Sep 152017
 

It’s all yours today…

  256 Responses to “Open Blogging”

  1. started off this day in a “Christian” state of mind (still am), but then i saw a review of a film just coming out titled “Mother” and it reminds me that what used to be a shadowy minority in this nation seems to have become a very vocal one, to say the least… not sure it’s appropriate to ask God to have mercy on this nation, but since i’m still in it, i guess…

    God have mercy on us all… or better still IMHO, Come soon, Lord Jesus… there’s just too much dirt to get it all swept under the rug now…

  2. Em – I heard a radio review of that movie this morning. Sounded like a crazy horror movie? What minority does it deal with?

    I want to talk about Jonah;

    When Ninevah repented, why was Jonah upset? Was it because he hated the Ninevites and wanted God to destroy them, or was it because his prophecy had not come true, and there was a grave penalty for false prophecy?

  3. Didn’t Jonah answer that question in his post repentance prayer?

  4. No. Not explicitly anyway. What passage are you referencing?

  5. “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”

  6. Right – So how are you interpreting that to answer my initial question?

  7. He was angry because God relented and showed mercy, not because he was afraid of being labeled a false prophet. His prophecy came true, just not in the way he wanted. Encapsulated within the prophecy/warning of impending doom was the promise of mercy and relenting IF they repented.

  8. His prophecy was that in 40 days Ninevah would be destroyed. Calvin, for one, sees his grief as being related to not being able to return home for fear of being charged as a false prophet.

    I had not heard that take until recent study, but it has some merit.

  9. Josh, I might add that it’s just my opinion from how I’ve always read the passage. In reality though, I’m just an old truck driver and you have to take what I say with a grain of salt:-)

  10. For all the theologians:

    “At the beginning of all theological perception, research, and thought – and also of every theological statement – stands a quite specific amazement. Its lack in even the best theologian will threaten the heart of the entire enterprise, while even bad theologians are not a lost cause in their service and their duty, as long as they are still capable of amazement.”

    Karl Barth

  11. I appreciate the salt. It’s why I asked the question:)

  12. A Barth quote I can actually understand! 🙂

  13. Well, as with some passages, there’s a lot of moving parts. I still go back to Jonah’s response, “is this not what I said when I was yet in my country”… The rub seems to be he knew God was going to show mercy.

  14. Yes, definitely. The question would be, why did he mind God showing mercy? The reference to his home country is one of the points made, that there is some reason he can’t return.

  15. And I should make clear that I have, and still do, see it the way you have laid it out, Scooter. I’m just exploring this other view right now.

  16. Josh,

    One of the things you want to watch with Calvin is that he had a habit of reading himself and his own experiences into the text he was expounding.
    He was not a happy camper in Geneva, but had a very strong sense of duty and calling.
    The combination led him to identify with the prophets a bit more strongly than merited.

    I do the same thing sometimes. 🙂

    I digress…

    I think the standard answer that he had a a real hatred of Ninevah is still closer to the best answer…

  17. VERY interesting, Michael. I read his quote on Jonah divorced from any context. It was just a small quote in another commentary.

    But that is a fascinating perspective on Calvin. (That’s the same thing Matt Chandler admonished Steven Furtick over a few years ago:) )

  18. Josh,

    There were many times when Calvin thought he was living in Ninevah…
    Having said all that, I would still commend his commentaries to you or anyone else…there are often fresh insights that (when used in conjunction with modern commentaries) help bring a fuller understanding of the text in question.

    His commentary on Jonah is one worth reading for those insights.

  19. #2 – Josh the B, sorry that don’t recall where i was reading, but it quoted rolling stone… said this was a biblical allegory similar to last temptation…
    the minority i referred to? the Christian haters

  20. Gotcha – read some more reviews and it seems like a wild movie for sure. The one I heard this morning didn’t mention the bible allegory. This is the same producer who made Noah a couple of years ago. Seems to want to shock at all costs.

  21. maybe we all should approach our walk with the Lord with the threat of a specially prepared for our benefit whale? then again… few are chosen… dunno – would i be willing to spend time in the belly of “a great fish” for the honor of being called of God, in spite of myself? hmmm

  22. Josh, i can be vague, i apologize for the confused post… Noah was playing on the TV here the other night… a strange mishmash of vignettes from the biblical account… annoying and boring

  23. It is interesting that Jonah’ demeanor did not improve upon leaving the fish.

  24. and then you have the whole issue if Jonah was a real character and did the events even happen – or was if just an Aesop’s Fable type of story inserted in the Bible to teach a lesson.

  25. Trolling a fish discussion. How predictable.

  26. How is that trolling? That is a major Jonah discussion. That is the very issue that almost destroyed the LCMS and SBC and the allowance of such has sent liberal churches down the toilet.

  27. Would the message of the book of Jonah change if it wasn’t a historical recounting of actual events?

    Nope…

  28. Sure it would – all of those “God said” wouldn’t be real.

    If you want to say that the purpose of the Bible is to teach us good things (ala Aesop’s Fables), then you can have that. If you would rather think as I do that God has revealed himself in time, space and history — then join me.

  29. I think God revealed Himself in time, space, and history in the person of Jesus Christ.

    I reject the binary choice between literal truth or Aesop’s fables…but if it works for you I’m not going to debate it.

  30. I wasn’t debating – I only brought up for consideration the filter that perhaps half of Christianity uses when asking questions about Jonah. You and Jean balked. But that’s OK.

  31. In other words, Josh brought up a good theological question which didn’t interest you, so you thought you would hijack the thread to tickle your own interest, which you knew would just re-plow old ground.

  32. No, because a theologian / commentator’s view on Jonah may determine the answer he gives to Josh’s question. Knowing this should help Josh as he does the research. Isn’t the commentator’s point of view fair ground to plow?

  33. For open blogging – the lutheran church in canada is tackling a big issue. Some really good folks up there.

    http://www.canadianlutheran.ca/ctcr-considers-clergy-divorce-and-remarriage-in-new-study-documents/

  34. Hello,

    To pull the camera back a bit perhaps, Jonah being an Israelite and part of Yahweh’s chosen people, children of Abraham, etc. reflected the cultural attitudes of his people.

    The irony is that if they remembered their own history and Scripture, they would see that God is merciful and brings people who are not the biological descendants of Abraham into his family (Rahab for example).

    One can almost see the attitude of Jonah and compare to the those who opposed John the Baptist the Matthew Chapter 3.

  35. Australia is now voting (doing a postal survey) on whether to allow same-sex marriage. Facebook is a less happy place than usual.

  36. Regarding the Lutheran discussion, didn’t Jesus put it to rest?

    Regarding Jonah, other than “the sign of Jonah” as referred to by Jesus, does anything else in the story refer to Christ?

  37. MLD, I believe that it is a true historical account, and I actually believe that matters.

    New Victor – There are some parallels that would seem to point to Christ, but it is an interesting story without a clean “Christian” ending for sure.

  38. our mess-ups and our sins can be forgiven when we confess and repent, but i seriously doubt that God compromises His standards to accommodate them… what part of holy don’t we understand? most of it, i guess…
    then again… maybe a divorced and remarried clergyman has settled things between himself and God… but how do we know? God be merciful to us all…
    BTW, Canada is full of good people (they’re not all Lutes) 🙂
    anyone ever consider that God just might take the Church off the face of the earth because He couldn’t bring the hammer down until He’d done so… remember the “one righteous man” question in the OT?

