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255 Responses

  1. Captain Kevin says:

    FIRST!!!

  2. Captain Kevin says:

    At the moment, the only application I have is sadness mixed with a little bit of “Who the hell do these people think they are?”

  3. Please Note says:

    Great points, Michael.

    Always love how you turn a phrase…it’s a gift.

    Blessings, Brother!

    Hey Cap’n

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, PN!
    Good morning, CK!

  5. Sam Goden says:

    Is better to canonize a man and laud him as some super Christian after his death? There are Christians that we will never hear of that live ordinary lives but have a great influence on others throughout their lives than these Celebrity Pastors that we idolize.

    If one is going to canonize Willard, one must also be willing to accept critique on this man’s teachings as well.

    And critique doesnt equal hate or equate to someone pissing on someone’s grave.

    For all this lauding of Willard also exposes his works to new audiences. Audiences that just need to be aware of some of the errant teachings that come from Willard

    Strains of universal salvation, claiming to hearing direct revelation from God. Spiritual Formation methods never mentioned in the Bible.

    Willard was a fine Christian author and philosopher and I am sure he had influence on a great many of people and pointed them to Christ but lets hesitate before we canonize the man fully.

  6. Kevin H says:

    I second CK’s application.

    I’m just glad I’m not very familiar with most of the places where this vile condemnation and vitriol gets spewed.

  7. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Didn’t u piss on David Hunt’s?

  8. Captain Kevin says:

    Good morning to you both, my brothers!

  9. Michael says:

    Sam,
    If you read the thread about Willard I wrote yesterday, I hardly canonized him.
    I did speak of him with honor and respect…which I believe he deserved.

  10. Michael says:

    Solomon,

    No, I didn’t.
    But, as i said, this is part of his legacy.

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    Sam G., no one is “canonizing” Willard or anyone else around here.

    Also, what do you call “wonder if he took an air conditioner with him…”?

    Sounds like grave pissing to me. Next.

  12. Recently I have spoken about how blessed my life is right now.

    I have not seen 1 person condemn Dallas Willard since his death. I’ve not even seen a critical review of his life.

    After seeing this just now, I checked all the usual sites we’d call ODM’s…nothing.

    At some point, I must have stopped listening to those voices, and my life is better for it.

    All that being said, this is a great analogy.

    “Now, what these things are in reality is never defined but a full bladder and an empty head need no definitions, just a place to pee.” 🙂

    Well said.

  13. Sigh. Acknowledging differences or concerns over another’s theology is not the same as consigning that person in your thoughts and judgment to the fiery pit for eternity. In Hunt’s case, as well as in the passing of Willard, Michael acknowledged each held positions that were not his own yet rejoiced in the assurance that both are now with their maker. I am quite convinced that at our own passings, we will be marvelously astounded by just how little we really saw and understood through each of our dark glasses.

  14. Michael says:

    “Spiritual Formation methods never mentioned in the Bible.”

    Neither are youth pastors, worship leaders, pews, church boards, retreats, or raccoons.

  15. Michael says:

    OUAT,

    I’ll say the first amen…

  16. Frosted Flake says:

    Why are Christians so naturally contrary and combative. It’s like 007, they have been given a license to kill anybody who speaks or writes or has an opinion. I must need a break.

  17. Scott Barber says:

    Great post Michael! In situations like this you see that difficult ballance between cynicism and hagiography, and then you also see that we’re most often more cynical when it comes to hagiography than were are to cynicism itself. The fact that hagiography is one of the few distinctly Christian literary genres should shock this cynicism. How can this be? Are we not failing to be realistic in such hagiography? Then you see that Christian’s have always rejoiced more and spoken more loudly about the sanctification and subsequent glory of Christian men and women than we have of their sins. Why you ask? Because we rejoice more in the work of God than we do in the work of men. By the way, I’m not saying that we should not talk of the sins of Christians post-trip-to-heaven, but that it should always be a footnote to their glory in Christ. We talk of Saint Paul the persecuter only that we can speak more loudly of Paul the Christian. We talk of Saint Augustine the heretic and sexual sinner only that we can speak more loudly of Augustine the Christian. And the list will go on… The fact is this: that when we talk of Christians, we should talk of them in a way that edifies the Church, and hagiography is always more edifying than cynicism.

  18. Thst was a pretty good oped piece. I lke to tell people that it is possible to be “saved” with the security of the eternity of heaven and be theologically incorrect.

  19. Sam Goden says:

    Michael,

    I have yet to see one blog or mention of Willard’s death that says the terrible things you say were written about him. Can you tell me where i can find these horrible things you say were written about him?

    Can you show me where someone actually said he should have taken an air conditioner with him?

    I have seen multiple articles about him how he was a spiritual giant and such though. Full of praise and admiration for the man. Much of that is well deserved.

    One would think by reading these praises, Willard’s works were to be held up there in esteem with the Bible. But many of his works are problematic and just plain false teaching along with his disciples Foster and Ortberg.

    Just remember the next time some hyper-authoritative pastor that reads Willard widely uses the “God told me so” card that he was influence by Willard and his teachings on “hearing from God”

  20. Frosted Flake says:

    I read about cheese burgers in Second Samson.

  21. Michael says:

    Scott,

    Well said.
    At least when I die everyone will agree it was by grace alone that I made it home. 🙂

  22. Michael says:

    Sam,

    Those quotes are directly off the Facebook page of a well known ODM.

  23. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Steve Brown always says that half of what he believes is wrong…he’s just not sure which half..

  24. Believe says:

    Part of human nature and sincerity in disdain for a particular persons actions or philosophical positions.

    Not much different than the strong criticism given toward a Todd Bentley, Chuck Smith or George Bryson due to either actions or philosophical differences and disagreements.

    We’re all ODM’s. We all have an angle, an agenda an opinion and belief system and we all have strong disagreements with others. I think bad actions are much easier to quantify and judge, which is the ODM’ing I’ve done in the past…whereas most of you seem to be more focused on the “correct”ness of a person’s particular doctrinal/theological opinion and philosophy.

  25. Frosted Flake says:

    Sam,
    I always trust the teachings and writings of people who say they “don’t” hear from God. It makes for easy reading because it goes in the trash.

  26. Believe says:

    Strongly criticizing the ODM’s is itself ODM’ing…and is expressed as the Negative to their Affirmative position that “they” have discernment and a discernment ministry. Every criticism of what you label an “ODM” is itself a mirroring of what you claim you are against.

  27. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I wasn’t in Willards theological camp.
    However, that doesn’t mean that I condemn him to the pit.
    In fact, I can still learn from him.
    We can disagree while still holding each other in Christian love and respect.

  28. Believe says:

    The use of hyperbole and the subtle jabs at the other person’s intelligence and the metaphor used above is manipulative and a negative critique and judgment on the particular person’s heart, motive and intellectual capacity and is an insult.

    IMO, it is equivalent to what you accuse them of. I think the best way to critique an ODM without being like them is to example the opposite and to return what you perceive as their evil, with good.

  29. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Sam,
    I always trust the teachings and writings of people who say they “don’t” hear from God. It makes for easy reading because it goes in the trash.”

    Cause someone says they hear from God doesn’t make it so

  30. I like guys like Willard who make me think. One of the things I fear the most as I get older is that I will stop thinking…and become a crusty furry old turd good for nothing else than sitting aimlessly in someones front yard!

    Thank you Mr. Willard and Brennan Manning for making me think

  31. Believe says:

    I’m assuming the “ODM” under the microscope today is Jackie Alnor. Jackie, I love you regardless of what I perceive is right or wrong with your positions and actions. I appreciate the kindness you showed me in my situation.

    I think you are sincere in your strong opinions and I wish you the best. I don’t see your “emergent” argument, but who knows, you could be right, I just don’t see it and I don’t think the Fundamentalist position on many issues withstands the scrutiny of critical thinking, but I could be wrong.

