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Monday, March 31, 2008

The Limitations of Scientific Truth


The Limitations of Scientific Truth by Nigel Brush is a great read. He is very thoughtful, humble, honest, and stimulating all at the sametime. This is a great book to share with others
Amazon.com
JNORM888
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Dr. Jeannie Constantinou's podcast "search the scriptures".



The Jewish Trial - 1


http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/stt07_jewishtrial1_pc.mp3





JNORM888
Thursday, March 27, 2008

The number of his name "888"

In Greek, the name of Jesus is "ΙΗΕΟΥΕ"

Ι(ιοτα, iota) = 10

H(eta) = 8

E(sigma) = 200

O(omicron) = 70

Y(upsilon) = 400

E(sigma) = 200


When one adds the Number of "IHEOYE" it equals to: 888 (Eight Hundred EightyEight)




And now you know why I have triple 8's after my name.





JNORM888
Monday, March 24, 2008

The Lord's Prayer in Arabic

Abana Alathe Fe el-samawat

Lea takades esmok

Lea tee mala- kootok

Letakon masheatooka

Kma fee el sama

Kathalic ala el-aard

Kab-zana el gwhare atena elywm

Watric lena ma aleyna

Kma natric nahnoo lemen aleehe

Wla tedke na fe tagreba

Laken nagena men elshreer


AMEN





JNORM888

Theological Issues -Lutherian vs Reformed

I don't know if all of this is true, but I thought it was interesting anyway.

This was from the book "Church History" Zondervan Chronological & Background Charts:
by Robert C. Walton page 71



ISSUE: Regulative Principle


The Lutherian Position is:

"Whatever is not forbidden in Scripture is permissible"


The Reformed Position is:

"Whatever is not commanded in Scripture is forbidden"




ISSUE: Repentance

The Lutherian view is:

"Leads to faith"


The Reformed Position is:

"Flows from Faith"






JNORM888

Was Jonathan Edwards a Racist?

I don't know. It's possible. I don't have the time to read more of his works. So I will have to depend on those that know his bio.

If he believed in the Curse of Ham heresy then yes......but like I said. I really don't know.


I only brought this up because someone was comparing giving an award to Farakan with praising Johnathon Edwards.

There is a division in the black protestant and maybe nonprotestant community when it comes to Johnathon Edwards. Many don't like the fact that he was a slave owner and that he refused to set his slaves free before he died. They were traded, sold, or givin to other family members when he died. Alot of us don't even know how he treated his slaves so depending on how he treated his slaves would also have an effect on how we feel about him. But the African Amercians who are Calvinists keep praising this man and the otherside don't understand why it's wrong to give Farakan an award for his civic humaniterian activities in the Chicago Urban area......yet it's right to praise a professed christian who owned slaves.





And so both sides fight back and forth about this issue.




JNORM888

My break from HCR is officially over

I'm back on the HolyCultureRadio Forums.

It's different. The Theology Forums are gone, but alot of the same people are there.

Alot of the recent forums have been about Barack Obama and his former Pastor.....the Reverend Write.


DJ Wade-O is leaving HolyCultureRadio. His podcast mixshow will no longer be on HCR. He said it was time for him to move on.

His latest show is


http://www.switchpod.com/users/wade-o/ftp/wadeoradioepisode60.mp3

and from his words it's about:

http://www.holycultureradio.com/forum/showthread.php?p=332390&posted=1#post332390

Quote:
"Tune in this week as we sit down with Grammy-Award winning Producer Rockwilder and former G-Unit member Whuteva. After successful careers in the secular music industry, both are now using their gifts and talents for the Lord. Listen in as we discuss their thoughts on unity in Christian Hip Hop, what they are currently working on, reaching the lost, the presidential race and everything else you can think off. This is definitely an episode you do not want to miss!!! Miss one show, and you miss a whole lot!"


Holycultureradio is bent towards Calvinism. Alot of people don't know this, but alot of the hardcore christianrap is dominated by Reformed & Calvinistic Artists. It's been this way for some years now.

Most christian rappers are not Calvinists, but most of the doctrinal heavy christian rap is dominated by Calvinists.




JNORM888
Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Trials and Crucifixion Part 2 a & b





This is Trails & Crucifixion Part 2 a & b from the podcast "Search the Scriptures"


Part 2-a

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/sts06_trial2a_pc.mp3

and

Part 2-b

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/sts06_trials2b_pc.mp3


Also one can go to her podcast directly at:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures





JNORM888

The Shroud of Turin

MSNBC's clip about a scientist who believes the shroud of Turin is of the 1st century.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23742321#23742321








JNORM888

Rev Write's other full sermon about G.D. America

I wanted to know the context of where that sound byte came from.

Anderson Cooper of CNN has the full sermon on his blog.



http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/03/21/the-full-story-behind-wright%e2%80%99s-%e2%80%9cgod-damn-america%e2%80%9d-sermon/


The media player of the blog is halfway down the page & the Title of the sermon was called "Confusing God & Government"





His sermons seem very political. Maybe too political for a church setting.

After listenning to the whole sermon, I came to the conclusion that his sermons are political, theological, and historical. He likes to weave politics, and history with theology.

His sermons are in some ways politically to the far left. But based on the two full sermons so far I don't see Rev. Write as a monster.

Now one might disagree with his political views and his ussage of racial language, but I don't think he is a hate monger.


And if one thinks he is a racist.....it is only because of his ussage of the words "rich white men", "black people", "white man", "white women".......ect.

One might also feel that he is a racist because of the guilt by association with Farrakan.



But based on these two controversal sermons I didn't get that picture from him. Rev. Write is no Farrakan. They are two different people.

Confusing God and Government wasn't really a hate monger sermon. It was a pretty decent sermon about Trusting in God & not the Government


If you listenned to the full sermon then you can make up your own mind about the contexts of the soundbytes.


but.....I could be wrong.



JNORM888

The Ancient Jews counted days differently than the Latins

Yes, the ancient Jews counted days differently than their Latin rulers.

The ancient Jews counted days from Sunset to Sunset, whereas the Romans counted days from Midnight to Midnight.


The ancient Jews also counted differently. As seen in scripture:

NIV
Luke 13:32-33
"He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!"


Jesus counted the partial present day as day one. Tomorrow as day two, and the day after that as day three.

If nonGod fearing Latin speaking people were counting these same days they would see it as "two days". They wouldn't count the present day as day one.

