The days are getting longer as Winter wanes Spring is nearer now.
I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’m reading Metzger’s take on the development of the canon of the New Testament. Thursday morning 29 January, during a seemingly interminable wait to see a bone and joint specialist about the shoulder that’s been tormenting me the past eight or so months, I read these words (italics mine):
Valentinus’ system is an elaborate theogonic and cosmogonic epic. It describes in three acts the creation, the fall, and the redemption; first in heaven, then on earth. The spiritual world or ‘pleroma’ comprises thirty ‘aeons’ forming a succession of pairs (syzygies). The visible world owes its origin to the fall of Sophia (‘wisdom’), whose offspring, the Demiurge, is identified with the God of the Old Testament. Human beings belong to one of three classes, the spiritual people (pneumatikoi, or true Gnostics), those who merely possesses (sic) (psychikoi, or ordinary, unenlightened church members), and the rest of humankind, who are made up solely of matter (hylikoi) and are given over to eternal perdition.
Valentinus derived his teachings from his own fertile imagination, from Oriental and Greek speculations (including Pythagorean elements), and from Christian ideas…
(Metzger 80, 81)
My point in going on like this is not to interest the reader in the dead-end teachings of the so-called “Christian” gnostics. Rather, I was surprised to find that my own functional worldview, unflattering as it is to admit the fact of it, (that bit I’ve italicized) is like unto that of an early Christian Era gnostic heretic.
I followed a link this mp3 file: http://www.trinitylectures.org/MP3/AubAveTheo_Collection13.MP3 , a critique of Auburn Avenue theology and theologians. I found some of what the speaker had to say excellent, and some of speech wanting. His most glaring error is to equate human logic, speech, precision of mind at this point in history with same from before the Fall, or at least pre-Babel-Tower. Failure of that magnitude by one who avows belief in the inerrancy of scripture is a significant lapse and bespeaks an agenda, a rubric elevated above truth claims in support of those truth claims.
The other place the speaker falls short is in his critique of another theologian (both speaker and names of his opponents have now gone from my memory, for the most part) who stated in effect: Extrapolating principles from the writings of the Pauline and other NT epistles, then rearranging those principles in systematic forms – confessions, for instance – tends to alter the meaning the biblical writers intended to convey. C’mon, although reasonable minds can differ on that one, I think that statement, identified by the speaker in this audio file as heresy, is clearly arguable and non-heretical.
Essentially the Trinity Foundation guy argues that post-canaonical, therefore non-inspired, human codification of biblical teaching and principles is unquestionably right, after having argued that human logic, communication, speech inerrantly derives from that of God. I’m not buying it.