son is a title and not a name.
    Holy Spirit is a description and not a name.
    So, how can someone have a relationship with three titles, without knowing to which name those titles belong?
    Can you see the importance of the name, and titles are not names.

    You said, "Both Trinitarian and Oneness theologies can be held for good reason based on a healthy relationship with the same Jesus Christ."

    Trinitarians believe that the Lord Jesus is not God alone, they believe that the Lord Jesus is one of three person who are God.
    They believe that Jesus is only the Son of God, a so called offspring of another person called the Father, and thus, God is divided and nobody can know who God really is.
    How can they have a relationship with God whom they do not know?

    The Oneness theology is a little better, they can see that God is not three persons, they believe that God is ONE person or entity. But they don't know which one, or who that person is. They think that it has to be the Father, therefore they give him the name Jehovah or sometimes Yahweh, and again they say that Jesus is only the Son of God, and thus they have removed the deity from the only true God Jesus Christ of Nazareth (1 John 5:20 and Titus 2:10 +13).
    So then, can they have a healthy relationship with the true God?

    But the Scriptural theology of the Spirit of God is that all the glory must be given to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
    Yes there is only ONE person who is God and that is the creator of heaven and earth, everything was created by the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing came into being apart from Jesus (John 1:3 +10 and Col. 1:16), and beside HIM is NO OTHER (Isa. 44:24, Isa. 43:10).

    Why is it that most Christians don't acknowledge that the Name of God is JESUS??
    Perhaps they don't believe that Jesus is God. :-(

  9. Hi Paul,

    Generally speaking, calling a spade a spade doesn't always make for helpful conversation because it gets people defensive. When people are defensive they are not at a point of being able to listen and reflect on the discussion.

    I'll try gather together implications of some of the things you seem to be suggesting... correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Paul G has the correct interpretation of the scriptures and others do not.
    2. Trinitarians worship false gods
    3. Because they worship false gods and not the single descriptor Jesus Christ, they do not know who God is
    4. And therefore they don't believe that Jesus is God... which means they are not true followers of Christ?

    Paul you were saying here:
    "To me, the Scriptures are black and white and no shades of grey, the moment a grey emerges, it is an uncertainty and it needs to be resolved.
    It is the will of the Lord Jesus to lead us into ALL the truth and not into uncertainties and speculations.
    Uncertainties cause us to doubt in the Lord Jesus and eventually fall away from Him into our own made up religion."

    Fair enough, we are allowed our opinion. Josh and I have at length talked about a more postmodern perspective of Christianity that honestly values and upholds scripture. We do this because there are uncertainties. If there were no uncertainties or grey areas in scripture then people would not be needing to wrestle with them. Exploring and acknowledging uncertainty does not necessarily equate with falling away from the Lord Jesus Christ but an honest admission of how things appear. In the NT Paul expects us to keep with our conscience (congruence) rather than covering it up. Being honest with myself and with the Lord Jesus Christ strengthens and deepens my relationship with Him. I personally believe that many of us are afraid of uncertainties because we cannot control it. Remember that God is the sovereign God, we are but small minds trying to grapple with the mysteries of God. I am very wary of any claim to understand with full certainty the mysteries of God -
    Romans 11:
    "33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

    34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
    or who has been his counselor?”
    35 “Or who has given a gift to him
    that he might be repaid?”
    36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."

    Paul, "Day" in Genesis does not necessarily mean 24 hours. The Hebrew word has various meanings. Even context does not necessarily interpret it as 24 hours. For example Day 7 does not have a morning and an evening. One can interpret "Day" it as a 24 hour period but it is not necessary.

    Also there is no reason to think that people cannot know God our Creator without knowing the name of Jesus Christ. I say again, thousands of years went by where Jesus' name was not known. People knew God because they recognised His "Christless" revelation of Himself at that time - the Most High God our Creator. There is no reason that I know of to think that God cannot do that today.

    Cheers brother

  10. Yes Daniel, you are spot on, but I think that all of us are mature enough to handle a direct approach.

    Point 1, well brother, I think that you should not give me too many compliments, or it might go to my head :-)

    Point 2, that is exactly what I am saying, you have been even more blunt than me.
    Consider this, if God is ONE, it follows that any other ONE is a FALSE god, there is no other way.
    If Jesus is the God of all creation, then any other god is a false god, that makes sense, doesn't it?
    If the Father is another person, other than Jesus, then the Father is a false god, because unto us is but one God and that is the Father (1 Cor. 8:6).
    If Jesus is God and the Father is also a god, then there are two gods which makes them idolaters and they need to repent.
    Yes brother, I know that 'repent' is a dirty word and no one likes to do that :-(
    They even sing worship songs to their gods like, "God in three persons blessed trinity".
    Trinitarians worship three persons, therefore ALL trinitarians worship false gods and they will not escape the punishment of the Lord.
    If someone believes that someone else, other than Jesus is God, then they already have fallen away from Jesus who is the Christ.
    I have been in many prayer-meetings to know that trinitarians pray to one god through another god etc. All trinitarians transgress the first commandment of the Lord and stand condemned before the Lord.
    I think that every trinitarian who reads this comment ought to listen and carefully reconsider their position.

