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Nature of Reality, Will the Real YHWH Please Step Forward 2) Let’s Be Fair
The Cairo Museum
We brought this from Roman Catholicism
Yes, I know the title, the premise is interesting, but I can prove my point that Christians have forgotten what God is really like (again, using YHWH only to ensure we know exactly who we are discussing). After all, I have been part of these groups, evangelicals, since I was an infant. And, no, I am not pushing for a return to Catholicism. They started this mess and it is true of them as well.
Protestantism and related denominations did not move far enough from Roman Catholicism, they brought with them their primary teachers.
Don’t jump to the conclusion that I dislike Catholics, they are good Christian people, many friends, and the popes over the last few decades just keep getting better and better, but that doesn’t mean they are correct.
Let me again state unequivocally that I fully believe the Nicene Creed. I call for a return to orthodox Christianity, the Bible as the inspired Word of God, inerrant in its original form.
This is not the restarting of the 1960’s ‘God is Dead’ movement, or even close, nothing of the sort. YHWH, GOD is a necessary being that cannot cease to exist and is necessarily there, and not silent. He spoke. Will you listen?
Neither is this questioning if Evangelicals are Christian or not, they are, and for the record so are most churches calling themselves Christian (but not all).
I am more inclusivistic than exclusivistic. God paid the ultimate price for our salvation, he wants the best return on investment that he can get.
Evangelicals will not like that statement, but then there is a lot they don’t like, so get used to that. In fact, this is what many other Christians find intolerable about evangelicals, they are intolerant.
This isn’t a lot different than the intolerance of the tolerance movement.
Think about that…
My point is the Evangelicals because of the history of the movement and their maintaining doctrines over the millennia have adopted as their own a very dead, very Greek god. The dead body has infected society to some degree, in the manner it thinks about God.
This could be stated differently. You could say evangelicals killed god, but they actually only inherited and adopted the dead god born in Greece about 500 B.C. The Greek gods, both sets, were never really alive. The first set, the Olympians, were way too much like man and very flawed, just superhuman, if you will, and the second group the philosophers made up took everything they could as far from humanity as possible.
How is it then that Christianity has taken so much theology from the Greek speculative philosophers? This entire series of articles is about that.
Will the Real YHWH Please Step Forward? What you learn in seminary has more to do with Greek thought than Christian.
There is a living God who used the name (amongst others) of YHWH. But this isn't who they study, but they think it is. It is very much a Greek god.
Let me use a useful analogy.
The Garden Wall
I build a small garden wall, let’s say, four blocks high in my front yard. I am particular how this looks, the colors of each block and how they are held together, the exacting shape of the wall. You come along and decide you like my wall and so you take one block each day, but I don’t notice, but you think, this can’t keep going on, you had better replace it, and so you return a different block. I step out and see the blocks have changed. Is this still the same wall?
No, the character of the blocks has changed, you were hoping I had not noticed. I did. But you work late at night and one day I finally exit my house to find a wall composed completely of different blocks. I don’t like this wall, but say, my wife does. So my wife says, “Leave it, I like our wall.” “But these are not my blocks, the ones I started with,” say I. Says she, “well, they are ours now.”
The fact is, someone stole my wall and it was replaced by another wall. It isn’t the same. The blocks were replaced with inferior blocks and blocks of a different color and composition. My wall is dead.
So it is here. You can tell by the characteristics which god you are speaking of and by those characteristics whether the god is animated or not, i.e., whether or not the thing being described is alive or dead.
(Don’t laugh, someone actually stole parts of a stacked sandstone wall I made in my front yard. OK, I am laughing, you can too.)
Let me clarify some terms, and I am sure I will do this again just so you don’t miss the point.
First, pay close attention to capitalization
When I use the lowercase “god,” it can be anything that people worship, from the animists who worship things just because they move, to the speculations people of the world are wont to do, that is, make up whatever you want about a deity and worship it.
The Greeks did this twice, first with the all too human faults of the Olympian gods then the philosophers came along and described the extreme opposite, made up gods who were nothing at all like humans.
If I write “God,” then I mean the true God. For this and to simplify I will usually use the tetragrammaton (“four letter word”) used by him of himself, transliterated into English (it was originally written in old Hebrew) YHWH.
You might be familiar with the German translation “Jehovah” but Hebrew has no “J” at all. Jehovah is a German word. The Bible was written in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, not German.
Once more, this is only to clarify to differentiate who I am talking about with any specific usage. “God” would be perfectly fine, but it is too generic and confusing to use “god” and then “God.” You might think I was making a typo, and I actually make a lot of typos!
It is helpful for your understanding if we first unclutter, or unpack some ideas and concepts by applying them to other things, so let’s unpack the old trunk up in the attic that grandpa left us.
Often ideas, concepts, and even common terms are clumped together over long periods of time then bundled with other things to become almost unrecognizable. Analyzing these helps to clarify them.
Remember, what we are unwrapping or unpacking here is the accusation that Evangelical churches have killed god. Most Christian Theologians worship a dead, inanimate god who cannot move, learn, or change in even the slightest manner.
What they do with Jesus I don’t know, perhaps suspend the hypostatic union during seminar? Turn their brains off? Who knows.
Walk into most churches today and their god is bipolar. If a seminary trained pastor is talking about god he talks about him using certain terms that are completely incompatible with the way he might discuss god in a small study group, or how a Bible Study leader might discuss him.
Remember my block wall? The two are very different but no one is noticing this. If you do notice this, no one likes it. They will even throw you out of the church and call you a heretic, you will lose all of your friends. That is exactly what happened to me.
The two are inconsistent, unrelated and, I will argue, the seminarian has an incompatible and incoherent view of his god.
Shall we start? Search for more titles of How the Evangelicals Killed God
© 2015 Ronald A Newcomb