    God keep all close and give us wisdom and discernment for the times we’re in now…

  39. After years of believing the children’s books regarding the story of Jonah. I now adopt that Jonah died, in the great fish/fish. Was puked up onto the sea shore being the 3rd day. And when he looked fully baked and dead, the people gathered around. And before all the people that where there God raised him from the dead, restoring new skin or whatever. If Jesus died , so to Jonah must have died.

  40. Hi all

    I have a question for all Pastors and Elders coming from an assignment in my Master’s program:

    How are folks with special needs served or given the ability and opportunity to serve in your church? Basically, how is your inclusive of people with special needs ?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please feel safe to reply, I know it is a sensitive subject, but I’m not casting aspersion. I know first hand how difficult and awkward it can be, even though it shouldn’t be.

  41. At my church, when we receive Communion, we go to the front of the church, to the Communion rail.

    For the disabled, our pastor comes to them and serves them where they’re sitting.

  42. Descended,

    At my church, Communion is served just as Bob1 described it.

    In addition, my pastor visits the homes and nursing homes of those who can’t travel to church on a weekly basis.

    We recently added a ramp and automatic door opener for parishioners who are confined to wheelchairs.

  43. Would you guys say that people with disabilities, even severe intellectual, medical, or physical disability, are given the opportunity to serve others?

  44. Descended, we have people with special needs serving in most areas of our church. In the music ministry, they are given the same opportunity to serve and participate as anyone else. We have a few special needs adults who serve in our music ministry every single week.

  45. Interesting, Josh, thanks for replying! 🙂
    Going a little deeper…

    What sorts of disabilities do these folks have? Do they serve on stage singing, with instrumentation? Sound, lighting, etc.?

    How profound are those disabilities? Anyone non verbal?

  46. For the disabled, our pastor comes to them and serves them where they’re sitting.<<<

    Same at my parish.

  47. “Do they serve on stage singing, with instrumentation? ”

    Yes. We don’t use much in the way of technology, so there isn’t much space to help with sound a lighting, etc. Our percussionist and our former guitarist (he stopped coming) both have mental disabilities (Don’t know the PC term, and don’t want to be offensive). They are great, sweet guys in their mid-20’s but probably operational on a 10-12 year old level? If that helps.

    We also have a couple singers in the choir with similar situations, one much more profound. She is unable of having real conversation back and forth, but comes with her caretaker and loves to sing.

    We used to have a severely disabled man who has since passed away. He was wheelchair confined and non verbal. He would occasionally do our “scripture reading”. (I don’t know how this worked. He had some sort of program that he would somehow signal and a voice would read a scripture verse. It was not usually the correct verse, but it was fine.)

    We have a man born with no legs who helps set up in the Sunday school department. Comes early, starts the coffee, etc.

    Ummm, and there have actually been more in the 8 years I’ve served here. My pastor has a love and compassion for these people like I’ve never seen before.

  48. Thanks for sharing with me, Josh.

  49. No problem, anything else I can answer for you, just let me know.,

  50. Descended,

    I wanted to mention, and I was having this thought yesterday morning, that I really enjoy the company of many of our senior members, particularly widows and in various stages of disability, because they tend to treasure worship and thanksgiving for the grace they are given. They tend to be the first one’s there and I get the impression that it means as much to them as anyone that they will hear God’s Word and receive the Sacrament. It rubs off, which is why I like their company, and I try to encourage them as well.

  51. Anyone reflect on the declaration in Isaiah that God is not like a man that would repent or change his mind? There are other passages as well…such as the negotiation with Abraham about Sodom.

  52. #50

    Similar to what Jean said…at my church, we have folks in wheelchairs into their 90s. Whenever church is taking place, they’re there! They’re really an inspiration to me and to my wife, too. The ones who are unable to make it are visited regularly by our pastor.

  53. Jean,

    You’re right – disability isn’t fixated to my field of work. As folks get older they acquire many of the negative connotations associated with disability as well as with age – almost any rest home is a testament to that. They have so much to offer as well as our cognitively or medically disabled friends – much of it by being present and available.

  54. Rich

    That kind of speaks to my question, the sovereignty of God – the purpose of individuals who are purposefully created in God’s image.

  55. I’ve been taught that all of God’s attributes (His character) are absolutes – they do not waver or come and go…. but that does not preclude His “changing His mind” according to what we, His creation do with our attribute of free will… Sometimes, I suspect – dunno, that it gives Him joy to negotiate with us according to our Spiritual growth and understanding

  56. I should add that our church has 2 floors and an ADA elevator that especially those folks use.

  57. Bob 1

    I have experienced that churches will install, upgrade, and arrange the environment to tailor the felt needs of the disabled community, officially those needs not so felt but voiced by those able to voice their concerns, or by those in advocacy for them. In my own old mega church, it included sequestering the special needs parishioners from the rest of the church in a class due to the perceived mental age of the parishioner, no matter the chronological age. What mattered was the ability of the person to maintain science for the sermon recording and the music set. I ran the class. After a bit, my attitude changed towards that approach.

  58. …maintain silence….

  59. Josh

    How were the music sets with those folks performing? We’re they skilled, semi-skilled musicians?

  60. We sacrifice “quality” for inclusion, for sure. For the people who love music and want to serve the Lord in that way, I try to find a place. Part of my challenge is understanding their limits because I do want them to do their best, but I don’t want to ask more than they are capable of. Sometimes it all comes together and the music is really moving and pretty good, and sometimes we’re just not communicating well and it’s a mess.

    As far as the instrumentalists go, the one guy really want to be a drummer, but no, he really isn’t. I found a compromise with some simple percussion, and he can usually keep time pretty good for us. We miss him when he isn’t there. The guitarist was taking lessons and learned some chords, and I would sent sheets with him to his lessons and his teacher would help him learn the songs. He was fine.
    Nobody will mistake us for professionals.

  61. I need some input please. I am looking for some information on Miles Stanford. What I am looking for specifically is his stance on Paul vs. Jesus. I am a bit familiar with his work known as the Green Letters but would like more info on his theology. Thanks for your help.

  62. covered,

    It seems that his stance was that the Gospel Jesus gave Paul was different from the one spread by the other disciples.
    He says there are two Gospels in the N.T.
    Other than that he sees like a classic old time dispy…Scofield style.

    http://www.pembrokebiblechapel.com/pdf/PaulineDispensationalismStanford.pdf

  63. Thanks Michael, this is exactly what I was looking for.

  64. So who is Miles Stanford?
    Obviously another dispensationalist who denies that Jeremiah’s new covenant is for the church.

    Never mind, I just googled him – another dead false teacher.

  65. Do you know what he taught, or are you just that comfortable passing judgement after a 5 second google search?

    I personally have never heard of him.

  66. Josh, probably unlike you, I read the paper Michael posted – all 60 pages or whatever it was.
    Now, until you do the same…

  67. This sentence from the introduction, summarizes the more thorough teaching in the long article:

    “Coming onto Paul’s heavenly ground results in a full escape from all earthly, horizontal, New Covenant, Synoptic, Sermon on the Mount, and Millennial Kingdom influences.”

    What he goes on to say at the beginning of Chapter 11:

    “In this chapter Dr. Newell will share with us different aspects of the Gospel—actually, different Gospels: The thirteen Epistles of Paul (Romans to Philemon) form a distinct body of truth; and this realm of truth is about us, the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, as no other Scriptures are.”

    It is true that more than a few of the readers here subscribe to some or all of this. However, to many of us, who do not see 3 Gospels, but 1 Gospel, and who hold to the teaching of historic Christianity dating back to the 1st Century, we see this as extreme violence to the text, to Christ, to the Church and to the people who have been captivated by this teaching.

