TGIF

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188 Responses

  1. Maybe Taco Bell is hiring. 😉

  2. Linnea says:

    A great reminder, Michael. Thanks 🙂

  3. Nonnie says:

    I love this Michael! A wonderful reminder of who we are.

    Sometimes in the dark of night, the old names come calling me. The accusations, the condemnations, the memories of sin and shame come whispering from the enemy of my soul…… but as I cry out to the Lord, He reminds me that the only name that matters to Him is “Beloved.” I am His and He sees me as His Beloved. I am not those names (of my past) I am washed, clean, forgiven. I am accepted..I am His.

  4. Nonnie says:

    Capt. K!! You just made me laugh!!!

  5. Jtk says:

    I’m pretty sure you’re wrong, Michael.

    You’re going to be called by a new name.

    You’re going to be, between now and then, an overcomer, as Revelation 2:17 talks about.

    All the crap you endure is for a reason.
    And like those of us who’ve performed more funerals than weddings, have more heartache than “the median”, have been maligned and “ripped off” more than others, it’s going to work out in our favor.

    Somehow.

    Someway.

    In the meantime, I’ll just call you “Michael.”

  6. Jtk says:

    Actually, some of us try to find humor in everything, and some personality types like making up nicknames for EVERYONE.

    George W Bush did. David Gregory was “Stretch.” His VP was “Darth Cheney”…or something else. Ha ha

    I’ve tried Der Blogmeister for you before, but another more clever one may arise….

  7. It’s funny, when we go out I never give my real name – I don’rt want it announced and I don’t people to know who I am.

    If I am at a take out place, I give the name Darth V. At sit down places, I go by Rabbi.

  8. Anonymous, This Time says:

    Good policy. Something easy to recognize when they say it. “Bobo” works.

  9. Sarah says:

    Wonderful, Michael.

    We are a named people.

  10. Kevin H says:

    I hate McDonald’s. My wife loves it. So more times than not, we end up stopping there. The McDonald’s that is closest to our house will, without fail, screw up at least one thing (often times more than one thing) on every order.

    There was one instance where I was buying a 20 count McNuggets along with a couple other items. I had a coupon for the McNuggets which was supposed to drop the price to something like $4.99 from whatever was the regular price. When they finished ringing me up, they said the total charge was $3.99. I said to the cashier that she was undercharging me. She said she wasn’t because the coupon was ringing up as $3.99. I explained to her that even if the coupon was ringing up as $3.99 despite it clearly being labeled as $4.99, there were the other items that I was purchasing that had to make the overall cost more than $3.99. We went around and around a few times with no resolution. She finally brought over a manager to look at it. The manager told me the same thing. That the coupon was ringing up as $3.99 and so that was all that I owed. I tried to explain to her the same thing that I had tried explaining to the cashier. That even if the the coupon was ringing up as only $3.99, I was still purchasing the other items which should bring the total to be more than $3.99. No luck again. She continued to insist I only owed $3.99. I eventually gave up and paid just the $3.99.

    At least they never asked me for my name. 🙂

  11. Kevin H says:

    I don’t think my story has anything to do with Michael’s story and the possible applications. So you can all just make your own application to my story, although I’m not sure what they would be. 🙂

  12. PP Vet says:

    Any place that makes Doritos Locos Tacos can pretty much call me whatever they want.

  13. Becky says:

    “I don’t think my story has anything to do with Michael’s story and the possible applications. So you can all just make your own application to my story, although I’m not sure what they would be.”

    The application would be-No one at that McDonalds knows how to do math inside their brain. In other words they are dependent on the computer inside the cash register and don’t double check the math on their own. Welcome to the dumbing of the world. And I agree McDonalds is gross.

  14. PP Vet says:

    Well, I do not mean to be difficult. But McD’s has been beddy beddy good to our family over the years.

    But where else is there a clean roomy newish place with free Wi-Fi and no waitress to bother you, and someone else does all the cleaning and cooking, where 10 or so people can sit around and talk and eat for $3-$4 a person?

    McDonald’s is great. Yesterday we were there with family and friends, and we discussed having our Golden Anniversary (50th) at the Golden Arches.

    Dining room is empty because everyone uses the drive-thru.

    Great for hanging out. Or for what churchy people call “fellowshipping”.

    Have your next Bible study there. Just use the Bibles in your smartphones and don’t talk too loud.

  15. PP Vet says:

    Plus with all those bovine growth hormones in the hamburgers – how else do you explain that my dad was 5’6″ and my five sons average 6’3″ ??

  16. Papias says:

    Michael – such a good word. I was aksed this week “What I do”, and that q always makes me uncomfortable. I am not what I do. My identity is more than my work.

    I take my kids to McD’s at least once a week ,cause they have the play areas. When the weather is bad and the kids are bouncing off the walls, McD’s is one place where they can play and I know that they get something to eat. Maybe not the best, but its not an everyday thing. I have a couple of picky eaters, but they will eat McDs. When the weather is nice, McD’s might get a drive-thru, but I would rather eat something else, if given the choice.

  17. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    People get my name wrong all the time, it’s no biggie I don’t want to be one of those guys that gets all sensitive about it. Just roll with the punches

  18. Alex says:

    I used to hate McDonald’s b/c they were a big corp and the food is so processed. I think the Machine has re-hypnotized me as I now love Mickey D’s again. I swear they put crack in those $1 McDouble’s. When push comes to shove, it’s hard to turn down a lunch for $3 (the Hebrew in me just can’t resist). $1 McDouble, $1 Parfait, $1 Large Iced-Tea.

    Thank God for weight training combat fitness or I’d look like my cult relatives who excommunicated me in Cali (can you say mmmmooooooo! 🙂 )

    Michael, the TGIF today is hilarious. I love Trey’s sense of humor at your discomfort. My kids LOL big time when I get irritated like that (but over different scenarios)…but, like Trey (I’m sure) they know it’s not that big a deal or they wouldn’t laugh.

    I think that “name calling” thing is universal. “Christians” like to label good folks something they aren’t like “God hater!” “Devil worshipper!” etc etc. When many of the Atheist or Agnostic friends I have are good folks who are sincere who don’t “hate” God and dont’ believe in the devil, etc, they just don’t see evidence that He’s real. Then they have supposed “Jesus followers” calling them all sorts of names and taking such adversarial and hateful postures toward them, putting words in their mouths and telling them they believe a certain way, when they just don’t know. I’ve done it to them and I’ve seen it done to “them” in spades by the Jesus followers, in spades. I think the folks, that if God is real, should be treated differently and called by their real names as well.

  19. Alex says:

    MLD would assert that there’s some conspiracy of knowing yet rejecting God, but it’s just not true. Most folks don’t hate God, they just weren’t as lucky as doubting Thomas to have expressed disbelief, but had the benefit of Jesus as God letting them poke their fingers through His literal wounds. Today they see Benny Hinn, CC, the RCC and so many “Jesus’s” that do not engender any sort of belief.

  20. Babylon's Dread says:

    Seems to me that this blog often delves into the questions of who people are. Seems to me the report is usually mixed. Grace changes the report. May grace abound.

