Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bailey's Vineyard

Part 6 (vii)- The Parable of the Compassionate Employer

Kind of a dark picture here. A lot of Rembrandt's stuff is kinda dark. I recall seeing his huge NightWatch in Amsterdam back in '86. They had about half of it cleaned up. Still kinda dark. Guess that kinda goes with the night :)

Bailey doesn't shed a lot of light in this one either.

He's pretty adamant that this parable should be renamed as well. Quite the reconstructionist. But what do you expect when you tend to see everything as covenantal nominism rather than creaturely responsibility?

Who is the audience in this parable (Matthew 20 1-16)? Seems to be just the disciples.

And who are the subjects of this parable? The workers who complain? If you downloaded those commentaries suggested in the previous post- you may be surprised. Calvin concurs with those commentaries if that means anything to you.

Bailey is... noncommittal on who those subjects actually are. But I suspect he would concur with his ancient Arab commentary- in thinking that the subjects that complained, were actually disciples dissatisfied with their rewards. Yes, Christians in Heaven (362). On payday. Jealous of other Christians. As if jealousy can exist in Heaven!

My wife and I just returned from a local ( about 2 km. away) church service this morning. Went there on a whim. The sermon was on this parable. The pastor suggested something similar. On exiting I heard one lady comment to her daughter, "I never understood it that well till now". Hmmm.

Bailey also refuses to commit to identifying those subjects as Pharisees, as he claims others (without naming names) actually do. Check your commentaries folks, others less cowardly identify these dissatisfied subjects as... the Jews! But that is even less politically correct now isn't it? As Dr. Carson would suggest, "At least on this side of the holocaust".

Dr. Carson has also recently suggested that this non-committal perspective (see previous post) is on the wane. Yet, others have suggested that error takes ten times as long to refute as it does to promote. If so, I expect we'll see this perspective for quite some time to come.

Carson is also critical of the new definition of dikaios (see previous post). Seems you just can't get away with a new perspective- without a new definition. Bailey uses this word again in this chapter (358). But this time, inconsistently allows for a semantic range. Whatever floats his boat, Matey :)

Carson is also critical of Dodd endorsed in this chapter (363). Though this citation ain't bad. Dodd denies substitutionary atonement. Takes umbrage with the term propitiation. Has been heard to say, "What Rubbish!" in this regard. Indeed, Dodd is at odds with God.

And that is the heart of the New Perspective as well. A denial of forensic imputation. Sure, its popularizer (Wright) is moving slowly in the right direction. But as his former colleague (Carson) says, "You are running out of time".

Allow me to close with a final comment on this parable. The question may be asked, "Well, doesn't the dissatisfied worker also end up in Heaven? Perhaps with a changed satisfaction?"

I can only respond as Jesus did to those dissatisfied workers and say, "Take what is yours, and go!"

To others Jesus says, 'Take what is mine, and come'.

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