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When Atheists Attack (Each Other)
Evolution News and Views ^ | April 28 2011 | Davld Klinghoffer

Posted on 05/01/2011 7:24:18 AM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode

The squabble between Darwin lobbyists who openly hate religion and those who only quietly disdain it grows ever more personal, bitter and pathetic. On one side, evangelizing New or "Gnu" (ha ha) Atheists like Jerry Coyne and his acolytes at Why Evolution Is True. Dr. Coyne is a biologist who teaches and ostensibly researches at the University of Chicago but has a heck of a lot of free time on his hands for blogging and posting pictures of cute cats.

On the other side, so-called accommodationists like the crowd at the National Center for Science Education, who attack the New Atheists for the political offense of being rude to religious believers and supposedly messing up the alliance between religious and irreligious Darwinists.

I say "supposedly" because there's no evidence any substantial body of opinion is actually being changed on religion or evolution by anything the open haters or the quiet disdainers say. Everyone seems to seriously think they're either going to defeat religion, or merely "creationism," or both by blogging for an audience of fellow Darwinists.

Want to see what I mean? This is all pretty strictly a battle of stinkbugs in a bottle. Try to follow it without getting a headache.

Coyne recently drew excited applause from fellow biologist-atheist-blogger PZ Myers for Coyne's "open letter" (published on his blog) to the NCSE and its British equivalent, the British Centre for Science Education. In the letter, Coyne took umbrage at criticism of the New Atheists, mostly on blogs, emanating from the two accommodationist organizations. He vowed that,

We will continue to answer the misguided attacks [on the New Atheists] by people like Josh Rosenau, Roger Stanyard, and Nick Matzke so long as they keep mounting those attacks.
Like the NCSE, the BCSE seeks to pump up Darwin in the public mind without scaring religious people. This guy called Stanyard at the BCSE complains of losing a night's sleep over the nastiness of the rhetoric on Coyne's blog. Coyne in turn complained that Stanyard complained that a blog commenter complained that Nick Matzke, formerly of the NCSE, is like "vermin." Coyne also hit out at blogger Jason Rosenhouse for an "epic"-length blog post complaining of New Atheist "incivility." In the blog, Rosenhouse, who teaches math at James Madison University, wrote an update about how he had revised an insulting comment about the NCSE's Josh Rosenau that he, Rosenhouse, made in a previous version of the post.

That last bit briefly confused me. In occasionally skimming the writings of Jason Rosenhouse and Josh Rosenau in the past, I realized now I had been assuming they were the same person. They are not!

It goes on and on. In the course of his own blog post, Professor Coyne disavowed name-calling and berated Stanyard (remember him? The British guy) for "glomming onto" the Matzke-vermin insult like "white on rice, or Kwok on a Leica." What's a Kwok? Not a what but a who -- John Kwok, presumably a pseudonym, one of the most tirelessly obsessive commenters on Darwinist blog sites. Besides lashing at intelligent design, he often writes of his interest in photographic gear such as a camera by Leica. I have the impression that Kwok irritates even fellow Darwinists.

There's no need to keep all the names straight in your head. I certainly can't. I'm only taking your time, recounting just a small part of one confused exchange, to illustrate the culture of these Darwinists who write so impassionedly about religion, whether for abolishing it or befriending it. Writes Coyne in reply to Stanyard,

I'd suggest, then, that you lay off telling us what to do until you've read about our goals. The fact is that we'll always be fighting creationism until religion goes away, and when it does the fight will be over, as it is in Scandinavia.
A skeptic might suggest that turning America into Scandinavia, as far as religion goes, is an outsized goal, more like a delusion, for this group as they sit hunched over their computers shooting intemperate comments back and forth at each other all day. Or in poor Stanyard's case, all night.

There's a feverish, terrarium-like and oxygen-starved quality to this world of online Darwinists and atheists. It could only be sustained by the isolation of the Internet. They don't seem to realize that the public accepts Darwinism to the extent it does -- which is not much -- primarily because of what William James would call the sheer, simple "prestige" that the opinion grants. Arguments and evidence have little to do with it.

The prestige of Darwinism is not going to be affected by how the battle between Jerry Coyne and the NCSE turns out. New Atheist arguments are hobbled by the same isolation from what people think and feel. I have not yet read anything by any of these gentlemen or ladies, whether the open haters or the quiet disdainers, that conveys anything like a real comprehension of religious feeling or thought.

Even as they fight over the most effective way to relate to "religion," the open atheists and the accomodationists speak of an abstraction, a cartoon, that no actual religious person would recognize. No one is going to be persuaded if he doesn't already wish to be persuaded for other personal reasons. No faith is under threat from the likes of Jerry Coyne.




TOPICS: Education; Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: atheism; atheists; darwin; evolution; gagdadbob; onecosmosblog
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To: AndrewC
Remember, again -- as I said, no one is denying that one MUST have faith to be saved by the freely given grace of salvation, however, it is not faith ALONE, it is GRACE alone -- your works don't save you, Jesus' sacrifice does. As shown above, Jesus Himself said that
  1. He who believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mk 16:16)
  2. [U]nless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Lk 13:3)
  3. [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:54)

These are Jesus' own words -- HE provides the grace of salvation, it was HIS sacrifice that saves us, we cannot save ourselves. And HE has told us what we need to do, not just "Lord, Lord", but the above

3,551 posted on 06/17/2011 11:45:16 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: Cronos
As GK Chesterton expressed so well in his Orthodoxy

Looks like the wisdom of men to me.

