Part 2: The Cry of the Oppressed

“What are we waiting for? And what are we going to do about it in the meantime? Those two questions shape this book. First, it is about the ultimate future hope held out in the Christian gospel: the hope, that is, for salvation, resurrection, eternal life, and the cluster of other things that go with them. Second, it is about the discovery of hope within the present world: about the practical ways in which hope can come alive for communities and individuals who for whatever reason may lack it. And it is about the ways in which embracing the first can and should generate and sustain the second” (NT Wright, Surprised By Hope, xi)

“God is looking for a body” (Jesus Wants to Save Christians, 34)

“So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” (Matthew 2:14-15)

It is easy to miss that verse. The prophet Hosea first said it (11:1-11). When he said it, he was talking about the people of Israel, the Israelites, the Chosen People. He was reflecting on the story of their national identity: The Exodus from slavery in Egypt; ruminating on the prospects of future enslavement in Assyria or Babylon. “The NT writers insist that the OT can be rightly interpreted only if the entire revelation is kept in perspective as it is historically unfolded (e.g., Gal 3:6-14)” (DA Carson, Matthew, 92-93). So Matthew does just that by showing how Jesus, the Son of God, succeeded where Israel, the son of God, failed (see Matthew 4:1-11). The entire narrative is thus kept in perspective.

Matthew’s interpretation of Hosea, guided along as he no doubt was by the Holy Spirit, states, quite unequivocally that Hosea was talking about Jesus. Such a hermeneutic is spoken against in better homiletics and hermeneutics classes. If I were to stand up and preach such an allegorical interpretation of, say, the Exodus I would likely be branded a heretic or a liberal ‘liberation theologian.’ Yet Matthew looks back, finds a rather obscure passage of Scripture, in a prophet decidedly dwarfed by his contemporary Isaiah, and states boldly, loudly, formulaically: This verse is about Jesus and this before Jesus had ever even gone into Egypt let alone come out of it. “Not surprisingly the infant Christ, who summed up in his person all that Israel was called to be, was likewise threatened and delivered; and although the details differed, the early pattern was re-enacted in its essentials, ending with God’s Son restored to God’s land to fulfil (sic.) the task marked out for Him” (Derek Kidner, Hosea, 101-102; my emphasis).

The Son of God

I bring up Matthew and Hosea because this is the point of chapter 1 in the book. Consider:

” ‘Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’” (30) “So when God invites the people to be priests, it’s an invitation to show the world who this God is and what this God is like” (31) “God is telling Moses that Pharaoh will see him as God, or at least ‘like God’? And this is not Moses’ idea; it’s God’s idea. What’s going on here? The answer leads us to a universal truth: God needs a body. God needs flesh and blood. God needs bones and skin so that Pharaoh will know just who this God is he’s dealing with and how this God acts in the world. Not just so Pharaoh will know but so that all of humanity will know” (31) “This God is looking for a body” (34) “God is inviting. God is looking. God is searching for a body, a group of people to be the body of God in the world” (34) “God was looking for a body, a nation to show the world just who God is and what God is like” (36) “Remember, God is looking for a body, flesh and blood to show the world a proper marriage of the divine and human. What happens when your body looks nothing like you?” (43) “God is searching for a body, a community of people to care for the things God cares about” (44)

The authors keep coming back to this theme, this most important idea: Israel failed. They failed time and time again. They became slaves of the wrong masters: “Exile isn’t just about location; exile is about the state of your soul…Exile is when you find yourself a stranger to the purposes of God” (44, 45). Rob Bell and Don Golden are making a serious charge: The Church has failed (and likely will continue to unless some things change) to ‘look like God’ even as Israel failed, even as Solomon-the one held up as the prime example of said failure-failed. This is why the one who succeeded is called the ‘son of David’ and not, for example, the son of Solomon. Their exegesis and interpretation of Solomon’s lifestyle, his rule, his failure is dead-on the mark with the best scholars. Solomon, they note rightly, had become the new Pharaoh; Jerusalem, the new Egypt. Failure.

Their contention is that we have enslaved ourselves all over again. Commenting on the prophet Amos they ask: “God calls their church services ‘evil assemblies’? God hates their religious gatherings? When God is on a mission, what is God to do with a religion that legitimizes indifference and worship that inspires indulgence. What is God to do when the time, money, and energy of his people are spent on ceremonies and institutions that neglect the needy?” (46) The church, the son of God, the body of Christ, in other words, has become slaves of the wrong master. If Israel was the son of God (see Exodus 4:22-23) that failed, Jesus was the Son of God who did not (Matthew 4:1-11). Bell and Golden are asking: Which son of God are we, the Church, like? Their conclusion seems to be that we most effectively emulate the former not the latter. Can we properly worship a God when we don’t have in our hearts the same things that God has in His? (That’s what Amos was asking.)

God came down and set us free. He released us from slavery, ended our exile, concluded our captivity. As the Body of Christ, the ‘Son of God’, God expects us to be about the business of doing the same in the lives of those still in captivity: “At the height of their power, Israel misconstrued God’s blessings as favoritism and entitlement. They became indifferent to God and to their priestly calling to bring liberation to others” (44). This is what the title of the book means: Jesus Wants to Save Christians. Why? Because we are slaves to the wrong master; because we have forgotten our story of liberation; because we have neglected the weightier things of the law. In a real sense, we don’t love. The church is so internally focused that we forget the suffering that is going on all around us. We sometimes so forget our redemption from slavery by God that we fail to remember those who are still there. We are so comfortable in our comfort that we forget to comfort the afflicted with that same comfort (2 Cor 1) we ourselves have received. Paul said it too: “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along” (Galatians 2:10).

William Willimon wrote, “Christians go to church in order never to forget that we were strangers and aliens out on the margins (Eph 2:19)” (Who is Saved?, 54) I agree. Once we forget, we are lost. This is why we read so much in the Old Testament about the Exodus and why God told them to remember it: why the Psalmists sung about it, why the Prophets preached about it, why Moses wrote about it. They were never to forget who they were, where they had come from. In the New Testament, Jesus continues this very thing except that ‘remember it’ became ‘remember me.’ I wonder if we have forgotten? Bell and Golden are reminding the church, God’s son, of who we are: We are the liberated, the freed, the unleashed, the undone. We are the ones who were in a ditch, needing rescued and there are many others still there, still needing lifted up.

Sermons on Idolatry

This chapter is a long sermon, and a well done sermon at that. In it you will find an exposition of Genesis, Exodus, 2 Kings (Solomon), the 10 Words, Amos and 2 Chronicles. The authors brilliantly tie all these books together, as they should (see Carson above) and demonstrate the seamless narrative of God’s grace and love for all of his creatures, for all his created peoples. We are to learn from Israel (1 Corinthians 10; Hebrews) so that we do not fall into the same error as they did. I think the authors did a fine job of demonstrating that if we don’t pay attention to the history of God’s redemptive work, we will be doomed to perpetuate the same mistakes and sins that others have before us.

One of the better aspects of this chapter is the authors’ intent to deal with idolatry and do this well especially so in their handling of the Solomon narratives. They spare nothing when it comes to Solomon’s failures. They point out just exactly how far he fell: “Seven hundred wives? Three hundred concubines? But the point for the storyteller is not the numbers; it’s how his wives affected Solomon. They turned him away from God, and ‘his heart was not fully devoted” (41-42). I think we are meant to ask ourselves: Are our hearts fully devoted? In doing so, they warn us of the great and subtle dangers of idolatry. After reading their exposition of the Solomon story, I wondered: Do we talk enough about idolatry in the church? (1 John 5:21!)

The Messed Up World of the Oppressed

An important question to ask ourselves is this: Are we willing to be the body of Christ, the son of God, on this earth? Are we prepared to be his people, on his terms? Peter told us: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 1:9-10). Peter then goes on to point out the distinctive way a people of God is supposed to live.

Bell and Golden are asking us: Are we prepared to live according the standard that God himself has raised? “The Hebrew Scriptures have a very simple and direct message: God always hears the cry of the oppressed; God cares about human suffering and the conditions that cause it. God is searching for a body, a community of people to care for the things God cares about” (44).

Will we be that people? Will we care about the things that God cares about or will we continue to live in exile, slaves to our own passions, our own desires, and our own sins? Are we willing to do an evaluation and see if we are slaves of the right master? Didn’t Jesus say: You cannot serve two masters? That’s the gist of this chapter: If God has liberated us, what are we doing to liberate others? What are we doing about being God’s people?

You see, those of us who ‘are a people’, who ‘have received mercy’ know exactly what it is like to be on the other side: not a people, not receiving mercy. We know. We’ve been there. We understand. We can relate. But life is not just about understanding or relating or having been some place. It’s about more than just ‘learning to listen’, although that is surely a place to start. This brings us back to NT Wright: “First, it is about the ultimate future hope held out in the Christian gospel: the hope, that is, for salvation, resurrection, eternal life, and the cluster of other things that go with them. Second, it is about the discovery of hope within the present world: about the practical ways in which hope can come alive for communities and individuals who for whatever reason may lack it. And it is about the ways in which embracing the first can and should generate and sustain the second.” Are we doing that? Does the first, our narrative, our redemptive history in Christ, do anything to generate and sustain the second of those two points in our lives?

I’ll close this portion of my review with a short story. In our community, we have an ecumenical food center. What started as a small project, with volunteers from all different congregations, has grown into a major ministry that, in November 2008, fed over 1,000 hungry people in our community. This is a ministry blessed by the Lord.

The food center directors recently learned that the rent-free space they have used for 2 years will no longer be available by May of 2009. They need a new home. When I heard about this, I immediately called and said: We have space. We really do. The entire bottom half of our ‘education’ wing is empty space being used to educate young bats on how to locate rogue mice. We don’t even heat it. What needs to happen is that space, sitting empty now, needs to be turned into a living, breathing, place where people can find hope in this present world; and a good meal. It needs to be converted into a space where 1000+ people every month can get food, find friendship, discover a body of Christ that love and cares for them when they are at the end of their ropes.

“Think about your life,” Bell writes. “What are the moments that have shaped you the most? If you were to pick just a couple, what would they be? Periods of transformation, times when your eyes were opened, decisions you made that affected the rest of your life. How many of them came when you reached the end of your rope? When everything fell apart? When you were confronted with your powerlessness? When you were ready to admit your life was unmanageable? When there was nothing left to do but cry out? For many people, it was their cry, their desperation, their acknowledgment of their oppression, that was the beginning of their liberation” (24). (See also Willimon, Who Will Be Saved?, p 53-54)

I’m getting opposition from people (sadly, the older women who only grace the threshold of the church building once per week) who are more concerned about the ‘loss of the space’, or ‘what if we grow and need the space?’ (not recognizing that opening a food center is growing, and is a need for space!), or ‘what about rent?’ or ‘what about the floors and traffic?’ or ‘what about clean up?’ or ‘what about the parking lot?’ or ‘what about the utilities?’ or ‘are you sure we should do this given all we have been through in the last couple of months?’

What I hear is: “How is this going to inconvenience me?” All I hear is: “God is not big enough to accomplish this here.” All I hear is: “I’m more concerned about holding on to space I don’t use, that we might need, than I am about hungry people in my hometown, who need something to eat and someplace to get it.”

I think that is kind of what Bell and Golden are ‘complaining’ about in chapter 1 of this book. And they are right to do so. If the church won’t be the son of God, the body of Christ now, who will? If we won’t be agents of mercy, ministers of compassion, voices in the wilderness calling out for justice, who will? The government? The politicians? The strong? The powerful? Bah! The church has already surrendered too much of its priestly role the powerful, the rich, the influential, the arms dealers, the generals, and the Caesars, the presidents of this world. I agree with Bell: God is looking for a Body. He has prepared a body, but when we are more concerned about holding on to that which isn’t ours, or spending on ourselves what should be spent on others, then we have failed.

That’s what God has created us for: Whatever it takes! Your will be done! Here I am, send me! That’s what he has liberated us for. Christianity, salvation, is not just about a place we go. It’s about who we are, what we do. “Salvation isn’t just a destination; it is our vocation…We have been shown something that much of the world is waiting to see, even when the world doesn’t yet know for whom it awaits” (William Willimon, Who Will be Saved?, 3, 29)

The question is: What sort of God will we show them?

Next: Part 3, Get Down Your Harps

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 2:22 pm and is filed under Theology, book review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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401 Comments(+Add)

1   Neil    
December 31st, 2008 at 4:11 pm

The Church has failed (and likely will continue to unless some things change) to ‘look like God’ even as Israel failed, even as Solomon-the one held up as the prime example of said failure-failed.

This not what I took from the chapter. First, I would change “church” to “churches” – since “The Church will not, cannot fail.

I would then modify church(es) to “American Churches” because that is who he has in mind.

I think maybe I would further modify it further so as to not inlcude all American Churches

2   Neil    
December 31st, 2008 at 4:18 pm

All I hear is: “I’m more concerned about holding on to space I don’t use, that we might need, than I am about…

I have been that person. Not so much in actual space but in the following of systems… if ya want that space fill out this form… if ya want that money fill out that request…

This came to my mind as I read Bell. You hit upon it again.

3   Neil    
December 31st, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Oh… and it’s also fun reading it and anticipating the objections from our ADM brothers and sisters… as well as the dispensationalists.

4   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
December 31st, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Neil,

To be sure, that’s what I mean when I say ‘the church.’ I should probably have clarified that aspect as it is a bit muddled (’muggled’). You are right. I think Bell and Golden are concerned with a certain segment of the American Church. Sometimes, it is difficult to know exactly which part, which is why I think ‘we’ all need to be examining ourselves. Thanks for catching that error.

jerry

5   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
December 31st, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Also, I apologize for the ‘rogue html’ I’m not sure what happened, because it was loaded properly at my office. It could have been the picture I inserted as I had some trouble with it. Thanks to whoever cleared it up for me.

grace and peace.

6   Neil    
December 31st, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Jerry,

It may have been a fine point to make. But some ADM’s and particularly those who are dispensational and hoping for the Great Apostasy would say “The Church.”

7   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
December 31st, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Thank you, Neil. We dispys appreciate the correct verbiage. :cool:

8   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
December 31st, 2008 at 9:26 pm

If I were to stand up and preach such an allegorical interpretation of, say, the Exodus I would likely be branded a heretic or a liberal ‘liberation theologian.’

I’ve for a long time found that an interesting point. As Christians, we are very caught up in the fleshly interpretation of scripture and yet Jesus consistantly pointed out the greater spiritual interpretation of love and God’s redemption plan for all.

BTW your times are wrong – it’s 11:25am, Jan 1 :P It’s a shame wordpress doesn’t let you set time zones for users.

9   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 1st, 2009 at 12:15 am

Excellent, Jerry. While reading through the first part I was reminded of Willimon’s quote about why we go to church (to remember), ran to get my book before I forgot and when I kept reading found you already included it :) Scary.

One of the phenomenal things about the Old Testament is that Israel does not hide it’s “no’s” to God. Most, if not all, national ancient histories scrub their stories – they look great to all the world. Not Israel. Israel puts on display for all to see their miscues, missteps, misdirections. It is as if to say: HEY! Don’t go this way! We already tried it!

It is why Jesus’ life is so very important to our salvation story. He said “yes” where Israel said “no.” While in the wilderness he did not falter but relied solely on God. He would not seek to grasp divinity (Phil 2) like the nation states around him. He would be obedient (what Israel was called to do in Torah) even to the cross. He brings God’s plan of redemption and showcasing salvation to the world to a crescendo.

One thing I would want to add to your wonderful work so far is to stress that Israel has never ceased in being God’s “first born son” (Exodus 4). They are still God’s people. God has not disowned them in favor for the Church. We, the Gentiles, have been grafted in to their story. Insofar as we are open to the world and carrying out the missiological plan that Bell has articulated in this book (and others elsewhere) we testify back to Israel that their Messiah truly was the Messiah. Unfortunately, we have done so poorly at this that Israel has been unmoved by our witness that Jesus is the one all the world awaits.

peace, and Happy New Year!

10   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 2nd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Just picked up the book for $13.99 on sale… will start to dig in sometime this weekend.

iggy

11   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 2nd, 2009 at 10:41 pm

I just found out that some of those ‘older ladies’ I remarked about near the end of the post have read what I wrote and are a little bent. Sent a letter to the chairman of the board! Uh, anyone need a sexton or a janitor or a secretary…I might be available for bar mitzvah’s too. Well, maybe not, but anyhow… :)

12   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 3rd, 2009 at 9:51 pm

One comment I would make about this chapter is the idea that the commandments, the ten words, are for the purpose of making the Hebrews slaves human again.

This seems to discount the purpose of the law, as a tutor to show us our need for Christ, as a way for us to be exposed for who we are without Christ…

Comment?

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 3rd, 2009 at 10:25 pm

PB,

I would say that it is both. In that they recognize that to live or if they “choose life” they will “live a long life” (Deut 6: 2). The Law was also to give order which gave all “rights” and “limitations” where all were equal under the Law. Such as the idea of limitations as to if someone loses an eye, you could not then retaliate and take their life. It was “eye for and eye” to be Just.

This also does not negate that all have sinned… and the Law pointing this out as on one side of the coin you have the humanization of the Hebrews, the other side shows that they still are short in being truly and fully human as it also points to emphasizing their transgressions. In a sense the law is to show us how to be humans thus humanizing us if we could obey it, yet also showing us how far we have fallen in how far from human we are. Also, the Law was not intended to give life… that is only found in Christ Jesus…. so in that way God shows the Jew though the Law how to be human, but it does not show how to have eternal life.

iggy

14   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 7:55 am

There is no law anymore, its strength was its inherant weakness to vanish after Christ. The mixing of law and grace, even when presenting the gospel, is wrong and drags a dead corpse (law) around.

We need to lift up Jesus and preach the gospel, the law has no part whatsoever in any of it. I did not come to Christ because of ant law, I was saved when the Holy Spirit drew me to Christ. I knew I was a sinner, but that was not the main emphasis in my spirit, it was Jesus Christ.

I reject any and all use of the OT law in either evangelism of in a believers life. I am no longer bound to obey the ten commandments, I do not lie because I am now directed and empowered by the Spirit, not any tablets of stone.

15   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:05 am

Rick,
That flies in the face of what everyone in the NT thought as well as the early church.

I agree that we should not use the law as leverage on people to make them come to Christ (as if we can make anyone do such a thing). However, the problem is not the Law but the way you are viewing it, IMO.

Jesus did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it. The Law is actually grace in action. Jesus is grace personified. To rightly view the law is to not see it as a burden but a gift – it is there to give life, to show a person and the world what a life in communion with God ought to look like.

While I understand some of your sentiment I am leary of such harsh language pitting the OT against the NT. This is the sort of thinking that has gotten the church (and the world) in all sorts of trouble in the past. It is only a short hop, skip and a jump before Jews are viewed as “less than” ourselves.

16   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:29 am

“That flies in the face of what everyone in the NT thought as well as the early church.”

Irrelevant. The Scriptures are clear, the law of Moses was a schoolmaster to bring the community of faith to Christ, who fulfilled the law that no sinner ever could. Our message is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and not the Mosaic law.

Which Scripture instructs us to which part of the law is for NT use? Where does Scripture separate the ten commandments from the rest of the law? These are all beggarly elements which were a shadow, but the substance is Christ. Jesus has called us to be witnesses for Him, and when the Jailer asks how to be saved Paul never mentions the law.

The Mosaic law is dead, the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus is alive. Peopel are drawn to Christ by the Holy Spirit, not the law. To see sincere people like the Way of the Master showcase the law of Moses as an evangelistic tool is wrong on many levels.

Paul said he knew nothing but Christ and Him crucified, and we are ambassadors for Jesus not reaching back and dragging the Mosaic law forward again.

Chrst is te end of the law to everyone who believes. The only time we would mention the law is to a Jewish believer who is going about establishing his own righteousness through the law. In that case we can witness that Christ fulfilled the law. As a Gentile I knew nothing of any law, and the Spirit illuminated Christ to my heart.

The OT law was death, but there is life in Jesus Christ. The law of Moses is dead and has no place in any of us. If you are a debtor to obey one element, you have become a debtor to all of it. And not just as it concerns a believer following the law, the law should not have any part in evangelization because the gospel is about Christ, not the law at all.

The study of the law is for a believer to see how Christ brings righteous not the law, and the main core of the law is the blood sacrificial system. The New Testament is a ministry of glory, the Old Testament was only glorious in that is was to give way to Christ. That indeed was its glory.

Anything else is a form of legalism.

17   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:36 am

Anything else is a form of legalism.

Well, I wouldn’t go that far.

While I agree that evagelism techniques like The Way of the Master miss the point I am not going to say that the OT and law are useless or that it is only good for showcasing the glory of the NT (the OT has plenty of its own glory).

The point is: Without Israel you are SOL.

You sound like Harnack.

18   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:42 am

Israel in the national/ethnic sense has been cut off, and indeed there are no Jews or Gentiles in Christ. My point is that everything that was done in the OT was a narrative whose culmination ended and began on Calvary. It is a glorious historic narrative that can provide insight into our Savior and our faith, but it has no living part with Holy Spirit believers.

The Christians, and Jesus somewhat as well, were critized for abandoning the law and Paul’s life was in jeapordy because “he teaches men everywhere to disobey the law of Moses”. So do I.

19   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:52 am

Israel in the national/ethnic sense has been cut off,

What do you mean they have been “cut off”? Are you saying they are no longer God’s people?