We in America as well as in most of the western World count the way the Latin Romans did.


We have to keep this difference in mind when looking at the Biblical record.


I would also like to add that Jews would count part of a day as being of that whole day.....unlike us(western World) today.




JNORM888
Friday, March 21, 2008

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's 9/11 sermon

I have to admit. After hearing the whole 35 minute sermon. The 30 second soundbyte doesn't sound so horrible when looked at in it's context.

http://essence.typepad.com/news/2008/03/listen-to-rev-j.html



I don't know........I could be wrong.




JNORM888

The Original word christians used for the FEAST DAY of Christ's Ressurection

The Original word used by Christians was "PASCHA". It means Passover or Christian Passover.

From the very beginning most regions of the christian World celebrated Pascha the sunday following the Jewish Passover. The region of Ashia Minor celebrated Pascha on the same day of the Jewish Passover.

At the council of Nicea the christians of Ashia Minor conformed with the rest of the Church and this is when everyone Celebrated Pascha the Sunday following the Jewish Passover.


When the Gregorian Calander was created the western Church started to celebrate Pascha according to the cycle of that Calander.



So where did the word Easter come from? It came from either Germany or Celtic Briton, but the original word was always "Pascha". It is the word the christian east still use today.



Sometimes people get confused and think Easter is a pagan holiday. I know I was told that plenty of times, but if one digs deep into Church history........they will find that Pascha.......what alot of western Christians now call Easter. Was always a christian Feast Day. It is a "high feast day". Infact, it is seen by christians to be the greastest Feast day out of all the feast days in the christian calander.


The creation of a more accurate calander(the Gregorian) as well as the use of the Germanic or Celtic word "EASTER"....instead of the word "PASCHA" is the reason why some in the western World are confused about the Origins of the Feast Day of Christ's ressurection.



JNORM888

Why the date of Easter changes

This is a good article about why the East and West Celebrate Easter on different weeks. And why the date changes every year.


http://christianity.about.com/od/faq...sterchange.htm



Quote:
Why does the date for Easter change every year?
Have you ever wondered why Easter Sunday can fall anywhere between March 22 and
April 25? And why do Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on a different
day than Western churches? These are all good questions with answers that
require a bit of explanation.

In Western Christianity, Easter is always
celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the
year. I had previously, and somewhat erroneously stated, "Easter is always
celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the
vernal (spring) equinox." This statement was true in 325 AD, when it was
established by the Council of Nicea. However, the course of history has modified
the meaning of this instruction, and therefore, a clearer, more accurate
explanation is necessary today.

There are, in fact, as many
misunderstanding about the calculation of Easter dates, as there are reasons for
confusion about Easter dates. What follows is an attempt to clear up at least
some of the confusion.

In actuality, the date of the Paschal Full Moon
is determined from historical tables, and has no correspondence to lunar events.
In the year 325 AD astronomers approximated the dates of all the full moons in
the year for the Western Christian churches. These were called the
Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates, and they have been used ever since 326 AD to
determine the date of Easter. So, the Paschal Full Moon is always the first
Ecclesiastical Full Moon date after March 20 (which happened to be the vernal
equinox date in 325 AD).

The Paschal Full Moon can vary as much as two
days from the date of the actual full moon, with dates ranging from March 21 to
April 18. As a result, Easter dates can range from March 22 through April 25 in
Western Christianity.

Western churches use the Gregorian Calendar to
calculate the date of Easter and Eastern Orthodox churches use the Julian
Calendar. This is partly why the dates are rarely the same.

Easter and
its related holidays do not fall on a fixed date in either the Gregorian or
Julian calendars, making them moveable holidays. The dates, instead, are based
on a lunar calendar very similar to the Hebrew Calendar.

The Eastern
Orthodox Church not only maintains the date of Easter based on the Julian
Calendar which was in use during the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325
AD, but also according to the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual
vernal equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem. This complicates the
matter, due to the inaccuracy of the Julian calendar, and the 13 days that have
accrued since 325 AD. This means, in order to stay in line with the originally
established (325 AD) vernal equinox, Orthodox Easter cannot be celebrated before
April 3 (present day Gregorian calendar), which was March 21 in 325 AD.

Additionally, in keeping with the rule established by the First
Ecumenical Council of Nicea, the Eastern Orthodox Church adhered to the
tradition that Easter must always fall after the Jewish Passover, since the
death, burial and Resurrection of Christ happened after the celebration of
Passover. Eventually the Orthodox Church came up with an alternative to
calculating Easter based on Passover, and developed a 19-year cycle, as opposed
to the Western Church 84-year cycle.

Since the days of early church
history, determining the precise date of Easter has been a matter for continued
argument. For one, the followers of Christ neglected to record the exact date of
Jesus' resurrection. From then on the matter grew increasingly complex. For more
about Easter dates, check out the following sources:


For more about the article go to the link.



JNORM888
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A short critique of "Liberation Theology"

Just like Saint Augustine (and other Church Fathers) christianized the philosophy of Plato.

Just like Thomas Aquanius and John Calvin christianized the philosophy of Aristotle.


Some thought that they could do the same for the political philosophy of Karl Marx.



What started in Germany soon went to South America, and from South America it has found it's way in some black American churches. It was real popular in the 1960's, but such a theology is really unnecessary.


Christianity has always had a social theology. One can find it in the Gospels when one looks at the Sermon on the mount.

One can look in 1st John and in the Epistle of Saint James to see that Christians cared about their neighbor.

One can look at the early Church right after the Apostolic era. Christians gave to the poor, they saved the lives of unwanted Babies that were discarded by the pagan Romans.

It wasn't uncommon to see christians give all their monatory wealth to the poor around them.

Saint Cyprian gave his wealth away. Saint Augustine sold his estate(or part of it....I forgot which) and gave the money to the poor in his community.

One of Saint Augustine's enemies did the same. Julian was defrocked as a Bishop for supporting Pelagius against Augustine.......and just like Augustine.....he too gave all his wealth to the poor in his town.


So we don't need Liberation Theology. But since it is here.........what needs to be done is what was done in the past when christians tried to christianize the pagan culture around them.

One needs to use "some" of the truths found in Liberation theology to express "some" of the teachings of the christian faith. This method should be done when the audience is trapped in a communist culture.

And when the Audience is a christian culture or a mixed audience ...then one needs to change the pagan word or concept to fit a christian teaching. This is what the Church Fathers have done. They purged the meaning and contexts of pagan words all the time. Even the Apostles did it.

