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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Christ is Risen! (response)Truly He is Risen!

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Happy Pascha!!!!!


Answering a question about the Ethiopian Canon

This was in regard to Bob Marley's conversion to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church a few months before he died. But the whole thread was about something that was said by WOTM radio and John Macarthur about Dred Locks.

Originally Posted by seal
Uh No.... He was
still a Heathen when he made that music...LOL....... And if he converted to EEO
I'm still worried about him as he should be worried about me. We have two
different Canons.... One of us have added or taken away from God's Word....

Scary stuff

Grace and Peace,

The Kingdom of Ethiopia was outside the Roman Empire, and the books they had was mostly depended on the Ethiopian Jews of that region. The Christians just pretty much adopted the Jewish books of that region.

Did some christians argue over this issue? Yes! But, they never split over this issue. A split didn't happen until the 15 hundreds.

If you look at the History of the Church, then you would know that churches didn't split over different books in different regional(local) canons.

For centuries different regions of the Church had different Old Testament books.

So one shouldn't really expect to have a 100% unified canon. I mean even the Latin Vulgate had 3 less books than the LXX of the time. Yet the east and west didn't seem to care about the difference.

This is why I don't mind the Ethiopians having 81 books in the Narrow Canon. I just saw a bunch of ethiopians tonight by the way.

From what I'm seeing, and I may be wrong about this, but it seems that the differences of christian Old Testaments has alot to do with the Jews......depending where the Jews were. The christians of the region probably just embraced their collection of books.

The Jews in Babylon may of had slightly different books, and (what we call) chapters than the Jews in Palestine. The same might be true for the Jews in Alexandria and Ethiopia.

Also the Miaphysites (because they reject the term monophysite). The Miaphysites understand the union in a way that is very similar to Chalcedonians. So one can make a theological case that the difference maybe symantics and culture.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Holy and Great Friday

Today is Holy and Great Friday.

On Holy and Great Friday, the un-nailing of the Cross is done, as well as the Lamentation at the Tomb.

After this, an all night Vigil is done till morning.


answering a question about Tertullian's form of Credo-Baptism

Originally Posted by phil
i ain't gonna front
like i been reading all tertullian's works... admittedly i was googling early
church and credobaptism

it would seem this quote from the ninja turtle
himself would imply that certain folks held to credo & others to children
baptism (though i find it hard to get infant out of this, but that's another

is this quote not evidence to the fact that some in early
church practiced credobaptism?

i am certainly open to loving

In his day... ..which was about the early 3rd century, you had a fad of Credo-Baptist custom. This fast lasted to about the middle of the 4th century.

This was done.....not for the reasons you are thinking about. His premise for telling parents to wait for their kids to be baptized was done for a different reason.

You don't believe in Baptismal regeneration. So this quote should be understood with that doctrine in mind.

Tertullian didn't want infants to be baptized because he wanted them to sin first. Yes, he wanted people to actually have a chance to sin....before getting it washed away. He didn't think Babies were sinful.

Baptism washes away all past sins. And this is the reason why the Emperor Constantine waited to be Baptized at his death bed. He wanted all his past sins to be wiped away.

Christians were scared to sin after Baptism. And this was the reason for the temperory fad of Credo-Baptism.

The fad ended whith the Christian Theologians of the 4th century. All it took, was to point to the fact that sins can be forgivin after Baptism.

This is why we confess our sins to God and to One another.

The Church in Tertullians day, had a very high view of Holiness!!! they believed that we are sinners because we sin. The later Augustinian idea of sinning because we are sinners wasn't around back then.

This is the context that one should keep in mind.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A question about the coming Pascha

Originally Posted by joseph29
does that mean
next sunday is easter

YUPP! Well, really Saturday night.

Our Sunday Church service is called "Post Pascha celebration".

Friday night is ussually an all nighter from 11p.m. to about sunrise....maybe 7a.m.

Historically that is when new comers (catechumens/people who are seeking to join the church) will pray and sing all night and at day break on Saturday morning they will be Baptized(if not already baptized in the Triniterian formula). But that is when they are Baptized(full immersion) three times in water, and after that they are chrismated(confirmation).

Before they are Baptized they are asked:

"Do you renounce Satan and all his works, and all his worship, and all his angels, and all his pride?"

Three times this question is asked, and three times the person answers "I do."

Then the person is asked, "Have you renounced Satan?" again, this question is asked three times, and three times the person answers "I have". Then the person is asked to blow and spit upon Satan, and the person is expected to do so. Next the person is asked, "Do you unite yourself to Christ?" This question is also asked three times. And three times the person answers "I do." then immediately the person is asked, "Have you united yourself to Christ?" And the person responds by saying: "I have." Finally, the person is asked, "And do you believe in Him?" And the person answers, "I believe in Him as King and God." And after that the Nicene Creed is repeated.

I maybe wrong, but I think when one turns to spit on Satan they turn towards the west. I think this is done because Jesus is mentioned as coming from the East.

And when one is chrismated they are marked with Olive Oil.....or is it another type of Oil? I forgot....but the person's ears, chest, neck, lips, knose(I think...I maybe wrong), eye lids, and hands are marked. I may be wrong again, but I think the mark is done in the shape of a cross. Each person who is chrismated is accompanied with their sponsor(the person who is suppose to train them in the faith)

And each one has a candle in hand as well. And after that they partake of communion for the first time. All of this stuff has a theological meaning......I just don't know what all of it is at this time.

Also later on that night (Saturday) around 10:30 p.m. is when we celebrate Easter.....well pascha.

The reason for that is .....because .....the first day really begins when the sun goes down on Saturday. My group of Orthodox are Syrians, so alot of their customs are extremely close to that of the Jews.

Other Orthodox may celebrate it on Sunday instead of Saturday....I don't know....but as far as my jurisdiction goes it's Saturday night.


answering a question about a few denominations

Originally Posted by iron_jae
There are so
many different denominations in the Christian faith. Can someone describe the
differences of a few? Especially the more popular ones like Baptist, Methodist,
Pentecostal, Foursquare, etc....

shooting from the hip, I would say:

Baptists came from English Separatists. I forgot the dates....but I would say somewhere in the 16 hundreds. I could be wrong about that.

Some might argue this point, but I think the General Baptists were the first breed of Baptists. Most other Baptists came from the Particular Baptist brand.

There may have been some cross-breeding with other English Separatists and Mennonites/Ana-Baptists, but over here in the United States there was a man in New England.

I forgot his name...Roger....uhm....It might come to me later, but he was kicked out of the Boston area...Massatuechits(I know it's spelled wrong).

But he was kicked out and he formed the state known as "Rhode Island". He is pretty much looked at as forming the first American Baptist Church.

Now.....I don't know what year that was. I'm not looking at anything, and it's been a long time since, I looked over the history of the Baptists.

But as you know they split into alot of different sub-denominations over the years.

You have Primative Baptists, General Baptists, Southern Baptists, American Baptists, Free will Baptists, Reformed Baptists, .........ect.

In general the Baptists are Congregational in government. Now in saying this you might find some that are not. I personally think they were Congregationalists because they started out as English Separatists....who were also Congregational in church governmant.

They believe in Adult Baptism only. They may have gotten this from the Mennonites.

Back then ....they also were against State Churches. They may have gotten this from the Mennonites as well.

Outside of the general Baptists and Free will Baptists, most Baptists have a Calvinistic foundation. This may be due to the fact that they came from "English separatistism".

Most English separatists were Pretty much in agreement with the Puritans in regards to Calvinism. There was alot of cross-breeding between the Puritans and English Separatist groups.