  21. “MLD would assert that there’s some conspiracy of knowing yet rejecting God, but it’s just not true.”

    Not so, I think it is man’s default position to know God and reject him Until you have been changed by the gospel, that’s who we are.

    The conspiracy is that the government wants you to think that fast food is bad for you … which is not true at all. Over consumption maybe, but not the food itself.

  22. Michael says:

    Not real big on metaphor are you, Solomon?

  23. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Yeah I get the post, just sayin I’m not one of those guys that gets hung up on name being pronounced wrong as it was this morning at Denny’s.

    So Long From the Golden State!

  24. Lutheran says:

    Really, when it comes to believers, “our future’s so bright, we need shades.”

    🙂

  25. Lutheran says:

    Solomon,

    What’s a metaphor?

  26. Andrew says:

    “Then they have supposed “Jesus followers” calling them all sorts of names and taking such adversarial and hateful postures toward them, putting words in their mouths and telling them they believe a certain way, when they just don’t know. I’ve done it to them and I’ve seen it done to “them” in spades by the Jesus followers, in spades.”

    Alex, this may be your experience but I certainly have had a different one. Guy at work found out I was a Christian. He never stopped harassing me both verbally and in writing until he was fired and I was so tired of the harassment I decided to quit and find a new job. It was that bad. He was an evangelical atheist to the core and was on a crusade to convert as many as possible to his faith. All who opposed him were called all kinds of names. His faith was hedonism and he did everything possible to spread this gospel of his in quite graphic terms that I won’t even mention here. It was so perverse and how he would mention going to church groups to just pick up his women was absolutely diabolical. This was quite an eye opener to me because I usually keep my faith to myself in the office but this guy was on a mission and very vocal about it trying to proselytize me in every way possible. I am sorry that the “Jesus followers” have set such a poor example to your agnostic and atheist friends. But this definitely works both ways. My experience may be extreme but it happened to me and it was a real eye opener.

  27. Babylon's Dread says:

    Solomon is misnamed. But I am glad he isn’t hung up on names.

  28. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Solomon,

    What’s a metaphor?’

    I don’t know

    So Long from the Golden State!

  29. Alex says:

    Andrew, agreed, there are some of those guys out there, many more in Christian Selective Fundamentalism who do the same only in reverse.

    A metaphor can be understood by asking and answering: What’s a meta for?

    MLD, you have expressed that atheists/agnostics “hate” God before…whether you believe it is their “default” position or not is irrelevant. Do you believe they “hate” God? Yes, you’ve stated such. When in fact, many don’t “hate” God if hate is quantifiable. They simply don’t know.

  30. Alex says:

    Here’s an interesting Metaphor: “The kingdom of the father is like a certain man who wanted to kill a powerful man. In his own house he drew his sword and stuck it into the wall in order to find out whether his hand could carry through. Then he slew the powerful man.”

  31. On No says:

    Did you say megaphone?

  32. erunner says:

    People get my name wrong all the time. The spelling that is. Their first choice is Allen, then Alan, but not Allan!! Heck…. my first name is Clyde so I’ll take the wrong spelling any day! 🙂

  33. PP Vet says:

    According to Nicodemus, the answer to “What is a metaphor?” is, “For cows to graze in.”

    At least that is what he said to Elmer Barnes.

  34. Call me crazy, but I think the Bible, through the Apostle Paul, thinks that folks who deny God’s existence hate him – hate him enough to live in their own wickedness.

    Romans 1:18-23

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    So, I will stick with that. You I guess, can make your own application.

  35. Scott Barber says:

    Have you been reading Kierkegaard? 😉

  36. PP Vet says:

    Well, there is some good news. Todd Bentley is back, wonderful things are happening in South Africa, to the extent that God TV is going to drop everything and cover it.

    I know everyone here believed in Todd and was pulling for him to be restored from his difficulties.

    Well. almost everyone, I’m sure.

  37. Stig R. Hokanson says:

    Not much better down under, I’m afraid. I’m 69 years old, by wife is 66. In Australia we qualify for a free Seniors Coffee or Tea with our meals at McDonald’s and Burger King. However, we must produce our Seniors’ Card. The teenage staff often ignores our cards, serves our free tea/coffee and tells us “Oh. that’s okay, you look so old we don’t have to check your cards…” a real moral booster as you make it to the table to scoff donw their fast food here in the antipodes…

  38. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Call me crazy, but I think the Bible, through the Apostle Paul, thinks that folks who deny God’s existence hate him”

    MLD, many Agnostics don’t “deny” God’s existence, they just don’t know. They neither confirm conclusively nor deny conclusively.

    Now, I’ll grant you the Richard Dawkins type New Atheist that seems to be much more certain of God’s non-existence.

  39. mrtundraman says:

    I’ve never been picky about my name, especially when it comes to food.

  40. Alex,
    How do you explain an agnostic in view of it being “obviously” clear according to the scriptures?

    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Could it be that they refuse to see what is clearly before them, but don’t want to call themselves an atheist,?

  41. Alex says:

    MLD, I don’t think that is clear in the text at all, it’s about as clear as the Trinity or Transubstantiation or anything in the bible which has resulted in 9,000 to 30,000 denominations and mainlines etc.

    Again, you oversell a small piece of Scripture. I can cite chapter and verse of a ton of examples that would point to the opposite or that would seem to make a crystal clear statement, but that you would appeal to context and try to explain away.

  42. ” I can cite chapter and verse of a ton of examples that would point to the opposite ”

    Well, you know that to show a verse “opposite” you would have to find verses that says it is impossible to know anything about God’s existence. (you know – that logic thing.)

  43. Alex says:

    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” <—seems to say we don't see very clear.

    "For we live by faith, not by sight."<–doesn't sound "clear"…sounds like something that isn't clear and must be accepted on faith? Seems to imply you can't "see" stuff.

  44. Alex says:

    I think there are things that point to the possibility of God’s existence. You present a Strawman by asserting that my position is “impossible”…when that is not what I stated.

    I think it’s a valid position to say “I don’t know” and that God’s existence is not “clear”.

  45. Alex says:

    “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

    The bible says “clearly” (LOL) above that “we do not see”…yet MLD, you cite a verse that you say says it’s all clear as bell and there’s no excuse for those who don’t see the existence of God.

    Intellectually honest folks would call that some sort of contradiction.

  46. Alex says:

    If supposed “Christians” see through a glass darkly and live “not” by sight…how the heck can you say that it’s all crystal clear to an Agnostic who sees no evidence of God and sees the terrible example of the church?

  47. Pam Kulwiec says:

    After I read TGIF this morning the song “He knows my name” popped into my brain and I’ve been humming it all day long. What a great way to go thru the day! Thanks MICHAEL 🙂

  48. 1.) “I think it’s a valid position to say “I don’t know” and that God’s existence is not “clear”.”

    People can say it all they want – but the bible says differently. So those who say God’s existence is not clear or knowable call God and the Bible liars – at least in the verses I quoted.

