Saturday, April 06, 2013
Daniel StinsonThe Ark of the Covenant as a physical element did have the power to kill anyone who touched it with an unclean spirit within them or if they were sinning while touching it.
Though I would argue beyond its physical aspects and take into account that it's in union with God as part of his covenant.
I haven't seen you challenge the physical waters in baptism.
Do the waters of baptism, lack the same level of authority…
…as seen in your opinion of Christ's body and blood?
Old Testament circumcision is a physical act, but a circumcision of the heart creates a covenant union with the Holy Spirit. God's free gift of his Spirit was given in circumcisions of the heart upon the 8th day of birth.
Christian baptismal fonts to this day are octagon shaped.
mountainmanDo you want to know what's actually unimpressive?
The manner in which you are arguing out of doctrinal (scriptural?) ignorance and personal emnity. If you want to dialogue, keep it civil. This sort of dismissive hubris has no place in Christian conversation. Then again, if we Lutherans are as spiritually dead as you insist, perhaps this isn't a dialogue between Christians.
There's nothing perfunctory about taking Christ's words, as conveyed in His Word, literally.
1 Corinthians 11 is quite clear about how the early church viewed communion.
As are the church fathers.
If it is merely a cracker and wine, why do those who take it improperly find themselves guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord? This is not perfunctory, it is literal.
If you had read Luther, you would find the same doctrine derived from the same, extremely literal hermeneutic.
CudaGood grief! You have addressed the proof texts, so they have no value?
God's Word come second to your own, apparently.
You have not addressed the substance of Lutheran teaching, just set a straw man and knocked it down. Bravo. There is nothing sacred about putting one's faith in the Word of God and His promises?
No one said they believed in a "cracker". When the Sacrament delivers Christ to you, how is trusting Christ "cut[ting]Jesus out of the picture?
When Baptism is Christ's work of forgiveness through His called servant, when is that cutting Jesus out of the picture?
You caricature Lutheran doctrine -- deceitfully -- and then present yourself as a theologian?
Clearly, your concept of salvation by faith through grace makes faith your work and the distinguishing thing between those who are saved and those who are not. That makes your work the saving thing - and you your own savior. All hail Steve!
Friday, April 05, 2013
See the first writing we have regarding even a possible martyrdom is 1 Clement, traditionally dated to the early 90’s CE….
As you can immediately see—the stories themselves did not circulate amongst Christians in writing prior to the very end of the First Century!…
Further, 1 Clement does not explicitly indicate Peter and Paul died martyrs, Josephus does not indicate James’ death had anything to do with Christianity, and Acts only utilizes James, son of Zebedee’s death like a Star Trek Red shirt (as I previously pointed out.) Indeed it was not until the Second Century the martyrdom tales gained their legendary legs and took off with Acts of Peter, Acts of Paul, and Second Apocalypse of James. It wasn’t until the very end of the Second Century, perhaps the beginning of the Third, that Hippolytus gave us the deaths of the other disciples.
Is he representing the evidence accurately? I and some other Christians responded to him in the thread at the Stand To Reason blog, if anybody is interested in reading it. I didn't enter the discussion until late in the thread, but I did post a few responses.
Richard Thompson:Okay, consider these axioms: 1. God can do ANYTHING, except sin.
2. According to Calvinism, God chooses who will be saved or damned entirely according to His own plan, with human choice not figuring into the issue.
3. Not everybody is going to Heaven. If I got any of those three axioms wrong, then please correct me. However, if they are all right, then God does NOT love everybody. Because a God who saved people regardless of their choices would save everyone He could, or everyone He loved, whichever is greater. And a God who can do ANYTHING would be able to save everyone He loved.
But axiom #3--supported by John's Revelation--means that God isn't saving everybody. Which means that, according to Calvinism, there are people God doesn't love.
So why SHOULDN'T you look down on people God doesn't love?
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes (James 4:13-14).
16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” (Lk 12:16-21).
I must slow down now, which is why I'm taking what I like to call "a leave of presence."What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What's more, I'll be able at last to do what I've always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.And I continue to cooperate with the talented filmmaker Steve James on the bio-documentary he, Steve Zaillian and Martin Scorsese are making about my life.At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.I'll also be able to review classics for my "Great Movies" collection, which has produced three books and could justify a fourth.So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.
For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them (Eccl 9:12).36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Mt 24:36-39).“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour (Mt 25:1-13).
Thursday, April 04, 2013
-Those who have Obamacare will be turned away because clinics will not be paid enough by the government.
-America will learn a new meaning of "shortage."