The Christians, and Jesus somewhat as well, were critized for abandoning the law and Paul’s life was in jeapordy because “he teaches men everywhere to disobey the law of Moses”. So do I.

And Paul would tell them that they were wrong to assume so. That was their misunderstanding of what Paul was doing. If you are teaching people to disobey the law of Moses than you are as guilty as those who judged Paul.

What was that handy equation you came up with before?

Wesley believes in hell.
Rick believes in hell.
Therefore, Rick is a Methodist.

Or something like that.

How about…

Anti-semites think Israel has been “cut off” by God and are no longer relevant.
Rick thinks Israel has been cut off by God and is no longer relevant.

Does your equation still hold?

20   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:00 am

Roman chapter 11 refers to the fact that the church is God’s people today, however it seems as if in the end God will fulfill His covenant with Israel. The antisemite term is very typical and showcases an exterme for aht purpose?

I do not bear the name of an anti-semite as the founder of my denomination. Apples and oranges my friend.

21   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:09 am

however it seems as if in the end God will fulfill His covenant with Israel.

That is what I was hoping to hear, Rick.

In the future you may want to say that right out the gate before you denigrate the OT as you tend to do so that you can avoid charges of antisemitism.

And why do you get apples and oranges?

You claimed you were a better Methodist than I because you held one belief that Wesley may have held.
I am merely pointing out how ridiculous such logic is. You wouldn’t dare say you are a good Nazi because Hitler also believed Israel is “cut off”, would you?

Of cours not. Both are absurd.

22   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:13 am

My “I am a Methodist” was an attempt at humor which seems to have missed its target. I remain convinced you brand of Methdoism is significantly different than was Wesley’s life and teachings. Just reading his journals convict me greatly.

From one of his journals:

http://judahslion.blogspot.com/2007/01/christian-cruise-bout-thirty-years-ago.html

23   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:25 am

I remain convinced you brand of Methdoism is significantly different than was Wesley’s life and teachings.

Of course it is, in some respects. Things change. Evolve. Develop. For a long time Wesley thought it was disgusting and beneath him to preach outside of a church. Later in his life he changed his mind and became an avid outdoors preacher. We Methodists are not afraid of change. We believe the Holy Spirit is still leading and moving in the world and many of us try to follow that leading. We anticipate that will mean some changes.

And once more, I have to point out how comical it is that you of all people are lamenting the fact that a body of believers are no longer mimicking their dead human founder.

24   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:28 am

see ya. may your worship this Epiphany Sunday be filled with God’s Spirit

25   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:44 am

#22

Rick that was an excellent link.

I want to be a Methodist now…that kind.

26   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Chad,

Jesus did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it.

Paul states that the Law was abolished.

Ephesians 2: 13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15. by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16. and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

iggy

27   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Very good Scripture, Iggy. The law is poison to grace, it cannot have even a subordinate part since it is the ministration of death. The last enemy to be defeated is death.

The law was never kept by anyone, and in fact when in place it condemns us constantly. We obey through the Spirit and the love of Christ which constrains us, and the law of Christ is now written on our hearts, not the tablets of Moses.

Let the joyous news be spread,
the wicked old law is surely dead!!

28   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

And that also is why the method that many use to correct or discern is law and not love. Who God loves He corrects, but when we bite and devour, even with the truth, we have gone back under the law and refuse to see how grace and correction can operate in concert.

When there is an absence of humility you can easily see self righteousness, because self righteousness is the absence of grace and the projection of law. Self righteousness is the insinuation that you either keep the law perfectly, or you keep it better than the one you are attacking.

29   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Iggy,
I’m not sure what translation you are using but I fear that obscures the greater point Paul is making. Obviously, Paul and Jesus are not in disagreement. If Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law we should be careful before we say too strongly that, because of Paul, Jesus got it wrong.

The NASB translates it this way:

by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

We might say that what was abolished by Christ was the inproper way the law was used. It was never meant to be a task master or a type of “ordinance” that caused division and enmity between people. It was meant to distinguish a people from the rest of the world so that the rest of the world might know that God is on the move and is doing something through them. Israel was to keep the law as a means to bring salvation to the nations. They didn’t do so well with that. Jesus is the law enfleshed- he is the Word (the Ten Words) with skin and bones. In Jesus we see the true spirit of the law at work.

So in a sense, a type of law was abolished. But this does not make Moses a liar or give us the right along with Rick to tell people the OT is insignificant or to disobey the law of Moses.

30   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I agree with Chad on this one. The Law wasn’t antithetical to grace, at least at its core. The Law was given as an act of grace, but if people did not understand the spirit of law and tried to follow the letter, it became a cruel taskmaster.

Even in the OT, a person was considered righteous only through faith. This is what the writer of Hebrews tells us. The fathers of the faith understood that the “just shall live by faith”.

So when Paul warns people against falling into legalism in Galations and elsewhere, he is warning of falling into the trap of thinking that following the letter of the law without understanding the spirit of law can somehow bring righteousness. Jesus fulfilled the true spirit of the law, and in doing so made the letter of the law obsolete. The spirit of the law was always loving God and loving your neighbor.

31   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I would agree with Chad on this one – the formula used by Jesus – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” is a Hebraism common in that period. To abolish the law meant to interpret it incorrectly in a way that would lead others to violate it (either in practice or in spirit) and to fulfill the law meant to interpret it in a way that would lead others to live in a way that honored it, in practice and intent.

The NASB quoted by Chad gives a better interpretation of Paul’s intent – which has no conflict with Jesus’ statement about himself and the Torah.

32   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

So in a sense, a type of law was abolished. But this does not make Moses a liar or give us the right along with Rick to tell people the OT is insignificant or to disobey the law of Moses.

Right. Grace does not, in the words of Paul, give us a license to sin. May it never be, is the way the NASB words it (I believe). We shall not continue to sin because grace abounds.

jerry

PS–did Chad, Chris and Phil really, actually agree on something? The Lord be Praised!

33   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Jesus was the Incarnate Law, God in the righteousness expressed in flesh. The law was not a part of grace, it was the thorn that made us aware we needed grace and aware that without the shedding of blood there is no redemption.

There is no more law except the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. All other laws are dead.

34   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

The law is the ministration of death. I am free from the law but not the correct of my Father. God does not correct me because I broke the law, He would be correcting me every moment, God corrects me because He loves me as a son and desires my best.

The law has no part in it, I live in grace and I do not have to present another sacrifice for my sins, my sins are not IMPUTED to me! I am a blessed man.

Go ahead guys, live under the law, but do it ALL. Good luck!

35   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I love the paradox of this: believers may curse and get angry and call names and watch objectionable entertainment and smoke and…well, you get the picture. And then they claim some place of law in the New Testament church. What a hoot!!

36   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Rick, without the law, no grace is necessary…

If you believe that the greatest command is to love the Lord your God alone with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and that the second greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself, then you are living in a correct (fulfilled) interpretation of the law, from which you receive grace for your failure.

37   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

did Chad, Chris and Phil really, actually agree on something? The Lord be Praised!

lol Jerry. I confess it is nice to not be the heel for once.

38   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Go ahead guys, live under the law, but do it ALL. Good luck!

Well, that’s what Paul was basically saying. Trying to fulfill the law without understanding its purpose and the spirit behind it leads to the death. Now the law is obsolete, and I don’t deny that. I just don’t agree with the way the terms that some people present it today.

Even in the OT, God gave provision for when most provisions of the law were broken (although it does seem that were no provision for atonement from high-handed, or intentional, sins). So, I think there are even aspects of grace visible in the Mosaic covenant.

39   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Some of the dictates of the Mosaic law are repackaged in the New Testament, but they are not law to us, they are the Words of our Father. “Thou shalt not lie” etched in tablets of stone have now become the impressions of the heart given by the inwelling Holy Spirit.

The difference is self righteousness. When one suggests he obeys the law he is self righteous, when one obeys the Father it suggests a relationship that is driven by love, not a set of rules that are hurdled.

40   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

The only element of grace in the law is the blood sacrifice. When THE sacrifice was given the rest of the law became obsolete and in fact dead.

Christ is the end of the law to everyone who believes. Have you begun in the Spirit are you made perfect by the works of the law. the life of Paul was always sought by the Judaisers since he taught men everywhere that Christian were not only free from the law, it was a sin to incorperate it into the church.

41   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

The only element of grace in the law is the blood sacrifice.

huh?

Rick, I think you are reducing “law” to nothing more than a set of dictums or decrees. Be careful. When you throw the word “Law” around in theological discourse most people read that to mean the entire Torah (and even others might say the entire OT). And if you are suggesting that there is no element of grace in Torah or the entire OT you would be sorely mistaken.

I have to say I am somewhat put off by your hostile attitude towards God’s self revelation in the OT. It is one thing to acknowledge that self righteousness as it pertains to striving to keep the law is wrong. It is another thing altogether to argue that God screwed up royally with the Jews. We are indebted to the OT in that salvation comes from the Jews. You, a Gentile, are invited into their story – not the other way around.

42   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

It is God’s story – not theirs. And Israel has rejected the most important part of that story. I know you probably believe a dualism approach which menas the orthodx Jews are saved by trusting Jehovah, but that is not what the Scriptures say.

I have no “hostily” taoward God’s self revelation in the OT, I have a suprmem appreciation that “in these last days has spoken to us through His Son”. Your characterization of my position of “God scewed up royally with the Jews” is repusive and a phrase meant to diminish my view and elevate your own, as well as being dishonest.

I have come to expect it.

43   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

It is God’s story – not theirs.

Yes, but Israel is God’s “first son.” It is through Israel that salvation comes to us Gentiles. You (and me and every non Jew on the planet) are grafted into their story – the story that they are part of because God decided to reveal himself in this way. Not some other way.

I know you probably believe a dualism approach which menas the orthodx Jews are saved by trusting Jehovah

Wrong. I believe they are saved because God is true to God’s promises. Nothing more, nothing less.

As for your dramatics, I would love you to prove me wrong. Your last several posts have shown an attitude toward the OT (and Israel by extension) that is uncalled for. It is by your own words that I get the sense that you feel God has “cut off” the Jews and has, in effect, screwed up with them royally and moved on to us Gentiles. You don’t see how that sounds self-righteous? Why would I have that impression?

And when you say “law” what do you mean? Do you really mean to say there is no grace in all of Torah or the OT as a whole?

44   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Show me where I have taken a view of yours and belched it up as anything close to “God screwed up”. You remain somewhat incapable of discourse without some common and self serving hyperbole.

You may say myopic, unbiblical, even disturbing, but “God scewed up royally” is a pristine example of the use of base colloquialisms when Scriptural interchange is unavailable. And of course characterizing my Scriptural view as “hostlile” to God’s revelation of Himself is in league with the other phrases and words that are only germaine to your own prism through which you can assess and label all other perspectives about which you reject with condescending dismissiveness.

Other than that, you are a delight to sharpen iron with.

45   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Rick – it appears I hit a nerve with you.

Sorry

46   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Chad – you are a goofball.

If I hit a nerve, I am sorry. :cool:

I accept you apology. No one can accuse me of being without a sense of humor, however I do believe my perspectives, as well as everyone elses, deserve strong and even confrontational discourse within the parameters of respectful dialogue. I know you realize I am capable of some very creative verbiage to describe the views of others but for the most part I refrain. Here are a few minor ones:

The intellectual offerings of a moon rock

A view that would sell at the Comedy Store

I afford you the common decency of refusing to believe you believe that.

It is views like yours that reinforce my admiration for the works of Darwin.

See, but I will not use them…yet.

47   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Rick – I spent 8 years in the Navy. You’ll have to come up with something better than “moon rock” to make me either laugh or cry :)

If I was off base in characterizing your position I am sorry. It was why I asked you to define your terms a bit more. I highly doubt I am the only one that read your comments as a form of hostility towards the OT in general and Jews by extension.

We Gentiles need to be careful how we use our language when it comes to these issues. A good dose of humility, by recognizing that we have been invited into their story rather than the other way around, could go a long way in in helping the Church of Jesus Christ become a more faithful witness back to Israel that the one we claim is the Messiah (who would bring healing to all the nations) actually is the Messiah.

Earlier I said you sounded like Harnack in some of your comments. If you read theologians and bible scholars at the turn of the 20th century you will find some of the sentiments you espouse here. They were the sort of sentiments that made the Barmen Confession a necessity(guess who was the primary author of that?) :)

peace

48   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

OTHERS -

That view was rejected by the special needs class.

I assume narcotics are involved with your thought process.

Please treat yourself to the luxury of an unexpressed thought.

Some beavers have dammed up the serotonin river in your brain.

I have searched your view for any signs of intelligent life and found it to be a myth.

49   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I love the Jewish people and my eschatology inludes them atn the end, today while taking my dog to the park I got to witness to an Israeli women about Christ. My oldest son came and has many Hebrew tatoos including twelve stars of David representing the 12 tribes. That opened the door for an hour of witnessing to that precious Jewish women who was raise in Tel Aviv.

My thoughts about Israel center around Romans 11 and my views on the law have nothing to do with my love for the Jews.

50   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

And my grandsons are named Matthew and Mark, and my soon coming grandaughter will be named Moriah.

My Jewish credentials are solid. :)

51   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Thank you, Rick, for #49.

A simple statement such as that can go a long way in putting people at ease and help us (me) see that your issue with the Law is not with the Jews (surely you can appreciate that not everyone in our history has made that distinction).

I am still curious though: Do you really mean to say there is no grace in all of Torah or all of the OT?
What do you mean when you say “law”?

52   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

And my grandsons are named Matthew and Mark, and my soon coming grandaughter will be named Moriah.

Well, all I can claim is having been circumcised and having lived in Sylvania, OH for 4 years (most of my friends were Jewish there).

Oh, and I try to preach from the OT as much as I do from the New :)

53   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

All grace flows from the blood. Everyone is saved by grace, and all grace in in Jesus Christ. The law was designed to point us to that grace, I guess that is its point of grace.

54   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I wll always reject any law in my life or the life of Christ’s body. If that which was to be done away with was glorious, how much more that which remains?

We have Christ and His Spirit, what can the law add to that?

55   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Chad and Chris L.

I think if you go to the Greek you will see it is more “abolished” as it means “to be rendered idle”. In that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law as it still has a purpose, but He abolished the Law for those who come to maturity in Christ so there is no conflict between what Jesus stated and Paul’s statement.

If you read through Galatians Paul goes through great pains to state what this all means.

But the Law was to lead us to Christ and once in Him we rest in His finished works… which was to live and fulfill the Law and the Prophets with His life… which was to be obedient even unto death.

Yet, even a superficial reading of Galatians should warrant that Law and Grace should not and cannot be mixed.

Can we learn from the OT… of course… but even to state we still must obey the Big Ten misses that we now serve the Higher Law of Love which is what Grace is all about.

iggy

56   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

What do you call the act of God covering Adam and Eve’s nakedness?

What do you call the act of God marking Cain so that no one would harm or kill him?

What do you call the act of God saving Noah and his family?

And we arent even past the first 6 chapters…

57   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

All acts of grace foreshadowing and tethered to THE act of grace on Calvary. Redemption is grace, everything else is kindness.

I am going to watch the football game. Go Irish!!

58   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

All acts of grace

Fair enough. So then your statement here:

The only element of grace in the law is the blood sacrifice.

Was overstating it a bit, dont you think?

59   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Yet, even a superficial reading of Galatians should warrant that Law and Grace should not and cannot be mixed.

Well, the problem with that statement is the word “superficial”. Paul is writing to a very specific situation in the church in Galatia – namely a group of Jewish Christians who are trying to impose the requirements of the law on Gentile converts. The Jewish Christians didn’t understand fully what Christ had done.

It’s worthwhile to note that Paul nowhere tells someone who is still adhering to the law for whatever reason to quit. He leaves it up as a matter of conscience. But he does point out that the law in and of itself is powerless to save, but this was never the purpose of the law in the first place.

60   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I agree, Phil (I am trying to get all my “I agrees” in while I can) :)

A good paradigm for this is the decision reaced by the JC in Acts 15. There were certain “laws” that the Jewish Christians asked the Gentile Christians to adhere to because everywhere “the law of Moses is being taught and known.” Everyone knew the law of Moses. Therefore, as a way of buidling unity rather than division (what the law was to do in the first place if used rightly) the Gentile converts were invited to accept 4 provisions – provisions that sum up nicely all 10 commandments.

61   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Phil,

I would disagree. Though there we some the reportedly came form James, Paul spoke also in Romans clearly much the same language as in Galatians.

Romans 8:1. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2. because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4. in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Paul makes a distiction between living out the flesh and that by the Law… and contrast that with living by the Spirit.

The Law was given to add to the tresspass that was there in regards to sin. (Rom 5:20-21) Yet as in Galatians, Paul states the purpose of the Law was to lead us to maturity.

With God’s Spirit living in us God now writes the Higher Law on our hearts as he renews our minds.

Rom 2:29. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.

iggy

62   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Chad,

If you take Acts 15 as the “law”… then you missed that Paul states later that it is a matter of conscience as to regards to eating meat sacrificed to idols. So, in essence Paul was negating this “law” that was given from the Apostles.

These were not “laws” as in the “Law” but that the Gentile should stay away from these things as they have the appearance of evil or that they are not conducive to the life of one who believes (in regards to fornication).

So we then have an issue in regards to this “law” as you put it in that Paul allows someone to eat meat sacrificed to idols if their faith allows them to.

iggy

63   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Also Chad and Phil…

I think you miss that Paul does state to Jews that they must give up some of the Law in their ways… as they were not allowed to eat with Gentiles and Romans is all about confronting the separation of Jew and Gentile… stating there is no longer Jew or Gentile but the New Man… the two have become one in Christ.

So in that there is Paul asking the Jew to recognize Grace over the Law and to live by Grace instead of the Law.

iggy

64   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Iggy,
I’m not saying that the law can save anyone, and I don’t think Chad is either. All I’m saying is that the law was never designed to save anyone – that’s why Paul says it was “powerless”. But also, note, the reason it was powerless was because of the sinful nature, not anything inherently wrong with the law.

A righteous Jewish person loved the law, and didn’t see it as the enemy. I think the reason that many Christians have this idea is because of Luther’s misinterpretation of a few key texts in Romans and Galatians. Luther set up the paradigm where he saw the law as being an enemy of humankind. This type of talk, though, would seem very weird to Paul I believe. I believe Paul, probably like David, would say He loved the law, but he would propose it was obsolete and had served its purposes.

The law itself wasn’t the issue, the sinfulness and rebelliousness of the Jewish people was the issue. Instead of letting the law guide them, they missed the point, and started treating the law as a burden. So, yes, there is a sense that legalism was a problem for the Jewish people, but the problem was with the people, not the law.

65   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Phil,

I think I stated much what you are saying… and in no way disagree… I do agree that it was sin in man the needed to be dealt with. Now saying all that I was addressing that you both were stating that Paul had never told anyone to not live under the Law if they lived that way…which I simply was pointing out was not true… Paul called those who lived such the “weaker” brother and told all to live out the faith they had… if the faith allowed for someone to eat meat sacrificed to idols they could… contrary to what Chad brought up from Acts 15… If it is to be understood as Chad stated then Paul was subverting the “law” given by the other Apostles. I do not see Paul doing that at all and that the “laws” given by the Apostles were not to be viewed at all like the Law was.

iggy

66   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

There are many parts of the law that are wierd and goofy. No picking up sticks on the Sabbath? How about marrying your brother’s widow? Stoning rebellious children?

So it is evident that the law was not just good guidance, it was pointing to Messiah as well as showcasing sin.

67   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I will say also that when David stated he “loved the Law”… it was not that he viewed the Law as it was being used in the time of Jesus. David saw it as the representation of the coming Messiah while the Pharisees saw it as a way to manipulate God to action in running out the Romans. In that it was doing it’s purpose in that it exposed sin and also gave some relief of conscience (Col 1:21-23 Note that we were alienated “in our minds” by our sin? I always thought that an interesting phrase) Yet, David did not see that the Law added righteousness but reflected the righteousness of God.

iggy

68   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Now saying all that I was addressing that you both were stating that Paul had never told anyone to not live under the Law if they lived that way…which I simply was pointing out was not true… Paul called those who lived such the “weaker” brother and told all to live out the faith they had… if the faith allowed for someone to eat meat sacrificed to idols they could… contrary to what Chad brought up from Acts 15… If it is to be understood as Chad stated then Paul was subverting the “law” given by the other Apostles.

Well, you are correct in that Paul would tell people who were in their mind following the law to change their ways to accept Gentiles and the like. I guess there could be some argument as to whether these people were really following the law, but it’s probably not worth getting into.

The only point I’m trying to make is that I think the idea that the Law is somehow the thing working against us is a bit misguided. When you get pulled over for a speeding ticket, it’s not the law working against you, it’s your own refusal to follow it – your sinful nature. It might be a point that’s more semantics, but I think it helps to see God’s work through His people as a bit more consistent.

69   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Phil,

I think that if one tries to live under the Law they miss the very important point that the Law does not give life… (John 5:39) The Law does not give life… He who the Law represents gives Life. So to “live” by the Law that does not give life… That is why there is a distinction between living by the Spirit and living by the Law.

