January 31, 2020
In response to her question of whether or not I ‘believe’ or ‘agree with’ free-grace theology.
Where I stand now is here: the OT is the writing of the state religion of Israel. It might be The Word of God and it might not be. Maybe it’s a question of parts. Man wrote it, of course. You’re question, I think, is really if I believe it to be true.
Some parts are clearly true and historical. We can verify that. Some parts are clearly not true and weren’t meant to be taken as such, it’s poetry. The question for Christians is how do you accept the different parts? I like the idea that much of the Bible should not be taken literally even though it does say important things about humankind. Of course, the same challenge is there: what parts are not true and what parts say ‘important things about humankind”?
You ask, too, about Calvinism. My view here is a whole lot looser than any label would imply. We know that the earliest NT books were written a generation after Jesus. Some were written even later. We know, too, that parts were added even later, maybe by a scribe wanting to drive home a point.
In general, I don’t think Christianity should be a religion of the Bible as much as a religion of knowing the Savior.
You probably don’t know it but I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with systematic theology for this very reason. They are big books with small type and long words that purport to codify everything we know about God. Really? Isn’t this like my favorite metaphor of a bacterium living in a fish’s gut at the deepest recess of the ocean writing a biography about the life of Dennis? Except to describe mankind such elevates man to the nth degree? But I love theology and I love systematic theology. They pose great questions to wonder about in front of the fire sipping strong coffee.
But here’s Christianity. Does you neighbor need a meal? Forget you’re triple latte chai or whatever it’s called and buy them a bag of vegetables and meat.
I know I didn’t even approach your question. It seems to me, on the face of it,that if the NT tells the real story of Jesus, He would hug you and say, yes. He would say “love G however you can muster it.”