Emmaus Road Theology…Introspectively; Part II

December 27, 2009

General

….continued

So, we all have different life experiences.  What one person understands easily, another understands with great difficulty.  Diversity is emphasized greatly within our institutions today.  Great are the types of people from around the globe.  Multiple languages, multiple physical abilities, multiple social levels and so on.  Not surprising there are multiple gods.

Gosh, I certainly don’t want to get into talking about the different levels of philosophical thought and sociological constructs etc…  This is, after all, just a blog post.  What I want to emphasize is the mind-numbing number of human reference points,….one for every person really,…billions.  Yet, if you hold to the Christian Trinitarian belief system, you realize the majesty of one God, one Voice, one Word, one Savior, one who is Holy.  One who is above all the fray.  One who can hear all prayers.  One who can hold all creation in His hands.  Unapproachable Glory.  There is so much more than the Jesus loves you, have a nice day triteness spewing from most Christian TV channels.  Having an over-arching 5 step process to your best life now makes about as much sense as one bloody shoe size for the whole of mankind.

I say all this because, like I was several years ago, when the world has you beat, and you’re looking and have determined that the God of the universe is the only way to turn, you don’t want some smiling pettifogger look you in the eye and regurgitate some form of mindless Christian speak.  No sir.  My God is bigger than the culture’s depiction of Him and I want to know Him in truth.  We’ve brought God down to our level and we’re trying to make him feel comfortable sitting in the parlor as we busy ourselves watching the ballgame.  We can’t each have our own way to God.  There is one God and we are fortunate that He gives us a way at all.

When you look at Scripture, you almost sense a frustrated undercurrent when you read in the Gospels some of the thoughts of the apostles….I want to sit on your right, on your left; let’s draw swords; let’s call down fire; let’s send them home.  It was as if they were trying to put Jesus into their construct for the redemption of Israel.

Cornelius Van Til, the Princeton and Westminster Theological Seminary professor from the middle of last century, stated: “There are no brute facts.  Facts are mute and are always interpreted in conformity with one’s presuppositions, whether those presuppositions are explicitly understood, or not.”(1)  Is it not wonder that not only do we have multiple religions, but we multiple flavors (good and bad) within the Christian community.  How do we know,…. I mean really know we know God, correctly?

Back, a couple years ago, I wasn’t sure why my conscience was tweaking me with respect to my understanding of God.  Then along came the Puritans.  I started reading several different volumes of different 17th century Christian Reformed authors, and I started talking about and studying them with many of my friends from Church.  I started to see a God who was truly Holy and totally in control of everything.  I started to see man for what he really is,…fallen, separate from God, unable to save himself, a sinner at heart, and incapable of pleasing God.  I can still hear the Puritan John Owen – “The unregenerate man cannot please God, the unregenerate man cannot please God….”  I began to see God as infinitely Holy and man as infinitely sinful, unable to approach God of his own accord.

I’m of the firm belief that there is no inherent understanding within man’s nature that allows him to understand God and see Him as He truly is.  We cannot understand the Word of God apart from God himself.  A HOLY GOD will, absolutely without equivocation bring to pass everything that He desires.

Which brings me full circle to the place from which I originally conceived this post.  People, the elect of God, want to know God in truth.  The elect aren’t separate from their old ways, their old man, but underneath all that the Holy Spirit is drawing them deeper.  But no one can approach a correct understanding of God unless they conform their presuppositions to God’s; meaning, we have to conform our understandings to the Bible.  We have to seek the LORD as He desires us to seek Him.

Pause….

So far all I’ve managed to do is give a list of experiences, feelings and thoughts with, I’m afraid, not much substance.  Those are, though, what most people use to make judgements about the world around them.  An understanding from within yourself is relative to your own constructs and not absolute truth.

So here I am, like many, I’ve had a lifetime with Christ.  With the world swirling about us, though, what do we grasp for understanding.  First, we have the promise of the Spirit.  And, truly, if you understand the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, then that is of infinite comfort.  Next, we have the Word.  Consider, if you will, that if the Word was made flesh, then is not the Word sovereign?  Jesus would intimate as much.  On the road to Emmaus, Christ used the Word to proclaim to Cleopas and his friend: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”  Paul in Galatians 3:8 said that the Word preached, and the Word could foresee.  We are all familiar with John chapter one and the personification (deification) of the Word.  I submit that Jesus gives us a biblical model of instruction where we find that the entirety of Scripture points to Christ.  I find it amazingly interesting that Jesus, on the road to Emmaus, in a sense did not proclaim Himself; He used a tool, God’s Word to proclaim and give credence to the things of Christ.

The more often we draw near to Christ along the metaphorical road of the Word, the greater our assurance and our faith will be.  All other things we encounter in this life are subject to fallacy.

Note: For the writing of this post I referenced a great article by Dr. Steven M. Baugh, Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology.  Please read his work.  He does a much better job of describing the validity of Biblical Theology and the need for our presuppositions to line up with Scripture.  With this post I wanted to give my thinking a personal perspective.  I promise not to do that again.  It’s way too risky and slippery to try to rightly describe things of God from a subjective point of view. His article can be found with the link below.

http://web.archive.org/web/20021219112011/www.modernreformation.org/mr93/marapr/mr9302hermeneutics.html

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