    2.) “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

    We do not see God, that is true – but the evidence of his existence is in the creation – as the passage says. You can’t see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind.

    3.) “yet MLD, you cite a verse that you say says it’s all clear as bell and there’s no excuse for those who don’t see the existence of God. ”

    I just quoted the passage that said that – do like the G man, take it up with Paul.

    btw, none of your passages above said that God is unknowable.

  49. Alex says:

    “For who can know the mind of the Lord?”

    “Who has known the mind of the Lord?”

    “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?”

    etc etc etc. LOL.

  50. Alex says:

    MLD, you can’t win the argument. I’ve been down these paths many many times. There’s contradictions, paradox, “mystery” (which is church-speak for “I dunno”)

  51. Alex, I have no problem with you and your buddies denying what the bible says. It does not make your position right.

  52. Alex says:

    “Whatever exists is far off and most profound– who can discover it?”

    “The Almighty is beyond our reach”

    “No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning.”

    ^^^ that up there represents big problems for your thesis.

    “clear”, eh?

  53. Alex, because I cannot know the mind of God – does not mean that God is not revealed.

    My wife is real but I don”t know her mind and I have been with her 47 years.

    An agnostic does not say he can’t understand God – he says he cannot know if there is a God – the bible says he can, does and still denies it.

  54. Alex says:

    MLD, I don’t “deny” what it says…I simply present that it says 2 things that are in opposition to each other. I say it says black…and then I say it says white. It’s the bible’s words, you are the one who seems to deny the contradiction, the paradox, the “mystery” etc.

  55. Alex says:

    MLD, many Agnostics say they don’t have proof there is God, they don’t know for sure there is God, but they don’t have proof there is no God and they don’t know for sure there is no God. Many sincerely would like more evidence…and when pointing them to the bible, you get the typical apologetic dodge, bob and weave two-step around what is clearly contradiction, paradox, mystery etc.

    The bible says one thing, then says another on many issues. It is what it is.

  56. You have not presented one verse that questions God’s EXISTENCE – you just bring up things that we can’t know about God. Show me something from the scriptures that says you cannot know if God exists.

    My Romans passage states clearly that everyone DOES know.

  57. Alex says:

    Personally, I think God exists, but I have doubt. Fortunately, my doubt in no God is still greater than my doubt in God. But, I understand why many Agnostics have doubt in the existence of God, while being open to the possibility He exists.

    MLD, do you have “any” doubt in the existence of God?

  58. Alex says:

    Your Romans passage says “everyone” knows God exists? Hmmm. I know a lot of people who don’t know He exists, so that seems a contradiction.

  59. Alex says:

    MLD said, “You have not presented one verse that questions God’s EXISTENCE ”

    I don’t understand this statement. This proves what? The verses say the stuff isn’t clear, that God’s mind isn’t knowable, that we can’t know the things of God, that it’s a “mystery”…yet you say it’s really clear that God exists and there’s no excuse for anyone.

  60. Alex says:

    “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

    “Whatever exists is far off and most profound– who can discover it?”

  61. Alex says:

    Like you said, don’t kill the messenger. The bible says two different things in lots of places.

    “You all know the truth, there’s no excuse!”

    vs.

    “Whatever exists is far off and most profound, who can discover it?”

    I tend to believe the part of the bible that says it’s “dim”, unclear, mysterious, unknowable, etc and not crystal clear like another part of the bible seems to say. I think it’s very understandable why many folks just don’t know for sure.

  62. “so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

    Even this verse proves the existence of God. He is saying “I am here but you can’t understand these things about me.” The verse itself calls God THE MAKER OF ALL THINGS..

    God says “here is the evidence of my existence – THE CREATION. and you allow your friends to say “there is no evidence for God.”

    What else do you want?

  63. Alex says:

    I tell them I think there’s evidence of God in creation all the time, but to claim it’s 100% indisputable is dishonest, especially in light of the discoveries in science and physics.

    I think the ID argument is compelling, but to claim absolute certainty, again…quite a stretch and more a function of 99.9999999999% “faith” and about .0000000000001% sight.

  64. Alex, this isn’t about what we can or cannot know about God – you have gone sideways in the discussion.

    This is about, has God said there is sufficient evidence, or he has said that there is not evidence.

    You have not provided one thing that says there is no evidence. You and your friends just don’t like the evidence.Hey, the jury didn’t like the evidence for OJ’s guilt either.

  65. I have to run – time to drive home.

    My point is that the bible says the evidence for God’s existence is clear. Nothing, not one iota of science has ever proved “NO GOD” – not even close.

    Science discovers what God has said he did – ALL Creation.

  66. Alex says:

    MLD, I agree that the universe and the order and seeming design seems to point to an intelligent creator…and, again, my doubt in “no God” is still stronger than my doubt in God’s existence. I do understand, however, how many just don’t know, but I am concerned when someone says they reject the concept of God as absolutely impossible.

  67. Alex,
    It is not because order and design point to an intelligent creator- it’s “why is there something instead of nothing?”

    See, I don’t doubt a thing that science discovers or proves – they just find more things that God created. If they find something a trillion light years away, they found God’s creation. If they find something under a trillion times magnification, they have found God’s creation.

    But they become Romans 1:21-23 when they say “not god, anything and any reason except god.” They have become fools.

    Your agnostic friends are yanking your chain – they hate God, but have convinced themselves that they are in the honest pursuit of truth.

  68. Kathy says:

    “It’s funny, when we go out I never give my real name – I don’t want it announced and I don’t people to know who I am.”

    ????

    If you click on Martin Luther’s Disciple, it shows your name is Gene.

    And yes, that’s how I found you on Facebook. And no, you look nothing like I would have imagined.
    Thank God your kids look like your wife. 😀

  69. Kathy says:

    MLD says: Your agnostic friends are yanking your chain – they hate God, but have convinced themselves that they are in the honest pursuit of truth.

    MLD, you take such a hard-line approach to evangelism. If we were really honest with ourselves, we’re all Christian Agnostics (which just means they don’t know, it’s not the same as Atheist who believe there’s no God). Even if we strongly believe there’s a God, we wonder if he’s good.

    It’s a common struggle and pretending you don’t doubt doesn’t make you holier or get you a better seat at the final dance.

    Alex is just saying he doesn’t know for sure. But I would’ve guessed that when I first met him. I don’t know for sure either. But I do cling on to the hope that he’s real.

  70. Kathy says:

    As for the post… I’m having trouble making my own application.

    What is everyone else’s application?

    I remember in college, I went by Kathryne, yes, with the “e” at the end, and don’t you dare forget it!
    But I was also young and a tad smug (it was worse then, I know, hard to believe).

    Everyone loved calling me Kathy, which I hated. But when I got my first real job, my boss would always call me Kathy and I didn’t have the nerve to correct him. So “Kathy” stuck, for almost 15 yrs now.

    Maybe this says a lot about me. Maybe I should go back and ask that everyone call me Kathryne…with an eeeeeee?

    Or maybe it’s not that important what other people call us?

