Here is a recent submission we’ve received here at PPP.Info:

I have written a book called, “The New Pharisaism: How Spiritual Bullies Attack the Church.” The book deals specifically with the damage caused to church leaders, Christian ministries, and local churches by organizations such as “The Berean Call,” “Slice of Laodicea/Crosstalk America,” “Light House Trails Research Project,” “Media Spotlight,” “Southwest Radio Church,” “Apprising Ministries,”"Understanding the Times,” and many others.

In the church today, we are faced with a new level of intensity when it comes to spiritual abuse and bullying. As you know, this New Pharisaism falsely claims that New Age, Eastern mystical, and occultic practices are being introduced into most churches in America as part of the apostasy of the last days. This inflammatory and divisive material has made its way into local churches through individuals and small groups of bullies who have used it for their own selfish gain and self-promoting agenda.

My book also deals extensively with how to stand against this attack and how to find healing and recovery after the attack has occurred.

I believe that the book is an invaluable resource for your readers and anyone who is dealing with Pharisees today. The book is fully documented with scores of footnotes and is based on the careful exegesis and the sound exposition of God’s Word.

“The New Pharisaism” is available as a ebook download on my website at www.thenewpharisaism.com. On the website, you can also read about my credentials, download the introduction preview, and see the table of contents.

I would be most appreciative if you would let you readers know about this book.

Thank you and may God bless,

Pastor Bill Slabaugh

Has anyone read this? Any volunteers?*

*- My pocketbook is running incredibly low right now, so if anyone has $13 and reads this, I’d be interested in a review…

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 6:19 pm and is filed under Blogging, Church and Society, Mailbag, ODM Responses. 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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382 Comments(+Add)

1   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I downloaded it and would love to review it.

Oh that’s right I can’t review it. My writing privileges have been blocked.

So much for my review. So much for dissenting opinions being welcomed and valued. So much for “how we are different”. etc…

As I mentioned in my private message Chris L. the site accountability is a joke.

2   CS    
February 23rd, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Just looking at the sample chapter, the writing seems pretty weak and unconvincing (I would go so far as to say that it almost sounds like whining). I also note how the word, “Pharisee,” is casually tossed around as a means of denigrating those whom the author seeks to out, without ever qualifying why he would call them that. Is he saying that they are not saved, like the Pharisees weren’t?

I think I’ll pass.


CS

3   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:12 pm

RE #1:

Irony – when you dissent by expressing how dissenting is not allowed…

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:14 pm

CS –

I’ve not yet looked at the sample chapter.

What I will say (getting to your note about the use of “pharisee”) is this – I believe that there is a common use of the word “Pharisee” to be analogous to the word “hypocritical busybody”, and there is a historical use of the word which is more nuanced and historical. This historical view makes room for good pharisees (like Paul, Niccodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Gamaliel) who were historically opposed to the “bad” pharisees mentioned in Matthew 23.

For example, you say:

Is he saying that they are not saved, like the Pharisees weren’t?

If you are using the common use of “Pharisee”, then your underlying assumptions may be correct to a degree. If you’re using the historical meaning of “Pharisee”, then I think there is a problem with your underlying definition.

I believe that 99% of ODM’s fit the underlying comparison to historical view of Pharisees – devout, pious fearers of God who have stumbled into areas in which they hold others to a standard that is their own, which has elevated individual convictions to the level of cross-cultural absolutes, and delight in exposing others’ deficiencies (and thus their own righteousness) – real or imagined. (Think Lighthouse Trails, TeamPyro, etc.)

As for the common definition of “pharisee”, I believe that a smaller subset of ODM’s (the Silvas and Schlueters of the blogosphere) fits within this definition in addition to the more historical definition.
_____________

Chris – If you can “bury the hatchet” and work out the personal differences (not ‘dissenting opinions’ – those are fine) we discussed, I’ve got no problems w/ your writing here…

5   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:22 pm

If you can “bury the hatchet” and work out the personal differences (not ‘dissenting opinions’ – those are fine) we discussed, I’ve got no problems w/ your writing here…

What does “bury the hatchet” look like Chris?

Irony – when you dissent by expressing how dissenting is not allowed…

Neil that’s not the point and you know it. Sure I can comment but I’m not allowed to write or interact. Now the irony may be in the form of me not desiring to interact then complaining that I can’t interact. Now that’s irony. Maybe… :)

6   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I think I’ll pass.

This was my initial thought as well. Though he does qualify what he means by “Pharisaism” and why he makes the parallel.

The historical inaccuracy aside, I see know reason to think he is making a judgment cal on anyone’s salvation – at least not based on simply using the parallel.

7   M.G.    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Re:3

So was it ironic when Martin Luther King Jr. penned his letter from a Birmingham Jail, offering his protests regarding the black man’s right to protest in Birmingham?

Just because you have a voice to express dissent, doesn’t mean you give up the right to express criticism over the treatment of dissent.

In other words, comparing commenting privileges to publishing privileges is inapt.

8   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Sure I can comment but I’m not allowed to write or interact.

I know nothing of that. But the point remains as I stated it. You said this site does not allow dissenting opinions, that it does not allow you to interact… which is, in and of itself – dissension and interacting.

9   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:28 pm

In other words, comparing commenting privileges to publishing privileges is inapt.

Sorry, I do not follow the MLK analogy. That said, the point still stands. He said interaction and dissent were not allowed. the fact that we are arguing over it shows the irony of such a complaint.

10   M.G.    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Irony: When a Southern Pastor protests the right of blacks to protest.

The treatment of dissent is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Is it ironic when a Chinese human rights activist addresses his government at his own trial?

Is it ironic when Aung San Suu Kyi publishes a piece while under house arrest in Burma?

The mere expression of dissent does not entail the perfect acceptance of it. To argue otherwise is pure nonsense, and you’re pithy little ironic comment condescending and ill-conceived.

11   M.G.    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm

And by the way, Chris said dissent was not “welcomed and valued.” He didn’t write that it was not “allowed.”

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm

This site allows more dissenting interaction than almost any I am aware of. It is the interacting itself that sometimes creates a problem. Every site has their “heroes” and defends certain men while being more proactive in assailing others. The title of this site obviously identifies with a certain group.

It’s called the fall and the membership is all inclusive. :cool: .

13   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:41 pm

The mere expression of dissent does not entail the perfect acceptance of it. To argue otherwise is pure nonsense, and you’re pithy little ironic comment condescending and ill-conceived.

Not sure what you mean by “acceptance of it. Do I accept as in agree with Chris? – cannot say since I did not know he could no longer post. Do we accept as in allow him to dissent? Well, his distension is there so that is self evident.

I did not mean it to be either pithy nor condescending. And I really do not understand the hostility… apparently I must have missed the lead up.

All I said was it is ironic that one can proclaim he is prohibited from doing the very thing he is doing.

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I believe a personal and “in house” issue should not have been made public. It is none of anyone’s business.

15   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:44 pm

And by the way, Chris said dissent was not “welcomed and valued.” He didn’t write that it was not “allowed.”

Granted – yet he contrasted “welcomed and valued” with his writing privileges being blocked. so, he introduced the concept of “allowance.”

and again, al I meant to do was point out his ability to do just that – dissent. If it were not welcome we would ban it.

16   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I believe a personal and “in house” issue should not have been made public. It is none of anyone’s business.

Up until the comment, it was not part of my knowledge.

17   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Neil,

The bottom line is I diverge in my opinion of how we handle dissent, dialogue, and the general treatment of others privately. I’m shouted down and I choose to not respond.
The response to the non-response is my writing privileges and access to this site were blocked.

Let’s assume I knew my non-response was going to invoke this action being taken (me being blocked) now the real question is “why am I being blocked”. Is it for dissenting, non-conforming, a perceived threat, a divergence from mission, what?

All I’ve gotten is “Bury the hatchet” “it doesn’t work having writers that won’t talk to each other” and a few slams about my beliefs. So what is it?

18   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Not sure what you mean by “acceptance of it. Do I accept as in agree with Chris? – cannot say since I did not know he could no longer post.

Of course you didn’t. Just like Chris L. didn’t know I had my access to the private blog removed the first time. Wonder why the writing “staff” of a blog wouldn’t be informed that a fellow writer was blocked? I’m sure it has everything to do with personal opinion and different views of what accountability should look like.

19   M.G.    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Re:13

I don’t mean to be hostile. I simply don’t see the irony.

For example, CrossTalk now allows comments. If I penned a comment about the site not allowing dissent (but in a sycophantic manner, so as to clear the appropriate channels), such a statement wouldn’t be ironic at all, would it?

No matter what, the Ingrid is still selective about comments getting through, shapes the publication of comments to favor particular sides, deletes other comments, etc.

Granted, that’s an extreme example, but the point stands. The mere expresssion of dissent does not render all statements about such toleration ironic.

I think I was peevish about the comment because it struck me as authoritation and petty. Like a Chinese judge scolding a lawyer because he gets to make a statement before getting being taken out back and beaten.

20   M.G.    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

And yes, my general awe of Ingrid is such that I believe she deserves the definite article. :)

21   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I do not know about the moderating policies and procedures at Crosstalk. Here though, we have never moderated comments to skew an argument or squelch dissension.

Clearly I struck a nerve that would have best been left alone.

I guess, just because I found it ironic does not mean I should have expressed the same.

22   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 pm

And yes, my general awe of Ingrid is such that I believe she deserves the definite article. :)

I thought it a typo – but now that it is explained – I concur!

23   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Re 18: My ignorance is as likely my fault as it is Chris L’s.

24   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Chris – (since you seem to want to be more public with this)

My “position” (FWIW) is this – it really does not work having writers who won’t talk to each other and constantly find ways to “dig” one another. You had asked to take a hiatus a few months ago, but to still have access to some of the behind-the-scenes discussion. This seemed to work fine for awhile. However, in a week’s time I had multiple requests that I rescind the offer to give you the additional access due to your unwillingness to work w/ them.

There was no issue with me of your “dissenting, non-conforming, a perceived threat, a divergence from mission” – it was just that I can’t deal with much personal drama right now. If I was going to ban you for disagreeing or dissenting with how to handle policy/process, I’d have done it last fall, but I didn’t think that was the right way to handle it, because we do need to be able to disagree on such things.

I’m not sure where your beliefs have been slammed, and I’ve not taken them into any consideration in my decision-making process.

My advice – you know who you’ve got problems with, and the issues they’ve got. Go to them. Make it right. Blogs are blogs, and real-world relationships that need mending don’t need online drama to add to them. In this matter, I’m more of a bystander than a participant, so don’t read my actions as anything but managerial, because that is all they are.

25   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Re 18: My ignorance is as likely my fault as it is Chris L’s.

Maybe…Or just one person with the power to act without any accountability or discussion.

It’s kinda like a dictatorship with the show of democracy. “We let them vote their votes just don’t mean anything”

26   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:10 pm

However, in a week’s time I had multiple requests that I rescind the offer to give you the additional access due to your unwillingness to work w/ them.

And yet NONE of that was communicated to me until I probed and asked.

As for the “drama” I didn’t see any of my behind the scenes action as not wanting to deal with it. I addressed all the parties involved and even those not involved. They just didn’t like my answers.

If you had several people come to you to block my access then that’s fine but it still doesn’t change my asking “why?” or “What does burying the hatchet look like?”

27   M.G.    
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Re:21

I don’t care one way about the ironic comment. I just disagreed with it, and tried to explain why I disagreed with it. It’s ok if I didn’t persuade you.

No harm, no foul. :)

28   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:14 pm

And yet NONE of that was communicated to me until I probed and asked.

Actually, that was my fault. The timing was such that the changes were made, after which I was supposed to talk to you. I was out all evening and the next morning, so you had already emailed me to ask about it before I had communicated to you.

That was my fault, and you have my apologies.

Now – for the personal issues, please deal with those parties directly (rather than here in public), and let’s see what happens from there…

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:15 pm

“What does burying the hatchet look like?”

In the ground or someone’s skull?

30   chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Now – for the personal issues, please deal with those parties directly (rather than here in public), and let’s see what happens from there…

Let’s see what happens when I keep it public… comments moderated or IP address blocked or, or, or…?

We’ve often talked publicly and privately about how to handle conflict and accountability. We’ve reprimanded and rebuked others for either overstepping real/perceived accountability structures. So let’s just see how it plays out.

I’ve witnessed our writers berate, attack, demean, and curse about commenter’s publicly and privately. Then when I disagreed with that, it was turned on me. So, again, lets see how it plays out publicly.

Matthew 18 and all that.

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:24 pm

“The book is fully documented with scores of footnotes and is based on the careful exegesis and the sound exposition of God’s Word.”

Where have I heard that before? :)

32   Neil    
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:38 pm

“The book is fully documented with scores of footnotes and is based on the careful exegesis and the sound exposition of God’s Word.”

Where have I heard that before? :)

Maybe we should have BS and BM (should I have resisted that?) review each others’ book. or have Pastorboy review them both…

33   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Not just exegesis, but careful exegesis.

There is a big difference. :cool:

34   CS    
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Chris L:

“As for the common definition of “pharisee”, I believe that a smaller subset of ODM’s (the Silvas and Schlueters of the blogosphere) fits within this definition in addition to the more historical definition.”

So you’re saying they’re not saved?


CS

35   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:29 pm

So you’re saying they’re not saved?

CS – Here, we’re going to also look at “saved” from two viewpoints.

Often, we used “saved” as a description of eternal salvation. In the first-century context, “saved” is more of a holistic look which is as much about life as it is about death and one’s eternal destination. So, one may be “saved” (eternally) yet not live as one who is saved. (See I Cor 3:12-15)

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:38 pm

#35 – The little child metaphor has long sinced failed. The correct question is are they borh again and headed for Christ in eternally, unless there is wiggle room in that as well.

The correct answer is only God actually knows.

37   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:43 pm

“little child metaphor”?

38   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Ummm… I wonder if I could interrupt this regularly scheduled programming with a little perspective here:

Persecution in India

May the Lord have mercy.

39   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:55 pm

/me wonders when the last time we posted at PPP and the discussion went at least 5 comments before completely derailing.

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Thank you, Paul. May God have mercy on us who play at Christianity.

41   nathan    
February 23rd, 2010 at 6:10 pm

“cursing about commenters”?

really?

that’s too bad…

42   nathan    
February 23rd, 2010 at 6:11 pm

not that I think the ‘cursing’ is the issue…

don’t want to open THAT can of worms.

;)

43   CS    
February 23rd, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Chris L:

“Often, we used “saved” as a description of eternal salvation. In the first-century context, “saved” is more of a holistic look which is as much about life as it is about death and one’s eternal destination. So, one may be “saved” (eternally) yet not live as one who is saved. (See I Cor 3:12-15)”

When they die, would you say that they will go to Heaven or not?


CS

44   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 23rd, 2010 at 8:03 pm

When they die, would you say that they will go to Heaven or not?

Those involved with ODM sites will probably opt out of heaven once they see that it’s full of Emergents, Catholics, and people from Seeker Sensitive congregations…

45   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 23rd, 2010 at 9:04 pm

once they see that it’s full of Emergents, Catholics, and people from Seeker Sensitive congregations…

….to name just a few :)

46   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2010 at 9:14 pm

When they die, would you say that they will go to Heaven or not?

Well, there’s a couple of issues there:

1) I don’t know that it would be accurate to say that when we Christians die we will escape from planet Earth and go to another place called “Heaven”. Rather, I believe that the picture painted in Scripture is of a renewed heavens and earth, in which Heaven comes to earth in the perfect reign of Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven (which, in the Hebrew mind, is a state of being, not a geographic location).

2) I’m not being coy, but I wouldn’t deem to claim to know the boundaries of God’s grace, and so I typically give the same answer to folks from the right of left when asked “will so-and-so be in heaven/hell?” – the answer that Jesus gave to Peter when he wondered about the fate of John – “what is it to you?”

3) While I think Phil was trying to be funny, I think that if someone’s hatred of a particular individual or group of people (even supposedly in God’s name) would fuel their hubris such that they would not desire to endure God’s reign if it required them to tolerate those people, He would not force Himself upon them.

4) I do think they are in dangerous territory, if you examine Paul’s warning in the verses of I Cor 3 immediately after the ones I cited above. He does not see attacks upon His temple as trivial things, and the incredibly flimsy/nonexistent burden of proof such “watchmen” (to use the term in an infinitely broad manner) use in deciding to attack portions of God’s temple would give me pause, were I in their shoes.

47   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 23rd, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Or just one person with the power to act without any accountability or discussion.

I will readily admit I took you off of the private blog because you said you were done and I thought that was what you wanted. You said, “Whatever. I’m done here.” So I deleted you as I’m the only one who can do that there. Then Chris L emailed me and told me you wanted back in so I put you back on.
What happened to not responding from a place of emotion and all that?
So if I’m the person you’re referring to, I guess you’re right but I did what I did with honest intentions.
As for you complaining about accountability, as I recall it was people disagreeing with something that you did that got you all fired up in the first place.
Oh, and I’ve heard you curse about commenters and writers here too, so what?

48   Chris    
February 23rd, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I will readily admit I took you off of the private blog because you said you were done and I thought that was what you wanted. You said, “Whatever. I’m done here.” So I deleted you as I’m the only one who can do that there.

All of which I know. Where we disagree is the fact that my “I’m done here” was actually “Whatever I’m done with the site”. Not exactly a tacit statement of “Block me out”. As I mentioned in the private blog we have had several writers “leave” and then come back.

What happened to not responding from a place of emotion and all that

?

I’m not responding emotionally I’m responding rationally. While there is emotion involved that’s not what’s driving my thinking or writing.

So if I’m the person you’re referring to, I guess you’re right but I did what I did with honest intentions.

Never questioned your motivation I questioned that you alone made the decision. Not sure that’s the best way to operate a blog with multiple writers of varying opinion and thought.

As for you complaining about accountability, as I recall it was people disagreeing with something that you did that got you all fired up in the first place.

I edited a comment with profane words towards Ingrid out. You responded with “We don’t edit comments” to which I responded “Whatever I’m done with the site”. I decided then not to edit comments or interact in the functional aspect of the blog only to write. Your response to that was…err…vigorous. I didn’t have a problem with the questioning/discussion around my decision. My problem came when you amped up your defense with personal invectives that didn’t bolster your argument. Rather they proved that you weren’t interested in opinion or dialogue instead that you wanted your way. Which is somewhat your modus operendum. I’ve witnessed it personally, privately, face to face, etc… I grew tired of it.

As far as accountability my concern is less about how this situation was handled and more about a standard that is consistent. You decided that my access would be limited to this site and the private blog. Which is really fine but for you arguing so adamantly that comments shouldn’t be edited, no matter how over the line, then to arbitrarily moderate PB, Evan, Chad, etc… doesn’t make sense and is inconsistent. Then to block my access because you don’t like how I’m responding, or not, further proves my point that it’s inconsistent.

Oh, and I’ve heard you curse about commenters and writers here too, so what ?

Yep…I also once sold drugs, stole cars, and downloaded porn. Call it on going discipleship. I recognized my error and decided to course correct. Not that egregious. It’s called growth. I took a hiatus because I didn’t like how was I responding to and thinking about the people who visit here. I repented and then returned when I was certain that I could both honor God and interact with those I disagree.

Finally, None of this is a surprise or shock to me. I knew it would play out this way. In fact I was being so ardent about it because I think something needs to change. Now you may disagree and that’s fine. You can do what you want. :)

49   Holy Khazars!    
February 23rd, 2010 at 11:55 pm

I reckon that the “New” Pharisees still don’t hold a candle to the Old Pharisees, aka Talmudic Jews. They are the worst kind of people!

50   Joec    
February 23rd, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I said , “really? Well at least you didn’t say ‘i’m taking my ball and going home.’”
direct quote. It’s the beauty of owning the site in question-I still have the post.
You’re right that is really “vigorous”
chris, I wish you the best.

51   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 12:17 am

You’re right that is really “vigorous”

Joe,

You know that the dialogue went further than that and you know what our dialogue off the site was about. Just clarifying.

It’s the beauty of owning the site in question-I still have the post.

Yep. Which is my point exactly. The other beauty of owning it is you can decide what you want to do with it, determine what’s appropriate or inappropriate, and decide who’s allowed to play and who isn’t. Even if it is completely arbitrary and based on personal opinion. Don’t agree with someone; shout them down or dismiss them with personal invectives. Don’t like how someone is responding or not responding; block them. Disagree with how someone handled a situation and write nasty things about them privately. All within your right as owner.

52   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 12:46 am

You know that the dialogue went further than that and you know what our dialogue off the site was about. Just clarifying.

No, this is where we disagree. It didn’t go further than that. That’s what I said, and you went ballistic. I think your response was completely and totally out of proportion to what happened.
I have said to you many times back when I was still trying to talk to you and you were not responding that I’m not even sure how this happened. You can attack my character all you want, I’ve done plenty to it over the years on my own but all your smoke and mirrors doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t do anything on this one.
There was no off the site conversation because you wouldn’t answer my phone calls. You didn’t respond to my emails except to tell me that I should have a good life and you repeated a few, “After all I’ve done for your family.”
Just clarifying what?
To this day, I marvel at this situation and can only come to the conclusion that there is something else in play here. Something that I don’t know about or anyone else that when I do learn about it will cause it all to make sense. Because no matter how many times you say differently, I can go read the thread and that was all I said.
I’ve asked you numerous times what can be done to patch this up; no response. The other person involved wrote you a letter of apology; no response.
I don’t get why you care so much that you can’t go there anymore. You said it’s not something that you’re all that passionate about, that you want to put too much energy into. Why do you care?
No one has written any nasty things about you here or there. You are the one who brought this public.
There was nothing arbitrary about this. You said you wanted off, I deleted you. Then you said you wanted back, I added you back. This last time, there was a discussion about it and it was decided.
I didn’t shout you down. You shouted at us and me. You cussed at me (I have the message saved on my phone) so please don’t turn this around. You are the one who shouted down and dismissed with personal invectives.
Maybe you have demons of your own to deal with, maybe something else happened that is really the thing behind the thing, I don’t know. I’ll let you have the last comment because I’m not going to have this out in public out or respect to the owner of this blog and the other writers.
Chris, I miss you. I miss our phone conversations. I really and truly do. I thought about you the other day when I was looking at Tigers/Yankees tickets and I would love for us to be friends again someday and right now I have accepted that is probably not going to happen. I don’t actually trust you and perhaps you don’t trust me. So for now, I’ll pray a prayer that is one of my favorites, “The LORD watch over you and me while we are absent from one another.”

53   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 12:49 am

Also, my comment #49 has a C after my name b/c I was responding from my iPhone.

54   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 1:05 am

I edited a comment with profane words towards Ingrid out.

There wasn’t one profane word in that comment. It was whacky for sure, but no profanity.

55   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 24th, 2010 at 2:18 am

1If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
7The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. – 1 Corinthians 6:1-8

56   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 7:28 am

I reckon that the “New” Pharisees still don’t hold a candle to the Old Pharisees, aka Talmudic Jews. They are the worst kind of people!

How so?

57   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 7:37 am

“You cussed at me (I have the message saved on my phone)”

Interesting. When it comes to disagreements and interaction and scenaraios that really test the essence of Christ and His followers, it remains as I have suggested. From the ODM to the emergent leaning, the level of carnality is symetrical.

58   John Hughes    
February 24th, 2010 at 9:09 am

Yep.

59   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 10:38 am

So you’re saying they’re not saved? – CS

I’m not sure if the referent is the Pharisees of biblical times or thos behaving Pharisaical now – either way it’s overly simplified and a question that cannot be answered.

if the referent is Pharisees of biblical times – some were some were not. It’s not like “Pharisee = Unsaved.”

If the referent is contemporaries who act Pharisaical – well, we can only observe people by the claims and content of their faith. But ultimately we do not declare anyone to be unsaved who claims salvation in the name of the Lord Jesus.

(cf. On Making Labels)

60   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 10:51 am

I didn’t shout you down. You shouted at us and me. You cussed at me (I have the message saved on my phone) so please don’t turn this around. You are the one who shouted down and dismissed with personal invectives.

Hmmm…interesting perspective. You and the other person were dismissive “At least you didn’t say ‘I’m taking my ball and going home’” “Dude get some thicker skin” “Good luck being a pastor with that attitude” etc…

Your words in the same post:

There was no off the site conversation because you wouldn’t answer my phone calls. You didn’t respond to my emails except to tell me that I should have a good life and you repeated a few, “After all I’ve done for your family.”

I’ve asked you numerous times what can be done to patch this up; no response. The other person involved wrote you a letter of apology; no response.

