Monday, February 06, 2006

In our study of Christianity and World Religions by Adam Hamilton, I have another differing opinion in the first chapter. See my Previous Post about my disagreement involving salvation. My next disagreement from the first chapter involves the concept of how religion has progressed from primitive to more sophisticated over time.

Hamilton argues that as a race we are continually in our understanding of God. God allows us make mistakes, and by trial and error we begin to understand how God works. God reveals himself a little bit at a time to humanity, through what theologians call Special Revelation. Examples of Special Revelation that are cited include God telling Abraham that there is one God (as opposed to many gods), and the 10 commandments. When God gave the 10 commandments, Hamilton says

Now, however, the human race had progressed to a point where God felt it was ready for a little more information and was capable of adhering to a higher standard.

To a point this may have been true. If it is meant that God has worked through history to reveal himself, I would agree. The Bible and Jesus Christ himself are examples of Special Revelation. I would disagree that man is evolving in his understanding of God. In fact, as time goes on, I believe that our understanding of God decreases. Scripture should be the final authority on God and his character, not our own understanding that is influenced by popular culture. Scripture does not teach that the human race had progressed to a point where we were capable of keeping a higher standard. The exact opposite is true. The law was never given because we are capable of keeping it. The law was meant to make us conscious of our sin (Romans 3:20).

As time goes on, with man’s scientific advances and growth of knowledge, we have become proud and self centered. With answers from science and technology, our need for God has decreased, and many now see the Bible as outdated and antiquated instead of as a Special Revelation from God about himself. When we try to change the characteristics of God to fit our 21st century culture, we no longer worship to God who is and the God that is revealed in scripture. We create a god that is line with our own human understanding and logic.

Although I have some fundamental disagreements with Hamilton on certain issues, I would like to receive some more information from him and dig a little deeper with him. I have asked if he would be willing to answer a few questions, and even post some comments on this blog. I will keep you posted when and if I receive a response.

1 Comment:

  1. Betty Newman said...
    I do believe that we grow in our understanding (I hate the word "evolve") especially through archeological finds. (Or as J. Vernon McGee has said, "History is catching up with the Bible!")

    But I don't believe we "grow" in revelation since the "mystery" has been revealed. Now, granted, there are still some "mysteries" such as where, what, when, and how, of the second coming. But He IS coming - and that HAS been revealed.

    I don't believe that (for instance) commentaries written today are more valid than ones written in the 1800's or 1600's or 100's as far as Divine Revelation goes.

    "I" am growing in my understanding, not "God's revelation" is growing...

    I've often said that the Bible says "JESUS is the Way, the Truth, and the Life..."

    It's not that "MY UNDERSTANDING OF JESUS" that is the "Way, the Truth, and the Life..."

    My understanding could be way off, at times... but that's not God's fault.


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