Now I am not saying we need throw out the OT as I see that we can learn and understand it even more today with the revelation of Jesus…. (Again John 5:39)… But to use the Law in a way contrary to its purpose as so many do… is what Paul was speaking against. The Law cannot add righteousness to us. The only righteousness we have not is that of Jesus imparted to us. To think that adding righteousness comes through the obedience to the Law then again was what Paul spoke against in much of his writings.

In some ways I appreciate this proper usage of the Law by Ray Comfort as he grasps that the Law was to point out sin in us… and lead us to Christ… (Though I have other issues with RC and Co.)

iggy

70   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

No one can live under the law succssfully. If you offend in one point, you offend inall. And Jesus made it clear that the law of God even goes to the intent of the heart, not just the behavior of the flesh.

If there was still a law, we would be constantly under condemnation since we break it chrinically. There is no law and we are accepted warts and all in Christ.

Blessed is the man WHOSE SINS are not imputed unto him. Where there is no law, there is no sin. We are corrected by the Father, but our disobedience has been judged fully at Calvary. How and why would there be a law to someone who has been
declared RIGHTEOUS eternally?

The law was for the unrighteous, we stand by faith in the PERFECT righteous of God Himself. Good bye law.

71   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Iggy – when Paul states that the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, he wasn’t referring to personal evangelism. No where in the great commission is there such a notion, nor in the command of Christ to be His witnesses.

Paul was referring to the overarching narrative of the divine revelation of redemption. Comfort is well meaning and by God’s grace he is used by the Spirit, but he misuses the law.

72   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Rick,

Iggy – when Paul states that the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, he wasn’t referring to personal evangelism. No where in the great commission is there such a notion, nor in the command of Christ to be His witnesses.

I think you missed what I was stating… But that’s fine. I just meant that I appreciate that the Law was used in that it was to show us sin in us… again, note I did say I had other issues with Ray Comfort’s style… though he makes me laugh as I love his accent. I was pointing out that the idea of that as Ray uses the Law to reveal someones sin is more in-line with how the Law is to be used in it’s purpose and that it still has a purpose today.

But, to sit with someone who is thinks that they can be more righteous by following the Law or think that being obedient is to follow the “Big Ten” and to work with them to see that the Law is to reveal their sin in them… and to see them come out from the bondage of the Law to Grace is a beautiful thing.

iggy

73   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Sorry for such short answers here today…

I generally agree with Chad and Phil on this, though I would note that the Gentiles were told by the Jerusalem council to keep what would be considered the Noaic laws (sexual purity, blood, justice and avoidance of idolatry), rather than the Mosaic ones (which included ceremonial & sacrifical laws)…

I would also note that Paul never counseled Jewish Christians to stop being Jews (i.e. to cease following Mosaic law). In fact, we’ve got archaeological records which show that Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogue with their non-Christian Jewish relations, well into the late third century (some of which I’ve seen first hand)…

74   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

The law does not give life, true. However, the law reveals how we can “love the Lord our God”, because it reveals what “obedience” means (”If you love me, you will obey my commands”). It also reveals how to “love your neighbor” in basis, as well.

So, no we do not live “under the law”, but we have the law in order to know how to serve the Father in response to the love He has shown us…

75   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

though I would note that the Gentiles were told by the Jerusalem council to keep what would be considered the Noaic laws (sexual purity, blood, justice and avoidance of idolatry), rather than the Mosaic ones (which included ceremonial & sacrifical laws)…

In the exegetical work I did on that very passage in my Acts class I argued differently. All my research led me away from a Noaic formulation to a summation of the Mosaic law, specifically the Sinai covenant.

It’s a long paper but it can be found on my blog if any are interested.

Acts 15: A Paradigm for the Way of Jesus

76   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Rick,

have you read Jacques Ellul?

jerry

77   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Chad,

Again, if your assertion is correct, then what I am saying about Paul conclusion in how to handle eating meat sacrificed to idols was subversive and against what the Apostles commanded. So then Paul sinned against the other Apostles and the New Law you are stating.

Chris L,
No Paul did not directly state, ” stop living as a Jew” but you then need address that the Jew was not to mix with the Gentile as they were considered unclean… let alone worship or even enter their homes…

So Paul in stating that their is neither Jew of Gentile and only the New Man cuts straight across your idea that Paul did not state “stop living as a Jew” as Paul’s teachings did just that… he wanted them both to live and New Creations… not Jew… not Gentile… but New Creations in Christ.

So I just cannot accept the idea Paul did not speak against it as it is all through his writings… Did and may he have allowed it? Yes… in that he was not against someone attending the local synagogue… but I think that idea of separation was a core belief that Paul shattered with his revelations of Jesus.

iggy

78   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Iggy –
I address all that in my paper. You might find it quite “emerging.” I’m not sure.

79   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

About which law do you speak? And what tenants must be lived out? And by what authority do you divide and piecemeal the law, commending some tenants while ignoring others?

Since you suggest that the law is still operational and still our guide, please list the commandments that we can ignore and not follow in this economy of the Spirit.

If the law indeed has a place in our lives, then all of it does unless the New Testament gives specific teaching and authority that allows us to choose which parts are appropriate and which are not. The Seventh Day Adventists insist on deitary laws and the Sabbath, but they reject stoning, clothing laws, and most other parts of the law.

So again I ask, which parts of the law are we bound to follow and why can we parse them. It would seem that particular way of life removes following Christ, removes the leadership of God’s Spirit, carries over the Old Covenant, and generally creates a mixture of grace and law.

80   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I asked a man why he thought the law was still for today as many Calvinists do. He made some of the same arguments made here, but then I asked him if his brother died would he marry his sister-in-law and he said he would not. I told him that was part of the law so why not?

He went on to explain why he would not, but in the end he had to admit there are no Scriptures that delineate which parts of the law are to be followed and which are not, and in fact he admitted that the New Testament seemed to suggest that if you follow some you must follow all.

81   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Chad,

Personally, I see the whole Acts 15 as James agreeing with Paul yet still needing to keep peace in that something is officially stated from Jerusalem. Yet whether Noaic Law or The Law, I see that James did not set out some other Law than what Paul teaches in the Higher Law.

I will read your paper Chad… and maybe I understand your position better.

Yet, I am very much Keswickain so I will stand against the mixing of Law and Grace to the death! :lol: I mean that is why we Keswickians hate Lordship Salvation so much as it mixes Law and Grace and turns obedience into works salvation or uses it to add more righteousness thus negating the righteousness of Christ.

iggy

82   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

James was wrong in Acts 15 to command the Gentiles to abstain from things strangled, and blood, etc.. James had a difficult time extracting completely from the law, and in fact Paul and Peter had to convince him Gentiles could be saved. Acts is a narrative not to be confused with an epistle which has superior authority.

83   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Acts is a narrative not to be confused with an epistle which has superior authority.

wow

84   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

and I am the one who doesn’t take scripture seriously?

85   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

James was wrong in Acts 15

You mean James, the entire Jerusalem Council AND the Holy Spirit were wrong.

“For it seemed good to us AND the Holy Spirit…”

Gee, I wonder what you would say of me if I just decided, based on my own personal preferences, to say Paul was wrong about this or that.

86   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

It pleased the Holy Spirit for what? The epistles teach, the narratives record. They contain some teaching but one can take a narrative and create any doctrine. It is rightly dividing the Word.

James was wrong, Paul was right. James had wanted the Gentiles circumcised before Paul taught him differently. Paul is to the church as Moses was to Israel.

87   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

When Jesus washed the disciple’s feet He said we should follow His example in that act. Then why doesn’t the church observe footwashing as an ordinance similar to communion? I am not talking about some abrbitary observance on a really special occasion, why don’t we practice it?

Because Paul never teaches it. Why don’t we have people walk in someone’s shadow to be healed? Send out hankerchiefs? No Pauline mention. These are all in Acts, so why the snub?

Rightly dividing the Word.

88   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

It pleased the Holy Spirit for what?

read it. Acts 15:28-29.

If you want to argue James was wrong than you must say the Holy Spirit got this wrong too. Or, perhaps you want to argue against the inspiration of scripture? Or just the inspiration of Acts? Which other books are not as inspired as Paul’s writings?

The epistles teach, the narratives record.

Says who?

The narratives, I would argue, do every bit as much teaching and instruction as didactic epistles.

James was wrong, Paul was right.

No, they were both right.

What you have done is set yourself up as the arbiter of truth as it pertains to scripture – you decide who was right and wrong. Who else got it wrong in your book?

89   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

When Jesus washed the disciple’s feet He said we should follow His example in that act. Then why doesn’t the church observe footwashing as an ordinance similar to communion?

Many do. I have been part of many foot washing ceremonies. And why don’t you practice it? If Jesus said to do it you dont have to wait for Paul to give you the green light. Do you only do what both Jesus and Paul say in concert?
And you can’t argue that the reason some don’t is because Paul doesn’t teach it – that is arguing from silence or trying to prove a negative. Nonsensical.

90   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Since you suggest that the law is still operational and still our guide, please list the commandments that we can ignore and not follow in this economy of the Spirit.

The issue isn’t the law per se, but rather what a person’s motivation was for keeping the law. If a person attempted to keep the law in search of self-righteous pride, it would lead him to being quickly undone. However if a person realized that they had been granted a covenant with God out of nothing of their own doing, keeping the law was a way to honor God, not a way to earn His favor. The law imparted righteousness to no one, but yet some in the OT were called righteous because of the same reason Christians are – through faith.

James was wrong in Acts 15 to command the Gentiles to abstain from things strangled, and blood, etc.. James had a difficult time extracting completely from the law, and in fact Paul and Peter had to convince him Gentiles could be saved. Acts is a narrative not to be confused with an epistle which has superior authority.

Wow, Rick, this is a new one from you…

Actually what James was doing was making Paul’s job of evangelizing the Gentiles a bit easier. If Paul went around telling Gentiles they could do whatever they pleased, it would have made it even harder for him to prove to the Jewish Christians (whom he was previously murdering) that he was actually on their side.

91   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Well I hope you command your congregation to abstain from those things.The Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased with progress, rarely do we provide perfection in His eyes.

“What you have done is set yourself up as the arbiter of truth as it pertains to scripture – you decide who was right and wrong. Who else got it wrong in your book?”

You again are obviously incapable of dialoguing without snarky comments and condescending satire. You, sir, can discuss with yourself about universal grace while hardly exhibiting much yourself. Please corral the rest of such comments and use them toward Chris, you and I can only remain friends with a cessation of interaction.

92   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

lol Rick. Welcome to the carpet.

You can dish it out all day but when it comes back you whine.

93   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Phil – that may be one explanation, however I believe it was due to James’s legalistic residue. No one teaches people those things since many other things would hold much greater weight including circumsim and the Sabbath.

94   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

you and I can only remain friends with a cessation of interaction.

then by definition we are not friends.

I find it very childish of you Rick, that you can castigate me all you wish because you are convinced I am wrong and teaching a “false gospel” concerning universalism, but when I question you about who else is wrong in scripture since you seem to know that James was (who was testifying with the Holy Spirit, no less) you fly off the handle.

Please tell me what else you are if not the judge of scripture when you declare that James (or anyone) was wrong?

95   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

No one teaches people those things since many other things would hold much greater weight including circumsim and the Sabbath.

If you read my paper you would have the answer to this.

To say “no one teaches” those things is false – James did. You mistake the intent of the abstentions James lists and call him wrong when you apparently don’t understand what those abstentions meant. Nor do you seem to care – of course, since epistles outrank narrative (which means they outrank the Gospels as well) I guess you can live with that just fine.

96   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

#82 wow! Just wow! Wrong? Did he say wrong? Wow!

97   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

careful, Jerry. Rick will cease all interaction with you if you call question him about this

98   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Jerry – if James was articulating God’s will for Gentile believers, then the church ought to be teaching their congregations the same thing today. James was wrong about a lot of things that were corrected by Paul’s teachings. We are free to eat anything we desire as believers in Christ. Paul even had to correct Peter for detaching himself from the Gentile believers, which was also a holdover from the Jewish customs.

God told Peter “slay and eat” which again was in contrast to everything Peter had thought. James was the most “Jewish” of the apostles.

99   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

I have decided that this whole “loving your enemies” thing is for the birds. I think Jesus was wrong to teach such a thing. Besides, the gospels are narratives anyways – they don’t really teach us much. I don’t remember Paul ever telling us to love our enemies or to pray for them.

100   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

if James was articulating God’s will for Gentile believers, then the church ought to be teaching their congregations the same thing today.

What is hilarious about this is we do.

The abstentions were a summation of the Decalogue (sorry, Chris L). 3 of the 4 summarize ethical, universal laws of God – to disobey them did not mean offending Jewish Law but a Holy God (idol worship, adultery/fornication, and murder). The 4th one is James’ (and the Holy Spirit’s) clever way to allow community to be developed in the infant church between Jews who were inundated with Mosaic law and new Gentile converts who practiced a form of strangling animals that Jews found offensive by nature (all this is in my paper and well footnoted). James was being a pastor – and a damn good one.

To say he was wrong is an offense to the inspiration and authority of scripture. James is not wrong – your understanding is.

101   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

James was the most “Jewish” of the apostles.

The ironic thing in this statement is that James was Jesus’ brother!

102   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

shhhh, Phil. We don’t like it getting out that Jesus was one of them.

103   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 4th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

A possible Facebook status:

Chad is wondering if anyone is trying to reconcile how he, the one whom everyone claims doesn’t take scripture seriously, is in fact the one being black-listed by someone for taking it quite seriously.

too wordy?

104   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Personally, I see that James was still learning what Jesus all entailed. Paul was the one chosen to receive the revelation and it was a progressive one. Some understanding of the Book of James should be taking account in that James had written the book before Paul revelation, though if looked at there is no real contradiction between Paul and James.

James gave these “rules” to reduce the cultural tension that existed and that Paul often addressed… especially in Rome… and as Corinth… (I follow Cephes, I follow Paul etc…) But to say they are the Law to me seems that it misses the point of the meeting as all came to agreement that it is by Grace all are saved.

iggy

105   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Chad,

I was also taught that Acts is not a doctrinal book… it is historical and not to take doctrine out of it. I see that less today, but it is taught in many of the bible schools and was a common thing taught in the Assemblies of God. This does not mean it is lesser in the Bible but that we must be careful not to take things in it as doctrinal. Such as that in every case there is a conversion, there is a water baptism… so the doctrine according to Acts is a water immersion must follow conversion as that is how it was done in Acts. I think if we look then at other passages we will see that sometimes “baptism” was simply the word “immersed” and that water had little to do with being “immersed in the Body of Christ Jesus”.

That is one example of what Rick is stating. Again this is not saying that Acts is lesser but that its purpose was different than the epistles…

This always bothered me, though I still see we should look at Acts with caution as far as gleaning doctrine from it… but that if Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and we take doctrine from Luke then why not also look at Acts the same way as it is the continuing story of what Jesus did after he was glorified. So for Rick I would say then that if Acts is not authoritative, then we must not hold any of hte Gospels as authoritative in comparison to the Epistles…

iggy

106   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Iggy – I never said that Acts wasn’t authoritative, but as doctrine it is supportive. Some denominations teach that tongues must accompany conversion. Why? Because they take it from Acts but none of the epistles teach that.

Acts is the narrative of the embrionic church which made many mistakes, especially going through the knowledge that Gentiles could be saved and what role the law played in this brand new phenomenon called the church.

All Scripture is authoritative, I have always said that. But some, like Leviticus, must be viewed through the prism of the New Testament.

107   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 4th, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Rick,
Again I agree to an extent with you in that one needs to be careful in taking doctrine out of Acts as you pointed out some use it to prove tongues are the proof of receiving the Holy Spirit… and Paul states clearly elsewhere that not all speak in tongues. I used baptism as the same type of example.

My point was that to say “Acts is a narrative not to be confused with an epistle which has superior authority.” means we need look at the Gospel the same way and I think you would not agree with that. Re-read what I stated… I did not say you did not take it authoritivly but that if one takes your view on Acts they should also take it with the Gospels… especially Luke…

Mostly you and I are in agreement here… and I am trying to explain how I was taught and what you are trying to say… and also trying to state why I see a major shortcoming in that view… Maybe I am doing to much at one time and it is confusing.

Yet, I too would caution one from taking doctrine out of Acts or any of the Gospels and agree that by saying the Epistle have greater authority does not mean that the Gospels and Acts have none… it is just in that we take from the more clear passages… and use them to understand the other less clear passages.

Also I agree with the “narrative” and that even in the Gospels we must take that into account… the context of who Jesus is talking to and who the author is writing to is often overlooked by many as they teach out of the Gospels… Luke and Acts to me are the best historical books which give accounts as to what happened… but may not give you the insight the same as John does or attack with purpose the Gnostics as John’s Gospel does… Mark may not make as much sense to a Jew as Matthew. Matthew may be confusing to a Gentile with all the prophecies and genealogies…

Yet, again, one must not go too far in not allowing Acts to work its purpose and I do see that doctrine can come out of it… it is just that one must be careful not to take out of the text that tongues, baptism and other things must also follow conversion…

iggy

108   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 4th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

We are largely and in overall agreement. You with me, of course. :cool:

109   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
January 5th, 2009 at 12:22 am

you and I can only remain friends with a cessation of interaction.

Wow. I know I’m late to this, but seriously?
What is your basis for your claim about Acts? At first blush, I think you’re wrong, does that mean you and I can will have to have a cessation of interaction?
Is that even a legit response? Why don’t you answer Chad’s assertion? Who besides you has held this view in church history? We’ll start there.

110   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 12:32 am

Joe,

I explained it above…

Yet I think that some here are missing the essence of what Rick is stating.

I do not see that James is puting down some new doctrine or even an abbreviated “Law” for the Gentile… In that Acts about James I will agree that it is possible that James did have issues with coming out from under the Law… yet I am not sure I agree totally with that or that James was “wrong” as Rick asserts. I think the motive was that of bringing unity between the Gentile and Jew and making it easier for the Gentile to become a follower of Jesus. It was just that simple.

iggy

111   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 1:21 am

Iggy-
It is one thing to say that we should be careful about extracting doctrine out of narrative. It is another thing entirely to declare, as Rick has done, that James was wrong.

As I said before- James was not wrong. Rather, Ricks understanding of what James was doing is wrong. I’ll take James (along with the Holy Spirit – remember, “it seemed good to us AND the Holy Spirit…) over Rick’s interpretation anyday.

Also, Iggy, I am a little suprised that someone who is more emergent than most not giving a larger nod toward narrative and its instructional ability.

I would argue that narrative is highly instructive. On the same par (but in a different way) as didactive writing.

112   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 2:13 am

Chad,

Note I stated that I think Rick is wrong about James…

I am in no way saying the narrative is not authoritative and neither is Rick…

My point is that we can get some weird doctrines out of Acts…

Take chapter 5 as an example. One can argue that a Christian must sell his land and give it to the church… in that way some have stated that the “true biblical” example is socialism. I would disagree… it became a real issue later for the Jerusalem church and Paul had to ask for help for the Jerusalem church… so if we take the “doctrine” that all Christians must sell their land and give it all to the poor… I see that as something that is not a “doctrine” but what was going on at the time.

The same with the Gospels as for example; “if your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out.” If that is made a doctrine then we need to be without a right eye and hand…

As far as narrative that is exactly what I am saying… we need to look at the story in context and understand what is going on in it…

I hear so many saying Jesus only meant it “figuratively” to gouge out your right eye… I believe it was not figuratively but that he meant it literally… yet… the point Jesus was making was not to do that but to show how serious of an issue sin is and how impossible for someone to attain eternal life because of their sin… He meant it literally and we reduce it to figuratively so we don’t need to deal with the issue Jesus was talking about… of course later we are told sin is taken away by Jesus on the Cross and we have New Life through the Resurrection…

This is not reducing the importance of the narrative as if we just looked at the Gospels as doctrinal books and miss the huge underlying narrative again… literally we need remove our right eye as a sign we are true followers of Jesus.

Yet, for doctrine we need work backward to a degree to understand the meaning of the narrative as I pointed out with the example of the “right eye causes you to sin”.

It is a bit dangerous to just read the narrative with out the foundation of understanding what is going on… Acts as Rick pointed out would lead one to believe that you are only truly saved if you speak in tongues… now I would be fine in that but those who do not would have some issue… We need to go to Paul and see what is going on… Also that same with Baptism… sometimes it is water and sometimes it is being immersed in the Body of Christ… so when Jesus is speaking at times in the Gospels if all one sees is water baptism they will add that to the salvation package… and be in error.

I stated that James may or may not have had issues with the revelation of Jesus that Paul had received… in fact Peter who opened the door to the Gentiles seems to shrink back from the idea they were saved by Grace… so the confrontation Paul had with Peter forced Peter to stand up to the Council and remind them of the direction God had set and that they were turning from.

Yet, that does not mean James was wrong… again I see James was only making it easier for Paul to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and appease those who did not understand the revelation as it was being given.

James was looking for a compromise… not the bad kind… but the kind that would help Paul reach the Jews outside Jerusalem listen to Paul and accept the Gentile as brothers in Christ by Grace. Yet as I pointed out, Paul did not take it as “law” as he even went against the suggestions given by stating eating meat sacrificed to idols was a matter of faith and conscience. If Paul stated that it was wrong, then it was a law and some would think of not eating meat sacrificed to idols as part of their own righteousness and thus negate Grace. So instead Paul was using great judgment in letting each person be persuaded in their own mind about it and also to not rub this freedom in the face of the weaker brother that viewed it as a sin. Yet again if it was a “law” then Paul was subverting that law and going against James.

