Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pulpit and Pen blog - Words Are Not Stones



Far too often, those who proclaim the law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this culture of death encounter attempts to silence their voices. One of the single most prominent versions of what amounts to this kind of public shaming relies on the pericope of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery for its backing.

"Jesus did not condemn. He did not throw stones. Are you perfect? Jesus said 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,' didn't He?" they tell us.

Let us examine whether followers of Jesus are indeed sinning and violating the example of Jesus as we live in such a way as to provoke repentance in our culture.

First, let all of this be tempered with the understanding that John 7:53-8:11 is a textual variant of questionable authenticity. It is far from certain that this was part of the original text that the apostle John wrote when he first sat down to write his Gospel. Given that, let us remember that it is best to base doctrines and rebukes on a sure and certain foundation.

Having said all that, John 8:1-11 -
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
Every human being is to desire to follow and imitate Jesus in all things (1 Cor 11:1, Eph 5:1). Notice first of all the final sentence Jesus says - go, and sin no more. The woman was caught in adultery! She violated God's Law. She was guilty. Jesus told her that she had sinned, and told her to stop sinning.

That is one of the main things Christians ought to be doing in this culture, as we ask ourselves "What does Christianity look like in a culture that practices child sacrifice?" - while we obey Jesus' command to be salt and light, we are calling people to stop disobeying Jesus, start obeying Jesus, and thus stop sinning by the power of the Holy Spirit who gives people grace to obey when they repent and place their trust in Jesus. We are speaking authoritative words, whose authority is straight from God the Creator, as in 2 Tim 2:19 - "Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.'"

What does it look like to follow Jesus? According to this story where Jesus says "let him who is without sin cast the first stone," it looks like calling sin sin, speaking with love but also with honesty and plainness.


But that's not all. You see, those who brought the woman to Jesus were doing so on the basis of Old Testament law.
Leviticus 20:10 - If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Deuteronomy 22:22 - If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.
What is missing from John 8? We have the woman, the adulteress, and we have the accusers... but the man is not present! Notice that the Law says that both partners committing adultery shall die, both shall be put to death.

Jesus also said things like this:
Matthew 5:17 - "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."
Luke 16:17 - "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail."
So, hear the rebukes of Jesus, for there are two that are relevant to our discussion here.

1) When Jesus said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone," He was very probably alluding to the fact that the men who had brought the woman before Him for no other purpose than to test and catch Him in a trap were engaging in hypocrisy. They claimed to follow the Law but had not brought the adulterer, the man, with them.
There is also no mention of a second or third witness to the crime, which is also a requirement in the Law. Jesus subtly points out that they themselves are guilty of twisting the Law to suit their own agendas. He came not to abolish but to fulfill.

2) In the mere act of stating "let he who is without sin cast the first stone," Jesus is charging these men with sin. Yet those who challenge the follower of Jesus today with this passage do so because they want to do away with all talk of sin and accusation on the basis of holy law. They want to silence the voice of holiness and conviction over sin. Yet Jesus charges both the men who brought the woman and also the woman with sin, not neither. Thus Jesus' rebuke is for the one who refuses to countenance the obvious fact that Jesus talked about sin very frequently.

Why did Jesus talk about sin frequently?
Romans 3:19-26 - Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
If He didn't talk about sin much, nobody would know they need a cure for sin! And as the Redeemer of sinful souls, He wouldn't have anyone to redeem if everyone remained ignorant of their sin. He loves too much not to talk about sin when sin exists. But the person who says "don't throw stones" doesn't want to repent of their sin. They want anything else besides repentance, even if it means self-destruction, serving the devil their whole lives, and Hell in the afterlife. It's what they desire, since they don't desire God.

And we see the will of God, that none of His sheep perish (John 10:3-4, 27; 2 Peter 3:8-9) but that all come to repentance, accomplished in the life of this woman. You see, she lived in a culture where rampant and open sin was not gloried in and celebrated as it is in our modern society. Commit adultery in modern America, and a lot of the time you'll get a pat on the back and reassurance. Portray an adulterous affair on TV or in a movie and you can probably increase your ratings, especially if you show a lot of skin. It's just taken for granted anymore. Not so in 1st-century Israel. It was very risky behavior to commit adultery back in that day. It could get you stoned to death, and indeed this woman was right there, on the precipice of death.

Yet this woman escapes not only physical death but spiritual death. She goes, in a very short span of time, from directly defying the Law of God ("thou shalt not commit adultery") to near-death, to repentance and an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice it:
Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
It's one thing to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior. The majority of Americans do that! And anyone can see from the decay around us, by the blood of 58 million dead children flowing through the streets of our cities, that the faith of most of those professors is a false, dead faith. To them, Jesus is merely Savior and not Lord. Yet this woman, fresh off being caught in the act of an adulterous affair (which probably means she was incautious, which may indicate her pre-existing lack of shame, due to a seared conscience), calls Jesus Lord. Jesus has just saved her life, so directly before her eyes was a clear illustration of His status as Savior. Now she confesses He is Lord. Her sins are forgiven. She is now a daughter of the kingdom. Jesus commands her: Go and sin no more. Live in obedience, be a doer of the word and not a hearer only, take up your cross and follow Me. Her salvation story is startling, in its brevity and simplicity as well as in its abruptness.

Let's refocus on the objection here - if I call you to repent of your sin and you reply with "Jesus said 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone,'" you have in fact acted hypocritically. I attempted to identify something you have done or are doing wrong (and I want to help you by showing you the way to have forgiveness of that and all your sin). You then did the exact same thing, but simultaneously chided me for doing what you then did to me. You said I was wrong for saying you were wrong. That is hypocrisy, and hypocrisy is sin.

Further, it entirely ignores the surrounding context of Jesus' statement. The stones in the hands of those men were real stones. Why were they holding stones? Because they were going to throw them at the adulteress to kill her! The stones were instruments of execution, no less than a gallows or a firearm or a lethal injection.

Why is it, then, that we hear "don't throw stones" when we level a criticism that is composed of words expressing thoughts? Words do not kill, not directly. A thrown stone can kill directly. Words are not stones. Don't act like they are. If you are accused of sin, obey the Word of God. Examine yourself, your heart, your motivations; check for a speck in your eye. Don't do as the hypocrites do, criticising someone who criticises because they criticised. If you have sinned, repent of it and claim your forgiveness from the hand of Jesus Christ. If you have not sinned, try to persuade your brother. If your brother has something in his eye, remove the log from your own eye and then help your brother remove the speck from his (rather than leaving him with a speck in his eye. Specks hurt).

