Jan 242013
 

anglicanNot every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which say, they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.

Agreed? What are “deadly sins”? What is it to sin against the Holy Ghost? Is it possible to depart from grace? Is it possible to not sin? I guess this article also begs the question, is it possible to be “un-saved”?

 Posted by at 3:44 am

  211 Responses to “XVI. Of Sin after Baptism”

  1. “What are “deadly sins”? ”

    Driving 100MPH in your Maserati and going over a mountain cliff – for one. 😉

  2. 1.) Yes it is possible to depart from grace.
    2.) It is not possible to not sin.
    3.) Can you become “unsaved”? – In a technical sense, God lost us once – why can’t he lose us again?

    I’ll bet that last one can start a fight. 🙂

  3. MLD, could you possibly find a larger utensil with which to stir the pot?

  4. “Sin after baptism?”

    So does that refer to a believer’s baptism then?

  5. Captain, I just say the things that everyone else is afraid to say or ask about? 😉

  6. JTK,
    Lutherans baptize unbelievers to make them believers.!

  7. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
    (John 6:36–40 ESV)

  8. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.I and the Father are one.””
    (John 10:27–30 ESV)

  9. I have a question. I have a close relative who was saved back in the 70’s. He became a worship leader, made a few albums, and played at various churches. He was very enthusiastic and people loved him.

    Fast forward to today. He is decidedly anti-christian. More so than anyone I know. He continues to put out music and some of it mocks Christ. He honestly believes Christians are crazy and dangerous. He is also out of the closet as being gay and has bad memories of how gays were mentioned in the church. So he walked away like I’ve never seen anyone walk away.

    I understand many might say he was truly never saved. Some might say he’s seriously back slidden which I have trouble with.

    For those who believe he was saved and in fact walked away from the faith is that pretty much unpardonable or could he be born again again.

  10. We can toss verses back and forth all day and each will come away with his/her own conclusion based on largely subjective interpretation of what is contradictory text that speaks to one direction and then the other. That’s just the truth of the issue.

    My conclusion: Dunno.

  11. erunner,
    The story of your relative made me think of these lyrics…

    “You have a new way
    Is it a better way?
    Once I saw you proclaim
    Now there’s slight disdain
    Why keep that title, what has changed? Is God so different?
    Why keep that title, what has changed? Is He not the same?

    Love is present, grace abounds
    What happened here? Was the world so enticing?
    Denial is treachery hard to reconcile

    Call it for what it really is
    Don’t make excuses
    Call it for what it really is
    Go ahead – apostasy”

    Living Sacrifice – Apostasy

    Perhaps this seems insensitive on my part, its just what came to my mind as I was reading. Sounds like he knew Jesus at one point, but has fallen away from the faith?
    Could he be born again again? – Sure. I believe that its always possible to come back, but its up to him.

  12. Erunner….Only God knows.

    Personally, I cannot understand how anyone who truly knew, tasted, experienced, Jesus, as Lord and Saviour, could deny Him. But that is me. People I have known like your relative, I have a deep burden for, and grieve over how they can deny and even mock the One who died for them and loves them more than any of us can imagine. To me this is so tragic. But then, I know our God is much more merciful than I am. So my answer is “only God knows.”

  13. Alex, Thanks. I realize the many opinions on the scenario I shared. I’m hoping to hear specifically from any who believe a person can essentially lose their salvation. By no means is this a topic we can all gather around and agree upon.

  14. E, if you assume Judas Iscariot was “saved” as he was a “chosen” Apostle by Jesus Christ and he did miracles etc…then yes, there is someone in history that was ‘unsaved’

    There is also 2 Peter 2:1 that is very difficult to get around for the “OSAS” crowd.

    “Redeemed” = saved throughout the bible…yet the verse says some who were “bought” and “redeemed” were unsaved.

  15. papiaslogia, That isn’t insensitive at all. It’s complicated but in talking with him he believes he has the truth now…. that Christianity is a sham. So he seems to be embracing human potential and that the best is yet to come. He is just so hardened from what I observe concerning the Gospel and somehow what he experienced as a gay man in the church has now made him extremely angry and bitter. I wonder at times if there’s a point he hardens his heart to the point there is no hope for him. Thank you.

  16. E. the greek word in 2 Peter is:

    agorazó: to buy in the marketplace, purchase
    buy, redeem.

    Jesus “redeemed” these guys, and they were “destroyed”…or in the context of this discussion: They were ‘unsaved’

    apóleia: destruction, loss
    Definition: destruction, ruin, loss, perishing; eternal ruin.damnation, destruction, perish, waste.

    Pretty clear verse that OSAS can’t get around…but they sure try hard. James White and John Piper do some masterful tap-dancing…but it’s still unsound.

    Truth is there is a Paradox, contradiction, inconsistency with this issue. i can build a strong case from scripture both ‘for’ and ‘against’

  17. Alex, 2 Peter 2:1….. I don’t know that those mentioned were ever saved to begin with so in that light there was no salvation to lose. I realize some use the ‘abide’ verses to hold out the possibility of one falling from grace. In those instances I always think on the fact of a person being saved twice. Thanks again.

  18. E, the “Master who redeemed” them is Jesus, no? What does “redeemed” mean? If they were never truly “redeemed” by Jesus, why does this verse say Jesus had redeemed them?

    How is one “redeemed” w/o being “truly saved”?

  19. E, is a false convert “redeemed”?

  20. Nonnie, When it’s all said and done I believe you are correct. Like you I don’t understand how some end up in these places. No remorse or guilt for sin. They redefine sin. They then promote sin while mocking God. I see the ‘back slidden or carnal” believer as at least being aware and feeling conviction for their sin(s) and thus rejoining the family. I worry for those in the other group. Thanks.

  21. Alex, Couldn’t that verse also be seen as these false teachers rejecting the God who sent His Son to die for them and thus rejecting Christ’s atoning death? I’m not convinced these false teachers were saved at all.

    As far as false converts that indicates a tare among the wheat and the term itself implies they are not redeemed. I believe they can be redeemed though.

  22. E said, “Alex, Couldn’t that verse also be seen as these false teachers rejecting the God who sent His Son to die for them and thus rejecting Christ’s atoning death?”

    Probably not, or it would have said it that way.

    Again, this is the issue I’ve been harping on for some time…much of what we believe is very subjective. We cram “the simple meaning” of a verse into our Box and contort it to whatever we want…despite the explicit simple “fundamentalist/literal” meaning of the words as they are in the particular translation of the bible.

    Again, there are only Selective Fundamentalists (literalists) and Liberals in Theology..and Scripture is not logical and has many paradoxes, contradictions, inconsistencies and verses that say one thing, and say the opposite elsewhere. Doesn’t mean the Faith isn’t “true”….just means there are all those things I mentioned above. It kind of is what it is.

  23. The 2 Peter verses really presents more of a problem for those who hold to limited atonement.

    Jesus redemptive work was for all men and women, yet not efficacious for all.

    Not all appropriate it by faith.

    So, Jesus purchased everyone including the false prophets, yet they did not avail themselves of His work on their behalf by faith.

  24. A Believer, that opens a whole other can of theological worms if your explanation is true…and presents other equally difficult contradictions in Scripture.

    Would you like me to lay them out for you?

  25. If one explains away 2 Peter 2:1 as “not” a contradiction to OSAS, rather presenting it as a contradiction to Limited Atonement….then it simply presents a new set of Contradictions in Scripture.

    We’re back at square one with a different piece of a particular Box.

  26. Here Jesus speaks directly to the false prophets saying he never knew them. We could appeal to John 3:16 to state that Jesus for all. Most will reject this message and will be eternally separated from God. So are we left with the word “redeemed’ that would separate the false prophets in Matthew and 1 Peter??

    Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
    Mat 7:16 By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    Mat 7:20 Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?
    Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  27. Alex, I’m not arguing for once saved always saved. I’m addressing those who once professed the faith that not reject it. I seem to have a comment in moderation.

  28. Alex, I’m not arguing for once saved always saved. I’m addressing those who once professed the faith that NOW reject it. Excuse the typo. Also, consider Matthew 7:15-23

  29. E, I hear you. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with you, other than to point out we really don’t know and really can’t know for sure since we are relying on a particular interpretive model of Scripture to tell us. If one takes a very Fundamentalist/Literalist and “simple meaning” approach…there is much contradiction and opposing verses no matter how you slice it.

    Again, my answer: I dunno. And, unfortunately, as unpopular as it is, “I dunno” is the only intellectually honest position there is on this subject.

  30. Personally, I beg God for mercy on me a sinner, I assent to the fact I am a sinner in need of a Savior in the literal resurrected in the flesh (Chuck Smith) now glorified/transfigured Jesus Christ the Messiah.

    I don’t know if I’m saved or unsaved and I don’t know if I am saved if I can be unsaved.

    I go with my gut and “hope” for Salvation and hold some very simple Core Truths I believe:

    1. God Is.
    2. I am not God.
    3. Jesus Christ is Messiah.
    4. Salvation is through Faith/Belief in Him.

    After that we “see through a glass darkly”…

    ….and I am still unconvinced anyone out there in theology land really knows much of anything.

  31. Alex, I’m leaving but Strong’s identifies the false prophets in both Matthew and 2 Peter exactly the same. In Matthew Jesus declared He never knew them. I would think that has to apply to those in 2 Peter as well. From that I believe they were never saved to begin with.

  32. The Bible contains no contradictions. LOL. God does not contradict himself.

    There are only apparent contradictions.

    However, there are many different man made systematic theological constructs that contradict one another.

    These systems are not necessarily bad in and of themselves as they are a sincere attempt to formulate an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the Christian faith and beliefs.

