Church History: 300-400

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606 Responses

  1. Shaun Sells says:

    Rapture theology is mentioned at this time:

    Ephraem of Nisibis (or the Syrian) (306-373) wrote a sermon titled “On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World” in which he explains that the elect will be taken out of the world before the great tribulation. He was Eastern Orthodox, so Xenia may have more info on him than me. Here is a wikipedia article for those that will venture in to such waters:

    This is a quote take from “On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World”:
    “Because all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered together before the tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins. And so, brothers, most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of this world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord.”

  2. Michael says:


    Go read the actual sermon…that claim has been answered repeatedly. Ephraem places the Rapture with the Second Coming and after the appearance of anti-Christ.
    Maybe an early hint of pre wrath, but in no way a help for pre trib.

  3. Xenia says:

    The terms “Eastern Orthodox” and “Roman Catholic” are being used anachronistically. At this time in history, it was still one Church although the Latin-speaking west and the Greek-speaking east were beginning to develop their differences. The Bishop of Rome had authority over a vast area because the Dark Ages had descended on western Europe and he was the only person with the ability to keep some kind of order. But he was still just the Bishop of Rome at this time, first among equals but not possessor of the authority he later claimed for himself. In fact…

    “Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist.” Pope St Gregory the Great (540-604 AD)

    So, papal supremacy is simmering but does not come to a boil, until the 11th century.

    St. Ephraim is mostly know for his famous prayer, one that we pray continually during the season of Lent:

    O Lord and Master of my life!

    Take from me the spirit of sloth,
    faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

    But give rather the spirit of chastity,
    humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

    Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
    and not to judge my brother,
    for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.


    Regarding his sermon on the end times. The Fathers of the Church and the Saints are not infallible and can come up with novel ideas which the Church, as guided by the Holy Spirit, rejects. The idea of a rapture (as taught today) was not believed everywhere, by everyone, at all times and was not the consensus of the Fathers or the Mind of the Church and so was not accepted. But it is evidence that there is nothing new under the sun,

  4. CrucifiED says:

    Michael, this is some really great stuff your putting together. I’ll be sharing these posts and saving for future reference and conversations if you don’t mind.

    I am looking to do some further reading on liturgy and church history. Didn’t you recommend a book last year on church history and is that what you’ve been reading for these posts?

  5. Xenia says:

    Also, just as you would not pick out an isolated verse from the Bible to prove a point without having first read the entire book for context, it is also a mistake to pick out a paragraph from a sermon or writing of an early Father without having read the entire work.

  6. Michael says:


    Thank you…please keep filling in all the spaces I had leave open for the sake of brevity.
    My hope is that we end up with more meat in this section than in the articles themselves!

  7. Michael says:


    I have to step out for a moment, but I’ll do a reading list as soon as I get back.

  8. Xenia says:

    St. John Chrysostom is the author of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, which is used by all Orthodox Churches almost every Sunday. Here it is:

    It is very beautiful!

  9. CrucifiED says:

    The first part of today’s post is pretty fascinating to learn I think. The contrast between Christians and pagans during different waves of persecution and blessing.

    Isn’t that just like us and the world we still live in? I think that is the same hypocrisy we all immediately felt in the churches we grew up in when we were kids being taught the moral Christian faith while your life is being affected at the same time by the immoralities of those same people.

  10. Good stuff Michael. I like that it is narrowing down, just a bit.

  11. Xenia says:

    Also still missing: memorialist view of Eucharist, non-salvific view of baptism, and Sola scriptura.

  12. Xenia says:

    I think that is the same hypocrisy we all immediately felt in the churches we grew up in <<<

    Not all of us. 🙂 While I don't agree with the theology of the churches of my childhood, I don't think those dear people were hypocrites, not in the least. As far as I know, they practiced what they preached. (These would be Baptists.) I am thankful for them.

  13. CrucifiED says:

    Thank you Xenia, I made a note of that to read later.

    Michael, regardless of how much detail goes into these history posts, it is always very helpful when someone takes a subject with as much detail as history and theology have and lay out the major points there are to know.

  14. Muff Potter says:

    Kudos Michael! I thinks it’s great that you’re doing this series and getting your readers to think critically about what they believe or do not believe with regard to the church and its earthly venue.

  15. CrucifiED says:

    I need a like button for your #11 Xenia.

    That’s also great to hear about your Baptist beginnings. Your early experiences with the church were much different than mine.

    I apologize too. I didn’t mean to throw everyone into the same basket. I guess I was just thinking of the many stories shared here at PP that are similar to the experiences I had growing up in legalistic churches where I learned more about morality than I ever did Jesus Christ.

  16. RiBo says:

    Well, it wasn’t a “shining cross in the sky”…it was a meteor. There is evidence of the meteor (a crater) that scientists have dated hit the earth in the location and time frame that Constantine was at when he claims the “sign”. Not saying the meteor wasn’t some expression from “God” in whatever form, but I note it is interesting that Evangelicals will say the “devil” is in control of the world and can do signs and wonders to deceive (in one breath) but then automatically assume a “sign” if of “God” when it suits them.

    It could have been a chance meteor at the right place at the right time to give Constantine and his army the “sign” they needed psychologically to win their war….but I do find this instance compelling as the timing and historical significance of what happened next is quite remarkable.

    Could’ve been “god” or could’ve been the “devil” or could’ve been simply a coincidence. I think it likely happened b/c we have evidence of it today and it certainly did provide a boost to Constantine and gave him what he believed was a “sign” and the power to defeat his enemy and usher in the Roman Catholic Church institution and Christianity* as a codified official religion.

    Interesting beginnings to what is the real Christian* faith (the church institution with men telling you what the bible is, what the bible says and who God is and isn’t etc and then building a massive complex of wealth and power and influence over the globe even to today).

  17. Michael says:

    Let me do some housekeeping here…
    I’m not picking on Shaun, but the example he made is one of my pet peeves.
    We err when we try to read modern Protestant formulations on secondary issues into the writings of the early church.
    The pretrib Rapture theory is a 19th century idea…that does not mean it is necessarily wrong, it just means that you cannot honestly claim it to be an ancient doctrine of the church.
    When ‘scholars’ trace a doctrine to an early document, read the whole document…and read others from the same period.

  18. RiBo says:

    The evidence of Constantine’s meteor is well documented. Here’s one example from the BBC:

  19. Michael says:


    My hands down favorite source to study church history are Frank James lectures from Reformed Theological Seminary that are available for free on iTunes.
    Simply the best…
    For books…
    Justo Gonzalez “Story of Christianity” is an excellent one volume primer.
    I’m leaning on Iain Campbells “Heroes and Heretics” for this series…very concise with a good timeline.

  20. RiBo says:

    Disagree Michael. Shaun is correct, the “church” like today was split on many issues, it’s why Constantine had to force them to come together and pick and choose their way into a formal set of codifications of what the official bible was and what official doctrine was etc.

    The early church fathers and church fathers demonstrated as much diversity as we see today with the 9,000 to 30,000 flavors of Christian* b/c the bible (whichever canon or interpretation you choose) presents competing narratives on many many issues. It’s why there is no one “right” answer.

    Appealing to the bible there can be no 2+2=4 there is only 2+whatever I tell you it says after picking and choosing and explaining away contradictory things also in the bible = my doctrine.

  21. RiBo says:

    Some (though a small minority) were as Shaun says. Many were not. The facts are the facts. We have their words, just like we have the bible’s words that demonstrate competing narratives on a variety of issues.

  22. RiBo says:

    C’mon guys and gals, let’s be intellectually honest. Try it on for size.

  23. Michael says:

    No, they weren’t.

    The exact same letter ends with this that refutes any pretrib doctrine….

    “And when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of the Antichrist, through which he will have seduced the world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know, and on the day which the enemy of son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man, and coming forward the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty, with the sign of the wood of salvation going before him, and also even with all the powers of the heavens with the whole chorus of the saints, with those who bear the sign of the holy cross upon their shoulders, as the angelic trumpet precedes him, which shall sound and declare: Arise, O sleeping ones, arise, meet Christ, because his hour of judgment has come! Then Christ shall come and the enemy shall be thrown into confusion, and the Lord shall destroy him by the spirit of his mouth. And he shall be bound and shall be plunged into the abyss of everlasting fire alive with his father Satan; and all people, who do his wishes, shall perish with him forever; but the righteous ones shall inherit everlasting life with the Lord forever and ever.”

  24. Michael says:

    No one (especially me ) is arguing that there was no diversity in the early church.
    We’re watching how doctrine and structures developed…that’s the point of this series.

  25. RiBo says:

    Just like with the “Trinity” discussion where trinitarians claim the early church fathers were really trinitarians even though the concept and word wasn’t articulated yet, Shaun is doing the same with with regards to “rapture theology”…he is asserting that the principles were expressed by early church fathers, but hadn’t been fleshed out yet or officially codified. Same thing as trinitarians claim.

  26. RiBo says:

    “No one (especially me ) is arguing that there was no diversity in the early church.
    We’re watching how doctrine and structures developed…that’s the point of this series.”

    Good, as long as it is presented honestly and not biased, that would be great.

  27. Michael says:

    I would turn the attention of those interested to Chrysostom.
    Here is a giant worthy of notice.
    He preached exegetically… and you will find huge chunks of his thought in the writings of the Reformers.
    This is one of our Eastern grandpas…

  28. Hey Ribo, what in this discussion do you think is dishonest?

  29. Michael says:


    If you get the time a better understanding of the importance of The Cappadocian Fathers would be very helpful…

  30. RiBo says:

    Josh, I think it was intellectually dishonest to make the claim against Shaun Sells that effectively says there was no “rapture theology” in the early church….when it can be claimed there was in the same manner Trinitarians claim that all the early church fathers were really Trinitarians, even though the concept wasn’t codified or even named until hundreds of years later.

    Shaun has as valid a claim to “rapture theology” in the early church as any other sect and flavor does b/c there were church fathers that expressed (in verifiable writings, we have their words) that can be interpreted to be close enough to a “rapture theology” position today.

    That is an example of where I think the author was being intellectually dishonest and where I think Shaun’s claim is as legit as any other due to the rather diverse philosophies held of early church fathers on “this is what the bible says!”

  31. RiBo says:

    …heck, there wasn’t even an official bible yet and many of the early church fathers appealed to other writings that didn’t make the cut in forming their philosophical belief systems and their personal doctrines and theology.

  32. Michael says:


    It was not in any way dishonest.
    Pre trib “scholars’ have been lifting one paragraph from a letter that when read in it’s entirety refutes the point they were trying to make.
    That’s dishonest…and one of the reasons I’m running this series.

  33. Got ya. And I mostly agree with you, though I would just call it a disagreement rather than dishonesty.

    It also should be taken into consideration that history is written by the winners. Minority positions early on were called heresy, and sometimes even persecuted.

  34. No serious scholar believes pretrib rapture theory was actually held by early church fathers. Only those who have a vested interest to prove a point would hold otherwise. Repeating something loudly doesn’t make it so.

  35. Xenia says:

    Michael, the Cappadocian fathers wrote some rather difficult to understand things about the inner workings of the Trinity. What they wrote is has become accepted by pretty much all Christians as the best way to understand the Trinity and the nature of Christ but I have a hard time following all the intricacies. They were writing against the arguments of Arius.

    Here’s and interesting factoid: Arius wanted to frame his argument that Jesus was a created being by means of proof-texting. He marshaled an array of verses- much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do today- to present his case. St. Basil understood that anyone can arrange selected verses to prove anything and decided not to play the verse-swapping game. Instead, he appealed to Tradition, the consensus of the Church, what was believed everywhere by everyone in all places.

    Obviously the words “all” and “everywhere” and “everyone” are not precise terms.

    Saint Basil is considered to be the father of organized monasticism. Monastics had been wandering out to the desert to live as hermits but Basil organized them into the system of communal life (cenobitic) as we see today.

    The Cappadocians are seen as one of the examples of the Christian East taking the more mystical fork in the road. They also talked a lot about what God is not, an apophatic way of describing God: God is not limited, God is not evil, etc. The idea is the more you come to know about God, the more you realize there is a lot about God you don’t (and can’t) know.

    Everything I have written is very superficial. I don’t pretend to understand the depth of the writings of the Cappadocians. Down the pike a ways my studies at school will get to them and then I will really know how much I don’t know.

  36. RiBo says:

    X said, “Instead, he appealed to Tradition, the consensus of the Church, what was believed everywhere by everyone in all places.”

    This seems to be fact and true. “Consensus” ruled the say. Consensus of “this is what the bible says” ruled the day.

    However, there were many dissenters and the “Consensus” was often not a very large majority regarding many issues. Later on when competing Groups underneath the “church” umbrella wouldn’t play along with the “Consensus” standard, the splitting of the “church” into a million pieces ensued.

  37. Xenia says:

    I believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church into truth. He guided the authors of the biblical books, He guided St. Athanasius when he offered his list of accepted NT books in his paschal letter, and he guided the deliberations of the church councils. So the idea that there were (as is popular to talk about today) diversities of “Christianities” and the idea that we only have what we have today because the winners won, completely overlooks the work of the Holy Spirit in preserving the apostolic tradition. The winners won because that was God’s intention.

  38. Michael says:

    “The winners won because that was God’s intention.”
    I agree.

  39. RiBo says:

    X, the problem with your position of “Consensus Standard” is that you then assume that the Holy Spirit is not guiding those who disagreed.

    The other issue is that “Consensus” was often contrived. Consensus was manufactured, much like how our Political system works today, “Consensus” was garnered through politicking and even threats and intimidation….hardly the fruits of the Spirit, no?

  40. RiBo says:

    “The winners won because that was God’s intention.”

    Sounds very much anti-christ when the means to the end often did not match up with the ‘fruits of the spirit” but rather lined up closely with the “fruits of darkness”

    This is another major problem with the “Consensus Standard”

  41. “The winners won because that was God’s intention.”

    I don’t disagree with the statement, but that is certainly a matter of faith and not a matter of academic history. As I lean more toward an infallible Bible, and less towards an infallible church, I can wonder what mistakes were made in the past.

  42. Xenia says:

    Well, what can I say. I have faith.

  43. “The winners won because that was God’s intention.”

    or not

  44. “Well, what can I say. I have faith.”

    Absolutely, and that is a wonderful trait. I am fine with that as answer. too.

  45. I don’t believe that there were winners and losers. As is the same today, there are those who are right and those who are wrong – and right always comes out on top.

  46. Xenia says:

    I also think right vs wrong is a better way to frame the discussion than winner vs loser.

  47. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

    34  “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
    or who has been his counselor?”

    Ro 11:33–34.

    We claim to know too much… I do not know and am happy to not know and not have to defend what I do not know.

  48. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “I don’t believe that there were winners and losers. As is the same today, there are those who are right and those who are wrong – and right always comes out on top.”

    Which is why there are 9,000 to 30,000 Christian* flavors b/c they all think they’re “right” and they disagree with the former Church Authority and the “Consensus” of one time.

  49. RiBo says:

    Dread said, “We claim to know too much… I do not know and am happy to not know and not have to defend what I do not know.”

    Amen, truer words have never been spoken. We simply don’t know much. True faith, IMO, is acceptance that we really don’t know, we don’t really know for sure what happens next…but we hope in a “good” and “loving” and “merciful” God…while acknowledging the reality of Reaping and Sowing principle and the reality of “good” and “evil” in our existence.

  50. RB,
    Because one thinks he is right does not make him right – but there is a right … and in your case, many wrongs. 😉

  51. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “Because one thinks he is right does not make him right ”

    In a sense this is true, but when it can be demonstrated that the world is not flat, then to be intellectually honest, you have to agree that the earth is not flat, at least not in this realm.

  52. Consensus does not make right and I don’t know why you keep lobbying for that position. The consensus position in the country used to be to wipe out the injuns – not right.
    Today the consensus is to go visit their casinos … right.

  53. Xenia says:

    This chart pretty much sums up the Orthodox view of Church history. I think some of you will find it amusing but I like it. 🙂

  54. and not a single person today believes that the earth is flat.

  55. RiBo says:

    “and not a single person today believes that the earth is flat.”

    Yes, but at one time it was the “Consensus” Position 😉

  56. RiBo says:

    That is why I am liberal theologically. As we get more information, we find out how wrong “Consensus” can be.

  57. My faith, not one shred of it is in Church history. It makes for an interesting past time, but that’s about it.

    I believe that the word of god is clear and sufficient that if I did not know a thing about church history, if I put in the time and let the Holy Spirit direct I would come to Truth.

  58. Xenia says:

    Actually, since ancient times people knew the earth was round.

    (I don’t know anything about the people behind this website but the article comports with everything I have ever read on the topic.)

  59. RiBo says:

    “I believe that the word of god is clear and sufficient that if I did not know a thing about church history, if I put in the time and let the Holy Spirit direct I would come to Truth.”

    You’d come to your version of truth, much like the other 9,000 to 30,000 differences of opinion all reading the same bible you are.

  60. “Yes, but at one time it was the “Consensus” Position ”

    You need to do some reading – the Greeks had figured out, many years BC, that the earth was (I will use the common term, so you don’t make hay out of words) round.

  61. RiBo says:

    X, that is possible, I used the “earth is flat” as a metaphor that articulates the reality of how Consensus can be wrong after we get more information. I have not done the research on that one, so I don’t have an opinion, I simply used the metaphor. I could insert another widely held Consensus Position from history that is based in fact that would demonstrate the same dynamic.

  62. Xenia beat me to the flat earth error of RB.

  63. RiBo says:

    ^^^ see that above, it is an acknowledgment that I used a metaphor that I hadn’t researched and tested and I admit it. The “essence” is true, but I openly admit the specific metaphor may or may not be true as I haven’t researched it like X has. I won’t die on a hill that may be untrue or unsound and proven so.

    That’s called intellectual honesty and wanting to find truth wherever it leads. It’s not as painful as you think.

  64. RiBo says:

    X and MLD, do you agree that there are many demonstrable Consensus Positions throughout the history of mankind that were later proven to be wrong and incorrect? That is the underlying point, my unresearched metaphor aside.

  65. Neo says:

    “My faith, not one shred of it is from church history” MLD.

    Yet you are called Martin Luther’s Disciple. 🙂

  66. RiBo says:

    For instance, St. Augustine and the Roman Catholic Church did not take a firm stand against Slavery, asserting it did not violate natural law, not in an absolute sense and therefore was permitted.

    This position was the Consensus and held for centuries.

    The Consensus on Slavery changed, and today’s Consensus is the “correct” or “right” version, no?

  67. Neo – so, I had my faith long before my blog name.

  68. Xenia says:

    RiBo, sure, I think every American election shows that you can’t trust consensus all the time. But I when I talk about the Mind of the Church I am talking about something specific and- supernatural.

    I’m going to take advantage of the lull in the rain (Thank God for the rain!) and take the pup for a walk. Be back later!

  69. RiBo says:

    X, my contention is you can’t trust “the Mind of the Church” and their Consensus all the time either.

    The “church” was wrong on a lot of issues for many many years and the Consensus “changed” big time.

  70. RiBo says:

    I think where you find broad Consensus, you are on firmer footing, but as is often the case, a dissenter emerges that questions the Consensus…then sometimes. over time, that Consensus changes as a Group grows that challenged the Consensus Opinion and has a strong argument that over time becomes more broadly accepted as the “new” Consensus.

    This dynamic is proven over and over and over in the “church’s” history and the history of mankind, you see it in Science and Academia and politics etc as well.

  71. RiBo says:

    Theological liberals tend to accept this dynamic and understand that much of truth is relative and changes over time from culture to culture and Group to Group depending on what they appeal to as “Authority” and what the Consensus position of their particular set of Gurus and “experts” etc.

    Science is great at observing more things about our Universe and existence as factual, like the ability more clearly understand (though we only understand a spec) of Quantum Physics. We know for fact there are particles at the atomic level and sub-atomic level etc. This is an undeniable reality of our existence in this realm/dimension…no religious Consensus can honestly deny it b/c it’s been shown verifiably to be true fact.

  72. “X, my contention is you can’t trust “the Mind of the Church” and their Consensus all the time either.”

    I agree with you, RiBo, but I don’t think that is X’s stance. (not to speak on her behalf). She is asserting that God has used supernatural means to impart truth through the church. It is a faith matter, not something that can be proven or found to be right or wrong. It is a choice made to take a certain path in life and to have confidence in that path.

  73. RiBo says:

    In the world of Philosophical Belief System (which includes Religion)…”fact” is difficult to define b/c the “this is what the bible says!” is a function of reading and interpreting text.

    Consensus is formed within the many splinters of Christianity* and then changes from time to time. The undeniable fact is there is some broad Consensus on some major issues:

    1. God “is”
    2. Jesus Christ is “messiah”

    but after that, it’s all downhill from there if “Consensus Standard” is your thing, unless you rely solely on the Consensus of your Sect and claim all the others are hearing from the devil and not the Holy Spirit.

  74. I don’t know where you would find greater consensus that with the Church. Look at the top 8 theological items I can think of off the top of my head, and you will get near 100% consensus

    1.) all Christian churches believe in the trinity
    2.) all Christian churches believe that Jesus Christ is divine
    3.) all Christian churches believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross
    4.) all Christian churches believe in the vicarious atonement of Christ
    5.) all Christian churches believe Jesus rose from the dead
    6.) all Christian churches believe in the virgin birth
    7.) all Christian churches believe Jesus will return to earth for judgment
    8.) all Christian churches believe the Bible is the word of God

    I am sure that others could add more … but that is pretty good consensus.

  75. RiBo says:

    Josh said, “It is a faith matter, not something that can be proven or found to be right or wrong. It is a choice made to take a certain path in life and to have confidence in that path.”

    I don’t necessarily disagree with this statement. I think that it is true that you can’t really prove “right” or “wrong” when interpreting the bible b/c the bible presents so many competing narratives and the Old Testament and Revelation even depict “God” as doing some pretty evil things (that aren’t “good” by anyone’s standard).

    I think folks come up with what they believe in their Conscience (often times) is “right” and they follow that angle, that particular Sect, until or unless something stick in their craw and they re-examine their belief system and go, “Hmm, I dunno about that position anymore…” and they begin to ask questions.

