Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |

 

This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?




At American Thinker, Kyle-Anne Shiver Explains,


"Why I'm Thanking God for Obama"
--August 01, 2008


Several quotes from...


Many of Barack's followers manifest troubling signs of regarding him as at least a demigod. Even while refraining from saying outright that they think he's a god, their belief comes through in the strange messianic iconography of their Obama-glorifying posters, videos and music. Belief in the godlike nature of Barack's powers comes through in their faith in the vast promises he or his surrogates make about the change that's going to come about, not if, but when he becomes president, not just of our Country, but the whole darned world, oceans and all.


Barack Obama is walking, talking, breathing narcissism. The iconography of his campaign is nothing, if not the glorification of Obama, a solitary, quite mortal man. They must glorify Obama's image because, in reality, he has no accomplishments that bear mention.


Beware the man who promises what man simply lacks the power to bestow.

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it."
-- H. L. Mencken

Time and time and time again, this has proven true. Time and time again, new men arise in varying disguise, making the same promises, urging the same change.


The salvation that Obama offers comes in the form of radically changing America to a utopian state, which he contends will fix our "broken souls." That simply is not within the province of his abilities.



Personal Thoughts: Later


posted by Eric @ 4:29 PM,

58 Comments:

On August 4, 2008 at 10:23 AM, Blogger Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

Please join me in extending best wishes to the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, today, on the occasion of his 47th birthday.

Thank you.

--EHR

 
On August 4, 2008 at 10:28 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Better, let's make this day a national holiday like Christmas.

There'll be enough media butt kissin' this day. Best I not add anything to it.

Yet, in the spirit of being civil..

Yo, H, happy B, yo!

 
On August 4, 2008 at 11:50 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

The entire article's very good, EL, but I'm surprised you didn't quote the Pope's comment about Marxism, that Marxism "appeared as the force through which the Christian teaching of redemption could be transformed into a realistic practical means for liberation - as the force that could bring the Kingdom of God as the true kingdom of men."

Now, who do we know that thinks the Kingdom of God is a political project, more concerned with so-called "social justice" through collectivism than with the forgiveness of sin through the Atonement?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 12:21 PM, Blogger Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

Jesus?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 12:23 PM, Blogger Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

I mean, the Atonement and all, real close second. But second. Took his Jewish followers to see Jesus that way. Jesus his own self pretty much blasted through such presumptions and such. I mean, if you read the Bible.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 12:28 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

That would be Dan, sir.

I am troubled by his repeated insistence that, quote, the Kingdom of God is HERE, NOW, AMONG YOU, Thy Kingdom come ON EARTH... I think is a very explicit part of the good news that Jesus proclaimed... and his seeming insistence that it is our duty as Christians to bring in the kingdom of Heaven by saving the planet. THIS planet is going to be purged by fire. Nothing we do can clean the Earth to God's satisfaction.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 12:52 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

I do read the Bible, E(H)R, and it seems to me that Jesus Christ Himself affirmed atonement theology when instituted the Lord's Supper, pouring the wine and teaching, "this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Mt 26:28)

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." - Jn 6:53-58

E(H)R, if you're trying to present some sort of dichotomy between Christ and "his Jewish followers," your attempt is doomed to fail, for several reasons.

One, though there are arguably differences in emphasis between Jesus, Peter, Paul, James, and John, there isn't an irreconcilable difference in the messages they preached, for they preached one Gospel.

Two, the only reliable record of what Jesus taught was recorded by these followers: though every book in the Bible is about Christ, none were directly penned by His incarnate hand. Every NT book was written by His Apostles or their close associates.

And, third, JESUS CHRIST HAND-PICKED THESE FOLLOWERS.

The King picked his heralds. If you repudiate those heralds -- even ostensibly out of loyalty to the King -- you are guilty of treason against Him, because it is His perogative to appoint his representatives.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 1:41 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric said:

I am troubled by his [Dan's] repeated insistence that, quote, the Kingdom of God is HERE, NOW, AMONG YOU, Thy Kingdom come ON EARTH... I think is a very explicit part of the good news that Jesus proclaimed... and his seeming insistence that it is our duty as Christians to bring in the kingdom of Heaven by saving the planet.

Actually, that wouldn't be Dan saying that. It would be Jesus:

"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Understand, I am not saying we will have paradise on earth, a utopia of our own creating. I've never said that as I don't believe that.

What I've said is that we are to be living the Kingdom Life NOW. I think Jesus is right: The Kingdom of God IS within God's followers. That IS a great part of the gospel that Jesus proclaimed. We CAN begin living a heaven-filled life here and now. Not perfectly, of course, but we can begin praying AND living "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth (ie, HERE, NOW) as it is in heaven."

Again, I don't see how any Christians could disagree with me on this point. It is Jesus' own words, after all.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:00 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, Jesus also said affirmed Scripture to the smallest penstroke, He affirmed that we are made male and female for marriage, and He taught that His blood is the blood of a new covenant shed for the forgiveness of sin. It's funny, then, how you think Christians can disagree in good faith on the inerrant authority of Scripture, on God's will for marriage, and on the truth of the Atonement.

It is Jesus' own words, after all.

I for one have no problem believing that Christ has inaugurated His kingdom with the Crucifixion and that the redeemed have been accepted into His kingdom and can become more faithful subjects as we mature.

But the Kingdom of God has not been consumated and will only be consumated by Christ's return and judgment of the world, not by any poltical revolution.

The Gospel is not a political program. The kingdom of God is not a political regime.

Instead, the Gospel is the good news about the forgiveness of sin, our justification before God, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life. God's kingdom is a spiritual kingdom.

If you disagree with that assessment, perhaps you could actually define what you think the Gospel is, clearly and succinctly.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:04 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Jesus said to them [the religious], "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are [PRESENT TENSE -DAN] entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him..."

~Matt 21

"The time has come," he [John the Baptist] said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

~Mark 1

"if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW -DAN]."

~Matt 12

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs [PRESENT TENSE -DAN] to such as these."

~Mark 10

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is [PRESENT TENSE -DAN] the kingdom of God."

