Thursday, August 27, 2009

Truth and Perspective

Interesting video.


plsdeacon said...

I am reminded of a story in which a group of four pastor get together once a week for discussion and study. One of the pastors is more conservative and the other three are rather liberal. The conservative takes a lot of guff from the liberals and doesn't get too worked up because he values the fellowship. But one day, the three liberals say that the Resurrection doesn't have to be a physical act. It was probably something that occurred to the apostles some months/years later. The conservative pastor just can't let this one go, so he asks God for a sign that he is right. The lights go out for a few seconds and then come back on.
"Just a coincidence" says the first liberal pastor.
So the conservative pastor prays again and the lights flicker and thunder roll across the clear sky.
"Freak thunderstorm" says the second liberal pastor.
So the conservative pastor prays for a sign yet a third time. The lights go out. The sky darkens. Lightening strikes the ground right outside the office where they are meeting and a voice from heaven says "He's Right!"

"So?" says the third liberal pastor. It's still three against two."

Phil Snyder

BillyD said...

Phil, your story seems to be a take-off on a classic talmudic passage. The original story was about observance of the law, rather than belief. Here's an account of it from

"The spirit of the Talmudic process is expressed in a tale in tractate Baba Meziah. Rabbi Eliezer, a proponent of unchanging tradition--"a well-lined cistern that doesn't lose a drop," as his teacher characterized him--was engaged in a legal disputation with his colleagues. "He brought all the reasons in the world," but the majority would not accept his view. Said Rabbi Eliezer, "If the law is as I hold it to be, let this tree prove it," and the tree uprooted itself a hundred amma, but they said, "Proof cannot be brought from a tree." Rabbi Eliezer persisted, saying, "Let these waters determine it," and the waters began to flow backwards, but his colleagues responded that waters cannot determine the law. Once again Rabbi Eliezer tried, asking the walls of the study house to support him. They began to totter, whereupon the spokesman for the majority, Rabbi Joshua, admonished them, "when rabbis are engaged in legal discussion what right have ye to interfere!" So the walls did not fall in respect for Rabbi Joshua, nor did they return to their upright position, in respect for Rabbi Eliezer-and "they remain thus to this day!" But Rabbi Eliezer would not surrender and cried out: "Let Heaven decide." A voice was heard from Heaven saying: "Why do ye dispute with Rabbi Eliezer; the law is always as he says it to be." Whereupon Rabbi Joshua arose and proclaimed, quoting Scripture, "It is not in Heaven!" Rabbi Jeremiah explained, "The Law was given at Sinai and we no longer give heed to heavenly voices, for in that Law it is stated: 'One follows the majority."' God's truth, divine law, is not determined by miracles or heavenly voices, but by the collegium of rabbis, men learned in the law, committed to the law and expert in its application to the life of the pious community."