What Is Sound Doctrine concerning the Doctrinal Importance of Narratives in Scripture?

In a recent thread, the following comments were made:  

Yes, it's God doing this, but we need to keep in mind that Deuteronomy 34:6 is not law, but rather narrative, and trying to derive doctrine from narrative is extremely dangerous business. 

Again, narrative passages tell us what happened, but not always the why.  That's why it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages. 

The passages used by Rajesh to justify his position are narrative, description and not prescription, and hence it's (again) extremely dangerous business to try and draw doctrine from these narratives.

This is one view concerning what is sound doctrine concerning the doctrinal importance of narratives in Scripture. When someone makes an assertion that something is so, they are responsible for proving that what they assert is so.

The maker of these comments, however, has provided no support for his position beyond mere assertion. Mere assertion is not proof.

What is sound doctrine concerning the doctrinal importance of narratives in Scripture? Who decides what is the correct view and what is not?

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RajeshG's picture

When a person repeatedly claims that something is "extremely dangerous," it becomes all the more necessary for that person to provide thorough proof of their position. Merely repeating the statement is not proof.

RajeshG's picture

The notion that "it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages" is an extremely dangerous and misleading teaching.

God profoundly emphasizes the doctrinal importance of all Scripture, which obviously includes narratives: 

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Moreover, God instructs us through this passage that what He has given us in the totality of Scripture thoroughly furnishes us with what we need to do all the good works that He wants us to do. Because so much of Scripture is narratives, it is essential that we do not dismiss the doctrinal importance of narratives for teaching us what God wants us to do.

It is a grave and damaging mistake to approach Scripture with the notion that "it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages." Certainly, Scripture can be and is mishandled by many, but no one should approach narratives in Scripture with the highly problematic notion that "it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages." 

josh p's picture

Rajesh,

Just want to point out that I provided one source and you said you probably had heard it all before and you did not have time to read such material. What kind of proof would satisfy you? 
 

Does it at least give you pause that, among the many faithful believers and pastors here, no one seems to support your hermeneutic? I'll ask again: Can you cite a hermeneutics book that does support your position? 
 

Finally, I'd still like these questions answered. Without knowing when you apply your method and when you don't it will be difficult to comment on this thread.

“That being said, what is your interpretive method with regards to OT narrative literature and when it is prescriptive? Surely you don’t believe that all narrative literature in which God is prescribing things for His people Israel are binding for the church. How do you decide?  Are you sabbatarian? Do you eat pork, wear mixed fabrics, etc? Why or why not?” 

Thanks Rajesh. 

RajeshG's picture

josh p wrote:

Rajesh,

Just want to point out that I provided one source and you said you probably had heard it all before and you did not have time to read such material. What kind of proof would satisfy you? 

Does it at least give you pause that, among the many faithful believers and pastors here, no one seems to support your hermeneutic? I'll ask again: Can you cite a hermeneutics book that does support your position? 
 

Finally, I'd still like these questions answered. Without knowing when you apply your method and when you don't it will be difficult to comment on this thread.

“That being said, what is your interpretive method with regards to OT narrative literature and when it is prescriptive? Surely you don’t believe that all narrative literature in which God is prescribing things for His people Israel are binding for the church. How do you decide?  Are you sabbatarian? Do you eat pork, wear mixed fabrics, etc? Why or why not?” 

Thanks Rajesh. 

What do you mean specifically by "my hermeneutic"? What exactly is your complaint about my hermeneutic?

josh p's picture

Rajesh,

This is all fairly repetitive. Your hermeneutic of using narrative literature as prescriptive to build a certain theological argument. That's what those questions I asked are all about. Would you mind answering them? 

RajeshG's picture

josh p wrote:

Rajesh,

This is all fairly repetitive. Your hermeneutic of using narrative literature as prescriptive to build a certain theological argument. That's what those questions I asked are all about. Would you mind answering them? 

You have a wrong perception of my hermeneutic. 