3,552 posted on 06/17/2011 11:46:50 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC

Not really — did you read it? it gives a very good description of the problem that is the BAers v/s the Calvinists.


3,553 posted on 06/17/2011 11:48:10 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
Not really -- did you read it? it gives a very good description of the problem that is the BAers v/s the Calvinists.

For example It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. -- the BA philosophy is today's "age", just like Arianism, Gnosticism, Calvinism, etc. had their "age". It's easy to fall for this flavor of the decade or century

But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure;

The extremes are easy to sink in to and seem correct for those times, but that is the problem, they are of those times only. The BA philosophy, as I said, has some good, but the problem is that it is so curtailed and cut short of the entire 'good' that is the Word of God, that it is hollow and alone, like tantric dancers fighting away the sense of the impending by ignoring it utterly in a trance

3,554 posted on 06/17/2011 11:50:55 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
like I pointed out in post 3551, Mk 16:16, Lk 13:3, Jn 6:54, Matt 23:13 are Jesus's own words telling us that
  1. He who believes
  2. and is baptized will be saved.
  3. [U]nless you repent you will all likewise perish
  4. [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day
  5. he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved

These are the Lord's very own words His very own statements, exhortations, commands.

this is not the philosophy or wisdom of men, this what God Himself has commanded.

3,555 posted on 06/17/2011 11:55:03 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: Cronos
however, it is not faith ALONE, it is GRACE alone

So then why did the thief even speak? And the scriptures do not indicate the thief was baptized nor that he ate or drank anything while hanging mext to Jesus.

HE provides the grace of salvation, it was HIS sacrifice that saves us, we cannot save ourselves

Absolutely true. The only "unless" in the list you gave was item 2.

Luk 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

Luk 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom

3,556 posted on 06/18/2011 12:07:08 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Cronos
Not really — did you read it? it gives a very good description of the problem that is the BAers v/s the Calvinists.

Yes I read it, but it is still the wisdom of men. Are you asserting it is the wisdom(word) of God?

3,557 posted on 06/18/2011 12:10:41 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
no, it gives a very good description of the problem that is the BAers v/s the Calvinists.

For example It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. -- the BA philosophy is today's "age", just like Arianism, Gnosticism, Calvinism, etc. had their "age". It's easy to fall for this flavor of the decade or century

But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure;

The extremes are easy to sink in to and seem correct for those times, but that is the problem, they are of those times only. The BA philosophy, as I said, has some good, but the problem is that it is so curtailed and cut short of the entire 'good' that is the Word of God, that it is hollow and alone, like tantric dancers fighting away the sense of the impending by ignoring it utterly in a trance

The wisdom of God is here

Mk 16:16, Lk 13:3, Jn 6:54, Matt 23:13 are Jesus's own words telling us that
  1. He who believes
  2. and is baptized will be saved.
  3. [U]nless you repent you will all likewise perish
  4. [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day
  5. he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved

These are the Lord's very own words His very own statements, exhortations, commands.

this is not the philosophy or wisdom of men, this what God Himself has commanded.


3,558 posted on 06/18/2011 12:21:48 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
Remember,

cronos: I'm talking about the entire BA philosophy which expunges and belittles scholarship -- as an adverse reaction to Calvinism's human logic reducto

andrew: f you mean ignoring scholarship as a requirement for salvation is belittling scholarship, well sorry then you must accept it. God does not require a cap and gown for entry into heaven.

That is the other extreme -- the Calvinist extreme that I pointed out. As I said, the BA version is the adverse reaction to the extremes of Calvinism, which, as you correctly point out is wrong as God does not require a cap and gown for entry into heaven

However, the position taken by the BAs is also wrong -- for the opposite reason. There is to be a balance, my friend, not this wild swinging from side to side remember God Himself gave a clear picture in the Gospels in Mk 16:16, Lk 13:3, Jn 6:54, Matt 23:13 which are Jesus's own words telling us that

  1. He who believes
  2. and is baptized will be saved.
  3. [U]nless you repent you will all likewise perish
  4. [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day
  5. he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved

These are the Lord's very own words His very own statements, exhortations, commands.

this is not the philosophy or wisdom of men, this what God Himself has commanded.

3,559 posted on 06/18/2011 12:25:31 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
Please do note as I said about God Himself gave a clear picture in the Gospels in Mk 16:16, Lk 13:3, Jn 6:54, Matt 23:13 --> these are the direct words of Jesus Christ, our Lord, God and Savior commanding us that he who believes, is baptised (in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for the remission of sins, who truly repents of his/her sins, who eats of His flesh and who endureth to the end, they shall be saved. If not they will perish

These are not the words of man, not even the inspired words of Paul or the Apostles, but these are the direct, crystal-clear words from GOD HIMSELF.

3,560 posted on 06/18/2011 12:34:13 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: Cronos
no, it gives a very good description of the problem that is the BAers v/s the Calvinists.

Then it is of no consequence to salvation.

These are the Lord's very own words His very own statements, exhortations, commands.

This is the third time you have posted the information and I have not said they are not his words. BUT I insist that the only "unless"(sbsolute necessity) involves repentence.

Which was taken from a discourse where Jesus assures the listeners that not only certain sinners are punished.

Again, what good works did the thief do? And when was he baptized or when did he eat or drink anyting?

