Losing the Message

Having trashed a couple of essential biblical truths, namely the reality of the human sinful condition, and the prospect of the wrath of God being poured out against sinners, Chalke (in The Lost Message of Jesus) seems to revert back to the historical background to the incarnation.

But how frustrating! Next he makes some excellent points about how the coming of a baby, the Messiah, and the announcement of the message completely ignores the diplomatic niceties of the day. No approach to Herod. No confrontation with the Romans. Just a baby, given to a young girl. The announcement is made to “sinful” shepherds, not the great and the good. It is truly a startling entrance. It is a great leveller. There is no privilege in the kingdom of God. All good stuff.

But having got rid of the spiritual peril, Chalke has to interpret this message in socio-political terms. The bad elite oppressing the ordinary man. This is man’s big problem, so it seems. Two quotes jumped out at me. First this one:

The divine scandal is that God is on the side of the ordinary people. He believes in them and includes them. (p.82) )

It attracted my attention because of the idea that God “believes in them” i.e. the ordinary man. But in this, the wrath of God towards them is brushed under the carpet.

The second quote:

The ordinary people of Galilee are not the evil, depraved and sinful failures as painted by the religious leaders. (p. 82)

Ah, sorry. My mistake. I’m sure the Bible talks of all being sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, but I must have misread that.

You can probably tell, I’m losing patience Chalke’s line of thought. I simply cannot see how he cannot see the biblical witness to the real problem of mankind. Yes, the story of the Gospels takes place in a historical context which serves to bring into sharp relief the contrast between the common conception of how the Messiah would come and the reality. But, that context alone cannot define the problem that makes the Messiah necessary.

Losing the Message

One thought on “Losing the Message

  1. Anonymous says:

    The HUMAN PARADIGM Psalm 25:12

    The way we define ‘human’ determines our view of self,
    others, relationships, institutions, life, and future.
    Important? Only the Creator who made us in His own image
    is qualified to define us accurately. Choose wisely…
    there are results.

    In an effort to diminish the multiple and persistent
    dangers and abuses which have characterized the affairs
    of man in his every Age, and to assist in the requisite
    search for human identity, it is essential to perceive
    and specify that distinction which naturally and most
    uniquely defines the human being. Because definitions
    rule in the minds, behaviors, and institutions of men,
    we can be confident that delineating and communicating
    that quality will assist the process of resolution and
    the courageous ascension to which man is called. As
    Americans of the 21st Century, we are obliged and privi-
    leged to join our forebears and participate in this
    continuing paradigm proclamation.

    “WHAT IS MAN…?” God asks – and answers:

    Many problems in human experience are the result of false
    and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised in man-
    made religions and humanistic philosophies.

    Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe. The
    balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human reason
    cannot fully function in such a void, thus, the intellect
    can rise no higher than the criteria by which it perceives
    and measures values.

    Humanism makes man his own standard of measure. However,
    as with all measuring systems, a standard must be greater
    than the value measured. Based on preponderant ignorance
    and an egocentric carnal nature, humanism demotes reason
    to the simpleton task of excuse-making in behalf of the
    rule of appetites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

    Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament, cannot
    invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist lacks
    a predictive capability. Without instinct or transcendent
    criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with foresight
    and vision for progression and survival. Lacking foresight,
    man is blind to potential consequence and is unwittingly
    committed to mediocrity, averages, and regression – and
    worse. Humanism is an unworthy worship.

    The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with a
    functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the foot-
    dragging growth of human knowledge and behavior. Faith,
    initiated by the Creator and revealed and validated in His
    Word, the Bible, brings a transcendent standard to man the
    choice-maker. Other philosophies and religions are man-
    made, humanism, and thereby lack what only the Bible has:

    1.Transcendent Criteria and
    2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation.

    The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival equip-
    ment for today and the future.

    Man is earth’s Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by nature
    and nature’s God a creature of Choice – and of Criteria.
    Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive characteristic
    is, and of Right ought to be, the natural foundation of
    his environments, institutions, and respectful relations
    to his fellow-man. Thus, he is oriented to a Freedom
    whose roots are in the Order of the universe.

    At the sub-atomic level of the physical universe quantum
    physics indicates a multifarious gap or division in the
    causal chain; particles to which position cannot be
    assigned at all times, systems that pass from one energy
    state to another without manifestation in intermediate
    states, entities without mass, fields whose substance is
    as insubstantial as “a probability.”