  71. David sloane says:

    My quest is to get the Mcdees clerks at the drive through to smile and at least be nice. More often they seem as if they hate their job and they don’t like me being there, seriously. Just this morning on a coffee run the clerk thrust my change into my hand and immediately turned to her computer screen and started talking on her com to another drive to another person who will most likely be treated the same way…

    I just read the other day that sales as a whole are down at the Golden Arches. coincidentally the researchers narrowed it down to employee unfriendlyness. Who knew?

    Dave or David?

  72. Frosted Flake says:

    Oh Alex, I am just left praying for you and your obsession. God be with you and I really mean that.

  73. London says:

    Brennan Manning has died and I am in tears
    Brennan was a big part if my understanding of God into 20s. A huge influence on our church and a friend to my wayward pastor when he needed a friend.
    He wasn’t famous then nor was he “trendy”. Just a guy who spoke a bit around the church circles.
    Just afterthought father died, he led a private silent retreat for our church at Ghost Ranch. We sang songs of Taize and learned from Brennan about the love of our Father.
    It’s a precious bittersweet memory to me that I cherish.
    I hear his voice in every book he wrote. He spoke exactly in the same cadence he wrote.
    The guy had his faults and he sure had his critics, but he was an amazing storyteller who loved his Lord.
    May he rest in peace.

  74. Chile says:

    Frosted Flake, you have chosen your name well.

    You are the one with the obsession. Your obsession is Alex. That’s just a little weird.

  75. London says:

    Dang auto correct!!!
    Doesn’t matter what I was trying to say, so don’t fret.
    I was writing (mostly) for myself anyway.

  76. Chile says:

    “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle,” Manning has said. “That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” This quote appeared in the prelude to dc Talk’s song “What if I Stumble?” It also appeared on an intro track for the Christian metalcore band War of Ages on its album Fire From the Tomb.

    From Wikipedia

  77. Chile says:

    Brennan Manning … God rest his soul.

  78. Michael says:

    London,
    I was at a birthday party when I heard the news…and the tears came more quickly than I could exit.
    I feel like I lost a friend.

  79. Alex says:

    Manning was real. He didn’t seem to hide his humanness, which I admired. He was quite a contrast to the False Piety Gospel that is prevalent today.

  80. London says:

    Last post:
    Heard this song whilst driving on a long road trip today.
    Remindse of this post. Sorry bout the ad
    http://youtu.be/ZuJWQzjfU3o

  81. London says:

    Wow Michael, you HAVE come a long way. 😉
    Ok. That really was my last post.

    May your karma run over your dogma.

  82. brian says:

    You know I spend a great deal of time in fast food restaurants, I can say some of the most holy times in my life as been in restaurants. People have fellowshipped around food since there was people. God said He would meet us in a meal, the majority of Christians for the majority of the history of the Christian religion think God becomes the meal in some sense. So I think the connection between meals and fellowship are biblical. My church was a bronko and my “communion” was in many Restaurants because the students I work with dont get to go to those places on a regular basis. Eating is holy, there is so much involved and so many subtle streams that flow into this river. In my career I have known people who were “tubed” I cant go any further into that aspect for many reasons. But eating is not only about getting nutrients, it is about fellowship. Even Jesus said he would fellowship with us in a meal.

    Now I know people who are “fed” through tubes for health reasons, if not they would die. But it was hard to watch those people as they looked at the others on the unit eating and talking. The “tube feeders” were all congregating around the machine that gave them the nutrients they needed. Personally I tried, when I was in a class I would include all the groups and encourage conversations and interaction between the groups, even humor. I cant go further but can tell you it is hard to watch. That is a personal, moral, and spiritual failing on my part and I get that and it has been echoed loudly throughout my Christian experience.

    It cost me financially to have that SUV, I am still paying for it, but I was able to take those folks out. Six of us became very close, I know those students as close as my own skin. I subtle look, a simple smile, a tilt of the head I know what they need. In my Christian experience that has Satan written all over it and that also echoes in my soul. I never got that but I am sure that is because of my own apostasy. I spent all that money, which means nothing to me, because I could share life moments with people I care for so deeply. I wont post how that ticks off fellow Christians, trust me it does, mainly because it is non apologetically oriented and because it is emotional.

    I did all this, or God did it I could careless because it gave some folks a moment of peace and fellowship. Each of those moments are burned into my soul, I treasure them. That old SUV got them to church services, pizza parties, birthdays, restaurants, parks, movies, and so on. Those two years were some of the holiest of my life. I love fellowship, I love being with people. I have had that love used as a tool to kill my soul. I understand why that is because its effective, that alone justifies it use. I get that. But it still hurts. Tack that on to my many failings as a human being.

  83. brian says:

    “Brennan Manning … God rest his soul.”

    I always found this rather hard to understand, from about the second day of me becoming a “Christian” I wondered if I had one of those, a soul. Being as evil and vile as I must be to think how I think, maybe God forgot or messed up on that part of creating me, if he even did. Which I highly doubt. What a strange faith we have, it really is.

  84. Chile says:

    Brian, I don’t even know what “God rest his soul” even means. It just came out as a heart felt grief.

    I know nothing of Brennan other than sermon that Michael posted on here awhile back. I listened to it a couple times and it got me. Brennan is not what I remember, but God talking through Brennan is what made an impact. When a man can talk, yet remain invisible so as not to muddle what God wants to say and do, it’s heart touching.

    “God rest his soul”

  85. brian says:

    I hope God rests all of our souls to be honest.

  86. Nonnie says:

    London, you number 74. Excellent. He taught me not to be ashamed of my brokenness, but to understand that instead, in the grace of God i have a “victorious limp.”

  87. Kathy,
    “It’s a common struggle and pretending you don’t doubt doesn’t make you holier or get you a better seat at the final dance.”

    You must have a reading problem. I was not commenting on whether or not Alex has doubts or not.
    My entire conversation with Alex (you would have to start at my 22 & 35) was over the Bible’s claim, through the Apostle Paul, saying that God’s existence is clearly known as is stated in Romans 1:18-23. The Bible says God’s existence is made clear, Alex says the Bible is wrong because his friends tell him they do not have enough evidence.

    So Kathy, do you believe that God has revealed himself to all mankind through his creation as the Bible says or do you think God left Alex’s friends just out there spinning in the wind with “not enough evidence” as they say?.

  88. mrtundraman says:

    MLD insulted “You must have a reading problem.”

    Is that necessary?

  89. MTM is correct, I should not have used that phrase. However, the alternative would have been “why have you read my comments and purposely misrepresented what I said.?”

    I think it was giving the benefit of the doubt (pun intended) to say she had a problem reading. 🙂

    Whatever it was Kathy must have been in a completely different conversation.

  90. So, MTM, what do you think? Are Alex’s friends disingenuous in saying there is not enough evidence for God, in contradiction to the scriptures – or are they right and the Bible is lacking.?

  91. mrtundraman says:

    I was an atheist in the Lutheran church and would have said that I didn’t believe I was shown evidence for the existence of God and that was in a church. I can only imagine what it is is like to have no religious background and be asked about the subject. I can imagine it because I have friends who are in that situation. They see no evidence.