That is the example again of looking to the Doctrinal Epistles to understand the narrative that is going on in Acts. This does not reduce the importance of the narrative but places it in proper perspective.

iggy

113   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 2:30 am

Rick,

We’ve discussed this a number of times before, but you have a very anti-Jewish view of Scripture which goes beyond the bounds of what Paul, Jesus or the disciples taught.

I have to say I’m confused how you say that James and the Jerusalem Council (and the Holy Spirit, I might add) were wrong in Acts 15, and then say that Paul then straightened James out on circumcision (since the Jerusalem Council ruling answered the circumcision question in the negative – correct – manner). I would say that James and Paul do not conflict w/ each other, and that the Acts 15 ruling is just a shorthand reiteration of Noaic Law as found in other contemporary Jewish literature – which Paul does not “nullify”.

As for washing feet in the church, I would contend that many of those churches who do not perform physical footwashing still honor this teaching (and that Paul supports it in Galatians 6:10 – Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.) when they humbly serve one another. I would argue that Jesus’ action was not to create a new required ceremony, but rather to set an example of humility in service to one another…

Additionally, I’ve been pretty patient with your seeming conversion to Paulianity in the past, and I would hope you would try to mirror that patience with Chad, as well (since I know we all find ways to frustrate one another from time to time).

114   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:03 am

To all. It is not the disagreement that I objcet to, as you can imagine my view of Pauline authority has always met with many levels of reisistance. It is snide remarks like these that derail what was an agressive and on topic conversation.

“It is another thing altogether to argue that God screwed up royally with the Jews.”

“What you have done is set yourself up as the arbiter of truth as it pertains to scripture – you decide who was right and wrong. Who else got it wrong in your book?”

There have been others on other threads. I admire some of you who can ignore such hyperbolic misrepresentations of your views, as you can see it throws me off my game. I am aggressive and verbose in defending my position or attacking someone else’s, but I have always tried to refrain from using condescending verbiage and constructs that are aimed at diminishing the person themselves.

So go ahead and disagree with my layered view of Scriptural authority, but leave the “what else in wrong in your book” at home, along with “You can dish it out all day but when it comes back you whine.”

I find these and others distasteful and unchristian in the course of seeking productive exchange, or what should be.

115   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:16 am

Rick,
Chad asked what you see as the “Law”. Is it only the rules given (Mosaic/Noaic and interpretations thereof) or the Torah or the whole OT?

I think we have a certain amount of license to re-interpret Scripture like the counsel did in Jerusalem together with fellow Christians and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I am reading an article in support of this by Professor WJ Wessels, “The Newness of The Word: Hermeneutical implications of the re-interpretation of prophetic words in the book of Jeremiah”. He writes in the extract:

Jeremiah 23:6-5 is duplicated in Jeremiah 33:15-16 and 23:7-8 so it seems in 16:14-15. At first glance it appears to be direct quotations, but closer scrutiny reveal slight but significant re-applications of the texts. …

… . My suspicion is that these texts were re-interpreted for reasons of changes in social contexts and the need to demonstrate their ongoing relevance. …

… . If this is true, it surely has important hermeneutical implications. It will demonstrate the freedom which existed within believing communities to re-interpret and appropriate prophetic words as authentic revelations even before they were canonized in Scripture. What we have as canonized Scripture would therefore include already re-interpreted and appropriated prophetic words.

My reason for bringing this up is that the Law (the whole of the OT) is still valid today but needs to be appropriated into our redeemed status in Christ Jesus and our current social context. So to answer Rick’s question as to who decide what parts of the Law applies – we together and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit does and how it is to be applied. I believe we have this freedom(power) but to quote a superhero’s father: “With great power comes great responsibility”.

116   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:33 am

Gene – You bring to light an excellent perspective, and I would add this caveat. When we decide that certain parts of the law – thou shall not lie – should still be obeyed they are, in the context of the ministration of the Spirit, are no longer law. They have now become tenants of obedience to the Father in the context of a spiritual family. That is my point, not that we can do anything we desire, but that moral commandments that were once written in stone are now written by the Spirit in our hearts, reinforced by the New Testament, but they are no longer law.

When someone breaks a law they are brought before a judge. But when you child breaks a family law, he is brought before the father (parents). That is a significant difference and one that should deepen our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He is no longer our Judge, He is our Father.

117   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:34 am

To all. It is not the disagreement that I objcet to, as you can imagine my view of Pauline authority has always met with many levels of reisistance. It is snide remarks like these that derail what was an agressive and on topic conversation.

Rick,
you may not see it but even in your attempt of humour you often make snide remarks and even sometimes without the normal Frueh humour. A quick glance at the One (Universalism) Thread to Rule Them All… tread will testify to this. I don’t think it is Chad’s motive to be condescending any more than it is yours. I think we should all abstain from any snide remarks. So… Rick, Chad, Chris L, PB, Phil, Iggy, Joe, Jerry, Eugene please play nice!

118   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:44 am

I am not sinless to be sure, but if someone calls me on something I said will give it genuine consideration. I believe humor is disarming and a positive in the midst of heated exchange.

I will continue to be careful.

PS – it is widely reported that Eugene is a jerk, but I do not subscribe to that view. The truth is much more harsh than that. :cool:

119   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:48 am

Rick, #116 – I agree, I think… especially with the “You bring to light an excellent perspective” part. :)

I think I begin to see your rub with the law. It is in that it still being a “LAW” to us in the sense of it putting us under the judgement of it. I think Chad and other would agree that this would be the wrong application of the Law. I would put it to you that the Law still applies under the leading of the Holy Spirit guiding us in all truth and thus becoming the Law of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not function ouside the Law but agrees with it.

Romans 7:12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (ESV)

120   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 8:58 am

it is widely reported that Eugene is a jerk

My wife would add: a liar, lazy, argumentative, … but she loves me and so do you :D

121   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 9:01 am

“Romans 7:12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (ESV)”

yes,because of the purpose it served. Paul wasn’t suggesting the law was a mistake, he was showcasing it as the divine contruct that led the spiritual community to Christ.

It is no longer necessary in that vein since the Holy Spirit, largely through believers, accomplishes that task. For example, a person is free to tithe but he is not under and law to do so. The law is good and holy in that it cut us down from our self righteousness, but Jesus tells us that when the Holy Spirit comes HE will convict the world of sin.

The gospel is not to thge Jews, it is to the world, most of whom know nothing of the law. Most people come to Christ with no real knowledge of the law and any sense of sin comes by the Spirit and the inate realization of right and wrong, not the law.

122   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 9:43 am

I am aggressive and verbose in defending my position or attacking someone else’s,

exactly.

And yet you buckle when someone disagrees with you and calls you on the carpet.

You made the statment that James is wrong. Rick, it is perfectly legitimate for me or anyone else to point out that this statement by you sets you up as the one who determines who or what is right or wrong in scripture. It is perfectly legitimate to ask you who else is wrong in your book.

Good grief. I spent days getting hammered by you and everyone else – being told I am a false brother, a false teacher, teaching a false gospel that is destroying the fabric of Christianity and the core of the gospel message (that is you, btw), been told I don’t take scripture seriously, had every caricacture about my views presented and more.

And you get all offended when someone dares to question your use of scripture, take your ball and go home.

123   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:00 am

I was also taught that Acts is not a doctrinal book… it is historical and not to take doctrine out of it. I see that less today, but it is taught in many of the bible schools and was a common thing taught in the Assemblies of God. This does not mean it is lesser in the Bible but that we must be careful not to take things in it as doctrinal.

Iggy,
I found this statement pretty funny, actually. I don’t know your exact background in the A/G, but my dad, grandpa, and an uncle are all A/G pastors, and until this past year I was pretty much involved in an A/G my whole life.

One of the A/G’s most distinctive doctrines is based pretty much entirely in Acts. The whole idea that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is consistently supported by instances in Acts. I once had someone tell me (I can’t exactly remember who) that the reasoning behind this was that it happened three times in Acts, so once something happens three times in Scripture, it can be considered normative.

Now I consider that reasoning a load of you-know-what, but if you were taught that Acts wasn’t a source of doctrine at an A/G school, it goes against pretty much everything I’ve heard almost every higher up person in the A/G say. They have pretty much always said the entire Bible can be systematized in some way or another.

124   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:04 am

Iggy -

My point is simply this: Regardless of where one puts narrative on the scale for its docrinal-ability (new word) that does not give anyone the right to say someone was wrong. Especially in this case (James makes it clear that the abstentions listed are from a consensus reached by the council AND the Holy Spirit).

Rick’s understanding of James and what he is doing is wrong. It is that simple.

125   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:06 am

I was also taught that Acts is not a doctrinal book

I found this interesting as well.

I was taught the same. A few years ago you would have found me arguing much the same because I was convinced tongues was not for real (I was wrong).
My argument rested primarily on making Acts less relevant in the whole scope of things (I was wrong).

Last year I got to take an exegesis of Acts class. I will never make the mistake of arguing against the doctrinal quality of narrative or the legitimacy of Acts (or any other book) as Christian scripture and testimony.

126   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:11 am

In the book of Acts, a narrative, ithe last speech by Stephen is recorded and he makes this statement:

Acts 7: Then came he (Abram) out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Charran (Haran) : and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into the land wherein you now dwell.

In Genesis we find that Terah, Abram’s father, was 70 years old when Abram was born (Gen.11:26). In Gen.11:32 we find Terah died at 205 years of age.

In Gen.12:4 we find that Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran headed for Palestine. That means that his father would have been 150 years old and still had 55 years to live.

So what Stephen said was recorded accurately, what he actually said was inaccurate. Terah was still alive when Abram left Haran.

So when a narrative records what a person says does not automatically mean what they said was altogether accurate except in the case of Jesus Himself.

127   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:17 am

James saying that it seemed good to the Holy Spirit are also his subjective words. They are at odds with Acts ten where God tells Peter not to call unclean what God has called clean. James did make the statement in verses 28 and 29, but even he admits that they are a little burden which again is at odds with the freedom in Christ, and the things he lists are most definitely a carryover from the law which were and continue to be discarded by the church except in a small amount of Hebrew/Christian streams.

128   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:27 am

Rick –
Again, your understanding is wrong, not James.

If you read my paper you would find a middle ground. You will find that no one is at odds here and that James is making some of the first pastoral applications of the law of Christ in the infant church.

Who are you to say that James’ saying that it was good to them and the Holy Spirit is “subjective?” Seriously. I really would like to know how you can put me down contiuously for not, in your mind, take scripture seriously and still keep a straight face.

129   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:32 am

The irony here is that they ended up writing a letter that was approved by the apostles, elders, Peter, James, Paul, Barnabas, Judas (Barsabbas), Silas, and presumably some unnamed people. Oh, that that one called the Holy Spirit.

And irony of ironies, Paul, whom Rick is claiming disagreed with the contents of the letter, carried the damn thing back to Antioch.

Sort of reminds of Uriah. Rick, Paul didn’t have a disagreement with James, he had a disagreement with Barnabas. That must be where you are confused.

Seriously, this line of the discussion could be solved rather easily if someone would just post James 15 and allow us to read it together. Because in all honesty a) Rick is just playing with us to keep the conversation going b) he hasn’t actually read Acts 15 or c) he converted to Lutherism and therefore just doesn’t like James.

I wonder where PB falls in this discussion?

I could be wrong.
jerry

130   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 10:54 am

Hmmm Eugene I don’t recall stating any snide remarks but can I get some in so your rebuke can stand? :lol:

Chad,

I am finding your tone towards me a little interesting though…

I think you need to really look at what I am saying as I am feeling like you are taking my words and doing some strange things with them… which to me is not like you have been with me before.

I have stated at least twice that I do not agree with Rick’s assertion that James is wrong in stating that the HOly Spirit inspired the statement… I am stating and I guess will again that the motivation and understanding of the statement need be filtered through the Epistles instead of just taken by themselves. Rick brings out some interesting point as well when he and I have pointed out that the statement TAKEN IN THE MANNER YOU ARE STATING is at odds with other points of scripture that is more clear.

Again, James is not wrong, lying, mistaken or whatever else in that stream of thought but is PURPOSELY helping Paul in making it easier for the Jews to accept their Gentile brothers with giving a official statement. The idea is more that some Jewish Christians looked to Jerusalem and it is a tip of the hat toward Paul having authority which later we read Paul states technically he did not need as his authority was from Jesus.

Again, this is a progressive revelation which can explain why we have the narrative state that chapter 2 (Pentecost) Stoning of Stephen and the intro of Saul is in Chapter 7. Saul’s conversion is in chapter 9 which is before chapter 10 (Peter is revealed that the Gentile is saved by grace) which is before chapter 15 where we are discussing the Gentiles and Paul’s news of their conversion and then into Paul’s journey to Rome and story of conversion of Gentiles…

That was not at all to be condescending but to help you see that the Narrative that is there is progressive as well as the revelation…

In this progression James had heard of Peters story though Peter did a lousy follow-up and in fact back-slid into old Jewish behaviour of separatism. Paul addresses that part of the of revelation was important as it was the proof of what his ministry to the Gentiles was all about… and James in the middle handed over the reigns to Paul with a “creed” of sorts… but it is not a Law… like The Law or even the Noaic Law (at least in my view).

Now if we look at a literal translation it is not a Law… the numbers of course are Strong’s.

19. |1352| Because of this, |1473| I |2919| give judgment |3361| not |3926| to trouble |3588| those |0575| from |3588| the |1484| nations |1994| turning |1909| to |3588| – |2316| God,20. |0235| but |1989| to write |0846| to them |0567| to hold back |0575| from |0234| pollutions |3588| of the |1497| idols, |2532| and |4202| sexual sin, |2532| and |3588| the |4156| strangled |9999| {animals}, |2532| and |0129| blood.

It is just basically what Paul’s message was… to not not give the appearance of evil…. like being polluted by idols, sexual sin and eating meat with blood still in it (as that would turn off and offend their Jewish brother which it did and Paul later had to address as an issue.)

In the literal translation it does not read as a law any more than Paul’s writings do.

iggy

131   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 11:01 am

Phil,

I had some pretty good Bible teachers while in the AoG though I was steeped in legalism and some of the stuff taught was legalistic… I took a year off to even begin to sort through it before I went back to a church. But that was what I learned from two different pastors in the AoG… not there were those OTHER AoG that also taught the Prosperity Gospel (which our did but toned down) and I knew some people who would state that… but officially the pastors I was under did not think that people needed to speak in tongue to be saved though it was the most common sign that someone was to them.

But most common sign did not mean only sign.

iggy

132   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 11:07 am

btw Rick and Chad… my dog hates you both… I have rebuked her over it… but she is seething with hatred toward you both…

(That was really for Eugene so that I could feel the sting of his loving rebuke) :smile:

iggy

133   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 5th, 2009 at 11:08 am

But that was what I learned from two different pastors in the AoG… not there were those OTHER AoG that also taught the Prosperity Gospel (which our did but toned down) and I knew some people who would state that… but officially the pastors I was under did not think that people needed to speak in tongue to be saved though it was the most common sign that someone was to them.

Well, there are all sorts in the A/G, and I certainly have my difference with the denomination in general, but I would point that I’ve never met anyone who would say that one has to speak in tongues to be saved. I think the vast majority of them would say that salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit are two separate events, though.

134   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 11:24 am

I think the vast majority of them would say that salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit are two separate events, though.

I would concur with this statement. I was saved at Teen Challenge here in PA. All of the pastors and counselors were AG. And all of them had a prayer language, and some spoke publicly in tongues. I believe I’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but I don’t speak or pray in tongues. And it was never forced on me, though it was strongly encouraged that I seek that gift.

Most of them took Acts as a very doctrinal book, as it most clearly affirmed their teaching that tongues was for all believers and was a sign of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

135   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 11:41 am

Phil,
I think my comment got blocked by a spam filter.

136   andy    
January 5th, 2009 at 11:57 am

Hi i think Rick could be right about James in Acts 15…Acts is just repeating what happened/said in that period, its not necessarily doctrine, its the story…Just because James stated that “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit” doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit did think it was good …

For instance Acts 20:22 the Holy Spirit said to Paul

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there”

But in Act 21:4 the Holy Spirits saying

” who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.”

Acts is just repeating what was said, its not confirming what was said was correct…

As far as Rick be snarky, i find that a bit rich of you Chad, you can hardly post without calling poor Pastorboy a liar or a fool,wheres the love ;-)

137   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 5th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Well certainly people can miss what the Holy Spirit is saying, but I think it takes some chutzpah for us to claim that’s what happened in Acts 15. Especially, since the letter was penned from the whole council in Jerusalem, not just James.

The issue isn’t whether they were issuing some sort of universal edict for all time – I’ve never read any commentator say that was the case. The edict was the Spirit’s direction for the church at that specific time – it was an act of progressive revelation. The divide between Jewish and Gentile Christians was threatening to blow up into a huge issue within the fledgling church, so the leaders had to do something. They sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit and made a decision based on this guidance. This is exactly a model of how to handle certain issues within the church today.

138   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Phil,

I think the vast majority of them would say that salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit are two separate events, though.

That I would agree with… about the AoG that is.

I do not see it that way though I do think that there are many times a person is filled with the Holy Spirit meaning…

The HS comes in and seals us at the point of redemption…

Now stating that I know I stated salvation is a process… and that there is no line in the sand in one sense and yet each person does cross that line at some point… it is just not a fixed point such as saying a prayer of going to the alter or even after one repents all the sin…

I see it as that the process is one of calling, conversion and redemption… one can sit for a long time in conversion yet it can happen in an instant… (I was told this is very RCC of me… :smile: )

Yet, at the point of redemption one is sealed with the HS though God can pour out the HS on a person at times such as in the case of Peter in Acts which can happen whenever God wants to empower us to do a work that is well beyond anything we can do on our own.

I do though believe that this infilling and pouring on is a natural occurance that many Christians do not experience as they are either still in the conversion state or have never understood the indwelling Life of Christ… they have not experience or understood the exchanged life… giving their life (really their death) to Jesus for exchange for His Life. That of course is the Keswickian influence I have which is sort of like the “Second Blessing” and often confused with it.

But as far as having to have a second blessing to have the Holy Spirit come in us I rejected that and was part of the reason I left the AoG along with believing in eternal security which their doctrinal statement stated I needed to believe in order to be ordained through them… I understand though they have soften up on this a bit.

iggy

139   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

“And irony of ironies, Paul, whom Rick is claiming disagreed with the contents of the letter, carried the damn thing back to Antioch. “

I did not say Paul was perfect, and perhaps like all of us he made room for the weaker brethren. I said his epistles taught freedom in Christ without the restrictions of the law or Jewish customs. My point remains, narratives must be supportive and not the basis for arriving at doctrine.

Many denominations stand substantially on Acts and the gospels, and some take the words of Jesus (sell all that you have, etc.) and set them up as foundational. In fact, if you use Jesus’s parable about “when I was naked you didn’t clother me…etc” you can easily arrive at a social gospel. Without the ministry of the teaching epistles, which are actually God’s systematic theology, we can make the Bible say anything we desire.

140   andy    
January 5th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

“”but I think it takes some chutzpah for us to claim that’s what happened in Acts 15.”"

Compared to what some claim about scripture around here,i don’t think its that wild ;-?…

I agree Phil i’m not sayin that i’m correct,just that its a possibility

141   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Nathanael,
I just rescued your comments from the spam filter. I have no idea why they went there…

142   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Jerry, et.al

Here is my view of the 1st part of the chapter... enjoy!

or mock me…

143   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

PB,

Oye Vey! Talk about missing the point! I won’t bother posting comments at your site as you wont let them through anyway… and you most likely will take what I say and twist is as you did with Bell…

tox·ic (tksk) KEY

ADJECTIVE:

1: Of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or other poison: a toxic condition; toxic hepatitis.

2: Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means; poisonous: food preservatives that are toxic in concentrated amounts; a dump for toxic industrial wastes. See Synonyms at poisonous.

Yes sin id deadly… yet the word toxic recognizes that not all will die in their sin as God’s grace was there also…

Yet, really you missed that it was not just that Bell is talking about sin, but the sin of oppression in particular that was “toxic” and caused Israel to become the new Egypt. Did Israel die then in their sin? No… to your thesis is off as Israel did not “die” but was exiled… or set out to the desert to let all see her sin…

So again… a reading class is really recommended… and an anger management class would be even better as you cannot control that anger as I stated and you admit you wrote that post, “Let me say first and foremost that I am angry at myself.” No need to be angry… as many of us see that this may be the first real time you have any integrity in your opinion even as we disagree.

iggy

144   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I still have a gift card to the local Christian bookstore, but after reading John’s review and quotes I won’t purchase the book. Too much code-speak for a dinosaur like me.

145   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

PB,

I disagree. God does not need a body.

So much for Jesus… and Timothy was a fool I guess.

1 Tim 3:16. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Do you understand that if Jesus did not die in a human Body (He was God you know) and then be Glorified in that same Body then we would not have been saved… the whole plan of salvation hinged on God having a Body… so again your premise is wrong…

God did not need a Body if He did not want to redeem us… but that was the only Way to Salvation for us… unless now you have another way?

So far

Bell 2

PB 1/2 (By pointing out that Bell misquotes Adam though PB still missed the main point.)

iggy

146   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

# 143

There is no moderation there Iggy… if you have read the book, comment away.

