Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Your canon is too small

Maybe it's just me -- but I'm noticing more and more SDA authors describe themselves as "Pauline" or "Johannine."

And no, it would seem that never the twain shall meet. As near as I can figure:
  • "Pauline" means you emphasize justification; "Johannine" means you emphasize sanctification.
  • "Pauline" means you hold to a forensic view of the atonement; "Johannine" means you hold to some variation of the moral influence theory.
  • And "Pauline" means you take your cue from Andrews University, while "Johannine" means you're probably an alumni of Loma Linda.
Fair enough -- and the fact that both views have co-existed in Christianity for at least a thousand years suggests they both have strengths (and both have weaknesses).

But the writings of Paul and John are both in the same Bible -- and just because I'm a partisan of one doesn't mean I'm free to ignore the other . . .

Any more than I'm free to ignore the "Pauline" thinking I'll find in John's writings -- or the "Johannine" thinking I'll find in Paul's.

No, if John can refer to Jesus as "the lamb of God" . . .

And if Paul can refer to Jesus as "the image of the invisible God" . . .

Then maybe these two groups could do the same?

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