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Knowing, Doing, and Asking Great Questions Talk

Knowing, Doing and Asking Great Questions
Resources Used:
Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber
1 Corinthians: A Shorter Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary by Anthony Thiselton
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt

I.                    How do we know?  What role does our knowing tell about life and faith?
A.       Wentzville bus driver protects her students
1.        Starting her route, she noticed a suspicious looking man in a Red Ford pickup (similar to the one reported in 2 attempted child abductions).  She called authorities, then drove each student up to their front doors, watching them get safely in their house.
2.       How does the bus driver’s knowledge of prior news affect the present situation?
3.       Could she have acted in a different way?
B.      Knowledge as responsibility (implicating us)
1.        “Knowing can never be morally neutral, but is always morally directive.  We must not only know rightly, but do rightly” (Garber, 90)
2.       How does our knowing implicate us into action?
a.       Is it possible to eschew responsibility when we come to an understanding of a situation?
b.      Often, we see knowledge as only for information or knowledge sake, rather than to responsibly act in a moral way
3.       Example of Le Chambon (Weapons of the Spirit documentary)
a.        “How in the middle of great evil did a great good take place?”
b.      The villagers opened their basements and barns to 5,000 Jews during the Holocaust years, much persecution took place
c.       True learning is paying attention to things as they really are, not how we perceive them through our obstructed lenses.
4.        Example of Adolf Eichmann – Nazi official given responsibility by Hitler to answer “the Jewish question” (39)
a.        “He did his duty, as he told the police and the court over and over again; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law”
b.      He supposedly didn’t realized what he was doing because he said, “I never killed a Jew, I never gave an order to kill a Jew.”  -
1.       He eschewed responsibility because he was blind to the mechanisms of death in the Holocaust.  He wasn’t the executioner nor was he the one who gave the orders but rather one of the architects of the entire system.
2.       How does his knowledge of the Nazi activity implicate Eichmann?
C.      Hebrew way of knowing and doing (yada)
1.       Relationship, revelation and responsibility
a.        Tree of knowledge of good and evil (test of faithfulness)
2.       Genesis 4:1 – yada “made love to” love and commitment
3.       Exodus 3:5-7 – I am concerned about their suffering (care and concern)
4.       Contrast this with the Enlightenment understanding of knowledge (no responsibility, only an appraisal of what one can rationally perceive through reason)
5.       God reveals himself as not only knowing his people but preceding with a consistent love for them. 
a.        As God communicates his love for people first, he reveals something of his character (revelation)
b.      Calling them to live differently (prologue to Decalogue goes into prescriptions for living)
6.       We often times are overly concerned with “What do you believe?” but need to first ask “What do you love?”
7.       How does this knowing radically affect relationships.
D.      I Corinthians 15: Knowing and the Resurrection
1.       For l delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures,
2.       The situation was bleak because there were some in the Corinthian community denying the resurrection, they were hyper-spiritual yet denied this supernatural truth.
3.       Paul’s response is to tell this Corinthian church that he received very early on the message of the good news in creedal form, he didn’t make this up.
4.       Knowledge of the good news and of the resurrection is dependent upon eyewitness testimony (see 1 Cor. 15:5-8)
5.       These creedal truths (Christ died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day) were all in accordance with the story of Scripture in the Old Testament.
a.        Therefore, it is no surprise that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised because it was told about him long ago (Israel’s Scriptures are now your Scriptures)
b.       Early creedal formulation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was not a mere matter of intellectual assent or truth but a spiritual formative group of statements.
c.       “Creeds perform a double role of both as declarations of a theological content and as self-involving personal commitments, like nailing up one’s colors.”  (Anthony Thiselton) Nailing up one’s colors is an expression for staking one’s life on what is witnessed as true.

d.      Knowing and confessing our belief in summary statement are not hum drum events designed to lull the masses to sleep, but demonstrative declarations of what we take to heart about God and how we are willing to lay our lives down for our beliefs.


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