Monthly Archives: December 2017

THE DANGERS OF ASSUMPTION


THE DANGERS OF ASSUMPTION

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Several decades ago, as a young, inexperienced traveler, a visit to foreign mission fields underscored danger in assuming the schedules of others to be dependable.
The trip to Costa Rica included a stop in Mexico City. It was a blessed time which demands a story within itself. But the point is that the time for departure from Mexico City was assumed to be dependable. An early arrival at the airport allowed some leisure time, and then an early check-in put me directly on the airplane. As I was being seated, the plane started to move. I exclaimed, “but this plane is not scheduled to leave for another 30 minutes. The stewardess reply was, “It is O.K. everyone is here so let’s go!” Huh! I was glad to be on the plane early.
Then when departing San Jose, Missionary Ward was also traveling back to the States, so we went together.
At the airport, we were told all seats were taken, and I was not included. Under protest that I had an international ticket that scheduled my travel on this flight, I was told a 24 hour early check-in was required. So, it appeared that I would be left behind, awaiting another flight, perhaps the next day. I had assumed that my placement was secure by the scheduling of others.
Fortunately, Gene Ray Ward intervened on my behalf, and not knowing Spanish, I do not know for sure just what all went on, but because of his intervention, I was allowed to travel on that flight by using a stewardess jump-seat. I was, and am, grateful for the help, and those incidents made me a much wiser traveler. It truly is dangerous to assume.
That danger is exponentially underscored in the world of spiritual things. So many guilty of assuming that others are right will face a rude and disastrous awakening when they find out that baptism, church membership, good works, and their dependence on the misinformation of others have not saved them. Paul said, “I know Whom I have believed…” Personal relationship with Christ Jesus cannot be replaced, or substituted in any way. Assumptions may be worked around in mundane things, but not in the eternal welfare of the soul!

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UNDERSTANDING THE THEOLOGICAL POWER OF CONJUNCTIVES


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
UNDERSTANDING THE THEOLOGICAL POWER OF CONJUNCTIVES

There is great power in language conjunctives to transmit proper, cohesive thought. It is true in daily language usage, but greater in theology. Think!
To help assure continuity of thought, such conjunctives as “furthermore, and, additionally,” signifies continuing thought with previous statements. Words such as “therefore, subsequently, but, however, conversely” signal a change in thought pattern to a different or opposite effect.
Obviously, the use or misuse of these powerful unions of thought convey strong implications in both spoken and written form. Unfortunately, the translators of the English Bible choose to use what they thought was a neutral conjunctive “and” almost exclusively. But, it is not neutral. “And” being used to imply both continuous and diverse thoughts may confuse the reader, especially the unstudied one.
Genesis 1:1-2 is a case in point. Verse One denotes the Almighty, Triune, Creator creating (cutting out, forming, shaping in perfection ) both the heavens and the earth.
Verse two states, “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” There is no mention of the heavens being in such chaotic state. Focus is shifted from the universal cosmos to the planet earth. The shift does not convey a continuation of the actions of verse one, but a different effect altogether. What a difference would be made if readers were reading “but” or however” that is contextually warranted instead of “and.” The context warranting such understanding does not reference the heavens being in such a chaotic state, but both were created instantly by the power of the Word of the Almighty. Yet it is the earth only that is portrayed as a chaotic mess of which God is not the author. It is simple: The perfect God never does an imperfect thing!
The prophet Isaiah underscored this fact. He wrote in 45:18 that the Creator did not create either the heavens or the earth in vain “tohu” the same Hebrew word used to describe the chaotic condition of the earth in Genesis 1:2. The method of creation is simply the Word of His mouth, and a sudden reality, as denoted in Isa. 48:3. In the ancient Hebrew language, there is a distinct difference between a consecutive conjunction and a simple conversive conjunction. Consecutive conjunctions are employed in all the verses of Genesis 1:3-31, but in Genesis 1:2 it is a simple conversive conjunction that is not to be understood as consecutive to verse one action.
While this theological explanation may not be fully appreciated by the average person, it is a vital part of the overall understanding that is to be derived from the pages of Holy Writ both here and in other places as well. In English, context demands the proper use of conjunctives.

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