Monday, November 19, 2007

Muslim-led Interfaith Service Unwelcome

johnMark

Fox News reports.
A Muslim-led interfaith Thanksgiving service in Austin, Texas, was forced to move to another location at the last minute after a Baptist church objected to non-Christians worshipping on its property.

Apparently Hyde Park Baptist Church didn't realize that "interfaith" meant different religions rather than different Christian denominations. When the leadership realized they essentially said "no" and definitely didn't want non-Christian prayers promoted on their facilities.

I thought "good for them" and I still do. It's their right to make that decision. But then I thought...what if the pastors asked for their own time to share the Gospel and the exclusivity of Christ with everyone at this interfaith meeting? Would that have been a better way to handle it? I'm thinking not. That may send mixed and wrong signals about Christianity. One of the most unloving things a Christian can do is pretend all religions are equal, IMO. Unloving towards God and your fellow man. People in the community need to know the difference which is the Gospel.

Now that this story has national exposure it may be time for a dialogue to take place. As the Fox story indicates letters are being written and the interfaith folks seem to be looking for understanding. This is exactly what should happen a public meeting to reach an understanding. Even in this free country we don't always get these types of opportunities.

I think the pastors should agree to a meeting and explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help those seeking "understanding" to understand there is only one way, truth and life.

What do ya'll think?

Mark

48 comments:

David Waltz said...

Hi Mark,

You asked: “What do ya'll think?”

Well here goes…

First of all, “Hyde Park” was, and still is, noted as an OPEN forum for competing worldviews.

Second, perhaps we Christians should form a consensus on “the Gospel” before we start serious interfaith dialogue with Muslims. The fact that many here on “Beggars All” condemn Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians as preaching a “false gospel”, plus the recent condemnations of N.T, Wright (and other NPP proponents), strongly suggests to me that we need to ‘clean our own house’ before we level condemnations on God-fearing Muslims.


Grace and peace,

David

Machaira said...

It's one thing to hold an interfaith meeting for the purpose of dialogue or even to collaborate on a point of mutual interest and benefit, but interfaith "worship" only serves to send the wrong message. What it says is that all "faiths" are valid.

2Co 6:16 . . . And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols?

Carrie said...

God-fearing Muslims.

David,

Can you define this for me? Which "God" are you talking about?

Rhology said...

David,

There's no "we" as in "we need to clean our own house".
We do not have the same faith.
But I agree a consensus on the Gospel is needed. But, as I'm sure you'd agree, we cannot compromise its essence for the sake of unity. So we proclaim it, argue for it, and ask those who don't hold to it to please change their minds and come to the truth, but we can't force them to. There's nothing so important that it would merit changing the essence of the Gospel. Which is why there's no "we" here between us and y'all.

As for JM's question, hmmm, you bring up an interesting point. I think my FIRST reaction would be from the gut - no way do we allow that, go do it somewhere else.
But once I thought about it a bit I think I'd be glad for the chance to have Muslims and other faiths come to hear the Gospel, to compare everything. I'd even ask for a panel discussion/debate...

Jason L. said...

They fear (a false) God, and why shouldn't they? They are subject to judgment based on their earthly behavior, and their only hope of salvation (beyond believing the required doctrine of Allah's Prophet) lies in works of penance and ritual, impersonal worship.

Sounds awfully familiar to another group oft discussed on this website...

Anonymous said...

"There's no "we" as in "we need to clean our own house".
We do not have the same faith."

Thus sayeth Pope Rhology, ex Cathedra, no doubt, speaking on behalf of all Christendom.

Anonymous said...

"They are subject to judgment based on their earthly behavior,"

Ahh, and you're not, is that it? The scriptures that tell you that you will be judged based on what you did and did not on earth are what...Idle threats? (Or [haw haw haw idol] idol threats)


Goat to Christ:
"I am not subject to judgment based on my earthly behavior!"

Christ to a goat:
"Depart from me, I never knew you."

