More on the Tom Randall scandal…
The rise and fall of the religious left…
What your church does that your phone can’t…
Church covenants as legal contracts…
Calvinist, Christian nationalism goes into the cruise business…
When Christians don’t get a second chance…
Church of England to recognize transgender marriages…
Unlikely story of a church partnership…
The growing danger of guilt by association…
If your friends are all Christians, you’re missing the point of following Jesus…
Fight over online ordinations…
Get your autographed sermon notes from Mark Driscoll…
Can Christian compassion influence the way we treat migrants?…
Worried about the end of the world?…
Why the biblical story can never be a rerun…
Literary approaches to the bible…
Whatever happened to communion and baptism?
Huge thanks to EricL for the link help…support him at top right…
and someone has predictably repudiated Calvinism. More on this later.
Haven’t read them all…. but my first read and favorite so far is the one about Naomi. I have felt for many years that that Book of Ruth, should indeed be called The Book of Naomi. I have ‘defended her (and Martha, and Job’s wife) for years. Those gals have ‘taken it in the shorts’ for a LONG time.
I love the author’s calling Naomi the female Job.
Indeed. Life is hard. Life is strange. Most people I know would say that their lives are NOTHING like they ever imagined. Mine too. Yet, God is for us, and we are with Him.. The book of Job is in the middle of the Bible for a reason.
I tend to be a black and white person and the church(s) I attended years ago fed that. So I separated from all of my non Christian friends and got rid of all of my secular music.
Puts me in a tough place now when my children and other family members aren’t in Christ.
So much for me to consider. Great article!
One way to get to know non-Christians is to volunteer for local charities which are mostly populated by people I would classify as Unitarian in outlook. These people, if they do believe in God at all, are sure they are going to heaven even if the last time they went to a real church was when they were ten. Two things they did absorb from Christianity is that God loves us and we must love our neighbor. To them, this means we are not obligated to obey God and even the Hindu will go to heaven and loving our neighbor means affirming their sexual perversions.
They do not believe in hell, or that the only way to God is through Christ. If you want to talk about a group of people who think their good works will save them, this is the bunch. They all believe they are good people. And as far as that goes, they are pretty good people. As good as people can be without Christ. They recycle, take reusable bags to the grocery store and adopt rescue dogs. (They probably also contribute to Planned Parenthood.)
So folks who volunteer around town are probably the nicest bunch of unbelievers you’ll ever meet. In some ways, they are the most difficult. Since they *appear* to be sinless and full of good works, they are often quite smug- in the most polite way imaginable, of course. They do not think they need a Savior. They are offended if you suggest they do. They affirm abortion and homosexuality because they think they are practicing Christian tolerance.
Another group of unbelievers are more challenging at first glance. These are the down-and-outers. They know they are sinners and they suspect they need a Savior. In many ways, they are a preferable bunch to hang out with. But they need things…. things I am not always willing to provide. They are far and away more interesting than the smug group.
When I spend time around unbelievers I despair of ever helping them to see the Light. They think I am talking about elves and fairies. It’s all make-believe, in their eyes.
God help us.
When I lived in Minneapolis, I took an improvisation class at a local comedy club. That was a good way to get to know other people who lived and believed different than me. Besides, it was a blast!
I keep trying to meet unbelievers among the younger musicians I work with… slight problem is that they all played in praise bands during their teenage years!
Church covenants ARE legal contracts…even if you can’t prove it, proceed as if it is.
IMO, if you’re asked to sign a legal document to be a member of a church and you feel God is giving you the choice as to sign and stay or ditch and run…take the latter (if you feel God wants you to go to that church, then sign the thing…but it wouldn’t hurt to have a lawyer look at it).
Re: A World Without Mothers. I don’t often use the “c” word, but that person is crazy. Typical, “destroy the family” Marxist thought.
