Mar 062018
 

What is catechesis?

Whatever happened to church discipline?

Akeptous confesses Jesus is God…

Pew poll on Catholic belief…

Rachel Denhollander and SGM…

Allegories of the Song…

Is Rob Bell really “The Heretic”?

How to fight off the devil’s desperate attacks…

Living under authority…

Scientists are childish,but in a good way…

The legacy of a leader…

Thin places…

Translation bias in the word “tradition”…

Virtual reality baptisms…

Guns in the kingdom of God…

Wartburg Watch on the “no talk” rule…

Empathy over enmity…

Seven quick facts about Billy Graham…

Newsweeks cult problem…

The path of the cross…

The choir needs preached to…

Preston Sprinkle on The Nashville Statement…

The “bad girls” of the Bible deserve a fresh look…

What will it take for Christians to care about the environment?

The evangelical fall from grace…

Congrats, Billy, the evangelical movement is still going strong…

Huge thanks as always to EricL…support him at top right.

  216 Responses to “Linkathon!”

  1. I recommend the article on translation bias concerning the word “tradition.” You might be surprised.

  2. Xenia,

    I agree…

  3. The evangelical fall from grace…

    “The most immediate reason for our fall from the Protestant idea of the Supper as a means of grace is that we have become practical modernists. Modernism (or the Enlightenment) was a profoundly anti-Christian theology and worldview. Building upon the conclusions of the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), theologians such as Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) and others began to remove the overtly supernatural elements from Christian theology in order to make it acceptable to the cultured despisers of religion.4 The task and trajectory of modernist theology has been to find a way to do theology without actually believing (in the same way as Luther and Calvin) what it actually taught. (By modernism and modernity I mean to encompass the various Enlightenment movements of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. By rationalism I mean the use of human reason and sense experience as the fulcrum by which all authorities, including Scripture, the creeds, and confessions, are levered.)”

    “American evangelicalism is a pietist, experiential religion that is too busy with cell-group meetings to be troubled with the Lord’s Supper At the same time, we have functionally excommunicated ourselves and, to borrow Calvin’s language, robbed ourselves of Christ’s benefits.6 The remedy for the pietist transformation of sixteenth-century Protestant evangelical religion into a religion of private, personal experience is to repent of our unbelief that God does not or cannot use created means to strengthen or edify us as His people. Here is one of the central differences between the religion of the Protestants and pietist-mysticism: Protestantism believes in the use of divinely ordained means. It also seeks to recapture those divinely ordered gospel instruments.”

  4. I agree with Xenia, the article on translation is worth a look. Martin Chemnitz identified 7 ( or was it 9) different kinds of tradition in his Examination.

  5. tradition (“paradosis” ) as is touted here was essential to Old Testament Jewish continuity and preservation of the Faith as assigned to them by God…
    obedience is better than sacrifice, yes, but obedience to what God is doing in each dispensation…
    today, with the Christ indwelling Believers we have a much more living dynamic that is dependent upon the One on one relationship that each member of the Church has with God… we do not depend on physical “paradosis” for Life in Christ – they are simply outward expressions of our new Life… they set us apart and testify in an understandable way to the unbelieving world…
    do traditions have value? they can IF …today, within the Church, all your traditions are totally dependent of your heart for efficacy IMHO
    just off the top of my head and from a simply-minded evangelical perspective…. again

  6. Translation bias – 3 Greek lessons in one week here on the PhxP. Has to be a record.

    1 of the 3 was worthwhile. Which one, I’ll let you decide. 🙂

  7. em,
    I don’t know if I would relegate the words of Jesus to tradition – I would say they are a present reality – as if still on the day he instituted a physical supper and a physical baptism unto salvation.

    “they are simply outward expressions of our new Life… they set us apart and testify in an understandable way to the unbelieving world…” – so, to you there is no difference between baptism, the supper and the bumper sticker on my car which does actually “set me apart and testifies in an understandable way to the unbelieving world…”

  8. What better way to “testify in an understandable way to the unbelieving world…(those driving behind me) than to have a bright brown and yellow bumper sticker declaring that Jesus is my co pilot.” 🙂

  9. we do not depend on physical “paradosis” for Life in Christ – they are simply outward expressions of our new Life…<<<

    Em, after having read the article, is there a possibility that you believe this because you have been reading an erroneous, deliberately erroneous, translation of the Scriptures? Not just you, but all your teachers?

  10. So…the non-sacramental evangelicals here have as deep a faith as those of us who have a sacramental faith.

    I don’t see the need to convince them otherwise as little is at stake other than theological preference.

    What am I missing?

  11. “What am I missing?”

    The Link above, “The Evangelical Fall From The Means Of Grace,” would provide a good start at what is missing.

  12. Jean,

    I’m a bottom line guy…the evangelicals here have shown the fruit of the Spirit and perseverance…I have no doubt whatever that they are in the kingdom.

    I like Dr. Clark as both a person and a theologian, but I see no real impact on devout evangelicals if they view the sacraments differently.

  13. I don’t see the need to convince them otherwise as little is at stake other than theological preference.<<<

    I figure these links are posted so we can have conversations about them.

  14. Xenia,

    Yes, they are!
    i’m just adding something to that conversation…

  15. So, when someone argues that the the sacraments are meaningless, those who feel differently are supposed to bite their lip? I just want to understand the rules of the road. And, no one on this thread has said anything about someone not being in the kingdom.

  16. Jean,

    I simply asked a question.
    I’ve never told anyone to bite their lips.

    The question is simple…if we all end up in the same place, why are we arguing so vociferously at times about such things?

    I’m a sacramentalist…but Em, Josh, and countless others have lived Christian lives with a different perspective.

    What’s really at stake?

  17. Michael – so it still comes back to – why are we they bad guys if we rope off the table? I am still trying to figure out why the Baptist preacher is so narrow minded that he won’t baptize unto salvation my 7 month old grandson if what you say is true – it’s just theological preference.

    Jean, they do not argue that they are meaningless — just that they hold no place over a bumper sticker –

  18. “I don’t see the need to convince them otherwise as little is at stake other than theological preference.”

    This statement demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the Sacraments. They are not a theological preference to those Christians who believe in them. Keep in mind that in liturgy of the historic Church, and probably as observed by the majority of Christians to this day, the Eucharist is the climax of the Divine Service, not a preference or add on.

    It may be a preference to you, and even less by others, but it is not a preference to millions of Christians worldwide. If Christ instituted them, then they cannot be preferences.

  19. MLD,

    I’ve not said anyone was a bad guy.
    I stated clearly that I am a sacramentalist.

    I have no desire to “convert” anyone to my view.

    Why am I wrong?

  20. “This statement demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the Sacraments.”

    My theological ignorance and biblical illiteracy has been on display here for years.

    Never mind…

  21. ” you have been reading an erroneous, deliberately erroneous, translation of the Scriptures?”

    Not at all the case, nor is that the argument. IF that IS the argument, then you too have been reading a deliberately erroneous translation.