    I’d say that the Bible says the evidence is out there but it’s possible to choose otherwise. Now I am neither Reformed nor Lutheran so I don’t believe that God would deliberately deceive people so that they couldn’t see grace – because if they said it that grace could not be resisted and they would be saved.

    So it seems to me like Alex is correctly reflecting Reformed theology and that God has allowed unbelievers to be convinced that there is no evidence for His existence.

  92. “They see no evidence.”

    So you think the Bible lies also. The Bible says clearly that the creation IS the evidence. So, you must be saying that they do not see creation.

    The Romans 1 passage states clearly why these folks deny the evidence

    btw, you were no different than that in the Lutheran church – evidence looked you in the face and you denied it was there… as all atheists do. The fact that you were a tare planted among the good wheat is also very biblical.

  93. rick says:

    I went to Taco Bell yesterday and when asked what name, I replied ” Fernando” People like to say Fernando. Especially if you say it in a sultry and deep voice.

  94. mrtundraman says:

    “btw, you were no different than that in the Lutheran church – evidence looked you in the face and you denied it was there… as all atheists do. The fact that you were a tare planted among the good wheat is also very biblical.”

    Or the whole church was a tare placed in a denomination of wheat. Or the whole Lutheran denomination was a tare placed in the wheat of the Protestant Church. Or the whole Protestant church is a tare placed in the wheat of the entire church. Depends upon your perspective.

    Or we could understand what Jesus meant in the context of what He said. That’s my preferred method of interpreting Scripture rather than always seeing myself as the good guy and everyone else as the bad guy.

    YMMV.

  95. mrtundraman says:

    “So you think the Bible lies also. The Bible says clearly that the creation IS the evidence. So, you must be saying that they do not see creation.”

    And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  96. Kathy says:

    “So Kathy, do you believe that God has revealed himself to all mankind through his creation as the Bible says ”

    Yes. I think Darwinists are idiots. It’s obvious there’s a creator.

    “or do you think God left Alex’s friends just out there spinning in the wind with “not enough evidence” as they say?.”

    These are two separate questions, must be answered separately.

    “Not enough evidence” can mean a lot of things. What is the evidence? I took it as there’s not enough evidence there’s a Judeo-Christian God (the God of Abraham).

    “Oh well, well… there’s evidence, look at the historical text, the fulfillment of prophesy, the archeological findings…” says MLD.

    Well, my point is, it’s never so easy. Yeah, you can probably win a debate and prove to me there’s a God, but in the dark times of the soul, we all doubt. That was my point. You can’t condense faith into an intellectual argument.

    And it’s non-debatable. That’s the beauty of it. You can’t debate what I feel or what I believe. 😀

  97. Ixtlan says:

    I went to Taco Bell Thursday night. Didn’t feel like cooking. They asked me my name and I said, “Ixtlan”. The young lady behind the counter asked, “how do you spell that”? I responded “I-X-T-L-A-N”..

    When my food came up they called out, “number two-fifty-one”! But they did bring my food to the table. A man older than myself displayed some kindness as he waited and held the door for me as I left with bags of food. His name could have been Fernando.

  98. MTM,
    “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    You are in error just like Alex. The delusion that god may sends is that people will believe the lie – the false gods. NOT a delusion that no god exists. By the creation, people know that god exists, they choose to either deny or to believe in false gods. But they all know that god exists.

  99. mrtundraman says:

    “You are in error just like Alex.”

    It’s funny. I post a verse and no other words and Gene tells me I am in error. That’s the best one yet, Gene.

  100. “Oh well, well… there’s evidence, look at the historical text, the fulfillment of prophesy, the archeological findings…” says MLD. ”

    You made this part of the conversation up so that you could give a witty answer.

    My point – my only point is that people cannot deny that god exists – because creation says he does. I never once said who that god was.

    My point, made for many years is that we can, from creation, know only 3 things about God.
    1.) he is there
    2.) he is powerful
    3.) and he is mad.

    I never make the point for the god of the bible from creation. I just use that to call foul on the agnostics – who BTW are all functional atheists.

  101. “I post a verse and no other words”

    Go back and read your #96, and tell me that you posted only and verse.

    You posted my question and then the verse in response … to which I said you were in error.

  102. mrtundraman says:

    “You posted my question and then the verse in response … to which I said you were in error.”

    Yep. Apparently you believe that the Bible is in error since I only posted your words and the verses.

  103. mrtundraman says:

    “By the creation, people know that god exists, they choose to either deny or to believe in false gods. But they all know that god exists.”

    Let’s try a bit of logic. Replace God with A and false Gods with B. Then let’s restate your above statements and see if they make sense or are non sequitur.

    All people believe A is true.
    People choose to believe B is true which is to say that they believe in not A.
    People that choose to believe B is true all know that A is true.

    Non sequitur. The two premises are contradictory. People can’t believe A is true and not believe A is true at the same time. That’s the law of non-contradiction.

  104. No, it was your error in application – not the bible’s error in words. You misapplied what the delusion was.

    Show me, and I have asked Alex, where the bible says god makes it unclear that “god” exists? How can he delude them to false gods if no gods exist?

    Perhaps it is EO theology that god plays hide and seek. “If you can find me, I will be your god – but I have left no clues to my existence, nor any bread crumbs to help find me – good luck suckers.” – signed, the EO god.

  105. mrtundraman says:

    My 9:52 is in moderation.

  106. mrtundraman says:

    “No, it was your error in application – not the bible’s error in words”

    I made no application.

    “How can he delude them to false gods if no gods exist?”

    Illogical. How can a person believe in horse if no unicorns exist?

    Plus the question is misdirected.

  107. mrtundraman says:

    “Perhaps it is EO theology that god plays hide and seek”

    Perhaps your criticisms of the Eastern Orthodox Church would have some teeth if you had some knowledge of what the Eastern Church teaches?

  108. I am dealing with this passage and that is all. It is 100% directed at those who deny god exists or to those who say there is no / not enough evidence god exists.

    Romans 1:18-23

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    MTM – if you want to deny this, that’s fine with me – as I told Alex way up in my #35, he was free to make his own application – as are you.

    But then, I am stuck with the text and you are not.

  109. mrtundraman says:

    Here’s a writeup of the differences between the Eastern and Western churches.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_%E2%80%93_Roman_Catholic_theological_differences

  110. mrtundraman says:

    No wonder you were confused when I posted the passage. You thought it was from Romans, not from 2 Thes 2. You actually thought it was about idols because you mistakenly confused it with Romans 1…

  111. mrtundraman says:

    No wonder you were confused when I posted the passage. You thought it was from Rom ch 1, not from 2 Ths. ch 2. You actually thought it was about idols because you mistakenly confused it with Rom ch 1…

  112. mrtundraman says:

    Gene, you should keep reading. If you had you would have reached verse 28.

    Rom. ch 1 v 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    If they forgot about God how can they know about God? Best you can claim is that they knew God at one point and then ceased to know about God because they chose an idol over God.

    Either way, they don’t know about God any longer so Alex’s point is correct. Not that I agree with his position (I don’t know it well enough to agree or disagree).

