Monday, June 27, 2011

Holy Spirit helps us to understand scriptures?

Yes, Holy Spirit helps us to understand scriptures. Yet this claim can easily be abused. Here is an interesting and humorous remark made by Kristen M. Swenson:

Now, I know that many Christians, relying on biblical texts, maintain that the Holy Spirit will make the meaning of biblical texts clear to believers. And I don't deny it, but maybe you know this story:

The Church decided to establish a monastery in a wild, rural area. Some time later, the bishop paid a visit, to see how things were going. After reviewing the buildings and activities, the bishop wandered admiringly in its lovely gardens. To the monk toiling there, he said, "My, my! The good Lord and you have made a beautiful place." The gardener monk replied, "You should see how it looked when the good Lord was taking care of it by himself."

14 comments:

Martin Yee said...

Sorry, could not catch the joke :( Care to elaborate? May be I am too dense up there.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Martin,

It's good that it is not humorous to you. That means you are a charitable person.

To laugh at the joke is to ridicule those who claim that the Holy Spirit helps them to understand scriptures. :)

Steven Sim said...

i know the joke but i don't understand how's it linked to the holy spirit helping to understand the bible??


Steven Sim

Sze Zeng said...

Steven,

Before the monks arrived to clean and build the monastery, the place was in a mess.

Those who uncritically claim that their understanding of the scriptures is helped by the Holy Spirit like like the messy place.

Got it?

Sze Zeng said...

Steven,

Look at it another way. Those who always uncritically claim that they can understand the scripture with the help of the Holy Spirit is often messing things up rather than clearing it. Get it?

pearlie said...

Hmm...I don't quite get you in your last 2 comments :)
I understood it along the lines that God's natural beauty is much better than manmade ones. Could be wrong...

reasonable said...

Hi Pearlie,

The ground of the monastery, when left to be taken care only by Mother Nature (or the good Lord) was very messy. Only when the human beings (monks) came to build the buildings (Monastery) and prune the bushes, planted nice plants, then did the place turned into a beautiful garden. Thus what is called "natural beauty" can sometimes be called "natural ugly" and sometimes what is so-called artificial or man-made can be more beautiful than "natural beauty".

Actually, the division between natural and unnatural might be wrong in the first place. Are the nests created by birds considered natural or unnatural? If natural, then we should consider man-created objects natural too right?

I am reasonable hor? hehehe

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Pearlie,

reasonable has explained it better than I can. :)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi reasonable,

Thank you for explaining. Btw, I'm waiting for the stuffs you want to email to me :)

pearlie said...

Hi reasonable,
I'd say that my "God's natural beauty is much better than manmade ones" pretty much went along the same lines as yours. I agree with you though I would not say that it is "natural ugly", since beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder :) I'd love a "messy" wild rural area as much as a well tended garden.

reasonable said...

Hi Pearlie,

If despite the fact that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, the term "natural beauty" remains valid, then the term "natural ugly" should at the same time be just as valid as well :)

Only if we ruled out the validity of the term "natural beauty" then can we rule out "natural ugly".

hehehe...

:)

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reasonable said...

Greetings Pearlie.

Second point: Beauty being subjective is true only to an extent. Of course, in many matters (ranging from aesthetic judgments to sexual taste to food preferences) there are exceptions to the typical preferences. For example, while most find sex with corpse disgusting, there is a minority of people who find necrophilia to be their cup of tea. While most in Singapore seems to find obese people not to be sexually or aesthetically attractive, there are a minority who are chub-chasers or obese-chasers.

Third Point: Literature Appreciation. The point of the story about the monk tending to the garden is brought out only on the implied assumption of the ugliness of that place when it was left only to the care of Mother Nature of the good Lord. So even if we happen to be a minority who loves messy thorns and entangled bushes, we appreciate the story when we temporarily suspend our own aesthetic taste and put on the lens of the monk/gardener.

Cheers :)


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pearlie said...

Hi reasonable,
Got you on the "natural ugly"...logically speaking :)

Wouldn't "Beauty being subjective is true only to an extent" be a contradictory statement? Do you mean that beauty being subjective is true until it becomes objective?

reasonable said...

Hi Pearlie, when I said beauty is subjective is true only to an extent, I meant that beauty is not totally subjective. Beauty is not merely the experience of the subject/person. Beauty also has an objective aspect to it that resides in the objects of our desire/observation.

So beauty is not merely that which resides in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty also has an objective aspect residing in the object infront of the beholder's eyes.


:)


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