  22. #7… well, there is no command to put a bumper sticker on my car or anywhere else LOL (someone gave me a stone cross carved from a piece of rock from Israel – i hung it just over my doorbell, mezuzah style, and after that the JWs knocked 😇 – they visited frequently, i think they used me as a teaching tool )
    #9 … we do indeed choose our teachers and have a duty to do so prayerfully
    #11… falling from the means of grace? that is a serious thing to have separated/fallen from – the “means” of receiving grace means no grace…
    P.S.
    BTW – I do think many who post here have wisely separated from churches where wolves are pretending to be sheep leaders. 😀

  23. Michael,
    “I have no desire to “convert” anyone to my view.”

    Definition of sacramentalism from Merriam Webster
    belief in or use of sacramental rites, acts, or objects; specifically : belief that the sacraments are inherently efficacious and necessary for salvation

    You should be concerned to “convert others to your view.

  24. “belief that the sacraments are inherently efficacious and necessary for salvation”

    That would put non sacramental evangelicals outside the kingdom…and I don’t believe that for a second.

  25. I’m not sure that theology from a dictionary is the best place to start…

  26. This is where it always gets fun.

    Suppose I should get in MLD’s face and tell him to NEVER try to make another Christian doubt his salvation…but I’ll leave that to him.

  27. For the lurkers…I do believe the sacraments are efficacious…but God can save his people outside them.

  28. For the other lurkers, my #26 was MLD’s reaction when a street preacher dared witness to his friend.

    And for the other lurkers, I don’t believe in sacraments.

  29. Josh – it was Michael who said he was the sacramentalist.

    I am ecumenical – I am trying to have everyone not divide over the sacraments but that we should all display our faith by use of bumper stickers.

  30. #15 – there is a tendency to restate what some of us say in a distorted manner …
    Anyone who claims baptism or communion are “meaningless” more than likely is not a child of God to begin with. … degree of efficacy is the area where we dont see eye to eye
    Necessary and meaningful are not in question… Do they bring blessings? Of course they do…

  31. The my faith must be in the Outer Banks and a stick man doing karate. 🙂

  32. Look, I would love it if Josh came on the thread tomorrow declaring that he is a high church Anglican. I don’t think that is going to happen! I value Josh and I honor the faith that he holds. He views Scripture and Church History from a different perspective than I do… but not in all things… not in the confession of the Faith, love of Christ and so much more. We fellowship on the basis of that common Faith and love of Christ. I can share my views, but constantly badgering and acting like the Spanish inquisition from Monty Python does little to convince any one.

  33. Perhaps ecumenical is old and we should coin a new term – modular. Christianity is a religion of preferential modules. Folks can add on those modules that appeal to them.

  34. Duane @ 32…amen.

  35. @36 – Yep.

    If Jesus isn’t enough, we’re all toast.

  36. Duane,
    “I’m not sure that theology from a dictionary is the best place to start…”

    LOL Eddie Murphy funny. Three or four times over the past year you have posted dictionary definitions to clear my fuzzy thinking. – but thanks for the laugh.

  37. Jean,

    I think your #33 is close to the truth…and I’m going to assume God designed it that way.

  38. “If Jesus isn’t enough, we’re all toast.”

    He is and we aren’t!

  39. And that was in reply to Duane’s very kind #32 – I got the number wrong.

    @38 – Yes He is, and while other things are important, they are all minuscule in comparison.

  40. #36

    Ah, good… I can put away the Concordia Triglot and just keep the dictionary handy…

  41. @ 40 – I don’t need any of that. I have Strong’s.

  42. #39 Josh

    … and if you do decide to become a high church Anglican, I’ve got an extra cassock I can loan you…

  43. @ 42 – And if you reverse course into the ope arms of the SBC, I’ve got a plate of BBQ waitingt for you 🙂

  44. #43 Josh

    I’ll keep it in mind… I love BBQ 🙂

  45. Duane,
    This is what goes without comment on your part as it does not fit your agenda.
    “but constantly badgering and acting like the Spanish inquisition from Monty Python does little to convince any one.”

    You see upon review, and this is what happens more than not – Em at her #5 took a punch at Jean and his comment at #3 and thus began the inquisition. All Jean did was comment on one of the links.

  46. One Lord, one faith, one baptism is not, alas, modular… Cute, but not true and so we have a bit of a problem crowding us all under one umbrella of faith…
    Ephesians 4 … perhaps deserves prayerful study and maybe…
    we are all lights in varying degrees of strength? Let God judge His servants and show us grace and mercy as we love His revelations to us and search them for deeper understanding
    Just sayin… again … by the grace Michael shows to us fundy, simple minded evangelical types here
    God keep

  47. #45- actually, i was moved to comment on my reading of Xenia’s recommended link and i hadnt gotten further into the thread…
    Did i punch poor Jean? I apologize 😐

  48. #45

    I was not referring to this particular thread…

  49. Thank you Em. I accept your apology.

    I am grateful to Michael that he published the two articles that were cited by Xenia and myself. No one is ignorant in their words and beliefs on these topics.

  50. Aftrr reading the link, i pray that we all find our thin place .. and mark it well

  51. Bad girls are my kinda’ girls.
    And the ones from the Bible?
    All the more.

  52. I’m trying to figure out why a painting of a pale-skinned English woman was used in the “bad girls” of the Bible article.

  53. Interesting article from Fr Stephen Freeman about shame and how we deal with it.

    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2018/03/06/naked-ashamed-dealing/

  54. Living under authority… good to read an educated mind expressing something i can say ‘amen’ to… 😁 thank you Sproul

    And thank you for the variety of reading material in this week’s links

  55. #52… Think Camillla, wife of prince charley, maybe? Dunno. 😶

  56. #55 – 😊

    From the quick facts about Graham :

    “He broke with many in his denomination in affirming inclusivism—the conviction that one does not necessarily have to explicitly hear or believe the gospel in order to be saved.”

    I still find this incredible and very wise.,

  57. inclusivism is a dicey subject because there are so many loose interpretations of the term IMV
    but it stands to reason that God searches hearts and any person who would believe the gospel and accept God’s redemption, IF they’d heard it will receive pardon, does it not?

    we’ve had that possibility explained away with the theory that if one is searching for God, God will send the gospel message by angel or whatever means He chooses and that may be correct…
    and, of course, we don’t get a pass if we don’t share the gospel, but it seems reasonable that not all who’d believe do hear…. so i guess we’ll wait for Eternity to know the sure answer… dunno

  58. Is this a hard one? If the definition of “like” in this case is hold as true, then I like the idea of hell because Jesus liked the idea of hell. What Jesus declares, I declare.

  59. @ # 52:
    I was thinking pretty much the same.
    While I can appreciate the old artists (in their time and place) portrayal of the Bible’s warrior women, I think I’d much prefer to see what Stan Lee of marvel comics could do in bringing these awesome gals back to life.

  60. em, the doctrine of inclusivism is a bit problematic. I remember I was teaching at a SBC church 20 plus years ago when Billy Graham was first switching to this position.It was a big topic in my class as I showed where the error was. I remember being in conversation with Patrick Madrid at Catholic Answers at the same time over their similar position of baptism of desire and branches of that. To him and to my class I declared this nothing more than doctrine created by emotions.