  68. “Never mind, I just googled him – another dead false teacher.”

    Sorry Mld. I was just responding to this quip, which was apparently a lie. You had thoroughly researched his teaching and formed an educated opinion rather than “just googling” him.

    All good. And no, I’m not reading a 60 page paper from some guy I’ve never heard of unless a reason to do so is presented,

  69. “It is true that more than a few of the readers here subscribe to some or all of this.”

    Who?

  70. “and who hold to the teaching of historic Christianity dating back to the 1st Century, ”

    Martin Luther was born in the 1st century…oh wait.

    Good grief.

  71. Josh – no, I read the paper last night. This morning I asked who he was and stated my interest because he does state the common dispensational belief that Jeremiah’s new covenant is for Israel in the future and not the church today.

    While I was typing, I decided that I would google him – as I figured no one would know him.

  72. He may be a false teacher. No clue. I just thought your judgement was a little quick if you had only googled him. No problem. I won’t argue about a guy I’ve never heard of.

  73. Josh,

    The Didache, for example, is commonly dated to the late 1st Century.

  74. I know the Didache. Lutherans don’t have a monolopy on the Didache, though.

  75. I never wrote, nor implied, we do.

  76. You said that you did, as apposed to other readers here, whom you cowardly will not name.

  77. This should be an easy fix for you Jean. Comments are saved on this board going back ten years or so. You should be able to quote at least one comment to support your claim that some reader on this board believes in 3 Gospels.

    If not, a simple “I am sorry for falsely accusing the brethren” would work just fine for me.

  78. Josh,

    I was talking about the doctrine of historical Christianity, dating back to the 1st century, which never, to my knowledge, divided the NT into separate Gospels, and most especially never deprived Christians of the Gospel, teaching and prayer of their Lord. But, if that is what you believe, you can name yourself if you wish.

  79. ” to my knowledge, divided the NT into separate Gospels,”

    Again, you are the one who accused readers of this blog of doing so. Back it up, or apologize.

  80. Josh,

    This is what I wrote:

    “It is true that more than a few of the readers here subscribe to some or all of this.”

    It’s indisputably true. But naming names adds nothing edifying. The hope would be reappraisal by folks who believe it.

  81. I’ve never seen anyone on this blog claim belief in three gospels.

    Have you, honestly?

    Or do you just love your arrogant judgement so much that you will never back down?

  82. I seen one person defend what appears to be a 3 gospel paradigm in the form of mid-Acts dispensationalism, and at least a few defend a 2 gospel paradigm.

  83. If there’s anyone here who is a fan of the radio preacher Bob George, author of Classic Christianity and host of People to People, these might be the people who believe in “rightly [wrongly] dividing the Gospel up.” It’s an extreme view. However, people who say Christians should not pray the Lord’s Prayer and those who say the Beatitudes and other teachings of Jesus are only for Jews and not for Christians and we only really get the good stuff when we get to St. Paul- these folks are flirting with this doctrine, IMO, even if they aren’t dispensationalists. No, I don’t have anyone particular in mind, just thinking back over the flow of conversations the past 15 years.

  84. Jean – So you’ve never seen it either , huh? You are basing your judgement on your failure to understand a brother? Like, I said, most would apologize and move on. You dig in. Have at it.

  85. Xenia, I agree. I have seen the accusation that about Beattitudes, but can’t remember someone here taking that stance. IF they did, they are in error.

  86. For example, I know in real life -but no one here, that I can remember- a person who believes all 4 Gospels + James and several other books are good for historical purposes, much like the Old Testament, but for info for Christians one must look to St. Paul, who was specially ordained by God to preach to the Gentiles with a different message.

    I think the early heretic Marcion had a similar idea.

  87. Josh,

    I said in #82 that I have seen.

  88. I think there was a mid-Acts person who used to post here under an assortment of names.

  89. No, you said you’ve seen something that “appears to be”.

    You’ve never seen it here and neither have I. You interpreted something someone said in that way, which allowed you the joy of condemning them.

  90. Correct Xenia. She didn’t believe Christians should be baptized.

  91. Xenia, that is probably true. I know we had a weird 7th day offshoot that posted here for a while. But that wasn’t Jean’s claim:

    {“In this chapter Dr. Newell will share with us different aspects of the Gospel—actually, different Gospels: The thirteen Epistles of Paul (Romans to Philemon) form a distinct body of truth; and this realm of truth is about us, the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, as no other Scriptures are.”

    It is true that more than a few of the readers here subscribe to some or all of this. }

    He claims that current readers subscribe to the quoted phrase. I haven’t seen anyone talk about stuff like that on here, have you?

  92. Josh,

    I didn’t condemn anyone.

  93. So you think it is OK to be a false teacher?

  94. Josh,

    That was not me who said that.

  95. “who hold to the teaching of historic Christianity dating back to the 1st Century, we see this as extreme violence to the text, to Christ, to the Church and to the people who have been captivated by this teaching.”

    I’m assuming you will cop top saying that?

  96. We all understand that religion is a free market in America. For people who choose to step away from the one catholic and apostolic faith as confessed from day 1, why would they be reluctant to just admit it.

  97. LOL – this is Garage Band dispensationalism
    Margaret MacDonald – Edward Irving – John Nelson Darby – CI Scofield – Lewis Chafer & William Newell

    The heroes of DTS

  98. “For people who choose to step away from the one catholic and apostolic faith as confessed from day 1, why would they be reluctant to just admit it.”

    Did Luther step away from the one Catholic faith?

  99. No! He stepped away from the Roman Catholic faith

  100. Josh,

    Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope stepped away from the one catholic faith.

  101. Well that’s convenient.

  102. A guy who’s faith is named after a man who died in 1546 says:

    “For people who choose to step away from the one catholic and apostolic faith as confessed from day 1, why would they be reluctant to just admit it.”

    Adn somehow is not talking about himself. Irony.

  103. Before all the stones are thrown at each other…

    There is such a thing as the development of doctrine in the Christian Church. The Nicene Creed, for instance was unknown in the primitive Church, but it embodied the doctrine of the primitive Church in a more developed form. The formulators of the Creed, simply by using more developed theological forms did not “step away” from the early Church or, indeed, the earlier form of the Apostles Creed. Much the same could be said of the EO and the development of say, theosis or even iconography. I prefer to see the Reformers as standing in that tradition of development – i.e. the articulation of what was already there, but in a more developed form. This also honors the fact that the Holy Spirit didn’t leave us after the Didache was written, but remains active in the Church helping us to unpack and understand what has been granted us in Scripture and tradition.

    Now, you can continue throwing stones…

  104. I’m with you Duane.

  105. There sometimes creeps into the discussions here, when disagreeing – rightly or wrongly – with a particular teaching, a contempt for a fellow follower of the Faith … this is dangerous ground to find oneself walking on … questions and reasoning = good … showing disdain for a saved soul = bad … IMNSHO

  106. Amen, em.

  107. Duane,

    I don’t disagree with you, however, not all developments throughout time were considered catholic and therefore were condemned. This gave rise to Creeds such as the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. Many ideas were considered and condemned. But today it seems un-PC to say anything is incorrect, wrong and heterodox.

    How is a Christian supposed to determine in the salad bar of Christianity whether a doctrine is salutary or not? Or do all roads lead to heaven?

  108. So you are still contending that some of our readers believe in three Gospels? Because I think that is a false claim, aimed at certain individuals who you are afraid to name.

