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110 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I saw Jon Stewart speaking about the PACT act to increase veteran health benefits, and while it was full of profanity, unless I’m missing something I kind of understand the anger. Or is there something I’m missing as to why it would be opposed?

    Full disclosure: I am Canadian, and so might totally not be understanding some aspect of American politics or support for veterans or aspects of this bill/issue. On the surface, though, it does seem to me pretty cynical to send people off to wars all around the world and then to kind of abandon them and their issues when that war is over.

  2. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Our system and our society is broken…I don’t know why we can’t even agree on mercy…

  3. Steve says:

    The really sad thing to me is that my sense is that our Canadian culture is far more un/post-Christian, but somewhat more merciful…

  4. Michael says:

    Steve,

    It is tragic…the end will not be good…

  5. Nonnie says:

    One of the men who used to comment here died of lung disease because of his service for the USA in the Middle East. These men and women deserve our help and support. To me, it is infuriating that we pour millions and billions into other countries but do not care for our own. Yes, we are to love our neighbors, but we are to take care of our own children first.

  6. Officerhoppy says:

    There’s a town in Michigan called Hell. Town attractions include the Hell Hole Diner, Screams Souvenirs, and the Damnation University. You can even become the Mayor of Hell for the day, quite the accolade. According to the weather report, today it’s going to be 83 degrees. Medford is projected to be 106. That means that the Rogue Valley, where I live, is going to be hotter than Hell.

  7. AA says:

    Officer hoppy, that’s funny 😄
    Alas, it’s still hotter here in TX.

  8. Muff Potter says:

    Imprecatory prayer huh?
    Praying fundagelicals are some of the meanest snakes around.

  9. bob1 says:

    It appears these last few days were “no good, very bad” ones for a Calvary Chapel pastor near the Twin Cities.

    He was arrested along with 5 others, in a police sting operation, for prostitution of minors.

    I note that the local “Christian” radio station in the Cities has a page
    that touts the church’s oh- so-orthodox beliefs.

    Just another reminder that orthodoxy can exist without orthopraxy (right living), Can’t hide behind it. It doesn’t give a free pass to sinful/aberrant behavior.

    https://www.twincities.com/2022/07/29/wisconsin-pastor-arrested-st-paul-stillwater-prostitution-sting/

    https://myktis.com/venue/calvary-chapel-solid-rock/

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    Heat AND humidity here in Georgia make summertime very difficult for me. I actually can tolerate temps in the 90s with little in the way of humidity, but once the dew points climb into the 60s and 70s my favorite outdoor activity is running from a/c source to a/c source…lol.

    Now that Marjorie Taylor Green has openly called for a christian nationalist party and declared herself one of them, I am further convinced that some who call themselves Christians but buy into that stuff need to be distanced from. It’s sad that a church group would cheer Boebert like that. Funny (not) that those who called for Christians to pray for Trump instead of hating him, are the same ones that are displaying frothing-at-the-mouth hatred towards Biden.

    There is such hatred nowadays because of politics that I basically don’t want to go to church anymore. I can’t trust going into a small group without my senses being assaulted. Just saying that’s where I am at. God is STILL working on me.

    Funny post Officerhoppy! Appreciate the laugh!

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    I’ve been attending a small church for a little over a year now, and been to a few home gatherings during that time. Not once has anyone mentioned anything political. The closest any teacher has come was to encourage us to spend less time with news and social media. Think I’ve found a good one!

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    Sounds like a gem of a church Kevin. An E-Free church I went to back in the early 2000s, I remember the Pastor mentioning to the congregation how God have convicted him that he was spending too much time listening to talk radio.

  13. JimmieT says:

    For those who don’t want to spend time with Jesus on this earth (our lives are but a vapor) won’t want to spend time for eternity with Jesus in heaven!

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    Anyone here have experience with a home church or churches? I had a gentleman recommend them to me, but I can see minefields of unaccountability, rogue leaders, etc.

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    BTW, looking for thoughful responses, and not judgement about where I am at in this Walk.