I didn’t shout you down. You shouted at us and me. You cussed at me (I have the message saved on my phone) so please don’t turn this around. You are the one who shouted down and dismissed with personal invectives.

So did I respond or didn’t I? As I said earlier I responded you just didn’t like my responses. As for the profane message I sent you it did contain profanity but it wasn’t aimed at you. Again you know that. It wasn’t a personal invective. Again you know that. As for the profane comment about Ingrid. The definition of “profane” is less about specific words and more about content. But I digress.

I’ll let you have the last comment because I’m not going to have this out in public out or respect to the owner of this blog and the other writers.

Of course not.

Maybe you have demons of your own to deal with, maybe something else happened that is really the thing behind the thing, I don’t know.

The only reason I’m doing this is to prove a point. Those that you disagree with, about whatever, get sidelined. One way or the other you silence your critics. Demons? Not really; consider this an 8 month experiment. I know it would play out this way. Why would I not. You moderate everyone who disagrees.

The comment about Ingrid was “whacky” “We don’t edit comments”

“Chad pisses me off” “Moderate him”

and on, and on, and on.

This situation is a little more dicey cause I was a writer. But the same results. So for all the announcements about “diversity of writers” it’s not true. By and large everyone falls in lock step with Chris L. and you control the access. As you said you “own the blog” and “out of respect for the owner of the blog owner”. Just another, less abrasive way, to silence a critic.

#55 Christian P. I appreciate your heart in this. Nobody is taken any one to court. We are having a discussion. Sure it’s uncomfortable but it’s not sinful or against scripture. Which, again, is interesting to me that this conversation is over the line but others we’ve had publicly and privately are some how O.K. ???????

And to quote Chris L. from yesterday “Sometimes it’s good to stir the pot”. How’s that working?

61   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 10:54 am

Just to be clear: I’m not interested in access to the private blog or being a writer here. I’m just proving a point by using that as an example.

62   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 11:00 am

Chris,
I’m really and truly sorry that you were hurt in this. It is apparent to me that we don’t even agree on what was said. That’s too bad.
If you ever want to work this out, I would seriously love to sit down and down so.
Pax.

63   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 11:01 am

Why would I not. You moderate everyone who disagrees.

I don’t moderate anyone. I don’t even know how to do it over here.

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Matthew 18 disappears at the internet connection. :cool:

65   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 11:14 am

“If you ever want to work this out, I would seriously love to sit down and down so.”

But until then I will save the phone answering evidence against you. :cool:

66   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:22 am

I know you aren’t going to court, but that passage isn’t just about taking a brother to court (that was the problem that caused Paul to write, but his instructions are valid before something goes that far). Is there no one in the church mature enough to judge between you? Is there no one that both parties would submit to the decision they made? Instead it is displayed for all the world to see because both parties “know” who’s in the right. Themselves. And they won’t be stepped on. But this goes on amongst brothers and damages our witness. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be hurt than choosing to hurt somebody else (a brother in Christ no less)?

67   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 24th, 2010 at 11:25 am

#65: Rick, you are bang on.

As you said earlier, we’re all “Christian” – that is until push comes to shove. By “shove” I mean that Jesus gets pushed aside as we hash things out like men.

What a profitable thread this has been.

Is it not slightly ironic that this post was intended to be a pile-on the “real enemies” of Christ and it has since gone in this direction?

68   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:27 am

I’m really and truly sorry that you were hurt in this.

Thanks for being sorry. I wasn’t and am not hurt by this. My contention from the start was that “we” are inconsistent in how we deal with people with whom we disagree.

It is apparent to me that we don’t even agree on what was said. That’s too bad.

I’m not sure how we don’t agree. The vagueness may come from intent and motivation but so far I haven’t disagreed with the content of our conversation. My perception of what was said is different but the words stand.

If you ever want to work this out, I would seriously love to sit down and down so.

I would love to work it out. I believe we are. Are you suggesting a different forum? If so I would decline. I can’t think of a better forum then this to air it out. There is a long history of content here that is helpful for others to see and have input into. IMO

69   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 11:28 am

But until then I will save the phone answering evidence against you. :cool:

Thank you Rick, it seems prudent to me to keep the information when the content of that information is in question. Thank you for reminding me how little you like me. I appreciate it.

70   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:29 am

Is it not slightly ironic that this post was intended to be a pile-on the “real enemies” of Christ and it has since gone in this direction?

Paul I precisely chose this thread for that reason.

As you said earlier, we’re all “Christian” – that is until push comes to shove. By “shove” I mean that Jesus gets pushed aside as we hash things out like men.

Jesus isn’t getting pushed aside. It’s a conversation about a situation that goes the heart and intent of this site.

71   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 11:33 am

Is it not slightly ironic that this post was intended to be a pile-on the “real enemies” of Christ and it has since gone in this direction?

Actually, if you read the OP, no “pile-on” was intended. Rather, I posted an item from the mailbag that the requester seemed to want us to review. I don’t have the cash, so I opened it up more broadly – w/o taking a position on the quality of the writing.

In the same way that it would be unfair to tar and feather Brian MacLaren for things he didn’t write or convey in his book – sight unseen – it would be unfair to tar and feather Ken, Ingrid and company in an inaccurate manner. Even in a target-rich environment, it is possible to miss (or shoot blanks).

72   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:35 am

#66

Christian I understand the point of the passage. IMO it doesn’t apply to this situation. I’m not hurt, I’m not angry, I’m not trying to “get” Joe or this site. I’m trying to dialogue about the situation.

73   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 24th, 2010 at 11:38 am

#70: OK Chris.

Actually, if you read the OP, no “pile-on” was intended.

Riiight. You’d have to be born yesterday to buy this excuse.

74   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 11:43 am

I would love to work it out. I believe we are. Are you suggesting a different forum? If so I would decline. I can’t think of a better forum then this to air it out. There is a long history of content here that is helpful for others to see and have input into. IMO

Sorry Chris, that is exactly what I mean. Assuming I can work it out with my schedule, I will come to Midland and your pastor can moderate if you like. The issues between you and I have nothing to do with this site.

75   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 11:44 am

Riiight. You’d have to be born yesterday to buy this excuse.

Wow, I’ve progressed a long way since the maternity ward yesterday, then. Since I was the author of the OP, I know the intent. Very few articles in recent history have dealt specifically with Ken, Ingrid and company. The guy made a coherent request (and believe me, I get a number of incoherent ones – perhaps I’ll post one of those later today/tonight), and I a) didn’t want to spend $13; and b) thought the PDF itself looked a bit less than professional (but private publishing can be misleading that way).

But I guess you know my motives better than I do, so feel free to start signing your posts “Chris L”, I guess…

76   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:50 am

Paul C,

Chris L. was saying that he did not intend a “pile-on” by posting it as is evidenced by what Chris L. said in the post. Are you questioning Chris L.’s claim about that or did you misunderstand his claim?

77   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:51 am

Sorry Chris, that is exactly what I mean. Assuming I can work it out with my schedule, I will come to Midland and your pastor can moderate if you like. The issues between you and I have nothing to do with this site.

Joe there is nothing between you and I. The issues are precisely about this site.

FOR ALL TO HEAR:

This site inconsistently deals with those they disagree with, former writers, commenter’s, visitors, posts we choose to write, etc… When disagreement happens several tacks are taken.

Attack: Just yell louder and berate to persuade others.

Retreat: I’m going to acquiesce to or not respond to the critics.

Triangle: Bring another person into the conflict (via a different forum) and win them to my cause.

So…here we are. Let’s start talking about the “How” of this site and less about the “Who” of this site.

78   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 11:54 am

Joe there is nothing between you and I

Well, I am sorry to see our friendship end over a blog. Grace and Peace to you.

79   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 11:56 am

Riiight. You’d have to be born yesterday to buy this excuse.

Paul C.,

It is best, and most charitable, to accept a brother’s response unless you have direct proof of the opposite. No one is gonna accuse Chris L of being vague – if he does not like something he makes it clear.

Therefore, it is inappropriate to imply dishonesty in his motivation of the OP.

In fact, to this pint, has anyone, commenter or writer, said anything positive about the book?

80   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Well, I am sorry to see our friendship end over a blog.

hmmmm…Not sure how to take that. Are you implying are friendship ended because of this blog? Or are implying that our friendship was based on a blog?

In either case our friendship didn’t end because of this blog, nor was it maintained or based on this blog. Our “friendship” ended because I grew tired of how you choose to deal with me. Publicly, privately, face to face, etc… Which I’ve stated. I’ve not discussed those at all. Except to respond to your claims.

The blog issues are separate. Which I’ve stated over and over again.

Grace and Peace to you.

I’ve yet to see this used in an affirmative conversation. It’s appears that it is used most often to be dismissive in a kind way. Could be wrong.

81   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I do find it telling/revealing/pitiful that no one even made a comment on Paul’s link to our brethren being mutilated and murdered overseas. I e-mailed it to many friends and so should we all.

But of course this meaningless blog skirmish which is between individuals and is being laundered publicly takes precident. Sad.

NOTE TO OTHERS: Being a writer on a blog is as important as being a bird watcher.

82   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

RE 81:

You commented on the link, I had nothing to add so I did not… silence is not always ignorance.

As for the blog skirmish – it is as sad as it is embarrassing… and you have taken opportunities to fan the flames.

All that to say – while I agree with you, it’s not like you were not a participant.

Personally, I’d like to see the whole exchange die.

83   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I do find it telling/revealing/pitiful that no one even made a comment on Paul’s link to our brethren being mutilated and murdered overseas. I e-mailed it to many friends and so should we all.

Rick this skirmish isn’t taking precedent. I watched the videos, downloaded them to show to our church, forwarded them to friends, prayed for India, and wept.

But of course this meaningless blog skirmish which is between individuals and is being laundered publicly takes precident. Sad.

Meaningless? Perhaps. But this could be said of most anything we do in a our spare time. Nothing is being laundered publicly. It’s a discussion, again, about the site.

NOTE TO OTHERS: Being a writer on a blog is as important as being a bird watcher.

I don’t think you would find many who disagree. I certainly don’t.

84   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

As for the blog skirmish – it is as sad as it is embarrassing

What makes it sad? What makes it embarrassing?

Personally, I’d like to see the whole thing die.

If life were as easy as wishing for the tough stuff to be avoided we would never grow.

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Neil – Fanning the flames would mean I took sides. I did not, however I attempted to point out the unChristlike nature of the entire mess.

Let us sharpen each other on issues, and let us reconcile with each other in private. It is a shame that some disagreement over a blog has gotten so far.

86   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I appreciate your attention to Paul’s link, Chris and Neil and any others. That, my friends, is the “tough stuff”.

87   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

It is a shame that some disagreement over a blog has gotten so far.

Rick,

It’s gotten this far because I believe the standard should change. I’ve been on both sides so the public “We are the better blog” doesn’t jive with the private “Moderate those who we disagree with”. Asking people to live out their convictions is not frivolous it’s biblical.

88   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

#87 – The application of Biblical truths pertaining to brethren interaction, from agreement to strong disagreement, is still in its embryonic stage. There is hope that we can all learn from something like this.

Step #1 – Distinuish between public and personal issues.

89   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

That should read:

“The application of Biblical truths pertaining to brethren interaction in the blogosphere…”

90   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Step #1 – Distinuish between public and personal issues.

Step #2 – Actually deal with the issues.

91   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I am rather impressed with the way most of you are handling this. Both Chris and Joe are talking and from what I can tell haven’t ramped it up to needless rhetoric. Well done.

I think I understand where Chris is coming from as it relates to what appears to be some inconsistencies among the writers and how “rules” are enforced. I have experienced it myself personally. Chris L has said that he welcomes writers who disagree with other writers on issues theologically and in fact seeks them out. There was a time not long ago when Jerry and others were talking of asking me to be a writer here. I was told by 2 writers here that it wouldn’t happen because Chris L doesn’t want a universalist on the writing staff. I was invited to be part of a private FB group, but that was it.

When I brought this up not too long ago I was told by Chris L that the reason I was not selected to be a writer was because I lack logic skills. Ha! (I love that!). Oddly, none of the other writers ever conveyed that to me (nor did Chris L) – only that I wouldn’t be a writer because of this theological disagreement (something Chris L claims he wants).

I also have watched myself and other commenters be publically rebuked time and time again and called out by writers to apologize for this remark or that only to watch Chris L or other writers say the same and even worse to me or others they disagree with. When I ask why Chris L, for instance, is not publically rebuked I am told that he is in private or I’m told, “How do you know he wasn’t?” That seems to be double standard. You have my email address. If you desire to be fair and balanced and I say something that upsets you as a writer here, email me and tell me privately the way you would Chris L. Or, if you want to make it public (as you always tend to do) with me, than speak up when Chris L or someone else gets out of line. By your silence publically one can only conclude that you condone such behavior amongst the inner sanctum.

Just my two cents.

92   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 24th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Chad – way to up-the-ante on this thread. Of course you softened the blow with the “Just my 2 cents” closing.

Anyone else have some dirty laundry to air?

While we’re at it: I call Rick Frueh to the floor. 3 years ago, on another blog on some obscure post, you offended me terribly. I am still working on overcoming the abuse you rendered to my soul

93   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Anyone else have some dirty laundry to air?

Calling out inconsistencies is not “dirty laundry”. It’s not raising the ante nor is it wrong.

The claim has and continues to be “the inconsistencies of this site” and the treatment of those with whom we disagree.

I was blocked for reasons that weren’t communicated to me until after the fact. Which is fine. Now that that’s been cleared up let’s deal with what standard is in effect for disagreement.

If it’s “I’m the owner of the site and I get to decide” then that’s fine. But come out and say that and we can all quit playing the charade of this site is better than all the rest.

94   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I am reminded of the fact that this blog is much like TV or radio, if you don’t like what you see or hear, you can always turn the channel.

95   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I am reminded of the fact that this blog is much like TV or radio, if you don’t like what you see or hear, you can always turn the channel.

Now were talking. “Don’t like what I’m doing then don’t watch”. Hmmm…Not an option this time. I’m involved and this site is involved. How about actually dealing with the issue and not side stepping the inconsistency with dismissive statements.

Again…We, you, this site, is dismissive to those that they, we, us, disagree with. Why? And what’s the standard?

96   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Sorry Chris,
I am willing to meet you and talk about our issues, which you say don’t exist and then said that our relationship ended because you got tired of how I treated you. So I’ll say that I’m willing to meet and talk about that with anyone you choose as a moderator provided that they are a Christian.

97   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

and to further illustrate the dismissive nature of the site I encourage everyone to read Chris L’s new post.

I’m sure it is not in the least related to this discussion but the coincidence is almost unbelievable.

98   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I am willing to meet you and talk about our issues, which you say don’t exist and then said that our relationship ended because you got tired of how I treated you.

Joe let me say it more plainly. I have no interest in a relationship with you. I find you to be abusive and abrasive. I choose not to fellowship with you because of that. There is no scriptural mandate that I have to have a relationship with you or continue to have one with you. I’ve forgiven you and I can dialogue with you but having the relationship we once had is not going to happen.

99   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

#98
OK. Thank you.

100   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

BTW Chris,
If you still have my email address would you mind sending me a few example of how I was abrasive and abusive to you? Oh, and I didn’t ask for you to forgive me. I, like you, believe that in this I am innocent.

101   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

100.

I know you didn’t ask me to forgive you. I also know that you don’t see/know what you did wrong. Forgiveness between people doesn’t require the offender to ask or know that they even need it. It’s a biblical mandate for all believers to do it whether its asked for or not. So for me I had to forgive you.

few example of how I was abrasive and abusive to you?

Since your writing a post about 1 Cor. 13 I’ve got to say that I don’t keep a list of wrongs. For me to say that your abusive and abrasive is a matter of opinion, I guess, I’ve witnessed it towards me and others enough to know that I because of it I choose not to have a deep relationship with you. You’ve apparently kept all the dialogue as “owner” of the blog and “on your phone”. If you can’t see/find how/where you were then me sending you examples would be of no benefit.

Finally THAT’S NOT THE ISSUE!

102   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

FYI – I would note that for all of the requests that have come my way to “moderate” someone in some way, the actual application of such moderation has been rather sparse. Most of the time, I take requests of “Chris – we ought to consider moderating X for Y” as “Chris – I’m frustrated with X’s actions/attitudes”. Then, I sit back and listen to the back-and-forth, which usually ends in no moderation (most often w/o any warning to the individual such that they never know it was discussed in the first place). And even when moderation happens, I’ve laid out the adverse behavior being addressed, and quickly approved “moderated” comments that honored the behavioral issues in question.

I’m the ONLY person that pulls the “moderation” trigger, and it’s never a permanent banning or moderation. For example (and Chad, please correct me on this if I am wrong), I believe for all of the arguments Chad and I (or Chad and others) have had, he has not yet been moderated. There was one threat of moderation (based on a particular type of slur being used) in recent history, but I don’t recall actually having to pull the trigger on moderation. I’ve used it on folks I disagree with (PB for several short stints, Ken and Chris P for a long stint, and Evan – for language issues) and agree with (Iggy and maybe Bo).

There have been times where I’ve said “I really wish X would go away” in private, but not done anything about it and “moderated” myself in the private discussion to avoid any “would someone rid me of this troublesome priest” moments…

I can deal w/ vigorous disagreements (see discussion w/ Rick, John H, Paul C), but when they progress to areas that either a) take the blog beyond PG-13; b) go WAY overboard in jettisoning charity for nastiness; c) throw in blatant blasphemy; or d) ignore very direct and specific requests (such as keeping a consistent handle/moniker) – that is where I move beyond discussing “moderation” and actually apply it.

I would say the only “moderation” I regret (in pulling the trigger too fast) was when I moderated PB for changing his name when it was actually a mistake from posting from a mobile device (and that moderation was very short).

I do not regret having behind-the-scenes discussions on frustrations w/ specific topics/commenters, or that they often begin “we should moderate so-and-so”, because in the end, we rarely do…

103   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Chris L,
To your credit, you have never moderated me. Even though I am sure you wanted to :)

(check out the lastest comments from one of our favorite anonymous haters, emergent pillage, on my blog. I can relate to the desire to just ignore someone so spiteful, but resist).

104   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

And Chris L, I hope you don’t read my longer comment above as an attempt to trash you. I’m not. However, I think you can appreciate how I can see where chris is comign frmo when he speaks of inconsistencies.

Unless the writer-friends that I have here are all lying to me than the reason you didn’t want me writing is because, frankly, you don’t like me that much and that dislike stems primarily from my belief that Jesus Christ will one day save everyone. It would be cool if you were just honest about that.

105   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Chris L.

I recognize all of that. And I commend you for it.

So now why I am blocked from writing and the private blog? Did I offend? Did I stray from Orthodoxy? Or is it merely because I didn’t tow the line?

106   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Chad,

It was the Talmudic Jews (Pharisees) who put our Lord to death and wage a modern holocaust against the Palestinians. They changed the word of God during the first century and promote the Jewish dispensationalism infecting the Church today. They get the United States to fight their (Israel’s) wars in the Middle East and foster immorality amongst the Gentiles. I can continue this issue by contacting you at your website if you desire. Otherwise, you can click on my name above to an article on how Zionists corrupted the Bible and continue researching the issue yourself. Gordon Ginn’s “The Final Apostasy” provides a very well written insight into this. Regards, H.K.

107   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

HK,

While there are no doubt many things that are possibly “infecting” the Church today, I hardly think “Talmudic Jews” are one of them (I bet 99% of the Chrisitans on our pews know what they are, for one).

I’m reading the Talmud at present with a rabbi and do not get the sense of anything you are talking about. I feel quite secure.

As to what certain factitious, zealot like groups are doing to lobby the U.S. government, I could care less.

But thanks for letting me know what you meant.

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

“I find you to be abusive and abrasive.”

That is not an exclusive club.

109   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

That is not an exclusive club.

\

Rick me and you agreeing is getting kinda scary.

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

#109 – I know, I’m a little uncomfortable myself. :cool:

111   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Is the name change from Holy Khazars to Timothy Bell in Post #106 automatic or is it intentional?

112   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Chad – Thanks for the quick reply.

It would be cool if you were just honest about that.

The decision about having you as a writer were partially based on your support of UR, but were more broadly based on 1) maturity (the way you go about disagreeing – which, while none of us are perfect in this regard and most are better than me, takes what could have been simple agreements to disagree and ratchets them up to accusations of racism, etc.); 2) some of the “drift” in your beliefs over the past couple of years (which points back to #1); 3) when it was brought up, the support of the other writers was rather tepid/tentative, so I left it hanging until a strong positive opinion would emerge; but really the most important one is 4) I have some loose real-world accountability for what is officially “espoused” on this site, and while I would like to have a diversity of views (possibly even Catholic and EO) represented here, I can’t in any way pass the red-faced test with my advisers while having a writer who teaches something that is rather clearly heresy and possibly anathema.

Personality differences are a secondary issue for me – particularly since I know that RL is often a different experience than a blog – I met Chris Pajak and really liked talking w/ him, but he’s downright awful when he comments. There are likely commenters here I usually agree with who have personality traits IRL that would bug the snot out of me…

So, while UR does figure into that, it is more about my accountability for what is posted here (articles, not comments – to a point) than personal or secondary theological issues.

113   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

#108
Again, thank you for your edification of me. Of course, I could say that I find you abusive and abrasive as well. You and your new agreement partner. But what would be the point? I mean you always show me the love of Christ.

114   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Is the name change from Holy Khazars to Timothy Bell in Post #106 automatic or is it intentional?

It is what you have posted under historically, and per our commenting policy we request that people be consistent in their handles, using real names where possible. We’ve grandfathered a few in (like Pastorboy – whose identity is well known), but in your case, you’re trying to change it to something else FROM a real name.

115   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

TB/HK,

It was the Talmudic Jews (Pharisees) who put our Lord to death and wage a modern holocaust against the Palestinians.

In Jesus’ day, there were no “Talmudic Jews”, since the Talmud was assembled about 300-500 years later, and it was not the Pharisee party which executed Jesus, but rather the Sadducee party which did so. The Sanhedrin, which declared judgment on him and sent him to Herod, was made up of 65 Sadducees and 5 Pharisees, but (since it was convened at the last minute, and at night) likely only included the leadership of the Sanhedrin, which was all Sadducee. It is doubtful that 3 of the 5 named Pharisees from the Sanhedrin (Nicodemus, Joseph of Aramathea, and Gamaliel) who showed support and/or sympathy toward Jesus and his followers were involved in that particular decision.

As for the “modern holocaust of the Palestinians”: While I would question that terminology, the modern State of Israel is not the ancient State of Israel, and while they’ve got numerous deficiencies in their leadership, they are also between a rock and a hard place in the situation they’ve been given.

The rest of your antisemitic rant can take a rest, though, as it is as unbibilical as other churches’ unwavering support of Zionism.

116   chris    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I could say that I find you abusive and abrasive as well. You and your new agreement partner. But what would be the point?

I was agreeing that others are also abusive and abrasive. Not that others agree with me that you are.

If that was what Rick was implying then I would say that he is entitled to his opinion.

117   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I would say that he is entitled to his opinion.

True

118   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

“but in your case, you’re trying to change it to something else FROM a real name.”

Chris L, you make it sound like I’m doing something neferious or trying to hide. In other numerous blogs/forums I’ve always used handles instead of real names so I didn’t think anything of it to use a handle here. It has been a long while since the last time I was here and I just forgotten your policy. I would suspect that you would disagree with my viewpoint, therefore you did “research” on my IP address to find out who I was. If this name change was automatic, then post 49 would have changed too which I believe it would change subsequent to this post…..maybe. : ) So fine….I could use some persecution from the real Pharisees in defense of the faith.

119   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Chris L,
That’s interesting because none of that was conveyed to me by the others.

maturity…

While I admit I am not perfect and at times respond in ways that I later regret you can hardly point any fingers (as you point out).

2) some of the “drift” in your beliefs over the past couple of years

What one calls “drift” another would call maturing.

The issue of inconsistency, however, is you have said you would welcome and even seek writers who are different thoelogically than you. It’s crazy that you would equate anything I have taught as anathema or even blasphemy. You can disagre with it, which is fine, but don’t characterize it in such a way that squashes all dialog.

I was looking over some of my old comments on my blog because I was trying to make sure they all made the tansistion to a new site. I found your first comments to me which brougth back some memories:

Nice post, Chad… I also appreciated your comments on the “Extreme Theology” site…

and

Chad,

I don’t know if you’ve ever visited us, but I manage a group blog that frequently defends Rob Bell, Rick Warren (and a number of the other authors you’ve listed in your reading list) from the smears & (often) outright lies by folks like Ken Silva and other “discernmentalists”.

