Well here's where I'm probably going to go up a rung or two in the heresy ladder!
I have been having ongoing discussions with a friend about many
issues relating to grace, leading into the ideas around Ultimate
Reconciliation. Although we have agreed to disagree, I thought I might
share my final communication by way of relating my current stance - my
theology as of this week, next week may be different, lol!! I've
mentioned many of the points in previous posts and blogs, but this sort
of came out as a summary...
After all our discussion I realise I don't view scripture as the word of God. Jesus is, has always been and will always be the Word of God. Scripture is scripture, nothing more and nothing less. It is subject to the Holy Spirit. It is a collection of letters and documents written by men like you and I, full of the same emotions, fears, and joys. It is full of errors, contradictions and emotions.
But here's the thing. It is exactly what God wanted, for then and now. It describes God's heart, man's heart, their interactions, adventures, loves and hates, the whole gamut of of who we are and our relationship with him. If he had laid out a totally unambiguous user manual, then there would be no heart to heart search, no longing for truth that drives us to him, instead of a book. The bible is invaluable, because it leads us to him, its NOT him. This is where the intellectual/scholar thing turns to custard on every level. He can never be expressed through a book, and never wanted to be. His wonderful grace as expressed through the new covenant, caused us to be totally reliant upon Holy Spirit in us and to trust him in everyone else. Yes there is the Law, which was for the Jews, and the wonderful passionate poetry of Psalms, and the Prophets, all so beneficial to our walk with Him! But they are not Him, nor are they to be taken as literal truths. He is soooo much bigger!
Paul had amazing revelations and expressed brilliant truths, but he was all over the place too, often contradicting himself and throwing in his personal opinions. With all his letters we only see his side of the story, we can only assume what he is responding to. But that's fine, because God wants us to listen to Holy Spirit first. Its scary because we have to trust him, something not many people are even willing to consider, saying its license to do whatever we want, but of course it isn't, that's absurd. Its license to find our union with him free from sin/law/religion, and He's more than happy to take the risk that we'll blow it.
I've been looking at the Preterist viewpoint. Not saying I totally agree with it, but there is so much that is obviously right. And its the same with many other ideas - if we get stuck in our paradigms we spiral into fundamentalist dogma that leads to bondage, not freedom, and completely cuts across our ability to have pure intimacy with God.
The kingdom and the gospel, the work of Jesus and the love of God are so much bigger than we ever imagined or could be explained in a few words penned by fragile humans like us, that God had to present it in all its warts and shortcomings. But we still bury our heads in the words thinking that truth lies there, when its in front of us and in us right now, the words of scripture confirming what is in our hearts.
Jesus was the fulfilment and the end of the law, he had to be familiar with every last bit of it so he could complete his "mission". Yes, scripture is beneficial, but it isn't the source of all truth. Its is totally inspired by God, but not because its indisputable truth, but for the opposite reason - it causes us to turn to him for truth and clarity and to make sense of life. We have been taught to worship the bible rather than Him, and the implications of that are huge.
Our journey with God is meant to be totally unique to each of us, enabled by the finished work of Jesus when he died and resurrected. The scriptures are a wonderful guide to that unique journey, but they will never supersede our unity with the fullness of God right now, and the amazing intimacy that brings every moment of our lives!