Later in time, most Baptists in North America started to hold a half-way position between Arminianism and Calvinism. They want to believe in free will, unlimited Atonement, but they also want to believe in Once saved always saved.

And this is pretty much the dominate view right now among Baptists.

From the Baptists, you have alot of nondenominational Bible churches, fundementalist churches, The seventhday Adventist church (because they were started by a 7nth day Baptist)......ect.

The Methodhists came from John Wesly, Charles Wesly, and George Whittefield. I might be wrong, but I think it started as a Bible club at Oxford University.

They had a method of daily, prayers, fasts, scriptural readings......ect.

At Oxford, they were called "the Holy Club". That was the put down used by other students....and maybe teachers.

John Wesly was raised in a more "high church" form of Anglicanism, and his mentor was William Law.

But anyway, George Whitfield tought Wesly how to do Open air preaching and over a period of time both John and George split into different groups.

John Wesly's theology slightly changed when he met a set of Morovians on a boat back to England. And at some camp meeting while reading Luther's intro to the book of Romans he felt his heart get warm, and this is where Wesly says he was born again.

This is known as the "Altergate experience".

John Wesly stayed an Anglican all his life, but because of the American Revolutionary war with Great Britan,. John Wesly had to ordain...or maybe he had another priest ordain...his American Methodhist followers.

the Methodist movement became it's own denomination after the death of John Wesly.

It belives in elected the church government is ran by bishops.

Like the Baptist, it came from England.

Outside of George Whitfield's branch of Methodism......which is very tiny. Most of Methodism is Arminian in theology.

From them, came the Holiness Movement, the Pentecostal Movement, and the later Charismatic all comes from this line of Protestantism.

Pentecostalism came from a mixture of Holiness Churches that went to Azuza Street. It was called the Azuza street Revival. This was about 1906. Now there is a short history before that time between a White Holiness Preacher and a black preacher name Semor.....but I forgot all the details, so I'm not gonna talk about it this time. I'm shooting from the hip.

But it started as a revival and it spread from that.

From it you have:





Foursquare Gospel

and hundreds more.

So it all started from England, with Anglicanism

And From Anfglicanism you had various splits of Puritans, and Seperatists.

And from the Puritans you have. Congregationalists(like the church where Rev.Jeriamiah wright use to preach at)

And Prespyterian. The Prespyterian thing is kinda weird, because this group of Puritans in America linked up with the church of they have a scotish cross-breeding.

But you have alot of differant groups of Prespyterians in America.

And from the Congregationalists you have Baptists.

From the Prespyterians you have Church of Christ

From Anglicanism you have Methodism, and Episcopalism(in America)

And from the Methodists you have the Holiness movement.

And from the Holiness movement, you have the Pentecostal movement.

And from the Pentecostal movement you have the Charismatic movement.

I think, I will stop at this, but part of the problem is "Freedom of Religion" in our country. For most of the splits happened over here in America.


The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts & English Translations

This just came in the mail today. It's good because it has both the Greek and English. The greek is on the left side, while the english on the right side. It also lists some of the scripture references made by some of the Apostolic Fathers.

This is a good reference tool for anyone who reads the works of the early christians.

Oh, for those that don't know what the term "Apostolic Fathers" mean. It just means that these christians were the ones that lived closest to the Apostles. The time frame is about 70 A.D. to about 150 A.D.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Originally Posted by The_Expositor

Are you a

Yupp, but our understanding of Christian "Panentheism" doesn't mean. And I'll doesn't mean being part of God. It just means being "In God".

Just like a fish is in the ocean, yet is distinct from the ocean itself, so likewise is all of creation(both visable and invisable) in God, yet is distinct from Him.

This is how we understand God's well as all the other Attributes of God.

My whole point of us being images of God goes back to the first chapter of Genesis. As well as when Jesus linked feeding those in need with feeding Himself.

Only mankind is called God's image, the rest of creation wasn't called I said before.....we don't believe we are "part" of God.

Just so there is no confusion. So our Panentheism, doesn't really have anything to do with helping out the poor. Helping out the poor has everything to do with God making us in His image.

So in short, Seeing God in man has everything to do with God making man in His image.

Panentheism on the otherhand has everything to do with the Omni-presence of God, and His Divine Providence over creation. I'm not talking about that. Us being images is much more than a general presence in creation.

This type of presence(image) is something that makes us different from the rest of creation. Being an Image of God is not something we have. It's something we are.


Being made in God's image...then and now

What was Adam's image? Adam's image was corrupted by his sin.
Therefore, Seth was made in the image and likeness of one whose original image
and likeness after God, was corrupted.

Not exactly, When talking to Noah, God said:

Genesis 9:6
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man."

So yes, it is true that directly we are made in the image and likeness of Adam, but God still made it seem as if "Indirectly" mankind in general was still made in the image of God. When Adam fell, he was corrupt, but not destroyed. He was marred, but not annihilated.

Being "made" in God's image isn't something we have. It is something we are. In order for it to be gone we must be gone. It is us, and we are it.

Also Paul says "we" are God's offspring.

Acts 17:29
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill."

So we may not be "perfect images" anymore, but we are still images....just marred/broken images.

So the Adamic nature is only in the sense of "decay". We are decaying because of Adam's separation from God. This is what "death" means.

We "die" because we are "separated" from God. Jesus came to give us "life".

So it is through Jesus, who is the perfect image of God that unites us with the Father again. And it is this unity that gives us "life".

Ephesians 2:3 tells us that, by nature, we were children of wrath
before Christ saved us. Being children of wrath by nature, being corrupted by
sin and inheriting the image and likeness of Adam, how could any of us have been
"in God"

Eph 2:3
"among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."

According to Eph 2:3 we were children of wrath not by nature, but by choice. The Adamic nature wasn't the cause for the Wrath of God. It was our "participation" in the desires/cravings of the flesh that caused His wrath to be on us."

We can see this for those who are in christ:

Galatians 5:24
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

God's wrath isn't really on the Adamic nature in and of itself. It is on those who participate in it's passions. Because of the fall, the Adamic nature gives us a tendency to sin, but it doesn't give us the "necessity" to sin.

Those who are in Christ still have the Adamic nature......we are still in the decaying body that came from Adam. And it is because of this decay that we have these cravings, and desires.

God is always in us.....or else He wouldn't be Omni-Present. Also His mark will always be part of our make up because being in His Image is what we is not something we have.

Being "in God" requires a choice on God's part to place us in Him,
because by nature, we were children of wrath. In Adam, all die.

When it comes to being "in God" there are many different levels. Because of God's Omni-Presence everyone and everything is in God in a generic sense.

To a greater degree all of mankind has God's mark(trademark) on them because He made us in His image. So when you look at fallen man you are looking at a broken/imperfect image of God.

And I would say that "because of Adam" all die. But even if you want to say "in Adam" all die, that's fine too...for

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—

For Death came to all men. God's wrath is in regards to us sinning. It is not in regards to us dying.

Jesus will oneday raise everyone from the dead.

Romans 5:18
"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."

Paul was using the word "justification" in the same sense as Romans 4:25

"He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."

But those who have their sins "expiated" through His blood will be forgivin and reconciled back to the Father.

So when we are raised the word "Justification" will be in the same sense as "Romans 5:9"

"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

Those who are in Christ are on their way of becoming "perfect images" of God...not even Adam was like this.....for he was created in a glorified state.....he sinned before he was ever glorified.

We are "in God" because God Himself chose us
(believers) to be in Him before the foundation of the world. Before He created
man in His image and His likeness. Before the man He created in that image
rebelled against God's authority. And He has made us accepted in the beloved
(who is Christ).

This type of being in God is a higher form than what I was talking about. I was talking in generic terms.