    We now see the same with the Hell article – it is like these evangelical teachers open the window letting the Holy Spirit fly in who then proceeds to give them a shoulder massage relaxing the sound doctrine right out of them – making them feel better and all inclusive to others.

    But hey, perhaps I need a shoulder rub to ease me – heck bob1 yesterday said we were too word only.

  61. whether one can make a case for God’s saving grace extending to those who have hearts to believe, but never hear of His plan of salvation (from here on earth, i’d expect Him to do that) or not… it is still incumbent upon every saved soul to share and live the Gospel… the Bible’s observation that man lives once, then dies and after that, judgment is no small thing… good grief, wake up and accept the salvation of your immortal soul because the alternative is still immortal

    and anyone who thinks hell is too severe is deficient in two areas of appreciation – IMV
    they fall way short of grasping the universe’s reliance on the absolute virtue and necessity of God’s holiness (it goes far beyond just being a nice god) and an embarrassing lack of understanding of what was hung on that cross some 2,000 years ago to provide redemption

    just sayin … again 🙂

  62. em,
    “a case for God’s saving grace extending to those who have hearts to believe,”

    here is the fallacy in their thinking – the scripture says that no one seeks God. The Bible also makes clear that the unsaved are at war with God. There are statements to the fact that even our good works are revolting to God – so on what basis is the non believer judged as worthy – not his good works.

    As I said it is doctrines based on emotionalism and not reality.

  63. I haven’t had a chance to read BrianD’s links yet, but my 2 cents:

    I know this has been discussed here before, but…..

    What do we do with those who lived before the written Word? What of those with mental illness who aren’t capable of understanding? What about children who die before baptism or being able to comprehend the Gospel? I could go on and on….

    It is a mystery, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hoping for mercy based on God’s Goodness. I don’t see how a Just God could send souls to eternal torment for something they couldn’t help. My God-given reasoning can’t believe that.

  64. Joel, why would you think that age or mental capacity are impediments that keep God’s gospel message from going out.
    The bible says God saves through the gospel. To then say people do not need to hear the gospel is erroneous.
    Now if people can be saved by not hearing the gospel because they have not rejected the gospel, then I will never witness again for fear that someone might hear me and reject Jesus. I would rather leave them ignorant of the gospel and ‘saved’
    Many heard the gospel before it was written down since Gen 3:15 in the garden. God is merciful even if he saved only one person.

  65. Joel, one last thing – no one goes to he’ll because they did not hear the gospel. They are already condemned because of their sin.

  66. >>>why would you think that age or mental capacity are impediments that keep God’s gospel message from going out.

    I guess this is where I’m confused… If faith (faith in the news that Jesus has saved all humanity by His sinless life, His death on the Cross, His resurrection and ascension back to the Father )…. comes by hearing… how can one who doesn’t understand one’s own sin receive faith?

    >>>The bible says God saves through the gospel. To then say people do not need to hear the gospel is erroneous.

    I think Graham’s life confirms the fact that everyone needs to hear the Gospel of their salvation because of Jesus. The problem is not everyone does.

    >>>Many heard the gospel before it was written down since Gen 3:15.in the garden.

    How?

    >>>God is merciful even if he saved only one person.

    I don’t understand why God would create so many people just to suffer.

    >>>no one goes to he’ll because they did not hear the gospel. They are already condemned because of their sin.

    Agreed….Condemned…. But saved by Jesus, regardless of ever hearing…, I truly hope.

  67. Hi Joel,

    I think the thread subdivided somewhere above into two independent issues:

    The issue of saving little children or adults with cognitive disabilites, is not inclusivism, but deals with two issues: (1) Is the Gospel efficacious in such people? and/or (2) Does God save outside His Gospel? I wold point to the goodness of God and His will: “who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    We know for absolute certainty that Christ died for the sins of the whole world: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    On that basis, I am very confident saying that if Christ died for the sins of an infant or a mentally disabled person of any age, that God also provided efficacious means of grace. Now, the Bible tells us to baptize all nations…. In the OT, circumcision was given at 8 days old. But, in any event, if Christ gives the promise in baptism, without any age restriction, then the promise is good. Same with the mentally disabled.

    If you have a situation where the child dies before baptism, then we trust in the mercy of God that His will is perfect and He is love.

    Inclusivism is something totally different.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusivism

    I am not at liberty to say what I really think about it, but I don’t agree with it and everything I read in the OT indicates that God doesn’t agree with it either.

  68. #63 – Good points to consider and, yes, good works are filthy rags to God… and that is understandable IF you develop an appreciation for who and what God is…

    It is the Holy Spirit that prompts us to seek God. If i implied that fallen man is seeking God on his own, thank you for clarifying …
    I dont think, however, that we can conclude that precludes the possibility of souls out there in the wilderness, as it were, with no good news even as they see the earth and stars testifying and long to know their Creator – souls who know that they are fallen, lost souls; souls who are not self-justifying … We will see… someday

  69. Thanks Jean.

    I subdivided it with my questions at #64. In my mind those who have been raised in different cultures under the influence of other religions fall into the same category as those who, through no fault of their own, did not hear the Gospel.

    I believe there is a good case to be made for inclusivism, although it’s only based on reason and nothing else.

    I am fascinated by this topic and enjoy discussing it although I’m in over my head. Ultimately, as you say well, we trust in the mercy of God that His will is perfect and He is love.

  70. I know that the Amalekites are hoping that inclusivism is true. I don’t think they heard the gospel – only God’s judgment.

  71. Without intending to get into denominational disagreement here… In my tribe… 😇
    The Church is a separate group of Believers and, without an understanding of this mystery, one may try to apply or overlap Church requirements to the whole history of man

  72. #71- every now and then you respond with a stupid response that is beneath your standing and your I.Q dear MLD. 😉

  73. See em, you are not very open minded or inclusive.
    You need a holy spirit shoulder massage so that you too will become inclusive like Billy Graham. 😉

    and you don’t know my IQ – it may be only 25 – then the comment would be above my IQ

  74. MLD,

    I would love to know if inclusivism meets the parameters of creedal Christianity or orthodoxy?

  75. My worst fear is being “left behind” or on the “outside”. My concern will always be for the outsiders.

  76. Joel, left behind is what Christians will be.

    If you believe in Jesus and are baptized, then you are 100% on the inside.

    Jesus came to give rest for the soul to all who labor and are heavy laden. Give him your burden for outsiders. Jesus died for them and he is singularly equipped to bear that burden.

    You be faithful to those to whom God has given you!

    Peace, brother!

  77. I hope I am left behind. The thought of being swept away to judgment is terrifying.

  78. #74 – MLD, no, i dont know your I.Q., But i suspect its above 25 … LOL
    although, sometimes you make comments that make me suspect that you think mine isnt 😁
    In eternity one of us will look at the other, after Jesus has enlightened us, and say, “well… I’ll be dam’d!” But we wont be. …

    God keep you and all the Christ loving Lutes …

  79. “‘Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked?,’ says the Lord God, ‘And not rather that he should turn from his way and live? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone,’ says the Lord God. ‘So turn and live! Say to them, “As I live,” says the Lord God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways. For why will you die?”‘” (Ez. 18.23,32; 33.11).

