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200 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    I am so thankful for his ministry. My CC pastor’s wife told me about his books and his writings taught me much needed truths about the grace of God and the Father’s love. To this day she and I share Brennan’s quotes with with another.

  2. Alex says:

    I can relate to a Brennan Manning much much more than most of the gurus in Selective Fundamentalism. I hope he either ceased to exist or is in whatever “heaven” is.

    He seemed to be a much more honest person than most spiritual leaders/gurus. He seemed a direct opposite of the False Piety Gospel that is prevalent today in evangelicalism.

  3. Andrew says:

    “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle,” Manning has said. “That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” This quote appeared in the prelude to dc Talk’s song “What if I Stumble?”

  4. Bob says:

    Careful Michael you’re starting to sound like Rob Bell.

  5. Andrew says:

    I don’t think so Bob.

  6. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jesus Jesus Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.

  7. I thought Michael’s comment on face book was hillarious. It was something like ” imagine the look on Dave Hunt’s fave when Brennan Manning walked thru the door “. Equally hillarios was Jackie Alnor’s comment about how unkinf Michael’s comment was because the implication was Manning was in hell ( a place Hunt could not be). O the matchless grace of God toward sinners.

  8. Bryan says:

    Studying the biblical concept of hell and the wrath of God is certainly fair game in the realm of theological discussion but our emphasis must be on the liberating ministry of God through his son. Knowing the bad news of the human condition is prerequisite to knowing the incredible freedom that comes from a heavenly Savior. When we experience the rescue from sin, then we must sing of the merciful life we find in the Kingdom of God. Let God decide someone’s eternal fate, while we do what we are called to do–to build bridges of love, and spread the blessings of God into every dark corner.

  9. Bob says:

    Andrew, you may have heard stuff Rob Bell says, but you haven’t listened very closely then.

    And if you also read a bunch of Manning he to has been called a heretic by many.

    Listen closely!

  10. Andrew says:

    Bob,

    I consider Rob Bell a heretic. Anyhow, Michael never mentioned Manning but only put a picture up. Not sure what your point is?

  11. mrtundraman says:

    ALex wrote “I can relate to a Brennan Manning much much more than most of the gurus in Selective Fundamentalism. I hope he either ceased to exist or is in whatever “heaven” is.”

    Of if Chuck Smith is correct he was already resurrected even though his body lies (I presume) ready to be buried he is is raised in his spiritual body now. Because Smith tells us there are billions of resurrections as each saint dies they are resurrected at that moment.

  12. Bob says:

    Andrew:

    Manning is loved by Michael and Bell is despised. Considering the gospels both of these men teach are not that much different and both are considered heretical by many, including yourself, I’d say I am pointing out the hypocrisy of men who support one over the other. If that includes you then so be it.

    Enough from me, you have made your own application.

  13. Bob says:

    Andrew:

    Additionally, I believe if we check it out, that is a Manning quote Michael has posted.

    No matter what people think about his gospel, Manning was a brave man!

    (As is Bell)

  14. Andrew says:

    Bob,
    I have heard plenty of pastors that quote Martin King Jr. in sermons. I believe he was a heretic since he was an Arian. Nothing wrong with quoting someone as long as people don’t come away with the wrong gospel. I don’t know enough about Manning to make a judgement on his theology.

  15. People die every day, but we only mention the celebrity. Sad, we don’t see are article here about some anonymous nurse who passed yesterday.

  16. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Men like Manning, Bell and yes maybe even Michael, have a gift for self-promotion and the ability to write or use media in a way which others hear and respond to. That nurse has an ability to help one person at a time so notoriety with the masses is missed.

    Of course, as you infer, her celebrity status is no less important to those whom she touches and in practice maybe the nurse’s touch is really more healing.

  17. Bob,
    Celebrity is manufactured by blogs such as this. Outside of the blog, I had not heard of Manning. Other than what has been quoted over the years, I have not read any Manning or Bell – I am neither richer or poorer because of it.

  18. erunner says:

    Music is up for the week. Every 3-4 months I post secular songs from my younger days, typically singer songwriter stuff but this week half of it is rock and roll. Feel free to drop by.

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/some-of-my-favorite-oldies/

  19. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I never heard of you until I visited this blog! I found out you were some sort of celebrity here on PP. Maybe you should write a book or two and spread your celebrity beyond PP?

  20. Bob,
    If Bell and Manning were humble people, they would shroud their celebrity behind a fake name like I do. 🙂

  21. Michael says:

    I do not despise Bell, I have disagreed with some of his public writings.
    I didn’t agree with all of Mannings theology…but what he taught me was precious to me.
    Because someone else chooses to lump different people together without nuance or detail doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to.

  22. erunner says:

    MLD… Celebrity?? :mrgreen: I hope in all the positive ways!!!!

    What about our starting rotation NOW?? Grrrrr…..

  23. Michael says:

    I have written many, many times on these pages of “anonymous” people…that is a dishonest criticism.

  24. e,
    it’s why we had 8 starters. Like I said on FB, for $147 million, he sure does break easy. 🙂

  25. Ixtlan says:

    I used to live not far from the Kit-Kat Ranch, but never patronized the place. I met a madame once; she didn’t mention which establishment was hers. She had exploitation written all over her and directed it toward everyone she came in contact with. Guess it had become a way of life for her.

    “I can relate to a Brennan Manning much much more than most of the gurus in Selective Fundamentalism.”

    As do I.

  26. London says:

    He wasn’t a celebrity to me.

  27. London, I know – you had first hand contact with the guy – that is why he should be honored in your case.

    Just as we all should be honoring our own pastors and not out being christian paparazzi – chasing after celebrity speakers … which is a passive way of telling your pastor, he is not sufficient.

  28. Michael says:

    Celebrities…like Luthor.

  29. Michael says:

    I’ll be the first in line to tell my church I’m not sufficient…and provide them with a reading list.

  30. Steve Wright says:

    and provide them with a reading list.
    ———————————————-
    Just don’t provide them with a bookstore or you will catch all sorts of flack 🙂

  31. Michael,
    You missed the “chasing after celebrity speakers” which many do. Reading their book is not the same.

    I have never follower Luther around the speaking or conference circuit. 🙂

  32. Michael says:

    God put gifted teachers in the body of Christ for the whole body of Christ.
    There was no bigger “celebrity” in 16th century Germany than Martin Luther…who grabbed hold of the latest technology to spread his teachings and publicize his views.

  33. Actually, if you check it out, in many cases it was the masses who produced his materials and not Martin himself.

    Luther posted the 95 theses and others took it, published it and passed it around – causing quite a clamor – Luther had nothing to do with that. His Table Talks were notes compile later by his students who met with him at his kitchen table.

    But, that aside, most of Luther’s “celebrity” came from his persecutors, since Luther for much of the time was in protective custody.

  34. erunner says:

    At times it seems we can be so off the cuff when it comes to a person dying. We can lose perspective on how much that person meant to God and the lengths He went to to reconcile him or her to Himself.

    If I was a loved one of Dave Hunt, Brennan Manning, etc. it would be very painful to see their lives being spoken of so negatively by other believers after their passing. Yet that’s how things work.

    Then to pronounce any “questionable believer” fit for hell or having gone there upon their passing seems to be walking on some very thin ice. Can you imagine being wrong in your judgment and all of the poison you may have influenced others with?

    I understand Dave Hunt may very well have done that in his life so he may not be the best example. I’m thinking of recent passing of well known believers. Rick Warren’s son could also be an example. I’m sure many have already sent Rick Warren to hell if he doesn’t repent and maybe his son is in hell because of his father with the thinking of others.

    Meanwhile we have Mormons, JW’s, scientologists, Muslims, etc. who will end up in hell if they don’t repent and come to God via the narrow road which is the life, death, and resurrection of His only begotten Son Jesus. Yet we have those in the name of Christ who declare all will be reconciled to God in the end, thus rendering what Christ did meaningless.

    Off to the Farmer’s Market.

  35. Bob says:

    MIchael it is OK to critique your handling of Bell and Manning and I understand you are of no obligation to describe why you do so.

    You are very kind to Manning while being substantially different in your critique of Bell. Why? I suspect you identify with Manning’s struggle with the Gospel more than you do Bell’s.

    I’m just pointing it out and find it problematic.

  36. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I don’t know if you noticed, or if such a nuance is too difficult for you….but they are two different people and should be read and assessed separately.