~Luke 6

"I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

~Luke 9

"Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'"

~Luke 10


Certainly, there are other times when Jesus uses future tense kinds of language (you SHALL see the kingdom...), so my take on that is that there is certainly a sense in which the kingdom of heaven is here and now and there is another sense in which it is yet to be fully realized.

We SHALL see the kingdom realized fully, perfectly one day, but the Good News, Jesus tells us, is that the kingdom of God is within you, Eric! And within me. Right here, right now. Hallelujah! (If I may wax religious...)

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:06 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said:

The Gospel is not a political program. The kingdom of God is not a political regime.

No one has suggested otherwise. Although the Gospel certainly has political implications - that is, it matters to the Kingdom of God what our personal and societal policies are.

But I'm sure we all agree on that point.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:11 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said (to Dan):

If you disagree with that assessment, perhaps you could actually define what you think the Gospel is, clearly and succinctly

Your description is not too bad:

"Instead, the Gospel is the good news about the forgiveness of sin, our justification before God, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life. God's kingdom is a spiritual kingdom."

The good news is all of that. It is Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom of God is within us! How great! It is the proclamation that we can be saved by God's amazing Grace! How cool!

All of the above. Is that okay?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:13 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Although I would add the caveat that God's Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that we live in the real world. That God does not have a physical, earthly political kingdom on Earth is not to say that we are not to be living the Kingdom life here and now.

But surely we agree on that?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, you write "the Gospel certainly has political implications - that is, it matters to the Kingdom of God what our personal and societal policies are."

That's funny, because I seem to recall that very recently you told Neil to "keep [his] religious eccentricities out of the public square."

And what "eccentricity" does Neil advocate as public policy?

The oddest, most bizarre idea imaginable: the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Funny how the only political implications of Christianity you seem to think "in-bounds" are those that match up with the radical left.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Blogger mom2 said...

This is backing up a bit, but I was wondering if there was a conversion of some kind that went with ER's name change. I have read of that happening. wink, wink.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 2:52 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

As I have made clear in multiple places (although you may have missed them), we ought not expect the American people to go along with a viewpoint merely because someone has said, "God wants us to do this..."

For a civic society to support something, we rightfully expect a civic reasoning for our positions.

For example, I am opposed to war in general because of my faith system. However, I don't ask my fellow citizens to oppose all wars merely because I think that's what God wants. Rather, I vocally opposed the specific Iraqi war for specific reasons (questionably legal, counterproductive, spread our military too thin thereby missing real threats, etc).

Now, any one is certainly free to make the claim "We should oppose X because God is opposed to X." My position is that we just shouldn't expect people to go along with us if we make such a religion-based claim.

In the Catholic church, they have two types of sins (when it comes to public policy, anyway). I forget their terms, but the gist is, One is specifically and exclusively religious beliefs and the other are universal beliefs.

Mary was a virgin is an example of a specifically religious belief. We ought not push for legislation that supports our purely religious beliefs.

But universal beliefs - it is wrong to steal, it is wrong to kill, etc - for these, we can make civic-based reasons for why we ought to have specific legislations and that is a good thing to do.

What I am opposed to is people trying to legislate their exclusively religious beliefs ("we ought to outlaw all armies because the Bible says so.") I am opposed to that sort of religious eccentricity.

I hope that helps you understand the difference in my position.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:00 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Although I would add the caveat that God's Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that we live in the real world. That God does not have a physical, earthly political kingdom on Earth is not to say that we are not to be living the Kingdom life here and now.

But surely we agree on that?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:20 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Never mind that Neil and I have pointed to secular reasons for keeping the traditional, legal definition of marriage...

I agree, Dan, that our membership in God's family entails duties that impact the present, temporal world around us. But I believe that evangelism is a far more central duty to the Christian life than any political reform -- since souls are permanent, and political reforms are not -- and I believe that the Gospel is not our ethical duties to God or each other; it is, instead, what God has done for us in Christ.

I must say, I find some of your language disconcerting even if the figure of speech was employed rather carelessly:

Although I would add the caveat that God's Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that we live in the real world.

"The real world"?

Between the two, it is Heaven that is far more real than the world we now inhabit: it is Heaven that is permanent -- eternal, even -- and the present age merely a passing shadow.

Contrary to the heresy of the gnostics, the world isn't an illusion, but it isn't "the real world" as if it's more real than Heaven. Talk like that, even made accidentally, gives the impression that life hereafter is best employed to improve the here-and-now.

We are, however, told to store treasures elsewhere, where neither moth can destory nor thieves can steal.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:28 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, it would appear that you are looking for arguments where none exist. I don't know that I disagree with anything you're saying.

Yes, in the REAL world, the Kingdom of God that we are living in today and that will one day be perfected, the REAL world. As opposed to the notion that we can spiritualize Jesus' teachings to suggest that we need not worry about the least of these or the poor ("after all, he wasn't talking about ACTUAL poor people, he was speaking spiritually," kinds of language).

And we are to store up treasures in heaven, the Bible says, by HOW WE LIVE NOW in the REAL WORLD. The Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. THAT real world.

I ask again: Surely we can agree on this basic Christian thinking?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:33 PM, Blogger mom2 said...

Here's an interesting read:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71431

Maybe we do have 57 states after all?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:35 PM, Blogger mom2 said...

add 71431 to the site mentioned in the above post (comes after = ). I see it got cut off in the transfer.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

I ask again: Surely we can agree on this basic Christian thinking?

As I wrote the first time, I agree, Dan, that our membership in God's family entails duties that impact the present, temporal world around us. But I believe that evangelism is a far more central duty to the Christian life than any political reform -- since souls are permanent, and political reforms are not -- and I believe that the Gospel is not our ethical duties to God or each other; it is, instead, what God has done for us in Christ.

I thought it was clear I was answering your question, since I began the paragraph with "I agree."


Since you now seem to be saying that your language wasn't accidental but quite deliberate, I will reiterate that I think it's problematic for any professing Christian to treat the here-and-now as the "REAL world" when our temporal existence is temporary.

To quote C.S. Lewis, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven, and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth, and you will get neither."

 
On August 4, 2008 at 3:59 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said:

But I believe that evangelism is a far more central duty to the Christian life than any political reform -- since souls are permanent, and political reforms are not...

