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WHI-1195 | The Book of Job, Part 1

Posted by on in 2014 Show Archive
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We are beginning a new series on Suffering & the Christian Life and will start with a three-part miniseries on the book of Job. What is the meaning and purpose of this book? What does it teach us about suffering? How does Job deal with his many trials, and how should we think about the advice he gets from his friends? That's the focus of this edition of White Horse Inn.We are beginning a new series on Suffering & the Christian Life and will start with a three-part miniseries on the book of Job. What is the meaning and purpose of this book? What does it teach us about suffering? How does Job deal with his many trials, and how should we think about the advice he gets from his friends? That's the focus of this edition of White Horse Inn.


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  • Guest - John Bauman

    I meant to type "I'm NOT talking about non-scriptural answers.

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  • Guest - armk

    I have been citing and quoting from Scripture. Your response (lacking in any Scriptural support) has been to simply dismiss those citations and quotes as "false explanations and platitudes," classify entire "unpalatable" books as "parables" to be liberally allegorized, and engage in a dialectical exercise of characterizing the clear teaching of Scripture regarding God's sovereign grace as an extreme to be synthesized into a conclusion palatable with human standards (illegitimately applied to God). The command not to question God is not driven by comfort or reason, but by the Word of God (see the book of Job, Romans 9, Isaiah 29:16, 45:9, 64:8, Jeremiah 18:6, and other citations above).

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    No, I didn't dismiss those that way. You seem to not be reading what I'm writing. I'm suggesting that what you are calling "clear" might not be so clear. I understand that you find them satisfactory.

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    The "false explanations and platitudes" is meant as the first of the two articles of the previously stated "Dichotomy". The suggestion that something as complex as answering the issue of fairness and the sovereignty of God can be explained by favoring the "fairness" side of the equation would be faulty.

    That is followed by the "or" -- the other side of the equation in which we, in sour grapes say that we never wanted fairness anyway, doggone it. It's the chip on the shoulder we carry when we insist that God's sovereignty is not a mystery in issues like fairness and free will. I am reminded of the wag who said "The agnostic is the fellow who may not be sure if there is a God....but he's damn sure you don't know either.". We want to make sure the world suffers with out sense the God's sovereign will is just a cavalier as we are deluded in believing it is.

    And all this was said in light of the probability that there is another explanation: Job is not a historical account. That's not heresy. That's the kind of determination we make throughout Scripture as we responsibly try to determine the most accurate way to read it.

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    "out" is "our"

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  • Guest - armk

    "We want to make sure the world suffers with out ["out" is "our"] sense the God’s sovereign will is just a cavalier as we are deluded in believing it is."

    That sentence is headache-inducing. Clarify and elaborate, please. And, defend from Scripture.

    For someone who claims his beliefs are derived from Scripture (good on you), you have a puzzling habit of NOT citing any Scripture whatsoever for your positions, and simply ignoring and illegitimately allegorizing all Scripture cited against them. The book of Job is not only supposedly non-historical poetry but also its unpalatable lessons can somehow (why?) all be ignored because they do not conform w/ standards of human interaction and fairness which somehow (why?) should apply to the sovereign God in the same manner as they do to us. That is an unacceptable category mistake. The measuring stick seems to be one's comfort, palette, and extra-Scriptural humanistic philosoph(ies) standing in judgment over God and His Word. Make your case from Scripture while directly addressing all my previous citations.

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    I'm sorry, but I don't get into proof-text debates. As Mike and the Gang pointed out in their recent series on reading the Bible -- the Bible doesn't work that way. That way sees the trees and ignores the forest.

    I think it's interesting that when our conscience and our innate sense of "rightness" (common grace) inform us that God is kind, we are to assume that that's just human philosophies misguiding us, but when that conscience and innate sense of "rightness" scares us into believing in a cruel and capricious God, THAT we declare as the Spirit's leading.

    If you believe sovereignty is the doctrine of a cruel and capricious God, I'm not going to dissuade you. You're read the book and arrived at your conclusion.

    But this is pretty far-afield from the simple thesis that the Book of Job makes more sense --for several reasons -- as a parable.

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  • Guest - armk

    "I’m sorry, but I don’t get into proof-text debates. As Mike and the Gang pointed out in their recent series on reading the Bible — the Bible doesn’t work that way. That way sees the trees and ignores the forest."

    You don't get into Scripture. Period. Mike and the Gang in their books extensively quote and expound on Biblical passages, so they're not your fellow sojourners. For example, in one page of TCF (p. 236) MH ably defends the doctrine of God's immutability by citing no fewer than 11 biblical passages. His Scripture index in the back of that volume is more than 20 pages consisting of 3 columns of citations per page. Your positions here have been taken entirely from other sources; your forests are located in distant mountains devoid of Scriptural trees.

    "I think it’s interesting that when our conscience and our innate sense of “rightness” (common grace) inform us that God is kind, we are to assume that that’s just human philosophies misguiding us, but when that conscience and innate sense of “rightness” scares us into believing in a cruel and capricious God, THAT we declare as the Spirit’s leading... If you believe sovereignty is the doctrine of a cruel and capricious God, I’m not going to dissuade you. You’re read the book and arrived at your conclusion."

    Are you actually saying it is my position from my above comments that God is not kind and loving, that He is a cruel and capricious God? I don't think I've ever seen a more distorted strawman caricature of another's position. God is perfect love and that divine attribute is not negated or diminished in the least due to His sovereignty. You cannot claim to really embrace the mystery but then strangle all meaning from the word "sovereignty" and characterize His disapproval of our challenges as cavalier cruelty. We are not somehow entitled to answers from Almighty God for all our questions. The rejection of the biblical Creator-creature distinction gives rise to a confounding of the remaining unanswered and, in part, unanswerable (due to our limitations and His otherness) mysteries of human suffering with divine cruelty and capriciousness.

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    You can have the final word. To continue in circles may be enjoyable -- everyone loves a carousel. But we're busily talking past each other in an attempt to sound more scholarly. I'll yield first.

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  • [&] WHI-1195 | The Book of Job, Part 1  White Horse Inn Blog. [&]

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