    One thing we should not do in an attempt to do this is to remove mystery. We can not know all things. If we could, we would be like Him and we aren’t.

    So, we should hold our belief “systems” humbly. We certainly can be wrong about a lot of things.

    “…let God be true but every man a liar.” Romans 3:4

    We need not fret over this too much though. We can be confident in God and His truth. A God who loves us and is for us, …in spite of our weaknesses and our tendency towards error.

  33. A Believer…..I hear ya!!

  34. A Believer, I used to believe this the way you state it here, despite the many “seeming” contradictions: “The Bible contains no contradictions. LOL. God does not contradict himself.There are only apparent contradictions.”

    But, why is that necessarily “Truth”?

    Why can’t God contradict Himself in the bible?

  35. What is it that we fear about ‘contradiction’? Why do we assume that ‘contradiction’ = bad and disproves our Faith?

    Did God ever change His mind?

  36. Exodus 32:14 “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people”

  37. Alex, I don’t think that word means what you think it means…. 😉

  38. The only explanation I have heard for the “unpardonable sin” is that it is viewing the Holy Spirit as if it is not from God, which would be blaspheming it. That is “unpardonable” in the sense that as long as we are refusing to accept the influence of the Holy Spirit presenting Christ to us, there is no hope for us.

    As to erunner’s friend, I would not be happy with any interpretation of scripture that supports giving up on him.

  39. Papias, LOL 🙂 …that was funny and I know you are smart enough to intend that to be humorous on many levels

  40. “…I don’t know if I’m saved or unsaved.”

    Not sure if this helps or not, but I felt led to share the words of Jesus on your behalf.

    You have confidently asserted belief in Jesus many times.

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24

    I am pretty much of the conviction that God wants us to have an assurance of our state before Him, confidence in His promises to those who believe, and a firm grasp of His unfailing love and heart towards us.

  41. FWIW
    erunner, a purely human comparison might be an old tradition called “courtship” – most of us have seen a couple (gender not important on this BTW) who are all wrapped up in each other, energized by the infatuation and then one of the two isn’t getting the payback they wanted and breaks off the relationship, leaving the other person standing in the road “to deal with it”
    i suspect – dunno – that our immutable, loving God has been jilted quite a few times, but He is smart enough to not marry all His admirers

    that said, i am convinced of the progression of Ephesians 4 – there comes a point in said courtship where we are sealed into a permanent (eternal life) relationship

    (i obviously belong to the crowd that doesn’t believe water baptism “saves”)

  42. Thanks AB, truly. I sure hope so.

  43. Here we go again – Alex does not properly use the word contradiction. A contradiction is “A cannot be Non A in the same way at the same time.” It’s a basic LOGIC statement that Mr. Logic always brags about.

    I have used this example several times here with Alex and he does not address it – he just throws up most dust to confuse the issue.

    If my son calls and says MLD, I am coming over. I tell him, don’t knock just walk in.
    If Alex calls me and says the same thing and I say “knock on the door and I will let you in.”

    Alex looks at this as a contradiction – look MLD says “just come in.” and Don’t just come in.” to the same statement – MLD contradicted himself.

    Well, this is nonsense, but through that lens, Alex reads the Bible and sits in total confusion.

  44. Here we go again! Iron sharpening iron, as some call it. I remember once sharpening a knife so much that it became beyond sharpening. 😳 Has anyone ever had their opinions change during one of these endless debates?

  45. After the brass alter –which stand for the place of sacrifice and our coming to to Christ, was the brass laver the laver was a place to wash after you got into a relationship with God and it is the one and only item in the Tabernacle that there were no size given, it might have been 12 inches or 12 feet across.. It stands for the washing we need after coming to Christ an for that there is no limit, therefore the place of washing has no limits placed on it, it is as big as we need it to be

  46. Oh No, for the record, i have changed a few opinions reading everyone’s thoughts here … but the key word for me in your observation is “opinion”

  47. Oh No @ 44 – I have. For instance, I used to think these debates were worthwhile. I no longer hold that opinion.

  48. DMW … could one conclude that the “washing” is not a one time event? that it is part of the ongoing sanctifying? the word “washing” is used for the Word and, i believe, for the work of the Holy Spirit – not sure on that one … does confession of sin, wash?
    just thinking on your #45 here … pondering

  49. i’ll confess that i don’t really enjoy debate for debate’s sake anymore – when the truth gets trampled in the twists and turns of parsing and gotchas – so i’m sure i miss some good stuff when Alex shares his thoughts here – however, he energizes quite a few, so who knows where he’ll end up leading his admirers – God is amazing

  50. Josh said, “Oh No @ 44 – I have. For instance, I used to think these debates were worthwhile. I no longer hold that opinion.”

    Well, we agree on that, and that’s the point I’m making.

    I once told Michael on here I could rip his tightly held Box of Calvinism apart…to which he freaked and called me names and told me to bite him etc LOL 😆

    Tightly held theological boxes and endless theological debates are about as useful as stimulating oneself with their own hand (if you know what i mean)

  51. Yea…Alex is such a great theologian and expert on everything else I post that I just freaked out at the prospect of him destroying all I believe… You bet.

  52. Choosing to ignore Alex’s crudeness at the moment, all I want to know is does MLD’s son really call his dad “MLD”? 🙂

    “If my son calls and says MLD, I am coming over. I tell him, don’t knock just walk in.”

  53. Oh No,
    Yes

  54. I actually think the discussion today has been pretty productive. Hopefully it stays that way.

    Erunner…I have someone that sought me out on Facebook a few years ago. He had been involved in Youth With A Mission, Calvary Chapels and other organizations…was into drama and did outreaches with a group. I met him here in TN probably 19 years ago.

    Now he and his wife are divorced. His ex-wife has come out as a lesbian. His first contact with me after requesting friendship on FB, after about 14 years of no communication, was to write about how insane it was that I was requesting prayers for Noelle’s missing Rotties (a few years back). He asked how I could expect God to answer that prayer and yet let people be killed on 9/11.

    I entered into discussions with him and while he was fairly heated we were able to keep the discussions civil.

    Then he began being so hate-filled on FB, and his language was so crude, that I took him off my list so i could not see his posts. I did not unfriend him because I thought maybe he would see something on my posts that would spark thought.

    The other day I asked for prayer for a friend whose daughter has been suffering greatly. Jeffrey emailed me to tell me how insensitive and inhumane I was. He lambasted me. He cursed me and did his best to belittle me.

    I emailed back twice and Steve thought genuinely this guy was on drugs or something because some of the conversation was unintelligible.

    So I unfriended him, but was glad to know that he is still friends with our former pastor who would be far better at handling him.

    All of that to say that this man hates Christians. Lividly. Loudly. He mocks Christians, mocks Jesus and is one of the few people I have known who I would say are consumed with hate.

    I’ve seen him devolve even over the last few years. I’ve gone from being able to have a conversation with him to now having to unfriend him. He wants nothing of God.

    Yet….in his rants and in his anger I wonder if he is fighting so hard against the God he knows is there. I pray for him as he comes to mind and I wonder if the Spirit could still be there somewhere in him?

    I do not know the answer. I do know if God saw that he was still saved even after all this hatred….I cannot fathom how humbling that welcome to heaven would be. I know how completely unworthy I feel of the salvation God has offered…but how would it be to know that you have spoken such hatred and still be welcomed?

    I do not know if he was ever saved, if he is now saved by carnal, if there is no hope for him. All I know to do is pray for him and to look at his life as a warning.

  55. Well, this is a theology thread and we were asked for our thoughts and perspective. Those of you who are too good to discuss theology should just move on to a different thread… without comment.

  56. Or to a different blog, without comment. Who cares, right?

  57. I like DMW’s comments about “washing”. As Lutherans we are washed in our baptism, saved in our baptism and live our daily lives in our baptism.

    I am not saved because I WAS baptized – I am saved because I AM baptized, and my baptism is a continual thing.

    However I can choose to step away from my baptism, not live in my baptism, which in time will wither my faith and my faith will eventually die.
    To Erunners question – one cannot lose their salvation as if it were taken from you, and giving it up willfully is very difficult… but can be done

  58. Josh,
    “Or to a different blog, without comment. Who cares, right?”

    I didn’t suggest that at all.I am very open, I don’t go on to the prayer thread and I don’t comment or complain about those who do. Others can do the same with the theology thread .. it doesn’t hurt.

  59. Well, Michael, you have moderated your Calvinist positions quite a bit and become much more tolerant of other views and changed quite a bit since then (when you blasted me)…

    BTW, just got contacted by a national media re: a CC story that will run very soon…

    I don’t succumb to defeatism…I keep on keepin’ on

  60. @58 – It’s just that the theology thread is the same as the Links thread is the same as the “Shooting in NM” thread is the same as “THings I think” thread.

    SO those of us who are tired of this conversation should take it to the prayer thread, and just stay there.

  61. Hey Rueben…. thanks for posting this! 😉

  62. For the record, my “yes” to oh no. Was yes, people’s minds have been changed. Not “yes” I agree this thread was pointless. I quite like this series of Reuben’s.

  63. Oh No,

    I like what you posted…

    “Here we go again! Iron sharpening iron, as some call it. I remember once sharpening a knife so much that it became beyond sharpening. Has anyone ever had their opinions change during one of these endless debates?”

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=WEgUUTkqRRQ&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWEgUUTkqRRQ

  64. Josh, you have not engaged on the topic as of yet. Give it a shot. I stated my views in #2 – I’ll bet you agree with all 3.

