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  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am thinking that Christianity is designed perfectly for a time like this because it is primarily a Spirit faith. Yes I am formulating simple arguments to show that scripture supports my viewpoint.

    Ever wonder why the NT does not anticipate itself? Why the emphasis is on obedience to the voice of the LORD, on the Spirit and not on the written word?

    In other words I think when God wrote his law on our hearts, put his Spirit within us, gave the Spirit to lead us into all the truth, gave us a heart of flesh to replace the stone heart … he equipped us for being people of the voice of the LORD even if we lack any written text or ability to read…

    My argument will be taken as a diminishing of the Word which it is not intended to be. But…

  2. JimB says:

    Thanks for the article Michael. I’ve been praying for you, as many also have. It is amazing how God works on our body and our soul simultaneously, how interrelated they are. Take heart my friend, be of good courage, Jesus has overcome the world!!!

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    Notice the instructions of Jesus to the seven churches…

    It does not say that these churches need to see what the scriptures have said… it says they need to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…they are to repent of all other voices…. There is no worry for us here because Paul made it plain that if we walk in the Spirit will WILL NOT fulfill the desires of the flesh.

    The apostles had perfect confidence in the Spirit … and yes I am wondering if we are looking at the NT writings amiss. Like I said the other day … there is a big wide gap between God’s intention for the Law of Moses and his apostolic messengers…

    Tread lightly? NO … we have to hear what the Lord IS saying. Anyway…like I said, I expect to be misunderstood.

  4. Michael says:

    Dread,

    While your argument appeals to the mystical side of my nature I don’t think it’s supportable by Scripture.

    The internal witness of the entire Bible is that it is the Word of God and the “voice of God” is heard when that written word is proclaimed.

    Your argument has proven time and time again to be disastrous to doctrine and practice.

  5. Michael says:

    Thank you, JimB… 🙂

  6. Papias says:

    Good thoughts this morning on state of health.

    Packer may be right on here. Christians, I believe, were once known as “People of the Book”. I know that I don’t spend “enough time” in His Word.

    “Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD!” Ps 119.1

  7. Michael says:

    Dread,

    How would those churches receive what the Spirit was saying?
    In written form….

  8. Michael says:

    Ҧ I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
    I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet
    saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.””
    (Revelation 1:9–11 ESV)

  9. Papias says:

    Blessed [are] those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! Ps 119.2

    Its not an either/or argument. We are not just taking in God’s Word to filled up in our minds with head knowledge. The knowledge we gain by of God by the Word causes us to seek Him more in the Word.

  10. Michael says:

    I just ran a quick study on the phrase “it is written”.

    Dread, you should do the same.. 🙂

  11. Lutheran says:

    I have the exact opposite POV from Dread’s —

    Christianity is a very material, flesh-and-blood religion.

    In a world of New Age thought and concepts, Christianity is, ironically, becoming more
    and more a grounded, fleshy religion, compared to the others.

    I mean, Jesus was God in the FLESH! How much more earthy can you get?

    Just read the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds. Christianity is historical, flesh and blood.

    There’s a danger, I believe, in becoming Gnostic in our faith if we start downplaying
    its “flesh and bloodness.” It has to be grounded.

  12. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    Excellent observations.

    There is no question that there is a Spirit led aspect to our lives….but it is grounded in the Spirit breathed word.

  13. Dave Rolph says:

    If I have a conflict between what the Word says and what I “sense” the Spirit saying, I fix it by adjusting my interpretation to accommodate my “sense of the Spirit.” And that is in a world where we are trying to balance the Spirit and the Word. God help us if we lean even harder into favoring the Spirit, as we perceive Him, over the written Word of God. The heart is deceitful. Only the Word can discern between soul and spirit. Without the Word, I am the final authority, even if I call my own imaginations “the Spirit.”

    Praying for you Michael.

  14. Xenia says:

    Bible reading and study are good things, but they are not the purpose of the Christian life. What about people who are not book-oriented and don’t like to read / study but excel in other areas of the Christian life? In many churches, they are left in the dust.

    A quote from the martyr Hilarion Troitsky, recently published in The Orthodox Word:

    “…was the Incarnation of the Only-begotten Son of God necessary only in order to write a book and entrust it to mankind? Was it absolutely essential for Him to be the Only-begotten Son of God just to write a book? If the Church insisted with such determination on the Divine dignity of her Founder, then obviously she did not regard writing to be the essence of His work. It was the incarnation of the Son of God that was necessary for the salvation of mankind, and not a book. No book is able, nor could it ever have been able to save mankind. Christ is not the Teacher but precisely the Savior of mankind. It was necessary to regenerate human nature, which had become decayed through sin, and the beginning of this regeneration was laid by the very Incarnation of the Son of God – not by His teaching, not by the books of the New Testament.”

  15. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes I was sure I would be misread… I have to work at it a bit more… Immediately, upon giving what I have said the assumption goes to the diminishing of the Scriptures…

    I will try a bit more… no worries.

    One thing is sure, the Spirit will NEVER lead you astray… only our own lusts…

  16. Michael says:

    “Without the Word, I am the final authority, even if I call my own imaginations “the Spirit.””

    Exactly…and how many times have we seen vain imaginations turned into heretical doctrines and sects?

    Over and over again…

  17. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Where is the place where we learn about that Incarnation?

    You would say the church, I would say the Word.

    We both should be right… 🙂

  18. Michael says:

    BD,

    You might want to use examples that aren’t contradicted in Scripture…like the letters to the churches…

    My question to you is what are you trying to gain here with your theory?
    What are we missing?
    How can you separate Word and Spirit?

    Hurry up, I have to take a Vicadin… 🙂

  19. Xenia says:

    I will use my dear husband Eddie as an example. While he is educated (he has a masters and teaches at a university) he does not like to read or study. Long CC-style Bible lectures bore him and he is not gifted to teach Bible studies himself. So, at the CC we attended for 20 years, the only “servant” job he qualified for was usher. He was the best d@mn usher that church ever had. He never missed a Sunday. He was hard-working and kind-hearted. He got up at the crack of dawn every Sunday for almost twenty years and got to the building early to sweep, arrange chairs and greet people. And never once did the leadership of that church ever thank him or even have a conversation with him. He was invisible to them, a total non-entity, barely saved. At that church, the only thing that mattered was one’s ability to wield the Bible.

  20. His Kid says:

    Some thoughts from Tozer’s “Mystery of the Holy Spirit” :

    * “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” “The natural man,” that is, the man of mind and the intellect, cannot understand nor receive the things of the Spirit of God. They are foolishness to him and he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned. God gave us spirit to apprehend Him and intellect to apprehend theology. There is a difference.

    *Now that is the problem with our church in our day. We forget that there is something you cannot get a hold of with your head. We run around with our heads always trying to lay hold of things with our minds. Now the mind is good. God put it there…He gave it to you and He put brains in your head; and the organ we call the intellect has a work to do, but that work is not apprehending divine things. That is of the Holy Ghost.

    *There has been a great blunder in modern orthodoxy. It is the erroneous assumption that spiritual truths can be intellectually perceived…it is an error to believe that Bible study can remove the veil…When you go to Bible school, you learn theology; New Testament introduction,…etc., and think you have something. You could have something provided you had the divine illumination of the Holy Ghost. However, until you receive that illumination, that inward enlightenment, you do not have anything, because Bible study does not of itself lift the veil and penetrate it.

    *Let me give you a little motto, before I can understand a Bible text it takes an act of the Holy Spirit equal to the act that inspired the text in the first place.

    *A revelation of the Holy Spirit in one glorious flash of inward illumination will teach you more of Jesus than five years in a theological seminary. However, I believe in the seminaries. We ought to read everything we can read about Him, for reading about Him is legitimate and good and a part of Christianity. But the Holy Spirit must do the final flash that introduces your heart to Jesus, or it is not done at all.

    *Remember this: you only know Jesus as well as the Holy Spirit is pleased to reveal Him to you, for He cannot be revealed any other way.