    Would a belief in 3 different Gospels be outside the historic faith? Absolutely. That’s not the question in my mind.

  109. I’d recommend John Henry Newman’s ‘On the Development of Doctrine’… you will not agree with all of it or all of his conclusions, but he does lay out a process:

    Unity of Type – is it in keeping with Christian Origins, even though it is seen in a different form. An egg and a bird are a different form, but the same in their essence.

    Continuity of Principles – it proclaims the same message even if using a different word -think Nicene Creed

    Power of Assimilation – it is able to contain ‘truth’, that which we see in observation and study even in terms of philosophy and psychology

    Anticipation of Its Future – in Scripture we see that beginning and locus of that which will later develop to a more recognized form – for instance, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – what we do today is the same in essence, but different in form.

    Conservative Action – the development builds upon previous doctrine and is not in conflict with what has gone before it.

  110. #109 Addendum

    The EO hold that the whole “Deposit of Faith” was there at the inception of the Church. This means there is no real development, but rather the Church applying to itself some part of that deposit in time. Xenia, however, would be better able to speak to that issue from her tradition.

  111. Duane,

    1, 2 and 5 are good.

    I’m concerned about 3, because the Gospel is foolishness.

    I’m unsure about 4.

    Good food for thought.

  112. We do have a frequent poster here who says the Beatitudes are not for the “church age”.
    We also have someone who used to post here who says the new covenant is not for the church.

    Having said all that, God is merciful with all our errors… and we all have some.

  113. Jean is being elusive enough that I think I’ve made my point.

  114. @ 112 – How about someone who espouse belief in 3 Gospels?

  115. Josh,

    I don’t recall seeing that one…

  116. #111 Jean

    3 is always problematic…

    On 4, do you find any thing in Scripture that looks or sounds like your Rite of Holy Eucharist apart from Christ’s actions (breaking, drinking) and the Words of Institution? Do you find any Baptismal vows, sponsors, etc. in Scripture?

    Yet both contain the essence (words and actions) and anticipate what is to come.

  117. The point is we call out the errors and don’t just let them slip by as “alternative views” that can be equally accepted.

    The Book of Concord is masterful at this. It states the problematic issue, it then states what we affirm and it also states what we deny – and it took on all comers equally, the RCC, the Anabaptists and the Calvinists. In the Formula it takes on the Lutheran wings that had gone into Calvinism but still called themselves Lutheran.

    Unity works only where there is actual unity.

  118. MLD,

    You call out the errors as perceived by Lutherans.

    Others call out perceived errors by Lutherans.

    We’re all wrong about something…we just don’t know what yet.

  119. If you are calling out deviations from the 1st century church, why would you start with the Book of Concord?

    That should be a rhetorical question.

  120. The things you mention in your 116, Duane, are pieces of Holy Tradition, things that are not written in the Scriptures in developed form (although they are there in seminal form) but are practices handed down by the Apostles.

    For example, Communion. Do you just bust out the pita bread and wine and let everyone have some with no preamble or explanation or is there going to be some method (ritual) to make the bread and wine sacred? So some kind of Eucharistic liturgy had to be developed from the very earliest days, else communion would completely lose its meaning. Some formula incorporating the words of the Lord, “This is my blood, this is my body” etc. had to be said or else who would know what was happening.

    Most of EO ritual is explanatory in nature anyway. When we baptize someone, most of the accompanying liturgy explains what is happening and what baptism means. This is necessary because otherwise, baptism would lose its meaning. But now, thanks to Tradition, every time someone is baptized the ancient ritual explanatory phrases are repeated, lest anyone forget.

    These things were “traditioned” orally over the course of the centuries. Now we have liturgical books with all the rubrics, of course.

  121. Josh,

    I’m not being illusive. Nothing is gained by naming names. The ideas promoted are the issue. There is a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon between folks who believe the Synoptic Gospels are not written for the Church and those who do. Right there you have 2 gospels. Then, when you divide Acts in 2, 3 gospels emerge. I think we can discuss this issue without naming names. People should be able to admit what they believe, if they so choose.

  122. “People should be able to admit what they believe, if they so choose.”

    You are ascribing beliefs to people that they don’t hold for themselves. Now you’ve changed to “ideas promoted”…

    They believe what you want them to believe so that you can b feel superior in condemning them.

    Nobody here has talked about believing in 3 Gospels. All you had to say was “I went too far there, I apologize”. Instead, you continue to dig in, torching more straw men as you go.

  123. Michael – no one is forcing you to call out error. Personally I find many errors to be destructive in the body of Christ.
    Word of Faith doctrine for example. Much of what Jim Bakker spews. I don’t mind trying to protect the people of God from such damage. I will not put unity with some of these folks ahead of truth.
    I would include dispensationalism but then some people tend to pee themselves and I don’t want to be responsible. 😉

  124. The mid-Acts type people that I have talked with say the epistle of James is not for us either, that it’s an early writing that was produced before St. Paul began to write. In other words, an epistle of straw….

  125. That sounds like what Martin Luther thought, too.

  126. MLD,

    I have no problem calling out gross error.
    Some errors are indeed very damaging.
    I reject most dispensational tenets, however…there is enough of a body of scholarly work in dispensationalism in it’s many forms to require respect in disagreement.
    In addition, we need to respect the people who hold to it and if they are in error, persuade them with an alternative respectfully.

  127. Michael – I guess our disagreement is over the meaning of gross error.

  128. Well stop beating around the bush MLD. I’m a dispensationalist. Call me out, however you want to.

  129. Josh,

    I don’t feel superior to anyone, especially here where there are many wonderful readers and contributors, such as yourself. I appreciate your tenacity and hope it overlays a peaceful soul. The Lord be with you.

    “He has done all things well.”

  130. “It is true that more than a few of the readers here subscribe to some or all of this. However, to many of us, who do not see 3 Gospels, but 1 Gospel, and who hold to the teaching of historic Christianity dating back to the 1st Century, we see this as extreme violence to the text, to Christ, to the Church and to the people who have been captivated by this teaching.”

    Not superior at all.

  131. MLD,

    Probably so.

    However, you’re not going to convert everyone to Lutheranism, and I’m not going to convert everyone to Anglicanism, so we all have to get along until Jesus cleans up the mess.

  132. got a question…
    Dispensationalism… why does it matter to another Believer if one does or does not hold to the theory? … i am persuaded that it has merit and the Christian sitting next to me is not so persuaded … so?
    not to be confused with those folk who are saying now that the Church leaves planet earth on Saturday 🙂

  133. “However, you’re not going to convert everyone to Lutheranism,”

    I don’t think in all my years here that I have pushed anyone to convert to being Lutheran. I usually state a Lutheran position and or why I think the other position comes up short. When I speak about Amil stuff, it is not a Lutheran position – many hold to it. If I speak towards baptismal regeneration, that is not a uniquely Lutheran position – others hold it. The same with the real presence in the Supper. The closest to a uniquely Lutheran position goes to the proper distinction of law and gospel, but even then, you don’t need to be Lutheran.

    btw, I have not converted anyone to being Lutheran, but I have started many down that road – perhaps you one day. 🙂

  134. Em,
    Dispensationalism is so much greater than just the rapture.

  135. #128 Josh

    I’m not a dispensationalist, but I have a regard for people who are – and we should add, Dispensationalism itself has been a progressive process. There’s a good distance between Scofield and Blaising. Now, of course, you could call me a “damn Anglican” (which you wouldn’t) but that appellation can take in everybody from Spong to Packer. The fact is, we have the choice to show unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, but above all charity in all things… We live in a world of theological nuance, whether we like it or not!

