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- Naked Bible Podcast Episode 96: Q & A # 11 — Dr. Michael S. Heiser | Talmidimblogging - […] via Naked Bible Podcast Episode 96: Q & A # 11 — Dr. Michael S. Heiser […]
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Hi Mike – Just a note on the young earth / old earth comments that you made – The most coherent explanation I’ve ever heard that actually harmonizes the two viewpoints come from Dr. Gerald Schoeder. He was a Physicist at MIT for some years and wrote a couple of books – one in particular that address his topic via higher mathematics called the ‘Science of God.’ He’s Jewish and lives in Jerusalem and teaches Torah… go figure. Back in the 90’s he was on a TV show called ‘Zola Levitt Presents’ and did a fascinating presentation that sort of dumbs down the mathematics for the laymen. Truly Fascinating. He harmonizes the young earth old earth dilemma via mathematics (Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRl8vBRNc58 ) I’d be interested to hear your opinion on his explanations. There’s two parts. [Don’t mind the bad 90s graphics]
Esoteric teachings of Kabbalah is what is being presented, its a shell game with words and meanings. Here is a link http://www.judaismandscience.com/science-and-judaism-the-strange-claim-of-dr-schroeder-part-i/
It is rightly named: SCIENCE AND JUDAISM: THE STRANGE CLAIM OF DR. SCHROEDER
I’m not sure why you would take the spiritual claims about God as reality (I.e. The Divine Council imagery) while realizing the natural claims about creation aren’t actually true (the sky being hard, the earth being flat, etc).
If God used the biblical writers pre-scientific beliefs to espouse a theological thought then why would He not also allow them to use a flawed spiritual understanding of God to do the same. For instance, Leviathan wasn’t an actual being and God did not actually fight and destroy a sea monster. So, there is not actually a divine council, it was just a theological idea to show that the Hebrew God was above and in control of the lesser gods they thought were real beings.
I guess the disconnect for me is when you acknowledge the falsity of the writers understanding of nature and yet view the same writers’ understanding of the spiritual realm as true. It would make more logical sense to view the writers’ understanding of both the physical and the spiritual realm to be flawed and yet God was able to use both flawed ideaologies to get across a theological point (the Divine Council isn’t a spiritual reality, it was just flawed imagery used to show the supremacy of God).
At around the 1:08:40 “Grant” asks a question re: Peter’s vision in Acts and dietary laws. Grant, if you’re reading this, the answer to your question lies in discipleship and what the early Church was being called to do… spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The following are excerpts from pages 45 & 47 of “Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes” discussing this very topic and vision. An excellent book on scripture vs. this culture vs. that culture, I found the authors’ treatment of Peter’s vision very enlightening. I pray the following is of some value to you:
On page 45, one of the authors recounts his time as a missionary in Indonesia and how poor families would go often go to elaborate expense to feed him (the pastor), other members of the Church. He couldn’t say no because it would dishonor the host in front of the entire community. Dog and rat meat were usually the BEST options. One student after being told she had just eaten rat, ran outside and threw up a meal that had been digested hours earlier. The author notes, “the nauseau she experienced was not from the meat itself but from the THOUGHT of the meat” (p. 45).
On page 47 the authors write:
“Food in the Bible was often, if not always, a matter of fellowship and social relationships. When the first Christians were trying decide whether Gentile Christians should keep Jewish dietary laws, they weren’t just quibbling over doctrine. Just like we do, ancients were transferring their feelings about certain food ONTO THE PEOPLE WHO ATE THEM. The very idea of a tablemate gobbling down pig meat was enough to send a good Jew scurrying for the latrine. We may be speculating here, but there is contemporary support for our claims.
“Jouralist Kahled Diab, who calls himself a lapsed Muslim, confesses that ‘long after my spirited embrace of alcohol, my “sinful” attitude to sex, my loss of faith in the temple of organized religion and my agnosticism and indifference towards the supreme being,’ he still cannot bring himself to eat pork. This isn’t a religious scruple but a cultural more. For modern Muslims, Diab explains, eating pork ‘is not merely tantamount to eating dogs for Westerners[;] in certain cases, we could go as far as to liken it to consuming cockroaches–so unclean is the image of these animals.’ Diab even quotes a Jewish student who explained that although neither of his parents are ‘”particularly religious,”‘ nevertheless they both ‘”find the idea of eating pig repulsive.”‘
“It is reasonable to assume that the faithful Jews who were Jesus’ first followers felt much the same way. That means deciding whether Gentile converts to Christianity should follow Jewish dietary laws wasn’t simply a theological debate. How were Jewish Christians to share a table of fellowship with people whose breaths stank of pig fat” (p.47)?
I’m wondering if the caller’s question about “making contact with the blood of Jesus” actually meant “Pleading the blood of Jesus” or a charismatic derivative of by faith applying the blood of Jesus in some way? I’m reminded of the old hymns “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” and “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus”. Both use language that describe “sinners plunged beneath that flow”, and “oh precious is that flow, that makes me white as snow”. There is scripture to back these ideas, but the application comes across as magical thinking when pushed.
Since biblical propositions about the spiritual world are not subject to the tools of science (the natural world is something we regularly experience and can thus learn about first hand, developing our ability to do so), then propositions about God’s domain (the spirit world) and the intersection of that domain with our domain are items we must accept by faith – which is not a synonym for irrationality. Faith propositions can and must be tested for philosophical coherence. They cannot be tested scientifically, only logically.
Propositions about the supernatural world have been tested for philosophical coherence for (literally) millennia and have held up nicely.