    *How He waits to be honored, the blessed Holy Spirit. He waits to be honored and He will honor Christ as we honor Christ. He waits. And if you will throw open your heart to Him, a new sun will rise on you. I know that by personal experience. Some time maybe I will tell you. It is a sacred thing and I do not often tell it. Moreover, if there is anything God has done through me, it dates back to that solemn, wondrous hour; when the light that was never on land or sea, the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world slashed in on my darkness. There was not conversion; I had been converted, soundly converted. It was subsequent to conversion. How about you?

  21. Babylon's Dread says:

    Now Michael,

    I agree those 7 churches heard what the Spirit was saying through the ministry of John’s mediating word…

    Does that assume that there is nothing else for the Spirit to say to the churches… therein lies the problem… at least the bits of it.

    I appreciate the push back as I process this aloud…

    You see I think we treat the epistles as if the are the New Law of Moses Apostolic Edition… and I think something is awry there.

    I will illustrate… The written word alone would have left us keeping slavery as an ongoing means of dealing with people… the Gospel however destroys it… And there are many things like this…

    The Spirit speaking in the church helped destroy slavery as an option in Christendom… don’t you think? I know some will say how Paul made slavery different… yes I agree because Paul had only worked out those bits of the implications of the Gospel. If he had done more…he would surely have written to Philemon and insisted on the freedom of Onesimus, perhaps with means of a new life start. Paul comes close …very close no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother” Phm 16

    The work of the Spirit in the church goes all the way…’neither slave nor free’ not only ‘in Christ’ but in culture as well.

  22. Nomans says:

    Man you pastors are all alike. So black & white… :mrgreen:
    Why is it one or the other? Why can’t we strive to see a perfect marriage of the two? Dread spoke well, the Spirit will never mislead the child of God… only affirm Gods Word in that vessel. If there is a contradiction, it is indeed the flesh waging war against the Spirit.
    Is it not the Holy Spirits pleasure to be a witness to & affirm the Word within us?

  23. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    The thing you say is true… MY Will is always a rivaling matter with the Spirit….thus in the context of the church we work it out… So I come here with my frightening concepts and the buffeting of this arena takes off the edges…. In the body we are fitted together in Jesus.

    I really have much more to say about this … I have been thinking about it for a while.

  24. His Kid says:

    Nomans,
    I agree! And I think that is what Dread is trying to communicate, too, actually. Like the excerpts from Tozer I posted above explain, I think there is a danger of ignoring The Holy Spirit who is the illuminator of The Word, Jesus Christ. He illuminates the Scripture. They are both crucial, but lately we have seen an emphasis on Scripture without honoring the Holy Spirit and His ministry to us.

    Is that what you’re trying to communicate, BD?

  25. Bob Sweat says:

    Since no one has share this, I will. FIRST!

  26. Nomans says:

    Bob is a cheater….

  27. Psalm62 says:

    BD, jumping down without reading the thread because it concerns me that you see the (written) Word as dry(?). I’ll bet you rely on it, yourself. I’ll bet, BD, that you govern your own walk by what the Scripture teaches – line upon line and precept upon precept (not on a “verse of the day” out of context). It is a Book that is “alive and powerful.”

    He does give us a grace supply and an increase of faith as we respond to Him, but I know where I was spiritually (floundering and pondering without any sure knowledge) until I was past age 30. I knew Christ. I was sure of that. But had little to praise Him for… my praises were ‘duty praises’ like blowing on a little whistle or something…

    if I may be so presumptuous 🙂

    now I’ll go back and read the thread and find that my comment is redundant and unnecessary 😆

  28. Xenia says:

    Well, you all know what I will say. The Holy Spirit, who inspired the Scriptures, gives the Church the proper interpretation, not necessarily individuals. If I come across a passage that I don’t understand I look to see what the Church has always taught about it. No room, in my view, for private interpretations. I do not expect the Holy Spirit to give silly Xenia a new interpretation which is different from the interpretation He already gave the Church a long long time ago.

  29. Michael says:

    Nomans,

    LOL! 🙂

  30. His Kid says:

    Hi Psalm!
    I think BD is worried that we will assume that he is downplaying Scripture and I don’t believe that is what He is saying.

    My take is that we need to keep our focus and love for God’s Word at the highest place, but at the same time we must not exclude and ignore the power of the Holy Spirit in the process. We are emphasizing the Word to the exclusion of the Holy Spirit and They cannot be separated.

    I have seen many deep, wonderful discussions here at PP about theological viewpoints…but less about the power of the Holy Spirit.

  31. Michael says:

    BD,

    As I am a closet Pentecostal at heart, I am open to these wranglings… 😉

  32. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes I like what Xenia is saying…very much

    The Spirit birthed the church which gave us the Word… just be sure that we understand that Word and Spirit can only be written that way when Word means Jesus… the scriptures cannot be put on par with the Holy Trinity… this is among my many objections to inerrancy which tends to deify the text.

    I am quite sure that this body is not confused about my love of the text…

    Much more to come…

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    Anyway…. I am glad to stimulate a little Friday flurry

  34. Nomans says:

    Side note;
    I like this.
    I like open ramblings. Imperfect thoughts submitted one to another for prayer and meditation. This is a breeding ground for personal revelation. It is my safest place to learn…
    in a sea of vulnerability.
    This little community just gets better and better.

    On a personal note, I have been sure of a thing, that is was inspired by the Spirit, only to find that it was a very good thought, born of my flesh.
    This causes me to tread very lightly.
    ~NomansisSwitzerlandfornowologist

  35. JimB says:

    God will never contradict His own word. But, I believe it is possible He may work in our lives and do something which His word does not really deal with. But, we shouldn’t then go and tell others that they can or should have the same experience. It is only the written word only that we must expound and teach to others, and really His word promises to equip us for everything that we need in this life: 1 Tim. 3:16-17.

  36. Lutheran says:

    BD,

    I’m glad you’re making us think.

    Even if it is Friday. 🙂

  37. Psalm62 says:

    It is a valid concern that some folk present their head-knowledge of Scripture as proof of being superior in ‘Christianity.’ Funny thing is that I think these people, clergy and laity, make the case for a dead ‘faith.’ But, so do the likes of TB over on the other thread who are so full of ? that there is no Spirit Life in them, either.

  38. Nomans says:

    Good point, Psalmy. Both are an offense to The Spirit.

  39. Psalm62 says:

    JimB, amen to your 10:22 – we do have ‘experiences’ that are between us and God and that should be treasured as such, not taught as a norm – if I understood you correctly?

  40. Xenia says:

    Here’s an example from last Sunday’s homily by Fr. Luke that demonstrates what I am talking about. The Gospel and Epistle readings for that day lent themselves to a homily about fear and since Fr. Luke said he’d heard from a lot of fearful parishioners the past week (some of our members are sick with Swine Flu and other ailments, some are fearful for their jobs, some are worried about the government) he gave a fifteen minute sermon on the subject of fear.

    First he read a long selection of scriptures that dealt with fear, many from the Psalms. The gist of them was “Fear not for I am with thee.” He read a LOT of scriptures, one after the other. (Since we don’t carry our Bibles to Church with us, there was no rustling of pages as we looked the verses up for ourselves. We just listened.)

    Then Fr. Luke read quotations from the Saints, Fathers, and Elders on the topic of fear. Not surprisingly, there was no contradiction. It was the teaching of the Church on the subject of fear.

    Fr. Luke wrapped things up with a few personal remarks relating all that he had read to the situation in our parish. He didn’t offer any unusual theories or speculations on the topic of fear. The Church had spoken, through the Scriptures and the Tradition. Amen.

    There was no “look at this verse in Galatians! While I was studying this week I remembered this (obscure) verse in Obadiah and I looked up this word in my Greek dictionary and one of the possible meanings (out of twenty-nine entries) was this odd little idea and golly, I believe the Holy Spirit has led me to this COMPLETELY NOVEL interpretation of this passage!)

  41. Dusty says:

    Michael said, “As I am a closet Pentecostal at heart, I am open to these wranglings…”

    We knew that about you….you would have to be to have Nomans and me on the team.