    Sometimes they land in another Christian Box* that feels more comfortable to them, sometimes they don’t.

    Most, however, don’t really give it much thought, they simply go with what they were taught as a kid or they rebel in college when a professor shreds their weak belief system that they haven’t hashed out themselves and they go atheist.

    I’m in the in between. I’ve been both directions and back.

  76. RiBo says:

    MLD, let’s start with your #1: The trinity.

    Can you explain for me in detail what the “trinity” is, how it works etc in an absolute concrete manner?

    If you can, I will publish it as you will be the first to claim such a feat

    I’ve heard the “egg” metaphor, but that has been roundly rejected as simply a metaphor that doesn’t explain the true reality of the “trinity”

    Also, can you show me the bible verse that says “trinity” …I thought the bible calls it the “God-head”?

  77. RiBo says:

    “8.) all Christian churches believe the Bible is the word of God”

    No, b/c there are different translations and different official canons. The RCC, EO, Ethiopian churches include books the others don’t. Many evangelicals believe the King James is the true bible and the others aren’t the real bible, etc.

    Also, many in the Charismatic branches of Christianity* believe they get special “words from God” which is akin to the bible as the word of God…and the RCC believes the Pope has similar powers of speaking “God’s word” today.

    Many Liberal Christians* even many in the Anglican, Lutheran and RCC, Methodist, Presbyterian tents believe the bible is not “literal” etc. That is a big difference between what you claim is the “bible is the word of God” and theirs.

    The Group interpreting what the bible’s text says is the “bible” not the ink on the pages. In that regard there is little Consensus as there is a lot of disagreement as to what the bible really says.

  78. “Can you explain for me in detail what the “trinity” is, how it works etc in an absolute concrete manner?”

    It does not matter for this conversation – you will not find a Christian church that excludes the trinity – some have good understandings and others less so – but they all agree – no trinity, no christianity.

    It is the same with everything on the list.

  79. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “It does not matter for this conversation – you will not find a Christian church that excludes the trinity – some have good understandings and others less so – but they all agree – no trinity, no christianity.”

    But Mormons claim they believe in the “trinity” just by a different name, they call it the “God-head” which is what the bible specifically calls it.

    You say Mormons aren’t Christians, correct? How do you resolve this?

  80. “Many Liberal Christians* even many in the Anglican, Lutheran and RCC, Methodist, Presbyterian tents believe the bible is not “literal” etc. That is a big difference between what you claim is the “bible is the word of God” and theirs.”

    You don’t know what you are talking about – even if a church body does not take the bible literally that does not mean that they do not believe that it is God’s word.

    All fundamentalists who hold to a memorial view of the supper, and do not take “this is my body” literally do not deny that those are the words of God.

  81. Because mormons do not believe in the trinity – that is why they run from the term. They believe in 3 separate gods. Mormons are polythiests to begin with as they believe their god is one of many gods (their god got the earth franchise).

    The technical term is that they are heinotheistic – they believe that there are many gods but they are only responsible to Father god (the franchise holder)

  82. RiBo says:

    “You don’t know what you are talking about – even if a church body does not take the bible literally that does not mean that they do not believe that it is God’s word.”

    That wasn’t the point, the point is your version of “this is what God’s word says!” is your bible, while many others under the tent disagree with your bible.

    There is some Consensus on what constitutes the official bible (thanks Constantine) but even so, there is disagreement as noted above about different canons and different translations being accepted as the true bible vs. other translations that are discarded as not the true bible….however, in essence it is your Group’s interpretation of “this is what the bible says!” that is the bible.

    As such, there are a lot of different bibles out there in terms of Groups telling us “this is what God says in the bible! This is God’s word to you!”

  83. Mormons also do nott believe Jesus and the HS are on the same level as Father god.

    Mormons believe one day they too will get a franchise planet and be the god – just like earth’s father god – so, will they too have a trinity?

    Don’t let those guys blow smoke up your skirt – you sound confused enough.

  84. RiBo says:

    “They believe in 3 separate gods.”

    No, incorrect as stated.

    They believe they are 3 separate Gods that make up 1 God-head/1 God.

    MLD, do you believe Jesus is God? Do you believe the Holy Spirit is God? If so, you believe the same as the Mormons. They believe that Jesus is a God, Holy Spirit is a God and all three are together the one God-head.

    This is what I mean, the “trinity” is imperfect, it is a concept we can’t grasp with our puny minds so we split over nuanced semantics that don’t mean much.

    I am no Mormon, but they have a legit argument: “God-head” is in the bible…”trinity” is not. Nowhere to be found.

  85. RB, you are making this all up. Because we disagree does not for one moment mean that we do not think the bible is the word of God.

    Pastor Steve and I may disagree on many issues – but not the one you continually try to drive a wedge – we agree the bible is the word of God and if there is a weak link it is us.

  86. RiBo says:

    Early church fathers like Justin Martyr used similar terminology to describe the “God-head”

    Arius was called a heretic over it, but there was disagreement as to the semantics and nuance of something you and I simply cannot explain or understand, it is a mystery…but you claim certainty over semantics which is foolishness and not “mystery” it is you taking a concrete absolute position that simply cannot be taken.

  87. RiBo says:

    Many bible verses declare God as separate and many verses squish him back together. “God-head” is the word used in the bible, “trinity” is a man-made term and extra-biblical term for you literalists out there. Those are the facts.

  88. RiBo says:

    “we agree the bible is the word of God and if there is a weak link it is us.”

    No, not really or you’d take a much more uncertain position. Instead you make absolute claims and then fight your apologetic to the death when challenged and shown to have errors and inconsistencies.

  89. Nope, Nope, Nope – the trinitarian response to your mormon clain.

    I do not believe Jesus is A God, I do not believe that the Holy spirit is A God and I do not believe that the Father is A God – therefore I do not believe in a 3 God council like they do.

    The mormon god is explainable – after all he used to be a man, just like you and me.

    Sorry, that is not the God of the Bible … who by the way is not explainable at my will. i know only what has been revealed.

  90. RiBo says:

    MLD, do you believe the bible presents a God-head hierarchy?

    Is Jesus equal to God the Father in terms of will? Is one subservient to the other? Does one defer to the other? If so, then you believe as the Mormons do.

  91. RB,
    I am uncertain about many things in the Bible (I don’t really know what an ephod is) – so I don’t speak of them and you are unaware of what they are. The things i do speak of I am pretty certain of so i take a position.

    Remember, i have thought this out, I spent close to 10 years working through the changes in my theology from a 25 yrs evangelical to a creedal, confessional Lutheran.

  92. RiBo says:

    And, back to the verse: “No man has seen God at any time” which contradicts the fact the same bible says Moses “saw God” and Jacob “saw God face to face” and Adam and Eve probably saw God as he walked and talked to them in the Garden.

    In this case you will split God into three separate pieces to avoid a contradiction in the bible…yet you put him back together to defend your “trinity” apologetic.

    If it’s all the same “God” then there is a contradiction in the bible you cannot resolve.

  93. RiBo says:

    1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God

    Yet, the Old Testament has several verses that declare folks have seen God physically.

    To avoid this contradiction which disproves a “bible is perfect and w/o contradiction” thesis, you are forced to split God into three distinct pieces.

    That’s a problem for you.

  94. Xenia says:

    Three Persons, one in essence but undivided.

    The appearances of God in the Old Testament were Christophanies, that is, appearances of the 2nd person of the Trinity.

    The Holy Spirit has appeared once in the form of a dove.

    The Father has not been seen. Yet, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, whoever has seen the Son has seen the Father.

  95. You ignored the part that their god was once a man – that he is a god among many gods and that the mormon man will some day be a god just like father god.

    Their god, the adam god had sexual relations with Mary to produce jesus – so which of all of this do you think fits into the christian view of the trinity and who god is?

    If you can swallow what I just wrote and say that they believe what I beleive or that what they believe is ANYTHING close to normal Christianity, well what can I say.

    Mormons are not mch different than Hindus with their multiple gods – those only difference is that they named one of them Jesus … and you bought it.

  96. RiBo says:

    My contention is we simply don’t know for sure how it all works. The Mormons “God-head” version of the trinity may be true, your more inconsistent position that would assert God is “one” when it suits you, then you split God into distinct Gods when it suits you to avoid a big biblical contradiction may be right also, but I doubt it.

    I think God is God and we don’t know how the God-head works.

  97. RiBo says:

    “You ignored the part that their god was once a man”

    Are you saying Jesus wasn’t a human man?

  98. Xenia says:

    Jesus was 100 % human and 100 % God.

  99. “Are you saying Jesus wasn’t a human man?”

    No I am not – Jesus IS a man to this very day

    At best what you have with mormons is a trinity of 3 false gods.

    I gotta get some work done.

  100. Xenia says:

    Jesus IS a man to this very day<<<

    That's better than what I said. Just IS 100 % God and 100 % man.

  101. RiBo says:

    X said, “The appearances of God in the Old Testament were Christophanies, that is, appearances of the 2nd person of the Trinity.”

    Yes, you call it a “separate” “person” and the Mormons call it a separate “god” in the God-head and you later call Jesus “god” and the Holy Spirit “god”…you are all basically saying the same things with a little nuance.

    The fact the NT says “no man has seen “God” at any time” despite the fact there are documented examples of men seeing what was called “God” in the OT tells us that your “separate persons” are essentially the same as what the Mormons call “separate gods” but One God/God-head.

    You would assert that the “Son” submits to the “Father’s” will, which is what the bible says…this is essentially what the Mormons say: God the Father is in charge and Jesus, also “God” in the God-head submits to the Father and Jesus took on a separate human form and is a separate person-God from God the Father.

    It’s essentially two ways of describing the same thing that we can’t understand and articulate with your puny human minds from a bible that clearly states a dichotomy: Separate yet One.

  102. RiBo says:

    MLD, you say Jesus is a “man” today…did Jesus “change”? Was he not a man at one time, but then 100% man and 100% God? I thought Jesus never changes?

    Was there a time Jesus was not the Jesus of today that is also “man”?

  103. RiBo says:

    “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

    So, was Jesus the same or not? Bible says he was always 100% God and 100% man or he wasn’t?

  104. ” I thought Jesus never changes?”

    Where did you get that idea?

  105. RiBo says:

    It’s all semantics.

    Jesus is “God”, Holy Spirit is “God”, God the Father is “God”….all are God or separately all are Gods.

    The bible demonstrates them as three different entities, yet one God-head.

    The term “trinity” isn’t in the bible.

    The bible clearly demonstrates a hierarchy, that God the Father is head honcho in charge and that Jesus’s will is subservient and the Holy Spirit seems to be as well.

    That you would cast others into hell for semantics over “three persons” verses “three who are God under One God-head” is pretty silly.

    And, what do you mean by “Person” when you say God is “three persons”…that makes no sense. Define “Person”? Is God three humans? Three people? Is God tri-polar? Same guy but split personalities?

  106. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

    WOW, talk about ripping a verse out of context. Go back and read the verses just before that one and see if you come to a different understanding?

    What was the writer to the Hebrews saying about this groups forefathers and now the stability of Jesus.

    Oy Vey, I don’t believe how little you think of the scriptures that you refuse to study them.

    But thank you, I am finishing up 28 weeks of teaching Hebrews and i am covering chapter 13 this Sunday. My class will be interested to hear your alternative rendering og that passage. 🙂

  107. RiBo says:

    “Where did you get that idea?”

    Well, the bible, but that is just what is says literally: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” which illustrates a problem with biblical literal absolutism.

  108. RiBo says:

    “WOW, talk about ripping a verse out of context.”

    well, yes, kind of like “this is my body and this is my blood” and infant baptism.

  109. Xenia says:

    I do not believe in “biblical literal absolutism,” by the way, although some here might.

  110. RiBo says:

    Again, even this conversation illustrates the very shaky position of biblical absolutism and illustrates the dynamic I describe early on in this thread.

    We don’t know for sure, not very much. We appeal to the same bible and claim “context!” and “this is what it really says!” despite the fact the bible says many things rather simply and explicitly that are contradicted elsewhere or simply don’t make any sense.

  111. RiBo says:

    X, agreed, you believe in Tradition and Consensus which is as valid an appeal as any IMO.

    I am more inclined to think you have a stronger argument than those who claim their whacky “literal interpretations” and “we teach what the bible says simply” as that is about as accurate and consistent as picking winning lottery numbers.

    At least X has a long history behind her and a tether to something. If I were a fundamentalist, I’d probably have to be RCC or EO b/c of the Apostolic Authority issue and the lineage back to Peter and the “authority” issue.

  112. “biblical literal absolutism”, – that’s a very loaded term that absolutely no one believes in.

  113. RiBo says:

    And, actually, the first Group I’d say, “well, they’re legit” is the one that could demonstrate a real verifiable supernatural miracle. That would tend to prove their apostleship and connection to God…but then many would say, “well, that was the devil! not God!” just like the Jews claimed with regards to Jesus casting out demons.

  114. RiBo says:

    Found my guy! He’s got the truth! So many “miracles”

  115. He doesn’t do the short leg miracle, though.

  116. Well I guess we should hold this conversation for the Church History article for the 19th century when we see the explosion of aberrant groups pop up

    The Mormons – the JWs – Christian Science – Seventh Day Adventism – Dispensationalists.

    I am going to put a 🙂 just in case anyone takes offense at any of my choices.

  117. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “Well I guess we should hold this conversation for the Church History article for the 19th century when we see the explosion of aberrant groups pop up

    The Mormons – the JWs – Christian Science – Seventh Day Adventism – Dispensationalists.

    I am going to put a 🙂 just in case anyone takes offense at any of my choices”

    Well, following that Rationale, the Reformation, Luther and Calvin did the same thing in essence when they split from the “church” and opened pandora’s box.

  118. CrucifiED says:

    Xenia, after looking at the timeline with the one apostolic church description I’m wondering how the Eastern church views other denominations like Lutherans? Are they similar to how the Catholic church feels that we have all broken away from the one and only true church. And if so what does that mean to them as far as our salvation is concerned? Are they more uptight or more accepting of other denominations than the RCC?

  119. “when they split from the “church” and opened pandora’s box.”

    Again, you must do some reading. Luther did not split from the church – the church kicked him out,. If anyone had opened pandora’s box it was the RCC.

  120. RiBo says:

    There really are only three Validations of Authority you can appeal to (even though everyone claims to appeal to the bible):

    1. Consensus Standard and “Church” as Authority with roots back to the Apostles (the RCC and EO win this one.

    2. “This is what the bible really says!” and Bible as final authority Standard…but this is where you get a church split into a zillion pieces b/c everyone thinks the bible says something different in many areas.

    3. Miracles/Supernatural “signs” as validators. But, then we get the Benny Hinn’s and all the charlatans and even the Lourde’s miracles don’t happen anymore b/c modern medicine is paying attention and the stuff is easily debunked now.

    “Miracles” as validation is probably the most shaky, b/c no real supernatural evidence exists, not from any of the religions, not from even pagans/satanists. All the stuff is easily debunked or explained.

  121. RiBo says:

    “Again, you must do some reading. Luther did not split from the church – the church kicked him out,. If anyone had opened pandora’s box it was the RCC.”

    That just demonstrates your intellectual dishonesty. Luther formed his own religion and didn’t submit to the church authority. He rightly called them on many abuses and corruption, but to assert he didn’t essentially launch his own religious Sect in the process is not being intellectually honest.

  122. RiBo says:

    Luther so-much-so created his own religious sect that he even seriously entertained redefining the Biblical Canon to exclude several books he disagreed with.

  123. RiBo says:

    So, in conclusion, in the absence of any real verifiable metric to rely on, I’ll go with my Conscience and Reason and have faith that “God” is good and loving and that if our consciousness does exist after our flesh dies off, then “he” in whatever form will extend me mercy (I hope) and I have no beef with “Jesus” and believe he probably existed and if he is in fact “messiah” then I appeal to him for mercy as well. I can’t prove it, but if that’s the standard that gets me tortured in hell forever, then sure, he’s messiah. If it’s not, then OK with me, too. I don’t reject God or Jesus, I don’t definitively close the door to their existence. I also don’t willingly support “evil” and agree that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control are good things and I demonstrate them at times which is the supposed “fruit” of the spirit which a dead tree cannot have etc.

    Mostly, I don’t know for sure….and mostly I know you (general you) don’t know for sure.

  124. RiBo says:

    Michael, thank you for being gracious and letting me hash some things out today. Much appreciated. I’ll take a leave for awhile again to give the Group a chance to breath again.

  125. Well you are not only wrong but stubbornly wrong. Luther called the RCC on their misdeeds and bad practices. He did not start anything new. He was called before councils, still as a priest in the church to explain himself and then to deny what he had said. When he refused, he was excommunicated and had to run for his life.

    At that time, and this is pretty interesting, he was asked by some of the local princes (in order to keep peace) to explain why what he believed would be orthodox. This led to the writing of the Augsburg Confession which eventually was accepted as Lutheran theology. The RCC wrote back what is called the Confutation (latin for Luther you are a scoundrel) which Melancthon replied with the Apology to the Augsburg Confession – apology being the defense of.

    Luther did not start anything new – he picked up from wayward RCC.

  126. Xenia says:

    Hi CrucifiED,

    We believe that for 1000 years there was one Church which was orthodox (right worship) and catholic (universal). In the 11th century, the differences between the Latin West and Greek East became so great that there was a schism into what is now called the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The EO claim the RC fell into schism and the RC claim the EO fell into schism. The RCC came up with a lot of innovations such as papal infallibility, purgatory, indulgences, the immaculate conception,* and so on. It was these add-ons that Luther objected to (and rightly so.) He objected to the very things the Orthodox objected to. Somehow the Reformation got away from him and people broke off into different groups, each with their own ideas as to what the Bible says. So, the Orthodox agree with Luther that the RCC was corrupt but wish he had looked East to find the part of the ancient Christian world that didn’t have those accretions. (The 2nd generation of Lutherans did start up a dialog with the Patriarch in Constantinople but by then, they were all settled on the various Reformation distinctives and the moment was lost. MLD knows more about this part of history than I do.)

    In traditionally Orthodox countries like Russia, the Lutherans have not been chased around like the evangelicals, Mormons, and JWs are. They are considered to be a legit (if not entirely correct) group and are left in peace.

    As for the salvation of those outside the Orthodox Church, God knows. We do not say non-Orthodox are not saved. This does bring up some complications with some of our all-exclusive theology but we always choose to err on the side of God’s goodness and His love for mankind and His desire that everyone be saved. This is a muddled answer because we have no good answer for this, just the belief that God loves mankind and wishes to save as many as He can.

    We know God is working in the EO church but we can’t say He is not at work elsewhere.

    *The immaculate conception of Mary is not the same thing as the virgin birth of Christ. It’s the RC belief that Mary was conceived without sin. This is a false doctrine, according to everyone else.

    If I have misrepresented Luther, it was not intentional. As I have said before, I don’t know a lot about the Reformation.

  127. I will use a big word that you will not recognize (until you search google. – Antilegomena

    Any book that Luther questioned had already been questioned since before Eusebius.

    Scholars have always had issues with certain books – Hebrews being one as there has never been any documentation that the writer was of apostolic stature.

    Luther has similar concerns, but still added all the books into his bible.

  128. Bob says:

    I have to give RiBo some credit and a thumbs up. Although he has dominated this thread and rapidly fired one message after another, he did not resort to ad hominem attacks this time. Additionally he restrained himself in name calling and put downs about his verses others knowledge.

    Good work!

  129. Xenia,
    “Somehow the Reformation got away from him and people broke off into different groups, each with their own ideas as to what the Bible says.”

    LOL, Luther would laugh at that. Luther only laid claim to what we today call the Lutheran Reformation – the other stuff didn’t “get away from him” it was a totally different group – that we now call the radical Reformation

    Zwingli, Calvin and the Anabaptists went nuts.

    If you read the Book of Concord, especially the Augsburg Confession and the Formula of Concord, they are written in similar fashion
    1.) What is the argument
    2.) What we believe, teach and confess
    3.) What we are against.

    Now most would think that most of “what we are against” was aimed at the RCC … and it was, but a very large portion was against what the Calvinists and the Anabaptists were doing.

  130. Xenia says:

    MLD, I thought that sentence of mine wasn’t quite up to snuff. Sorry ’bout that.

  131. Xenia says:

    Maybe it’s time I cracked open the 2nd half of my history books…..

  132. CrucifiED says:

    Thanks Xenia, that was very helpful and interesting.

  133. Nothing to be sorry about – I said that in good humor. People think the reformation belonged to Luther – not so, only the good parts. 😉

    Luther wanted to reform somethings and was willing to stop when that was accomplished. He really didn’t change anything about how you “do church”.

    The radical reformers were not satisfied with the new liberties in teaching, they wanted it all gone – so they raided churches, broke all the stained glass windows, removed and destroyed all the statues, destroyed the altars and who knows what else.

    If it was Roman it was gone.You can walk into a Lutheran church and think you are in a Roman church.

  134. Michael says:

    “Zwingli, Calvin and the Anabaptists went nuts.”

    That’s really not a fair assessment, but it is as arrogant and rude as expected.

  135. Oh Michael, you probably had not read my #134 before you wrote your #135.

    Nuts may be a qualitative word, but the substance got the Calvinists and the Anabaptist into Luther and Melancthon’s “what we are against” list in many of the writings as early as the1530s. That part is undeniable.

  136. Xenia says:

    MLD, that’s where the “four bare walls and a pulpit” style of church architecture got its start.