    The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance” (2Pet. 3.9). “He desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Tim. 2.4).

  80. #80 – amen!
    I, for one, will hold onto those reassuring verses tonight

  81. “I would love to know if inclusivism meets the parameters of creedal Christianity or orthodoxy?”

    The creeds do not demand any particular doctrine on hell.
    Great and godly people have struggled with this issue from the early years of the church.

    If anything, inclusivists are putting greater weight on the finished work of Christ…and I don’t think thats necessarily a bad thing.

  82. JoelG,

    I would highly commend to you the ministry of Steve Brown at keylife.org
    He helped me a lot with stuff like this…

  83. So why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem?

  84. Because the religious leaders wouldn’t allow Him to be with his people.

    Not much has changed…

  85. Steve Brown is a comforter of the saved, to reinforce the security of God’salvation. I do not think even Steve Brown offers comfort to the unbeliever.

  86. MLD,

    Steve doesn’t draw lines like you may want or expect…

  87. For folks to read Revelation and see no difference between the sealed and those without God’s seal – between those who are described as belonging to the lamb and those described as the inhabitants of the earth is… well I can’t describe it.

  88. “…. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

    This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

    – Athanasian Creed

  89. This is what I see in the Revelation…

    “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.””
    (Revelation 7:9–12 ESV)

  90. Thank you Jean and amen about outsiders. Very encouraging verses Bob1.

    I know we all have family and loved ones who have passed that didn’t appear to die in the faith. I pray God has mercy on them.

    Thank you Michael. I love Steve Brown and will look up more of his writings.

  91. Kind of an odd quote for a Lutheran…

    “At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.”

    I think it may be helpful to read what the commentaries of the time said about that passage…

    One can also be hopefully inclusivist without denying hell…

  92. JoelG,

    If some Christians I know are in heaven and my mentor and best friend aren’t I’ll be asking frequently for day passes to hell…

  93. Michael, your last comment to JoelG about the day pass proves my point how some develop doctrines from emotion.

  94. MLD,

    If that comforts you, believe on.

    I have huge faith in the mercy of Jesus…and I also believe emotions are part of the image of God.
    Your mileage may vary…

  95. Michael – you miss the point badly – you are questioning God’s decision of who goes to heaven and who goes to heal.

  96. What our Lutheran brothers do not undestand. – IMO – is that dispensationalism, Pre-wrath removal of the Church, leaving some of the “left behinds” to confess Christ under terrible conditions and the return of. Christ to reign over the human race … all that that list would unpack leads to ignorant and, sadly, flippant comments such as MLD made @ #88

    With that i’m out of this tonight, praying God keep all of us close and growing in faith in His sufficiency to keep His flock as we mill about and bump into each other out here in the pasture. 😐

  97. No, MLD…I’m questioning our ability to discern who is or isn’t.

    You and I will never agree on this…I don’t share your theology, your standards, or your view of God or your view of the Bible.

    We radically disagree.

    And I’m ok with that…

  98. Michael, I believe that all those who belong to the lamb are headed to eternity with him. Those on the road to destruction (the wide path) not so much. Not my words but Jesus. I don’t have what it takes to argue with Jesus.

  99. Looking at comments like these:

    “If anything, inclusivists are putting greater weight on the finished work of Christ…and I don’t think thats necessarily a bad thing.”

    “I have huge faith in the mercy of Jesus…and I also believe emotions are part of the image of God.”

    We should be careful about the selective reading of God’s Word. That is not an accusation, as you may not be doing that, but if we read selectively, then we can fashion almost any Christ to our liking and miss the crucified and risen Christ.

    As Christ said through the prophet:

    “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”

    This is my opinion, not a judgement of anyone, nor denying anyone else their opinion:

    Inclusivism is anti-biblical and extra-biblical. To be more clear, it is both against and adds to the written Word.

    It violates the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura.

    It is anti-creedal.

    The mercy and grace of God in, and for the sake of, Christ, alone, are manifested wonderfully in the inspired Scriptures which are effective to save.

    There is “no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    We have no other words from God other than what He has given us to speak from the Scriptures, and no self-editing authority.

  100. Em @ 97 – I love it when you quote from 2 LeftBehind 3:11 – do you have that in the New King James? 🙂

  101. Michael,
    I find it strange that you find it strange that a Lutheran would quote from the creeds. The Creeds are the first entry in the Book of Concord – can Anglicans make the same claim?

    Now I have a fascination that must be answered. Do Anglicans really hold that the good works spoken of in the creed that we are judged by are our own good works? Yikes!!! The Lutheran position is that these good works are those Jesus earned and imputed to us at the great exchange. Interesting difference we have there.

  102. #100

    “This is my opinion, not a judgement of anyone, nor denying anyone else their opinion:

    Inclusivism is anti-biblical and extra-biblical. To be more clear, it is both against and adds to the written Word.”

    You just judged all who are outside of your particular viewpoint and declared their view to be “anti-biblical and extra-biblical”; basically saying that everyone else has an “opinion” while you have “the truth”.

    It should be said, not everyone agrees with your fundamentalist view of Scripture which is the first principle of your argument.

  103. Duane,

    I know it’s early, but you misread me. I expressed an opinion at odds with some (not all) other opinions expressed. My opinion is on the matter of inclusivism. It is not an opinion about individuals who hold it; specifically, I condemned no one or questioned their salvation.

    My wife is RCC. They hold anti- and extra- biblical teachings. However, neither I nor my tradition, judges the salvation of Catholics.

    As I’ve pleaded here before, can we stick with the topics and desist from personal attacks or attacks on one’s tradition? Please?

  104. Duane,

    “It should be said, not everyone agrees with your fundamentalist view of Scripture which is the first principle of your argument.”

    Everyone is a fundamentalist. The only difference between any of us is what are our “fundamentals”? For me, my fundamental is this: Christ speaks [through His Word] and I listen. That’s it. That’s enough for me. I condemn no one who has other fundamentals.

  105. #104

    I did not claim that you questioned anyone’s salvation… simply that you judged their view to be “anti-biblical and extra-biblical”…

  106. #105

    “Everyone is a fundamentalist.” I think there are a large number of people who simply have questions and are doing their best to find answers…

  107. Duane #106,

    I presented my opinion, just as others presented theirs. I don’t call your opinions, which differ from mine, judgments, because we are supposed to be able to discuss these differences. But, again, if inclusivism is an off limits topic (except to affirm), then just let us know. I have no desire to transgress the rules of the blog.

  108. I should fully wake up before I get really “polemic”…

  109. Guys I’m sorry I brought it up. I didn’t intend to cause distraction and frustration. I simply meant it as a passing observation of an interesting belief of Graham and how I think he might be right. I don’t think having this hope takes anything away from our longing that all would trust in Jesus as their Savior.

