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Wrested Scriptures

A Christadelphian Handbook of Suggested Explanations to Difficult Passages

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Peter commenting on the epistles of Paul, said that there "are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (II Peter 3:15). Since Peter's time, there have been few Christadelphians who have not at some time or another found themselves tangled up in discussion about some principle of the Truth, and there are few who have not been, at some time or another, compelled to admit, to themselves, if not to others, that they have been lamentably ill-prepared for such responsibility. As one Christadelphian of long preaching experience put it:

"It is not sufficient, as one finds to one's cost, to be able to quote: 'the dead know not anything'. It is quite another matter that one should cope convincingly with the theif on the cross; the spirits of just men made perfect; Paul's desire to depart and be with Christ, and his manifest preference to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. It is one thing to know and believe: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.' But to reason cogently concerning Isaiah's Messianic prophecy about a Mighty God, with Thomas' confession, or with the copious pre-existence passages in Joh's gospel, is a different proposition altogether. Nor is it sufficient to fence with the copious problems of orthodoxy defensively. One mus t be able to carry the campaign into the home territory of ignorance and error. The chief function of light is that it will shine in darkness. It becomes, therefore, the responsibility of all Christadelphians, and not only of those who are speakers or campaigners, to acquaint themselves with the best available means of quenching all the fiery darts of the enemy. It should also be noted, that nothing imparts more confidence in controversy than a well-grounded knowledge of what the passage in question really means.'

H.W., 'Wrested Scriptures', The Christadelphian, XCIV, (April 1957), 143.

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