  16. Josh says:

    Dan, if I had some time off I would probably fellowship in someone’s home. I’m sure they can be abusive, but all the safeguards in the world haven’t kept institutional church from being abusive too. So, yeah, some friends, Godly conversations and breaking of bread…I’d be down for that.

  17. Michael says:

    I’ve pastored a home church for 30 some years…actually a Zoom church now. It has, for the most part, been a as close to my ideals as it can be.

    There have been as many home churches go off the rails as regular ones…but it can work.

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    Appreciate the good feedback Josh and Michael! I’ll get back here later as wife and I are out and about.

  19. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    So was. Mary talking about herself when she complained she was doing all the work while her other personality was sitting at Jesus’ feet?

    I’m confused

  20. Officerhoppy says:

    What you are suggesting is we can only trust our own instincts because the scriptures aren’t reliable. They’ve be altered thru the centuries by editors.

    Now I’m really confused.

    You make it sound like me and other have been duped. Sold a lemon by a slick talking used car salesman.

    What else in the scriptures has been altered?

  21. Michael says:

    “What you are suggesting is we can only trust our own instincts because the scriptures aren’t reliable. They’ve be altered thru the centuries by editors.”

    The fact…and it is a fact…that there have been redactions in scripture does not mean the core teachings are not reliable.

    It does mean that the revelation of God passed through human hands…and He intended it to…there is not a single cardinal doctrine that is changed by the facts about Scripture…

  22. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    For someone who seems to dislike mysticism, you still want to believe that every word in scripture was magically preserved intact over thousands of years and literally innumerable copyists and transcriptions.

    That’s even too mystical for me…

  23. Officerhoppy says:

    Why should i or any one be a Christian? What proof do we have that any of it is true if not the scriptures?

  24. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    This is the strangest question…
    If your faith depends on the Bible being inerrant, your faith is in a book…and it’s not true faith at all.
    My faith is in Jesus and the revelation given of Him in the Scriptures is true.
    The certainty of this is in the external and internal witness of the Holy Spirit.

  25. Officerhoppy says:

    Faith is in the book?

    The “book” points to Jesus. It’s tells the story of the redeeming of fallen creation thru one individual, Jesus.

    It tells me to put my faith in Jesus. If the book isn’t true my faith has no substance other than the mysterious personal encounter with the HS.

    What about other belief systems? Whose to say whose right or wrong?

  26. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Why do you keep saying that if Bible isn’t inerrant, it isn’t “true”?

    Does a piece of literature have to be heaven sent to be true?

    Do you hold everything you read to that standard?

    The point here isn’t that the Bible isn’t trustworthy or “true”… the point is that inerrancy is a false and unnecessary doctrine that causes big problems for people when they find out it isn’t “true”.

  27. Xenia says:

    I think I actually do believe in inerrancy, but I associate the term with the way the Bible was taught in my evangelical past, so I don’t use the word anymore. What I don’t believe in anymore is Sola scriptura, which in my mind goes along with the doctrine of inerrancy, but they are not the same. So yeah, I guess I will say I do believe in inerrancy, in an Orthodoxy sort of a way.

    The Church produced the Scriptures, not the other way around, and should be understood in the context of the Church. In my evangelical past, I saw and was guilty of bibliolatry, which soured me on the inerrancy idea, but frankly, I think the Holy Spirit did preserve the Scriptures and they are completely reliable.

  28. Michael says:

    I think the Scriptures are reliable when it come to matters of faith and practice.
    The Bible is “true” in that way.

    Inerrancy requires perfection in transmission and reproduction…and that simply isn’t true by any measure of truth.

    One example…

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/why-does-the-king-james-bible-have-some-different-verses-than-modern-translations/

  29. Officerhoppy says:

    I recognize there may be some elementary errs in scripture. I lean more towards infallibility. But the piece you presented presents a major translation problem. The speaker, who, at this point, I have no reason to doubt, says a translator mistranslated the name Mary to Martha.

    That’s significant.

    My challenge is not so much to you, but if she is correct, then how can I trust that other passages haven’t been altered possibly, to meet some agenda?