Well, the reason I asked again is because you said THAT (above) again, as if I had said ANYTHING about political reform. I have said that I agree with Jesus that the good news is that we have the Kingdom of God within us now. That we can begin living the kingdom of God Now.

Are you associating "living the kingdom of God" with political reform? It seems as if you're trying to suggest I'm saying something that I'm not. I'm saying we are to begin living God's Kingdom now. Period. And that THAT is part of the Good News, according to Jesus.

We have been/are being delivered from our sins to a new life. Here. Now.

I will reiterate that I think it's problematic for any professing Christian to treat the here-and-now as the "REAL world" when our temporal existence is temporary.

And I will reiterate: I think the Kingdom of God is VERY real. Here and now and in the future. Do you disagree?

 
On August 4, 2008 at 4:06 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Where I think we may disagree some is where you say things like:

But I believe that evangelism is a far more central duty to the Christian life than any political reform -- since souls are permanent, and political reforms are not -- and I believe that the Gospel is not our ethical duties to God or each other

And appear to separate the Good News, the Gospel, Evangelism out as having nothing to do with the Kingdom of God but instead, you seem to want to define it as something WE do that is more preachy and less having to do with how we live our lives.

Evangelism - sharing the good news - is, to me (judging by what Jesus has to say in the Gospels), VERY much tied to how we live our lives.

"Tell John that I am preaching the good news to the poor. Healing the sick."

"I've come to preach good news to the poor, bring healing for the sick, freedom for the captives..."

HOW we live IS very much a part of sharing the Gospel. Seems to me. Maybe on that point, you do actually disagree with me.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 4:18 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, I agree that how we live is an important part of our testimony, that a hypocritical life damages our ability to be effective witnesses.

But how we live is part of how we share the Gospel, but not the Gospel itself. The Gospel is what God has done for us, not what we are obliged to do in obedience to God. Our obligations to God is the law, which is quite different from the Gospel.


And I think you clearly have a political agenda in mind in your recent ruminations about why Jesus (supposedly) preached the Good News solely to the poor.

John and Jesus preached a gospel that said, "Quit supporting the economic systems of the world - ones that result in oppressive conditions and imprisonment of the poor. Instead, live for the Kingdom of God." [link]

I believe that salvation is indeed the good news. God is offering us salvation from our sin. Salvation from our greed. Salvation from systems of oppression. Good news for the poor, for the ill, for the imprisoned. [link]

When you invoke Christianity to criticize economic systems of so-called oppression, you sound less like a Christian and more like a Marxist, one who's trying desperately to argue that Christ preached good news solely to the poor so you can argue that the Gospel is really liberation for the proletariat.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 4:26 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

[rolls eyes]

Okay, you got me, comrade... I seek to overthrow the capitalist pigs and rule the nation with an iron fist of godless communism. But now you're on to me!

Curses! Foiled again!

 
On August 4, 2008 at 4:43 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Your sarcasm is quite appropriate, Dan, because never in the history of political philosophy has anyone tried to combine Christianity and Marxism, much less given the combination such an obvious name as "Christian Marxism."


Truth is, your rhetoric reeks of "liberation theology", which does have its intellectual roots in the collectivism of Marxism. Certainly you wouldn't support the coercive state atheism of the Soviet Union, and the economic coercion would probably be much gentler than what was seen under Stalin, but I don't think it's some gross slander to note that you occasionally seem in thrall to the same political radicalism.

And if you're going call into question our religious beliefs -- "surely" we agree on this, "surely" we don't disagree on that -- then maybe you could stand to put up with people drawing inconvenient conclusions from what you write.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 6:57 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

hink it's some gross slander to note that you occasionally seem in thrall to the same political radicalism.

Yeah, like those other radicals: They were called "Christians" first in Antioch.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 8:20 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Neither the Christians in Antioch nor any other church in the New Testament were political radicals, because Christianity isn't about political radicalism. Instead, it's about the theologically radical idea of grace, of salvation by grace through faith, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.

One moment you reject the idea that you're discussing politics, "as if [you] had said ANYTHING about political reform," and now you trying -- pathetically -- to shoehorn your political philosophy into the New Testament.

You could stand to be a lot more honest about your beliefs. It's clear that you want to invoke Christianity to justify your political radicalism; it's just a shame that you can't be as honest about that as you are in this, your most recent comment.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 8:25 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

C'mon Dan, let's be honest. In your most recent post [link] you quoted Isaiah 61, or rather quoted Jesus quoting Isaiah 61. I pointed out the significance of where Jesus stopped; that when he declared "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears," it did not include what followed.

Parallel to the point I'm making here is our recent discussion on the difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven... doctrinally speaking. That you claim the kingdom of God is here, now, within us, I can't disagree, but you often-- and if I had both the patience and time that Bubba appears to have, I'd dig through both our blogs to point it out --blend the two distinct kingdoms together into one amalgam.

For instance. In comments at the same post I linked to above you thanked me for providing the remainder of Isaiah 61, and then proceeded to speak of it as being in the here and now. But it isn't, for the same reasons I offered, namely, Jesus is not seated upon his throne in Jerusalem; Israel is not at peace, and is not at the head of ALL nations upon the face of the earth.

Now. The Gospel clearly "changes" at some point in the NT. It goes from being "...the kingdom of heaven is at hand" [Mat 3:2], to "the kingdom of God is within you." True, the two are occasionally used interchangeably, but if you study carefully the character of what the OT promises and what Jesus declared was "in you" these are two very different kingdoms. You have at least once equated the kingdom of heaven as something we should work toward building on earth by living within our means, saving the planet from pollution, etc. as if to imply that by doing so we would usher in the Kingdom God promised. I'm not accusing you of anything, just laying out my position.

When Jesus was rejected, the Kingdom of Heaven was put on hold. God knew from the beginning the Jews would reject Him, but in order to be faithful to His word, He had to make the offer. Had the Jews accepted Him, seven years of tribulation would have followed, per the prophecy of Daniel, to make a final judgment on sin, after which Jesus WOULD have set up his kingdom on earth. Had that happened we would not be having this discussion.