My only response to #143 is this: Why not just say sin? Why not just say death?

147   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

#145
I was not addressing Jesus, but could God have purchased our salvation without a body?

Did God NEED a body? In terms of Moses, was there any other way? Was there any other person?

No, God does not need a body, but, as I explained, it is by His grace, and by His mercy, and by his love that He uses people to demonstrate His love, His mercy, His justice.

Though God can operate without us just fine, thank you.

148   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Man… I could go on more and more as I noticed PB also denies that the Law was the Tutor that leads us to Jesus… In that way it was teaching us to be human… yet PB denies this about the Law!

OK I give Bell 3 points and am rethinking that 1/2 point for PB.

PB also ends up denying that God gave the Law to Israel to live by so that they would show their love for Him… hmm I think here is what Phil or someone was stating about the “Luther hating Jews” idea comes in with PB…

God chose the Jews by Grace and poured out love on them like a Son… God disciplined Israel and as Hebrews 12: 6 states… “…the Lord disciplines those he loves, …”

Yet, PB is stating the opposite in that the Law was just to point out sin… and denies it was also to lead us to Jesus….

Sheesh!

iggy

149   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

I will add to all that this…

I think this is the most charitable reading and review PB has ever given…

iggy

150   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 5th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Talk about straining out a gnat…

Obviously God doesn’t “need” anything in an ontological sense, but from the way Bell is using the term, it’s clear what he means. To nitpick about is to approach the book with an agenda.

If I say I “need” my wife, it’s probably not ontologically true in the sense that I could probably actually survive without her. But in many other ways, I do “need” my wife, and I’m not lying when I say it.

151   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

PB,

# 143

There is no moderation there Iggy… if you have read the book, comment away.

My only response to #143 is this: Why not just say sin? Why not just say death?

That is the site you took my words from here and then twisted them to mean the opposite of what I stated… then I tried twice to correct what you were stating and you did not let those comment through… and then accused me of being “nasty or snide”…. really you say you allow comments… but I am not going to do it there I am doing here were people CAN read what I say and that you will not censor my words and then lie that you let comment through as you just did again.

And why not say “death” because death would have denied that God’s grace was also in action… to say death would mean that God gave up on Israel and He did not…
That is one underlying point Bell is making which you are missing.

iggy

152   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Phil…

God’s plan of salvation was that God needed a Body… and PB clearly misses this… without a Body, God could not redeem us by His death, burial, Resurrection and Glorification… PB seems to be stating that there is another way of salvation other than Jesus.

I agree that God may not have needed a Body… He could have just decided to not redeem us after…

iggy

153   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Rick,

#144: nice.

jerry

154   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

To all,

I read PB’s ‘review’. Don’t waste your time. He read only what he wanted to read and saw only what he wanted to see.

To PB, Amazon.com sells the book for $14.00. I’ll send you $18.00 if you give me your address. I’ll give the book to someone who will read it. You have my email and my FB page. Send the addy and I’ll send you the cheque.

jerry

155   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

PB,
Your review reminds me of the church I grew up in. Whenever a person or movement was decried, every reading or observation about them was tainted by the need to find something wrong…or at least that’s my observation.

Maybe I was reading your review with my own need to find something wrong.

Maybe I’m messed up.

Maybe…

156   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

A Blogging Sabbatical

Grace and peace, friends (even you, Rick) :)

157   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Shalom, Chad.
Enjoy

158   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

#152
God cannot do something…..

I think I was criticized on this very blog about saying that God can not do something.

I know Tony Jones really blasted me for saying this.

Iggy, you are really more in agreement with me than you care to admit!

159   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

PB,

God cannot do something…..

First off I never stated that… and you are putting words in my mouth… you are stating that and in the original correspondence with you I tried to correct this mistaken view you have… Though the Bible states “God cannot lie” it is not that He cannot as in He is unable to do so if He wanted to… He is not that type of God.

God can do what He wants.. but as I stated and you are twisting what I stated before and now… that God will not do something against His character…

Yes, He could have decided to not redeem mankind and being God, He could have chosen another way…. but the fact is… He did not and needed a Body to do what He willed to do.

That is what the Incarnation is about, PB, and your statements in your review are stating that there was no need for the Incarnation and that God did not need to become a Man to redeem Man… so no… I am not in agreement with you at all… I agree with the Bible and God’s eternal Plan as He chose to do.

iggy

160   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

PB,

Again, that last comment you made is exactly why I will not post comments on your blog… you twist what I say to mean the opposite when it is you that is stating unbiblical things right and left.

iggy

161   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

#155
I am not saying Rob Bell is wrong, I am saying I disagree.
I do think I am right, however, or I would not make that statement.

For you postmoderns out there, there is truth. You can have different perspectives on the truth, but there is only one truth. I think Bell is expressing the truth as he sees it. I think in some ways he is wrong. I think in others he just chooses to express it differently.

I think, Nate, you want to see that I hate Bell (I don’t) I disagree strongly with much of what He has written to this point. I think that most of what He has written to this point is NOT orthodox Christianity. I think some of it borders on heresy. That is my opinion. My opinion is supported by my interpretation of scripture. I think Bell, by His own admission, sees the interpretation of scripture as something that is fluid and changing.

I see scripture as living and active, but the underlying truth as unchanging.

162   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

without a Body, God could not redeem us by His death, burial, Resurrection and Glorification…

#160 Did I miss something?

163   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

#159

Iggy, you are twisting words. By the nature of the incarnation, God would need a body.

Is that the only way he could save mankind? No, but it is the way He chose to redeem mankind. The narrative of the OT is filled with types and shadows of this, including the Exodus.

164   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

#161,

PB,
My close to comment 155 was tongue-in-cheek. I am a charible reader most of the time.

I think, Nate, you want to see that I hate Bell (I don’t)

I want to think nothing of the kind. But it appears that you are reading the book with an agenda, not with a teachable spirit.

165   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

PB,

OK I stated that but you are still twisting it at I am stating that in the context of the eternal plan of salvation God set before creation if God was to stay True to His will and word He needed a Body…

Interestingly now you are doing exactly as you always do… you state something unbiblical then back-peddle to a more biblical position… with out acknowledging you were wrong in the 1st place….

In that you make me laugh! :lol:
iggy

166   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

PB,

So really you need to do a retraction of your words on your blog as you really agree with me and you are wrong…

After this I may make one comment on your blog as I might quote you stating what you did above and ask you why you disagreed with Bell when you really did agree with him?

Again, this is also an example of your squishy theology as you go back and forth and seem unstable in what you actually believe.

iggy

167   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

It really doesn’t matter what God can and cannot do, it’s only what HE DID that is important.

168   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

#164If reading with a teachable spirit means I will come to a specific, set on conclusion that you all will agree with, I guess not.

I am going by my interpretation of scripture, not anyone elses.

169   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

#167 Amen, Rick.

170   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Rick,

It really doesn’t matter what God can and cannot do, it’s only what HE DID that is important.

And really that is my point and PB is playing games with that very thing with his words.

iggy

171   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I am going by my interpretation of scripture, not anyone elses.

Ah, yes, solo scriptura to the rescue…

And you accuse us of being postmodern!

172   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

PB,

I am going by my interpretation of scripture, not anyone elses.

Again, that is why I recommend 2 things… first let the Holy Spirit guide and teach you as without Him one will come out making the Bible say whatever they want it to say as you are doing….

Secondly you need to take a reading comprehension course to help you understand literature… again that is not a put down but an observation that myself and others see you need.

iggy

173   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I just find it humorous that PB is asserting that God did not need a Body, then states that God needed a Body for the Incarnation… then states he is only using his own interpretation… :lol:

Just find that very funny for some reason… sorry if this seem mocking… not meant to be… just laughing about it…

So God does/does not need a Body to redeem mankind according to PB… and he states he is not “post-modern”… talk about relativistic thinking and theology!

:lol:

iggy

174   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I know all too well why God didn’t choose my body! The Scriptures declare God prepared a body for Christ. The only reason God needed a body for redemption is that he designed redemption that way Himself.

All “why’s” are perfectly understood within the Godhead.

175   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I just read an EXCELENT post. It speaks to the problem of discussing verses from the bible, finding that everyone’s interpretation is different.

176   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I think this assertion of the author of the post I linked to in #175 describes very well what happens so very often here at CRN.Info and especially now…

The point of all this is that religious dogmatism is so stubborn because we aren’t dealing with rationality. We are working with an emotional system. Overtly, the conversation is about biblical texts or rational arguments. But at root what is governing the conversation is the feeling of knowing. And if the person feels they are right then quality counter-arguments just won’t penetrate. The dominant emotional tone of conviction convinces the person that he is in the possession of the truth. That feeling drives the conversation.

177   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

I think this lends itself to the mischaracterization of postmodern Christians. It is said that we don’t believe in absolute truth. But that is the oversimplification of the century (okay, maybe the mischaracterization of “emergents” tops it).
But what we slippery postmoderns welcome is mystery and dialogue and learning and growing and stretching, not necessarily “knowing.”

The modern generation has the answers and often can’t believe that everyone doesn’t adhere to their conclusion.

178   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I put myself in the postmodern catagory strictly in the generational sense.

179   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 6:06 pm

That is my opinion. My opinion is supported by my interpretation of scripture. I think Bell, by His own admission, sees the interpretation of scripture as something that is fluid and changing.

I see scripture as living and active, but the underlying truth as unchanging.

No, you don’t. You see your interpretation of Scripture as unchanging. Rob Bell has not suggested that Scripture has changed. He said in the introduction that the book is a theological reading. It is a word about God.

His objective is not to ‘present orthodox Christianity’ in the sense that you want him to utter a ‘Reformed systematic theological system.’ But neither is his book unorthodox. It is not even close to what you call ‘heresy’ unless by ‘heresy’ you mean Not Reformed. In that case, many of our are heretics.

The book is a theological reading; it is a sermon about what God is doing in this world through Christians who are involved in His story.

Your reading of this book is skewed by your dislike of Bell. It’s that simple.

jerry

180   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

“The book is a theological reading; it is a sermon about what God is doing in this world through Christians who are involved in His story.”

Not much, it seems. The assessment of the entire situation on this planet suggests that either God is losing, or all the New Testament passages suggesting perilous times are now in the benediction phase.

Next stop – II Thess. 1:7-9. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Unless those words mean something other than Webster suggests.

181   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 5th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I’m not sure I’m following you here Rick.

182   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

The 90% ofb the world that is not Christian is one big, colossal mess. The 10% that is labeled Christian is only 1% evangelical, and that 1% is full of greed, avarice, divorce, immorality, teen pregnancy, pornography, hedonism, hate, discord, debt, lethargy, marginal professions, Biblical denial, fragmentation, and a stream of other issues that detract from the cross of Jesus Christ.

Other than that, God has a good handle on everything. :cool:

183   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Rick,

Have you checked your blood sugar today? You sound grumpy. :smile:

iggy (the other grumpy diabetic)

184   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Thanks Iggy, I forgot, the church is full of diabetics too!

185   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

And grumpty ones at that! :lol:

186   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Who can’t spell worth a dang!

187   Neil    
January 5th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

You (and me and every non Jew on the planet) are grafted into their story – Chad (#43)

Both the church and Israel are branches – one natural the other grafted in. Gentiles were not grafted into Israel… we were not grafted into their story. We were grafted into God’s story -he is the root, the vine.

It’s a fine point, but Romans 11 does not speak of our being grafted into Israel.

188   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

And Israel will be grafted back in at the end. The specifics are a bit cloudy, but it does seem clear God has an end time plan for the remaining Jews.

189   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Speaking of saving Christians, and since no one mentioned it here, I found this post at CRN to be especially inappropriate and viscious. To take advantage of someone’s grief is way beyond any boundaries of Christian compassion and only speaks of the cold-hearted doctrine emperors that take any opportunity to strut their theological piety, even when it means dancing on the grace of a sixteen year old boy who struggled with medical problems much of his life.

Please do not confuse doctrinal correctness with Christ, many times they are unrelated.

190   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 5th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

It should read “dancing on the grave”.

191   Neil    
January 5th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Pastorboy –

In the past I thought your comments here were rather sloppy and you interpretation of what other wrote shallow and not well thought out.

Now I see that you can go deep. And you post on Bell’s book proves it. Obviously you HAD to find something to gripe about – since your grid about Bell is settled and cannot be changed – even by Bell himself.

To complain about sin being “toxic” not “deadly” is childish… shallow… and transparent.

Then you disagree with God wanting a body by saying; “God, by His grace, chose these people to be His covenant people to demonstrate His grace.” – do you not see that you are agreeing with Bell?

Pastorboy,

It is now obvious that you are incapable of reading what someone writes and commenting on it objectively.

192   Neil    
January 5th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

The other thing that is obvious from Pastorboy’s review is that he completely missed the genre of the book as well. It is not a theology book, it is a devotional.

193   Neil    
January 5th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I guess what really disappoints me is Pastorboy’s pettiness. I was hoping he would do a good serious reading of the book. Obviously he has not. He has chosen, instead, to knit-pick.

I agree PB, if this is how you are going to read this book you have wasted you money… as well as your time spent reading and writing… as well as wasting the time of anyone who read your blog.

194   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 5th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I found it interesting that if you study out the Suffering Servant some scholars believe it to be Israel and some to be the Messiah Jesus… to me I believe Jesus is the New Israel that is the same thing as what Paul is talking about being the Branch we are all grafted onto… Some grew naturally and were broken off and some grafted on, but since most of the thought is that God started a new creation, and that where Israel failed as a nation, Jesus fulfilled as an individual and as a representative of that nation… so in essence Jesus is the Israel and God has redeemed Israel.

Now I do not have a sophisticated explanation other than what some Jewish scholars state and that sometimes Israel is refereed to as an individual in Isaiah so don’t expect me to back that all up… I just think it interesting and somewhat beautiful.

iggy

195   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 8:27 am

Neil,

Bell states that the book is a theology in the introduction. It may have devotional elements, but that is not the main point of the book. Theology is.

Jerry

196   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 8:36 am

Theology. Is that like criminology?

197   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:30 am

#196
This theology is criminal.

Neil and Jerry,
I guess it is a waste of time, because I disagree? You are both pretty disengenuous. You say I cannot comment on the book unless I read it, and when I do read it with my Bible at my side, you complain that I am not giving it a fair reading.

So fair reading=agree with All of Bell’s premises
Unfair reading=Disagreement with any of the premises.

He calls it a theology book. His view of God is very poetic and beautiful, but in some ways it is a false or incomplete picture.

I am offended. I spent about 20 hours on the first chapter, reading, re reading, circling, highlighting, examining…I did a deep reading, and you don’t like what I came up with. I am sorry, it is nothing against Bell, it is against some of his premises and ideas.

Jerry, I can excuse you, because your blessed Buckeyes once again represented how far the Big Ten has fallen as far as being a power conference. They really cannot beat anyone outside of their own conference! Iowa is the only exception!

198   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 10:33 am

PB,

It is not that you disagree but that you actually do agree and still write as if you don’t and for some reason cannot see it at all…

It is very strange and frustrating at times to deal with you… as you are sometimes very irrational and illogical.

iggy

199   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:39 am

I don’t disagree that it’s a theology book – it’s a darn good one in my opinion. It based on a much richer understanding of the narrative nature of Biblical texts than much of the surface reading prominent in a lot of evangelical theology today.

The crux of the matter is this. We can either approach theology in a way that admits we are part of the problem, that we still need saving on a daily basis, and we invite people on that journey with us. Or we can approach theology in a way that says we have it all figured out and have the solution that everyone else needs to buy into.

Brennan Manning calls this the difference between the
Pioneers and the Settlers. It’s a fundamental difference, so if you’re following one story, disagreeing over the smaller details in one really doesn’t matter that much. If you can’t agree on the fundamentals, it seems arguing over the particulars is useless.

200   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 10:40 am

PB,
You must realize that as we read your review, you only list the things in the book with which you disagree.

You say here in this comment thread

His view of God is very poetic and beautiful, but in some ways it is a false or incomplete picture.

but in your review, you state and restate areas where you feel Bell is wrong and unbiblical. You never shade toward a complimentary comment.

There is a tone throughout the whole review which is set by your first paragraph that rings of disdain and annoyance. There is also a tone (in my opinion) of superiority in your review.

Just a few thoughts.
Shalom

201   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:44 am

PB,

I never said you couldn’t comment on the thread or about the book. If I said anything, I don’t really recall, I said that it is silly to dismiss a book because you read reviews of a book without having read it yourself. That is disingenuous.

Will you stop calling me disingenuous. My God man, I offered to buy the book back from you since you think that God only uses people who utter that garbage you call Reformed. Send me your address, and I’ll send you a a check. Then you can donate the book to your local library.

jerry

202   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:58 am

#201
Jerry,
Keep your $$, I am already going to donate it to Joe Martino.

Look, I really am trying to understand where this guy is coming from. Seriously, I don’t like his writing style. But more than that, some of his ideas to me are just off the wall. I really am trying to give this a fair reading, that is why I am spending so much time on it. But I really do feel like I need a brain floss or enema after I finish.

Seriously, give me John Piper’s writing style any day. It is engaging and interesting and for the most part right on theologically.

It is sort of like art; some like the impressionists, others like modern art. Give me Leonardo DaVinci or Michelangelo any day of the week- Picasso and Dali give me a friggin headache.

203   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:59 am

PS–I want to restate again something about my position on Rob Bell and Don Golden’s book.

A. This is the only book of his (Bell’s) I have ever read.

B. I have only listened to about 23 minutes of his preaching.

C. I have never seen a Nooma video and don’t particular have a desire to.

D. Before my reading of this book, I was skeptical of Bell’s approach to Scripture and didn’t give two hoots about what he said or did. In a lot of ways, I still don’t. He’s in Michigan. I am in Ohio. He has his church; I have mine.

E. I humbled myself and read the book because my friend Pastor/Teacher Ken Silva inadvertently suggested I should. I realized that much of the reason I didn’t like Bell’s work was because I was jealous of his ‘popularity.’ That is, I was afraid God might actually be saying something through him and I didn’t want that to be true. I found that God can and does speak even through people with whom I might have profound theological differences. I believe Bell is one of those people, at least in this particular book.

F. These reviews are not about inviting people to worship Rob Bell or Don Golden. They are about an honest evaluation of the material in the book, whereas PB’s review is, IMO, a dishonest evaluation of a person he already decided he didn’t like because he read something at AP or SOL.

G. I don’t happen to think everything in the book is a-OK. My wife pointed out just last night that the author’s view of America is tilted to one side and not very balanced. Upon reflection, I agree with her. For all the faults of America, there’s a lot that is commendable and I wish the authors had spent some time noticing that.

H. The book isn’t about America. The book is about Christians and the Church. Actually, it’s about God. The book is called ‘a theology of the New Exodus.’ It is a word about God; not THE word.

I. The authors are highly dependent upon Scripture and hold it in the highest regard. PB doesn’t like the conclusion that they have arrived at after using a thoroughly proper hermeneutic to INTERPRET. All theology is interpretation.

J. It is a book of sermons and that necessarily involves interpretation and application of meaning.

K. That probably won’t silence all arguments, but I hope it will at least clear up a little of where I was, where I am, and where I am moving as I try to understand what God expects of his followers.

jerry

204   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 11:00 am

#200

I’ll take that into consideration, Nate.

His style gives me a headache

No, really. It does.

A friggin’ headache

Like nothing you have ever experienced.

I mean it.

205   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 11:03 am

G. I don’t happen to think everything in the book is a-OK. My wife pointed out just last night that the author’s view of America is tilted to one side and not very balanced. Upon reflection, I agree with her. For all the faults of America, there’s a lot that is commendable and I wish the authors had spent some time noticing that.

Your wife is right on, IMHO. I think that is something else that is really bothering me about this book.

Mars Hill wouldn’t fly in any other country in the world, yet Bell seems to condemn everything about America, specifically war and its use of its ‘wealth’

206   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am

Neil,

Bell states that the book is a theology in the introduction. It may have devotional elements, but that is not the main point of the book. Theology is.

Jerry –

True enough, but I would say he’s presenting what he calls “new exodus theology” in a devotional way… maybe that’s not the best way to out it…

What I meant was, it was not written in the manner that PB read it. For example, knit-picking on “toxic” vs. “death” – Bell is writing in much broader generalities, that’s all I meant.

207   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 11:10 am

Neil and Jerry,
I guess it is a waste of time, because I disagree? You are both pretty disengenuous. You say I cannot comment on the book unless I read it, and when I do read it with my Bible at my side, you complain that I am not giving it a fair reading.

So fair reading=agree with All of Bell’s premises
Unfair reading=Disagreement with any of the premises.

Pastorboy,

If this is what you want to believe- so be it. I was not disappointed that you came to a different conclusion… in fact, since I hve not posted any comments on the book itself you hve no way of knowing what I think about it, so your assumption is premature at best.

That said, I was not surprised not disappointing that you did not like what you have read so far – what I panned was the pettiness and shallowness of your discouragements.

208   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 11:13 am

Mars Hill wouldn’t fly in any other country in the world, yet Bell seems to condemn everything about America, specifically war and its use of its ‘wealth’

Well, I think we have to remember the book is addressing the American church specifically, not just Americans. And, ironically, these are probably two of the biggest issues in the American church. I have a hard time seeing where the church is justified supporting a war and how the American church is justified in spending a majority of its money (some would put the number closer to 80%) on itself. It seems as something is clearly wrong in that aspect.