  37. filbertz says:

    I have read most of Mannings writings and have listened to him in person on several occasions. From his clear pronouncements, he was a man of faith in Christ, apart from works of flesh. I fail to understand the dilemma some face in accepting him as a brother in Christ. Is it because he was Catholic? Is it because he was somewhat famous? If one’s words cannot be taken at face value, all of us are in doubt

  38. Bob says:

    Michael why do you resort to personal attacks?

    “I don’t know if you noticed, or if such a nuance is too difficult for you”

    I have read both men and find strengths in both in addition to weaknesses. I am pointing my difficulties in your approach to both men. I find you problematic and inconsistent in your differentiation not mine and that is my critique.

    Please keep the personal attacks to a minimum.

  39. Reuben says:

    Hi Bob,

    Is it your intention to troll for fights here?

  40. Lutheran says:

    Blessed be his memory.

  41. Michael says:

    Bob,

    They are two different people with different backgrounds and different messages.
    I could care less if you find me problematic without giving specific examples that I might actually learn from.
    Frankly, I find you just to be another vacuous critic who wants to take shots without contributing anything of substance.
    However, I’ve always allowed critics (vacuous and otherwise) to hang out here, so enjoy.

  42. Bob says:

    Rueben:

    My intention is to point out the inconsistency in Michael’s posts. He honors one man (Manning) while spouting direct insults and mockery of another (Bell, go back and read his posts). I find that extremely inconsistent from a man who claims recently to be educated and by implication superior in his understanding than so many others who post on their blogs in disagreement with his views.

    My opinion of Manning is this, the man was neither evil or wanting. He contributed greatly to the debate of spirituality, humanity and will be remembered well into the future for all his contributions to this life. As far as his position with God and his theology of Jesus Christ, it is up to God Himself to judge his heart and soul in these areas.

    You can be rest assured PP does not need my help (or trolling) to start fights. They start often and are part of the reason this blog is “trolled” by so many and why Michael bragged in the past about the volume of traffic PP receives.

  43. BrianD says:

    Rest in peace Brennan Manning.

  44. Anne says:

    “In faith, there is movement and development. Each day something is new. To be Christian, faith has to be new – that is, alive and growing. It cannot be static, finished, settled. When Scripture, prayer, worship, ministry become routine, they are dead. When I conclude that I can now cope with the awful love of God, I have headed for the shallows to avoid the deeps. I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a teacup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God.” Thank you Brennan Manning for showing us that ANY boxes we try to create to corral the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Love, will always be too small.

  45. Scott Barber says:

    I honestly can’t imagine two people more dissimilar than Bell and Manning. One is a hipsterish ex-fundamentalist and ex-pastor from Michigan who is really good a viral marketing, and the other is and Irish Catholic ex-priest from depression-era New York and a struggling alchoholic. One publishes puff paper-backs that mull over theological issues in a cool and vacuous way, the other pours out his tortured soul in books drowning in personal pain yet dripping with 100 proof grace. If you put all the vaguely “inclusivistic” or “universalistic” Christian thinkers in a room you would have a room full of these guys: Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Karl Barth, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Kark Rahner. I think all these guys deserve to be judged on their own merit and not a la room.

  46. Reuben says:

    Bob, so you are here to troll for fights. Thanks for dancing around that and wasting a minute of my time. Michael is the nice guy around here.

    I am not.

    So I will ask kindly, contribute constructively, or take your leave. A guy with 30 posts here trolling for fights makes me really mad.

  47. Michael says:

    Scott,

    Well said!

  48. Rob Murphy says:

    I second Michael’s 48, well said Scott.

  49. Bob says:

    Reuben

    Glad you’re mad. Life’s not full of sweetness and harmony as both men point out in their books.

    My ” fight” is not with about Manning nor Bell it is about hypocrisy.

    Stay mad and show your heart with idle threats referenced by your post count. You do show your friendship well for Michael by coming to his defense.

    Michael you have shown grace for letting a few “trolls” like me come and at least post occasionally on PP.

  50. Andrew says:

    Bob,
    Sorry but don’t see the hypocrisy. And you have shown your true colors by call Rob Bell brave. In my estimation he is a coward. He had a lot of people fooled until he finally came out of the closet. He was either a coward for not doing it sooner or he was being calculating to maximize his own popularity.

  51. Kathy says:

    MLD says: Outside of the blog, I had not heard of Manning. Other than what has been quoted over the years, I have not read any Manning or Bell – I am neither richer or poorer because of it.

    The beauty is… Manning could’ve cared less that you didn’t know who he was either.

    That’s the big difference between Bell and Manning. Manning wasn’t being the poor, humble servant to be hip. He really was a poor, broken servant.

  52. Kathy says:

    I had the pleasure of hearing Manning in person myself, and he’s just as “crazy” and weird in person as he is in his books.

    I think he’s in heaven wondering what the hoopla over his death is about? He went on to his great reward, which was good because this life offered him little.

    If anything, he wouldn’t want Brennan Manning, the man, celebrated, but what Brennan Manning stood for, “the inseparable, unconditional love of God.”

    I have nitpicked a lot of Manning’s theology over the years, I think I’ve even mentioned some of it here. But out of reverence, i won’t bring them up now. Instead I’ll celebrated his death and resurrection with the proverbial ring.

    *ring*

  53. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I gotta admit that when I read people state that men speak from positions of privilege and power how consistently they think that applies. Do they mean all men or just white affluent guys? Status and identity politics interest me but sometimes a single guy with a disability or two with mixed raced parentage can get the weird feeling that when a guy like David Hayward talks about male privilege in the descriptions of a Lee Grady there can be a sort of meta-irony about how much power and privilege males seem to have. 🙂 Not suggesting that Hayward’s concerns are without merit, just that it may be the power and privilege critique, if it holds up, can be pervasive enough to be self-implicating even for Hayward.

    That said, it wouldn’t take much work to think of male pastors who fit the labels Hayward mentions and provides his own definitions for. We may not be on exactly the same page on all those details but we’re probably in the same chapter of the same book from what I can tell.

  54. mrtundraman says:

    “i won’t bring them up now. Instead I’ll celebrated his death and resurrection with the proverbial ring.”

    He’s not quite resurrected yet…

  55. Alex says:

    Very curious as to what the belief/assumption is of the Group here on these questions:

    1. Do you think God literally walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve? Did God literally speak with them? Was He there with them in the Garden? Did Adam and Eve literall “hide” from God? Did God find them and address them? Did they see God?

    2. When Moses went to the Mount, did he literally “see God”? Was it metaphor? Did his face really glow from seeing God?

    3. When Jacob says he “saw God face to face”…is that literal or metaphorical? Did he really not see God?

    4. Do you think God the Father has a penis? Do you think God the Father has a back side and “sits” on a throne in heaven like Revelation says? Or is that all metaphor as well?

    5. If God does not have a penis, why do we refer to HIm in the male sense exclusively and delineate God the Father as the leader of the Triune God and as male?

  56. Alex says:

    Did God appear to Moses and take some form that resembled a man? The text says He did. That Moses “saw His back parts”.

  57. Michael says:

    Alex,

    My guess is that no one here believes that God has a penis.
    What I know for sure is that I don’t…and I don’t want this stuff to dominate here in the same manner you took over my Facebook.
    You have your own blog, your own Facebook page, and lots of places to pose your queries.
    Unless this topic is of some interest to the rest of the community please raise it elsewhere.

  58. Alex says:

    “…please raise it elsewhere.”

    OK, and LOL (in light of God having a penis. Jesus has a penis, though, correct?)

  59. Michael says:

    Anthropomorphism
    (Gk. anthropos [a[nqrwpo”] [human] + morphe [morfhv] [form]). Assignment of human attributes to nonhuman things. Biblical anthropomorphisms are used primarily in reference to God, who is neither visible ( John 1:18 ) nor human ( Num 23:19 ; 1 Sam 15:29 ). They are also used to assign human characteristics to angels ( Gen 16:7 ; 18:1-19:1 ), Satan ( 1 Chron 21:1 ; Luke 13:16 ), and demons ( Luke 8:32 ). Evil is also personified, depicted as slaying ( Psalm 34:21 ) and pursuing ( Pr 13:21 ). Infrequently, human qualities are attributed to animals ( Nu 22:28-30 ) or vegetation ( Jud 9:7-15 ).