The yawning history of so-called “unassisted” bio-kin provides the statistics, poems, songs, pamphlets, and novels detailing the discomfort, coercion, molestation, abuse, humiliation, depression, battery, murder, mutilation, loneliness, blackmail, exhaustion, psychosis, gender-straitjacketing, racial programming, and embourgeoisement. The private family is the headquarters of all of these.
At least I learned a new word, “embourgeoisement.”
Or you could just volunteer to help out at a local charity because it helps your community.
Hopefully, people who volunteer aren’t going around labeling and judging each other but are focused on helping their neighbors.
I know of a number of mergers of churches of different denominations in my city, some which are still dual-affiliated (and some which were planted with dual affiliation). Not quite like the story here though.
Ya gotta love the grit of Nadia. She aligns with every perversion on earth, claims them as God’s will and blames the church for being hurtful for preaching God’s word.
Joel Osteen promises that this is your best life now – bad enough, but Nadia preaches you best life between your legs right now.
Some will disagree, but she is the devil ?
Another view of biblical authorship…
At the end of the Peter Enns article, he presents these questions:
“The question we need to be asking, however, is as it has always been for Christians: does reading the Bible faithfully mean continuing that ‘transformative’ trajectory, or shutting it down? Does the biblical “canon” function as a closed book of rules or as a model for a necessarily continuing theological process?”
He spends a lot of time in historical criticism, speculating about authorship, editing or redaction, and dates, but it’s entirely his speculation and proves nothing. We have the text in front of us, and traditionally, Christians have confessed, consistent with the inner-biblical witness, that the text is God-breathed.
Look at how Matthew and Hebrews, just to name a couple of examples because of the vast number of OT quotations, treats the text. They treat it as the words of God.
Enns apparently sees the cannon as a “closed book of rules.” That’s surprisingly ignorant for a scholar. One can only imagine what he might mean by a “continuing theological process.”
“One can only imagine what he might mean by a “continuing theological process.””
Probably meant “a continuing theological process”…like the Reformation…
Well, and this isn’t to argue, but maybe to begin a conversation, what does Enns think needs reforming?
For example, if someone like me is not interested speculating about how our final version of Isaiah got to us, and I just take it at face value as Isaiah, what would I be missing that could benefit from reformation?
Does he want to introduce doubt into our reading of Scripture? Does he want to say the Scripture meant one thing several thousand years ago, but for us we need to find a different meaning? I don’t know his agenda and wish he would have been more clear about what it is.
Enns has written many books and has a substantial online presence as well.
I don’t think he has an agenda as much as a viewpoint on Scriptural issues.
I just find it odd that folks who think that better understanding of the Bible happened in the 1500’s think it stopped there…
My point was that the Reformation was part of a continuing theological process and development of doctrine.
Why would you think that those processes stopped with Luther?
i doubt that it would make a difference to you at all.
You’ve found where you’re comfortable and a faith that suits you.
Some of the rest of us are still in progress…
“I just find it odd that folks who think that better understanding of the Bible happened in the 1500’s think it stopped there…”
That’s not the traditional Lutheran point of view. There are many Reformation traditions who I assume wold acknowledge the continuing contributions to exegesis from the discovery of additional Greek Codexes, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other ancient texts and artifacts.
What they would object to are attempts to call into question the divine inspiration of the Bible. And there are two very good reasons for that. The God of the OT and NT is God who **speaks. He is a God who creates and redeems by His performative speech. Christianity hinges on faith in that divine speech. Divine speech creates faith.
If one sows doubt in the veracity of Bible, he cuts off (or retards or hinders) others from hearing God and the work of the Holy Spirit for them.
Jesus said He is truth. John said the word became flesh and dwelt among us. It seems pretty clear, at least to me, that God desires to reveal the truth to us and has given us that truth through human authors He has inspired. The reformers defended that, and I see no reason to “progress” from there.
I view the Scriptures much differently than you do and I still here Him speak inside and outside the pages of Scripture.
I rejoice that you’ve found your place in the kingdom…I also rejoice that there is more than one place in that kingdom…
The Lutheran reformation was so much different from Calvin’s reformation or that of the Anabaptists they are not even comparable.