Jason L. said...

Congratulations, Anonymous.

You learned how to splice a sentence in half to make it fit your purposes. Please return with a real name and a real argument.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Jason:

You claim altering meaning where there is none.

Come back and address the crux of Reformed theology: lack of personal responsibility to obey God in this life as a factor in our state in the next. Add to this ignorance the unabashed contempt they hold for anyone who has the audacity to think their life's actions actually matter, as Christ himself says, and you got it on the nose.

To the Reformed, heaven is a lottery that they just happen to "know" they won by pure luck. It is not "good news."

By the way "Jason l" you are as "Anonymous" as I am, so you can drop "holier than thou" attitude about it, 'K?

GeneMBridges said...


Come back and address the crux of Reformed theology: lack of personal responsibility to obey God in this life as a factor in our state in the next.


Please demonstrate from Scripture where ability limits responsibility.

Please demonstrate that Calvinism is guilty of this. Otherwise, this is an assertion bereft of a supporting argument.

Add to this ignorance the unabashed contempt they hold for anyone who has the audacity to think their life's actions actually matter, as Christ himself says, and you got it on the nose.

I gather you feel that libertarian freedom is essential for life's actions to actually matter." Where is the supporting argument? Please demonstrate LFW from the Bible.

To the Reformed, heaven is a lottery that they just happen to "know" they won by pure luck. It is not "good news."


Please demonstrate this assertion. We deny that election is arbitrary, since God does nothing without a purpose. I'd point out that it's the Libertarian who believes in a fixed future yet holds to LFW that believes in arbitrariness, not we. If the future is fixed, the ends are fixed, but if LFW is true, how and why does agent A arrive at the fixed end? Chance?

Anonymous said...

"Please demonstrate from Scripture where ability limits responsibility."

Adam was naked before the fall, but it didn't count against him till he ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and thereby knew that it was evil.

GeneMBridges said...

That's interesting, since apparently, you've just identified an argument that Libertarians themselves do not make, so we can conclude that you really are just another frivolous critic of Reformed theology. It's also an assertion minus an argument. Please show this by exegeting the text.

The text does not say that being naked is a sin in an of itself and Adam was therefore judged morally responsible for his nakedness after the fall. Rather, Adam's "nakedness" is a sacramental sign of not having a need for a covering for his sin, for he had committed no sin.

Prelapsarian nakedness corresponds to Adam's righteousness and the libertas Adami. Adam and Eve's hiding themselves corresponds typologically to their guilt and shame at having transgressed the whole of God's law and broken the covenant. They also took it upon themselves to cover themselves, man's first attempt to cover himself apart from God's manner. God provides a covering for them as a pure act of mercy. He could well have tossed them into the wilderness naked.

What we're talking about here is you providing an argument for Libertarian Freedom. If you think that ability limits responsibility, then you must believe in Libertarian freedom. Where is LFW to be found in Scripture? You're proposing the action theory by using it to underwrite your criticism, so you need to demonstrate it.

Put another way, please demonstrate from Scripture that the Calvinist view of God's providence, if true, leads to the charges you have laid at its feet.

Anonymous said...

those baptists ought to also say no to interfaith prayer with calvinists

Anonymous said...

...since calvinists worship allah, the god of random hatred.

Anonymous said...

"That's interesting, since apparently, you've just identified an argument that Libertarians themselves do not make,"

That was me. I'm a different anonymous, so you can't blame that on the first anonymous. And yes, Adam was naked and God didn't say nothing 'bout it till after he ate the fruit and knew that he was naked. Aint no infant guilty of not'in' since the don't know not'in'.

Anonymous said...

But allah the most merciless and most arbitrary will condemn ignorant infants of being naked or of being infants, perhaps he will condemn them for not yet knowing how to speak or will condemn them for what their parents did. maybe he'll also send one of his Calvinists to car-bomb them.

GeneMBridges said...