  110. “I don’t think having this hope takes anything away from our longing that all would trust in Jesus as their Savior.”

    It doesn’t do so in the least.

    What ideas like this unfortunately do is cause those who bow before strict confessions to howl as if shot.

    We’ll discuss them anyway…Anglicans have a book of worship without the doctrine police.

  111. JoelG, don’t be sorry – twas a good thread
    it is incumbent upon us who presume to comment on others’ comments to guard our own responses and, frankly, i think that this thread gives a clear picture of the various viewpoints – any attitude that creeps in is ours to own IMV 🙂

    i’ll leave MLD’s good natured snark at 101 alone as there wasn’t much sleep at our house last nite and i’m out of this thread… besides i’ve drained my limited brain anyway LOL

  112. Joel,

    I’m glad you brought up the issue. It’s good for Christians to have some knowledge of (and to have thought through to a certain degree) the various teachings that will come up in conversation, because as sojourners and exiles, we are taught to “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience….” Michael’s Links, the various articles and our discussions provide a good training ground to learn, formulate and test what we believe, so that we are pepared to share the hope within us.

  113. Calling us the doctrine police is just another way to say “shut up”.
    I wonder who used to call Paul the doctrine police in his day.
    Were the leaders of the councils called fundamentalists and doctrine police when they wrote into the creed, believe this, this way or go to hell?
    Some here seem very fundamentalist in their view of open readings.

  114. MLD,

    Let’s get down to brass tacks.

    You and Jean view everything through the very narrow view of the Lutheran confessions and LCMS.

    That’s fine…but you both prefer declaration to discussion.

    You state things as if coming down from Sinai, not Wittenburg.

    There’s a vast and valuable Christian world outside the restrictions you place on yourself…and I enjoy exploration without condemnation.

  115. Michael

    A slight correction – I think it is St. Louis rather than Wittenberg…

  116. It’s early…I couldn’t remember where headquarters were…

  117. Michael, I find your statement at 115 to be erroneous. Tell me where my statement at 99 is incorrect or from a narrow LCMC view.

    “Michael, I believe that all those who belong to the lamb are headed to eternity with him. Those on the road to destruction (the wide path) not so much. Not my words but Jesus. I don’t have what it takes to argue with Jesus.”

    Look, you and Duane make the claim that at minimum to be a Christian you must affirm the creeds. How do you reconcile that with inclusivism which states folks of other religions can be or are saved. This is only consistent if you are going to flat out state that non believers are also ‘saved’. In that case the creeds have… well they have nothing other than opinion.

  118. I have to take Trey to school…I’ll answer in a bit.

  119. If we are going to make claims to who has loyalty where – then guess what? You guys take your marching orders from the Queen of England – so don’t get so high and mighty.
    Soon you may be taking them from Harry and the Suits actress Megan somebody. 🙂

  120. #118

    For the sake of accuracy, I’ve made no comment on “inclusivism” on this thread…

  121. #120

    Not actually…
    Then again, better than Harrison and his mustache… 🙂

  122. Harrison seems bright, but that is a creepy mustache.

  123. Harrison is doing the Teddy Roosevelt look. 🙂

  124. Ron Swanson.

  125. It was last Wednesday evening, during the Lenten sermon on John that we heard of the high priest’s servant striking Jesus in the face for telling the truth. Jesus did not retaliate, but said: “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?”

    In the sermon, my pastor said that as His disciples, we are not to retaliate either, and then He told us where we, as Christians would be tried and persecuted:

    “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    That’s right…in our own homes, by our own immediate family members, for taking the name of Jesus Christ.

    Please don’t flatter the flawed vessels of Christ, who bear the shame of being chaste to our bridegroom. Lord knows, we fail as much as anyone else in living our our fidelity. But that is our confession and our repentance. In Christ and for His sake (and not on account of our holiness), our Father reckons us chaste and clothes us with the wedding garment. We are exclusive.

  126. #jesusjuke

  127. “We are exclusive.”

    You certainly are…

  128. “Michael, I find your statement at 115 to be erroneous. Tell me where my statement at 99 is incorrect or from a narrow LCMC view.”

    It’s my understanding (from the words of both you and Jean) that you confess, teach, and believe nothing outside the boundaries set by the Lutheran confessions and bylaws of the LCMS.
    Thus, I assume that everything you say theologically is from that perspective.

    “How do you reconcile that with inclusivism which states folks of other religions can be or are saved. ”

    I don’t have to “reconcile” ideas that I think are worth deep consideration but that I haven’t accepted as dogma or doctrine.
    I can think about, study, and learn without worrying about such notions.

    “If we are going to make claims to who has loyalty where – then guess what? You guys take your marching orders from the Queen of England – so don’t get so high and mighty.”

    I don’t take my marching orders from the Queen…I will probably end up taking them from the Archbishop of the Southern Cone, whom I respect greatly.
    He isn’t interested in telling me how to think about things as the broadness of the tradition thrives on diversity.

  129. Duane – you caught us – we are exclusive. I’ll bet if Jesus showed up an an Anglican church and said something like “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” – he would be taken into a counseling room for some type of religious sensitivity training.

  130. #130

    Might be better than quizzing him on the Book of Concord and Dr. Walther’s sermons on Predestination…

  131. Michael,

    “It’s my understanding (from the words of both you and Jean) that you confess, teach, and believe nothing outside the boundaries set by the Lutheran confessions and bylaws of the LCMS.
    Thus, I assume that everything you say theologically is from that perspective.”

    I want to clarify 3 things:

    (1) I am not required in my capacity as a lay person, nor do it, subscribe to synodical bylaws. I don’t even know what they might be, aside from one or two, and I have no interest in becoming an expert on them.

    (2) I do subscribe to the doctrinal content of the Book of Concord as a faithful exposition of the Scriptures. However, you should be aware of things: Lutherans are free to disagree about points of exegesis, so long as they agree on the doctrine. So, for example, two confessional Lutherans could interpret the “I” in Romans 7 differently and still be confessional, so long as they agree on the doctrine of justification and related doctrines. The other caveat is that there are opinions in the Book of Concord that are not doctrine. Opinions are matters that are not supported by Scripture in the confession; thus they are considered pious opinions. An example would be semper virgo.

    However, MLD and I are not trying to convert anyone over to the Book of Concord. We are prepared to discuss everything on the basis of Scripture. It’s true that we think the confessions are in harmony with Scripture, but that’s just us. Anyone is welcome to give a counterpoint on anything from a different interpretation of Scripture, or from another source.

    I love discussing theology with Xenia, and I know right away when I speak with her that the EO does not hold to sola scriptura either at all or in the way that Protestants do (I would let her say what she believes, so that I don’t misinterpret EO doctrine). But even if we don’t agree on something, I respect her transparency and her firm confession.

  132. Michael,
    “that you confess, teach, and believe nothing outside the boundaries set by the Lutheran confessions and bylaws of the LCMS.”