    The use of human terminology to talk about God is necessary when we, in our limitations, wish to express truths about the Deity who by his very nature cannot be described or known. From biblical times to the present, people have felt compelled to explain what God is like, and no expressions other than human terms are able to convey any semblance of meaning to the indescribable. Thus, in Genesis alone God creates ( 1:1 ), moves ( 1:2 ), speaks ( 1:3 ), sees ( 1:4 ), divides ( 1:4 ), places ( 1:17 ), blesses ( 1:22 ), plants ( 2:8 ), walks ( 3:8 ), shuts ( 7:16 ), smells ( 8:21 ), descends ( 11:5 ), scatters ( 11:8 ), hears ( 21:17 ), tests ( 22:1 ), and judges ( 30:6 ).

    Perhaps the most profound anthropomorphism is the depiction of God establishing a covenant, for the making of covenants is a very human activity. God enters into an agreement (covenant) with Israel at Sinai ( Exod 19:5-6 ), an outgrowth of an earlier covenant he had made with Abraham ( Gen 17:1-18 ). Later, this agreement is transformed into a new covenant through Jesus Christ ( Matt 26:26-29 ). Theologically, the legal compact initiated by God becomes the instrument through which he established an intimate and personal relationship with the people, both collectively and individually. Without anthropomorphic expressions, this theological reality would remain virtually inexplicable.

    Anthropomorphisms also attribute human form and shape to God. God redeems Israel from Egyptian bondage with an outstretched arm ( Exod 6:6 ). Moses and his companions see God, and they eat and drink with him ( Exod 24:10-11 ). Other texts refer to the back, face, mouth, lips, ears, eyes, hand, and finger of God. The expression, “the Lord’s anger burned” ( Exod 4:14 ) is interesting. A literal translation of the Hebrew is “the nose of the Lord burned.”

    Indirect anthropomorphic expressions also appear, such as the sword and arrows of the Lord and the throne and footstool of God.

    Akin to anthropomorphisms are anthropopathisms (Gk. anthropos [a [nqrwpo”] + pathos [pavqo”] [passion]), used to refer to God’s emotions. God is a jealous God ( Exod 20:5 ) who hates ( Am 5:21 ) and becomes angry ( Jer 7:20 ), but he also loves ( Exod 20:6 ) and is pleased ( Deu 28:63 ).

    Anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms are figures of speech that transmit theological truths about God to humankind. Only when taken literally are they misconstrued. Taken as metaphorical expressions, they provide by analogy a conceptual framework by which the God who is beyond our comprehension becomes a persona person whom we can love. In the New Testament the analogy becomes reality in the mystery of the incarnation ( John 1:1-18 ).

    Keith N. Schoville

    Bibliography. J. Barr, HBD, p. 32; E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible; M. Eliade, ed., The Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 1; W. E. Miles, ed., Mercer Dictionary of the Bible.

    Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
    Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of
    Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA.
    All rights reserved. Used by permission.

  60. Michael says:

    Alex,

    There is a tremendous amount of material written both from a scholarly and lay level that addresses the issues you bring.
    When I have real doubts I go get those materials and study till I am satisfied with my understanding…I don’t just poke at people on blogs.
    Packer alone has written enough on this topic to keep you busy for a month.

  61. London says:

    Sigh
    Now I remember why I left.
    Thanks again for trying to honor Brennan’s life and influence here Michael.
    Blessings

  62. Nonnie says:

    Amen to London’s 64. But I do hope the “metaphorical asses” that are commenting don’t cause anyone to leave this blog. 🙂

  63. The Word for today – Lutheran style;

    The Biblical counter-part to Satan, the Accuser, is the Paraklete. Jesus is our Paraklete (Advocate) with the Father (1 John 2:1), where He stands interceding for sinners, presenting His blood as evidence on our behalf. And from this heavenly council Jesus send forth the Holy Spirit to be our Paraklete on earth (see John 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit, then, speaks the heavenly verdict on earth. He stands in the courtroom of our conscience and testifies on our behalf, and the Holy Spirit accomplishes this through the Word, the Absolution (another forensic word).

    It is in the Divine Service, where the Word is rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered, that the Holy Spirit delivers the heavenly verdict to our conscience. It is where the heavenly declaration of righteousness is heard on the earth. It is where our conscience is made good, that is, it becomes a reflection of the heavenly council, the devil removed, his accusations silenced, and the blood and word of Jesus winning the day. It is for this purpose that Jesus has establish His church, and has instituted worship, so that he might deliver to us His righteousness.

  64. PP Vet says:

    I still see the Brennan Manning teaching as being a little bit antinomian.

    It seems to me the gospel requires obedience.

    Now some of that obedience is entering into rest and trusting Him.

    But sin is a serious business, despite Calvary.

    I find any characterization of God that does not inspire a little fear is lacking something.

    The angels tremble! And we should, too.

  65. mrtundraman says:

    “The Biblical counter-part to Satan, the Accuser, is the Paraklete.”

    Not really. We Christians are not Dualists… The Holy Spirit and Satan are not counter-parts at all. Satan is a created Being. The Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Trinity.

    If that’s the Lutheran word for today – they can keep that word.

  66. filbertz says:

    To load obedience, fear, etc. into the gospel is to reduce it to a gift given with strings attached, hence, no gift at all, just another slick ad campaign designed to sucker folks into a bankrupt system, ie. the law.

  67. MTM,
    It has absolutely nothing to do with dualism – it has to do with function and roles – Accuser vs Advocate.

    LOL, your advanced training must be driving you mad. But hey, anyone who spends 6 weeks on a small passage, had to be making up 90% of the conversation.

  68. In my article, the comparison was between Satan the Accuser vs Jesus Advocate … not the Holy Spirit as you misrepresented.

  69. Kathy says:

    “To load obedience, fear, etc. into the gospel is to reduce it to a gift given with strings attached, hence, no gift at all, just another slick ad campaign designed to sucker folks into a bankrupt system, ie. the law.”

    Awesome. Thank you Filbertz. If I read nothing else today, I will consider myself blessed.

  70. Alex says:

    Michael quoted as support for his position: “The use of human terminology to talk about God is necessary when we, in our limitations, wish to express truths about the Deity who by his very nature cannot be described or known”

    OK, so, basically, you are seeking to prove in that comment that we can’t really know about God’s nature.

    Yet, MLD and others seem to say that creation somehow gives no man an excuse and that all should be able to figure out that God exists just from looking at the trees?

    Seems another contradiction. Doesn’t seem to be “clear” at all…and your statement above seems to support that it isn’t clear and that God can’t be “described or known” to explain away other contradictions that say God cannot be seen, but then examples in the bible where it explicitly says He has been seen.

  71. Alex says:

    It is funny that when pressed on a contradiction in scripture…suddenly God is unknowable and mysterious…but most of the rest of the time, folks tend to say they “know” so much about God and His nature and essence, as if it’s all crystal clear.

    The contradiction to get around the other contradiction is pretty telling, unfortunately.

  72. Michael says:

    Alex,

    The Bible is God’s self revelation and it is (as Calvin put it) Gods baby talk.
    What we can know about Him is what He has chosen to reveal…and there is much mystery beyond that point.
    What mystifies me is that if this is such a big issue to you why aren’t you reading those works that attempt to answer it instead of picking at people on a blog?

  73. Alex says:

    And, yes, I’m well aware of Anthropomorphism and have argued that position many times with atheists and agnostics.

    Unfortunately, the problem it creates is that to appeal to anthropomorphism for so many issues then undoes many other supposed “literal” interpretations of the text in so many areas and supports the Liberal Theological argument tremendously.

    God therefore did not “walk” in the Garden in Genesis, He did not “talk” to Adam and Eve, there was no talking snake, no literal “tree” of knowledge of good and evil etc. In fact, it pretty much renders the whole Genesis narrative as metaphor/allegory.

    This then sweeps its way through the whole of scripture and we can assume that metaphor and allegory is the answer for other mysterious passages that may not be literal like miracles, etc. and of course Revelation then becomes completely metaphorical/allegorical and is parable verses literal reality (Lake of Fire represents something, but not a literal reality, God sitting on the throne in heaven is metaphor and not literal reality, Jesus riding a white horse…metaphor and not a literal reality, etc etc).

  74. Alex says:

    Michael, I read stuff all the time that deals with these issues from a theological perspective. I read liberals and conservatives and scholars etc. I am hashing out issues with the group which is what we do here and it’s what Manning did in his life.

    I also would like to be convinced otherwise by folks who I interact with on here, as I seek to be disproven by atheist/skeptic friends when I discuss these sorts of issues on other forums. The pushback helps to test a particular position and helps show the weakness or untruth in a particular position.