  32. ” I think the best way to critique an ODM without being like them is to example the opposite and to return what you perceive as their evil, with good.”

    I actually agree with this. As I’ve said before, grace is easy for those we agree with.

  33. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Exactly.
    While I don’t hold to some of what Willard taught, something I heard yesterday on the YouTube I posted had me pondering it all night.
    For that I too, am grateful.

  34. Believe says:

    “Thank you Mr. Willard and Brennan Manning for making me think”

    Amen. I think both men were sincere in their struggle to find God and both had some interesting thoughts to consider.

  35. Xenia says:

    What is “spiritual formation?”

  36. Xenia says:

    From Wikipedia (Sound like Orthodox 101 to me!)

    1. Relational Spirituality: Loving God Completely, Ourselves Correctly, and Others Compassionately
    2. Paradigm Spirituality: Cultivating an Eternal versus a Temporal Perspective
    3. Disciplined Spirituality: Engaging in the Historical Disciplines
    4. Exchanged Life Spirituality: Grasping Our True Identity in Christ
    5. Motivated Spirituality: A Set of Biblical Incentives
    6. Devotional Spirituality: Falling in Love with God
    7. Holistic Spirituality: Every Component of Life under the Lordship of Christ
    8. Process Spirituality: Process versus Product, Being versus Doing
    9. Spirit-Filled Spirituality: Walking in the Power of the Spirit
    10. Warfare Spirituality: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
    11. Nurturing Spirituality: A Lifestyles of Evangelism and Discipleship
    12. Corporate Spirituality: Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship.[5]

  37. Xenia, as far as I can tell, that means “prayer”.

  38. Xenia says:

    Typo Queen 🙁

  39. Xenia says:

    It sounds really good to me. I think I will buy one of his books. Any recommendations?

  40. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think it does bear some similarities to Orthodox practice as it’s about being very intentional about growing in the grace and knowledge of God.

  41. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    “The Divine Conspiracy”.

  42. Xenia says:

    The Divine Conspiracy now resides on my Kindle.

  43. Frosted Flake says:

    X,
    It’s when you build a cross out of Lego’s. Just kidding. It’s word play for discipleship, sanctification and spiritual maturity. Phraseology popular with Charimatics and Christian mystics.

  44. Believe says:

    “it’s about being very intentional about growing in the grace and knowledge of God.”

    Yes, interesting. I like the description of “intentional”…it assumes something active and willful and not mysterious or miraculous, more a decision and more a strategy and more a concerted effort and a more practical effort.

  45. Xenia says:

    Well, Mystics R Us in Ortholandia so I will probably enjoy it.

  46. Believe says:

    A consideration: maybe the ‘magic’ isn’t in the chicken being made a chicken, but the magic is the result of making the egg after the chicken makes it happen by being willful and intentional.

  47. Sam Goden says:

    Sigh….no more needs to be said. Case in point.

  48. Michael says:

    Intentional does not rule out the miraculous or the mystical…in fact this is considered by many to be Christian mysticism.
    The Christian life is full of mystery.

  49. Michael says:

    Sam,
    I missed your point.

  50. Xenia says:

    I think he meant that my endorsement proved his point that Willard was wrong about many things.

  51. Frosted Flake says:

    X,
    It’s just descriptive language but the ODM’s hate it. And everybody else who walks on two legs. I heard they have it in for dogs and cats as well.

  52. Believe says:

    “Intentional does not rule out the miraculous or the mystical”

    Agreed, my question is that maybe the miraculous and mystical is not manifested in this dimension, in this kingdom. The miracle and the mystical may be a function of the results of the actions and ideals prescribed and a by-product of the actions and intentionality of the actions and practices.

    In other words, the “miracle” is a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. We make the miracle by being the miracle, intentionally.

  53. My understanding of Mysticism is that it IS intentional. It is following certain physical practices to achieve spiritual results.

    Different than miraculous, and usually avoided by the Baptist folks.

    Part of the reason Willard and Richard Foster aren’t read much in my world.

  54. Xenia says:

    What would be the opposite of spiritual formation, I wonder?

  55. Xenia says:

    My understanding of Mysticism is that it IS intentional. It is following certain physical practices to achieve spiritual results.<<<

    Josh, you are 100 percent correct!

  56. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You should never set me up with a question like that… 🙂

  57. Frosted Flake says:

    X,
    Maybe spiritually stagnant or stalled. Good question.

  58. Believe says:

    The Calvinist position seems to be that God arbitrarily miracles folks into chickens and a chicken will be known by its fruit or will prove to be a chicken through evidence of the chicken demonstrating its a real chicken. There will be feathers, it will go ‘bock, bock!”, it will lay eggs.

    I’ve had a hard time with this position b/c the only time I see chickens being chickens is when they are completely intentional about it and go against the negative tendencies of their true nature.

    The other curve ball is that many (assumed) non-chickens choose to go against the negatives (or duality) in their nature and demonstrate chicken-ness by being intentional about doing good things as well (many assumed non-chickens do very good things at times and it produces a sort of miracle here in this existence, both for themselves and for those who are the beneficiary of their “good” efforts).

  59. Michael says:

    FF,

    You hit the sweet spot.
    Once we are fossilized into certain dogmas we are no longer allowed to think or grow…and the result is dead dogmatism.
    I think…

  60. Believe says:

    From a personal example, I can be intentional in either direction and I seem to have complete control over whether to be intentional about being “good” or being not good. It is an experiment I have conducted a few times in my journey and there are tangible measurable results.

    Reaping and Sowing principle seems to be a very solid principle, even empirically.

  61. Bob Sweat says:

    “Part of the reason Willard and Richard Foster aren’t read much in my world.”

    That’s too bad. Celebration of Discipline is a classic!

  62. Absolutely, Bob Sweat! I don’t often follow the rules of “my world” 🙂

  63. Michael says:

    Believe,

    You are operating in category confusion.
    There is a difference between the “miraculous” and the “providence” of God.
    A miracle is when God interrupts or intervenes in the natural state of things such as to create something from nothing or an instantaneous healing.
    The providence of God is wherein He used things in the natural state to accomplish His will in a matter.
    For example…
    Yesterday morning I was flat broke, worried about having enough gas to get around, let alone pay the monthly bills.
    Yesterday afternoon, a person unexpectedly came by the house and paid back an old debt and threw in some extra to bless me.
    Prayer answered…we live to fight another month.
    Now, that wasn’t a miracle, though it felt like one.
    It was Gods providence moving His people around to accomplish His will.

  64. Bob Sweat says:

    Most of you know that I am the Foster lover at PP. I’ve known that man for almost 50 years! I’ve had many one on ones with Richard and I don’t always see eye to eye with him, but I have never doubted his deep love for Christ. In my opinion, one of the reasons some don’t enjoy him is that he writes on a different level than most. Steve mentioned earlier that he enjoys those who make him think. Richard does just that. Perhaps some are afraid to think outside the box they choose to live. I am grateful for Manning, Nouwen, Foster, and others who have challenged me to think!

  65. Believe says:

    The philosophical dilemma for the Fundamentalist is that “actions” in the bible can be argued as a stronger profession of Belief than rote dogma, rote catechism and rote professions.

    “Depart from me I never knew you” is quite a powerful example in Revelation that speaks to the powerlessness of professions “Didn’t I do this or that in your name!”

    What is more remarkable is the possibility that many are ‘saved” who have no “correct understanding” of doctrine or theology…yet we assume that a good and just God would not condemn a person to eternal torment who never heard the “correct Gospel”…if so, we must assume it is actions-based and a heart-based salvation that supercedes a “correct understanding”

    We may also assume that those who gave professions in Revelation had the ‘correct Jesus”…it was their hearts and their actions that condemned them.