When one looks at the word heaven, "Kosmos".....one will notice that this greek word meant something different to the pagan greeks. The Apostles christianized that word. the Hellenistic Jews had to do the same when they translated texts from Aramiac and Hebrew to greek.


This same concept applies to all of our contact with the nonchristian World.





Christianity has never embraced all of the pagan culture around them. Only the good. And how one does that is to see what is in agreement with the Christian Faith.

Once that goodness is found then everything around it needs to be purged. Something similar happens in medicene. One finds the active ingredient in order to help find cures.

In our case, the active ingredient is the "good" found in the culture. It is my belief that God through Prevenient grace planted certain seeds of truth in pagan cultures to help draw them closer to Christ.

Once we find these truths in our missionary efforts, we can use them to help express a truth of the christian Faith.


This hasn't happened yet in Liberation Theology. It still looks to much like Marxism. Thus it needs more purging.



But like I said before...........it is unnecessary for Christianity always had it's own social view.

Thus Liberation Theology was an experiment gone wrong. We can't christianize everything.

Out of all the pagan greek philosophers, Socratese and Plato were two of the closest to christianity.

This was the only reason why they were usable. Every philosophy can't be christianized.........especially the philosophy of Karl Marx.









JNORM888

Did Jesus really exist?

Dispite the obvious answer to the question, I still find some Atheists and agnostics on myspace that believe he never existed, and that outside of the Bible there is no evidence that he actually existed.


If you ever run into any silly comments like that just mention:

Josephus. He mentions Jesus and his brother James, now some Atheists will try to deny that by saying it was christian forgery by christian monks, but the truth is the first christian monk was Saint Anthony. And he lived around 270 A.D.

And people knew of Josephus's mentioning of Saint James and Jesus long before then. Alot of modern scholars .......even some Jewish ones believe that those statements were indeed authentic.

One can also mention The early second century Roman historian Tacitus. He not only mentions Jesus, but also mentions that He was put to death by Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Ceasor.

One can also add to that the pagan critic Celsus. Origen gave rejoinders for his arguments so we still have what this christian hating pagan had to say......and he never doubted the existence of Jesus.



So where does this doubt come from? It comes from Germany!!!


In the mid to late 18 hundreds the German highercritical/philosophical naturalistic scholar Bruno Bauer invented the argument that Jesus never existed. The idea is less than 150 years old. It was a naturalistic reconstruction of history.


Today, most modern scholars will not risk their reputation by saying something silly like "Jesus never existed". Most modern scholars believe Jesus was a real historical person.




So if you ever run into someone that thinks Jesus never existed....... give them the facts, pray for them, so that God will open up a window of oppurtinity by giving them eyes to see & ears to hear, then share Jesus with them so they too can know His ever-Existence.




JNORM888

Why should one defend the Truth?

I would like to share a quote that has been givin to me. I know Origen was condemned as a heretic in the 6th century.....but he spoke something very true when he said:








quote:
"Today, under the pretext of knowledge (gnosis -> he is talking about Gnosticism), heretics rise against the Church of Christ. They pile on their books of commentaries. They claim to interpret the gospel and apostolic texts. If we are silent and do not oppose them with true teaching, famished souls will be fed with their abominations."
Origen (around the mid 3rd century)






JNORM888
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Martin Luther, wasn’t so bad says Pope


I Knew the Pope liked Luther back when he was a cardinal, but I found this article still interesting.
"quote:
Pope Benedict XVI is to rehabilitate Martin Luther,
arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the
Church of corrupt practices.
Pope Benedict will issue his findings on Luther
(1483-1546) in September after discussing him at his annual seminar of 40 fellow
theologians — known as the Ratzinger Schülerkreis — at Castelgandolfo, the papal
summer residence. According to Vatican insiders the Pope will argue that Luther,
who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, was not a heretic.
Cardinal
Walter Kasper, the head of the pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,
said the move would help to promote ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and
Protestants. It is also designed to counteract the impact of July's papal
statement describing the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as defective and “not
proper Churches”.
The move to re-evaluate Luther is part of a drive to
soften Pope Benedict's image as an arch conservative hardliner as he approaches
the third anniversary of his election next month. This week it emerged that the
Vatican is planning to erect a statue of Galileo, who also faced a heresy trial,
to mark the 400th anniversary next year of his discovery of the
telescope.


The Pope has also reached out to the Muslim world to
mend fences after his 2006 speech at Regensburg University in which he appeared
to describe Islam as inherently violent and irrational. This week Muslim
scholars and Vatican officials met at the pontifical Council for Inter-Religious
Dialogue in Rome to begin laying the groundwork for a meeting between the Pope
and leading Muslims, also expected to be held at Castelgandolfo.
Cardinal
Kasper said: “We have much to learn from Luther, beginning with the importance
he attached to the word of God.” It was time for a “more positive” view of
Luther, whose reforms had aroused papal ire at the time but could now be seen as
having “anticipated aspects of reform which the Church has adopted over time”.
The Castelgandolfo seminar will in part focus on the question of apostolic
succession, through which the apostles passed on the authority they received
from Jesus to the first bishops. After the Reformation Protestants took the view
that “succession” referred only to God's Word and not to church hierarchies but
some German scholars have suggested Luther himself did not intend
this........"


For the rest of the article go here:
JNORM888
Monday, March 17, 2008

The Confession of Dositheus & the doctrine of Prevenient grace

In the local Orthodox Christian council of of the Synod of Jerusalem (around the year 1672). It talks about Prevenient grace. Howover, it expresses a type of particuliar Prevenient grace. Instead, of a universal one. Well....I don't know. In once sense it seems to be universal, but in another sense it seems particuliar.

http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html

Chapter 6

DECREE III.
"We believe the most good God to have from eternity predestinated unto glory those whom He hath chosen, and to have consigned unto condemnation those whom He hath rejected; but not so that He would justify the one, and consign and condemn the other without cause. For that were contrary to the nature of God, who is the common Father of all, and no respecter of persons, and would have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth; {1 Timothy 2:4} but since He foreknew the one would make a right use of their free-will, and the other a wrong, He predestinated the one, or condemned the other. And we understand the use of free-will thus, that the Divine and illuminating grace, and which we call preventing grace, being, as a light to those in darkness, by the Divine goodness imparted to all, to those that are willing to obey this — for it is of use only to the willing, not to the unwilling — and co-operate with it, in what it requireth as necessary to salvation, there is consequently granted particular grace; which, co-operating with us, and enabling us, and making us perseverant in the love of God, that is to say, in performing those good things that God would have us to do, and which His preventing grace admonisheth us that we should do, justifieth us, and maketh us predestinated. But those who will not obey, and co-operate with grace; and, therefore, will not observe those things that God would have us perform, and that abuse in the service of Satan the free-will, which they have received of God to perform voluntarily what is good, are consigned to eternal condemnation."


