Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Conversation

John 8:58-59
(58) Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
(59) So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

We had a knock on the door just after lunch yesterday. Lily and Grandma were out shopping. Amanda and Noah were on the couch reading. I had just got my ice cream freezer bowl out and was ready to make a batch of ice cream. Amanda asked me to answer it.

I found a well-groomed man in a shirt and tie carrying a small binder, a paperback copy of the New World Translation, and a copy of Awake! magazine. I went out on the porch and let him start his talk. He presented the Bible as having lots of answers for the pressures that come with raising a family. I told him that I completely agreed and that we tried to make the Bible the basis for our household. I also tipped my hand that I'm going to seminary.

We had a nice chat for about 15 minutes. We talked a little bit about how the Bible is translated into English and I proposed that many translation decisions are based on theology, such as their translation of John 1:1. I also brought up John 8:58. He had never considered that Jesus saying "I am" was a reference to Exodus 3:14 and we had a good chat about that too.

I don't think that anyone can argue a Jehovah's Witness out of his belief system. They are all too well-grounded in their apologetic. However, I did want to challenge his presuppositions. He is going under the assumption that The Watchtower organization is worthy of his trust. I am trusting what the church has considered orthodox over the centuries. We also talked a little bit about Arius with regards to that. Overall, I think that we all need to know what we believe and why. We also need to be honest about where there are some thin areas in our theologies.

I am praying for that nice man and I am sure that he is praying for me as well. We both think that the other has a wrong view of God and it is impossible for us both to be right. Let's see what God does in our respective hearts.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

Amazing; I just had my first Jehovah's Witness experience about an hour ago, and the two guys must have been reading from the same script about family. Upon seeing the Bibles, I let them know that we were devout Christians, and had just arrived home after a great service.

I kept looking at the Bibles they were holding to guess whether or not they were Mormons, which would have been more likely around here. And as he flipped through the "Awake: Secrets of Family Success" magazine, I started to suspect that they were some of the Rick Warren-style evangelicals. I wanted to tell him that my family was doing just fine, thank you, but it was all due to the grace of God, and not because I was following some faith-based "How-To" list. It was only later that they let on that they were Jehovah's Witnesses

They were pleasant, in any case. But, like you, I'm sticking with the historical orthodoxy handed down by the Church.