The Lutheran reformation was not one of “continuing a conversation” or better yet “have you guys ever considered this point.” It was a flat out the Roman Church and it’s papist leader are wrong in these several areas – end of conversation.
Perhaps Calvin and the Anabaptists were just trying to open talks.
That is an excellent Lutheran spin on church history.
We all think more highly of ourselves than we aught…
It’s just his version of the documentary hypothesis (JEDP) warmed over and expanded.
So when can we expect to see wiki type additions to the book of Romans?
“So when can we expect to see wiki type additions to the book of Romans?”
It already has. Look at the critical apparatus of a current Nestle Aland Greek New Testament…
Duane, so in the context of the conversation, you are actually supporting the notion that some passages in Romans were not written by Paul but added by an anonymous writer / editor at a later date? Similar to the 2 Isaiah’s?
That is the context of the Enns article – not scribble errors we know about.
“…so in the context of the conversation, you are actually supporting the notion that some passages in Romans were not written by Paul but added by an anonymous writer / editor at a later date?”
No, that, as usual would be a lie.
I was simply pointing out that there have been additional textual material, variants, etc., added since the 16th century. As a Lutheran this should be of considerable interest to you, seeing as how Luther added “alone” to Romans 3:28 when it did not exist in the Greek text. Maybe the discovery of a new manuscript will reveal that the adverb was there all along…
But Luther’s addition is recognized within his own translation ‘alone’ – and no one is producing a manuscript to support it’s addition to the original.
Perhaps you don’t understand the documentary hypothesis. The 4 writers of the Pentatuch and the 2 Isaiahs.
Still, I would be interested in you pointing out in a common bible a Romans passage not penned by Paul. I think you have swung and missed once more.
That is something that leaves me confused. Why do not more people see the Church as a developement of theology? Its as though we fell off the turnip truck one day, instead of seeing ourselves as the product of our Fathers+time.
1. Luther defended the fact (emphasis on “fact”) that “alone” was not in the Greek text and that he added it for idiomatic purposes in his German translation.
2. Fully conversant with JEPD and the two Isaiahs. Both have much to commend them…
I think it is because we all want a measure of certainty about our beliefs about God and assurance that we picked the right group of interpreters to follow.
It also has to do with an abysmal lack of knowledge of church history…
An additional question might be, “If the sending of the Holy Spirit was to lead us into all truth, has he been on a 2000 year vacation, only checking in once in the 16th century?”
Michael, you have dropped comments that suggest you view the South Florida Evangelical culture as having some un-savory elements.
As the Jeffery Epstein case.as unfolded the last couple years, I’ve wondered about that area.
This Epstein network looks to be a really big net holding a whole lot of fish. Do you have any thoughts about this?
Logically, Epstein should have traveled in seperate social circles then Evangelical Leaders. But, it makes me wonder if there were Evangelicals that wandered over into his network.
Duane, scholars have pinpointed where the new authors added to the text in both the Pentatuch and Isaiah.
What are the passages in question written by subsequent authors in Romans?
I’ll suggest none and limit any to scrible errors.
But hey, if the 2 Paul’s float your boat, go for it.
I wouldn’t have any information on that.
I suppose anything is possible…
I should say if the multiple authors is valid, they have pinpointed where.
Duane has said nothing about two Paul’s, so your insistence on inferring that he has is nothing more than trolling.
He noted that as our insight into the text grows, we are constantly noting that in our primary texts.
I would also point out that interpretations of Paul in Romans continue to change and progress…
Duanne. (This is totally a different tangent, but before I forget..
I’m decended from low church, but lately I’ve heard a few Anglican’s on video. I kinda like listening to assorted”higher” churchmen. You guys sound more adult….
And thanks for the remarks of you mother. It was nice)
I would say ..no the Holy Spirit has not been absent except for the Reformation. I think sometimes the process of consideration is more important then arriving at the right answers on the first attempt. I think we are a work in progress.