Let all be done with love and to the glory of God. Amen.

Monday, November 24, 2014

So many atheists are ruled by emotion

It's amazing how easy it is to reduce atheists to a miserable mass of quivering feeling, devoid of reason or common sense.

All I did was tweet this:


And got a firestorm!
My favorite tweet in the ruckus was this one:
And then it got even better:



I had to bow out after somewhere around 50 attempts on my part to get these atheists to reason consistently. Canard after canard after canard... I don't think a single one of them had ever even thought about my challenge before. I didn't have time to keep up with all of the shambling inanity, so this combox is an open invitation to anyone who would question me on the matter.

Monday, November 17, 2014

In which my tweet about the Herald Society is vindicated

On my "to listen to occasionally" list of podcasts is Tony Miano's "Cross Encounters". I can't remember which episode it was, but some time before the November 2014 Herald Society conference, he spent some time hyping the conference and encouraging listeners to attend. My interest was piqued when he specifically stated that this year's HS conference would not feature very much street evangelism or open air preaching (OAP), but would rather focus on sermons wherein the conference attendees would sit and listen to someone talk from the stage.

This struck me as a bizarre waste of time and energy - could not sermons like these be recorded beforehand, or preached lectured at one's own church or something in some sort of collaborative effort, and later made available for download to whoever wanted them? The whole point of calling your conference the Herald Society would seem to be to get heralds together. You get however many dozens of people interested in OAP, doesn't it make a ton of sense to actually go out and herald the Gospel all over the place?

If an OAPreacher is a candle illuminating darkness within our culture, what happens when you get 50 of those candles together in one place? That much more brightness and illumination, right? So when we read things like Matthew 5...

14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

...wouldn't it be a good idea to go ahead and shine that bright light to those who are in darkness? How is it a good idea to take that light, all those OAPreachers, and hide them behind the walls of a building, using all their time to preach around 20 (probably pretty lengthy) sermons in 2 1/2 days?

CR, are you around?

CR, if you see this, please email me.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Refreshing

It's not often that the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1), is so obviously displayed as it was here recently.
Thankfully, abolitionists' attendance of Bellevue Baptist Church on Sunday caused something of a stir, which is one of the things we were hoping for. That the hearts of Pharisees revealed themselves afterward is a bonus.
Consider:




Even through the cold, cruel screen through which you view these words, you can feel the flow of love and warmth, the Christian charity.

Forget all the times we have repeatedly rejected the word "protest" with respect to the Church Repent project. Forget the fact that all we did was attend the service quietly and then afterwards offer pamphlets to people, then when security stepped in and, in a break from their normal pattern, pushed everyone out of the auditorium and called the cops to make us leave even though a simple request would have sufficed, we merely sang "Amazing Grace" and then left. Forget that if we had been there to protest, there would have been zero doubt that we were there to protest! Forget the fact that abolitionists specifically and explicitly reject violence, whereas John Brown didn't. And forget the fact that OR wasn't violent either, and yet Butler's and Miano's pastor looked the other way while a member of his church sent sheriff's deputies to beat the tar out of and break bones of OR volunteers.

Fred Butler did us all the favor of stripping the niceties from this debate. Tony Miano and his acolytes love to talk about "unity in the Gospel", and Butler and others will say the same when they don't dislike you enough. They'll even reach across denominational lines and make sure everyone knows that Presbyterians, Lutherans, Arminians, and such are their brothers in Christ, because we all hold to the same Gospel. But poke at one of their sacred cows - the institutional church structure - and suddenly the false veneer vanishes.

Apparently to them, location matters. You can criticise Bellevue Baptist pastor Steve Gaines all you want for his arch-anti-Calvinism and his crazy support for altar calls and sinner's prayers, as long as you do it from afar. Dare to defile the sacred ground of the church building and suggest that maybe there are false converts inside its walls and that maybe something ought to be done about that, and these Gatekeepers of Evangelical Purity will make sure your backside is smarting.

The Gospel we preach is not fundamentally different. Miano professes faith in the Gospel, and I believe the Gospel. I think there's more unity in the Gospel than these men do. Butler thinks there was no unity to begin with.

But many Pharisees can profess the Gospel quite well. That's part of their charm. It's by their fruits you will know them. Though it may hurt a bit to see people we may admire reveal the sin in their hearts, let it be a helpful reminder that we are not to put our trust in men.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Preaching at the University of Memphis

At the University of Memphis five days ago.
130 abolitionists converged on the campus to expose the evil of abortion and call students to repent and believe the Gospel and obey the law of Jesus Christ. In the afternoon the conversations continued, and a good opportunity to preach presented itself.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Long back and forth with a Satanist

Someone claiming to be a Satanist wrote in to the Abolish Human Abortion contact page. I reproduce our conversation here for your edification:

His first email:

I beg a pardon, but I couldn't help but notice what seems to me to be a slight hypocrisy in the reasoning that backs the opinions stated on this site. As a Christian organization (or at least a predominantly Christian organization) your holy book of choice is obviously the Bible---a collection of texts that boast astonishingly little concern for the welfare of children, even for a series of writings jotted down in the Bronze Age. The book of Proverbs, for example, recommends beating one's offspring with rods (staves) in response to defiance (Proverbs 19:18, Proverbs 22:15, Proverbs 23:13-14) and tells parents not to allow themselves to feel pity for their child's crying. This book supposedly being written by king Solomon---the wisest person ever to live and a godly man, by the Bible's account. King David, Solomon's father, and someone Yahweh describes as "...a man after mine own heart..." sung songs by harp about his hope that soldiers would someday invade the enemy country of Babylon and that the citizens of that place would be made to witness their children---presumably innocent, just like the unborn---crushed to death against stones by the invaders (Psalms 137:9). His predecessor Saul performed a complete genocide of the Amalekites, slaughtering men, women, children, and "sucklings" all on Yahweh's explicit command. (He even forbids Israel from sparing any of the Amalekites' pets or livestock.---1 Samuel 15:3)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

On Holding on Viola, Part 2

Continuing with Holding's review from last time...

This is just more of the same errors Viola makes throughout: Blaming the "institutions" instead of the people

People institute and maintain institutions.




ailing to credential this alleged "functioning headship" of Christ (Mormons and others say they have it too)

What is Holding's obsession with these comparisons to Mormonism? Of course they CLAIM those things. But those claims are empty. This is like doubting real US dollars exist because counterfeiters have gotten very good at their craft.



For Viola to describe himself and others as "daring" just because, e.g., they got bored with church and left,is offensive.

