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Re: [John_Lit] No one comes to the Father...

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  • Steve Black
    ... mind of John, to those that follow Christ. There is an interesting combination of love and hate in John s message. We must not blind ourselves to one
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 10, 2002
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      >Steve Black wrote:
      >
      >> Christians have mostly till late (of course - many still do) believed
      >> it was the only "true" way to God on the basis of John 14:6.
      >> In the light of what is happening in the world it is more timely now
      >> than ever to revisit these assumptions.
      >>
      >> So what do we do with texts like this in the pluralistic world which
      >> we inhabit?
      >>
      >
      >I continue to be amazed at how people respond to this gospel. It was several
      >years ago that I originally started this ListServ, and usually remained quiet
      >and simply observed. But I feel that I must speak out at this point, with
      >some observations of over 40 years in studying this gospel, looking at its
      >position with regard to the Tanak, or Old Testament. John's strong belief in
      >the importance of Jesus is founded on the premise that God was in Christ, as
      >Paul thought, attempting to reconcile the world to Himself. It was a love
      >(agape) that sought only man's return to his Creator. The gospel does not
      >seek to overcome the world through brutality, war or forcing people to become
      >believers in Christ. It simply seeks (John 20:31) to make people respond to a
      >Loving God who personally intervened in this world. Whether the world at the
      >time of John had large religions, or small ones, the gospel sought in John's
      >thought to show God's involvement, and to seek men and women to respond to
      >the message of Christ as John saw it. Yes, to John there was an exclusivity
      >to the Gospel, and that was found in Christ. That message must never be
      >enclosed with the fundamentalism of any group, but it is exclusive, in the
      mind of John, to those that follow Christ.

      There is an interesting combination of love and "hate" in John's
      message. We must not blind ourselves to one because of the beauty of
      the other. (I think of passages like John 8:44) No, john was not
      encouraging violence, but as history reflects in Christian treatment
      of the Jews, he did in fact inspire it.

      More to the point for me is not what the gospel meant to John
      (although, obviously that is important) but what do we now do with it
      in the world as we now have it (being so "other" and different to the
      world in which it was written)...

      --
      Steve Black
      Vancouver School of Theology
      Vancouver, BC
    • Steve Black
      ... It seems to me that John plants seeds of thought that he does not harvest. I think it is possible to overcome his exclusivism using his own thought world
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 10, 2002
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        >I wonder how the list members see the relationship between the universal and
        >the exclusive in John: I am referring here to the fact that the one who says
        >"No one comes to the Father..." is the incarnation of the Logos who gives
        >light to every human being.
        >
        >Looking forward to your thoughts!
        >

        It seems to me that John plants seeds of thought that he does not
        harvest. I think it is possible to overcome his exclusivism using his
        own thought world and language-games.
        --
        Steve Black
        Vancouver School of Theology
        Vancouver, BC
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