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To Sadie, Ruth And The Classical Christians


scotter
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Classical Protestant Christians,

 

Instead of answering our apologetic question par request, this time try another direction, ask of your pastors questions par request.

 

Ask your ordained pastors in your fellowships an academic question: what is Redactional Criticism?

Ask you pastors if he can tutor you on the basics of Redactional Criticism.

 

If one becomes a Pastor, he would at least have a degree in Theology; and if he studied Theology, he would have encountered the subject of Redactional Criticism (RC).

 

In short, RC is to study and investigate why the Gospel writers wrote such texts and under what mentality. In the Gospel of Matthew, we read Matthew wrote the famous “Let the blood pass on to our sons and our children!”

 

Matthew was a Jewish Christian, in writing his Gospel to his congregation (btw the real author was not Matthew the tax collector, it was attributed to him for the sake of gaining acceptance, it was a legitimate thing in that cultural environment), he had strong polemics against those fellow Jews who did not believe Jesus as the Messiah. Redactional criticism suggested that his emotion was also shown and demonstrated in the wordings he applied. Matthew’s congregation considered themselves full Judaism practitioners, just that they believed Jesus as the Messiah.

 

Read the Gospel of Luke also, compare Luke and Matthew, did you find that Luke take out more supernatural materials? Luke was a Greek Christian, and his textuality reflected his Greek mentality and audience, who were more oriented to the rational approach.

 

Related academic textbooks could be found:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0664223141

 

And they are not apologetic books, and some were even written by devoted Christians.

Notice the particular book cited is from a Christian theological publisher.

 

Why the shepherd pastors, who studied Textual Criticism and Redactional Criticism before, would never mention that to his flock?

 

You believe that the Bible is God’s word, so every word shall be treated with 100% devoted faith and reverence. So do you actually believe, honestly and sincerely, since God said so, the Jews are “brood of vipers”, and they took up the “blood curse” for killing Jesus? It led to 2000 years of tragedy, the most recent and most tragic was just some 60+ years ago.

 

Why would any evangelical pastors not reserve some Sunday mornings to do a class for the basics of Redactional Criticism? Why do the pastors keep saying the Bible is God’s Word (sola scriptura)? I reckon it is “the end justifies the means”, the faithful followers should not know too much details to stay in faith.

 

At most I can agree with you that the Bible is divinely inspired but it is also subject to human factors at the time of writing and we also have to understand the multiple perspectives around the New Testament environment, and as well the Old Testament.

 

I am not asking you to leave Christianity and de-convert. That said, I respectfully propose that you look into this Biblical subject, and apply reason and assertiveness in reading the Bible, you don’t need to take every word blindly, and/or literally.

 

You have your reasoning and values, and exercising your values in not embracing certain verses superficially, is the highest regards back to God, in that you have exercised the highest regards that God bestowed on you, free will.

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Scotter, I would like to point out one thing that seems to be uninformed in your post above. Most independent churches do not require formal education for their pastors. Independent churches are overwhelmingly fundamentalist and fundamentalist churches are overwhelmingly independent. While some may have nominal democratic control, most are dominated by the pastor or the pastoral family. While it is also true that many fundamentalist bible colleges have arisen, most of these are not accredited and their focus is not upon what could be considered scholarship, but in skills development.

 

For instance, many fundamentalist pastors are not theologians in any classical sense. Both they and their flock are simplistic believers, adhering to what they consider to be the fundamentals. Right or wrong, good or bad, that just happens to be reality in the more fundamentalist churches, be they Baptist, Non-Denom., Petecostal, etc.

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