Re: Desired outcomes

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Apr 11 1997 - 17:33:00 EDT

OK, I'll show you what I sent earlier today...

>Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 16:13:20 -0400
>To: Bill Wald <>
>From: Jonathan Robie <>
>Subject: Re: Desired outcomes
>Bill Wald (
>Fri, 11 Apr 1997 15:08:40 EDT
>>If the purpose of reading the NT isn't theological, then what?
>>Literary? Historical? Cultural? Of what literary or philosophical value
>>are Paul's Epistles? Without theological presuppositions his logic is, at
>>best, tautological.
>If my pastor writes me a letter of exhortation, the primary purpose is
rarely theological, literary, historical, or cultural. Naturally, the letter
can be used to derive insights into theology, literature, history, or culture.
>The NT is fundamentally a call to trust Jesus and entrust ourselves to him
completely, to love one another, and to set ourselves apart for God. It is
not a systematic theology, a book of ethics, or whatever.
>>We Protestants have a problem. We believe the Bible but we don't
>>know what it means and we don't have a Magisterium or Apostolic
>>succession to tell us what it means. And because the canon is closed not
>>even God would be permitted to add to it, short of direct fiat from
>>Heaven. If Jesus should return to Earth without an army to support his
>>authority no Protestant Christian would believe him because his
>>appearance wouldn't be according to prophetic scripture.
>>But my church tells me that I end up in Heaven or Hell depending
>>upon what I believe about Jesus. If what I believe about Jesus depends
>>upon what wrote to the Romans and to those other people, then I need to
>>know what Paul had in mind when he wrote that stuff. If I can't determine
>>correctly for myself what Paul intended to teach the Romans, I go to
>>Hell. Isn't that why anyone bothers with NTG? Or have I missed something?
>I would say that the gospel is simple enough to be understood without
Greek, or even sophisticated English reading skills. And our salvation
depends fundamentally on our response to the radical call of Jesus, not to
our grasp of theology. Of course, I take the Word of God seriously, and want
to understand it in great detail, but the real abuses have often been due to
over-theologizing, not due to responding simply to the call of scripture.

Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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