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52 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    For a theologian to be useful, he has to free himself from the fear of being called a heretic.

  2. CostcoCal says:

    ….and if it is true, it is not new. If it is new, it is not true. 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    Completely agree with #1… completely disagree with #2…

  4. CostcoCal says:

    I so agree with number 2. 🙂

  5. Josh the Baptist says:

    I actually agree with # 2, but that doesn’t mean that the original, ancient truth has been discovered or understood just yet.

  6. Michael says:

    Then you must make an exception for many of the doctrinal views you hold as dispensationalism and the pre trib Rapture theory are “new” in terms of historic Christianity…

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    Who, me?

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    If I were to say dispensationalism is “THE” truth, I would say that it isn’t new, just undiscovered until the last 200 years.

  9. CostcoCal says:

    I hold to dispensationalism and pre-trib?

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    Four words – “The Development of Doctrine”…

  11. Josh the Baptist says:

    # 10 – Yes.

  12. Michael says:


    Everyone who discovers something “new” would say the same thing.
    As Duane noted, doctrine develops over time…

  13. CostcoCal says:

    I do agree that “doctrine develops over time.”

    Also worth noting, “I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning.” 1 John 2:7

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    12 – Yes, we agree.

    And the then through persistence, the new becomes orthodox. My statement on nothing being new is more theoretical than practical. Like, God new it, be we didn’t know it…yet.
    Practically, yes it looks like new doctrine developing over long periods of time.

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    Costco, are you then against all books that aren’t the bible?

  16. CostcoCal says:

    Not at all. Neither am I saying all books are the equal to the Bible.

  17. John 20:29 says:

    interesting chain of comments… i have no problem with someone parking their trust in the Faith solely with the early Church dogma – certainly distills out all the half baked and heretical egoists that creep in…

    yet, the canon as we have it, from Genesis to Revelation is, IMHO, chock full of jewels that enrich and enlarge one’s understanding of God and His plan, let alone our understanding of how needy we are and how much we have that we don’t internalize in and of Christ…
    humility and grace can make a plain man a force to be reckoned with in his time in this world… strange combination…

  18. Josh the Baptist says:

    So then, are you rationalizing, like me, and saying “IT wasn’t new, we just hadn’t discovered it yet”?

  19. CostcoCal says:

    Just quoting the Apostle John, John the Baptist. 🙂

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    “….and if it is true, it is not new. If it is new, it is not true.”

    I doubt that’s a direct quote, but anyhow…

    Do you see a use in theologians, other than just redistributing what is already known?

    (I’m asking to get your understanding, not to defeat you.)

  21. CostcoCal says:

    Apostle John quote was 1 John 2:8, which I quoted above.

    I do see use for theologians. Though, to be honest, very much less the older I get.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    What use is a theologian?

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    “Theology is like a map. Merely learning and thinking about the Christian doctrines, if you stop there, is less real and less exciting than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God–experiences compared with which many thrills of pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further you must use the map.”

    C.S. Lewis

  24. CostcoCal says:

    Just for me, things from the Bible get simpler the older I get. Less need for explanation. Like many here, I have had my own forays and “adventures” in doctrine. It just keeps getting simpler. I am not boasting about that, either.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    Not a bad thing.

  26. CostcoCal says:

    At this point, it works for me.

  27. Michael says:


    Love that quote.
    Theologians are critical to the health of the church…

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Theologians are critical to the health of the church…”

    Could you expand on that, just a little?

  29. Michael says:


    In some way all believers are theologians, just not necessarily very good ones.
    We all develop a doctrine of God and doctrines around that one.

    “Professional” theologians do the hard work for the rest of us and give us historical and textual tools by which we examine those doctrines to see how they stand up to Scripture, tradition, and reason.

    Orthodoxy as we understand it is the result of courageous theologians…

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Orthodoxy as we understand it is the result of courageous theologians…”

    Wow, that’s a good quote. So true!

  31. CostcoCal says:

    Sometimes the “courageous theologians” just might be the ones who stick to the “old” yet foundational truths.