  137. Michael says:

    Despite the fact that we are looking at the 4th century, not the 16th…a couple of clarifications are obviously needed.
    The Reformation boiled down to two things…two radical changes.
    The first was the doctrine of justification by grace alone and the second, and arguably more important, was the shift from the church having primary authority in doctrine and practice to the Scriptures being the final authority.
    Zwingi and Luther were contemporaries as were the first Anabaptists.
    The Reformed (or as erroneously called, “Calvinists”) came after Luther and Zwingli and further developed the ground broken by the pioneers.
    The reason that the Reformed took down all the Roman trappings was that they believed that many constituted a violation of the Second Commandment and focused on the Mass rather than the Word of God.
    I think they grossly overplayed their hand, but what they were doing was simply an extension of believing in the primacy of the Scriptures.
    Luther was a genius…a man called by God to a specific time and season.
    He was also a cantankerous, inflexible, ass who refused to consider any thoughts other than his own.
    Melancthon and Calvin were actually close friends…and Calvin was by no means the last word among the Reformers.
    Reformation theology was furthered by many brilliant contemporaries of Calvin…his primacy today is an accident of history.

  138. Wow, it’s like dad came home and we all went to our rooms. 🙂

  139. Xenia says:

    I just don’t have much to say about the Reformation!

  140. Michael says:

    We do need to discuss Athanasius…

  141. Xenia says:

    St. Athanasius…

    He gave us the list of books that make up the New Testament.

    He wrote “God became man so that man might become God.”

    The Mormons co-opted this phrase and made it into something pretty much diametrically opposed to what Athanasius meant, but for many non-Orthodox, it is still a perplexing statement.

    He wrote a very long creed that lays gives a precise definition of what the Trinity is and what it isn’t.

    He wrote a biography of St. Anthony the Great, the first (known) monastic.

    He was a bishop but spent much of his bishopric in exile. (He riled people up.)

    My school is named after him.

    Anything else?

  142. Xenia says:

    Is there anything particular you are wanting to talk about, regarding St. Athanasius?

  143. “…a cantankerous, inflexible, ass…”
    been there, done that, working toward better character one hour at a time.
    Lord, have mercy.

  144. Michael says:


    Well done…along with then fact that both the EO and RCC consider him one of the four most important figures in the early church.
    A giant…I should have made room for.

  145. Papias says:

    Thanks for the Athanasius mention. His importance cannot be ovestated.

    I don’t know that we can understand Augustine without understanding Athanasius.

  146. brian says:

    I am watching “The Freedom of Silence” it is a Christian end time film.

    … I now have this urge to do a reboot on my brain. I will let you know how the new install goes.

  147. brian says:

    Shame on me, the movie actually got much better, I have to stop being so negative to every single evangelical production thinking its awful right up front and going to find “evidence” to prove it is. Dr. White is right, we all have our presuppositional world views. I cant stand James White, he keeps being consistent, pointing out inconsistencies in my world view, and convicting me of my own blind spots. He needs to stop that 🙂 . Go to and listen to his response to the Nye / Ham debate, it is actually very good.

  148. Al says:

    @ Michael, If your able to include in this blog the ability to filter out certain posters,
    that would be nice to have. Or perhaps some browser plug in that works with this site.

  149. checking out White’s review right now. Thanks brian, for the heads up!

  150. Shaun Sells says:

    Michael –

    concerning your #2 – placement of the rapture wasn’t my point. You said in your opening statement there was no rapture theology, I was disagreeing by pointing out there were those speaking about the rapture.

    Sorry I wasn’t here yesterday to clarify that earlier. Thanks again for these articles.

  151. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Very interesting thread going on here. So much so have gone back to pulling my own books out of the boxes I have in storage. Came across one person that I have yet to see any mentioned, yet he and John Wycliffe came along long before Luther concerning the indulgences and a couple of other traditions being spewed out by the RCC. Of course, they considered him as being a heretic and burned him at the state. However, there were many who continue to practice Christianity in what he and this other guy believe was what Christianity was supposed to be about prior to the legalization of Catholicism. His name is: Jan Hus. The church he founded was the Moravian Church. Yes, they did believe in the trinity, It wasn’t until much later that they included a ecclesiatical form of church government. From what I gathered, that was due more to a matter of survival, given the political/RCC persecution going on in Czechoslavakia (sp). Notable is the fact that they did supercede Luther, and initially settled in the state of New York, then later in North or South Caroline, as well as, many other countries.

    “The Hussites (Czech: Husité or Kališníci; “Chalice People”) were a Christian movement following the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus (c. 1369–1415), who became one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation. This predominantly religious movement was propelled by social issues and strengthened Czech national awareness.

    After the Council of Constance lured Jan Hus in with a letter of indemnity, then tried him for heresy and put him to death at the stake on 6 July 1415,[1] the Hussites fought the Hussite Wars (1420–1434) for their religious and political cause.” “These were some of the earliest Protestants, rebelling against Rome some fifty years before Martin Luther.[2][3] ”

    What this tells me is that there were other groups outside of the orthodox and RCC that did their best to steer away while keeping the faith as simple as possible while spreading the good news that the Messiah had come and that in Him, apart from “church” traditions, the Bible held its own while countering that which would make Christianity into something so much more complicated.
    Anyway, hadn’t heard this man’s name mentioned—only those that seemed to be more venerable per party lines presented on the blogsite. No offense meant as I trust each is going with their own particular bent. Just was thinking that, there were others who gave their very lives in countering teachings that were extrapolated by the greeks and latin theologian/scholars/philosophers who are referenced as being the “church fathers” and then leaders of the reformation.

    My primary question in all of this is where did my brothers and sisters go who were Jews and in Christ? And don’t even try to tell me that you cannot be Jew and a Christian at the same time. Least of MLD.

  152. Al's pal says:

    What happened to the rest of Jesus’ apostles? We only know about Paul and traditions about Peter and John. Where did the rest of them go? That’s also church history. We know about the persecuted church by what they left behind- writings and catacombs. How are we to discover the rest of Christ’s church around the world in the last 200 years? Is there only Rome and the EO? I don’t think so.

    Things may not be as they appear, Al. Please be patient and hold your judgement.

  153. that guy at #154 says:

    Oops. Should be “2000 years”. I’m short an 0.

  154. your friend what's-his-name says:

    Uriah!! We had the same thought. (Well, I like to think I have a decent thought once in a while that resonates with someone I like.) Not all believers were in Europe or Asia Minor.

  155. Michael says:


    We are only to the fourth century in our journey.
    Jan Hus wasn’t born until the 12th century.
    He is utterly irrelevant to this stage of church history.

  156. Learner says:

    The “History of Philosophy and Christian Thought” taught by Dr. John Frame at RTS is also quite good and available for free on iTunesU and through the RTS app.

  157. Michael says:

    To posit that at this point in church history that there is some pristine outlier practicing some sort of baptistic theology outside the influence of Rome or Constantinople is historically without any evidence at all.
    These are our roots…like it or not.

  158. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Some literature confuses Jan Hus as being a universalist. As far as I know this is incorrect. When the Moravian church took refuge with a benefactor who was a pietist, there were some who integrated the teachings of universalism into the teachings by Jan Hus, but by and large most did not. Jan Hus, did not himself teach these things, regardless of what the RCC council used to justify martying him.

  159. Michael says:


    My point is that he wasn’t speaking about the Rapture at all, but the Second Coming…

  160. Michael says:

    In the early church, Jews who converted to Christianity became “Christians” and found themselves outside the Jewish community as the two sects were not friendly to one another.

  161. I am not sure what Michael’s remark about Baptist outlier refers to but there was always a claim among the Baptists that we were in an unbroken strand of faith. We were somehow of heirs to a tradition that could be identified with markers that were baptistic. J M Carroll popularized this idea with a series of sermons that made their way into print. I didn’t think much of it then and don’t now. But it has resurfaced from time to time as some kind of self-vindication among us Baptists.

  162. Uriah,
    “And don’t even try to tell me that you cannot be Jew and a Christian at the same time. Least of MLD.”

    Well answer me this – can you be a muslim Christian? a hindu Christian? Hang on to your muslim religion and just add Christ? Can you hang on to your hindu religion and just add Christ?

    Being a jew and being a christian are 2 worlds apart … one will send you to hell. Could you imagine ‘Hindus for Jesus’ and holding traditional Hindu worship services?

    What I don’t get, and I have been there – why in the world would anyone, when they come to the truth of Jesus Christ want to hang on to anything in their old religion – be it judaism, or paganism? Beats me.

  163. Michael says:


    There is not a single church historian that I have ever read that gives any credence to that…including the Baptist ones.
    What some are trying to put forth is that there was always a “healthy” stream of Christianity outside the influences of Rome and Constantinople…and in this century there is zero evidence for such.

  164. MLD,

    I don’t see the Jewish-Christian issue as being equivalent to the Muslim-Christian. Yes when you convert from another religion you renounce the former. But with Judaism the issue of continuity v discontinuity is more complex. Clearly the NT believers did not see renouncing Judaism as required by their faith but they did see renouncing idols as essential.

    I am currently engaged in studying Hebrews and Romans and one thing is sure those two writers were working out precisely the implications of what conversion meant for both groups and they were moving further away from ceremonial Judaism IMO. But for our conversation leaving Moses and coming to Christ was and is a bit more difficult to work out on the ground.

    I do wonder if the initial hint for us is not seen in John sending his followers to receive Jesus and his baptism. They are clearly shifting allegiances but how did that work out for the Jews. Lots of writing is telling us that Jews are to keep their practices but Christians are not required to become Jewish. But I note at the end of Hebrews a clear assault on the food laws by the writer of Hebrews, seemingly written to Hebraic believers.

  165. My opinion is that the church at this point has fully developed it’s Rapture theology. Like me, the see absolutely no, none, zero references to a rapture of the church (in the way that it is used today.

    What folks point to as rapture references are all, everyone of them 2nd coming references. The closest you get is in Matt 25 the 10 virgins where the people go out of town to meet and greet the bridegroom and accompany him back to the wedding feast.

    So by the 4th century, rapture theology is fully developed. 🙂

  166. Michael says:


    What we do know is that in these early centuries becoming a Christian involved a change not only in faith but in your social standing. For a Jew to convert was a radical change with many implications for the convert and his family.

  167. Michael,

    We agree

  168. Babs,
    Sunday I will end 28 weeks of teaching through Hebrews. I think the writer is making it very clear why those folks not only cannot go back to temple worship Judaism, but also makes such a strong case for stripping yourself of all the old ways and looking only to Jesus who is the better temple, the better priest, the better sacrifice, the better etc.

    He goes on for a couple of chapters to explain why, if they go back there is nothing but a shell waiting for them.

    One other thing, the people were not clinging to their Hebrew roots for love of the religion – but because they were receiving far too much grief from family, friends, employers – their whole support system – for having left.

  169. “For a Jew to convert was a radical change with many implications for the convert and his family.”

    Any more than for a current day muslm in Saudi Arabia or Iran? So, do we allow for one foot in Islam and one foot in Christianity for the modern day muslim convert?

    It wasn’t hard to give up idols in the old days???.I don’t know what it is – today people just want to “cut the Jews some slack”

    Many do think that Christianity to a Jew is just Judaism plus Jesus – and that ain’t so!

  170. MLD,

    I would love to have taken your class. I cannot fathom how Hebrew Roots people think their case is helped by Hebrews. It is destroyed in that text. The writer makes it plain that there is nothing for which they need to return but there is much lost in forsaking Jesus.

    Two questions, are the lectures recorded and did you conclude an author of Hebrews?

  171. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Given that comments were being tossed back and forth regarding Luther, I took the liberty to bring this to light.

    As for church history, it is not exclusive to that which would like to establish the orthodox and RCC as its founders or authority. It may be your roots, but they are not mine.

    As for Jews who were also Christian, they found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Non Jew Christians had difficulty accepting them unless they renounce their Jewish heritage and Jews had difficulty due to seeing them as being disloyal and only adding to the persecution they were suffering from many different entitites. Sort of like being a bi-racial child if you will. Either you’re too this or not being enough of that. The RCC and Orthodox made it extremely difficult for the Christian Jew to survive; taking away their property and even martyring them.

    In this, it is most difficult to give much credence to a political religious organization that did exactly what Paul told us not to do when the Christian Jews who were in Jerusalem wanted the Greeks to be circumcised, except now it was the Greek/Romans reversing the roles.

    As I said, your roots are not mine. And as another commentor just noted, the history of the Church extends far beyond these walls that is being posed thus far. As for literature written, the RCC destroyed anything that did not agree with their teachings, including those who authored them. Except for the Holy Spirit, they would have been successful in putting asunder that which God has told us cannot be destroyed. That is, the simple gospel and understanding of the written word set forth by the true fathers of the church and prophets of old.

    Not to say that there were not any who were truely baring a proper witness to those things written. For there were, but even these were terribly oppressed in their ability to speak it when such traditions became that which would justify destroying the lives of many to put fear in others in order to squelch or silence that which the Holy Spirit would burn within those who were persecuted to the very death, refusing to deny what they knew to be true, regardless of those who deemed themselves to be the vicar of Christ Jesus. No, church history extends far beyond RCC and EO and will continue to do so until He returns.

    Yes, I know only too well that I would have suffered much, even to the death, had I lived back then. And I would have been gladly been burned, if what I have shared, for I would count myself keeping good company with those who some would say their faith was not in keeping with the “historical” church traditions. For I know who I am in Christ, Jesus, being a Jew and a Christian, even more so due to history that began long before that which was establish by the RCC and EO. But rather outside of it and alongside of it, albeit, some would like to ignore, negate, or even to dispell it.

  172. Babs,
    The classes are not recorded – we are too backwards to even figure out how to record the sermons. I personally don’t like the idea of recording the class – I have so much interaction with the class that i think recording equipment might inhibit their interaction.

    Ah, the writer. I began pretty firm that it was Barnabas. Even in my introduction, just based off my own feeling (when there is no documentation you can get real loosey goosey with the story) I stated that I thought Barnabas, the great encourager was sent to these people to encourage them in the faith.

    Towards the end, I found my self hearing Paul’s voice repeatedly.

    So I can firmly say, I don’t know. 😉

  173. Yes Paul being a Hebrew to the Hebrews is a thought but stylistically that fails. Recently a Baptist guy wrote an entire book devoted to establishing Luke as the author. He primarily cites access to Paul’s thinking, style comparisons to Luke/Acts and a few hints in church history. Take a look if you like.

    I don’t know either. But I know Hebrews is not helpful to the Gentiles who wannabe Jews movement.

  174. 400 pages on Lukan authorship??? That sure is a lot of guess work.

    I always tell my class when I am speaking outside of the text, that my conclusion was reached after great time and effort studying the white spaces on the page. 🙂

  175. Michael says:


    Let me get this right.
    You belong to a stream of Christianity that developed outside all known historical historical inquiry.
    It developed the cardinal doctrines of the church on it’s own and practiced something resembling the American evangelicalism of the discernment ministries without leaving any historical footprint whatsoever.
    The one church that is historically verifiable was so adept at cleaning out historical records and killing it’s opposition that we can know absolutely nothing of it, but that it existed because you say so.
    You bet.

  176. Ixtlan says:

    There is as view that Luke-Acts is witten as an epic in response to Virgil’s Aeneid. The Aeneid was a response to Homer’s Iliad and Odessey, which also is an epic form.

    “I don’t know either. But I know Hebrews is not helpful to the Gentiles who wannabe Jews movement.”

    True. Neither does it lend itself well to Jews who want to retain much of their ancient heritage. It must be taken into consideration that Hebrews may have been written in the context of an early church that was becoming much less Jewish in its identity and looking more Helenistic.

  177. Nonnie says:

    I am wondering why some Christians get giddy and so excited when they find out their great grandmother was Jewish? Honestly, I just don’t understand it.

  178. Michael,
    Uriah’s point about “getting rid of the evidence” is funny. it is like those who say that the Bible used to say Reincarnation and not Resurrection – but the monks changed it and got rid of all the old copies that said Reincarnation and left no trace. So I ask them – “so how do you know?” — get’s them everytime!!! 🙂

  179. I would be giddy if I found out my great grandmother was a Mongolian princess who still had a will waiting for an heir. 🙂

  180. Michael says:


    There is this horrific anti-intellectualism woven into the fiber of American evangelicalism…it is simply beyond my understanding.
    It truly makes me wonder why I bother to write this stuff.

  181. Steve Wright says:

    There is this horrific anti-intellectualism woven into the fiber of American evangelicalism…it is simply beyond my understanding.
    There has been an anti-intellectualism woven into the fiber of all strains of Christianity. Not 100% of course, just as American evangelicalism is certainly not 100% anti-intellectual.

    You’ve seen some of those woodcuts of the reformation era. 🙂 Nothing but pure emotionalism to fire up the illiterate masses to join one’s side in hatred over the other.

    Nothing new under the sun.

  182. “There has been an anti-intellectualism woven into the fiber of all strains of Christianity. Not 100% of course, just as American evangelicalism is certainly not 100% anti-intellectual.”

    Have you guys flipped on a tv lately? The non-church culture is not exactly know for its “pro-intellectualism” either. 🙂

  183. Steve Wright says:

    I will never understand why MLD (or anyone else) insists on connecting Jews solely with Judaism.

    There are thousands (millions?) of atheist Jews today. That is not a contradiction. For that matter there are Gentile Jews (converts to Judaism who are not descendents of Jacob)

    Muslims, Hindus or these other comparisons are purely to a religion. With a Jew one must discriminate between the ethnic issue and the religious issue.

    A Jewish Christian is not a contradiction either – MLD may not want to own up to being one, but he is all the same.

    I fully agree no Christian can have part of his faith in JUDAISM, but that is a different issue entirely.

  184. Michael says:

    Anti-intellectualism is a known factor in American evangelicalism since the turn of the twentieth century and the fundamentalist controversies.
    Seminary= cemetery…how many times have I heard that?

  185. Steve Wright says:

    Factor yes. Just as it was throughout church history.

    My point

  186. Steve, if you want to say Jewish Christian like you would say French Christian, i have absolutely no issue with that … but that is not what anyone is saying.

  187. It would be a really good thing to go hang out with Jewish people to dispel many of the, frankly, odd ideas that evangelicalism and fundamentalism have foisted upon us.

    Fact is, the Jewish individuals I have met and come to know as friends deal with their ethnicity and heritage separately from their spirituality, wherein the spirituality is actually an enrichment to an already rich heritage and traditional emphasis on education, philosophy and ethics. There are as varied traditions within Judaism as within the ethnicities of what has become known as the Christian world.

  188. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, if you want to say Jewish Christian like you would say French Christian, i have absolutely no issue with that … but that is not what anyone is saying.
    Thank you for the concession. Of course it is what some are saying….I’ve said it many times in the past and you usually give me static. 🙂

  189. What I usually hear is that God has “the Jews” all set up as the hot fudge sundae – that close – but all they need is the Jesus cherry on top.

    To carry out the metaphor, all other people groups are still a plate of broccoli.

  190. you usually give me static. 🙂

    I give you static because I love you. 😉

  191. I am pretty sure MLD just pulled out the “I love you” card to a CC pastor.

    Detente lives.

  192. Learner says:

    I don’t understand how you see a Rapture outside of the preunderstanding hermeneutic of dispensationalism. A natural reading of the eschatological passages of the NT do not suggest a secret coming of Jesus in addition to Second Coming.

    Of course without a rapture then the gap theory of Daniel’s 70 weeks falls apart, which then brings the dispensationalists sharp distinction between Israel and the church into question.

    In addition if we see heaven as a temporary dwelling for the redeemed previous to the 2nd resurrection then it helps put all these things into place as well…Jesus is bringing the saints who are in heaven (temporary dwelling) to the earth to set up his kingdom by renewing all things,that is the earth and our physical bodies.

    In this we don’t have to fit all the OT prophesies of the kingdom to some 1000 year period either…seems like a lot of emphasis placed upon the kingdom in the Scriptures to have it be only a 1000 period.


  193. Bob says:

    Hot fudge and a cherry?

    Sign me up!

    You did say “a free gift?”

    It doesn’t get any better than this!

  194. Michael says:

    “I don’t understand how you see a Rapture outside of the preunderstanding hermeneutic of dispensationalism. A natural reading of the eschatological passages of the NT do not suggest a secret coming of Jesus in addition to Second Coming.”

    Which is exactly why you don’t see a Rapture teaching until many, many more centuries after this…

  195. Steve Wright says:

    It should probably be noted at this point that a pre-wrath view is nonetheless a belief in a rapture of the Church before the 2nd Coming.

  196. Bob says:

    Love this stuff:

    70 nations
    70 brothers
    70 elders
    70 forgives (x7)
    70 sent to preach
    70 palm trees
    70 entered
    70 weeks
    70 years

    12 brothers
    12 springs
    12 disciples


    What does this mean?

  197. Michael says:


    No, it is not.
    We believe they are the same event.

  198. Bob says:

    Isn’t MLD approaching 70?

    Ok 60 something, “the new 50 something”

  199. Watch out – I will be 65 in a couple of month – trying to catch up to Bob Sweat. 🙂

    But in the immortal words of Mel Brooks – “we mock what we are to become.”

  200. Learner says:

    You don’t need a rapture, if you don’t have a literal Tribulation.


  201. Bob says:

    On the serious side, whether we like it or not, the Ethiopian book “Enoch” had a great influence in the 2nd Temple period on both eschatology and demonology.

    Even the book of Acts has a reference to an Ethiopian who seemed to be confused about the Messiah. How did he get confused or what confused him?

  202. Numbers are usually symbolic of something else.
    So, when the rapture folks try to make 1,000 yrs a literal 1,000 yrs – they miss the point. When they make 144,000 people a literal 144,000 people again they miss the point

  203. Bob says:


    Yep, 60 is getting really really close for me. After reading some of your stuff I realize the best days may be behind me.

  204. Bob says:

    Hold it MLD the JWs already have the 144,000 spoken for I believe.

  205. Learner – I am amil, but I do believe in a literal tribulation. But I don’t think you need a rapture even with a literal tribulation.I think the biblical term Jesus used with his followers to get through the tribulation was something like “suck it up boys!”

  206. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, you have linked Charles Cooper before as one who presents the prewrath view accurately, have you not?

    He most certainly teaches a difference between the two.

    Since it is bad form to tell someone what they believe, just consider me now confused. I have never heard of the prewrath rapture equated to the 2nd Coming. By Cooper or anyone else. How would that be different from being posttrib?