  42. Dave Rolph says:

    Dread,

    You are definitely on to something really important. For many people the only difference between the old and new covenant is that there is a new rule book. The written word is the most reliable source we have to connect with the Living Word, by the Holy Spirit, but we can worship the Book instead of a living relationship with a Living Lord. There are obviously many people for whom a love of the Book has not been enough to transfer into a life-changing relationship (knowledge without fruit) and that should let us know that it is more than just knowledge of the Book that is the whole story. Keep dabbling around. We’d rather have you flirt with heresy than to do so ourselves. 🙂 There are some slippery slopes here.

  43. Lutheran says:

    Xenia,

    Bee-youtiful!

    It probably sounds like “me, too,” but in thinking about your description of your Service and my Lutheran one, our service and message, too, tie around a theme each Sunday. We use a three-year lectionary and the theme usually is based on one of the scripture readings, unless it’s a church festival such as Pentecost, etc.

    I believe the liturgical churches get the ‘big picture.’ It’s the forest view, not the view on one of the branches on one of the limbs on one of one of the trees.

    Like you said in your last paragraph — I don’t miss that kind of thing at all.

  44. Dusty says:

    I did not get what you all did in re. to Dixie Dreads comments…

    I don’t think he was trying to dismiss the Bible at all…

    It seemed to me that he was trying to encourage others to not dismiss the promptings of the Holy Spirit and His work, guidance, power, presence…in our day to day living.

  45. Lutheran says:

    What about the place of the Christian community?

    I believe that God was at work among the members of the Early Church. I believe that that apostolic community was ordained by God. After all, the Writings didn’t just drop from heaven so we could individualistically interpret them. There was a process involved in the maturing of the Church.

  46. Tim says:

    Xenia –
    “And never once did the leadership of that church ever thank him or even have a conversation with him. He was invisible to them, a total non-entity, barely saved. At that church, the only thing that mattered was one’s ability to wield the Bible.”

    Reading that grieves me. I’m so sorry for what you & your husband felt there…simply awful.

  47. Dusty says:

    Dave, “…flirt with heresy…”

    Do you really think he is doing that? It seemed to me he was working though something ‘out loud’-as many here do from time to time – here among so many gifted teachers to get input and maybe even offer input…to keep all of us away from heresy…

  48. Tim says:

    Ps62 @10:25-
    Good thoughts.

  49. Dusty says:

    Mr. Xenia,

    Thank you for your many years of faithful service to the many people who came through your doors. I know there are many out there who were greatly touched that you were there to offer a warm smile and a friendly handshake or hug. You may never know the extent of the good you gave but I assure you it was/is very great. May God continue to bless you richly.

  50. Dave Rolph says:

    Dusty,

    See the little smiling, winking face? I was joking about it being heresy. I love Dread’s discussion.

  51. Dave Rolph says:

    Xenia,

    I have known several people from your old church who really appreciated both you and your husband. Sorry they didn’t express it to the one’s who needed to hear it the most. I sure appreciate you here.

  52. Dusty says:

    i’m sorry Dave. I did not see it.

    the heresy thing does worry me…I wonder when my thinking or belief gets me near that flirting line or over the line….especially when I don’t understand half of what you all are talking about some of the time…even less other times….I still read it…I still try to understand…but it just slips right over my head…

  53. Tim says:

    2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

    Why did Paul keep going back to this theme throughout the Pastoral Epistles? One reason is because preaching the word always leads to the Word. A proper proclamation of the Scriptures will always take someone to the feet of Christ Jesus.

    A common problem in evangelicalism (which may be what Dread is getting at & Xenia & Lutheran have experienced) is that evangelical churches many times stop short of the goal. The Scripture is taught & explained & applied, but many times neglects to actually take people to the Savior. It’s left at exhorting people how to live their lives better, rather than exhorting people to rejoice in and deeply worship our God through the power of the Spirit.

    I have a deep love and passion for teaching the Scriptures…but the Scripture is the tool God uses to proclaim Christ Jesus. If I don’t take people to the feet of Christ, then I failed in the sermon.

    Hopefully that makes sense…my thinking is a bit muddy today.

  54. Dusty says:

    Tim, muddy? no way, that was crystal clear to me. 🙂

  55. Babylon's Dread says:

    Great discussion everyone… and Dusty,

    YES, I probably am near the edges… so I am not offended by the thought…

    I am openly processing things here today… You see I think the church was and IS a Spirit movement … and I truly do believe HE will lead us in to all the truth…gotta go do radio

  56. Babylon's Dread says:

    When Paul wrote “Preach the word!” What did he refer to as ‘the word’?

    This is a crucial matter…

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    You all realize of course that the church was born 30 years before it had a scrap of paper that was called scripture text other than the Law and Prophets! The Spirit sustained the church…and they are in a slow process of learning to live free from the Law and yet without breaking it…

    Really gotta go…for a bit

  58. Tim says:

    Thanks Dusty! 🙂

  59. Tim says:

    Dread –
    It is a good question. Contextually, Paul had just gotten done writing about the written word, the Scriptures (γραφη – ‘graphe’); but as he transitions to chapter 4, he uses terminology regarding the spoken word (λογον – ‘logon’). Obviously ‘logos’ is larger than just speech…it is concept, idea, and most importantly from John, it is Christ. I’m not sure if Paul was intentionally referring to Johannine thought here (as Paul was likely writing earlier than John), but it is a significant change, and obviously Spirit-inspired. On the face of it, we could simply argue that Paul used “logos” in light of the context of “preaching”…hence, spoken.

    It seems to me that when Paul says “Preach the word!”, he is specifically applying what he just instructed about the God-breathed written Scriptures, and telling Timothy that those written Scriptures are exactly what Timothy is to proclaim. (Instead of giving movie reviews, like Centy does all the time. 😉 )

    That said, the use of “logos” is inescapable to me. Ultimately when we preach what was written down in the Scriptures, we are presenting the Son of God to those to whom we are speaking.

    What say you?

  60. Xenia says:

    Dusty, I told Mr. Xenia what you said and with a big smile he said to tell you thanks.

    Dave, thank you for your kind words. I know I’ve vexed you a time or two.

    All, I didn’t tell my little story to bash my old church’s leadership because I remember them all with affection and gratitude. But this is what can happen in a fellowship when only one aspect of the Christian life- in this case, Bible study- is so overly emphasized that all other aspects (such as my husband’s diligence and humility) are overlooked.

    As for me, I had a completely different experience at CC. I do like to read and study and I can give a pretty good sermon, in a women’s ministry kind of a way. I was always being thanked and complemented and sent cards and included in thank-you luncheons. That’s because I excelled at what mattered most at that church. But my husband was the gem, not me.

    We are fine now. We are at a church that values my husbands gifts and don’t especially value my “gift” of being a glib know-it-all. It’s what we both needed.

  61. Sister Christian says:

    You search the scriptures,
    for in them you think you have eternal life
    and these are they which testify of me.
    But you are not willing to come to me
    that you may have life.

    Tim, you might be on to something with preach the word “logos”
    preach “Christ” is that what you were getting at?

    Dread, appreciate so much you are saying and looking fwd as you continue to develop and refine these thoughts

    Xenia as always makes magnificent points on this,
    and Nomans has once again has artfully brought together two seemingly opposing perspsectives into one.

    Dusty and Psalm,
    your comments always shine through with the joy and peace of the Lord!

    The Word, the Spirit and the Church are the three pillars that work together
    to help us abide in Christ and our walk with him.
    and in Christ is where we find life and life eternal
    in the here and now and the not yet, to be.
    Should one be elevated over another, or to the point of exclusion of any?

  62. Sister Christian says:

    “You search the scriptures,
    for in them you think you have eternal life
    and these are they which testify of me.
    But you are not willing to come to me
    that you may have life.”

    John 5:38-40

  63. Drew says:

    Dread:

    “You all realize of course that the church was born 30 years before it had a scrap of paper that was called scripture text other than the Law and Prophets!”