That was me. I'm a different anonymous, so you can't blame that on the first anonymous. And yes, Adam was naked and God didn't say nothing 'bout it till after he ate the fruit and knew that he was naked. Aint no infant guilty of not'in' since the don't know not'in'.

Based on this, then:

1. We can know you are too cowardly to post your real name.

2. We can infer that this blog needs to seriously consider eliminating the option to post anonymously.

3. You really are just another frivolous critic of Calvinism.

4. When the earlier anonymous wishes to actually provide an exegetical response to my questions, I'll be happy to interact with him/her.

since calvinists worship allah, the god of random hatred.

Which Calvinist theologians affirm senselessness and "randomness?" As I read through many a Libertarian theodicy, for example, that of Robert Olsen and even Dr. Bruce Little @ SEBTS, I can see that their answer to the problem of "random" evil is to, in fact, concede that such a thing exists. So, if true, this response would point not at Calvinists, but at Libertarians/Arminians, et.al.

It really says a great deal with critics of Calvinism have to post under "anonymous" and they have to misrepresent Calvinism in the process. It says even more when they level charges that,if true, are true of Libertarians.

Islam affirms "fate." "Fate" in Mohammedism and "predestination" are not convertible ideas. The fact that anybody would conflate them testifies to their ignorance of the subject.

EgoMakarios said...

Islam affirms "fate." "Fate" in Mohammedism and "predestination" are not convertible ideas.

Anyone with half a brain knows that they are the same thing. So you believe that allah decides what you will do. Whether you call it fate or predestination makes no difference. You believe that allah chooses who will be damned and who will be saved, and that he works this out somehow. How is this different from the Muslim who affirms the same things of allah, just without the Jesus dying for the elect part? The only difference between Calvinism and Islam, is that where Islam blasphemes Christ by saying he did not die on the cross at all, Calvinism blasphemes him by saying he didn't die for all men. Other than that, both of allah's cults are so similar, and Augustine is the prototype on which the conception allah was constructed in both religions.

EgoMakarios said...

Which Calvinist theologians affirm senselessness and "randomness?" As I read through many a Libertarian theodicy, for example, that of Robert Olsen and even Dr. Bruce Little @ SEBTS, I can see that their answer to the problem of "random" evil is to, in fact, concede that such a thing exists. So, if true, this response would point not at Calvinists, but at Libertarians/Arminians, et.al.

Sorry my Muslim friend, but you are mistaken on what I meant by allah being the god of random hatred. I mean that your god, Augustine/allah, is a god who hates men randomly based on his dice roll, and reprobates them based on chance alone with no reference to the object. I was not referring at all to men doing evil.

EgoMakarios said...

"There are passages in the Koran which seem at first sight to allow some freedom to the human will and to recognize a corresponding degree of human responsibility, but such passages are delusive. Usually in their context one finds in some form an expression of the doctrine of the all-controlling will of Allah. Thus in Sura 34:32 occurs this:

We will put fetters on the necks of those who are unbelievers Shall they be rewarded except for that which they have done?

In vs. 36 of the same Sura there is also the following:

For them (i.e., those who do right) is a double reward for what they have done, and they in upper rooms shall be secure.

Between these two verses, however, there is the assertion (vs. 35):

Verily my lord extends provision to whom he pleases or doles it out, but most men do not know, -

an assertion that is repeated again in vs. 38. Man has then, according to the Koran, no real freedom. God ostensibly rewards the good for their belief in Allah and his prophet, for their faithfulness in performing the proper religious ceremonies, and for their good deeds, such as almsgiving. In reality this is all a delusion, for they have no real merit. They are all done because Allah has decreed that they should he done by these people. Similarly God appears to punish unbelief, the neglect of the required religious ceremonies, and the violation of certain moral requirements. In truth the men who receive punishment for these things are not responsible for what they do, Allah having decreed from the beginning that they should do these things. Under his decree they could not do otherwise. This doctrine is the early prophetic conception of monotheism, divorced from its Hebrew setting, and carried to a pernicious extreme."


