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About faith

Canell

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Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

We all know Jesus loved talking parables. :)
Since He allegedly knew that moving mountains is beyond human powers (moreover in an age when excavators and big trucks didn't exist), what was the meaning of those words above?
I say it was an anti-blind fate argument. :)
What do you think?
 

RGacky3

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Where do you get the anti-blind faith thing?

I think it means what it says, obviously using hyperbole, and typical Jewish poetic language, it means what it seams to mean, i.e. if you have faith you can accomplish things that seamed impossible to you before, remember it was in the context of casting out a deamon, the apostles couldn't do it, he could, and he credited faith.
 

Canell

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Or that it is entirely natural for humans to be in doubt. ;)
 

tosca1

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It is about having faith in God. It's not about having faith in one's self, what one can do. With God, there is nothing impossible.


Mark 11:23-24
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.


Matthew 21:21
21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.


1 John 5:14
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.


Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

 
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tosca1

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Or that it is entirely natural for humans to be in doubt. ;)

Who plants and stirs doubt in our hearts?

Genesis 3

The Fall
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”


Thus it's vital that we never wander far from Christ - to have Christ always in us. Stand firmly.


Ephesians 6:10-18

The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
 
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Canell

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With God, there is nothing impossible.

Even moving mountains? OK, so I agree you could move a mountain but it would take massive earthquakes and geological changes to accomplish that. Or just wait 100 million years. In that regard, yes, it is possible to move mountains.

Other than that, those words of Jesus don't literally make sense.
 

RGacky3

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Or that it is entirely natural for humans to be in doubt. ;)

You have to actually make an ARGUMENT for your exegesis, it's one thing that annoys be about liberal (I don't mean politically liberal, I mean liberal theologically, I am firmly on the radical left politically, but conservative [not fully orthodox though] theologically) theology ... You base your exegesis around your apriori philosophies or post-modern or modernist theologies, you're theology should come from HONEST exegesis, i.e. finding out what was actually meant in context and THEN make your theology.
 

RGacky3

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Even moving mountains? OK, so I agree you could move a mountain but it would take massive earthquakes and geological changes to accomplish that. Or just wait 100 million years. In that regard, yes, it is possible to move mountains.

Other than that, those words of Jesus don't literally make sense.

of coarse they don't literally make sense, because he's using poetic jewish wisdom literary style in his talking.

Of coarse when someone says "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" he doesn't mean it literally.

This hyperbolic language was COMMON in jewish wisdom literature, and it's common today even in english, saying "it can't be literal" isn't an argument against it's face value meaning .... since it was a .... parable ....
 

Canell

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You base your exegesis around your apriori philosophies or post-modern or modernist theologies, you're theology should come from HONEST exegesis, i.e. finding out what was actually meant in context and THEN make your theology.

This is hermeneutics after all. If the interpretation doesn't satisfy you, that's OK. I give my version, you give yours. What is right or wrong is up to the Almighty, not me or you to judge. Cheers! :cheers:
 

RGacky3

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This is hermeneutics after all. If the interpretation doesn't satisfy you, that's OK. I give my version, you give yours. What is right or wrong is up to the Almighty, not me or you to judge. Cheers! :cheers:

Yeah, but if you're going to give an exegesis, at least try and back it up with argument ....
 

davidtaylorjr

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We all know Jesus loved talking parables. :)
Since He allegedly knew that moving mountains is beyond human powers (moreover in an age when excavators and big trucks didn't exist), what was the meaning of those words above?
I say it was an anti-blind fate argument. :)
What do you think?

Perhaps he was demonstrating that we truly have little faith and if we had more faith we would be able to do so much more for the Kingdom.
 

Canell

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Yeah, but if you're going to give an exegesis, at least try and back it up with argument ....

Well, there is, generally speaking, two kinds of faith - faith as confidence (you could call it professionalism, I guess) and blind faith (believe everything you are told from an authority). I don't think Jesus encouraged option 2, so it leaves option 1. :) Otherwise Jesus would be just another "wishful thinker", which I believe He is not.
 

CanadaJohn

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We all know Jesus loved talking parables. :)
Since He allegedly knew that moving mountains is beyond human powers (moreover in an age when excavators and big trucks didn't exist), what was the meaning of those words above?
I say it was an anti-blind fate argument. :)
What do you think?

Personally, it says to me that no matter what the task in front of you, if you believe you can do it then you can. I don't believe Jesus was a big fan of nay-sayers and those who always point out why something can't be done as opposed to how something may be done.
 

nota bene

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"I want to be like Daniel in the lion`s den
Waiting for God`s love to save him
I wanna be, I wanna be
I want to be like Moses when he raised his hands
And all the winds and seas obeyed him
I wanna be, I wanna be...."

("Daniel," FFH)

 

head of joaquin

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Or that it is entirely natural for humans to be in doubt. ;)

I agree. Any Christian who proclaims he has not doubts about God is simply not telling the truth. He is being inauthentic, which is the opposite of the message of the gospel, the message of a new creation.