1) I don't recall any self-ascribing of martyrdom on Viola's part. So Holding is being unnecessarily shrill.
2) If it's not daring to follow one's convictions in the face of a great deal of traditions and peer pressure to the contrary, what word would Holding prefer? I'm not saying it's the best thing anyone could ever do, but why isn't it daring?
3) What is really offensive is Holding's strawman - "they got bored with church".
"With church and left" - but Viola specifically tells certain readers NOT to leave their institutional churches, and for the rest he recommends... church! He's not calling people to walk away from church, least of all b/c they're "bored". He is calling them to embrace a more biblical form of church.



House church for Viola's purpose is idividuals trying to satisfy THEMSELVES.

1) Not house church. Organic church.
2) What is Holding's evidence for this assertion? Shouldn't he have proof of this sinful attitude before making the accusation?



(Org)anic unity can be achieved anywhere by people willing to give up themselves as a priority. A house church may seem to succeed in this regard (as may a Sunday School class or church sub-group) because you're gathering together a group of people who disagree on the same issues; and so the illusion of being an "organic entity" can be perpetrated.

Viola makes this exact point in his book. Did Holding read it carefully enough to note it?



I sense a persecution complex when Barna says people cry out "heretic" when suggestions are made to change practices

Ironically, Holding contributes to the justification of a persecution complex with this accusation, which is based on nothing more or less than his "sense".
Also ironically, Holding has already several times poked fun in this review at what he thinks is Viola's centering on his emotions and sensations, whereas here he does the same thing. Maybe I could insert a comparison to Mormons to make it fair and square.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

On Holding on Viola, Part 1

My attention was recently directed to JP Holding's review of Viola & Barna's Pagan Christianity, a book that I read recently and which edified me significantly.

I'd like to write a full review of it. I don't have time to go through the monstrous article in its entirety at the moment, but I would like to offer the following review of the introduction, leading up to the subtitle Preface in the review article.


He portrays himself as an advocate of "natural and spontaneous expression" that allegedly comes from "the divine life that indwelt the early Christians" [xix]. Really? Mormons call that a "burning in the bosom," and it is epistemically a disaster area.

I honestly do think this statement misunderstands Viola.
Mormons cite "burning in the bosom" for proof that the Book of Mormon is true. I see no comparative claim in the book.


"Natural and spontaneous expression" looks far too much like a rationalization to turn a church meeting into a widespread counseling and storytelling session

I don't think this is fair. Yes, Viola is a bit charismatic for my tastes, maybe a bit goofy, but nothing he says in the book **necessarily** leads to this characterisation.



in which it is only imagined that Jesus is the "functional head"

But why is it "only imagined"? No, the Bible doesn't lay out a specific set of do-this and don't-do-thats... that's how Jesus is indeed the functional head, for everyone plays a part in fulfilling NT commands and love.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Interested in discussing vaccines

I come from a family that is pro-vaccine as far as I can tell, and I have participated in vaccines in the past to a pretty thorough extent. I find myself strongly questioning the wisdom and propriety of vaccines in the modern West, but I would like to sharpen my understanding by talking to someone or more than one person who is pro-vaccine. I consider myself at this point just to the right of neutral on the question, just a shade more anti-vaccine than pro-.

A few questions I'm asking follow. Please pardon my ignorance. I learn best when talking to people, so I'd appreciate a modicum of respect in answering, though of course there is no requirement:

1) Why is it that reports continually emerge that vaccines contain ingredients that are poisonous, such as formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum, and the like?

2) Is there a good reason for parents of vaccinated children to be concerned if unvaccinated children attend the same government school as their vaccinated children? If so, why?

3) How is it justifiable to inject children with the body parts of other children who were murdered?

4) Why wouldn't the slow response of the medical community to things like the Gardasil debacle give a parent pause?

5) Why is it important to inoculate against minor maladies like measles?

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Trinity as three-leaf clover

Recently a friend posted a video of street evangelism in which she was sharing the Gospel with a Muslim. This Muslim young man didn't know much about the Bible and in the course of the convo asked "What is the Holy Spirit?"

My friend used the words "it is..." in her response and went on to try to explain the Trinity as three-leaf clover. Here's the comment I left under her video:
------
Thanks for the video! Just a few thoughts:

1) Don't refer to the Holy Spirit as "it". He is a person.
2) You used the three leaf clover analogy for the Trinity. I would recommend against using such an analogy.
Here is a small tongue-in-cheek reason not to use that analogy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLfgaUoQCw

It's sarcastic humor. But it illustrates the underlying reason not to use that kind of analogy - the Holy Spirit is fully God, just as the Father and the Son are. They are distinct and yet co-equal, all sharing the essence of divinity equally and fully. The clover analogy does not express the godhead well enough. Of course any analogy fails, but where they fail in a really fundamental way, we should abandon them.

I much prefer to explain the Trinity to a Muslim like this - "The Bible is God's Word. The Qur'an affirms that it is. The Bible teaches that there is one God and only one. It also teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and that they are all distinct and yet there is only one God. This is a great mystery. We accept what the Bible teaches b/c it's what God told us." and kind of go from there, showing them in the Bible why we think that is true, if they ask.

A better analogy if you must use one is this: Imagine three balloons of equal size and shape. Each balloon is filled with the same air. Not the same AMOUNT of air. Literally the same air.
How is that possible? It's not, not in this physical universe. That's part of the point. The Trinity doesn't map all that well onto our physical, material experiences.

(HT: SyeTenB for the balloon analogy)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pulpit & Pen blog - Don't Make Vows

http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/09/25/dont-make-vows/

The convoluted Resurrection accounts

Gary said:
This story is more convoluted that a Mexican tele-novela!

I agree it's not the most straightforward account I've ever seen.
1) Truth is often stranger than fiction.
2) It's hard to empathise since I've never given up everything to follow a guy around for 3+ years, watched Him silence the most learned people of His day with a word, cast out demons and heal people by the hundreds, teach me with crazy authority I've never heard, predict His own death, then get tortured, die in the most humiliating way possible, get buried, and then start to understand that He may well have risen from the dead. I have no idea how I'd react, how logically, how many times I'd go back to the tomb to check again, just to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Oklahoma City Satanic Black Mass

So this past Sunday in downtown OKC a group of Satanists rented a small event hall in the Civic Center to do a Black Mass. They had even somehow purloined a consecrated Eucharistic host but the threat of legal action made 'em give it back. Both of which events are really funny to me.