    All i have to rely on is some mystical unction on my soul. But Mormons do that. That have the “burning of the bosom” thing.

    I doubt my faith friend. Wondering if I bought a lemon.

  30. Xenia says:

    We’ve had a great weekend at Church. It was our parish’s feast day, St. Seraphim of Sarov. Yesterday the Bishop came and conducted the Liturgy, and there was a big meal in the church hall afterwards (the Bishop complement my cooking *blush*). One of our catechumens, a young man, was just baptized the day before and was wearing his white baptismal gown for Sunday Liturgy, as is our custom. He carried a candle and held a cross for the whole 3 hour service. He got to receive his first Communion and there were tears of joy in that young man’s eyes. God bless him. Everyone hugged and congratulated him- it was the best day of his life.

    We had a smaller Liturgy today (no meal) and included a procession outside with icons and banners and the flinging about of holy water. It was a great day for sure. I was looking at our Bishop, and the rector of the San Fran cathedral who also came, our own priest Fr. G, and all the people, and I about melted with love for them all.

    So… no home church for me.

  31. Xenia says:

    The Church has always believed the Mary and Martha story as we all know it. Ignore modern scholars, is my best advice.

  32. Michael says:

    I have little doubt that she is correct…and it is not unusual…see the story of Erasmus and the KJV.

    We have others ways of verifying that the narrative and message of the Scriptures is correct…even with errors that do not effect any cardinal doctrine of Scripture in the least…

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    A basic understanding of textual transmission would answer many of these questions. Just saying…

  34. Michael says:

    Ignoring scholarship is always an option…but not for me.

  35. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Yep…but that takes the discussion out of the faith category…even though it doesn’t belong there in the first place…

  36. Duane Arnold says:

    “Ignore modern scholars, is my best advice.”

    Does it occur to anyone that the knowledge that we possess of ancient writers is because of modern scholarship? Without modern scholarship we would not have texts of the works of the church fathers. Without modern scholarship we would not have the Didache. Scholarship is an ongoing process and cannot be limited to one certain age or time. We once thought that there were 13 letters of Ignatius of Antioch. Modern scholarship has shown us that there are seven. What is said in those seven is important as to how much of the early gospels were known by the ancient church. This is revelatory and critical to our understanding not only of the period but also our understanding of the transmission of the scripture in the early centuries. Modern scholarship is not a god, it is a tool…

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    Now I am really steamed. At what point in time do we ignore scholarship. If we stop at the texts that were known in the fourth century, we abandon 3/4 of our patrimony. Do we stop at the renaissance, in which case we only lose half of our patrimony? Do we wish to have the closest texts of the gospels or do we prefer the accretions of the middle ages? I rejoice that modern scholarship has provided us with a critical text that is as close as can be to what the early church knew and heard… This was not magic, this was scholarship.

  38. Michael says:

    Duane,
    That is an excellent point.
    The scholarship moves us closer and closer to the original documents…that should bring joy.
    Evidently, it doesn’t…

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    Not only does it not bring joy, but it insults men and women who devoted their lives to working on and bringing to light ancient texts. These are people who through the centuries labored in obscurity for the benefit of the church. Most of their names are unknown in the modern age. Yet, without them, we would have very little of the riches and the treasures of the early church and of the Middle Ages, not to mention the critical apparatus that allows us to intelligently and carefully examine the text of the New Testament…

  40. Dread says:

    Xenia probably used careless language with her throwaway …”ignore modern scholars”rr quip but her intent is easy to understand. Not all scholarship is the same. That’s a fairly noncontroversial claim in a world that gave us the Jesus Seminars.

    On the other hand the defense of great scholarship is not unmerited.

    Scholars like ordinary people come with all sorts of biases and with their own personal piety or lack thereof.

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    “Scholars like ordinary people come with all sorts of biases and with their own personal piety or lack thereof.”

    Yet, in the end, there is good scholarship and bad scholarship which can be measured and evaluated in the clear light of day.

  42. Xenia says:

    Dread is right.

  43. Dread says:

    At the same time I appreciate the defense of scholarship offered in Duane’s comments and we would all benefit to understand those things more fully. Please write about such things and their benefits in lay language.