3,561 posted on 06/18/2011 12:37:40 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
BUT I insist that the only "unless"(sbsolute necessity) involves repentence.

Yet Jesus's words contradict you: He who believes and is baptized will be saved.

3,562 posted on 06/18/2011 12:44:01 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
BUT I insist that the only "unless"(sbsolute necessity) involves repentence.

Yet Jesus's words contradict you: [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last daysaved.

3,563 posted on 06/18/2011 12:44:20 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
BUT I insist that the only "unless"(sbsolute necessity) involves repentence.

Yet Jesus's words contradict you: he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved

Salvation is as Christ saidhe who believes, is baptised (in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for the remission of sins, who truly repents of his/her sins, who eats of His flesh and who endureth to the end, they shall be saved. If not they will perish

I don't see how one can not see this said very clearly by Christ Himself.

3,564 posted on 06/18/2011 12:45:47 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: AndrewC
BUT I insist that the only "unless"(sbsolute necessity) involves repentence.

Firstly, ">BUT I insist" -- is the wisdom of men contradicting Jesus's words

Salvation is as Christ, Himself said he who believes, is baptised (in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for the remission of sins, who truly repents of his/her sins, who eats of His flesh and who endureth to the end, they shall be saved. If not they will perish

I don't see how one can not see this said very clearly by Christ Himself.

3,565 posted on 06/18/2011 12:47:02 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.)
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To: Cronos
He who believes and is baptized will be saved.

If A then B does not imply If not A then not B(inverse). It does imply If not B then not A(contrapositive).

If you believe and are baptized then you are saved


Does not imply

If you do not believe and are not baptized then you are not saved.


unless A then not B is linguistically equivalent to if -A then -B .

if B then A is logically implied.(contrapositive)

unless you repent then you are not saved.

is equivalent to

If you do not repent then you are not saved

Which implies

If you are saved then you repented.

3,566 posted on 06/18/2011 1:28:05 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Cronos
Firstly, ">BUT I insist" -- is the wisdom of men contradicting Jesus's words

Nope. It does not contradict. You do. I show the logic. And the logic uses the absolute truth of God's word. If A then B does not imply If not A then not B(inverse). If you believe that it does, you need remedial logic.

3,567 posted on 06/18/2011 1:31:39 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Cronos
I don't see how one can not see this said very clearly by Christ Himself.

For the umpteenth time, I do not deny what it states. I deny what you are attempting to derive from it.

3,568 posted on 06/18/2011 1:35:39 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: boatbums

Explained perfectly and it made the baby cry.


3,569 posted on 06/18/2011 4:32:07 AM PDT by presently no screen name ( The Palin Party: The Party of Patriots.)
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To: presently no screen name
Explained perfectly and it made the baby cry.

So it seems...

3,570 posted on 06/18/2011 5:01:07 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: Cronos; AndrewC; boatbums; count-your-change; getoffmylawn; Godzilla; LeGrande; Diamond; ...
"like I pointed out in post 3551, Mk 16:16 ....These are the Lord's very own words..."

Hummmmmm.

Mark 16:15-16: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

This passage may be dispensed, in my view, without discussion of baptism. The evidence is strongly against its inclusion (and that of Mark 16:9-20 as a whole) in the text:

External evidence. The two earliest parchment codies, Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus, plus 2 minuscules and several versions and manuscripts, do not contain verses 9-20. Two important early Christian writers testify that these verses are not found in Mark: Eusebius (Quaestiones ad Marinum I) says that they are not in "accurate" copies of Mark and are missing from "almost all" manuscripts; Jerome (Epistle CXX.3, ad Hedibiam) testifies that almost all Greek manuscripts of his time lack vss. 9-20.

Many manuscripts that do have these verses "have scholia stating that older Greek copies lack them," and other textual witnesses add "conventional signs used by scribes to mark off a spurious addition to a literary text." There are also several variant endings of Mark in circulation. Our vss. 9-20 are the most common, but there is also a "short" ending, and seven Greek manuscripts with both the long and short ending.

Internal evidence. There is a sudden change in subject from verse 8 (the women) to verse 9 (Jesus). Mary Magdelene is introduced as one from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons, as though she had not been introduced in the Gospel before. The form, language, and style "militate against Marcan authorship."

There are seventeen non-Marcan words or Marcan words used in a non-Marcan sense. There is no instance of the typical Marcan stylistic transitions or methods (such as beginning a phrase with a parataxis). Overall, the passage has the "distinct flavour of the second century" and appears to be a pastiche of material taken from other Gospels. [See for this data Markan commentaries by Brooks (272-3), Lane (601-4), and Anderson (358).] ~ JPH (literature specialist)

3,571 posted on 06/18/2011 6:28:56 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: Matchett-PI
That Mark ends at verse 8 is also the opinion of Metzger’s
“A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament” under the chapters on Mark.
3,572 posted on 06/18/2011 6:46:20 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

You’re right. bttt


3,573 posted on 06/18/2011 7:21:52 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: AndrewC; Cronos
Cronos wrote: "no one is denying that one MUST have faith to be saved by the freely given grace of salvation, however, it is not faith ALONE. As shown above, Jesus Himself said that..."

AndrewC responded: "So tell me, what good works did this one do? Luk 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

Exactly.