    Only statistical conglomerates pay tribute to
    deterministic forces. Singularities do not and are
    therefore random, unpredictable, mutant, and in this
    sense, uncaused. The finest contribution inanimate
    reality is capable of making toward choice, without its
    own selective agencies, is this continuing manifestation
    of opportunity as the pre-condition to choice it defers
    to the natural action of living forms.

    Biological science affirms that each level of life,
    single-cell to man himself, possesses attributes of
    sensitivity, discrimination, and selectivity, and in
    the exclusive and unique nature of each diversified
    life form.

    The survival and progression of life forms has all too
    often been dependent upon the ever-present undeterminative
    potential and appearance of one unique individual organism
    within the whole spectrum of a given life-form. Only the
    uniquely equipped individual organism is, like The Golden
    Wedge of Ophir, capable of traversing the causal gap to
    survival and progression. Mere reproductive determinacy
    would have rendered life forms incapable of such potential.

    Only a moving universe of opportunity plus choice enables
    the present reality.

    Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
    developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
    aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
    ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
    Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
    itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

    Man is earth’s Choicemaker. His title describes his
    definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall that his
    other features are but vehicles of experience intent on
    the development of perceptive awareness and the
    following acts of decision. Note that the products of
    man cannot define him for they are the fruit of the
    discerning choice-making process and include the
    cognition of self, the utility of experience, the
    development of value-measuring systems and language,
    and the acculturation of civilization.

    The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
    customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
    his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity is a
    choice-making process. His articles, constructs, and
    commodities, however marvelous to behold, deserve
    neither awe nor idolatry, for man, not his contrivance,
    is earth’s own highest expression of the creative process.

    Man is earth’s Choicemaker. The sublime and significant
    act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean fulcrum upon
    which man levers and redirects the forces of cause and
    effect to an elected level of quality and diversity.
    Further, it orients him toward a natural environmental
    opportunity, freedom, and bestows earth’s title, The
    Choicemaker, on his singular and plural brow.

    Deterministic systems, ideological symbols of abdication
    by man from his natural role as earth’s Choicemaker,
    inevitably degenerate into collectivism; the negation of
    singularity, they become a conglomerate plural-based
    system of measuring human value. Blunting an awareness
    of diversity, blurring alternatives, and limiting the
    selective creative process, they are self-relegated to
    a passive and circular regression.

    Tampering with man’s selective nature endangers his
    survival for it would render him impotent and obsolete
    by denying the tools of diversity, individuality,
    perception, criteria, selectivity, and progress.
    Coercive attempts produce revulsion, for such acts
    are contrary to an indeterminate nature and nature’s
    indeterminate off-spring, man the Choicemaker.

    Until the oppressors discover that wisdom only just
    begins with a respectful acknowledgment of The Creator,
    The Creation, and The Choicemaker, they will be ever
    learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.
    The rejection of Creator-initiated standards relegates
    the mind of man to its own primitive, empirical, and
    delimited devices. It is thus that the human intellect
    cannot ascend and function at any level higher than the
    criteria by which it perceives and measures values.

    Additionally, such rejection of transcendent criteria
    self-denies man the vision and foresight essential to
    decision-making for survival and progression. He is left,
    instead, with the redundant wreckage of expensive hind-
    sight, including human institutions characterized by
    averages, mediocrity, and regression.

    Humanism, mired in the circular and mundane egocentric
    predicament, is ill-equipped to produce transcendent
    criteria. Evidenced by those who do not perceive
    superiority and thus find themselves beset by the shifting
    winds of the carnal-ego; i.e., moods, feelings, desires,
    appetites, etc., the mind becomes subordinate: a mere
    device for excuse-making and rationalizing self-justifica-

    The carnal-ego rejects criteria and self-discipline for such
    instruments are tools of the mind and the attitude. The
    appetites of the flesh have no need of standards for at the
    point of contention standards are perceived as alien, re-
    strictive, and inhibiting. Yet, the very survival of our
    physical nature itself depends upon a maintained sover-
    eignty of the mind and of the spirit.

    It remained, therefore, to the initiative of a personal
    and living Creator to traverse the human horizon and
    fill the vast void of human ignorance with an intelli-
    gent and definitive faith. Man is thus afforded the
    prime tool of the intellect – a Transcendent Standard
    by which he may measure values in experience, anticipate
    results, and make enlightened and visionary choices.

