Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Bush administration and WMD--discounting contrary evidence

A recent report charges that the Bush administration discounted intelligence discussions that doubted the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. See the article at: To be fair, "intelligence" by its nature usually fails to be 100% conclusive. I want to use this example to bring out a point on biblical issues.

There is a tendency to create a Scriptural paradigm, and to discount any passages that seem to conflict with this paradigm. But Scripture often has a funny way of not blowing paradigms.

For instance, Paul took a vow, even though Jesus spoke against vows.
Paul went and offered a sacrifice in the temple, even though he was under the new covenant.
The kingdom of God is said to come upon those whom Jesus healed, even though the kingdom was supposed to come in a fuller way at Pentecost.
Creation is longing to be restored, even though there is supposed to be destruction by fire.

Being intellectually honest requires us to fairly acknowledge all legitimate points of view. In fact, when we do this, we actually make our argument stronger.

What verses do you feel that the church discounts or ignores?


Anonymous said...

Wow. you pose a "dangerous" question. We, as Christians, need to be prepared and know why we believe what we believe and be able to speak about the reason for our hope. You James have a knack for asking questions. Questions are great; our friends will have them when we share Christ with them.

Growing up in the Christian Church (restoration movement, independent Christian church), we didn't talk much about the Holy Spirit. We shyed away from verses talking about the Holy Spirit, other than the fact that is comes to you when you get baptized.

Matt B

James said...


It is interesting that you felt that the Christian Church did not talk about the Holy Spirit. Our people often seem to assume that we (Churches of Christ)were the only ones who failed to talk much about the Spirit. In fact, many things which are assumed to be problems of our fellowship, such as an emphasis upon right thinking vs. right acting, splits, judgmentalism, and the like, are actually things which most church fellowships have struggled with. It is the product of modernism, and we are now transitioning to a postmodern era. This has its own positives and negatives.

Michael Hanegan said...

Hey James, great question. I think sometimes we like to ignore the passages that seem to hint at on ongoing salvation. We like to talk about passages like "for it is by grace you have been SAVED" (Ephesians 8) while at the same time ignoring passages like 1 Corinthians 1:18... "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are BEING SAVED it is the power of God."

Thanks for the thought provoking question.

James said...

Hi Michael. It is good to hear from you, and I was glad to see you at Quest. Thanks for your help in the Missional Church movement.

As you point out, there is a continuous process of salvation that is often overlooked. Salvation, like sanctification, is spoken of in Scripture as a past, present, and future event.