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To: jo kus
You make God out to be a meglomaniac who can't stand it if someone is exalted (doesn't Scriptures say that the lowly will be exalted?).

A megalomaniac is one who is delusional with his self-perceived omnipotence. I assure you I do not accuse God of that! :) "Exalted" is a tricky word and can have different meanings in different contexts.

Clearly, Jesus does recognize and praise several demonstrations of faith in the Gospels. I know that. My only point is to remember that it is God who made it all happen.

Really, who takes away from the Creator by complementing the creation? When I build a chair, and someone says, "that's a nice chair", do I get upset, demanding that I get all of the credit, or is it understood that I am being praised THROUGH the chair? It is the same thing with humans.

NO! It is not the same thing at all with humans. :) For your analogy to carry, it would have to be another chair praising the first chair. This is because you are the creator of the chair, and the person praising it would be another human, an equal. God has no equal to praise His work.

There is nothing wrong with the second chair complimenting the creator (you) on your work, but it should appreciate that you also created it, and know that all the credit for both chairs goes to you. The second chair should know that the first chair did nothing toward its creation or its beauty.

Really, you have a misplaced idea of God's sovereignty. You seem to believe that because we PARTICIPATE, that means that God does 98% and we do 2% on our own! Hardly!

When you say "Hardly!", I couldn't agree more. You short-changed God by 2%. :)

I had thought that common sense - having thousands of different denominations that all equally claim to be led by the Spirit - would be enough for you to determine that the Spirit does not lead on the dogmatic front to individuals.

Oh, come on! Are you really one of those who says there are "thousands" of different Protestant denominations? That's bogus. The biased only count it that way because of our autonomy. So if my church performs the Lord's Supper once per month, and the next SB church down the street does it twice per month, then it's considered two totally different faiths. That's ridiculous. While I do admit there are sometimes important variations in theology, the basic core beliefs cannot possibly be split up as you suggest. I maintain that the Holy Spirit does lead individuals.

The oral teachings and practice of the communities determined HOW to read Scripture when Scripture was not so clear - or even when it seemed so to many people.

This is a main protest I have. You are stating openly what I have been gathering. Tradition trumps scripture! You cannot take scripture on its face. You must filter it through the Church's lens to arrive at an interpretation that matches tradition. It is the scriptural meaning that changes, not the tradition. That is the only way HOW to read scripture.

WHO wrote the Scriptures? You seem to have a problem remembering that the Apostles wrote it AFTER they had been teaching people for YEARS! Of course the Bible is to be read through these conditions.

No, I remember that, I just don't trust people playing the telephone game with doctrine that is not in the Bible. If you're right, then it goes back to my assertion that God was the most cryptic author in the history of literature. I don't know why He would speak in such riddles to His own beloved, except that a tiny few men might explain it to us. Again, by your arguments, the Bible wasn't written for us at all.

FK: "If you believe that "anyone" could come up with a book like the Bible, then I don't know what to say. I don't believe anyone could."

Really? A lot of people are absolutely convinced that the Koran is the Word of God. A lot of people believe that the Book of Mormons is from God. I could write a letter, sprinkle some "thus says the Lord" with some general prophesies (some of which are bound to come true), and I'd have a so-called inspired book from God!

But you evaded my question. Is the Koran or the LDS bible "like" the Holy Bible? We both know that billions have been fooled with false teaching. God told us it would be so. Honestly now, how many DEVOUT Muslims and Mormons do you expect to see in Heaven? Scripture tells you the answer plainly. My answer would be "extremely few".

I laugh when you repeat that you "could write a letter...". From my understanding, that is exactly what L. Ron Hubbard did! And today millions are fooled, and sadly, they are also lost. I believe that it is only God's grace that showed us both that all of these other teachings were false. Without it, one might seem as good as another. God gave us the grace to know.

Jesus didn't write the Bible! See what I mean? You are drilled so heavily on this stuff that you can't identify for yourself that the Bible takes outside verification to prove its claim! Anyone can write a book with "thus says the Lord". Only people on the ground can determine the truth of it or not.

The Word didn't author the word? That seems odd. The Bible does have plenty of outside verification to authenticate it, but none of it is needed. I don't agree that people need to determine the truth of the Bible. Truth is truth. People need to discover the truth that is already there. The difference is that with "determine" there is a human component. The truth of the Bible does not depend on man accepting it.