As I had expected, out in front of the Civic Center in the plaza, it was a chaotic, noisy madhouse. Pelagian street preachers (those who I've been told sometimes call themselves the "Pervert Patrol" from Tulsa) (see here what I think of them) with their bullhorns preaching a bunch of not particularly persuasive hate-filled screeds, Black Israelites bellowing at the top of their lungs, hundreds of Roman Catholics praying responsive prayers (mostly to Mary) (who else, right?) with their own amps and holding idols and large pictures of Mary, mainline Protestant groups singing milquetoast "worship" songs, some other Roman Catholics playing bagpipes, people blowing shofars...



Notice how the "My" is capitalised. This is supposedly Mary speaking, and she gets the divinised reference to a nomina sacra, as it were. And where is Jesus in the photo? Nowhere. Tell me this isn't idolatry so that I may have a good laugh.



Anyway, as I expected, virtually nobody actually attending the Black Mass hung around outside and talked to anyone. Like last time, all the paying attendees slunk in the side to enter and skulked out the side to exit.

Really, in a vacuum this event was not a big deal. According to press who observed the Black Mass on the inside, about 40 people attended. Seriously, who cares? The only reason this attracted so much media attention is because the Satanists played the Media Whore game and the local Roman Catholic archdiocese played their willing dance partner. Thus the Roman Catholics' efforts entirely backfired in my opinion. They were mad about this event.

But, happily, it attracted such a large crowd that some servants of the Lord Jesus were able to take advantage to outreach to them.

I prepared a tract centering around the Roman Mass. I was thinking I'd probably do some street preaching too. 

When we arrived, though, it was chaotic. The noise and clamor was astonishing. And then just as the Roman prayers were reaching their climax, a rainbow appeared in the sky. Not particularly surprising, since the sun was at a convenient angle for such and it had rained on us a little when we were a mile from the Civic Center. But many of the RCs took it for a sign from heaven. Probably the most interesting moment of the evening was when, right after I had turned to find what everyone was staring at and then spotted the rainbow, this lady materialised at my side and gushed about how we're winning and God is on our side and we have nothing to fear and isn't it awesome? I had no idea what to say and so just kinda smiled and nodded like a doofus. I belatedly offered her a tract and she smiled and shook her head as she walked away and I was just standing there like what just happened? What a weird environment!



The attitude of many of the RCs was best summed up in: "why are you talking to us when the real enemy is inside?" At which point I tried to remind them that they're the ones who are members of the religion that anathematised the gospel and perverts the Lord's Table.


My friend gave out a lot of the aforementioned tracts about the Mass; I had less success with that. I had some good conversations. I rebuked the Pelagian street preachers, who then rebuked me for wasting time rebuking them when there were hundreds of lost people just over yonder. I told one of them (this guy) I can do both and this is worthwhile, and he rudely told me to get on with it, like a schoolboy double-dog-daring me to preach, to show him how it's done.
There's only so much childishness a man can take before you just don't know what to say anymore. It's like it's hard to talk intelligently, like the dumb creeps into your own brain by osmosis.
But I figured I'd rather not waste the opportunity or let my 'yes' be 'no', so I fired up my brand new amp and preached about the Mass for a while at that point. The Pelagian guy had a camera on me pretty much the whole time as if to intimidate me or prove a point. The preach went well, and when I was done he came over, almost apologetic, and said "hey that was good stuff, solid preaching."
I wasn't sure I wanted his affirmation, but I smiled and said thanks before turning to talk to some Romanists who wanted to comment.



Aaaaaannnndddd also my camera malfunctioned and didn't record any audio. Disappointing, as there were numerous interesting incidents.

But at least I praise God that the Gospel went out to many. I am left dumbfounded at how few Christians were there to witness of the Gospel, in a place where hundreds of people are gathered in a place in order to publicly discuss a spiritual matter. Where are you, church of God?

Friday, September 19, 2014

More self-defeating hypocrisy from Babies Are Murdered Here and Marcus Pittman

Earlier this week a significant hubbub resulted from a confrontation between abolitionist Chris Rush from Minnesota and pro-life big-shot celebrity heroine Abby Johnson. Rush apparently attended an Abby J event with the intent of speaking to her about something related to abolition. He carried a GoPro in his hand to record part of it. When Abby J noticed the camera she tried to grab it and then, as he pulled away, told her some half-dozen friends standing around to grab it. Thus she did nothing less than inciting mob violence against an individual, attempting robbery of his property.

Since then she has lied about Rush and refused to claim any guilt for instigating a violent encounter.

Anyway, to substantiate his account of the incident, Rush put out the unedited video of the encounter. He lost his cool and self-control and did not regain it in what I would call a timely manner, and a few times used profanity a few minutes after the attempted robbery.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Grab-Bag of Roman Catholic Mistakes

Roman Catholic: Hmm, guess I won't be joining. By the way y'all, there would be no bible without Catholics. Who do you think put the table of contents in there? Look it up folks!

Me: there would be no bible without Catholics.

All this time I thought God wrote the Bible.

Who do you think put the table of contents in there?

1) The people of God. Not Rome and not Roman Catholics.
2) Rome doesn't have a closed Old Testament Canon. See the book of 2 Esdras - the Council of Trent passed over that book in silence.
3) Rome doesn't have a canon of infallible teachings.

Rome is actually in a much worse position than Sola Scripturists on that question. MUCH worse.


RC:
The bible is a collection of books inspired by God and written by men. Catholics also hold the bible to be the inerrant word of God and the canon of the bible was established at the Council of Nicea in the 4th century. The OT consisted of the canon established by the Jews and would have been known by the Apostles. The NT canon needed to be established because there were many "gospels" at the time and some had to be excluded, such as the Gospel of Thomas, Peter, and numerous others. The Church Fathers met in a council to codify the canon of scripture until Martin Luther thought he knew better almost a thousand years later.


Me: Catholics also hold the bible to be the inerrant word of God

The RCC thinks that evolution is true. Thus your statement is false.

the canon of the bible was established at the Council of Nicea in the 4th century

That is untrue. Nicea did not deal with the canon at all. Show your evidence.

The OT consisted of the canon established by the Jews and would have been known by the Apostles

RCC claims to have apostolic succession. So is 2 Esdras canonical or not? Just answer the question.

The NT canon needed to be established because there were many "gospels" at the time and some had to be excluded, such as the Gospel of Thomas, Peter, and numerous others.

You're mistaken again. Those other "gospels" were written much later than the canonical Gospels.

The Church Fathers met in a council to codify the canon of scripture

No, they didn't. This is fiction.

until Martin Luther thought he knew better almost a thousand years later.

