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Common "Hidden" Theological Assumptions
So much of the time, when people start thinking, doing, or talking theology, they do not get in touch with their underlying or hidden assumptions. They usually do not realize or acknowledge that they even have a slew of these basic assumptions. For instance, very rarely does a Protestant theologian acknowledge that the most fundamental assumption or cornerstone that his Christian theology is built upon is the idea that the Bible is the "Special Revelation" of God.
The entire structure of Protestant theology hinges upon the following three assumptions:
1) That enough of the disciples that followed J understood enough to get the truth of the big picture.
2) That together they recorded enough for us to get the truth through their writings. Regarding these two issues, one person wrote, saying::
It is very evident that all current practitioners of "Christianity" in each of its various flavors misses the mark. Why? Because the "mark" is too difficult to understand? Because the mark is just too good to believe? Because mankind is just too far gone to make the grade? Because not enough "seed" fell on good ground?
As far as what the apostles understood or failed to understand we have very little information as only John left us any meaningful record. The 2 letters attributed to Peter say very little. In my continued reading of the three synoptic gospels there is one thing that keeps disturbing me. They all focus on recording the "super natural" events of Jesus' ministry with the offhand comment that He went from village to village "teaching in their synagogues" and proclaiming the "gospel of the kingdom" yet almost NEVER record what He said in His teaching and preaching except for the one comment that men should repent of their sins.
For me the bottom line is whether or not there is enough pertinent information clearly expressed for people in this day to "get it right"....
IF the apostles did indeed understand it is clear that it didn't take root in the people who initially "joined" the "way"....
Since almost by definition, the problem is on OUR END, we must operate on the belief that there IS enough, and that our focus has been wrong.
3) that the committees and processes that put together the New Testament canon was directed by God or that their results were CONTROLLED by God:
This means that the final output of their criteria, processes and conclusions were therefore infallible, and the usual social influences and politics were counteracted. Is this reasonable? When was the last time you sat on an infallible committee?
Some of the other formidable "hidden" assumptions that I would challenge are that:
God is transcendent to human and ultimately superior.
The Originator is in personal control of the universe.
God is a fiat law giver and requires obedience to his law.
God cannot be understood because his "ways are past understanding".
The J-person has a dual nature and operated from the human side while on earth.
The Originator is non-sexual, and there will be no carnal sexual activity in heaven.
God is the designer/creator of the natural world and its life forms pretty much as we see them, although this "natural realm" is "fallen".
For Protestants, the Bible is the "Word of God" and the J-person has put his stamp of approval on this idea.
For Catholics, the J-person put his stamp of approval upon the understandings and dogmas promulgated by the disciples headed by Peter, and the Pope is the latest in a long line of god-appointed authorities when he is speaking ex cathedra.
Heaven is a place or the kingdom of the heavens is a territory, over which God has operational control.
God can "see" into the future indefinitely, and knows all the possibilities of what will happen.
God has an agenda, phenomenological or chronological, of which he is in significant control; the ball is in his court instead of ours.
“God the Father” is an individual.
God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
That a "spirit" is a kind of incorporeal sentient being and not just an attitude and/or mentality.
That any Old Testament “history” can be taken quite literally.
With the exception of Judas, the disciples or apostles all understood the message or good news of the J-person, and were sealed in the truth.
The J-person ordained the rites, sacraments and ceremonies with which Christianity is so infused.
The "sacred" iconography, artwork and statuary in which Christianity revels is helpful to the establishment of faith..