For a good year or so things went along much like that between us. It wasn’t until I began “maturing” in some of my theoogical beliefs that this changed. I had thought that amongst friends here it would be a safe place to explore what I was wrestling with but quickly learned that dissent, even here, is not tolerated very well and friendships are fickle. Once you begin believing differently than the head writer, you quickly find yourself being distanced. It is because of these sorts of things that I began many months ago pointing out how similar you have become to the sites you once spoke out against.

Once my beliefs expanded, and once I ventured out to try to articulate them, I was no longer “in.” I think I can attribute most if not all of the anger (what you call immaturity) you saw in some of my interactions with you to a sort of lament that the bubble burst. I learned that I was “liked” only insofar as the beliefs in my head were tolerable and acceptable to you. I became a lepar, more or less, when I dared to change my mind about sexuality or explore and expand the possiblities of God’s grace and the extent of Christ’s sacfirice or when I dared to confront you about issues of race or when I disagreed with you politically. When you could no longer agree with me on certain things your tone with me went from “nice post, Chad,” to “moron” or “false teacher” or any number of other unsavory labels.

120   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Wow – the persecution card gets played because a user name was changed… may I suggest reviewing comment #38.

As for “…in defense of the faith” – this claim rings as hollow from you as it does from dispensationalists who kick people for promoting a two state solution – after all, in doing so the zionists are just defending the faith.

121   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Chad,

I do not understand how you can say that dissent, even here, is not tolerated very well… given the arguments you and I have had. If dissent was not tolerated you would have been banned long ago.

122   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Chris L,
Certainly there were Talmudic Jews during Jesus’ day. They derived it from the Babylon and with their additions to it, it was called the “Traditions of the Elders.” These were the people Jesus hated so much….vipers and hypocrites.

Pilate himself said that the Pharisees were avowed enemies of Jesus and embraced the quarrels of the Herodians and Sadducees against Jesus. They were not just standby-ers in crucifying Him.

I agree that the present State of Israel is not the continuation of the Hebrew Israel nor is it any fulfillment of any prophesy. Indeed most Jews today come from the Khazars, converts to Judiasm around 700-800 AD. So much for the anti-semitic accusation.

123   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

“…after all, in doing so the zionists are just defending the faith.”

It certainly isn’t the faith of the Christians.

124   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

The issue of inconsistency, however, is you have said you would welcome and even seek writers who are different thoelogically than you.

I would say this is true, but within limits. While you are welcome to comment, and i enjoy our disagreements, for the most part. It is my opinion that holding the position of christian universalism is enough to disqualify you from being a writer here.

125   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Timothy,

my point was, everyone believes they are defending the faith – you, me, Pastorboy, Chad… playing it as a trump card is meaningless… and even more so when you have the nerve to claim persecution.

126   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Neil,

First, I never named you. I was talking to Chris L.

Second, a lack of toleration need not equate banning from the site.

I think my point is quite clear: So long as Chris L agrees with your beliefs, he won’t call you a moron or a false teacher. Disagree with him or, God forbid, confront him on something, and you get publically trounced.

He may see it differently, but he respected me and never once had questions about my “logic” or maturity so long as I didn’t rock the boat. The moment I began exploring UR, however, I suddently became an illogical moron who is immature.

You don’t see something odd about that?

127   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

It is my opinion that holding the position of christian universalism is enough to disqualify you from being a writer here.

That’s fine. But don’t then say you actively seek and welcome writers who differ theologically from yourselves. That is why I have called Chris L inconsistent. Just be honest and claim who you are – a group of like-minded writers, for the most part, who don’t want to be pushed by people that think differently.

128   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

First, I never named you. I was talking to Chris L….as Chris L agrees with your beliefs, he won’t call you a moron or a false teacher. Disagree with him or, God forbid, confront him on something, and you get publically trounced…

Sorry Chad, I thought you talking about the blog as a whole, not Chris L. in particular. I have made it clear that I think personal invectives are crossing a line – this is something i have said publicly.

even though I have been guilty of using them myself.

129   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

That’s fine. But don’t then say you actively seek and welcome writers who differ theologically from yourselves. That is why I have called Chris L inconsistent….

I suppose this is where the scope of what is meant comes into play. I understood this comment

welcome writers who differ theologically from yourselves

to be limited to those who hold the historical orthodox fundamentals of the faith.

130   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

For the record I am the sole writer on my blog. It seems to limit unplasant confrontations. :cool:

(Blog solataire!)

131   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

“…and even more so when you have the nerve to claim persecution.”

Neil,
Well, I was reacting to being called “anti-semitic” so I guess I’ll reserve the word ‘persecution’ is for more severe forms of such.

132   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

#127

I don’t find that to be the case at all. Chris and I, for example, disagree about how to interpret Genesis 1; Brendt and I disagree about certain ideas relating to what might be called ‘Calvinism’; Joe and I disagree about who’s a better baseball team; Neil and I disagree on matters too.

A couple of us are from the same denomination, but I am absolutely certain that Chris L., Christian P, and I do not share similar ideas about how that denomination should function or what it means to belong to that denomination.

‘We’ (since I no longer blog here) are not ‘a group of like minded writers, for the most part’–except that we all have Christ in common. This is a terrible understanding of who ‘we’ are and the goal of this blog. I wish you well.

That’s all I have to say on this matter. Thanks for your time

jerry

133   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Chris L, you make it sound like I’m doing something neferious or trying to hide.

My apologies – nothing nefarious intended to be conveyed. It’s a problem we’ve dealt with from time-to-time, and we’ve just decided to handle it by insisting on a consistent name that is preferably some form of your real name.

I would suspect that you would disagree with my viewpoint, therefore you did “research” on my IP address to find out who I was.

Actually, I click the “IP compare link” for all new posters (or unrecognized ones), so it’s not really that hard to ‘research’ (since it’s a single click in the window I read all the comments in).

So fine….I could use some persecution from the real Pharisees in defense of the faith.

I’m not sure you’ve properly calibrated what real persecution (or real Pharisees) look like. You might check Paul C’s link in #38 for a more accurate picture of modern persecution. Simple disagreement with a viewpoint is not “persecution” to any but the most hubristic of individuals (see the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., for an example of the latter).

Certainly there were Talmudic Jews during Jesus’ day. They derived it from the Babylon and with their additions to it, it was called the “Traditions of the Elders.” These were the people Jesus hated so much….vipers and hypocrites.

If you’re referring to the extra-biblical writings of the Jews, not all were part of the Babylonian tradition, and the Oral Torah did not fit within the rather narrow definition you seem to be holding to. And even there, your demonstrated knowledge of first century Judaism and remaining characterization seems more fit for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion than the Traditions of the Elders….

As for Jesus hating any group of individuals, I don’t find evidence of that at all! I see that he pronounced woes on a number of the types of Pharisees in Matt 23, but even that is not an example of hatred. Probably the closest we get to anger/hatred in action was the cleansing of the temple (which was a response to the Sadducees kicking the Gentiles out of the Temple to make more room for market space), and that was not directed at the Pharisees. And the quote about a brood of vipers is directed by John the Baptist toward a group of Pharisees and Sadduccees near Jerusalem (which would indicate the Pharisees were likely from Bet Shammai, which was the most friendly with the Sanhedrin, not Bet Hillel or one of the other houses)

Pilate himself said that the Pharisees were avowed enemies of Jesus and embraced the quarrels of the Herodians and Sadducees against Jesus. They were not just standby-ers in crucifying Him.

Where exactly do you find this?

The closest I find references of Pilate and the Pharisees are that some asked him about having a guard at the tomb, and in Luke 13:

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

Which hardly seems like a monolithic group plotting to kill Jesus. Rather, the Pharisees were part of a political party, some of whom supported Jesus and some of whom did not. It is also interesting to note that most of the early church in Israel came from the Pharisee party and not the other four (Sadducee, Herodian, Zealot, Essene)… See my comments above to CS about the non-monolithic nature of the actual historic Pharisees. Did some want Jesus killed? Yes. Were they the lead instigators, or was it the ones with the most to lose (the Herodians and Sadducees)? Scripture and history seem to indicate the latter, not the former.

I agree that the present State of Israel is not the continuation of the Hebrew Israel nor is it any fulfillment of any prophesy. Indeed most Jews today come from the Khazars, converts to Judiasm around 700-800 AD. So much for the anti-semitic accusation.

Actually, your comments all fit within the basic broad modern theological antisemitic arguments (rather than the historical ones linked to Luther and to some degree Augustine), and while a number of modern Jews have Khazar ancestry, there were a good number of diaspora communities around the Dead Sea, so to claim that they are completely non-semetic is fallacious…

134   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Well, I was reacting to being called “anti-semitic” so I guess I’ll reserve the word ‘persecution’ is for more severe forms of such.

I think Chris referred to your comments as anti-Semitic, not you personally. there is a difference between the two… though I am speculating on what Chris L’ meant. Maybe he did indeed mean to label you as such.

135   Timothy Bell    http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/how_zionists_corrupted_the_bible.htm
February 24th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Me: “…Pilate himself said that the Pharisees were avowed enemies of Jesus and embraced the quarrels of the Herodians and Sadducees against Jesus. They were not just standby-ers in crucifying Him.”

Chris L: Where exactly do you find this?

There are a number of sources from Google. I randomly picked this one:
http://freepages.religions.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jimmylewis/Pilates%20Report.html

As far as the percentage of modern Jews being from middle-ages converts, my best sources states that roughly 80 to 90% are of Khazarian ancestry. Most of the rest are Separdi Jews. But most Christians believe that Jews today are direct desendants of the Hebrews of Jesus’ time. This has impact on their eschatology and US foreign policy. Since elite Jews are trying to re-establish the sacrificial system and in effect establish the over-throw of Christianity, Christians are inadvertly supporting an anti-Christian effort.

136   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Supporting or not supporting the interests of the nation of Israel are political issues and not directly connected to Christianity.

137   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I think my point is quite clear: So long as Chris L agrees with your beliefs, he won’t call you a moron or a false teacher. Disagree with him or, God forbid, confront him on something, and you get publically trounced.

To Neil’s point, I think I can point to theological disagreements with every other writer here of some size or scope. While I’m probably closest, theologically, to Christian P, even he and I are having a disagreement right now on a particular topic.

I would rather say that, so long as I agree that your beliefs fit within the historic bounds of orthodoxy (which are much wider than my individual belief), even if I disagree with them, you may be welcome as a writer. It still comes back to accountability for what is here, and the historic boundary of orthodoxy is where I draw it – and UR is over that line, as I interpret it.

As for the invectives I’ve used, I believe I’ve apologized for them, but if not, I apologize again.

I do believe, though, that if you teach that trust in Jesus during one’s life is not predicate toward ones eternal destiny, then you’ve abandoned the exclusivity of Christ (even if you try to fudge it via some postmortem conversion) and would accurately be described as a false teacher. So I stand by that one.

That’s interesting because none of that was conveyed to me by the others.

Seeing how the conversation I had with some folks about whether or not to bring you on as a writer were considered confidential, I’d have expected that nothing would be conveyed to you, since I can see no edifying reason for doing so. It shouldn’t be unexpected, then, that if you’re being fed dribs and drabs of a private conversation you were never meant to know about, you wouldn’t hear the whole story – just whatever fit the agenda of the one betraying confidence…

It’s crazy that you would equate anything I have taught as anathema or even blasphemy.

I think I’m on fairly solid ground that teaching postmortem conversion to Christ would be within the realm of anathema, since it denies the exclusivity of Christ as taught by him (which made no such allowances, and indicated the opposite).

It wasn’t until I began “maturing” in some of my theoogical beliefs that this changed. I had thought that amongst friends here it would be a safe place to explore what I was wrestling with but quickly learned that dissent, even here, is not tolerated very well and friendships are fickle.

Actually, I believe it seemed to happen when you insisted that those (like myself) who are complementarian in their views of church authority were sexist, anti-woman, etc., etc. and ratcheted up the complementarian vs. egalitarian disagreement to the level of female oppression that the wheels began to fall off. And during that time, the problem wasn’t so much that you were exploring those views, as it was that you had no tolerance for those who saw them as flawed – there could be no middle ground with you.

Where you lost me with your moving to UR was when it changed from “we should desire that all would be saved” (which is Scripturally supportable) to “we should expect that all will be saved, and if we don’t we hate God and everybody we believe He might send to hell”.

Once you begin believing differently than the head writer, you quickly find yourself being distanced.

You might want to clue in the other guys into this, since I can point out all sorts of beliefs we disagree on – from baptism to systematic theology to creation to eschatology to atonement method to all sorts of other theological arguments. I pointed out my three basic non-negotiables the other day:

1. There is One God of the Universe who is to be worshiped alone.
2. His Son, Jesus, lived, died and was resurrected in order to reconcile us to God
3. Trust in Jesus is the only way by which salvation can occur.

I consider that UR violates #3 and #1. There are additional items that I believe are important and speak to the level of maturity (or lack thereof) of a Christian who believes them. While they may not be directly tied to salvation, they are important to mature Christians (example: one’s view of the primacy of Scripture) in healthy growth.

138   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

You might want to clue in the other guys into this, since I can point out all sorts of beliefs we disagree on – from baptism to creation to systematic theology to creation to eschatology to atonement method to all sorts of other theological arguments.

Unless of course the difference isn’t theological then a back room conversation happens and then we start closing the gate.

139   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I do believe, though, that if you teach that trust in Jesus during one’s life is not predicate toward ones eternal destiny,

I don’t teach any such thing, Chris L. You have consistently interpreted me wrongly. This is a classic example of it once again.

140   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 4:47 pm
I do believe, though, that if you teach that trust in Jesus during one’s life is not predicate toward ones eternal destiny,

I don’t teach any such thing, Chris L. You have consistently interpreted me wrongly. This is a classic example of it once again.

OK – for the record I would have said the same thing of you. I thought you believed that one could come to Christ after death. That it was best, but not necessary for one to come to faith before death.

141   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 4:47 pm
I do believe, though, that if you teach that trust in Jesus during one’s life is not predicate toward ones eternal destiny,

I don’t teach any such thing, Chris L.

So you’re no longer espousing postmortem conversion and that we should expect that all will be saved in the end?

142   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

1. There is One God of the Universe who is to be worshiped alone.
2. His Son, Jesus, lived, died and was resurrected in order to reconcile us to God
3. Trust in Jesus is the only way by which salvation can occur.

Yep. I remember you stating these. Just as then, I affirm each of them 100%.

143   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

So you’re no longer espousing postmortem conversion and that we should expect that all will be saved in the end?

144   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

What I teach is the Good News of the gospel which announces that Jesus is Lord and salvation comes by no other name. I teach that because of God, who in Christ has come not to condemn the world but save it, we too can be part of God’s cosmic plan of salvation. I teach that Jesus Christ is looking for disciples (not converts) and calls everyone, both Jew and Gentile, to come and “follow me.” I teach that salvation is is about today (today, Paul says, is the day of your salvation) and lasts for eternity. I do not teach that we follow Jesus to avoid hell because no one in the New Testament did (Jesus never said, “come, follow me, and you’ll get out of hell” Nor did any of the NT preachers). I do not teach that faith in hell is required to be saved.

Now, you are welcome to ask how that works out in my office when and if someone asks me where their loved one who died in ignorance of Jesus might be today. You can ask me what I might say to someone who asks me if I believe in hell. You can ask me what I might tell the person who asks me if they can live like a pagan since God is “love.” Those are fair questions and deserve discussion.

But you cannot say that I teach that one is saved without trusting in Jesus, either in this life or the next. The person who does not trust in Jesus in this life is not saved (don’t read into this some eternal destiny as the be all and end all of “saved.”) Why? Because only in Christ is their life – even life abundantly.

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

And the word “slippery” is once again appropriate here.

146   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Re 142: When these three are stated it is assumed #3 is pre-mortum since that is the historic orthodox understanding… having entered into discussions with you… now I understand it must be clarified as more specific.

147   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

And the phrase, “offers no value to the discussion” comes to mind, again, Rick.

148   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

So you’re no longer espousing postmortem conversion and that we should expect that all will be saved in the end?

Chris L.,

Chad can affirm all three of the statements as they are written. We understand the third to assume the historic orthodox belief of trust needing to be placed in Jesus before death. Yet, this is not stated. Therefore it is possible for Chad to affirm the statement yet hold to post-mortem trust.

149   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I do believe, though, that if you teach that trust in Jesus during one’s life is not predicate toward ones eternal destiny…

Though I do not understand why this is a misinterpretation of CU.

150   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I have my own definition of “value”. Your doctrinal slipperiness is well documented. You believe everyone will wind up with Jesus, but sometimes you dance around that fact since you know it will cause persecution.

151   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

So Neil, you believe that what you think/believe in this lifetime (which is but a vapor) is more important than what one thinks/believes in the next?

If you believed with any sort of real conviction that one MUST confess Christ in THIS lifetime, before death, than you would have no trouble declaring who is in hell at this very moment because of their ignorance. Yet past discussions have proven you are unwilling to do that – you and Chris L both demure and cite politeness or civility as your reasons.

152   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Chad – I am willing to discuss what I believe and why – up unto the point you insist on what difference it MUST make in my life. I am under no compulsion to connect the logistical/application dots as you think they must be connected.

153   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

So Neil, you believe that what you think/believe in this lifetime (which is but a vapor) is more important than what one thinks/believes in the next?

I believe this is what the Scriptures teach.

154   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I have my own definition of “value”.

We know, Rick. We all know that you answer to no one nor care what anyone else thinks.

155   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

“We all know that you answer to no one nor care what anyone else thinks.”

Except Jesus.

156   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

We all know that you answer to no one nor care what anyone else thinks.

That is not an exclusive club

157   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I am willing to discuss what I believe and why – up unto the point you insist on what difference it MUST make in my life.

Ahhhh. See? And yet you guys insist that because I espouse UR that MUST mean I stand up in the pulpit and tell people, “believe whatever you want cause after death you’ll get another chance….”

You guys insist I answer for my theological beliefs and how they work but I can’t insist on the same from you.

I believe this is what the Scriptures teach.

And I believe they do not teach this.

158   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Except Jesus. St. Paul

And of course, even Paul is seen only through the lens of Objective Rick.

159   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Ahhhh. See? And yet you guys insist that because I espouse UR that MUST mean I stand up in the pulpit and tell people, “believe whatever you want cause after death you’ll get another chance….”

No one said anything about what you declare from the pulpit – in fact, when told our interpretation of your belief was a misinterpretation – we (both Chris L and I) asked for clarification.

160   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Here is back room dialogue on how disagreement is handled.

Joe said 5 months ago:

Yeah, I understand that now. Somehow I walked away from the last conversation thinking differently. I know you didn’t say whatever, I meant that for Chris Paytas
You said 5 months ago:

For clarity:

Whatever means whatever. Regardless of how you read it.

I don’t care about whatever policy we should or shouldn’t have about comments. I really don’t. Out of common decency for Ingrid I didn’t allow those comments through. I emailed “michael” and put the comments up in edited form. For two reasons 1) I felt like it was above board with our readers. 2) It gave a public notice to Michael and others. 3) It gave him an opportunity to respond publicly.

Based on the storm that was created the last time I made a decision that I felt was in the best interest of the site I’m choosing to no longer get involved.

Joe and Jerry,

Repeatedly I’ve made comments here, at info, and facebook that were seemingly innocuous, personal opinion, or close to my heart, and both of you have mocked me or dismissed me. Granted typed communication is difficult to understand so I get that maybe its a misinterpretation on my part but nonetheless I’m choosing to no longer “battle” “imaginary” fights. At the end of the day I really don’t care and it really doesn’t matter what the myriad of people I engage online have to say about me, to me, or about the things I care about.

My final word.
Jerry said 5 months ago:

Chris,

And I have repeatedly confessed to you my errors in judgment and apologized to you when I have made those errors. I don’t think I have ever commented on your status at Facebook so I have no idea WTF that means–I haven’t mocked you even if I have disagreed with you. (We had a disagreement about Iraq and agreed not to agree and that was like a year or so ago when we were still getting to know each other.) And if you are still holding on to past disagreements, then I think it is quite time for you to let them go.

For a long time now I have read the way you respond to the people who disagree with you, especially, it seems, me and Joe. And it seems that no matter how many times we apologize you still feel like at the end of the day our only intent was mock, humiliate, or engage you in some sort of verbal warfare or that we didn’t apologize enough to satisfy you. Man Chris I was only teasing you. I said you were right for doing what you did how much more blood do you want? I said it was right to alter the comment. I said it was right to edit. I agree with what you did. You were right. I was wrong. You are smart, I am dumb. You are pretty, I am ugly. For crying out loud man if was a freaking joke.

If you are having problems right now, fine. We are here to help, support, and pray for you. But you seem to think otherwise, and I sense also that you feel the need to beat on someone because you are being defeated in other areas of life right now. That’s fine too. Beat away. But when I say I’m sorry, I [expletive removed] mean I’m sorry. I don’t say it lightly or without it meaning what it means. So I will kindly ask you to reconsider how you have responded to my (repeated) apology.

Here’s a policy for you, if you can’t take a joke, or deal with a little man to man teasing, stop editing comments without first bringing it here and asking if you should. Or, give the entire responsibility of editing comments solely to Chris L.

Chris I love you and I care for you. I’m sorry you are having a bad week or day or month. I hope it gets better soon. We are your friends and we are here to help you.

jerry

PS–You should care what people think because I have said I love you and you seem to dismiss that without a care. That bothers me.
Joe said 5 months ago:

Chris,
I’m really trying to your POV here but the only thing I do see is someone who gets mad when people disagree with him. Your time line doesn’t work. You put the comment up, some people agreed with you Jerry (who was evidently joking) and I (who was not joking) stated that we were against messing with comments in any way. That is something that I have consistently stated here. Then you went into a hissy fit and then I mocked that.
No one was mocking you, we were disagreeing with you. That’s not dismissing you, that’s disagreeing. Since, this has happened “repeatedly” I’m curious if you could give me a few examples.
Since we are friends offline (or at least were) I’m curious where all of this has come from.
Neil said 5 months ago:

I agree with the choice, Chris.
Jerry said 5 months ago:

I’m sorry I used the ‘f’ word in my reply to Chris. It was out of line and inappropriate. I ask your forgiveness.

Seriously.
Joe said 16 hours ago:

This is the thread in question.

161   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

No one said anything about what you declare from the pulpit

When you claim I “teach” this or that is that not what you are saying?

162   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

You guys insist I answer for my theological beliefs and how they work but I can’t insist on the same from you.

This is not true. You asked me my theological position and i gave it to you. I just refuse to get into hypothetical scenarios, traps, and application dot-drawings…

Of which even you do not since you claim we are saying what you must preach from the pulpit.

I will make you a deal – if you will stop interjecting what I must tell my people into my theology… I will never start doing the same to you.

163   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

When you claim I “teach” this or that is that not what you are saying?

I don’t recall ever using the term, if i did it is synonymous with “believe” – nothing more.

164   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Chris – Please take whatever issues you’ve got offline, specifically to the parties involved. This is not the place for it (see Christian’s notes above, etc.)… I’ve got no idea what “point” you’re trying to make.

Really.

But if you have questions about why I wanted you to work out your problems w/ folks and take some time off, you might come back and read this thread. We all have our faults.

I can be abrasive and dismissive and pedantic (all too often).
Christian can be too theoretical sometimes.
Jerry can be too sensitive sometimes.
Joe can be too abrasive or too quick to remember past wrongs sometimes.
Brendt is perfect in every way :) (just to see if he’s even paying attention)
Phil can be overly analytical sometimes.
Neil can react too quickly sometimes.
and on, and on..

And then we’ve got commenters, too, with their own foibles, as well.

Being able to get past that should be an evidence of our faith. Failing to do so is an evidence of its failure.

So – if you’ve got a beef w/ someone, go work it out! Follow Christian (Paul’s) advice above. No, it’s not a lawsuit, but right now the apt comparison is obvious to the onlookers.

165   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I just refuse to get into hypothetical scenarios, traps, and application dot-drawings…

But Neil, that is what theological discussion must entail. Life is messy. If you aren’t willing to take your cherished doctrines for a spin in the real world than what good are they?

I don’t mind if you ask me how my theology plays out in so-called hypothetical situations. In fact, I encourage it!

I find it strange that you would insist on a blog one thing and yet demure in real life. That’s inconsistency of the highest order, IMO.

I don’t recall ever using the term, if i did it is synonymous with “believe” – nothing more.

You never said “teach”? REad comment 140 and 141 – you parroted Chris L, didn’t you?