But we both know this didn't happen. And so we are still left with two distinct kingdoms.

The two kingdoms are different in character and scope, now, but that is only because we are imperfect sinful creatures. On the day God purges us from all vestiges of sin the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Heaven will be one and the same.

The Gospel itself is the good news that the Messiah is finally come... to take away the sins of men. Without that Passover sacrifice, the Law would destroy us all... the kingdom of God would NOT be in us. The entire focus of the gospel is to save men from the penalty of their sin, and through that gift of grace we are given something to hope for... eternal life with our God and savior, on a world restored to its Edenic perfection.... forever.

Imagine a world where no matter where you went you were welcome. There was always a place for you at someone's table. The thought of being angry at anyone would never occur to you. The thought of doing or saying anything that would displease anyone else would simply never occur to you. It would never occur to you to be offended by anything. Neither would the thought of offending you occur to anyone else. All of our sinful tendencies would be literally erased from our character, our emotional makeup. Our Id's, Ego's, Super Ego's, clean.

The kingdom of God may be in us, but it pales in comparison to what God STILL has in store for us. That the kingdom of God is in us now is testament only to the fact that the HOLY SPIRIT resides in us.

I'm all for doing my part in the here and now, but it is no substitute for the kingdom of heaven. Christ as our king and God forever. The intimacy we will share with one another will infinitely surpass the intimacy of human sex. I simply refuse to be satisfied with what I now have. I want more. I want it all. I want everything He promised.

My! What a day THAT will be. But it is not now. For now we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and for some of us... through us.

I want it all.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 8:35 PM, Blogger Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

Lordy. "Christianity by funny book" is SO '80s.

No conversion, Mom2. Just an earnest attempt to point out the silliness of y'all -- y'all who have done so, and you're legion -- who have tried to make an issue of the Democratic candidate's middle name. Duh.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 8:43 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

As to Obama, what troubles ME is the messianic treatment he receives from Media and the Left.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 8:47 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Well... you ARE a radical EHR.

Feel free to explain your "Christianity by funny book" statement. You're famous for this btw; throwing out one-liners without explaining yourself.

 
On August 4, 2008 at 10:34 PM, Blogger Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

Re, "what troubles ME is the messianic treatment he receives from Media and the Left."

Then your problem is with the media and the Left. Why are you on the candidate's case so much?


"Funny book" reference was to the Hal Lindseyesque-Jack Chick quality of eschatology(sp?) you espouse all the time.

Yer all into the prize, not so much running the race.

This sums it up: "THIS planet is going to be purged by fire. Nothing we do can clean the Earth to God's satisfaction."

Maybe so. But, to be blunt, wallowing around in that is NOT our task. Ignoring it IS. The End Game is God's deal. Not mine. Not yours. And for you or anyone else to continue to think we can just use this planet up because, after all, God's gonna torch it anyway, is a disgrace to the grace of creation itself.

It just boggles my kind. Y'all elevate the Bible to the gray area between veneration and idolatry, and then turn around and dump manure on the Creation itself, which God called good.

And I think that's bass-ackwards.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 3:14 AM, Blogger mom2 said...

It seems to me that only questions are planted into my mind as to what you elevate, ER.
When you said you were pointing and shaking your fist toward God sometime back, I shuddered. That sounded like something that might be answered for you. God is merciful, so hang on and look and listen for what He has to say.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 4:40 AM, Anonymous BenT - the Unbeliever said...

"As to Obama, what troubles ME is the messianic treatment he receives from Media and the Left."

The only place I find the adoration and adulation you allude to is on Right-wing blogs and radio programs. What conservatives are interpreting as deification is actually enthusiasm. Remember the fanfares that George W. Bush received after 9/11? Occasionally I still see a "W: The President" car sticker. As if there is only and ever one president? Barack Obama has brought in a lot of young new voters. They are enthusiastic. They treat Obama with the same sort of emotion they treat top level rockstars. When you look back at the sixties do you confuse think those young people were worshiping the Beatles?

Real messiah complexes are when people pray and build icons and temples to deities. Don't let spin-meisters water down your vocabulary.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 6:55 AM, Blogger mom2 said...

bent, your identifying tag is a little frightening. Are you proud to be an unbeliever? It would be wise to do a little searching now, because in the end every knee shall bow and that from a Book I happen to believe in.
It is also a not so good thing, but seems to be true that the adoring attitude that followers of Obama do portray is strikingly similar to that shown toward rock stars, etc. Presidential? I hope not.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 7:45 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I hate to derail further the thread now that you're back on track, but I did have a question of Bubba, who said:

You could stand to be a lot more honest about your beliefs. It's clear that you want to invoke Christianity to justify your political radicalism

I'm not quite clear what his problem is, inasmuch as I mostly agreed with much of what he said and yet he stilled suggested I was a communist and now he is suggesting I'm being dishonest about my beliefs??

What's up with that? Is it the case, Bubba, that you think Christians shouldn't have political opinions? I don't think that is the case, since you clearly have political opinions. So, what exactly is it that you're saying?

I've been pretty honest about my political and Christian opinions in places I comment and on my blog. Is it the case that you want to the Religious Right to be able to express political opinions but not the Religious Left? I don't think that's it, but I have no idea what you're getting at.

I think what you're suggesting is that I have a specific set of political opinions and I'm trying to get those opinions to fit my religious belief. But that's just factually not the case.

As I've testified before, I was a political and religious conservative whose faith has caused me to shift my political opinions, not the other way around. I've had to change a good number of my political views to fit my faith system.

Can you say the same? What political positions have you changed in order to fit your faith system? Any?

 
On August 5, 2008 at 9:16 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

As I've testified before, I was a political and religious conservative whose faith has caused me to shift my political opinions, not the other way around. I've had to change a good number of my political views to fit my faith system.

I do not find this claim at all convincing. I could elaborate on any number of reasons why, but I'll focus on one: your approach to the Bible is incredibly inconsistent.

When the Old Testament records that God commanded wars of annihilation, you think that those passages record atrocities and therefore should not be considered authoritative. But when other nearby passages record that God told ancient Israel to maintain a small army, why, that's incredibly important, inspired, authoritative, and directly applicable to American foreign policy!

