Saturday, January 23, 2016

culturally conditioned or divinely given?

Carl Henry observed that contemporary culture considers itself to be "culture-transcending."  That is, people who approach uncomfortable content in the Bible will dismiss it as being culturally-conditioned, while assuming their own viewpoint as being above or transcending cultures.  

He warns that evangelical scholars particularly -- what he calls "evangelical mediating scholars" -- are being tempted to divide certain apostolic statements, for example, as coming from "Rabbinic Paul" versus "Christian Paul."  He writes,   
"The notion that the Apostle Paul compromises New Testament christology under the influence of the rabbinic ethos is often advanced by critical theologians in connection with various biblical emphases that they find personally distasteful.  If what Paul teaches about evangelical women or about Christians and divorce, or about homosexuals, is to be comprehended by dismissing the authority of the biblical teaching, the axe surely is laid to the root of the tree.  Evasion of the authority of Scripture can only lead eventually to an apostate church.  It is one thing to affirm that the Bible exhibits progressive divine revelation, but quite another to posit contradictions in that revelation..." 

(Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, IV:63)

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