How I approach an issue is based on what God has revealed in the entire Bible that pertains to the subject, regardless of whether some or even much of it is in narratives or not. Explicit apostolic teaching instructs us that everything that God has revealed is profitable for us for doctrine, etc. and given to us so that we are fully equipped to do all the good works that God wants us to do. That teaching applies to narratives.

God does not make His will known only through commands.

Explicit NT teaching gives us clear instruction about two of the example issues that you ask about. The Lord's Day is not the same as the Sabbath because the NT teaches me that truth. Having said that, the truths that God has revealed in the entire Bible pertaining to the Sabbath and in the NT pertaining to the Lord's Day do teach us that the Christian is to hold the Lord's Day in the highest regard and set it aside as a special day to God for the things of God.

What Christians are supposed to do about pork is plainly answered by the NT.

Wearing mixed fabrics is not addressed directly in the NT; I do not have any problem wearing mixed fabrics; we do not have a massive amount of biblical revelation that pertains to that matter that leads me to believe that we should not wear mixed fabrics.
 
More fundamentally, what we should do is discuss is what Scripture itself reveals about what is sound doctrine concerning the doctrinal importance of narratives.

2 Tim. 3:16-17 is the premier passage in that respect, and it does not teach that only what is directly commanded, non-narrative, and in the NT teaches us what God wants us to do.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Wearing mixed fabrics is not addressed directly in the NT; I do not have any problem wearing mixed fabrics; we do not have a massive amount of biblical revelation that pertains to that matter that leads me to believe that we should not wear mixed fabrics.

I totally agree with your reasoning for not applying the prohibition against mixed fabrics to yourself today. However, the same reasoning can pretty much be used regarding cremation. Cremation is not directly addressed in the NT. (We don't even have a direct prohibition of it in the OT like we do with wearing mixed fabrics.) I do not have any problem with cremation. We do not have a massive amount of Biblical revelation regarding cremation that would cause me to believe that we should not practice cremation.

Now, we do have a number of examples of burial in the Bible contained in narrative passages, and the point of this thread is to discuss the doctrinal significance of narrative passages. How do we decide which activities mentioned in narrative passages become doctrinal obligations for believers? Let's take a different activity and see if the mentions of it contain an obligation. There are quite a few passages which describe people "walking." Joshua 5:6 "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness" 2 Sam 2:29 "And Abner and his men walked all that night" Mark 1:16 "Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew . . " Mark 5:42 "And straightway the damsel arose, and walked" John 7:1 "After these things, Jesus walked in Galilee." Since there are so many examples of walking in the Bible, are we to draw a doctrinal significance from these narratives and declare that walking is God's approved method of transportation?

Dan Miller's picture

As I contemplate this, I arrive at three questions that should help apply narrative. 

  1. How does the narrative describe the act?
    1. Command
    2. Commend 
    3. Neither
  2. Who is involved in the doing?
    1. Individual
    2. Nation or group or time period 
    3. All mankind
  3. What details are given regarding the act?
    1. A specific act named precisely 
    2. An act named that stands for many acts in general ("slay with a sword" = kill)
    3. An act named that has several elements, each of which may or may not be part of the command or commendation. 

 So take Ecclesiastes 6:3

If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

Burial here is commended, not commanded.

Nothing specifies to whom this commendation is given. We might disagree here with some insisting that silence means all.

What exact act is commended?  Some will insist burial means burial. But it seems to me that this passage is more about love and legacy. "Grave" is a noun referring to a burial site. "Burial" is a noun referring to the act of burying. So what is commended is in fact a funeral, and that's a consummation of a life lived in love and influence of others. So my reading here is that to not have a burial is deeply sad because it means no one wants to remember and mourn your life. 

RajeshG's picture

I appreciate your interest in interacting on this subject and hope that there will be more interaction that is profitable and edifying. 

It is not my intent that this thread become another thread about burial vs. cremation. That is for the other thread.

Discussing burial vs. cremation here will derail the discussion that is needed in this thread. I am not going to interact in this thread with the parts that are specifically about burial and cremation in any such comments.