166   John Hughes    
February 24th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Chad. You can’t have it both ways. The outworking of your theology to its logical conclusion is that at the end of the day all will believe in Christ and be “saved” and in the final analysis belief in Christ on this side of eternity has its perks but is not a pre-requisite.

And Chad even on a secular level life is replete with examples of how one second decisions we make affect us for the rest of our lives so, yes, the decisions we make regarding Christ in this vapor of a life have eternal consequences.

So to your point “today is the day of salvation” because we are not promised tomorrow (except in your worldview).

167   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

You can’t have it both ways.

nor can someone be 100% human and 100% divine.

John H, I have no problems with paradox

168   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 6:00 pm
No one said anything about what you declare from the pulpit

When you claim I “teach” this or that is that not what you are saying?

The pulpit is only one mode of teaching. Typically, I see teaching to be a subset of counseling – which can be 1:1 or 1:100’s…

169   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 24th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Guys, Chad’s theology is only as developed as the latest book he’s reading or course he’s taking. I honestly don’t mean this as a slight, but I have never heard a person reference so many authors rather than scripture.

170   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Paul, that’s why I often quote Elmer Fudd or Fred Flintstone in response to quotes from Barth, etc. offered up in response to requests for biblical proofs.

171   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

You never said “teach”? REad comment 140 and 141 – you parroted Chris L, didn’t you?

Call it parroting if you must – I was simply saying that if chris L., misunderstood you so did I.

172   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Guys, Chad’s theology is only as developed as the latest book he’s reading or course he’s taking. I honestly don’t mean this as a slight, but I have never heard a person reference so many authors rather than scripture.

It sound like a slight to me…

173   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

But Neil, that is what theological discussion must entail. Life is messy. If you aren’t willing to take your cherished doctrines for a spin in the real world than what good are they?

I am willing. But I will not continually go around the same hypothetical over and over again…

174   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I don’t mind if you ask me how my theology plays out in so-called hypothetical situations. In fact, I encourage it!

You want to insert what we must say based on our theology – e.g. we must tell the grieving parent their sonm is in hell… yet you object when you perceive someone has done the same to you – e.g. you tell people from the pulpit they will get a post mortem chance to embrace Christ.

175   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

A subset of counseling? Fine. Then ask me what I might say in a counseling situation. Theology is not a cookie-cutter sort of enterprise. You know that. And for someone as versed in rabbinic wisdom and literature as you are I am surprised you do not appreciate the complexities of “counseling” a bit more and how theology plays out on the ground.

176   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I’ve got no idea what “point” you’re trying to make.

My point issue is about what “we” say we believe and how “we” act when away from this site.

I feel that all of you are quick to just say “Let it go” or “Take it elsewhere” and even quicker to say “That’s just who we are. Deal with it”.

You’ve blocked me. Without discussion with me but I’m assuming that a lot of backroom discussion happened. So to me it appears that the goal is not reconciliation but rather protection.

Now I’ve made a conscious choice to not respond to Joe and Jerry. For reasons stated abundantly. But I’ve yet to have anyone answer my questions, concerns, or complaints. All I’ve gotten is “take somewhere else”.

Neil said it’s “Sad and embarrassing” I asked “Why?” No response. I’ve dialoged with Joe in an appropriate manner but apparently my responses aren’t adequate. I’ve asked you repeatedly why you blocked me. The closest I got to a response was “work it out” and “I own the blog (from Joe)” You’ve said “Bury the hatchet” I asked “What does that look like” No response.

All of that to say I have issues with how the site is run, how things are handled, and ultimately are disagreement is dealt with. As a writer and participant I feel I can and should voice those concerns.

177   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

You want to insert what we must say based on our theology – e.g. we must tell the grieving parent their sonm is in hell…

Wrong, Neil. I don’t insist you must say that. What I was trying to highlight is how in the real world, your actual beliefs are not very different from mine and that in fact, in the real world, how you live is very similar to myself. I don’t think you are fully convinced that someone who dies ignorant of Jesus Christ that they are eternally damned. You apparently, by virtue of your responses to a grieving parent, leave room for hope in God’s mercy and grace.

178   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

And Paul C, that was a slight, but I am used to that from you. I won’t get into Bible wars with someone. It’s not who can quote the most Scripture that wins the day but who can live within it better . I may not quote chapter and verse but any cursory reading of my writing and comments will show that it is laced with scripture for the most part. I don’t care about being a walking concordance that proof-texts a verse to win an argument – rather, I hope my whole life is informed by the sacred story and my thoughts and imagination is framed by it.

And that Chris L would mock my quoting another author or theologian is laughable, and only more evidence of his hypocrisy.

179   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I’m off to teach a Lenten bible study.

peace.

180   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Wrong, Neil. I don’t insist you must say that.

And yet, every time it has come up, you say that our responses betray our belief. So in fact you are insisting that if we believe such and such we must proclaim this and that…

181   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

And that Chris L would mock my quoting another author or theologian is laughable, and only more evidence of his hypocrisy.

It is not the quoting of another author that I’m mocking – it is when you’re asked for Scriptural support for something and instead you choose to quote a modern author that my desire to quote Woody Woodpecker becomes as relevant.

182   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I don’t think you are fully convinced that someone who dies ignorant of Jesus Christ that they are eternally damned. You apparently, by virtue of your responses to a grieving parent, leave room for hope in God’s mercy and grace.

Or maybe I just don;t want to come across as a callous asshole…

I affirm without reservation that I believe the bible teaches that those who die without faith in Christ are eternally lost, eternally separated from God… that I see no hope in the Scriptures for their reconciliation to God post-mortem.

183   Neil    
February 24th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Chris,

If you are willing to talk to me, I am willing to talk to you.

184   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I’m giving up being nice for Lent. :cool:

185   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
February 24th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I’m actually glad that Chris broke trust and posted something that was private. Did anyone see any “berating” in those comments?

186   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Joe – You are absolutely correct. I did not realize Chris was exposing private communications. He is profoundly wrong.

187   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Chad – it was not a slight but an observation. I am not trying to harm or degrade you.

I’m not asking you to be a human concordance. It’s just that much of what you purport (at least here) is more derived from various authors than the Bible. They have become your filter. And in a lot of cases they appear blind or at least conveniently interpreted to justify whatever you would like to teach.

Actually, I find this trend pretty common nowadays with so much access to information.

188   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

The American curling teams stink. Go US hockey for the gold. (I reserve the right to cheer for the Americans!)

189   John Hughes    
February 24th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

nor can someone be 100% human and 100% divine.

John H, I have no problems with paradox

Chad, “we don’t have a second change / we do have a second chance” is not a paradox, nor a divine tension. It is faulty exegesis born of an eisegesis run amuck.

190   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I’m actually glad that Chris broke trust and posted something that was private. Did anyone see any “berating” in those comments?

Joe again that/those aren’t the whole of the conversation. Again that’s not my issue. Read #176 or any of the myriad of comments in this thread.

Rick no need to be swayed one way or the other. I posted what I posted for a reason. Profoundly wrong? I agree. I wouldn’t have done it if I could get some answers to my questions from this thread that might help. I’ve tried a bunch of different ways to communicat my objective. But alas…Notta.

I’ve been asked to deal with this privately. I’m considering it. I’ve been told that I’m coming across pretty incoherent. Perhaps but fleshing it out here is actually producing dialogue where there wasn’t before.

191   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Chris, brother, I have gotten my feelings hurt here as well. I have felt a palpable disingenuousness from some in interacting with me. I have been frustrated by the thread etiquette of some here sometimes, including and not least of whom was Christ L..

I used to be a writer here as well. I might even be able to be friends with every writer here in person, including Joe but I’m sure with much labor on both our parts. I guess I am sayin’ “let it go”.

Tomorrow is a new day.

192   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I affirm without reservation that I believe the bible teaches that those who die without faith in Christ are eternally lost, eternally separated from God… that I see no hope in the Scriptures for their reconciliation to God post-mortem.

And I affirm without reservation that your God is too small. I cannot worship, let alone love, a God who in the end damns for all eternity billions upon billions of people for no other crime than being ignorant.

I seem to recall a passage (for the concordance keepers) that God has imprisoned ALL in disobedience so that he can have mercy on ALL.

“All” probably doesn’t mean “all,” though, right?

193   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

I used to be a writer here as well. I might even be able to be friends with every writer here in person, including Joe but I’m sure with much labor on both our parts. I guess I am sayin’ “let it go”.

Rick

I appreciate that but I’m not needing to let anything go nor did I get my feelings hurt. As much as it would appear that way, I didn’t.

Yet I persist. Why? Well I’ve had lots of conversations about this site with others that frequent here and I believe that what we (the site) say we believe and what we actual do are vastly different. Either that matters or doesn’t. If it doesn’t matter then say it. If it does than doing something to change it.

Apparently that message isn’t being heard. Maybe my communication of what I’m doing is unclear. Or maybe the problems I see are inaccurate. In either case the solution is dialog. Not about the personal stuff but the functional stuff. Which I believe I stated several times.

194   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

And I affirm without reservation that your God is too small. I cannot worship, let alone love, a God who in the end damns for all eternity billions upon billions of people for no other crime than being ignorant.

Which is a key to why you’re not requested to write for a Christian blog…

195   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Which is a key to why you’re not requested to write for a Christian blog…

Well, I have seen many things on this blog which would bring into question just how “Christian” it really is.

But in any event, it’s interesting that you have now made a confession of a literal hell a requirement to be saved, or at least to be called a Christian. And you call ME the Pharisee?

196   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Chris L,
Just so we are perfectly clear, have you joined John Chisham in declaring that I am not a Christian?

197   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

” it’s interesting that you have now made a confession of a literal hell a requirement to be saved”

That is an inaccurate statement. Chris L. has never said that.

198   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Really, Rick? Than what exactly do you think is meant by 194?

(not that I really care what you think)

199   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

I believe he meant your inflexible universalism.

200   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 24th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

According to Chris L, you cannot write for a Christian blog if you do not confess that God will damn billions upon billions to an eternal hell for their ignorance.

Maybe you are the one who needs help with logic, Rick. Obviously, Chris L is saying that in order to be comment or write as a Christian you must believe in hell.

201   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
February 24th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Chad, clearly you should Join Brian McLaren in a New Kind of Christianity and Doug Pagitt in a Christianity you can beluieve in. Just become a McLarenite and get it over with. What he portrays in that book is not anything like the faith handed down to us.

The good thing is, from the UMC, you wont have to even change anything!

202   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

But in any event, it’s interesting that you have now made a confession of a literal hell a requirement to be saved, or at least to be called a Christian. And you call ME the Pharisee?

I believe there are other possibilities (like annihilationism, which Paul C tends to espouse), but what you espouse (via your backhanded condemnation) is a denial of the exclusivity of Christ (even though you fudge it via the fabrication of a postmortem conversion promised nowhere in Scripture). I believe that one can believe that hell (in the classical, Dante-esque splendor) is not a literal conscious eternal punishment w/o being a universalist.

Just so we are perfectly clear, have you joined John Chisham in declaring that I am not a Christian?

No. I am saying that you are a Christian who is teaching/espousing a doctrine that is not Christian in any real sense of orthodoxy. Rather, I would say that the Muslim who dies today as a Muslim is not a Christian, nor will he ever get a second chance, after death and a temporary time-out, to change his mind.

Rick: I believe he meant your inflexible universalism.

Bingo, Rick.

Maybe you are the one who needs help with logic, Rick. Obviously, Chris L is saying that in order to be comment or write as a Christian you must believe in hell.

No, you’re still the one with the logic problem, Chad…

203   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

PB – I’m still waiting on Phil’s assessment of BMac’s book, and I’ve not heard anyone demonstrate that Pagitt is a UR…

What he portrays in that book is not anything like the faith handed down to us.

So you’ve read the book, then?

The good thing is, from the UMC, you wont have to even change anything!

While I think the UMC has left the rails on many fronts, I don’t think this is an accurate statement.

204   Neil    
February 25th, 2010 at 1:14 am

Really, Rick? Than what exactly do you think is meant by 194?

(not that I really care what you think)

I think he meant your universalism is outside the bounds of the historic orthodox faith, the three fundamentals as Chris L posted them… and therefore it would not make sense to allow you to write.

205   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 6:44 am

True universalism makes the earth experience somewhat of a curiosity. I mean why not just have everyone born into heaven and cut out the 3-D middle man? What kind of divine thrill does God get from seeing people suffer greatly while other fare sumptuously?

It does not make Biblical sense and is not even logical unless God desires to watch a pre-heaven 80 year struggle before He welcomes everyone into His presence.

Even though men like Bell seem to soften the hell concept, at least he is honest enough to admit its existence in some form. And I actually have a difficult time being aggressively critical of that approach since I always feel like a perfect hypocrite when I juxstapose my personal evangelism against what I say I believe about hell and the universal offer of redemption to every sinner.

206   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 8:05 am

but what you espouse (via your backhanded condemnation) is a denial of the exclusivity of Christ

*sigh*

Just because you obviously do not get it does not automatically mean I am fudging on something.

If you think about it, Christian Universalism (which isn’t something I made up or something new, but has been a report within the Church from the very beginning), is far more Christian and far more reliant on the exclusivity of Christ alone than what you and others here have intimated.
I’ll explain why…

When we talk about how your theology of last things actually plays out, one of the ways you guys avoid making God look like a monster who sends billions of people to hell for mere ignorance or even those that just reject Christ in this life is you quote C.S. Lewis and suggest that it isn’t God who sends people to hell but we send ourselves. In this move you have already left the Biblical corpus and suggested something that isn’t in Scripture. Why? Well, I assume because it is tough to swallow an idea of a God who sends, as just one example of a million, victims of genocide in primitive countries to a place of eternal separation from God’s love just because they never heard the name “Jesus” in their lifetime.

So, in the end, human free will becomes the trump card in your eschatology and is the determining factor of one’s eternity – OVER and ABOVE God’s desire. The problem with this, though, is we have nothing in Scripture that says we have “free will.” And certainly nothing that suggests we exercise our free will to choose our eternal destiny.

Christian Universalism, on the other hand, puts all authority and judgment in Christ and Christ alone. The hope we have as it pertains to those who do not know Christ resides in the assurance we as Christians already have – we know the Judge! We know the Judge to be full of love and grace and one who desires that none perish but all have life. We know the Judge to be one who even while being murdered forgave those who killed him – out of ignorance! We know the Judge to be the one who taught us to love and pray for even our enemies (and we assume God does the same, for God does not ask us to do what God does not do). We know the Judge to be the one who welcomes sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes and is one who doesn’t stop searching until the last coin or sheep is found.

Do you still think I don’t cite Scripture?

Interesting that when I do, like when I cite from Romans how God has imprisoned ALL in disobedience so that he can have mercy on ALL, nothing is offered to counter that. How does that passage fit in your understanding of God’s wrath towards those who do not know him?

In the end, Chris, I find it far more Christian to place all my faith and hope in Christ (in whom ALL things exist) rather than put my faith and hope in human free will or in some death-bed confession or in any number of artificial and arbitrary ways we have devised to give ourselves security that we won’t burn in hell for all eternity. If you think about it, we have created another sacrificial system. Just say “I believe in Jesus” and the gods won’t be angry anymore. Just walk down the aisle and say the sinners prayer and you can know that God won’t be pissed off at you on that day. That’s bull.

Because of Jesus and what he did for all the world, to quote Rob Bell, “You don’t have to live this way.”

207   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 8:19 am

“Well, I assume because it is tough to swallow an idea of a God who sends, as just one example of a million, victims of genocide in primitive countries to a place of eternal separation from God’s love just because they never heard the name “Jesus” in their lifetime.”

That is no more a mystery than:

* God in the flseh
* God seeing child rape and not stopping it
* Man’s free will trumped God’s perfect creation and cursed it
* On and on

Your logic is understandable, but if you consider the Biblical picture as well as the reality of the human condition, we must conclude that in many if not most things God has allowed human free will to “trump” His desire. Then why would it not follow that same principle in eternity?

In the end, universalism is either arriving at the final enlightenment or the final deception.

208   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 8:29 am

Well, I assume because it is tough to swallow an idea of a God who sends, as just one example of a million, victims of genocide in primitive countries to a place of eternal separation from God’s love just because they never heard the name “Jesus” in their lifetime.

No, they will be sent to hell because they have never had their sins cleansed. And they deserve it. We all do.

209   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 8:44 am

Then why would it not follow that same principle in eternity?

So your argument is that since something exists here it must exist in the New heavens and earth? So because mourning and pain and death exist here it must exist there?

I believe in a redemptive and saving God, Rick. One who has a plan in motion that is actively seeking to save what is lost. In your story, the Darfur teenager who is raped and killed and knew nothing but hell on earth will only know hell in eternity. What sort of gracious God is that? In the story I am telling, God makes that right and the teenager enters rest, where every tear is wiped away.

210   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 8:49 am

You are besmirching the character of God by suggesting that a gracious God cannot do this or that. I have heard many unbelievers say the same thing.

In fact, God can and does do whatever He wants without consulting our thoughts about what He should do.

211   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 8:51 am

My larger comment above I edited and added some other things and posted.

Christian Universalism

212   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 8:55 am

Rick re 210: Besmirching???

I could say the same thing about those who suggest God is, in the end, no different from Hitler.

But your response appears to be nothing more than a convenient way to not talk about things that are inconvenient to you. I’d rather you just admit that rather than judge me as “besmirching.”

How does Rom. 11:32 fit in your story?

213   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 8:57 am

Many unbelievers live long lives of wealth, health, and hedonism. Others live fulfilling lives pursuing all kinds of carreers etc.. That describes the man who had built bigger barns because he had gained so much wealth, and yet he he was unaware he was near death.

If he died and went to Jesus, what was all the fuss about?

214   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 8:59 am

In fact, God can and does do whatever He wants without consulting our thoughts about what He should do.

Then why are you even on a blog offering your thoughts on anything related to God? You should just shut up and be silent. See why I call your response a cop out?

The irony is, you won’t hesitate to say which group of people is in hell (those who do not believe in this life, for example) based on what you have determined to be in line with God’s character. But when I talk about God’s character and Judgment in another light, you hold up the “we shouldn’t presume of God” flag.

215   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:00 am

I cannot prove the earth is round, but all the evidence points that way.

I cannot prove there is more than one destination for dead sinners, but all the Biblical evidence points that way.

216   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:10 am

If God wanted to send everyone to a burning hell He could do it and still not be indictable by a fallen creation.

217   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:11 am

212 comments and Hitler has arrived!

Who’s to say that the person who lives well is blessed and that the person who suffers is not?

Besides, neither our suffering nor our blessing factor into the consideration of whether we deserve heaven or hell. That is true for the believer and the unbeliever as well.

Nothing matters. Only love.

218   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:14 am

And the fact is, Chad, some people do not want to ‘go to heaven.’ So will God force them into the kingdom without their approval? Without their having the desire to be with him?

What about those who look forward to ‘reigning in hell’? I’m not pointing to Lewis here either. One has to ignore some very large sections of the biblical witness to arrive at what you say was ‘from the beginning.’

219   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:17 am

#218 – Good points. But it still does not matter what a person wants. A mormon wants to go to heaven. A person steps out of an airplane and wants his chute to deploy and yet some fail.

The only way to eternal life is through faith in Jesus Christ.

220   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 9:19 am

And the fact is, Chad, some people do not want to ‘go to heaven.’

Proof?

What do you make of Rom 11:32, guys? How does that fit into your paradigm?

If God wanted to send everyone to a burning hell He could do it and still not be indictable by a fallen creation.

Yeah, but too bad for all the evidence that negates this possibility outright. That is not what God desires to do – he sent his Son to prove it.

221   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:22 am

Chad, I don’t have a ‘paradigm’ and I’m not sure what that means when discussing Scripture.

Proof? You want proof that some people do not desire God? Seriously? You need proof?

222   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 9:25 am

Proof? You want proof that some people do not desire God? Seriously? You need proof?

Yes. I want you to prove from Scripture that there will be people who tell God they don’t want to go to heaven, even if it’s offered.

You see, as I said in my comment, you have shifted the onus off of God and put it on humans (presumably to keep God from looking like a bad guy). Why not just say there are billions that God doesn’t want in heaven and Jesus, the wrathful Judged, will deny them entrance?

223   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:25 am

“30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: ”

Romans 11 deals with how the Jews were cut off and the Gentiles grafted in by faith. The verse 32 means that God offers mercy to the Gentiles as well without being a Jew and observing the law.

Those who where not Jews have NOW been offered mercy, but God says they did not have it in times past.

224   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 9:26 am

Still waiting to hear how Rom. 11:32 fits in with the narrative your telling. Will God have mercy on ALL or not? Or is this passage something that must be explained away to fit your “paradigm” (we all have a paradigm, Jerry).

225   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:29 am

The word for all means without exception, not without distinction…all…jews and gentiles alike.

Its called exegesis. Its called hermeneutics. I guess I am not surprised with your imam and rabbi at Duke Divinity you do not know these things.

226   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:29 am

It is difficult to reason with someone who designs his own God. God sent His Son that “whosever believes” should not perish. Your “human will trumps God” is just another way of saying “I do not accept the Scriptures that say otherwise”.

227   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 25th, 2010 at 9:29 am

The verse 32 means that God offers mercy to the Gentiles as well without being a Jew and observing the law.

However you want to dice it up, though, Rick, it still means ALL. ALL are imprisoned in disobedience (ALL have sinned) and this same group (ALL) is the group that God will have mercy on. Right?

Or, we can say it is ALL Gentiles. That’s good news from every non-Jew that exists! Even you and I.

228   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:32 am

But as for 11:32, I think you are putting the emphasis in the wrong place. I don’t think it is about the ‘all’ (even though all is clearly intended to mean what you think it mean; i.e., all, as in all Jews, all Gentiles), but rather what this reveals about God: that whatever we receive from him is from his mercy.

All means ‘Gentiles’ and ‘Israel’ as the argument has been flowing in Romans. So this is not a statement honoring or justifying your universalism, but it is a statement declaring that whatever we receive from God it is mercy, it is grace, it is because of God’s wonderful freedom to give lovingly.

It’s Paul’s way of reiterating what he has been saying all along: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So, then, we can approach God from no other point but this: disobedience. We cannot say to God, “Ah! Look, I followed the rules.” No. All we can say is, in agreement with God’s already assessment of us is this: “Ah. I am a disobedient sinner. Have mercy on me!”

I recall that from a story Jesus told one time too, in the Gospels.

229   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:32 am

Then what doesw it mean when unbelieving Jews were cut off from that mercy?

230   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:33 am

all without exception….jews and gentiles alike. Not without distinction.

get some Greek, buddy….

231   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:34 am

Chad,

How dare you accuse me of having a paradigm! The doctor checked me and said I was healthy. :-)

jerry

232   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:36 am

Chad,

Do you think folks who are members of the First Church of Satan really give a rip what God thinks? Do you really think they will be like, “Oh, Yes God let me in! Let me in! Let me in!”

Seriously?

233   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:46 am

Yes. I want you to prove from Scripture that there will be people who tell God they don’t want to go to heaven, even if it’s offered.

By definition, I’d say heaven is where God is (which is in and of itself an interesting though, because it implies that there are places He created where He isn’t, at least not in the same way as He is in heaven).

There’s plenty of proof from Scripture and from just real life that people will flee from the presence of
God. God will certainly seek after the lost, and He is longsuffering, but I do not know that there’s evidence that those who’ve continually rejected God in this life will turn to Him post-mortem. C.S. Lewis makes the point that this life is about becoming the person we will be for eternity – so it’s like once we go down a road, our character becomes set. That is why I doubt that a person who has rejected God will be able to turn further down the road, post-mortem.

Philosophically, I’d say my issues with universalism are the same with Calvinism. Basically, you are left with the same underlying thought – this life does not matter. You can try to avoid that, and say it’s not true, but I don’t see a way around it. And it does come down to largely a question of free will. If God truly gave a free will, than by definition, that means He risks that some of the beings He creates will use that will counter His purposes. If at some later time, He supercedes their free will, they never had it in the first place. So, in that sense, some sort of hell is a philosophical necessity. As far as the nature of hell, I do agree that Christians have far too long portrayed as God’s torture chamber.

234   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:50 am

By the way, I’d also add that many of the people who found themselves the most uncomfortable in the presence of Christ were the religious leaders of the day. I don’t doubt that many will find the “fire of heaven hotter than the fire of hell”, to quote Dallas Willard.

235   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 9:53 am

In some ways, the metaphor for God’s torture chamber is a blog thread.

