Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Christian Ethical Dilemmas and Christ Alone

"When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations... when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy." -Deuteronomy 7

"God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God...You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also...“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. " - Jesus Christ (Matthew 5)

To me it disturbs me as I debate with others who know the bible and that God commands genocide. I know that they were 'sinful', but it still disturbs me greatly. I was watching a debate between Dr. Alister McGrath - a genius Anglican Priest and Scientist, and Christopher Hitchens -all around atheist douchebag (sorry about the ad hominem). Here it is:http://fora.tv/2007/10/11/Christopher_Hitchens_Debates_Alister_McGrath

McGrath keeps quoting St. Paul from Colossians saying that Jesus is the Image of the Invisible God and so he is the final revelation and that he is the final interpretation. He says reading the Old Testament in light of this makes it 'ok'. But how can you read those two statements and reconcile them. Hitchens is smart enough to know alot about Christianity and says that Christianity denounced Marcion who wanted to only leave Luke and Paul's writing in the bible and erase the 'jewishness' and in a way I think he's right that McGrath is a bit guilty of that.

So as I read the commands of God (the Father) in the Old Testament - whom I believe to be of the essence as Jesus (the Son) like any good trinitarian, I am deeply troubled as what appears to be a contradiction in character. Maybe God isn't all good, after all, "from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come" Lam 3:38. This sounds scarily like Calvinism's ideas that God arbitrarily assigns wrath to people and salvation to others... I am not sure if I am capable of worshipping such a God, not because I can disprove this from the bible, so much as it is simply awful.

So my conclusion is that I realize that Alister McGrath, and Karl Barth have taught me alot about Christo-centric theology. It is the idea that Christ is the basis of all scripture and the find their authority in Him. The Bible is only important in that it tells us accurately about Jesus and God's incarnation. This is the Old Protestant ideal: Solus Christus - Christ Alone. Jesus is the centre of everything, he IS the very WORD of God, the Logos, the great icon of Deity, he is the picture of God and his revealed character, it is as St. John of the Cross said "In giving us his Son, his only and definitive Word, God spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word, and he has no more to say".

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