H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Truth Suppression 101
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. - Romans 1:18-19 [ESV]

Pharaoh was pretty much set in his way. I mean, he had a whole Pantheon of God and a bucket load of tradition to boot. Who was this new Jewish God? Sure, He can do a few tricks, but what God can't? Pharaoh had his religious system all figured out, and he was set in it, comfortable with it, and entirely convinced contrary to progressive reality, that it was the "right" system. With each plague came an opportunity to be pried off his false truth, but no matter how glorious and obvious God presented himself to be, Pharaoh was satisfied with his own way of understanding things.

He could do that because God was hardening his heart. God wasn't working against Pharaoh's will in doing so, but in concert with it. To be sure, we are all sinners, and if God worked in concert with our nature - any one of us - we would certainly be on the high road to hardness of heart. Our nature is not to seek God but to sustain self without God. Thus the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was a work that was by no means contrary to Pharaoh's desires, but was giving Pharaoh exactly what he desired - a suppressing of the truth in order that Pharaoh could continue to pursue everything else but God. God was no "big meanie" here - he was only accelerating and affirming what was already there. It is like taking a glass of water mixed with poison and boiling out some of the water. The remaining mixture is more poisonous, not because more poison was added, but because less water remains. If God Had God continued to extend grace to Pharaoh, God could have held him back from sinning as much as he had (such as God did for David in 1 Sam. 25:26 or for Abimelech in Gen. 20:6), but God did not extend this gift to Pharaoh - perhaps this is how God hardens people? Either/or, it matters little, what matters is that we see that Pharaoh suppressed the truth because he favored unrighteousness.

We all have our own doctrinal quirks. Try talking to a Catholic who is sold out for the Catholic version of church history, and all the counsels - he is well satisfied with these authorities, and has no objection to filtering the word of God through them, indeed, he thinks it strange that you would not follow him in his zeal. Try talking to anyone, for that matter, who has convinced themselves that their theological view is correct and impenetrably so. You can see the same hardness of heart that blinded Pharaoh in some Christians, though to a lesser extent. They line up their theological ducks, write a confession, and are unwilling to move once they settle in. That's all dandy if they are 100% correct, but I imagine that amongst the bible studying variety of Christians we are all pretty much in the eighties and nineties. There is a lot of stuff I don't understand, and I am sure there are some things I am totally botching, but I am blinded to it because my pride prefers my own way when it comes to some things. I don't know what they are, or I would deal with them (I hope!).

So when we talk theology with one another, we ought to leave room for the possibility that truth is trying to pry its way past our pride, that is, there is room enough for that form of genuine teachability that comes with true humility. It is easy to act humble, less so to actually be humble. Let us not be as Pharaoh.
posted by Daniel @ 5:38 AM  
  • At 7:19 AM, November 21, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    How then does one earnestly contend for the faith? Your new found passivity may gain you friends from among the ranks of those who preach another gospel; but it will also serve to enforce them in their views with the thinking that you are softening, becoming more reasonable.

    I am worried that a very articulate defender of the faith is being lulled into passivity, all this while those who pervert truth perceive this as a reassurance that their views are gaining a foothold.

    I do hope that you are not on the road to being a manpleaser, Daniel.

  • At 9:54 AM, November 21, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    I am sure the proto-reformers were not perfect in their theology, yet they were burned at the stake for what they perceived was the truth. Zwingli died while at war with the catholic apostates. Look at the nonconformants in England. Their theology was not perfect either; yet they laid their lives and belongings on the line for what they believed.

  • At 10:17 AM, November 21, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    There -IS- a war going on, Daniel. Are the Lordship proponents perfect in their theology? I know that I am not. However, at their core, the other side is ENTIRELY wrong, and must be challenged.

  • At 1:38 PM, November 21, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Mark, I appreciate your concern, and your prayer in the matter.

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