Religious Studies and Theology Short Answers
- Is historical literature free to use hyperbole if it could be recognized as such by the original audience? How does that affect the authority and reliability of the text?
Historical text is not free to use hyperbole or intentional exaggeration in recording historical acts. Modern leaders are critical and skeptical about accuracy and truth of facts in historical events. Extreme magnification of happenings leads to the development of a fictional rather than realistic interpretation of the text. Exaggeration leads to skeptic readers questioning of the records undermining the authority of the text.
- Is the theological message of the Bible compromised if it uses legendary or fictional characters?
The theological message of the Bible is not compromised if it uses legendary of fictional characters. Human beings interpret them as fictional and legendary because they existed thousands of years ago. Instead, Christians should admire their extraordinary deeds and trust in God. Individuals in the Bible, including prophets and Kings, had great faith in God’s power, a factor that led to their amazing achievements. The characters’ legend is not created out of fiction but rather out of their faith in God.
- Should we expect God to do miracles in our lives today?
Believers should expect God to do miracles in their lives today. However, Christians should not be impatient or expect sudden miracles. God judges all human beings according to their patience, persistence in prayer and faith. God acts on his own time and in his personal way. It is a factor believers fail to realize.
- How do God’s stories from the past help us to understand God today?
The world has fallen to sin as human beings have turned away from God due to material obsessions. Stories from the past help Christians understand God’s character, requirements and relationship with his people. The Old Testament lays God into foundation of the world highlighting his role as the Supreme Being above all other creatures. Christians understand the interrelationship from the Old Testament explaining Gods role and his expectations from his creation.
- How should we proclaim God’s sovereignty in history when faced with tragic current events?
God power is sovereign, above all other beings, and he has a reason for all happenings. Christians should understand that tragedies are not a form of God’s punishment but the work of the evil. God also has a plan and a valid reason for letting the tragedies take place in a few cases without interfering. Tragedies fall into two categories: human and supernatural, God understands both and will utilize them to bring out his divine plan. In historical texts the Israelites served as slaves in Egypt but God rescued them and settled them in Canaan as he promised in the prophecy.
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