  113. You don’t have to repeat yourself – I can hear you.

    I knew what passage you posted – and it was misapplied to my question.
    God says that the creation is the clear evidence of his existence and you post a passage that people will be deluded into believing a lie.

    Your passage had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with my question or statement.

    It it is a very good passage, biblical and I am sure would be an answer to many difficult questions – just not mine. You might have just answered with “unicorn” and you would have been just as on target as you were.

  114. mrtundraman says:

    As to Alex’s position, as I understand it… It appears to stand within a solid Christian tradition known as Apophatic Theology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophatic_theology#In_the_Christian_tradition

  115. mrtundraman says:

    “I knew what passage you posted”

    If you knew the passage, then why did you post this?

    “The delusion that god may sends is that people will believe the lie – the false gods.”

    The 2 Thes. passage isn’t about false gods. That was Rom.

  116. MTM,
    “Either way, they don’t know about God any longer so Alex’s point is correct. Not that I agree with his position (I don’t know it well enough to agree or disagree).”

    Thank you – if you go back to the beginning of my conversation with Alex, I made that point – they have resisted and rejected god on their own and god has now turned them over to their own wickedness. But it is because of themselves that they reject god – they deny the evidence. .

    Remember, we are no where close to bringing the god of the bible into the conversation or even Jesus Christ. Alex’s friends deny any god or they deny that there is any evidence for any god.

    See, a hindu has god wrong, but does not deny the existence of god / gods. And I can tell you, most atheists / agnostics I engage with are really just anti christians. (although the new atheist now hate muslims right up there with us.)

  117. mrtundraman says:

    “See, a hindu has god wrong, but does not deny the existence of god / gods. And I can tell you, most atheists / agnostics I engage with are really just anti christians. (although the new atheist now hate muslims right up there with us.)”

    Don’t include me with you. I don’t hate Muslims.

  118. No, the atheists hate muslims like they hate christians.

  119. 2 thess 2 – you don’t see “the lawless one” as being worshiped as a false god? Yikes!

  120. mrtundraman says:

    I love watching the shell game because I realize that the pea is under none of the shells. Same reason you entertain me, Gene. There’s no substance to what you write but it doesn’t keep you from shuffling them around.

  121. Well, I guess we are done, You never addressed the Romans passage at all – neither did Alex. Skepticism and EO must have much in common. Dance around the issue.

  122. MTM,
    I tease about your EO like you tease about my Lutheranism – don’t cough up a hairball.

  123. Alex says:

    MLD, I did address it, you simply refuse to acknowledge or accept the answers.

  124. Alex,
    I don’t think you once addressed the actual passage. You tossed out a bunch of passage quotes to bolster your view that the Romans passage was wrong or inadequate – but you never dealt with the actual words in the passage.

  125. Alex says:

    MLD, again, my claim was that it is unclear and the passage you cite is contradicted by other verses that say how mysterious and unknowable and “we see through a glass darkly” etc the stuff is. If it’s mysterious for believers, how much more for unbelievers.

    I think that it’s also refuted by the fact that many folks just don’t see creation and existence as necessarily proof of God. You are forced to assume that everyone on earth who takes that position is lying and I don’t think that is a reasonable assumption. Many folks sincerely don’t see existence as necessarily proof of God and you seem to hang your hat on the that one passage as saying they do know, but reject God anyways. It’s a weak position, IMO, and doesn’t pass the intellectual honesty test.

  126. Alex,
    Take it up with Paul, he wrote it

  127. “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

    Your rebuttal of unclear or we see through a glass darkly” are valid if you are talking about the fine points or character of God – not about the existence of God which Paul makes clear.

    Deal just with that phrase – not about the quantity of quality of our knowledge about god – just the fact that his existence is made plain.

  128. or deal with this;

    “have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

    Clearly seen – sounds pretty clear here, so the “seeing through a glass darkly” must refer to something else.

    without excuse = sounds pretty clear that the people are without excuse, such as “not enough evidence.”

  129. mrtundraman says:

    “I tease about your EO like you tease about my Lutheranism – don’t cough up a hairball.”

    The difference is I was raised Lutheran and studied Lutheranism. You are ignorant of the historical EO church. Like I saw, it doesn’t stop you from commenting. I am only trying to help you not look foolish.

  130. cANDACE says:

    Dear God, what an ass you are Gene.

  131. Candace says:

    I think your wife should send Michael a sizeable monthly check. You moaning and complaining here daily saves her from hours of having to deal with you each day, Gene.

  132. Alex says:

    Candace, ROTFLOLOLOLOL!!!!

    I bet Mrs. MLD doesn’t let him get away with his crap…which is why he pulls it on here 🙂

  133. Michael says:

    I’n not sure what the conflict is about here.
    Romans 1 seems to indicate that God has revealed Himself enough in natural revelation so as to leave the unbeliever without excuse.
    The Corinthian passage is a statement about the level of divine knowledge we have as believers, not unbelievers.

  134. Anonymous, This Time says:

    Not referring to someone by their online name, that is being an “ass”.

  135. Michael says:

    Candace,

    For future reference…that comment was out of line and people who use a moniker should be addressed by that moniker.

  136. MTM,
    The 14 yr old Lutheran scholar who was so smart, left the church and joined what he now calls a false teaching cult that abuses children. (CCCM). That shows your theological knowledge of that day. 🙂

    I don’t think that you hold any scholastic standing. You follow Perry Robinson wherever he goes.

  137. Thank you Michael for your support of Romans 1 – Alex and MTM seem to have a different view and allow the unbeliever to charge God with not giving evidence of his existence.

    I just let the name thing roll – the 3 name abusers came over from a blog that allows such things.

  138. mrtundraman says:

    “MLD” wrote – “I don’t think that you hold any scholastic standing.”

    What seminary degrees do you hold? I have two Master’s Degrees in this area. One is an Master of Theology degree which I had to surrender to get the other, which is a Master of Divinity.

    I am pretty sure that you are exactly what you accuse me of above.

  139. mrtundraman says:

    “MLD “wrote “You follow Perry Robinson wherever he goes.”

    I greatly respect Perry, but I’ve not been chrismated (joined the Orthodox church) like Perry. Nor did I become a Calvinist like Perry was when I met him because I found Bob Passantino’s arguments more persuasive than Perry’s. Neither did I follow Perry into the Anglican Church. Yet, I count Perry as a friend and brother in Christ. More than anything as long as I’ve known Perry he has been a truth seeker and lets the chips fall where they may theologically.

    As to following Perry more often than not I’ve drawn Perry into discussions with other people which, frankly, are pretty well below him.

    I benefit from having friends of different theological persuasions. I even have an SDA friend who I consider a brother in Christ. No close Catholic friends yet…

    It really doesn’t hurt much to have friends, “MLD”.

  140. mrtundraman says:

    The message of the books of Romans is much wider than Romans chapter 1. By the time we get to Romans chapter 3 we find out that everyone falls under the wrath of God. Whether it was those nations which God allowed to go after pagan deities or even His Chosen People Israel who put their trust in the Covenants to the Fathers and didn’t put their trust in God who made the Covenants.