If you could keep your focus on examining how the Bible itself reveals the doctrinal importance of narratives, that would be great. Maybe, you could copy these comments into the other thread and continue in that thread the discussions of the parts in your comments that are specific to burial vs. cremation?

RajeshG's picture

Here is an example of how Jesus used information that is given to us in a narrative passage:

Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.

The information about what happened to Lot's wife is given to us in a passage that is a historical narrative of God's judging Sodom and Gomorrah and delivering Lot and his two daughters from that judgment:

Gen. 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

This statement reveals and describes what happened to her, but Jesus issued a command to His disciples that they must learn from that narrative information, keep recalling to their minds what happened to her, and by way of legitimate and necessary implication, not do as she did.

Obviously, it was not very likely that His disciples (or we) would face a situation that was exactly the same as she was in or even closely parallel to it. Nonetheless, Jesus commanded them to profit from that narrative information.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

How do we decide which activities mentioned in narrative passages become doctrinal obligations for believers? Let's take a different activity and see if the mentions of it contain an obligation. There are quite a few passages which describe people "walking." Joshua 5:6 "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness" 2 Sam 2:29 "And Abner and his men walked all that night" Mark 1:16 "Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew . . " Mark 5:42 "And straightway the damsel arose, and walked" John 7:1 "After these things, Jesus walked in Galilee." Since there are so many examples of walking in the Bible, are we to draw a doctrinal significance from these narratives and declare that walking is God's approved method of transportation?

No, the Bible itself shows that we are not to draw any such doctrinal significance to people's walking.

Genesis 22:3 

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 

Exodus 4:20 

And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 

Matthew 21:7 

And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 

John 12:15 

Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. 

Everything that Jesus did was always and only perfect in every way. Jesus rode on an animal instead of walking on this occasion.

Based on what we see from both prophetic examples and divine example of not walking but of using other means of transportation, we know that there is no doctrinal significance to narratives speaking frequently of people's walking, etc. There's more that could be said about this specific example, but this should be sufficient to make the point.

RajeshG's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

As I contemplate this, I arrive at three questions that should help apply narrative. 

  1. How does the narrative describe the act?
    1. Command
    2. Commend 
    3. Neither
  2. Who is involved in the doing?
    1. Individual
    2. Nation or group or time period 
    3. All mankind
  3. What details are given regarding the act?
    1. A specific act named precisely 
    2. An act named that stands for many acts in general ("slay with a sword" = kill)
    3. An act named that has several elements, each of which may or may not be part of the command or commendation. 

 

This is an approach that is worth discussing, but not before discussing what Scripture itself reveals about the use of information from narratives because what we see in Scripture itself intrinsically has greater weight than any approach that we come up with ourselves.

Let's discuss this more later.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

How do we decide which activities mentioned in narrative passages become doctrinal obligations for believers? Let's take a different activity and see if the mentions of it contain an obligation. There are quite a few passages which describe people "walking." Joshua 5:6 "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness" 2 Sam 2:29 "And Abner and his men walked all that night" Mark 1:16 "Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew . . " Mark 5:42 "And straightway the damsel arose, and walked" John 7:1 "After these things, Jesus walked in Galilee." Since there are so many examples of walking in the Bible, are we to draw a doctrinal significance from these narratives and declare that walking is God's approved method of transportation?

 

 

No, the Bible itself shows that we are not to draw any such doctrinal significance to people's walking.

Genesis 22:3 

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 

Exodus 4:20 

And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 

Matthew 21:7 

And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 

John 12:15 

Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. 

Everything that Jesus did was always and only perfect in every way. Jesus rode on an animal instead of walking on this occasion.

Based on what we see from both prophetic examples and divine example of not walking but of using other means of transportation, we know that there is no doctrinal significance to narratives speaking frequently of people's walking, etc. There's more that could be said about this specific example, but this should be sufficient to make the point.