  65. MLD said, “I have used this example several times here with Alex and he does not address it – he just throws up most dust to confuse the issue.

    If my son calls and says MLD, I am coming over. I tell him, don’t knock just walk in.
    If Alex calls me and says the same thing and I say “knock on the door and I will let you in.”

    Alex looks at this as a contradiction – look MLD says “just come in.” and Don’t just come in.” to the same statement – MLD contradicted himself.”

    I don’t respond to it, b/c you haven’t presented by take accurately and the Strawman is so convoluted, I would have to somehow think I can understand how your mind is processing this to have put it out there in such an incorrect example of proving what you claim it proves….

    Sorry, i can’t see how it proves what you say it does, nor can i begin to understand what faulty logic you are appealing to to make your incorrect point.

    You aren’t appealing to the laws of philosophical logic…it must be MLD logic, of which I’m not familiar

    But, if you’d like, i can take a stab at deconstructing it, but it will be quite lengthy and you probably won’t understand it anyway…and you’ll probably then accuse me of going off topic or being a blog bully or simply dismissing it via name calling and denying the science behind the deconstruction and refutation…

  66. 1.) Yes it is possible to depart from grace.
    2.) It is not possible to not sin.
    3.) Can you become “unsaved”? – If #1 is true, then it would follow that a person could become “unsaved”.
    Taking Romans *:35-39 into mind, I am not sure HOW that happens, apart from someone deliberately apostasing(turning away) from the faith.

    1Tim 4:1 seems to say that people will depart from the faith.
    2 Peter is all about false prophets both inside the church.
    Jude 1:4 seems to speak of people inside the church who “crept in and denied Christ”.

    We know that the Church now is a mixture of wheat and tares. Some people look saved, but in fact are not. Thinking also of the parable of the sower here as well.

  67. You do not have to deconstruct anything. What you need to do is present a bonifide contradiction in the Bible. Where God is speaking to the same people, in the same circumstance at the same time and saying A is non A.

    That will satisfy me.100%

  68. Stuck in moderation… sorta like purgatory for posts with too many links…. 😉

  69. MLD, you will simply move the goal posts, redefine terms, appeal to context and “correct interpretation” etc etc and spin yourself into a pile of butter.

    And, then you’ll call me names, want me banned, say I’m crazy and say I dominate even though you are the #1 commenter.

  70. …so, I think I’ll pass this time around and just say I disagree and you’re wrong and you have very little clue about logic and how it works.

  71. Well, context is a big issue when discussing contradictions.

    Come on, give me one – the goal posts are set in my #67

  72. Work on it – I am going to Costco to have free samples for lunch. 🙂

  73. MLD, I don’t have to “work on it”…i’ve noticed the contradictions for many years. I just don’t want to ‘dominate’ or be told I’m a ‘bully’ or that i’m a bad guy for defending my assertion and then called names and blamed for ruining the blog.

    Yet, if i don’t respond, it will be interpreted as succumbing to you and you being correct…and you aren’t.

    I’ll give you one of a zillion, but first let’s start with agreeing on the Universally accepted definition of “Contradiction” in the world of philosophical logic:

    “a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something, a statement or phrase whose parts contradict each other, logical incongruity, a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another”

    Exhibit 1 (of a zillion):

    Man hath “seen” God:

    “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
    “And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts.”
    “And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.”

    Man hath not “seen” God:

    “And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live.”
    “Whom no man hath seen nor can see.”
    “No man hath seen God at any time.”

    …now spin away…into butter.

  74. Enjoy your costco samples. See if they sell any clues, you seem to not have one 🙂

  75. Again, I don’t know why you and others are so afraid of contradiction. It’s there. Accept it. And there’s a ton more. The bible is not a Science book or a Logic book. It isn’t “perfect” and “inerrant” in the mythology you seem to embrace it as. It contains truth, it’s awesome, etc etc, but it isn’t God and it isn’t w/o contradiction.

    There comes a point where a person spouting “I HAVE THE TRUTH!” yet in the next breath is intellectually dishonest…that folks who think and don’t miss this stuff go, “Hmmm, do you really have the truth when you deny the obvious truth in front of my face?”

  76. Well, good day all. Better get off the thread before I get blog-lynched. I really want to know the truth. i think there’s a lot of Group Think that occurs in Christian-land and a lot of mythology that is embraced that isn’t necessarily true. My goal is not to pick on any one in particular, though MLD likes to poke at me, which engenders responses…i just want to know the truth.

  77. Alex..as to your four core truths. May I ask

    1) Do you believe Jesus is God Incarnate?

    2) Do you believe Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus?

    3) Do you believe Jesus literally rose from the dead after crucifixion, in a body that could eat food and be touched by others?

    I believe these are all yes/no questions. You have made your view on the Bible quite clear, and thus I am interested in your answers here.

    (And I will repay the favor by answering any three of your yes/no questions you might ask as to my beliefs)

  78. And while the little inquisition is blossoming, please answer these as well…

    “What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
    and while you are at it, “African or European swallow?,

  79. Sarah, Thank you for sharing. As I was the one who brought this person to Christ I spent much time with him. The excitement that was there. The song writing and records which were quite good came along.

    Along the way I could see he was drifting a bit and becoming a bit more liberal. He moved away and things sped up. His songs became a bit more conventional and mainstream. He didn’t say anything one way or the other when he’d visit and then some years ago he came out as gay.

    I’m sure he saw a lot of improper stuff in the “Christian” music scene and there he was…. filled with anger towards believers and God.

    I can’t see into his heart and I can’t judge his standing before God. It’s just a sad thing to see. Maybe he is battling God… I don’t know. If he dies now and ended up in heaven it would be against his will.

  80. erunner, there is a teaching that, if a Believer really goes “haywire” and into a complete reversion to the requirements (there are such requirements – we don’t do God a favor by believing in Him) of a redeemed soul, God will take that person out (for the parsers among us – God doesn’t kill; He gives life and He takes it away – a fine distinction perhaps)

  81. G, don’t know about swallows (how about gulps, do they differ from swallows?) and i think airspeed velocity is, perhaps redundant – but you bring to mind an interesting factoid: did you know that a Navy jet fighter pilot once shot himself out of the sky (not with a heat-seeker, but with his own machine guns)? He fired the guns as he was diving, his airspeed put him ahead of the velocity of his own guns and he … shot himself down, ruined a good plane

    just sayin

  82. aand, BTW – do African and European swallows carry different lades?

    i’m either going to amuse myself here or i am going to start swinging (not at G, but at somebody)

  83. Eruuner,
    Maybe he’s just sad that he can’t be both gay and Christian according to most people. He might not be able to reconcile those two parts of himself and thinks if he is “Christian” then he has to hate himself and all others that are gay. He might not know what to do Maybe it comes out as anger when it’s really sadness.
    Totally making that up since I don’t know him, but thought I’d throw it out there.

  84. London, IMHO that’s a wonderfully constructive thot – intelligent conjectures can be very constructive … says me 🙂

    furthermore and so on – i, for one, am grateful to read something here to which i don’t react … ahem … 🙄 … negatively?

  85. Don’t have the mental capacity for any debate today…tired from work. All I know is this verse I read in my bible reading today says it all for me. Paul was saying this about himself before his death.

    The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

    Good enough for Paul, good enough for me. Amen.

  86. Em,
    Monty Python & The Holy Grail

  87. London, That very well could be true as I don’t know what’s going on deep inside of him. We have talked and he’s very adamant about the ‘lie’ of Christianity. He doesn’t consider any faith that would allow for his homosexuality as he thinks all of them are wrong. I just don’t know. Thanks for sharing…

  88. “What are “deadly sins”? “
    All sins are deadly sins, which, according to the understanding of Original Sin, the requirement for a perfect ans sinless sacrifice to redeem mankind from the stain of Original Sin has been paid. Some believe that the payment applies only to those who seek to avail themselves of the payment. Others believe that the payment has been applied once, for all.

    “What is it to sin against the Holy Ghost?”
    According to Jesus as quoted in the sacred texts, yes.

    “Is it possible to depart from grace?”
    I do not believe it is possible to depart from grace in the sense that grace is the attitude of God toward His creation and God will not be thwarted even by human “free will”

    “Is it possible to not sin?”
    If the standard is impossibly unobtainable, then it is completely guaranteed that humans will “sin”, if sin is defined as living without failure, lapses of faithlessness, wrestling with seemingly imponderable contradictions about the character of God.

    “I guess this article also begs the question, is it possible to be “un-saved”?”
    Nope, not according to OSAS because a thing cannot become an un-thing, so a new creation cannot become an old creation.

    But, can a person who clings to Jesus lose heart over the incessant barrage of information that proceeds from what appear to be contradictory theologies and voices within the church, lose heart over movements which refuse reformation, enduring justice deferred, delayed, or denied? And if a believer loses heart and cannot reconcile these things and cannot make sense of them but ultimately chooses to still cling to the barest shred of hope that Jesus’ grip on him or her is stronger than their tattered confessions and dashed hopes, is that daily aging new creature still in the inescapable grip of a God that cannot be understood but still remains the object of that person’s faith and love?

    Hope so.

  89. Alex,

    Have you ever heard the coupon theory of life?

    It goes: we all have only “so many” coupons. When we screw up, argue, interrupt, and the like, we cash in a coupon. Our coupon book is NOT unlimited.

    It seems when more than half the posts, much less x number being “antagonistic”, that you’re running out of coupons.

    Would you consider limiting your antagonistic comments as well as your overall posts….at least to only, say 25%, of all posts?

    It seems to ME (very subjective) that you’ve cashed all your coupons today….
    But I’m just one person

  90. I believe it is possible to not sin….at least in one area at a time (where there used to be sin).

    Anyone disagree?