[Because of the foregoing] "....It is obvious, then, that faith alone -- a living and real faith -- is all that can save, as is made clear by Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

The Role of Baptism

We are now prepared to offer a case study of the role of works and its relation to faith, using the example of the rite of convert baptism. We will see that the answer to the question, "Is baptism necessary for salvation?", is that the question is out of order.

If there is any question that needs to be asked, it is this: "If you are saved, and you know what baptism means and that it was commanded by Christ, why would you not be baptized?"

One does not become baptized to be saved; one is saved and is therefore baptized. Faith that is true inevitably manifests itself in obedience, and being that baptism is the first act declared for the believer by Christ, the true believer will gladly undergo baptism. ......"

DETAILS: Is baptism required for salvation? ~ JPH (literature specialist)

3,574 posted on 06/18/2011 7:32:55 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: Matchett-PI; Cronos
One does not become baptized to be saved; one is saved and is therefore baptized. Faith that is true inevitably manifests itself in obedience, and being that baptism is the first act declared for the believer by Christ, the true believer will gladly undergo baptism. ......"

Hmmm, well, according to Peter:
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?

And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.
--Acts2:37-39
And Ananias, according to Paul:
And [Ananias] said, The God of our fathers hath appointed thee to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.

For thou shalt be a witness for him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.
--Acts 22:14-16
And Paul:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.
--Galatians 3:27
There seems to be a lot more at work here than baptism being simply, as some put it, "an outward expression of an inward work of grace."
3,575 posted on 06/18/2011 7:50:06 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

You wrote: “Hmmm, well, according to Peter...”

Hummmm....

Acts 2:37-8 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
A key here is the word “for” (eis) - a word that can mean for or because of. If eis is taken to mean “for” then it is taken to mean that baptism is essential to salvation; if it means “because of”, then it is not. However, “into” is the closest approximation of eis in this verse, so that Peter tells the crowd to be “baptized into the remission of sins.”

Read in light of the Semitic Totality Concept, it indicates that believers will practice this behavior to validate their commitment to Christ. Baptism is just one part of that behavior is inextricably linked to repentance and salvation.

Does the lack of the behavior mean one is not saved?

No, but one does have to ask why anyone would not produce the validating behavior. Do they understand the command? Are they hydrophobic? Why would they refuse baptism if they knew that Christ had commanded it?

Can we picture someone hearing the preaching of Peter and saying, “Peter, that’s good news, I’ll repent as you say, but I’m definitely not being baptized, even though I know it was commanded by the one I now call Lord.” ?

Baptism, like any validating behavior, is “essential to salvation” only in the sense that if you don’t want to go through with it, and there is no barrier to understanding, then it is clear that you do not possess salvation.

Thought and action are expected, under the Semitic Totality paradigm, to correspond. The conversion and the baptism are regarded as one process, not because the latter is required for salvation, but because it is expected in light of salvation.

Hence it is off the mark to make much of that Peter commanded the baptism, and thereby conclude that baptism is a “necessity” rather than an inevitable result.

A command is often needed simply because the person being commanded has no idea what they should do next (as would have been the case with the Pentecost converts), having no knowledge of what the process is; and it could hardly be phrased in any less demanding language.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Some argue that this verse teaches that Paul’s sins would be washed away following his baptism, and thus indicates the necessity of baptism. But under the Semitic Totality concept, this is simply not the case.

Moreover, if one wants to read this verse as a chronology, rather than as a totality expression as we would read it, one wonders why calling on the name of Jesus is done last. It is more in line with the anthropological data to read Paul’s quote of Ananias as a summary of a total commitment process which involved confession, obedience, and regeneration, and the “calling on the name of the Lord” as the “overarching term” in the passage. [For points in Acts, see commentaries by Polhill (461) and Kistemaker (790).]

Gal. 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Although some indeed have taken the “for” here to “indicate that the status of divine sonship is contingent upon the ritual of water baptism” it is difficult to find this point in a letter in which Paul spends so much time trying to show the Galatians that they do not need to be circumcised. If baptism had replaced circumcision as an initiatory rite, then why does Paul not simply point to baptism over and over again? (Note that Paul in vv. 3:2-3 asks if they received the Spirit — not if they were baptized.)

As Longenecker writes:

...Paul is not simply replacing one external rite (circumcision) by another external rite (baptism). If that were so, i.e., if he viewed baptism as a supplement to faith in much that the same way that the Judaizers viewed circumcision as a supplement to faith, he could have simply settled the dispute at Galatia by saying that Christian baptism now replaces circumcision.

In both pagan and Jewish contexts, the idea of “clothing” oneself hearkens back to specific ideas. In pagan contexts, one would often, after a ceremonial washing, don the distinctive garb of the god being worshipped in order to identify with the god’s persona.

In a secular context, one which Paul’s readers would recognize, a Roman youth upon coming of age would remove a childhood garment and don one suited for adults.

In the Bible, the idea of clothing oneself with an attribute is found in several places (2 Chr. 6:41; Job 29:14; Rom. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:8; Eph. 6:11-17).

What is represented is an inward decision, and thus those who are “clothed with Christ” have made the inward decision which baptism is the corresponding action for.

One no more obtains a position in Christ via baptism than a Roman child could have become an adult by donning an adult’s clothing. {See Galatians commentaries by George (276) and Longenecker (156).]

In light of this passage, we also see that once the Semitic Totality concept is understood, other passages become more clear in their meaning as well.