Wait a minute. How can you say there is "no doctrinal significance to narratives speaking frequently of people walking."? What about 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" Earlier in this thread, you said "God instructs us through this passage that what He has given us in the totality of Scripture thoroughly furnishes us with what we need to do all the good works that He wants us to do." If walking is mentioned as part of "all scripture," then shouldn't there be some doctrinal significance to walking as one of the "good works that He wants us to do"?? You presented a bunch of verses about "riding," so we see from those narratives that riding is also God's approved method of transportation. Surely God can have more than one approved method of transportation, right? 

Or would it be correct to say that we shouldn't even assume God's approval or disapproval from these transportation passages unless there is indication in the passage of approval or disapproval? Is that what you meant when you said there was "no doctrinal significance" to narratives that mentioned walking?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

How do we decide which activities mentioned in narrative passages become doctrinal obligations for believers? Let's take a different activity and see if the mentions of it contain an obligation. There are quite a few passages which describe people "walking." Joshua 5:6 "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness" 2 Sam 2:29 "And Abner and his men walked all that night" Mark 1:16 "Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew . . " Mark 5:42 "And straightway the damsel arose, and walked" John 7:1 "After these things, Jesus walked in Galilee." Since there are so many examples of walking in the Bible, are we to draw a doctrinal significance from these narratives and declare that walking is God's approved method of transportation?

 

 

No, the Bible itself shows that we are not to draw any such doctrinal significance to people's walking.

Genesis 22:3 

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 

Exodus 4:20 

And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 

Matthew 21:7 

And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 

John 12:15 

Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. 

Everything that Jesus did was always and only perfect in every way. Jesus rode on an animal instead of walking on this occasion.

Based on what we see from both prophetic examples and divine example of not walking but of using other means of transportation, we know that there is no doctrinal significance to narratives speaking frequently of people's walking, etc. There's more that could be said about this specific example, but this should be sufficient to make the point.

 

Wait a minute. How can you say there is "no doctrinal significance to narratives speaking frequently of people walking."? What about 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" Earlier in this thread, you said "God instructs us through this passage that what He has given us in the totality of Scripture thoroughly furnishes us with what we need to do all the good works that He wants us to do." If walking is mentioned as part of "all scripture," then shouldn't there be some doctrinal significance to walking as one of the "good works that He wants us to do"?? You presented a bunch of verses about "riding," so we see from those narratives that riding is also God's approved method of transportation. Surely God can have more than one approved method of transportation, right? 

 

Or would it be correct to say that we shouldn't even assume God's approval or disapproval from these transportation passages unless there is indication in the passage of approval or disapproval? Is that what you meant when you said there was "no doctrinal significance" to narratives that mentioned walking?

There are no passages in Scripture to my knowledge that say anything God's viewpoint about modes of transportation.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

There are no passages in Scripture to my knowledge that say anything God's viewpoint about modes of transportation.

Wouldn't the inclusion of various modes of transportation in God's inspired scripture be showing us God's viewpoint about those modes of transportation?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

There are no passages in Scripture to my knowledge that say anything God's viewpoint about modes of transportation.

 

Wouldn't the inclusion of various modes of transportation in God's inspired scripture be showing us God's viewpoint about those modes of transportation?

I do not think that it communicates anything about God's viewpoint because there is no information of any type in any passages that I am aware of to suggest that it does.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

There are no passages in Scripture to my knowledge that say anything God's viewpoint about modes of transportation.

 

Wouldn't the inclusion of various modes of transportation in God's inspired scripture be showing us God's viewpoint about those modes of transportation?

 

 

I do not think that it communicates anything about God's viewpoint because there is no information of any type in any passages that I am aware of to suggest that it does.

So what you are telling me is that narrative passages that speak of people using transportation are JUST narration and don't have any doctrinal significance that you know of. Is that right?

So if I were to take these passages and insist that God wants people to ONLY walk or ride places, would I be putting a burden on people that God does not actually put on people?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

There are no passages in Scripture to my knowledge that say anything God's viewpoint about modes of transportation.

 

Wouldn't the inclusion of various modes of transportation in God's inspired scripture be showing us God's viewpoint about those modes of transportation?

