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  1. Em says:

    I know there are those who’ll say, “Oh, this world has always known trouble: Black plague, Genghis Kahn, world ears…”
    Right now, with droughts, heat waves, fires, floods etc., I sense God’s displeasure with our race.
    Am i borrowing trouble?

  2. Em says:

    Post Script
    We raised our children with German Shepherds and while i am not a Joe Biden fan in any way, shape or form, the loss of their faithful G. Shepherd has my sympathy today.

  3. Michael says:

    By any measurable standard, this is the best time to be alive ever…

  4. Linn says:

    My parents grew up in the Depression (my mom without a father and 5 siblings). I have known people (most of them gone now) who came to California during that time and populated the Central Valley. They would talk of the Dust Bowl, hunger, and failed farms. A volcano blew up when I was in Colombia killing 25,000, some of them related to the people in the church where I served. I don’t know if this means Jesus will appear soon, but what I do know is that God hasn’t changed-either in his displeasure over our sin, or his endless mercy when we turn to him. I try to concentrate on turning to him. No matter what the situation, he wants us to worship, obey, and serve. That usually keeps me quite steady in life, no matter what the circumstances.

  5. Jean says:

    Natural and man made evil are always calls to repentance. The wrath of God is revealed against the unrighteousness of men. Temporal life is but a breath. Cling to Christ. Pray His prayer: deliver us from evil.

  6. Michael says:

    Gods displeasure with man was taken care of at the cross.
    Judgement is reserved for the eschaton…this is the age of grace and reconciliation.

    The world has endured many climate changes, epidemics, and war…but we have it easier than any people at any time in history, especially in the West and Europe.
    The question for the nations will be about what they did with this great prosperity and favor…that’s when things will get ugly…

  7. Jean says:

    Do human beings still die? Are there still wages for sin?

  8. Michael says:

    Indeed they do…but because of the work of Christ they live again…

  9. Em says:

    My grandparents told of an experience during the Depression.
    Grandpa went into town to deposit the proceeds of a very successful harvest. The bank owner took his deposit, neglecting to tell him that bank examiners were in the back at that very moment. The proceeds were intended to pay off the mortgage.
    The examiners seized his deposit and the bank took his farm!
    What we don’t know CAN be devastating.
    My uncle told me that the “nice” banker eventually went to jail. He also told me of living for almost a whole year on cornmeal mush.
    My grandparent, God fearing people, were two of the strongest characters I’ve known. Unfortunately, my mother, the oldest child, blamed them, not the Depression, for her privations…..
    The other five siblings were a bit clearer in their thinking.

  10. Em says:

    Michael @11:21 true words IF believed! ! !

  11. Em says:

    This mau turn into a thoughtful AND informative thread today – pray it does

  12. Jean says:

    That’s my point Michael.

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Rm. 1:18)

    Paul’s universal declaration is stated in the present tense.

    Only in Christ (through faith) is God’s wrath, which presently is revealed, propitiated.

    Jesus Christ, God’s spotless Lamb, offered Himself as a sin offering for the sins of the world. But it is necessary that we believe this, otherwise we will stand before God at the judgement without Christ.

  13. Michael says:

    I suppose in some odd way that a natural disaster can be a call to repentance.
    However, I had already done so when Mt. St. Helens exploded…

    Theologically, one can put the work of Christ at the center or the depravity of man…only one is really good news…without neglecting the other.

    I now reject any theological constructions that are not incarnational and re-creation focused…

  14. Michael says:

    “But it is necessary that we believe this, otherwise we will stand before God at the judgement without Christ.”

    Bad news for the billions who died before Christ was revealed…I suspect it’s not that simple…

  15. Michael says:

    “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
    Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
    But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”
    (Romans 5:10–18 ESV)

  16. Em says:

    “…..so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord.”. Romans 5:21. 🙏

  17. Em says:

    Michael @11:38… I agree
    Holy, righteous and just – our Father’s got it all in His plan for humanity! ! !

  18. Michael says:

    I completely affirm that all things regarding salvation have come through Jesus Christ…and that some folks will only understand that after they meet Him…

  19. Jean says:

    Michael,

    In Romans I, Paul says in the “wrath of God is revealed from heaven….” He does not say “was revealed,” or “will be revealed,” but “is revealed.” He applies this wrath to “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” He say “men.” Are we on the same page regarding Paul’s declaration in Romans I?

    In Romans V, which you quoted above, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation,” We should note three things:

    First this reconciliation is, “through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” So, outside of Christ, there is no reconciliation. Paul says later that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If that is true then there is condemnation for those who are not in Christ Jesus.

    Secondly, one is not “in Christ Jesus,” without faith. The saving grace of Christ’s universal atonement is received by faith.

    Third, in Romans V, Paul does not address “men” in general, but “we.” He is speaking to the Christians in Rome who believe in Christ.

    As I hope you are aware, the Old Testament saints were saved by faith just as the New Testament saints. For example, Abraham was justified by faith: “his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’ ” He had the promise of the coming of Christ; we have the promise of justification through the Christ who came, died for our sins and was raised for our justification.

