20 September 2010

Sep 20

Reference links:
Old Testament

One thing that seems unique about Isaiah's visions (so far in our OT readings) is the directness of God's rule. It seems like in most of what we have read, God's interventions have been temporary and/or indirect. In Isaiah's vision, God will rule directly over the people. For example,
Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor,
and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
After those visions, we get an account of when the Assyrians attacked Judah. As far as I can remember, it is nearly word-to-word identical to the earlier account in Kings.

New Testament

Paul tells the Galatians that they should live according to the impetus of the Holy Spirit. As he has before, Paul starts from a basic assumption that I disagree with. His point assumes that human nature consists of two separable parts: the sinful nature and the nature inspired by the Holy Spirit. All that is good comes from the former and all that is bad comes from the later.

But human nature cannot be cleanly separated. Some things are not clearly good or bad. It sometimes depends on the context. Is my questioning nature which helps me understand the world and makes it impossible for me to believe any god good or bad? Some situations are truly ambiguous. Would you kill a child to save the planet? Furthermore, often that which is bad is a good quality taken to excess.

Paul's model of human nature is wrong, and bad models can lead to bad decisions. Humanity still has a lot to learn about human nature, but we can do better than this.

Psalms and Proverbs

I like this one, even if my beliefs about what constitutes truth probably differ from that which the author intended:
Get the truth and never sell it;
also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.