  136. MLD,

    I considered Lutheranism quite carefully.
    I rejected it for the same reason I left the truly Reformed…it’s far too rigid in it’s systematic theology and I simply can’t affirm something because it’s in the “official” creed of a clan.

    Also, to be blunt, The Reformed and the Lutherans are in a race to see who can be the nastiest representatives of the Reformation.

    I think I was born Anglican and no one bothered to tell me until I was old… 🙂

  137. “We live in a world of theological nuance, whether we like it or not!”
    Exactly!

  138. “There’s a good distance between Scofield and Blaising. Now, of course, you could call me a “damn Anglican” (which you wouldn’t) but that appellation can take in everybody from Spong to Packer. ”

    Exactly, and well said.

  139. “The fact is, we have the choice to show unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials”

    I agree with that.

    The unity of Scripture is essential to me.

    Jesus Christ for me in the 4 canonical gospels is essential to me.

  140. It’s really funny that you should bring up the “progressive” nature of the newer dispensationalists. The older clan got so beat up by the Reformed in debate after debate the past 30 years (covenant vs dispensational theology) that the progressives today are almost covenantal.

  141. #134 – i know that, MLD… glad you think that dispensationalism is great now 🙂

  142. Em – I am not covenantal – so even that branch is wrong 🙂

  143. The thing that often strikes me is how caught up we are in our “positions”… all of our positions. I seen Jean and I see someone who can say the Nicene Creed without crossing his fingers and, likely, a gifted teacher. I see Josh and I see a pastor who can affirm the same creed and has a heart for ministry. Forgive me, but I know the minutiae. I just consider it less important these days than the actual work of ministry in a world in which the Church is becoming increasingly irrelevant in people’s lives. The sum of what we agree on is so much more vital than labeling others who, in reality, have the same heart for sharing Christ…

  144. Here’s my bottom line.
    As wrong as I think some tenets of dispensationalism are (and I think they’re really wrong) I know too many dispensationalists like Em and Josh who love the Lord more than I do and walk with Him closer than I do.
    My guess is that the Lord finds them more acceptable than my theological objections.

  145. Duane nails it @143…

  146. Duane – agreed. Very nice.

    Michael- I certainly disagree with some of what has fallen under dispensationalism too.

  147. Josh,

    I’ll be honest.
    In real life when someone brings up the pre trib rapture I spit bullets.
    When someone tells me that the Beatitudes are not for the church I lose it.

    The theological differences are real.

    However, I wish I could clone you and send you out to all the places I know that need someone like you.
    Our fellowship is around Jesus and that is a permanent relationship not affected by shades of theological disagreement.
    I’m glad you’re here and glad you’re kin…and I feel the same way about our Lutheran brethren and all the other flavors we have here.

  148. Duane,

    Affirmation of the Nicene creed is a blessing for everyone who confesses its content. “one baptism for the remission of sins” is a salutary Sacrament indeed.

  149. I would rarely talk about the pre-trib rapture unless trying to teach the parts of scripture that contain it. Even then, I’d be open for conversation. So I think we’d be OK on that one.

    I would oppose anything that claimed Jesus’ teaching were not for the church, as I did in my sermon two weeks ago. I think we’re on the same side of that discussion.

    “Our fellowship is around Jesus and that is a permanent relationship not affected by shades of theological disagreement.”

    Yes! It’s just that, as I’ve said in other cases, I wish some of us were more precise with our condemnations. That is all.

  150. Jean is being Not-so-veiled in his condemnation @ 148, again.

    I’ll point that out for our blind readers 🙂

  151. #144 thank you, Michael, but I’m reasonably certain that I don’t love the Lord more than you do…
    For the record, I am of the view that the Church is removed from earth before the wrath of God is poured out on the planet and, if that requires a label call me “mid-trib”

  152. Heretic!!

    🙂 kidding 🙂

  153. #148 Jean

    Excellent! A Socratic moment… How did that particular phrase make it into the Creed and what was its original meaning when it was inserted? It is not in the Apostles Creed, nor in the Nicene Creed of 325. What was the development of doctrine that was taking place and why?

  154. It was put in for those who were still denying the truth of baptism – this isn’t rocket science.
    The creeds are a funny thing, because we need to up the ante for those who find new ways to deny them. But the creeds are not bullet proof. A Mormon could ascribe to the Apostle’s Creed with no problem — except that they hate creeds and wouldn’t.

  155. #155 Addendum

    Additionally, I did not ask you.

  156. Duane,

    I’m guessing that baptism was added in 381 against the Donatists.

    In any event, however, in all those centuries, baptism was sacramental, I assume you would agree.

  157. Duane – I have never asked you to comment on my comments, and yet it has never stopped you.

    Next you will tell me that the Athanasian Creed was not developed to clear up issues and denials about the Trinity.

  158. #157 Jean

    Yes, the Donatists had somewhat to do with it, but it is an issue that goes all the way back to the Shepherd of Hermas and the issue of “second repentance” after having been baptized and falling into “sin” again. The issue arose in another way with the Donatists and those who denied the faith in persecution. It also references second baptisms which some Bishops administered to those coming out of heterodox communities (such as the Arians) or those who refused the oversight of Orthodox bishops (such as the Meletians). Finally, there were also those who believed that sins (mortal sins) after baptism could not be forgiven – hence Constantine waiting until just before his death. It was placed under the article of the Holy Spirit to indicate that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, not man. As Augustine said, “It is not the lack of baptism that damns, but the despising of baptism”. Finally, there were questions about the appropriateness of including it in the statement of faith that catechumens would say before their actual baptism – no need to confess it in a creed when one is actually doing it! Therefore in the creed of 381 it was left as a simple, somewhat ambiguous statement – is the emphasis on “one” or “remission of sins”. The inclusion, by the way, was not ecumenically approved until the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The theology behind the confession is a wonderful example of the development of doctrine in the years to follow, all the way up through the Reformation.

    All this is to say, much is not as simple as it seems at first sight. The Church took almost four centuries to begin working out its theology of baptism. In some ways we’re still working on it… at least in my opinion.

  159. #158 MLD

    I do apologize, but this was a question for Jean, not a comment.

  160. Duane,

    On a beginner’s level, I am aware of that history. Thank you for sharing some detail here.

    I would assume the emphasis is on the “one”, because benefits second part, “remission of sins,” was not the matter in direct controversy; indirectly it related to either the person who performed the baptism or the subsequent sin of the baptized (Donatism or Novationismm).

    In all the cases,however, it is my understanding that there was unity in the belief that baptism was ordained by our Lord as a means of grace. And it is precisely for that reason that the parties in controversy disputed their issues so vociferously.

  161. #161 Jean

    I go back and forth on whether the emphasis was on “one” or “the remission of sins”. Cogent arguments have been made on both sides of the issue. On the other hand, may it was left somewhat ambiguous simply to have it in the creed. Alternately, each could be of equal importance.

    My point, however, is that the credal formulations are points of unity, not “slogans”. You and I understand baptism as a means of grace, a sacrament. That is our language. Others can say “one baptism for the remission of sins”, without our ecclesial language and mean exactly the same thing. If you and I and an RC and an EO discussed the way in which Christ is present in the Eucharist, we would essentially agree. It would only be the descriptive ecclesial language that would be different. It is entertaining to debate the language, but for my money, when we’re saying the same thing, it simply turns into tribal slogans. That, however, is just my opinion.

  162. I’m guessing that the “ecclesial language” was taken from the Latin Vulgate, which was probably similar to what the KJV has:

    “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins”.

