An Application of Epistemic Proof for the Teleological View

Today, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported about a perceived issue related to a comment that Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, said about President-elect Donald Trump. Priebus (2016) asserted, “Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King” (CBN News). Some became enraged and claimed the press release stated by Priebus as about Trump (2016). As we will see, there are competing views related to this situation that may be the right framework for understanding the Biblical Scriptures followed then by other messages in turn. In relation to the exegetical process of accepting data, hermeneutics for informative purposes, and applying it to contemporary issues, there are two opposing approaches to this. One approach that many claim is identifying a single piece of the Bible as representative of the entire Bible, or microscopic view. For example, people with the microscopic view and perhaps the most recent wave of feminist theology in contemporary times might say that the Apostle Paul’s first Epistle to Timothy contains a sexist theme. The Apostle Paul (KJV) said, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim 2:12). In and of itself, this Scriptural verse shows the fallen state of man, male and female; there is inequality in education thus in every level of society. However, the Biblical Scriptures are a collection of books with collective truth that is relevant to this verse. One such verse is the Psalm (KJV), “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (19:8). This may be cross-referenced with the Psalm, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times” (12:6).

For the first mentioned Psalm, the reader might relate to the sun coming up day after day, increasing the health of the person who is exposed to it and waking him up. Similarly, the second mentioned Psalm describes that the reality of the Word of the Most High is shown through understanding the history of these messages that is the precedent for each message. When looking at the second chapter, verse 12 of Paul’s Epistle to Timothy, we may thus look to previous Biblical Scriptures. For example, Esther the queen informed the king Ahasuerus about the plot that advisor to the king, Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, had for destroying the Jews because Mordecai, another Jew, did not treat Haman with reverence because the faith of Israel, despite being dispersed, was not fully assimilated into other societies (Est 3:1-6, 7:1-6). The Matthew Henry Commentary states, “The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman” (Henry). The precept that Esther, a woman, taught a man, and in doing so preserved the Most High’s children by implicitly doing His work contradicts the microscopic view, but not Paul’s Epistle.

In contemporary Christian theology on marriage, Richard J. Foster shared insights. Foster said, “Marriage that is Christian is covenantal. A covenant is a promise – a pledge of love, loyalty, and faithfulness. A covenant involves continuity – the sense of a common future to look forward to and a history to look back on together” (Charry, 2000, p. 148). Therefore, man and woman work together with neither lording himself or herself over the other. The concept of covenant may be derived from this and applied to contemporary issues. This is the teleological view for approaching the Biblical Scriptures integrated into the exegetical process. Thus, the reader may look to other aspects of history related to Trump’s situation so that a true understanding may be perceived. In recent times, a common disagreement that is not so new is about honoring the birth of Christ on a single day of the Gregorian calendar year. Therefore, when John Weaver, a leading aide to Ohio Governor John Kasich expressed hatred towards this comment (CBN News), I think that this was interpreted as a man lording himself over the people who he is elected for so that he may serve. However, Gregg Birnbaum and Kevin Liptak reported on CNN that Trump recently spoke about reasserting the relevance of December the twenty-fifth as a special day for the world and Christianity should be celebrated rather than judged (CNN, 2016). Therefore, in accepting historical details as a union of intervals, interpreting them for personal understanding, and applying them to contemporary issues, the teleological view of reality is probably more tenable than the microscopic view might first appear.

References

Birnbaum, G., Liptak, K., & CNN. (2016, June 25). Trump, fist raised, wishes all a Merry Christmas – CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/25/politics/trump-christmas-tweet/index.html

Charry, E. T. (2000). Inquiring after God: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Oxford, MA: Blackwell.

CBN News. (2016, December 26). RNC Press Release On Christ’s Birth Offends Top Political Aide | CBN.com. Retrieved from http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/december/rnc-press-release-on-christs-birth-offends-top-political-aide

Henry, M. (n.d.). Esther 3:6 Commentaries. Retrieved from http://biblehub.com/esther/3-6.htm

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Reflections of Previous Semesters, and Thoughts on Moving Forward

Since January to August, my course schedule has been steady every week except for a couple times when there was a week break during or after the semesters, and more is here. During the Spring and Summer 2016 semesters at Regent University, I experienced an introduction to 8-week accelerated courses. They were very challenging with a promise of gaining knowledge of how I may approach various fields with Biblical thinking. In-depth studies of Christian theology was the start of my journey at Regent after transferring from a local public college. It was the first time that I had ever sat down and read the works of leaders of Christian thought throughout history from St. Anselm to Thomas Aquinas about arguments for the existence of God, and to topics such as friendship, art, and marriage from Biblically-based perspectives both from centuries in the past to our contemporaries such as Aelred of Rievaulx, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Richard J. Foster. I learned the significance of the superior quality of Biblical prophecy with research into Jesus the Christ’s life on earth. Old Testament studies further built on these understandings.

After that, I faced testing with the understanding of this Biblical foundation in the form of applied dialogues in every course from Microeconomics to Introduction to Programming, and from Making of the Christian Leader to Operating Systems. Each course required rapid integration of faith with the study of reason. With these completed, I became accustomed to this eight-week format.

After a business week and a couple weekends for a break between semesters, Fall classes began, this Monday, the 22nd. Interestingly, I enrolled in a Calculus III course for my program that is fifteen weeks in duration. I say so because the study time was estimated for about the same amount of time as the eight-week courses; there is the same study challenge as an eight-week course, but that duration is doubled. Calculus being the study of infinity is a relevant topic for the integration of the Biblical Scriptures. As one of the Psalmists wrote, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (NIV, Ps 103:17). According to Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, the relevance of this chapter is related to the agenda of the editor of the Psalms. About what its purpose is, Hill and Walton said, “Critical discussion of God’s forgiving the sins of the nation” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 429). The Psalms verse and Hill and Walton stated that God Almighty grants his servants blessings of mercy that are collectively grace. This may be interpreted as the privilege of understanding His justice and infinite wisdom, though that does not mean God, himself, is understood beyond his character. Even when Immanuel walked the earth, God the Father reigned in heaven thus his character is known in the flesh, but his infinite Spirit is not fully known. I think that this may apply to Calculus III well as the concept of infinity may be known, but true infinity is not. It is an appealing dichotomy that may be studied for the purpose of growing in true faith for we all assume something as the basis for our worldviews. While this truth about humanity persists, the study of conceptual theory should continue in my view. Having said that, I have more courses this semester.

In general, my other courses are computer science topics, and they are Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, and Distributed and Parallel Programming. Each of these eight-week courses required for my major are what interest me. In particular, the research that may equip me with a purpose-driven education is appealing, and I believe that this is the right path for me. Having said that, as these three eight-week courses are accelerated, I chose them two at a time at most. Towards the halfway completed date of the Fall semester, Database Fundamentals has completion as part of its scheduling whereas the remaining two have the beginning of their scheduled coursework for students. While this is work for me, I believe that any truths that I learn from these courses come from God, so I receive blessings then He receives glory. Therefore, my goal in this study consists of working for God Almighty.

Bibliography

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A Survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.