Wednesday, 31 August 2016
The David defense
You'd have thought the enlightened pastors of Joe Tkach's GCI would know to steer well clear of that sort of thing these days, restricting themselves to indecipherable "Trinitarian theology" and making vacuous statements of the kind Ted Johnston does. Apparently not. Not in Eau Claire, Wisconsin anyway.
"Pastor" Roger Galstad wrote on this very topic for the local paper, the Leader Telegraph, in July.
Rog sets out the obvious dilemma. Solution: "David sinned big, and he repented even bigger."
The David stories are part of the national epic of ancient Israel, cobbled together out of disparate sources. Archaeology confirms that major parts of the Davidic kingdom tales are highly fictionalized. The writers of this not-so-historical material weren't greatly interested in either historical accuracy or ethical excellence. Rog seems totally oblivious to all this, biblical background seems to totally evade him. Rog is an unreconstructed literalist. Does he really think David wrote Psalm 51 (hint, check a good commentary).
It's all a bit of surprise in that Roger was awarded a Ph.D in religious studies in 2012. You'd think he'd know this stuff. Mind you, the institution (Trinity College, Newburgh, IN) is described as "a conservative evangelical Bible college", mainly offers distance degrees (including their prestigious Ph.D) and is - surprise - unaccredited.
But putting scholarship issues aside, this is just the old self-serving argument dredged up from decades past. "Mr. Ted Armstrong may have done some things which he now regrets, but he's repented and you need to forget it." Then Ted would write articles in the Good News warning of the danger of spreading wicked rumours, just in case we hadn't got the message.
Until, that is, the next time Ted had zipper failure. But no worries, Ted repented again, and again. He was a compulsive repenter. I recollect a sermon he gave in his CGI days where, having just finished writing Peter's Story he proclaimed loudly that he had burned out the very last of his sinful egotism and self obsession.
Turned out he hadn't, as anyone with half a brain could have known just by listening to such a ludicrous statement.
And Roger hasn't moved beyond these kindergarten apologetics?
You may be able to take the preacher out of Armstrongism, but it seems you can't always take Armstrongism out of the preacher.