Quasi-theology Under the Microscope
There is a lot of theology in the Bible and those who do not want to study it ought to stop pretending that they have a spiritual alternative. How many of us would like to be a Peter, always putting his foot in his mouth, or an Apollos who got a whiff of John the Baptist’s message and thought he was now in the Way? It seems to have taken a long time and the exposure of Peter’s Jewish biases for him to begin his journey to be a healthy pastor. For Apollos God sent Prisca and Aquila. Sadly there is no supervision of the pulpits today. People who say they are pastors, preachers, and teachers say whatever feels right, and especially what tickles the ears of the audience’s ear. God is not mocked. Ignorance of the text is no excuse: the apostles were at first mostly unschooled, but they quickly learned to speak and write with accuracy. The Church is more than a sideshow for worship and miracles. Mutual edification is the reason for the church to assemble, and the central and pervading message is the gospel: the Lamb for sinners slain. When we neither preach the gospel, nor teach the kingdom principles that Christ imparted to the apostles the church is in grave danger. Church has become in many places a place of get what you can, gain and profit, instead of humble service.
Here are two examples of quasi-theology that have come to my attention. It is not clear how widespread these are but they certainly call attention to pastoral skill-sets.
Grace is God Believers and Mercy is what Assists Unbelievers?
To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 1Tim 1:2 (NRA)
To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 2Tim 1:2
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love. 2Joh 1:3
*Raised is for Non-Final Resurrection, *Resurrected is for the Final Resurrection? (Greek verbs egeiro and anistemi)
- and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” Matt 14:2 (NRA)
- Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” Matt 28:7
- And immediately the girl got up (anistemi) and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. Mark 5:42
- because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
- But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 1 Cor 15:20 (and vss 4, 12, 15, 16, and 17, 42-44)
- when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Col. 2:12
- because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:31
- and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, Luke 24:46 (NRA)
- not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. Acts 10:41
- As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, Acts 13:34
It is the writer’s prayer that you are not saying “Amen” to nonsense like this and this was written with the hope that you will alert your friends to these types of timewasting dangers.
If you have ever heard that salvation and healing were purchased at the cross, then watch this space for more on the atonement, the verb sozo (I save), therapeuo, ( I heal), and iaomai (I cure).
Elbert Joseph, PhD
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