  207. Steve Wright says:

    (from Cooper’s prewrath website)

    The flaw of the posttrib position is in its timing of the rapture. By placing it at the end of the Seventieth Week there is insufficient time allowed for the trumpet and bowl judgments to occur sequentially (as the text indicates), and for the salvation of Israel’s remnant and some Gentile converts to populate the millennial kingdom. Another flaw of the posttrib position states that believers will not be removed from earth during the eschatological wrath of God, but rather that they will be protected from it as if under a big umbrella. The rather fancy attempt by Dr. Robert H. Gundry to explain how God’s people can be protected if God’s judgment is selective does not measure up to biblical scrutiny. (11)

    Posttribbers’ continual insistence that believers will be caught up to heaven and immediately returned to earth cannot be harmonized without serious problems in sequencing as outlined in Revelation. The correct position must allow sufficient time between the rapture and the Second Advent.

  208. Rapture folks like to take the numbers literally in the apocalyptic books. In Daniel the weeks, the 70, the 3.5s etc … but they are all just symbols or figures of speech that everyone knows.

    In Daniel 1 it says that Daniel and the boys were 10 time smarter than the others. Now based on the previous description of who was hijacked from Judah, I think it is clear to say they were the 4.0 students … so was Daniel a 40.0 student?

    In the furnace, the king told the soldiers to make the furnace 7 times hotter. Now did he really mean check the thermometer – so if it was at 400 he wanted it raised to 2,800 degrees?

    BTW , when I complete Hebrews Sunday I am moving into Daniel.

  209. Michael says:


    I have studied and taught the position for almost two decades.
    We consider the Second Coming to be one event that begins with the Rapture of the church and concludes with the physical coming of the Lord to fully initiate the Kingdom with other biblical events in between.

  210. Learner says:


    That’s interesting. Do you interpret Revelation through the standard amil “progressive hermenuetic”? That is parallel accounts of church history told in several different ways.

  211. Steve Wright says:

    Maybe we are talking past each other. Do you allow for the Church to literally be removed from this earth…..some interval of time to pass while events unfold on this earth…and then the Church to return?

  212. Learner

    I do teach progressive parallelism

  213. Learner says:


    Do you think progressive parallelism then negates a literal Tribulation?

  214. Learner – if I understand you correctly – yes.

    But I do understand the events, although described in symbols and weird looking scenes to still be real.

    I have copied others who describe our view as the same play in a football game, shown on replay from several different angles. One view from behind the QB – one from behind the LB – one view from the press box – one view from the sidelines and one view from the blimp.

    Each view is the exact same play seen from different view points – some you see more, some you see less – but each culminates with the judgment.

  215. Michael says:


    Prewrath uses the biblical term parousia to include all the events that are associated with the coming of Christ.
    We do not draw what we believe to be an artificial distinction between the rapture and Second advent as pretribbers do.

  216. Learner,

    “a literal Tribulation” as in a category of events? Yes! Tribulation as a real historical experience? No … and I have some room for a last attempt of the enemy to destroy the people of God. But I am not looking for a 3.5 or 7 year event.

  217. Steve Wright says:

    I have to run. I don’t ever want to misrepresent other views I don’t hold. If I am in error, I appreciate being corrected so I don’t misrepresent by accident.

    I wrote “a belief in a rapture of the Church before the 2nd Coming” and I was corrected.

    So I will change the term “2nd Coming” to “physical, bodily, return to earth of Jesus” – because the whole point was to emphasize a departure of the Church before Jesus sets foot here on earth – and not as a up and back down (posttrib) but with an interval of time in between. (And something certainly not taught in the early centuries of the Church either)

    I thought Cooper was an excellent source for prewrath doctrine, because of the PhxP. I quoted his words. He seems very educated as well as irenic in his discussions.

    If he is not a proper “go-to” guy on this subject, then I would like to know who is.
    The correct position must allow sufficient time between the rapture and the Second Advent. – Those are his words. Hence my confusion.

  218. Learner says:

    Thank you MLD and BD.

    I’m reading Sam Storms new book “Kingdom Come”…he’s a dispy (Dallas grad) turned Amil and this book is considered to be the best Amil resource written in some time.

    I grew up dispy and am currently in a state of well, learning 🙂

    Historic Pre-Mill still seems far fetched (the literal millennium)

    Post-Mill is interesting but doesn’t seem pragmatic

    So that leaves me Amil sympathetic but still a bit clueless.

  219. Learner,

    Enjoy the ride. I was never a dispy, not even for a day. Everyone was, the Bible’s they all used were, the charts were on every wall, every preacher who showed up had a story to tell that was intended to prove we were on the razor’s edge of rapture. I read my Bible incessantly and couldn’t see it. So I waited 25 years after my conversion before attempting to teach Revelation. Glad I waited. Still learning but in no danger of ever being dispey.

    Not as cocksure as I was 10 years ago but settled and peaceful about it.

  220. Michael says:


    It’s real simple.
    With any doctrine, you read more than a random quote to understand the thought that went into it.
    Cooper is a good representative if his words are taken in the context he means them.
    As far as early church eschatology, I believe pre wrath is the closest to them…they were with one voice expecting the coming of anti-Christ before Christ.
    Was it fully developed?
    Of course not, but there is some real consistency with them.

  221. Learner,
    As a Lutheran, our amil position is a little different from the reformed view. Hey, if you can write a book about it, you are over thinking the whole thing.

    Most amil books talk about the errors of the other positions and not much on the actual amil position … because there is nothing to write

    Jesus returns to earth
    Jesus separates the sheep and the goats
    Jesus judges each group
    Jesus dispatches each group to their proper eternal place
    End of story. 🙂

  222. I guess you could add the stuff that comes before Jesus returns.

    The bad guys try to destroy God’s people

  223. Learner says:


    Ha! That’s good. You’re right Storms does spend a great deal of time debunking the Dispensational position…I think he feels he was sold a bill of goods, like many of us.

    He doesn’t spend much time on Post-Mill, I wish he would have.

    This is a pretty good discussion –

  224. Learner,
    In a sense, amil is post millennial – although we are not classic post millers.

    If we believe that Jesus is currently ruling his kingdom, sitting on David’s throne as Peter said in Acts 2 – then the 2nd coming of Jesus is POST.

  225. Learner says:

    That’s true MLD but it’s how the Post-Mill theologian interprets the coming of the kingdom…the Church is ushering in the kingdom through gospel advancement. IOW the world is getting progressively more Christianized…was popular during the Great Awakening but doesn’t seem too realistic at least from a global standpoint…certainly there are places where there is great Christian advancement happening and this would be the PostMill contention.

  226. “Let me get this right.
    You belong to a stream of Christianity that developed outside all known historical historical inquiry.
    It developed the cardinal doctrines of the church on it’s own and practiced something resembling the American evangelicalism of the discernment ministries without leaving any historical footprint whatsoever.
    The one church that is historically verifiable was so adept at cleaning out historical records and killing it’s opposition that we can know absolutely nothing of it, but that it existed because you say so.
    You bet.”

    1. It’s not what I implied or meant at all. You know this as well as I do.
    2. Doctrine was already established by scripture alone. Paul has told us this.
    3. If you are referring to the Moravian Church, I believe they have their own history.
    Preceded Luther in stating their protests regarding certain RCC doctrines.

    If you are speaking of some teaching that RCC or Orthodox would like to claim as being the author of such teachings. This is rather arrogant of them to put forth. As it would then be saying they also had a corner and exclusive claim on the Holy Spirit. We know this not be true. Therefore, it is logical and biblical to conclude that just because what you would frame as “one stream” versa another stream agreed upon a particular doctrine does not make yours the author of such truth. It only means they both interpreted scripture the same.

    4. “one church” that is historically verifiable was so adept at cleaning out” Oh, but we do know enough to say that this is exactly what they did.
    5. I know it difficult to think outside the box, but it is what it is.

    That’s very much is what I am speaking. I can no more put away or turn my back on my people than I could deny Christ. As for certain Jewish practices, the Messiah took care of that. As for evidence of our faith, that bears out by that which the Holy Spirit works within us to enable us to do, as we walk in obedience to His Word—–not some dictum that was established by some Vicar or voice of authority that foolishly think they supersede scripture, just because they happened to translate it, or decided what would or would not be included in what is referred to the Bible. They do not own the Bible—-nor can they claim authorship. No matter how scholarly or intellectual they may be.

    What more, it amazes me to see that nothing has changed in the way that people will more time slicing and dicing the written word. The Gentile Christian would do better to learn from the Jew in understanding that in many ways they are only repeating history in much the same way that the scribes and Pharisees, etc., did. And so they are as divided as we became, in that we left the initial teachings and made far more complex than it was meant to be. And thus each have become bogged down for what I would say is all the wrong reasons, thus leaving God’s children even more vulnerable and under attack. That is, the sheep continue to be unprotected and silenced by those in leadership for precisely the same reason as was being done even when the Jews did have the law.

    I don’t remember who noted the passage having to do with being circumcised. So true, for all of us. Unless our hearts have been changed, can any of us say that we have been born again?

  227. Michael says:


    I’m sorry, but you’re writing nonsense.
    Doctrine was not established by Scripture alone…at this juncture in church history (300-400) the church was still heatedly debating the nature of Christ, the Trinity, and what the accepted canon would be.
    The battles are a matter of historical record…and we have the documents of both the winners and losers in those battles…the evidence was not destroyed.
    Truly, if you think that orthodox Christian doctrine was established from the apostles on, you have a huge burden of proof that no historian or scholar has ever attempted.
    The idea is simply laughable based on tons of evidence.

  228. Michael says:

    The Moravian church dates to the 13th century at the earliest.

  229. Learner says:

    Oh and we’ve got stop saying that the hope of which the NT speaks is a hope in a secret rapture to save us from the Tribulation…the hope of the NT is always rooted in the resurrection…this is our hope–life, renewed life, a physical body free from sin and death.

  230. It sounds like Learner has learned well from some learned folks. 🙂

  231. Learner says:

    MLD, I’m definitely learning…Ladd and NT Wright have been extremely helpful in forming a more biblically robust eschatology.

  232. Steve Wright says:

    Michael can we get past semantics for a second.

    Do you allow for the Church to literally be removed from this earth…..some interval of time to pass while events unfold on this earth…and then the Church to return?

    This is a yes/no question.

  233. Steve Wright says:

    With any doctrine, you read more than a random quote to understand the thought that went into it.
    By the way, if you implied what this reads on the surface….well, I’ll let it slide.

    Suffice to say I have spent a LOT of time on Cooper’s site. That’s why I am so interested in knowing if he is a true rep of the view or not. I mean, he has a whole website devoted by name to the topic…and you linked to him in the past. I think I know what he is saying and he is a pleasure to read because of his courtesy coupled with his intellect.

    I just want to know if I have not been wasting my time.

  234. Steve Wright says:

    For those reading..this is the website I keep referencing as to Charles Cooper.

  235. Learner – check this out if you haven’t already from Kim Riddlebarger.

    Even though he is a Calvinist, he has been modified for the past 20 years sitting next to a Lutheran on the White Horse Inn.

    To the top right is his book on Amillennialism and if you scroll down a little you will come to his MP3s on the topic. Best stuff I have found on the subject.

  236. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    “Doctrine was not established by Scripture alone.” Says who?

    the “church” could have been tiddly weak for all that it matter. Doctrine was already established by the written word of God, not vice versa, and it certainly was not dependent upon what the “church” decided.

    Doctrine was given to us through God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by way of His prophets, teachers, Jesus, and the apostles and others mentioned in the written word. Anything beyond this is an very long exercise in getting it to align with what they deem the Christian should church be. And as a result of this many have split off, been martyered, and even called a heretic if they didn’t agree to go along to get along.

    It’s only laughable due to the box that you live in. Nothing more, and certainly not done in the spirit of Christ. Nothing in the Bible indicates there was to be a apostolic succession.

    That’s right, the Moravian church does date to the 13th century. You are saying this to say what—–perhaps, I should clarify something. When I commented on the Jan Hus, it was in light of Luther being brought up by the commentors, even though they have nothing to do with the early history of “all” of Christianity. Also to point out that all along there were people that had a whole lot of issues with the RCC and Orthodoxy. But given who had the power to decide if they were to work, eat, and even live, many gave homage, but many also kept what they truely believed to themselves. Either this, if they could they left seeking asylum elsewhere, and when more and more people began to speak up — then the heavens themselves opened up the window to truth, once being taught much like those in the New Testament did was being taught and heard again. And at the same time, hell broke lose, bringing with it a great darkness culminating in that which was just a drop with what will be seen, experienced, or witnessed by those accordingly per the great tribulation to come.

  237. Learner says:

    MLD…very cool, thank you. I’ve seen him referenced many times but I have not read his stuff. I have Hoekema’s “The Bible and the Future”

  238. “bringing with it a great darkness culminating in that which was just a drop with what will be seen, experienced, or witnessed by those accordingly per the great tribulation to come.”

    Except this time around, it will be God wrath that will be pour out upon all those who He deems to be unfit for the Kingdom that Jesus will bring with Him when all is said and done.

  239. Michael says:

    Please tell us all the name of the sect in the first 400 years of the church that knew and practiced the fully developed doctrines of the historic faith along with the fully confirmed canon.
    Who were they?
    Where we’re they from?
    Why does no one else know of their existence?

  240. Michael says:

    It’s not a simple yes or no question and I won’t be baited into making it one.

    Cooper is a representative of the doctrine, though I don’t like the way he writes at all.
    If you are reading him with profit,then there is no need for me to endorse him.

  241. Al says:

    I have a question, that ive been thinking about for along time. Modern Orthodox Jews. Do not believe that Messiah, is God in the flesh, equal with God, 2nd person of the Godhead, as we born believers do either jewish or gentile. Its obvious the early christian jewish church, jewish in bloodline. Told us of Jesus equal Divinity with The Father & Spirit through Johns and Pauls epistles, and we see a glimpse of it in the account of Mt transfiguration story. Was Christs divinity hidden or known by the Patriarchs and prophets of old the testament. And did it get lost or forgotten, then when the pharisees came to power, whenever that was. Or was it hidden in scripture. Im at work on my cell, and dont know the scripture. But in Daniel, we see like the Son of man, title for Messiah, coming before the Ancient of Days. Who is the father here I believe. We see two separate persons in there own bodies. Which is really profound to me. Did moses, or whoever know that God, which is his title, also know the the Alimighty consists of the Father Son Holy Spirit. Or is this a new testament only revelation?

  242. Bob says:


    I know you asked this question of Michael, but I will give you an answer, not that’s it’s worth much.

    “Do you allow for the Church to literally be removed from this earth…..some interval of time to pass while events unfold on this earth…and then the Church to return?”

    Qualified – “some interval of time” If you mean a tribulation period as many state, my answer is no.

    I find no compelling biblical evidence to say the “church” will be removed for “some interval of time.”

    What I do find compelling is the scriptures make it clear that His (God’s people under the risen Savior/Messiah/Lord) will not suffer God’s wrath. However, to not suffer His wrath one must define “wrath?” Some say God’s wrath is His judgment on sin and f this is correct then His people will not suffer that wrath.

    If when wrath means some period of time where the world is run by Satan and a lot of very bad things happen to people, both natural and supernatural, then I believe this understanding of God’s wrath is a bit distorted. Additionally a whole lot of apologies will have to be sent to a whole lot of martyrs and people who have suffered.

    My two worthless cents

  243. Steve Wright says:

    It’s not a simple yes or no question and I won’t be baited into making it one.
    I don’t understand this at all but I’ll drop it and move on to Bob. 🙂

    Bob, my ‘some interval of time’ directly connects to that prewrath website. I already pasted a large section in my post @209

    Here is another example “Since the fully glorified do not sin, and some earthly kingdom constituents will sin, the rapture must have an interval between it and the coming of Christ at the battle of Armageddon to allow for the salvation of those nonglorified people who will populate the millennium.”

    Now it seems to me either this accurately reflects the view or it does not. Prewrath is not the same as posttrib – we all agree on that. So where is the key difference? Cooper’s site does an excellent job IMO of explaining the differences and similarities between the pre/mid/post views and harmonizes them into the prewrath doctrine.

  244. Bob says:


    First the Jews reject Jesus for a multitude of reasons, many of which occurred prior to the doctrine of the trinity.

    Ironically the John 1:1 verse is a very Jewish statement about the Messiah and that He exists before creation. Additionally many Jewish scholars have examined and validated the teachings of Jesus as presented in the Synoptic Gospels as very Rabbinic in quality and nature.

    I have asked the same questions as you about their rejection of the Jesus known by Christianity and while the answers are historic and detailed the one primary one raises its ugly head, persecution. It was (and is) the Christian church which has rained the greatest and most horrible persecution of Jews over the past two millenniums and is the single biggest deterrent to hearing the message of the Christian Jesus.

    Christians worry about the “tribulation” and how they may escape such a horrible time and yet the Jewish community has literally been hunted down and even attempted to be exterminated. Yep, why won’t they accept the Jesus we all claim to know?

  245. Bob says:


    I am writing from ignorance of Cooper’s site, but have several books containing what I believe is similar “harmonization’s” of the three major views of eschatology. Here’s where i have problems with the pre or even mid positions, scripture must have presuppositions and external (non- biblical) references implied upon it to make it work.

    As I stated in a previous post, I found much of the what the 2nd Temple Jews (1st Century) believed about Eschatology was from extra-biblical sources. I mentioned the book of Enoch, which was interestingly not of near Eastern Jewish origin. It is generally agreed, based on the text and grammar, its original source was from Ethiopian Jews or God fearers of the time period. I believe the Qumran scrolls indicate the Essene community was also a promoter of the text.

    Sadly I fill what proponents of the pre-wrath rapture tend to emphasis an escape from suffering and tribulation rather than a walk with the God of Salvation and our Lord Jesus.

    But again I believe the whole thing hinges one’s understanding of wrath and judgment.

    How would you feel as a Jew during the Spanish Inquisition, During the great plagues, France, days of Naziism in Germany, and so many more tribulations at the hands of people who claimed to Love God and others though Jesus.

    Raptured before tribulation? I want it to be true, but highly doubt it is.

    Switching subjects Steve; I missed your verb differences from Egypt and Pharaoh. What did you determine or discover?

  246. Michael says:

    Back home for a minute.


    You have posted an example of why I haven’t read Cooper for some time.
    The beauty of the pre wrath position is that it has a clear cut Scriptural timeline of the events of the last seven years.
    It is that schematic that defines the pre wrath position.
    What you quoted from Cooper is his opinion concerning why there is an interval between the Rapture and the physical takeover of the earth by Jesus.
    It’s his opinion, I don’t agree with it, and I think it unnecessary for those who hold to the classic pre wrath construction.

  247. Jews are no different than any other kind of person and they reject Christ for the same reasons.
    1.) Their will is bound and they cannot ‘choose’ for Jesus
    2.) When it is there, they run from the light and return to darkness
    3.) No one seeks after God
    4.) By nature they hate god and do everything in rebellion to him.

    Think about it – why are me and marty Goetz believers?

  248. Steve Wright says:


    Matt 26:63 is one place I think where we can stand strong that the Jews expected the Messiah to be the Son of God – there are others.

  249. Michael says:


    Prewrath believes that the church will face the wrath of anti-Christ and the breaking of the seals.
    We do not hold to a seven year tribulation and the period of time that we do believe deserves that biblical name will be one the church must endure as well.

  250. Steve Wright says:

    Michael – Give me a name of someone whose book I can read, or whose lecture I can watch. Thanks.

    (Not someone who you necessarily agree with every word, but who presents what you call the “classic pre wrath” position. Much like I would tell someone to read Ryrie if they basically wanted to know what I believe – even if I don’t agree with every word Ryrie writes)

  251. Michael says:

    Now, as to Steves yes or no question.
    The pretrib position believes that the day of the Lord, the rapture, and the tribulation all begin at the beginning of the seventieth week, with the second coming at the end of the same.
    Thus, they posit that the Scriptures speak of them as two separate events.
    Prewrath believes none of the above, thus making a yes or no question much more nuanced than simple.

  252. Steve Wright says:

    Switching subjects Steve; I missed your verb differences from Egypt and Pharaoh. What did you determine or discover?
    Bob I commented back on Open Blogging thread later about how unjustified the LXX was to make that switch – but you would have to listen to the Sunday message to get the larger point of the two verbs used.

  253. Michael says:


    What is it that you want to find out?
    The last I knew about Cooper holds to the classic schematic.

  254. Steve Wright says:

    What you quoted from Cooper is his opinion concerning why there is an interval between the Rapture and the physical takeover of the earth by Jesus.
    Forget the WHY and Cooper’s opinions. My yes/no question was simply if in fact there is an interval of time between the Rapture and Jesus’ “boots on the ground” here on earth.

    To repeat: Do you allow for the Church to literally be removed from this earth…..some interval of time to pass while events unfold on this earth…and then the Church to return?

  255. Bob says:


    BTW I did read your 209 and still find this statement difficult and a bit broad brushed:

    “Posttribbers’ continual insistence that believers will be caught up to heaven and immediately returned to earth cannot be harmonized without serious problems in sequencing as outlined in Revelation. The correct position must allow sufficient time between the rapture and the Second Advent.”

    I still don’t see any “serious problems in sequencing” as this statement makes. I guess I will have to go and read more of what he has to say on the subject. \

    I’m so glad that being a follower of Jesus doesn’t require anyone to be either a young (or old) earth proponent nor a pre/mid/post trib advocate.

    Too much but this one thing has to be for sure, “He’s alive!”

  256. Michael says:


    The church is Raptured at the seventh seal.
    Jesus takes ownership of the earth after Armageddon.
    What’s the point?

  257. Bob says:


    Thanks for the pre-wrath and the wrath of the Anti-Christ comment, I get that. Of course I don’t agree and I think you see it, how much worse can the anti-christ treat people compared to how “Christians” treated Jews? Maybe Christians were really anti-christs (one of the many who would/will come?

    But Michael I will not deny the statement made by Paul and “the anti-christ” who will come. I do recommend spending some time in Enoch, not for any doctrines, but for the historical understanding of the mystical views of the time period. A lot of stuff there ranging from Genesis (particularly chapter 6) to ideas found in NT writings.