Jesus affirmed the authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke, and He taught us why we were created male and female, and He taught us that His blood is the blood of a new covenant shed for the forgiveness of sin, but you don't seem all that interested; you've gone so far as to say that the Atonement only "meant something" to the ancient Jews. But when Jesus teaches us to care for the poor, my, aren't you interested in examining the deep political implications, over and over again.

There's no theological rhyme or reason to this inconsistency. The only plausible explanation is political. If you think a passage accords with your political philosophy -- which apparently includes economic collectivism, strict pacifism, and a denial of the complimentary nature of the sexes -- you highlight it. If it isn't useful, it's diminished. And if it positively conflicts with your politics, you find a way to dismiss it altogether as atrocity or metaphor.


To answer your question, my faith has affected my political views; because of the examples of Daniel and the Apostles, and because of Romans 13, I've become convinced that political revolutions even against tyrannical regimes are -- at best -- only morally permissible in the same way that divorce is permissible, as a concession because of the hardness of man's hearts.

While I still agree with the Declaration of Independence, that "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [securing their rights], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government," I believe it is God's will that a Christian people at least make an honest effort at reconciliation and reform before moving to revolution.


But the question is largely moot, Dan, because I don't think my religious beliefs absolutely require certain political positions. I'm a small-l libertarian who affirms the value of tradition, and I don't think my political beliefs conflict with the Bible, but I also don't think the Bible requires this position because the Bible is not primarily a political document.

Though I disagree with most of your political positions and find them inadequately justified -- and have serious problems with the manner in which you sometimes hypocritically argue for your position -- I do not believe, for instance, that a Christian cannot be a socialist.

My biggest problem with you, Dan, isn't that you're a Christian who just happens to support economic policies that are more collectivist than I do: it's that you seem to want to argue that those policies are necessary consequences of Christian faith.


When I wrote that you seem in thrall to the same political radicalism as the Marxists, you gave the worst possible response short of a personal attack:

Yeah, like those other radicals: They were called "Christians" first in Antioch.

This response is simply not based in truth. The Christians in Antioch and throughout the New Testament WERE NOT POLITICAL RADICALS.

To write that they were is very good evidence that your politics is influencing your faith. It's dishonest and furthermore idolatrous because you don't seem content to defend your political philosophy as efficient and ethical: you seem intent on arguing that it is essential to Christian faith itself.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 9:28 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Have I SAID that they were political radicals? No. You are the one that keeps bringing politics in to it.

Now, having said that, were they radical followers of Jesus whose positions had political ramifications? Clearly, yes.

THAT is what I'm saying. What I have been saying. We as Christians are to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God. That is a radical position.

Jesus was executed for it. As were most of the apostles. And while I don't believe they were political radicals (and I have never said so), I do believe their radical positions of Kingdom living had political implications.

Same as you think YOUR faith system has some political implications. There is no difference in our stance, in that regard - we just differ in how we think it impacts matters politically.

Now, as to not believing the fact that I was a political/religious conservative who came to my political beliefs now BECAUSE of my faith beliefs, well, you are free to guess that I'm lying or whatever it is you think. You'd be wrong and a simple call to my friends of my young adulthood would clear it up for you.

I've made no secret of who I am, where I live, the church I was raised in, the church I currently attend. I've been perfectly forthcoming about how I moved from a political/religious conservative to a person that many folk such as yourself find to be liberal or even communist BECAUSE of what I've read in the Bible, as well as my God-given reason; Because of my faith tradition and search for God and Truth.

You are free to think I'm making it all up, but you would be factually mistaken. No skin off my back, I just find it odd that you would presume to know more about me than I know about me.

As I am fond of saying, you ain't God enough to know that.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 10:51 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

If you're gonna bring up that phrase which you're so "fond of," I'll remind you that you hypocritically engaged in precisely the sort of presumptuousness you would denounce as megalomoniacal when you wrote about how my writing reveals the "bile in [my] soul."

(I'll reiterate here, since we're not at your blog, where you are deleting comments in an increasingly hypocritical manner, that that comment was an off-topic "attack commentary", at least as egregious as anything I wrote. You neither retracted the comment, nor deleted it; instead you just deleted my every criticism of it. So much for your supposed concern for civility and staying on-topic.)

You insist that people draw no conclusions from what you write, but you do not afford others the same courtesy. In fact, when you accuse people of believing they're God just because they (gasp!) draw conclusions from what you write -- a truly controversial idea, the thought that people's beliefs are revealed by what they communicate; how horrifying -- you do exactly what you criticize.

Neither EL nor I nor anyone else have asserted to believe that we're God, but when you accuse us of that belief, you're drawing conclusions from what we write.


Of course, I don't know your heart; I can only go by what you write. You assert that your political conversion followed the sea change in your religious beliefs, but I simply don't find that assertion all that credible in the face of what else you've written.

The evidence to the contrary is in the extremely poor argument you've presented that is supposed to explain why you changed your position on what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality. It's in the inconsistent approach to Scripture, dismissing some passages as atrocity while looking closely at other passages for their deep political implications.

It's even in your explanation of how you found your current church, the suggestion that "a concern for the poor, living simply, living peaceably," are "the radical truths of the Bible and Church," without a word about Christianity's truly radical theological claims of the Incarnation of Christ and our justification through His death.

(As I wrote before about your list of radical Christian life, none of this is really unique to Christianity. For Muslims, alms-giving is one of the central pillars of their faith; Stoics lived very, very simply; and plenty of Hindus are pacifists who seek to live peaceably. What's really radical isn't Christ's ethical commands to us, but what He did for us: The Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection. The Atonement and the truly free gifts that it purchased, the forgiveness of our sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the provision of eternal life with the Father.)

We are to judge people by their fruits, are we not? Well, the fruits you bear with which I have contact are the thousands of words you've written in dialogue with me. If those words don't seem to accord with your claims about your religious and political metamorphosis, I won't pretend that they do for the sake of making you feel better.

What you've written in defense of your particular beliefs speaks volumes against your claims about the origin of those beliefs.