    Only the unique and superior God-man Person can deserved-
    ly displace the ego-person from his predicament and free
    the individual to measure values and choose in a more
    excellent way. That sublime Person was indicated in the
    words of the prophet Amos, “…said the Lord, Behold,
    I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel.”
    Y’shua Mashiyach Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will
    draw all men unto myself.”

    As long as some choose to abdicate their personal reality
    and submit to the delusions of humanism, determinism, and
    collectivism, just so long will they be subject and re-
    acting only, to be tossed by every impulse emanating from
    others. Those who abdicate such reality may, in perfect
    justice, find themselves weighed in the balances of their
    own choosing.

    That human institution which is structured on the
    principle, “…all men are endowed by their Creator with
    …Liberty…,” is a system with its roots in the natural
    Order of the universe. The opponents of such a system are
    necessarily engaged in a losing contest with nature and
    nature’s God. Biblical principles are still today the
    foundation under Western Civilization and the American
    way of life. To the advent of a new season we commend the
    present generation and the “multitudes in the valley of

    Let us proclaim it. Behold!
    The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV

    “I should think that if there is one thing that man has
    learned about himself it is that he is a creature of
    choice.” Richard M. Weaver

    “Man is a being capable of subduing his emotions and
    impulses; he can rationalize his behavior. He arranges
    his wishes into a scale, he chooses; in short, he acts.
    What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he
    adjusts his behavior deliberately.” Ludwig von Mises

    “To make any sense of the idea of morality, it must be
    presumed that the human being is responsible for his
    actions and responsibility cannot be understood apart
    from the presumption of freedom of choice.”
    John Chamberlain

    “The advocate of liberty believes that it is complementary
    of the orderly laws of cause and effect, of probability
    and of chance, of which man is not completely informed.
    It is complementary of them because it rests in part upon
    the faith that each individual is endowed by his Creator
    with the power of individual choice.”
    Wendell J. Brown

    “Our Founding Fathers believed that we live in an ordered
    universe. They believed themselves to be a part of the
    universal order of things. Stated another way, they
    believed in God. They believed that every man must find
    his own place in a world where a place has been made for
    him. They sought independence for their nation but, more
    importantly, they sought freedom for individuals to think
    and act for themselves. They established a republic
    dedicated to one purpose above all others – the preserva-
    tion of individual liberty…” Ralph W. Husted

    “We have the gift of an inner liberty so far-reaching
    that we can choose either to accept or reject the God
    who gave it to us, and it would seem to follow that the
    Author of a liberty so radical wills that we should be
    equally free in our relationships with other men.
    Spiritual liberty logically demands conditions of outer
    and social freedom for its completion.” Edmund A. Opitz

    “Above all I see an ability to choose the better from the
    worse that has made possible life’s progress.”
    Charles Lindbergh

    “Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for
    oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibil-
    ity of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not
    a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Q: “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son
    of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:4
    A: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against
    you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing
    and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and
    your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19

    Q: “Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
    Or the son of man, that you are mindful of him?” Psalm
    A: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose
    for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the
    gods which your fathers served that were on the other
    side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose
    land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will
    serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

    Q: “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is
    born of a woman, that he could be righteous?” Job 15:14
    A: “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He
    teach in the way he chooses.” Psalm 25:12

    Q: “What is man, that You should magnify him, that You
    should set Your heart on him?” Job 7:17
    A: “Do not envy the oppressor and choose none of his
    ways.” Proverbs 3:31

    Q: “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son
    of man that You take care of him?” Hebrews 2:6
    A: “I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have
    laid before me.” Psalm 119:30 “Let Your hand become my
    help, for I have chosen Your precepts.”Psalm 119:173

    Genesis 3:3,6 Deuteronomy 11:26-28; 30:19 Job 5:23
    Isaiah 7:14-15; 13:12; 61:1 Amos 7:8 Joel 3:14
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Psalm 119:1-176

    Sir Isaac Newton
    The greatest scientist in human history
    a Bible-Believing Christian
    an authority on the Bible’s Book of Daniel
    committed to individual value
    and individual liberty

    Daniel 9:25-26 Habakkuk 2:2-3 KJV selah

    “What is man…?” Earth’s Choicemaker Psalm 25:12 KJV

    An old/new paradigm – Mr. Jefferson would agree!
    (There is no alternative!)

    + + +

    “Man cannot make or invent or contrive principles. He
    can only discover them and he ought to look through the
    discovery to the Author.” — Thomas Paine 1797

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