    If this is true, then it is very possible that Conscience and heart and action is the determining factor in Salvation and not an intellectual articulation of what is assumed to be a correct doctrinal or theological position (which further evidence is the fact that there is such broad disagreement on what “correct” is as exampled by 9,000 to 30,000 denoms).

    The one Constant that seems to be the Holy Spirit…is the “fruit”.

    Wherever we see “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control”…we can assume that is the work fo the Holy Spirit….wherever it is found.

  66. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I’m glad you’re here to testify to these things…and here, period. 🙂

  67. Michael says:

    Believe,

    The passage you are referencing is in Matthew…

  68. Sam Goden says:

    Sigh…once again…more Willard literacy than Bible literacy.

    That passage is in Matthews NOT Revelation

  69. Believe says:

    “You are operating in category confusion.
    There is a difference between the “miraculous” and the “providence” of God.
    A miracle is when God interrupts or intervenes in the natural state of things such as to create something from nothing or an instantaneous healing.
    The providence of God is wherein He used things in the natural state to accomplish His will in a matter.
    For example…
    Yesterday morning I was flat broke, worried about having enough gas to get around, let alone pay the monthly bills.
    Yesterday afternoon, a person unexpectedly came by the house and paid back an old debt and threw in some extra to bless me.
    Prayer answered…we live to fight another month.
    Now, that wasn’t a miracle, though it felt like one.
    It was Gods providence moving His people around to accomplish His will.”

    I understand the distinction from your particular theological premise.

    I disagree that we see Supernatural Miracles today in this dimension. I think the “miracles” we have today are the ones we create due to Reaping and Sowing.

    As I stated earlier up the thread, I see any true Supernatural Miracles as occurring in God’s Kingdom which is ethereal and “not of this world” and I see our “miracles” today as the manifestation of good born out of Reaping and Sowing and being intentional about creating our own miracles through intentionality of doing (as prescribed by the bible or other philosophies that express similar).

  70. Believe says:

    “The passage you are referencing is in Matthew…”

    Yes, it is, thank you. The context was “on judgment day” and we assume Jesus was speaking to the White Throne judgment of Revelation, if we accept Revelation as equally scripture and literal.

  71. “As I stated earlier up the thread, I see any true Supernatural Miracles as occurring in God’s Kingdom which is ethereal and “not of this world” and I see our “miracles” today as the manifestation of good born out of Reaping and Sowing and being intentional about creating our own miracles through intentionality of doing (as prescribed by the bible or other philosophies that express similar).”

    I would say that 999 x out of 1000 you are correct. I would always leave open the option that God can do what God wants to do.

    Other than that, I see everything as being from God, so in that way miraculous, and I celebrate it as such. Things like childbirth and parenthood are wonderful miracles from God that i have experienced, and continue to experience. I don’t have to ask him for more. He has given me more than I could ever need!

  72. Frosted Flake says:

    I think that pride equals stagnant in the circles I travel in. When you have “arrived” at the pinnacle of eschatological knowledge and accurate interpretation of all things Middle East and Middle Earth why learn anything more about Jesus.

  73. Michael says:

    FF,

    Unfortunately, you’re right.

  74. @ 71 – I assumed you were talking about the “I will spew you out” in regards to Laodicea.

  75. Believe says:

    The reality is we do not see Supernatural Miracles today. Not one. It is an easy position to disprove, yet the whole of religion that believes in them cannot demonstrate even one in this day and age, which speaks volumes to those who seek to deal in truth rather than anecdote.

  76. Michael says:

    Jesus said that His kingdom has come…though not yet in it’s fullness.
    Not that tough a concept…

  77. Sam Goden says:

    Relying on one’s own experiences and feelings instead of what the Bible says feeds the narcissistic American culture and the church in America today.

    “God told me to..” replaces any display of sound theology among the average church attendee in America.

    Spiritual Formation and Mysticism feeds into this culture by saying we need to practice certain disciplines in order to properly hear from God. People are led away from the faith when they rely too much on feelings and supposed “hearing from God” when they are convinced they are doing God’s will and instead hard times and sufferings come.

    It is a dangerous teaching to say that every Christian hears from God today. How many times have we seen this abused in the church today.

    Yes, people are saved without proper theology. But also, many are led astray and abused by improper theology. One only need look at the cases of abuse within the church today.

  78. @ 76 – That’s pretty much true. Is that in reference to this article about ODM’s and Dallas Willard?

  79. Michael says:

    Sam,

    It’s not an either/or proposition.
    We can practice sound theology and spiritual disciplines at the same time.
    There is not a sound biblical principle that someone has not abused at some time…it doesn’t mean you lose the principle.

  80. “It is a dangerous teaching to say that every Christian hears from God today. ”

    Couldn’t disagree more. God’s word is still alive and speaking to the hearts of men every day.

  81. Believe says:

    “I see everything as being from God, so in that way miraculous”

    Agreed, to a point. The push-back would be that Fundamentalists (and others) assume that God created the devil and created mankind with the free will to choose sin, with the foreknowledge that man would choose to sin and the foreknowledge that God would have to send most of humanity to eternal torment.

    I don’t agree with this position any longer.

    If God is truly “good” and “just”…then there must be something outside of His design and His plan and His control that He is bound by, otherwise it truly makes God the author of all things, including the devil, sin, hell and all the bad.

  82. Believe says:

    “replaces any display of sound theology ”

    I respectfully disagree that there exists something called “sound theology” as an absolute.

    I can demonstrate such if you lay out your version of “sound theology”.

  83. @ 82 –
    1. Who are the “Fundamentalists” that you keep talking about? You reference things that they believe, but I haven’t seen anyone else say those things.

    2. “If God is truly “good” and “just”…”
    Perhaps you don’t have a full understanding on what “good” and “just” really are. Maybe the image image of God within you is shattered to a point that sometimes you see good as bad and bad as good?

  84. mike says:

    Brother Willard is gone (to be with the Lord, His and Ours), his family is grieving his loss (as am I the loss of my mom 1 month ago)… This is not an appropriate time to be ‘pissing’ on anyone’s grave.
    Regardless if you agreed with or dispised his theology and teaching (very long and distinguished carreer) leave the man’s memory and the family alone and in peace for at least awhile so they can process and get thru this difficult transition.
    The last thing that the family needs is mudsling and slime throwing, and DEFINITELY no consigning to Eternal Hell a brother who unapologetically loved, served and followed Jesus.
    Christians can really SUCK sometimes. Nuff said.
    -mike

  85. Sam Goden says:

    Michael,

    It doesnt mean you promote a principle that isnt in the Bible either.

    Modern man hearing from God today is not a sound biblical principle. When Willard says that we can learn to hear God’s voice through experience:

    “The only answer to the question, how do we know whether this is from God? is By experience””

    Experience???

    Willard teaches an almost Gnostic approach to Christianity. That we attain some higher plane through Spiritual Formation.

    Contemplative prayer, is also a practice where we are to rely on our own feelings and experience.

    Sorry, I think Willard’s writings do have much to teach but when he wanders off the path into mysticism and gnosticism, he is not standing upon the ground of sound biblical principles.

    I know people like you would say…”eat the meat and spit out the bones” But modern Evangelicals have a hard time even distinguishing between meat and bones and will eact the bones and spit out the meat or worse choke on the bones.

  86. Bob says:

    “Why are Christians so naturally contrary and combative.”

    Answer:

    Church tradition. We Christians don’t have a tradition of peace. Sadly our King came and taught peace. Hey maybe he really isn’t our King.

    “Get behind me…”

  87. Believe says:

    Josh, when I refer to “fundamentalists” it is a broad-brush of the Group within Christianity that adheres to a more Conservative and Literal interpretation of what is considered the biblical canon. In the 19th century the “Fundamentalists” began to strongly criticize the liberals and what they described as modernists who were examining the bible from a more reasoned and critical thinking perspective including textual criticism, historical criticism and rhetorical criticism etc.