    What revisionist history! Come on you went to seminary or something like it. The OT scriptures, history, paraphrases and such were widely available and used in the NT church. It was the letters and gospels which the NT church passed around and cherished from the founding Apostles who were with Jesus. Two of the Gospels came from men who had been taught by these men personally.

    Until the 2nd Century and the Bar Cochba revolt the church was primarily a Jewish cult and YES the scriptures (OT) were read and cherished with the hope placed on the return of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His full kingdom, something John left us in Revelations.

    I know in part…

    Oh and you might remember it was not the Nicene Council which Canonized the OT, it was already done and excepted in Jerusalem. The controversy was always which NT letters and gospels were God’s word.

    “Just the facts mam…” Joe Friday

  64. Drew says:

    The interesting point Dread hints at is today’s church tends to ignore and only preach life style and primarily the “pastoral letters” from Paul. I find a lot of what is preached is more about crowd control and the wealth of the church organization than the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

    In my studies I am finding even a little knowledge of 1st century rabbinic and Pharisaical thought and doctrine will bring great enlightenment to the NT scriptures. What I tend to find is many pastors (and I mean a lot of them) make things up or except some other pastoral myth when faced with a difficult passage or question in their teaching. Sometimes it is just OK to say, “I don’t know.”

    A very simple and good example comes from John 1:38 where Jesus is asked, where was He staying? Why would someone want to know that? The answer is to get an understanding of the disciple/rabbi relationship of that time. Google it and see what people say about the scripture.

    Oh well, to life!

  65. Michael says:

    “Now, the Holy Spirit has been sent to the Church as its Teacher, to guide Christians into truth, to make them wise unto salvation, to testify to them of Christ and to glorify Him thereby. (14) To the apostles, He came to remind them of Christ’s teaching, to show them its meaning, to add further revelation to it, and so to equip them to witness to all about their Lord. (15) To other men, He comes to make them partakers of the apostolic faith through the apostolic word. Paul indicates the permanent relation between the Spirit, the apostles’ word and the rest of the Church in 1 Cor. ii.10-16. The Spirit, he says, gave the apostles understanding of the gospel: “we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God”; “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.” Now the Spirit inspires and empowers their proclamation of these things to other men: “which things we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth”; Paul preaches, and knows that he preaches, “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power”. (16) And “he that is spiritual”—he in whom the Spirit abides to give understanding—discerns the meaning of the message and receives it as the testimony of God. This applies no less to the apostolic word written than to the apostolic word preached; and no more to the apostolic writings than to the rest of the written Word of God. The Spirit, who was its author, is also its interpreter, and such understanding of it as men gain is His gift.
    Not that the Spirit’s presence in men’s hearts makes patient study of the text unnecessary. The Spirit is not given to make Bible study needless, but to make it effective. Nor can anything in Scripture mean anything when the Spirit interprets. The Spirit is not the prompter of fanciful spiritualizing, or of applications of texts out of their contexts on the basis of accidental associations of words. The only meaning to which He bears witness is that which each text actually has in the organism of Scripture; such witness as is borne to other meanings is borne by other spirits. But without the Spirit’s help there can be no grasp of the message of Scripture, no conviction of the truth of Scripture, and no faith in the God of Scripture. Without the Spirit, nothing is possible but spiritual blindness and unbelief.
    It follows that the Christian must approach the study of Scripture in humble dependence on the Holy Spirit, sure that he can learn from it nothing of spiritual significance unless he is taught of God. Confidence in one’s own powers of discernment is an effective barrier to spiritual understanding. The self-confidence of nineteenth-century critical scholarship was reflected in its slogan that the Bible must be read like any other book; but the Bible is more than a merely human book, and understanding it involves more than appreciating its merely human characteristics. God’s book does not yield up its secrets to those who will not be taught of the Spirit. Our God-given textbook is a closed book till our God-given Teacher opens it to us.”
    14. Jn. xiv.26, xv.26, xvi.13, 14.
    15. Jn. xiv.26, xvi.12, 13, xvii.20.
    16. 1 Cor. ii.4.

    Packer

  66. Psalm62 says:

    Simple question from a simple mind ❓

    You’re going to spend the rest of your life alone – on an island, in a jail cell, whatever… is there any material item that you would chose over the written Word to keep with you – even KJV ? After all, I could have a sweater and a comfy pillow and rely soley on communing with God by way of the Holy Spirit speaking to my spirit. Maybe some would and it would be better for them – dunno. Maybe we all can’t wear the same style of shoe….

  67. Dusty says:

    Psalm62 asked, “is there any material item that you would chose over the written Word to keep with you”

    no…I usually have my Bible with me everywhere I go.

  68. Psalm62 says:

    “God’s book does not yield up its secrets to those who will not be taught of the Spirit. Our God-given textbook is a closed book till our God-given Teacher opens it to us.”

    from Isaiah (if I may presume) “for thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell the in high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble , and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

  69. Drew says:

    “Not that the Spirit’s presence in men’s hearts makes patient study of the text unnecessary. The Spirit is not given to make Bible study needless, but to make it effective.”

    Good statement!

    Reminds me of when teenagers ask for prayer over their high school tests, do they want to Holy Spirit to bring miraculous revelation to what they haven’t studied or remembrance of what they have?

    ““But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, … and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

    How can He do that if we haven’t been taught what Jesus said?

    “…And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)

  70. Psalm62 says:

    Dusty – armed and dangerous?

  71. Babylon's Dread says:

    Drew per your 1:15

    I will not respond to your tone, which threatens to change the congenial nature of this discussion…

    My point is pretty simple…the church lived off the ‘apostles teaching’ (Acts 2) but the written NT certainly was not readily available to the church in Acts in 30 AD. I am saying that I do not think that the Timothy passage refers to the NT documents… I do not think they were being called the Word by that time…

    Now I have to catch up

    My thesis is simple… The NT church was a Spirit movement within a word people(Jews) It does change but not early on.

    I am not really picking a fight today but … I am usually up for that too

  72. philbertz says:

    Dread,
    I have often wondered why the terms of the new covenant aren’t more apparent in both the practice of individual discipleship and collective church life. I’m particularly interested in your opinions regarding this balance.

    all-ears-phil

  73. Drew says:

    Dread:

    My “tone” was in response to your “tone” and misdirection.

    But you have corrected yourself in this statement, “but the written NT certainly was not readily available to the church in Acts in 30 AD. I am saying that I do not think that the Timothy passage refers to the NT documents… I do not think they were being called the Word by that time…”

    I totally agree with you here and often point that out in studies.

    I have a pet peeve with pastors who get up and give half truths and inaccurate statements to prove their points and that is what I perceived from your statement. Sorry if it offends you. God’s people need the truth and I believe it is worth standing on.

  74. Dusty says:

    Psalm, lol you are funny…don’t think anyone even thinks of the word dangerous then they think of or even look at me. lol

  75. Michael says:

    “My thesis is simple… The NT church was a Spirit movement ”

    Define this, please.

    The OT was certainly considered the Scriptures and the apostolic writings that followed were seen early on as inspired.

  76. Lutheran says:

    My thesis is simple… The NT church was a Spirit movement

    Dread,

    Looks to me like you’re channeling your inner Gordon Fee.

    🙂

  77. Sister Christian says:

    “As Christians, we are to be different than the world around us.
    In particular, we are to attain a fuller knowledge of the Word of God,”

    “God’s book does not yield up its secrets to those who will not be taught of the Spirit.”

  78. Sister Christian says:

    does that make sense if i rework JI Packers 2 quotes from the bottom up?

    To Those who will be taught of the Spirit,
    God will yield to him the secrets of His book,
    as we seek to attain a fuller knowledge of the word of God,
    so as Christians we will be different than the world around us.

  79. Sister Christian says:

    well, if someone could help me rework the pronouns properly

  80. Babylon's Dread says:

    Define this ?

    Michael

    I am not that keen to get beat up today… I am giving the Spirit the primacy over the written word in the founding and spreading of the NT church…

    And I am suggesting that our usage of the NT, especially the epistles, needs revision. We have become neopharisees in our interpretive application of the NT.