-Rationing will be as certain as I am writing this.
-We will have to wait a month or two months or longer to see a doctor.
-Hospitals, starting with non-profit, will refuse more medicare patients.
-Health care companies are eliminating spouse coverage.
-Premiums in my home state of Wisconsin is going up 80%.
-More people will be on Medicare, and Obama just came out and actually said that he will lower disbursements.
-Doctors will leave the business because they will not be able to afford to stay in business.
-The red tape/bureaucracy for Obamacare will skyrocket costs.
-There was no health care crisis before Obama became president, but there will be now.
-For liberals this is not about providing health care, it is about controlling people's lives.
-Nobody will have health care in the near future.
-Socialism never works.
-This disaster is intentional by Obama.
-All you senior citizens who voted for Obama will be turned away when you have cancer, you were warned, but you did not listen.
WE ARE ALL GOING TO BE SCREWED!
“This use of the “self-authentication” thesis loads bullying right into the nature of the consequent ‘dialogue,’ because it gives you the green light to pound the table repeatedly with your ‘self-authenticating’ Bible verses, even when your interlocutor doesn’t accept their truth or believe they have divine authority. In my opinion, this violates the Golden Rule.”
“This use of the “natural law” thesis loads bullying right into the nature of the consequent ‘dialogue,’ because it gives you the green light to pound the table repeatedly with your ‘natural law” claims, even when your interlocutor doesn’t accept their truth or believe they have moral authority. In my opinion, this violates the Golden Rule.”
“I would find that uncharitable, arrogant and off-putting. And I’m guessing that you would too, if someone were to treat you in this way.”
“The Obery Hendricks piece [and the 1,749 comments that follow it] are a good example of the inability of Scripture alone to resolve the question. When the interpretation of Scripture is left to private judgment, as entailed by Protestantism [as such], then Scripture can be interpreted any which way, depending on the presuppositions one brings to Scripture.”
“I’m not sure exactly what you mean by ‘all-purpose escape clause,’ but what I said is true, i.e. that the Catholic Church can discipline such persons.”
“…and often she does do so (typically in very quiet ways), even if not on our preferred time-table.”
“Imagine Chris Matthews interviewing (think split-screen) Denny arguing that Scripture opposes SSM and Obery Hendricks on the other side of the screen arguing that Scripture doesn’t oppose SSM. Hendricks wins before even opening his mouth, by the very fact that he represents [by his very presence there] a ‘plausible’ opposing interpretation, and neither has greater interpretive authority than the other.”
“This is an example why, in my opinion, for Scripture to have public authority, the Church must have interpretive authority.”
“…I wouldn’t applaud or defend a decision by a pope not to discipline persons who ought to be disciplined, unless I had reason to believe that they knew something I didn’t regarding the persons in question.”
“The existence of a magisterium does not merely ‘relocate’ the same problem, because the debate you imagine does not presuppose the acceptance of any authority, but concerns the location of ecclesial authority.”
Over at the Green Baggins discussion of the Peter Leithart case, Ron DiGiacomo is clearly making the most lucid comments:
To suggest that the SJC should have taken into account any evidence other than the trial itself is to undermine one’s right to a trial. In other words, evidence is never to be considered so incriminating as to allow for an immediate conviction without a trial. Accordingly, it would have been inappropriate for the SJC to arrive at a guilty verdict based upon arguments not formulated by the Presbytery. To have done so would have been for the SJC to try the case without having to undergo rebuttal and cross-examination, a clear violation of Leithart’s rights.
The failure is Jason Stellman’s failure as a prosecutor:
[Peter Leithart] essentially denied on the stand what FV has gone on record affirming. All that is left to do at that point is to pepper the defendant with questions regarding inconsistency in view of previously written (or stated) Roman Catholic tendencies. That did not happen and that was Jason’s job. Consequently, the SJC was left with too many uninterpreted brute particulars that were not fleshed out with formal argumentation. Again, to have drawn their own conclusions based upon arguments that were never formulated would have been to put PL on trial without the right of a defense attorney. We’re Presbyterian not papists.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Please understand that I am only arguing for the society's acceptance of same-sex marriage, not the Church's.
Hm, okay, but this contradicts what you said above: "Same sex marriage is an evangelical issue, not a legal one."
What's more, it's duplicitous because you've already argued: "if we have religious liberty, the [sic] Christianity's definition of marriage cannot necessarily prohibit same sex marriages."
Plus in your current comments, which I'll now respond to you, it becomes quite clear you are in fact "arguing for" the church's "acceptance" of "same-sex marriage" given how you keep chastizing Christians like us for not subscribing to your "arguments" for "equality" and the like.