  32. Michael says:

    Theologians are like wilderness guides showing us the way through unfamiliar territory.
    When I was young I was in the Assemblies of God/CC tradition and there were guides who took me as far as they could go.
    I moved on to the Reformed tradition and new guides were required for that territory.
    Now, I’m at rest in the Anglican church, but there are whole new territories and new guides to help me explore and grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

    It’s a life long journey and I’m grateful for guides…

  33. Jean says:

    “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”

  34. Duane Arnold says:


    John Keble, after hearing John Henry Newman preach, only gave him one piece of advice – “Don’t be original”…

    When I talk to my friends, I try to tell them, “Normal works, preaching is not a competitive activity”.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    By the way, in the older catholic tradition, “name days” were as important as birthdays. (A name day being the feast day of the saint that you were named after…)

    So, Michael – on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (Michaelmas) – Happy Name Day!

  36. Michael says:


    Thank you…that is who I was named after. 🙂

  37. covered says:

    Should we start calling you Michaelmas? If so, I will need change it in my contacts 🙂

  38. Michael says:


    I’ve been called worse… 🙂

  39. Steve says:

    I agree with #1 with a caveat that they should be free from “being called” that by man, but at the same time they should squirm in their pants in utter fear of “being called” that by God.

  40. JTK says:

    I have a question for Calvinists or Reformed friends here:

    Have you ever heard someone in your camp identify a particular person as specifically someone who was NOT one of the elect?

    I had a crazy interactive with a Calvinist that left me scratching my head…

    With answers, I’ll likely spill some beans…

    Thanks in advance!
    ~James Tiberius Kirk

  41. JTK says:

    I guess it doesn’t matter much as to the particulars people believe theologically…
    if it’s possible people can apostatize, when can we point to a particular person and say they HAVE? They MAY HAVE?

  42. Michael says:


    It is a Reformed teaching that we do not know who the elect are, so we preach the Gospel promiscuously.

    Having said that, there are always radicals who say that anyone outside their narrow group is reprobate…

  43. Eric says:

    Today is the holiest day on the calendar of the dominant religion among men in the SW half of Australia. It is the AFL Grand Final. The football accounted for 33 pages out of 96 in yesterday’s paper and 28 out of 88 today.

  44. Jean says:

    In Remembrance of Jerome, Translator of Holy Scripture

    “Jerome was born in a little village on the Adriatic Sea around AD 345. At a young age, he went to study in Rome, where he was baptized. After extensive travels, he chose the life of a monk and spent five years in the Syrian Desert. There he learned Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament. After ordination at Antioch and visits to Rome and Constantinople, Jerome settled in Bethlehem. From the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, he used his ability with languages to translate the Bible into Latin, the common language of his time. This translation, called the Vulgate, was the authoritative version of the Bible in the Western Church for more than a thousand years. Considered one of the great scholars of the Early Church, Jerome died on September 30, 420. He was originally interred at Bethlehem, but his remains were eventually taken to Rome.”

    – Treasury of Daily Prayer (Ed. Scot A. Kinnaman, CPH, 2008), p.771

  45. JTK says:


    It’s the first time I’ve run into someone who said I was spiritually unable to realize how wrong I was.

    It was condemnation in action.
    I’ve never seen anything like it.

  46. Michael says:


    That’s one of the reasons I left that clan and joined the Anglicans.

  47. JoelG says:

    What a jerk

  48. John 20:29 says:

    scriptures used in his teaching on humility (which we ponder from time to time here) – from the late Bob Hoekstra:

    “The Scriptures emphasize the Lord’s commitment to pour out grace upon those who walk in humility, while opposing the path of those who walk in pride. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’…Be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’… Though the LORD is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar” ( James 4:6 ; 1 Peter 5:5 ; and Psalm 138:6 ). In our present verse we have another pointed example. “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.”

    we can’t keep the 10 commandments, but we can measure our righteousness by them and by how we reverence them? if those 10 teachings don’t humble one, one is either proud or in denial or both

  49. Owen says:


    I have a question for you. Awhile back, you used to have an ad up in the top right corner, had to do with publishing. Do you still have contact information for that person? I seem to remember you saying that person was a regular here……. asking because I may have someone who would like to use his services.

  50. Michael says:


    That’s Eric L.
    He edited and published my books.
    Click on any of the ads at top right and they will go to his site.

  51. Owen says:

    Thanks, Michael…

    One of the widows in our church would like to publish her late husband’s book (he didn’t get to it before he passed), so I’ll refer her to Eric’s site.

  52. Jean says:

    Tom Petty, RIP.

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