Pope Gregory the Great, Athanasius, and Cardinal Cajetan all held to DIFFERENT canons of the Old Testament than that which Rome affirmed at the Council of Trent.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hosting a Debate

Friend of the blog Truth Unites...and Divides has asked me to host a debate between him and another individual. I have to go away from blog for a day or two but I can give a better name to this post when I get back if the two individuals would like to carry on debating in this combox.

No links to pr0n is pretty much all I ask.

Pericope Harmonisation in the Qur'an

Recently I was sharing the Gospel outside a local mosque, and one of the men who talked with me mentioned that since the New Testament tells the same story a few different ways in different books, the New Testament can't be from God. In essence he was making a clumsy and unsophisticated appeal to what some call "the Synoptic problem". It isn't really a problem at all but the meme is perpetuated by the many ignorant heathens in the West who have Internet access, as well as by pretty much any Muslim with the least desire to talk to a Christian about such matters. Yet even such a luminary as Bart Ehrman once told me in private email that he considered it an insuperable task to harmonise the four accounts of Jesus' Resurrection. When I told him I was way ahead of him, he didn't reply.

Anyway, I told my Muslim friend that the Qur'an does the exact same thing and though I didn't remember the exact references, I remembered that the pericope where Allah tells Satan (Iblis) to prostrate before Adam and Satan refuses was "guilty" of the same thing that my friend was saying proves the human origin of the New Testament. He didn't believe me and I couldn't prove it at the moment, but I went back and doublechecked, and this is what I found.

Also of interest to anyone who is familiar with the biblical account of creation is the way the Qur'anic author seems to try to follow the pattern of the fall laid out in Genesis, but messes up in numerous details. Nowhere in Genesis does Satan say anything about the nakedness of the first couple. Obviously nowhere is there any angelic interaction, much less does Adam name the angels or become the object of a worshipful posture. 

Acts 10:25-26 - When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.”
Revelation 19:10 - Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Revelation 22:8-9 - I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”

If two or more authors or witnesses recount what they saw in ways that complement but do not contradict each other, why not consider that they are merely adding to the story from their own perspective? This Muslim argument against the divine origin of the New Testament fails, for it disproves the divine origin of the Qur'an as well.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Since I apparently can't say this...

I'll just point out someone else who is saying what needs to be said about the exploitation of Braxton Caner's suicide by Ergun Caner and various others of his enablers.

I mean, this post was fine but didn't go nearly far enough in my humble opinion.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Preaching About Depo-Provera at the Gates of Hell

September 11 - A Good Day to Repent

More human beings will die today from abortion in the USA than died on Sept 11.

Chances are, you're not doing anything about that.

Moreover, while virtually nobody will ever have the opportunity to help stop a terrorist attack, virtually everyone has the opportunity on a daily basis to help stop the systematic butchery of children. Yet the abortionists continue their daily work and almost nobody stands in their way.

Repent, America.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Leaven of the Pharisees - "authority" "sending you out"

A faithful abolitionist and his family sacrificed of his time and energy to warn and preach the truth and the Gospel to attendees of a recent event in his area put on by a Word of Faith heretic.

He then posted some pictures and stories about his experience on Facebook. The following conversation ensued.


Pharisee Disciple: Hmmmm. Still trying to discern the motive here. Are y'all sent out there by a local pastor or any church government or authority?
September 7 at 9:23am

The Abolitionist In Question: The motive is love for God's Church. There are probably some sheep that are going in there that have ears to hear. We are there for them.
As far as being sent: we have King Jesus and all of His commands as authority enough as our dispatch orders.
#ChurchRepent
September 7 at 9:51am

A Former Abolitionist Who Has Ingested the Leaven of the Pharisees: His commands are to love one another assuming we are part of a governing body that He established.
Yesterday at 1:26am

Me: All believers are sent out by the authority of Jesus Christ. No other authority or sending is necessary.
A better question is: Why weren't other Christians and churches out there doing the same?
23 hours ago

Me: Where does the NT say anything about a GOVERNING body?
23 hours ago

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Repent of calling to repentance!

If you despise calls to repentance, that's because repentance is that which you most need.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When Unitarian Universalists "Debate"

AJ: Yo Matt, before you and your AHAer friends go condemning everyone else view on God, you ought to REALLY examine your own.
16 hrs

Me: We examine it all the time, and pro-abortion people are only too happy to help. We condemn falsehoods and deception, and we hope that your souls will be saved. Repent of your sin and idolatry. Place your faith in Jesus Christ, Him alone, to save you from your sin. Holding to the nonsense of UUism is not worth your soul.
16 hrs

AJ: No doubt you. Examine it a little bit more in depth Rhology. As I look back on my years as a Christian, I find it very refreshing that I am no longer tied to a belief system I did not invent or join because of upbringing.
16 hrs

Me: I didn't join it b/c of upbringing. I joined it b/c Jesus transformed me, brought me to repentance, forgave my sin, and told me to follow Him.
Why don't you follow Jesus?
8 hrs

Angel: Rhology, if Jesus told you to jump off a cliff would you?
7 hrs

Me: Sure. But that of course brings up a couple of questions, specifically how I would know it was Jesus talking.
Since the devil tempted Jesus to do that very thing and Jesus told him that one should not put the Lord to the test, there is every reason to think you have proposed an impossible and therefore empty hypothetical.
How about this, though? If He told me to love UUs so much that I would not pass up an opportunity to be seen as a fool and a crazy person in the eyes of my own culture if I may offer them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I would obey.
3 hrs

AJ: Simple, Jesus isn't for me. I came from a denomination where Jesus was all it.
When I was still a Christian,
other Christians would usually expect me to show
how a certain belief was based in the Bible. Not a problem usually, I know the Bible backwards and forwards. Now I have developed my own spirituality. I prefer spiritual progress, not digression and stagnation.
3 hrs

Angel: Rhology, You claim Jesus told you to follow him, your own words, how do you know it is not the devil? You claim my sentence is an empty hypothetical, and since yours is just the same then yours must be an empty hypothetical, in which case Jesus did not tell you to follow him but you claim he did ... Kind of crazy of you make all that up no?
3 hrs · Edited

Me: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. What flaw do you find in Jesus that you don't follow Him?

\\You claim Jesus told you to follow him, your own words, how do you know it is not the devil? \\

Because the devil wouldn't tell me to serve his mortal enemy.