    Thank for the link I will check it out.


    Think about it – why are me and marty Goetz believers?

    I understand Marty Goetz, but you… maybe not so much.

    This is a stimulating and good discussion. No name calling, YES!

  258. Michael says:

    Articles of Prewrath

    1.There is a future seven-year period, and at the midpoint the Antichrist will be revealed and commit the abomination of desolation, initiating his great tribulation against the Church and Israel.

    2.There is a biblical distinction between the Antichrist’s great tribulation against the Church and Israel and the day of the Lord’s wrath against the ungodly. The latter event happens after the former event.

    3.The gathering of the elect mentioned in Matthew 24:31 refers to the rapture (cf. Mark 13:27; Luke 21:28; Rev 7:9–17; 1 Thess 4:13–18; 2 Thess 2:1).

    4.At an unknown day and hour during the second half of the seven-year period, the Antichrist’s great tribulation will be cut short by the Revelation of Christ to resurrect and rapture God’s people, and this will be followed immediately by the day of the Lord’s wrath executed upon the ungodly.

    5.On the same day the rapture happens, the onset of the day of the Lord’s wrath takes place, just as it was in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:22–37; cf. 2 Thess 1:5–10).

    6.The second coming (parousia) is not a simple (instantaneous) event. The second coming is a complex-whole event containing various purposes of God, beginning with the Revelation of Christ in the sky displaying his Shekinah glory and power to the whole world, and resurrecting and rapturing God’s people, followed by the day of the Lord’s judgments upon the ungodly and Antichrist’s kingdom, restoring Israel to salvation, and culminating in Christ’s earthly reign.

    7.Although Armageddon is an element within the complex-whole second coming, Armageddon does not initiate the second coming; instead, the second coming begins between the sixth and seventh seal.

    8.The resurrection and rapture happens between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal.

    9.The first six seals are not part of the day of the Lord’s wrath. The first six seals are conditional events that must happen before Christ’s return.

    10.The sixth seal signals the impending day of the Lord’s wrath as recorded in Joel 2:30–31; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25–26; Mark 13:23–25; and Revelation 6:12–17.

    11.The seventh seal pronounces the day of the Lord’s wrath.

    12.The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon contain and execute the day of the Lord’s wrath.

    13.The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon will not occur before the seventh seal is opened.

    14.Paul’s “last trumpet” (1 Cor 15:52) is not identified as the seventh trumpet judgment in the book of Revelation.

    15.Christ’s return to resurrect and rapture God’s people is not imminent (“any moment”), since discernible prophesied events must happen first (e.g., the Antichrist’s revelation and his ensuing great tribulation; the apostasy; coming of Elijah; and a cluster of discernible celestial events).

    16.Christ can return in any generation of the Church.

    See more at:

  259. Bob says:


    Sure to be crystal clear, you said this:

    “that we do believe deserves that biblical name will be one the church must endure as well.”

    It is my understanding the position you hold is this; the church, Christians of all flavors, will not be removed in a “rapture” during this time period.

    If this is the position you feel is most taught by scripture then I agree.

    One problem though I like the song, “I’ll Fly Away.”

    Darn it nothing’s perfect, is it!

  260. Michael says:


    I believe that the “great tribulation” begins at the mid point of the seventieth week and is cut short by Christs appearing.
    We will endure the tribulation.

  261. Bob,
    The point is that past treatment of Jews does not affect whether or not they become Christians. For the unbeliever, that is just one more anti god arrow in their quiver.

    But us jews who are now christians – well, it was the work of God.

  262. Bob says:




    anti god? How about ant Christian?

    Yep had to be (and is) a work of God!

    For us all!

    The sun is setting and a new day beginning, Blessed is His Name above all names!

  263. Al says:

    @mld, He came to save sinners but not the self righteous. All the apostles where of jewish bloodline. The temple high priest, pharisees and saducees, rejected Him as messiah. For exception of Nicodemus, and the Pharisees in the new testament, that swayed Peter to not fellowship with the gentiles. The talmud, says nothing about Messiah being God in the flesh, let alone Son Of God. I wonder, if there is anything predating that, in some other writings. Suggesting that the moses or Abraham or Jacob, or King David knew that God is in 3 persons. Then, maybe it got lost, then years later when the pharisees came into power. They perhaps had heard this but rejected it, or they just didnt know. Or perhaps the God in 3 persons, was a new revelation, to the world, that Jesus and the apostles, published for the first time.

  264. Bob says:


    “The talmud, says nothing about Messiah being God in the flesh, let alone Son Of God.”

    First be careful with quoting the Talmud because it is a very diverse and difficult read. I have been a student for many years of the Jewish roots of our faith and while the Talmud is a good source it is filled with some really bizarre and strange “midrashs” from the rabbis.

    Additionally the Jewish orthodoxy is not as monolithic as the major Christian denominations are. They allow for greater diversity in interpretation and commentary than their Christian counterparts. For example they would not be having this discussion on the sequence of events during the end times. They would be discussing both the existence of the Messiah and what is restraining Him from coming and establishing His Kingdom.

    Do look into what I said about John 1:1 and the existence of the Messiah (and the Torah BTW) pre-creation. I think you will be surprised at the similarity to the author of John statements.

  265. Steve Wright says:

    The church is Raptured at the seventh seal.
    Jesus takes ownership of the earth after Armageddon.
    What’s the point?
    Primarily for me..that I’m not losing my mind. 🙂

    Because I thought I knew what I knew but now I see the issue is to button-up my terminology a little. (Noting point #6 in those articles)

    Larger point to the board – both our views involve a supernatural removal from this earth of living Christians – something that certainly MLD and many others do not believe.

    Looking at those articles there is great similarity – especially noting the emphasis on Israel in a distinct manner from other nations.

    I could easily see myself embracing the prewrath view before I would ever consider not just amill views like MLD’s but even the mid/post trib views.

  266. Michael says:

    I suspected the disconnect was around #6.

  267. “both our views involve a supernatural removal from this earth of living Christians – something that certainly MLD and many others do not believe.”

    Could it be because the Bible never says that living Christians will leave the earth before the resurrection??? All of those verses are resurrection verses that have been wrongly attributed to something called the rapture because of the false teaching that Christians will not be in the tribulation – so, the invention of the rapture to save the Christians from the trib.

    100% bad teaching – I don’t mean to offend, but this is just not tolerable.

  268. Xenia says:

    Uriah, a few comments:

    1. It is true, as you say, that the Scriptures were written by the prophets and the Apostles. The Apostles were part of the Church, not outsiders. The Scriptures were the product of the Church, not the other way around. The Church produced the Scriptures. The Scriptures did not produce the Church.

    2. We do know where most of the Disciples went and what they did. There are extra-biblical historical accounts of their activities. They did not go off and form crypto-Bapstist congregations that were at odds with the Church in the big cities. You can find this information on the Internet.

    I know it is upsetting to read the history of the early church and discover that things were not as you thought but that’s the way it is.

  269. Michael your question is unreasonable because it does not permit any other sect to be recognize other that that who have taken on to be the
    “Church” by definition of the RCC and EO. Therefore, the questions you posed are moot. Invalid, but moot all the same. Any other who were practicing Christianity outside of the RCC and EO were considered to be heretical, thus we once again come to a standoff here. Why were the Christian Jews persecuted for not wanting to join the RCC and EO in their efforts to establish the RCC ?and EO. Why were other Christian groups, such as the Montanist turned away and made out to be heretics? Why were so many people afraid to speak out againt those who pulled together that which formed these so called canons, thus making themselves out to be the Fathers of the church of Christ and creating a system of apostolic succession? Therefore, there is no other beside them—well, in truth there were and there still are, thanks be to God, the author and finisher of our faith, alone.

  270. Xenia says:

    Again, you could not join an entity called the EO or the RCC in the early centuries of the Church, this is an anachronism. There was only one Church, the one founded by the Apostles. Any group that chose not to follow the teachings of the Apostles would be following their own vain imaginations.

  271. Michael says:

    I simply asked you to identify one sect that had fully developed evangelical doctrine in the first few centuries.
    You can’t, because none existed.

  272. Ixtlan says:

    Since we are talking about end times, here is some irony, particularly in light of Rome being interpreted as the ten toes in Daniel 2.

    There is another need, a greater one, for our praying for the emperors, and for the whole estate of the empire and the interests of Rome. We know that the great force which threatens the whole world, the end of the age itself with its menace of hideous suffering, is delayed by the respite which the Roman Empire means for us. We do not wish to experience all that; and when we pray for its postponement are helping forward the continuance of Rome.…

    Tertullian, Apology 32.1

  273. Michael says:

    Montanus believed himself to be the incarnation of the Holy Spirit.
    Small problem….

  274. Ixtlan says:

    It might not have been EO or RCC, but the divisions between West (Latin) and East (Greek) were already beginning in the 3rd century.

  275. Ixtlan says:

    Montanus also believed in revelation beyond apostolic tradition.

  276. Xenia says:

    Ixtlan, no doubt, but the East and West still considered themselves to be part of the One Church. They recognized each others bishops and sacraments and they all participated in the councils.

  277. Ixtlan says:

    Actually, my understanding is that Rome didn’t participate in the councils, at least not the earlier ones.

  278. “the fully developed doctrines of the historic faith along with the fully confirmed canon.”

    Sorry, God’s Word is complete in itself. If we agree on any doctrine, it is not because the RCC and EO developed and put their signature upon it to make it true. It is because scripture, alone teaches and confirms it and we just happen to agree. That’s all.

    Now we all know this is the classical argument used to make one to believe that the RCC and EO is the author and finisher of our faith, as well as, the gateway to eternal life with Him. Being so, it opens the door to add all kinds of traditions, rituals, practices, beliefs, and requirements that are not even found in the Bible. Thanks, but no thanks.

  279. Ixtlan says:

    Everyone follows some type of ecclesiastical tradition. Everyone. It was the Apostolic Fathers that did the ground work to give us the canon. Incidentally, the first attempt of canonization of Scripture was done by a heretic.

    Everyone believes that they follow what scripture teaches. The differences we have are based on hermeneutics, traditions, culture and the presuppositions that we have had passed on to us from our church experience.

    Some of those practices and rituals were actually an attempt to follow what they believed the Scripture said.

  280. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Here’s another way of putting this:

    Actually, I believe that it was Tertullian that also joined the Montanist, that is until too much pressure was put upon him, that then caused him to reject the ideal that the Holy Spirit was very much a part of this group that practiced speaking prophetically.

  281. Xenia says:

    The Roman Catholic did not give us the Bible, because as I said…..

    Oh, never mind.

  282. Michael says:


    Once again, there was no monolithic Roman Catholic church at the time of the recognition of the canon.
    Nor was there an equally monolithic Eastern Orthodox church.
    There was THE CHURCH…with bishops in many different places.
    Why you can’t grasp this is beyond me.
    I’m Reformed…the doctrines that make my faith distinctive weren’t codified until the 16th century.
    Yet without the fourth century churches work at laying the foundations, there is no Reformation, no Protestantism.
    This is the stream we all came from, like it or not.

  283. Michael says:


    Montanus believed that he and his two lady friends were the voice of the Holy Spirit…that his words and theirs superseded Scripture and demanded compliance.
    That’s a problem…

  284. Michael says:



  285. uriahisaliveandwell says:


    “I simply asked you to identify one sect that had fully developed evangelical doctrine in the first few centuries.”

    That was not your origenal request. As for this request, why would that be important. As far as I know it didn’t exist back then.

    Your original request @ 243:

    “Please tell us all the name of the sect in the first 400 years of the church that knew and practiced the fully developed doctrines of the historic faith along with the fully confirmed canon.
    Who were they?
    Where we’re they from?
    Why does no one else know of their existence?”

    I responded to this. Evangelicism was not mentioned until you just did @ 275.

  286. Michael, that would posed a problem however, was it that they were superceding scropture or reminding those to live a holy life which Scripture also taught. In light of the direction that some were going, that is ignoring the gifts and the leading of the Holy Spirit concerning the conduct that did not exemplify that of a Christian, this belief that they were superceding scripture, was it base upon whose opinion, those that did not agree with the way revelation was being taught by the Montanist and the spiritual utterances that were being made? If so, then it was just an opinion not something that in fact was taking place.

  287. Michael says:


    This isn’t speculation…you can actually read the writings from the time period involved .
    They flat said that their “prophecies” superseded Scripture.
    They were also ascetics, which was another heresy.
    They weren’t persecuted for high morality…the early church had a very high moral standard as examination of any of the writings will show.

  288. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Dear, Dear Xenia,

    I know you believe what you do and I know you are sincere as they come. I also am quite familiar with the teachings of the RCC. Being baptised and confiremed at one time. As for hearing what you think is true and then saying to me exactly what you need to be applying to yourself, as you are also sincerely wrong and in great error on many levels. But I doubt if anyone could convince you otherwise due to the bubble you choose to live in. No offense, just understand where you are coming from, having been at one time myself. Set free and have never look back except to contend for the faith and to give thanks to the Holy Spirit for showing me the way out and into what RCC never once told me about Jesus and how to be saved, well that is except through them and all the gymnastics. Being an ex RCC, I can say now say this without fearing the roof will fall in upon me should I walk into a protestant church or even dare to say the pope is a farce. Like I said, I would have been burned back then, if nothing else for being a Jew and then an outspoken female Jew at that. I always did like the story about Joan of Arc, however.

  289. On Montanism:

    “Although it came to be labelled a heresy, the movement held similar views about the basic tenets of Christian doctrine to those of the wider Christian Church. It was a prophetic movement that called for a reliance on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit and a more conservative personal ethic.” See Wikipedia.

    Which now brings into question: how is it that RCC can determine if these were new revelations in terms of supeceding the scripture when RCC were doing just this throughout the entire history of RCC? Oh, I understand they say that they don’t, but doing and saying not quite the same things, now is it.

    The other question is, at what point did new revelation stop. Weren’t the earliest Christian Jews practicing these things and weren’t there those prophesying. According to scripture there were. Paul mention there being a man who had what, 3 daughters given to prophsying. So when did these things stop. When those gathering around the RCC pole decided this, base on what? I say this, because there is no indication, whatsoever, that they ever did.

    “Because much of what is known about Montanism comes from anti-Montanist sources, it is difficult to know what they actually believed and how those beliefs differed from the Christian mainstream of the time.[21] One source reports that Montanists claimed their revelation direct from the Holy Spirit could supersede the authority of Jesus or Paul or anyone else.[22]”

    Sounds like more of a witch hunt to me in order to turn people against this sect that obviously well received by many, otherwise.

  290. Michael says:


    How many ways can that be said?
    Good Lord…
    Most people serious about history go a little deeper than Wikipedia…

  291. Michael says:

    It was the bishops of Asia minor, not of Rome, that were the first and most ardent critics of Montanism having seen the damage done first hand.

  292. Xenia says:

    Michael’s right. Not only Montanism but most of the other early heresies got their start in the East, too, well out of the purview of the Bishop of Rome.

  293. Michael says:

    One more thing.
    Up to this point in the history of the church, the Jews were the ones persecuting Christians.
    Spare us the “I would have been burned” drama…not factually accurate.

  294. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    So far I am not convinced, particularly when using the very group that persecuted others in order to convert them to their way of thinking.

    Your sarcasm is unwelcome and hurtful; definitely not in the spirit of the Lord.

    Bishop of Rome: whhhhoooo, hooo — my point exactly. This is like the fox guarding the hen house. And we are supposed believe this person because he is the bishop of what, Rome? In your mind, he may hold a level of credibility, but in the minds of others, it just doesn’t cut the muster.

    As for the reference regarding wikipedia, the article provided a bibliography and also noted that these heretical charges may not be creditable seeing that they came from the very group that persecuted and did everything possible to discredit the Montanist.

    Michael, I really like the topics you post on your blogsite. However, when reading through the comments, particularly yours, I have to say that this group outside of it’s comfort zone is a closed minded group and unteachable. I have follow your blog for over a year now. I’ve noted that when a person does not fall into line with the group think that goes on here, they become terribly defended then resort to sarcasm, then if the person they are circling around refuses to cow under, the table is turned and puts on like they are being victmized instead.

    Now, I have tried to share on three subjects matters thus far. And each of them have gone down like a sinking ship. Not because they were not valid and did not provide food for thought, but because each one of them did not fit within the framework of what this group think are locked into. For what it’s worth, this is not healthy for anyone and it is any different than what those who came together to form the Catholic church, even to the point of forcing others to join them at the cost of their lives, their reputation, their conscience, and their freedom.


  295. Michael says:

    They go down like a ton of bricks because you refuse to deal with historical facts.
    These are not matters of opinion, they are reconstructions of history using real historical data.
    This is not “group think” it’s learning about the consensus of people who have studied these matters for centuries.
    You make ridiculous claims and then accuse when you can’t produce anything to back them up.
    We showed you that there was no “Roman Catholic Church” at this time…you ignore that.
    We showed you that opposition came from other quarters…you ignored that.
    All the city churches had a bishop, not just Rome.
    This is how the modern church came to be and it doesn’t fit the narrative you want to believe.
    I can’t fix that, but I won’t apologize for trying to educate others.

  296. “The growth of what we know as Roman Catholicism began to flower in this century.”
    Now, Uriah did not write that.

  297. Anne says:

    uriah – your mindset belies your CC roots even culminating in the “unteachable label” for those who do not accept your “correct” opinions. What you perceive as sarcasm is no where near the unpleasantness of your condescending attitude. Your discussions here may not be well received because they can seem more like an self appointed expert lecturing the peons on truth to folks who aren’t as educated as you. Your “facts” about mental health and now church history ARE debateable. Both subjects still have lots of room for inquiry and debate. Processes that are somewhat clumsy to engage in online. I know in your heart you mean well. I hope you can continue to participate here even when your “sharing” is not received the way you think it should be. “I tried to share” is another example of christianese speak which translates into a sense that you offered truth and it was rejected by those who would get it if they were really walking in the spirit of the lord (like you). It is difficult for me to read, especially when my heart grieves that I too once spoke and related to others in the same way. Peace to you, uriah. I know you carry your own wounds from the church and wish you comfort and peace as you heal.

  298. Uriah, you are a bowl of chuckles.
    What is the comfort zone here? I read your posts on the other blog under your other name – and no one there even bothers to respond to you nuttiness.

    If one person is speaking to 100 others and no one is buying what you are selling, perhaps you need to look at yourself and see if what you are selling isn’t worth the time of day.

  299. Michael says:


    The key word is “began”.
    The whole point to this series is that everything developed…and I’m trying to show when and why in brief snippets.

  300. Began still implies it is there. I don’t agree with a lot of the people that try to jump all over the RCC, but let’s face it, it was there in it’s infancy and not as you said “We showed you that there was no “Roman Catholic Church” at this time”
    Just keeping it real.

  301. Michael says:

    “I tried to share” is another example of christianese speak which translates into a sense that you offered truth and it was rejected by those who would get it if they were really walking in the spirit of the lord (like you)”


  302. I make the case that there was no defined RCC until Trent. It was in response to the Reformation that Rome had to define itself and did so at Trent.

  303. Just wait till your next history post…let the RCC bashing begin in earnest then. Ought to be interesting to watch.

  304. Xenia says:

    What comfort zone? We have all kinds of people here. We all make each other uncomfortable at times.

  305. Michael says:


    In terms of being the monolithic institution that it became in coming years and exercising the power it came to have it didn’t exist.
    This is important because people like Uriah think it came out of the womb fully grown and persecuting true believers from the earliest centuries on.
    I think most people get what I’m saying, but I’ll try to be even more precise going forward.

  306. Michael says:


    I don’t think the question is when did Rome define itself (you have a good point about Trent) it’s about when did Rome exercise greater authority than the other churches and begin to set the standards for faith and practice in the West.

  307. Michael says:

    Blogging is a strange business.
    I hate this kind of senseless conflict…but we also have 300 comments on a church history thread.
    I’ll choose to be happy about that.

  308. Xenia says:

    Derek, what are the specific seeds of Roman Catholicism that you see sprouting in the 4th century? (This is not a smart-alecky question, by the way, I really want to know what you think.)

    By the way, I knew when I posted the phrase “Bishop of Rome” Uriah would not understand what I meant and would imagine a medieval Pope but as Michael pointed out, all cities had a bishop, even many smaller towns, and Rome was no exception. The Bible talks about bishops so we shouldn’t be surprised that Rome had one. (I don’t consider the current Pope to be the genuine Bishop of Rome but that’s for another day.)

  309. Michael says:


    I think he’s quoting what I wrote in the article…

  310. Xenia says:

    I dunno, Derek said:

    but let’s face it, it was there in it’s infancy and not as you said “We showed you that there was no “Roman Catholic Church” at this time”<<<<

    …. so Derek has noticed some things that are distinctly RCC at this early stage and I wonder what they might be.

  311. Xenia,
    I was just saying that Michael said it was beginning in the article.
    Therefore, you need to be prepared for people to bring it up.

  312. Xenia says:

    I ask out of genuine curiosity because as far as I know, the only difference between the Greek East and Latin West at this time was a rather subtle difference in Christian philosophy (I guess I’ll call it) that did indeed widen later one but was (in my opinion) pretty minimal at this time. I am wondering if Derek is talking about Augustine?

  313. Xenia says:

    Well, whoever brought it up, what is there during this era that is distinctly RC?

  314. Michael says:


    Quick question…did the monastic communities grow up at the same time in the East and West?

  315. Michael says:

    This is what I wrote about Rome in the article…”The prominence of the bishop of Rome and the papacy grow exponentially here. Monasteries began to develop and celibacy for bishops is expected. In that monastic system Jerome translates the Bible into Latin and the Vulgate becomes the official text of the Roman Catholic church. The building of St. Peters begins in 323.”

  316. Xenia says:

    Looks like I jumbled up who said what and why but I am still interested in learning what the RC distinctives were at this time even in seminal form. I am interested in tracing the ideas that eventually led to the Great Schism in the 11th century.

  317. Bob says:

    Nothing forms in vacuum.