    Fist, the BoC is not exhaustive of all Christian teaching. Second, I don’t know if I even know all that the BoC teaches – let alone the by laws, whatever they may be.

    So based on the broadness and diversity, contrary to what you have said before, John Shelby Spong could be considered mainstream and representative of your tribe.

  133. “We recognize the Lutheran Confessions as a true exposition of Holy Scripture and therefore reject the opinion that our subscription to the Lutheran Confessions leaves us free to reject any doctrinal statements of the Confessions where we feel there is no supporting Biblical evidence.”

    LCMS, 1973

  134. Yep, Lutherans typically do not form doctrine on the basis of feelings.

  135. I need to go read the Anglican catechism that JI Packer superintended to see if there is any requirement to believe in God. I think I have it on my desktop.

  136. “Yep, Lutherans typically do not form doctrine on the basis of feelings.”

    I don’t know any orthodox group that does…

  137. Good, can we call off the inquisition against mustaches, St. Louis, LCMS, Lutherans?

    I was responding to #134

  138. “I need to go read the Anglican catechism that JI Packer superintended to see if there is any requirement to believe in God. ”

    Utterly unnecessary insult when we have clearly stated what we believe.

  139. I know what you believe, but do you hold the same standard of believe for those included in “inclusivism”?
    Do those who Billy Graham (or even CS Lewis) think my make it in, are they required to believe in God? A particular God? Jews deny our God is the one true God – do some of them get in under the good old boy qualification?

    You must understand that under our narrow exclusive approach this is mind boggling to us – help us out.

  140. I think all the talk of Billy Graham’s “inclusivism” is based on scant evidence. Yes, there are a few statements that lean that way in his lifetime, but many, many more that say faith in Christ is the only way. His life’s work would seem to show that he thought that to be quite important.

  141. And I would rather continue mustache critiques.

  142. Josh, it’s not about Billy Graham at all – he is fine. He showed up in a link, someone commented then as usual it’s off to the races.

  143. I know MLD. This is something that has been said about him since the internet came about.

  144. MLD,

    God, in His great grace, has allowed me to be part of a communion I love and embrace.

    It is theologically broad, which I also embrace.

    I do not hear Billy Graham or even Lewis suggesting that inclusivism is a doctrine in the sense of the cardinal doctrines of the faith.

    It’s an idea and more than an idea, it’s a series of questions that people ask when they realize how good, gracious, and loving, Jesus is.

    It’s a series of questions that large hearted people ask when dealing with the idea of eternal punishment for people who for whatever reason haven’t heard or are unable to hear the Gospel.

    I find these questions reasonable and worthy of examination.

    Questions don’t boggle my mind, they excite and enlarge it.

    Your mileage may vary…

  145. In Ortholandia, these questions do come up. It is practically impossible to get a straight Yes or No answer about the salvation of those outside the Faith, be it the Orthodox Faith or Christianity in general. The answer is “You follow God the way you have been instructed by the Church, O Xenia, and let God worry about everyone else.”

  146. We rarely hear much doctrine in sermons, mostly exhortations to live our lives in Christ as best we can with God’s help. (We are synergists so we do believe our efforts “count.”)

    We do recite the Nicene Creed each Sunday.

  147. “It’s an idea and more than an idea, it’s a series of questions that people ask when they realize how good, gracious, and loving, Jesus is.”

    Is Jesus more loving today than He was before the flood, or before the 10th plague of Egypt, or the night before He destroyed Sodom? Or the conquest of Canaan? Is He more loving today than when He wrote to the 7 churches?

    I hope our hearts aren’t larger than our Lord’s.

    Is there room today for the fear of the Lord? It was once the beginning of wisdom.

  148. Jean,

    I think it possible that largeness of heart in these matters may be a gift of the Spirit.

    I would add to the questions you asked other questions…what all did Christ accomplish in the Incarnation?
    What did He accomplish at the cross?
    What does it mean that Jesus becomes “all in all”?

    I refuse to believe that asking questions constitutes a lack of fear of the Lord.

  149. Harrison=Gene Shalit

  150. Michael – you probably have an advantage over the Lutherans. We are not allowed to look into the hidden will of God – only God’s revealed will. We stand with Deut 29:29 where we have been given everything we need for salvation and our living and what is not revealed belongs to God alone.

    So, if Anglicans and others do not have such restrictions, I guess you can go along entertaining hypotheticals.

  151. MLD,

    That’s one way of looking at it…another way might be that some of us don’t care about Lutheran boundaries or how they define scriptural issues.

  152. As an attempted punch in the gut, you keep going back to “Lutheran boundaries” when all I did was quote scripture.
    Are you saying that Deut 29 is invalid and the secret things of God do indeed belong to us?

  153. MLD,

    Apparently Harrison wrote Deut 29:29.

  154. There is more to faith than doctrine and proof texting… there’s love, graciousness, worship, devotion and so much more. God didn’t send a library, He sent his Son.

  155. Are you saying that Deut 29 is invalid and the secret things of God do indeed belong to us?

    It must be fun to be a Lutheran young adult/HSer.

    “What about evolution”?

    Deut. 29, and shut up!”

  156. Wilford Brimley

  157. 157
    LOL!

  158. Duane, so your 155 is what gives license to entertaining that hell is not a real place?
    Another interesting Anglican perspective.

  159. MLD,

    You were the one that brought up Lutherans…
    “Michael – you probably have an advantage over the Lutherans.”

  160. Michael,
    Yes because we have scriptural limitations. For this discussion, this seems to be a shame on us.

  161. #159

    Well, there’s an interesting twisting of something that was never said…

  162. Harrison’s life verse is 2 Samuel 19:24.

  163. There is more to faith than doctrine and proof texting… there’s love, graciousness, worship, devotion and so much more. God didn’t send a library, He sent his Son<<<

    Amen to that!

    When I was in the middle of my dark night of the soul and the CC pastor (a very good man, btw) announced we were going to be spending the next few years examining Romans I kept saying to myself "I don't need a library, I need a hospital!"

  164. #164
    ^^^^^^

    That’s what a too-literal, “Word only” approach more often than not, leads to.

  165. Well no one has made the case for word only, but I feel that Jean and I are fighting against “scripture – use sparingly – never apply twice.”
    Jesus and the bible writers were pretty damn good at quoting scripture to make their point — you might even say proof texting their case. Check out the writer to the Hebrews as an example. But hey, they were Lutherans in their theology. 🙂

  166. “Well no one has made the case for word only, but I feel that Jean and I are fighting against “scripture – use sparingly – never apply twice.”

    That is a complete caricature of everybody else on the site.

    “Yes because we have scriptural limitations. For this discussion, this seems to be a shame on us.”

    Your limitations and interpretations belong to your sects understandings. We do not share the same understandings. This is not a shame upon anyone.

  167. I don’t have too much beef with Preston Sprinkle’s link. EXCEPT – He took too long to response. The Nashville statement was already dead before he brought it back out. This is the social media age. Information cycles are speedy fast.