    In the book of Romans, we find out that everyone put their trust in the wrong things and needs a Savior. To make the book into a discussion of epistemology today is to miss the cross which the book points everyone to.

    The cross is either a stumbling block or foolishness (depending upon what group you are in).

  141. Hey MLD,
    Your argument was just too much truth to be dealt with. I can see the truth in your argument and I applaud you for addressing the “elephant in the room”. I can’t believe that people just feel the need to find some way to justify every notion that comes from Alex’s mind. I can see the truth in Michael’s 135 and have since I read yesterday’s exchange.
    Well, just wanted to drop on here to invite anyone who likes to add me on FB, ’cause I won;t be posting on here much.
    http://www.facebook.com/DerekThornton71

    Adios.

  142. MTM – your #142 is 100% correct.

    However, you still miss the point that God has given evidence of his existence, that is clear and leaves none of us without excuse. The fact that we all go sideways does not mean that the evidence was not given.

    Why is that so hard to admit?

  143. Derek – thanks – I sent you a FB.

  144. mrtundraman says:

    “Well, just wanted to drop on here to invite anyone who likes to add me on FB, ’cause I won;t be posting on here much.”

    If I had a dime for every post that was made by someone after they wrote this, I’d be rich by now.

  145. mrtundraman says:

    “MLD” wrote – “Why is that so hard to admit?”

    Because it denies the message of Romans and misses the fact that the cross happened and we are to live under that reality..

    It doesn’t matter a bit if someone believes in God or not since now it’s all down to the what a person does with the cross. Arguing about whether the situation from before the cross applies today or not is pointless. Of course it doesn’t matter.

  146. mrtundraman says:

    Arguing about that is as pointless as arguing for Luther’s view of justification which was based on the juridical mindset of his day and the Scholastics before him, All of that is your problem, not mine.

  147. MTM,
    You are dancing. This is not about the book of romans – it is about Alex’s statements that agnostics are justified by their claim that god has not given the evidence of his existence or has not given them enough evidence.

    I used the passage to show that in this case Paul was clear that;
    1.) evidence was given
    2.) that evidence is clear enough to be understood
    3.) people are without excuse if they deny the existence of god.

    I stand here. You on the other hand…

  148. People better than you have thrown out much better blows about Luther than you do.

    Yet here we are, in 4 yrs we will commemorate 500 yrs of Luther.

  149. And it wasn’t Luther who gave up a good portion of Christendom to the Muslims – it was the Eastern Church that could not and would not defend their faith.

  150. mrtundraman says:

    “MLD” opined – “And it wasn’t Luther who gave up a good portion of Christendom to the Muslims – it was the Eastern Church that could not and would not defend their faith.”

    Just when I thought….

    You never heard of the Fourth Crusade?

    “The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and sacked the Christian (Eastern Orthodox) city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire). This is seen as one of the final acts in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, and a key turning point in the decline of the Empire and of Christianity in the Near East.”

  151. PP Vet says:

    MTM, MLD accused you of having no scholastic standing, and all you can come up with is a Master of Divinity?

    How do you expect that to stand up to MLD’s six or so years experience bloviating here at PP?

    And never once, not this time, not ever, has he conceded a point.

  152. mrtundraman says:

    This is what our Western Christian ancestors did to the Eastern Christians in their capital –

    “The Latin soldiery subjected the greatest city in Europe to an indescribable sack. For three days they murdered, raped, looted and destroyed on a scale which even the ancient Vandals and Goths would have found unbelievable. Constantinople had become a veritable museum of ancient and Byzantine art, an emporium of such incredible wealth that the Latins were astounded at the riches they found. Though the Venetians had an appreciation for the art which they discovered (they were themselves semi-Byzantines) and saved much of it, the French and others destroyed indiscriminately, halting to refresh themselves with wine, violation of nuns, and murder of Orthodox clerics. The Crusaders vented their hatred for the Greeks most spectacularly in the desecration of the greatest Church in Christendom. They smashed the silver iconostasis, the icons and the holy books of Hagia Sophia, and seated upon the patriarchal throne a whore who sang coarse songs as they drank wine from the Church’s holy vessels. The estrangement of East and West, which had proceeded over the centuries, culminated in the horrible massacre that accompanied the conquest of Constantinople. The Greeks were convinced that even the Turks, had they taken the city, would not have been as cruel as the Latin Christians. The defeat of Byzantium, already in a state of decline, accelerated political degeneration so that the Byzantines eventually became an easy prey to the Turks. The Crusading movement thus resulted, ultimately, in the victory of Islam, a result which was of course the exact opposite of its original intention.”

  153. mrtundraman says:

    “MTM, MLD accused you of having no scholastic standing, and all you can come up with is a Master of Divinity? How do you expect that to stand up to MLD’s six or so years experience bloviating here at PP?”

    Silly me 🙂 I realize most people know better but I’m just dumb enough to take his bait on too many occasions. I apologize to the other people who have to skip past my posts.

    I should have realized that having formal training in Greek, Hebrew, Biblical Exegesis, Old and New Testament theology, a few classes specializing on the Eastern Church, three semesters of Church History, and the dozen or so other subjects I made it through is nothing in comparison to an Internet BLOG theologian.

  154. First you have no idea what training I have had.
    Second, even if I bragged about my doctorate, MTM would still call me invalid for being a Lutheran.
    If I find a 3rd party beside myself, who has higher and more degrees than MTM – does that trump his knowledge?

    But MTM does have me beat in the bragging area. I can’t remember anyone else on this blog for all these years who had to run to their degrees to try to get the upper hand … while never addressing the topic.

  155. mrtundraman says:

    What happened at Constantinople is only a footnote in Western History but it is at the center of the thinking of the Eastern Church. Even today they attribute their weakness and the ascendency of Islam to the sacking by the West and the Western Church as the criminally liable party to the events.

    What we are dealing with today in the Middle East could have been very different if the West had come to the aid of the East rather than raiding the East for plunder. The part of the world, Asia Minor, which Paul won to Christ was lost because of the actions of the west.

    At least try to understand an Eastern Christian if you ever dialog with one.

  156. PP Vet says:

    MLD, you brought it up, you lost.

    How about growing a soul and just admitting it once in a while.

  157. mrtundraman says:

    “MLD” wrote “First you have no idea what training I have had.”

    I actually do. I can tell what you know from what you write.

    “But MTM does have me beat in the bragging area.”

    That’s funny since it was you who made the claim… “I don’t think that you hold any scholastic standing.” … I was just answering your claim with the facts.

    But I guess you proved PP Vet wrong since you have now admitted to losing a point here. It takes a big man to do that.

    “I can’t remember anyone else on this blog for all these years who had to run to their degrees to try to get the upper hand”

    I don’t need the degrees to get the upper hand in the argument. They just help.

    “… while never addressing the topic.”

    Asked and answered.

  158. mrtundraman says:

    PP Vet, And I bet he was gonna tell us about some class he took online from some unaccredited Bible College.