    But what ever the language, you and I both know that evangelicals don’t mean the same thing as we do. And here I am not condemning or being superior, but just recognizing that an typical evangelical cannot say the creed, unless they are ascribing it with a different meaning on this topic (perhaps others as well). I think we can be cordial and still admit to fundamental differences. Traditions which believe in Sacraments would NEVER deem them non-essential.

  163. #163 Jean

    The ecclesial language I was referring to was “sacrament” and “means of grace”.

    On what evangelicals mean by what they say, I’ll restrain judgement. I know some evangelicals who mean exactly what we mean… and I know some Anglicans and Lutherans (ELCA, I’m sure) who regard baptism as a “rite of passage”. Things are not as “clear cut” as they once were…

  164. “Things are not as “clear cut” as they once were…”
    Things are just as clear cut as always – this is God’s word we are talking about – the fact that there are too many people out there making the water muddy does not mean that we do not have clear cut understanding… especially with the Holy Spirit directing us.

    Those who think muddled is acceptable, well what can I say?

  165. MLD,

    Thus, the reasonable conclusion would be that only Lutherans have the Holy Spirit and the rest of us are… ?

  166. Michael,

    I don’t think MLD is making that inference.

    Do you think that the dramatic decline in church membership and participation in American churches overall could be in part attributed to the muddling of doctrine?

  167. Michael – not at all – some others are not muddled either.
    My thing is that some here want to excuse poor doctrine (actually pretty crappy doctrine) because, well, it’s ‘muddled’ – not as clear as when our fathers were Christians.

  168. Jean,

    Not in the sense being spoken here.
    If such were the case the LCMS would be growing like a weed.
    It’s shrinking.

  169. MLD,

    None of us here agree on all points of doctrine.
    We all have the Holy Spirit.
    I’m constantly aware that even though I study hard and read broadly…I could be wrong about a lot of things.
    I’m a fallen creature who will not know the fullness of the Spirit until I’m home.
    This ain’t home.

  170. Not that we are confused on some issues, but that we let known error just slide because – well it’s muddled and those are nice people.

    I like people – I don’t say bad things about Josh or Em. Steve Wright and I are friendly – but I don’t think that should limit out critique of the theology / doctrines of others.

  171. Michael #169,

    I think we loose a fair chunk of people to a combination of secularization and the allure of “fun,” entertainment driven churches. Sometimes I find myself thanking God that He preserves anyone in the faith, when I look at what a godless society we’re becoming. People thinking they throw Jesus a bone if they give Him an hour on Sunday, and then are immersed in paganism the other 6 days, 23 hours.

  172. I read a lot outside of my own tradition.

    I don’t find scholars from other traditions “muddled’…in fact, they often have great clarity about what they believe and why.

    I simply disagree with their conclusions, preferring my own scholars over them.

    There is no issue with critiquing theology…it’s important and can be edifying.
    We have to remember that there are always people behind those theologies that deserve respect.

  173. “We have to remember that there are always people behind those theologies that deserve respect.”

    100%, especially in a place like this where there are all sorts of different beliefs.

  174. I’m all for calling out error. If you look back at my 108, I said 3 Gospels was outside of historical Christianity. I have no qualms with saying so.

    My beef is with the constant need to find a reason to condemn. We started by condemning those who held 3 Gospels, then when that boat wouldn’t float, we moved on to baptism. Let’s keep digging until we are sure the person is going to Hell!

    My other issue is with ascribing certain beliefs to people that they wouldn’t claim for themselves.

    Yes, I can say the Nicene Creed, even the Constantinople edition. If you keep adding enough language and stipulations though, I’m sure you can get me to Hell.

  175. “…the Beatitudes are not for the church…”

    :: HEADDESK ::

  176. I look at it this way, just as an example, – if I say that the Book of Hebrews does not allow for Dispensationalism am I being harsh, unloving or disrespectful?

  177. No, you are discussing a theological issue. We could then take it a step further to see why you would say that and if your claim had any validity. That’s actually the way respectful dialogue should work.

    Instead we get…”Googled it. False teacher.”

  178. Josh,

    I will repeat myself. I have not condemned anyone. In fact I have been very passive in your misrepresentations and accusations of what I have written. Everything I have written on this thread regarding what I’ve read over the years hear is factual. Maybe, you weren’t plugged in on the days I heard it. However, I, Michael, MLD and Xenia have given concrete examples without naming names, which I won’t. But these examples are not condemnations of people, but simply beliefs people have expressed. Peace be with you.

  179. Call me crazy (which some will) but I think one should know the doctrine, the background of the doctrine and the nuances of its development before one makes sweeping statements about the “errors” of others…

    I’ll stand with Josh – “My beef is with the constant need to find a reason to condemn.” I would add, often without even a real reason to condemn.

  180. Josh,
    See you are guilty of what you accuse me. I at least read the article. The only conclusion I made from my google search was that he was not just a false teacher — but from my search I found him to be a dead false teacher.

    So in the article when he strongly defends that Jeremiah’s new covenant is not at all for the church but is for future Israel, you would not call that out not only as false, but dangerous teaching? Hmmm.

  181. Jean – You are the only one that claimed people here believed 3 Gospels.
    What was your point in singling out baptism and sacraments? Are you really such a cowrd that you want admit to it? We all got it.

  182. Jean, Josh called you a coward. A real man would take out his hankie, slap Josh across the face and challenge him to a duel! 🙂

  183. I confess that I prefer to leave theology to the theologians to sort out…
    I am thankful, however that God gave man a very visual teaching in His incarnation, both as to His character and.as to ours … Redemption is quite a simple story and its acquisition is simple for the majority of us who are just simple souls
    IMHO … if course. 😁
    I suspect – dunno – that God isn’t too concerned with how many padlocks the redeemed ones feel the need to attach to their treasured gift – as long as we do treasure the unspeakable gift above everything else
    My point is? Salvation is not complicated on the receiving end…

  184. Josh,

    “What was your point in singling out baptism and sacraments?”

    My point is that Duane, whom I share a lot of agreement with, but whom I think is sturdy enough to also share disagreement with, in my opinion brushed over an important doctrine in order to say that we could share the Nicene Creed. But, what I don’t get is, if someone is not using in their services, and doesn’t consider it important in their tradition, why get bent out of shape if it is a point of departure from someone else?

  185. Duane,
    “I think one should know the doctrine, the background of the doctrine and the nuances of its development before one makes sweeping statements about the “errors” of others…”

    I was a dispensationalist for 25 years, taught it for many of those years in both CC and SBC. I not only know what I knew, I was very clear about why I had to drop it. I had shelves of books worthy of DTS’ own library.

  186. MLD – you are twisting again. I’ll just quote myself from way back to remind you:

    “Never mind, I just googled him – another dead false teacher.”

    Sorry Mld. I was just responding to this quip, which was apparently a lie. You had thoroughly researched his teaching and formed an educated opinion rather than “just googling” him.

    All good. And no, I’m not reading a 60 page paper from some guy I’ve never heard of unless a reason to do so is presented,”

    So, like I said. You had enough info to condemn him, I guess. That’s fine. I haven’t the slightest clue who he is, still. Don’t care about him.

    But the “googled him – false teacher” is the level of conversation we usually get. Even outside of that phrase, you didn’t interact with anything he said, just called him a false teacher. Fine, but not helpful in any real way.

  187. #186 MLD

    Good for you! Now let other people make THEIR journey of faith…

  188. Just be honest Jean. It’s more frustrating for you to play these games than just come out and say what you mean, and that is that I am headed to Hell.