  75. Michael says:

    I doubt that you’ll get much feedback here.
    If you wont read Warfield or Packer who have written volumes on the subject, then you aren’t going to be swayed on the PhxP.

  76. “Yet, MLD and others seem to say that creation somehow gives no man an excuse and that all should be able to figure out that God exists just from looking at the trees?”

    See.you finally got it – that is exactly what the Bible says.

    So, if you are so smart, where is the metaphor in the Romans 1 passage. Are you saying that it says the evidence is clear and no one is without excuse, but what it metaphorically means iss that there is no evidence and people are on their own to blame God.

    Wait, I don’t think you understand metaphor at all.

  77. Alex says:

    Michael, fortunately there are liberals in the Anglican tent 🙂 Rowan Williams being one of the giants and many many other theological liberals in the Anglican Tent.

  78. So can you link me to some of these many sources you read that discuss the Romans passage being metaphor? I would like to see this.

  79. Michael says:

    I have no idea what Anglicans have to do with this. Packer is an Anglican, but Warfield was a Presbyterian.
    They are known for their works defending the conservative evangelical view that you claim to be investigating.

  80. Alex says:

    Michael, I don’t agree with Warfield and Packer vs. not having read their positions.

    You (and others) seem to use that appeal a lot.

    I could say similar: “You can’t have a valid opinion regarding creation vs. evolution until you’ve read Dawkins, Darwin, Krauss and so many others and until you’ve gotten a degree in Biology and Quantum Physics”

    MLD, you need to read Krauss and study Quantum Physics and read Hawking’s “The Grand Design” and pretty much all his works. Only then can you have a valid opinion on whether or not God has revealed himself in creation.

    I like that, it invalidates your opinion with one statement until or unless you’ve read and studied all the stuff I say is necessary to have a valid opinion 🙂

  81. Alex says:

    No worries. I’ll let it drop and amen where I can amen and leave this sort of discussion for other forums.

  82. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Sorry, I think it’s intellectually dishonest to debate one side or another of a theological position without interacting with the best scholarship on the other side.

    I don’t do theological research on blogs…I take the time to actually read what the best representatives of a tradition have written or the works that a particular tradition holds as the standard.

    Your refusal to do so indicates to me that you really aren’t that interested in coherent answers as much as tweaking people you are irritated with.

  83. Xenia says:

    Alex, ever since you joined the PhxP blog people have warned you that if you continued your vendetta against your step father you would suffer spiritual loss. And this is exactly what is happening.

  84. “MLD, you need to read Krauss and study Quantum Physics and read Hawking’s “The Grand Design” and pretty much all his works.”

    Show me where they address Romans 1 – if they don’t why do you bring them up?

    These are the folks that Romans 1 is addressing.

    Look you brought up my argument in your metaphor discussion – tie up the loose ends for me. What you do is say, well there are metaphors in the Bible so the Romans 1 passage cannot be literal. Do you ever read what you write.

    Why do you argue the Bible with people who do not believe the Bible? Doesn’t that sound insane to you? To them (all of them) that is like me arguing that Moby Dick is true.

  85. help, I am in moderation – I forgot about the link rule

  86. Alex says:

    Michael, I read the stuff all the time and the answers are lacking. I bring up the issues on this and other blogs b/c I want to know how the stuff passes as truth when there are major holes.

    One big one being “the bible has zero contradictions” that is held by many, when clearly there are contradictions. It smacks of dishonesty to me (or ignorance).

    X, ironically, my realization that Fundamentalism is most likely not true has actually made me feel much more sorry for my step-dad. It is Fundamentalism that gave me the “holy anger” that the evil needed to be dealt with. Now, I think if the bible contains truth, then it’s probably best to grace over everyone, including BG and if it’s not truth, then stuff happens for no apparent reason and the abuse was a by-product of BG’s drug use, some underlying emotional/psychological imbalances and probably the result of PTSD and other explainable medical/scientific issues going on and that the “church” and God part is just delusion and I shouldn’t expect a BG to be the mythology that they present in their world view from their pulpit.

  87. Alex says:

    If the Presuppositional Position of: “The devil is the father of lies” is an Absolute…then anywhere where we find a lie or contradiction etc should be of the devil, no?

    We should seek the truth, no matter where it leads us, no?

    Does denying a provable truth and supporting what is most likely a lie of God or of the devil?

  88. Ha Ha LOL – Alex is going to prove the Bible wrong.

  89. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I do not believe that the Bible contains contradictions, nor do I believe it has any “lies”.
    It is the holy “God breathed” word of God.
    I have staked my life and the life after on it’s truths.
    You have proven nothing…if you had actually read any real work on the subject you would know that your objections are nothing new or unique…and they’ve been answered for millennia.

  90. brian says:

    I just finished pretty much all of John Macarthur’s sermons on battle for the beginning (the ones online), no offense to the man, he is an eloquent speaker and smarter then I ever will be and he has forgotten more on biblical exegesis. I also believe him to be quite sincere. Of course he cant think any of these things about me because of Romans 1 I am a liar rebellious bla bla and so on. He knows jack about science especially biology, cosmology, geology, astrophysics, genetics, and so on.

  91. Xenia says:

    For me, I do not fear investigating the claims of the agnostics and atheists. I don’t investigate their claims because I would be dishonoring Christ by doing so. I love my Lord and have zero interest in reading the writings of His enemies.

  92. Xenia says:

    brian, then MacArthur had chosen the best if he has chosen the writings of the Scriptures over the writings of the scientists.

  93. brian says:

    No offense but Xenia we do not, no we cant live in that world. That is what many of us struggle with. He does not choose the Scripture over the words of scientists he makes up straw men and knocks them over in my opinion. I would say I often choose the “writings” of professionals over the “Scriptures” such as in medicine, engineering, disease intervention, dealing with burns, leprosy, etc.

  94. Xenia says:

    brian, then we inhabit different worlds.

  95. ” I would say I often choose the “writings” of professionals over the “Scriptures” such as in medicine, engineering, disease intervention, dealing with burns, leprosy, etc.”

    What does this have to do with anything – these guys are carrying out the vocation that God has given them – nothing of what they do goes against anything in the bible.

    Look, often choose listening to Vin Scully announce the Dodger games instead of having scripture do it – so what?

  96. brian says:

    From Grace to You (irony meter damage)
    “No word outside the Bible is authoritative in the realm of the soul. And, frankly, I believe to deny that Scripture is the sole authority is a form of blasphemy.”

    Was Pastor Macarthur following the Scriptures when he stated that in a sermon and blog post.

    http://www.gty.org/resources/print/sermons/80-133

  97. brian says:

    MLD is has alot to do with it and you know it does.

  98. Steve Wright says:

    Started Proverbs today. Taught all of chapter one. God’s wisdom (personified) cries out in the streets, shouts to humanity to listen to her. God’s knowledge is not some secretive thing.

    But it takes the fear of the LORD before the beginning of knowledge.

    I lived as a self-described agnostic for years, including through university in the heart of the Bible belt.. Agnostic in profession to any who asked, I really lived as a practical atheist until my mid 20s when I actually sought to know truth, for the sake of truth, being willing to go wherever that search sent me – Buddhism, Islam, whatever.

    Of course, and in relatively short time, God brought me to Himself in Jesus Christ.

    As He promises to all likewise.

    Paul preached Christ crucified to an educated, argumentative, wise group of folks in a prosperous city. Paul boasted in NOT getting into human debates over worldly wisdom.

    My take is if one is seeking to win souls, emulate Paul.

  99. brian says:

    Really, for example how we deal with leprosy now and how it was dealt with in the Bible, how about mental illness, building large boats that carried all the species on earth and so on.

  100. brian,
    Had MacArthur said “No word outside the Bible is authoritative.” Period – I think you would have a case. But he has a qualifier – “in the realm of the soul.”

    Now other books may be good for one’s soul, poetry or the Chicken Soup for the Soul”series … but they are not authoritative.

    How did you miss the qualifier?

  101. brian says:

    Well actually we dont, that is part of the rub we are both on this pale blue dot together. That is also part of the problem and much of the joy.

  102. Steve,
    “Started Proverbs today. Taught all of chapter one.”

    How did you do that? I started Hebrews today, taught for 70 min and only got through 2/3rds of my introduction?

  103. brian says:

    “How did you miss the qualifier?” Probably because I was spouting off in an emotional sense and I missed it. But Macarthur denies key aspects of science dont believe me just go listen. Like I said it does not work like that.