And, to return to your little bit of "attack commentary", if you think my words reveal the condition of my soul, it is entirely fair for me to believe that your words reveal things about you.


Now, if you really don't think the early Christians were political radicals, maybe you shouldn't have written a comment that implies precisely that. Quoting me (and, oddly, cutting me off in the middle of a word), you wrote:

"hink it's some gross slander to note that you occasionally seem in thrall to the same political radicalism."

Yeah, like those other radicals: They were called "Christians" first in Antioch.


Considering what I wrote and the fact that you explicitly quoted it, the clearest point that could be inferred from this "I'm just like the early Christians" bit is that you think that they were, in fact, political radicals.

If that wasn't what you meant, you should have been more clear.


And, for the sake of clarity, let me ask you to clarify: why do you think Jesus was killed? What specific teaching? And what passage in the New Testament suggests that that was the reason He was killed?

 
On August 5, 2008 at 11:20 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

I have to agree with Bubba in that I too find your political positions "inadequately justified" especially when you use scripture to do so. This is why you get so many questions from us asking for clarification because oftentimes (not all the time) your statements don't make good exegetical sense. I'm not saying this to dig at you, but here's a fine enough example...

In your most recent comment you said:

"We as Christians are to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God."

Not precisely true. And here's why.

1) As a whole, we the Church are to be about working in the fields... bringing in a harvest. That harvest is men's souls. "Proclaiming the kingdom" means nothing to the unregenerated man. It is foolishness to him. Proclaiming the good news that Jesus dies that they might live... now THAT is radical. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die...." THAT is radical! Proclaiming the kingdom? Hari Krishnas do somewhat. Where's the power in proclaiming the kingdom? And,

2) the kingdom of God is WITHIN us, and it is only acquired by believing that a) Christ died for our sins [according to scripture], b) that he was buried [according to scripture], c) that he rose again [according to scripture]. Romans 10:9-10 says "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Jesus said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." God already knows who will and who will not come, but NO ONE can come unless someone gives them the Gospel... that there is a remedy for the penalty of their sin. Romans 10:14 says, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" How indeed? THAT is what the church is to be doing... PRIMARILY. And all the rest an integral part of doing and having done the first.

The Bible more than suggests that we are to be BOLD witnesses. Bold... as in not afraid to say what needs saying, even if someone is offended by it. Believe it or not but many ARE offended by hearing that unless they accept Christ as their savior they will die in their sin and be consigned to Hell. But that is what every evangelist worth his salt will say-- though hopefully with far more compassion than I, for the sake of time and argument, just demonstrated. It's not enough to tell a man he MUST accept Christ, you MUST tell him WHY he must. Otherwise you risk making stony ground hearers.

As I said said, proclaiming the kingdom is not precisely what we are to do. We don't want a church full of people who walk like us, act like us, live like us, smile like us ONLY... we want them saved from the penalty of their sin FIRST, all the rest comes, in time, through the sanctification process of living in Christ, dependent of course upon how much of their will they yield to the Holy Spirit living within them.

Your positions, biblically speaking-- and since I'm not particularly or equally concerned with your political positions --are poorly defended. Your exegesis is not strong. You seem to have a fair grasp of the Gospels [M,M,L,J] but beyond that [in the NT specifically] you're very weak, and it's there your good intentions with the Gospels breaks down.

Lastly, Jesus didn't die because of His message. He died because God willed it... because a divine sacrifice was needed to redeem God's creation, including and especially Man.

Galatians 4:4-7 "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

Titus 2:13-14 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

----

ER,

"for you or anyone else to continue to think we can just use this planet up because, after all, God's gonna torch it anyway.."

Not what I said, not what I meant. My point was to clarify the two kingdoms and to illustrate in my finite human capacity what we have as Christians to look forward to. To say "the world's gonna burn whatever we do" IS TRUE, but nowhere did I say we had no responsibility to live responsibly. That's what you THINK I meant. And as Dan is fond of saying, 'you ain't God enough to know' what I meant.... although the words, sentences, and so on should have given you a clue as to what I actually said.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 12:02 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba asked:

for the sake of clarity, let me ask you to clarify: why do you think Jesus was killed? What specific teaching?

The Bible has a lot to say about this, and fairly directly (although there is room for discussion). Let's look at what the Bible says...

In Matthew 25, Jesus had just finished telling various parables (parables with economic implications, by the way) concluding with the story of the sheep and the goats, wherein those who did not tend to the least of these are cast into everlasting torment in Matt 24-25. Then, in Matt 26, it says:

When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples,

"You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion."

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.


Over in Luke 11, we see Jesus delivering the "Woes" to the people, directed at the pharisees and lawyers.

"...You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. WOE to you Pharisees!... Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers... WOE to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering."

And then, following this tirade against their abuses of power, Luke tells us:

When He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects, plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.

Again, in Luke 13, Jesus has healed on the Sabbath and been confronted by the Pharisees, to which Jesus said, "You Hypocrites!" and blasted them again for their legalism and power abuses.

Jesus goes on to tell other parables that likely rubbed the wrong people the wrong way, concluding by saying, "And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."

And then, Luke tells us:

Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, "Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You."

And He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.'


Over in John 7, following the mass feeding of the people (garnering Jesus no small amount of popular favor!), John tells us:

fter these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.

The crowd in John 7 goes on to rumor:

So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, "Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?

Clearly, I think most of us would agree that there was some political concern that Jesus was acting as a military Messiah, gathering popular support with his healings and feedings and his strong stand against the religious and political leadership.

Indeed, this is more obvious over in John 11, following Lazarus' resurrection, we read of the conspiracy to kill Jesus:

Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, "What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation...

So, from that day on they planned together to kill Him."


As you can see from the Pharisees words (emphasis, mine), they were concerned about losing power. These are political concerns. We see this from Jesus' point of view at Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ/Messiah over in Matt 16:

Then He [Jesus] warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.

Time and again (Matt 21, Matt 22, etc...) we see Jesus using parables that were indirect or direct criticism of the powers that be and the Pharisees and powers realized it, and they were out to kill Jesus for it ("When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people...")

