Friday, September 19, 2008

Blogged Bible Study, John 9

I apologize in advance for the rabbit trail that this post consists of, but that's where my mind went. I want to point out that I approached this text as agenda-less as possible, and as a certain controversial issue is brought up in this post, again, I approach it objectively. In fact, I am undecided on this issue. This isn't a theological stance, it's an observation.

John 9 centers on the miracle performed at the outset, the healing of the blind man. The disciples ask Jesus whose sin, his or his parents', caused his blindness. Jesus naturally replies neither. In fact says this man was created that the work of God might be manifest him in. Vaguely deterministic, but it can be taken as Jesus says, "Crap happens."

But that's not where I am going with this. Jesus, while talking, mixes his spit with the mud to make clay which was applied to the man's eyes. After washing the man's eyes are opened. That was some sweet mud. Here is the formula: DIRT + GOD = Miracle. Where have we seen this before? It sounds strangely familiar, like when Adam was fashioned out of clay and then animated with the breath of God. Again, not only is John demonstrating that Jesus is the God, but that Jesus is connected with the creative process. (cf. Jn. 1:2-3, "in the beginning with God, all things were made through him.")

So here is where I rabbit trailed...

Jesus, the Creator, as evidenced in John 9 and the Creation of Adam (Gen. 2:7) utilizes process in creation. Sure, he could have thought it and Adam would have appeared. He could have thought it and the blind man would have been made well. In my often wrong and humble opinion, Genesis is far more analogous than literal. Is it possible that the creation could have been the work of a process. Obviously, I am alluding to the whole debate in Christian circles that considers evolution a possible creative process of God.

I am undecided on this whole debate, all I am saying is God purposefully makes the miraculous more complex than necessary at times.


dave said...

Well Nate, if that IS your real name (and not some nameless shadow writer paid to sit here and rattle off responses to late night drunk-commenters, which in this case isn't even true as I am sober, even though this is Friday and i'm supposed to be drunking a beer), YOU and Aaron are supposed to know the answers to all these crazy questions and I'M supposed to ask 'em. In fact I was just handed some pamplets I'd like to mail you, about um, like the lost tribes of israel or something...and it explains how the jews are wrong and everybodys going to hell, or something...i don't know. but the guy was clearly nuts and so I thought I'd let you take a look at it. It even has maps of migrating anglo saxon isralei tribes I think. whatever, I'm just gonna stop typing.
david, pop music diva video stunt double.

Anonymous said...

Nate.. God created. That is the key. God created us from the same matter that makes the earth. That we know, and the parallel between the clay we are made of and what Christ did with the mud is huge. Jesus is again putting scripture in action in front of the Pharisees.

Peace and Love Brother.

Kenni B said...

I also am undecided on the roll that evolution may have played in God's plan. Certainly MICROevolution, but MACROevoltion?

When I see some convincing transitional fossils I might be persuaded to no longer see science as close-minded.

Be God's.

nate said...

@Dave...bring it on about the lost tribes of israel email!

@Carl...wise words, friend! The point is he created!

@Kenni...Great insight. I definitely side with microevolution. But it is hard for me to accept that huge unexplainable and monumental developments can occur nearly simultaneously across the globe, so yeah, I too have a little bit of problem with macroevolution.

But hey, I am no scientist. In the words of Pope John Paul II, I'll leave the science to the scientists!

annie said...

I think I won't respond to what you actually said ... and instead show you some Scriptures.

Proverbs 10:23
Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

The second half of this is what I want to point out. Part of what it's saying is that pursuing wisdom is like sport to a man of understanding. It's fun!

I see in this post that your mind is probing into the science of God's mind. Yes, God's mind has science, and that is where all of science comes from. But God has a clear image, whereas man has a cloudy image.

Why do I bring up wisdom? Well, because Proverbs says, "19The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens." (chpt 3) Proverbs chpt 8 details details many things about creation that wisdom co-created with God. (In the simple sense, this is just saying that God used wisdom in creating everything that was created. I did a study once on the spirit of wisdom, which is many times personified in Scripture. From a more complex standpoint ... wisdom is a spirit of God. But if you're wondering where I'm coming from on that, just let me know. I can back it up.) In 8:30, it says that wisdom was right alongside God at creation as a "master workman." Kind of like a ... project manager. Or construction overseer.

Therefore ... a mind that pursues an understanding of God's creation, is a mind that is pursuing wisdom. Wisdom is what you're really seeking. And as the first verse I mentioned says - pursuing wisdom is fun to a man of understanding.

Then, if you read in Proverbs 1, 2, 3, and 8, you'll find that wisdom wants to be found. She cries aloud in the streets, "6"Listen, for I will speak noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal right things." (chpt 8)

Again in James 1:5 it says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

So what I am getting at is this. Your mind is probing for wisdom - to understand God's creation. Wisdom wants to be found, and God promises wisdom to all who ask. So ... don't let little things stop you! Press in all the way. God will reveal these things to you when you ask. I see a mind that probes - don't downplay that. God wants you to know these things. :)

Be blessed, brother!

nate said...

Thanks annie! Great thoughts there.

It's funny you mention wisdom...there are quite a few scholars (like Marcus Borg, who I am not a huge fan of) believe that wisdom is actually a form of God (jesus) present at the creation of the world. Weird.

anyway, issues like creation/evolution tend to be less important to me, but they are an issue since Christianity is being discredited from the outside and divided on the inside. It is my opinion that the Bible was never meant (written) to answer such questions (but that is a completely different blog post).

Thanks for the really means a lot. I have actually bee tossing up going back to school for my phd.