    Of course the RCC didn’t exist during this time period, but the seeds to the church were forming and I don’t believe Michael denies that. I made a thesis, when I’d studied the church history years ago, when Constantine moved the center of his government to Turkey he set in motion the political rise of the RCC Church and its political domination into motion.

    The main point is when Rome dominates the world it dominates from not just the political seat, but also the geographical location. To essentially leave the City and the associated power base to the hands of the newly established religious leaders contributed to the fall of the emperors and the rise of the Papacy.

    With the rise of the political dominance of the Papacy also came with it the ability to dictate theology and doctrines to those under their rule. The rest is history.

  318. The infrastructure, like monastic orders, combined with state sanctioning was setting the stage for the next century.
    The end of state persecution made it safer to develop the Bishop’s sphere of influences.
    The calling of a Council by an emperor was setting the stage for a central leader to have charge and while not under the church at the time was setting precedent.
    Rome was well situated to take charge of Europe’s church system. The break eventually with the Orthodox Church was natural as there has always been a divide between the East and West.
    The stage was being set.
    The main theological difference, unique to Rome as far as I know, that would lead to the Reformation, the Treasury of Merit, was developed somewhat.
    Pretty much like a baby develops and grows before it becomes an adult, so this was the growing and maturing time.

    That is my take on it.

  319. Michael says:


    I haven’t done all the research yet but my guess is that the prominence in the west of Augustine contributed to that divide.

  320. Michael says:

    Bob, Derek…good stuff.

  321. Xenia says:

    Celibate monasticism, which began in the Egyptian desert, did spread all over the Christian world so was not really a distinctive. (It figures that monks, by definition, would be celibate.) Jerome’s Vulgate…. I have read that his Bible was problematic but I don’t remember why. The increasing primacy of the Pope, definitely a bad seed that bore a crop of weeds.

  322. Xenia says:

    Michael, regarding Augustine, I think so too.

  323. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Bob and Derek.

  324. To me it is easier to look at is the development of a great nation.

    The US started out as 13 colonies joined in Union. It was not the quasi-empire we see now then. It had a Constitution that was the law of the land. As it grew, it acquired land and laws incrementally. It started to exert influences on neighbors slowly, but surely.
    Eventually, you have a nation that attempts to make it’s will known throughout the world.
    Eventually, you have a nation that has laws so burdensome that the ACA is the result and no one can stand the burden at some point.
    The US when it was just 13 states joined together was still the US, just at an earlier stage.
    RCC is no different than this and somewhat follows a similar model.
    It was there, just in a smaller and less powerful or threatening form.

  325. Sorry, first sentence should say “To me, it is easier to look at as similar to the development of a great nation.”

  326. Xenia says:

    The reason I asked this is because sometimes when people say they see the seeds of the RCC in the very early centuries they are describing doctrines and practices that were believed and practiced by the entire early Church, both East and West. Some people will look at the early beliefs about baptism and the Eucharist and say (something along the lines of) this being evidence that the roots of the Roman Catholic church go all the way back to the beginning. The Roman Catholics themselves say this. You all answered my question pretty well, I think. The biggest seeds of what was later to sprout into the RCC are papal primacy and the writings of Augustine. The treasury of merit…. was this idea operative in the early centuries? I know the East denies it but I don’t know when the West embraced it as a doctrine.

    Great discussion!

  327. Xenia says:

    Orthodox monasticism is not categorized into orders, like the Benedictines and the Franciscans, such as the RCC has. There’s just monasticism, period, and to most of you it would look very medieval. I don’t know when the RC’s began the practice of different monastic orders.

  328. Michael says:


    I think the beginnings of what became the “Treasury of Merit” were in the 3rd century when the ‘merit’ of the martyrs was thought to cover those who had lapsed during the persecution.

  329. RiBo says:

    Russia is more Christian* now than the US according to Putin…kind of hard to disagree at this point in history.

  330. RiBo says:

    Very informative article. Russia embraces the Christian* church now, Putin is an extremely powerful and transformative figure. Russia sees the West as sinful and evil and wants to separate from the West’s wonton liberalism in terms of morality and the culture wars. Very interesting twist of position.

    Russia and Putin are much more US 1980’s and Reagan-esque than the very liberal and immoral US today…and the US is moving more atheist and more communist.

  331. RB,
    Putin’s Russia has the same view of the US and Christianity that the Muslim’s do. Both hate us – hate our freedoms and hate our freedom of religion.

    I wouldn’t boast too much in your new buddy Putin.

  332. Learner says:

    As we know the early church was dominated by Greek philosophy…and still today the church seems to be more influenced by the philosophy of men than God’s revelation. I hear lots of “well I just don’t see God doing that…” Modern philosophy at its finest.

  333. Learner has it right – “and still today the church seems to be more influenced by the philosophy of men than God’s revelation.”

    I will put a name to it – the church today (Pop Evangelicalism, Mega, and Seeker) is Purpose Driven _ no longer is the church directed by mission and message but by marketing.

    In a time that these churches have tried to “be relevant” – these churches are at all time lows of relevance.

  334. RiBo says:

    “I wouldn’t boast too much in your new buddy Putin.”

    Didn’t say he was my buddy, just making observations. Doesn’t fit well into the Prophecy Updates, that Russia is more Christian* than the US. Doesn’t fit the American Exceptionalism narrative either.

  335. RiBo says:

    Russia is nowhere near akin to the Muslim countries. Russia is Christian* and not psycho and hell-bent on covert-or-die, throwing acid in women’s faces who seek education or cutting off hands and feet, blowing themselves up etc like Islam.

  336. RiBo says:

    But, I’m sure the Calvary Chapel guys and others would claim the Russian Orthodox Christians* aren’t “real Christians*” like they are and pray to the devil, since Steve Wright says non-Christians* are praying to the devil or something like that.

  337. “that Russia is more Christian* than the US.”

    Because Putin says it, that makes it so??? LOL – you are easy to manipulate.

  338. “Russia is nowhere near akin to the Muslim countries.”

    Half of the old USSR breakaway countries are Muslim.

  339. RiBo says:

    MLD, if you believe that Russian Orthodox Church is Christian* (and the argument can be made they have more a right to claim they are Christian as they have apostolic succession and a lineage back to the Apostles, whereas CC’ites etc are new on the scene and from some individual “smith” like Joseph or Chuck) then Russia, as a percentage of its populace (today’s Russia) is probably more Christian*.

    “Approximately 83% of the country residents consider themselves Russian Orthodox Christians”

  340. RiBo says:

    Of course, every Christian* Group will claim “they” are the “true” Christians…and Russian Orthodox are not really Christians and therefore not favored by God.

    The Christian* dynamic is so bizarre, but very very human.

  341. RiBo says:

    Learner said, “As we know the early church was dominated by Greek philosophy…and still today the church seems to be more influenced by the philosophy of men than God’s revelation. I hear lots of “well I just don’t see God doing that…” Modern philosophy at its finest.”

    Correct, Greek Philosophy dominated the early church and early church fathers. Hellenism influenced how people processed information, how they thought, how they constructed arguments, how they built their philosophical belief systems.

    The Hebrew ways of thinking and arguing were very different.

    The Reformation re-evaluated the “bible” through the lens of the philosophy of its day and age and guys like Luther and Calvin were heavily influenced by philosophy…so-much-so that both LUTHER and CALVIN are listed as philosophers of their day.

    You cannot remove philosophy from man’s processing information, text and supposed “truth” than you can remove things like language and communication from man and claim it is not “of God” but of man.

    Your use of “God’s revelation” requires philosophy to understand and process and conceptualize and be meaningful to man. It’s what separates us from the animals.

  342. RiBo says:

    In fact, every single “theologian” and every single “pastor” is a philosopher. Most are bad philosophers who have not consistent philosophical construct to filter their conclusions through (see Calvary Chapel and many evangelicals) whereas a Lutheran or a Calvinist has pretty strict filters and pretty tight system (though it has holes too, but not nearly as wishy washy as the typical evangelical).

  343. RiBo says:

    Maybe Putin will clamp down on the Calvary Chapel guys there. It was joke about growing up by my step-dad CC pastor that he did stuff for the CIA, Raul Ries etc, too. He would say things but then would say he was joking. What a great cover, “planting churches” in Russia. If I were the Russians, I’d be all over Calvary Chapel, especially Bryson.

  344. Learner says:

    RiBo….I tend to agree with you.

  345. RiBo says:

    Jesus used Philosophy as well.

    The claim that “philosophy” is somehow man-made and evil is incorrect and the fact that supposedly Jesus spoke a human language and formed arguments using human terms and human thinking proves such.

    Jesus was a philosopher as well.

  346. RiBo says:

    The Parables from Jesus are excellent examples of a philosopher imparting his philosophy.

  347. RiBo says:

    If you believe Jesus is God and that Jesus spoke as “god” when he walked this earth, and you believe Jesus spoke a human language and thought like a human being and used human thought constructs to communicate, then you believe Jesus used Philosophy and communicated within a Philosophical manner and within a Philosophical angle (in Jesus’s case he was a bit Hebraic and Hellenistic)…you just don’t realize it b/c you haven’t thought it through.

    If you believe Jesus was simply a man and not God, then well you could say God may not use philosophy.

  348. RiBo says:

    The fact is “God’s word!” a.k.a. “the bible” is a mix of Hebraic and Hellenistic philosophies. The Old Testament is pretty much entirely Hebraic, while the Pauline Epistles are very Hellenistic.

  349. Or Jesus spoke perfectly as God would speak even as he was man. RB, as a non christian, you may not understand that Jesus was the God Man.

    Besides, what’s your beef with philosophy? Only you can come up with these non issues and try to make something of them.

  350. Xenia says:

    The Scriptures say that the Son was sent “in the fullness of time.” Part of that “fullness of time” would include that fact that Christ came during the time when the hellenic culture, with all its Greek philosophy, was in full flower. A few days ago Ixtlan and I were talking about the idea that Greek philosophy, especially Plato, set the stage for the appearance of the Logos. So, the idea that early Christianity sometimes used Greek philosophy and especially the very useful Greek language to explain things is not upsetting at all. Greek philosophy is not Christianity but it was a decent way to look at the world (not including the Greek gods) until the Messiah came.

  351. Xenia says:

    Putin…. I admire him at times and I dislike him at times. I like him better than Obama, that much is certain, but he makes me nervous. Also, while it’s true that a huge percentage of Russians identify as Orthodox, a rather small percentage actually attend church regularly. But Christianity is gaining ground as the years that the locusts ate up are being recovered.

  352. RiBo says:

    X, I don’t find it upsetting at all either. It just is what it is.

    In fact, I think that as fact, it is a great argument for progressive revelation and a liberal approach to theology as “cultural context” changes.

    “God’s word!” doesn’t speak in absolutes as it shows itself to be entirely subjective based on a culture and context.

    What was “good” (killing all the amalekite women, children, infants or genocide, executing children with stones, etc) for the ancient Hebrews is not “good” but rather “evil” today. Slavery was “good” in ancient Hebrew culture, and “evil” today, etc.

    In the Greek influenced Hellenistic Period you see “truth” changing as well and positions softening and moderating quite a bit. Jesus’s own words, “law of love” were much softer and Jesus’s “turn the other cheek” etc was very much not Hebraic.

    Jesus was very liberal for his day. He spoke things that conflicted greatly with the Hebrew view of things up to that time.

    “God’s word!” had then changed since. Paul had a much different take than Jesus and then the Early Church fathers had their influence as well and it wasn’t the exact same flavor as Jesus either.

    Then you progress throughout church history and you see “change” and then the Reformation and post-reformation, enlightenment etc. Now, who know what the heck “God’s word!” really is.

  353. Xenia,
    Putin is a murderer. I am not an Obama fan but I will take him over the KGB anytime.

  354. RiBo says:

    MLD, I am more Christian* than you are, or the claim can be made. In fact, I could make as valid a claim that you are a devil worshipper as you could of me. Lutherans worship the devil! is as valid a claim as any under the Christian* umbrella.

    I could claim your theology and doctrine is not correct since you baptize babies and eat as a cannibal the literal blood and flesh of a false Jesus.

    I could make the claim the father of your “church” was an evil and vile man who swore, drank, cussed, was an anti-semite etc and didn’t have the “fruit of the spirit” and rebelled against the authority of his day and created a false religion which you adhere to, ergo you worship the devil and aren’t a true Christian*

    etc etc.

  355. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “Putin is a murderer. ”

    How so? If “putin is a murderer” then Luther was a murderer, 0bama is a murderer etc.

  356. RiBo says:

    I like Putin exponentially more than 0bama. Putin is a Reagan-esque conservative and a very strong leader. Like it or not, Russia is on the rise and ‘Merica is on a fast decline.

    Russia is $200 billion in debt and has vast resources and an emerging economy.

    The US is $17 Trillion in debt, has an idiot populace, is run by liberal idiots who are gutting our military and national security and splintering out nation into a million pieces.

    The USA is defeating itself. The Russians and Chinese just have to sit by and watch while Rome burns.

  357. RiBo says:

    MLD, the fact is Hitler and the Germans appealed (partly) to ‘the final solution’ and Martin Luther to execute the Holocaust. It’s an inconvenient truth that Lutherans roundly sweep under the rug and apologize over, but the fact remains…we have the writings. If Putin is a “murderer” then Lutherans are responsible in part for the holocaust.

  358. The Father of my church is Jesus Christ – I am surprised by you words above about him. Sad that you have such little respect for Jesus.

  359. RiBo says:

    Fact: “just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther.”

  360. RiBo says:

    “In 1940, Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of Luther’s writings and sermons on the Jews.[33] The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically antisemitic tract ever published.[34] It was publicly exhibited in a glass case at the Nuremberg rallies and quoted in a 54-page explanation of the Aryan Law by Dr. E.H. Schulz and Dr. R. Frercks.[35] On December 17, 1941, seven Lutheran regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, “since after his bitter experience Luther had [strongly] suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory”

  361. RiBo says:

    MLD, why do you hate the Jews?

  362. RiBo says:

    But you are “Martin Luther’s Disciple” not “Jesus’s Disciple” and you are a “Lutheran” not a “Jesus’an”

  363. RiBo says:

    Hey, you can be intellectually dishonest all you want and try to rewrite history and remove the fact that the Germans and even the Lutherans hated the Jews and were for the “final solution” and holocaust…but the facts of history tell a different story.

    Lutherans have since run from that murderous position, but the facts remain, it’s part of the Lutheran history.

  364. If you want to blame 400 year old writings for the holocaust as your way of excusing your buddy Hitler (Idaho is the American capital for the current Nazi movement) go ahead..

    But I do like the way you support the KGB murderer Putin by clawing at Luther. Good job.

  365. Why am I responsible for what Lutherans in Germany did 70 yrs ago?

  366. RiBo says:

    But, “Genocide” is cool by “bible believers” as God told the Hebrews/Jews to kill all the women, children, babies and animals of the Amalekites, so what’s a little Luther/German holocaust? I guess it depends on whether or not “God told” the Germans to do it or not. The Christian* position is that if God told you to do it, then it’s “good” and not “evil”, correct?

  367. If you were honest – and believe me no one would accuse you of that, you would go look up both the LCMS and ELCA position on Luther and the Nazis.

    I will be waiting here for your retraction.

  368. Now you are getting annoying – go away, my reply about Putin was to Xenia.

  369. RiBo says:

    This discussion illustrates why rational people think you guys are f’ing delusional nutcases, btw. You defend God commanding Genocide in the OT as “good” and then you run from Luther’s clear writings and the fact that Hitler and the Germans simply agreed with Luther (the father of protestants) and acted on his words and you call what Germany did “evil”

    Genocide is evil, whether it was supposedly “god” in the OT or the Germans listening to a Luther.

  370. Xenia says:

    Well, as I said, Putin makes me nervous.

    I do admire some of the positions he has taken but I am loathe to go too far with any enthusiasm because I do know he has done some rotten things and when his bio is written I think even worse things will come to light.

    Obama, on the other hand, when asked on TV why he didn’t go to the Olympics answered that he sent a number of openly homosexual former athletes to Sochi to represent the USA. Putin supports Christianity in Russia, Obama openly mocks it.

    I don’t know what Putin’s motives are exactly in supporting Christianity in Russia and I’m not willing to say it’s 100 on the up and up but it’s more than Obama is willing to do.

    But we’ll read the history books a decade from now (written by all kinds of people with different takes) and will find out a small percentage of what is actually going on in both camps.

    A good Putin quote:

    “Those who say they don’t miss the old Soviet Union have no heart. Those who want it back have no brain.”

  371. RiBo says:

    My guess is that if Jesus did walk and talk on this planet and if the dudes who wrote his words down wrote them anywhere close to what he actually said, and if Jesus is “god”…then

    what Jesus did and said was vastly different than what the OT prophets said God was. My guess is Jesus didn’t really affirm them, he certainly didn’t in terms of his teachings and philosophy which was VASTLY different than the OT Hebraic hard-line law and eye for an eye and God as a vengeful wrathful kill all the women and babies God.

    Revelation is its own delusional “dream”, whoever wrote it was probably high and having hallucinations.

    If Jesus is really “god” and “god” is one etc, then no way the OT Prophets heard from “god” verbatim. They may have been “inspired” at times, but the bulk was their words and not God’s…just like the bulk of Paul’s words were Paul’s and the bulk of the words coming out of the preacher’s mouths today are their words…let’s not make “god” responsible for all the idiocy coming out of the mouths of humans throughout history.

  372. Xenia says:

    I asked about the Treasury of Merit on an EO forum that specializes in patristics and they didn’t have much input other than a vague idea that the idea was hatched in medieval times. I am inclined to think Michael is right but I would like to find an original source that talks about this.

  373. RiBo says:

    If “god” spoke clearly through men, then the message would’ve been clear and simple, the Jews wouldn’t have missed their “messiah” etc. The fact is the words are nebulous and the words were presented something that wasn’t the culmination in the “Jesus” that supposedly showed up.

    Jesus’s words as “god” themselves (if true) are one of the biggest evidences against the Old Testament thought and teaching of “god” than anything (besides the fact we would never define as “good” much of what was commanded by “god” (supposedly) in the OT.

    The “prophets” of the OT were men just like us. I’m sure they meant well, but probably much of what they said and wrote was from their own imagination, just like much of what preachers and “prophets” say is “god” speaking to them today.

    If “god’s word” was intentionally cryptic and hidden, as is the fallback apologetic, then that opens up a whole other can of worms regarding “good” and “evil” and puts the blame back on “god” for being intentionally coy and hiding himself from humans for the purpose of torturing them in hell forever.

  374. Xenia says:

    Here is what Wikipedia says:

    “According to Roman Catholic theology, in the early days of the Church, the great saints accumulated merit, which is earned by all Catholics while doing good work on Earth. The Church had possession of these extra merits and could, in the Church’s teaching, grant these in the form of indulgences. In the early church ecclesiastic authorities allowed a confessor or a Christian awaiting martyrdom to intercede for another Christian in order to shorten the time of the other’s canonical penance”

    This is so entirely alien to Orthodox theology that I just have to wonder if the RCs are casting their medieval theology back upon the ancient Church and claiming this is what they always believed. When I read the ECF’s I have never come across anything like this although to be sure, I have only read a small fraction of their writings, which are vast.

  375. Michael says:


    I’ll try to find out which primary sources traced the idea back to the third century.

  376. Xenia says:

    My link is about certificates given to lapsed Christians by martyrs, asking that they be forgiven for lapsing.

  377. Xenia says:

    soon to be martyrs, that is!

  378. Michael says:


    I think you found it…I was just looking up Cyprian…

  379. Xenia says:

    If this is all there is to base it on (and there could be more, I don’t know), then I would be inclined to say that if a group of believers were being tortured and were facing death and some apostacized (gave that pinch of incense to Ceasar), some of the people who did not apostacize (soon-to-be-martyrs) would write a letter (certificate) to the local bishop asking for mercy upon the apostate, basically saying “I have suffered enough for the both of us, please overlook his temporary lapse.” I think that is all that can be wrung out of St. Cyprian’s letter.

    What do you think?

  380. Michael says:


    My guess is that if we were to examine the letters of the bishops involved in that controversy we would see statements similar to Cyprians that were later used to extrapolate an entire doctrine.
    The other RCC quotes I’ve seen from modern sources to justify this doctrine from the patristics are pretty bogus…

  381. Xenia says:

    The reason I care about this seemingly obscure point is because the whole Treasury of Merit idea is one of the major differences between EO and RC theology. The whole system of indulgences, purgatory, saying 50 Hail Marys for penance- all the knit-picky bean counting of sins and prayers and number of Bible pages read and trips up the cathedral stairs on one’s knees and pilgrimages to Lourdes and the whole accounting system of sins and merits that Catholicism seems to relish…. I think it got its start here.

  382. Michael says:

    I think you’re right…but it will take me sone time to help prove that. 🙂

  383. Michael says:

    Evidently, Gregory 1 and Tertullian both had doctrines of merit…

  384. Xenia says:

    That’s interesting. I guess it didn’t pass the “believed by everyone, everywhere, at all times” test, at least not in the East.

  385. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    @321 Precisely, Bob.

    As already mentioned, personal attacks or assumptions drawn as an attempt to discredit what I have shared only speaks more of the person doing this, rather than the person who have shared. Like I shared, this blog is highly defended, a closed system, and would do much better if and when they are able to think outside of the box as well and not resort to such behavior towards another person, but rather treat them with far more respect and consideration than what I have observed over and over to begin at a well thought out presentation by Michael, then rapidly digress as soon as someone outside of this group attempts to add or challenge the group think that is glarinly present. Well enough said–. Oh by the way, Michael—sincerely liked what you wrote about what you learrned by watching your son compete.

    There were other Christian groups during this time and one of them contained those who were Christian Jews. Remember, anyone who disagree with this political religio group that culminated into the RCC State Chruch was considered and heretic or schizmatic (sp). Not that they were, except for what RCC historians would like us to believe.

    Great Question, RiBo: Why does MLD hate Jews so? Wasn’t Hilter also partially Jewish? Hmmm. Very interesting.