Hmmmm.....I wonder how much Augustine Mohammed had read to him by his Catholic monks. Enough to believe the peculiar tenets of Calvinism.

Machaira said...

I mean that your god, Augustine/allah, is a god who hates men randomly based on his dice roll, and reprobates them based on chance alone with no reference to the object.

Hates men randomly? Reprobates them based on chance alone with no reference to the object? How absurd. Ever heard of the "Fall?" How about "sin?" The Apostle tells the Ephesians that they were once dead in trespasses and sins and walked among the sons of disobedience . . .

. . . among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Eph. 2:3

Did you catch that part in bold type? There's your "object." Sons of Adam. Sin infested mankind. ALL are in the same boat according to Paul. Does that sound "random" to you?

You think reprobation is a product of "chance alone?" You equate God's sovereign will and purpose with the "roll of the dice?" Nothing in God's universe is left to "chance."

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will . . . Eph 1:11

How I wish that the Calvinist bashers on this blog would take the time to learn what Calvinists actually teach instead of spouting off with all of these straw-man caricatures.

Anonymous 1 said...

"Anyone with half a brain knows that they are the same thing. So you believe that allah decides what you will do. Whether you call it fate or predestination makes no difference"

I find no fault in this reasoning. The true evil of Calvinism is that it dresses up fatalism as "grace," when these in truth are nearly perfect opposites.

------------------
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Also a note to Gene:

Your complaining about Anonymous "cowardice" is absurd. If someone uses the handle "Anonymous" or the handle "Albert" or "Reformedjunkie" or whatever, he remains just as anonymous as "Anonymous." Your complaint is sophomoric and utterly unrelated to the strength or weakness of any given comment. The worst it soes is create a degree of confusion due to the multiple use of the same moniker. you are riding lame "high horse." I can't imagine that you are actually so stupid not to realize it.

Anonymous said...

"How I wish that the Calvinist bashers on this blog would take the time to learn what Calvinists actually teach instead of spouting off with all of these straw-man caricatures."

I bet the Catholic readers' irony meters are pegged on this one. :-)

David Waltz said...

Hi Carrie,

You posted

>>God-fearing Muslims.

David,

Can you define this for me? Which "God" are you talking about?>>

Me: The God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael and Jacob.

Rhology said...

For anyone curious about the history of this discussion, see these two articles. You can see how David W and other Roman Catholics have defended the Catechism's comments concerning Muslims.

EgoMakarios said...

Hates men randomly? Reprobates them based on chance alone with no reference to the object? How absurd. Ever heard of the "Fall?" (Machaira)

Calvinism asserts that election/reprobation took place before the fall, doesn't it? And further that the choice has no respect to anything foreseen in the object. Therefore, reprobation is not based on the fall in Calvinism. The fall, rather is a result of reprobation in Calvinism. In Calvinism, their god, allah, preordained/decreed for Adam to fall in order to give himself an excuse to damn people whom he had already decreed to be damned.

David Waltz said...

Hey Rhology,

Uhhhh…I do not have a single post in either of the two threads you linked to…

Rhology said...

Oops, sorry David.
Guess I was thinking of someone else. OTOH, you're saying exactly what was said there...

what God was Paul referring in his reference to “those among you who fear God”, etc?

The Trinitarian God of the Bible, YHWH.
The Muslim Allah is explicitly NOT Trinitarian. Explicitly NOT Jesus.

EgoMakarios said...

"What God did Job worship (Job Job 1:1, 8; 2:3)?

What God did the Jews of Jesus day worship?

What God did Jesus worship?