When fallen images are in Christ, they have a greater(richer) presence of God in them than other fallen images.

So it would go something like this.

God's presense is universal. In a generic way He is in everyone.

God's presence to a greater degree is in mankind, because mankind was made in His image, and eventhough fallen he is not destroyed.

God's presense to a higher degree is when a fallen image is reborn in Christ.

and even still, God's presence to the greatest degree is when a fallen image is glorified.

This was all I was talking about.

If God is light, and in Him there is no darkness
at all, how is it that those who walk in darkness are "in God"?

They are in God in a lesser degree. God is both immenant as well as transcendent. This is why God is "OMNI-PRESENT".

The Context of 1st John 1:5 is not talking about God's Omni-presence.

This is seen by

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

Do you sin? If so then how can a christian be "In Him" and sin? You don't believe that a person can loose their salvation so how can you sin and still be "In Him", if there is no darkness in Him?

It's obvious that this text isn't talking about the Omni-Presence of God.

John is using "In HIM" in a different "sense".....a different context.

I've read up a little bit on the Eastern and
Oriental Orthodox view of Panentheism as well. Is that where you're coming

Yeah, to be honest.....I think every christian is a Panentheist to some degree. Or else they can't believe God to be Omni-Present....both Transcendent & Immenant.

Panentheism, is the way we(Orthodox and some protestants) understand God's Attributes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Crucifixion of Christ - Part 2

The Crucifixion of Christ - Part 2


Joy, Peace, and Thought (Philippians 4)

This is Fr. Pat Reardon's Palm Sunday homilie over at "All Saints Church" in Chicago, Il.

As seen from the site:

"Monday, April 21, 2008 - On Palm Sunday, at the beginning of this saddest of weeks, St. Paul exhorts us, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice."


Calvinism & Usury

There is a link between Calvinism and our modern use of Usury. We now live in an age where High Usury against is commonplace, yet the Bible and Historic Christian commentary for 15 hundred years were all against it. Except for one person. And that person was John Calvin.

In the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea" Alister Mcgrath goes through the common consensus of Biblical interpretation in regards to the issue of Usury. He notes how everyone was against it. Then he turns tro Calvin and shows how his view eventually became the common interpretation of the text among Prots and then about 3 hundred years later among Catholics, and eventhough he doesn't mention this, but it has alo become the view of some Orthodox in recent decades.

Yet while Christians were Prohibited from lending money at interest, Jews
were explicitly exempted from this ban. This exemption led to the emergence of
the stereotype of the Jew as an avaricious moneylender, famously exemplified in
Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venine. These views were not challenged
in the first phase of Protestantism. Martin Luther regarded the biblical
prohibition of usury as permanently binding. In his 1524 sermon on trade and
usury, Luther lashed out at any attempt to change interest. In his view,
Christians "should willingly and gladly lend money without any charge." The
Elizabethan Protestant bishop John Jewel reflected the views of his age when he
raged from his pulpit against the iniquities of usury. "It is theft, it is the
murdering of our brethern, it is the curse of God and the curse of the people."
This uncompromising opposition to usury was emodied in a statute passed by the
English Parliament in 1571, which had the uniforeseen and unintended effect of
legitimating usury at a fixed rate of 10 percent.

Yet the lending of monay at interest was essential to the emergence of
modern capitalism. A steady increasing hunger for capital led many in both
church and state to turn a blind eye to moneylending and to reconsider the
entire theological basis of the prhibition of usury. Calvin could not have been
unaware of these problems. The survival of the city of Geneva depended on being
able to sustain and develop its urban economy and remain independant of
potentially dangerous neighbors.

In 1545 Calvin wrote to his friend Claude de Sachin, setting out his views
on usury. The letter was not published until after Calvin's death (1564), when
Theodore Beza decided to make its contents generally known in 1575. At one
level, this letter can be read as a total inversion of the teaching of the Old
Testament; a more attentive reading confirms this suspicion but discloses the
sophisticated lines of argument that led Calvin to his surprising conclusion.
how could Calvin reinterpret the Old Testament's explicit statement that usury
is prohibited to mean that it is actually permitted?.

Calvin's letter of 1545 reinforces the impotance of biblibal interpretation
to Protestantism. In one respect, Calvin reaffirmed the general Protestant idea
that not all the rules set out for Jews in the Old Testament were binding upon
Christians; in these instances, the Old Testament offered moral guidance only,
not positive prescription for conduct. Yet this way of interpreting the Old
Testament had been applied to cultic issues-such as the Old Testament's demand
for animal sacrifices. Calvin's extension of the principle to usury broke new

A fundamental theme recurring throuhout the letter was that things had
moved on. the situation in sixteenth-century Europe was not the same as that in
ancient Israel.
As Bieler points out in his magisterial study of Calvin's economic thought,
the new economic realities of the sixteenth century made it possible to view
interests as simply rent paid on capital. Calvin therefore argued for the need
to probe deeper and ascertain the general princliples that seemed to underlie
the Old Testament ban on usury in its original context. It was the purpose of
the prohibition, not the prohibition itself, that had to govern Protestant
thinking on this matter. "We ought not to judge usury according to a few
passages of scripture, but in accordance with the principle of equity." For
Calvin, the real concern was the exploitation of the poor through." through high interests rates.
This, he argued, could be dealt with in other ways-such as fixing of interest
rates at communally acceptable levels. Calvin's willinglness to allow a variable
rate of interest showed an awareness of the pressures upon capital in the more
or less free market of the age.

Calvin's views which were seen by many as running counter to the clear
meaning of the Bible, took some time to become accepted. By the middle of the
seventeenth century-more than one hundred years after Calvin's groundbreaking
analysis-usury was fully regarded as acceptable.
Protestant jurists such as Hugo
Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf supplemented Calvin's theological analysis with
clarifications of economic concepts, especially in relation to price and value,
that finally removed any remaining scruples about lending money at unterest. The
Catholic church did not legitmate usury, however, until 1830, apparently in
response to the widespread acceptance of the practice within predominantly
Protestant western Europe.

Yet Protestantism did more than bring about the theological adjustment that
opened the way to a modern capitalist economy, its early development in the
cities of Europe, especially in Switzerland, created the economic conditions
that made such a change inevitable and essential. During the period 1535 to
1540, an economic recession descended on the area around Geneva. Despite this
downturn, Geneva was able to survive and to go on to benefit from the subsequent
recovery throughout the region, which lasted from 1540 to 1555. It is now
thought that one of the prime reasons for Geneva's resilience during this period
was the emergence of the Swiss banking system, which allowed Basel and other
major Swiss Protestant cities sympathic to Calvin's religious agenda to bail him
out through large loans. The Swiss banking system emerged as a direct response
to a shared sense of identity throughout the Protestant cantons of Switzerland
and neighboring cities-including
raising of capital for economic expansion thus became imperative for Geneva
around this time. Calvin's removal of the remaining theological impediments to
the practice of usury was not merely religiously progressive; it was essential
if his version of Protestantism was to survive
. So intimate was the connection
between the religious system of Calvinism and the city of Geneva that the
collapse of the latter would have had disastrous implications for the

Calvinism's noval interpretation of Usury is one of the causes of masses poverty in the World today. Yes, the world has always had it's poor, but Calvinism has made it even worse.

Related links:
orrologion: Entries on 'Interest' & 'Usury' in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia

More on "Usury"


[1] pages 332-335 from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Alister E. McGrath. Published by HarperOne, Copyright 2007
Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Wife of Pilate

"The Wife of Pilate" by Dr. Fr. Patrick Henry
In his podcast "Pastoral Ponderings"

The Crucifixion of Christ - Part 1

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou talks about the Crucifixion of Christ. This is the first part of a two part episode.