It's OK for Christians to doubt God. In short it's OK for Christians to be human. The notion that God is a thoughtpoliceman and if you think a doubt or think an "incorrect" thought about God (what the heck does a Trinity mean?), then you are doomed -- is inauthentic Christianity. It should be rejected by modern Christians as an ugly relic of Nicene and doctrinal Christianity.
 

head of joaquin

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Perhaps he was demonstrating that we truly have little faith and if we had more faith we would be able to do so much more for the Kingdom.

Faith is meaningless without love, so Jesus must have been getting at something else. Maybe he was saying what Paul later said: don't put your faith in faith.


1 Cor 13. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing

By the way thanks, Canell, I've never made the connection between this central expression of Christianity and Jesus' statement until now
 

davidtaylorjr

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Faith is meaningless without love, so Jesus must have been getting at something else. Maybe he was saying what Paul later said: don't put your faith in faith.


1 Cor 13. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing

By the way thanks, Canell, I've never made the connection between this central expression of Christianity and Jesus' statement until now

You can't just take bits and pieces of Scripture and parse them together to say what you want it to say, Paul was not saying don't put faith in faith, nor was Christ saying faith is meaningless.
 

head of joaquin

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You can't just take bits and pieces of Scripture and parse them together to say what you want it to say, Paul was not saying don't put faith in faith, nor was Christ saying faith is meaningless.

Actually I've take two related portions of these texts -- Paul clearly was referencing Jesus' statement, as he did a number of times. Most reference bibles will even indicate as such.

So instead of criticizing me for pointing it out (thanks to Canell's insight), why don't you deal with the fact that Paul's gloss of Jesus' statement is the exact opposite of what you seem to be espousing.
 

davidtaylorjr

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Actually I've take two related portions of these texts -- Paul clearly was referencing Jesus' statement, as he did a number of times. Most reference bibles will even indicate as such.

So instead of criticizing me for pointing it out (thanks to Canell's insight), why don't you deal with the fact that Paul's gloss of Jesus' statement is the exact opposite of what you seem to be espousing.

Except it isn't. That is terrible exegesis.
 

Summerwind

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of coarse they don't literally make sense, because he's using poetic jewish wisdom literary style in his talking.

Of coarse when someone says "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" he doesn't mean it literally.

This hyperbolic language was COMMON in jewish wisdom literature, and it's common today even in english, saying "it can't be literal" isn't an argument against it's face value meaning .... since it was a .... parable ....
In France they might mean it. I wonder if that's where it originated or in some country where horse meat is common.
 

head of joaquin

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of coarse they don't literally make sense, because he's using poetic jewish wisdom literary style in his talking.

Of coarse when someone says "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" he doesn't mean it literally.

This hyperbolic language was COMMON in jewish wisdom literature, and it's common today even in english, saying "it can't be literal" isn't an argument against it's face value meaning .... since it was a .... parable ....

Yes, hyperbole is a common rhetorical trope used by Jesus in his sayings, a fact that constantly makes the literalists look bad.
 

tosca1

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Even moving mountains? OK, so I agree you could move a mountain but it would take massive earthquakes and geological changes to accomplish that. Or just wait 100 million years. In that regard, yes, it is possible to move mountains.

Other than that, those words of Jesus don't literally make sense.

Perhaps this will help you understand. Here is the whole section for that particular verse you've quoted.

This is the basic way how you read and understand the Bible. You don't just take a line here and there....you've got to read and understand it in its right context. Sometimes you've got to read the whole chapter to see what the subject is all about.


Matthew 17
A Boy Is Healed
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic[c] and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[d] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”[e]


And here's one explanation for that.


Lacking a Mustard Seed of Faith

As Moses found that those he had left in charge were unable to control the people (Ex 24:14; 32:1-8), Jesus found that those he had left behind could not cast out a particularly troublesome demon. Jesus casts out the demon immediately, demonstrating how it should be done (17:18; compare 8:26), but the disciples' inability twice invites Jesus' reproof of their weak faith (17:17, 20).
http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Matt/Lacking-Mustard-Seed-Faith
 
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tosca1

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This is hermeneutics after all. If the interpretation doesn't satisfy you, that's OK. I give my version, you give yours. What is right or wrong is up to the Almighty, not me or you to judge. Cheers! :cheers:

Of course, you've got to read it properly before it can make any sense. And if our ultimate goal is salvation and eternal life - we owe it to ourselves to make sure we're on the same page. After all, this life we live is not a trial run. :D

Studying the Bible is a must - imho.
 
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VanceMack

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The concept of faith IS interesting. For example....there was nothing...an absence of all things, a vacuum...a non-cosmic void. And then suddenly, with an unknown and unimaginable force there was a big bang and from this bang...poof! The existence of all known elements. Not just the miraculous existence of a cup of dirt, but rather the miraculous existence of all animal, plant, and chemicals throughout the galaxy. It must be so...because scientific theory tells me so...and I believe it, because I have faith.
 

head of joaquin

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The concept of faith IS interesting. For example....there was nothing...an absence of all things, a vacuum...a non-cosmic void. And then suddenly, with an unknown and unimaginable force there was a big bang and from this bang...poof! The existence of all known elements. Not just the miraculous existence of a cup of dirt, but rather the miraculous existence of all animal, plant, and chemicals throughout the galaxy. It must be so...because scientific theory tells me so...and I believe it, because I have faith.

Mischaracterizing scientific theories doesn't make you look good.
 
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