The reason why you know the Bible is from God is because the Catholic Church says it is and the Protestants unwittingly follow in step to that claim, not realizing the irony that they rely on the Church's determination of authority, while casting aside its authority to teach that very same book! Go figure.

That can't be right, because I still believe the Bible is self-authenticating. I don't begrudge that the Catholic Church said the Bible was God's word first, I'm glad she did! But, it really is true that when I accepted it, I didn't know anything about Church history or that Catholics put it together, or any of it. I was taught that the Bible was God's inerrant word, and I had read enough chapters, and seen the wisdom and internal consistency, and so I believed. We believe the Bible authenticates itself apart from the RCC, so there is no irony.

2,698 posted on 02/16/2006 3:39:14 AM PST by Forest Keeper
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To: Forest Keeper
Clearly, Jesus does recognize and praise several demonstrations of faith in the Gospels. I know that. My only point is to remember that it is God who made it all happen

When did I say anything about man doing something worthy ALONE? We keep going back to this - which is something neither of us has ever said. Men are exalted for responding to God's graces - throughout the entire Bible. Does this bother you? God seems to revel in it! Yet, you desire Him not to share of Himself, so that He "gets all the glory"? Brother, love means we share of ourselves. If God is love, God exalts other people. But no one who is exalted is proud! It is the HUMBLE who are exalted, not the proud! Thus, your worries are misplaced.

Oh, come on! Are you really one of those who says there are "thousands" of different Protestant denominations?

Even if I agree with that, how does that disprove my point - "I had thought that common sense - having {dozens} of different denominations that all equally claim to be led by the Spirit - would be enough for you to determine that the Spirit does not lead on the dogmatic front to individuals."? The question to you remains the same. How does the Spirit lead Christians in diametrically opposed directions on key elements of the faith? The ONLY response is that the Spirit is NOT leading people in this manner. It is literally impossible, without the Spirit overwhelming our human nature, for men to figure out alone and indepedently of each other a common set of beliefs. Protestantism fails here. The individual was never meant to be the determiner of God's Revelation. God's Revelation is given to men, not figured out independently at everyone's whim.

Tradition trumps scripture! You cannot take scripture on its face. You must filter it through the Church's lens to arrive at an interpretation that matches tradition. It is the scriptural meaning that changes, not the tradition. That is the only way HOW to read scripture.

We ALL read the Scriptures through "lenses", including you. You have your Protestant goggles on when you read Romans 3 - claiming that ALL are wicked. EVERYONE has a paradigm that they read ANY book through. A book is not alive. The people who read it are. With the Bible, God gives meaning to it as we read it - sometimes, being different then for someone who read it 500 years ago. This is called the living Tradition of the Church - how we read Scriptures TODAY. Tradition is HOW we read Scripture. In some cases, this Tradition extends back to the Apostles.

No, I remember that, I just don't trust people playing the telephone game with doctrine that is not in the Bible.

I told you already that oral traditions from the Apostles (such as infant baptism) ARE written down! What telephone game? We aren't relying on someone passing down a teaching by word of mouth! However, I understand that you have been taught that everything must be in the Scriptures explicitly to be believed. What I am curious about is "where is that rule located at within the Scriptures?" Where is the "Table of Contents" in the Scriptures? Where does it say that men are saved by faith alone? Should we go on? There seems to be a double standard here. Anything that Protestants believe but is not in Scriptures are OK. But if the Church believes in something for 2000 years and not denied by written Scripture, then it is not believable? Let's be consistent. Get rid of Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura.

But you evaded my question. Is the Koran or the LDS bible "like" the Holy Bible? We both know that billions have been fooled with false teaching. God told us it would be so. Honestly now, how many DEVOUT Muslims and Mormons do you expect to see in Heaven? Scripture tells you the answer plainly. My answer would be "extremely few".

YOU are missing the point! A person born in Saudi Arabia, born and raised a Muslim, will consider the Koran God's Word directly given to the prophet. It is not a matter of following false teachings...They point to the Bible's perceived inconsistencies and consider it NOT the Word of God. The Bible disagrees with some of the teachings of the Koran. Why should a Muslim take the Bible as superior to the Koran, when they have been raised with it and indoctrinated to follow it?