This is only a local council.....meaning not a Ecumenical council, but it heps show how the Eastern Orthodox of the 17nth century understood Grace and free will when under the theological attack of the Dutch Reformed.




JNORM888

Roger Olsen & Philip Limborch

In the Book "Arminian Theology" by Roger Olsen I have noticed his dislike of the Remonstrant Philip Limborch when it comes to the issues of the Fall of man, Free will, and Prevenient Grace.


In other areas of the book when Calvinists attack Arminius's view of the Monarchy of the Father......in regards to the doctrine of the Trinity. Roger Olsen is quick to defend his view by saying


"Critics may continue to debate whether
Arminius was right about the Monarchy of the Father, but if they declare him
Arian or say that he denied the deity, on that account they will have to say the
same of the early Greek Church fathers and the entire Eastern Orthodox tradition
as well as much of Western theology. Witt concludes that "the position Arminius
defended is, of course, the orthodox Catholic position. It was not Arminius, but
his critics......who were at least confused, if not heterodox in this
matter.""


page 90 by Roger Olsen, in the book "Arminian
Theology". Copyright 2006 by Intervarsity Press.



Yet he doesn't do it for Phillip Limborch when it comes to the fall of man. Instead, he says:



""Limborch's problems began when he tried to explain the relationship
between grace and faith; faith begins to float away from its Arminian grounding
in grace as its sole cause, and Limborch moves toward grounding it in free will.
Limborch wanted to say that even faith is caused by God. "The primary and
efficient cause of faith is God from whom, asfrom the father of lights, every
good and perfect gift cometh." Unfortunately, he did not leave matters there. He
felt the need to elevate the human being's role in synergism and did so in such
a way that the person becomes an equal partner with God in producing faith. In
fact he seemed to reverse himself and make the human will the ground of faith:
"We therefore say that faith is at the very first an act even of the will, not
indeed acting by its own natural faculty alone but excited and renered capable
of believing by the divine grace preventing and assisting it."

It appears that Limborch believed the will of the fallen human needs only
assistance and not renewal; he seems to have believed that the primary role of
prevenient grace is to strengthen the natural ability of the person and
communicate knowledge and understanding about God and the gospel. Limborch
scholar John Mark Hicks sums up Limborch's doctrine of prevenient grace:

"Grace does not restore freedom to the will, but strengthens the free will
which remains.....Grace, therefore, is only necessary to assist man's fallen
capabilities so that he is able to regain the integrity od Adam. Fallen man is
not substantially different from created man. The only differences are ones of
degree, not kind. Man is weakened in his capabilities (the will has a propensity
to evil, the intellect has lost its "natural guidance" system), but they are
still intact and potent. Consequently, grace simply works with those
capabilities which remain."

In other words, whereas classical Arminianism before and after Limborch
speaks of personal work of the Holy Spirit beginning to regenerate the human
soul, including work of the Holy Spirit beginning to regenerate the human soul,
including the will, through the Word, Limborch spoke only of a boost or assist
of the soul by prevenient grace. The assistance of grace is primarily
information; the unregenerate person needs enlightenment but not regeneration in
order to excercise a good will toward God. Hicks correctly compares and
contrasts Arminius and Limborch:

"Both believe that original sin is fundamentally a deprivation, but their
definition [sic] of deprivation is radically different. For Arminius man is
deprived of the actual ability to will the good, but for Limborch man is only
deprived of the knowledge which informs the intellect, but the will is fully
capable within itself, it is informed by the intellect, to will and perform
anything truly good."

Later Arminians, such as Richard Watson, noted the same error in Limborch's
thinking about grace and rejected his semi-Pelagian slant in favor of prevenient
grace as regenerative. Unfortunately, nineteenth-century revivalist and
theologian Charles Finney followed Limborch's model (as mediated him by
Nathaniel Taylor) and that has come to be misunderstood as the classical
Arminian position. This is simply incorrect insofar as Arminius sets the gold
standard for true Arminianism."

pages 167 -169 by Roger Olsen, in the book "Arminian Theology"



Phillop's view maybe different from Arminius own view, but it's still closer to the Greek Fathers than that of Arminius's............. in whom Dr. Olsen defended in regards to his Greek Patristic view of the Trinity.


Thus, Phillop Limborch....although slightly off was still alot closer to Patristic thought in regards to this issue.


The idea of Prevenient grace as being nothing more than just knowledge is false. So I disagree with Philip in that regard, but everything else seemed to be ok. One must also include the aspect of "healing". The "healing" of the will should be included in ones view of Prevenient grace.






JNORM888

The Trials and Crucifixion - Part 1

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou's 4th podcast of "Search the Scriptures" on Ancient Faith Radio.


http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/sts05_trials1_pc.mp3




JNORM888

N.T. Wright (Anglican Bishop of Durham) "Simply Christian"

N.T. Wright is interviewed by Christianity Today about his book called "Simply Christian". I thought it was interesting because in one section of the interview he see's a connection between Gnosticism and modern American Christianity.



http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/january/22.38.html




"N.T. Wright is a world-renowned New Testament scholar—author of Jesus and the Victory of God, The Resurrection of the Son of God—and bishop of Durham in the Church of England. He is also a keen observer of culture. ct senior writer Tim Stafford caught up with Wright as he drove from meetings at Windsor Castle to his diocese in Durham. They talked about communicating the gospel in a post-Christian society.

Your book Simply Christian speaks to people outside the faith, in what must be a conscious imitation of C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. What made you want to write to that audience?

I suppose I've always wanted to say to my contemporaries in the wider world, "This stuff matters; it's life transforming; it's world transforming." Much of my academic life has been spent exploring underlying issues, particularly about the central events in the gospel. But now it really is time to say, "So what does it mean?"

Because I've done all that historical work, my view of the gospel and how it works out in the real world has been deepened and enriched in all kinds of ways that I would never have guessed 25 years ago when I was starting out writing about Jesus. So in Simply Christian there's a lot about justice, what it means to be human in the mandate to work, the putting to rights of God's world, generating beauty, alleviating poverty, working with ecology. Thirty years ago I would have said those were secondary issues.

