Trusting the mind and using God is tantamount to idolatry: trusting God and using the mind is Christian.
If I could pick a quote that sums up Lennox’s position thus far it would be the above.
After reading chapter 11 I think that Lennox gives enough of an argument for any fence sitter to recognize not just the ability for human moral choice but the need to exercise that choice, particularly as it pertains to Jesus and his claims about himself. I have always thought of the book of John as the book of “Believe”, and when it’s all said and done this is what Jesus invites us to do,
“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the one whom that one sent.” (Jn 6:29LEB).
In these chapter (John 7-10) we see Jesus engaging with the full spectrum of human intellect from his unbelieving family and neighbors to the religious elite. I couldn’t help but think how strange it is to see a technicality keep a person form excepting what to many made sense. In a lot of ways, the more you knew about the law and scriptures the more difficult it was to except the work and claims of Jesus.
To be fair I think that it would benefit everyone to try to relate to the Pharisees. The road to be a Pharisee was a lifelong commitment to study the scriptures both written and oral and to live them out. (think Saul). They believed that they were the keeper of the keys to the scriptures. The chain of authority was clear, God to the angel to Moses to a long line of leaders of which they were included. Add to that the idea, in their case the belief, that the written law was also complemented with an oral law given at the same time and you have hierarchy that is hard to reason with. (As a side bar, in a lot of ways the treatment of the Torah and the Oral laws by the Pharisees reminds me of the way Islam treats the Quran and the Hadiths. The later imitating the former.)
I thought that I would share these seven rules of Midrash that were used throughout the Gospels. I think that if you look at them you will see them being used by Jesus and his detractors in these 4 chapters of John.
Rules of Midrash. According to early rabbinic tradition midrash could be practiced following seven rules (or middôṯ) of Hillel the Elder (cf. t. Sanh. 7.11; ʾAbot R. Nat. [A] §37). All of these rules are utilized in the Gospels:
(1) Qal wāḥômer. (“Light and heavy.”) According to this rule, what is true or applicable in a “light” (or less important) instance is surely true or applicable in a “heavy” (or more important) instance. This rule is plainly in evidence when Jesus assures his disciples (cf. Mt 6:26; Lk 12:24) that because God cares for the birds (light), they can be sure that he cares for them (heavy).
(2) Gizērâ šāwâ. (“An equivalent regulation.”) According to this rule one passage may be explained by another if similar words or phrases are present. Comparing himself to David, who on one occasion violated the Law* in eating consecrated bread (1 Sam 21:6), Jesus justifies his apparent violation of the Sabbath* (Mk 2:23–28).
(3) Binyan ʾāb mikkāṯûḇ ʾeḥād. (“Constructing a father [i.e., principal rule] from one [passage].”) Since God is not the God of the dead but of the living, the revelation at the burning bush, “I am the God of Abraham …” (Ex 3:14–15), implies that Abraham* is to be resurrected. From this one text and its inference one may further infer, as Jesus did (Mk 12:26), the truth of the general resurrection.*
(4) Binyan ʾāb ʾāššenê keṯûḇîm. (“Constructing a father [i.e., principal rule] from two writings [or passages].”) From the commands to unmuzzle the ox (Deut 25:4) and share sacrifices with the priests (Deut 18:1–8) it is inferred that those who preach are entitled to support (Mt 10:10; Lk 10:7; 1 Cor 9:9, 13; 1 Tim 5:18).
(5) Kelāl ûp̄erāṭ ûp̄erāṭ ûḵelāl. (“General and particular, and particular and general.”) When Jesus replies that the greatest commandment (the “general”) is to love* the Lord with all one’s heart (Deut 6:4–5) and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self (Lev 19:18), he has summed up all of the “particular” commandments* (Mk 12:28–34).
(6) Kayyôṣēʾḇô bemāqôm ʾaḥēr. (“Like something in another place [or passage].”) If the Son of man* (or Messiah; see Christ) is to sit on one of the thrones set up before the Ancient of Days (Dan 7:9, which is how Rabbi Aqiba interprets Daniel’s plural reference to “thrones,” cf. b. Ḥag. 14a; b. Sanh. 38b), and if Messiah is to sit at God’s right hand (Ps 110:1), it may be inferred that when the Son of man comes with the clouds (Dan 7:13–14), he will be seated at the right hand of God and will judge his enemies. This is evidently what Jesus implied in his reply to Caiaphas (Mk 14:62).
(7) Dāḇār halāmēd mē‘inyānô. (“Word of instruction from its context.”) This rule is exemplified in Jesus’ teaching against divorce (Mt 19:4–8). Although it is true that Moses* allowed divorce (Deut 24:1–4), it is also true that God never intended the marriage union to be broken, as implied in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 (see Marriage and Divorce).
Evans, C. A. (1992). Midrash. In J. B. Green & S. McKnight (Eds.), Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (pp. 544–545). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.