No Longer Reformed (A Review)

No Longer Reformed (A Review)

The whole article is actually well written, in response to perceived problems in Calvinism. I’d suggest reading it. But the quote I want to draw attention too is this one:

Fischer uses the story of Jacob wrestling with God as evidence that good theology always has doubts and uncertainty because when you come face to face with God you walk with a limp (85ff.), as if the text even mentions Jacob limping or other heroes of the faith limping or has anything to do with theological method at all. Moses seems more interested in drawing implications about not eating the sinew of the thigh than in extolling the virtues of chastened epistemology.

This is certainly the danger we face when reading Old Testament stories. We immediately spiritualize it’s application. Here this isn’t even an application but more of a spiritualized concept. The story of Jacob wrestling with God should rightly be understood as a non-repeatable event (in that it isn’t repeated! People do not continually wrestle with God culminating in God knocking out their hip bone…). Secondly the concept of wrestling with God is not one we should pull out, as if it is a spiritual metaphor for something. As DeYoung notes, Moses is concerned with explaining a practice that the Israelites do, with an appeal to their history.

Now, I don’t really have a good explanation as to why the story of there, in other words, what its real application is. Feel free to share if you do. The story is found in Genesis 32 if anyone wants to wrestle with the text (see what I did there…).

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