Now there are some aspects of America that I love, such as the strong work ethic and valuing of individual freedoms that is in the national DNA. But in other ways, American national identity has become an idol to many Christians.

209   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 11:18 am

They did not sin, as is clearly stated in the Bible, rather, they

“chose to go their own way, to explore outside of the boundaries given by their maker, and, as a result, the relationship suffers”.(pg 25)

This is a description of sin, and the results of sin, but a very humanistic one. It puts the scent of the flower on the stench of a pig sty.

This is shallow and petty? This statement in Bell’s book is the very root of Universalism and Universal reconciliation/CU

210   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Seriously, give me John Piper’s writing style any day. It is engaging and interesting and for the most part right on theologically.

It is sort of like art; some like the impressionists, others like modern art. Give me Leonardo DaVinci or Michelangelo any day of the week- Picasso and Dali give me a friggin headache. – Pastorboy

I understand. Although after I took a tour of the Dali museum in St. Petersburg with a docent who could fill in the history and meanings I came away with a greater appreciation for Dali.

That said, if you do not like Bell’s style that’s one thing, but to call him a heretic (as I believe you have), to falsely accuse him of universalism (which I know you have), is something else all together.

211   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
January 6th, 2009 at 11:26 am

Hey John,
Just to be on the record, I’d send Jerry your addy. I know you offered to donate the book to me and don’t think that I didn’t appreciate your warm and generous and sincere offer, but I’ve got a copy already.
thanks buddy

212   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 11:29 am

Joe,
I’ve been catching up on past sermons.
“Blocks and Boards” was incredible.
I wish I would have been there for that one.

Shalom

213   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 11:34 am
They did not sin, as is clearly stated in the Bible, rather, they

“chose to go their own way, to explore outside of the boundaries given by their maker, and, as a result, the relationship suffers”.(pg 25)

This is a description of sin, and the results of sin, but a very humanistic one. It puts the scent of the flower on the stench of a pig sty.

This is shallow and petty? This statement in Bell’s book is the very root of Universalism and Universal reconciliation/CU – PB

Yes, that is shallow and petty. Bell no where says “they did not sin…” so you are trying to build an argument from silence.

Bell clearly portrays sin’s effect, he clearly condemns it, even if he does not use the very words you think necessary. The reason I call this shallow and petty is because you refuse to see what Bell is actually saying – instead you choose to pick on the way he says it…

214   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 11:40 am

…yet Bell seems to condemn everything about America, specifically war and its use of its ‘wealth’ – PB

*sigh* so a guy writes a book and does not follow the Religious Right party line and now he condemns everything about America? It’s hyperbole like this that leaves you with so little credibility.

His take on America as an empire was a very good challenge to American Christians to (re)examine their lifestyles.

215   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

“Bell seems to condemn everything about America, specifically war and its use of its ‘wealth’”

OK, I am attracted to that view. Perhaps Rob and I would get along an some level. I guess he sees America as do I – a self absorbed secular entity that people have raised up as a divinely favored nation and many use as an idol.

This Rob Bell just might have potential.

216   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

This Rob Bell just might have potential.

I’m sure he’d be relieved to find out you feel this way.

:)

217   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I’m sure he’d be relieved to find out you feel this way.

Nathanael,
That’s really creepy. I almost wrote the same exact thing as this.

218   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Wow, I guess I’m smarter than I give myself credit for.

219   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

a self absorbed secular entity that people have raised up as a divinely favored nation and many use as an idol. – Rick

He does not speak to the secular issue, but he is quite direct at making the parallel between OT empires (that were judged by God) and America. I think he raises some very good points.

220   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

One of the problems with this whole thing is critiquing the book chapter by chapter. It think it best to take the book as a whole.

For example, as I was reading it I was anticipating some of the “Bell’s advocating universalism” stuff. In fact, at times I began to wonder if he didn’t lean that way and maybe my defense of him was wrong… but then, latter in the book, he makes some definite statements that balance the whole work.

221   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Bell’s most recent e-mails to me have become increasingly more insistent that I publicly acknowledge him as a bone fide theologian. I have told him to amplify the America thing and I will give it serious consideration. :cool:

222   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
January 6th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

#221
Rick,
I told him that as long as you are on your Meds your a good guy. Off the meds well…

223   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Joe – at least I have some excuse. :)

224   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

PB,

They did not sin, as is clearly stated in the Bible, rather, they

“chose to go their own way,…”

So in your mind choosing to go your own way is not sin? That might explain much… but again is a lie from the pit of hell itself… and you are preaching this as Gospel?

Choosing to go your own way is sin at it’s core… It is choosing to not go with God’s way and will lead to destruction, PB.

So again let us see you back-peddle then agree with Bell and not acknowledge it then deny you stating something once again anti-biblical and outright satanic as Gospel.

Yes this offends me greatly that you have stated this…

iggy

225   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Neil,

Sorry about the chapter by chapter thing. I was only doing it that way to inflate my already massive ego and generate conversation about specific topics he raises.

Jerry

226   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I also find it funny that Jim Bublitz can state outright anti American sediments and be applauded, Yet Bell is call for America to not misuse the blessings of God to be the oppressor and is condemned by PB…

Again, whose truth are we poor emergents to believe? PB, JB, KS, JM? They all go back and forth to whatever seems to feel right at the time… all relative to their relativistic doctrinal views.

So, PB… it is good that America oppresses people… that they import items for sale from nations that use slave labor or that we at times use our military in a way that is wrong? I am not stating all is bad, but are you claiming America is all good with God as you are coming across as saying?

iggy

227   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

“call for America to not misuse the blessings of God”

Iggy – those “blessings” were achieved by the sweat of our brows – the curse. Unless you consider the wealth and long life of Hugh Hefner the “blessings of God” as well.

228   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Neil,

Sorry about the chapter by chapter thing. I was only doing it that way to inflate my already massive ego and generate conversation about specific topics he raises.

Jerry

No problems Jerry. It’s one thing to have a running review, but to really critique (particularly negatively) one needs to take the work as a whole…

229   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I cannot do it….

I tried to read the book through in one sitting, I couldn’t.

Too much garbage and misinformation wrapped up in scripture references out of context. I have to stop and examine the scripture passages!

And in my current writing, this is VERY enlightening. Bell takes a LOT of liberties with the Queen of Sheeba.

230   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Iggy – those “blessings” were achieved by the sweat of our brows – the curse. Unless you consider the wealth and long life of Hugh Hefner the “blessings of God” as well.

It’s a difficult thing to always say what’s a blessing and what’s a curse. Material possessions can be both it seems. In Hefner’s case, it seems that he has constructed himself a beautiful prison cell.

231   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

#228

To be fair to Jerry, he did read the work as a whole before he broke it down.

I could not do it. He is better than I.

Cept’ hes a Buckeye fan

;)

232   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Rick,

I look at America as one who was oppressed by England and freed by God. The founding fathers gave us many freedoms and blessings… Yes, even Hugh Hefner was blessed by God, yet he will be held to account how he gained his wealth and what he is doing with it… but God blesses us to bless others. I see America has moved into greed and has become the oppressor in many instances and believe God will not allow that to keep on happening. Remember God rains on the righteous and unrighteous.

In a way we reflect much as what Bell stated about Israel becoming the New Egypt… Many considered the USA to be the New Israel and in the way we emulated Solomon and his misuse of power and wealth I might agree that we are much more like the old Israel

iggy

233   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

FRUEH’S REVIEW OF BELL’S BOOK.

I like the America part.

Disclaimer – I have not read the book. :cool:

234   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I do not see political freedom or material things as intrinsically blessings from God.

235   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Too much garbage and misinformation wrapped up in scripture references out of context.

Sort of like your review! :lol:

And as far as reviewing scripture… you better go back and do it again as so far you…

1. Denied that God needed a Body for our salvation thus denying the Incarnation.

2. Stated that sin is not “choosing our own way”.

3. Made America sinnless and those who point out her sin to be unAmerican.

I would say… you are not batting too well so far on the biblical reviewings.

iggy

236   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I believe “choosing our own way” is exactly what sin is. What’s the problem?

237   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Rick,

I do not see political freedom or material things as intrinsically blessings from God.

Then cut out Romans 13 from your bible…

iggy (Yes, I am grmpy today! :smile: )

238   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The government mentioned in Romans was not in context democracy.

239   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Rick

I believe “choosing our own way” is exactly what sin is. What’s the problem?

Bell stated this in his book and PB states that it is not “sin”… and that Bell denies “sin”.

That is what is wrong.

iggy

240   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Rick…

Rome was a Republic… as America is…

remember your pledge of allegiance?

“To the Republic for which is stands”

America is not a Democracy… we have Representatives as Rome did… but maybe more freedom in some ways.

iggy

241   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Iggy – by the time of Paul’s writings Rome was an autocratic empire and had abandoned its republic roots.

242   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Rick,

Iggy – by the time of Paul’s writings Rome was an autocratic empire and had abandoned its republic roots.

We are not far from that…

Besides Scripture still does not state that living in a Democracy or Republic gives one exemption…

Romans 13:1. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

iggy

243   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I believe Romans 13: 1 was added in later manuscripts.

244   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Rick,

Don’t mess wit me dude, I am grumpy.. I gave warning!

igs :lol:

245   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 2:30 pm
I believe “choosing our own way” is exactly what sin is. What’s the problem? – Rick

Bell stated this in his book and PB states that it is not “sin”… and that Bell denies “sin”.

That is what is wrong.

iggy

Pastorboy commented that Bell did not use the word “sin” but, instead used the description “choosing to go their own way.”

For some reason this is a big deal for Pastorboy. Apparently describing sin is not enough if you do not use the actual word. It just goes to the argument that PB is bound and determined to find something to complain about.

246   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

S – showcasing

I – individual

N – naughtiness

247   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Apparently if someone prays, “forgive me for choosing my own way”, instead of “forgive me of my sins”, God will accept the latter but not the former, according to PB’s theology.

248   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

S – omeone

I – mitating

N – athanael

249   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

S – omeone

I – mitating

N – athanael

That is more like apostacy!

250   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

True. True.

251   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

#245
You accuse me of not being a charitable reader….

Sin is missing the mark. Whatever that is. Sure, it can be described as choosing ones own way, but why didn’t God say it that way? Why didn’t God say “explored outside boundaries” or “broke relationship”

It was sin, it resulted in death. Anything else is putting a better face on it. And it is the root of Universalism.

252   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

The Rob Bell Version of Genesis 3:

The Fall
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.created through a series of intricate changes over thousands of years, for a thousand years is as a day to God

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you diebreak relationship with me.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.have a broken relationship 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, because God needs a body, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her,and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, because their relationship with God had been broken. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, went East because I was naked had a broken relationship with you, and I hid myself went East.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commandedsuggested you not to eat because it would make you less human 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, e “The serpent deceived broke relationship with me me, and I ate.”

253   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

John – you are grasping at staws. God used offense, transgression, iniquity, and in fact He used the word “chataah” first, so the word sin is just a vocal sound representing a rebellious act, or as Fleetwood Mac would say – “You can go your own way”.

254   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Sin is missing the mark. Whatever that is. Sure, it can be described as choosing ones own way, but why didn’t God say it that way?

Have you even read the Old Testament? Seriously. Israel is chastened again and again for going it’s own way and neglecting God, and in many, if not most, of these cases, the word “sin” isn’t used.

Sin by any other name is still sin…

255   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

FRUEH’S CONDENSED THEOLOGY

Man needs God

Jesus is God

Jesus offers the only way to God

Believe it

256   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

#255
Amen.
Patent that and write it in a book.

257   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

John,

We translate the word Torah as “Law”, which misses a good deal of nuance in what Torah entails.

The word Torah comes from the root Yerah, which means “to guide” – as once guides an arrow to hit the center of a target. In the same way, Torah is God’s ‘guidance‘ on how to hit His ‘target’. When we take Torah, though, to mean “Law” and all this entails, we tend to see this as a legal transaction, where sin is “breaking the law”, which (again) misses the spirit of what Torah means.

In point of fact, Bell is much more accurate in describing “sin” as “going your own way” – because that is something different than “going God’s way” (which fits with the concept of Torah). Thus, he avoids the English baggage of the word “sin” by describing what sin IS.

Are you really this obtuse, or do you have to try really hard to be so?

258   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

PB,

You accuse me of not being a charitable reader….

Sin is missing the mark. Whatever that is. Sure, it can be described as choosing ones own way, but why didn’t God say it that way? Why didn’t God say “explored outside boundaries” or “broke relationship”

It was sin, it resulted in death. Anything else is putting a better face on it. And it is the root of Universalism.

You are doing as I said you would do… and I am giving you much more charity that you give others… in fact I am merely using your own words and you are upset about it…

Now why didn’t God say it that way? I guess again, you have not really read the bible that much or are just blind or whatever…

1 Peter 2: 25. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Deut 29: 19. When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20. The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.

Isaiah 53: 6. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 56:11. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain.

isaiah 58:13. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14. then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 66: 3. But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations;

Should I go on?

I mean that should be enough to show you how wrong you are and that you continuing to be anti biblical…
Unless those passages are not in your bible or now you deny the Authority of the Bible so you can “go you own way” with “your own interpretation” and not believe the Bible?

iggy

259   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Are you really this obtuse, or do you have to try really hard to be so?

This reminds of something one of my calculus teachers said to a student once. He said to this girl, “Tonya, pretend to be smart”…

(He’d probably be fired on the spot nowadays for saying such a thing…)

260   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

So now…

PB ’s record so far shows from his review and statements here…

1. He denies the Incarnation as God did not need a Body.

2. Denies that “sin” is going your own way.

4. Denies God’s own words in the Bible thus not believing the Bible and giving God’s word authority as he would rather “go his own way” and “use his own interpretations”.

5. Claims that those who state America is sinning when she oppresses other nations is unAmerican…

This is not looking good! I think Calvin would now be gathering wood! :lol:

iggy

261   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

BTW John, I do not consider you mean and without compassion. I do hope you notify Dwana and Ken that the post about Scientology using the tragic death of their son as a springboard was completely out of line.

262   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

So now I am on moderaton for my comments at PB’s blog… good greif!

263   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Dwayna and Ken have a son? They are married?

264   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Sin is missing the mark. Whatever that is. Sure, it can be described as choosing ones own way, but why didn’t God say it that way? Why didn’t God say “explored outside boundaries” or “broke relationship” – Pastorboy

So, you are saying these are inappropriate ways of describing sin?

Actually, I think God did say it that way – in Judges everyone did what was right in his own eyes. So is that the root of universalism as well?

265   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

John Travolta’s son. The lost was meant to rub their nose in the death of their son, that is unconscionable.

266   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

262
You are not on moderation….I just cannot get to my site right now it is blocked at the school I am working on. I will put everything up when I am home after 3:30 PM

267   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

PB,

I was able to freely post earlier… and now it states I am on moderation… please do not lie… it is as it states.

iggy

268   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

From your blog…

itodyaso Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

January 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm

269   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Rick,

I agree and that is sick of Dwayna and Ken to do so… it is right up there with Proctor’s Kyle Lake statement that Kyle’s death was judgment against the emerging church… it is sad that they go to the sewer to promote their sites in such a way and that people like PB support this type of action and do nothing about it.

But I guess if you have Rob Bell to lie about… and deny one’s own beliefs to attack him… it is not that much of a slide down into sewer from the gutter.

iggy

270   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

PB…

BTW your time zone setup is wrong… it was posted 12:20pm not 7:20

Just trying to help…

iggy

271   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I will state that Ingrid did take down her post over the Kyle Lake story… of course only after protest. That was decent of her.

272   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

So now…
PB ’s record so far shows from his review and statements here…
1. He denies the Incarnation as God did not need a Body.

Nope. I was not speaking about Jesus. I was speaking about a need for God to have anything. He chooses to use those who love him and those who hate Him to accomplish His purposes. But he does not need us; by His very grace and mercy we are allowed to live and breathe and have our being.
By the nature of the word, an ‘incarnation’ requires a body. Could God have chosen to save us by a different method? Yep.

2. Denies that “sin” is going your own way.

Nope. Reinterated again sin is going our own way. Sin is breaking God’s law. Sin is falling short. But how Rob Bell put it in terms of Adam’s and Eve’s sin was inadequate in terms of the act and the consequence. It was not simply a going outside of boundaries resulting in a broken relationship, it was disobedience and rebellion leading to death.

4. Denies God’s own words in the Bible thus not believing the Bible and giving God’s word authority as he would rather “go his own way” and “use his own interpretations”.

Nope. You are rewriting my words to make your case, doing the same thing you accuse me of doing.

5. Claims that those who state America is sinning when she oppresses other nations is unAmerican…

If by oppression you mean liberating countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and lifting the weight of oppression off of women, Christians, etc, then, yep. I guess it is. What nation are we oppressing, exactly, Iggy?

This is not looking good! I think Calvin would now be gathering wood!
iggy

Only if I were chosen for destruction.

273   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

#267
Truly, you are not.
I simply cannot get into my site.

274   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

PB,

So now you better rewrite your review as you just agreed with Bell on all points you had issue with. And in the process proved me right about you…

iggy

275   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Pastorboy,

Re #252 – your account of Bell is just plain asinine… pure silvanizing… and lacking any true discernment or credibility.

You may not like Bell’s style, but to take what is obviously a poet reference – “east of Eden” and use it to twist Bell’s words – well, you obviously have completely missed the point… or better, you refuse to see the point because of your preconceived opinion of Bell.

I submit, that you are not letting Bell speak for himself, you are taking his words at their obvious face value. Instead, you are assuming you know what he believes, and are silvanizing his words to fit your preconceived caricature.

276   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

So now…

PB ’s record so far shows from his review and statements here…

1. He denies the Incarnation as God did not need a Body.

2. Denies that “sin” is going your own way.

iggy

Iggy,

I don’t think Pastorboy is denying these things, it’s just that he cannot bring himself to agree with Bell, so he must disagree regardless. These are two points at which Bell and PB are in agreement, yet Pastorboy must find something to dislike – therefore he picks on the verbiage.

277   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

LOL, Silvanizing, I love it…

I would also accept Ingridding or Ratliffed…

278   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Or Carlosizing?

279   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Re: silvanizing

I added it to our glossary of terms, just so we are clear on what it means.

280   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

PB,
1. Now you deny Jesus is God.

2. There was no Law at the time of Adam and Eve… there was on Commandment not to eat the fruit… so again you miss out on being biblical… the Law came with Moses…. so now you back-peddle and you agree with Bell yet will not acknowledge it.

3. Nope I am using your words in hope you will see your error and come to a biblical view and not “use your own interpretation”…

4. We killed innocents in Viet Nam, we buy goods from China made in sweat shops, and on and on… and while we may be doing some good in those countries you mentioned, we may not have pure motives in all we do there… we are still allowing real oppression in some nations while protecting our oil resources in the very countries you mentioned. Not all is bad about America, yet to state all is good would be a lie… so you are not saying America is all good?

With all the heresy you are promoting in your review, I am begining to wonder about you again… If RW or Bell or anyone stated the things you have stated in your review and here, you would be loudly crying heresy… yet you state something anti biblical and then come to agree with Bell then act like you don’t… I predicted it and it happened as I stated…

And I am only going by what it states at your blog as I posted here… I am on moderation.

iggy

281   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

You might say that this is a classic example of diagnosis bias and commitment bias

(And yes, when I wrote that article, I was also predicting the outcome of the “review” of JWTSC…)

282   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Neil,

Iggy,

I don’t think Pastorboy is denying these things, it’s just that he cannot bring himself to agree with Bell, so he must disagree regardless. These are two points at which Bell and PB are in agreement, yet Pastorboy must find something to dislike – therefore he picks on the verbiage.

I understand that. Yet, that is what he is presenting in his review. If Bell is wrong, and PB is right, then what I am stating that PB presents is as I am saying… he can deny it… yet if one reads what PB wrote those are his assertions clear as a “Bell”.

iggy

283   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

PB,

How is restating your own words and showing you clear Scripture that you are wrong Carlosizing? unless you mean that is a good thing?

which after thinking about it… think that Carlosizing would be a much better approach as I actually used scripture to show you truth, rebuke and reprove you. I just pray it will stick with you.

iggy

284   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Pastorboy,

I am trying to grasp you complaint on Bell’s description of sin. Clearly he described sin in a biblical manner, he used similar poetic language to that of the Bible.

So what’s the problem?

Is it that he referenced the relationship being effected instead of saying “spiritual death”?

Your objections to this pint seem far too petty to be serious… “toxic” vs. “deadly”… “need a body” vs. “incarnation”… “effected relationship” vs. “rebellion leading to death.”

Are you saying that your only beef with Bell is these choices of words?

285   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 4:02 pm

There was no Law at the time of Adam and Eve… there was on Commandment not to eat the fruit… so again you miss out on being biblical… the Law came with Moses…. so now you back-peddle and you agree with Bell yet will not acknowledge it.

This is a good point, although I would amend it. There was a law, and it was to not eat of the tree of knowledge.

In Romans 7:7-25, Paul is actually engaging in a typical rhetorical device of the time known as impersonation, and he is impersonating Adam, so when he says the following:

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

he is speaking about breaking the one command that God had given him – not coveting what was on the tree. This also points out that law itself was not the issue – the law was there to point out something to Adam. (This brings up an interesting point as far as one’s theodicy goes, but that’s another issue…)

In any case, Adam chose to not follow God and followed his own covetous desire, which squares plainly with what Bell says.