I’m not saying that there were subsequent authors with reference to Romans, but there is a strong 14 chapter ms. tradition, a 15 chapter ms. tradition and the 16 chapter ms. tradition (which I believe to be correct). Moreover we have almost half a dozen different subscripts stating different things about its writing and sending. It’s scholarship, current and historical, that helps us make sense of the letter and, hopefully, arrive at a reliable text… All things were not settled in the 16th century.
I agree… and “thank you”…
Duane – but none of that relates to the Enns article or to my previous conversation.
Enns specifically suggests that other authors, years after the fact had gone into the text and wiki style made substantial additions (not changes).
My question was when can we expect to see these wiki style additions made to Romans – you pointed out that such additions have already been made. I don’t think this would pass muster.
All the frivolous 2nd & 3rd century “gospels’ were rejected solely on the basis that the authorship was questioned
The 6 or 7 books at the back of the NT were questioned about authorship – the antiphenomena.
Antilegomenia – I guess spell check isn’t theologically sound.
” I don’t think this would pass muster.”
In Romans, please tell me which subscript is correct and why? Which is original to the letter sent by Paul? Clearly, this was added later or, maybe, it was a contemporary addition. We simply don’t know apart from the weight of ms. evidence.
I have said that exegesis continues and even theology which is rooted in the canonical text continues. This is not even what Enns was writing about.
I have seen no one argue that any textual variant which is the subject of scholarly debate affects any of the cardinal doctrines of the church. I am not aware of a single doctrine of any magnitude which hinges on a variant.
Enns, it looks to me, is arguing that since he is not sure who wrote certain portions of the Bible, theologians today are free to innovate their theology on the basis that the text is uncertain. This is what I reject.
If the text is uncertain, then so is the liturgy of the church. Why should any contemporary worship evangelical put any stock whatsoever in any of the traditional liturgies, which typically are scripture based, if their veracity is up for grabs. Maybe our liturgy is heresy; how do we know? Maybe adherents to the Bible and traditional liturgies are no better off in their reverence and worship of God than the Hillsong. Why? Because no one has any proof as to what’s inspired and what’s not. It’s all a crap shoot.
“Enns, it looks to me, is arguing that since he is not sure who wrote certain portions of the Bible, theologians today are free to innovate their theology on the basis that the text is uncertain. This is what I reject.”
If you read Enn’s other work he simply states that the text has to be read as it was written and that we have to acknowledge the questions and contradictions in it if we’re to understand it properly.
It’s a fascinating studying and a very challenging one.
My old tribe kicked him to the curb long ago…I’m sure the Lutherans would as well.
“Enns, it looks to me, is arguing that since he is not sure who wrote certain portions of the Bible, theologians today are free to innovate their theology on the basis that the text is uncertain.”
I did not understand him to say this at all… In fact he concludes by saying, “The question we need to be asking, however, is as it has always been for Christians: does reading the Bible faithfully mean continuing that “transformative” trajectory, or shutting it down? Does the biblical “canon” function as a closed book of rules or as a model for a necessarily continuing theological process?”
We certainly move forward… doctrine develops… understanding increases. Until 70 years ago we did not even have the Dead Sea Scrolls, which have transformed our understanding of the culture and period (in addition to verifying the strong OT textual tradition. Archeology in the last 40 years has informed us of the actual practices of early Christian communities. The conversation has to continue, just as it did in the formation of the canon.
Michael, don’t flatter yourself – Lutherans don’t pay enough attention to Calvinists to kick them to the curb. 🙂
Michael and I are not on the phone ?!
That’s right…I am home reading an orthodox defense of universalism…which I only should take the blame for myself. 🙂
So, is Duane or Michael arguing that first century Christians were saved by a difference Gospel than the Gospel available to 21st century sinners?
“orthodox defense of universalism”
orthodox defense of universalism”
Since you’ve read the work and wrestled with the biblical arguments set forth, I’d be curious to hear your take on how he deals with hell also his take on Israel.