  44. Duane Arnold says:

    This is a generally conservative bibliography concerning the texts of the New Testament… Of course it may be considered “modern scholarship”.

    https://denverseminary.edu/the-denver-journal-article/new-testament-exegesis-bibliography-2021/

  45. Officerhoppy says:

    Many folks i talk with say simply it’s all about Jesus or something similar

    But story of Jesus is contained in the scriptures. If the text has been altered how we trust that the story is true?

    There has been talk here about faith. Faith in what? The Jesus of the Bible? Sounds a bit convoluted to me.

    I dunno. These discussions really upset my faith. I can have faith the story of Jesus is true but is there any basis for my faith

    Ive used this illustration before of a rock climber. I believe the harness, rope and caribeaner are sufficient to hold me but if the rope is not connected to something foundational, all my faith is worthless. I’m gonna go splay.

  46. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    You really need to do some reading.
    We have about 5500 manuscripts of the NT and no doctrine of Scripture is changed by the many scribal errors and changes we know about.
    You also have to contend with the fact that the church grew like blackberry brush before there was ever a canon of scripture.

    This isn’t a case of saying that the Bible is untrue or unreliable…it’s simply saying you’re putting a burden on the text that it can’t, won’t, and wasn’t intended to carry.

  47. Officerhoppy says:

    I dunno Michael. Maybe its the way my brain is wired but I think it’s hard to be a Christian.

    As I’ve said before, these conversations just take the wind out of my sails

    Glad doesn’t affect you or Duane or the others but I came to Christ because the scriptures were read, exegeted and i felt responsible to respond.

    Now I am unsure that any thing in the Bible—even the words of Christ—or the story of redemption is unaltered. Especially the record of the resurrection.

    So I suppose i need to do some soul searching.

  48. Duane Arnold says:

    The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th Edition)
    Bruce M. Metzger
    Bart D. Ehrman

  49. Michael says:

    “Now I am unsure that any thing in the Bible—even the words of Christ—or the story of redemption is unaltered. Especially the record of the resurrection.”

    I find it incomprehensible that you were a pastor for twenty years and never worked through these issues.

    There is copious evidence that supports the historicity of Jesus and the truth of the resurrection…and answers most of the issues you grapple with.

    It does take doing the work, however…

  50. Xenia says:

    Here’s the trouble some people might have: Their faith is in the Bible, and secondarily, in Jesus. They believe Jesus is real because the Bible says so, not because He is really real even if there were no Bible. So when the Bible is shown to be less than perfect (by some), it’s like saying their god (the Bible) is not perfect, and this idea is upsetting. But the Bible is a created thing, inspired and correct, but it is not God. Our faith is in God first and secondarily in the Scriptures. This is a conundrum because most of what we know about God is contained in the Scriptures, but they are the secondary, not the primary, object of our faith in Christ. If a church regards the highest activity of Christian life to be Bible study, it is easy to suppose that the Scriptures are the point of the whole religion. They are important, but not in first place.

  51. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Well said…

  52. Xenia says:

    I’m just going to say this: if upon discovering a genuine contradiction in the Scriptures causes you to begin to doubt if Christianity is true, then your faith was in the Scriptures and not in God. You have made an idol of the Bible. If a discrepancy just bugs you but doesn’t rock your faith in God, then no problem.

  53. Michael says:

    Xenia…I concur.

    It may sound harsh, but it may also bring the Gospel…

  54. Officerhoppy says:

    You guys make me feel like I am an ignorant evangelical idiot.

    In my feeble brain, I think that 1 plus 1 = 2.

    It just follows, that if there is err in translation there could be err regarding Jesus. If the scriptures are incorrect or mistranslated in one place, as was demonstrated in this woman’s sermon, why would it not be mistranslated somewhere else?

    Michael, to what does your faith adhere to? Why are you a Christian? What compels you?

    I did study these things and believed I could teach the scriptures as inspired and the word of God. I called into question those questionable passages but basically, confidently taught them as true. That’s what I read from authors like D.A.Carson, F.F. Bruce and most recently, Wayne Grudem. I did my home work

  55. Officerhoppy says:

    X
    But the scriptures speak of God, don’t they?