  104. brian says:

    Also MLD Macarthur does consider EO and Catholic communions apostate that is clear in his writings and sermons.

  105. I have never heard Mac deny actual science and it’s findings. I think if you pay attention, you will see that his disagreement is on the philosophical end ,,, ie, the philosophy of science.

    If he disagreed with science itself, he would not wear glasses or go to the doctor.

  106. Xenia says:

    brian, yes, I know he does not consider me to be a Christian.

  107. brian says:

    I have listened and yes he does and that is what is strange that he goes to a doctor and wears glasses that is my point. But I have to go, thanks for keeping me honest and the kind kick in the pants. I need to toughen up a bit. Take care.

  108. brian says:

    Xenia his loss

  109. Steve Wright says:

    brian, when I wrote my Masters thesis on the gifts of the Spirit, a common reference used by me for the other side was the work of MacArthur – mainly because he is respected at my seminary (and rightly so) and of course has written on the topic a lot .

    However, in that study as well, it is clear that he shaded his argument in such a way as to not really engage with the honest views of my side, picking on the quacks, setting up the strawmen and so forth.

    Now, at least that was a discussion centered on the Bible and its teachings.

    My suggestion would be to find as many Bible-believing scientists that you can, in varying fields, professionals, advanced degrees etc. – and then interact with them – not pastors and theologians.

    They do exist.

  110. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Hebrews and Proverbs are a little different 😉

    Actually, I did more introduction for Hebrews than I think I have ever done for any other book. So I only got through two verses the first Sunday I began that book.

    http://www.calvaryle.org/Hebrews.html

  111. I already listened to it. I use you for an evangelical view of a passage,and Kim Riddlebarger for the Calvinist view and then for the bulk of my study I use books. 🙂

  112. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – FYI, commentaries by F.F. Bruce, Peter O’Brien, William L. Lane, and Paul Ellingworth were my four chief study aids. So you might see some influence there if you by chance secure their writings.

    I don’t listen to sermons, ever, before I preach on a passage. Just read.

  113. Nonnie said, “metaphorical asses.” Now that’s funny!

  114. brian says:

    Steve that means a lot and I have checked out a great deal of them, Biologos has been a real big help to be honest, James Packer, Michael, Alex, you, MLD, and others. I actually know several bible believing scientists and we discuss these issues at great length, all the ones I know are old earth theistic evolutionist so I may need to widen my own presups. At times I wonder if I kick against the goad as to continue to live my own life, I need to add that for honesty.

  115. brian says:

    Back on subject Mr. Manning was not perfect, and from what I have read and listened to he did not think himself a prophet, leader, elder or anything else but a soul seeking the Father. Now Mr. Manning was like father Henri Nouwen a broken soul who found refuge in God. Doing that can really tick people in the faith community off it really can. Nouwen was seen as an apostate contemplative tool of the devil. Some even thought he was a Jesuit infiltrator in the global Vatican conspiracy. Of course I think those folks got in line twice when God was handing out crazy. These were just two broken souls, just that, granted they were priests in the RCC but they were not dogmatic RCC operatives, as the hardliners in their communion think they are protestant modernist Vatican two pawns.

    Of course both sides are nutz with a capital N. The world does not work like that. Manning and Nouwen and even Dave Hunt walked the same path of exclusion and surety. Now Father Nouwen got to walk with the folks that really have the answer so I gravitate to him the most. Humility leads to great power, great power, truly great life changing power, makes the deliverer of that power, humble. Of course that sounds like a bunch of new age contemplative post modernist rhetoric. As apposed to any other tribal rhetoric.

    These two souls, no three, fought to find out the truth, all of them Nouwen, Manning, and Hunt all paid a heavy price for the truth they found. I think each of them clang to what they understood. In my 25+ years working with people who die be it elderly, people with disabilities, or the vast majority of my family, I have found that rather true. Nouwen lived on a community to some degree like the community I lived in, but failed at. These men walked the path they had light to walk in, personally I think each of them are in heaven, and all three are worshiping the Holy Trinity right as we speak. I guess that is why I am a universalist. I want to see everyone there. Of course that is a weak and emotional apologetic.

    Back to Mr. Manning, he did the best he could with what he had, it is funny how that works out when one reads the bible, it seems that is what all of those folks did as well. I am not sure of my world view, I dont even know if I want to be so sure of my world view. What I want to see is a family where apparent horrid abuse happened are healed and a fine man who struggles restored to his father and mother, where a grand mother and father see their grand kids, and justice and mercy are achieved. On a personal not I would like to know that my lack of ability to share the Gospel effectively did not send my family to hell and their blood is on my head. Yes I would like to find rest on that one to. I would also like to see a brother named Michael find his place in the world with a job that appreciates his many talents and a healing of his son.

  116. brian says:

    An aside Michael I dont think Trey needs “healing” because he is a fine human being, I hope you get my meaning, my words cant express how proud I am of you. I knew so many families that did not do what you do. If one wants to see the Gospel, Divinity or grace, look there.

  117. Alex says:

    Steve W, that’s an interesting Journey. I don’t think I knew all that about you.

    My road seems to be the reverse of that. I accepted Jesus out-of-hand having been raised in Calvary Chapel. i believed willingly and was really attracted to the Jesus Narrative and all the bible stories etc.

    Of course the intense physical and emotional abuse etc in the home by the person leading that narrative was rather conflicting.

    But, I still believed despite that abuse. Went to Masters’ College, was a staunch Calvinist, argued the position to death, had my theological ducks in a row etc.

    Then back to a more “balanced” “correct understanding” as defined by others.

    All the while entertaining the questions as they inevitably popped up over the many years.

    I’ve argued with atheists and skeptics to the death. Argued with Arminians to the death. Argued with Calvinists to the death and all flavors of “Christian”. I’ve argued with Mormons to the death as well.

    In every argument, it all boils down to Absolute Truth vs. Relative Truth and Authority.

    The more I examine “Truth” from a less Relativistic standpoint assuming Reason to be authoritative, the more I gravitate to the Agnostic Position, while still believing that God exists and that Jesus is Messiah on faith (not by sight).

    I think the ‘evidence’ is very scant. I think the evidence from the “church” and “christians” (in spades in our CC tribe) speak volumes against a transformation gospel and speaks to the folly and hypocrisy of a Fundamentalist position as in reality it is Selective Fundamentalism.

    I still hope the faith is wrong and that all cease to exist vs. many burning in some eternal hell forever with no end ever (so cruel). But, it might be right, and God might exist and Jesus might be the Messiah and there might be a hell to avoid, so on that Fear Based argument, I appeal to God for mercy and appeal to Jesus as Messiah as the payment for the debt owed to avoid the eternal wrath. But, I still hope it’s wrong. And, intellectually, it still seems so at odds with the “Love” narrative and the “Forgiveness” narrative etc of the New Testament and the Gahndi Jesus.

    I think it very well could all be myth and a natural psychological coping mechanism of mankind and that many men use it as a tool of control and power grab (though many are sincere, just deluded). But, even so, I think God probably exists, more an innate thing than an empirically verifiable thing.

    Again, I think it’s much more intellectually honest to be a Christian Agnostic vs. a “I’m 100% sure!* Fundamentalist (but not when pressed on a ton of issues, then there’s Anthropomorphism, Metaphor, Allegory to explain away contradictions…but those dang Liberals are all wrong!!! We can’t have women and homos! etc!).

  118. Alex says:

    The overwhelming majority of Christian Fundamentalists and conservatives (theological not political) simply rely on their gurus and assume that the tough questions have been answered properly with no doubt as to the legitimacy of the answer.

    Unfortunately, that’s a myth. There are many difficult questions that don’t have good answers from a non-contradiction standpoint and many other issues as well.

    I think church serves (partly) as an ongoing apologetic to convince people that the Sunday School version of Christianity is correct and that anyone asking questions and pointing out stuff that isn’t true is of the devil. Yet, a presuppositional argument would accept and assert as absolute that the devil is the father of lies…which assumes that if something is “truth” it cannot be of the devil and if something is not true, it is from the devil.

    Yet, Christians seek to defend things that are lies in many areas or things that we just cannot know for sure (as exampled by the discussion on this thread when Michael and others appeal to metaphor, allegory, anthropomorphism to explain away the literal meaning of what appears to be rather straightforward declarative statements like “No one has seen God at any time” etc.