There's an old evangelical saying, "If he's not Lord of all, he's not Lord at all." That was always applied personally and pietistically. I want to say exactly the same thing but apply it to the world. We're talking about Jesus as the Lord of the world—not the Lord of people's private spiritual interiority only, but of what they do with their money, with their homes, with the wealth of nations, and with the planet.

Lewis's Mere Christianity presents itself as inescapably rational. It's an apologetic that traps you in its logic, a very modern approach. But you present a different kind of rationality that seems more attuned to a postmodern world.

I'm quite sure that Lewis would be rather cross at being told that he was some kind of modernist, because his self-description was that he was the last surviving dinosaur from the pre-Enlightenment period. But he was an Oxford-trained philosopher from the early years of the 20th century, and he was conscious of the need to explain things to people who thought in a certain way.

I'm sure Lewis would say he was talking about something that would blow apart the assumptions of modernity, nevertheless addressing people who were within those assumptions. In the same way, I wouldn't want to be thought of as a postmodern writer, but I'm addressing people who live in that world.

And if the argument has a compelling force, it's not the force of A plus B equals C, where there's no escape. I want you to try seeing yourself as part of the picture that we've painted. Or try humming one of the parts of this symphony that we're writing, and see if it doesn't make an awful lot of sense while nonetheless being very challenging. And that's the apologist's dilemma, that if you simply address the God-shaped blank that people think they've got, the God you end up with is the God shaped by the blank. The real God specializes in taking the blanks in people's lives and pulling and tugging and turning them into a new shape."



The rest of the interview is at Christianity Today.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/january/22.38.html






JNORM888
Thursday, March 13, 2008

What I'm reading

I got alot on my plate right now. I'm reading different works of Augustine, because I'm writing about how he changed his mind over the years in regards to the issue of grace and free will. I'm mostly comparing his later works with his early ones.

I'm showing how he went from

1.) Free will preceeds the grace of God (alot of his early works. He later changed his mind after receiving a revelation after reading Cyprian. Cyprian quoted Paul in Corinthians 4 verse 7 and Saint Augustine just ran with Corinth 4:7)

Augustine confesses this himself in one of his works:


Quote:
""It was not thus that that pious and humble
teacher thought—I speak of the most blessed Cyprian—when he said "-->that we
must boast in nothing, since nothing is our own."-->15-3432--> And in
order to show this, he appealed to the apostle as a witness, where he said,
"-->For what have you that you have not received? And if you have received
it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"--> 1 Corinthians 4:7 And
it was chiefly by this testimony that I myself also was convinced when I was in
a similar error, thinking that faith whereby we believe in God is not God's
gift, but that it is in us from ourselves, and that by it we obtain the gifts of
God, whereby we may live temperately and righteously and piously in this world.
For I did not think that faith was preceded by God's grace, so that by its means
would be given to us what we might profitably ask, except that we could not
believe if the proclamation of the truth did not precede; but that we should
consent when the gospel was preached to us I thought was our own doing, and came
to us from ourselves. And this my error is sufficiently indicated in some small
works of mine written before my episcopate. Among these is that which you have
mentioned in your letters15-3434--> wherein is an exposition of certain
propositions from the Epistle to the Romans."


On the Predestination of the Saints (Book I) chapter 7 (around the year 428 A.D.)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15121.htm



to

2.) Grace preceeds free will, but we must still accept or reject the grace that God gives(found in one of his middle works called "in the Spirit and the Letter")


Quote:
Quote:
"it surely follows that it is God who
both works in man the willing to believe, and in all things prevents us with His
mercy. To yield our consent, indeed, to God's summons, or to withhold it, is (as
I have said) the function of our own will. And this not only does not invalidate
what is said, "For what do you have that you did not receive?" 1 Corinthians 4:7
but it really confirms it. For the soul cannot receive and possess these gifts,
which are here referred to, except by yielding its consent."


http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm




to

3.) The grace of God will unconditionaly cause some Baptized Christians(over other Baptized christians) to persevere to the end. Yet noone will be aware or conscience of this with full certianty. The only one who will know with all certianty is God. (This is found in alot of his later works)

I put this on hold because I'm working with a 5 man team on another project.




I'm reading a book by a reformed baptist in whom I will not name at this time. I am part of a 5 man team giving a rejoinder to his book. A book that grossly misrepresents Eastern Orthodoxy. It's nothing more than an oversized jack chip tract, but I don't want anyone to be misinformed...so I'm helping out in giving a rejoinder.


I'm reading the new and full "Orthodox Study Bible" that just came out. The Old Testament is a translation of the LXX.....well they used the Old Testament of the NKJV as a template......Whereever the MT and LXX agreed they stayed with the language of the NKJV.....whereever the LXX disagreed with the MT.......they did a direct translation from the LXX......then they used Brenton's LXX as a reference....they also used other Septugient translations as a reference. Not to mention the official Byzantine Old Testament Canon as the main reference.


Other than that I'm skimming "Arminian Theology" by Roger Olson

"Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A western perspective" by the evangelical Daniel B. Clendenin

"Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament" by H. Wayne House

"Zondervan Charts: Chronological and Background charts of Church History" revised and expanded edition by Robert C. Walton

and

"The Abolition of man" by C.S. Lewis

oh and I'm rereading the 13nth conference of Saint John Cassian






JNORM888
Monday, March 10, 2008

Phronema "FRON-ee-mah"

I just learned a new word today. It means "mind-set, mentality, attitude"

I'm trying to learn more about what this theological word means. When I find out I'll post more about it.




JNORM888

Search the Scriptures

After chatting with the Presvytera and Dr. Jeannie Constantinou of the podcast "search the scriptures"

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures/


I have come to the conclusion that she is an awsome person, highly intelligent and thoughtful in regards to both the scriptures and Fathers.

My fears of the errors of "Augustinianism" made me act prematurely, and I am sorry for jumping to conclusions. She knows exactly what she's doing and her hearers are in great hands. She has alot of knowledge, understanding, and compassion to share.

Infact, I can't wait to hear her future podcasts.