    And if one can stop sinning in one area, then…..

  91. …then pride will rear it’s ugly head 😉

  92. I’ve made 22 posts out of 91…and I don’t see very many that are “antagonistic” unless you define disagreement with some of the positions of others as “antagonistic”.

    I am 4th commenter in quantifiable terms of post volume on PhxP according Michael’s recent Analytics report. MLD is far-and-away the #1 commenter with 2.5x’s as many comments or 250% more comments etc than me.

    I don’t think the Alex-bashing does anything to keep the peace and help the dynamic that some have complained about, I think it contributes to a resumption of the toxic environment I thought we all agreed we are trying to avoid.

    Jtk said, “It seems when more than half the posts, much less x number being “antagonistic”, that you’re running out of coupons.”

    Incorrect, do the math.

    Why don’t we stick to the topic of the thread like you did in your #91.

  93. G, LOL, yup! 🙂

    And maybe something about “if we say we have no sin, then we are a liar…and the truth is not in us”

  94. perhaps it helps to look at “sin” from 2 different aspects? one is as a condition and the other is the manifestations of that condition, i.e., if it were a virus one person might have a fever and another a sore throat … same virus …
    one sinner is attracted to same sex (why and how is not relevant to my point), to act on that is a sin (in my Book), another sinner might faithful as a clock, but a gourmet given to overindulging in food – gluttony is a sin, too, i think — some manifestations are more destructive than others

    the question is, do we care? after we’re saved and in the Family, isn’t it a done deal? … or is the natural man still programmed to indulge his old nature to sin? is there a Family code of conduct to uphold as best we can? to try to do so, at the very least?

    since i also, hold to the view/interpretation that the new birth is spiritual – we are soul and body with no spirit until we accept Christ – perhaps the birth analogy goes one step further with more aborted conceptions/still births than live ones – dunno – at some point we come out into the light of day as a complete 3 part being, rooted and grounded in the Faith (to mix metaphors): body, soul AND spirit, with a bit of a personality disorder – who will call the shots? the old man or the new? the flesh (which is dead and dying)? or the spirit?

    not saying anything new … just rehearsing an over-view of what a lifetime has proved to me as logical …

    oh, and the litmus test for being sure that you are still “saved?” IMV, it is that you hope that you are, even if not sure of it

    FWIW – God keep

  95. Alex,

    This ain’t your blog, although you act as if it is.
    Over the last year you have MLD and everyone else, including myself, beat by thousands of comments and you’ve dominated every thread this week, so cut the crap about numbers.

    Don’t lecture my readers…this isn’t your blog.
    It doesn’t feel like mine anymore, but I’ll either remedy that or shut the damn thing down.

  96. Don’t threaten me Michael.

  97. Michael, God keep – i presume way too much here also – i’ve hung around here long enough to respect you as a very insightful, intelligent God honoring man …i pray for your life and God’s direction including when to pull the plug on the a thread or the whole PhxP blog site

    now i’m gone

  98. Michael from the very very …. cheap seats please dont shut it down, many of us are blessed daily by what is written. As for bible contradictions, so what? Of course there are contradictions it was written by people what does one expect? I have never been bothered by contradictions in the bible to be honest, it does not make me honor or trust the document any less what so ever.

    I actually found a wonderful community of faith this last weekend, they are about as far as one can get from evangelical but they actually have wonderful insights into the Christian religion. It was just nice to be around other people and sing. It is located in a very beautiful part of where I live at. I love nice architecture for a sacred space. I was actually happy today for the first time in several months, it was just a decision I made by the grace of God.

  99. You posted the analytics, I am citing your numbers. Are they incorrect?

  100. Those analytics were a three month snapshot.
    The ones we posted for a whole year had you far ahead.
    You treat this as if it belonged to you, with no respect or concern for me or the readers…and when I no longer want to participate, then there isn’t much point in me paying for and caring for the site.
    How you take it as a threat that I would cease to do something I’ve loved for years is beyond me, but not surprising.

  101. brian,

    I’m glad you finally found some real fellowship.
    You’ve been with us for years and we love you much.

  102. “but I’ll either remedy that”

    I took that as another threat to ban me. If I misunderstood then my bad.

  103. “The ones we posted for a whole year had you far ahead.”

    I must have seen the 3 month snapshot then, I didn’t see a list with me at the top. My bad.

  104. I’m not going to kiss the ring though. I’ve been more civil and removed much of the hyperbole and “color” if you will in terms of snark. You, however, are a jerk in your recent comments and you often act like a jerk on here. I think you take a lot of license as the blog host in doing so. I’ve got very thick skin, but I’m not going to take your jerk-ness w/o pushing back. If you want to ban me, ban me.

    In light of the data (that I was unaware of) I will cut down on the post volume. I don’t want to be the #1 poster, I would prefer MLD has that title.

  105. We published it on the .net site…you were up by about three thousand posts.

    This site was not meant to be about one person or two, but a place where everyone could feel safe in having a say and thinking through all the things we talk about.
    It’s not that way anymore and what it has become isn’t worth what we have to put into it.

    I love to write and I love to have a big community to bounce things off of, but I may need to find another outlet.

  106. Alex,

    Are you friggin clueless?

    Please take my post as an appeal to shut up a bit and “be nice.” If you’re not sure if that’s happening, ask a family member (perhaps your wife).

    Please.

    This place is valuable.

    You can control yourself, or go away.

    But controlling yourself is the best option.

  107. Alex, doesn’t it make you the least bit uncomfortable how you manage to make everything about yourself? I can’t even fathom being the center of so many firestorms and not stopping to take inventory. Honest question.

  108. Alex,

    Don’t call Michael a jerk.

    Stop it,
    Stfu
    Or go away

  109. So the last three months I’m 4th and MLD is #1 by 2.5x’s as many correct?

    How long will you refer to the .net numbers which was before you confronted me about numbers and I scaled back?

  110. Please keep this place, Michael.

  111. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
    (and I’m a patient woman)

  112. Alex,

    I’m not going to battle you.
    I have far more significant battles in my life right now.
    I had a vision for what this place could be, and like most idealistic visions it didn’t come out like I hoped for.
    It was still worth trying.
    You have your own site and are ubiquitous on Facebook as well, you certainly won’t be silenced if we go on to other things or just go away.
    Someday, I pray you appreciate that some of us really were your friends…but respect has to be a two way street.

  113. It’s not being a jerk to set the rules for your own space that you pay for.
    Lots of us have been put “in check” here on this blog, and most people just apologize, and tone it down. Not because its “kissing anyone’s ring” but because its the respectful thing to do in someone else’s space that they pay for with their own money.

  114. Jtk said, “Stfu”

    I’m confused. I thought that was inappropriate and we shouldn’t post that acronym? At least I was roundly scolded for using it…

  115. Repent, Alex.

    Say nothing provocative aimed at anyone else.

    I won’t repeat those letters; I’ve been corrected here and listened. Please do so.

    Please.

    Or leave.

  116. Alex,

    When you said it, it was addressed to me…and it stayed up.
    God help me if I’d have done that on your site.
    I moderated jtks comment as I have no desire for conflict…there has already been far too much of that.
    You are the one who keeps citing numbers as a measure to judge other people…I’m just pointing out that historically you really don’t have a case.
    What’s done is done…now we move on to find solutions or just move on.

  117. Just take a break Alex. Give people some breathing room. It’s really not that big a deal.
    Hopefully MLD will do the same because he’s gotten a bit heavy handed as well and could use a time out too.

  118. And before you think it’s personal, it’s really not.
    Lots of folks have had to take a break for a while (not me of course, but everyone else) 😉

  119. Hey Alex, bud, breathe, be a friend to Michael, OK?

  120. OK, I’ll chill for awhile. I don’t want to dominate or be the #1 poster at all.

  121. I sort of have to do this because it is about some “work” related issues. I guess its just me well anyone who posts here knows who I am. The last 5 years the program I work with has faced huge budget cuts, threats of closures, and many changes. We are still open because some folks have given some money to help offset costs I E parents who what a place their adult child can go to and will protect them even after the parents pass. We (I) have done that for about 22 years now. It requires we attend meetings, sometimes many meetings into the hundreds. State boards, local counsel and school board meetings. Meetings with representatives local, state and federal. Getting to know staff at the local legislature level to dialog because you will never get the big dog and the staffers do much of the ground work. One sits for hours to speak your two / three minutes sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.

    It goes on and on and on and on and on, often pious platitudes and insincere smiles. Listening to angry people yell, call names, roll their eyes and so on in the public forum. I have been in some meetings where people almost had a fist fight. I decided many years ago at these meetings I will be polite, no matter what happens. I may cast spells and yell in my car but I will refrain from doing that in the public discourse. The Stupid truly burns in these meetings when people make the most ridiculous rantings from MK ultra to conspiracies of local government that are so intricate that it boggles the mind. When you know they cant even figure out how to aggrandize an item properly.

    I am not saying I am not firm, that I am wishy washy but that I make my point with extreme tact, thinking I may be entertaining angels. So why all this, we had a meeting tonight and some of it was ranting and railing and most was not, it was polite yet stern concerns addressed in a professional manner. My discussion was like one where I did not address one specific issue I discussed a frame work for our programs staying open. This worked several of the board were attentive and very receptive because they heard a quiet positive voice in the fire. A kind word does not only turn away wrath it can gain the heart of the “king”.

    I am not saying this about anyone here just my observation from the very cheep seats.