Angel, could you be wrong about everything you claim to know?
3 hrs

Monday, July 28, 2014

Some Bad Advice From Tony Miano

UPDATE: Tony Miano is on a downward slide into a very dangerous spiritual position and is leading his family down that path as well. As I in my review of his book, "I sometimes honestly fear for him at the time when (not if) the elder(s) of his church fail him."
Well, now I fear for him even more. See here and then more importantly here. Lord have mercy. He who has presumed to lecture so many, block them on social media, and sow division between them and other believers on the basis of ecclesiology, "pastoral authority", "the authority of the local church", and whether one has been "sent" to do evangelism has shown himself to be an immature nomad, tossed about by winds and waves of doctrine.
Psalm 9:15 - The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
Proverbs 29:6 - By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.

And yet...
Proverbs 24:17-18 - Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; or the LORD will see it and be displeased, and turn His anger away from him.

Pray for the man. Pray he will repent of all his bombastic rhetoric and realise the massive piles of hypocrisy in which he has engaged the last few years.

============================================

Tony Miano, well-known street preacher, had this to say on Facebook recently:
Can't find a solid church that supports open-air preaching?
Then go to a solid church that doesn't support open-air preaching, and submit to the authority of the pastors/elders of the church. It is more important that you are a serving member of a local church than it is for you to open-air preach.
Christian Brother: God has certainly called you to be a hand, or foot, or arm, or leg in His Body. But He may NOT have called you to open-air preach. The fact that you want to open-air preach doesn't mean God has called you to open-air preach. You may not be finding a church that supports open-air preaching because that may not be the role the Lord has for you in His body.
So, get plugged into a local church; live in submission to the elders and in love with the rest of the congregation. Be willing to work the nursery, or scrub a toilet, or teach a Sunday school class (if you're qualified). Be willing to serve for no other reason than it is a fulfillment of the two greatest commandments--to love God and to love people.
The Lord may yet call you to open-air preach (if you are a man), and you will know that because your pastors/elders will affirm your call to preach the gospel in the open-air. And they will likely affirm that call once they see you are willing to submit to authority, serve the Body, can rightly handle the Scriptures, and once they see that the gospel of Jesus Christ is more important to you than hearing your own voice preaching it.
Give it some thought.
I gave it some thought, and I'd like to share a few.
Notice that Miano didn't frame the issue in terms of whether the church thinks the individual reader ought to open-air preach (OAP). It is plausible a church might not want a particular individual to OAP. For example, if the aspiring preacher is not very good at explaining the Gospel, or he hasn't mastered his temper yet and easily gets mad and challenges people to fistfights. But Miano is talking about OAP in general.
On the other hand, Miano seems to be referring to a situation where an aspiring OA preacher is not a member of a church because he can't find one that supports OAP. It is a pitifully sad commentary on the state of Reformedigelical churches in the West that this is a plausible scenario. I would at least agree with Miano on this - if you're not a member of a church, there had better be a really really good reason. Ie, you live in a location where despite faithful searching you have not been able to connect with anybody who actually loves Jesus.

On the other other hand (which I guess gets us back to the original hand), one might decide that until the Lord provides something better, he should probably just join the best church he can find and try to influence it toward following the Scripture. This may in some cases result in conflict between the person wanting to be faithful to Jesus and the leadership and/or the rest of the congregation who are all too happy doing their own thing, following their own autonomous desires and preferences, and ignoring major portions of the Scripture in so doing. What then?
Before we get into that, I'd like to ask this: What makes Miano so sure that a church that doesn't support open-air preaching is indeed solid? Evangelism and the Great Commission are kind of a big deal when it comes to properly obeying Jesus and fulfilling the two greatest commandments, and if a church is not interested in obeying Jesus, that's not a solid church. It doesn't matter what they confess, what they say with their lips. The Scripture is full of rebukes of false professors who say one thing and do another. Like the Pharisees. Like the Jerusalemites who said "the temple of YHWH! The temple of YHWH! The temple of YHWH!" Like the false prophets who said "peace, peace" when there was no peace.
Perhaps the church thinks open-air preaching is mean and nasty in and of itself. I would suggest in that case the OA preacher invite people from the church to come out with him, to show them how it's done and to demonstrate that, while of course someone can be mean and nasty in virtually any situation, OAP can be done in a way that is loving, kind, and understanding.
What if no one from the church is willing to go watch, and yet they continue to insist that OAP, a ministry that Jesus and Paul and Peter did a whole lot, is not good? Well, then, those people need to be called to repentance. Or I suppose you could leave and be a "nomad", but then that would leave the people in the church in unchallenged deception, which is not good for the church he leaves behind. It is actually the opposite of love for those people.
On the other hand, what if a few people go out with the OA preacher and everything goes well, and yet they continue to oppose OAP in and of itself? Would not the conversation then have to shift to their biblical reasons to justify their opposition? It may be that the leadership of the church would in that case lord it over the OA preacher, citing some imaginary "authority" to tell him that OAP is not OK, with no other reason than that they say so. Such person(s) would be deep in sin and rebellion against the role they're supposed to be playing in their local church. The OA preacher, being a part of that local church himself, would be obligated (not permitted, by the way, obligated) to get one or two other witnesses and rebuke that person, initiating church discipline for unrepentantly sinning against the OA preacher and against the rest of the congregation for refusing to teach the whole counsel of God.
1 Timothy 5:19-21 - Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.
Miano later says this:
The Lord may yet call you to open-air preach (if you are a man), and you will know that because your pastors/elders will affirm your call to preach the gospel in the open-air.
There's a reason why he didn't include any Bible citations along with this statement. Nothing in God's Word would lead us to believe this is true. It also exhibits a puzzling naïveté. Does Miano really think that the most common reason why a pastor might oppose OAP would be that the OA preacher in question has a history of "rebelling" against the pastor's "authority"? What does "pastoral authority" even mean, in a situation where the pastor is not following the Word of God?
Let's continue with another statement from Miano:
Christian Brother: God has certainly called you to be a hand, or foot, or arm, or leg in His Body. But He may NOT have called you to open-air preach. The fact that you want to open-air preach doesn't mean God has called you to open-air preach. You may not be finding a church that supports open-air preaching because that may not be the role the Lord has for you in His body.
Miano is equivocating on the uses of the word "calling" in this paragraph. The first occurrence is fine - it is indeed true that God has called every individual Christian to be some body part in His Body. Miano seems to be assuming that 1 Corinthians 12's discussion of body parts refers to a given local church, which I would dispute, but let's leave that aside for now. How do we know that God has called us to be a body part in the Body of Christ? The Scripture says so.
So how does Miano propose that an individual can know that he is "called" to do OAP? I have asked this question many times and never received an answer. It is a major weakness in his book "Should She Preach?", which I documented in my review thereof. Which Scripture passage leads us to expect that God would continually send individual people specific callings to specific tasks or ministries, going forward throughout the ages during which the church would subsist? I have argued that no such Scripture exists. This is where the equivocation comes in - the first time Miano says "calling", he is correctly referring to biblical command. The second and third times, he is trading on a mistaken tradition of man that is sadly common in Reformedigelicalism.
Miano is doubtless aware of the Modern-Day Downgrade at work in the Reformedigelical churches of the West. Part of the Downgrade is the trend toward that which is easy and adds to the comfort level of the partakers. As an experienced street preacher myself, I know well that OAP incurs a very high level of discomfort, and Miano of course knows this too. Since it is uncomfortable, people don't want to do it, and this leads to their making excuses, twisting the Scripture so they can justify their apathy toward the lost. This is a far more plausible explanation for why someone might not be able to find a church that supports OAP.
So, get plugged into a local church; live in submission to the elders and in love with the rest of the congregation. Be willing to work the nursery, or scrub a toilet, or teach a Sunday school class (if you're qualified). Be willing to serve for no other reason than it is a fulfillment of the two greatest commandments--to love God and to love people.
Of course, Christians should be members of a local church; I don't dispute that. I would take issue with verbiage like "live in submission to the elders", however. If the elders tell you not to do a biblical thing, or to do an unbiblical thing, it is no virtue to obey. It is actually sin to obey these lesser voices in that case. Sin because you ought to be doing the right thing, and also sin because you are acting in a cowardly way, following the "overlord"'s orders rather than standing against evil and exposing it (Jeremiah 7, Ephesians 5:11) out of love for the deceived elder(s) as well as love for the congregation.
You can't actually love your congregation if you are sinning by knowingly withholding from them that which they need, that of which you know you ought to help them take hold.
James 4:17 - Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Taken in the context of the situation he is laying out, Miano is actually indirectly recommending a sinful course of action.
Also, because of the discomfort involved in OAP, there are precious few people willing to do it. Yet I challenge you to show me another ministry in which the Gospel can be spread so widely to so many people in such an efficient manner as OAP. I'm not criticising other methods of evangelism. I'm saying that OAP has its place, and Jesus chose it for a reason.
Mark 1:14-15 - Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Matthew 4:23 - Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
Matthew 9:35 - Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
Luke 20:1 - On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him...
If your church meets in a separate building, far be it from me to suggest you not scrub a toilet. If y'all meet in a house, scrub the toilet there. Go for it! Doing that sort of thing and OAP are hardly mutually exclusive. I mean, unless your nursery duties are late on Friday night or something, which is often a really good time of week to do OAP.
The problem here is not whether an OA preacher in a church should say, "OAP is all I do within my local church." That would be foolish and wrong. But Miano is not only acting like it is better to do something that most anyone can and is probably willing to do (since scrubbing toilets is, let's face it, not too hard) than to do something that is hard but that results in tons of people hearing the Gospel proclaimed with boldness and power, for no other reason than that the OA preacher's church is in sin and thinks that OAP is bad.
It would be far better to say this: Be willing to OAP for no other reason than it is a fulfillment of the two greatest commandments--to love God and to love people. And it is love not only to the lost who hear it, but also to the church members who probably have an unbiblical worldview undergirding their unbiblical objection to OAP; the OA preacher has the chance to set them free from these wrong views. This is pleasing to God.
Two more notes:
The Lord may yet call you to open-air preach (if you are a man)
Please, again, see my review of Miano's book on the issue of whether only men are biblically warranted to OAP.
once they see that the gospel of Jesus Christ is more important to you than hearing your own voice preaching it.
True, the OA preacher must guard against pride in his heart. But when fewer than thousands of Christians are doing OAP in one's area and there is opportunity, it should be done in a biblical manner, no matter whether the elders of your church are sinfully suppressing it.
Speaking for myself, it matters not whether it's my voice. I want many voices proclaiming the Good News of the risen Savior. And if there are none, I want at least one. If that's me, so be it.
Philippians 1:15-18 - Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another faithless liberal