  386. Michael says:

    “There were other Christian groups during this time and one of them contained those who were Christian Jews. Remember, anyone who disagree with this political religio group that culminated into the RCC State Chruch was considered and heretic or schizmatic (sp). Not that they were, except for what RCC historians would like us to believe.”

    In the fourth century that is factually incorrect.
    Please identify this group if you have the ability to do so.
    The reality is that Jews had received a special certificate exempting them from emperor worship for a season and had nothing but contempt for the new sect which they believed would cause them problems through association.
    This is simple Uriah…if you have facts to counter what history shows us, then show them.
    If you can’t then expect your opinions to receive criticism when they don’t match what history teaches.

  387. Michael says:

    The idea that we all agree with each other here is almost laughable…we are generally conservative representatives of our respective traditions…and that’s about where agreement usually ends.

  388. Ixtlan says:

    “…had nothing but contempt for the new sect which they believed would cause them problems through association.”

    It is a fact that the Jews were the very first group that persecuted the church. From the Jewish perspective: there were Jews who had departed from the faith, believing that the Jewish Messiah had come, and were going out converting the Gentiles into their faith. The rub was that the Gentiles who were converted were not but becoming like Jews, but the Jews who believed in the Messiah were becoming more like Gentiles. It infuriated the Jewish (non Messianic) leadership.

  389. Bob says:


    Your posts are a bit confusing at times. It seems as if you have an idea but can’t precisely state it so you get hit by Michael or others about it..

    ” this blog is highly defended, a closed system, and would do much better if and when they are able to think outside of the box”. I disagree, with a couple of exceptions, most on this site aren’t defending any particular direction of this blog. The difficulties arise when either an incomplete idea is presented or just some general BS shows up and then people pounce on it.

    My observation of MLD Is he is not just set in his doctrines and theology his a stone which can’t be rolled. So rather than pursue him enjoy his presence and have fun poking at him a bit.

    As far as thinking outside the box, if RiBo could get over himself he could do it for everyone.

  390. Michael says:

    My immense frustration here is that myself and most of those who are reading this thread are trying to learn, not pontificate.
    We’re looking at historical evidence, examining the family tree if you will.
    Every family tree has some strange stuff in it, we all have relatives we wish were not related.
    We also can see how we came to be who we are today, the heroes, heels, and behaviors that shape what the family is today.
    We are trying to use hard historical data to learn these things, not our personal doctrinal positions or personal opinions.
    If you disagree with something posted, then present the historical data from the time period in question that refutes what has been asserted.
    That way we all learn.

  391. Michael says:



  392. Michael says:

    Did Jesus hate the Jews?

    ““If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
    (John 8:42–47 ESV)

  393. Bob says:


    “It is a fact that the Jews were the very first group that persecuted the church. ”

    Not only did they persecute the church according to Acts and the epistles it was the Jewish believers who persecuted the gentile converts (and Paul for his teaching).

  394. Ixtlan says:

    That is correct according to the Biblical narrative and extant works.

    In the event that someone consider that an anti-Semitic statement, it is simply a description of the activity of Jews who rejected their Messiah, who’s hearts were hard and eyes blinded. They don’t get special consideration because they are Jewish, to be blunt, they are cast into outer darkness like the rest of humanity that rejects the Messiah. Jesus said it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than it would be for those Jewish cities that rejected the gospel of the kingdom.

  395. Michael says:


    I’m waiting for the name of this Christian/Jewish hybrid group and the record of their persecution by the bishop of Rome in the fourth century.
    Please show us the evidence for the existence of this group.

  396. Michael says:

    I think MLD is just affirming what Jesus said in John 8…

  397. Michael says:

    As a side road, Jesus statement is fascinating.
    You have one of two fathers…if you believe in Him, your Father is God.
    If you don’t, your dad is the devil.
    So much for inclusive…

  398. RiBo says:

    Jesus statement is fascinating…that particular narrative from Jesus (the Jews and Judaism’s “god” is the devil) seems to support Marcion’s thesis and seems to support the fact that the Jews, even today, believe the Christian* god is a false god….

    …and the Christian* god that includes Jesus is vastly different than the god of the Old Testament who kills women, children, infants etc without blinking an eye.

    It is the Christian* who clings to the 2-gods presented in the bible, strangely…even though Jesus himself (in several narratives) calls the god of the jews the “devil”

    How this point can be missed just baffles me. It’s probably b/c in there are competing narratives where Jesus claims the god of the OT, which is very confusing b/c the Jewish god is also the god of the OT as Christians* also claim.

  399. RiBo says:

    I think it speaks to duality and yin and yang.

    Today’s ultra-orthodox Jews have some very interesting assertions about “satan’s” role and how satan is an emissary of the true God who does God’s bidding to sift people as part of God’s testing all, similar to God’s testing Abraham with a terrible choice to kill his own son.

    I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. The dual nature of “god” as presented in the bible is undeniable….he slaughters infants, smites his enemies…yet he is love and grace etc.

    It very well could just be human expressions of the dual nature of the universe and the yin and yang that exists: good and evil, light and dark, love and hate, God and the devil etc.

  400. I think something was said earlier about pontificating….hmmm.

  401. RiBo says:

    Seems Christians* try to play it both ways:

    In one breath: “The God of the Jews, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, the God of David, the God of the Nation of Israel, is our GOD too!”

    In the next breath: “Jews worship a false God! They are the children of the devil! Jesus said so!”

  402. RiBo says:

    “I think something was said earlier about pontificating….hmmm.”

    Why is that allowed and necessary? I am expressing an opinion.

    Typical of this blog and the double standard. Oh well, I’m used to it…it’s the history of this blog.

  403. Wow, guess the bit dog does bark first. 😉

  404. RiBo says:

    The Crusades and then Luther-driven persecutions of the Jews seem to be the times in history where Christians* persecuted the Jews. I can’t find anything in the 4th Century.

    But, a ton from 1,000 through World War II.

  405. RiBo says:

    Nah, it was plainly obvious as to the timing of your comment and your history. I just pointed it out for the record.

  406. RiBo says:

    Michael said, “You have one of two fathers…if you believe in Him, your Father is God.
    If you don’t, your dad is the devil.”

    Too simplistic. The Mormons believe in Jesus, many Jews believe in Jesus, even Muslims believe in Jesus and even some historians believe in a historical Jesus.

    I’m assuming you mean that a person must believe that Jesus is the “son of God” which Mormons clearly state they believe Jesus is “God’s only begotten son” which is a more literal interpretation of the bible and they also state clearly that Jesus is “God’s son”

    Do you believe the Mormons are in the Tent? No, you don’t.

    It then becomes what you say one must believe about “Jesus” and then you will qualify that with a bunch of caveats and wherefore’s and here-to-fores etc.

    But, then when pressed, you will back-track and claim, well “Mystery!” as your list is challenged and then unravels.

    That’s how this discussion always goes. No one has a good answer (yet).

  407. And what do your comments have to do with any serious discussion of Church history?
    They are all based in your “theorem” and an attempt to discredit a Christian worldview.
    Just you trying to hijack comment threads.
    But, why should anyone be surprised at that.

  408. RiBo says:

    The discussion also goes to: “Well even the demons believe in Jesus!”

    This then leads to the caveats and asterisks and then it becomes, “Well your behavior, if you do the things Jesus said then you believe in him!” …and then that unravels quickly.

    The fact is, you have no clue what “believing in Jesus!” really means. None. You can’t quantify it. Every single time I’ve engaged someone in this sort of discussion over the years, they begin very gung ho, then when it all unravels and I’m proven correct, they name call, then they run for the hills, refer me to some books, name call some more and then claim “mystery!”

    It’s as consistent as gravity on this planet.

    Derek, you seem to be spry this a.m. Why don’t you take a whack at it so I can prove it for the umpteenth time?

  409. Michael says:


    The historic church has answers that satisfy me.
    Your mileage may vary.

  410. Done here.

  411. RiBo says:

    “And what do your comments have to do with any serious discussion of Church history?”

    If you can’t answer these basic questions above, what good is “church history”…and the very issues of Jesus, the Jews, the treatment of the Jews, what constitutes proper official “belief in the correct Jesus” is so much a part of Church History, it is shocking you would have to ask that question.

  412. Bob says:


    It’s not anti-Semitic at all, just history. To be anti-Semitic is something else and not worth firing up the emotions here on PP.

    To those who care:

    BTW this thread is about church history.

  413. Not following RB down the rabbit hole. That happens too often here.
    Afternoon all.

  414. RiBo says:

    We just had a discussion where Steve Wright and MLD were asserting definitively (though they were forced to walk it back) that said non-christians and jews are praying to the devil and that when their prayers are answered, it is the devil answering their prayers.

    How do you know for sure you aren’t praying to the devil?

    Quantify for me how you know for sure you are an official Christian* and others are not?

  415. RiBo says:

    Good, see you later Derek, you rarely if ever offer anything of value, usually regurgitation of some basic canned stuff from the reformed side…other than your pics on your website which are good.

  416. Bob says:


    The study of church history is a fascinating subject about how people and institutions got to where they are today. While some use such study to prove the validity of their position(s) it doesn’t have to be that way. Therefore the good in church history isn’t the issues but the process and understanding how they where achieved.

    It is ok to understand and enjoy the knowledge while not agreeing with the tenants of institution. An “answer” for personal questions doesn’t determine the good or bad of knowing church history.

  417. Bob says:


    Good, see you later Derek, you rarely if ever offer anything of value,

    Why do you have to say this kind of stuff? Back it down!

  418. Bob,
    My skin is far tougher than that.
    RiBo’s isn’t.
    Just let it go.

  419. RiBo says:

    My skin is tough too. I’ve got no problem with Derek putting his big boy pants on and tangling with me once in awhile as long as I’m allowed to do the same. I can take care of myself, no problem.

    An equally applied standard is what is usually lacking. I’m held to a very strict standard at times, while others are allowed to initiate or respond however they want whenever they want without the threats of moderation or calling for banning etc.

  420. RiBo says:

    I prefer a “survival of the fittest” when it comes to blog argument forums (which this forum is about half the time), but I understand the desire for civility and I’m able to example that style a lot of the time, unless provoked.

  421. erunner says:

    I enjoy and get a lot from discussion here and Derek brings a lot to the table and I respect him for his efforts. I also like menudo with a ton of tripe!! 🙂 Thanks for your contributions Derek.

  422. “Great Question, RiBo: Why does MLD hate Jews so?”

    I don’t hate Jews – my entire family is Jewish and I love my family. But just as I love my Hindu friends, my Muslim friend and my totem pole worshiping friends, I know that none of them worship the one true God. If i thought for a moment that they did, why would I evangelize them

    So, for those of you who are claiming that the Jews are in fact worshiping the one true God, do you evangelize them? If you do why? It seems like it would be a great insult to evangelize people who already know God.

    I refuse to be politically correct and just say everyone is equal in their relationship to God … just to sound good.

  423. RB, to your #373 @ 4:23pm yesterday
    “This discussion illustrates why rational people think you guys are f’ing delusional nutcases,”

    You are right – if I tell any of my non believing friends that I believe in God, they think I am ‘f’ing delusional’ – just as the Apostle Paul said they would – and I would have no other way. All of this talk to you and your ‘rational’ friends IS foolishness… whoops, to those who are perishing. You may want to reconsider who you group with.

    See, here is the issue – you have been persuaded into Christianity by your intellect and reason – in the very same manner you were persuaded out. The problem is that your were never converted by faith – and that is the game changer.

    But I will only get this one shot – when RB runs out of his pre packaged off the atheist blog answers – he reverts 100% of the time to “GOD IS A MEANIE AND KILLED ALL THE CHILDREN” soon followed by the “LUTHER SINGLE HANDILY KILLED ALL THE JEWS IN WW2.”

  424. “Too simplistic. The Mormons believe in Jesus, many Jews believe in Jesus, even Muslims believe in Jesus and even some historians believe in a historical Jesus.”

    No they do not – they each have a god figure of their own making, different from each others, but they have each named this god figure Jesus to get the street cred.

  425. RiBo says:

    “No they do not – they each have a god figure of their own making, different from each others, but they have each named this god figure Jesus to get the street cred.”

    Same can be said of Lutherans. It is philosophically equivalent. Your “god” hates the jews as your leader offered the final solution and inspired the Nazis. Why does your god hate the jews so much?

  426. hmm, skipped the attempt to reply and went straight to the Luther killed all the Jews./ LOL 🙂

    You are so funny – you want jews and mormons to be regular chriistians more than I have heard any jew or mormon whine about it. I am sure that there is some insecurity in there somewhere.

  427. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Remember, if there was a Jew who was a Christian, he or she, was also persecuted. Just one drop of Jewish blood was the criteria used.

    The question still stands: what happened to the Jews who were in Christ Jesus. We know Paul and Peter were martyred in Rome. They were as Christian Jew as one can be. and so thousands upon thousands were as well.

  428. Michael says:


    Here is your statement;

    “There were other Christian groups during this time and one of them contained those who were Christian Jews. Remember, anyone who disagree with this political religio group that culminated into the RCC State Chruch was considered and heretic or schizmatic (sp). Not that they were, except for what RCC historians would like us to believe”

    I asked you to provide the name of the sect in question that was some sort of holy hybrid.
    You have responded with an obscure article that disputes some pretty well documented historical views of most scholars that names no one of the sort.
    I also asked you to provide proof that the bishop of Rome was behind the persecution of said group and you respond with the article which traces Jewish persecution to a Byzantium (Eastern) proclamation.
    There is no doubt that as the church grew in power that it began to persecute Jews…there are grave doubts about what you claim.

  429. RiBo says:

    MLD, no, I am consistent in my position and have a well thought out belief system constructed on sound philosophical logic.

    My position is that anyone appealing to a “text” as authority has the same problem…interpreting text that you state is “God’s word!” is really a function of you imposing on the text your opinion of what it really says.

    For instance, Lutherans say it says you are to be a cannibal and believe that you are eating the actual literal human flesh and drinking the human blood of Jesus…or you aren’t really saved or you aren’t really receiving the means of grace…ergo others are worshipping the devil or taking the juice and crackers as unto the devil or whatever.

    I simply, and consistently, point out the fact that your appeals to the text are no more or no less philosophically equivalent to any other sect’s appeals. You state you have the right opinion, but you have nothing to back that claim up…no miracles, nothing but your philosophical apologetic to claim you have the correct interpretation of what the bible a.k.a. “God’s word!” really says.

  430. Michael says:

    I’m off to church.

  431. RiBo says:

    For instance, take a doctrine like the “trinity”.

    You claim it as an essential doctrine, yet the very term does not appear in the bible.

    Early church fathers expressed Jesus and God the Father as separate, yet later the consensus was lobbied and directed into “three persons”…well what is a person? Yet all are “god” or plural, all are “gods” yet one.

    The Mormon would appeal to the same bible and point out that they believe in what the bible literally describes as the “God-head”

    They would appeal to the literal verses in the bible that describe Jesus as the “begotten son of God”…”the only begotten son” etc.

    They would then describe God as “One God” and “One God-head” made up of the hierarchy of The Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit…which they describe all as separately as “god” (plural “gods”) but together as one God-head.

    You will claim semantics and appeal to extra-biblical terms like “trinity” and point to a several-hundred-years later “consensus” and then put your stake in the ground and cast all in to hell who have a semantic disagreement with your precise definition…even though you have no clue what the God-head really is, nor can you explain it adequately.

  432. RiBo says:

    Appeals that claim: “The Lord’s wisdom is not man’s wisdom!” and “Man’s philosophy is not God’s philosophy” and claims that state “philosophy” is man-made and somehow anti-god are simply ill-conceived.

    Jesus spoke as a man using man-language. Jesus used philosophical constructs to communicate his message and Jesus exhibited philosophical constructs of his day appealing to both the Hebrews and the gentiles (Hebraic and Hellenistic-type communication).

    You cannot remove philosophy and language and interpretation from “God’s word!” it is not only wrong, it is impossible.

    It causes me to think that “the Logos of God”…even “logos” is a Hellenistic philosophical concept and what Jesus is literally called in “God’s word!”…is really a function of Reason and Conscience and the zeitgeist of a particular age.

    …it’s the only thing that really makes much sense.

  433. RB,
    Please don’t make me continually point out your theological ignorance on a public blog. it embarrasses me to embarrass you in such a way.

    When you say “For instance, Lutherans say it says you are to be a cannibal and believe that you are eating the actual literal human flesh and drinking the human blood of Jesus…or you aren’t really saved or you aren’t really receiving the means of grace…ergo others are worshipping the devil or taking the juice and crackers as unto the devil or whatever.”

    No one equates this with salvation – this is what and how saved people take the communion. But, you cannot say we “say” this is what the text says – read John 6 – that is exactly what the text says word for word “unless you eat my flesh…”

    But it still goes back to I am converted by faith … I don’t argues as you want me to on what my head can figure out. Call it crazy thinking on my part – but look at how you have thought and rationalized yourself out of the faith … or at least into a different faith.

    But the point is, your quote above is about as dumb a statement I’ve heard in quite some time.

    Yeah, Yeah I know your reply – “God is a meanie and killed all the children and Martin Luther killed all the jews in WW2.

  434. RiBo says:

    MLD you are appealing to the literal meaning of one piece of text, yet you ignore “God-head” in place of extra-biblical “trinity” which exposes and examples what I stated above.

    You do equate it with salvation. Can one be saved apart from what you call “the means of grace”? Can you be saved without being baptized and without taking the sacraments, without believing they are the literal flesh and blood of Jesus? You and yours have stated that you cannot.

  435. RiBo says:

    MLD, are you stating one merely needs to “believe” in some concept of Jesus to be saved, but does not have to be baptized or take the sacraments believing they are the blood and flesh of Jesus and doesn’t require to participate in any other “means of grace”, they simply need to express some sort of belief?

    That seems to be what you are saying above by denying the Lutheran construct of Baptismal Regeneration.

    Do you publicly deny Lutheran Baptismal Regeneration?

  436. RiBo says:

    MLD, how do you know you are officially saved? I assume you say it’s through “faith”…yet even the demons believe.

    How is your belief different than the demons?

    How, in your view, can I be saved and know I’m saved?

  437. RiBo says:

    …never a good answer to those questions above. I can ask and answer from nearly every Christian* perspective and then when scrutinized it all unravels quickly into “Mystery!” and nothing quantifiable and concrete.

    Such is Christianity*

  438. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    As for whatever bishop of Rome having to do with persecution, I don’t believe I ever made such a statement. My only reference the the term, “bishop of Rome,” had to do with Xenia’s comment: bishop of Rome. My response was in terms of any authority or authenticity of anything the RCC claims.

    As for viable historical facts, I’ve already responded. Again, any historical facts being presented that disagrees with RCC is treated as invalid, so why bother.

    Nevertheless, you might do some research done by Jewish scholars on the persecution of the Jews, as well as, Christian Jews. Let see, we also have th Donatist, Novatians, Nazarenes, Waldeneses, Lollard, Hussites. But then again, these can be quickly dismissed, right—at least base on the historical records kept by the RCC. Funny, how that works. And then we find even some protestant groups only quoting what was handed down to them by these so called aposotlic jew hatemongers.

  439. RiBo says:

    uriah, the victor writes the history books as they say…

  440. RiBo says:

    As someone with no horse in the race, it seems to be historical fact that the Christians* persecuted the Jews something fierce during the Crusades and then during Luther’s time and then during the Holocaust (in part due to Luther’s writings, as the Nazis quoted him in nearly everything they published as their apologetic).

  441. RiBo says:

    But, this is why I say most Christians* are intellectually dishonest. It becomes a function of denying facts that don’t fit your box or narrative and rather than seeking truth, you seek to defend a particular angle or Sect.

  442. RiBo says:

    The illustrious Martin Luther and Christianity*

    “Although most people are familiar with Hitler and the Holocaust, a less known fact is that Jews were severely oppressed by all the nations of Europe, especially Germany, since before the dawn of Christianity.

    When Germany was officially inaugurated in 936 C.E., Jews were specifically excluded from citizenship. In 1350, the Black Death ravaged Germany, and hunting season on the Jews officially opened. The Jews were blamed for it, not-with-standing that as many Jews fell victim to the plague as their gentile countrymen. The Medieval period for German Jews was in a word, unconscionable.

    Martin Luther, a medieval German Catholic priest cum Protestant Reformer, wrought more havoc on Jews through the centuries than Hitler could have imagined. His ideas are eternally preserved in works such as Von Den Juden Ihren Lugen (On the Jews and Their Lies), published in 1543. Luther asserted that “Jewish homes should be destroyed, synagogues should be burned and their liberty should be curtailed.” In his books he referred to the Jews as “Poisonous envenomed worms,” “The devil’s people,” and emphatically claimed, “We are at fault for not slaying them.” Luther’s ideas came to be embodied in the Nazi party as well as less known groups such as the Templars et al. Luther’s ideas not only impacted Jews of his own time, in his own country, but have oozed out to pollute all peoples of the entire world, for all time.

    Hitler, himself, proclaimed Luther as an ally, claiming that “He saw the Jew as we are only beginning to see him today.” When the Nazis carried out the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9-10, 1938, they announced that it was an action taken in honor of Luther’s birthday. At the Nuremburg trials, Julius Streicher, Nazi propagandist, defended himself with the position that he had not said anything worse about the Jews than martin Luther. (Telushkin, 211).

    Many modern Christians attribute the troubles in the Middle East today to some ancient forgotten legendary battle between Esau and Jacob, or the likes there-of, but the truth is that the Templars, a Lutheran organization, settled in Palestine in the late 1800’s, bringing Luther’s filthy ideas with them, which gave birth to the Nazi philosophy in the Middle East, which is still alive and kicking. Although it can be argued that the Muslim mandate, which states that all Jews must die, was established in Palestine long before the Nazis arrived-but even if this were true, Templar Nazism fanned the flames.

    While Catholics martyred the Jews in an attempt to convert them; Lutherans persecuted and murdered Jews for the sheer fun of it. Through-out the 1580s, many riots broke out based on the assertions in Luther’s books, and the Jews were exiled from several German Lutheran states. The remaining Jews endured many persecutions, and did not achieve citizenship in Germany until the 19th Century ( ).