I’m sure you wouldn’t be rash enough to judge something you haven’t studied…I’ll wait…
I would suggest that people are saved by Jesus, not textual formulations.
We do use formulations…1 Cor 15 is sufficient and agreed upon by all Christians in all ages.
I commented solely on the comment at 1:58 pm
How would you know it’s a non sequitor if you haven’t read the work? Should I reject a biblical study solely on your uninformed word?
“Should I reject a biblical study solely on your uninformed word?”
Not at all. Just like I assume you wouldn’t want me to reject the creeds as markers of orthodoxy just because you have asserted that 1 Cor 15 is sufficient.
Is it Robin Parry? (I can’t remember his pen-name…)
It is sufficient as a statement of the Gospel…though the Gospel is much fuller even than that passage. This takes nothing from the creeds…
His pen name is Gregory MacDonald…and it’s a revised version of his first work. It’s really well done…
The normal tendency for anyone who has left the terrible, horrendous and harmful teachings of Calvinism, especially limited atonement and double predestination, is to run to, or at least delve into universalism.
I have seen it a 100 times.
Calvinism is every bit as biblical as Lutheranism, more so, in my opinion.
It does produce a similar number of utterly insufferable jerks as well.
I delve into lots of things…keeps me somewhat more humble than when I was a confessional ass.
As a postscript, the traditional view of eternal damnation has never made sense to me and I’ve always been open to challenging it.
So what are you saying – now you are an unconfessional ass? LOL 🙂
Your comment still does not show my comment (Calvinists longing for universalism) to be untrue – it’s part of an addictive personality Calvinists develop. You have spoken of it many times in the past when you ripped the young and restless a new one.
I certainly hope I have more humility in dealing with other tribes than before instead of believing that my confessions were the last word on truth.
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Jesus
I guess you could put the universalist quote here ________________________________ that disproves Jesus’ words (or perhaps those weren’t the words of Jesus and some author came along a few centuries after Matthew and added them.)
I see people from many different traditions challenging dogma.
You just like hating Calvinists.
It’s a Lutheran distinctive…along with hating every other tribe other than their own…
Yep… pen name of Parry. Met him in the 90s, thesis on an OT subject…
Refraining from the Lutheran Hour as it is Anglican cocktail time ?…
Look, I have no time to talk. I need to call my 92 yr old Jewish mom who hates Jesus and tell her I was wrong – her ticket has been punched for heaven after all.
Duane, you must already be 3 sheets to the wind. We have not said anything particular to Lutheranism. I am sure that any Baptists, EO or most other evangelicals here would agree with us that the Scriptures have not been tampered with, added to or subtracted from by later century authors, nor would they agree that universalism is valid.
But cocktails do sound good about now.
It’s much easier to caricature a tradition or disparage a dead theologian or living brother than address a topic at hand.
The ice cubes sound better than you…
I said I was reading a book and you dismissed it with an insult.
Your comrade then called another tribe anything but holy.
You want to address the book?
Then read the book.
Otherwise you’re talking out your hindquarters.
No, I simply said that universalism is not orthodox. It’s plain and simple. Show me where in the church today, among the major traditions, universalism is embraced. Can you produce a majority?
Maybe the author of your book is arguing that universalism should be considered as orthodox (more power to him, we have free speech), but right now it’s not.
You wouldn’t have any freaking idea what the man is arguing…because you haven’t read the book.
You wanted to dismiss it…exactly what you just accused me of.
I don’t know and haven’t judged what your author is arguing.
None of you, me or the author of your book is the arbiter of Christian orthodoxy.
You said he makes an orthodox defense of universalism. That in my opinion is impossible, unless and until universalism is accepted as orthodox.
I have noted your opinion and will save it in our tinder box.
Michael said it best at 3:32 – that he will place reason, his own reason, above scripture.
“never made sense to me…”
“Michael said it best at 3:32 – that he will place reason, his own reason, above scripture.
“never made sense to me…”
That is a lie.