I think the Bible is fairly clear that Jesus was killed because his words and actions threatened the powers that be. Partly, I think it should be said, because they feared Jesus acting out as a military Messiah (having thoroughly failed to understand that Jesus doesn't work that way), but partly out of the repeated prophetic criticisms against the rulers, the Pharisees, the Powers that Be.

Just as clearly, Jesus was NOT killed merely because he healed people or spoke of a soft-spoken Love and kindness. Where would the threat be in that? No, it was the fear of a military messiah and his economic system- and power-threatening words that led to his death.

Do you think otherwise?

 
On August 5, 2008 at 12:50 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I have to agree with Bubba in that I too find your political positions "inadequately justified" especially when you use scripture to do so.

Fair enough. You don't think I've done a good job of defending my position and therefore you don't agree with me. To the degree that I have not adequately represented my position, shame on me. It's not from a lack of trying.

Realizing, of course, that you have not done an adequate job of presenting your view, as I thoroughly think that you and Bubba are far-off when it comes to biblical interpretation.

The thing is, we disagree. I don't think you're not a Christian because we disagree. I don't think you're lying when you present your position. I simply don't think your position is sufficiently grounded in the bible and in basic logic.

No offense intended. It's just that we disagree. You disagree with my interpretation of what the Bible says and I disagree with yours.

But why can't we (the generic "we") leave it at that? Why must we engage in the demonization of the Other? Assuming that because we don't agree with their take on the Bible (or the Constitution, or what's best for our nation), that must mean that the Other is lying or a communist or trying to destroy our country?

 
On August 5, 2008 at 12:53 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

If you're theory's right, why did Pilate have to be goaded and even threatened into killing Jesus? Why did Pilate try to wash his hands of Jesus' blood?

I think the Bible is fairly clear that Jesus was killed because his words and actions threatened the powers that be.

"I find no crime in this man." - Luke 23:4


In your list of passages from the Gospels, you include passages where it's clear the chief priests plotted against Jesus, but it doesn't make a causal connection between their plot and Jesus' words: there's no explicit causal connection, for instance, between the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 and their plotting in chapter 26.

Clearly, I think most of us would agree that there was some political concern that Jesus was acting as a military Messiah, gathering popular support with his healings and feedings and his strong stand against the religious and political leadership.

You couldn't point to a passage that explicitly stated this, and for all the supposed fear of Christ being a military leader, Pilate could find no fault with Him.


The Gospels actually do point to a few specific events that caused the chief priests to want to murder Jesus.

- Mt 12 / Mk 3, when Jesus healed on the Sabbath

- Mk 11, the cleansing of the temple

- John 5, when Jesus healed on the Sabbath and asserted equality with God

I believe you missed all four of these passages, and I find that quite interesting.

What these passages show isn't concern that Jesus was upsetting the political order or advocating vast economic changes, or even a misplaced concern about a military coup. (Again, Pilate found no fault with Jesus.)

Instead, the issues were religious: His authority regarding the Sabbath, His authority regarding the Temple, and His stated equality with God.


What was it that Jesus said that caused the Jews (twice) to pick up stones to try to kill Him?

"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." (Jn 8:58)

"The Father and I are one." (Jn 10:31)

These are two other passages that you didn't seem to include, and in them the trigger for the stone-throwing wasn't Jesus' ethical teachings or their political implications: it was His teachings about Himself, His divinity.


Liberation Theology and its numerous variants have a political narrative about why Jesus was killed: he threatened the political establishment, upset the economic system, and thus was a martyr for a political program.

The Gospels have a very different story: He claimed to be God and was killed because of this claim. He was not as a martyr for an earthly political cause, but rather died as a sacrifice for our sins.

You're making tendentious arguments from passages that don't explicitly link what Jesus said to why others plotted against Him. And you completely omitted those passages that do make just such a link.

This doesn't strike me as something someone would do if he was really interested in letting Scripture speak for itself.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 12:53 PM, Blogger mom2 said...

I and others have had this discussion with Dan about why Jesus died. Jesus being God could have avoided the terrible death on the cross, had it not been God's plan and Jesus' love for mankind. Dan's coyness does not fool anyone with any spiritual discernment and why he continues it, makes one wonder. His continued wish to argue about it will only add to his stubbornness, I'm afraid.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I must say, I find it amazing that you think that "We as Christians are to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God" is "Not precisely true."

You think we're NOT to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God? Really?

Do you hear what that is saying?

"Christians are NOT to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God. We are NOT to follow in Jesus' footsteps, at least inasmuch as Jesus proclaimed and lived the Kingdom of God..."

Do you really think that? Because that is hard for me to believe. That is a pretty basic Christian doctrine, right?

I understand that you might want to state it differently - that we ought to be out "winning souls" and it appears that you don't think "proclaiming the Kingdom of God" will help do that (even though that is what Jesus did?), but don't you really mean that you would prefer to state it with a different emphasis or in different words rather than saying out and out, "we are NOT to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God"?

That just sounds unbelievable...

 
On August 5, 2008 at 1:10 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, you ask:

Why must we engage in the demonization of the Other? Assuming that because we don't agree with their take on the Bible (or the Constitution, or what's best for our nation), that must mean that the Other is lying or a communist or trying to destroy our country?

I still have not seen you admit that your conjecture about the "bile in [my] soul" was off-topic, much less admit that it was what you call "attack commentary", much less apologize for the comment.

But to address your question, I don't think it's the case that, just because someone holds a different policy position that I think he's lying, that he hates America, etc.

In asking that we not demonize, you're demonizing, acting as if the only reason for my serious criticism of your character is the mere fact of our disagreement.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As I've already explained in this comment thread (more than once), I don't find your claims about your religious and political metamorphis to be convincing, not because we just happen to disagree, but because the actual content of your writing seems to belie the claim.

It would be wrong of me to presume you're not being honest just because we disagree. But that's not the reason I'm so skeptical about your claims, and so it's wrong -- and arguably less than honest -- to suggest that "we disagree" is the reason for my skepticism.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 1:42 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

But, if we start handling discussions that way, do you see where it leads, Bubba?