 

 

I do not think that it communicates anything about God's viewpoint because there is no information of any type in any passages that I am aware of to suggest that it does.

 

So what you are telling me is that narrative passages that speak of people using transportation are JUST narration and don't have any doctrinal significance that you know of. Is that right?

So if I were to take these passages and insist that God wants people to ONLY walk or ride places, would I be putting a burden on people that God does not actually put on people?

No, I am not saying that. If that were the only thing spoken about in the entire narrative passage, then we would have something more to discuss. Keeping in mind that Scripture was originally given without chapter and verse breaks, this line of discussion is a non-issue.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

There are no passages in Scripture to my knowledge that say anything God's viewpoint about modes of transportation.

 

Wouldn't the inclusion of various modes of transportation in God's inspired scripture be showing us God's viewpoint about those modes of transportation?

 

 

I do not think that it communicates anything about God's viewpoint because there is no information of any type in any passages that I am aware of to suggest that it does.

 

So what you are telling me is that narrative passages that speak of people using transportation are JUST narration and don't have any doctrinal significance that you know of. Is that right?

So if I were to take these passages and insist that God wants people to ONLY walk or ride places, would I be putting a burden on people that God does not actually put on people?

 

 

No, I am not saying that. If that were the only thing spoken about in the entire narrative passage, then we would have something more to discuss. Keeping in mind that Scripture was originally given without chapter and verse breaks, this line of discussion is a non-issue.

I'm not sure why the omission of chapter and verse breaks makes this discussion a non-issue. What exactly counts as an "entire narrative passage"? Even in one verse of narration, there could be multiple actions described. or there could be an entire chapter devoted to just one action. I'm simply trying to figure out what your actual position is regarding narrative passages.

I provided some verses that relayed information that people walked. You provided verses that relayed information that people also rode. When I asked you if narrative passages describing transportation provide God's viewpoint regarding modes of transportation, you said, "I do not think that it communicates anything about God's viewpoint because there is no information of any type in any passages that I am aware of to suggest that it does." So if, as you say, God's viewpoint about transportation isn't given in any passage, then why would you be unwilling to say that I'm putting an extra burden on people if I insist that God's viewpoint on transportation is only approving walking or riding based on the passages we both posted? It seems to me, based on what you had said, that you would readily agree to that in regards to transportation, which was the only issue i was discussing. I wasn't discussing any other actions that might be included in an "entire narrative passage."

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

I'm not sure why the omission of chapter and verse breaks makes this discussion a non-issue. What exactly counts as an "entire narrative passage"? Even in one verse of narration, there could be multiple actions described. or there could be an entire chapter devoted to just one action. I'm simply trying to figure out what your actual position is regarding narrative passages.

I provided some verses that relayed information that people walked. You provided verses that relayed information that people also rode. When I asked you if narrative passages describing transportation provide God's viewpoint regarding modes of transportation, you said, "I do not think that it communicates anything about God's viewpoint because there is no information of any type in any passages that I am aware of to suggest that it does." So if, as you say, God's viewpoint about transportation isn't given in any passage, then why would you be unwilling to say that I'm putting an extra burden on people if I insist that God's viewpoint on transportation is only approving walking or riding based on the passages we both posted? It seems to me, based on what you had said, that you would readily agree to that in regards to transportation, which was the only issue i was discussing. I wasn't discussing any other actions that might be included in an "entire narrative passage."

We are getting deeply embroiled in a discussion that's not really the most helpful thing to do. We first need to examine and discuss thoroughly how Scripture itself makes use of narrative passages. Only after we have done that can we move properly to an applicational discussion of a very specific example such as the one that you are wanting to discuss. I propose that we put this discussion on hold and come back to it later.