  122. Alex,
    Just be a friend, everything else will bloom from that reality.

  123. i am in moderation

  124. Praying for you, Michael; Healing, strength, encouragement.

    I really appreciate your writing and the community here.

  125. I’m new here, so please forgive me if I do not understand the purpose behind Reuben’s posts.
    As you know, I come from the very cheap seats of a Calvary Chapel background. So when I read things like these, I groan. And as much as I love to poke fun at Fungelicals, I’m going to say they have it right here… the message is so simplistic a child can understand it, yet theology has made it so erudite that I had to read through the post and the comments several times to even understand what is being debated.

    The best answer to “deadly” sin (what is that exactly? I’m going to assume you’re talking about the one sin that cannot be forgiven) can be found here.

    http://www.raptureready.com/faq/faq307.html

    I have never seen another explanation as clear and easy to understand as the one given in the above link.

    All this “unsaved” talk must come from a Calvinist background (which I’m not even sure what they believe, sorry, only have so many hours in a day). I knew one Calvinist in real life, and he could debate for hours why Calvinism was correct and CC’s were wrong (is the erudite word Armenianism?) and at the end of his long-winded debates, I’d always feel sorry for him, because he could never rest in his faith. He would, to his dying day, wonder if he was one of the “elect”. (please correct me if I’m wrong, I never studied Calvinism).

    From what Pastor Chuck and countless other CC Pastors (thank you Steve) have drilled into my head is that salvation is a free gift to anyone who RECEIVES it. It’s not that hard, you have a gift, you take it. Only qualification may be you must be human and understand it’s a gift. (ok, a few other qualifications) but the gist is… Jesus PAID the price for your salvation. It’s not work based. Therefore, you cannot lose it. You can be un-saved, but that’s by CHOICE. YOU decided to toss away the gift, it was never taken from you.

    I love the verse, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” To me, this represents Christ’s attitude in a nutshell. He wants to have a relationship with us, the filthy, yucky, sinful us. (Yes, even fungelicals) He wants to restore that relationship with us that ADAM ruined, not us.

    To me, it’s so easy… salvation is not the tough part of a Christian’s walk, it’s the day to day battle to ABIDE in him. That’s tough.

  126. Hi Fly,

    The reason I started going through the 39 articles was to discuss things that we could all hold as unifying beliefs. I also needed to bounce these articles off of other people, as a new Anglican, to help me work through them as well. What it turned into was a weekly fight in most cases.

    I don’t ask the questions to lead the discussion. I ask them to get the conversation going. There are some other articles coming up that will cause huge division. Big fights. Because that is all people seem willing to do.

    I am a Calvinist. I do not have the slightest inclination to convince people my way is right. I would be happy to explain. I know your position well, because I used to teach it.

    Feel free to speak your mind on these articles. I welcome all viewpoints.

  127. OK G, I’ll try to approach it from that angle and filter the participation through that angle. Unfortunately, i haven’t felt like a “friend” in the other direction many times so I tend to detach and disassociate from “friend” feelings and focus on the less-emotional and more analytical when it comes to participation on here.

  128. Kind of a dead cause at this point, but I want to try and return to the article for a moment:

    I have trouble parsing the language in this one, and it seems they are using words a little differently than I would. The point seems to be that one still sins after salvation, and that forgiveness is available when we sin.

    I *think* I would disagree on the order in which things happen, but its tough to say, depending on how the wording was intended.

    I would say we were forgiven at the cross, and that forgiveness is available to all. I do not think it is possible to “depart from grace”, as I think Hid grace is big enough to cover my sins…even the sin of wanting to leave Him.

  129. Josh, on an emotional level, I hope you’re right, I really do.

  130. This is the verse this article is addressing:
    “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
    (Hebrews 6:4–7 ESV)

  131. Michael sites one of the hardest verses to understand.
    I mean to say, that if true, there is a point to which it is impossible for a person to be restored to fellowship. I would maintain that point is only for God to decide, and for us to see that we do not fall away(apostate) the faith.

    From ISBE:
    “a-pos’-ta-si, a-pos’-tat (he apostasia, “a standing away from”): I.e. a falling away, a withdrawal, a defection. Not found in the English Versions of the Bible, but used twice in the New Testament, in the Greek original, to express abandonment of the faith. Paul was falsely accused of teaching the Jews apostasy from Moses (Ac 21:21); he predicted the great apostasy from Christianity, foretold by Jesus (Mt 24:10-12) which would precede “the day of the Lord” (2Th 2:2). Apostasy, not in name but in fact, meets scathing rebuke in the Epistle of Jude, e.g. the apostasy of angels (Jude 1:6). Foretold, with warnings, as sure to abound in the latter days (1Ti 4:1-3; 2Th 2:3; 2Pe 3:17). Causes of: persecution (Mt 24:9,10); false teachers (Mt 24:11); temptation (Lu 8:13); worldliness (2Ti 4:4); defective knowledge of Christ (1 #Joh 2:19); moral lapse (Heb 6:4-6); forsaking worship and spiritual living (Heb 10:25-31); unbelief (Heb 3:12). Biblical examples: Saul (1Sa 15:11); Amaziah (2Ch 25:14,27); many disciples (Joh 6:66); Hymeneus and Alexander (1Ti 1:19,20); Demas (2Ti 4:10). For further illustration see De 13:13; Ze 1:4-6; Ga 5:4; 2Pe 2:20,21. “

  132. The writer of Hebrews is addressing a very real season of our faith that most of us have experienced. Disillusionment.

    We embrace the claims of our faith, then we seek to live it out, sometimes without thinking through the implications, oftentimes embracing ideas because others tell us that we must to be faithful. We look up to others in our faith communities until we learn that they are very human and have hidden gritty and dirty parts of their lives which need the same cleansing we do. It’s sort of like hygiene, an unpleasant fact of life best kept to ones self.

    The toughest challenge has been when thinking through the implications behind the narratives in our sacred texts, that God is honorable and righteous when, according to the record, He destroys the entire Earth’s population, men, women, innocent children, by a world wide flood giving only a select few a geographic opportunity to hear the warning and choose to participate, then He overlooks the icky reality that family members have to have intimate relations to ensure the survival of reality.

    That’s one example of many that causes me profound disillusionment, and the further disillusionment comes when the only place and people who are gracious enough to let me say any of this out loud is an online community formed by a man I have never met face to face, still having to retain some anonymity.

    Such has been my faith journey, having had men and women whom I’ve respected as insightful and honorable, only to discover their human side, that they were adimately pushing their pet theology about The Rapture, that their idea of “anointed” really boiled down to cronyism and a good old boy club because women still cannot be in leadership, that politics and self interest was a far more powerful force than any supposed “leading of the Spirit”, and that seekers and those who were born different were unwelcomed.

    Yet, finding grace, I choose to believe in Jesus, the Person Who inspired all of this, Who claimed to be God and proved it by rising from the grave after he was murdered by the system, maybe because, as the disciples said, “Lord, Who else has the words of life?”

  133. I’ve understood the passage in Hebrews Michael quoted to be specifically addressed to the Jewish readers who were returning to the Mosaic law with it’s ritural sacifrices (including animal blood sacrifices) as the means for remission of sins and acceptance before God. This is after that system had been put away via the supremacy of the new covenant in Jesus Christ.

    Of course, the propensity always exists with all of us to try and please God by working harder at perfecting own righteousness through all kinds of different means. Which most always results in one of two outcomes, complete self defeatism or self righteous SOB’s who spend most of our time pointing out the “rotten fruit” in other people’s lives.

  134. I am thankful to know that I am forgiven all sins past and future (Acts 10:43), and no sin can take my salvation (John 10:28). Baptism has nothing to do with it, either way. That’s the difference between true salvation, and some religion called anglicanism.

  135. G, good stuff, IMO

  136. Scott is correct – the context is to the Jews who have gone back to the sacrificial system – it is not about us, it is not about our apostacy or doubts.

    This also goes back to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It seems to be directed to those who saw the works and miracles of Jesus and attribute those works and miracles to the devil and not properly to the Holy Spirit.

    I don’t think that we can commit the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit today

  137. Scott may be correct in regards to the Hebrews passage, but in a larger context, I think that the topic of this thread addresses SIn after Baptism, and touches on the concept of apostasy.

    We sin after baptism, and there is still forgiveness availible.

    But…..

    As Reubens orginal question – “… is it possible to be “un-saved”?”. I would maintain that it is possible, based upon the warnings of “falling away” (apostasy) throughout Scritpture.

  138. “We sin after baptism, and there is still forgiveness available.”

    This is THE purpose of the church – to forgive sin.

  139. I’ve held both views. For those of us who believe the Bible does not teach two opposite things, one has to either come to grips with a bunch of security verses or a bunch of apostasy verses.

    Ultimately, I could not find any support that once the Holy Spirit places the new believer into the Body of Christ, while also indwelling the new believer, that He (the Holy Spirit) ever reverses those two acts. Ever. I do find plenty of security verses after conversion though.

    As to the non-academic, practical ministry side of things, I care not whether one thinks someone was once saved and is not, or was never saved – the point is that anyone cursing God needs to get right with Christ and likewise, I would never presume God was done with anyone and so I will continue to urge someone to repent until the day they die.

  140. Earlier I posted this musing…
    “But, can a person who clings to Jesus lose heart over the incessant barrage of information that proceeds from what appear to be contradictory theologies and voices within the church, lose heart over movements which refuse reformation, enduring justice deferred, delayed, or denied? And if a believer loses heart and cannot reconcile these things and cannot make sense of them but ultimately chooses to still cling to the barest shred of hope that Jesus’ grip on him or her is stronger than their tattered confessions and dashed hopes, is that daily aging new creature still in the inescapable grip of a God that cannot be understood but still remains the object of that person’s faith and love?