    I wrote a long thing on it but do not wish to defend a thing that is in formulation.

    No one offered an answer to my illustration of slavery as a helpful example of what I am trying to say. Slavery fared better under Paul’s pen than it did under the history of the work of the Spirit in history to destroy slavery.

  81. Babylon's Dread says:

    Lutheran

    I have been expecting more support from the Law and Gospel crowd… I have been hinting this stuff for some time now…

  82. Tim says:

    Dread –
    I did answer your question about preaching the word. Any thoughts?

  83. Babylon's Dread says:

    Furthermore…

    The model of Revelation 2-3 is something we should take more seriously … Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…

    The church was born of the Spirit and the New Covenant is a Spirit movement… The NC moves us from tablets and hearts of stone to hearts of flesh written on by the Spirit… the blessing of Abraham for the nations is the outpouring of the Spirit which eradicates all barriers between people… The Church is a Spirit movement… I say again…

  84. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes Tim

    I should have responded… what you wrote was excellent … I do think Preach the word ultimately meant preach the Gospel… ie Jesus… the use of logos that you make is notable but might easily be explained by the context of preaching as you pointed out.

    I certainly do not think he was saying that Timothy should preach the NT documents… And honestly I wonder to what degree the apostles saw their won writings as God-breathed.

    For me it is notable that we (the church) are a God-breathed people… When Jesus breathed on his disciples in John 22…I think he was re-creating man… I can go on about that forever… But basically a Spirit filled person is a New Creation in the Holy Spirit and is a downpayment on God’s new creation and restoration of all things.

  85. Lutheran says:

    Xenia,

    Does your church celebrate the Eucharist each week/at each service?

  86. Michael says:

    BD,

    I’ll hear you out on this, but right now it sounds a lot like garden variety Gnosticism.

    It doesn’t take much research to see the primacy of the OT scriptures by the apostles and the very quick recognition of their writings as new Scripture.

    Once again, your Revelation reference falls short as the Spirit spoke to those churches through the word that John wrote down.

  87. Drew says:

    Dread:

    “The model of Revelation 2-3 is something we should take more seriously … Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…”

    No one argues this at all. But, John refers to the OT almost directly all through Revelations, the number is in the over 200 times!

    I always remember the Logos or Word was always around, even before God had men record His work amongst men.

  88. Drew says:

    “For me it is notable that we (the church) are a God-breathed people… When Jesus breathed on his disciples in John 22…I think he was re-creating man…”

    Agreed but how did the Apostles know this wasn’t some mystical emergent theology? They knew the OT and Jesus’ reference to Genesis!

    “But basically a Spirit filled person is a New Creation in the Holy Spirit and is a downpayment on God’s new creation and restoration of all things.”

    Agreed and AMEN! This is what separates the New Covenant from the Old. There is no longer a temple where God comes to dwell with men and be touched once a year. He has chosen to fill His creation, men, and make them the place where He dwells and touches humanity.

    But, how do we know this? We read about it in the OT prophets and experience it in the mercy and grace of the Father in Jesus Christ!

  89. Babylon's Dread says:

    No Michael,

    This is not Gnosticism…

    As for John writing down those messages… then I assume that you are saying that the Spirit does not speak to the churches as a normative matter but only exceptionally or not at all since we have the text. I just want to be clear… are you suggesting that the Spirit no longer speaks?

    Also, I will reassert that the Spirit has primacy over the NT documents because the author is greater than the the text… and birthed it.

  90. Babylon's Dread says:

    Drew

    Per you 4:01 …they knew because they were eyewitnesses of the resurrection. They did not as far as we know search scripture before receiving the action of Jesus breathing into them.

    What is it you hear me asserting that is troubling to you?

  91. Babylon's Dread says:

    Here I will toss a softball…

    Would you guys have freed the slaves based on the text of the scriptures? I really do not know if it is possible to answer this without feeling the force of it. But if people apply the scriptures the way I normally see them applied, I think they would have kept their slaves and justified it biblically through Paul.

    I think this is a big issue which pertains to how we see and use the scripture texts. It gets at what I am working on in a more obvious and practical way.

  92. Michael says:

    The Holy Spirit speaks through and illuminates the text He inspired.

    What you are suggesting is that the illumination of the sacred text by the Holy Spirit is somehow inadequate for the spiritual life of the church.

    You know what my thought would be about such an assertion….

  93. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thus Michael,

    You are saying that the Spirit does not speak today apart from the scriptures… you are asserting a certain form of cessationism. Unless I miss you.

    And no I am not claiming the the illumination of the sacred text is inadequate but perhaps I am saying that it is not exhaustive… “Today if you hear his voice….” Says Hebrews, I know you believe the Spirit speaks today…surely you do.

  94. Michael says:

    I will assert most boldly that the Holy Spirit speaks most often and most powerfully through that which is written.

    Any other “speaking” He does will be affirmed by that which was already written and there is no “new revelation ” to be added to that which we already own.

  95. Xenia says:

    >>>What you are suggesting is that the illumination of the sacred text by the Holy Spirit is somehow inadequate for the spiritual life of the church.<<<

    I would say that it's inadequate. The scriptures don't tell us all we need to know. How to conduct a Church service, for example. It doesn't even tell us what books belong (or will belong) in the Bible. The Bible is part of the Tradition- the primary part, but not the only part.

    Lutheran, the Eucharist is served every Divine Liturgy every Sunday. Churches will have other Divine Liturgies during the week, depending on the size of the Parish. The Eucharist is celebrated then, too. It's the focus of the service, as I believe it is in the Lutheran Church, too.

  96. Babylon's Dread says:

    I would assert that the word most powerfully and most clearly reflects what the Spirit is saying … but the Spirit is always speaking… that which is written adequate but not nearly exhaustive. True what the Spirit says will always have harmony with that which he has said.

    I know that this ground I am treading is frightening and tenuous to many.

  97. Michael says:


    ¶ Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
    on the day of testing in the wilderness,
    where your fathers put me to the test
    and saw my works for forty years.
    Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
    and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
    they have not known my ways.’
    As I swore in my wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter my rest.’””
    (Hebrews 3:6–11 ESV)

    How would they have heard His voice?
    Through this writing…which has at least two OT citations contained in it.

  98. Xenia says:

    Hi Lutheran, yes, we receive the Eucharist every Divine Liturgy, every Sunday. It’s the focus of the service, as I think it is in the Lutheran church, too. Depending on the size of the parish, there are also weekday services, and the Eucharist is served then, too. And also on special days.

    As to the Bible, I believe it’s a part of the Tradition. By far the most important part but still a part and not the whole enchilada.

  99. Drew says:

    “They did not as far as we know search scripture before receiving the action of Jesus breathing into them. ”

    I thought the way you did until I studied the education of the disciples, they knew scripture and it is referred to often in the gospels. The Galilean young Jews were trained in the Torah and most likely could read and had most of the Torah memorized or could refer to what they had learned.

    What originally troubled me is when you implied the NT did not have scripture for at least 30 years. As I said this is misleading and just flat untrue.

    I do agree with you on much of what you say about the Holy Spirit, however I can not accept much of what we call “new revelation.” This kind of stuff outside the discipline of recorded scripture, both OT and NT, for the most part is probably just a “pizza dream.”

  100. Babylon's Dread says:

    How would they have heard his voice?

    Those Hebrews would have heard God’s voice both from the book of Hebrews and via the direct agency of the Spirit.

  101. Psalm62 says:

    OK, just popped back in here to catch up on the thread…
    “let him who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches… ” that was preceeding some pretty serious **written** words,wasn’t it?
    what! am I missing? ❓

  102. Drew says:

    Dread:

    “True what the Spirit says will always have harmony with that which he has said.”

    What do you mean here? Are you saying the Spirit will never contradict scripture or something else?

    Oh and I agree with you again about slavery. God never condemned slavery as far as I can tell. What He condemned is how men treat men, freeman, slave, or even women. I do think the freeing of slaves in the US and UK was a result of the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in men, ie. Wilberforce.