Another reason to postpone (or even discontinue) this discussion about transportation modes is that I am not prepared to take positions on a subject that I have not studied carefully and thoroughly. I ventured an opinion earlier based on what little study I did in response to your comments, but I do not have time to do a thorough study of what Scripture reveals about transportation modes, etc. to see what has been revealed about that subject and what doctrinal significance, if any, that revelation might have.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

We are getting deeply embroiled in a discussion that's not really the most helpful thing to do. We first need to examine and discuss thoroughly how Scripture itself makes use of narrative passages. Only after we have done that can we move properly to an applicational discussion of a very specific example such as the one that you are wanting to discuss. I propose that we put this discussion on hold and come back to it later.

It seems we must study the Bible in completely different ways. It looks to me that the BEST way to "discuss thoroughly how Scripture itself makes use of narrative passages" is to examine some narrative passages to see how scripture makes use of them. How is that NOT helpful? It seems to me you just want to steer the conversation AWAY from a thorough discussion of how the Bible uses narrative passages. Do you propose we somehow discuss this without using any examples?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

We are getting deeply embroiled in a discussion that's not really the most helpful thing to do. We first need to examine and discuss thoroughly how Scripture itself makes use of narrative passages. Only after we have done that can we move properly to an applicational discussion of a very specific example such as the one that you are wanting to discuss. I propose that we put this discussion on hold and come back to it later.

 

It seems we must study the Bible in completely different ways. It looks to me that the BEST way to "discuss thoroughly how Scripture itself makes use of narrative passages" is to examine some narrative passages to see how scripture makes use of them. How is that NOT helpful? It seems to me you just want to steer the conversation AWAY from a thorough discussion of how the Bible uses narrative passages. Do you propose we somehow discuss this without using any examples?

We are talking about two different things. Look back in this thread and see my comment about Lot's wife. That is what I am talking about.

Examining how the Scripture writers use information provided elsewhere in Scripture in narrative passages to issue authoritative direction to God's people is the most important means for how we are to learn how we are to make use of what God has revealed in narrative passages.

You are talking about going to various narrative passages, looking at some aspect or aspects of what they say, and then drawing conclusions ourselves about what they have said. That is not what I am talking about.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

You are talking about going to various narrative passages, looking at some aspect or aspects of what they say, and then drawing conclusions ourselves about what they have said. That is not what I am talking about.

But that IS what you were doing in the other thread about cremation. You were going to various narrative passages in which people were buried, or were promised a burial, and you drew conclusions about cremation being unacceptable due to people being buried. I was simply using the exact same logic regarding transportation as you used regarding body disposal methods.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You are talking about going to various narrative passages, looking at some aspect or aspects of what they say, and then drawing conclusions ourselves about what they have said. That is not what I am talking about.

 

But that IS what you were doing in the other thread about cremation. You were going to various narrative passages in which people were buried, or were promised a burial, and you drew conclusions about cremation being unacceptable due to people being buried. I was simply using the exact same logic regarding transportation as you used regarding body disposal methods.

No, you are not doing the exact same logic as I did because your assessment of my examples is lacking. More importantly, by your own words, you have admitted that what you are doing in this thread is not what the subject of this thread is.

RajeshG's picture

When Jesus issued the command to remember Lot's wife (Lk. 17:32), He took "descriptive" information from a narrative account in Scripture in Gen. 19:17-26 and used it to utter a prescriptive statement in Lk. 17:32. 

Gen. 19:17-26 ---> Lk. 17:32 is the first biblical example that I am presenting of how something that is given in a "descriptive" passage was legitimately used by Jesus to utter a prescriptive statement.

This biblical observation informs us about sound doctrine concerning the doctrinal importance of narratives in Scripture.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

You are talking about going to various narrative passages, looking at some aspect or aspects of what they say, and then drawing conclusions ourselves about what they have said. That is not what I am talking about.

 

But that IS what you were doing in the other thread about cremation. You were going to various narrative passages in which people were buried, or were promised a burial, and you drew conclusions about cremation being unacceptable due to people being buried. I was simply using the exact same logic regarding transportation as you used regarding body disposal methods.

 

 

No, you are not doing the exact same logic as I did because your assessment of my examples is lacking. More importantly, by your own words, you have admitted that what you are doing in this thread is not what the subject of this thread is.