As seen from the website:

"In this extensive 2 part episode, Jeannie explores the crucifixion of Christ. Be prepared to learn a lot!"


Is Calvinism one step away from Atheism?

It is my view that Calvinism is semi-Atheistic. Especially those Calvinists that are "cessationists" I point the finger at the Zwingli/Calvin Compromise. This compromise was one of the reasons why the Reformed churches couldn't unite with the Lutherian churches.

But I would like to quote a few things by Alister Mcgrath to show that I wasn't wrong for speculating this.

He says on page 146 of his book "Christianity's Dangerous idea: The protestant revolution-a history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first":

"The appeal of the Enlightenment proved greatest within Reformed circles. For
reasons that remain unclear, rationalism gained acceptance in many former
Calvinist strongholds. Geneva and Edinburgh, both international centers of
Calvinism in the late sixteenth century, were noted as epicenters of European
rationalism in the late eighteenth century. John Calvin and John Knox gave way
to the very different worldviews of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume. In
marked contrast, the Enlightenment had relatively little impact on Catholicism
during the eighteenth century-unless, of course, the French Revolution (1789) is
seen as a political extension of the ideas of the Enlightenment."[1]

He mentions this again in passing on page 264 while talking about the stripping away of the "sacred/supernatural" and the rise of the Atheistic worldview.

"While most Elizabethan Protestants were happy to follow continental ideas,
especially those of Calvin, their Jacobean and Stuart successors were
increasingly aware of the need to symbolize the interaction and interpenetration
of the sacred and secular. The poetry of George Herbert can be seen as an
attempt to retain an essentially Calvinist theology of the Sacraments, while
developing its capacity to promote the Church's social and confessional
This decoupling of the sacred from the quotidian, characteristic
of certain types of Protestantism, accelerated the rise of a functionally
atheist worldview in which God was not regarded as an active participant in the
worldview. It is no accident that two sixteenth-century European centers of
Calvinism-Geneva and Edinburgh-had became centers of rationalism two centuries
We shall have more to say about this development later. Yet it is
important to appreciate here that one of the most fundamental characteristics of
Pentecostalism is its insistence that the divine may be encountered in the
secular realm. Its astonishing success points to the reversal of this trend and
the emergence of a new form of Protestantism characterized by its expectation of
the direct experience of the spiritual within the mundane."[2]

I am not the onlyone who sees a connection between Calvinistic theology with the rise of Atheism. I'm not gonna say all, but alot of Calvinists tend to disregard any idea of "mystery" for the sake of "rationalism".

[1], and [2] by Dr. Alister Mcgrath, from the book Christianity's Dangerous idea: The Protestant Revolution-A history from the sixteenth Century to the twenty-First. Published by HarperOne. Copyright 2007


Calvinism's historical inconsistency with Romans 13:1-2

Calvinism’s inconsistency with Romans 13:1-2

In modern times, it is not uncommon to hear a Calvinist bring up Romans 13:1-2 when it comes to the issue of “civil disobedience”. They seem to support government oppression over the rights of the poor and downtrotten. Normally they will say that “civil disobedience” is only in regards to personal evangelism. But lets look at their history to see if this was always true.

Romans 13:1-2
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

In the book Christianity’s dangerous idea, Dr. Mcgrath mentions one of the threats to King James the 1st’s Kingdom.

“”Jame’s Scotish experience had created something of an aversion on his part to
the more austere forms of Presbyterian church culture and convinced him that,
just as Geneva was a republic, so Calvin’s followers were covert
His views on this matter were shaped to no small extent by some
unpleasant experiences with Scottish prespyteries, Particularly under Andrew
Melville, a Scotish Presbyterian who had taught at the Calvin’s protégé Theodore

At a heated encounter between the King and senior churchmen at
Falkland Palace in October 1596, Melville had physically taken hold of James and
accused him of being “God’s silly vassal.”
Melville pointedly declared that
while he and his colleagues would support James as King in public, in private
they all knew perfectly well that Christ was the true King in Scotland, and his
Kingdom was the Kirk-a Kingdom in which James was a mere member, not a Lord or
head. James was shaken by this physical and verbal assault, not least because it
suggested that Melville and his allies posed a significant threat to the
Scottish throne.
Apologists for the Anglican establishment were to spot their
opportunity. Richard Bancroft and others set out to persuade James that his
monarchy was dependant upon the episcopacy for its future. The ultimate goal of
Puritanism, they argued, was to overthrow the monarchy altogether.
Without the
bishops of the Church of England, there was no future for the monarchy in
England. The King’s real enemies, the “Papists” and the “Puritans,” had a vested
interest in destroying his authority. Only a close working alliance with the
bishops would preserve the status quo and allow James to exercise his (as he saw
it) divinely ordained kingly role in state and church. It was a telling
argument, and it hit home.

In the end, James I developed his own policy
that managed to contain Puritanism’s agendas without leading to any major
alterations to the practices or beliefs of the established church.

Puritans were offered scraps of consolation and promises of future change that
either never materialized or amounted to surprising little. James promised a new
English translation of the Bible, which some Puritans may unwisely have hoped
would strengthen their position; when the famous “King James Version” was
published in 1611, it turned out to use the traditional language favored by
Anglicans rather than the more radical terms preferred by Puritans.””[1]

Pages 124 & 125 by Alister Mcgrath from the book “Christianity’s Dangerous idea: The Protestant revolution-a history from the sixteenth Century to the twenty-first”. Copyright 2007, Published by HarperOne. [1], [2], and [3]

Later in the book he talks about the root of the problem. He points the finger at John Calvin himself when he says on page 134-135

“The theory of the divine right of kingd neatly locked church and king together
in the robust circle of mutual support and reinforcement, in effect making the
established church impervious to significant parliamentary criticism. Yet the
most significant criticism of James’s doctrine was theological. The theological
foundation for the doctrine of “monarchomachy”- the idea that severe
restrictions were to be placed upon the rights of Kings, so that the people had
both a right and a duty to resist tyrannical monarchs-was laid in France in
response to the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. Some years earlier,
John Calvin-perhaps beginning to recognize the practical and political
importance of the question –had conceded that rulers might exceed the bounds of
their authority by setting themselves against God; when they did so, he
suggested, they abrogated their own power.
These ideas were developed and
extended by abrogated their own power. These ideas were developed and extended
by his French followers in the aftermath of the events of 1572. Francois Hotman,
Theodore Beza, and Philippe Duplessissisted. The Primary Christian duty to obey
God is to be placed above any secondary obligation to obey a human ruler.
Puritan writers thus deconstructed the notion of the divine right of Kings with
theological ease and personal glee, pointing out its lack of biblical warrant.
For them, the King’s excesses highlighted the virtues of the republicanism of
Calvin’s Geneva.
These virtues were emphasized by one of the most important
English translations of the Bible-the so-called Geneva Bible, produced by
English exiles at Geneva during the reign of Mary Tudor and published in 1560.
It was probably the finest translation of its age. Yet its growing popularity in
the reign of James I rested largely on an additional feature of this
translation-its marginal notes.”[2]

The Next King of England would be killed by the Puritans. Calvinists were able to formulate a new theological doctrine that allowed them to kill governmental leaders. As seen by Mcgrath on page 140 of his book.

