Monday, October 15, 2012

Some comments I wrote at Dave James site

Dave James said at his site Biblical
“However, much of the understanding and application of Cahn’s “insights” into Isaiah 9:10 have not been revealed by God as even a cursory study of the passage clearly demonstrates.
I show this in great detail in my book.”
Hello Dave,
Cahn has offered no special “insights” into Isaiah 9:10, he reads it as all of us read it, as a description of Israel’s attitude of nonrepentance after God’s first wave of judgment against them by the Assyrians.

All Cahn did was notice that this verse describes America’s attitude after 9/11, that various American politicians even quoted it in connection with 9/11, thereby declaring the same attitude of nonrepentance it describes of Israel, and that certain physical “harbingers” also appeared in America that emphasize the same message:   That America is in defiance of God, refusing to acknowledge that we are under judgment and that 9/11 was judgment, a first warning judgment so that if the nation doesn’t turn back to Him there is to be more to come.

It’s all in the meaning of the Isaiah passage itself and its undeniable application in America.

I really have no clue what more God could have done to impress on us the understanding and application of that verse in relation to America than He has done in the ways Cahn has pointed out. You seem to be asking for something impossible, in fact I have no idea what you ARE asking for it’s so strange to my thinking.

One more thing, you make far more of the idea of the first American settlers’ having a covenant with God than Cahn does. You claim in your book (p. 58) that “there would be no basis for the book or for any of Cahn’s major ideas” without the belief in such a covenant relationship with God. That is simply not true. God brings ALL nations under judgment, and the evidence that America is under judgment is present whether or not we had a covenant.

And as usual you just run roughshod over Cahn’s endless denials of all the critics’ accusations, in this case his denial of this very thing where you quote him saying (your book p. 67) “…America has been blessed. But the idea that this necessitates such a covenant, or that God entered into such a covenant, is never claimed anywhere in the book."

This is true, but it doesn’t seem to matter what Cahn says or anybody else says, you remain convinced of your own view of it which you are apparently willing to assert no matter what anyone else says.

You go on from that quote to cast suspicion on Cahn’s lack of certainty whether we’re in covenant with God or not. But he clearly has no basis for certainty and was acknowledging that. We know the Puritans and Pilgrims wanted to live as in covenant with Him, they committed themselves to Him, they had the “aim…to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ” in America. They considered themselves under covenant but there is not one hint that this was the same KIND of covenant Israel had and it would be stupid for anyone to make such a claim. The Bible is clear that God initiated THAT covenant.

To call America the “new Israel” does not have any implication of replacing Israel, merely following Israel. And a desire and sincere effort to follow God even after the pattern of the Laws God gave Israel would PROBABLY be honored by God. Cahn says as much. There is no certainty, there is no covenant like Israel’s, but there was a way that America was dedicated to God that DID make it unique among nations and I for one find it compelling that all that DID put America on a special footing with God.


Today Oct 15:
What happens is if you take the Reformed approach, the it becomes a theological hermeneutic rather than a literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic. Rather than allowing the text to speak for itself, our understanding of a particular theological issue can get imposed back on the text so that we say “this is what it really means” when the writer would never have understood that meaning in a million years. This completely undermines the idea of the perspicuity of the Scriptures.
 I recently posted a couple of talks at my blog on Reformed hermeneutics by [a local] pastor in which he discusses this and makes what apparently is a standard Reformed argument that the OT writers did in fact understand that they were writing of Christ, so that the surface meaning isn't all there is to it even in their minds.  

He starts from Jesus' and the disciples' own interpretations of the OT, who of course ought to be authoritative --  or do you claim they got it wrong about the OT? 

He also refers to a "grammatical historical" hermeneutic by the way and gives some reasons why "literal" doesn't work.