No, I don't see my assessment as lacking at all. Your assertion itself does not make it true. And you yourself started this thread with a quote from someone in that other thread who claimed your logic in using narrative was dangerous, so any ties to that other thread regarding your logic in the use of narrative are entirely within context.

Now, you might say the other poster was claiming that ALL use of narrative is dangerous, but that is not really was that other poster was claiming. There certainly ARE appropriate ways to draw doctrine from narrative, but the accusation in the other thread was related to the WAY in which you were doing it in the other thread, and as I said, I don't think my assessment of the way you were doing it was lacking.

Would you admit that there CAN be a danger in drawing doctrine from narrative if it is done in an inappropriate way. I realize you don't believe you were doing it yourself in that inappropriate way, but would you admit that the danger exists IF the inappropriate way is used?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

Would you admit that there CAN be a danger in drawing doctrine from narrative if it is done in an inappropriate way. I realize you don't believe you were doing it yourself in that inappropriate way, but would you admit that the danger exists IF the inappropriate way is used?

Really? You need an "admission" from me as if I do not already know that or believe that?

I already stated that people can misuse Scripture: 

Certainly, Scripture can be and is mishandled by many, but no one should approach narratives in Scripture with the highly problematic notion that "it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages.

There is no need to state or "admit" what is so obvious.

RajeshG's picture

In order to correct wrong assessments of my argumentation in the other thread, here is a listing of the main passages that I used in that thread:

1. 1 Cor. 15

2. Deut 21

3. Amos 2

4. Jude 

5. Deut 28

6. Deut 34

7. Lev 10

8. Gen 15

9. Gen 23

Of these 9 main passages that I treated in the other thread, the parts of 5 of the passages that I treated in the other thread are not narrative passages at all (#1-#5). This proves that those who have asserted that I have mainly argued from narratives in that other thread have not represented my work properly.

(I also treated collectively 7 verses from Job in that thread, but I did not deal with any of them at any length.)

Furthermore, 3 (#6-#8) of the 4 (#6-#9) narrative passages explicitly concern divine actions pertaining to the subjects under discussion. As I intend to treat later, that is a major consideration in how we are to assess the doctrinal value of narratives.

I have no intention of getting into any further discussion in this thread concerning the subjects of that thread and what I have said from these passages in that thread concerning those subjects. A fair and proper assessment of my argumentation in that thread proves that I have not argued more or less just from narrative passages.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Would you admit that there CAN be a danger in drawing doctrine from narrative if it is done in an inappropriate way. I realize you don't believe you were doing it yourself in that inappropriate way, but would you admit that the danger exists IF the inappropriate way is used?

 

 

Really? You need an "admission" from me as if I do not already know that or believe that?

I already stated that people can misuse Scripture: 

Certainly, Scripture can be and is mishandled by many, but no one should approach narratives in Scripture with the highly problematic notion that "it's extremely dangerous to try to derive doctrine from narrative passages.

There is no need to state or "admit" what is so obvious.

Yes, Rajesh, sometimes it IS like pulling teeth to get you to admit the obvious. Even the statement of yours which you quoted, in which you admit that Scripture can be mishandled, is watered down by the rest of your comment.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Of these 9 main passages that I treated in the other thread, the parts of 5 of the passages that I treated in the other thread are not narrative passages at all (#1-#5). This proves that those who have asserted that I have mainly argued from narratives in that other thread have not represented my work properly.

(

Nobody was saying that you argued mainly from narrative passages. I believe the point was that WHEN you did argue from the narrative passages, you did so in a faulty manner. You didn't seem to follow the standard you set forth in this thread for dealing with narrative passages. In this thread you said "Examining how the Scripture writers use information provided elsewhere in Scripture in narrative passages to issue authoritative direction to God's people is the most important means for how we are to learn how we are to make use of what God has revealed in narrative passages." You didn't use this standard in the other thread.

Also, some of the passages you used in the other thread were commands given specifically to the Israelites. We discussed in the other thread how commands to the Israelites are not always applicable to believers today.

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