    I read a record of history and while I wasn’t there to witness WWI, I read about it and accept it as true reliable.

    My faith isn’t in the Bible as you say buy that it is, rather an accurate record of the fall of man and the story of redemption thu Christ. I also believe it is reliable to faith and practice.

    My main focus has always been the gospel, but it’s also gives insight and the power to live a godly life.

  56. Xenia says:

    Officer H, if you believe that’s all true, then what’s the issue?

  57. Michael says:

    I’m a Christian because I believe in Jesus…I know and have experienced the living Christ.
    I believe that the Gospel narrative of the Scriptures is true and trustworthy.

    Many historical documents have minor errors in them…doesn’t affect the overall narrative in the least.

  58. Officerhoppy says:

    Duane, Michael, you and the article posted here say my faith is misplaced.

    If it is as you all imply or indicate, I’ve been an idiot for spending the majority of my life leaving my profession in law enforcement to teach the s ruptures as the word of God.

    I don’t know what to believe as true any more.

    For my own sanity I feel I need to approach the scriptures honestly as if they are the inspired word of God without fault—at least in it’s purpose. Hell, I don’t know and I don’t care— if the universe was created in 6 literal days or not. Whether Joshua experienced a longer than 24 hour day or not.

    But it does matter to me that the Bible says I am a sinner and in need of saving. And God graciously and mercifully sent his Son to die and receive the penalty of my sin. And that he rose from the dead.

    But the discussion here and the sermon posted, creates doubt that any of the scriptures are reliable. Again, if the Mary and Martha account are untrue why wouldn’t other parts of the scriptures also be untrue?

  59. Officerhoppy says:

    You believe in Jesus but do you believe in the Jesus of the scriptures? How do you know the Jesus story is true?

    I am not attacking you. Just challenging your line of thinking as you are challenging mine.

  60. Xenia says:

    Again, if the Mary and Martha account are untrue why wouldn’t other parts of the scriptures also be untrue?<<<

    They are true because the Church says they are true. I can believe this because I believe the Holy Spirit not only inspired the Scriptures but also the Church.

  61. Officerhoppy says:

    I’ll back out of this conversation. We’re never going to agree on this issue and I am not doing a good job of defending my belief system. Better to talk with some one who knows more about this subject than me.

    I’ll just go on confidently and ignorantly believing the evangelical lie. (Just poking fun!)

  62. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I believe the Jesus of Scripture is the one true and living God.

    I’ve done the work and read the books so I could understand that inerrancy was not only not claimed by the Scriptures, but unnecessary for them to be a faithful witness of God.

    I can recommend some books, lectures, and classes, if you’re interested…

  63. Michael says:

    Conflating inerrancy with the resurrection is insane.

  64. Xenia says:

    When the Bible takes the place of God (and I am not talking about you, Officer H, because you have explained otherwise) that’s where you get things like King James Only-ism and so-called “Christian” Bible numerology.

  65. Michael says:

    Inerrancy is a completely different theological category than the resurrection…only one of them is a cardinal doctrine…

  66. Muff Potter says:

    I hold to the tenets of the Apostle’s Creed up front and on the table as non-negotiable parameters.
    The rest of the stuff?
    I pick and choose as my conscience sees fit.

  67. Dread says:

    I’m a Christian because Jesus called and I answered. I called and he answered. Jesus simply came and changed my life. The Bible became a source of delight and consternation. It thrilled me and drove me insane. In the end it was simply Jesus.

    Late this month is my jubilee. 50 years.

  68. Officerhoppy says:

    Jesus called.

    Ahh yes. The mystical Jesus

    How did you know it was Him with out some understanding of Jesus? My guess is you were raised in a church or had some involvement with the scriptures and you identified the one calling as Jesus

    What if you were raised in Saudi Arabia and were raised on the Koran. My guess is you would have determined it was Allah calling you.

    My point is without the scriptures as a base of understanding, we really have nothing to stand on except personal experience.