    When the scripture is very clear and affirmed by Jesus about marriage why did God allow David and others have many wives and concubines when it is clearly a sin?

    Boy do we live in grace or what!

  103. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thanks Drew…

    I do not think I have suggested ‘new revelation’ but I know that is the concern… further, I clearly qualified my statement about the scriptures… or at least I thought I had… I was just suggesting that the NT scriptures were not the rule of faith for a long while but the church was advancing by the power of the Spirit within them.

  104. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ps 2

    I was illustrating with that text … simply saying that the Spirit was speaking directly through those texts and I am suggesting that perhaps the Spirit still does that.

  105. Psalm62 says:

    BD,”I know that this ground I am treading is frightening and tenuous to many.”

    frightening? tenuous? we shouldn’t be frightened of something that is tenuous . . .

    I have nothing to contribute to enlighten this discussion or that I wish to question here and so I am wandering around out here in the woods by myself

    God keep us all close

  106. Psalm62 says:

    thank you, BD – you seem theologically sound to me 😉 but then I am not that theological

  107. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ps 2,

    No … we fear only God.

  108. Drew says:

    Here is what I give total credit to the power of the Holy Spirit:

    When Paul traveled he always(there may be some exceptions I don’t know about other than Mars Hills and Cyprus) went to a Synagogue to start his work in a community. What he often found there was a mix of Jews and God fearing people (non-Jews). I understand God’s power to spread the Jewish community via the Diaspora but for non-Jewish people to join them, what a move of God to prep them for Paul’s mission.

    Who’d of thought!

  109. Babylon's Dread says:

    This line of conversation has gotten away from my initial quest and concern. I am going to keep trying a bit more…

    When God gave Torah… it was given in covenant fashion and it was to be enforced fully. This opened the door wide to the endless wrangling over such things as Sabbath laws. If one is to keep covenant then exactly what distance walking is not work… the contingencies are endless.

    However when God gave the New Covenant it was God giving himself to his people … “I will put my Spirit within them…”

    The Apostolic Epistles are the documents that flesh out the implication of New Covenant.

    Now how do these epistles function? I contend that for the most part NT biblicists have applied these epistles in a similar fashion to the Torah. It is an easy jump to make after all these documents are bound together both in terms of the meta-narrative and literally in one volume. So! Is it proper to treat the Apostolic writings as a codex?

    If not then how shall we treat them… I beat the drum with my slavery example and got notice.

    I will tie it to Revelation in a minute….

  110. Babylon's Dread says:

    When people call for revival… they always use a text that comes from the Old Covenant. “If my people which are called by my name…” That text is a call to return to Torah!. It is in the context of Israel breaking covenant. But it is used to call the church to revival. … That would seem misplaced on close examination…

    New Testament Revival should be rooted in the voice of God … not in the Torah. Thus Rev 2-3 provides a model. In those chapters the call for repentance is given … but it is not a repentance rooted in Torah… it is a repentance rooted in the Gospel. But to hear the NT call there must be a corporate ‘hearing’ at more than the informational level.

    Thus the church is a Spirit movement not a word movement in the sense of Torah.

    Further…the slavery example used above shows that hermeneutics similar to those used on Torah…are inadequate to serve the voice of God. Paul’s writings, if followed would have sanctioned slavery, yes it would have elevated the nature of it but it would not have abolished it. It seems to me that the Gospel does destroy it.

    This has implications for all moral teaching, marriage, ministry, sexuality, etc etc

    Ok have at it or ignore it.

  111. Michael says:

    True revival has always been centered on the power of the Holy Spirit through the inspired Word of God.

    Revival comes through the proclamation of that Word and the sovereign action of the Holy Spirit on mens hearts.

    The model of Revelation is no different….the voice of God was present in the text.

  112. Scott says:

    Hi, Michael. Hope you are feeling better! I’ll give you a call some time and check up on you.

  113. Michael says:

    Scott,

    I’m recovering.

    I swallowed my pride and took the pain pills…and that helps a lot!

  114. Lutheran says:

    Back to my earlier contention that Christianity is a historical religion —

    The reason I asked Xenia about the Eucharist is that it should be a central part of our worship. It was so in the Early Church — it was so sacred that they didn’t let just anyone partake — only those who were in the Faith — had received instruction. Read “Eucharist and Fellowship in the First Four Centuries,” by Werner Elert or “From Darkness to Light — How One Became a Christian in the Early Church” by Anne Field.

    It’s my contention that the Spirit works through means — Word and Sacrament. It’s been good enough for our church forefathers and mothers, it’s good enough for me.

    If you go beyond that, well, knock yourself out. I won’t be going along.

    Dread: I’m having a hard time following where you’re going. Can you cite any books, etc. that espouses your POV? You’re not giving me anywhere near enough to go on.

  115. BrianD says:

    Abraham Piper asks which blogs his readers read.

    Take a wild guess which kind they ALL read 🙂

    I wonder if someone here wants to help balance it out… 😉

    http://twentytwowords.com/2009/10/16/what-are-some-blogs-by-christians-you-read-besides-this-one/

  116. Ken says:

    Michael,

    I’m glad to hear of your recovery. This has been a great discussion to read.

    **K**

  117. Reuben says:

    Hey Michael!

    I started my own blog, and found some really cool sources for very nice layout themes @ http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ but for whatever reason cannot figure out how to get them uploaded to my wordpress blog…

    Any ideas?

  118. Michael says:

    Download them to your computer first, then upload through the dashboard.

  119. Scott says:

    You know, while you are all on this subject, I have been thinking about Jesus’ statement in John 7, 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his innermost belly will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    First of all, what passage was Jesus referring to? Secondly, have any of you ever experienced what Jesus is speaking of relative to the Holy Spirit, namely, rivers of living water flowing out of your innermost belly. If so, in what ways?

    Thanks.

  120. Cash says:

    Hey, Michael. Be careful. Don’t mix the painkillers with Kalua. 😉
    On second thought, that might generate some excitement her at the PP. :smile

  121. Cash says:

    man..typos..will I ever learn??? 🙂

  122. Psalm62 says:

    Scott, wow what questions – hoping to read some good thots on them here tonight – we’ll see who has the gift of teaching here mebbe…

  123. BrianD says:

    Michael, don’t get too rowdy right now. Rest up. Save your strength for when PP.com goes back up 😉

    Glad to see you made it through the surgery safe and sound 🙂

  124. Michael says:

    Dread hath exhausted me…

    I’ll catch up after a nap.

  125. Scott says:

    Psalm, I can just picture all those astute Torah students running to their scrolls trying to find the specific black & white written passage Jesus was quoting from regarding himself 🙂

  126. Babylon's Dread says:

    He was speaking of the dynamics of Ezekiel …and the water flowing from the temple 47:1

  127. Scott says:

    “Joseph, Joseph, where is that “innermost belly” passage this Rabbi is referring to?” 🙂

  128. Scott says:

    I love the mystical side of Jesus. For some reason, I can relate to the way He took the liberty to expand upon the written word (much of it concealed and in mystery form at that point) and point the meaning of it to himself. I always get chills up and down my spine when I read how that he took the whole of the O.T. and showed the brothers on the road to Emmaus that it ALL pointed to and was fulfilled in him! And even then they didn’t get it until he “broke” the bread.

  129. Scott says:

    I still can’t get over what that must of sounded and looked like on the day of Pentecost. A sound like a mighty rushing wind! Can you imagine that? Visible tongues of fire over the heads of those gathered in that upper room! Wowsers!

  130. Scott says:

    I would imagine there were some rivers of living water flowing out of those disciples innermost bellies that day! 🙂

  131. Scott says:

    Dread, your 6:35, how do you know he was referring to Ezekiel? It doesn’t say. Maybe he was referring to Isaiah 44:3-5

  132. Scott says:

    Or…Isaiah 55:1, Isaiah 58:11, Isaiah 32:15. And my personal favorite regarding this subject is Joel 2:28

  133. Scott says:

    Nothing like making up for absentee time on the ole PP on my part 🙂 Any whooo, I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning and am sitting in a Nebraskan truck stop tired out. Ya’ll have a great night and weekend!