I don't care how many times liberals tell me that they love Jesus and all that. Ask them enough questions and you find that they actually love themselves quite a bit more. Check out this comment conversation that developed on a video of mine:

 
Character assassination against Old and New Testament scholars who come to conclusions other than what is deemed acceptable by fundamentalist Christian apologists hardly qualifies as a meaningful critique of their research or positions. 


 
Huh?

 
+Rhology White mentions at 1:32 that much of the scholarship pertaining to the Bible in mainline Universities are anti Christian. Although White may interpret it that way, there are many Christian scholars of both Old and New Testament teaching in seminaries who have views that are very similar if not identical to the "anti-Christian liberals" whom White is referring to. Is this because these Christian scholars are looking for ways to deceive people? Hardly. White says that Old Testament studies has never recovered from the critical analysis from the German scholars of the 19th century (3:35-3:41), as if to say that the approach to the Old Testament has been damaged in some way. On the contrary, it is because the literary and documentary evidence of multiple scribal hands, redactions, anachronisms, and diverse theological outlook is so massive that scholars can no longer hold to the simple conclusions that were once held in regard to Biblical authorship and inerrancy such as "Moses wrote every word from Genesis 1 to Deuteronomy 34, because that's what our tradition tells us". To White, this is poison (8:24) and he wants to interpret the situation in pure black and white terms by insisting that anyone who doesn't agree with how he thinks scholarship should be done are perishing  and are doomed to hell. In my opinion, that is hardly a basis for substantiating the claims he is making. 

 
+ors712 \\Is this because these Christian scholars are looking for ways to deceive people?\\

How do you know that?


\\as if to say that the approach to the Old Testament has been damaged in some way\\

You don't think widespread liberalism has damaged real study of the Bible?


\\it is because the literary and documentary evidence of multiple scribal hands, redactions, anachronisms, and diverse theological outlook is so massive that scholars can no longer hold to the simple conclusions that were once held in regard to Biblical authorship and inerrancy such as "Moses wrote every word from Genesis 1 to Deuteronomy 34, because that's what our tradition tells us".\\

Ah, thanks for showing your hand.
As if these liberal "conclusions" aren't themselves based on naturalistic presuppositions. White interacts with that sort of idea all the time, as have many others. Liberalism is a position based in human imagination. It has no rational merit.


\\he wants to interpret the situation in pure black and white terms by insisting that anyone who doesn't agree with how he thinks scholarship should be done are perishing  and are doomed to hell.\\

This is not a fair analysis of what White said or thinks.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Open Theism followup

Teh Interw3bz are abuzz today about the debate between James White and Bob Enyart, which resulted in a massive success for White if the two cross-ex periods that are now available are any indication.

