Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Our Context Regardless of Context

The Lesson study for this week is on the Bible for daily wisdom. The problem that exists with all of us is that sometimes we insert our presuppositions into the Bible or any other work and create a false wisdom. Often this is because we have taken something out of it’s context or applied a context that is of our own creation. So instead of looking for truth we create our own truth.

Jonathan Gallagher in his lesson study for this week (Lesson #11 for June 16, 2007) at min. 21 says the following:

What’s the Context? Because if you don’t know the context of scripture like if you don’t know the context of any other information you can get it wildly wrong.

Earlier Jonathan at minute 10.43 said:

…especially the whole idea of scrutiny. God invites our scrutiny, C.S. Lewis wrote on God in the Dock that God was on trial. And indeed from the Great Controversy perspective that is exactly what’s happening. God is on trial He invites our attention He invites our investigation…

That may sound good but it is totally opposite of what C.S. Lewis meant. Lewis is writing against the idea that we are the judge of God. From Wikipedia:

God in the Dock is a collection of essays and speeches from C. S. Lewis. Its title implies "God on Trial" for those unfamiliar with the British English phrase " in the dock" (defendants are placed in a "dock" - a half height open topped box), and is based on an analogy made by Lewis suggesting that modern human beings, rather than seeing themselves as standing before God in judgment, prefer to place God on trial while acting as his judge.

As this blog has noted before this idea that mankind or anyone else has the ability or knowledge necessary to act as a judge of God is really quite absurd and to hear Gallagher acknowledge that it is the Great Controversy perspective should give all of us pause as to whether such a perspective is true. Strangely it is an outgrowth of the old Investigative Judgment which originally saw the judgment as God judging the righteous dead, then moving on to a judgment of the righteous living. This view being over 150 years old no longer seems to be accurate so many in the SDA church have changed to a view that somehow this is a judgment of God by heavenly beings and supposed beings from unfallen planets. Since this view has absolutely no affect upon anyone on earth it has raised a new view that 1844 and the Investigative Judgment is God raising up the SDA church who presents the Great Controversy perspective to the world (there is also a last generation perfection concept but I won’t get into that today). This perspective is apparently inclusive of the idea that God is on trial.

Here is one of my earlier articles about C.S. Lewis’ statement and our penchant for believing that God is on trial.

Is God On Trial?

As well as a response to a Clifford Goldstein article Judging the Judge.

Here is the quote from Lewis:

The ancient man approached the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God's acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the bench and God is in the dock.

Oh! How arrogant we can be! How could we think that we could be more loving than the God, who is love? How could we think that we could be more just than the very Being who defines justice? “

1 comment:

Paul W said...


Thank you for this post. I agree so much with what you say. This is one part of "traditional" Adventist theology that makes me cringe. Actually, too much of it makes me cringe! But for some reason, I have become a part of SDAism and feel that is right presently for me to stay.

I would like you to post on why you chose to continue to be identified with Adventism. What positive aim lies behind the deconstruction you engage in on this blog?