Though the Declaration of Independence has no 'legal' authority...
I don't know why you put "legal" in scare quotes since it's not as if there's a special meaning to the word you're attempting to highlight, is there?
But in any case thank you for conceding the point.
the equality that is emphasized in the Declaration are presupposed, however imperfectly, in the Constitution
This is pretty vague! One could easy say a lot of things are "presupposed, however imperfectly, in the Constitution." God is "presupposed, however imperfectly, in the Constitution." So according to you would there be recourse to argue for a theocracy?
This is indicated by the Supreme Court decisions that undid the systematic inequality that existed in many of the discriminatory laws from our past.
1. While we're on the topic, Jefferson wrote at length about judicial tyranny. Likewise Lincoln (who, as I'm sure you know, is the person most credited with ending slavery) had some choice words to say about judicial tyranny (e.g. check out his first inaugural address). And of course a lot of people today including conservative scholars have said or written quite a bit about judicial tyranny.
2. Are you referring to "the systematic inequality" as far as African-Americans and other ethnicities? How is what you're arguing for analogous to racism?
3. Are you referring to "the systematic inequality" as far as gender inequalities? How is what you're arguing for analogous to sexism?
4. How are homosexuals discriminated against in our society? Homosexual citizens have all the rights every other citizen has within the same bounds every other citizen has. It's not as if homosexuals don't have the right to free speech, free assembly, the right to bear arms, due process, etc.
5. Also, to my knowledge, there's no law disallowing homosexuals to marry. They can marry any man or woman they please so long as their spouse-to-be is of marriageable age, so long as it isn't an illicit consanguineous relationship, so long as they aren't married to more than one partner at the same time, and so long as they are of the opposite sex or gender. These are the same laws for every citizen.
6. If you're referring to changing gender restrictions in the law for homosexuals, why should homosexuals be given special, preferential treatment, different from everyone else in our society, such that we have to redefine marriage to accommodate homosexuals?
7. If we give homosexuals special, preferential treatment when it comes to marriage, then it's potential grounds to give others in society special, preferential treatment when it comes to marriage too. Say if the polysexual wish to marry both a man and a woman at the same time. Or say if the polyamorous wish to marry multiple partners all with their explicit consent.
8. Besides, if this is what you're arguing for, then what you're really arguing for is a redefinition of what constitutes marriage. If so, then it's not just a purely legal matter alone.
Of course, if you want to argue that gays cannot practice same-sex marriage because heterosexuals are superior and thus are the only ones who deserve the right to marry, be my guest.
Nope, sorry, that's not what I'm arguing.
Just remember what you are associating with the Gospel when you do that.
The same could be said of you. You're associating the gospel with your social values.
So why should Christians accept the moral argument of equality? Again, don't and see what you are associating with the Gospel. Do you really want people to think of Christian domination of society when they hear the Gospel?
Why are you more concerned with what society thinks of you than what God thinks of you?
Of course, there is another problem. That problem is that us Christians have difficulty in distinguishing what morals should be binding in the Church alone from those that should be binding in society as well. The cause of that inability to distinguish may not be religious or philosophical but psychological. Those who engage in too much all-or-nothing thinking struggle to make necessary distinctions.
Oh, dear. I guess you're speaking for yourself in this little psychoanalysis, and/or perhaps attempting to turn this into a didactic therapy session as if what grates your conscience is or should also be what grates other Christians as well. Ho hum.
We have a society whose laws are based on equality and respect. That means that none of us should be treated with preference before the law. Likewise, the law should not favor any group.
So why are you arguing for preferential treatment of homosexuals with regard to marriage, per what I've written above?
What some fellow Christians don't know what they are advocating when they want Christianity to determine the laws of the land is that they are asking for a place of preference in society. When a religious or ethnic group does that, they are not asking for democracy, which is the rule of all people, they are asking for an ethnocracy where one group has a position of advantage in making and living before the law over other groups.
Once again, how is this analogous to racial/ethnic discrimination? Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. But you still haven't made an argument for it.
As I asked earlier, "equal" in what respect? Under the law of the land? But homosexuals are equal under the law of the land.
Or, for example, one could say, in order for x to be equal y, there needs to be a commonality z shared between x and y. So what is z with regard to your argument about "equality"? Is it that they're both minorities? But how is being a minority inherently deserving of special rights with regard to marriage? Should we allow male Muslim minorities polygyny, up to four wives?
I was pointing out the similarities between Luther's treatment of the Jews later in his career with our treatment of gays. Certainly we are not as severe with gays as Luther was with the Jews. But the justification for society acting against a specific group is the same.