    Jesus said to the Jews of Abraham: “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

  20. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I doubt we read this book through the same lenses…and that’s ok.
    Yes, it does say the wrath of God is revealed…but it doesn’t say how. I can refer you to numerous commentaries that speculate on the matter, more that avoid the question entirely.

    I fully understand your soteriology as I spent two decades in the Reformed camp…I just do not affirm it all as if from Sinai, so to speak.
    There is much mystery here…
    “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”
    (Romans 5:18 ESV)

  21. Jean says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for engaging in this discussion!

  22. Michael says:

    Protestant theology is very transactional…if you do this, God will do this…while at the same time telling you that God did it all.

    I think the starting point is that God did it all and desires for all men to be saved…and He accomplishes what He desires…

  23. Jean says:

    Michael,
    You’re welcome to your opinions, but to misrepresent my tradition is inappropriate. Any cursory study of Lutheranism will demonstrate that what you wrote at 1:25 pm is completely false with respect to Lutheranism, if you consider it Protestant.

    If you think that Lutherans believe “if you do this, God will do this,” or that we are transactional, then you don’t know the first thing about Lutheranism.

    Concerning your second paragraph, 1) God did it all? Partially correct. He does it all. 2) He desires for all men to be saved. Partially correct. The rest of the verse reads, “and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 3) He accomplishes what He desires. He also says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    “Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ ”

    I grant you your right to your universalism, if that is in fact what you believe. I only ask that you do not bear false witness regarding what I believe.

  24. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Do you not require people to not only believe, but be baptized and receive the Lord’s table regularly in order to receive the grace of God?
    I’m all for all those things…but not in a transactional system.

    This is why we stopped having these discussions…it goes from peace to allegedly bearing false witness in a heartbeat.

  25. Jean says:

    Michael,

    “Do you not require”? A church is entrusted with the mysteries and oracles of God. If He gives a command, is the church not required to publish it?

    Did Moses not require the people to look at the bronze serpent? Did Elisha not require Naaman to dip himself 7 times in the Jordan?

    Did Jesus not command His disciples to baptize. Did Jesus not say “Do this” with regard to the Lord’s Supper?

    Christianity is not a transactional system. Jesus describes it best as a body or a vine with branches. Branches live and produce fruit only as long as they are connected to the vine. The preaching of God’s Word, the exercise of the Keys, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the means that Christ has given the church to maintain the branches in the Vine.

    If you had said, “I find Protestant theology very transactional” or “I think Protestant theology is very transactional,” that would be your rightful opinion, even if someone thought you were misinformed. But you made an unprovoked blanket assertion which is patently false when applied to Lutheranism.

    Imagine if I leveled a slur against your tradition. I doubt you would be pleased.

  26. Michael says:

    Jean,
    You are utter drudgery to engage with.
    I was careful not to specifically speak about Lutheranism knowing the speed at which Lutherans wet themselves in offense.
    There was no “slur” intended, just a prompt for discussion.
    That…was my first mistake.
    I used to be offended that Lutherans fence the table, now I wish they’d fence the whole damn place off

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    There is a reason that I like the fourth century…😁

  28. Michael says:

    Duane,

    It was a good hundred years or so…

  29. Michael says:

    The one thing that never changes…people think that if you don’t agree with their theology that you’re “misinformed” or ignorant of some aspect only the faithful know.
    It can’t simply be that having weighed it all you disagree…

  30. Em says:

    Long years ago we had a good Lutheran family living next door. Our children were in classes together, but they were not allowed to socialize with ours outside of school activities. We were – gasp – non denominationals who favored a certain Houston pastor. They made their contempt for us very clear.
    My daughter ran into their youngest the other day and found their family were all now Baptists…. 😇
    Older and wiser? ? ? Dunno

  31. Em says:

    Michael @ 2:25…
    Yes it can……

  32. Michael says:

    Lutherans are part of the orthodox Christian church.
    I have a six volume collection of Luther’s works in my night stand.
    Lutherans have made outstanding contributions to the universal church.
    I’m not a Lutheran…

  33. Em says:

    Michael point taken!

  34. Jean says:

    I remember years ago Michael saying the TULIP formulation did not represent precisely what Calvin taught. That insight was very beneficial for me. I decided that I could not critique Calvinism based on cursory study or his more recent interpreters.

    Traditions may use the same words, but with different meanings. I think one should be humble and cautious before speaking for, or about the doctrines of, a tradition one was never a part of.

    I read about Lutheranism to a great extent prior to joining a Lutheran congregation, but had little idea what it actually is until I worshiped in a Lutheran congregation and received the pastoral care of a Lutheran pastor. The opinio legis is baked into human nature and it takes years of hearing the Gospel over and over again for many of us to finally accept that our salvation is the work of God in Christ from beginning to end.

    I’m sorry Michael that you find our discussions drudgery. I take your remark as a sign to cease. I will cease. I hope your surgery tomorrow is a complete success and your recovery short and pain free. You have been a source of tremendous benefit for the church with your journalism regarding church abuse. Since there is no shortage of abusers, may the Lord grant your needed ministry many years to come!

  35. Em says:

    Amen, jean, amen

  36. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I’m blessed that you have found a faith home…that’s all that really matters.
    Thank you for your blessings and prayers…

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