    Michael felt it absurd that I would, theoretically, question the resurrection. But the resurrection story is told in the Bible. If the Mary and Martha story were edited, and wrongly, why couldn’t the resurrection?

    I have to believe the Bible is true and reliable.

    I’ve heard the arguments from those who don’t believe the Bible is inerrant. But then they believe the Bible is reliable. In my mind, that seems a contradiction

    Maybe the issue is we have a difference of opinion as to the term inerrant.

  69. Dread says:

    Officer

    What if you were born in AD 140 and had only the witness of say Bishop Polycarp who had John who wrote a few of our texts? Did he have any concept whatsoever of an inerrant Bible? No! But he had living witness of those with personal experience of Jesus.

    Of course I had the witness of Jesus carried in the bosom of the church of my youth. The scriptures are the record of the witness. But the witness is Holy Spirit.

    Experience of the living God is not “nothing to stand on except personal experience” it is life and truth.

    You act as if the Bible is the only reliable witness and it must be proven inerrant to be reliable.

    I started with reliable testimony from an unreliable corrupted church. But behind it stand the Logos. He is the one who called me.

    I’ve spent my whole life unreliably following him and trying to understand what these mysterious scriptures even mean.

    We cannot even figure out Eucharist inerrantly. We are withering flowers carrying the feint fragrance of the one who planted us and tends us. And yet the savor of Christ lingers enough to save those who call upon him because we vaguely reflect him.

    My prayer wasn’t confident in the witnesses or the scripture. It was desperate and flailing. And yet he himself entered the empty temple of my soul. I’ve been seeking to apprehend him since the day he apprehended me.

    I seriously don’t give a damn about inerrancy unless it is in the prescription of my doctor. But I do care about the holy love – the reliable arms that give me repose.

    How can we know? As we are known. Mystical Jesus? No the mystery of the crucified lamb; hidden but made known by his love in me.

    I understand your struggle more than you think. But will take my experience of Christ over your rational demand. And don’t take that to mean I doubt that you know Christ. I simply doubt that you know that you know him. Such assurance comes only by the witness of Holy Spirit to your spirit not by the letter.

  70. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks Dread. Thanks everyone.

    Simply put, I am uncomfortable with any subjective experience.
    I believe in the HS, and I believe he drew me to Christ
    But the scriptures are dear to me because they confirmed and clarified my experience

    I teach them confidently as the word of God and will continue to do so
    The word “inerrant” may be misleading and I may have been using it improperly
    Maybe we should have started there with a definition

    I trust the scriptures and the mysterious work of the HS.
    They work in tandem, at least in my mind and not separate from each other

    If in my misunderstanding or zeal (insecurity?) I offended anyone, please accept my apology.

    But this is where I land when it come to the scriptures.

  71. Dread says:

    You’re the last guy to be offended with Officerhoppy,

    So if Christ Jesus is the object of my experience — the living and historic person — how is that subjective?

    Am I able to call upon the name of Jesus and receive some other spirit? Is the Father to give us a stone when we ask for bread? What is subjective about testifying to receiving a new life by calling upon the name of Jesus?

    I recognize that experiences are subjective but what I’ve described is consistent with what you believe to be objective truth.

  72. Duane Arnold says:

    Hoppy

    Maybe this will work… Instead of saying that the New Testament is “trustworthy” perhaps it is better to say that the New Testament is a trustworthy witness of what the apostles heard and saw which, in my mind, is the important matter. If it was Mary and Martha rather than Mary and Mary is less important than the fact that Lazarus was raised from the dead. The issue of details is less important than what was actually witnessed by those involved. As Michael said above, inerrancy places a burden on the New Testament record that cannot be borne by any ancient text. It is interesting that the early church tested the veracity of the message of Christ by the personal witness of martyrdom, not by reference to a book. The truth was perceived not by what was written but how the message of Christ was lived…

  73. Duane Arnold says:

    … And for those who argue about scholarship, try putting together this jigsaw puzzle without it..
    https://bibletranslation.ws/manu.html

    One should note that the majority of the work on New Testament texts took place in the late 19th and the 20th century. It is owing to this scholarly work that we can rightly criticize the Jesus Seminar and/or the modern forgery of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Once again, scholarship is not a guard to be worshiped, it is a tool to be used…

  74. Officerhoppy says:

    Duane
    Does that definition go far enough? While what you say is true, are not the scriptures inspired? Do they not contain, as has been said,”the breath of God”?