Romans 6:3-4 (”Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life “) and 1 Corinthians 12:13 (”For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”) show not that baptism is the point at which we connect with the cross, and are saved, but that it is the inevitable expression of one who has indeed connected with the cross.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost...
Some argue that “washing” means baptism, but it is better understood as a figurative term for the regeneration process of cleansing from sin (in line with the Jewish allegory of water noted above).

The word Paul uses for “regeneration” (paliggenesia) has connotations associated with renovation, resurrection, and new life, and the word behind “renewal” (anakainosis) is used elsewhere in the New Testament in connection with the renewing, cleansing work of the Holy Spirit. (For similar imagery, see Romans 6:4, 1 Cor. 6:11, and Eph. 5:26.)

The two words are “practically synonyms and thus express a unity”, and the fact that a single preposition governs the entire phrase indicates that the “washing of regeneration” and the “renewing of the Holy Ghost” are the same event.

Beyond this, there is no evidence that “washing” (loutron) was ever used of Christian baptism in the New Testament. It is used elsewhere only in Ephesians 5:26, where it must also be assumed to mean baptism. [See Pastorals commentaries by Quinn (195, 224), Fee (157), and Towner (256).]

1 Peter 3:20-21 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ...
We have noted that the Semitic Totality concept radically affects our understanding of verses concerning the interrelation of faith, works, and particularly baptism. Is there any evidence that the early Jewish apostles as Christians had difficulty in communicating this difference in anthropological view to their Gentile converts?

I believe that there is, and that this passage serves as an example of how they coped with the problem. But we need to first look at a parallel from corresponding Biblical and secular sources.

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:4)

From this verse there emerges a puzzle, for while Mark says that John preached “a baptism of repentance,” we find what appears to be the opposite proclaimed of John’s baptism in this passage from Josephus, who said that John called for his converts:

...to lead righteous lives, to practice justice towards their fellows and purity towards God, and so doing to join in baptism. In his view this was a necessary preliminary if baptism was to be pleasing to God. They must not employ it to gain pardon for whatever sins they committed, but as a consecration of the body implying that the soul was already cleansed by right behavior.#

Critics of the Bible often assume that either Mark or Josephus are in error. But I believe that Peter and Josephus are actually explaining to their Gentile readers—those who do not think within the paradigm of Semitic Totality—what the role of baptism is, in their terms as opposed to Semitic terms.

As for the phrase, “the filth of the flesh,” it does not of course mean to say that baptism isn’t for washing—who would think that it was? Why should Peter have made such a banal point? There must be more to this advisory, and Michaels is right to say that it is either “a rhetorical way of accenting baptism’s profound significance (i.e., not merely a physical cleansing but a decisive transaction with God), or as a corrective to an actual, specific, misunderstanding.”

I believe, in fact, that the solution lies in understanding also why there appears to be a contradiction between Mark and Josephus: Peter is correcting a Gentile misapprehension of baptism in terms of the Semitic Totality concept.

The word “flesh,” as well as the phrase “flesh and blood,” has a Semitic connotation signifying the frail human nature. It is a word/phrase that reflects a conceptual unity, rather than a physical aspect of the body. Dahl comments on the use of the word “flesh” alone in another context [Resurrection, 121]:

The connotation of the word is not merely, if primarily, physical, but describes the whole totality and would therefore comprehend the mental or psychological as well. It is used in biblical literature to emphasize frailty, creatureliness, weakness...

“Flesh” (sarx) is often used in the New Testament as a synecdoche for human weakness, and we find this elsewhere in 1 Peter:

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. (1 Peter 1:24)
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit... (1 Peter 3:18)

Note that the emphasis here is on the weakness of the human body of Christ, which was perishable, in contrast with the resurrection body. (cf. 4:1-2) Then there is the word “filth” (rhupos). It appears in the New Testament only here in 1 Peter, and while it can mean “dirt,” it also means depravity, and it has that meaning in the place where the related word “filthiness” (rhuparia) is found in the New Testament:

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

Thus the “filth of the flesh” to which Peter refers is moral uncleanness, and he is saying (just as Josephus does) that baptism is not for the cleansing of moral defilement. “...Peter’s point is not that such cleaning is an unimportant or unnecessary thing, only that baptism is not it” — rather, as Michaels says of Josephus, “the inward moral cleansing...is presupposed by the act of water baptism.”

What, then, is baptism? It does not wash away the “filth” (sins) of the “flesh” (human weakness). Rather, it is “the pledge of a good conscience toward God,” (not “for” as the NASB reads) a conscience knowing its duty to be baptized according to the command of Christ, that good conscience having been achieved by the moral cleansing that has already taken place through the forgiveness of sins. [See Michaels’ 1 Peter commentary, 213-16.)

Per my previous link: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2713145/posts?page=3574#3574


3,576 posted on 06/18/2011 7:58:22 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: Matchett-PI
This passage may be dispensed, in my view, without discussion of baptism.

Well, the statement itself is provable(true) from other sources. Matthew directs us to preach the gospel(Mat 28:19). Belief is addressed in Luke 8:12.(though logically it would take more to derive the last statement in Mark 16:16) IOW If A and B then C does not directly implicate if not A then not C nor does If A then C directly implicate if not A then not C. But of course, If C then A does imply if not A then not C since it is the contrapositive.(If you are saved then you believe)

3,577 posted on 06/18/2011 8:46:58 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: kosta50; James C. Bennett

I have yet to reach the end of this thread. I’m about to hit post 2,300, after spending more than a few minutes every day for almost a week on it.