I certainly sense yet another false dichotomy…"


Think of it this way, Waltz. Christians, Jews, Catholics, Moslems, and Calvislamics (i.e. Calvinists) all claim to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But some (Christians, and ancient Jews) present God as loving all mankind, willing that all should be saved, working through Abraham to bring a Messiah into the world to provide salvation for as many as will receive it. Others, Moslems and Calvislamics present their god as determining before creation exactly who will be saved and dammed, and setting up a fate that each man will slavishly follow, then saving or damning each man based on things he fated them to do. The rest (Catholics) are in between, believing that their god has men being born guilty of another's sin, yet not that their god really hates them or damned them beforehand by divine decree. Do these three worship the same God? They may use similar names and titles, but there is a clear distinction between these three beings--one exists, and the other two do not. These three are so different, that they could not possibly be the same. Now, when Carrie says the Catholics do not worship the same god as the Muslims, she is right for it is the Calvislamics that worship the same god as the Muslims, a vindictive god of hatred who rolled a dice before time to determine who to hate. Catholics, for all their faults and their false doctrines, do not present their god as being quite as horrible as that of Islam and Calvislam. Yet, neither the Catholics nor the Calvislamics worship the God of the Bible who would not damn a man for another's sin (Ezekiel 18). So, the issue has nothing to do with what you call your god, but with the character of your god. If your God has a character different from that found in the bible, it is an idol produced in your own imagination.

Anonymous said...

"If your God has a character different from that found in the bible, it is an idol produced in your own imagination..."

And once again we return to another exiting epesode of.....

(Say it with me)

Sola Scriptura Rides Again!

(DUH DUH DAHHHHHHH!)

Rhology said...

EgoMak,

this is just a question of curiosity, no other motivation, nor follow-up.

Do you believe in Sola Scriptura?

Machaira said...

Calvinism asserts that election/reprobation took place before the fall, doesn't it? And further that the choice has no respect to anything foreseen in the object. Therefore, reprobation is not based on the fall in Calvinism. The fall, rather is a result of reprobation in Calvinism. In Calvinism, their god, allah, preordained/decreed for Adam to fall in order to give himself an excuse to damn people whom he had already decreed to be damned.

This all depends on the logical order of God's decrees. Generally speaking, there are "infralapsarians" and "supralapsarians." You have the elements of both views twisted together. I'll leave that for you to discover. My answer is still the same however. What you label "chance" and "random" the Scriptures describe as God's "purpose," "counsel of His will" and His "good pleasure."

EgoMakarios said...

Anonymous says "Sola Scriptura Rides Again!"

Rhology says "EgoMak,...Do you believe in Sola Scriptura?"

Sola Scripture does not mean "Taking the WCF as your real standard and rejecting everything in Scripture that proves it false." That is not Sola Scriptura. I know you want to make Sola Scripture mean that, and then make Scripture Alone as the sole authority out to be called Solo Scriptura. But this is a late invention of mixing Spanish and Latin to change history.

Machaira says: "This all depends on the logical order of God's decrees. Generally speaking, there are 'infralapsarians' and 'supralapsarians.' You have the elements of both views twisted together. I'll leave that for you to discover. My answer is still the same however. What you label 'chance' and 'random' the Scriptures describe as God's 'purpose,' 'counsel of His will' and His 'good pleasure.'"

Show me a Scripture then, Machaira , that shows the counsel of His will or His good pleasure to be random as the Calvislamics present it. Where is the Scripture (1) that says prior to the fall God chose who would be damned and who would be saved (2) that he made this choice without basing it on anything foreseen in the person? You have none. So this "What you label 'chance' and 'random' the Scriptures describe as God's 'purpose,' 'counsel of His will' and His 'good pleasure'" is merely a lie.

Rhology said...

EgoMak,

It's a simple question.
Is Scripture Alone your rule of faith? Forget the WCF, the creeds...what is your rule of faith? I would like to know.

Anonymous said...

"EgoMak,

It's a simple question.
Is Scripture Alone your rule of faith? Forget the WCF, the creeds...what is your rule of faith? I would like to know."


(William Tell Oveture continues)
...Starring:

Rhology ...........as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear.

EgoM ..............as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear.

Carrie .............as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear.

Jason l ............as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear.

"Dancin" Gene B ....as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear.