    Point 3, if God is ONE, as Jesus has said (Mark 12:29), then ONE is a single entity, with only one name JESUS, or does Jesus have another name?
    Jesus is never called by any other name.
    Trinitarians believe that God is three persons (entities) and for that reason it is impossible for them to know God.
    Perhaps, ask the trinitarians in your church, ask them for the name of the god they worship. They always say reluctantly Jehovah or Yahweh and if you say, what about Jesus, they always say that he is only God's Son.

    Point 4, Well Daniel, what do you think, how can someone be a true follower of Jesus Christ and not believe that He is the Lord God Almighty the creator of heaven and earth?

    Yes brother, there are uncertainties, but they need to be made certain, they are only uncertain to those who don't understand them, but we understand those things and make sure that everyone else will understand and have a solid foundation in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor.2;16), and we also know all mysteries (Eph. 3:9 and Col. 1:26 and John 15:15 and many more).
    For us to proclaim the truth, we need to know and fully understand the full counsel of the Lord.
    The difference between the believers and the unbelievers is, that the Lord Jesus has granted us to repent and to readjust our beliefs and doctrines to the truth so that we are firmly grounded and knitted together in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Concerning a 24 hour day.
    In every language one day must have 24 hours even the seventh day.
    If it has only 12 hours, then it is called a half a day, and a half a day does not have evening and morning.
    But Genesis specifically says, and there was evening and there was morning, one day, just so that there is no misunderstanding and that is the meaning in any language.

    And what do you mean by "they recognized His 'Christless' revelation of Himself"?

  11. Hi Paul, thanks for your reply and sorry for the late reply (I hope you see it). It is great to chat with people like yourself who can take straight talk :)

    What I meant by "Christless revelation" is that the name Jesus Christ was not known for thousands of years and during that time many people did appear to know God and was able to be called a friend of God.

    I understand you feel strongly about Trinitarian thought. However, do you think God would accept the "heart" of a Trinitarian as being pure before Him, even though they were mistaken by coming to a Trinitarian reading of Scripture.

  12. Thanks Daniel, yes many people did know God for thousands of years, but which god did they know? Did they call him Zeus? Or Thor? Jehovah? Or what?
    Well, did they really know the true God?
    If it wasn't the Lord Jesus Christ, then they didn't know the true God, they believed in a false god.
    The Scriptures said, that JESUS Christ is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20), He is the ONLY true God (John 17:3) and any other god is a false god.

    All the Old Testament Saints surely did know the Lord Jesus Christ just as the Lord Jesus has said, 'Moses wrote about Me (John 5:46)'.
    Here you can see that they all knew the Lord God Jesus Christ of Nazareth the creator of heaven and earth, they just didn't know His Name in those days, because His Name was NOT given till He was born into His own creation in (Mat. 1:25 or Luke 1:31).

    It was very difficult for the Old Testament Saints to represent a God with no name, while all the pagans knew the names of their gods.
    If Isaiah, Jeremiah and all the Prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ would have known His Name, they would have in their days written just as I do.

    But as for us (the New Testament Saints), we ought to know His Name, and if we don't know His Name, we are worse than the pagans who know the names of their gods.

    Yes Daniel, I hate the trinity doctrine with a passion as you have already discovered, that is because I fully know what it does to everyone who sincerely wants to know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Well brother, just look at the denominational churches, they are as dead as a door-nail, the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ has departed and they can't even see it, and the 'Jesus' they preach is certainly not the Lord God Almighty the creator of heaven and earth as I preach Him.

    The trinity doctrine is the masterpiece of Satan to deceive the whole world and I marvel, he's done a really great job.
    With the trinity, Satan simply divided God so that nobody knows who God is.
    He divided His Name so that nobody knows God's name.
    He divided the narrow way so that everyone can follow their own way.
    He divided the truth (John 14:6) so that everyone can believe whatever they want to believe and the list goes on and on.

    You said, "However, do you think God would accept the "heart" of a Trinitarian as being pure before Him, even though they were mistaken by coming to a Trinitarian reading of Scripture."
    No my brother, NO human heart is pure before the Lord our God Jesus Christ and especially not a trinitarian heart, that is an abomination before the Lord our God and unacceptable.
    Jesus said, 'that the human heart is deceitful, desperately wicked and beyond cure, it is evil from childhood etc. (Jer. 17:9 and Gen. 8:21)'.

    You see, Jesus did a lot better than that, He came to us and took our heart of stone and gave us a new heart, a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26), and only that new heart which is our new Spirit is acceptable to our Lord.

    The trinity doctrine and all our other deceptions are in our soul, but the new Spirit in us will convict us so that we would come to repentance, and whosoever has not received the Spirit does not belong to God (Rom. 8:9).
    All of us have been taught false doctrines like the trinity etc. but the Spirit will lead us into all the truth and the truth is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). The trinity is not the truth!
    If you have any Scriptural difficulties of rejecting the trinity, I gladly help you to clear those uncertainties. Meanwhile have a happy new year in 2016 and also to everyone else who reads that.