    Fundamentalists adhere to biblical inerrancy, which is a very tenuous position, IMO, in light of all the truth and evidence we now have available that demonstrates that the many books which make up the bible, while containing truth, are probably not “inerrant” in the Universally accepted definition of the term.

  88. Frosted Flake says:

    False dichotomy is ruling this thread. Boy’s there are more than two sides to these issues. Count with your fingers and toes in your thinking.

  89. Michael says:

    Sam,

    So the God who has spoken to His people since creation has now ceased to speak except through the book?
    I don’t think so.
    Feelings are part of how we were created…and while they can deceive us, they at times can be directed by the Holy Spirit.
    God can and will and does keep His kids from complete shipwreck.
    He’s a good dad.

  90. Frosted Flake says:

    I love sounding like a moderator. Such power.

  91. Michael says:

    FF,

    Nuance is usually not part of religious discourse… 🙂

  92. Believe says:

    I think G used a great metaphor about God and the bible and Jesus and Christianity…it is more akin to Music and Art than it is to a mathematical absolute and mathematical formula.

    It doesn’t add up, or it adds up in a broad range of different answers.

    As Music and Art, it is beautiful and many interpret the Artist’s work in a broad range of ways, even among the 9,000 to 30,000 denominations.

    There seems to be very few Constants that are Universally agreed upon.

    The “fruit of the Spirit” seems to be as secure a validation of being God’s as there is…”love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control”

  93. Michael says:

    FF,

    I can make it official and ruin the rest of your life… 🙂
    My moderators usually need therapy after a tour of duty…

  94. Frosted Flake says:

    Michael,
    You have the patience of Job………….and I’m praying you get one of those although I selfishly like having you around.

  95. @ 88 – OK, I guess then I am a fundamentalist. Never referred to myself as such, and noone who knows me has ever called me that, but by that definition I am a fundamentalist.

    I’ve never seen a Universal definition on Biblical Inerrancy, but I believe in Inerrancy as defined by the SBC.

    I don’t think this is the thread to roll all that out, but you know how to get hold of me if you want to.

  96. Michael says:

    FF,

    Thank you.
    I multitask while Trey is in school…cause when he gets out I only have one task I can handle. 🙂

  97. Sam Goden says:

    Michael,

    Well, we are going to have to agree to disagree and i will bow out of this discussion.

    If you can’t see the more harm than good that has been caused throughout history of people claiming to hear from God directly, then there is nothing else for us to discuss on this matter.

    I do thank you for allowing my comments on your blog

  98. Believe says:

    “It doesnt mean you promote a principle that isnt in the Bible either.

    Modern man hearing from God today is not a sound biblical principle. When Willard says that we can learn to hear God’s voice through experience:”

    Do you believe that God speaks to you when you pray? Is it a conversation or a one-way street?

    When you read the bible, do you believe the Holy Spirit directs your understanding?

    When the bible speaks of the “gifts” of prophecy and discernment and teaching etc, do you assume those gifts ceased?

    When you pray and ask God to help you make a decision about something, do you assume that God directs you in that particular decision?

    If you answered yes to any of these, then you assume God interacts with you today as a modern man and guides and directs your path etc and a lot of biblical narrative supports this claim.

  99. Michael says:

    Sam,

    I believe that God is always speaking…through His word, through people, through circumstances and sometimes directly to my heart.
    I even wrote a book about it…
    We enjoy diversity here, so feel free to chime in anytime.

  100. Believe says:

    What is ironic is that the “Discernment” crowd and the mystics and Emergents are pretty much arguing the same thing, but from opposite corners: God is in the Progressive Revelation business and interacts with modern man and speaks to folks in a variety of ways to this day.

  101. Believe says:

    Josh: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/chicago.htm

    I will state down-the-middle non hyperbole that the statement has a lot of loopholes to carefully re-define what is Universally accepted as the definition of “inerrant”

  102. “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”

    From Baptist Faith and Message.

  103. Frosted Flake says:

    Sam,
    I too have had my fill of people who say they have “heard from God” but am still left with a slight prophetic streak of my own because it is still listed in the Bible as a spiritual gift. You are thoughtful in your comments and I would join Michael in welcoming you here anytime.

  104. David Sloane says:

    Just checking in on my lunch hour.
    #90 stands out in “high light” to me…Holy Spirit underlining.
    God spoke there…

  105. Believe says:

    To the discussion of doctrine vs. actions:

    I think Jesus in Matthew 23 does a great job demonstrating the role of both issues:

    “Do as they say, but not as they do” principle.

    The Pharisees were the doctrine/theology bearers of their day…but they had bad hearts. Great doctrine/theology and the Authority over the people at the time of Jesus…yet Jesus condemned them.

  106. Believe says:

    …now of course, Truth changed after Jesus death and resurrection and Jesus would no longer promote the doctrine and theology and Authority of the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin just a short time later…

  107. Believe @ 106 – You are absolutely correct.
    @ 107 – I know of literally NO SINGLE PERSON who believes that. It’s odd stuff like that makes me wonder who you are fighting against.

  108. Believe says:

    “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you,”

    This was True at the time Jesus stated it.

    The Truth changed.

    The Gentiles were grafted in, the Law was obliterated, Paul taught against the Judaizers who sought to continue with what Jesus taught above in Matthew 23 where He affirmed the Pharisees position of Authority and their doctrine/theology.

  109. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Serious question, since we have been discussing grave pissing and the like, Is there any purpose for a Christian to visit a grave site of a loved one?

  110. Believe says:

    “I know of literally NO SINGLE PERSON who believes that”

    Do you mean you know of no one that disagrees Truth changes?

  111. Michael says:

    I have to laugh…
    The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was basically written by J.I. Packer and Jim Boice…and signed by 300 of the greatest theologians in the world from almost every Protestant tradition.
    But Believe found the loopholes…right…

  112. @ 110 – Memories. That’s all. See a grave stone, remember the times you had together.

  113. Michael says:

    Solomon,

    Why not?
    It may not have “spiritual value”, but neither does eating broccoli.
    It is good for you, though.

  114. @ 111 – Read your 107. You are making an argument against a position that no one has taken.

  115. Believe says:

    Michael, I didn’t find the loopholes, the authors created the loopholes to redefine the Universally accepted definition of “inerrant”. They created a different version of “inerrant” than is commonly accepted by the rest of mankind outside of the Group you mentioned.

  116. @ 116 – SHow me the Universally accepted definition of Biblical Innerancy.

  117. Believe says:

    Josh, many on here (and elsewhere) disagree strongly that Truth changes. I have demonstrated many times where it has, in the bible, even from Jesus.

  118. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Reason I ask is that my family is going to visit my grandmas site on Sunday. My mom is catholic so she wants us to pray together but she leans towards prayiing to my grandma as well as God. I don’t feel comfortable with that

  119. Michael says:

    So show mom some grace and go anyway.
    It’s really no big thing…but grace is.

  120. Michael says:

    So…300 theologians from all these different traditions can’t define a standard theological term?
    Right…

  121. @ 119 – I hear ya Solomon. I wonder if there is a way to honor your mom while not compromising your convictions?

  122. Believe says:

    Josh, websters defines “inerrant” as “free from error”

    “error” is defined as a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake, contradiction, etc.

  123. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “So show mom some grace and go anyway.
    It’s really no big thing…but grace is.”

    yeah I’m gonna go especially for my granpas sake as he is depressed, gonna stay away from praying to my granma tho as my uncle already said they wouldn’t and they’ll let me lead the prayer

  124. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “@ 119 – I hear ya Solomon. I wonder if there is a way to honor your mom while not compromising your convictions?’

    without even asking my uncle told me that they are not gonna do a catholic prayer and they will let me lead it, so im thankful for that

  125. Believe says:

    There are a lot of errors and contradictions that meet and exceed the standard definitions of “inerrant” and “error”.