236   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 9:56 am

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/one-one-radio/2010/02/25/christian-universalism

Chad I invite you personally to call in and defend your position. 646-716-4656
9:30 EDT

237   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2010 at 10:01 am

We actually talked about this a little bit in Bible study last night (in Romans, actually). I think one thing I’ve noticed is that because of the influence of the Augustine and Western philosophy, we have a hard time thinking of salvation in terms of anything but a state of being – People are saved or they aren’t. We use the term “saved” like an adjective, like “red”, “tall”, “Republican”, etc. We talk like it’s an inherent property of a person.

Well, in Scripture, salvation is always seen relationally. Israel’s fate was indicative of its relationship with Yahweh. So, Christ came, and made a way for not only that relationship to be restored, but He also opened up the doors that we all could enter into that relationship. So I would say one idea that you get from reading Romans 3, is that Christ has really declared us all to be in God’s family.

There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

So in a sense, we all could be considered in a relationship with God, from His perspective. But, just like any relationship, one party can choose to be estranged, and despite the efforts of the other party, if the estranged person doesn’t choose to reciprocate, he can’t be made to. There is no coercion in love.

238   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 10:04 am

Phil – What about sinners who really desire a relationship with God and are worshiping a false god? (mormons, JWs, Muslims, etc.) It’s not they choose not reciprocate, but they are deceived.

239   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2010 at 10:08 am

Phil – What about sinners who really desire a relationship with God and are worshiping a false god? (mormons, JWs, Muslims, etc.) It’s not they choose not reciprocate, but they are deceived.

I will try to give a longer response to this later. I actually have to take off for a meeting right now. Not trying to bail…

240   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 11:58 am

A totally unrelated thought, but one that I thought you might appreciate at some level: “That throne [Christ’s throne] relativizes and marginalizes all earthly thrones and all the world’s politics” (Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection, 43)

241   CS    
February 25th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Chad:

“When we talk about how your theology of last things actually plays out, one of the ways you guys avoid making God look like a monster who sends billions of people to hell for mere ignorance…”

Romans 1 and 2 say that people know the Godhead through Creation and their consciences. It’s not some blind ignorance. People go to Hell because they have knowingly sinned against God, and he will execute perfect justice.

“ALL are imprisoned in disobedience (ALL have sinned) and this same group (ALL) is the group that God will have mercy on. Right?”

In Romans 11:32, it does not say, “will,” but says, “might.” Even in the Greek, it’s a subjunctive verb denoting possibility, not concreteness.


CS

242   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Phil – What about sinners who really desire a relationship with God and are worshiping a false god? (mormons, JWs, Muslims, etc.) It’s not they choose not reciprocate, but they are deceived.

Well, for people who are truly ignorant, I guess I’d say that God knows how to deal with them. Every person has an innate desire to worship their creator, but according to Paul many people turn that desire toward an idol. As far as how God will deal with that, I guess I would say that only God can judge the hearts of men.

One theory I’ve read (this is in Greg Boyd’s book, Satan and the Problem of Evil) is that if God gave everyone a free will to choose or reject, than they will have to truly be given a chance to make that decision. So Boyd’s speculation is that perhaps those who have truly never been given a chance may get a chance post mortem. He does point out, though, that Scripture doesn’t say this, and it’s only his take based on the outworking of his theology and philosophy. He also says it’s much better for every person on earth to be given the chance now than to hang our hats on this post mortem experience.

243   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 25th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I can see that we are all in a good mood and speaking to one another in love. I appreciate that very much. With that in mind, I have some Scriptures that I would like to toss into the mix on this issue.

I have read Romans 11:32 and its context and commented on it above. But I also have a couple of others in mind that I think we need to clarify.

First, let’s deal with Hebrews 9:26ff:

26Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Are there those who are not waiting for him?

What, also, about that part of facing judgment after death? It doesn’t say, “And after that (death) to have a second chance to repent and believe and be baptized.” It says, “after that (death) to face judgment.”

What do you make of this? What does this ‘judgment’ mean?

Second, how do we deal with this passage from 2 Peter?:

8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

I am glad we are actually dealing with Scripture in this matter. I will be going to work soon and will not be able to make any replies until after 10 PM this evening (maybe not even until tomorrow) but I will look forward to reading your responses on how these two passages affect our understanding of this notion of ‘universalism.’

Thanks.
jerry

244   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 25th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

What do you make of this? What does this ‘judgment’ mean?

Jerry, these are good questions and great scriptures.

I do believe that we as believers will stand before Christ and be judged according to how we lived this life. Just because we professed faith in Him, that does not mean we will enter into eternal life automatically.

James reminds us that even the devils believe. And more than many Christians, they even tremble.

I think the parable of the Talents (Matt 25) gives a good sense of this. Paul also tells believe the be careful they don’t take God for a fool: He is not mocked.

Second, how do we deal with this passage from 2 Peter?

I am not quite sure what you are asking on this one.

In this entire chapter (which Jude appears to mirror), he is dealing with false teachers posing as Christian pastors, who are undermining the faith. They will be destroyed.

Worse than that. Those who follow these false teachers, though they were once genuine believers, will also be destroyed.

There is a seriousness about having our senses exercised to be able to discern true teachers versus false.

The flimsy argument that “Jesus is bigger than my inability to know who is true and false and he will save me in spite of…” falls flat. The first thing Jesus commends the church of Ephesus for (Rev 2) was their ability to discern between true and false teachers.

How much more important in our day?

245   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Phil – Good thoughts and an honest idea from Boyd.

246   CS    
February 25th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Phil:

“Every person has an innate desire to worship their creator, but according to Paul many people turn that desire toward an idol.”

To what verse would you be referring here? I find a number of verses that say that we are enemies of God and do not desire to pursue after Him, but don’t recall any that express an innate desire to worship Him.

“So Boyd’s speculation is that perhaps those who have truly never been given a chance may get a chance post mortem. He does point out, though, that Scripture doesn’t say this, and it’s only his take based on the outworking of his theology and philosophy.”

I would say that Scripture says the exact opposite of it, with verses like Hebrews 9:27 and the end of Revelation 20. Boyd has some serious problems with his theology in this department.


CS

247   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

“Every person has an innate desire to worship their creator, but according to Paul many people turn that desire toward an idol.”

To what verse would you be referring here? I find a number of verses that say that we are enemies of God and do not desire to pursue after Him, but don’t recall any that express an innate desire to worship Him.

I probably didn’t say that as clearly as I could have. What I mean is that every person is hardwired to worship the creator, or as Bob Dylan said, we all “Gotta Serve Somebody”. I’d say it’s what Paul is getting at in Romans 1.

I would say that Scripture says the exact opposite of it, with verses like Hebrews 9:27 and the end of Revelation 20. Boyd has some serious problems with his theology in this department.

Not to be coy, but I don’t see how either of those verse actually speak to the points. Boyd doesn’t deny that all men will face judgment. He is simply talking about what that judgment will be based on.

248   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 25th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

CS – I believe (and it’s been a long time since I’ve read any of Boyd or discussed him) he was dealing with the question of the killed unborn, children who died early in childhood, and the proverbial “tribesman on a deserted island”. And even so, Boyd’s comments are (as he notes) speculatory for these real and hypothetical situations (where – particularly in the case of children) no opportunity to accept God’s grace. How can an unborn child, killed in the womb, have had an opportunity in which to commit sin? How can that child have an opportunity to accept Christ? Or an infant? Or the proverbial savage on a deserted island? Or those who died before Christ’s coming?

We can speculate on these, but the only sure answer in Scripture for life after death is accepting the grace of God through Jesus during our mortal lives.

As for the first part, I believe that this is a reference to Rom 1:20 (the evidence of creation) and 1:21-23 (man’s rejection of God in exchange for idols). What Boyd is doing is describing the conflict between being imago dei and the sinful desires that rule us. Even though unbelievers have rejected God, that does not negate their being made in his image. There is a tendency within modern Christianity to hate the unbelievers, as “objects of wrath” and “enemies of God” (as they are indeed described in places within Scripture, though in some ways these terms are used inaccurately), and to fail to see them all potentially as “lost sheep”.

249   CS    
February 26th, 2010 at 1:22 am

Chris L:

“How can an unborn child, killed in the womb, have had an opportunity in which to commit sin? How can that child have an opportunity to accept Christ? Or an infant? Or the proverbial savage on a deserted island? Or those who died before Christ’s coming?”

You’ve described three different categories of people here, and illustrate why there are problems with Boyd’s theology.

First, when it comes to the unborn or those who would not qualify for the plan of God’s salvation due to insufficient mental capacity, God is gracious enough to save them. One good example is David’s comment in 2 Samuel 12:23, where he said that one day he (David) would go to where his son had gone. Jesus also said that children are of such of the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:23).

Second, when it comes to the person in the farthest corner of the earth, that person has Creation and the conscience that holds them accountable for their sins. I mentioned this with Romans 1 and 2 above. If they had a chance to get to Heaven apart from specific revelation, then going and sharing the Gospel could be a detriment. It would also potentially qualify a works-based righteousness, or universal salvation, which would both be contrary to the Bible.

Third, when it comes to people who were living BC, those people sacrificed animals for the covering of their sins in faith of the promise of the Messiah to come. The sacrifice did not forgive but instead covered the transgression, when done in alignment with a proper heart (example at the end of Psalm 51). As for everyone else at that time, again, they had Creation and the conscience as well.


cS

250   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 1:42 am

CS – I generally agree with you, and would not take this as far as Boyd, though I do not consider his view of possibilities as beyond the bounds of orthodoxy. After all, we have examples of some OT figures (Melchizedek, for example) who were not (at least in Scripture) given specific revelation. In the case of the person at the farthest end of the earth, I would hesitate to say that they are damned if they never hear the Gospel – as that is up to God, ultimately – but neither would I say that they have a clear route to eternal salvation. Even so, I would not limit God’s abilities – if He can make His existence evident in the evidence of creation, then I would not limit His ability to provide a means of choosing to follow Him in our absence. In the end, it is up to Him.

In the end, we are told to make disciples of all nations, so the spread of the Gospel cannot be a detriment.

To Phil’s point, salvation in the Hebrew mind is viewed differently in life than in the postmortem experience – where it is not only focused on one’s eternal destiny, but also a present reality.

251   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 7:21 am

The Scriptures do not deal directly with the plight of the unborn dead or the untimely death of an infant. We can trust our Father, but in the end we have no teaching upon which to lean. And if someone who had never heard the gospel can still inherit eternal life, then witnessing to him would only mess it up if he did not believe.

We must be guided by Scripture, lovingly and humbly and with hope, but we cannot arbitrarily toss out out the unpleasant sections because we cannot envision God doing this or that.

I submit that if God had chosen to save only one person that would have redounded to His glory throughout eternity. The fact remains, we have a painfully limited concept of God’s glory and in fact God Himself. It is wise to step back sometimes and admit that God is larger and more majestic than we can ever imagine, but that we must be careful, not harsh, to adhere to the written revelation.

* You can indeed be a universalist and be saved. You cannot inherit eternal life (saved) and not believe that Jesus is God and the only way by faith to eternal life.

252   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 26th, 2010 at 9:57 am

I was happy to let my last words on this subject be the last until reading Rick’s comment above.

The Scriptures do not deal directly with the plight of the unborn dead or the untimely death of an infant. We can trust our Father, but in the end we have no teaching upon which to lean. And if someone who had never heard the gospel can still inherit eternal life, then witnessing to him would only mess it up if he did not believe.

So we can trust our Father, whom we presumably know, to take care of the unborn but not those who never hear and die without ever hearing Good News?

There are many, many things Scripture does not tell us. It’s not an encyclopedia. Scripture contains truth, but we cannot say it contains the whole truth. We do have the Holy Spirit that guides and leads us, even today. There are things that my parents never told me, such as how they might respond in this or that situation. But you know what? I know my parents and having lived with them and walked with them for a number of years I can make some pretty educated guesses as to how they would act or respond in any number of situations that were never brought up specifically. I am not saying God is in the same boat as our parents or that we know God in the same way, but I am cautioning against this attitude of claiming ignorance when God’s character and desire are made known to us quite clearly from Genesis to Revelation.

As for messing it up for someone if they choose not to believe, that is craziness. Again, I would argue that this sort of mentality makes human will and choice Sovereign in a way that God never intended. It makes our “choice” another work, one that earns us acceptance by the Father. That has already been done in Christ. Belief does not unlock God’s love and acceptance of us – Belief in Christ merely allows us to live into a reality that is already true.

I submit that if God had chosen to save only one person that would have redounded to His glory throughout eternity.

Talk about besmirching God’s character. I would expect to read this on John MacArthur’s Christmas cards, but from you, Rick? You can’t really believe this. Do you?

How does God saving one person out of the entire cosmos magnify God’s name or make God worthy or praise and worship? I would argue it makes God a monster and is in defiance of the entire story the sacred story seeks to tell.

CS: One good example is David’s comment in 2 Samuel 12:23, where he said that one day he (David) would go to where his son had gone.

This is a wonderful illustration of what McLaren calls in his new book a constitutional reading of Scripture. As if David was thinking, “thousands of years from now people will wonder where children go when they die. This will help…”

What if David never said that? What if David said the opposite? Would that render our understanding of God as loving, compassionate and full of mercy obsolete? This is missing the forest for the trees.

253   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Second, when it comes to the person in the farthest corner of the earth, that person has Creation and the conscience that holds them accountable for their sins. I mentioned this with Romans 1 and 2 above. If they had a chance to get to Heaven apart from specific revelation, then going and sharing the Gospel could be a detriment. It would also potentially qualify a works-based righteousness, or universal salvation, which would both be contrary to the Bible.

You see, you keep on reverting to the same thinking with this type of comment as if salvation is all about getting into heaven. I actually think using such terminology would be foreign to Jesus and the Apostle Paul. They weren’t interested in telling us how to “get into heaven”. They were interested in telling us the “Kingdom is at hand” and telling us how to live like citizens in the kingdom.

Now, I do think that there are people who will choose to live outside the kingdom and, unlike Chad, I think that for many it will be an eternal choice. But the Kingdom of God isn’t somewhere “in heaven”. The Kingdom is wherever God’s will is done, and our job as the Church is to work with the Father as He brings His Kingdom to the earth.

254   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 10:10 am

First, when it comes to the unborn or those who would not qualify for the plan of God’s salvation due to insufficient mental capacity, God is gracious enough to save them.

While this is consistent with the nature of God as described in the Bible, the same is far from guaranteeing this to be true.

One good example is David’s comment in 2 Samuel 12:23, where he said that one day he (David) would go to where his son had gone.

This is a possible example, but i would not call it a good one.

Jesus also said that children are of such of the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:23).

This has everything to do with dependence and nothing to do with the issue at hand.

255   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 11:30 am

It makes our “choice” another work, one that earns us acceptance by the Father. That has already been done in Christ.

This is what happens when the musings of men trump the revealed word of God.

We are commanded to repent. Is that a work? If so then Jesus and all the apostles were preaching works. Read Rev 2 & 3. 5 of the 7 churches were commanded to repent or face eternal consequences (juxtaposed with eternal rewards in each case).

Belief does not unlock God’s love and acceptance of us

Again. Read the Bible, not a blind teacher.

John 1: Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

You can dance around this (and dozens of other scriptures) all you like, but you are dead wrong. God’s love was revealed by sending Christ. In effect, He has done His best to demonstrate His love for us. If we do not run to Him, we forfeit His promises.

You are twisting scripture terribly Chad.

Belief in Christ merely allows us to live into a reality that is already true.

To use “merely” and “Belief in Christ” in the same sentence is an affront to the gospel. You should not be teaching people.

Phil: They weren’t interested in telling us how to “get into heaven”. They were interested in telling us the “Kingdom is at hand” and telling us how to live like citizens in the kingdom.

I don’t believe anyone goes to heaven at all, but your point is wrong and off-balanced. They indeed spoke in dozens of instances about eternity. “We are saved by hope”

The kingdom of God will one day reign upon this earth forever and ever. This is the hope of Hebrews 11 & 12. This is revealed to us in several places, such as Rev 21 – a beautiful hope.

256   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 11:44 am

I don’t believe anyone goes to heaven at all, but your point is wrong and off-balanced. They indeed spoke in dozens of instances about eternity. “We are saved by hope”

How is my comment wrong and off-balanced? The Kingdom is here already, but it isn’t here completely. The “now, but not yet” motif is something that runs completely through Scripture. The present age is passing away, and the age to come is breaking into the world as we speak. So we live in this tension. The Kingdom is in a very real sense here, and because of that, Jesus and Paul told us how to live as citizens of this Kingdom.

One day the Kingdom will be consummated, and God will reign forever and ever, things will be completely set right. When Christ came to earth, though, the Kingdom started breaking into the world with Him. When He returns, it will be here in its entirety.

257   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 11:55 am

Phil, you said:

They weren’t interested in telling us how to “get into heaven”.

By this I’m inferencing that you were referring to eternity or the hereafter (not necessarily heaven).

They spoke of the coming Theocracy dozens of times. I think your comment was off-balanced because you made it seem as though the coming physical Kingdom was secondary. Sorry if I mistook you.

One day the Kingdom will be consummated, and God will reign forever and ever, things will be completely set right. When Christ came to earth, though, the Kingdom started breaking into the world with Him. When He returns, it will be here in its entirety.

Amen.

258   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 26th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for your opinion, Paul. I disagree.

259   CS    
February 26th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Chris L:

Romans 10 says that the way people get saved is by the Word of God being shared with them. This is the vehicle by which God has determined through which people will be part of His Kingdom and go to Heaven.

Consider the alternative. If a person has a chance to be saved outside of the preaching of the word of God, but rejection of the Gospel is what sends a person to Hell, then it would actually be a detriment to go and tell them about Christ. Furthermore, if a person can be saved on their own merit, Christ would never have had the need to go to the cross.

Chad:

“This is a wonderful illustration of what McLaren calls in his new book a constitutional reading of Scripture. As if David was thinking, “thousands of years from now people will wonder where children go when they die. This will help…”

Or could it be that David simply knew the truth of how God handles the souls of those who could not qualify for His plan of salvation?

Also, I recommend against reading McLaren. He is a heretic.

Phil Miller:

“You see, you keep on reverting to the same thinking with this type of comment as if salvation is all about getting into heaven. I actually think using such terminology would be foreign to Jesus and the Apostle Paul. They weren’t interested in telling us how to “get into heaven”. They were interested in telling us the “Kingdom is at hand” and telling us how to live like citizens in the kingdom.”

Do you believe there is a literal place called, “Heaven,” where the souls of men will go after death if they have been saved?


CS

260   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Paul C. I think your views on works and repentance might change if you adopted this definition of “salvation”.

Salvation = born again. Salvation is “Christ in you the hope of Glory”

John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Titus 3:5 – Titus 3:5
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

John 5:26 – “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;

1 John 5:11-12 -And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

I don’t know. I see a lot of works tied up in your theology and I see it stemming from your definition of salvation.

261   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Do you believe there is a literal place called, “Heaven,” where the souls of men will go after death if they have been saved?

Well, I don’t know that I’d call heaven a “place” – I’d say it’s more of a realm or a dimension. In Jewish thought, heaven is sometimes spoken of spatially, as sometimes the skies are thought to be the realm of spirit beings. However, there is also the idea that heaven is like another dimension that parallels the physical dimensions, and that we are simply separated from that dimension by a veil. That’s why the book of Revelation is actually called what it is – it’s a look behind the veil, as it were.

So as far as “souls going to heaven”, I’d say that the from a Biblical perspective, our spirits go to be with Christ after we physically die. However, that isn’t our final dwelling place. Our final dwelling will be on a renewed earth in a glorified, physical body. Heaven and earth will be as one, and we will be in God’s presence for all eternity. Eden will be restored.

262   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Chad,

Upon reading and re-reading your theological beliefs I have come to the conclusion that you are un-reachable in your present mindset. What I mean is, you have totally insulated yourself from argument from scripture. We are only left with arugments from opposing philosophies. We cannot posit ANY biblical arguments, or offer ANY scriptures against your belief in Christian Universalism because your belief in a COSMIC DO-OVER in the next life trumps any and all requirements to salvation in this Age.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and Thou Shalt be saved” Becomes if you don’t don’t it now you’ll have the opportunity later. Don’t sweat it.

“Today is the day of salvation” becomes “Tomorrow is today, tomorrow”.

“It is appointed for man to die once and then the judgement” becomes but you get a 2nd change after that judgement to make it right if you mess this one up.

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Means, OK you will surely die in your sins, but don’t worry you get a 2nd chance at eternal life.

And take any admonition and warning given us in Scripture. They are all meaningless in your world view. All bark and no bite, like a loving, indulgent parent, always threatening, never following through. (Unless you are counting an undefined time-out in some kind of Protestant Purgatory as the punishment).

It’s just useless to argue.

Peace

263   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I would also add that I think the way that many Christians think of the soul and the spirit is really very gnostic in nature. To the Jewish writers of Scripture, living as a disembodied spirit in heaven for all eternity wouldn’t seem like a good way to live forever. Life implied implied living as a whole person, in a physical body.

264   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 26th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

It’s just useless to argue.

you finally said something I can agree with :)

265   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

“It’s just useless to argue” said with forehead a bloody pulp. :-)

266   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I don’t know. I see a lot of works tied up in your theology and I see it stemming from your definition of salvation.

I think anyone who sees repentance as a work is way off base. Jesus preached repentance. As did all the apostles. I’m just not sure why this is even in question. Unless a man repents, how can he be saved and inherit eternal life John?

267   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Phil: So as far as “souls going to heaven”, I’d say that the from a Biblical perspective, our spirits go to be with Christ after we physically die.

Isn’t man made up of 3 parts: body, soul and spirit. What happens to the soul?

268   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Isn’t man made up of 3 parts: body, soul and spirit. What happens to the soul?

Well, I’d say that we were created as a whole person. One way to look at is like C.S. Lewis put it:

You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.

I don’t think he’s saying that we’re a soul trapped in a body as some movies portray things, but rather our soul is who we actually are. In some ways, it seems the words spirit and soul are somewhat interchangeable in Scripture, although soul seems to capture more of our essence, or humanity, I’d say. The soul is our innermost being.

The main point is, though, that God doesn’t just redeem one part of us, but rather He redeems all of us holistically.

269   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Phil – I see what you’re saying about the soul. My question is more about the spirit.

To me the spirit is almost like the life-force (all living things have a spirit, but only man has a soul).

For example, “the LORD God formed the man from the dust (BODY) of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (SPIRIT), and the man became a living being (SOUL).”

In 1 Thess 5, Paul writes:

May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When a person dies, they die. Their soul is dead, awaiting the resurrection. The analogy that resonates with me is a lightbulb.

The lightbulb is a the body, the electricity is the spirit. The soul is the light. Shut of the power and what happens to the light? Non-existent. In our case, the soul lies dormant (1 Cor 15) until the time of Jesus’ return. That is the glory of the resurrection. New bodies and eternal life will clothe us (our souls).

270   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Paul,
I know you’ve talked about soul sleep quite a bit here, and I guess my main questions for you are these. First, after Jesus died, we are told He preached to the souls in Hades. How did that happen? Also, how do you explain the transfiguration? What did Peter, James, and John see when they were looking at Moses and Elijah?

271   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

First, after Jesus died, we are told He preached to the souls in Hades. How did that happen?

Jesus died. He did not go to a place called Hell/Hades – he went to the grave (sheol: where ALL go when they die). “He poured out his soul unto death.”

But to address your question, Peter already had made reference to the fact that the Spirit “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (1 Peter 1:11). Who did the actual speaking? The prophets.

The preaching was done in the days of Noah by Jesus through the Holy Spirit Who, in turn, inspired Noah’s preaching (2 Peter 2:5 “a preacher of righteousness”).

If we follow your line of reasoning, Jesus went and spoke just to a select group of Noah’s contemporaries. What about those before the flood? How about those after? Why were they mysteriously left out?

Also, what might have been the content of such preaching? After all, these people are dead (like all the saints who believe in Christ) and there is “no knowledge or device in the grave” where we all go.

Lastly, are you trying to have it both ways? From what I gather, you might argue that Jesus went to paradise upon his last breath, no?

Also, how do you explain the transfiguration? What did Peter, James, and John see when they were looking at Moses and Elijah?

Jesus tells us himself in John 3:13:

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man

That’s pretty explicit. Elijah, like Enoch, was taken that he did not experience death and was “not”. He was taken out of existence. We know he didn’t receive eternal life… like the rest, he is waiting:

These (incl. Moses, Enoch, Elijah and the rest) were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.

Jesus is the firstfruits from the grave – afterwards they that are his at his coming.