  75. Dread says:

    Officer,

    Definitely inspired … God-breathed — able to reveal the savior and thereby to save us

  76. Duane Arnold says:

    Hoppy

    You are falling back on all the same definitions. You have already decided that you have the answer (“inerrancy”) and now you’re simply looking for the right question.

    You might do better by starting with more basic questions.
    How was the New Testament written?
    When was the New Testament written?
    How were the original texts transmitted?
    How were the texts used in the early church?
    How was the canon of scripture put together?

    And there are many more questions that are similar. The trouble is, you already have an answer, but it’s one that does not address the questions.

  77. Officerhoppy says:

    Duane
    Inerrancy is what I was raised on. I’m at least as king questions
    A little mercy friend.

  78. Officerhoppy says:

    I like Dread’s response

  79. Duane Arnold says:

    Hoppy

    Then you might expand your range as to the questions you are asking…

  80. Officerhoppy says:

    I’m doing the best I can. You’ve come to some conclusions and sound very defensive.
    I know of no other questions to ask
    And I don’t have. Ph.D

  81. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Defensive?
    He forgot more about this subject this morning before his coffee than you know.
    When people engage on matters like this and they obviously have the qualifications and knowledge that someone lacks…they are offering a gift…an opportunity to learn from them…a chance to expand our knowledge.

    What you’ve shown consistently is that you aren’t interested in receiving anything you don’t already think you possess…and one can do that, but they will never grow past where they are.

    I’m constantly challenged by Duane, Dread, Mike and others …and I’m grateful for it.

    Different strokes…

  82. Josh says:

    The Mary / Martha study is quite interesting, but really does no harm to inerrancy, since inerrancy has always claimed that for “the originals”. Even though an early copy may have been changed, the originals were not, (though we’ve never seen, and never will see, the originals.)

    Here are the real killers to inerrancy – Leviticus 20 opens by clarifying that this is God speaking directly to Moses. Verse 9, for instance, says “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.”

    Do we really believe that God said that? At some point, God prescribed the death penalty for all sorts of infractions? Do you really believe that?

  83. Xenia says:

    Do you really believe that?<<<

    Yes, of course.

  84. Josh says:

    Right. So Inerrancy is no problem for you.

  85. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’ve never researched the cultural implication of why God would demand that…I’m reading Alters translation of the OT…will be interesting when I get to that to hear what the Hebrews did with it…

  86. Duane Arnold says:

    “I know of no other questions to ask…”

    Really?!? That may be the problem…

  87. Josh says:

    If you have to believe that God said that, (and that’s just one small example), then you find yourself asking when God changed into the loving father that accepts us as we are.

    And then you realize God changed. Its a weird trip. Easier for me to imagine that the bible, specifically the OT, is not what we’ve made it out to be, and was never intended to be used in the fashion that we use it.

  88. Xenia says:

    Josh, as I said upthread, I reckon I do believe in inerrancy although I never use the term because I associate it with Sola scriptura (and the other four solas) which I do not agree with. I believe in a version of it that is acceptable to the Orthodox view of the Scriptures. We don’t use the term in my neck of the woods, but there’s never a sermon at my parish where the priest says anything like “This has to be interpreted to comport with modern thinking.”

  89. Xenia says:

    Lots of heresies got their start by attempting to separate the God of the OT from the God of the NT.

  90. Josh says:

    Of course they did, but if one has to be burned at the stake for asking obvious, honest questions…not a religion I want to be a part of anyway.

  91. Josh says:

    And if those types of questions don’t bother you, don’t ask them. You can choose to believe whatever you want, I’m not encouraging anyone to believe or not believe anything.