MY POINT is that ONLY an OUTSIDE witness can testify to the truth of the Bible over the Koran or the Book of Mormons. You need outside evidence to show that the Koran is wrong, that the book of Mormons is wrong. When you have two books side by side, an are perfectly unbiased, tell me, how are you going to tell which is correct? Unless you are aware of its history and the witness of the Church, I don't see how you would be able to determine that the Gospel of Thomas is not Scripture but the Letter of Philemon is Scripture. You seem to evade that over and over again...

I laugh when you repeat that you "could write a letter...". From my understanding, that is exactly what L. Ron Hubbard did! And today millions are fooled, and sadly, they are also lost.

That's the point! This is ALL based on FAITH! We have faith WE are right, they have faith that they are right! The point is that someone can write a "letter" and call it from God and convince other people that it is. Thus, we need an outside witness to tell us - Hubbard, you are crazy... We base our entire religion on faith! Faith that the Apostles REALLY DID see a man risen from the dead. Faith that a man REALLY DID claim to be God and cure other people. Faith that the Apostles performed miracles. Faith that God has spoken and acted in the history of men...The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God - FAITH. That the Jews crossed the Red Sea - FAITH. It is ALL FAITH. And that is the way God wants it. He wants us to come to Him, even when it doesn't appear that He is there (such as Job!)

Again, by your arguments, the Bible wasn't written for us at all.

It was written for the community, the Church. Was the Scripture EVER given to individuals in the Bible? Did God hand out scrolls to everyone? No, God gave His Word to particular men and women, who shared it with the community at large. This was written down and shared with the future communities. The Bible is NOT EVER shown as something given to each individual of the community. If you want to follow how the early Church did things, then you ARE to comply with the leaders of the community. I am sure you have read the Acts of the Apostles?

The Bible does have plenty of outside verification to authenticate it, but none of it is needed.

Utterly ridiculous. By reading the bible without any verification, you might as well be in the same category as the Muslims and Mormons, who "get a feeling in their bosom" to "know" they are reading the Word of God. They don't think they need outside verification, either. However, those of us who demand it CAN SAY that the Koran and the Book of Mormon is NOT the Word of God. God gave us intellect to use it. We are to test all things. We are to also test to ensure that we DO have the Word of God. We are told not to believe everything we hear. We are to test their word. What is wrong with that?

I don't agree that people need to determine the truth of the Bible. Truth is truth.

Based on what evidence do you know that the Bible is truth? If I write something and say it is the truth, what makes me wrong? Just because something says it is the word of God doesn't make it so... How can you prove it is without this outside verification?

People need to discover the truth that is already there.

Your whole argument is based on a circular argument... "The bible is the Word of God" Why? "Because the Word of God is found within the Bible"... Until you move outside of that circle, you aren't going to prove anything. I would be interested to know how you would prove that the Bible is God's Word with a Muslim or a non-Christian, using no outside evidence.

That can't be right, because I still believe the Bible is self-authenticating

Sorry, brother, but your constant assertions without ONE bit of evidence doesn't make it so. Until you can prove to me WHY Philemon belongs in the Scriptures, is considered God's Word, based on its OWN merit, you might have something. We have gone over this over and over. How do you know Paul even wrote it??? If you were to go into a court room today to prove that the Bible is the Word of God based on YOUR evidence, you'd be laughed out of court. You have a seemingly random collection of books from unknown authors written 2000 years ago - and we don't possess ONE SINGLE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPH! All we have are copies! Self-authenticating? Please. Don't you think you are being a bit stubborn here? You base your beliefs on a book that you can't even prove is God's Word, as opposed to the Gnostics version, or Marcion's version, or the Koran, or...and so on.

I was taught that the Bible was God's inerrant word, and I had read enough chapters, and seen the wisdom and internal consistency, and so I believed. We believe the Bible authenticates itself apart from the RCC, so there is no irony.

You have contradicted yourself. YOU WERE TAUGHT! Thus, you didn't come to that conclusion yourself. The teachings of the Catholic Church came to you through Protestants and you discovered that the Bible IS REALLY the Word of God. You didn't come to that conclusion yourself, thus, the Bible is not self-authenticating. You accepted the witness of those who told you, heard their preaching, saw their witness and life style, and accepted what they claimed. That is HOW we know the Bible is the Word of God, not by opening it off the library shelf and reading it!

Regards

2,703 posted on 02/16/2006 5:38:55 AM PST by jo kus
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