“The answer was suggested by a new doctrine that had arisen within Reformed
Protestantism after the death of Calvin. Though he had advocated lawful
resistance to tyrants
, Calvin had not endorsed the justifiable regicide-that is,
the killing of oppressive monarchs. Calvin’s death in 1564 removed the last
remaining obstacle to this new doctrine, which became increasingly significant
in the late 1560’s. In his short treatise of Politike power(1556), John Ponet
(1514-56) asserted that the people had the right to revolt against their
oppressors-including “Kings, Princes and other gouvernors”-and to destroy them
before they destroyed the people.
Christopher Goodman (1520-1603) took a similar
line in his How superior powers ought to be obeyed(1558). Just as a surgeon might
amputate a limb to save the whole body, so society ought to be able to eliminate
oppressors through the death sentence.
On January I, 1649, Charles I was charged
by Parliament with being a “tyrant, traitor, and murderer.” The use of these
three words in the charge ensured that both a legal and theological foundation
were laid for the anticipated death sentence.”[3]

We can also see this trend with the American Revolution when we revolted against King George. And about a hundred and so years later we see it a third time with the Puritan missionaries in Hawaii. Hawaii at one time had its own monarchy and the puritans destroyed the Hawaiian Kingdom.

So the next time you are defending the rights of the poor and downtrotten and a Calvinist quotes Romans 13:1-2 to stop you……just tell them about their own history and inconsistency. No, they only quote that verse when it comes to “governments” they started. They want you to obey their system of government…..dispite its abuses.


Happy Palm Sunday!

Today is palm sunday. Happy Palm Sunday!!!
Friday, April 18, 2008

Some of the water marks of "free will"

I'm gonna do this by using some of the early (pre-Augustine) christians. I am only doing this because a few calvinists would like to believe(speculate) that they(pre-Augustine christians) didn't believe in LFW. No, instead they want to assume that they believed in "compatibilism/soft determinism". They reject the fact that christian determinism has its beginning with Saint Augustine in his later years. Before then "determinism" was only believed by the gnostics(anti-christs). We can see this in the writings of those that fought against them.

I will try to keep the quotes focused on the issue at hand. And those issues are "responsibility implies ability", "self determination", and "potentiality". These three things automatically weed out any soft deterministic concept of "free will"......which isn't freedom of the will at all.

Lets begin with:

1.) "Human responsibility". Those who don't believe in the doctrine of free will "believe that God asks us to do things we can't do", yet, they still would like to believe that humans are held responsible for their actions anyway.

Those who believe in free will, know that God wouldn't ask us to do something HE first wouldn't give us the power to do. So one of the water marks of "Human responsibility" is "Ability".

Thus we can say "Responsibility implies ability"

"I do not think that God urges man to obey His commandments, but then deprives
him of the power to obey or disobey........He does not give a command in order
to take away the power that he has given. Rather, He gives it in order to bestow
a better return for his having rendered obedience to God. For man
had power to withold it. I say that man was made with free will."
Methodius 290 A.D.

In regards to accepting or rejecting with the use of the will.

"Those who work it will receive glory and honor, because they have done that
which is good when they had it in their power not to do it. But those who do not
do it will receive the just judgement of God, because they did not work good
when they had it in their power to do so. But if some have been made by nature
bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being
good, for they were created that way. Nor would the former be reprehensible, for
that is how they were made. However, all men are of the same nature. They are
all able to hold fast and to do what is good. On the other hand, they have the
power to cast good from them and not to do it. For that reason, some justly
receive praise."
Irenaeus 180 A.D.

"If then, it were not in our power to do or not to do these things, what reason
did the apostle have, and much more the Lord Himself, to give us counsel to do
some things, and to abstain from others? But because man is possessed of free
will (in whose likeness man was created), advice is always given to him to hold
fast to the good, which is done through obedience to God. God has preserved the
will of man free and under his own control. This is not merely in works, but
also in faith."
Irenaeus 180 A.D.

"Neither praises nor censures, neither rewards nor punishments are right if the
soul does not have the power of inclination and disinclination and if evil is
involuntary.....In no respect is God the author of evil. But since free choice
and inclination originate sins, .....punishments are justly inflicted."
Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

"I find, then, that man was constituted free by God. He was master of his own
will and power.....For a law would not be imposed upon one who did not have it
in his power to render that obedience which is due to law. Nor again, would the
penalty of death be threatened against sin, if a contempt of the law were
impossible to man in the liberty of his will.....Man is free, with a will either
for obedience or resistance."
Tertullian 207 A.D.

"When a malignant power has began to incite us to evil, it is quite within our
power to cast the wicked suggestions away from us.....Similarly, when a divine
power calls us to better things, it is possible for us not to obey the call. Our
freedom of will is preserved in either case."
Origen 225 A.D.

The second Water mark is:

2.) "Self determination". Those who believe in LFW are "self determinators" according to the Protestant Evangelical Norman Geisler, in the book Chosen but Free 2nd edition(copyright 1999 & 2001. published by Bethany House). He says on pages 181-182 that:

"Much, if not most, of the problem in discussing "free will" is that the term is defined differently by various persons in the dispute. As explained in chapter 2, logically there are only three basic views: self-determinism (self-caused actions), determinism (acts caused by another), and indeterminism (acts with no cause whatsoever). Indeterminism is a violation of the law of causality that every event has a cause, and determinism is a violation of free will, since the moral agent is not causing his own actions.
There are, of course, several varieties of self-determinism. Some contend that all moral acts must be free only from all external influences. Others insist they must be free from both external and internal influences, that is, truly neutral. But they all have in common that, whatever influences there may be on the will, the agent could have done otherwise. That is, they could have chosen the opposite course of action."

And then he goes on to defend "self-determinism" for the next 4 pages. I only quoted Dr. Geisler so that people would know that it's an actual term.

But lets look at what some of the early christians had to say about this:

"This is the mind and judgement of man, which has freedom in itself and self
-determination in the treatment of what is assigned to it."
Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

"This will be the power of the grace of God-more potent indeed than
nature-exercising its sway over the faculty that underlies itself within us:
even the freedom of the will.....We define the soul as having sprung from the
breath of God. It is imortal....[and] free in its determinations."
Tertullian 210 A.D.

"God, who created [the World], did not, nor does not, make evil.....Now man (who
was brought into existence) was a creature endowed into a capacity of
self-determination, yet he did not possess a sovereign intellect.....Man, from
the fact of his possessing a capacity of self-determination, brings forth what
is evil......Since man has free will, a law has been given him by God, for a
good purpose. For a law will not be laid down for an animal that is devoid of
reason. Only a bridle and a whip will be given it. In contrast, man has been
given a commandment to perform, coupled with a penalty."
Hippolytus 225 A.D.

3.) Potentiality

"The Liberty of believing or of not believing is placed in free choice. In
Deuteronomy, it says: "Look! I have set before your face life and death, good
and evil. Choose for yourself life, that you may live." Also in Isaiah: "And if
you are willing and hear me, you will eat the good of the land."
Cyprian 250 A.D.

"Man was made with a free will....on account of his capacity of obeying or
disobeying God. For this was the meaning of the gift of free will."
Methodius 290 A.D.

"Since those rational creatures themselves....were endowed with the power of
free will, this freedom of the will incited each one to either progress (by
imitation ofGod), or else it reduced a person to failure through negligence. And
this, as we have already stated, is the cause of the diversity among rational
Origen 225 A.D.

Do Calvinists believe that "responsibility implies ability"? NO!

Do Calvinists believe that we are "self-determinators"? NO!

Do Calvinists believe in "potentiality"? NO!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


What one will really have to do is look at the Greek and Hebrew to see if the word used means "voluntary"/ "volitional".

Leviticus 22:23
You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox or a sheep that is deformed or stunted, but it will not be accepted in fulfillment of a vow.

Also one will have to see if the word can mean a "possibility".

If something is "Volitional" then that should weed out a "Hard deterministic" understandng & if the word is also a "possibility" then a "compatibilistic" understanding is also weeded out.

