Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - October 6

Many of the things the apostle Paul wrote are linked to his own particular mission on behalf of the Crucified and Risen One. To take all of this on ourselves seems foolhardy, yet if that’s the case, what applies and what doesn’t have to be carefully worked out. But let’s start by putting Paul’s writings into Categories like: Creation, Israel, Judaism, Law, Sin, Wisdom, Christ, Redemption, Resurrection, Spirit, Faith, Origins, Cosmos, World-view, Cultural Influences, etc. Paul worked with what he had and this wasn’t at the same level in each category. He had, for instance, more ‘information’ about Israel and the Law than he did about Creation and the Cosmos. He wasn’t ‘wrong’ about the latter; he just didn’t have the tools to see these in any other way than an ‘ancient cultural informer’ would have given him. In contrast, according to the narrative of Acts, and the testimony in the letter to the Galatians, the Risen One broke into his life at some point and commissioned him as an apostle to non-Jews, which gave him a whole new set of information to work from. As far as I can tell, this kind of encounter / event didn’t happen to Paul with respect to the way the earth goes around the sun or how cells, molecules, and DNA work. Thus, Paul’s perspectives on nature and the cosmos are exposed to far greater limitations. I don’t think we should ignore that when we consider the question of human origins, the natural world informer, and the interpretation of Genesis 1-3 or Romans 5-8.