Machaira ..........as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear.

Never Vulgar Swan ..as the one person who truly follows Sola Scriptura and knows the truth because Scripture is clear (not appearing in this act).

(Music builds to a climax of epic movie proportions)

....and a cast of millions more, all in the SAME ROLE and all on one stage!

Anonymous said...

What you label "chance" and "random" the Scriptures describe as God's "purpose," "counsel of His will" and His "good pleasure."


Actually what Scriptures describe as God's "purpose," "counsel of His will" and His "good pleasure," Calvinism misconstructs into a doctrine that amounts to salvation by pure dumb luck.

EgoMakarios said...

"Is Scripture Alone your rule of faith?"

Yes.

Machaira said...

Show me a Scripture then, Machaira , that shows the counsel of His will or His good pleasure to be random as the Calvislamics present it.


How can the "counsel" of God's will and His "purpose" be random? Each indicates planned direction and goal. Your view is simply an oxymoron by definition. No Calvinist presents God's absolute sovereign will as "random."


Where is the Scripture (1) that says prior to the fall God chose who would be damned and who would be saved


Eph. 1:4
Rev. 13:8


(2) that he made this choice without basing it on anything foreseen in the person?

God's Choice had nothing to do with forseen works, faith or will.

2 Tim. 1:9
Rom. 3:11
John 6:44 & 65
Phil. 1:29
Acts 13:48

Carrie said...

Ego,

Now, when Carrie says the Catholics do not worship the same god as the Muslims, she is right for it is the Calvislamics that worship the same god as the Muslims, a vindictive god of hatred who rolled a dice before time to determine who to hate.

First, that isn't what I said.

Second, your understanding of Reformed teachings is way off. Why don't you do some reading AND THEN come back and make your critiques. I can't think of a good, concise, online resource right now, but maybe someone else can make a recommendation (or I'll think of one later).

I'm still not sure what you are trying to accomplish here. You seem to be just lashing out at everyone. Try to focus and give a biblical defense for your viewpoints (or counter viewpoints) instead of just making mocking characterizations. What purpose is that serving?

Fair enough?

EgoMakarios said...

Where is the Scripture (1) that says prior to the fall God chose who would be damned and who would be saved

Eph. 1:4
Rev. 13:8


Eph 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"

It doesn't say that he chose individuals, but "he hath chosen us in him" which certainly means that he chose Christ, and through him all who will beleive in him.

Rev 13:8 "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Your NASB or whatever is a corrupt mistranslation. This passage is teaching that Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world (that God prior to creation knew he would send Jesus as a sacrifice) not that individuals had their names written in the book of life prior to the foundation of the world.

Furthermore, as a bonus since you brought up the book of life, in Revelation 3:5 Jesus says "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." This shows that some Christians will fall and have their names blotted out although they were once written in the book of life, which certainly disproves Calvislam from the tail end, by showing the P is not true.

(2) that he made this choice without basing it on anything foreseen in the person?

God's Choice had nothing to do with forseen works, faith or will.

2 Tim. 1:9
Rom. 3:11
John 6:44 & 65
Phil. 1:29
Acts 13:48


2 Tim 1:9 "not of works" does not mean "not of faith" -- duh.

Neither Romans 3:11 nor John 6:44&65 speak of the basis of election. And furthermore, Romans 3:11 relates only to the wicked in the context of the Psalm being quoted, see Psalm 14 where the "there is not one who seeks God" is specifically related only to the wicked "who eat up my people as they eat bread" where it is obviously implied that "my people" do seek "me."

Phil 1:29 is not at all related to the basis of election either.

Acts 13:48 also does not say anything about the basis of election.

None of these verses asserts in any wise that the basis of election is not foreseen faith.

You have failed miserably.

EgoMakarios said...

