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(OT alert)

Concerning the Dinah being Jesus' aunt stuff: if you look at the two geneaologies in Matthew 1 and in Luke 3, you note diferences. Like all geneaologies in the Bible, these are crafted to help the author's purpose for the book. In the case of Matthew, who is writing to Jews to defend the claim that Jesus is the Messiah, he gives the geneaology from Abraham to Joseph, the legal father of Jesus from the human perspective. By crafting the geneaology to show Jesus' membership in the kingly line of David from which Messaih would come, it becomes one of several pieces of evidence Matthew gives that Jesus is the Messiah. Luke on the other hand is writing to philosophically-minded Greeks and chooses to present Jesus as the perfect Man, not only perfect in conduct but also in fulfilling of human potential and of God's purposes for creating humans. It is therefore not surprising that his geneaology is from Adam to Mary, and his purpose for it is to demonstrate Jesus' humanity.

One response I do want to make is to say is that you should not think of yourself as a "lousy Christian" because you didn't phrase something in the TC (theologically correct) way. Jesus' simultaneous humanity and divinity is not a simple doctrine to understand, heck, it is impossible to understand. Like quantum mechanics, it seems too bizarre and logically contradictory to be true but is undeniably inferred from the evidence (biblical in this case instead of observational). When the physicists saw electrons behaving in those weird impossible ways, their first thought was that the data must be wrong, and it was only after they very reluctantly concluded that the evidence really was accurate that they were forced to accept that the impossible was true. In the same way, the Bible does teach many impossible doctrines, and one must decide for themselves if it can be trusted in spite of this. If one does conclude that the Bible is truth, then one is forced into a set of doctrines that offends the mind and tramples logic. Is Caleb's death an evil thing? Undeniably. Is God good and loving? I cannot begin to list all the ways that he has shown us his goodness these past few months. Is God powerful? Again, he has demonstrated to us many times that he is a real person who can make a real difference in this world, including physical healing. So why the hell didn't he prevent Caleb from dying? I believe that I will never know why. That is an offense to the mind, but trusting him in spite of that offense (which is different than turning off my brain) has been healing to our spirits and just as our marriage relationship has grown through this crisis our relationship with God has also grown greatly.

Of course, someone will eventually figure out quantum mechanics, but no one will ever figure out God. Why then do we create spiritual litmus tests for each other's and our own phraseology? Our participation on this board is evidence that we have more important things to worry about than whether we can parrot the "right" one of several inadequate phrases, in fact worrying excessively about it gets in the way of an honest realtionship with God because it misrepresents both our capabilities and his expectations. I believe in absolute truth, please don't misunderstand me, but I also believe that much of this truth is beyond our grasp and so we must give grace to each other and to ourselves.

- Joe
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