The transfiguration is almost like a preview of the coming kingdom. Jesus says as much at the end of Matt 16 (right before the event):

I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

6 days later… the Transfiguration (must have been an absolutely mind-warping experience).

272   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Unless a man repents, how can he be saved and inherit eternal life John?

Paul, I agree that repentance is part of the salvation equasion. (Side note – the majority of the repentence quoted in salvation passages is in regards to repentance of one’s belief about the person of Christ i.e., turn from one’s disbelief to belief that Jesus is the Christ. However, I agree that there are several passages that relate to repentance from sins).

Also, a part of the equasion is belief, faith and declaration of such. But these are the means to the end i.e., the regeneration and rebirth by the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of Christ, by which one obtains eternal life which is my strict definition of “salvation”.

Where I think we differ is, I believe that although one enters into the born again condition by accepting Jesus Christ as savior once one does this, the regeneration process by the Spirit is irreversable. One gives up his free will at that point, so to speak, and something infinitely greater than he (that is the regeneration by the Holy Spirity) takes over. Therefore I cannot sin myself out of eternal life because the Holy Spirit in me is infinately greater than my sin, not to mention the imputed righteousness of Christ that I stand in.

That is not to say there are not temporal consequences for sin or even eternal consequences for that matter (i.e, loss of reward), but nothing I do can kill the Spirit of Life within me or cause Him to leave once I have freely accepted His life and He has regenerated me and caused me to be born again into a living hope.

As one born in time, I cannot, NOT be born in this life and as a born again believer I cannot NOT be born again.

273   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Lastly, are you trying to have it both ways? From what I gather, you might argue that Jesus went to paradise upon his last breath, no?

Trying to have what both ways, exactly?

You seem to be the one who is having trouble explaining some of these things. You still didn’t explain what happened at the transfiguration. Were Moses and Elijah really there? If so, according to you, they were dead prior, but they were completely gone. It seems to me that the transfiguration shows that they were actually alive? They’re spirits were with God. After all, Jesus says elsewhere that God is the God of the living, not the dead.

I’m just picking a few examples. There are sorts of places in Scripture that affirm that man’s spirit lives on in some way after he dies. Paul said to die was to be with Christ. Was he lying?

274   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 26th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

While you all debate how a person is born again and viewed as “saved” by God, please keep in mind that only one of you can be right. And the penalty for being wrong has eternal consequences.

275   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Were Moses and Elijah really there?

It was a view to the future establishment of the kingdom upon this earth. Jesus is the “I AM” and is not bound by time like his creation is.

They are not conscious. Either is Paul, Peter, Mary, David or any of Hebrews 11.

Not sure how you’re saying I’m not being clear. To me John 3:13 eliminates the point many make: that all the saints prior to Jesus are somehow in heaven. Not so.

Regarding the comment about God being the God of the living, not the dead, he was speaking to Saduccees who do not believe in a resurrection at all. He was saying that this is not the case. “At the resurrection (FUTURE) people will neither marry nor be given in marriage…”

You can’t just pick verses without the context Phil.

276   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Where I think we differ is, I believe that although one enters into the born again condition by accepting Jesus Christ as savior once one does this, the regeneration process by the Spirit is irreversable.

Yes, I think you are right in that we differ here. Take Matthew 25 and the parable of the Talents. What might Jesus have been conveying here, specifically regarding the fact that all received various measures of grace.

What of John 15? How about Hebrews 6 (”tasted of heavenly gift”) or 2 Peter 2 (”it had been better that they never knew the way…”)?

Also, read Rev 2 & 3. There were eternal consequences positioned here.

277   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

It was a view to the future establishment of the kingdom upon this earth. Jesus is the “I AM” and is not bound by time like his creation is.

They are not conscious. Either is Paul, Peter, Mary, David or any of Hebrews 11.

You’re saying Moses and Elijah weren’t conscious? They are described as talking with Jesus. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make sense with what the text describes.

Regarding the comment about God being the God of the living, not the dead, he was speaking to Saduccees who do not believe in a resurrection at all. He was saying that this is not the case. “At the resurrection (FUTURE) people will neither marry nor be given in marriage…”

29Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32′I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[a]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

I’m not taking this passage out of context at all, Paul. The Saducees were trying to trap Jesus with a question to disprove the resurrection. Jesus answers them, and in doing so, He makes it clear that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not really dead. God is sustaining them even though their physical bodies have passed away. Otherwise, how could God be described as being the God of the living?

I would also that there are numerous places in the OT where people are prohibited from trying to contact the spirits of the departed. That implies that these spirits actually do exist. No where does the text simply say don’t do it because they aren’t there.

278   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Isn’t man made up of 3 parts: body, soul and spirit. What happens to the soul?

I am a bi-partist not a tri-partist… I believe we are made up of the immaterial and the material.

279   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
February 26th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

You’re saying Moses and Elijah weren’t conscious? They are described as talking with Jesus.

I am being very clear. It was a glimpse to the future. Read the end of Matthew 16. Then 6 days later… the result.

280   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Wait? What? When teh disciples saw Moses and Elijah it was them but not in the same time, they had traveled through to another time?

281   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

While you all debate how a person is born again and viewed as “saved” by God, please keep in mind that only one of you can be right. And the penalty for being wrong has eternal consequences

.

Chad I think **most** of the “group” discussed and agreed long ago that salvation is not dependant on one having a complete understanding of the mechanicism or the intracacies of reconciliation, justification, election, etc. and that salvation can be boiled down to:

Romans 10:9-10 – that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

And in your world view we all get a 2nd chance anyway so don’t worry, be happy.

282   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Yea Paul. I think you are off base there. What about Revelation 6:9-11 -

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

and

Luke 16;23 “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.

And eventhough this is a parable why would the Lord make it so easy for it to be misuderstood? Even parables have their roots in reality, else the point would be lost. It is illogical to say Christ would know the soul sleeps until the resurrection but I am going to tell a story about dead men talking to each other. That’s being disingenuous.

283   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

John, so what happens when we die? Do we go to heaven (or this place called ‘hell’)?

Or are we awaiting a resurrection?

Re the Rich Man & Lazarus, again you should look at the context. Jesus had a prime reason for showing the stark disparities he did. Look at the preceding 2 verses.

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

Abraham is NOT in heaven (John 3:13). Where are you saying he is?

Rev 6 is highly symbolic: altar, white garments, seals, horses… Just as Abel, though dead still speaks, these souls – the martyrs’ blood – cries out so to speak. Not literal.

284   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Chad I think **most** of the “group” discussed and agreed long ago that salvation is… – John

Chad’s comment was either an attempt at humour, or a dig, or he is mistaken. Whichever, we need not take it seriously.

285   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

John, so what happens when we die? Do we go to heaven (or this place called ‘hell’)?

Or are we awaiting a resurrection?

Are spirits are in heaven, being held by God as it were, awaiting the resurrection.

It’s like Neil said, there is an immaterial and material part to our existence. The word for spirit is the same word for breath, so if the Spirit of God is what is actually sustaining us, He will continue to sustain us after our physical bodies pass away.

286   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Our spirits are not what are resurrected Phil. The spirit is nothing more than the life of God (the electricity) that ALL life has including animals.

The soul is what is resurrected or clothed with a new body. The soul is who you are, your essence. It is that which will be saved. It is your greatest possession. Not the spirit: that’s just the life force which we render back to God at death. No part of us goes with it.

When we die, we die (absence of life). The reason Stephen “fell asleep” is because of the hope of the resurrection (bringing to life that which was dead).

287   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Our spirits are not what are resurrected Phil. The spirit is nothing more than the life of God (the electricity) that ALL life has including animals.

You have a bad habit of trying to put words in my mouth.

I’m not saying our spirits are resurrected. I’m saying our spirit never dies. Our physical body is what is resurrected. But in the intermediate time, our spirits are held by God. That is why Paul can say in II Corinthians:

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

It’s pretty clear – when we die, we are with God, and we are conscious of it.

288   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Wow… So I guess we’re not surrounded by a cloud of witnesses after all…

[Thump, Thump, Thump, Slide]

[Flip, Flip, Flip]

[Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip]

[Flutter, Flutter, Flutter (Sounds of Hebrews 12 floating on the way to the ground)]

[Sound of Elijah turning over in his grave... oh wait...]

289   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Chris L – those who have gone before us, testifying of the power, grace and love of God.

I wonder what Peter meant here:

“David is both DEAD and BURIED and his sepulchre is with us to this day… For David has not ascended into the heavens…”

Phil: Are spirits are in heaven, being held by God as it were, awaiting the resurrection.

How did I put words in your mouth. Our spirits are “awaiting the resurrection” is what you said. Don’t falsely accuse. If that’s not what you intended then say so, but that’s plain reading.

290   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Paul C.,

Your distinction between soul and spirit is interesting and thought out. I’m just not sure it’s biblical… that is, the Bible is no where near that specific on those things.

291   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Revelation is not a book of which we establish foundational doctrien. It is prophetic at its core and supportive when it comes to church doctrine. You must go to “you know who” to get ecclesiasitcal doctrine.

292   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Paul – If soul sleep is the truth – Great!

293   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I’m still mystified by the whole time travel thing…

294   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

The time travel is explained by Shermon and Mr. Peabody!

295   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

290: well, I pointed to a couple scriptures (one foundational) that seems to make the distinction. None refute it at all.

For example, Eccleasiastes 3:11 speak of man and animals having spirits.

Regardless, at death a soul does indeed die.

For example, Chris L brought up the “witnesses” of Hebrews 11. Let’s look at that:

And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead… These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.

What is the promise? Life from the dead. The resurrection.

Furthermore:

They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.

Paul acknowledges this:

I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness (LIFE), which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

At that day.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

Or from Jesus Himself:

John 3:13: “NO MAN has ascended…”

When Lazarus died, his sister knew that Jesus would resurrect “at that day”. It was a common belief.

In John 6, there are 4 references alone to the resurrection “at the last day” (more elsewhere in John):
- John 6: 39, 40, 44 & 54

As Rick says, you can’t use Revelation 6 to establish souls being alive now (unless you want to literalize other things in that same reference which gets you in trouble).

We can be certain that none have gone to heaven:

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope… and the dead in Christ will rise first.

When? At the last trump, which is the signal for Jesus to return physically. Until then?

Is 26: But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy.
Your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.
The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her;
she will conceal her slain no longer.

Don’t cherry pick a single verse here or there. Look at the consistent message from beginning to end. The parables are excellent, but in the case of Lazarus & the Rich Man, it was spoken directly of the Pharisees – a warning. Abraham is not in heaven, he is awaiting the resurrection (John 3:13).

296   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I might add that there are 65 references to “sheol” is the OT – all of which point to a cessation of life until the end, the resurrection.” The book of Job covers this beautifully (ch 14), as do the Psalms (Ps 49 and others).

ALL – good and bad – go to the same place until “the morning” (the resurrection dawn).

In regards to this teaching, the NT is consistent as well.

297   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Lot’s of verses about the resurrection of the body, which no one is denying. But I see nothing to indicate the soul dies, nor that we are free to build such an elaborate theological distinction between soul and spirit.

298   Neil    
February 26th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Psalm 49 is a beautiful poem that is not intended to teach eschatological truth. And if it were I could just as easily use it to teach that those who die in Christ are immediately with the Lord.

In regards to this teaching, the NT is consistent as well.

299   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

For example, Chris L brought up the “witnesses” of Hebrews 11. Let’s look at that:

And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead… These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.

What is the promise? Life from the dead. The resurrection.

Incorrect. Life from the dead was not what was promised to the individuals named in Hebrews 11 – what they were promised was the Kingdom of God/Heaven, which arrived with Jesus, but which has not yet reached its fullness. Paul references this in v. 12-16.

300   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I’d also note that separating the spirit from the soul has no basis in Scripture.

301   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

And then there’s…

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise taking a dirt nap, though I’ll get up from it in 3 days, but you’ll be stuck there for a few thousand years – give or take – but at least you won’t be consciously stuck alone in a fiery chariot for that long, so count your blessings.”

302   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

If I had to choose a view of what happens in the time between death and the end of days, it would follow the first century Hebrew belief (of the orthodox Jews, not the Sadducees) that the souls of the faithful are in paradise and the bodies in Sheol until the bodily resurrection, in which both are together again.

303   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

The soul sleep debate, to me, is like arguing whether we get to heaven on Monday or Tuesday. :cool:

304   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

How did I put words in your mouth. Our spirits are “awaiting the resurrection” is what you said. Don’t falsely accuse. If that’s not what you intended then say so, but that’s plain reading.

Reading what I wrote in the entire context, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m saying our spirits (or our souls, if you will) don’t die when our bodies die. They spend the interim period between death and the resurrection in heaven. Thus, they are waiting on the resurrection, in the sense that someone would be waiting for an upcoming event to occur.

305   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

No one can put words in my mouth – there’s not enough room. :cool:

306   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

I’d also note that separating the spirit from the soul has no basis in Scripture.

No basis? I am simply saying that there is a difference between them:

M

ay God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Or Genesis: God breathed into man (BODY) the breath of life (SPIRIT) and he became a living soul.

What is the uproar here?

Neil asks about the soul dying.

Isaiah 53 clearly says that Jesus poured out his soul unto death.

Psalm 16, referenced on the day of Pentecost, says that God will not leave “his soul in hell (sheol)” (state of dead).

301: Question for you Chris L. Did Jesus go to paradise when he gave up the ghost (spirit)?

Explain please. After all, 3 days later he tells Mary, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.” (John 20).

Being completely honest here, what do you make of that? And please don’t try to wordsmith ‘paradise’. 2 Corinthians tells us it is none other than heaven – the very presence of God.

So, Jesus didn’t go to heaven/paradise did he? He died – soul poured out unto death as the OT foretold. Yet, he had power to take his life up again!

Incorrect. Life from the dead was not what was promised to the individuals named in Hebrews 11 – what they were promised was the Kingdom of God/Heaven

Remember the “mystery of God”? They had no idea about the church age or a first and second coming. To them, the physical establishment of the kingdom and life from the dead were the exact same thing! So, I am not incorrect here.

Job 19: I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Job 14: At least there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail…
But man dies and is laid low;
he breathes his last and is no more…
so man lies down and does not rise;
till the heavens are no more, men will not awake
or be roused from their sleep.

Neil: Psalm 49 is a beautiful poem that is not intended to teach eschatological truth.

No one’s referring to eschatology. Just the same hope held forth throughout the entire OT.

Specifically these verses:

Like sheep they are destined for the grave,
and death will feed on them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning;
their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15But God will redeem my life from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.

Where is the psalmist’s soul being redeemed from? Sheol – the grave. When? In the “morning” (the resurrection).

307   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 11:01 pm

So, Jesus didn’t go to heaven/paradise did he? He died – soul poured out unto death as the OT foretold. Yet, he had power to take his life up again!

So are you saying Jesus lied to the thief? It just seems to me that you’re avoiding these relatively straightforward passages and picking and choosing other verses to back up a preconceived position. No one here denies a physical resurrection, and saying that our spirit lives in the interim period doesn’t belittle the resurrection at all.

Personally, in something like this, that honestly doesn’t make a huge practical difference in one’s life, I’m content sticking with the interpretation of the Church-at-large throughout its history.

308   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

So are you saying Jesus lied to the thief?

So you’re saying that Jesus lied to Mary?

Phil, please explain it to me yourself. I’ll lay it out for you:

1. Jesus makes promise to thief
2. Jesus dies
3. Thief dies
4. 3 days later Jesus tells Mary He hasn’t yet gone to paradise/heaven

Who did he lie to? NEITHER.

We have mistaken His words and run with them.

What happened in those 3 days? He was dead! As the scriptures foretold. The whole gospel is premised on Jesus’ resurrection – the bringing back to life of his soul from the dead.

If you look at the thief’s question or request you will have your answer. He understood what you seem to have a hard time with:

“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

The time for the restoration or establishment of the kingdom has not occurred yet physically. The thief is dead. No lie.

It just seems to me that you’re avoiding these relatively straightforward passages and picking and choosing other verses to back up a preconceived position.

My goodness… I am the one using scripture to back up my argument while you throw a verse out here and ther… “What about this…?”

I’m content sticking with the interpretation of the Church-at-large throughout its history.

When in doubt, play it safe I suppose. Though you better stick with a burning hell with various departments of torture depending on how bad you were and a bunch of other stuff as well.

You are right that it doesn’t make a huge practical difference, but it would be good to line up with what the Bible actually teaches in my view.

309   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Though you better stick with a burning hell with various departments of torture depending on how bad you were and a bunch of other stuff as well.

Actually, Hell as described in those terms is more a medieval convention. An Orthodox description of Hell is much different.

All I’m saying is that I trust that many of the Church Fathers were more in tune with the culture and language of Scripture than people reading it 1500 or 2000 years later. So in this instance, if they read the Scriptures you’re citing and came to conclusion Jesus preached to the souls in Hades between His death and resurrection, and that the spirit doesn’t die, it takes very strong evidence to overturn that. So far, I’ve not been convinced by your very flat reading of the Scriptures you’re posting.

310   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Yes. This is pretty much falling under useless debate. But to me the transfiguration is seminal. Moses and Elijah were **confering** with Jesus. That’s very much a stretch for a glimpse of an event which takes place in the future. And the quote of the souls under the altar in Revelation is too detailed of a conversation for symbolism for me. Can you name any other symbolic example in Scriptures that went into such long detail?

311   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 26th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

3 days later Jesus tells Mary He hasn’t yet gone to paradise/heaven

And

Explain please. After all, 3 days later he tells Mary, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.” (John 20).

Being completely honest here, what do you make of that? And please don’t try to wordsmith ‘paradise’. 2 Corinthians tells us it is none other than heaven – the very presence of God.

Well, first off – in the Ancient Near East cosmology, the “third heaven” (or “paradise”) is the realm of spirits, but it is not the throne room of God – nor is it the “Paradise of God” from Revelation (which is linguistically modeled after an architectural feature – an enclosed garden – from Temple structures). In this particular case (II Cor), Paul is referring to a cosmological state of being (the third heaven) and not a physical place. Being in “the third heaven” is not synonymous with “going to the Father” – they are not the same thing.

Conversely, in the case of the thief – it is the thief who says “remember me when you come into your kingdom”, but it is Jesus who specifies the timeline – and does so rather forcefully by using the amen preface – “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”. So, of the two incidents (the thief and Mary), Jesus is most specific with the thief (today in paradise) and the most symbolic with Mary (”gone to the Father” – which very likely implies a physical return to the father via resurrection + ascension).

312   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

So far, I’ve not been convinced by your very flat reading of the Scriptures you’re posting.

And that might be due to your preconceived notions Phil. I’ve tried to show consistently (OT & NT) that the story is the same: life, death (of the soul), followed by resurrection and a new body at the return of Christ.

No one addresses the scriptures cited. We just say, “Well, I can’t just accept that.”

I’m not sure what you mean by flat… when you line up 30-40 scriptures (there are more) that say virtually the same thing, I think it’s fair to say there’s a pattern of thought being conveyed.

John H, did you read the last few verses of Matt 16? Then 6 days later we get the fulfillment of that scripture.

Was Jesus lying in John 3:13? How about the author of Hebrews in chapter 11?

Regarding Rev 6, it is symbolism. In the same book a woman clothed in scarlet rides a multi-headed beast. There’s a pet horse named Death. A sword comes out of Jesus’ mouth.

Again, what we’re dealing with here is an issue of preconceived notions. I understand what I’m saying doesn’t fit into that, but the scriptures do seem to agree on the whole.

Good night guys. Have a blessed weekend.

313   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 26th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Being in “the third heaven” is not synonymous with “going to the Father” – they are not the same thing.

And yet Paul would have been tempted to boast? There he heard things “unlawful to be uttered”?

No Chris L – he had the exact same experience that Isaiah had (Is 6) and John in Rev.

This is what would tempt a man to be exalted, especially because of what he heard and saw.

Jesus poured out “his soul unto death” – His soul died. Skip and dance around, but it is clear from scripture.

314   John Hughes    
February 26th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Paul, Just a minor point but you have soul and spirit transposed in relationship to animals. Animals have Souls only God, angels and mankind have spirits.

God is Spirit.

Gen 1:30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life (nephesh), I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so
Job 7:11 “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit (ruach), I will complain in the bitterness of my soul (nephesh)

Was that just a mistake or is theresome where an animal is described as having a ruach?

315   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 27th, 2010 at 12:04 am

No Chris L – he had the exact same experience that Isaiah had (Is 6) and John in Rev.

The “third heaven” cosmologically, is on this side of the veil – it is where the angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc. exist. A human having been in that state would certainly be tempted to boast. Even so, it is not “beyond the veil” – in the singular presence of the Father – but rather in the light of the Father (in the same way that we are in the light of the sun).

I would suggest you take a course dealing with ancient near east cosmology, rather than just trying to guess at it from a modernist/Greek context. This is where the Seventh Day Adventists and JW’s go off the rails (since they developed the concept of “soul sleep”) – based on an early modernist (systematic) cosmological view, not an ancient Near East view of the cosmos.

Jesus poured out “his soul unto death” – His soul died.

How about we read what is actually written in Scripture?

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

When you look at the Greek, even, “unto death” is not saying that the soul dies, but that the soul is overwhelmed to the point that the body dies. Suggesting that Jesus’ soul died is ludicrous.

316   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 27th, 2010 at 1:16 am

How about we read what is actually written in Scripture?

Actually, that wasn’t the scripture I was referring to. I was referring to:

Is 53:
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;

Or, from the NT:

Rev 1:18:
“Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

I don’t know how much clearer I can be… the scriptures (esp Rev 1) is as clear as crystal here, no?

#314 – John H, you’re right it’s a minor point. Re animals, I was thinking of Ecclesiastes 3:11.

317   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 27th, 2010 at 1:41 am

Yes, Jesus’ physical body died. Nothing you’ve cited suggests that his soul died, “went to sleep”, etc.

And let’s look at Isaiah 53:

NIV: Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

NASB: Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Now – while the Hebrew uses nephesh, the reason many common translations do not include “soul” is because the full Hebraic phrase is not suggesting the death of the soul, but rather the ending of one’s physical life. There is no Hebrew teaching that the soul “dies” and that the souls of the dead are “asleep” … This doesn’t take on any broad acceptance until Charles Taze Russell and Ellen G White in the mid 1800’s started teaching it. Rather, the belief was that the body is in Sheol, and the soul is with those of the other faithful until the time of the final judgment, at which point, the dead are resurrected, with the souls and bodies reunited in the Kidron Valley (where God’s judgment occurs, between the Mount of Olives and the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem).*

*-Note: This is why Jews desire to be buried on the west side of the Mount of Olives – to have a front-row seat on the Day of Judgment.

318   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
February 27th, 2010 at 1:58 am

Chris L – what of Rev 1:18?

319   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 27th, 2010 at 2:34 am

What about it?

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

I would translate Hades as equivalent to Sheol – which is where the physical bodies of the dead lie until the time of the end. This says nothing about the death of the soul, or “soul sleep”…

320   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 27th, 2010 at 4:53 am

I do not believe the Scriptures teach soul sleep, and the Mt of Transfiguration and other events are not to be manipulated to prove this or that..

However, if we do sleep until the resurrection it would be OK with me. I need the rest. :)

321   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Psalm 16, referenced on the day of Pentecost, says that God will not leave “his soul in hell (sheol)” (state of dead).

Unfortunately, some translation say “soul” and some say “me” – so you can hardly base a theology on Psalm 16.

As for Genesis 2 – again, you cannot build an entire theology on the KJV verses other translations

The LORD God formed the man [e] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

No “spirit is this and the soul is that” anthropology there.

322   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

The time for the restoration or establishment of the kingdom has not occurred yet physically. The thief is dead. No lie.

In 308 you give a recap of the passion events and the thief and end with this… but you omit Jesus’ promise to the thief. “I tell you this, Today you will be with me in paradise.”

I know some like to put the “today” on the other side of the comma – (i.e. “I tell you this today, you will…) but that is just silly – as if Jesus had to emphasize when he was say’n this while they were hanging on the cross.

323   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

No one addresses the scriptures cited. We just say, “Well, I can’t just accept that.”

I covered your Psalm and Genesis references refuting both. Chris L. addressed Isaiah 53 and both references from Revelation. None support your case as you claim.

No one is debating death and resurrection.

324   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Jesus poured out “his soul unto death” – His soul died. Skip and dance around, but it is clear from scripture.

Again, basing a theological truth that is dependent one certain translation is very weak – at best. Any other translation of this verse and you claim falls flat.

325   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

John H, did you read the last few verses of Matt 16? Then 6 days later we get the fulfillment of that scripture.