Thus the only interpretation left would be LFW.

In the New Testament, I noticed that alot of words were translated as "Might", "May".....ect. These words carry with them a sense of "possibility". So one will have to look at the greek word.....and look at it's mood....for wherever we have "possibility" language we have LFW.

Calvinists tend to make fun of Arminians for believing that Jesus made Salvation "possible" for all.

Yet we have this very same "possible" language in the New Testament.

John 1:7
He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.

John came as a light so that all men "might" doesn't say "John came so that some will" believe.

John 3:15
that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 12:36
Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wise statements by "Gary Michuta"

Gary Michuta is a lay Roman Catholic Apologist. Some might know him from his debates with James White. But I'm quoting a wise statement made in his book. Something overlooked by alot of conservative Roman Catholics and conservative Protestants when debating about the Deuto-conanical books.


"Appeals to supposed errors in the Deuterocanon have long peppered
Protestant/Catholic debates and rendered it far uglier than it needed to be.
Because Catholicism was its target, few had the forethought that this method
could be used against the rest of the Bible. As the Reformed scholar Edward
Ruess noted, "The scoffs thrown at the little fish of Tobit will sooner or later
destroy Jonah's wale."
Ruess prophetic words have been fulfilled by the
extravagances of higher criticism. After the Apocrypha controversy had subsided,
critics turned the same weapons against, not only the Prophet Jonah, but also
the rest of the books of scripture. So-called errors and absurdities were
quickly expunged from the Protocanon of the Old and New Testaments. Whole books
were labeled (or libeled) as myths and fables. The end result is a bible where
only a few passages are worthy of belief. Anti-Catholic polemicists have
unwittingly opened a Pandora's box. They assumed no one would ever dare charge
the rest of scripture with errors and absurdities, yet the advent of liberal
Protestantism brought with it individuals who did not fear to apply these
arguments consistently throughout the entire Bible.
The problem at the heart of
this line of argumentation is one of pride. It places the intellect in the role
of judge, allowing it to sit in judgement upon the word of God. Yet we must know
in advance what the word of God is before offering it this kind of allegiance.
That is why the canon of Scripture must be received as Sacred Tradition.

It takes humility to accept the canon of scripture as given to the
Church. But once we have made such an act all the glories of the Bible open up
to us. We may humbly submit our intellect to the text, sitting at the master's
feet like little children, knowing that even if the power to solve all
difficulties is beyond us, there is nevertheless a solution. To do otherwise
would be not only anti-Protestant (since it violates Sola scriptura), but
anti-Catholic and anti-Christian as well."

pages 322 & 323 from the book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: The
untold story of the lost books of the Protestant Bible" by Gary G. Michuta
(copyright) 2007

Gary's book is a good book if you want to know why the Roman Canon is the way it is. He ignores the Eastern Canons. The book is mainly a Roman Catholic vs Protestant book. But he raises a good point that non should miss. when we argue our positions, we need to have a little foresight of what some of the implications might be. Or else we will be shooting ourselves in the foot. Higher Criticism is a cancer that has plagued all of christiandom.

It has plaqued Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and in recent decades Eastern Orthodoxy.

And it all has it's roots in the Protestant/Roman Catholic Bible wars of the 15 to 17 hundreds. In the 17 to 19 hundreds, liberal prots have used those same methods to rip the rest of the Bible apart.

So we have to be careful in how we debate....or else we will create another monster that will come back to haunt us.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The 5th week of great Lent

The 5th week of great Lent: by Father Thomas Hopko in the podcast "Speaking the Truth in Love"

From the website

"Fr. Thomas gives an overview of the services for the 5th week of Great Lent and their final emphasis on penitance and repentance."


Sixth International Conference on Creationism

This is held once every 5 years. 5 years ago they had it at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa.

This year it will be in Pittsburgh Pa at a Hotel in Greentree on August 3 to the 7.


The Roman Trial - part 2

This is the second part to the Roman Trial by Dr. Constantinou


""Was Arminius a Molinist?" by Eef Dekker's

Neal, over at the Molinist blog, told me about an article by a man named "Eef Dekker". He wrote something that suggested that Arminius could of been either a Molinist or he at least knew of Molinism.

The article that he has was from the JSTOR database. I don't have access to JSTOR so I'm going to have to go to a Library that has access to it.

If I ever get my hands on this article then I'll try to post it online.

This is Neal's blog

Nevermind. I no longer have to go to the Library. I found the article right here

This is a little of what the Journal says

"The Protestant theologian Jacobus Arminius (1559-1609) was acquainted with
the much debated theory of middle knowledge, invented by his Roman Catholic
contemporary Luis de Molina (1535-1600), and he incorporated it into his own
Protestant theology. First, a sketch of theory of middle knowledge is provided.
The body of articles consists of a comparison of parts of Arminius' disputation
on divine nature with some central clauses from Molina's work. Arminius warmly
welcomed the theory of middle Knowledge, for it provided a method for
reconciling God's foreknowledge, grace and predestination with human free will.
In this sense, then, Arminius can be called a Molinist..........."

You can read the rest of the article over at the JSTOR link


Canon debate between Josh & Jay

In the process of this debate Josh changed his mind about Baptism. He went from a Credo-Baptist position to a Paedo-Baptist position. It seemed as if he was in talks with both Steve Hays and Paul Manata during this debate with my guess is.....and I could be wrong, but my guess is that Paul Manata of Triablog helped him change his mind on the issue. You will see the Credo- stance in his intro....but towards the end of the debate he lets everyone know that he changed views.

I have to congradulate both Jay & Josh for having a civil debate.

This is the Canon Debate

Josh tells his blog readers about the upcoming debate.

Jay's opening statement

Josh's opening statement

Jay's rebuttal

Josh's rebuttal

Jay's crossexamination

Josh's crossexamination

Josh's closing statements

Jay's closing statements

Josh asks the readers to ask questions

I will post the links to the answered questions when they give them.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Classical Arminianism: Single-Conditional Election

Classical Arminianism: Single-Conditional Election

"Not all Arminians agree with what is known as the corporate view of election (i.e. that people are elect merely by their union with Christ Jesus, Jesus being the Elect of God the Father, thus all who are united with Christ are also elect).
Picirilli states, "Election is Christocentric. This was one of Arminius' main concerns; as Clarke puts it, his 'final objection to Calvin was that his doctrine of predestination was just not sufficiently Christocentric.' He felt that the traditional Calvinistic approach did not adequately honor Christ."1
This has been the Arminian complaint since Arminius wrote on the subject. Rather than finding the source of individual election in Christ Jesus (and founded upon His atoning death, burial, and resurrection), the Calvinist places election in a decree; a rather misplaced election in the opinion of Arminians.
Again, Picirilli writes, "For him [Arminius], Christ should be the foundation and focus of election, as of salvation or Christianity itself, the one 'on whom that decree is founded.' Arminius insisted that 'The love with which God loves men absolutely to salvation . . . has no existence except in Jesus Christ.'"2

To read the rest of the post go to the blog.


Arminian Chronicles: Review of the Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards

Arminian Chronicles: Review of the Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards

Dan over at Arminian Cronicles reviews the book.


The Roman Trial - part 1

The Roman Trial-part 1 by the Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, in her Podcast called:

"Searching the Scriptures"

From the site:

"Today, Jeannie begins her look at the Roman Trial and, once again, we have divided it into 2 parts for easier digestion and download."


Ancient Christianity Conference on HOPE

The Ancient Christianity Conference on HOPE will be held this year in Ash Grove(near springfield), Missouri. At the Baymont Hotel. The conference fee is $40.00 and it will be from May 30 - June, 1

And some of the speakers will be:

Fr Moses Berry, Fr Jerome Sanderson, Fr Paisius Altschul,
Mother Katherine Weston, Professor Al Raboteau, Dr. Carla Thomas.