An open theist talked to me about it:

  • Christopher Minor Rhol, what were James White's responses to Bob's four main arguments in his opening statement? They were:

    If God is free, the future is open.

    The Incarnation proves God is not outside of time and not immutable.
    The five biblical attributes of God are different than the five philosophical attributes of God.
    Time cannot be created because time is a prerequisite to bring something from non-existence to existence.
  • Christopher Minor Rhol, I predict that James White did not answer these and that you cannot either. But I'm all ears.
  • Rhol Ogy I haven't listened to the whole debate, just the two cross-ex periods.

    My answers are:

    God is free and His decree is perfect, both.
    God the Son ENTERED INTO time and yet He remains immutable. How? Kenosis. It's quite mysterious. Yet it's true.
    I don't know what the 5 attributes are you're referring to.
    As for this:
    \\Time cannot be created because time is a prerequisite to bring something from non-existence to existence.\\

    1) You don't know that from the Bible. So it's pagan philosophy, which makes me LOL.
    2) The Bible says that God is timeless.
    3) The Bible says God created everything. Time is part of everything.
  • Rhol Ogy Could Jesus choose to cease to exist?
  • Christopher Minor Rhol, it looks like your post got cut off. The answers are missing.
  • Rhol Ogy refresh; I edited
  • Christopher Minor //God is free and His decree is perfect, both.//

    Was God free to decree, meaning He had the ability not to? Was God free to decree differently? And once God decreed, is He free to change His decree?


    //God the Son ENTERED INTO time and yet He remains immutable.//

    God the Son had one nature in eternity past and now has two natures. How is that not a change? And do you see the sequence experienced by God the Son? He was God the Son with one nature first, and God the Son with two natures second. That is a before and after, which means God is not outside of time.

    //I don't know what the 5 attributes are you're referring to.//

    5 Biblical attributes: Living, Personal, Relational, Good and Loving
    5 Philosophical attributes: Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Immutability, Impassibility

    Christ was all 5 of the biblical attributes in the emptied incarnate state, but none of the 5 philosophical attributes, yet remained God. This proves the 5 biblical attributes are essential to God and the 5 philosophical attributes are not, because Christ remained God without them.

    //1) You don't know that from the Bible. So it's pagan philosophy, which makes me LOL.//

    God being outside of time came from pagan philosophy, not the Bible.

    //2) The Bible says that God is timeless.//

    No it doesn't.

    //3) The Bible says God created everything. Time is part of everything.//

    Time is not part of everything, like truth and morality are not part of everything. Time, truth and morality all exist, yet none were created by God. They flow from His nature. We experience linear duration because God does.
    58 mins · Like · 1
  • Rhol Ogy Was God free to decree, meaning He had the ability not to? --- Yes. Since God doesn't have a decree, could His will to bring about the final Eschaton the way He wants be thwarted?

    Was God free to decree differently? --- Not sure. His decree is perfect
    , so you're asking whether He is free to decree imperfection. Does your god even know what perfection is? If so, how? Does that idea ever change?

    once God decreed, is He free to change His decree? --- His decree has never not existed, and it has always been perfect. Can your god be sure that anything he says will certainly come to pass?

    God the Son had one nature in eternity past and now has two natures. How is that not a change? --- Because Hebrews 13:8.

    That is a before and after, which means God is not outside of time. --- He entered into time for a reason and a purpose b/c He is omnipotent.
    Since your god is inside time, doesn't that mean that there are things that have always existed alongside him? That he didn't create? Which means your god is not a necessary being?

    Christ was all 5 of the biblical attributes in the emptied incarnate state, but none of the 5 philosophical attributes, yet remained God. --- Like pretty much all open theists I've talked to, you never take the kenosis into account.

    God being outside of time came from pagan philosophy, not the Bible. --- Except for all the times God says that He created everything. So it's what I said, not what you said.

    Time is not part of everything, like truth and morality are not part of everything. --- LOL. I'm not part of everything either. I am sui generis!
  • Christopher Minor //Was God free to decree, meaning He had the ability not to? --- Yes.//

    This means that the future was open and not settled. Which also means God did not have exhaustive foreknowledge until He decreed. Which means the God of Calvinism learns. He incre
    ased in knowledge once He decided what to decree.

    //Was God free to decree differently? --- Not sure.//

    If God could not have decreed differently, then He is not free. But I believe God has libertarian free will. And that means He has the ability to choose. Let's make this simple for you. Could God have created the universe differently, with just one more grain of sand than He did? And how would one more grain of sand make the universe "imperfect"?

    //once God decreed, is He free to change His decree?//

    Yes or No?

    //God the Son had one nature in eternity past and now has two natures. How is that not a change? --- Because Hebrews 13:8.//

    That's not an answer. Does Hebrews 13:8 mean that Jesus did not grow in wisdom and stature?

    //That is a before and after, which means God is not outside of time. --- He entered into time for a reason and a purpose b/c He is omnipotent.//

    I didn't ask about God entering into time. How do you account for the sequence experienced by God going from one nature in eternity past to two natures in eternity future? When you meet Him, He will have two natures. When Enoch met Him, He only had one.

    //Like pretty much all open theists I've talked to, you never take the kenosis into account.//

    This is not an answer. Christ remained God, yet was not omniscient. This means that omniscience is not an essential attribute of God.

    //God being outside of time came from pagan philosophy, not the Bible. --- Except for all the times God says that He created everything.//

    Did God create truth and morality? Yes or no?
  • Rhol Ogy No no no... Your turn to answer my questions. Then we can proceed with yours.
  • Christopher Minor We're not finished with my original questions. Once we hash those out, I'm all yours. You can ask me whatever you want and I'll answer everything with a direct Yes or No.
  • Rhol Ogy \\We're not finished with my original questions.\\

    And we haven't even started with my own original questions.
  • Rhol Ogy \\You can ask me whatever you want and I'll answer everything with a direct Yes or No.\\

    Go ahead and start now. thanks!
  • Christopher Minor Rhol, it's clear you can't answer my questions. I'm content with that.
  • Rhol Ogy Shrug. I gave a lot more answers than you did.
  • Christopher Minor I'm prepared to answer many more from you. I predicted (originally) that you could not answer Bob's four main arguments. I want to finish that challenge before moving on to something else. It makes it easier to follow.
  • Rhol Ogy I'm prepared to answer many more from you as well including the follow-ups you sent rather than answering my own questions.

    At this point, one of us has ponied up some dough. The other is ruffling his fur, trying to look big.,
  • Christopher Minor Well, you have an opportunity to prove my prediction wrong. I'll be waiting. Feel free to post on my wall anytime. Thanks.