HAPPY LENT


JNORM888

Arminian Chronicles

Arminian Chronicles is doing a 5 part series called "Arminians are not Semi-Pelagians"

Part 1 of 5
http://episcopius.blogspot.com/2008/03/arminians-are-not-semi-pelagians-part-1.html


Part 2 of 5
http://episcopius.blogspot.com/2008/03/arminians-are-not-semi-pelagians-part-2.html


The blog
http://episcopius.blogspot.com/





JNORM888
Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why the LXX shouldn't be judged by the MT

When some reformed protestants say the LXX is corrupt. What they mean is it differs from the MT. The MT is not the original hebrew text type. Infact, there are several different Hebrew text types. The LXX follows a different Hebrew text type and besides, the MT was butchered(edited) in certain parts by nonbelieving jews for theological reasons.

The LXX shouldn't be judged by the MT, because the MT is a post Christian Hebrew text that has been edited and compiled from about 150 A.D. to about 900A.D. (give or take a century)

The LXX is a 3rd or 2nd century B.C. Greek Translation of an earlier Hebrew text. And when the dead sea scrolls were found. The LXX cynics, were surprized to find out that where the Dead Sea scrolls differed substantialy from the MT it usually agreed with the LXX. Now the LXX and the MT agree in most places, but in some parts they do differ. What we have today is called by scholars the "Hexaplar recension". It is called that because it is a combined text of the hebrew of Origens day along with 4 or 5 greek translations. 3 of which were post christian literal greek translations by nonbelieving Jews that rejected christianity. The LXX had it's own colomn in the Hexaplar. Thus the Hexaplar was what we would call in modern times a Parallel Bible. A couple other recension texts were also around as spoken of by Jerome.

Tertullian speaks about the Hebrew text type that the LXX was based on, which was still in existence in his day.




"That the understanding of their books might not be lacking, this also the
Jews supplied to ptolemy. For they gave him seventy-two interpreters......The
same account is given by Aristeas. So the King left these works unlocked to all,
in the Greek language. To this day, at the temple of serapis, the libraries of
Ptolemy are to be seen, with the identical Hebrew originals in them. The Jews,
too, read them publicly."
Tertullian(197 A.D.) [1]

[1]page 608 dictionary of early christian beliefs. David Bercot,
Hendrickson publishers



The Serapeum temple would have been destroyed around 391 A.D. with the Decree of Theophilus. Just because the Temple was destroyed doesn't mean the books were destroyed along with it.




A list of Some Pre-nicene christians that quoted the deutoros




"When you can do good, defer it not, because alms
delivers from death"[tobit 4:10; 12:9]

Polycarp 135 A.D.

"Cyrus, King of the Persians, said to Daniel, the
prophet, "why do you not worship Bel?" Daniel replied, saying, "Because I do not
worship idols made with hands" [Dan. 14, also known as Bel and the
Dragon].
Irenaeus 180 A.D.

"For that reason, the scripture most strenuously
exhorts, "Do not introduce everyone into your house, for the snares of the
crafty are many" [Sir 11:29]
Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

"Who is this but Christ? They say, "come, let us remove
the righteous one, because he is hateful to us; he sets himself contrary to our
doings" [Wis. 2:12].
Tertullian 207 A.D.


"They are all clearly described in the books of the
Maccabees"
Hippolytus 205 A.D.

"That we may believe on the authority of the Holy
Scriptures that such is the case, hear how in the book of Maccabees, where the
mother of seven martyrs exhorts her sons to endore torture, this truth is
confirmed."
Origen 225 A.D.


[2]page 208 A dictionary of early beliefs, David Bercot, Hendrickson
publishers




The Post Nicene christian Saint Athanasius also embraced some of the deuterocanonical books in his 3 class system of books. His 3 tier system included the Canonical scripture(which included the books of Baruch, and the letter of Jeremiah), the scripture that is read(the rest of the deutero books), and the uninspired Apocrypha(other books like the Apocalypse of Peter, the Apocalypse of Abraham, the book of Noah, the apocalypse of Adam, Acts of Peter, Ascension of Isaiah.....ect).

And according to Gary G. Michuta in the book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: The untold story of the lost books of the Protestant Bible"(copyright 2007 Published by Grotto Press). He says on page 111

"In another argument against Arians, he(Athanasius) calls both the Protocanonical Proverbs and the Deuterocanonical Wisdom "Holy Scripture" [sacris litteris/tais hagiais graphais].234

his source

234 Defense Against Arius 1, 3 [L. quod in Sacris Litteris scriptum est (Prv 19:5; Ws 1:11); GK. ou phobountai de hen tais hagiais Graphais gegrammenon].



Comparing Some verses of the Dead Sea scrolls with the LXX and MT.


Also I would like to note that the dead sea scrolls had the books of Tobias, Sirach, Baruch, and psalm 151 of David.

The LXX and the dead sea "4QSam-a" are very similar.


How tall was Goliath?

1 Samuel 17:4 of the dead sea scroll "4QSam-a" says "4 cubits and one span". The LXX says:



SAAS
1st Kingdoms 17:4(1st Samuel 17:4) "And a mighty man went out from the
battle line of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath. His height was four
cubits and a span.
"



The MT says



KJV
1st Samuel 17:4 "And there went out a champion out of the camp of the
Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a
span.
"



Recent Archeology of the middle eastern region in regards to the ancient stories of giants in that area agrees with the dead sea scrolls and LXX of 4 cubits and a span.



4QGen-k fragment has the longer reading of "and dry land appeared" in its text.

The LXX says


SAAS
Gen 1:9 "Then God said, let the water under heaven be gathered together
into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. The water under
heaven was gathered into its places, and the dry land appeared."


The MT says



"9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one
place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so."


This shows the Hebrew that the LXX was based on was very similar to the one of the dead sea scrolls. At least in regards to Genesis.


4Q Exod-a of the DSS says of Exodus 1:5 "75 souls"

The lxx says:


SAAS
"All those who were the seed of Jacob were seventy-five persons (for
Joseph was in Egypt already)."



The MT says:



KJV
"And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls:
for Joseph was in Egypt already."



The Dead sea scroll fragment agreed with the LXX. Also the New Testament agrees with the LXX.

Acts chapter 7:14 says:

"Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people."

Steven quoted the LXX, yet some people would like to re-write history and pretent that Jesus and the Apostles didn't make use of the LXX. Also some people would like to pretend that the LXX only had the first five books of Moses. The fact that the New Testament quotes the LXX in other places shows that the LXX had more books in it than just the first 5 books of Moses.