    Hope so.”

    I got an answer tonight…

    ““You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.””
    (Genesis 16:13–14 ESV)

    Thanks, Michael.

  141. Just read this,
    “This is THE purpose of the church – to forgive sin.”

    I see things quite differently.

    The church cannot actually forgive sin anymore than the moon can provide light without the sun shining on it. The church merely reflects the greater glory and majesty of the forgiveness that is already there through Jesus.

    The church continues to prove to be dark at the very times she needs to simply and fully reflect the beauty of the light. She is too often a selfish lover who withholds His love from a needy and starving world. She lavishes upon herself the gifts intended as honors to Him and sets conditions and boundaries He never sets, withholds from those who He would never withhold from, and as Bono writes of her, “…Would you deny for others what you demand for yourself?”


    From the brightest star
    Comes the blackest hole
    You had so much to offer
    Why did you offer your soul?
    I was there for you baby
    When you needed my help
    Would you deny for others
    What you demand for yourself?

    Cool down mama, cool off
    Cool down mama, cool off

    You speak of signs and wonders
    I need something other
    I would believe if I was able
    But I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

    You were pretty as a picture
    It was all there to see
    Then your face caught up with your psychology
    With a mouth full of teeth
    You ate all your friends
    And you broke every heart thinking every heart mends

    And you speak of signs and wonders
    But I need something other
    I would believe if I was able
    I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

  142. G !!! two wonderful posts in a row – i am blessed to read them – i was thinking about you just now as i read the TGIF thread, how often you have declared here that our fallback position is to concentrate on Jesus Christ (as i understood you)

  143. G,
    You confuse what the church should be as instituted by Jesus with some of it’s corruption – but you cannot get around that Jesus established THE CHURCH, instituted sacraments (baptism & The Lord’s Supper) solely for the forgiveness of sin and established church offices (leadership) and to them gave the keys and the authority to bind and loose.

    None of these were directed to the “lay” person. The church from Jesus is not !st Church of the Lone Ranger.

  144. MLD,

    “None of these were directed to the “lay” person”

    Sorry, it was ALL directed to lay persons.
    The church Jesus created is solely made up of lay persons.
    It’s a flat “organization” and you will only determine a leader among them by observing who is the greatest, the one who is outserving everyone else as the servant of all.
    Jesus told them to forgive, not hold grudges (forgive within the community, for the good of the community), celebrate a simple ritual of recognizing the reality of being aligned with the community (we now call these recognition/welcome meetings in the secular world).
    He told us all to slow down and recognize God’s abiding presence and provision and framed it to happen during meals, something vital that we cannot do without, that can be done with Diet Pepsi, Cool Ranch Doritos and Bean Dip (if that’s what ya gots)

    Jesus made something beautiful, sweet, simple, organic, natural, which flourishes until humans come along and make it “their church’

    “Their church” evolved later, it tampered with Jesus’ original and simple vision, and became something that created a clergy class that declared it unseemly that :: they :: should serve tables and “neglect the word of God”,
    that somehow devised a mystical magic transubstantiation / consubstantiation ritual out of a simple meal of remembrance,
    that granted special mystical powers of celebrating a ritual called “The Mass” to a clergy,
    that created a “sacrament of confession and penance” out of a simple discussion of weakness and struggles between 2 people in a private meeting behind closed doors and turned it into acts and prayers of penance,
    that church which martyred fellow believers in the most horrific of tortures and deaths,
    that church which hated Jews,
    that church which sold indulgences,
    that church which burnt witches,
    that church which denies women the position of teaching,
    that church which persecutes gays…

    (let’s see, 95 of these observations were posted elsewhere onetime long ago, this slight and limited post will suffice for the moment)

  145. ‘The church from Jesus is not !st Church of the Lone Ranger’

    I agree with MLD.

    Our excess, obsessive Western individualism should not dictate our ecclesiology. If anything it should be vice versa.

    In the early church, you didn’t waltz up to a Bishop and say, “I just made a decision for Jesus” (that language wasn’t part of the church until the 19th Century). If you wanted to join the Church, you would start by attending weekly services (you’d be led out of the service before the Lord’s Supper). You’d be taught or catechized for a year. Then you’d be baptized by the Bishop at Easter and join the Church of Jesus.

  146. Lutheran,
    Funny, Paul simply declared himself a believer, claimed that Jesus knocked him off a horse, went to the community of believers, one in particular who risked all by immediately welcoming him into the community, took him at his word even though he had only recently murdered a few by proxy. I think the simple, early community, pre-Paul, was an interesting study. I also wonder if Paul, after he “refined” things, would have so quickly welcomed the Paul who fell off the horse. One can only hope he remembered his humble beginnings.

  147. Em,
    Thanks that I briefly brought some value.

  148. G,
    I hate to be the one who points this out, but…
    1.) people didn’t just take Paul at his word. Ananias who baptized Paul at God’s very command vouched for Paul. Later on Silas after vetting Paul stood for him.
    2.) you seemed to have missed Paul’s 3 years in the desert with Jesus before he went to any ministry.
    3.) if you listen to your own comment, Paul went to an already established community of believers, that were already baptizing, providing the Lord’s Supper, hearing confession and giving absolution.

    I know that Acts isn’t red letters (well a couple of passages are) but you should give it a new reading.

  149. G,

    Not sure the point you’re trying to make.

    Paul good, institutions bad? is that it?

  150. We also know that Paul submitted himself to the recognized leadership of the established church in Damascus and that he was baptized by Ananias.

    And he was baptized into the church for a specific reason – forgiveness of sin.

    Acts 22:16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

    Paul was the total antithesis of a lone christian without church covering.

  151. this is only a ponder on what is being discussed here … the Church began by evangelizing and folk were clearly in the mode of making decisions to accept or reject the news …
    but by the time Martin Luther noticed something wrong, his part of the world was literally born into a State church, which by default declared you a Christian … you kind of slid in on the coat-tails of your ancestors and, unless you stood up and declared yourself against the Faith, only God knew if you were one of His or just a citizen going along to get along … isn’t that still the way it is with many churches? you’re born into one or accepted if you show up at the door – otherwise? Otherwise, you’re a second class Believer, if one at all

  152. G said “I think the simple, early community, pre-Paul, was an interesting study.”

    Amen G.

    “Primitive Christianity” was just that – very simple and also very Jewish. Reading Acts 1-9 only gives us a small flavor of what it was like, and it was not pretty or very simple. Whether or not this “primitive faith” was any different than what Paul was preaching is evident from Gal 2:1-9 – its wasn’t any different. We could also look at the Epsitles of James, John, Peter, and Jude and conclude that they were all teaching the same gospel.

    I have heard others speak of “being like the 1st century church” or “just like the church in Acts”, so very romanticized. But I want to ask them: “You mean the church with all the issues in Acts, Corinthians, Romans… etc?” But whats past is past, and can never be again. We have to deal with all the muck that the Church was and is now.

  153. :: LONG POST WARNING ::

    Lutheran,
    More like
    Jesus, simple,
    Paul, complex

    Paul, added “stuff” that is arguably more than Jesus left us with.

    Paul, optional, Jesus, not optional.

    Jesus, basic solid model, aerodynamic
    Paul, too much chrome, customized.
    😉

    MLD,
    Saul :: did :: go to an already established community of believers and met with one of them who spent time with him, risking his own life to do so and vouched for the guy as not having taken many opportunities to whack him while in his care. The fact that he was still alive spoke of something that happened to Saul.

    The community welcomed Saul in a simple act of initiation, acknowledging Saul and his intent to be part of the community, and that Saul was a newbie, partially understanding some stuff while learning other stuff, like a new hire being immersed in the corporate culture, not so much to be adept at skills as much as bonding with the goal of loyalty and being part of the team.

    The community were not “forgiving sins” of Saul in the transcendent reality that only God can, but acknowledging that Saul understood to some degree the gravity of Jesus’ life and the implications of His murder and the fact that by joining their community Saul was giving agreement that their story of Jesus rising from the dead and ascending into the sky was a reality, and that the freedom on The Father’s part to forgive sin, past, present and future was a reality for Saul. They also welcomed Saul to join them in sharing their food, a scarce resource, and slowing down to recognize Jesus is God and the source of their bounty and that Jesus’ murder was viewed as a sacrifice which was more effective and sufficient to make peace with God than any sacrifice within their Jewish faith or any altar to any God within the empire. “Confession” was simply the opportunity for private counseling to work through failures and struggles, something which Saul would have availed himself being a new student of this new understanding of the community and their Messiah.

    The difference between our views is simple, I really try to keep it organic, simplify, so it could work in exile, in a prison, on a desert island or away from civilization.

    As I read your posts you appear to insist on making faith in Jesus require a weekly ritual, adding robes, clergy, special powers and rites for yourself and others to believe, that a simple meal becomes an event which imparts “the real presence” of the transcendent and living God into localized bread & wine in some special, mystical, unseen way. Then you ask us to believe a simple counseling session was rather intended to specially impart Divine forgiveness, all of which I used to believe as a Roman Catholic.

    When I departed from my Roman Catholic faith I didn’t want to play One Degree of Separation and be “Catholic Light”, I decided to look hard at the Source of all Things, Jesus, and keep what He kept and reserve the right to reject the myriad things which followed.

    Thing is, you and I will never agree, so I will simply respect your approach but refuse to adopt it while I offer my perspective and approach to those who will be kind enough to give me a hearing and give it a try.

