We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.

Why Greg Can’t be Accused of Marcionism (Let’s Not Burn Him at the Stake Just Yet)

Brick Fair 2012

Kristin Brenemen via Compfight

Richard Beck posted a blog today entitled It’s the Same God: On Marcionism, Creeds, Hermeneutics and War. You’re going to want to take the time to read through it in its entirety. Greg has been accused of Marcionism quite a lot as a result of the working out of his Cruciform Thesis. But while Marcion basically threw out the Old Testament, claiming that it portrayed a different God than Jesus shows us, Greg has insisted that the Old Testament is inspired, as Jesus clearly believed. So how do we resolve the tension between the portrayal of God we find in the Old Testament and the revelation of God we find in Jesus? That’s the hermeneutical conundrum that Greg has been working on for the last several years.

We’ll let you know when we have a publication date for Crucifixion of the Warrior God. It’s gonna be awesome! In the mean time, here’s a snippet from Richard Beck’s blog post.

We can see, now, the shape of the Marcion accusation toward pacifists. When pacifists pit Jesus against YHWH in the Old Testament they are of accused of Marcionism because, as the creeds tell us, “it’s the same God.” The assumption being that you can’t use Jesus to say that God is always, unequivocally against war. Because, clearly, God isn’t against war in the Old Testament. So God can’t always be against war because, again, “it’s the same God.” To suggest otherwise is to flirt with the Marcion heresy.

So that’s the argument. But I’d like to draw attention to the bait and switch going on.

Basically, the thing to note is this. The claim “it’s the same God” is, as we’ve seen, aconfessional rather than a hermeneutical assertion. More precisely, the confession “it’s the same God”–“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”–hands us a hermeneutical conundrum.

The confessional statement “it’s the same God” creates rather than solves the hermeneutical problem.

Related Reading

When Jesus Referred to Canaanites as “Dogs”

Last week I discussed Paul’s harsh language regarding his opponents, the worst example being his reference to certain opponents as “dogs” (Phil 3:2). I suggested that such language simply reflects the fact that Paul wasn’t perfect, as he himself admitted. Several people pushed back on this suggestion by pointing out that Jesus once referred to…

Classical Theism’s Unnecessary Paradoxes

The traditional view of God that is embraced by most—what is called “classical theology”—works from the assumption that God’s essential divine nature is atemporal, immutable, and impassible. The Church Fathers fought to articulate and defend the absolute distinction between the Creator and creation and they did this—in a variety of ways—by defining God’s eternal nature…

When God Wears Masks

At various times throughout the OT we find Yahweh assuming the role of a tester, refiner, punisher and even an enemy of Israel (e.g. Jer. 9:7; Lam. 2:5; Isa 63:10). Yet, when we examine these roles, or masks, in the light of the crucified Christ and the broader canonical witness, it becomes clear that these…

Reviewing the Reviews: Rob Grayson (Faith Meets World)

Well folks, Crucifixion of the Warrior God (CWG) has been out three weeks and it’s already in its third printing! That blows me away! Thank you!! We’re already getting deeply moving testimonies of how this book – or how messages about the book — are freeing people to better see and trust the beauty of…

Podcast: What is ‘Deep Literalism’?

Greg discusses different levels of literalism and does a darn good impersonation of Garth Brooks. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0214.mp3

A Revelation of Beauty Through Ugliness

In my recent post, Getting Honest About the Dark Side of the Bible, I enlisted no less an authority than John Calvin to support my claim that we need to be forthright in acknowledging that some of the portraits of God in the OT are, as he said, “savage” and “barbaric.”  What else can we…