Helpful Tidbits for the Disciple's Life                                                                                 July 19, 2010

The Enlightenment and the Ecclesia
My Reflections
The Banqueting Table
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In the beginningHave you ever asked yourself, "What exactly is the Word of God?" Yes, we know Yeshua was the Word, but what does that mean? Is he words? If he is, then is he the embodiment of Paul's advice to Timothy, "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" (1 Ti 5:23). No, that doesn't make sense.
Perhaps it's something else. Perhaps, if you'd allow me to think outside the box for a moment, logos is an altogether faulty concept based on Greek philosophy. Heretical? Maybe. A good question nonetheless? I think so. Why's it important? Because if our understanding of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is erroneously filtered through Greek mythology (in this instance, Plato's philosophical notions), then we may have a problem.

QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: It's every believer's responsibility to theologize: and in doing so, think for themselves
The Origins of "Logos"
Excerpted from The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas
Plato_drawingThe belief that the universe possesses and is governed according to a comprehensive regulating intelligence, and that this same intelligence is reflected in the human mind, rendering it capable of knowing the cosmic order, was one of the most characteristic and recurring principles in the central tradition of Hellenic thought. After Plato, the terms logos and nous were both regularly associated with philosophical conceptions of human knowledge and the universal order, and through Aristotle, the Stoics, and later Platonists, their meanings were increasingly elaborated. As ancient philosophy progressed, logos and nous were variously employed to signify mind, reason, intellect, organizing principle, thought, word, speech, wisdom, and meaning, in each case relative to both human reason and a universal intelligence. The two terms eventually came to denote the transcendent source of all archetypes, as well as the providential principle of cosmic order that, through the archetypes, as well as the providential principle of cosmic order that, through the archetypes, continuously permeates the created world. As the means by which human intelligent could attain universal understanding, the Logos was a divine revelatory principle, simultaneously operative within the human mind and the natural world (1991:47).
My Reflections 
On the possibility of a Hebrew NT, read Hebrew Yeshua versus Greek Jesus by Nehemia Gordon
Hebrew Yeshua v Greek Jesus
I get it - we're busy. And here's what I also get. When we outsource our theology to other people, we live with the consequences. What consequences? Let me name a few. Their biases. Their lack of study. Incomplete pictures of biblical truth. Entire cultures founded on ideas running contrary to God's kingdom.
Need a concrete example? Let me give you one. While I don't question the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, I do question if much of the New Testament was written in Greek. After all, the New Testament writers were Hebrew/Jewish people, not Greek people. To be sure, I need to study this further; I can't deny Luke wrote to Theophilus (which means "friend of God" in Greek) and Paul wrote to people groups residing in Greek-speaking territories.
But what about Matthew? Why would he have written in Greek when his gospel was clearly targeting Jews? And why would Matthew utilize the word logos, a platonic and, thus, pagan idea to convey to Jewish people that Yeshua is Messiah? It makes no sense.
Because I study, because I theologize, I ask these important questions (and so do the others I fellowship with). And in recent years, I've asked myself this question: What if my entire understanding of God has been erroneously filtered through Greek mythology? If true, this certainly presents a problem. Wouldn't you agree?
Here's my point (apart from the side point I'm making regarding Greek mythology). Many suggest organic/house churches are furtile soil for heresy. I strongly contend they're not, so long as those in the community seek truth and don't, once again, rely on external "teachers" (often via DVD's or commentaries) to tell them how to think. Am I anti-teacher? No. I am, however, anti structures that cause people to fall into a theological slumber.
Let's study to show ourselves approved (2 Ti 2:15).
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty (bio)
The Banqueting Table