The conference is sponsored by the "Brotherhood of St Moses the Black".

Last year the conference was held near chicago and the topic was about "Repentance".

This video was done some years ago, and it's focus was on African American & Ancient Christianity. Is christianity a white man's religion?

The title was made that way because alot of Muslim, and black new age groups try to evangelize the African American community with that cliche. We all know that christianity is for all people and at the end of the video it makes that statement.

I had a chance to meet both Ft. Moses and Ft. Paisius at last year's event near Chicago.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thoughts about the first two verses of Hebrews chapter 1

This came about through a discussion about God speaking to us today. I used Job chapter 33 as well as other verses to show that he did, while others used Hebrews chapter 1 to show that he didn't. really all comes down to God limited to talking to people through the text alone? Many who believe that God only talks to us through the text don't deny that He can talk to us in other ways......they just don't think he does.

The argument for God speaking outside of the text was mainly about the "Witness" of the Holy Spirit (John chapter 15 and the book ofActs), as well as God talking to us through our dreams and visions(Job chapter 33). As well as still using Angels(as seen in the book of Acts with cornelius).

One side said yes, while the other side said no.

Hebrews chapter 1

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."

verse one
<>"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,"

In the Old Covenant God spoke to the People through Moses, and through the other Major and Minor prophets.

In other the Old Testament God constantly spoke "indirectly" through the Holy Spirit and Angles in the Law(the first 5 books) and the Prophets(all the other books).

But even in this we know that God spoke to non-prophets as seen through other verses. So just because Hebrews chapter 1 is saying God spoke to the Prophets....that doesn't mean he didn't use Angels and the Holy Spirit to speak to nonprophets......we already know from other verses that Hebrews chapter 1 can't be takin in a super strict mean.....God didn't speak to non-prophets in the Old Testament....because it's not mentioned in Hebrews chapter 1.

verse two
"2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."

In the New Covenant......the line of demarcation.....God speaks to the people "directly" through the Incarnation of His Son.

We can see this in the four Gospels.......Jesus mostly speaks in the four Gospels......But Jesus also tought and trained the Apostles for 3 years, so God spoke to us through them as well.....indirectly...but under the authority of the Son. If we took Hebrews chapter one in a super strict sense....then we can't say "God used the Apostles to speak to us either."

We can see this in all the other books in the New Testament.

But even in this we know through other verses that Jesus chose to speak to Paul, and the Holy Spirit still spoke to people.....the same with Angels.

The only difference is that it wasn't done by the Law & Prophets anymore. It was done By the Ministry of Jesus(the Son) the Holy Spirit and Angels did it under a New Covenant.......The Holy Spirit leads People to Christ

John 15:26
"When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me."

In the New Covenant the Holy Spirit will "speak/testify" about Christ.

We can see the same with the Angels in the book of Acts.

So Hebrews chapter 1 is mainly talking about a "Change of Covenants".

It isn't talking about Jesus being the "only one" that speaks in His Ministry. From looking at other texts we know that He allowed the Apostles to speak about Him, and in looking at John chapter 15 the Holy Spirit was going to speak about Him as well. And in looking at Acts we saw that Jesus used An Angel to speak to Cornelius.

So Hebrews chapter one is just talking about how the New Covenant is greater than the older one. And in looking at other texts (side by side with this text) we know that the Apostles, the Holy Spirit, and Angels were speaking to people in Jesus's Ministry.

I maybe wrong, but I don't think it's a Biblical mandate for God to only speak to us through the written text. The written text itself never says that.

In order for me to believe the other would have to show me a scripture that explicitly says "after Saint John dies" God will no longer speak directly to men through Angels, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit.

One will have to show me a scripture that says:

"After the death of Saint John, God will only speak through the written text only"

We have testimony after Testimony of God still doing what was said in Job chapter 33. Even modern times people are having the same experience as that shown in scripture. This issue can also lead to the issue of modern day maricles. Some might simply disagree because they feel it may compromise the canon. But I disagree. Jesus did alot of miracles that were never recorded in the canon. we see a hint of this in the last chapter of the Gospel of John. Yet that doesn't negate the fact that what Jesus did was real.

In order for something to be doesn't have to be in the canon. Therefore the Authority of the Canon is not in jeopardy. And to make Maricles or God speaking only real because it was recorded in the written text is to lean towards a type of semi-Atheism.

So in the end....I will say that we are suppose to test our experiences by the scriptures. If our experiences lines up with scripture then what's wrong? We are not suppose to ignore our experiences because what happened to us wasn't recorded as scripture.

Also when looking at scripture one must look at all the texts that talk about an issue. In the Old Testament....if one reads the books of Exodus and Deut they will never find Angels giving the Law to Moses or the People.

Yet Paul says it was givin by Angels.

Galatians 3:19
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.

You won't find "Angels" in the Old Testament text. And yet......I feel that many are doing a similar thing with Hebrews 1:1-2. If one wants to only stick to a super literal interpretation of the account found in Exodus and Deut then one must call Paul a liar or just ignore Paul's account of what was also Josephuse's account too. But one would have to ignore Paul or say that Paul's account is trumpted. I don't think we would want to do that. We should look at all the acounts and decide from that. This is what I think should be done for Hebrews chapter 1.

I know this won't change the minds of those who think differently, but I was asked what I thought about the verses of Hebrews chapter 1.

We will all just have to agree to differ

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Inspiration & Incarnation by Peter Enns

After reading about "Peter Enns" being laid off" from his job at Westminister Theological Seminary, and after about the uproar from various forums and blogs.......I decided to buy the book myself to see what was so bad about it.

The central focus of the book seems to be his paradigm of the Bible being 100% Divine as well as 100% human.......Just like Jesus Christ was.

He uses this premise to better explain modern findings in "Ancient Near Eastern Literature.", the problem of theological diversity in the Old Testament", and "the old Testament and it's interpretation in the New Testament".

He calls this "the incarnational analogy"

"I do not want to suggest that difficult problems have simple solutions.
What I want to offer, instead, is a proper starting point for discussing these
problems, one that, if allowed to run its course, will reorient us to see these
problem in a better light. This starting point can be traced back to the early
centuries of the church and can be applied to modern issues with
considerable profit. The starting point for our discussion is the following: as
Christ is both God and human, so is the Bible. In other words, we are to think
of the Bible in the same way that Christians think about Jesus. Christians
confess that Jesus is both god and human at the same time. He is not half-God
and half0human. He is not sometimes one and the other. rather, one of the
central doctrines of the Christian faith, worked out as far back as the council
of Chalcedon in AD 451, is that Jesus is 100 percent God and 100 percent human-
at the sametime."

page 17 by Peter Enns, in the book "Inspiration & Incarnation:
Evangelicals and the problem of the Old Testament". copyright 2005 by Peter
Enns, published by Baker Academic

Whats wrong with the idea of the Bible being 100% Divine & 100% human? This is what I believe.

This is no different than what Orthodox christians say:

"Two centuries after Saint Tikhon, at the Moscow Conference held in 1976 between
the Orthodox and the Anglicans, the true attitude towards Scripture was
expressed in different but equally valid terms. This joint statement, signed by
the delegates of both traditions, forms an excellent summary of the Orthodox
view: "The scriptures constitute a coherent whole. They are at once divinely
inspired and humanly expressed. they bear authoritative witness to God's
revelation of himself in creation, inthe Incarnation of the Word, and in the
whole history of salvation, and as such express the Word of God in human
language. We know, receive, and interpret Scripture through the Church and in
the Church. Our approach to the Bible is one of obedience."

page 1757
from the OSB

skipped two paragraphs

"Since it is
Divinely Inspired, the Bible possesses a fundamental unity, a total coherence,
for it is the same Spirit that speaks on every page. We do not refer to it as
"the books" in plural, ta biblia, but we call it "the Bible," "the book," in the
singular. It is one book, one Holy Scripture, with the same message
throughout-one composite and yet single story, from Genesis to Revelation.