  134. A Believer says:

    It’s good to see your posts Scott.

  135. puzzletop says:

    It’s good to see your posts too A Believer.

  136. centorian says:

    and, it’s good to see your posts, puz…. 8)

  137. Babylon's Dread says:

    I wore out my boy Miguel?

    He has worn out ideas and needs some fresh mana …

    Michael your paradigm of revival is old covenant… I am offering a fresh paradigm of revival and you are somehow bothered by it….embrace my friend…

  138. Dusty says:

    lol funny boys.

  139. Michael says:

    Dread,

    You are offering up the concoctions of man…a very bright man, but a man none the less.

    Revival comes when God decides it will…and the preaching of the Word is always central.

    Nothing new is needed except a renewed devotion and attention to what the Spirit is saying through His word.

    I am the renewal Scrooge… 🙂

  140. Nomans says:

    What a great discussion. I am loving Scotts musings.
    Rivers of living water out of my innermost belly? Yes indeed.
    To be reminded of what Pentecost indeed looked like, sounded like paints wild imagery in my mind… Reminding me that God is radical, and His Spirit fervid.

  141. Tim says:

    Dread –
    If I’m following the discussion correctly, it seems to me that where you & Michael are butting heads is the issue of final authority. I.e. does the Holy Spirit willingly limit His ongoing voice in the lives of believers to what He’s already given us through the Scripture? (I.e. He speaks & guides His people, but never contradicts the revealed & received written word.) Or does He readily use, but freely go beyond the Scripture in revelation?

    It would seem to me that you’re suggesting the latter, which then would raise the question of: on what authority can the Church affirm the voice of the Spirit? EO & RCC would jump up at this point & say “Tradition passed through the early fathers”…but that would still leave you without a final authority on what is being said by the Spirit today.

    Am I misunderstanding you?

  142. Babylon's Dread says:

    First this is pretty much my premise

    “Nothing new is needed except a renewed devotion and attention to what the Spirit is saying through His word.”

    Second
    “I am the renewal Scrooge… ”

    Now we agree…

    But I think I am onto something and you are unwilling to accept anything that you think challenges your premises

  143. Nomans says:

    Dread, the thoughts on slavery….
    Very profound. Undoing that evil did require revelation.
    Nomansisnotwearingherheadcoveringologist

  144. Michael says:

    Tim,

    Good questions…

    Dread,

    I am utterly unconvinced that a new paradigm is either necessary or possible.

    There is a huge philosophical and theological difference at work here in my opinion.

    You seem to believe that if we captured some new paradigm or understanding that we (the church) could bring about some sort of renewal or revival.

    I reject that because I believe that God is truly sovereign, is ruling and reigning in the midst of our difficulties and will bring His kingdom to consummation in His own time and way.

    Nothing in the kingdom is man made.

  145. Psalm62 says:

    Is BD saying if the Word isn’t working life into us, then the Spirit isn’t isn’t in it? … or in us? or? ❓

  146. puzzletop says:

    Exactly right. Whose church does it belong to in the first place? Who is the Shepherd and who are the sheep? I’ve never watched sheep herd themselves.

    puzzletop

  147. Psalm62 says:

    Puzzletop, sorry to jump in there between you and Michael’s observation
    agreeing with you both (I think)

  148. Babylon's Dread says:

    I doubt if I have ever been so completely hopeless of meaningful exchange with thoughtful people.

    Please stop any efforts to effect change because that is what you have inspired by your conclusions …

    I shall make it my pleasure to remind you.

  149. Psalm62 says:

    one good thing we all know is that we all have found (or been found by) a magnificent and worthy God – the One and Only God Who Is…

    good night and God keep all close

  150. Babylon's Dread says:

    I did not suggest a new paradigm was possible RATHER I suggested that in Christ a new one is at work. Isaiah saw it (Is 43). God I cannot believe the willful ignorance. Tim at least your response is an analysis I thank you for that. Otherwise … I have never been so provoked…

    I would leave if I could but unless you banish me I am pretty sure I won’t but God how I wish I could.

  151. Michael says:

    I assure you that no attempt at provocation was intended.

    Evidently, I have no idea what it is you’re trying to communicate.

  152. Dave Rolph says:

    Dread,

    You provoked a lot of good discussion today. Don’t throw it all away by pouting because people don’t agree with you. Just because people don’t agree with you doesn’t make them guilty of willful ignorance. There is none so blind as one who can’t see through the eyes of another. When you fail to win people over to your position it may not be their fault.

    I have personally benefited from this entire discussion, including all your musings. And I certainly see a consistency in your positions that I hadn’t completely seen before. I am reminded of how important one’s view of Scripture is; it ultimately affects all areas of faith and practice. Your theology and practice are consistent with your epistemology. Epistemology isn’t everything but it is clearly foundational.

  153. Please Note says:

    Dread-

    Are you okay? You started off saying these were just ideas you were flushing-out, but by the end, you were insulting the very folks that you continually beg here to challenge you.

    Many disagreed with your assertions, but I didn’t see where anyone deserved your annoyance and tone.

    And you would never let folks get away with some of the tactics you employed in this exchange…your 4:01 response to Michael’s statement that this had the appearance of Gnosticism was simply,

    “No Michael,
    this is not Gnosticism…”,

    and then you went on to something else. If someone had responded that way to you, you would have required them to explain ‘why’ it wasn’t Gnosticism, which you never did.

    So, my questions to you, aside from genuinely asking ‘Are You Okay?’ is, per your 9:23, if “in Christ a new (paradigm) is at work”, why are you the only one that sees it (apparently)? And aren’t you looking to Scripture to make your points?

    Respectfully,

    pn

  154. Xenia says:

    Dread’s speaking in tongues. I shall offer the interpretation:

    The OT is One Big Law, very precise and intended to be obeyed. Few had the Holy Spirit in the OT- He seemed to come and go- so a written set of rules was required.

    Not so now. The NT is not a big set of rules, not in the same sense that the OT was. And now we believers have the Holy Spirit. The NT is not a set of laws in the same sense that the OT.

    Dread is lamenting the fact that many Christians use the Epistles as if they were a new improved Torah. Not so.

    At least, I think this is what Dread’s saying. This New Paradigm of his is the New Covenant.

  155. Captain Kevin says:

    Closet Pentacostal? Michael, it’s time to come out of the closet! Shundalawbuyahonda!

  156. Psalm62 says:

    BD, “I did not suggest a new paradigm was possible RATHER I suggested that in Christ a new one is at work. ” dear pastor BD I don’t want to upset you, but to the above I have to say, “well, duh!”

    perhaps, I’ll digest the thread, get a new breakthrough and say “aha!” and, if so, I will humbly post an apology and a big thank you…
    but by then you may be closing your eyes when you see my posts and skipping on to the next one – truly sorry that you are troubled by a dense Christian, but I sat under a pastor who occasionally would say, “Do you get it? Well, d*mmit, nod your heads if you do.” 🙂

  157. Drew says:

    OK, Pentecost has come up and unless we forget this was the festival of “The First Fruits” and it is traditionally held when Moses brought the Law to the people of Israel. Which as many may remember 3000 people were killed for their worship of the calf.

    Now jump ahead a few years:

    When the day of Pentecost/Shavuot had come, the Holy Spirit fell on people (as promised), Peter preached his sermon (the Holy Spirit brought remembrance of his OT learning as promised) and THREE THOUSAND RECEIVED JESUS THAT DAY! Praise the Lord go ahead and yell if you want.

    Of course something changed, the beginning of the long awaited renewing and restoration had begun, just as God had promised and was recorded in scripture.

    As I mentioned before I may disagree with Dread about some stuff but I see where he goes with the legalism. I see it in both traditional churches and even ones like CCs, (“I speak you listen,” young CC pastor to attender). We do try to control people and their lives through scripture. We do build a new “binding” or law/Halakhah to suit our needs of control, authority, power and wealth. Jesus freed us from that yoke but did not void the Torah, He writes it in our hearts!

