Impossible, But True: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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24 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    Great teaching!

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks…

  3. Michael says:


    Isn’t there tradition that says that the rich, young, ruler grew up to become Joseph of Arimathea?

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    I’ve heard that, but never traced it back to any sort of a text. There might be some reference in one of the Gnostic gospels… I’ll see what I can find!

  5. JoelG says:

    Does the rich, young ruler have any indication that this Good Teacher IS God Himself? If he did, would his reaction be different? Would he ask for mercy and beg forgiveness rather than sadness at falling short of the Law?

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    #5 Joel

    I doubt if he knew… most didn’t! If he had, I would guess his reaction would have been very different. Of course, even the disciples had a steep learning curve…

  7. JoelG says:

    Thanks Duane. I find it interesting to contrast this story with of the faith of the centurian, who probably didn’t give two hoots about the Law and yet:

    “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

    I, too, hope the young ruler discovered Who he was talking to and repented.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    #7 Joel

    As I said, ” four footed and humped like the rest of us, squeezing through the needle’s eye.”

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Four footed? Reincarnation?? 🙂

    I don’t think the Bible says anything about the elect squeezing through the needle’s eye.

  10. Duane Arnold says:


    Well, I imagine the martyrs under the altar did not think it an easy passage…

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, I am sure you are 100% correct about the difficulty of being a martyr – however this Jesus passage does not apply – but I am more interested in the 4 feet of this guy.

  12. Duane Arnold says:


    I remember a Baptist preacher on this text. He said it was possible for a camel to go through the eye of the needle… but it was a long bloody strand of thread on the other side…

  13. John 20:29 says:

    I seem to remember someone teaching that there was a narrow gate called “needle’s eye”…. Course we like to say, i strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel… ? …

    hmmm this might just be one of MLD’s figures of speech by which he explains away most of the Bible’s mysteries ?

  14. JoelG says:

    I’m going to guess MLD would say this passage is about Jesus showing RYR his need for a Savior rather than a missed opportunity.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My point is this – the passage may mean a variety of things, however, the one thing it does not mean is that Christians get down on all fours to squeeze into heaven.

    The passage is telling the RYR that as impossible as it seems for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, it is more difficult for a rich man to enter.

    Jesus did the heavy lifting – the effort is not mine but his.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    That’s the same thing Duane said:


    If so, it might be true.”

    There’s not even disagreement here. You just didn’t get his metaphor.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, my objection was based on a comment @ 8 that would lead you to believe that all believers are hunched as we struggle to squeeze through the needle to heaven.

    I can see the highway to hell and the stairway to heaven, but I don’t see that needle challenge for the Christian.

  18. Captain Kevin says:

    Rich teaching, Duane. (No pun intended, really.)

  19. Duane Arnold says:

    #16 Josh

    Many thanks… you get it. I don’t always have the absolute certainty of others…

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Ok, I will bow out. I do not hold to the theology that Christians must squeeze through the eye of the needle, (sounds like a works theology to me) but that’s OK because if I have learned one thing here the past several months is that we are all confused and no one can know the truth. We are much like the blind guys touching the elephant.

    I was more interested in the RYR having 4 feet.

  21. The New Victor says:

    We were reading Acts on Sunday, about how people in the early church were selling their homes and laying the proceeds at the feet of the disciples. I’ve done well beyond any measure considering where I came from, especially as opposed to my mother who lost everything being a poor steward (mostly due to mental illnesses). Anywhere else besides the bay area or NYC I’d be doing very well, but here, just ok. I thank God, maybe not enough, “but for his grace go I.” Maybe not but, but because. I also have my lambs to take care of. I’d be worse than an unbeliever not to take care of them.

    If I didn’t have kids, I’d be inclined to help someone out. I would have room, but the safety of my kids comes first. I saw my mother get into trouble so many times by rescuing people, and even in danger a few times, moving people into her home. Part of it may have been codependency, but I think some of it was Christian charity. I first realized this when I was 8.

    What is the core message of Jesus here?

  22. JoelG says:

    New Victor,

    In my opinion, the message of Jesus here is to be perfect like our Heaven Father. He exposed the weakness of the RYR. We each have our own unique weaknesses I think the Holy Spirit convicts us of those and causes us to cry out to Jesus “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Everything that follows is through through and by Him. We are saved and sanctified by grace through faith in Jesus alone.

    That’s what I’m hearing in this passage.

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    #22 JoelG

    Agreed, we can do all the right things… but we all still stand in need of grace.

  24. JoelG says:

    BTW Duane your #8 is clear as a bell, with all due respect to MLD. I agree with Josh at #16.

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