"Second, your understanding of Reformed teachings is way off." (Carrie)

First, that's what Calvislamics always say when you perfectly understand their doctrine. When you understand the implications of their errors, which they blind themselves to, then you need to read more of their propaganda because you are seeing through their brainwashing campaign. Why should I read the tripe the Manichean fatalists put out when I have God's word? Only a lune would go rub up on a leper in an attempt to cure leprosy. If therefore you seek salvation, you turn to God, not Manicheans.

Secondly, You said on your blog that you are "not quite" a Calvinist, so maybe you're the one who is confused on what Calvinism teaches. Maybe you need to go read Calvin's Institutes and the WCF, etc. and get yourself fully brainwashed into the Manichean system before you go about wasting your life and damning your soul spreading it on this blog.

David Waltz said...

Hello Carrie,

You posted the following:

>>Why don't you do some reading AND THEN come back and make your critiques.>>


Me: During recent ‘dialogues’ concerning justification, I asked the same of our separated brethren (you and others), and yet, the responses in ALL of the justification threads clearly indicate to me that none of the sources I recommended were read.

With this now in mind, is it really fair to ask something of someone else that you are unwilling to comply with?

Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello Rhology,

Thanks for responding to my post; you wrote:

>>Oops, sorry David.
Guess I was thinking of someone else. OTOH, you're saying exactly what was said there...

what God was Paul referring in his reference to “those among you who fear God”, etc?

The Trinitarian God of the Bible, YHWH.
The Muslim Allah is explicitly NOT Trinitarian. Explicitly NOT Jesus.>>

Me: Hmmm, so the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles in circa 35-45 AD were Trinitarians…my-oh-my…a doctrine that took over 300 years for Christians to develop and define was already known by Jews and Gentiles in the mid-1st century!!!


I am at a loss for words…

Rhology said...

David,

Isn't there a difference between believing in the God Who is Trinitarian and knowing explicitly (due to progressive revelation's not having yet progressed that far) that God is a Trinity?
Of course.

And the *Christians* of the earliest church were Trinitarians.

And why is it relevant to this conversation? Muslims are responsible to believe in God's revelation as it is revealed NOW. there's a big diff between ignorance and wanton rejection, as you'd have to agree given RCC's doctrines of baptism of ignorance, etc.

Peace,
Rhology

David Waltz said...

Hello Rhology,

Thanks for responding (hope you had a nice Thanksgiving day, and weekend). You posted:

R:>>Isn't there a difference between believing in the God Who is Trinitarian and knowing explicitly (due to progressive revelation's not having yet progressed that far) that God is a Trinity?
Of course.>>

Me: Agreed. But, with that said, I can state with great confidence that the Jews and Gentiles whom Paul was speaking to were not Trinitarian; as for Paul, note my following comments to this:

R:>>And the *Christians* of the earliest church were Trinitarians.>>

Me: I disagree. Trinitarianism is clearly a post-apostolic construct. Every patristic scholar of the last 50 plus years (and many much older), I have read acknowledge the clear subordinationism of the pre-Nicene Church Fathers. John Henry Newman had this to say:

“If we limit our view of the teaching of the Fathers by what they expressly state, St. Ignatius may be considered Patripassian, St. Justin arianizes, and St. Hippolytus is a Photinian...Tertullian is heterodox on the Lord’s divinity...Origen is, at the very least suspected, and must be defended and explained rather than cited as a witness of orthodoxy; and Eusebius was a Semi-Arian.” (John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 6th edition 1989, p. 17.)

And perhaps the greatest patristic scholar of the late-20th century stated:

“Indeed, until Athanasius began writing, every single theologian, East and West, had postulated some form of Subordinationism. It could, about the year 300, have been described as a fixed part of catholic theology.” (RPC Hanson, “The Achievement of Orthodoxy in the Fourth Century AD” in Rowan Williams, ed., The Making of Orthodoxy, New York, NY: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989, p. 153.)