What becomes clear, after diligently reading each post and sincerely trying to understand each person’s position, is that perhaps God, in His time, has not touched the souls of some.

Hopefully, someone who is seeking his or her way may find something written on this thread to help on the journey to Him.

I can say that in my own case, I think I was aware of God always, but not “called” until I was in my mid-thirties. Or, IOW, I did not feel that God had touched me personally until then. Further, it was nothing that I did on my part. I was drawn. There was a particular moment in time that I got on my knees in my dining room, alone, in the dark (in more ways than one), and asked God to please help me.

Now, to anyone looking from the outside, I would have seemed to have had a good life. I had a good job, everything I needed (not very much on top of that, but all I needed and some of what I wanted, materially), blessed with a good family, reasonably (questionably?) intelligent (although not educated by any formal system), my looks still held up pretty well, and I didn’t lack for good friendships. But. But, I had a hurt that nothing on earth and no person could take away. I hurt terribly. I ached on the inside with so much pain and, looking back, I think I just constantly wept silently inside all the while keeping up appearances and walking around smiling and appearing happy, and getting on with life.

In truth, I was miserable. More than miserable, but there’s not a word sufficient to describe it.

I saw what I thought was happiness in others. I saw that they got happiness from relationships, from things, from the world but, I could not grasp it no matter how hard I tried. And I tried just about everything there was to try only to find that everything failed me. And miserably so. I could not have joy; it was beyond my reach for some reason that I couldn’t figure out.

When I was a child I attended church. As an adult, I did again from time to time. I liked the atmosphere and the worship services but, again, I just couldn’t get hold of the happiness. It was like I was forever barred from what everybody else seemed to be getting. I couldn’t work for it, I couldn’t pay for it ... I was just not ever going to get hold of it.

I would start new things, new friendships, new learning, new hobbies. Always something new with me. I looked in all the places anyone else would look. Admittedly, I looked also into things that weren’t quite clean and wholesome. A lot of them. I think people who thought that they knew me would have been shocked and repulsed to have known the real me. Heck, I know they would have been. I repulsed myself.

As I sit writing this, I’m forced to look back on my life then as opposed to now. It ain’t pretty. I hid a lot of stuff from a lot of people ... worst of all, myself. Truth being, I would not have told you a lie if my life depended on it, but I lived nothing but a lie every single day.

Um. Did I tell you that I hurt very deeply? Gnawing, never-go-away, deep agony. “Agony.” That’s the word I need.

Deep despair and great agony. A ton of bricks on my shoulders when life was what it was supposed to be according to the world and I was supposed to be happy, and yet ...

And yet, nothing. Just deep, deep pain.

So, what did I do? I ran.

I went overseas thinking that my life was to be found elsewhere. I felt that I needed to meet some different people, and hear and see some different things.

It worked! I was so happy that I thought I would move to the place forever and live in complete bliss.

Until I awoke two days later with the worst hangover of my life. I wanted to die. Not only because of the pain of the hangover, but for what I was doing.

I came back home and tried again. I was still walking the walk, but that ton of bricks was still firmly in place. The dark clouds were still in their proper place: over my head.

A year later, I decided that foreign land really was calling me back so off I go again. Once there again, I thought, “This is all wrong. I’m not supposed to be here.”

Soon back home again.

My daughter at university and me home alone. I hit the kitchen light switch off, heading to bed, and then, right there in my dining room in the dark, alone, I had a sudden urge to hit my knees and just pray and cry. It slammed me like a ton of bricks.

I asked something like, “God. If You can really hear me ... If You are there ... Will You, please ... Please, Lord. Please... can You ... will You help ... me?” I was just so ... dead. I was dead inside and there was no life. I had everything I should have wanted, but I had no life in me. Inexpressible anguish.

(Typos should start about here because my eyes are welling tears.)

I am sobbing. Sorry.

So. I get up off my knees and I head to bed. I feel a little easier. I assumed from all of the crying.

I go to bed. I go to sleep.

I awake a short while later to my name being audibly called. Audibly. Not once, not twice, but three times. My first and second names. Three times. I say nothing in response... I just listen.

I received the greatest peace I’ve ever known in my life flooding the room, flooding me, from inside out and outside in. What did I do? I said nothing. I did not cry. I simply went back to sleep.

From that moment on, I have never looked back. I gave my life to Him and I have failed many ways and many times, but I am assured of His grace because of one second in time in my life that struck me like nothing ever had nor ever will again. Can I describe it? No. There are no words for it. There are no words for what He does in a person.

This is not written very well, I know. But it flows from my heart directly to my keyboard to you. It’s to say that HE is my Happiness. HE is my Joy. There are no books, no scholarly debates, no science that can convince a person; He alone does it. He has the power and He puts something in you that no science can define.

Each person must come to Him on their own.

As I sit here with five slipped discs and arthritis in my spine and hips on top of trigeminal neuralgia (now, there’s a disease for you), lupus and a host of other physical ailments, I look at my crutches and I thank Him ... so gratefully and with so many tears running down my face. And I pray. I pray for each and every one of you seeking Him. Keep on knocking because He hears you. He knows.

It’s like I sit with angels around me. I can feel His presence and I know that I am not alone; that He cares and loves me enough to guide and watch over me. What I don’t understand, and probably never will, is why. There is no love equal to His. Science will never get there.