  154. ARGH. Comment to G in moderation.

    Why call it “moderation” when its two stinkin’ Scripture references? 10 or more I could see… 😉

  155. Oh, and I’m not missing the desert thing, I get it that Saul thinks Jesus personally tutored him. I find that a stretch, but, OK, it doesn’t change my faith in Jesus within The4Gospels, it just makes me skeptical, like when any other person claims that Jesus appeared to them, sure anything is possible, I just sit back and wait to see what good comes of it.

  156. papias,
    I think the system is a little buggy in that the screen name has to be approved by a moderator as well.

    occasionally I turn my guitar into a bass and things get moderated 😉

  157. gotta go do design,
    catch y’all later

  158. “The community were not “forgiving sins” of Saul in the transcendent reality that only God can,”

    I cannot believe you said this. Jesus himself told the disciples that he gave them the authority to bind and loose people’s sins. I didn’t look it up, but I will bet it is in the red letters.

    Look, the fact that you don’t like robes I understand, but when you say “As I read your posts you appear to insist on making faith in Jesus require a weekly ritual, adding robes, clergy, special powers and rites for yourself and others to believe,” I then challenge you to name even one of these special powers, rites that one needs to believe?

    Everything I spoke of – Jesus spoke of and each and everyone were out in the community of believers (the church).
    Confession & absolution (binding & loosing)
    Baptism
    Lord’s Supper (for the forgiveness of your sins
    Catechism – the apostles doctrine

    But I guess this is why you think you and 2 friends together having pizza and coke together is the Lord’s Table (and you have stated that before.)

  159. THAR SHE BLOWS!!! #153 GMan.

    Thank you oh great moderator…. 😉

  160. G,
    To follow up on Pap’s #153 – that early church that you want to emulate needed quite a bit of correction – for the very reason you like them – they were primitive, rough on the edges, and… ineffective..

    Most people read the Gospel as an historical narrative, just to preserve a record of what Jesus did and said. Here is an offering that will change the way you read the Gospels.

    http://www.amazon.com/Discourses-Matthew-Jesus-Teaches-Church/dp/0758603398

    The key point being – “Focusing his exploration on Jesus’ Five Discourses, Scaer demonstrates that Matthew was written as catechesis, a method in concert with its content and organization…”

    I am a firm believer that at least both Matthew and Luke were written as the catechism books for their respective churches. All entering people were catechized thoroughly with these materials before baptism and membership.

    So G, the red letters were to formalize and structure the church – the 2 items you despise.

  161. MLD,
    I don’t despise the church, just your version of it 😉

    ahhh, sweet freedom of association

  162. papias,
    Thanks for the links and post.

    MLD, you too.

    Both,
    yeah, I am definitely looking back, romantically, enjoying or avoiding what I can, not having the constraints of a first century life or world view, thankful for modern science, centuries of theology, philosophy, history, archives of art, whining online of my first world problems, surrounded by family I love and who loves me in spite of myself.

    Rapidly at a loss for words for the thankfulness I always feel.

    Have a great afternoon.

  163. …and we’ll be celebrating The Lord’s Supper at Panera Bread tonight

  164. “yeah, I am definitely looking back, romantically, enjoying or avoiding what I can, not having the constraints of a first century life or world view, thankful for modern science, centuries of theology, philosophy, history, archives of art, whining online of my first world problems, surrounded by family I love and who loves me in spite of myself.”

    G, you’re on a roll. Good words!

    I think I need to gravitate to that position and quit the fighting between my inner-fundie and inner-liberal and just leave theology to the all the master theologians on here and elsewhere and keep enjoying life, b/c there are some really really good parts to it, besides the hardship and the jerks out there.

    When you see me post WGAF it will be a clue I’m avoiding the mire of theologically self-stimulation 😉

  165. Alex,
    Almost done with file archiving then I will be away for awhile.

    Word.

    The peace, at least for me, is in giving up trying to figure out any of this. There are just some honestly irreconcilable subjects and concepts and now that I’m meeting people of other faiths I find our common ground is that there are truly universal imponderables, especially with concepts like “A Good God in a Bad World”, or why innocents suffer, or how to make sense of anyone’s ancient sacred texts in the light of a reasonable cause and effect universe. No one has a decent answer for any of these things, especially you or I, and anyone else who strongly insists that they do, well, God bless ’em, but I think they’re kidding themselves a bit.

    Bottom line, we all gotta get along, keep going every day, love our loved ones, become better men, resist responding to those who go out of their way to be strident or irritating or a bother.

    …and laugh a little while we’re at it.

    Files are done.

    Peace, out

  166. To the readers here in general, this conversation should at least shed light on why Lutherans practice closed communion.
    With some denying an actual Adam & Eve, questioning if God stuttered when he spoke of 6 days of creation, denying that Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish etc and then those who deny that the church was set up for a purpose and with structure – how can we say that we are in communion? How can we say that we are walking side by side?

    So, at best we are brothers and sisters in Christ … just not together..

  167. To the readers in general, I am done.

    Jesus loves you and you will find out about Him in the 4 Gospels where He claims to be God, answers prayer, and raises a standard for me. Join me and pray to Him, worship Him, follow Him. trust Him, sing to Him, dance to Him.

    Love as He loved, make issue on the things He made issue on.

    Everything else?
    Meh.

  168. MLD – I spoke on communion just last Sunday. Paul in his first Corinthian letter speaks to us eating the one bread, being one body. My conclusion is that if someone is a brother/sister in Christ (i.e. part of the Body of Christ) then we are in communion. The church at Corinth was divided on many issues, but still considered believers.

    And of course we also are in communion with the One who shed His blood. Both a horizontal and vertical aspect to the Lord’s Table.

    The only closed communion I can see in Scripture would be to keep unbelievers from eating and drinking condemnation upon themselves.

  169. Just skip the one line where Jesus says “I am only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”

    Or, if you are a Gentile, please read on through the rest of the New Testament. 🙂

  170. Those who seek the Lord will find Him. They are family. Those who seek to divide the Body of Christ are in fact anti-Christ.

    *EDIT*

    I would add that seeking the Lord does not require doctrinal alignment with any denomination.

    The Anglican church allows anyone saved/baptized to partake in communion.

  171. Acts 10:16 “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

    My answer is yes. By eating and drinking we are participating in the blood and body of Christ.

    Look, it doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong – it’s just that we are not doing the same thing for the same purpose – that’s my point.

    The reason to catechize people before they are allowed to participate in the Lord’s Table is for their own assurance that they understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. Once explained to you, you may wish to refrain from participating with us. 😉

  172. FWIW, i totally agree with the need to catechize or something people before they partake at the Lord’s table … but the whats and whys may differ from the looks of it

  173. I am starting the Anglican catechism this year. It does not make me worthy of “The Lords” table over anyone else who seeks God. Horse crap.

  174. It does not make me worthy of “The Lords” table over anyone else who seeks God. Horse crap.

    No one said that – in fact I took the opposite approach and said that it let the novice decide if he agreed with us.

  175. Amen G. I hear you. This really resonates with me: “The peace, at least for me, is in giving up trying to figure out any of this

    It can’t be resolved or reconciled, believe me, I’ve tried and I’m a grinder. It is what it is. I’ll keep hoping in Salvation and in the Core Beliefs and just try to relax and enjoy all the good stuff there is outside of religion and theology.

    I don’t know for sure….I can’t find anyone who has all the right answers…and that’s OK.

    I do know I love my wife and kids and friends and that net-net, life is really good despite all the a-holes 🙂

    Thanks again for your input and patience. You’ve been a good ambassador of your philosophical belief system, you’ve shown more grace than most.

  176. And WGAF on the rest of it 😆

  177. Mld, what is the Lutheran view on whether Judas was there when the Lord instituted the Table?

  178. Steve, hang on and I will check to see if there is a Lutheran position. If I remember right (and I may not) it seems like Matthew and Mark have Judas leaving before the institution, Luke seems to have him there and John, when you read into has the scene set so that jesus dips the bread before satan enters Judas.

    I am on the case! 🙂

  179. Luke 22 seems to make a good case that Judas ate at the Lord’s Table. Jesus said take eat… take drink and then identified the betrayer.

    But Matt 26:29 makes a comment “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

    I don’t think Jesus will be drinking the cup with Judas in the kingdom – so that would make it sound like Judas was not a partaker.

    I don’t think there is a church “position”

    Why do you ask?

  180. Luke@22 (trying to stay out of moderation) seems to make a good case that Judas ate at the Lord’s Table. Jesus said take eat… take drink and then identified the betrayer.

    But Matt 26:29 makes a comment “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

    I don’t think Jesus will be drinking the cup with Judas in the kingdom – so that would make it sound like Judas was not a partaker.

    I don’t think there is a church “position”

    Why do you ask?

  181. Curious if you guys had a definitive take. Luke very well is moving a lot of stuff around. Note the comment about who would be the greatest that follows. That seems out of place.

    I don’t think he was most likely.

  182. Reading all of the accounts – even John’s reassures me of one thing, Jesus practiced closed communion.Only including those he had personally taught for 3 yrs. Not even his mother was invited. 🙂

  183. Alex,
    177
    Thanks for your kind words.

    “WGAF”… Interesting abbreviation there.
    I’ve always been partial to “WGAFFIARD”
    (…flying…in a rolling donut)
    It’s just too wacky of a visual 😉

  184. a visual? – how about this one?
    everyone who posts here finds themselves trapped in – oh, i don’t know; a cave? an underground shelter? some enclosure that they can’t get out of and can’t be sure of rescue – we have a bottle of wine and some matzo flatbread; someone suggests prayer and a communal partaking of the bread and wine as we do so, but makes the mistake of adding “in remembrance of our Lord’s crucifixion.” how will this group of, at least one fundie (me), evangelicals, Lutherans, Orthodoxies, Pentecostals and doubters resolve this?