  126. @ 123 – Easy then. The Bible is free from Error.

    Any error is in my understanding, or ability to understand.

  127. David Sloane says:

    Believe @ #118,

    Truth never changes. You have to define your terms as always.

    What is “truth?”

    Truth is defined as “That which delineates that which is.”

    Therefore truth always describes that which is. It is “That which is” that has changed in your descriptions, not truth. Truth merely describes that which is. In each case truth has not changed at all…Truth can never change, that which it delineates can.

    John 14:6
    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth…

  128. This is going way off the rails.

  129. Believe says:

    “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.”

    “And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen”

    40,000 vs. 4,000. That’s a numerical contradiction and error.

    The explanations of this numerical error are not compelling.

  130. Ok, you win. Me and the world’s most learned theologians are wrong.

    No clue what this has to do with the thread topic.

  131. Michael says:

    That’s simple.
    Scribal error.
    Inerrancy doesn’t have an issue with such…if you’d actually read the Chicago statement you’d know that.

  132. Believe says:

    Birds came out of the Water:

    “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

    Birds came out of the Ground:

    “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”

  133. And… here we go.

  134. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I’m not going to do this all day.
    We will note that you believe the Bible is not the inerrant word of God, that miracles ceased with the apostles,Christians suck, and we’re all stupid.
    I think I covered it…look at the time I saved you to do other things.

  135. Believe says:

    Just responding to your insults above Michael. Hardly seems fair or loving or just for you to insult me and then to threaten me after I respond professionally with specifics of why I stated what I stated.

  136. Again, a little biblical hermeneutics would do wonders. But he already read them all.

  137. Michael says:

    Back to our topic…

    When is it a legitimate exercise to critique anothers theology?
    When does a doctrine change from “different” to “false”?

  138. Believe says:

    Seven years of famine:

    “So God came to David, and told him, and said unto him, shall SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE come unto thee in thy land? or will thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue. thee?”

    Three years of famine:

    “SO God came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee. Either THREE YEARS OF FAMINE or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee”

    It’s a numerical “error” and not “inerrant” by the Universally accepted definition of the terms today.

  139. Michael says:

    Where did I threaten you?
    I frankly think you’re wrong and I don’t want to debate it anymore, nor does anyone else here.
    If they do, they are free to respond to what you’ve already posted a few hundred times.

  140. Hey Believe – we can all google “bible contradictions”. You don’t have to post all of them here.

    Michael – @ 128- The key, I think, is how we critique one another. I think we should test everything, and if it fails to hold up in light of scripture, we should point that out. But that has to be done in a loving and humble way.

  141. Believe says:

    18 years old:

    “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.”

    8 years old:

    “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.”

    They can’t both be correct.

  142. Believe says:

    Do you agree that the bible contains “errors’? “mistakes”?

  143. Michael says:

    Believe,

    There are scribal errors in the text.
    Please cease posting them…there are quite a few.

  144. Believe says:

    “Where did I threaten you?”

    The implication I perceived was to shut up or else get modded or banned.

  145. Believe says:

    “There are scribal errors in the text.
    Please cease posting them…there are quite a few.”

    Yes, there are.

    How do we know there aren’t other scribal errors then? There’s a ton of them that are apparent, how many we just don’t know of?

  146. @ 147 – There are people who have studied those very issues quite thoroughly. Would you read their works if we pointed you in that direction?

  147. Michael says:

    This would make a great thread on your blog, wouldn’t it?

  148. Michael says:

    Unfortunately, it’s time for me to pick up Trey.
    Work around him. 🙂

  149. Goose says:

    Believe @ 106 said…

    “To the discussion of doctrine vs. actions:

    I think Jesus in Matthew 23 does a great job demonstrating the role of both issues:

    “Do as they say, but not as they do” principle.

    The Pharisees were the doctrine/theology bearers of their day…but they had bad hearts. Great doctrine/theology and the Authority over the people at the time of Jesus…yet Jesus condemned them.”

    Believe, you may want to go back and re-read Matthew Chapter 23. I think you will find that Messiah was condemning the Pharisees for something different than what you think.

  150. Believe says:

    I’ve probably read them Josh. There comes a point where the tap-dance doesn’t cut if for me any longer, unfortunately. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God or Jesus, I just don’t necessarily believe those who claim they have it all figured out and claim some sort of mythological the Bible is God thesis, when in point of fact, there are demonstrable errors and contradictions throughout, whether they be attributed to poor scribesmanship or not.

    It calls into question a thesis that claims “every jot and tittle” as an Absolute Authority vs. the bible as a Song or a Painting that imparts Truth, but imperfectly.

  151. Believe says:

    Michael, and mods can we please respect anonymity or not? I seem to be singled out these days and a standard doesn’t seem to be in force.

  152. @ 153 – You have not read them. Stop with the delusional arrogance.

    I’m talking about Hebrew scholars. You don’t even have a basic understanding of Biblical hermeneutics. Many of us would LOVE to help with some of your “questions” but you blindly think you already have it figured out.

    It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so frustrating.

  153. Bob says:

    Believe

    You do it to yourself.

    Peace, or at least…

  154. Michael says:

    Believe,

    You ran off most of my moderators and I have limited time.
    I try when I’m available, but post at your own risk.
    I’m leaving the house now.

  155. Bob says:

    “It calls into question a thesis that claims “every jot and tittle” as an Absolute Authority vs. the bible as a Song or a Painting that imparts Truth, but imperfectly.”

    This statement indicates you understand neither argument.

    Read some Hillel, the Elder, and I think you’ll understand Jesus and Saul a bit more. You know context rules.

    Piece. Ala mode

  156. Believe says:

    Goose, please lay out your take. Personally, I see the text as affirming their authority at the time Jesus made the statement “Do and observe whatever they tell you”. It seems a pretty explicit command.

  157. Believe says:

    Michael, I can take care of myself 🙂 I’ll try to resist outing the anonymity of others who have an expectation of anonymity on your blog.

  158. As far as Matthew 23 goes, read the rest of the chapter. Jesus is clearly not affirming the Pharisees authority. He is simply calling them Hypocrites. Again, so what they say, not what they do. He used a figure of speech which is easily discernible in context.

  159. I want to revisit # 153 in a not-so-snarky manner.

    Believe, please tell me of one Scholarly piece that you have read that deals with Hebrew textual criticism. Don’t google it…it’s obvious that you haven’t read such work.

    Here’s the deal…I haven’t either, but I don’t claim some superior knowledge of those subjects on which I am ignorant.

    I have read many scholarly works on New Testament textual Criticism and have actually found them to affirm my belief in the Bible as God’s Inerrant word.

    But again, if you want to know about scribal errors in Old Testament transition, you’ll need to study those authors who have devoted large portions of their lives to such pursuits.

    Or you could keep googling “biblical contradicitons” and copy and paste here what you find. You look foolish doing so, but you don’t seem to mind.

  160. Xenia says:

    And another thread bites the dust

  161. Sorry. I can’t resist.

  162. Believe says:

    Josh, I won’t answer your question because you have made a false assumption and are acting outside of the parameters that have been defined by the Group as abusive or bullying communication.

  163. The answer is that y9ou haven’t read those books, and neither have I. We should just be honest.

    If a search for God and Truth doesn’t start with honesty and humility, the search will never end with God and Truth.

  164. Believe says:

    I will say that the bible seems to explicitly communicate that Jesus affirms the Law and Prophets (that is the bible Jesus has a “high view” of). Jesus never refers to the Gospels or to Paul’s writings or to Revelation directly as those were yet to be codified as “Scripture”.