  168. Josh,

    I’m a big fan of the way he examines issues…

  169. I will guarantee anyone here, and provide you with examples if requested, that Lutheran preaching is anything but a lecture or Bible study. It is, in fact, the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    The purpose of all Lutheran doctrine and practice, preaching and theology, liturgy and hymnody, is the proclamation of Christ, the source of which is normed by Scripture alone.

    I’m very happy for Xenia that she found a hospital for her soul. I feel the same way. And I’m grateful that no one at my hospital is experimenting on my soul with investigative medicine. Just give me pure spiritual milk.

  170. Jean,

    I’m glad you have found a home.
    For me, it would be more like a concentration camp.
    My sect would be likewise for you.

    I thank God that He is broad enough to give us all places to thrive.

  171. “When I was in the middle of my dark night of the soul and the CC pastor (a very good man, btw) announced we were going to be spending the next few years examining Romans I kept saying to myself “I don’t need a library, I need a hospital!””

    Not to debate one’s feelings or faith, but I find the “hospital” and it’s medicine in the bible through the stories of faith contained there. I read about real people with real issues of faith and how the struggle of living it out was for them.

    As soon as you mentioned Romans I think of Chapter 7 and the struggle, I think of worship via the renewing of my mind, nothing created can separate anyone from His Love and so much more. Not one of those help’s would ever pop-up in my mind when I need them had I not spent time in the text.

    Forgive me, I probably missed the context of your post, but for me knowing the text, not just reading or listening to a speaker, has brought more peace to in times of trouble and need than all the communion services or baptisms combined.

  172. I would also point that one will hear more Scripture in an Anglican liturgy than almost anywhere else…

  173. Jean, I have only visited a Lutheran church (LCMS) on one occasion and I do not remember the content of the sermon. I do remember it was not heretical. 🙂 So I am not talking about Lutheran sermons/ liturgy because I have very little experience with them. I am talking about my experiences pre-conversion to Orthodoxy.

  174. “Well no one has made the case for word only, but I feel that Jean and I are fighting against “scripture – use sparingly – never apply twice.”

    Well, Josh, I guess we’ve been put in our place… hang up the Greek and Hebrew, years of Biblical study, struggling with the apparatus in the critical text, etc.

  175. Forgive me, I probably missed the context of your post, but for me knowing the text, not just reading or listening to a speaker, has brought more peace to in times of trouble and need than all the communion services or baptisms combined.<<<

    The Eucharist is the Medicine of Immortality!

  176. Hello Human 🙂

    Well, after fifty years of church attendance, tapes, Sunday School, Wednesday and Sunday night study, Bible college and Christian radio, I know the text. I could get up and preach for an hour on any passage you could randomly open your Bible to. I once calculated how many hours of Bible teachings I have heard over my evangelical life… it was something like 8,000 hours. I don’t regret any of this. But it wasn’t enough. It left me empty. It actually led to a severe spiritual crisis. I realize this isn’t everyone’s experience but it was mine. Part of the problem was the content of the teaching, which I don’t entirely agree with anymore, apart from the basics (Trinity, etc.)

    I remember during my last year at CC saying to myself over and over: “This is all a mind game, this is all a mind game.” It was all about absorbing teachings but not so much about doing anything with what I was learning. I wanted to DO something! I wanted God to do something to me! I was tired of hearing about my position in Christ, I wanted to actually interact with Him.

    People probably won’t get what I mean by “This is all a mind game.” I said this to some people and they got what I was saying; I told it to others and they didn’t get it at all. They didn’t “get it” because they were being blessed by what they were learning and all I can say to those folks it “God bless you!” I am not being critical of those happy people at all. Sometimes I even envy them.

  177. has brought more peace to in times of trouble and need than all the communion services or baptisms combined.<<<

    If you have an evangelical view of communion and baptism, this is understandable.

  178. Without faith in what one is reading, all the Greek and Hebrew language training in the world will not open the Book.

  179. #179

    And you are the arbiter? Amazing….

  180. Xenia,

    I believe a lot of what you former experienced was the symptom of a church which exchanges the gifts of Christ for cheap pop psychology helps, Christ for a charismatic leader and church experience, and worse of all pastors who fundamentally do not understand their biblical vocation. As a result, it’s all on you.

  181. #180,

    “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”

  182. Hi Jean,

    I understand what you are saying but I am not sure I could apply it to my old CC pastor. He wasn’t interested in pop psychology and he was far from charismatic. He was a faithful, no-frills proclaimer of the Dispensational version of the Gospel. There was no glitz or phoniness about him. Also, he was about as monergistic as possible for a CC pastor to be apart from one’s “accepting the Lord.” He did believe in decision theology but after that was accomplished, it was monergism. He did not preach good works or self improvement. In fact, there wasn’t anything left for us to do except study the Bible and pray. He put nothing on us at all and that’s what I found to be so bleak. I have no complaints about him at all. My complaints are with Calvary Chapel (and evangelical) theology.

  183. Jean, are you suggesting that you have had the veil removed from your heart but Duane has not? That he has not turned to the Lord?

    I hope this is not what you are saying.

  184. #186

    Where in this thread has that happened?

    But Duane did say this:

    There is more to faith than doctrine and proof texting… there’s love, graciousness, worship, devotion and so much more.

  185. No, Duane’s point was against the “never apply twice”. He knows that if you’ve gone through the painful study of the original languages, you go through passages, verse, even a single word over and over and over.

    It’s not gnostic and its certainly not secret. Anyone can devote himself to a study of the languages. I make a 100% guarantee that if you undertake that task you will know the scriptures better than you do now. I think that is a worthy goal, regardless.

  186. 185 &186

    BS on both counts.

    There’s nothing salutary about Greek/Hebrew training? Are you serious? I’m sure the professors at your denomination’s seminary would throw up if they heard a laypreson say that. I mean, your man Luther was a genius — he was conversant in several languages, including Latin and Hebrew. Your assertion sounds much like neofundamentalism, which is also antiintellectual.

    #186 — don’t throw around phrases if you’re ignorant of terms. Secret knowledge — give me a break. You’re just blowing hot air. And stop thinking you know other’s motives for saying things — when you don’t.

  187. I just had to cut short a trip and return home before I lose another fifty readers to the daily Lutheran wars.

    The last two comments by Jean and MLD are way out of line and will be removed.

    Any further similar comments will result in immediate moderation or banning from the site.

    Period.

  188. So, here’s where I’m at guys and gals: I love this blog, I love all the participants, and above all I love Michael. So, it crushes me when I am involved in anything that causes any of you, but especially Michael, anxiety, sorrow or anger.

    I am a lawyer by trade, and by nature I like a strong debate, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and it is not the appropriate posture for every venue. I cannot expect everyone to discuss matters the way I like to. Above all, I simply will not be a part of a venue which causes any of you, but especially Michael, any problems.

    Perhaps it was an experiment, or maybe it works on another blog, but I don’t see a way forward for a community which consists of theological conservatives and theological liberals. I said “I” not any of you. You may see a way forward. As I observe the discussions, now over several threads and a few months, the blog has become hostile to theological conservatives. The scales are not applied evenly in my recent experience. Perhaps it is a maxim that there are no theological neutral parties.