286   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Phil,

I guess I disagree as to eating of the tree a law in the way the Law of Moses was a law.

Paul speaks of the time of Abraham as being without “Law” (Romans 4:15) except the law of circumcision…

iggy

287   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

PB,
1. Now you deny Jesus is God. – Iggy

Seriously Iggy, what is this supposed to accomplish other than escalating the rhetoric between you two?

Clearly PB does not deny Jesus is God. What he denies is anything Bell says. We need to show Pastorboy that Bell is saying the same things as himself, only his bias prevents him from agreeing.

288   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

I guess I disagree as to eating of the tree a law in the way the Law of Moses was a law.

Paul speaks of the time of Abraham as being without “Law” (Romans 4:15) except the law of circumcision…

Yes, and that’s the issue that derails people when they read Romans. The word “law” isn’t universal in what it’s referring to. Sometimes it’s referring to the Mosaic covenant, sometimes it’s referring to the law of Christ, and then sometimes it’s referring to the law God gave to Adam. In addition to that, there’s issues with the pronouns and who Paul is actually talking about.

289   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I completely and publicly deny the existence of a superior intellect on this thread – save one. :cool:

290   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I completely and publicly deny the existence of a superior intellect on this thread – save one. :cool: – Rick

Thanks Rick…

291   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Well, it couldn’t be me or Phil since we are intellectual equals and Rick would have had to say “…save two.”

292   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Is it that he referenced the relationship being effected instead of saying “spiritual death”?

yes, as I have stated repeatedly, or attempted to.

293   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

My humility forbids me to reveal the name of the lone intellect on this thread, but I will provide one hint.

His initials are Rick Frueh.

You’ve heard of Hawkings? Buckley? Gates?

Morons.

294   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 4:31 pm
Is it that he referenced the relationship being effected instead of saying “spiritual death”?

yes, as I have stated repeatedly, or attempted to. – PB

So it’s just a matter of extent since what he said is true – it does effect the relationship.

All jabs aside, I figure there must be more to it than this… Bell is clearly not soft on sin. He even uses the word. I don’t see the issue you are raising.

What he says is true, and your only beef is he does not say it with enough force.

295   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

On some level it is a sin to insist the word sin is used when used when describing an act of rebelliousness against God.

A sin by any other name would smell so sweet. Out, Out, damned sin! But soft, what sin in yonder sinner’s life! Friends, Romans, Sinners, lend me your ears! To sin or not to sin, that is the question!

Since sin is not a transliteration, what is its etymology?

296   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

I guess I would concur with Pastorboy’s complaint if it were relevant… if the book was a theology of harmartiology, or if the audience was unbelievers who need a clear understanding of sin explained to them… but neither is the case.

This is a book clearly written to believers, to those who (to use Bell’s words) trust Jesus for rescue, redemption, grace. His point is not to delineate the extent and/or effect of sin. His point is to challenge believers to rethink what they are doing with God’s blessing.

297   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

The origin of the word sin can be traced through Middle English back to High English to Old High German and finally to Latin, and in the end it most likely comes from an old word that means “guilty”.

Appropriate.

298   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Even the traditional “missing the mark” as a translation of the Greek would not be as strong as “rebellion leading to death.”

299   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Well, I am done with Part 1.2

Read, and mock away!

300   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 7:08 pm

PB,

This is a bit better and I see you have revised the “gone their own way” as meaning the same as “sin” as I pointed out in another site with about 6 different scriptures.

I do take exception to that you seem to not understand that God’s plan is to make us fully human… and that by giving the Law to show our sin and shortcomings was part of this plan to guide the Israelites to see their need and dependency on God.

I also see that you are still nit picking in that the statement of The Queen of Sheba as you related is all inclusive… that would include the oppressed.

I also though think it is more a matter of biblical perspective versus a clinging to nationalism on your part see that not all Bush has done is good… and that not all is bad… but to elevate nationalsim as you have in this review is a swipe at the Kingdom of God as I see it. One of the sins of Israel at the time of Jesus was that instead of representing God to the Nations, they seperated themselves in their nationalism and disobeyed God’s vocation for them.

I could go deeper, but really do not see the point as you are bent on making sure that you do not agree with Bell though at http://christianresearchnetwork.info/2008/12/31/jesus-wants-to-save-christians-pt-2/#comment-85132 I showed you that you did and you all but admitted Bell was right in what you stated was wrong in your last review.

Yet so far I am far more worried about you theology and what you have stated in regards to “God does not need a Body” and then when I brought up the Incarnation you seemed to change you mind but still overlooking Israel was a shadow of Jesus in the OT in vocation and that Jesus fulfilled the Law and all that was given to Israel.

It seems again outside of your Nationalism you truly do agree with Bell on most points though will most likely deny this.

iggy

301   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 6th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Read, and mock away!

‘We’ don’t mock. ‘We’ might have serious discussions about your methodology and perhaps even point out where you are wrong. But we don’t mock. If you want to be mocked, try leaving comments at other blogs…oh, wait, that’s right. You can’t post comments at those blogs.

302   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Jerry…. I will state it plainly… if it is mockable… I mock… and so I now mock you… meaning “we” who do not mock mocks you….

iggy

303   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Read, and mock away! – PB

Would you consider my comments mocking. I try and point out your errors, you bias, your pettiness when apropos… but I don’t mean to mock.

304   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

I love good natured mocking. Some mocking is humorous and liberating and just a great time of bonding. I do not appreciate mocking in the midst of a serious dsicussion, and I believe everyone is familiar with my literary expressions of a tantrum, which almost without exception generates more mocking.

When we have inadvertantly offended someone, the Christian thing to do is apologize or at least stop it. The “take your ball and go home” or “you can dish it out but you cannot take it” or other retorts are unhelpful and unchristian and excelerate the downward spiral, regardless of the legitimacy of the perceived offense.

So mocking is good when it is among friends and brothers in Christ, but we must be vigilant about giving an involuntary offense. :cool:

PS – Jerry’s comments lack the intellectual essence that would warrant any serious and genuine consideration.

305   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Bell does not like government, specifically, Bell does not like government that does not function within his view of the purpose of government, which is a very liberal one, from my reading.

Now that’s funny… how does this play in your view of Bell. Even if he is, say, a Christian Democrat does that somehow play into your opinion of him? And on what are you basing the thought that he’s liberal, because he clearly opposes the War in Iraq?

I just wonder what role his political leaning plays in your review.

306   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Bell has Oprafied The Queen of Sheba, elevating her opinion (actually creating it, it is not written in this passage) above that of scripture.

It’s comments like this that are almost worthy of mocking. I may not agree with Bell either, on this point, but to say he elevates her opinion above Scripture is nonsensical. How does he elevate her opinion above Scripture? He is giving his interpretation of what she said in Scripture, not elevating above Scripture.

I bet this plays well in ADMland… but not here.

307   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I also strongly oppose the war in Iraq. Am I liberal? No, I just have some common sense. In the 1960s planes were highjacked and flown to Cuba. If the US, like Israel did, would have secured the pilot’s cabin 9/11 would have been impossible.

My point is America thinks with there missles more than their brains.

308   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I will be criticized by some, but I believe the term homeland security is a direct shot on our current administration and the government system in the USA. – PB

I think you are half right. He uses this as a direct shot at the current administration, but not necessarily the whole system, is if he’s attacking the US. Further, he does not say there is no need for a military, he addresses the need for an ever increasing military to provide for an every increasing empire.

Here he is attacking materialism, and if it came from anyone else the ADM’s would agree, but they cannot since the source is Bell.

309   Neil    
January 6th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Just out of curiosity John, is there nothing in the book that made you think – WOW, he’s right, we do spend a lot of money protecting our wealth. What lesson do you think American Christians can take from his parallel that America is the Roman Empire of our day?

310   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
January 6th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

The book came today. I am currently reading about Interviewing and Strategies for Helpers, but after that is done. I’m going to do a little recreation reading. :)
Review to come on my blog

Maybe

311   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

“Here he is attacking materialism, and if it came from anyone else the ADM’s would agree, but they cannot since the source is Bell.”

I am currently reading a book that attacks materialism with some very harsh words from the Author.

312   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I believe Bell’s asserion about being less than human in a fallen state comes from Wright. When I read some of Wright’s tortured reasonings about after death judgment and concluding all humans will be saved but that those who are not saved are not really human, I realized that parsing theological concepts to this minute degree is useless, complex, and meant for midnight dorm sessions in Bible school.

It serves no practical or redemptive purpose in the lives of sinners, which should be what we are all about when we are exhibiting the life of Jesus, commonly called walking in the Spirit.

313   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 6th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Now that’s funny… how does this play in your view of Bell. Even if he is, say, a Christian Democrat does that somehow play into your opinion of him? And on what are you basing the thought that he’s liberal, because he clearly opposes the War in Iraq?

I just wonder what role his political leaning plays in your review.

I like how Bell put it in an interview once – he tries to be “aggressively nonpolitical”.

314   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 6th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Neil.

187

It’s comments like this that are almost worthy of mocking.

Seriously Neil, what is this supposed to accomplish other than escalating the rhetoric between you two?

Clearly PB does not make [comments worth mocking.] What he denies is anything Bell says. We need to show Pastorboy that Bell is saying the same things as himself, only his bias prevents him from agreeing.

I really just wanted to mock you Neil… :lol:

Again. what I am doing is showing the contrast of PB own words and there true value with what the Bible states. In this way he seems to always come around to agree with Bell though he always disagrees with Bell in his initial comment. Meaning…. that PB really agrees with almost all Bell states….

Knowing that PB is wrong about Bell being a Universalist which is the core in PB’s reasoning that Bell is always wrong and why PB can’t agree with anything a “heretic” states… I hope and have so far made PB go back to the bible….

PB has changed his view that God never stated that sin is “going one’s own way” as PB in his latest installment now is saying…

PB Back-peddled to Bell’s position that God did need a Body after all because PB could not deny the Incarnation…

Interestingly instead of admitting PB agrees with Bell he does the PB twist as in his comment 272.

I am approaching PB as if I never knew him and am reading what he states at face value… and then giving him what I get from his own words. He is stating that God did not need a Body, PB twists from the statement that “God did not need a Body” to:

Nope. I was not speaking about Jesus. I was speaking about a need for God to have anything. He chooses to use those who love him and those who hate Him to accomplish His purposes. But he does not need us; by His very grace and mercy we are allowed to live and breathe and have our being.
By the nature of the word, an ‘incarnation’ requires a body. Could God have chosen to save us by a different method? Yep.

PB did not mean that at all originally… he stated flatly that God did not need a Body… and I stated that God did as far as His will and purpose in how He planned to save us… and that ultimately it was the Incarnation that brought salvation… God need a Body.

PB now states back to me my own words as if he had that in mind originally which he did not… (just re-read the thread and see this) PB is making that he meant God does not “need anything” which goes back to the original conversation I had with PB… and again he is restating much of the conversation I had with him then now as if once again it was his original intent… and it was not.

I have caught PB in his game of “Bell is wrong about everything cuz he is a Universalist” and have consistently shown that the position PB takes is anti-biblical and that he truly agrees with Bell by taking PB back to what the Bible states in contrast to PB own words.

Hope that helps in your understanding that this is much more than just trying to escalate the rhetoric with PB…

iggy

Sorry about the mocking if it offended you… I truly was just funnin’ you.

315   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 7:54 am

In the end, when all the detracters and defenders of Bell have ceased their endless back and forths, the only thing that matters is what do YOU believe. At some point, after some legitimate analysis, being a defender or detracter of Bell is useless, he answers to God.

The defense/detract poitions usually are very predictable. Bell says:

“Jesus is our only leader”.

Detracter says “Bell won’t even call Him Lord”.

Defender says “Lord means leader”.

And the most imporatnt issue goes without examination and debate – is He without question YOUR Leader and in what areas of YOUR life is He still not completely THE Leader?

But instead of that Biblical question Rob Bell gets verbally dismembered and reattached between believers who have already set up shop in their previous positions. Sometimes it gets quite tedious and without any real spiritual productivity, and because of the verbiage it usually only amplifies the dislike that already existed between brethren.

The ideas that deserve consideration get lost in the back and forth about Bell.

316   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 9:28 am

I believe Bell’s asserion about being less than human in a fallen state comes from Wright. When I read some of Wright’s tortured reasonings about after death judgment and concluding all humans will be saved but that those who are not saved are not really human, I realized that parsing theological concepts to this minute degree is useless, complex, and meant for midnight dorm sessions in Bible school.

It serves no practical or redemptive purpose in the lives of sinners, which should be what we are all about when we are exhibiting the life of Jesus, commonly called walking in the Spirit.

Rick,
I was reading this morning and I had to laugh (not at you), because this exact thing came up. I’m reading Brennan Manning’s The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, and on page 121, he says’

In a word , Jesus Christ has made Himself the vital center of the Christian life. Jesus is not only the heart of Christianity, He is the center of humanity and reveals to us what it means to be human. To be a Christian is to be fully human.

So maybe Bell didn’t steal it from Wright… Manning’s book was originally written in 1986.

I actually think that this thought is a rather common one thread in Christian thought in one way or another. Isn’t saying that being “fully human” just another way of saying we have “abundant life” or “life to the fullest”?

317   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 9:44 am

I would not use the term “fully human”, I would suggest “wholly human”. But anyway, to suggest no humans will suffer eternal judgment because those that are in hell were not “fully human” is to take a thought to the absurd.

Everyone is human, but only the redeemed are whole.

318   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 9:46 am

And Phil, did I not read that Bell suggested that the law given on Mt. Sinai was meant to make men “fully human” again?

Only the gospel can make human sinners whole.

319   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 7th, 2009 at 9:48 am

#318
Thank you Rick. Again you fully express what I was thinking.

You are a genius.

:)

320   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 9:54 am

“You are a genius.”

Yoda says, “A discerner you are!”.

321   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:02 am

And Phil, did I not read that Bell suggested that the law given on Mt. Sinai was meant to make men “fully human” again?

Only the gospel can make human sinners whole.

Well, the Torah was a guide, so I don’t if it’s worth re-hashing this again. But as I stated earlier, righteous Torah-followers were only righteous because God made them so as a result of their faith. Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness in Genesis 15:6 and reminded again of this fact in Romans and James, and this model was intact in the Torah as well. So their justification was a gift.

You can see with the list of blessing associated with obedience of the Torah, that God was interested in bestowing a full, rich life on the Jewish people. So what’s so wrong about using the phrase “fully human”?

In a very real sense people aren’t fully human unless the know Christ – they aren’t what God created them to be (unless you simply believe that God created some throwaway people). Those that ultimately reject Christ are not living the lives they were created to live.

322   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:13 am

Phil – I would suggest that the law was given to magnify the fallen nature of men to, so to speak, create a spiritual thirst for Christ. A schoolmaster of course.

Nothing external can transform a sinner (human) and the law is no exception. Mt. Sinai was designed to point to Mt. Calvary. I think it is an important difference since so many people attempt to achieve righteousness by externals. Paul observed that the Jews went about attempting to create their own righteousness through the law and their own additions to the law and they will not submit to the righteousness which is by faith.

A Jew that reads that Sinai helps men be whole would be deceived. Everything done by God in the Old Testament was to bring men to the end of themselves so they would embrace Christ. Sadly, most Jews did not and the Gentiles were grafted in by faith.

Paul says in Galations chapter 4 that Hagar is Mt. Sinai (bondage) and Isaac is Jerusalem (Calvary) is above all (freedom) in Christ.

323   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:19 am

Rick,
Do you think that all Jews that lived prior to Christ were “in bondage”? It seems to me that were some who genuinely sought after and understood His heart. Of course there were ones who misunderstood and were bound by legalism (just as there are Christians who would fall into that same trap today), but it’s not the law that causes legalism. It’s a misunderstanding of it.

Paul says in Galations chapter 4 that Hagar is Mt. Sinai (bondage) and Isaac is Jerusalem (Calvary) is above all (freedom) in Christ.

I talked about this before, too. Galatians is in response to the Judaizers – Jewish Christians who were trying to impose legalistic restrictions and requirements on Gentile Christians in the church.

324   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:26 am

The Jews of the Old Testament had an extremely limited view of God’s redemptive plan. Just like the church they quickly morphed into tradition and customs and lost even the little light they had. But Jesus said even a mustard seed faith would God honor.

But that is still not the issue, the issue is that the purpose of the law was to expose men’s sins and reveal the blood atonement plan of God. The law, as Paul observed, made no one whole, and those that had that mustard seed were kept in faith until Christ rose from the dead and they were allowed into the Holy of Holies – God’s eternal presence.

To misuderstand the law is to misunderstand redemption.

325   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:34 am

Think of the law in these terms. Much of the law were commandments that no one could follow and some of them actually ridiculous.
But the other part of the law centered on the blood sacrifice which made atonement for their inability to keep the law – their sins.

So the gospel is the fulfillment of that scenario – men’s sins are atoned through a blood sacrifice. The law was always weak and never meant to be viewed as way for humanity to rehabilitate itself. The ONLY STRENGTH of the law was ITS WEAKNESS as IT DISAPPEARED in the glory of Jesus Christ.

326   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:42 am

Rom.7:13 – Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin BY THE COMMANDMENT might beccome EXCEEDING SINFUL.

327   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:47 am

Think of the law in these terms. Much of the law were commandments that no one could follow and some of them actually ridiculous.

Can you give an example of one of these? I don’t deny that some requirement seems very hard to follow, but I don’t know that I agree that there were some that were impossible.

There’s an idea in Jewish thought that right action will lead to right belief – this is opposite to what we tend to think. We tend to think that once we have everything figured out, we’ll do the right thing. If a Jewish person did follow the law with a right attitude, this would eventually lead to him seeing something true about God. Eventually, he would see that it is impossible to please God without faith.

The law wasn’t meant necessarily to just point out how wrong everyone was, but it was a guide. There is a sense that a person could never live up to it, but it wasn’t meant to be God saying, “see I told you so”. It was to teach them reliance on God, so they would cling Him as their Father.

328   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 10:52 am

Rom.7:13 – Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin BY THE COMMANDMENT might beccome EXCEEDING SINFUL.

The issue with this is something I mentioned earlier. In this portions of Romans, Paul is impersonating Adam (think of someone delivering a sermon), so the “law” that is referred to is not the Mosaic covenant. It’s the one law of “do not covet” that God gave Adam and Eve.

329   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:09 am

Some tenants of the law:

No clothing of mixted material.
Stoning rebellious children.
Marrying your brother’s widow.
No picking up sticks on the Sabbath.

Leviticus is full of seemingly goofy requirements that seem to be to reveal the unattainability to God’s people. Many of the commandments have nothing to do with morality, and some just seem arbitrary unless we see them through the prism of exposing men’s disobedience and illuminating the horror of sin itself.

Phil – I cannot see how you can read the entirety of Romans 7 and say it does not deal with the Mosaic law. The entire chapter is teaching that the Mosaic law is dead so we can be free to marry Christ. Paul says in verse 8 that the law exposed in him “all manner of evil”, not just covetousness.

The bottom line is this, the law was not redemptive in itself – it pointed to the Redeemer.

330   Common Sense Christian    
January 7th, 2009 at 11:10 am

Call me “tainted by the Enlightenment”, but Bell makes a easy job incredibly difficult. All that needs to be done in modern evangelicalism is to do this:

2 Timothy 4:1-5 NLT And so I solemnly urge you before God and before Christ Jesus–who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: (2) Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (3) For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. (4) They will reject the truth and follow strange myths. (5) But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you.

Why not just do that – preach the Scriptures so that men may be saved from the wrath of God to come…

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 NLT (7) And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, (8) in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

…and to live the life of the Spirit in this life

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. (25) If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (26) Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

The Church may have failed to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in this world but simply returning to the truths of Scripture should solve the problem…

331   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 11:11 am

Rick and Phil,

My understanding of the Law was that it was on three levels.

1. Do the do’s and don’t do the don’ts (outward obedience to them)

2. Inward obedience to them….

but the third is what was one difference between Jesus and us.

3. One never desired to do them or considered doing them nor conceived of them in their heart to do.

Though Jesus was tempted, He never considered equality with God to be grasped for. Every one of the commandments has in it the element of grasping to be God or the one that takes charge.

332   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:16 am

The bottom line is this, the law was not redemptive in itself – it pointed to the Redeemer.

And I don’t disagree with this. I’ve never said the redeemed anyone. I just think on a whole the law was good thing, not a bad thing. I think Paul would say it was good, but obsolete. Just because something was obsolete doesn’t mean it was bad.

333   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:16 am

“Though Jesus was tempted, He never considered equality with God to be grasped for.”

In my view a complete misrepresentation of Philipians two. The verse illuminates the infinite condescention of the incarnation, it has nothing to do with the temptation of Jesus. Jesus was God, He did not have to grasp it. But He laid it down and became obedient unto death – for us. He has since picked it up again forever.

334   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:18 am

Phil, it was good, I never said it was not. The question was did the law make men whole? The answer is no. That is where, if I understand Bell correctly, I would significantly take issue with his characterization of Mt. Sinai.

I realize it comes from Rob Bell, but can’t you at least see the error in that view?