  119. brian says:

    Funny you mention Atheists, when I was ready to leave the faith it was an atheist from another nation that offered to call me or me to call him on his dime and he was quite clear. Dont leave a faith that means so much to you. From the faith tradition, it was please leave the faith and do us a favor. This Atheist just cared about another human being, I know they cant do that via Romans 1, but he did. They convinced me to stay with the faith because they saw how much it hurt me to leave. I cant even get being an apostate right. I am not an Agnostic because I need God to be true, it is the only justice and reconciliation the people I know are / should find healing. It is emotional and it is a hope.

    Alex it was always made clear to me that I actively facilitated any disruption of Gods word and that I personally from the foundations of the Earth committed to suppress God’s word. Alex like you I still am trying to figure out what is God’s Word?

  120. Alex says:

    brian, I hear you bro. I always “hear” you when you speak. I think I have the same affliction.

    When I use the term Agnostic, I mean “I don’t know for sure” vs. Atheist which seems to now mean (thanks to guys like Dawkins) that they are overwhelmingly convinced there is no God.

    I’m not sure there is no God, I tend to think He exists. I’m just not sure how all the pieces fit together and it becomes very dishonest to me for “Christians” to appeal to anthropomorphism and metaphor to wriggle out of a clear contradiction in the bible on one hand…and then to claim certainty on any number of things, including making Genesis a Science Book and saying that the talking snake, God “walking” through the Garden, etc is literal and not allegory. Seems a pretty pick-and-choose convenience.

    I think Science “proves” some stuff through observation. I think what is true is true and if the presuppositionalist position is correct, then truth cannot be of the devil. Yet, Christians actively seek to deny what is true as observed by scientists, many who have no skin in the game, they are just seeking truth (but every scientist is painted with the broad brush motive of conspiracy to thwart the bible!)

    I don’t think the Fatalist/Calvinist argument is palatable, unfortunately if the bible is absolute, then it could be true as it is one of the two “logical” conclusions when resolving paradox and contradiction in the bible (applying a greater truth principle).

    The other conclusion is that Love trumps all, Law of Love and God redeems “all” of His creation. I like that one, I hope it’s true

    But, it could all be myth, in which case we cease to exist, which isn’t so bad. Much better than some going to heaven and many many many more burning forever and forever in some eternal hell with no end, created to suffer with no end, ever. Terrible thought. Doesn’t sound just, doesn’t sound merciful or loving or anything like Jesus. It does sound like the blood-thirsty God of the Old Testament who drowned people, had the Isrealites slaughter women and children and had Samuel hack Agag to pieces with a sword. Sounds very Taliban. I hope that’s not God.

  121. Steve Wright says:

    I think the evidence from the “church” and “christians” (in spades in our CC tribe) speak volumes against a transformation gospel
    ——————————————————————-
    Half the congregation in your average CC were drug addicts, prisoners or gang-bangers, coupled with the likes of guys like me – living fully for the flesh. I don’t care if someone can list 100 people by name that attend a CC (or any other church) that live as hypocrites, there are thousands that could be lined up next to those as ones transformed by the power of the risen Christ.

    As far as the lengthy arguments with unbelievers goes….

    1) Do they believe Jesus of Nazareth was a real person who was killed on a cross? – Because anyone who wants to claim that is still open to differences of opinion is simply wasting your time.

    2) Did Jesus rise from the dead? – That’s where all the discussion should center and I am more than willing to discuss those options, the birth of the early church, the change in Paul and all the rest for as long as one wants to..

    Creation is not the “power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes” – Nor is any other sub-issue.

    The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The gospel is what Jesus has told us to go into all the world and proclaim to the lost.

    Paul did just that.

  122. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “Half the congregation in your average CC were drug addicts, prisoners or gang-bangers, coupled with the likes of guys like me – living fully for the flesh. I don’t care if someone can list 100 people by name that attend a CC (or any other church) that live as hypocrites, there are thousands that could be lined up next to those as ones transformed by the power of the risen Christ.”

    I can introduce you to a ton of folks who transformed themselves as well by making better choices without God. Folks who were drug addicts, but went straight and have productive lives now and are Atheists.

    Steve, do you still sin? Do you sin regularly in some areas? Have you stopped sinning?

  123. Steve Wright says:

    But, it could all be myth, in which case we cease to exist, which isn’t so bad. Much better than some going to heaven and many many many more burning forever and forever in some eternal hell with no end,
    ————————————————–
    Alex, this quote of your speaks to what Xenia was talking about.

    You just judged God and said your idea is “much better” than His.

    Say what you want about me or others here, but you really have crossed into dangerous territory when you move from questioning the difficult things of God to now claiming that you, Alex, have a better way than the Lord who died on the cross for you.

  124. Alex says:

    Medicins, Psychiatry and folks resolving to reform themselves has led to many “transformed” lives throughout the world, without God.

    That proves that “transformation” is not necessarily God.

    Now, show me someone who stops sinning and I’ll buy into your Transformation Gospel…

  125. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “You just judged God and said your idea is “much better” than His.”

    No, I don’t think I did. I think I judged what you say is God, while others say God is not as you say.

  126. Steve Wright says:

    I can introduce you to a ton of folks who transformed themselves as well by making better choices without God. Folks who were drug addicts, but went straight and have productive lives now and are Atheists.
    ————————————————————–
    I’m sure you could, which is why the gospel we proclaim is about the risen Christ and not our changed lives.

    However, you didn’t write that people could change apart from Christ, or I would not have bothered to reply. Of course they can.

    You wrote the evidence in the church speaks volumes against the gospel’s power to transform lives – which is wrong.

    Good night.

  127. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “Say what you want about me or others here, but you really have crossed into dangerous territory when you move from questioning the difficult things of God to now claiming that you, Alex, have a better way than the Lord who died on the cross for you.”

    Steve, you are so deep into the kool aid, it is difficult to have any sort of meaningful communication with you when you make such a bizarre statement above. The Fear thing doesn’t work.

    I know this to be true as if you guys really believed the stuff literally, then you’d fear the “millstone” thing…and you don’t, which has shown me that that stuff is some sort of metaphor and not a literal reality. The Fear thing does not work in reverse on pastors and leader. You guys do whatever you want and explain it away and have no fear of judgment or “Millstones” etc. Your belief is expressed in your actions.

  128. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “I’m sure you could, which is why the gospel we proclaim is about the risen Christ and not our changed lives.”

    Your sect promotes the Transformation as the validation of Salvation…and that doesn’t seem to hold true. Then you excuse the behavior of leaders and grace it over, while you would point to a person you don’t like who is “in sin” etc and claim they are not saved.

    Selective Fundamentalism.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    I think I judged what you say is God, while others say God is not as you say.
    ————————————————
    Sure Alex. Heaven and hell are just my personal opinions about what Jesus and the Bible teaches…..the Church has been really divided about the existence of heaven and hell for 2000 years…

    Unless by those “others” talking about God, you mean people who invent their own idea of God, an idol.

    But since this is a Christian forum, and not the Yahoo spirituality page, you can see why I might have assume we were talking about the same God.

    Like I said…dangerous ground.

    And now it is good night.

  130. Alex says:

    Steve, if you know so much about God, does He have a face? A back side? Did Moses literally “see” God? Did Jacob literally “see” God? Did Adam and Eve “see” God? etc.?

    Or maybe heaven and hell are allegorical as well?

  131. Alex says:

    Why is it that the Jews don’t believe in hell? Why isn’t hell mentioned in the Old Testament? Hell doesn’t exist, until the New Testament for some reason…

    Doesn’t that strike you as odd?

  132. mrtundraman says:

    MLD wrote – “And from this heavenly council Jesus send forth the Holy Spirit to be our Paraklete on earth (see John 16:7-11).”

    Jhn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

  133. Alex,
    LOL
    “But, it might be right, and God might exist and Jesus might be the Messiah and there might be a hell to avoid,”

    Well, there goes your Big 4.

    Here is your problem – Bob G was your God and your God failed you.

    I would like to introduce you to the true God – Jesus Christ. Care to talk?

  134. Alex,
    “I think Science “proves” some stuff through observation.”

    Science has never “proven” a thing. Science discovers.

  135. Alex,
    We have discussed the “seeing God” thing before.
    You look at “seeing God” and your mind goes directly to the Father.

    When it says God has not been seen, that means the Father … because God is Spirit.

    When the Bible says that God has been seen, that is Jesus – pre incarnate and post birth, post resurrection.

    Alex, who did Moses see in the burning bush? The Father or The Son?