    Jesus explicitly commands the folks in Matthew to obey and observe the Authority God had placed over them (in the form of the “scripture” of that day which was the Torah/Pentateuch and Prophets…and the ruling authority of the Jews which was the Sanhedrin of that day.

    “They sit in Moses seat” is an explicit affirmation of their authority at the time Jesus stated it. As with the much of “Scripture” there is plenty of room to disagree with the explicit command: “Do what they say” etc, and further illustrates the subjective nature of interpretation.

  165. Believe says:

    I’m being as intellectually honest as possible. You probably are as well. It is the common refrain of humanity. There seems to be very little folks can agree on as “true”, despite a sincere effort (as demonstrated by the broad disagreement even underneath the umbrellas of “Christian”).

  166. “the subjective nature of interpretation.”

    Yes! Absolutely! And again, I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that. If that was not the case, why would anyone ever discuss the Bible? We all have different viewpoints and thus, our reading of the scripture is subject to those. By discussing the Bible with others we can find ways that we have brought bias into our reading, and missed the truth because of it.

  167. @ 167 – Yes, again! That should come as no surprise.

  168. London says:

    So Sam,
    If you’re still out there (and I know you are) can you explain how people “know” things that no human has told them or those moments when you “hear” a sentence in your mind that you know you didn’t think up on your own. Something that is so clear that you “hear” it so piercingly clear that you hear nothing else around you for that moment.

    Serious question…not taunting.

  169. Crowned1 says:

    I really can see no reason for pissing or praising someone’s grave.

    Glory should be given to God in the case of a “good” person & in the case of a bad person I would just ask that any sins done against me not be held against them.

    I really hope that when I pass from this life my gravestone reads “He loved Jesus” and that good deeds I do stay between me and the Father. The less of a legacy I leave, the more I will have ‘not let my left hand know what my right was doing’.

    I pray the shadow I cast is so tiny that all who come to remember me will only see God.

  170. Believe says:

    Josh said, ““the subjective nature of interpretation.”

    Yes! Absolutely! And again, I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that. If that was not the case, why would anyone ever discuss the Bible? We all have different viewpoints and thus, our reading of the scripture is subject to those. By discussing the Bible with others we can find ways that we have brought bias into our reading, and missed the truth because of it.”

    Would you consider that maybe Mormons are not necessarily off the Reservation? Have you had a lengthy discussion with them about the bible?

  171. “Would you consider that maybe Mormons are not necessarily off the Reservation? Have you had a lengthy discussion with them about the bible?”

    AS I’ve said before, I’m sure some are saved, and yes, I have had lengthy discussions with Mormons. Grew up with some friends since Childhood.

    If they are saved, it will be despite their faLSE RELIGION.

  172. Frosted Flake says:

    Another thread hijacked and the sad thing is he will never see it.

  173. Michael says:

    Mormonism declares that Christ is a created being…which is a Christological heresy and completely off the reservation.
    Period.

  174. Crowned1 says:

    Josh @ 173 “AS I’ve said before, I’m sure some are saved, and yes, I have had lengthy discussions with Mormons.”

    I would disagree…but only slightly. I would suggest that once you are truly saved, you are by definition, no longer Mormon.

  175. Dah says:

    You guys continue to let him bait you. You’re like a bunch of planted trout, who will bit a bare hook!

  176. Michael says:

    Back to my questions…
    False doctrine is any doctrine that denies the historic position of the church and Scripture on the nature of God.

  177. PP Vet says:

    “Gas was cheaper then, hate is still the same price.”

    Really a great story.

    One of my favorite expressions comes from India.

    (Even though I do not have any enemies that I know of):

    “If you sit on the banks of the river long enough, the bodies of all your enemies will float by.”

    Life is brief.

  178. London says:

    Oh.
    Planted trout is an actual species. I thought you meant planted in the ground.
    That was a much better visual image that some “normal” fish.

    Disappointed in reality . 😉

  179. Believe,
    Are you busy doing faith as math again, and not loving it, when you could be enjoying faith as music & art and enjoying it more? 😉

    Our sacred texts will be beneficial to you if perhaps you try looking at them less as historically accurate detailed step by step manuals and blueprints and accept them as the best possible notes and writings of individuals who were so dramatically impacted by God in their lives that they just couldn’t help themselves and did what they could to pen it to share it, sort of like amateur poets and songwriters who have imperfect grammar but still write hits because they connect with their audience.

    I’m less of a fan of Saul/Paul’s catalog/portfolio but the guy was still doing his best. =)

  180. Steve Wright says:

    1) Michael, well done mentioning Chicago. I was going to do so myself.

    2) Bob Sweat – I’ve mentioned before here how I found Foster’s Celebration of Discipline early in my walk, before people started telling me what not to read. It still sits on my shelf, where most of those early books no longer reside.

    3) Truth does not change. All Scripture is INSTRUCTIVE, but all Scripture is not PRESCRIPTIVE. (We have had that discussion before by the way… 🙂 )

  181. Believe says:

    “Another thread hijacked and the sad thing is he will never see it.”

    The discussion evolved in a particular direction. I have simply asserted and responded to particular issues and challenges. I see your opinion that it is “hijacked” and your opinion that me asserting my take and engaging in the mutual challenged of “correct understanding’ is perceived as “hijacking” in you opinion.

  182. Believe says:

    G, yes, agreed mostly. I engage in the discussion as Math to show the truth that it is really Art.

  183. Believe says:

    Steve Wright said, “Truth does not change. All Scripture is INSTRUCTIVE, but all Scripture is not PRESCRIPTIVE.”

    Yes, truth changes. It is largely relative to particular context. Nearly all truth is not Absolute.

    Stoning children to death was considered right and righteous during the OT by Fundamentalists who claim it is to be viewed in the context of that day and the Law etc, and would assert that Moses’s command to stone unruly children was from God and for a purpose at that time….and it is now considered wrong and unrighteous in our context, and you would never instruct someone to stone their child to death nor would you give the benefit of the doubt to the Taliban for stoning people to death today. You would consider the act evil and barbaric and unrighteous.

    If Moses’s command in Deuteronomy was from God and truth, then the truth changed at some point in time and has since become a command of God to ignore as being “for that time” and the act is now considered unrighteous.

    That is by definition what is called a Relative Truth. Personally, I don’t think it was ever a righteous act, I think it was wrong and barbaric and a function of a backward culture and not God’s command but something man made up saying it was God.

  184. Believe says:

    “All Scripture is INSTRUCTIVE, but all Scripture is not PRESCRIPTIVE.”

    The Weslyan Quadrilateral.

    Certainly one of the popular tap-dances around some uncomfortable realities.

  185. Steve Wright says:

    “Thy word is truth” – Jesus Christ

    (Take it up with Him…)

  186. Believe says:

    If Truth is in fact Absolute, we are forced to re-examine our pre-conceived notions about what was presented as “True” in the OT and even parts of the NT.

  187. Crowned1 says:

    ( |o )====::: @ 181

    For some, ‘what the text means’ is more important than ‘what we think the text means’. I include myself in the ‘some’ 🙂

    I think you are correct though…that the art can sometimes be lost on left brain nerds like me. For the most part I see only two colors, black and white. It certainly exists, but I was not designed to see it.

  188. Crowned1 says:

    You should have seen me in English class…whenever the test would ask “what do you think the author meant here”…I would always answer “exactly what he wrote in his book”.

    English teachers didn’t like me very much. I finished college math in high school though lol.

  189. Believe says:

    ““Thy word is truth” – Jesus Christ”

    Yes, right back to square one: Logos.

    Logos is truth.

    One of the most universally accepted definitions of “Logos” is “reasoning, and mental faculty”

    I think it very well may be that there is a principle that is “truth” and that reasoning leads to truth (largely by dispelling all that isn’t true).