335   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:19 am

Call me “tainted by the Enlightenment”, but Bell makes a easy job incredibly difficult. All that needs to be done in modern evangelicalism is to do this:

Well, hopefully you do that, then, but really what does it matter to you what Bell does. Obviously Bell is striking a chord with a whole lot of people.

I can honestly say that it was some of his books and video that played an integral role in the spiritual development of many of the students I worked with and some of my friends.

The Church may have failed to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in this world but simply returning to the truths of Scripture should solve the problem…

Which is exactly what I see Bell trying to do. He’s attempting to peel away the layers of systematic theology that have been smothering Scripture.

336   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Phil, it was good, I never said it was not. The question was did the law make men whole? The answer is no. That is where, if I understand Bell correctly, I would significantly take issue with his characterization of Mt. Sinai.

I realize it comes from Rob Bell, but can’t you at least see the error in that view?

I don’t think Bell ever said the itself could make people whole. He said it was to show them how to be human. It was a pointer or a guide. I don’t see the issue.

337   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:24 am

Don’t pick up sticks on Saturday was how to be human? Marry your brother’s widow was how to be human? Don’t mix materials, don’t eat shellfish, and all the rest of the very detailed and sometimes head scratching commandm,ents were designed to show men how to be human?

Stone your own childern is how to be human? The entire concept is completely off base and actually absurd. How in the world was the law designed to teach men how to be human? Please give me just a few scraps of Scripture to show me where that is even hinted at.

338   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:27 am

Stone your own childern is how to be human? The entire concept is completely off base and actually absurd. How in the world was the law designed to teach men how to be human? Please give me just a few scraps of Scripture to show me where that is even hinted at.

The Jews didn’t live in a cultural vacuum. Many of the laws were to set them apart from their pagan neighbors in some way or another. At a basic level, the law proclaimed the Jews were Yahweh’s chosen people who lived differently.

Perhaps with some of the laws the are harder to understand, God is just trying to teach obedience for the sake of obedience. He is God and they were not. He was their Father, and it was not their place to ask why all the time.

339   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:29 am

I am going to work on a list of some of the Levitical laws so we can all see how human they make us. But here is one to chew on”

Exodus 21:7 gives instructions to fathers who SELL THEIR DAUGHTERS AS SLAVES.

Oh yea, real human beings these laws.

340   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:35 am

And this thread also illuminates another phenomenon. Just as John proceeds with a predisposed dislike of anything Bellian, so do some who are extremely reticent to disgree wholeheartedly with anything Bell suggests.

The predispostition comes from both sides. Bell’s charactreization of Sinai as leading sinners to become more human is a fairy tale with no Scriptural support whatsoever, but men will find some tortured support simply because it came from Bell and others attack him. Where is the allegience to the Scriptures at the expense of disagreeing with someone you have benefited from?

341   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:36 am

Actually, Rick, if you read that passage and compare it with the way servants were treated in surrounding cultures, the requirements that are given to the master are pretty strict. It seems the law is actually worried quite a bit about the welfare of the female servant – so much so that if the master’s son marries the servant, she is to be treated as a daughter.

Compare that to other cultures of the time, and you can how God is trying to draw a separation between His people and the pagans.

342   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:45 am

The predispostition comes from both sides. Bell’s charactreization of Sinai as leading sinners to become more human is a fairy tale with no Scriptural support whatsoever, but men will find some tortured support simply because it came from Bell and others attack him. Where is the allegience to the Scriptures at the expense of disagreeing with someone you have benefited from?

I could probably find some minor doctrinal issue to disagree with Bell on, but is that my job as a Christian? Are we to go around checking each other’s doctrine at every turn? It seems to me that the fruit of a person’s ministry is a much better gauge of where they are than how much their doctrine aligns with mine.

Right now, I’m having problem finding fault in the fruit borne from Bell’s ministry.

343   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:46 am

And what is your reasoning about God requiring a rebellious son to be stoned? Is that the grace in the law some were referring to? And examining the wedding bed sheets for blood, also grace and a reflection of becoming more human?

And a half breed (Egyptian father) woman shall be put to death if she uses the Lord’s name. I gues a full blooded Jew gets atonement.

To read Leviticus and not see how many laws were absurd and totally without grace and redemption is to see it through a subjective prism. That is exactly why there is no more law to the believer, the only grace in the law was the boold atonement.

344   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 11:51 am

Regarding “fully human” -

Preface: I’ve not read everything Wright and others have said on this, so I’m speaking only from my own study and teaching from multiple sources.

My understanding of this is that

1) God made man in His image (Imago Dei)

2) Man sinned. While man still retains Imago Dei, it is no longer a perfect image as it was with Adam, prior to the fall.

3) When God imputes righteousness to a human, he/she is again fully imputed as Imago Dei, and thus, “fully human”.

4) In the end, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be considered pure and holy, fully Imago Dei, fully human.

I don’t see how this is “tortured”, as it makes perfect sense and has been part of church doctrine (though said in multiple ways) since (at the latest) Paul…

345   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:52 am

“Right now, I’m having problem finding fault in the fruit borne from Bell’s ministry.”

I understand that, but I find my neighborhood Mormons to be extremely kind and hospitable. That doesn’t mean I should refuse to see their error just because they bear subjective fruit. I just cannot see the logic in being aggresive to the error in some while seeing the error in those we like as benign.

It is as I have always suggested in both camps, human idolatry. And we do all of us including Rob Bell a disservice when we refuse to be the loving iron he needs to sharpen him.

I heard Benny Hinn of all people say this – “There comes a time when you get such a devoted following that they will either believe everything you say or they will excuse that which they disagree with”.

How true.

346   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 11:56 am

Chris – no one in general can argue with what you have outlined. The question here was whether Sinai accomplished that or was evn designed for that.

347   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I concur that it is Bell’s purpose is to be preaching the Scriptures… as Common Sense Christian said we all should be.

I am curious what others thought of his comparring America to the Roman Empire.

348   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

“I am curious what others thought of his comparing America to the Roman Empire.”

I enthusiastically agree. Surprised?

349   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

And Neil, to carry it further, it is not a stretch to compare the divinity associated with Ceasar with the “instrument of God” the religious right implies with Reagan and Bush.

350   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

It is as I have always suggested in both camps, human idolatry. And we do all of us including Rob Bell a disservice when we refuse to be the loving iron he needs to sharpen him.

Well, I don’t think any of us are really in the position where can call Bell up, and say, “hey man, I think you’re off on this point”. I assume he has people in his life that do that for him.

That fact of the matter on this particular issue, though, Rick, is that I simply agree with Bell’s position more than yours. It’s just me being a Bell fanboy. It’s just Bell’s point seem to square more with the whole of what I’ve learned about the particular point in my own personal studies.

351   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Rick,

333

In fact that is the main point… Jesus did not need to grasp for what he already was… but though being God, He was also human.

I don’t think it is misrepresenting Phil 2:3-8 at all…

3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7. but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

If you notice the context is really about loving others and Christ loved others… which is as Jesus stated the summation of the Law… Love God… love others.

In that even Jesus did not take up His right as God and humbled Himself we are to live the same way… in humility we acknowledge we are not God… and that God is God.

The point of the Law was that even though Jesus being human was tempted, He was perfect and did not even conceived of doing anything but the Father’s will… so He was the only One that kept the Law perfectly and fulfilled it.

If one is not humble, the will be at odds with the Law and will desire to place their desire over Gods and in that way grasp to be God. Again read the entire passage in Philippians and you should notice that it is all connected. One cannot be proud and love others… let alone God… so humility was core to Jesus keeping the Law and is core to us loving God and others.

iggy

352   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Chris – no one in general can argue with what you have outlined. The question here was whether Sinai accomplished that or was evn designed for that.

Without Sinai, you don’t have Jesus. Without the progressive (a word I truly do hate to use) picture revealed from Eden to Ur to Sinai to Jerusalem to Babylon and back to Jerusalem, you have no basis for the babe born in Bethlehem…

It is hard to escape recognizing that Jesus lived and breathed the Hebrew Scriptures, or that Paul was referring to them (and not the NT, which didn’t yet exist in any real form) when he wrote to Timothy:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Please re-read comment #257 – I believe the greatest mistake you seem to be making in this regard is in your view of Torah as Law – seeing it in legal terms. The English word Law and its surrounding concepts add much baggage to Torah that is not there…

353   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Neil,

I am curious what others thought of his comparring America to the Roman Empire.

This thought crossed my mind, yet as someone pointed out Bell never outright stated that. So I see it more that maybe the thought is already within us as we read it and the Spirit is revealing the comparison.

iggy

354   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Iggy – your point are valdi, but Phillipians two concerning the humility of Christ culminates at the cross. That is the supreme object lesson for us about humility, not Christ being submissive to the law.

And bacuse of the cross, not his obedience to the law, God gave Him a name above every other name. The lesson is this, we should be loving and kind to thers because of the example our Lord set forth on the cross.

355   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I believe that Sinai was part of God’s plan, however I do not see that without it Christ could notn have come. Sinai was a pointer, not an actual part of redemption. No one can become “more human” through the commandments of Sinai, and in fact, everyone breaks them all daily. That surely does not seem like we are made anything but more obvious sinners through them.

356   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

(having just picked up my copy of JWTSC to reread from the “Sinai” section)

Bell’s focus on Sinai is not the giving of the Torah, but God’s words that -

Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

And that God’s reason for giving them Torah was so that they could live in a way of holiness that would show the other nations what their God was like, and how He was like no other god.

357   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Although I still see the phrase “more human” as problematic and misleading, I must bow out due to the intoduction of new information since I have not read the chapter and was only discussing one particular quote.

358   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

The purpose of the ceremonial law for the Jews was outlined by Paul here (Gal 3):

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

In terms of the phrase “more human” I have a problem here as this never seems to be the theme at all in Scripture…

359   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

The more human concept leapfrogs the redemption process. There is no restoration without redemption first. I do not see any intentional michief in Bell, but many times words and phrases are meant as bridges to the unsaved but inadvertently become bridges to error.

360   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Paul C,

In terms of the phrase “more human” I have a problem here as this never seems to be the theme at all in Scripture…

The phrase itself does not appear in scripture but the idea is throughout scripture.

The whole idea that we need to be “born of Heaven” as “New Creations” and that we “put on the new self” or that God is making a “new man” is, at least to me, the same thing.

iggy

361   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Paul C,

To me it is like the word “Trinity” as it also is not used in bible, yet reading Ephesians 1 it is clear it is there and is also found in pieces throughout the bible. It is also one of the main Doctrines of our faith… the idea of “becoming fully human” is not stated directly but can be pieced together the same way.

iggy

362   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

If anything we are called to be “more divine” as in being imitators of God, and not imitators of the pre-fall Adam.

363   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Rick,

359

I don’t see it as leapfrogging the Cross, rather the process that leads us to the Cross as we recognize our need for it. As we see our need, we realize we are not fully human and need God to become so.

It is the process itself that is part of getting to the Cross.

iggy

364   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

#360

That does not come from law, or keeping of the law, thus Bell’s eisogesis is wrong.

It comes from being bought, purchased, born again, saved…by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by grace alone through faith alone.

We actually are made into the image of the perfect human, Christ….and in doing so we become less human in reality. We become like Christ, like God intended us to be when he created us.

Unfortunately, words cannot really describe, but I will try. We go from being fallen humans from a fallen race to Children of God.

365   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

The term “fully human” is just not representative.

For example, as many as receive Him (Christ) to them He gives the power to become the sons of God (adopted into the family of God).

To be fully human is to be depraved, subject to the flesh. Christ came to deliver us from this state.

As the Psalmist declares, “Every man, even at his best state, is altogether vanity.”

Don’t mean to make this a MASSIVE issue but it is a term that bespeaks a misunderstanding in my view.

366   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

To be fully human is to be depraved, subject to the flesh. Christ came to deliver us from this state.

I don’t know about that. It seems to me that when God created Adam he was “fully human” and God declared him good. After he at of the tree, he was something less than what he was created to be.

I honestly cannot see the issue with this, other than some people just cannot bring themselves to admit that Bell might actually be making a good point that they hadn’t thought of themselves.

367   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

God created Adam to become depraved (God knew he would fall), and before the fall he was still subject to satanic suggestions and disobedience to his Creator, even in the midst of Eden’s pristine perfection. So if bye “fully human” you mean like Adam was, that is far from desirable.

We are born again to be “in Christ”, not “in Adam”.

368   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Phil,

Adam didn’t just lose something, but the entire creation was plunged under the curse.

he was something less than what he was created to be.

Correct. By eating, he basically surrendered dominion to Satan who became the prince of this world and death entered in – to the entire creation.

Again, not making it a major issue, but unless I’m missing something, I don’t agree.

369   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

#360

That does not come from law, or keeping of the law, thus Bell’s eisogesis is wrong.

It comes from being bought, purchased, born again, saved…by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by grace alone through faith alone.

We actually are made into the image of the perfect human, Christ….and in doing so we become less human in reality. We become like Christ, like God intended us to be when he created us. – PB (#364)

First off, Bell does not say that it comes through or by the law – so your argument against Bell there fails.

And if Christ was the perfect human, becoming more like him would indeed make us more wholly human – in the sense of original creation… not less human.

You are correct, that we become more like God intended us – more wholly/perfectly human.

Again, when we get down to it – you agree with Bell more than you are willing to admit… and your disagreements continue to be against caricatures of Bell, not what he has actually written.

370   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Until the day we die we will be subject to the flesh, but the final culmination occurs during the resurrection at the return of Christ. It’s only then, when the curse is lifted and eternal life is given, that the world (and us) are as we should be. The curse lifted, sin banished, no veil between us and God. What a day!

371   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

We are not born again into the likeness of a pre-fall Adam, unless we conclude we can fall again even when in heaven. We are new creatures, created in the likeness of Christ and in His eternal righteousness. We are not created to be more human, we are created to become more divine, being changed from glory to glory.

The entire concept sounds like humanism when in reality redemption lets us escape being human, and the finishing act will be when we redeive a divine body. In the end, we shall be like Him, not like Adam.

But Sinai only showed us how unlike Him we were, not how to become more human. No one who is dead in sins can become anything outside being born again.

372   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

“And if Christ was the perfect human”

No, that was not it at all. He was GOD in the flesh, not a perfect human. Is the perfect human supposed to be the Incarnation? Of course not.

God came to pay the price for sin, not to be a perfect human. Redemption makes us a child of God, not more human. The “human experiment” was a complete and utter failure which the cross redeemed and made new, not restored to its original. Adam was a failure, we in Christ are made new in Christ, not Adam.

If we are made new like Adam, we again will fail miserably. We don’t need more human, we need more God.

373   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Rick,
Christ is called the “last Adam” for the very reason you seem to be speaking against. He succeeded where Adam and Israel failed, walking out God’s true intention for humanity from the start. It is through his perfect example and sacrifice that we can truly be what God created us to be.

Christ is the firstfruit of the resurrection, meaning that all who follow Him will be given a glorified body like His post resurrection body – but it was still a human body.

It almost sounds as if there are some who are still under some gnostic thinking, where they assume that nothing human can ever be fully good. It’s true that because of the fall, all physical creation is tainted, but it was not what God intended.

374   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

The term “last Adam” was symbolic. The Word says the first man is of the earth: the second man is the Lord from heaven. The distinction is profound and must not be obscured.

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy (Adam), so shall we also bear the image of the heavenly. (God)

375   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 7th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Rick have you heard of mormonism?

376   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Apples and oranges and you know it, Jerry.

377   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 7th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I’m just mocking you…

378   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

“semantics” as far as I’m concerned…

379   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

One man’s semantics are another man’s proof that all of you are demon possessed tools of the evil one, dedicated to the destruction of God’s kingdom and opposed to everything that is holy and good.

OK, maybe a little over the top. :lol:

380   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

maybe a bit…

What I mean is, the discussion on being fully human, wholly human, whatever, may be interesting and even theologically significant at some level.

Yet, in the context of the book what I believe Bell meant was simply being more like God intended or intends – something we can all agree on.

381   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I agree in principle, sans Mt. Sinai.

382   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I agree in principle, sans Mt. Sinai. – Rick

I concur with your agreement…

As for Sinai, I’d also agree with your “sans” is bell meant that as Pastorboy mischaracterized. I think Bell was saying, in that place and time, before the cross, Sinai represented God’s first step in… which ultimately was fulfilled in the cross.

383   nc    
January 7th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

No. We will be human the way God intended.

Fallen humanity is is a broken reality contrary to God’s intent.

To be fallen is to be less than human in some sense.

God restores us…that’s what the salvation of the human body is about and why it was so offensive to hellenistic culture.

We don’t fly away to “spirit land”. We will ultimately live in an embodied existence.

384   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

PB,

That does not come from law, or keeping of the law, thus Bell’s eisogesis is wrong.

Let me explain it to you this way.

The Law shows our sin… and when we see our sin we realize we are not as God intended and need to REPENT and turn to Jesus.

In that way the Law is part of the process in leading us to Christ and is part of the salvaiton process.

If you disagree with that then take it up with Paul who taught just that.

Gal 3:19. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.

So to say that the Law is not part of us coming to Christ to make us fully human in Christ Jesus… whether we be under it as a Jew or not as a Gentile… its purpose is as Paul stated and as I am explaining it. To deny this is to say that repentance is not nesacary as part of coming to faith in Christ.

iggy

385   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 7th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

PB,

Also that is not what Bell is stating and you are missing the point Bell is making. The eternal plan took many years until it was the appointed time for Jesus to come. So, again, to state that the Law was not part of the plan to make us fully human misses that God was working His plan of salvation before and during the Law and now since Jesus has fulfilled the Law we are now under Grace.

It is that we need to look and the whole historical overview (which is what Bell is doing) to see how God worked He plan of redemption throughout scripture.

iggy

386   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

“As for Sinai, I’d also agree with your “sans” is bell meant that as Pastorboy mischaracterized. I think Bell was saying, in that place and time, before the cross, Sinai represented God’s first step in… which ultimately was fulfilled in the cross.”

Why doesn’t Bell say that and explain it the way you suggest? Why do you have to fill in the blanks for him?

387   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 7th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Rick,

Maybe Bell and Golden (there are two authors to the book) expect that grown people who can read can figure it out well enough on their own. You would have to ask them what their motives are.

jerry

388   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

“Maybe Bell and Golden (there are two authors to the book) expect that grown people who can read can figure it out well enough on their own.”

One possible excuse. I can think of another.

389   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
January 7th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Rick,

You are growing too powerful. I think you might be able to overthrow the emperor if you just use your Jedi skills. You almost seem to be hinting at implying that the authors are trying to deceive people.

jerry

390   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
January 7th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

You almost seem to be hinting at implying that the authors are trying to deceive people.

Imagine that

391   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

“You almost seem to be hinting at implying that the authors are trying to deceive people.”

No, I meant that they may not mean what some of you attempt to suggest, they may just mean what they say literally without defensive intervention.

And now Mark Driscoll says Jesus doesn’t really need missionaries, He is the Evangelist and can go and save anyone He chooses. Maybe Mark didn’t actually mean that?

http://christianresearchnetwork.com/?p=8737

392   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Why doesn’t Bell say that and explain it the way you suggest? Why do you have to fill in the blanks for him? – Rick

I think he did.

393   Neil    
January 7th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

No, I meant that they may not mean what some of you attempt to suggest, they may just mean what they say literally without defensive intervention. – Rick

382 is what I think Bell/Golden is saying – literally. No obfuscation, no filling on the blanks, just what I understood them to be saying at face value

394   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 7th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Your version is so much clearer, not relying on the reading skills and clairvoyance of others. I like your amplification much better.

395   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
January 8th, 2009 at 12:02 am

Have you folks actually examined the New Exodus Theology????
I have….It makes me ill to say the least, though I saw some good

396   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 8th, 2009 at 12:20 am

Your version is so much clearer, not relying on the reading skills and clairvoyance of others.

According to MS Word, I write at a 10th grade reading level.

Like Bell, I don’t always connect every dot, because I don’t assume that my readers are morons. Bell & Golden’s book was pretty darn clear, and up to this point in time, I’m only familiar with one moron that can’t understand what he wrote (and he has a pathological need to nitpick what Bell has written).

Since the book has not been reprinted here (and can’t be, for legal reasons), I will assume that your confusion at this point is because you’ve not read it. If you would like a copy, I can send you one, Rick.

397   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 8th, 2009 at 12:22 am

From what I could discern, there is little emphasis on redemption and a focus on curing the world’s ills. I fear a moving away from the gospel, death, burial, and resurrection, and a moving toward a humanitarian message.

Humanitarian expressions are vital to showcase God’s love, but only the gospel message can elicit faith and a genuine conversion.

398   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 8th, 2009 at 12:25 am

Rick,

Have you read the book?

This review covers Chapter 2 – not even the whole thing.

399   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 8th, 2009 at 12:27 am

Chris – you may send me one at PO Box 61, Crystal Springs, Fl. 33524

I will appreciate it, but please know I will be honest in my evaluation – good and bad. I begin with a moderately suspicious view which I will attempt to neutralize.

400   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 8th, 2009 at 12:59 am

Sent. It should arrive in 2-5 business days.

Merry Saturnalia Christmas!

401   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
January 8th, 2009 at 1:02 am

Thanks, Chris. I do not celebrate Christmas (I am such a conundrum) but I will receive as a Happy Festivus present! The only day I really observe is Thanksgiving because it makes me feel so emergent to be a part of feeding the Indians!