4QDeut-j in Deuteronomy 32:8 agrees with the LXX in that it has "according to the number of the sons of God"



LXX says:



SAAS
"When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the Sons of
Adam, He set the boundaries of the nations by the number of God's angels"



The MT says



KJV
"When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he
separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the
number of the children of Israel."




The 5/6HevPs of Psalm 22:17 says "They have pierced my hands and feet"

The LXX says:



Psalms 21:17(22:17 in MT) "For many dogs surrounded me; an assembly of evildoers
enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet."


The MT says:



KJV
"I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me."





The New Testament in comparision with the LXX and MT



Luke 3:35-36 "Cainan" is missing in the MT between Arphaxed and Selah


NKJV
"he son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the
son of Noah, the son of Lamech,"


Gen 10:24 of the LXX says



Brenton's lxx
"And Arphaxad begot Cainan, and Cainan begot Sala. And Sala begot
Heber."



Gen 10:24 of The MT says:



KJV
"And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber."



What did Jesus read in Luke 4:18-19?



NKJV Luke 4:16-21
""So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom
was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He
was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He
found the place where it was written:

“ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me To preach the
gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal
the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the
captives And recovery of sight to the
blind, To set at liberty those who are
oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable
year of the LORD.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and
sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And
He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your
hearing.”"


The LXX says:



Brentons lxx
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent
me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim
liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to declare
the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of recompence; to comfort all that
mourn;"



The MT says


KJV Isaiah 61:1-2
""The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me
to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the
prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of
the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that
mourn;""



You can't really see it in english but Jesus followed the greek of the LXX.



Matthew 1:22-23 says:


NKJV
"So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the
Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and
bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God
with us.”




Brentons LXX says:


Esaias 7:14
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall
conceive in the womb
, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name
Emmanuel."



The MT says

Well. I wasn't able to find a translation that went with the MT. Instead, they all chose to go with the LXX. But the MT says young woman......not virgen. However, there is evidence that the Jews who used the dead sea scrolls did understand that hebrew word in a similar way that the Jewish translaters of the LXX did. So it could have been a common interpretation before the time of Christ as well as during the time of Christ. The MT was edited for hundreds of years after 150 A.D. It is well known that the Jewish nonbelievers edited alot of the Messianic prophecies because of the rise of Christianity, and conversion of their own peoples.



Romans 9:17 says

NKJV
"For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”"

The LXX of Exodus 9:16 says:
Brentons lxx
"And for this purpose hast thou been preserved, that I might display in thee my strength, and that my name might be published in all the earth."


The NASB says of Exodus 9:16
"But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth."


New Testament

Romans 9:26 NKJV
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘ You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

Old Testament

The SAAS
Hosea 1:10
"Yet the Number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which shall not be measured or numbered. Then it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' Even then they shall be called the sons of the living God."


The MT says

KJV
"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."


You can't see it in english but Paul was following the LXX in Romans 9:25-26. The same is true for Romans 9:27; 9:29; and 9:33.


It is well known that the LXX was the Christian Old Testament. Yes you had a few christians from time to time that had their own personal view against the LXX, but over all when push came to shove, and when big councils gathered. The LXX stayed with the Church. To Judge the LXX with the eyes of the MT is to side with those that blotted out references to Christ. It is to side with those that persecuted christians because they followed Christ. It is to side against the Apostles for they quoted the LXX alot. It is to side with those who persecuted christians in 150 A.D. for refusing to see Simon Bar Cochba of the second Jewish revolt as the promised Messiah. This is where the MT has it's beginning. And this is what alot of modern english speaking christians don't know.




JNORM888
Friday, March 7, 2008

The letter of Saint James and the word "faith"

We all know the saying "Faith Without Works Is Dead".

But I want to focus on James ussage of the word "faith". We all know that Faith can't be seen. It isn't something we can see. Yet it seems as if James ussage of the words "faith alone" is synonymous with the words "words alone". or "talk alone".

I say this because just before he starts talking about the issue he says:

NKJV
James 2:12-13
"So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the
law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.
Mercy triumphs over judgment."




Notice the words "So speak and so do". As well as "Mercy triumphs over judgment". James ussage of the word "Faith" in this context has alot to do with mercy. He makes a distinction between Mercy done by the mouth vs mercy done by the whole man.

Now lets read versus 14 to 17

NKJV
James 2:14-17
"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he
has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is
naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in
peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are
needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does
not have works, is dead."



James ussage of the word "faith" in the verses above seem to be synonymous with:

“Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,”.


His ussage of the word works in the verses above seem to be synonymous with:

"but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body,....."



Thus James ussage of the word Faith in the verses above seem to be the "equivalent" of the modern saying "talk is cheap".


And his ussage of the word "works" in the verses above seem to be the "equivalent" of the modern saying "don't talk about it, be about it". Or "show me the action".


verse 18 says

"But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.


I will reinterpret this as ""But someone will say, "You have words, and I have action." Show me your words without action, and I will show you my words by my actions.""


And I will sum it up with verse 24

NKJV
"You see then that a man is justified by works, and not
by faith only."



I will reinterpret this as "You see then that a man is justified by action, and not by words only".



NKJV
Hebrews 11:1 says:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen."




Living faith is not with the tongue alone. Living faith is one with the tongue as well as with the eyes, the ears, the mind, the heart, the hands, and the feet.

It is something that permeates the whole man. Our mind, eyes, ears, hearts, hands and feet must be in agreement with our mouth or else it is dead faith.


In the example that James gave the man with faith is the one that gives to the one in need. Not the one who says nice things to the one in need.

In chapter 3 James goes on to talk about taming the tongue, and how deceptive and hard to control it is.

In chapter 2 the tongue spoke words of faith to the man in need, but it was deceptive because the tongue was lying. It was lying because it did not give to the one in need. The words of faith in that example needed the hands of faith, the heart of faith, and the feet of faith. In order for it to be living.


Faith is a type of loyalty to something or someone else, an orientation, a disposition. A lifestyle......as seen in Romans chapter 4


NKJV
Romans 4:18-22
"who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he
became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your
descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own
body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of
Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but
was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced
that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was
accounted to him for righteousness.”"



Abraham was not weak in faith. I take this to be the equivalent to what James said about "dead faith". Abraham's faith was living because he was loyal to the promise of God. His whole person believed what God said.....his mind, heart, eyes, ears, hands, and feet........and not just his mouth.

When one "believes", it changes the way they walk. It may take time for every body part to be permeated with faith, but when the whole man believes........that is when one has the faith of Abraham......for that is when one is "fully convinced" that what God promised He is able to perform.



