March 27, 2008March 27, 2008 by Nathan Just War theory?!? Not in MY Bible… Greg‘s written another killer post on Christianity and the bogus-ness of trying to justify war from the Old Testament HERE… Share this:TweetEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading... Related
6 thoughts on “Just War theory?!? Not in MY Bible…”
Another “killer post” about the dubiousness of “Just War” theory. Ironic no doubt, but the argument Boyd gives is anything but “killer.” For starters, he seems incapable of realizing that Yahweh and Jesus are the same God — so trying to differentiate between them is futile. It was Jesus who called for all those wars Boyd wants to ignore in the OT. And he does so by an appeal to the loving Jesus of the NT, as if the God is love mantra that makes us all feel better somehow negates the God who is just.
Not very convincing or well-thought through.
Thanks for the response. There are few things that I think perhaps that you are missing. First off, if God hadn’t revealed himself through Jesus, we wouldn’t have nearly the same understanding of who God is or how he operates. Let’s face it we are finite, God is infinite. We need him to reveal himself. Seems to me that if God were to reveal himself in human form, that is the way that we can understand the best. As Boyd notes, Hebrews says Jesus is the exact representation of God.
Jesus also notes (in the sermon on the mount) that the Jews have gotten things a bit turned around. He refocuses them towards a better understanding. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Why would he say this if he didn’t really mean it or if it was inconsistent with his own likeness.
It seems pretty scripturally consistent to interpret God and the Old Testament through Jesus himself, not the other way around… as Jesus was the incarnation of a God who we will always have an infinite inability to understand.
…OK, but the “Jews’ interpretation” of God does not change who God is … and who He is, is the same God as Jesus. He revealed himself in the Bible AND in the person of Christ. Your “interpretation” does not change the fact that it was Jesus who commanded, and helped wage, the wars in the OT — whether Greg Boyd wants to admit it or not.
“Jesus was the incarnation of a God who we will always have an infinite inability to understand.”
Not true … we do NOT have an “infinite inability” to understand God. We have a finite ability to understand Him. Our inability to fully understand Him does not preclude our ability to understand Him and understand Him pretty well by what He says in His word and what Jesus represented.
I’m not sure why the EC folks insist on setting up the false dichotomy which says that since we cannot fully know Him, we cannot know Him at all.
I appreciate your thoughts. These dialogs help us to grow and learn together.
I should say that my comment regarding an infinite disability to know God was indeed a bit loaded. I DO believe we can know some of God’s character… especially that which he has incarnately revealed through Jesus. Yet here is why I phrased it that way. God is infinite, we are finite. By definition, infinite is endless and without limits. If we have a finite understanding, it doesn’t change the limitlessness of the infinite. So, we get a little handle on God… but that doesn’t mean that there is now less of God to understand. That is why I think we will infinitely not know all of God.
I don’t know of any specific EC folks who would say that we cannot know God at all. Personally, I am just trying to be honest with what I don’t know. Specifically, I don’t know that all of God is contained in the Bible. I believe in the Bible because I believe in Jesus, not the other way around. I don’t believe in Jesus because I believe in the Bible. I do believe that Jesus, even what I don’t know about him (which is a lot) is the fullest revelation of who God is. I believe that he revealed God even during the events that were not recorded in the Bible.
And in regards to the Bible… and this is where we may differ… I believe that the Bible was written by humans. While God’s presence was in the writing, so was human limited minds and experienced. Quick example, if you would have talked about Trinity to an A.D. Jew, you would have been stoned. That wasn’t the God they followed (in their own minds, or in the OT), but it WAS the God that they followed. Maybe their warrior culture came out as well in their actions. Maybe when they felt that God was telling them to go in and slaughter entire cultures, it was more what they wanted to do rather than what God wanted them to do. I mean, doesn’t it seem consistent with God of the WHOLE Bible that the Israelites were meant to “be a blessing to the nations.” They didn’t do such a good job of sticking with this command given to their forefather, Abram.
Just some thoughts. Thanks for continuing the conversation.
You are crazy! Either accept the bible as the infalible word of God or burn it. It is not just a good book and with out it you have no gaurd rails for good and true doctrinal discussion or beliefs. You simply end up following your own opinions and using the bible as a tool to prop them up. At some point you will need to take a stand and stop trying to be so philisophical and profound. At some point you will stand before the God of the bible and answer for your casual approach to His word. All of who God is that He wanted to reveal to us is in His word. From the Just and Ritghteous God of the OT to the loving and forgiving God of the NT. You cant just pick and choose which characteristics of God you like and accept. you either accept Him on His terms for who He is or you dont. God is just and if He told the Israelites to wipe an entire nation out then it was just and was/is providing us a clear picture of His nature. You cant re-write history to make it say something else. God is God and He gave us His word to reveal Himself to us. That is what we have and I for on am thankful for His true and infalible word.