  185. papiaslogia at #161 was that a misplaced reference or was he calling me a whale? 🙂

    and for those of us who were offended by Alex’s vulgarity being applied to conversations about the Faith … i believe it was just his snafu mode … nothing new under the sun … except us

  186. I like the story this way – you are stuck in the circumstances Em listed, but with 3 RCC priests. They have the wine and the bread and they offer the RCC Eucharist… as the re sacrifice of Christ and what you are taking in your mouth is real blood and real flesh.

    Are you in, or do you pass?

  187. MLD, @188 … under the circumstances, who put those 3 priests in charge? i say lets gang up on them, grab the bottle and the box of matzo and invite them to join the rest of us 🙂

  188. Em,
    I am literally laughing out loud from that answer!

  189. Em,
    Great answer to a high jack attempt!

    I’ll answer your question as it was posted…..I’d add “and to the power of his resurrection” and join in with any that didn’t feel too good to share what The Lord provides. There were be a person or two I’d not want to stand next to though ;-).

  190. London, your way would works for me – i’ll stand next anybody, though i might not want to sit with them 😀

  191. Em,
    Your #189 shows that we are the same – that their are people that we will not commune with if we do not think they do it the right way or if they believe it is for a different purpose.

    I too do not commune at the RCC place.

  192. MLD, not quite the same thing … the focus is the Lord, not your interpretation of the elements or my interpretation of them … or so it seems to me – but perhaps all of us down there together could come up with a plan that preserves our divided spiritual integrities 😀

  193. But I take issue with the re sacrifice of Jesus. I will not “celebrate’ that with anyone.

  194. MLD, ? i must have missed the turn …

  195. It’s what I asked in my #188 “they offer the RCC Eucharist… as the re sacrifice of Christ…” (that’s what the RCC mass is)

    I asked if people were in or out.

  196. Too many warnings in scripture about falling away and getting your name removed from the book of life in revelation to even consider OSAS. Read Ezekiel 18 as well. I think you can lose your salvation. Those who endure to the end will b saved. When men fall away from the faith they are not snatched out of Gods hand but they willfully choose to be disobedient

  197. I don’t believe that Rev 5:3 is saying He will remove anyone from the book of life. It is actually saying that He will surely not remove their name. Big difference in my opinion.

  198. Again, from an intellectually honest position, the only sure answer regarding OSAS is: dunno.

    The rest is and an endless exercise in futility.

    And, don’t shoot the messenger (but you will LOL).

    I will offer this, though, for consideration…and it’s something I’ve asserted on here many times before:

    “If” one wants to try and make a “certain” determination of which position is “correct”…then one is forced into a “Greater Truth Principle” due to the competing verses that contradict each other.

    Through a “Greater Truth Principle” one can then make a judgment of which position is “correct” from that framework.

    The crux of the matter boils down to:

    Who is in Control? Who is the Variable and who is the Constant in the equation?

    If God is truly Sovereign and is the Constant and not the Variable…if God’s Sovereignty trumps man’s volition, man’s choice, man’s “free will”….then OSAS is “correct”.

    If God is not truly Sovereign, or if God is “Self Limiting” and “gives” man a truly “free will” and man has a true “choice” in the matter and God has put as superior “Man’s Will and Free Choice” ahead of God’s sovereignty…then OSAS is bogus and it all hinges on “Man’s Choice” and we can lose our Salvation and get it back as many times as we want.

    That’s about the only options you’ve got in parsing this one out.

    My position, again, is: Dunno. And, that’s still the only intellectually honest position.

    Fire away…(just try to hold off on the name-calling and blaming me for ruining the blog by giving a sound assessment and my opinion on the matter).

  199. Actually, both scenarios above have God as sovereign, the second scenario has God ceding His sovereignty in the matter of salvation to man’s truly free choice/free will in what has been described as “Self Limiting”

    However, there is actually a third scenario where Man trumps God and God is not truly sovereign and man’s will is preeminent over God’s and that God must react to man’s choice and is bound by man’s choices to mete out mercy or judgment. Obviously there is much scripture that contradicts this…and much that supports this.

  200. “where Man trumps God and God is not truly sovereign and man’s will is preeminent over God’s and that God must react to man’s choice and is bound by man’s choices to mete out mercy or judgment.”

    Actually, this is the exact view of most American Evangelicals and especially CC and the SBC (where I have the first hand experience.). Even if God in his sovereignty chooses you, it is because He looked down the corridors of the future and first saw that you would choose him.

    This is a classical example of trying to have it both ways.

  201. Disclaimer: I do this in fun to make a point.

    Alex knows everything;
    Alex knows micro and macro economics and thinks he could be a Bernanke adviser
    Alex knows neuroscience almost to the point of being a Harvard professor.
    Alex knows human nature and has Steve Wright pegged.
    Alex knows evolution, and string theory that you would think he has traveled back in time.
    I found this video made in Alex’s honor some years ago;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekL3Nm4VD0M

    Watch out when he says “dunno” to theology questions – he is just using Ali’s rope a dope technique.

  202. I was hoping to stay “on topic” and not make this about me, but MLD said,
    “Alex knows everything;
    Alex knows micro and macro economics and thinks he could be a Bernanke adviser
    Alex knows neuroscience almost to the point of being a Harvard professor.
    Alex knows human nature and has Steve Wright pegged.
    Alex knows evolution, and string theory that you would think he has traveled back in time.
    I found this video made in Alex’s honor some years ago;”

    1. Nope I don’t know everything, but I know more than most and can process a ton of information very quickly and have a high IQ which allows me to do such

    2. I know economics enough to have an informed opinion and many of my reads come true and my predictions are made, generally, well before the consensus of “experts” jump on board. But, in truth, there are a fringe who make accurate predictions as well and I form my analysis with the input of those I read often and then apply common sense and what I see as noticeable correlations and patterns and cause/effect relationships in tension with human nature, technicals, fundamentals, political cycles etc etc. Bottom line, my predictions come true far more than then don’t in economics.

    3. I don’t know neuroscience that well. I do read a lot of Sam Harris who is a neuroscientist and I’ve been studying up on the stuff quite a bit, however more to understand the basics and to learn the facts that are confirmed in study after study and then to filter those facts through my ever-tested Belief System. Ironically Sam Harris, who is a Determinist and leading neuroscientist, lays out a good case for everything being Causal and that so-called “free will” the way we think we understand it, is a myth. But, I’m only dangerous enough in the area of neuroscience to have a philosophical discussion about how it relates to Existence, Origins, meaning of life etc.

    4. I do know human nature pretty well and Steve has a bit of CCSP Syndrome. The guy thinks he’s special and anointed and Mr. Theology and he doesn’t like to be treated like a regular schmuck and can’t admit when he’s wrong (publicly) and can’t say he’s sorry and ask for forgiveness. Prove me wrong.

    5. I understand beyond the basics of evolution and M Theory and Super String Theory etc. I read Dawkins who is “the” leading biologist and expert on Evolution and I read Kaku who is one of the leading Theoretical Physicists of our day. I am no expert in either area, but I could pass a college and I could demonstrate a solid understanding of the basics of both subjects.

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

    Your video is funny, I’ll give you that 🙂

  203. MLD, well of course I do “know” in terms of the various positions out there and the Affirmative and Negative of each and every argument under the Theological sun (pretty much)…I just don’t “know” for sure who is 100% correct on each and every position.

    I guess if I had to pick one position it would be Hyper-Calvinism and Determinism/Fatalism based off an appeal to a Greater Truth Principle applied to the contradictory verses in Scripture. I would make that appeal believing God Supremacy and Sovereignty is pre-eminent over Man’s Will/Choice/whatever and from that Absolute, I would filter everything else. Therefore, when a verse that says “Once Saved, Always Saved due to God’s Sovereign choice of His Elect” comes into conflict with “Man chooses and has free will and all can be saved and man can choose to be saved and choose to be unsaved” I default to the Greater Truth: God is truly Sovereign, not man.

    I would present the analogy of the Computer and the Operating System…and Science is confirming that much of our existence functions similarly, especially in light of DNA, which is coded information and in light of Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence operating like a Computer and in light of the Universe having much similarity to a Brain/Computer as well.

    Does a Computer programmed with an Operating System really have “Free Will” in the way you would define it?

    Can a Computer do anything, make any truly “free, independent” “choices” outside of the boundaries and parameters that are set up within that System? Nope.

    It may appear that the Computer is making all sorts of “free choices” and there is a vast array of options within the OS for the Computer to operate, so many “choices” it can appear there is “Free Will”…however, there is a cause/effect relationship to each “choice” and the choices are bound by the parameters of the Computers Hardware, OS, Software etc that is put into it by the Programmer. The Programmer can change the parameters for that particular Computer, allowing it more “choices” more options etc…but at the end of the day, the Computer is always limited by the Programmer and the Programmer is truly in control whether it appears so or not.

  204. MLD, really throwing the chum out on those weren’t you?

  205. I guess my disclaimer wasn’t written in large enough letters;
    “Disclaimer: I do this in fun to make a point.”

    I just wanted to get those old”Bo Knows” Nike commercials back in circulation. 🙂

  206. I think if you can “fall away” from salvation than it means you are presently maintaining it. Right?

  207. PZI,

    “I think if you can “fall away” from salvation than it means you are presently maintaining it. Right?”

    Totally. Yes,
    I do so well at maintaining it, and now I can boast at my quality assurance.

    Oh my, what would God do without me? 😉

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