Sunday, December 22, 2013

Quote of the Day from Robert Holmstedt

Robert Holmstedt is a Hebrew language scholar. I really like his work. And over the course of studying Genesis 1, 2, & 3, I have come to have a healthy respect for language scholars. Some of them do excellent work and they genuinely help with an interpretation of the Bible. For Genesis 1 it is extremely difficult to determine the direct intent of God and the sacred author. And of course Genesis 1 has all sorts of implications and consequences in theology, philosophy, and the sciences. I think it is among the most difficult Sacred Scripts to interpret and the many thousands of different interpretations over the years seems to demonstrate this well.

Anyway I was rereading some of my previous posts and I got reacquainted with this little remark Holmstedt made on his blog last year:

We have to remember that even theology (of every kind) is a human creation. In the end, when the curtain is pulled aside, I’m betting that even the best theology will be a bit off. (Holmstedt, Genesis 1:1, again, and my "Unchristian" analysis)

This struck me as a wise saying coming from a seasoned scholar. With my experience, I am beginning to think that the majority of theology, philosophy and physical science is a vanity project. There seems to be an an endless output of ideas gone mad; from mainstream establishment to non; from the beginning to the present. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy these fields, or that I haven't benefited from them or that these have no use, etc. But its like what the author of Ecclesiastes said:

You should require no more than this, my son. For there is no end to the making of many books. And excessive study is an affliction to the flesh. Let us all listen together to the end of the discourse. Fear God, and observe his commandments. This is everything for man. And so, for all that is done and for each error, God will bring judgment: whether it was good or evil. (Eccl 12:12-14)

And then I think of all the men and women God preferred. He chose and exalted low lives. He imparted David, a shepherd, and his son Solomon with extraordinary wisdom and understanding. Some of the prophets were farmers and shepherds. Jesus chose ordinary men and lifted them up. So on one hand it is good to be learned. But on the other hand having letters behind one's names is no guarantee that one will solve difficult problems or unlock all mysteries or even retain good common sense or sound reason. And so life goes on and people will pretty much accept whatever it is that suits them until kingdom come.

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