1. If you're attempting to draw a this is to that as that is to this sort of parallel, as in Luther:antisemitism::modern Christians:our purported anti-homosexuality, then for starters you'll have to explain rather than simply assume or assert how modern Christians are discriminating against homosexuals in terms of marriage (which would include you addressing our aforementioned questions such as the ones about "equality") as well as how antisemitism is analogous to compelling Christians to accept a redefinition of marriage to include same-sex marriages.
2. As far as I'm aware, there are no laws against being homosexual, and in fact laws protecting homosexuals. Likewise there are no laws against being of a certain race or ethnicity, and in fact laws protecting minority ethnicities or races. However, whereas there are no moral or immoral consequences directly due to the color of a person's skin, there can be moral or immoral consequences directly due to a person's sexual behavior.
3. And, of course, what you say here cuts against what you said at the very beginning of your comment: "Please understand that I am only arguing for the society's acceptance of same-sex marriage, not the Church's."
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
It’s kind of a milquetoast treatment. They did take care to locate the origin of the papacy after Augustine and more specifically with Gregory I. At least there are Protestant seminary professors who've got this on the radar screen.
After listening to the program, I left the following two comments in response:
Darrell you mentioned the “relationships among the institutions” -- Protestants who tend to this pope as a man tend to forget the institution -- at an official level, evangelical churches are not and cannot be called “churches in the proper sense” but “ecclesial communities” lacking “apostolic succession of orders”. See this official document:
As well, modern Protestants tend to forget about the recent history of negotiations with other churches. Recall the happiness over the "Joint Declaration on Justification", but it was not long afterward that Rome disavowed key elements of that document, and the chief ecumenist John Richard Neuhaus was expressing "Setback in Rome":
I am re-reading Our Village [by Mary Russell Mitford]: with the possible exception of Cowper, I don’t know anything in the language which so vividly expressed the sheer joy there is to be got out of the little apparently trivial things of life…Any educated person can appreciate the “de luxe” scenery or weather, but it is not so easy to keep tuned up to the Mitford pitch of finding beauty in the ordinary countryside on every day of the English year. I never read this book without acquiring a keener eye for the attractions of whatever part of the country I’m living in. Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis (Harper & Row 1982), 64-65.
After supper I began [William Morris’s] the Glittering Plain; it is really unfair to both to compare Tollers [nickname for Tolkien] and Morris, as the Inklings so often do. The resemblance is quite superficial. Morris has his feet much more firmly planted on the earth than Tollers; Morris’s world is an agricultural and trading one, Toller’s is one in which (except for a little gardening), the soil is not the source of life, it is scenery: then again, Tollers is an inland animal, whereas you can’t wander far in Morris without hearing green waves crashing on yellow sand (ibid. 206).
"That makes no sense. If Alex Rosenberg tried to run an argument from evil, you would have a point. But the fact that there are Alex Rosenburgs is not a problem for Parson's position."
“False. That evil exists is a premise of Christianity. The argument tries to show that a certain type of theism is internally inconsistent.”
“False. That evil exists is a premise of Christianity. The argument tries to show that a certain type of theism is internally inconsistent.”
"You are getting sillier and sillier. All that is needed is for Parsons and the Christian to agree that there is evil in the world."
"I've always found it difficult to understand why this is so hard for most theists to grasp. I think it's much more likely that you will hear atheists speak of 'gratuitous suffering' than of 'gratuitous evil'."
“You don't even understand the argument from evil. Go back and read what BI and I said, which has obviously gone right over your head.”
“The argument from evil is not in any way predicated on what atheists believe. It's predicated on what YOU believe. You haven't presented any argument at all. You don't even know what you're arguing against.”
“I think it's pointless. Leave it to Steve to mindlessly repeat the same old lame objections that don't address the problem: ‘the atheist must identify examples of evil’. No, evil is YOUR problem, not mine. That's what the argument is about.”
“That's the crux of the biscuit. You're OK with it because 1: you haven't given it serious thought, or 2: you just don't care as long as all this bad stuff doesn't happen to you. And I doubt you ever will.”
[Jeff Lowder] I have to confess I find myself slightly amused by the very expression, ‘dealing with doubt.’ As opposed to what? Dealing with evidence?…If that strikes you as odd, well, that’s exactly how I feel when I read the words, ‘dealing with doubt.’ It seems to me that any viewpoint which struggles with how to ‘deal with doubt’ is already admitting a defeat of sorts; it comes across as emphasizing the importance of belief over truth.