    If we are going to talk about credentials, I’ll stand up my entire seminary education to the 5 years I spend going through the Book of Romans with Bob and Gretchen Passantino (maybe it was really 4 years, but let’s say 5 years). In fact, it was what convinced me to go to seminary.

    I remember spending 6 weeks on just one passage stuck in the phrase “by one man … all men”. Left me with a fairly decent knowledge of the book. Not as good as some, but I did read every commentary on the book that was worth reading during that time. Luther’s included.

    I watched numerous Calvinists like Perry Robinson (like the hired guns in the Old West) try to take down Bob (not a Calvinist). Hardened me against every Calvinistic interpretation of the book of Romans. Nearly every one of them is no longer a Calvinist, by the way.

    And Bob and Gretchen were LCMS Lutherans.

  159. Glen says:

    MTM,

    Just curious if you would name the school or schools…….

  160. erunner says:

    Knowledge without wisdom can become quite dangerous…

  161. mrtundraman says:

    “Just curious if you would name the school or schools…….”

    The people here who have friended me on facebook probably know the two seminaries since I have pictures of my MDiv graduation (2003) on there and a trip I took to the Middle East with the other seminary (2001).

    I’d rather not bring disrepute on two seminaries by having me or my views wrongly associated with them in this public forum. I would prefer if they were not named.

    Both seminaries were generally more liberal theologically than I am. It was a struggle to go through some aspects of seminary when you are conservative. You are definitely outnumbered, but even in more liberal seminaries there are conservative staff.

    A great ministry would be to start a support group for conservative seminary students. When I did my 3-month hospital chaplaincy we were in a group of 7 of us. Myself and a Catholic priest were the only two Conservative Christians. Our mentor and the rest other 5 interns were ELCA (Liberal Lutherans), Episcopal (liberal ones), etc.

    In some of my classes if you offered an apologetics answer you were mocked. By both students and instructors. I did manage to find Conservative friends in both seminaries.

  162. “And Bob and Gretchen were LCMS Lutherans.”

    I know they were LCMS – which in your mind makes them unsaved. But I guess you still learned from them.

    I attended their Mars Hills classes also.

  163. mrtundraman says:

    “Knowledge without wisdom can become quite dangerous:”

    Not as dangerous as having neither.

  164. mrtundraman says:

    ““And Bob and Gretchen were LCMS Lutherans.” I know they were LCMS – which in your mind makes them unsaved. But I guess you still learned from them. I attended their Mars Hills classes also.”

    This wasn’t Mars Hill although I did attend there as well. It was their class on Romans. Before they started teaching Concordia classes.

    Not sure how you can know what is in my mind about their salvation. If you knew Bob you’d know where he stands on theistic determinism so he may have been a LCMS but he wasn’t your kind or the Calvinist’s kind.

    Mars Hill wasn’t a “class” as much as a Christian Philosophy group and yes, we did see a lot of people come and go over the years. I mostly stopped going in 1996 when I started seminary.

    I keep in touch with a lot of people from Mars Hill and I’ll reach out to see if they know you.

  165. mrtundraman says:

    MLD – Do you remember Bob’s favorite argument of all time?

  166. MTM – I was doing their Mars Hills around 1985 until about 1988. I did a 3 yrs course at Simon Greenleaf overlapping that same period of time.

  167. “Not sure how you can know what is in my mind about their salvation. ”

    By your broadbrush anti Lutheran statements.

    I wonder what they would think of your venture into the EO? Well, Gretchen anyways.

  168. MLD – Do you remember Bob’s favorite argument of all time?

    No

  169. mrtundraman says:

    I thought about Melodyland and Simon Greenleaf but wanted an accredited seminary since that is what real denominations require for ordination (an MDiv from an accredited seminary)..

  170. Pardon My Interruption says:

    To never concede a point makes one a fool.

  171. mrtundraman says:

    “MLD – Do you remember Bob’s favorite argument of all time?
    No”

    It’s a pretty good argument. I must have heard it a hundred times in the years I hung out with Bob.

    It’s a Greg Bahnsen argument for the existence of God called TAG, the Transcendental Argument for the existence of God. Bob was a big advocate of the argument and was still using it when I visited So Cal in 2003 or so. I think he might have had a variant of the argument and being Bahnsen’s argument it probably really was Van Ti;s argument based on presuppositionalism.

  172. Although I always have one foot in the prepositional door, I never cozied up to Bahnsen very much. I understand prepositionalism better from John Frame … yikes, another Calvinist.

  173. mrtundraman says:

    “Although I always have one foot in the prepositional door, I never cozied up to Bahnsen very much. I understand prepositionalism better from John Frame … yikes, another Calvinist.”

    You have me confused. Do you mean presuppositionalism?

  174. mrtundraman says:

    I was very much a fan of Bahnsen although never convinced by his Calvinism. I attended a few years of his conferences at CSUF even though I was an Arminian. A good argument is still a good argument. I’ve listened to dozen of Bahnsen tapes over the years and miss the man. I even tried attending his church but my kids couldn’t sit that still for that long. I did love his Q&A session after the sermon. What an opportunity to learn from a giant.

    A brilliant man and a good pastor too. And very, very much a Calvinist.

  175. “Do you mean presuppositionalism?”

    Yes, I was multi tasking poorly.

  176. The problem with Van Tillian presuppositionalism is that you pretty much need to be a Calvinist to pull it off – that is what I mean by “one foot in.”

  177. mrtundraman says:

    They said the same thing about Reconstructionism but I don’t buy it. I see no necessary inconsistency between Arminianism and Postmillenialism. The Dominion Theology folks made a whole system out of it. They are Arminian and Postmillenialists.

    I am a Theonomist but an Arminian. I don’t see a problem with that. Good arguments are good arguments.

    Bob liked presuppositionalism but hated with a passion Calvinism.

  178. mrtundraman says:

    The problem with Van Til is that you have to have an IQ over 200 to follow him and the guys that are that smart are rarely dumb enough to explain him to us hoi polloi..

  179. Alex says:

    I used to argue from the Presuppositional framework. Unfortunately, the bible and logic don’t mix well. Presuppositionalism is one giant exercise in circular reasoning.

  180. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, I don;t think that you can get from presuppositionalism to the God of the Bible as revealed in the Holy Trinity, but I do think it can establish the existence of a transcendent creator.

  181. Alex says:

    Ironically, Presuppositionalisms End Game, if one is a strict adherent to the Clarkian “logic” version…is my conclusion of either:

    Fatalism: God picks and chooses winners and losers (some chosen, some hell fodder)

    or

    Universal Reconciliation: Law of Love trumps all, God redeems His creation and it’s a Big Tent

    Those are the two possible logical conclusions (depending on what one assumes is the Greater Truth) from the competing narratives and paradox in Scripture.

  182. Alex says:

    MTM, agreed. The Trinity makes no sense. It is about as far removed from logic as east is from west.

  183. Kathy says:

    I just stabbed my eye out.

  184. PP Vet says:

    God is apprehended not through mental gymnastics but by revelation.

  185. Misty says:

    Candace,
    🙂

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