    Have I linked you the sermons on the creed that Danny Akin went through last year at Southeastern BAPTIST seminary?

    The point is that you don’t know or understand what I believe, or what is done in our churches. You condemn (said it was essential = anyone who doesn’t get the essentials is going to Hell) based on caricatures and stereotypes. If you really are concerned about what someone believes about 3 gospels or baptism or sacraments, just ask them! Don’t make it up so that you can write them off.

  189. #185 Jean

    I came from an evangelical background. My reading and studies led me to the reality of the Sacraments before I could articulate their full meaning. Also, I held to the Nicene Creed for years before we confessed it together as a church. We’re not God… we’re not the Holy Spirit… He moves peoples hearts and actions in a way we cannot.

  190. Duane – my journey did not come without people talking truth to me.
    Did yours? Is that what you suggest, just let people stumble along? Why do you teach? Why not just let people make their own journey of faith?

  191. MLD – I’m guessing you had the same narrow fundamentalist type take on your SBC faith that you do on your Lutheran faith? I don’t say that as an insult, you’ve said the sme yourself.

    I just think we could all imagine the posts MLD would be making if he were a sold out dispensationalist.

  192. Ahem… I think dual protocol is a firm, bare handed slap across the face and the one challenged gets to choose the weapon. 😨

  193. I’d rather a straight up duel than a fake camaraderie any day. At least your dueling partner is honest about shooting at you.

  194. Josh @187 – now you are just being dishonest. I followed up your claim with my own @71
    “Josh – no, I read the paper last night. This morning I asked who he was and stated my interest because he does state the common dispensational belief that Jeremiah’s new covenant is for Israel in the future and not the church today.

    While I was typing, I decided that I would google him – as I figured no one would know him.”

    For you to continue to repeat your earlier statement @68 is as I said dishonest. I hope that is not too harsh for you.

  195. It’s not dishonest. I copied and pasted exactly what Is said. Harsh? No. Stupid? Maybe.

    I admitted that you had apparently researched him enough to condemn him, though I didn’t get that from your first post.

  196. Josh,

    When I speak of “essentials” I’m speaking about what would be essential to commune with another person (i.e., Lord’s Table; sharing a common confession of faith), not essential for salvation. On the latter, I think the Lord will surprise most of us with the latitude of His mercy. Again, I haven’t condemned anyone.

    Also, except for my assumption that you don’t believe baptism applies God’s grace for the remission of sins (and I will gladly apologize if my assumption is incorrect), I haven’t said anything whatsoever on this thread about what you believe.

  197. You hear that MLD, you get to condemn him! Throw a party!

  198. Josh – that’s right – that is why we have follow up comments for clarificatioon. Then if you want to continue to take shots, do so from the latest clarifying comments – not the ones you could not understand.

    So what about the dispensationalist claim about Jeremiah’s new covenant not applying to the church – but is for future Israel? Our very own favorite dispie on this blog believes this.

  199. “When I speak of “essentials” I’m speaking about what would be essential to commune with another person ”

    While I do appreciate the clarity, I will point out for future reference that yours is not the standard definition of “essential” in theological conversation. I believe what you have said, and only point this out so that you don’t continue with further confusion. In general, telling someone they do not believe the essentials is telling them they are not Christian.

  200. One of the difficulties with discussing dispensational theology with a dispensationalist is that every time you ask about a common dispensational belief, the dispensationalist says they don’t hold that belief.

  201. When I speak of “essentials” I’m speaking about what would be essential to commune with another person (i.e., Lord’s Table; <<<<

    This goes to show that "essential" doesn't mean the same thing to all people.

  202. MLD – I would disagree, though I think there is still some nuance that you are missing in your wording. But not my belief, you’d have to ask someone that holds that one.

  203. Xenia,

    True. I will try to be more careful with defining terminology.

  204. Jean ar 210 – Exaclty! It is a large spectrum of belief. You have to actually interact with people to understand what they believe.

    The same is true of Lutherans, by the way. I see tons of Lutherans promoting gay marriage, but I’m assuming you don’t.

  205. “One of the difficulties with discussing dispensational theology with a dispensationalist is that every time you ask about a common dispensational belief, the dispensationalist says they don’t hold that belief.”

    And here’s the funny thing…if I can’t talking to Lutheran’s about what they believe and every time they answered, “No, not me”. I’d assume I didn’t understand Lutheran theology. You seem to assume the dispies don’t understand!

  206. I picked up the term “essentials” from my prior Methodist tradition, where it was attributed to Wesley the following: Unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials, in all things charity. I’m not claiming absolutely that he was the first one to use this phrase, but it was taught to me as having come from him.

  207. Totally agree with that statement, and it is usually referring to what is necessary for salvation.

    Nothing to argue over though, Take it or leave it.

    So MLD, if someone misunderstands Jeremiah 31:31-34, is that enough to send them to Hell?

  208. What we mean by essentials does not need to be the same least as each other.

  209. #191 MLD

    Unworthy of an answer…

  210. MLD at 209 – It does if we expect to communicate with one another.

  211. Josh,

    I will readily admit that dispensational theology is so complicated, because it doesn’t derive from a plain reading of the text, that I’m sure I don’t understand it. But what I do understand is certain clear doctrines that the proponents state. For example, when I read that in the millenial kingdom there are resurrected immortal people walking around living side by side with mortal human beings, I am lights out confused. But if someone says, “The synoptic gospels don’t apply to the Church” I understand what they’re saying.

  212. Josh, again your dishonesty is showing.
    Have I ever said anyone is going to hell? Did I even cast this morning’s false teacher into hell. Can you point out a single teaching that I have challenged where I said “if you believe X, you will go to hell?”

    But tell me what you think of Jeremiah 31.

    Now, I have had evangelicals tell me if I do not believe in the rapture, I will go to hell … 2 of them on this blog in years past.

  213. I’m still trying to figure out the psychology of those who love to attack and demean others in the name of “my faith”. Could be wrong, but I’ve seldom had the desire or reason to do so. I want to learn, not attack…

  214. #207 Jean

    It was actually a Lutheran writing during the Thirty Years War….

  215. Jean – I of course would greatly disagree with your assessment that dispensationalists don’t follow a plain reading of the text. If anything, I’d say they are too literal in some areas.

    I have never heard anyone say that the synoptic gospels don’t apply to the church. Could you at least link someone saying that? Why the synoptics, but not John? I’m with you, if someone said that, I would thoroughly disagree.

    (keep in mind that I am around dispies everyday. They are my pastor and professors, and I read their books, all the time. and I haven’t heard this. )

  216. Thanks Duane. I thought it was about “unity” in essentials…, not essentials for salvation. However, I get the difference in understandings and will try to define my terms better in the future.

  217. Josh,

    When I say a plain reading of the text, let me give you an example:

    “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”

    This is the confession of historic Christian eschatology.

  218. MLD – do you understand what “dishonest” means? You are calling me dishonest for statements that I did not make. I can’t defend that kind of argumentation, so go ahead.

    Now, If I were to call someone a False Teacher, it would be with the idea that their teaching will lead to hell. That is my understanding, I admit, and not codified anywhere, but to me there is a difference in someone teaching what I believe to be error (Lutheran’s for instance) and false teachers ( those teaching a different gospel).

    My question about Jeremiah 31 was to point out that is a difference of understanding within the same family. The teaching doesn’t lead to Hell even if I think it is incorrect, and possibly even harmful. I wouldn’t teach my people that way, and wouldn’t direct them towards someone who did, on that topic. The same way that I wouldn’t direct people towards a Lutheran church. I don’t think either of you are false teachers, we just disagree about some non-essentials.