Michael never said anything of the sort.
You are guilty of lying and bearing false witness.
One of us is going to end this proclivity.
Now that I’m home and looking through this thread, I’m thoroughly disgusted.
I said i was reading a book…something that theologians do with frequency.
I didn’t say I agreed with the book.
I offered no argument from the book.
Still, the breastbeating and accusations flew.
If you are that afraid of looking outside the curtains of your little theological box that you descend to the depths plumbed on this thread, you’ve got far more than theological issues…
Over the first five hundred years of Christian history there are records of at least six theological schools: Four of these schools were Universalist (one each in Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, and Edessa–Nisibis), you may not wish to hear what they have to say, but don’t talk about things you have neither studied nor examined.
Additionally, to say “he will place reason, his own reason, above scripture.“never made sense to me…” is simply another lie… but it is what we have come to expect.
Who cares how many schools there were that promoted universalism – the position denies the words of Jesus.
It may deny your interpretation of the words of Jesus…read the book or another book by a biblical scholar and get back to me…with an apology for bearing false witness while you’re at it…
Spoken as a true fundamentalist.
Examine, study… then speak. No one is calling for agreement, but for considered speech which you, apparently, are incapable of understanding.
I already gave the words of Jesus from Matt 25:46. They do not get more clear than that.
Now show me something just as clear from Jesus that says everyone will be saved.
By the way…this author does not deny the words of Jesus in that verse or that there will be a hell with people in it.
You wouldn’t know that…because you haven’t read the book…
“No one is calling for agreement,” except you…
You might consider apologizing to all those you lie about, and then, maybe, bring out your proof text. You don’t know if I agree with you or not, because you cannot bother to ask as you hurl continual lies and accusations. There really is a better way to discuss such matters…
Duane, I do not call for anyone to agree – in my mind we are having discussion. It’s funny that you get offended if I call out a statement, a doctrine, a book etc as wrong, but then you feel haughty enough to discard your offence and call me wrong.
Quite the ironic LOL moment, wouldn’t you say?
It’s impossible to have a discussion when you have to stop and defend your name against bald faced lies.
This is a serious issue now.
You’re forcing my hand…unnecessarily.
And I love your perjoritive name calling. You have called me a fundamentalist many times over the years, but I have never called you a liberal .
I don’t have the wit of MLD nor the anger of Michael to prevail in an argument here, so I will probably bow out where I began: There is no orthodox argument for universalism.
If someone wants to make an argument that universalism should be considered orthodox, and back it up with both Scripture and some widespread acceptance within the Church catholic, then go for it and I’m all ears. Otherwise it is just a sectarian belief.
During the first 5 centuries of the church, countless movements and beliefs were tried and eventually shot down by the fathers and councils. Just because someone had a thought doesn’t make it orthodox.
1 Cor 15 is a true, but incomplete statement of the Gospel for determining Christian orthodoxy. None of Lutherans, Catholics, EO or most conservative evangelicals would agree that 1 Cor 15 by itself is sufficient.
These are my own opinions. I speak for no one but myself.
“1 Cor 15 is a true, but incomplete statement of the Gospel for determining Christian orthodoxy. None of Lutherans, Catholics, EO or most conservative evangelicals would agree that 1 Cor 15 by itself is sufficient.”
I said it was a sufficient summary of “the Gospel”, not a standard for determining the whole of orthodoxy.
Do you guys have a section in the Book of Concord on how to twist other peoples words?
I’m so damn done with this…
When someone says their own sense trumps a biblical position (which I think the traditional view of eternal punishment upholds) and vows to go in a different direction, then yes they have put their own reason as the arbiter of truth –
because the traditional view doesn’t make sense, it must be flawed.
A man hanging on a cross to save the world does not make sense to me, but guess what? my sense doesn’t matter.
But I will be the bigger man and offer my apologies for the offense I have caused.
I’m shutting this down because I have work to do and this is literally making me sick.
It is also causing me to want to sin greatly…