  190. Of the 324 times that logs is used in the New Testament, it is never translated as reasoning and mental faculty.

    Just sayin.

  191. mrtundraman says:

    “Stoning children to death was considered right and righteous during the OT by Fundamentalists who claim it is to be viewed in the context of that day and the Law etc, and would assert that Moses’s command to stone unruly children was from God and for a purpose at that time….and it is now considered wrong and unrighteous in our context, and you would never instruct someone to stone their child to death nor would you give the benefit of the doubt to the Taliban for stoning people to death today”

    I think it is worse to not follow the OT…

    Why not follow it? Just as long as the process there is followed – trial by the city elders, etc…

  192. London says:

    Sigh….
    I really wanted to know what Sam thought….

  193. Babylon's Dread says:

    Other than the little ’empty head’ barb I think Michael was remarkably free from what he is being accused.

    The article was a gem.

    Formational Dread

  194. Believe says:

    Josh, research what the meaning of logos is. We appeal to the meanings of words, in this case the closest we have is the greek word used in the text we assume is scripture and the word used is logos which in the greek broadly means “reasoning expressed by words” or a divine utterance or an expression of “thought” or reason.

    Logos is connected to reasoning and we assume it is God’s reasoning, God’s thoughts, God’s utterances.

    Logos is a secular term used by the Greek philosophers that defined and preceded the use of the word in the New Testament. When the word was used as (we assume) literally “logos”…it had a meaning and context of that day that was universally accepted and established well prior.

    The Sophists and Aristotle had coined the word well-prior to its use in the New Testament.

    In essence, it means “reasoned discourse” so one cant’ remove the “reason” and “reasoning’ aspect from “logos” without redefining the word.

    Jesus seems to assert that God’s “word” or God’s “logos” is a reasoning that is divine and not necessarily what you seem to believe which is the ink on the pages of what you consider your bible.

  195. Believe,
    Are you still working through it to your satisfaction or are you trying to convince others here?

  196. Bob says:

    “Yes, truth changes. It is largely relative to particular context. Nearly all truth is not Absolute”

    Biggest lie I have read today!

    Believe, you need to really do your homework. Like many your “analysis” and “discussion” are sophomoric at best.

    Nothing to see here, move on.

  197. Bob says:

    Believe you need this. However replace Torah with Bible.

    There is a classic story of two rabbis exiled to the Soviet Union during World War Two. At the end of the war, they return to Berlin, penniless and without shelter. Hearing of a lecture at the university on the dangers of smoking, they decide to attend to gain a few hours of shelter and warmth. They sit dumbfounded through the lecture as a cigar-smoking German professor expounds on the evils of smoking.

    Just because I lecture on geometry, must I become a triangle?
    At the conclusion of the lecture, they approach the professor to ask how such powerful arguments could fail to move him. Incredulous, Herr Doktor Professor looks at the rabbis and says: “Just because I lecture on geometry, must I become a triangle?”

    The good doktor’s university training had taught him that there needn’t be any connection between ideas and actions. His lectures and his learning were just words.
    Learning Torah is not about creating elegant philosophical models; it is about refining your very nature.

  198. “Now, what these things are in reality is never defined but a full bladder and an empty head need no definitions, just a place to pee.”

    Good article Michael.

    Looks like someone peed all over the place on this comments thread.

  199. Believe says:

    G, still working through it. Trying to get back to some place I can accept as a foot inside the Tent that makes some sort of sense to me.

    Bob, I think that’s a valuable analogy. I’m re-exploring in that direction, thank you.

  200. Believe says:

    Bob said, “Biggest lie I have read today!”

    I wish it weren’t and I wish you could convince me of such and I won’t respond in kind to your insult. I would simply ask you to prove your position with a sound argument and support your claim.

  201. Believe says:

    I wish it was a lie, is what I intended to communicate, but unfortunately, it appears that without our ability to know the mind of God and God’s true “logos”…we are left guessing and trying to resolve paradox, contradiction, errors attributed to scribes, poor examples of leaders in the church, poor examples throughout church history, faulty logic and examples in the OT and NT that makes us cringe today.

  202. Believe says:

    …actually, I’m glas it’s not a lie, because I don’t think the god many have constructed is something to be wished for.

  203. Xenia says:

    we are left guessing and trying to resolve paradox, contradiction,<<< etc

    Why? You don't have to do this. You are not required to discover the unifying theory of the cosmos. You already know what to do: Pray, worship and love. If you do these things without guile (or over-thinking), you will come to know enough about God to be content.

  204. Believe says:

    Yes, I think you’re right X. I think that is probably as true as it gets.

  205. IB/Believe needs to get his bladder checked. Too much pissing going on.

  206. Michael

    Classic line: “Gas was cheaper then, hate is still the same price.”
    May steal that and use it in a sermon and give you no credit as the originator of the phrase. People will think I am witty, and brilliant! You know what they say; “the secret to creativity is how wwell you can hide your sources” Just kidding of course…or am I 🙂

  207. Believe says:

    I think I’m going to go love on some folks rather than calling people names on here and discussing issues that never seem to be resolved.

  208. Believe. I know what logos means, and we are talking about it in terms of New Testament context. Hundreds of greek scholars translated it 324 times in the Nt and never translated it like you said. They all wrong? And you got it right?

  209. Though some are finding Believe’s questioning and commenting tedious or frustrating, I am thankful for it. I think his questions, which many lurkers may be struggling with, rather than stumbling them/me, offer opportunities for responses that demonstrate the best qualities of faith. Patience, longsuffering, great recommendations for reading, etc. Overall encouragement that if God is God he is able to bear our doubts and questions, frustrations and fears. A reoccuring dilemna in my faith as been struggling to determine how to possibly live John 4:24. It is framed as a “must”. So I really appreciate Believe’s wrestling and others responses regarding what is truth. Thank you all for this excellent thread.
    Peace.

  210. Michael says:

    It’s not some who have had enough.
    It’s the most negative mail in one day in years.
    If he keeps it up, he’ll shut it down…

  211. Michael says:

    If its so fascinating take it to his blog.

  212. ( |o )====::: says:

    Believe,
    Have a great weekend of love.

  213. ( |o )====::: says:

    No one can shut your blog down except you, right Michael?

    Perhaps you can request we limit the unanswered questions to 3, limit each of us to 4 in a row?

    Just thinkin’ butch

  214. Steve Wright says:

    Look, I gave a pithy little sentence (not original with me certainly but NOT the Weslyan quadrilateral either) that summarizes what MOST people of the Christian faith understand about the Scriptures, especially the interplay between the Testaments. All Instructive, not all Prescriptive.

    It was met with “Certainly one of the popular tap-dances around some uncomfortable realities”

    Michael referenced the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. To wit: The Chicago Statement was signed by nearly 300 noted evangelical scholars, including James Boice, Norman L. Geisler, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Roger Nicole, J. I. Packer, Robert Preus, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, R. C. Sproul, and John Wenham.

    If the consensus built by those seen on that list (and many others) is somehow insufficient for someone who claims to be “seeking and wrestling” then truly there is nothing more to say. At some point one must be teachable or just placed next to the Corinthians of history – those who were all about earthly wisdom and philosophy, and not simply Christ crucified.

    At some point it is like those people who show up at baseball message boards to argue that baseball is a boring, slow game that makes no sense.

  215. David Sloane says:

    Good one Steve! Go Angels!

  216. Gary says:

    His bladder was gladder it was flatter
    but
    his hate will not abate, just escalate.
    and
    He’ll be harried and waried till he’s buried.

  217. Josh Hamrick says:

    I have to take a lot of the blame. It’s just terribly hard for me to ignore. I always hope that somehow we’ll get an honest, linear conversation going, but it always seems to spiral.
    I think all of these “questions” are worthy of conversation, but it’s hard to adequately discuss ALL of them in one thread (a thread about peeing on graves, no less). Maybe we could set up the sidebar topics again? Keep the “questions” out of topical threads, Me and Alex can go nuts in the sidebar.