  219. Duane, @210
    “Unworthy of an answer…” Was that your standard line in academia?

    I am here to converse, challenge and teach. You seem to find that unworthy. Your statement “let other people make THEIR journey of faith…” is no different than the parent who says, “I do not want to influence my child about religion – let him make his own choice when he is grown.”

    I have been call to do differently.

  220. Jean – do you think there is something there that any normal dispie disagrees with?

    Now, of course that isn’t the only passage in the bible dealing with then end, but I’m guessing ever dispie in the world would heartily affirm what you posted.

  221. This is what I mean – “… we just disagree about some non-essentials.”

    Who gets to choose the essentials? Is God’s covenant a non essential?

  222. You can choose them, just define what you mean by essential. Does that mean if we disagree i am not Christian, or do you mean something else?

    Virgin Birth – Essential. If you don’t believe it you are not Christian. There is one. There are many.

  223. Hmm, I don’t think I believed in the virgin birth when I got saved. I don’t think I knew anything about it.
    The only thing I knew when I got saved was that Jesus had the goods and I wanted them.

  224. Hmm, interesting. So fo you Virgin birth is non-essential. I disagree.

    Jesus’ Resurrection – Essential. You aren’t a Christian without that belief.

  225. Josh,

    “Jean – do you think there is something there that any normal dispie disagrees with?”

    I don’t want to misrepresent you, so tell us what you think:

    “For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ ”

    Is Christ reigning over his kingdom seated at the right hand of the Father (Consistent with Matthew XXVIII)?

    “Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

    When Christ returns, is that “the end”?

    Is that the time of the resurrection of the dead?

    Is the kingdom then delivered to the Father?

  226. Yes, all of it. And I will answer that for every dispensationalist too. You have apparently greatly misunderstood.

  227. “When Christ returns, is that “the end”?”

    Which time? – dispensationalists have at least 3 comings sometimes 4.

    Josh, Acts 2 states that Jesus will sit on David’s throne while David is still in the grave. How can this be in a dispensational timeline?

  228. Well, thanks Josh. All this time I heard about the Church being raptured off the earth while Jesus set up a kingdom on earth for 1,000 years. Then it got foggy for me if Christians get to come back to earth at some point to participate in the kingdom. But, you’ve disavowing that?

  229. Well, Jean, like i said we all define the terms in that passage based on our understandings of other passages.
    You do have your timeline of premillenialism messed up though.

    Basically it would go – Rapture of church – 7 year tribulation – 2nd coming of Chirst / Millennial kingdom – Judgement – Eternal states.

    And yes, I can support every bit of that with plain scripture and not contradict that Corinthians passage at all. But I know you guys aren’t premillennial, and I’m cool with that I could recommend books if you’re interested. That is my very best understanding from Scripture, I really don’t see how someone honestly reads it different, but I know that many good Christians do read it differently. Eschatology is very much non-essential in my book. How about you?

  230. MLD are you talking about Acts 2:29-36? I must be missing the eschatological reference in that passage.

  231. “I must be missing the eschatological reference in that passage.”
    How are you missing that – it is 100% eschatological

    Peter is saying that David is in the grave while Jesus is sitting on David’s throne. How is that possible if the dispensational order is in place?
    Will David be still buried when Jesus set’s up his earthly reign on David’s throne?

  232. Missed one question at 229 – Yes, according to the premil understanding of Scripture, the Church does come back and reign with Christ in the earthly millennial kingdom.

  233. What verse or verses is that?

  234. I do see where it says David is dead and Jesus ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. That doesn’t cause me any confusion. I don’t think I get your point?

  235. “Yes, according to the premil understanding of Scripture, the Church does come back and reign with Christ in the earthly millennial kingdom.”

    So, there must be two resurrections then, correct?

    And resurrected people living alongside mortal people, right?

  236. Dispensationalists say Jesus sits on David’s throne on earth … Not heaven.
    For that to happen David would need to be alive and out of his grave.

  237. Jean – to your questions

    1. Yes. For quick reference – Not a full study – See Rev. 20:5
    2. Possibly. This is based on conjecture of possibility of salvation during the tribulation and the state of humanity at the end of the tribulation. I haven’t read any exegetical scripture work on this topic.

  238. MLD – I’m totally not following. Sorry.

  239. I’m almost tempted to jump in…but Josh has been through enough today. 🙂

  240. Jump right in. I don’t mind.

    I Don’t expect any of you to convert to premil but I can certainly support it.

  241. Josh,
    My ministry was shaped early on by two events. One was getting kicked out of CC and the second was when the pre trib scheme was dismantled before my eyes. I felt blind folded, brainwashed and betrayed and I let it happen. I can’t debate it without a lot of snark and sarcasm and you deserve better. Carry on…

  242. Do any of us consider eschatology essential?

    Meaning, which of the three major paths you follow premil, post mil, amil…the others are not brothers in Christ? I don’t even come close to that kind of stress on eschatology. We have all kinds in the SBC.

  243. It is a non essential unless you deny the Second Coming.

  244. That’s fine Michael, I understand. I’ve debated it for 20 years to no avail. Almost like Calvinism / Arminianism. It just isn’t the biggest deal to me.

    Are you still pre-wrath? I’m thinking pre-wrath still believes in a literal future millennial kingdom, right?

  245. @244 – right. Which the ‘big three” all have that in common. Even many preterists believe in the second coming.

  246. Josh,

    Is the temple in Jerusalem rebuilt and the sacrifices started up again? If so, when during the timeline?

  247. Jean – many dispensationalists do believe that. I’ve seen the scripture references that is derived from but I am unconvinced that is what it is talking about. I’ve even seen it said that sacrifices would be taking place during the millennial kingdom, which makes no sense to me.
    I do think the temple will be rebuilt, haven’t thought about it in a while and not dogmatic about it. My best guess on the timeline would be that it will be complete during the tribulation?

    But yes, many disp. do believe that, as you’ve said, and I disagree.

  248. Josh,
    There is much of value in the pre wrath writings, especially the takedown of pre trib. I’m somewhere between that and amill… the idea of sacrifices continuing when the Sacrifice has come is utterly inane to me.

  249. MLD

    “I am here to converse, challenge and teach. You seem to find that unworthy. Your statement “let other people make THEIR journey of faith…” is no different than the parent who says, “I do not want to influence my child about religion – let him make his own choice when he is grown.”

    You are used to setting up straw men that you think you knock down, being offensive and belligerent. No, you do not converse, you bully. No, you do not challenge, you insult. And no, you do not teach, you posture from a very limited knowledge base. You consider “grace” something you read about, but you have yet learned to put it into practice.

  250. @249 – re:sacrifices – me too. Don’t get it.

  251. #250 Addendum

    I always thought that “called” had a specific meaning in LCMS, but I’m sure that you know better…

  252. Josh,

    I’m at the age and health where Jesus is coming for me before the rest of you…so I’ll let you know what I hear when I get home. 🙂

  253. 🙂 @253 – Exactly. Any of us could be raptured by a bus tomorrow. Or heart attack, brain aneurysm, etc. I don’t get too worked up over end times for that very reason.

  254. #254 Josh

    You said it well, but with respect, I think John Donne said it even better:

    Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
    For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
    Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
    Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee do go,
    Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
    Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
    And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
    And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
    One short sleep past, we wake eternally
    And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

  255. Whew! Love the ending of that!

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