    Lighting a candle doesn’t heal anymore than the tradition of putting mud on a person’s eyes does. But receiving the Light of Eternity in the same way the hands of Jesus, with the power of creation, formed that mud (where does man come from?) and spread it over the mans eyes on that Sabbath day heals men.

    “The Lord our God is One!”

    I just want some accuracy from pastors who “teach” scripture.

  158. Drew says:

    Kevin:

    I bought a Suzuki, does that count?

  159. Scott says:

    Nomans, you have to be one of the most prophetically perceptive and discerning people I have met in my 30 year journey in Christ 🙂

  160. victorious says:

    I think Xenia expresses Dread’s point very well. She stated clearly what I thought Dread was trying to get us to recognize.

  161. philbertz says:

    dread,
    if I hadn’t been so pressed by other matters and nearly brain-dead last night when I rolled into the house, I would have spoken supportively of your efforts. As it was I barely had time to scroll through the comments before getting a call from Idaho from my wayward one Amber. Regardless of the tangled mess that is my life, the essential issue of seeing the NT in light of the prophesied New Covenant is one of the under-performed tasks of believers. It is likely a system-breaking, formula-raking process. I will engage in the discussion when I can.

  162. Psalm62 says:

    had to post and run this morning and should have added that the pastor of whom I spoke hadn’t always addressed his congregation like a drill sergeant – this was the year that he crashed and burned and I realized how little I had prayed for the man – he loved his Lord more than anything and yet….
    I pray now daily and all here are included – the more ‘covering fire’ the better IMO

  163. centorian says:

    drew,
    interesting thoughts in your 8:46 am………. is that a suzuki car or bike?????

    there is nothing like what The Motor Company produces 8)

  164. Drew says:

    Cent:

    I bought a Suzuki SX4 AWD Crossover a couple of months ago. I was commenting on Kevin’s Honda speaking in tongues thing, but actually this car is going down as one of my top vehicles I have owned in my life. Second Suzuki built vehicle I have owned (first was a 99 Chevy Tracker, it has 200K miles and still moving).

    Years ago(35)I did own a couple of Suzuki bikes.

    I am always amazed about how God works! Really humbling.

  165. Please Note says:

    Xenia & Vic-

    If that was what he was saying, I sure didn’t see it. Maybe like philby, I was too tired.

    It seems with Dread’s ability to turn a phrase that it would have been more obvious (that’s a compliment, by the way, not a slam).

    Carry-on Dreadly, if that is where you were heading; but like many, it didn’t appear that way to me.

  166. Sister Christian says:

    yes, Xenia,
    you phrased that well, and Like Vic, who seems to think you:
    “expresses Dread’s point very well. She stated clearly what I thought Dread was trying to get us to recognize.”

    Hi Please Note! Nice to see you around!
    and Scott too, praying life on the road is treating you well!

  167. Please Note says:

    Hi SC! Nice to see you as well. Hope everything is going well for you guys.

    Also, joining you in prayer for Scott, that ‘Ramblin’ Man’ 8)

    Hey Scott, do you stop at those truckstops that have a Preachin’ Shed out back? Saw a couple of those on a TV show…the folks running them seemed sincere…

    Best Wishes, Esco-Scotto!

  168. Captain Kevin says:

    Wow, the discussion on this thread seems to have haulted. Pastor Dread, I think I speak for many here in saying that we would like to have you provide more clarity into your position.

    You stated, “But I think I am onto something and you are unwilling to accept anything that you think challenges your premises.” Now speaking just for myself, it is not that I am unwilling to accept, it is that I don’t understand what it is that you mean. I am admittedly pretty dense, so I need things spelled out for me in elementary terms. So I would ask, what does it mean that in Christ a new paradigm is at work? Also, other than through the canon of scripture, how does revelation come to us? Please give examples of how this is fleshed out. What does it look like, sound like, feel like, smell like…?

  169. victorious says:

    PN: It comes from listening to Dread over a period of time. I agree he was not too clear on this particular thread. He gave up too soon.

  170. Scott says:

    PN, I have seen those preacher shacks at the truck stops.I have yet to go in one. Am I missing something? 🙂

  171. Dusty says:

    Hi Scott. How are you doing with your new adventure? Do you enjoy it? hope so.

    We will start worrying about you(and praying for you) a lot more about being on the road all day/night long when the weather gets bad.

  172. Scott says:

    Dusty, it’s been an interesting adventure thus far. Thanks for asking and praying. Don’t know that this is something I want to retire doing. However, I am thankful for the job, a lot of folks don’t have jobs right now. I miss my family, my house, my dog, bike rides in the country where I live, home cooking and my bed 🙂

  173. Scott says:

    Regarding Dread’s musings. To me, the paradigm is being reminded by the Lord not to miss the trees for the forest. The new covenant is based on SPIRIT. The first Adam was a living soul, the last Adam a quickening Spirit. Jesus said the words He spoke were Spirit.

    The New Testament is replete with examples of this “experiential” reality. The O.T. is also packed with examples of men and women who walked and lived in this paradigm as well. You’ll note that most of those examples always include this element of the Holy Spirit.

    Unfortunately, we all have witnessed so much shenanigan(ism) regarding these things, we know what it is not. However, I think in the interim, the devil has used the counterfeit in such a way to cause God’s people to draw away from the experiential aspect of walking in this paradigm. Thus, the written word is just that, a creed, rules & regulations, written words in black and white that lack the transformational and experiential quality they are intended to have for those who have been truly born again by the Spirit.

    Let him who has an ear to hear…

  174. Palm62 says:

    Scott, “Unfortunately, we all have witnessed so much shenanigan(ism) regarding these things, we know what it is not. However, I think in the interim, the devil has used the counterfeit in such a way to cause God’s people to draw away from the experiential aspect of walking in this paradigm.” seems a very good point to me…

    how sad to chose a search for “manifestations” of the Holy Spirit over a search of the Scriptures… kind of like sitting with your eyes shut by a mail box full of unopened love-letters because you’re enjoying the breeze… 🙄 that said, we still need teacher and we have so few – it seems to me …

  175. Lutheran says:

    ‘the written word is just that, a creed, rules & regulations, written words in black and white that lack the transformational and experiential quality they are intended to have for those who have been truly born again by the Spirit.’

    Scott, do you really believe that?

  176. Drew says:

    “The new covenant is based on SPIRIT. The first Adam was a living soul, the last Adam a quickening Spirit. Jesus said the words He spoke were Spirit.”

    This statement just doesn’t make sense. But then I will be accused of not being “spiritual.”

    The New Covenant was never based on the Spirit and more than the old one. What has changed is in the OT God had the people of Israel build a Tabernacle where God would come and meet with His people. His Spirit would literally live in that tabernacle.

    On Pentecost/First Fruits God’s Spirit left the Tabernacle and dwelt in the temple of the person, the individual with his sin and all.

    A lot of stuff here.

    Oh, Scott without the written word you would have missed it. “…faith comes by hearing the word of Christ…”

  177. Drew says:

    OOPS!

    should be “…any more than the old one” not, “and more…”

    sorry!

  178. Drew says:

    Of course some will say the Spirit left the Tabernacle when the curtain was torn. Maybe? But what I learned was the Jewish custom is when a person in your household dies all those in the family would tear their clothing in morning. So when Jesus died on the cross that night it would make sense that morning took place and the “cloth” covering the Holy was rent.

  179. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ok Gang,

    I am the lost sheep that Michael came after… Did you guys know that shepherds will crack their staff across the knees of wandering sheep so they will quit wandering off?

    Well I am limping but I am still in the back of the fold. Anyway…Xenia actually did pretty good at summarizing me…and Scott understands what I am up to… I really am messing with concepts that are not quite worked out … as it is with many of the madnesses that possess me.

    Anyway… our Michael is a good shepherd. Kinda like Jesus.

    Staggering Dread

  180. Michael says:

    LOL.. 🙂

    I think you may be on to something re the NT way of revival…and if you are we all need to hear it.

    Wouldn’t be the same here without you…

  181. Xenia says:

    Yay, he’s back!

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