At the same time, however, the Bible is also humanly expressed. It is an
entire Library of distinct writings, composed at varying times, by different
persons in widely diverse situations. We find God speaking here "in many and
various ways" (Heb 1:1). Each work in the Bible reflects the outlook of the age
in which it was written and the particular viewpoint of the author. For God does
not abolish our created personhood but enhances it. Divine grace co-operates
with human freedom: we are "fellow-workers," "co-operators" with God (1co 3:9).
In the words of the second century letter to Diognetus, "God persuades, He does
not compel; for violence is foreign to the Divine nature." So it is precisely in
the writing of inspired Scripture. The author of each book was not just a
passive instrument, a flute played by the Spirit, a dictation machine recording
a message. Every writer of Scripture contributes his or her particular human
gifts. Alongside the divine aspect, there is also a human element in Scripture,
and we are to value both."

page 1758 from the OSB

By the Right
Reverend Kallistos, Bishop of Diokleia. In thearticle "How to read the Bible".

So we pretty much are saying something similar to Peter Enns. I think one of the things that got Dr. Enns in trouble was using the word myth. But anyone that read the book would know that his ussage of the word was different than how Liberals, and Atheists use the word.
As seen on page 40 when he says:

"It is important to understand , however, that not all historians of the
Ancient Near East use the word myth simplt as shorthand for "untrue," made-up,"
storybook." It may include these ideas for some, but many who use the term are
trying to get at something deeper. A more generous way of defining myth is that
it is an ancient, premodern, prescientific way of addressing questions of
ultimate origins and meaning in the form of stories: Who are we? Where do we
come from? Ancient peoples were not concerned to describe the Universe in
scientific terms. In fact, to put the matter more strongly: scientific
investigation was not at the disposal of ancient Near Eastern peoples. Imagine
yourself as a Mesopotamian, living perhaps one thousand to two thousand years
before Abraham...............The scientific world in which we live and that we
take so much for granted was inconceivable to ancient Mesopotamians."

and on page 50

"But one might ask why it is that God can't use the category we call "myth"
to speak to ancient Israelites. We seem to think of myth as something ancient
people thought up because they didn't want to listen to what God said, and so at
the outset of the discussion the Bible is already set up in full contrast to the
ancient Near Eastern Literature. I don't don't think this is the case. If some
consensus could be reached for an alternative term, it would seem profitable to
abandon the word myth altogether, since the term has such a long history of
meanings attached to it, which prejudices the discussion from the outset. There
is no consensus for another word, so before we proceed, allow me to repeat how I
use the word myth in the discussion below: myth is an ancient, premodern,
pre-scientific way of addressing questions of ultimate origins and meaning in
the form of stories: Who are we? Where do we come from?"

He says there isn't a consensus, but a consensus never stopped him from coming up with a different term in regards to "christotelic" on page 154. He prefers this term over "christological & christocentric"

He says:

"The term I prefer to use to describe this eschatological hermeneutic is
christotelic. I prefer this over christological or christocentric since these
are susceptible to a point of view I am not advocating here, namely needing to
"see christ" in every, or nearly every, Old Testament passage. Telos is
the Greek word for "end" or "completion." To read the Old Testament
"christotelically" is to read it already knowing that christ is somehow the end
to which the Old testament stroy is holding."

I'm sure he could of came up with a different term for what he was trying to say in regards to the word "myth". If one can get passed his ussage of the word myth then this book should be an enjoyable read.

I personally think Westmenister Theological Seminary made a mistake in getting rid of this man. I read about 70% of this book and I enjoyed it so far. It really is an enjoyable and insightful academic read.


Perseverence of the Saints series


over at Arminian Perspectives has been doing a series about "perseverence" in Hebrews chapter 10.

Part 6:

Part 7:

Part 8:


False Alarm: Dangerous Preachers and Authors

Cdero has been on the hot end of the stick in recent months. Alot of Calvinists are upset with him for not sticking with the status quo.

In this blog post he talks about some of these differences.

This is a snippet of the blog:

"Unlike my
friend, I don’t think Enns’ incarnational paradigm undermines the inerrancy and
infallibility of scripture. Enns is doing a great service among conservative
Christians and liberal Christians by interacting with the extra biblical data
that is out there that is in need of being synthesized by evangelicals as well
as the broader Christian community. Asserting that pagan sources provided the
structure and shape of parts of scripture is not a denial of the divine
inspiration of scripture nor its inerrancy.
We briefly touched on Walter
Brueggemann whom I highly respect as a scholar and theologian. Again, I am
suppose to treat people like Brueggemann as dangerous people?
What my
friendly phone conversation boils down to is differences and disagreements. It
is fine to disagree with Enns’ incarnational paradigm. It is ok to disagree with
some of Brueggemann’s conclusions. But calling these men and people alike
dangerous is nothing more then causing a false alarm.
When I think of the
word dangerous, I think of the bubonic plague, violent armed criminals, taking a
stroll around my neighborhood at certain times of the day, guns, knives,
bullets, using an electric saw, etc.
Sorry, Brueggemann, Osteen, and Enns do
not strike me as dangerous people. perhaps my detractors would say that the pen
is mightier than the sword. If so, then perhaps dangerous is the wrong word.
What is really meant is that such preachers and authors are a threat to the
Biblical monopolization and religious control a person or group is trying to

read the whole thing at his blog.


The Holycultureradio blog and podcast

This is the blog of Holycultureradio. They use to have a theology section in their forum, but they closed that down in December of last year. That was one of the places where I met alot of different Calvinists. For some reason, the reformed have taken over most of the content heavy protestant Christian rap. It wasn't always this way.
I have been into christian rap since 1994/1995 and I have seen it evolve. There are alot of different theological groups within christian rap. In recent years Roman Catholic hiphop/rap has been growing. It is not as big as it's protestant cousin, but one of the reason's why they formed their own version of christian hiphop was because the content of christian rap was becoming more and more Theological heavy, and since Roman Catholics and Protestants like to fight over theology.
The Roman catholic christians decided to form their own space within the christian hiphop world that focused on Roman Catholic theology.
And this was where I met Phatcatholic. He was....and still is ..... at a catholic rap website called I brought him over to HCR because alot of the Calvinists misrepresented the Roman Catholic position. so they were winning the argument by default. When Phatcat showed up it pretty much neutralized things and it caused all of us to step up our researching skills, and apologetics.
There has been some collabos between the two different groups of rappers. I know in 2003 or 2004 an up roar happened when Manchild of Mars Hill converted to Roman Catholicism.
There are alot of protestant christian rappers and fans that still support him dispite his move to Rome.
I may be wrong but Holy Culture radio was mostly formed to fill the void of "". When that site went down, a few other sites were formed to fill the void. One of them was "".
HCR(Holycultureradio) has grown over the years to become one of the major players of protestant christian rap. It's main focus is one of content. So they push theological heavy protestant christian rap artists. Alot of which are Reformed or Calvinistic. And this is one of the reasons why Calvinism has grabbed a major hold in the christian rap market. Now they do play some noncalvinistic rappers, but there seems to be a bias in the direction of Calvin.
But this is the podcast blog of HCR.
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