That is but one possible fulfillment. Even so, it does not argue for soul-sleep, or soul death, or even a difference between soul and spirit.

326   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Recapitulation:

At this point – all the Scriptures that Paul C offered in defense of soul-sleep, soul death, and sou/spirit differentiation have been soundly refuted. If we missed one or two they should be easily mopped up.

At this point – Paul C. has yet to acknowledge the temporal reference to the thief on the cross; the promise that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; nor the presence of recognizable people at the transfiguration.

327   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 27th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

The doctrine of soul sleep does not affect salvation or eternity. I wonder why people are so passionate about it. Who cares?

328   Neil    
February 27th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

The doctrine of soul sleep does not affect salvation or eternity. I wonder why people are so passionate about it. Who cares?

I do.

You are correct, it is a secondary issue and one I would hope never to break fellowship over… but nothing says we cannot have lively debates on issues other than salvation.

329   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 27th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I will find out one day who was right. And it will not matter. The ones who teach soul sleep are usually the ones who really care.

330   Neil    
February 28th, 2010 at 12:01 am

True enough – we shall all know in full some day.

331   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 1st, 2010 at 11:10 am

I know some like to put the “today” on the other side of the comma – (i.e. “I tell you this today, you will…) but that is just silly – as if Jesus had to emphasize when he was say’n this while they were hanging on the cross.

Not only that, but the phrase amen lego soi is a specific blend of Hebrew and Greek (from the original text) which means “I am verifying that this is absolutely true” – which places a good deal of emphasis on whatever follows it (as if it were in a court of law). This, in itself, signals that what will follow it is not something allegorical or symbolic (which might be true of comments in normal conversations on religious matters). It would make no sense to put the comma after today, linguistically (in addition to the logic you point out, Neil).

332   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 1st, 2010 at 11:33 am

And that “today” is of the 24 hour variety. :cool:

333   John Hughes    
March 1st, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I need a nap.

334   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 am

At this point – Paul C. has yet to acknowledge the temporal reference to the thief on the cross; the promise that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; nor the presence of recognizable people at the transfiguration.

Sorry for the delayed response… been traveling (sitting in a coffee shop right now at the U of Michigan in Ann Arbor).

You’re right Neil. I think a lively debate over this subject is worthwhile, though not eternally damning one way or the other.

Going back to thief on the cross: we have an issue here. We need to grasp paradise in my view. Paul had the experience of being caught up to Paradise (explained in 2 Cor 12). Chris L will tell you that this was not actually the presence of God. I disagree as he heard and saw things, “inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.”

This was not simply a holding place for the souls of the dead. This was the presence of God.

Paul’s experience parallels Isaiah (Is 6) and the apostle John’s in Revelation. I think to say otherwise is disingenuous. Paul was not boasting about going to the abode of dead souls. It was the very presence of God.

Did the thief go to the presence of God/heaven? No. We know this because Jesus did not.

“Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”

He died and rose again 3 days later.

So, I go back and see what the thief requested. “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus will come into His kingdom physically at His return. At which time we have the resurrection.

Going back to the issue of soul sleep, what do you make of this:

For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing… Eccl 9:5

Clearly it is an unconscious state.

Job, in the Bible’s oldest book, says:

But man dies and is laid low;
he breathes his last and is no more.

11 As water disappears from the sea
or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,

12 so man lies down and does not rise;
till the heavens are no more, men will not awake
or be roused from their sleep.
(ch 14)

Or 1 Thess 4:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

This is the resurrection of the soul, with a new body.

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

NOW here is the issue with your argument which seems to be in conflict with Chris L’s.

You think that when a person dies he goes to be with the Lord. Chris L is arguing for some sort of holding pen where we are still conscious but not in heaven.

Do you see this conflict?

In this thread, it appears 3 things are being presented:

1. death of soul, resurrected at end of days (Paul C)

2. death of body, but soul in a holding pattern, still conscious, yet not in heaven (Chris L)

3. death followed by automatic entrance to heaven (others and the traditional view)

Neil – Paul did not believe that when he died he went to be with the Lord. How do we gather this? From his last epistle:

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

What is this crown? Life from sheol (the grave).

Has anyone else EVER received eternal life? Not a single one (incl Moses and Elijah). See John 3:13.

Paul makes this clear:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

This is followed with even more clarity:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

Not a moment sooner. But at his coming and kingdom.

(sorry for the long comment)

335   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:52 am

I might also add that a proper understanding of the resurrection (which we are striving for here) is important because it helps clear up the misunderstanding/false teaching of Hell.

In traditional Christian teaching (born out of the RCC), Heaven & Hell are pitted against each other as the 2 ultimate ends of all humanity. In fact, the OT & NT speak of Life & Death (both eternal).

336   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 am

Paul,
You still haven’t answered a question I’ve asked you numerous times about this. What does the Apostle Paul mean in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 when he says:

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

You have said things like we have to consider the whole of Scripture which I would agree, but that doesn’t mean you can just ignore things that go against whatever theory your working from. It seems pretty clear to me from that passage Paul is saying that when he dies, he will immediately be in the presence of God.

To me it seems that most of the debate is focused on the definition of death and whether is just physical, or if something lives on. The way I read all the OT passages you cite, it doesn’t really prove anything regarding the spirit living on after death. Actually, the fact the word “sleep” is used very often to describe death kind of points the other way. When people sleep, they aren’t aware of their physical surrounding, but their minds and their spirits are still active. So it would not be a huge stretch to assume that the writers using that word would assume some sort of spiritual activity after physical death. And actually, if you read the Jewish commentaries, they do. Orthodox Jews today certainly believe the spirit lives on after death.

337   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:57 am

In traditional Christian teaching (born out of the RCC), Heaven & Hell are pitted against each other as the 2 ultimate ends of all humanity. In fact, the OT & NT speak of Life & Death (both eternal).

I would say that’s actually a distortion of traditional Christian teaching. The historic creeds actually make it quite clear that we are awaiting a physical resurrection (modeled after Christ’s physical resurrection). So it seems to me that what is popularized, as so often is the case, is actually a distortion of the tradition, rather than the tradition itself.

338   Neil    
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:58 am

I see that there are three different options being presented. Yet the differences between my position and Chris L.’s are not categorical – in other words, I see two oppositional positions being proposed – one by you and one by Chris L. and I – his position and mine are subcategories.

As for the thief: you reference what he said, about coming into the Kingdom… yet failed to mention what Jesus said – that on that day he would be with Jesus in paradise – asleep in the ground does not sound like paradise.

339   Neil    
March 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

So, I go back and see what the thief requested. “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus will come into His kingdom physically at His return. At which time we have the resurrection.

I agree the physical resurrection will take place at his return… yet this does not prove soul-sleep, soul-death.

I have yet to see any verse that speaks of this. Lot’s of verses speak of death, and the grave, and sheol – but none you have quoted say that the soul dies.

340   Neil    
March 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm

As for Paul, if he did not believe that one is present with the Lord after death why would he say – to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?

341   Neil    
March 2nd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

(sitting in a coffee shop right now at the U of Michigan in Ann Arbor).

…speaking of Hell on earth! I am sorry you must experience this.

342   Neil    
March 2nd, 2010 at 12:06 pm

To be blunt – I have yet to see ONE verse that teaches soul-sleep or soul-death.

343   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 2nd, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Neil: but none you have quoted say that the soul dies.

1. do you see the obvious issue between your and Chris L’s positions? (you argue a believer goes to be with the Lord upon death, whereas Chris L argues for a view that they go the paradise, but not the presence of the Lord).

Chris L’s position, which I disagree with (as I believe paradise IS the presence of God as per 2 Cor 12) is actually much more accurate than yours. There are dozens upon dozens of scriptures that speak of unification with the Lord at the time of the resurrection – not at death.

Your belief seems to be that upon death, we face judgment. That is not the case.

Any talk of “temporary” heavens and hells in unbiblical.

2. what does Eccl 9:5 say to you?

For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing

and then…

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Or Psalm 6:

No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave?

344   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 2nd, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Neil: can you explain:

John 3:13 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”

345   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

(as I believe paradise IS the presence of God as per 2 Cor 12)

But it (paradise) is clearly NOT (literally or figuratively) the presence of the Lord.

1) It is not, according to the basic cosmology of the Hebrews (because God exists beyond the veil, but the “third heaven” is on this side of the veil). The “third heaven” is the realm of the spirits: angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc., not the abode of God.

2) Paul does not claim that it is in 2 Cor 12. What he actually says is: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. No mention of the direct presence of God.

3) Paul was clearly alive when he wrote 2 Corinthinans. If he had seen God, he would not be, per God’s own words in Exodus 33:20-23.

To this point all your your “evidence” is non-evidence: random passages with multiple potential interpretations, of which yours is far down the list of “probables”…

346   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 pm

FYI: I’d also point out that, at the time Jesus talked to Mary about having not “returned to the Father”, while his spirit would have been in Paradise (along w/ the thief, etc.) his body was in the tomb. Without his body, he had not yet “returned to the Father”, because Jesus was both spirit and flesh. It was not until his ascension that he returned to the Father – in body and spirit. It is the same for us – we will not have ascended to the Father until the resurrection, even if our spirits would exist in Paradise, in the light of God’s light.

347   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 3rd, 2010 at 9:41 am

But it (paradise) is clearly NOT (literally or figuratively) the presence of the Lord.

Chris L, first the second time I point out the inconsistency between yours and others’ (John Hughes, Phil’s & Neil’s) positions.

They clearly believe that to be “absent from the body” is to be in heaven, in the very presence of God. In other words, they believe this occurs upon death.

Do you and the others see and acknowledge this disconnect?

You make reference to the cosmology, and that’s fine. Where I disagree with you is that Paul clearly had an experience that was on par with Isaiah & John. He actually did see a vision of heaven.

Paul was clearly alive when he wrote 2 Corinthinans.

What do you make of Isaiah (ch 6)? Was he dead? Of course not. Yet he went into the presence, the very throne room, of the Almighty God.

Chris L, neither you or Neil have addressed a few key scriptures I mentioned above.

For instance, what do you (Chris L) make of Eccl 9:5?

Neil, what do you make of John 3:13? What of Job 14?

There are others…

What scriptural evidence do you have that supports this?

even if our spirits would exist in Paradise, in the light of God’s light.

I am referring to “the light of God’s light” being the place where we go – almost a “temporary heaven” I assume. Please reference scripture, not cosmology.

348   Neil    
March 3rd, 2010 at 10:00 am

Paul C.,

I will address your Scriptures, but I am frustrated that you have yet to address Jesus’ words to the thrif on the cross. You commented on the theif’s question, but not the answer that Jesus gave him.

The disconnect between Chris and I is a sub-categorical issue… where the person’s soul/spirit goes after death.

Both of use categorically deny your interpretation that the soul/spirit dies.

If the sould/spirit dies upon death, how can Jesus tell a man that he will be with him in paradise that very day? If the soul/spirit dies upon death, how can Paul tell believers that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?

349   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 3rd, 2010 at 10:04 am

I am referring to “the light of God’s light” being the place where we go – almost a “temporary heaven” I assume. Please reference scripture, not cosmology.

You can’t really separate the Scripture from the cosmology. That’s like saying separate the language from the culture. There are all sorts of idioms in speech that only make sense if you know the backstory attached to them from the culture.

If I say something like “I’m dead tired today”, I’m not meaning anything about really feeling like I am actually going to die. But if someone not familiar with the culture surrounding the English language were to read that phrase several hundred years from, they may think I was talking about my impending death.

We have to assume the words that Paul and the Gospel writers wrote were primarily meant to communicate something to their original audience. So if the original audience had a set of underlying assumption concerning the afterlife and the cosmology of the universe, and the writer didn’t explicitly say something like, “this is why your view is wrong”, than it’s a pretty safe assumption that he was working out of the same cosmological assumptions.

350   Neil    
March 3rd, 2010 at 10:09 am

Paul C.,

You are trying to build a theology of the soul/spirit out of passages that do not speak to that issue.

RE Ecclesiastes 9: This is a chapter on the common destiny of all – death. The old joke is there are two things you cannot avoid – one of them is death… and everyone knows it. to push this verse to mean that the spirit/soul dies upon the bodies death is to force upon it something that it is not saying.

Re Psalm 6: At the risk of being redundant – poetry! If we are to push the Psalm beyond the credible meaning of it’s verses we would also teach that our bones can literally cause us pain or that sorrow causes loss of eyesight? Again, this is a poem with a greater point – and the point is definitively not to teach personal eschatology.

351   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 3rd, 2010 at 10:24 am

Chris L, first the second time I point out the inconsistency between yours and others’ (John Hughes, Phil’s & Neil’s) positions.

They clearly believe that to be “absent from the body” is to be in heaven, in the very presence of God. In other words, they believe this occurs upon death.

Paul,

1) At the time of death, our spirits/souls are “absent from the body”, which – if they are conscious, which Jesus’ words to the thief (Samuel’s appearance to the witch of Endor, Paul’s comments about a cloud of witnesses, Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus, Peter & Paul’s stated cosmology, etc.) all suggest – would place them in the “third heaven”, which is Paradise.

2) Isaiah does not state that he was in the “third heaven” or Paradise, and he specifically notes how it was he survived (the seraph & coal to make him “sinless”). So to automatically assume that Isaiah’s experience (or John’s – which is both apocalyptic literature – not to be taken literally, but symbolically – and a “vision” – which does not imply that his body went with him) is analogous to Paul’s is not necessarily a valid assumption.

3) Paul states that he does not know if his body was transported or if it was only his spirit.

4) To be absent from the body, but conscious, would put you in Paradise – the “third heaven” – which would put you in the light of the Lord, but not in the “throne room” (which is not necessarily a place, but a combination of event, presence, and being).

I am referring to “the light of God’s light” being the place where we go – almost a “temporary heaven” I assume. Please reference scripture, not cosmology.

I’ve referred to most of the same verses as you, and then included a lot more. The problem is that you’ve taken a modernist, Western cosmology and built all of your assumptions on top of it. I’m taking the cosmology of the people who wrote Scripture (which does not lay out a nice, clean delineated ‘map’ ruled by systematic logic, but rather paints pictures) and building my assumptions on top of how these people believed the universe worked.

Let’s look at your last gasps:

For instance, what do you (Chris L) make of Eccl 9:5?

First, as a general comment, I will note that Ecclesiastes fits within the realm of “wisdom literature”, which means that its purpose is to impart situational knowledge and truth, not historical or cosmological truth.

If we’re going to look at 9:5, we must also look at the second part of this short bit of poetic script within the chapter:

Their [the dead's] love, their hate, and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.

1) If taken literally, as universal (rather than situational) truth, then this would suggest that there is no resurrection – or that Ecclesiastes is at odds with Revelation and other NT texts.

2) Most translations indent verses 5&6, as they are part of a poetic doublet – and are likely a quotation from contemporary literature to underscore a point, and not a direct invention of the author (much like Paul’s quotations from early Christian hymns).

3) The point Solomon is trying to convey is that the dead are not concerned with the events of the land of the living, and it also addresses what was then a common practice of worshiping deceased relatives (leaving food & drink at their graves, etc.).

352   Neil    
March 3rd, 2010 at 10:27 am

RE John 3:

By the time we get to v.13 Jesus us addressing Nicodemus’ disbelief/confusion. To emphasize his authority over anyone else’s, jesus makes the statement about no one going to, or coming from, heaven.

Again, the context sets the meaning and lintis how far this can be pushed. Jesus is not teaching about soul/spirit sleep, in v. 13 he is illusrtating suthority.

No teacher in Israel had ever been to, or come back from, heaven in the way Jesus had – therefore, none were as authoritative on the matter of heaven as he. He is talking about present reality, not future destination or timing.

John 3:13 is a verse addressing comparative authority, not personal eschatology.

353   Neil    
March 3rd, 2010 at 10:32 am

RE 351, point 4):

4) To be absent from the body, but conscious, would put you in Paradise – the “third heaven” – which would put you in the light of the Lord, but not in the “throne room” (which is not necessarily a place, but a combination of event, presence, and being).

I can live with that. Therefore, no conflict between Chris L., and I… just differing levels of detail.

354   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 3rd, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Neil – I figured you would give that kind of answer re John 3:13. The reason I bring this up is because it is perfectly clear. No man actually means no man.

We see in Acts 2 where Peter refers to David not having ascended into the heaven. He is both “dead and buried” awaiting the resurrection.

Job says the same thing. Daniel is not ascended (see Dan 12). They are all awaiting the resurrection.

Jesus was speaking clearly in John 3:13, but you try to make it situational to fit with your belief. Yet, you are not quite so generous when asking someone to explain a scripture you are trying to build on. I wonder if you would actually acknowledge this…

In terms of Eccl 9, same thing.

Re #353, do you now agree with Chris L that no one who has died is actually in the presence of the Lord (despite your constant references to 2 Cor 5)? Am I now understanding you correctly.

Isaiah does not state that he was in the “third heaven” or Paradise, and he specifically notes how it was he survived (the seraph & coal to make him “sinless”).

Plainly, Isaiah was in the very presence – in the throne room – of God. John also had a clear vision of this in Rev 4.

They don’t see the need to parse “third heaven” from the throne room of heaven. Clearly, they were in God’s presence – not the presence of spirits, angels and so forth.

Likewise, an honest reading of 2 Cor 12 will lead us to see that Paul too (whether in the body or spirit) also received an equal vision, which blew him away. This wasn’t a view “of the light of heaven” – it was heaven. It might have been even more revealing than John & Isaiah’s accounts, leading him to say:

He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

To be absent from the body, but conscious, would put you in Paradise – the “third heaven” – which would put you in the light of the Lord, but not in the “throne room” (which is not necessarily a place, but a combination of event, presence, and being).

I expect you will disagree with me but this is one of the more murky comments on this thread.

The point Solomon is trying to convey is that the dead are not concerned with the events of the land of the living

Read the context. It’s not simply they are “unconcerned” – they have zero knowledge because they are dead.

Death is nothing more than the absence of life. Resurrection is nothing more than bringing back to life that which is dead and giving it (the soul) a new body.

355   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 3rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Paul,
I’m still waiting for your answer to my question. What does Paul mean when he says, “we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord”.

Also how do you explain the term, “the first resurrection” in Revelation 20? It seems pretty clear in that chapter that during the Millenial reign (which many commentators would say we are in now) the Christian dead are reigning with Christ now in heaven. Their “coming to life” corresponds with their new life in Christ. Also, this squares with the fact that Paul says are citizenship is in heaven.

The second resurrection will be the actual physical resurrection of all people to face judgment.

356   Neil    
March 3rd, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Paul C.,

Your confusion of the physical death of the body with spirit/soul death has become tiresome. I will grant you points for consistency though – you consistently take verses that reference the end of physical life on this planet and insert meaning into them that are vacuous and void.

And then you accuse me of not recognizing the clear teaching of Jesus.

In NONE of the passages you have quoted to this point is the topic at hand what you say it is.

In NONE of the passages you have quoted to this point is the topic the death of the spirit/soul.

You can only come to that conclusion by ignoring the context in which they all lie.

In other words, for example, you cannot just take one sentence of Jesus, rip it out of context (as if he and Nicodemus were not in the midst of a contextual conversation) and demand it means something else… something completely irrelevant to the original context… something which would make no sense in the conversation the two men were having… something absolutely foreign to the exchange between the two.

Jesus was making a point to Nicodemus, and is was NOT about the death of the soul/spirit or whether or not it migrates anywhere after death.

And one again, you have not responded to either Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross (not the question to, but the answer of Jesus) or Paul’s clear clear statement that being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

357   Neil    
March 3rd, 2010 at 2:44 pm
The point Solomon is trying to convey is that the dead are not concerned with the events of the land of the living

Read the context. It’s not simply they are “unconcerned” – they have zero knowledge because they are dead.

And of course, the context knows nothing of this death of the soul of which you speak.

358   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 3rd, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Paul – You have been answered incisively by Chris L. and others so your continuing to present your argument is disingenuous, at best.

Oh, sorry. Wrong thread. :cool:

359   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 3rd, 2010 at 3:19 pm

The reason I bring this up is because it is perfectly clear. No man actually means no man.

We see in Acts 2 where Peter refers to David not having ascended into the heaven. He is both “dead and buried” awaiting the resurrection.

Paul,

Part of your problem is that you are determining “presence” as being met simply by “seeing”, whereas one is not actually present (especially in a Near East culture) unless one is physically there. [I even see this today when I meet with international team members - my European (Western) and West Coast colleagues consider themselves to be "present" in a meeting if they are dialed into a video-conference, but my Middle-Eastern and Asian colleagues "listened in" or "communicated" with the team, but do not consider themselves to have been "present" unless physically so.]

This has been true for the millenia of the Eastern cultures, whose language and cultural constructs are concrete and visible, whereas the Western ones are conceptual and abstract. This is (again/still) why the cosmology and culture are important in proper exegesis (and avoidance of eisegesis).

So, nobody has “ascended” until their spirits and resurrected bodies are together and in the presence of the Lord.

Now, with the figures under discussion:

1) Isaiah: It says he saw the throne, but does not say that he was in physical interaction with God, and if Jesus’ statement in John 3:13 (which you point to) is to be taken literally (which it might not be), then Isaiah was not physically in God’s presence.

2) John specifically identifies a vision, and does not specifically identify that he was present in body and spirit. Additionally, the obvious symbology and the literary form (apocalyptic literature) suggest that it was a vision and not a physical transportation).

3) Paul claims ignorance as to whether or not his body was transported (and his written confusion on the point is illustrated by his identifying the “third heaven”, which is the abode of spirits, not flesh).

4) Jesus’ comments to Mary do not preclude Jesus’ spirit from being in Paradise (the “third heaven”), as he was not physically there (his body was in the ground), even if his spirit was. We also have the comments about Jesus’ witnessing to the spirits in Tartarus (”prison”) after his death and before his resurrection (I Peter 3) – and Peter clearly states that one’s spirit may be alive while his body is dead – and says nothing of “soul sleep”.

Paul (to Neil): do you now agree with Chris L that no one who has died is actually in the presence of the Lord

See above on physical resurrection vs. spiritual presence. I would say the difference between my view and Neil’s is semantics, because I do not believe that Neil’s view is that one’s body is present with the Lord after death, prior to the resurrection.

Plainly, Isaiah was in the very presence – in the throne room – of God.

See above – Also, by your own logic, John 3:13 is not true if Isaiah was physically present with the Lord. Rather, Isaiah only states that he SAW the Lord, but does not indicate a phycial presence of body and spirit.

They don’t see the need to parse “third heaven” from the throne room of heaven. Clearly, they were in God’s presence – not the presence of spirits, angels and so forth.

The only being Isaiah DIRECTLY interacts with is the seraph. You cannot specifically say that Paul’s experience is the same as Isaiah’s experience is the same as John’s experience – and so to say that “third heaven” = “heaven” = “Paradise” = “God’s presence” is fallacious – it is a modernist inferrence you’ve drawn, paying no heed to the culture or context of what is written in Scripture.

Likewise, an honest reading of 2 Cor 12 will lead us to see that Paul too (whether in the body or spirit) also received an equal vision, which blew him away. This wasn’t a view “of the light of heaven” – it was heaven.

An “honest” reading? Whatever.

The “third heaven” is not “heaven” – one is on this side of the veil, and the other is on the other side of the veil. You cannot just, by fiat, declare both are one in the same via an inferrence on what Paul heard in his vision. Worse yet, to base one’s view of eschatology on such gossamer-thin eisegesis seems rather silly.

Read the context. It’s not simply they are “unconcerned” – they have zero knowledge because they are dead.

1) This does not negate the other salient points (i.e. the borrowed, poetic verse inserted by Solomon)

2) Paul indicates that, as a “cloud of witnesses”, even though they may not be concerned with the events of the world, they are aware of the souls within the world.

3) Isaiah indicates this, as well – separating the spirit from the body, and indicating the spirits’ consciousness (see Isaiah 14:9)

Death is nothing more than the absence of life. Resurrection is nothing more than bringing back to life that which is dead and giving it (the soul) a new body.

Death is the absence of life from the body. Resurrection is the reuniting the spirit with new bodies. Nothing about this suggests that the spirit is “asleep” or “dead” without the body.

Also, per Neil’s point, it is rather ironic that you’re to the point where you’re trying to apply verses with (at best) tangential references to the topic (of the order of the spiritual realm) upon which to base your eschatology, while completely ignoring one of the most clear comments – directly from Jesus – on the topic:

1) I am telling you the truth – For some odd reason, the guy who taught us to let our “yes be yes” and our “no be no”, uses “oath-like” language to preface what he is about to say (underlining that he is being clear and literal).