Fact is, the NT and early Church Fathers reserved the title “the one God” for God the Father alone. Once again, some thoughts from Newman:

“No subject was more constantly and directly before the Christian intellect in the first centuries of the Church than the doctrine of the Monarchia. That there was but one First Principle of all things was a fundamental doctrine of all Catholics, orthodox and heterodox alike; and it was the starting-point of heterodox as well as of orthodox speculation… It was for the same reason that the Father was called God absolutely, while the Second and Third Persons were designated by Their personal names of ‘the Son,’ or ‘the Word,’ and ‘the Holy Ghost;’ viz. because they are to be regarded, not as separated from, but as inherent in the Father. In this enunciation of the august Mystery they were supported by the usage of Scripture, and by the nature of the case; since the very notion of a Father carries with it a claim to priority and precedence in the order of our ideas, even when in no other respect he has any superiority over those on whom he has this claim. There is One God then, they would say, ‘not only because the Three Persons are in one usia, or substance (though this reason is good too), but because the Second and Third stand to the First in the relation of derivation, and therefore are included in their Origin as soon as named; so that, in confessing One Father or Origin, we are not omitting, but including, those Persons whom the very name of the One Father or Origin necessarily implies.’” (John Henry Newman, Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical, pp. 167-169.)


R:>>And why is it relevant to this conversation? Muslims are responsible to believe in God's revelation as it is revealed NOW. there's a big diff between ignorance and wanton rejection, as you'd have to agree given RCC's doctrines of baptism of ignorance, etc.>>


Me: It is precisely the “big diff between ignorance and wanton rejection” of revealed and developed truth wherein my argument rests. Very few Muslims have had the opportunity to read the NT in an environment that would allow objectivity—as such, I would argue that faithful Muslims are akin to the God-fearing gentiles that Paul referred; in other words, they truly believe in the one creator God of the OT; the one, creator God revealed in nature (i.e. natural revelation); the one, creator God known to us Christians as “God the Father.” IMHO, no amount of sophistry will spin the God professed by faithful Muslims into a “false” God. I shall leave the matter in the hands of God the Father as to whether or not ‘invincible ignorance’ is applicable, along with the corollary doctrine of ‘baptism of desire’.


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

Why do we then take our faith from the Scriptures rather than from ECFs? QED. Thank you sir.

The Scr are plainly Trinitarian. Do you disagree?

I'm in the middle of reading Ignatius and have recently read 1st Clement and following, there are tons of Jesus = God statements in there.

that's relevant, actually. We believe Jesus is God. That is a foundational part of our faith and the identity of God. Muslims believe Jesus is NOT God.

...

Is that not terribly important?

David Waltz said...

Hello again Rhology,

You posted:

R:>>Why do we then take our faith from the Scriptures rather than from ECFs? QED. Thank you sir.>>

Me: The Scriptures must be interpreted. IMHO, it is folly to ignore the great Christian ‘giants’ who have come before us. Perhaps you are convinced that consulting such Christian works is fruitless, that commentaries are a waste of time, that all which is needed is a Bible (pick one) and ones private interpretation, but I am not.

R:>>The Scr are plainly Trinitarian. Do you disagree?>>

Me: Yes, I strongly disagree; and on this important point, history is on my side; as well as such respected exegetes as Dr. Raymond Brown.

R:>>I'm in the middle of reading Ignatius and have recently read 1st Clement and following, there are tons of Jesus = God statements in there.>>

Me: IMHO “tons” is a bit of an exaggeration for you will be hard pressed to find more than a dozen such references in the above sources. And further, what you will not find in ANY pre-Nicene CF is a reference to Jesus as being “the one God”; this title is reserved for God the Father alone. But then, yes, Jesus is certainly called “God”; however, so are God’s adopted Sons.

R:>>that's relevant, actually. We believe Jesus is God. That is a foundational part of our faith and the identity of God. Muslims believe Jesus is NOT God.>>

Me: Agreed, and yet interestingly enough, Paul in his speech in Acts which are currently discussing does not call Jesus “God”…

Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

So the Scriptures are not Trinitarian. OK, David, thanks for that.

Nice talking to you.