JNORM888

Persecuted For Christ

Frederica of the podcast "Frederica Here and Now" did a show about "Rev. Richard Wurmbrand". A Lutheran pastor from Romania who was persecuted by the Communists for his faith. He wrote a hym in Hebrew to the Theotokos.

Frederica has a rare recording of the hym.

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/frederica/fhn_wurmbrand.mp3





JNORM888
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ben's and Paul's dispute

This is Ben's and Paul's dispute.


Ben's first post

http://turretindebate.blogspot.com/2007/12/phatcatholic-opening-statement.html

Ben's second post

http://arminianperspectives.blogspot.com/2008/02/examining-inconsistencies-in_19.html



Paul's post

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/02/captain-kangaroo.html


Ben's response

http://arminianperspectives.blogspot.com/2008/02/clarifications-and-rebuttal-responding.html

another critique by Ben

http://arminianperspectives.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-on-calvinism-and-sanctification.html


Paul's rejoinder

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/02/roo-stew.html



The discussion got pretty nasty (because of Paul's rude and mean behavior) so Ben decided to take a break from responding back.

http://arminianperspectives.blogspot.com/2008/03/leaving-play-ground-for-now.html


The blog that Paul is on has made a few extra posts about this issue, but I'm not gonna post the links.

I personally agree with Ben, but one has to be careful in what they say to Paul for he likes to nit pick, and make fun of people.





JNORM888

Phatcatholics debate with Turretinfan

I'm gonna read this one slowly. I'm not gonna rush to any conclusion. I learned my lesson in jumping in other peoples disputes without reading bothsides.

The issue of this debate is over "holy water".

http://turretindebate.blogspot.com/2007/12/phatcatholic-opening-statement.html




JNORM888

Understanding the Sacraments





The Metropolitan Bishop Kallistos Ware's interview on Ancient Faith radio will be aired this weekend on the Illumined Heart.

The subject title will be called “Understanding the Sacraments”. Anyone who is into Sacramental theology will not want to miss this one. Most of the Churches that are traditionally into sacramental theology would be your Eastern & Oriental Orthodox, Roman & Eastern Catholics, and your high church protestant groups like Anglicans and Lutherians.

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/illuminedheart/ih_ware.mp3

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/

I was first introduced to his works by my ex girlfriends English grammer professor at Tuskegee University. He was Orthodox, but he was raised Baptist like myself. Later in life he followed his mentor into the Episcopal church and eventually into the Greek Orthodox church. He gave me the book "The Orthodox way" or was it "the Orthodox Church"? I forgot which one it was, but it was back in 2001. I was impressed with the book. It was the first time I ever heard of the word "Panentheism". It was because of Kallistos(Timothy) Ware that I adopted Christian Panentheism. Well the Orthodox Christian version of it.........into my Arminian Theology.

Right now I am learning about Antiochian(syrian) sacramental theology. The school of Antioch was one of the ancient schools in church history. It had a different type of style than the Alexandrian school. Antioch is my jurisdiction so I'm learning about that. The Syrian flavor has alot in common with the Jewish ethos. They have many of the same customs. But anyway, One of the main reasons why I became Orthodox was because of Sacramental theology.........and because I really couldn't stand Calvinism and the later teachings of Augustine. The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh was moderate it wasn't really liberal but man was it Reformed. They dressed up like Roman Catholics but their hearts were in Geneva. Even the Anglo-Catholic Parish I joined back in 2002 was heavily influenced by Calvinism. I even heard comments about our diocese being "Reformed Catholics". I was like oh no! I left the south to run away from Calvinism. I didn't come back to Pittsburgh to join it. The Charismatic Episcopals of the ECUSA were teaching once saved always saved and they were allowing unbaptized people to partake of communion. The people were nice and lovely, and I liked the fact that the Anglo-catholics and the Reformed wing of the ECUSA were working together to fight against the liberals, but I had to leave the ECUSA. But that's another story.

But anyway I can't wait to hear what he's gonna say. I saw him once last year in Pittsburgh when he gave a lecture at Ducane University on the topic of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Sacraments(Mysteries) of the Eucharist(communion/Lord's supper), Baptism and the Divine Liturgy.

This is the link to the lecture. It's a bit long and if you're not into Sacramental theology then it's gonna bore you, but for those of us that are into it.......one will find some golden nuggets.

http://pittcmu.ocf.net/Media/Lecture%20on%20the%20Holy%20Sprit%20-%20Bishop%20Kallistos%20Ware%20-%203-23-07.WMA

I was later told that Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers was at this lecture but I never saw him. I did see alot of theological professors from other schools across the country but I never saw him.

JNORM888

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Phatcatholic just proposed to his girlfriend

Nick is about to be married. He proposed to his girlfriend yesturday. I think the two of them will make an awsome couple.


May the Lord bless them and their marriege.

http://phatcatholic.blogspot.com/2008/03/im-engaged.html#links


Nick is one of the best Roman Catholic lay apologist I know. He can give anyone a run for their money and his fiance seems to be into theology too so they are gonna be one bad couple.

I met them once last year over at Steubenville Ohio(about a 30 to 40 minute drive from where I live). They go to school together and I think he made the right choice.



Now I gotta find my wife.



JNORM888
Saturday, March 1, 2008

getting ready for the great fast

March 10 (clean monday) is the first day of lent for the christion east. Last year was special because both the East and West celebrated Easter on the same day.

The east doesn't normally call it by the name "easter". We use the word "Pascha" and it simply means "passover".

Unlike Christmas, christians always celebrated Pascha. The feast day itself goes back all the way to the days of the Apostles. And from the time of Nicea to about the invention of the Gregorian calender all christians both east and west celebrated Pascha, the sunday following the Jewish passover.

And this is why Pascha is always on a different sunday. Well to be honest we celebrate it on Saturday night. The first day begins on saturday when the sun goes down..........so pascha morning is really saturday night.


And the fast that preceeds it also goes back to about the 1st and 2nd centuries. At first the 40 day fast was only regional. Some regions only fasted for 40 days while others only on holy week. The 40 day fast became universal centuries later.

We in the east call lent the "great fast". And instead of Ash wednesday we have "clean monday".






JNORM888

Rule number 1 "in commenting about other peoples arguments"

Make sure you read thoroughly the posts of each person in the dispute. You will save yourself alot of bloopers if you do.







JNORM888
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