  136. To PP Vet’s #67 (and I do think he was pulling our PP leg) 😉

    There is nothing we should be doing in light of the gospel that we should not have already been doing in light of God having created us in his image. “In light of the gospel you should” just makes the gospel a foundation for more law.

  137. erunner says:

    Anticipation by Carly Simon was a favorite of mine decades ago. Rumor had it she wrote the song while waiting for Cat Stevens for their first date. The line “these are the good old days” is offered in response to this thread! :mrgreen: Enjoy!!

  138. PP Vet says:

    I thought that my statement #67 about seeing “Brennan Manning teaching as being a little bit antinomian” was pretty measured and hardly extreme, not pulling anyone’s leg.

    For barely challenging BM here I was somehow associated with “a slick ad campaign”. 🙂

    At least 160,000 sites mention both antinomianism and Brennan Manning, so I was hardly breaking any new ground.

    I do very generally lump my dear late brother Brennan in with the “The Shack” crowd, fine people whose influence could be deemed to include a tad of false reassurance.

    But I am still sorting that out.

  139. PP Vet says:

    “There is nothing we should be doing in light of the gospel that we should not have already been doing in light of God having created us in his image.”

    Jesus and John both talked about a new commandment. Of course as John acknowledges new commandments are not always really new.

    Certainly getting baptized, fulfilling the great commission, etc., seem to me as some things we should not have already been doing.

    But as saved people, we must be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, and be filled with the Spirit speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and flee youthful lusts, and a lot of other things.

    These are not law, but they are important!

    And my concern is that teaching along the line of Brennan M, although it can be life-giving, has the potential to obscure the critical importance of taking all those commands very very seriously.

  140. Andrew says:

    MLD @ 138 makes a really good point.

    John 6:46.
    not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.

    One, you understand the trinity, it makes more sense about a lot of these objections that Alex has raised. God is so good! 🙂

  141. Andrew says:

    Alex @ 59 “Did God appear to Moses and take some form that resembled a man? The text says He did. That Moses “saw His back parts”.”

    So Alex, I believe Moses saw Jesus pre-incarnate and not the Father.

  142. Wow, this conversation took an interesting turn…. The discussion on God the Father vs God the Son is intereting. Enjoyed the discussion! But I Thought that issue was settled in about the 3rd century: One what and three who’s. God the Father is God, Jesus the Son is God, and the HS is God. But God the Father is not God the Son, and God the Son is not God the Father.They are all three distinct persons, yet one God.

  143. Andrew says:

    Yep, One God and three whos. But only God the Son took on human flesh. And in the Old testament its not hard for me to see Christophanies. (ie. in the Garden of Eden, in the fiery furnace, wrestling with Jacob, Melchizedek, Moses seeing God’s back side, etc..)

  144. filbertz says:

    ppvet,
    No link between your BM comments and “slick ad campaign” Just that the elements you mentioned sounded as though you made essential to the gospel. As with DHunt, one’s writings are open to scrutiny, so BM is fair game in that sense, but all should tread carefully when stating things related to another’s salvation. The gospel is indeed good news, not a bait and switch gig. Labels of “heretic” should never be casually tossed about or repeated without consensus and theological rigor…not that you made that claim either. 😉

  145. PP Vet says:

    I guess fil the two boundaries that concern me are:
    – Preaching condemnation or legalism to the saved (Brennan’s concern as well apparently)
    – Preaching false assurance to the unsaved.

    Even Christians are told, “pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” and “work out your salvation in fear and trembling”.

    The path is narrow, narrow, narrow that leads to life, and few there be that find it.

    Even once we are saved some of us struggle to find paths that lead to life. Notwithstanding the irrefutable and helpful platitudes thrust upon us by the more learned amongst us.

  146. Steve Wright says:

    fil,

    Yesterday in service I sought to stress the point that no matter how badly we have sinned and screwed up, Jesus is still available to be called upon.

    I then sought to balance that blessed gospel truth with the reality that a lot of people hear the gospel and don’t see there actions as an offense against God that need Christ’s shed blood, but rather that Jesus will be there get out of jail free card, or that He will be their restore the marriage card, that He will basically get them out of their jam.

    That our actions have consequences, often lifelong, and to look to Jesus as simply another in a long line of selfish actions, rather than looking to Him as a broken sinner, really does nothing – as seen with all the celebrities that claim to find Jesus the first week they are in jail and then jettison Him almost as quickly.

    Jesus doesn’t promise to eliminate the wreckage like some jeannie in a bottle, but He will walk with us and be our guide and strength through the wreckage we have caused, and help us rebuild as much as is possible and as God wills.

    (This is not intended at anything Manning, but rather seems to be what both you and PP Vet are each saying and would agree about, right?)

  147. Alex says:

    MLD said, “When it says God has not been seen, that means the Father … because God is Spirit.

    When the Bible says that God has been seen, that is Jesus – pre incarnate and post birth, post resurrection.”

    The text doesn’t say that, you are doing some Eisegesis. Your conclusion goes against the simple literal interpretation of the text, unless you believe that the God of the Old Testament was Jesus and not God the Father?

  148. Michael says:

    Alex,

    People who demand a simple, literal reading of the text should read nothing but comic books.
    They will still be confused, though not as badly.
    The Bible is a collection of books with different, distinguishable types of literature which are all interpreted according to the kind of literature they are.
    It makes much use of metaphors and figures of speech…which disallows a wooden literal interpretation.

  149. Michael says:

    “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.””
    (John 8:58 ESV)

  150. Alex says:

    The Hebrew word used for God in all the passages where dudes “saw” God is this:

    Jehovah, the Lord
    From hayah; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God — Jehovah, the Lord.

  151. Alex says:

    Michael said, “People who demand a simple, literal reading of the text should read nothing but comic books.”

    But Calvary Chapel “simply teaches the bible simply” 🙂 😆

  152. “The text doesn’t say that, you are doing some Eisegesis.”

    Not at all, you just don’t know how to separate who is who – everyone else does.

    “Jehovah, the Lord” – are you saying that Jesus is not Jehovah? If that is your view, you are not Christian … perhaps JW at best.

  153. Alex says:

    So, you would assert that Moses saw Jesus and Jacob saw Jesus and that Adam and Eve saw Jesus and spoke with Jesus in the Garden and that it was Jesus who “walked” in the Garden?

  154. Alex says:

    MLD, maybe you can answer # 156

  155. Alex says:

    If it was Jesus that appeared to Moses in the OT, then was it really Jesus who laid down the Levitical law and ordered parents to murder/stone their unruly children? To murder/stone all sorts of folks? To kill the Amalekite women and children?

  156. Alex says:

    Seems if Jesus is the God of the OT, He has quite a Bi-Polar personality. Maybe He got some meds when He was Gahndi Jesus in the NT who was all about peace and love and forgiveness.

    I thought “God” doesn’t change…

  157. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Do you really think there is disagreement in the Trinity?

  158. Alex says:

    Michael, which God was it in Genesis, Jesus or God the Father? Same Hebrew word used for the God who Moses “saw” and who Jacob “saw” and who Adam and Eve saw, etc.

    Just trying to let scripture interpret scripture. When the same word is used and you appeal to that word for God as being “Jesus” than I would assume that the God of the OT is Jesus and not God the Father, no?

  159. Xenia says:

    I really wish Alex would take his unbelief somewhere else. I really hate to see so much blog space given over to the mocking of the Lord.

  160. Michael says:

    Alex,

    You’re bordering on blasphemy here…and regardless of my affection for you I won’t allow it.

  161. Steve Wright says:

    Alex, it is obvious that, though asked by your host, you have your own intentions as to your criticisms of God, His Word, His Plan that you refuse to engage with on your own blog and your followers there.

    I stick with my three, and only three, points to you made above – I’m not going to argue the rest of it or be baited into a CC discussion which has no relevance in this thread.

    1) The message for unbelievers is Christ crucified and raised from the dead.

    2) I worry about you (or anyone else) who thinks your plan for eternity is superior to God’s plan.

    3) Taking comfort that you are not guilty of #2, by consoling yourself that heaven and hell are subjective views open to debate amongst those who profess Christ, is really no comfort at all.

  162. Alex says:

    Michael said, “Do you really think there is disagreement in the Trinity?”

    Seems there was in the NT when Jesus asked the cup to pass. He wasn’t completely on board, but went along with it anyway.