    I lament, but could take the reproach personally, but it’s not about me or getting my two cents in. I care deeply about the health, spiritual and physical, of you and especially Michael. Debate is only wholesome if parties are listening to each other. What I’ve encountered recently is not listening from some. In such an environment, more heat than light is the result.

    Therefore, in the best interests of the entire blog, I’m going to take a break. If Michael desires to complete my series on Psalm 51, he has the final segment. Other than that, I am going to take leave of further commenting and publishing, for the peace of this blog community. I wish everyone well on their life journey.

  189. Huh.

    Well, I don’t consider Duane and Michael to be theological liberals. No one who can recite the Creeds and believe what they are reciting fall into that category.

    I wish you would stick around, Jean.

  190. I don’t get it. Who on here would be considered/call themselves a theological liberal?

    I think what we have here is what you might call “a generous orthodoxy.” I’ve known
    theological liberals and have read their writings…they’re miles from anyone on here.

  191. I, too, wish you’d stay, Jean. But it’s your call.

  192. I think this is part of the issue. Jean and I never lead with anything Lutheran. We comment on other people’s posts or threads. Even in the Sunday article I right, I never mention a pure ‘Lutheran’ view. I may mention some thing that Lutheran’s hold that many others hold also.

    But this thread as an example I made comments that I disagreed with the Billy Graham position on inclusivism and the article about the non reality of hell. I quoted nothing Lutheran and did not say it was because Lutherans disagreed. I said I did. The response from the usual suspects is “that is your narrow Lutheran opinion” or “you just get your information from the BoC” and then it devolves down to Luther is no good, the BoC is no good, Walther is crap and so on.

    At that point we put up a rigorous defense, and we admit we get down in the mud with our accusers. But hey, if we were all local, I would assume we would go out for a beer afterwards … on Josh. 🙂

  193. This misfit hopes you stay too, Jean.

  194. Jean,

    I appreciate your concern and your support over the time you’ve been here.
    You’re welcome to stay, but the tone of these conversations must change.
    We can start with the assertion that I am a theological “liberal”.
    Bob actually nailed it…I very much believe in a “generous orthodoxy”.
    It made me very happy to see that understood.
    For those who have not been here long, I gratefully blame that on Xenia.
    I was a Calvinist to the core…and according to my confessions Xenia was outside orthodoxy and a heretic.
    That caused great issues for me as she was quite obviously a godly woman full of the Holy Spirit and the love of God.
    I had to radically reassess what it meant to be a Christian.
    I learned how to walk in generous orthodoxy with love and respect for the whole body of Christ.
    I will never walk any other way.
    Those who wish to walk with me on this site may do so whether they hold my views or not.
    All will have to respect the rest…
    Hopefully, Xenia will forgive me for telling that story for the fiftieth time…and now I’m going back to Jerry Lee and an adult beverage…

  195. “A generous orthodoxy”…

    That includes me, Michael, Xenia, Josh and so many others here. I’ve spent my life in the arms of the Church – here, the UK, Russia, France and I am unwilling for any system to take away the grace I’ve received in all these places and situations. Michael grants me grace to still hold a special place in my heart for Chuck Smith, I grant him grace to revere J.I. Packer who was on the opposite side of my mentor, Michael Ramsey. We grant grace to one another because we know love – love for God and love for each other. Those who question the faith of another… the sincerity of the faith of another… place themselves outside that love. I refuse to be intellectually dishonest. I also refuse to be defined by the point of view of others. I also refuse to limit or curtail what I know to be true…

  196. It takes a smart person to be a good lawyer, which i assume Jean is and therefore i would hope that he stays and comes.to realize that this isnt a courtroom and the commenters are not plaintiffs and defendents?
    For instance, “that is an interesting viewpoint, but i am convinced of the Lutheran teaching which contradicts …” yada yada yada and so on…. 😁

    Just pondering the dilemma… just sayin…. again

  197. Well, I am the picture of theological conservative and I have always been more than welcome here.

    I do love and appreciate the different perspectives here. That is what makes this place unique and keeps me coming back.

    MLD, let’s make it happen. Do you drink IBC or Barq’s? 🙂

  198. Ill join with either MLD or Josh the B if they add vanilla ice cream 😋

  199. That’s my language Em.

  200. Thanks, Michael. Actually, I never get tired of hearing that story. 🙂

  201. I’m guessing this blog has hundreds if not thousands of readers.

    When it comes to theological debates, there are what seems to be 7 active participants. 2 are Anglican, 2 are Lutheran, 2 are Evangelical and 1 is EO.

    That should tell all you need to know about how enthusiastic the majority of readers really are about theological debates on the PP. 😉

  202. Maybe Michael could broaden his scope of topics…

    You know…

    Unicorns theories

    Best shampoo

    🙂

  203. Meant “conspiracy theories”

  204. out of the 1,000s of readers, how many participate on the prayer thread? Should we draw the same conclusion?

  205. MLD, if anyone is capable of debating people’s prayer requests, it’s probably you 😉

    Your zeal for Lutheran doctrine and practice is admirable though.

  206. I imagine most people take the prayer requests in to their private prayer closets.

  207. Perhaps they do the same with the theological issues – take them home and discuss with family and friends.but them, maybe not.

  208. It’s hard to know exactly how big our base is because people access the blog in so many different ways.

    What I do know is that many people do follow the theological debates…until they turn repetitive and personal.

    Duane referenced the fact that our respective mentors had no small division between them.

    I revisited that division this morning…Dr. Packer actually wrote an entire book answering +Michael Ramsey … and even though they remained some distance apart theologically, Packer was careful to note places where Ramsey’s criticisms were correct and never imputed anything to Ramsey that Ramsey wouldn’t have said about himself.

    While there was tension, there was no vitriol.

    We can replicate this if we choose to…

  209. It has to start with the understanding that we are all family.

  210. 210

    ^^^^^

  211. Those of us who are neither scholars nor teachers must choose our teachers and pray for wisdom as we do so…
    As one reads differing conclusions here on these threads, i have noticed how different the impact on my reading is when the commenter offers up a conclusion on another’s idea versus a comment on the I.Q. or the character or the intent of the person commenting…. am i the only one who forms an opinion of the commenter by the person’s grace or lack of same? Up to a point the latter is entertaining and a little comic relief isnt bad, but……
    Preaching to myself tonight… Em stay off the Revelation thread

  212. I don’t see myself and a teacher or an apologist for Eastern Orthodoxy, certainly not a scholar.. I see myself as an explainer. For me, I find that to be the best way to have a conversation with people of different Christian groups.

  213. I like to ask questions. I think it comes off as badgering at times.

  214. Explaining and asking questions is the essence of what makes some of these threads worth our time … most of those who teach us here would agree that only God the Holy Spirit can make God’s Truths clear to us i think….

  215. I think catechesis is a fancy word for “teaching,” but maybe in a more systematic way, and often used when someone wants to join a church and they want to know what their particular group/sect affirms.

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