- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Theological Differences 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Theological differences abound, a truism. And biblical as well, given the free will to decide and choose. I suppose it might be accurate to describe the God of the Bible to be a Libertarian of sorts? He certainly lays out what is right, along with the claim that “right” or “righteousness” is ascribed uniquely to Him. What we, as potential recipients of His guidelines choose to do with them, then conclude, is an exercise of free will.
Our respective views, then, of what scripture is, becomes an exercise of free will. We decide how, or even whether, to interpret scripture. Many takes exist, ranging from an entirely fictional storyline to divinely inspired truth from cover to cover.
My personal view was, at a point, to embrace it as the latter or discard it completely. Bank on it as a function of faith or continue to search for something else, for I indeed came to a place where a desire for a relationship with Him pulled at my being.
That, coupled with the perplexing conclusion my being was flawed beyond my ability to compensate in and of myself, suggested a need for help. Could there a God who defined a righteousness I could not attain, while at the same time offering a way around it? Turns out the very plan outlined in scripture seemed a way for reconciliation. In fact, starting in Genesis and developed through Revelation, the offer and execution of reconciliation to God is what I found. Paul laid it out in Romans, describing his and my own struggle perfectly:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
So this poor guy had the same issue which entailed a struggle I could not work out. No matter how I tried, my faults seemed an obstacle which could not be overcome. That until the Gospel message told me I could not, coupled with the idea there was a God who would take me as I was, forgive, and undertake a supernatural work in addressing those flaws. Convenient? Perhaps, or maybe simply the only way for me to feel welcome in the face of a perfect and good God; “good” as per His absolute definition, which thankfully includes an unconditional love.
And in a truly amazing way, He clarified that type of love when He brought me children. I have watched them grow and see my love for them despite their faults. I look upon them with a kind of love that He has for me, because they are mine.
Many of us hit a point in our lives where we look back on all the bumps in the road, and contemplate where it has left us. Personally, I often feel like a beat up car, my 1998 Honda Civic being the analogous case. Still running, but banged up and worn. Been through a lot, wearing out. Someday it and I will stop, and I’m feeling that time coming. 47 years old, the concept of retirement not even plausible, seems like I will just have to keep working until I drop. What then, can I look forward to? I look forward to a God who loves me, and will be waiting with open arms. He gives me a reason to live in joyful hope of one day being with Him, as opposed to hope in my own ability, waning and unstable. Thus, the same help I referred to earlier is one I become more and more dependent on.