    In the 1980s, the Lutheran Church began repudiating Martin Luther’s statements against the Jews; a little too little, a little too late; the irremediable damage had already been done. It can also be argued that the Ku Klux Klan is the legacy of the Lutheran ideology. Ideas live-on, long after the ideologist is buried.”

  443. RiBo says:

    Yup, lots and lots of “good fruit” throughout church history. So much for being “transformed”

  444. Instead of the race card, RB throws the either genocide or Nazi card. But, he actually worked the KKK in there also, so actually he did work the race card in there.
    He has no shame and thinks, like many modern people, that just saying these things wins the arguments or points for him.

    And all this has relevance to 300-400 A.D how?

  445. RiBo says:

    Derek, it’s historical fact. I know it doesn’t fit your pollyanna’ish narrative about Christianity*, but that doesn’t remove the facts of the historical record.

    Church history is like sausage. It isn’t the pristine holy dream you and others want to make of it.

    I just accept the facts as what they are and see it as more justification that we really don’t know much about God and man is not a good filter for “God’s word!”. We are no more or less transformed than any other human Group. We tick exactly the same.

    The Faith is “mystery”…when push comes to shove.

    We have no miracles. We have no “transformation”. We have no “correct doctrine!” etc.

    But, God is still there in some form, likely.

    If you are a true seeker of truth, you shouldn’t be offended when confronted with facts, you should embrace them as opportunities to acknowledge that an apologetic is not akin to “God” and it should require more “faith” of you than you being scared and having to offer an explanation and an intellectually dishonest defense.

  446. I reiterate…And all this has relevance to 300-400 A.D how?

  447. ” Can you be saved without being baptized and without taking the sacraments, without believing they are the literal flesh and blood of Jesus? You and yours have stated that you cannot.”

    Of course you can -just hearing God’s word is a physical means of grace.

    You are regressing – pretty soon you will be no better than a monkey with one brain cell. 🙂

    The 🙂 is to show that no insult was being made … to one brain cell monkies.

  448. RiBo says:

    Derek, the discussion took several rabbit trails, of which several others are also responsible. It always happens. We rarely have a thread that stays entirely on topic. At least this is still under the umbrella of “church history”

  449. Let us see…300-400 AD….
    Mormons. Nope
    Martin Luther. Nope
    Nazis. Nope
    KKK. Nope

  450. RiBo says:

    “Of course you can -just hearing God’s word is a physical means of grace.”

    Can you be saved w/o hearing God’s word then?

  451. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    When considering the veracity of historical facts, we must be willing to hear from those outside the party, for in this we may be more objective, less bias and better able to use reason in coming to a conclusion. That is, if we are honest in our examination and not given to assumptions based on our loyalty to one or the other.

  452. “MLD, how do you know you are officially saved? I assume you say it’s through “faith”…yet even the demons believe.”

    Actually my knowledge of my salvation is not by faith at all – it is planted firmly on the real promises of Jesus Christ.

    Faith in MY faith would be inadequate and stupid.

  453. RiBo says:

    MLD, then how are you saved?

    You stated it’s not baptism, it’s not the sacraments…that it’s hearing the “word of God” and what? I’m assuming hearing a particular “correct” version that you would agree is orthodox and then what? Agreeing with it? Believing it? How do you quantify “belief”?

    If you don’t hear the correct gospel message, you cannot be saved, correct?

  454. RB @ 448
    So why do you believe the writer of that article on face value (as I am sure that you know nothing about the writer) but you keep hammering the scriptures as junk novels?

    You are the typical guy who believes anything on the internet as long as you can use cut and paste.

  455. Let us see…you made all the rabbit trails and tried to bring back a discussion thread that was from another thread.

    Everyone sees this RB.
    You do this ALL the time.
    Do you think you are being clever?

    We aren’t as stupid as you think we all are.

    MLD just decided to go down the rabbit hole with you, as he usually does.
    It is never profitable, so I don’t see why he does it.

    Night all.

  456. “MLD, then how are you saved?:

    Now we are getting somewhere – I love it when a hardened atheist comes to me to ask how he can be saved.

  457. RiBo says:

    This is when we quickly arrive at “mystery”

    I would then state: “well what about the vast majority of humans that never heard a gospel message, let alone your correct version?”

    To which you next appeal to “general revelation” and that they have no excuse.

    Then I’d state, “Well, then they can be saved apart from the gospel?”

    Then you’d state some sort of mystical theory about “jesus dreams” or some such nonsense or you’d say you don’t know, but God is good and folks aren’t born with no opportunity to be saved…even though, in fact, according to your belief system…the vast majority of humans in history never heard a gospel message…and according to your apologetic, they necessarily cannot be saved….but then you waffle, b/c that makes God a monster who creates to torture in hell forever.

  458. RiBo says:

    Derek, others interjected other issue too, but to call them rabbit trails is extreme, it’s all connected. All these discussions have the “christian* faith” as their underpinning.

  459. “You stated it’s not baptism, it’s not the sacraments…”

    Not exactly – people are saved through baptism and through the sacraments – but not having them does not exclude other means of grace.

  460. RiBo says:

    OK, again, can you be saved if you don’t hear the gospel?

  461. “Then I’d state, “Well, then they can be saved apart from the gospel?”

    No one and I mean no one here has ever said that someone is saved by “generl revelation” – In fact as is the case with all of your statements, you always get it completely backwards – in this case people are condemned by general revelation … they are without excuse because nature shows them the existence of a creator God and they reject it.

    You are regressing – the monkey has taken the lead.

  462. RiBo says:

    Is there such a thing as a “means of grace” where you don’t have to do anything?

    Right now, you propose things that humans “must do” to be saved, receiving is an action, a “work”.

  463. Receiving is not an action – I receive a sunburn by doing nothing – I can only do things to prevent a sunburn.

  464. RiBo says:

    No, that assumes you are under the sun.

    Not hearing the gospel is akin to never seeing the sun. You can’t get a sunburn if you are kept in the dark.

  465. “Then you’d state some sort of mystical theory about “jesus dreams” or some such nonsense or you’d say you don’t know, but God is good and folks aren’t born with no opportunity to be saved…even though, in fact, according to your belief system…the vast majority of humans in history never heard a gospel message…”

    I think that only you and G have made this claim that God saves all people. It must be interesting to be in your head – you don’t even know when you switch over and start arguing against your own points. LOL 🙂

  466. RiBo says:

    Receiving is an action.

    Many hear the gospel, but you would assert that only those that stand under the sun and put their umbrella away get the sunburn.

  467. RiBo says:

    MLD, no, rather, unlike you, I let the facts and little bits of truth we can find dictate my position, I don’t let my position dictate the facts and truth.

  468. Staying in the dark is the result of not wanting to be under the sun. Man was created with no clothes and no shelters – just under the sun. We have speant all this time divising ways to get out of the sun.

    Look Jesus even says that you guys run from the light because you prefer the darkness. That y friend should be your life verse.

  469. RiBo says:

    OK, so you agree that those who don’t hear the gospel can’t and aren’t saved.

    That is the majority of humanity. Most never even heard.

    You seem to say they are going to hell….with no real choice in the matter, correct?

  470. RiBo says:

    I love the light, it’s just that what you present as “light” cannot be such, as it is often contradictory and dishonest. If that is “light” then we’ve redefined the assumed “good” of light.

  471. Jesus said the road was narrow and only a few would be on it. Jesus said the gate was narrow and only a few would pass through it.

    Now he did say that the wide path and the wide gate (the one you and G think will take everyone to heaven) are actually the path and gate that lead to destruction.

    It sounds to me like your beef is with Jesus – take it up with him, tell him that he is a jackass and that you will never follow someone who would say such a thing. Oh, you already have.

  472. RiBo says:

    Here is one big misunderstanding IMO in Christianland.

    The “bible” says the devil is the father of lies and that “thy word is truth” (meaning god’s word is truth).

    Well, “truth” is what is from God, not words on a page that get interpreted in a zillion ways.

    Truth, in whatever form, is from God. 1+1=2, Gravity, loving your neighbor is “good” etc. Truth.

    You would ask that we cling to lies and untruths even after they’ve been proven to be false. If the devil is “the father of lies”…then that falsehood is from the devil…even when you appeal to the bible that makes literal statements that are verifiably false and proven so today.

  473. RiBo says:

    MLD, you’re dodging the obvious which is typical dishonest christian* behavior.

    You in essence agree that most of humanity has never heard the gospel and has no choice and no chance at salvation (when pressed) yet you can’t admit it, not all the way. Why is that? Why are you afraid to admit what is true (as stated by your belief system)?

  474. Your 480 is just the opposite – I have dodged nothing – my 478 says just that – most people will go to hell … even without hearing the gospel.

    So why would you say I can’t admit it … I wrote it.

  475. RiBo says:

    The reason that (when it comes to the fore after being pressed) Christians* are ashamed to admit their belief system asserts that no one can be saved apart from hearing the gospel…is that most of humanity, even many millions today, have never heard it…and they have zero change and zero choice to be saved.

    As such, all are really Double Predestinarians in essence (something I asserted long ago) and there really is not much difference in essence between Calvinist and Arminian b/c both Camps really assert that God picks a slim minority of winners and a vast majority of losers, simply by the fact that most don’t ever get the chance to hear let alone respond.

  476. RiBo says:

    I don’t believe in a God who creates and destroys and then tortures the vast majority of his created sentient humans in hell forever b/c he didn’t even send them the gospel message, let alone a “correct” gospel message depending on what flavor of Christian* approached the few who hear it.

    You believe in such a “god” and it is very likely a false god, though I think the real God will extend you grace and mercy anyway and will extend real “means of grace” that requires nothing of you.

  477. Even though you blow over that I have now said 4 times most will go to hell and you keep saying Christian won’t say … But what about the claim I put up that it was Jesus that made the claim that most will go to hell? You ignored that because you are afraid to blame Jesus

    “both Camps really assert that God picks a slim minority of winners and a vast majority of losers, simply by the fact that most don’t ever get the chance to hear let alone respond.”

    Even if what you say is true, and neither of the positions listed is mine – what does it matter to you. Make your own creation and do what you want with it – God did.

  478. RiBo says:

    My “faith” is in a truly good and truly loving God. Your faith seems to be in a God who would create to torture for eternity the vast majority of humanity giving them no gospel to hear and no real choice in the matter.

    That’s what it boils down to after applying some much needed critical thinking to your convoluted belief system.

    At least the hardcore calvinists are more honest, they’ll tell you straight up that that is the case and not hide it behind layers and layers of b.s. apologetic that seeks to say “look over there!” to hide the real truth about your belief system.

  479. RiBo says:

    MLD you appeal to a parable and metaphor as your prooftext for that one.

    OK, the Good Samaritan is a metaphor and parable as well and says that you can be saved simply by good works and a good heart and not through correct religious position/doctrine.

  480. RiBo says:

    There is a scriptural yin for everyone of your yangs.

  481. RB, I do not deny that you believe in a different God than the God revealed in the Bible – you have made that very clear. That is why I call you an unbeliever – not because you can pick and choose any old God, but because as you say you do not believe in the God revealed in the Bible … he is too mean for you, so like many others you have made a god in your own image

    Ah, now I have a go that runs the universe just the way I would.

  482. RiBo says:

    “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”–Jesus

    The standard is showing mercy, not the gospel in this particular narrative….even a Samaritan.

  483. RiBo says:

    I wrote a piece called “50 shades of saved” b/c there are so many narratives that express a varying metric of what you have to do to be saved.

  484. “OK, the Good Samaritan is a metaphor and parable as well and says that you can be saved simply by good works and a good heart and not through correct religious position/doctrine.”

    OK, I am declaring the one brain celled monkey the victor here – you are down to zero brain cells with that comment.

    This is not a salvation verse or parable. This is how saved people should act.

    I gotta run and watch the tube with the wife.

    Good luck on your journey.

  485. RiBo says:

    Sticks and stones as they say.

    MLD, I believe in God, I don’t believe in your Lutheran god and your Sect. Your leader’s biggest piece of “fruit” is connected directly to the most evil act in human history, the holocaust. There is no way to remain intellectually honest and deny that fact of history.

    I don’t believe the “holy spirit” could work in such a dark man as a Luther writing those words that were used by the Nazis to justify their evil…and if he could then it just more proves the thesis that there is no such thing as a “transformation gospel” and would support an argument that all good and evil comes from God and in the end his son redeems it all anyway.

  486. RiBo says:

    Seems the Nazis were MLD’s or Martin Luther’s Disciples as well:

    “In Mein Kampf, Hitler listed Martin Luther as one of the greatest reformers. And similar to Luther in the 1500s, Hitler spoke against the Jews. The Nazi plan to create a German Reich Church laid its bases on the “Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther.” The first physical violence against the Jews came on November 9-10 on Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) where the Nazis killed Jews, shattered glass windows, and destroyed hundreds of synagogues, just as Luther had proposed. In Daniel Johah Goldhagen’s book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, he writes:

    “One leading Protestant churchman, Bishop Martin Sasse published a compendium of Martin Luther’s antisemitic vitriol shortly after Kristallnacht’s orgy of anti-Jewish violence. In the foreword to the volume, he applauded the burning of the synagogues and the coincidence of the day: ‘On November 10, 1938, on Luther’s birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.’ The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words ‘of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.'”

    No apologist can claim that Martin Luther bore his anti-Jewishness out of youthful naivete’, uneducation, or out of unfounded Christianity. On the contrary, Luther in his youth expressed a great optimism about Jewish conversion to Christianity. But in his later years, Luther began to realize that the Jews would not convert to his wishes. His anti-Jewishness grew slowly over time. His logic came not from science or reason, but rather from Scripture and his Faith. His “On the Jews and Their Lies” shows remarkable study into the Bible and fanatical biblical reasoning. Luther, at age 60 wrote this dangerous “little” book at the prime of his maturity, and in full knowledge in support of his beliefs and Christianity.

    Few people today realize that Luther wrote ‘On the Jews and Their Lies.’ (He also wrote such works like “Against the Sabbatarians.”) Freethinkers should become aware of the anti-Semitic influence that Luther has brought on the world. His vehement attack on Jews and his powerful influence on the German faithful has brought a new hypothesis to mind: that the Jewish holocaust, and indeed, the eliminationist form of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany may not have occurred without the influence from Luther’s book “On the Jews and Their Lies.”

    Walter Buch, the head of the Nazi Party court, admitted Luther’s influence on Nazi Germany:

    When Luther turned his attention to the Jews, after he completed his translation of the Bible, he left behind “on the Jews and their Lies” for posterity.
    -cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]

    Many people confess their amazement that Hitler preaches ideas which they have always held…. From the Middle Ages we can look to the same example in Martin Luther. What stirred in the soul and spirit of the German people of that time, finally found expression in his person, in his words and deeds.
    -“Geist und Kampf” (speech), Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf, [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]
    Hans Hinkel, a Nazi who worked in Goebbels’ Reich Chamber of Culture said:

    Through his acts and his spiritual attitude he began the fight which we still wage today; with Luther the revolution of German blood and feeling against alien elements of the Volk was begun.
    -cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich

    Erich Koch, the Reich Commissioner for Ukraine and President of the East Prussian Protestant Church Synod wrote:

    Only we can enter into Luther’s spirit…. Human cults do not set us free from all sin, but faith alone. With us the church shall become a serving member of the state…. There is a deep sense that our celebration is not attended by superficiality, but rather by thanks to a man who saved German cultural values.
    -Konigsberg-Hartungsche Zeitung, 20 Nov. 1933, [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]

    Bernhard Rust served as Minister of Education in Nazi Germany. He wrote:

    Since Martin Luther closed his eyes, no such son of our people has appeared again. It has been decided that we shall be the first to witness his reappearance…. I think the time is past when one may not say the names of Hitler and Luther in the same breath. They belong together; they are of the same old stamp [Schrot und Korn].
    -Volkischer Beobachter, 25 Aug. 1933, [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]

    Hans Schemm became Bavarian Minister of Education and Culture. Throughout the Reich, Germans particularly knew Schemm for his slogan, “Our religion is Christ, our politics Fatherland!” He writes:

    His engagement against the decomposing Jewish spirit is clearly evident not only from his writing against the Jews; his life too was idealistically, philosophically antisemitic. Now we Germans of today have the duty to recognize and acknowledge this.
    -“Luther und das Deutschtum,” Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf (19 Nov. 1933: Berlin), [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]

    Our confession to God is a confession of a doctrine of totality…. To give ultimate significance to the totalities of race, resistance and personality there is added the supreme totalitarian slogan of our Volk: “Religion and God.” God is the greatest totality and extends over all else.
    -(Gertrud Kahl-Furthmann (ed.), Hans Schemm spricht: Seine Reden und sein Werk (Bayreuth, 1935), [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]
    Julius Streicher (one of Hitler’s top henchmen and publisher of the anti-Semitic Der Sturmer) was asked during the Nuremberg trials if there were any other publications in Germany which treated the Jewish question in an anti-Semitic way., Streicher put it well:

    “Dr. Martin Luther would very probably sit in my place in the defendants’ dock today, if this book had been taken into consideration by the Prosecution. In the book ‘The Jews and Their Lies,’ Dr. Martin Luther writes that the Jews are a serpent’s brood and one should burn down their synagogues and destroy them…”

  487. RiBo says:

    Personally, I’d change my moniker, but it’s telling that you know all this about Luther and claim his name.

  488. Al says:

    Ribo, Some consider you to be a dark person, does the Holy Spirit work through you?

  489. Steve Wright says: . Ribo? Really?

  490. RiBo says:

    Al, I don’t advocate genocide of the Jews or Amalekites. The only thing running through me is common sense and critical thinking. It’s the overly religious zealots that are truly dangerous (as exampled throughout history).

  491. RiBo says:

    Steve, that site has the direct quotes of the Nazis appealing directly to Luther. I have read the historical sources but for time purposes quoted and copied and pasted from that site. Why do you strain the gnat and swallow the camel?

    Do you think Luther’s writings are good or bad fruit? Do you deny that Luther was very instrumental in the rationale for the holocaust?

  492. RiBo says:

    I’ve quoted Chuck Smith’s works before and I find that more offensive to quote than nobeliefs.

  493. Bob says:

    The Good Samaritan isn’t a parable about salvation at all. It answers the question of who’s your neighbor?

    Why does this seem so complicated to some?

    Oh and wow was that an entertaining exchange between the two.
    Too bad this thread is about 4th and 5th centuries church history. It would be great if more were interesting I that.

  494. RB,
    Boy, I declare the monkey the winner and you go total Nazi.

    But let me ask again – why do you believe the nazi passage? What evidence do you have that it is true and it’s not just a bunch of you Idaho white supremacist, gun freaks talking.

    I can find internet stuff that says CC and Bob Grenier are pure as the winter’s white driven snow.

    But you have proven me a prophet in my #428 when I said “But I will only get this one shot – when RB runs out of his pre packaged off the atheist blog answers – he reverts 100% of the time to “GOD IS A MEANIE AND KILLED ALL THE CHILDREN” soon followed by the “LUTHER SINGLE HANDILY KILLED ALL THE JEWS IN WW2.”

  495. Bob says:

    One of the things PP has done for me was reading Xenia’s EO inputs. While I will never will become an EO her points have caused me to spend more time understanding their doctrines and traditions. It’s been very beneficial, thank you!

  496. In his last 5 posts RB has;
    1.) admitted to just copying and pasting from atheist blogs
    2.) denying god because of the genocide of the Jews or Amalekites
    3.) again blamed Luther for killing all the Jews in WW2

    Over the past 50 posts since my #428 RB has done exactly what I predicted 4 times with all 3.

    RB is an interesting study

  497. RiBo says:

    You can try and spin and distract from the facts of history by appealing to a copy and paste out of convenience (already having studied and know the facts regarding the quotes b/c I’ve not only read Mein Kampf but have studied German history)…but the inconvenient truth is that your Luther was a bad man who inspired the worst evil in human history.

    Nothing you attempt to do rhetorically changes that fact.

    I don’t know how you resolve it in your conscience, but I don’t think you should admire him so much, or at least be honest and present the whole Luther. There’s a lot of other stuff he wrote that is quite dark and bad as well. I can quote it for you if you’d like.

  498. RiBo says:

    For instance, Luther called for the killing of the German peasants during their rebellion…and 100,000 were killed.

    Luther wrote other works against the Jews and was considered one of the leading anti-semites in history by most scholars (who are academics and look at the facts vs. religious folks who pick and choose the church history, which is normal human behavior, but not honest).

    Why don’t you address the real issues? How do you resolve this about Luther and the Lutheran church’s history? It’s a part of the historical record. Why do you deny it and run from it? Were you not aware it was this bad? Do you simply dismiss it b/c you agree with it?

  499. Steve Wright says:

    One of the things PP has done for me was reading Xenia’s EO inputs. While I will never will become an EO her points have caused me to spend more time understanding their doctrines and traditions. It’s been very beneficial, thank you!
    Amen, Bob. Xenia is a treasure…on and off-blog.

  500. RiBo says:

    Personally, the more I read of church history…good, bad and ugly, the more I become aware of how mankind has always exhibited both good and very evil, no matter the religion they claim. It’s just the facts of history and is no different today. Look how the “church” responds to child abuse etc. Guys like Steve Wright spend more time defending their Brand than lifting a finger of responsibility in addressing problems in their Tribe.

    Typical human behavior no matter the time period in man’s history.

    It just is what it is.

    At least be honest about it and don’t be revisionist when it comes to church history. The church and some of the leaders have done good, they’ve also done a lot of bad. It’s a mixed bag as with all of humanity.

  501. Al says:


    You did not answer my question.

    Ribo, Some consider you to be a dark person. Does the Holy Spirit work through you?

  502. Talk about not addressing the issues – the issue up the thread was why Jesus said only a few were going to heaven and you think he is wrong. Jesus spoke about the narrow path and narrow gate and you won’t explain.

    It was your topic, your question – I answered and your response was Luther killed the Jews.

    When you stay on topic, perhaps you will gain acceptance.

  503. RiBo says: <