"Well, Bubba did not adequately make his case and his biblical defense of his position is so full of holes that the only possible explanation is that Bubba is a liar and a fraud. He is obviously a fascist who wants to rule the world with an iron fist! Only Bubba's opinion will matter! We must not let this fascist get away with this!!!"

Never mind that Bubba has never made the case for being a fascist or said that being a fascist is a good thing. Never mind that, if you ask him, Bubba will TELL you that he's not a fascist and that his position is just as he stated, however woefully.

It seems a horrible way to have dialogue. I think at some point, we will have to trust the Other is saying exactly what they mean, no matter how illogical or untrustworthy it may appear to us.

The KEY word there is "appear." Because your hunch, Bubba, is that my biblical defense of my position appears to not be consistent to you, does not mean that how it appears to you is right.

THAT is why I jokingly accuse you of faux omniscience sometimes.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

"Jokingly." Right.

Dan, I find it hard to believe that you really want people to trust your assertion that you're being honest when -- rather than either stand behind your ad hominems or apologize for them -- you implausibly assert that your accusations of megalomania are made with a wink and nod.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Well, you know best what I'm thinking so I apologize.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 2:51 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Well, Dan, allow me to reiterate by quoting myself.

Dan said:

"We as Christians are to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God."


And Eric replied:

Not precisely true. And here's why.

1) As a whole, we the Church are to be about working in the fields... bringing in a harvest. That harvest is men's souls. "Proclaiming the kingdom" means nothing to the unregenerated man. It is foolishness to him. Proclaiming the good news that Jesus dies that they might live... now THAT is radical. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die...." THAT is radical! Proclaiming the kingdom? Hari Krishnas do somewhat. Where's the power in proclaiming the kingdom? And,

2) the kingdom of God is WITHIN us, and it is only acquired by believing that a) Christ died for our sins [according to scripture], b) that he was buried [according to scripture], c) that he rose again [according to scripture]. Romans 10:9-10 says "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Jesus said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." God already knows who will and who will not come, but NO ONE can come unless someone gives them the Gospel... that there is a remedy for the penalty of their sin. Romans 10:14 says, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" How indeed? THAT is what the church is to be doing... PRIMARILY. And all the rest an integral part of doing and having done the first.

The Bible more than suggests that we are to be BOLD witnesses. Bold... as in not afraid to say what needs saying, even if someone is offended by it. Believe it or not but many ARE offended by hearing that unless they accept Christ as their savior they will die in their sin and be consigned to Hell. But that is what every evangelist worth his salt will say-- though hopefully with far more compassion than I, for the sake of time and argument, just demonstrated. It's not enough to tell a man he MUST accept Christ, you MUST tell him WHY he must. Otherwise you risk making stony ground hearers.

As I said said, proclaiming the kingdom is not precisely what we are to do. We don't want a church full of people who walk like us, act like us, live like us, smile like us ONLY... we want them saved from the penalty of their sin FIRST, all the rest comes, in time, through the sanctification process of living in Christ, dependent of course upon how much of their will they yield to the Holy Spirit living within them.


Did you catch that Dan? I'll repeat...

And all the rest an integral part of doing and having done the first.

That's right, "all the rest" as in "We as Christians are to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God" is what naturally follows the greater priority of winning the lost to Christ. Nowhere did I say that proclaiming and living the kingdom of God was NOT true, just not-- to quote myself once more --PRECISELY true.

You're putting the cart before the horse. Salvation first, then the Walk.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 2:55 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You are presuming that when I say, "We as Christians are to be about the work of proclaiming and living the Kingdom of God" that doing such is NOT including the work of "winning the lost" such as it is.

We can't win people to Christ unless we're walking the walk, friend. It's all one and the same.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 2:59 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

"...you know best what I'm thinking..."

What in the world am I supposed to make of this comment?

I could trust that Dan is saying exactly what he means, which he thinks is necessary for dialogue, as he wrote in the immediately prior comment, here:

"I think at some point, we will have to trust the Other is saying exactly what they mean, no matter how illogical or untrustworthy it may appear to us."

But then, he just wrote that he only "jokingly" accused us of megalomania. So he apparently wants us to think he's saying "exactly" what he means, except when he's accusing us of believing that we're God, in which case we should just know that he's joking.

Maybe we're supposed to have psychic powers in order to know that Dan doesn't really think we think we have psychic powers.


Either way, we see more passive-aggressive behavior tied to an apparent apology:

Well, you know best what I'm thinking so I apologize.

It's impossible to take this entire sentence seriously. If Dan meant the "you know what I'm thinking" crap, it's hardly possible that he's truly contrite for previous instances of the "you know what I'm thinking" crap. Or, if the apology is sincere, we must believe -- in the absence of any evidence -- that the "you know what I'm thinking" crap isn't sincere, which begs the question, why even say it?

This is hardly the best possible comment from Dan if he wants people to believe he's arguing in good faith.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 6:20 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

my head hurts just thinking about it.

 
On August 5, 2008 at 8:00 PM, Blogger mom2 said...

Eric, that's what Dan's reasoning does to a person. He makes me dizzy as I have tried to follow him, only now I have seen it so much it is very tiresome.

 
On August 7, 2008 at 9:35 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Re, from Mom2, "When you said you were pointing and shaking your fist toward God sometime back, I shuddered."

You should try it sometime. God always meet us where we are, always, and if you've never been angry at God, well, either you are exceptionally blessed, which is possible, of you are being dishonest with yourself, which is likely.

BTW, Mom2, the judgmental, preachy tack you''re taking lately is ALL YOU. Stop it. You're making it even harder for me to take you seriously.

 
On August 7, 2008 at 9:39 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

EL, re: what you think I thought you thought: Whatever. Words,as purely human creations, are pitiful shadows of the thoughts and meanings behind them. If I misunderstand you, I'm sorry.

And the pitiful shadowiness of words is something to keep in mind when you keep insisting on certainty and exactitiude on how to read and understand the Bible. The Word God's self(!) is uncertain and shadowy in our understanding. I'd quit being so doctrinair and unbending if I were you. Truth will bust you into pieces if you don''t relax and quit acting like you are so certain about so many things that are uncertain.

 

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