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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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Monday, February 02, 2009
Double Crucifixion. Part XIV - Taste The Power!
If you haven't done so already, you may want to read the posts which preceded this one (for some context):
     I, II,III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, and XIII .

The next item in our list is:

He or she had tasted the powers of the age to come (whatever that means)

In order to have an opinon about whether this describes a believer, we have to understand what it is describing. Three things hamper our understanding:
[1] What does it mean to "taste"?
[2] What is meant by powers?
[3] What is the age to come?

We have dealt with the whole idea of tasting already, and concluded that the language of tasting a thing is, well, rather imprecise, it could mean tasting one's own meal, or tasting an other's meal, and for that reason and because the whole point swings on this word tasting, our conclusion for this point will necessarily be inconclusive.

Notwithstanding, we ought to answer the other questions, as best we can before we get there. There are several words used for power in the NT, this one is often associated with the miraculous. If we follow that association, the "power" discussed here would refer to miraculous intervention of some sort.

The power we are discussing however, is qualified as being characteristic, not of this age (oh well!), but of the age to come. Now, depending on your eschatology, the age to come might mean the post-apostolic age, or maybe the end times, or possibly the new heavens and the new earth.

Rather than bring my own speculations upon this - it is suffice at this time to say that there is a lot of room for a wide spectrum of interpretation, on what this means - but at the end of the day, as I mentioned, since one is only tasting this, it could easily describe something as mundane as tasted of the miraculously provided loaves and fish, which by no means is conclusive.

Having examined the whole list, with as much scrutiny as seemed prudent for a blog, it seems to me that all we can conclude for certain (given only this list), is that it describes someone who has shared in the external experiences of the church.

That isn't to say that we dismiss the passage as inconclusive, but rather that we cannot conclude one way or the other, with any finality, whether this little list absolutely describes a believer or not. It certainly would describe most believers, but would equally describe most tares.

In the next post, we will look at the surrounding text and see if that sheds some light on the issue.
posted by Daniel @ 1:18 PM  
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