    I was pointing out that the earlier incident in question wasn’t a danger to inerrancy, but questions like the one I asked are.

  92. Officerhoppy says:

    Unfortunately, I am seen as the antagonist here. I think Dread understand where I am coming rom but Michael and Duane see me as an opponent.

    I am asking questions of Duane for the very reason you mentioned. He has been on both sides of the camp.

    I am sorry I don’t know the right questions to ask. Just trying to understand.
    Which I don’t or I’d ask the right questions

    I’ll graciously back out. But if we were talking face to face, you’d see I was trying to understand.

  93. Dread says:

    Josh

    The trail you’re on has all manner of wanderers… Greg Boyd and his kin take on such questions … Michael Heiser takes them on from another perspective. Basically Boyd and others worked through the Old Testament by reading those text through the lens of Jesus as we find him in the NT. I am unconvinced of their work but honestly haven’t done enough work to say for sure. See his Cross Vision or for a fuller look his two Volume Crucixion of the Warrior God.

    Boyd has about 5 thousand in his church and is a pastor theologian .. you likely know some of his work. He is not without controversy but I quite like the man and his work … and disagree with him at times.

    Honestly I am not squeamish about God using the death penalty. It does not trouble me too much in that his nature and salvation vindicate his wisdom and will.

  94. Officerhoppy says:

    BTW It’s all good.
    I’ll read some of the material Michael suggested and maybe I can come back with better questions

  95. Dread says:

    Officer,

    I spent too much time in the company of the inerrancy defenders to be offended by their challenges. Especially because of their zeal for Christ and for winning the world to Jesus… they sometimes fulfill the caricatures but I don’t think a hint of that is upon you.

    Stop trying to back out… you’re doing what is needed for you and others who don’t speak. By now you must know that there is wrath expressed upon dissenters at times… but it is mostly froth on the boiling pot

  96. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks for that D.

    But I think it would be good for me to read up more. I am truly ignorant of those in the errancy camp. Asking questions is how I learn.

    It may seem defensive and antagonistic but really, on this issue I am not.

  97. Officerhoppy says:

    Like I said, it’s all good

  98. Michael says:

    No one here sees different theological stances as being opponents.

    What I (strongly) objected to was the notion that the proven learned men and women here would be defensive over such things.

    Many of us here held to inerrancy at one time and have moved on.

    We all did so for theological and intellectual integrity as we were persuaded by our studies.

    Your mileage may differ…

  99. Michael says:

    I don’t agree with Boyd on much…but he is provocative and thoughtful.

  100. josh says:

    I know of Boyd, but he was off-limits in my tribe. I love how Dread described Cross-Vision. Will definitely check that out.

  101. Officerhoppy says:

    In my tribe, Boyd is not thought to highly of. Neither is Peter Enns
    I have no opinion on Boyd. I’ve never read any of his stuff

  102. Josh says:

    The first chapter of Cross Vision definitely strikes a chord. This could be my life line.

  103. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Pete Enns does some work on that as well…I listen to both he and Boyd…probably took more usable away from Enns…your mileage may vary…

  104. Josh says:

    I’ve always been curious about Open Theism. Never taken time to really dig in.

    I’ve read some of Enns work, not on this issue. Looking at his bibliography, I love some of the titles.

    This really could be the branch that keeps my faith afloat. We’ll see.

  105. Officerhoppy says:

    I’ve read Enns and learned a lot from him.
    Disagreed a lot
    Was challenged a lot
    But still, learned a lot

  106. Dread says:

    Yes Josh I think you’ll like Greg. Open Theism as he articulates it in God at War and subsequent books is great reading lots to debate.

    Might be some sophistry going on – as there is on most things we struggle to understand.

  107. Nonnie says:

    “Never forget in the dark, what God has shown you in the Light. “. For our friends who are struggling.

  108. JD says:

    If we are His we also have a cross to bear. I see it not as a burden, but as an elevation which lifts us up. Knowing Him better is the result.
    When I hear something said these days I often have to ask: “Where is the good news in that?”
    So much of it really is just bad news. Beneficial just to let it roll off like water on a ducks back.

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