That hole ... that empty place. It is there for a purpose and it is there to be filled.

God’s words are true. If a person seeks Him, He will not fail them. I bear witness to it. I am not ashamed on account of Him, because He is my life. He gave me a joy that I cannot put into words.

All the debate in the world won’t change the fact that only He could and did give me life. This is I know. And with that life, an abundance of peace, joy and assurance.

So, Kosta & JCB, I’m saying that I was once apart from God and can understand from where you both are coming in your points of view. But, and finally, I don’t think a person will ever find God without having looked for Him first.

Best Regards Always,

SouthernClaire


3,578 posted on 06/18/2011 9:24:41 AM PDT by SouthernClaire
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To: count-your-change; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; ...

Well, I guess the proof of his service is now academic.

I was going to point out that just like he rejects the written record of Scripture as fairy tale and superstition, we would be well within our rights to reject any documents of his service record as nothing but a fabrication. If it were a *fact* is ought to be able to be *proved* scientifically. Now we’ll never have the opportunity to find out otherwise.

The the point is moot now.


3,579 posted on 06/18/2011 9:46:01 AM PDT by metmom (Be the kind of woman that when you wake in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: count-your-change; presently no screen name; Quix
You DID volunteer the information, alleging it was so....

And why should it be accepted as so without proof? Particularly when there are so many people that make false claims of the same nature?

Atheists reject God without *proof*. Why should we be expected to take their word for anything as enough? It seems they want to have their cake and eat it too; holding others to standards of proof and behavior they will not meet themselves.

If you truly thought it “a violation of privacy” why would it be offered as a defence of some sort?

And how many times have we been mocked and ridiculed and lied about for not wishing to reveal personal information that would violate our privacy and compromise our screen name? We've been accused of not being Christians, of being JW'S, Mormons, muslims, all manner of stuff for the very same reason. But when the shoe is on the other foot, well, that's a different story.

Enjoy the sauce!

It was probably pretty bitter going down.

3,580 posted on 06/18/2011 9:52:00 AM PDT by metmom (Be the kind of woman that when you wake in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: SouthernClaire

Beautiful.


3,581 posted on 06/18/2011 9:52:00 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: boatbums

ouch.......

What you said.


3,582 posted on 06/18/2011 9:54:07 AM PDT by metmom (Be the kind of woman that when you wake in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: AndrewC
Or this one....

Luke 18:9-14

9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

We CAN'T pay for our sin. The payment owed is death. The only option is forgiveness, forgiveness of the debt.

That entails essentially, throwing yourself on the mercy of the court.

3,583 posted on 06/18/2011 9:59:04 AM PDT by metmom (Be the kind of woman that when you wake in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: boatbums

I am SO stealing that one.


3,584 posted on 06/18/2011 9:59:55 AM PDT by metmom (Be the kind of woman that when you wake in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: AndrewC
"Well, the statement itself is provable(true) from other sources. Matthew directs us to preach the gospel(Mat 28:19). Belief is addressed in Luke 8:12.(though logically it would take more to derive the last statement in Mark 16:16)

That's why he wrote this (see my link): "...Overall, the passage has the "distinct flavour of the second century" and appears to be a pastiche of material taken from other Gospels. ..."

3,585 posted on 06/18/2011 10:23:46 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: metmom

Sometimes . . . the best thing to do with a bad taste in the mouth is to rinse with water well then have glass of OJ and forget it as thoroughly as one can.

Praise God for the relief, personally.

I hope everyone confesses, repents and makes Heaven home . . .

But God will certainly not force Heaven on anyone hell-bent in bitterness to live otherwise.


3,586 posted on 06/18/2011 10:39:27 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: boatbums

GREAT GIF.

Got it saved.

Thx.


3,587 posted on 06/18/2011 10:41:30 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: SouthernClaire

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

THX THX.


3,588 posted on 06/18/2011 10:45:25 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: SouthernClaire
"...That hole ... that empty place. It is there for a purpose and it is there to be filled. ....

True.

"...Charity begins at home, by modestly ridding the world of a single assoul. "The first act of charity is to rid the soul of illusions and passions and thus rid the world of a maleficent being; it is to make a void so that God may fill it and, by this fullness, give Himself. A saint is a void open for the passage of God" (Schuon).

3,589 posted on 06/18/2011 10:51:34 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: boatbums
"Not only that, but they demand proof under their own qualifications for proof. The trouble with that way of thinking is simply that God HAS already told us that he requires faith in order to please him. Without faith, no one can "see" God. The dilemma then is a battle of wills. The atheist/agnostic on one side demanding visual, verifiable, somewhat nebulous proof and on the other side is the Almighty Creator of all things saying he demands faith first. Someone has to give in, and it ain't gonna be God, I know that much. So the choice is really up to the person. Do it your way and NEVER know truth or do it God's way and know what you desire to know."

True.

"In an analogous way, if someone asks for evidence of God, we might say "truth," or "beauty," or "virtue." For a soul of sufficient purity and depth, this will be an adequate argument, especially once the implications are fully appreciated and worked out in an ontologically consistent manner. However, materialists, Darwinists.. and other metaphysical yahoos imagine that they can reject the whole of religion based upon a single argument taken out of context, just as a savage could reject the big bang based upon the obvious empirical evidence that refutes it.

