Interesting conversation between jousting theologians this morning over God’s definition of marriage. Attempts have been put forth by some to elevate complementarity (Matt. 19:4) over permanence (Matt. 19:5-6), against the competing attempt to deny complementarity altogether. Both views seem to miss the mark.
Extrapolation [per Merriam Webster]:
– the product or result of inference (values of a variable in an unobserved interval) from values within an already observed interval
a : projection, extension, or expansion (known data or experience) into an area not known or experienced so as to arrive at a usually conjectural knowledge of the unknown area <extrapolates present trends to construct an image of the future>
b : a prediction by projecting past experience or known data <extrapolate public sentiment on one issue from known public reaction on others
It should be noted that one of these jousters has written a scholarly paper calling into serious question both the “Matthean exception” and the “Pauline privilege” of contemporary evangelical lore which presume to excuse the civil dissolution of covenant marriage and the subsequent non-covenant “marriages” that Jesus defined (Luke 16:18; Mark 10:11-12) as ongoing adultery.
SIFC has had personal exchanges with one of the jousters on this topic in recent days:
[RG to SIFC, Facebook 5/30/2015:]
“…..I’m not going to rehash again the issue of remarriage after divorce. We both agree that it is wrong from Jesus’ standpoint but we disagree on several aspects. Some of your points in my view cannot reasonably sustained. That porneia can be used as a general term for sexual immorality of various forms (including adultery, incest, and homosexual practice, in addition to fornication and prostitution) for early Jews and Christians is beyond dispute (though you dispute it). That Jesus viewed homosexual practice as a more severe offense than remarriage after divorce is also, in my view, beyond dispute. A violation of the foundation is by definition more severe than the violation of a principle extrapolated secondarily from the foundation. And there are many other arguments that could be brought forward. As to whether Jesus would have insisted on dissolution of such relationships long after they were made, that is disputable, though my best guess is that he would not have, for various reasons that I have put forward elsewhere. I could be wrong about that. I understand your point of view…”
It seems the Westminster Confession, whereby Christ’s marriage commandment was put to a popular vote of 17th century Pharisees, must nevertheless be defended!
(Indeed, SIFC gets just as much challenge on some blog sites from the homosexualists that it’s the Matthew 19:4-end that’s “extrapolated” to extra-scripturally exclude “committed” homosexual unions from holy matrimony. This, too, is ludicrous! That serpent, evicted from the Garden, is going to revise the story and distract from the truth on this topic at every turn.)
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be [extrapolated] to his wife, and the two shall become [an extrapolation]. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the [extrapolation]. Eph. 5 31-32
“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be [extrapolated] to his [sequential partner] and the two shall become [an extrapolation]? So they are no longer two, but [an extrapolation]. What therefore God has [extrapolated], (let’s just hope it works out).” Matt. 19:4-6
“So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into [an extrapolation] the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said,
‘This is now [an extrapolation] of my bones,
And [an extrapolation] of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was [extrapolated from] Man.’
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his [extrapolation]; and they shall become [an extrapolation]. Genesis 2:21-24
Gentlemen, is it not considerably more accurate to say that it’s serial, sequential monogamy that’s been “extrapolated”? Why would an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Yahweh have need to do anything but CREATE? Isn’t projection, prediction, and inference something that finite, fallible MEN do?
Why is the idea of the indissolubility of marriage so distasteful to evangelical theologians these days as a FOUNDATIONAL element that they would deny its obvious status as such? And do so, despite all the repeated references to this biblical creation-of-marriage foundation, from Genesis to Revelation?
In rebuking the Pharisees’ plans for marriage redefinition, would Jesus have taken them back to Eden to point out a mere extrapolation? After all, it was not exactly the morality or legitimacy of homosexual relations they were challenging Him on!
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