2) today – Not some time in the distant future, not “in your perception”, not “in the last day” (if he is referring to the resurrection) – TODAY.

3) I will be with you in Paradise – My spirit will be with your spirit in the realm of the spirits.

So, let me get this straight: I can either believe a statement directly from Jesus that he has prefaced as being a clear, literal teaching – OR – I can believe something (”sould sleep”) never mentioned in Scripture, based on 19th-century theology (7th Day Adventism & JW’s), which, if (and only if) you view pieces and parts of Scriptures from an acontextual, modernist angle, can be supported.

I think I’ll choose the former.

360   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 3rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm

To reword my opening statement:

Part of your problem Part of the problem is that when we talk about ‘presence’…

361   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 3rd, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Chris L, I know you continue to point to the thief on the cross, and that’s wonderful, but I would ask you what do you make of the other accounts (one being firsthand) from Matthew, as well as Mark:

Matthew 27:44
In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Mark 15:32
Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Also, John (who was at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother) doesn’t say much other than that He was hung between 2 thieves.

Just a curiosity here.

Chris L, another question. Are there any references to the “holding pattern” of Paradise you mention, found in the OT? If so, where?

You mention Is 14:9 which speaks of the resurrection at the consummation of the Kingdom (end of this age).

And notice, they are not coming down (ie: from third heaven/paradise or somewhere “out there”) but rather from the “grave below”. They are dead and are being resurrected to stand before the King of kings.

#356: Neil, it seems you are confused to some degree. Re John 3:13, I think it quite clear.

Hopping-and-skipping around something quite clear is not right. Also, consider that David is BOTH “dead and buried” and “has not ascended into heaven”. What of that?

Or of ALL the OT references speaking of death (or “slept with their fathers”).

Here’s a statement of fact from the OT:

Job 14:
But man dies and is laid low;
he breathes his last and is no more…
so man lies down and does not rise;
till the heavens are no more, men will not awake
or be roused from their sleep
.

Chris L says:

So, nobody has “ascended” until their spirits and resurrected bodies are together and in the presence of the Lord.

Right – they are “both dead and buried” as per King David. That’s it… Until:

But God will redeem my life (soul) from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.

Chris L says:

The “third heaven” is not “heaven”

Just doing a few searches here and the issue of THIRD HEAVEN is not as concrete as you lead us to believe. For example, from Matthew Henry (and there are others):

The first heaven would be the sky in which birds fly. The second heaven would include outer space where the stars and the planets dwell. The third heaven is where God dwells.

Yes, I know… here comes to complete destruction of Mr. Henry (who can no longer defend himself).

Chris L: Jesus’ comments to Mary do not preclude Jesus’ spirit from being in Paradise (the “third heaven”), as he was not physically there (his body was in the ground), even if his spirit was.

But what does Jesus say (and Stephen likewise):

“Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

Chris L:
Paul indicates that, as a “cloud of witnesses”, even though they may not be concerned with the events of the world, they are aware of the souls within the world.

A cloud of witnesses simply means that the author of Hebrews was encouraging the readers that, rest assured, others just like them have gone before as witnesses of God’s grace, though they have YET to receive life from the grave.

“Abel, being dead, yet speaks”

He is a witness nevertheless. We are surrounded with so many examples, therefore take heart. That’s the message. Not that we have a cheerleading section in heaven rooting us on.

362   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 4th, 2010 at 12:40 am

Sorry, please disregard my comment re Is 14:9. I misread the reference.

363   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 4th, 2010 at 2:53 am

Chris L, I know you continue to point to the thief on the cross, and that’s wonderful, but I would ask you what do you make of the other accounts (one being firsthand) from Matthew, as well as Mark:

Matthew 27:44
In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Mark 15:32
Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Also, John (who was at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother) doesn’t say much other than that He was hung between 2 thieves.

Please tell me that I’m reading your argument wrong in that it seems to be suggesting that what is recorded in Luke (regarding the discussion between Jesus and the thief next to him) is mistaken! Is the whole structure you’ve created around a doctrine of “soul sleep” really worth ditching prima scriptura?

Let’s see:

1) Matthew was not an eyewitness to the Crucifixion – John was the only disciple present.
2) Mark was not an eyewitness to the Crucifixion – it is generally accepted that he recorded Peter’s gospel account.
3) John’s gospel, which is different in structure than the synoptics, had as its primary purpose to record the theological truths of Jesus’ ministry, and his superiority over the gods of Asia Minor (which becomes evident by the miracles he chooses to emphasize).
4) Luke alone, among the gospel writers, seeks primarily to make a historical record of Jesus’ ministry (as part of Paul’s defense, continued in Acts), through the use of multiple eyewitnesses. It is generally accepted that one of his primary sources was Mary – who was an eyewitness to the crucifixion. I’d trust her recollection of what Jesus said on the cross.

I’m still in a bit of disbelief that you cannot/will not address Jesus’ plain statement to the thief on the cross, and that the route you seem to be most comfortable with suggests that Luke’s account was mistaken. If that’s the case, what other writings in the Bible are mistaken?

Chris L, another question. Are there any references to the “holding pattern” of Paradise you mention, found in the OT? If so, where?

As we’ve discussed before, the OT is not all that concerned with the particulars of the afterlife, nor does it emphasize this as the goal of following God. This is not to say that it isn’t mentioned – just that it is not an overriding emphasis for the Hebrew people until after the persecutions they experienced under the Greeks in the intertestemental period. Like Isaiah 14:9, the spirits are seen as something apart and differentiated from the body.

For example, Ecclesiastes 12:7: “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

Hopping-and-skipping around something quite clear is not right. Also, consider that David is BOTH “dead and buried” and “has not ascended into heaven”. What of that?

Well, to quote Jesus: “But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.’”

Here, it seems you are again conflating the existence of spirits present in Paradise with the physical resurrection – ascension requires the existence of a body.

Yes, I know… here comes to complete destruction of Mr. Henry (who can no longer defend himself).

Since Mr. Henry had been dead for 250+ years when the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi codices, and a multitude of other first-century documents (which give detail to the context of the cultural view of Hebrew cosmology) were discovered, I would not hold it against him that he was engaged in pure conjecture as to Hebraic cosmology, other than to say that he was simply guessing.

Chris L: Jesus’ comments to Mary do not preclude Jesus’ spirit from being in Paradise (the “third heaven”), as he was not physically there (his body was in the ground), even if his spirit was.

But what does Jesus say (and Stephen likewise):

“Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

I’m not sure why you’re hanging so much on Jesus’ comment to Mary but completely ignoring his comments to the thief on the cross. But let us examine:

1) Jesus says to Mary: “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “

2) Jesus (as you note) said just before he died “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. (Noting that this supports my position, and not yours, which makes it odd that you would cite this as evidence for “soul sleep”, since Jesus’ words demonstrate the spirit going to the Father as the body dies.

3) So – with both of Jesus’ statements, if we assume it is not contradictory that his spirit is in the hands of the Father, but he has not returned to the Father yet, then the presence of both body and spirit must be required for “ascension” (as demonstrated in Jesus’ ascension several weeks later).

4) In context (and taking the Greek verb into account), Jesus’ instructions to Mary are to let go of him (not because he could not be touched, as it is clear from the other gospel accounts that his resurrected body could be touched), which would suggest that she was overdoing it, as if to prevent him from escaping her.

As for other examples of living spirits, not “sleeping souls”, we have the spirit of Samuel with Saul and the Witch of Endor, and (since you want to take Rev. literally) the souls under the altar in Revelation, among a number of other examples.

364   Neil    
March 4th, 2010 at 10:15 am

Hopping-and-skipping around something quite clear is not right.

I agree! And if were so darned clear ya think the church would have caught on a long time ago…

Look Paul C., I have NOT hopped and skipped around anything. What started out as a nice lively debate has become insulting due to YOUR continued accusations, as well as YOUR refusal to address our rebuttals.

You ignore the context of a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus so you can eisegete it… so you can insert meanings foreign to the text.

Insisting on letting the text and context speak for itself is not hopping and dancing.

Yet, while accusing me of the same you continue to actually dance and hop yourself. When confronted with clear words of Jesus on the cross you dodge them my quoting the questioner (the thief) and ignoring the answerer (Jesus). When this is pointed out you dodge again by pointing out variations in other accounts – calling it “curious.”

What is curious is your complete lack of addressing the clear words of Jesus to the thief as recorded by Luke. By appealing to John’s, and Matthew’s, and Mark’s account – and their lack of quoting Jesus – you seem to be implying that Luke got it wrong. How many Gospel have to quote Jesus for it to be worthy of validation?

Paul C., at this point I see no reason to continue this exercise in futility. If you wish to discuss the issue further, and are willing to address the questions back and forth – not jut pile on more and more misinterpretations whilst ignoring the rebuttals – I am willing.

365   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
March 4th, 2010 at 10:26 am

Heck with soul sleep, I’d like to get some real sleep. I need the sleep now, not later. :-)

Hey, I love you guys. Be well and blessed today.

Remember, Jesus Rules!

366   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 4th, 2010 at 10:59 am

By appealing to John’s, and Matthew’s, and Mark’s account – and their lack of quoting Jesus – you seem to be implying that Luke got it wrong.

See, here’s what I mean. They didn’t just omit to quote Jesus in this instance (which would have been fine). They actually have opposing accounts, completely contrary.

I brought this up to see what Chris L would say and he seemed to get quite perturbed (as are you). If it was a simple omission, no problem. But an opposing account is something else.

I could just as easily say, “you seem to be implying that Matthew (an apostle) and Mark got it wrong.”

Neil, I don’t think I’ve insulted you and this was not my intention. If I have, please forgive me.

367   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 4th, 2010 at 11:11 am

Paul,
The accounts of the robbers on the others crosses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke aren’t really contradictory at all. In fact, they are all quite similar. If you are saying that because Matthew says the robbers insulted Jesus, and Luke gives us the account of the one thief interacting with Christ, then I’d say that misses the point. The accounts can easily be harmonized. It’s like with any historical account – eyewitnesses will differ slightly on the details. What is striking to me is the similarity between the accounts more than the differences.

The fact is that soul sleep is a relatively new development in Christian thought. There were some Anabaptists who adhered to it, but historically, the Church has always believed the spirit lives on after death and will be reunited with the body at the physical resurrection of the dead. And like I said earlier, I have to believe tha those closer to the original authors and culture of Scripture have a better handle on the intended meaning of the narrative rather than readers 2000 years down the road unless there is compelling evidence to believe otherwise.

368   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 4th, 2010 at 11:17 am

Re the thief on the cross, I don’t believe Jesus lied at all, of course. The thief makes a request (”Remember me when you come into your kingdom”).

Jesus replies in Aramaic, which has been transposed to Greek, which we now have in English. You can only go back to Greek of course.

Chris L’s entire argument is premised on a very vague definition of 3rd Heaven where just as many people believe it is the very presence of God as it is the “realm of spirits”.

I brought up Matthew Henry just as an example, but whereas Chris L tries to make the case that it is common knowledge, I am saying not so. It is highly disputed.

But I do believe Paul makes clear that he was:

But I do know that I was caught up into paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be told.

That experience is something worth boasting about

No one, except a person with a case to prove, would think he was simply in the “realm of the spirits”. That’s ridiculous, and in my view, a little disingenuous. His experience was no different than Isaiah or John’s.

Phil: The fact is that soul sleep is a relatively new development in Christian thought.

I would also state, in closing, that 99% of Christians believe that at death, we are automatically in the presence of God in heaven forevermore. Or a burning place called hell if we weren’t believers.

This is incorrect. The Doctrine of Hell is false, yet is held by the majority, for example.

Guys, I appreciate the interaction. May God bless you and give you a great day!

369   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 4th, 2010 at 11:28 am

I would also state, in closing, that 99% of Christians believe that at death, we are automatically in the presence of God in heaven forevermore. Or a burning place called hell if we weren’t believers.

This is incorrect. The Doctrine of Hell is false, yet is held by the majority, for example.

Well, I would say we’re probably coming from the same type of motivation. I do believe that much of the escapist language people use when speaking of heaven is simply wrong. I guess I just think that you are over-correcting a bit.

I’ve probably made too big a deal out of it already, and I don’t mean for it to become something that turns into a huge dividing point. So I wish you a blessed day as well!

370   Neil    
March 4th, 2010 at 11:50 am

Paul C.,

I do not share your belief that the accounts by the evangelists are in opposition and completely contradictory.

This would be the case if one had an account the other denied. As it is, Luke quote a conversation the others omit.

The fact that one of the historical accounts includes it is good enough for me.

371   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 4th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

See, here’s what I mean. They didn’t just omit to quote Jesus in this instance (which would have been fine). They actually have opposing accounts, completely contrary.

Actually, Paul, they are not in opposition historically, either. The picture we get of three crosses on a hill, with Jesus in the middle, is likely quite inaccurate.

Rather, there were always crucifixions going on, with many victims living for days in agony on crosses. By Roman law, crucifixions had to be done at eye level on a major street outside the gates of a city, preferably in a place that would be offensive to the populace. In the case of Jerusalem, this could have been in one of two locations, both at the base of a hill (not on top), both of which were in places of stoning (which were “cursed”, as a result). Additionally, from contemporary historians, we know there were a huge volume of people crucified in Jerusalem during this period, with most being zealots/terrorists (which the “thieves” most likely were). With Jesus’ crucifixion, it is quite likely there were far more than just two “robbers” crucified along that road with him (though only two play prominent roles).

372   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 4th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

With Jesus’ crucifixion, it is quite likely there were far more than just two “robbers” crucified along that road with him (though only two play prominent roles).

Comment 371 is good info, but complete speculation. For example, the Bible says:

They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.

There are other scenarios in the gospels where accounts differ. For example, in one account there are 2 men among the tombs, in another count just one. These don’t affect me one way or the other, but they are there.

In the case of the crucifixion, if the other authors simply omitted any interaction that would be fine. But they actually say the opposite in this case. Just an observation.

373   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 4th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

The thief makes a request (”Remember me when you come into your kingdom”).

Jesus replies in Aramaic, which has been transposed to Greek, which we now have in English. You can only go back to Greek of course.

Actually, the original text includes the Hebrew of the first part intact (”amen” – it is true – which is in the available texts, rather than a Greek translation), and we don’t know that the remainder of the original statement was not in Greek, itself, since it was said in Jerusalem in a common (non-teaching/debating) setting.

Chris L’s entire argument is premised on a very vague definition of 3rd Heaven where just as many people believe it is the very presence of God as it is the “realm of spirits”.

No – it is not my entire argument. It is one refutation (not all) of your specific argument (which, itself, is based upon a great deal of acontextual conjecture) – where you (1) define “paradise” as equal to “heaven” as equal to “in God’s throne room” w/o any solid ground other than placing a whole lot of assumptions about a side-comment made by Paul; to require that (2) Jesus’ side-comment to Mary about “going to the Father” ruling out Jesus’ spirit being in Paradise (from #1); to mean that (3) Jesus’ soul was dead while his body was in the grave; and therefore (4) all of our souls are “dead” (or asleep) until the final resurrection.

There’s a whole lot of unsupported assuming going on in that thread of reasoning. My pointing out that your cosmology is not based upon the cosmology of the Ancient Near East is only a refutation of (1). Jesus’ comment to the thief on the cross next to him would invalidate #’s 2 and 3. Other Scriptures and observations Neil, Phil and I have made refute one or more other points.

No one, except a person with a case to prove, would think he was simply in the “realm of the spirits”. That’s ridiculous, and in my view, a little disingenuous. His experience was no different than Isaiah or John’s.

This is complete conjecture. We do not know the physics or “laws” which govern such a realm, how it is experienced, what one “sees”, etc., etc. Clearly, it is quite difficult to describe. In no case do we know if the author (John, Isaiah or Paul) was physically present in “paradise” or the vision they were given. In John’s case, the changes in scene, symbology, etc. would suggest that he was not actually transported anywhere, but was completely given a conscious vision.

374   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 4th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.

Actually, from the Greek, it would be “and together/next to him they are impaling two robbers one on his right and one on his left” – which is not an identification of an all-inclusive number, but an indication of immediate proximity. So, the point that Scripture does not limit the number of additional victims of crucifixion (it only sets the proximity and minimum number) is simply to refute your calling Luke’s account into question because other writers identify more than one “robber” insulting Jesus. So again, it seems that the key your defense of “soul sleep” rests on 1) the unreliability of Luke’s account (Mary’s recollection) of the crucifixion; and 2) a great deal of extrapolation of a single side-comment of Paul.

Not exactly solid scholarship.

To this point, you’ve pretty much danced the whole way around what Jesus actually said to the robber, other than to call 1) Luke’s account into question; 2) the translation into question; and 3) the thief’s question into question.

375   Neil    
March 4th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

In the case of the crucifixion, if the other authors simply omitted any interaction that would be fine. But they actually say the opposite in this case. Just an observation.

Again, they do not say the opposite. One speaks of two thieves say this… and one speaks of two thieves say that… but any apparent contradiction can be reconciled.

But this is not the point and, worse, it is but a distraction.

The point is – Jesus clearly promised the one thief that that very day the thief would be with him in some kind of after-death paradise.

This, along with comment from Paul and others leads to this fundamental conclusion: After death some portion of the person, call it a soul or spirit or whatever, continues to exists in a conscience state.

376   Paul C    http://www.thepath.cc
March 4th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

we don’t know that the remainder of the original statement was not in Greek, itself, since it was said in Jerusalem in a common (non-teaching/debating) setting.

Except that this is recorded:

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It’s comments like this that really make me wonder…

Actually, from the Greek, it would be “and together/next to him they are impaling two robbers one on his right and one on his left” – which is not an identification of an all-inclusive number, but an indication of immediate proximity.

Is there a course out there “How to make the Bible say Anything You Want?”

Just as in 3rd heaven, which is largely debated with several scholars pointing to the fact it is indeed heaven, you can always find supporting evidence from somewhere to make a point.

To this point, you’ve pretty much danced the whole way around what Jesus actually said to the robber, other than to call 1) Luke’s account into question; 2) the translation into question; and 3) the thief’s question into question.

Not at all. In the case of the thief, I look at the entirety of scripture, both OT and NT to try and get my view.

Neil and others actually believe he is up there in heaven, the presence of God right now. The truth is that he is in the grave, awaiting the resurrection.

Paradise, as you’ve admitted, was newly introduced in-and-around the time of Christ. Previous to that it was a non-issue. The grave was the residence of all that died, good and bad.

I only pointed to other conflicting accounts (note: not just omitting accounts) which have been danced around.

So again, it seems that the key your defense of “soul sleep” rests on 1) the unreliability of Luke’s account (Mary’s recollection) of the crucifixion; and 2) a great deal of extrapolation of a single side-comment of Paul.

No, if you look through the thread, I’ve quoted from books like Job for example (Job 14), but this was disregarded. I’ve pointed to John 3:13 to show that no man (incl. David or Samuel or anyone else) has ascended to heaven. Neil said I was taking “no man” out of context. Yet 3 verses down in :16, an offer is made to “whosoever”. I wonder if this is taken with a grain of salt also?

My argument is that when we die, we do not go to heaven.

Even in the case of Samuel, Saul requests that he be brought “up”. Not “down from 3rd heaven”.

Samuel confirms:

Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

or Daniel:

“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

I could go on and on, but it would be dismissed.

From this thread I can see how the RCC has come up with Purgatory – a temporary heaven of sorts (though they’ve taken it to the Nth degree).

377   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 4th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Neil and others actually believe he is up there in heaven, the presence of God right now. The truth is that he is in the grave, awaiting the resurrection.

See, you’re talking like these are two mutually exclusive things. I believe the thief’s spirit is in heaven, or paradise, in some way, but he is still awaiting resurrection. The state he is in now is a temporary state. He will be reunited with a physical body at the resurrection.

From this thread I can see how the RCC has come up with Purgatory – a temporary heaven of sorts (though they’ve taken it to the Nth degree).

Well, yes, it does sort of follow that if man’s spirit lives on after physical death, that those who didn’t know God would go somewhere else. Revelation 20 describes all men participating in the resurrection to face judgment.

378   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 4th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

“Is there a course out there “How to make the Bible say Anything You Want?”

Yes. And to some extent we’ve all taken it.

379   Neil    
March 4th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I have seen some, based on the Greek, argue that the best understanding would be five being crucified – Jesus in the center with two on either side… which would be consistent with Chris L.’s literalism.

380   Neil    
March 4th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I could go on and on, but it would be dismissed.

probably a false prophecy, based on historical porecedent… since we have yet to “dismiss” anything.

Refute, correct, clarify, challenge – yes, yes, yes, and yes… dismiss (as in just ignore) – not to this point no.

381   Neil    
March 4th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Re dismissing – I guess I am tempted when you continually site references of physical death and assume they MUST include spirit/soul death in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and no mention of spirit/soul death in the relative contexts.

382   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 4th, 2010 at 5:15 pm
we don’t know that the remainder of the original statement was not in Greek, itself, since it was said in Jerusalem in a common (non-teaching/debating) setting.

Except that this is recorded:

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Which is a direct quotation of Psalm 22:1 (and a religious quote – actually a remez referencing the whole of Ps 22 – rather than common conversation). See Bivin & Blizzard.

In the case of the Luke 23:43, “amen” (Hebrew) is actually in all of the oldest manuscripts, not a Greek translation of “amen”. This would indicate that it is a direct quote, rather than a translation. Had it been in Aramaic, it would be m’amon – and it would make no sense for Luke (whose original language was Greek) to translate one word to Hebrew and the others to Greek in this phrase.

Is there a course out there “How to make the Bible say Anything You Want?”

If not, I’ll recommend you to teach the advanced course.

Paradise, as you’ve admitted, was newly introduced in-and-around the time of Christ. Previous to that it was a non-issue. The grave was the residence of all that died, good and bad.

If we want to get into what was introduced in-and-around the time of Christ, we’d have to include much of angelology, “heaven”, “hell”, and pretty much everything about the afterlife. In the OT, the primary view of “eternal life” was caught up in one’s legacy, which was specifically tied to 1) land; and 2) children. Even so, the view of the body being in the grave and one’s identity tied to the body (rather than the spirit) is prevalent in all Near East Cultures from the Bronze Age (see Egypt for the most extreme example). Even so, as I pointed out, the view that the spirit and body can exist apart after death is not completely foreign to the OT:

Of death, Solomon writes: the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

So, either we have a case of progressive revelation (dealing with the afterlife) or a case of Jesus & his Apostles simply using the contemporary constructs (which were more concretely outlined in Enoch and other apocryphal sources) for something possibly completely different. You seem to take the latter view, while I take the former.

I only pointed to other conflicting accounts (note: not just omitting accounts) which have been danced around.

No dancing at all, nor any truly “conflicting” accounts. The only two truly “first hand” accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion can be from Mary and John. John says nothing of the thieves, and Mary (through Luke) relayed a specific conversation between Jesus and one of the thieves. She would have been as close to Jesus as you and I would be in a normal conversation, and Jesus would have been within 3-5 feet of those beside him, so it’s highly unlikely she would have misheard. So, either Jesus really did answer the thief as Luke recorded (which you still avoid), or we’ve got to treat Luke as the most allegorical account (which would be the opposite of the historical view that Luke is a historian and Matthew the allegorist (as evident in Matt 1)).

Matthew and Mark, on the other hand, both use the Ps 22:1 quote and go on to document the parallels (to make the connection obvious) including the insults (see Ps 22:7) and other key comparators. They are not just recording a historical truth, but also the religious truth involved in Jesus’ crucifixion. And it is here they deviate from the synoptic comparison in Luke (which gives evidence to Luke having a more specific eyewitness source than “Q” or the oral gospel, depending on your synoptic view).

I’ve pointed to John 3:13 to show that no man (incl. David or Samuel or anyone else) has ascended to heaven.

…which would invalidate your view of Isaiah as having gone to heaven in Is 6.

Your problem is that all of your supporting Scriptures are being ripped from their context, and the support you’re claiming comes from tangential items to the passages involved. In Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (John 3), you’re ignoring that one is not located “in heaven” unless he is present there in both body and spirit. That is a far simpler and more contextually logical conclusion that the convoluted mess you’ve created around “soul sleep”.

My argument is that when we die, we do not go to heaven.

I would agree, and I believe at least Phil (if not Neil) would agree, as well, because a) “heaven” is not a “place” to which we will ever “go” (but rather the “kingdom of heaven” will be complete in the end, and we will be a part of it in a “new earth”); and b) “paradise” is not “heaven”.