Thus... both types of primitives "want more than evidence; they want the whole science by which their mind could be moved by the evidence" .. They essentially want to see the tree that will prove the existence of the forest, when the forest is on a different ontological level than the tree. ...."

HERE: Proof of Proof is Proof of God

3,590 posted on 06/18/2011 11:11:01 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: metmom
I've never met an atheist who didn't harbor a deep resentment against someone for something long past. It's like a hair ball they just can't cough up and can't swallow down.
Cheers!
3,591 posted on 06/18/2011 11:16:07 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Matchett-PI
"...Overall, the passage has the "distinct flavour of the second century" and appears to be a pastiche of material taken from other Gospels. ..."

I do not understand what makes the particular verses in Mark have a second century "flavor". I do know logical inference. With the information contained in the Bible I cannot tell which statements came first. But I can say the verses are consistent with other verses in the Bible as statements of truth.

3,592 posted on 06/18/2011 11:19:22 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
"I do not understand what makes the particular verses in Mark have a second century "flavor". I do know logical inference. With the information contained in the Bible I cannot tell which statements came first. ..."

Me neither, but literature specialists can.

3,593 posted on 06/18/2011 11:24:51 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: Matchett-PI
Me neither, but literature specialists can.

And I can conclude that since literature specialists determine it, the information is in the realm of wisdom of men.

3,594 posted on 06/18/2011 11:35:41 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
"And I can conclude that since literature specialists determine it, the information is in the realm of wisdom of men."

Not so fast

3,595 posted on 06/18/2011 11:41:45 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (In the latter times the man [or woman] of virtue appears vile. --Tao Te Ching)
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To: Matchett-PI; Quix

Thanks, Matchett & Quix.

Since the Mister decided to watch racing (a/k/a “napping” in these parts), I have time to catch up on the thread. Never imagined that it would have taken on a life of its own. ;-)

Y’all have a great weekend.

SC


3,596 posted on 06/18/2011 12:07:00 PM PDT by SouthernClaire
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To: metmom; kosta50; Alamo-Girl; count-your-change; Quix; Matchett-PI; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; ..
You have shown the utmost contempt for bb on this forum with your comment in post 3,498 when you said, “No, I only despise people like you, betty boop because you have no shame. “

Well, I didn't see post 3,498 before it got pulled, so can't reply to it I guess.

I wonder what my putative lack of shame has to do with anything.

Looks like another "just change the subject by doing an ad hominum attack" maneuver on kosta's part.

He is a very slippery correspondent, to put it mildly. Not really worth talking to, for he'll give you the runaround every time.

JMHO FWIW.

Thanks for your kind words of support, dear sister in Christ!

3,597 posted on 06/18/2011 1:17:47 PM PDT by betty boop (We are led to believe a lie when we see with, and not through, the eye. — William Blake)
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To: SouthernClaire

What a testimony. Thank you for sharing that.

And until you’ve been there, there is simply know way of knowing how true and how real something like that is and can be. It is eerily similar to my own. Change some of the details, such as life circumstances, and the story is basically the same.

God’s love, His forgiveness, His peace, His restoration, are all facts and are all real and cannot be reduced to a formula or set of data points. They cannot be *proved* to anyone else, despite the fact that they are true and are real. It will only be experienced by someone who wants it.

God will not force Himself on anyone. People will get what they want, even though it isn’t necessarily what they expect.


3,598 posted on 06/18/2011 1:31:07 PM PDT by metmom (Be the kind of woman that when you wake in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: Cronos
nice. however, it still is ignoring the fact that the BA philosophy is hollow due to its incompleteness. The BAers, as an adverse reaction to Presbyterianism (which is why the Presbyterians call you damnable heretics) went to the other extreme from them In both cases, the virtues, separated from each other went crazy and over-extended. That is the clear problem with the BAers — there is no balance and it just veers to the laugh-sing-dance and ignore oblivion model

It doesn't matter how many times you re-post the same unaccredited comment, it still makes no sense. Why not explain what you really mean to say? For example:

What do you mean by "the BA philosophy"?

What is that exactly in your thinking?

What exactly do you think is hollow or incomplete about using the term "born again" to describe our new birth in Jesus Christ?

How is the term born again an "adverse reaction" to Presbyterianism? Seeing as they have no problem with describing the regeneration of the soul come to faith in Jesus Chris, how is simply using that term in any way a rebellion against Calvinism?

Why do you assume Presbyterians would hold Christians who refer to themselves as born again would invoke a "damnable heretic" condemnation? What documentation from authorized sources describe them as such?

You say a "clear" problem with born again Christians is that they have no balance. Explain what in your eyes constitutes "balance".

Finally, where do you get the idea that born again believers - which if you were truly a Christian you would have no problem identifying with - "veer to the laugh-sing-dance and ignore oblivion model"? Do you actually have any idea what the original author of that silly diatribe meant by such a statement or do you just like how it sounded and used it to sling mud?

3,599 posted on 06/18/2011 4:28:21 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: SouthernClaire
As I sit here with five slipped discs and arthritis in my spine and hips on top of trigeminal neuralgia (now, there’s a disease for you), lupus and a host of other physical ailments, I look at my crutches and I thank Him ... so gratefully and with so many tears running down my face. And I pray. I pray for each and every one of you seeking Him. Keep on knocking because He hears you. He knows.

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I am so sorry, Claire. May God bless and protect you.

3,600 posted on 06/18/2011 5:13:08 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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