Thursday, November 19, 2009

Heb 12: 14ff.

12:14. About this passage, there has been a divergence of opinion, just like about every passage.

And just as with other interpretations of texts (or lyrics, or literature, or poetry), sometimes a text catches us, and sometimes we attempt to catch a text and employ it for ourselves. It's fun, especially when "it really fits" some idea we're mulling over.

The divergence of opinion about Hebrews 12:14-29 often comes out when a presupposition, what we want the text to apply to, trumps what the text actually says, making us read the text in precisely the way we want it to apply for us. At the very least, we should be aware that's what we're doing, ourselves, by choice. And in literature and in pop culture, maybe lives don't depend on what we say, maybe they do. But at least most of the time they don't.

In the case of the Bible, with all the trust being put into it, it's a huge weapon in the arsenal of its interpreters. Some people look at it no more than as that, like the power of the phrase "Wizard of Oz, who lives in the Emerald City" in the story.

In the Bible's case, the claim is greater. It claims to be a huge weapon. In this case, take 12:14 as an example. How a person handles among those who care about it is important. One needs to do things do hold one's aim steady.

So, when we read, "Pursue ... the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord," what is an example of missing the mark?

How about a couple examples! 1. To read it as "Without pursuing sanctification, no one will see the Lord" -- that's not what it says!

2. To read it as "pursue ... the sanctification without which you will not see the Lord" is also missing the mark!

In this case, we have not only missed the mark, but tried to use a banana as a gun. This tries to make something a gun which is supposed to be food!

Christ is already, our sanctification (1 Cor 1:30). It's not that we are without Him. The food is there!

On to the pursuit!

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