  163. Alex says:

    X said, “I really wish Alex would take his unbelief somewhere else. I really hate to see so much blog space given over to the mocking of the Lord.”

    I knew that was coming. I’m not mocking the Lord, I’m mocking Selective Fundamentalism and your pick-and-choose contradictory application of what you claim are standard principles in “properly interpreting” the text, which you claim is God-like and perfect, inerrant, infallible etc.

    If the bible is logical and reasonable, as you and others have claimed, then why the discomfort when I apply those filters to the narrative and text?

  164. Alex says:

    Steve W said, “Alex, it is obvious that, though asked by your host, you have your own intentions as to your criticisms of God, His Word, His Plan that you refuse to engage with on your own blog and your followers there.”

    That’s a heart judgment and I could say the same about you. You are only here to spin for Calvary Chapel and to promote your sect’s brand of Christianity etc blah, blah, blah, to which you’d cry foul.

  165. Xenia says:

    Alex, just because you are losing your faith doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about. Look, just admit that recent events have rattled your faith and ask for prayer. Please stop trying to undermine everyone else’s faith.

  166. Alex says:

    X, I’m searching for the truth and if lies come from the devil, then why hold onto stuff that isn’t true?

    The bible has contractions.

  167. Alex says:

    LOL, and contradictions.

  168. Here is the funny thing – Alex does not discuss this issue on his own blog. Why, one might ask? Because if his zombie like CC haters over there realized what Alex’s theology was (or lack of it) he would have zero followers to keep up the “bad Bob” chant.

  169. Michael says:

    Alex,

    At the burning bush God identified Himself to Moses as “I AM”.
    In the book of John, Jesus appropriates the same name for Himself seven times…thus engendering the rage of the Jews toward Him.

  170. Alex says:

    MLD, no, not true. It’s a different dynamic, it’s not a “community” and a cross-roads where a variety of folks from different faiths and non-faiths come together and hash things out…like on the PP.

    I thought that’s what this place is partly for?

  171. Steve Wright says:

    If the bible is logical and reasonable, as you and others have claimed, then why the discomfort when I apply those filters to the narrative and text?
    ——————————————————–
    This explains it all. Alex has a need to be seen as the sole teller of truth, fighting the power, as the smartest and only logical guy in the room – and of course any criticism to his words or tactics is because WE are uncomfortable. Same song, different verse.

    Now that there has likely been a big shutdown on him from the attorneys as the appeal process runs its course, Alex must have some other cause that he can trumpet as the hero.

    I have never, EVER, seen Alex ask a sincere Biblical question here – one looking for an answer, like we might ask Xenia, Michael, MLD about their respective traditions.

    Every question, (and there are hundreds…maybe thousands??) has just been picking an argument, looking for a keyboard battle.

    In a keyboard battle, you never get to the point where a nonpartisan judge tells you that you have lost….so these battles can go on and on and on…

    You guys have fun….Michael, your affection is noted, but listen to Xenia (if not me). Your life (all our lives) should be about what pleases God.

    Some of us can try to speak the truth of God to counter the nonsense, but after awhile it is overwhelming.

  172. Alex – yes, if God was seen it was the preincarnate 2nd person of the trinity. If he was heard, like on Sinai, yes it was the preincarnate 2nd person of the trinity.

    Jesus is the Word – and words were delivered on Sinai.

  173. Alex says:

    Michael, is Jesus the God of the Old Testament?

  174. Alex says:

    Steve W, LOL. You are no pastor. Your words betray you.

  175. Michael says:

    Alex,

    The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the God of both testaments.

  176. “Michael, is Jesus the God of the Old Testament?”

    If you need to ask that question, you have more theological problems than you think – you are not even close to a Christian theology.

    But, in American, you are free to pick and choose.

  177. Alex says:

    Who is in charge? Seems it’s God the Father, no?

  178. Alex says:

    Acts 6:11 seems to tie together the separate-from-Jesus “God” that Moses “saw” and spoke to…same “theon” as the delineation between God the Father and the Son used in other NT verses to delineate the two persons of God.

    This would be a New Testament affirmation that Moses “saw” God the Father and John says no one has seen God at any time.

    Contradiction ^^^

  179. OK, Alex is messin’ with us.He punked us
    Wow! for a time there I thought he was serious.

  180. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Your conception of the Trinity is flawed, to be generous.
    Again, I will commend you to study some standard references on the topic.

    You managed to not interact with the Johannine passages, just as you refuse to interact with most of what is given you.
    This is a waste of time on my part and you need to take this elsewhere.

  181. Alex says:

    To avoid the contradiction we are forced to assume that all “sightings” of God in the OT are Jesus and not God the Father.

    Therefore, Jesus is the God in the Garden of Eden who talks with Adam and Eve. Jesus is the God who appears to Moses (Moses sees Jesus’s backparts) and Jesus is the God who Jacob saw “face to face” etc.

    Jesus is therefore the hard-core Old Testament God who kills women and children, drowns women and children, kills Agag with a sword, stones unruly children, stones to death women, etc etc.

  182. Xenia says:

    X, I’m searching for the truth and if lies come from the devil, then why hold onto stuff that isn’t true?<<<

    No truth will come to you from the Devil, the father of lies.

    He who sups with the Devil had better have a long spoon.

  183. Xenia says:

    If this is Alex’s idea of “rape,” why do we need to believe ANYTHING HE HAS EVER SAID ABOUT HIS PAST.

  184. “Jesus is therefore the hard-core Old Testament God who kills women and children, drowns women and children, kills Agag with a sword, stones unruly children, stones to death women, etc etc.”

    Yes. And he owes us no apology.

  185. Alex says:

    If the 3 persons aren’t separate in form, then John saying “no man has seen God at any time” is a contradiction.

    If God takes on 3 different distinct forms, then Moses seeing “God’s backside” and Jacob seeing “God’s face” could be the distinct separate form of God as Jesus…but you can’t have it both ways or it presents a different contradiction.

  186. Michael says:

    “I and the Father are one.””
    (John 10:30 ESV)

  187. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I removed those comments as I found them offensive as well.

  188. @ 188 – I could provide you with tons of scholarly references to help you with your confusion, but you won’t read them. So, I’ll just say : You are wrong.

  189. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Michael.

  190. Alex says:

    Michael, if they are one then Moses and Jacob saw “God” and John says no one has seen God.

  191. Xenia says:

    Christophany.
    Theophany.

    Look ’em up.

  192. erunner says:

    MLD @ 171, Alex has people that care deeply for him on his blog. I’m concerned for Alex and hope those who are closest to him can help him work through what is on one hand a very difficult result in the courts for him which I believe has really rocked him and on the other hand what we’re seeing here and on FB. He may have two more years to wait before a ruling is handed down on appeal or whatever it is that is going on. It’s clear he’s not going to last here once more if he doesn’t change course and I hope there are those he respects enough that can minister to him where he’s at. I’ve always had issues with Alex’s strategies and tone but I’m concerned for him right now. This is difficult to view.

  193. Even the smallest understanding of hermeneutics would do wonders for you. Unfortunately, you view yourself as an expert with no use for such learning.

  194. @ 195 – What was the huge victory for free speech that everyone was celebrating a couple of weeks ago? Why has there not been a correction posted, or at least equal time given to a opposite ruling, if indeed there has been one. All that I have seen is the huge celebration that took place a few weeks ago, and now Alex is spiralling. Hard to understand. Gives a lot of food to those who have called him unstable. (I’m not one of those people Alex. No lawsuit is needed.)

  195. Alex says:

    Josh, links are appreciated, I probably have read them. I was interested in your opinions not the opinions of others I’ve already read.

    I find the leading apologetic lacking on that issue and any way you slice it it seems a contradiction. To resolve the contradiction seems to present other problems.

    I could say the same about you and others formed this way “even the smallest understanding of logic and reason would do wonders for you” etc. But, I thought we were trying to avoid insults.

  196. Andrew says:

    Alex @ 161 “Michael, which God was it in Genesis, Jesus or God the Father?”

    Alex, in all due respect, you either are appearing to pick a fight or you have no clue what the trinity is. You are making a statement that those that post here believe that there is more than one God. Nothing can be further from the truth. One God, 3 person is the correct understanding of the trinity. So when you make a statement such as “which” God you are coming across that those on this blog are polytheists which they are not. I think you know that but you seem to be wanting to pick a fight and cast aspersions on their faith.

  197. Michael says:

    Ok, I’m calling this thread.
    There is no profit here, only the potential of more conflict.
    We’re done now.