    So, I apologize, and I will stay on topic, and be less combative from here on out.

    Gary, that’s hilarious and kinda brilliant. 🙂

  218. Believe says:

    Love you Steve, love you Gary. Blessings and may God richly bless both of you and may His peace be upon you and yours this weekend.

  219. PP Vet says:

    My grandfather graduated from college in 1908 or so. The college was the work of a single remarkable woman, Eliza Ann Carleton. Still have some of his textbooks.

  220. Believe says:

    Don’t hate, appreciate the debate
    but
    guard your hearts or the old man elevates
    and
    escalates and infuriates and imitates the trait
    of
    all that Jesus incarnate told us to vacate
    if
    we can emulate His path and walk through the narrow gate
    we
    too shall overcome the fate of the devil
    and
    his subordinates
    Easier stated than to replicate
    Easier to educate than to demonstrate
    Easier to regurgitate and pontificate than to enter through that narrow gate.

    Enter through that narrow gate.

    The gate that’s one Man wide: Jesus Christ.

  221. Believe says:

    Peace out!!!!!! 🙂 (read it in eminem rapper style above 😆 )

  222. Josh Hamrick says:

    eminem style? Let me go back and insert dirty words 🙂

  223. Believe says:

    That was the version that wouldn’t get modded 🙂

  224. Strange, I imagined #222 in Bob Dylan style as I read it 🙂

  225. Gary says:

    There’s dead dogmatism on the side of the road and it’s stinkin’ to high high heaven.

  226. Muff Potter says:

    mrtundraman @ # 193,
    You wrote:

    I think it is worse to not follow the OT…

    Why not follow it? Just as long as the process there is followed – trial by the city elders, etc…

    Are you just being facetious? Is this just for shock value, or do you actually believe that Old Testament laws and jurisprudence should be followed today?

  227. Gary says:

    Rote rote rote your boat gently down the stream.
    loll away in dreamy land
    Rote is just a dream.

  228. Gary says:

    I enjoy reading what one says the other believes. I believe I’ll keep reading.

  229. London says:

    I don’t think the rest of us should have to be comstraimed by rules like only 3-5 osts to extermally comtrol prople who arent anle to comtrol themselves

  230. Josh Hamrick says:

    Y’all remember the old cartoon about the wolf and the sheepdog…may have been a coyote. They were buds until the work whistle blew, and then the sheep dog would strangle the coyote and punch him in the head. Then the whistle would blow for lunch and they’d stop and eat a sandwich?

    Anybody remember that?

  231. Gary says:

    Regarding modern miracles: for forty years the clothes and shoes of God’s people didn’t wear out while they trapsed around the desert. I have a car that I prayed for and God gave it to me. I asked God for a reliable work car that was good on gas. When I bought my ’92 Honda Civic 8 years ago it had 30,000 miles on a rebuilt engine and got 45 mpg. It still gets almost as good mpg and the odometer reads 479,000+. I drove all those miles myself. I consider this car to be a miracle from God. It hasn’t regrown a limb but it doesn’t seem to be wearing out.

    I’m so far behind this thread…

  232. Reuben says:

    Josh, I sure remember that!

  233. Gary says:

    God speaks to each of us in our own language. He speaks as much as we can hear. He trains up His child in the way he should go.

  234. Steve Wright says:
  235. Guess self regulation shall be this one’s goal

  236. PP Vet says:

    479K miles? Wow.

  237. Michael says:

    My apologies to Once Upon A Time.
    My frustration level is out of control, but that was unnecessary.

  238. Michael, I forget that what goes on here is the tip of the iceberg compared to the emails, phone calls etc you juggle on top of the blog drama here. You have so much on your plate. No wonder you get frustrated! May you have times of refreshing, encouragement this weekend. You are loved & appreciated.

  239. Michael says:

    Thank you, my friend.

  240. Nonnie says:

    Your story is powerful Michael!

    I keep thinking of the association of how hateful words can be and yet when that hate is manifested in the flesh, as in your story, it seems even more powerful and vile.

    Then I think of how God spoke throughout the ages, revealed His character to us through the scriptures and then manifested that love in the flesh, through Jesus Christ. He is more than wonderful.

  241. Does Nonnie get to say “First” on Open Blogging?

  242. Muff Potter says:

    Michael,
    As an outsider who hasn’t darkened a church door in well over a decade, I applaud your tolerance for the views of “the other”. Hate is a horrible thing. It’s what drives crusaders and templars to slaughter Jews & Muslims or anybody else who doesn’t fit their belief system. I also think it’s really cool when you open the blog for movies and stuff like that because it points out what we share as humans, not what divides us ideologically. We all laugh the same laughs, bleed the same blood, and cry the same tears.

  243. mrtundraman says:

    “Are you just being facetious? Is this just for shock value, or do you actually believe that Old Testament laws and jurisprudence should be followed today?”

    I am a Theonomist so I’d say, “yes”… The OT laws are vastly superior to our Laws today and are the right way to govern a country.

  244. mrtundraman says:

    “It’s what drives crusaders and templars to slaughter Jews & Muslims or anybody else who doesn’t fit their belief system”

    A VAST oversimplification…

  245. Muff Potter says:

    Thank you for your candor mrtundraman. If nothing else, it was blunt and illuminating. I hope for my sake that I never wind up (by some Twilight Zone magic) in The Republic of Gilead. My fate would not be pleasant I’m sure.

  246. Michael says:

    Muff,

    Thank you for your kind words.
    We’ve opened up a page now specifically for questions about the faith if you’re interested.

  247. mrtundraman says:

    Muff, Do you think that we here in 21st Century America are any less brutal or any more just today than ancient Israel?

    Would ancient Israel had allowed millions of innocent children to have been aborted?

  248. Gary says:

    Muff,
    You are welcome at my church anytime but come on Sunday when we’re there. It’s First Gilead Church. jk (I know you didn’t do it but leave the knife.) Darken the door and I’ll draw your shadow on the carpet behind you.

  249. Gary says:

    Better hurry up, Muff, and bring yo mama!

  250. Xenia says:

    MTM, do you think the Byzantine Empire and Russian under the Tsars was a form of theonomy? Maybe not in the details but in general? King=Emperor=Tsar and High Priest=Patriarch?

  251. Muff Potter says:

    mrtundraman,
    All societies eventually evolve into brutal elites and a cowed peasantry. America is no different. It is rapidly becoming a rigged corpocracy, and once its pesky middle class is done away with, it’ll be much easier for them (elites) to further their aims.

    I have been pro-life for many years now. When I read of the horrors going on in the Gosnell clinic my gorge began to rise and then I began to cry. It is a great evil in our country.

    Still though, I cannot sign on to the idea of an Old Testament theonomy as being any better, so I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  252. mrtundraman says:

    Xenia, A theocracy is not the same thing as theonomy.

    Muff, Did God give the Law to Ancient Israel as the way that they should run their country? If the Law is from God, then how can it be considered as anything short than the ultimate Laws for any country?

  253. mrtundraman says:

    The Old Testament system of Law is quite different than than it may seem at first glance from our 21st century American perspective. It does not specific the form of government, thus is could accommodate the ages of the Judges and the ages of the Kings (although the Law contains warnings against Kings in general). There is no specified form of executive, no required form of courts, etc. Perpetrators are to be taken to “the gates of the city” and are to be judged by “the elders”. Very non-specific.

    If the Law is divided into three aspects; Civil Law, Moral Law and Ceremonial Law, then a theonomist would see that the last (Cermonial) has passed away with the coming of Christ and has been replaced with the church. The Moral Law is based on the nature of God and will never change. The Civil Law was given by God as the right way to order society and should still be used.

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